Burglary Numbers on the Rise in California: Be Prepared

September 5th, 2013
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For some reason lately, it feels like we’ve been hearing more stories of local burglaries than in the past. So naturally, we went to Google to find out what’s going on and look what we found!

Top headlines over the past few months:

And the list goes on! Although it will be awhile before we see actual stats for the current year, one fact is stunning: According to the FBI crime statistics, a burglary occurs somewhere in the U.S. every 15.4 seconds, and 87% of those burglaries are considered to have been preventable. So what can you do to best be prepared? To help with your home security, we’ve come up with some easy burglar entry protection tips to start implementing at your home right away. Read the rest of this entry »

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3 Important Considerations for Safeguarding your Valuables

August 21st, 2013
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Success in life has many great benefits, including the ability to invest in objects of value. After working hard to acquire these items, you want to make sure that your valuables are protected, as certain items are easy to carry off and frequently the target of would-be thieves.

Enjoy the things that matter without fear or worry by taking the following precautions:

1.  Keep an Updated Inventory

Creating a catalogue of valuables will help ensure that everything is where it should be, and to more easily target an absence if something goes missing. In addition, you’ll be able to prove ownership to authorities or insurance agents in case of emergency. Having a dedicated file for receipts and notes about purchases is a great start in protecting these valuables. Keep electronic records by scanning these documents; you won’t have to worry about digging through the hard copies trying to find a proof of purchase. Another great way to start an inventory of your jewelry is to use a video camera to create a visual record. Walk through your house and narrate the video by describing each item as you film it, then upload the final product in a secure place. Make sure to redo your catalogue at least once a year – or more frequently depending on how often the content changes.

2.  Store Valuables in a Safe Location

There’s no better place to store truly irreplaceable items than behind a solid, locking door. You might think that you’ve found the “perfect hiding spot,” or that no one would have the opportunity to access your belongings, but you might be surprised at how many people come and go from your personal spaces on a regular basis. There’s always the chance that a burglar will break in to your home or place of work, but as with other crimes, often the responsible party is someone you know, such as an acquaintance, employee, or contractor. Finally, starting the habit of always putting your valuables in your safe will help you avoid the unfortunate scenario of wondering if you misplaced an important item, or if it was taken.

3.    Insure Valuables for the Right Amount

Normal homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover certain items, even if the value of those items falls within your limit for damages. Expensive items will most likely need to be cataloged and insured separately. An insurance agent will gladly help you find the amount of coverage that’s right for you, and will even come to your home or place of work at your convenience. Make sure to compare several offers and do some research before committing to a policy and prevent ending up with the wrong type of protection.

It doesn’t take a lot to save you the stress, anger, and potential heartache of lost or stolen treasures. Protect your valuable belongings using a secure, quality jewelry safe.

What tips can you give for protecting precious belongings? Give us your answers in the comment section below.

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It’s “Safe at Home” Week!

August 21st, 2013
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5 Simple Steps to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

February 4th, 2013
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Dumpster DiveHelping you secure your valuables in quality safes is our primary business, at the same time we want to do what we can to help you stay safe in other areas as well.  Home safes, jewelry safes, and gun safes are an important part of your big picture security plan.  It is also important to protect your good name, your personal identity and your personal valuables.  Approximately 15 million United States residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion.  That means, 7% of all adults have their identities misused resulting in approximately $3,500 in damages per person.
How do identity thieves steal your personal information?  It could be as simple as dumpster diving; looking for old bills and documents that you haven’t properly disposed of, or as complex as people working in trusted positions such as medical offices or government agencies taking your personal information and using it in inappropriate ways.
While you can’t put all the elements of your personal identity in a security safe, there are ways to protect yourself and your information.

  • Read your credit reports, every 12 months you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit companies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion).  Visit Annual Credit Report to learn more about this.
  • Shred all documents that show personal information on them before you throw them away.  Check out Shred Wise to learn more about shredding options.
  • Install and USE a home security system to keep the bad guys OUT!
  • Don’t respond to anyone or anything asking for your personal information, and make sure if you are putting personal information on the web that the website is encrypted. Look for “https” at the beginning of the web address, the “s” stands for secure.
  • Don’t send information over a public wireless network to any website that isn’t full encrypted and secure.

If you are a victim of identity theft, immediately call one of the three credit reporting companies and post a fraud alert.  The first company will then contact the other two companies to ensure the your account is flagged at each of the agencies. Once the alert is posted it will remain there for 90 days.  You may also file a complaint, aka an FTC affidavit, with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).  Take this affidavit to your local police department and file a police report.  These documents combined comprise an identity theft report: for more information visit the FTC’s Identity Theft web page.

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Time to Upgrade Your Home Safe to a Digital Lock?

October 23rd, 2012
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MAXIMUM HIgh Security Digital LockDo you have a home safe or gun safe with a mechanical lock? You know it’s time to upgrade to a digital lock when:

  • You need to find your glasses before you can run the combo.
  • A flashlight must be found and used to dial the combo.
  • You lose count while dialing and have to run the combo 3 times before getting it right.
  • You have to pay a locksmith the big bucks to change the combination because you gave it to a friend or family member and now wish you hadn’t.
  • Your spouse closes the safe but doesn’t lock it because it’s too much of a hassle to open it.
  • $350,000 worth of valuables are stolen out of your safe because it wasn’t locked.

Yes, it’s true. We have a customer who was so frustrated with the mechanical lock on their home safe that they closed, but didn’t lock their safe and recently had $350,000 worth of jewelry and other valuables stolen. Ouch!

Terminology can be confusing; digital lock, electronic lock, high security electronic lock. These terms are often used interchangeably. The keypad is simply a communication device that allows the user to input the combination and transfer that information to the lock on the other side of the door, inside the safe. The reference to high security indicates that the lock has been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratory for reliability and security. These locks are easy to use and allow you to set and change your own combination. They have been around for many years and are recognized by most, including Underwriters Laboratory, as highly reliable and secure.

High security digital or electronic locks are different from the electronic locks frequently found on wall safes and small inexpensive home safes. These types of safes often have lower quality electronic locks that have not been through the rigorous testing at Underwriters Laboratories. Lower quality locks may be attractive in price but they are a clear example of, you get what you pay for. They are not appropriate for use with a high quality home safe or gun safe.

Is it time to upgrade your safe to a high security electronic lock? If so, give us a call and we will discuss this with you further or get you scheduled for the work to be done.

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Introducing Gun Safes & Home Safes by Winchester

October 12th, 2012
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Winchester Gun & Home Safes

Here at Maximum Security Safes we are pleased to introduce our newest line of gun safes and home safes by Winchester Safes. They offer a variety of different models and sizes that are sure to fit your needs. Winchester is one of the best values in the security industry offering affordable pricing along with great burglary and fire ratings. We carry 2 lines of Winchester gun safes: Silverado Premier Series and Ranger Deluxe Series, and the Home and Office Series.

The Silverado Premier Series gun safes are offered in 3 sizes holding up to 54 guns and are constructed of 10 gauge steel. Silverado come with a 2 hour fire rating @ 1400°F and is less expensive than competitors that offer 30 and 60 minute fire ratings. They also offer great burglary protection with a UL listed lock and UL RSC label. Another cool feature of the Silverado is the power docking system with two 110V power outlets with Ethernet and USB.

The Ranger Deluxe Series gun safes are also offered in 3 sizes holding up to 51 guns. The Ranger Deluxe Series is one of the best valued gun safes on the market today. The Ranger 19 is priced at $999 and comes with a 60 minute fire rating @ 1400°F. This stands in at an impressive 60”H x 28”W x 23”D holds up to 24 guns and has been flying off the showroom floor since we introduced the model. Both the Silverado and Ranger rifles safes come with a very nicely appointed interior door panel to store additional hand guns and documents. The Ranger gun safes also have a UL tested high security lock and carry the UL RSC label for burglar security.

The Home and Office Series are the most popular home safes we carry. They are burglary tested by UL and pass a 75 minute fire test @ 1400°F. This series comes in 2 sizes and offers great value for a multi-purpose office and home safe. These safes come standard with locking drawers, great to store your pistol or other item you want extra secure. The smaller WH7 comes with 1 drawer and the larger WH12 comes with 2 drawers, both include a key lock to secure the drawers giving you even more protection.

We are very excited to introduce Winchester Gun Safes and Winchester Home Safes to you; they are a great value and offer a safe that fits everyone’s needs. For assistance in selecting the Winchester Safe that is right for you call Maximum Security Safes today @ (800) 538-0600.

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President Obama: Salesman of the Year for Firearms & Ammunition

July 21st, 2012
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guns

President Obama probably doesn’t want to be thought of as one who encourages a gun and ammo buying spree. In reality this surge in sales isn’t personal. Media outlets suggest that election years tend to see increases in firearms sales. In turn, sales of gun safes increase as well.

Once again, fear sells. Folks all across the country are already afraid of what’s happening with the economy. As we approach the election that is compounded with a fear of the “what if”. What if, Obama is reelected and we loose our gun rights?

Already gun retailers are reporting sky high gun sales.

According to Time, a Detroit gun shop owner who usually sells 10 guns a day has sold an average of 30 guns a day in 2012. An owner of a gun store in Gainsville, GA told FoxNews.com that his sales are up by 30%. Instead of selling ammo 3-4 boxes at a time folks are looking for deals to buy by the case. Americans across the country are stocking up before their rights can be taken away. This translates to a huge business boom for gun industry. As the gun industry sees growth, gun safe and pistol safe sales track close behind.

The FBI reports that background checks, a key indicator of gun sales, were up 21% this May over last. Smith & Wesson indicates that their backlog of firearm orders has more than doubled from the prior quarter and year over year. Sturm Ruger has stopped accepting new gun orders because they have such a heavy back load they can’t keep up. Olin Corp, a bullet manufacturer, reported a major rise in ammunition sales during first quarter 2012. Time reports that analysts are predicting the demand for firearms and ammunition will continue to grow as the election approaches. All those new gun owners need gun safes to protect their weapons!

This isn’t the first time we have seen a jump in gun sales around election time. According to The Wall Street Journal, following the 2008 presidential election gun companies saw their stock soar. Sturm Ruger’s shares increased by over 80% and Smith & Wesson witnessed their stock triple within six months of the election. Back in 2008 many Americans feared that their new President and Democratic control of Congress would lead to even stricter gun control legislation. With the increase in sales of firearms there was also a similar growth in gun safe sales.

Gun and ammunition sales stalled in 2010 when the fear of new firearms regulations relaxed. Now we see a renewal. There are concerns that a second term Obama will use his influence to ban weapons. Why not? As a lame-duck he wouldn’t have the political concerns that may very well be all that is holding him back now.

To learn about ways to protect your guns from getting into the wrong hands check out our gun safes for sale.

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8 Tips for Personal Safety

June 29th, 2012
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Shopping MallPersonal safety cannot be stressed enough. We all get too comfortable in familiar surroundings. While paranoia isn’t a great way to live, practical precautions are ALWAYS a good idea. The uncertain times in which we live can cause otherwise good people to veer off track. Don’t allow yourself to be a target just waiting to be had.

The following practical precautions can go a long way towards building an awareness that can keep you safe.

1. Situational Awareness. Use the 360 Mindset, a military term that describes being alert in all directions, front, back, side to side, up and down.

An example of situational awareness is when you choose to walk the long way to your car to avoid a group of suspicious looking people loitering in your more direct path.

When walking through a mall the 360 Mindset suggests you visually scan in all directions. If you notice someone from one level up that appears to be watching you take notice of their clothing or other distinguishing features and watch for them during your shopping. Avoid isolated areas and if you feel any threat ask a security guard to walk you to your vehicle when you leave.

Situational Awareness means being aware of your environment, scanning in all directions and being smart. When strangers are around avoid displaying large amounts of cash or other valuables. Don’t leave electronic devices visible in your car. Do everything you can to avoid being an easy target!

2. Body Language. Be confident, your posture, walk, and facial expressions says a lot to a predator about your vulnerability and potential as a target. You want to do everything you can to present yourself as someone who will not be easy prey.

3. Eye Contact. Lowering our eyes when coming across a stranger may be our natural instinct, but it isn’t a good one. Look passersby straight in the eye, let them know you will be able to identify them if they dare come after you.

4. Open Ears. The use of headphones or cell phone are distracting and keep you from being alert to your surroundings. Predators know distracted people are easy prey. Use the cell phone only if you want to notify a friend of your whereabouts or call for help. Save your headphones for when you are not in a vulnerable location.

5. Hands Free. Limit the number of packages you carry by combining in a backpack or larger bag. You want your hands free to defend yourself if necessary. The exception to this is when approaching your car you DO want to have your key out ready to quickly enter and lock the door behind you.

6. Be Lazy. Use the elevator rather than the stairs. When in the elevator stand close to the doors. If someone that gets on makes you feel uneasy you can step off immediately. Stairwells are a recipe for trouble. The wrong kind of individual can be waiting out of site just around the turn and you have nowhere to go and no one around to hear your scream.

7. Sympathetic / NOT. Don’t let the bad guys use your caring heart to their advantage. Women in particular are prone to respond to someone in need, a request for directions or the time, a lost puppy or a crying child. History demonstrates that criminals often play on sympathetic hearts to lure them into danger. If someone asks for help offer to make a phone call on their behalf, once you are in a safe place.

8. Mix It Up. Whenever possible vary your routines. If you are a walker or runner don’t take the same route every day. When possible bring along a buddy, exercising with a partner is great for both enjoyment and safety. Have a few different routes that work with your exercise goals. Identify a “safe house” or safe place on each route just in case it is needed. If possible vary your home departure and arrival schedule to keep watchers from being over confident about when your house is empty and when you might arrive home alone.

We at Maximum Security Safes are happy to provide you with safes to keep your valuables protected but we realize that as much as we may treasure certain possessions their value pales in comparison to our own personal safety. Our selection of home safes, jewelry safes, gun safes and all types and sizes of safes are a great way to protect your valuables. The tips above go a long way towards keeping YOU safe. There is no reason to allow yourself to be an easy target. Be alert, keep your eyes and ears open and call Maximum Security Safes if you have possessions that you want to protect.

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Six Most Effective Safety Measures to Protect your Home from Mishaps

June 21st, 2012
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Are you planning to go for a vacation? Or perhaps you stay outside home for long hours and sometimes even for a couple of days and get worried over your home and family’s safety? To have your home safe from dangers like future break-ins, fire break out and also to restore your peace of mind, here are some tips you may find most helpful:

As reported to KUSA, the media channel based in Denver and also according to the local reports from Times-Picayune, Colorado and New Orleans police are taking the burglary offenses most seriously and providing the residents with effective tips to prevent such mishaps.

1. Protect your Vacation Home: Use Home Security Systems

Colorado police is especially emphasizing on the home security systems to help protect your home from those stealing hands. Automatic timers on laps can be really effective to create the illusion of your home remaining occupied when it is actually vacant.
Here, any kind of home automation system can come to your big help. With the provision of auto-adjusted lighting system you can preset the time for your lights to go on and off automatically. Even from outside home you can arm or disarm the security system.

2. Install Audible Burglar Alarms & Buzz

And as we are told in brief, the local police of New Orleans have recorded a 13% raise in the burglary rates and strictly prescribed the residents to install an audible security alarm. Most importantly, the advertising of these anti-intrusion alarms come as a favorable deterrent for burglars.
As is the case with yard sign and window decals. These safety equipments scare away the thieves informing them your home is under supervision. Moreover, to your assurance, the current FBI report states that 9 out of 10 convicted burglars have admitted they would avoid stealing from a house that has a monitored security system. So when your home is under professional monitoring, the intruders get a clear threat on how dangerous it can be if they ever try to sneak into your house.

3. Other General Tips to bar away Intruders

For further safety tips, you can follow some basic guidelines to have your vacation home full proof from burglary.
• Have your daily subscription cancelled while you will not be home. You can either receive them on mail after coming back or can just discontinue the service temporarily. Otherwise the piling newspaper in front of your door gives the potential thieves clear indication of none is home as of now. Or, you can ask your neighbor or friend to collect them for you every morning and get them while you are back.
• If situation permits, you can leave your car in the garage so that it seems like someone is always home. For this you can hire a taxi or rent a car to reach your holiday destination or up to the nearest airport.
• You can ask a friend or neighbor to sleep at your place while you are away. Keep the arrangements for food and snacks sufficient so that they do not need to leave the house unprotected to arrange for some.
• Also make sure you have plugged off your landline and answering machine while you are gone. When the messages keep on popping up on the answering machine none to receive them, the burglars get clear idea of you absent from the house.
• Avoid sharing your holiday plan with friends or relations where you may be overheard. And most importantly, do not share your personal detail on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. The tech savvy burglars take the easiest way like getting information on these sites and them making your vacant home their soft target.
• Emphasize upon locking all your doors and windows properly. Seal all the places that might be crawled under and don’t forget to check the locks if they are working properly. Moreover, install professionally monitored door and window sensors.
• It would be best if you go for professionally monitored door/ window sensors. The sensors come up with loud alarm sounds detecting unrecognized activities at the entrances. That will inform your neighbor of the potential risk and also the person you may have asked to sleep over at your place.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Fire Season Appears Normal, REALLY?

June 14th, 2012
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House Fire“Fire Season Appears Normal, For Now”, reads a recent headline in the Orange County Register. The term “normal” sounds ok to me. Normal, not great, not bad, just normal. But, as I began to read the article I realized that in the case of fire season in Southern California, normal isn’t such a good thing. Fire forecasters predict several large wildfires in the region during Summer and Fall, as is typical. What’s more, meteorologists go on to explain that the potential for fires will continue to grow as summer progresses. Changing weather conditions that occur as we get further into summer bring higher risk of blazes. Yikes! It’s time to think seriously about protecting our valuables in a fire resistant home safe .

We’ve all seen the effects of the Southern California wildfires. You may have been lucky enough to be spared personal impact and have only witnessed these fires on TV. Or you may feel this very personally, having been one of the many fire victims. Either way, you know that these fires are very real and extremely dangerous. Thousands of acres and hundreds of homes, not to mention lives, are destroyed each year by wildfires. Homes are often burned to the ground with only their safe for the home still standing.

Although there is little we can do to prevent these wildfires, we can do our best to prepare ourselves and protect our possessions. Owning a fire safe for your valuables and important papers is a good step in the right direction. A good home safe will give you a bit of peace of mind knowing that key documents and valued heirlooms have a fighting chance even if the rest of your house doesn’t.

In addition to using an in home safe, having an evacuation plan can literally be a life saver. The plan should include specific instructions on the fastest exit route for each room in the house. Document the escape routes and review them with all members of your household. Be sure all of the people are able to get out quickly, your critical documents will be safe being left behind in your 1 or 2 hour fire safe.

An out of state contact person is another important idea. Identify a close family member or friend who lives in a different state, as your emergency contact person. Make sure all members of you household have their number handy. In case of an emergency local communications may be overloaded with only out of state calls able to be made.

Fortunately we live in a day and place where fire service is fast and effective. While we trust that our local fire authority will respond quickly, it makes sense to be prepared. Preparation includes protecting our valuables in a fire resistant fire safe, documenting an evacuation plan and educating family members on that plan and an out of state contact. For assistance selecting a quality home fire safe call Maximum Security Safes at (800) 538-0600 today.

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