Archive for April 6th, 2012

Firearms And The Protection Of Family

During the turbulent birth of our country, our forefathers gave us the right to bear arms via the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution.

There are many ongoing debates, pro con on this topic.

I for one, am grateful for the 2nd Amendment. Having worked in the law enforcement field for several years, I fully understand that most often, police respond to a call well after the crime has been committed. Crime prevention is relinquished to the individual. In those States that offers the privilege of offering conceal carry licenses, the crime rates have shown to be substantially less than those States with stringent gun control. New York Washington D.C. Are prime example of States with strict anti-gun laws, yet their crime rates are well above average. Would you dare to stroll Central Park in the dark hours? One thing is for certain, Criminals will never have shortage of guns, no matter what State they happen to be in, and very often their firepower exceed those of our law enforcement agencies, we are however making great progress in that aspect. Long ago, I made the decision that my home and family would be protected via firearms. This is a decision that may not be viable for all. Believing that brandishing a weapon toward an intruder will be all that is needed to safeguard your family, could be a fatal error! Protecting with a firearm requires a mind set of being able to use that firearm, to pull the trigger if the situation requires it, and continue to do so until the threat has been dealt with.

This may sound harsh, but seasoned criminals will often be able to tell if home owner is using his weapon for show or is actually serious about using it. There have been many instances where a home owner did not have the mind set to actually use his/her weapon, only to have it snatched by the intruder and get injured or killed by their own gun. In my case, should an intruder invade my home and poses a threat to myself or loved ones, I will not hesitate to shoot him/her until the threat has been dealt with. My aim will be for center of mass, a double tap will be fired (2 shots), then I will evaluate the situation and if the threat persists will again fire until there is no more threats and the intruder if able follows my instructions. If a member of my family has not called 911 by that time, a call will be made for police help medical services for the intruder. All those living under my roof, have received training in the use of firearms and are quite proficient in their use. Having firearms in the home also requires extensive precautions in terms of safety. All my weapons are kept in either my large gun safe or in handgun safe boxes, out of reach from little fingers as well as out of sight. Only at bed time will I have handguns/shotgun out by our bed, a charged cell phone is also next to our bed during that time. Protection of one’s family is a very important decision which should involve all adults in the home. Firearms are not the answer for everyone. Many people feel that they will never become victims in their own home that if need arises, their local police agency will be there to protect them. My reality does not follow that line of thinking, therefore I am prepared should problems arise. I hope and pray that the day for the use of my training never materialize. These are the weapons that we would use and are proficient with should trouble comes knocking on our door.

HK USP45 = full size pistol in .45acp Glock 23 = compact .40SW (wife’s) Mossberg 500 Defender model = 12gauge loaded with #4 buckshot Ruger Mini 30 = 7.62×39 (20rds mags) in unlikely case where shots would be needed past 30/40 yards. My conceal carry favorite pistol is the Kel-Tec P11 in 9mm, followed closely by a Walther PPKS in .380. When fishing or hiking in areas where dangerous predators reside, a SW Mountain Gun in .44mag is always carried in my shoulder holster. I suggest that home protection be a subject discussed at home among adults, that a plan be decided upon should trouble find you, if it involves firearms make sure that SAFETY is your first objective and followed by proficiency with whatever weapon you choose. Do not get weapons that are too much for you, it is much better to be able to hit your target with a smaller caliber than to just miss and make loud noises. Wishing All a Great Quiet Life.

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Securing your cabin can be a difficult task – especially if you’re «off the grid» and don’t have the easy luxury of electricity and an «alarm system». But, there are some common sense steps to follow and a couple tricks of the trade, that’ll help secure your property in the off season. If you’re in the position of not having purchased your cabin or land yet, you might begin by considering the security conundrum right off the top. Location, location, location is imperative here, and if you can avoid purchasing a piece of property that is overly exposed to the public and main thorough fair traffic than you’re definitely ahead of the game. Private access roads and secured gating are both pluses. If you’re building your cabin from scratch think about limiting expensive building materials. You might also go for the «shabby chic» cabin look over designing with lush curtains and fancy, expensive furniture – these tend to be indicators of more wealth inside.

If you must have such luxury items at least store them away as best as possible when you’re away – or take them home! Think about security as you’re building your cabin and build the home in a way that intruders won’t be able to get in.

When you leave for the season, make sure you seal up everything. Try putting boards or barriers on your doors and windows. Go as «fortress» like as you see fit – esthetics won’t matter so much when you’re not at home! Intruders generally go for path of least resistance – so don’t give them any opportunity to think yours will be an easy steal. If you’re not intending to board up your windows, at the very least put up some dark blinds and close them before you go. You don’t want your valuables to be visible. You can also install heavy duty dead-bolts on all doors and use lock-bars on sliding doors. Never leave alcohol in your cabin. Much of the trespassing population tend to be young kids looking for a «cheap» or for that matter a «free» good time. Some people even put up signs: «No Alcohol on the Premises», as a deterrent for the cheap thrill type of vandals. Never leave firearms on the premises. If you have to, then make sure they are trigger locked and kept in a locked gun cabinet. If you can, hire someone over the off season to keep your lawn mowed, plants and flowers watered, the driveways plowed and sidewalks shoveled – anything and everything to give the appearance of a constant presence.

Although you may not be capable of installing a full alarm system if your cabin is «off the grid», you can try trip-wire systems.

With such systems you can trigger a sound device to go off, or rig it so objects fall with a crashing sound. Yes, it’s sort of a seemingly archaic alarm system, but you have to work with what you got. And you’d be surprised at what’ll work. Some systems will allow you to trip-wire to a battery operated alarm system or camera monitors that you can see from home! If you’re looking for protection and safety while you’re at the cabin, a dog with a good strong bark is a good idea. Not only will they protect the fort, but you’ll have their canine companionship to boot! One last hint: remember that not all intruders are human. Thrill seeking teenagers are one problem, but rats, mice and bugs are a whole other ball game. The best way to avoid rodents is to ensure that there isn’t a scrap of food in the house when you leave. Foods also have the potential to attract wintering insects as well, so take it all – sugar, flour and every measly scrap you find. Be smart and thorough in securing your cabin for the off season and you’ll have much less of a problem with intruders of all kinds!

How A Wireless Burglar Alarm System Works

Wireless security alarm systems are ideal for installation in a home that wasn’t wired for an alarm system when it was built.

Motion sensors, door contacts and window contacts can all be wireless, and not need to be hardwired back to the main control panel. Even the control keypad can be wireless. The various wireless components use RF (radio waves) to transmit their signals back to the main control panel. The only real disadvantage compared to wired systems is that the wireless components run on batteries, which will need to be replaced once in a while. These batteries generally last for years, however, and many alarm companies offer service and maintenance plans that will cover the replacement batteries and the installation of them. The most common wireless alarm components are the following: Control Panel This is essentially the «brains» of the alarm system. It’s usually mounted somewhere out of the way, like a closet or the basement. It monitors the signals from all the wireless components, and triggers the alarm (and a call to the monitoring station if the system is monitored) if any of the sensors detect an intrusion. Keypad The keypad is used to arm and disarm the system, as well as change various settings. It’s usually located somewhere near the entrance door for easy access. Magnetic Switches These contacts are used to monitor windows and doors. They’re made up of a switch that attaches to the window or door and a magnet that is mounted on the frame. If the switch and magnet are separated (the window or door is opened or broken) it will trigger the alarm. Motion Sensors Motion sensors can be mounted in large rooms or areas like hallways. They will detect motion – and in some cases body heat – and trigger the alarm if it is out of the acceptable range. Video Cameras Wireless security cameras can send a video feed back to a monitor and/or a VCR in the house. They can be used to monitor outside areas that are not very visible from the street, as well as a way of seeing who is at the door before opening it.

Remote Keys Remote keys are much like the remotes you get with car alarms. They can be used from a distance to arm or disarm the alarm, as well as things like turning lights on or off or unlocking doors.

Keep Your Home Safe From Electrical Hazards

Your home is a safe haven from the world, a place to relax and unwind with family and friends. Unfortunately, hidden dangers may be lurking behind the walls that threaten your safety and that of your loved ones. That’s why it’s a good time to find out just how safe your home is from electrical hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there’s plenty of reason for concern: Nearly 32,000 fires in the home were caused by faulty house wiring or damaged wiring devices each year between 1999 and 2002. However, there is something you can do to safeguard your home from dangerous electrical hazards. The Leviton Institute recommends that with May being National Electrical Safety Month, homeowners conduct an inspection of their home and outdoor areas as part of their regular spring-cleaning projects.

First, make sure pool pumps, hot tubs and outdoor appliances that require electricity are plugged into GFCI-protected outlets with weatherproof covers.

Ground fault circuit interruptors safeguard you and your loved ones from dangerous electrical shock. GFCIs detect when current is leaking from an electrical circuit to ground and automatically shut off the power at the receptacle. They have saved thousands of lives since their introduction in 1972. When choosing a GFCI, it’s important to ensure the device is stamped with the UL logo. In addition, kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, or any other place around the house that has a water source within six feet of the receptacle needs GFCI protection. Check all outlets and switches for cracks, broken parts or loose-fitting plugs. Replace defective devices immediately, as well as those that feel hot to the touch. You should also inspect all power cords and extension cords: Those showing signs of cracking, fraying or obvious wear should be replaced immediately. Never run extensions under rugs, carpets or furniture where damage can hide. Make sure outlets are not overloaded. Most household outlets are typically rated around 15-20 amps. Plugging too many appliances into one outlet can exceed that rating and create a fire or shock hazard.

When you use an extension cord, always plug the appliance into the extension cord first before plugging the extension cord into the outlet.

Signs of Hidden Covert Cameras

Convenience stores seem to be one of the most vulnerable places for a robbery, especially all night convenience stores. The need for hidden covert cameras is not only great but a virtual must. Sure the cameras in the ceiling may be good for catching the action during a robbery, but often times, the view of the person’s face isn’t always the greatest. But if you have hidden covert cameras up front and personal, like the one that comes hidden inside a “We ID” counter sign, you are sure to get a great portrait picture of the would be thief that will help police and prosecutors send him packing off to jail in no time at all. They also work just fine for banks and packaging stores. If someone is cashing a stolen check at a bank or planning on holding it up, they will leave a nice up close and personal picture of themselves and never even know it.

Would you like another way to secretly get a shot of those would be thieves as they are leaving your place of business? What better place to hide hidden covert cameras than in the non-threatening, ever present, totally ignored exit sign.

Anyone coming into or going out of your place of business has to pass by it. Exit signs are so common place that unless you are specifically looking for one, you don’t pay any attention to their presence, and even if you are looking for one, you certainly would not think that there are covert hidden cameras hidden inside of them. The exit sign hidden covert cameras come in your choice of black and white or full, living color.

An identity thief doesn’t just steal your credit card and personal information to start buying crazily in your name.

He gets new cards, opens new loans, and leaves a long trail of unpaid bills in your name. He even uses your identity to commit acts of terrorism or other crimes. What are you to do? Identity theft occurs more frequently than you would like to believe – and is committed frequently by someone you know. This is what happened to Linda Foley, a magazine writer, who learned that her own employer had swiped her identity to open cell phone and credit card accounts. Now Foley, along with her husband, fight back as the Co-Executive Directors of the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) in San Diego, California.Can This Happen to You?After Bridget J. Thomas learned that her identity was stolen by a bank employee at a branch 300 miles from the one she used, she was shocked. And that was just the beginning of her nightmare! When the thief was caught, she was working at a different bank in a different state. After her arrest, collection agencies continued to hound Ms Thomas.Setting the Record Straight Might Not Be All That Easy – or Quick!Setting the record straight is the tip of a nightmarish iceberg that can take months – even years to accomplish – often with undue pain and suffering for the victim.

In serious cases victims spend an average of 600 hours and $1,400 in out-of-pocket expenses to repair their credit.

Until they can prove their innocence, they are more likely to be: • charged higher rates for insurance and fees for credit cards, • rejected for student loans or home mortgages, • arrested for crimes they did not commit, • unable to get or keep a job.A Call From A Collection Agency Or A turndown For A Loan Is Often the Only Tip-off That Your Identity Was Stolen.A thief needs only one thing to open the doors to his windfall – your Social Security number. Unfortunately it is routinely used by government agencies, health care providers, utility companies, merchants, employers, and financial institutions. Often, your Social Security number is publicly available. That’s how General John M. Shalikashvili, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, became a victim. His Social Security number and those of many other military officers were published in the«Congressional Record»and were later posted on the internet. Thieves used their identities to open 273 new credit cards accounts and run up a bill of over $200,000.00 in charges.Develop a Form of DefenseTo stop identity thieves in their steps, there are several things you can do.

You can begin by freezing access to your credit file. By doing so, you cause your file to become off-limits to anyone who does not know the secret PIN (Personal Information Number) of your choosing. This sets the wheels in motion to protect you from the bad guys – anyone who attempts to apply for credit in your name. It causes their application to be rejected; although your credit cards won’t be affected. And if you want to apply for new credit or let a bank, store, or agency run a background check on you, you can get a credit thaw. For example, if you decided to shop for a big-ticket item, like a car, you might thaw your history for auto dealers.Other Things You Can Do – Starting NOW!• Periodically check your credit report for suspicious activities. Americans are now entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. • If you elect to shop online, use a credit card rather than a debit card. With a credit card, you have the extra protection of maximum liability of $50.00 for unauthorized purchased. • Learn more about «phishing» email scams, and other schemes, frauds, and cons to separate you from your identity and your money.In the Event You Do Become A VictimHere are some steps to take: • Act fast and prepare yourself for an uphill battle uncooperative and unsupportive credit card and law enforcement agencies. For guidance and support, I suggest that you turn to organizations and agencies likeITRC, the Federal Trade Commission, and others. • Call the fraud dept. of one of the three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit reports. (The other two credit bureaus will automatically be notified.

) The alert lasts for 90 days and requires creditors to call you before opening new accounts in your name; however, a word of caution is in order here. There are no legal requirements to honor alerts and merchants who are eager to make a sale may ignore them. • Close your credit card accounts and change the passwords on all your financial and banking accounts. • File a police report. Although credit bureaus won’t extend a fraud alert without it, be aware that local police departments may be reluctant to provide a report. Many may lack the resources to properly investigate the crime. • Mail copies of the police report to all three credit bureaus with a cover letter demanding your complete credit file. • Call every credit where you know a bogus account has been created and have them close your file immediately. Demand copies of all fraudulent applications for credit and billing statements. Creditors don’t want to divulge that information, but they will if you enclose a copy of a police report and forward your request it in writing via certified mail.Conclusion:Face it, identity theft is a growing problem affecting everyone in some way or another. With the increase popularity of internet usage, it has become easier for cybercriminals to steal our identity. In 2002 alone, the victim total due to identity theft climbed to 10 million, a new high. The cost to the economy was up an astonishing 41 percent to $52.6 billion, according to The Identity Theft Survey Report, available from the Federal Trade Commission at the website (www.consumer.gov/idtheft/). Each year these totals are climbing with no apparent sign of slowing down.

What are your chances of becoming a victim of some form of identity theft? According to the Federal Trade Commission is one in ten. “So what am I to do?” you ask. My recommendation is that first you educate yourself with information and resources at your disposal. Next, purchase identity theft insurance.

CCTV Cameras—Reduce the Risk of Crime

CCTV Cameras are among the most effective ways to reduce crime in your business or home, and there are a number of places to purchase CCTV equipment, even if you’re on a budget. Here are some things to look for when you’re shopping for CCTV cameras that will help you save time and money, as well as help you to better to protect your property.

First of all, you need to choose a CCTV camera that has both a wide range and a quality lens, so that you can see what’s going on no matter which part of the property you’re on, and you’ll be able to spot any suspicious people or activity right away. Next, make sure that your CCTV camera is compact and is easily rotated. This way, the camera is not easily seen by intruders or customers, and the ability for the camera to rotate quickly and effectively will give you a total view of who comes in and out of your business or home. The Voltek Wireless CCTV camera is a great choice for this reason, and we also offer a number of great new product to compliment this camera. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the CCTV equipment you purchase works well with the way that your property is set up in terms of how many enclosed walkways there are, whether or not there are open spaces throughout the office space or home, and how many rooms are usually occupied on the property. This will help you to determine how large of a camera you should purchase, and you may also want to purchase wireless CCTV equipment to eliminate the look of cables and plugs across the walls of your property.

Other equipment you’ll want to purchase in addition to the actual CCTV camera include a sign that you can post in front of your door or window on your property, which will let both potential criminals and customers know that the property is under surveillance.

You’ll also want to make sure that you have a CCTV monitor that is hooked up to the camera, so that you can make sure that your property is safe, no matter where you are in your home or office. The monitors are available in both color and black and white, so you have the option of purchasing the monitors that are most affordable for you. If you’re just starting your business, or are switching alarm systems or moving into a new home or business building, you may also want to look into purchasing a dummy camera for a short period of time. The dummy cameras look very realistic, and you can use it to give the illusion of security on your property until you install a new CCTV camera. You may also want to look into the audio cameras we have to offer, such as the new Wireless Microcam Audio CCTV camera, so that you can hear what’s going on in your property as well as see it. The shape of your camera will also play a big part in how well hidden the camera is, and how secure you can keep your home or business. Many times, if a surveillance camera is very obvious or large, criminals will immediately try to destroy the camera before stealing merchandise or money, or otherwise damaging the property.

If a CCTV camera is well hidden, it will be difficult for burglars to find the camera, and it is much more likely that you will catch the trespassing on tape accurately. A discreet camera will also make customers or others in your home feel safer. So, small cameras, dome-shaped cameras, and even submergible cameras are a good idea if you want to add a little extra security to your home or business. For more information on CCTV go towww.musthavesecurity.com/cctv-kits.asp

There is nothing more important than preserving the safety of your family and home.

Whether you are away on vacation and the house is left unattended or you work late at night and want your spouse and children to be safe, a family security system may be the answer. A family security system will typically feature a keypad, which is programmed with a set of numbers used to activate, or deactivate, the alarm system. If any disturbances should occur, the alarm would sound and authorities would be notified. Many family security alarm companies offer this feature, but others require that the homeowner notify the authorities directly. For this reason, it is a good idea to have cordless telephones placed conveniently throughout the house and make sure that you understand the system contract completely. Many burglaries occur when a home is empty, which is why many choose to install a family security system. An alarm will likely frighten the perpetrator and protect your home from any unwelcome entries. A family security system is designed to protect the family and their belongings. The home that you live in and the items contained inside were purchased with hard-earned money. A family security system is one way of making sure that nobody is able to take that away.

While many family security systems can be self-installed, it is recommended that a trusted professional take care of the installation. This is not a home feature that you can afford to have improperly installed or fail when you need it the most. A few common sense acts will help to keep your security code a private number that only your family knows. Never give the family security system code to anyone for any reason and make sure that your children understand the importance of this. In addition, study the family security code and memorize it. Never leave it written on a piece of paper and allow it to float around the house or simply be thrown away. Did you know that many criminals search through garbage in order to gain private information? You do not want your family security code to be available to them so, once your code is memorized, use a paper shredder or scissors to make sure the written numbers cannot be placed back together before throwing them away. As a final thought on family security systems, they are designed to protect you and your family. If a system is so complex that you feel like a prisoner in your own home, it may be time to find another system. A family security system should not be difficult to operate and should not be intimidating. It should make your family feel secure and anything less is just plain unacceptable.

The Home Safety Council reports that fires and burns are the third leading cause of home injury in the United States. The sad fact is, much of the time, these fires could have been prevented. Many homeowners have fire alarm systems and – while the fire alarms are effective in notifying you and your monitoring company of a fire in progress – the alarms don’t prevent fires. Don’t put yourself and your family at unnecessary risk. If you know where the primary trouble spots for fire are, you can do a room-by-room assessment and make any needed changes before you and your family become victims. Most people focus on the kitchen when it comes to fire safety. They make sure their fire alarm systems include smoke and fire detectors in the kitchen as well as fire extinguishers. Most people already know they should: · never leave the kitchen while cooking · never wear loose clothing around burners or gas flames · always carefully watch splattering oils during frying · never have paper, plastic or other flammables near burners However, the majority of homeowners stop there. Unfortunately, we all have fire hazards throughout our homes. Each room needs to be given due attention in order to prevent fires from occurring. Installing fire alarms is a great idea, but you can’t stop there.

To be thorough, use the following checklist to conduct a room-by-room survey.

Once you’re finished, you can feel much more confident that you and your family are safe from potential fires.

Living Room___ Fireplace has a screen, glass door or other protective device to prevent sparks from exiting the fireplace. ___ Matches and lighters are stored in a locked cabinet if small children are in the home. ___ The fireplace has been inspected annually and cleaned by a professional as needed.Garage or Outdoor Area___ Chemicals (including fertilizers) are locked and out of reach of children. ___ Gasoline and kerosene are stored outside the home in a cool place in properly ventilated containers. ___ Grills are kept at least two feet away from anything flammable including bushes and tree branches. ___ Grills have been cleaned of all grease drippings, inside and out.All Rooms___ Cigarettes are dipped in water before being disposed of. ___ Candles are never left unattended. ___ Space heaters are kept several feet away from curtains and drapes, newspapers, magazines, books, blankets, towels or other flammables. ___ Electrical outlets are not overloaded. ___ Power cords are in good condition and are not frayed. When you take just an hour or two to inspect your home, you can dramatically reduce your chances of falling victim to a fire.

Alarm systems are a tremendous help in times of trouble, but by taking a few preventative steps, you greatly reduce the likelihood of an accident happening in your home

Fire Alarms Save You From Disasters

In the 30 – 35 years following 1960 about 93% of American households had their homes protected by installing fire alarms. This was not limited to any one form but apartments, single or family homes and dormitories all got their homes installed with some kind of alarms as required by the law which was made mandatory in 1980s. How Will Fire Alarms Help Alarm goes off hooting and alerting you in the event of fire breakout. Very sensitive, as they are, fire alarms alert you early facilitating escape with your kin and kith to safety.

It protects loss of lives and property. It has been the single most important savior of lives and properties from fire hazards over years, according to a survey; no doubts about that. It is fine, but how will it alert the hearing impaired persons who can’t hear the hooter going off? The Federal law, popularly known as Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 makes it mandatory for manufacturers of fire alarms to include strobe lights in addition to audible alarms. Audible Alarms Often fire fighters complain of hearing problems early in their lives. And they are not unjustified with this especially when fire alarms making loud sounds in the range of 90 – 100 decibels. The hooter or horn is designed to produce a variety of sounds depending on the distinct purposes. For example, ‘code 3 temporal pattern’ is used only when evacuation is necessary; and thus the alarm pulses too, vary in times. Other patterns include continuous tone, march time etc. Fire alarms get triggered by sensors which detect either heat or smoke or both in fractions of a second.

You can imagine the efficiency of the systems which detect the cause of fire (heat or smoke) first and trigger the hooter to go and still giving the residents enough time to escape.

Buying Fire Alarms While buying fire alarms you may want to consider a few points. Generally, in public places where large number of people work together, ‘code 3 temporal pattern’ suits better which can well be heard over the rolling noise generated by the crowd, and for a home purpose a continuous tone type would suffice. Buy fire UL listed alarms.

In case of confusion, don’t hesitate to consult the fire department. Occasionally, fire departments offer alarms at discounts too. Offensive fire alarm pranks in hostels or dormitories, when students pull alarms are not viewed lightly in America. Students and pranksters must understand that it wastes the precious time of fire departments and needs evacuation of entire buildings at times. Get tips on installation and mock drills from fire department.

Going on a vacation is wonderful and you deserve it. Coming home to find that your home has been broken into will make all those good times be forgotten in an instant. One of the times your home is most vulnerable is when it is left empty for an extended period of time such as when the occupants are on vacation or on extended business trips. Darkened windows, unretrieved mail or newspapers and closed windows in hotter weather all tell of your absence to a potential burglar. The best protection for your house or apartment during your absence is to have a house sitter. A friend you trust staying at your house can take care of your pets and/or plants in addition to making sure the house is occupied. Of course this scenario is not always an option. Here are some precautions that should be taken by the owner or inhabitants to take before leaving on their trip away from home. • Have a neighbor check on your apartment or house while you’re away – turning on lights, radios or TVs and opening and closing curtains will give your apartment or house the appearance of someone home. • If you don’t have a friend or neighbor to house sit or check your apartment while you’re away – perhaps even if you do – you should keep not only lights on but also a TV or radio on at all times unless you have a timer which is recommended.

If you’re like many others you have your TV on almost all the time you’re home, not for viewing but just as background noise. It is the absence of the sound and that blueish light in the windows that announces you’re not there. Using readily available timers you could also have lights, radios, and TV’s going on and off at different times adding to the illusion to a potential thief that someone is home. • Make sure whoever is checking your apartment or house while you’re away knows how to work any alarm system and who to call in case of a problem. • Unless you have a house sitter, stop your mail by notifying the post office and any newspapers or other items that are delivered to your home on a regular basis. Nothing broadcasts an empty apartment or house better than a stack of newspapers or an overflowing mailbox. Ask a nearby neighbor if they could pick up any packages that happens to be delivered any way while you’re gone. • If you have a garden or plants on your balcony, make sure someone is watering the plants regularly or put the plants where they can’t be seen.

Plants slowly dying due to lack of water may announce your absence to the would be thief.

• If you rent check your lease. Many landlords require that you notify them if your apartment is going to be left empty for any period of time so they can enter in case of emergency even if they can’t reach you. Naturally if you’ve got a house sitter this isn’t necessary. • If you are away from home in winter make arrangements to have your place shoveled and plowed. If you are away during the warmer months make arrangements for someone to mow your lawn if it looks like it needs some attention. Of course, many of these recommendations are just common sense. With a little planning ahead and thinking on your part you can make sure there are no nasty surprises when you return from you vacation or business trip.

Tips On Buying An Effective Alarm System

Burglary is one of the most commonly committed crimes in the United States.

Most homeowners fear that their homes are at risk of being broken into that they purchase insurance to protect them from losses due to burglary and fires. But more than the insurance to protect them from the losses, a more important thing to consider is to install alarms to monitor and alert authorities on unauthorized entry and in cases of fire. No insurance company can recover the losses due to damaged or stolen files, pictures, and items of sentimental value. Insurance companies also cannot restore you the delay and the time lost due to the hassles in filing for a claim. It is because of this that alarm systems are as important, if not more valuable, than insurance to one’s home. In buying alarm system, don’t just purchase whatever is popular in the market. Consider your needs, the house structure, its wiring system and other aspects of your household before deciding on what to install for your house. Remember that what could have been effective for another house or establishment may not be effective for yours. Here are a few things to think about before going about buying one.  How many entrances are going to be integrated into the alarm system? Consider the number of windows and doors in the house. It is advisable that all windows and doors, even the smaller attic windows, should be connected to the alarm system. The number of entrances determines the complexity of the wirings and it also determines where you should put control centers to turn the alarm on or off.  Decide on the alarm system company to install the security devices. Consult a security system specialist, an insurance agency, the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) or the police department for recommendations.

Make sure that the company does a free survey and inspection. Ask for the installer’s recommendation, explanation for his assessment and the price quote. Have it properly documented so you can compare it with the contract, once you decided to avail of the services of the company. You also have an option to buy a do-it-yourself alarm system, although this may not be as reliable as a system install by professionals. This is usually the «bells only» system where the homeowner is alerted by a sound if unauthorized entry sets the alarm off.  Should you subscribe to monitoring station? An advanced alarm system can connect to 24-hour monitoring company and alerts them if the system has recorded a breaking-in. The monitoring company then alarms the local police. This is the best option, though an agreement with a monitoring company requires a monthly fee. Another option, which is less expensive, is to install dialer accessories that will b linked to your phone line. In case a break-in was detected, the dialer can call several pre-programmed numbers such as your cell phone number to inform you of the intruder.

A problem that can occur with this, however, is that if the burglar had cut-off the phone lines before the entry, the dialer accessories will be of no good.

Decide on the sensors’ location and sensitivity. This is very important if the people who live in the house gets up at night and roams around the house. Also, consider the presence of pets that can set the alarm system off. If you have a motion sensor, make sure that this is install in places high enough not be disturbed by pets. You can also ask about motion sensors that will not be triggered by pets. These sensors can identify the size and the weight of the target. If you have an infrared sensor, make sure it is properly located so it wouldn’t detect areas that have heat sources.  Assess the proper location for the control panel and keypads. Ideally, a keypad is near the front door for ease in turning the alarm on/off when leaving the house or upon getting home. Another keypad may be mounted near the bedrooms, to be a manual trigger, in case an entry was not detected by the alarm system.  Check the possibility of home automation. There are burglar alarm systems that can also be connected to carbon monoxide and smoke sensors, flood detectors and the lighting system. This may be helpful in turning on all the lights during emergencies.

Type of controls The controls should be easy to use that the household members can remember how to use it during emergency situations. The switches should also be properly protected to prevent damages of freezing when the climate changes.  Should you go wired or wireless? The difference here depends on the complexity of the installation. A wired system is complex and requires drilling holes on the walls. A wireless system costs a little more than the wired system but its installation is not inconvenient. With this information, you can be prepared when selecting what type of alarm system will be needed for your home.

A Guide to Pepper Spray Laws

Pepper spray is the most popular self-defense weapon, but it is not legal in all states. At the time of publication of this writing, common pepper spray law was that you are allowed to carry it in all states.

In California, the largest can of pepper spray you are legally allowed to carry is 2.

5 oz. In Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, and Hawaii, pepper spray law says you are allowed carry it. There are, however, concentration limits and other restrictions. If you live in one of these states or plan to visit, be sure to carry a pepper spray that is sold as “Michigan Formula,” “Wisconsin Legal Pepper Spray,” and so on. If you live in or plan on visiting Massachusetts and you want to carry pepper spray legally, their pepper spray law says you must get a FID (Firearms Identification Card). All you do is go to your local Massachusetts police station, show two forms of ID, fill out a form, pay $2, and wait a week. When you get your FID, keep it on your person (and of course, to make the FID useful, keep your pepper spray on your person as well). Pepper Spray Litigation From time to time, civilians and law enforcement officers have managed to use pepper spray excessively or irresponsibly. Even though pepper spray is non-lethal, it does hurt to go through getting sprayed with pepper spray. If you feel you have been unfairly attacked with pepper spray, you can force litigation. Concerned citizens across the country have also noted that police offers have been known to use pepper spray on people when use of it was clearly gratuitous.

Litigation has been pressed, and the media have touched on the subject to a small extent. As a result, the Justice Department commissioned a report about the benefits and dangers of pepper spray, resulting in a more education law enforcement system.

Secure your Computer for Safe Internet Usage

From email to online banking and investing to shopping, today people are using their computers for many things that used to be done only offline. As we do these things on a more regular basis, unfortunately we open ourselves up to a new breed of criminals and their new weapons like spyware, viruses and email scams. While some may be looking to phish your personal information and identity for resale, others simply just want to use your computer as a platform from which to attack other unknowing targets.

As our use of computers and the related potential for risk increased, it is import that we make sure we have taken steps to protect ourselves.

Just like the advice of not walking alone at night, there are things we should and shouldn’t do on the internet. Below are a few easy, cost-effective things you can do to make your computer more secure. – Viruses can cause your computer to fail unexpectedly so always make backups of important information and store in a safe place separate from your computer. -Computer software is being continuously updated and criminals are continuously finding new ways to attack. Update and patch your operating system, web browser and software frequently. Because Microsoft’s operation systems like XP and Vista are on most home and business PCs, they are the biggest targets of fraudsters. Make sure you have the latest software by going to Microsoft’s website and running the update wizard. This will help you find the latest patches for your Windows computer. Also look for updates to any other Microsoft software you have at the same location. – Install a personal firewall. A firewall is software that protects your computer by not letting some programs do things that could be dangerous. Without a good firewall, viruses, worms, Trojans, malware and adware can all easily access your computer from the Internet.

There are a range of great firewall programs and hardware available at any budget. If you aren’t comfortable selecting or installing this type of software check with your local computer store for assistance. – Review your browser and email settings for optimum security. Why should you do this? Active-X and JavaScript are often used by hackers to plant malicious programs into your computers. While cookies are relatively harmless in terms of security concerns, they do still track your movements on the Internet to build a profile of you. Consider setting your browser security setting for the “internet zone” to High, and your “trusted sites zone” to Medium Low. – Install antivirus software and set for automatic updates so that you receive the most current versions. As with firewalls, there are great alternatives available on the internet and in stores. – Once you install software, though, it is very important that you keep it up to date. Make sure you allow the software to automatically update itself to ensure you stay protected. – Do not open unknown email attachments unless you are sure they are safe. Unfortunately some viruses can spread emails that look like they came from a source you know. If you are not expecting an email, even if is from someone you know it is best to confirm before opening. – Just like unknown email attachments, do not run programs from unknown origins. Also, do not send these types of programs to friends and coworkers because they contain funny or amusing stories or jokes. They may contain a Trojans horse waiting to infect a computer. – Consider turning off your computer and disconnecting it from the internet when not using the computer. A hacker can not attack your computer when you are disconnected from the network or the computer is off. The ability to shop from home, email friends and family are great benefits of the internet.

Unfortunately, along with everything new comes the opportunity for criminals to use it for bad purposes. By taking just a few simple precautions you can rest assured that you will get the benefits without becoming a victim.

Wall Safes: The Safest Walls On Earth

With the increasing crime rates these days, it is best that you find ways to protect your belongings whenever you are indoor or outdoors.

But the most important thing you have to protect is your home, especially if you and your household members are not at home most of the time.

By equipping your home with security gadgets like wall safes, you can eliminate the worries that fill your mind knowing that your most valuable possessions are safely intact. Nowadays, keeping valuables in a bank’s safety deposit box is no longer the only available way to safeguard your valuables. With the advent of technology and creative inventions, wall safes are now considered as the next best thing to safekeeping. Generally, wall safes are mounted and permanently pierced into the walls of your house. Because of its nature, you may mount your wall safes while your house or your office is still under construction or you may opt to mount it a little later. If you prefer to do the latter, mounting wall safes will not be very difficult because most wall safes are equipped with “flange”, thus, you don’t have to re-cover your walls. When buying wall safes, there are certain elements you need to check first: 1. The ratings. A quality wall safe has an Underwriters Laboratories rating. This means that the capability and efficiency of your wall safes is manifested by its ratings. Basically, a safe with a Class-A rating can endure an inferno with a maximum of 2,000-degree heat for long hours.

Whereas, a Class B-rated wall safe means that it can only endure a fire with 1,850-degree heat and will last for only two hours. The last rating, class C means that the safe is capable of enduring 1,000-degree heat and last for about an hour. Like any safes, wall safes are also operated through a series of number combinations, keys, or electronic lock. Its function varies depending on the type you have chosen. It is upon your discretion which type of wall safe would best serve you most. 2. The price. As with all commodities and products, wall safes are not created equal, and so, their value in the market will also vary from one to the other. Their variations may be due to the quality of composition or the dealer that distributes the material. In most cases, the average wall safe will cost $400. And so, you have to shop around in order to get the best bargain. You may look at the Internet for available wall safes that will suit your needs. However, when buying safes online, it is best that you see the items personally so as to scrutinize and evaluate if what the manufacturers claim online is actually true. After all, it is your money that is at risk and also your other valuables, so it is best to obtain a wall safe that can offer you both the protection that you need and the quality that you are looking for. Generally, wall safes are used for the safekeeping of your valuables like jewelry, money, and even pertinent papers like contracts, deed of sales, and receipts. With wall safes you can be assured that all of your most treasured possessions are kept safely against burglars and accidents like fire. So, for people who value their possessions, it is best to get wall safes. Not only are they easy to install, easy to access, and easy to manipulate but they are also house-friendly because you can place them in any part of your house without having to destroy or modify your interior decorations.

And so, it is better to think of your family and your finances’ safety now. As they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Do not hesitate to invest a little amount of money on wall safes. You’ll never know what can happen next, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what is happing in your home or office while your not there? In order to do so you need a surveillance system. There are many reasons why people need surveillance systems, so what’s yours? Do you suspect a cheating spouse, or abusive nanny? Or maybe you have children or pets at home alone and knowing what they are doing gives you peace of mind. No matter what your reason is, you just need to know. But what is it going to cost you? Using surveillance technology isn’t cheap.

From the cameras and expensive recorders to hardware components and maintaining a quality system you can spend anywhere from $700.00 to $10,000 and up. This amount of money may not be an option for you, and that’s okay because now you have VISEC. Developed by NASA level programmers, VISEC is a software that turns your existing home or office computer into a powerful, global-wide video surveillance system in 5 minutes or less. Simply install VISEC on your computer and connect up to four cameras. Any webcam will connect directly to your computer through USB. Or connect any wireless or hidden camera with a digital video grabber like the GrabBee II. This is the bridge between your computer and camera. Using your computer’s IP address you can login from any Internet connection in the world an immediatly view live or past video. VISEC can record constantly or only when motion is detected. In motion detection mode you can set-up VISEC to alert you by email, cell phone or PDA when motion is detected. You can also set VISEC to record during a specific time. Companies use this feature during after hours. VISEC starts recording at closing and stops recording at opening. In all recording modes VISEC can run as a stealth surveillance system. Just click the secret mode button and VISEC will disappear. In set-up you will be able to choose a hotkey that will allow you to bring VISEC back to normal operating mode. Operating in secret mode can help you catch a cheating spouse, abusive nanny or even a burglar. VISEC will record all the evidence you need. One of the top features of VISEC is it’s ability to FTP recorded video.

You can FTP video to a server of your choice or VISEC’s server. This insures that your video is safe in case anything happens to your computer. If your computer is ever stolen you can call VISEC and they will send you the video. VISEC is a very easy program to use. Even people that consider themselves computer illiterates can operate this program. Best of all, VISEC has NO monthly fees. You can pay a one-time fee and receive a lifetime of free updates.

Keep Burglars Out With A Home Security System

A home security system doesn’t just keep your home and property safe, it also provides peace of mind. Statistics show that your home is three times more likely to be broken into if you have no security system. Basic home security systems are made up of the control pad, a motion sensor (or possible several), a few magnetic switches on doors and windows and of course an alarm.

The switches and motions sensors can be either wired or wireless. More advanced systems may include video cameras and centralized monitoring by the alarm company. Monitoring gives you an extra level of security because you’ll have trained personnel keeping track of your security system. One of the main advantages of having a home security system is its deterrant factor. If a potential thief sees the yard sign or sticker saying that your house is protected, or if the alarm is activated while they are attempting to break in, they’ll be less likely to go through with it. Being the lowlifes that they are, they’re more likely to look for the path of least resistance and will find a home that doesn’t have protection instead. There are 5 major components that almost every security system should include: 1. Control Panel This is the control system for the alarm – the «brains» behind it. This is usually installed somewhere like the basement or in a closet, as it isn’t necessary to access it very often. 2. Keypad The keypad is normally installed somewhere relatively close to the main entrance to the house.

It lets you arm and disarm the alarm, as well as control the various other components.

3. Magnetic contacts These contacts are installed on doors and windows and will sound the alarm if the contact is broken when the alarm system is armed. 4. Sensors Motion sensors are the most common but there are also body heat sensors available. Again, if the system is armed these sensors will sound the alarm if there is any motion (or heat) detected. 5. Alarm This is usually a loud siren or clanger and may include flashing lights for even more attention.

Clever Types of Body Worn Cameras

You suspect your employee is ripping off the company. It may be something a small as stealing petty cash or office supplies. It may be something much larger like pilfering office equipment, spare parts or important documents. Using one of the cleverly disguised body worn cameras may be just the ticket to finding out who is doing what, when you aren’t around to see it.

One particularly clever device is the new day planner that comes with a camera hidden in the side. It provides a perfect way to keep an eye on light-fingered employees. It is also a great way to provide video surveillance during meetings and drug busts. And who would suspect that slender, card type calculator you carry around of being a high quality digital camera? It is capable of storing thirty-two images, which are easily transferred to your computer and is also capable of being used as a camera for your PC. But there are body worn cameras that can top even that special device. Nearly everybody wears a wristwatch, and there are state-of-the-art digital watch cameras available that even have built-in LCD displays. These great watches are not only great for covert work, but lots of fun, too. They can take up to 320 quality digital photos, feature a PC camera function and have a great rechargeable lithium ion battery, so you don’t have to worry about having to go out a buy a new battery all of the time. Can you think of an easier way to cart around a digital camera?

Clock In With Covert Hidden Cameras

Of the numerous different ways in which to disguise covert hidden cameras, clocks have, by no means, been left out of the equation. They are just one of the many items being used that cleverly allows you to keep an eye on things. There are a couple of different types of clock radios that contain covert hidden cameras. One is shaped like a cube and is a fully functional clock radio besides, offering a choice of black and white or color pictures. Another one contains not only a hidden camera but a transmitter as well that will penetrate between two to three interior walls that are up to six hundred feet away. These covert hidden cameras also have a signal that travels up to fifteen hundred feet away from the camera to your VCR and or your TV.

You can also move it from room to room as easily as you would any regular clock radio.

If you believe that having your covert hidden cameras inside of a clock radio just would not be classy enough for your living room, library or office, then you might want to take a look at the covert hidden cameras that come inside a mantle clock. This beautiful Seth Thomas mantle clock contains either a black and white low light or color/black and white high-resolution camera with a motion activated DVR, which is hassle free and easy to use. By using a wireless remote control, you activate the arm button, and then the moment any motion is detected, the video camera begins running and will continue to run for fifteen seconds after the motion stops.

Catch A Burglar, Safely And Secretly

In 2004 2.1 million burglary offenses occurred in the United States. Of those less than 15% of criminals were arrested. One reason the arrest rate is so low is because burglaries often happen when no one is home or around to witness. The reality is most people cannot physically monitor their home, or office at all times without installing a monitoring system and paying costly monitoring fees. Monitoring companies are not a solution for everyone. The new business owner, the business owner with high overhead or the lower income households need to save money and they can do so with the TeleSpy Intruder Alarm. The TeleSpy is a monitoring device equipped with a motion detection sensor and a highly sensitive amplified microphone. It operates from any working phone jack and requires no installation.

The TeleSpy phone model is the common slim line telephone that an intruder would not recognize as a monitoring system. Simply enter a phone number that you can be reached at while away from the location. Cell phones work great because you can take them anywhere. If motion is detected the TeleSpy will call you automatically. You will be able to listen in for 30 seconds through the TeleSpy’s high powered microphone. After 30 seconds the TeleSpy disconnects and instantly re-arms to detect again and again. If you hear an intrusion call the police. Your emergency will be a confirmed burglary in progress and treated as top priority. You will want the best listening experience and sensor range to give the police as much details as possible. So consider a couple things when deciding a place for the TeleSpy. The motion sensor range is in excess of 30 feet and the width is about 20 feet, creating about a 45 degree wedge beyond the sensor. Now think like a criminal. Where would they enter and what are they looking for? There is a self test feature that allows you to run trials. If you have pets include them in the test trials. Raising the TeleSpy or pointing it in different directions will help you pin point your pet(s) sensitivity and eliminate interference. The TeleSpy is ideal for apartments, small homes or offices. But it can be a great supplement to buildings with existing systems. The point is that if your property is being burglarized you need the police there as soon as possible. Criminals cost Americans five billion dollars a year and stolen property is often never returned to the owner.

Defining the World of Security Cameras

Finding the right security camera is difficult enough without having to wade through the terms and figure what the abbreviations and words actually mean.

If you’re trying to do research on a security camera and frustrated with the multitude of terms that are unknown to the average user, here’s a list of the terms you’ll want to know. There are many more out there, but this is enough to get you started: DVR: Digital Video Recorder, or ‘personal video recorder.’ Usually used when referring to a Security Camera System, you use a DVR to record broadcasts on a hard disk drive which can then be played back at a later time. The most well-known type of DVR is TiVO. They often come with standard features like motion detection, time and date stamping, and remote internet monitoring capabilities. Motion Detection: Many cameras and DVRs are built with motion sensors to track movement securely. Time and Date Stamping: Term used when a DVR records the date and time of an occurrence or recording. Remote Internet Monitoring: Refers to using a camera like a Network IP Camera to record information and the ability to see that information live in real time from a distant location. PC: Still refers to a personal computer. PTZ: ‘Pan, Tilt, Zoom’ refers to the motion of a controllable or PTZ camera.

Movement can go from left to right and up down, as well as zoom in and out on an object. Infrared: A technology that uses heat sensors to detect objects in its surroundings. It was developed especially to ‘see’ in the dark. Network IP Camera: refers to a type of camera that connects to the internet or a computer network via an IP address and can be viewed remotely from different locations. DVR Card: Digital Recorder Card. Provides digital video recording capability so that you can store video files from your security/surveillance system on your PC. Camera Housing: Refers to the outer shell of a security camera. It serves to weatherproof, protect, and ‘house’ the camera from potential harm. Quad Processor: four processors in one Multiplexer: the multiplexer takes several separate digital data streams and combines them together into one data stream of a higher data rate. A multiplexer makes it easier to combine the data from several security cameras into one stream of information. This is system is a quicker and more effective way of processing information. Multiple Output Power adaptor: a power adaptor that enables multiple outputs and is highly useful for a system that requires a good amount of power. Security Camera Systems: General, broad term for the package that security companies often sell. They are usually a better deal than buying the items separately and come in a variety of choices. They usually include a security camera, Processor, Software, Cables, Power Adaptor, Monitor, VCR/DVR, and some come with a warrantee. This is one of the more basic kits; more deluxe options often entail other accessories. Dome Security Cameras: Dome security cameras are ideal for use in building entrances, stores, and shopping malls; in short, anywhere you want a ‘fashionable’ camera that is designed to blend into its surrounding environment.

Prettier and more appealing than its cousins, a Dome Camera offers high security and an increased surveillance capacity because of its non-invasive qualities. PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) and Controllable Cameras: PTZ and Controllable Cameras are designed to be controlled by remote or through a DVR. They have the ability to move up and down as well as right and left. You can pan, tilt, and zoom in or out. You have all the control you want over these cameras, and they provide excellent surveillance and security. Bullet Security Cameras: Bullet Security Cameras are a special type of small, sleek camera that that is ideal for both indoor and outdoor installation. Sealed in cylinders and totally protected, they are impermeable to water and are totally weatherproof. Mountable on the ceiling or on the wall, they provide sharp, detailed video images while maintaining low profile visibility and an unobtrusive presence. Mini, Board and Covert Cameras: Just as they sound, mini cameras are small, tiny cameras that come in wireless options and can be used for increased, quiet security. Board cameras are tiny mini cameras set in small, flat housing, and are also highly useful in situations calling for more security and extremely low visibility. A Covert Camera is just what it sounds like. Like the mini and board cameras, covert cameras are intended for use for those that need increased security and a totally unobtrusive camera. Pro Security Cameras: Professional Security Cameras are ideal for any and every purpose you might have. They can be mounted on ceiling brackets, on your wall, and indoors and outdoors.

The professional line of security cameras, they are usually high resolution with clear, sharp image quality and detail.

They come in color or black and white, and SONY is one of the better brands available.

Infrared Security Cameras: Infrared Security cameras are designed for optimum security and especially increased protection at night. With Infrared Security Cameras, you can see in total darkness, and they are great cameras for extremely low or non-lighted areas.

How to Make Your Apartment Safe

There are special dangers involved with apartment living. This is because you live so close to many other people. Their actions can jeopardize your safety and so it’s very important for you to be aware of what you must do to safeguard yourself, your family and your possessions. Fire Safety . . . Fire is perhaps the greatest danger in apartment buildings. With so many units joined together, it doesn’t take long for fire to spread from one to another. The following guidelines are critical to your safety: • Install smoke detectors in the kitchen, all bedrooms, the laundry area and hallways.

You must test them every month and replace the batteries every 6 months. They won’t do you any good if they aren’t in working order. • Keep fire extinguishers handy in the kitchen, laundry area and near your outside grill. • Develop an escape plan. This plan should include two ways of exiting – in most cases, this will probably include the main door and either a window or door wall. If you live on a higher floor and don’t have access to a fire escape, purchase a rope ladder to use for exiting from windows or a balcony. Practice your escape plan regularly so each member of your family knows exactly what to do in case of fire. • Never use an elevator during a fire. • Never park in front of fire hydrants or in fire lanes and make sure your guests don’t either. General Safety . . . Fire isn’t the only danger in an apartment building. You must also be aware of hazards that can exist no matter where you live and take precautions to prevent them. • Install a carbon monoxide detector. • Install screen guards or window stops and doorstops on your patio door to protect your children from falling. • Keep your apartment and building number near the telephone so your family or babysitter can access it in case of an emergency. Remember that memories can fail during emergencies. • Make certain your apartment number is clearly marked on your door. • Be sure that each person in your family knows how to dial 911. Protecting from Intruders . . . There are many people coming and going in an apartment complex. Criminals count on this anonymity. That makes it very important to get to know the other tenants. When you do, not only are you better able to identify someone who doesn’t belong, it also makes it more likely that tenants will look out for one another. • Consider forming an “apartment watch”.

This is similar to a neighborhood watch but confined to your apartment complex. If a group of tenants is on the alert for suspicious behavior, they can prevent many problems from arising. • Install quality deadbolt locks on your door and place a wooden rod or steel brace on sliding doors. One caution about deadbolt locks – don’t purchase those that require a key. In an emergency, you won’t have time to search for the key. • Make sure your landlord has installed good lighting in all stairways, hallways, and common areas like the laundry room. • Make sure that if your building has a common entry, the entry door locks so that only tenants can enter. Never open that door for strangers. If you follow these guidelines, practice good common sense, and are alert to what’s going on around you, your apartment will provide a safe home for you and your family.

Have you installed a swimming pool safety fence or are you going to employ full time lifeguards to supervise your children in the pool this summer? Think of how many kids converge on your home when the weather heats up and how easy it is to court danger and consider the level of peace of mind you want for yourself and your family. A swimming pool safety fence is the only answer. What could possibly go wrong? Without a swimming pool safety fence, you leave yourself wide open for a list of realities that you could face. Drowning is the second highest cause of accidental injury-related deaths in children aged fourteen or younger.

In the few seconds it takes to turn hamburgers on the barbecue or dash inside for more cold drinks, a child can die.

You may or may not hear a splash, but even if you do, it could possibly be too late. All water activities should be placed behind your swimming pool safety fence. Spas, Jacuzzis, wading pools and buckets are best kept out of harm’s way. Homeowners’ liability insurance protects you from the legal ramifications of an accident, but a swimming pool safety fence will protect everyone who is invited to your home from becoming a victim of drowning. Is a fence enough? Perhaps; perhaps not. It depends on the layout of your yard, the accessibility of the yard from inside the house, whether there are rocks, tables or chairs that can be climbed on to facilitate entry over the fence, and any number of other elements. A swimming pool safety fence should be at least five feet high, and should not be climbable. No opening should be more than four inches wide, so that children cannot squeeze through. Audible alarms can be installed so that you will hear if someone is entering through the gate. The closures on self-closing and self-latching gates and doors around the pool must be situated beyond a child’s reach and all gates should open outward.

You can even install pool safety covers for added protection. Having a phone connected near the pool is another way of ensuring help is never far away. You might also like to erect a sign displaying CPR techniques, and point it out to all who use the pool. When all’s said and done, a swimming pool safety fence is the best physical protection you can provide against child drowning, but adequate supervision is also a must. As a swimming pool owner, it is your responsibility to provide a safe, healthy environment for your own family and for people who come into contact with the pool. Be vigilant for everyone’s sake.

Mistakes In Home Safety

We all want to feel more secure in our homes, especially in terms of protecting ourselves and our loved ones from harm and in preventing the loss or damage to our personal property. There are several areas in which people invest to make themselves feel more secure in their homes, but in doing so there are also several glaring mistakes that are made.

Here are some of the areas in which home owners frequently trip up win the effort to feel secure. The worst mistake that any home owner can make in protecting their homes is to feel overconfident in the measures they have put into place. Most of us cannot afford the time or the money it takes to install a foolproof security system, and only commercial properties with a vested interest would want to attempt this anyway. Therefore, any measures undertaken to secure a home will come with their limitations. Many security measures can act as prevention only in the deterrence of the entry of an unwanted person onto your property. Home security cameras are a good example here; if a potential thief sees a camera scanning your property, the odds are very good that he will not attempt foul play. However, in the case of a very determined or professional criminal, a camera may do nothing to dissuade him from entry. In this event, the camera will serve no better purpose than to record events as they happen in order to allow for the authorities to better track the criminal down after the event, they will do nothing to actually protect your property. So do not be too secure in your electronic installments; even home alarm systems may not always deter thieves (actually, if you go for a home alarm it is better to use the silent variety, as the criminal will not realize that help is on the way). In the event that a criminal enters your property while you are still there, do not remind them that you have cameras or that you have seen their faces. It could lead to far worse circumstances. It is best not to act belligerent, but instead remember that once the person leaves you will be in control and the odds are good that they will be caught.

The best method is co-operation. One of the biggest mistakes in home security that people make is purchasing a gun for that purpose. More people are hurt or wounded because of guns in the home for security than are hurt while attempting to carry out a crime in the home of a firearms owner. Safe storage of your firearm dictates that it be stored unloaded and far away from any ammunition, especially if there are children in the home. Such a measure will render the fact that you have a firearm in your nightstand drawer useless in the event that someone breaks in. In addition, many criminals are familiar with firearms, much more so than the average home owner. Threatening a criminal with a firearm will likely worsen the situation, and not help you out.

I was elated to discover this detached house with a big garden that was available for rental in a quiet suburb when I was first transferred to another town to work as an engineer. It was located at a cul de sac, the house being the last house in the row. I thought it was perfect..quiet, newly constructed and with a good neighbor who was a banker. Without reservation, I rented the house and my family shifted in a week later. 3 months later, I almost lost my life. I was travelling as a passenger in a friend’s car when someone lost control of his car, and crashed into the Honda car I was travelling in, killing the front seating passenger. I was at the back and had a smashed face, and was warded in the hospital and had to stay another month for medical treatment. But how is this related to the house I was staying in then? In fact, I was never a fan of feng shui, the ancient chinese art of geomancy.

When I was warded in the hospital, my neighbor who was a banker and also a chinese scholar, visited me and began to spill the beans. The house where I was staying was facing bad «chi» or an aura of bad atmosphere was emancing from the house that was facing directly opposite my house. The occupant of that house was a monk who works as a «chanter» who performs the chanting ceremony over the dead. This is a chinese practise for those who have died, the chanting being akin to prayer to make the way easier for the dead spirits to depart. According to my neigbor, every day when this monk returns home, he brings along the bad «chi» from the dead, and which then emants out towards the direction of my house. A shiver went down my spine when I heard this news. In my imagination, I could almost see evil spirits following this monk and congregating at his home before fanning out in the direction of my house. But what about my neighbor? How did he protect himself against this bad influence of «chi’? «I hang out a mirror,» this chinese scholar said. This mirror when hung outside reflects and deflects the bad chi and mystically protects the inhibitants from ill effects and ward off evil. This is the ancient art of feng shui at work», he added. Three months after the accident I recovered to leave the hospital, I was not ready to remain a day longer in that rented house. I did not hang out a mirror. I had enough and the solution was to just shifted house. We moved out! I met my banker neighbor friend 5 years down the road. I asked how he was. » I have never been better,» he replied, » and my mirror has always done its job».

Yes, we can protect our house, ourselves and belongings with the most sophisticated security alarm systems. But apart from this, where we choose to believe in the anciet art of feng shui, we need a simple mirror to be hung outside our house to ward off bad «chi» and evil.Are you a believer of the ancient chinese art of feng shui?

Trusting Your Home Security Company

Do you trust the home security company who is responsible for the security of you, your family and your possessions? If the answer is no, it is time to seriously reevaluate your decision to continue employing this company as your home security provider.

Trust in your home security company simply cannot be underestimated. Your home security company holds a great deal of responsibility and if your instincts are telling you that they are not the right company for the job, it is time to begin an intensive search for a new home security company. How do you know if you can trust your home security company? Relying on instincts alone is not the answer. It might be the driving force to investigate your home security company but it is usually not the sole factor that prompts a change in security companies. A home security company that has been around for quite some time and has relatively few consumer complaints listed with the Better Business Bureau is likely to be trustworthy. Idealistically, you would have carefully investigated your home security company before you chose them. However, if you did not do your research beforehand, it is not too late to attempt to require some background information on your current home security company. The Better Business Bureau and consumer advocate groups can provide you with information regarding the past performance of your home security company.

In most cases, past performance is a fairly accurate predictor of future performance.

Why is trust so important when it comes to your home security system? In most cases, it is critical that you trust your home security company because they have the responsibility of protecting you, your family and your possessions. It is very unlikely that a home security company will divulge your personal information to someone who could harm or burglarize you but if they make mistakes in the installation of your security system or mishandle the monitoring of your security system, a home security company can be responsible for a burglary that a more responsible company would have thwarted.

A home security company that you can trust will install your security system properly, tests the system to ensure functionality and will do an excellent job of maintaining your system and handling the monitoring of your system. Trust in your home security company is critical to the security of your home. Your home security company should do everything in their power to ensure that you do not become the victim of a burglary. The diligence of your home security system can be the difference between a burglar vacating your properly quickly when an alarm sounds or a burglar gaining access to your home because the security system failed to detect his presence.

If your home security company cannot protect your home, it is time to look for a new home security company.

Whether you are a business tycoon or a reasonably rich person with a kitty of valuable possessions, you sure do not want them destroyed by a fire or stolen by someone who probably does not value them as much as you do.

On the other hand, what you want to protect may not be your hobby but official documents, jewelry and the like. In both of the above cases, some means or another probably already protects your valuables. However if you have decided on buying a safe to protect your valuables from fire because you think your prized possessions have increased in number and value then read on to get an idea of the options available to you. You also have to keep in mind that no amount of protection can last indefinitely. What this means is in the event of a fire in your home or office there is a certain period during which a safe can keep your valuables from being destroyed in the fire! Heat Intensity in a Fire Now when you go searching for a safe one thing to keep in mind are the fire ratings of the safe. Do not be fooled by claims of safes that are expensive because they provide protection at very high temperatures. Average house-fire temperatures are in the range of 1200°C, so if the sales person claims to give better protection at higher temperatures he is probably telling you the specification of the heat resistant lining of the safe or the temperature range of fire endurance tests that safes are put through! Protection Ratings Protection ratings are nothing but the temperature and time for which the safe will provide safety in the event of a disaster.

The general ratings are 1200 degrees for 20 minutes to 1700 degrees for 1 hour.

More expensive cement fire safes can provide up to a 2-hour rating however, they weigh twice as much as the normal home or office safe. Basic safe types according to their location Wall safes These are embedded into a wall preferably into a thick wall to avoid the safe from protruding out at the other end of the wall, which obviously will make it visible! And if it is imperative that you install your safe into a thinner wall then you can install it so that there is a cabinet on the other end hence concealing the safe. Floor safes These as the name suggests are installed into the floor of your home or office. Now unless these are installed in your den or basement they are in danger of falling through the floor once the floor material has collapsed due to fire. Therefore, the ideal place to install your safe would be at the lowest point in your home and the most exterior, not only because it is less likely to fall through but also because the intensity of heat during a house fire is less concentrated in this area. Size of the safe The size of the safe you want to buy will depend on the number of valuables that you want to store and their collective size. You also have to consider future possessions and collectibles because a safe is not something you will buy repeatedly as your collection increases.

It is also not economical to buy one all the time meaning safes are quite an expensive commodity owing to the fact that they are made to protect your valuables that are important to you! Another point to consider while deciding the size is its location in your home! I mean if you do not have enough space to accommodate a big safe it does not make sense buying a one that big right! Moreover, if you have decided on installing it in the bedroom or family room it cannot be too large lest it spoil the interiors! For a big safe the garage or basement is good place. Thickness of the safe By the term thickness of the safe, it means the thickness of the safe walls. The sizes available are from 14 gauge thick steel to ј-inch steel thickness. Now the thickness again depends on you. In the event of a fire, it is not the thickness of the steel but the quality of the fire protection lining that is important because that is what will protect your documents and other valuables from being charred! Certifications in the UK Certification of a product by national and international standards gives the customer the satisfaction that what they are buying ensures high quality and reliability. Some European standards that safe manufacturers adhere to are as follows Serial numbering by the ECB•S – for the identification of manufacturers and the prevention of unauthorized use as well as they are in accordance with ISO 9000 (EN ISO 9000). EN-1047-1 and VDMA 24991Means that the safe is tested against fire according to the European standard EN-1047-1. Thereby today’s and future demands for fire protection is achieved. It is the most complete test with production control, certification, drop test, remaining heat etc. Fire protection P = for paper documents Means that the safe is tested to protect all paper based documents against fire. The end temperature must not exceed 175єC. The fire class is stated in 60P, 90P alt. 120P which means that the contents in the safe remains intact in 60, 90 alt. 120 minutes. Fire class DIS = for all types of data media Means that the safe is tested to protect the most heat sensitive data media in a fire. The end temperature must not exceed 55єC. The fire class is stated as S60DIS alt. S120DIS and means that the contents in the safe remains intact in 60 alt. 120 minutes.

Warranty Another important factor to consider is the warranty on your safe in case it is damaged in the event of a fire or break-in. You will not wish to spend more money on buying a brand new safe after incurring so much loss! Most safe manufacturers provide warranties in the event of a disaster; however, this excludes the freight costs. However if your safe is insured you can claim the freight charges from your insurance company, for which you will have to get in touch with your insurance firm. Therefore, when you go safe shopping if you have at least some idea of what you are looking for you can expect to get a good deal on protecting your valuables!

In today’s world a lot of people want to have a gun, not for hunting, but for the protection of their family and their houses/offices. Though once you have bought a gun, you have to be aware of the responsibility that comes with it. Sometimes the lack of a gun safe can cost you dearly, if you have curious kids. Or if it is stolen you will not only lose the money paid for it, but you can also be morally responsible for a potential attack or even a murder.

According to the FBI, more then 30% of the guns used in illicit actions were initially obtained through a theft from homes or businesses.

You have to take the time and the money to assure yourself that your gun is safe! Some of the guns are provided with a lock. For example, Winchester guns are sold together with a cable-type lock or a trigger lock, depending on the gun. The Winchester company offers a wide range of safes. These are not only very practical, with a high protection rate, but also have a very nice classic design, that can sit well in your home or office. When buying a Winchester safe you will also buy the assurance that it comes with one of the best gun industry warranties. The safes are standardly provided with 3-point handles, spy-proof, combination locks and interiors which are user-convertible. Next to Cannon Safes, Browning Safes, Winchester Safes and Fort Knox Gun Safes, Liberty is one other well respected name in the gun safes business. Certified locksmiths (members of ALOA – The Associated Locksmiths of America Inc.) consider that the Liberty safe is the best sold safe in the USA. Liberty also manufactures the National Security brand of gun safes in the States. One of its assets is its certification by Omega Point Laboratories, a fire testing lab recognized by the U.

S. Government. This certification guaranties that the Liberty safe protects its interior for a longer time compared to other safes. Although a safe gun is a good and wise investment, it will cost you extra money. That’s why it is not unreasonable to think of a discount gun safe! The price of the safe depends on its size, on its options if it is fireproof (usually the fireproof safes cost more, but if you have an expensive gun collection it’s worth choosing the safe to be fire proof). But you can get a good discount if you buy the safe at the same time as the gun or if you buy it from specialized dealers (because they usually have good discounts from the producers). If the safe has a bigger size (for 10 to 25 guns), you can increase its security by fixing it on the floor or on the wall. If it is in a small size, it would be advisable to hide it away (even if a burglar didn’t come with the intention of stealing your gun, he will not resist the impulse to take it with him and try to open it later). And remember that a good safe will keep the children or any other unauthorized persons away from the gun! It will protect your gun not only from thefts and fire but also from dust and humidity.

Home Alarm Systems

An alarm system for the home is needed to protect your home, your possessions and your family from intruders.

According to statistics, more than 2 million burglaries occur each year and more than half of these occur in residential homes.

When looking for an alarm system, you should know there are many different kinds of systems available. Many people look to an alarm system to protect their home. It does not matter what size of home you live in, whether it is a large home with three stories or a small one-room apartment. An alarm system provides you with the security and peace of mind you need while on vacation, at work or sleeping at night. There are many different types of alarm systems. One alarm will work to detect motion from an intruder when the alarm is activated. Another type of alarm system may detect any type of temperature change in a specific room. No matter what type of alarm system you have, it will notify anyone passing by, your neighbors, the police or a monitoring center of the activity. When looking for an alarm system, you should know the different aspects of a home alarm. First, it will contain a power source, this is called a control panel. A keypad is put in place to allow the homeowner to deactivate the system upon arrival or activate the system upon departure. Depending on the type of alarm system you purchase, it may have contacts with doors and windows, motion detectors and glass break sensors.

What is great about an alarm system is that, if it is monitored by a monitoring center, it will have a backup system. This system will allow the system to work for around 24 hours if the phone lines are ever cut by an intruder or if you lose electricity. What is even better is that some home alarm systems offer protection in the event of a fire, can detect the difference between your pets and an intruder and even offer video surveillance. When it comes to a home alarm system, there are additional fees that are associated with them, not just the initial purchase fees. This is likely to be a monthly fee as well for the monitoring system. From ATD, one of the most popular home alarm system providers, you can enjoy one touch pad, one motion detector, one indoor sounder, two window and door sensors and one button for manually notifying police and fire station of an emergency and a chime feature for an installation fee of $349.00 and a monthly fee for monitoring of $32.99. Another system with ADT will provide you with one touch pad, one motion detector, one indoor sounder, two deadbolt strike cups, three reset keys, two window and door sensors and one police and fire button for $399.00 installation fee and $32.99 monthly monitoring fee. With ADT and many other providers, you can customize your alarm system to suit your needs and provide you with full 24-hour peace of mind and safety for your home.

How Does A Security System Work?

Protecting your family and your possessions is important to most people.

A home security system may minimize the risk of having a burglar enter your home. Studies show that criminals will avoid risky ventures and will generally stay away from homes where there is some type of security device. Most thieves case the neighborhood to determine which homes are easiest to break into and will target those before risking getting caught by disarming an alarm system. Even if a thief does access your home they are likely to leave quickly (thus taking less and minimizing damage) when an alarm is sounding. A security system consists of a key pad, usually located near the entrance of the home and alarms that will sound when there is an alert. You arm the alarm by pushing a button. If you are leaving home, you will have a few seconds to leave before the alarm is fully functioning. If re-entering, you will have a few seconds to disarm the alarm by entering a pass code. A security system works by a variety of different means or a combination of them. Contacts placed on doors and windows will detect when they are opened. When you are not in the home, use of motion sensors can be helpful. Your home should not have activity when you are gone, so any motion detected will signal an alarm because it is assumed there is activity where there should not be any. Glass breakage detectors will sound if an intruder forcibly breaks a window or door in your home. A combination of these sensors is recommended for maximum protection and security. Motion sensors alone may not provide adequate security and only work after someone has already entered the premises.

These may also get triggered by active pets, causing a false alarm. Most alarm systems will allow you to remove this option when you are inside the house so anyone awakening during the night will not accidentally set off the system. Another good feature to have is a panic setting. These will allow you to immediately set the alarm off in case of an intruder. A special code is often assigned for cases of kidnapping or forced entry. If a criminal forces you to disarm the alarm, you can put in the special code. This will send a silent alarm to the police, alerting them of a possible hostage incident. No alarm will sound but police will be dispatched. For maximum security, monitored alarms should be used. This will alert police when the alarm sounds. Generally a callback will be made to determine if there is an actual problem before dispatching authorities. If nobody answers or the secret word that was assigned is not used, police will then be dispatched to investigate. Monitoring is done on a monthly basis for a small fee. It also usually requires an annual permit that can be obtained inexpensively.

False alarms where police are dispatched may be charged to the customer for needlessly sending out authorities, so be sure to call the monitoring company if there is a false alarm.

Using a home security system will provide comfort to the family. Knowing you, your family, and your possessions are secure from theft and break-ins is invaluable. Security systems are inexpensive yet provide a valuable sense of security.

When most people think of monitoring their home security system they think primarily about its ability to alert the police of a break-in.

What they aren’t aware of is the lesser know capabilities of the modern alarm system, which is environmental monitoring For example: you can monitor the amount of carbon monoxide that is present in your home.

Smoke Detectors, water level sensors and low temperature devices can also be monitored by home security systems. Although monitoring of these devices is becoming more popular it will be some time before it becomes a regular feature of every system. News accounts have helped push the awareness of these capabilities. Every time there focus is placed on the effects of radon gas or other dangers such as fires in the home there is an increase demand for this type of monitoring. Unfortunately it takes a tragedy to motivate most people to take action. Adding environmental monitoring devices to a new security system or existing ones is relatively simple. Once installed, the alarm system is programmed to make an audible sound or silent alarm depending on what type of device is being monitored. If you have a low temperature sensor to prevent freezing pipes you wouldn’t want the siren blasting you out of bed in the middle of the night but you would want to know if there is too much carbon monoxide in your home. For those who are aware of the full capabilities of an alarm system it may come down to the cost issue whether or not to add extra equipment.

Although cost is a valid concern one should also consider all the risks involved. A break-in takes a human and a conscience decision to target a particular house. Where as fires and other acts of nature are not so discriminating. Think about all of the things that run on electric in a home. Any one of them has the potential for starting a fire. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not talking about spontaneous combustion but normal wear and tear to the electrical cords etc. A fire or a flooding basement can damage an entire house costing many thousands of dollars. A break-in on the other hand is less likely to reach the same level of damage When put into this perspective it’s not as hard to justify the cost of the equipment versus the potential risk you can avoid. Check with your insurance agent to see what discounts they give for monitoring your home security system.

Are Fake Security Cameras Effective?

Are fake security cameras effective? The answer is a resounding «Yes.» Fake security cameras have helped to prevent many crimes. Mounted in high profile, totally visible locations, these cameras are not hooked up to anything, they mostly operate for a long time on batteries and sometimes have a few flashing lights or other obvious characteristics to make them look as if they are doing something. Many a would-be robber has changed his or her mind about entering someplace illegally after spotting one of these dummy security cameras looking right at them. With today’s technology, an inexperienced thief really has no way to know whether or not he’s looking at a wireless, state of the art surveillance device or a fake security camera.

Some of them actually pan back and forth, although these require more frequent battery changes. Fake security cameras are especially effective in areas that you expect to be covered by security cameras. For instance, many of the cameras in subway stations around the world are fake security cameras and nobody can tell the difference. During hard times, when the crime rates inevitably rise and cities are strapped for cash, the ratio of fake cameras to real ones was about 2-to-1 in some metropolitan areas. Knowing that the fake cameras would be regarded as real, the fakes were sprinkled in among the real ones to provide an extra incentive for would-be robbers and thieves to practice their trade in another location. Except for the lack of recorded footage provided by the real cameras, dummy security cameras are almost as effective in reducing crime rates in subways as the real ones are. Only sophisticated thieves can tell — at a distance — whether they are being observed by a real security camera.

What is identity theft? Identity theft is when a person steals personal information, such as the name, address, birth date, Social Security number or mother’s maiden name from another person in order to commit fraud.

The thief then uses this information to impersonate the victim and take over their financial identity.

With a relatively small amount of information criminal can taking over banking, insurance or investment accounts, open new bank accounts, purchase automobiles, apply for loans and credit cards, receive Social Security benefits, rent apartments, and even establish utility and phone company services, all under the stolen identity. How do identity thieves get personal information? While there is much in the media about internet based identity theft, there are lots of ways your personal information can be stolen, many of them much easier than internet theft. – Stealing your wallet, purse, or checkbook. – Removing mail from your mailbox, both incoming or outgoing. – Going through your trash to find statements and receipts. – Phishing – Obtaining information by email scams or fraudulent websites. – Hacking – Illegally gaining access to a computer where personal information is stored. – Social Engineering- Simply tricking the victim into giving out personal information Who is an identity thief? Contrary to what many people think, identity thieves are not always sinister villains looking for victims. In fact, many studies show that a significant portion of identity theft actually occurs by people the victim knows and trusts.

-Opportunity criminals who ‘chance’ upon your personal information – Organized criminals who actively seek victims – Husbands and wives who use their spouse’s information to open accounts to take money -Roommates – A person you meet at a party who has lots of questions about your personal life – Parents who use a child’s identity – Children who use a parent’s identity – Housekeepers, contractors or others who have access to your home How do I protect myself from identity theft? By taking a few precautions you can limit the opportunity for an identity thief to steal your personal information. Safeguard and protect your personal information – Don’t carry important documents such as Social Security cards, passports, or birth certificates in your purse or wallet. Keep important documents in a safe place at home or in a safe deposit box at the bank. Only carry them when you need them. – Shred any receipts, financial statements, documents, or bank statements, including credit card bills, before disposing of them.

Immediately report lost or stolen checks immediately to your bank or other financial institution.

-Immediately report lost or stolen debit or credit cards. – Always store checks in a safe place including cancelled ones. Ask your bank if they will store your checks instead of returning them in the mail. – Store any account numbers in a safe place and don’t write down passwords for internet sites that contain personal information such as internet banking sites. – Reconcile your banking statements regularly and consider using your bank’s internet banking service to monitor your accounts regularly. Studies show that identify theft is caught quicker and is less costly by victims who use check their accounts regularly. – Remove mail from your mailbox as soon after delivery as possible. When mailing bills and credit card payments, take them to a post office or place them in a secure, official U.S. Postal Service collection box. -Consider using an internet banking service to pay bills since even if there is a loss your bank may be obligated to refund your losses. Be sure to check your bank’s terms and conditions. – Promptly notify your bank and other creditors when you move or change your phone number or email address.

-Contact creditors if your regular bills do not arrive when expected.

Don’t give away your personal information Careless conversations can be the best source of identity theft. Make sure you don’t make yourself a victim by giving away your confidential information. – Don’t give out personal information, such as your Social Security number or account numbers, over the telephone unless you initiated the call and you know with whom you are dealing. – If you receive any telephone calls asking for personal information don’t give out personal information until you can verify to the call is legitimate. A good way to do this is to call the customer service number printed on your statement. – Confirm why personal information is needed before giving it out and even then only give out what is absolutely necessary. – Register your home and cell phone numbers with the Federal Do Not Call Registry to reduce some unsolicited calls. Review your credit report regularly Your credit report shows most accounts and balances opened using your information. Accounts that you can’t recognize or that have unexplained balances could be signs that your identity has been stolen. – Review your credit report from the three major agencies at least annually to confirm there were no unauthorized credit inquiries made or accounts opened in your name. – Consider using one of the credit report monitoring services offered by the major credit reporting agencies. – In the US you are eligible for a free copy of your credit report under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act).

The FACT Act requires the three major credit reporting agencies to provide consumers with a free copy of their own credit report each year. To obtain a free credit report contact: Annual Credit Report Request Service P.O. Box 105281 Atlanta , GA 30348-5281 1-877-322-8228 What do I do if I think I am a victim of Identity Theft? – Immediately contact the fraud division of the credit reporting agencies and request that a «fraud alert» be placed in your file.

Ask that no new credit be granted without your approval. – Notify the Social Security Administration by calling 1-800-772-1213. -Notify all of your creditors of the fraud. – File a report with your local law enforcement authority. – Report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-438-4338. The FTC is the clearinghouse for identity theft complaints. They provide information to help resolve financial problems that result from identity theft. – The FTC provides an ID Theft Affidavit which you should complete as soon as possible after you become aware of the fraud.

Completing this affidavit can help protect you from responsibility for fraudulent charges on your accounts.

-Keep detailed records of all events once you determine that your identity has been stolen. Include names, telephone numbers, and the date and time you made contact with individuals or companies requesting assistance in recovering your good name. While no one can be completely safe from Identity theft, simply taking the time to safeguard your information reduce that likelihood. You can also significantly reduce the amount of time and money you spend to recover your identity if you are prepared before you become a victim. Aubrey Jones is President and founder of Riverbank Consulting, Inc. Since 1996 he has worked to protect internet banking clients for one of the top US financial institutions.

Outdoor Security – System Design

Outdoor security systems are of particular importance at outdoor sporting events such as baseball games, soccer fields as well as schools, airports, companies and homes. Here are some new developments in outdoor security technology so you can relax and enjoy the game in safety. Deterrent Properties – Outdoor Security Outdoor security relies on the deterrent properties of the fence or other outdoor security apparatus to detect and block entry of unauthorized people, vehicles and animals, etc. Today, the issue of outdoor security is of major importance to everyone whether we like it or not and the outdoor security is a serious and lucrative business. Complete Perimeter Security – Outdoor Security Among the latest developments in outdoor security is a line of taut wire perimeter intrusion detection systems. The unique component in this outdoor security system is a fence combined with a sophisticated intrusion detection system. If someone or something tries to enter the restricted outdoor security zone, the system will sound the alarm at the outdoor security system headquarters Analog Sensors – Outdoor Security While the technical aspects are secret, outdoor security systems based on self-balancing analog sensors are used extensively to monitor fences worldwide.

An attempt to invade the outdoor security safe area is recorded on the analog sensors and analyzed before sounding the alarm. These outdoor security systems are based on highly sensitive analog sensors for detecting possible intrusions along with a very low false alarm rate. There is so much at stake in outdoor security for airports, stadiums and public events – and the first and best line of defense is the outdoor security provided by these analog sensors. False Alarms – Outdoor Security If outdoor security was not such a serious issue, false alarms would be quite humorous such rain, snow, hail, shifting soil, and the odd fox looking for a hen. The accepted rate for outdoor security false alarms is about one alarm per kilometer of fence in a three month period. There are also outdoor security systems based on this technology for home owners. Look out your window at the shifting weather, vehicles and people zipping by your house. Are you safe? For peace of mind, check out cost effective outdoor security systems to protect you and your loved ones.

Burglar alarms are used in houses, banks and shopping centers etc. There are numerous varieties of burglar alarms but they all are designed to do the same job.

The main components of a alarm system would be a sensor, a camera, a motion detector, a buzzer a flash light and batteries. Sensors It is a component that is usually used to detect noise or a movement. Sensors are usually connected to the circuit. As soon as it detects the slightest noise or movement it initiates the circuit which results in triggering the buzzer and the flashing light.

Cameras The camera as everyone knows, it is a gadget which is used to take a snap or video. You must be wondering why this is used for an alarm. Cameras help to show who and how many of them have broken in and hence resulting in identifying the burglar with ease. Motion detector This detector sends out bursts of ultrasonic sound waves and then waits for the reflected energy to bounce back. If there is no one interrupting the signal, the radio energy will bounce back in the same pattern. But if somebody enters the area, the reflection pattern is disturbed and the alarm sounded.

Buzzer Buzzers are devices which are used to alert people that something has happened.

These are set off as soon as the sensor or motion detectors give the signal to the circuits that something fishy is happening. Flashing lights These are powerful lights which flash in order to signal people that something is happening. Batteries Nowadays burglars are so professional that they do everything under the sun to burgle, they sometimes cut off the electricity so that you’ll not be able to see them and to deactivate the alarm but with improved technology and the use of Batteries it makes it impossible for them to switch off the alarm. Even when the current is turned off your bugler alarm still functions.

Terrorist Terrorism and Terrorized

As we sit glued to the television set listening to all the gory details of yet another terrorist attack leaves us all in a state of shock.

We all feel sad. We all feel that enough is enough. We all listen to how much the death toll is rising into the hundreds. We all wait in anticipation to hear of any survivors, then after a few days. We all forget I recall years ago when the seat belt was introduced and how it was drummed into us each and every day, clunk click every trip. The nation was brainwashed into abiding by the new law imposed that was to save so many lives. Well I say make a stand and bring back brainwashing in the form of terrorist awareness, it may cause a lot of paranoia amongst a great many but it may also save a lot of misery suffering pain and most importantly lives. Terrorists are like actors where they are well rehearsed in their role to kill. Drama classes pay off for terrorists in their preparation for slaughter. A Massacre murderer is well trained to keep his or her composure and not to look suspicious. The question is how we can help the system in the fight against terrorism. What signs do we have to look for to sniff out a walking time bomb, especially when these murderers have re enacted the role over and over again in portraying the look of innocence? I am not sure if there are any signs to look out for where a professional is concerned, but we can help by being more observant This can be done by being more aware of how serious terrorism really is, the next time you go shopping or take the tube to work or when taking the kiddies to school, watch what the person next to you is doing If traveling on a bus even high in the sky make a little note of what your fellow passenger is wearing.

Make an image diary in your head of what they look like, note little tell tale signs as in i.

e. tattoos scars jewelry whatever. Take in enough information on that person so that should any circumstances arise on that day where police are involved and are looking for information, you may hold the key to conviction. But remember not all suspicious looking characters are guilty and there are times you may well get paranoid by the person next to you. Do not panic keep calm then go and speak with someone if you feel there is need for concern. I know this approach can cause paranoia among a lot of people but it also may save lives. CCTV can not do all the work alone

During our everyday life, we concern ourselves mainly with home security; enabling the security alarm, locking the door when we leave, etc.

However, there’s another menace out there that is creeping through our society.

This menace is Cyberstalking, the exploiting of our children through the Internet. In my professional role in the Home Security Industry, I preach the values of the Internet, not only for us as adults and professionals, but also for our children. Our children have almost immediate access to any kind of information available throughout the world. Want to read A Tale Of Two Cities? It’s on the Internet. Have a question about who the third person to land on the moon was? It’s on the Internet. However, want to be exposed to nudity, pedophiles, and thousands (if not millions) of other social deviants? You bet it’s on the Internet and just a key touch away from your child or grandchild. So, what do we do about this? First, we educate ourselves. Go to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website at www.ncmec.org and download their study “Online Victimization – A Report on the Nation’s Youth.” This report will provide an eye-opening look at the perils our children are under every time they access America Online, Compuserve, or the Internet via the local Internet Service Provider. It also provides a telling survey on how parents deal with their children’s use of the Internet.

For example, over 85% of parents have talked with their children about being careful talking to strangers on the Net, and 97% of those polled check every now and then on what is on their child’s computer screen. But, only half the parents ever go back and actually check history to ensure the child is indeed staying out of potential problem sites, and only 39% set a limit on the amount of time their child can be on the Internet. Though it appears that parents do realize the potential exposure their children have on the Net, less than 1/2 play a truly diligent role in ensuring their child is protected. Second, we educate others. Gather information from such sites as The National Center and tens of other child advocacy sites (including www.pta.org), and speak to your fellow parents in your school system about the dangers presented to our children on the Internet. Stay tuned for future articles on ways to prevent your children from being exposed to unsuitable material. Bottom line: be involved with your child’s Internet experience. They now have the world, literally, at their fingertips. Make the effort to have it at yours also. Part 2 explains the warning signs that your child is having a bad experience online.

The Use of Light to Secure Your Home

Lights have long been known as a means of welcome family and guests.

Sailors were often welcomed home by finding that those who loved them most left candles glowing in the windows.

However, today we find lights a key partner in staving off a criminal element from invading our homes. It is remarkable how effective a well thought out lighting plan can be in securing personal property. Confusion can be an ally in the security of your home. A simple electronic timer can be an effective means of convincing burglars that you are home. When lights turn on and off at various times, a burglar may come to believe that someone is in the home and entertain second thoughts about the viability of a robbery attempt. Timers can also be used to turn home entertainment centers on and off in your absence lending credibility to the belief that there is someone inside the home. These timers can be one of the most cost effective forms of the use of light to deter both budding as well as more experienced burglars. Many homeowners have used dusk to dawn lighting as part of their home security plan. While this does provide a measure of protection it may do little to actually alert homeowners to any theft potential due to the light’s consistent glow throughout the night.

Unless a neighbour sees the intruder or someone in your own home is awake to monitor events, robbers may simply approach the home in the same manner they might under the cover of darkness.

Furthermore, a ‘dusk to dawn’ system will also require more frequent bulb replacement as well as an increase in associated energy costs. For the outside of your home we recommend an effective canvassing of your property with motion sensing lighting. In this set of circumstances, well placed lighting activates when movement is picked up by the light’s sensors. Lights should be strategically placed to cover all entrances to your home and should operate independent of any other lights in your home. If these lights are well positioned they can make it very difficult to for a burglar to slink onto your property without appropriate detection. This type of lighting can temporarily disorient the thief and provide you with an opportunity to get a good look at the offender without them being able to see you. It is important to remember that lights such as these should be placed out of arms reach.

When this tip is not followed burglars realise the lights may be easily destroyed on a subsequent visit.

Another satisfying feature of motion sensing lighting is its ability to operate using much less electricity than traditional dusk to dawn lighting. Some homeowners have considered a unique blend of dusk to dawn lighting and motion sensing technology. In this scenario, outdoor lighting remains available consistently using low wattage. This can provide a warm glow to your property. When motion sensing technology detects movement the lights immediately switch to full illumination. The effect combines both an esthetically pleasing night time look to your home with an efficient theft deterrent. Burglaries are an ongoing issue and homeowners can provide the most effective means of thwarting robbery attempts. Those who burgle are primarily males under 25 years of age. They are typically looking for easily portable items like jewelry, cash, guns and laptop computers that can easily be sold.

While force of entry can and is used in many burglaries, the primary choice of a robber is easily accessed properties. Three of the best deterrents we know of are proper lighting, lack of ready accessibility to your home and home security systems or burglar alarms.

When these three are combined, burglars are more than willing to avoid your home. You are no longer viewed as an easy target. Should your neighbourhood provide a united front by including these features in the majority of homes, you will discover a more secure atmosphere for your family. We know that lighting alone can not prevent crime nor can it absolutely assure the ultimate safety of your family, but statistics prove that a well lit property is an effective crime deterrent and is regularly used as a primary component in comprehensive home security plans.http://www.musthavesecurity.com/security-lighting.asp