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Halloween Costume Safety Tips

by Amy October 11, 2017

Halloween can be the scariest night for parents. Follow these costume tips and give yourself some peace of mind on the spookiest of evenings by making sure whatever costume your child wears it’s a safe one.

  • Avoid baggy outfits and flowing cloaks. These stray pieces can easily brush across an open flame or trip up a trick or treater when they’re walking.
  • Shoes should be comfortable with laces securely tied. Decorative heels and oversized shoes can result in a painful spill.
  • Be sure to buy costumes that are labeled as flame resistant. With flickering candles and jack-o-lanterns there are many open flames around on Halloween night.
  • Make sure that any makeup you use is hypoallergenic. Nothing is less fun than a rash on Halloween.
  • Never use decorative contact lenses. Most aren’t certified by optometrists and can cause severe eye damage.
  • Avoid costumes and props with sharp edges. You want to make sure the only kids with eye patches are ones dressed as pirates.
  • You’ll often find dozens of trick or treaters coming to your door in the same costumes. Unique costumes are recommended so your child is easy to pick out in a crowd. If your child is wearing a similar costume to others, make sure to add something which stands out from the rest.
  • Make sure any masks being worn are easy to see out of. Obscured vision can lead to accidents.
  • Don’t rely on flashlights being the only thing that makes your trick or treater visible. Use reflective tape and glow sticks to make sure drivers can clearly see your child as they cross the street. Additionally, don’t ever let your kids go out in an all-black costume, no matter how scary they may look.

Halloween is a night of extreme excitement but also a night of dangers. Dark streets, costumed children, and candy fueled activities increase hazards. By following these simple tips, you can make sure your family has fun while staying safe. For more safety tips, check out some of My Alarm Center’s other articles.

Boat Safety And Security

by Amy September 29, 2017

While boating, the most important thing is to keep yourself and anyone else aboard safe. It is also vital to remember how to keep your boat safe when you are not using it. Plan ahead and make sure you’re prepared for any possible situation.

Boat Safety:

  1. Have enough life vests for all passengers.
    Also make sure life vests properly fit all passengers in case they need to be used. Test your life jackets at least once a year to ensure that they are still working.
  2. Take a water safety course.
    Be prepared to properly operate your boat before you plan to set out on the water. 70% of boating accidents are caused by simple errors.
  3. Preplan your course and share it.
    Plan the course ahead of time and share it with someone who is not going on your sea voyage with you. In case something happens, someone would know where to look for you.
  4. Check the weather before departure.
    The biggest safety hazard on the water is storms. It’s imperative that you’re aware of the weather patterns before attempting a trip on the water.
  5. Follow the Maritime Laws.
    Just as you are expected to follow all traffic laws on the road when driving a car, you are required to follow the rules on the water as well. If you are unfamiliar with these laws, make sure you educate yourself before moving out onto the water.
  6. Carry a first aid kit.
    You never know what could happen when you’re out at sea, so make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit so you can be prepared for any possible situations.
  7. Do not drink and drive on the boat.
    Drinking and driving also applies to boats. It can be just as dangerous to be driving a boat while intoxicated. You can also be arrested and be charged with a BUI.

Boat Security:

  1. Install a motion detector on the boat.
    This is a great idea if you’re concerned your boat may be stolen. You’ll be notified of any movement near or inside your boat and have enough time to respond.
  2. Moor your boat in a well-lit area.
    Storing your boat in a well-lit marina is the best way to keep your boat from being stolen. It’s recommended to store your boat in a marina with security and get to know who occupies the docks around you.
  3. Secure your boat to the dock.
    If your boat is not secured, it is much more likely to be a target because thieves can simply hitch it up and tow it away. Use a boat security lock, preferably one with a locking steel cable that cannot easily be broken.
  4. Secure the outboard motor to the boat.
    Some thieves may attempt to take the motor because this is an easier target than the entire boat. Make sure that you secure the motor to the boat itself to prevent it from being taken.
  5. Install an alarm system.
    There is no better deterrent than a security system. Some wireless security systems even have engine kill switches, which make your boat almost impossible to steal. Having an alarm system installed on your vessel is a great way to keep it safe when you’re not using it.

When planning your next boating trip make sure you plan ahead so that you are prepared for anything you may encounter on the water. Be sure to secure your boat when you’re finished and take the time to make sure it will be safe in your absence.

Beach Safety

by Amy August 21, 2017

If you are planning to squeeze in a last minute beach trip or travel to the coast for Labor Day weekend, make sure you take the proper safety precautions before you see the sea.

General Beach Safety:

  • Try to swim as close to a lifeguard station as possible. The chances of drowning with a lifeguard on duty are five times lower than if you swim without a lifeguard.
  • Make sure to apply and reapply sunscreen. More than 5 bad sunburns in a lifetime double your chance of getting skin cancer.
  • Also, make sure to drink lots of water and to stay hydrated throughout the day. Swimming in the ocean and baking in the hot sun can take a toll on your body.
  • Keep your trash together and do not litter in the water or along the shore.

Ocean Water Safety:

  • It is very important that any child who will be in the ocean knows how to swim or is wearing a properly fitting life vest.
  • Adults should remain sober to maintain their own safety, especially if they are responsible for other people.
  • Do not swim alone, always maintain the buddy system, even as adults.
  • Enter the water feet first always. Avoid diving into the water until you know the actual depth.
  • The ocean has varying floor levels and it is important not to wander too far from the shore’s edge.
  • Leave any animals you encounter alone and stay away from jellyfish and sharks.

Rip Currents:

  • It is important to understand that rip currents are very strong and are the cause of most lifeguard rescues along the beach.
  • They can form in any large open water and are especially common near the breaks of sandbars, in shallow areas, or near piers.
  • If you do find yourself stuck in a rip current, do not struggle. Swim parallel to the beach to get out of the current. Do not attempt to move to shore until you are released from the current.
  • If you feel like you cannot swim to shore, remain afloat and wait until you get the strength to move back to shore.
  • If you notice someone who is struggling make sure to alert a lifeguard or call 911 immediately.

Flags:

  • Lifeguards often use flags to indicate different types of weather patterns or to signify anything you should be aware of. Most commonly the flags are different colors. If you do not know what they mean, feel free to ask the lifeguard at any time. Most commonly the flags mean:
    • Red: This means there is a strong current or the beach is closed.
    • Yellow: This indicates moderate current and is not exceedingly dangerous. Caution should still be exercised if the yellow flag is flying.
    • Green: This indicates the ocean is calm and clear.
    • Blue or Purple: This indicates that dangerous marine life has been spotted nearby. This could mean sharks, stingrays, or jellyfish.

Check The Weather:

  • Check if there is any chance of rain or a thunderstorm in the potential forecast.
  • If you hear any thunder, make sure you get out of the water and head to safety.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes after hearing thunder or seeing lightning to re-enter the water.

Marine Life:

  • Be aware of marine life and how to handle any bites or stings.
  • Be aware of the fact you are swimming in an ecosystem of different animals.
  • Barnacles and the shells of muscles can be very sharp along the ocean floor, so make sure to be careful of the areas you are walking in.
  • If you do get cut, get out of the water immediately and properly take care of any wounds.
  • Jellyfish have the potential to release poisonous venom into your skin. Not all jellyfish stings are severe but they do have the potential to be very dangerous. Most stings can be treated at home, it is suggested to use a credit card or something flat to remove the stingers from your skin. Do not attempt to use your hands because this will allow the stingers to spread. Rinse the area with sea water, fresh water or urine may activate the venom that is injected, causing more pain. Rinsing with vinegar or baking soda should keep the sting from being too painful. After it is rinsed clean, submerge the sting in hot water for 20 minutes to release any other poisons.
  • Many people fear shark attacks, which are actually very uncommon. There is an average of 50 shark attacks around the entire world yearlong. These attacks are commonly from mistaking a human for a seal or fish. Avoid wearing shiny jewelry and swimming at dusk for the best protection.

While My Alarm Center works to keep you safe at home, it’s up to you to take the proper precautions when traveling, especially at the beach. This summer make sure you teach your entire family about beach safety.

Protect Yourself From Surveillance

by Amy July 27, 2017

Many people are aware of how it is possible to be hacked or put under surveillance, meaning to be closely observed, but they do not take the time to prevent many of the ways you could be hacked. It is essential to secure technology appropriately so that someone does not steal your personal information.

To protect your privacy from surveillance, follow these 5 security tips:

  1. Turn off geolocation, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi

These settings on your phone can allow you to be tracked by various businesses through applications, and sometimes even hackers. It is better to be safe than sorry. Keep your location private by avoiding using these features when you are outside of your home.

  1. Turn your phone on airplane mode

It is recommended to put your phone on airplane mode when you are not using it so that it is not connecting to wireless towers throughout the day.

  1. Use strong passwords

A hacker will not have the ability to easily hack your email or personal information if your password is not easy to guess. It is suggested to use a variety of different characters and symbols to make your passwords difficult to crack. It is also recommended to have different passwords for different accounts, because if someone is able to hack into one of your accounts, they could potentially have access to them all.

  1. Cover your laptop camera with stickers

It has been proven that hackers have the ability to spy on you using your own computer. They could potentially have access to everything on your computer, including the camera for video surveillance. This will allow them to view anything inside of your home as long as your computer is open. It is always recommended to cover the camera when it is not in use.

  1. Be careful with your SmartTV

SmartTV’s have an ability to collect information about you because some have cameras and speakers built into them. It goes much further than tracking what you watch. It is important to realize that most SmartTV’s have settings to turn off the ability to invade your personal security.

It is important to protect yourself from technical vulnerabilities and surveillance. Home security and automation can be used to secure your home by using professional home security systems, but it’s important to secure your technology as well.

Summer Vacation Security Checklist

by Amy June 19, 2017

Summer is prime vacation season. It’s also prime season for home break-ins. Here’s an important checklist to make sure your summer vacation ends as happily as it began.

Follow the checklist below or click on the image to print:

  • Contact My Alarm Center and let us know you will be out of town
  • Have the post office hold your mail (go to holdmail.usps.com) or have a neighbor collect it
  • Make arrangements to have your lawn mowed
  • Remove hidden house keys
  • Test your system before you leave (visit myalarmcenter.com to learn how)
  • Check your alarm batteries (smoke, carbon monoxide, water detector)
  • Close interior doors to stop thieves from looking through your house (this also acts as a firebreak in case of a fire)

If you have the MyHome® home automation tool, you can also do the following from anywhere:

  • Remotely arm and disarm your system if you have neighbors or workers dropping in
  • Program your indoor/outdoor lighting and electronics to make it seem like you’re home
  • Keep an eye on your home through live videos and have activity reports sent to you

For more about how we can help keep your home safe this summer and beyond, call 855-334-6560 or visit myalarmcenter.com.

How Home Security Benefits Your Community

by Amy May 26, 2017

When there are more home security systems in the neighborhood, there are more cameras to watch the homes and more home alarms to alert the proper authorities of any crimes. Prevent any crimes in your community and help catch the criminals when they do happen to occur.

Exterior Security Cameras Can Watch The Whole Neighborhood

The more security cameras there are in a given neighborhood, the easier it is for detectives who may be looking for clues to help them solve a crime. The more an intruder is recorded on video, the easier it will be to identify them. Instead of having just one security camera spot an intruder, the police can investigate several of your neighbors’ security cameras as well. This community collection of exterior security cameras makes it very easy to catch any intruders.

Fire Can Spread To Other Houses, Fire Alarms Can Stop This

In case a fire does occur in your neighborhood, it is important to make sure the fire doesn’t spread from house to house. If houses are built close together in your neighborhood, then this is an all too likely possibility. Having a monitored fire alarm will alert you and the fire department immediately when there is a fire, making sure that help is on the way before the fire has the chance to spread to anyone else’s property.

Crimes Let Crooks Know The Neighborhood Is Vulnerable

When an intruder is successful in breaking into a home, they know exactly where the neighborhood is vulnerable and there is a chance the community could be victimized again. If your neighbors have home security systems it makes it a lot harder to steal anything and will prevent your neighborhood from being a target.

Once you install your home security system, talk to your neighbors about getting a home security system as well. Help keep your neighborhood safe from crime.

Essentials For Your Home First Aid Kit

by Amy March 16, 2017

Even when you are in the safety of your Philadelphia home, you want to make absolutely sure that you are prepared for any and every possible emergency. Keeping a first aid kit in your home, that you and your entire family always have easy access to, is the perfect form of medical emergency preparation. Here are some important items to make sure to include in your easily accessible home first aid kit:

  • Tweezers
  • Triangular Band Aids
  • An oral thermometer
  • 5 sterile gauze pads
  • A pair of scissors
  • 1 roller bandage
  • A tube of Hydrocortisone cream
  • Hypoallergenic non-latex gloves
  • An instant cold compress
  • A blanket
  • Aspirin
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • 25 adhesive bandages
  • Codeine or any pain killer
  • Chemical ice bags
  • A roll of gauze tape
  • Benadryl
  • An EpiPen
  • Sterile eyewash
  • Any extra prescription medications
  • An emergency dental kit
  • Sunblock
  • Vaseline
  • Burn cream and dressings

Having these items easily accessible at all times in your home medical kit assures that you are unquestionably ready for any emergency. It is also highly recommended to buy a home medical alert system or medical alert bracelets for anyone in your house who could potentially be in danger due to a chronic health issue they may have. The medical alert system or medical alert bracelet contacts the appropriate emergency faculties as soon as it senses something is wrong with the heartbeat or blood pressure of the wearer. My Alarm Center provides medical alert systems in Philadelphia and uses this lifesaving state of the art technology to watch over your health and keep people safe.

Be prepared for any possible medical emergency before it even happens by preparing a home medical kit with everything you might possibly need. Make sure it is easy to access and that everyone in your Philadelphia home always knows where it is located.

6 Benefits Of Home Security Systems

by Amy December 7, 2016

There are many advantages to owning a home security system. They help keep your family safe, let you focus on the more important aspects of life, and give you peace of mind. Here are some other reasons to consider a home security system:

  • Protects Valuables

The alarm alone is enough to deter an intruder. However, once the alarm has sounded, the police are immediately notified and dispatched so your home is kept safe at all costs.

  • Helps Save Energy

Nowadays, home security systems also include many home automation features. This system will allow you to monitor your energy usage and shut off utilities when you are no longer in the room. This leads to lower monthly bills and less wasted energy.

Saving energy isn’t the only advantage of home automation. You can change the lighting, temperature, music, TV, and control numerous other aspects of your home from a device as simple as your smart phone.

  • Lowers Insurance

Many insurance agencies give discounts to members who have a home security system. This is a great way to cut down on expenses.

Fire and carbon monoxide detectors are vital features of any home security system. They can detect dangers that you can’t, such as invisible, poisonous carbon monoxide. As soon as the alarm has sounded, emergency services are on call to help. These detectors provide an indispensable advantage to protecting your family from emergencies that are usually out of your control.

  • Remote Surveillance

Remote surveillance allows you to watch your home at any hour of the day from any location. You can view the live feed from the wireless security cameras through an app on your smart phone. It can even alert you when people leave and enter your home – a great way to keep an eye on the kids whether you’re on vacation or just at work.

Home security systems are an investment. The right systems can keep your valuables safe while saving you money in the process. They also give peace of mind and let you know someone will always be there in case of an emergency. Protect your family, yourself, and make life a little easier by adding a security system into your home.

7 Winter Driving Tips

by Amy November 9, 2016

12.02

Driving during the winter season poses several threats to your car and your safety. The cold can hinder your car’s mechanical abilities and treacherous conditions can present major safety hazards. Here are some tips to stay safe on the road during the holidays:

o   Clear Off Snow and Ice Before Driving

Snow and ice can be a visual impairment while you’re trying to drive. So, clear the entire car, not just the windshield. Make sure the car is warmed up and your defroster is working to melt snow and ice.

o   Accelerate Slowly

When you apply the gas slowly, it lets the car catch traction and avoid dangerous skids due to bad road conditions. Icy roads make it much harder to slow down during the winter. It’s encouraged to increase the safety distance between the car in front of you from 4 seconds to 10 seconds. For this reason, it is recommended not to use cruise control.

o   Reduce Speed

Speed limits on roads are set for dry conditions. Reduce your speed for icy conditions.

o   Brake Earlier

First, make sure the brakes work properly and determine if you have anti-lock brakes. When braking without antilock brakes you should pump the brakes rather than slamming them as this will lock the wheels and cause your vehicle to skid.

o   Avoid Sudden Turns

When winter road conditions are present, it is essential that you move much slower. This also applies to making turns. A quick turn of the wheel could upset the car’s stability and cause a slide or even a crash.

o   What to Do When Sliding

Always keep your eyes on the road and try to anticipate any dangers that could be present. If you feel as though the back tires have begun to slide, make sure to let off the gas and turn the steering wheel into the direction the car is sliding. This movement will help stabilize the vehicle.

o   Be Cautious of Motorists

Even if you’re in full control of your car, it doesn’t mean that all the other drivers on the road are as prepared as you. Other people may not be paying attention to the wet or icy road conditions, so make sure to leave extra space between the vehicle in front of you at all times. Avoid distractions and always use turn signals as directed by the law.

My Alarm Center wants to remind you that the winter season can create many potential dangers when it comes to driving. Always stay alert and aware of how to handle icy and wet road conditions. Moving slowly and staying attentive will help keep you and your family safe this winter season.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

by Cassie October 27, 2016

Monitored Fire detector

Most people are aware they need fire alarms to warn them of a fire. But many people are not as aware of carbon monoxide. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly and invisible gas. Colorless, tasteless, odorless, and poisonous. In 2007, there were 2,302 confirmed cases of people being hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning. It is essential to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home as many appliances release this deadly gas. My Alarm Center provides a monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detection system that can keep your home safe, even when you’re not there.

The benefits of My Alarm Center’s monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors include:

  • A linked central monitoring board so that when the alarm is set off, help can be notified immediately. This will take place even when you’re not home and when the security alarm is not armed.
  • Monitoring can provide protection to many people who are not capable of responding to a traditional alarm. This could include the elderly, disabled, children, people suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, and pets. The alarm immediately responds to safety providers.
  • The system provided by My Alarm Center monitors carbon monoxide and smoke in the air 24 hours a day.
  • Once the Central Monitoring Station is alerted, it first calls the home to assess the situation. If there is no response, the authorities are immediately contacted.
  • First Responders will arrive at the scene in minutes.

Firefighters recommend placing one monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom and living space to ensure complete safety in the home. Unfortunately, too many people are endangered because they don’t have a working fire alarm or carbon monoxide detector. My Alarm Center’s fire and carbon monoxide detector system has the ability to constantly monitor your home and to keep it safe even when you’re not there. This system can give you peace of mind when you’re not home and alert you before a disaster can take place. Contact My Alarm Center for more information on professionally monitored Carbon Monoxide detectors.

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