Safety First

Keep your family and you safe, purchase your pepper spray and stun guns now and ensure everyone reads our crime prevention tips. They can save lives.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Shopping Centers

• Park in a well-lighted space.
• Carry pepperspray and stun guns for your protection.
• Many crimes occur in parking lots. You should be aware of what, and who, is around you from the minute you exit your vehicle. Stay off your cell phone when walking to and from your car. Your full attention needs to be on your surroundings.
• Always lock your car. Any purchases you have made, place them in a trunk where they are out of view.
• Trust your instincts. If someone is approaching you and they make you feel uncomfortable, move in a direction where there are several people and ask for assistance.
• Don’t shop alone. There is safety in numbers.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
• Have your keys out when you leave the store and ready to enter your vehicle.
• Do not overload yourself with packages to the point that you cannot protect yourself if someone dangerous approaches.
• While shopping, remain alert as to where your personal effects are. Purses and wallets contain everything a criminal needs to commit identity theft, auto theft and residential burglary (drivers license, home addresses, checkbooks, keys to homes, etc.). Ladies, never put your purse in a shopping cart. Criminals like to work in pairs. While one distracts your attention, the other will take off with the complete purse or reach in and take the wallet. Keep the purse over your shoulder with the purse firmly pressed close to your body. If the purse is too heavy to carry, then it’s time to think about lightening the load.

Holiday Gift Cards

While some gift cards have no expiration date, because they are reloadable cards, there are others that do have an expiration date that you need to be aware of. You need to closely check the fine print on the back of the card or your receipt for those time limits.

Also remember, purchasing a gift card from any merchant does not guarantee that business will be open when you or the recipient wishes to redeem it. Our economy is still recovering and sometimes a business finds itself in a situation where they must make a difficult choice to close.

Extra ways to safeguard against Gift Card Scams

• If you are accustomed to purchasing gift cards from a display rack that has various store cards, be aware that you may become a victim of theft. Value drainers jot down the card numbers found on the back of the cards simply by lightly prying the card from its cardboard base. The value drainer then waits a few days and calls the toll free number on the card to see how much of a balance THEY have access to on the card. Once it has been determined that the card has been activated and the amount on the card, they begin their Christmas shopping online, all at your expense.
• Be sure to purchase gift cards from reputable sources. If purchasing gift cards online, be sure to purchase them from the online versions of the store and not from auctions. Some auctions have been known to be scams.
• Whether you choose a card from a rack or have a clerk hand it to you, always examine both sides of what you're buying before paying for it, even if that means removing the item from its packaging to do so. If you see signs of tampering, or you see that the card's PIN has been exposed, don't purchase the card. Instead, hand it over to the store's management, pointing out what you saw.
• Keep your receipt as proof of purchase for as long as there is value stored on the card.
• Some card issuers offer the option of registering the gift card at the store's website. Doing so gives you the ability to periodically check your card's balance online.

If you should become a victim of any crime, the first contact you should make is to file a report either with the Police Department or Sheriff’s Department, depending on where the incident happened.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Robbery Prevention Tips

  • Carry your purse close to your body, or your wallet in an inside front pocket. Consider wearing a money pouch under your clothes.
  • Never leave your bags unattended or behind your back where you cannot see them.
  • Avoid displaying expensive items such as laptops, cameras, jewelry, and luggage that might draw attention. Your aim should be to blend in with the crowd, Not Stand Out.
  • Stay especially alert and watch your bags carefully at all times. Don’t look distracted, lost or confused.
  • Trust your instincts. Cross the street to avoid groups that are loitering or hanging out.
  • Plan a safe, well–traveled route, and avoid desolate or poorly lighted areas.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash.
  • If you feel that you are being followed, walk to the nearest safe location.
  • Give up your possessions. Don’t give up your life.
  • If you are attacked, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately and give them a good description of the suspect and the direction of escape. This will improve the chances of an apprehension.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips

Follow the following tips to reduce your chances of being the victim of auto theft.

1. Always Take Your Keys. Never leave them in the car. Nearly 20% of all vehicles stolen had the keys in them.
2. Always Lock Your Car. Approximately 50% of all vehicles stolen were left unlocked.
3. Never Hide A Second Set of Key In Your Car. Extra keys can easily be found if a car thief takes time to look.
4. Park in Well-lighted Areas. Over half of all vehicle thefts occur at night.
5. Park in Attended Lots. Auto thieves do not like witnesses and prefer unattended parking lots.
6. If you Park in an attended lot, leave only the ignition/door key. If your trunk and glovebox use the same key as the door, have one of them changed. don't give the attendant easy access to your glovebox and trunk. Upon returning, check the tires, spare and battery to insure they are the same as those you had when you parked.
7. Never leave your car running,even if you will only be gone for a minute. Vehicles are commonly stolen at convenience stores, gas stations, ATM's, etc. Many vehicles are also stolen on cold mornings when the owner leaves the vehicle running to warm up. Leaving your key in an unattended motor vehicle is a crime in some states.
8. Completely close your car windows when parking. Don't make it any easier for the thief to enter your vehicle.
9. Don't Leave Valuables in Plain View. Don't make your car a more desirable target and attract thieves by leaving valuables in plain sight.
10. Park with With Your Wheels Turned towards the curb. Make your car tough to tow away. Wheels should also be turned to the side in driveways and parking lots.
11. If Your Vehicle is
Rear-Wheel Drive
, Back Into Your Driveway. Front-wheel drive vehicles should be parked front end first. On four-wheel drive vehicles the rear wheels sometimes lock, making them difficult to tow.
12. Always Use Your Emergency Brake When Parking. In addition to ensuring safety, using the emergency brake makes your car harder to tow.
13. If You Have a Garage, Use It. If you have a garage, take the time to use it rather than parking outside where your vehicle is more vulnerable.
14. When Parking in a Garage, Lock the Garage Door and Your Vehicle. By locking both the garage and vehicle doors, the chances of deterring a thief greatly improve.
15. Don't Leave the Registration or Title in Your Car. A car thief will use these to sell your stolen car. File the title at your home or office, and carry registration in your purse or wallet.
16. Disable Your Vehicle When Leaving it Unattended for an Extended Period. Remove the electronic ignition fuse, coil wire, rotor distributor, or otherwise disable your vehicle anytime thieves may have extended access to it.
17. Replace "T" shaped Door Locks With Straight Locks. Some vehicle doors have lock assemblies at window level that flare out in a knob or "T' shape. A thief can use various tools to gain access inside the vehicle, grab and pull the lock. Straight locks prevent this.
18. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Stolen cars/parts are more easily traced when vehicle VIN numbers have been etched on car windows and major parts. IDstickers include VINs and can assist police in identifying your vehicle in the event that it is stolen.
19. Engrave Expensive Accessories. Engrave personal I.D. numbers on car stereos, cellular phones, etc., so the thief will have difficulty disposing of them. Do the same for car by using an IDsticker and VIN etching.
20. Drop Business Cards, Address Labels, or Other I.D. Inside Vehicle Doors. Car thieves usually alter vehicle identification numbers. By marking your vehicle a much as possible, you assist police in identifying your car.
21. Ignition Kill Switch. Splice an inexpensive toggle switch into your ignition wire or to your starter. The trick is hiding the switch well. Keypads, pressure pads and more expensive "Immobilizes" and "Passkeys" can also be used.
22. Fuel Kill Switch. The valve that halts the fuel supply is closed.
23. Visible Steering Wheel Lock. Prevents the steering wheel from being turned.
24. Floorboard Locks. Devices that disable the gas or brake pedal.
25. Gearshift Locks. Disables shifting of the transmission.
26. Tire/Wheel Locks. Prevents the vehicle from moving.
27. Hood Locks. Prevents the thief from gaining access to your security system and battery.
28. Armored Collar Around the Steering Column. Protects the column and ignition.
29. Alarms. Loud warnings sound when doors/hood/trunk are opened. Optional sensors include glass breakage, motion, tampering and towing. Panic buttons, back-up batteries, flashing parking lights or headlights, and automatic engine disable features are also recommended.
30. Vehicle Tracking. Transmitter hidden in car enables police to track car. IDsticker enables police and citizens to identify stolen car.
31. Be suspicious of any deal that sound too good to be true.
32. When buying from a private individual, make sure the title and registration match the name and address of the person selling the car.
33. Be cautious of a seller with no fixed address of employment or phone number.
34. Ask the seller for references about past financing and insurance on the vehicle. Verify the information with the bank, finance company, or agent.
35. Ensure the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate on the automobile dash is present, secure, and has no loose rivets. Check to see if there is an IDsticker in the glove box that matches VIN on dashboard.
36. Ensure that the VIN plate has not been repainted and the numbers stamped in the plate appear to be original factory numbers.
37. Ensure the VIN plate rivets are original. All 1970 and newer automobiles produced in North America have stainless steel "rosette" rivets with six petals and a hole inside the middle. They are difficult to scratch with a knife.
38. Thieves may remove the VIN plate and replace it with one from a similar wrecked vehicle. If in doubt about plate authenticity,check with a new car dealer who handles the same model or contact a law enforcement agency.
39. The VIN on the dash must match the vin on the registration, title and federal safety inspection sticker on the drivers door.
40. If the VIN plate is scratched, bent or missing rivets, tampering may have occurred.
41. Make sure the federal safety inspection sticker, located on the driver's door or door jamb, is securely in place and none of the numbers appear to be tampered with.
42. Use special license plate locking screws to make it hard for thieves to remove your license plate during a robbery.
43. An excessively loose ignition switch may indicate tampering. Check the switch for chisel or pull marks.
44. Be wary of a fresh paint job on a newer vehicle. This may indicate an attempt to change the car's identity.
45. Check the inspection and license plate stickers to be sure they are current and issued by the same state.
46. If the seller provides you with only re-made keys, not original manufacturer's keys, for a newer model car, be suspicious.
47. Titles and registrations are frequently counterfeited. Therefore, demand the title before paying, and make sure it matches the registration. By completing all paperwork at the time of sale, you avoid giving the thief extra time to obtain fraudulent documents.
48. Question the seller if the registration was recently issued on an older vehicle.
49. Compare the engine identification numbers with all other numbers to ensure a match.
50. Be cautious of new license plates on an old car, or new plate bolts on an older plate.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Burglary Prevention Tips

  • Make sure that all exterior doors have sturdy, well installed dead bolt locks. Regular key-in the knob locks alone are not enough.

  • Sliding glass doors can be secured by installing commercial locks or putting a broomstick handle or dowel in the inside track to jam the door. To prevent the door from being lifted off the track, drill a hole through the sliding door frame and the fixed frame and insert a pin in the hole.

  • Lock double–hung windows with key locks or "pin" your windows by drilling a small hole at a 45 degree angle between the inner and outer frames, then insert a nail that can be removed only from the inside.

  • Instead of hiding keys around the outside of your home, give a neighbor you trust an extra key for emergencies.

  • When you move into a new home re-key the locks on all exterior doors immediately.

  • Burglars hate bright lights. Install flood lighting to your homes exterior and keep them on at night or set them to detect motion around your home.

  • Don't hire strangers to cut your grass or perform work on your home. Burglars use these opportunities to find out what valuables you own and to learn how to break into your home when you're away.

  • Take regular walks in your neighborhood and make mental note of your surroundings. If something looks strange or out of place, call the police immediately.

  • When you're at home, look outside from your windows and do a quick inspection of the area and call the police if you see anything suspicious.

  • Call the police if you see a person tampering with doors and windows in your neighborhood. Your call to police may prevent a burglary in your neighborhood.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Excellent Travel Tips

Travel Tips

Before Leaving

  • Leave an itinerary, including contact numbers, with family, friends and coworkers
  • Make three copies of all important documents you are taking (driver’s license, passport, credit cards, traveler’s checks)
  • Leave one copy at home, keep one in your briefcase or purse, and one in your luggage
  • Ensure someone checks on your residence while you're gone, checking mail, removing newspapers, caring for animals, etc
  • Remember to leave and arrival early

At the Airport

  • Stay in secure populated parts of the airport
  • Avoid ATMs or terminals not in use
  • Be aware of your surroundings and look alert, don't get distracted

In the Security Line:

  • Don’t let anyone cut in front of you in line
  • Retrieve belongings as soon as you get through security
  • Remember: Always keep your belongings on/with you.

Upon Arrival

At the Hotel:

  • Ask the receptionist to write your room number down instead of saying it aloud
  • Request a duplicate key to the room
  • If you feel uncomfortable with a person in an elevator get off at another floor
In the City:

  • Don’t tell people it’s your first time to the city
  • Have a map and know where you are and how to get back to your hotel  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bicycle Safety

Bike riding can be a fun activity for children, but if they don't know how to ride safely it can also be a very dangerous one. In 2002, almost 300,000 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms after bicycle accidents. Often, these accidents are preventable. There were 630 cyclist fatalities in the US in 2009.

You can protect your children by teaching them the following rules:

Always wear a helmet and make sure it's fastened. Helmets can reduce head injuries by up to 85 percent and in many states it's illegal for children not to wear them.

Wear bright clothing. Bright and light colored clothing makes riders more noticeable. If children are allowed to bike ride after dark, make sure they have reflectors on their bike, helmet, and clothing.

Ride in safe places, such as in parks, on bike trails, and on roads with little traffic.

Obey the rules of the road. Bikers must stop at all stop signs and red lights, use hand signals when turning, and ride only on the right hand side of the road, with traffic. To practice using road signs, check out these.

Look both ways before crossing an intersection. Seven out of 10 bike crashes happen at driveways and intersections.

Whenever possible cross the road at crosswalks. That's where drivers expect to see bicyclists and pedestrians crossing intersections.

Remember, always walk bikes across crosswalks.

Give bikes regular tune ups. It's just as important for a bike to be well maintained as a car.

Lock up or keep bikes in a safe place. To help police return a bike if it is stolen and recovered, record the serial number and take a picture of the bicycle for their use. Many local police departments have free bike registration days and other bike registration programs.

Ride with a friend. It's more fun and safer because help is there if needed.

If children know these, they are on their way to safe riding. These tips are great for rollerblading and skateboarding too!