How to Prevent Bike Theft

How to Prevent Bike Theft

Despite the fact that many types of theft have decreased in recent years, instances of bike theft are on the rise. This is bad news for environmentally conscious commuters and bicycling enthusiasts. While bicycle theft is a particular scourge on college campuses, in truth it can strike anywhere.

Recovery of stolen bicycles is also a fairly big problem. It’s estimated that only a fraction, maybe even less than five percent of stolen bikes are ever recovered. So, it’s obvious that the best way to protect yourself from bike theft is to protect your bike.

bike wheel with lock

Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Bike:

1.  Make It Look Less Enticing

There’s a good chance that you bought your bike for its aesthetics, at least partly. However, sleek design and bright colors also attract thieves. Consider spending some time making your bike look less attractive—in short, make it ugly. If the idea of doing permanent damage to your ride hurts your soul, try less permanent methods like duct tape. There are even online tutorials that demonstrate how to create a look of faux rust on your bike.

2.  Use an Alarm

Similar to alarm systems for your home or car, you can get a portable alarm system for your bike. Most alarms come as part of a padlock that will admit a sound if someone tries to tamper with it. Often, the annoyance of an alarm and the attention it draws is enough to deter a thief. You can also try to fake thieves out by applying a decal to your bike or padlock that indicates you have an alarm.

3.  Secure Your Bike Even at Home

Depending on where you live, your bike may not be very secure even when you’re at home. If you lock your bike in a shed or garage, make sure those locks are engaged every time you leave your bike behind. Consider installing security cameras (or fake ones, like these) that will allow you to capture the thief’s face if the worst happens.

4.  Use High-Grade Locks and Chains

This might seem like a no-brainer, but don’t discount the efficacy of using high-quality padlocks and industrial strength chains. The more hoops a thief has to jump through, the more likely he or she is to give up. Check out this post to see examples of bike lock types.

5.  Take Your Bike with You

According to a former bike thief, thieves might puncture a tire on a bike they’re looking to steal just so the owner will leave it behind, which will give the thieves  more time to get to it. So, if you come out of work or class and see a puncture in your tire, don’t abandon your bike. Chances are, it won’t be there when you come back.

Bikes are relatively easy to steal: they’re light, fairly nondescript, and taking one typically only results in a misdemeanor. However, it is possible to protect your bike and keep your wheels with you where they belong. Check out the all the bike protection options the Home Security Store has for you.

Home Security Tips Revisited

Home Security Tips Revisited

Crime Stoppers USA is the national Crime Stoppers organization that spans the United States to create a network of local programs that work together to prevent and solve crimes in communities and schools across the nation. With over 1 million cases cleared, it is an excellent tool for police to use to solve crimes.

I was unaware that crime stoppers was in other countries. For example, Crimestoppers In The UK is advising homeowners that there are a number of measures that they can follow to keep their home safe and protect themselves against burglars.

Today we will give you some home security tips that you may have seen before. They are worth a second look.

  • Ensuring all entry points on your home have locks.
  • When you leave your property no matter for how long, make sure those entry points are locked. And lock them when you go to bed at night.
  • Don’t leave your keys within easy reach of the front door.
  • Think about other security measures such as a burglar alarm or security lights. Some of them may even decrease your insurance payments.
  • When going on vacation use timers on lights and radios to give the impression that someone is still in the property. Give it that “lived in” look.
  • And finally make sure you know who is at your door before you open it. Ask for identification.

This article has 5 home security tips you cannot ignore.

The first one is to advertise your alarm. They make the point that an alarm system is supposed to deter burglars and you do that by “advertising” that you have an alarm system. Use the stickers and signs that came with your alarm system. Place them in locations where potential burglars can see them. They may make the burglar think twice about attempting a break-in. If you don’t have an alarm system, consider getting a fake security sign for your front yard or even a “beware of dog” sign might work wonders.

Having good lighting can be a major deterrent for burglars. Having a light at your front door is almost a necessity. When possible put your lights on a timer. That makes it much more difficult for burglars to be able to determine whether you’re home or not. Motion activated lights are a homeowner’s best friend.

Don’t hide your keys under your front door mat or anywhere else for that matter. If necessary give a spare key to your neighbor.

Protect all entry points into your home by keeping them locked and clear of all shrubbery so they can’t be used as hiding places. Furthermore, protect all entry points with alarms. Window and door alarms are inexpensive and very effective.

Don’t advertise that you are leaving or are gone. Social media can be a big temptation for homeowners to brag about their vacation. Burglars can read too. Stop mail delivery so there’s no overflow in your mailbox and the same goes for your newspaper.

Another good tip is that all police departments will give you a free home security survey depending on manpower and time availability. It is one of the best things that you can do to improve your home security. Follow these tips and you will have a much more secure home

Barking Dog
Barking Dog

Our Barking Dog Alarm is effective up to 15 feet away and makes the sound of a barking dog on a motion activated basis.

What secrets can you share with our readers? Don’t be shy, chime in with your thoughts!

Comprehensive Home Security Tips

Comprehensive Home Security Tips

On September 28, 2015 the FBI released the 2014 edition of its annual report on Crime In The United States “There were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes (burglaries, larceny-thefts, and motor vehicle thefts) reported by law enforcement. Financial losses suffered by victims of these crimes were calculated at approximately $14.3 billion.”

We want to point out that even though this represents a 4.3% decrease from the previous year’s number of property crimes, it still means that burglary is the number one crime in the United States.

Why has it decreased? We give credit to the neighborhood watch program and the increasing use of home surveillance/security cameras. They have become increasingly inexpensive making them affordable to homeowners.

Our years of research on this topic and law enforcement personnel will confirm that one of the reasons burglary is so popular is because homeowners make it so. It is a proven fact that over 30% of all home burglaries happen through unlocked doors and windows.

In today’s article we are going to give you some of the best home security tips you can get.

  • We start with the basics of removing potential hiding places near lower-level doors and windows. Most burglaries are committed during the day, so a hiding place near a lower-level door or window-the entry point on the house-is very beneficial to a burglar. Don’t forget the garage door. An open garage door may often lead to a free entry into the house.
  • Don’t overlook trees that are close to a second story window. It is not unheard of for a burglar to climb a tree to get into an open second-story window.
  • If your neighborhood does not already have a watch program going on, it is easy enough to start. Contact your local Police Department and they can help you get one going. The National Neighborhood Watch website is also a great resource for information and tips for homeowners on ways to prevent burglary in your area.
  • If you are going to be away from your home for an extended period of time, don’t make a big mistake of announcing that on social media. Give your home the lived in look by having someone cut your grass, avoid newspapers piling up and get a timer that will turn your lights on at dusk.
  • The three biggest enemies of the burglar are time, lights and noise. The longer it takes for burglar to get into your house the more likely he is to give up, so slow him down. The bad guys don’t like lights because they cast shadows at night giving away their presence. And finally, they don’t like noise-mostly because it scares them and it may alert neighbors to trouble in the house.
  • A key part of slowing the bad guys down in preventing them from getting into your house is to have a solid core door with deadbolts and tempered glass in the windows. The overwhelming majority of burglar break-ins is through the front door or through windows near the front door.
  • If you don’t already have a peep hole in your front door, it is easy enough to get one. It is a critical way of preventing home invasion. Never, ever let someone into your house you do not know.
  • Install inexpensive window/door alarms. The noise they make on illegal entry is frequently enough to scare most burglars away. We have a great selection of loud alarms at inexpensive prices that will slow down or stop most attempted burglaries.
  • Sometimes installing signs on front windows or in your yard warning of guard dog or home security system is enough to deter a burglar.
  • A no-brainer is to keep all your doors and windows locked even if you are at home.
  • A do it yourself security system is inexpensive and very effective.
  • The sound of a barking dog is the primary way of scaring burglars away from your house. Don’t forget to post a sign in your front yard of a vicious guard dog. Our Barking Dog Alarm is effective up to 15 feet away and makes the sound of a barking dog on a motion activated basis.
  • Nothing intrigues a burglar more than seeing cars and possessions in a driveway for “easy pickens.” Keep them in a locked garage.
  • Have a few self-defense products such as pepper spray or stun guns located around the house, just in case of a home invasion. You don’t want to be defenseless in a situation like that.
  • Use common sense. Don’t leave packages on your front porch. They make tempting targets for the bad guys.
  • The old idea of hiding a key under the front door mat just doesn’t work anymore. Everybody knows that trick, especially burglars.
  • You can hide small valuables inside one of our diversion safes. Burglars only spend an average of 10 minutes inside a house looking for things to steal and then pawn for quick cash. They cannot look everywhere which is why diversion safes are so effective.
  • Remember when it comes to burglars “MI CASA ES NON SU CASA.”

The vast majority of burglars are first or second time offenders, so these simple tips will usually work at preventing them from stealing anything or getting into your house.

What other tips can you share with our readers? Don’t be shy, chime in with your thoughts.

Smart Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Smart Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

I am almost cringing as I write this because the fall weather has been so gorgeous and wonderful for many of us anyhow. Today we are giving you some suggestions on holiday shopping safety tips. Yes, the holidays! They are rapidly approaching, with less than 50 days to Christmas.

It seems that mall shopping has become synonymous with holiday shopping. Women have turned shopping into an art form. In the time that it might take a man to do his shopping, women can expand on that and take three or four times the amount. That is not meant as a derogatory comment, but it is just the way women are. Most men don’t like shopping; women do.

Parking lots have proven to be fertile grounds for assaults on women. We explain why in this article called ‘Parking Lots Can Be Dangerous’ where we say “When women go shopping anywhere, at a mall, at a grocery store it makes no difference-they leave their cars in parking lots. When they return to the car they are often distracted by talking to a friend, talking on a cell phone or watching the kids or any other number of distractions. Additionally, many parking lots for commercial establishments do not offer any type of security and are poorly lit, all of which makes for fertile hunting grounds for sexual perverts.”

Knowing that women comprise the majority of customers in malls and stores this time of year, or any other time of year for that matter, perverts and other lowlife forms who prey on women salivate at the thought of so many targets wandering around the mall and parking lots. So here are some shopping safety tips not just for the holidays but for any time of year.

  1. If at all possible, shop during the day. Poor lighting in a parking lot gives the bad guys a little edge in their assaults.
  2. If you have to go at dusk or night time, choose an area that is well lit.
  3. The old saying about there being strength in numbers is true-go with a friend.
  4. Park as close as you can to your store.
  5. Keep your purse secure and underneath your arm.
  6. On your return to your car, have your car keys out and ready. If necessary you can use them as a weapon too.
  7. Most stores offer an escort service for their shoppers to their car. Take advantage of the service.
  8. Avoid overloading yourself with packages. Maintain clear visibility to your car.
  9. Avoid talking to strangers, especially on your way to your car.
  10. That inner voice, that is especially strong in women, will tell you when to be super cautious. Listen to it!
  11. Use common sense!
  12. Carry and be ready to use a pepper spray or stun gun for self-defense in the event of an assault.

Many people, especially women, think that crime can only happen to the “other guy.” You are that person-to the “other guy.”

SMACK Keychain Stun Gun
SMACK Keychain Stun Gun

We have close to 200 different Pepper Sprays to choose from-the largest selection in any one place-anywhere.

We want to hear your thoughts. Chime in with your secrets about holiday shopping safety tips!

Hot Home Burglary Tips

Hot Home Burglary Tips

Today’s article is a follow-up on another story that we did on Tips To Prevent Burglary. We will share with you some more home burglary tips.

In our Home Security Guide we provided a lot of good information, but most importantly some documentation on the threat that home burglary presents to all homeowners.

An astonishing 77% of all crime was property related.

Home burglary happens every 13 seconds according to the FBI and is the most common threat to homeowners.

90% of all burglaries can be prevented according to law enforcement authorities.

One out of every six homes, on an annual basis, will be burglarized.

“Burglars steal $2,119 worth of goods and do another $2,000 worth of damage, on average, to every victimized home.

Police usually only clear 13% of all reported burglaries due to lack of witnesses or physical evidence.”

Here’s a story that comes from the United Kingdom that documents between January 2008 and December 2013 in one area, Essex, 11% of all homes were targeted for Repeat Burglaries. The national average was 8.6%. Northamptonshire was the highest with almost one in three burglaries repeat occurrences.

The story pointed out that getting burglarized once is bad enough, but being burgled again is devastating causing long-lasting and widespread impact on the victims’ lives.

Essex law enforcement is combating repeat offenses by using intelligence to identify where future burglaries might occur and then using a range of tactics for preventing them such as increased patrols and on-site advice and reassurance.

According to the story this has resulted in a reduction of home burglaries year-over-year.

The police force also reminds residents to keep windows and doors locked, anchor sheds to the ground and padlock them, use timed lights and a burglar alarm to deter burglars, consider a gravel driveway and a thorny hedge around your property all while ensuring your front door is visible to passersby. Good advice!

In another story from the United Kingdom comes some home burglary tips specifically warning to avoid letting the warm weather become a temptation for crooks. The biggest culprit for homeowners is the tendency to leave windows and doors open and/or unlocked in the warm weather.

Some of the tips that the police offer include the following:

  1. Make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked when you are away and even when you’re there.
  2. Get window restrictors which are devices that prevent windows from being opened fully so you can get some fresh air in the summertime.
  3. Give your home a lived in look by using timer switches for your lights and leaving your television on when you’re not at home.
  4. Turn your burglar alarm on if you have one; if you don’t have one, get one.
  5. Don’t leave valuables on display in front of windows. That is like an open invitation saying “take me.”
  6. Don’t leave keys near entry points where they can easily be pilfered.
  7. Don’t leave equipment or valuables in your yard. Lock them in a storage shed or garage.
  8. If you are going away for summer vacation, give your home a lived in look and cancel milk and newspaper deliveries. Have someone mow your yard.

Out in Bakersfield, California comes a story about homeowners who temporarily leave their homes because of fumigation. Law enforcement authorities warn homeowners that if they have to have their home fumigated with a tent placed over it, their homes are at high risk for burglary.

Apparently pumping fumigants into homes is a popular treatment for bed bugs, termites and other pests that are hard to fully reach with hand sprayed pesticides. The houses are tented to keep fumigants from escaping, making the homes extremely conspicuous. Pest-control companies like Terminix and Orkin warn homeowners that they must leave for a few days during the treatment because breathing the air inside is potentially lethal. They also suggest that homeowners remove valuables because of the high risk of burglary during the procedure.

This wireless Sabre Motion Detection Alarm looks just like a smoke detector but instead is a sensitive 120 db motion activated alarm that can sense activity up to 20 feet away.

Share with everyone your home burglary prevention tips-even your secret ones-so that other readers can take advantage of your wisdom.

12 Burglary Prevention Tips From The Horses’ Mouth

12 Burglary Prevention Tips From The Horses’ Mouth

If anybody knows a thing or two about burglary, it’s the actual burglars themselves. Many of these prevention tips comes straight from police interviews with convicted burglars-straight from the horses’ mouth so to speak.

From our July, 2014 article ‘The Ultimate Home Security Guide’ we explain in part why burglary is so popular. In our humble opinion there are three reasons and burglars know all of them very well.

All we have to do is look at FBI Clearance Rates for burglary. In 2010 only 12.4 percent of burglary offenses were cleared. So the chance of getting caught by law enforcement is slim to none and is reason number one.

The second reason is that homeowners make it so darn easy to get into the home with slightly over one third of all burglaries requiring no physical force. They just enter through unlocked doors and windows.

In our other article ‘Six Little Known Secrets About Burglary/Home Security You Should Know’ “FBI statistics show that 33.2% of all burglaries are called unlawful entries which means that there is no forcible entry noticeable. This translates to homeowners don’t lock their doors and windows.”

One of the worst examples is to leave the garage door open, especially in the summertime, to let built up heat out.

A television station in Jacksonville, Florida did a story recently about burglaries that happened through locked garage doors in Six Seconds.

They supported their story with a video from YouTube which shows you exactly how it is done. It is actually pretty frightening to see how easy it is.

And the third reason why burglary is so popular with crooks is that it is very lucrative. These bad guys want what you have-all your valuable &&worldly possessions. For five or 10 minutes work, which is the average time a burglar spends inside a home, the average take, according to FBI statistics, is somewhere just north of $2,100. Of course that’s not all profit because he has to sell what he stole usually at a pawn shop. Depending on what it is, he may only get $.25 or $.50 on the dollar-still a very lucrative business when you consider that he can do two or three burglaries a day. Not bad for unskilled labor!

Anyhow here are the twelve tips that you have been waiting for.

Burglar
Burglar
  1. Obviously the number one tip is to keep your doors and windows locked even when you’re at home.
  2. Remove hiding places for burglars by clearing away trees and shrubs from the areas around lower-level doors and windows. Most burglaries-close to 90% of them-are done during the daytime.
  3. If you don’t have a peep hole in your front door, get one installed. Never let anybody into your home without knowing who they are. We had a bad habit of just reflexively opening the door without looking to see who it was-bad idea!
  4. Keep cars and possessions in the garage and keep the garage door locked. Many a home has been broken into by burglars breaking into a car parked on the street or in the driveway to steal the garage door opener. From there it’s a piece of cake to get into the house.
  5. If you haven’t already done so, install inexpensive alarms on all your doors and windows. Most burglars are first or second time offenders and are not used to hearing the sound of a loud alarm and may easily be scared away by them.
  6. Signage is an important part of home security. Consider getting signs that warn of a vicious guard dog or of a home security system that is in place. Many times just the sign is enough to scare the burglar away when they case the neighborhood.
  7. Consider installing tempered glass near doors. Most burglaries happen through the front door. If it is locked, they will try to break the glass. Tempered glass can provide an added deterrent.
  8. The longer it takes for a burglar to get into the house the less likely it is he will get in. Put as many obstacles in his way as possible. The magic number seems to be one minute as the most time that he will spend trying to break-in. It usually only takes 4-6 seconds!
  9. Since most burglars attempt to get into the house through the front door don’t make it easy for him. Consider installing solid core doors and deadbolt locks. They are a good way to slow down his entry, if not stop it altogether.
  10. An often overlooked home security tip is to start or join a neighborhood watch program. That website or your local police department can give you more details about this successful 30-year-old program it is free and is supported and administered through your local police department.
  11. The sound of a barking dog is an excellent deterrent to burglars. You don’t even need a dog when you can get an alarm that makes a sound of a barking dog when an intruder gets to within 15 feet of this motion activated alarm.
  12. Security cameras are another excellent deterrent to burglary. If you don’t have a security system with surveillance cameras, consider getting some fake surveillance cameras. They are so realistic looking that no one can tell the difference between them and the real thing. Any one of our nearly 50 Fake Surveillance Cameras will do the trick.
  13. Fake Bullet Camera
    Fake Bullet Camera

Many of these tips are free or at very low cost. Take advantage of them to beef up your home security and don’t become a statistic.

In summary, the three biggest enemies of a burglar are time, light and noise. The more obstacles you place in his way to get into your house, the less likely he is to get in.

What precautions do you take to make your home safer from burglary? Please share your experience. We want to hear your thoughts.

Are You Sure You Want To Be A Real Estate Agent?

Are You Sure You Want To Be A Real Estate Agent?

Next to Donald Trump there is no more famous person in real estate than Barbara Corcoran, who has gained even more notoriety starring on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank.” She was quoted recently as saying that the real estate business can “sometimes be downright dangerous.”

When you stop and think about it, the real estate industry is heavily laden with women, many of them single, and to be honest, many of them wealthy, which makes them attractive targets for perverts. They “dress for success” by wearing expensive clothes, showing pricey jewelry and often driving luxury cars. These real estate agents often do their work showing homes by themselves, sometimes in remote locations, at odd hours of the day and night which makes assaults relatively easy.

In today’s article we will share with you several examples that confirm what Barbara was talking about. Then we will give real estate agents some tips on how to stay safe when showing a home.

Our first example comes from ABC News about an agent who was Attacked Showing A Home. A Real estate agent in San Antonio, Texas by the name of Janice Tisdale was showing a $750,000 house in a remote subdivision to a client who said he was bringing his banker along. When they met at the house the banker wasn’t there and Tisdale became suspicious. She had shown the client several homes before but did not have a warm fuzzy feeling about him.

As she was showing the client the vacant house, her instincts told her to leave. As she started to leave, the client pulled a tire bumper from his cowboy boot and hit Tisdale over the head causing her to fall and hit her head on a stone wall. Instead of leaving right away, she started to engage the client in a conversation about why he hit her. She kept telling the client to leave and go to his car. She offered to write an explanation for her husband that the client did not attack her. When the client went to get a piece of paper from his car, Tisdale ran to the street and caught the attention of five teenagers driving by who ultimately saved her.

In another example an Arkansas Realtor was killed in September, 2014 causingGreat Distress Among Fellow Agents. Ann Clark who had been a real estate agent for four years, has had trouble getting a pepper spray, which in Arkansas requires a license, on her to do list for some time. But after the recent killing of Beverly Clark, a fellow real estate agent, she will move that up higher on her list.

Ashley Okland, was a beautiful 27-year-old real estate agent in Des Moines, Iowa, who was found shot inside the model unit of a new townhome complex. Police say she died at a hospital from two gunshot wounds. They are still trying to solve her murder.

A Denver real estate agent was raped while showing a house in 2006. The female agent told detectives that she was showing the house to the perp when he proceeded to rape her inside the house that was for sale.

A Corona, Texas agent survived an attack but was raped at gunpoint, then stabbed while showing a house in 2010. After walking through the house, the man ordered the woman to the ground while pointing a pellet gun at her. He bound her wrists and ankles with tape and stole her keys, purse and phone. The man held the gun to the back of her head while he raped her.

Here are some valuable Safety Tips For Real Estate Agents from the folks who know – Real Estate.com, a professional organization.

Before You Go Out:

  1. Keep your phone on a charger at your desk. That way it’ll always be charged when you leave.
  2. Keep your first meeting with the client at the office; never meet at the house.
  3. Keep your online and print ads professional. You don’t want to attract the wrong kind of buyer.
  4. Don’t advertise your listings as vacant or unoccupied.
  5. Do a reverse phone search.
  6. When you meet the client at the office get a copy of his driver’s license.
  7. Have a colleague get the make, model, color and license plate of the prospect’s car.
  8. Take your own car and have the client follow you in his car.

Out In The Field

  1. Always make sure someone in the office knows where you are.
  2. Keep your cell phone in your hand during the showing.
  3. Don’t pull into a driveway with the prospect following you. That way you get pinned in and can’t leave quickly in an emergency. Park on the road.
  4. Make sure you have a remote control to unlock your car door.
  5. Women especially have very good instincts. Trust them and act accordingly.
  6. Never go into a room before your client. Follow him into the room and keep between the client and the door.
  7. Many brokers insist that their agents establish a code word that will signal she is in trouble. Guard Dog 3-1 Keychain Pepper Spray
  8. Always carry a keychain pepper spray. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to let your client see it.
  9. It also isn’t a bad idea to take a self-defense course so you can defend yourself in the event of an assault.
  10. Never lose control of the situation. If you feel you are losing control or feeling uncomfortable remember, you are in charge. You can just leave!

Follow these safety tips and you will be way ahead of the game and possibly avoid a potentially dangerous situation. We have nearly 200 OC Sprays to choose from-the largest selection in one place on the Internet.

As a real estate agent, have you ever felt uncomfortable showing a house to a client? What safety tips does your broker pass on to agents?

Natural Disaster Crime Prevention Tips

Natural Disaster Crime Prevention Tips

Most people who live in areas that are prone to natural disasters are familiar with emergency preparedness plans and are wise enough to have taken precautions to be ready in case disaster strikes. Here we are going to take a look at crime prevention in the face of natural disasters – something that most people don’t think about.

The last thing on the mind of homeowners is crime prevention in the face of a flood, fire, tornado or other natural disaster. The best example we can think of is Hurricane Katrina, where the Dist. Atty.’s office in New Orleans, LA reported nearly 1,000 cases of identity theft, fraud, theft, white-collar crimes, price gouging and other violent crimes not to mention home burglary-yes home burglary!

My friend who lives out in Colorado Springs told me that during the Waldo Canyon fire-while the fire was still burning-the Police Department reported 42 home burglaries and 43 burglaries to motor vehicles that belonged to evacuation victims in a 10 day stretch. At that time, the fire was the biggest natural disaster in Colorado history. It struck an area-Colorado Springs-that is the biggest city in the state in geographic terms.

Criminals by their very nature, have no compunction and no moral values so it doesn’t bother them to commit crimes against people who are weak and vulnerable. Natural disasters such as floods, wildfires, tornadoes and others rip the very heart and soul out of people because they are forced to evacuate their homes on short notice in most cases. This forces them to leave behind possessions that in many cases are irreplaceable not to mention the possible loss of life. Their lives are disrupted, at least temporarily, in a way that is difficult to explain.

In our article entitled ‘How Is Your Emergency Preparedness?’ we draw your attention to several factors that you should consider when it comes to disaster planning

One of the first items that you should consider protecting in a natural disaster are your important documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, passports, financial information, vehicle titles and so on. You should make copies of all these important documents and store the originals and copies in separate places in multiple locations in case one set is destroyed.

You should also have an emergency communications plan. When disaster strikes it is likely that people will become separated from their friends, family members and others with whom it is important to maintain contact. Have several alternative methods of communication in mind in case one or more methods are down. Facebook and Twitter are often overlooked as a means of communication.

Protection against burglary in the face of a natural disaster is something that needs to be considered. In many natural disasters, home evacuation is not optional and unfortunately many burglars capitalize on criminal activity when disaster strikes. To protect yourself, take the most valuable possessions with you if possible and secure the others in a safe or secure location in your house. Turn your security cameras on and make sure you lock all your doors and windows. You should make an inventory, including photos and video if possible, of all your possessions for insurance purposes and possible documentation for police in case of a burglary.

Criminals often prey on the empathy that people have for victims of a natural disaster and capitalize on this by setting up fake charities asking for donations to help disaster victims. Before you give your hard-earned money away, take a minute to investigate the organization you are considering donating to and make sure that they are legitimate. Avoid donating online.

Price gouging is a common occurrence in many natural disasters. It is highly unethical, but it may not be illegal where you live. If you suspect that you are being overcharged for anything you should find another vendor and contact your state’s District Atty. Office to file a complaint.

One of the more common problems in natural disasters is phony insurance agents or adjusters. If property damage has occurred in a flood or fire, your insurance company will provide an adjuster so make sure that you are actually dealing with somebody from your insurance company. Ask to see identification or if there is any doubt, call your insurance company.

Another common scam is home repair fraud. It seems whenever there is roof damage, lowlife scam artists come out of the woodwork. If you are having any kind of home repairs done to your house, make sure you use only licensed contractors and have a written contract with no blank spaces in it. The biggest way to avoid getting ripped off is to never pay in advance: only pay on completion of the project.

In our article called ‘Are You Ready For A Natural Disaster?’ we highlight three factors to help you prepare for a natural disaster. They are: be informed, make a plan and build a “bug out” kit.

When a natural disaster occurs is not the time to do any of these things because there is no time. It requires significant planning. The plan should include what to do, where to go and what to carry with you such as a go bag that has emergency supplies in it. You cannot wait till a natural disaster happens to be prepared. You must be ready in advance.

Diablo Stun Flashlight
Diablo Stun Flashlight
And last but not least is personal and family safety. Avoid being alone or living in your car. Avoid accepting rides from a stranger or anyone who is not acting in an official capacity. Do not openly display valuables or money when you are displaced from your home. If you are attacked, do everything you can to get away. Make sure you have a self-defense product with you such as one of our close to 200 different pepper sprays. You might even consider carrying a self-defense stun flashlight in your car like this Diablo Stun Flashlight that is a 160 lumen flashlight and a 4.5 million volt stun device.

Have you taken any steps to protect yourself or your home in a natural disaster? We want to hear your thoughts.

Guide To Women’s Personal Safety And Security

Guide To Women’s Personal Safety And Security

This Bureau of Justice Statistics PDF document confirms that women are the subject of violence at least eight times more often than men. That statistic is often bandied about but never really documented. And it may seem surprising to most men who question the validity of that fact. But when you stop and think about it and just open your eyes and read newspaper headlines or watch television, you suddenly gain an appreciation for the fact.

That is part of the reason why in this article we offer evidence that women need to be much more concerned about their personal safety and personal security than they are. We will then offer some self-defense suggestions for women at home, in the workplace and on the road.

In our article entitled ‘The 5 Most Common Places For Attacks On Women’ we note that assaults on women can occur any time or anywhere.

Statistically these are the most common places for assaults on women.

1. At home with domestic violence. Somewhere between 25 and 30% of all women are victims of domestic abuse.

2. At a college or university. With more women going on to get degrees and advanced degrees, for the first time in history there are more women in college than men. Much has been made of the fact that college sexual assaults happen to as many as 30% of all college age women.

3. In parking lots. Think about poorly lit and secluded areas of many parking lots and the distractions that women face when coming out of big-box stores. Those factors combine to make women susceptible to assaults.

In a recent article entitled ‘Self-Defense Tips To Keep Women Safe’ we offer six self-defense tips, to make women feel and be much safer.

From the organization Crime Prevention Tips comes this article on ‘Why Women are Targeted for Crimes’.

The article points out that women remain the most common victims of muggings and robbery. They suggest the reason for this is women are perceived to be more passive and give up without a fight.

Many men perceive women as “mousy and weak” and do not expect a fight out of women when they are assaulted. Obviously the best way to avoid any of these crimes is to do anything possible to prevent them from happening. Prevention helps ensure that women limit the situation they find themselves that can lead to serious crimes. Some of those tips for prevention would be walking with a dog or with a group of friends and avoiding dark areas at night.

If women are assaulted the best thing they can do is fight for survival. Fight in any way you can by using your voice with a scream, purse, hands, feet, keys or anything else you can use as a weapon. Of course we always have suggested that women always carry a self-defense weapon such as stun gun or a pepper spray. That way you at least have a fighting chance of surviving a fight and fending off your attacker.

Keychain Pepper Spray
Keychain Pepper Spray

We recommend a keychain defensive spray because it is much more likely to be with you when you need it. This ¾ ounce container has enough oleoresin capsicum for as many as nine shots up to 7 feet away.

Have you ever been attacked? Where? What were the circumstances? Please share your experience.

Top Ten Holiday Shopping Safety Tips for 2014

Top Ten Holiday Shopping Safety Tips for 2014

It is that time of year for Christmas shopping. With ‘black Friday’ starts the biggest shopping days of the year. And the bad guys know it too. They salivate over women with kids and seniors in mall parking lots loaded with goodies, kids and money. They are ripe and vulnerable targets.

Stores do the best they can to get you to spend your money. Mall owners are doing a better job with lighting in parking lots. But mothers, especially those with kids, and seniors make excellent targets for the bad guys.

Thousands of robberies happen this time of year and most of them never get solved. Part of the reason assaults and robberies go up at this time of year is because of stressful economic conditions for families.

Picture this. A mom with her kids or a senior comes out of the mall on the way to the car. The parking lot isn’t all that well lit. Maybe she is pushing a cart or carrying bags or on her smart phone. Maybe some distractions???

That makes a target for the bad guys who can get behind her and rip away her purse.

With Christmas getting closer, the big malls are gearing up. Are you?

Here are some safety tips to help keep you and your family safe.

  1. Shop-avoid night trips if at all possible.
  2. Park-as close as you can to your destination then lock all doors. Choose well lit areas. And sad to say, avoid strangers.
  3. Focus-stay off your smart phone. Don’t get distracted. Text or talk when you get in your locked car.
  4. Lock-your car and once inside your car don’t let your guard down-lock all your doors and be wary.
  5. Purse-keep it under your arm.
  6. Keys-have them out and ready. They work as a weapon too.
  7. Buddy up-to your car. Go with others even if you have to ask for an escort. Don’t let pride get in the way. Better safe than sorry.
    Sabre Red Spitfire
    Sabre Red Spitfire
  8. Carry-some self-defense products like stun guns, pepper sprays and personal alarms. This SabreRed Spray is a very potent self-defense tool with one of the fastest growing and most compact keychain defensive sprays available. It has approximately 8 shots of up to 8 feet away using a cone spray pattern so it may hit more than one person at a time.
  9. Common sense-usually prevails. Use your head.
  10. Trouble-if you get in trouble, make as much noise as you can-scream, use your alarm, use the panic button on your key fob-all to draw attention to your predicament.

For more information on this topic read our article on How To Avoid A Parking Lot Assault that may shed more light on the topic.

Perhaps the best tip you can get is to pay attention and not be distracted. Use these tips when you go shopping and you’ll be way ahead of the game.

It is easy to become engaged in something else and not be aware of your surroundings. Especially with children, the possibilities of harm seem to grow the further away you are from the store. Please make your holidays memorable for the right reasons and not because you became a robbery victim.