Monthly Archives: February 2012

Essential Home Security Checklist

Every responsible homeowner should periodically review a home security checklist. In doing so, it should be noted that while a DIY home security system can certainly protect your home from burglary, other precautions should be taken to ensure that your possessions and loved ones are safe from criminals. Each and every day a home is broken into because its occupants were unaware of security gaps or foolishly ignored them. By seriously thinking about your home’s security today, you can help thwart burglars and do your part to keep your family safe.

The following home security checklist should be used as a guide to assess whether or not security is optimal at your home and, if it is not, this list will serve to help you determine specific areas of weakness where your immediate action is needed:

1. Is your home equipped with exterior lighting? In particular, are windows, doors and walkways adequately lit to deter criminals?

2. Do you make a deliberate effort to maintain perimeter trees and regularly trim shrubs in order to eliminate places for thieves to hide?

3. Are all doors leading to the outside or to an attached garage made of heavy materials such as a thick, sturdy, solid wood?

4. Are all of your sliding doors and windows equipped with a secure locking mechanism, such as a lock that requires a key or a pin lock that prevents panels from sliding when locked?

5. If your exterior doors feature glass decorative panels, are all of them positioned at least three feet from the door’s locks and handle?

6. If you have glass exterior doors, were they made to be shatterproof?

7. Are all of your exterior doors fitted with locks or with a device, such as the Keypout Lock Bumping/Dead Bold Protector, made to prevent criminals from entering your home through lock bumping?

8. Are your garage doors fitted with a keyless entry system and with rolling codes, which make it more difficult for burglars to crack your code and enter when you are away?

9. Is your home security system monitored by a professional monitoring agency?

10. Is your home’s exterior monitored by one or more surveillance cameras?

11. Is your spare key safely stored at the home of a nearby friend or relative that you trust instead of being tucked away at an outdoor location where a burglar may find it?

12. Are you in the habit of locking your doors and windows each and every time you leave the house, even if you’re not far away or are only planning to be gone for a brief period?

13. Are your windows fitted with locks that allow them to be secured even when slightly opened such as to allow for a breeze or extra ventilation?

14. Do you have someone trustworthy who collects your mail and newspapers when you are away from home for more than a day?

15. When you are away from home, are your interior and exterior lights on a timer so that they come on at a certain time in the evening and are automatically shut off in the daytime?

16. Is your home equipped with a driveway alarm that alerts you whenever someone approaches your house from this vulnerable angle?

17. Does your neighborhood host a Neighborhood Watch program and do you participate in it?

18. Do you and your family discuss safety procedures beyond locking doors and windows, such as practicing safe social networking interactions (i.e. not publicizing when you will be away from home), and protecting alarm codes in order to keep them private?

19. Is your home equipped with motion sensors? If so, do you activate these sensors each time you leave the home and at night while your family is sleeping?

20. Does your home feature stickers and sign posts alerting outsiders to the fact that it is protected by a monitored home security system?

21. Are all of your home security systems in working order (batteries, wiring, etc.)?

22. Do you have a guard dog or at least a home security system that gives intruders the impression that you do?

If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the questions on this home security checklist, your home may be at risk for burglary. There are things that you can do to immediately increase your safety, however. From installing burglary deterrents, such as home security yard signs and decals, to learning how to install your own wireless security camera system, you can decrease the chances of an intruder entering your home. Even if this home security checklist has revealed that you are in need of multiple security systems, know that you can install them on your own to increase the levels of protection necessary to keep criminals away. DIY home security systems may also help reduce your current homeowner’s insurance rates by as much as 15% or more.

Bullying Among Adults

Bullying is commonly conceived in terms of its ability to affect the lives of children, but it isn’t always young people who are involved in such behavior. In fact, bullying can extend to adult life in a number of ways, though people may commonly refer to such incidents as harassment or simple rudeness. Though there’s no doubt that a lack of manners sometimes occurs in adult life, serious problems can arise when adults find themselves in situations in which they are truly being subjected to bullying. Along with physical violence, bullying may also encompass verbal or emotional abuse, or may be entirely confined to these areas. When a person experiences bullying as an adult, they may feel that there’s no serious cause for concern, and may attempt to simply “get through” the problem. Such issues can have far-reaching physical and psychological consequences, however, and should be taken as seriously as any other threat to one’s health. Fighting bullying among adult may not always be easy, but it is important for people to take such instances seriously and to respond with diligence.

One of the most common venues for bullying among adults is at the workplace. Whether experienced from a coworker or a supervisor, bullying at work can be highly traumatic and may lead people to begin to dislike going to their jobs, even when they were particularly satisfied with them before the bullying began. Bullying may result in a poorer performance from employees, which can quickly create compounded problems when superiors express their disapproval and bullying victims lose further self-esteem and confidence. An important first step in working against bullying at work is confronting the person or group exhibiting the bullying behavior. In some instances, people may not be aware that their actions are inappropriate, and may successfully identify problems in their own lives and seek help accordingly when confronted directly by a victim. Many times, however, people are well aware that their behavior towards victims is destructive, yet the act of being confronted is enough to convince them that they may need to rethink their actions or seek help from a professional. Of course, confrontation will not always lead to a solution. If victims of adult bullying go through this step but do not experience any positive progress, reporting the behavior and involving superiors may be necessary.

Reporting bullying at work is sometimes avoided by those being bullied because of feelings of shame surrounding the behavior or a desire to appear strong or unproblematic to management. When such behavior is allowed to continue, however, it can undermine both the employee’s career and the spirit and productivity of the company, and filing a complaint is a responsible and often rewarding act. Hopefully, management will be able to step in and take any necessary action to diffuse he situation, however in some environments, bullying may not be treated with the sense of seriousness it deserves. When employees find that they cannot secure help from their superiors, they may wish to escalate the problem to higher ranks in management. Ultimately, people may end up choosing to leave their companies because of an internal bullying problem. While this is an unfortunate outcome, it may be advisable in some situations when other paths towards a solution have been exhausted.

Sometimes, bullying may be perpetrated away from the workplace but in other social venues, such as in a social club, sports team, or other gathering of adults. Dealing with instances of bullying in these situations can be especially difficult because of the less formal structure and source of authority in non-work environments. Still, people can attempt to confront the person committing the bullying, an act which may be aided in some cases with the support of friends or colleagues. When a person has noticeable support from others and explains to a person exhibiting bullying behavior that their actions are inappropriate and should be ceased, those who have been bullied may experience success in getting the behavior to stop. Still, a confrontation will not necessarily be the right answer for every situation, and people may find themselves in need of outside support or assistance in order to effectively deal with the situation. In some cases, therapy can be beneficial for victims of bullying. By helping to preserve and encourage self-esteem and confidence and potentially developing effective ways to combat the behavior, therapy may prove to be a worthwhile option for some people facing otherwise unresolved instances of bullying.

Facing the problem of bullying as an adult can be difficult, and may be even more so when people imagine that only children are ever affected by this problem. Through acknowledging the issue and working towards its resolution, however, people can regain their safety and peace of mind.

How to Act Effectively in an On-Campus Disaster

Natural disasters, crimes, mandatory evacuations, and other emergency situations can all be challenging for people no matter the type of environment in which they live. A sense of confusion and chaos is often present, and people may make their chances of retreating to safety, avoiding injuries, and finding help lower by acting irrationally or from fear. In college campus environments, these effects can be even more pronounced, as many students may not be aware of how best to respond to an emergency situation. When students live on campus, such issues can present special difficulties, as a tendency to follow the crowd may lead students into dangerous situations. For students and faculty members alike, it’s of great importance to think about the risk of various disasters and emergency situations and to formulate a clear plan for responding effectively. Though people commonly found on college campuses may prefer to put such thoughts out of their minds as being unpleasant or uncomfortable, simply spending a bit of time to consider what responses might be most beneficial can make a great deal of difference when actually dealing with an emergency.

Some areas are particularly vulnerable to certain types of disasters. Whether a campus is located in an area that experiences higher than average rates of earthquakes, is susceptible to the spread of annual forest fires, or is otherwise in a clear path of danger, it is common for the institution to provide specific safety information to students and all of those who are regularly present on campus. Though it can be tempting to put such information aside as being unimportant or less than vital, doing so can create a serious risk. Taking the time to look through any materials devoted to proper response procedures in the event of common emergencies is a wise move that any student or faculty member should make when considering their own security. In addition to noting down any information explicitly given about local disasters, those on campus should pay close attention to the evacuation plans and safety drills offered by campus authorities. Regular disaster drills are sometimes treated with irreverence by students and other campus dwellers, and while such events may seem boring, they can go a long way towards ensuring that people are able to move to safety quickly.

In the event of an actual emergency, students should follow whatever guidelines they’ve been given regarding evacuation procedures, or should find a way to reach a safe place if they’re unprepared for the specific type of disaster at hand. Once this goal has been accomplished, students should make an effort to alert local authorities to the problem. While campus security officials and local police forces are likely to notice something like an earthquake or hurricane, they may not immediately be aware of such problems as an armed person rampaging on campus or the presence of a small-scale flood or fire. Even when a disaster is likely to be already known to authorities, students and other people on college campuses can improve their chances for survival by getting in touch with emergency services and alerting responders to their location and whether they’re in need of any special medical or rescue assistance.

Remembering emergency contact numbers, evacuation plans, and other important information can be difficult while a disaster is ongoing, which makes having such data readily available an especially important part of preparing for an on-campus emergency. Making use of a survival kit that includes such information and also offers basic protection from the elements, first aid supplies, and a source of food and water can greatly ease the process of getting through and recovering from an emergency. Many college dorms and other on-campus buildings are equipped with survival kits and first aid supplies, which can be highly useful for those in need of basic sustenance or medical care, but it is essential that students and faculty members understand how to properly use these items. If tools and supplies in an emergency survival kid are used improperly, people may experience even more intensive injuries or health issues, and so taking the time to thoroughly read and understand any included instructions, or to locate a person with previous knowledge or experience in how to operate a given device, is a safe precaution.

Getting through an emergency situation in any environment can be extraordinarily difficult, but in the context of a college campus, there may be even more particular dangers that must be dealt with in order to ensure survival. Students, faculty members, and other people who frequent college campuses should pay close attention to emergency information, take the time to alert proper authorities about the problem, and make use of any available emergency tools or kits to increase their chances of staying safe.

Burglars are Bumping – Lock Bumping that is!

While most people agree on the importance of home security, many are unaware of the very real threat that lock bumping represents. After all, home is supposed to be a place of safety and refuge where outsiders are allowed access on an invitation-only basis and locked doors usually mean that residents are safe from intruders and that valuable possessions are secure. Lock bumping burglars, however, view home security quite differently.

By purchasing a modified or “bumped” key over the Internet or even adding a few strategic grooves to a typical house key, burglars can gain entry to a surprising number of homes by simply inserting that key into a lock and tapping or bumping it a few times with another tool such as a screwdriver. The result of this activity causes the pins inside of the lock to align so that the lock can be turned. Not only does this method offer easy access to a home, but it can often do so without leaving any signs of forced entry. In fact, the art of lock bumping is so fast and effortless on an intruder’s part that a passerby might not recognize that a crime is being committed.

Skilled burglars aren’t the only ones with such unfettered access since the Internet is rich with lock bumping how-to articles and instructional videos. Security experts warn that lock bumping directions are so easy to follow that a 10-year old child can be taught to unlock a door with a bump key in less time than it takes to watch a television commercial.

It is estimated that as many as 90 percent of home locks are vulnerable to lock bumping. With such high numbers, it is likely that anyone reading this can be robbed of their most valuable possessions before reaching the end of this post. Those who are alarmed by such a thought (and everyone should be) can take the following precautions to avoid becoming a victim of a lock bumping burglar:

Install a Home Security System

While burglars can walk into most homes with a simple lock bumping technique, few are willing to do so in the presence of a shrill alarm. Not only is the sound a deterrent, but since many alarms are wired to also alert security personnel, burglars know that authorities are likely in route just minutes after an alarm is triggered. Also, displaying stickers and signposts alerting the public to the fact that a home is being monitored by a home security system is often enough to prompt burglars to search for an easier target.

Let Security Cameras Keep a Close Watch

By installing security cameras to monitor activity around doors and windows, homeowners can feel more secure whether they are at home or away. Most thieves take the time to study a target location before a burglary and the mere presence of video cameras sends a clear message that not only is all movement being recorded, but that the home’s owner takes security seriously enough to think a few steps ahead of would-be thieves. Criminals appreciate easy jobs and, unless they have foreknowledge and are targeting specific items that are unique to a certain location, thieves will likely pass on attempting to burglarize a home equipped with security cameras.

Purchase a Lock Bumping Protector

Luckily, inexpensive do-it-yourself devices, such as the Keypout Lock Bumping/Deadbolt Protector, can be placed on a lock to make it virtually impossible for a burglar to use the lock bumping technique to gain entry to a home. Because they are completely portable, lock bumping protectors are especially good for college students and renters who are not planning on being a long-term resident at a given location and would eventually like to transport their DIY home security devices to a new home.

Change All Door Locks

Because lock bumping is such a popular method used by burglars, certain manufacturers have developed special locks to deter bumping. Some of the most highly recommended brands include the Schlage Primus and Medeco locks. Also, electronic locks or locks that have had ‘mushroom pins’ added to them are less susceptible to bumping than other locks.

Investigate Several Burglary Deterrent Options

In addition to home alarm systems and security cameras, devices such as those that mimic the sounds of a guard dog whenever a person approaches a home or a device that emits moving light beams to suggest that a premises is being protected by a high-tech motion sensor and alarm system can help deter burglars. Do-it-yourself home security measures like these tell burglars that a home is not an easy target. Precautions like these are often intimidating enough to make even the best lock bumping thief think twice about entering a home.

Thieves make an extra effort to learn how to exploit gaps in home security with techniques like lock bumping and other devious tactics. Unfortunately, beyond simple door locking, many homeowners don’t put as much effort into studying the systems and devices that offer protection from these unsavory characters. Many are unaware of the affordability of home security systems and that their professional installation is often unnecessary. People who arm themselves with home security knowledge, however, are often able to think two or three steps ahead of a common thief and, thus, prevent their home from being the next target of a lock bumping burglar.

Kitchen Safety and Chemicals

In the average kitchen, there are many dangers lurking on counter tops, stoves, in drawers, and around ovens –but some of the most serious dangers are frequently found beneath the sink. A common stashing place for household cleaners and other chemicals, this area has the potential to lead to food contamination, injuries sustained from slips and falls, toxic ingestion or inhalation, and other health and safety issues. Sometimes, these chemicals are not taken seriously in terms of their ability to lead to serious health problems, and when this is the case, disaster can result. By recognizing the threat that household chemicals, including kitchen cleaners, can pose to families, kitchen users can start working towards a safer environment without sacrificing good organization or cleanliness. Some of the most important issues involved in the safe use of household cleaners include paying close attention to instructions and warnings, keeping containers clean and away from areas accessible by children or near areas in which food preparation is performed, and considering the use of more gentle, environment-friendly substances, which may pose a lower risk of toxic fume inhalation and other concerns.

From scrubbing detergents to floor cleaners and with many types of substances in between, cleaning products come in a wide variety of categories and ingredients. It may be tempting to imagine that one is familiar enough with cleaning and cleaning products to properly use any given material, but whenever a new product is encountered, homeowners should take special care to read all of the instructions included with or on the package. Information about the proper use of the product should include how the substance is intended to be used, what types of surfaces or circumstances are appropriate for use, whether any additional rinsing or cleaning should take place after use, and how and in what conditions the product should be stored. In addition, most cleaning products also provide users with a clear list of warnings regarding any hazardous ingredients included in the formula. This information may detail what to do in case a product is accidentally swallowed or comes into contact with the skin or eyes, and should also indicate any damage that the product may produce if used on inappropriate materials or surfaces. Along with committing to using cleaning products exactly as outlined, responsible, safety-aware homeowners should know how to contact a poison control center immediately. While regular emergency responders may be able to provide basic guidance or to connect callers to poison specialists, dialing professionals specifically trained and equipped to handle the hazards of chemicals directly can help people secure faster, more appropriate care.

Though cabinets beneath kitchen sinks and the shelves of pantries are places in which people commonly store household and kitchen cleaners and other chemicals, these locations are not particularly recommended for storage. These areas are more likely to be easily accessed by children or pets, which can create a grave safety danger. It’s also a bad idea to keep chemicals stored in areas in which food is also kept or is often prepared, as any leaks or escaping gases or fumes may contaminate food and lead to illness or even death. Finding a more appropriate place for the storage of household chemicals, such as a shed, utility closet, lockable cabinet, or other secure and isolated area, is a great way to practice enhanced kitchen safety. If containers are broken, caps or seals become compromised, or chemicals are otherwise in danger of spilling or leaking, owners should find appropriate new vessels, such as sealing glass jars or airtight, heavy-duty plastic containers, or should otherwise properly dispose of the entire product.

For any number of reasons, people may imagine that mixing kitchen cleaners and other household chemicals is a good idea, but doing so can result in disastrous consequences. The properties of various active ingredients may make mixing highly dangerous or even lethal, and poison control operators may have a more difficult time administering help if combinations of chemicals have been made and spilled, inhaled, or ingested. One way to work around this issue may be to use milder, natural cleaning products such as natural soaps, which may be combined with other non-toxic ingredients to create effective yet less dangerous cleansers. Such products typically have the added advantage of refraining from causing damage to the local ecosystem when washed away or discarded.

There are many precautions to keep in mind when attempting to make a kitchen safer, and though chemicals aren’t always included in instructions for practicing kitchen safety, they can play a major role in the overall security of a kitchen. By taking the threats posed by kitchen cleaners and chemicals seriously and acting accordingly, kitchen users can help protect their own safety and the safety of those they care about.

Is Therapy Right for Bullying Problems?

When children encounter bullying behavior, the effects can be devastating both for their social lives and their academic performance. Though not all instances of bullying are severe or necessarily create serious problems in a child’s life, this type of behavior can sometimes be a major source of distress and anguish. Parents and other adults who care for children may experience a strong desire to intervene and provide any possible assistance, but taking an approach that’s right for the particular situation at hand is an important part of being a source of help rather than a hindrance. There are numerous techniques and tips available to adults who are interested in helping children fight back against bullying. One technique sometimes used by parents and guardians is psychotherapy. Either for the victims of bullying behavior or for perpetrators themselves, therapy can offer a way for children to explore the experience and consequences of bullying in a safe and confidential environment. While therapy may be able to provide meaningful help for kids in bullying situations, it isn’t always the right option. Thinking about how therapy may be able to aid children and making a decision within the context at hand can lead to an appropriate choice for concerned parents.

Many parents may be hesitant to consider the option of therapy in bullying situations due to an uncertainty over whether therapy would truly be able to help. While many people both young and old are able to benefit enormously from different types of psychotherapy, it is not the case that any one therapist or course of therapy will necessarily “cure” or even effectively help a certain patient. An especially important aspect of determining whether therapy may be of assistance is gagging the child’s receptiveness to outside help. For a variety of reasons, children may be closed off to the idea of therapy, and though discussing the potential advantages with them can sometimes be effective, kids who have already decided that they won’t be able to resolve their concerns regarding bullying through therapy probably won’t derive much benefit from attending sessions. Having kids try an initial meeting with a therapist may be a good way to get a feel for whether they’ll be able to accept the possibility of assistance and positive change with therapy.

It’s also wise to consider whether therapy is truly needed in a situation involving bullying. Parents may be quick to imagine that certain events or scenarios are deeply hurtful to children, and while bullying can indeed be disruptive and create significant emotional wounds in addition to physical harm, not all situations –or all children– involve the same reactions to bullying. Finding out as much information as possible about the bullying problem, including any specific incidents that have occurred, the duration of the behavior, and the number of participants on either side can help parents get a feel for the severity of the situation. Talking with kids about the issue can also be a good way to determine whether there is a justifiable need for therapy. Kids who have experienced bullying yet show confidence about themselves and continued interest in school and social activities, as well as those who may have bullied others yet have demonstrated genuine remorse and have ceased the behavior, may be able to recover from the bullying without the need for involving a therapist.

If therapy is determined to be a probable source of assistance for children involved in bullying, parents and their kids can benefit from taking the time to consider different modes of therapy. While the most popular –and one of the most widely effective– methods of delivering therapy is through talk-based sessions between the therapist and the child, there are several other ways in which therapy can be carried out. Group therapy, in particular, may be beneficial for children who have experienced bullying, as it can encourage social bonding and demonstrate to kids that they are not alone. Some types of therapy may involve parents in the actual sessions, while others may focus on certain types of game-playing or the creation of crafts. Parents may wish to speak with a professional therapist, counselor, or other mental health professional to gain a better idea of what types of services are available, and how each type may be of use given their child’s particular situation.

Working through bullying and emerging with a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence can be challenging for some children and in some circumstances, and therapy is a possible route of assistance that parents may wish to investigate. By making the right considerations about therapy and examining the progress of any therapy plans undertaken, parents can ensure that this type of treatment is used only when truly applicable.

Burglar held at Gunpoint by Angry Homeowner

In Oregon, 50-year-old Ken Barrows had a 3AM wake-up call from his alarm company that ended with Barrows chasing a would-be-burglar with his pistol in hand, reports KTVZ-TV.

“The guy broke through our (detached) garage window — actually opened the garage window and tripped the alarm,” Barrows told the police.

“I held him at gunpoint, and he wasn’t looking at me, and I wanted him to know I had a gun.  So I told him to stand up, real slow,” Barrows said.  “He stood up real slow, and I said, turn around and look at me.  And he kept saying, ‘I have kids, I have kids, I have kids!’  And he kept his hands up.”

“I knew where the burglar came in through, so I grabbed my pistol, cocked it, went outside and shined a flashlight on the windows where I knew he went in,” Barrows said

Gun in hand, Barrows searched the garage, and that’s when he heard some noise and found the culprit hiding behind his wife’s car.  Barrows wife then shouted from the main house that she had called 911 and that’s when the intruder opened the garage door and took off.

“I chased him across the field, 10 feet behind him the whole way,” Barrows added.

The suspect ended up running full-speed into a barbed-wire fence at chest level, according to the police.  Then he kept running and got away.

Barrows said he didn’t shoot the man for a reason: “I believed him when he talked about his kids, and I believed he’s just a guy down on his luck.”

“He doesn’t realize how close he was to dying,” Barrows said.

Looking back, Barrows said would have handled it all a little differently.

“I don’t think I would have burst into the garage like that,” he said. “I think I would have waited for the police. I should have just called the police first.”

Self-Defense for Women

Whether traversing a large city alone at night, exploring a new event or unknown venue, or meeting new people, women can sometimes feel especially vulnerable to potential violence –and as some criminals specifically target women in such situations, the feeling may be well-warranted. There are many possible dangers that women face on a regular basis, typically due to the idea that women are more poorly-equipped to handle violent situations and are less likely than men to react with force or skill to physical threats. Confronting the possibility of violence against women is a worthwhile endeavor for any female interested in protecting herself from harm and feeling more confident and independent throughout life. A number of methods for practicing effective women’s safety exist, but some of the most popular and potentially most effective include self-defense techniques that rely on physical stamina and precise moves. Approaching women’s self-defense may be challenging at first, but those who make a strong commitment to learning an established technique are likely to find that they’re able to effectively fend off many types of attacks while also feeling better about their day to day safety.

One of the more difficult aspects of working with women’s self-defense is deciding which type of technique to employ. There are many approaches to self-defense for women, some of which rely on centuries-old martial arts tactics, and some of which take a more modern or simplistic approach. Women interested in learning how to defend themselves may benefit from careful study of the various techniques available to them. Different types of self-defense strategies may be better suited to different women, depending on their specific circumstances, abilities, and preferences. Talking with people who have trained in a particular discipline and learning more about a number of options can make it easier to decide on a self-defense path that’s right for personal needs and goals. Some issues to consider when choosing a type of self-defense technique to learn include the difficulty or complexity of mastering the technique, whether or not any special equipment or tools are required, whether the technique demands certain types of movements that may be difficult or impossible because of injuries or disabilities, and how comfortable the practitioner is likely to feel with practicing and using the skills involved.

Once a suitable self-defense technique has been chosen, a proper venue or source of learning must also be identified. Traditionally, women have mostly sought out training from specialized centers. Such centers may focus on women’s self-defense alone, or may teach a variety of techniques such as general martial arts or sports regimens. In general, this type of venue can still be a valuable source of training for most types of self-defense work. Asking about the history of the venue and looking into the backgrounds and specific skill sets of instructors and other personnel can help women determine if a particular center is right for their needs. Alternatively, women may be able to learn basic techniques and moves from less traditional formats, such as through video tapes or online courses. These types of training tools can be highly convenient for women who may not have time to attend regular classes or training sessions, though it’s important to keep in mind that they tend to lack the type of drilling and practice exercises that can be instrumental in helping women gain confidence and fine-tune their skills.

Women who are determined to increase their knowledge of self-defense and take on the challenges of confronting and deflecting an adversary have a great chance to follow through with their goal and achieve mastery of an effective technique, but sometimes, sticking with training can be difficult. For this reason, those interested in learning new self-defense methods may wish to recruit friends and family members to join in on the fun and the challenge, creating a supportive and fun community. By encouraging others to participate in self-defense training, women can not only bolster their own commitments, but can also help other women they care about get interested in self-defense and successfully complete a course or series of smaller training goals. Tracking progress in a journal or publicly-viewable space online can also help keep women motivated throughout the training process and keep friends and family members participating in the training connected and confident.

Making the effort to approach women’s safety with seriousness and responsibility can have rewarding and potentially even life-saving rewards. Though it may be tempting to imagine that a few quick tricks or a weapon are capable of providing quality self-defense, those who invest themselves in thoroughly learning a respected technique are sure to encounter greater success whether in terms of disrupting an attempted attack or simply enjoying the knowledge that would-be attackers are likely to be quickly and decidedly foiled.

Discussing Home Security with Family Members can Prevent Home Invasion

Most homeowners are interested in equipping their property and families with enhanced security systems in order to prevent crimes and protect safety and well-being. The home security market is populated with scores of individual units and systems designed to help homeowners achieve this goal, and there are many effective ways in which security tools and services can both prevent unwanted activity and respond to any breaches that occur. Sometimes, however, some of the most common-sense security tips go overlooked, possibly because of their relative simplicity or the unavailability of a convenient product to carry out the task at hand. One of the most important ways to protect a home against invasion is simply talking to family members about how the household plans to approach any related activity, yet many families neglect to carry out this crucial step. By designating a small amount of time in which to hold a household-wide meeting, families can explore the many angles of home security and can ensure that their properties are better able to stand up to the risk of invasion.

Home invasion may seem like a crime that only occurs when perpetrators force their way through locked doors or windows or otherwise gain unauthorized entry, but in fact, many invasions occur when occupants willfully allow the criminal into the home. People with the intention of robbing a residence or causing harm to its owners may pose as professionals or safety personnel, or may even show up on a doorstep sounding distressed and in need of help. While most people desire to assist those in need and may feel obliged to open the door for those who seem to have a legitimate reason to be on the property, it can be dangerous to trust people who arrive unexpectedly. As a result, it’s important to have a good sense of who should be allowed into the home, and in what types of situations a door should even be opened in the first place. Often, families fail to discuss these issues amongst themselves, and family members may have vastly different ideas about when and how to open doors and allow access. By discussing these themes with one’s family, homeowners can create a solid layer of protection against invasion, no matter who happens to be home at the time of an attempt.

Suspicious activity on and around a property may also be a cause for concern among those worried about the threat of a home invasion. Reminding family members to be aware of their surroundings and to examine suspicious situations is a wise move, though discussing how precisely to act when such situations arise is also critical. Families may decide that certain types of activity are grounds for calling local police or emergency numbers, or are simply cause for alerting an older member of the family or a neighbor. A home’s occupants, especially those who are young, may feel hesitant about acting at all when confronting suspicious behavior, typically because they’re not sure of what type of response is appropriate. When families take the time to discuss proper responses and to have a conversation about what constitutes suspicious behavior and what is probably fine, occupants can feel more confident about being a part of their own security systems.

Though households may employ many different methods, including family-wide discussions, in an attempt to prevent home invasion, such an event is still a possibility. It can be far more comfortable to imagine that such a crime will never take place than to think about how to respond if it does, but this choice can be disastrous. Families should sit down together and discuss the best options for taking action in a home invasion actually does occur. Whether it’s a reminder of evacuation and exit plans, instructions about which phones or other devices to use to call for help, or how to behave so as to stay calm and increase chances of escaping or launching a counter-attack, a family’s discussion about home invasion can go a long way towards improving its security profile. When households feel more prepared to face the possible dangers of a home invasion, they’re more likely to act effectively and decidedly during an actual invasion event, potentially contributing to a lower incidence of injury or financial loss.

The desire to protect a home against invasion leads many people to outfit their properties with expensive and sophisticated security equipment. While such systems can indeed play a part in protecting a home, it’s important to remember that sharing information and discussing security issues can’t be replaced with products. When families make a point of forming and discussing specific security plans surrounding the risk of home invasion, they can count on better protection and less difficult consequences from crimes that do take place on their properties.

Is Your Home Protected Against Invasion?

While homes are potentially subject to a wide range of security issues, invasion is one of the most prevalent –and is likely to be the most damaging. Criminals may attempt to invade homes for the purpose of committing burglary or vandalizing and damaging property, but may also be interested in harming a home’s occupants. No matter the motivation or intent of a home invasion, effectively preventing such incidents is an important part of practicing quality, responsible home security. Many homeowners may imagine that simply employing a basic alarm system or other traditional type of security product is all that’s needed to fend off possible home invasion attempts. In truth, however, it’s necessary for those truly interested in preventing this type of crime to take security a bit further by understanding and caring for a house’s particular vulnerabilities, along with using specific tools and methods for keeping would-be invaders at bay. When homeowners take the possibility of invasion seriously and make studied, confident steps towards preventing related crimes, they can more easily and effectively protect themselves, their property, and their loved ones.

Most types of modern security products are intended for general use, meaning that they can, at least in theory, be used by a large number of households regardless of their particular layout or design. While certain security products may in fact be applicable across a broad spectrum of types of homes, this doesn’t mean that homeowners should ignore the particular vulnerabilities that their homes may present. In particular, paying close attention to possible entry and exit points in and around the home is essential. Old and decaying doors, poorly-installed windows, faulty locks, and other such problems are common occurrences in both aging and newer households, and when owners fail to notice or address these issues immediately, they can put themselves and others in the home at risk. Performing occasional checks on entry and exit points is a good way to increase security against home invasion, and changing locks whenever keys are misplaced or it’s possible that an unknown third party has gained access to a key is crucial.

Detection of possible home invasion threats is also an important component of protecting a home against invasion. When homeowners and families take advantage of advanced security systems or move into neighborhoods known for their relative safety, they may feel over-confident about their home’s security, which, if it leads to a lack of attention to suspicious people and situations, can actually create greater dangers. Simply staying aware of a home’s activity and surroundings is a strong method for sensing whether any invasion threats may be present, as those who are conscious of the status of a home and its occupants are more likely to recognize disruptions and to respond more quickly. Of course, it can also be helpful to use certain types of security equipment, such as motion-activated lights or alarms, surveillance cameras, and professionally-monitored alarm systems. Each of these types of products can make detecting potential or ongoing home invasion incidents easier, but it’s still of great importance to maintain awareness of surroundings and to carefully monitor any equipment used for this purpose.

Sometimes, even homeowners who are especially concerned about protecting their properties from invasion manage to assist potential criminals in their activities without realizing it. A popular strategy for assessing the goods within a home, the security systems and other defenses in place, and the potential routes of entry and exit is for criminals to pose as various types of authority figures or professionals such as installers or delivery personnel. Homeowners and family members may feel an innate trust for those with convincing uniforms or stories, and can inadvertently aid criminals in planning their eventual attacks. Carefully observing unexpected visitors and asking for specific credentials or other supporting materials is a good way to reduce the risk of engaging in this kind of enabling activity, and all family members should be aware of how to identify different types of potential visitors and in which circumstances it may be preferable to refuse entry.

Protecting a home against the threat of invasion may seem like a monumental task, but when homeowners approach this common safety concern with patients and diligence, they can easily improve their chances of discouraging criminals and making invasion far more difficult. The use of various types of security products and services can be helpful when addressing this specific risk, but thinking carefully about how a home invasion might take place and developing household-wide strategies for combating invasion are equally important. When individuals and families approach the risk of home invasion with responsibility and good sense, they can count on a safer household that doesn’t invite the criminal actions of others.