Tag Archives: safety

Anti-Burglary Tips Every San Antonio Resident Should Know

In an article by Tracey Hawkins, she talks about the risk homeowners face around the holidays. With empty new packaging set near the curb for pickup, a TV box can be an open invitation for burglars. The danger is further amplified by those who are looking to sell their homes. Showings and open houses often set the stage for unsuspecting homeowners to be victimized.

Consider the checklist provided in this article, it goes over some very helpful hints to avoid tragedy this season. Below we’ve outlined some of the important safety hints to deter would-be criminals from targeting your property.

1.) Reinforce entry points of the home. Consider installing a cylinder lock and deadlock, so at a glance it doesn’t look vulnerable. Adding security system stickers on the windows around the entry should be considered as well.

2.) Leverage technology and smart home features. Video surveillance is just one aspect of home security. The latest trend however is something much more beneficial and allows control of your entire home. Doorbell cameras such as the one found here, offer features like visitor detection, night vision camera and 2-way talk. Now you can see how is at your door without being home.

3.) Let there be light! Burglars do not want to be seen by potential witnesses, so well-lit homes are passed over as targets. The use of floodlights, (not pointed at your neighbors windows preferably) especially those with motion sensors near entry points will deter intruders.

4.) Protect your privacy. Breakdown empty boxes that reveal large purchases, like TVs, computers or other items. Or, if you do not want to break down your boxes, place those items out on the curb the morning-of. Also keep curtains or blinds drawn to avoid thieves from browsing through the vantage points your windows may offer.

5.) Plants and shrubs. Windows are secondary entry points if the doors are inaccessible. Shrubs or thick plants below the windows can prevent entry by intruders. The recommended height is about 3 feet off the ground. This is tall enough so that it’s difficult to climb over; but short enough so it does not block your neighbors from seeing when someone is attempting to enter the home.

6.) Adopt a dog. This is a win-win, adopting a medium size breed like a German shepherd alleviates the local shelter and helps a pet in need. Additionally, their bark is often enough to scare off potential intruders and alert you to suspicious activity.

7.) Operation Identification. Nationally recognized by law enforcement as a burglary prevention program, Operation ID allows law enforcement to detect, identify and return stolen property to its rightful owner. This 3 step program encourages you to mark and catalog valuables. Check with you local law enforcement office to verify participation. They will have stickers that can be displayed to deter thieves, warning your belongings are marked. Details can be found here.

Have an idea you would like us to write about? Email us at PR@CBHarper.com

Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries

The following is brought to you by The San Antonio Fire Department as a reminder of the time and change importance on changing batteries in your smoke detectors:

As we change our clocks this Sunday, November 1st and “fall back” into the cooler season of autumn, the San Antonio Fire Department would like you to keep the following safety tips in mind…

• Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. They are your early warning device for a fire in your home. By changing the batteries and/or checking the smoke detectors twice a year, during Spring and Fall, you can keep your home safe!

• Test smoke alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the sound it makes.

• Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

• According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of every five home fire deaths between 2007-2011 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

• When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead. Almost one-quarter of smoke alarm failures are due to dead batteries.

• Have your central heating system inspected and serviced prior to the season’s first use.

• Have a professional chimney sweep inspect your chimney and fireplace annually for cracks, blockages and leaks. Have it cleaned and repaired as needed.

• Burn only seasoned hardwood in your fireplace. Trash, cardboard boxes and related items burn unevenly and may contain toxins.

• Be sure the flue (vent) is opened prior to lighting your fireplace.

DID YOU KNOW?

The San Antonio Fire Department has installed more than 10,000 free smoke detectors in homes throughout the city. These tiny devices are your first line of defense should a fire occur in your home. Do you need one? Call the United Way Helpline at 211 and request yours today. The life you save may be someone you love.

10 Tips On The Cell Phone Law

775_4639077San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas, has outlawed use of handheld cell phones while driving, effective Jan. 1 2014. 

Under the new San Antonio lawmotorists are barred from holding any type of device to make phone calls, text, use email, access the Internet, play games as well as “other use of the device.” Unlike the Austin ordinance, drivers are barred from using smartphones and similar devices while temporarily stopped in traffic, as in at a red light. Drivers who still want to chat while they are behind the wheel must use hands-free technology or face a fine of up to $200.

Review the ordinance prohibiting hand-held mobile communication devices to:

engage in a call, or send, read or write a text message, or engage in any other use of the device while operating a moving motor vehicle by repealing Section 19-254 and amending Section 19-255, Article VII of the City Code of San Antonio, Texas; and providing for a fine of up to $200.00 per violation. 

Perhaps all this sounds a bit complicated… or even unclear as to how this pertains to us as professionals / individuals. We researched various sources to list the “Need to Know” highlights for you:

1.) Park. If you are legally parked then you’re clear to use your iPhone / Android or other preferred method of reaching out to friends and clients.

2.) Stop Signs. Not only is it unsafe but you will still get a ticket for using your phone while hanging back at a stop sign.

3.) Voice Commands. Use these as often as possible to alleviate your texting or talking woes.  (Or just wait until you’ve arrived at your destination)

4.) Navigation. You can continue to use your phone as a navigation device IF it is affixed to your vehicle.

5.) Enforceability. The old law allowed drivers to accept and receive calls. This caused a struggle for police officers facing excuses from drivers denying the fact they might have been texting versus making a call. (Thus the law was changed)

6.) Traffic Or Stoplight. It’s still illegal to sneak a quick text or call in while sitting at the red light. Similarly if you are stuck in traffic stick to “hands-free” as it is still a ticket-able offense.

7.) Truckers. Ham radio operators are not affected by this new law and that’s a big 10-4!

8.) Schools. Any school district or campus officer is duly authorized to issue traffic citations according to the City of San Antonio. Therefore use caution in all school zones, including college campuses.

9.) Emergencies. This is the exception, when communicating an emergency to a police or fire department. Additionally if purpose of the call is to contact an ambulance, hospital or physician’s office. (Again emergencies only)

10.) Other Exceptions. When driver uses a hands-free mobile device that allows user to communicate without the use of either hand. Using electronic device that is attached or affixed to vehicle surface.

Remember when driving from listing appointments or heading out to meet clients – use caution. Not only are we hoping you avoid a ticket, but also stay safe out there. When in doubt its always best to err on the side of safety.

Workplace Parking Etiquette

The reputation you form in your company, and the relationships you develop with associates, can go a long way in impacting your ability to advance with the company. One often overlooked area of work etiquette involves your behaviors in the company parking lot.

609_3866408Watch Your Speed

The office parking lot isn’t your personal drag strip. When you are running late for work or have to get home in a hurry, it is tempting to put the pedal to the metal. However, it is often hard to see coworkers getting out of their cars and cross though the parking lot on foot. If you gun it and your coworker doesn’t stop to look, you could have a very unfortunate accident. At the very least, you’ll scare or offend others and earn a reputation as someone who doesn’t care about the safety of your work mates or customers.

Stay in Your Space

One of the biggest faux pas of work parking lot etiquette is to take up more than one space. Double parking is wrong in any parking lot, but you especially don’t want to steal a space from someone you work with. This point is particularly true if your company has a small lot or if good spots are hard to come by. Park conveniently in the middle of your single spot and leave as much room as you can on either side.

Yield to Others

Many office parking lots have “prime” parking positions near the building or in locations workers prefer. While it is tempting to cut your fellow worker off to get the best spot, etiquette dictates that you should yield to someone already waiting for a spot. As you circle around the lot, don’t slip past someone getting ready to pull in or approaching a single spot that is available in the front row.

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Park in Parking Spots

It might seem like common sense to someone who understands basic rules, but many people choose to park in non-parking spots as opposed to getting stuck far away from the office. Spaces clearly blocked off with diagonal yellow lines, turnaround areas, the grass, driving lanes behind other cars and even handicapped spots can serve as fair game to the unknowing or uncaring worker. Proper etiquette includes parking only in clearly designated parking spaces.

Apron ParkingAn addition to this would be those with large trucks or utility vehicles and the potential for ‘apron parking’*. If you’ve had to squeeze past the rear-end of a car or truck hanging over the walkway, then you know what we mean. Be contentious of the space your vehicle consumes. If the tailgate extends over the sidewalk – you’re obstructing a walkway potentially causing pedestrians to walk around car by traveling into the street. More than poor etiquette, it’s also a safety issue and in some places a parking violation.

The parking lot may have the compounded challenge of being a short-cut to heavy traffic. This is all the more reason to slow down, be courteous and observe proper etiquette. Remember, a parking space is not worth fighting about. Why not park on the other end of the lot? This is a great way to get some fresh air and a little exercise instead of doing another lap to get just a few feet closer to the entrance. Not only is the a great way to let go of some stress but you will end up saving on gas, plus it’s fantastic parking lot etiquette!

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*http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/InformalParkingOnSidewalks.pdf

(Retreived from http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/parking-lot-etiquette-workplace-37552.html; Parking Lot Etiquette in the Workplace by Neil Kokemuller, Demand Media)