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Home Security

  • The Ring Doorbell and Chime Review

    The Ring Door Bell is a Hardware / Software system that adds or replaces your doorbell button. It requires your home or business Wi-Fi to use, record and playback recorded video. It has a high quality video camera with sound, that catches and *records anyone that comes to your front door. The sound is high quality two way and with a free Android/IPhone downloadable App, it allows you to talk to your guest wherever you’re at in the country.

     

    Our mission at ForSecuritySake is to provide products and information to help people be safer and more secure in their daily lives. Although as of this writing we do not sell this product, it falls within our mission and we feel that it needs to be brought to our customer’s attention.

     

    We have been testing the Ring Doorbell and Chime for a while now and for a product about $200.00, it has many of the hardware and software features of higher priced recording systems.

     

    We found a great deal that combined the Ring Doorbell with the Ring Chime; which is a receiver that can be plugged into any home power socket and emits a chime sound whenever the Doorbell is activated.

     

    Hardware:

    The Ring Doorbell has a professional look and feel and came with a one piece built in camera; sound circuitry; and rechargeable battery. There was a metal mounting plate that must be used to securely attach the system to your wall. The mounting plate has screw terminals that you can connect your current doorbell power to. If you want to mount the plate where there is no power, that’s ok because the system has a built in rechargeable battery that will power it; more on that later.

     

    The chime is a simple one piece plastic box that plugs into any USA 120volt power plug. Setup on the chime must be done via the free phone apps mentioned above and below. There are no adjustment controls on the hardware.

     

    Software:

    Free Apps are available for IPhone and Android. The apps can be used to see battery condition, or hardwired in this case; match the doorbell and chime to your WI-FI; set the sensitivity; set motion alert zones; alert you to a doorbell ring or motion in the covered area; Allow you to talk and listen to guests at your door; *playback, share and download recordings of any alert; and something new that came out while testing -(Live View)- for hard wired installations. Per the company, Live View will be released for battery operated installations soon.

     

    Testing Results:.

     

    The test installation is hardwired, meaning we used the old doorbell power to run the new Ring doorbell. Our test results are based on this, so we can’t give you an estimate on how long the battery lasts in non-battery installations yet.

     

    Setup:

    was smooth, but we have a lot of experience setting systems up. But if you get stuck, Ring Support and video help is only a click away. After you download your app, Android or IPhone, you can add your device and name your doorbell location; set how sensitive the motion detection is; set active zones for motion detection; and more. You can also set up your chime location; match it to your doorbell; choose if the chime will ring on doorbell, motion detection , or both; and set the chime volume.

     

    Support:

    If you need help with installation, use your internet browser to go to ring.com . You can view video help on installation, contact support, and create an account. When you create an account, *you can use a windows PC to playback, download and share recordings from your doorbell.

     

    We only had to contact support one time via email and response was quick and solved my problem.

     

    The camera:

    has excellent color and quality. The wide-angle lens gives a fisheye effect and sees wall to wall.  The camera faces south from this test covered porch area and as a result there is some backlighting from the direct sun. However the camera does well and shuts down to concentrate on the correct lighting for a person at the door. At night when the lights go out, there is black and white infrared coverage and since we have other cameras with infrared  lights in the area, the system uses that light to enhance the view.

     

    The Sound:

    is great both ways, however be careful not to have your phone or other device too close to the doorbell while talking or you will get feedback. You can have the sound off, listen without talking, or have a conversation with whoever is at the door from anywhere in the country when you have at least two bars of 4g cell service.

     

    WI-FI:

    service with the doorbell and the chime depends on Wi-Fi speeds and connection strength. You should be as close to your Wi-Fi router or range extender as possible, because the stronger the signal, the better the service connection times. Ring activation notifications are via the internet and as with all motion detection recorders, there is a delay between live detection and recording. This may only be 4 seconds, but if you can get it lower, it could be the difference between seeing a face, or a back.

     

    *Recording:

    With the purchase of the Ring Doorbell we received a cloud recording thirty day free trial. Each recording we played back was over a minute long. After the trial the cost for cloud recording is $30.00 a year per device (In case you want two doorbells or other Ring hardware). Considering what is recorded and the space required on a hard drive, this is a bargain to me. The recordings are stored in the Ring Cloud for a long time, but they will eventually go away. Anything you want to permanently keep should be downloaded to your computer. And if you have a recording you no longer want you can delete it from the list with your app.

     

    To our eyes, we could not detect any difference to live view and recordings when played back. There is a recording timeout and it will stop recording a NON-answered activation after a minute or so. The only improvements we would want are for the system to continue recording until motion goes away and for the motion recording to start sooner.  As an example as a way to start recording sooner; police in car systems that record video have the ability to go back and record 30 seconds of video prior to the actual activation of the recorder. The is achieved by loop recording on the hardware, but this could add to the cost of the system.

     

    Live View: .

     

    The new Live View for hardwired installations is a big plus to the system. Live view allows you to manually open the camera with the same live view as if there is a ring or motion alert. You can keep it open and watch the area until you want to cancel it, or at least I didn’t keep it open long enough for anything to time out or stop working. These are recorded and can be played back, downloaded and shared

    Remote use of the software when there is no Wi-Fi:

    works well with our AT&T connection, as long as cell service has two strength bars of 4g. We used it a number of times while away and it was fun to catch sales people and guests at the door and talk with them without them knowing we weren’t at the home.

     

    The Chime:

    is separate piece of hardware that can be used to alert you that there is an alert or motion detection when your phone or other app is not available. Since my Ring Doorbell is hardwired to my old doorbell power wiring, it rings my old doorbell in the house when the button is pushed, but not motion detection. The chime also can be used to announce motion detection only in my case.

     

     

    Thoughts:

    are that this is a very worthwhile addition to any home or business security. Purchasing over the internet is on the rise and unless a signature is required for the shipment the delivery service will leave packages on the porch or other area near the door. So along with that the theft of packages from deliveries is also on the rise. According to the FBI Crime Clock there was a reported property crime every 3.8 seconds and a burglary every 18.2 seconds in the United States for 2014. This Ring Phone system is fast enough to alert you to a visitor or to confirm a theft while it is still in progress (a requirement for some agencies before they will respond to an alarm call). And a phone call to the police while watching the suspects can give the police a better chance of catching the suspect(s) before they get away. The Ring Doorbell gives more piece of mind and is a great addition to any security you may have.

    You can find our professional Surveillance systems to work along side the Ring Doorbell by clicking here.

     

    Click About Us for information about ForSecuritySake.

  • The Electronic Family Guard Dog

    ForSecuritySake Barking Dog Alarm With Dog brushed

    Updated 05-23-17

    I was watching a situation comedy the other night that reminded me of how violated people feel when they have been the victim of a home Burglary. I thought about the Electronic Family Guard Dog alarm and how thousands of people are using it now to protect their property.

    During the TV episode, the character’s apartment was burglarized. All his electronic equipment, compact music discs and movies were stolen. Not only did he loose his property, he felt much violated and even though he did not live alone, he developed a fear that he was no longer safe in his apartment.

    He added extra door locks and an elaborate alarm system, but when he began hearing noises, even the extra security didn't help him feel safe. He decided that the city he lived in was unsafe, so he decided to find a better place to live.

    He researched the entire United States and found a small town with the lowest crime rate. He packed up his belongings and traveled to the new town. When he arrived, he was greeted by a young man who offered to help him with his bags. When he gave the bags to the helpful young man, he ran away with his bags.

    This episode was fiction, but the point is that crime happens everywhere. You can’t move away from it.

    Many victims I have spoken with over my Law Enforcement career had one thing in common. They all felt violated because their castle, the one place they felt safe, had been broken into.

    The property was usually insured, but the suspects were never seen, so the victims now didn't know who to trust, or if the suspect(s) would come back for something missed.

    While people rarely move away because of a break in, they do take action and change locks, add security systems, and video cameras. This helps bring peace of mind, knowing you would be protected if there is another break in. But to ready, you need to be proactive and prepare for the probability that someday, your house will be chosen to see how easy it will be to break into.

    There are many ways to protect your property, but for the rest of this article, I want to talk about the one I mentioned above.

    The Electronic Family Guard Dog alarm takes Property Protection thinking a little out of the box. Most security systems sound an alarm after a break in has happened. What if your system could stop a Burglary before it happens?

    Having a large indoor family guard dog is a good deterrent for someone thinking about breaking into your house; the idea being that another house will be an easier target than yours. Think about the last time you walked up to a house and were met at the closed door by a large sounding barking dog? If you are like me, and most people, it makes you think that going into that house is not the best idea. But what if you can’t, don’t have the time, or desire to care for a live animal?

    The answer I found is the Electronic Barking Watch Dog Alarm. It gives you that large sounding barking dog without having to actually own a living animal to feed and clean up after.

    The expandable Homesafe SafeFamilyLife Electronic barking dog alarm uses a unique Microwave sensor technology that can see through wood, brick, glass, and most other walls and doors. The only thing I know of that it does not see through is metal.

    How it works:

    The main unit is placed in an area you want to protect. When motion is detected in the sensor area, the electronic family guard dog alarm will bark. If detection continues, the varied barking dog sounds will continue until motion is no longer detected.

    Up to 16 additional sensors can be placed in the area of, or on doors, windows, or walls to protect other areas of your home. These add on sensors can also help to get around metal that blocks microwave signals. Although these do not see through walls, if entry to the home is made, that large barking dog will sound from the other room.

    From outside the home, it sounds like there is a large barking dog inside the home; enough to make a would be intruder think twice.

    The included remote control can activate, disarm, or set off the barking dog alarm siren with a panic button.

    There are also settings to have the alarm chime or sound like a normal siren alarm.

    The Electronic barking dog alarm is proactive thinking for your personal and home’s protection.

    The Electronic Barking Family Watch Dog Alarm is powered by an included 12 volt adapter and has a battery backup (batteries not included)

    You can find out more about the HomeSafe Barking dog alarm at www.forsecuritysake.com and by clicking here to our sister site regarding the best barking dog alarms.

     

  • Prepare For Self Defense With Non Lethal Weapons

    I joined the Boy Scouts at the age of 10 and I first learned about the Scout motto Be Prepared at that time. At the age of 14 I switched to Police Cadet Explorer, which turned into a life long career. That motto has stuck with me throughout my life. I believe that it is a fact that between my Guardian angle and following that Scout motto, I have been saved from great bodily harm more than I care to talk with my family about.  

     

    A California police officer must prepare for self defense and carries a number of products on his body and duty belt that would rival some cartoon super heroes.

    A uniform tells his co workers who he is in a given situation.

    A bullet proof vest provides protection from gun shots and other weapons.

    At least one pair of handcuffs to keep suspects under control.

    Up to three or more non lethal weapons to help bring a suspect under control and to protect the officer when it is needed.

    These include:

    A can of Pepper spray

    A baton

    A Taser or stun gun

    A handgun with 12 to 18 rounds of preloaded ammunition, when lethal force is necessary

    Extra ammunition

    And fast becoming a needed product; some type of video device to record incidents with sound

     

    In addition to these always carried products, some special and dedicated officers have a trained  K9 or (Police Dog) to help find and disable suspects and to find evidence.  

    Police officers train all the time to use these products and K9s, so they will be ready when they are needed. (Notice that there is a when, not an if in the above sentence.)

     

    Today when you watch the news, or read the paper, you will notice that the number of police officers on the street have been cut by large amounts, due to the economy. The latest in my area is Isleton , California; because the city could not pay their State Comp insurance bill, the policy was canceled and the police department closed down. The already strapped Sacramento County Sheriff Department had to take over emergency calls, but the sheriff advised that his department would not take routine calls for service.

     

    Now that I am retired, I see the continued need to be prepared for myself. We still have law enforcement, but they will not be able to get to us as fast. Even when police departments have a full staff, the majority of police officers arrive at emergency calls for service after the incident is over.

     

    So we need to protect ourselves. I still prefer to prepare for self defense with a non lethal Pepper Spray and a Taser stun gun. Why not a handgun?

    A handgun carries with it a number of risks that you may not think of:

     

    First you must train and train often to be sure that you know how to use it, if it is ever needed.

    It must be cleaned and oiled often to keep it operational.

    And here are a few questions that you must ask:

    Is it legal for me to carry it?

    Do you know how to load it?

    Where is the safety?

    How do you aim it?

    What happens to the bullet if the gun is fired and the target is missed? For starters; It can go through a car door and out the second door and if fired inside the home, several walls and / or family members.

    On top of those, you have to ask yourself this important Question: Can my kids get to it. In most cases the answer to that question is yes.

    Do you think a handgun is safe under your pillow, or on the top shelf of a closet? Think again. Kids are smart and quick.

    A recent tragic incident in the Sacramento California area happened to a decorated Sheriff Deputy. He was in his garage cleaning his handgun(s). He finished and loaded one and placed it back on his cleaning table. He turned to get something and his five year old daughter quickly picked it up and shot herself by accident. She died almost instantly.

     

    Non Lethal weapons still need to be maintained and there are some restrictions you need to know about.

    Those with batteries need to be checked for power.

    Pepper Spray needs to be replaced after four years because of possible leaks and loss of propellant pressure.

    But when you prepare for self defense with non lethal weapons the chance for tragedies like the one above are nil. 

     

    Our mission at www.ForSecuritySake.com is to help you and your families live safer and more secure in your daily lives. Visit our site here for information on Stun Gun and Pepper Spray laws.  We try to keep this list updated, but to be sure you should check your local laws.

     

    For more information on why Non Lethal weapons are the best choice for you to prepare for Self Defense with non lethal weapons, read my blog post Non Lethal Weapons Are The Best Choice For Self Defense .

     

  • Alex Trebek Hotel Room Invasion & Anti Theft Tips

    By now you have probably seen or heard a news report about Alex Trebek's hotel room being burglarized in 2011 while he and his wife were asleep in the bedroom. But for those who have not; he awoke to find  a woman in his hotel room stealing items from him.  Mr. Trebek chased the woman and in the process his Achilles tendon ruptured. The woman was captured shortly after the theft and most of the property was returned.

    This type of invasion Burglary happens often and if it can happen in a 5 star San Francisco Hotel Suite, it can happen anywhere. Here are some tips and products to help keep this from happening to you.

    When you are in a hotel room, people enter that room. It may be the maid cleaning, the staff restocking the bar, managers checking on quality. How often do you see a hotel room door standing open while the maid is cleaning a bathroom? It only takes a few seconds for a thief to step in and take visible valuables.

    Place all valuables in the hotel safe, either at the front desk or in the room safe. For times when no safe is available, use a diversion safe like a book safe. The book Safe is a real book with a compartment carved into the middle.

    There are a number of inexpensive and easy to carry products that will alarm or block an intruder from entering your room, even if they have a key. A few of them are reviewed below.

    The Door Stop Alarm is a product that can be placed at the bottom of the door. If the door is opened, the door is stopped from opening and a loud alarm sounds. Most of these alarms also have a movement sensor that sounds if the alarm is moved while it is turned on. If you want to stop staff from walking in on you silently, the alarm function can be turned off.

    The 130 db Personal Alarm with Door Alarm  is as loud as eight 100- decibel alarms. The door accessory of this alarm has a clip that is placed between the door and the door frame. The alarm box hangs on the door knob. If the protected door is opened, the clip falls away and activates the alarm.

    The Travel Guard Mini Travel Alarm with PIR Sensor is a Personal Alarm and can protect an area of a room by sensing motion with Passive Infrared (PIR) SENSOR that detects movement up to nine feet away.  When triggered, it emits a loud 15 second, 100dB blast making an impending criminal cower and run. Just slide the cover down exposing the infrared sensor and the off/auto switch. Turn the switch to auto, and the sensor will start detecting motion in 60 seconds.

    For more information on these products and more you can find them at our website page Personal Alarms.

    Have great fun and safe travels!

     

     

  • HandCuffs Often Overlooked for Self Defense

    HandcuffsSecurity guards, police officers, and other law enforcement individuals wouldn't be caught on duty without a good set of Handcuffs. I carried two sets and occasionally I needed to borrow additional sets at crime scenes.  But what about off duty or at home?

     

    The reasons we carry handcuffs are to:

    Restrain by tightening the wrists together, so hands and arms cannot be used, while not harming the suspect.

    Increase our safety from attack by the suspect.

    Reduce the chance of escape of the suspect.

    But what about off duty and at home.

    We all carry Self Defense weapons and we should be carrying handcuffs anywhere we go.  If we run into a situation where we need our weapons, we will also need a way to restrain a suspect while waiting for help.

    Citizens also carry Self defense products. Some have permits for lethal weapons, but the most carry non-lethal products, like pepper spray, stun guns or Tasers. Should citizens have handcuffs available?

    While it is usually best practice to get away from an assailant or would be robber to get help, there are times when handcuffs will be needed.

    As an example; you catch a burglar in your home and you are threatened by him.  After you use a self defense weapon, you have help to hold the suspect down. Handcuffs would restrain him/her until the police could arrive.

    Handcuff tips:

    Choose made from materials such as stainless steel, aluminum or carbon steel. There also types that are usually nickel coated/plated, which should afford you a few years of good use before the plating starts to chip.

    Make sure that they can be double locked. A double lock handcuff is placed onto a person, tightened and then a button is depressed with the cuff key. This locks the cuff so it cannot be tightened further, loosened, or easily picked.

    If you need to use handcuffs, place them on the wrists of the suspect with arms behind him. (Arms in front can be used for a choking weapon, or allow easy reach of a weapon hidden on the person.) Tighten the cuffs so that the suspect cannot get out of them without using a key. Depress the double lock button with the cuff key and watch the suspect constantly until the police arrive.

    You may have heard of thumbcuffs and legcuffs:

    Thumbcuffs are used on the thumbs instead of the wrists. They are small, easy to carry, and can be used to restrain a suspect as described above. They are easier for a suspect to get out of and if they are used, be diligent in watching the suspect until police arrive.

    Legcuffs are usually used to restrain the legs so that a suspect can walk with short steps, but would be unable to run with any speed. We used these when we had an unusually strong or violent custody.  You will also see these used when defendants are brought into court. They are a good supplement to handcuffs, but I would not use them as a replacement.

    Be safe out there and remember that lives are precious; protect them.

     

     

     

     

  • Anti Theft Tips And Devices For A Cat Burglar Scam Coming To Your Area

    A Cat Burglar will not always hit at night and will not always look like a crook.

    Reports of a  Burglary Scam have been coming into police agencies all the way from the east coast to the west coast of the United States. These scam artists could come to your area soon.

    The scam is targeting older people and vary some depending on the circumstances. The scammers desired result is to get into the victim's home undetected and steal items easy to see and take.

    On one local case; two men (our suspects) exited a work truck and walked up to an older male ( our victim) working in his yard. They told the man they worked for the city and there was a problem with water pipes in the area. They said that they needed to check the pipes in his back yard and see if they could locate the problem.

    All three walked into the backyard and at some point were joined by the victim's wife.

    While discussing the (Fake) pipe problem, our Cat Burglar (one of the suspects) entered the house of the victim. While there, the crook took valuables from around the house.

    There are different versions of this going around and could be a criminal gang scam.

    So far up to four suspects drive around in a work truck until they see someone they choose as their victim. The victim could be working in their yard, or in their home. The suspects will contact the victim and pose as city, or utility company workers. They tell the victim that there is a cable, water pipe, or sewer problem and that they need to see connections in your home or back yard. (From here on we will call the victim "you".  While talking to you, other members of the group will search your home for items to steal.

    Some of these scammers flash badges and show paperwork. They will be very good at talking their talk and maneuvering their way into your home..

    Here are some anti theft tips to help with any type of scam artist that may come to your door:

    Don't let any stranger into your home for any reason without a prior appointment. Always keep your door locked and talk to strangers through the door without opening it. (Remember chains will not keep a suspect from kicking in a door).

    Tell them you are going to confirm with the city, or company they claim to be from, and keep the door locked. Use your phone book; do not call a number supplied by the stranger. If it is the real thing they won't have a problem with this. If they leave call the police (911) and report it. The police dispatcher will get the patrol units on their way and will ask some questions that will help officers as they respond.

    If you have contacted a company to come out to your home, confirm with the company who will be coming out to meet with you. Ask what they will be wearing, what their work vehicle looks like and their name. Some companies will even send you an email with a photo of the person that will contact you. Some other companies post a picture of their employees on their website.

    If you are talked into going outside, lock your door behind you. Even if the contact is legitimate, others watching for an opportunity to go into your home while your are distracted will take it.

    Buy diversion safes so you can hide valuables in plain sight. Diversion safes, also referred to as concealment devices are anti theft products made of, or made to look like common household items for the purpose of concealing valuables.  We have have a number of these here on our website.

    If the suspects force their way into your home to take money or property, co-operate by not fighting with them. Study what the suspects look like, weapons, clothing, etc. Don't offer information they don't ask for and as soon as they leave call 911. While waiting for the police, write down as much information as you can about how the suspect(s) looked, clothing, hair, hats, and the make and model of their vehicle.

    When officers arrive, answer their questions and show them where the suspects touched things, spit, cut themselves, or discarded property they brought with them.

    Remember to be safe out there.

  • West Tennessee Home Invasion Kidnapping Updated

    Home Invasion Victim Holly-Bobo Home Invasion Victim Holly-Bobo

    * Updated 04-19-2011

    ** Updated 09-15-2014

    According to Nashville's CBS-TV affiliate WTVF NewsChannel5, the cousin of  country singer Whitney Duncan, was dragged from a carport, in what appeared to be a home invasion. It happened around 7:30 am, on Wednesday (April 13).

    The victim's brother witnessed a man dressed in camouflage, drag victim Holly Bobo from a carport to a wooded area near by.

    Holly was preparing to leave from her home in Darden, Tennessee, for a nursing class at the University of Tennessee Martin.

    Last night, Whitney made requests for prayers for Holly's safety on her Facebook page and Twitter account. There are so many posts, that friends have requested that posts be limited and not about faults of the media and people involved.

    Holly is 20 years old, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt and light blue jeans.

    * The look for Holly is still ongoing and other than her lunchbox, investigators are not releasing much information about evidence located in the woods. Reports of blood stains located in the carport are being tested and nobody has been eliminated as a suspect.  A reward for Holly has reached $75,000.

    Investigators have asked, if you see Holly or anything suspicious to contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

     

    ** On September 8th, 2014, investigators confirmed that a Human skull located by two men near the last known home of Holly Bobo, was identified as her.  The remains were found Decatur County town of Parsons, Tennessee.

    Jason Autry has been arrested for Kidnapping and Murder.

    Two Brothers; Mark Pearcy and Jeffrey Kurt Pearcy have been arrested for tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact.

    All three arrestees have pled not guilty for the alleged crimes.

    See more here.

     

     

  • Home Invasion Anti Theft Tips

    ForSecuritySake.comNo matter where you live, how old you are, or how much wealth you have, there are people out there that want to rip you off. As baby boomers retire at younger ages each year, the chance of being at home when a criminal decides to strike are higher then ever before.

    Our last article covered Anti Theft Tips regarding the Cat Burglar. This article will go one step further and cover Home Invasion. Home Invasion is different from Burglary.

    The Cat Burglar wants to get into your home, commit a theft, and leave without being detected. In California, a Burglary is the intent to enter a building or locked car to commit a theft or any other felony.

    Home Invasion Suspect(s) barge in, and commit a Robbery. They are normally armed and may separate occupants of the home while looking for property to take.  In California, a Robbery is the taking of property by force or fear.

    It is usually best if armed suspects are in your home to let them take your property. Your life is at stake and property can be replaced.

    So what can you do to protect yourself from Home Invasion Robbery? Here are some tips:

    Follow tips in our prior article about Cat Burglary Anti Theft Tips.

    Don't brag about property or vacation plans on social networking sites like, FaceBook or Twitter.

    Consider purchasing Diversion Safes to protect small valuables.

    Have a home alarm with dialer and panic button. Although you probably will not be allowed to call the police directly with these, you can pre program a range of numbers for the alarm to call. The person called can listen in through the hard wired phone line and call police.

    Develop a plan and discuss it with Family Members:

    Keep your doors Dead Bolt locked at all times. Never blindly open a door when you hear a knock or door bell. Use the peephole or window and remember even a person you know can be an attacker. Criminal street gang memberships are on the rise. I have seen members 12 years old and younger, so be aware of kids you don't know at your door also. Talk to the person through the door, or install an intercom system. Only open the door if you are sure it is safe.

    Don't open the door for salesmen or people holding a clipboard. This is a common way to gain your trust.

    Chain locks will NOT keep an attacker from pushing open the door. Try to have sold entry doors with a dead bolt.

    Have a code word, like ESCAPE, and have a pre-planned safe place to go. Have a set up safe room and include a close neighbor in on the plan. Use the neighbors home in case family members can not get to the safe room.

    In the case of a pre-planed safe room:

    There are professional rooms that can be built or you can set one up on your own.

    At least have a sold core or steel door with a dead bolt into a sold door frame. Include a peep hole, or camera that can be viewed from the Safe Room.

    Try to choose a room with no windows or hard to get into windows. (Remember barred windows can be hard to get out of in case of fire. If you choose bars, have the type that can be opened from the inside and test them often. Paint and rust can make openable window bars unusable)

    Try to have a hard wired phone, cell phone, and a computer with communication abilities in the room. You have to be able to call for help. (If you have an alarm with phone dialer, it will tie up the hard line phone when activated by the panic button.)

    Have emergency supplies for water, food, and first aid.

    Consider Self Defense:

    Have Self Defense weapons locked up and available in the safe room. I prefer non-Lethal types, like Pepper Spray, Stun Gun, or Taser over firearms. (You never really know who is coming down the hallway during the excitement. You don't want to kill a police officer, rescuer, or even a family member with a stray bullet).

    If you need to use the safe room:

    Call the police and stay in the room until the police tell you to come out. The dispatcher will ask for as much information as possible to help responding officers. Try to be calm and don't get discouraged. The police will be on their way while you are on the phone. If possible, many dispatchers will stay on the phone with you until the police arrive. You can confirm police presence through the dispatch center via phone call.

    We want you to be safe out there.

    Zeb Hammonds spent forty years in Law Enforcement that included Crime Scene Investigation, Photography and Videography. He served 30 years full time as a Patrol Officer, Detective, and Street Sergeant. In the last 6 years of full time service he was also in charge of Technology Development within the Manteca, Police Department in California. Many of his stories are from personal experience. www.ForSecuritySake.com is a way to share these stories and to provide products that can help people be more secure and safer in their daily lives.

  • Cat Burglary Anti Theft Tips

    The Cat Burglar Used with Permission by Will Bullas The Cat Burglar Used with Permission by Will Bullas

    Updated 05-23-2016

    A prior article explained the real dangers of the  Cat Burglar. This article will touch on one of the many ongoing cases and more tips to help keep the Cat Burglar out of your home.

    Although this Cat Burglar was around in 2011, these type of crimes continue all over our country today.

    This case started on February 2nd, 2011, when reports started coming in about a Cat Burglar entering apartments in Davis, California. Since then, he had entered five different apartments while the victims were sleeping. His last reported victim woke up and watched him run out the front door of the apartment. He was described as thin and wearing dark clothing. He kept his arms free by using a Forehead type flashlight. There is little more information, because other than this one victim, the Cat Burglar has completed his crime without waking occupants and no other witnesses have come forward.

    Davis has a large number of college students from U.C. Davis and  it is not unusual to see students out at night. This case will probably continue until the Cat Burglar is either captured, arrested for an unrelated crime, or moves to a different community.

    Help keep the criminal out of your home by following these Cat Burglar anti theft tips:

    Remove plants and objects that someone can use for cover and be hidden from the street. These give a burglar extra time while working to enter your home.

    It is as important to keep your doors locked when you are home, as it is when you are away. Even if you are outside and close to the door, it only takes a few seconds for a Cat Burglar to sneak in.

    If you have windows open for fresh air, only have them open a few inches and install hardware to insure they can't be opened further. You often see pictures of burglars with a crow bar, because older sliding windows and doors are designed to be lifted out of the track if unlocked.

    If you have children on the ground floor, I don't recommend having their windows open or unlocked at all. (I also do NOT recommend window bars because of how hard it is to get out in the case of fire). Consider Baby monitors as a way to alert you to sudden noise in their rooms.

    Do not leave ladders out in the back yard. These can be used to access the second story of a house.

    Add  glass breakage, perimeter, and movement sensors to your home alarm system plan.

    Close open blinds, or drapes at night, because Cat Burglars like to watch their victims. Be aware that at night, when lights are on inside, anyone can see into your home as if they were watching TV.

    If you live alone, make it appear that you don't:

    Talk out loud as if you have a room mate. Make cell phone calls, instead of texting.

    Leave a talk radio station on in a back room with a light on a random timer.

    Before leaving your home, turn on your porch light and check your door peep hole to see if anyone is waiting outside.  A Cat Burglar can turn into an assailant in a moments notice. It doesn't have to be a stranger to be dangerous. A large percentage of sexual assault suspects are someone the victim knew.

    Think about locations you can hide Pepper Spray, Sun Guns, and Tasers. Keep them a secret and practice how to use them in an emergency.

    Live your life as you wish, but by being prepared will help ensure your security and safety.

    Zeb Hammonds spent forty years in Law Enforcement that included Crime Scene Investigation, Photography and Videography. He served 30 years full time as a Patrol Officer, Detective, and Street Sergeant. In the last 6 years of full time service he was also in charge of Technology Development within the Manteca, Police Department in California. Many of his stories are from personal experience. www.ForSecuritySake.com is a way to share these stories and to provide products that can help people be more secure and safer in their daily lives.

  • The Cat Burglar

    The Cat Burglar Used with Permission by Will Bullas The Cat Burglar Used with Permission by Will Bullas

    In the springtime, we finally get to leave the cabin fever behind and get out to enjoy the warmth. We get to open the windows, let in the fresh air, and allow the smell of fresh flowers to come into the home to brighten our day.

    This is also the time of the year to consider non-lethal self defense and alarm products for your home and family protection. The burglar is out more often when it is warm and may find the good weather a reason to invite themselves into your home. I would choose non-leathal products, because when accidental or mistaken identity shootings happen, they are not deadly mistakes as with many firearm incidents.   Non-lethal weapons, like the Taser®, have better stopping power, than a 9mm handgun and are safer around children.

    There is a photo of great art - The Cat Burglar by Will Bullas- at the top of the article.  I chose it because, to me, there is a rough watch out for me look in the eyes.  Study this cool cat, but remember there are real people Cat Burglars out there waiting to rip you off.

    If you find anything serious about Cat Burglars on the web, you will learn that they specialize at being stealthy like a cat. In many cases it is much more than that; the Cat Burglar looks for easy ways to get into your home ( I have some of those ways listed here), but he/she also gets a thrill from getting away with crime when the victim home has people around. It doesn't matter if you are in the back yard pool; sleeping; working on a car in the garage; mowing your lawn; washing your outside windows; warming up your car, or any activity that has you in another area of the home.

    Cat Burglars that come in at night sometimes like to sneak into your bedroom, watch you sleep, and take easy to pick items. They like money from a wallet, jewelry, or change left out. Items you may not miss right away, but if you do, you may just think you spent it or misplaced it. This type of burglar may come back and do it again.

    Two Cat Burglar cases that easily come to my mind continued victimizing people until caught.  One took a team of police officers to set up and catch him in the area with property in his pocket.  I was able to close twenty reported cases he did in just one year. While he was in prison, his son took over the family business and continued with a similar method of operation as his father did.

    They are dangerous and there are three types of Cat Burglar that I am sure you have heard of; he/she takes children or assaults adults and those Cat Burglars are called Kidnappers, Rapists, and Murderers.

    Protect yourself and your family with anti theft ideas from the Cat Burglar:

    Keep a key with you while you are at home and always have the doors locked, even if you are right there. It only takes a second to enter and grab.

    Protect yourself and family by having a noisy dog, installing motion sensor alarms, and lights.  They can be simple and do not have to be expensive. Learn more.

    Keep a Taser®, Stun Gun, and/or Pepper spray handy for home self defense.

    Think of Neighborhood Watch. Your local police agency has the most up to date information on how to set one up.

    You can't say it won't happen to me and you can't stop living just because there is danger. But you can be smart, prepared, and protect yourself and your family.

    Be safe out there!

    Zeb Hammonds spent forty years in Law Enforcement that included Crime Scene Investigation, Photography and Videography. He served 30 years full time as a Patrol Officer, Detective, and Street Sergeant. In the last 6 years of full time service he was also in charge of Technology Development within the Manteca, Police Department in California. Many of his stories are from personal experience. www.ForSecuritySake.com is a way to share these stories and to provide products that can help people be more secure and safer in their daily lives.

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