Meeting Online – Arranging Safe Meetings for Online Friends

Written by Administrator. Posted in Safety Checklists

 

Many people are using the social networks to build relationships these days. Some of these sites include Facebook, twitter linked-in, with linkedin more focused on business relationships. The internet has taken romance globally and a lot of people are finding partners from all around, in some cases even other countries. However as easy as this may sound, it is good to keep some safety measures in place to prevent dangerous situations from taking place. You may find someone who appears to have the same interests as you, but some of them could be pretending to get your attention. For your safety, ensure that the following information is clear with you before you choose to meet anyone from social networks.

First it is important not to share any personal information with someone you do not know well. You could be chatting with anyone for as long as a whole year but that does not mean you know them well enough to share everything about your life with him. Things like giving out your account numbers could be the dumbest thing to do. A mistake like this can bankrupt you both financially and emotionally. As well, others can use the information you give them to give to someone else, or even frame you for a crime “they” are committing.

When you eventually decide to meet one on one, make sure that the meeting point is in public. For a first meeting it is not wise to invite a person to your house. Make sure you go to a restaurant or coffee shop that is secure enough and avoid romantic places that are often private and secluded. If you choose to eat, make sure you eat the foods you are familiar and watch your alcohol intake.

As well, it always makes sense to tell a close friend of yours about the meeting and about the exact place you are meeting. If possible have them accompany you and stay alert to watch for anything bad. As well, give your friend the phone number and real names of the person you are meeting along with the names they use in the social network.

Before meeting the person make sure you find out as much as possible about them through other sites like Google. Search engines can give you a clue on how to find out if the people you are meeting are safe to be with or if they are a great danger to your life. Of course make sure you have their real name

 

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Can You Count on Your Local Fire Department?

Written by Administrator. Posted in Safety Checklists, Security Tips

One way to determine the effectiveness of your local fire department is their ISO number.

The Insurance Services Office of New York rates the firefighting abilities of fire departments throughout the U.S.A.   ISO analyzes the relevant data using their Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). They then assign a Public Protection Classification on a scale of 1 – 10 (4 is the national average). Class 1 is the highest and class 10 is the lowest. Usually your insurance agency will have this information, but if they don’t, you can try contacting the fire department directly, or checking online to see if its listed on their website.

Some Questions you may want to ask your Local Fire Department include:

  1. What type of emergency dispatch service do they use, and how many operators and lines go into it.
  2. Do the Fire fighters consider themselves to be well equipped?
  3. How many fire departments are in the area. (The ISO standard is 1 for every 5 miles, although this may not be feasible in some remote rural areas)?
  4. How far is the closest Fire Station from your home?
  5. How far is the second station from your home?
  6. What it the Fire department’s average response time?
  7. How strong is the area’s water supply and pressure?
  8. How well trained in emergency medical procedures are the firefighters.
  9. Do they rely on Volunteers? If so are there enough Volunteers for the area?

By asking these questions you will be able to gain a stronger grasp on the efficacy of your local fire department, and possibly fill in any weaknesses in your Home Security Plan.

Fire Prevention Checklist

Written by Administrator. Posted in Safety Checklists

There may be fire hazards all around your home that you didn’t even know were there. Most house fires occur because home owners are unaware of potential fire hazards or unable to deal with a fire once it occurs.

Below is a fire prevention checklist to aid you in your quest of a fire proof home. Make sure you take them all seriously and if you come up with any we haven’t though of, please post them for others below.

Make Sure:

  1. Your house numbers or E911 numbers are clearly visible to emergency medical staff when viewing you house from the street
  2. All matches, lighters, and hazardous chemicals are kept out of reach from children
  3. You have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen that family members know how to use
  4. If you live in an older home you’ve had the wiring checked for safety
    You don’t overload electrical sockets or circuits
  5. When the circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows, you find the cause and fix it
  6. Kitchen appliances are plugged into different outlets
  7. Electrical cords are not frayed, cracked, or scorched.
  8. That all the air vents on your electrical appliances (stereo, dvd player, tv, etc) are kept free from dust
  9. To clean the lint from the dryer each load, and occasionally remove built up lint that has blown into the exhaust pipe
  10. To clean and service your furnace and all portable heating devices
  11. You never put portable heaters in hallways or doorways, and you always keep them away from papers, curtains, and furniture
  12. You never add fuel to a portable heater while it is still running
  13. You have your fireplace chimney cleaned regularly
  14. You use a screen and chimney Fire Arrestor in your fireplaces
  15. You keep paint in a tightly closed metal container
  16. You keep trees trimmed back at least 10 feet from you chimney and
  17. You keep brush trimmed back at least 100 feet from your home
  18. Your Roof covering is fire retardant
  19. You do not store cookies, cereal or other tempting goods above or near the stove. Children can get burned climbing on the stove to reach an item overhead.
  20. You and your family know the proper procedure for dealing with a cooking fire.
  21. Curtains, towels, and other combustibles are kept away from the cooking area
  22. To never leave the stove unattended for long periods of time
  23. Clean the stove’s vent regularly, to prevent it from becoming clogged with grease
  24. Make absolutely sure that nobody smokes in bed. People don’t think that they will fall asleep with a lit cigarette, but thousands do each year.
  25. You never smoke when you handling gasoline or other highly flammable liquids
  26. You don’t keep piles of news paper or other stacks of flammable recycling around you home.
  27. You sleep with your bedroom door closed.
  28. You have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home
  29. You adhere to everything on the alarm and fire alarm checklists
  30. You use fire prevention as part of a complete home security plan that includes a family escape plan and a mapped out picture of your home.

By making yourself familiar with these fire safety and fire prevention tips, you increase the chances of survival through prevention.

Fire safety mistakes are better learned from before they happen.

How Good are Your Local Emergency Medical Services

Written by Administrator. Posted in Safety Checklists

There are many ratings agencies for hospitals these days.  Some are a compilation of patient reviews, whereas others may be based on procedures, stats, and other criterion. If you are looking for a rating on your local hospital or a certain procedure in your state, you can try the “Find Hospitals” engine at Healthgrades.com. There you just enter in the State and City, and the engine will bring up a rating for you.

Although it is good to know where the most effective hospitals are in your area, it also makes sense to have an idea on how you are going to get to one in an emergency. A quick response time can be the difference between life and death.

Is there a poison control center close by? If so what services do they offer.

Here are a few questions to ask to gauge the quality of your EMS response and Treatment prognosis.

  1. How far is your home from the nearest ambulance dispatch center?
  2. How far is your home from the nearest Hospital?
  3. How far is your home from the nearest emergency medical center?
  4. What is the average response time for ambulances in your area?
  5. Does your local hospital emergency room seem well staffed and adequately equipped? What are the waiting times like for non life threatening injuries like broken bones and sprains
  6. What services does the hospital offer?

Generally hospitals will have some sort of public relations person who can answer these questions for you. It always helps to have the whole family trained in First Aid as well. Check your local community listings to see if there is a class in your area if you haven’t already.

By finding out your ems and hospital’s weaknesses you are able to become more proactive and take a greater role in the health of you and your family.

Can You Count on Your Local Police Department?

Written by Administrator. Posted in Safety Checklists

You will need to use your judgment here. Staffing Levels are determined differently in every area, and so is crime. The best thing to do is try and get an overall feel of the department. Let them know that you are interested in moving into the area or starting a community watch program, and not trying to judge or rate them and their quality of work.

Ask yourself, “Are the neighborhood police helpful and responsive?” “Do the police officers show feelings of umbrage at their treatment by the community, the politicians, or their own infrastructure?  Do they appear understaffed, unable to keep up with the crime in the area?“

These are the types of questions you need to ask your local police department to determine your neighborhoods overall safety.

Below is a checklist of questions you can take with you to help assess the police station in your neighborhood. Remember, they may be very busy, so the first visit may just be setting a time to meet with someone who can answer your questions.  This is normal, and should be looked at a sign of efficiency as opposed to “not helpful” or “understaffed for the amount of crime”

Questions:

1.  Do they feel their staffing levels are adequate?
2.  How many cars are out during day and night patrol? (usually half the officers assigned to a station are on patrol at any given time)
3.  How long does it take to respond to emergency calls in the area on average?
4.  Do they work with any neighborhood watch programs in the area? Will they help facilitate the creation of one?
5.  Do the check up on vacant properties when the owners notify them that they are going on a trip
6. Do the merchants and other commercial businesses in the area have surveillance cameras in front of their shops, or just in their stores? Do they co operate with police who may need the footage when investigating a crime?
7. Is there a business community watch program set up between late night and daytime businesses?
8.  Is there a current record of all the reported crimes in your area? And if so, what are the numbers like?

These crimes might include:

  • Vandalism
  • Robbery
  • Break and Enter
  • Assault
  • Theft
  • Murder
  • Rape

(Sometimes you can find this information by back checking local community papers at their office or library archives.)

9. Does the department see any emerging patterns of criminal behavior with regards to:

  • Time of Day?
  • Method off Crime?
  • Victim Profile?
  • Objects Stolen/Vandalized?
  • Other?

If you get the feeling that the police already have more than they can handle, you may want to consider moving to a safer area.
Alternatively, if you received warm feedback from your neighbors, actively participating in (or starting) a neighborhood community watch program might be a way to “take back” your community and increase the value of your homes in the process.

Is Your Apartment Safe?

Written by Administrator. Posted in Safety Checklists

Apartment, condo, or house your home should be your sanctuary.  Of course being safe in your home means being safe in your neighborhood.  Here are a few things that can help you choose the right place to move into or protect the place you already call home.

  • If you live in an apartment get to know a few families close by.

  • Make sure there is a reporting system in place for things like:

    • Trash in the hallway

    • Vandalism

    • Strangers in the hallways or loitering around the premises

    • Broken lighting

  • Start or Join a neighborhood watch program.

  • Don’t Buzz people into the building unless you are certain who they are

  • Set up a buddy system for when you are away to watch your place and collect papers

  • You know the procedures for emergencies

  • Make sure that management changed the locks since the last tenant lived there.

  • Install a wide angle 160 degree viewer mounted no higher than 58 inches with a cover

  • Find out if background checks are done by management

  • Make sure windows or sliding doors have anti-lift devices

  • Only put your first initial and last name on the directory and mail listing

  • Petition to have mirrors at the ends of hallways that allow you to see around corners

  • Consider an alarm system to scare away intruders after a forced entry.

Remember your home is your sanctuary and your neighborhood is your home. Working together gives you safety in numbers and strength in community.

19 Things you need to know before you travel

Written by Administrator. Posted in Safety Checklists, Security Tips

Before you leave Checklist

Make sure:

1. You Let someone you trust in your office or neighborhood know when you will be leaving and when you will return
2. If you are leaving for an extended period of time arrange someone to create some activity in your home and remove all signs that you are away (newspapers, mail collection, park in the driveway, etc) Otherwise cancel mail and newspapers, and set your lights to timers.
3. Arrange for someone to mow your lawn and/or remove snow
4. Unplug heat producing appliances (toasters, coffee makers, irons, curling irons, etc)
5. If you are going somewhere exotic prearrange contact times with someone looking after your home
6.Take notarized photocopies of your passport with you when you travel abroad.

On the Road or In the Air Check List

1. Always lock your luggage, and don’t let it out of your site while its in your possession. When you leave it with a bellman or porter, ask for a receipt.
2. Do not get into a taxi with someone other than the driver in it, and don’t let the taxi pick up someone you don’t know.
3. Get a street map of where you are going and study it so when you walk, you know where you are going and you look like you belong.
4. You travel with an emergency identification card that has your allergies/conditions, emergency contact numbers etc.
5. You know where the fire exits are closest to your hotel room
6. You Keep the safety lock in place at all times when you are in your hotel room
7. You leave valuables in the hotel safe (leave original copies of passport in the safe and keep notarized copies on your person)
8. When you register at a hotel, you don’t day your name loudly, and you never answer the phone with your name.
9. You carry a door wedge or door handle alarm in your luggage and use it to wedge shut your room door
10. You always request a room on an upper floor, if possible
11. You use your do not disturb sign whenever you are in your bathroom
12. When you arrive at our hotel room, you prop open the door with your luggage until you have inspected the rooms hiding places
13. You ask a bellman for an escort and use valet parking at night

Babysitter Checklist

Written by Administrator. Posted in Safety Checklists


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Rules of Hiring a Babysitter

Leaving your kids with a sitter?  Make sure you follow these simple rules.

1. Give your Baby sitter a List of Contact numbers and information that includes:

-Your location and schedule

-The phone number of your location

-Your cell phone number

-Your home address and phone number

-The local emergency numbers, poison control, etc

-Names, ages, heights and weight of your children

-The name and phone number of nearby neighbors

2. You have a posted list of house rules that the baby sitter has read and understands

3. The Baby sitter knows where the flashlights are and what to do in case of a power failure

4. Your baby sitter knows how to use your alarm system

5. You lock all doors and widows before leaving and show the babysitter how the locks work

6. You leave your babysitter instructions regarding taking the children outside the home

7. The babysitter is aware that no guests are allowed in the home.

8. Your babysitter knows the family’s fire exits strategy

9. Your babysitter knows to get someone on the phone before he or she answers the door

Review our Home Security Products and the Family Safe Home Survival Kit

How to Design a Complete Home Security Plan

Written by Administrator. Posted in Safety Checklists

Part One: Identify Threats

Home Security Risk & Neighborhood Cooperation Assessment

This assessment will guide you in measuring:

  1. The Security Threats to You, Your Family, and Your Home.

  2. The Severity of Each Threat

  3. The Probability of the threat becoming a reality.

You will need to create a risk and cooperation assessment involving:

A) Your CommunityHow To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_2f1c264f

  1. Your Neighborhood

  2. Your Neighbors

  3. Your Police Department

  4. Your Fire Department.

  5. Emergency Medical Assistance

B) Your Home’s:


  1. Exterior Security

  2. Interior Security

(Note: A good risk assessment may help you reduce your insurance rates.)

A) Community How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_m3466835c

i) Your Neighborhood.

Checklist (Y) (N) (N/A)

  1. Is Your neighborhood made up from homeowners as opposed to renters?

  2. Are there thriving local businesses in you neighborhood?

  3. Are there sidewalks and crossing in your area?

  4. Is your neighborhood active during the day? (people gardening, walking, sitting on verandas)

  5. Is your neighborhood active during the Evening?

  6. Is is free from loiterers?

  7. Do you know any of your neighbors by name?

  8. Is your neighborhood off the beaten track? That is, is it self contained instead of a cut through to other neighborhoods?

  9. Does your neighborhood support any crime watch groups?

  10. Is there a police station within 5 miles of your home?

  11. Is there a fire station within 2 miles of your home?

  12. Are you streets well lit at night?

Count the Number of “No” Answers.

0-3 = Low Threat

4-5 = Medium Threat

6+ = High Threat

ii) Neighbors How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_3cb98a62

Questions for Neighbors

  1. Have any of your neighbors been burglarized is the last 6 months?

  2. Do you neighbors know of any incidents of fire, vandalism, burglary, or accidents that occurred in your home before you moved in? If so which ones?

  3. Which of the following crimes have occurred in your neighborhoods history?

  • Vandalism

  • Robbery

  • Break ins

  • Assaults

  • Thefts

  • Murders

  • Sexual Offenses

Count a Yes or No for each offense, even if they occurred from the same offender.

0-3 = Low Threat

4-5 = Medium Threat

6+ = High Threat


iii) Police Department How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_44b92aee

Questions to ask Your local Police Department.

You will need to use your judgment here. Staffing Levels are determined differently in every area.

Ask yourself, “Do the police seem helpful and responsive to your questions?” “Do the police officers feel they are understaffed, unable to keep up with the crime in the area? “

  1. What are staffing levels like?

  2. How many cars are usually on patrol during day and night shifts? (usually half the officers assigned to a station are on patrol at any given time)

  3. What is the average response time to emergency calls in the area?

  4. Do they do vacation checks on properties, if the owners notify them that they are out of town?

  5. What type of community crime prevention programs are there for the area? (neighborhood watch, etc)

  6. Does the police department have a record of all the reported crimes in your area?

    These crimes might include:

  • Vandalism

  • Robbery

  • Break and Enter

  • Assault

  • Theft

  • Murder

  • Rape

(Sometimes you can find this information by back checking local community papers at their office or library archives.)

  1. Do Police see any emerging patters of criminal behavior with regards to:

  • Time of Day?

  • Method off Crime?

  • Victim Profile?

  • Objects Stolen/Vandalized?

  • Other?

If you get the feeling that the police already have more than they can handle, you may want to consider moving to a safer area.

Alternatively, if you received warm feedback from your neighbors, actively participating in (or starting) a neighborhood community watch program might be a way to “take back” your community and increase the value of your homes in the process.

iv) Fire Department How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_47eeef8a

Questions for your local fire department

  1. What type of emergency dispatch service does your fire station operate?

  2. How many lines go into it and how many people are staffed on those lines?

  3. How many fire stations are in your area?

  4. Do the firefighters consider themselves to be well equipped?

  5. How far are you from the nearest fire station?(the ISO requires a standard of a station within 5 miles of each home as a minimum protection limit, of course this isn’t always realistic)

  6. What is the station’s average response time to your area?

  7. How good is your area’s water supply?

  8. Are there any issues with water pressure during times of peak use?

A good response time is 10 minutes or under.

A staffed communication network a better dispatch service than a potentially unmanned radio relay system.

If the fire department appears to be under-equipped or understaffed, ask them about the requirements and training for a community volunteer fire department.

v) Emergency Medical Assistance How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_477c789c

Question checklist for public relations officer at your local Emergency Medical Facility.

  1. How far is the nearest

  • Ambulance Dispatch Center?

  • Hospital?

  • Emergency Medical Center?

  1. What is the average response time for an ambulance?

  2. Is the nearby hospital emergency room well staffed and adequately equipped?

  3. Which Services does the hospital offer?

  4. Do they specialize in any areas?

  5. Do they have access to helicopter transport?

  6. Is there a poison control center nearby? If so what are its services?

A good response time is under 5 minutes. Anything over 15 minutes is considered poor.

If you believe your local Emergency Medical Facility to be inadequate, consider starting a Neighborhood “First Aid” instruction program with the other members of your community.

B) Your Home

Draw Up A floor Plan of your home

An effective floor plan shows the access points for every room, allowing you to assess:

  1. Your fire Exit Strategies

  2. All Possible intruder access points

  3. How many Sensors you need and where to put them.

  4. Ideas for the placement of Motion Detectors, Smoke Detectors, Hidden Surveillance, and Alarms.

How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_6e88e85f

i) Exterior Security – Risk Assessment

For Each section count the number of “NO” answers

Lighting and LandscapingHow To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_28c5553b

  1. Does your landscaping make doors, windows and your street numbers clearly visible?

  2. Does your landscaping prevent someone from hiding near your doors or walkways

  3. Are parking areas well illuminated?

  4. Is there a lighting system in place for your homes exterior at night?

  5. Do you have a light by each doorway?

  6. Is there a motion sensor lighting or camera system?

0-1 = Low Risk

2-3 = Medium Risk

4+ = High Risk

Construction How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_m4158802d

  1. Are your doors made of solid hardwood or reinforced with steel?

  2. Do you have metal reinforcement strike plates surrounding the locks on all doors?

  3. Do your doors open inward with hinges on the inside the home?

  4. Have you installed wide angle peepholes in all exterior doors?

  5. Are portable air conditioners built directly into window frames or locked in place?

  6. Do you have an intercom or camera system near outside entrances?

0-2 = Low Risk

3 = Medium risk

4+ = High risk

Locking mechanisms and Guarded Entrances How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_995f0ca

  1. Does your garage door have a secure lock?

  2. Is your garage door encrypted to protect you from code grabbers?

  3. Is there a secure lock between the doors that connect from the garage directly into to your home?

  4. Are there physical stop rods and secure locks on all sliding doors?

  5. Are your windows lockable?

  6. Are there strong locks on your basement windows?

  7. Did you change your house locks when you moved in?

0-2 = Low Risk

3-4 = Medium Risk

5+ = High Risk

Farming and Rural Areas How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_4f68be25

These Areas can have special concerns.

  1. Are all outside areas well illuminated at night. ?

  2. Do storage sheds, barns, and grain bins have secure locking mechanisms?

  3. Have you itemized your tools and equipment by marking them with identification numbers?

  4. Are access roads gated?

  5. Do you keep a constant count of livestock?

  6. Are all fences free of rot and in strong condition?

  7. Is all your equipment secured under lock and key during evening hours?

  8. Have you checked the references of all the employees working on your property?

0-2 = Low Risk

3-6 = Medium Risk

7+ = High Risk

ii) Interior Security Assessment.

Count the number of “No” Answers

Are You Fire safe? How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_47eeef8a

  1. Do you have enough functioning smoke detectors to cover your whole home?

  2. Are there fire extinguishers available in critical areas?

  3. Do you Clean your chimney once per year?

1+ = High Risk

Are you Crime Safe? How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_2ae53ddc

  1. Does every bedroom door have a secure door and lock?

    Do you have an alarm system, automatic phone dialer, or neighbor-signaling device?

  2. Have you marked and recorded your possessions with and identifying numbers?

  3. Do you have a list of valuable property in your home?

  4. Do you have a dog?

  5. Do you have a safe?

  6. Do you store all large amounts of money and valuable collections in a secure place outside your home?

0-1 = Low Risk

2-3 = Medium Risk

4+ = High Risk

Are you Accident Safe? How To Design a Complete Home Security Plan. Draft 3_html_60a78e05

  1. Does every bedroom have a phone and flashlight?

  2. Do you have emergency numbers near your phone?

  3. Are all medications and prescriptions stored in a locked medicine cabinet out of reach of children?

  4. Have you installed ground-fault circuit interrupters on all bathroom electrical outlets?

  5. Do you have your furnace/air conditioner serviced annually?

  6. Do you have any portable heaters inspected periodically?

  7. Do you monitor your children’s access to fire and heat?

  8. Do you know where all the cut off valves and switches are for the utilities that enter your home?

  9. Are all guns in your home stored unloaded and safely locked away?

0-1 = Low Risk

2-3 = Medium Risk

4+ = High Risk

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