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.
Unfortunately, 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.
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 going 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:
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.
Guests 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 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 credit 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: Credit Card Scams at Hotels, Hotel Scams, Hotel Scams to Avoid, Scams at Hotels
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 the 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.
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.
OCC §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.
In 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.
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.
A bouncer was arrested for allegedly stabbing a patron; he was charged with aggravated assault.
Formal 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: Licensing Requirements for bar security, Licensing Requirements for Bouncers Texas, Licensing Requirements for Club Security Texas, Licensing Requirements for event security, Security License Austin, Security License Texas, Security Training Texas
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:
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.
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.
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 academy.
One Caveat Here: Not all training is created equal! Do your due diligence before signing up with any academy or security guard school.
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.
This 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.
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?
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.
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 debate mood when asked questions that need clarification on your application.
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.
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.
Again, 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.
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.
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: Austin security guard jobs, Austin security job, security employment tips, security job Austin, security jobs in Austin, tips for security employment
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.
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.
Greet Clients with a Smile
A 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
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
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.
Helpful 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.”
Summarize 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.
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.
You 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 Issues
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.
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: client relations, customer service for guards, customer service for security guards, Customer service tips, customer service tips for security, tips about customer service
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 plan B?
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:
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.
Now 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: Armed guards Austin, armed security officers Austin, Armed versus unarmed guards, Austin security officers, Unarmed security Austin, Unarmed security officers
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.
***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.
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: Austin Church Security Guards, Austin Security Services, Church Guards in Austin, Church Security Guards Austin, Security Services Austin
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
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.”
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!
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
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: Carjacking prevention, carjacking prevention tips, Carjacking tips
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.
Discouraging a Robbery
Be Cautious of your Surroundings
Opening and Closing Procedures
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
Be sure to capture:
Steps to take after the theft occurs:
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
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
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.
“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.
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
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
TEXAS HAS RULED…
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: Austin car thefts, Car thefts in Texas, Engine left on to vehicle Texas, stolen vehicles Texas, Texas car thefts, Texas law about vehicles
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 specificAlthough 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.
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