Tomorrow is the first day back at school for most schools. My wife and I will wake our children by running into their rooms yelling like Nemo around his dad on his first day of school. (Here’s an 18 second YouTube Link in case you don’t know what part of the Disney movie I’m talking about)
Do you know what that means for everyone on the road?…SCHOOL BUSES!
Its time for every one of us to watch the roads for excited youngsters. We all know the rules and fines but can always use a reminder. I went to the MTO website (link) and pulled out the regulations.
Drivers: know the rules
When driving on a road WITHOUT a median:
- drivers travelling in both directions must stop for a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing
- when you approach the bus from the front, stop at a safe distance to let children get on or off the bus and cross the road
- don’t move forward until the red lights have stopped flashing or the bus begins to move
When driving on a road WITH a median:
- traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop.
Drivers can be charged if they pass a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing:
- First offence: $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points..
- Each following offence: $1,000 to $4,000, six demerit points and possible jail time (up to six months)
Vehicle owners can be charged if their vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus, even if they weren’t driving.
If you’ve got young ones, it wont hurt to go to the site and check over the full list of tips to help keep our young riders safe.
Now that I have you thinking about driving and vehicles…I have to remind you that we can cut and program keys, fobs, and factory remotes for almost every vehicle on the road today. We save customers between $35-150 over the dealership and do the programming for you! No appointment necessary.
I’m always happy to write these emails and welcome any and all feedback. Don’t hesitate to reach out and discuss anything security or safety related.
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.
Spring is in the air! It’s the season to open up the windows to hear the birds and neighborhood kids splashing in the puddles. The grass is wet and the sump pump is working to keep your basement dry.
Last spring I heard my sump pump running…and running…and running. Much longer than usual. I decided to see what was going on. It was working and cycling normally, but for some reason, it had decided to take a little vacation at some point and wait to start working again. The carpet wasn’t wet but it came up a good 10″ higher than it ever should have.
It started me thinking. What if it took a permanent vacation while I was at work? What would happen to my basement? I decided to look into possible solutions. Maybe it’s time you did the same.
This is around the time of year that sump pumps and backup kits start hitting the box store sale flyers. It can be as simple as a battery backup to a whole second pump assembly. I opted to change our pump for a new model, battery backup, and flood sensor. That’s right! We installed a flood sensor and tied it into our alarm system. I’ll get a phone call from the monitoring station before the water even makes it to the carpet!
What are you doing to keep what matters most safe? Are you keeping the flood waters at bay?
Give me a call or email if you want to talk about anything security related. I’d love to hear from you.
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.