Thursday, July 30, 2009

Loose Tweets and Facebook Updates Are An Invitation to Burglarized


You’ve waited nearly eight or nine months to take a special vacation or cruise. Your enthusiasm can barely be contained and you want share your experiences with all your Twitter followers and Facebook buddies, so you fire off a few lines that you will be leaving in twenty-four hours, details to follow. What have you done? You may have let the world, including the criminal element know that your home will be unoccupied, making it more susceptible to be burglarized. You may wonder how this could be. You never gave your address or phone number in a tweet or Facebook update. You did fill in a profile that told people what city you live in, where a somewhat savvy criminal could research the public record and find out your address. Many criminals employ the tactic of looking in the phonebook to see if a person has a listed number. They call the number and if no one answers they assume that the person is not home. They may go to the door and ring the doorbell, if someone comes to the door they concoct a story about looking for someone in the neighborhood or may ask for directions. This is done to deflect suspicion. When a person tweets about their whereabouts they place themselves at risk. If you tweet about a vacation do so after you return. Then you will be safe and the criminals can not gain an advantage. It goes without saying every home should have a monitored home security system, video surveillance cameras or both.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Perry Bigley Home Security Method

I was listening to the word famous sports talk radio host Jim Rome, who is the host of the syndicated show called the Jungle, when he gave his spin on Perry Bigley’s 911 call from his home after it had been robbed. Bigley arrived at his home at around 4am and found his storage door open, and proceeded inside to discover a man going through his DVD collection. Bigley was able to subdue the man without the aid of a gun or weapon, and while holding him down, calmly called 911. There were other burglars in the home that escaped with an estimated $11,000 in electronic equipment including six televisions, a laptop and stereo. What makes the story so interesting is Bigley’s demeanor as he places the call and explains the incident to the 911 dispatch officer and tells the perpetrator to please stop resisting. Bigley’s call got him worldwide recognition on the Jim Rome show and across the internet, but he could have just as easily been injured or killed. Walking into your home when you suspect that it has been burglarized is not advised. Bigley would have been better served to have called 911 from outside the home and alerted the police while observing from a safe distance away. He also could have taken down the description of the get-away vehicle and the license tag number. What would have really been great is if he let the air out of all the tires on the getaway vehicle.
It is not known whether Bigley had a home security system or not, but if he didn’t he sure could have used one. The Bigley method earned him his fifteen minutes of fame, but at an $11,000 cost, which will most likely be covered by his homeowner’s policy. Hopefully, he is big sports fan and a “clone” (follower of the Jim Rome Show) of the Jungle. If not, his fifteen minutes of fame is without significance. If there are others who are looking to follow in Bigley’s path as their own home security system, forget about it. Call a reputable local security company and have a system installed. If you are a North Carolina resident and a Jungle listener go to http://whensafetymatters.com and look under specials for a special offer.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Green Lighting Saves Money and Lives


Green energy efficient products have become the rage of the day. As people and companies become more conscious of being good stewards over life’s resources, the security industry has taken notice, and one of the most immediate and noticeable areas is security lighting platforms. Dark dimly lit areas around a home or building are places that crooks and thugs can lay in wait for unsuspecting people to rob, assault, or rape. Well lit areas are deterrents to criminal activity. Security motion flood lights are effective means of providing the necessary lighting to help deter criminal activity. Solar powered motion lights with LED lenses are a great way to save money on energy and installation of traditional hardwired security motion activated security lights. The solar panels charge the batteries which power the LED bulbs that are activated when motion is detected by the motion detector. Many of these lights have day light sensing mechanisms built in, which turn the lights of during the day allowing the battery to recharge. The lights can also be set to stay on for increments of one to five minutes per motion occurrence. Solar powered motion lighting can be placed in areas where there was no existing light fixture to retrofit. This saves hundreds of dollars in electrical installation costs. The most noticeable cost effective feature of these lights are in there energy efficiency. These lights run on the power of the sun, so they will not run up the electric bill. The LED bulbs have a usage expectancy of between 30,000 to 40,000 hours. Quality solar motion lights range in price from $40-$150 per light. When it comes to safely securing a home or business and green resources are important, solar powered motion detectors are the best way to go.

Monday, July 27, 2009

When burglars arrive with a knock at night


A client of mine came up to me at a meeting on last week, and thanked me for installing a security system in his home. The story he relayed to me sent chills up my spine. He and the members of his family were asleep, when he heard the doorbell ring. It was 2 o’clock in the morning. He thought that it was strange and ignored it. Five minutes later he heard someone kicking or pounding on his back door. He pressed the panic button on his security system and the perpetrator ran off into the night. He was thankful that the police were dispatched and that his family was safe.
We are now discussing surveillance cameras with night vision capability. These cameras are becoming more common place in homes to compliment security systems. The surveillance cameras often come with a DVR that can record the events of numerous cameras at once. They are often IP addressable allowing them to be viewed offsite from a remote location over a high speed internet connection. The best thing about camera systems, such as these, is that they help convict the thugs that commit these acts. Sadly, most people don’t see the need to take this step until something bad happens. The criminals are becoming more brazen and the need for security has never been greater.
It is an honor and privilege to protect my clients from the bad elements of the world. I would love to see a world where my services are not needed, but this will not be the case. I do believe that we can make a difference, not only in providing more security, building more jails, but by building better relationships and working with youth. If we can turn around just one child, other than our own, from falling under negative influences, we may prevent more homes from being burglarized than I will ever sell and install security systems to in a lifetime. However, just like alarm monitoring is an investment, getting involved in the community takes an investment of time and resources. What is given to the good of the community will come back multiplied. I encourage all my readers to get involved, because we can all reach someone. The only way we can fail is to not try.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Might as well jump/ a choice between life and pain


Imagine waking up to the sound of crackling wood. The sharp smell of smoke burns your nostrils and eyes. As your lungs burn from oxygen deprivation your crawl, gasping, toward the window. Your fingers fumble to release the latches. The seconds tick, as sound of yours fears broadcasts in your mind. At last the window is raised. You take in the sweet oxygen supplied by fresh air, and with all the strength you can muster, you scream for help. You don’t care about being cool or how in your moment of panic you’ll be perceived. What you’re wearing doesn’t matter. All that matters is your life and anyone else you dearly love trapped inside. How you wish you had wings that could lift you to safety, but you don’t. If ever you needed the help of God and man, you sure do need it now. You don’t hear the sound of sirens in the distance. What will you do? How will call for help? Even with a home or cell phone you still must dial 911, answer questions and wait. Every question answered takes time, time that allows the fury of the flames to grow. Every twenty seconds its size doubles, consuming more and more. How much time do you have left? To live you may need to take the plunge. Jump to save yourself. Can you in this state of panic and confusion jump, risking the possibility of broken bones or worst to free yourself from being cooked alive or asphyxiating from the nauseous smoke? No one should have to make this choice, but they do. Without proper fire protection, this could be you! These situations are real, and the need for monitored fire protection is paramount. In this situation you’d be lucky to awake, because in many cases the smoke renders the occupants of the home unconscious. They never wake succumb to fire’s deadly wrath.
No one wants this to be them. It’s hard to imagine. Properly protecting your home is paramount to assuring the best odds of escape. First, install a monitored fire system that has photo-electric smoke sensors; these sensors can detect the presence of cold smoke as well as a dramatic rise in heat temperature. Along with a monitored fire system, add two-way voice to the system. A two-way voice system will allow the monitoring call center to hear some trapped inside. When the smoke detectors attached to the security system are triggered, a signal will be sent to the monitoring facility. The monitoring facility representative will dispatch the fire department. The following video shows a true scenario of two brothers trapped inside a burning home. Listen, learn and act. Do not allow the sun to set without performing a fire drill. Purchase a rope ladder and an ABC fire extinguisher. Call a local alarm company and install a monitored fire detection system. North Carolina homeowners looking for a no cost evaluation of their home for fire safety can call 919-949-9690 or go to http://whensafetymatters.com. Imagine the peace of mind you will feel, knowing that you and those you love are sufficiently protected.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Top reasons realtors should have existing security systems reviewed


Top realtors are customer conscious first and are concerned for the overall well being of their clients. This single trait builds the trust that helps propel them to elite status. Realtors often overlook the need to counsel prospective homebuyers on the need to have a home with an existing alarm or security system reviewed for a potential upgrade. This is equally as important as changing the locks on the home, which is done to protect the homeowner from being victimized by someone having an extra set of keys that they were unaware of. Similar to a house lock, security systems can have extra security 4-digit codes that were assigned to other people that may not be erased. For this reason alone it is not wise to just activate the alarm system as is.

Another reason realtors should suggest a review of the existing alarm or security system, is that most systems are set up on a one size fits all model. This formula leaves many gaps in protection. Most scenarios that mass marketing companies employ is to provide a few door contacts and a motion detector, which is placed in a trap zone area of the home. A trap zone is an area that the burglar is likely to walk through. However, burglars are aware of this technique used by most big box security companies, and can get around it.

The existing burglar alarm does not take into account the unique needs of the new homeowner. The new homeowner may place a piece of furniture that may obstruct a certain device, and the device may need to be repositioned. The new homeowner may have pets, making it necessary to address the motion sensor if one is present. The previous homeowner may have had a small pet and the pet immunity of the current motion sensor was sufficient, but the new homeowner may have a bigger animal or multiple pets. If this is the case the current set-up will not work.

The new homeowner may use a certain room as home office and additional protection may be necessary to secure that area. The new homeowner may have children and want to provide security protection to a child’s room, especially if the bedroom is on the first floor. Many homeowners may be divorced or separated and are concerned about child abduction, especially if there was violence involved or the divorce or separation was extremely bitter or contentious.

Another reason to review the existing system is that the layout of the existing system was exposed during open house showings of the home, making it vulnerable to potential thieves. This situation is multiplied if the floor plans of the home were placed on the internet, where they could be seen by anyone.
If the home is two-story, it is likely that there is no second story security protection, and if the master bedroom is located on the second level of the home it leaves it vulnerable to a wily crook.

A major reason realtors should suggest the need for a security system review, is fire safety. If the home does not have monitored fire protection the homeowner the homeowner is being deprived of a vital benefit that could protect his or her family. House fires claim the lives of more people in the United States than all other natural disasters combined. Most homes with security systems, even if the have a fire device in the main living area, do not have a heat or smoke detection system in the attic. Without attic protection, the occupants of the home are vulnerable to not being alerted if the home is struck by lightning and the attic catches on fire.

I would encourage all realtors whether in Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Goldsboro, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, North Carolina or anywhere throughout the world to have homes they are selling with existing systems reviewed for the benefit of their clients. This will lead to increased trust, increased referrals, and elite status in the industry. Realtors and Homeowners throughout North Carolina can receive a free consultation of an existing alarm system by calling 919-949-9690 and mentioning this article.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Attics, lightning rods of potential fire disaster!


One of the largest threats to your family could be above your head, your attic. Most homes do not have any type of smoke or heat detecting devices in the attic. Attics are the highest point in the home, and lightning usually strikes the highest point. More and more homes have a furnace, water heater, or air handler in the attic. These items run off of electrical current or gas, which makes the situation extremely serious. In addition to these items, people often store unused items such as seasonal clothes, keepsakes, paint cans and other flammable items in the attic. If lightning were to strike and there is no monitored smoke or heat detection system the potential for disaster is greater than a fire in the general living space of the home. This is because smoke rises and will likely not be seen, smelled and detected by the smoke detectors. A fire in the attic has the potential to smolder for a long time before igniting. The fire is electrical and rain from the storm will act as fuel to spread the flames, because water conducts electricity. This is a fact overlooked by many people, when it comes to fire safety in the home.
Another scary thing to consider for protecting your attic is that if the fire ignites above your head at night the items in the attic could fall through the ceiling causing injury or death. The best solution to protect an attic is to install a monitored heat and smoke sensor that is connected to a central alarm station that will dispatch the fire department to the home. A monitored unit such as this will let the monitoring facility know the location of the fire in the home and will eliminate the need to call 911. This saves precious minutes of answering questions, before the fire department is dispatched. Seconds saved save property and lives. A fire doubles in size every 20 seconds and more deaths are attributed to fire than any other natural disaster. Monitored fire units are cost effective as a part of a monitored security system, and will often provide an additional discount on home insurance policies. When a monitored fire detection system is combined with 2-way voice it becomes even more effective. Two-way voice communication allows the alarm monitoring to broadcast to anyone in the home and hear in real time what is occurring. Studies have shown that people respond quicker to hearing their name called than to the sound of a smoke detector or audible siren. The quicker a person escapes a burning home the better. Don’t delay, protect your attic today. For additional information on attic safety and fire safety devices go to http://whensafetymatters.com.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lock Bumping Threat Make Security Systems A Necessity


Lock Bumping isn't just a threat, but a reality that leaves every home protected with just an ordinary lock vulnerable to unforced access and the theft of their hard earned possessions. The mechanics of most locks have been around for centuries. These locks work on a pin and tumbler system. When a criminal uses a key that has been altered so that the valleys have been filed to the shear line, it creates a bump key. The key must match the manufacturer original key blank. These key blanks can not be obtained unless you are a registered locksmith, so criminals will file a key down that matches that particular lock brand. The reason bumping works is due to the mechanics of the lock mechanism. When a key is inserted in a lock, the pins that match the valleys of the key are aligned allowing the lock mechanism to turn. When a bump key is used it is inserted one notch from full insertion and then struck, which forces all the pins to jump slightly and with slight pressure on the key allows the lock to open. Trusting a regular lock is not enough. Some simple solutions are magnetic locks, or locks that work on a disk system. However, the best solution is a monitored security system because it can dispatch the local authorities, even if the door is kicked in.