Archive for the ‘Home Safety’ Category

It’s the holiday time again!

This is the time where many of us are busy, with not only everyday things, but with shopping, holiday decorating, parties, and much more.  This is also the time where we need to be careful in protecting our families and homes from burglaries, identity theft, and assault. 

The holidays can be a time where potential criminals use it to their advantage because often times we are distracted and staying vigilant.

Here are a few simple reminders for home and shopping safety during the holiday season.

Home Safety

1.                  Be extra cautious about locking ALL windows and doors when you leave the house, even if you’re gone for only a few minutes.  Also, make sure that your windows and doors are properly bolted for added security.

2.                  Be careful of large displays of holiday gifts visible through windows and doors of your home.  This can be too tempting for “would be” burglars.

3.                  If you’re leaving your home for any extended length of time, have a neighbor, friend, or family member keep an eye on your home and pick up newspapers and mail.

4.                  Have indoor and outdoor lights on an automatic timer.

5.                  If possible, leave a radio or television on to give the appearance of an occupied home.

Shopping Safety

1.                  Try to do your holiday shopping during daylight hours, if possible.  If you have to shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

2.                  Dress comfortably and casually, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

3.                  Try NOT to carry a purse or wallet, if possible.  Always carry your driver’s license or ID card, checks or credit cards that you plan on using for your shopping excursion.  Try to keep these items in a front pocket. 

4.                  Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.  Try to pay for purchases with a check or credit card whenever possible.

5.                  If your credit card(s) are lost or stolen, notify the credit card issuer immediately.  Also, if it has been stolen, notify the police and file a report.  Make sure to keep a record of ALL your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

6.                  ALWAYS stay alert to your surroundings.

7.                  Avoid overloading yourself with packages.  Make sure that you have a clear visibility and are able to move around freely.

8.                  Keep packages out of plain view in your car.  Put them in the trunk or out of plain sight.

9.                  Beware of strangers approaching you for ANY reason.  This time of year where there are many “con artists” that will try to distract your attention to take your belongings or money.

Most of all, have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.

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Winter is a time of year that we need to be careful and prepare simple safety tips. This year has been a particularly cold winter in so many places. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Prepare your home and family:

  • Review and update your family emergency plan. This is a great time to replenish your emergency supply kits, batteries, and emergency information.
  • Have extra blankets on hand.
  • Winterize your home, barn, and any other structures that provide shelter for your family, livestock, pets, or equipment.
  • Have a sufficient supply of heating fuel.
  • Insulate pipes and allow faucets to drip during the cold weather to avoid freezing.·
  • Learn how to shut off water valves in case the pipes burst.
  • Move plants inside or cover with frost coverings or blankets.
  • Keep fire extinguishers full and on hand and make sure everyone in the house knows how to use them.
  • DO NOT bring heating devices into the house that are intended for outdoor use. They can quickly produce carbon monoxide.

Prepare your pets:

  • Keep cats indoors during the cold weather. Sometimes outdoor cats can sleep under the hoods of cars during the cold weather. Be sure to check or tap on the hood before getting into your vehicle.
  • Don’t let your dog off leash on snow or ice (especially during a snow storm) – they can lose their sense of smell and this risks a chance of injury or they can become lost. Make sure you have ID tags on them.
  • Be sure to thoroughly wipe off their stomachs and legs after coming in from the snow. There can be dangerous substances like antifreeze that has become encrusted in ice.
  • Don’t shave your dog in winter.
  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in the car during cold weather. A car can be like a refrigerator.
  • Make sure your faithful companion has a warm place to sleep with a cozy bed, warm blanket, or pillow.

Recognizing symptoms of exposure, seek medical attention if:

  • Confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and shivering are signs of hypothermia.
  • Gray, white, or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy skins are symptoms of frostbite.
  • In case of overexposure to freezing temperatures, remove wet clothing and immediately warm the body with a blanket or warm fluids. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.

Jennifer Chase
Award Winning Author & Criminologist

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It’s getting to be that time of year again – yes, I mean winter. There are some places that have more of a severe winter than others, but everyone can benefit from a few safety tips for the upcoming season.

Fireplace Safety

  • Always use seasoned wood to help reduce creosote build up in your chimney. Creosote is highly combustible and can cause a chimney fire.
  • Fireplace chimneys should be inspected and cleaned annually.
  • NEVER use flammables or combustibles to start fires in your fireplace.
  • ALWAYS dispose of fireplace ashes in a metal container and store them away from the house for at least seven days.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning can be difficult at times to distinguish between having a cold or flu. If undetected, high levels in the home can cause severe illness or death. INSTALL an approved Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector within ten feet of every bedroom or sleeping area. This is a law in many states.
  • Check your Carbon Monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors seasonally or during the daylight savings times.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning appliances are installed properly and working according to manufacture’s guidelines.
  • Have combustion appliances inspected every year.
  • Install an exhaust fan, vented to outside over any gas stove.
  • Never use your cooking stove to heat your home.
  • Don’t sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.

Winter Driving Safety

  • Clear and defrost windows completely before driving.
  • Consider new tires. Tire tread can improve acceleration, braking, and handling.
  • Remember overpasses, ramps, and bridges will freeze before the roadway. Drive with caution.
  • Slow down! Decreasing speed will increase your handling ability and give you an opportunity to avoid most accidents.

Enjoy your winter activities! Have a safe and fun holiday season.

Jennifer Chase
Award Winning Author & Criminologist

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One of the most common social network questions I hear is about Facebook. Is it really safe? It’s a great place to socialize with family and friends, and network with other professionals. I personally use this social network for getting back in touch with friends and family as well as promoting my books.

Here is a helpful link for safety information regarding general safety and safety information for teens, parents, educators, and law enforcement. Read it before you decide to open a Facebook account.!/help/?safety

  • Keep in mind these simple, helpful tips.
  • Ask questions and learn about how Facebook works before you open an account.
  • Use the privacy settings. Check back periodically to make sure that your settings are what you want. Facebook updates all the time, make sure that your account is protected and your personal information isn’t available for everyone to see.
  • Change the privacy setting on the search feature.
  • Change the privacy setting on your Facebook applications.
  • Utilize the limited profile list. Allow “only” friends to see your profile.
  • Don’t post ANY personal information that you don’t want the world to see.
  • Be wary of clicking on any ads.
  • No one will ever ask for your password. Don’t give it out. It’s a good idea to change your password every three months as a safety precaution.
  • Talk to your kids about safety and protecting personal information. It’s a good idea to make sure that you’re a friend of your children to monitor who is contacting them.
  • If you or anyone you know is being harassed or threatened, report it immediately to local law enforcement.
  • Don’t be quick to respond and accept “friends” in distress or asking for money. Verify the source and call them in person.
  • Stay informed and vigilant.

Jennifer Chase
Award Winning Author & Criminologist

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It’s difficult to find someone today who isn’t online surfing the Internet, exchanging email, and participating in online social networks. It’s incredible to realize how far we’ve come in our technology and communication activities within the past ten years.

With all the great technological advancement, there also comes the more devious aspects to it as well. Think about how you use your computer and what information you’ve shared.

There are some safety tips that everyone should be familiar with in their online environment to make it the most positive and fun experience.

General Tips:
*Understand how different networking sites work before you decide to . What are the benefits and downfalls? Know how others will view your pages and your information.

*Take charge of your profile and use controls over your information and restrictions to your page.

*Keep your full name, Social Security number, phone number, address, and any banking information private and to yourself.

*Post ONLY information that you feel comfortable with others seeing and knowing about you. Take the time to think about this before you post anything. Remember, you can’t take the information back once it’s posted.

*Trust your gut instinct if you have any suspicions or if someone threatens you. Report it to the police.

General Security:
*Don’t use public or shared computers for online banking transactions.

*Never give out your account information or passwords.

*Be cautious about opening any attachment or download from emails regardless of who sent them. Make sure that you have an up to date virus software, spyware, and firewall on your computer.

*Delete junk mail without reading it.

*Don’t “unsubscribe” to unwanted or unsolicited emails. This just alerts senders that they’ve reached a valid email address. Don’t sign up for free offers.

Parent Alert Tips:
*Teach your children about privacy and personal information. You can encourage them to post information only with your permission and supervision.

*Explore the Internet with your children and keep the computer in a common area.

*Show your children the difference between and advertisement and entertainment.

*Be aware of places your child is using on the Internet, such as friend’s house or library. Consider safeguarding options, such as blocking, filtering and monitoring.

*Discuss with your children if they ever feel threatened or uncomfortable to tell an adult immediately.

Helpful websites for more information:

Federal Trade Commission




Internet Keep Safe Coalition

Jennifer Chase
Author & Criminologist

In my novel “Compulsion“, Emily Stone takes her job seriously as she hunts down child abductors and serial killers, even though it’s all done anonymously and behind the scenes. One thing that she strongly advocates is public safety, and she will do whatever it takes to make sure that we are all safe.

One place that everyone should feel safe is at home.

Sometimes, we forget that when we’re in the safety of our home to keep vigilant and alert, especially when we are coming or going.

Ladies, here are some important safety precautions to remember at home. However, everyone should be aware of these tips too.

1. Always have your key ready before you get to your front door and pay attention to what’s around you.

2. Keep ALL windows and doors locked at all times when you’re away from your residence no matter what the temperature is outside.

3. Keep your front entrance area well lit, replace light bulbs regularly, and make sure that fixtures are in good working order. If possible, have motion lights installed in addition to the regular outside lights.

4. If you arrive home and find your front door open: DO NOT GO INSIDE, call the police immediately from your cell phone, neighbor’s house, or pay phone.

5. If you live in an apartment, list only your last name and first initial on your mailbox.

6. Don’t buzz someone in to your building or apartment complex unless you know them.

7. The same goes for holding the door open for someone that you don’t know that has been waiting. Don’t let anyone into your building or apartment complex that you don’t know.

8. If a stranger needs to use your phone in an emergency, keep them out, and offer to make the call for them.

9. If you ever have ANY doubt or feel threatened in any way, call the police. Report anything that seems suspicious to the police immediately.

These are just a few important safety precautions to remember when you’re at home, especially when you’re alone. Everyone should always feel safe and secure inside their own home.

Jennifer Chase
Author & Criminologist