Thursday, February 26, 2009

Principal Saves Teacher's Home From Fire

NJ Principal, Jill MacIntosh, probably never imagined fire fighting as a career path. As she drove to work on Tuesday, she observed flames from a trash can, in close contact to a home. She stopped to alert the homeowner of the danger. The home just happened to a third grade teacher at her school that was out on maternity leave. Washington Street Elementary school where Miss MacIntosh is Principal has a hero. The fire was caused when the husband of Wendy Yorke, the victim of the fire, put ashes from a wood burning stove in the trash can. The only damage to the home was to the garage. The Yorke family is very fortunate that this incident was not much worse.
When discarding ashes from a hot wood burning stove, it is essential to douse with ample amounts of water. It is also important to clean out the chimney as well.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When Fire Hits Close To Home

My last two blog post have been about fire safety. I felt that this topic needed to be revisited because so much is lost because it is simply overlooked or forgotten. On yesterday I was blessed to speak to a group of middle school children about my profession as a life safety specialist. The purpose of the program was to encourage children to see the possibilities that awaited them and to instill practical applications they could use to uplift themselves for greater achievement. One of my major points was the necessity of home fire drills. When I asked the class if they had ever participated in a fire drill at home, no one raised their hands. There was no response when asked if they had fire extinguishers in their homes. Only one child knew that you could not extinguish a grease fire with water. One child thought you could blow on an electrical fire. They did not realize that there was a difference between smoke detectors and CO2 detectors. This was not their fault. They simply had not been taught. Lives are at stake everyday because there is no guarantee that we will not be the victim of a fire. Knowing how to deal with a life threatening situation could be the difference between life and death. It was an honor to speak t these kids. They were enthusiastic and inquisitive. I believe they left armed with information that could save their lives. Little did I know that the importance of fire drills would hit home so quickly.
Before the day was over I received a call that informed me that one of my son’s best friends had been the victim of an overnight fire. The family lost everything. The child not only attended the same school that I spoke at, he also spends at least two weekends at my home per month. I had never spoken to him about the importance of a fire drill. Thank God he survived with his life. Tell someone about the previous blog post that talks about how to perform a fire drill, we might save a life.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The fire drill you fail to do could cost you!!


When it comes to fire drills we all did them during our formative years at school, but most people have never instituted a family fire drill. It is something that is reasonably important, yet time is never made to put it in place. A fire drill never planned and left to chance is a disaster waiting to happen. It can not be assumed that everyone in the home will immediately awake when the fire alarm sounds. It can’t be taken for granted that all the occupants will know where to meet. Assuming that no one will reenter the burning structure is also wishful if they have not been taught and drilled not to go back inside. How to exit the home is also important. Who will call the fire department is vital, along with the whether or not you should attempt to fight the fire or not.
Performing a fire drill is relatively simple. First assemble all occupants of the residence. Draw out a sketch of the property, highlighting the exits. Assign someone to check all smoke detectors to make sure they have new batteries and are working properly. Make sure that each level has a smoke detector. Have an individual check to make sure that all exits are clear from obstruction. It is important that there are no boxes or other items blocking the exit path. Instruct occupants to sleep with the door closed. If they hear the sound of a fire alarm, get up and feel the door to check if it is hot. If it is hot then do not open it. It is important to have a ladder rope so a trapped occupant can exit through the window. If the door is not hot, then open the door and duck walk to the nearest exit. The purpose of the duck walk is due to the fact that dangerous smoke rises, and if you are tall and stand straight up you will inhale more toxic smoke which will render you unconscious. Do not attempt to crawl, because heavy toxins from burning carpets and rugs could impair you. Small child or adults below 4’ 6” should stand straight up. Once outside, everyone should assemble in the front of the home. This is where the fire department will arrive.
No one should reenter the home until the fire department clears you to go back inside. When performing the fire drill, have a person assigned with a whistle to perform the drill at anytime during the next week. When the whistle is blown everyone should drop what they are doing and proceed to the nearest exit and meet in the front of the residence. The person assigned with the whistle should also time how long it takes to exit. Periodically executing fire drills at different times, including at night, will add true value because it will more closely simulate real conditions. If there are children or teenagers that reside in the residence, it is important to note that studies have concluded that children often do not wake from the sound of conventional smoke detectors. Smoke detectors that alert by calling out the persons name have been proven to get better results. A fire detection system tied to a monitored home security system with two-way voice will perform this function and alert the fire department. This type of system is also useful in aiding elderly residents that may have limited mobility and medical conditions.
Another important item overlooked when planning for a fire, especially with renters is fire insurance. Renters insurance is very inexpensive. When renting the items placed inside the structure you are renting are not covered by the owners insurance. This is a fact not known by most people. Two great companies to call nationwide are Liberty Mutual and State Farm. Quality agents to call in North Carolina are Lydia Matthews and Pam Herndon. Their respective contact information is (919) 401-1550 ext 56562, Lydia.matthews@libertymutual.com for Lydia Matthews and (919) 240-0155, pam@pamherndon.com for Pam Herndon. For more information on fire drills and how to obtain monitored fire protection click, http://www.whensafetymatters.com or call (919)949-9690. Monitored fire devices will result in reduced insurance rates for homeowners having these devices installed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Photoelectric smoke sensors a modern day necessity


Fire safety is something that is often overlooked and forgotten, but a single incident has the ability to take your life or the life of someone you love. Photoelectric smoke sensors have the ability to detect the presence of cold smoke as it enters the photoelectric chamber, located inside the sensor. The smoke entering the photoelectric chamber impairs the light entering the chamber and when it reaches a certain density the fire alarm is triggered. The advantage of a photoelectric smoke sensor is its ability to detect the cold smoke, without a dramatic rise in heat temperature. Photoelectric smoke sensors can detect a smoldering element prior to combustion. This ability may minimize the amount of damage done to the structure and provide additional time to escape due to quicker detection. Photoelectric smoke sensors should be used in conjunction with heat sensors that will detect a quick elevation of heat caused due to combustion. When photoelectric smoke sensors are incorporated into a monitored security system, the advantages are immense.
Monitored smoke sensors are tied into a central facility that can dispatch fire and rescue twenty-four hours a day, everyday of the year. When you consider the fact that a fire doubles in size every twenty seconds, the quicker the fire department is alerted and dispatched is critical to getting anyone trapped inside rescued and the fire extinguished. Honeywell, a leading security manufacturer, produces photoelectric smoke sensors that are combined with a built in heat sensors, and when these sensors are tied into an alarm system that has two-way voice it becomes extremely more efficient. Two-way voice monitoring allows the alarm monitoring company to hear what is transpiring during an alarm event in real time. Should a person or pet be trapped inside the home during a fire the two-way voice module allows the monitoring call center to not only hear what is happening but to also directly communicate with the trapped individuals. They also relay information to the fire fighters dispatched to the scene.
The most important thing all homeowners and renters should do pertaining to fire safety is to check the existing smoke detectors and make sure they are working properly. It is also critical to perform a family fire drill. For information on obtaining monitored photoelectric smoke sensors or alarm systems in North Carolina call 919-949-9690 or go to http://www.whensafetymatters.com.

Friday, February 20, 2009

False Alarms Aren't Fun and Games

False Alarms from malfunctioning security systems are a huge drain on police forces and the communities they serve. To account for false alarms police rosters must have sufficient personnel to respond. This increases the number of manned hours that must be allotted to the city or municipal budget to cover this expense. When budgets are being cut, and there is a shortage of necessary funds to provide equipment that would aid law enforcement in more efficiently curtailing crime, false alarm response is serious plight that must be dealt with. It should not be a burden only carried by law enforcement and the tax payers, but it is a responsibility of alarm companies that have installed the equipment.
Causes of false alarms are numerous and could range from pets setting off motion detectors, faulty contacts that trigger an alarm, faulty glass break sensors and lack of customer response from alarm monitoring center when an alarm is activated. The cities and municipalities in many locations access fines for false alarms that result in law enforcement, EMS responders or Fire personnel arriving on the scene of an alarm where it is determined that there was no emergency.
The city of Raleigh, NC accesses fines in this manner. The first false alarm will result in a written letter of warning detailing the further consequences of fines. The second fine in a calendar year will result in a $50 fine. The third though fifth false alarms will result in a fine of $100 per occurrence. The sixth and seventh false alarm is a fine of $200 per occurrence. The eight and ninth occurrence will result in a penalty of $300 per incident, and every false alarm from the tenth on is accessed at $500 per incident. The fines must be paid within thirty days or a $25 late fee will be added. Any unpaid fine that goes over ninety days is turned over to a collection agency. This raises the question of culpability and how responsible should alarm companies be in alarms that result in false alarms?
Clearly, the alarm industry does share some blame. Many alarm companies use the cheapest equipment and provide little training for technicians that perform the installations. Cheap equipment will malfunction. Many companies produce large revenues by providing service for malfunction security equipment. Their alarm agreements include trip charges and service fees and other labor expenses that increase their bottom line. Alarm companies that put profit first and the customer last are largely responsible for the escalation of false alarms. Companies that employ seasonal labor that canvas door to door offering free security equipment, and are willing to install the same day are contributors. Often the seasonal laborers are college kids with one or two days worth of training. They may be unlicensed and completely unaware of the manufacturer and industry standards of the equipment they are selling. The installers working for these companies cut corners by using tape to secure wireless contacts, and motion detectors, and often devices are improperly programmed. These are all contributing factors, but there are viable solutions to these problems. Homeowners should avoid these companies at all costs. Companies that operate under this model are First Line Security, Apex, APX and Northstar.
Companies such as Vector Security, Power Home Technologies, Priority Security, and Triangle Security provide two-way voice communication services that allow the monitoring call center to hear what is transpiring during an alarm event. This feature greatly reduces false alarms because verification can be made. On one way systems where the alarm monitoring company is unable to hear what is happening inside the residence during an alarm event may result in false alarms because the homeowner can not get to the phone to abort the alarm. When the alarm company can address the situation over a speaker microphone and also hear if someone is inside they are able to dispatch according to verified facts. Vector Security, which provides monitoring services, and has an established history of excellence, utilizes a unique four part program to curtail false alarms. They are the only company in the United States to have a false alarm rate under 1%. Their four part program mandates the use of high grade equipment from only approved manufacturers. They require strict training of all installation personnel. Every representative is required to be proficient in the equipment they use. Finally they require training of each end user that they provide monitoring for. If a false alarm is triggered that results in the police, EMS or fire personnel arriving where there was no need, an investigation is immediately triggered. The installing company and the end user which may be the homeowner or business owner will both be brought into the process. If the equipment has failed, an assessment is made as to whether it was installed according to the manufacturer standards. The equipment is replaced. If it was user error, then the user will be retrained so that the situation will not repeat itself.
Another, element that eliminates false alarms is the automatic reporting feature that is now available on newer alarm panels made by Honeywell. Honeywell equipment is the preferred provider of the companies previously listed. Automatic reporting allows the system to send a status, or system diagnostic report to the monitoring at certain intervals to assure that everything is working optimally. False alarm reduction can be achieved, when companies put the needs of the clients and the community first and employ the standard listed above. This will foster stronger relations with law enforcement and the city and county government. With the assurance that a security system will not result in fines and fees, homeowners can provide the necessary security to protect their families and possessions.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Security Cameras Instrumental in capturing Lola Nye's assailants


Police were able to arrest two suspects in the beating of eighty year old, Lola Nye, after viewing video captured by surveillance cameras located on Orrum Middle School directly across the street from the victims home. Montrexe Daytoria Blue, 16, was arrested and charged with attempted first degree murder, burglary, larceny of a motor vehicle, and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and felony conspiracy. A second assailant, age 14, was also arrested whose name was not released.
Sunday February 15, 2009 a state trooper found Miss Nye’s vehicle submerged in a swamp several miles from her home. He pulled the registration from the glove box, and upon arriving at her home found her badly beaten in a pool of her own blood.
Nye was transported to a local hospital and was alert and able to speak to investigators. She is listed in serious condition.
The most shocking element in this crime is that her assailant was a teenage girl. It is rare enough that crime infiltrates a small close knit community, and when it does it is usually petty crime. This incident forecasts a shadow of an ominous transition in society and its youth. The core strength of small towns was their ability to keep outside influences out. This is no longer the case. It is a true fact that gang activity has dramatically increased in small towns across the United States. The lure of fast money and a smaller police presence makes these towns attractive for the criminal element. There once was a time when residents of small towns boasted that they did not lock their doors at night, and that they never locked their cars. Sadly, many residents still do. The social contract, of doing your neighbor no harm, that once held the community tightly knit together has been torn in pieces and it will be difficult to patch it back together.
Lola Nye, as an eighty year old senior citizen, deserved respect and not the horrific scene that played out at her home on Sunday. Luckily, she survived. In Durham, NC Lois Cannady was not so lucky. She was murdered when several teenagers broke into her home and shot her as she was dialing 911. There are still those amongst society that respect our seniors and look to the good of humanity, but their task of passing their values on to the next generation is far more arduous. In the meantime, security measures must be taken to assure the capture and conviction of the individuals that chose to live outside the lines although security cameras will not prevent the crime they will capture it and it will help in making a positive identification that will lead to apprehension and conviction. It is not enough to rely on these cameras to be placed on commercial and government building, but they are a necessary element in the home as well. This is especially true in the homes of seniors.
Far too often have seniors been the victim of scams and other crimes that not only threaten them financially but physically. Surveillance cameras can work as an all seeing eye in capturing the scum that preys on these gems of society.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wedgie Thwarts Car Thief


Yvonne Morris, a Salt Lake City resident and Brickyard animal hospital technician, used a middle school prank to thwart a suspected car thief from breaking into a co-workers car. Morris chased the man down grabbed his boxers and administered a stern yank while applying a headlock. Morris held the man until the police arrived taking hi into custody. The man was booked on suspicion of breaking into a vehicle, possession of stolen property and other outstanding warrants.
The suspect has to be the most embarrassed thief in history. I’m sure he knows that he is the butt of many late night jokes. Surely, a stacked crack leads to convictions. This post hopefully cracked you up.

Keys Crack Caper

Thomas Ferkler, 43, allegedly was smart enough to circumvent a burglar and surveillance system and steal $400,000 of drugs from a Philadelphia, PA pharmacy but careless enough to leave his keys dangling from the trunk of his car. The car was parked outside the pharmacy and a neighbor called law enforcement when he noticed the keys hanging from the trunk. The police found a gym bag with Ferkler’s name and address along with other stolen drugs inside. Ferkler is currently being held on $100,000 bond for the February 1, 2009 pharmacy burglary.
Too often it seems to take dumb luck to catch criminals who are ingenious enough to plan and orchestrate an elaborate heist such as this. Sooner or later luck will run out, and this true because it applies to the criminal as well as the victim. The pharmacy should be commended for having security. However, having security is much like having brakes on a car. If they have been on the car for a substantial period of time are they still adequate? All surveillance systems must be upgraded from time to time. Yes it cost money, but isn’t money well spent? Large claims assessed on to insurance companies result in escalating rates for all policy holders. This is true whether it is a business or a home. Pushing our luck is applying the attitude that I never thought it would be me. Look in the mirror, Ferkler never thought he’d get caught and the pharmacy never thought they’d be hit. They both were wrong, and we all have to pay.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Criminals Breakthrough Walls to Score Loot


Criminals in Maricopa County Arizona have stepped their game up. They have resorted to breaking through exterior wall of homes to bypass the alarm system door and window contacts. The assertion that criminals are not intellectually astute is completely false. Many burglars possess a high degree of intelligence. The problem is that they apply their cognitive skills to illegal activity. The fact that these burglars know the basic design of how many security systems are laid out, makes them incredibly dangerous.
Many big name alarm companies offer a simple basic package that may include 2 or 3 contacts and a motion detector which is placed in a trap zone of the home. These basic systems are only a launching point for a complete set-up, however; this is the security that many people have. Criminals, such as the ones in Maricopa County Arizona, target specific areas and know that they can gain access without being seen because they use the weaknesses of the security set-up to the detriment of the homeowner.
The criminals are selective in which homes they target. With the housing market having more homes empty because they are for sale, means that conventional neighborhood watch programs will not work because there are no neighbors to see what is transpiring. An occupied home next to an empty one that backs up to a wooded area is especially vulnerable. The empty home and the wooded area to the rear provide the necessary cover for the criminals to work undetected. Homeowners do have options to protect themselves. These options include exterior and interior cameras set-up to record activity. If a home already has an alarm system it needs to be reviewed to make sure that it is adequate to detect an intrusion, such as someone coming through a wall. If you are a North Carolina resident with a current set-up you may qualify for a free system upgrade. For more details go to http://www.whensafetymatters.com and enter your request on the contact us page. If you are located in another state leave your information and information regarding companies that offer this service will be sent to you. The worst thing a homeowner can do is nothing. If the home does not have a security system one needs to be installed. Residents of North Carolina can go to the aforementioned site and receive $1,100 in free equipment, if qualified. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I have included a video showing the handiwork of the Maricopa County thieves. If you have found this information useful please leave a comment.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Burglar's Get Away Vehicle jacked By Victim!

Patrick Rosario, a 32 year old Washington State man, made sure burglars did not make off with his three flat screen televisions. Rosario, recently laid off from his job as a Washington Mutual manager, heard the burglars upstairs and slipped outside to call 911. he then saw a white van parked by the curb idling. Rosario, realizing that this was the get away vehicle, slipped inside and drove off. Rosario drove the van to a friends home. The burglars left the television, a laptop computer and jewelry at the front door and fled on foot, according to police.

These criminals got what they deserved. To steal from a person laid off from work is absolutely low down. With conditions with the economy being as they are more burglaries will occur and many homeowners will not be as fortunate. Sadly, the police have not made any arrests. This means that these thugs would likely strike again if they had wheels. It is my sincere hope that they are caught and thrown under the jail.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Prime Time For Crime-Burglary Poem

Between 10 and 3 a burglary,
wood shatters as he kicks in the door;
the type of crime I abhor.
The cycle repeats every 12 seconds,
without Vector Security your time beacons.
Better safe than sorry you'd have to agree,
especially when you can get home security practically free.
(by Jim McNeely)copyrighted

Identity Theft: Breaches & Laws


By: Bill Carraway, Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist


Examples of breaches that put people at risk for Identity Theft are so numerous we will only be able to cite a few examples here. There are also a number of laws that effect businesses and consumers, and though I am not an attorney I will mention a few things about these laws. For questions on the legal aspects of the laws consulting an attorney is a good idea (Pre-Paid Legal Law Firms have attorneys well versed in these laws and the NC Attorney General’s office can help with NC Law).

Some of the common breaches and incidents involve lost or stolen laptops, data bases hacked, inadvertent releases of information and just plain bad record keeping that puts information out. Identity Theft is also becoming the darling crime of criminals because so few TD Theft thieves are caught and prosecuted. Let’s start by taking a look at some examples.

A common type example is: (March 10, 2008) - - Blue-Cross Blue-Shield of Western New York says it is notifying tens of thousands of its members about identity theft concerns after one of it's company laptops went missing. Or, MEMPHIS — Two laptop computers containing data on 320,000 donors to Lifeblood, the Memphis region's blood bank, have gone missing and are presumed stolen, officials said Wednesday. Maybe even something like this: Updated Monday, January 28, 2008 12:59 AM Students' personal data stolen A university laptop containing past students' archived information and Social Security numbers was stolen from a faculty member while traveling earlier this month, potentially exposing 677 alumni who graduated between 1999 and 2004 to identity theft. Or more from TJ Max: The TJX data breach affected more than 94 million credit and debit card accounts, more than twice the number acknowledged by the big retailer, a group of banks allege in a new court filing. I could go on and on with examples but I think you get the idea.

There are also the incidents that are clear criminal activities and not just lost or possibly stolen information such as: 1. A former church office manager who stole more than $50,000 from Windward Unity Church and racked up more than $12,000 in debt on credit card accounts she opened in her daughter's name pleaded guilty yesterday to four counts of theft and three of identity theft, 2. An El Paso man was indicted Wednesday on federal fraud and identity-theft charges for allegedly stealing money from the bank accounts of 15 Marines who were deployed to Iraq. Edgar Alejandro Hermosillo, 24, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas, Nev., on one count of conspiracy, one count of wire fraud and two counts of identity theft, the indictment stated, 3. Database Administrator sells 8.4 Million Consumer Records for $580,000 A Database Administrator (DBA) at Fidelity National Information Services, a consumer reporting agency in based in Florida, made $580,000 over 5 years (So, no one noticed for FIVE YEARS), by selling stolen consumer records, according to Dan Goodin of the Channel Register, 4. SAN FRANCISCO ? The head of a major website that trafficked in stolen credit card numbers has been arrested and indicted after a 16-month investigation. Max Ray Butler ran CardersMarket, an online forum for people who steal, share or use others' credit card information illegally, according to the indictment and 5. OMAHA, Neb. -- TD Ameritrade said someone hacked into a database and stole contact information for more than 6 million customers. And finally a warning from authorities:
HOUSTON -- Everyone will be a victim of the fastest-growing crime in the United States, Houston police predicted. Investigators said they see about 1,300 cases of identity theft a month -- about 40 reports per day.

And then are the lawsuits, ID Theft is the next class action target, and other legal situations. Let’s look at a couple of these: How much compensation does a consumer deserve for the loss of a laptop computer loaded with personal information? Raelyn Campbell figures it’s $54 million -- if you throw in a little extra for lost time and frustration. Six months after bringing a damaged laptop computer into a Best Buy electronics store for repairs, and three months after the firm admitted losing it, Campbell filed the whopper of a lawsuit recently in Washington, D.C., Superior Court; (CBS4) MIAMI-DADE A South Florida woman started a class-action lawsuit against the giant clothing company chain, Gap Inc. after the company admitted computers containing the personal information of hundreds of thousands of job applicants were stolen; Over the past six months, more than 100 class-action lawsuits have been filed in federal courts against a wide range of retailers who have allegedly violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) of 2003. And these are the just the beginning, so if you have a business that has non-public information for customers or employees you are subject to the laws and you are in danger if you are not careful. Identity Theft and the breaches that lead to it are serious business and we all need to be vigilant and aware.

Federal Laws that spell out what a company must do are realistic enough to know that perfection is not going to be achieved. They do expect that reasonable measures are taken to comply and to protect information. More on that later, but in 2003 the FTC conducted a survey on Identity Theft and that survey said that in the five years since the Identity Theft Assumption and Deterrence Act of 1998 27.3 million American consumers were victims of Identity Theft. Almost 10 million of them were victims in 2002 alone. The costs and time in resolving these cases, as reported by consumers, was $5 billion and almost 33 million combined hours spent resolving the cases. Other statistics from the survey included these reports by victims: 67% reported that existing credit cards were affected; 52% discovered they were victims by reviewing their own accounts; 8% discovered the crime when they were denied credit; 26% reported they were alerted by account holders such as banks and credit card companies; 19% said that checking or savings accounts were breached; 15% said their information was used to obtain government documents, identification or on tax forms; and more. Of these victims 52% said they knew how their personal information was obtained and of them 25% said the info was stolen or lost. Only 4% of the victims said the theft of their information came from stolen mail, though it is important to note that ID Theft thieves will grab outgoing mail from mailboxes and get the information they need. A variation on this happens with college students who throw away pre-approved credit card offers without even opening them and then thieves search the dumpsters outside of dorms, get the offers, file a change of address, get the credit cards and run them to the max.

The main Federal Laws concerning identity theft are FACTA (The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, The Identity Theft Assumption and Deterrence Act, The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Graham- Leach-Bliley (GLB) AND Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). FACTA provides for free annual credit reports, rights to obtain free reports when denied credit and other circumstances, rights for placing of fraud alerts and security statements on credit files, allows for credit freezes and for businesses the all important FACTA Information Disposal Rule. EFTA sets out consumer liability and reporting timelines for incorrect files and fraud and the responsibilities of the institutions. FCRA establishes consumer protections and processes for correcting incorrect or fraudulent information on credit files. FCBA spells out procedures for consumers to resolve credit billing errors and fraudulent transactions and generally limits consumer liability for fraudulent or unauthorized charges on credit cards. FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using unfair or deceptive practices to collect debts and spells out rules they must follow when fraud or incorrect information is reported to them. GLB requires any company defined as a “financial institution” , and contrary to popular legend this involves most companies with “Financial Institutions” being defined as a business that is significantly engaged in providing financial services or products for personal, family or household use, to implement policies and procedures to maintain the security and confidentiality of personal information. And finally HIPAA requires ALL businesses with small self-insured or fully insured health plans, again contrary to popular opinion not just health care companies, to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and security of employee health information. And these are not the only laws as new red flag laws and a myriad of state laws also spell out liabilities and responsibilities down the line.

With the fast growing incidents of identity theft and the long list of laws is it any wonder that a service to protect oneself, their family and their business has become a necessity the same as providing for a home or business security system? It is also obvious that a plan to monitor and restore one’s identity that includes access to legal counsel has become imperative in this day and age. This entire area has now become the final segment of our lives that needs protection, just like we need auto, homeowners, health and business insurance. Protect your family and your business with a plan that addresses a complete solution and it is available for a very affordable cost.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

10:00am - 4pm prime breakin time: Could your teenager be at risk?


The majority of home burglaries occur between 10:00am and three pm. Criminals realize that most people work first shift and kids are at school. This leaves more homes completely unoccupied. Society has transitioned from neighborhoods where everyone knew their neighbor well to neighborhoods where people primarily keep to themselves. People are creatures of habit and are often lured into a false sense of security because they are unaware of crime that has happened in the community because they do not talk with their neighbors. This fosters a false sense of security. Homeowners fail to lock doors on cars, and their home. Windows are often left open. Middle school and High school kids that spend time alone at their homes are famous for security lapses. The idea of invincibility is stronger in teenagers and young adults than in another group. The attitude that bad things can't happen to them is what makes them a target for criminals. Loud music and the distraction of being on the phone makes it easy for a criminal to slip into an occupied home whose doors have been left unlocked. Sadly, many rapes and murders occur when a criminal is detected inside a property that they are burglarizing. A simple solution for parents and home owners in general is to install a Honeywell Life safety system with remote phone access capability. This feature allows a homeowner to arm and disarm their alarm system from a remote location, using any land line or cell phone. Another option is the Honeywell Total Connect System, that allows remote access control via a high speed internet connection or by text message.