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Seeing Clearly May Save Your Life

I recently attended a Ladies Car Care Clinic hosted by Kelly Williams, a former race car driver. The clinic was very informative and made me a lot more “Car Care Aware”! It brought me to the decision to share some excerpts from an article written by Ian Palmer and published in Canadian Car Owner magazine.

Seeing Clearly

It goes without saying that good visibility is critical to safe motoring.

Ensuring good visiblity, as it turns out, means making sure that your windshield, wipers, heaters, defrosters, and lights are all in good repair. After all, obstructions can put you, other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk of serious injury… or even worse.

Consider the 90-90-90 principle. If you’re traveling as a speed of 90 km per hour, you’ll cover about 90 feet each second…and 90% of all driving decisions are based entirely on vision.

So if your windshield is dirty, wipers are worn and tattered, and heaters and defrosters aren’t working properly, you’ll be driving blind, so to speak.

Canada’s got some really interesting weather. With the rain, sleet, hail, and snow, your vehicle’s windshield takes a beating. And dirty glass deflects not only sunlight, but also glare from the headlights of other vehicles.

Having the right wipers is one thing. (I did not know that there are all-season wiper blades, performance blades and winter blades to choose from!) Knowing when to replace them is another.

In general, you can’t go wrong with changing your wipers twice a year. However, you should change them more often if, between regular change intervals, you notice that the blades smear, streak, squeak, or do anything else that indicates less then optimal performance.

You also want to be mindful about your lights, for obvious reasons. Have your vehicle technician ensure that your headlights are aimed straight ahead rather than up at the sky.

Bulbs should be replaced in pairs. When one goes, you can be sure the ohter’s not far behind.

When on the roadway or highway, you want to see other drivers… and you want them to see you as well. Keeping on top of visibility related maintenance is critical in this regard. After all, ensuring good visibility is your responsibility as a motorist.

Why don’t you try to answer the following questions.

  • How often should you change your oil?
  • Brake fluid?
  • Transmission fluid?
  • Air Filter?
  • Serpentine Belt?
  • Wiper Blades?

Answers: 3 months or 5,000 km; 50,000 km; 70,000 km; 20-24,000 km; 70,000 km; every 6 months

So, how did you make out with those questions?! Websites to visit:

When it comes to your vehicle maintenance, make sure to deal with a qualified automotive repair technician.

When it comes to peace of mind for you and your loved ones, call me!

If you don’t have a security system or don’t have it monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation.  You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist , (780) 288-2986

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How To Avoid The Top 3 Latest Scams

Fraud is on the rise. Don’t fall victim to the latest tricks.

According to Consumer Reports Canada, here are 3 of the latest scams you need to protect yourself from:

You’ve just won a $100 gift card!

In this bamboozle, burglars claiming to be from a local store call to tell you that you’ve just won the prized plastic, and you must come in to pick it up.

Burglary. The game is to get you out of the house so that robbers can carry out an old-fashioned break-in while you’re gone.

Protect yourself. This simple trick works because it catches you by surprise. Always be suspicious when someone promises you something for nothing. The Better Business Bureau, which first warned about this scam, advises “winnners” need to ask questions: What contest did I win? How was I chosen? Call the store to independently confirm the details. After you determine that it’s a scam, notify the police. And take extra precautions to lock up your house, set your alarm, and protect valuables when you do leave, since burglars have clearly targeted your home.

You could win an iPad. Start bidding!

Hot electronics are commonly used to entice victims into a shakedown. A pop-up ad on your computer invites you to bid on an iPad, laptop PC, or wide-screen TV, but you must include your cell-phone number to play. Submitting your bid sends a text message to your cell-phone that, whether you respond or not, may authorize an unwanted $9.99 a month subscription to some useless service. The charge gets tacked onto your cell-phone bill, where you’re unlikely to notice it.

Cramming. The auction is smoke and mirrors designed to capture your cell-phone number to place unauthorized charges on your bill, a practice called cramming. Unlike numbers for landlines, cell-phone numbers aren’t published in directories, so scammers must be under-handed to get it.

Cell-phone companies, which can collect $1 to $2 commissions per charge, claim that wireless cramming isn’t a problem but Consumer Reports found 480,000 alleged cell-cramming victims in one case, and in 2011 a Senate committee investigation comcluded that landline and cell-phone crammers could be fleecing $2 billion a year from consumers.

Protect yourself. Guard you cell-phone number like a credit card; don’t give it to strangers. Demand refunds from your cell provider if you’ve bin crammed. Tell your wireless and landline carriers to block all third-party billing to your account, and check previous bills for cramming charges.

I’m a recruiter. Want a $17.50-an-hour job?

Last May, job hunters using computers at a public library in Columbus, Ohio, to research the want ads were approached by a ‘recruiter” looking to fill positions at a new store nearby. The sneak used the library to conduct job interviews, and canditates filled out applications with their name, date of birth, Social Security number, and more.

Identity-theft scams. When the applicants later went to the store for training, they learned that the recruiter wasn’t associated with it at all. Rather, face-to-face job interviews are a new and brazen way to extract information for ID theft.

Job scams rank seventh on the BBB’s top 10 scams list, and such come-ons also involve work-at-home schemes including stuffing envelopes, assembling merchandise, medical billing and claims processing, and reshipping what the victim may not know are stolen goods.

ID theft was the biggest category on the FTC’s 2011 complaint list. Thieves us a wide variety of tactics to get you to give up key information that lets them steal from your existing bank and credit accounts or use your Social Insurance number to open phony financial accounts and commit other crimes in your name. The most effective deceptions appear to come from your bank or credit-card company, a government agency, or other entity that you trust, and they wheedle information out of you by saying they need it to correct an error or prevent a problem.

Protect yourself. Never give your personal information to anyone who telephones, e-mails, texts, or otherwise initiates contact with you. Don’t participate in fun-looking online pop-up quizzes that ask for your mother’s maiden name, your first pet’s name, or other information commonly used to verify your identity. Monitor your financial accounts weekly or even daily, place a security freeze on your credit bureaus, and file an ID-theft report with the local police if you get swindled.

If someone approaches you with a job, contact the prospective employer to verify that the recruiter and the job opening are legitimate. There should be no need for checking-account or other financial information on your application.

If you don’t have a security system or don’t have it monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation.  You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist , (780) 288-2986

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Knock, Knock. Who’s There?

It’s still summer.  All across Canada, hordes of young people are knocking on doors to pitch home security.  Sometimes they are honest.  But it has to be bad for the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and CANASA (Canadian Security Association) to issue blanket warnings to consumers on these seasonal “door knockers”.

“Often times these companies will use scare tactics or very aggressive sales people who won’t take no for an answer.  Home owners often feel trapped into making a decision on the spot, which can lead to problems” says Mona Emond, CANASA.

Read the following confession from Taylor, a Door-to-Door Alarm Salesman:

“I sell home security systems for a living and I only work the three summer months of the year.   What I fail to mention is that my bank account regularly has 6 digits.  All because I lie to people for a living…”

The ten lies he tells when knocking on people’s doors:

1: “I am a marketing Rep from (insert alarm company here) and am just doing some marketing in your neighborhood today.”

Don’t believe a word of what I am saying. I am a high pressure sales rep that is focused on making as much money off of your insecurities as I can. Granted, I don’t tell myself that every morning while shaving, but when the chips are down, thats what I will tell you. I use the marketing line to come off as inexperienced and even non-intrusive. People find the word sales as dirty, so I don’t use it. I use softer words to assure people that I am not taking their money and I don’t even really care if they help me. But inside I know that if someone lets their guard down for even just a second, I will make the sale and have another commission.
2: “I’m just in the neighborhood talking to a couple of particular families in the area, seeing if they will help (alarm company) market their new product line thats just come out.”

I don’t believe you are smart enough to figure it out, so I keep feeding you what you want. I’m not interested in two or three families on your street. I am interested in getting every person in a 50 mile radius to buy my product, because I like money. I’m not looking at special cases that will help market my product. I am interested in forcibly getting you to sign a contract that binds you for three to five years and pays my bills for a while. And the product isn’t so new and improved. Its been on the market for years now. Don’t let me tell you that this stuff just came out and we are trying to get a couple of families to use it and try it out because we just want to push product. Simple as that.

3: “What we do is give families this free equipment to put in their home, and all we ask is they put our little sign out in front of their yard. Thats it. That way, our sales department can have some product in the area to point to as examples. We are willing to take the hit, if you are willing to help us out.”

Sure you don’t pay for any equipment put into your home, but really do you think we would just give you this stuff for free? I have all the placards to show you how each piece of equipment is close to two hundred dollars, and that is cost we as a company are willing to swallow. What I don’t tell you is I pay minimum manufacturing price for each piece of equipment I sell. So really, all those things I say we are willing to “take the hit” for, don’t cost anything. I am just telling you this to make you feel like you are beating the system. And you suckers think you are getting a deal, yet you never really do.

4: “All this equipment will cover your home and give you an extra sense of security in this area. Now, this area isn’t a bad area at all, but there have been a few reports in the news of some home invasions recently.”

Doesn’t “invasion” make you think of the Germans storming into Poland? I love using the word “invasion” and watching people light up with emotion. And these two or three articles that I am showing you? Just random articles with a bit of Photoshop work and you are all of a sudden suffering from major home invasions in Podunk, Iowa. I change the name of the city, paper, and maybe other small details and that is it. You are starting to believe me, aren’t you? Now, I’ve got you emotionally charged up and I give your home the walkthrough.

5: “These windows here in the back of your house are big security threats because of (insert general safety tip). In fact, in this recent break in, the article cited the back windows as the point of entry for the prowler.”

I am working you into an emotional frenzy. I went directly to the back windows and doors without you even asking me to come in. Don’t ever let me do that again. You don’t even know me, yet you are willing to let me into your house and all the way to the back door? And the back windows aren’t that big of a deal. You have no idea how people break into houses, but you are willing to believe me, because hey, its my job right? Actually I don’t know any more than you do. I just sound a bit more knowledgeable than others, and have this great system just waiting to be inserted into your house.

6: “So let’s sit down here and go through the equipment you selected to cover your less secure areas. Now all we need to get this equipment released to you is to make sure you are the homeowner. We have had problems with (random lie concerning equipment and ebay). I will just call this in and we can get this taken care of.”

I am running a credit check. Right now because you have given me your birthday and or social security number, I have the power to check your credit and see if you are eligible to make the monthly payments. I don’t tell you this because you don’t know who I am calling, giving all this information to, you don’t know who I am, checking your credit, you don’t know me at all. Don’t give me your information like we are long lost brothers just making sure we found each other. I am praying to the credit gods that you are worthy to be swindled. And in two seconds, presto. You are.

7: “In the event your security system ever really does go off or even needs to be serviced, we ask that you have a personal password that we can verify with you. That and some emergency contacts if we can’t reach you. Just fill these out right here and we can release the equipment to you.”

I am diverting your attention so I can fill out the contract. Or “terms of agreement,” as I will call it in a second. Its the age old trick of diverting someone’s attention from the important so they won’t be shocked by it. And you are doing it!!! I’m filling out terms and conditions, signing everything now, so when I give you this paper and the pen, you will skim it, not really care, and sign. Because its important.

8: “Now that we have that emergency contact information, lets go over the terms of our agreement. You remember I said earlier that all you needed to do was to put the sign out in your front yard and you could be given the equipment? Well that’s all this says. You are qualified and willing to meet these terms to have the sign in your yard and have the equipment in your house.”

It’s just the terms of the agreement. Just like I said. If you start to look at the monthly costs of this alarm system I will go directly back to lies number 4 and 5 and work you into your emotional state again. After that, the monthly costs don’t look so bad now do they? Yes, they do. It’s still money out of your pocket. YOU ARE NOT GETTING THIS STUFF FOR FREE!!!! You are going to give me your credit card number in a second so that I can process this transaction and start you down the path of constant payments.

9: “I am just going to make one phone call to our corporate office so that we can get this all set up. (At a certain point in the phone call, Corporate asks how the customer is going to pay for the initial transaction, which is taken out immediately. I look up from the phone and politely say) They are asking for a credit card number to be placed on file so we can have a record of me being here and completing this agreement. What card were you going to use for that?”

Yeah, I knew about this part earlier. You don’t want me to hang up with busy corporate though, do you? They are right here on the phone, it’s really easy to just give them the number over the phone. If you are really hung up on it, I will talk you into your emotional frenzy again and then maybe even become a bit combative as I accuse you of breaking our trust that we had just moments ago. Hopefully it won’t get to the point where I have to tell you, don’t worry about the cost, its not even a price that is established by us. Some mysterious company decides the prices for every neighborhood. That’s completely false and misleading, yet still works 85 percent of the time.

10: “We have technicians in the area that are following us around and at no extra charge to you, installing each home security system we give away. Its a service from our company that lets you guys get to know the technicians in your area a bit more and you can know your system is being properly installed.”

These guys are just college kids like myself, with minimal training by some country bumpkin who once ran his own phone lines in his house, so he is qualified to train on home security. Hopefully they can put your alarm system in today, so that when you start to get buyers remorse, you will already have the holes in your walls. Holes in walls can squash any thoughts of remorse real quickly. And hey, you don’t have to pay for these guys to come in and professionally install it, so its not that big of a deal! Just watch out when they take four or five hours to install this system and then have to come back to fix it because they just wanted to leave.

The ten lies I tell people, preying on their fear, and insecurities. And I feel no remorse.”

Take your time, don’t be pushed into signing any contract on the spot, be an intelligent consumer and ask questions until you understand what you are purchasing and the level of security it will provide.

If you don’t have a security system or don’t have it monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation.  You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist , (780) 288-2986

29 Tips To Get Your Kids To School Safely

Back to School

It’s school time again! Back to school means change in routine, anxieties, planning healthy lunches, buying school supplies, and much more.

Health Canada has excellent information and links on their website relating to Back to School . The following tips are taken from the link “Active and Safe Routes to School.”

29 Tips to get your Kids to School Safely

  1. Parents should start a “walking school bus”. Find adult volunteers to walk neighbourhood children to school.
  2. Accompany children under 10 when cycling or walking. Children up to the age of 9 do not have the skills and abilities needed to be safe in traffic.
  3. Parents, are you a safety hazard? When you drive your kids to school, use the designated “drop off zone”.
  4. Think about the dangers on your child’s way to school, and plan a safe route.
  5. Teach children to play away from parked and moving cars.
  6. Teach your child to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN at all crossings and driveways.
  7. Kids, stay out of the danger zone outside the bus! If you drop something, make sure the bus driver sees you before you pick it up.
  8. After getting off the school bus, wait for the bus driver, a patroller or parent to tell you it’s safe to cross the street.
  9. First trip, every trip, buckle children up securely.
  10. Be an example…buckle up too.
  11. Safety checks across the country show that as many as 80% of child car seats inspected are not installed correctly. Teach family and caregivers how to use your child’s car seat correctly.
  12. Holding a baby in your arms provides no protection in a car crash.
  13. Children 12 and under are safest in the back seat.
  14. If your car has a passenger-side airbag, children must ride in the back seat properly buckled up.
  15. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  16. Always use the correct car seat for your child’s height and weight.
  17. Booster seats are used for children 18-27 kg (40-60 pounds).
  18. Use a high-back booster seat correctly. Always use the lap and shoulder portion of the seat belt. Make sure second-hand seats are safe! Check with your local CAA office.
  19. Bike injuries can happen anywhere, anytime. Stay alert!
  20. A helmet must fit correctly to protect your head.
  21. Replace helmets at the first sign of damage. Second-hand bicycle helmets should not be used. Even a tiny crack makes it useless.
  22. Teach children how to adjust their helmets to fit snugly.
  23. No baseball caps, please. Helmets protect less if worn over a hat or bandana.
  24. Look for the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) label inside the helmet.
  25. Make it a house rule – “Use a helmet for every trip!”
  26. Teach your kids the “rules of the road”.
  27. Keep approved helmets near bikes so your children will always put them on.
  28. Set an example. Wear your helmet every time you ride!
  29. Small child? Small bike! Make sure it fits.

First Day at School

Did you know that in Germany, the very first day at school has a very special tradition? Every child will start their first day at school holding in their arms the precious “Schultüte”, a large conical bag filled with sweets and small surprises. This custom is unique to Germany and is meant to “sweeten” the entry into the world of school.

Can you guess who the little girl in the picture might be?

If you don’t have a security system, don’t have it monitored or you are not happy with your current security provider, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986

How To Protect Your Licence Plates

Protect your plates

Licence plate theft up by 47 per cent

Article written by Matt Dykstra, Edmonton Examiner, Aug. 15, 2012

City cops are asking motorists to protect their plates after licence plate thefts jumped by 47 per cent in Edmonton this year.

There have been 237 licence plate thefts in July alone, say cops, compared to 158 at the same time last year.

Community Liason Sgt. Dean Dukart told reporters the theft are a city-wide problem Edmontonians need to be aware of. “It’s happening all the time,” says Dukert. “It’s happening everywhere. I can’t identify an actual hotspot for people to be more careful because it’s just all over the place.”

Thieves often swipe licence plates to place them on stolen vehicles, effectively hiding their crime for a longer period of time, said Dukart.

Other thieves use stolen plates when they commit more sophisticated crimes – like armed robbery – Dukart said.

While the crime itself is difficult to police, motorists can take preventative measures to deter would-be plate pirates.

The best ways are to switch the commonly provided screws for bolts with a different shaped head, or place different combinations of bolts on either side of the plate.

Licence plate thieves typically don’t carry a full tool box, said Dukart, and will likely be unsuccessful in the theft or avoid your vehicle altogether if the plate has security bolts.

 Do you realize that you and your family will be at serious risk if your licence plate gets taken to be used on a stolen vehicle or is involved with other criminal activity?

Installing a licence plate is simple. Unfortunately, that means it can be removed just as easily. Be aware of the dangers associated with a stolen licence plate!

Licence plate security is an issue for anyone. The very least, you will be inconvenienced. Worst case scenario, you could be a suspect in a major crime that you never committed.

Thefts from vehicles are common crimes of opportunity that happen fast and at any time. According to Edmonton Police Service, each year in Edmonton 3,000 to 4,000 licence plates are stolen.

Why would someone steal a licence plate?

  • Acts of Nuisance – Sometimes the cause for a stolen licence plate is simply someone trying to cause trouble. It could be a dare amongst students. They may be stealing random plates just to be a nuisance.
  • Disguising a Stolen Car – The culprit is trying to make a stolen vehicle look legimate. Criminals may steal a car and then steal a licence plate from a vehicle that resembles the stolen one. This way the licence plate will match the vehicle description. The car will go undetected as stolen until the owner realizes their plate has been stolen and files a report to police.
  • Committing other Crimes – If a thief is looking to commit crimes that require a car, they sometimes steal a licence plate first. If a witness to the crime provides police with a licence plate number, it won’t connect the criminals to the crime.
  • Gas and Dash – Thieves realize that almost every gas station is fitted with CCTV cameras to minimize fuel theft. Using a stolen licence plate on their vehicle won’t tie them to the crime after a drive-off.
  • Armed Robbery or Kidnapping – These serious criminal offences often involve a stolen licence plate to avoid detection.
  • Avoiding Traffic Violation Charges – If a criminal is driving around with your licence plate on their car, they can storm past photo radars with the speeding ticket going to you. If they run red lights or violate parking restrictions, fines will be mailed to you as the registered owner of the licence plate.

How to decrease your chance of having your licence plate stolen

  1. Use anti-theft licence plate screws – Anti-theft licence plate screws are designed to allow anyone to use a screwdriver to put the plates on with the screws, but require a specialized tool – only available to police and authorized partners – to remove the licence plate screws. The plate screws are free at all EPS Divisional stations (information  taken from Phone ahead to find out if they are in stock.
  2. Park in well-lit areas.
  3. Park in well-populated areas.
  4. Keep the rear of your vehicle adjacent to driving lanes. Don’t back in or pull through parking spots.
  5. Check your licence plate regularly.

If you don’t have a security system or don’t have it monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986.

Would You Spy On Your Child’s Daycare Centre?

Keeping an eye on your children has taken on a new meaning for parents with children in daycare.

Moms and dads worried about their kids  at daycare have a new way of keeping tabs on their toddlers – they can watch them live on CCTV.

Digital technology and the Internet let working parents peek in on their kids. They are able to log onto the Net from their laptops, iPads or smart phones, head to the daycare’s website and type in a password to open up windows displaying their toddlers finger-painting or having their nap.

The cameras are on 24 hours a day and, from strategic positions, capture wide-angle views of what is happening at all times. The footage is digitized, compressed and streamed to a video server. Through a broadband connection,  the live footage is transmitted instantaneously from the server to the website, where parents can view what’s being captured by the cameras in real time.

So far, Canada only has a few daycare operations offering live streaming video. Kinder Campus Ltd., an individually owned Edmonton centre with two loacations, is one of them. That puts Canada behind the United States, where Webcam technology has been used to stream live video for a decade. About 1000 of that country’s daycares currently offer it.

An article in The Globe and Mail on May 25, 2001, Debra Paufler, owner and director of Kinder Campus, said she wanted the technology because she viewed it as a way to involve parents in their children’s care. “The main benefit has been increased respect for our staff because now parents can see how hard they work and what they actually do all day. It also alleviates ‘mommy guilt’, inspired by toddlers who cry when they’re dropped off. We tend to have mellow kids and high-maintenance parents. Parents leave and think, ‘My child is crying all day at daycare.’ When you log on and see them happy and playing instead, you don’t have to feel so guilty. Parents who travel frequently on business also really welcome the opportunity.”

Addie Sorrell, a Together Magazine Intern, suggests the following pros and cons in a recent post:

Pros of daycare web-cam feeds

  • There’s less of a chance of missing monumental moments, like your child’s first steps.
  • Bullies will always wait until the grown-ups have their backs turned to shove someone (potentially your someone) out of their chair. Live video footage will help when dealing with those incidents.
  • Peace of mind, especially for new parents, knowing they can always take a quick peek to calm their nerves.
  • Being able to witness how your child’s social skills develop while in daycare and how he/she interacts with other children.

Cons of daycare web-cam feeds

  • An important aspect when choosing daycare is trust. What does it say about that trust if you use CCTV to check up on the daycare staff?
  • You are tempted to watch your child 24/7. That might interfere with your performance at work.
  • Websites can always be hacked. Who else is watching your child?
  • Webcams in daycare could be viewed as an invasion of privacy.

What do you think? Would you spy on your child’s daycare centre?

If you don’t have a security system, are not happy with your current security provider or don’t have your system  monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986

Don’t Be Haunted For Years After Your Home Has Been Burglarized

The next-worst thing than being the victim of a violent crime is having your home burglarized. Victims of a home burglary will tell you that the memory never really goes away. Victims feel violated, are haunted for years. Many are gripped by fear that they might be victimized again.

Most home burglaries are not planned. They are usually the result of quick and easy opportunities. Once the burglar has made the decision to rob your house, he will be in and out in just a few minutes. In order to keep a burglar away, you need to think like a burglar.

Why could YOUR house be a target?

As proud home owners, we want our home to have attractive curb appeal. We try hard to make our home  look desirable to our neighbours. You want to make sure that a would-be burglar does not treat that attractive curb appeal as an invitation to check out what’s inside. That includes simple steps like keeping your grass trimmed. An overgrown lawn could indicate that the homeowner is away on vacation. Be aware that large shrubs close to your windows will provide perfect hiding spots if not trimmed back on a regular basis. Do you live in a cul-de-sac in proximity to woods? Great hiding spots for a wood-be burglar. Townhouses are notorious for poorly secured sliding glass doors and small enclosed back yards. These are all reasons that your house could be a target for a burglary.

You have burglar proofed your house. What else can you do?

Close your garage door. Especially if you have an attached garage with an entry door into your house. An open garage door is like a giant billboard saying: “Burglars Welcome Anytime”.

And what is your car doing in the drive way? Park it inside your garage, if you have one.

Secure your ladders and tools if you don’t want them used by a burglar to get into your second storey window.

Have proper outdoor lighting. Burglars prefer to operate under the cover of darkness.Consider outdoor security lighting put on a timer and/or motion lights to keep your house well lit.

Always put some interior lights on random timers when you are away to maintain that lived-in look.

Don’t advertise your stuff. Even though burglars are usually not after your big screen TV or home entertainment electronics because they are way too big and heavy to carry, the box sitting out by the curb advertising the big-ticket electronics item that you just purchased lets the would-be burglar assume there is other nice stuff of interest. Cash, jewellery, drugs, laptops, iPads, anything valuable that is easily carried and quickly traded in for cash. Instead of leaving boxes out with the trash, take them to the recycle depot. That obviously applies to your X-mas presents as well.

Burglars do come back a second time. If you’re unlucky enough to have fallen victim to a break-and-enter, you are at even higher risk in the future. Whatever attracted the burglar the first time around, curb appeal, hiding spaces behind shrubs, easy access, probably still exists after the first break-in. What’s worse, the burglar now already knows the layout of your home. Chances are, the items stolen have now been replaced. (Perhaps even advertised by the packaging left out at the curb???) If you still don’t have a security system, now is definitely the time to have one installed.

Holidays are happy-time for burglars. They know the time tables for religous services and often strike when you are away at a holiday party or dinner out. All they need to do is watch and wait for you to leave. Make sure your security system is armed.

Do you have a dog? Great! Burglars hate dogs! Make sure to advertise your dog’s presence with proper signage. Don’t have a dog? Make it look as if you do: place a dog bowl and chain by your back door. Talk about instant security!

Follow the above advice to drastically reduce your chance of falling victim to a home burglary!

If you don’t have a security system, are not happy with your current security provider or don’t have your system  monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986