Winter is upon us and it brings so many other things with it. My family and I spent the better part of this weekend getting ready for the coming months. We cleaned out the garage to make room for my wifes truck, winter tires installed, cold rated washer fluid topped up, and heavy jackets out of storage. Shovels and ice melter ready and waiting.
I grabbed my winter jacket and loaded it in my usual items as we went out for a bit of shopping yesterday. Keys, wallet, cell and gloves all put into different pockets. That leads me to a thought that came to me late last week as I was at a breakfast meeting. I had done my usual and left my fall jacket in the coat rack across the room. I sat staring at this row of coats and remembered that my wallet was still in the pocket of mine. I wasn’t worried because the room was filled with amazing people whom I trust, but it started me thinking…How easy it would be for someone to rummage through my jacket? How many times have I checked my coat while my car keys were still in it?
That leads me to our shopping trip today. As we walked the aisles, I did my usual and wandered along looking around. Anyone who knows me has probably noticed that I’m constantly looking at things. Doors, camera systems, locks…it’s what I do. Today I was looking at how many unattended purses were left in shopping carts. Sometimes for quite a while while the owner was reading a label or tending to a child.
I know it seems pretty unlikely someone would steal from a cart or coatroom, but the chance is always there. Looking around and judging your surroundings certainly takes practice. There is also a balancing point between paranoia and protection. I’m proof that we anyone can become lax when it comes to keeping a bit of our guard up. Being aware of potential dangers is one of the ways to help protect what matters most to you.
If you have a security question or tip that you would like to share, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or one of my coworkers, We’d all love to hear from you
I don’t know about you but I love this time of year. The days are hot and the evenings are warm. All I want to do is hang out in the sun. My wife and I will quite often sit on our patio and enjoy a coffee (or two) in the mornings or a glass of wine (OR TWO) in the evenings. We have an older house and keep the inside temperature low using the windows and breeze off the nearby lake as opposed to installing air conditioning.
Last week I was sitting out there and looking at the deck box right below our open kitchen window. It’s the perfect stepping stone to climb up and peer into the house. I know this because I’ve used it several times to scare our children as they sat at the table doing their homework. The downside is that it’s an easy way for a bad guy to gain access to our house. That’s also why we always close and lock the main floor windows when going to bed or leaving the house. That leads me to this weeks tip about security on your doors and windows especially when sleeping or away.
It can’t hurt to try and strategically open windows to maximize airflow while avoiding any compromise in safety. If you’re going to leave windows open, check to make sure they aren’t easily accessible from the outside. Make sure windows have working locks of some sort. Remember, a chunk of old broom handle is better than nothing! Try to avoid relying on the $9 lock holding you patio door. Trust me, when I say that it really doesn’t add much in the line of safety.
Finally, If you have a “window shaker” style of air conditioner, look at how its installed. How easy would it be for a bad guy to push it back into the house? If you’re like most people, it’s just stuck through one window and resting on the other one. Maybe it has a small screw to make sure it stays in place. Those units installed on ground level windows are an easy invite. In the past, I’ve screwed in an additional piece of wood top and bottom. I made sure the screws went deep into the frame of the window and into the air conditioner. This kept the unit from being pushed in or pulled back out.
One final piece. Lock your vehicles! Warm weather means that there are more people walking the streets at night. An article on Sudbury.com reported more than 200 reported thefts from vehicles from August to its writing in November.
I hope you’re enjoying these tips. If you ever want to discuss anything security related, don’t hesitate to reach out. Everyone at Northern Security wants to help you protect what matters most safe.
Family vacations are something I think we all look forward to. It’s a time to just be together as a family. I’m sure everyone has that one trip they’ll never forget. I’ve sat through countless slide reels of my grandparents vacations from when my mom was a kid. The process of documenting and sharing those moments sure has changed. According to Statista in 2016, there were 21.3 million smart phone users in Canada. That’s a whole bunch of cameras ready to take pictures and post them on social media without even leaving the beach.
Here’s a couple cool social media facts for you:
Facebook – 1.94 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2017
Twitter – 313 million active users – 2017
Instagram – 700 million active users – May 29, 2017
What does this have to do with security? Let me show you an example:
People constantly post pictures of their loaded up car, tweet about how they’ll miss their pets, or share an article about things to see at the Grand Canyon before a vacation.
Lets say you have 200 Facebook friends and post that picture of your luggage at the door.
All 200 of your friends can see it. They can also like or comment.
Sally comments “Have a great trip!! We’ll see you in two weeks” – Now all of her friends can see it – Add all 350 people who she’s friends with.
Frank (who knows Sally but not you) gives it a like – His 150 friends can now see it.
You just told 700 people that your house is going to be empty for two weeks. What if Frank has someone in his friends who’s a bad guy?
How’s that for a breach in security? I encourage you to think twice before posting details about your vacation before you leave. You never know who’s looking at those posts.
Give me a call or email so we can discuss some of the many options we have available to help you keep what matters most safe while you’re away. We have everything from smart phone enabled alarm systems to chains and padlocks.
Anyone who knows me would say that I love technology. I can unlock our front door from anywhere that has cell reception or WiFi. I enjoy gadgets, relays, and automation. Even if you’re like me, remember that keeping what matters most safe doesn’t always have to be some high tech and elaborate setup.
I was talking with a lifelong friend one day about these emails. He mentioned his grandmothers “low tech” approach to home security. She’s been a widow for as long as I’ve known her and has always been a resourceful, independent woman. She kept a pair of her husbands old rubber boots and would periodically place them outside the door. Nothing says someone is else in the house than a pair of dirty well used boots that couldn’t fit the sweet little lady who’s usually home.
You can take this idea one step further by setting an extra place at the table when you’re not home or if your closet is visible through the window in your front door, pick up an extra thrift store jacket and hang it up.
Simple or elaborate, the choice is yours. The point is that you want to do something to keep the bad guys wondering who’s in the house.
Do you have any low tech ideas for home security? I’d love to hear them. Reply in the comments or give me a call to talk about anything security related.