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
This is the time of year, when many gain some independence. Perhaps they’re an early teen letting themselves in after school or a young adult moving away to attend post secondary. Either way, being home alone can be intimidating at first. That’s why I’m passing these tips along to you so we can work together and help keep what matters most safe.
In keeping with the theme of my last email and school bus safety (here if you missed it) I figured I’d touch on leaving young ones at home. The interesting fact here is that Ontario does not have a minimum age listed in the law books. The CBC offered a great article about kids at home in March of 2016. There are courses offered to teach them the skills they need to start off on the right path. Here’s one course at the Sudbury YMCA if you want to pass it along.
There are several useful strategies for anyone who is living on their own. One of the easiest is to simply have a “check in” plan. It can be a casual daily wave to the lady across the street or an evening call to a loved one. By making friends with your neighbours, they’ll help to keep an eye on things when you’re home and away. They’ll also learn your routines and schedules as you’ll learn theirs.
I’ve gone over many tips in these emails and they can almost all be found on our blog. I can’t stress enough the importance of good locks and an alarm system. Combined together, they offer peace of mind for anyone on their own.
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 home or away. We have everything from smart phone enabled alarm systems to deadbolts.
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.
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.
I know it seems a little counter intuitive to talk about exterior lighting while the days are getting longer but the timing is right.
On March 12th, we move our clocks ahead an hour. A recently published paper presents estimates of the effect of ambient light on violent crime. They found a large decrease in robberies being committed when daylight-saving time begins in the spring, with a particularly significant drop during that extra hour of sunlight in the time right after work. It makes sense – more light equals less crime.
For this post, I say, “Let’s keep things bright and the bad guys running!”
Having the exterior of your house well lit helps to dissuade our enemies from lurking around and trying to access your home. You have several options for lighting. One of my favorite looks is down lighting professionally installed in the eves all around the house. Since that setup wouldn’t work with our house, we sourced out solar powered motion lights. It’s a flood light and motion sensor that’s charged during the day by a small solar panel. You can also opt for low voltage pathway/spot lights or wall sconces.
At minimum, the extra lighting will certainly add to your homes curb appeal. If the bad guys are prowling your neighborhood, they’re not likely to go near the house that’s well lit. That is the goal, isn’t it?
If you like these tips, come and check us out at the Home Show this weekend. We have some pretty cool give-a-ways at our booth. Not your typical pen or hat…something actually useful!! I’ll also be giving two free seminars on home security – Seminar times are Saturday at eleven and Sunday at noon. I’ll be going over all things security related from the street view right down to the sump pump. Don’t miss out.
Our storefront will still be open on Saturday for our usual services including automotive key cutting.
In fact you should test out our newest service right now!
Text “TIPS” to 450-990-4691 to get a free estimate on your replacement car key.
We’ll save you even more money by giving you an extra 10% off your chipped key.
Four things to remember:
- Bad guys like lurking in the shadows – Keep things well lit.
- Check us out at the home show – It’ll be fun!
- Make sure you adjust your clock – You don’t want to be late for work on the 13th
- You’ll pay more at the dealer for car keys – We’re faster, and you don’t need an appointment.
See you Saturday and don’t forget to text us.
Bump, Thump, BUMP!
There’s a little sleep walker moving throughout the house. Even if you haven’t experienced it first hand, you’ve undoubtedly heard a story or two.
It sounds cute and innocent…a little one opening the cookie cupboard. Sleepwalking should not be taken lightly. What if it was the front door instead of a cupboard? Now you have a little person out in the yard at night. The potential dangers are everywhere.
There are several preventative measure that can be taken to protect the safety of these little ones. It can be as simple as bells attached to the door knob and a few baby gates to an elaborate automated alarm system. As always, here are a few links to more detailed tips…Here and Here
Speaking of kids, for the last three years, Northern Security has made a difference during the holiday season. A friend and Rotarian, asked us if we would purchase a crib for their “Fill A Crib” campaign. We purchased two and asked our customers and family to donate diapers, food, snow suits, and baby gates. This year, is no different our crib has been delivered and is waiting for your donations. Every donation gets you a ballot to win free monitoring, basic alarm system, or a chipped automotive key. Each has a value of over $200!!!
I encourage you to take the time to come by our office to drop off a donation. This is the time of giving and there are several families who are struggling to make ends meet.
Thank you for letting us help to protect what matters most to you safe.
Monetary donations to food banks make a major impact. Because they are able to purchase bulk amounts of items needed, these charities can enjoy a 5:1 ratio when purchasing supplies. That’s right! a $20 donation works out to over $100 dollars worth of food! For the month of December, you can add a monetary donation to your Northern Security invoice.