Home Security Blog.

Home Invasions are increasing at an alarming rate. Thieves are getting bolder and more violent. They are planning their attacks and realize thier intended victims will be caught unaware and surprised. Remember, his actions are well planned and he knows you are not expecting what he has planned for you. Surprise is his best weapon.

Police departments are constantly telling people NOT TO open your door to an unannounced delivery or supposed repairman. Yet it seems this caution by the police is being ignored by many people. Let’s take a look at some of the tricks invaders like to use.


A person dressed in a hard hat and maybe forged ID tag will come to your door and say they have been called. There is a gas leak in the neighborhood. I need to come in and inspect your home to make sure there isn’t a leak.

In reality, gas companies don’t check for gas leaks in your home unless you’ve called them. Thier duties only are to inspect and repair the gas lines in the ground throughout your area, not in your home. Stop and think about it. If there was a gas leak in your home, believe me, you would smell it. Gas companies put special ingredients into the gas so you will smell any gas leak.


Flowers are hard to resist. If someone tries to deliver flowers or a small package don’t let them in. They do not have to come into your house to deliver a small package. You will know about any large package to be delivered and brought into your home. Large deliveries are always planned. If the person is insistant for you to open your door, especially if there is no special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary, etc. this should give you cause for concern. Call the police immediately.


There in no reason for an electric company repairman to ask to come into your home. Their responsibility is only to work on the power lines outside of your home. If you had a problem in your home you have called a licensed electrician. Know the electrician you called and ask for his identification when he arrives. If there is a question as to who he really is don’t call the phone number he gives you. Look up the company’s number in the phone book to confirm his identity. All electricians have to be licensed and carry the proper identifcation with them.


Most pople that have an alarm system have a sign posted in front of thier home. This is a warning to a would be criminal that you are protected by a security system. Some invaders will see this sign and pose as an alarm repairman. They will tell you thay are here to do preventative maitenance on your system and want to check to make sure it’s operating properly. Don’t believe them. These calls are usually planned ahead of time. Every alarm repairman is required to be licenced by the state he is working in. They ALL have to cary a picture ID an have gone through a security check by his company and state licensing commission. Again, don’t cnfirm his identity by the number he gives you.

Have all emergency numbers posted somewhere in your home with easy access. Have your doctor, alarm company, spouses work numbers, cell phones, gas, water, and electric comapnies number listed.

Posted on March 29th, 2008 at 11:10 by Alex Smith in Home Safety,Home Security,Home Security Systems,protecting valuables - Comment (1)

Most people give the information a person needs to steal their identity without knowing it. Leaving documents around or throwing them in the trash is an example. Here are a few tips to safegaurd your idenity information.

* Buy a shredder. You can purchase one very inexpensively at any discount store. They simply fit over a trash can and will shred paper documents as well as the “old” credit card. First rule of thumb, shred all personal documents. Even those unsolicited credit applications your receive .

* Protect your social security and driver’s license numbers. Don’t give them out to someone you don’t know. Your driver’s license numer can be just as dangerous to give out as your social security number. This number tags you to your identity. That’s why all wotk and credit applications ask for it. If fact, it’s best not to carry your social security card with you. Remit it to memory. Don’t have these printed on your checks.

* Never give out personal information over the phone, internet or mail before you know who you are dealing with.

* Protect any of your passwords. Don’t use an obvious password like your birthday, street address, some numbers of your social security card or mother’s maiden name. If you have forgotten your password, be suspicious of any website you click on to have them email it back to you.

* Remember, even your residence may not be a safe place to keep personal documents. This especially true if you have a roomate, employ outside domestic help, do a lot of entertaining, or work done in your home.

* A lot of links on the internet are “trogan Horses.” Never click on any unsolicited email link. Use only a website address you know. Have a “firewall”, spyware or antivirus software added to your computer. I have all three on my computer. Some antivrus programs, such as AVG, are free and very good. Use a program that always up-dates your software. They can automatically do this daily even at a time you don’t use your computer.
*The government has a great site for additional information. If you need to file a complaint for some type of identity or would like more information, check this site.

I was just looking at The National Neighborhood Watch website. It has a lot of resources which can help a neighborhood establish a neigborhood watch program. Forming a solid neighborhood watch in your area is the first defense against crime. Keeping the program active once it is established is imperative.

Unfortunately we live in a society where people don’t know who lives 2 0r 3 doors on either side of them or even their next door neighbors. While in the Security Alarm Industry, I heard over and over again , ” I don’t need an alarm system because we have a neigborhood watch program”. Most of the time , an inactive neighborhood watch program results in a burglar stealing items from the neighbor’s home unnoticed. We are a busy society and people don’t feel they have the time or desire to get involved with their neighbors. Having a close knit neighborhood makes it safer for everyone.

It was once said that there are three kinds of people, those that make things happen, those that never make things happen and those that don’t even know what’s happening. If you don’t have a neighborhood watch program in your area, start one. If you have one, become active in it. Remember the saying, “there’s safety in numbers”.

Make it your task to know ALL the people on your block including the children. Report anything out of the ordinary. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Yes, it takes some of your time, but being active in your community will pay off many times over.

You can order materials and information to form your area program from The National Neighborhood Watch Organization.

Posted on February 18th, 2008 at 16:39 by Alex Smith in Home Safety,Home Security,warning signs - Comments (0)

As the cooler weather approaches a lot of people start using space heaters to supplement their heating needs. They can be a safety hazard if not used properly.

They are not to be used as a primary heating source. They should be used only when they are being supervised. Using them when you are asleep or away from the home is very dangerous.

You must keep the area surrounding any heater clear. Never place anything on top of it. Make sure there is a metal guard around the heater. This guard protects someone from getting burned and items that may come in contact with the heater.

If it is necessary to use an extension cord, be sure you use a heavy duty one. I recommend a 14 gauge or larger size three conductor grounded wire. If your heater has a grounded type plug, do not by-pass the ground. Use the heater only in a grounded outlet.

Place an electric heater well away from any water source. Be sure you cannot touch the heater and any water faucet or water pipe at the same time. These are a direct paths to ground. Never touch the electric heater when you are wet. Your body resistance to current flow is greatly reduced when you are wet.

Do not use portable heaters to dry clothes . They should be clear of all objects. Also, keep the heaters clean and dust free. Read the instructions on the proper operation of your heater before using it.
Think Safety First.

Posted on November 12th, 2007 at 11:00 by Alex Smith in Home Safety - Comments (0)

It’s that time of year again. Time to change your clocks from Day Light Savings Time to Standard Day Light Time.

The official time is 2 am Sunday November 4, 2007. You turn your clocks back one hour. Remember; “fall back – spring forward”

This is the best time to put new batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This way you don’t have to remember when was the last time you changed them out.

Even though your detectors might be powered by the electrical circuits in your home they may also have a “back-up” battery in them as well. So check to see if your detectors have a back-up battery in them.

Posted on October 31st, 2007 at 18:44 by Alex Smith in Home Safety - Comments (0)

There are almost 200,000 reported accidents from ladder use in America every year. The people of the American Ladder Institute, are becoming more concerned at this rate because we Americans are becoming more and more over-weight.

The “old trusty” ladder you’ve had for years might not be adequate anymore. All ladders are rated according to the maximum weight they are suppose to carry. The 250lb. person now may be climbing up a ladder with a tool belt and materials that will push the weight restrictions over the limit.

Ladders come in different sizes and shapes. I have step ladders, extension ladders and also a Werner Ladder that can be configured in all three shapes: step ladder, scaffolding, and extension ladder. Again my ladders are made of all three materials, wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. Each ladder has a specific use for what the ladder is made of and the configuration of the ladder. Aluminum ladders generally are lighter but may not carry the needed weight. The fiberglass and wood ladders can be much heavier but they can be used in electrical projects or when the ladder may come in contact with electrical wires since they do not transmit electrical current.

The proper way to carry a ladder is parallel to the ground. This way you don’t come in contact with over-head obstructions or wires that may cause electrical shock or injury to you.

No matter what the project is that you are using a laddder for NEVER stand on the top rung or platform of the ladder. Be sure it’s safely stabilized and climb the ladder facing it. Use both hands and center your body in the ladder. Position the ladder so you can adequately reach the area you are going to work in. It’s always good to have a second person at the bottom of a ladder when using a taller extension ladder to keep it more stabilized.

So the next time you get you ladder out think safety and use the correct ladder for the job.


Posted on September 7th, 2007 at 04:49 by Alex Smith in Home Safety,ladder safety - Comments (0)

It’s amazing how we can all fall into a sense of complacency about our security. It always happens to the “other guy” until some major event or happening comes close to us. Point in fact; We are relocating to another state and my wife asked me about some of the simple things we take for granted now: ambulance service, police or sheriff’s protection, all the utility shut-off locations, fire protection, hospitals & medical facilities, etc.

It made me realize I had to make out an entirely new plan of action for all of these and write them down. In case of an emergancy we could act in an orderly manner…..sometimes….seconds count. I recommend everyone up-date their emergency plans periodically and go over them with all the family members. Have a exit plan to leave the house for all locations and have a specific place to meet away from the home. You will know all the family members have cleared the home. Too often,people have gone back into the house looking for a family member or pet and have lost their lives unnecessarily.

Now the tip of the day: We had an electrical circuit malfunctioning in our newly purchased home. The home was built back in the eighties. Back then, installing wall outlets by pushing the wires into the back of the outlet was permissable. One of the outlets like this in our home had a poor connection using this method of installation which could have started a fire by arking inside the outlet. Hiring an electrician to re-wire your outlets using the wire screws to attach the wires to the outlet will make your home safer. According to safety laws, this method of wiring is the only way allowed when installing wall outlets today. THINK ABOUT IT.

Posted on October 23rd, 2006 at 06:05 by Alex Smith in Home Safety,wall plug safety - Comments (0)

The first special device I want to talk about is a Carbon Monoxide Detector. They are sold at many retail stores for homes, but they are not usually recomended for RV’s. RV’s take a special type of detector.

There are different laws & regulations from state to state and communities. I recommend before purchasing a carbon monoxide detector, to call your local fire department or building codes enforcement office.

The minimum detectors I recommend is having at least one detector on each level of your home. Do not place them near any furnaces, gas fired stoves or heaters, kitchens, areas under 40 or over 100 degrees, high steam or vapor levels, or near automobile exhaust areas. If a carbon monoxide detector is placed is inside your kitchen cabinets it may not be safte from the heat, and it might be slow to pick up the Carbon Monoxide due to poor ventilation.

Learn the symptoms of “the silent killer”; Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, oderless gas and is deadly. The most common source is usually from a furnace or heater that have been improperly installed or developed a “cracked” heat exchanger or flu. Improper use of space heater can also be dangerous. They should only be used where there is ample ventilation. Also incomplete combustion of fuel in furnaces and heaters can cause carbon monoxide to form. Many people store items in close proximity of the furnaces and heaters, limiting proper air flow. Be sure all gas fired appliances have good airflow for proper operation. These can be natural gas, propane heaters, oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal or wood appliances.

One or more of the first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning may be a headache, dizziness, sleepiness, mental confusion, tightness in the chest, and breathing difficulties blurred vision. These syptoms are often confused as flu-like syptoms.

It can happen to anyone at any age, however, infants and small children are at a higher risk because they are known to sleep more and appear to be normal.

The first signs of any of these symptoms or if your carbon monoxide detector sounds exit the house immediately. This includes all pets. Don’t try to find the source, leave the home.

If you have an alarm system it will have already contacted the alarm monitoring center. They probably have contacted the fire department. It is best to wait until they arrive and search your home for the cause before re-entering the home.

If you purchase a CO Device, be sure it has a UL Seal of Approval. If it is battery powered change the batteries every time you change the daylight times. Check them on a regular basis. They will have a button you can press to see if they are working or not. If it is powered by household electricity buy one that has a back-up battery in case you lose power. Again, keep this battery fresh as well.

A good website to learn more is:

Remember: There are two key conditions for the operation of any fuel burning appliance: Proper ventilation & complete combustion.

Posted on March 2nd, 2006 at 20:06 by Alex Smith in carbon monoxide devices,Home Safety - Comments (0)

It is important to have all exterior openings protected by some detection device. Both the first floor as well as the basement and second stories.

Windows and doors should have “contacts” on them. There are two types, hard-wired or wireless. As it a sounds a hard-wired contact is connected to the master control panel by a wire. The wireless contact sends a signal to the master control panel by radio waves. They cause the system to go into alarm if they are violated. When the alarm sounds it makes a loud noise which most of the time scares the robber away and alerts your neighbors and your monitoring center of a possible intrusion into your home. The center will then contact your home and if they get no response or the wrong pass word they contact the police.

Basement windows can be secured by “Barglar Bars”. It is a bar stretched across the window and if it gets dislogged it will cause an alarm. Don’t forget these windows.

Casement windows sometimes are best protected by “glass-break detectors. The best kind are the ones it takes three (3) signals to activate before it sets off the alarm. When a window is broken there are three phases that occur. First the vibration of the breaking window, then the breaking window puts off a certain frequency that is detected, and some glass-breaks also have a motion sensor built into them as well. Having a multiple action glassbreak helps to keep the false alarms to a minimum.

Don’t be a penny wise and a pound foolish when getting an alarm system installed. Don’t cut corners because the device you omit might be the exact spot of entry into your home. Think as if you were the burglar and how YOU would gain entry into your home.

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