Saturday, January 31, 2009

Your hardwired Alarm system may leave you exposed

The security system you got for free three or four years ago may be worth exactly that. Many security companies concerned about monitoring revenue and service profitability knowingly sacrificed public safety with inferior equipment and poor installation procedures. Clients may never realize that wire leading to door contacts and telephone lines may be tucked underneath vinyl siding or left accessible underneath a crawl space with an unsecure door. Just because the client doesn’t know this is no reason to assume that the criminals are not aware of these vulnerabilities. Wires that are easily accessible may be cut rendering the system inert. Burglaries are on the rise as the economy sputters and an unbiased analysis of your security system is necessary to have the piece of mind of knowing that the system is not vulnerable in this way. Even if the system is certified as properly installed the phone line may still be compromised and an upgrade to a backup GSM module would be a wise investment. If the phone line does not have a tamper module the burglar may simply open the phone box and unhook the main line rendering the system unable to communicate. The GSM module is a cellular module that is installed inside the security panel and is protected by the alarm system. This provides assurance that if a home burglary is attempted that the security system can contact the central monitoring station. This means that the police will be dispatched.
North Carolina residents can receive a no cost security evaluation of their current set up by registering at or by calling (919) 949-9690.

Friday, January 30, 2009

911 dispatch operater lays beat down on bride at wedding reception

Rodney King said it best after his famous beating in LA, "can't we all just get along?" Annemarie Bricker, aka pit fighter, according to witnesses and police laid a mixed martial arts beating on her sister on her wedding day. Bricker arrived at the reception for groom Nicholas Landry and sister and bride, Lori Knappes. Jeremy Glotzbach, a witness, claims Bricker, Porter County IND 911 operator, attacked Knappes on the front porch of the home. Bricker upset about not being invited to the wedding pulled Knappes hair, removing chunks and took her to the ground. Bricker, 23, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery. She claims in her defense that she only arrived to discuss family problems and that she never laid a hand on her sister. This is disputed by five eye witnesses. Bricker has also resigned from her job as a Porter County 911 dispatch operator.

Imagine calling 911 for service and being placed on hold while the operator pretends she's George the Animal Steele on a fellow dispatch operator for talking to loud. It is sad when people in positions of truth in the community betray the public confidence due to poor judgment.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Unmonitored Alarm Systems don’t fool burglars

It is sad that some people believe the unguided notion that an unmonitored alarm system will be enough to scare a burglar. The fact is the only one fooled is the person employing this strategy because they want to nickel and dime their own family. Alarm monitoring rates are incredibly affordable at about a dollar a day. This is money that most people blow on self defeating items every day, a cup of coffee, a pack of crackers or a soda. Money wasted on junk food could easily be invested for the protection of a person’s family. There is no excuse for risking the lives of those you love for selfish indulgence. The true reality is that crime is on the rise. Every twelve seconds someone’s life is shattered because the things they have worked so hard for have been taken by a crook with compromised character. Many times burglars encounter people at home and that leads to forty percent of all rapes and twenty five percent of all murders. To look into the eyes of someone you’ve committed your life to, or the innocent eyes of a child and make the conscious decision that they should be short changed because they are not worth a dollar a day is stupid!
There is no such thing as a completely safe neighborhood. No one is immune to the criminal element. Burglars can easily tell when an alarm system is unmonitored. Home owners with unmonitored alarm systems betray themselves because their body language as they enter the home conveys with an I don’t care attitude. They don’t arm the system. The keypad is often visible from the front door. Any dummy can see that the red light is not armed. Many times the alarm company sign is a company that is out of business, and the burglars know it. The only people out of touch are the delusional homeowners that employ the cheap skate route.
If you’ve ever experienced a burglary you will understand how violated you feel when it happens. You wonder why it happened to you. The gamut of emotions ranges from fear to anger. Picking up he pieces is hard. The best option for prevention is awareness. It means taking advantage of the available resources to make sure you have done all you can to protect yourself and your family. Many companies run special promotions where you can receive a basic system for free. Companies like Vector Security, ADT and Brinks. One of the best deals in the alarm industry for North Carolina residents can be found at

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cell Phone Hell- How your cell phone can compromise your personal and financial security

You may have never thought your cell phone could be used to destroy your credit and threaten your personal safety.
I never thought of this.......But a lady victim has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her mobile phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet...Etc... Was stolen.

20 minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says 'I received your text
Asking about our Pin number and I've replied a little while ago. When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief
had actually used the stolen cell phone to text 'hubby' in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

The crooks could also steal a cell phone and send a text message to a member of the family listed on the phone directory asking what the pass code to the security system is. When the family member sends a return text message the crooks now have access to the home.

Moral of the lesson:
Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc.... And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts,
CONFIRM by calling back. Also, when you're being text by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back,
To confirm that the message came from them. If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet 'family and friends' who text you.

* I never thought about THAT! As of now, I no longer have 'home' listed on my cell phone.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Criminals Target Sporting Events To Burglarize Homes

This gives us something to think about with all our new
electronic technology.

A couple of weeks ago a friend told me that someone she knew had their car broken into while they were at a football game. Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.

When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen.
The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean up the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.

*Key Install a home security system, they are affordable, easy to operate and worth every penny to prevent being victimized.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Could ShowTime’s Dexter give Rise to another former ADT security employed serial killer?

Showtime’s Dexter Morgan, the fictitious Miami Dade police forensic blood spatter expert and serial killer, always manages to elude detection much like Dennis Rader the former ADT security installation manager and true serial killer, best known as the BTK Killer. Rader, admitted to killing ten people over the course of two decades. BTK stands for his method of operation: blind, torture, kill. During the height of his crime spree he worked for the security giant ADT security systems. Rader was employed from 1974 until 1988. The fact that Rader worked within an industry that demands the public trust is almost unconscionable. Morgan, the new age dark hero, is lauded for his heinous exploits because he only kills serial killers that are a threat to public safety. The question is how can industries that preserve the public safety do a more efficient job of employee screening in order to weed out potential societal threats.
Every company takes a risk in its employment practices. However, more stringent standards minimize the risk and plug potential loopholes. The North Carolina Alarm board requires background checks that identify past criminal convictions that may bar an individual from receiving a registrant or installer license. With the standards set at past convictions there are no steps to uncover potential red flags that may jeopardize the general populous. Companies such as Guardsmark have an exceptionally high standard of employee screening that mirrors a federal background check. All Guardsmark applicants are subjected to a psychological evaluation, a lie detector test, drug testing and an intense criminal background that includes interviews with people in ones life dating back to elementary school. Alarm Boards across the country should pass legislation that follows this model to best assure that public safety is best assured. Lenient alarm licensing laws could allow a real Dexter Morgan or give rise to the next Dennis Rader and society can not afford for history to repeat itself. No value can be placed on human life so licensing standards should have the highest standards possible.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Burglars target cars to access homes

Your parked car could be the tool criminals use to access your home. Criminals are breaking into cars at an alarming rate. In many cases they are only stealing garage door openers. This may seem odd, until you several weeks later when your home is robbed. The criminals are able to acquire the home address from the car registration. Several methods of protecting yourself are to place your registration and insurance information in your wallet or purse. Carry your garage door opener in your purse or if you are a man place it in the trunk. The trunk of the car is much harder to access because of the lack of glass which is present in the main driving compartment.
• When leaving your car parked always lock your doors.
• When at the mall or shopping center park near the security cameras.
• Install motion lights on the home and park in the path of lights so they can detect any movement around them.
• Remove any items of value from the car such as spare change, compact discs, and GPS units
• If you have a garage move the junk out so you can park the car inside.
• Remove the pull cord from the garage door opener so it can not accessed by criminals that may break out the small window panes to gain entry.
• Install a car alarm and a home security system.
With criminals becoming more proficient by using technology and the internet to sharpen their skills, it is now more important than ever to make home security and safety practices a major part of your daily routine. If you find this tip useful please comment on this post and pass it along to those who could benefit from it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Our hearts go out to the mother of 2 year-old that died from fall in pond

It is always heart wrenching to deal with the untimely and unexpected death of child. Ramel McArthur seemed, from news accounts, to be a fun-loving, energetic child that was curious about what life had to offer. Sadly, his fight to sustain life ended on New Years Day, after battling from Christmas Eve fall into a pond in the backyard of his grandfather’s home. Children, even when supervised, can move so swiftly that their lives can be in jeopardy in seconds. They say time heals all wounds, but it is unlikely that the family will ever stop wondering what if? Blame should not be placed on anyone in this situation. All things that occur in life happen for a reason. Ramel’s life, although short, has a strong purpose. While he was here he fought to make it against the odds: being born premature. He outlived his initial prognosis by years, and lived everyday with jubilant enthusiasm.
As a Life safety specialist, I take from his life a renewed commitment to be an advocate for children. It is my intention to not overlook safety features such as splash guards for pools and door chimes on alarm systems to assist parents in knowing if their child is attempting to open a door or if someone has fallen into the pool. Often, we forget the frailty of life. Let all parents remember how precious their children are. Tell the story of Ramel to your children or grandchildren and let them become ambassadors of safety. Teach your kids to be joyous fighters for life and to always remember that every life has a purpose to improve the lives of others.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Intruder alert: does your home security system provide attic protection?

If you live in a duplex or house with an attic; the noises you hear may not be squirrels or raccoons, but intruders living just feet away from your living space. Without home security devices to detect this activity your possessions and life could be at risk. Stanley Carter, 21, made a list and checked it twice and his intentions were definitely naughty and not nice. Carter spent several days living in the attic of Stacy Terrance entering her living space through the attic door to steal food, clothes and electronic items he had written as his Christmas wish list. Carter was captured when Ferrance noticed footsteps in her closet where the attic could be accessed. She began taking notes of the items that were stolen and called the police. They brought in a K-9 unit and the dog was able to locate Carter. This is not the first time an incident such as this has occurred. Twelve Kosovo immigrants were found in June 2008 living in the attic of a rental property in the UK. Lee Carter, owner of the duplex, made the discovery when he went to inspect the property. The previous tenant had heard noises but thought it was an animal in the attic. In Japan, a man found a homeless woman living in his attic. The 58 year old single man who owned the property became suspicious when he had missing food. He installed a security camera and found images of someone walking around when he was away. He called the police and they discovered a 57 year old woman living in a space in the closet just big enough to lie down in. She had been living there for six months! The most pressing question that remains unanswered is how these individuals gained access to the attics and closets initially? Stanley Carter was staying with friends in the attached duplex and used the attic access of the friend’s home and then broke through the partition to gain access to the adjacent unit. In the case of the twelve immigrants in the attic in the UK, access was most likely gained during the time that the unit was unoccupied. The uninvited woman, who stole six months of free room and board, gained entry when the man took his trash to the street and did not lock the door behind him allowing her to slip in unnoticed.
With unprecedented hard economic times and the foreclosure rate on homes being at an all time high these incidents will become far more prevalent. The danger of having a complete stranger living in your home is not only eerie but almost unimaginably dangerous. The individuals could be felons, rapists, murderers as well as thieves. Home security is no longer just an amenity for nicer homes it is an essential element for all families. Several options to secure an attic are to install a home security system. The system should include an alarm contact to the attic door. This contact should be set for instant alert. If you already have an existing alarm system this element can be added. Contacts come in two types hard-wired or wireless. Adding a wireless receiver to the alarm panel will allow a wireless contact to be added to provide second or third story protection. Previously, motion detectors in attics were not feasible because of the dramatic temperature changes. Honeywell has introduced a new low temperature motion detector that would be ideal for an attic to provide protection in low temperatures. Home security systems are affordable and select companies like Vector Security offer specials with installation as low as $99 and free equipment up to a certain amount with approved monitoring contracts. Another home security solution for attic protection is to install security cameras. Security cameras that work off of motion and can record in low light are a perfect option. Install multiple cameras on the interior and exterior of the home. Perform a security sweep of your residence daily. Never leave your doors unlocked: even when taking out the trash or going to get the mail. Safety in today’s time should never be a secondary consideration. Access to the right information and the mindset to implement the information will keep you safe and secure.