Let’s Make Things Harder for the Bad Guys!

Easy ways to make it harder for burglars

Easy ways to make it harder for burglars

You’ve probably seen the clever TV ads featuring Professor Burke as he educates customers on the finer points of insurance and offers informative risk-prevention tips. In one ad, Burke asks: What if you didn’t know that boxes by the curb make you a target for thieves? Burke and a customer walk by a home with expensive electronics boxes by the curb. The home’s door is open and we see a burglar walk out with an expensive flat screen TV followed by another wearing 3D glasses.

If you’ve ever been burglarized however, you know what an awful feeling it is to have your home violated and to lose your personal property. Unfortunately, burglary is the crime of choice for many criminals but for a minimal investment, you may be able to make your home potentially less appealing to burglars.

  • Trim your shrubs — Don’t offer unwanted intruders a safe place to hide, albeit unwittingly. Make sure your home’s windows, porches and doors are visible to neighbors and passersby and not shrouded by vegetation.
  • Close the blinds, shutters or shades — Burglary is often a crime of opportunity — if you don’t offer one, burglars will typically move on. Closing shades, blinds and the like may help to prevent burglars from window shopping at your place.
  • Install motion sensors and use them — Dark or poorly illuminated areas make it easier for a burglar to move about unseen. Motion-sensing security lights are fairly inexpensive and readily available at home improvement stores. They are activated when motion is detected and the sudden change from darkness to bright light will typically startle intruders and may provide a visual alert to you and your neighbors.
  • Use indoor timers to control lighting — Timers hooked up to indoor lights and TVs that switch on when it gets dark make it appear as if someone is home and may serve as a deterrent to thieves.
  • Install deadbolts — Consider installing a deadbolt on every exterior door; the bolt should have a throw of at least one inch.
  • Don’t post your travel plans or whereabouts on social media sites — Sharing your vacation plans and checking in can be fun, but doing so is a public declaration of your whereabouts and a potential invitation to thieves.

Use common sense
Always lock all your doors and windows whenever you leave your home — even if you’re just running out for a few minutes. It’s a simple and smart thing to do. At Farmers, we make you smarter about insurance — because as Professor Burke will tell you, when it comes to insurance, what you don’t knowcan hurt you.

Thanks to my faithful Insurance Agent Gary Neely – I found this article on his newsletter. THANK YOU!

I read this article at:  http://farmersinsuranceemail.com/ffv/201306/02.html

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

SAFETY FIRST – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate Bill – SB 183)

As of July 1, 2011, the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate Bill – SB 183) will require all single-family homes with an attached garage or a fossil fuel source to install carbon monoxide alarms within the home by July 1, 2011.

Owners of multi-family leased or rental dwellings, such as apartment buildings, have until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law. The California State Fire Marshal has created this frequently asked questions (FAQ) on carbon monoxide devices to provide the citizens of California with information on this important matter.

1. What is Senate Bill No. 183 (SB-183)? SB-183 is also known as the “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act” This senate bill requires that a carbon monoxide (CO) detector be installed in all dwelling units intended for human occupancy.

2. What is Carbon Monoxide? Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced from heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, and many types of appliances and cooking devices. It can also be produced by vehicles that are idling.

3. What is the effective date for installing a CO device? For a single-family dwelling, the effective date is July 1, 2011. For all other dwelling units, the effective date is January 1, 2013.

4. Where can I find a list of all CSFM listed carbon monoxide devices? Click on the link titled “List of Approved Devices”. http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/strucfireengineer/strucfireengineer_bml.php

5. What is the definition of a dwelling unit? A dwelling unit is defined as a single-family dwelling, duplex, lodging house, dormitory, hotel, motel, condominium, time-share project, or dwelling unit in a multiple-unit dwelling unit building.

6. Where should CO devices be installed in homes? They should be installed outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home including the basement. The manufacturer’s installation instruction should also be followed.

7. How many types of CO devices are available? There are three types. 1) Carbon Monoxide alarms (CSFM category # 5276), 2) Carbon Monoxide detectors (CSFM category # 5278), and 3) combination smoke/Carbon Monoxide detector (CSFM category # 7256 or 7257).

8. What is the difference between a carbon monoxide alarm and a carbon monoxide detector? A carbon monoxide alarm is a standalone unit which is tested to Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Standard 2034 and has its own built-in power supply and audible device. These units are typically installed in your single family dwelling. A carbon monoxide detector is a system unit which is tested to UL Standard 2075 and is designed to be used with a fire alarm system and receives its power from the fire alarm panel.

9. Are CO devices required to be approved by the State Fire Marshal? Yes. SB-183 prohibits the marketing, distribution, or sale of devices unless it is approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal.

10. If someone has a CO device that is not listed by the State Fire Marshal prior to the law, can they maintain it or does it have to be replaced? The law required that CO devices to be approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal. It does not prohibit someone who already owns the device prior to the effective date of Senate Bill (SB) 183.

11. Where does one obtain a copy of a California State Fire Marshal (CSFM) listing of CO device? Copies of CSFM listing of CO devices can be found on the State Fire Marshal website by logging on the following: http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/licensinglistings/licenselisting_bml_searchcotest.php Under “Category”, click on the sort by “Number” button, then go to the drop down menu (right down arrow) to select “5276-CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS” or “5278-CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS”. Then Click on “Search” and it will list all CO alarms or detectors that are currently approved and listed by the OSFM.

12. Where can I go to receive further information on Carbon Monoxide? You may go the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL-FIRE) web site at http://www.fire.ca.gov and click on Carbon Monoxide under “Hot Topics”.

13. Who can we contact at CAL-FIRE/CSFM for additional information? Questions regarding carbon monoxide devices may be addressed to Deputy Mike Tanaka at (916)-445-8533 or mike.tanaka@fire.ca.gov


Thank you to Castle Rock Inspection for a great reminder!

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  Email us at Info@TheCatonTeam.com or visit our website at http://thecatonteam.com/

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com/