Thursday, July 30, 2009

Prevent Break-in - Protect your Home

Most break-ins are not planned and are simply just ‘crimes of opportunity’. With this being said the question you need to ask is, how much of an opportunity are you giving unknowingly? Is your home considered an ‘easy target’? and do you do enough to protect your home and family from burglary?

On an average a burglar will only spend for to five minutes trying to break into a house and occur more during the day than at night. There are a few ways to increase your home security without it costing you a small fortune and requiring no more than a little common sense and little imagination. Here are a few tips that may just help you avoid being broken into.

A burglar will ring the door bell to see if you are home and when no answer – they have the cue.

Although 40% of break-ins occur by the burglar entering through an open door or window, another way is through the roof and man-hole (person-hole for the politically correct). Secure the manhole with a sliding bolt. I know there are other drastic ways to get around this, however, this is about making their life and job harder.

Don’t settle with sensor lights on the front porch alone. These are great but are normally placed in areas that do not help overly much. When placed too close the house it also makes it hard to for the person inside to see. Place sensor lights along side the house so that it lights up even the areas you don’t think about and so that the light sprays evenly across the drive way. This will help with your visibility as well.

If you own sliding doors you know how easy they are to break into. Place a screw into the track to prevent someone lifting the door out.

Drill a small hole through the frame at different intervals so that you can place a small metal rod, much like a key, in it. This will able to you keep the window or door open a little bit and keep it secure at the same time.

Another simple suggestion is placing dowel, a rod or broomstick handle firmly against the track to prevent the door from being open

Make sure there is adequate lighting for the yard

Planting thorny rose bushes by windows is a great and natural deterrent for burglars.

Gravel, loose stones or rocks is another natural alarm. (I recently had my front yard landscaped and can attest to this)

Keep trees and hedges neat and trimmed back. I know these can look great but they also serve as hiding spots and offer coverage for breaking in un-noticed.

Don’t leave your tools laying around the yard as these can be used to break into your house.
When you go away ask a neighbour to park their car in your driveway so there is still some activity. Also have someone open curtains and blinds during the day as well as collect any mail.

You may leave your house keys and alarm PIN number or remote control with a relative living nearby or a neighbour, so that they could check for you in the event of triggered alarm or false alarm. It is advisable to reset your alarm system with a temporary PIN number before giving it to them.

Don’t think for one moment that just because you have been broken into that it won’t happen again. Some times they strike twice because they know what you have, what you will replace and also because they know how to get in.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tips for Office Safety

Accidents in the workplace are a fairly common occurrence, resulting in mutilation, death, and lifestyle-altering accidents. For the most part, these accidents stem from falls, however, other causes factor in. Great consideration is given to ergonomics, arranging the environment, or adapting the job to fit the worker. Ergonomics help to eliminate many potential injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture and repetitive motion.

Always use a ladder or step stool to retrieve anything above shoulder level.
Ladders, or step stools, should be sturdy and not have any broken rungs or legs.
Do not lean too far back in chairs. This may result in over-balancing and a fall.
Never use ladder substitutes such as chairs or boxes.
Be sure the pathway is clear before you walk.
Secure electrical cords and wires away from walkways.
Avoid excessive bending, twisting, and leaning backward while seated.

Filing Cabinets/Bookcases:
Fill the second drawer from the bottom in a four-drawer filing cabinet before any of the others, to weight the bottom and to prevent it from tilting over.
Return drawers and doors to the closed position after use to prevent bumping and tripping. Never open more than one drawer or door at a time.
Place file cabinets where their use will not interfere with traffic patterns.
Secure cabinets or bookcases taller than 64 inches to the wall to prevent toppling over.

Electrical Equipment:
Frayed electrical cords, loose or broken electrical wires, broken outlet covers and receptacles, and worn or broken electrical plugs are dangerous and should be repaired or replaced before being used again.
Moisture and electricity do not mix. Placing liquids on or around electrical equipment (such as computers, radios, copiers, printers or microwaves) increases the risk of electrocution if the liquid spills and gets into the electrical equipment. This includes wet or sweaty hands.
Do not block electrical panel doors. If an electrical malfunction should occur, the panel door and anything else in front of the door will become very hot.
Electrical panel doors should always be kept closed, to prevent "electrical flashover" in the event of an electrical malfunction.

Fire Safety:
Every office should post accepted evacuation routes in conspicuous places and have at least one practice office evacuation drill per year.
A pre-determined emergency meeting place should be established so that an office head count can be taken after the office is evacuated. This will determine who may or may not still be in the building for the emergency response personnel.
In planning an office, an escape route should be designed to ensure that employees would be able to make a fast exit in the event of a fire or other emergency. These routes must be completely free from obstruction.
Office doors should always be free of obstructions, to permit egress in case of an emergency.
All new office employees should be trained in the accepted evacuation practices for the office.
Everyone should be aware that there are a surprising number of flammable materials used in offices. These products include white-out, glue, cleaning solvents, and even fingernail polish.
Remember that you should not smoke when using these materials. The air around you could be full of flammable vapors, which, if they come into contact with the high temperature of the cigarette end, could ignite and explode.
Wastepaper baskets are another fire danger; all too often lit cigarettes or burning matches are thrown into them.
Fire equipment, extinguishers, fire door exits, and sprinkler heads should remain unobstructed. Materials should be at least 18 inches minimum away from sprinkler heads.

Take a balanced stance feet placed shoulder-width apart. When lifting something from the floor, squat close to the load.
Keep your back in its neutral or straight position. Tuck in your chin so your head and neck continue the straight back line.
Grip the object with your whole hand, rather than only with your fingers. Draw the object close to you, holding your elbows close to your body to keep the load and your body weight centered.
Lift by straightening your legs. Let your leg muscles, not your back muscles do the work. Tighten your stomach muscles to support your back. Maintain your neutral back position as you lift.
Never twist when lifting. When you must turn with a load, turn your whole body, feet first.
Never carry a load that blocks your vision.
To set something down, use the same body mechanics designed for lifting.

Paper Cutters:
Paper cutters are just small guillotines- very hazardous pieces of equipment.
These pieces of equipment should be adequately guarded at all times.
Always store paper cutters with the blade fully drawn down and fastened securely.

First Aid:
Each office within a building should have it's own first aid kit.
A seemingly minor cut can easily turn septic and lead to blood poisoning if a Band-Aid was not applied at the time of injury to keep out germs.

Some More Safe Practices:
Guard the sharp edges of furniture to prevent personal injury. Keep desk "pull-out" writing surfaces closed when not in use.
Practice good housekeeping skills. Floors should be free of obstacles and garbage cans should be kept out of the way and emptied frequently.
Clean up spills immediately to prevent slipping accidents.
Report all defects such as loose tiles, broken steps, railing and doors immediately.
Do not participate in horseplay.
Office equipment such as typewriters, index files, lights or calculators should not be placed on the edges of a desk, filing cabinet, or table.
Keep razor blades, tacks and other sharp objects in closed containers.
Use the proper tool for the job at hand.
Jewelry, long hair, ties and other clothing should be kept clear of the moving part of all office machines.
Do not cover air vents or obstruct airflow from registers. Do not place furniture, equipment, or materials in locations that will interfere with air movement around thermostats.
Report any observed pest control problems. Never attempt to apply any pest control chemical yourself.


Hi Friends, this is worth your time reading, so real....!!

A few days ago, one of my friends received a sms with the message: You've strike 1st prize with a prize money of RMB 200,000 cash. The sms came with a contact no. My friend ignored it since he had heard of too many bogus scams using similar tactics.

After a short while his handphone rang, a Miss Fang asked: "Sir have you received a sms telling you that you've strike 1st prize?"

My friend answered: "Yes, I have"

Miss Fang: "Please let us have your bank account number so that we can deposit the money into your account."

My friend thought, why not, let's see what you can do. My friend has a buddy who works in that bank. Hence, he gaveher his accound number.

Ten minutes later, my friend's handphone started ringing again.

Miss Fang said: "Sir, we have deposited your prize money into your account, please check and verify."My friend checked using his handphone and found that RMB 200,000 was really deposited into his account. He waseuphoric, just like that and he's RMB 200,000 richer!

30 minutes later, Miss Fang called again. She was crying: "I'm sorry sir, I made a mistake, I forgot to deduct the tax before I deposited the prize money, 20% of RMB 200,000 equals to RMB40,000. Now the company wants me to reimburse the money.

Can you please return the RMB 40,000 tax? I beg you."

My friend thought for a while and felt pity for the lady. Thinking of the money in his bank account, he went to the bank.

Suddenly he thought of his buddy working in that bank and decided to ask his buddy to double check and confirm for him first.

Upon checking, his buddy found out that the money was deposited using a cheque of a different bank.

Even though the cheque was deposited but the actual amount of moneycan't be transfered into his account on the same day. If the other party decided to cancel the cheque, then he'll not get this RMB 200,000.

My friend was shocked. He almost lost RMB 40,000.

Before my friend left for home on that day, the cheque was actually cancelled. If not for his buddy, if not for him being a professional. or if he was scare of letting others know of striking the prize then this bogus scam would be successful. This is a true story, please beware.

Future scams could be even better planned.

P/S: If you feel that the tips are useful, please forward it to your relatives, friends & colleague.