• Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 8:00pm
  • Sat: 11am - 4:00pm
  • 1-888-939-3733

Peace of Mind Newsletter - Past Issues

Peace of Mind Volume 2-4: Home Invasion in Mississauga
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 home 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.

What We Can Learn from this Home Invasion

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 to prevent home invasion. 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. it’s not difficult to become a victim of a home invasion.

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 perform home invasion. 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.

How to Prevent Home Invasion

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 perform home invasion 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. There are many ways to prevent home invasion.

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. There are many ways to prevent home invasion. 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. Keep your home safe from home invasion, as well as your business. For more information on security guard services, please visit our security guards page.
Read more
Peace of Mind Vol 2-3: The Importance of a Business Continuity Plan

Business Continuity Plan for a Peace of Mind

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 business continuity 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 plan 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.

Tips for Preparing Business Continuity Plan

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 afterwards 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 travellers perform software updates on laptops immediately before travelling, 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.
Read more
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.

Social Media and Security

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 social media 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 media 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 media 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 social media 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 and social media. 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.
Read more
Peace of Mind Vol 2-1: Condo Security Tips
When you live in a condominium, you may not pay the same attention to condo 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. Here are a few condo security tips.

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 some condo security tips.

Condo Security Tips for Your Safety

One of the best things you can do is to investigate the condo 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 condominium keeps you safe is incredibly important. Stay safe with our condo security tips.

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. Condo security tips for your own safety are beneficial.

Read the rest of this article here.

SafeTech Specials

Free Alarm 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.

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.
Read more
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 personal property. Methods of protecting your personal property should certainly receive a great deal of attention. However, it’s also important to think about how you will protect yourself and your personal 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.

How to Protect Your Personal Property

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 personal 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 personal property such as 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 personal property such as 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 personal property 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. Protect yourself and your personal property with SafeTech.

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.
Read more
Peace of Mind Vol 1-51: Hotel Safety
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. Here are few tips for your hotel safety.

Hotel Safety Tips

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 hotel safety and security as well as the security of any items in your room in mind when you’re staying at a hotel. Hotel safety is mandatory.

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. Hotel safety is important. 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. Make sure you consider your hotel safety when travelling. Read our tips for your own hotel safety.

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

burglary statistics: 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. According to the burglary statistics, 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. Read our burglary statistics.

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. According to burglary statistics, 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 burglary 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. Burglary statistics show how the 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. Burglary statistics show that 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. Stay safe with our burglary statistics.

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.
Read more
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. Here are few children safety tips.

There are a number of things that you’ll need to watch out for when your children are playing outside. Children safety is very important. 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.

Children Safety is Mandatory

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, for children safety, 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.

For the children safety, 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.
Read more