Watch Guard of the Potomac

Electronic Security Professionals Since 1974

Sterling, VA

(703) 938-2400

Filtering by Category: Home Security

Trick-or-Treating Safety

It never fails.  Come the 31st of October, you will have little ghouls and goblins walking your streets in search of the endless bags of candy.  Unless you hide out with your lights off, you will get those little knocks on your door and hear your neighborhood echoing with “Trick or Treat.” If you think about it, though, haven’t we always taught our kids not to take candy from strangers?   As a matter of fact, aren’t they supposed to not even talk to strangers?  So why on this day do we encourage them to do so?  Well, that is better left for parents to debate amongst themselves, but what does need to be stated is how to ensure your kids’ safety while they are out on this spooky night.

Never Walk Alone

First and foremost, don’t send your little monsters out by themselves while you pass out candy at your door.  Walking streets is a dangerous thing, and it should not be assumed that it’s ok because it’s Halloween.  Cars will still be driving on your neighborhood roads and may or may not be driving as slowly and carefully as they should.  Chances are, too, that some of these drivers may have attended a Halloween party of their own and are coming home slightly intoxicated.  Fasten reflective lights on their costumes and try to walk on the sidewalks as much as possible.

Stop on the Stoop

A good rule of thumb is to only knock on people’s houses that you know or are friends with; but if you are going to a stranger’s house, be sure to instruct your children to stop at the front door and never ever go in to wait for candy.  If the homeowners say they have run out of candy and to come in while they get some more, just politely say you will wait outside.  Houses will indicate if they are welcoming trick-or-treaters by having their porch light on, so just pass by any unlit homes.

Wrappers a Must

It may be said all that time, but there’s a reason for it.  Never allow your children to accept candy that is not factory sealed or that is homemade.  Just because they may be your neighbors does not mean that you have to trust your children’s safety to them.  Even intentional harming or poisoning aside, you never know the sanitation level of their house or the cleanliness of their cooking habits.  It is not worth risking your family’s health over a piece of candy.

Obviously, general rules of community safety apply this night, as all the others, but you should be particularly observant for mischievous behavior in your neighborhood and report anything suspicious to your local police right away.

If you’ll be out of town this Halloween and are concerned about your home’s security, reach out to us at Watch Guard Alarms for a consultation!

Securing Your Home for Bad Weather

Sadly, we’ve already begun to see this season the devastating and destructive force of Mother Nature.  There is not much that can stand up to the power behind these spring and summer storms, but staying alert and taking certain precautions may help to minimize the damage you personally sustain.

Get Ready

Depending on the area of the country where you live, your house may already be built with materials meant to withstand unusually high winds and water.  Houses in known tornado and hurricane prone areas are hopefully built with their specific concerns in mind; but if you are not in those areas and want to ensure your house is as strong as possible, then consider special ordering certain provisions from your local building supply store.

Pay close attention to doorways and windows, as they are typically weaker areas of your home.  Replace the glass in your windows or patio doors with impact resistant glass.   Make sure your front door has at least 3 hinges and a dead bolt and your garage door has been reinforced.

Your roof is also critical to strengthening your home.  Hire a qualified professional roofer to inspect and make any necessary repairs or improvements get your roof and supporting framework up to the highest standards.

Think Outside

The ability of your home to withstand intense storms is dependent on your landscaping and yard, as well.  Keep all trees and shrubbery trimmed and well cared for, so as not to have extra long branches or weak trunks fall on your house or fly through your windows.  Consider removing any loose objects such as statues or bird feeders that may end up as projectiles in high wind.  Patio furniture and grills should always be tied down when you hear news of an impending storm with damaging winds.

Have a Plan

Especially in areas that get hit with these storms regularly, you may need to build a secure room or cellar.  If you are in the direct path of a tornado, you will need more than an interior bathroom to keep you safe.  If a secure room is not an option, think through where you will go in case of a storm and ensure this room is reinforced and as strong as possible.  Have a talk with your family and get everyone on the same page for your emergency plan.  Once word of an impending storm comes out, communicate immediately with your family and follow your emergency plan.  You may not have as long as the news is saying before you are hit.  Now is not the time to save anything in your home – save your loved ones!

Mother Nature is not a force to be taken lightly.  Tornadoes and hurricanes are deadly storms and the safety of your family is the highest priority when the time comes.  The time it takes to properly secure your home against these storms is worth every minute and may just save your life.  If you’d like more information on how to secure your home year round, please give us a call today at (703) 938-2400!

Of Special Concern: Home Security for Seniors

No matter what age, socioeconomic status, race, or gender, a home invasion can be a very scary experience.  Any time your family’s physical safety is threatened, your protective instincts kick in and serve to fuel the courage you need to do all you can to get out of the situation safely. What happens, though, when you are at a particular physical disadvantage such as our senior citizens?  If unarmed and physically threatened, the odds are against an elderly homeowner surviving an attacker unscathed.  Even if immediate physical threats are not present, the fear and stress of the situation could induce a heart attack or stroke.

For our beloved senior friends and family, how can we ensure they are safe?  If they are untrained or uncomfortable with a firearm, how can they best survive a home invasion?

The most certain method of protection is prevention.  In our area in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., there are numerous retirement communities which offer a certain level of security and protection; but if your loved ones live on their own, there are many DIY projects you can help with to fortify their home.  Be conscientious to give the appearance of a lived in, well cared for, and secured home so as to ward off any criminals scoping the neighborhood.  Chances are, if you are able to take good care of your home and yard, you are able to put up a fight – and they know it!

Seniors should also be reminded not to open the door for strangers or to invite anyone they do not know into their homes.  Even if they have company with them already in the home and it’s broad daylight, a potential thief may use this opportunity to scope out the inside of the home for valuables to see if it’s worth coming back to later.  This could also be a chance for them to see if there is a home security system and to get a feel for the layout of the home to make their plan for entry faster and easier.

Unfortunately, though, sometimes this isn’t enough.  If senior citizens do find themselves face to face with a home intruder, there are certain creative household items they can use to defend themselves.  They should also have a fully charged cell phone by their bed so they can immediately phone the police at the first sound of something suspicious.   If sirens come blaring through the neighborhood quickly, the intruder will most likely run before any further harm comes.  Staying on the line with emergency personnel will also help should a medical concern arise such as a heart attack or stroke in order to send an ambulance, as well.

We here at Watch Guard highly recommend a complete home security system in order to most effectively prevent a home invasion.  Simply seeing a home security system in place will oftentimes be enough to scare off your average intruder; but if not, it will automatically send authorities coming to your rescue more quickly than any other methods.   Consider speaking with your elderly loved ones about this investment in their safety.  Give us a call, and we will be happy to answer any questions they may have and help install a system designed uniquely for their home.

License Numbers

DCJS 11-2122
Va. Class A 2705 058225A
Md. 107-865

Contact Us

email: Contact Form
phone: 703-938-2400
fax: 703-433-1592

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