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Holiday Season Safety and Security

During this time of year it is especially important to be more aware of our safety due to the increased danger. Holiday decorations, lights, plants, food and drink are all beautiful and common sights this time of year, but unfortunately also pose a risk to ourselves and our families.

Be sure your decorations are kept out of the reach of small children and pets. Small parts or tinsel can be a choking hazard to them. Cats especially enjoy playing with the tinsel! Candles can cause serious burns. Glass ornaments, if broken, can cause cuts.

Decorative lights are also a potential hazard to children and the family pet. Strangulation and electrocution are severe consequences of unsafe decorating and inattentiveness. Fires and burns are also unfortunate possibilities.

Many of our holiday plants present a danger to us if we are not careful. Poinsettias and holly berries are tempting to both small children and pets but the berries are highly toxic and the poinsettias, poisonous. Live trees become dry if not properly cared for and become a fire hazard.

Even our holiday food and drink can become a menace to our safety. Foods that are improperly prepared or improperly stored can cause food poisoning. Eggnog, for example, if not prepared with pasteurized eggs can cause salmonella; not a pleasant end to our holiday festivities! Alcoholic beverages, aside from the known risks to adults, can be poisonous to children who may accidentally ingest someone’s unattended beverage.

To prevent these unfortunate situations, we need to remain aware and be vigilant in our efforts to keep everyone safe this holiday season.

Holiday Season Security

Vigilance must also be maintained in our holiday security. There are those who would not think twice about taking everything we have. The criminal element love the holidays! They love them because we let our guard down and they know they can take advantage of that.

Home security depends on developing habits that become second nature for each member of your family. You don’t need to make drastic changes, just remain aware and use common sense. Use timers on your lights to deter prowlers. The strongest dead-bolt lock won’t protect your home if you leave home and don’t engage it. And alarm systems are useless if you don’t arm them even on a “quick trip” to the store.

Keep packages in the trunk of your car rather than in the passenger area. Items left out in the open are an invitation to a thief to break your car window and help himself. And, of course, lock your doors while driving and after you exit your vehicle.

Park in well lit parking areas only! When possible, walk to your vehicle with another person. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you see anything or anyone suspicious, turn around and go back the way you came. Contact security or the police as soon as you can safely do so.

Enjoy the Holiday Season but stay Safe & Secure

Electric Gate Gives Security, Safety and Privacy

The security, safety, and privacy of your family is important to you, and you have installed a gate at the entrance of your property to limit ingress to your space, then you know that you must install gate opener at the entrance in order to also make the system more convenient. Who wants to stop at the gate, leave your car and manually open a gate each time they arrive home? Who wants to go down to the gate to manually let someone in? Stopping to manually open a gate defeats safety and security goals because you leave yourself exposed to the potential threat of strangers. Why not install automatic gates to save yourself a lot of hassle as well as potential danger.

Electric gates enable you to stay within the protection of your car or house while the gates are being opened. Of course, if you have an electric gate, you must also think about installing an intercom system in your house so that you can hear the person who wishes to enter. Ideally, a video intercom system not only allows you to talk to the person, but also to see the person before you open the gates. Having a video intercom system installed in conjunction with your automatic gates makes the system that much more convenient and safe. While it is possible to install electric gates yourself, it might be a better idea to leave it up to the professionals.

A professional gate installation technician can locate the best place to install the sensors and intercom components so that they work every time and are not likely to fall down or become damaged by the elements. The automatic gates will need to be installed on sturdy fencing in order to make the system work optimally. Obviously, if you install a high-tech gate system to an old rickety fence, you are defeating the whole purpose for having the fence at all. You want to create the best barrier system between you and the outside world. A professional can help you meet your goals.

If you decide that electric gates are for you, you should know that in addition to providing security, an electric gate system can also provide style and panache to your entryway. You can get automatic gates with patterns to match fencing and the design options are almost limitless. You can go for intricate or simple designs depending on your personal tastes.

The Safety and Security of Your Home Can Be Increased

Even though Melanie and Ryan live in a fairly safe and quiet neighborhood, they had their truck broken into, home broken into and garage broken into all within a few weeks of each other. After the third break-in, they decided to make their home appear as difficult as possible to rob. And, although summer is usually the peak time of the year for burglaries, with the change in the economy, robberies are on the rise. There are a few simple things Ryan and Melanie made to help their home be more secure and less of a target for those looking for a home to break into. Since making these changes, they have not had anymore problems:

Take Stock of Your Home: How long has it been since you took a good look at your home from the outside? Go outside and spend a few minutes looking at it from the outside. What would a burglar see? Do you have outdoor lighting? Do you have expensive items such as computers or tvs visible from the outside? Does your garage sit open most of the day? Have trees or bushes grown up around your doors thus making it easier for would-be robbers to enter unseen? Make a list of changes you need to make and start on them right away.

Change Your Bad Habits: Many people, believe it or not, simply forget or choose not to lock their doors when they leave the house. Or, many people leave their garage open while they run a “quick errand.” Another mistake people make is to leave valuables sitting inside their car, plainly visible. Sometimes a burglar will just try a doorknob to see if it will turn. If it will, they will walk in and quickly take what they see. If not, more then likely they will move on. Burglars are looking for ease and efficiency. By simply getting in the habit of locking your doors, closing the garage door, and bringing valuables in from your vehicles, you will better protect your home. Ryan and Melanie realized they had been leaving Ryan’s laptop in his truck and were always leaving their garage door open. They changed these habits quickly and have not had anymore problems.

Fortify Your Doors: Doors are the gateway to your home. It is worthwhile to install heavier doors, with stronger frames, making it more difficult to kick them in. Also, in addition to the must-have deadbolt, check to make sure your dead bolt is a quality lock. The throw bolt should be longer than one inch. If it is not, you should replace it. Make sure your hinges are on the inside of the door and consider having your door swing outward instead of in. It is more difficult to kick in a door which swings outward. Additionally, installing a dead-lock can really help to deter would-be burglars. These locks do not have a key from the outside, making so the criminal has to actually break your door in order to get in. Just seeing the lock there will help to deter a criminal because of the greater difficulty.

Check Windows and Sliding Glass Doors: You can have the greatest locks in the world on your door, but if your front room window is sitting wide open with a brand new laptop sitting on the table by the window, you’ll still have a problem. Windows, especially those most accessible, should have locks on them. If you cannot afford new windows at the moment, using a dowel in the frame to make it difficult to slide them open will at least help. For your sliding glass doors, you can install keyed locks for the top and bottom of the door. In addition, you can have installed a special panel inside the sliding glass door or windows which won’t allow the door or windows to be broken.

Be Safe: In addition to the above changes, Ryan and Melanie organized a Neighborhood Watch program on their street. The neighbors tell each other when they are going to be out of town and report any suspicious cars or people to each other. This has helped the neighborhood gain a better feeling of security and the burglary rates have decreased dramatically on their street.