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September 11, 2011
(5 votes)

This Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks that changed our country forever. Most Americans will take some time this weekend to remember those who lost their lives on that tragic Tuesday morning and the heroes that saved so many. Although we remember the events of that day as though it was yesterday, ten years have now passed and in that time, we have become united in support of the common goal of protecting our nation. There are many ways in which we can go about achieving this goal, but one idea in particular stands out.

 

In July 2010, the Department of Homeland Security launched the national “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. This campaign is a public awareness effort that aims to educate the public on the specific indicators of terrorism and other violent crimes. The program attempts to bring awareness to citizens about protecting their country and to involve each and every one of us in crime prevention.

 

Because there is no way to identify a potential terrorist by their appearance, the program aims to educate the public about certain behaviors that should be considered “red flags.” Another focus of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign is local communities and the important role that “hometown security” plays in our overall homeland security.

 

Keeping your eye out for suspicious behavior in your local community is crucial to maintaining a high level of security throughout the country. Law enforcement agencies can only see so much. As a member of your community, you have knowledge of people and their habits that law enforcement officials couldn’t possibly have. Who better to keep watch on your community than the members themselves?

 

The campaign has been launched with various aviation and law enforcement agencies across the country and is continuing to grow. The Department of Homeland Security’s ultimate goal is for the public to work together to preserve the safety of the nation as a whole so that we don’t have to experience a tragedy like this ever again.

 

As the weekend approaches, please remember to stay vigilant, be aware of your surroundings and report anything that seems unusual. We will all be safer!

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Security Tips for High Income Households
(2 votes)

You may think that your neighborhood is much safer than some of the communities often shown in the crime report on the news, and it probably is. However, studies have shown that burglary rates in high income neighborhoods can be just as high as those in low income areas.

 

The main difference between the burglary that occurs in high income areas as opposed to low income is the type of criminal. In high income areas the criminal tends to have a greater knowledge of how to remain undetected and will probably be looking for things like art, jewelry, and cash. There are many ways to prevent these burglars from entering your home.

 

1.  Organize a neighborhood watch: the more eyes looking out for suspicious activity, the less crime there is going to be.

2.  Install a home security system: burglars will often be aware that there is a system installed and will stay away from your home.

3.  Use your home security system: many people have the system installed but do not arm it regularly. During the night or while you are away from you home it is important that you arm your system and allow it to do its job.

4.  Home security cameras: cameras can be installed inside and outside of you home to allow you to remotely monitor your home and capture any suspicious activity.

5.  Purchase a safe: keeping your valuable items in a safe will make it more difficult for burglars to access them. Although some safes can be broken in to, it is still another obstacle that the burglar may not be able to crack.

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Elderly Residents and Fire Hazards
(0 votes)

Many of us worry about our parents, grandparents, and loved ones who continue to live on their own as they age. There are many hazards associated with elderly people living independently. One of the biggest hazards is fire. Older folks are more likely to unintentionally cause fires or create fire hazards in the kitchen and other areas of their home, and they are less likely to be able to put the fire out or get out of the home quickly. It is important that we take the necessary measures to ensure that our loved ones are safe from these fire hazards.

 

Fire Detection

Smoke detectors and heat detectors that notify the fire department can be installed as a part of the home security system.  (Natural gas and carbon monoxide detectors can also be installed.)  These devices notify the central monitoring station which will dispatch the fire department and can be a life saver.

 

Smoke detectors and heat detectors should be properly installed and maintained by a licensed security company.  They are there in case of an emergency and, should one occur, they need to function properly.  The general recommendation is that they be replaced every 7 to 10 years.

 

Medical & Panic Button Alerts

Wireless medical and panic buttons can also be installed as a part of the home security system and can be beneficial to someone who is not able to quickly escape in the case of an emergency. They can be worn on the individual (necklace, bracelet, etc), which means the individual should be able to access them quickly with ease. An alert will be sent out and can potentially save the individual from peril.

 

Intercom Systems

Home intercom systems can also be very useful in an emergency. For instance, if a fire starts in one room, the person in that room can use the intercom to quickly alert the rest of the residents of the situation, allowing them all to escape in plenty of time.

 

Eliminate Hazards

It is crucial to eliminate potentially hazardous situations in the homes of the elderly. One of these hazards is falling. Removing all obstacles such as area rugs and arranging rooms with clear paths can help individuals avoid tripping and falling in their home. It is also important that home be well light to allow individuals to clearly see and navigate their environment.

 

We worry about the ones we love, but as you can see there are many ways to help keep them safe and give us some peace of mind.

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Neighborhood Watch Groups
(1 vote)

You’ve seen the signs for them around various neighborhoods, but have you ever considered actually starting a neighborhood watch group in your community? They are great way to ensure that your community is kept safe.

 

According to the National Crime Prevention Council a neighborhood watch group is an “Organized group of neighborhood residents who watch out for criminal and suspicious behavior and report it to local law enforcement help prevent crime and promote cooperation among residents and police.” Basically, a group of residents who agree to look out for the community without involving themselves in any danger. It's more about being aware and looking out for your neighbors when they are unable to look out for themselves. If anything, neighborhood watch groups are aiding the police department. With officers in charge of covering large areas, it would be impossible for them to be aware of all of the activity in the community. Having several neighbors within the community on alert could be very helpful to these officers.

 

In addition to preventing crime by being aware of activity in the area, neighborhood watch groups can help get the word out when crimes have occurred. Setting up an email list that goes to the whole neighborhood can be very beneficial. If cars or homes are being broken into or suspicious activity has been occurring, an email list is an easy way to let the entire community know to be extra careful.

 

The NCPC offers tips on starting your own neighborhood watch group.

 

1.  Identify the key leaders of the group. These are often the people that are more concerned about safety and crime prevention in the neighborhood. They can be great motivators for the rest of the group.

2.  The neighborhood should be divided into sections so that it can be more easily monitored. Certain members of the group should be assigned to certain areas. This type of specialization will lead to a more effective group.

3.  Develop a communication network not only amongst the members of the group but also law enforcement officials and the rest of the neighbors and community.

4.  Training: It is essential that groups be trained by their local law enforcement officials. They can train members to properly prevent crime and to communicate effectively for recruitment and awareness purposes.

 

Neighborhood watch groups have been extremely effective in communities all over the country. Start one in your neighborhood today to keep yourself and the members of your community safe!
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Keeping Your Home Safe When Hiring Outside Contractors
(0 votes)

If there is a job you need need done in your home, there is most likely someone you can hire to do it. Many projects including electrical work, roofing, cleaning and lawn care require an outside contractor to have access to your home. Sometimes this access is during hours that you are not home. If you’re lucky, the person working on your home is someone you know and trust, but realistically this is not always the case. Often times you have to give complete strangers total access to your home. This can be problematic if you do not handle the situation properly. However, there are several measures you can take to ensure the safety of your home and possessions.

 

1.  Research, Research, Research

It is important that you know as much as possible about the company or the individual that you are hiring. Go to their website, call their office, and most importantly; read customer reviews. Websites like yelp.com provide reviews from real customers and could give you great insight into the company you are considering. Another great way to learn more about the company is to simply Google them. This will cover any news articles they have been mentioned in recently and even some mentions through social media.

 

2. Recommendations

Chances are one of your friends or neighbors has used a contractor for the same issue that you are having. Be sure to check with them and see who they recommend. People that have proven to be trustworthy in the past are more likely to do so again in the future.

 

3. Access Codes

Home security systems allow you to set multiple access codes so you can give the contractor a temporary code that can be removed when they have completed their work.  Also, if you have the open and close reporting feature, you will know when the contractor’s code was used to arm and/or disarm the system.

 

4. Security Cameras

Security cameras can be installed that monitor both the interior and the exterior of your home at all times. Most of these systems can be accessed remotely so you have constant access to a visual of what is going on within your home.

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Understanding Crime & Security

Understanding Crime

Understanding how crimes and burglaries occur is an important part of prevention. Consider some of the statistics and how they may apply to your home or business. Petitbon Alarm Company can further educate you on the best prevention methods so that your home or business won't be an easy target.

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