Community Board 11 received a rundown of recent crime statistics from the 111th Precinct’s captain and some fire safety tips from an FDNY representative during the group’s first meeting of the year on Monday night.
Jason Huerta, the 111th’s captain, said the precinct was up 28 crimes overall for 2013 and that grand larceny, identity theft and motor vehicle break-ins were on the rise.
“We have an increase in thefts of motor vehicles,” he said. “And we’re seeing an increase in people leaving their car keys in the ignition when they go into a store. It’s illegal to leave your keys in your ignition.”
Also, Huerta said there has been a slight increase in burglaries south of Northern Boulevard from Francis Lewis Boulevard to the Clearview Expressway.
Kevin Anderson, a spokesman for the city’s Fire Department, dropped by the meeting to provide board members and meeting attendees with fire safety tips.
He said the two most common current causes of fires involve Christmas trees and space heaters.
“Christmas was over a week ago, but a lot of people still have trees sitting inside their homes, drying out,” he said. “They are ripe for a fire. Having a Christmas tree in your home is like having a can of gasoline. It can engulf a room in less than a minute.”
He said that residents who sit their trees outside waiting for trash pickup should not allow them to rest against the sides of their homes.
He also told CB 11 members that space heaters should be plugged directly into the wall, rather than into a power strip.
Finally, he called on residents to check to make sure their boilers were in good condition.
“If a boiler is not properly maintained, it could cause a fire or carbon monoxide [poisoning] if there’s a blockage," he said. "Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and you won’t smell it.”