Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tips to prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning

Baltimore has seen a number of lost lives due to fire and carbon monoxide poisonings this year and state and local officials are passing along tips in hopes of preventing anymore this winter.

Governor Martin O’Malley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined fire officials this week to promote safety during the winter months when fires are more common.

Holiday decorations and unsafe home heating are fire hazards this time of year. Generators and other appliances can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning if unmonitored, the officials said.

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/health/2010/12/tips_to_prevent_fires_and_carb.html

Monday, December 27, 2010

Eight simple tips to prevent burglaries and to increase safety

Burglars enter a house every 15.4 seconds according to the FBI. It 's the most common threat to the security of your home. With some minor modifications, you can protect your home from intruders.

Thieves want to get into a home quickly and quietly, so if you make your house difficult to break through, they will move in a rule. Here are eight easy ways to make yourself a target of beef and less security on your home.

1. Lock all windows and doors. Thismay sound silly, but a lot of thieves enter the house because the owner forgot to lock the doors or windows. And only the windows and doors closed when you're gone, they stop at night when you are asleep.

Some windows are prevented with specific mechanisms to block the thieves slipped credit cards or similar products and unlock. If you have a window with this locking system, make sure that the windows are aligned, or blockingIs not protected enough.

2. Hide spare keys in less obvious places. Maybe keep a spare key under the doormat welcome. On top of the door frame. can paint in a garage under. In a stone turtle in your garden.

Thieves know to look for spare keys in these locations. Find a place more hidden and less obvious to keep your spare key.

3. Beware of open windows. Do not open windows, while at home was not too much. A thief can easily If you get loggedBoth Windows open at night, only open about six inches, and make sure there are more open from the outside. And do not leave windows open to close, or the thief could reach in and unlock the door

4. The strengthening of a glass at or near a door. A window near a door is a prime target for thieves. A thief might break the glass, then reach out and open the door. If you have the choice not to put the windows within a foota port. If you already have Windows at the door, or have glass or near your door, make sure the glass is tempered glass. This glass is four times stronger than normal glass, so that a thief can break easily.

5. Obtaining a quality, a "bolt. Locks of base can be easily collected or will be bypassed. Catenacci, on the other hand, leads extending from the door frame to create a strong barrier that is hard to beat. Multi-PointClosure systems with bolt popular up and down the door, offering even greater security.

6. Protect the football goals-in. The most common method is evidence of forced entry. Many ports are easy to football, even if they have a bar. This is because the area is reinforced with wood around the lock. If a thief kicked the lock, often cracking the lock through the woods around the castle.

To betterProtect your door, receive a 20-gauge metal plate region to strengthen the castle. A bolt with a lock-area reinforced with metal, it is almost immune to attempts at every turn.

7. Enhance your patio door. Patio doors are still the majority, not the blocks. Burglar bars can be forced open from outside. A simple method for improving the security door from the terrace on the right track brought a block of wood or a bar in the prevention, the door will not openoutside.

Thieves can not but raise the patio door off the track. From the patio doors on rollers, they are not really sure of the track. To avoid this, make sure wheels run smoothly and the door is not loose, because it shows a thief could easily get to the door.

The best way to protect your sliding glass door is locked with an extra foot. Foot locks have metal bars that extend in the traces of metal, creating aBar for your patio door. This prevents the door is open, even if the block does not exist, and keeps the door removed, repealed.

8. Get a timer for the lights. Burglars often the case neighborhoods looking for houses where the lights are out, night after night. This tells the thief that the owners are out of town or on the road, and that house.

Do not paint a target on your house. Get a timer light switch. Are available frommost hardware stores. Lights turn off the lights and sounds in a set time. So you see how you're at home, even if they are not.

http://doubleentrydoor.blognub.com/double-entry-door/how-to-house-break-eight-simple-tips-to-prevent-burglaries-and-to-increase-safety/

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Troy, Farmington Hills make safest cities list

By Dave Phillips - For the Daily Tribune

It’s common knowledge that a pair of Michigan cities are near the bottom end of annual crime rate rankings, but Oakland County can boast of having two of the safest cities in the country.

Detroit and Flint are ranked as the second and third most dangerous cities in the U.S., but Troy and Farmington Hills reside on the other end of the list.

In an annual report released by CQ Press, Troy ranks as the 13th safest city in the country with a population above 75,000, while Farmington Hills is not far behind at 30th. The cities are ranked the safest in Michigan with a population of that size.

FOR THE REST: http://www.dailytribune.com/articles/2010/12/14/news/doc4d08469de1d93953971909.txt

Friday, December 10, 2010

Keeping an eye on crime: Organizers hope 'smart' camera sparks trend in Flint

Khalil AlHajal The Flint Journal
FLINT, Michigan — A high-tech Internet-connected security camera watching over the neighborhood around Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church could be the first of many electronic “eyes” around the city helping to spot crime and keep residents safe. The $2,800 camera, purchased with a federal Weed and Seed grant, may be an innovative way to fight crime without spending the cash-strapped city’s tax dollars, one official said.
FOR THE REST:
http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2010/12/keeping_an_eye_on_crime_organi.html

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Guardian Alarm on Detroit 187

Another Guardian Alarm customer "7 Mile Tire & Rim" was featured again on last week's ABC show "Detroit 187." I wonder if another customer will be on tonight's episode.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fire Safety Advice Every Michigan Resident Should Know This Holiday Season

December 6th, 2010 Lawyer
As the temperatures start to drop and Halloween passes, Michigan residents across the state prepare themselves for the upcoming holiday season. Traditionally, many people adorn their homes and businesses with exciting decorations that encourage viewers to get into the festive spirit.
FOR MORE:
http://lawyer.youwb.com/2010/12/fire-safety-advice-every-michigan-resident-should-know-this-holiday-season/

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Crime Prevention Tips While Shopping

Posted: Nov 24, 2010 1:59 PM EST
Updated: Nov 24, 2010 1:59 PM EST

From the City of Reno:
The Reno Police Department would like to wish all of its citizens a Happy and Safe Holiday Season. To ensure a safe Holiday Season, the Police Department would like to offer the following safety tips while shopping and at home.
Holiday Crime Prevention Tips While Shopping:

Safety at home and out in the public begins with ourselves. Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you. A little bit of pre-planning can go a long way in ensuring you do not become a victim and the thieves don't make away with your valuables.

FOR THE REST: http://www.ktvn.com/Global/story.asp?S=13564020

Monday, November 22, 2010

State of Michigan Approves Keeping Residential Fire Sprinklers a Voluntary Option for Consumers

Lansing, MI (PRWEB) November 19, 2010

Michigan’s Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (MDELEG) has rejected a proposal to force home buyers to equip their new homes with fire sprinklers. Residential fire sprinklers remain as a voluntary option available to purchasers of new homes. The decision by MDELEG was made as part of its triennial construction code review, and marks the second consecutive code cycle in which the state agency has rejected efforts to impose a mandatory sprinkler requirement on Michigan homeowners.

FOR MORE: http://insurancenewsnet.com/article.aspx?id=236915

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Office Location in Lansing, MI

Through the acquisition of Telephone Alarm Systems, Guardian Alarm opens a mid-Michigan office in Lansing with full sales, installation and service capabilites. Alarms are monitored from the Southfield Headquarters.

Guardian Alarm - Lansing: 410 Business Center Drive, Lansing, MI 48917-4602. 517-482-1441.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Four people rushed to hospital with possible carbon-monoxide poisoning

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Four people including a teenage boy were rushed to the hospital from their home with what is believed to be carbon-monoxide poisoning.
A man who lives at the home on East Grand Boulevard on Detroit's east side says he came back from the store to find two people including the 13 year old unconscious and two other residents very dizzy.
Clarence Jenkins says he had started the furnace for the first time this season before going to the store and when he left, everyone seemed ok.

FOR THE REST: http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/detroit/four-people-rushed-to-hospital-with-possible-carbon-monoxide-poisoning

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Guardian Alarm on "Detroit 187"

A Guardian Alarm protected building was featured on this week's episode of "Detroit 187." Follow the link to watch the episode and keep an eye out for our logo around the 40:52 mark. http://abc.go.com/watch/detroit-1-8-7/SH5580163/VD5591389/royal-bubblesneedle-drop

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tips To Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Poorly Maintained or Malfunctioning Heating Systems Are Often to Blame

Contact: Guillermo Cole, Health Department
412-578-8004 office

As another heating season begins, the Allegheny County Health Department is joining with the Carbon Monoxide Awareness Coalition of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to remind residents about the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that is the by-product of incomplete combustion of a fuel. Hundreds die each year nationwide from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, but most deaths could be prevented through greater awareness and education.

http://www.alleghenycounty.us/news/2010/20101005a.aspx

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Guardian Alarm is named 2010 Midwest Region Dealer of the Year by Galaxy Control Systems!

Photo of the award:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=247018&id=156868878935&saved#!/photo.php?fbid=131650683553026&set=a.121497777901650.31347.108980149153413

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Governor Granholm Proclaims October 3-9 as Fire Prevention Week "Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With"

Right Vision News
October 2, 2010

LANSING, Oct. 02 -- The State Of Michigan has issued following Press Release:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has proclaimed October 3-9 Fire Prevention Week in Michigan to encourage homeowners to focus on having several functioning smoke alarms to provide the critical early warning needed to escape a home fire.

"Many homes may still have only one smoke alarm and that's simply not enough," said Michigan State Fire Marshal Ronald R. Farr. "Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement, and in every bedroom -- not just near them, to ensure that everyone is alerted in time to escape fire safely."

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE:
http://www.fireengineering.com/index/articles/Wire_News_Display/1274608368.html

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Lucky" the cat warned family of carbon monoxide in house

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - Often times when our pets make noise, we ignore them. Well, it's a good thing Tara and Joe Clay from Muskegon chose to listen to their cat last weekend, because if they didn't, they might not be alive today.

"It was Saturday morning around 5:30 a.m.," says Tara Clay. "My son was crying and I got up to comfort him. It was cold in the house so I thought to turn on the heat."

For the rest of the story:
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=133865&catid=14

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Poisoning suspected in deaths of elderly couple

Residents are urged to inspect furnaces
BY ELISHA ANDERSON
FREE PRESS STAFF

Detroit police suspect an elderly couple may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning, but they are waiting for autopsy results, police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said.

Read more: Poisoning suspected in deaths of elderly couple freep.com Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20100928/NEWS01/9280377/Poisoning-suspected-in-deaths-of-elderly-couple#ixzz10r5d7tKW

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Guardian Alarm is Featured in Security Systems News

Guardian Alarm acquires 2,600 accounts
Sep 22, 2010 03:39 PM By Daniel Gelinas, Managing Editor

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.—Guardian Alarm has acquired the accounts of five security firms spread between Michigan and Florida, adding a 70/30 resi/commercial mix of 2,600 monitored accounts to its portfolio. Company president David Goldstein said the acquisition “was the perfect fit for the blend of business Guardian believes in.”

FOR THE REST:
http://www.securitysystemsnews.com/article/guardian-alarm-acquires-2600-accounts#

Thursday, September 16, 2010

GUARDIAN ALARM ACQUIRES SEVERAL MICHIGAN ALARM COMPANIES

Southfield MI, (August 19th, 2010):

Guardian Alarm Company of Michigan is pleased to announce the addition of several thousand home and business security system accounts from four area alarm companies, including Telephone Alarm Systems (TAS) in Lansing, Maximum Security Solutions in Bloomfield Hills, Midstate Alarm in Midland, and Impyreal Security in Shelby Township. As of mid-September, the new accounts are being monitored in Guardian Alarm’s monitoring center in their Southfield World Headquarters. The majority of these new accounts come from TAS, which Guardian Alarm will begin servicing--as well as selling new systems--from their Lansing office.

“At TAS, we pride ourselves on the high levels of service and response provided to our customers. As a fellow family owned business, these same high standards of service and customer dedication will be continued and reinforced by Guardian Alarm,” assures Frank Gadaleto, President of TAS.

Guardian Alarm General Manager, Karen Majeske, “We are very excited to provide alarm monitoring and service to our new customers. Guardian was established in 1930 and has a long standing reputation of professionalism, state-of-the-art technology and dedication to customer service, which has made us the largest privately owned security provider in North America.”

About Guardian Alarm Company:

Guardian Alarm offers home and business security systems throughout Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Canada. Guardian also offers medical alarms throughout North America and security guard services in select areas. Contact a Guardian Representative at 1-800-STAY-OUT (800-782-9688) or www.guardianalarm.com for more information or a free security consultation.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Detroit council may require companies to verify break-in

Darren A. Nichols / The Detroit News
Detroit -- Frustrated that police spend so much time responding to false alarms, the Detroit City Council may soon consider an ordinance requiring alarm companies to verify break-ins before police are dispatched.
Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown said he'll introduce an ordinance this month that will help police prioritize runs amid dwindling resources. From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100906/METRO01/9060339/Detroit-council-may-require-companies-to-verify-break-in#ixzz0zbw0PNoZ

Monday, August 2, 2010

Toledo area sees rise in use of home surveillance

Maybe you want to deter burglars with unobtrusive yet visible cameras outside your home, or at least provide police with recorded evidence to help catch criminals.

Perhaps you want to check in on your elderly mother while you're at work. Or maybe you want to ensure your children aren't messing with the gun safe or playing unsupervised around the backyard swimming pool.

http://toledoblade.com/article/20100801/BUSINESS10/7310366/-1/BUSINESS06

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to Stop Home Break-Ins ? Eight Simple Tips to Prevent Burglary and Enhance Security

How to Stop Home Break-Ins รข€“ Eight Simple Tips to Prevent Burglary and Enhance Security
Burglars break into a home every 15.4 seconds according to the FBI. It’s the most common threat to your home’s security. With some minor changes, you can protect your home from break-ins.
Burglars want to get into a house quickly and quietly, so if you make your home difficult to break into, they’ll usually move on. Here are eight easy ways to make yourself less of a target and beef up the security on your home.

http://tonibankun.typepad.com/blog/2010/07/how-to-stop-home-break-ins-eight-simple-tips-to-prevent-burglary-and-enhance-security.html#tp

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Guardian Guard Services to Protect COBO Hall, Other City Facilities

Guardian Guard Services is pleased to announce that they have been selected to provide professional security guard services at the Detroit Regional Convention Center (COBO Hall) and eighteen City of Detroit facilities, which will provide over 100 full time jobs for local residents.

Some of the facilities Guardian will protect include the Detroit Police Impound, several Health Centers, Recreation Department Activity Centers, Department of Public Works sites, Historic Fort Wayne and Detroit Administrative Buildings. Up until 2007, Guardian had provided security officers at COBO Hall for nearly 25 years.

David Beeler, Guardian Guard General Manager, “We are pleased and excited to return to COBO and to once again have the opportunity to provide the City of Detroit with outstanding professional protection and safety, while providing a significant savings to the city budget.”

Guardian Alarm, parent company of Guardian Guard Services, is one of North America’s largest independently owned security companies. Founded locally in 1930, Guardian’s continued success comes from combining cutting edge technology and innovations with the basic values that come from being a local family owned company for 80 years.

About Guardian Alarm Company:Guardian Alarm offers home and business security systems throughout Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Canada. Guardian also offers medical alarms throughout North America and security guard services in select areas. Contact a Guardian Representative at 1-800-STAY-OUT (800-782-9688) or http://www.guardianalarm.com/ for more information or a free security consultation.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

DETROIT: Elderly woman assaulted

Detroit police are seeking a suspect in the sexual assault of an 85-year-old woman.
A family member found the woman semiconscious June 22 on the floor of her home on Mitchell.
The suspect is described as a black male, 45-50 years old, 5 feet 10 to 6 feet tall with a dark complexion and full salt-and-pepper beard.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sex crimes division at 313-596-1950 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-SPEAK-UP (800-773-2587). Anonymous text tips can be sent directly to police at 847411. Text tips must start with the letters "DPD," followed by the tip information.
http://www.freep.com/article/20100708/NEWS02/7080459/1004/Wayne-County-news-Elderly-woman-assaulted

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fire safety warnings are always in style

According to a new study, Home Structure Fires, from the National Fire Protection Association, home fires account for 92 percent of fire deaths that occur in structures. These fires cause an average of 2,840 civilian deaths each year.
READ MORE http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20100701/REALESTATE/7010317

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Watch this 6 second garage break in

Video that shows how easy it is to break into some garages and tips on how to prevent it from happening to you.
http://activerain.com/blogsview/1708469/watch-this-6-second-garage-break-in

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Things your burglars won't tell you

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste ... And taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink and the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at faketv.com.)

14. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never ever look like a crook.

15. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

16. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.

17. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

18. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

19. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.

20. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

21. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs crimedoctor.com; and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book "Burglars on the Job.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Protect your home from break-ins while you're on vacation

With vacation season in full swing -- and your mind in vacation mode -- it's easy to forget that summer is also the season of the burglar. That's because as more and more people get out of town, leaving their houses unoccupied, criminals are gearing up for the easy pickings of their busy season.

Read more: http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/06/18/protect-your-home-from-break-ins-while-youre-on-vacation/#ixzz0raMZAfb5

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Safety Tips

When summer hits, most kids are all too eager to jump, climb and play rigorously outdoors – letting off some winter energy. Play sets, jungle gyms and pools offer up many hours of glorious summertime fun, but this time of play can turn potentially dangerous if you don’t ensure that Safety measures are taken care of. This summer, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading product safety testing organization, provides very useful tips to help keep you and your children safe around play sets and the pool. Make sure you read through these tips and ensure that safety is top priority in your summer fun too!
CONTINUE:
http://www.myorganizedchaos.net/2010/06/summer_safety_tips_play_sets_pool/

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2010 Guardian Alarm Blood Drive

Annual outdoor event where management cooks breakfast and lunch for the Guardian employees, who donate blood to the Red Cross. The turn out and food were great again this year and although we didn't get any rain it was very windy and our tents almost blew away!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Southfield-MI/Guardian-Medical-Monitoring/156868878935

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Guardian Alarm featured in Security Systems News

Guardian minds its business in Detroit
Commercial sales climb in Q1
By Martha Entwistle

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.—With commercial installs up 37.2 percent in the first quarter this year compared to last, business at Guardian Alarm has been as good in 2010 as its new president predicted at the end of 2009.
“We did what we said,” David Goldstein, Guardian president said.

For the full article click the link:

http://www.securitysystemsnews.com/?p=article&id=ss20100671f8Vb

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

DETROIT: Tips sought on vacant home fires

Fire Department investigators were searching for tips about eight fires set in vacant homes in northwest Detroit between Plymouth and Puritan and Meyers and Livernois 4:20-7 a.m. Tuesday.
Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call the Fire Department tip line at 313-596-2940. Tipsters may be eligible for rewards as high as $5,000, part of an anti-arson campaign in Detroit, sponsored by the Michigan Arson Prevention Committee.
http://www.freep.com/article/20100526/NEWS05/5260310/1007/Local-news-Tips-sought-on-vacant-home-fires

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Waterford Township resident says she’s tired of repeated break-ins

By CAROL HOPKINSOf The Oakland Press

A Waterford resident is fed up and frustrated with crime.“Our house has been broken into three times in the last year,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous because of police investigations.The first break-in at the house on Scott Lake Road occurred February 2009, the second was in November 2009 and the last was this past week.

For the rest, follow the link:

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2010/05/24/news/local_news/doc4bf9c158b857c856988019.txt

Monday, May 24, 2010

Home security systems: should you have one?

Wallet Pop asks if you should have a home security system. Of course we say "yes," but decide for yourself!
http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/05/20/home-security-systems-should-you-have-one/

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Detroit Neighborhood Steps Up Patrols

Rosedale Park Residents Urged To Take Precautions
Residents in one Detroit neighborhood said they're taking extra precautions after several attempted home break-ins have been reported within days of each other.
The neighborhood association sent out an e-mail to residents a couple of weeks ago to use their car alarms to scare away intruders because there had been several reports of suspicious people in the area.
http://www.michiganasiseeit.com/2010/05/detroit-neighborhood-steps-up-patrols.html

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keys to Home Security While on Vacation

By Samantha J Volz, eHow Contributing Writer

Most people take vacations in an effort to forget about the struggles and stresses of everyday life. It can be hard to relax, however, if you are worried about your home being burglarized in your absence. There are a number of seemingly-mundane clues that can tip off an experienced criminal that your home is empty and open for the taking; take precautions before you leave to ensure your home's safety while you are gone.

For the rest of the article:
http://www.ehow.com/list_6499168_keys-home-security-vacation.html

Monday, May 17, 2010

Southfield Public Schools OKs contract for guards

Southfield Public Schools is contracting security guards, rather than continuing to employ them, Deputy Superintendent Kenson Siver said.
On Tuesday, the Board of Education approved a three-year contract with Southfield-based Guardian Guard Services beginning July 1. The cost ranges from more than $480,000 the first year to more than $509,000 in the third year, according to the district. Employing in-house security cost just under $1 million a year, Siver said.
Guardian Guard Services said it will provide a minimum of 15 officers at eight different schools. Siver said the district previously had 11 guards.
The Southfield Police Department is still to provide liaisons in the district's two high schools, Siver said.
http://www.freep.com/article/20100516/NEWS03/5160452/1001/News/Oakland-County-news-briefs-Southfield-Public-Schools-OKs-contract-for-guards

Thursday, May 13, 2010

GUARDIAN GUARD SERVICES TO PROTECT SOUTHFIELD SCHOOLS

Guardian Guard Services is pleased to announce that it will begin a multi-year agreement with Southfield Public Schools beginning on July 1, 2010 to provide a minimum of 15 officers at eight different Southfield District schools. Guardian Security officers will be present in these schools during regular school hours and at after hours events such as football games.

David Beeler, Guardian Guard General Manager, “We are pleased and excited to have the opportunity to provide the City of Southfield with outstanding professional protection and safety, while providing a significant savings for their school budget.”

Guardian Alarm is one of North America’s largest independently owned security companies. Founded locally in 1930, Guardian’s continued success comes from combining cutting edge technology and innovations with the basic values that come from being a local family owned company for over 80 years.

“We believe that our extensive experience with providing security guards in schools and institutions throughout Metro Detroit will allow us to be successful from the very start in our new partnership with the Southfield Public School District,” says Beeler.

About Guardian Alarm Company (parent company of Guardian Guard Services):

Guardian Alarm offers home and business security systems throughout Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Canada. Guardian also offers medical alarms throughout North America and security guard services in select areas. Contact a Guardian Representative at 1-800-STAY-OUT (800-782-9688) or http://www.guardianalarm.com/ for more information or a free security consultation.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Police: Man responsible for multiple home break-ins Lenawee County

The Lenawee County Sheriff's Department and Michigan State Police are asking for the public's help to find a man they think is responsible for as many as 15 daytime break-ins over the past few days.
http://www.wtol.com/global/story.asp?s=12452352

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dishwasher Fire Destroys Ann Arbor Home

Here's another reason to get a Guardian Alarm monitored smoke and heat detectors for your home:

"ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) - Three firefighters are recovering after being injured while fighting an early morning fire in Ann Arbor.

The fire broke out in the home on Georgetown at about 1:00 a.m. The family told officials they heard a noise and realized the house was on fire.

The woman who lives in the house was able to get out through the front door with the couple's 3-year-old child. Her husband and the couple's 6-year-old daughter made it out through a bedroom window. He then handed the girl down to her mother before climbing down the gutter himself.

Officials say the fire started in a dishwasher. The house was gutted and is considered a total loss.The firefighters were treated at the scene. The family is staying with neighbors."

http://www.wxyz.com/news/local/story/Dishwasher-Fire-Destroys-Ann-Arbor-Home/ULz0oSyXIkS49QaSEs364w.cspx

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oakland County news: Copper thieves sought in break-ins

FERNDALE: Copper thieves sought in break-ins

Police are asking residents to look out for thieves stripping copper pipes from vacant homes.

Thieves broke open the rear doors of at least six vacant homes in northwest Ferndale, north of 9 Mile and west of Woodward, during the past 10 days, Ferndale Police Lt. William Wilson said Wednesday.

Police are asking residents to call 911 if they see crews at a neighbor's home, loading pipes, appliances or other metal into trucks.

http://www.freep.com/article/20100429/NEWS03/4290425/1005/Oakland-County-news-Copper-thieves-sought-in-break-ins

Monday, April 26, 2010

Great Testimonial From a New Guardian Alarm Customer

"If the experience that we have had so far is anything like what we can expect from Guardian, than we will be completely happy. Our salesman John was great and the installer Rich was on time and went out of his way to make sure we were happy with the products and knew how to use everything. We were with ADT for a number of years but the ads about Guardian being a Michigan company, together with the cost factor, made us switch and we are very happy to be with GUARDIAN."
Sincerely,
Jim & Ardis Pearce

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Guardian Alarm Hiring Sales Account Executives

Job Description: Due to rapidly increasing sales and territory expansions, we need you! Bring your expertise and successful sales experience to Guardian Alarm! Join a winning team and help us grow! Guardian Alarm Company is a leader in the Security Alarm Industry. We are currently seeking an experienced Alarm Sales Representative for our Southfield Michigan HQ location.

Ideal candidates will:
*Meet company sales goals and business objectives through successful promotion of Guardian Alarm Services.
*Have a proven sales record, work on your own initiative and organize a daily work schedule. *Promote and increase sales to existing customers.
*Excellent prospecting and negotiating skills.
*Face to face meetings with key contacts and customers.
*Remain abreast of the competition.
*Follow up with customers, both existing and future.

Requirements:
*Minimum of 2 to 5 years sales experience.
*Proven track record of successful sales experience.
*Excellent verbal and written skills.
*Strong management skills.
*Problem solving skills.
*Strong independent work ethic and accountability.
*Good presentation and public speaking skills.
*Ability and willingness to travel.

Guardian Alarm Company offers a competitive compensation package, vehicle allowance, salary plus attractive commission plan. We also offer health care including medical, dental and optical plans. Life insurance, tuition reimbursement and 401K are also available. Come and join an aggressively growing company with a proven track record of providing our customers with the best alarm service in the industry!

Contact Lisa Chaput for more info or to apply: 248-233-1487 or lchaput@guardianalarm.com

Guardian Alarm Hiring Installers

Job description: Residential/Commercial Installation of fire and burglar alarms. Working closely with customers and resolving issues. Ability to work a flexible schedule including weekends. Must have your own reliable transportation.

Job requirements: This job requires a high school diploma and 2 years of experience.

Specific requirements: You must possess a valid drivers license with 4 points or less, undergo drug screening, pass an employment test and undergo a reference or security check.

Additional requirements: Two years experience in commercial/residential alarm installation. Fire, Burgular, CCTV, Access Readers, experience helpful. Wiring experience a must. Michigan drivers license required and must be valid. Must have a clean criminal background. A neat,clean,professional image is required. Starting wage will depend on prior experience.

Benefits: dental insurance, life insurance, medical insurance, optical insurance, paid sick leave, paid vacation, 401(k)

Contact Lisa Chaput at Guardian Alarm for more info or to apply: 248-233-1487 or lchaput@guardianalarm.com

CAT BURGLAR PREVENTION

Here are a few simple steps to help make your home burglar proof.

http://www.michellesigona.com/2010/04/cat-burglar-prevention/

Friday, April 16, 2010

Guardian Alarm Security Expo Video

Guardian Alarm of Southfield, MI posted this short recap video of the great Security Expo they hosted at their HQ on 4/14/10. Looks like they had a nice customer turn out and a lot of cutting edge security options.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HFzvk17Hyo

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gunman threatens tot’s life during break-in

By SHAUN BYRON of The Oakland Press

Children were playing ball and riding bicycles in the driveways of their homes on Kettering Avenue on Monday.Just days before, a mother of two was sleeping — her boyfriend still at work — when a man broke into her home and put a gun to her toddler’s head.

Continued at:

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2010/04/05/news/local_news/doc4bbaa59aaf3f2892209015.txt

Home Security Tips For Outdoor Grilling

"If you're spending time outdoors during the summer preparing delicious meals on the grill, then you're going to be excited about how delicious your BBQs are, and thrilled that the weather is nice enough that you can actually be outdoors, instead of shivering through layers and layers of sweaters and jackets. But it is important to remember that things like grills are safety hazards in their own right, and that you need to be diligent when outside, whether it's a gigantic meal for a bunch of friends or just a simple barbecue for the entire family."

For the rest of the article click on the link below:

http://www.articlesbase.com/home-and-family-articles/home-security-tips-for-outdoor-grilling-2099539.html

Friday, April 2, 2010

Security System Helps Catch Two Ex-Convicts

By Gordon Wilczynski, Macomb Daily Staff Writer

Two ex-convicts from Detroit who are suspects for several nighttime break-ins in Macomb County, have been charged by St. Clair County authorities with breaking into a gasoline station in Casco Township and stealing over 200 cartons of cigarettes.Wayne Mendel Johnson, 43, and Jimmie Lee Felder, 47, are in the St. Clair County Jail on $50,000 bond set in 72nd District Court in Marine City.

They are accused of throwing a brick through a window at a Sunoco gasoline station on Interstate 94 and Division Road (32 Mile Road) on Monday morning and stealing 200 cartons of cigarettes valued at $10,000, according to Sgt. Craig Nyeholt of the Michigan State Police Post in Richmond.The suspects were arrested on I-94 and North River Road by Chesterfield Township police moments after the break-in. Police found the cigarettes in the back seat of their dark colored Jeep, Nyeholt said.

"Our officers were notified of the break-in when an alarm sounded," Nyeholt said. "A check of the security surveillance tape showed that two black men driving a dark colored Jeep threw a cinder block through a window and stole the cigarettes."We checked the surveillance tape which showed the suspects left in a dark colored Jeep.

That information was dispatched to Chesterfield Township police because we knew they had similar burglaries in their jurisdiction."Chesterfield Township Officer Robert Swanson set up surveillance on I-94 and saw a dark colored Jeep on Interstate 94 and stopped it at North River Road. Swanson arrested Johnson and Felder because they fit the description of the people wanted in connection with the Sunoco station robbery and the evidence of the break-in was found in the back seat of the vehicle.

Detective Sgt. Deron Myers said police questioned the suspects who are suspects in two similar incidents in Chesterfield Township. Police in Sterling Heights and St. Clair Shores want to talk to Johnson and Felder for similar "smash and grab" thefts in their cities.Both Johnson and Felder have been in and out of jails all of their adult lives, police said.

Felder has three drug delivery and drug possession arrests dating back to 1989 and five breaking and entering arrests. Felder also has five arrests for breaking and entering a building.Johnson, who goes by the aliases of Boss Hog, Orlando Jones, Marc Wiggins and James King, has several arrests dating back to 1984. He was convicted for two breaking and entering charges, two for stealing a vehicle, one for unarmed robbery, fleeing and eluding police and prison escape.Police said neither man spoke to police. The court will appoint a taxpayer paid lawyer to represent them.

They are being charged as habitual criminals.

http://www.macombdaily.com/articles/2010/03/31/news/doc4bb344f2be7c3058841353.txt

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Burglars charged; posed as plumbers in Royal Oak

The Daily Tribune has the story of two home invaders posing as plumbers who were recently arrested. A good home security system would have prevented these two from going into your house.
http://www.dailytribune.com/articles/2010/03/30/news/doc4bb235ce19faa694586650.txt

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Family Interrupts Intruder In Home

Here's another story that proves how important having a security system for your home is:

"ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. -- A Rochester Hills family came home Sunday evening to their house on Jonathan Drive and discovered a man in the process of robbing them, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said."

For the rest of the story click on the link below:

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/22991064/detail.html?treets=det&tml=det_12pm&ts=T&tmi=det_12pm_1_10500103302010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Daytime Break-Ins All Over Clinton County

A popular time for home break-ins is midday during the week. Here's an article about this growing trend:

http://www.wilx.com/home/headlines/89214737.html

It's been some time now since Shirley Schneeberger's home was broken into. No matter-- she's still on edge.
"It's the feeling," she explains, "when you know someone's been tracking through your house. The items were replaceable, but that feeling... someone's been in my home, without permission..."
Now her rural Olive Township neighborhood, along with a few others in southern Clinton County, is being targeted again.
"Over the last two weeks we've had a rash of daytime break-ins of houses," says Det. Sgt. Fritz Sandberg of the Clinton County Sheriff's Office. "Mostly these break-ins are happening around 10 a.m. To 3 or 4 p.m., while people are at work, kids are at school."
Sandberg believes the thieves will knock on your door, and if you're not home, they'll break in the back and steal whatever they can find.
"Electronic products, tv's, cameras, jewerly," he says.
We've all been taught when we're little that if a stranger comes to the door, pretend you're not home. But detectives say that might not be the smartest thing to do in this situation.
"We've had an incidents where people elect not to let someone know they were home. Then they go around in back and enter that way. Now we have a homeowner in the house, and a robber too. It's a bad situation," Sandberg says.
He says letting the person know you're home-- while staying safe-- can fend off potential burglars. Also, know your neighbors and pay attention to unusual cars. That's something Schneeberger echoes.
"Out here, you need to be vigilant. When someone drives into your driveway and you don't know who they are, you need to go see."

As burglaries rise, session offers security tips

Here are some very good home security tips from the Houston area. The specific details start about half way through. Follow the link at the bottom:

"One of the issues discussed was the use of locks. Traditional door locks located on door knob have spring locks, which are easy to open with a credit card. Krysiak recommends a single deadbolt for doors without windows and a double deadbolt for those within 40 inches of a window. A double deadbolt is one with a lock on the inside of the house. The bolt should be at least an inch long."

http://www.ultimatewoodlands.com/2010/03/security-tips-offered-prevent-home-burglaries

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fireplace Dampers Recalled Over Carbon Monoxide Hazard

"Simpson Dura-Vent is recalling about 500 Fireplace Dampers due to carbon monoxide poisoning hazard, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just announced."

Find out if yours is on the list at the following link:

http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/19350

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

1 Dead In Mobile Home Fire

WDIV is reporting on a fire related death--yet another reason to make sure your family has a monitored smoke, heat and/or fire alarm system.

BELLEVILLE, Mich. -- Fire investigators are looking into the cause of a fatal mobile home fire in Belleville.
One man, in his 50s, died in the fire.
Firefighters arrived to the home on Sumpter Road in the Belle Villa park at about 4 p.m. and were able to quickly extinguish the blaze.
No other information has been released.

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/22923160/detail.html

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thieves Disable Alarm System, Get Away with $75M

Here's an article from the Wall Street Journal that proves it's not only important to have a security system for your business, but a secure system that fully protects your facility and assets.
http://tinyurl.com/ykl6ahw

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crime Stoppers seeking tips in Warren strangling

Crime Stoppers of Michigan will hold a 2 p.m. press conference today at its Detroit offices in hopes of generating tips in the Feb. 23 slaying of an elderly Warren man. Charles Taylor, 84, was found strangled in his home on Blackmar. Police believe robbery may have been a motive and that Taylor likely knew his killer. Warren Police and Crime Stoppers are offering a combined reward of $5,500 for information leading to an arrest in the case. To make an anonymous tip, call (800) SPEAK-UP. From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100312/METRO01/3120379/Wayne-briefs#ixzz0hyme814G

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Couple held in Grosse Pte. Farms break-in

BY CHRISTINA HALL FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

"A couple was arrested after a Grosse Pointe Farms neighbor saw a suspicious vehicle and people and officers found a man hiding in the attic of a house he broke into and his wife waiting in a nearby vehicle, officials said today."

For the complete story click on the link below:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100310/NEWS02/100310089/1322/Couple-held-in-Grosse-Pte.-Farms-break-in

Friday, March 5, 2010

DPS cameras, badges to track crime, attendance

Security upgrade also includes more campus police
BY CHASTITY PRATT DAWSEY FREE PRESS EDUCATION WRITER



Officials in Detroit Public Schools are spending $41 million to beef up security with new video cameras, student ID cards and a new police headquarters, which they hope will woo parents back to the district.



For the complete story follow the link:



http://www.freep.com/article/20100305/NEWS01/3050315/1318/Cameras-badges-to

Home Invasions Run High in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor crime statistics for the week of Feb. 21-27 show that there were an incredible 10 home invasions. One of the best defenses against home invasions is a security system. Contact Guardian Alarm for protection at less then $1 a day at 1-800-STAY-OUT (800-782-9688) or www.guardianalarm.com.

For a complete listing of the Ann Arbor crime stats:
http://www.annarbor.com/news/ann-arbor-crime-statistics-for-the-week-of-feb-21-27/

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

March 01, 2010
The frightening consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning led one sufferer to launch her own charity.
Lynn Griffiths, founder and president of CO-Awareness, has provided a guide to the facts of carbon monoxide poisoning and how it can be prevented.
She launched the charity after discovering her family home had a carbon monoxide (CO) leak in 1998.
The charity founder and campaigner says the effects of the “silent killer” can be contained if people are educated about its effects.
What is carbon monoxide poisoning?
It can be fatal or cause permanent damage. It can be produced in any fuel-burning appliance not properly maintained such as cookers, heaters, dryers, boilers and fireplaces.
It is produced when carbon fuels do not burn completely, however has no smell or taste and in large quantities it can kill very quickly.
Danger signs include a yellow or orange flame where there should be a blue one and sooty stains on the walls around fires.
It is also possible to be poisoned by CO if your house shares a wall or chimney with a house that has a CO leak.
The symptoms.
These can include headaches, dizziness, tiredness and nausea.
The signs can sometimes be mistaken for flu, a virus or food poisoning.
If someone suffers the symptoms at home but feels fine elsewhere it can be an indicator of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Because they are common symptoms, if you think you may have CO poisoning, tell a doctor why you think this could be.
What to do if you have the symptoms.
Open the windows and get fresh air immediately. If the symptoms are serious, go to hospital.
How to check for leaks.
- Check the colour of flames in appliances – they should be blue. Check them every year.
- Make sure the chimney flue is clear.
- If there are birds nesting, remove them and fit a guard over.
- Eye -evel gas grills can be dangerous, particularly in older cookers. Toasters are better.
- Make sure your home has enough ventilation – check airbricks are not blocked. If your windows are double-glazed your appliances might not have enough air and could produce carbon monoxide.
- See a doctor immediately if you have tiredness, muscle pain, upset stomach, dizziness and headaches. CO levels in the blood drop very quickly so you should be tested as soon as possible.
- If you rent, make sure your landlord has a safety certificate
- Get a CO alarm which can detect low levels of the gas.
For more information, visit www.covictim.org.

http://www.getreading.co.uk/lifestyle/home_and_garden/s/2066673_how_to_avoid_carbon_monoxide_poisoning

Monday, March 1, 2010

Web site opens the door to break-ins

BY AMBER HUNT
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
To some, it's just another social networking tool for keeping tabs of friends and learning about cool places to go. To others, it screams, "I'm not home, so please rob me!"
Now, thanks to a Web site not-so-coincidentally titled Please Rob Me (www.pleaserobme.com), people who choose to post their whereabouts publicly via a network called Foursquare are finding their homes being labeled as burglary-ready.
The site's creators say the goal is to raise awareness and to prevent burglaries by encouraging people to be more judicious about what they post online. But some metro Detroiters say it's going too far.
"I completely realize that little information on the Internet is actually private," Andrew Leggat, 28, a Troy resident and Foursquare user, who responded by e-mail to a Free Press query via Twitter, "but I think this takes it to another level."
For the rest of the article follow the link to the Detroit Free Press article:
http://www.freep.com/article/20100228/NEWS06/2280505/1320/Web-site-opens-the-door-to-break-ins

12 Tips For Your Home Alone Parents

While professional help for seniors is the best, like the medical alarms and med dispensers that companies like Guardian Medical Monitoring offer, here are some useful tips that can also help:

"12 Tips For Your Home Alone Parents"
By Rakesh Kharwar
Scenario1: Sharmin, 30, working in a well reputed MNC, had to attend an important conference for three days in another city. However, although she wanted to make the best of the opportunity, she could not attend the conference as her parents were alone at home and she found it difficult to leave them and go.
Scenario 2: Rahul, 32, lives with his parents, both of who are retired from work, and remain at home for most of the time. He is working for an export-import firm, and travels most of the time. But he manages to attend his tours and business trips smoothly and his parents too, are confident of staying alone back home for the time he is not there with them.
How can something that has been so difficult for Sharmin, be easy for Rahul? Well, it all requires a little thinking and planning, nothing more. While Sharmin, did not apply her mind as to how she could make her parents self-dependent in taking care of themselves, Rahul on the other hand took a note of all the important things that his parents would require and the things they would need to take care of.
Here’s a brief list of the things you can do, so that just like Rahul, you too can ensure the safety of your parents for all the time you would venture out of the house:
1. Medicine medicines
First and foremost, check whether your parent’s medicines are well stocked. In case there is shortage, it is better to get them in advance.
2. First Aid Kit
The first aid kit is very essential and should always be kept handy. Tell your parents where the kit is kept and also explain to them ways in which they can treat simple injuries.
3. Health Insurance Card
The health insurance card must be kept handy as well and you need to inform your parents that in case of an emergency they can easily get access to the hospital available to them with the help of the card.
4. Kitchen Safety
Remind your mother to always turn off the valve of the gas cylinder after cooking is over as this will ensure their safety. Also, ensure that there are enough groceries at home before you leave the house. Give cash to your maid so that she can get things from the market which may be required in your absence. If your parents are suffering from diabetics or high blood pressure, it is advisable to dispose off things like ice creams, sweets, salty namkeens etc.
5. Bathroom Safety
Make sure there are slip resistant mats outside the bathroom and toilet, in order to prevent someone from slipping or losing balance. Replace them in advance, in case they are not in good condition.
6. Lights
If you leave behind a maid in the house who would look after your parents, give him/her standing instructions on the do’s and dont’s. Firstly, tell your maid to keep a bottle of water near your parent’s bed at all times, so that they can help themselves whenever they are thirsty. Secondly, ask your maid to keep a bulb switched on throughout the night in order to prevent mishaps. And before leaving, you personally check if all the lights in the kitchen, hallway, bathroom and bedroom are working properly.
7. Emergency Numbers
Write down all the emergency numbers on a big sheet of paper and stick it next to the telephone or on your parents’ bedroom wall.
8. Using a Mobile
Encourage your parents to learn the basic operations of a mobile phone so that they do not have to depend on others to make important calls. You can also set all the emergency numbers on speed dial to make it easier for them.
9. Peep Hole
Also ask your parents to first take a look at the visitor on the door through the peep hole when the doorbell rings. This way they can ignore strangers and salesmen.
10. Use ‘Post Its’
As parents in old age generally tend to forget things, use ‘post its’ as reminders with short messages asking them to turn off the gas valve, take medicines etc.
11. Alarms
Remember to set recurring alarms on the mobile phone so as to remind them that its time to take medicines.
12. Inform your Friend
A friend in need is a friend indeed! Inform your neighbours and closest buddies that your parents would be alone at home for the time you will be travelling and that they can drop in once in a while to check on them. You can also inform the security guard in your apartment to keep a check.
Apart from doing the above things, remember to call your parents at various intervals during the day. Your calls will keep them relaxed. These basic things can ensure your parents’ safety while you are out.
Article Source: Click Here
Visit us at www.smartseniorservices.com if you have any questions, or need help with an aging loved one in the area.
http://myeldercareblog.com/annesadlerblog/173/12-tips-for-your-home-alone-parents-in-grosse-pointe-mi/

Friday, February 26, 2010

Warning Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

HealthDayBy Diana KohnleWednesday, February 24, 2010
(HealthDay News) -- Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless toxic gas. It's released by the burning of any fuel, and exposure can lead to hospitalization or even death.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this list of common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:
Vomiting or feeling nauseous.
Feeling dizzy.
Having chest pains.
Having a headache.
While none of these symptoms should be ignored, warning signs of more severe carbon monoxide poisoning include confusion, agitation or unconsciousness. They require immediate medical attention. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_95672.html

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Burglar kills family pet, ransacks Holly Township home

By Anna Troppens
Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 8:10 AM EST
Holly Twp. — A home invasion has left the Yagiela family with a dead pet, a ransacked house and many stolen belongings. On Tuesday, Feb. 16, Mike Yagiela left his house on Belford Road at 9 a.m. and returned at 2 p.m. His door was kicked in, and the entire house was torn apart. In addition, his dog of 10 years, Nanook, was shot and left to die. The wound on the dog’s left side was consistent with a small caliber handgun, said Det. Sgt. Gary Muir, of the Michigan State Police Groveland Post. “It’s definitely elevated from a regular breaking and entering,” Yagiela said. The state police told him most criminals don’t bring a gun to a breaking and entering, and they don’t kill animals.
Mike and his wife, Tonyia, were both away from home at the time. Mike said he is thankful for that, because they could have been shot, too. They are very upset about their German shepherd/Chow mix, Nanook, being killed. “He was a beautiful dog,” Mike said. “He’d lick you to death, but he’d never bite anybody.” Their pets are like their children, said Mike, who returned on Feb. 16 to find Nanook lying dead in the kitchen, near the door. Numerous items were taken from the home. These included musical equipment, a handgun, jewelry, a television and other items, Mike Yagiela said. “They just cleaned us out.”  The thieves turned furniture upside down and ripped drawers out. Things were tossed around. Yagiela believes it was more than one person. The thieves shut the door as they left, so no one would notice. The Yagielas have insurance, but Mike recently lost his job. “Then this happened,” he said. “My wife is terrified. She doesn’t really want to stay here.” Their neighbors have had break-ins, but the Yagielas never had any problems before, Mike said. State police have some physical evidence they are sending to a laboratory, Muir said. Anyone who has any information on the incident should contact the Michigan State Police Groveland Post at (248) 634-4882.atroppens@tctimes.com; 810-433-6792
http://www.tctimes.com/articles/2010/02/24/news/doc4b8450e66d8f0759398788.txt

Monday, February 22, 2010

Motorist stops, pulls elderly man from house fire

An elderly man was pulled from his burning central Michigan home by a motorist who stopped to help the homeowner as he tried in vain to save his pet dog.
The motorist stopped Saturday afternoon and ran to the burning trailer home in the town of Clare. He pulled the stunned 81-year-old man to safety and then tried to enter the smoke-filled trailer to find the man's dog.
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Clare Police Officer Brian Gregory tells The Morning Sun that the dog was eventually found but despite extensive efforts to revive the dog "we couldn't save the little guy."
He says the scene was emotional because the elderly man's beloved dog was 22 years old.
Gregory says the man was taken to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. http://www.wndu.com/michigan/headlines/83770712.html

The Benefits of Home Security Cameras

Ralph Winn Feb 21, 2010
Home security cameras are a great part of any home security system, and provide a number of benefits for a relatively small initial outlay.
Having visible home security cameras installed around your property can be an excellent deterrent to potential burglars, trespassers, and arsonists. After all, they’re far less likely to commit a crime if they think they’re going to be caught.
Security cameras can also let you know who is at your door, or who is currently on the premises. They can be great for monitoring staff such as nannies or gardeners, as well as contractors. You can also use your security cameras to keep an eye on your children.
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If a criminal activity does occur on or near your premises, you can use the footage taken by your security cameras to help police or other law enforcement authorities identify and capture the culprit.
In addition to the various safety and security measures afforded by home security cameras, security cameras are also a great way to help bring down your home insurance premiums. The fact that can act as a deterrent to criminals means that your home is less at risk of a home invasion and burglary, meaning that you’re less likely to have to make a claim on your insurance policy.
The benefits of home security cameras far outweigh their costs, so consider incorporating them into your home security system today.

http://www.securityworldnews.com/index.php/2010/02/21/the-benefits-of-home-security-cameras/

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Smoking remains number one cause of home fire deaths

Some statistics tell us that smoking is on the rise; others tell us that it is declining. Either way, there are still plenty of smokers out there! Regarding home fires, it isn't only the smokers who suffer, as one-fourth of the people killed in home fires caused by smokers are non-smokers. Each year, almost 1,000 civilians (smokers and non-smokers) are killed in home fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials. Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States, and has been for years.
A fire broke out at 4:30 a.m. Dec. 28 in northeastern Mississippi. The fire was started by careless smokers, and it claimed the lives of the nine people in that apartment. The ages of the victims ranged from 25 years old down to the youngest victim, who was only 6 months old.
The safest thing that smokers can do for their families is to smoke outside. It may not be too difficult for some, but in Michigan, it takes a brave soul to head outside in the winter months for a smoke. There are many makeshift smoking lounges set up in Michigan garages, and that is better than smoking in the house.
Ashtrays should be large and sturdy. You want an ashtray that will hold the entire cigarette if you forget about it and leave it burning. You also want one sturdy enough that it will not tip over easily. Many states have Fire Safe Cigarettes, but some do not. The Fire Safe Cigarette is one that should self-extinguish once lit and not smoked for a short period of time.
This one may seems pretty simple, but never smoke in a house where oxygen is used for medical conditions. I can't tell you how many times I have seen emphysema patients smoking while a nasal cannula sits on their face. I have also responded to a number of fires where this was the cause.
Keep in mind that cigarettes burn at a lower temperature than open flames from a candle or match. When cigarettes come into contact with flammable materials, the materials tend to smolder before breaking out into flames. This is why so many cigarette-caused fires happen in the early morning hours, long after the cigarette has met ignitable materials and after the occupants have gone to bed.
Never smoke in bed, or when you are tired, medicated or intoxicated. This is where the high death toll really piles up — when people are not in an alert state of mind. Some general safety tips can go a long way in the homes of smokers and non-smokers alike. Have plenty of smoke alarms in the home, on all levels of the home and outside of sleeping areas. Make sure they are tested monthly and batteries are changed at least once a year. A home fire escape plan should be drawn up and practiced at least twice a year with the entire family.
Tom Kiurskiis training coordinator for the Livonia Fire Department.
http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20100218/NEWS10/2180589/1027/news10/Smoking+remains+number+one+cause+of+home+fire+deaths

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Trio charged in home break-in

By Catherine Kavanaugh, Daily Tribune Staff Writer
Suspects followed victim when she left work in Detroit.ROYAL OAK — Three more men have been charged for breaking into a Dorchester Avenue house and robbing the residents who hid in a closet and bathroom from what police describe as gun-toting intruders.Kyle Lester, 20, of Detroit, Justin Sanford, 19, of Farmington Hills, and Donte Leonard, 18, of Detroit each are being held on $500,000 bond for assault with intent to rob while armed, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, first-degree home invasion, and conspiracy to commit home invasion.The trio is scheduled for preliminary exams Feb. 26 in 44th District Court on the felonies, which carry penalties ranging from 20 years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both for home invasion, to life in prison for the armed robbery counts.The suspects reportedly followed a woman home from her job in Detroit about 3 a.m. Jan. 25, kicked in her front door and yelled, "ATF police, get down.""They were all involved in the forced entry," Lt. Gordon Young said.The culprits reportedly ran to an upstairs bedroom and stole property before fleeing when police arrived.Police arrested a suspected get-away car driver at the scene that night. Darius Lewis, 20, of Detroit was charged last month with unarmed robbery and conspiracy to commit unarmed robbery.A police dog from Madison Heights followed the trail of the suspects who ran through the back yard. The K-9 unit found a cell phone in the victim's yard and then tracked the culprits east to Symes Avenue through Kenwood Park. The dog found purses that belonged to the resident and her roommate and two handguns hidden in the landscaping of a house in the 600 block of Symes.The next day, the Oakland County Crime Suppression Task Force set up surveillance where the guns were found in case the suspects returned for the weapons. The three suspects charged Friday were part of a group that looked in bushes where the guns were located.Police said they believe the 27-year-old victim, who checks IDs at the door of Cheetah's, 19245 Eight Mile Road, was targeted randomly. She called police as soon as she got to her house in the 600 block of N. Dorchester Ave. to report that she had been followed from work.The victim hid with her children ages 5 and 7 in a bedroom closet while the roommate, 19, hid in the bathtub until police arrived. A Royal Oak dispatcher gave the mother updates on her cell phone as to where the responding officers were.Police said the victims were "terrified" but not hurt physically.Contact Catherine Kavanaugh at cathy.kavanaugh@dailytribune.com or (586) 783-0216.

http://www.dailytribune.com/articles/2010/02/17/news/srv0000007626267.txt

Police: Teen Tied Up During Break-In

Armed Men Rob Sterling Heights Family
POSTED: Monday, February 15, 2010
UPDATED: 8:12 pm EST February 15, 2010
HEDGE DRIVE, STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. -- A 15-year-old boy was bound and gagged with duct tape during a home invasion Friday in Sterling Heights, police said.
Sterling Heights police said two men broke into a home in the 3100 block of Hedge Drive and confronted the teen in the kitchen.
“They put a gun to my head and said, ‘Get down!” the teen told Local during an interview. “He tied me up with some wire and put the duct tape on me.”
The teen said he was then dragged into a bedroom closet.
Police said the teen's parents arrived home just before 10 p.m. and found the two intruders, one armed with a black handgun, still inside the house.
The husband told police the men stole his wallet and chased the wife outside of the house before leaving with stolen cash and jewelry.
“They tried to come back in the house. I locked the door and they took off, they had a gun,” the husband is heard telling a 911 operator.
The couple told police they were also robbed at gunpoint on New Year's Eve a short distance from their nail salon on Eight Mile and Schoenherr roads.
Police are investigating whether the same people committed the two robberies. Police said they believe when the husband’s wallet was stolen on New Year’s Eve, the thieves could have used his information to find his home.
Police released the following descriptions of the two intruders:
Black male, 25 years old, 6 feet 3 inches tall with a heavy build. He was wearing a dark navy jacket, jeans and a black mask.
Black male, 25 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall with a thin build. He was wearing a green hooded sweatshirt with yellow dots, jeans and a red mask.
Anyone with information on the robbery can anonymously text the Sterling Heights Police Department at 847411 and begin the message with "shpolice." Or, call the department at 586-446-2800.
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/22571315/detail.html

Police: CO Poisoning Kills Man

Rutherford Street House Was Cut Off From Gas
POSTED: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
UPDATED: 5:56 pm EST February 16, 2010
9911 RUTHERFORD STREET, DETROIT -- A 57-year-old man was found dead from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in a Detroit house Tuesday, Detroit police said.
Police said a friend found Welton Crawford deceased inside the west side house at 9911 Rutherford St.
Police said a 34-year-old woman who was also inside the house was hospitalized, but is expected to be OK.
Family members of the deceased told police a kerosene heater and generator had been warming the home since Monday after DTE removed gas sources from the house.
DTE said the house was improperly connected to gas and electric sources.
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/22581182/detail.html

Monday, February 15, 2010

Harper Woods considers cul-de-sacs to cut crime

BY CHRISTINA HALLFREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Harper Woods is looking to cut crime by using barriers to block some streets or create new traffic flow patterns.
Police Chief Randolph Skotarczyk conducted a feasibility study, and a draft report has been reviewed by the City Council. City Manager Jim Leidlein said the report has been sent back for revisions.
"It's not something I think should be approached lightly. ... It has potential," Skotarczyk said.
Harper Woods has several major roads and sits along I-94. City officials said blocking off some streets might make escape more difficult for those who commit crimes in the city.
Skotarczyk said crime has not increased greatly in Harper Woods, but said he believes the numbers are too high for a city of just 2.63 square miles with about 14,000 residents. Though serious crimes dropped in 2008 -- the last year for which totals were available -- robberies, carjackings and larcenies rose.
"I'm in favor of reducing crime," Skotarczyk said. "I'm not in favor of making life difficult for our residents. If it ends up angering your populace, it's not worth it."
Skotarczyk and Leidlein won't say which streets are being considered for changes and declined to release the draft report, saying it might cause unnecessary concerns among residents.
However, they have dropped some clues.
Skotarczyk said two areas where a trial run could provide insight are a four-square-block area in the southwest section of the city and the southeast part of town. Both areas, he said, have been hit hard by crime.
Council members and city officials said they intend to hold informational meetings to gather input before deciding whether any plan should be implemented.
Fire Chief Sean Gunnery said barriers minimally would affect his crews, who would be instructed on what streets to use and have maps.
In 2008, some streets in Detroit's Palmer Woods neighborhood were blocked in a test study to determine traffic flow impact, particularly on cut-through traffic from 7 Mile and Woodward.
Palmer Woods Association President Craig Vanderburg said there was about a 30% decrease in traffic flow. The group is working with the city to develop permanent changes, he said.
In Grosse Pointe Park, a few streets have barriers separating the city from Detroit. The closure of Korte in the early 1990s drew controversy when residents in both cities questioned if the motive was to keep black Detroiters from crossing into mostly white Grosse Pointe Park.
Grosse Pointe Park officials said the move was to control traffic problems and was not racially motivated.
Contact CHRISTINA HALL: 586-826-7265 or chall@freepress.com
http://freep.com/article/20100214/NEWS02/2140471/1320/City-considers-cul-de-sacs-to-cut-crime

Carbon Monoxide Issues

Question: I just bought a house with gas appliances and an older furnace. I'm worried about carbon monoxide poisoning.
Answer: You can't see, smell or taste carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person within a few minutes. In fact, this poisonous gas kills about 500 Americans every year.
Carbon monoxide is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned. Cars, trucks, small gasoline engines, furnaces, water heaters, grills, fireplaces, wood and gas stoves and lanterns all produce carbon monoxide.
If you maintain and use these items properly, poisoning should not be a problem. However, if engines and appliances aren't working properly, or if they are used in an enclosed or poorly ventilated area, carbon monoxide gas can build up and become deadly.
The initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and weakness. As the poisoning progresses, the person may become confused, have trouble breathing and pass out.
Because these symptoms are easy to confuse with a bad cold, the flu or food poisoning, the person may ignore them or put off getting medical care. If poisoning occurs while someone is sleeping, that person may die without ever realizing that anything was wrong.
If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, open windows and doors to ventilate rooms. Go outside to breathe fresh air. Call your fire department or other emergency personnel. If symptoms seem severe, ask to be taken to a hospital.
To help prevent a serious medical problem, install a carbon monoxide alarm that carries an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification outside sleeping areas and on every floor of your home. The alarm will sound before dangerous levels can build up. Other devices, such as carbon monoxide indicator cards, can help detect high levels, but they don't have an audible alarm to wake you.
Having an alarm, however, won't stop the buildup of toxic gas. The only way to avoid CO poisoning is to prevent it. These steps can help:
• Ask a mechanic to inspect your vehicle's exhaust system to make sure it is working correctly. In winter, make sure the tailpipe is free of snow. If you warm up your car, pull it out of the garage. Running the engine in the garage, even with the door open, puts you at risk.
• Hire a professional to install fuel-burning appliances such as a gas dryer or water heater. Make sure the equipment carries UL certification.
• Have your furnace, water heater and gas dryer inspected annually to make sure they are functioning correctly.
• Clean and check chimneys and flues for your woodstove and fireplace every year.
• If you have a kerosene heater or other type of fuel-burning room heater, use it only when you are awake. Make sure it is properly vented.
• Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors or in a garage.
• Do not use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is entirely preventable. Don't let maintenance on your home, vehicle and fuel-burning appliances slide. If the power goes out during a winter storm, be sure to use alternative heating sources properly. And if your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, don't ignore it even if you don't notice any symptoms.
Carbon monoxide is nicknamed the silent killer for a reason.
Have a question? Send it to
Harvard- adviser@hms.harvard.edu
http://www.freep.com/article/20100214/FEATURES08/2140324/1025/Features/Harvard-Medical-School-adviser

Friday, February 12, 2010

Seniors Evacuated From Apts. After Fire

Four Treated For Smoke Inhalation
POSTED: Thursday, February 11, 2010
UPDATED: 10:20 am EST February 11, 2010
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. -- Several senior citizens have been forced from their homes in Farmington Hills because of a fire.
The fire broke out at about 1 a.m. Thursday at the Baptist Manor — an assisted living home.
According to residents, it started in an upstairs laundry room. A woman smelled smoke and pounded on doors to alert other residents.
Four people were transported to Botsford Hospital with smoke inhalation.
Several apartments suffered water damage.
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/22530753/detail.html

Homeowners On Alert After Rash Of Break-Ins

(WXYZ) - Police are warning residents in Bloomfield Township to be on high alert after a rash of late-night break-ins. Police say there have been at least seven break-ins at homes in the area over the last couple of weeks. In some cases, doors were pried open, and in others the thief or thieves got in through unlocked doors.Police say, no one was home during any of the break-ins, and it's not known if the same suspect or suspects are involved in each crime.
http://www.wxyz.com/news/story/Homeowners-On-Alert-After-Rash-Of-Break-Ins/C4yGlbKhOkKgWa592UURlg.cspx

Monday, February 8, 2010

Missing Columbus man with Alzheimer's finds lucky break in West Michigan

By Tom Rademacher The Grand Rapids Press
February 07, 2010, 6:00AM
For reasons no one really knows — maybe to teach us all a subtle lesson — Sanford E. Mitchell climbed into his car one day last month and drove about 250 miles from his home in Columbus, Ohio, to Jenison.
Nothing unusual about a road trip, under normal circumstances. But Mitchell, who is 79, recalls only bits and pieces of the trip, due to the early effects of Alzheimer’s.
The Ohio Missing Adult Alert System was activated, but it would be two long days before his family in Columbus would know whether he was dead or alive.
Thanks in large part to a gentleman by the name of Stephon Blackwell, Mitchell not only was alive, but ended up watching football and eating meatloaf and cornbread with mashed potatoes and green beans while waiting to be reunited with loved ones.
The drama began two weekends ago when Mitchell drove away from his Columbus apartment in his silver Toyota Camry.
The next untold number of hours is a big question mark, but this much is known: somehow, he made it safely to Jenison, where he parked his car, then wandered a short distance into the Speedway station at 279 Baldwin St.
Dave Barrett was working behind the counter when the driver approached and said he was just a couple of blocks from home and needed gas to make it the rest of the way.
About then, Stephon Blackwell came in. He is a regular patron and had just finished attending Sunday services at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church on Franklin Street SE in Grand Rapids.
“We call ourselves ‘The Friendly Church on the Corner,’” Blackwell told me.
Blackwell was only looking for some snacks to take to his home in Jenison when Barrett started sharing details about the elderly gentleman who had just walked in seeking fuel.
Both men realized from the way Mitchell talked and acted that something wasn’t adding up. For one, he was pointing in different directions to where he left his car.
He seemed confused in general.
This is the point in the story where you and I get to play multiple choice:
A. Leave the problem in the hands of the guy at the Speedway, or another.
B. Call a cop.
C. Assume the old codger will figure things out on his own.
D. Actually put into practice what so many wear on their wrists, challenging one another to consider “WWJD,” or “What Would Jesus Do?”
Without thinking twice, Blackwell, a 49-year-old painter with a wife and daughter, chose D.
“C’mon, man,” Blackwell said to Mitchell as they stood outside the Speedway. “Get in my truck. It’s cold out here.”
A call to family
Blackwell was able to get a phone number from Mitchell that linked to his daughter, but Mitchell didn’t remember the area code, only that she lived in Columbus.
Incredibly, Blackwell had recently done some painting in — of all places, Columbus — and it wasn’t long before he was connecting with Mitchell’s daughter, Sandra Phipps, 42.
“She was hollering. She was hysterical,” Blackwell recalled.
“She told me he’d been missing almost two days and that all of Columbus, Ohio, was looking for him.”
Later, Sandra would share that she was beside herself with worry, not knowing whether her father was dead or alive.
“I’m his daddy’s girl,” she said. “That’s my heart.”
Blackwell shared details with Sandra over the phone, building trust between the two of them, then posed a question: “Do you think it’s OK if I take him home today?”
Sandra said yes and that she would drive up to get him.
After giving her directions to his home, Blackwell and Mitchell drove off for Sunday dinner in his 2000 Chevy Silverado.
Gracious hostsStephon’s wife Lisa, 50, greeted them at the door. Daughter Alona, 8, took the old man’s coat. They prayed, then they ate, listening to Mitchell share stories of picking cotton in the South long before ending up in Ohio.
“I’ll tell you what,” said Blackwell of their guest, “he could eat. He probably hadn’t eaten in two days, but I don’t know. He didn’t say.”
In the basement, they watched football, two pro games that would set up today’s Super Bowl.
“He propped his legs up,” Blackwell said. “He was chilling.”
Sandra called every half hour to update her progress as she drove north with husband Rodney and a friend. It took them the better part of six hours.
When she arrived, “I hugged her,” said Blackwell, “and, then, she bolted down the steps and it was on. It was crazy. It was ‘Daddy, daddy, daddy,’ and they were both crying and hugging.
“We had a prayer and, then, they left.”
Mitchell’s daughter is a pastor at New Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Ohio, so she has had plenty of opportunity to preach about love and loss, affairs of the heart.
But this struck close to home and showed her in a personal way that “God is at work in everything” and how “He’s still working miracles today.”
I asked Blackwell what prompted him to take a stranger into his home, to feed him and entertain him and keep him warm. What made him choose D?
“I just thought,” the painter answered, “that when I saw him, I saw somebody’s father, somebody’s grandfather, standing there in the cold, standing there in the snow.”
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/02/local_man_takes_in_elderly_gen.html

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Local Firefighter Becomes Family Hero

Travis Anders, Rives-Tompkins Firefighter: "I don't consider myself a hero at all. I'm just glad everybody's alive."
A local firefighter saves his neighbor's lives. That Jackson County family's home is gone, but they're happy to be alive. When someone passing by the Tompkins Township home spotted flames, they called 911. That's when Travis Anders got paged and rushed to the rescue.
Travis Anders: "I live just a couple houses down the road, so came here straight to the scene. When I showed up, the flames were actually coming through the roof."
The volunteer firefighter says he busted down the door.
Travis Anders: "And I was yelling, "fire department!," to see if anybody was in there."
At first no one responded. He says, that's because everyone was asleep.
Travis Anders: "They were not aware that the fire had started, so I told them to get out, so then they actually refused and didn't want to."
Anders says they didn't believe him, and actually thought someone was trying to break in. It wasn't until he convinced the family to come outside and see the flames for themselves that all four people made it out safely.
Travis Anders: "It's just what we do, no, I don't consider myself a hero at all. I'm just glad everybody's alive and OK."
Although he says he's no hero, what Anders did was heroic and may have prevented tragedy. The Red Cross is helping the family, and for now they're staying with relatives. Firefighters say the cause of that fire is not known at this time.
http://www.wlns.com/Global/story.asp?S=11919132&nav=5D7v

17-year-olds arraigned in Harper Woods break-ins

Two 17-year-old Harper Woods boys were arraigned today on attempted home invasion charges after Harper Woods police said they tried to break into a house on Kenmore.
http://www.michiganstandard.com/17-year-olds-arraigned-in-harper-woods-break-ins/

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Metro Detroit schools step up security

Maureen Feighan / The Detroit News
Locked doors. Surveillance cameras. Keyless entry systems. Two-way radios.
Sound like the county jail? Try many local school districts.
More than 10 years after the Columbine High School shootings outside Denver permanently shattered the sense of security at schools across the country, districts across Metro Detroit continue to take steps to bolster security on their campuses.
Oxford Community Schools plans to spend $1 million reconfiguring the front entrances of its seven schools so visitors are directly routed to the front office. Chippewa Valley Schools wants to install surveillance cameras at its middle and elementary schools if voters approve a bond proposal next month.
And the Berkley School District plans to rework the front entrances of its high school and elementary schools, many of which are more than 60 years old, relocating them closer to parking areas to boost security if voters approve a $168 million bond next month. District leaders say it's not that their schools or communities are unsafe, but they need to do everything they can to keep students as secure as possible.
"Security is here to stay," said Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Mark Deldin. "We have an obligation to our community to make sure we don't drop the ball on having a lax security plan. We live in a different world today."
But at least one national school safety expert said it's not enough to put surveillance cameras in schools and reconfigure entranceways. Staff training is critical and school policies on paper don't always match up to what's happening in reality, he said.
"The first and best line of defense is always a well-trained staff and student body," said Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school security consultant who's worked in school safety for more than 25 years and performs assessments across the country.
New measures added
School-associated violent deaths among children 5-18 years old continue to be rare events across the country, according to a joint report by the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Forty-three school-associated violent deaths occurred during the 2007-2008 school year, the most recent year that data was available, down from 57 in 1992-1993, according to the report. School-associated violent deaths include homicides, suicides or any unintentional firearm-related deaths.
The study, released in December, also found that far more children are killed away from school property than on it. Nearly 1,750 students, ages 5 to 18, were killed in homicides during the 2006-2007 school year -- all but 30 of those occurred away from school.
Still, districts in Michigan have taken steps to make their schools more secure, said William Mayes, executive director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators. Schools have crisis intervention plans and districts often work closely with local police departments, he added.
"There is a great effort to make sure each and every student in the state of Michigan goes to school in a safe environment," he said.
Detroit Public Schools has some of the most extreme safety measures in place. Metal detectors and security guards are standard at district high schools. The district used to search students' clothing, backpacks and cars, but agreed to stop unless they had reasonable suspicion under a 2006 court order. The American Civil Liberties Union is now suing the district, alleging it violated that order at Mumford High School.
District officials, who couldn't be reached Thursday, have said they did increase security at Mumford because of ongoing problems there but denied they've conducted unconstitutional mass searches.
Entrances revised
And while metal detectors are less common in suburban districts, many are modifying school entrances to create "secured entryways." Parents and visitors can enter a front set of doors to get in the school's vestibule. There, they'll find a door to the front office because the doors to the actual school are locked.
Oxford decided to reconfigure its building entrances after former Fire Chief Jack LeRoy contacted the district two years ago to talk about security and a committee was formed with school administrators, police, fire and local leaders.
"As part of that, they did a walk through of all of our buildings, and we discovered our buildings were very vulnerable," said Jim Skilling, the Oxford Schools superintendent.
"In some cases, we don't even have visibility from the main office. Someone could come into our parking lot and we wouldn't know it ... We decided we needed to do something so someone would have to physically go into the office before entering the building."
Chippewa Valley Schools also has reworked its school entrances to guide visitors directly to the office, one of several new security measures over the last six years. The district also has completed the first phase of a swipe card access system at some of its schools.
And if voters approve an $89 million bond proposal next month, surveillance cameras -- roughly 600 are already in place at the district's two high schools and ninth-grade centers -- would also be installed at its four middle and 12 elementary schools.
Jerry Davisson, principal of Chippewa Valley High School, said he can't say enough about the surveillance cameras, which have been inside and outside the building since last March. He said they've cut down on bullying, vandalism, fighting, even theft.
"There's no way they're going to get away with stuff," Davisson said. "It's a deterrent more than anything."
Renee Jaczkowski of Clinton Township, the mother of fourth- and fifth-graders at Erie Elementary School, likes the new swipe card system there. And reconfiguring the school's entrance "was one of the best things that has happened to our school," she said, noting that the school is a polling place on election day and anyone could come in to vote.
"I do think you can never have too much security," said Jaczkowski, co-president of Erie's parent-teacher organization. "Is it absolutely necessary? I would hope that it wouldn't be. But in today's world, we want our kids to be safe."
Critics question extent
Still, is there such a thing as too much security? At least one school board member in Clinton Township thinks some measures go overboard, such as metal detectors.
"Obviously you want your kid to feel safe going to school," said Jason Davidson, president of the Clintondale School Board.
"(But) when you're talking about putting in metal detectors in (suburban districts), nobody wants to feel like they're going into a prison. Unfortunately things can happen anywhere. But at what point do you stop?"
mfeighan@detnews.com (586) 468-0520 From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100129/SCHOOLS/1290394/1026/local/Metro-Detroit-schools-step-up-security#ixzz0eONVoJeW