Safety and Security Bulletin-Holiday Crime Prevention Tips

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.

 

Protecting Yourself:

  • 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.

 

 

 

Safety and Security Bulletin- Fire Preparedness & Prevention Tips

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.

San Bernardino – Security and Preparation for Active Shooters

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

Safety and Security Bulletin

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.

Get the facts on the recent increase in the minimum wage for Federal Contract Workers.

Raising the Minimum Wage through Executive Order to $10.10 for Federal Contract Workers & Calling on Congress to Finish the Job for All Workers by Passing the Harkin-Miller Bill

Today, continuing to fulfill his promise to make 2014 a year of action, the President will sign an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers.

The Executive Order the President will sign today will benefit hundreds of thousands of people working under contracts with the federal government who are making less than $10.10 an hour. It will also improve the value that taxpayers are getting from the federal government’s investment. Studies show that boosting low wages will reduce turnover and absenteeism, while also boosting morale and improving the incentives for workers, leading to higher productivity overall. These gains improve the quality and efficiency of services provided to the government.

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama pledged to both take executive action wherever he can and work with Congress to increase opportunity for all Americans. Consistent with that pledge, the President will continue to work with Congress to finish the job to raise the minimum wage for all Americans and pass the Harkin-Miller bill so that all workers can be paid at least a $10.10 minimum wage.

Details of the Executive Order

  • The Executive Order will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 effective for new contracts beginning January 1, 2015. The higher wage will apply to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts. Boosting wages will lower turnover and absenteeism, and increase morale and productivity overall. Raising wages for those at the bottom will improve the quality and efficiency of services provided to the government.
  • Benefits hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans. There are hundreds of thousands of people working under contracts with the federal government to provide services or construction who are currently making less than $10.10 an hour. Some examples of the hardworking people who would see their wages go up under this Executive Order include nursing assistants providing care to our veterans at nursing homes, concessions workers in National Parks, people serving food to our troops, and individuals with disabilities working to maintain the grounds on military bases.
  • Includes an increase in the tipped minimum wage. This executive order also includes provisions to make sure that tipped workers earn at least $10.10 overall, through a combination of tips and an employer contribution. Employers are currently required to pay a minimum base wage of $2.13 per hour, a base that has remained unchanged for over twenty years, and if a worker’s tips do not add up to the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Under the Executive Order, employers are required to ensure that tipped workers earn at least $10.10 an hour. The Executive Order requires that employers pay a minimum base wage of $4.90 for new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts put out for bid after January 1, 2015. That amount increases by 95 cents per year until it reaches 70 percent of the regular minimum wage, and if a worker’s tips do not add up to at least $10.10, the employer will be required to pay the difference.
  • Covers individuals with disabilities. Under current law, workers whose productivity is affected because of their disabilities may be paid less than the wage paid to others doing the same job under certain specialized certificate programs. Under this Executive Order, all individuals working under service or concessions contracts with the federal government will be covered by the same $10.10 per hour minimum wage protections.
  • Improves value for the federal government and taxpayers. One study showed that when Maryland passed its living wage law for companies contracting with the state, there was an increase in the number of contractors bidding and higher competition can help ensure better quality. The increase will take effect for new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts put out for bid after the effective date of the order, so contractors will have time to prepare and price their bids accordingly.

Continuing to Work With Congress, States and Localities to Help All Workers

The President is using his executive authority to lead by example, and will continue to work with Congress to raise the minimum wage for all Americans by passing the Harkin-Miller bill. The bill would raise the Federal minimum wage for working Americans in stages to $10.10 and index it to inflation thereafter, while also raising the minimum wage for tipped workers for the first time in over 20 years. The President will also continue to support and encourage state, local and private sector efforts to increase wages and help more working families.

  • Businesses like Costco have supported past increases to the minimum wage because it helps build a strong workforce and profitability over the long run. Low wages are also bad for business, as paying low wages lowers employee morale, encourages low productivity, and leads to frequent employee turnover — all of which impose costs.
  • Across the country, Americans are saying it’s time to raise the minimum wage. The President believes that it’s time for action, and people across the country agree. Since the President called for an increase in the minimum wage in last year’s State of the Union, five states have passed laws increasing their minimum wage. And many businesses, from small businesses to large corporations, see higher wages as the right way to boost productivity and reduce turnover and therefore boost their profitability.
  • Raising the minimum wage is good for government, good for business and workers and key to a stronger economy. A range of economic studies show that modestly raising the minimum wage increases earnings and reduces poverty without jeopardizing employment. Higher wages can also boost productivity, increase morale, reduce costs and improve efficiency.
  • Raising the minimum wage will make sure no family of four with a full-time worker has to raise their children in poverty. It has been seven years since Congress last acted to increase the minimum wage and, adjusted for inflation, today the real value of minimum wage is roughly the same as what it was in the 1950s, despite the fact that the typical American family’s income has doubled since then. And right now a full-time minimum wage worker makes $14,500 a year, which leaves too many families struggling to make ends meet. Even after accounting for programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, a family of four supported by a minimum wage worker still ends up living below the poverty line.
  • Indexing the minimum wage to inflation would help lower-income workers keep up in the future. Since it was first established in 1938, the minimum wage has been increased 22 times, but was eroded substantially over several prolonged periods between increases because of inflation. Indexing would prevent a repeat of the 34 percent decline in the real value of the minimum wage from 1978 to 1989 and the 19 percent decline in real value from 1998 to 2006, as well as the 40 percent decline in the real value of the base wage for tipped workers since it was last raised in 1991. Last year alone, workers earning the minimum wage basically got the equivalent of a $200 pay cut because the minimum wage stayed the same while the cost of living went up. Democrats and Republicans agree that indexing the minimum wage to inflation would ensure that working families can keep up with expenses. Unfortunately, those families will continue suffer if Congress continues to not act.
  • Helping parents make ends meet. Around 60 percent of workers who would benefit from a higher minimum wage are women. Less than 20 percent are teenagers. Also, those workers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage brought home 46 percent of their household’s total wage and salary income in 2011. Raising the minimum wage directly helps parents make ends meet and support their families.