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Although children look forward to tricks, treats, and ghoulish garb, Halloween can be fraught with fright for parents, with candy given to their kids by strangers and a legion of masked and costumed trick-or-treaters at the door. However, following a few safety tips can ensure safe fun for kids and candy-givers alike.

The activities below focus on Halloween, which is celebrated in the last week of October. The efforts throughout the month generate enthusiasm for crime prevention so it can grow stronger and become more widespread.

To ensure that trick-or-treaters, you, and your house stay safe, remember the following tips.

  • Clear your yard and sidewalk of any obstacles or decorations that may be hard to see in the dark, lest someone go bump in the night.
  • Keep your house well lighted, both inside and out; you wouldn’t want to miss any particularly good costumes, would you?
  • Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizen’s group to haunt (patrol) your community.
  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police or sheriff’s department.

To make sure even the scariest costumes are safe, keep the following in mind when buying or designing one.

  • Try makeup instead of masks; it’s more comfortable and doesn’t obstruct vision the way masks can.
  • Check to ensure that costumes are flame-retardant so that young ones are safe around jack-o’-lanterns, candles, and other flames.
  • Keep costumes short to ensure that the only trip taken is the one around the neighborhood.
  • Look for brightly colored costumes, attach reflector strips to costumes and bags, and remind trick-or-treaters to carry glow sticks and flashlights.
  • If a costume involves any sort of fake weapon, make sure that it is made of a flexible material such as cardboard or foam. Or, avoid the whole problem of weapons by challenging your child to design a costume that is scary without one.

Keep in mind the next few tips to make sure your trick-or-treater’s night in the neighborhood will be safe and fun.

  • Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups; kids walking around alone are never as safe as those in groups, and especially not at night. Younger kids should be accompanied by a parent or trusted neighbor.
  • Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and set a time set when kids should be home. Also, have a plan if your child gets separated from his or her friends or from you.
  • Remind your children not to enter strange houses or cars.

After a successful and safe night around the neighborhood, remember that the treats still need scrutiny before anyone eats them.

  • Remind your children not to eat treats until they’ve come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a substantial snack before they go out.
  • Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be especially wary of anything that is not wrapped by the factory or that is no longer sealed.
  • Remind kids not to eat everything at once, lest they be green even without the makeup.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security and fire company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Fire sprinkler systems are a critical investment in the protection of a commercial building. Their importance should not be underestimated; state law prohibits the occupancy of a commercial building until the fire suppression system has been tested and approved.

Fire sprinkler systems tend to be the most cost-effective suppression system for building owners, making them a popular solution. However, having fire sprinklers installed simply isn’t enough. For the longevity and optimal performance of fire sprinklers, Delaware businesses should employ regular maintenance on the systems. Here’s what you need to make it happen.  

Compliance with NFPA 25

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the nation’s leading resource on systems of fire prevention. This organization provides numerous codes designed to help both residential homes and commercial enterprises counteract the risks of fire and other safety hazards. When it comes to fire sprinkler systems, NFPA 25 is the manual to refer to.

NFPA 25 is the baseline for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems – not only fire sprinklers, but also standpipe and hose, fixed water spray, private fire hydrants, water mist, and foam water systems for fire suppression. To avoid fire sprinkler system failure and ensure fast, effective response in a fire emergency, refer to NFPA 25 standards and perform due diligence for NFPA 25 compliance. The manual can be downloaded here.

A Testing and Replacement Schedule

Maintenance on fire sprinkler systems will extend their longevity, but sometimes a replacement is called for nonetheless. Testing the systems every five years will reveal whether replacement is necessary on any given sprinkler on the premises. This is especially important for buildings in high temperature climates; likewise, maintenance workers should make sure the gauges on all sprinklers are tested as well. If there is a defect on any sprinkler or sprinkler gauge, that calls for an immediate replacement.

Local fire jurisdictions will be able to advise more thoroughly on what is required for your specific municipality. When it comes time to install, inspect or test fire sprinkler systems, Delaware businesses should contact Security Instrument. We will be glad to perform these services.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous home security options, including security systems for senior citizens. In Delaware Valley, Security Instrument serves thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

“Plug and play” may be a popular catchphrase for salespeople, but when it comes to a fire and life safety system, it is never a good idea to walk away from a system permanently. A fire alarm system needs regular maintenance in order for this critical investment to be protected. Here are some reasons why regular fire alarm maintenance is important.

Electronics are Temporal

Yes, electronics become outmoded – but we’re not talking about the need for upgrades. This is actually a reference to the slow death of the system, which will surely happen over time. The fact is, electronic components can degrade no matter how well they’re taken care of, thereby compromising the way the system functions. To prolong it for as many years as possible, it’s critical that the system undergoes routine maintenance.

The Air Isn’t Clear

Even the cleanest office space, hallway or lobby can still be subject to dust, dirt and pollutants. The more traffic goes through the area, the greater the risk of contaminants. Dirt and dust can absolutely interfere with smoke detectors, which are a crucial part of the fire alarm and life safety system in a building. But with regular inspection, a cleaning will take place that wipes away pesky pollutants.

People Can Tamper with It  

Fire alarm systems are delicate; they need proper handling in order to operate the way they were designed. That’s why it’s important to make sure the person performing the maintenance is from your licensed security integrator. There are important professional certifications that your integrator has; these enable the company to properly handle an intricate commercial system. Additionally, your integrator should be contacted to deploy to your location as quickly as possible after a break-in or a vandalism episode to check out the system and make sure it hasn’t been compromised.

These are some common sense reasons that every fire alarm system needs regular maintenance and upkeep. To speak with a security integrator that can provide competent fire alarm maintenance in Delaware, contact Security Instrument.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous home security options, including security systems for senior citizens. In Delaware Valley, Security Instrument serves thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Fire alarm and safety systems are like any other type of critical system in a building: They work as well as they are installed and maintained. When installing a fire alarm system in a Delaware building, the integrator will include devices in a variety of categories.

Fire Alarm System Categories

The components that make up a fire alarm system actually many devices networked together. The devices are categorized according to function. Here’s how they break down.

Detection Devices

The detection component in a fire alarm is the “beating heart” of the system, as it detects that a fire is present – or, that certain system and building conditions are either present or changing. Then, they communicate that information to the control panel to trigger the appropriate notifications. Devices in the detection category include the following: smoke detectors, heat detectors, beam detectors, duct detectors, temperature sensors, and water flow switches.

Manual Devices

The manual device in a fire alarm system can only be triggered if a human manually pulls a switch on its interface to tell the device that a fire is present. It then communicates to the control panel so that an emergency response can be initiated. As you may have guessed, examples of manual devices in a fire alarm are pull stations and button stations.

Notification Appliances

Naturally, it’s not enough for the fire to be detected; the occupants of the building must be alerted so they can immediately evacuate, the notification appliances are there to do the job. Devices inside a fire alarm system that are in the notification category are the audible component: the horn, bell or speakers. Some systems may also include a visible component to the notification device, such as a strobe light.

These are the devices that make up a fire alarm system. To ensure fire alarm systems in Delaware buildings are properly installed and maintained, contact Security Instrument for a free consultation.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous home security options, including security systems for senior citizens. In Delaware Valley, Security Instrument serves thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous, mostly undetectable poison that can kill both people and pets. Everyone is at risk of being exposed to carbon monoxide by virtue of the fact that it can be produced in common household mechanisms: refrigerators, clothes dryers, ovens, and furnace heaters.

When these appliances have a defect that prevents proper air circulation, carbon monoxide can emit from them and enter the environment of the home. This puts everyone inside in immediate danger, and many times they are unaware of it until they begin to experience symptoms like faintness, dizziness, stomach upset and confusion. In some cases, people are unaware they have been exposed until it’s too late. In fact, approximately 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year.

Preventing CO Poisoning with Your Security System 

The good news is, your security system can help prevent CO poisoning in your home if you have upgraded to a smart home system. This type of system is designed to act on your behalf automatically in the event of an environmental hazard; if there is a carbon monoxide leak you are unaware of, it can shut off your HVAC to prevent the gas from emitting throughout the house.

You will also receive a mobile notification that CO is present, which allows you to send the family outside, ventilate the home and unplug appliances before anyone experiences any symptoms. If anyone is experiencing symptoms, you can and should call 911. In any case, no one should re-enter the home until emergency personnel gives you the go-ahead.

This is how your upgraded security system can prevent CO poisoning head-on. To learn more about the features of a smart home security system with a CO poisoning detector, contact Security Instrument in Delaware. We will be happy to answer your questions.

In some cases, people are unaware they have been exposed until it’s too late. In fact, approximately 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

There may be clouds and rain outside this week, but spring will be here before we know it and it will be time to start deciding what home improvement projects you’ll take on this year. Before that time comes, it would be wise to make some home security decisions as well. Like what? Consider the following.

HIRE A CREDIBLE CONTRACTOR

The first step is choosing a contractor you can trust. Although everyone is still immersed in the “new economy” craze that has made hiring service providers off social media sites part of the new normal, it’s only a good idea to do this with a general contractor if others have vouched for his credibility. At the very least, check out a contractor’s reviews on Yelp and Facebook before sitting down to discuss your project. This isn’t just to protect your investment in the work; it’s also to protect the security of your home while the work is being performed. Make sure the reviews state that the crew was careful and respectful of other’s homes – and if there are any complaints to the contrary, avoid that business at all costs.

Pro Tip: check out a contractor’s reviews on Yelp and Facebook before sitting down to discuss your project. This isn’t just to protect your investment in the work; it’s also to protect the security of your home while the work is being performed.

KEEP TRACK OF WHO’S IN THE HOME

Ask to meet the lead on the project before the work commences, and be sure you have a rapport with him that allows for you to question who will be on the job on any given day. See a new worker in your house? Ask your project lead who he is, and keep an extra eye on him until you feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to find out who is in your house and express any concerns you have with the people occupying it.

KEEP ARMING YOUR SECURITY SYSTEM

It may seem like leaving your system unarmed while people are going in and out will save you time. But if you have upgraded to a system that gives you remote access from your smartphone, then you can arm it at a moment’s notice from anywhere you are. Is the crew scheduled to arrive while you’re at work? Receive a notification when they arrive and disarm the system just long enough to let them in. Having remote access to your system this way gives you the freedom to get creative with home security – even during a home improvement project.

To speak with an expert about maintaining security during a home improvement project, contact Security Instrument.

ABOUT SECURITY INSTRUMENT

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Fire safety is important to any type of business. Preventing fire in the workplace can prevent injury as well as costly damages to your business and property.There are precautionary steps that can be taken to minimize the chances of a fire in your workplace, such as installing a fire alarm. Continue reading to learn more about workplace fire prevention tips.

Avoid Clutter

A clean workplace is a safe workplace. If your business has hazards such as a frayed wire or a spark, clutter and debris can act as kindling that can cause a small fire to quickly spread to a large, detrimental fire. Removing excess paper by emptying recycling bins and trash regularly can reduce such risks.

A cluttered workspace can also create a fire hazard by blocking hallways or exits. Businesses should keep all walkways free of clutter, and all exits should remain unblocked. In the event of a fire, having a clear evacuation plan is critical to the safety of employees.

Keep Smokers Away

While the days of smoking in offices are mostly long gone, it should be reiterated to not allow smoking in the workplace. Designate an outdoor smoking area that is a safe and far away from building entrances. Smoking areas should have designated receptacles for cigarette butts that safely dispose of any potential fire threat.

Have a Fire Alarm System

Just as an office would invest in a security alarm system, businesses can protect themselves from fires with a fire alarm system. If a fire were to happen outside of business hours, an alarm system would alert the authorities of a fire.

Additionally, many systems come with fire suppression features such as sprinklers. A fire alarm system should be checked regularly to ensure proper function.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

 

 

Whether you will be traveling to visit family or just taking a much-needed vacation, there are some very important security measures to put in place before you leave. Please keep in mind that thieves don’t take a vacation for the holiday season. In fact the holiday season is their busiest time of the year!  

What You Can Do To Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away

The following are some simple steps you can take to make your home less attractive to would-be burglars. The best way is to combine the list of ideas below with a professionally installed and monitored electronic security alarm system in your home.        

Before you leave on your trip, be sure to:

  • Get a trusted friend or relative to “house sit” or make sure your neighbors know you will be away.
  • Have a neighbor pick up your newspapers and your mail for you daily.
  • Lock all doors and windows and secure the garage door.
  • Leave a car parked in the driveway, or ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
  • Leave a house key — and a number where you can be reached — with a trusted friend or neighbor.

Pro Tip: The best way is to combine the list of ideas below with a professionally installed and monitored electronic security alarm system in your home. Ask us how today!

  • Use timers to turn lights on and off at certain times, altering lighting patterns, to create an occupied look.
  • Leave drapes and shades open as normal. (Closed blinds during the day are a sure sign of an empty house, plus they allow a burglar to attend to his business unseen by neighbors.)
  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed.
  • Be sure your trees and hedges have been trimmed. This gives burglars fewer places to hide.
  • Consider upgrading outdoor light fixtures with devices that have built-in motion detectors, which turn on the lights whenever anyone walks past.
  • If you have an alarm system, make sure to arm it EVERY time you leave your home…yes, EVEN if you will only be gone for a short while.

Technology Can Help – Talk To A Security Expert Today!

Following these practical safety tips can go a long way towards keeping your property safe. Adding professional burglar and fire alarm monitoring for your home (or business!), mobile app control and video monitoring can take your family’s safety to a new level. Contact us today to speak to a security expert and schedule your free consultation today!

 

The holidays are a time to enjoy family and take a relaxing break from work. They’re also a time to be vigilant about the increased chance of a household fire. Read through these fire safety tips and review them with your family so that everyone stays safe during the holiday season.

Be Aware of Candles

Candles are a hallmark of the winter holidays. As pretty as they are, however, candles are responsible for two out of every five home decoration fires. Never place a candle next to a flammable object such as holiday decorations, and always blow out lit candles when you are not in the room or when you go to bed.

Keep Decorations Away from Heat

Half of holiday decoration fires occur because the decorations are too close to a heat source. Shop for flame-resistant and flame-retardant decorations, and hang them far away from sources of heat such as the heating vent, fireplace, and lights.

Hang Lights Safely

To avoid a fire hazard, do not hang outdoor lights indoors, and vice versa. If you notice any loose bulb connections or a patch of cord that is worn or broken on your lights, replace them. Read the instructions provided with your lights to be sure that you aren’t stringing too many lights together. When hanging the lights, use clips rather than nails to avoid damaging the cords.

Test Smoke Alarms

You should test your smoke alarms several times throughout the holiday season by pressing the built-in test button. If the smoke alarm chirps, it means it is running on low batteries that need to be replaced immediately.

About

Sometimes, following all of the advised fire safety tips is not enough to protect you from a fire. At Security Instrument, we offer advanced fire alarms that detect both heat and smoke and that alert us to call the local fire department on your behalf as soon as a fire is detected.

Enjoying the season of giving is what the winter holidays are all about. However, because thieves know that homes during the holidays are filled with gifts, it should also be a time of vigilance. Take these precautions to ensure that your home is protected from a holiday break-in this winter.

Lock Up

Always close and lock the doors and windows of your home if you’re leaving, even if just for a short trip. The garage door is also a popular entrance point for thieves, so keep it closed even when you’re home. Don’t forget to lock the door to the garage in the event that thieves gain access to the garage. Be sure to never leave a spare key outside the house—thieves know where to find them.

Always Make it Look Like Someone is Home

Automate your lights in and around your home and put them on a schedule (using your Virtual Keypad App) to come on at certain times, for example at sunset. This will serve as an excellent deterrent whether you are away from home for a brief period of time or out of town on vacation. If you leave town, have the mail and newspaper picked up by a neighbor or request to have it stopped. You may even want to hire a house sitter for extra protection.

Store Valuables in a Safe

Jewelry and other small objects of great value should be kept inside of a safe. If you don’t want to have a safe inside of the home, use your bank’s safety deposit box to keep items you don’t regularly need.

Invest in a Quality Home Security System

Nothing will deter a thief like a cutting-edge, professionally installed home security system. A high-quality system should include motion detection triggers, video surveillance, and central monitoring features.

About Security Instrument

Founded in 1960, Security Instrument Corporation, a privately held U.S. Corporation, provides electronic security and life safety detection and associated monitoring and support services.