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Peace of Mind Vol 1-43: The Modern Security System

VoIP, Touchscreens, Smart Phone Access & More: The Modern Security System

Like most technology, security systems technology rapidly changes and improves. In some cases, consumers adjust their lifestyles to incorporate new technology. However, in most cases technology adapts to meet the changing needs of consumers. Alarm systems and security technology is no different.

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for over 20 years and we pride ourselves on offering new technology that clients want. Lifestyles have changed over the last few years and more and more consumers are looking for alarm systems and security services that meet today’s modern lifestyles. The modern alarm system has adapted to these needs and your next security system could likely include a touchscreen keypad, smartphone access and VoIP communication.

More and more customers are dropping traditional landlines and using only mobile phones. Consumers are also switching to VoIP (voice over IP) services and therefore they looking for alarm systems that communicate through VoIP rather than through traditional phone lines.
Touchscreen smartphones such as those from Apple, Google and Microsoft have also influenced security technology. Touchscreen keypads are incredibly popular today. Rather than having a static keypad with a series of buttons, more and more alarm systems are using multi-function touchscreen keypads. Not only do these keypads look more aesthetically-pleasing than ever before, but they are also more intuitive, more powerful and easier to use.

Customers are used to using touchscreens on smart phones, bank ATMs, self-serve check out lines, gas stations and in a number of other places. It simply makes sense to have touchscreens on alarm systems as well. The graphical interface makes it easier than ever to use your alarm system and this puts more power in the hands of the user, where it belongs.
Touchscreens make it easy to perform a variety of functions and this gives you more control over exactly how you alarm system functions. Everything from setting the alarm to changing your security code can now be done in an easy, intuitive and accessible manner.

And you don’t have to be at home to control and monitor your alarm system any longer. Smartphones, laptops and mobile Internet access now make it possible for you to arm your security system, view images and video from your security cameras, turn off lights and other devices and be alerted when your alarm or motion detectors are activated no matter where you are.
For more information on alarm systems and security technology, please contact SafeTech Alarm Systems today.

Securing Your Electronics

Electronics are becoming more and more sophisticated and expensive. They’re also becoming smaller, lighter and more mobile. This combination makes them a frequent target of thieves.
Not only are electronics expensive, but they also contain valuable data. A thief who steals your laptop or smartphone could access your email, your social networking sites, your banking information, your private contact list and more. There is enough valuable information on a laptop or smartphone to steal your identity. Criminals also use the information they obtain from stolen electronics to plan break ins based on their new-found knowledge of your life.

Your first step in your defense of your electronics and your information is to keep them nearby at all times. Don’t leave your laptop, tablet or smartphone on the table while you go get a coffee refill, go outside for a smoke or use the restroom. Keep your electronics on your person whenever possible. Cell phones should be in your pocket or inside your bag when you are not using them. Laptops and tablets should be placed inside your bag as well and you should wear this bag close to your body so it cannot be easily grabbed. You may want to consider placing a lock on your bag as well. If you’re seated, don’t place your electronics on the floor beside you. Keep them on the table where you can see them at all times.

There are also alarm systems for electronics that sound once they are a certain distance away from you. Some are even motion-activated. You can keep your devices safe by adding one of these systems.

It’s also important that you keep your information safe. Always lock your devices when you’re not using them and use a password to secure them. When choosing a password, make sure that it is something that is difficult to guess. Common dictionary words and personal information such as your middle name or postal code should not be used as passwords. These are two easy to guess. “123456,” “Password” and “Qwerty” should also not be used as they are very common. Be sure to include a mix of letters and numbers in your password. Some laptops and phones allow you to use a fingerprint or facial recognition software to add extra security. Be sure that your virus scanner, spyware scanner and firewall are all up-to-date to prevent hackers from stealing your information without coming anywhere near your computer.

You can also install a GPS tracker program onto your device that will allow you to track it if it is stolen. Most smartphone manufacturers offer a “find my phone” service that will let you track your phone and even lock, deactivate or delete it if it is stolen.

Monitor Your Home From Anywhere

How would you like to double check that your door is locked while you’re traveling to work?How about checking your security cameras and making sure everything is okay at home while you’re on vacation? Would you like to receive a text message when your children arrive home from school and deactivate the alarm?
Modern technology lets you keep tabs on exactly what is taking place in your home from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. You can use your laptop, smartphone or tablet to verify that everything is going well at home or to take action if there’s a problem.

If your video surveillance cameras are Internet-enabled, you can log in and view them using any Internet-connected device. This gives you peace of mind as you’ll never have to guess about what’s happening at home. You’ll know exactly what’s taking place in real time. You can even set up your system to send you a text message whenever a motion sensor is tipped. You can then log into your cameras directly and see if the sensor was activated by a burglar or by your cat knocking over a chair. If there’s a problem, you’ll be able to contact the police immediately from wherever you are and give them video evidence that a break-in is in progress.

Whether you have an iPad or iPhone, an Android device, a Windows Phone or a Blackberry, you’ll be able to find a variety of different apps that will help you keep your home secure. Each phone operating system has a selection of security camera monitoring applications that you can use along with your security system. You can also use your laptop.
Monitoring your alarm system with your cell phone isn’t just useful for trouble conditions either. You can use this technology to ensure that your children arrived home from school safely, to make sure that your contractor or housekeeper is working the right hours, to check on your pets or elderly relatives or for a variety of other reasons. You’ll be able to relax no matter where you know when you know that you’re only a click away from home.

How To Prepare For An Emergency

Unfortunately, disaster can strike at any time. Power outages, floods, ice storms, hurricanes and other natural disasters often happen with little-to-no warning. This doesn’t give you much time to prepare. However, putting together an emergency preparedness kit and having a plan for an emergency will go a long way to keeping you safe.
Your emergency kit is incredibly important and every home should have one. You kit should contain a number of essentials that will keep you safe should an emergency occur. Here are a few things that should go inside your emergency kit:

  • A first aid kit including adhesive bandages, bandage wrap, gauze, tweezers, antiseptic, scissors, a thermometer, a blanket and a number of other items
  • If you take any medications, you should have an emergency supply on hand. Make sure that you check this supply regularly and replace any expired medications.
  • Candles, matches and a lighter.
  • A flashlight and batteries.
  • Water and canned food. You should make sure to replace these items before they expire.
  • Toiletries, warm clothing, pillows and sleeping bags.
  • An emergency whistle to attract attention.
  • Copies of all important identification along with some extra cash. Keep these items securely locked up.

You’ll also want to ensure that you have a home evacuation plan and that every member of your family has read and understood the plan in detail. The plan should include a written escape route from your home as well as details on where household members should meet up in the event of an emergency. A good meeting place is a shopping mall, parking lot or other landmark. This will prevent you from getting separated from your loved ones for an extended period of time and frantically searching for them should you be split up.

Having a detailed plan will keep you and your family from panicking or losing one another during an emergency. While natural disasters and other emergencies can occur without warning, if you prepare yourself in advance you have a much better chance of surviving.

Peace of Mind Vol 1-42: Stopping Employee Theft

Serial Robber Arrested in BC

A 36-year-old man from Burnaby, British Columbia is facing 27 charges in relation to a series of armed robberies. The nine robberies took place over the past two months in Burnaby and Richmond, British Columbia. All of the crimes occurred at currency exchanges or financial institutions.
The man has been charged with 11 counts of robbery, nine counts of wearing a disguise in the commission of an indictable offence and seven counts of using an imitation firearm in the commission of an indictable offence.

He was caught after Richmond RCMP were notified of an attempted robbery in progress. The man allegedly tried to enter a currency exchange business through the rear door with a weapon and the authorities were called. Police in the area saw the man fleeing the premises and he was arrested.
Both Burnaby and Richmond police had been looking for the man. The two police forces recognized that there were similarities between the four robberies in Burnaby and the five that took place in Richmond and realized that the same person could be responsible.

“Burnaby and Richmond RCMP investigators quickly realized they could both be looking for the same suspect – the suspect description was similar, though he took pains to disguise his features, and there were similarities in the way the crimes were committed,” said Sgt. Peter Thiessen in a press release.
In each robbery, the man walked into the institution wearing a mask. He threatened those inside with a knife or a fake gun and demanded cash. The man has been remanded in custody until he returns to court later in February. The man was not known to police before these robberies.

Business owners can protect their offices from crime and provide assistance to law enforcement officials by installing security systems and video surveillance cameras in their businesses. Not only to security cameras work as a deterrent, but they also provide detailed and very credible evidence to law enforcement officials. For information on which cameras will work best for you, please contact us today and we can set you up with the right security camera system for your needs.

Stopping Employee Theft

Companies spend a lot of time and money protecting their businesses and offices from intruders. That’s a smart thing to do. Keeping your property safe from the outside world is definitely necessary. However, while your office may be protected from outsiders, is it protected from people inside your own company?

According to the US Department of Commerce, employee theft costs businesses up to $50 billion each year. While shoplifters, robbers, thieves and other intruders can harm your business greatly, those who work in your organization can potentially cause even greater damage. Protecting your business from employee theft is important.

Employee theft can be difficult to detect. Employees are often given free reign within stores or offices. They are also frequently alone in areas that contain valuables and sensitive information. While most employees can be trusted to refrain from stealing and to prevent others from stealing, that’s not true for every staff member. Here are a few tips to prevent employee theft:

Install and monitor security cameras. Video surveillance is not just useful for keeping your business safe from intruders. Security cameras can also prevent employee theft. You simply can’t be everywhere at once, but security cameras can be. There is no more powerful evidence than video evidence. Installing security cameras in your place of business will also deter employees from attempting to steal company property as they will know that they are being watched. Let all of your employees know that the surveillance cameras in your building are being monitored regularly and this will decrease or eliminate employee theft.

Access control and proper locks are also critical for preventing employee theft. Your stock room should be locked at all times and only those employees who need access should be given keys or passcodes. Consider providing only managers with keys to locations holding valuables and have them record who requests to enter the room. An access control system that utilizes key tags or key cards is also a very efficient way to limit access to certain areas. These systems can be set up to only allow certain employees into certain areas of a building. This not only restricts access for some but it also gives employers the ability to monitor the movement of all employees within the organization. For more information, please visit the access control section of our website.

It is important that you create a culture of responsibility in your office. Make sure that employees understand that theft hurts every member of an organization and ensure that everyone feels comfortable enough with management to come forward with an evidence of employee theft without having to worry about the ramifications.

If you suspect that an employee is stealing from your company, allowing someone to steal without reporting it or aiding the criminal efforts of an outsider, ensure that you get legal advice before making accusations. Employee thefts should be reported to the police department. Law enforcement authorities can also offer advice on the legal process.

Staying Secure on a University Campus

Unfortunately, university campuses can sometimes be dangerous places. For example, two students were robbed on the University of Toronto Scarborough campus in late January 2012. At around the same time, a rash of thefts from automobiles took place at the University of Windsor. University campus crimes can be even more severe and violent as well. In April 2010 a female student was attacked and raped near the York University campus. However, there are several safety measures you can take to keep yourself safe on your university campus.

It’s very important to remain alert at all times, even if you are in a location that you know very well. You can never be sure of the intentions of those around you. Keep your head up and your eyes open and be aware of your environment. It also helps to stick to areas where there are other people. You do not want to end up becoming a crime victim in an isolated or deserted part of campus. This is especially true at night. You should always plan your route in advance so that you can get to your destination quickly without getting lost or sidetracked and make a plan that involves avoiding dark, isolated or deserted areas.

Many campuses have installed emergency phones and lights around campus. Always know where these phones are and how to properly operate them. Program the phone numbers for campus security and the police department into your cell phone and have it ready at all times, especially if you are forced to walk alone or through a deserted area. Walk with other people whenever possible. If you must travel through an isolated part of campus by yourself, find out if your university offers special escorts that can walk with you. Many universities and college now offer this service to students.

If you live on campus or near campus, be sure to always lock your doors and windows. Criminals can use an open door or window to invade your home. The same goes for your car if you have one. Always lock your vehicle and avoid leaving valuables inside. If you must leave items in your car, leave them in a place where they cannot be easily spotted from outside the car. Do not flash valuables or large sums of money around and keep items such as cell phones, laptops and other expensive electronics close to your body at all times.

Do not allow anyone into your room/home without permission. Avoid being alone with anyone you do not know well enough to trust. If you are going to leave campus by yourself (for a blind date, to attend a party, to visit a friend, etc.) make sure that you let someone you trust know exactly where you will be and when you will return. Never agree to meet a stranger in a private place (such as their home) and do not allow them into your home. Always meet in a public place where other people will be around.

It’s also important to be aware of the intentions of those around you. Never take food or drink from a stranger or someone you do not know very well. You never know what could be in it. Most importantly, always trust your instincts. If a situation feels dangerous, leave it immediately. Do not allow yourself to be talked into a scenario that feels wrong. Trust yourself and have confidence to leave these situations as soon as you can. Call a friend or campus security if you need help.

Online Banking Safety

Online banking is a great way to pay bills, manage your money, keep track of your spending and more. However, it is important to take a few precautions when banking online.
Above all, always keep your password confidential. Giving your password to anyone for any reason immediately reduces the security of your account. When choosing your password, do not pick something that will be easy to guess such as your middle name or street name. Always add numbers, a mixture of lower case and upper case letters and other differentiators if possible. Make sure your password is unique to your bank account and not the same password that you use for any other service. Don’t write this password down anywhere. If you’re worried about forgetting it, a good password method is to use a word you will always remember and then to change it slightly. For example, instead of using your middle name “Steve” as your password, use “s1t2e3v4E567.” That’s the word “stevE” with a different number between each letter and at the end. This is easy to remember, but difficult to guess. You should also change your password regularly, especially if you log in a public computers. Always make sure you log out and close the browser window if you bank on a public computer.

Make sure that you only supply your login and password to your bank’s official website. There are many ways to spoof a bank website and some methods are very convincing. Do not click links in emails that look like they are coming from your bank. Many of these emails are scams that will send you to a similar address with a look alike website. These websites are created to steal login information. A common trick is to change the address slightly in an attempt to confuse a customer. For example, if your bank’s website address is www.bankwebsite.com, a scam website may be set up at www.bamkwebsite.com or bankwebsite.othersite.com. If you receive an email saying that there is a problem with your account and that you must enter your login information into a different site, call your bank immediately to verify before giving away any information. The same is true if anyone calls you asking for your information. Do not provide it to them. Ask for their number and tell them you will call them back. Then call the bank and let them know what has just happened. They will be able to verify if the call came from their organization.

It is also very important to update your computer’s virus and spyware scanners and to run regular scans. Some viruses can track keyboard actions and steal your password without you even knowing about it. You’ll want to make sure that your computer’s firewall is functioning properly as well.

SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report Now Available

Protect yourself! Find out where and what type of crime is happening in your neighbourhood and your city with SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report.
Use the 2012 City Crime Report to:

  • Determine exactly where crime is happening in Canada
  • Examine the types of crime taking place in your region and across the country
  • Compare different areas of the country on several different types of crime
  • Recognize the severity and likelihood of crime taking place in your city
  • Understand the overall crime situation in this country

Crime statistics vary drastically across the country and only by knowing the information for your region can you properly protect yourself, your family and your possessions.

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for over 20 years. We have compiled crime statistics from across Canada, broken them down by province and city and presented them in a straightforward manner that will help keep you safe!··
To receive a free copy of SafeTech Alarm Systems’ Canadian City Crime Report 2012, please click here.

What Do You Want to See?

Do you have a question, comment or story idea for “Peace of Mind“?
Do you have some news regarding recent crimes or break-ins?
Email us and let us know!

Online Technical Support, Special Promotions and More!

On the SafeTech Alarm Systems website, you’ll have access to special product promotions as well! Don’t miss out on exciting deals and promotional offers!We’re always working to add and improve website features in order make our website more appealing, more functional and easier to navigate.
We invite you to visit the new site and let us know what you think.
Stay tuned for even more enhancements to the SafeTech Alarm Systems website over the next few months!

Need help troubleshooting your alarm system?

The safetechalarms.com online technical support features and live online help that will guide you through any issue!

Now you can solve any problems you may have with your alarm system quickly, easily and without picking up the phone or waiting for a technician to arrive! We even offer live online chat with members of our technical support team if you have any questions.
Visit our technical support page here.

Stay Up-To-Date With SafeTech

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest security news
  • Hear about upcoming events
  • Find out about new products, services and promotions first
  • Access technical support services
  • And much more!

To contact us online, please visit http://safetechalarms.ca/contact-us.html
or

SafeTech Alarm System
121 Willowdale, Suite # 202
North York, ON, M2N 6A3, Canada

Peace of Mind Vol 1-41: What To Do After A Break-In

Toronto Barber Shot & Killed

A barber in his 30s has been shot and killed in Toronto’s east end. Chris Thompson was shot several times while cutting a customer’s hair at the “Cut Creator” barbershop in Malvern Town Centre on Tapscott Road in Toronto.

“There’s no doubt this was a very cool, cold-blooded crime,” said Det.-Sgt. Dan Nielsen. “The shooter was very discriminating. There was no other people shot. It’s very clear that he was targeting Chris.”

“We don’t know why he was targeted.”

Toronto Police released security footage of the murder a few days after it occurred. They hope that the footage will allow the public to help them identify the killer who appears on the video. There is no video from inside the barbershop, but cameras outside show the killer walking up to the barbershop outside. He drops a bag to the ground in front of the shop, pulls out a shotgun and enters.

Later he is seen leaving the barbershop, putting the gun back in the bag and running from the scene.

“The video is shot from a distance, but you can see his clothing, his stature and how he moves,” Nielsen said.

Security cameras are incredibly powerful tools for law enforcement officials. In many cases, security camera footage is one of the first pieces of evidence that police ask for when arriving at the scene of a crime. Police often use footage to identify an individual at a place and time and to determine exactly what happened at a crime scene. This leads to a conviction.

There are a number of different types of security cameras and different types work best in different locations and situations. If you’re looking to install security cameras in your home or business and you are wondering which cameras will work best for you, please contact us today and we can set you up with the right camera for your needs.

Winnipeg Senior Attacked in her Apartment

88-year-old·Lena Stetwick·was attacked in her Winnipeg apartment building on January 21st. Now her family is urging seniors to take precautions and stay safe.

Stetwick was entering her apartment unit·when she was knocked to the ground. The thief forced his way into her home and then stepped on her chest while exiting with her belongings.

She was found by a neighbour after he heard her crying. The neighbour said that “her face was covered in blood” when he found her. She is now recovering in hospital and is in stable condition. A 22-year-old man has been charged in connection with the robbery and assault. The man is also believed to be responsible for another robbery that took place in early January. In that crime a 65-year-old woman was the victim.

“Our hope is that this would never again happen to anyone, however unrealistic that hope is,” read a statement from Stetwick’s family. “Please, all seniors out there take all the best steps you can to keep yourself safe.”

If you have a family member or friend who is a senior, or if you’re a senior yourself, here are a few tips for staying safe at home.

As with all homes, it is incredibly important to have secure locks on all doors and windows. You should lock all doors with dead bolts and ensure door and window frames are sturdy. You will also want to install a peep hole on your front door so that you can identify anyone who is knocking. Never open the door for a stranger. If you live in an apartment building, you may have building security. Contact them immediately if a stranger knocks on your door or tries to enter your apartment.

Personal emergency alarms can provide safety, security and peace of mind to seniors. SafeTech Alarm Systems offers a number of different personal security alarms. Contact us for more information.

What to do After A Break-In

Unfortunately sometimes homes and businesses are broken into. Maybe you forgot to set your alarm system, a component wasn’t working properly or you overlooked a factor of your system. Maybe you don’t have an alarm system installed at all. Whatever the reason, a break-in took place. This is a traumatic experience for anyone. This is especially true if it is your home that was broken into. Your home is meant to be your sanctuary and your safe place. Knowing that a stranger has been inside without permission is frightening. Valuable and sentimental items may have been stolen as well.

Here are a few tips for what you should do after a break-in.

If you return home to find your door or window smashed open, assess the situation properly. Dangerous criminals may still be inside your home. If you have a cellular phone, call the police immediately before heading inside. You may want to stay outside or go to a friend or relative’s home until the police arrive. This will prevent you from contaminating any possible evidence as well.

Once you enter your home, you’ll want to take full inventory of anything that was stolen or damaged in the break-in. You should let the police know exactly what is stolen in case it is later found. Your insurance company will need this information as well for when you file a claim.

You’ll then need to repair any damage that has been done to your home. If your doors or windows have been tampered with or destroyed, you should get them repaired or replaced as well. This is also an excellent time to reinforce all door and window frames and to replace door locks with more secure dead bolts. You’ll also want to make sure that your windows lock and that they cannot be opened from the outside.

This is also the time to eliminate as many possible weaknesses from your home or office security system as possible. If you do not have an alarm system at all, this is certainly the time to install one. If your security system only covers part of your home (such as the ground floor but not the second floor) you may want to change that to keep yourself safe. Installing bars and gates on windows and doors can certainly help as well, as can adding security cameras to your security services. A loss prevention professional should be able to take a look at your current system and suggest ways that it can be improved. Visit our website for more information and to book a free risk assessment.

Keeping Children Safe in Public

There are a number of dangers that your children could encounter in public. Sometimes this is a fightening thought for a parent. Nothing is scarier than possibly putting your child in danger. However, if you take some precautions you can keep your children safe and secure when in public.

While you’ll always want to keep younger children by your side and in your sights, there wil inevitably be a time when your childn wanders off or the two of you become separated some other way. For this reason, it is important to teach your children what to do if·you are split up. First of all, tell your child never to leave the location you are currently in without you. If you are in a store, a shopping mall, a park or anywhere, make sure you children know to stay in that location until you leave with them. Let them know that if a stranger tries to make them leave that they should never go with them. This will also make it easier to find them should the two of you get separated. You’ll know that your child didn’t try to head to the car to wait for you.

When you enter a location point out the people that work there (security guards, receptionists, guides, etc.) and let your child know that these are the only strangers he or she should go to for help. A blanket “don’t talk to strangers” doesn’t work because a police officer or security guard may want to find out your child’s name in order to reunite you.·However, as note earlier, children should know that that they should not leave their current location with anyone unless you are also present.

It is difficult to find a moving target. For this reason, tell your children to stay still as soon as· they notice that they have been separated from you. This will make it much easier for you to spot them. If you cannot find your child, ask the staff or employees of whatever you location you are at to help you. Most shopping malls and public places have a system for spotting lost children and this can help you out a great deal. You’ll need to be able to provide an accurate description of your child if you need help, so remember exactly what he or she is wearing.
You may wish to give your child a cell phone for emergency situations. There are mobile phones that are made specifically for young children. They can typically only receive calls or call certain pre-programmed numbers. These phones can help if you’ve lost your child.

Above all, stay calm. Being separated from your child is terrifying, but if you stay calm and rational you have a much better chance of being reunited quickly.

SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report Now Available

Protect yourself! Find out where and what type of crime is happening in your neighbourhood and your city with SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report.
Use the 2012 City Crime Report to:

  • Determine exactly where crime is happening in Canada
  • Examine the types of crime taking place in your region and across the country
  • Compare different areas of the country on several different types of crime
  • Recognize the severity and likelihood of crime taking place in your city
  • Understand the overall crime situation in this country

Crime statistics vary drastically across the country and only by knowing the information for your region can you properly protect yourself, your family and your possessions.

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for over 20 years. We have compiled crime statistics from across Canada, broken them down by province and city and presented them in a straightforward manner that will help keep you safe!
To receive a free copy of SafeTech Alarm Systems’ Canadian City Crime Report 2012, please click here.

What Do You Want to See?

Do you have a question, comment or story idea for “Peace of Mind“?
Do you have some news regarding recent crimes or break-ins?
Email us and let us know!

Online Technical Support, Special Promotions and More!

On the SafeTech Alarm Systems website, you’ll have access to special product promotions as well! Don’t miss out on exciting deals and promotional offers!We’re always working to add and improve website features in order make our website more appealing, more functional and easier to navigate.

We invite you to visit the new site and let us know what you think.

Stay tuned for even more enhancements to the SafeTech Alarm Systems website over the next few months!

Need help troubleshooting your alarm system?

The safetechalarms.com online technical support features and live online help that will guide you through any issue!

Now you can solve any problems you may have with your alarm system quickly, easily and without picking up the phone or waiting for a technician to arrive! We even offer live online chat with members of our technical support team if you have any questions.
Visit our technical support page here.

Stay Up-To-Date With SafeTech

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest security news
  • Hear about upcoming events
  • Find out about new products, services and promotions first
  • Access technical support services
  • And much more!

How? It’s simple! There are many ways to stay up to date with SafeTech Alarm Systems.You can Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, Subscribe to our Youtube Channel or get the latest news by visiting our website at www.safetechalarms.ca

To contact us online, please visit http://safetechalarms.ca/contact-us.html
or

SafeTech Alarm System
121 Willowdale, Suite # 202
North York, ON, M2N 6A3, Canada

Peace of Mind Vol 1-40: Fightning Crime With Coffee Sleeves

Can coffee be used to prevent crime? Halifax Regional Police believes that it can.

The police, along with Dalhousie University and Coburg Coffee in downtown Halifax have launched a pilot program that will see police warning and crime prevention tips listed on coffee sleeves. The goal is to get important messages out in a unique way that people will notice.

“I’ve been challenged with new and innovative ways to get crime-prevention messages out to the public” said Supt. Don Spicer, HRM public-safety officer. “We find brochures have simply become white noise and they get very little attention.”

The sleeves also have the Halifax Regional Police website address and Twitter feed listed on them as well as the phone number for Dalhousie University Security. Dalhousie and the police will split the cost of the sleeves. A similar campaign has been done in the past in Eugene, Oregon.

Crime prevention and safety tips listed on the sleeves include tips on changing behaviour to prevent breaking and entering and motor vehicle theft as well as information on liquor-related offences. The police also share tips and issue warnings on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. If the coffee sleeve plan is successful, the police plan to expand the idea to different areas.

Knowledge is incredibly important when you are dealing with crime prevention. Specific information on breaking news (such as a new scam or crime trend or a rash of break-ins in your neighbourhood) as well as general information on crime prevention are both vital tools in the fight against criminals. Being able to deliver this information in a convenient, easy-to-understand and excessible manner is key.

More on Canada’s Most Dangerous Cities

Last week Peace of Mind discussed Maclean’s national crime rankings study. The study was a very in-depth look at crime in Canada and it provided important information for both citizens and visitors. In terms of crime rankings, the territory of Nunavut saw the most violent crime in the country will the Northwest Territories saw the most non-violent crime. Prince Edward Island had the least violent crime and Ontario had the least non-violent crime in Canada.

Eight provinces and territories had crime rates that were higher than the national average: Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia. 41 cities had crime rates that are higher than the national average.

The Maclean’s study used 2010 crime rates per 100,000 for six different crimes: homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, vehicle theft, robbery and breaking and entering to prepare the rankings. 100 of the country’s largest cities and towns were ranked and each had a population of at least 10,000 people. The study found that there has been a decline in the overall reported crime in Canada and that 38 of Canada’s 100 largest cities went an entire year without recording a homicide. This includes Windsor, Ontario and West Vancouver, British Columbia. The city of Levis, Quebec hasn’t recorded a murder since 2002.

Canada’s largest city, Toronto, received an overall crime ranking of 52. This is the same position that the city was ranked in in 2000. For more crime statistics and information on how you can obtain SafeTech’s crime report, please see the crime report section below or contact us.

Violent Home Invasion in Toronto

A 53-year-old man has been arrested by Toronto police after a violent home invasion near Bloor West Village. The man allegedly broke into a home armed with a knife and hammer. Inside the home was a 64-year-old woman and her 89-year old mother.

It is reported that the man slashed the 64-year-old with a knife and demanded money from the residents. He then left the home with an undisclosed amount of money. The woman was treated in hospital for her wound and the mother became ill during the alleged attack. She was also sent to hospital.

The man is being charged with robbery, aggravated assault, weapons dangerous and forcible confinement. He was captured by police after a tip was provided by the public.

Home invasions can be incredibly dangerous and terrifying for everyone involved. There are a few security tips that you can use to reduce the risk of a home invasion.

  • Always lock your doors, windows and garage with secure locks. Use dead bolts on doors whenever possible. Consider installing bars and gates on your windows. Also make sure that the door, door frame and hinges are strong enough that they cannot be easily damaged.
  • Install a peephole and use it to check who is at the door before answering it for anyone.
  • Never open the door for a stranger.
  • Never talk to a stranger through a partially opened door or a screen door. Always leave the door locked as a home invader can easily break through a screen door or partially opened door.
  • Call 911 immediately if you feel that someone is threatening you or trying to entire your home illegally.
  • Practice an escape plan that you and your family can use in the event of an emergency.

Masked Bandits Steal Cell Phones

Armed criminals in North Vancouver and neighbouring communities have been holding up and robbing Rogers Wireless stores of mobile phones. In a recent incident four masked men burst into a Rogers store demanding that staff hand over a number of smartphones. One of the men was armed with a gun.

Once the bandits received the phones, one of them pepper sprayed a staff member before fleeing the scene in a car. North Vancouver RCMP say that Rogers Wireless stores in nearby Coquitlam and Richmond have also been robbed by similar groups of men.

Police have not confirmed if there is a connection between the different incidents.

The employees at the North Vancouver store were treated for their injuries at the scene. Police are currently examining forensic and video evidence taken from the store in order to determine more information about the criminals.

Video surveillance is an incredibly powerful tool that is often used by law enforcement officials for a wide variety of reasons. For more information on video surveillance cameras and security cameras, please visit our website.

SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report Now Available

Protect yourself! Find out where and what type of crime is happening in your neighbourhood and your city with SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report.
Use the 2012 City Crime Report to:

  • Determine exactly where crime is happening in Canada
  • Examine the types of crime taking place in your region and across the country
  • Compare different areas of the country on several different types of crime
  • Recognize the severity and likelihood of crime taking place in your city
  • Understand the overall crime situation in this country

Crime statistics vary drastically across the country and only by knowing the information for your region can you properly protect yourself, your family and your possessions.

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for over 20 years. We have compiled crime statistics from across Canada, broken them down by province and city and presented them in a straightforward manner that will help keep you safe!··
To receive a free copy of SafeTech Alarm Systems’ Canadian City Crime Report 2012, please click here.

What Do You Want to See?

Do you have a question, comment or story idea for “Peace of Mind“?
Do you have some news regarding recent crimes or break-ins?
Email us and let us know!

Online Technical Support, Special Promotions and More!

On the SafeTech Alarm Systems website, you’ll have access to special product promotions as well! Don’t miss out on exciting deals and promotional offers!We’re always working to add and improve website features in order make our website more appealing, more functional and easier to navigate.

We invite you to visit the new site and let us know what you think.

Stay tuned for even more enhancements to the SafeTech Alarm Systems website over the next few months!

Need help troubleshooting your alarm system?

The safetechalarms.com online technical support features and live online help that will guide you through any issue!

Now you can solve any problems you may have with your alarm system quickly, easily and without picking up the phone or waiting for a technician to arrive! We even offer live online chat with members of our technical support team if you have any questions.

Visit our technical support page here.

Stay Up-To-Date With SafeTech

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest security news
  • Hear about upcoming events
  • Find out about new products, services and promotions first
  • Access technical support services
  • And much more!

To contact us online, please visit http://safetechalarms.ca/contact-us.html
or

SafeTech Alarm System
121 Willowdale, Suite # 202
North York, ON, M2N 6A3, Canada

Peace of Mind Vol 1-39: Canada’s Most Dangerous Cities

MacLean’s magazine has released their annual report on the Most Dangerous Cities in Canada.

The report outlines the most dangerous cities as well as the safest cities in the country. It ranks cities based on a number of characteristics and the cities are broken down into a number of categories, including aggravated assault, robbery, homicide, breaking and entering, auto theft and sexual assault. The magazine also ranks the cities overall. The report was released in December 2011 and it uses 2010 statistics.

Prince George, British Columbia is the most dangerous city in Canada according to the ranking. It ranks number one in both violent crime and non-violent crime. The second most dangerous city in the country is also located in British Columbia: Victoria, BC. While Victoria is listed as second overall, it ranks fourth in violent crime and sixth in non-violent crime.

The safest city in the country is Caledon, Ontario. It ranks 100th overall in crime. It’s rate of non-violent crime is 100th as well and the city’s rate of violent crime is ranked 86th in the country.

The city you are most likely to suffer an aggravated assault in in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan followed by Regina, Saskatchewan. The report names Saskatchewan the “most dangerous province in Canada.” The most dangerous city in terms of robbery is Winnipeg, Manitoba. The city had 2000 robberies in 2010 and the odds of being a victim were 1 in 342. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Quebec, Regina, Saskatchewan and Victoria, British Columbia round out the top five cities in Canada where the most robberies occur.

Canada’s most dangerous city in terms of homicide was Prince George, BC and you are most likely to have your car stolen in Joliette, Quebec and the most dangerous city in terms of sexual assault is Saint John, New Brunswick.

You are most likely to have your home broken into in Belleville, Ontario. This city has the highest rate of breaking and entering in Canada. The second highest rate of breaking and entering is in Prince George, BC. Langley Township, BC, Chilliwak, BC and Kelowna, BC are the final three cities in the top five. The city with the fewest number of breaking and entering cases is South Simcoe, Ontario.

Toronto Police Search For “Two Face Bandit”

Toronto police are asking for the public’s help in itracking down a man the call the “Two Face Bandit”.

They’ve released surveillance camera footage of the man, who is wanted in connection with a bank robbery in the Scarborough area of the city. Police say they have found a person of interest in the case, but they are hoping that the surveillance photos can help identify the person and lead police in the right direction.

On October 7, 2011, the suspect held up a Scotiabank branch in the Steeles Avenue and Kennedy Road area. He was armed with a handgun and was wearing a “grandfather mask” to conceal his identity. He demanded that the bank teller fill up his duffel bag with money. The suspect fired the gun into the ceiling of the bank after becoming frustrated that the bank staff was taking too long to give him the money.

The person of interest was noticed a few days later when someone tried to deposit one of the marked bills from the robbery into a change machine at a car wash near Warden Avenue and Danforth Road.

“I hope that, with the media’s assistance, a member of the public will identify this person of interest and contact Crime Stoppers or members of the Hold Up Squad with a name of the individual to point us in the right direction,” said Staff Insp. Mike Earle of Toronto Police Services.

Security cameras are often used by police to identify criminals, determine what exactly has occurred at a crime scene and it is also used as evidence to charge and prosecute people. Installing security cameras in your home or business is an excellent way to protect your property.

Poker Champion Assaulted In Home Invasion

In December 2011, 2010 World Series of Poker champion Jonathan Duhamel was robbed and assaulted by two people outside his home in Montreal, Quebec. His former girlfriend was later charged in participating in the plot to have Duhamel assaulted and robbed.

On December 21, Duhamel opened the door to his condo when someone knocked. At that point he was attacked by two men who forced themselves into his home. Duhamel was tied up, beaten and threatened by the home invaders. He was also robbed of a Rolex watch, his World Series of Poker bracelet and $160,000 in cash. The bracelet is estimated to be worth approximately $40,000.

“Two men broke into my house and I was physically assaulted and robbed. After being threatened with death and having given them everything I had, I was bound and hit repeatedly in the face and body before my attackers left,” Duhamel said.

In addition to his ex-girlfriend, three men were also charged in the case. Two have been denied bail, including the ex.

This situation reinforces the fact that you should always be careful about who you open your door to. It is always safer to check through a peephole before opening the door and to ask the visitor to identify him or herself before answering. If you live in an apartment or condo, do not allow strangers into your building even if they call you directly and ask you to allow them.

How To Burglar-Proof Your Windows

Criminals often use the path of least resisitance when they break into a home. In many cases, this path is through a window. However, there are several things that you can do to protect your windows from such damage. Here are a few tips for burglar-proofing your windows.

Lock your windows. Many people do not lock their windows when they have them closed. This is especially true for second-floor windows. Burglars often use ladders or other tools to climb to the second storey of a house since a large percentage of people do not lock these windows. Don’t let your home have this weak point.

If your home has any sliding windows, make sure that they are secured in a manner that makes them very difficult to slide open from the outside. You can install latches such as those found on casement windows that make them very difficult to slide open from the outside.

It is important to note that you should always be able to open any bedroom windows easily from the inside. This is important in case there is an emergency and people need to evacuate the home quickly. Installing bars on your windows is another excellent way to keep your home safe but, again, be sure that all bedroom windows are easy to open from the inside. There are window bars available that can be easily removed from the inside, but that are very difficult to remove from the outside. Consider using these bars on your bedroom windows.

Some people do not wish to install window bars because they feel that their home will look uninviting with them installed. This may have been true in the past, but modern window bars come in a wide variety of appealing styles that actually add beauty to your home. Visit our security bars section for more information.

Using reinforced glass, plexiglass or other difficult to break glass types can protect your home as well. Finally, be sure to confirm that your window frame is strong and not damaged. Criminals can take advantage of weak frames by simply prying the frame off of your home and entering through the windows that way.

SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report Now Available

Protect yourself! Find out where and what type of crime is happening in your neighbourhood and your city with SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report.
Use the 2012 City Crime Report to:

  • Determine exactly where crime is happening in Canada
  • Examine the types of crime taking place in your region and across the country
  • Compare different areas of the country on several different types of crime
  • Recognize the severity and likelihood of crime taking place in your city
  • Understand the overall crime situation in this country

Crime statistics vary drastically across the country and only by knowing the information for your region can you properly protect yourself, your family and your possessions.

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for over 20 years. We have compiled crime statistics from across Canada, broken them down by province and city and presented them in a straightforward manner that will help keep you safe!
To receive a free copy of SafeTech Alarm Systems’ Canadian City Crime Report 2012, please click here.

What Do You Want to See?

Do you have a question, comment or story idea for “Peace of Mind“?
Do you have some news regarding recent crimes or break-ins?
Email us and let us know!

Online Technical Support, Special Promotions and More!

On the SafeTech Alarm Systems website, you’ll have access to special product promotions as well! Don’t miss out on exciting deals and promotional offers!

We’re always working to add and improve website features in order make our website more appealing, more functional and easier to navigate.

We invite you to visit the new site and let us know what you think.
Stay tuned for even more enhancements to the SafeTech Alarm Systems website over the next few months!

Need help troubleshooting your alarm system?

The safetechalarms.ca online technical support features and live online help that will guide you through any issue!

Now you can solve any problems you may have with your alarm system quickly, easily and without picking up the phone or waiting for a technician to arrive! We even offer live online chat with members of our technical support team if you have any questions.

Visit our technical support page here.

Stay Up-To-Date With SafeTech

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest security news
  • Hear about upcoming events
  • Find out about new products, services and promotions first
  • Access technical support services
  • And much more!

How? It’s simple! There are many ways to stay up to date with SafeTech Alarm Systems.You can Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, Subscribe to our Youtube Channel or get the latest news by visiting our website at www.safetechalarms.ca

To contact us online, please visit http://safetechalarms.ca/contact-us.html
or

SafeTech Alarm System
121 Willowdale, Suite # 202
North York, ON, M2N 6A3, Canada

Peace of Mind Vol 1-38: Avoiding Common Scams

Stay Safe Shopping Online

Online stores offer a convenient, easy-to-use and generally safe way to shop. This is why online shopping grows in popularity each year. However, it’s important to note that you’ll still need to take some precautions when purchasing items online.

First of all, you should always take note of which website you are on and ensure that this is the website you actually mean to visit. Criminals sometimes purchase domain names that are similar to official online stores in hopes of catching some people unaware. Misspellings and other variations can be used to trick someone into giving their payment information to the wrong people. These fradulent sites often look very convincing, so pay close attention. In the same sense, do some research into a company before you enter your credit card information on their website. Large, well-known retailers likely won’t steal your information but a smaller, unknown merchant just might. Before you give anyone your financial information, make sure you know who they are and that you have verified that they can be trusted.

You will also need to make sure that your computer’s security software is up to date. Some malicious programs track any information you enter into your web browser, including credit card information and website passwords. This is why it is so important to regularly check your computer for malware, spyware and viruses and to keep these security programs current.

If you are shopping via online auction sites or online classified websites, you will need to take several other precautions. First of all, if a deal found online seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of someone who is selling items at very low prices or selling items that would be incredibly difficult to find in your area. Ask several questions about the item beforehand and if something seems wrong about the situation, trust your instincts. If you are shopping on a website that allows customers to rate the sellers, check out all feedback that has been left for the seller and look for any red flags.

If you are able to meet the seller in person in order to inspect the item before you pay for it, you should probably do so. However, when meeting someone in person you should not go alone. You should also always meet in a public place where other people will be around, such as a food court, busy coffee shop or other similar location. There are many instances of people setting up in person meetings in order to rob potential buyers of their money.

Before you buy from any online retailer, make sure that you check their privacy policy to verify how they will use your information. You will also want to check to make sure their payment system is secure and that the website itself is stable, safe and free of pop-ups or any other types of spyware.

Common Scams & How To Avoid Them

The new year is upon us and many people are ready to start the year with a fresh new attitude. Unfortunately some people take advantage of the generous nature of this season. This time of year is quite popular with those who hope to scam and swindle.

You may be trying to be more generous and helpful this year, but you should remember that not everyone shares your kind attitude. Watch out for some of these popular scams.

Beware of offers that are too good to be true. There have been many recent accounts of people receiving calls from unknown numbers and being asked for personal information, especially around the holiday season. For instance, a woman in Columbus, Ohio recently received a call from someone who told her that she had won a $100 gift card. However, the caller insisted that that the woman agree to pay to ship the card to her address. The caller would not provide a contact phone number or any additional information. If you receive an unsolicited call from anyone asking for personal information or financial over the phone, do not give it to them. Always verify who is calling before accepting any offers. Ask the caller for a number where you can reach them, hang up, do some research and call back later.

Scammers also frequently offer deals through social networks such as Facebook. Again, do not provide any personal information to anyone that you have not researched and verified extensively. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Fake charities are another way that people take advantage of the holiday season in order to scam innocent people. Some criminals visit homes or telephone people and pretend to be a charity asking for donations. Many people feel generous during the holiday season and this scam exploits that fact. Do not donate to any organization without first fully verifying exactly who the charity is and that they are in fact an official charity.

You should also be on the lookout for New Year’s ecards that arrive in your email inbox. Make sure that you double check the sender and that you confirm the card is coming from a legitimate website before opening it. Viruses and spyware can be disgused as ecards.

The generous spirit of the new year is a great thing. However, you still need to be careful and protect yourself. If you suspect that you are being scammed, alert the appropriate authorities right away.

Protect Your Financial Information

A lot of money has been spent over the last few months. With the holiday season and the new year upon us, the malls have been pretty busy. That means a lot of trips are made to the ATM, a lot of credit and debit cards are swiped and a lot of online transactions take place. Unfortunately, this means that there are more opportunities than ever to have your financial information stolen.

Whenever you pay using credit or debit, do not let your card out of your sight. A reputable store shouldn’t need to take your card away for any reason. You should be able to see the entire transaction take place easily. Also, you should always make sure to shield your PIN from anyone standing by, including store employees. Sometimes this feels awkward, but it is an excellent way to keep yourself secure.

You should be alert of your surroundings at all time. Keep your credit cards and debit cards inside your wallet and keep your wallet in your front pants pocket if at all possible. If you carry your wallet in a bag, keep it close to your body and do not hang it loosely from a strap. You should also only bring the cards that you are going to use with you when you shop. There is no need to risk losing everything at once. Do not keep a written copy of your PIN with your cards for any reason. If your wallet is lost or stolen, a criminal can use this information to steal from you.

You should also make a point to monitor your credit card balance and bank account regularly. If you are not already signed up for online banking, you should consider doing so even if you only use the service to watch your balances. Closely watching your accounts on a regular basis will allow you to see exactly what is happening at any time. If you notice any suspicious behaviour or incorrect purchases, you can alert your financial institution immediately.

In addition, you should photocopy or otherwise record all of the information that you keep in your wallet. Store this copy in a safe place such as a safety desposit box. If your wallet is ever lost or stolen it is much easier to cancel your cards or activate new ones if you have this information.

How Cyber-Bullying Affects Children & What You Can Do About It

Cyber-bullying is just as dangerous as real life bullying. Cyber-bullying is teasing, taunting, insulting, threatening, harassing or humiliating someone through the Internet and mobile phones. It can include posts on social networks, text messages, emails, instant messages and more.

According to a University of Toronto study, 94% of parents and 98% of teachers feel that cyber-bullying is a problem. The 2008 study also found that half of the yong people surveyed had reported being cyber-bullied.

Cyber-bullying is dangerous because, while the bullying itself doesn’t cause physical harm, it can be relentless and also anonymous. This creates a fearful situation for children and it makes it difficult for children to trust anyone. It can also seriously harm a child’s self esteem. There are unfortunately been several high profile cases of children and teenagers who have committed suicide after being cyber-bullied.

So what can parents do about cyber-bullying?

First of all, you have to teach your children that they shouldn’t say anything on the Internet that they wouldn’t say in real life. Tell them not to release private details online and not to engage in fights or arguments. Anything that they wouldn’t want the whole world to read should not be posted on the Internet. Remind them that witnessing cyber-bullying and not doing anything about it is just as bad as the actual bullying. Let them know that they can come to you if they are bullied or they see someone else being bullied.

It’s important to create an open environment with your children so that they will feel comfortable coming to you for help or advice. Many children do not tell their parents about cyber-bullying because they worry about getting in trouble or punished. Sometimes children who are bullied do not let their parents know because they are afraid of losing computer or cell phone privileges.

You should also teach your children how to react to a cyber-bully. They should leave the website or social networking platform they are on as soon as they start being bullied. They should also block the sender from sending them additional messages and save any harassing messages they receive. They should then talk to a trusted adult right away. If your child tells you that he or she is being bullied online, try to talk to the bully’s parents and/or school officials if possible. You also may want to discuss the situation with local police.

SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report Now Available

Protect yourself! Find out where and what type of crime is happening in your neighbourhood and your city with SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report.
Use the 2012 City Crime Report to:

  • Determine exactly where crime is happening in Canada
  • Examine the types of crime taking place in your region and across the country
  • Compare different areas of the country on several different types of crime
  • Recognize the severity and likelihood of crime taking place in your city
  • Understand the overall crime situation in this country

Crime statistics vary drastically across the country and only by knowing the information for your region can you properly protect yourself, your family and your possessions.

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for over 20 years. We have compiled crime statistics from across Canada, broken them down by province and city and presented them in a straightforward manner that will help keep you safe!··
To receive a free copy of SafeTech Alarm Systems’ Canadian City Crime Report 2012, please click here.

What Do You Want to See?

Do you have a question, comment or story idea for “Peace of Mind“?
Do you have some news regarding recent crimes or break-ins?
Email us and let us know!

Online Technical Support, Special Promotions and More!

On the SafeTech Alarm Systems website, you’ll have access to special product promotions as well! Don’t miss out on exciting deals and promotional offers!We’re always working to add and improve website features in order make our website more appealing, more functional and easier to navigate.

We invite you to visit the new site and let us know what you think.
Stay tuned for even more enhancements to the SafeTech Alarm Systems website over the next few months!

Need help troubleshooting your alarm system?

The safetechalarms.ca online technical support features and live online help that will guide you through any issue!

Now you can solve any problems you may have with your alarm system quickly, easily and without picking up the phone or waiting for a technician to arrive! We even offer live online chat with members of our technical support team if you have any questions.
Visit our technical support page here.

Stay Up-To-Date With SafeTech

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest security news
  • Hear about upcoming events
  • Find out about new products, services and promotions first
  • Access technical support services
  • And much more!

To contact us online, please visit http://safetechalarms.ca/contact-us.html
or

SafeTech Alarm System
121 Willowdale, Suite # 202
North York, ON, M2N 6A3, Canada

Peace of Mind Vol 1-37: Make A New Year’s Resolution To Improve Security

In 2012 Resolve To Improve Security

If you haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution yet, consider improving your security as your goal for 2012. Keeping your home, business, belongings and family safe is a great way to kick off the new year!

There are many easy ways to improve the security of your home or business. One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your property safe is to install proper lighting in key locations. Criminals often wait for darkness and they try to avoid being seen while they commit their crimes. Lightning eliminates this factor and makes it much more difficult for someone to break into your home, garage or office unseen. Motion-activated lighting is a great investment that will improve your security a great deal. These lights turn on whenever motion is detected nearby. Consider installing motion-sensitive lights in areas where criminals may try to hide, such as over your garage door. Not only will the lights make it easier to see potential intruders, but they could also scare some burglars away.

You should consider installing lighting above all entry points, including all windows and doors. These lights can be motion-activated as well. Placing lights around the perimeter of your property as well as near your driveway and walkway is also a good idea. Lights near a walkway will allow you to see if anyone is hiding in wait for you when you get home. They will also illuminate your walkway which will make it easier for you to avoid tripping hazards.

Another key to improving your security that would greatly help your 2012 resolution to stay safe is installing strong locks on all of your doors and windows. Exterior doors should always be locked with a high quality deadbolt. Deadbolts make your doors much more difficult to penetrate than other types of locks. Adding a security chain helps as well. Make sure that all of your windows lock properly. Remember that the door or window is only as strong as its weakest point. Door jams, hinges and window frames should all be reinforced. The strongest lock in the world won’t help you if your door can be easily removed from the hinges. Don’t forget to secure your garage door as well. Not only are valuables frequently kept in the garage, but criminals often break into garages to find tools (hammers, shovels, etc.) that can be used to help them break into the rest of your house.

If you don’t already have a home security system or a business security system installed, 2012 is the time to get one. Security technology is more powerful, more user-friendly and more affordable than ever before. Security Systems with 24-hour monitoring features can protect your home or business at all times and immediately alert you and the appropriate authorities if a break-in takes place. More information on alarm system monitoring is available here.

One of the best ways to protect your property and to deter criminals is to install security cameras. Surveillance cameras make it possible for you to watch your property at all times. It is even possible to keep track of what’s going on in your home or office via your smartphone! This means you can literally be anywhere in the world but still have the peace of mind that your home is safe. More on security cameras.

How Medical Alarms Save Lives

If you or a loved one has difficultly getting around or has a medical condition that requires increased care, it’s important to consider a medical alarm.

Medical emergency alarm systems allow for 24-7 protection and support from anywhere in your home and even the area outside your home. If you are a senior, have difficulty moving around or have a medical condition, a medical emergency alarm could save your life. Medical alarms also provide comfort and security for loved ones who worry about the health and safety of their relatives and friends. With a emergency medical alarm you are just a button push away from help at all times.

Unfortunately, sometimes the elderly can slip and fall. In some cases they will be injured in the fall or just unable to get back to their feet. A person who lives by himself or herself could end up lying on the floor, possibly in pain, for a very long time before anyone notices that something is wrong. There are stories of people who slipped on the steps outside their home in the winter and remained in the cold for hours before anyone was aware of them. This doesn’t have to be the case. Emergency alarms give seniors, as well as those with medical conditions or disabilities, the freedom to live independently and the security to do so safely.

Seniors can suffer serious injury if they slip and fall. If they are not checked by a doctor in adequate time, the injury can become worse. Even·someone is not injured in a fall,·a person·can end up losing confidence after falling. It’s not uncommon for someone·to·have feelings of fear and doubt after a fall that he or she had difficulty getting up from. With a medical alarm, you don’t have to be afraid and you don’t have to worry about being alone. Help is available at any time with the simple push of a button.

Medical alert pendants are compact, lightweight and water-proof. That means they can easily be worn at all times on the wrist or neck. They can even be worn in the shower where a lot of slips and falls take place! If you are worried about falling or having a medical emergency occur with no one around to help you or if you worry about a loved one who lives alone, a medical alarm is the solution. Medical alarms save lives. With the push of a button the central monitoring station is notified for the problem and the appropriate authorities are dispatched. This immediate response could save your life or the life or your loved one.

More information on medical alarms.

Safety Tips Before You Head On Vacation

Planning on getting away from the cold and dreary winter months this year? A trip to a warmer climate can be relaxing and refreshing. However, you don’t want to spend you time worried about home security, do you? Here are·a few simple tips to increase the security of your home while you’re on vacation and give yourself some additional peace of mind.

First of all, you may be tempted to yet your friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks know that you will be away. However, publicly broadcasting that you’ll be away from home for an extended period of time is a bad idea. Even if you have your privacy settings set so that only people you trust can see your message, privacy settings are not always airtight and “friends of friends” may be able to see that you’re going to be away. These “friends” may not be as trustworthy as your real friends. Many police forces discourage posting vacation details online for this reason. Let your real friends know that you’ll be away via email, phone call or in person.

There are some telltale signs that you’re not home: Your mail is piling up, your driveway isn’t being shovelled and all of the lights in your home are turned off, for example. Make sure you solve all of these problems before you head off on your vacation. You can have the post office hold your mail for you if you’re going to be out of town. You can put any newspaper subscriptions on hold as well. You may want to have someone come by and remove fliers that have been dropped off as well. Consider having a trusted friend or a snow removal service come by and shovel for you when it’s needed. Putting your lights on timers·can give your home a more “lived in” appearance.

Don’t forget to lock your doors and windows securely while you are away from home. Many people forget to do this and leave their property vulnerable. The same goes for setting your alarm system. Make sure you activate it properly before you take off on vacation. You can even monitor some alarm systems with your cell phone or laptop computer so you can keep track of what’s happening at your home while you’re sitting on the beach. That’s peace of mind!

Party Safety Tips

Planning on hosting a party to celebrate the new year? While the end of December is popular for parties, many people like to bring friends and family together in January to celebrate the new year once the busy holiday season has slowed down. This is a great idea, however, it’s also important that you have a safe party and that you’re a responsible host. This way you can ensure that everyone at your party has a great time and that they all get home safely. Here are a few tips for hosting a safe party.

The first thing you should do if you are planning on having a party is make it safe for your guests to get to your home. This means that you should ensure all snow and ice is cleared from your driveway, sidewalk and front steps before everyone arrives. You don’t want to have someone slip and fall on the way into your home. In the same sense, you should make sure that you have a safe spot for your guests to place wet boots, shoes and clothing. You don’t want a puddle forming at your door as the snow melts inside. This could be a serious slipping hazard.

Make sure that your guests have a safe place to park their cars. You may not have room in your driveway for everyone’s vehicles, so check to make sure that it is legal to park on the street before allowing any guests to do so. You’ll want to make sure that your guests park in a well-lit area as well to reduce the chance of theft.

Be on the lookout for “party crashers” or any other uninvited guests. Criminals sometimes use parties to get inside a home and steal items while the host is distracted. Never allow an unknown person inside your home unless he or she is with one of your guests.

If you have pets, you may want to consider keeping them in a separate room away from the party. This will help keep guests who are afraid or allergic at ease. It also keeps your pet safe from the number of people who will be coming in and out of your home (and possibly leaving the front door open.)Check on your pet every so often to make sure that everything is fine.

Always have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available and, if you are serving alcohol, it helps to serve it yourself or have a trustworthy person act as the bartender rather than leaving alcohol out for your guests. This will allow you to monitor how much people are drinking and prevent any underage guests from consuming alcohol. You should also make sure that you have plenty of food available so that no one drinks on an empty stomach. Ask your guests if they have any food allergies and avoid foods that could be dangerous or even deadly.

Have the contact information for a number of local taxi companies available in case a guest drinks too much. If any of your guests are planning on driving home, talk with them first and make sure that it is safe to do so. If anyone seems drunk or if anyone has had a great deal to drinke, do not let them drive. Remember, it is always better to be cautious than to allow someone to drink and drive. Someone who is drunk may not always seem drunk at first, so ask how many drinks your guest has had and be safe. If your guest does not have a designated driver and does not want to take a cab home, offer to let him or her sleep on your couch for the night. Never let anyone drink and drive.

SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report Now Available

Protect yourself! Find out where and what type of crime is happening in your neighbourhood and your city with SafeTech’s 2012 City Crime Report.
Use the 2012 City Crime Report to:

  • Determine exactly where crime is happening in Canada
  • Examine the types of crime taking place in your region and across the country
  • Compare different areas of the country on several different types of crime
  • Recognize the severity and likelihood of crime taking place in your city
  • Understand the overall crime situation in this country

Crime statistics vary drastically across the country and only by knowing the information for your region can you properly protect yourself, your family and your possessions.

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for over 20 years. We have compiled crime statistics from across Canada, broken them down by province and city and presented them in a straightforward manner that will help keep you safe!··
To receive a free copy of SafeTech Alarm Systems’ Canadian City Crime Report 2012, please click here.

What Do You Want to See?

Do you have a question, comment or story idea for “Peace of Mind“?
Do you have some news regarding recent crimes or break-ins?
Email us and let us know!

Online Technical Support, Special Promotions and More!

On the SafeTech Alarm Systems website, you’ll have access to special product promotions as well! Don’t miss out on exciting deals and promotional offers!We’re always working to add and improve website features in order make our website more appealing, more functional and easier to navigate.
We invite you to visit the new site and let us know what you think.
Stay tuned for even more enhancements to the SafeTech Alarm Systems website over the next few months!

Need help troubleshooting your alarm system?

The safetechalarms.ca online technical support features and live online help that will guide you through any issue!

Now you can solve any problems you may have with your alarm system quickly, easily and without picking up the phone or waiting for a technician to arrive! We even offer live online chat with members of our technical support team if you have any questions.
Visit our technical support page here.

Stay Up-To-Date With SafeTech

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest security news
  • Hear about upcoming events
  • Find out about new products, services and promotions first
  • Access technical support services
  • And much more!

To contact us online, please visit
http://safetechalarms.ca/contact-us.html
or

SafeTech Alarm System
121 Willowdale, Suite # 202
North York, ON, M2N 6A3, Canada

Home Invasion in Mississauga, Security Tips – Peace of Mind Volume 2 – Issue #4

A woman has been injured in a home invasion in Mississauga. She suffered minor injuries and it is currently unknown what was stolen from the home during the invasion. The victim was at home with her three-year-old child when four men entered her home dressed as construction workers. They wore yellow construction vests and orange helmets as part of their disguises and·one man was carrying a toolbox. Police are also unsure as to whether or not the men forced their way into the home and an investigation into the crime is currently underway. The house is part of a newer development that is still under construction and thus there are often a number of actual construction workers in the area. It appears that the criminals used this fact to surprise the victim.

This incident highlights the fact that you should never allow strangers into your home regardless of how official they look. You should also be careful whenever strangers are working around your home. Criminals often pretend to work for utilities, construction companies or other services that may be working very close to your home. They do so in order to scout out your location for a possible break in and to instill a false sense of security. People are often more trusting of those who are “on the job” than they are of complete strangers who have no reason to be walking around their property.

If you notice any people working around your home, telephone the organization that they claim to work for and confirm that they are legitimate workers. Do not confront them directly as they may become angry. If anyone asks to enter your home for whatever reason, you should also contact the organization that the person claims to work for. Do not open your door even a small amount for an unexpected stranger. Criminals can take this opportunity to invade your home. You are much safer behind a locked door than behind a door that is open a crack. Sometimes that crack is enough to compromise your security as it makes it much easier for a criminal to force his or her way in.

It is also important that you do not reveal too much information about your living arrangements or your daily schedule. If criminals are scouting out your home, they will want to know how many people are inside the house at any given time. It is always easier to break into a home when no one is home than when many people are present. It is also easier to invade a home when only a single person is there. A group of criminals can often easily overpower one person. If·criminals know your daily·schedule and living arrangements, they will may wait to strike when you are at your most vulnerable. Make it difficult for a criminal to know who is at home by having lights that operate on timers, by leaving one or more cars in the driveway and by keeping the house looking “lived in” no matter how many people are actually present.

It’s also very important that your home has proper security features. The front door to your home isn’t just how you enter most often, it’s also the entrance that many criminals try first. Ensure that your front door is solid and that the frame and hinges can not easily be damaged. Lock all exterior doors with high-quality dead bolts. Dead bolts are much more difficult to tamper with or destroy than other locks. Install window bars on your windows to prevent criminals from entering through them.

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for more than 20 years. We understand what it takes to keep your home safe. For more information and how you can protect your home and your family, please contact SafeTech Alarm Systems and speak to one of our loss prevention professionals.

SafeTech Specials

Free Alarm Installation Offer!

Outfit your home or business with this high-quality DSC 1616 Kit FREE with a 36-month alarm monitoring service agreement.

That’s right – you pay ONLY the monthly monitoring fee of $25.95 and you will enjoy the security of a fully-monitored and installed alarm system. Save money on your annual insurance bill and get peace of mind knowing you have reduced your chance of being broken into.

Please contact us for more information.

Upgrading Your Security System

You may already have a security system in your home or office. The system may be functioning properly. You may never have experienced a break-in or other issue. You may have scared off or caught a criminal in the act due to your security system. However, it is important that you do not become complacent. Security technology is continuously improving to deal with a wide variety of different·issues and to meet the modern needs of today. Security systems aren’t just burglar alarms anymore. They can protect you from a variety of different hazards and problems in a number of different ways. Upgrading your security system to meet changing needs is an excellent idea.

When someone says the words “security system” the first thing that pops to mind for most people is “alarm system.” An alarm system is a critical component of a security system, but it’s just one out of many vital components. If you have a home alarm system or a commercial alarm system, you may wish to consider adding other features to your property in order to improve your overall security. One of the best ways to do this is to add security cameras. Security cameras can catch criminals in the act and aid the police in identifying and prosecuting them. Monitored security cameras provide 24/7 protection·by an experienced and reliable central monitoring station. Internet-connected security cameras let you watch over your home from anywhere with an Internet connection. For more information, please visit our security cameras section. Security cameras are a great upgrade if you do not already have them.

Your security system can protect you from much more than just break-ins. Did you know that it’s easy to add fire protection to your home or commercial alarm system? You can add monitored fire protection to your existing security and receive 24 hour fire, smoke and carbon monoxide protection. This means that the fire department can be quickly dispatched to your home even if you are not around to hear the alarm. You won’t have to worry about suffering major damage without anyone noticing. SafeTech Alarm Systems offers monitored fire protection and monitored carbon monoxide protection services. These systems can greatly reduce the potential damage to your home and even save your life.

You can also upgrade your actual alarm system itself. Are all entrances to your home or business protected by an alarm system? Remember to include all doors and windows, including those on your second floor. Burglars know that many second floor windows are left unprotected and they will attempt to enter your home through those windows. You will also want to protect your garage door with an alarm. Not only do many garages allow direct access to your home, but they also contain tools that could be used in a break in. Upgrading your security system to eliminate these vulnerabilities will keep you safer.

Modern technology also allows you to monitor and control your security system via your smart phone, tablet or laptop. This means you can watch your security cameras, set your alarm and perform many other tasks from anywhere with an Internet connection. Please contact us for more details.

Impact of Last Year’s Riot Still Felt in Vancouver

The riot that broke out following the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver caused a great deal of damage, both physical and emotional. Many stores, businesses and other properties were seriously damaged in the riot. However, recent data shows that the impact of the riot is still felt in the city.

The Vancouver Police investigation into the riot currently uses so many police resources that it has led to 9.3 per cent increase in police response times. The riot investigation involves more than 70 officers from all local police forces as well as municipal departments and the RCMP.

“We believe the slower times were a bit of an anomaly caused by the tremendous impact of the massive riot investigation that stretched resources over those months,” said police spokeswoman Const. Jana McGuinness in an email to the Vancouver Sun. Response times are expected to return to previous levels once all officers return to their original assignments.

The good news for Vancouver is that while police response times have increased, levels of violent crime fell 6.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2012. Unfortunately, property time across the city has grown by 3.1 per cent.

Security systems such as surveillance cameras and other security technologies can help reduce the amount of property crime in an area. Not only are these technologies great for catching criminals in the act, but they are also an excellent crime deterrent. Criminals do not want to be seen or heard committing crimes and installing modern security systems can do exactly that. A criminal would much rather not break into a home or business at all than break into one that is properly protected by a security system that includes surveillance cameras and 24 hour monitoring.

Security guard services are another great way to keep your property safe. Security guards can react to changing situations easily, often faster than the police can since a security guard is already on the scene. He or she can see exactly what is going on at your property and take the required actions immediately. A trained security guard is an excellent way to protect your business or to keep your next event secure. Contact us for more information.

Business Loss Prevention Tips

Whether you have a retail business, an office, a warehouse or any other kind of business, loss prevention is incredibly important. Both customers and employees should·be aware of your company’s active loss prevention plan and know that the correct security measures in place. Just knowing that an establishment takes security seriously can often deter many criminals. SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for more than 20 years. We understand how important loss prevention is and know what tactics need to be taken in order to stop it.

Theft and property damage can come from a variety of different areas depending on the type of business that you run. Customers can shoplift goods from your store, burglars can break in and steal from your warehouse and even employees can become thieves, taking property from a workplace. It is important to understand all of the dangers that exist so that you can properly prepare for them.

Security cameras are an excellent way to protect your business. If they are positioned properly and regularly monitored, they allow you to watch your entire business easily and efficiently. In addition to installing surveillance cameras in areas where clients and customers have access, you will also want to place cameras in stock rooms, warehouses and other locations in your company where assets are stored.

According to the US Department of Commerce, employee theft costs businesses up to $50 billion each year. This is why it is also important to implement access control systems in your company. There should be locks on storage rooms and other sensitive areas. These rooms should only be accessible by employees who absolutely need to access the area. You should also keep a log of who enters these areas in case there is an issue. An access control system that uses key tags or key cards is an efficient and practical way to limit access to certain areas. An access control system can allow only certain employees into designated areas of a building and you can easily track which areas any employee has entered at any time. Speaking of employee theft, it is also important to have a series of checks and balances for any employees who could be working with financial data or sensitive information. You need to ensure that you can track their actions at all time in order to eliminate theft.

Electronic article surveillance is another excellent way to increase security in your business. These systems are most often noticed at retail establishment, but they are also effective in a number of different businesses. Electronic article surveillance involves attaching a security tag to inventory and installing a detection system to track the tags. This prevents staff, customers, criminals and shoplifters from removing inventory from your business without your knowledge. Once the security tag passes the detection system (which is usually located at the entrance of an establishment) an alarm will sound.

Another excellent way to secure your business is to use security guard services. Guards can either patrol your property, be stationed at a security desk or make regular rounds in a marked security vehicle in order to monitor your property for any issues or security weaknesses. A uniformed security guard either in a marked car or stationed on your property will certainly deter criminals. Furthermore, a security guard can actively monitor developing situations and react based on exactly what is happening on the ground in real time. For more information on security guard services, please visit our security guards page.

Peace of Mind Vol 2-3: The Importance of a Business Continuity Plan

Business security is incredibly important. From alarm systems to security cameras to employee security procedures, it’s vital that your company puts a significant focus on security. Not only do you need to protect yourself from potential issues, but showing that you have a visible security plan in place deters criminals and improves your company’s image with customers, partners and your staff. But what happens if a disaster occurs? If your company or any of your company’s assets are damage by a significant fire, flood, natural disaster, terrorist attack, act of vandalism·or other disruptive event, how will you be able to continue business?

This is where a business continuity plan comes in. A business continuity plan (BCP) allows you to anticipate crisis situations and manage and facilitate a quick response when prevention or detection is not possible. In short, a BCP outlines how your business will continue to operate in an emergency situation. All aspects of your business should be considered when preparing a business continuity plan, including your supply chain, all critical infrastructure, your physical assets, your employees and any other business activities that are critical for day-to-day operation.

A key to a business continuity plan is a risk and vulnerability assessment. You need to understand exactly which issues pose a threat to your business. You also need to plan for how you can predict them, prepare for them and prevent them if possible. Failing to account for how your company handles threats will lead to unnecessary business costs and service disruption. For example, how would your company handle a potential fire in your main factory? If you do not have a plan to protect yourself against fires and a procedure for how to continue operating your company if and when a major fire strikes, your business will suffer. The same can be said for vandalism and other crimes. Is your company prepared for a riot or other large scale attack? What would you do if all of the computers in your office were stolen? How would you continue to work? If you have a plan for a) preventing such a theft in the first place and b) how to continue business operations if such a theft took place, you will be in a much better position than a company that does not have such plans.

Business security and business continuity often go hand-in-hand. If you are able to reduce the threats to your company by using security technology, you will be able to reduce the possibility of needing·to take·alternate·action should a disaster strike. For example, if your company has adequate security protecting your business assets, you are less likely to be faced with a situation where you would need to operate your company without these assets. This is another reason why business security services are so important.

Strong business continuity plans should be updated and tested frequently to ensure that all procedures are up-to-date and that all staff understand what actions should be taken in an emergency. All types of threats need to be considered. It is important to completely analyze all potential issues that could occur, from the smallest and most unlikely to the more severe and more likely issues. The likelihood of a potential issue will depend on a number of factors. For example, a building being significantly damaged by an earthquake will be much more likely in some regions than in others.

When preparing a business continuity plan, you need to analyze all dependencies and interdependencies that your company may have. For example, an office in one location may depend on the technology, personnel and work of another office in a completely different part of the world. You will need to plan for how the first office will continue to function should something happen to the office that it depends on.

Your business should have alternate sites and IT back-ups that are located·far away from·the primary site. A large disaster such as an earthquake, civil unrest or a terrorist attack could shut down or damage offices that are located nearby. If your back-up location is situated in the same area as your primary location, both facilities could be unavailable in a disaster.
Employee safety and security are of course incredibly important. This is not only true during a disaster or threat, but afterward as well. Large fires, violence, terrorist attacks or natural disasters can be incredibly traumatic for everyone involved. Employee support and counselling services should be a part of your business continuity plan. Also, note that in a dangerous situation key personnel may be unavailable or difficult to reach. You need to plan for these situations. How will your business react if you cannot reach the company president or any of the executive staff? How will you ensure that everyone is safe once the emergency situation is over? Having a strong business continuity plan in place will reduce panic and worry while also limiting service disruptions.

Business continuity begins with security. Please contact SafeTech Alarm Systems for information on our business security services.

SafeTech Alarm Systems Specials

Free Alarm Installation Offer!

Outfit your home or business with this high-quality DSC 1616 Kit FREE with a 36-month alarm monitoring service agreement.
That’s right – you pay ONLY the monthly monitoring fee of $25.95 and you will enjoy the security of a fully-monitored and installed alarm system. Save money on your annual insurance bill and get peace of mind knowing you have reduced your chance of being broken into.

Please contact us for more information.

FBI Warning on Hotel Wi-Fi

Hotel Wi-Fi is very convenient. When you’re traveling and need access to the Internet, it’s very easy to hop online quickly from your hotel room to check your email or monitor your social networks. You may even decide to pay a few bills while you’re there. Many business travelers complete a lot of work·from their hotel rooms using hotel Wi-Fi.·However, these activities may not be completely safe.

Recently, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which is made up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, issued a statement regarding hotel Internet connections. The intelligence note, titled “Malware Installed on Travelers’ Laptops through Software Updates on Hotel Internet Connections” showed the dangers of public Wi-Fi.

“Recent analysis from the FBI and other government agencies demonstrates that malicious actors are targeting travelers abroad through pop-up windows while establishing an Internet connection in their hotel rooms” said the statement. “In these instances, the traveler was attempting to setup the hotel room Internet connection and was presented with a pop-up window notifying the user to update a widely-used software product. If the user clicked to accept and install the update, malicious software was installed on the laptop.”

Unfortunately you never know what to expect when you use public Internet. Therefore it is important that you never download or install anything while you are on the road. The IC3 statement advises users to take extra caution when using hotel Wi-Fi.

“The FBI also recommends that travelers perform software updates on laptops immediately before traveling, and that they download software updates directly from the software vendor’s Web site if updates are necessary while abroad,” it reads.

Never install anything from a public computer, even if the website states that you specifically need to install a certain program in order to connect. These programs could damage your computer or steal your personal information. To avoid getting yourself in trouble, verify the connection procedure with the hotel before you attempt to connect. Hotel staff will be able to fully explain what steps need to be taken in order to connect to the Internet. They will alert you of any pop-ups that may be present and confirm that you do not need to install any programs in order to connect. You should also verify the exact name of the Wi-Fi hotspot that is operated by the hotel. A common scam is for criminals to create similar hotspot names (such as “Free Hotel Internet” when the official hotspot name is·”Hotel Internet,” for example) in hopes that unknowing guests connect to them. Once you connect to this unofficial network, the criminals can then spy on your Internet activity without you knowing.
Even if you successfully connect to a hotel Wi-Fi spot or any other public Internet connection, you should still be careful about your activities. You never know exactly how secure a public Internet connection really is, so exercise caution. Try not to transmit personal information such as banking details or passwords over public Wi-Fi.

Property Security Tips

People spend a lot of time and effort securing their homes. This makes sense. After all, your home is where your valuables are and where your family lives. However, protecting only your actual home itself could mean that you are neglecting the rest of your property. Your doors, windows and the inside of your home obviously need protection, but so does your lawn, your garage and the surrounding area. A strong home security plan involves protecting your entire property, not just your actual house itself.

Criminals often scout out homes in advance to determine which properties are the best choices for a break in. If you fully protect your property and let criminals know that you care about home security, they will be much less likely to attempt to break in to your home. One way that you can scare burglars away is by letting them know that someone is at home and that the home is being regularly tended to. Maintaining your lawn, collecting your mail and any flyers that are left at your door, keeping a car in the driveway and paying attention to the general upkeep of your house will deter criminals. They would rather break into a home that is empty and ignored than one that is obviously cared for. If you are away from home for an extended period of time, consider hiring someone to maintain your home’s appearance. Most criminals do not want to risk breaking into an occupied house.

Criminals also hope to avoid being seen while they are committing crimes. You can make it more difficult for them to hide by trimming your bushes and trees, properly lighting your home and your property and removing any objects that may act as good hiding spots for burglars. Your driveway and the walkway to your house should be well-lit and unobstructed and the perimeter of your property should be properly lit. Motion-activated lights are a great idea for protecting your home.

It’s also important that you lock up your gates, fences and your garage at all times. Most people would never leave their home without locking the front door, but fewer people pay attention to the lock on the garage, for example. Securing your garage with strong locks and a high-quality door is important. In some homes you can access the house directly through the garage, so criminals often use that route to get inside. Even if that isn’t the case for your home, garages typically contain tools that make it easier to break into a house. If your garage is easy to break into, a burglar can enter your garage and steal a shovel, axe, ladder or other tool that will make it easier to break into your house. Garage security is incredibly important.

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for more than 20 years. We understand the importance of blending a variety of different security technologies in various areas of your property to achieve total home security. Contact us for more information.

Violent Nanaimo Home Invasions

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating two violent home invasions that took place in the city. Police say the two attacks were targeted, but that they were unrelated. Four people were attacked in the home invasions. No one was seriously injured in either attack.

“Often we will get a followup from a prior incident,”said Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien. “In this particular case, our investigators are 100% satisfied there is no correlation [between the two home invasions.]”

In the first incident, four men forced their way into a home with baseball bats and attacked two of the people who were living there. Both victims were male and they suffered extensive bruising. Two women and a young girl were also inside the home, but they were left alone.

In the second home invasion, three men broke into a home and attacked the woman and the man living there with brass knuckles. The occupants also claim the attackers used threats of a firearm in the attack, but no such weapons were found. The attackers stole computer equipment, a mobile phone and an unknown amount of cash from the home before leaving. Police say this attack may have been related to drugs.

Several of the attackers in the first home invasion have been identified and two arrests have been made on charges of assault with a weapon and break and enter. In the second attack, one of the men has been identified and police have requested a warrant for his arrest.

While these particular cases were targeted, random home invasions do sometimes occur. A home invasion is an incredibly terrifying experience. It is important to secure your home as best as possible in order to keep you and your family safe. Strong doors, door frames and dead bolt locks as a necessity in home security. You need to ensure that it will not be easy to forcefully enter your home. You may also be interested in window bars which prevent criminals from entering your home through the window. If you’re planning on installing window bars in any sleeping areas, you need to ensure that they can quickly and easily be removed from the inside. Windows can be an important exit point in an emergency, so you need to take care and make sure that you don’t become trapped inside by the bars.

For more information on how you can protect your home, your family and your property, please contact us today or visit our website.

Peace of Mind Vol 2-2: Social Media and Security

Social media is used to share a lot of things. It’s an easy way to let your friends and family see your latest photos, post news stories and other information that you’ve recently read, update a large group of people with just a few clicks and much more. However, you have to be careful about exactly what you share on social media sites and be aware of who can see the information that you post. Social media is incredibly powerful and some can use that power in negative ways.

It can seem like a great idea to post on Facebook & Twitter that you’re going to be out of the country for a few weeks on vacation. After all, you want your friends and family to know that they won’t be able to reach you and you’ll want to tell them all about your trip, right? However, sending that kind of information through email is much safer than posting it on Facebook or Twitter. Why? Because that information could easily be read by someone who isn’t exactly a trusted friend. While privacy settings on social networks are generally quite good, there are a number of cases where these settings fail. Even if they don’t fail, most people have far more “friends” on social networks than they do in real life. Many of these friends are just casual acquaintances or people you haven’t actually spoken to in years. How well do you really know them? Can you trust them? This is why it is important to be careful what you post.

You should also be careful with services such as Foursquare or Gowalla and other services that allow you to “check in” when you visit a location. Criminals can use this check in information to discover that you are in a different city, town or country and realize that you are not at home and that you likely won’t be home for quite some time. They could see this absence as the perfect time to break into your property.

Boris and Claudette McCubbin of Knoxville, Tennessee found this out the hard way when their home was broken into while they were on vacation. They had posted a lot of vacation information on Facebook. Someone had seen this and taken advantage.

“We posted when we were leaving, where we were going, what we were doing… We even posted when we would be back,” said Boris McCubbin. When the couple returned home, their house had been ransacked while they were away.

“Everything was in a shambles,” said McCubbin. “It looked like the burglars had installed themselves in our home while we were on our trip.”

If you’re home address is listed anywhere online, it can be quite easy for criminals to connect your social networking profiles to your exact address. For this reason it’s important to pay strict attention to what you post online and always think about who may see what you post. In addition to staying away from posting vacation details, you may also want to avoid posting photos of your home that could allow criminals to virtually “scout out” your location. Also, be careful when posting details about expensive items you own (electronic, jewelry, etc.) as these details and photos could tempt criminals.

SafeTech Specials

Free Alarm Installation Offer!

Outfit your home or business with this high-quality DSC 1616 Kit FREE with a 36-month alarm monitoring service agreement.

That’s right – you pay ONLY the monthly monitoring fee of $25.95 and you will enjoy the security of a fully-monitored and installed alarm system. Save money on your annual insurance bill and get peace of mind knowing you have reduced your chance of being broken into.

Please contact us for more information.

The Impact of Neighbourhood Crime

A break in, robbery or home invasion is a traumatic experience for the victim. Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary where you can escape from the world. It’s supposed to be safe and when that safety is breached it is a difficult thing to deal with.

However, crime doesn’t just hurt the direct victims. It can negatively impact the entire community and surrounding neighbourhood as well. Recent statistics posted by HomeInsurance.org showed that crime has a lasting effect on the community. Their information states that “people who are victimized within one mile of their home tend to move away from that neighbourhood” and that “businesses tend to leave high-crime areas.” This leads to further problems and even more crime.

Their statistics also show that “community members alienate themselves when they sense a threat of crime” and that “the more crime there is within a school district, the more below average student test performance becomes.”

These statements show how crime can impact every person in a neighbourhood. Both those directly effected by the crime and those who just happen to live in the same neighbourhood all suffer when crime is allowed to take place. Communities break down, people alienate themselves, businesses move, students suffer and people become more stressed and worried. 3/4 of survey respondents said that their “fear of crime increases every year.”

SafeTech Alarm Systems understands how devastating crime can be to the victims and to the community at large. We’ve been protecting people and property for more than 20 years and we have learned how to blend security technologies and tactics together in order to stop and catch criminals.

According to the aforementioned HomeInsurance.org survey, a 10% decrease in property crime “adds 1.7% to the selling price of homes.” This shows that not only does investing in security technology provide peace of mind, but it also provides an economic benefit. Security technology from SafeTech Alarm Systems reduces the chance of a break and enter and, even if a crime is committed, the amount of property stolen is much less than in homes without security protection. A property that has no alarm system or security cameras typically sees 80% more loss of property than a location protected by security technology.

For more information, contact SafeTech Alarm Systems today.

Using your Cell Phone to Watch your Home

Modern cell phones are incredibly powerful tools. You can run a business from a smart phone. You can keep in touch with virtually anyone through social networks, email and calling. You can conduct international video calls. A smart phone can replace almost all of your general computing needs. But did you know that it can also protect your home?

In today’s fast-paced world, we are away from our homes more often and spend more time physically disconnected from our loved ones. Between traveling, commuting and various other activities it has become commonplace to live our lives through our smart phones. Just because you’re away from home it doesn’t mean that you should need to worry about home security. Thankfully, you can monitor your home from your smart phone and give yourself peace of mind.

Internet-enabled security cameras make it possible to check in on your home at any time from anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection. You’ll be able to check in to make sure everything is okay, no matter where you are. This isn’t just useful for keeping an eye on burglars either. You’ll be able to ensure that your children get home from school safely and monitor the actions of anyone who is working in your home (housekeepers, baby sitters, etc.) You’ll be able to know that your home is safe and that your family is protected at all times.

No matter what brand of smart phone you use or which smart phone operating system you are working with, there are a number of different applications that allow you to monitor your home security cameras. For iPhone users there is an app called “Security Cam.” If you’re using an Android phone, you could try “tinyCam Monitor PRO.” Windows Phone users can use “IP Cam Viewer” and Blackberry users have “Mobiscope.” This is just a small sampling of applications that will allow you to watch your home security cameras on your cellular phone. You can also view your cameras through an Internet browser as well, which works on just about every platform.

The loss prevention experts at SafeTech Alarm Systems can work with you to set up and install a security camera solution that can be easily monitored via an Internet connection. This will give you a secure way to keep an eye on your home, no matter where you are. Contact us for more information.

Regina Home Invasion Suspects Arrested

Regina police have arrested two suspects who were allegedly involved in two home invasions. There were Saskatchewan-wide warrants issued on the two prior to their arrest, which was made after police put out a request to the public seeking assistance The crimes took place in Regina’s North Central neighbourhood in mid-April. Police say that a total of five people were behind the two home invasions. The three other suspects had been arrested earlier.

The first home invasion took place when five people (four men and a woman) burst into a home that was occupied by three women. One of the women from the home was pushed inside a car and driven to another home nearby. Police said that the suspects assaulted the person who was living at the second home and then allowed the women they had taken earlier to leave.

The two recently-arrested suspects (27-year-old Ryan James Varley and 28-year-old Kristin Marie) appeared in court in late April. They are both facing two charges related to the home invasions: break and enter and commit kidnapping as well as break and enter and commit aggravated assault.

Home invasions are incredibly terrifying situations. Having an alarm system, security cameras and other home security tools can protect you from this dangerous and disturbing situation. You should also ensure that you secure all doors and windows. This includes having strong door and window frames, doors with secure dead bolt locks and windows with security bars. It is important to keep doors and windows securely locked even if you are currently at home. Finally, do not open your door for strangers, regardless of the situation. Criminals often use deceptive techniques to try to get you to open your door. Once you’ve unlocked the door or opened it slightly, it suddenly becomes much easier to enter your home.

For more information on how you can protect your home, your family and your property, please contact us today or visit our website.

Peace of Mind Vol 2-1: Condo Security Tips

When you live in a condominium, you may not pay the same attention to security as you would if you were living in a house. This is especially true if you are in a high-rise condominium. The fact that you may have a security desk or an entry phone system, combined with the fact that your unit may be located on a high floor, can sometimes be enough to make you feel as though you don’t need to be concerned with security at all. Unfortunately, that’s not true.

You can still be a victim of crime when you live in a condominium, even on a high floor. The threats are different than in a standard house and so the precautions that you take will also need to be different. Here are a few tips for condominium security.

One of the best things you can do is to investigate the condo’s security features before you move in. You do not want to move into a condo – either new or resale – that has weak security. Some buildings feel that security is less important in a condo than in a house, but this is certainly not true. If you already live in a condominium, you may wish to speak with your building’s superintendent, property management office or security team. Knowing which security features your building has and finding out exactly how your condo keeps you safe is incredibly important.

The main entry point to a condominium is obviously the front door. However, your building could also have alternate entry points such as side and rear doors or garage doors. All of these doors should be secured, not just the front door. It should be impossible to get into your building without being noticed. If your building has a security guard or concierge at the front door, find out how he or she monitors the building’s other entrances as well. Many buildings have surveillance cameras that are monitored by building security. This is necessary to keep you safe in a condominium.

Read the rest of this article here.

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Security Tips for Mac OS Users

Apple products are becoming more and more popular each day. iPhones and iPads are leading the charge, but laptops and desktop computers from Apple are generally increasing in sales as well. While it’s traditionally been the case that Windows computers face more malware attacks and other issues than Macs do, Apple’s larger marketshare could mean that Macs will become targets as well. In March and April 2012, a Trojan horse known as “Flashback” affected more than 600,000 Mac OSX users. The malware could hijack a user’s web browser and was designed to steal personal information.

In early April it was estimated that 56.6% of computers infected by Flashback were located within the United States. 19.8% were in Canada, 12.8% were in the United Kingdom and 6.1% were in Australia. Apple released an update to fix the vulnerability on April 3rd, 2012 and a further update on April 12th to remove the most common Flashback variants. Estimates state that there are currently less than 30,000 computers that are still infected. But is security now a problem for Macs?

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of security company Kaspersky Lab, has stated that Apple is “10 years behind Microsoft in terms of security.”

He added that Apple “will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software.”

In the meantime, how can you protect yourself from being affected by a similar malware problem?

One key is to keep your computer updated. Run “Software Update” on your Mac and apply patches whenever they are available. Many of the computers that have been attacked recently were running out-of-date software. Common programs such as Java, Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office are frequent targets due to their popularity and accessibility. Update these and all other software programs frequently.

Install anti-virus software. Macs need virus, spyware and malware protection too, not just Windows PCs. This will become more and more necessary as Mac computers become more popular. Two well-known anti-virus programs for Mac OS are “ClamXav” and “Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition.” Both programs feature real-time virus monitoring, automatic updates for malware definitions and they both allow you schedule scans. Keeping your software and malware scanners up-to-date will help keep your Mac secure.

Only visit, download and install anything from websites that you trust. However, malware programs can infect trusted websites which could lead to you downloading something from a “trusted” site only to find yourself infected. This is is why keeping your computer updated and having proper scanning programs is so important.

The Importance of Fire Safety

Fires are incredibly devastating. They can quickly turn from small and manageable to out of control in a very short period of time. Fires can result in property damage, injury and death. It is incredibly important that you focus on fire safety in your home and that you stress the importance of fire safety to all members of your family, especially your children.

Your entire family should have a plan for what to do in the event of a fire and this plan should be practiced and memorized by all family members. During some fires you will only have a few seconds to escape, so it is critical that you are able to act quickly from memory. Hold a family fire drill at least twice a year to ensure that everyone knows how to escape the home in the event of an emergency. Your fire plan should include two exits from every room. In most cases this will be the door and the window. Make sure that windows can open easily from the inside. If you have security bars installed, they should be the quick release type. You will also need to choose a safe location to meet once you have escaped your home. This place should be easy to remember and a safe distance from your house. A tree, lamp post, park location or neighbour’s house are all good choices. You should call the fire department from this location, rather than from inside the house where you won’t have much time.

It may seem pointless to have such a detailed plan and a pain to rehearse it frequently, but having one and being prepared could safe your life if a fire breaks out. Stress this fact to your family when you’re releasing your plan. Your plan should also take into consideration that some people will need assistance escaping from your home. Children, the elderly and people with disabilities may need extra help. Take this fact into consideration when coming up with your escape plan and decide exactly who will provide assistance and how this assistance will be provided. It’s also a good idea to draw the floor plan of your home and to label all exits so that everyone is aware of how to leave during an emergency such as a fire.

Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors save lives as well. Make sure to place one on every floor of your home and near every sleeping area or bedroom. It’s incredibly important to regularly check that your smoke detectors are functioning properly. Test them monthly and replace the batteries immediately if something is wrong. If your smoke detector is not working and replacing the batteries doesn’t help, get a new smoke detector right away. Even if there are no problems, you should replace the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year if not twice. It’s easy to remember to replace them if you do so whenever you change the time on your clocks for daylight savings time.

Hardwired smoke alarms have the advantage of not requiring batteries. However, it’s still important to test them regularly. You should also consider having your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monitored by a 24-hour monitoring team. This will ensure that the fire department will be contacted in case of a fire, even if you are not at home. For more information, please visit our fire protection page.

Jewelry Buyer Attacked During Store Robbery

A Toronto jewelry buyer was assaulted inside his own store during a robbery on April 20th. Harold Gerstel, known as “Harold the Jewelry Buyer,” after the name of his store, needed 10-to-20 stitches and staples in his head and he suffered a black eye after being hit with a gun by a robber in his store.

The attacker had been to the store several times before to sell jewelry. On the day of the attack, the alleged attacker brought in some additional jewelry items to sell. Gerstel then stated that the man then pulled out a gun from his waistband. Gerstel tried to grab the gun, but the robber attacked him.

“Then he started hitting me on the head with the gun and I kind of blacked out for a few minutes,” Gerstel said. The man then fled the store with some of the jewelry. He was arrested a few days later. The alleged criminal had left his identification behind and was captured on security camera committing the crime. This resulted in a quick arrest.

Toronto Police seized a handgun at the suspect’s home when they arrested him. He was charged with robbery while armed with a firearm, aggravated assault and careless storage of a firearm.

It’s important that local businesses take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from robberies and assault. As this case shows, anyone can attack your store at any time. It is therefore very important to be protected. Security cameras are an incredibly valuable tool in this regard. Having visible cameras will deter criminals from attempting to commit a crime. People will not want to risk being identified on camera as video surveillance footage is very powerful evidence that can be used by police and also in court during a trial. Even if a crime does take place, the security cameras will capture exactly what happened so that tracking down, charging and convicting the criminal will be much easier and faster. For more information on how security cameras can protect your business, please visit our commercial security cameras page.

Peace of Mind Vol 1-52: Protecting your personal property

When many people think about security, they often think about protecting their homes and businesses from crime. It’s obviously important to keep criminals away from your home and home security systems are excellent ways to protect your property. Methods of protecting your home should certainly receive a great deal of attention. However, it’s also important to think about how you will protect yourself and your property when you are outside, away from home and in a public place.

Recently three separate swarmings in Toronto led to police asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects. In the swarmings, victims reported that they were surrounded by a number of people who threatened and robbed them. In one swarming four men wearing disguises approached a 19-year-old male. Two of the criminals grabbed the victim’s arms while the other two stole his backpack, glasses and other items from his pockets. In another case, a 21-year-old man was reportedly approached by two men wearing disguises and a third holding a handgun. They threatened him and forced him to give them his cell phone and his cash. In a third reported swarming, a 22-year-old male was surrounded by three men. They shoved and kicked him before leaving the scene with his cell phone.

Several other, unrelated street robberies took place in Toronto recently. In one case, a 17-year-old male was arrested after he robbed several victims. The accused had approach victims with a weapon and demanded that they hand over their valuables.

Cellular phones, personal music players, portable computers as well as purses, wallets and handbags are frequently targeted by thieves. These items are small enough that they can be carried easily, but they also are usually high in value. It is important that you protect yourself from thieves and criminals while you are outside in public.

Read the rest of this article here.

Armed Bank Robbery in Toronto

Toronto Police are looking for two armed men who robbed a bank in the Etobicoke area of the city. The men were both wearing hoods and masks when they entered the Bank of Montreal branch at the corner of Lake Shore Boulevard and Parklawn Road. One of the men fired a shot into the air and ordered customers to the floor. He then guarded the door while the other man demanded money from the bank’s tellers.

“The individual with the handgun remained near the door, keeping watch over the customers while pointing the firearm at the tellers. The other individual produced a bag and went to two tellers, demanding cash,” said Staff Insp. Mike Earl at a March 22nd press conference. The robbery took place on February 23rd.

Police recently released security camera images in the hopes of identifying the suspects.

“These individuals are urban terrorists. They need to be taken off the streets before another robbery like this occurs,” added Earl.

Security cameras are incredibly important tools for law enforcement officials. They provide important video evidence that can be used to identify criminals, determine exactly what occurred at a crime scene and to apprehend criminals after a crime occurs. In many cases, security footage is one of the first things that police ask for when they arrive at a crime scene.

SafeTech has been protecting people and property for more than 20 years. For more information on monitored surveillance cameras or to speak with one of our loss prevention experts about how security cameras can help protect your home or business, please contact us today or visit our security cameras page for more detailed information.

Quick Summer Safety Tips

The warm weather is on its way and you may be looking forward to carefree summer days and long summer, warm nights spent outdoors. However, it’s important that you don’t neglect security and safety this summer.

Gardening is a popular late spring/early summer activity and yard work needs to be done throughout the summer. It is important to take precautions when you are working on your garden or lawn. Check your lawn for any debris such as rocks, nails or broken glass. These items can seriously hurt you if they step on them. They can also get caught in lawn mowers and in other garden tools causing damage and potential injury. You’ll also want to look over all of your tools and ensure that they are in good working order before you use them. Always wear proper equipment, including proper shoes as well as gloves and safety goggles when necessary.

If you are working outdoors, make sure to keep small children away from your tools and any other dangerous equipment. Put tools away immediately after you are done using them and place them out of your childrens’ reach. You may want to lock them up in a safe place to be sure. You also need to make sure that your children understand where it is safe to play and where it is dangerous. Children should certainly stay away from roads, as well as lakes and streams which can quickly become more dangerous than they initially appear.

It can be tempting to leave your front door or windows wide open during the summer in order to enjoy the warm air and to keep your house cool. However, it’s important to make sure that you always lock your doors and windows when you leave your home. You can install window bars if you’d like to get some fresh air while still protecting your home. Make sure to close your windows and doors even if you are in the backyard. Criminals can break in through a front window and rob your home while you are spending time outside. For this reason, only leave windows open when you are nearby and aware of the situation and always lock your door.

Make sure that you wear sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and that you drink plenty of water while you are outside. Make sure that you reapply sunscreen often. If you have small children, watch out for them as well. Ensure that they are protected and hydrated. In order to repel insects, use insect repellent that contains DEET.

RCMP Arrest Man after String of Robberies & Violence

The RCMP has arrested a man after a series of crimes in Western Canada. Crimes included an armed robbery in Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as ramming a police officer’s car in Alberta. In that situation, an RCMP officer stopped a white pick-up truck for speeding. The driver of the truck rammed into the officer’s car and drove away. The officer followed the truck. The truck eventually stopped, rammed the car again and drove away. The officer was injured in the attack, but released from hospital shortly afterward. Police say the truck was stolen from a business in Redcliffe, Alberta.

The suspect was arrested a few days later in Rocky Mountain House. He was identified as Tyler Leeder, a 26-year-old man from Lethbridge, Alberta.

As Leeder was considered armed and dangerous, Calgary police assisted RCMP officers by sending an armoured vehicle along to apprehend him. RCMP officers cornered Leeder in a local hotel and he was arrested about an hour later. A 17-year-old girl who was apparently traveling with Leeder was also arrested. She had been missing since August 2010 when she apparently ran off with Leeder.

“There was yelling between the guy and the girl saying how much they loved each other and they will see each other soon,” said Matt Forseth who witnessed the arrest.

“He took a big wad of cash and set it on fire and threw it out the door,” added Forseth. “He was just going insane, yelling anything and everything.”

Police believe Leeder was responsible for armed robberies in Wadena and Invermay, Saskatchewan as well as a robbery in Summerset, Manitoba where he robbed a bank of an undisclosed amount of cash. He was also wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for a parole violation.

“The girls had hit the automatic door locks on the front doors so that locked up, but he apparently got his money and ran out the back,” said Veronica Wolski, the village administrator in Invermay describing the robbery of a Royal Bank branch in Invermay.

Peace of Mind Vol 1-51: Staying Safe at a Hotel

When you’re out of town for business or on vacation you may find yourself worrying about your home. You might be thinking about someone breaking into your house when you’re not around. You could be preoccupied with thoughts of a flood or fire happening without you knowing. Those are valid concerns and they should certainly be addressed by a strong home security and fire prevention system. However, you should also be thinking about your personal safety while you’re staying in your hotel.

Some people think that they will be safe in a hotel because the lock on their door and the fact that the hotel has a concierge at the front desk. While those factors certainly help protect you, you also have to be careful about feeling “invincible” when you’re in a hotel. It’s important to keep your own safety and security as well as the security of any items in your room in mind when you’re staying at a hotel.

Only take the electronic devices that you will actually need. These days it’s quite common to take a laptop, tablet, smart phone, camera and many other electronic items when you travel. However, these items are expensive, lusted after by criminals and generally easy to steal. No one thinks twice if they see someone leaving a room with a laptop computer. When you travel, take only the items that you are actually going to use. You may not need to bring your computer or tablet with you at all. You can likely use your smart phone for email and accessing the Internet. If you don’t have a smart phone, many hotels have “business centers” where you can access the Internet. If not, there is probably an Internet cafe nearby somewhere. If you are traveling on business, for example, and you absolutely need to bring your laptop along, carry it with you or lock it up in your room somehow. Many hotels offer in-room safes.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Does Your Smoke Alarm Work?

Whether you live in a house, an apartment, a townhouse or a condominium, you more than likely have a smoke detector. Almost everyone does and in most areas it’s against the law to not have one. You likely know where your smoke detector is located, but do you know that it works? When is the last time you tested it out?

A functioning smoke detector could be the difference between safety and tragedy. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, smoke detectors can reduce the risk of death from residential fires by as much as 50 percent. However, an estimated one-third of American households do not have a working smoke detector installed.

Most smoke detectors have a “test” button on the unit so that you can tell if it is functioning correctly. You should never use a flame such as a candle, lighter or match to test a smoke detector. Test every smoke detector in your home each month to make sure that you are adequately protected.

If your detector is not working, replacing the batteries may solve your problem. You should change smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. Some fire department recommend changing the batteries twice a year and daylight savings time is a good way to remember to do so. Whenever you change your clocks forward or back, make sure that you change the batteries in your smoke detector as well. Never remove batteries from a smoke detector without replacing them immediately. Some people take batteries out in order to use the batteries in other devices. Never do this. It can be incredibly dangerous. Make sure that you do not paint over your smoke detector as this could seriously decrease its use and possibly cause it to no longer function.

To read more about smoke detectors, the number of options available to you and the importance of monitored smoke detectors click here.

Your Home is only as Strong as its Weakest Link

When you’re planning your home security system and implementing this plan, it’s important to consider all areas of your home. Criminals are often resourceful and will take the path of least resistance to burglarize a property. This is why it is so important to ensure that every link in your security system is strong and functioning properly.

One area that people often neglect is the front door of the home. Yes, criminals often enter through windows or side doors, but the front door remains a very common entry point. In fact, many statistics show that the front door is the most common entry point for burglars. Not only should your front door be protected by your home security system, but it should als be strong enough that it cannot be tampered with easily.

Most door manufacturers produce a variety of different front doors with varying strength. Solid wood doors and steel-edged doors typically perform better in tests than wood-edged doors or doors made from other materials. The door frame is also very important. Older door frames or door frames that are made from weaker materials can easily be damaged and broken by criminals armed with screwdrivers or crowbars. The strongest door in the world is nearly useless if you do not hang your door correctly from a strong frame. The type of lock on your door is also very important. Deadbolt locks are by far the best choice for locking exterior doors. Make sure that you choose a strong deadbolt from a reliable manufacturer.

You will also want to secure your side and rear doors. Many homes feature sliding glass doors that lead out to the backyard. These doors are very visually appealing while also being very convenient. However, they are much easier to tamper with and break into than solid wood or steel doors. If you home has sliding exterior doors, make sure that you lock them at all times. There are additional security devices that you can use to prevent sliding doors from being opened easily from the outside.

It is also very important to secure all areas of your home, not just certain ones. Many break-ins start on the ground floor of a home, but increasing ground floor security has resulted in many burglars choosing to enter through the second floor instead. Make sure that all second storey windows are also protected by strong locks and a security system. You may wish to put bars on your windows as well. Modern security bars come in a variety of styles that add beauty to your home. These security devices are a great idea for ground floor windows as well. Make sure that the security bars you install can be easily removed from the inside. This is especially true in sleeping areas. If there is a fire or other emergency, the window may be your only method of escape. You need to ensure that you can remove the bars quickly and easily so that you can exit through the window. For more information on security bars, please visit our the security bars section of our website.

You should conduct a home security audit to ensure that your security system does not feature any weaknesses. SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for more than 20 years. Our loss prevention professionals have the experience and knowledge needed to properly assess your property and provide advice on how you can keep your home safe. Contact us today.

Outdoor Adventures & Safety

The warm weather is here for most people and it’s a great time to get outside, enjoy nature and embark on some great adventures!
Here are a few tips to keep you safe when you’re enjoying yourself in the great outdoors.

Wear Appropriate Footwear.

It’s important to wear the right equipment, and that starts with your shoes. Depending on your activity, different footwear is needed. Make sure that you wear shoes that offer firm ankle support, are weather resistant and have appropriate tread for the terrain. Playing basketball, jogging in the park and hiking all require different footwear in order to avoid injury.

Pack the Right Supplies.

Whether you’re planning on heading out for a few days or just a few hours, you’ll need to bring the right supplies with you. Outside of specialized items for your particular activity, you’ll want to bring items that will help you in an emergency. For example, a flashlight, matches, a candle, a signaling device such as a whistle, extra food and water, a first aid kit and a map are all important items that can help you a great deal in an emergency.

Protect Yourself from the Elements.

Wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses even if it doesn’t appear to be that sunny outside. Prolonged sun exposure can lead to dehydration, sunburns, sunstroke, heat stroke and other serious problems. You should also make sure that you bring plenty of water with you and that you drink water regularly.

Take a Partner.

If you’re planning on heading out for an extended period of time, partaking in a possibly dangerous activity or venturing very far into the wilderness, it’s a good idea to take someone else with you. If you are lost, injured or become sick, you’ll be glad to have someone there to help you.

Be Careful Around Water.

If your travels take you anywhere near water or in the water, it’s important to exercise extreme caution. You can drown in a very small amount of water or disappear under the current of a river quite quickly. Always wear an approved lifejacket if you are in the water.

Peace of Mind Vol 1-50: Burglary Statistics & Trends

What is “Cyber Stalking” & What can you do about it?

Cyber stalking (sometimes written as “cyberstalking”) is using the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass another person. It includes monitoring, making threats, gathering information, identity theft and more. It can also sometimes lead to offline or “spacial” stalking as well as physical violence.

Stalkers repeatedly and intentionally invade the personal life of another person without warrant. Cyber stalkers use email, Facebook, cellular phones, social media services, message boards, instant message programs and other electronic communication tools to send threatening or harassing messages.

Now that more and more people conduct more and more of their daily business and personal interactions online, cyber stalkers have more ways to send these messages than ever before. Cyber stalking can be terrifying, confusing and often dangerous.

There are two types of harassment that can take place online: direct and indirect harassment. Direct harassment includes sending threatening or harassing messages through email, social networks, text messages and other forms of communication. Intimidation and bullying are common forms of direct harassment. Indirect harassment includes posting hurtful or confidential information on social networks, message boards and websites, subscribing victims to unwanted services online, sending messages in the name of the victim and other similar acts. Both types of harassment are dangerous and hurtful. Any person of any age, gender or location can be a victim of cyber stalking and online harassment.

How can you protect yourself from cyber stalkers and what can you do if someone is harassing you or your loved ones online?

Unfortunately some people use information that is posted online in negative ways. Be mindful of the information that you post online and use privacy settings and passwords to control who can access your personal details. Do not list you home address on social networking sites. Cyber stalkers can use this information to harass you in person or steal your identity. Make sure that you have correctly set your privacy settings on Facebook and other social networks so that only your friends can see vital details about you and your life. When choosing a password, do not choose one that would be easy to guess such as your middle name or the street you live on. Passwords that include bother uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers are much more difficult to guess.

If you are a victim of cyber stalking, here are a few tips. If you know the stalker in real life, send him or her a clear written request to stop harassing you. Only send one request and then do not have any further contact with the stalker. Keep a copy of the letter for your records. Retain evidence of all harassing messages and keep copies of this information as well as all contact made by the stalker.

Contacting your Internet service provider or cellular phone provider may be helpful. Some ISPs and companies are able to block certain persons from contacting you. You can also report the person to his or her own ISP or provider. If the harassment does not stop, contact the police. Do not attempt to meet your stalker in person in order to stop the harassment. This could be incredibly dangerous. Cyber stalking is very serious and should be dealt with by law enforcement.

Burglary Statistics & Trends

Unfortunately, burglaries and break-ins happen quite regularly in homes across North America. In 2010, a burglary took place every 15 seconds in the United States. The best way to prevent burglaries and to protect yourself is to understand where and when they take place and to secure your home with the appropriate security technology.

Renter’s Insurance recently published statistics on break ins in the United States. The information can help you understand how burglar’s think so that you are able to better protect your home, your valuables and your family.

Burglaries of residential properties accounted for 73.9% of all burglary offenses in 2010. Contrary to what some may believe, the majority of residential burglaries take place during the day, not at night. Most burglaries take place between 10am and 3pm, since most people are away from their homes during these times. Break ins take place most often during the summer months (July and August) while February has the fewest number of break ins. Weather is certainly a factor in these cases and the fact that many people take long vacations during the summer makes their homes tempting targets for burglars.

Single-family homes in the middle of a block are more common targets for burglars than homes on corner lots. This is likely because a house on the corner is more easily spotted than a house in the middle of a block. Burglars do not want to be caught committing crimes and thus they target homes where they are less likely to be noticed.

How do burglars get into your home? Click here to read the rest of this story.

Protecting Yourself From Muggers

Being mugged is a terrifying situation that can leave you feeling helpless, powerless and vulnerable. Unfortunately, muggings can happen anywhere, not just if you’re walking through “a bad neighbourhood” or if you’re visiting a city you are unfamiliar with. People can be mugged in their hometowns while walking down streets that they visit often. However, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself against muggers.

The best way to protect yourself from a mugger is to avoid getting into a bad situation in the first place. While criminals are sometimes unavoidable, there are a few steps you can take to decrease your chances of becoming a victim. Stay in well-lit areas where other people and cars are present whenever possible. Mugger does not want to be caught committing a crime and he or she will be less likely to mug you if others will see the act take place. Keep valuables hidden and close to your body. Hang your purse or bag from a short strap and keep it under your coat if possible. The same goes for valuables such as cell phones, watches, music player and cash. Keep these items hidden in your pockets whenever possible.

Stay alert at all times. Be on the lookout for anything that seems suspicious. Keep your head up and observe what is going on around you. This will keep you from accidentally walking into a dangerous situation. Don’t listen to your iPod or music player while walking. This could·distract you from your surroundings and also attract criminals who may want to steal your device. If possible, try to walk with a friend, co-worker, relative or someone else you trust if you need to walk through a deserted area at night.

Keep moving. It is much easier to mug someone who is standing still than someone on the move. Where comfortable shoes so that you will be able to walk quickly. Do not stop for strangers, regardless of the reason. Sometimes muggers will ask you for directions so that you will stop walking. If you are asked for directions, walk with the person asking while you give them the information or ask them to come inside a store or other commercial establishment while you talk with them. Muggers are much less likely to strike when other people are around.

If you are mugged, it is important to stay calm and confident but non-confrontational. Listen to what the mugger is asking for and comply with the requests. Most muggers will be looking for money or other valuables such as jewelry or electronics. While you likely will not want to lose your valuables, it’s safer to hand them over rather than risk injury or death. Answer the mugger’s questions, but do not give him or her any additional information. Most muggers will leave once they have the valuables they are looking for.

Never go with an attacker to a second location. You will be much safer if you stay where you are than if you head to somewhere more deserted. Keep this in mind, even if your attacker has a weapon.

Take note of any distinguishing characteristics such as height, weight, hair colour, eye colour, etc. You can provide these details to the police after the fact.

Carjacking Safety Tips

Carjacking can be incredibly lucrative for criminals. Regardless of the type of vehicle you own, it can be a target of a carjacker. While some thieves target high-end, expensive cars, others aim for more typical vehicles. These are often easier to steal and·harder to track. Stolen cars are often sold for parts and parts from more common vehicles are often more valuable.

What can you do to avoid becoming a victim of a carjacking?

Keep your car doors locked even when you are in your vehicle and wear your seat belt.

Many carjackings take place at red lights or at other times when a driver is stopped in the car. Criminals look to quickly enter the vehicle, throw the driver out and take the car. Keeping your doors locked and your seat belt on makes this more difficult. The extra time you’ll get could allow you to drive away.

Give yourself some space.

Keep at least a car length between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will let you maneuver your vehicle if needed. Stay in the center lane whenever possible. This will make it more difficult for a carjacker to approach your vehicle.

Watch out for dangerous situations and set-ups.

If you’re stopped at a red light and someone approaches your car on foot, do whatever you can to get away. There is no reason why someone should be walking up to your car in that situation. When rolling down your window for any reason, only roll it down slightly. An open window makes it easier for a criminal to reach into your car and threaten you. Criminals will often try to put you in a situation where you leave your vehicle as this gives them a chance to steal it. A common scam is to lightly bump your car so that you will get out to check for damage. At this point the criminal will jump into you car and drive off. If you are in a minor accident, wave to the other car and drive to a more populated area before getting out of your car.

If you are carjacked, in most cases the best option is to give up the vehicle and report the crime to the police as soon as it is safe to do so. Provide the police with as many details as you can possibly remember.

Peace of Mind Vol 1-49: Keeping Your Children Safe Outside

The warmer weather is here and people are spending more and more time outside. This is also a great time for children to play outside. You don’t have to spend time getting them in and out of their winter clothing and there’s no need to worry about them catching a cold from the weather. However, there are still things to watch out for and you should still take some precautions.

There are a number of things that you’ll need to watch out for when your children are playing outside. Children can hurt themselves, either through slipping and falling or by twisting ankles or hurting other body parts while running. Unfortunately, they can become the targets of adult predators as well.Outdoor exercise is important though, and you’ll want to make sure that your children have the freedom to enjoy themselves without stiffling them or stressing yourself out.

Adult supervision is important however. Adults can prevent children from attempting dangerous activities, they can calm down games before they get dangerous and they can be on the lookout for any other dangers. The younger your child is, the more supervision he or she will require. It’s important for you to based your supervision requirements on the abilities of each particular child. Children who are the same age may not have the same motor skills, physical strength and judgement skills. Also, note that if a child is older, he or she may be able to know not to talk to strangers, but he or she is also able to climb up a large tree and fall off. It’s important to keep your child’s age and abilities in mind at all time. This will help you determine the degree of supervision required.

Regardless of where your children are playing, you will want to make sure that the area is safe. If your backyard, make sure that the gate is closed and locked and check to see if any dangerous debris has fallen into your yard. If your children are using playground equipment, make sure that it is in good condition as well. Sometimes slides and jungle gyms have broken pieces or rough edges that can hurt a child. Swing sets may be frayed or damaged. Make sure you check everything before you let your children play.

Watch out for traffic and make sure your children know that cars can be incredibly dangerous. Children should know not to run into the street after a toy or ball. It is best for your children that they ask for help from an adult they trust in these situations. Make sure that your children are also aware of parked cars. Just because a car isn’t moving right now, that doesn’t mean it soon won’t be. Never let your children play around motor vehicles of any kind.

It’s also important that children understand that they should never go anywhere with a stranger and that they should never do anything they do not feel comfortable with, even if someone they trust is asking them to. You have to make sure that you don’t terrify your children by telling them to never trust any stranger at all, but it is very important that children know that they should never leave an area unless their parents allow it.

If you end up in a situation where you’d like to have someone else pick your children up, let your child know this in advance if possible. Otherwise, you should have a secret pass phrase that only you and your children know. If another person (a friend or another relative) is going to pick your children up, tell them this pass phrase. Your children should never leave with anyone who doesn’t know the pass phrase.

Barbecue Safety

A great way to enjoy your meals during the warm weather is to cook them on the barbecue. Not only does the food taste great, but you’ll also get to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while you cook and eat. Here are a few tips to make sure that your barbecuing experience is a safe and happy one.

Inspect your barbecue, especially at the beginning of the season. Whether you store your grill inside our outside during the winter, dust, dirt and other build up can form while the barbecue is inactive. Check to make sure that nothing has been damaged as well. If the grill, burners, body or propane tank (if applicable) has been damaged, don’t use the barbecue until it has been fixed. Do a quick inspection of the entire barbecue each time you use it. If anything is defective, have it replaced right away.

Always keep the lid of the barbecue open when you are lighting it. Regardless of whether you are using propane, charcoal or natural gas, the lid should be completely open when starting up the grill. If you have a gas or propane barbecue and it does not light, turn the gas off and wait for five minutes before trying again. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll likely need to get it repaired.

Propane tanks need to be inspected and requalified or replaced every ten years. The date that the tank was last qualified is listed on the collar of the propane cylinder. An attendant is not permitted to fill an outdated cylinder. If your propane tank is rusted or otherwise damaged, it is time for a new one. Stores or gas stations that sell new propane tanks should be able to take your old tank for proper disposal or recycling.

If you have a charcoal barbecue, make sure that you only use proper charcoal lighting fluid to light the briquettes. Give the fluid a few minutes to settle after you spray it on the charcoal. Always make sure that you stand a safe distance from the grill when you light it and that the starter fluid bottle is far away from the grill when you do so.

Keep your children away from the hot grill and make sure the grill is always supervised to prevent injury. Make sure that you barbecue in a well-ventilated area and that there are no object or obstructions near the grill that could cause injury, cause someone to slip and fall or catch fire. Do not wear loose clothing around the grill. You should have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case. Make sure that you know how to use the extinguisher properly.

When shutting off a gas or propane grill, make sure you turn off the gas as well as the burners. Give the barbecue some time to cool off before covering it. If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure that the coals are completely cool before disposing them. Hot coals can start a fire in a garbage can that can be incredibly dangerous.

Five Security System Facts You May Not Be Aware Of

If you have a security system, you may be aware of the functions of that particular system. However, there are many aspects of alarm systems that you may not be aware of. Here are ten security systems facts that may be new to you!

You can monitor your alarm system & security cameras via the Internet.

These days you can watch your security cameras from your laptop. You can receive text messages when your alarm system is activated or deactivated. You can use your smart phone to enable your security system when you are away from home. You can keep track of everything that is taking place in your home from just about anywhere. All you need is an Internet connection and a computer, tablet or phone. Contact us to find out more about Internet-enabled security systems.

Wireless alarm systems are just as reliable as wired ones.

There was a time when wireless alarm systems were unreliable and unsecure. However, that is no longer the case. Much like wireless Internet, wireless phones and wireless stereo equipment, wireless alarm systems have improved in quality and reliablity greatly over the last few years. They are now as reliable and as secure as a wired system. Wireless systems are great for older homes where it would be incredibly difficult to install wires throughout the home. They are also great for renters who are not allowed or who do not wish to permanently install an alarm system into their home.

You don’t need a landline to have an alarm system.

These days many people do not have a traditional home phone any longer. Cellular phones and VoIP systems are more common than ever and they are replacing traditional landlines for many people. While a landline was once required for an alarm system, this is no longer the case. Modern security systems have safeguards that ensure your safety and security are never compromised, regardless of the state of your phone line, cellular signal or Internet connection.

Having an alarm system makes it ten times less likely that you will suffer a break in.

Combining an alarm system with a second form of protection (such as video surveillance cameras) reduces the chance of a break and enter by 40 times. In addition, the amount of property stolen is 80 percent less in properties that have alarm systems and security cameras than in properties that do not.

Security systems are not “only for the rich.”

Alarm systems, even monitored alarm systems, are much more affordable than most people think. In fact, the reduction in insurance premiums for having an alarm system and the fact that your home will suffer much less damage and loss in the event of a break in more than pays for the alarm system or the security camera.

SafeTech Alarm System has been protecting people and property for more than 20 years. We understand exactly what it takes to keep your property safe. Whether you’re looking for a home alarm system or a commercial alarm system, the loss prevention professionals at SafeTech Alarm Systems can help you find the system that meets your needs and protects your property.

Don’t Leave Spare Keys Where They Can Fall Into The Wrong Hands

It can be convenient to leave a spare key under a rock, inside a flower pot or on top of light fixture in case of emergency. We’ve all run into a situation where we’ve forgotten our keys or we need someone to enter our home when we’re not around. It just seems easier and more convenient to have an extra key stashed away for these types of situations. However, if it’s easy for you to get into your home, that means it’s easy for criminals as well.

Criminals will often scout out a location before attempting a break in. No matter how well you think you’ve hidden your spare key, a criminal will likely be able to find it within ten minutes or so of searching. The lock to your front door is often your first defense against a criminal. Leaving a spare key outside is taking away one obstacle and making a break in much more possible. Leaving a spare key out in the open is essentially the same thing as leaving your door unlocked: Don’t do it.

It is much safer to leave your spare key with a friend, relative or neighbour who you trust. You will still be able to retrieve the key quickly in an emergency, but you won’t be opening yourself up to nearly as much danger as leaving the key outside. You can also place a copy of your keys inside a safety deposit box. This will allow you to access all of them should there be a serious problem.

If you feel like you absolutely must leave a key outside somewhere, make sure that you place the key inside of a combination lockbox. While a lockbox can be tampered with, it is relatively difficult. This will keep your keys safe but still give you access to them when you need them.

As another reminder, never place identifying information such as your name or address on your keys or on your keychain and never keep your keys inside your wallet. If you happen to lose your keys, you don’t want the person who finds them to know exactly where you live. There are services that allow you to put a specific number on your key or keychain instead. If you lose your keys, they can still be send back to you via the number listed on them. Using these services ensures that your personal information is never compromised.

Having a dead bolt lock on your door makes it nearly impossible to lock yourself out with your keys inside. A dead bolt requires you to lock the door with the key as you are leaving. Dead bolts are also much more powerful locks and they are much more difficult to break into or pick. All exterior doors should have dead bolts on them. Now all you’ll have to worry about is losing your keys or forgetting them at work.

Peace of Mind Vol 1-48: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

How Medical Alarms Provide Peace of Mind

It can sometimes be scary or worrying to leave an elderly relative home alone. Unfortunately, some seniors have difficulty walking up and down stairs, getting in and out of the bathtub and performing other daily tasks. There is also the risk of a medical emergency. However, many seniors also wish to remain in their own homes and have the independence to live life the way they see fit. How do you balance these two conflicting scenarios?

Medical alarm systems can greatly reduce the stress and worry that can be associated with seniors living at home alone. With an emergency medical alarm, your elderly relatives can continue to live the independent lives they are used to without being concerned about health problems or slips and falls. You’ll also be able to relax since you’ll know that your loved ones are just a button press away from emergency help, 24 hours a day.

SafeTech Alarm Systems offers lightweight, compact and waterproof emergency response pendants and wireless emergency wall communicators that allow seniors to live lives without worry. Medical alarms make it easier for seniors to live the lives they’re accustomed and they give family members the peace of mind that their loved ones are being protected.

Emergency medical alarm systems from SafeTech have the best range in the industry, so they’ll even work in your driveway, garage or backyard. This means that you can be a button push away from emergency help even when you’re doing yardwork, gardening or working outside your home for any reason. You’ll be able to do all of the tasks you’re used to with the added protection of two-way voice support from our central monitoring station.

Two-way voice medical alarms from SafeTech feature:

  • The worlds smallest two-way voice personal communicator pendant
  • Direct communication with our central monitoring station 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • The best range in the industry: Hundreds of feet from the base station
  • Crystal clear two-way voice communication with the central station
  • All pendants and wall communicators check in with the base every 13 hours
  • The central station is contacted in the event of a power outage, low battery or RFC signal loss Unlimited talk time with the central monitoring station.

Medical alarm pendants are small enough to be worn on your wrist or on a chain around your neck. They’re completely waterproof, so you can even wear one in the shower or bath.

Please contact SafeTech Alarm Systems for more information.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

There are a number of ways to prevent criminals from breaking into your home or business. Alarm systems, security cameras, window bars and gates and other security technology are vital to keeping your property safe from criminals. However, it has also been proven that proper design can reduce crime and the fear of crime in a neighbourhood or a particular property.

A combination of security technology and natural surveillance, access control and other techniques can make an area safer and drastically reduce crime. Crime prevention through environmental design is a multi-disciplinary approach to determine criminal behaviour through design techniques.

The ideas of crime prevention through environmental design have been practiced and refined for quite some time. Today these tactics are used in both residential and commercial environments to limit the opportunity for crime and to also reduce the fear of crime in a given area. Urban planners and those designing neighbourhoods and commercial areas such as office parks or shopping centers often take safety and security into account when creating a design.

There are several ways that you can use these tactics to protect your home or office. For example, a key aspect of crime prevention through environmental design is the idea of “natural surveillance.” This means creating an environment that maximizes visibility and increases the ability to spot suspicious people or activities. This technique can be used in your home quite effectively.

For example, you should ensure that your home’s main entrance is clearly visible from the street and that there are no bushes or shrubs located nearby where criminals could hide. Installing motion-activated security lighting over all entrances will increase visibility at night and make it more difficult for criminals to act without being caught.

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Hazardous Gases in your Home

Criminals are not the only danger to your home that could strike at any time. They’re also not the only issue that you can protect yourself from by utilizing the right technology. Hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide can be incredibly dangerous and even lethal if they allowed to build up in your home undetected.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odorless, tasteless and initially non-irritating gas that is very difficult for people to detect without specialized equipment. On average, 170 people in the United States die each year from carbon monoxide produced by non-automotive consumer products and thousands more are hospitalized with non-lethal carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide can be produced by a number of different consumer products. Furnaces, ranges, water heaters, gas and kesosene heaters, portable generators, fireplaced and a number of other fuel-burning appliances can produce carbon monoxide, especially if the appliance is malfunctioning.

The symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning include lightheadedness, confusion, headaches, vertigo and flu-like symptoms as well as depression, confusion, and memory loss. Greater exposure can lead to central nervous system and heart damage as well as death.

Carbon monoxide is best detected with a functioning carbon monoxide detector. For more information on carbon monoxide and monitored carbon monoxide detectors, please visit our website.

However carbon monoxide isn’t the only hazardous gas that you will need to watch out for. For example, elevated levels of radon gas also lead to health problems and even death. Like carbon monoxide, radon gas is colourless, odorless and tasteless. It is a radioactive gas and can cause lung cancer. Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It can get into any type of building through cracks and holes. Radon can get trapped inside a building and build up to incredibly dangerous levels without you even noticing.

Nearly 1-in-15 homes in the United States has elevated radon levels. Thankfully, there are a number of different radon test kits that you can use to check for elevated radon levels.

Workplace Security

Most people spend a large percentage of their lives in the workplace. Other than your own home, you likely spend more time in your workplace than in any other location. Therefore, it makes sense that you would want to stay safe at work.

Whether you are an employee or an employer, there are several things you can do to improve workplace security. Employers often set up the company’s security systems, maintain these systems and set the tone for a safe workplace, but that doesn’t mean employees cannot help with these security efforts.

Accurate and consistent risk assessment is important in every workplace. Every company, no matter the size, should carry out its own risk assessment study to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the company, the building that the company is located it and the organization’s practices. SafeTech Alarm Systems offers a free risk assessment for both homes and businesses. Please contact us for more information. A company should also formulate contingency plans that can come into effect should an emergency situation occur. Additional security measures may be required in an emergency.

All employees should be trained and made aware of a company’s security policies and emergency plans. They should also be aware of how to correctly act if their security is threatened. Employees that are assigned specific roles in a company’s security policy (such as locking the office doors for the night, activating the office’s alarm system, securing company documents in a locked room or filing cabinet, etc.) should be given detailed instructions on their roles and all employees should practice their security roles regularly to ensure that they understand their duties exactly.

Employees play another vital role in maintaining security in the workplace. All employees should be trained to recognize threats and properly report them. For example, employees in a retail store should be trained to identify potential shoplifters. There should be a procedure in place to report suspicious customers without causing a panic or scaring customers out of the store. Employees should also be trained to look out for weaknesses in a company’s security technology. For example, if an employee notices that an exterior light is burned out or that a window does not lock properly, the employee should promptly report this flaw to the correct person who can arrange for it to be fixed.

Information security is also incredibly important. Your company should have detailed information technology security procedures and all employees should be trained to follow these procedures. Some tips include choosing safe passwords for your computer, always storing critical information in password protected files and safe Internet browsing. Physical documents that contain personal or private information should be stored securely and access to these documents should be strictly controlled.

Peace of Mind Vol 1-47: Cost-Effective Ways to Protect Your Business

Five Ways Security Systems Can Help – Beyond Catching Criminals

Home alarm systems and commercial alarm systems are obviously very effective at deterring and stopping crime. Studies show that having an alarm system reduces the chance of a break and enter by 10 times and that combining an alarm system with another form of security technology (such as video surveillance cameras) makes it 40 times less likely that your home or office will be broken into.

However, keeping you safe from criminals isn’t all that alarm systems and security cameras can do. There are a number of other ways that your home or business security system can help you.
For example, you can use your alarm system and your security cameras to tell you when people are entering or leaving your home. You’ll know when your babysitter, contractor, housekeeper or any other person working inside your home arrives for a shift and how long they remain in your house. This is a great way to make sure that people are working the right number of hours each day. You’ll also be able to tell exactly when your children arrive home from school giving you true peace of mind. Modern alarm systems and security cameras allow you to monitor activity from any location with an Internet connection. You can even get alerts sent to your cell phone or email address when your alarm is activated or deactivated so you’ll always know what is taking place in your house.

If you have a monitored security system, did you know that you can monitor other devices in your home, not just your security services? A centrally monitored system can also keep watch on your smoke detectors, heat detectors, flood detectors and numerous other systems in your home. A fire or flood when you are away from home can be incredibly costly and dangerous. You may have a smoke detector or flood alarm, but if no one is around to hear it, your entire home could be destroyed. Thankfully, you can have these devices monitored by a central monitoring station. In the event of a fire or flood the central station will assess the situation and alert you and/or the appropriate authorities. You can even have your carbon monoxide detectors monitored if you choose. Please visit our monitoring section for more information.

Centrally monitored security systems and Internet enabled systems do more than just protect your home from criminals. They can keep every aspect of your home safe and secure and give you the peace of mind that you deserve. There is no need to worry while you are away from home. You won’t have to guess whether or not people working in your home are putting in a full shift. You won’t have to wonder if your children or other loved ones have arrived home safely. There will be no need to worry about your home or office being damaged while you are away.
Security systems offer additional protection for businesses. Surveillance cameras are a great way to prevent theft (including employee theft) but they can also help you manage your business. You can use your security cameras to make sure that your staff members are at their desks working when they are supposed to be. You can also use cameras to make sure that employees are taking appropriate lunch breaks and other breaks. This saves you from having to actively be in numerous locations or to hire someone to keep track of your employees. You can also use your security system to verify when employees and visitors enter and leave your location.

If you manage a retail store, surveillance cameras can help you track customer tendencies. You will be able to see which sections of the store are visited the most often and which displays are the most frequently noticed. This will help you with the layout of your store. You can also use this information to position store staff where they are most needed. Security cameras can help you improve your business and keep your customers happy.

For more information on surveillance cameras, centrally-monitored security systems and other security technology, please contact us today.

Cost-Effective Ways to Protect Your Business

Protecting your business is incredibly important. Security systems, commercial alarms, surveillance cameras and other security services are all incredibly important and effective ways to protect your business. Fortunately, these services can also be quite cost-effective.

While protecting your company can seem like an expensive and time-consuming ordeal, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, having a safe and functional security system can actually save you money. For example, in properties with security cameras that still become victims of break ins, the amount of property stolen is 50% less than in locations that only have a security alarm. When you compare this to a property that has no alarm system or security camera set-up at all, there is an 80% reduction in the loss of property. These savings are significant and should more than pay for the cost of installing a security system. The added security will also prevent loss of business due to theft or damage caused by vandals.

You’ll also find that having a monitored security system as well as surveillance cameras will result in lower insurance premiums. Almost all insurance companies will give you a break on your fees if your business is properly protected from theft, vandalism, fire and other issues.

There are several other ways to protect your business as well. It sounds simple, but it is important to remember to lock your doors. This includes locking exterior doors when the business is closed, but also locking doors to stock rooms and areas that contain sensitive information. Only certain staff members should have keys to these rooms and employees should be asked to sign in and sign out whenever they need to enter these areas. This will cut down on employee theft and make it more difficult for strangers to enter restricted regions.

You’ll also want to make sure that you change your locks, access codes and passwords regularly. Keeping this information the same for an extended period of time increases the chance of it falling into the wrong hands. Some former employees may hold a grudge against your business and attempt to use the information they have to hurt you. Regularly changing locks, access codes and computer passwords makes this much less likely.

A simple way to keep your business safe is to keep it organized and clean. If you have a organized supply room, for example, you will be able to save money by avoiding duplicate orders. If your filing system is well-managed you will be able to track your finances more accurately. It will also be more difficult for employees to steal from your business since you will have accurate and easily-accessible records. Finally, keeping your office clean will reduce the number of accidents, slips, falls and mishaps that take place. This will keep your employees safe, lower you insurance costs and reduce the number of hours lost to injury.

Securing your Smartphone

There is an incredible amount of important data stored on the average smartphone. From phone numbers and email addresses to social networking and bank passwords to other important business and personal data, the information stored on the average smartphone is vast. This information could seriously harm you if it fell into the wrong hands.

Someone could alienate or steal your entire contact list, log into your bank and conduct transactions, damage your personal relationships, commit fraud and even steal your identity just by gaining access to your smartphone. This is why it is so important to secure your phone. Here are a few tips for securing your smartphone:

Password protect your phone

It may be slightly less convenient to use your phone quickly when it is protected by a password, but it is also a step that you should take to protect your valuable data. iPhones, Android phones, Blackberry phones and Windows Phones all have built in password settings. Enable the password protection feature and make sure that you choose a password that is difficult for someone else to figure out. “1234” and “111111” are far too common and easy to guess. Try and come up with a password that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess.

Enable “Remote Wipe” and “Find My Phone” Options

Most modern smartphones allow you to lock or completely wipe the data off of your phone in an emergency. You can also enable GPS tracking on your phone so that it can be found in case it is misplaced or stolen. You should use your phone’s online back-up feature as well. In case your phone is lost and you need to wipe all of the data from it remotely, you can feel safer doing so if you know that your data is backed up online.

Watch What You Download

Certain applications can contain viruses or other malicious code. Make sure that you only install applications and programs that come from your phone’s official application marketplace. You should also watch which websites you visit from your phone as some can cause problems, damage your phone or corrupt your data. Just like on a desktop computer, do not download attachments or click unknown links, even if you know the sender. Hackers can sometimes send emails or instant messages to you so that they look like they are coming from someone you trust. If something looks suspicious, do not download it.

Install Updated Software

You should run the most updated version of your phone’s operating system that your phone can handle. If you have an older phone, you may not be able to upgrade to the absolute newest version, but you should stay as current as possible. Most phone manufacturers list how long they support a particular software version on their websites. As long as a software version is supported, the vendor will continue to provide security updates and repair possible security flaws. Depending on which smartphone you have, you may also wish to install additional security software such as a virus scanner or a spyware scanner. Different versions of these programs are available for different phones.

Protect Your Phone

Your smartphone contains a lot of important data. You should remember this and protect like it like you would protect your wallet or other important documents. Do not leave it unattended for any period of time. Carry your phone on you whenever you are in public and place it inside your pocket, purse or briefcase so that you are less likely to leave it behind somewhere. If you must leave your phone behind, lock it in a desk drawer if possible.

Safety Around Lakes, Ponds & Streams

Now that the weather is getting warmer, people are spending more and more time outdoors. While it can certainly be enjoyable to spend time near a lake, pond, stream or creek, it’s also important to stay safe around these bodies of water. Drowning is the second leading cause of death among children aged one-to-four and children aged two-to-four have the highest risk of drowning out of every age group. However, not only children are in danger. Everyone should be careful around bodies of water.
In July 2011 a 34-year-old man drowned in a creek running through a Toronto neighbourhood. He was walking with his wife near Highland Creek in the Scarborough area of the city when he stopped to take some photos. He slipped and hit his head on the pavement. He was disoriented when he stood up and he fell into the nearby creek. He was trapped underneath the rushing waters and drowned. It took five police officers to get him out of the powerful water.

This tragic situation shows how important it is to exercise caution around streams, lakes, creeks, ponds and other bodies of water. It also shows just how powerful and dangerous water can be.

It is important to stay away from fast-moving water. While creeks and streams are beautiful to look at from afar, they can also be very deadly. Rushing water is often more powerful than it looks and it can be incredibly difficult to get out from under a strong stream of water. During the early spring, water run off from melting snow and ice can cause stronger than usual currents. This can make bodies of water that are usually very calm much more dangerous than normal.

You should also check for hazards around the water. Items like sticks and rocks as well as holes and uneven ground could cause you to slip and fall into the water. Be very cautious when walking around bodies of water.

Children should be taught about the dangers of water and they should never be left alone around a body of water. Make sure to always supervise your children when they are playing outside and to keep them away from ponds, streams and creeks. Children should be in arms reach at all times when you are near any body of water. You can drown in just a few inches of water, so even very small streams can be deadly. In addition to natural water formations, backyard pools can be incredibly dangerous as well.

Four out of every ten child drownings happens within two meters of the shore or pool side and one quarter of drownings happen in water that is one meter in depth or less. One-third of water deaths take place at night, so be on guard at all times.