Saturday, December 27, 2008

North Carolina Sex offender Alert Over the Phone

The middle-aged guy with the balding hair, glasses and pot belly although cordial could be the next mark on Dateline’s To Catch a Predator. From the confines of his home, in the dark, illuminated only by the glow of the computer monitor he trolls the internet in search of underage girls or boys to fulfill his sick and twisted fantasies. In the state of North Carolina convicted sex offenders are required to register with the North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry. This site has the current or last known address of the sex offender, photo, and charges the offender was convicted. The sex offender allows concerned citizens to search to see how sex offenders live within a certain geographic radius of their home. Many people, due to busy schedules and limited internet access, now have a new solution: alert by phone of new sex offenders that move into the community. To be alerted by phone call 877-627-2826 or visit www.ncsavan.org.
Awareness of a potential threat to your family’s safety is only the beginning. Taking effective action is the most important thing a person can do.
• Educate children about bad people.
• Educate children about appropriate touching.
• Educate children not to take things from strangers.
• Educate children not to go anywhere with a stranger
• Monitor internet use
• Tell children not to open the door to strangers
• Tell children to never tell a stranger that they are home alone.
• Install surveillance cameras to observe any suspicious activity
• Install a home security system to monitor access control
• Be observant and use neighborhood watch effectively

Children and teens are a priceless and irreplaceable commodity and their safety can never be left to chance. Single mothers and single women should also take note of sex offenders living within their community. Use of the phone alert system along with the above listed security measures will go along way in making sure you remain safe. If you find this information of use pass it on to others you think will benefit from it.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Burglar proofing your trash-Home security tips you may not know


Criminals are watching your trash and the security of your home is at risk as result. Boxes that were used to house electronic items like Plasma Televisions, stereo systems, computers and video game systems are broken down and cavalierly left at the curb for the recycle or trash disposal to carry away. A vigilante burglar drives by and sees the make and model of your brand new treasure. He or she observes the cars and looks for vulnerabilities in the home that can be used to gain access. Things criminals may look for:
• High bushes that cover windows
• Doors without deadbolts
• Ladders lying on the side of a home that are unsecure
• Crawlspaces with no locks
• Homes with fences and no dogs
• Homes without security systems
• Homes that sit back from the road
• Homes with the back to the woods
The best solution to protect burglars from searching your trash is to never leave it for the trash man to take.
• Carry your boxes to the dump yourself.
• If you have a fireplace, burn the boxes.
• Leave the boxes at the store and wrap the items in a blanket and secure it with packing tape.
• Perform a home safety physical to address issues that may make your home a target.
By taking the necessary precautions you will greatly reduce the risk of being the victim of an opportunistic burglar. For additional information on home safety check out the violence and injury prevention unit.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa’s Wrap Sheet


By Jim McNeely

We should not praise jolly Saint Nick
For he is a criminal that was his stick.
A gangster, overlord of criminal enterprise
With a gang of elves, the perfect size
To slide down chimneys like a laundry chute
Ransack homes and pawn broker the loot.
Targeting homes by ADT, CPI and Brinks
With No second level security protection, cause their consultants were finks
Then they got greedy and chose a home protected by Vector
With a security system so complete it was the ultimate protector
Now Saint Nick is convicted and serves life at the North Pole
Making toys for children to pay back what he stole.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lack of a Data Recovery/Offsite Computer Backup System Lands victim in Jail


Failure to implement an offsite computer backup or data recovery system is not an actual crime, but can easily land a business owner into financial upheaval and economic ruin, which is its own short of prison sentence. The life essence of businesses are their client files, databases, spread sheets, sales proposals, tax records, payroll and accounting information, and event and day organizers. When a business find itself a victim of a fire, natural disaster or major theft, insurance will replace the computers but not what is on them. The data located on the computers are what gives these devices their real value. If critical data can not be recovered the business could go from successful and profitable to destitute and bankrupt. Therefore, it is necessary to implement the best possible data and computer backup service possible.
Two backup services that provide excellent value and exceptional features are offered by Guardiant and C-Support INC. Stephen Norman-Scott, Vice President of Internet sales for C-support, recently spoke at a BNI meeting where he stated that many business owners don’t understand that they are placing their livelihood in jeopardy by not having a backup service. Often he has found that many businesses rely on an employee to back-up data. Employees often forget to perform the backup which is one of the problems with corporate data backup. The other problems are in backup systems used. Often the methods used are either to an external hard drive, CD or antiquated tape drive systems. These outdated methods are unreliable and still leave the business at risk. C-Support Inc has one of the best starting points for an offsite backup service, with business plans beginning at $10.95 per month for 2GB of data and only $1per month more for each additional GB. Plans for home use begin at $10.95 per month for 5GB of data and Fifty cents more for each additional GB. C-Support does not charge additional fees for data recovery.
Bob Ross, , vice president of sales, Guardiant Assurance, states that many backup services on the market entice clients with cheap backup rates and then charge astronomical rates for data recovery. The Guardiant backup system, like C-support, does not charge for data recovery. However, they provide a very unique feature in backing up not only the data but also the entire hard drive, which includes the computer operating system, along with all the programs, applications and settings. Should a business be in the unfortunate situation of having to recover data where they must replace the computers, Guardiant can reload the exact image of the hard drive and have the business fully operational in a very short time. Disaster recovery is not a novel concept but a necessity. From a security standpoint all data that is transferred every fifteen minutes is encrypted where it can not be stolen by internet hackers. This is a prerequisite of all good backup services. Equally necessary is a system to redundantly store the backed up data. Both Guardiant and C-Support offer these features. Guardiant have plans for businesses that will restore the operating system, programs and all files with unlimited storage for $34 per month per computer or a server for $500 annually for up to 100GB and twenty-five cents additional for each GB.
Back-up should also include the security system if there is a camera system that is IP addressable. Having a camera system that records to a hard drive that is not backed up properly can leave your company exposed. The hard drive is located inside of the DVR. After a period of time all hard drives fail, so it is necessary to have them properly backed up. Most businesses don’t because it was never explained to them by the alarm company to do so. If perpetrators breach your security system and manage to steal the DVR that the cameras record to there will be no crime stopper footage and the money invested in a camera system would be a waste. For information on surveillance and CCTV camera back-up call 919-949-9690 or go to http://www.whensafetymatters.com. No business wants to be a victim, but proper planning in advance will lead to a much faster recovery. For additional information on C-Support call 919-544-7916. Additional information on Guardiant services call 919-968-0130.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Paris Hilton can lead a simpler life after recent burglary


According to published reports heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune, Paris Hilton, was the unfortunate victim of a burglary at her Hollywood hills mansion during the early morning hours on Friday December 19, 2008. The burglary was reported by Hilton’s onsite security guard. It is alleged that a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves broke through the front door and made off with over two million dollars in jewelry. Hilton was not a home at the time.
Sadly this caper smells like an inside job. How could a burglar dressed like a stereotypical suspect get past a gated wall, have time to break through the front door and then have ample time to located and steal two million dollars of jewels. The vague description of the suspect must have been captured on her surveillance cameras. Why wasn’t it caught immediately? Whatever Paris is paying for security guards is too much. A simple security system with an audible alarm tied to a monitoring center would have been far more proficient than a security guard that was either asleep or watching reruns of the simple life. If Paris is considering revamping her security and needs a security consultant, I am available for hire. Please direct her to my website at http://www.whensafetymatters.com.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kind Heart Leads to 911 Call and Long Dirt Nap


Paulette Locklear age 64 of Cumberland County made one final call. One year short of collecting full Social Security benefits and nine days before Christmas her final words to anyone other than her killer were to a 911 officer. Sadly, EMS did not arrive in time to save her life. Miss Locklear had hired a homeless man, 45 year old Julio Cesar Ramos, to do work around her home, and this is the individual that the authorities have arrested. According to an article listed on the WTVD website, friends of Miss Locklear claim that she appeared to be beaten to death. There was also evidence that the back windows and door had been broken out. Law enforcement could not find anything missing so they do not know if robbery was a motive. Miss Locklear should still be amongst the living; but we can only surmise that her kind heart led to her demise. It is doubtful when she hired this homeless man that she performed a criminal background check on him. This is something that she should have done before hiring him, and it goes without saying before allowing him to stay in the home, as she had done according to witnesses. She most likely saw someone in need and looked at the blessing that she had and knew that sharing them with someone less fortunate was the right thing to do. Criminals are myopic and often take kindness for weakness. With drug dependencies to fund they don’t consider the past good that someone has extended. They are only concerned about what can you do for me now. Let us not allow the death of Paulette Locklear be in vain. Let us use her death to get more funding to track probationers and get criminals and drug abusers off the streets. Questions no longer remain as to whether Julio Ramos was a legal citizen, he was not. Since he is not and is in the country illegally it emphasizes the need for more funding to secure US borders and properly screen individuals entering the country.
Citizens everywhere must not wait on law enforcement to receive this funding because it will likely take years. It is vital that neighborhood watch programs become more active. People should take a more active approach in the safety of their own neighborhoods and homes. It is hard to say whether a security system with a panic alert and two-way voice would have prevented this but it might have. Miss Locklear most likely had to fight her way to the phone to dial 911. The 911 call does not trigger an audible siren that may have alerted neighbors to her impending distress. These simple and affordable items would at least deter if not prevent home invasions and other acts of violence such as this. Let Miss Locklear’s death serve as a sobering reminder that bad people walk amongst us and we must use every available resource to not be sheep blindly taken to slaughter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Probationers put general public at risk

Arrested at last! Arrested at last! Thank God almighty, that Stephen Peter Sylvester has been arrested at last. Sylvester was arrested during the week of December 11, 2008 and charged with 11 local armed robberies of restaurants and convenience stores in Raleigh, NC. Sylvester terrorized local businesses while serving three concurrent probation sentences totaling 30 months. He had convictions for armed robbery, felony breaking and entering and driving while impaired. The suspects in the death of Duke Graduate Student Abhijit Mahato and UNC student body president Eve Carson were both on probation at the time of the slayings. America is the land of second changes, but what chance does the public have when repeat offenders are sprung free with minimal supervision and allowed to walk carefree amongst law abiding citizens. There are no signs alerting civilians that they are at risk. There are no public address systems announcing that a menace to society is within 100 yards. Probationers are not required to wear a scarlet letter. The legal system, with its overworked and under trained probation officers, has little chance of curtailing such a rapidly escalating problem. North Carolina has had 580 murders committed by probationers since 2000 according a report in the News and Observer.
The answer to the problem may be in new technology and increased funds to make it happen. Eugene Brown, Durham city councilman and Ellen Reckhow, Durham County Commissioner have written a letter to North Carolina Governor, Mike Easley stressing the dire need for this funding. Twenty percent of all Durham, NC probationers are unaccounted for. The new NC AWARE program that provides quicker notice of when a probationer has new warrants and the time it is available to state law enforcement officers may help, but it is not the answer. The probationer has already offended again and that means that in many cases others in society have been irreversibly harmed. NC AWARE may be a good system to track probationers already walking the streets. The real question is how to prevent a new crop of probationer from joining them. The answer may lie in passing legislation that eliminates probation as a sentencing option. Citizens can no longer turn a blind eye to crime. Implementing new programs takes time, but the threats are already presenting a clear and present danger.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Home invaders Bum Rush Teens with Shoddy Security System


Two teenagers found out the hard way that things aren’t always the way they appear. In Queens, NY two brazen crooks posing as New York City police officers serving a search warrant pushed their way into a home and tied up two teenagers fifteen and seventeen. The Home invaders stole perfume, a cell phone and a hard drive to the security system. These events occurred Dec 2, 2008 at around 6:00pm according to a news feature done by WABC-TV New York, NY. Sadly these things happen and people wonder what could have been done differently to change the outcome. Children left at home, even teenagers should never answer the door to strangers even the police. When in doubt dial 911 so the call can be recorded. This can even be done with a cell phone that doesn’t currently have service but has a SIM chip inside. Tell the 911 officer what is happening and the address. Another eyebrow raising fact given in this story was that a hard drive to the home security or alarm system was stole.
There are no hard drives in home security or burglar systems. CCTV or Video Monitoring or surveillance systems that are connected to a computer or DVR would have a hard drive, but there was no mention of a camera system. If there was indeed a camera system that was IP networked and connected over a high speed internet connection the video feed could have been stored to an offsite server and there would be video footage of these neighborhood terrorists. It appears that the family attempted to provide some measure of safety but they had the design backwards. If the family had a security system and it was armed in the stay mode and set to instant it would have called the true authorities when the invaders came through the door. The loud noise of the siren would have also attracted attention. Neighbors would have come outside to see what was happening. But according to the news report, the system that was in place was nonfunctional.
This type of situation could happen anywhere including Raleigh or Durham North Carolina. It is not limited a big city like NEW York, NY. In tough economic times crime will increase and criminals will become more brazen. With the rise of gangs in small cities, home invasions will become more prevalent. Now is the time to establish a security method for your family. Now is the time to make sure that you have the correct security or life safety equipment installed in your home. Several factors to consider: make sure your alarm system is up to date and has two-way voice monitoring, which allows the monitoring call center to hear alarm events in real time over a speaker microphone connected to the alarm panel, and a cellular GSM backup incase the phone line is cut. Make sure that the security system has an automatic test feature to report malfunctions with the system to the monitoring center. Finding out during a crisis that the alarm does not work may be good for a lawsuit but not to save your life. Also test your alarm system by letting it go off then go and turn it off. See how long it takes for the security company to call you. Often times they won’t because of an installed dialer delay that can be as long as a minute and a half. What good does that do you when you are forced into your home at gun point? Homeowners with additional questions or comments are invited to respond. Additional information regarding safety measures can be found at http://www.whensafetymatters.com.












Saturday, December 13, 2008

Top Reasons to Update Your Alarm System

Your home or business security system is not a bottle of wine, it doesn’t get better with time-just more vulnerable. Alarm systems are designed to protect against the present threats that existed at the time of their creation. The first lock makers designed locks that were big and cumbersome but the design was to keep criminals from easily opening something that needed to be secure. In a short period of time criminals and escape artists like Harry Houdini learned to circumvent these devices with precision and speed. Lock technology has improved to include dead bolts and burglars now teach the simple art of bump key making on youtube. Home security systems used to be operated by a simple on/off toggle switch. The criminals evolved and learned to get around these systems as well. Alarm manufacturers developed keypads so it would harder for criminals. Burglars are resilient, so back to studying and research they went. After careful study they began targeting the communication apparatus of the security systems. A quick snip with bolt cutters on the phone line and the system could no longer call the police.
Necessity is the mother of invention, so the new integrated GSM cell module was invented allowing the security devices to protect the communication method with the central station. Most systems over 3 years old do not have this feature making them vulnerable to burglar tampering and diffusion. Systems that had a feature similar to this are operating on analogue mode which will be obsolete in February of 2009. Another major reason to upgrade your security system is the lack of monthly reporting on these systems. System reporting is the ability for the security panel to send a complete system diagnostic to the monitoring call center to assure that the alarm system is working properly. Without this feature clients may continuously bypass a certain zone that indicated trouble in the LCD readout box of the keypad the alarm monitoring facility would have no record and would not be able to schedule a required service.
Another reason to consider a system upgrade is if you have changed phone service providers. Many of the new VOIP (Voice over IP) phone systems are not compatible with older security system interfaces. Advanced technology like the Honeywell Total Connect system will allow a homeowner or business professional the flexibility of operating their alarm system over a high speed internet connection supported by GSM cellular backup. With crime on the rise and criminals getting advanced degrees in their level of sophistication it is imperative that security system users have easy access to new technology and ways to implement it. However, this is not the case.
Many security clients have no contact with their alarm company unless there is a problem with the monthly bill. New technology is not made readily available to existing clients that could benefit the customer’s life safety. So long as the monthly bill gets paid the alarm company is not concerned. When clients face rate increases along with poor service it should be inevitable that they look for a better solution. The solutions are out there and many of the answers a concerned person my have can be found at http://whensafetymatters.com . Criminals don’t wait to act, so neither should you. Staying one or two steps ahead of the bad guys is a matter of education and application. Don’t allow a false sense of security to lure you into a burglars trap.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

North Carolina’s Dangerous Alarm Licensing Loophole


Citizens of North Carolina should beware their safety could be placed at risk by alarm companies more interested in profit than public safety. Security System and Alarm Companies in North Carolina are required by law to register each new applicant within twenty days of their hire date. All applicants are required to submit finger prints and a criminal background check from the counties they have live in over the past 48 months. The intent of this law is to protect the general public from having a convicted criminal sell you an alarm system. The alarm board allows twenty days for applicant’s paperwork to be submitted to give the companies adequate time to get everything processed and mailed to the board for approval. Many alarm and security system installation companies abuse this provision by allowing applicants to go into people’s homes before they know if the person has a criminal background or not. In cases where the applicant has moved from another state and applies to work for a North Carolina Alarm Company the applicant is required to submit a criminal background for their current county they reside, immediately. The applicant must send off for the other criminal background checks for addresses they have lived at over the past 48 months and submit them with their paperwork to the board. This must be done within twenty days. According to the provisions of the alarm board of North Carolina, an applicant can file for an extension for ten days, and as much as 40 days if they are military and lived overseas. There is a delay from the time that the board receives the paperwork and reviews it. Due to the backlog of applicant filings this may take several months. A criminal could easily work in the alarm industry for twenty to ninety days before being required by law to stop. Another reason some alarm companies attempt to skirt the licensing requirements is due to the fact that each new application must be accompanied with a $45 application fee. Due to the one or two day factory training methods of many alarm and security companies and the commission only compensation plans these companies do not want to invest in employees who they know are not likely to be employed even two weeks later.
Companies like ADT who use the opportunity knocks program where they hire people under the false pretence of general labor to empty a warehouse, and Apex Security, that recruits college students from other states to peddle their wares, are some of the biggest offenders. Homeowners considering a home security should not only check on the security company to make sure it is licensed but should also require the actual badge from the alarm licensing board. The yellow paper that proves that the paperwork has been submitted is not enough, because you could still be face to face with a convicted felon. No one would knowingly allow a burglar or sex offender in their home. The current alarm licensing procedure needs to be overhauled, requiring actual approval from the board before an applicant can work. This will assure greater protection for the public at large.
When considering an alarm or security system in North Carolina, know who you are dealing with. Search online for information about that individual. If they are a professional you will be able to find them on linkedin.com. Ask for their current North Carolina Alarm license. Check the Better Business Bureau and ask for references. When it comes to the safety and security of a family or business you should demand accountability for, competence, and professionalism. A person would never trust a doctor with two days or one week training and a suspect license to operate on them. A security or burglar alarm protects the lives of those you care about the most and trusting their safety to a novice with questionable credentials shouldn’t be done either.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Husband and Wife Burglars Use Classic Rouse to score Guns and Jewelry


Homeowners beware, a knock on the door by a pleasant young woman to see if you’re their. If you answer the door she will tell you a heart wrenching tale of how she’s looking for a lost puppy. If no one answers, her husband and partner unlawfully enters through the back door. They are looking for two things, gun and jewelry. This classic rouse worked like a charm in over 60 break-ins in Troy, Missouri. Kibb Patrick Howard 27 and Karla Kay Howard 26 worked the break-in circuit like a steady job and sold their stolen merchandise to a local jewelry store owner, Michael Karl Sifrit 42, who then sold the items on eBay. This husband and wife might still be in business if not for the stupidity of Sifrit. Selling stolen items on eBay is like going straight to the police station and selling the stolen out the back of van. EBay is the first place next to the pawn shop that police will go to investigate stolen goods. It’s great that this trio is off the street because people work far too hard to get what they have to have it taken away by burglars looking for an easy score to feed a drug addiction.
Police confiscated over 100 weapons and other items at Sifrit’s home when he was taken into custody. According to police, Michael Sifrit bought as many as 500 stolen weapons. Kibb and Karla confessed that they broke into homes in as many as five counties. The Break-ins were for the sole purpose of fueling a heroine addiction. These events could happen in any community throughout the United States. Burglaries happen on average of one every 12 seconds. The Rouse that was used is as old as the hills. There are several conclusions that can be taken from this most recent news story. Drug addicts will look for easy ways to gain cash and breaking into houses seems easy. Homeowners obviously are not doing enough to secure their homes and guns. Guns in the hands of criminals, puts everyone at risk. This can be deterred when homeowners follow some simple home safety tips.
• If someone one comes to your door with a fishy story, get a good description of them and call the police.
• Protect your home when you are away by making access hard.
• Place a door jammer on your back doors.
• Install windows with night lashes to prevent them from being raised past a certain height.
• Don’t leave ladders unsecured, where a criminal can use to gain access to a second story.
• Make sure you have dead bolts installed on all doors.
• Install a monitored home security system with cell back-up.
• Have guns secured in a gun safe that is secured to the studs of the wall or floor.
Install security cameras on the exterior of the home.
• Never be lax on security issues.
Written by Jim McNeely

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Guns in The Hands of Criminals-Who's to blame?


On Friday December 5, 2008 the national coalition of mayors released a report ranking the top ten states responsible of the exportation of illegal guns shipped across state lines and used in the commission of crime. The report concluded that North Carolina has the dubious distinction of ranking tenth. West Virginia came in first as the leading exporter with 41 traced guns per 100,000 state residents. They were followed by Mississippi with 39 guns; South Carolina takes the bronze at 31 illegal guns exported. The report titled ‘The Movement of Illegal Guns in America: The Link between Gun laws and Interstate Trafficking” reports Kentucky 4th, Alabama 5th, Virginia 6th, Georgia 7th, Indiana 8th, and Nevada 9th. One of the major questions often asked, is how convicted felons, people mentally impaired and underage kids can procure weapons which are used in the commission of crimes? One of the main ways is through a loophole that circumvents the Brady Law passed in 1994 that requires firearm dealers to have a current federal firearms license and perform a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). When guns are sold at gun shows, non licensees are not required to report to NICS because they are selling from their private stock. This allows criminals to purchase guns without going through any background check. This is a loophole that leaves the general public at great risk. Also disturbing is the fact that only nine states have instituted legislation to close the loophole in the Brady Law.
Another contributing factor is the theft of guns from private residences according to South Carolina State Rep, Mike Pitts. Mr. Pitts believes that it is not the lax guns laws that create the conditions that keep guns in the hands of criminals, but the criminals that burglarize homes to procure an arsenal which they sell across state lines for higher profits. Both sides are responsible. It can easily be argued that many gun owners do not take the necessary steps to protect their firearms. With the danger these weapons pose in the hands of criminals, gun owners can not simply purchase a gun for protection and trust a simple door lock to protect it when they are away. Savvy criminals can easily get past a deadbolt by simply kicking the door in or using a bump key or homemade master key. If the gun owner does not have a security system to provide perimeter protection and police notification of unlawful entry along with a gun safe that is secured to the studs in the floor they have not taken the reasonable and necessary measures to keep these weapons from the criminals that want them so desperately. We can not expect the police to get all the illegal guns off the street, when some of these weapons never would have reached the street if the legislation loopholes were closed and gun owners more responsible.







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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Should MySpace and Facebook be used to Profile Potential Societal Threats?



"I can imagine a world of love, peace and no wars. Then, I imagine myself attacking that place because they would never expect it." These are words written by Ryan Patrick Hare, one of four Panther Creek High School students charged with the murder of Matthew Silliman, on his MySpace page. Hare, 18 along with Allegra Rose Dahlquist, 17, Aadil Shahid Khan, 17, and Drew Logan Shaw, 16, were arrested Wednesday and are being held in the Wake County jail. All four teens have been denied bond. Khan’s MySpace page describes himself as an anarchist that does not fit into any social group. These types of expressions pulled from the pages of social media sites like MySpace and Facebook after a horrific crime has occurred could have easily been identified earlier and possibly prevented the senseless death of Matthew Silliman. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty. It is easy to go over a person’s profile after they have committed an act so heinous that it draws the attention it appears that they are craving. The two boys quoted earlier had their comments open for public viewing. Words have power and, “death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21. Who, in their social network, was responsible for alerting someone that could help? Was it the parents, coaches, counselors or police? Maybe it was the community but why didn’t we act?
Many parents that are old enough to have children that are in their late teens have no interest in MySpace or Facebook. The internet for many people in that age group is for online banking, consumer research, product purchases, checking sports sites like ESPN and checking email. This has to change. We can not expect teenagers to say to their parents, counselors, and coaches what they will say freely to their friends. This insight is freely expressed online because it is the last place they expect their parents to go. Children and young adults can develop such a connection with the online communities that they can not live without them. This was the case with a Mesa, Arizona teenager who murdered his father because his access to MySpace was limited. In the past it was said that it takes a village to raise a child. The village has now gone cyber and parents are on the outside looking in along with the guidance counselors and coaches. In the movie the Matrix, Neo along with the other characters looked different once they entered the matrix or cyberspace. Once inside the matrix they became the internal reflection of themselves that was not manifested in the real world. I encourage parents, pastors, teachers, counselors, coaches and concerned neighbors to enter into the MySpace world and educate themselves about the real people behind the facades that live amongst them. If we learn without condemning and express a concerned view, we may be able to prevent the next catastrophe.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Operation hello neighbor is not enough!


Cary police began a campaign on yesterday called operation hello neighbor where a police officer goes to neighborhoods and inform residents about the risks they take in leaving their garage doors open and items of value left in plain view in their cars. This is being done because Cary has had 35 garage thefts that they are reporting. This campaign looks good on the outside but it is not enough. Many of the residents of Cary falsely believe that they are immune to crime. Crime happens in places like Durham. Cary is special. It can’t happen to us! A false sense of security is the worst thing that can happen to a community. Criminals aren’t cartoon characters wearing black cat suits and stocking caps slinking around in the dark. Criminal, especially burglars, look like they belong in the communities they hit. They are not going to be the stereotypical thug that Cary residents envision. These criminals will look at stories like operation hello neighbor and know that leopards don’t change their stripes overnight. This is what will make the town of Cary, NC a target for criminal activity. Until the people of Cary have a wake-up call there will be no reason for them to change. A wise man once said that is better to learn from the mistakes of others than to have to experience the mistakes for yourself. Cary residents take the advice of the officers that come to your door.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Secrets of Home Security Exposed? Criminals Do Their Research So Should You!



No one ever plans to attract the eye of a wandering burglar who, like a lion, paces to and fro searching for someone to devour. All too often it’s what you never planned for which makes you look so attractive. Burglars are hunters in the sense that they look for the common habits of their prey. They observe the habitat, and patterns of activity. They observe seemingly small things that give them insight as to what is in the home. They simply exploit weaknesses and use the element of surprise to their advantage. The number one thing most people do wrong is that they assume that crime can not happen to them. They don’t see themselves as the hunted so they are not alert. They move around carefree and unlike the deer in the wild, their ears are not tweaked to hear the subtle sounds of possible threats.
In order to protect yourself and family a change of attitude is necessary. Realize that you must be proactive. Make sure that you don’t make yourself a victim. Never leave items of value in plain site in your car or in your home. As a life safety specialist for Vector Security’s top dealer, I have driven through far too many neighborhoods where the garage door was wide open and tools and other items of value were on full display. Far too many homes don’t have motion lights in the front of the home. When the time changes in fall, it gets dark much quicker and large trees and bushes provide a great cover for a burglar or home invader lurking like a lion. With motion lighting these hiding places would be exposed. It is always important to be observant as you exit your car. Look for anything that may be wrong. Don’t be distracted by your cell phone. If you are on the phone, take a moment to look around and then resume your conversation. If you have children, never let them run ahead inside the home before you enter. You may be putting them at risk.
If you do not have an alarm or security system installed in your home a burglar may be inside the home and you would not know it because they entered through the back. Lions always attack from the weak or blind side. If you let the child run ahead of you he or she may encounter the intruder and his or her life is now at risk. Enter first and be observant. Have a good led keychain light so you can look around as you go in to flip on the lights. If you can afford to leave a light on, do it. You can set lights up on timers so that they will come on at a specified time. The next item may be controversial, but it’s true. IF you have a basic security system that is over 3 years old do not trust it. Like all things new technology makes older systems obsolete. Criminals adapt! Many alarm companies that direct market their services door to door only offer a basic alarm package that includes a few door contacts and a motion detector. Burglars may be aware of this fact and are likely to target these homes because they have a blue print as to how to defeat them. There is a class action lawsuit against ADT the largest security company in the country, which alleges that criminals specifically target their company because of the aforementioned fact. Let’s face facts, criminals are not stupid. They play the risk verses reward game. If they believe that the risk of being caught is minimal then they are inclined to strike. There is one main area these criminals are looking to gain access to, the master bedroom.
Criminals know that the master bedroom is the location where they are most likely to find guns, money and jewelry. How many homes have security devices, such as window contacts, motion detectors or glass break detectors in the master bedroom? The answer is very few. Is your home a two–story home? If it is then the bedrooms are likely to be on the second level. Many security companies will not discuss or provide security measures for the second story. Yet if that is the place the burglars are looking to gain access to: they can easily do it without setting of the security systems because they enter through a window using an unsecure ladder they found possibly at your home or at a neighbor’s. If they leave the same they came without venturing further into the home it leaves you at a very high risk. What would happen if you entered while the criminal was still inside? The first place you would go is to the alarm panel to deactivate it. Once the system is off the criminal now has the ability to move freely. You don’t know he or she is there and you are at a huge disadvantage. Don’t take this risk! Have a reputable alarm company install security devices on the second floor. As I advise my home security clients in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Goldsboro, North Carolina taking this risk is far too great. You can replace items but not human life. The final item we will discuss is the area burglars like to target most on a security system. The number one area criminals want to target on a security system is the communication system or the phone line. If a criminal can disrupt communication to the central station they are over 75% certain of going undetected because even a child can defeat some of the entry level sirens installed with many free alarm systems.
One thing you can do to protect your phone line is to have a tamper switch installed and have the exterior phone box covered with a secure metal housing and the wire leading to I armor plated. The best way to protect the phone line is to have a cellular (GSM) module back-up system installed. One company, Power Home Technologies, offers the equipment at no cost for this feature with approved alarm agreements. Protection is a matter of awareness. It is critical to be armed with the best information to assure that you are not at risk. For addtional safety tips watch the video below.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Protecting Kids on Myspace and Facebook


Social media sites such as myspace and face book are some of the most visited websites by teenagers and young adults. These sites allow users to connect with people across the world with similar interests. The internet age has made the world smaller. Connecting with multiple groups of people has never been easier and never more dangerous. Hiding behind a computer and a made-up profile could be a sexual predator or criminal looking for an easy mark. Users of myspace, facebook and bebo.com and other social media sites should beware. Most parents who have children that are pre-teens or teenagers do not use these forms of social media and are not aware of the dangers that they pose to their children and themselves if used incorrectly. Often children will expose sensitive information about themselves and their family over the internet. They believe that it is safe because they have told it to someone a world away that they will not see the next day at school. The cold reality is that it may be someone using an alias. These scoundrels fish for information such as where a child may live, what their parents do for a living. They may fish for information as to what types of electronics are in the home and may even ask about the security system in the home. The internet criminals gain a child’s trust over time and exploit it. These are a few tips to keep your children safe.
• Parents are encouraged to openly discuss the dangers of social media with their children.
• Do not let your children use the computer for extended periods of time behind closed doors.
• Be proactive, visit these sites and research new threats.
• Watch for changes in your child’s behavior especially if they become withdrawn.
• Have open lines of communication.
• Use security to keep your family safe; don’t assume that crime won’t happen to you.
• Review the sex offender registry to see what’s lurking in your vicinity.
• Watch this video with your kids.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Conventional Smoke Detectors Won't Wake Your Kids- A Must SEE Video

As I was doing some research last night I came across a blog called your alarm guy which was created by a fellow life safety consultant for Vector Security in Massachusetts. The blog leads with a very relevant article on how conventional smoke detectors, found in most homes, do not wake most children. This video is shocking but very informative. As a life safety consultant, for Vector security’s #1 dealer Power Home Technologies my mission is to make sure bad things don’t happen to good people. I had never seen this video prior to yesterday and I was compelled to create this post because Thanksgiving Day is historically the day that most home fires occur. Over the last few days I have posted several articles on how to make your home safe during the holidays I hope that those articles along with this post will keep you and yours safe.
You may be wondering if there are any alternative solutions to conventional smoke detectors that will wake your children. Photo-electric smoke sensors that have the ability to detect a smoldering fire and a dramatic rate in temperature change when tied into an alarm or security system that has two-way voice communicating ability will do the job. Two-way voice is like having ONstar for your home. When the alarm system is activated because of a fire or any alarm event it triggers the activation of an internal microphone that allows the alarm company to hear what is occurring inside the residence in real time. The alarm company then can audibly communicate over a speaker microphone calling the children by name which thru scientific experiments has been shown to wake them. Fires double in size every 20 seconds. Your child can not afford to sleep for a full two minutes while the alarm is blaring. Vector security has received numerous awards for their distinguished work in alarm dispatch. For additional information on fire safety devices go to http://whensafetymatters.com/.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Honeywell Total Connect System is the future of security system communication

The Honeywell Total connect system using the 7845i GSM radio uses the internet as the primary platform for the communication of the alarm panel. The 7845i GSM radio (along with Alarmnet) allows improved security system communication. Users of this technology can control their security system remotely over a high speed internet connection using a cell phone, PDA, or virtual keypad on their laptop or desktop computer. The Total Connect system uses triple path technology which includes GPSR (General Packet Radio Service), SMS (Short Message Service or text messaging) and the GSM cellular network. Advantages of the Total Connect System include:
· The ability to arm and disarm the system using your cell phone through text messaging.
· Allows the user to receive a message when system is armed or disarmed through email or text messaging.
· Allows user to receive a message when a certain door, safe or liquor cabinet is opened. Also lets user know if system is armed or disarmed. This is great for teenagers who you do not want entertaining guests with no supervision.
· Allows optional video alerts with the use of compatible IP addressable cameras. Excellent option for checking up on an aging relative.

Look for more information regarding Total Connect in the upcoming weeks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thank God For Security Cameras in Nursing Homes

Thank God they have security cameras in nursing facilities. An investigation just concluded regarding a man that died in Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro,NC on April 29, 2008. Steven Sabock, 50, of Roanoke Rapids was in the care of as many as sixteen people who who neglected his care and then falsified his record to cover up this injustice. If it were not for the security cameras that showed the time line of events and clearly exposed the lack of care Mr. Sabock received during his last 22 hours of life, the culprits may still be caring for patients. Mr Sabock is seen by video cameras receiving medication on April 28, 2008 at around 8pm. He begins choking and falls to the floor hitting his head. His caregiver presses on his stomach to dislodge the medication then immediately snatches the man up without checking for additional injuries. This is a violation of the emergency procedural code. A nurse is seen standing a few feet away, and does nothing. It takes over two hours before he is seen by a physician assistant. He is sent to the day room immediately afterwards. Instructions were given to take his vital signs every two hours. The assistants left this man in a chair for over 16 hours in his own urine and watched television, danced, played cards and joked around without attending to his needs. When the man expires they hatch a plot to cover it up. A full account of these events can be found at http://www.newsobserver.com/2771/story/1300808.html.
Imagine if this had been your relative or loved one. If it were not for security cameras more events like this would likely occur. It makes you wonder how people could be so heartless and insensitive. If you are in the nursing business you should be there to do your job, which is to provide care, not just collect a paycheck. It should be a law that these cameras are installed in every facility that cares for patients that can not take care of themselves. So long as there are people that abuse others in this way, security cameras will always have there place.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Rogue Relative: Aka Black Sheep of the family

Every one has that one shady relative, right? The one that you don’t want to discuss in polite company, but they’re still family and they will be coming to the family gathering. This is the person that likes to snoop around when you’re not looking and borrow things (wink): without your permission. I’ve overheard the conversations before, “I had a set of earrings just like that, but I haven’t been able to find them since last Thanksgiving weekend.” Then they ask, “Where did you get yours.” They respond, “I just picked these up somewhere.” Yeah that’s right, they picked them up somewhere: right out of your jewelry box and straight into their pocket. You’ve got too much class to a call them a lair and thief without proof. You have your suspicions and now you need proof. So what do you do? Elementary, My dear Watson, elementary. You follow these tips to assure you catch them in the act, and use the footage for the newest episodes of crimes caught on tape.
First you need to proper equipment to bait the trap. Go to the local hunting store or Walmart and purchase one those deer cameras. Position it behind some decorative pillows with only the lense showing. I realize that lighting may be a factor, but since the criminal (I mean your relative) doesn’t expect to get caught they will most likely turn on the light and when they walk by the camera the trip the motion sensor and they are caught on candid camera. The resolution on these cameras is low and won’t be admissible in court, but you have enough to confront them and get your stuff back. Hopefully they will be apologetic and never do it again. The next solution is more security sensitive and works with the hunting theme.
Almost all hunters have a gun cabinet or gun safe, but I have gone to many homes and they keep the gun in the bedroom closet where they can get to it in the middle of the night if something happens. The problem is they never think that a curious child may wander into that area and get his hands on the “Peace keeper.” My suggestion is to have an alarm attached to the door of the closet that is set for instant alert. If you have this as a part of your monitored alarm system combined with two-way voice you will not have to worry about a false alarm. When the alarm is triggered the alarm monitoring company will come across the speaker microphone built into the system. If it is a false alarm then you give them your password and they will not dispatch the authorities. So let’s get back to catching the rouge relative.
Installed covert cameras that are tied into a DVR and networked into your internet connection is the way to go. These cameras can be placed inside a clock a light, security motion detector and even inside a stuffed animal. You can monitor the activity through any computer with a high speed internet connection. The applications are endless. If you have an elderly person come stay with you that requires outside care, you can be sure that the care giver is treating them well. You can make sure that your teenage kids don’t have people at the house when they were told not to have guests over. You can make sure that they are not slipping out because you can install exterior cameras with night vision capability. When it comes to matters of safety there is no invasion of privacy so long as these devices are installed in the common areas of the home.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quick Tips on Keeping Thanksgiving Safe for Your Guests

Thanksgiving Day is one of the best holidays of the entire year. The family gathering along with great food and football makes it incredibly special. Often as we look to gathering at that special place we call home, we overlook potential hazards that could cause our celebration to turn into a nightmare. This brief article was written with the sole intent of providing some a simple checklist to follow to help assure holiday bliss. Thanksgiving Day is the number one day that home fires occur. Make sure you are fire conscious.
· Check all your smoke detectors before your guests arrive. Make sure they are in good working order.
· Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen on the counter. Make sure that it is pressurized and that it has not passed the effective use expiration date. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher.
· Keep the stove area clean from grease.
· Do not leave the area while food is cooking.
· Keep all pot holders and dish towels away from the cooking surface.
· Make sure all pots and pans are pushed away from the edge to prevent them from being pulled off by a small child.
· Do not deep fry a turkey inside the house. Make sure the deep fryer is away the house and out in the yard. Make sure that the turkey is completely thawed before placing it in the hot grease. The hot grease will spurt out causing the cook to be severely burned as well as start a fire.
· Have the emergency numbers as well as poison control listed by the phone.
· Place a baby gate to block the stair to prevent toddlers from getting hurt.
· Place an additional gate to block access to the kitchen.
· Make sure that all hallways are clear to prevent a guest from falling.
· Make sure that all interior lights are working.
· Have hand rails in place so that seniors and children will not fall when ascending or descending the stairwell.
· Have non-slip strips installed in the tubs and showers.
· Place a lock on medicine cabinets and areas where cleaners are to prevent a curious child from being accidentally poisoned.
· Walk all your guests through your home fire escape plan.
· Make sure that all guests know how to activate the emergency panic buttons on the security system to dispatch for police, EMS and fire.

Written by Jim McNeely Life Safety Specialist for Power Home Technologies, the #1 Vector Dealer in the nation. To reach Jim go to http://www.whensafetymatters.com/

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Don’t Let Criminals Make You the Thanksgiving Turkey!

You want to make it grandma’s house on time and the last thing on your mind is being the victim of crime. Often, people spend more time planning the Thanksgiving day menu than they do in planning measures to keep their families and possessions safe. Criminals know that where there are distractions because of upcoming attractions that opportunity to score becomes much more prevalent. Taking a few simple steps in advance of your departure could be the difference between coming home to find everything safe and sound or finding an unwanted and unexpected surprise of being burglarized. First, we must deal with truth verses delusion. The delusion that crime only happens in certain types of neighborhoods is the type of folklore that leads to good people experiencing bad situations that rob them of their dignity and their possessions. The truth is with an unstable economy crime will rise. Some people feeling the strain of diminished finances will resort to criminal activity. Drug use also rises during times of recession. The key question to be asked is how the individuals who are cash poor and drug dependent can afford to feed their addiction? The answer is a simple one, they look to take from others. The next question raised is will it be you? If you apply these common sense strategies the likely hood of you becoming a victim will be tremendously reduced.
The first priority in home security is eliminating access by making it difficult for potential criminals. Prior to leaving, perform a security sweep of your property. Think like a criminal. If you were them, how would you get into the home? Look for tools that may be lying around. Make sure that all windows are locked and the screens in place. Put up any lawn furniture and remove the propane tank from your gas grill because criminals could use it to break out a window or glass pane in a door. Make sure that all bulbs in motion lights are working properly. Make sure that your crawl space door is locked. If it has exterior hinges replace the screws with headless screws. If you have an exterior storage room where the hinges are located outside, replace with permanent hinges or reinstall the door so the hinges swing inward. Prior to leaving do not discuss your plans in public. Criminals are everywhere. Stop your mail; but this is not enough, have a trusted friend or neighbor make sure that they go by the home and pick up unsubscribed mail circulars that usually accompany a big commercial holiday. Never leave a voice message on your voice mail that says that you are away. Have your interior lights set on a timer. Call the police department and ask them to patrol your neighborhood and let them know when you expect to return. One of the best deterrents for preventing a home burglary while you are eating turkey and enjoying football is to have a home security system installed. A home security system with two-way voice communication and cell phone back-up, which provides a fail safe if the phone line is cut, is the best type of alarm system to have. Make sure that the company you select has more than one monitoring call center. Make sure that the call center is UL certified because some small alarm companies may be monitoring with a computer located in their home. You get what you pay for. So whether you are looking to secure a home in Durham, Raleigh, Goldsboro, North Carolina or Dallas, Texas or anywhere in the world applying these tips will allow you to enjoy your stay away.

This article was written by Jim McNeely, Life Safety Consultant of Power Home Technologies the #1 Vector Security Dealer in the nation. If you live in Central or Eastern North Carolina and need a security consultant to speak to your community or association or you need a home security system installed go to http://www.whensafetymatters.com

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shattered, Scattered and Unseen- A poem about burglary

A house sits with its back to the woods
a portrait of civility, peace and good
from the shadows evil draws nigh
Crowbar in hand, arm raised high
In an instant the window pane smashed
the flutter of wings and peace is dashed
From the scene all wild life flees
and resorts to the safety it finds in the trees

Written by Jim McNeely
http://www.whensafetymatters.com

Friday, September 5, 2008

Rape Prevention Tactics and Techniques

Through a Rapist's Eyes (No Joke)

This is important information for females of ALL ages. A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:
1) The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. Theyare most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or otherhairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

2) The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly Many of them carry scissors around specifically to cut clothing.

3) They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through theirpurse, or doing other activities while walking because they areoff-guard and can be easily overpowered.

4) Men are most likely to attack & rape in the early morning, between5:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

5) The number one place women are abducted from/attacked is grocery store parking lots.

Number two: Are office parking lots/garages.

Numberthree: Are public restrooms.

6) The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to another location where they don't have to worryabout getting caught.

7) Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 yearsentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.

8) If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that goingafter you isn't worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9) These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it.

10) Several defense mechanisms he taught us are: If someone is followingbehind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: 'I can't believe it is so cold out here,' 'we're in for a bad winter.' Now you've seen their face and could identify them in a line-up; you lose appeal as a target.

11) If someone is coming towards you , hold out your hands in front ofyou and yell STOP or STAY BACK! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she wouldnot be afraid to fight back.Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

12) If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes), yell I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

13) If someone grabs you, you can't beat them with strength but you can by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind,pinch the attacker either under the arm (between the elbow and armpit) OR in the upper inner thigh VERY VERY HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was tryingto date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands - the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it - it hurts.

14) After the initial hit, always GO for the GROIN. I know from aparticularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy's parts it isextremely painful. You might think that you'll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble and he's out of there.15) When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using muchpressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

16) Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware ofyour surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see anyodd behavior, don't dismiss it, go with your instincts!!!You may feel a little silly at the time, but you'd feel much worse ifthe guy really was trouble.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body.If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. Learned this from a tourist guide in New Orleans . If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away fromyou....chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/orpurse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THEOTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the backtail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating,working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list,etc.) DON'T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF,repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your bodyin a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot or parkinggarage:

A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger sidefloor, and in the back seat.

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from thepassenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and thepassenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car,you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get aguard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid thandead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells arehorrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYSRUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times.And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zigzag pattern!

8. Women have a tendency to be sympathetic: STOP! It may get you raped or killed. Ted Bundy , the serial killer, was a good-looking,well-educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspectingwomen. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police toldher 'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way,whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night. Please pass this on and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby ----This should be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana.

If you have an installed home security system press the police alarm button and wait for the police. If the system has two-way voice the responders will come over the intercom, tell them what you have heard and wait till the authorities arrive. Honeywell systems monitored by Vector Security are a great choice.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pre-Planning For Hurricane Hannah- 72 Hour Disaster Readiness Kit

Pre-Planning Save Lives, Be Prepared
Damage reports from Gustav are still being collected. In a 24 hour period, the projected path for the eye of Hurricane Hanna ranged from central North Carolina to the Outer Banks. Ike and Josephine are stacked up in the Atlantic like jets looking for a place to land.
As hazardous weather conditions approach, we need to be prepared. A key survival tool for all households is a 72-hour kit. During natural disasters, emergency responders may not be able to assist as quickly as they do under normal conditions due to hazardous travel conditions and/or increased call volume. We must be ready to take care of our families and ourselves.
“Now is the best time to make sure that you have at least a three-day supply of essential items as well as crucial information ready for immediate use or transportation if needed,” said Colonel Frank Montes de Oca, Director of Orange County Emergency Services.

To be prepared, consider storing the following items in your home. Some of the same items should also be stored in your vehicle.
RECOMMENDED 72-HOUR EMERGENCY KIT
Prepare a minimum three-day supply of essential items for each person and any pets in your home. Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. The kit should be in containers or bags (such as backpacks) that are durable, waterproof and portable for possible evacuation or relocation to an emergency shelter if necessary.
Battery-operated radio/TV
Flashlights and extra batteries
Drinking water (1 gallon per person per day), stored in clean plastic containers with tight-fitting screw-cap lids, and other beverages
Canned food, manual can-opener, and cooking fuel such as sterno
Medications and prescriptions and contact information for family physicians
Special food and supplies for infants, elderly people, diabetics, etc.
First-aid kit and first-aid manual
Fire extinguisher
Bedding supplies, sanitary supplies (toilet paper, feminine supplies)
Cards, books, small games, road maps
Clothing, rain gear, sturdy shoes, extra glasses or contacts
Credit cards and cash, extra set of car keys, insurance policy numbers
Picture ID
List of important family information, style and serial numbers of medical devices, such as pacemakers
Food, water, medications, toys and carriers for all household pets
Monitor local media outlets for critical news and advisories. Additional preparation and disaster information can be found on the Orange County Emergency Services Web site: http://www.readyorange.org or
http://www.co.orange.nc.us/ems/documents/All-Hazards-Guide-2006.pdf
The American Red Cross, local power companies and state and federal emergency agencies provide preparedness and survival information. Check their websites for additional information.
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org
Duke Energy: www.duke-energy.com
Progress Energy: www.progress-energy.com
NC Department of Crime Control and Public Safety (CCPS): www.nccrimecontrol.org
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): www.fema.gov

Monday, September 1, 2008

Assert our right to bear arms but keep your family safe from harm

For many asserting the right to bear arms is like apple pie and the ballgame, a way of life. Many people use guns as their means of providing personal safety protection for themselves and their families. However, safety for children should be the principle concern when owning any weapon. Any firearm should have a trigger lock. The weapon’s ammunition should be stored separately and both the ammunition and the firearm should be kept in a locked cabinet or drawer. Children are inquisitive and they should be taught that guns are not toys and that if the encounter a gun to leave it alone, and tell an adult.
Another key component to firearm safety is to protect the firearms from being stolen when you are away from home. Make sure your gun cabinet is bolted into the studs of the floor. Place the gun cabinet inside of a closet. If a home security system has been installed place a door contact or sensor on the closet door that is set for instant alert both when you are home and away so you can be certain that no one enters that restricted area without you being aware of entry. The alarm system will activate an audible alarm and if it is a false alarm, simply give the alarm company your special pass code and the authorities will not be dispatched. Having this set-up will assert that it will be very difficult for an intruder to obtain your firearms and use them in the perpetuation of a crime.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Child Proofing Your Home Office

A new baby creates a great sense of joy and pride. They are the reason we work. They are the future leaders of tomorrow and the continuation of our family heritage. When the home business was started the dreams of self-management were often intertwined with having the freedom to spend more time with the kids and be able to adjust our schedule to see more of the important aspects of their lives. When infants become toddlers their inquisitive minds create a myriad of security challenges. The safety of these precious gems is always paramount but it only takes a second of distraction for catastrophe to occur. Here are some simple tips to help child-proof your home office.
· Place power strip covers on power strips.
· Install outlet covers
· Place pencils, pens, scissors and letter openers in a locked drawer.
· Install an overhead lock on the door to the office
· Make sure computers and objects are pushed back from the edge of the desk so a child can not reach up and pull it off.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CPI’s 3 year automatic renewal clause creates shock and outrage

Imagine calling CPI your local alarm company to cancel service because you are moving out of state. You have been with the company for three years. You believe you are at the end of your agreement. The customer service agent tells you that your agreement automatically renewed for the initial term and it was stated in your original agreement. You are outraged and demand to speak to a supervisor. The only thing you want is t be treated fairly. This is at best deceptive and dirty tactics played by a company desperate to retain customers at any and all costs. You can not transfer your service because they do not provide service outside of North Carolina. The supervisor tells that he needs to send a technician out to the home to check the condition of the system and to have you sign some cancellation form. You agree to let the technician come out. When he arrives he takes the master control board that runs the system and the yard sign. He states that CPI maintains ownership of the board and yard signs and decals and that this fact was also stated in your agreement. They want to guarantee that equipment that you believed you owned can not be used or monitored by any other company. Now you are fuming and are determined not to be taken for a ride. Why should you pay for service you are not receiving? Why should you pay for a whole three years of service you can not receive because they don’t offer it in the state you will be living. You decide that you are not going to pay. You proceed with the sale of your home only to discover that during the lawyer’s title search that there is a mechanics lien placed by CPI for the full three years. This guarantees that they will receive their money. A great experience with the quote un quote number 1 company in the Carolina’s.
You may wonder why the security sales representative never told you about this, because he seemed like such a nice guy. The fact is he probably is, but he is a captive agent that signed a non-compete that prohibits him from working in the industry for one year if he gets fires or resigns. So with the decision to feed his family or not to feed his family he doesn’t disclose. CPI was once one of the most respected security companies in the market place. These new agreements erode the good will they had spent years building. Good service, well trained reps that are taken care of will ensure that the company could retain and attract clients. As long as there current plan of business operation continues, let the purchaser beware.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Uncommon Fire Safety Tips & Facts

· Most home fires originate in the kitchen.
· Leaving food cooking unattended is the leading cause of home fires.
· Electric ranges have a higher risk of fire but gas ranges have a higher risk of fire death.

Cooking Oil should never be left on the stove attended. Unattended cooking oil left heating is the number cause of home fires. It only takes a few seconds for oil to overheat. Knowing what to do if a grease fire occurs is the key to avoiding catastrophe. When a grease fire occurs do not under any circumstances attempt to distinguish with water. Cover the fire with a lid and turn the element off. If you do not have a lid douse with baking soda. The most important element a person should have in their kitchen is an ABC fire extinguisher. This should be placed in plain site so it will be readily available in an emergency situation.
Turn pot handles to the inside so they can not be grabbed by a young child causing a serious burn or fire. Keep the top of your cooking range clean. Build-up on the stove can cause a fire. Clean your oven with a self cleaning spray. Remove large chunks prior to using self cleaning spray to prevent these items from catching fire. Should a fire arise in the oven do not open the door and attempt to extinguish. Turn the oven off and call the fire department.
In conclusion it is vital to have a schedule to check your smoke detectors as well as a home fire escape plan. Monitored fire sensors that can detect the presence of cold smoke and a dramatic rise in heat temperature are vital in protecting pets and possessions when you are away from the home as well as when you are there.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Scams Targeting Seniors

Grandma it’s me scam is a scam that targets very elderly seniors. The scammers use young people to commit this rouse. The scam works this way. A phone call is placed to the elderly target and begins Grandma it’s me! Don’t you know who I am? The senior will then volunteer a name and the scammer plays along. The scammer posing as the grandchild tells the elderly person that they are some sort of trouble and need money. The make the senior target promise not to tell the parents and to keep the whole thing a secret. The senior then wires money to the scammers. The average loss ranges from $200-$2,000.
Another scam targeting seniors is the Medicare discount card scam. Seniors are called on the phone and offered huge discounts on prescription drugs if they purchase a special Medicare discount card. The scammers get the senior target to disclose credit card and bank account numbers along with other personal information. The scammers then use the account information to withdraw funds from the accounts.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Crime Prevention from Home Invasion

Most people have seen a newsreel piece where the front door of a home is kicked in and the occupant of the home is overwhelmed by excessive force and violence. This is a home invasion and it’s sad to say that there are people in society that are so heinous and callous that they willingly commit these atrocious acts. Unfortunately, police can not anticipate who will commit these acts or when they will strike. One thing is certain; most people are not prepared to successfully endure such an ordeal. The purpose of this article is to provide valuable information as to why home invasions are on the rise: identify which segments of society may be at risk, and provide valuable life safety techniques that will fortify your property and make it less attractive to home invaders.
Home invasions have risen as robbers that would normally target a retail outlet find that retail establishments pose a far greater risk of police apprehension. Retail stores are more likely to be equipped with video surveillance devices and alarm systems. Most stores keep limited cash on hand and have silent alarms. This makes the home far more attractive to criminals looking for an easy score.
Home Invaders select their targets for many reasons. They may follow a person home because of perceived wealth, the car they drive, jewelry they wear or simply because of their looks. Women that live alone, people who live in remote areas, women in abusive relationships or going through a bitter separation or divorce could all be targets for a home invasion. Several other segments of society that may be at risk are the elderly and people that keep large sums of money at home.
If a person finds themselves in one of these categories they can implement these strategies to lessen their attractiveness to home invaders. Lock your doors, even when you are home. Have a peephole installed in your door. Install three inch bolts in the door strike. Have a security system installed with two-way voice ability: so the alarm company can hear in real-time what is happening during an alarm event. Have a cellular back-up unit installed in case the home line is cut or disabled. Make sure to have an alarm system that can be armed when you are in the house. Always check to make certain your windows are locked. Have windows installed with night lashes that prevent the window from being opened past a certain height. This prevents someone from crawling in. If you do not have night lashes and your windows are wood framed drill a screw several inches above the lower window into the side sash. Have motion lighting installed. Don’t open your doors to strangers unless they have identification. Verify the information and report any suspicious activity to the police.


For additional information on security related items see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7Sn2yz6TW4

Securing Your Home From Burglars During Vacation

With the vacation season coming into full swing it is imperative to protect your home from thieves that are looking to prey upon the mistakes that people unconsciously make that leave them vulnerable. One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is planning more for the vacation than they do in properly planning the protection of the home they are leaving. Make sure to stop all mail and newspaper deliveries. Have a friend to check daily for unsubscribed newspapers and brochures left by sales companies marketing their wares. Make sure to hire a lawn company to keep your lawn groomed. Check your motion lighting to make sure the bulbs are working properly. Place several lights ontimers in your home to give it a lived in feel. Tell a law enforcement officer that you will be gone for a period of time. Make sure that any your security system is working properly. It is important to test your system to make sure that every device is working properly. If there are any locks or windows that are broken have them fixed prior to leaving. If you have high bushes that block windows have them trimmed. If you have an alarm system and it is not monitored, get it monitored by a UL certified alarm company. If you don’t have an alarm system, have one installed. Many alarm companies can install a system with free equipment and installation as well as provide comprehensive monitored fire protection as well. One such company is Power Home Technologies the nations number 1 Vector security dealer.