Archive for April 11th, 2012

Home Security Systems – An insiders guide to saving you money

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.

In 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 a 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 an 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 low 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. The best way to evaluate your contract is to ask the salesman to give you a quote to purchase the security system outright and show the home alarm-monitoring fee separately. Most of the time you are better off buying the alarm system because your monitoring fee will be much less.

For example. Say for $99 your monitoring fee is $35 per month for 3 years you total cost for monitoring your home alarm is $1359.00 Your fee will remain $35 per month or even increase. On the other hand say you pay $599.00 installation and $20 dollars a month your total cost is $1319. Not only is your overall cost less but from year 3 on your will be saving $180 per year. This savings would be better spent on upgrading your alarm system to include fire monitoring and added perimeter protection Tip #3 Don’t pay additional charges for medical or fire monitoring. It’s ok to pay for the equipment needed but some companies charge $2-$5 extra for these services. These options are easily programmed into the alarm system and don’t require any additional effort to monitor. Is A Basic Security System For You? The answer is probably not. Basic systems only cover your doors and are supplemented by the use of a motion detector. This detector is usually mounted in the main hallway to catch a burglar crossing the center of the home. If they come through a bedroom window and never pass by the motion detector, the alarm system will never sound. Imagine being home at the time this happens. Basic security systems are best used as a deterrent to a break in and to notify the authorities an alarm condition exist.

Adding perimeter protection such as window contacts or glass break detectors should be high on the list of upgrades. These types of upgrades not only activate the alarm system instantly but also will give you piece of mind while you are home. Protect Your Financial Interest Not Just Your Home Get all quotes in writing and make sure the quote is a binding quote. At a minimum the following should be included in your contract. Length of contract and if / how it renews. Does it renew automatically? What type of notice do you have to give to terminate the monitoring agreement Will your fee increase and is there a limit on the increase. If at all possible lock in your monitoring fee for the entire contract otherwise you could see an increase every year. Don’t be afraid to walk away on this point alone. Do you own the equipment or is it a lease? A lease means lower initial installation cost but high monitoring fees. Warranty: Most of the alarm equipment comes with it’s own warranty in addition to what is offered by your company. Specify the warranty for each item so that you aren’t charged if it fails.

Also specify how long the warranty on labor is.

Expect to pay some labor cost for replacing under warranty items Service Calls Alarm technicians are usually well trained to diagnose and fix problems with your security system. Be prepared to pay in the neighborhood of $55 per hour. The fee can seem high when compared to your original installation cost but is not out of line. Think about how much you pay for your car or computer to be worked on. How long is the response time to service your alarm system. 48 hours is a reasonable time. Do they provide an installation certificate for your home owner’s insurance Many insurance companies offer a discount for monitored home security systems. Don’t Wait Until You Have A Break-In To Get An Alarm System! You can replace most things but you may never replace your sense of security in your own home.

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Basic Home Security Products Explained

The vast array of home security products available on the market today can be dizzying. Home security products can be wireless or hard wired, optional or required or simple or complex. Determining which home security products you need can be difficult enough and it becomes more complicated when you have to choose between the assortment of models that are available for each product. Wading through all of the available information can be overwhelming.

For this reason choosing only the most basic home security products can greatly simplify the process.

The control panel, keypad, access control sensors and an audible or visible alarm are some of the basic home security products that are used in just about every home security system. The control panel is one of the most important home security products available. This is the heart of any security system. All of the wiring for the other home security products meets at the control panel and the entire system is tied together at this location. Without this valuable component, the security system would not function properly. The keypad is another of many home security products that exists in just about every security system. The keypad is where the homeowner interacts with the system. The system can be activated and deactivated at this location. The keypad is also where the system displays messages for the homeowners. If there has been a breach of security while you were away or if one of your home security products is malfunctioning, the keypad will display these important messages for you. The other purpose that the keypad plays is to display the current status of the system. Access control sensors are other home security products that are critical to the function of a home security system.

These home security products are used to detect if a door or window is opened while the security system is activated. When these sensors are triggered an alarm will sound either immediately or on a delay. The reason that most security systems incorporate a delay is to enable the homeowner to deactivate the system upon returning to their home. Finally, an audible alarm and strobe lights are other home security products that are commonly used. These home security products can be used separately or in conjunction with each other. The importance of these components is that they alert the homeowners as well as their neighbors to a possible intruder. In most cases a triggered alarm is enough to cause the burglar to vacate the property as quickly as possible. Not all home security products are necessary. Many home security products such as motion detectors and security cameras are optional while home security products such as the control panel, keypad, access control sensors and audible or visual alarms are necessary for the system to function properly.

Light Up With Covert Hidden Cameras

If you are looking for an inconspicuous way to protect your business with covert hidden cameras, then you may want to consider the emergency light camera.

You see them everywhere in businesses. Or do you? Actually you probably don’t pay much attention to them unless the power has gone out and the emergency lights have come on to light your way. These great little covert hidden cameras even automatically switch from color to black and white in low light situations, and have a line of site range of one thousand feet. But let’s say that you would like to have covert hidden cameras, disguised as a light in an outdoor environment. An emergency light might look a little out of place outside. That is when you would want to get the wireless floodlight camera instead. These totally undetectable covert hidden camera surveillance systems will work like a charm for both businesses and personal homes. Everybody has floodlights right? But these beauties not only work for floodlights, they can even be used in any ceiling light fixture. And installation is so easy; it is as simple as screwing in a light bulb, literally. Then all you need to do is plug the decoder, which comes included with the system, into any AC outlet and connect it to a TV or VCR. You will be watching your live surveillance immediately; it takes less than a minute to install. The covert hidden cameras in these lights operate off the existing wiring in your home, office, place of business, or even a vacation home. There are no wires, no fuss, no muss, and it is so portable so you can use the same camera at more than one site.

How Home Security Monitoring Works

Home security monitoring does not mean that there will be 24 hour a day surveillance of your home to ensure that your home is protected from a burglar. At least it does not mean that in a literal sense but home security monitoring does provide you and your family 24 hour a day protection from burglars and in some cases, even fire. The level of protection that you receive will depend on the complexity of your home security system and the capabilities of the security provider you have chosen.

The one thing in home security monitoring that is relatively similar no matter which provider or system you choose is the sequence of events that occur while the security system is in use.

This article will provide a brief synopsis of how home security monitoring works. Just about every home security monitoring system is activated as the first step in the process. Usually the homeowner pushes a button or series of buttons on the keypad to turn on the security system. This sends the message that the security system should trigger if it is breached in any way. Once this happens the various components of the home security system are activated. This may include access contacts, motion detectors, security cameras and any other components of the home security monitoring system. These components remain activated until the homeowner returns home and deactivates the home security monitoring system. Again, this is usually accomplished by typing in a series of numbers in the keypad. If there is a breach of security, the home security monitoring system will begin a sequence of events. In most cases the first event, upon detecting an intruder, is to sound a warning alarm. This is usually a low level alarm and the intent of sounding this alarm is to allow the home owner the opportunity to deactivate the alarm when they return home. The homeowner usually has approximately 30 seconds to deactivate the alarm before the home security alarm system takes the next step.

If the alarm is not deactivated two things happen simultaneously in the home security monitoring system.

A loud alarm is sounded and a message is sent to the monitoring station that there has been a breach of security in the home security monitoring system. This message reaches personnel at a 24 hour per day monitoring station who respond to this message. The first response is to contact the homeowner to determine whether or not the home security monitoring system has been breached or it was a false alarm. If the homeowner does not respond to the home security monitoring personnel and supply them with a security password, the staff will contact the local police department and send them to your address. Home security monitoring is a precise service that has a clear path of action. Most home security monitoring companies react and proceed in a very similar fashion when a security system in their network is breached. While each home security monitoring company may have differences they all generally work in the same way.

Understanding the Need for Disaster Recovery Templates All around the world, the weather has been proving to be strong and unpredictable.

From a tsunami to hurricanes and earthquakes, just about every corner of the world has been impacted by unpredictable weather.

For this reason, many individuals, families, and communities are realizing the need for disaster recovery templates. Disaster recovery templates are organized plans of action that should be implemented in a time of need. A natural disaster is the most common situation which may call for a disaster recovery plan, however, disaster recovery templates are used for a wide variety of other events and disasters. As the result of the many terrorist attacks around the workd, disaster recovery templates have become more readily available and easier to use. Disaster recovery templates are developed and used all over the world. They may offer preparation and help for handling a natural disaster, however, the majority of plans are focused on the recovery and rebuilding process. The 2005 hurricane season overwhelmed the Gulf Coast region of the United States. After a large death toll and constant media attention, it became apparent, that disaster revovery plans are essential. If a community implements a recovery plan, everyone, employees to citizens alike, need to understand the procedures. Disaster recovery templates usually fail if there is a lack of awareness about what is going to be done.

Therefore, disaster recovery plans need to be clear enough to be understood by everyone. Disaster recovery templates are especially important in areas where damage or destruction may occur unexpectedly. Although their paths may change, hurricanes are generally easy to track, and their courses are not difficult to predict. This allows residents in the path of a hurricane to take the appropriate steps to secure their property and evacuate. Tornados, flash floods, and earthquakes are examples of natural disasters that provide little or no warning to area residents. Disaster recovery templates are very important for people who live in areas where these disaters are more likely to occur. Without the proper warning, residents may be in danger, and a large amount of property may be damaged. A disaster recovery template can be planned and developed by a family or a small group. However, the majority of disaster recovery templates are developed for whole communities and specific organizations. In the event of a natural disaster, it is not uncommon for churches or local community groups to get together and offer assistance to the community. Their recovery plans may be a little bit different from traditional state or community disaster recovery templates. On their disaster recovery templates, they usually have listed as a major priority searching, finding, and rescuing area residents or pets who may be stranded or injured. Many families or organizations may plan and test run their own disaster recovery templates, however, often trained professional may be called in. There is a good selection of pre-established disaster recovery templates available for use. In addition to pre-established disaster recovery templates, there are many companies or individuals who have experience and are propely trained to develop such plans.

Disaster recovery templates are an important tool in a time of need. Having a disaster recovery template in place can save lives and offer guidance in a time that is normally characterized by panic and confusion.

The Combination Lock

A combination lock is a type of lock in which a sequence of numbers or symbols is used to open the lock. The sequence is usually a specific permutation rather than a true combination. The sequence may be entered using a single rotating dial which interacts with several discs or cams, or by using a set of several rotating discs with inscribed numerals which directly interact with the locking mechanism. Multiple-dial locks One of the simplest types of combination lock, often used in low-security situations is the bicycle lock, which uses several rotating discs with notches cut into them. The lock is secured by a pin with several teeth on it which hook into the rotating discs. When the notches in the discs align with the teeth on the pin, the lock can be opened. This lock is considered to be one of the least secure types of combination lock. Opening a multiple-dial lock without the combination depends on the slight irregularities in the machining of the parts.

Unless the lock is machined precisely, when the pin is pulled outward, one of the teeth will pull more strongly than the others on its corresponding disc. This disc is then rotated until a slight click is heard, indicating that the tooth has settled into the notch. The procedure is repeated for the remaining discs, resulting in an open lock, and a correct combination, in very little time. Single-dial locks Combination locks found on padlocks or safes may use a single dial which interacts with several parallel discs or cams. Customarily, a lock of this type is opened by rotating the dial clockwise to the first numeral, counterclockwise to the second, and so on in an alternating fashion until the last numeral is reached. The cams typically have an indentation or notch, and when the correct combination is entered, the notches align, allowing the latch to fit into them and open the lock. Combination locks of this type are generally more secure than the multiple-dial lock, but some of them do have weaknesses. For example, early combination padlocks made by Master lock could be cracked by pulling on the shackle of the lock and turning the dial until it stopped; each numeral in the combination could be revealed in this manner. More recent models of Master padlock with a 40-position dial have a mechanical weakness that can give away the last numeral in the combination, and the first two numerals have a mathematical relationship with the last number. This weakness reduces the number of possible combinations from 64,000 to a mere 100, which can be tried in a relatively short amount of time. Inexpensive padlocks are often susceptible to the use of a padlock shim, which can be used to release the shackle without entering a combination.

Other designs Many doors use combination locks which require the user to enter a numeric sequence on a keypad to facilitate entry. These special locks usually require the additional use of electronic circuitry. The main advantage of this system is that if used for the door of a large office, each employee can be told the code number without having to supply a key to each person. The disadvantage however, is if the code number is discovered by someone out site the desired group or is not changed regularly, it could allow easy access to a potential intruder.

In today’s modern society where high tech reigns supreme, it is more important than ever to protect our homes and businesses from people who would photograph, video record, and listen in to our private business and personal lives for the purpose of stealing information. Fortunately, there are numerous types of bug detectors that enable us to stop this type of information theft. For example, an acoustic noise generator is a type of bug detector that creates an audio blanket that can be used to defeat bugs placed in walls, ceilings, windows, even plumbing and air conditioning ducts. There are also audio jammers you can purchase that can desensitize hidden microphones by creating a random masking sound. These jammers protect room conversations thereby preventing sensitive information from being leaked out to unwanted sources and idea stealing competitors. Other types of bug detectors, like an analog and digital RF detector and frequency counter, are the perfect instruments to use for radio frequency detection. Then there are also cell phone detectors that alert the user instantly whenever a cell phone has been turned on from as far away as ninety feet.

With one of these ingenious devices, you no longer have to worry if someone is carrying a hidden cell phone on their person for covert reasons. Should they turn it on for the purpose of having someone else listen in or record a conversation you’re having, this little device will let you know immediately so that you can make them turn it off, or send them on their way.

How safe are your possessions?

One of our basic needs is to protect our goods and valuables.

How many times have we wondered: is it safe to keep my jewels or money at home? Will my kids be in danger of shooting themselves if I buy myself a gun? Will I get bankrupt if a fire starts by any chance in my office? The need for safes appeared shortly after humankind discovered money, gold and other valuables. Until 1820 they helped only against theft, but starting in the 1840s they were designed, by using so called Wilder technology, to protect effectively against fire. The burglar resisting safe was first patented in 1835 by Chubb Safes (it is believed that they were already producing them for almost 20 years). There is a whole highly developed industry behind safes: they are usually made of metal, are designed to be fire and environmentaly resistant and are using high tech electronics, laser-cut doors or memory recall capabilities. One of the world’s largest home security providers is Sentry Safes. They offer high quality at competitive prices and in more than 70 years of being on the market they have remained faithful to the founder’s beliefs: quality, affordability and innovation.

The safes generally have two main destinations – for home or office use – and can be classified in three main types: 1) Burglary Safes – they offer protection against theft, but very little against fire.

Usually they have solid metal walls and a heavy door resistant to a drilling, cutting or prying attack. Hardened resistant metals are often used to slow down attempts to break in to this safe. 2) Fire Safes – usually they are made of a thin metal double wall and have a fire-resistant insulating material between the walls. They have a minimum level of security, because they are designed to protect (especially papers) against fire. They have to maintain an internal temperature of below 200 degrees C (the point at which documents will be destroyed) .The safes provide the fire protection for either 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes. Similar to them, but a bit more effective, there are the “Data Safes” which maintain less than 52 degrees C (the point at which data media is destroyed) and also protect against high humidity, electro magnetic contamination, etc. 3) Fire / Burglary Safes – They are generally multi-purpose safes and offer good protection both against thefts and fire. They are designed like a burglary safe, but have a secondary wall inside, which contains insulation (the material that helps maintaining a low temperature). Usually home safes are used to prevent stealing or destruction of our family’s property: money, papers like receipts, contracts, personal and financial documents, jewels and sometimes other things which can be irreplaceable: photos, videos.

For good protection of these valuables we need Fire/Burglary Safes. Usually, these safes are located in the floor or in the walls. The wall safes demand a special framing and it is better to place them as low as possible because, in the event of a fire, the temperature is lower at ground level. They are very practical for those of us who value their possessions, but don’t want to keep them in a bank. They are easy to install and access and they do not require special modifications of the interior or the design of the house. When we don’t have enough money to buy a professional safe it is always better to remember about diversion safes! They don’t look like the typical steel safe and, although they have no protection against fire, they can discourage a potential burglar, who hasn’t got the time to search the whole house. We can use as diversion safe containers for soda pop, canned fruit, home cleaners, or even books. They have removable tops or bottoms so that we can put our goods in them, weight so that they appear normal when handled and most important, they are quite cheap compared to a normal safe. We also don’t have to forget that a gun safe is the most effective way of preventing a tragic accident at home! Usually they are made of steel and the size is according to the size of the gun you want to secure. The bigger the safe is, the more it costs. But although it will cost an extra amount of money, it’s better to remember that we should diminish the risks by keeping the guns safe. When buying a safe we have to think of its destination, how accessible it is, how many options we can get for the amount of money that we are willing to pay and how it is rated (what is its level of security against thefts, destruction). The best thing would be to hire a company that can monitor and protect your house/office and values.

But when this is too expensive, safes are the next best option.

Surveillance for the homeowner

So you’ve paid off the loan, and the mortgage, done the renovations, the paperwork and now your home is finally your own house. You can’t help feeling, however, that you aren’t quite ready to sit back and rest easy. What if someone breaks into your house, damages and steals your property? What can you do to safeguard your space against burglary? For a medium or large residence, surveillance just might be a good idea. Before you start picturing Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez in Stakeout, let’s define our terms. Surveillance is, quite simply, the process of monitoring people, objects or processes for conformity to certain expected norms.

More specifically, it consists of monitoring for deviations from safe, non-threatening behaviour. It may or may not interest you to know that, in French, the word means ‘watching over’. Surveillance includes any form of observation from afar by means of technological devices. This refers to phone tapping, directional microphones, bugs, subminiature cameras, closed-circuit television or CCTV, GPS tracking, airborne or satellite reconnaissance as well as computer and internet surveillance. CCTV is perhaps the most relevant device for you, as a homeowner, so let’s look at it in some more detail. CCTV consists of a camera, or cameras, linked up for the purpose of surveillance. The cameras are all directly liked and viewable through monitor screens. CCTV was first pressed into service to help watch against bank robbers, but the applications have increased to the point where the technology is easy to use, and relatively affordable enough to be used in home security set-ups. CCTV is supposed to aid in crime fighting in two ways –deterrence and detection. It’s assumed that the presence of clearly visible cameras in an particular location would serve to scare of would-be thieves. But the criminal mentality is notoriously hard to fathom, and this isn’t always the case. Interestingly though, CCTV systems do seem to be most effective as safeguards against car theft. Still, it’s worth assuming that the presence of a CCTV system should put off a fair number of would-be burglars. CCTV has made a remarkable difference to crime detection, that’s for sure. Several prominent murder cases worldwide were solved with the aid of CCTV footage, and CCTV has also been useful in locating missing persons and runaways. Look at it this way – if it comes to the worst, and your house is burglarised, CCTV footage can provide crucial clues to the police and help in capturing the criminals and recovering your belongings.

CCTV technology has developed to the point where you can use wireless or USB still cameras to take high-resolution pictures at intervals. You can either program the cameras to take pictures on a time-lapse basis or to be triggered by unexpected motion. The quality of these images is superior to other surveillance cameras, and provides investigators with a wealth of useful detail. Models like Canon’s S2iS, Nikon’s P1 or Kodak’s Easyshare One are all affordable and reliable options. You can easily download these images onto your PC and share them with the authorities, all in a matter of seconds. This is in fact the best option for you as a homeowner. Traditional CCTV is more adept at providing a flow of images to be constantly monitored by security personnel, while this new technique, dubbed Closed Circuit Digital Photography (CCDP) does not require around-the-clock observation, and produces high-quality images that can be used in the event of a burglary. As in the case of CCTV, it is worth considering that the presence of a surveillance system will itself serve as some amount of deterrent, if clearly indicated. Used in conjunction with motion sensors, as well as anti-burglary devices such as alarms, high fences, trap wires and the like CCDP can form the basis for an effective and reliable home surveillance system. One that lets you finally kick back and relax in the comfort and security of your own home!

Identity theft is fast rising up on the list of crimes being committed in the US. Last year’s identity theft statistics state that almost 9.5 million Americans became victims of privacy theft, collectively suffering a loss of almost five billion dollars. Anybody can become a victim of privacy theft and in a day and age where information is already easily available, it is extremely important that you take all kinds of precautions to prevent identity theft. Identity theft prevention is extremely important if you do not want to be defrauded and you should take special care never to disclose your bank account numbers, credit card numbers and social security number to anybody apart from authorized people.

Giving such information over the phone to different callers is a complete no no and it is advised that you unsubscribe from unsolicited promotional calls.

Giving away pin numbers is a big mistake and so is letting people stand behind while you operate your ATM or credit card. The internet and your computer is the place where most people succumb to identity theft nowadays. In order to prevent identity theft, use good quality anti virus and anti spy ware software on your computer. Do not respond to any mails that ask for personal information, even if the mail comes from your own bank or company. This could be a phishing attempt and no reputable company is asking for personal information through emails nowadays. Always sign out properly whenever you sign in at a site. Make sure that you shop only at trusted online stores. Do not keep your personal information like your bank account details and passwords on your computer’s hard disk drive. As far as passwords are concerned, please spend some time devising a secure password since it might end up saving you a lot of time, money and hassles later on. Remember that passwords derived out of date of births, names and social security numbers are no passwords at all. Most people do not discover that their identity has been stolen till it is too late.

In fact, on an average, people got to know that their identities were stolen only after an year or so. Since identity thieves generally use your personal information to get money through your bank account or credit card one way or the other, it is extremely important that you check your bank and credit statements thoroughly and inform your credit card company or bank ASAP in case you see any discrepancies. Checking your credit report regularly is a good way of checking for identity theft since your credit history reveals all your transactions. Report identity theft the moment you have any doubts that someone has access to your personal information or is misusing it. Inform your banks, credit card companies, all three credit bureaus and register a complaint with both the FTC and the local police. Do not delay reporting a loss of credit cards, ATM cards, debit cards and social security cards also, since even a slight delay can lead to severe losses in these cases.

The importance of a Home Security Alarm

Homeland securitization has been given so much importance over the past few years that we have almost forgotten the importance of our own house and the importance of a good home security alarm. While burglary in your property may not make the headlines, it is in your best interest to safeguard property by installing a good home security alarm. According to the US bureau of Justice Statistics there were 14 million incidents of theft on property and in 83% incidents the burglars had entered the house or building located in the property. You might feel safe by locking your doors and windows but there are ways to enter a house known only to people who commit burglary for living. Burglars always strike by surprise; to underestimate their resourcefulness would be a mistake you would not want to make at any cost. There are many types of home security alarm, which can help you effectively protect a property, belongings and more importantly your family from burglars. Home security alarm is one of the more trusted methods to protect your house from burglars; a simple home security alarm generally makes a loud sound or dials a number like 911, your cell phone or a neighbor and sends a pre recorded distress message.

Some systems connect themselves with the smoke alarms which notify the fire department immediately. Then there is also the monitored house securitizing systems which are considered the safest of all and the local systems which are considered safer than monitored property securitizing systems, yet cheaper. Many securitizing systems come with a sign board that can be mounted on the door, mailbox or anywhere else where they can be noticed. Burglars generally target un-protected houses and leave alone the houses protected by any type of home security alarm. As for starters, the cheapest home security alarm is the “do it yourself” systems, you need to do all the installation and setup yourself, but if you are on a budget these are the right ones for you. A home security alarm not only helps in preventing burglary but it also helps in minimizing the loss in case the burglars break into a house because they fear a backup or the sound which might alert the neighbors or the police.

Intruder Alarms Don’t Worry Burglars!

Professional Burglars claim an intruder Alarm does not put them of. A recent survey has found that intruder alarms do not present any difficulty to professional burglars; the reason is because homeowners often forget to set the intruder alarm or fails to lock their doors and windows properly. Despite the many improvements in home security systems if homeowners fail to use them properly there is little benefit achieved. Almost half of the persistent burglars interviewed for a recent survey said they believed home security has improved over the last 10 years but they also felt that the improvements would not be enough to stop them breaking in. Only 20% of those surveyed said that a good security system was the most common reason they abandoned an attempted break-in, 40% said being disturbed by the homeowner was the main cause of them giving up a break-in attempt and 40% of those surveyed said they would be put off if there was a noisy dog on the premises.

67% of those surveyed said they always followed the same pattern of searching a house once they are broken in, normally starting in the main bedroom, because this is the usual place that valuables are hidden, they then cover the remaining bedrooms and the main living room, this has proved to be the most efficient way of finding valuable possessions. One interesting fact that emerged from research conducted with burglars currently serving jail sentences was that they consider children’s rooms to be the least profitable to search. The average time that a housebreaking takes is as little as 20 minutes, the average age in which the first burglary was committed was 13, and two thirds of burglars prefer to work alone. Almost all professional burglars go out with the intention of committing an offence, that is to say it is planned rather than opportunistic though obviously if a ripe target presents itself they will take that opportunity to steal. The main motivation to commit housebreaking is as one would expect money, over 80% of those surveyed cited this as their major motivation, they would search for a suitable target judging the potential value of that home by the type of car on the drive, any obviously valuable items that can be seen through the windows, the amount of cover that was provided by such things as fences or trees, the presence of an intruder alarm or dog, and signs of owner occupation.

It should be noted that most of those surveyed said that even though they were not put off by an intruder alarm they would normally move on to an easier target if one was available, also one has to take into consideration the bravado of the people being surveyed, do remember they were all convicted burglars serving time in prison at the time of the survey.

Protect Yourself from Cell Phone Bugs

Do you have conversations over the phone that you do not want others to hear? If so, then it may be necessary to protect yourself from cell phone bugs. Cell phone bugs are just as high tech as many other bugs, and can pose even more of a threat, since they are harder to detect. Depending on the bug that is used to listen to your conversation, you might not even realize that someone nearby can hear every word crystal clear. Even if most of your conversations are of little importance, it is a good idea to make sure that you are well protected against cell phone bugs when you make a vital phone call. It is possible to decrease your chances of being listened to if you follow a few simple steps to avoid eavesdroppers. Go somewhere where you know you’ll be alone. Some cell phone bugs intercept signals being sent. A person who looks like she or he is speaking on a cell phone has a special device that allows him or her to hear what you are saying on the phone. Additionally, make sure you are in a place where you can watch for newcomers.

Beware the charging or forgotten phone. Many cell phone bugs look just like they are charging or like their owner forgot them. If see a cell phone charging or lying nearby unattended, go someplace else. Someone may be listening in via the innocent looking phone. Don’t accept new cell phones as gifts. The latest in cell phone bugs is a phone that works like a regular phone, but has a secret access number. If someone gives you a cell phone as a gift, be aware that he or she may be able to dial the phone and not only listen to what you saying while you are on the phone, but activate the cell phone’s microphone in order to hear anything that is going on inside the room. With a little vigilance, you can avoid eavesdroppers through cell phone bugs. Best of all, if you use ingenuity you can “plant” false information for eager ears. You can outsmart surveillance and the use of cell phone bugs. (c) 2005 Copyright www.spyassociates.com. This article is about: Cell Phone Bugs

Your home is your castle, and your family your greatest asset, so you want to keep everything safe. But if you’ve priced home security systems lately, you might have felt your bank book cringe. I’m not going to tell you not to buy an alarm system, but if you’re not at a point where you can invest thousands of dollars, and you just want to do a few things to make your home safer, this article is for you. I’m going to give you a list of tips you can use to make your home safer without spending any money. The most important thing to keep in mind is that burglars are lazy. Like most people, they want the highest reward with the least possible risk and effort. The more challenging you can make your house appear, the more likely the burglar is to pass on by and pick on somebody else (or–let’s hope–go away altogether). So, how do you make your home appear secure without screeching alarms, video surveillance cameras, barbed wire fences, and a yard full of Dobermans? Here are your tips: Trim shrubs back from doors and walkways (this ensures would-be thieves don’t have any shadowy nooks to hide in).

Lock your storage shed and don’t leave tools out in the yard (burglars can use ladders, shovels, etc. to gain access to your home). Keep the lawn mowed and the exterior of the house maintained (a downtrodden appearance can suggest you are away from home a lot or that you just don’t care enough to worry about your house). Plant thorny shrubs beneath first-story windows (if you wouldn’t want to climb through a tangle of thorns to reach an open window, chances are a burglar won’t either). If an outdoor light burns out, change it right away. Don’t display your valuables conspicuously (i.e. huge plasma TV on a living room wall that is visible from the street), as this only tempts thieves. When you make new purchases (such as said plasma TV), don’t leave the boxes by the curb to announce your valuable acquisitions–break boxes down and stuff them in your recycling bin. Don’t store house keys under the doormat, a rock, etc. (thieves are wise to all the tricks–if you always lose your keys, consider a fingerprint activated lock instead). Keep tree branches trimmed back from windows and your roof. Make sure the garage doors are sturdy (no loose panels or damaged corners), especially if the garage is attached to the house. Check your garage door opener if you haven’t changed it from the factory setting. There’s usually a row of 10-12 switches. If all except one is pointing the same direction, the combination is easy to break (the thief has a 1 in 10 or 1 in 12 chance of getting it). Always shut and lock your doors when you leave the house. Hopefully these tips will help you make your home less of a target.

Remember, home security is as much a matter of employing common sense as it is a bunch of expensive gadgets and gizmos.

Common Sense is Your Best Anti-Theft Device

Just like other crimes, a burglary can be a totally random event. However, when it’s planned, there are certain things a burglar will look for when staking out a possible break-in, and there are steps the homeowner can take to minimize this risk. This is a good checklist before leaving your home empty or for beefing up your protection against theft: Study your house from the street, and look for any valuables that may be visible from the street. Don’t give thieves a reason to show up.

Before leaving for any length of time, ensure that all windows and doors are locked, including the door to your garage.

Many home invasion robberies come through garage doors and inner doors to the houses. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate. Place a piece of wood or metal in the track of any sliding doors to prevent opening. Don’t leave your house in darkness when you’re away, create a sense of activity by using timers on lights, radios and televisions. Install low-voltage lighting outdoors to keep your surrounding yard well lit. Install motion detectors in dark areas along the sides and back of house to alert you of any intruders. Suspend your newspaper delivery while you’re away and ask your neighbor to collect your mail. You may even ask them to park in your driveway while you’re away. Never leave a message on your answering machine that says you’re on vacation. Keep any shrubbery near your walkway or entrance trimmed; removing any possible hiding places. Think about planting cactus or rosebushes under windows that may be especially vulnerable. Advise your neighborhood watch that you’ll be away. Ensure your security system is activated when you leave. Etch your name on all electronic equipment to serve as a deterrent as well as assisting police in the recovery your property.

It’s more difficult to sell stolen property that has the owners name on it. Make a video tape of your possessions and record the serial numbers. Get a safe, not just for your jewels, but for important paperwork as well. Identity theft is a crime that’s on the rise and you want to minimize any availability to your personal records. The more you can do to deter an intruder, the better your chances are that your home will not be chosen as a target. Studies have shown that if it takes a burglar more than four or five minutes to break into a home, they’ll move on. If you increase their vulnerability by adding a well-lit area or a barking dog, that minimizes your risk again.

What Causes Fire Damage

While some fires are caused by general causes and can occur anywhere, other causes are more specific for certain rooms.

General Causes Electrical Don’t underestimate the fire risk from electricity just because there is no flame involved. The over warming of hot plugs and sockets and blown fuses may start a fire. Smoking Most cigarettes related fires start because the cigarette is not put out completely. Additional common causes include falling asleep with a cigarette and using improper ashtrays. Candles Even a tiny candle flame can have upsetting consequences. Many candle related fires start due to draughts that lead fire to catch burnable items and tilting candles that are not placed in suitable holders.

Room by Room Causes The Kitchen The kitchen contains many hazards that can cause fires. The common combination of open fire, grease, electricity, and water is very dangerous. Grease fire is a common cause for fires in the kitchen is and is usually caused by fry pans. This type is dangerous as it can set the whole kitchen on fire. Additional fires are dry cooking fires and oven fires. These types are easy to control and they are not likely to cause damage. Kitchen appliances may also cause fire if not maintained well. Bedrooms Bedroom fires are usually caused by misuse of electrical devices. Electrical fires can start due to overloading extension cords and the use of electric blankets and warmers with no lab-approval. Heaters are a concern during winter if they are recklessly placed near linen, clothes, and other flammable items Attics, Basements and the Garage Popular as storage areas these places usually contain fire hazards such as gasoline and other flammable liquids.

Old clothes, papers and other combustible items are also hazardous and should be stored safely. Many of the electrical fire hazards are also located in these areas. Worn cords, electrical boxes and other signs of electrical trouble should be treated immediately. Heating Devices and Fireplaces These are planned to generate heat and may be hazardous if not maintained well. Operating the fireplace without a screen will allow sparks to fly into the room and cause fire. Other causes of fire are combustible items such as wallpaper, curtains, and clothing that are left without maintaining adequate clearance around the heater. For more information visit www.RestorationSOS.com Free guides are available.

Homeland Security Equipment – Gas Masks

Homeland security is the number one goal for the United States Government and it should be goal for all the citizens. The deadly attacks on Sept. 11 and the recent London bombings have highlighted the importance of safety and security and emergency preparedness throughout the world. The homeland security threat level has been raised to elevated status by Texas homeland security department. As per the Texas homeland security department the elevated level is defined as: There is a significant risk of terrorist attacks.

In addition to the actions recommended under lower threat levels, agencies should consider: • Increasing surveillance of critical infrastructure and significant locations.

• Coordinating emergency plans as appropriate with nearby jurisdictions. • Assessing and disseminating information and warnings as appropriate. Emergency preparedness was discussed elaborately on National Public Radio (NBR) and was emphasized that safety equipment like gas masks need to be procured by every citizen of the United States and be prepared for any disaster from future terrorist attacks. They also mentioned that it is time for people to consider these warnings seriously and an action plan to safeguard themselves and their loved ones need to be formulated. There are a number of products available on the market to protect you and your family from unexpected attacks on your safety, including products like gas masks that could be specified as Homeland Security equipment. Whether you are facing an intrusion of your privacy or a terrorist attack directed at your workplace, there are products available from fire safety equipment, gas masks to surveillance equipment which can provide an extra layer of protection. Even when your home may be insured against damage, insurance will not protect your health in the event of a fire.

Even though you may never need to reach for the fire extinguisher, it is always safer to have it on hand in the event of an emergency. Gas masks can provide you safety in the event of a breach of homeland security, such as a chemical or biological attack. They can also be used in industrial and agricultural environments in which there are a large number of airborne pollutants. When you need protection for both your eyes and respiratory system, consider the gas masks which has been approved by the EU and NATO as a personal protection device. There are surveillance equipment like video surveillance equipment which would help guard your premises and aid you further in improving your safety and security. You may also look into audio surveillance equipment such as our phone line analyzer to ensure that your data transfers and conversations are protected. Homeland Security and the related products can help you take action to ensure your safety and that of your loved ones. More information about of gas masks and how they work is at http://www.bestsafetyapparel.com/learnmore.html and to learn more about homeland security equipment visit http://www.bestsafetyapparel.com/arre.html

The messages seem abundant in some forums, «I bought a business and it came with a Sentry Safe that is locked», or «I bought a used Sentry Safe at a garage sale,» of course these statements are followed by some begging for someone to send the writer the combination to their safe.

I do not think there are any great number of people out in «forumlandia» that can take your Sentry Safe serial number and tell you the combination. Not only that, I certainly hope there are not a lot of people with a complete combination list! It is really beyond me why people do not direct these inquires to place they purchased the safe, or to the Sentry Safe Company themselves! Maybe it is because they are hoping for the information for free, as Sentry requires a small payment and some paperwork. Now before we get into the nitty gritty of how you can get help from Sentry, we might examine some other methods of opening your safe when your combination is lost. My personal favorite is of course dynamite. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the use of dynamite, however quick, it will likely cause you a lot of trouble, damage the contents of your safe and cause severe bodily harm to you and others. Picking the lock would be a close second and good punishment for you forgetting the combination or buying a used safe without a combination; what were you thinking? Maybe a psychic can help you and confirm or deny your belief in them at the same time! Of course you could just sell the safe at a garage sale and let someone else worry about the combination! You can also call a local locksmith, but I suspect it will cost more than following the simple instructions from Sentry. If you want to get the lost combination for free, I suggest you start trying all the possible combinations! Good luck! Ok, we can be serious for a moment and this is all you need to get your lost combination from the Sentry Safe Company and avoid the mystery of psychics and the danger of dynamite.

Here are the easy instructions from Sentry: First step, find the Model and Serial Number of your safe. The Serial Number is in this packet, and is also printed on the small label beside the door hinge (outside). Send a copy of the model number and serial number of the safe, a notarized letter (last name of notary must be different than that of owner) stating you are the owner of the safe, and a check or money order for $12.00 (U.S. funds) to: Sentry Group, Dept. 200, 882 Linden Avenue, Rochester, NY 14625-2784 USA. If using a credit card (Visa/Mastercard only), call 1-800-828-1438 and fax your Model and Serial number with the notarized letter to 585-381-2940. Next time make sure you record the combination and store it in a secure place such as a safety deposit box at your bank. Opening your safe could be a lot more fun, but never more simple!

Accessories for Camera Surveillance

If you have camera surveillance to help protect your home, it is important to have the proper accessories to ensure that everything works in tip-top shape. When you have a good surveillance system, it is more than just cameras giving you a continuous feed and making recordings.

There are plenty of other supplies that need to be bought in order to make your entire system more effective. Camera surveillance is very important for those who are interested in making sure that their families and their property are safe. It can help you identify intruders and vandals, as well as help you know when your kids are neglected or abused by a sitter or a nanny. Surveillance of the nature is indispensable, and in order to make sure that it is always working as it should be, you should make sure that you have all of the necessary accessories to complement your camera system. Illuminators for surveillance equipment can be very helpful. Because they reach different ranges, and come in a variety of sizes, it is important to understand your home’s security needs when preparing to purchase these products. Most illuminators sit atop the camera, or somewhere near the camera’s location, and offer up light so that the camera can better “see” what is in its range. While shadowy objects can be made out at night without illuminators, they are very helpful as they shed better light and can lead to being able to more positively identify intruders and would-be criminals. Camera housings are very important, especially for outdoor surveillance equipment. This is because CCTV housing protect the cameras from weather that is too hot, cold, windy, or wet. Your equipment will last longer when proper shielded and help you better protect your investment in home security. Many housings come with fans for the summer and heaters for the winter. Other surveillance accessories that will help you make sure that your system does not unexpectedly fail include things like long-running (9 or 10 hours of footage) video tapes and rechargeable battery packs.

Also, you will need cables for plug and play that have different lengths in order to ensure that all parts are correctly connected in your system of surveillance. (c) 2005 Copyright www.spyassociates.com. This article is about: Surveillance.