We, at a.p.i. Alarm Inc., want to take this opportunity to remind our valued clients that good planning and common sense can play a huge role in reducing the risk of intrusion.
WHAT TO EXPECT
It’s time that you stop leaving your family, business, and valuable vulnerable to all kinds of risks. With today’s busy schedules, many people find themselves with little time to re-examine how adjusting their habits can improve their security. But you don’t have to suffer the same fate as other people. a.p.i. Alarm Inc. can help you design the most ideal security system for your unique needs.
The following safety tips can give you, your loved ones, and business peace of mind next time you’re away from your property:
Safety When on Vacation
- Avoid discussing travel plans in public places where unfamiliar people can overhear
- Leave your car in the driveway and ask a family member or friend to move it periodically
- Ask a neighbour or other person to retrieve mail or newspapers so it doesn’t build up. Alternatively, you can ask the post office to hold all your mail for a specific period.
- If you will be gone for a long time, ask a neighbour or family member to mow your lawn.
Safety During the Day
- When leaving your home, always check that all windows and doors are properly locked, and remember to set your alarm system.
- Lawn signs and decals are proven effective deterrents, so display them where they’re clearly visible.
- Don’t leave notes on your front door for friends or deliveries if you have to leave suddenly.
- Always keep your garage locked, especially if you can get into your home VIA the garage. In addition, remember to secure sliding doors, pet entries, and windows.
- Always lock your car and keep away all valuables, including the garage door opener, so they can’t be viewed from outside.
- Trim any overgrown shrubs and trees to prevent intruders from hiding in your compound.
- Never leave your spare keys in the mailbox or under the doormat. There are safer options, such as leaving them with a trusted neighbour, friend, or relative.
- Re-set the light timers to match the increasing daylight hours.
- Ensure that all emergency numbers are clearly visible next to your telephone and are programmed into your mobile phone.
- Create a buddy plan at work: someone you can inform when you will be away from work or walk together to a public transit or parked vehicle.
- Keep your keys, wallets, purses, and other valuables in a locked place when you’re not using them.
- Avoid leaving messages on your answering machine informing people that you won’t be around during certain times.
- Report any suspicious activities, vehicles, or crimes in your neighbourhood to the relevant authorities.
- Update your valuables and inventory regularly.
- Never leave the barbecue grill unsupervised, especially if there are children or pets around.
- Keep your body hydrated by drinking enough water on hot and muggy days; and don’t forget to give your pets a drink, as well.
Safety For Our Children
With the increasing frequency and gravity of crimes against children, it is critical that parents consider additional safety and security measures. For starters, make sure that your children know their full name, phone number with area code, and address.
Here are a few additional security measures to go over with your children:
- Teach them how to make a local and long distance call from a pay phone just in case an emergency arises and they need to contact you.
- Familiarise your children with the stores and malls you visit frequently so they can go to the closest counter and ask the personnel for help if you’re ever separated.
- Teach your children to avoid wandering alone if you’re ever separated. Instead, teach them to seek help from store personnel, police officers, or security guards and stay with them until you arrive.
- If your child feels like he/she is being followed, teach them to go to a good neighbour or store to ask for help.
- Teach your children to avoid talking to strangers or entering the vehicles of strangers under the pretense that you sent them to pick them up. If there is ever a need to delegate this task, create a password or code and practise it with your children for use on such occasions.
- Teach your children to never tell a stranger that they’re alone, like when they receive a call at home. Instead, they can say that the person they’re looking for has gone to the washroom and will give them a call later.
- If your children are home alone and afraid that someone is trying to get into the house, give them clear instructions on what to do. For instance, they can call a neighbour or dial 911 if it is an emergency.
- Teach your children to share everything with you, and to avoid keeping things from their parents. Also, help them know that secrets can be dangerous, and they should feel secure in revealing the truth to their parents.
- Make sure that your children know that no one should touch them for whatever reason.
- Teach your children about road safety when playing outside.
- Form a network with other parents in the neighbourhood – buddy system
- It is important that you don’t share personal information on the web as this can lead unscrupulous strangers directly to your residence or business. Educate your family and employees about safe practises while on the computer and on the internet.
- Consider installing genuine protective software to prevent access from inappropriate websites.
Safety That Fits Your Budget
- You can pay in instalments spread out over 12 months so it’s lighter on your budget.
Safety Against Fires & CO
- You can never reinvent your fire escape plan too many times, but only organise fire drills during the day. Authorities claim that once a fire strikes, you only have a minute or two to escape.
- Consider enhancing your fire protection by adding a monitored smoke or CO alarm to your residential or commercial security system. For more information about this, please contact our sales department today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Don’t expect to wake up from the smell of smoke. Poisonous gases can actually put you into a deep sleep and possibly suffocate you, so it’s essential that you have a working and reliable fire system.
- Rehearse your fire escape plan with all your family members on a regular basis. As stated previously, every second counts when a fire starts, and with the heat, smoke, and confusion, a properly orchestrated escape plan can save your life and that of your loved ones.
- Identify a meeting point that is safely away from your home where your family should aggregate immediately after escaping from the fire.
- At the meeting point, account for everyone in the house, so the fire department can do their work.
Carbon monoxide, CO, is a quiet, invisible cause of death. In other words, you cannot smell, see, or even taste it. It’s a scary fact, but babies, seniors, and pregnant women are the ones most prone to CO poisoning.
The toxic gas is a byproduct of the partial combustion of carbon-based fuels such as wood, gas, coal, oil, kerosene, and other petroleum products. CO can also be released when products using these fuels are not properly regulated or maintained, like in the case of chimney clogs, furnace vent leaks, or leaving the car idling in a closed garage.
Allowing CO to build up in the garage, home, office, dormitory, or other enclosed space can have fatal consequences.
A CO detector that is properly installed can alert you when a little carbon monoxide is detected, and before it builds up. When the alarm goes off, quickly exit the house. When you’re safely outside the building, call 911, and when the fire department arrives, ask them to inspect your home for CO.
New Homes at Risk
According to the fire inspector for Nassau County, New York, M.J. Mitchell, CO is a prevalent danger for all homes – new and old. It is particularly dangerous for the tightly insulated, energy efficient modern homes trying to keep the cold out, as this also keeps the toxic gas in.
Mitchell further states that carbon monoxide, a major byproduct of incomplete combustion, depletes oxygen in the room, resulting in deaths that were once attributed to inhaling smoke. Actually, what causes death is not inhaling the smoke in fires, but inhaling high levels in CO causing the body to deficient of oxygen.
Inhaling carbon monoxide causes the gas to replace the oxygen carried in the red blood cells. The toxic gas quickly builds up in your bloodstream, creating a toxic compound known as carboxyhemoglobin.
Even small amounts of CO poisoning can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, sleepiness, irregular breathing, and confusion. Larger concentrations can lead to loss of consciousness and death.
Sources of CO
Whenever a fuel does not burn completely, carbon dioxide is released. Common causes of CO poisoning in the home are:
- Blocked vents
- Disconnected or corroded vent pipe
- Gas/wood-burning fireplace
- Barbecuing in an enclosed area
- Car idling in closed garage
- A faulty chimney
- Poor setup of gas appliances such as the cook top, stove, or clothes dryer
Security of Business Premises
Addressing security concerns fast and employing some basic risk management principles can reduce the risk of crime for business, staff and customers.
The main aim of business security is to:
- Prevent the business from being targeted by criminals
- Reduce the effect that crime can have on your business
- Reduce the rewards for the perpetrator
- Increase the effort required to access the premises and goods
- Increase the chances of an offender being identified and caught
- Assist police in the apprehension
- process of the offender/s.
Your level of security should depend on:
- The type of business or trade
- The nature of the business or stock
- The period of time that the premises is not occupied
- The location of the premises
- The history of offences on the premises/business
Basic Security Tips
- Make sure laneways and other external areas are well-lit. Lighting should be in good working order and regularly inspected.
- Prune all trees and shrubs around your building to enable clear visibility, and ensure that this is maintained.
- Clear all building perimeters including fences of rubbish and potential climbing aids.
- Maintain well built and adequately secured boundary gates and fences.
- Fully secure all external doors and windows with good quality locking devices. Make sure they are regularly maintained. All doors should be of solid construction and well fitted.
- Fasten steel door jamb strengtheners to door frames.
- Consider installation of security bars, screens, grills or roller shutters to vulnerable windows and/or skylights, subject to local authority approvals.
- Prominently display any signs indicating the presence of a security system, the continual surveillance of the premises and any other security measures present.
- Provide a ‘No Cash on Premises’ sign near entrance.
- Consider installing electronic sensors to advise staff when customers are entering and leaving the business.
- Install a quality surveillance camera which will act not only as a deterrent, but will assist police in identifying offenders.
- Minimise posters and curtains on shop windows (where possible) to ensure visibility to and from the street is maintained.
- Ideally, stand alone shelves within the store should be no more than 1.6 metres high, thereby enabling clear visibility throughout the floor area by staff.
- Secure and register all property of value including details of make, model, serial number, description, etc.
- Clearly and permanently mark all property with your store name or a driver’s licence number.
- Never leave large amounts of cash on premises overnight. Banking should be conducted during working hours.
- If a safe is present on site, ensure that it is located in a secure position and affixed to a solid object. Seek advice from a specialist safe supplier and locksmith.
- Ensure all staff understand and obey lock-up procedures.
- Advise local police and any security provider of emergency after hours contacts for the business.
Closed Circuit Television CCTV for Business
Where to use Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
- After hours surveillance of areas which have little or no natural surveillance from passing motorists, pedestrians or employees
- Areas at risk to vandalism, graffiti or other criminal offences
- High-risk areas such as computer rooms or cash handling areas that are not adequately protected by staff surveillance
- Entrances, exits, front counter areas etc.
- Cameras – quality digital lenses provide quality images
- Video recorders/computer hard drives – connected to camera/s, continually recording and stored in a secure room
- Copying facilities – to provide police with a copy of recorded footage
- Signage – clearly displayed reminding customers that all activity is being recorded
- Monitors – placed in a prominent position easily observable by staff.
Using CCTV at Night
CCTV after hours can have limited potential due to dark images and the greater potential for disguises. Having an alarm activated and monitored CCTV system can provide confirmation of unwanted activity.
Positioning of Cameras
- At places where the offender/s are most likely to have to pass or want to access, such as building entry/exit points, cash registers, rear storerooms or areas where high value items are kept
- Clearly visible if seeking to deter potential offenders
- Placed at a height that captures a full view of the offender’s face whilst not being obscured by other interferences
- In areas where image capture will not be compromised by insufficient lighting.
For CCTV to be useful for police purposes, the largest possible facial image of an offender is required. The usefulness of facial images captured is largely dependent upon the quality of cameras used and placement of cameras.
Do not position cameras at heights that only provide vision of the top of a person’s head. Additionally, it is important that staff know how to operate security equipment and that it is tested and checked regularly.