Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Domestic Abuse, Home Security and Self Defense

Domestic violence is a horror that is experienced by 1 out of 3 women across the globe. Within the United States it is estimated that between 4 and 6 million women will experience an act of physical violence this year. These statistics are horrifying, because no person deserves to live under these conditions. Life is precious and every act of violence committed against women and children is an atrocity that should not swept under the rug. According to the research I have done anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, including men. The largest demographic are women. Up to 35% of women that arrive in the emergency room of hospitals have experienced the terror of domestic violence. There are resources available for the victims of violence to get help. One such resource is the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224. There are also local domestic and sexual abuse such as the Durham crisis and Response center whose number is 919-403-6562. It almost goes without saying that the local police and sheriff departments are valuable resources as well.
A resource seldom discussed or explored is the home security industry. A home security system installed with two-way voice communication protocol and glass break technology is a huge asset when an act of physical violence occurs within the home. When the alarm is triggered it activates an internal microphone that enables the alarm monitoring facility to hear in real time the events that are transpiring inside the residence as they dispatch the local authorities to the residence. The glass break sensors are valuable because they can be programmed to be always on. If the abuser causes a glass or loud crashing sound to occur within the vicinity of the device it will trigger the alarm. Within Vector Security monitored systems there are no dialer delays, meaning that there is no time lag between the time that the alarm is triggered and communication sent to the central station as is the case with many systems including ADT’s. Installation of an alarm system is very affordable. For information on how to receive up to $1,100 in free life safety equipment with the features listed above call, 919-949-9690 or go to http://whensafetymatters.com.
Even if you are not a victim of domestic abuse you can still help by donating an old cell phone to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence by going to http://www.ncadv.org/takeaction/DonateaPhone_129.html . These phones will be activated and enabled to only call 911. The partnership between the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the wireless industry is called the Call to Protect program. It has existed for the past seven years and has provided a life line between victims and the police.
Finally, whether we are victims of domestic violence or not we could all encounter a situation where our physical bodies are in jeopardy. It is important to know what to do in order to give yourself a chance to escape. I do not claim to a self defense expert but I have included this Krav Maga video because it depicts a real life situation that anyone could encounter and defensive maneuvers that could save your life. The link can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VDbjFBciJE

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hiding a key under a rock is like living under a rock!

Most people have experienced the unfortunate and unsettling experience of being locked out of your home. In order to prevent this, many people have resorted to leaving the hidden key. The key so secret that know one knows it but you. The truth is everyone knows it. People have more similarities than differences and this leads to what I refer to as redundancy. What is done by others is also repeated in the actions of others. Growing up in a small town, most people did not lock their doors and everyone knew where the spare key was to everyone else’s home. This was largely due to a strong sense of community where everyone knew everyone else in town. As I have traveled I have seen more people move from the small towns into more densely populated areas, where there is not a strong sense of community. People may live next door to each other for years and not know the name of the person living next to them. The problem is they still practice the things they learned in small town America. They don’t lock their car doors, leaving items of value in plain sight and expect them to remain there untouched. Often they leave their door to the home unlocked and have the nerve to utter this fact in public around complete strangers. When they do lock the door, they want to make sure they can get back in if they are locked out. So they hide a key. “Wink wink!”
The top places people hide a spare key are:
• Under a rock
• Under a doormat
• Above the door
• Beneath a potted plant
• Taped to the bottom of a mailbox
• Behind an outdoor thermometer
• Inside a lock box with a numeric code
Most hidden keys are in the front of the home where there retrieval can be easily observed by any unsavory character. Most likely, if you are key hider you see yourself somewhere in the above list. There are numerous dangers in hiding a key.
• Burglary, unforced because they had a key.
• Assault: You could walk in on an intruder and be physically accosted.
• Rape: Sadly this happens during some burglaries gone bad. You can never undue the emotional stress caused by such a heinous act.
• Murder: twenty percent of all murders occur when a homeowner encounters an intruder in the home.
Solution: leave the number of a reputable locksmith hidden in one of the areas listed above, and call them if you are locked out. Another viable solution is to give a key to a trusted friend or relative that lives close by. Call them when in need, that’s what friends are for.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

When Mama Fell Vector Security Was There

Mama still felt good at 77 years of age. She lived alone, was active in the church, and enjoyed her family and grand children. She drove where she wanted but limited her night time driving due to diminished eye sight. For a woman her age her health was good, only taking high blood and cholesterol medication. She had never felt unsafe in her neighborhood, but she had heard about a few incidents of car break-ins. She dismissed it as kids with no respect for the things of others. In her words, “They needed an old fashioned butt whipping.” Her children had brought up the need for a home security system several years back, but she had not acted on it. Until the day she heard about the lady who lived on street over, that while sitting at home watching Oprah heard a noise at her back door. As she came from the bedroom she saw the door wide open and a man standing in the doorway. She screamed and fortunately for her, the intruder fled.
Mama made her decision to investigate security systems. After researching several companies like ADT, and Brinks she chose Vector Security. She was impressed with monitoring call center’s credentials. Vector Security having a Five Diamond Central Station Rating, UL certification, and a less than 1% false alarm rate nationwide, gave her the assurance that she was selecting a top notch company. She was most impressed with her representative who took the time to explain the benefits of the system and customize it to fit her unique needs.
When the representative demonstrated the two-way voice feature that allowed the monitoring call center to hear all over her home during an alarm emergency she was sold. The representative provided her with a medical key fob that allowed her get help during a medical crisis. She never new how important this feature would be.
Several weeks after the security system was installed, Mama felt a bit under the weather. As she rose from her chair and headed to the bathroom she became light headed, lost her balance and fell to the floor injuring her hip in the process. Dazed and in pain she was unable to rise to her feet, but thank God for the medical pendant. She pressed the button and a friendly voice came over the intercom, providing assurance and letting Mama know that help was on the way.
Mama had a full recovery largely because of the installed Vector Security System and the great professionals in the monitoring center. Mr. Jim McNeely deserves special praise for the gift of providing the medical pendant at no charge because he saw the need. I would encourage every person with a mother or father that is aging to install a Vector Security Security with these features.

Maxine, Mama’s daughter

To Claim your Free Vector Security System call
(919) 949-9690
Or Go to Http://whensafetymatters.com

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rutgers University Study on Alarm Systems concludes their effectiveness in crime reduction

After five years of studying comphrensive data, the University Of Rutgers School Of Criminal Justice completed a study that concluded that residential alarm systems decreased crime. Prior studies has made the assertion that burglars avoid alarm system, but the Rutgers study is the first to focus on alarm systems while scientifically excluding other variables that could also be linked to crime reduction.
The study was performed using data from the Newark, NJ police department from 2001 thru 2005. According to the data there was a steady decrease in burglaries in Newark as the number of security systems increased. The author of the study, Dr. Seungmug a professor at Northern Ohio University asserts that the number of registered alarm systems in Newark coincides with the reduced crime rate.
To summarize the study findings the denser the concentration of installed security systems the lower the rate of burglaries. Another significant finding of the study was that neighborhoods with more installed security systems had fewer incidents of burglaries and attempted burglaries than neighborhoods with less installed security systems. The more than 300-page study was conducted over a two-year period and funded by the non-profit Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF). SCJ Professors George L. Kelling, Marcus Felson and Ronald V. Clarke and Professor Robert D. McCrie of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York were members of the study’s Faculty Advisory Committee. Dr. Clarke served as committee chair.
Studies like his are valuable resources to police, the alarm industry and other law enforcement agencies. The scientific thrust of this study provides credibility to the alarm industry’s claims that alarm systems reduce crime and aid and benefit law enforcement.
For more information on alarm systems go to http://whensafetymatters.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

APX Alarm Security Systems Runs afoul of the Law

The aggressive and unsavory tactics of Utah based APX Alarm Security Systems have landed them in hot water with the Maryland Attorney General’s office. Over 1200 people who purchased security systems from APX last year are entitled to a full refund because their representatives were unlicensed. The Maryland attorney general’s office began investigating when it received numerous complaints regarding the ploys used by APX to high pressure sell homeowners into purchasing security systems from them. The Maryland Attorney General’s office received complaints that APX representatives forcefully pushed their way into homes uninvited and forced their canned presentations on customers. Letters were sent to 1267 customers of APX informing them of their right to receive a refund. The customers must return a written form in order to receive a refund.
According to a representative of APX, representatives from Virginia crossed into Reston County, Maryland and solicited business. It is their claim that they did not know that there were licensing requirements for alarm salespeople in the state of Maryland. This is not the first time APX has been fined for employing these same tactics. APX has been fined by the North Carolina Alarm Board as well. According to people familiar with Maryland law the contracts signed by customers of APX with unlicensed representatives may be voidable.
According to a settlement reached between APX and the Maryland Attorney General’s office, APX will not process contracts from representatives that are not licensed in the zip code of the customer listed on the contract. This sounds feasible but let the buyer beware; it is possible that they could leave that part blank and have the contract signed by someone who is licensed.
APX markets for quantity not quality. Customers seeking security services should use respectable companies that are a staple of their communities. Check with the Better Business Bureau, The Chamber of Commerce and check the company’s online reputation. Ask for ID, and don’t be forced to sign anything. Get customer testimonials and research the representatives. Because there is a lag between when a person applies for an alarm license and when it is approved a homeowner could still be at risk of having a criminal in their home. Companies like APX that are driven by number of contracts sold, may employ the use of this loophole to reach quotas at the expense of the general public’s safety. I am not saying that this is the case, but the buyer should be cognizant that is is a possibility, and that they or another company may use this ploy to procure business.
According to the Attorney General’s office of the claim notices sent out as that time only 15% wanted to keep their security systems. This speaks volumes!

50 Best Safety and Security Blogs

The list of the 50 best safety and security blogs by Forensic Science Technician is out and Home Safe Home has been given the distinguished honor of being listed #1 in the Home Security category and #11 overall. I would like to thank the selection committee for seeing the value in this publication. I would also like to thank the readers of the blog for their comments and loyalty. It is my feeling that this recognition is as much yours as it is mine. Thank you for the honor of being able to add value to your lives, in my quest to make the world a safer place to live.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Beware of the Guise of the White Panel Van

Homeowners should be on the lookout for white panel work vans pulled into a driveway of a neighbor’s home. Homeowners throughout the triangle have become victims of this ploy used by burglars as a cover to gain access to homes. White panel vans are a trademark of contractors including painters, handymen, and landscapers. Burglars have targeted homes with long driveways that sit back from the road as well as homes in cul-de-sacs. These homes provide additional seclusion that is used by burglars to avoid detection.
One victim of these burglars was a woman in Orange County that watched as someone drove into her driveway, exited the vehicle then rang the door bell. The perpetrator then kicked the door attempting to force entry. Fortunately for her alarm system was on and she grabbed the rear door, which was set for instantaneous alert, and opened it, causing the siren to be triggered and the monitoring center called. Other victims in Cary, NC were not as lucky. The crimes usually occur in areas where there is a perception that crime never happens. This gives these criminals an upper hand, because no one is on alert. In one incident a teenager was home alone when the crook attempted to break in. She was able to run to a neighbor’s home and call the police. The criminal got away.
If you see a white panel van in someone’s driveway call the police and have them check it out. Get involved by having a heightened awareness. Install a security system; they are too affordable to not have the security you deserve for yourself and your family. To get more information about home security systems call 919-949-9690 or go to http://whensafetymatters.com.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Criminals aren't Stereotypes

The criminal dressed in all black with a stocking cap on his head is a fictitious embellishment of the old cat burglar. The dark costume of cat woman slinking around in stealth in the dark makes for great story telling, but it is a far cry from reality. CPI Security’s commercial, touting that there are bad men out there, not smart men is based on half truth. The criminal arrives during daylight hours dressed in all black, in long sleeves during the summer. He looks completely out of place. He uses the front door as the access point and is in and out in 3 seconds. First, criminals blend in. They appear to be a part of the community. The average criminal is a Caucasian male between 15 and 28 years of age. That was the only truthful part of the commercial. The all black costume may play on the fears and stereotypical perception that some people have that, burglars don’t just wear black, they are black. It’s not a far reach for a company to play on a misguided perception for financial profit, especially in an industry that employs a very small percentage of African Americans. The purpose of this post is to inform the general public, so that they will not become victims due to false information. When the criminal enters through the front door and the alarm is automatically triggered, should make any person with some knowledge of security systems laugh out loud. The front door is most likely the primary point of entry, so the door most likely has a delay to give the homeowner time to enter the home and enter a code to deactivate the alarm. If this is the case there is no way that the alarm would have been activated in the time frame shown.
Real security should be based on fact, not fiction. The real facts are that most home burglaries occur between 10am and 4pm. This is the time that most people are at work. Criminals rarely use the front door as the entry point, because they will be seen by people passing by. The criminals will appear to belong. They may be dressed as a jogger, contractor, or ordinary Joe. The last thing they will do is standout. People rarely suspect a criminal to look and act like them. That is the element that allows most burglaries to go unsolved. Security systems are important. Selecting the best company should never be based on a slick marketing scheme, but on experience, contract review, better business bureau report, customer testimonials, quality of equipment, warranty, and price. There are good companies but they may not mass advertise. Good companies, like a good doctor, don’t relay on ruse or deceptive marketing tactics to gain a share of the market. They treat people right, by providing the highest degree of competence and exceptional customer service.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

ADT, Always Marketing-Not Always There

A great marketing campaign can be a perfect cover to overshadow risky alarm practices. Most people would be appalled if they knew that their alarm system was installed with a dialer delay, which means that there is a time lag between when the alarm is triggered and when the system dials out to the monitoring center. The fact is most people don’t know that this is standard practice on ADT installed alarm systems. What most people see are commercials touting the “always there” theme. Perception creates some people’s reality. If it’s on TV it must be true. The logic behind this belief is absolutely false. With a dialer delay if a person is forced inside and made to shut off the alarm system, even if the alarm has been triggered, during the initial fifteen seconds of alarming no call will be made to the monitoring call center. You will not receive a return call from the monitoring facility because they did not receive the call. This is shameful. ADT will tell its customers to enter a special ambush hostage code. The dial down the middle is known by everyone including the crooks. So this is no help. Don’t be deceived by slick marketing ploys; due diligence is essential to get the best deal.
A quick and helpful hint, Vector Security does not use dialer delays. To have an overview of your alarm if you are a North Carolina resident call 919-949-9690 or go to http://www.whensafetymatters.com.