If you do not have a security system,
follow some of these simple tips to improve your safety
- Don't let bushes or shrubbery grow to high. Make sure your home or
business is visible from the street at all times. Keep all trees and
bushes properly pruned. A burglar can hide behind these areas and easily
- Invest in some quality hardware for your doors and windows. Make sure
each door is protected by a deadbolt type of lock. However, it is best
not to use locks which require a key to be used on the inside. This
could prevent your escape during a fire or other emergency.
- Don't leave things of value exposed where someone outside can see
them if they look inside the house.
- Use outdoor lighting effectively and moderately. You do not have to
have your home light up light a baseball field, but simple adequate
lighting is best. Also, rotate which lights you turn on and when. Do not
use the same light at all times. Burglars watch for a pattern and can
easily spot one develop. Do not use timers unless they provide for
- Make sure all doors and windows are securely locked. The major
misconception is that burglars smash their way into their victims homes.
Not so. In a majority of cases, the burglar actually enters through a
door or window that simply wasn't locked.
- During the holiday season be especially careful with the trees, gift
wrapping, and candles. Do not become complacent or careless.
- Check your electrical extension cords carefully. Any cords that are
frayed or damaged should be properly disposed of. Do not overload
extensions cords. They are merely designed to add footage to a cord, and
not for grouping numerous appliances or lights into one cord. This can
overload the cord and cause a fire.
- Store flammable liquids in a tightly closed can, and store all of
these materials safely inside a metal cabinet preferably inside the
garage and not your house.
- Keep caustic cleaning solutions out of reach of small children. In
the event of a poisoning, first call the local fire or police
department, or call 911.
If you presently have a security system
- The best way to assure yourself that it is functioning properly is
to test the system on a regular basis. Contact your security
professional that installed the system to see what their policy is.
- Have the system inspected at least annually. If the system also
contains smoke detectors, test them as well. There are certain
procedures that must be followed when testing smoke detectors.
DO NOT LIGHT A
START A FIRE.
- Test the batteries. If you have any battery operated smoke detectors,
change the battery whenever you change the clock, spring and fall.
- Contact your security company at least once a year to learn if there
have been any improvements to the technology or any upgrades that might
benefit you. Most of these can be done with a moderate investment.
Why reducing false alarms is so important
The number one problem facing security systems today is the unnecessary
number of false alarms generated by a security system. No system is
totally immune from false alarms, but there are many steps that you can
take to enhance your systems effectiveness and reliability.
In many areas of the country, police and fire departments have
instituted either a registration process, or a schedule of fines for those
who cause unnecessary false alarms. Because of this process, Palm Beach
County, Florida; has been recognized by The National Burglar and Fire
Alarm Association as having the lowest false alarm rate in the nation.
As of October 1996 there were over 70,000 registered alarm in the county.
The National Burglar and Fire Alarm
Association estimates that 76% of all false alarms are caused by
user error. To reduce this number you can take the following simple
- Make sure everyone that has access to your premise knows how to use
the system, has a code to disarm the system, and has a proper password
- Arrange to have routine maintenance performed on your system. This
includes checking the batteries. If the system is not working right,
don't wait for your scheduled maintenance, call and have it repaired
- Keep your security company's number handy. Call immediately if your
alarm goes off (this will vary by security company, so check the policy
with your own security consultant).
- Use only licensed alarm contractors. Check with your local or state
alarm association or local police department to see who is licensed.
Most reputable alarm contractors belong to one or more Associations
dedicated to reducing false alarms and enhancing system reliability.
- Many municipalities require a building permit or user permit when an
alarm system is installed. Shy away from anyone who says they can put a
system in without applying for appropriate permits. People like this
usually perform lower than acceptable installations, a common cause of
- Don't seek out the lowest priced contracting firm. When was the last
time you really got something for nothing. A low price installation may
wind up costing you more in the long run if you encounter false alarm
fines and penalties.
- Check with your security company before purchasing that new pet, or
doing any remodeling.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police have prepared an
excellent paper concerning false alarms right here on the net. Just click
here to jump there and read their
Stay Safe Enterprises, LLC 1721 Farmington Circle
Wellington, FL 33414