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Warning About Crime

October 6, 2011

Recognizing that many people are overloaded with emails we try not to over-communicate.  Our e-bulletin last week about crime generated so many responses that we knew this was a timely and relevant topic. One response in particular, from Keith Fisher, the owner of Keyth Security  (www.keyth.com) merited this follow-up bulletin.  Chartwell Insurance Services is not affiliated with Keyth Security, nor do we accept compensation for referrals to Keyth.  However, Keith Fisher is a resource for us on security issues (keep reading to see why) and his company is a respected name in both residential and commercial security in the Chicagoland area.

RESPONSE FROM KEITH FISHER
Rebecca is accurate on “sticking” to common sense procedures before opening any doors.  We are using various techniques and equipment to protect us all from the actions of a “would be” thief…. Any deterrents should take into consideration that there are at least TWO parties that need to be informed  that ill intent or danger is near.  Those two parties are “the trespasser” and the “Home Owner”.   If the trespasser is discovered early on and they know it….that may send the proper message to cause them to “abort” their mission.  Same issue with the home owner- they need early warning of possible threats of ill intent.  Therefore your combination of security techniques should encompass a 4 part recipe.  That recipe is in my opinion “ You need to strike a balance of SECURITY, PEACE OF MIND, CONVENIENCE AND COST !  Perhaps more credence is emphasized on one or more of the 4 part tiers…. But none the less they all dovetail into one another.   In short we all have to still live and function in our security environment.

-Outdoor Talking Motion Sensors- that include a small speaker to speak prerecorded warnings “ Warning! Warning! you have entered into a surveillance area”
-Outdoor and inside the Area Garage a product such as our “Gesture ID” this is the melding of “Live Eye” remote video monitoring, Camera surveillance, Audio feedback and Human driven facial recognition.  Akin to Guard On Premise but remote at the central station
-Video Door Intercom- this is where you have a small video camera at the front door which incorporates audio as well.  This can be a stand alone unit located just at the door- easy to use.
-Proper security locks, proper procedures to safeguard someone slipping in as you pull into the garage.
-Alarm WIRELESS PANIC buttons can perform local siren noises as well as central station monitored- police dispatching.  One of the most obvious issues is WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED— In your basement? In your Garage ? Fixed Panic buttons may help mitigate this dilemma.

  • Adopt a NO ANSWER Door policy period ! Unless you call for service first.  I suspect we will see a world of “Just in Time” verification from service vendors who may routinely service or deliver items to the home.
  • -Adopt a more rigid policy of asking for copies of State I.D.’s such as a drivers license and actually copying with a small scanner or copy machine kept near your front door who came to your home, date, time in/out and their purpose.  This is routinely performed by almost every building residential and commercial these days.

  • As we continue to achieve security comfort levels – most certainly a combination of procedures and technology will continue to “shave the odds” on perhaps you from becoming a victim of crime.

    Keith Fisher On 10/3/11 10:15 AM, “Rebecca Korach” <//chartwell.disentropy.com/uploads/rwoan@chartwellins.com“>rwoan@chartwellins.com> wrote:

Last week I received several disturbing emails about crimes in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. There was a failed attempt to lure two young girls to a car while they participated in a gym class in a local park one morning. Several robberies have occurred in alleys at various times of the day and night. The most disturbing incident occurred in mid-afternoon when an offender knocked on the door of a home, was let in, and then assaulted and robbed the woman who answered the door.
 
This message  is a reminder to all of us to review with our families and household employees the best practices for home safety.  As part of our insurance practice we visit many clients in their homes and I am often astonished at how quickly the door swings open when I ring the doorbell. Sometimes household employees have been told in advance to expect me, but more often than not, the door is frequently opened before any identification is made.  
 
No one who is not personally known to anyone inside the home should  be given an open door until their identity is confirmed.   Delivery personnel from major shippers now have identification badges as do all law enforcement personnel.  Initial communication should take place from behind a closed or chained door until the identity is verified.
 
Entering a garage from a city alley presents its own set of dangers. To help prevent alley assaults and robberies do not  drive into the garage until you have checked the area for suspicious-looking persons.  Once inside, after checking the rear view mirror close the garage door before exiting the vehicle. Whenever possible, back into the garage, though this can be difficult in tight city alleys.
 
Suburban residents should not dismiss this message as an urban issue. We  have heard of  groups described by the police as “gypsies” who pose as gardeners and construction workers. They divert someone in front of the home while an accomplice slips into the home through another entrance  and quickly robs the home. We have also heard  of cat burglars who enter the home at night while the residents are sleeping.  
 
Many opportunistic crimes would be prevented with locked doors and windows and a refusal to open the front door.   Security products are available that may increase the safety of your household.  These include cameras, both analog and digital.  The most basic systems are unmonitored by alarm companies or household employees and record to a DVD recorder in the home, usually with  30 days of memory. Cameras may be monitored locally in the home or can be triggered by movement and monitored by remote surveillance services.  Any cameras under consideration should have a resolution high enough to read license plates and record facial features for post-crime identification.  A camera system can be  an effective tool for immediate protection when there is a guard or watchperson on the premises.  

A more modest and lower cost device is a panic button which can be an effective solution.  Most newer household alarms can accommodate a wireless panic button which is operated like a car key fob. When activated the panic button can trigger a call to the police and, if desired, an audible alarm.    
 
Each household should review their current exposure to crime and  examine the security options and products available   which best accommodate their lifestyle and their budget. As the economy has weakened robberies and burglaries have increased.  These facts should remind everyone to be vigilant and to develop their own best security practices for their homes and families.  
 
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.
 
Chartwell Insurance Services, Inc. is an independent insurance broker specializing in the personal asset protection of high net worth individuals.  

A representative of Chartwell Insurance Services, Inc. will be pleased to discuss all aspects of your personal insurance.  Contact: Rebecca Korach Woan | 312. 645.1200 | rwoan@chartwellins.com