Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tighter Security and Security Systems May prevent the Next Newtown Tragedy

The Newtown tragedy is one of the most heinous and egreous acts of violence I have personally ever witnessed in my lifetime.  Since last Friday I, like many, have wrestled with intense feelings of sadness and anger over this sensless and barbaric act.  The politicians and reporters have been quick to offer and adovacate for tighter gun restrictions as the answer to a problem with far deeper and complex origins.  Tighter gun restrictions, in my opinion, won't keep guns out of the hands of criminals, all it will do is keep certain types of guns of out the hands of some criminals.  Tighter gun restriction will not prevent the next mass shooting spree like the ones we are so frequently witnessing.  A major part of the solution lies in having tighter manned security, security sytems and access control devices.

Proposing that tighter gun restrictions won't keep guns out of the hands of criminals bears an explaination.  Break-ins occur every 15.4 seconds in the United States and one of the top items stolen is firearms.  Only 13% of burglaries are solved  and only 14% of the population has a monitored security system. 

If criminals want guns, the best place to get them is from the honest, hard-working folks that could pass an psychriatic or background check and have obtained their firearms legally - but didn't have enough sense to protect the guns and the public by having a monitored security system and a gun safe (bolted to the wall) that would deter and prevent burglars from getting them.

Security Systems are truly a great deterent because homes with security systems are  3 times less likely to be burglarized.  Security systems are only part of the solution.  A quality gun safe that is heavy and can be bolted to the studs in the wall is the next line of defense.  By having both criminals , criminals are less likely to get the firearms that could be used in the commision of a crime.
In order to get gun owners to comply, legislation could be passed that requires gun owners to have a monitored security system and a gun safe prior to obtaining a firearm.  Auto insurance is required before driving so why not having to put safety first befor aquiring a gun of any sort?

The Newtown tragedy occured in a school, so one would ask how could manned security, security systems and access control devices could play a role in preventing the next gun shooting tradegy?  Having magnetic locks on the doors that lead into the building would require anyone looking to access the building to be buzzed in or have the access code to the door.  Also, if a metal dectector was placed outside the building, manned by an armed security officer, like at the courthouse it is far less likey that a crazed individual could gain unauthorized access to the building.

Security Systems, Access Control Locks, and Security Guards are only a small part of solving the problem we collectively face.  The fact is there are many disturbed and deranged individuals in our society; getting to the root of their deep seated issues, along with being more security conscious and taking responsibility for our collective safety, is the only way we can quell the tide of the spree shooting madness we are forced to endure.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Could your Postman be the Reason You Were Burglarized?

You ordered some really cool stuff from, Ebay or Adam and Eve and you've eagerly awaited its arrival.  You got an email confirmation that it was going to be there on a certain day but when you arrived home there was no package waiting.  Is the Postman, UPS or FedEx guy the reason?  Is it possible that they said they delivered it but didn't or did they deliver it and it was a sitting and open target for an opportunistic crook?  The later is the most likely case?  Criminals will take the path of least resistance and if they can get some good stuff without having to break into a home they most certainly will.

The postman, UPS or FedEx guy isn't to blame- you are!  It is not the job of the delivery guy to provide security services.  There job is to deliver.  Now I realize that you have to work and you can't be home to receive packages.  So you may ask what could be done to assure that you won't fall victim to having your nest package scarfed? 

You can get a post office box or one at a UPS store that has a physical address and will be received by an individual and protected by their security.  This will cost you less than $18 a month.

The next option for people that can't afford or are too cheap to invest in a box at the Post Office or UPS Store, is to get a reliable neighbor that stays at home and have your packages delivered there.  Now this may be risky if you are having items delivered from Adam and Eve.  Imagine that getting out over the neighborhood list serve, but you get what you pay for.

The final solution is to get a security camera that is net-workable so it can be viewed from a remote location from a tablet, computer, I-phone or smart phone.  If a criminal knows that they are being recorded they are far less likely to act.  A camera will put you in control by alerting you anytime someone comes to the door by sending you an email or text message.  It may also provide you with the side benefit of alerting you to the fact that your teenage daughter is her boyfriend in the house while you and mama are away.  That alone makes it worth the investment.  So if you are looking for a cool Christmas gift that pays dividends, a remote IP camera is a great option.  Call 919-228-8361 for more details.

Chose either of the three options and assure that your packages will be there when you arrive, but don't blame the Postman, UPS or FedEx guy.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Top 10 Ways to Keep our Seniors Safe

Sadly, our elderly in society are not revered and respected as in times past.  This is evident with the inceased crimes against the elderly.  There are an increasing number of robberies, home invasions, burglaries and scams targeting the elderly.  The incident in Apex, NC where an 84 year old woman was taken at knife point and robbed is infuriating.  No elderly person should ever have to endure the trauma of having a weapon caring, drug addicted hoodlum threating to rape and kill them if they don't hand over their possessions. 

Criminals like the lions we watch in documentaries, look the the easy prey: the sick, young and elderly but our neighborhoods are not the plains of Africa and our seniors can not be allowed to be the prey of the day.  In order for our neighborhoods to be safe here are the Top 10 things we can do in our neighborhoods to stay safe.

  1. Use the buddy system:  There is power in numbers.  Always travel with a companion. 
  2. Carry a cell phone with the Bsafe app.  This app allows you to select guardians that will be notified if you press  the red SOS button.  You select guardians, which are people you know that will receive a text message that you are in trouble along with a map of your location.  One person will receive a phone call.  The app is free and can be downloaded to an Iphone or android smart phone.  It is available at
  3. Carry a whistle:  A cheap whistle is better than a yell.  Always have it with you and don't be afraid to blow it if you are in trouble.
  4. Don't talk to strangers; often criminals will try to befriend elderly people for the purpose of taking advantage of them.  If you don't know them don't talk to them.
  5. If you see someone suspious call the police.  Don't be afraid to make the call.  It is better to be safe than sorry.
  6. Look out for one another in the community, if there is a senor that has mobility issues pick up any distributed phone books or newspapers for them.  Check the perimeter of the home and make sure that nothing has been tampered with.  Also make sure you have their phone number and call and check on them daily.
  7. Use lighting; having motion lights is a great deterent to criminals.
  8. Cut any bushes that could provide hiding places for potential burglars.
  9. Have a quality security system installed with a special duress code in case of an attempted home invasion or robbery.  Call 919-228-8361 for a free assessment in North Carolina
  10. Install security cameras on the property.
By applying these simple, easy and inexpensive tips we can assure that our senior citizens can enjoy their golden years . safety is not something that we should take lightly.  For additional tips on how to stay safe download my free book, The Homeowners and Consumers Toolbox: Safety to Savings, Tips and Tools at Your Fingertips ( Click the link to download) 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top 5 Reasons To Get a Security System For Christmas

The Christmas holiday season is anticipated and waited on not only by children and adults who are looking to spend time with family, exchange presents, eat delicious food, but by criminals who seize the opportunity to the play the Grinch.  It is for this reason that I will reveal the Top 5 reasons to get a security system for Christmas.

  • Property crime tends to escalate between Thanksgiving and New Year.  Criminals realize that many homes will be unoccupied while people shop and travel and attend holiday gatherings.  As the old saying goes, "when the cat is away the mice will play."  A home with a monitored security system is 3 times less likely to be burglarized.

  • Fires also occur at a higher rate during the holiday season.  With Christams trees, lighting, fireplaces and exterior decorations plugged into outlets, and cooking of holiday meals the conditions for a fire emergency increase dramatically during the holidays.  A monitored fire system can quickly detect the danger and dispatch the fire department averting the tragedy that could befall you and the ones you love.

  • Medical emergencies also increase during the holidays.  EMS is often the busiest during the holidays.  Heart attacks are generally at their highest during the holiday season as people consume high fat, high sugar, and cholesteral filled dishes that clog arteries.  Having a security system with a medical alert button can assure that help will be on the way.

  • You may qualify for a homeowners insurance discount up to 20% off your existing rate.

  • You don't have to wait to put it on your New Years Resolution List .  By installing prior to the end of the year you can take advantage of great year end deals such as the Safe Haven Security-One Call Secures It All Special that includes a keypad, smoke detector, motion detector, glass-break detection, siren, mastercontrol panel, door sensors, cellular device and mobile app arming and disarming from a smartphone or computer for $99.   For additional details call (919) 228-8361

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why Black Friday is the Perfect Time for a Home Burglary

So you can't wait to go over the river and through the woods to get to Grandma's house to eat that turkey dinner with all the trimmings and the burglars can't wait to make you the holiday turkey.  So you may ask why is Black Friday, (the day after the Thanksgiving holiday) such a great day for home burglary?  Black  Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year.  Many retailers are smart enough to cut prices with a few leading items that have high market appeal to get you to stand in line for hours for a 3:00am store opening.  The fact that you are in line at the mall, and not at home provides opportunity and which is what criminals are looking for.

  • Burglars have an 87% of getting away with breaking into your home because only 13% of burglaries are cleared by police nationwide.  Talk about the odds being in the favor of the criminal; if placing a bet at Vegas had those type of odds for the consumer we'd all be rich. 

  • The deals are better at your house than at the mall.  A burglar doesn't have to wait in a long line to get a 60" flat panel television, a game system and some jewelry, all he or she must do is break into your inadequately protected home.  The five finger deal they get far outweighs having to spend their cash or using their credit to get your stuff for free.  If your security is lax they will probably get enough information in their caper to victimize you through identity theft as well.
Too many people leave statements and personal information that could be used against them eaily assessible to anyone that has or finds access to their home.

  • Malls have security you don't:  The local mall will have security cameras, security guards, deputies and other law enforcement officials looking for shop-lifters and other rouge elements.  However, your home is protected by a $20 lock and possibly a poor excuse for an alarm system.  If you don't have a security system you are 6 times more likely to be burglarized.  If you have just a basic alarm that has not been updated in years- you are at risk as well.
Have a security assessment gone that looks for vulnerabilities in your home safety and presents solutions to keep you and your possessions safe.  For additional information on Home Security and Safety get a free copy of my e-book, The Homeowners and Consumers Toolbos:Safety to Savings, Tips and Tools at Your Fingertips at
  • Stores advertise to get you to come, You advertise you are attending:  The stores spend big money advertising on television and in the paper to get you to come out.  It is marketers jobs to get your body to their store to spend money.  Advertising on the part of the marketing firms is not the problem but your announcement to world through social media and in public is. 
It is never wise to announce on Facebook and in public places that you are leaving town or that you will be away from your home.  With a little research a criminal can find out who you are and where you live.  Think about it, it could be the person ringing you out that asks for identification when you check out or someone who happened to hear your name, as it was yelled out by a friend when you encounter them in the store.  The opportunistic crook then follows you home.  The other is social media, such as Facebook or Google plus or Twitter.  The fact that you can say something doesn't mean you should.  Also, turn off the location setting for posting which tells people where you are.

  • Thanksgiving to a criminal means, thanks for giving them the opportunity to have at your stuff.  Don't let criminals make you the holiday turkey by being lax when it comes to the safety of your home and possessions.  A good security program should include a monitored alarm system.  Call a reputable and reliable company like Safe Haven Security and get your home secure before leaving for Grandma's House.  Call (919) 228-8361

Happy Thanksgiving, Be Safe, Be Secure and don't let criminals pluck your possessions making you the holiday turkey whose Friday is Black cause you're sad and mad because you got suckered.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Not To Use a Do It Yourself Alarm

So you're a pretty smart guy or gal and you've experienced a rise in crime in your neighborhood or worse yet you've been the victim of a home break-in and now security has risen to higher level than in the past.  You've gone to the local big box hardware store or gone to some sites online and and have seen some items that are classified as security systems which you think may fit the bill.  You think that you can do it yourself and bypass professional assessments, installation and monitoring fees- but at what cost?  Here are the top 5 reasons to not use a do it yourself alarm.

5)  You are not a trained professional.  You wouldn't attempt to perform surgery on yourself so what makes you think that you will correctly identify all the requirements to assure that the solution meets all the requirements that a professionally trained life safety specialist would make to assure that your home and family have full security and not a false sense of security?  Industry professionals must be trained and state licensed for a reason.  You can not purchase a low voltage electrical license you must qualify and pass stringent tests of competence to assure that you will not harm the public or yourself.  Plus there are numerous hours of manufacturer and company training to assure that equipment placement and security design are in accordance with manufacturer and industry standards.

4) The products installed are most likely lick it Stick it Wireless Combo Alarms which are easy to put up and easy to defeat.  Whenever the alarm panel has the siren, keypad and mastercontrol unit all combined in one and all that you have to do is plug it into the wall oulet, plug in the phone cord to the wall jack, pull the tape double sided tape off the contacts and stick them up and you have an alarm-you are in big trouble.  If you can install it in 20 minutes-you'd best believe that any fool attempting to be a do it yourself burglar could kick in the delay door grab the system drop it in the toilet and rob you blind in under 15 seconds. 

3)  You Get What You Pay For:  You think that you are saving a few dollars by using a quick fix solution but in reality it could cost you significantly down the line because most do it yourself solutions that are just placed on the counter plugged into the phone line jack do not have phone line seizure- which gives the alarm system priority to seize the line during an alarm emergency even if the phone line is being used.  When the system is placed on the counter there is no tamper switch to prevent the panel from being being snatched up smashed or shorted out in the sink or tiolet.  Even if you secure it to the wall, there will most likely be no hard-wired tamper solution.  Also by self-installing you assume all responsibility if the system fails to communicate with the monitoring facility during an alarm event i.e phone line seizure and the fine print of the contract that absolves the monitoring facility from being held liable if such an event occurs.  Think about it, this is a great deal for the alarm companies that sell monitoring.  They will never have any claims against their general liability insurance policy but if  something happens it goes against you and not them. 

Also if there are false alarms due to equipment problems or improper installation you'll be the one to pay.

2)  You may not be able to receive your homeowners insurance discount:  Most insurance companies require a certificate of installation from a licensed alarm company in order to receive your discount.

1) You are saying that your family isn't worth the invest of  the price of a cup of coffe a day to keep them safe.  Don't nickel and dime your family.  Give them the best because they deserve the best.  Select a reputable alarm company that is reliable and has references. 

For more information on this subject or other security related issues contact Jim McNeely at 919-949-9690

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Don't Be the Sucker with the Lick it Stick it Alarm

The ironic thing about being bamboozled or suckered is the that you often don't find out until it's entirely too late.  There is a growing trend in the home security industry where consumers are being increasingly targeted through slick online marketing campaigns.  The consumers go to the internet because it is quick, easy and accessible.  The alarm or security system companies that target these consumers are looking to hook these consumers by selling wireless combo systems that are high on illusion and low on security.  By selling the client the sizzle and using paid for endorsements they dupe the consumer into purchasing their service which places them into a situation where they have perceived security only.

This claim may seem harsh but it is fact and here are the reasons why:

The security systems these companies sell are wireless alarm panels where the keypad, siren, and motion detector are one unit:  If a burglar kicks in a door that has a delay and snatches the panel from the wall and drops it in the tiolet, fries the compenents and all this was done in the delay time; who did the system call?  No one. 

The only solution is to have the panel tampered with a hard-wired contact on the back of the alarm panel-assuming that it is actually secured to the wall.

Many of these systems just sit on the counter and are plugged into the wall:  They are sold promoting features like talking keypads two-way voice ( a feature that allows the alarm company to hear what is happening in real time during an alarm event), home automation, a message center and no home phone line needed if they have a cellular unit added to it.  These features are great but what good do they do you if they system is pre-programmed with a dialer delay.  The dialer delay is a feature that alarm companies say they use to prevent false alarms.  The way it works is when the door with the delay to give you time to go to the keypad to de-activate the alarm is triggered because it was not turned off in the alloted time- the alarm company has another 30-90 seconds where the alrm does not call out. 

Do you think that even the most novice burglar could easily hear your alarm when they kick in the door that you use to gain entry-go to the panel and disable it?  The answer should be yes. 

Are you asking about a dialer delay?  The answer is probably No! 

The system comes pre-programed and you install it.  You use double sided tape to put up the  door contacts and motion detectors and you plug it in.  In what dellusinal fantasy does this sound like a good idea?  Reputable alarm companies don't have you self-install.  Reputable alarm companies aren't using sticky tape to install a system in 15 minutes.  Reputable alarm companies have to be licensed with a low -voltage license and their consultants registered with back ground checks from the alarm board.  By self installing, the alarm companies have a clause in their contract which absolves them from liabilty should there be system failure and the alarm signal does not reach them.  Why would someone sign such an agreement, because they don't take the time to read it.

Don't be a sucker by purchasing an  alarm system like you shop for a car.  Security systems are life safety devices, not a commodity.  What is the value of your life?  Use a reputable company with reputable consultants that have references and are reliable.  Don't be a sucker by taking short cuts when it comes to the safety and security of your family. a qualty security consultation will show you full value of how your familiy can be protected. 

Knowledge is power and applied knowledge leads to empowerment.  Use this information wisely- your safety depends on it.

For a copy of my free book, The Homeowners and Consumers Toolbox: Safety to Savings, Tips and Tools at Your Fingertips go to .  For a free security consultation in the Raleigh, NC area call 919-949-9690.