Category: PERSONAL SECURITY

December 7th, 2015 by Texasnews

When visiting hotels, some people select certain establishments for the experience, while others seek that home away from home appeal. The last thing you expect while staying at a nice hotel of your choice is to become a victim of fraud. Somehow, scammers have found a way to target hotel guests; here’s a hotel scam to lookout for.

hotel scam to look out forUnfortunately, the era we live in now is filled with those who want to make a quick buck at any cost; these individuals thrive on finding new and clever ways to take from others. As technology advances, so does the criminal element.

Criminals look for ways to receive instant gratification, and stealing your credit card information is one of them. Hotel guests are waking up to calls from scammers asking for their credit card information. The calls occur during either late night or early morning hours to catch the guests off guard.

Hotel Scam to watch out for

How to Avoid This Hotel Scam

Typically, when a guest receives a call, the call is first routed to the clerk, which means guests do not receive direct calls from anyone. Calls must be patched through from the clerk to the guest’s room; however, hotel switchboards are being compromised, and criminals have found a way to contact guests directly.

“Someone was able to break into a hotel phone system and contact guests directly without hotel scamsgoing through the front desk,” Washington Lodging Association – Andy Olson

Once the scammer has the guest on the phone, he will use an assortment of clever excuses to persuade the guest to divulge personal credit card information.

Here are a few things to listen for:

  1. There was a glitch in the system and your credit card information is no longer on file.
  2. There was an error processing your credit card; can you quickly repeat the number and security code? For your inconvenience, a discount will be provided.
  3. Your credit card was declined; can you please provide an alternate method of payment
  4. Your payment information on file is incorrect and somehow an error took place during check-in that can quickly be corrected via phone; we’re sure it’s off by a digit or so.

Now keep in mind, these scammers are criminals; they’re well-rehearsed and prepared for guests’ rebuttals. They may speak of hotel audits that took place after-hours, include hotel jargon, or say names of the front desk clerk or hotel manager. Their goal is to sound legit and make guests trust them enough to give their information.

hotel scamGuests are usually too tired to dispute the call and will provide their credit or debit card information, only to awaken to money being stolen from their bank account or charges on their credit cards.

Hotels are helping to reduce this type of hotel scam

Hotels are advising their guests not to give any of their personal information over the phone and to report incidents such as these to the desk clerk immediately. They strongly encourage guests to visit the front desk and speak directly to a hotel representative if any personal information is required from the hotel.

Some hotels have signage at check-in cautioning guests, while others have typed letters awaiting guests in their rooms to ensure they don’t become victims of this type of hotel scam.

It may seem like an inconvenience for guests to leave their comfortable rooms to handle Stolen credit card infocredit or debit card matters, but it beats having to deal with money being stolen from their checking account or having to go through the process of cancelling credit cards, debit cards, etc.

For more information on scams at hotels, click here.

Posted in BODYGUARDS, BUSINESS SECURITY, PERSONAL SECURITY Tagged with: , , ,

Licensing for Security Texas
November 19th, 2015 by Texasnews

When visiting a night club or bar, or attending an event, you tend to see bouncers and event security staff. Most concerts and special events have a number of individuals that can be spotted in event or security T-shirts. The question is: Are there security license requirements for bouncers, event security, bar and nightclub security?

It takes much more than a person putting on a shirt that reads “security” to become or act in Security Licensethe capacity of a security officer. Proper training, education and licensing is “required” in order for anyone to perform the duties or present themselves as a guard.

Is a security license required to work security in Texas?

In the state of Texas, it is a criminal offense to carry out any scope of service regarding security-related work without a license – this includes courtesy officers, event staff, and bouncers; if individuals are caught, they can be arrested.

Security licensing requirementsOCC §1702.3875. IMPERSONATING SECURITY OFFICER; OFFENSE.

“A person commits an offense if the person: (1) impersonates a commissioned or non-commissioned security officer with the intent to induce another to submit to the person’s pretended authority or to rely on the person’s pretended acts of a security officer; or

(2) knowingly purports to exercise any function that requires registration as a non-commissioned security officer or a security officer commission. (b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.”

“In Texas, class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both jail time and a fine.”

Some club owners/managers and event planners don’t see the potential threat of what could go wrong if patrons or event goers are injured or claim “assault” by any of their security staff members performing guard detail without licensing.

Class A MisdemeanorIn this day and age, lawsuits are flying everywhere; it behooves all parties involved to spend the extra time and money necessary to obtain all that is required to become a security officer or have those providing security services legally licensed.

Your establishment or brand (e.g. event/wedding planners) could end before it even takes off; you could be slapped with both criminal and civil suits, and the individuals acting as guards could face imprisonment and so on…

The reputation of a business is completely tarnished once the rumor mill begins about lawsuits filed against the business and unlicensed guards arrested for alleged assaults and wrongful detainment, etc.

Nightclub security license requirements in Texas

Club sued for bouncer assaulting patron

In the news:

A nightclub bouncer of San Antonio was arrested for using excessive force. He was charged with aggravated assault (a 2nd degree felony) and may face up to twenty years in prison.

More Security News:Security Guard News Texas

A bouncer was arrested for allegedly stabbing a patron; he was charged with aggravated assault.

Security license requirements for bouncers and event staff in Texas

security training AustinFormal training will greatly reduce the odds of having overzealous guards at your establishment; it will also provide them with the necessary skills to be able to respond correctly when met with unruly individuals.

Some of the most valuable lessons are learned in hindsight; however, businesses who hire “security” and those whom assume the duties of security officers can’t afford to approach this situation in hindsight. Ensure all those who are performing guard work are licensed to do so.

If you are unclear of laws and regulations and would like more information on licensing requirements, contact SRS Services for security consultation.

Posted in BODYGUARDS, BUSINESS SECURITY, PERSONAL SECURITY, SECURITY GUARDS, SECURITY LAWS & REGULATIONS, SECURITY MANAGEMENT, SECURITY TRAINING, SPECIAL EVENT SECURITY Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Security job tips
September 21st, 2015 by Texasnews

Security jobs are easy to come by; with the population growing, increase in businesses, and unfortunately, increase in crime, guard companies are often in need of security officers. So what sets one guard apart from the other? Exactly how do companies go about selecting security guards? When looking for security jobs, here are a few pointers to assist you:

  • Everything is a test! security jobSecurity employment tips

Every step after your initial contact is a Test – starting with your application continuing on throughout your interview… Be sure to Pass!

Guard managers look at everything you do following the initial contact (but not excluding it): from showing up on time, to your appearance, how you fill out the application, how you communicate, how you follow instructions, if you have a great attitude (or not), and so on.

Security employment tips outlined

  • Fully Understand the Position You are Applying For

Guard companies will specify exactly the position they have available to offer along with shifts, specific locations, hourly rates, etc.; be sure you are able to cover the shifts outlined by the company so that you aren’t wasting your time or that of the guard company’s.

  • Seek Training From Security Schools or Training Academies Prior to Employment

Having prior training and experience helps you land a job as a security officer but some companies don’t require it; meaning, you don’t have to possess skills coming through the door, they may train you in-house (at their establishment) or have you receive training at a security training academysecurity training for guards

One Caveat Here: Not all training is created equal! Do your due diligence before signing up with any academy or security guard school.

  • Dress to Impress – Appearance Matters

If you think for a second that coming to an interview in sweat pants or your hair untamed as if you just rolled out of bed and into the interview, you’re in trouble. Well-groomed, clean-shaven, in business casual attire is always the way to go.

Key Factors to help you get a security job

  • Arrive on Time

security employment advice for guard jobsThis is a test in itself. If you were given a time to show up for your interview, be sure to get to the location on time. Most guard managers will use this as a gauge to determine if you’ll arrive on a client’s property late as well.

To be on the safe side, arrive ten to fifteen minutes early. You are trying to make a good first impression so why not show your future employer that you are prompt.

  • Have a Great Attitude – and Confidence

A great attitude will take you far; again, this is one of those things guard managers look for. Will you greet the guard company’s clients with smiles, empathy, and genuine care or will you have a negative, non-approachable aura?confidence

The guard industry can use some work in the customer service department, so those candidates who possess great attitudes will be a much better fit than someone showing up with a bad attitude, grumpy, and complaints about everything. Even if the applicant has prior training and experience, a bad attitude will cost him a security job. Bad attitudes are toxic in this profession… well, any profession.

  • Exercise Great Communication Skills

Talking over, interrupting, and over explaining isn’t the way to go when seeking security employment. Listen, and once the interviewer or guard manager is done speaking, then add your words or answer any questions. It isn’t a good look for you to easily anger or go into Austin security trainingdebate mood when asked questions that need clarification on your application.

  • Ask Questions

If you are unclear about the position being offered, the starting rate, shifts, pay, etc., ask questions before moving forward; this will save you and your future employer lots of time… you have to speak up.

  • Never Leave Areas of the Application Blank

Come to the interview prepared with prior employment addresses/names, references, and any additional documentation such as training certificates or licenses. Have integrity. Make sure you’re not lying or purposely leaving areas blank in hopes of negotiating terms later during the interview.

Hand Filling Application For EmploymentAgain, you more than likely are being judged by the guard manager as to whether or not you can follow simple instructions. There’s a famous quote out there, “How you do one thing is how you do everything;” Nine times out of ten, the security manager will relate those missing areas on your application to you leaving out details in your guard shift report.

  • Do Not Omit Areas of Employment

If you’ve worked for several security guard companies, don’t neglect listing those companies. Example: If you’ve worked five guard companies in the year of 2015, don’t just list two and leave out the other three… it doesn’t look good on your end; it’s as if you’re trying to hide them.

FYI, guard managers may (should) run a check on DPS’ website and retrieve your security guard background history, so it behooves you to be forthcoming.

How to get a security job

Companies look for individuals they can grow with, rely on and invest in. It costs security guard companies money having a revolving door of people who aren’t taking themselves, guard companies, or the profession seriously. If you are sincere about your employment, you will follow these 10 helpful tips to get a security job.

Click here to learn more about security careers in Austin.

Posted in BODYGUARDS, BUSINESS SECURITY, PERSONAL SECURITY, SECURITY GUARDS, SECURITY MANAGEMENT, SECURITY TRAINING, SPECIAL EVENT SECURITY Tagged with: , , , , ,

Customer service skills for security guards
August 3rd, 2015 by Texasnews

Customer service is a skill that every business should train their employees on. There’s nothing like an upset customer speaking to an employee or representative of a company with little to no customer service skills. A great deal of businesses lose clientele quite frequently due to a nonchalant approach to this issue. customer service training for guards

Not many companies in the guard industry require or have ongoing customer service training, which is horrible for this profession. Listed below, are a few helpful customer service tips for security guards.

Customer Service Skills for Security Guards

Greet Clients with a Smile

customer service training for securityA nice, warm smile along with “Hello,” and the Client’s name is a nice start to providing great customer service; even if you are an introvert, a smile puts people in a good mood. Be sincere – most people can smell “fake” a mile away.

It’s said that people absolutely love the sound of their names; with that said, do your best to greet clients by name. If you are not on a first name basis yet, refer to them by their last names or simply “sir” or “ma’am.”

Helpful Tip: Act as if the Client is a long-lost friend that you haven’t seen in years. How would you greet that good friend? Would you smile or would you give off a vibe that you really don’t want to be around? Exactly. SMILE

guard trainingMake Eye Contact

Eye contact is a great indicator that the client has your attention. If you are looking at the ground, ceiling, or to the left and right of the client, how on earth can he connect with you? By doing this, you will make the client feel that he’s bothering you or your attention span is extremely short.

Take a few seconds to silence all things around you and focus on the words that are coming out of the client’s mouth.

Helpful Tip: Act as if you are the client in this moment. When you are frustrated, annoyed or simply want to be heard, how would you feel if the person you are expressing this to, is busy looking everywhere but at you?

It’s never a good feeling being dismissed; always try to put yourself in the client’s place.

Tips for excellent customer service

Build Rapport

Contrary to what you may have heard, it doesn’t take long to get to know people. Every chance you get, try to find out more and more about the client – interests, family, occupation; don’t go into investigation mode, instead let the questions flow naturally and be genuine.

Start with occupation questions. Ask the client how they got started doing what they do? Then ask them about their down time – what they do for fun when they’re not working around the clock?

If you begin flowing back and forth with conversation, ask them about family – if they have kids, if they’re married, etc. Remember to talk as if this is a good friend (not too relaxed), but someone you enjoy being around.

rapport building in securityHelpful Tip: It’s always good to find common ground and build on that. Example – If you both love the same sports team, music, or enjoy hanging out with family; once you have that information, the conversation can literally go on for hours. *Let the conversation continue on until the client cuts it off. 

Listen to Clients

Hear their concerns, complaints, or issues and utilize your active listening skills.

Active Listening – “a communication technique used in counseling, training and conflict resolution, which requires the listener to feedback what they hear to the speaker, by way of re-stating or paraphrasing what they have heard in their own words, to confirm what they have heard and moreover, to confirm the understanding of both parties.”

listening skills in securitySummarize what the client has said to you and ask questions that are in line with concerns, issues or complaints spoken by the client.

Helpful Tip: Be present. There is no way you understand someone if while they’re talking, you’re formulating your words to speak.

Have Empathy

Acknowledge the client’s problem(s); go a step further and express your understanding of the problem(s). Example: the client is upset because the other guard (of course, not you) is being sloppy with performance and appearance. The client elects to tell you instead of contacting guard management and escalating the problem.

empathy for security clientsYou tell the client that you fully understand why the client is upset about the guard’s appearance and performance. You add: “We’re all supposed to be making sure things are cohesive on your property; that includes our performance and appearance.

I’ll definitely speak to ‘Officer A’ immediately so that his performance and appearance is what you expect from us. I’m so sorry that you even have to have this conversation with me but I’ll get it fixed promptly.”


Helpful Tip
: You must add “urgency” to the equation when you tell a client that you will fix a problem. Never leave any room for clients to believe that they’re not a priority.

Find Solutions to Client’s Issuesproblem solving in security

If the client has expressed to you that there’s a problem or concern, let the client know that you will go above and beyond to provide a solution. Don’t just say it, really try to find a solution to their problem.

Helpful Tip: If you are stuck and can’t find a way to remedy the client’s problem, contact your employer. Security guard managers are more than qualified to resolve client issues.

Customer Service and Austin Security Guards

Ongoing customer service training is a must with security officers. If the guard company doesn’t provide it, you should locate an institution that offers it and invest in yourself.  If you take heed to these helpful customer service tips for security guards, you will be well on your way to advance in the guard industry.

To learn more about client relations in security, click here.

Posted in BODYGUARDS, BUSINESS SECURITY, PERSONAL SECURITY, SECURITY GUARDS, SECURITY MANAGEMENT, SECURITY TRAINING Tagged with: , , , , ,

Austin Unarmed security guards
July 20th, 2015 by Texasnews

If a crime occurs on your property and the criminals involved are armed, how effective will unarmed security officers be to you and your staff? What can the guards do to protect you and your staff while waiting for police to arrive?

Although armed guards may appear too “aggressive-looking” for some, when faced with this type of scenario, one must question the efficacy of unarmed security officers.

Let’s state the obvious here: We live in a world where crime takes place in a matter of seconds every single day and active shooter incidents are reported quite frequently throughout the nation.

Where there is crime, it is common for some form of weaponry to be involved. If the guard on your property has no way of defending you and can’t do anything to shield your safety… what do you do? What's your next move? What’s plan B? 

Are Unarmed Guards Effective?

Unarmed officers serve their purpose – they act as a deterrent as all guards do; however, when the worst-case scenario is occurring and one must react, an unarmed guard has absolutely nothing to help out in this situation.

All lives are on the line and the guard has a flashlight, pepper spray and nothing of use to fight off a deadly attack. At the very least, the guard should have a conductive energy weapon of some sort, which is not considered a lethal weapon.

Some individuals and companies are even threatened by officers carrying conductive energy weapons; so again, what on earth should the guard do in this case?

Companies avoid having armed guards on their property to elude the risks of liabilities, lawsuits and being negligent for accidental shootings at their place of business. Which is quite understandable, but if the companies would conduct their due diligence and contract with security providers who hire licensed, competent officers with extensive training, the risk of injuries and damages would drop significantly – as the armed guard would possess the skills necessary to handle this type of occurrence.

See how quickly this armed guard wards off robbers:

Unarmed versus armed guards

Often, unarmed guards are hired to appease a company’s visitors, staff, and so forth by giving the “presence” of security but that’s about it. They simply add a layer of protection but a very thin layer at that. The thin layer becomes completely nonexistent when unarmed guards encounter a high-level threat – life or death situation; and at that point, their effectiveness is unsubstantial.

Austin Armed security guardsNow you may say to yourself, “my business is in the safest area of my city; that type of crime doesn’t happen here;” most victims of America say the exact same thing. They never foresee the crime because they always say it can’t happen but the fact is, it can; and if it does, what level of security will you have at your establishment – armed or unarmed guards?

For more information about unarmed and armed guards, contact SRS Services.

Posted in BODYGUARDS, BUSINESS SECURITY, PERSONAL SECURITY, SECURITY GUARDS, SECURITY MANAGEMENT, SECURITY TRAINING Tagged with: , , , , ,

April 17th, 2015 by Texasnews

Do security guards actually prevent crime at churches? This a question that has been asked by many. A short answer to this question: crime is less likely to happen where criminals feel there is law enforcement or security on the premises – you can do your research here and check stats; most of the churches attacked did not have a security team or police officers on the property.

Crime at churches often occur when there is absolutely no protection on site. The last thing people want to believe is that someone would attack church goers but the sad reality is, crime is everywhere and occurs any time, at any location – and yes, even on church grounds.

According to Noelle Swan, in the past 15 years, more than 781 deadly attacks have occurred in the United States in places of worship. Vehicles are being burglarized in church parking lots; church members are being targeted and robbed, and worshippers are being murdered during services.

Man with a Shotgun Kicks in Church Door (see video):

Some churches have decided to get their congregation involved and establish a safety ministry to act as lookouts for suspicious individuals entering the property. They’ve also asked any off-duty police officers who are members to help out and volunteer to protect the members and visitors. The ministry has meetings to discuss safety precautions in the event they are attacked and have to react without law enforcement on site.

Prevent Church Crime16 Ways to Help Prevent Crime at Churches

***Conduct a security risk analysis prior to purchasing security equipment. Often equipment is purchased and installed only to discover that it does not meet expected needs or solve the problems since needs and problems were never identified and properly assessed in the first place.

  1. Following a security risk analysis, form a safety and security committee and select a chairperson to provide leadership.
  2. Train ushers, greeters and other key volunteers to recognize, report and respond to suspicious activity or a security or safety incident.
  3. One or more trained persons from the safety security committee should remain posted at designated areas to observe people exiting cars and walking towards the church. Part of training is to be observant for signs of stress or suspicious actions.
  4. An emergency plan should be developed and tested annually in response to any natural or man-made disaster that could occur in your area. Include Fire, Police and/or EMS in annual testing and formulating plans. This requires work but there are many inexpensive books and free government publications available to assist with emergency planning.
  5. Review outdoor lighting to make sure it is sufficient.
  6. Maintain plants and shrubbery low to the ground to reduce hiding places.
  7. When opening and closing your church facility, pay close attention to your surroundings and be extra careful. Depending on your environment, time of day and other activities occurring in the nearby area, you may want to implement opening and closing procedures.
  8. A well thought-out and installed burglar alarm and fire alarm system will help protect church assets.
  9. Ensure that a process exists to release children to parents or authorized adults.
  10. Perform background checks on both volunteers and paid staff that have responsibility for children. There should be no exception for this rule where responsibility for children exits.
  11. Conduct background checks on all the safety security team regardless of involvement with children.
  12. Personnel records and other sensitive information must protected from unauthorized access.
  13. Two people should remain present from time funds are collected until counted and stored. Key control for essential doors and containers for valuables must be managed.
  14. Major or expensive assets should be marked in case of theft and inventoried at least annually.
  15. Be proactive and observant for safety violations such as exposed wiring, locks that don’t work and cleaning chemicals that are not stored properly. Safety and security go hand-in-hand.
  16. The most important strategy or action that can be taken to prevent security incidents is to increase security awareness with all members. Courtesy of Jim McGuffey and Church Security Consultant.com

Church security AustinChurch Security Guards Can Help Reduce Crime

The above may be a tall order for some churches; to add, the average person does not have the level of training needed to guard a facility and people. It’s a great strategy to impose safety precautions but churches should go a step further and either get their safety ministry professionally trained to handle crime on their church grounds or outright hire security officers and take the stress off the congregation as a whole.

Being on the “look-out” for criminals is one thing, but what happens when three or more criminals are attacking a church at one time? Most church goers are not trained for that type of occurrence and are not armed to handle active shooters on the property.

Churches should involve their members and educate them about safety but they should also include a security training program that keeps them on top of their game in the event that a crime does break out on church grounds.

No one wants to think of this worst case scenario but again, it happens and more often than you think. Question –Security guards: Do they prevent crime at churches? Answer – Absolutely! They not only prevent crime at churches, they take the stress off the church members having to worry about their safety or lack thereof.

To consult with a security expert regarding the matter, click here.

Posted in BUSINESS SECURITY, PERSONAL SECURITY, SECURITY GUARDS, SECURITY MANAGEMENT, SECURITY TRAINING Tagged with: , , , ,

Vehicle running while unattended Texas
March 20th, 2015 by Texasnews

Ever decided to leave your vehicle running while unattended to get a 10 minute head start while you finish off your morning breakfast or tidy up a bit before rushing off to work? Sure you have. How about quickly going into a convenient store for a hot cup of coffee or dropping off mail at the post office while leaving your vehicle running? Yep, you’ve done that also.

As tempting as it may be to let your car warm up while you’re inside finishing off that last piece of toast or dashing inside your neighborhood Quickie Picky for that fresh cup of mo, you should never leave your vehicle running while unattended.

One of the Leading Causes of Car Theft in Texas Seen in this Video

Don’t leave the engine running while away from your vehicle.

Let’s face it, who really wants to sit in a car while it warms up on a freezing cold day, or better yet, a scorching hot Texas summer day? In a world where everything moves so quickly, a 5-10 minute vehicle warm-up can feel like an eternity.

For a less than 20 second errand, why on earth is it necessary to turn the engine off?

Initially it is bothersome, and doesn’t seem pragmatic until you think of all the possible outcomes and realize you can avoid placing yourself in harm’s way.

Unattended vehicle law Texas Reality Check#1

“Police say a man who was getting ready to go deer hunting left his truck running while he went inside his house; when he came back outside a man was sitting in his truck and attacked him. The suspect kicked the man in the head and face and demanded his wallet, then threatened to kill the man with the rifle he found in the truck.” -KXAN News

And this is exactly what CAN happen when you least expect it!

That man had no idea that a couple of minutes inside to gather a few more items could lead to his life being on the line. If he had the opportunity to do it over again, the car engine would have been either off with all windows up and doors locked or he would have be inside the vehicle with the engine on, windows up and doors locked. It’s unfortunate but this is the way of the world.

Reality Check# 2 Texas unattended vehicle law

A man reportedly left his vehicle running in the driveway of his house; he returned to find it stolen. Fairfield Police cautioned residents not to leave their vehicles running unattended regardless of the weather and time of day. -Ian Thompson

Consider This:

  1. How much time does it take to call the police department and wait for them to get to your location?
  2. How much time does it take to file a report and contact your insurance agency?
  3. How quickly will you get a rental?
  4. How long will it take to replace your vehicle?

Answer – It takes a lot less time to shut your engine off than to go through the agony of your vehicle being stolen.

Did You Know?

“The key to being compensated for a car theft is to have comprehensive car insurance. If you opted out of automobile comprehensive and collision insurance, theft is excluded from your car insurance coverage.

Some carriers do not look favorably on practically handing your car over to thieves by leaving it running unattended in your driveway with the keys in the ignition and doors unlocked. As a result, they might have language in the coverage to exclude the policyholder from claiming a loss if this should happen. Read your policy carefully.

Note any language about the policyholder being liable if he or she “increases the risk of theft” (like leaving your car running unattended). You may also want to check with your local municipality about idling ordinances; if there is one on the books, you may have trouble getting your insurance company to settle.” Bankrate

Fine for leaving a vehicle running while unattended in Texas  Texas Vehicle Running while Unattended

TEXAS HAS RULED…

It is currently against the law in Texas to leave your vehicle running while unattended.

If convicted, you can be fined $200.

Remaining in your vehicle when it is running or shutting it off and taking your keys with you can save a call to your local police department, or more importantly, save your life. Take the necessary precautions rather than being annoyed with the minuscule amount of time it takes to be safe… Never leave your vehicle running unattended!

For more information regarding this article, personal safety or security consulting, Click Here!

Posted in PERSONAL SECURITY Tagged with: , , , , ,

Carjacking prevention Tips
March 8th, 2015 by Texasnews

Carjacking prevention tips can be the one thing that helps save your life or the life of someone close to you. Being aware of your surroundings is one of the most important things you can train yourself, family and friends to pay attention to. Not focusing on what is taking place near you can cost your life!

Ever pull up to a traffic light with your window down and radio blasting a must-hear song you’d like to know all the words to? That’s not you…

Okay. Have you ever driven a convertible car with the top down anywhere in the USA? Not you either?

Okay. How about this one: Have you ever gotten into your car and not locked the doors? *Let’s assume you’re not driving the latest model vehicle equipped with auto-lock.

If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of these, you are a prime target.

Carjacking Caught on Tape

Carjacking Prevention Tips To Pay Attention To

What exactly is a prime target?

An individual so engulfed in whatever it is they’re doing, whether it be listening to the latest tunes, talking on their cell phone, day dreaming, etc., that they can’t hear and aren’t even capable of using their senses to see a possible crime in progress – involving them.

What was once considered “safe” no longer exists; if you are breathing, you could face the ugliness of the world at any time and “anywhere.”

Scenario:carjacking in texas

You’re at a traffic light with the window halfway down, music going and 2 kiddos are in the backseat raising all kinds of havoc. You have no idea that the man to your left is approaching your vehicle and about to make you a victim. Why? You’re completely distracted!

Have you ever seen a movie where there’s a carjacking scene? What is the first thing the carjacker does? Pulls on the door-handle right… and why is that? Because it’s usually unlocked!

 

What do Carjackers Look For?

  • Individuals walking to or exiting their vehicles in mall parking garages or large commercial parking garages
  • Individuals walking to or exiting their vehicles in shopping center/grocery store parking lots
  • Individuals resting, texting, eating and fixing their hair and make-up in a parked vehicle
  • Individuals pulling up to or leaving ATMs
  • Individuals at Traffic light intersections or stop signs unaware of their surroundingscarjacking tips
  • Individuals returning to or exiting their homes
  • Individuals returning to or exiting their vehicles at convenience stores and do-it-yourself car washes

In the news:

A carjacker kidnapped an 83-year-old woman in the driveway of her Arlington home. Neighbors say the victim pulled up to her home and was immediately attacked by the man, who forced her into her silver Lincoln MKZ sedan. The woman, who was not identified, struggled with her attacker, and a neighbor tried to intervene but was overpowered and threatened by the carjacker. Christina Rosales

A popular R&B singer was approached by 2 males wearing a mask and armed with a gun; the singer was forced to hand over the keys to his Bentley – he complied. See more of Bobby V’s story here.

A young Austin musician had just finished a show in Houston when a carjacker put a gun in her and her mother’s face and took their jewelry, IDs and more than $50,000 of music equipment; then the man drove off in their only car. Morgan Chesky

How to Prevent Being Carjacked
  1. As you approach your vehicle, check around and inside it before entering. If you observe a suspicious person or activity then do not approach your vehicle.
  2. Drive with the doors locked and the windows up.
  3. Whenever possible leave a “safety zone” between you and the vehicle in front of you at stop signs and traffic signals.
  4. Drive in center lanes where possible, avoiding the curb-side lane if practical.
  5. Avoid driving through high crime or unfamiliar areas, particularly late at night or early in the morning.
  6. Check your rearview mirror to make sure you are not being followed.
  7. Park in heavily traveled areas near entrances to businesses.
  8. Prior to exiting your vehicle, take the time to look around particularly at areas that could conceal a criminal.
  9. Do not park near vans, trucks or other vehicles where you cannot observe their interiors.
  10. Eating, sleeping, reading or applying make-up in a parked car is an open invitation to carjackers.
  11. Carjackers have been known to stage minor accidents so that they can approach your car. If your vehicle is bumped from behind and you don’t feel comfortable with the individuals involved, drive to the nearest police or fire station.
  12. If you are confronted by a carjacker, especially if the thief has a weapon, give up your car immediately and move away. Your life is more valuable than your car or possessions! Courtesy of Houston Police

Equipped with a new perspective of what to look for will help reduce your chances of being targeted by a carjacker. For more tips on carjacking prevention, visit SRS’ Contact Us page

Posted in PERSONAL SECURITY Tagged with: , ,

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