OSC Guardian - Safety Advice


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Does Your Home Have A Welcome Mat Out For Criminals?

We all want our homes to be inviting. For people to feel welcome as they walk up. Yet we truly do not want our homes to be inventing to every one. Unfortunately we can not simply turn on and off the welcome sign like some Hotel, but there are some things we can do to change the view of what seems welcoming to different people.

A front door that is well lit, with additional lights surrounding the perimeter of your home will make it seem like a haven at night to friends and family, but to a criminal it will resemble a spotlight on them as they approach. Using motion sensitive lights to cover the driveway and garage lets you and visitors see their way to the door, and prevents someone from hiding in the shadows.

A sign stating that there is an alarm, is a great idea.  Do not use a sign from a specific company, but a gerneric one that just tells people that there is an elictronic alarm protecting the home.  For those people who live in condominuims, apartments and townhouses that may not have an area to place a sign, you can get small stickers that can be placed on your front door saying the same thing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Officials say Boston and Chicago airports will be the first to get full-body scanners over the next two weeks - AP

Officials say Boston and Chicago airports will be the first to get full-body scanners over the next two weeks - AP
In the next few weeks, the new high tech full-body scanners will be getting installed into the 2nd and 19th busiest airports in the United States. Chicago O'Hare and Boston's Logan International Airport, which will get three scanners, are the first to receive 150 new full-body imaging machines purchased with federal stimulus money.

Nineteen U.S. airports already are using full-body imaging machines. The high-tech scanners have been tested at airports on passengers who were selected for more intensive scrutiny or who set off alarms while going through traditional security measures.

The use of the machines in airports is a key part of the Obama administration's plans to improve airport security. President Obama called for buying hundreds more of them after the attempted Christmas Day terrorist bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner.

It is good to see that the TSA is moving forward with modern technology to help provide the security necessary to assist in preventing future attacks as well as providing to the comfort and peace of mind of travelers.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Active Shooter Incident at University of Alabama - Workplace Violence

A woman opened fire during a biology faculty meeting at the University of Alabama's Huntsville campus Friday, killing three faculty members and injuring two other faculty members and a staff member. The reason for the attack appears to be due to the women learning she would not get a tenure faculty position as a full-time biology professor

Active shooter attacks continue to plague school campuses, workplaces, and public venues

•Attacks by disgruntled employees can take place at any workplace and at any time

•While it is the responsibility of law enforcement to respond to such incidents, prevention and initial response to active shooter events fall upon facility security personnel and employees

Too many companies ignore this fact that they need to provide the initial training to their own employees. If something happens your clients or customers will look to your employees for assistance. Do you know what to look for? Can your employees identify the warning signs of a possible workplace violence incident?

Workplace violence can take many forms, ranging from verbal abuse and threats, to physical assaults and robberies, and, in the most extreme cases, homicide. It can lead to employee injuries, stress, increased sick days, reduced morale, lost wages, and higher health-care costs. No one is immune, but by recognizing the potential warning signs and knowing your organization's policies or procedures, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

Always take particular note if:

• There is a change in their behavior patterns.

• The frequency and intensity of the behaviors are disruptive to the work environment.

• The person is exhibiting many of these behaviors, rather than just a few.

Some possible warning signs include:

• Crying, sulking or temper tantrums

• Excessive absenteeism or lateness

• Disregard for the health and safety of others

• Disrespect for authority

• Increased mistakes or errors, or unsatisfactory work quality

• Refusal to acknowledge job performance problems

• Faulty decision making

• Testing the limits to see what they can get away with

• Swearing or emotional language

• Overreacting to criticism

• Making inappropriate statements

• Forgetfulness, confusion and/or distraction

• Inability to focus

• Blaming others for mistakes

• Complaints of unfair treatment

• Talking about the same problems repeatedly without resolving them

• Insistence that he or she is always right

• Misinterpretation of communications from supervisors or co-workers

• Social isolation

• Personal hygiene is poor or ignored

• Sudden and/or unpredictable change in energy level

• Complaints of unusual and/or non-specific illnesses

There are many types of training that you can provide your company and its employees. These range from day long classes, down to simple “lunch box” training held over an hour lunch period. Contact Oram Security to learn more. We can develop a Workplace Violence Awareness Course that can also integrate your current security procedures.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Office Emergency Safety – Do you know where the exits are?

For those of us who have worked in almost any type of corporate building, we have suffered through those annoying Fire Drills. They always seem to come when we are in the middle of something; an important phone call, meeting, writing a report that is due now.... why can't they schedule them for just before lunch? Or maybe after? Can't they let us know when they will be held so we can figure out how to be out of the building when they happen?

Security and safety is not always convenient. You never know when a fire, or another reason for a building evacuation will take place. I'm sure that most of you know where the emergency exit closest to your desk is located..... but what if you are stopping by Bill or Joan's office? Do you know where to go if there is an evacuation then? What if the fire or issue is between you and your closest exit? Do you know where to go?

I like to recommend that once a week, if you are on the second floor or higher, use one of the stairwells to leave the building. Each week, use a different exit. This will reinforce in your mind the exact location for each exit. When the time comes that you need to evacuate for a true emergency, it could be a very stressful environment. By knowing where all the exits are, and how to get to them, you increase your chances for getting out quickly and safely.

Stay Safe
Oram Security

Police Shoot Man Wielding BB Gun

Police Shoot Man Wielding BB Gun
Link To Article 

Police officers responding to a call shot and wounded a 61-year-old man who authorities said was carrying a BB gun that appeared to be a real weapon.

The officers arrived at Linden Street in Brooklyn aroun 1:20 a.m. Saturday. They saw the man with a firearm.

Authorities said the officers took cover behind some cars and ordered the man to drop the weapon, but that he turned toward them with the gun in his hand.

Police said one of the officers fired after the man had repeatedly been told to drop the weapon. He was shot in the torso and thigh, and was hospitalized in stable condition. The weapon was recovered and discovered to be a BB gun.
There are two very important things that we can learn from this encounter.  First is; obey commands given by Law Enforcement Officers.  You may know its all a mistake and that they have the "wrong guy" but they don't know that. They need to protect themselves as well as innocent bystanders by taking all precautions necessary.  They tell you to drop something, then drop it. 
The second important lesson is that perception is different to each individual. To you, it may be obvious that you have a BB gun in your hand, but to the officer standing 20 feet away in the dark, it will look like what it is.  A gun. Not a BB gun, but just a gun.
Be aware of your surroundings and how your actions may be perceived by others.

Stay Safe
Oram Security

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Home Invasion Security

Over the years I have taught hundreds of classes covering residential or home security. In each of the classes, I use local examples of crime to try to re-enforce the threat to my students. One of the issues I come across is the standard, “It wont happen to me.” The second is that, “If I am home with the lights on, I am safe”. A Home Invasion is defined as “burglary of a dwelling while the residents are at home,” and it typically leads to other crimes once the intruder or intruders have entered the home, sometimes as serious as sexual assault, rape or murder. Home invasion robbers are more dangerous than other burglars because they want a confrontation, use violence, and do not feel they are pressed for time to get out of your home immediately. In contrast, traditional burglars operate when a resident is not home because they want to avoid a confrontation and usually will flee when approached. Often times, alarm signs and decals, bars on windows, strong locks and doors, big dogs and alert neighbors can deter a traditional burglar. Most traditional burglars resort to violence only if they are cornered and will use force as an escape. Most incidents of burglary do not result in violence, even when the burglar is discovered. This is not the case with home invasion robbers.
According to a United States Department of Justice report:
  • 38 percent of assaults and 60 percent of rapes occur during home invasions
  • One in five homes undergoes a home invasion or break-in
  • There are more than 8,000 home invasions every day in North America
  • 50 percent of home invasions involve the use of a weapon; the most common weapons used are knives or other cutting instruments
  • In 48 percent of home invasions, victims sustain physical injuries
  • Victims age 60 or older make up 17 percent of home invasion victims
  • In 68 percent of home invasions, victims and the accused are strangers; in 11 percent of these cases, victims and the accused are friends, business associates, or family
Some of the more common methods used to gain entry during a Home Invasion are:
Deception - This is where the suspect(s) will try to trick the resident into opening the door by claiming a fake emergency, a sales pitch, a package delivery, telling you they have damaged your car, etc. Once the resident opens the door, the suspect(s) will force their way inside.
Force- The suspect(s) will actually kick-in or smash-in at the point of entry into the home. This could be the front home door, a side or back door, or the door leading into the home from the garage. The resident can be taken completely by surprise when this occurs.
Stealth - The suspect(s) gain entry quietly into the home and then confronts the resident inside the home. The homeowner is completely unaware that entry has been made until the confrontation.

Remember these important security steps:
  • Install solid core doors, heavy duty locks, and window security devices
  • Lock all doors, windows, and garages at all times, even when you are home.
  • Use four three-inch screws to secure heavy duty lock strike plates in the door frame
  • Use the door peephole BEFORE opening the door. If possible, get a wide angle or “Fish eye” type peephole.
  • Use your porch light to help you to see clearly outside
  • Never rely on a chain-latch as a barrier to partially open the door
  • Never open the door to strangers or solicitors. Most home invaders knock on the front door to gain entry.
  • Call the police if the stranger acts suspicious
  • Alert your neighbors to suspicious solicitors
  • Hold a family meeting to discuss home security plans
  • Always have a verbal response to any knock. Avoid giving the impression that your home is unoccupied. This could be a ploy of the home invader or a burglar to find out if your home is empty. Make sure to teach your children what to say so they do not give the impression they are home alone. Know in advance what your response should be and practice it with other family members.
  • Have an escape plan in mind for your family. Train family members on where to go and what to say. This plan should include your children. If someone can escape, the invaders will have lost their advantage of privacy and time.
  • Set the home perimeter alarm at night, if you have one
  • Don’t fight over property with an intruder. Let them have the property; it is not worth your life and can be replaced. Never follow the intruder from scene, call 911 immediately and get the best description you can.
  • Consider a high quality security screen door or enclosed porch/entry way to maintain a barrier between you and the door knocker. This is especially helpful if the door is opened without verifying because there will still be some protection between you and the other person
  • Keep an eye on anyone you turn away and what they do next. Report anyone who hangs around, tries to get a neighbor to open their door, or otherwise acts suspiciously. They might have left your property, but they could still be a threat to others. Notify the police if necessary and ask that this individual be checked out
There are two more things you can do. First is to get some training. The Personal Protection in the Home and Refuse To Be A Victim (RTBAV) are both great classes. Last is to get a security consultant to conduct a security survey of your home. He/She will be able to give you more great tips as well as how to implement them in your daily lives.

Good luck, and stay Safe!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bank Holds "Safe-Tea" Event on ID TheftOver tea and snacks

Bank Holds "Safe-Tea" Event on ID TheftOver tea and snacks,
People's United Bank gives presentation on how to avoid scams and identity theft.

By Tom Auchterlonie
LINK To Article

Over hot tea and sandwiches, a group of people sat in on event at People's United Bank in Mount Kisco on scam and identity theft prevention. The Friday event, called "Safe-Tea," had a laidback setting over discussion about a serious topic.

Raul Fernandez, a detective and youth officer at the Mount Kisco Police Department, highlighted numerous examples of scams, both online and offline. Noting how easy it can be for someone to impersonate a police officer, and knock on people's doors, Fernandez described his experiences as a plain-clothed police officer.
"I've been invited so many times in somebody's home, and I just laugh to myself, saying, 'Good lord, if I was someone here, to take advantage of the person, I just got let in with an invitation." Fernandez said not to let people in easily.

"Do not be embarrassed, shy or intimidated by the person at the door," he said, adding that people should ask to see identification. He also talked about being safe without a Social Security card, and said not to carry it around unless there is a need to use it for something, and to keep track.

Fernandez talked about not being taken advantage of by people trying to get into your house, citing a case that the police department had several years ago where a woman would pretend that her car broke down and used it as a story to get into someone's house, while distracting the homeowner and giving her accomplice the chance to steal valuables. "Kindness of strangers are always taken advantage of," he said.

In addition, he mentioned the pitfalls of online scams. At one point he joked that he is the wealthiest man in Europe because of the number of e-mails he has gotten telling him that he won the "European Lottery."

Fernandez's presentation also placed an emphasis on slowing down criminals and making it frustrating for them to get people. He said that while we cannot be protected in every way, the criminal's job can be made harder, and he also said that criminals will move on to someone else if they can't get you.

Simon Oram, president of Oram Security Consultants, was another speaker at the event. Oram touched on a number of potential areas for fraud, including with the Census. In that example, he said that real Census workers will have proper identification and will ask 10 non-financial questions. He also said that they're also told not to come into people's houses.

He also touched on checking account fraud, and advised attendees to pick up check books at the bank instead of getting them from the mailbox, where they could be stolen.

Other safety tips Oram touched on included missing children – where he advised people to take recent pictures just in case, rather than rely on older ones – and carjacking, where he advised people to lock the doors when they immediately get in, or even pass by the car from the passenger side to see if anyone is hiding behind the driver's seat.

At the meeting, the affects of identity theft were noted by its breadth and a seeming permanence of it affecting victims.

Fernandez said that it can be a "jurisdictional nightmare," once an identity is stolen, due to the fact that it can be international.

A bank employee from another branch also spoke. At one point, she recounted a case where she talked about a person who had been targeted with a "sweepstakes" and gave her subsequent examples of attempted scams, both online and through the mail. She brought the examples with her in a thick book.