Monday, November 30, 2009

Someone’s always home. I don’t need a security system. How wrong you are!


The presence of someone at home is not a logical reason for not having a monitored home security system. Although a person holding this view may be aware of the fact that burglars try to avoid homes that are occupied; home security systems are much more than burglar deterrent devices. With state of the art fire devices and medical emergency features home security systems are an essential part of a home safety plan.
Most homes only have the bare requirements when it comes to fire safety. Ionization smoke detectors are the norm. These detectors have been shown through numerous tests to be slow to react to smoldering fires that emit a large volume of smoke. A much more effective smoke detecting device is the photo-electric smoke sensor, which detects this type of fire. When this type of sensor is integrated with a monitored home security system with two-way voice communicating capabilities it will notify the monitoring facility and dispatch the fire department. The two-way communication will allow the monitoring facility to hear what is happening in real time inside the home, so the fire department will know if someone is trapped in the home.
The fact that most homeowners fail to check their smoke sensors and don’t have a home escape plan an investment of a few dollars is money well spent to protect the ones you love. Another critical reason to have a monitored home security system even if someone is always home is protection when a medical emergency arises.
This is where I must get real with you, a medical emergency can occur anywhere at any time and the phone may not be with you. How many people take the phone to the bathroom, or with them as they mow the lawn or shovel snow? The answer is very few. Should a medical arise and the phone is down the hall or inside the home and you are outside, without a monitored medical pendant you could lose your life. Life is too precious to be penny wise and pond foolish. Most people take some type of medication making the need for a security system totally essential. Saying that you can’t afford it is just an excuse.
Another critical reason to have a security system, even if someone is always home, is the ability to alert the police in the event of a home invasion. A small key chain remote with a panic alert can be used to alert the police should a home invader burst into your home and stick a gun in the face of someone you love. Even if you did not have a keychain remote the security system could be set for instant alert and if the door is kicked in the alarm will automatically be triggered.
One thing to be aware of is whether or not your security system has been programmed with a dialer delay. A dialer delay creates a time delay between the time the audible alarm is triggered and the signals from the panel reaching the alarm monitoring station. Many major companies, like ADT Security Services, use dialer delays. This makes this type of system less effective in a home invasion situation. Several Companies that do not use dialer delays are Broadview Security, Power Home Technologies and Vector Security. If you are a North Carolina resident and would like additional information on security costs contact me through http://whensafetymatters.com or at 919-949-9690.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Protecting Your Credit Card during the Holiday Shopping Season


Thieves are patrolling shopping malls like big cats in search of prey. One of the biggest crimes committed during the holiday season is identity theft and credit fraud. Here are a few noteworthy tips that will keep your cards safe.
• Always keep your credit or gift card close, do not let it out of your sight.
• Never write your pin number on the back of your card.
• Shield your card from roving eyes that may attempt to capture your card number by using a camera phone or by memorization.
• Only carry cards that you need.
• If you are shopping online make sure that the site is a secure site. Look for the gold lock at the bottom of your web browser to make certain that the site has a Secure Socket Layer.
• If you are uncertain about the security of the site, call the vendor and give the card number over the phone.
• Never send your credit card number by email.
• Keep good records.
• Do not purchase gift cards from online auction sites. These sites are known for fraud.
• Only buy gift cards from the store issuing the card or from a secure retailer’s site.
• Always examine your gift card. If you see a Pin number on the back ask for another card, because someone may have copied the number and pin and used the card.
• Always keep your receipts.
• Register your gift card on the store’s website.
• Never give your Social Security Number or birth date when purchasing a gift card.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Safe Shopping Tips


You'd better watch out; you'd better not cry, use some shopping sense. I'm telling you why - cause criminals are coming to town.

The holiday shopping season is now upon us, and this is a time of increased criminal activity. Durham Sheriff, Worth Hill offers some valuable tips to help keep you safe during this time of year.

• Shop with a group. There is strength in numbers. A lone shopper is the best target for theft.
• You learned this when you were young. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Let them know what you are wearing and what you are driving.
• Shop during daylight hours. If you shop at night park in well lit areas and look for security cameras.
• Dress in casual clothing. Do not wear high heels or flashy or expensive jewelry. Try not to be overloaded with packages.
• When carrying cash keep it in your front pocket and not in your purse. Keep our car keys in your front pocket to prevent a pick pocket from stealing them.
• Always observe your surroundings. If you see something suspicious report it.
• Have your keys in your hand when you approach your car, and check the back seat before getting in.
• Don’t leave packages in your car where they will attract a criminal’s attention.
• Carry a purse with a strap that can go over your head and rest on your shoulder to prevent a purse snatcher. Another tactic is to place your purse around your neck and carry it in front of you.
• Be cautious of anyone approaching you that you do not know. The key to safety is awareness and not letting your guard down. Always observe your surroundings.
• Don’t be talking on a cell phone while you are approaching the mall or heading back to your car. Wait till you are inside the store or safely in your car.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for a security escort to your car.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Green Energy Solar Surveillance Security Camera


Yes it is possible to have video security surveillance that is green energy compliant. GE has created a wireless solar security camera that is powered from solar energy cells. The cameras are color with built-in motion detection capability. This 2.4 GHZ camera system is water and weather proof with 150’ range from the receiving unit. The system has the ability to be viewed on any television that has A/V connections. The camera can record both video and sound. Another important advantage to these cameras is the fact that the receiving unit is capable of supporting up to 4 cameras. The receiving unit can be interfaced with a DVR to record camera activity. The system is not IP addressable but does have considerable advantages including an affordable price of under $350 per camera unit.

Green Energy cameras such as this allow cameras to be placed in areas where it might be impossible to run cable. These cameras will save on energy consumption costs, and if used around a home or small retail establishment and prevents a single theft or deters a single robbery the system will more than pay for itself. For additional product information and installation costs of this product call 919-949-9690.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Advantages of Motion Lighting over Continuous Lighting


It is a well known fact that burglars hate lights and loud noise, but which lighting source should you use to protect your property? The answer to this question depends on the application. It is commonly thought by many that continuous lighting around the home is the most viable means of deterring would be criminals, but the saying that less is more truly applies in this case. Most residential break-ins occur during the daytime making continuous lighting a poor choice for burglary deterrence.

When a continuous lighting source is used it creates the exact opposite effect on burglars making it easier to gain access, because they realize that neighbors will most likely shield windows with heavier drapes and window treatments to block the glare of the intrusive lights. Another disadvantage is the fact that continuous lighting raises electric consumption. In a time when people are looking to go green as well as save energy to reduce expenditures and save money motion detection lighting is a better option and is a greater deterrence to burglars because of the element of surprise and the fact that it triggers a desired response from neighbors.
Motion detection lights come in several forms including features with dawn to dusk settings that allow lights to deactivate at dawn and come on at dusk. The lights can be set to stay on for pre-set time limits, and the sensitivity level of the motion lens can be set to bypass small animals so as not to disturb neighbors. When the light is triggered neighbors will be stirred to look out the window and take note of what is happening. This happens because they have not been conditioned to ignore a harsh continuous light source. They will most likely be awakened because they are not conditioned to having a light shine in their window and will look outside to see what triggered it. There are motion lights that are solar powered that can be installed where there is no light fixture. This type of lighting also reduces the costly electrical expense of running wire and installing a hard-wired light. There are also no electricity costs for operating the lights because they are powered by sunlight during daylight hours. Continuous lighting does have its place in providing measures of safety and criminal activity deterrence.

Continuous lighting on street poles to illuminate the street is an effective use of this sort of lighting. This allows drivers to see the road more clearly and be alerted to any nocturnal animals that may scurry in front of their vehicle. When it comes to criminal deterrence continuous lighting on the street allows neighbors to get a clear visual of someone that may be attempting to break into a car parked on the street. Continuous lighting on the street level also works well to illuminate potential hiding spots that a mugger or robber might use against someone on an early morning walk or run. When looking to illuminate areas around the home another viable solution would be to place lights on a timer. These lights can be set to come on at a pre-set time before you come home and then be set to turn off at a pre-set time as well. This type of lighting can also be scheduled through certain alarm systems that use X-10 lamp modules. The lights can be programmed through the panel or instantly activated by pressing a button on a keychain remote.

Anytime a continuous light source is used around the home it is best to use a soft or lower watt bulb because extremely harsh lights create deeper shadows in adjacent areas creating opportunities for criminals to hide or gain unlawful access. One of the best things a person can do to truly alert neighbors of an actual emergency, using an identifiable light source, is to integrate a strobe light to their security system. If a criminal breaches an area of the home that is protected with a security device the audible alarm and the strobe light will be triggered. The monitoring facility will be alerted and the police dispatched. The strobe light will allow neighbors and responding law enforcement to quickly identify which house is in need of assistance. This is especially important when house numbers are often obscured. For a free quote on setting up a security system such as this call 919-949-9690 or go to http://whensafetymatters.com.