Man pointing to a sign that says property management.

4 Highly Effective Measure for Property Managers to Improve Safety in Their Parking Lots

Improving safety on commercial, residential and retail property is a top priority of Property Managers. However, many struggle with how to implement the strategies necessary to accomplish this goal.  Over the past decade I’ve had the privilege to provide security services for many commercial, residential and retail properties. Fortunately, I have gained a lot of experience, which I have found to be useful in helping property managers to increase safety and reduce liability. Especially in hospitals, office buildings, shopping centers, and apartment communities.   

Most properties with security concerns have 2 things in common; they have parking lots, and they have contracted security companies to protect them.  Hence, in order to effectively improve safety on these properties, not only must the properties themselves be improved, but the security provider protecting them must also be improved. In this article, I’m going to speak about 4 of the most critical security measures in Property Management that often are not addressed adequately or not addressed at all.  However, before discussing the measures, I want to add that it is critical for Property Managers to begin the process by:

  • Conducting regular security assessments on their properties. This is recommended at least once a year, and sometimes more often depending on recent crime on and near your property and recent crime trends on the type of property that you manage.
  • Drafting a clear and concise Scope of Work (SOW) to potential security companies that encompass the recommendations from this article when issuing Request for Proposals (RFP’s) or Invitations for Bid (IFB’s).
  • Thoroughly vetting at least 3 security companies before settling on one and ensuring the selected company has the capacity and leadership to carry out the work as you have written.
  • Requiring the selected security company to write Post Orders that comply with your SOW and insist that the company trains all of its security officers to be in full compliance at all times.

Once the above measures have been undertaken, the following 4 Highly Effective security measures will improve safety and decrease liability on the properties that you manage. 

1.Traffic control in the parking lot – Patrons, guests, and tenants who frequent commercial, residential and retail property are 100 times more likely to be struck by a vehicle than they are to be victimized by crime in parking lots. Despite these statistics parking lot signage and traffic control measures often fall to the bottom of the list of things to be addressed by Property Managers. Likewise, many security companies also fail to make reporting issues with traffic control a part of their overall security strategy.  The Property Manager who truly wants to improve safety and reduce liability on their property must prioritize traffic control issues.

Shopping center with faded crosswalk and traffic signs

These faded crosswalks and turn signs increase property management liability.

The first step in accomplishing this is to mandate in the Scope of Work (SOW) that your security provider is responsible for reporting all traffic control hazards and that the responsibility to do so is incorporated into their post orders. Common hazards that should be reported include: overgrown trees and shrubs which obstruct the view of oncoming traffic;  Potholes, as vehicles may encounter a pedestrian while swerving to avoid them; damaged sidewalks which force pedestrians into lanes of traffic; and damaged or faded traffic control signs, e.g., crosswalks, fire lanes, yield signs, stop signs, parking lines, directional signs, etc.

Car riding over a black and yellow rubber speed bump

Traffic Calming speed bumps increase safety and decrease liability.

The second step is to ensure that you, the Property Manager, are willing to correct the reported deficiencies within a reasonable amount of time – 72 hours is usually adequate.  Traffic control recommendations that significantly improve safety, and reduce liability include speed bumps, pedestrian crossing signs, re-painting or re-striping and traffic control signs, e.g., crosswalks, stop, yield, speed, fire lane and etc. These items can be budgeted annually and purchased online fairly easily at sites like U-Line. As a best practice, annual repainting is highly recommended around the same time each year, as parking lot paint is only good for about a year.  Reflective marking tape is a more durable alternative to annual repainting*.  With pricing starting as low as $44.00 per 150 feet of tape, it is possible to save tons of money as reflective parking tape can be good for up to three years.

*The durability of all parking lot striping is determined by the volume of traffic on the lot.

2. Lighting – My security company was once contracted by a Property Manager who refused to repair lights on their Property despite that our officers reported the problem to them over SEVEN HUNDRED times in one year.   Needless to say, although my security officers understood their accountability, the Property Manager did not.  Therefore, due to the lack of action to address and correct the multiple safety and liability concerns reported by our team, I made the decision to sever ties with the aforementioned Property Manager.

A non functioning light on a building

Uncorrected lighting issues increases liability for property managers.

  • Defective or inadequate lighting is another danger regularly seen on some properties. Lighting standards are regulated by both OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Association) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute); however, Property Managers are responsible for maintaining their own check and balance systems.  Without a proactive system to ensure that lighting remains functional many properties find themselves, literally, in the dark.  Some property’s lights go unfixed for months, even years, without being addressed.
  • Good lighting is key to decreasing your liability on commercial and residential property, therefore it is important that Property Managers act quickly to repair lights that have been reported as non-functional. The key is to have proactive quality control procedures that involve security officers, maintenance staff, employees, and tenants.  The security officers and maintenance staff should be responsible for inspecting lighting issues daily and ensuring that they are reported in writing by the end of each shift.  In addition, the tenants and employees should be encouraged to report lighting issues and have an easily accessible system in place to do so.
  • To further reduce liability and increase safety, Property Managers should ensure that all lighting issues are repaired within 24 hours of being notified, or within a reasonable amount of time to order the parts necessary to remedy the problem…normally no longer than 72 hours.  Performing proactive lighting inspections will not only protect your tenants, employees and guests, it will also protect the Property Management company and the Owners against Premise Security Liability lawsuits in the unfortunate case in which someone becomes the victim of a crime on their property.
Parking lot at night light with LED light post.

LED lighting effectively increases safety on parking lots

  • To improve lighting, I have found LED lighting to be highly effective for both buildings and parking lots. It’s like night and day (pun intended) compared to traditional lighting. Hubbell Lighting Company, a Virginia-based company, has great before and after pictures and video that show the improvements gained through using LED lighting. Be sure to visit their site to see how LED lighting might work to improve safety on your property and at the same time save you thousands of dollars in operating and maintenance cost.


3. Cameras and CCTV – The power of CCTV is often misunderstood and underutilized. CCTV is a worthy ally to increase safety on any property. Analog cameras are old news but new HD cameras provide an additional layer of security and aids law enforcement and security officers with crystal clear images that bolster their efforts to protect others.  Property Managers, citizens, security and Police Officers benefit in 2 ways:

  1. By capturing incidents, crimes, suspect, and vehicle information.
  2. By acting as a deterrent against crime. The last thing that perpetrators want is to be caught, and the presence of CCTV cameras highly increases the chance that they will. If cameras are present, most perpetrators find an easier target to reduce the chance of being caught.
A globe CCTV camera with a building in the background

CCTV cameras are highly effective at deterring crime

While CCTV systems can be a big hit to your budget, not having them can be an even bigger hit according to Free Legal Advice’s website.  Legal Advice confirms what most security experts already know.  Property Managers have a “Duty to Provide” adequate security provisions for the properties they manage.  Legal Advice writes, “If you have been attacked or made a victim of a crime in the parking lot of a business or housing complex, you may be able to pursue a legal claim against the owners/operators of the lot for negligent security.”  Further, “Commercial Property owners do not have to guarantee the safety of everyone who enters the Property; however, they must respond appropriately to foreseeable risks.” Therefore “Foreseeable Risk” is the standard that Property Managers are judged by. Foreseeable Risk may involve areas of high crime, or patterns of crime occurring on or near the property of which the Property Manager was or should have been aware.  CCTV is not the complete answer, but it can be a line of defense for Property Managers and Owners who find themselves in litigation.

4. Cleanliness of the property – In the security and law enforcement profession there is a theory called “The Broken Window Theory.”  The theory has its roots in CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design). In a nutshell, the Broken Window theory was developed around inner city urban environments but can be utilized to improve the security in any environment. The theory uses broken windows as a metaphor for disorder in communities. Its goal is to maintain and monitor environments to prevent petty crime such as vandalism, public drinking, loitering, littering, etc., to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crime.  Most Property Managers are consistent in keeping their properties clean.  However, if this detail has been ignored on your properties, it is imperative to the safety of the people who frequent them that your team makes keeping them clean and beautified a priority. Additionally, your security officers should be empowered by you to bar violators for loitering, littering, disturbing the peace and vending without a license on your property.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and congratulations on taking the first steps to address some of the security concerns that you may struggle with while managing your commercial, residential and retail properties.  As you can see, there are ways to implement the strategies necessary to improve safety.  These tried and true methods are the result of more than a decade of experience of applying it to successfully protect properties just like those that you manage.  It is our hope my hope that this information will help you create safer environments for the patrons, guests, and tenants who frequent your properties.

Feel free to contact me if you manage property in the Washington, D.C area and think that a free Risk Assessment could benefit you and your tenants.


This article was written by Melvin Key, SR (CPP). Melvin is a retired DC Police Captain and the CEO and owner of MVP Protective Services, LLC which has been providing security services to Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia for over 12 years.  Board certified in Security Management – ASIS

For questions or more information, Mr. Key may be reached at You may also find him on Twitter: @Security_Guy_DC 


Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Holiday Shopping Safety tips shows a woman walks in Metropolitan area with a lot of shopping bags.

Tips from MVP on how to be safe while holiday shopping.

September 24, 2016

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips (That Everyone Should Know). As you head out to crush Black Friday Sales the experts at MVP recommend:

1. First, shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

2. Park in a well-lit space or close as possible to the building.

3. Never use remote car finders, starters or door openers until you are close enough to get into your car. While convenient, when used these finders also lets the bad guys know where your car is and that you’re coming their way.

4. Have your keys in your hand and ready to use before you exit or enter any building. This way you can get in your car or home fast in an case of an emergency. Keys also can be used as a weapon to defend yourself.

5. Always back your car in when parking (Combat Parking). It makes for a quick escape when in trouble.

6. Avoid overloading yourself with packages. Doing so prevents you from defending yourself if attacked.

Safety tips from MVP Protective Services, a Washington, DC based Security company. This photo shows a woman walking through a parking lot with a suspect following.

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips for citizens provided by MVP Protective Services

7. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.

8. Walk confidently and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with a person you feel uncomfortable with. Attackers prey on those who appear weak and who are not alert.

9. Carry less cash as possible. Pay with a check or credit card when possible.

10. Pay close attention to your surroundings and stay off of your cell-phone until you get into your car or destination safely.

11. If attacked fight back, make much noise, activate the panic button on your car remote and refuse to be taken from one place to another.

12. If a robber just wants your property, give it to them. It’s senseless to die or get injured over material things.

13. Finally, always trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Run as quickly as possible to safety and notify security of law enforcement.Carry the least amount of cash possible.

Thanks for reading Holiday Shopping Safety Tips. I hope that it helps you this helps you this holiday season.

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season

Article written by Melvin E. Key, Sr. CPP – Mr. Key is a the CEO of MVP Protective Services, an expert in retail security services and a retired Washington, DC Police Captain.

10 Reasons Why You Should Install A Security System

In the state of affairs the world is in, it’s no wonder that more and more people are installing home security systems and there are many that one can choose from that includes the usual numeric pad security system or camera security systems. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should install a home security system:

1. Effectiveness: Home security systems currently marketed are a highly effective crime deterrent. When a potential intrude attempts entry into the home an alarm, incredibly piercing and loud, will sound. This is an attempt to scare the would-be thief away. The security system despite frightening the intruder is also meant to get the attention of your neighbors in the hope that will call the police to respond. Many home security systems today come with built-in home monitoring which automatically alerts your police department. Utilizing a camera security system with monitoring allows you to gather irrefutable evidence against the intruder.

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2. Home Break-Ins: Surveillance Systems often give you nearly 100% safety when a home break-in would occur. The criminal will usually skip your home when seeing the sign or window logo of the home security or camera security system you have. If they still are bold enough to enter then the police will quickly come.

3. Ease to Use: The home security systems of today are incredibly simple to use. You merely have to enter a rather short numerical code that you can use to activate or deactivate your security system. This simple addition relieves the stress you may have of accidentally setting the security system off when leaving or entering the areas to which your home security system is set up to monitor.

4. Rapid Response: when you purchase a home security system, be it a camera security system or not, if it has monitoring then information is instantly transmitted to the police and fire department (depending on which home security system package you purchased) If your home security system comes with monitoring, information is transmitted to the police and even fire department and rescue squad within seconds of the incident. Because everything works via high-powered computer system, the transfer of information is immediate.

5. Customer Service: The companies that provide security system options are highly trained and very professional. They can assist you in every aspect of operating your security system. Most of the time a solutions specialist will come directly to your home to install the home security system for you and then instruct you on its proper use and function.

6. Affordability: With the myriad of benefits that a home security system offers one would think it to be quite expensive. You can have an effective security system installed at a reasonable price, usually for as little as $99 with a small monthly fee to maintain the home security service.

7. Choice: There are an incredible (and still growing) amount of providers for home security systems. Brinks as well as ADT are two of the biggest names in the industry. As far as security systems go they offer tops in quality and service.

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8. Insurance: When purchasing a home security system your insurance provider often gives a discount on your insurance premiums. Camera security systems can decrease your premiums even further.

9. Peace of Mind: Nothing else can match the peace of mind you’ll feel when you have a home security system helping you to protect your family.

10. Safety: Your family will feel more secure and safe in your home when you have a security system.

No matter the reason why you seek out a home security system it’s an important step in securing your family from harm.

Source by Rob Hargreaves

What is the Best Home Security? The Main Features That Your Security System Should Have

Many homeowners have been there and have done that. They’ve been through countless searches for the one that will fit the question, “what is the best home security system in the market these days?” With all the advanced machineries continuing to evolve every day; it comes as no surprise that you will still continue to find an answer to the above mentioned query.

Now, to set the record straight and to eliminate puzzlements and major apprehensions as to what is the best home security, here are the following features that should comprise your own security system. Check it out and make certain that you don’t miss a single detail.

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1. Must have no room for power interruption – Housebreakers get in when you’re least aware of their presence and during unexpected times, so any kind of security system that rely heavily on electric-powered machinery is an off. This is where battery-powered security system matters the most. However, the aforesaid statement doesn’t mean to chip away and weaken the credibility of wired ones, for there are power-operated security systems that mechanically swing to reserve batteries the moment power disruption surfaces. But the gist here is: Regardless of which system you go for, one feature that you need to look at in order to determine what is the best home security system is a type that no power interruption could ever downplay in terms of functionality and performance.

2. Must have the 3-layer defense – The best home security should have these three layers of defenses in your system. First, the window and door locks for outside protection, second are motion detectors as defense for the inside premises, and lastly, the smoke and heat sensors. If you have these three in your home security system, you need not look for more.

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3. Third-party involvement – What is the best system to select on? It should definitely have third party monitoring. The third party is either the installation company catering extended services to their clients or law enforcements themselves. This ensures homeowners that they are fully protected.

Source by Elijah James

Security Camera Systems – 5 Valuable Tips to Selecting Security Cameras

When selecting the best security camera system possible for your home or business it is important to select the right cameras that fit the unique needs of your situation. There are countless options and products features available.

Many packaged systems come with general purpose security cameras. Most vendors will allow you to replace the general purpose cameras with more advanced specialized cameras if you need them. For example, you may have a situation where three entrances into your building need to be monitored with just average quality cameras and you want to cover the parking lot with a camera that can read a license plate from 50 yards away. You can get 3 of the cameras that come with the system then replace the fourth with a camera that has high powered zoom capabilities.

By walking through this security camera selection guide you will be able to identify the special features that your situation requires and determine which cameras best fit your needs. Ultimately this will allow you to most efficiently spend your money while getting the best surveillance coverage.

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1) Will you need color or black and white cameras? Most packaged systems come with color cameras which are better than black and white cameras at identifying valuable details of a suspect such as clothing or hair color. Typically black and white cameras are less expensive and perform better at low light than color cameras. Color cameras actually switch over to black and white in low light environments.

2) What type of night vision capability is needed? A typical packaged color security camera will have a night vision range of between 15 and 50 feet. High powered night vision cameras can have a range of 150 feet. The main factor of determining the night vision range is the number of infrared LED’s on the camera. Most general purpose security cameras come with 15 to 30 LED’s. Remember even color cameras record in black and white in low light situations.

3) What is the lowest acceptable image quality from each location where cameras are installed? You may have different image quality requirements from each location. One camera may be installed at the front door only to buzz people in when they arrive for appointments. Another camera may be used to capture license plates of cars driving through a large parking lot. These cameras have much different image quality requirements. Generally speaking the number of TV Lines (TVL) per inch is an indicator of the image quality that is produced by the camera. General purpose packaged security cameras commonly have 400 – 420 TVLs. Cameras that have 480 – 520 TVLs will give a much better image quality. Also, CCD cameras generally produce a better image than CMOS cameras.

4) Wired vs. wireless? Understand the disadvantages of using wireless security cameras before deciding to purchase them. A lot of people fail to realize wireless security cameras still need power via a power cable. Wireless cameras use wireless technology to transmit a signal to a receiver which is connected to a DVR or monitor, but most of them use a power cable to plug into a near by outlet. There are battery operated wireless security cameras, but the batteries need to be replaced quite often.

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The image quality of wireless security cameras is often inadequate because of interference. The farther away a wireless camera is from the receiver and the more obstructions the signal must travel through the more the image quality is going to suffer. That being said, there are many, many applications where wireless security cameras are ideal. Many of the wired systems available have cabling that supplies both power and video (aka siamese cabling). This means all the power requirements can be managed from the same location as the DVR or monitor.

5) What elements are the security cameras going to be exposed to? Most general purpose security cameras that come in packaged systems can be used outdoors (as well as indoors) under normal conditions. If the cameras are going to be exposed to extreme conditions such as hail or very high winds or there is a high likelihood of vandalism you may want to upgrade to cameras with heavier and stronger housings and mounting brackets.

Source by F. William Davis

Internet Security – 10 Ways to Improve your Personal Privacy on the Internet

Are you wondering how you can keep your private life offline? Here are ten tips for personal privacy on the Internet.

1. Set the Ground Rules:

Make protecting your privacy a regular and important part of the online habits for your entire family. If you spend even a little bit of time thinking about the best ways to protect your personal privacy online, then it only requires a small amount of effort for you to prevent large problems from occurring. Create a written use agreement for the Internet and have your entire family sign it, so there will be less debate about what family members can and cannot do online.

2. Use Security Features:

Make use of the security features that your wireless network affords you. By taking advantage of these built-in security features, you can better control who has access to your Internet connection and when.

3. Control Pop-Ups:

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Use the capabilities of your web browser to control the pop-ups and cookies that you are exposed to. Pop-ups may not be capable of causing harm by themselves, but they tend to also be associated with aggressive forms of advertising that can fraudulently attempt to obtain your financial and personal information. Use your browser capabilities to control what pop-ups and cookies you deal with while browsing the Internet.

4. Use Security Software:

Use privacy protection software applications, including anti-spyware, anti-virus and firewall programs. These kinds of programs are often bundled in when you purchase a brand new computer. Some are even offered by your Internet service provider for free. If you do not already have them, they are well worth the investment if it means protecting your privacy online.

5. Schedule Regular Updates:

Update your operating system and your privacy protection applications on a regular basis. These updates tend to be free to download, and can mean a lot for increased protection on your computer.

6. Use Strong Passwords:

Learn how to create the right types of passwords. Passwords should not be dictionary words, and should combine letters, numbers and special characters as well in order to be the most effective.

7. Keep Passwords Safe:

Keep a private record of the passwords, usernames and other vital information for every member of your family. Keep this information away from your computer, rather than storing it online where other people can potentially get a hold of it. I recommend using RoboForm, a password management software program – not only does it generate passwords for you but it will store them all in one place that you can access with a master password.

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8. Don’t Share Personal Information:

Do not volunteer any personal information for any reason. If it is not required of you, simply do not provide it.

9. Use an Alias:

Use online aliases and nicknames whenever you can. Unless inputting your name is legally required, there is no reason to use it. Do not give out your true name, your phone number or your address to someone online unless you absolutely must.

10. Keep Family Internet Use Transparent:

Review the activities of your family as often as you can. If you find out that a family member is practicing bad habits for online security and privacy, set them straight and change those habits before a problem is born. You do not want the wrong people to find out important information about you or your family, so act accordingly when you spend your time online.

Source by Jeff Wilson

Home Security Alarm Systems – Wired or Wireless?

Home Security Alarm Systems are pretty easy to install these days. Depending on the type of house you own, you will determine the type of home security alarm you will need. Most alarm systems these days are wired throughout your home, however, because of the difficulty and time it takes to install these systems in your home, many home security alarm companies are starting to use wireless security systems.

This comes as no surprise since the world we live in today is becoming more and more wireless every day. These “new” security systems don’t require any drilling or laying wires throughout your home. Sometimes, they don’t even need to be installed by professional companies. You can find these types of alarms at your local hardware store.

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These new home security alarm systems are great for lot of other reasons. Because your system communities wirelessly, it is easy to move the components around your home without having to deal with any wires. Until now, this wasn’t even an option. Now it is a commodity! It is also extremely easy to add new features or sensors to different rooms, doors, and windows without having to drill more holes and run more cables for each device you plan to add. There are, however, limitations by these new systems as to how many devices it can support.

You must realize that no home security alarm system is fool proof or perfect by any means. Nothing in this world is perfect and wireless home security systems aren’t in anyway perfect either. The major downfall of these systems is the fact that they are powered by batteries. This means that you will have to actively monitor the system to make sure that it is still running. You may have an inactive home security system without even knowing it.

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If you are a big shot and are using security cameras on the outside of your home, beware; they suck batteries faster than any other component of the wireless security system. Make sure that you are using the type of cameras that use motion sensor technology. These will allow you to get more bang for your buck when it comes to batteries since they will not be running all the time.

No matter what you choose to do, you need to make sure that you are taking the proper steps in protecting your home from intruders. Both wired and wireless home security alarm systems are supplements to your home security and family safety.

Source by Greg Shuey

Home Security – Why Fake Security Cameras Are So Popular

There are two things that scare the living daylights out of a burglar. The first is the sight or sound of a barking dog. When asked one time what he thought was the biggest deterrent against home burglary, a detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department said ‘without a doubt, a barking dog scares burglars away the best.’

That statement has since been confirmed by many a burglar. If they even see a sign that there is a dog on the premises is enough to warn them away. So you don’t even really need a dog, just a sign saying you have one is sufficient. Boy is that a lot cheaper!

And the second thing that scares them away is a security camera. Oh yes you have seen videos of burglars breaking into a house that were seen on video. But the burglars in interviews after the fact, claim they never saw the camera otherwise they never would’ve entered the house. Burglars may have born at night, but it wasn’t last night. They don’t want to get caught and if they get memorialized on a video from a security camera, that is the best way to get captured.

Law enforcement officials tell us that if a homeowner has a video of a break-in that the chances of catching the burglar improve by over 50%. That’s huge!

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When homeowners have an investment of $250,000 or more, on average, in the home and in the furnishings, fixtures and equipment that’s in the home it makes an awful lot of sense to have some precautions against home burglary. That’s where security cameras come into play.

But for many reasons homeowners, especially new homeowners, are up to their eyeballs in debt paying for the house and all the goodies that go in the house. Enter fake security cameras! This is why they are so popular: they are very realistic looking, so much so that they can fool anyone, even a burglar; and they’re inexpensive compared to the real thing-as much as 75% lower in cost.

When you’re looking for inexpensive ways to improve your home security put a sign in your front yard that warns of the vicious guard dog. Only your neighbors will know that you don’t have the dog. Put an NRA sticker in your front window or on the bumper of your car parked in your driveway. Then install a fake security camera that only you will know isn’t real.

Source by James Lesney

Best Place To Buy Security Cameras For Home Security

Is it any wonder that home security is such huge business? Homeowners make it pretty easy for the bad guys to get in and steal their stuff. Sixty percent of all home burglaries according to police statistics happen through unlocked doors and windows. Police also tell us that just a little bit over ninety percent of all home burglaries can be prevented.

Homeowners have a lot on their plate especially when they move in. Security of their home usually takes a second seat to everything else. And to some extent, that’s understandable. It shouldn’t be that way, of course, but it is.

There are lots of things that homeowners can do to make their home more secure that are free or at low cost.

1. Start with locking your doors and windows.

2. Put up a sign warning of a vicious guard dog.

3. Trim areas around lower-level doors and windows to eliminate hiding places.

4. Start or join a ‘neighborhood watch’ program.

5. Use your peephole when someone’s at your front door instead of just opening the door. This is the best way to prevent a home invasion.

6. And keep some self defense products around the house in case somebody does get in so you can defend yourself.

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But the absolute best way to increase home security is with security cameras or surveillance cameras. Home security cameras or a home security camera system sends a clear unmistakable message to the bad guys that might be casing your neighborhood for places to rob. “Don’t be stupid” pick on someone else otherwise you’ll get caught.

They come in a wide variety of styles and capabilities; wired or wireless, color or black and white, indoor and/or outdoor, bullet or dome styles and night vision capabilities to 150 feet in complete darkness. Prices range for most from $60.00 to $150.00 with hundreds to choose from.

Where do you find them? Google the term ‘home hidden cameras’ or ‘spy cameras’ for a start. Then look for a full time distributor-not a part timer-who can answer questions before and after the sale. Then find someone who is a BBB member for reliability.

Then you will be on your way to improving your home security with security cameras. When are you getting some?

Source by Jack Krohn

Free Home Alarm Systems, Scams and the Truth About Home Security

Recently, Philadelphia authorities placed an announcement to local residents advising them of a scam operation in the area that used the promise of “free home security” to lure individuals into working with a pseudo company. Worse yet, residents had been told by “representatives” that the company was working with other locally known security companies on a cross promotional deal. Residents were told to call police if they were approached with such a business deal.

What could these dishonest individuals have to gain from starting their own pseudo company? Any number of openings, from stealing owners’ credit card or banking information, stealing personal information for identity theft, or even targeting the home for robbery or the homeowner for assault. Ironically, criminals are even willing to use increased security technology for their own dishonest purposes. This news case should point out to consumers a few important facts.

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First, there is no such thing as free home security monitoring, nor would the top security companies get together on a cross promotional activity, since they are direct competitors. You may see the reputable security companies offering free home security systems, but these usually include a contract and a monthly monitoring fee.

In order for a company to provide live monitoring, they must charge a monthly fee, since they will either be connecting your service to the company’s central system through a landline phone or through cellular technology. The only free communications system? CB radio! However, it’s unlikely anyone will take your cries for help seriously on an open airwave. Additionally, the cost of motion detector sensors, as well as special sensors that pick up on fire risks, high carbon monoxide levels, and even air conditioning problems, are very expensive.

Most of these expenses are deferred or eliminated completely, as you merely pay a small setup fee and then continue paying off these expenses with your premium rate. When you use a company with live monitoring services, you may get several interconnected command centers that are strategically located throughout the United States. You also get free equipment in many cases.

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Beware of any company that offers you a free home security system AND free monitoring services. The only companies that you should work with are companies that offer (A) 24-7 home monitoring, (B) professional installation by a licensed and certified technician and (C) that have a proven name and company history.

Source by Bruce Kelly