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  • How Burglar Alarms Work

    home alarm


    Burglaries and other neighborhood crimes are featured daily on news stations across the United States. As crime increases, more people look for ways to not only secure their valuable belongings, but also make sure their families are safe. Home burglar alarms increase feelings of security, especially when you have a firm understanding of how they work to protect you.


    Circuit Systems

    The most basic burglar alarms work on either an open-circuit or a closed-circuit system. In a closed-circuit system an alarm is triggered when an electrical circuit is broken. For example, if a closed-circuit device is placed on a window, as long as the window is shut, the circuit remains closed and electricity is able to flow through. If a burglar opens the window, the circuit is broken and an alarm is triggered. In an open-circuit system an alarm is triggered when a burglar closes the circuit. An example of this system is an alarm floor mat. When a person steps on it, two metal pieces come together, closing the circuit and activating the alarm.


    Motion Detectors

    Many burglar alarm systems work by utilizing motion detectors. Motion detectors look specifically for disturbances in a room. For example, light-based detectors sense when someone crosses a light beam, which sets off an alarm. Radar-based detectors use microwave radio energy to reflect back motion pattern changes in the room. More advanced systems use passive infrared to detect changes in body heat in a room.


    Alarm systems utilize various alerts depending on the type and features of your system. The most basic signal is an alarm loud enough to startle a potential burglar and alert you and others to an intruder in your home. Some systems are rigged to flash indoor or outdoor lights when a break in is detected to also attract outside attention towards your home. Higher end systems include an automatic phone dialer that will either call emergency services and play a pre-recorded message that includes your home address, or it will dial a monitoring service that can relay the signal to an emergency service for you.

    Burglar alarms provide varying levels of protection and service depending on the company providing the product and the cost of the system. However, alarm systems are available for all budget types, from systems that can be installed yourself, to professionally installed home automation systems complete with 24-hour monitoring service. Regardless of which direction you choose, every component of an alarm system you install provides a greater peace of mind for you and your family.


    What’s the Best Way to Prevent a Thief From Entering Your Home?

    home safety tips


    A break-in is one of the worst things that a homeowner can imagine. The criminals who carry out burglaries and home invasions prey on calm, quiet neighborhoods just as often as crime-ridden ones; nobody is immune. Fortunately, there are several steps homeowners can take that will make their home an unappealing target for criminals. Most of them are very easy to implement and not prohibitively expensive.

    Avoid Obscuring Entryways and Downstairs Windows

    Criminals prefer to enter the homes of their victims discreetly so as not to attract the attention of neighbors or law enforcement. A house with dark entryways and obscured windows is an invitation to break in. If any entryways are located in alcoves, take steps to illuminate them. Motion sensor lights are a great fix for this problem; they can turn on when movement is detected and possibly scare off any prowling thieves. The lights should be positioned so that anyone in the entryway is clearly visible from the street. Also remember to keep any greenery around the windows trimmed. Trees, bushes, and hedges provide concealment for burglars when they are overgrown and obfuscate the view of first floor windows.


    Eliminate Access to Upstairs Windows

    Access to upstairs windows is another way criminals enter homes. They know that some homeowners neglect to lock their upstairs windows because they don’t foresee a criminal climbing up to the second story. First and foremost, upstairs windows should always be closed and locked if you are not at home. Secondly, access to these windows must be eliminated. Criminals do not typically carry ladders, so they rely on tall trees and fences to gain access. Any large tree branches that are close enough to a window to permit human access should be cut off. If your home has a fence, check and see if it is providing a place for criminals to stand when trying to break in through an upstairs window. If so, it may be necessary to relocate that section of the fence.


    Reinforce Your Doors

    If criminals cannot gain access to your home stealthily, they may resort to brute force. One of the most common burglary tactics is to simply kick down the door. Kicking down a standard door is not particularly difficult; most door jambs are made of fragile wood. Many companies produce metal door jambs that bolt into the studs. Doors that have been fortified with these upgraded jambs are nearly impossible to breach without special equipment.

    No homeowner has to live in fear of a home invasion or burglary. These simple changes can dramatically reduce the chances of a criminal entering the home. Implement a few of these steps to improve your home’s security and give yourself peace of mind.


    30 Facts You Didn’t Know About Locks


    Locks are so common place people don’t often stop to think much about them. Here are thirty interesting facts.

    1.  Locks have been around for more than 4,000 years.
    2.  The first locks used were most likely created out of wood.
    3.  The oldest known example of a wooden lock was used in a Persian king’s castle.
    4.  Metal locks made from iron probably have their beginnings in Britain.
    5.  Robert Barron created the double-acting tumbler lock in 1778.
    6.  American James Sargent developed a combination lock in 1857.
    7.  Before true locks came into existence, knotted ropes were used for securing items.
    8.  Warded locks are designed so that only a specific matching key will turn. These were used in Rome for more than 1,000 years. There are only six basic lock designs for use in doors.
    9. There are only six basic lock designs for use in doors.
    10.  Padlocks were first invented to secure the portable items of traveling merchants.
    11.  Padlocks original were very artistic with intricate shapes and designs.
    12.  In medieval times, homeowners didn’t have the keys to their locks—the town guards had them.
    13.  Catherine the Great had a large collection of locks.
    14.  King Louis XVI had an interest in locksmithing and learned about the trade from Gamin.
    15.  During the Renaissance locksmiths became famous for their artwork.
    16.  Charles Courtney was a diver who had a unique ability to pick locks and recover items from the ocean.
    17.  In the Old Testament of the Bible, there are multiple references to locks.
    18.  Around 700 BC, the Greeks used a latchstring lock to look doors from the outside.
    19.  The key for the Greek locks was used to pull the bolt from outside the home.
    20.  The Chinese had combination locks with movable rings.
    21.  During the middle ages, locksmiths spent 10 years as an apprentice to become a journeyman.
    22.  To become a master, it took many hours to make a master lock approved by the guild.
    23. Locks are made from metal such as brass or zinc.
    24. The common Yale lock is named after American Linus Yale Jr., who improved the pin-tumbler lock.
    25.  Locks can be low or high-security.
    26. It can take from 8 to 12 weeks to produce an order of locks.
    27. Once they are manufactured, locks are assembled by hand.
    28.  Combination locks were used on the dispatch boxes of couriers.
    29.  A Yale lock is very hard to pick.
    30.  In the 20th century timer locks were developed.

    Self Sanitizing Door Knob


    For years people have complained of the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light on their skin, furniture and other possessions. However, recent innovations seek to harness the power of the sun not only for providing clean energy but also for all types of cleaning protocols as well. The type of UV light used for sterilization is commonly called UV germicidal irradiation, and it was first known to be used in France in 1910 for water purification. UV germicidal irradiation is now typically used to purify food, air and water. However, the technology is now being used in innovative ways to disinfect other objects, and the latest one to benefit from this technique is the germ prone door knob. Here is an overview of the invention, an explanation of the underlying science that makes it effective and potential challenges of its use.

    Self Sanitizing Door Knob Design

    Inventor Choi Bomi designed a sleek, bar like door handle equipped with a UV germicidal irradiation light. The door handle that sits in the horizontal position has the special UV light shed upon it continuously until the handle is depressed. A depression of the handle turns off the radiation emitting light, and people contact a disinfected door handle each time the handle is used. The light integrated into the self sanitizing door knob system doubles as a sort of night-light that can guide people to the door like a lighted exit sign in a dark movie theater.

    Why It Is So Effective At Disabling Harmful Pathogens

    UV germicidal irradiation only uses the sun’s rays as a model for the technology’s design. In reality, the natural germicidal irradiation produced by the sun is blocked for the most part by the earth’s atmosphere; if it were not, the earth’s ecosystems with their beneficial microbes would die. Products that use UV light for sterilization separate UV into short-range wavelengths that disrupt the DNA of pathogens as well as good micro-organisms. This disruption hinders their reproduction and renders them harmless to humans.

    Potential Risks of Using UV Germicidal Irradiation

    According to a National Institute of Health research publication, there are instances of occupational risks that are associated with prolonged exposure to unshielded UV germicidal irradiation lamps. Although people using the self sanitizing door handle have limited contact with the actual UV germicidal irradiation light, the UV lamp in the door handle design appears unshielded which will probably spark further safety studies before the product makes it to hardware store shelves.


    The self sanitizing door knob is undeniably a smart way to use UV germicidal irradiation when occupational safety risks are identified and mitigated, and it has inspired other applications of the technology to inorganic objects. For example, UV germicidal irradiation has been applied to the sterilization of the computer keyboard and mouse recently. As the costs to produce UV germicidal irradiation lower, the public will probably see more of these self disinfecting inventions sold in the market place.


    Safety Tips for Women

    Safety Tips for Women

    Safety Tips For Women

    There are many situations in which women should take certain precautions to help ensure their safety. There’s no reason to live in fear, but at the same time it’s important to use common sense. Obviously, some places are more dangerous than others. However, there are some general guidelines that you can use to help keep yourself safe.


    Safety at Home

    If you are at home by yourself, you should never open the door to anyone you don’t know. Peep holes are useful devices to identify someone at the door. A more sophisticated approach would be a surveillance camera. Keep all doors and windows locked, as burglars and intruders will often check back doors, windows, garage doors and other points of entry.


    Safety in the Car

    Always be vigilant when getting in and out of your car, especially at night. Try to avoid parking in deserted areas. When in your car, keep all of the doors locked. Many carjackers open car doors at traffic lights and intersections. Never stop on the highway when you’re alone, even if someone seems to be in trouble. This can be a ruse. If it looks like someone needs help, make a phone call and alert the proper authorities.


    Safety on the Street

    When possible, walk with other people in areas that might be dangerous. Wherever you are, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings. Predators often seek out victims who are distracted or who seem unsure of themselves. You may want to carry pepper spray for self-defense. Taking a women’s self-defense course is also a good idea for both confidence and the physical skills you will learn.


    Safety While Traveling

    Traveling presents certain risks when you aren’t familiar with a place. Research which parts of town are dangerous at night. You should also follow the same precautions in hotel rooms as you would at home. Don’t open the door to strangers, even if they claim to be hotel workers, if you aren’t expecting anyone.


    Online Safety

    The internet can also be a source of danger nowadays. Don’t reveal personal information to anyone you don’t know. On a similar note, be careful about what you post on social media profiles. Even revealing your physical location at any given time, which Facebook encourages you to do, can be dangerous. If you ever arrange to meet someone in person who you’ve only met online, make sure it’s at a public place.


    Burglary Prevention Tips for Businesses in NYC

    business security
    When you run a business in New York City, you know that you can never be too careful. New York is a city that never sleeps and letting your guard down for even a moment can result in some serious damage being done. With burglary rates being as high as they are, how can you ensure that you protect yourself and your business?

    Light It Up

    Whether your business is on a desolated strip or you are in the middle of a fair amount of foot traffic, lighting up your property is always a good idea. You should consider lighting up the entryways and the windows, but that is just the start. Remember that you should also light up the interior, so that people passing by can see into the building itself. This is something that makes burglars think twice.

    Hedging Your Bets

    Remember that when it comes to protecting your property, hedges are more than just decoration. A thick, thorny and prickly hedge is something that impedes a burglar’s progress, and at the end of the day, they can make a property less desirable. Choose wide hedges over tall narrow ones, and plant them under windows and other points of possible entry.

    Safety Glass

    When it comes to simply preventing entry, remember that safety glass is key. This particular type of glazing makes glass very difficult to break. Unlike regular glass which can be shattered in an instant, giving a quick burglar access to a surprising amount of property, safety glass is much tougher. Most burglars won’t want to mess with it after a few blows.

    Lock It Up

    Locks are a basic form of security, but you would be surprised how often people ignore them. Every exterior door should have a deadbolt lock in it and all of your window locks should be placed so that they cannot be accessed even if the window is broken. Also, remember that dock doors and receiving doors should be secured with a high quality padlock.

    Human Error

    Remember that even a great system can be broken because of a failure to use it. Whenever you bring on a new employee, remember to give them a written policy on locking up and security. Make sure that every employee knows how to use the system, and write up people who forget. Doing this can help you maintain a secure perimeter for your business.

    If you are someone who is invested in keeping your business safe, take a moment to consider how to prevent burglars. A little bit of preparation goes a long way in NYC!


    Burglary in NYC: NYC Thieves Steal $700,000 in Cartier Watches

    cartier 5th ave


    The flagship location in Midtown was recently robbed in daylight in January. Thieves staged a heist that took place in broad daylight at Cartier’s Fifth Avenue location. The group entered the premises through the side doors after casing the place and used hammers to gain entry to the displays. The group managed to snag dozens of watches in the process. The thieves entered through the side door of the 52nd Street location at 12:30 PM on a Wednesday afternoon.

    The store wasn’t crowded at the time. There were only half a dozen patrons and 12 employees present at the time. Individuals reportedly saw several small, unassuming men peering through the display cases. Those present started hearing glass cases shatter but thought that an accident outside of the location had occurred. Before security guards were able to react, the thieves had already made off with the merchandise.
    A total of 16 watches valued at a combined total of $700,000 were stolen. Thieves took as many from the location as they could and only watch left behind. Surveillance cameras identified five men on camera fleeing from the store.

    Security professionals and authorities continue to investigate the footage in search of additional clues. All thieves managed to successfully elude security guards. Investigators verified that two of the individuals were masked and that three of the men were using hammers. Gloves were present throughout the entire process.

    To date, two of the thieves were arrested in connection with incident. One of the parties arrested were involved in a similar smash and grab incident in a Midtown shop and served eight years in jail for the crime. The other suspect served 10 years in prison for murder. Roberto Grant, 33, was a repeat offended with over 20 arrests on his record. Grant had been involved in an incident in March 2004 at an Audemars Piguet on East 57th Street where one ring and 10 watches were stolen. Grant has a $75,000 Cartier watch and was sported the same attire he wore during the raid. Allen Williams, 35, and Grant were nabbed the following day at 11:30 PM. Williams confessed to the crime and was caught with a $42,000 timepiece when apprehended. Williams also stated he was was the getaway driver.

    Before hitting up this location, these robbers were thrown out of a nearby jewelry store but were removed by security. Bystanders report seeing the individuals casing the location shortly before the incident had occurred. Authorities believe that because all of the resources were tied up and focusing on overseeing SuperBowl festivities. Police believe that this event was linked to six other similar incidents.


    Tips to Prevent a Break In to Your NYC Apartment

    Tips to Prevent a Break In to Your NYC Apartment
    Any time you are living in New York City, whether short or long-term, preventing a break-in to your apartment and keeping your personal belongings and items safe at all times is essential to have peace of mind any time you are not at home. Implementing a few tips to help with preventing a break in to your apartment in NYC is a way for you to rid stress when you are not in the home regardless of where you are currently renting.

    Research Apartment Locations Before Signing a Lease

    Before signing a lease to a new apartment in NYC, be sure to research locations you are interested in as well as the local crime rate and types of crimes that are most likely to be committed in areas you are interested in renting in.

    Inspect All Entrances to Your Apartment Building

    Get familiar with your place of residence by inspecting and identifying all entrances to your apartment building that you plan to reside in. Knowing where entrances are is a way for you to add protection as necessary. Inquiring about security guards and cameras in the building is also recommended to determine the level of protection you already have in place.

    Install Additional Locks and Security Measures in Your Unit

    Installing additional door and window locks is highly recommended, including deadbolts and additional bars for windows in your apartment, especially if you are located closer to the ground or on the ground floor of a building yourself. Installing additional locks is a way to quickly add an additional layer of security to any place of living. You can also install motion detectors and your own security system if you want more protection from potential burglars and thieves when you are not in the home occupying it yourself.

    Get to Know Your Neighbors

    Get you know your neighborhoods in any type of apartment building or complex you live in within NYC. Getting to know your neighbors is a way to have additional friends looking out for you when you are at work or not at home.

    Keep Shades and Blinds Drawn When You’re Not Home

    Any time you are out of your apartment in NYC, keep your blinds and curtains drawn to keep onlookers from noting your absence.

    Understanding how to keep your apartment safe in NYC is a way for you to not only gain peace of mind when you are at work out of your apartment itself, but it also ensures you have taken as many steps necessary to implement additional safety and security into your premises.


    3 Ways to Get Back Into Your Locked Car

     locked out of car

    There’s no feeling like the one you get when hopelessly standing outside your locked car. It seems to happen when the asphalt is sodden and you have paper bagged groceries, or you’re about to drive a date home and the keys are snug in the ignition or sleeping gently on the seat. That’s the way life goes sometimes. But, who doesn’t wish that in those instances they could perform some voodoo on the door to get it to unlock? Well, we have a few DIY tips to try if the materials are at hand and you don’t want to hire a locksmith to come to your rescue. If not, call a trusted locksmith. It may save you time and effort. Otherwise, check out what we’ve compiled bellow.


    Blood Pressure?

    Keeping a blood pressure cuff around may come in handy at getting you back into your car. If you’ve locked your keys in the car and the window has a small crack, try to inch down the window with your fingers and insert the cuff. Pump the cuff so that it inflates and gently creates enough space for you to insert an unraveled clothes hanger through the window to extract the keys or push the unlock button. This may of course require some deft clothes hanger maneuvering, but we believe in you.



    If you find yourself stranded in the land of no clothes hangers, you can try this odd one out. Untie one of your shoes and remove the lace. With the lace create a slipknot in the center. At the corner of the door insert the lace and pull it down along the side of the door until the lace enters the interior of the car. Once the lace enters the interior of the car, put the slipknot over the lock knob and pull to tighten and then lift. This tactic works primarily on older automobiles, but is pretty useful if you have some time and a few attempts in you.


    Slim Jim

    Slim Jim. Our first thought is the Randy Savage beef jerky saying “ohhhhhh yeeeeah!” but unfortunately that’s not where we are going with this blog. Slim Jims are slender flexible pieces of metal that locksmiths usually own and operate with. A Slim Jim can be slipped down through windows and at the end of the apparatus there is usually a hook which enables the user to pop the lock from inside the car. It doesn’t hurt to read up on how Slim Jims are used because they can easily cause damage to a car if you’re not careful.


    If you’re not going to do it yourself, locksmiths that you call should provide the following services:

    • Car Lockout

    • High Security Keys

    • Ignition keys

    • Car Lock Replacement

    • Car Key Replacement

    • Transponder Key Replacement

    • Removal of Broken Car Keys

    • Auto Door Lock Unlocking

    • 24/7 Locksmith Support (Emergency 24/7 lock services)

    To ensure that you get the best locksmith do your research ahead of time. Don’t get locked out and have to rely on a crook with a base price that turns into a launch pad. If you’re popping your own lock, good luck and hopefully you’ll get into your car soon if the next time arrives.


    What is an Exit Device?

    exit device

    What is an exit device? An exit device often appears like a belt that goes across the door. Likely you’ve seen them and used them without knowing their name. They’re typically installed in busy areas or places to create an efficient exit in the case of an emergency. They can be found in hospitals, office buildings, academic settings and even the New York City subway. Exit devices are very common, but most people know very little about how important they are at serving for safe and practical purposes.



    The main purpose of an exit device is to provide a safe and efficient exit from a building. To do this, the user places their hand(s) on the push bar and by doing so releases the door from its locked position. Often times the exit device is connected to an alarm system. The alarm system is in place to save time alerting those in the vicinity that a dangerous or sometimes unlawful predicament is occurring. Most exit devices also are equipped with fire and smoke utilities. This allows them to release harmful fumes or increasing temperatures in some way according to their design.


    Common Places for Exit Doors

    • stairwell doors

    • cross corridor doors

    • exit and entry doors

    • exit only doors


    Exit Device Guidelines

    The exit device you install needs to meet ADA and ANSI 117.1 standards as well as fire and life safety codes, NFPA 8 and NFPA 101. As well as building codes IBC, BOCA and SBC. These codes protect you under law and ensure the functionality of your door in place. If you don’t have these codes, in the event of an emergency you’re looking down the barrel of a big lawsuit. (Remember doors must be clear of barriers at all times.)


    Is An Exit Door For You?

    Exit doors are used frequently in high occupancy places. In conditions that require an alarm for exit – like perimeters in buildings for example- where items can be looted, exit doors can be necessary. Lastly, and we can’t stress this enough, exit doors must uncomplicated exits. That is both in function and in placement.

    Exit Device Types

    • Crossbar exit devices

    • Paddle exit devices

    • Full-length touchpad type exit devices

    • Plumb flush panels

    • Partial length touch pad exit device

    • Electronic control exit device

    Aesthetics and Applications

    The look of a door isn’t going to be as important as its functionality. Especially since often times these doors are in places where they are seen infrequently. However, if they are in high-frequency places, there are many different door appearances to choose from. Be cautious that some of the before mentioned exit device types cost more than others. Like these three: flush panel, electronic control and touch pad device types. To install these doors, consult a professional. Other specs needed to conduct an installation are simple. This requires use of rim devices, surface vertical rods, latch points, possibly concealed vertical rods and mortise locks. But for non-professionals this can seem and be quite difficult. Especially if customization is involved.


    When trying to understand which exit device is best for you, review the following information and make a knowledgeable decision that suits both your particular building and your personnel’s safety. Good luck and have a wonderful day.

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