Archive for April 8th, 2012

Home Security – Choosing the Right Product

The bad news is that crime statistics, death, injuries, home intrusions, and loss of property continue to rise. It is hard to believe, but according to FBI statistics a burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States. The good news is that there has never been a time when such a variety of quality security equipment has been available, and at such affordable prices. Let’s fight back! When talking about home security equipment, one size does not fit all. Security equipment must be tailored to meet the particular needs of each house or company. One may need entry detection, while another needs camera surveillance, and another may need motion-detection floodlights. Let us look at some of the many choices available.

Home Security Systems – Many articles have been written on this subject and the basics are probably known by most readers. Systems are either wired or wireless, just as the names imply. For a renter, a wireless system is the logical choice, as the installation does little if any damage to the premises. And, the system can be taken when the renter moves. Wired is the system of choice in an owned residence, but it has its pros and cons. Because wires are run from every protected point to the alarm control panel, holes must be drilled and wires fastened. However, when done by a professional company, the work is done with care and is mostly concealed. Labor is the main contributor to the high cost of a wired system. At today’s labor rates, several technicians working in your house for a week can run up quite a bill. A money saving tip here is do-it-yourself. If you have the basic knowledge to fix a lamp cord, you can read the wiring diagrams and install a wired system at a budget cost. Your car, motorcycle, camper, or boat on trailer, can also be connected to the security system. Many types of motion detectors are available, some even «pet friendly». Regardless of wired or wireless, ultimately either system can sound a local alarm, connect to a monitoring station, call your mobile phone, or be custom tailored to meet the exact needs of the user. Surveillance Cameras – Like home security systems, cameras come in two types, wired or wireless. When the door bell rings, how comforting to see who is at the front door. Now, even low cost systems can view multiple points, and display all cameras on just one split screen monitor. Camera products change rapidly, offering more and more features at lower and lower prices. One of the best recent offerings is an outdoor motion-activated floodlight and color camera combination. It does not get any better than that! Disturbing statistics show that we cannot always trust persons in our house, like the baby-sitter or a serviceman.

A wireless hidden camera provides an ideal solution for this case. It is, in fact, one of the most popular home security items. Other uses for an indoor camera include keeping watch on your prized possessions, and of course keeping watch over your baby. Home Automation – Here is an area of products you will want to look at while security shopping. The evolution of security products has blended into a new category of home automation products. We have traveled well beyond the wireless garage door opener. Your home computer can now be used to control appliances, lighting, cameras, store camera video files, check on your home, turn on and off your security lighting and even your sprinkler system!

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Today’s Home Security

Security is the most important aspect of life, most so in the case of home security. In the days of ever increasing crime and theft, it is all the more imperative for us to have a safe and strong home security system. The miscreants are well exposed to the modern methods of surveillance and monitoring making normal life highly vulnerable even inside our own home.

Many a careless family would tell their horrifying experience of house breaks and thefts that had happened to them out of sheer negligence and lack of proper security system.

Home security systems of varied nature and methods are plenty available. A simple warning signal by means of a security tag from a reputed security agency itself acts a deterrent for the robbers.

However it is wise to choose an effective and economical system to make the security at home really effective. A good monitoring system to work in your absence and that would react when triggered enabling someone to see, or a system that produces an alarm, that can be directed to the Police or emergency service, is an ideal choice. Use of variety of locks is another option to protect the house in one’s absence. Protecting the family and the belongings from the vulnerability of thefts and house breaks is no small task. One has to be quite relaxed when one is away from one’s house and has to ensure the possessions are quite safe even in their absence. Wireless home security system, the modern effective way of protecting the home and the family, though a new concept, is really effective. One has to know the basics of wireless home security system before choosing the same. The first aspect to be considered in a wireless security system is to determine the number of doors and windows that could be brought under the system.

The placing of the control panel and keypads is an individual choice, while some prefer it near the front door, others find it convenient to be on the side of the bedroom. The doors and windows need to be near to the sensors to enable them to communicate with the sensors. Various choices are available in monitoring systems; one option is to hire a company for a nominal fee. If on the other hand one choose to spend less, a basic system with a dialer connected to the telephone, that can dial the chosen numbers would be sufficient. Motion detectors is normally a good option, unless of course the pets in the home roam around, during night or when the system is enabled making unwanted alarms or warning signals.

One should entrust the home security system to a reputable and trust worthy security agency. The wireless home security system chosen should monitor every zone in the house. Further the system should be user friendly and effective during an emergency. The batteries used in the contact devices tends to be a costly as the same is to be replaced and each service call needs to be paid. The system therefore is a bit expensive compared to a hard wired system. One has to be a little technical savvy to avoid such expenditure and capable of reinstalling the batteries by oneself.

Installation of the wireless security system is quite easy and once the control panels and sensors are properly placed at desired points, the system is operational and you stand protected.

Alternatively one can also get the system installed by a contractor or a company specialized in the service at a nominal cost.

Purifying the Air With Covert Hidden Cameras

In today’s modern society, spying and protecting your premises has become an art form. There are so many different devices that have been developed to hide covert hidden cameras that without a bug detector, it would seem nearly impossible to find them all.

Even the most mundane devices can actually contain covert hidden cameras.

For example, you can purchase covert hidden cameras that have been placed inside of an air filter. Once type of model is a fully functional plug and play surveillance system that has the camera inside is virtually undetectable by the naked eye. It even comes with extra filters. But for the ultimate air purifier with covert hidden cameras, you definitely want the one that is not only self-contained, but motion activated and is capable of recording up to 20,000 images. This gem not only purifies the air but because it is also a DVR, you don’t have to worry about transmitting the images you record all over the neighborhood. And it’s hassle free and easy to use. Simply “arm” your camera using a convenient remote control as soon as motion is detected, the camera will begin to record images until fifteen seconds after all motion stops. And playing the images back is also a breeze. Simply disarm the unit, remove the postage stamp size MMC card and pop it into the reader, which connects to your laptop or desktop computer through the USB port. And depending upon the size MMC card you choose, you can record up to 3,000 images, 12,000 images, or even more.

Home Security For Your Peace Of Mind

People often worry about leaving their homes unsupervised while they are at work or on vacation. They may even be scared in their own homes for fear that some intruder may break in and harm them. People today are becoming more aware about making their homes more secure with the aid of home security systems. They appreciate the sense of security that a good home security system affords them. It is important that you make all effort and spare no expense in protecting your home from danger and theft. It is always wise to invest into a good home security system for your house instead of leaving yourself vulnerable to crime and danger. Make no mistake; having a good home security system will do wonders for your peace of mind. Nowadays home security systems utilize highly sophisticated technology, and employ innovative techniques to understand the psychology of burglars and criminals. Though these home security systems may not be completely foolproof, they at least help reduce the risk of crime and burglary significantly. You may naively think that just using sturdy doors and windows with strong bolts may discourage a would-be-intruder, but that is far from the truth. Intruders and burglars are very good at locating easy access to the inside of the house.

These criminals study the house well to look for the weakest points of entrance and also the best escape routes such as the doors, windows and ventilation system. They also carefully observe for any security system in use such as home security cameras and home security alarm etc. Burglars may think twice about breaking into a house outfitted with home security products, so a good home security system is a good deterrent against these crimes. When you decide to install your home security system the first thing you need to do is to find a trusted home security company that can recommend to you the most suitable home security products to get, for example inconspicuous safes that are hidden or blend into the wall or furnishings etc. There are certain cost factors to consider when setting up your home security system, including:  Initial cost: You have to invest some amount for the initial set up cost, but it generally is not too expensive.  Recurring cost: You have to pay a monthly or annual monitoring fee to the home security company for its home security products and services. Regardless of the cost of setting up and running a home security system, it is definitely worth the investment as it affords you a sense of security and peace of mind.

Is Your Burglar Alarm Accredited?

HAS YOUR BURGLAR ALARM ACCREDITED BY LAW? Due to safety precautions it is mandatory that every alarm installed in your house is registered with FARS.

Before the system is placed into service you must check for the following accreditation, • NSI (National Security Inspectorate) • NACOSS (National Approval Council for Security Systems) • ICON (an approval scheme run by NSI) • SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board) Registration A non-refundable $30.00 registration fee must be paid with each initial registration. A separate registration must be obtained for each alarm user and/or location. Registrations must be renewed on a biennial (2 year) basis at a cost of $10.00. Failure to renew when required will result in no “free” false alarms and the imposition of an additional $100 charge for every false alarm. False alarm The main reason for the burglar alarm to be accredited by the government is because of false alarms. Each year the Oakland Police Department receives more than 30,000 false alarms! On average, each response to alarms involves two police officers and takes up to thirty minutes-costing the City in excess of 1.4 million, annually. This is equal to 14 full-time police officers responding only to false alarms. The burglar alarm ordinance • Authorizes permit fees (waived for alarm users age 65 and older) • Authorizes fines and penalties for defective or misused alarm systems • Requires alarm companies to play a greater role in how customers use and maintain their alarm systems. Paying for your permit What ever type of alarm you use it should be accredited by the government. If you have an alarm system that is functional and is activated, the alarm ordinance requires you to obtain a valid alarm user permit. Please remember, if you do not have a permit and the Police Department is dispatched to your location for a false alarm, you will may be subjected to a $250 fine.

Prepare Yourself For Whatever Comes Your Way

Disaster can strike quickly and without warning.

It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood, workplace or school or can confine you to your home.

What would you do if basic services-water, gas, electricity or telephones-were cut off? Local officials and first responders will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away. Therefore, the best way to make you and your family safer is to be prepared before disaster strikes. Here are some tips for preparing for natural disasters: • Get to know the types of disasters that can occur in your community. • Make a family communications plan that includes an evacuation plan and coordinates with your school, work and community communication plans. Practice this plan with your entire family. • Create a disaster supplies kit that includes enough supplies for each family member for at least three days. Remember to check your kit every six months. • Make sure your child knows what smoke alarms, fire alarms and local community warning systems (horns, sirens) sound like and how to respond. • Teach your child how and, equally important, when to call for help. Even very young children can be taught how and when to call for emergency assistance. • Children should memorize their family name, address and phone number.

They should also know where to meet in case of an emergency. Some children may not be old enough to memorize the information. They could carry a small index card that lists emergency information to give to an adult or babysitter. • If you commute to work, make sure you know alternative routes and carry appropriate supplies, such as a disaster supplies kit in your car and a compact kit with bare essential items such as a flashlight and whistle on public transportation. Being prepared helps you and your family minimize the impact of a disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake or an emergency such as a fire or a broken leg. The Red Cross has tips and tactics to help you prepare. The time to get ready for unexpected situations is now-while you have time to plan.

Portable electric generators provide a good source of power, but if improperly installed or operated, can become deadly. To keep families safe, The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offer a helpful new video and recommend taking the following precautions: • Contact a licensed electrician to install your generator to make sure it meets local codes. Do not connect generators directly to household wiring without an appropriate transfer switch installed. Power from generators connected directly to household wiring can backfeed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including lineworkers making repairs. Other tips include: • Make sure your generator is properly grounded. • Keep the generator dry. • Make sure extension cords used with generators are rated for the load, and are free of cuts and worn insulation and have three-pronged plugs. • Do not overload the generator. A portable generator should be used only when necessary and only to power essential equipment or appliances. • Never operate the generator in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Use carbon monoxide detectors in nearby enclosed spaces to monitor levels. Generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly, which can be deadly.

• Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. • Make sure fuel for the generator is stored safely, away from living areas, in properly labeled containers and away from fuel-burning appliances. Before re-fueling, always turn the generator off and let it cool down. • Turn off all appliances powered by the generator before shutting down the generator. • Keep children away from portable generators at all times. Electricity is a powerful tool. It can also be a lethal hazard. Better safety standards have reduced electrical hazards that cause deaths, injuries and property damage. But good safety habits are still the best prevention against electrical hazards.

The number of burglaries and property violations are continuously increasing so an alarm monitoring system may be a perfect solution to prevent thefts.

Recent research has proven that owning a home security system makes you 3 or 4 times less likely to be burglarized. Who knows, maybe acquiring a home alarm system may even save your life! Many times thieves and burglars prefer robbing a house without a home alarm system than a house that has one installed. What can a home security system do? Well it can monitor a house 24 hours a day, and if something unusual occurs, it sends an alarm signal through the phone line. After the signal is received, a phone call is made to your house to see if everything is all right, and if no one answers or the incorrect password is provided then the local police is alarmed. Setting a home alarm system up takes only one hour, and then it will work for months. It should be tested periodically however in order to make sure everything works just fine. In case a power failure occurs, the home security systems are equipped with a battery that can keep them running for 24 hours. If you decide to purchase a home alarm system you should also follow some simple security rules. If you do so you can be sure that the chances that your house becomes the ‘victim’ of a burglary will be greatly reduced. First of all you should always secure your windows and doors, because these are the places through which burglars enter the house. Their locks must be strong. Also, you should try not to keep things that may attract burglars outside, in order not to turn your house into a target. It would be advised to try to let people know that you own a home alarm system. Furthermore, there are some other small things that can keep burglars away – always have outside lights turned on, so that burglars can’t use darkness to hide, get a guard dog to watch over your yard, and talk to a neighbor to watch over your house while you are away. But the home security system remains the best method to keep burglars away.

It is a small investment that protects all the investments inside the house.

Home Fire Safety

Our homes are usually the most expensive single item we ever buy. Not only do they represent a significant financial investment, but our home is a big emotional investment. They are the places where we raise our families and celebrate our lives.

Our homes are our refuge from a busy world – a safe place where we live, love and grow together.

Yet in the U.S. alone there are more than 500,000 residential fires every year that are serious enough to require a call to the fire department. Worse yet, every year more than 4,000 Americans die in home fires and approximately 20,000 are injured. Tragic statistics indeed, but equally tragic is that the vast majority of these fires and related injuries and deaths are preventable. Top Ten Tips for Fire Safety 1. Install Smoke Alarms The single most important purchase you can make for your home is smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms can double your chances of surviving a fire. Most deaths that occur in home fires aren’t from fire, but from smoke. Homes should have at least one one smoke alarm on every level. To make certain smoke alarms are fully functional they should be tested monthly, kept free of dust and have the batteries replaced annually. The smoke alarm itself should be replaced every ten years, or as recommended by the manufacturer. 2. Plan an Escape Route If a fire does break out, you must get out fast. Being awakened by a smoke alarm at 2:00 a.m. is not the time to have to think through how to get you and your family to safety.

You must plan ahead by sitting down with your family and go over an escape plan that includes at least two exits from every room. If you live in an apartment building, your escape plan must not include elevators. Finally, when you develop your escape plan decide on a safe meeting place outdoors where everyone meets after the escape. Your household should practice the escape plan two times a year. 3. Beware of Smoking The leading cause of fire deaths is careless smoking. Avoid smoking in bed and take great care to make large ashtrays readily available to smokers throughout your household. Cigarettes can smolder under and around upholstered furniture unnoticed only to ignite into a full blaze minutes later. 4. Take Care Cooking Never leave your cooking unattended. Furthermore, be aware of flammable materials like curtains, dish towels or loose fitting clothing around cooking areas. To avoid accidental spills of hot oil or boiling water be sure the handles of pots and pans are turned inward on the stove so they can’t be bumped or grabbed by children. Should cooking oil in a pan catch fire cover the pan immediately with a lid. Under no circumstances should you pour water on a grease fire. This will cause the fire to spatter and spread. 5. Space for Space Heaters Whether electric, kerosene or some other fuel space heaters need space. They should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn. Always keep children and pets away from heaters and never leave them unattended when you leave home. 6. Matches, Lighters and Children Don’t Mix Children are often fascinated by fire. Teach your children that matches and lighters are tools, not toys, should never be played with and are to be used only by adults. Store all matches and lighters where children can neither see them nor reach them. Because children are naturally curious, don’t hesitate to check under your children’s bed, in closets and other places where they may hide matches or lighters in their rooms.

7. Use Electricity Carefully Promptly replace cracked or frayed cords on appliances. If an appliance sparks, smells or smokes unplug it immediately and have it repaired or replaces. An all too common cause of electrical fires is the improper use of extension cords. Never run extension cords under rugs and never use an extension cord to overload a circuit. Only a trained professional should service circuit breaker or fuse boxes. If a fuse must be replaced, use only the proper sized fuse for that circuit. 8. Stay Low Under Smoke If you must escape a fire, stay close to the floor. Smoke and toxic gasses rise, and the air near the floor is cleaner. 9. Stop, Drop and Roll If your clothing catches fire, DO NOT RUN! Running feeds more air to the flames and will cause them to spread more rapidly. Instead, stop where you are, drop to the floor or ground, cover your face with your hands and roll around until the flames are covered. Should you encounter a person whose clothing is on fire, cover them with a blanket, rug or coat and roll them on the ground. 10. Treating a Burn The best quick treatment for minor burns is to run cool water over the burn for 10 to 15 minutes. This will cool the burn. Never use ice on a burn. Using ice on a burn may damage the skin or even cause mild frostbite. And contrary to what your grandmother may have told you, don’t apply butter or any grease to a burn. It will prevent air from reaching the burn. If skin is burned severely enough to cause blisters or charring, seek medical attention immediately. Severe burns can easily become infected. Preventing fires and fire related injuries and death isn’t a matter of luck.

It takes planning. Every household should have a plan that includes a home safety checklist, smoke detectors, escape plan and regular safety audit. Make protecting your family, household and valuables from fire a priority. Your life may depend on it.

There are so many situations that can turn into an emergency it is impossible to describe each in detail but, the tools and supplies needed to be able to react appropriately to most emergencies can be collected in preparation for an emergency.

It is critical to have access to an emergency lantern during an emergency as this can make the difference between life and death. Many times an emergency creates a life and death situation making the situation a medical emergency. If there is not the availability of an emergency lantern or emergency light source, the medical situation will be significantly compromised. Having all the medical supplies in the world won’t make any difference if it is impossible to see what is going on to assess the situation. When darkness compromises the assessment of injuries the ability to apply emergency medical procedures is also compromised. The same is true for search and rescue operations. It is almost impossible to conduct emergency rescue procedures in the dark. Many times dealing with the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster means looking for survivors at night or in the darkness caused by searching underground or through rubble piles. Being able to see what you are dealing with increases the degree of safety for the rescuers and victims. Emergency action plans are an excellent way to plan for the unknown and to be prepared to respond efficiently as soon as possible. An emergency plan includes putting together lists of supplies and tools that will help in the event of a disaster. When the list is final, the items should be collected or purchased and stored in an accessible place. Appropriate emergency lighting should be on everyone’s emergency planning list. To be able to determine the suitability of emergency lanterns, decisions need to be made after learning about and comprehending the pros and cons of the variety of emergency lanterns on the market as there are many emergency lantern options to consider.

Emergency lanterns come in a variety of models and types including: 12 LED light battery, 20 LED lantern battery, Windup LED, lantern and radio combinations, lantern, radio and television combinations, kerosene lanterns, and solar powered lantern etc. Each of these types of emergency lanterns has individual strengths, benefits and limitations such as: LED emergency lanterns are super bright and provide intense light for close-up work as well as useful for distributing light into the distance. Battery powered emergency lanterns can be bought with rechargeable batteries. Windup or crank emergency lanterns can be used when any source of power is unavailable. Solar emergency lanterns can be powered up by the sun without the use of batteries. Most come with an adaptor for a car or home. An emergency lantern can be used at times other than emergencies making them a more flexible resource to have around. If using an emergency light for something other than and emergency, ensure when you put it back after use that you have recharged batters, solar panels and/or replaced low batteries.

~Ben Anton, 2007

The Basics of Hazmat Incident Management

Whether at home or work, there is a chance you could be impacted by a hazardous materials incident (such as a chemical spill, train derailment, or industrial explosion). It is important that you think ahead and know what to do to ensure safety. If you are at work, chances are your employer will have a detailed emergency action plan and information for you to follow. But, if you are not at work – or even if you are, the more you know, the better – it is vital you are educated on what to do in such an emergency. Many communities have Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) whose responsibilities include collecting information about hazardous materials in the community and making this information available to the public upon request.

The LEPCs also are tasked with developing an emergency plan to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies in the community. Ways the public will be notified and actions the public must take in the event of a release are part of the plan. Contact the LEPCs to find out more about chemical hazards and what needs to be done to minimize the risk to individuals and the community from these materials. Your local emergency management office can provide contact information on the LEPCs.

You should add the following supplies to your disaster kit:

During an incident:

Listen to local radio or television stations for detailed information and instructions.

Follow the instructions carefully. You should stay away from the area to minimize the risk of contamination. Remember that some toxic chemicals are odorless. If you are asked to evacuate:

If you are caught outside:

Do the following after being exposed to hazardous chemicals:

Follow decontamination instructions from local authorities. You may be advised to take a thorough shower, or you may be advised to stay away from water and follow another procedure. Seek medical treatment for unusual symptoms as soon as possible. Place exposed clothing and shoes in tightly sealed containers. Do not allow them to contact other materials. Call local authorities to find out about proper disposal. Advise everyone who comes in contact with you that you may have been exposed to a toxic substance. Find out from local authorities how to clean up your land and property.             Report any lingering vapors or other hazards to your local emergency services office.

Body Worn Cameras You’d Never Guess

Denim never seems to go out of style. People wear denim jeans, denim skirts, denim dresses and denim jackets. It is as common a sight as just about anything you see today. That is why denim, specifically, denim jackets are one of the perfect ways to conceal body worn cameras. Hundreds of police departments and television stations couldn’t be wrong. That is just how popular the denim jacket with video camera is and a tiny, imperceptible hole is the only thing that separates this denim jacket from the one you buy off of the rack. Very clever indeed. Another way that body worn cameras can be disguised is through a purse that has a mini camera installed inside. Nobody would think twice about the purse that you lug around everywhere.

After all, nearly all women carry them, and because it is a purse, you can also conceal the mini DVR inside it as well.

This nifty little purse has a camera that produces such crystal clear, color images that the video comes across better than most camcorders, which makes it one of the best portable recording video systems on the market today.

But let’s say you are a guy and you are required to dress up every day for work. You have to wear the old suit or sports coat, dress shirt and a tie? No problem. There are also body worn cameras that come concealed inside of a tie. This high-grade neck tie is also very popular with police departments and television stations and also produces images that are consistently sharper and clearer than most camcorders on the market today.

Home Security, Don’t Leave Home Without It

Depending on your age or where you grew up, you probably remember never locking the door to your house.

It seems like just yesterday, but those days are long gone.

Our way of life has changed rapidly. Churches, schools, and neighborhoods are no longer social institutions linking entire families into a single community. People do not know their neighbors as well as they once did. Crime and fear of crime threatens a community’s well being. People become afraid to use streets and parks and suspicion erupts between young and old. Crime in turn feeds on the social isolation and lack of community ties. The following are some crime facts in neighborhoods today. – Burglary and thefts from auto’s are the most prevalent neighborhood crimes. – Household burglary is one of the easiest crimes to commit, and to prevent. – Most home burglars are young amateurs looking for easy targets. – In over one-half of household burglaries, there was no forced entry involved. – Most home intrusions occur during daylight hours while homeowners are away. The burglar will in many cases watch your home for a few days to see when you are out. Is the choice either to be burgled or turn your house into a high tech security fortress? Not at all. The first step is to know the ways burglars break into your home and what to look out for to reduce your chance of being burgled.

Inexpensive precautions like installing better locks will make your dwelling more secure while at the same time a less desirable choice for the criminal. Install outdoor motion sensor lights. This is an inexpensive way to reduce the risk of someone coming onto your premises at night. Surveillance cameras have become quite affordable. Some models are wireless. Simply mount the small camera to monitor a particular area and the image can be viewed on your TV set.

Make sure you do not make it obvious that you are away. Have a neighbor pick up your mail. Make a list of all your valuable items. Neighborhood Watch is a proven crime-reduction program. Members watch out for their neighbors and report suspicious activities to their local police department. Neighborhood Watch has helped to restore the «front porch» by bringing neighbors into contact with each other once again for a common purpose – to make our homes and streets safe. What about installing a home security or surveillance system? Undoubtedly the largest benefit you receive when an alarm is installed in your home is the peace of mind in knowing that the percentage of homes that are broken into with an alarm is 97% less than homes that do not have an alarm. The homeowner should have a basic knowledge of the types of systems available to make the most cost effective choice. Perimeter sensors protect each door and window and detect an initial entry attempt. Motion sensors detect an intruder moving inside the house. Systems are either hardwired or wireless, using radio signals. Once an intrusion is detected the alarm system can sound a local alarm or contact an alarm monitoring company. The security representative surveying your home and living patterns can make recommendations for your best protection. With the level of home intrusion increasing everyday there has never been a better time to make sure your home is secure.

For many people the most important aspect of a home security company is the customer service department. The customer service department at your home security company can really help you out in a lot of situations.

They can be beneficial in helping you to choose with products and services to purchase from your home security company, can answer questions you have relating to the function of your security system and can help you to troubleshoot errors in the function of your security system. The amount of products offered by a home security company can be overwhelming. In most cases a home security company offers way more products than you need to protect your home. Simply viewing a website or a catalogue can be quite confusing. The best way to determine just what you need is to contact the home security company directly and speak to one of there customer service representatives. These valuable employees of the home security company are typically very knowledgeable about the products and services that the security company provides so they can evaluate your situation and provide you with insight into which products and services would be most useful and which are not really necessary. The customer service representatives at your home security company can also be of assistance if you have questions about how your security system works. Their knowledge of the products and services that the home security company provides enables them to explain the features of the system to you in a manner that is clear and easy to understand. Your home security company employees these individuals to assist you in answering any questions that you might have. The customer service department of your home security company can also be very helpful if you experience problems with your security system. They might be able to answer your question or to test your security system remotely. If they are unable to answer your question or solve your problem, the customer service representatives will be able to put you in touch with the members of the home security company who will do the repair work, maintenance or testing that might be required on your security system.

A customer service representative is the consumer’s main contact in the home security department. If they are unable to answer your question, they can put you in touch with the member of the home security company who can help you. Whether your questions are related to installation, purchasing, testing, errors or payments, the customer service representative will field your call and either handles your question directly or direct you to another employee of the home security company who can assist you.

Is Your Home Security System Protecting You

Home Security Systems Monitoring your home security system has never been easier but there are several things you need to consider before committing yourself to a long term monitoring agreement with any alarm company. Alarm companies don’t make the majority of their profit from selling security systems; it comes from accumulating a large base of alarm-monitoring contracts. If fact, these monitoring contracts are so profitable that they are frequently bought and sold like mortgage notes.

Tip #1 Ask if they are an authorized alarm dealer or represent a marketing company. Marketing companies have learned to flood a market with fantastic offers on security systems with the sole purpose of selling the contracts at a profit. They often use any sub-contractor available, which can lead to poor customer service once the marketing company leaves town. Once you find a reputable alarm company, ask them to come out to your home and give you a quote. You’ll find that most will quote you a basic security system at a reasonable price. These basic security systems generally include a control panel, keypad, motion detector, a couple of door contacts, inside siren, a yard sign and warning decals. Tip #2 Make sure the equipment can be monitored by any alarm company, not by just the one selling it to you. If they use proprietary security equipment, you could be left in a bind should you become dissatisfied with their service for any reason. Ademco, DSC, Caddx are well known manufacturers and can be monitored by any one. Some companies offer a low installation charge of $99.00 or will give you a “FREE” security system. Many do so if you put a security sign in your yard for advertising purposes and commit to a long-term alarm-monitoring contract. Since the installation charge doesn’t cover the true cost of the equipment and labor, you are charged a substantial monthly fee to recoup their investment. These “deals” or equipment leases aren’t necessarily bad but make it hard to evaluate the true cost to you over time.

Is your home really safe? When we ask ourselves that question we start to think about whether the safety measures we have taken are enough to keep our home safe. Prevention is better than the cure! Place an appropriate home security system to prevent your home from burglaries. Today, safety depends on how well prepared you are. With monitored residential security and alarm system, you can empower yourself and give your family peace of mind. Alarm Statistics: Government statistics have shown that around 60% of burglaries carried out on homes fitted with home security system are unsuccessful. Losses due to burglary average $400 less in residences with security systems. 90% of police believe alarms deter burglary attempts. This suggests that burglar alarms are a useful deterrent for prospective criminals. Types of Alarms: There are three types of alarms. They are a Burglar Alarm, Fire Alarm and Safety Alarm. These three are commonly found in electronic form today. Features of Alarms: – It detects intrusion, fire, burglary, and carbon monoxide presence. – The alarm alerts you to a problem with a very loud beep and in some cases, is accompanied by bright flashing lights. – Features also include, it beeps when doors or windows are opened. – Fire alarm sensors are of three general categories: smoke, flame and heat.

– Safety detectors include thermostats for detecting excessively high temperatures, water sensors for flooding, excessive carbon monoxide concentrations etc.

– It can be activated and deactivated with either a simple turn of the key or a key pad control panel. – Door alarms are relatively inexpensive and reliable. – You no longer have to hire an electrician to run the wires through the ceiling or walls. Hence, many people now install their own door alarms. Nothing is more important than protecting your home and family. There are many alarm companies that offer a wide range of services that can save your life and property.

How to Tap Your Own Phone Line

It may seem kind of strange that you would want to know how to tap your own phone line.

After all, aren’t phone taps meant to be used on other people? However, there is a definite advantage to having a tap on your own line, as long as you are the one doing the tapping.

The best thing you can do, especially if you are fielding some pretty important or incriminating phone calls, is to record them. You can use them for bargaining, or you can use them as evidence that someone is behaving inappropriately. It is not too hard to learn how to tap your own phone line using simple and relatively inexpensive items that can be picked up from your local electronics store. You will need one Ferrite split core assembly, 75 feet of 28 AWG magnetic coil wire (enameled), one 1/8th inch mini-lug cable (should have tinned ends), and make sure have heat shrink tubing, tie wraps, and electrical tape. One you have all of these items, it is time to begin learning how to tap your own phone line. Open the core assembly and wind the coil around the end that does not open. There should be roughly 100 turns of coil. You should leave a six inch tail sticking out before you start winding, and then at the end, create a second six inch tail when you clip the wire. Use fine grit sand paper on the last half inch of the coil wire to remove the enamel. You have to be careful not to break the wire. Slip the tubing over each end of the wire for insulation purposes.

Then, solder the ends of the mini phone plug to the coil wire. Use tie wraps to secure the cable to the tap, and insulate solder joints with electrical tape. Slip one (and one only) of the phone conductor circuit through the split core. You can then attach the core to a tape recorder to record all conversations that you wish. This is a very simple way that you can create your own effective phone tap quickly and inexpensively. Additionally, you have the peace of mind that comes with being able to record conversations because you know how to tap your own phone line. (c) 2005 Copyright www.spyassociates.com. This article is about: How to Tap Your Own Phone Line.

Apartment Safety – Going on Vacation

WHEN YOU GO ON VACATION · Remember, unless there is a Cop reading this over your shoulder, YOU ARE NOT SAFE! The police do a pretty good job of SOLVING crimes. They cannot PREVENT crimes. The your safety, the safety of your family, and the protection of your property is YOUR responsibility.

· One of the times your home is most vulnerable is when it is left empty for an extended period of time. Darkened windows, mail or newspapers collecting and closed windows in hotter weather all advertise your absence to a potential burglar. · The best protection for your 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 inhabited. · Have a neighbor check on your apartment while you’re away — turning on lights, radios or TVs and opening and closing curtains will give your apartment the appearance of someone home. · If you don’t have a friend or neighbor to housesit or check your apartment while you’re away — perhaps even if you do — you should keep not only lights but a TV or radio on a timer. If you’re like me and have your TV on almost all the time you’re home [NOTE: I don't watch it, it's just background noise.], the absence of the sound and that glowing light in the windows announces that you’re not there.

· Make sure whoever is checking your apartment while you’re away knows how to work your alarm system and who to call in case of a problem.

· Unless you have a house sitter, stop your mail and any newspaper or other delivery. Nothing announces an empty apartment better than a stack of newspapers or an overflowing mailbox. Ask a nearby neighbor to pick up any packages delivered 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. · Check your lease. Many landlords require that you notify them if your apartment is going to be left empty for any period of time (this is so they can enter in case of emergency even if they can’t reach you). If you’ve got a house sitter this isn’t necessary. Best Regards, Be Safe, Craig

Closed circuit TV, CCTV, doesn’t require an introduction at all.

The purpose of installing wired or wireless CCTV is fundamentally the one of surveillance and vigilance. These are bigger in size than the wearable spy cameras or hidden cameras and so leave that for the detectives for the moment. (Also what we are not considering now is the Chinese TV channel: CCTV.) It is thanks to IRA, the Irish Republican Army, for having paved the way for developing the concept of CCTV, albeit in a tragic way. The Royal British Army, in response to the IRA bombings has experimented using CCTV for years, including outdoors, since 1970s through to 1990s. Although exact numbers can not known, an estimate tells us that there are much more than 400,000 surveillance cameras on London streets alone. Is It Just Military Surveillance With CCTV? CCTV is extensively being used in security system of industries, banks, super markets homes and all such places which are perceived as strategically and financially important. Commercial establishments using CCTV have increased manifolds in UK although it is not so common in US as it is perceived as a privacy threat. New York City has about 4000 CCTV installations and most of which are in shopping malls and other public places such as Liberty Statue, Lincoln Express, British Parliament, and places of strategic importance.

Traffic monitoring and prosecution crime detection have leapfrogged with the advent of CCTV. After All, Just What Is This CCTV Well, CCTV is a closed network of small surveillance TV cameras which telecast and/or record anything in their field of view. CCTV networks are usually wired together and finally connected to one or more monitors. There will be more monitors depending on the importance of surveillance the cost factors. If you have lesser monitors than the number of cameras, they can be switched in a sequence onto monitor/s. CCTV cameras have capabilities to either record hours of footage they filmed or telecast in a short range at a particularly dedicated frequency which can’t be intercepted by normal TVs. After the tragic bombings in London Metro tubes last July, there has been an increased public demand for using DVR (digital video recording) cameras rather than traditional cameras with tapes. If you wonder how this would have helped the cause, take it here. Tapes were removed in the fortnight following the bombings for study, and follow-up attacks could not be recorded as a result. Thinking of CCTV installation at your office? Take professional help and consult police if necessary. Some cameras can be hampered with or can be intercepted with cheap receivers. A complete installation won’t cost more than $4000, which is nothing when security is uppermost.

Kids and Guns

As a firearm instructor, you might not believe how many times I hear from someone that they would like to own a gun, but their spouse will not allow it because they have kids in the house. On a grand scale, I understand and agree with the REASONING behind this feeling. It’s a parent’s job to keep their children safe, and no one wants to bring something into the home that is dangerous to their child. However, while I agree with wanting to keep children safe from harm, I must disagree with the blanket thought that guns in the home are by themselves inherently dangerous.

With proper education, storage, and supervision, firearms are no more dangerous than any other tool. I am not in the habit of making broad demands on how others should act. Generally, I teach options and tell the reasons for using each of those options. I can tell you how I deal with this issue of guns in my home with my child and hopefully give prospective to other parents who question guns in the home. When I was growing up, my parents were not anti-gun, but they were anti-me-having-a-gun. There were guns in my home. My dad was a law enforcement officer and as such always had at least one handgun in the home. My father subscribed to the “old school” policy on kids and guns. Dad said, “Boy, I’ve got a gun in that closet, and if I ever catch you playing with it, you’ll wish you hadn’t”. Well, being the bright child I was, I figured that meant as long as I applied my gun handling skills I learned on TV to keep me from accidentally firing the gun, and I put it back EXACTLY as I found it, I could pose in the mirror in my gunfighter stance whenever I was alone in the house. Luckily I never fired the pistol into the mirror or myself. As I got older, dad did take me out shooting once or twice. We even went hunting once, but they never let me have my own gun so I always had that curiosity. I imagine that even if there were no guns in my home and if my parents forbid me to even mention guns, I would find someone to let me see one (It happened just like that with a motorcycle, but since mom still doesn’t know about that, we won’t get into details…). The above two examples are the first two of the three most common attitudes parents that I have spoke with have toward children and guns.

I subscribe to the third. In my house we have a smart and independent 7 year old girl. She thinks for herself and is not afraid to abandon what she has been told, if she thinks she knows better. What I have to do first is keep her from being able to access the firearms if she chooses to disregard my gun rules, This is not foolproof. Kids have an uncanny ability to find what they are looking for.

I am sure at some point in her life she will find the gun safe keys.

For the second step, we have taught her the NRA’s Eddie Eagle gun safe rules. This strategy was to teach the child what to do if they find a gun. The rules are simple and effective. Eddie Eagle says if the child sees a gun they should: stop, don’t touch, leave the area, and tell an adult. These rules are particularly important, as over 50% of American households have firearms. If she is visiting a friend’s house, we do not want her to try to tell another child not to play with a gun, as that might cause that child to point the gun at our child in order to tease her. We want her safely away from any unsecured gun, not to act like she is in charge of it. The last thing we do is take away her curiosity. My wife and I took her to the range, and she watched her momma shoot a pistol. I sat with our child and explained to her about guns and answered all her questions. This did not work too well because even with hearing protection, my child thought the handguns were too loud. She did not want to be around them. We then got her a BB rifle. We let her shoot it when she asks to, but she doesn’t really like it very much. Furthermore we don’t force her, but she knows if she wants to shoot, she can as long as she asks and her mother or I take her.

This works well for us. We keep the guns in a locked safe and the ammo locked in a separate room (this does not include our personal carry firearms; they are kept out of reach but not locked up, as they are considered to always be in use.). We taught our child firearm safety rules, particularly what to do if they encounter a gun outside the home. Lastly, we took away her curiosity by exposing her to firearms and what they can do and allowing her the privilege to own her very own BB rifle that she can use when supervised. As she gets older, we plan on increasing her exposure to firearms, but at this point we think she is only ready for the basics. As the parent, you are the best judge of what your child is ready for. This is only a guideline for when your child asks about guns for the first time. For us, it was when my wife told me to look out the window, and our little girl was on the porch with a red rubber training pistol in one hand, a rubber training knife in the other, and yelling “Pay attention! I am trying to give you a class!” to the family dog. My wife told me I created a monster. It was pretty cute though and served to reinforce in my mind the responsibilities I have toward being a positive role model. If I am unsafe in my attitude toward guns, I can be sure my kid will take notice.

Do you need the services of covert hidden cameras? Air purifiers, boom boxes, books, clock radios and coffee mugs are just a few devices that can contain covert hidden cameras.

Computer speakers, counter signs, day planners, even desk lamps can all contain covert hidden cameras and no one would be aware they are on film. With a computer speaker, the covert hidden camera is hidden inside the working speaker and virtually undetectable. Does your office, home or store have an acoustic drop ceiling? There is a speaker video camera that is perfect for use in them. They contain a pinhole camera that looks straight down, and that give you a seventy degree field of vision, and is great for use in low light. Another way to hide your covert hidden camera is by purchasing one that looks like a DVD player. Once again it contains a pinhole camera and has a range of up to three hundred feet. Who would ever guess that the DVD player in your home or office is actually recording the people and movements that are happening in that room? Maybe you want a covert hidden camera to use strictly as a security measure for your home. There is a flood light camera available that not only is great day or night but is as easy to install as changing a light bulb.

Don’t let your security needs tick away like the seconds on a clock.

You can get a covert hidden camera disguised as a beautiful mantel clock or a clock radio. You have heard of clock watchers, well, now the clock can actually watch you.

Safety Awareness In A Storm

You can protect yourself and your family in the event of the hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and lightning storms that kill and injure thousands every year if you’re knowledgeable about electrical safety during and after weather disasters.

«After severe weather is gone, electrical hazards can still cause deaths and injuries,» noted Brett Brenner, The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) president. ESFI warns consumers to beware of electrical dangers associated with downed power lines, portable electric generators and electrical wiring or appliances that have been wet. These precautions can help: • Use care when stepping into flooded areas–whether indoors or out. Submerged outlets, electrical cords, and downed power lines can energize water, posing a lethal trap. • Stay away from downed power lines and anything touching them. • If you see someone who is in contact with a downed power line, do not touch the person. You could become the next victim. Call 911. • Do not drive over downed power lines. • Have electricians install portable electric generators to ensure they meet local electrical codes and are properly grounded. Improperly installed generators can «backfeed» along power lines and electrocute crews working to restore power. • Keep the generator dry. Do not operate it in enclosed or partially enclosed areas. Generators produce deadly carbon monoxide. • Do not overload a generator; follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. • Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions. • Do not use electrical wiring or equipment that has been wet. Contact a qualified service repair dealer to recondition electrical equipment; a licensed electrician can inspect electrical systems. • To avoid lightning strikes, stay indoors and away from windows during storms. • During electrical storms, do not use corded telephones except for emergencies.

• Avoid contact with water and plumbing during electrical storms. • If outdoors during electrical storms, move to a low point. Stay away from metal items. • Don’t forget pets during thunderstorms. Doghouses are not safe from lightning. Chained animals can easily become victims of lightning strikes.

Prepared for the 2006 Storm Season?

The 2006 hurricane season is expected to be an active one. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) predicts 13 to 16 storms including up to six major hurricanes. Accuweather has a similar outlook, predicting one in six Americans could be directly impacted. President Bush and the NOAA are warning people to be prepared following last year’s devastating hurricanes. During a recent news conference at the NOAA National Hurricane Center, Deputy Secretary of Commerce David A. Sampson said, «The impact from these storms extends well beyond coastal areas so it is vital that residents in hurricane-prone areas get ready in advance of the hurricane season.» Three Days Of Supplies The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says families should have a response plan and an emergency preparedness kit.

The Red Cross says a kit should include enough supplies for each family member for three days and it should be checked every six months. Emergency preparedness kits should include water, food, first aid and medical supplies, clothing, blankets, tools, sanitation items and important documents. Power outages are a real threat during severe storms, so backup power is also an important element of an emergency preparedness kit. Gas generators are a common choice, but they have some drawbacks. First, they need fuel, which can often be in short supply during emergency situations. They are also noisy and produce dangerous fumes, so they can’t be used indoors. Backup Power Is Important Another option for backup power without these drawbacks is a high-powered battery pack that can provide portable electricity in an emergency. These are available at major retailers and one popular brand is XPower by Xantrex. XPower offers products that range in power levels depending on your needs. XPower products can also jump-start vehicles, inflate tires and include flashlights or built-in radios. These products are clean, efficient, quiet and fumeless, so they are perfect for use inside the home, where generators are not safe. Having power during an emergency enables people to contact emergency services, keep in touch with family, and stay informed through news and weather updates. Backup power can also provide light, heat or air-conditioning, keep food and medicine refrigerated, and can even power a sump pump to help keep the house dry. With the high potential for hurricanes striking the U.S. this year, it’s time to be prepared. Look for backup power products, such as the new XPower PowerSource 400, at your local Best Buy or select Staples stores. Power outages are a real threat during severe storms, so backup power is an important element of an emergency preparedness kit.

Certification Makes A Difference

Many people have only the vaguest notion of what certification means. When asked if having a certified technician work on their home comfort system is important, their first reaction is often that certification really isn’t that important. But the truth is, certification makes a difference in the quality of service and really means peace of mind and assurance. When consumers realize that, their reaction and answer change. Consider the benefits of certification. To know how important the benefits of certification are to a homeowner, ask yourself if it’s important that the technician working on your heater or air conditioner: • Knows heating and cooling • Has proof of his knowledge • Is proficient • Actually repairs the problem • Does the job efficiently • Does it right the first time. Getting a certified technician means you know you’re getting the best for your money. No one has a money bin-and the boss is only going to let you have so many days off, so any waste of time or money because you’re using a non-certified technician could actually cost a homeowner twice.

NATE-certified technicians know heating and cooling. Certification does not necessarily mean that the certified technician is better than one who isn’t certified-but anyone can say they’re good. The consumer knows that a certified technician is knowledgeable because an impartial third party has had him checked out. The moral: It’s your money-don’t take people’s word for how much they know-ask them for proof. And NATE certification is proof of knowledge of HVACR. These tips are brought to you by North American Technician Excellence, or NATE, the nation’s largest nonprofit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration technicians. The U.S. Department of Energy endorses NATE for raising quality standards and energy efficiency. For a contractor with NATE-certified technicians, go to the Consumer Contractor Connection at www.natex.org. Remember, when purchasing a new unit, please select an Energy Star-qualified model. It’s your money. Don’t take people’s word for how much they know. Ask them for proof.

I am sure that if you’ve decided to purchase a home security system, by now you must be utterly confused. The prices seem to vary a lot even for the very same device. This guide complements our guide called “How to Choose the Right Home Security System” and will help you make the right decision based on your needs. If you are an average homeowner, then I strongly recommend purchasing a security kit. These offer the standard protection against common intruders and have proved their effectiveness time and time again. In the security systems industry, it is not the systems themselves that cost a lot but rather the customization. Just like buying a ready-made bicycle, it is far cheaper to buy it as-is than to select the individual components you want the bicycle to have and have everything put together.

Security kits excel in providing a reliable standard for a do-it-yourselfer.

Because these systems involve the bundling of multiple systems, you can expect a hefty discount.

Who said that security must be expensive? The security kits demolish this myth and allow do-it-yourselfers to install and have a quality home security system. There is another way of cutting back costs. I am introducing this method in this guide precisely because at some time you will no doubt feel attracted by it. I am talking here about the price leverage you will get from choosing a lesser known brand (or no-name brand) instead of a more well-known brand. This is not something I recommend. Those companies with strong brands have invested heavily in building up their reputation through well-made products.. What you have here is a distinctive difference in quality. So if you plan on buying a cheaper system from a no-name brand which manufactures its products in South East Asia… I strongly advise against it. In the long-term you will realize that the money saved wasn’t worth it. Why save a couple of dollars only to have a false sense of security? It is far better to invest a little extra now than to risk your home, the safety of your family as well as your own when intruders break-in later. But perhaps the single, most effective method of deciding what security measures are appropriate and cost effective for your home or business is to hire a security consultant.

Believe me when I tell you that the money spent on their services will actually help you cut down costs, either by suggesting the right and appropriate security installations or by detailing the weaknesses in the system. It is more than a low price that you should aim for; your goal should be to obtain an effective security system. I hope that this guide to saving money on a home security system has put you on the right track. Remember that you must strive to achieve a balance of maximum benefits and protection while keeping the costs at a minimum.

Safe Drinking Water in an Emergency or Disaster

Nothing makes clearer the importance of water than a large disaster; clean, fresh water becomes more valuable than gold. It’s easy to forget that without water, we just can’t survive. 60 percent of our bodies are water, in fact for infants, water makes up about 80 percent of their body, so it is even more vital they have access to clean drinking water.

Unfortunately, following large-scale disasters, it’s not unusual that water supplies may be cut off temporarily or be rendered unfit for consumption. Everyone should know the following tips about safe drinking water in emergency situations. Preparedness is Everything: The advice comes over and over, but most people still are not ready when disaster hits. You must maintain a supply of clean drinking water someplace safe in your home. You can survive a week without food, if necessary, but even one or two days without water can be fatal. In terms of how much water is needed to be stored, you need to drink at least two quarts a day of water. Enough water for all the members of your family for at least a few days is a good idea. You can store water yourself in your own containers; anything glass, and clean, thoroughly washed plastic containers with caps work well. Seal water tightly in their containers and store them in someplace cool and dark in your home. Make sure to change new water regularly; once every six months. Finding Safe Drinking Water: If you do run out of water during an emergency, or are trapped somewhere without ready access to clean drinking water, you’ll need to know what’s safe to drink, and what isn’t. After a disaster, possible sources of safe drinking water in your home include the water from your hot water tank, the water from your toilet tank (not the bowl, but the water from your tank, but if it is chemical-free), and water trapped in your water pipes. Melt any ice cubes that you may have stored. Avoid using water from waterbeds as drinking water, since they are treated with chemicals unsafe for drinking. You can use waterbed water for washing, though. Outside your home try to locate streams, rivers, lakes, or other sources of fresh water. Never drink floodwater; it is usually contaminated with bacteria and chemicals.

Do save rainwater that may fall for drinking. Purifying Water in an Emergency: If you cannot locating safe drinking water during an emergency, then any water you find that does not look clear, or which you believe may be contaminated, should be purified before drinking. The best and easiest way to purify water is by boiling. Disease-bearing microorganisms cannot survive in high temperatures. Boil the water for about one minute. For improved taste, pour the water back and forth from one clean container to another. If you’re unable to boil your water, treat it chemically before drinking. Household chlorine bleach can be used to treat your water. Use an eyedropper, to drop eight drops of bleach into each gallon of water to be treated. Make sure the chlorine you use lists hypochlorite as its only active ingredient; any extra chemicals or fragrances will only further contaminate the water. Stir the water and allow it to stand at least 30 minutes. When the water appears clear, it is likely safe to drink. If it is still murky or clouded, put in eight more drops and let stand another 30 minutes.

Locking Doors Still Best Bet Against Burglaries

Not so long ago, people did not feel the need to lock their doors or windows. But times have changed, and so has the need to use locks for protection. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, most individuals do not have the proper lock security. Only half of Americans have dead-bolt locks on all of the entry doors to their homes and nearly one in five have none at all. The National Crime Prevention Council recommends checking and updating old locks on all doors and windows and replacing them with ones that provide protection from keys being duplicated without your knowledge, such as Medeco Security Locks. In addition, it advises you to make sure your locks have a long enough bolt so that the door cannot be pried open. Installing quality locks is the first line of defense against home burglaries since they can protect you against physical attack.

Other steps can be taken to increase your security, as well. Here are some tips from the National Crime Prevention Council.  Use your locks. Even the best locks can’t protect you if you don’t use them.  Do some yard work. Trim hedges and bushes so thieves can’t hide out.  Know your neighbors. Neighbors who look out for each other are among the best, and least expensive, defenses against neighborhood crime.  Secure your spare. Leave your spare key with a trusted neighbor. Never hide it on the property. Burglars have more experience looking for keys than you do hiding them.  Let there be light. Make sure all outside entrances – front, back and side – have good lighting so burglars can’t easily hide.  Stop mail and paper deliveries. A pile of newspapers in the driveway is a clear sign to a thief that you’re away from home.

Electrical Safety Is No Accident

You can help avoid electrical shock, burns and fires by beginning your year-round electrical safety awareness efforts now. This is the word being put out by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).

«Despite the fact that improved product safety engineering, standards and electrical codes have reduced electrical hazards, thousands suffer from electrical shock and fires each year,» said ESFI President Brett Brenner. To increase electrical safety awareness and protect those at home and in the workplace, ESFI has developed an electrical safety tool kit that includes statistics on electrical hazards and recommendations to avoid electrical shock, burns and fires. An average of 400 people are electrocuted each year and thousands more are injured because of electrical hazards. To curb the leading cause of electrocutions each year, note locations of power lines at home and on the job. Power line contact with construction equipment and items such as ladders and gardening tools are among the leading causes of electrocutions. Greater use of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), which protect both those in your home and workplace against lethal electrical currents, can further reduce the number of electrocutions. Estimates indicate electricity causes 140,000 fires each year, which kill hundreds of people, injure thousands more, and cause $1.6 billion in property damage. Aging electrical systems, combined with the growing power demands, contribute to electrical fire hazards. Overloaded circuits, flickering lights, and discolored electrical outlets and light switch faceplates point to the need for electrical upgrades. Addressing these hazards can save lives, reduce injuries and cut economic losses caused by electrical fires.

Locking the doors of your business at the end of the day allows you to go home and to enjoy other aspects of your life. When you turn that key in the lock, you expect for your business to stay safe until you return. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for many business owners. There are professionals out there that know how to get a door unlocked and they slip in undetected. It is often necessary to give keys to the building to some of your employees. Occasionally those keys are lost or stolen from such individuals. There is also the issue of disgruntled employees with keys to your business that have walked out on the job or they were fired. It is very expensive to have to re-key all of the locks to prevent any issues from arising due to these types of issues. You can have peace of mind though if you invest in high security key systems for your business.

They can’t be duplicated and there are five different levels of security that you can choose from. These changes can be implemented immediately so you won’t have to breach the security of your employees or your business. You also won’t have the high expense of replacing several locks and making new keys all the time due to various issues that do routinely take place in the work place. You can install high security key systems to fit one or two locks or for a building that has multiple sources of entry. The keys can also be designed based on levels of security. For example you can have one employee with a key that gives them access to particular areas of the business. That key won’t work in the locks for more secure locations of the business. Another employee can have a key that will gain them access to all of the different parts of the building. Having such levels of security in place prevents individuals from being in locations where they shouldn’t be. It also gives you the best way of tracking who may have compromised a particular area as you will have a list of who has keys to the various locks on the building. High security key systems are installed by professionals. Make sure you take the time to look into their credentials. Find out how long they have been in business and what their reputation is with consumers. Ask what they know about other businesses in the area that they have installed high security key systems for. Don’t be afraid to ask them for references so you can be sure you are dealing with a business that has your best interests in mind. While high security key systems are going to cost you more than just paying for traditional locks, they are virtually impossible to penetrate. This means all of your business items inside are secure from the outside world. You have worked too hard to make your business a success to allow such security breaches to take it away from you.

This is one investment that will really be a benefit to any type of business you may have.

All in One Hidden Digital Video Recorders

Should you need to use hidden digital video recorders, and you need to have more than one, then you definitely want to consider using a quad all-in-one system. These hidden digital video recorders are great because not only can you operate multiple cameras, you can control them all from one sleek, compact unit. The multiplexer and the recorder are combined, so it does not matter where you place it. These wonderful hidden digital video recorders have no tapes to worry about; you can set it up and forget it until you want to review a video. There is no replacing worn out old tapes, no rewinding, no fuss, no muss, and that means no down time, and more importantly, no leaving your place unprotected while it is out for maintenance. Because it is a quad switcher, you can view all four cameras at the same time on one screen. This system also allows you to set your hidden digital video recorders for continuous recording over a twenty-four hour period, or you can set it to be alarm activated, so that the cameras only switch on when an alarm is sounded. This feature will extend the over all recording time.

Plus one of the most beautiful things about this system is that you can record and playback simultaneously.

No need to stop recording just to access previously recorded material, and the handy search functions allow you to do frame-by-frame viewing, view the alarm events or you can use fast playback. And you can record as slow as one frame every ten seconds or a fast as fifteen frames per second.

Home Security – Some Practical Advice

When people think of home security, the first thing they generally think of is burglar alarms. In most cases, though, alarms are only a small part of the overall security of your home.

In many cases, the key to home security is actually the windows. Houses with less secure windows get broken into far more often than houses with secure ones, as windows are the number one point of entry for burglars. You should always make sure to use the toughest glass you can, and have locks fitted to the windows. Never leave your windows open when you go out, either – even really high up ones that you wouldn’t expect anyone to be able to get to. Also, never leave ladders lying around in your garden – lock them up in a garage or shed instead. Doors are also a common point of security weakness. Your door should be sturdy and bulky, with a well-built lock that can’t just be forced open easily. You should also make sure to be careful about losing your keys, and never store them together with something that could reveal your address. Of course, that’s not to say that alarms aren’t effective, although for the most part they are better as a deterrent than they are at detecting and helping to catch a burglar. Fitting a visible alarm to the front and back of your house is the simplest thing you can do to put a burglar off (they’ll go for your neighbours instead), but a well-made fake alarm box generally works just as well for this as a real one. Front and back lights that come on when someone gets close also make a very good deterrent, as well as being convenient for you when you come home late and want to get the key in the lock.

Many different types of organizations rely on hidden cameras to bolster their security. Hidden security cameras are appropriate for businesses with many employees and sensitive information or valuable items. They are also appropriate for governmental organizations and families, among other groups. Many businesses opt for a combination of hidden cameras and visible cameras.

The visible ones serve as a deterrent to would be thieves while the hidden ones can monitor the more sophisticated thieves in the event the visible ones are disabled.

Banks, casinos and large businesses use a combination of the two types of security camera systems to achieve the maximum desired results. When employees are stealing, the hidden camera system is the most successful at catching them in the act. Clever thieves will note the angle and ability of the visible cameras especially ones that pan back and forth around a room full of people. Cameras that do this leave blank spots in their field, several seconds perhaps where a particular area is not being photographed. A clever thief will time his nefarious activities to coincide with those blank spots to avoid detection. But if he doesn’t know where the camera is that’s watching him, if he can’t time out a blank spot in the coverage, then he’s more likely to get caught committing his dirty deed. That’s the purpose of the hidden camera. The infamous “nanny-cam” has caught more than a few nasty nannies, who were ignoring the young children in their charge, or worse, abusing them. The tapes made the rounds of various news programs on TV and a new industry was born. Now there are wireless, battery operated cameras hidden in common household items like radios, and planters that an unsuspecting nanny would never find. As technology improves and electronic items get smaller and better, hidden security cameras will become more readily available than they are today.

Warning – You Have Been DataMined!

It affects hundreds of millions of us each day while we are blissfully unaware. Today’s high-tech world is drowning in data but is starved for knowledge. Data mining is the search for significant patterns and trends. It’s also been called the poor stepchild to statistcial analysis.

To give you an example you go to your local supermarket to buy food and you use your store card for discounts and fast checkout.

It give the store a record of how often you shop, what foods you like and at what prices in this case it’s a win-win situation. This continues thoughout your day as you bank go to the mall, gas station, and so on. However information is increasingly collected without your knowledge or consent. «Black Boxes» the size of cigarette packs have been installed in 40 million vehicles to monitor speed, seat belt use, and more. Only 5 states at the present time require that the buyer be made aware of this fact. The trade-off is somone has a record of when and where you drive,what you eat, what over the counter medications you buy,whether you smoke or not,where you fly and with whom, what you like to read and watch and spend money on. Any one item is not invasive but when birth certificates, credit histories, real estate deeds, military records, and insurance claims are pulled together it paints a very intimate picture. Add to the mix that the average person is seen by surveillence cameras 75X a day. In the past decade an explosion of technology has taken place and the insatiable appetite of marketers for information about consumers has made data collection less voulutary and more worrisome.

Data mining is big business. Companies vacuum up data from public and private records, aggragate it analyze it and sell it to buyers ranging from private companies to the CIA. If an error exists there is no knowledge on your part thus it can’t be fixed. Data thefts are on the rise included are banks, credit card companies, and the biggest of the data brokers Choicepoint. When their records were breach they left millions of people vunerable to identity theft. In closing technology is here to stay and we love convience but we must be aware and remain vigilant. Also it’s time for Congress to step up and do their job to create a basic bill of rights for all information. This will provide us with much needed protection.

Personal Protection and Your Vehicle

Statistics show that the number of carjackings and car thefts have never been greater. As the criminal element of our society increases in number as well as desperation, thieves have become more brazen than ever before. Rarely can you read a newspaper or watch the daily news that you don’t hear about someone being victimized from car theft or worse, their car being taken from them as they are leaving home, the shopping mail, or even stopping at a red light. What can you do to protect yourself and your vehicle? Fortunately, technology has provided some ways to help protect us avoid or eliminate such catastrophic incidents. One of the latest innovations available to you is vehicle alarm systems with keyless entry programs. This equipment affords you protection at relatively low costs plus ease of installation. Anything that can get us into the safety of our vehicles quicker provides faster safety.

These devices are available with a 500 alarm system and a dual zone shock keyless entry. In addition to the vehicular alarm system with keyless entry programs, you can have remote starter systems which allows not only quicker entry into your vehicle but immediate departure capability. If you need to leave in a hurry this will allow that. Again, this equipment is affordable and easy to install. No more fumbling around for your keys, using keys to gain entry into your vehicle, inserting the key and turning the engine on, all you have to do is open the door, get in, put the vehicle in gear and press the gas peddle. Talk about safety and protection! Even with all the new devices and protection equipment technology has provided us, we still need to be prudent in our awareness and behavior. Always be aware of your surroundings and the people near your vehicle. Try to park in well lighted areas, keep your vehicle locked at all times whether you are inside of it or not. Never leave windows open, regardless of how hot it is outside! Don’t make your self a target for opportunistic thieves.

One finally tip for your vehicle protection, especially if you have a heavy foot traveling done the interstate or highway.

Not only has technology advanced with new hi-tech radar detectors, they are now available with fully integrated laser scrambler systems, that jam and scrambler the signals for those who would give you a costly speeding ticket. Happy and safe motoring!

A chemical emergency occurs when a hazardous chemical has been released and the release has the potential for harming people’s health. Chemical releases can be unintentional, as in the case of an industrial accident, or intentional, as in the case of a terrorist attack. Some chemicals that are hazardous have been developed by military organizations for use in warfare. Examples are nerve agents such as sarin and VX, mustards such as sulfur mustards and nitrogen mustards, and choking agents such as phosgene. It might be possible for terrorists to get these chemical warfare agents and use them to harm people.

Many hazardous chemicals are used in industry (for example, chlorine, ammonia, and benzene).

Others are found in nature (for example, poisonous plants). Some could be made from everyday items such as household cleaners. These types of hazardous chemicals also could be obtained and used to harm people, or they could be accidentally released. Scientists often categorize hazardous chemicals by the type of chemical or by the effects a chemical would have on people exposed to it. The categories/types used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are as follows: Biotoxins-poisons that come from plants or animals

Blister agents/vesicants-chemicals that severely blister the eyes, respiratory tract, and skin on contact Blood agents-poisons that affect the body by being absorbed into the blood Caustics (acids)-chemicals that burn or corrode people’s skin, eyes, and mucus membranes (lining of the nose, mouth, throat, and lungs) on contact Choking/lung/pulmonary agents-chemicals that cause severe irritation or swelling of the respiratory tract (lining of the nose and throat, lungs) Incapacitating agents-drugs that make people unable to think clearly or that cause an altered state of consciousness (possibly unconsciousness) Long-acting anticoagulants-poisons that prevent blood from clotting properly, which can lead to uncontrolled bleeding Metals-agents that consist of metallic poisons

Nerve agents-highly poisonous chemicals that work by preventing the nervous system from working properly Organic solvents-agents that damage the tissues of living things by dissolving fats and oils Some kinds of chemical accidents or attacks may cause you to come in contact with dangerous chemicals.

Coming in contact with a dangerous chemical may make it necessary for you to remove and dispose of your clothing right away and then wash yourself.

Removing your clothing and washing your body will reduce or remove the chemical so that it is no longer a hazard. This process is called decontamination. In general, exposure to a chemical in its liquid or solid form will require you to remove your clothing and then thoroughly wash your exposed skin. Exposure to a chemical in its vapor (gas) form generally requires you only to remove your clothing and the source of the toxic vapor. If you think you have been exposed to a chemical release, but you have not heard from emergency coordinators, you can follow the washing and clothing disposal directions in the following selection. Act quickly and follow the instructions of local emergency coordinators. Every situation can be different, so local emergency coordinators might have special instructions for you to follow. The three most important things to do if you think you may have been exposed to a dangerous chemical are to (1) quickly remove your clothing, (2) wash yourself, and (3) dispose of your clothing. Here’s how:

Removing your clothing: Quickly take off clothing that has a chemical on it.             Any clothing that has to be pulled over your head should be cut off instead of being pulled over your head. If you are helping other people remove their clothing, try to avoid touching any contaminated areas, and remove the clothing as quickly as possible. Washing yourself: As quickly as possible, wash any chemicals from your skin with large amounts of soap and water. Washing with soap and water will help protect you from any chemicals on your body. If your eyes are burning or your vision is blurred, rinse your eyes with plain water for 10 to 15 minutes. If you wear contacts, remove them and put them with the contaminated clothing. Do not put the contacts back in your eyes (even if they are not disposable contacts). If you wear eyeglasses, wash them with soap and water. You can put your eyeglasses back on after you wash them. Disposing of your clothes: After you have washed yourself, place your clothing inside a plastic bag. Avoid touching contaminated areas of the clothing. If you can’t avoid touching contaminated areas, or you aren’t sure where the contaminated areas are, wear rubber gloves or put the clothing in the bag using tongs, tool handles, sticks, or similar objects. Anything that touches the contaminated clothing should also be placed in the bag. If you wear contacts, put them in the plastic bag, too. Seal the bag, and then seal that bag inside another plastic bag.             Disposing of your clothing in this way will help protect you and other people from any chemicals that might be on your clothes. When the local or state health department or emergency personnel arrive, tell them what you did with your clothes. The health department or emergency personnel will arrange for further disposal. Do not handle the plastic bags yourself.

CCTV Video Equipment Surveillance

When you find yourself in need of a reliable, compact, affordable and dependable surveillance system, a DVR surveillance security system should be at the top of your list of products to check out. This type of surveillance equipment is easy to operate, simple to install, and can be utilized for a variety of purposes. Most of these systems are also economically priced. Many of the DVR surveillance security systems on the market today offer many of the same universal features. Some of these systems offer units that can be placed on the dashboard of a vehicle for monitoring outdoor events, placed in your pocket for easy portability, and units that can also be used in homes as well as offices. If you have hired help who are in your home when you are not, and suspect that something is just not right, or just need piece of mind, you will want to find a DVR surveillance security system that features wide angle views, covert pinhole lenses for the camera unit, a motion detection sensitivity mode, a time and date stamp as well as a searchable play-back mode. Some DVR surveillance security systems available today even feature television playback so there is no need for software or transferring the information recorded to a VCR tape in order to be viewed. Most units operate on batteries, but it is important to remember that an A/C adapter will come in handy. Make sure that this common accessory is included with the system that you decide to purchase.

A DVR surveillance security system that is to be used in the home or office with the aforementioned features will cost approximately a few hundred dollars. There are also professional DVR surveillance security systems that are used by corporations, large companies, and places where large masses of people gather such as shopping malls, hospitals, and government buildings. Systems such as these feature advanced software, central station managers, numerous channel sensor inputs, as well as multiple video capabilities. Smaller DVR surveillance security systems, like those used for the home, can be purchased at any major electronics retailer, and at finer camera shops specializing in security recording equipment. The larger systems utilized by corporations can be purchased through professional security companies dealing in recording equipment, and cost thousands of dollars. The World Wide Web offers those looking for either type of DVR surveillance security system many options. There are a variety of online vendors, many of whom offer special pricing, from which a security system can be purchased. No matter what your surveillance security needs are, you can rest assured that there is a DVR surveillance security system that will be just what you are looking for.CCTV Video Equipment Surveillance

One very important decision that homeowners have to make regarding home security products is whether they opt for wireless or hardwired home security products.

Obviously both wireless and hard wired home security products have their advantages and disadvantages. The decision to choose one type of home security products over the other is largely a matter of personal preference. This article will outline the advantage and disadvantage of these home security products and allow the reader to draw their own conclusion. Wireless home security products certainly have their own advantages and disadvantages. For many the major advantage of wireless home security products is that the systems are easy and inexpensive to install. Home security products that do not require wires are so simple to install because you do not have to worry about installing complicated wiring into the walls. Another advantage of wireless home security products is that they can be easily moved from one location to another in the home. They can even be taken with you if you move to a new location. Finally another advantage is that wireless home products can be installed in locations where there is no access to a power supply because they have their own internal battery.

Wireless home security products do have their disadvantages as well.

One of these disadvantages is that wireless products often have design limitations that prevent these products from being placed too far from the central control panel. Another disadvantage is that wireless products require frequent battery changes. Hard wire home security products are preferred by some but they do have both advantages and disadvantages. One of the most significant advantages of hard wire home security products is the reliability of the systems. Many consider hard wire home security products to more reliable than their wireless counterparts. Another advantage to hard wire products is they are usually installed by professional contractors and the work and parts come with a warranty. The cost of hard wire home security products is a definite disadvantage. These products are usually more expensive than wireless versions. Another disadvantage is that moving the parts is usually difficult and often impossible. The components of a hard wire security system are usually leased from the company who installs them and are not owned outright by the homeowner. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of wireless and home security products will help you determine which type of home security products you want to use in your home.

In many cases the advantage of one system is the disadvantage of the other system. For this reason, choosing these home security products is mostly a matter of personal preference. Speaking to a professional in the industry can be an excellent way to make this decision.