Category Archives: Security Blog Posts

Our blog is a platform to present information and ideas that are moving the industry forward. It’s a place to interact with our customers on topics and issues that are influencing the future of home security. Join the discussion by posting a comment.

Four Tips for Safely Handling Eggs

EggsinTree2

Easter comes later than usual this year, but maybe you’ve already started thinking about decorating your home for the holiday. Pretty soon it’ll be time to dye some eggs, and plan for the annual egg hunt or even decorate the tree in your front yard with 10,000 Easter eggs, like this man in Germany did.

However, eggs can be an extremely hazardous food when handled incorrectly. Fortunately, it’s easy to work with eggs safely. Here are four major tips for egg safety that apply not just to Easter, but also to hard-boiled eggs used for the Passover Seder as well as general year-round egg consumption:

 

  1. Be careful with dyes: If you’re planning to eventually eat the eggs you decorate, make sure you use only food-grade dyes to avoid ingesting dangerous chemicals.
  2. Keep edible eggs refrigerated: Any eggs, including hard-boiled eggs, left at room temperature for two hours or more should be considered spoiled. Eating eggs left out for too long leads to the risk of suffering salmonella. Keeping your refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder prevents eggs from spoiling, though hard-boiled eggs should still be eaten within seven days.
  3. Avoid contact with raw egg: The largest risk for this occurs if you hollow out eggs by blowing the inner contents through holes made in the shell. When to doing this, use only pasteurized shell eggs. If you want to cook the raw egg you removed from the shell, do it right away to avoid spoiling.
  4. Set up safe hunts: Using plastic eggs is ideal not just because it eliminates the risk of spreading bacteria, but also because plastic eggs can be filled with candy! However, if you want to hide real eggs don’t hide any with cracked shells and make sure to hide them in the cleanest places possible.

What do you do with the eggs you decorate?

The History of Security Cameras

Security cameras make a great addition to your home security system.

The spread of security cameras to business districts and residential neighborhoods alike has been a 70 year process mirroring the great technological innovations of the second half of the 20th century. The first cameras were used by WWII militaries for real time monitoring of weapons tests. Then in the early 1960s London police started using them to enhance their law enforcement efforts in crowded environments. American police first installed security cameras in New York in 1968.

The original security cameras were closed circuit television units that required constant monitoring because they couldn’t record footage to be used in future investigations or trials. However, Sony in the 1970s pioneered the commercial video cassette, which allowed action to be captured by security systems and stored for future use.

The use of security cameras increased with the development of digital technology. First, digital video recording made images clearer. This increased the demand for the cameras because higher resolution recordings allowed crime investigators to learn more from acquired footage. Then in the 1990s security companies developed digital multiplexing technology, which allowed multiple cameras to simultaneously broadcast and record into the same monitoring system. These arrangements became a common feature of banks and large office buildings.

Today, security cameras can be found on street corners, in restaurants and as part of home security systems.

Five Tips for Safe Outdoor Spring Clean-Up

Welcome to part one of our ‘April Showers’ tips for spring safety series. Each week this month we’ll be dedicating a post to a different aspect of spring weather-related safety.

First up, we turn to outdoor spring clean-up projects. It’s great the temperatures are finally rising, but winter tends to leave behind a mess, which means more yard work for Spring Projectsyou. Unfortunately, spring cleaning can lead to small but nasty injuries. On average more than 21 million Americans have to make emergency room visits as a result of unintentional home injuries, according to the Home Security Council. Here are five tips to help you avoid making an unwanted spring cleaning related trip to the hospital:

  1. Climb with care: When using a ladder for your yard work, climb slowly keeping your weight centered and wear rubber shoes to prevent slipping. If you’re using an extension ladder, the distance between the base of the latter and the wall you’re working on should be one-fourth the height of the highest point where the ladder contacts the wall or roof. So if the top of the ladder is resting on an 8 foot roof, the bottom of the ladder should contact the ground at least two feet away from the wall.
  2. Know your tools: Make sure your tools are in proper working order before tackling major tasks like mowing or trimming. If there’s a chance of rain, don’t use any power tools that aren’t explicitly rated for outdoor use.
  3. Wear gloves: Medium-to-thick gloves with gripping material are ideal. This will keep you safe from cuts and unexpected tool slips.
  4. Keep your chemicals secure: When you’re done using gardening and lawn chemicals, make sure they’re stored in tightly sealed containers with a little extra room to avoid spills. Also keep chemical containers locked up and out of the reach of children and pets.
  5. Prioritize trimming window hedges: Spring cleaning is an ideal time to ensure this basic element of home security. Trimming hedges below the level of your windowsill keeps your outside view clear and makes it harder for potential burglars to conceal themselves in order to scout out your residence.

Are there any spring safety related topics you’d like to see addressed in our ‘April Showers’ series? Let us know with comments or tweets.

How to Play Safe Pranks

box of oreos

Beware. Your Oreos may contain toothpaste.

April Fools’ Day is a great day to let your creativity blossom in the form of playing practical jokes on your friends and family that are not just funny, but also express your appreciation for your close relationship with them. Nonetheless, it’s important to balance safety with humor when carrying out your master plans of merriment. Here are four major tips for playing safe pranks not just today, but anytime (and these aren’t a joke):

  1. Know your friends’ allergies: Pranks involving food can be some of the funniest practical jokes, but triggering someone’s food allergies is not so humorous. If you don’t know someone well enough to be aware of any major allergies they have, that person might not be the best target for a food-related prank.
  2. Be physically mindful: Some people are both able to and don’t mind playing rough. Others not so much. Overall it’s best to stay away from pranks involving hazards like slippery surfaces and surprise impacts. But if you know someone who would find being the target of such a prank funny, please be absolutely sure they’re more than physically capable of handling the situation before proceeding.
  3. Respect your target’s property: Be sure absolutely any alterations made as part of your prank can be easily reversed. Writing a silly message on a friend or family member’s shirt while they’re fast asleep can be funny if it’s erasable, but if you use permanent marker you might just end up provoking anger.
  4. Work as a team: Once you’ve decided on what trick you’re going to play, pick a trusted accomplice (or two). When pulling pranks as a team, you will always have someone else on hand in case anything goes wrong.

Have fun and be safe! If you pull any successful and safe pranks, let us know by commenting or tweeting.

Monday Roundup

From falsified burglaries, to reunions with long-lost paintings, to missing giant hamsters, it was an eventful weekend in the world of surprise private property transactions. Here’s your Monday Roundup:Hampster

  1. A 25-year-old Lake Grove, NY Woman was arrested Friday for falsely reporting a burglary to cover up the fact she committed the crime herself. The perpetrator called 911, telling police a man was breaking into her landlord’s apartment, but she then told officers the man had fled once they arrived. The subsequent story she told a detective didn’t match up with her original description of the event, and the woman eventually admitted to having broken into the landlord’s residence and stealing jewelry at an earlier date.
  2. Three Auburn University students were arrested in connection with the theft of valuable sports paraphernalia from the Jordan-Hare Stadium football locker room last week. The stolen goods include equipment worn by stars Bo Jackson and Cam Newton, as well as standard Under Armour gear.
  3. The exhibition of a decades-ago stolen painting recently returned to the Baltimore Museum of Art opened Sunday. The piece, called On the Shore of the Seine, was painted by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1879, purchased by American art collectors in 1925, and stolen from the Baltimore museum in 1951. The work was discovered in a West Virginia flea market and returned to the museum in September 2013.
  4. A 25-foot-tall inflatable hamster was stolen from the car lot of a Santa Fe-based Kia dealership. The $5,000 marketing mascot has not yet been sighted.

Four Amateur Burglaries Gone Wrong

No one is perfect, burglars included.BotchedBurglary

As spring vacation time rolls around and the weather gets nicer, the statistical likelihood a burglary attempt will be made on your home increases. Like anyone else, thieves are more active when the snow melts and the cold departs, so taking extra security precautions is a must. At the same time, it’s important to understand that burglars aren’t all professionals and they sometimes make silly mistakes. From leaving obvious clues like a dropped cellphone to simply getting spooked by the sound of an alarm, thieves do fail. With that in mind, have a couple laughs at these recent botched burglary attempts.

  1. A 25-year-old Wisconsin man was arrested last Friday in connection with a robbery he committed in January. Police identified the man by tracing him through contacts saved in the cellphone he conveniently left at the scene of the crime.
  2. A 31-year-old California man who initially escaped arrest when police found him robbing a San Mateo restaurant was taken into custody Tuesday with the assistance of a waitress. The man had previously spoken to her and given her his number. The woman gave police permission to impersonate her asking the perpetrator on a date. He fell for the trick and was arrested.
  3. State College, Pa. police identified two St. Patrick’s Day burglars as out-of-town visitors for the holiday. The two men were caught on security cameras, wandering through the hallways of an apartment building, entering and leaving rooms seemingly at random. Police were able to return almost all of the stolen property, worth more than $1,000.
  4. A still unidentified Nebraska burglar was deterred by a store’s alarm Monday. The perpetrator, who is still libel for felony property damage, smashed an Omaha-based tobacco shop’s window, which triggered the alarm that caused him to panic, police say.

 

Enjoy a safe and secure weekend!

Increase Kids’ Test Scores with This Tip

test-scoresInstalling an alarm system today keeps the burglars away, and it also can improve your children’s future educational achievement.

With the College Board recently announcing major changes to the SAT and the already highly competitive university admissions process yielding record low acceptance rates, the importance to students of performing well on standardized tests has never been more apparent.

Scoring high on these exhausting exams requires hours of preparation and definitely some luck, but several recent studies suggest students’ sense of safety also plays a role. According to a 2010 report published by three mental health researchers at Johns Hopkins University, neighborhood security and exposure to crime affect children’s performance on standardized tests. Students who feel safe at home and walking to school tend to perform better on state-wide examinations than kids who either witness crime or feel threatened in their own neighborhoods. It’s not surprising; middle school and high school are emotionally hard enough with the plethora of social distractions and coming-of-age lessons they present. Neighborhood crime only intensifies students’ anxiety, researchers say.

But what can you possibly do to simultaneously contribute to the security both of your neighborhood as a whole and of your child’s long-term educational achievement?

A 2009 Rutgers study suggests installing a home security system might do the trick. According to the study, an increase in alarm installations in Newark, NJ between 2001 and 2005 coincided with a steady decrease in the number of burglaries during that time. The research suggests that not only do alarms discourage robbers from entering a single house, but they also scare potential thieves away from nearby houses, so a neighborhood grows collectively safer with every alarm added by an individual homeowner.

In short, spending the extra dollar to install a home security system not only protects your personal physical property, but it might also have the added benefit of ensuring your child’s comfort and ability to succeed at school.

What to Expect when you Call SafeMart & LiveWatch

Angie's List BadgeOur Customer Service

SafeMart and LiveWatch Security have won awards for being the #1 Customer Service Team in America. (We’ve even won Angie’s List Super Service Award 2 years in a row!) We like to go out of our way to make sure each and every customer is not just satisfied, but absolutely delighted.

Many of our customers have shared with us their less-than-easy experiences with other home security companies. So, it got us thinking… Why not share with the world exactly what customers – new or returning – will experience when they call us?

See for Yourself

Take a look at this video then give us a call. See for yourself how easy we make it for you to do business with us!

ASAPer: The World’s Fastest Home Security

SafeMart and LiveWatch Home Security have Revolutionized the Home Security Industry yet Again!

 

What ASAPer IsASAPer

ASAPer is ASoon APossible emergency response. It’s an interactive messaging hub for home and corporate security systems and is 10x faster than everything else on the market.

What ASAPer Does

ASAPer simultaneously contacts everyone on your emergency contact list during an alarm event in the way they want to be contacted: web, phone, text or email. Chat or talk to everyone involved at the same time, including the central monitoring station who will contact emergency services for you if they are needed.

ASAPer eliminates the hassle and chaos of phone tag because alarm customers receive alarm alerts and can participate in the chatroom from any phone or computer.

ASAPer provides one-click alarm resolution by allowing you to take action right from your phone or web browser: Get emergency assistance or declare a false alarm.

 

Where You Can Get ASAPer

ASAPer is available exclusively at SafeMart and LiveWatch Security. Contact us today so you can resolve your alarm events faster than everyone else in the world.

 

Watch this video to see the power of ASAPer unleashed:

 

 

Monday Morning Roundup

A shorter week didn’t stop burglars from acting strangely. One burglar stripped to escape police, while another claimed he was “too drunk to remember” burglarizing a celebrity’s Michigan home. Here are the top four headlines from last week:

  • Burglary Victim Arrested After Police Find Drugs: Police responded to a burglar alarm and found dozens of marijuana plants growing inside. They arrested the Kentucky homeowner. Full story here.
  • Stolen Terrier Returned: Good news for a New Jersey family – police found their bull terrier and electronics stolen in an August 28 burglary. Full story here.
  • Burglary Suspect Flees Naked: When Florida police tried to capture a Florida burglar, he briefly escaped by taking off his clothes and running into a nearby home. Police caught up to him and arrested him. Full story here.
  • Kid Rock Burglar Pleads Not Guilty: In the country’s highest-profile burglary story, the man who broke into celebrity Kid Rock’s home pleaded not guilty because he was too intoxicated to remember the event. Full story here.

What story surprised you the most? Leave us a comment, tweet us or comment on our Facebook page to let us know.