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For Security Sake

  • Hidden Camera LED Security Light with DVR

    While working in law enforcement and consulting, I have viewed hundreds of hours of video from surveillance security systems.  The idea of  having these systems is to record video to help identify a suspect, vehicle, or other evidence that was in or removed from the crime scene. These systems all work to some extent, but many of them have issues with equipment or setup.

    The largest problems are quality of the picture, placement of cameras, and lighting.

    Low cost surveillance systems usually have low resolution cameras that output low quality video. Crime television productions today show crime scene investigators using software to enhance pixelated or snowy video resulting in perfect pictures. That is pure fiction. You can't add something that is not there. To get quality video you need to use the highest resolution camera and lens that you can afford.

    Wireless systems are easier to install, however keep in mind that even the best wireless transmitter can have interference and leave you with less then quality video.  When using them, stay as close to the receiver as possible.  There are systems that offer a combination of wired and wireless camera options.

    Most people place their cameras high, out of arms reach, so the camera isn't stolen or vandalized.  The result is poorer quality video that is harder to use for identification. Cameras need to be placed as close as possible to the object being captured with the best light source as possible.  It is hard to make an identification of a suspect when the camera is 20 feet from where the suspect is standing and with the sunlight behind him. It is even harder to read a license plate of a car from a fixed lens camera 20 feet above a car.

    Even though it is possible to enhance dark pictures to a point, unlike TV shows, you can't bend the angle and read the plate if the image is not there. In low light areas, night cameras systems have infrared LEDs for light source.  Although invisible to the human eye, the more infrared LEDs, the more infrared light for better quality video from the camera. 

    To enhance a surveillance video system, or for stand alone use in outdoor situations, a motion sensor hidden Camera LED Security light with DVR is a good choice. It is an answer to getting better video to help make  identification easier. While it looks like a normal LED security light with motion sensor, a hidden camera records AVI video to a DVR.  Normal street value is  under $200.00 for this all inclusive unit. The included DVR records on a SD card that can be removed and viewed on a computer. No external recording device is needed.

    As an example: This weatherproof 88 LED Spot Light Color Hidden Camera with   built-in DVR   is perfect for outdoor applications. It uses a 2.0 mega pixel color digital camera to capture time and date stamped video.

     When motion is detected at night the powerful 88 LED spotlight automatically turns on. In many cases, a suspect will look directly at the unit when the light comes on and will have his face captured in the 10 second AVI video shot captured from the built in camera. Each trigger of the unit motion sensor results in another date and time stamped 10 second AVI recording. The Camera DVR has a slot for an external micro SD card up to 32 GB (not included). With an 8GB micro SD card (included) it will hold roughly 5 hours of video footage. The captured video can be transfered to a computer storage device, or when the SD card is full, the unit will record over previous recordings.

    AVI video is not compressed, so the video is the highest quality possible from the camera. When recorded to a  AVI digital video recorder (DVR) there is no loss of video quality.

    Other hidden cameras are available with and without DVRs that can be used in areas closer to eye level to identify suspects and vehicles.

    When searching for a video system, keep in mind that hidden cameras can enhance your system dramatically.

  • Pepper Spray is Legal in California

    In The United States, Pepper Spray has been chosen by almost all police agencies and security companies as an effective non-leathal weapon. It is used often to break up fights and to help protect officers from assault and suspects from lasting injury or death. 

    Many people want to and should carry pepper spray because it can help save them from injury and death during any kind of an assault, including sexual assault. Because it is non lethal, they know they will be less hesitatant to use it.  But is it legal in California?

    The California Penal Code defines OC and Pepper Spray as Tear Gas.  Anyone may purchase aerosol pepper spray in California up to 2.5 oz. Aerosol means it has to be in spray form. You can't shoot canisters, throw grenades, or spray large canisters of Tear Gas like you see police use to disperse crowds and evacuate barricaded suspects.

    There are some California restrictions to Pepper Spray as follows:

    If you have been convicted of a Felony, Assault, or misuse of  tear gas in any state, you cannot purchase or possess it.

    Minors cannot purchase or possess it. In California, your are an adult at age 18.

    No person shall furnish Pepper Spray to a minor.

    You cannot possess it if you are addicted to any narcotic drug.

    These weapons must be used solely for self-defense purposes.

    It is legal to carry Pepper Spray in California, as long as the net weight is 2.5 oz or less and is an aerosol form. It has been proven as an inexpensive and  effective defensive weapon and is easy to carry, conceal, and use.

    When will you purchase yours for security sake. 

    NOTE: Pepper Spray is legal in all 50 states, however a number of cities and other states have restrictions on sizes, strengths, etc.. If you have a question, it is wise to check with your local city or state attorneys office. Defense sprays can only be purchased by those 18 years of age or older in California.

  • Buy Gel Pepper Spray For Personal Protection

     Like many of you, I watched and read the news about the tragedy that unfolded at a Town Hall type meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, at a Safeway store parking lot in Arizona. 21 year old Jared Loughner was among a crowd of people and allegedly opened up with a Glock 9mm handgun with a 30 round clip. Reports are that he randomly chose victims and the result was between 18 and 20 people wounded.

     Six people were killed, including a 9 year old girl, who was at the store parking lot to meet her representative- Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

     I was surprised that that there was little or no real personal security protection for Giffords at the event. Apparently neither Giffords nor her staff carried any type of personal protection for security sake.

     There is a lot of history regarding violence toward elected officials. Even Congresswoman Giffords expressed concern to her husband  that this very type of incident could happen. Then why no security? 

     Witnesses and surviving victims to this tragedy seamed to have one thing in common: They felt helpless when the shots were fired and the only thing they could do is duck down with the hope that he wouldn’t shoot them.

    There was one exception interview of a witness that could have made the situation worse. The witness said he came walking up, realized what was happening, and began to pull out his own handgun. He decided against taking action because the suspect had already been forced down to the ground. What if he had arrived earlier and had pulled his gun to shoot at suspect- Jared Loughner?

    More people could have been injured because of stray bullets and depending on the ammunition type used, even accurate shots could have traveled through several people before the bullet energy was expended.

    What about non-lethal products such as gel pepper spray? In this case the meeting was in a public parking lot. If anyone standing within eight feet of Jared Loughner had carried gel pepper spray for personal protection, they could have sprayed him in the face. Gel pepper spray would have left him temporarily blind, immobile, in pain, and covered in dye for easy identification. This could have resulted in a lesser number of killed and/or wounded.

    Instead Jared Loughner was able to empty a 30 round clip of amunition. It was then that several heroic people reportedly took Loughner to the ground before he could reload.

    Of course these observations are reactive to an incident that has already happened, but what is wrong with being proactive?

    As a result of this incident, other people in politics have vowed to carry firearms to similar Town Hall type events. In my opinion this won’t help in any way. It takes about 2 seconds to react to an incident. Who is usually the first target? The politician.

    For security sake, trained protection security should be at these events and only they should carry firearms. They will have practice and know how to react in any given situation.

    I don’t understand why there isn’t adequate security at these events, but if trained government agents, or security is not going to be used in a given event, why not issue gel pepper spray to trained staff. It could save injuries and lives.  

    The general public may be restricted from carrying certain protection to meetings with government officials, but gun incidents where people are shot and killed happen every day. It just doesn’t happen to politicians often, so normally only local media  covers these events. Gel pepper spray for personal protection could save you from harm and might even save your life. When are you going buy yours for security sake?

  • Home Invasion Leaves You Feeling Violated

    Last week, a husband and wife team that have been volunteers for the Manteca Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police unit for almost a decade, returned home from an outing to realize that they were victims of a burglary. Some of their valuables had been dumped on a front room chair and as that was sinking into their minds, they  heard a noise coming from a bedroom.

    While investigating the noise, they surprised a burglar rummaging through an overturned jewelry box. The thief, estimated to be 16 to 20 years old, fled out a bedroom door with the victims in pursuit. The suspect got away through a back alley with some of the victim’s valuables wrapped up in some type of black cloth.

     Included in those valuables was a Black Hills Gold Ring that the husband had given his wife when they were teenagers.

    A search of the area by police and neighbors found no trace of the burglar that had been wearing a hoodie covering his head. The couple felt that if they had been a little quicker, they would have been able to tackle the suspect, but instead now feel very violated from the home invasion in the place they felt safe and secure for 35 years.

    This case sounds similar to home invasion and burglaries I worked as a detective in the 1980’s. Victims felt the loss of irreplaceable valuables and the fact that the one place you feel safe and relaxed in has been taken away from you. Victims said that they couldn’t sleep and jumped at every noise; some had to move away.

    To help keep burglary and home invasion from happening to you there are a few things to consider:

    Make your home look like it will be hard to get into without being noticed. Cut down shrubs that can hide a burglar from view while he/she breaks a window or door. If there are easier pickings somewhere else, that is where the burglar is likely to go.

    Don’t leave any windows, garage or doggy doors open. Two of the most common entry points for a burglar are open garage doors and small rear bathroom windows.  

    Install an alarm system. If you don’t want to pay for monitoring, there are inexpensive models with auto dialers. When a detector is tripped, these will dial a set of preprogrammed phone numbers and alert the call receiver that there is an alarm. Some models allow the room to be monitored for sound and talk through the dialer into the room.

    Join, or set up a neighborhood watch. Your neighbors can be your best eyes and ears. Most police agencies have information on this program and will help set them up.

    Notice what is going on in your neighborhood. Are there cars that don’t belong, door to door salesmen walking around, a gut feeling that something is not right? Jot down information like license numbers, descriptions of people, and the date and time.

    Going on vacation? Make your house look lived in. Use light timers at night, have mail and news papers stopped or picked up daily by a neighbor or family member.

    Install video surveillance systems or hidden cameras with digital video recorders (DVR). There are a number of diferent types that range from under $200.00 to several thousand for complete systems that can be accessed from the internet.

    Don’t allow any uninvited person to enter your house to use the phone, bathroom, or any other excuse. Some can turn into home invasion robberies or a return to your home for a burglary at a later time. Remember just because the doorbell rings, does not mean you need to open the door. You can say no thank you through the closed door to let them know your home and prepared.

    Hide valuables in a diversion safe. These normal looking household items are hollowed out for you to store money, Jewelry and other small posessions.  

    These are a some of the main things that can be done for securitry sake to help you keep from becoming a victim of home invasion and burglary.  As you can see in the above true story, it can happen to anyone.

  • Airsofts Are Realistic

    Airsofts, or Airsoft Guns are styled after some of the world's most famous firearms. These Air Powered guns are true to scale and easy to operate. They shoot plastic BBs at velocities between 100 and 600 feet per second, using compressed gas or spring driven air. They are great fun and are growing in popularity.

    Airsoft also refers to a sport where the Airsofts are used in competitive games. Police Training, target shooting, and simulations are some common uses. They are considered safe when used in a controlled environment and with safety equipment like protective eye-wear.

    Last year, I watched several campers put on a Airsoft target shooting competition for their kids. It was fun to watch and when the kids were done, the parents took over. They were having so much fun, when they ran out of plastic BBs, they policed them all (Cleaned them up) and reused them.

    But please use them with caution. Airsofts look real and they can be viewed as real.

    Last week three teenagers from Stockton, California began walking their neighborhood with Airsofts out in the open. A few of the neighbors mistook the guns to be real and called the police.

    There is a large gang problem in Stockton and most are teenagers, so it was no surprise that the police responded quickly and with back up. When they arrived on scene they found two teenagers pointing their Airsoft guns at a house. They were in the process of talking these teenagers into dropping their guns when a third teenager stormed from the house with an Airsoft gun in each hand.

    Lucky for the teenager, he immediately saw the police and dropped the Airsofts from his hands when they commanded him to.

    Neighbor witnesses to the incident noted that this could have been a tragedy, if not for the professionalism of the police and the quick compliance of the teenagers.

    Please have fun with your Airsofts, but remember to be safe out there!

  • Home Alarm Systems Are They Still Worth it?

    in 1968 when I started in police work, all alarms, including homes, came directly into the police department. Dispatchers were required to silence the alarm in the dispatch center, look up responsible owners, call those owners, and dispatch police units to the calls. Police officers dispatched, would wait for an owner and search the home before leaving the scene.

    Over time this was no longer an effective use of dispatcher time and alarms were  not allowed to go directly to the police department.  Instead if customers wanted the police to be notified when their alarm was triggered, they were required to go through private security company monitors, who then called the police department. Police officers responding would still wait for an owner, or responsible person to arrive before they left the scene.

    Those home owners that chose un-monitored alarms would rely on the noise scaring away burglars when alarms went off. The alarm would then reset after a set amount of time.  Those rang again if the sensor causing the trigger was still activated, causing fed up neighbors to call the police when they got tired ringing or siren.

    As populations grew and there were more alarms out there, the number of false alarms increased. Police Agencies began to charge false alarm fees, which caused private security monitors to call the residence for confirmation. If there was no answer, or a person answered the phone without the correct code, the police department would be called. Responding officers checked for evidence of break-in or checked the identity of persons present before leaving to other calls.

    Today, because of budget cuts, many police departments will not respond to burglar alarms, unless there is some type of confirmation that the call for service  is not a false alarm.

    Alarm Monitor companies still call the alarm residence or the cell phone of the person responsible for the property.  If there is an answer and the person answering the phone does not have the alarm code, the police will be called. If there is no answer, the companies will still call the police to show they did their job. Will the police respond? It will depend on the call information and the policy of the police department,

    Some companies can monitor sound in the residence if an alarm is tripped. They can tell there is a problem, by listening in, and they can forward updated information to the police while they are responding. These companies will continue to monitor sound until the property is secured by the police department.

    The problem I see happening, is that even if the police respond, the time between the alarm sounding and the police being notified is growing. It can take minutes to confirm an alarm, causing a long delay for police response.

     As an example: I arrived one time to a burglary call within 30 seconds of being dispatched. I soon realized the call took a while to be forwarded to me.  The front door of the property had been smashed in, a number of video recorders and televisions had been taken, and the crooks were nowhere to be seen. 

    So is it still worth having an alarm system installed in your home?

    I believe that they are worth the cost and you don't necessarily need to pay a monthly fee for it. There are inexpensive systems out there now, like the HomeSafe® Wireless Home Security System that include phone dialers. And with use of cell phones, it just may be the way to go, because your alarm system can now call you.

    HOW IT WORKS:

     When the door/window sensor or motion detector is triggered, the system sounds an alarm and sends a signal to the base unit.  The base unit dials the first telephone number of your programmed list.  The person answering the call will hear a prerecorded alert message and they will have the option to listen in on the room, broadcast their voice through the base unit, or disarm the system.  If there is no answer, or if the person doesn’t disarm the system, it will dial the next number on your programmed list.

    Most police departments still don't allow phone dialer calls to go directly to them,  but the neat thing about this is that you can have the system call your cell phone, a trusted neighbor, or up to 5 total phone numbers.

    In the case of a neighbor; they could listen in or even look out their window at your home.  They might even be able to get a license plate number for the police. That information would alert the officer to look for the suspect vehicle as he/she responds.

    In the case of system calling your cell phone; in addition to illegal entry protection, you could have a live in mother, or teenager living at home and alone if your not there. The included panic button remote control has the ability to be attached to a keyring or lanyard necklace.  If family at home needs help from a fall or other emergency, the panic button can be pressed to sound the alarm and start the phone dialer. When activated you could be the first number dialed. You could listen in and even broadcast your voice into the room where the keypad is located. If needed you could call for emergency assistance and have them en-route as fast as possible.

    You can have greater piece of mind knowing that your family and propertry is protected!

    Be safe and secure out there, because there are people waiting to rip you off, or even attack you. We at www.ForSecuritySake.com dedicate this site to helping you protect yourself, your family and property from these people.

  • Happy New Year Party Safety Tips

    Welcome to the party day of the new year. We would like to offer you the following tips to help keep you safe and happy beyond the party.

    Usually when you talk about party tips, the first thing that comes to mind is drunk driving. I would like to remind you of that and as you read on, a second sometimes overlooked party safety subject.

    The message is simple really. Don't drink and drive and don't ride with a driver that has been drinking.

    Be sure to go to parties with friends you trust. Remember to choose who is going to be the designated driver before you leave for the party.   

                                                                                                              
    At times the person that says he/she will be the designated driver will drink too much. Remember a person does not necessarily look drunk when impaired. Don't let them talk you into leaving with them if you suspect the slightest buzz.             
     
    It is usually presumed that your body can metabolize, at most, an ounce of alcohol an hour, but your impairment can depend on your size and other factors, such as prescription drugs.   
               
    If you miss, or decline your ride home, there are service clubs or bars that offer free rides. In my area it is sometimes a tow truck company, but this year it is offered by one of our local funeral homes. Would you rather arrive home alive, or have them handle a  funeral because of an alcohol related crash?
     
    If the party is at your house, you are responsible for your guests.  Have space setup for overnighters. Collect keys at the beginning of the party and do not give them back if impairment is suspected.
      
    Personal safety is sometimes overlooked at parties. This is a higher date rape and assault time; another reason to go to parties with trusted friends.
     
    Friends can watch over each other and their drinks. Never accept an open drink from a stranger. Try not to leave an open drink out of your sight when it is easy for something to be added to it.
         
    Never leave a party alone with someone you don't know, because the chance of assault is high. If you have to walk somewhere away from your friends, carry pepper spray in your hand and know how to use it. We have models that look like lipstick and one that is contained in a ring, so no one will know you have it in your hand.                   
      
    You have probably heard that life imitates one thing or another, or the opposite.  Think about the current television shows and movies. Many episode plots are taken from real life. And you can be sure that if it is on television or the movies, it will happen in real life, because someone will see if it can be done better.
       
     Be careful and arrive safe and well at home.
     
    It is to your great advantage to protect yourself, your friends, and your property. We at ZebPet Enterprise's www.ForSecuritySake.com dedicate our website to help protect you and your property. Please join our FREE mailing list newsletter by using the box to the left of this article, or at our home page. You will receive more great tips, product discounts, dumb criminal stories, and news. We never sell or give away your email information.  You can review our privacy policy here.

    Have a great holiday season and be Safe out there!

    Zeb Hammonds

  • Use These Shopping Tips Because Thieves Don't Think Like Us

    Updated 11-19-18

    Is Black Friday a thing of the past? Its not even Thanksgiving yet and many stores are already advertising Black Friday sales, or sneak peaks.

    We have some safety tips for those of you that will be taking advantage of these sales and post Christmas shopping sales when those gift cards you received can be used for what you wanted, but didn't get. These tips also apply when it is time to return those unwanted or non-fitting gifts you received.

    Please remember these basic safety tips year round. They could save you from becoming a victim of costly damage, theft , and may even help save your life.

    Shop during daylight hours whenever possible.  If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member and while looking for a place to park, be aware of what and who is in the area.

    While walking from or back to your car to the store, keep an extra eye out for people approaching you and your children that are shopping with you. Keep your Pepper Spray in your hand, ready to use if needed.  DO NOT allow these people to approach. Walk away and let them know you are protected.

    Dress casually, comfortably, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry. If you can, use a fanny pack instead of a purse or wallet. They are prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas. Avoid carrying a large amount of cash and place what cash you have in your front pocket.

    When possible, pay for purchases with a check, atm, or credit card. Remember most atms have a per day spending limit and credit cards have fraud protection. Notify the card or check issuer immediately if your card or check is lost, stolen, or misused. Keep a record of your check account number and  all of your card numbers in a diversion safe at home along with the phone numbers to call.

    Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps and to use your pepper spray, or stun gun if needed .  If your are attacked, packages can be replaced, but your, or your child's life cannot.

    Try not to store purchases in your car and then continue shopping. It is better to take a load home and then to return to shopping. If you must leave packages in your vehicle, make them as invisible as possible. A thief looks into vehicles as he/she walks past. If they see something they want, they will check your car for easy access. If they want it bad enough, they may break into the vehicle. It is usually an out of sight out of mind type of theft. Anything can help hide packages. A baby or emergency blanket, empty folded paper sacks, and car seat boosters are just a few suggestions.

    If possible, have your pepper spray or stun gun ready in your hand, especially when walking to or from your vehicle. Beware of strangers approaching you.  At any time of year, con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of attacking you, taking your money, or belongings.

    Keep in mind that most thieves think differently than us.  That is why they are thieves. They don't think anything they do is wrong.

    I handled a case where a thief had stolen a purse from the top of a car while the owner took packages into her residence. The victim's car was parked in a carport, ten feet from the street, and three feet from the door of the owners single story apartment. The owner returned to her car soon enough to see the suspect's car leaving and reported the description of it immediately. Luckily for her I found the thief, his vehicle, and her property a short time later.

    The thief told me that it was his right to take the purse because the owner had left it in a visible and easy place for him.  I tried several times to convince the thief that this was wrong.  His reply was that if the owner didn't want him to have it, she would have protected it.

    I had many calls like this during my 40 years of Law Enforcement. If the thief didn't give the answer of "I don't know" when asked why he/she committed the crime, it was aways a similar answer to the above.

    Don't make it easy for a thief and they are most likely to move to easier pickings.

    It is a great advantage to protect yourself and your property. We at ZebPet Enterprise's www.ForSecuritySake.com dedicate our website to help protect you and your property. Please join our FREE mailing list newsletter by using the box to the left of this article. You will receive more great tips, product discounts, dumb criminal stories, and news. We never sell or give away your email information.  You can review our privacy policy here.

    Have a great holiday season and be Safe out there!

    Zeb Hammonds

  • South Sacramento California Barber Shop Shooting

    It was like a wild west movie where the bad guy walks into a barber shop and starts shooting, only this time it was in South Sacramento California and Gang related. When the suspects started shooting, customers in the barber shop started shooting back. The gunfight then moved into the shopping center parking lot.

    When it was all over six people had been shot. The very sad part of this story is like many that happen when guns are involved. Innocent  people get shot. In this case a 30 year old  mother trying  to strap her child into their SUV was hit and killed by a stray bullet. At the time of the story, she was the only one killed.

    Since the story aired earlier this week on KCRA TV in Sacramento, one other person shot that day also died and at least one suspect has been arrested. People interviewed that were in the area said that the shopping center where this happened was normally a calm area. It is just a reminder that this can happen anywhere.

    I don't know if the mother that was killed knew what was going on, but there were reports that her body was shielding the child.

    There are a few things you should know if something like this happens to you. Vehicle windshields, doors, and tops do not stop bullets. If you are at your vehicle the safest place to be is to put your vehicle engine and wheel between you and the gun fire. Don't expose yourself or leave that area until the incident is over.

    If you have a Taser, Stun Gun, or Pepper Spray, have it ready to use.

    Please be aware of what is going on around you. We want all of you to be as safe as possible out there.

    I have provided the news story link below. 

     Sacramento California Barber Shop Shooting 

    Sacramento California Barber Shop Shooting update

    www.forsecuritysake.com is dedicated to you as a way to help you protect yourself, your family, and home. Check out safety articles on our blog and join our mailing list for more free information. You can view our privacy policy here.

  • Welcome to the New and Improved www.ForSecuritySake.com

    You may have or willl notice that we have received a Christmas present; a new and improved web site. We not only changed our look, but we have strived to make the site easier for you to use. Actually we were hoping to have the site up way before Christmas, but it is here now and we are excited. We have and we will be adding new products often, so keep us book marked. We hope you can visit often and share some of your thoughts on our blog. We accept major credit cards and PayPal (No PayPal Account Necessary) and you can use your PayPal Bill Me Later.

    Our Free email News Letter will have new content too.  We will be sending out safety tips, current news stories related to your safety, Dumb Criminal stories, product discounts and tips, and much more. Take a look at our privacy policy. We do not sell or share your Email information. We look forward to you joining our Newsletter. You can use the form located at the bottom right of any of our site pages.

    We hope you enjoy our new look and feel and please be Safe out there.

    Zeb Hammonds

    ZebPet Enterprises' www.ForSecuritySake.com is one of the leading experts on non-lethal self defense products. You will find a number of options, such as stun guns, pepper sprays, home protection, child protection, and personal alarms. They offer complete support and instruction.

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