How well are your valuables protected from fire

Whether you are a business tycoon or a reasonably rich person with a kitty of valuable possessions, you sure do not want them destroyed by a fire or stolen by someone who probably does not value them as much as you do. On the other hand, what you want to protect may not be your hobby but official documents, jewelry and the like. In both of the above cases, some means or another probably already protects your valuables. However if you have decided on buying a safe to protect your valuables from fire because you think your prized possessions have increased in number and value then read on to get an idea of the options available to you. You also have to keep in mind that no amount of protection can last indefinitely. What this means is in the event of a fire in your home or office there is a certain period during which a safe can keep your valuables from being destroyed in the fire! Heat Intensity in a Fire Now when you go searching for a safe one thing to keep in mind are the fire ratings of the safe. Do not be fooled by claims of safes that are expensive because they provide protection at very high temperatures. Average house-fire temperatures are in the range of 1200°C, so if the sales person claims to give better protection at higher temperatures he is probably telling you the specification of the heat resistant lining of the safe or the temperature range of fire endurance tests that safes are put through! Protection Ratings Protection ratings are nothing but the temperature and time for which the safe will provide safety in the event of a disaster. The general ratings are 1200 degrees for 20 minutes to 1700 degrees for 1 hour. More expensive cement fire safes can provide up to a 2-hour rating however, they weigh twice as much as the normal home or office safe. Basic safe types according to their location Wall safes These are embedded into a wall preferably into a thick wall to avoid the safe from protruding out at the other end of the wall, which obviously will make it visible! And if it is imperative that you install your safe into a thinner wall then you can install it so that there is a cabinet on the other end hence concealing the safe. Floor safes These as the name suggests are installed into the floor of your home or office. Now unless these are installed in your den or basement they are in danger of falling through the floor once the floor material has collapsed due to fire. Therefore, the ideal place to install your safe would be at the lowest point in your home and the most exterior, not only because it is less likely to fall through but also because the intensity of heat during a house fire is less concentrated in this area. Size of the safe The size of the safe you want to buy will depend on the number of valuables that you want to store and their collective size. You also have to consider future possessions and collectibles because a safe is not something you will buy repeatedly as your collection increases. It is also not economical to buy one all the time meaning safes are quite an expensive commodity owing to the fact that they are made to protect your valuables that are important to you! Another point to consider while deciding the size is its location in your home! I mean if you do not have enough space to accommodate a big safe it does not make sense buying a one that big right! Moreover, if you have decided on installing it in the bedroom or family room it cannot be too large lest it spoil the interiors! For a big safe the garage or basement is good place. Thickness of the safe By the term thickness of the safe, it means the thickness of the safe walls. The sizes available are from 14 gauge thick steel to ј-inch steel thickness. Now the thickness again depends on you. In the event of a fire, it is not the thickness of the steel but the quality of the fire protection lining that is important because that is what will protect your documents and other valuables from being charred! Certifications in the UK Certification of a product by national and international standards gives the customer the satisfaction that what they are buying ensures high quality and reliability. Some European standards that safe manufacturers adhere to are as follows Serial numbering by the ECB•S – for the identification of manufacturers and the prevention of unauthorized use as well as they are in accordance with ISO 9000 (EN ISO 9000). EN-1047-1 and VDMA 24991Means that the safe is tested against fire according to the European standard EN-1047-1. Thereby today’s and future demands for fire protection is achieved. It is the most complete test with production control, certification, drop test, remaining heat etc. Fire protection P = for paper documents Means that the safe is tested to protect all paper based documents against fire. The end temperature must not exceed 175єC. The fire class is stated in 60P, 90P alt. 120P which means that the contents in the safe remains intact in 60, 90 alt. 120 minutes. Fire class DIS = for all types of data media Means that the safe is tested to protect the most heat sensitive data media in a fire. The end temperature must not exceed 55єC. The fire class is stated as S60DIS alt. S120DIS and means that the contents in the safe remains intact in 60 alt. 120 minutes. Warranty Another important factor to consider is the warranty on your safe in case it is damaged in the event of a fire or break-in. You will not wish to spend more money on buying a brand new safe after incurring so much loss! Most safe manufacturers provide warranties in the event of a disaster; however, this excludes the freight costs. However if your safe is insured you can claim the freight charges from your insurance company, for which you will have to get in touch with your insurance firm. Therefore, when you go safe shopping if you have at least some idea of what you are looking for you can expect to get a good deal on protecting your valuables!

What you should know about portable generator safety

Portable electric generators provide a good source of power, but if improperly installed or operated, can become deadly. To keep families safe, The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offer a helpful new video and recommend taking the following precautions: • Contact a licensed electrician to install your generator to make sure it meets local codes. Do not connect generators directly to household wiring without an appropriate transfer switch installed. Power from generators connected directly to household wiring can backfeed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including lineworkers making repairs. Other tips include: • Make sure your generator is properly grounded. • Keep the generator dry. • Make sure extension cords used with generators are rated for the load, and are free of cuts and worn insulation and have three-pronged plugs. • Do not overload the generator. A portable generator should be used only when necessary and only to power essential equipment or appliances. • Never operate the generator in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Use carbon monoxide detectors in nearby enclosed spaces to monitor levels. Generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly, which can be deadly. • Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. • Make sure fuel for the generator is stored safely, away from living areas, in properly labeled containers and away from fuel-burning appliances. Before re-fueling, always turn the generator off and let it cool down. • Turn off all appliances powered by the generator before shutting down the generator. • Keep children away from portable generators at all times. Electricity is a powerful tool. It can also be a lethal hazard. Better safety standards have reduced electrical hazards that cause deaths, injuries and property damage. But good safety habits are still the best prevention against electrical hazards.

What are disaster recovery templates and how do they help

Understanding the Need for Disaster Recovery Templates All around the world, the weather has been proving to be strong and unpredictable. From a tsunami to hurricanes and earthquakes, just about every corner of the world has been impacted by unpredictable weather. For this reason, many individuals, families, and communities are realizing the need for disaster recovery templates. Disaster recovery templates are organized plans of action that should be implemented in a time of need. A natural disaster is the most common situation which may call for a disaster recovery plan, however, disaster recovery templates are used for a wide variety of other events and disasters. As the result of the many terrorist attacks around the workd, disaster recovery templates have become more readily available and easier to use. Disaster recovery templates are developed and used all over the world. They may offer preparation and help for handling a natural disaster, however, the majority of plans are focused on the recovery and rebuilding process. The 2005 hurricane season overwhelmed the Gulf Coast region of the United States. After a large death toll and constant media attention, it became apparent, that disaster revovery plans are essential. If a community implements a recovery plan, everyone, employees to citizens alike, need to understand the procedures. Disaster recovery templates usually fail if there is a lack of awareness about what is going to be done. Therefore, disaster recovery plans need to be clear enough to be understood by everyone. Disaster recovery templates are especially important in areas where damage or destruction may occur unexpectedly. Although their paths may change, hurricanes are generally easy to track, and their courses are not difficult to predict. This allows residents in the path of a hurricane to take the appropriate steps to secure their property and evacuate. Tornados, flash floods, and earthquakes are examples of natural disasters that provide little or no warning to area residents. Disaster recovery templates are very important for people who live in areas where these disaters are more likely to occur. Without the proper warning, residents may be in danger, and a large amount of property may be damaged. A disaster recovery template can be planned and developed by a family or a small group. However, the majority of disaster recovery templates are developed for whole communities and specific organizations. In the event of a natural disaster, it is not uncommon for churches or local community groups to get together and offer assistance to the community. Their recovery plans may be a little bit different from traditional state or community disaster recovery templates. On their disaster recovery templates, they usually have listed as a major priority searching, finding, and rescuing area residents or pets who may be stranded or injured. Many families or organizations may plan and test run their own disaster recovery templates, however, often trained professional may be called in. There is a good selection of pre-established disaster recovery templates available for use. In addition to pre-established disaster recovery templates, there are many companies or individuals who have experience and are propely trained to develop such plans. Disaster recovery templates are an important tool in a time of need. Having a disaster recovery template in place can save lives and offer guidance in a time that is normally characterized by panic and confusion.

Penned up listening devices

Unlike an overzealous reporter, who shoves his microphone into your face in his efforts to get your take on the latest, breaking news story, there is a multitude of reasons why you might just want to keep your listening devices a secret. One of the many ways in which you can do that is by using listening devices that look like a pen. These clever little devices are actually very sensitive pen microphones, and when worn in a pocket on your shirt or jacket, are easily mistaken for the real thing. One such listening device is permanently stowed inside the clicker part of a Bic pen and it will work with virtually any recorder that contains an external microphone input with power. Plus it is ultra high sensitive. But you don’t have to just use these great pen mikes just for covert purposes. Granted, if you are standing near someone and need to secretly listen to their conversation, these pen mikes are great. But there are lots of other reasons to use these sensational listening devices as well. Let us say that you are attending a lecture and you want to record it so that you can carefully go over it later at home when it is time to study. By wearing this hands free device you can do so easily. Or what if you are planning to attend a live music concert and you want to make a recording, you can be sure that by using these particular listening devices, you will get an excellent recording with clear, crisp sound, and deep bass.

Time to take home security seriously

The latest crime statistics are, to put it mildly, quite disturbing. Crime in United States accounts for more death, injuries and loss of property then all Natural Disasters combined. According to FBI statistics a burglary occurs in the United States every 15 seconds. On top of this the victims and their relatives often experience financial problems, and time is often lost from work to handle the legal, insurance and personal problems associated with being a victim. Home intrusions continue to rise. In the 80's when crack cocaine hit the streets crime rose an average of 26 percent in most major cities. Now, a major contributor to home intrusions is the drug Methamphetamine. Burglary and thefts from auto's are the most prevalent neighborhood crimes. Often, breaking into an auto gives the thief a bonus, access to the remote control allowing the house's garage door to be opened. Household burglary is rampant because it is one of the easiest crimes to commit, half the time with no forced entry required.

Most home intrusions occur during daylight hours while homeowners are away. The burglar will in many cases watch your home for a few days to see when you are out. While home burglary is one of the easiest crimes to commit, it is also one of the easiest to prevent. Neighborhood Watch is a good starting point, and is a proven crime-reduction program. Most police departments are very supportive of these programs and will provide information and materials on how to set up a program. Members watch out for their neighbors and report suspicious activities to the police department. A term used often in these groups is "hardening the target". Hardening the target means steps you can take to cause a thief to bypass your house and move on to an easier target. Some of these items include using quality deadbolt locks, installing impact resistant glass on certain windows so someone cannot break the glass and reach in and unlock the door, installing solid exterior doors, installing motion sensing outdoor lighting, and others tailored to your particular situation. Most of the security items mentioned are relatively inexpensive ways to "harden your target". Also, many high tech devices once considered cost prohibitive are now affordable. For example, a wireless video surveillance system can be purchase for around $50.00. Just mount the small camera in the area to be viewed and view the image on a channel on your home TV set. Elaborate systems, however, can still be costly. Consider installing a home security system. This is taking "hardening the target" to the highest level. Homes without security systems are 3 times more likely to be broken into than homes with security systems. 90 percent of police believe alarms deter burglary attempts. A full article could be devoted to this one subject, but lets look at the main points. You will hear the terms hardwired or wireless used when describing home alarm systems. If you are renting your accommodation, a wireless system is the best choice because you can take the system with you when you move. If you own your home, either type system can be used. Most security professionals tend to favor hardwire, but the negative side is the higher cost due to the installation time involved. Wireless, by the nature of the name, is installed in hours compared to days with hardwired systems. A negative side is having to worry with batteries. Ultimately either system detects an intrusion and sounds an alarm. The alarm can be a local siren or bell, or a silent alarm to a security monitoring company, or both. The security representative surveying your home can make recommendations for your best protection based on your living patterns. If you are just living as usual, you are putting your family, and your property at unnecessary risk. Home intrusions have increased to the point where every homeowner must become more aware of the dangers, and learn about the latest security products available to protect ones home, family, and valuables. Make sure your home is safe and secure.

Let s look at locks

History From the beginning of humankind people have felt the urge to protect what they possess. They start by covering the entrance of their caves with stones; later they hid their gold and jewels in the ground. Then they discovered locks. These were first made of wood and rope. They served the purpose well, although they were not so nicely designed. There is a lot of historical proof which certifies the use of locks long before we could imagine. Even in the Bible (Old Testament, Books of Judges) we have frequent mention of locks and keys. Types In modern society we have keys and locks for everything: the house, the office, the car, the bike. We even have more than one key for the same building; keys and locks are so much a part of our daily routine that we don't take them into consideration (or maybe we do that only when the ring of keys is too heavy to be placed in our pockets). But we do give a lot of thought when we have to pick the type of lock or the type of key. Basically we are talking about mechanical locks (based on mechanical activation of the keys) electro-mechanical locks (can be both mechanical or electrical activated, but usually the key is replaced with numbered buttons that have to be pressed) and electrical locks (activated by a card key that has a particular code, programmed to be read by a card reader which is controlled by an automated central or a local processor). How to pick the lock? It is not as complicated as we think, but also not as easy as it appears in a lot of movies. Some say that this requires both art and science. We have to have a good knowledge of the lock mechanism and, some practice. Firstly we insert a tension wrench in the lock (a screwdriver for example) and, with a slight pressure, turn the plug (the lock cylinder) like the proper key would have done (we have to figure out what is the normal direction for the key to be turned). It will help create a small place between the lock pins (placed inside the lock). Then we have to insert a lock pick in order to lift them up (like the proper key will do when inserted in the lock). Doing this and continuing to apply pressure on the tension wrench we will hear a slight click (made by the pins when they fall in the right position) and the lock will be unlocked. For unsophisticated locks we can use a metal hair pin as a lock pick. But professional locksmiths need an adequate pick tools kit. Basically this contains a tension wrench (they have different shapes and sizes) and several picks(long pieces of metal which are curved up at one end). Some can use an electrical pick gun (contains long pieces of metal and when they vibrate push the pins up and unlock the lock). Re keying lock The process of re keying is quite simple (takes couple of minutes) and it shouldn't be confused with the process of replacing a lock. Actually it consists of disassembling the lock cylinder and replacing all the old lock pins with new ones, to match the new key. Then the cylinder is reinstalled in the lock! When for example a member of the family loses the house key we can assume that a burglar has it. We should immediately re key the house lock to prevent a potential theft. It doesn't cost a lot in time and money, but it can spare us a big stress. The same procedure is advisable when moving into a new house/apartment. The better the lock is, the harder it will be for a burglar to break in!

Led lanterns include one in your emergency planning

There are so many situations that can turn into an emergency it is impossible to describe each in detail but, the tools and supplies needed to be able to react appropriately to most emergencies can be collected in preparation for an emergency. It is critical to have access to an emergency lantern during an emergency as this can make the difference between life and death. Many times an emergency creates a life and death situation making the situation a medical emergency. If there is not the availability of an emergency lantern or emergency light source, the medical situation will be significantly compromised. Having all the medical supplies in the world won’t make any difference if it is impossible to see what is going on to assess the situation. When darkness compromises the assessment of injuries the ability to apply emergency medical procedures is also compromised. The same is true for search and rescue operations. It is almost impossible to conduct emergency rescue procedures in the dark. Many times dealing with the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster means looking for survivors at night or in the darkness caused by searching underground or through rubble piles.

Being able to see what you are dealing with increases the degree of safety for the rescuers and victims. Emergency action plans are an excellent way to plan for the unknown and to be prepared to respond efficiently as soon as possible. An emergency plan includes putting together lists of supplies and tools that will help in the event of a disaster. When the list is final, the items should be collected or purchased and stored in an accessible place. Appropriate emergency lighting should be on everyone’s emergency planning list. To be able to determine the suitability of emergency lanterns, decisions need to be made after learning about and comprehending the pros and cons of the variety of emergency lanterns on the market as there are many emergency lantern options to consider. Emergency lanterns come in a variety of models and types including: 12 LED light battery, 20 LED lantern battery, Windup LED, lantern and radio combinations, lantern, radio and television combinations, kerosene lanterns, and solar powered lantern etc. Each of these types of emergency lanterns has individual strengths, benefits and limitations such as: LED emergency lanterns are super bright and provide intense light for close-up work as well as useful for distributing light into the distance. Battery powered emergency lanterns can be bought with rechargeable batteries. Windup or crank emergency lanterns can be used when any source of power is unavailable. Solar emergency lanterns can be powered up by the sun without the use of batteries. Most come with an adaptor for a car or home. An emergency lantern can be used at times other than emergencies making them a more flexible resource to have around. If using an emergency light for something other than and emergency, ensure when you put it back after use that you have recharged batters, solar panels and/or replaced low batteries. ~Ben Anton, 2007

What are the features of a home security system

Is your home really safe? When we ask ourselves that question we start to think about whether the safety measures we have taken are enough to keep our home safe. Prevention is better than the cure! Place an appropriate home security system to prevent your home from burglaries. Today, safety depends on how well prepared you are. With monitored residential security and alarm system, you can empower yourself and give your family peace of mind. Alarm Statistics: Government statistics have shown that around 60% of burglaries carried out on homes fitted with home security system are unsuccessful. Losses due to burglary average $400 less in residences with security systems. 90% of police believe alarms deter burglary attempts. This suggests that burglar alarms are a useful deterrent for prospective criminals. Types of Alarms: There are three types of alarms. They are a Burglar Alarm, Fire Alarm and Safety Alarm. These three are commonly found in electronic form today. Features of Alarms: - It detects intrusion, fire, burglary, and carbon monoxide presence. - The alarm alerts you to a problem with a very loud beep and in some cases, is accompanied by bright flashing lights. - Features also include, it beeps when doors or windows are opened. - Fire alarm sensors are of three general categories: smoke, flame and heat. - Safety detectors include thermostats for detecting excessively high temperatures, water sensors for flooding, excessive carbon monoxide concentrations etc. - It can be activated and deactivated with either a simple turn of the key or a key pad control panel. - Door alarms are relatively inexpensive and reliable. - You no longer have to hire an electrician to run the wires through the ceiling or walls. Hence, many people now install their own door alarms. Nothing is more important than protecting your home and family. There are many alarm companies that offer a wide range of services that can save your life and property.

Keeping your home secure while on vacation

Imagine returning from your holiday to find your windows broken, your cars and possessions stolen and your pets gone. Your space has been violated. Relax it shouldn't be necessary to answer that because with the proper preparation you can discourage intruders and have a carefree vacation. Worry shouldn't be on the agenda when you are vacationing. Your holiday is a treat that should be enjoyed without stressing about the safety of your home. By planning ahead you minimize your risk of something going wrong while you are gone. Depending on how long you will be gone there are a few common sense things you can do for your home, pets and possessions.

Discourage thieves by getting a house sitter. This is the best way to ward off trouble. If you know someone who will regularly stop by your house - water your plants and turn on the lights you are lucky. If you have animals you might want to think about hiring a house sitter for while you are away. This way your pets are properly cared for and your home is safer. Peace of mind is worth some extra money. If you are going to hire a house sitter - make sure you use reliable and trustworthy service! Ask around.

If you can't get a house sitter the goal is to make your house look lived in. It's a good idea to have a trusted neighbor to look after your home. Someone who can keep an eye on your property and who has a contact number for you should anything go wrong. There are all kinds of timers you can buy that make it seem like there are people in your house. Light timers and radio timers can be very effective in deterring criminals. Think about the state of your lawn before you leave. Overgrown grass is a loud signal that there is nobody home. If you are going to be gone long enough for your post to pile up make an arrangement with a neighbor to pick it up - a pile of unopened mail is an obvious signal to criminals that nobody is home.

Even if you aren't going away for a long time there are some things that you need to do every time you leave the house. - Always lock your door and leave a key with someone to check on your home while you are gone. - Turn on the radio/TV and leave some lights on - Do not leave your spare key under the doormat or in any of the equally obvious hiding places. Rather give a copy to someone else and don't have a spare key anywhere in your garden while you are home. If you MUST hide your key on the property be creative! That blue rock in the backyard under the tree behind the shed is a better/safer bet. -Develop a reciprocal relationship with your neighbors. Watch their houses when they are away; keep your eyes and ears open for strange happenings and ask them to do the same for you. Group0 together and form a neighborhood watch of some sort . If you follow these tips you can be sure your chances are good that you will return to a secure house. If something has happened while you were out; here are some signs to look for - Broken windows or door should be a major alert that something is wrong. Don't go inside! Call the police and have them check the property. - If you think you have been broken into don't touch anything; you want to keep the scene preserved for investigation.

The combination lock

A combination lock is a type of lock in which a sequence of numbers or symbols is used to open the lock. The sequence is usually a specific permutation rather than a true combination. The sequence may be entered using a single rotating dial which interacts with several discs or cams, or by using a set of several rotating discs with inscribed numerals which directly interact with the locking mechanism. Multiple-dial locks One of the simplest types of combination lock, often used in low-security situations is the bicycle lock, which uses several rotating discs with notches cut into them. The lock is secured by a pin with several teeth on it which hook into the rotating discs. When the notches in the discs align with the teeth on the pin, the lock can be opened. This lock is considered to be one of the least secure types of combination lock. Opening a multiple-dial lock without the combination depends on the slight irregularities in the machining of the parts. Unless the lock is machined precisely, when the pin is pulled outward, one of the teeth will pull more strongly than the others on its corresponding disc. This disc is then rotated until a slight click is heard, indicating that the tooth has settled into the notch. The procedure is repeated for the remaining discs, resulting in an open lock, and a correct combination, in very little time. Single-dial locks Combination locks found on padlocks or safes may use a single dial which interacts with several parallel discs or cams. Customarily, a lock of this type is opened by rotating the dial clockwise to the first numeral, counterclockwise to the second, and so on in an alternating fashion until the last numeral is reached. The cams typically have an indentation or notch, and when the correct combination is entered, the notches align, allowing the latch to fit into them and open the lock. Combination locks of this type are generally more secure than the multiple-dial lock, but some of them do have weaknesses. For example, early combination padlocks made by Master lock could be cracked by pulling on the shackle of the lock and turning the dial until it stopped; each numeral in the combination could be revealed in this manner. More recent models of Master padlock with a 40-position dial have a mechanical weakness that can give away the last numeral in the combination, and the first two numerals have a mathematical relationship with the last number. This weakness reduces the number of possible combinations from 64,000 to a mere 100, which can be tried in a relatively short amount of time. Inexpensive padlocks are often susceptible to the use of a padlock shim, which can be used to release the shackle without entering a combination. Other designs Many doors use combination locks which require the user to enter a numeric sequence on a keypad to facilitate entry. These special locks usually require the additional use of electronic circuitry. The main advantage of this system is that if used for the door of a large office, each employee can be told the code number without having to supply a key to each person. The disadvantage however, is if the code number is discovered by someone out site the desired group or is not changed regularly, it could allow easy access to a potential intruder.

Light up with covert hidden cameras

If you are looking for an inconspicuous way to protect your business with covert hidden cameras, then you may want to consider the emergency light camera. You see them everywhere in businesses. Or do you? Actually you probably don’t pay much attention to them unless the power has gone out and the emergency lights have come on to light your way. These great little covert hidden cameras even automatically switch from color to black and white in low light situations, and have a line of site range of one thousand feet. But let’s say that you would like to have covert hidden cameras, disguised as a light in an outdoor environment. An emergency light might look a little out of place outside. That is when you would want to get the wireless floodlight camera instead. These totally undetectable covert hidden camera surveillance systems will work like a charm for both businesses and personal homes. Everybody has floodlights right? But these beauties not only work for floodlights, they can even be used in any ceiling light fixture.

And installation is so easy; it is as simple as screwing in a light bulb, literally. Then all you need to do is plug the decoder, which comes included with the system, into any AC outlet and connect it to a TV or VCR. You will be watching your live surveillance immediately; it takes less than a minute to install. The covert hidden cameras in these lights operate off the existing wiring in your home, office, place of business, or even a vacation home. There are no wires, no fuss, no muss, and it is so portable so you can use the same camera at more than one site.

How to get rid of raccoons

Many of you know that raccoons are known to adapt very easily to a changing environment that is why many people have problems with the damages caused by these creatures. Raccoons have inherited a bad habit: they vandalize garbage cans, fish ponds and also your very own kitchen pantry due to the fact that many houses ( especially in United States ) have a pet door which for a raccoons is like an invitation. Besides this, raccoons invade attics, chimneys, porches and other similar locations, not to mention that the cities and suburbs offer these creatures a developed underground roadway system for those intelligent animals who use these storm sewers. These raccoons not only invade your privacy but also they cause damage, for example, they can get into crops or just by simply occupying your chimney they make annoying little sounds that eventually will drive you crazy. The first thing you should do is to find out if you are truly having problems with raccoons because many people have the tendency to affirm that raccoons are the one’s to blame for the damages but in reality, the one’s who should be blamed for causing these problems are dogs, cats or other “friendly” animals.

If you don’t have the possibility to observe these animals directly the best thing you could do is to identify their tracks. In order to do this you should use the following : flour, nontoxic powders and also cornstarch, these will help you to check out footprints on hard surfaces. A useful tip : raccoons which use chimneys or attics usually begin to make noise when it is getting darker and they stop doing this in the morning, when the sun makes its appearance. The sounds that raccoons make when they are moving can help you detect them more easily. Also, if you hear purring noises then you should know that young cubs are present. Usually, you will hear these noises when their mother comes back to the den. A wise thing you could do if you have problems with raccoons is simply wait; in other words, many of the problems made by raccoons ( for example: occupation of a building ) resolve themselves within a few weeks or if you are lucky, in a few days. If cubs are also causing you problems then you should know that they won’t leave your attic until they are nine weeks of age because until then, they can’t take care of themselves so they won’t venture in an unknown environment where they will be helpless. When it comes down to chimneys and attics if yours is uncapped then raccoons will probably use it for denning but also for giving birth and raising cubs. If you assume that after a while they will leave, the best thing you should is that you might try using some harassment techniques so that you could “hurry” their departure. Also, you might as well leave the attic lights on or place a radio tuned to a talk-show and leave it a high volume. Once you are certain that you got rid of all the raccoons, the first thing you should do is install an approved chimney cap so that in the future, raccoons won’t be able to invade your privacy. A very important note is that you shouldn’t use fire or smoke to make the animals come out of the chimneys because by doing so, you will most likely kill the youngsters as they aren’t able to evade on their own. When it comes down to yards and gardens, in order to discourage garbage vandalizing you should place cans at the curb when the day of garbage pick-up has arrived. Another thing you could do is that you should secure the lids using bungee cords or weights. Don’t forget that raccoons are often attracted by birdseed and suet and they usually cause a lot of damage to garden fruits and also vegetable gardens , especially corn and grapes. Garden vandalizing will often occur when the foods are ready to be picked so you should be more attentive during those periods. All in all, raccoons can cause a lot of problems so some safety precautions should be taken in order to avoid these problems which can become very annoying if ignored for a longer period of time.

An overview of hazardous chemicals

: Materials that are extremely hazardous to property, health or the environment (highly toxic gas, explosive, highly water reactive, and pyrophoric materials for example) must not be procured until the necessary permits, administrative, engineering and environmental controls are in place. Hazardous materials must be stored and used in accordance with numerous regulations including, but not limited to, the Uniform Fire Code and local amendments. Permits are required for any quantity of highly hazardous material, and for small to moderate quantities of other materials. (For example, a permit is required for any quantity of highly toxic or unstable material and for flammable liquids in quantities in excess of five gallons in a building). Contact the Fire Department directly or EH&S Facility Safety office (206.543.0465) for assistance. Rooms where hazardous materials are stored or used in quantities that exceed certain thresholds, and rooms dedicated to storing hazardous materials are required to have a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) diamond sign on all doors. Call EH&S Facility Safety office at 543-0465 for further information and signs. Flammable Liquids: The quantity of flammable liquids in a single laboratory stored outside of an approved flammable liquids cabinet must not exceed 10 gallons.

All 10 gallons, unless in use, must be stored in approved containers as indicated in the table below. Peroxide Forming Chemicals: Peroxides may form in some organic compounds by autoxidation. Peroxides can cause serious accidents and, in some circumstances, become low power explosives that can be set off by shock, sparks or other forms of ignition. Some organic compounds form peroxides in a matter of months under the right circumstance. Be aware of organic compounds in your lab and remember to mark the expiration date on each container and review them periodically for disposal. Ether is an example of peroxide forming chemical. Pyrophoric Material: Pyrophoric material is a material that will spontaneously ignite when it comes into contact with air. This material is only permitted in fire sprinkler protected laboratories in very small quantities (4 pounds aggregate per zone). Potassium metal is an example of a pyrophoric material. Extreme precaution is required when working with this type of material.

Highly Toxic Material: Materials classified as highly toxic are only permitted in small quantities in University buildings (Up to 10 pounds per zone). Highly toxic gas, like Arsine, is not allowed in any quantity without engineering controls and a special permit from the Seattle Fire Department. Incompatible Materials: Incompatible materials are materials which, when in contact with each other, have the potential to react in a manner that generate heat, fumes, gases, or byproducts which are hazardous. For quantities of greater than 5 pounds or 1/2 gallon, separation by not less than 20 feet, approved cabinets, or a noncombustible partition is required. Smaller quantities should also be isolated whenever practical. A common violation is flammable liquids stored with oxidizers.

Flammable Liquids and Basements: The International Fire Code prohibits storage of flammable liquids in basements. However, there are two general exceptions as follows that apply to the University of Washington: Existing grandfathered Class H Occupancy rooms (i. e., chemical stockrooms design specifically for bulk storage of flammable liquids). New Class H occupancy rooms for flammable liquids are not allowed in basements. Your waste will be picked up in two to four weeks. Please plan ahead and be patient. Each waste item must be tracked from the point of generation to incineration, and we do the paperwork for hundreds of containers of waste every week.

Chemicals that are corrosive, flammable, toxic, or explosive are by legal definition "hazardous". Some additional chemicals are handled as hazardous waste because they are carcinogenic, persistent in the environment, or are not allowed in the trash because they generate dusts or other hazard. Large volumes of waste or numbers of containers may take longer to collect due to the long time it takes to process the chemicals (it usually takes an hour to process one Chemical Collection Request) and the limited space on our trucks. Routine collection requests are faster because much of the paperwork is done already. If your waste is accumulated improperly (according the above guidelines), we will stop to discuss the problem with you if you are present. We will not pick up your waste until the problem has been corrected.

All new employees as well as anyone rusty on the basics of hazardous waste management should take this training. It covers hazardous waste definitions, labeling, storage, and disposal and includes a short quiz, all of which should take only ten to twenty minutes to complete. If you pass the quiz, you may request a certificate of completion for your training records at any job that you are working at.

Multiple camera hidden digital video recorders

Crime is on the rise or so it seems. Whether you are operating your own business or just want to insure the safety of your own home, you may want to think long and hard about using hidden digital video recorders to keep an eye on things. If your business or home is fairly large, you know that you may need to have several hidden digital video recorders operating all at the same time. Fortunately, there are several models of hidden digital video recorders that can operate numerous security cameras all at the same time. One unit in particular, allows you to connect up to eight cameras and has eight alarm inputs. The great part is that all eight cameras can be viewed on one monitor, so you don’t have to go broke building a wall of monitors to handle the job. Once an alarm goes off, the switcher will lock onto the camera covering the area where the alarm went off. And if more than one alarm sounds, it will switch automatically between the affected areas. You can also manually excluded unaffected cameras or lock the affected cameras so that you have a constant view of the trouble spot.

There is also a nine camera version of these hidden digital video recorders that allows you to change setting from one, two, four or eight camera viewing, too. The system adjusts to your needs regardless of how many hidden digital video recorders you are using. Then if you need to expand your system, you don’t have to worry about purchasing another system, you are ready to go for up to nine cameras.

Picking the right lock

Lock picking is the activity that opens a lock without the proper key. When we are thinking of it, usually we are associating it with illegal activities. But that isn't always the case! Let's think for example what we can do if we have lost the house key or if we have locked ourselves outdoors. If we live on the ground floor we could jump through the window (if it's not open we can easily break it with a stone). But if we are not, we either unlock the door or... break it (which is not a cheap solution).

With a bit of talent and an unsophisticated lock, we can manage to unlock it ourselves. Though the reality is not quite like in the movies (when a door is unlocked in a couple of minutes, just in time for the hero to save the heroine). The best solution is to call for a professional locksmith, who is trained to deal with these situations. When picking a lock, a locking tools kit is needed. The simplest kit contains a tension wrench (a screwdriver for example) and a lock pin (a long, thin piece of metal, curved at the end). In an emergency situation, a lock pin is successfully replaced with a hair pin. A professional kit will have a lot of tension wrenches (in different sizes and shapes) and a lot of dimensions for the lock pins. Or it could have a pick gun (contains many metal pieces, that vibrate and push all the lock pins up at once). First step is to insert the tension wrench in the keyhole and turn the cylinder like a normal key would do. Then we can insert the lock pin and carefully start to lift the pins up. When they reach the normal position we will hear a slight click and the lock is unlocked.

Along with “picking” there is another technique called “racking”. It presents a lower level of precision. We need a special pick called a “rake”. This will be inserted until it hits the back of the cylinder (not slowly like a pick) and it will be pulled out quickly in order to hit all the pins up on its way out. In the meantime the cylinder is turned with the tension wrench. Master locks are one of the hardest locks to be picked! They are not infallible, but they do have an excellent protection system. They were invented in 1921, by Henry Soref, who thought of producing the padlocks in laminated layers of steel.

While the Master locks in padlocks have the same picking system as the other locks, Master locks in combined formats require a patient and skillful locksmith. There are a lot of lock picking books, which teach us the techniques of lock picking step by step. Sometimes they are accompanied by a video or CD for a better illustration. Some of the books are written for professional locksmiths, but there are also many others directed to people that simply want to know more about the subject. Sometimes the books show the history of locks and lock picking or how a person can become a locksmith! When buying a lock, we have to keep in mind the value of what we intend to protect! Most locks can be picked, but buying a good one increases our security and safeness!

Home security systems protecting against more than just break ins

When most people think of monitoring their home security system they think primarily about its ability to alert the police of a break-in. What they aren't aware of is the lesser know capabilities of the modern alarm system, which is environmental monitoring For example: you can monitor the amount of carbon monoxide that is present in your home. Smoke Detectors, water level sensors and low temperature devices can also be monitored by home security systems. Although monitoring of these devices is becoming more popular it will be some time before it becomes a regular feature of every system. News accounts have helped push the awareness of these capabilities. Every time there focus is placed on the effects of radon gas or other dangers such as fires in the home there is an increase demand for this type of monitoring. Unfortunately it takes a tragedy to motivate most people to take action. Adding environmental monitoring devices to a new security system or existing ones is relatively simple. Once installed, the alarm system is programmed to make an audible sound or silent alarm depending on what type of device is being monitored. If you have a low temperature sensor to prevent freezing pipes you wouldn't want the siren blasting you out of bed in the middle of the night but you would want to know if there is too much carbon monoxide in your home. For those who are aware of the full capabilities of an alarm system it may come down to the cost issue whether or not to add extra equipment. Although cost is a valid concern one should also consider all the risks involved. A break-in takes a human and a conscience decision to target a particular house. Where as fires and other acts of nature are not so discriminating. Think about all of the things that run on electric in a home. Any one of them has the potential for starting a fire. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not talking about spontaneous combustion but normal wear and tear to the electrical cords etc. A fire or a flooding basement can damage an entire house costing many thousands of dollars. A break-in on the other hand is less likely to reach the same level of damage When put into this perspective it’s not as hard to justify the cost of the equipment versus the potential risk you can avoid. Check with your insurance agent to see what discounts they give for monitoring your home security system.

The cons of home intruder alarms

The Cons Of Home Intruder Alarms Although home intruder alarms are thought of being an integral aspect of home security, research has shown that these alarms aren’t difficult at all for professional burglars. The reason for this is due to the fact that most homeowners tend to forget to set the alarm or fails to lock up the windows and doors like they should. Although the technology behind home intruder alarms is great, the technology can’t really do anything for you unless you use it properly. Even though you may set your alarms when you leave, there is always that one chance that you may forget. On that very day that you forget a burglar can easily cash in on your mistake and break into your home. Most professional burglars are very familiar with home intruder alarms and know exactly how to deal with them. Even though you may have the most expensive alarm on the market today, it won’t be able to do anything if you forget to program it. Almost all home intruder alarms need to have the windows and doors properly shut before they are activated. When you enter or leave your home, you’ll need to enter a password into the control panel to activate or deactivate the alarm. If you arrive home and forget to deactivate the system, it could go off on you. This can be very embarrassing, especially if the alarm sounds and the police show up – only to find that you are trying to “break in” to your own home! Most burglars out there can rob a home in as little as 15 minutes. Although some burglars choose to work with others, most prefer to work along. The experienced burglars almost always do their research first, and go from there. A professional burglar will never enter a home he isn’t familiar with, for the simple fact that he could get caught. Instead, he will spend a lot of time studying the home and the family. If there is a home intruder alarm present, the burglar will watch from the shadows until he has learned how the system works. Once he sees that you have failed to input your password or activate the system, he will make his move. Once the burglar is inside the house and the alarm is off – he can be nearly impossible to catch. If the alarm is set and the burglar happens to trip it, he will immediately flee from the area and move on to a different home. Home intruder alarms can be very loud, with most contacting the police or other law enforcement agency the second they notice a break in. Even though they may have their faults – home intruder alarms are still great to use with home security as long as you remember to activate them before you leave your house. (word count 469)

Bug detectors help stop unwanted spying

Does your work entail government secrets, sensitive information, new products not yet copyrighted, or investigative procedures? Then you probably need to invest in some of the different types of bug detectors available. There are several types of bug detectors on the market today that do a variety of things. One such device is a sound masking system that introduces sound into the perimeter of the environment. By introducing sound into the perimeter instead of the entire area, which would cause people to raise their voices, thereby defeating the purpose of the audio blanket, this device will prevent eavesdropping regardless of where the bug has been placed. Other types of bug detectors can ensure telephone line security. They are designed to locate electronic wiretapping and eavesdropping devices and stop them in their tracks.

These special bug detectors can also detect computer hackers, telephone line employees and government agencies, who are trying to intercept your computer, telephone and fax communications. They can even detect video tape recorders. Then there are bug detectors that can tell you if someone is using their cell phone to monitor your conversations. These bug detectors can flash a red light, give off an audio alert warning, and prevent the monitoring by cell phone from such agencies as police departments, prisons, security firms, etc. Some bug detectors can find the presence of small video cameras by telling you that they are there, and then by quickly finding the location of the camera, and have a detection range of two to fifteen feet. There are even some bug detectors that can warn a person of both audio and video bugging devices that are located on the premises. Whatever your needs in audio and video bug detectors, there is a device on the market that will work for you.

Bioterrorism preparedness

Bioterrorism has a history like anthrax attacks and is the most dreadful of all the probable massacres by terrorists and prompts us to instantiate the first step in bioterrorism preparedness by choosing the right safety gear like gas masks for bioterrorism protection Despite the safety measures imposed by the government, bioterrorism is a reality and it is essential that citizens be prepared for possible attacks. Bioterrorism involves the use of harmful germs or other biological agents to create illness and fear among the general public. A number of biological weapons can be used in an attack of bioterrorism--most notably, many people are concerned with smallpox, anthrax, and ricin. Some of these agents can be spread by people who have become infected, such as smallpox. Others, such as anthrax, only pose a threat to those who come in direct contact with them. Many of these agents can cause infection via inhalation. If there have been news advisories either on television or the radio, you can increase your safety and that of your family by wearing gas masks during reported bioterrorism attacks. You should always be careful when you receive mail from an unknown sender, as biological weapons such as anthrax can be delivered by such means. The FBI recommends that you check the postmark on any package you were not expecting to see if it is from a foreign country.

Fire escape ladders and your home

Fire Escape Ladders And Your Home If you own a home - a fire escape ladder is always great to have. It can save your life, and should therefore be an integral part of your residential safety. A fire at can completely engulf your home in no time at all, normally in less than a minute. Even though you may have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers there, the fire can get out of control fast and surround you with smoke, making it impossible for you to get out. To protect yourself and your entire family, you should always a fire escape ladder at your home at all times. You don’t need to pay a lot of money for an expensive fire escape ladder; all you need is one that is durable and sturdy. Fixed structure residential fire escape ladders are the best to get, simply because you don’t need to assemble then. With a fixed structure ladder, all you need to do is climb down to safety. They are permanently attached to your home - so they will always be there when you need them. When you look for a residential fire escape ladder, you’ll find that there are several different styles to choose from. There are chain and rung fire escape ladders that are designed for multiple stories, to those that reach even higher. You can also get permanent interior ladders, exterior permanent ladders, collapsible fire escape ladders, and even retractable fire escape ladders. Fire escape ladders are a great thing to have as a method of fire safety. If you’ve ever lived in an apartment building or seen the outside of one, you’ve probably noticed their fire escape. Fire escapes, depending on how many stories the building may be, will vary from simple ladders to steps. The fire escape is very important, especially with tall buildings. Those who live on the higher floors of apartment buildings absolutely must have a fire escape so they too can exit the building in the event of a fire. For your home, you can also purchase a fire escape kit that includes a heavy duty escape ladder that can be assembled up to 40 feet in length. These kits also include smoke hoods as well, in order to help keep the smoke out of your face. Most come with chemical sticks and a horn as well, so you can let rescuers know where you are in the home when they arrive. As you can tell, a fire escape ladder is very important to have with your home. Homes that are 2 stories or more simply must have an escape ladder. Fire escape ladders are perfect for safety, and may one day save your life. Even though they may cost you a bit of money and time to install, they are one investment that you’ll never go wrong with. (word count 470)

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