Keep Your Home Safe from Carbon Monoxide

Winter is coming, and we’ve already weathered our first big snowstorm of the season. Now, as temperatures keep dropping and the weather becomes more inclement, we New Englanders will be spending more and more time indoors.

This also means we need to be doubly on the alert about carbon monoxide — the “silent killer.” As this blog has noted previously, carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless and odorless gas. It leaks from common heating and lighting sources, like faulty furnaces, portable generators, stoves, lanterns and gas ranges.

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Defending Against Cyberbullying

In 21st century New England, protecting our loved ones’ lives and wellbeing must factor in new digital threats. Complete strangers can reach into our homes electronically, defeating any physical safety system we’ve installed.

And with the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and social media platforms, the risk of cyberbullying – simply defined as inflicting intentional electronically enabled harm – only grows, as a guide on the subject illustrates.

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Keep Halloween Spooky — But Safe

National Fire Prevention Week just passed, and we’re heading to October 31 and all its trick-or-treating fun.

Halloween presents its own set of risks, however, and we should think of special ways to protect our homes, loved ones and property. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), among the fire risks are traditional Halloween paraphernalia and activities:

  • Glowing jack-o-lanterns (sometimes with candles inside)
  • Paper ghosts and dried corn husk decorations
  • Children running about in costumes

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Empty Nest with School in Session? Beware Burglars

Classes have started, and children are out of the house in New England. That means during regular business hours, your home is empty and more vulnerable to burglars than in the summer months.

Burglary is a serious problem. In 2017 — the most recent year with reliable statistics — some 1.4 million burglaries were committed across the United States, says the FBI. That’s about 18 percent of all property crimes committed in 2017.

The overall cost in property loss ran to about $3.4 billion, and the robbery of residential properties represented some 67 percent of all burglary crimes. Unfortunately, police only solve about 13 percent of burglary cases, Alarms.org reports.

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Going on Vacation? Here’s 5 Tips to Keep Burglars Out of Your Empty Home

Vacation coming? Protect your home while you’re away so you can really relax and enjoy yourself. This requires addressing both physical and cyber protection challenges. Naturally, burglars in New England want to get the easiest targets possible, as the Ashland, Massachusetts, police point out. They know where to go to find them: social media.

Once, crooks would look for obituaries to target houses, knowing when the residents would be out at a funeral. Now, convicted burglars themselves believe that 75 percent of their thieving colleagues are leveraging social media to locate marks, according to a Virginia-based law enforcement website. Read more

The Biggest Threats to Your Home, by the Numbers 

Knowledge is power when it comes to home and property safety here in New England. We recently published a report based on a five-year study of our archived verified-alarm data, and some interesting patterns emerged. Read more

Burglar’s Best Friend and Other Silly Security Stories

Security is a serious matter. That doesn’t mean we can’t relax a bit in the summer heat and recollect some of the oddest New England home and business intrusion stories.

Here is a brief list of some of the most interesting encounters we’ve found between local felons, furry friends and property. Some were caught on camera, while one incident was apparent only by the evidence left behind. Read more

Four Tips for Spring Security

Days are getting longer, temperatures are rising, and the ice and snow are melting. Spring has arrived here in New England, and with it, an opportunity to reevaluate your home security.

After huddling indoors for the past three months, spring offers the chance to finally go outside and enjoy the mild weather, but it also provides an opportunity for thieves. Read more

10 Security Lessons from “Home Alone”

“Home Alone” is an all-time classic holiday movie. Young Kevin McCallister cleverly outsmarts two house burglars in a hilarious Christmas comedy. In addition to the slapstick laughs, Kevin employs non-traditional security measures to protect his house against the would-be burglars. While we don’t recommend icing your doorsteps and swinging paint cans from the top of your stairs, there are some lessons to be learned about proper home security.

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Don’t Let Package Thieves Steal Your Holiday Cheer

Christmas time is not only the season for giving — for package thieves, it’s the time for taking. That risk increases each day leading up to Christmas.  

 

Roughly 30 percent of Americans are victims of package theft according to ABC. With Cyber Monday sales estimated to have hit a whopping $8 billion, the opportunities for grab-and-go package thefts are just going to get worse. Ultimately, the threat of such thieves could put a dent into e-commerce itself, says an Inc. article. Read more