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Home Fire Safety Tips For The Holidays

The holidays are a time to enjoy family and take a relaxing break from work. They’re also a time to be vigilant about the increased chance of a household fire. Read through these fire safety tips and review them with your family so that everyone stays safe during the holiday season.

Be Aware of Candles

Candles are a hallmark of the winter holidays. As pretty as they are, however, candles are responsible for two out of every five home decoration fires. Never place a candle next to a flammable object such as holiday decorations, and always blow out lit candles when you are not in the room or when you go to bed.

Keep Decorations Away from Heat

Half of holiday decoration fires occur because the decorations are too close to a heat source. Shop for flame-resistant and flame-retardant decorations, and hang them far away from sources of heat such as the heating vent, fireplace, and lights.

Hang Lights Safely

To avoid a fire hazard, do not hang outdoor lights indoors, and vice versa. If you notice any loose bulb connections or a patch of cord that is worn or broken on your lights, replace them. Read the instructions provided with your lights to be sure that you aren’t stringing too many lights together. When hanging the lights, use clips rather than nails to avoid damaging the cords.

Test Smoke Alarms

You should test your smoke alarms several times throughout the holiday season by pressing the built-in test button. If the smoke alarm chirps, it means it is running on low batteries that need to be replaced immediately.

About Boyd Security

Sometimes, following all of the advised fire safety tips is not enough to protect you from a fire. At Boyd & Associates, we offer advanced fire alarms that detect both heat and smoke and that alert us to call the local fire department on your behalf as soon as a fire is detected. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Practical Home Security Tips For The Holidays

Enjoying the season of giving is what the winter holidays are all about. However, because thieves know that homes during the holidays are filled with gifts, it should also be a time of vigilance. Take these precautions to ensure that your home is protected from a holiday break-in this winter.

Lock Up

Always close and lock the doors and windows of your home if you’re leaving, even if just for a short trip. The garage door is also a popular entrance point for thieves, so keep it closed even when you’re home. Don’t forget to lock the door to the garage in the event that thieves gain access to the garage. Be sure to never leave a spare key outside the house—thieves know where to find them.

Always Make it Look Like Someone is Home

Automate your lights in and around your home and put them on a schedule (using your Alarm.com App) to come on at certain times, for example at sunset. This will serve as an excellent deterrent whether you are away from home for a brief period of time or out of town on vacation. If you leave town, have the mail and newspaper picked up by a neighbor or request to have it stopped. You may even want to hire a house sitter for extra protection.

Store Valuables in a Safe

Jewelry and other small objects of great value should be kept inside of a safe. If you don’t want to have a safe inside of the home, use your bank’s safety deposit box to keep items you don’t regularly need.

Invest in a Quality Home Security System

Nothing will deter a thief like a cutting-edge, professionally installed home security system. A high-quality system should include motion detection triggers, video surveillance, and central monitoring features.

About Boyd & Associates

Since 1967, Boyd & Associates has been providing total security for homes, businesses, and communities of every size and type. We combine advanced systems, responsive service and rigorously trained security teams to create a strong, nimble and formidable force that deters, detects and responds – for total security.

 

How Light and Sound Help to Deter Amateur Buglers

In preventing a burglary at your home, value the deterrent effect of light and sound equally.

Leaving lights on in strategic areas is important in giving your home the lived-in look. But of equal importance is arranging to have a television or a radio turned on at dinner time and off at midnight. This can be done with inexpensive timers.In other words, make the home look as normally would when occupied.

It’s Ok To Keep The TV On Sometimes

Remember, the potential burglar is probably living within a five-minute walk of your home. If this person hears a television or radio playing, the natural assumption is that someone is home, and that is exactly the image you are striving for.

Make Them Think You Are Home, When You’re Not

Low cost, low voltage, outdoor decorative lights are also a great deterrent. A set of six yard lights with a timer, transformer and wire can be easily installed yourself.

A burglar, intent on preying upon the residences of Southern California has only to walk down a street at night and look around to pick his target. Can you truly imagine him picking a well-lighted yard to crawl into as opposed to the freedom of walking into a darkened yard surrounding a house with no evidence of being occupied? It strains credulity, doesn’t it?

Pro Burglars vs. Amateur Burglars

Now, the skeptics are going to reply that a professional burglar won’t be deterred by these cosmetic devices. That may be true, but the amateur burglar is the one committing most of the burglaries in our city. Low-cost means of making your home a tougher target for crimes might force the intruder elsewhere.

I know a man who had a small manufacturing plant in a very isolated area far from any police patrol or alarm company. He kept a flock of geese inside the warehouse. The racket sent up by the fowl when an intruder came within one hundred yards was deafening.

Low Tech & High Tech: A Great Combination

Certainly, if you have expensive jewelry or a fabulous art collection in your home, I would suggest you call a professional security consultant and combine sophisticated intrusion alarm system with greatly beefed-up lights, locks and fences. In the meantime, anything you can do to cut down the odds of being the target of a burglar will be well worth the effort.

About Boyd & Associates

Since 1967, Boyd & Associates has been providing total security for homes, businesses, and communities of every size and type. We combine advanced systems, responsive service and rigorously trained security teams to create a strong, nimble and formidable force that deters, detects and responds – for total security.

Should I Use A Fake Security Sign To Protect My Home

A burglary happens every 15 seconds somewhere in the United States. In nearly every burglary, the criminal makes a series of assessments to decide whether robbing a home is worth the risk. Sometimes a simple security sign or sticker is enough to deter a would-be thief; but not always. Criminals are savvy and if they feel it is worth the effort, they will make further evaluations to see if there is indeed a system, and what it would take to get past it.

One Layer of Deterrence

Criminals look for a sure thing. If they think that the risk is not worth the reward, they move on. For this reason, displaying security signs and window decals is a great first step in crime prevention. They are however, only one step in the many it takes in protecting your home.

Looking For Signs

Criminals do considerable research before committing a crime. Even when a home has security stickers, the criminal may still spend some time and effort looking for signs of an active security system. They may knock at your door asking for directions to see if you have a keypad visible from the door, or look for mirrors that could give them a better view. Criminals also watch your comings and goings and look for signs of home automation that would indicate the use of a comprehensive alarm system.

Criminals are savvy and if they feel it is worth the effort, they will make further evaluations to see if there is indeed a system, and what it would take to get past it.

The Pitfalls of Fake Signs

Fake security signs seem like a great, inexpensive deterrent against crime, but are they? Chances are pretty good that the criminal has already seen the fake sign and has already determined its validity. Criminals simply Google the name of the company or compare the sign to others online and discover quickly that it is not real. Remember, if you found a place to buy the sign, they can find the same place just as easily. In the event of a robbery, it is not a very economical choice at all.

Home Security Systems and Signage are the Best Option

According to a comprehensive 5 year study conducted by Rutgers University, homes with security systems are 60% less likely to be burglarized, and in the event of a burglary, homeowners end up losing $2000 less than a similar home without security.

The best security is layered security where visual deterrents work alongside physical deterrents. If you have any questions about how to create the most effective layered security, give us a call today!

Prevent Burglars from Targeting Your Home

Following these tips can dramatically reduce the chance of being burgled and having precious valuables and memories stolen from your home. Be safe and secure.

Home security is one subject where the old adage still rings true: prevention is better than the cure.

Sure, home insurance can cover you in the event of theft, but you still have to go through the hassle of submitting a claim – not to mention the psychological damage suffered. Similarly, security cameras or vandal paint can help when attempting to capture criminals after the event, but again there is distress and potential loss of possessions in the meantime.

So how can you make your home less attractive to burglars? There are some tips that we can provide that will help make your home seem less appealing. A few of these ways include:

Keeping it Locked

A lot of burglaries are the result of opportunistic thieves spotting the chance for a quick score and grabbing it.

An open door, even if you’re in the house and are bringing things in and out, is enough of an invitation for a quick-footed burglar to nip in and grab smaller valuables. Similarly, a flimsy looking door or frame can have the best locks in the world – they won’t protect your home from a swift kick or a robust shoulder charge

Statistics show that 30% of all illegal entering of buildings occurs through a window, so this is obviously an area that needs focus. If you have sash windows at ground level, invest in strong and visible locks and dead bolts to ensure they cannot be forced open by a passing intruder. Double glazed or laminated windows are a must. Opportunists will immediately be put off by their strength, and they bring a host of other benefits, such as heat insulation, to prevent energy loss.

Nobody Home?

Leaving your home for a while? Just because your home is empty, it doesn’t have to look that way.  Security checks when you go on holiday should be a fundamental necessity for all homeowners, as many houses are targets if it is obvious the home is unoccupied for a lengthy period of time. Keep lights on and, if possible, a radio or TV. Any small valuables, such as laptops, purses, phones, tablets and more, should be well out of sight from anyone peering through the window.

Security lights might not put off hardier criminals, but the alarm they may cause passing chancers may be sufficient to scare them away.

When going away for a longer period, try to arrange for someone to park their car in your driveway or on the street outside. If they’re someone you trust, give them a key and ask them to open and close curtains at appropriate times, move mail from the doormat and generally keep an eye on the place.

Alarms and Visible Deterrents

Along with motion sensor lighting, as mentioned above, having a noticeable burglar alarm installed for your home is base-level burglary prevention. If the sight of an alarm isn’t enough to deter a would-be intruder, then its noise should be sufficient to frighten them away and alert your neighbors.

There are different types of burglar and security systems that you can purchase which will be suitable for your home. If you want to upgrade your security even more then installing CCTV is also a sure-fire way of reducing the chances of burglars stepping onto your premises. This can also be used as evidence for prosecution and your insurance.

Dogs can be beneficial as visible/audible deterrents, but selecting the right balance between noisy and aggressive can be tricky, and it’s important to ensure that home security isn’t the only reason you’re buying a dog.

Keep Your Keys Safe

This could be the most obvious advice, but it is the one that is most forgotten. As stated before, the majority of burglars are opportunists and if they have easy access to your keys then they will take them.

For this reason, we advise that you don’t place your keys anywhere near your door or window of your home. If they are out of sight then it doesn’t give the thieves the opportunity for an easy break-in. We would also advise to NOT purchase any fake rocks for putting your spare key in. This goes for leaving it under a plant or the mat on your front doorstep as well.

Follow our advice to dramatically reduce the chance of being burgled and having precious valuables and memories stolen from your home. Be safe and secure.

This article by Richard Peat was published on the Security Today website:  http://security-today.com