Category: HOME SECURITY

December 5th, 2014 by Texasnews

Protect your home against burglars to prevent making your property a target. Thieves love to lurk around at night and case out their next target. They specifically look for homes with trees and bushes that block windows (good for shielding the perpetrator) and have basically no lighting whatsoever outside of the home. A well-lit structure is a thief’s nightmare; so if you are known for the darkest house on the block; guess what? You are a burglar’s dream come true.

 

According to the Austin police department, burglaries in Austin neighborhoods cost residents over 1.3 million per year in loss of property alone.

 

National Burglary Statistics:

Home burglaries occur every 14.3 seconds (over 6,000 burglaries a day!) in the U.S. More than 80% of all attempted burglaries are completed successfully; 81% of intruders entered on the first floor; 35% of intruders entered through the front door. Almost 40% of burglaries happen at night while most people are sleeping. Less than 13% of burglaries are solved. 60% of burglaries occur while a home is occupied. The average home intrusion causes in excess of $2,000 in damages and that doesn’t include destruction or loss of priceless and irreplaceable family heirlooms.

 

Armed with stats and what occurs daily in the wonderful world of news, why put yourself and your family at risk of becoming a victim of a home burglary?

 

Imagine a thief entering your home with your family inside.

“A Deltona couple had returned to their home at about 11 a.m. when they noticed a bicycle resting against the front door. They also saw that the door they had locked earlier was now busted open. When they went inside, the couple discovered the suspect inside their bedroom holding a hammer in one hand and a bag in the other. The husband was standing in the kitchen and demanded that the suspect come out of the bedroom.

That’s when the suspect lunged at the husband and struck him multiple times with the hammer while the 67-year-old victim tried to defend himself with a chair. The suspect then ran outside, got onto his bicycle and fled. The wife quickly called 911.” Brandon Haught, The Daily News

 

Connecting with your neighbors can save you money 

 

Morris from Reno, Nevada came home to find his house completely ransacked. He said,  “I’ve been in Reno 23 years and never had anything like this happen. They went through pretty much everything.” Morris believes the burglar or burglars were watching and waiting for the right time, which turned out to be in broad day light, while he was working just one block away from his home. He said, “I wish people would pay more attention, as you can see I have neighbors on all four sides of me and nobody seen nothin’.” The burglars stole two televisions, a laptop, jewelry and anything else they could find. Madison Corney, News 4

 

Crime happens 24/7 – it isn’t day or night-time specific 

Although these particular crimes occurred in the day time, who’s to say the suspects weren’t there the prior night or weeks checking things out; learning the victim’s schedules; knowing where their valuables were in their homes because the suspects were able to view from the victim’s windows which may have been blocked by trees or shrubbery allowing the suspects full range of time to plot for the next day’s activity: entering their homes and taking their belongings.
 

  Adequate lighting and a manicured lawn aren’t the only solutions to the problem but are an excellent place to begin; so if you’ve been putting off replacing the light fixture outdoors; avoiding contacting your local energy company and reporting a few inoperative light posts near your home; or going outdoors and chopping down those bushes… you may want to think again. Your phone call or quick fix can potentially save you thousands of dollars in theft and don’t forget the trauma of facing a burglar in your home.

 

8 Tips to Protect Your Home Against Burglary:

 

1. Install a deadbolt lock. Deadbolts are usually locked with a key from the outside and a thumb turn on the inside. The cylinder should be pick resistant. Lock your doors every time you leave the house, even if you’re leaving for just a few minutes during the day. The most popular times for residential burglaries are weekday daylight hours. In over 1/3 of burglaries, there is no forcible entry–someone forgot to lock the doors.

2. Install solid doors. Outside doors should be metal or solid hardwood and at least 1 3/4 inches thick. Frames must be made of equally strong material and each door must fit its frame securely. It is also recommended that residents replace the smaller (usually 1”) screws on the lock’s strike plate with longer screws that attach to the more solid interior door frame in the wall (versus simply screwing into the trim around the door.)

3. Keep garage doors closed and locked. Open doors and windows are commonly checked by burglars looking for an opportunity.

4. Secure sliding doors and windows. Cut a broom-handle to the length of the bottom track so that the window or door will not slide open when forced. Also, drill one hole through both casings and sliding window and insert a nail or pin.

5. Secure sash windows. To prevent wooden sash windows from being pried open, drill a downward sloping hole into the top of the bottom window through and into the bottom of the top window and insert a pin or nail. To prevent aluminum sash windows from being broken into, purchase a track lock that blocks the window track.

6. Mark your property. Mark your valuables with an engraver. Marking your property serves as a deterrent to would-be burglars and it helps police in identifying and returning stolen property. Make a property identification list. Put warning stickers on doors and windows.

7. Purchase a burglar alarm. A home alarm system can be a very effective burglary deterrent and fit into many people’s needs. Remember to test your system monthly.

8. Leave a light on. When leaving on trips, leave a light on in the bathroom. In the bedroom, attach a lamp and radio to a 24-hour electric timer set to go on at dusk and off at your bedtime. Close bedroom drapes or blinds.

 

For more information or consulting on home security, contact SRS Services; our experienced professionals can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

Posted in HOME SECURITY, PERSONAL SECURITY

July 8th, 2014 by Texasnews

Robbery is a crime that everyone is familiar with. You hear about it on the radio, see coverage on your local news stations, and read headlines on the internet and newsstands. But how prepared are you in the event someone walks into your establishment, pulls out a gun, and says “Don’t move?” What do you do? What procedures do you have in place? Is your staff trained to react in this instance?

Robbery occurs when thieves believe there is enough profit in the endeavor to outweigh any risks. You are less likely to experience a theft if the robber(s) perceives limited potential profit and a high risk of being caught. Just because your business dose not keep cash on hand does not mean the criminals are aware of this and may see you as an easy target.

Whether it is a bank robbery, convenient store robbery, robbery at a church, etc., the following tips can provide a wealth of help in the event a robbery occurs at your business.

 

Robbery Prevention Tips to Follow –

 

Discouraging a Robbery  

  • Have a security officer patrol your property thus providing a high level of security presence and deterrent to criminal activity; statistically, crimes are less likely to occur if you have posted on-site security.
  • Ensure that signs and displays are not causing an obstruction to the view of the customer service area from the street.
  • Think about installing surveillance cameras or alarms in addition to having posted security officers; even non-functioning cameras fool some would-be criminals into thinking they are real and may go elsewhere.
  • Make sure to have strong lighting by all doorways.
  • Make sure everything can be seen clearly throughout your property.

 

Be Cautious of your Surroundings

  • Follow your instincts. If you feel as if something just doesn’t seem right when it comes to a situation or person, you are most likely correct.
  • If you see a suspicious car, truck, or van in the parking lot of your place of business, make a note of the make and model, and the license number.
  • Always be aware of who is in your establishment and where they are.
  • When unlocking or locking up the premises, check for any unusual movement around you.
  • Suspect those who come into your business wearing clothing that’s wrong for the season – pay extra attention to coats, hoodies, and clothes that are a few sizes too big.

 

Opening and Closing Procedures

  • Make it a firm policy that at least two employees are always present together during the process of opening up and closing for the day.
  • When you (or your opening staff) get to the business at the start of day, check around the building watching for any people or vehicles that don’t belong there, as well as signs of forced entry, attempted break-ins or vandalism.
  • Upon closing, be sure to check all areas to ensure that no one is hiding on the premises.
  • Don’t let anyone in once the business has closed.
  • Implement safety procedures traveling to and from your business and home.
  • Scan your location looking for any vehicles that might be following you.
  • Take down the license plate number of any vehicle that seems suspicious.
  • Don’t always take the same way to and from work and home.
  • Know exactly where your area’s police and fire stations are. If you believe someone is following you, call the police, give a description of the vehicle and driver (passengers if any) and go to the police station nearest you.
  • Have a professional security consultant come and assess your property and give some recommendations or suggestions to improve the security and safety on your property.

 

The focus needs to be on surviving the crime. Don’t start a fight or aggravate the perpetrator; it’s not worth risking your well-being for any amount of money.

 

Actions to Take During a Robbery

  • Don’t offer any resistance and stay calm.
  • Don’t put your safety at risk by doing anything foolish.
  • Do what the robber says, but not more than that.
  • Tell the robber you won’t offer any resistance and if you have to make any unusual movements, advise him.
  • Everything but your life can be replaced, give the robber the item or money they are seeking; statically, they are going to get it anyway.
  • Never get into a vehicle or allow yourself to be taken away from the location – the fight should end there.

 

 

Be sure to capture:

  • A good physical description of the suspects including clothing, facial hair, scars, tattoos, their speech anything.
  • The number of perpetrators involved and the details of how they got away. Obtain the license number of their vehicle if you are safely able to do so.
  • All elements of the perpetrator’s physical description – odd features of the robber like a scar or tattoo.
  • Whatever the perpetrators are saying to one another.
  • The appearance of any weapon for future description.
  • To assist the police in locating fingerprints, do your best to notice and remember the items handled by the robber.

 

Steps to take after the theft occurs:

  • Call the police right away, even during the incident and set the phone down. The police will be listening  to everything going on often with the suspect not even knowing your phone is on and connected to 911
  • Once you dial 911, be sure to remain on the telephone to provide assistance as long as needed.
  • Don’t disturb the crime scene. Don’t put your hands on anything.
  • Secure the premises for the police, letting no one in or out before their arrival.
  • Everyone who’s witnessed the act needs to make a written description of the perpetrators. To avoid muddling anyone’s memory, carry on no conversations either about the robbery itself or about the perpetrator’s description.
  • Get the contact information for any witness who finds it necessary to leave.

 

 

Robbery Preparation 

  • Although a robbery is unpleasant to consider and even more, to go through, you want to be ready just in case one occurs. Frequently review the actions that need to be taken if an emergency happens so that these actions become automatic. Meet on a regular basis so a plan is created and discussed.
  • A helpful plan might be:
  • Telling staff members what to do if a robbery occurs, including not resisting
  • Developing signals, ahead of time, that can be used between staff members
  • Knowing when to trigger or not trigger an alarm
  • Steps for police notification
  • Getting the description of the suspect and/or vehicle
  • Planning an escape route

 

 

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and regional law enforcement announce the implementation of a new regional crime reduction venture – see more here

 

Your best solution for robbery prevention is to have posted security guards at your location. Your security officers will be able to note suspicious individuals casing your property as well as look for those who stand out in the crowd as potential threats.

It is up to you to take the proper steps in putting your safety and the safety of your employees as a priority. Reduce the risk of your business becoming a target by paying close attention to each robbery prevention tip… go a step further and contact a reliable security guard service today.

Posted in BUSINESS SECURITY, HOME SECURITY, PERSONAL SECURITY

May 14th, 2014 by Texasnews

Being knowledgeable about copper theft can save your business thousands of dollars. Whether you have an apartment complex, construction site, office building, vacant home, etc., you are on a Targeted List. Why? To thieves, copper is the new Gold Rush and has been for the last few years. The current price for copper has been increasing which means thieves get a higher payday when they recycle (cash-in) your stolen copper.

There is currently an empire being built around this; reason being is due to accessibility, being untraceable, and a rise in the price of copper.

Copper has jumped from $1.50 a pound in 2008 to $4.50-$5.00 a pound (present day), so it racks up quickly when these guys turn a couple hundred pounds a day.

Why is Copper Theft Increasing?

 

“People steal copper wire and pipe and sell it by the pound,” according to Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid; some get creative and mastermind a complete heist. There have been reports where criminals have taken more than 300 feet of copper pipe used for air conditioning and more than 2,000 feet of cable used for a communications company – the group of thieves cut down the cable from telephone poles and hauled it away, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

 

The Snowball effect…

“It’s not just the cost or loss of the copper, thieves also leave water gushing out of pipes, walls and floors torn and ripped apart to gain access which causes thousands of dollars in damages just getting to the copper, this is a major devastation to any home builder or property owner”- Security Expert Glenn Jones added.

“Once thieves strip copper pipes and other metals from a vacant home, conventional financing is harder to obtain and the sale price could plummet,” said Eric Berman, spokesman for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

 

Who, what, when, where…whyyyyy???

This type of theft is occurring both day and night; thieves work alone or in groups – many look homeless, dress in very casual clothing, or try to blend in and look like construction workers. Very few tools are needed to do this and because of copper’s light weight, a bag full of it can be bent and carried off by one person. Often they will return to the same area, especially vacant apartment buildings, construction sites and new home developments, as they know very few people are there and no one is watching; they use the structure itself to hide inside while committing their crime.

 

 How to Prevent Copper Theft?

 

What can you do?

Lights and fences won’t deter these perpetrators at all, as they are after the gold that is inside your property and they will stop at nothing to get it; also, purchasing surveillance cameras won’t be much help, you’ll be lucky if you capture a glimpse of the person’s profile. Remember cameras don’t stop crime they just record it. This type of crime can only be stopped with a posted officer on the property.

For the price you’ll pay for having just one apartment or home victimized, you could have a uniformed and posted guard on your property for a month. Yes, you may have insurance; however, the new repairs will delay your sale or lease of the home or property which costs you even more money. Often, insurance rates will increase and they will not allow too many claims before they demand security, increase your rates, or cancel your policy – something to consider.

 

Remove yourself from the targeted list and eliminate the frustration of dealing with your insurance company and increased rates. To prevent copper theft on your property, give SRS Services a call now!

Posted in BUSINESS SECURITY, HOME SECURITY

March 27th, 2014 by Texasnews

Surveillance systems can aid you in the event a crime occurs at your place of business; there’s no denying that. Cameras can help deter crime to a degree, but the bottom line is, no matter how many cameras you have, just how good are they if you only capture an image or a blur of a crime being committed on your property?

 

Cameras do NOT prevent or stop crime, they only record it; with that said, can you identify the suspect in the above picture caught on camera? No, you can’t – Exactly.

 

Caught on Tape

Surveillance cameras can only record what is taking place, which means, if an individual were to enter your establishment wearing a ski mask and fully clothed, all the camera would be able to record is the incident – no detailed or specific physical description of the perpetrator would be captured except for the clothing he was wearing, which can easily be removed and trashed or burned. This leaves law enforcement with little to no detailed information and a very low chance of catching the criminal.

 

 Cameras vs. Guards

If there was a trained security officer on the premises, you would be able to have the professional step in and prevent you from becoming a victim. The risk of a robbery or other crimes decrease significantly when criminals know there are security officers on site ensuring the property remains protected at all times.

 

Perpetrators aren’t looking to go to jail or possibly get injured; they want to get in, get out, and move on to the next easy target. Most businesses don’t realize the effects of not having a guard on their property until they’ve lost thousands of dollars in theft and damages and their insurance premiums have been increased.

 

Will surveillance systems capture everything?

 

Uh Oh… The camera doesn’t record that area of the property

 

Another thing to remember, unless you’re paying top dollar for a surveillance system which covers every zone, zooms in, picks up on movement, has night vision and color, surveillance cameras only pick up on the location in which they are pointed in, leaving many blind spots throughout the property and/or useless footage of shadows –translation: you won’t be able to see or record what took place in the blind spots or shadows.

 

On the other hand, a trained security professional will be able to monitor all areas of your business, alert to sounds, smells, activity out of camera view, and patrol the parts of your property that the surveillance cameras CANNOT capture and record. Most importantly, even if a camera records a break-in, the camera cannot secure your property until the next morning, however, a guard can.

 

Camera systems were never meant to take the place of a guard service, only to add to and increase the level of protection.

 

Some camera companies (who are not security guard providers) will tell you that their system is monitored 24 hours a day and they’ll contact the police if they see anything occur on your property. What they don’t tell you is that whoever is monitoring your cameras is also monitoring hundreds of other cameras all over the state and usually done from far away locations.

What happens IF the camera operator gets distracted?   He can easily miss activity on your property.

What happens IF the camera operator does see a crime in progress?   He will call the police and have the police respond, depending on response time, the suspects may have already gone…again, a guard on the property can stop this at once.

 

While surveillance cameras keep track of things taking place in/around your establishment, they aren’t going to be able to provide you with all the benefits that a trained guard will be able to offer you.

 

Disadvantages of Surveillance cameras:

 

  • #1 Very costly: per camera, DVR, installation, etc., can run you thousands of dollars and they still won’t stop a break-in or an assault, not to mention a monthly monitoring fee that you pay and hope some is watching.
  • They can’t approach a suspicious person on your property and determine  good or bad. *Note: the police will not like to be called by your camera company each time they detect movement or a shadow.
  • Cameras can be destroyed by the perpetrator, and their monitor will no longer have “eyes on” your property for the remaining events.
  • Adequate lighting and/or expensive night vision cameras are needed to view activity on your property at night or in dark areas, without this added expense your wasting your time getting a camera system in the first place.
  • The upkeep can be fairly expensive, with camera providers always wanting you to “upgrade” or “swap them out.”
  • If power goes out due to natural causes or incident caused by the perpetrator, nothing can be recorded unless you have generators and battery backup – even “off-site storage” won’t work if there is a complete power outage as internet and cameras need power. If a camera goes out at 3:00am is your camera company coming out right away to replace it? (probably not which leaves you exposed).
  • Resolution has to be great day and night or you’ll capture a blur, this results in thousands of dollars for a good system. Any camera provider will tell you that a $500.00 plug in play system in a box and sold at your electronic store is not going to provide good quality, so your back up to spending thousands of dollars to get what you want; and at that it is still limited.
  • Cameras can’t advise you or law enforcement of suspicious indicators (off camera) prior to a crime, guards can.
  • Cameras can’t question anyone or make an arrest, nor will they stand guard over your property after a break-in occurs, leaving your property exposed.

 

See how in less than 5 minutes these burglars gained access to a property, which was all caught on tape (Click Here). Could you give a good, clear physical description based on what you just saw?

 

However…

 

A security officer can approach suspicious individuals noted on your property and quickly contact law enforcement if observing a possible crime about to happen. The security professional is also equipped with lighting and a vehicle if the power were to shut off on the property; the officer would be properly trained to handle this scenario and immediately report to you and inform you of activity on your property. The security officer could also make an arrest right then and there, then call the police.

 

Two for the price of One

Some guard services will suggest you have surveillance cameras installed throughout your property to complement their services; this will allow them to monitor the premises better and give them an additional tool they can use to help combat potential crimes from occurring; but again, just as a supplement, not a main tool.

 

It is an investment to make sure that your property is protected, and again keep in mind that cameras don’t stop crime they only record it.

 

A good starting point:

Speak with an Austin-based security guard service to help you determine precisely what your business needs are.

Most business owners would rather have a crime stopped or a suspect placed into custody as opposed to arriving the next day to a break-in, then only being able to watch a video about it; which would you like?

 

Don’t wait to have your video surveillance record a crime on your property – contact SRS Services today and have a security officer that will not only monitor your property but step in and protect your assets.

Posted in BUSINESS SECURITY, HOME SECURITY