Dedicated to helping people make themselves safe and their Homes harder targets,...or when James Bond meets Soccer Mom

Friday, September 16, 2016

5 Things About Home Security Intruders Don't Want You to Know

Few people are as familiar with home security systems as the professionals who install them. But unfortunately, there are some people who have an interest in understanding how your home's alarm system works: intruders. 

They not only know how your system works, but there are a few things they hope you don't realize about it. Here are five things intruders don't want you to know about your home security system.

The Alarm's Panel Is Visible Through Your Front Door.

If your home has a fancy front door with decorative glass, your alarm system panel may be in plain view of anyone standing on your step. 

An intruder just needs to peer through the glass, and they'll be able to see the lights that indicate whether your alarm is activated. An activated alarm may not deter a professional burglar, but an opportunistic amateur will be tempted if you aren't home and they can see that the alarm isn't set. 

If your alarm is already installed and it's in plain view from your front step, you can try placing a tall houseplant so that it obstructs the view of the panel.

Your Alarm Only Works When It's Set

Alarms only work when they're set. Everyone knows this, but homeowners don't always set their security system. 

In a survey conducted by Nationwide, 30 percent of homeowners admitted to leaving their security system off while they ran "a quick errand." 

This is especially disconcerting, considering that the U.S. Department of Justice's data shows that most burglaries occur during the day when no one is home.

You Should Have a Sensor on Your Master Bath Window

Your master bathroom window is one of the favorite entry points for intruders, as it leads directly to where you likely keep your jewelry. 

Most homeowners' valuables are kept either in their bedroom or in the attached bathroom, but few consider installing a sensor specifically for the master bathroom window. 

Even if you forgo window sensors to save on an alarm system, consider having a single one installed on this window at least.

Alarms Make Intruders Hesitate, Even If Just for a Second

A home security system will not physically prevent an intruder from breaking into your home. That's what locks are for. An unexpected alarm, however, will make an intruder hesitate momentarily.

Even if the noise only delays them a moment, the slight pause could be significant. According to Yahoo Homes, intruders aim to spend less than 60 seconds breaking into homes. A three-second pause could eat up 5 percent of the time they plan on using to find a way in. 

Although it’s very short, this could be enough time to make them retreat.

Your Neighbors Will Ignore Breaking Glass

You can't rely on your neighbors, even if you have nosy ones, to hear a window breaking. Even if they're home and notice the sound of crashing glass, they're unlikely to investigate. 

They may pause and wait to hear the sound again, but they probably won't take action unless it's repeated. If you're concerned about an intruder coming in through a window, your security system needs to have a sensor that will detect broken glass.

When viewed through the eyes of a potential intruder, you may see several vulnerabilities in your home security system. 

Thankfully, though, these are usually easily remedied. If you'd like to learn more about how you can make your alarm system more secure, contact Vivint. They will gladly discuss any potential liabilities with you and suggest possible solutions.

[Article from Vivint Smart Home] 


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Door Security Chain- Not As Secure As You Thought.

The sliding chain lock on doors are just an obstacle to slow someone attempting to gain entry. Chain locks used in conjunction with a deadbolt lock is the best defense from someone gaining entry into a room until help can arrive.

Watch the below video to see how easy it is to circumvent a sliding chain lock.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Purify Water Using Chemical Treatments

Water purification tablets are a great back up form of water treatment. They are excellent Bug Out Bags and survival kits because they are light weight and inexpensive. Water purification tablets are also great to store in your vehicle or your bug out location to disinfect water on demand.  If the water supply I am drawing from is extremely shady I combine both a filter and the tablets to ensure my safety. Also, be aware that water purification tablets have a shelf life. Check the expiration dates on your tablets and replace any that are expired.

Water purification can come in tablet or droplet form. The tablet form is better because it is a lighter weight that droplets and easy to use when in a stressful situation.

Two water born pathogens that commonly found in untreated water- Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Cryptosporidium is a genus of apicomplexan protozoans that can cause gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea in humans. According to the CDC it is one of the most frequent causes of waterborne disease among humans in the United States. In a disaster situation where government maintained services are effected, it is highly likely that this protozoa parasite will find its way into our water supply.

Giardia attached to the wall of the small intestines. Giardia is also an infectious protozoa and it is a big deal in emergency preparedness because it can have such a dramatic effect on your health. The symptoms of Giardia, may begin to appear 2 days after infection, include violent diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach, and nausea. 

The typical infection within an individual can be slight, resolve without treatment in about 2–6 weeks, although sometimes longer and sometimes the infection is more severe requiring immediate medical attention. 

There are three main types of water purification tablets on the market (Chlorine (NaDCC), Iodine and Chlorine Dioxide) . Not all are equal as each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Choose the purification tablet that works the best with your situation and location.

Chlorine Dioxide Tablets (Potable Aqua, Katadyn and Aquamira Brands). Even though the word “chlorine” is in the name, chlorine dioxide is neither iodine nor chlorine. It uses a highly active form of oxygen to purify water so it leaves absolutely zero taste. As a nice bonus the action of chlorine dioxide causes a lot of sediment to drop out of suspension (fall to the bottom) leaving the container of water more clear and further improving flavor. Chlorine dioxide tablets are a good choice for those allergic to iodine, with thyroid problems, or on lithium. Always follow product usage instructions.

Chlorine NaDCC Tablets (Potable Aqua, Oasis Plus, Aquatabsand Rothco’s Military “Chlor-Floc“ Brands). NaDCC, also known as sodium dichloroisocyanurate or sodium troclosene, is a form of chlorine used for disinfection. NaDCC tablets are different and improved over the older chlorine based (halazone) tablets. When added to water, NaDCC releases hydrochloric acid which reacts through oxidization with microorganisms and kills them. Many tablets advertise no chlorine after taste. Unopened NaDCC tablets have a shelf life of 3-5 years, if opened they should be discarded after 3 months. Always follow product usage instructions. 

Iodine Tablets (Potable Aqua,Coleman, and Coghlans brands). Iodine Tablets use iodine to purify contaminated water. Most iodine purification tablets tend to leave a funny taste to the water and some discoloration, however vitamin C or ascorbic acid can be added after the treatment time to improve the taste and remove the color. This often comes in the form of two bottles with two separate tablets. Iodine water treatment has been proven to be somewhat effective against Giardia and not effective against Crytosporidium.  Always follow product usage instructions. 

[Source: www.swordofsurvival.com]