Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tighter Security and Security Systems May prevent the Next Newtown Tragedy

The Newtown tragedy is one of the most heinous and egreous acts of violence I have personally ever witnessed in my lifetime.  Since last Friday I, like many, have wrestled with intense feelings of sadness and anger over this sensless and barbaric act.  The politicians and reporters have been quick to offer and adovacate for tighter gun restrictions as the answer to a problem with far deeper and complex origins.  Tighter gun restrictions, in my opinion, won't keep guns out of the hands of criminals, all it will do is keep certain types of guns of out the hands of some criminals.  Tighter gun restriction will not prevent the next mass shooting spree like the ones we are so frequently witnessing.  A major part of the solution lies in having tighter manned security, security sytems and access control devices.

Proposing that tighter gun restrictions won't keep guns out of the hands of criminals bears an explaination.  Break-ins occur every 15.4 seconds in the United States and one of the top items stolen is firearms.  Only 13% of burglaries are solved  and only 14% of the population has a monitored security system. 

If criminals want guns, the best place to get them is from the honest, hard-working folks that could pass an psychriatic or background check and have obtained their firearms legally - but didn't have enough sense to protect the guns and the public by having a monitored security system and a gun safe (bolted to the wall) that would deter and prevent burglars from getting them.

Security Systems are truly a great deterent because homes with security systems are  3 times less likely to be burglarized.  Security systems are only part of the solution.  A quality gun safe that is heavy and can be bolted to the studs in the wall is the next line of defense.  By having both criminals , criminals are less likely to get the firearms that could be used in the commision of a crime.
In order to get gun owners to comply, legislation could be passed that requires gun owners to have a monitored security system and a gun safe prior to obtaining a firearm.  Auto insurance is required before driving so why not having to put safety first befor aquiring a gun of any sort?

The Newtown tragedy occured in a school, so one would ask how could manned security, security systems and access control devices could play a role in preventing the next gun shooting tradegy?  Having magnetic locks on the doors that lead into the building would require anyone looking to access the building to be buzzed in or have the access code to the door.  Also, if a metal dectector was placed outside the building, manned by an armed security officer, like at the courthouse it is far less likey that a crazed individual could gain unauthorized access to the building.

Security Systems, Access Control Locks, and Security Guards are only a small part of solving the problem we collectively face.  The fact is there are many disturbed and deranged individuals in our society; getting to the root of their deep seated issues, along with being more security conscious and taking responsibility for our collective safety, is the only way we can quell the tide of the spree shooting madness we are forced to endure.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Could your Postman be the Reason You Were Burglarized?

You ordered some really cool stuff from, Ebay or Adam and Eve and you've eagerly awaited its arrival.  You got an email confirmation that it was going to be there on a certain day but when you arrived home there was no package waiting.  Is the Postman, UPS or FedEx guy the reason?  Is it possible that they said they delivered it but didn't or did they deliver it and it was a sitting and open target for an opportunistic crook?  The later is the most likely case?  Criminals will take the path of least resistance and if they can get some good stuff without having to break into a home they most certainly will.

The postman, UPS or FedEx guy isn't to blame- you are!  It is not the job of the delivery guy to provide security services.  There job is to deliver.  Now I realize that you have to work and you can't be home to receive packages.  So you may ask what could be done to assure that you won't fall victim to having your nest package scarfed? 

You can get a post office box or one at a UPS store that has a physical address and will be received by an individual and protected by their security.  This will cost you less than $18 a month.

The next option for people that can't afford or are too cheap to invest in a box at the Post Office or UPS Store, is to get a reliable neighbor that stays at home and have your packages delivered there.  Now this may be risky if you are having items delivered from Adam and Eve.  Imagine that getting out over the neighborhood list serve, but you get what you pay for.

The final solution is to get a security camera that is net-workable so it can be viewed from a remote location from a tablet, computer, I-phone or smart phone.  If a criminal knows that they are being recorded they are far less likely to act.  A camera will put you in control by alerting you anytime someone comes to the door by sending you an email or text message.  It may also provide you with the side benefit of alerting you to the fact that your teenage daughter is her boyfriend in the house while you and mama are away.  That alone makes it worth the investment.  So if you are looking for a cool Christmas gift that pays dividends, a remote IP camera is a great option.  Call 919-228-8361 for more details.

Chose either of the three options and assure that your packages will be there when you arrive, but don't blame the Postman, UPS or FedEx guy.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Top 10 Ways to Keep our Seniors Safe

Sadly, our elderly in society are not revered and respected as in times past.  This is evident with the inceased crimes against the elderly.  There are an increasing number of robberies, home invasions, burglaries and scams targeting the elderly.  The incident in Apex, NC where an 84 year old woman was taken at knife point and robbed is infuriating.  No elderly person should ever have to endure the trauma of having a weapon caring, drug addicted hoodlum threating to rape and kill them if they don't hand over their possessions. 

Criminals like the lions we watch in documentaries, look the the easy prey: the sick, young and elderly but our neighborhoods are not the plains of Africa and our seniors can not be allowed to be the prey of the day.  In order for our neighborhoods to be safe here are the Top 10 things we can do in our neighborhoods to stay safe.

  1. Use the buddy system:  There is power in numbers.  Always travel with a companion. 
  2. Carry a cell phone with the Bsafe app.  This app allows you to select guardians that will be notified if you press  the red SOS button.  You select guardians, which are people you know that will receive a text message that you are in trouble along with a map of your location.  One person will receive a phone call.  The app is free and can be downloaded to an Iphone or android smart phone.  It is available at
  3. Carry a whistle:  A cheap whistle is better than a yell.  Always have it with you and don't be afraid to blow it if you are in trouble.
  4. Don't talk to strangers; often criminals will try to befriend elderly people for the purpose of taking advantage of them.  If you don't know them don't talk to them.
  5. If you see someone suspious call the police.  Don't be afraid to make the call.  It is better to be safe than sorry.
  6. Look out for one another in the community, if there is a senor that has mobility issues pick up any distributed phone books or newspapers for them.  Check the perimeter of the home and make sure that nothing has been tampered with.  Also make sure you have their phone number and call and check on them daily.
  7. Use lighting; having motion lights is a great deterent to criminals.
  8. Cut any bushes that could provide hiding places for potential burglars.
  9. Have a quality security system installed with a special duress code in case of an attempted home invasion or robbery.  Call 919-228-8361 for a free assessment in North Carolina
  10. Install security cameras on the property.
By applying these simple, easy and inexpensive tips we can assure that our senior citizens can enjoy their golden years . safety is not something that we should take lightly.  For additional tips on how to stay safe download my free book, The Homeowners and Consumers Toolbox: Safety to Savings, Tips and Tools at Your Fingertips ( Click the link to download) 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top 5 Reasons To Get a Security System For Christmas

The Christmas holiday season is anticipated and waited on not only by children and adults who are looking to spend time with family, exchange presents, eat delicious food, but by criminals who seize the opportunity to the play the Grinch.  It is for this reason that I will reveal the Top 5 reasons to get a security system for Christmas.

  • Property crime tends to escalate between Thanksgiving and New Year.  Criminals realize that many homes will be unoccupied while people shop and travel and attend holiday gatherings.  As the old saying goes, "when the cat is away the mice will play."  A home with a monitored security system is 3 times less likely to be burglarized.

  • Fires also occur at a higher rate during the holiday season.  With Christams trees, lighting, fireplaces and exterior decorations plugged into outlets, and cooking of holiday meals the conditions for a fire emergency increase dramatically during the holidays.  A monitored fire system can quickly detect the danger and dispatch the fire department averting the tragedy that could befall you and the ones you love.

  • Medical emergencies also increase during the holidays.  EMS is often the busiest during the holidays.  Heart attacks are generally at their highest during the holiday season as people consume high fat, high sugar, and cholesteral filled dishes that clog arteries.  Having a security system with a medical alert button can assure that help will be on the way.

  • You may qualify for a homeowners insurance discount up to 20% off your existing rate.

  • You don't have to wait to put it on your New Years Resolution List .  By installing prior to the end of the year you can take advantage of great year end deals such as the Safe Haven Security-One Call Secures It All Special that includes a keypad, smoke detector, motion detector, glass-break detection, siren, mastercontrol panel, door sensors, cellular device and mobile app arming and disarming from a smartphone or computer for $99.   For additional details call (919) 228-8361

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why Black Friday is the Perfect Time for a Home Burglary

So you can't wait to go over the river and through the woods to get to Grandma's house to eat that turkey dinner with all the trimmings and the burglars can't wait to make you the holiday turkey.  So you may ask why is Black Friday, (the day after the Thanksgiving holiday) such a great day for home burglary?  Black  Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year.  Many retailers are smart enough to cut prices with a few leading items that have high market appeal to get you to stand in line for hours for a 3:00am store opening.  The fact that you are in line at the mall, and not at home provides opportunity and which is what criminals are looking for.

  • Burglars have an 87% of getting away with breaking into your home because only 13% of burglaries are cleared by police nationwide.  Talk about the odds being in the favor of the criminal; if placing a bet at Vegas had those type of odds for the consumer we'd all be rich. 

  • The deals are better at your house than at the mall.  A burglar doesn't have to wait in a long line to get a 60" flat panel television, a game system and some jewelry, all he or she must do is break into your inadequately protected home.  The five finger deal they get far outweighs having to spend their cash or using their credit to get your stuff for free.  If your security is lax they will probably get enough information in their caper to victimize you through identity theft as well.
Too many people leave statements and personal information that could be used against them eaily assessible to anyone that has or finds access to their home.

  • Malls have security you don't:  The local mall will have security cameras, security guards, deputies and other law enforcement officials looking for shop-lifters and other rouge elements.  However, your home is protected by a $20 lock and possibly a poor excuse for an alarm system.  If you don't have a security system you are 6 times more likely to be burglarized.  If you have just a basic alarm that has not been updated in years- you are at risk as well.
Have a security assessment gone that looks for vulnerabilities in your home safety and presents solutions to keep you and your possessions safe.  For additional information on Home Security and Safety get a free copy of my e-book, The Homeowners and Consumers Toolbos:Safety to Savings, Tips and Tools at Your Fingertips at
  • Stores advertise to get you to come, You advertise you are attending:  The stores spend big money advertising on television and in the paper to get you to come out.  It is marketers jobs to get your body to their store to spend money.  Advertising on the part of the marketing firms is not the problem but your announcement to world through social media and in public is. 
It is never wise to announce on Facebook and in public places that you are leaving town or that you will be away from your home.  With a little research a criminal can find out who you are and where you live.  Think about it, it could be the person ringing you out that asks for identification when you check out or someone who happened to hear your name, as it was yelled out by a friend when you encounter them in the store.  The opportunistic crook then follows you home.  The other is social media, such as Facebook or Google plus or Twitter.  The fact that you can say something doesn't mean you should.  Also, turn off the location setting for posting which tells people where you are.

  • Thanksgiving to a criminal means, thanks for giving them the opportunity to have at your stuff.  Don't let criminals make you the holiday turkey by being lax when it comes to the safety of your home and possessions.  A good security program should include a monitored alarm system.  Call a reputable and reliable company like Safe Haven Security and get your home secure before leaving for Grandma's House.  Call (919) 228-8361

Happy Thanksgiving, Be Safe, Be Secure and don't let criminals pluck your possessions making you the holiday turkey whose Friday is Black cause you're sad and mad because you got suckered.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Not To Use a Do It Yourself Alarm

So you're a pretty smart guy or gal and you've experienced a rise in crime in your neighborhood or worse yet you've been the victim of a home break-in and now security has risen to higher level than in the past.  You've gone to the local big box hardware store or gone to some sites online and and have seen some items that are classified as security systems which you think may fit the bill.  You think that you can do it yourself and bypass professional assessments, installation and monitoring fees- but at what cost?  Here are the top 5 reasons to not use a do it yourself alarm.

5)  You are not a trained professional.  You wouldn't attempt to perform surgery on yourself so what makes you think that you will correctly identify all the requirements to assure that the solution meets all the requirements that a professionally trained life safety specialist would make to assure that your home and family have full security and not a false sense of security?  Industry professionals must be trained and state licensed for a reason.  You can not purchase a low voltage electrical license you must qualify and pass stringent tests of competence to assure that you will not harm the public or yourself.  Plus there are numerous hours of manufacturer and company training to assure that equipment placement and security design are in accordance with manufacturer and industry standards.

4) The products installed are most likely lick it Stick it Wireless Combo Alarms which are easy to put up and easy to defeat.  Whenever the alarm panel has the siren, keypad and mastercontrol unit all combined in one and all that you have to do is plug it into the wall oulet, plug in the phone cord to the wall jack, pull the tape double sided tape off the contacts and stick them up and you have an alarm-you are in big trouble.  If you can install it in 20 minutes-you'd best believe that any fool attempting to be a do it yourself burglar could kick in the delay door grab the system drop it in the toilet and rob you blind in under 15 seconds. 

3)  You Get What You Pay For:  You think that you are saving a few dollars by using a quick fix solution but in reality it could cost you significantly down the line because most do it yourself solutions that are just placed on the counter plugged into the phone line jack do not have phone line seizure- which gives the alarm system priority to seize the line during an alarm emergency even if the phone line is being used.  When the system is placed on the counter there is no tamper switch to prevent the panel from being being snatched up smashed or shorted out in the sink or tiolet.  Even if you secure it to the wall, there will most likely be no hard-wired tamper solution.  Also by self-installing you assume all responsibility if the system fails to communicate with the monitoring facility during an alarm event i.e phone line seizure and the fine print of the contract that absolves the monitoring facility from being held liable if such an event occurs.  Think about it, this is a great deal for the alarm companies that sell monitoring.  They will never have any claims against their general liability insurance policy but if  something happens it goes against you and not them. 

Also if there are false alarms due to equipment problems or improper installation you'll be the one to pay.

2)  You may not be able to receive your homeowners insurance discount:  Most insurance companies require a certificate of installation from a licensed alarm company in order to receive your discount.

1) You are saying that your family isn't worth the invest of  the price of a cup of coffe a day to keep them safe.  Don't nickel and dime your family.  Give them the best because they deserve the best.  Select a reputable alarm company that is reliable and has references. 

For more information on this subject or other security related issues contact Jim McNeely at 919-949-9690

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Don't Be the Sucker with the Lick it Stick it Alarm

The ironic thing about being bamboozled or suckered is the that you often don't find out until it's entirely too late.  There is a growing trend in the home security industry where consumers are being increasingly targeted through slick online marketing campaigns.  The consumers go to the internet because it is quick, easy and accessible.  The alarm or security system companies that target these consumers are looking to hook these consumers by selling wireless combo systems that are high on illusion and low on security.  By selling the client the sizzle and using paid for endorsements they dupe the consumer into purchasing their service which places them into a situation where they have perceived security only.

This claim may seem harsh but it is fact and here are the reasons why:

The security systems these companies sell are wireless alarm panels where the keypad, siren, and motion detector are one unit:  If a burglar kicks in a door that has a delay and snatches the panel from the wall and drops it in the tiolet, fries the compenents and all this was done in the delay time; who did the system call?  No one. 

The only solution is to have the panel tampered with a hard-wired contact on the back of the alarm panel-assuming that it is actually secured to the wall.

Many of these systems just sit on the counter and are plugged into the wall:  They are sold promoting features like talking keypads two-way voice ( a feature that allows the alarm company to hear what is happening in real time during an alarm event), home automation, a message center and no home phone line needed if they have a cellular unit added to it.  These features are great but what good do they do you if they system is pre-programmed with a dialer delay.  The dialer delay is a feature that alarm companies say they use to prevent false alarms.  The way it works is when the door with the delay to give you time to go to the keypad to de-activate the alarm is triggered because it was not turned off in the alloted time- the alarm company has another 30-90 seconds where the alrm does not call out. 

Do you think that even the most novice burglar could easily hear your alarm when they kick in the door that you use to gain entry-go to the panel and disable it?  The answer should be yes. 

Are you asking about a dialer delay?  The answer is probably No! 

The system comes pre-programed and you install it.  You use double sided tape to put up the  door contacts and motion detectors and you plug it in.  In what dellusinal fantasy does this sound like a good idea?  Reputable alarm companies don't have you self-install.  Reputable alarm companies aren't using sticky tape to install a system in 15 minutes.  Reputable alarm companies have to be licensed with a low -voltage license and their consultants registered with back ground checks from the alarm board.  By self installing, the alarm companies have a clause in their contract which absolves them from liabilty should there be system failure and the alarm signal does not reach them.  Why would someone sign such an agreement, because they don't take the time to read it.

Don't be a sucker by purchasing an  alarm system like you shop for a car.  Security systems are life safety devices, not a commodity.  What is the value of your life?  Use a reputable company with reputable consultants that have references and are reliable.  Don't be a sucker by taking short cuts when it comes to the safety and security of your family. a qualty security consultation will show you full value of how your familiy can be protected. 

Knowledge is power and applied knowledge leads to empowerment.  Use this information wisely- your safety depends on it.

For a copy of my free book, The Homeowners and Consumers Toolbox: Safety to Savings, Tips and Tools at Your Fingertips go to .  For a free security consultation in the Raleigh, NC area call 919-949-9690.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Anatomy and Psychology of a Break-in

The steps that a person must go through when they become the victim of a wilful burglar that has no regard for them or their property is not something that is considered until after the dastardly deed is done and the reality of their changed world is upon them.  The action steps are played out daily for people that number in thousands in the United States and the victims must often navigate this new territory alone and in a compromised state of mind.  The purpose of this article is to not only share the steps of the aftermath of a break-in, but to share action steps of prevention and preparation. 

  • Fear is the first psychological emotion that floods the mind as you enter your domicile and have the realization that someone unauthorized has violated your space and helped themselves to your belongs.  Fear causes you to flee the place that you'd felt most safe.  Now with the presence of danger still possible looming you find it necessary to hurridly exit.  The fear is caused by the uncertainty of not knowing if the prowler is still lurking. 
  • Call the police- while still shaken, but having exited to the home of a neighbor or the safety of your car, you call the police.  The police arrive and go through your home with guns drawn, searching room by room until they deem that the home is safe for you to reenter.  You are asked questions about what is missing, which you must answer in a compromised state of mind. You must endure the fingerprint dust that lingers long after the authorities have left. 
  • You must call your insurance provider.  You now must file a claim and have to go through the process of filing a claim.  You must recount what is missing, all the while hoping you will get full replacement value.  You may worry how you will pay for the deductible or wonder if you will now have to budget for a rate increase. 
  • You must secure the point of entry.  Your insurance provider may provide you with a number for a disaster and restoration company that will come out and board up the door or window.  If they don't-you will have to navigate this yourself.
  • Find a place to sleep if you are too scared to stay a t the home.  You will either have to make arrangements to stay with a friend or relative.  Most people don't want to burden anyone with their problems so this becomes an additional stresser. 
  • Take time off from work to meet with insurance adjuster and repair people.  You must deal with lost wages and the impact it will have on your budget. 
  • Consider a security system.  At this point you may come to realize that a security sytstem is a valuable asset that can provide peace of mind and a strong dterence factor.  Even as you make these consideration you may make the wrong decision because you are deciding based on fear and not on facts and that is something that many security companies will use to your disadvantage. 
  • Become prey to self-serving alarm companies.  Many of these companies will use the fact your Break-in was public record to call, come by and harass you to buy from them.  Often they will throw today only specials and same day installation to get you to do business with them.  They will use inferior equipment and self serving contracts that will place you at risk.  The time to consider an alarm system is before there is a break-in and allow yourself the time to do research and get quality referrals of quality companies and representatives that will put you first and serve your interests. 
The most imporatnt thing anyone can do is to be proactive when it comes to the safety of themselves, their family and their belongings. 

  • Review your insurance and coverage with your provider prior to a break-in making sure you have adequate coverage.
  • Make a video of your belongings and keep a record of what you have and the price.  An independent insurance agent I know in Raleigh, NC, Greg Suggs of the Greg Suggs Insurance agency provides this service for his customers for free.  He can be reached at 919-875-8889.
  • Have a security audit of your home done, where you can learn the vulnerabilities of your home and how you can best fortify it.  Call 919-228-8361 and mention this article and you can get this service at no charge in the Raleigh, NC area. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Truth About Neighborhood Crime

I am sometimes contacted by individuals that have extremely great content that they would like me to share with my readership.  This is such a piece.  It was compiled and produced by the Home Insurance Guide.  I would like to thank Sarah Shirley for sending it me to share with you.  The link to the Home Insurance Guide is listed at the bottom of the document.
The Truth About Neighborhood Crime
Compiled By: Home Insurance Guide

Friday, March 2, 2012

Danger: Your Flat Screen Could Kill Your Child

Growing up and through my adult life I had never thought of my household television as a potential life and health threatening device to small children until I watched a news clip.  It was there that I learned that there had been 4 child deaths in Chicago, Illinois over the past year from flat screen televisions falling on the child and 169 child deaths nationwide from falling flat screen televisions.  According to an online article by Children’s Colorado Hospital 264,000 children have been admitted to hospitals as a result of injuries caused by furniture such as televisions tipping over onto them.  There are some wonderful safety devices and tips available that parents and child care givers can use to protect precious young lives.

The first safety device is the ant tip TV strap that secures a flat panel television on a stand from tipping over onto a small toddler or child by anchoring it to the wall.  This device can be purchased at places like Sears, Kohls and These devices sell for around $10.

The second tip is to use furniture anchors that can secure a tall dresser to the wall.  These devices sell for around $7.

The third safety device is the Honeywell 5870 API wireless asset protector which can be tied into an existing Honeywell or Ademco alarm system.  This device has a tip setting as well as an accelerometer that will alarm if the device is tipped over or moves suddenly.  Previously this device was primarily thought of as a theft device due to the fact that the sensor could be continuously on even when the other perimeter features of the alarm system were off, but with the rise in child injuries due to falling furniture this device can be a valuable tool especially if it is tied into a two-way voice alarm system and video monitoring through total connect.  With two-way voice the alarm monitoring facility can hear what is occurring inside the residence in real time and communicate with the parties inside the home.  With the addition off video the monitoring facility as well as the parents can be alerted of all incidents involving their security system by email and text alert and with video if cameras were added.  For additional information on these features, go to  

According to the online article by Children’s Hospital of Colorado, you should seek immediate medical attention if your child has a piece of furniture tip over on them if these conditions apply:
·         The child is an infant
·         The child loses consciousness, even momentary lose of consciousness
·         The child walks funny
·         Has head or neck pain
·         The child won’t stop crying
·         The child is not consolable

If your child is not an infant, has not lost consciousness, and is alert and behaving normally after a fall:
  • Apply an ice pack or instant cold pack to the injured area for 20 minutes. If you use ice, always wrap it in a washcloth or sock; ice applied directly to bare skin can cause frostbite.
  • Observe your child carefully for the next 24 hours. If you notice any signs of an injury, call your doctor immediately.
  • If the incident has occurred close to bedtime or naptime and your child falls asleep soon afterward, check in every few hours to look for twitching limbs or disturbances in color or breathing.
If your child sustains a head injury, watch for signs of a possible concussion, including:

  • "seeing stars" and feeling dazed, dizzy, or lightheaded
  • memory loss, such as trouble remembering what happened right before and after the injury
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headache”
The above list in quotations was taken from the online article by Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fifteen Fire Safety Tips in Honor of Three Children that Died in House Fire

On February 23, 2012 a house fire claimed the lives of three children in Verona, NC.  Several other children and their mother were able to escape the burning home.  However, they all must live with a deep void in their lives.  When I heard this tragic story on the Saturday morning news as I channel surfed, looking for an appropriate children’s cartoon for a two year old to watch, I felt compelled to write a blog post paying tribute to their lives.  It is hard to make sense of why something like happens, but it serves as a reminder that life is a fragile gift that should be cherished and respected.  It also serves as a reminder that we should, at all times, practice fire safety.  No one ever thinks that something like this could happen to them but if a fire broke out in your home in the still of the night, while you were fast asleep, would your home be equipped and would everyone in your home know what to do?

As a tribute to Tabitha Pittman, 12, and two younger brothers, Elijah, 9, and Gabriel, 7, who died in the above mentioned fire I am going to list some valuable tips that we all can apply to protect the ones we love.

  •      1.  Have both photo-electric and ionization smoke detectors in the home.  Photo-electric sensors alarm when the photo cell fills with smoke and ionization smokes alarm when there is a dramatic rise in heat temperature as well as when filled with smoke.  The photo cell detectors engage quicker giving more time for escape.
  • 2.       Check your smoke detector batteries regularly.
  • 3.       Have a home fire escape plan and make sure you fire drill regularly.
  • 4.       Have a common meeting place
  • 5.       Have fire escape ladders for the second floor.
  • 6.       Keep fire extinguishers on every level of the home.
  • 7.       Make sure that every one knows to duck walk out of the home to prevent inhaling toxic fumes.  The safest air is in the middle.  Do not crawl out as some heavy gases from resins in carpet are at the lowest level.
  • 8.       Never run back into a burning home-wait for the fire department.
  • 9.       Having double keyed locks on doors obstructs potential escape.  Only have single keyed locks.
  • 10.     Have monitored smoke sensors installed in the home.  They will call the fire department so you  won’t have to.
  • 11.   Clean below the stove eyes to remove grease and other build up that could cause a fire
  • 12      Have your dryer hoses cleaned to prevent a laundry room fire.
  • . 13   Make sure no door or hallways have obstructions that could block escape.
  • 14  Unplug appliances that are not in use
  • 15.   Never smoke in bed or while sleepy sitting on a couch or chair.

I encourage everyone to practice these fifteen tips in honor of the young lives that were taken from the world.  Past this post on and encourage your friends family and relatives to practice

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Danger of Improperly Maintained Dryer Vents

Most people rarely think about their dryer vents, but alarmingly over 15,000 house fires occur each year in the United States as a result of improperly maintained dryer vents.  These fires result in approximately 10 deaths, 310 injuries and 96 million dollars in property damage.  In order to keep your family and yourself safe it is important to make sure that the dryer vents and hoses are not clogged.  I have counseled clients for years that this should be done every three months depending on how often they use the dryer.  I know that with busy lives, that this one small item added to an already overcrowded to do list will go unheeded.  So, what can be done?

  • 1.      Never leave clothes drying in the dryer unattended or while you are sleep
  • 2.      Have a monitored smoke and heat sensor installed in the laundry area
  • 3.      Have Ductz install a vent clog monitor that will give you visual and audible alerts when the vent reaches 20% or more obstruction. 
  • 4.      Have an ABC fire extinguisher in the laundry room.

Some advanced warning signs that your dryer vent may be obstructed:

1.      Laundry takes a long time to dry especially  jeans  and towels
2.      Laundry is hotter than usual at the end of the drying cycle
3.      Flapper on vent hood doesn’t open when dryer is on

Keeping your family safe is imperative and taking some simple steps can help to assure their safety.  If you recognize any of the advanced warning signs call Ductz at 877-DUCTZ-USA or 919-942-4900 and to install monitored fire sensors call 919-949-9690 or schedule an appointment at