The Berkeley Co-Op
Building Security and Package/Mail Theft
Package theft continues to be an issue in the neighborhood. For prevention and building safety, perhaps the most important guidance is to let only people into the building who you know are there for you. If you expect a delivery, ask the person who buzzes you for the full name on the package. You can also use the NVMS app to get a live video feed of your building’s vestibule.
Never buzz in a stranger. When you’re entering any of the buildings, never hold the door open for a stranger to let them enter. They can wait to be buzzed in if appropriate. Please also make sure the garden gates to the street and basement doors are locked after you pass through. Never leave a building exterior door propped open without someone there to watch. If you see a door or gate propped open and no one is around, close it.
Here are a few more recommendations on how you can lower the risk of package theft:
1. Arrange for your packages (especially valuable packages) to be sent somewhere more secure, e.g., Amazon Dropbox, UPS Access Point, a mail service, your workplace if possible.
2. Sign up for email and text alerts so you know when your package will arrive and retrieve it as soon as possible after you’ve been notified of its delivery.
3. Schedule deliveries with FedEx or UPS so you can be at home to receive them.
4. Sign up for Informed Delivery by US Post Service to get a digital preview of your incoming mail and manage receipt of incoming USPS packages. After sign-up, download the free USPS Mobile® App for cell phones and tablets. According to the USPS website, Informed Delivery allows you to view gray-scale images of the exterior, address side of important letter-size mail and track packages in one location. For packages shipped via USPS, the service allows you to provide instructions for delivery, reschedule delivery and set up notifications. Find FAQs and sign up area at https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action.
Fire Prevention Safety Tips
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The most important thing you can do for fire safety is to have a working carbon monoxide/smoke detector. In fact, it is required by law that you have one or more detectors installed within 15 feet of all bedrooms. Of course, it’s not enough to have smoke detectors; you need to make sure they work. The FDNY recommends you check your detectors monthly and replace their batteries twice yearly when the time changes.
Under New York City law, smoking tobacco or other substances and the use of electronic cigarettes ("vaping") are strictly prohibited in all Berkeley common areas, including but not limited to the community room, laundry room, walkways, garden areas, hallways, and stairwells. You can smoke in your own apartment, but please take care. Never smoke in bed.
Keep flammables away from your stove. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that could burn. Keep matches and lighters away from children's reach. Apartments with small children should have childproof locks on lower cabinets and gas oven knobs. Power strips and surge protectors should not be used for high-capacity appliances such as heaters or dehumidifiers. This type of appliance should plug directly into a wall outlet. Replace old damaged electrical cords. Never leave candles unattended. Blow them out when you leave the room. Buy a small multipurpose fire extinguisher and keep it accessible for use for a small, contained fire—never for a large or uncontained fire. Check its pressure once a year.
Protect your family by planning and practicing a home fire escape plan. Know all the possible ways out of your rooms. Know where your fire escape is. Have a planned place to meet your family outside the building in case you get separated in the event of a fire.
In the Event of Smoke and Fire
Don’t try to put out a fire yourself unless it is small and you have a fire extinguisher. Never try to extinguish a grease fire with water since it will spread the fire. If smoke is present, exit as low to the ground as possible and keep your mouth covered. Get out, stay out, and do not try to gather personal belongings. Very important: Close your front door on the way out to prevent the fire from spreading. Call 911 once you reach a safe location.