Watch Guard of the Potomac

Electronic Security Professionals Since 1974

Sterling, VA

(703) 938-2400

Filtering by Category: Safety

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!

Back to School Safety

Sending the kids back to school at the end of summer evokes different emotions – happiness to gain some relief from the incessant “I’m bored” comments, but also some nerves as, once again, your kids are out of your site and left to a certain level of independent responsibility.  All you can do, though, is train them in the right and responsible ways of conducting themselves as it pertains to their safety and hope that they make smart decisions based on that. Beyond School Bus Safety, here are some other key topics to be sure to address with your children to prepare them for their school year.

Stranger Danger

Although we must teach our children to be polite and respectful to others, we must also train them to know when it is inappropriate for an adult to be speaking with them.  Be sure to explain that it is ok for a teacher or parent volunteer at their school to have a conversation with them, give them directions for what to do, or instruct them as to where to go.  However, an example of what is not ok is for a stranger on the playground to start talking with them, asking questions about them, or telling them to go somewhere.  Be sure to distinguish between a known and trustworthy adult versus an unidentified stranger.  An important fact that needs to be made clear to your children, as well, is that there is no need to be polite or respectful when it comes to somebody trying to harm them.  If they feel threatened or if a stranger is acting inappropriately, it is absolutely ok to run away to a teacher or to fight back, if necessary – no need for politeness then.


Picking up your kids from school can sometimes be rather chaotic.  Whether you are in a car line to pick them up or waiting for them to come out of the door, there is a good chance there is a brief period of time where another adult could be speaking to them before you have a chance to connect.  Instruct your children to stay directly with their teacher until they have seen you.  Once they do see you, they should come straight to you without stopping to talk to friends or anyone else.  With so many parents and kids around, it would not be difficult for someone will ill intent to quickly take advantage of this scenario.  This same rule applies for dropping off, as well - head straight to the classroom after being dropped off without stopping to talk to anyone.

Bully Beware

Oftentimes, the danger to our children is not a criminal adult but rather another child.  These are the more every day types of situations that your children may not be equipped to know how to properly handle.  Kids can be ruthless when it comes to making fun of or hurting other kids.  Be sure to demonstrate how well loved your children are at home, and that no matter what anyone else at school says, they are special and loved.  Build up your children’s confidence at home by reinforcing everything good they are doing.  If children are taught to believe in themselves, they are less likely to be swayed by bullies intending harm.  If consistent bullying is taking place, though, you and your children should speak to school administration as to what is occurring.  If children find themselves in immediate danger from a bully, they should do whatever it takes to remove themselves from that situation, if possible, and tell a teacher right away.  Your children deserve a safe and respectable school environment.

For advice on keeping your children safe and secure while at home, reach out to us at Watch Guard Alarms today!

Staying Safe at the Beach

The sun, the sand, the waves – it’s hard not to love the beach!  This is why so many people have this as their main summer vacation destination.  Although limitless fun, there are precautions that you must take to keep you and your fellow vacationers safe while you’re there. On top of all the safeguards you should take for keeping you and your valuables safe while at your hotel or resort, there are many guidelines to follow while actually on the beach itself.


While you may think everyone is perfectly safe while on the sand, you should be aware that there are dangers in digging holes too deep.  People, especially children, have been suffocated by the sand quickly overcoming them in a hole they recently dug.  There is also litter all over beaches that may cut your foot, or even perhaps a sea creature waiting to sting or bite you.  Always keep your eye on the young or elderly, and watch your step!

Rip Currents

Perhaps one of the most threatening dangers at the beach is a rip current.  These strong and often deadly currents can drag you far away from shore and quickly drown a weak or inexperienced swimmer.  You can rarely swim against a current, so the rule of safety for someone caught in a rip current is to swim parallel to the shoreline with the current until you find yourself out of it.  Call for help in order to get attention from a lifeguard or anyone near you.  Avoid structures or sandbars in the ocean, as rip currents are frequently near these.  As always, the young, elderly, and inexperienced swimmers should wear lifejackets any time they are near the water.

Sea Life

Keep a watchful eye on marine life!  Sharks, jellyfish, stingrays, algae – all these can pose a threat to ocean swimmers.  Always be on the alert for living creatures around you.


We all know the dangers of the sun, but trips to the beach are particularly dangerous for sunburns.  Whether it’s falling asleep sunbathing or having the sun reflected off the ocean, be sure to avoid situations leaving your skin exposed without protection.  Bring a beach umbrella with you or plan on regularly reapplying your sunscreen throughout the day (setting an alarm may help).


Typically tourists are prime targets for scams or theft at the beach.  As you are going out on the boardwalk at night, be sure to have fun but play it smart.  Keep your wallet or purse near you at all times.  Don’t just place your phone down on the bar - keep it in your pocket instead.  Only carry small amounts of cash on you at a time.  Instead of wearing your expensive jewelry on vacation, swap it out for costume.  Always research any “deal” you are being offered before handing over a check or cash.  Stay in groups and never got out alone.

For more tips on keeping your home secure while you’re gone, give us a call at Watch Guard.  We’ll keep your stuff safe so you can just focus on having fun!

License Numbers

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

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