Archive for the ‘ Protect Your Family ’ Category

The vast array of home security products available on the market today can be dizzying. Home security products can be wireless or hard wired, optional or required or simple or complex. Determining which home security products you need can be difficult enough and it becomes more complicated when you have to choose between the assortment of models that are available for each product. Wading through all of the available information can be overwhelming.

Basic Home Security Products Explained

For this reason choosing only the most basic home security products can greatly simplify the process.

The control panel, keypad, access control sensors and an audible or visible alarm are some of the basic home security products that are used in just about every home security system. The control panel is one of the most important home security products available. This is the heart of any security system. All of the wiring for the other home security products meets at the control panel and the entire system is tied together at this location. Without this valuable component, the security system would not function properly. The keypad is another of many home security products that exists in just about every security system. The keypad is where the homeowner interacts with the system. The system can be activated and deactivated at this location. The keypad is also where the system displays messages for the homeowners. If there has been a breach of security while you were away or if one of your home security products is malfunctioning, the keypad will display these important messages for you. The other purpose that the keypad plays is to display the current status of the system. Access control sensors are other home security products that are critical to the function of a home security system.

These home security products are used to detect if a door or window is opened while the security system is activated. When these sensors are triggered an alarm will sound either immediately or on a delay. The reason that most security systems incorporate a delay is to enable the homeowner to deactivate the system upon returning to their home. Finally, an audible alarm and strobe lights are other home security products that are commonly used. These home security products can be used separately or in conjunction with each other. The importance of these components is that they alert the homeowners as well as their neighbors to a possible intruder. In most cases a triggered alarm is enough to cause the burglar to vacate the property as quickly as possible. Not all home security products are necessary. Many home security products such as motion detectors and security cameras are optional while home security products such as the control panel, keypad, access control sensors and audible or visual alarms are necessary for the system to function properly. . . . .

If you are looking for an inconspicuous way to protect your business with covert hidden cameras, then you may want to consider the emergency light camera.

Light Up With Covert Hidden Cameras

You see them everywhere in businesses. Or do you? Actually you probably don’t pay much attention to them unless the power has gone out and the emergency lights have come on to light your way. These great little covert hidden cameras even automatically switch from color to black and white in low light situations, and have a line of site range of one thousand feet. But let’s say that you would like to have covert hidden cameras, disguised as a light in an outdoor environment. An emergency light might look a little out of place outside. That is when you would want to get the wireless floodlight camera instead. These totally undetectable covert hidden camera surveillance systems will work like a charm for both businesses and personal homes.

Everybody has floodlights right?

But these beauties not only work for floodlights, they can even be used in any ceiling light fixture. And installation is so easy; it is as simple as screwing in a light bulb, literally. Then all you need to do is plug the decoder, which comes included with the system, into any AC outlet and connect it to a TV or VCR. You will be watching your live surveillance immediately; it takes less than a minute to install. The covert hidden cameras in these lights operate off the existing wiring in your home, office, place of business, or even a vacation home. There are no wires, no fuss, no muss, and it is so portable so you can use the same camera at more than one site.

The Combination Lock

A combination lock is a type of lock in which a sequence of numbers or symbols is used to open the lock. The sequence is usually a specific permutation rather than a true combination. The sequence may be entered using a single rotating dial which interacts with several discs or cams, or by using a set of several rotating discs with inscribed numerals which directly interact with the locking mechanism. Multiple-dial locks One of the simplest types of combination lock, often used in low-security situations is the bicycle lock, which uses several rotating discs with notches cut into them. The lock is secured by a pin with several teeth on it which hook into the rotating discs. When the notches in the discs align with the teeth on the pin, the lock can be opened. This lock is considered to be one of the least secure types of combination lock. Opening a multiple-dial lock without the combination depends on the slight irregularities in the machining of the parts.

Unless the lock is machined precisely, when the pin is pulled outward, one of the teeth will pull more strongly than the others on its corresponding disc. This disc is then rotated until a slight click is heard, indicating that the tooth has settled into the notch. The procedure is repeated for the remaining discs, resulting in an open lock, and a correct combination, in very little time. Single-dial locks Combination locks found on padlocks or safes may use a single dial which interacts with several parallel discs or cams. Customarily, a lock of this type is opened by rotating the dial clockwise to the first numeral, counterclockwise to the second, and so on in an alternating fashion until the last numeral is reached. The cams typically have an indentation or notch, and when the correct combination is entered, the notches align, allowing the latch to fit into them and open the lock. Combination locks of this type are generally more secure than the multiple-dial lock, but some of them do have weaknesses. For example, early combination padlocks made by Master lock could be cracked by pulling on the shackle of the lock and turning the dial until it stopped; each numeral in the combination could be revealed in this manner. More recent models of Master padlock with a 40-position dial have a mechanical weakness that can give away the last numeral in the combination, and the first two numerals have a mathematical relationship with the last number. This weakness reduces the number of possible combinations from 64,000 to a mere 100, which can be tried in a relatively short amount of time. Inexpensive padlocks are often susceptible to the use of a padlock shim, which can be used to release the shackle without entering a combination.

Other designs Many doors use combination locks which require the user to enter a numeric sequence on a keypad to facilitate entry. These special locks usually require the additional use of electronic circuitry. The main advantage of this system is that if used for the door of a large office, each employee can be told the code number without having to supply a key to each person. The disadvantage however, is if the code number is discovered by someone out site the desired group or is not changed regularly, it could allow easy access to a potential intruder.

Professional Burglars claim an intruder Alarm does not put them of. A recent survey has found that intruder alarms do not present any difficulty to professional burglars; the reason is because homeowners often forget to set the intruder alarm or fails to lock their doors and windows properly. Despite the many improvements in home security systems if homeowners fail to use them properly there is little benefit achieved. Almost half of the persistent burglars interviewed for a recent survey said they believed home security has improved over the last 10 years but they also felt that the improvements would not be enough to stop them breaking in. Only 20% of those surveyed said that a good security system was the most common reason they abandoned an attempted break-in, 40% said being disturbed by the homeowner was the main cause of them giving up a break-in attempt and 40% of those surveyed said they would be put off if there was a noisy dog on the premises.

67% of those surveyed said they always followed the same pattern of searching a house once they are broken in, normally starting in the main bedroom, because this is the usual place that valuables are hidden, they then cover the remaining bedrooms and the main living room, this has proved to be the most efficient way of finding valuable possessions. One interesting fact that emerged from research conducted with burglars currently serving jail sentences was that they consider children’s rooms to be the least profitable to search. The average time that a housebreaking takes is as little as 20 minutes, the average age in which the first burglary was committed was 13, and two thirds of burglars prefer to work alone. Almost all professional burglars go out with the intention of committing an offence, that is to say it is planned rather than opportunistic though obviously if a ripe target presents itself they will take that opportunity to steal. The main motivation to commit housebreaking is as one would expect money, over 80% of those surveyed cited this as their major motivation, they would search for a suitable target judging the potential value of that home by the type of car on the drive, any obviously valuable items that can be seen through the windows, the amount of cover that was provided by such things as fences or trees, the presence of an intruder alarm or dog, and signs of owner occupation.

It should be noted that most of those surveyed said that even though they were not put off by an intruder alarm they would normally move on to an easier target if one was available, also one has to take into consideration the bravado of the people being surveyed, do remember they were all convicted burglars serving time in prison at the time of the survey.

Your home is your castle, and your family your greatest asset, so you want to keep everything safe. But if you’ve priced home security systems lately, you might have felt your bank book cringe. I’m not going to tell you not to buy an alarm system, but if you’re not at a point where you can invest thousands of dollars, and you just want to do a few things to make your home safer, this article is for you. I’m going to give you a list of tips you can use to make your home safer without spending any money. The most important thing to keep in mind is that burglars are lazy. Like most people, they want the highest reward with the least possible risk and effort. The more challenging you can make your house appear, the more likely the burglar is to pass on by and pick on somebody else (or–let’s hope–go away altogether). So, how do you make your home appear secure without screeching alarms, video surveillance cameras, barbed wire fences, and a yard full of Dobermans? Here are your tips: Trim shrubs back from doors and walkways (this ensures would-be thieves don’t have any shadowy nooks to hide in).

Lock your storage shed and don’t leave tools out in the yard (burglars can use ladders, shovels, etc. to gain access to your home). Keep the lawn mowed and the exterior of the house maintained (a downtrodden appearance can suggest you are away from home a lot or that you just don’t care enough to worry about your house). Plant thorny shrubs beneath first-story windows (if you wouldn’t want to climb through a tangle of thorns to reach an open window, chances are a burglar won’t either). If an outdoor light burns out, change it right away. Don’t display your valuables conspicuously (i.e. huge plasma TV on a living room wall that is visible from the street), as this only tempts thieves. When you make new purchases (such as said plasma TV), don’t leave the boxes by the curb to announce your valuable acquisitions–break boxes down and stuff them in your recycling bin. Don’t store house keys under the doormat, a rock, etc. (thieves are wise to all the tricks–if you always lose your keys, consider a fingerprint activated lock instead). Keep tree branches trimmed back from windows and your roof. Make sure the garage doors are sturdy (no loose panels or damaged corners), especially if the garage is attached to the house. Check your garage door opener if you haven’t changed it from the factory setting. There’s usually a row of 10-12 switches. If all except one is pointing the same direction, the combination is easy to break (the thief has a 1 in 10 or 1 in 12 chance of getting it). Always shut and lock your doors when you leave the house. Hopefully these tips will help you make your home less of a target.

Remember, home security is as much a matter of employing common sense as it is a bunch of expensive gadgets and gizmos.

Just like other crimes, a burglary can be a totally random event. However, when it’s planned, there are certain things a burglar will look for when staking out a possible break-in, and there are steps the homeowner can take to minimize this risk. This is a good checklist before leaving your home empty or for beefing up your protection against theft: Study your house from the street, and look for any valuables that may be visible from the street. Don’t give thieves a reason to show up.

Before leaving for any length of time, ensure that all windows and doors are locked, including the door to your garage.

Many home invasion robberies come through garage doors and inner doors to the houses. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate. Place a piece of wood or metal in the track of any sliding doors to prevent opening. Don’t leave your house in darkness when you’re away, create a sense of activity by using timers on lights, radios and televisions. Install low-voltage lighting outdoors to keep your surrounding yard well lit. Install motion detectors in dark areas along the sides and back of house to alert you of any intruders. Suspend your newspaper delivery while you’re away and ask your neighbor to collect your mail. You may even ask them to park in your driveway while you’re away. Never leave a message on your answering machine that says you’re on vacation. Keep any shrubbery near your walkway or entrance trimmed; removing any possible hiding places. Think about planting cactus or rosebushes under windows that may be especially vulnerable. Advise your neighborhood watch that you’ll be away. Ensure your security system is activated when you leave. Etch your name on all electronic equipment to serve as a deterrent as well as assisting police in the recovery your property.

It’s more difficult to sell stolen property that has the owners name on it. Make a video tape of your possessions and record the serial numbers. Get a safe, not just for your jewels, but for important paperwork as well. Identity theft is a crime that’s on the rise and you want to minimize any availability to your personal records. The more you can do to deter an intruder, the better your chances are that your home will not be chosen as a target. Studies have shown that if it takes a burglar more than four or five minutes to break into a home, they’ll move on. If you increase their vulnerability by adding a well-lit area or a barking dog, that minimizes your risk again.

What Causes Fire Damage

While some fires are caused by general causes and can occur anywhere, other causes are more specific for certain rooms.

General Causes Electrical Don’t underestimate the fire risk from electricity just because there is no flame involved. The over warming of hot plugs and sockets and blown fuses may start a fire. Smoking Most cigarettes related fires start because the cigarette is not put out completely. Additional common causes include falling asleep with a cigarette and using improper ashtrays. Candles Even a tiny candle flame can have upsetting consequences. Many candle related fires start due to draughts that lead fire to catch burnable items and tilting candles that are not placed in suitable holders.

Room by Room Causes The Kitchen The kitchen contains many hazards that can cause fires. The common combination of open fire, grease, electricity, and water is very dangerous. Grease fire is a common cause for fires in the kitchen is and is usually caused by fry pans. This type is dangerous as it can set the whole kitchen on fire. Additional fires are dry cooking fires and oven fires. These types are easy to control and they are not likely to cause damage. Kitchen appliances may also cause fire if not maintained well. Bedrooms Bedroom fires are usually caused by misuse of electrical devices. Electrical fires can start due to overloading extension cords and the use of electric blankets and warmers with no lab-approval. Heaters are a concern during winter if they are recklessly placed near linen, clothes, and other flammable items Attics, Basements and the Garage Popular as storage areas these places usually contain fire hazards such as gasoline and other flammable liquids.

Old clothes, papers and other combustible items are also hazardous and should be stored safely. Many of the electrical fire hazards are also located in these areas. Worn cords, electrical boxes and other signs of electrical trouble should be treated immediately. Heating Devices and Fireplaces These are planned to generate heat and may be hazardous if not maintained well. Operating the fireplace without a screen will allow sparks to fly into the room and cause fire. Other causes of fire are combustible items such as wallpaper, curtains, and clothing that are left without maintaining adequate clearance around the heater. For more information visit Free guides are available.

Homeland security is the number one goal for the United States Government and it should be goal for all the citizens. The deadly attacks on Sept. 11 and the recent London bombings have highlighted the importance of safety and security and emergency preparedness throughout the world. The homeland security threat level has been raised to elevated status by Texas homeland security department. As per the Texas homeland security department the elevated level is defined as: There is a significant risk of terrorist attacks.

In addition to the actions recommended under lower threat levels, agencies should consider: • Increasing surveillance of critical infrastructure and significant locations.

• Coordinating emergency plans as appropriate with nearby jurisdictions. • Assessing and disseminating information and warnings as appropriate. Emergency preparedness was discussed elaborately on National Public Radio (NBR) and was emphasized that safety equipment like gas masks need to be procured by every citizen of the United States and be prepared for any disaster from future terrorist attacks. They also mentioned that it is time for people to consider these warnings seriously and an action plan to safeguard themselves and their loved ones need to be formulated. There are a number of products available on the market to protect you and your family from unexpected attacks on your safety, including products like gas masks that could be specified as Homeland Security equipment. Whether you are facing an intrusion of your privacy or a terrorist attack directed at your workplace, there are products available from fire safety equipment, gas masks to surveillance equipment which can provide an extra layer of protection. Even when your home may be insured against damage, insurance will not protect your health in the event of a fire.

Even though you may never need to reach for the fire extinguisher, it is always safer to have it on hand in the event of an emergency. Gas masks can provide you safety in the event of a breach of homeland security, such as a chemical or biological attack. They can also be used in industrial and agricultural environments in which there are a large number of airborne pollutants. When you need protection for both your eyes and respiratory system, consider the gas masks which has been approved by the EU and NATO as a personal protection device. There are surveillance equipment like video surveillance equipment which would help guard your premises and aid you further in improving your safety and security. You may also look into audio surveillance equipment such as our phone line analyzer to ensure that your data transfers and conversations are protected. Homeland Security and the related products can help you take action to ensure your safety and that of your loved ones. More information about of gas masks and how they work is at and to learn more about homeland security equipment visit

If you have camera surveillance to help protect your home, it is important to have the proper accessories to ensure that everything works in tip-top shape. When you have a good surveillance system, it is more than just cameras giving you a continuous feed and making recordings.

There are plenty of other supplies that need to be bought in order to make your entire system more effective. Camera surveillance is very important for those who are interested in making sure that their families and their property are safe. It can help you identify intruders and vandals, as well as help you know when your kids are neglected or abused by a sitter or a nanny. Surveillance of the nature is indispensable, and in order to make sure that it is always working as it should be, you should make sure that you have all of the necessary accessories to complement your camera system. Illuminators for surveillance equipment can be very helpful. Because they reach different ranges, and come in a variety of sizes, it is important to understand your home’s security needs when preparing to purchase these products. Most illuminators sit atop the camera, or somewhere near the camera’s location, and offer up light so that the camera can better “see” what is in its range. While shadowy objects can be made out at night without illuminators, they are very helpful as they shed better light and can lead to being able to more positively identify intruders and would-be criminals. Camera housings are very important, especially for outdoor surveillance equipment. This is because CCTV housing protect the cameras from weather that is too hot, cold, windy, or wet. Your equipment will last longer when proper shielded and help you better protect your investment in home security. Many housings come with fans for the summer and heaters for the winter. Other surveillance accessories that will help you make sure that your system does not unexpectedly fail include things like long-running (9 or 10 hours of footage) video tapes and rechargeable battery packs.

Also, you will need cables for plug and play that have different lengths in order to ensure that all parts are correctly connected in your system of surveillance. (c) 2005 Copyright This article is about: Surveillance.

If you need to partially conceal your cameras from view, wireless security cameras are the way to go. Locations such as banks use a combination of wireless and wired, visible and hidden cameras to intimidate potential robbers, but continue photographing them even if they disable the wired cameras. Las Vegas casinos do the same. Look around you the next time you enter a casino or a bank. There are cameras evident and these are for “publicity” purposes. That is, they are there to intimidate a potential robber or petty thief from doing anything, knowing that their actions are being recorded.

The owners of these establishments want you to see these cameras and they want you to think twice about doing anything naughty in their places of business.

Then there are the hidden cameras. Almost always wireless so they can be placed anywhere, they photograph through small holes in the walls or ceilings, or from behind specially designed ordinary devices you’d expect to find in the location. Wireless security cameras are the ones that provide information to the police about who may have committed some crime after they disabled the visible systems. Wireless cameras can be battery operated. That is, they are used to monitor the activities of people for a limited amount of time. Their advantage is that they can be placed in a variety of easily concealed positions, much more so than a camera that requires a wire to be connected to both its power source and a recording device. Lately, these cameras have been built into clocks, children’s toys and other common household devices and have been nicknamed “nanny-cams.” They came into more popular use to catch babysitters and nanny’s who watch over precious youngsters who may not be talking yet. Horrible abuse sometimes occurs when unbalanced adults are left in charge of toddlers who can’t speak. Concerned parents started using these devices to record the actions of the adult in charge while they were gone.

Then the couple could play back the tapes and see what went on in their absence. Some of these tapes were so outrageously awful in what they captured on videotape that they led to prosecution of the adult offender and oftentimes ended up on national tabloid TV shows. Since then they have become a built-in, cleverly concealed device that’s quite often found in homes where young children are being watched by hired help.

Using an Outdoor Spy Cam

A spy cam can be a great tool for protecting your home. A spy cam, properly placed (Or more than one for better coverage of your property) can provide you with visuals of people approaching your house.

Additionally, it is very good to use if you have had vandals ruin some part of your property. With the help of a camera, you can more easily identify these criminals. Also, if you have one or two conspicuously placed cameras, they can act as deterrents to would-be burglars who will move on to a less protected target. But before your outdoor spy cam can be effective, it is important to take some common sense measures to make sure that your camera is protected. After all, if the camera does not work, it does not do a great deal of good unless it has been working as an effective deterrent. First, make sure that you have outdoor spy cam casings. There are plenty of camera protector’s available at most reputable spy shops and online retailers of spy gear. These camera boxes are weather resistant and protect the camera from snow, wind, and rain. Additionally, it is possible to get these camera holders outfitted with fans. This ensures that during the summer they are adequately cooled, protecting the cam from overheating. Another thing you should remember is that you should have a spy cam or two that is not visible to others.

While having on or two cameras prominently displayed can act as a deterrent, they can also become targets.

Make sure that you have back up cameras hidden behind bushes or in trees, or even place inside an upper window, out of sight. If one of your visible cameras is disabled by someone who thinks to disguise him or herself, then your hidden cameras will still be able to identify the perpetrators. An outdoor spy cam can be a great comfort to you and your family. It is nice to know that you can identify intruders and that you can help catch criminals who damage your property. As long as you take precautions in the use of your cameras, there is a lot that can be done for your home by a spy cam. (c) 2005 Copyright This article is about: Spy Cam

The latest crime statistics are, to put it mildly, quite disturbing. Crime in United States accounts for more death, injuries and loss of property then all Natural Disasters combined. According to FBI statistics a burglary occurs in the United States every 15 seconds. On top of this the victims and their relatives often experience financial problems, and time is often lost from work to handle the legal, insurance and personal problems associated with being a victim. Home intrusions continue to rise. In the 80’s when crack cocaine hit the streets crime rose an average of 26 percent in most major cities. Now, a major contributor to home intrusions is the drug Methamphetamine. Burglary and thefts from auto’s are the most prevalent neighborhood crimes. Often, breaking into an auto gives the thief a bonus, access to the remote control allowing the house’s garage door to be opened. Household burglary is rampant because it is one of the easiest crimes to commit, half the time with no forced entry required. Most home intrusions occur during daylight hours while homeowners are away. The burglar will in many cases watch your home for a few days to see when you are out. While home burglary is one of the easiest crimes to commit, it is also one of the easiest to prevent.

Neighborhood Watch is a good starting point, and is a proven crime-reduction program. Most police departments are very supportive of these programs and will provide information and materials on how to set up a program. Members watch out for their neighbors and report suspicious activities to the police department. A term used often in these groups is «hardening the target». Hardening the target means steps you can take to cause a thief to bypass your house and move on to an easier target. Some of these items include using quality deadbolt locks, installing impact resistant glass on certain windows so someone cannot break the glass and reach in and unlock the door, installing solid exterior doors, installing motion sensing outdoor lighting, and others tailored to your particular situation. Most of the security items mentioned are relatively inexpensive ways to «harden your target». Also, many high tech devices once considered cost prohibitive are now affordable. For example, a wireless video surveillance system can be purchase for around $50.


Just mount the small camera in the area to be viewed and view the image on a channel on your home TV set. Elaborate systems, however, can still be costly. Consider installing a home security system. This is taking «hardening the target» to the highest level. Homes without security systems are 3 times more likely to be broken into than homes with security systems. 90 percent of police believe alarms deter burglary attempts. A full article could be devoted to this one subject, but lets look at the main points. You will hear the terms hardwired or wireless used when describing home alarm systems. If you are renting your accommodation, a wireless system is the best choice because you can take the system with you when you move. If you own your home, either type system can be used. Most security professionals tend to favor hardwire, but the negative side is the higher cost due to the installation time involved. Wireless, by the nature of the name, is installed in hours compared to days with hardwired systems. A negative side is having to worry with batteries. Ultimately either system detects an intrusion and sounds an alarm. The alarm can be a local siren or bell, or a silent alarm to a security monitoring company, or both.

The security representative surveying your home can make recommendations for your best protection based on your living patterns. If you are just living as usual, you are putting your family, and your property at unnecessary risk. Home intrusions have increased to the point where every homeowner must become more aware of the dangers, and learn about the latest security products available to protect ones home, family, and valuables. Make sure your home is safe and secure.

Attention convention goers.

Now you can easily record contact details and trade event conversations using some of the great, new, little digital voice recorders available for you to buy. Conventions are busy, time-consuming affairs where you meet a lot of people and can gather up loads of information that could be important both personally and professionally. By using digital voice recorders, you can be sure that you will not miss out on a single important word or idea that comes up. Whether it is a new idea for a product line, a great new way to provide quality service to your customers or an overwhelmingly innovative idea on new surgical procedures that could some day help same one of your patient’s life, you will be sure to get every intimate detail down when your are using digital voice recorders. To do all of this, you no longer have to worry about lugging around heavy, cumbersome equipment. Digital voice recorders now come in such small, convenient sizes that you can easily throw one into your pocket, keeping it handy for instant use whenever you need it.

Better still, you don’t have to worry about lugging around a bunch of space eating tapes like you used to when the only available recorders used cassettes.

And unlike those old cassette recorders, you can record for hours without every having to worry about running out of space. So if you are in the market for digital voice recorders take a look at these great little MP3s and never again miss out on important information.

In today’s world, an individual or business owner needs to take the necessary steps to protect themselves, their family and their investments. While many opt for a full security system, which is always a good idea, the addition of security cameras can help to record any/all activities that take place in and around a specific area. Security cameras are not only designed for outside use, but are also commonly used indoors. When it comes to reasons why you should consider installing security cameras, listed below are five of the best: Security cameras provide constant monitoring of your home and/or business even when you are not there.

Let’s face it.

There is no way that you can be two places at once.

You are either at home or at work, which is why security cameras can be your eyes even when you cannot be there in person. If installed at your home, security cameras can help you to see who is outside your front door or on your property before opening the door or venturing outside. This is a very important safety precaution for anyone, whether you live out in the most rural of settings or in the city. It’s always a good idea to see who is at your door before you open it and if you suspect someone is on your property, security cameras can help to either confirm or eliminate that concern. If a theft should occur, the use of security cameras can provide valuable evidence to help convict the perpetrator and possibly even recover your stolen item(s). This is true of both home and business burglaries. In addition, a home or business that is monitored with a security camera may carry more affordable insurance because it is less desirable for criminals who know they are being monitored. For the exact policy guidelines, check with your local insurance agent. Security cameras can help parents to keep an eye on their babysitter.

When you leave your child at home and entrust them with a babysitter, it never hurts to add extra peace of mind in knowing that your child is properly cared for during those moments when you are not at home with them yourself. If used in a place of business, security cameras can help employers and store owners to keep a close eye on their employees. Monitoring of employee actions can help in a variety of situations, including possible employee theft, customer complaints and other matters where video playback may be beneficial.

Surveillance equipment usually reminds one of “007” but with the recent rise in crime rates it is more a necessity than just spy equipment.

The surveillance equipment allows you to keep a watch even when you are not physically present at the scene. These are used to monitor the behavior of people (like stealing, harassing etc.) or procedures that do not act desirably. These appliances are thus concealed and obvious. Since there is always a chance of improper activity in places like shopping malls, public schools, warehouses, parking garages, airport terminals and offices, these places are the ones mostly investing on surveillance equipments. A wide variety of such equipments are available in the market with highly developed technology. Surveillance equipment mostly combines audio and video data transfer and may range from Internet based equipment and wiretapping phone to biometrics (advanced facial aspect identification computer software). The recent development of ‘wireless’ technology has its own set of problems. The wireless devices transmit information either by radio waves or infrared light, which can be intercepted. Therefore, such devices are not reliable regarding the transfer of important information. Surveillance equipment is used to record conversation or acts, but these are possible also on a normal recording machine.

Some options are: • Clandestine miniature devices linked to a small microphone, externally mounted to pick up the audio. • Digital gadgets like minidisk recorders or the most recent diminutive camcorders are small enough to be carried easily, but produce very high quality recordings. • The common ones encountered at offices for monitoring staff are usually perched from a ceiling. • The most advanced ultra-directional microphones, or parabolic microphones can be used to overhear conversations from a hundred meters away or more. • Extreme clarity is possible only via a laser microphone, which are again, expensive and highly technical to operate. • Since mobile phones nowadays can record both audio and video, therefore they can be used as surveillance equipments as well. Surveillance equipments normally emit radio waves, however the more sophisticated ones are not dependant on Radio Waves and are extremely hard to detect. The only way to detect them is by using sensitive gear to seek out magnetic fields, or the common electrical ‘noise’. Another way would be to use sensitive infrared cameras for identifying waste heat of a Surveillance equipment. Gone are the days of the private eye, now you can get information yourself via these fascinating surveillance equipments. Finally, the best benefit these devices afford is that they are successful in doing away with the incentive to commit crime. Since a person’s inclination to commit crime is decreased once he/she is aware that someone is there to keep an eye on him/her.

Home Security Systems Info

It is vertical markets leaders in the home security, appliance and automobile industries that need to start scratching their heads and thinking about reaching new business owners.

DVR system, digital subscription TV services, and home security systems are all dependant on a standard phone line to function. To combat this fear, many people are increasing the level of home security to protect their families and valuables. This is the latest version of the drive-by garage door remote theft where criminal would use universal remote controls to open garage doors without arousing the suspicions of neighbours, police, or home security companies. The best way of making the most of any home security discount that your insurance provider offers is to ensure that your house is fitted with dead bolt locks, smoke detectors/alarms, and if possible a burglar and fire alarm that is monitored. For example, let’s say you’re selling home security products. A classic piece of rubbish for the security book would be:-»We at ACME security have been leaders in the field of home security for over seventy years, winning the Queens award for industry on at least five occasions. Security Services Internet can be compared to services like ADT home security.

There are less dramatic, but nevertheless fear-inspired, examples: Fear incites us to buy life insurance, to floss our teeth, to buy cars with airbags, to install home security systems and to purchase guns.

Consider these technology services related keyword examples and the results they yield on Google:  Home Office Supplies: 450,000,000 results  Satellite TV: 61,900,000 results  High Speed Internet Access: 123,000,000 results  VOIP: 112,000,000 results  Long Distance Services: 67,000,000 results  Internet Conferencing: 40,600,000 results  Web Hosting: 295,000,000 results  Home Security Systems: 481,000,000 results If a person wanted to a comparison shop for these technology services, they would spend days, even weeks, going through all of these results, in order to find the best deal on all of these services. Some less than obvious facts are that new business owners are 150% more likely to install a home security system in their home within the first 6 months of starting their business. $1 per click to Google to advertise under the keyword phrase burglar alarm, but if they wanted to advertise using the keyword phrase home security systems they pay approximately $5 per click to Google. This may be the ideal time to install that home security system you’ve been thinking about.

Do you have a wall phone located in your home or office? Do you also need the protection of covert hidden cameras? Now you can combine the convenience of a wall phone with the security of a covert hidden camera. These great innovations come wired, which allows the phone to be an actual working phone or wireless, which is then a nonfunctional phone, but just a working camera, and since the camera is pointed out the front of the phone, the camera has a solid view of most rooms. What if you don’t have a wall phone in your room, or don’t particularly want one, there is another way to covertly keep the activities in the room on camera. You can purchase an attractive wall clock that looks great anywhere you place it.

It is fully functional as both a camera and a clock and the camera is completely hidden from view.

The best part is that if you need this system to be wireless, that isn’t a problem, and they come with an eight channel scroll selectable receiver that allows versatility in your wireless application. Okay, so you have an industrial plant and you need security but a wall clock or wall telephone will just stick out like a sore thumb. Your solution can be covert hidden cameras located in a utility box. Who pays attention or thinks twice about utility boxes? With one of these weatherproof, easy to install units, you would have a tiny, hidden, pinhole lens camera that would give you crystal clear video for up to a 700 foot range, and the receiver plugs into a VCR or monitor for easy viewing. Before you know it, you’ll know exactly what’s happening on the premises day or night.

The home security industry has grown to be substantially bigger especially in light of recent years as a result of tumultuous geopolitical issues. If you are fortunate enough to be living in a neighborhood where you don’t even need to lock your doors at night and still feel safe and sound – congratulations, this article is definitely not for you. For everyone else, read on… There’s just so much on the market nowadays that go beyond the physical security of your home such as having deadbolt locks or window bars, etc. Now you have the option of getting ahold of closed-circuit television and monitor your home 24/7, where you can even outsource the services of specialists to check in every now and then to make sure everything is in order. There’s also home automation tools for security and deterrence such as scheduled power plug devices. Essentially what they do is rotate the electricity settings to things like lighting, the radio, the TV, or anything else that will give the appearance that there is someone home. This is idea for those who are planning on going on holiday. For those who are on a budget and can’t afford or don’t want to spend the time setting up a security system or hire someone else to do it, there are simple and clean measures such as using dummy cameras on your front lawn or patio which can act as a sort of «repellant» for would-be thieves.

Additionally, wireless security cameras are becoming more and more affordable as the technology makes leaps and bounds- both in terms of the cutting edge new features but also in the manufacturing and design process. Speaking of which, we now have access at the consumer level, digital solutions to consider incorporating into the ultimate security package. You can remotely monitor several of your stores or different locations that you own or have an interest in, that you can check out through a centralized node using simple to use out-of-the-box security solutions.

Adding wireless home security systems to your home or office can be quite easy as long as you know what you want and how to install them. With just a few simple facts in hand, you can quickly be on your way to finding what you want from the various wireless home security systems. Prior to choosing wireless home security systems, you must decide a few things. First you must look over your home to determine how many doors and windows will be used with the system. Next you must determine where you want your control panel and keypads. While some people find it is more convenient to have them close to the front door, others prefer to have them closer to the bedrooms. You can also have them in both places if you so choose. You must also find out how far these doors and windows are from the system’s main sensors. If you are using wireless home security systems, they cannot be too far from the sensors or else they won’t be able to communicate with them.

Do you want a monitored system? For a small monthly fee, various companies’ can ‘watch’ your system. For a less expensive alternative, you can choose a basic system that connects a dialer to your home phone that can dial previously chosen numbers in the case of an emergency. Motion detectors are also an option, but you may want to reconsider having them if anyone in your house, including pets, have a tendency to roam during the night or whenever your system is enabled. Now that you have this information you can begin to look through the various options for wireless home security systems. The first step is contacting a reputable company that you know and trust. When choosing the correct wireless home security systems model, make sure that you choose a system that monitors every zone in your home. With wireless home security systems you must be certain that it can perform correctly by reaching even the furthest zone. Lastly, a user-friendly system is a must. If you don’t know how to use wireless home security systems, then they won’t do you much good in an emergency. Be aware that when choosing wireless home security systems, each contact device takes batteries. It can be a bit pricier then a hard-wired system due to the fact that you must pay for service calls to replace the batteries. But this can be avoided if you buy them and install them yourself. Speaking of installation, installing wireless home security systems can be quite easy to do yourself since they do not require any hard-wiring, only basic tools that you have lying around your house. As previously discussed, the first step to installing wireless home security systems is figuring out where to put the control panels and sensors.

Once you have done that, you are almost on your way to having your home ready to go in case of an emergency or break-in. By following the instructions that come with wireless home security systems, you can quickly install your system while saving money. But, if you prefer to have it done for you, you can easily call a contractor, or a company specializing in this type of system, to do it for you.

Bug Detectors Get Smaller

As technology becomes more and more sophisticated, virtually every type of electronic device becomes even more miniaturized. This is especially true of the spy technology that is available on the market today. As the various types of spy equipment that is used to listen, record and photograph have gotten phenomenally smaller, so have the devices that are used to detect them.

There are now hand held versions of several different types of bug detectors. One such unit can perform a multifunctional sweep of the environment and works just like the larger units do; only now they have more functions as well as offering the convenience of portability. Other hand held devices can detect even the smallest hard wired video camera. If you’re worried about someone listening to or recording your conversation by wearing a hidden, miniaturized listening device upon their person, you’ve got the perfect countermeasure. There are compact sized RF detectors that are so small, you can conceal them upon your person, allowing you to perform a complete sweep for wireless listening devices without anyone knowing you’re even doing it. You can completely eliminate the worry of saying something you don’t want recorded or heard by others when you know whether or not your conversation is truly private. Other types of portable, hand held devices could be used to locate wireless cameras as well as microphones. If you don’t want a video and audio record of something you are about to divulge, you can rest assured that you are in the clear with one of these handy, portable devices.

I bet you are frustrated by the lack of information about spy cameras available on the internet.

I sure was. There seams like there are just a few big companies who have blown their entire advertising budget to make a big splash. (This includes the X10 camera of the late 90s fame). Spy cameras can come in very handy to anyone who wants one (provided, of course, that they aren’t used for nefarious activities). Spy cameras have tons of legitimate uses, and can come in especially useful for home security measures. Here’s how I use the internet to shop for a new spy camera. 1) Use multiple search engines to do your shopping. Just because something is featured on Yahoo doesn’t mean that it is featured on Google and vice versa. A lot of the time, advertising bidders are very different on Yahoo and Google for the same keywords. Search different search engines to see different vendors selling on different sites. 2) Use specific shopping search engines like Froogle. Froogle is great because it allows the shopper to select among multiple different vendors who are selling similar products. Froogle is a shopping specific search engine that you can use specifically for your shopping needs. I’ve used Froogle on multiple occasions to compare and contrast the different product I’m looking for. If you can think it up, it’s probably on Froogle somewhere. Spy cameras are certainly no exception. 3) Learn about the ins and outs of spy cameras. Spy cameras come in as many different forms as flavors of ice creams. You can find spy cameras that are basically disposable and spy camera systems that can cost over $1000. Learn all about them and the mistakes that people make when buying them. Points 1 and 2 above definitely can help you make a decision, however getting the real knowledge is what you will use to ensure that you get the best deal possible.

Learn all about spy cameras and save yourself a bundle.

A home security camera or series of cameras can be an excellent addition to an already effective home security system.

A home security camera is used for a variety of purposes. The primary purpose is to act as a visual deterrent to would be burglars. In most cases, having a home security camera or several cameras installed on your property is likely to discourage a potential burglar. For most homeowners convincing them a home security camera would be beneficial isn’t the problem. The problem is convincing them that buying a security camera isn’t as overwhelming as it seems. This article will offer tips for choosing the right home security camera for your needs. One of the first aspects of a home security camera to consider is whether you will use a wireless home security system or one that requires connection to a power source. There are many security camera options that are wireless. This means the camera does not need to be connected to an external power supply and there is no need for wires. However, the camera still requires a source of power which is often an internal battery. A wireless home security camera may be easier to install because there is no wiring but it can be more difficult to maintain because the batteries may need to be replaced or recharged frequently. The location of your home security camera should also be considered before you make your purchase. In most cases, a home security camera is installed outdoors. This requires several considerations. Protection of your camera from the weather elements is very important. You should choose a home security camera that is designed to work well in your environment. You should also consider where you wish to install the camera.

To effectively deter a burglar, the home security camera should be installed in location of high visibility because burglars will not be deterred if they do not see the home security camera. This will affect your purchase because you will want to choose a home security camera that will be easily installed in the desired location. Finally, you should decide how you wish to record the images from your home security camera. The recordings from your home security camera can be recorded in a variety of ways including on video tapes, DVDs and on your computer. You should determine which method you want to use before purchasing a home security camera to ensure the camera you choose is compatible with your method of recording. There are many options available for those who wish to purchase a home security camera. All of these options can seem overwhelming and may intimidate some homeowners from making a purchase. It is important to remember that careful research will make the purchase of a home security camera a much simpler process

Listening devices are among the most basic of spy and surveillance equipment. It is the first thing that any professional, amateur, or hobbyist should look into getting. There is a wide variety of listening devices. They range from the large-seeming constructs that are pointed at subjects up to 300 yards away and still pick up sound, to tiny RF transmitters that hide among telephone cords. But the most interesting bugging devices are those that look like ordinary, everyday objects. They are fun to use and often lull unsuspecting subjects into a false sense of security, encouraging them to reveal information that they do not want you to have. Listening devices that look like everyday items are especially helpful if you want to record a conversation you are having with someone, but don’t want them to know you are recording it, or if you want to listen in on a conversation someone is having in another room (one that she or he would not have with you present).

You can leave the object behind, and the person will not know that you are listening, or you can wear the bug on your person, sending the audio to a recorder that you can further listen to at a later time.

Some of the more common everyday listening devices are things like pens and cell phones. These are items that are prevalent everywhere. It does not look suspicious if you have a pen in your pocket, or use it to take notes. Likewise, nobody thinks twice about the cell phone hanging from a clip on your belt. These are objects that people expect to accompany you everywhere. And they are also objects that nobody suspects when you “forget” them. People are forever misplacing pens and cell phones. Other listening devices that masquerade as regular items include reading glasses, makeup compacts, and even larger, more stationary things like clocks and small sculptures. It is even possible to hide bugs in innocuous objects not likely to be suspected of containing bugs. Many of these things still perform their normal functions, so they work as they should. They just have the added bonus of actually being listening devices. (c) 2005 Copyright This article is about: Listening Devices.

In December 2004, a fire destroyed three townhouses and damaged a fourth in Lorton, Va.

, just south of the nation’s capital. Investigators later determined that faulty wiring had sparked the blaze. Raul Castillo, a spokesman for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, said that fire marshals digging through the rubble uncovered an anomaly in the internal wiring at the back of one of the townhouses. This launched the fire, which spread to the adjacent townhouses. Two firefighters were hurt, one burned, while navigating the smoky townhouses in the pre-dawn darkness. Seven adults were left homeless by the fire, which marshals estimate caused at least $800,000 in damage. To avoid such a disaster, the National Concrete Masonry Association advises that you evaluate a building’s fire safety when you rent or buy a home in a multi-family dwelling, or if you are planning to lodge somewhere overnight or house your loved ones in college dormitories or nursing facilities. Buildings should contain these three components of a balanced fire-safety design: smoke detectors, sprinkler systems and concrete masonry walls between housing units. These elements, working in concert, provide the highest levels of safety and property protection. Find out if the building’s walls and floors also are constructed of concrete and concrete masonry. Concrete masonry helps keep fire from spreading and does not produce smoke or generate toxic fumes. The NCMA recommends that you urge local building-code officials to ensure that multi-family homes adhere to the principles of a balanced fire-safety design, including non-combustible concrete masonry construction.

We live in a very insecure world, dominated by robbery and crime. Due to the pronounced differences between the classes of society, cultural conflicts and various other factors, worldwide crime rates have known an exacerbated increase in the last decades, rendering modern society a very unstable and unsafe environment. Every day we hear about all sorts of crimes, robberies and thefts, making us doubt the safety of our homes, possessions and even our lives! People are feeling more and more insecure inside their homes these days and they reinforce their doors and windows, install extra door locks, and even buy guard dogs to provide them protection.

However, it is very important to note that experienced robbers can easily break through to a wide range of home defenses, the previously mentioned precautions only providing a false sense of security. In addition, recently conducted research has revealed that most burglaries and robberies take place while the owners are at home, exposing the home owners and their families to a serious risk! In present, the only effective means to protect your home against robbers is to install a reliable home security system. Only after you have equipped your home with an efficient alarm system you can actually feel 100 percent safe inside your home. A house equipped with a modern, solid security system is definitely not an easy target for robbers. Even the most experienced robbers will think twice before breaking inside a house equipped with a modern security system. However, even if they break inside a house with a security system installed, robbers will trigger the alarm, alerting the local monitoring station and the police. As soon as you order a home security system, a team will promptly deliver and install it for you. Home security systems are easy to use, allowing users to control a series of features via keypad. The security system is password-protected, requiring you to type in the previously established password before you can change the settings of the alarm system. After you have typed in your password, you can easily arm or disarm the alarm system, or change various specific settings. Once armed, the alarm will be triggered by any attempt of breaching inside the house. In order to ensure that your home is effectively protected, you should install motion detectors to every door and window of your house. Home security systems are monitored non-stop by a local monitoring station. When the alarmed is triggered, the security system will promptly signal the monitoring station and you will be immediately contacted on the phone by a member of the security team, in order to confirm whether your house has been breached or the signal has been triggered by accident.

If you don’t answer the phone or give the incorrect password, the monitoring station will quickly alert the police. A reliable home security system is a very effective means of protecting your home. As soon as you equip your house with a modern, effective security system, you are guaranteed maximum protection and ongoing monitoring for your home.

What can you do to safeguard your home if your house keys accidentally end up in the wrong hands? That’s a question nearly two out of every three American homeowners should consider closely, according to a new study. The study, Danger at America’s Doorstep: Who Has Keys to Your Home?, looked at how homeowners protect–or fail to protect–their house keys and safeguard their home.

The survey found that a majority (64 percent) of American homeowners have knowingly circulated their house keys outside of their immediate family and nearly one-third (27 percent) of American homeowners have given out a key three or more times. Every 15 seconds a burglar breaks into a house, apartment or condo in the U.S. Burglars are often quick to attack a home’s easiest point of entry, and nothing’s easier than unlocking a front door with a set of keys. According to John Heppner, President and CEO of Fortune Brands Storage and Security, including Master Lock Company L.L.C., «Too many Americans underestimate the potential risks they invite to their homes when they let their house keys wander.» Fortunately, there are ways to prevent strangers from entering your home–even if they have your key. For example, the Master Lock NightWatch™ Deadbolt looks and works just like a standard deadbolt lock, but it offers a powerful new security feature-a patent pending blocking function that locks out all keys. To activate, owners simply lock the deadbolt as they would a standard deadbolt and then pull the lever towards them. This simple motion locks the deadbolt into an «engaged» position that blocks out any key. The lock can only be engaged or disengaged from indoors and can be easily installed in any standard entry door, replacing any other standard deadbolt. To safeguard their homes, homeowners should: 1. Keep keys secured where they won’t be forgotten or left behind. 2. Don’t hide keys in «secret» places outside your home-experienced burglars can usually find them. 3. Never attach your keys to anything that lists your name, address or phone number, and never leave them behind in a locked (or unlocked) car. 4. Always separate your house keys from your car keys each time you valet your car or drop it off for maintenance. 5. Only give your keys to someone who will watch over them as if they were their own.

Let’s look at locks

History From the beginning of humankind people have felt the urge to protect what they possess. They start by covering the entrance of their caves with stones; later they hid their gold and jewels in the ground. Then they discovered locks. These were first made of wood and rope. They served the purpose well, although they were not so nicely designed. There is a lot of historical proof which certifies the use of locks long before we could imagine. Even in the Bible (Old Testament, Books of Judges) we have frequent mention of locks and keys. Types In modern society we have keys and locks for everything: the house, the office, the car, the bike. We even have more than one key for the same building; keys and locks are so much a part of our daily routine that we don’t take them into consideration (or maybe we do that only when the ring of keys is too heavy to be placed in our pockets). But we do give a lot of thought when we have to pick the type of lock or the type of key. Basically we are talking about mechanical locks (based on mechanical activation of the keys) electro-mechanical locks (can be both mechanical or electrical activated, but usually the key is replaced with numbered buttons that have to be pressed) and electrical locks (activated by a card key that has a particular code, programmed to be read by a card reader which is controlled by an automated central or a local processor).

How to pick the lock? It is not as complicated as we think, but also not as easy as it appears in a lot of movies. Some say that this requires both art and science. We have to have a good knowledge of the lock mechanism and, some practice. Firstly we insert a tension wrench in the lock (a screwdriver for example) and, with a slight pressure, turn the plug (the lock cylinder) like the proper key would have done (we have to figure out what is the normal direction for the key to be turned). It will help create a small place between the lock pins (placed inside the lock). Then we have to insert a lock pick in order to lift them up (like the proper key will do when inserted in the lock). Doing this and continuing to apply pressure on the tension wrench we will hear a slight click (made by the pins when they fall in the right position) and the lock will be unlocked. For unsophisticated locks we can use a metal hair pin as a lock pick. But professional locksmiths need an adequate pick tools kit. Basically this contains a tension wrench (they have different shapes and sizes) and several picks(long pieces of metal which are curved up at one end). Some can use an electrical pick gun (contains long pieces of metal and when they vibrate push the pins up and unlock the lock). Re keying lock The process of re keying is quite simple (takes couple of minutes) and it shouldn’t be confused with the process of replacing a lock. Actually it consists of disassembling the lock cylinder and replacing all the old lock pins with new ones, to match the new key. Then the cylinder is reinstalled in the lock! When for example a member of the family loses the house key we can assume that a burglar has it.

We should immediately re key the house lock to prevent a potential theft. It doesn’t cost a lot in time and money, but it can spare us a big stress. The same procedure is advisable when moving into a new house/apartment. The better the lock is, the harder it will be for a burglar to break in!

Penned Up Listening Devices

Unlike an overzealous reporter, who shoves his microphone into your face in his efforts to get your take on the latest, breaking news story, there is a multitude of reasons why you might just want to keep your listening devices a secret. One of the many ways in which you can do that is by using listening devices that look like a pen. These clever little devices are actually very sensitive pen microphones, and when worn in a pocket on your shirt or jacket, are easily mistaken for the real thing. One such listening device is permanently stowed inside the clicker part of a Bic pen and it will work with virtually any recorder that contains an external microphone input with power.

Plus it is ultra high sensitive. But you don’t have to just use these great pen mikes just for covert purposes. Granted, if you are standing near someone and need to secretly listen to their conversation, these pen mikes are great. But there are lots of other reasons to use these sensational listening devices as well. Let us say that you are attending a lecture and you want to record it so that you can carefully go over it later at home when it is time to study. By wearing this hands free device you can do so easily. Or what if you are planning to attend a live music concert and you want to make a recording, you can be sure that by using these particular listening devices, you will get an excellent recording with clear, crisp sound, and deep bass.

Imagine returning from your holiday to find your windows broken, your cars and possessions stolen and your pets gone.

Your space has been violated.

Relax it shouldn’t be necessary to answer that because with the proper preparation you can discourage intruders and have a carefree vacation. Worry shouldn’t be on the agenda when you are vacationing. Your holiday is a treat that should be enjoyed without stressing about the safety of your home. By planning ahead you minimize your risk of something going wrong while you are gone. Depending on how long you will be gone there are a few common sense things you can do for your home, pets and possessions. Discourage thieves by getting a house sitter. This is the best way to ward off trouble. If you know someone who will regularly stop by your house – water your plants and turn on the lights you are lucky. If you have animals you might want to think about hiring a house sitter for while you are away. This way your pets are properly cared for and your home is safer. Peace of mind is worth some extra money. If you are going to hire a house sitter – make sure you use reliable and trustworthy service! Ask around. If you can’t get a house sitter the goal is to make your house look lived in. It’s a good idea to have a trusted neighbor to look after your home.

Someone who can keep an eye on your property and who has a contact number for you should anything go wrong. There are all kinds of timers you can buy that make it seem like there are people in your house. Light timers and radio timers can be very effective in deterring criminals. Think about the state of your lawn before you leave. Overgrown grass is a loud signal that there is nobody home. If you are going to be gone long enough for your post to pile up make an arrangement with a neighbor to pick it up – a pile of unopened mail is an obvious signal to criminals that nobody is home. Even if you aren’t going away for a long time there are some things that you need to do every time you leave the house. – Always lock your door and leave a key with someone to check on your home while you are gone. – Turn on the radio/TV and leave some lights on – Do not leave your spare key under the doormat or in any of the equally obvious hiding places. Rather give a copy to someone else and don’t have a spare key anywhere in your garden while you are home. If you MUST hide your key on the property be creative! That blue rock in the backyard under the tree behind the shed is a better/safer bet. – Develop a reciprocal relationship with your neighbors. Watch their houses when they are away; keep your eyes and ears open for strange happenings and ask them to do the same for you. Group0 together and form a neighborhood watch of some sort . If you follow these tips you can be sure your chances are good that you will return to a secure house. If something has happened while you were out; here are some signs to look for – Broken windows or door should be a major alert that something is wrong. Don’t go inside! Call the police and have them check the property. – If you think you have been broken into don’t touch anything; you want to keep the scene preserved for investigation.

Materials that are extremely hazardous to property, health or the environment (highly toxic gas, explosive, highly water reactive, and pyrophoric materials for example) must not be procured until the necessary permits, administrative, engineering and environmental controls are in place. Hazardous materials must be stored and used in accordance with numerous regulations including, but not limited to, the Uniform Fire Code and local amendments. Permits are required for any quantity of highly hazardous material, and for small to moderate quantities of other materials.

(For example, a permit is required for any quantity of highly toxic or unstable material and for flammable liquids in quantities in excess of five gallons in a building). Contact the Fire Department directly or EHS Facility Safety office (206.543.0465) for assistance. Rooms where hazardous materials are stored or used in quantities that exceed certain thresholds, and rooms dedicated to storing hazardous materials are required to have a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) diamond sign on all doors. Call EHS Facility Safety office at 543-0465 for further information and signs.Flammable Liquids:The quantity of flammable liquids in a single laboratory stored outside of an approved flammable liquids cabinet must not exceed 10 gallons. All 10 gallons, unless in use, must be stored in approved containers as indicated in the table below.Peroxide Forming Chemicals:Peroxides may form in some organic compounds by autoxidation. Peroxides can cause serious accidents and, in some circumstances, become low power explosives that can be set off by shock, sparks or other forms of ignition. Some organic compounds form peroxides in a matter of months under the right circumstance. Be aware of organic compounds in your lab and remember to mark the expiration date on each container and review them periodically for disposal. Ether is an example of peroxide forming chemical.Pyrophoric Material:Pyrophoric material is a material that will spontaneously ignite when it comes into contact with air. This material is only permitted in fire sprinkler protected laboratories in very small quantities (4 pounds aggregate per zone).

Potassium metal is an example of a pyrophoric material. Extreme precaution is required when working with this type of material.Highly Toxic Material:Materials classified as highly toxic are only permitted in small quantities in University buildings (Up to 10 pounds per zone). Highly toxic gas, like Arsine, is not allowed in any quantity without engineering controls and a special permit from the Seattle Fire Department.Incompatible Materials:Incompatible materials are materials which, when in contact with each other, have the potential to react in a manner that generate heat, fumes, gases, or byproducts which are hazardous. For quantities of greater than 5 pounds or 1/2 gallon, separation by not less than 20 feet, approved cabinets, or a noncombustible partition is required. Smaller quantities should also be isolated whenever practical. A common violation is flammable liquids stored with oxidizers.Flammable Liquids and Basements:The International Fire Code prohibits storage of flammable liquids in basements.

However, there are two general exceptions as follows that apply to the University of Washington: Existing grandfathered Class H Occupancy rooms (i.

e., chemical stockrooms design specifically for bulk storage of flammable liquids). New Class H occupancy rooms for flammable liquids are not allowed in basements. Your waste will be picked up in two to four weeks. Please plan ahead and be patient. Each waste item must be tracked from the point of generation to incineration, and we do the paperwork for hundreds of containers of waste every week. Chemicals that are corrosive, flammable, toxic, or explosive are by legal definition «hazardous». Some additional chemicals are handled as hazardous waste because they are carcinogenic, persistent in the environment, or are not allowed in the trash because they generate dusts or other hazard. Large volumes of waste or numbers of containers may take longer to collect due to the long time it takes to process the chemicals (it usually takes an hour to process one Chemical Collection Request) and the limited space on our trucks. Routine collection requests are faster because much of the paperwork is done already. If your waste is accumulated improperly (according the above guidelines), we will stop to discuss the problem with you if you are present.

We will not pick up your waste until the problem has been corrected. All new employees as well as anyone rusty on the basics of hazardous waste management should take this training. It covers hazardous waste definitions, labeling, storage, and disposal and includes a short quiz, all of which should take only ten to twenty minutes to complete. If you pass the quiz, you may request a certificate of completion for your training records at any job that you are working at.

Sales of home and business surveillance/security systems have exploded in recent years. Even before September 11th, sales of surveillance systems had been on the rise. But following the terrorist attacks, sales of home and business security systems rose as much as 20% over the course of three months. The reasons for this increased interest in property and personal security are varied. However, whether you own a home or business, topping the list are the three most common reasons for installing surveillance cameras; protecting your property, family members and employees. The rise in the sales of security cameras has been more than justified by the results stated by police departments of major cities across the country, which report that the chances of a break-in or robbery are nearly cut in half by the presence of an obvious security camera on the premises.

Business owners have reported that theft by both customers and employees is nearly eliminated when they install the right security camera system. And who hasn’t seen the TV footage taken by home security cameras that have led to the conviction of child abusers, ‘peeping toms’ and home burglars?How Security Cameras Safeguard BusinessesThe most obvious commercial use for surveillance systems is the prevention of loss of merchandise through shoplifting.

Other applications are: • Logging transactions at the cash register or ATM • Monitoring remote areas of the premises for safety precautions • Observing how employees are servicing/treating customers • Providing evidence in sexual harassment suits/burglary trials/homicide trials • Monitoring premises after hours • Watching work progress at construction sites But video taped surveillance doesn’t just provide negative evidence; it can also be used to exonerate.

In one case, security video tapes of a parking lot were used to prove that the car of an accused “hit and run” driver could not have been used in the accident that took place several blocks away.Home securityAccording to police in major cities, the presence of a home security camera can reduce the probability that a home will be burglarized by as much as 80%! Home applications include: • Video baby monitors can watch over an infant • Video door phones can identify callers at the door • Nanny cams, with time lapse VCR’s or DVR’s, can provide the peace of mind that your child is being taken care of adequately • Home surveillance systems can provide a view into what may be occuring in your home when you’re away at work or vacation. • Combined with a remote alarm system, a video surveillance system can not only alert police to a break in at your home, but also provide evidence to assist in the capturing and conviction of the intruder. A consultation with a professional security installation company can help you choose the best surveillance system to meet your needs.

And you thought your family and children were so safe inside the home environment cozily protected from potent health hazards! But did you know that the source of asthma, lead poisoning, and many such types of chronic health conditions could lie within your home environs? According to recent survey it has been revealed that your family especially the kids are threatened with major health risks if the design/architecture, built and maintenance of your home is improper.

So while planning out a new home or a home remodeling/renovation make sure that your home planner or design architect makes use of healthier home building techniques and technology. This shall ensure that your family and kids residing in such healthy homes are much more healthier and safer! You might incur higher expenses while constructing a healthy and environmental friendly home as compared to normal homes. But the health and life of your children and family is supposed to be of utmost importance above anything else! So while you are busy with your home plans or home renovation ideas spare a thought on the following points to build a healthier and safer home. · Budget your home plans keeping in mind that you have to use non-toxic or less toxic building materials that are a bit more expensive than general building materials. · General building and construction materials (particularly glues, paints, varnishes, insulators, etc.) are usually loaded with toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as urea, formaldehyde, lead, asbestos, carbon monoxide, etc. derived from petroleum. If inhaled continuously these toxins accumulate in the body leading to serious health problems. · While constructing cabinets and countertops or for sheathing, sub-flooring and roof decking the ideal choice is solid wood but if it is too expensive go in for exterior grade plywood only instead of particleboard/fiberboard that contains toxic glue mixed with wood chips. · Avoid vinyl and wall-to-wall carpet flooring. Vinyl floors contain poly vinyl chloride (PVC) a harmful chemical while fully carpeted floors accumulates dust, dust mites, molds, etc.

all of which are potent causative agents of allergy, asthma and other chronic respiratory problems. Instead use healthier floor alternatives as cork, solid wood, marmoleum, tiles, bamboo, and so on. · Always make use of strictly low-odor and non-toxic paints containing highly reduced amounts of VOCs such as paints comprising of just clay and pigments. Paints are usually loaded with high quantities of lead. Avoid using such paints completely. · Avoid using resins and glues that contain formaldehyde especially urea formaldehyde. · To build the foundation, walls and roof panels of a healthy home make use of thick, natural, hygroscopic and breathable plasters and stuccoes such as clay-treated wood chip placed over sand and fine gravel instead of using foam boards or poly vapor barriers. This renders efficient indoor humidity control thus preventing the formation of molds. In this way you can also avoid the accumulation of harmful radon gas inside your home. · Avoid building bedrooms/living rooms over the garage space of your house.

Toxic gasoline fumes can outgas from the fuel tank of your car and infiltrate into the bedrooms.

· Install carbon monoxide testers/detectors especially near furnaces, fireplaces, and garage areas of your home. Radon testers must be essentially placed in the basement areas of your home as this harmful radioactive gas occurring in soil can seep into your home through the foundation. · For construction of a healthy home only hire registered professional home planners and home builders/contractors who have the required knowledge of building and planning healthier homes based on strict building guidelines.

In 2004 the Bureau of Justice reported that: – 77% of all crime was property related – 17% of all crime domiciles were violated by a burglar – 85% of all burglaries the offender gained entry into the house or other building. In the article«Home Security: Do It Yourself Home Security»we talked about ideas to prevent entry to your home. But the fact is that a determined burglar will get into your home. That is his job and let’s face it, looking at the statistics, they are unfortunately good at it. Remember this: property crime occurs every 3 seconds, a home burglary every 15 seconds. The home burglary that has received the most attention recently involved the theft of a laptop from a Veteran’s Affairs analysts’ home. The laptop reportedly had the personal data for 26.5 million veterans. Three other tactics might be used to help prevent a burglary are home security alarms or burglar alarms, property marking and home security cameras. Property marking is simply marking all your valuables with an identifying «signature» so they can readily be identified when recovered. Methods of marking include micro dots, laser pens, and ultraviolet pens. The key here is to have signage letting everyone know your property won’t be so easy to sell on the black market because it is marked.

Believe it or not most burglars do read and study their targets.

Home security cameras as part of a home security system are very effective in two respects.

First as a deterrent. If a burglar sees that a property is covered with surveillance cameras they will have second thoughts in targeting that property. Second, if they are not that smart and decide to enter anyhow, a good surveillance system will capture the images of the perpetrator making it easier for the police to capture the bad guys. Home security cameras can be wired or wireless, real or dummy, indoor or outdoor, or any combination thereof. Alarms can act as a successful deterrent. 90 % of police believe alarms deter burglary attempts. There are all kinds of alarms including expensive home security alarm systems monitored by ex-police officers. Silent, noisy, wired, wireless, door, window, motion, monitored, unmonitored-you name it and there is an alarm for it. Signage again is the key. Let burglars know they are in for a hard time ahead of time. The thing is alarms work. Alarms, surveillance cameras, and property marking are three more ways you can protect your home from burglary. Home security has become a huge business in the United States. With the advances in home security alarms, home security systems including wireless home security and home security cameras maybe, just maybe the bad guys will think twice before breaking into your home If you think crime can only happen to the other guy you are wrong.

The «other guy» is thinking the same thing and YOU are that «other guy». There is a reason why they call it self defense. You have to protect yourself.

Have you ever wondered where you need to advertise your website in order to get the maximum viewer ship? How can you maximize your profit? If you are not aware of the web advertising solution, then you need the expert.

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What’s more the order is processed in less than 12 hours. Isn’t it amazing! However the indexing done by the search engines varies from 6-12 weeks subject to the individual company policies. This one too comes with a money back guarantee and the rates are as competitive. With prices starting from $15 a month to $95 for the entire year this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The ranking is done independently but most of the clients of Traffic-Aim have very high rankings.

The targeted traffic may not always be available at a single location.

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The Federal Trade Commission reports that identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. The term «identity theft» was not even coined until a few years ago. These days we seem to hear it every time we turn on the television or open a magazine.

But what is the real truth about identity theft? The United States Department of Justice offers this definition: «Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.» So how real is this threat? Several of the world’s largest banks and data collection agencies have suffered fraud affecting millions of people. The IRS has stated that their networks of personal and financial records are not well protected. It appears that we are all at risk for identity theft, and there may not be anything we can do about it. In fact, many people who are at risk don’t even realize it. So what are some ways to stop identity theft? How do you know if you are putting yourself at risk of becoming a victim? Take, for example, your driver’s license or health insurance card. In many instances, the account or license number is the same as your Social Security number. Calling a pharmacy, doctor’s office, or car insurance company will often lead to you being asked for your Social Security number as a means of identification. Your personal checks often include your name, address, bank account number, and signature. They’re often supplemented at the store’s request with your phone number and driver’s license number or Social Security number. An unscrupulous store clerk may easily gain access to all this information. No matter what type of data you are providing, whether it’s to your doctor’s office, your pharmacy, your bank, stores you make purchases from, schools, or even the IRS, this information has a chance of being compromised. The internet has made spreading and selling the information not only easier, but more anonymous for the criminals. The volume of information in today’s society makes identity theft an ever-present danger. Recently, companies have begun adapting to the changing environment and recognizing the very real threat that identity theft poses. Those with large databases of personal and financial information are being required to better protect that data.

The United States government has joined by prosecuting identity theft criminals. Credit card companies, banks, and insurance companies have begun to offer identity theft insurance. Here are several places to search on the internet if you would like to learn more about identity theft and identity fraud, and what government programs have been implemented to help curb this financial threat. Department of Justice: Federal Trade Commission: Identity Theft Resource Center: Consult with your bank, your credit card companies, and your insurance company to see what steps they are taking to help prevent identity theft. Find out what coverage they can offer to protect you in case it happens to you. Make sure that you do business with companies which are supporting government legislation to curb identity theft and identity fraud. The truth is that identity theft is out there. It’s not just a scare tactic used by insurance companies to sell needless coverage to unsuspecting clients. The threat is very real, but with research and information, you can help lower your risk of becoming one of its victims.

Outdoor landscape lighting can be a very decorative addition to any garden. But what about the additional benefits of the security and safety that it can also provide. Security Outdoor landscape lighting is one of the best security systems you can install. Landscape lighting can be used as a deterrent to residential crime. Correct proportions of outdoor landscape lighting surrounding your home, has been shown to minimize crimes by as much as fifty percent. Landscape lighting has two great uses to aid in the security of your home. The lighting can intimidate possible intruders to avoid trespassing on to your property. Should this fail, the illuminated areas will also make it possible for you or your neighbor’s to see any intruders as they trespass. As well as lighting an intruder visually, they will also create shadows. At night when vision is limited a moving shadow is easy to see. Even though you probably won’t clearly make out the intruder in the darkness, your eye will be drawn to the movement straight away which will put you on alert immediately.

When designing your outdoor landscape lighting it is a good idea to light the pathways separately as to lighting individual garden features. This can be done using separate wiring circuits. To save power the feature lighting can be turned off very late at night, say after 1.30 am and the pathway lighting can remain on for safety and security. Also remember when wiring your outdoor landscape lighting, make sure to bury the wiring. It is common for intruders to see this wiring an cut it knowing that it will blow the lighting fuse which will turn off all of your lights. Safety Typically low voltage lighting systems are used for outdoor landscape lighting around the home. The preferred light fittings used to create outdoor landscape lighting, are low voltage, weather resistant fixtures. The low voltage used reduces the risk of electrocution if live wiring or terminals are touched. Also if power supply transformers are used to reduce the voltage, then they also isolate the low voltage system from the mains voltage which increases safety.

Low voltage lighting outdoor systems around the home garden also use low wattage lamps.

These do not heat up as much as the larger sized lamps commonly used inside the home. The risk of burning anyone is reduced. Also the risk of burning and damaging plants by the directed light is also greatly reduced. Maintenance Always check your low voltage outdoor landscape lighting regularly. Say once every week. Lamps eventually burn out and require replacement regularly. Another problem is that plants outgrow their original shape and form and you will need to re-aim the lighting again to suit. The neighbor’s cat or dog may also knock your lighting over if it is loosely installed.

For most people their home is their biggest investment. In 2006 the median price for a home is expected to be $231,000. And of course everyone has insurance on their house. Everyone has insurance on their car as well. But more people have alarms for their car than their home.

How does that make any sense? Most people associate home security alarms with high ticket home security systems, home security alarm systems or home security monitoring that can cost $70 a month or more. I recently heard of a new home security company in New Mexico that is hiring ex police officers only to respond to alarm calls from members because quite frankly the response time from the police department was way to slow. Monitored security systems are effective no question about that. The question is-is there an effective way to protect your house without sending you to the poor house. Obviously there is a point where cost becomes prohibitive. Each situation is different for sure. Depending on the risk level of the area in which you live many low cost home security devices will do the job just as well as the high priced toys. Remember the objective is to prevent a burglary-keep the intruder from intruding. Recently in Colorado Springs a woman was saved from an uncertain fate by an intruder trying to get into her house. She was awakened in the middle of the night by her barking dogs. Now I am not suggesting that everyone get a dog because quite frankly a lot of dogs are not suited for this anyhow. But let’s look at some inexpensive alternatives that do work. The simplest and least expensive are security alarms activated by opening a window or door. When the alarm is activated a 110 decibel alarm goes off. Other systems using infrared technology detect motion in a room and set off an alarm. Yet another device sets of a realistic barking dog sound when movement is sensed from 30 feet away thru doors and walls. The barking gets louder and more frequent as the intruder approaches. One more system that has a broader appeal is a motion activated annunciator system that can detect movement from 1000 feet away and «lets you know» if someone is approaching in your driveway, back yard or patio.

This system can trigger a floodlight if it senses movement in a designated area. It can monitor up to six zones. There are many home security alarms available that will do the job effectively without breaking the bank. Why take a chance with such a valuable investment. There are many choices available-one has to be right for your home.

A Safe Apartment

There are special dangers involved with apartment living. This is because you live so close to many other people. Their actions can jeopardize your safety and so it’s very important for you to be aware of what you must do to safeguard yourself, your family and your possessions. Fire Safety . . . Fire is perhaps the greatest danger in apartment buildings. With so many units joined together, it doesn’t take long for fire to spread from one to another. The following guidelines are critical to your safety: • Install smoke detectors in the kitchen, all bedrooms, the laundry area and hallways.

You must test them every month and replace the batteries every 6 months. They won’t do you any good if they aren’t in working order. • Keep fire extinguishers handy in the kitchen, laundry area and near your outside grill. • Develop an escape plan. This plan should include two ways of exiting – in most cases, this will probably include the main door and either a window or door wall. If you live on a higher floor and don’t have access to a fire escape, purchase a rope ladder to use for exiting from windows or a balcony. Practice your escape plan regularly so each member of your family knows exactly what to do in case of fire. • Never use an elevator during a fire. • Never park in front of fire hydrants or in fire lanes and make sure your guests don’t either. General Safety . . . Fire isn’t the only danger in an apartment building. You must also be aware of hazards that can exist no matter where you live and take precautions to prevent them. • Install a carbon monoxide detector. • Install screen guards or window stops and doorstops on your patio door to protect your children from falling. • Keep your apartment and building number near the telephone so your family or babysitter can access it in case of an emergency. Remember that memories can fail during emergencies. • Make certain your apartment number is clearly marked on your door. • Be sure that each person in your family knows how to dial 911. Protecting from Intruders . . . There are many people coming and going in an apartment complex. Criminals count on this anonymity. That makes it very important to get to know the other tenants. When you do, not only are you better able to identify someone who doesn’t belong, it also makes it more likely that tenants will look out for one another. • Consider forming an “apartment watch”.

This is similar to a neighborhood watch but confined to your apartment complex. If a group of tenants is on the alert for suspicious behavior, they can prevent many problems from arising. • Install quality deadbolt locks on your door and place a wooden rod or steel brace on sliding doors. One caution about deadbolt locks – don’t purchase those that require a key. In an emergency, you won’t have time to search for the key. • Make sure your landlord has installed good lighting in all stairways, hallways, and common areas like the laundry room. • Make sure that if your building has a common entry, the entry door locks so that only tenants can enter. Never open that door for strangers. If you follow these guidelines, practice good common sense, and are alert to what’s going on around you, your apartment will provide a safe home for you and your family.

A home security camera is one way to protect your home against would be burglars. A home security camera system is essentially one or more small cameras that are mounted, usually, on the exterior of your home to deter would be burglars.

A home security camera typically works in conjunction with a home security system. In many cases the home security camera is activated by motion and can swivel to begin filming in the direction in which motion is detected. The home security camera will transmit the images that it views to a monitor where it can be viewed and recorded. Purchasing a home security camera for several locations on your property and the monitoring and recording equipment can be quite expensive. A home security camera has been proven to be an effective burglary deterrent and for these reasons some homeowners opt for a dummy home security camera to deter burglars without the high price of a real home security camera. The question, however, is whether or not a dummy home security camera can really be an effective way to protect your home from burglary. There really is no simple answer to this question. A dummy home security camera that is very convincing and can be difficult to distinguish from a real home security camera might be effective.

The more the dummy camera looks like the real thing, the more likely it is to fool burglars.

The problem with this is that the more realistic the dummy security camera looks, the more expensive it will be. The price may still be lower than a real camera but it may be close enough in price that a real home security camera might be a better option. There are many dummy home security cameras that can be purchased for very little money but when the price is lower so is the quality of the replication. A dummy home security camera that is clearly a fake will not be effective when it comes to deterring burglars. For many determining whether or not a dummy security camera is an economical choices has more to do with effectiveness than it does with finances. A dummy security camera may certainly be an affordable home security option but if is not effective, it will turn out be very costly. A real home security camera will more than pay for itself if it prevents you from losing valuable or irreplaceable pieces of property. A real home security camera not only acts as a burglary deterrent but in the event that the burglars do enter your property, a real security camera can record valuable evidence that might be useful in regaining your property.

If your house is on fire would your gun or firearms be safe? If a burglar were to break into your house, would he find your gun easily and steal it? Is your gun easily accessible so that it can be reached by others who are unauthorized to handle the gun, allowing misuse? These are the three main important questions that every gun owner must answer, and if the answer to any one of these questions or to all of these questions is in the affirmative, then what he needs immediately is a gun safe.

Consider these 4 revealing statistics: 1. In the United States of America, the FBI has estimated that there are more than 341,000 incidents of firearm theft from private citizens every year on average. By nature, we tend to believe that firearm theft will not occur to «us» …and that theft only occurs to others. It is time to get wiser, that theft does not wait for any man. For many who possess guns or firearms that are actually hierlooms, the loss of the firearms would mean much more than normal loss. It means loss of something sentimental, and it would be worse if that hierloom was used in the commission of a crime resulting in loss of life. 2.Guns and firearms are stolen with a purpose – stolen guns often end up in the hands of unwanted individuals and criminals who may use them to commit further misdeeds, burglary, theft, robbery and even cause bodily harm to others. Worse, children and kids may mistaken a real gun for a toy and mishandle it if the gun is not stored away properly, resulting in accidents.

We have read and seen actual cases where kids have easy access to the parents firearms, resulting in terrible unnecessary loss of lives and untold misery that lasts for life.

It is estimated that over 30% of the firearms used in the commission of a crime are stolen from American homes and businesses. Now, that is a really worrisome figure. Theft of guns is becoming a source of further crime and gun-owners must take on a role to prevent increasing firearms theft. 4. A burglar has a time window of around 6 minutes to look quickly for prized possessions and assets to steal when he breaks into a home, this being the time burglars would be «comfortable» in the commission of his crime. Frustrate the burglar’s «time comfort zone», by storing away your gun properly. Considering your responsibility as a firearms owner,it is no longer wise to store your gun in a drawer, or under a desk or behind a picture frame – places where burglars and unauthorized persons will zoom in for. Every responsible gun owner needs a gun vault or a gun safe – fireproofed, locked and inaccessible to unwanted persons…and safe from theft, fire and misuse.

Identity theft commonly begins with the loss or theft of a wallet or purse. But there are many or high-tech and low-tech ways criminals can get their hands on your personal and financial information in order to commit identity theft. When someone uses your name or personal information, such as your credit card number, driver’s license number, Social Security number, telephone number, or other account numbers, without your permission, you become a victim of identity theft. Thieves steal your personal information and use it to open credit accounts, bank accounts, telephone service accounts, and make major purchases in your name. These criminals use your sensitive information to take over existing accounts, or open new accounts. Their criminal activities can result in damage to your credit rating and denials to credit and job offers.

Protecting Your Identity While there are no guarantees that your identity will never be stolen or compromised, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risks. Here are a few of them: • Before you discard your personal information that you no longer need, such as credit card receipts, billing statements, and pre-approved credit card offers, shred them using, at best, a diagonal-cut shredder. • Create unique passwords and personal identification numbers (PINS) and avoid using easily available information such as mother’s maiden name, date of birth, or last four digits of your Social Security number. • Do not give your Social Security number to people or companies that you do not know. • Guard your mail from theft. Promptly remove your incoming mail from your mailbox and place outgoing mail in locked collection boxes at your local Post Office. • As an extra measure of security, install a lock on your mailbox, even if mail theft is not an identified problem in your neighborhood. • Before disclosing personal information, even to people you know where you shop or do business, insist on knowing the reason(s) your personal information is required and how it will be used. Low-Tech Rip-offs: Thieves can do much damage with what they remove from your mailbox. Criminals are increasingly creative in the methods they use to get their hands or eyes on your personal information, and ultimately, your money. Here are some of the low-tech techniques they employ: • Dumpster Diving, one of the easiest ways for them to appropriate your personal information. • Mail Theft from unsecured residential mailboxes.

According to statistics, mail theft most often takes place at unprotected and easily accessible mailboxes in public places. • Shoulder surfing takes place when a thief watches or listens literally over your shoulder as you enter your PIN into an ATM machine. They may even follow you home or your place of work to gather additional information about you. High-Tech Techniques: Data transferred across the Internet can be intercepted during its journey. • Phishing and Pharming: While phishing is a scam in which consumers are tricked into entering their personal information via a bogus email and website form, pharming occurs where hackers steal personal information from numerous people simultaneously through something known as «domain spoofing». They take over a DNS server and redirect user information to a new website that they use to gather, collect, «pharm» illegal information. • Skimming: Thieves quickly and temporarily steal a credit card and run it through a skimmer, a credit card reader that has been reprogrammed to steal information off the card.

Fight Back: Reduce the Risks Make education about the scams, schemes, and frauds criminal use to steal your identity your priority in view of the rising occurrence of this multi-million-dollar-problem.

With education comes prevention. Here are some prevention tips to help reduce the risks: • Safeguard your personal information. Never take simple things for granted. • Carry with your only the information you need. Always keep your personal information and documents in a safe and secured place of your choosing. • Order and review a copy of your credit report at least once a year. • Shred documents containing your sensitive information before discarding them. For extensive information about ways to protect your identity, visit «Protecting Your Identity» at

Picking the right lock

Lock picking is the activity that opens a lock without the proper key. When we are thinking of it, usually we are associating it with illegal activities. But that isn’t always the case! Let’s think for example what we can do if we have lost the house key or if we have locked ourselves outdoors. If we live on the ground floor we could jump through the window (if it’s not open we can easily break it with a stone). But if we are not, we either unlock the door or… break it (which is not a cheap solution).

With a bit of talent and an unsophisticated lock, we can manage to unlock it ourselves. Though the reality is not quite like in the movies (when a door is unlocked in a couple of minutes, just in time for the hero to save the heroine). The best solution is to call for a professional locksmith, who is trained to deal with these situations. When picking a lock, a locking tools kit is needed. The simplest kit contains a tension wrench (a screwdriver for example) and a lock pin (a long, thin piece of metal, curved at the end). In an emergency situation, a lock pin is successfully replaced with a hair pin. A professional kit will have a lot of tension wrenches (in different sizes and shapes) and a lot of dimensions for the lock pins. Or it could have a pick gun (contains many metal pieces, that vibrate and push all the lock pins up at once). First step is to insert the tension wrench in the keyhole and turn the cylinder like a normal key would do. Then we can insert the lock pin and carefully start to lift the pins up. When they reach the normal position we will hear a slight click and the lock is unlocked. Along with “picking” there is another technique called “racking”. It presents a lower level of precision. We need a special pick called a “rake”. This will be inserted until it hits the back of the cylinder (not slowly like a pick) and it will be pulled out quickly in order to hit all the pins up on its way out. In the meantime the cylinder is turned with the tension wrench. Master locks are one of the hardest locks to be picked! They are not infallible, but they do have an excellent protection system. They were invented in 1921, by Henry Soref, who thought of producing the padlocks in laminated layers of steel. While the Master locks in padlocks have the same picking system as the other locks, Master locks in combined formats require a patient and skillful locksmith.

There are a lot of lock picking books, which teach us the techniques of lock picking step by step. Sometimes they are accompanied by a video or CD for a better illustration. Some of the books are written for professional locksmiths, but there are also many others directed to people that simply want to know more about the subject. Sometimes the books show the history of locks and lock picking or how a person can become a locksmith! When buying a lock, we have to keep in mind the value of what we intend to protect! Most locks can be picked, but buying a good one increases our security and safeness!