Nothing can ruin the holiday spirit faster than becoming the victim of a crime. The holidays are a time for celebration. But it is also the season to be wary of burglars, thieves, and pickpockets. Unfortunately crooks view the holiday season a little differently…for them, it is a time of opportunity to burglarize you, your home and your car. Here are some ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
- Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
- Have your keys readily available in your hand before you go to your car.
- When you return to your vehicle, scan the interior of your car to be sure no one is hiding inside. Check to see if you are being followed.
- Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle’s trunk. Keep your Door’s locked and windows closed.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check, credit/debit card when possible.
- To discourage purse-snatchers, don’t overburden yourself with packages. Have your purchases delivered whenever practical.
- Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm. Keep your wallet in an inside jacket pocket, not a back trouser pocket.
- Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
Protecting Your Vehicle:
- Every time you leave your car. Lock all windows and doors. Be sure you’ve either taken with you or stored in your trunk items such as
- GPS Devices, Cell Phones, Cameras, and MP3 Players
- Laptop Computers and Cases
- Purses, Loose Change, Bills, or Credit/Gift Cards
- Bags and Boxes
- Do Not Leave a Firearm in Your Vehicle.
- A few extra tips: Remember to park in well-lit areas. Always be aware of your surroundings. Report anything out of the ordinary to security or police.
Protecting Your Home:
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even for a few minutes.
- Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window so it’s easily visible from the street. It’s too tempting for a potential criminal to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages.
- Don’t advertise …Burglars look for occupancy cues like outdoor lights burning 24 hours a day, piled up newspapers, mail, or advertising flyers hanging on the door knob. Use an inexpensive light timer when you are away and ask a neighbor to pick up your newspapers and mail.
- Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors/windows. A holiday problem can occur when exterior light extension cords are run inside through a window and prevent it from being secured.
- Don’t leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like, “You’ve reached the Wilson’s, we are away skiing for the Christmas holidays…please leave a message.” Bad guys love to hear that they have plenty of time to break in and completely ransack your home.
- After Christmas, don’t pile up empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, flat screen TV, etc. on the street for trash pick-up. Burglars appreciate knowing that you have expensive gifts inside for them to steal. Break the boxes down before placing at the curb.
Be Aware, Be Vigilant, Be Safe.
Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as it relates to fires in the U.S. last year.
- In 2015, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,280 civilian deaths, 15,700 civilian injuries, and $14.3 billion in property damage.
- 501,500 were structure fires, causing 2,685 civilian deaths, 13,000 civilian injuries, and $10.3 billion in property damage.
- 204,500 were vehicle fires, causing 500 civilian fire deaths, 1,875 civilian fire injuries, and $1.8 billion in property damage.
- 639,500 were outside and other fires, causing 95 civilian fire deaths, 825 civilian fire injuries, and $252 million in property damage.
Here are some ways to protect yourself from becoming a casualty of a fire.
- Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them monthly and replace the batteries annually.
- Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
- Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
- Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 911.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
- Purchase fire extinguishers, and learn how to properly use them
Develop Fire-Safe Habits
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot.
- Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside; choose fire-safe cigarettes; never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or in close proximity to anyone in the home who is using oxygen.
- Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.
- Cook with care. Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove. Keep anything that can catch on fire, like potholders, towels, or long sleeves away from the cooking area.
- Never use a range or oven to heat your home.
- Do not overload electrical outlets. If you need to plug multiple items into an outlet, use a surge protector.
- If you live in an apartment or condominium. Do not grill in on the balcony/porch or breezeway. Per Fire Department Code, you must grill at least ten feet away from any building.
- If you live in a house, make sure the grill is at least ten feet away from the house or garage structure.
Be Aware, Be Smart, Be Safe.
Safety and Security Bulletin
Active Shooter Preparation and Response
We live in an ever-changing world. Recent incidents, including the latest in San Bernardino, California, have brought to the forefront the scope of danger that exists in our society. We, at Murray Guard, are faced with protecting the property, assets, and employee’s lives of our clients. We take this responsibility very seriously. We are meeting these new challenges by being currently capable of providing security training designed to prevent or suppress the possibility of these type incidents. Our approach is to not only provide professional level training to our security officers in responding to these events, but to also assist our clients in training employees on how to react when faced with such an incident.
Our Officers: The presence of an active shooter is almost always a surprise occurrence. Whether it is a disgruntled employee, an incident of workplace violence, or a terrorism-based event, the response must be quick, planned, and decisive. The training curriculum for our security officers is based on the best current practices available, and meets or exceeds existing expectations. We train to succeed. This training is built around the concepts of Contain, Assess, Evacuate, and Control. We teach our people how to contain an area to deny the suspect access to other areas. We train on how to think on their feet under stress, to assess the threat, then accurately report to responding units a precise synopsis of what’s happening, where it’s happening, and who are the suspect or suspects. We prepare our security personnel to orderly and safely evacuate an area, to not only prevent injury and/or loss of life, but to account for personnel as they exit the area. Lastly we emphasize the importance of controlling the scene until law enforcement arrives, then to assist the responding agencies as directed. We also train our armed officers to be proficient in the use of firearms and tactics designed to neutralize any threat as a last resort.
Our Clients: We offer our clients a training program for their managers and employees on how to react to an active shooter incident, based on the Department of Homeland Security guidelines of Run, Hide, and Fight. We also provide the opportunity to receive a vulnerability assessment of their business or facility. The emphasis of these assessments is on making the environment more secure by providing fact based recommendations to harden a soft target. In today’s world any facility that invites open access to the public or provides a service to the community is to some degree vulnerable to an attack. These assessments will help to identify those exposures.
It is our goal to not only secure our client’s facility, but to do everything possible to provide the safest environment possible for the customer, the visitor, and the employee…no matter what the threat
People who enjoy being outdoors and exercising will reap the many benefits, including fresh air,increased fitness levels, and more. However, people, more specifically women who jog, walk or run alone are also potentially placing themselves at risk of assault. One way to lessen the risk of assault is by using the buddy system, but this may not always be a feasible option for many women.
Here are five important safety tips that you should follow if you intend to jog, walk or run outdoors alone.
1. Always carry a cell phone and identification. Many women prefer to not be weighed down by any extras while they are working out, but carrying your cell phone will provide an extra level of safety in the event you are uncomfortable or approached by a stranger. It can also come in handy if you need to call for a ride in the event of a twisted ankle or surprise thunder storm! Even if you must walk or run alone, it is wise to let someone know when you left, where you intend to go, and when you expect to return. That way, if you are not back when expected, your potential whereabouts may be more obvious.
2. Consider your routine: While most walkers, joggers and runners have established routes that they prefer to follow, it is wise to vary your route and routine regularly. Avoid going on the exact same route at the exact same time each day. Doing so can make you a potentially “easy mark” for an attacker. When your location is a bit less predictable, you may be able to avoid being followed on your regular route.
3. Always be aware: Stay acutely aware of your surroundings at all times. Many women like to listen to music through headphones while walking, running or jogging, and enjoy “getting in the zone.” Don’t let this zone interfere with your awareness. Notice if the same car passes you multiple times. Notice if someone is following you or appears to be watching you. Notice if a car slows nearby. Call the police at once if you are concerned, If you suspect that you are being
followed, change directions or cross the street, quickly head towards an open store, a restaurant or a house with the lights on. Yell for help. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
4. Stay in populated areas: Most attacks on runners or walkers tend to occur in parks or on less-traveled paths. Although these are often very pleasant places to exercise, never travel in these locations alone, regardless of how safe you perceive the area to be.
5. Carry a self-defense product, such as pepper spray or a stun gun. And, know how to use it. These non- lethal, inexpensive and small products can allow you to deter an attacker long enough for you to get away, by using just one quick and painful spray to their face. This weapon will also come in handy in the event you come across an aggressive dog that starts to follow or chase you.
Additional measures to consider as a walker, jogger and runner.
• Advise someone of your workout times and route taken and check in with them when finished.
• If you are not prepared to fend off a would-be robber. Never try to resist perpetrator who is trying to rob you – you don’t want them to become violent.
• If someone robs or assaults you, report it to the police. Try to give the police an accurate, detailed description of the attacker.
• When you approach your destination, scan the area thoroughly to make sure no one is lurking around.
• Always have your keys ready in your hand as you approach your door.
Don’t avoid getting your exercise in the great outdoors, just be smart and safe about it! Common sense should always prevail when you are walking, jogging or running.
See Something, Say Something, Do Something.