Security Guards Are In Demand!

Have you ever considered becoming a private security guard? If you’ve ever wondered about the job before, you may have also wondered if it’s a reliable career choice- are security guards really in demand? The answer is yes! Not only can the job be extremely rewarding, but the demand continues to increase with no signs of stopping. More and more businesses and private property owners are discovering that having safety and security needs met is invaluable, and in many cases hiring a guard service can even boost business! Some reasons why security guards are in demand are:

  • Private security presence gives people peace of mind. Knowing that someone is posted specifically to keep an eye out for trouble means less time worrying!
  • Security guards are an excellent deterrent; people are way less likely to commit crimes or cause trouble if they see guards posted. By simply being present at a location, a security guard can be preventing burglaries, shoplifting, vandalism and other crimes.
  • In the workplace, employees can be more productive with the added sense of security brought by guards, and in turn, can provide better customer service.
  • For businesses that operate at night, guards can ensure that the parking lots are safe and that employees feel secure when walking to their cars, collecting carts or assisting customers.
  • Security guards provide customer service, giving directions, escorting or assisting customers, which makes them extremely valuable at event venues.
  • While having security cameras in place is a great deterrent, posting guards is more effective, as issues can be dealt with instantly, in real time.
  • Issues can be dealt with proactively, rather than reactively, minimizing the amount of trouble, time and resources for everyone.

These are just a few reasons why there’s job security in the private security world. If you’re interested in learning more about what it’s like to be a security guard, check out this post! If you believe that being a security officer is a good fit for you, then please contact us. Weinstein Security is hiring for Security Guard Services in Sonoma and Napa Counties.

Avoiding Distractions While Driving

Distracted driving is an activity that claims thousands of lives yearly, and the sad thing is it’s easily preventable. Eating, texting, talking, or fiddling with the radio are all examples of distracted driving; anything that takes your eyes and attention off the road. Driving is something most of us do every day, so it becomes like second nature; sometimes that makes it easy to slip into unsafe habits. Here at Weinstein, our security guards drive daily through Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties, and safety is one of our primary concerns. Together we can help make the North Bay’s roads safer for everyone!

One of the best places to start with distracted driving prevention is before you even get in the car. Put on your makeup, brush your hair, and eat before you even get in the vehicle, so you won’t be tempted to do these while driving. Adjust your mirrors, GPS, seats, etc first thing when you get in the car before you even start moving. Bundle up anything that might be loose and could roll around in your car, so that you don’t have to reach down to grab anything. Always keep in mind that having children or pets in the car can lead to distractions; simply being aware of this can help you stay more focused!

The advent of cellphones has been especially tricky in terms of distracted driving, as many people feel the urge to respond to texts and calls as soon as they happen. It’s important to remember that reading or sending a text requires you to take your eyes off the road for a minimum of 5 seconds, which can be potentially very dangerous, especially at higher speeds. One of the great things about cell phones is that you can easily get back to people at your convenience; always wait until you’re parked and finished driving before returning calls and texts! If you have trouble ignoring your phone while driving, turn it off until you get to your destination.

Being tired is also a type of distracted driving; the more tired you are, the slower your response time tends to be. Even if you feel awake enough to be driving, it’s important to be extra cautious; reducing your speed and allowing room between vehicles will allow you extra time to avoid any potential mishaps that may happen on the road. If you’re feeling so tired that you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open, pull into a rest stop or over to the side of the road for a bit until you feel more alert. Studies have shown impulse control goes down when you’re tired, so being tired can actually make it harder for you to ignore your phone if it rings! Just remember that no phone call or text is worth any kind of injury- to you or others. Practicing safe, alert driving is a great way to contribute to the safety of our community! 

Curious About Becoming a Security Guard?

 Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a security guard? Due to Movies and T.V., you may have some misconceptions about what the job is like from day to day. The media often tends to portray the job as either boring or dangerous; we’d like to offer a little information about what a career in private security is really like!

The idea that working in security is boring may depend on the type of person you are. We definitely don’t find it boring! One great things about the job is that you’re not stuck at a desk all day; you’ll often have ample opportunity to be moving around and getting fresh air. If you enjoy people, but worry about having a solitary job, you may be happy to learn that much of your day will often be dedicated to interacting with the public; greeting people, giving assistance, and sometimes politely but sternly requesting people leave the property or stop activities they might be doing. For example, if you’re stationed at a construction site, you may be asking people not to trespass.

Other things you may be doing is patrolling properties in a car or on foot, particularly during night shifts.  One of the great things about working for our company is we are happy to change up your guard posts if you’re the type of person who enjoys a change of pace and scenery!  Due to the fact that security guards often work alone, this is a great, low stress position for people who enjoy working by themselves and don’t want to be micro managed.

The second misconception is that the job is dangerous. All of the sites we send our guards to are very safe, and do not require any self-defense or weapons training.  We only employ unarmed guards, so you won’t be carrying weapons.  While  some guard companies employ armed guards, we don’t use aggressive techniques. You’ll be able to make a citizen’s arrest if needed, but our clients prefer guard services that require common sense and communication skills.  If you see any criminal activity, such as a burglary, your job is to keep your distance and call the police.   

If you believe that being a security officer is a good fit for you then please contact us. Weinstein Security is hiring for Security Guard Services in Sonoma and Napa Counties.


Brush Up On Pedestrian Safety

Spring is in the air; the sun is shining and everything is green- a perfect time to spend more time outside and walking.  With more people out and about, it’s a perfect time to review pedestrian safety!  We all know pedestrians have the right of way, and that motorists need to be aware of them; however, it’s equally important as a pedestrian to practice defensive walking. Defensive walking means being aware of your surroundings at all times and eliminating risks while doing so.  Brush up on some defensive tips, and then get out there and enjoy some beautiful weather!

  1. When walking, make sure to always cross the street in designated crossing areas, and always follow the walk/don’t walk signals rather than the traffic signals.  Make sure you still pay attention to traffic while you’re crossing- don’t assume cars will follow the traffic signals.     
  2. Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, it’s safest to walk facing oncoming traffic, so you can easily see the cars and what they’re doing.
  3. Always wear bright or reflective clothing and bring a flashlight when going for night walks to increase your visibility.
  4. Avoid using your phone or other devices while walking.  Devices are distracting and take the focus off what’s going on around you, greatly increasing the risk of getting injured.
  5. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets- this lets you know they see you and makes the driver more aware that you are crossing.  
  6. Avoid wearing hats or hoods that obscure your vision.  Make sure you’re able to see any obstacles that you may encounter!
  7. Be cautious when walking near driveways; it can be hard for drivers to see when they’re backing out of the driveway.  If someone is backing out, it’s safest to stop and allow them to go, rather than assume they see you.

February is Safety Awareness Month

February is Safety Awareness month, so we’re sharing our favorite safety & security tips.  What does safety actually mean?  Safety is both being physically safe from harm and also the act of avoiding situations with recognized hazards to keep yourself safe.  Practicing good safety starts at home, so always be sure to be aware of potential hazards in your daily life.  Review these great tips, and visit our other posts for more detailed information on these topics!

1. Be careful when walking to your car at night; stay in lit areas, walk with others, and always be aware of your surroundings.

2. Utilize your phone as a safety tool; make sure you have all your emergency contact info programmed into your phone so it’s quick and easy to access.

3. Be cautious and trust your gut when dealing with people through online services; always agree to meet in public places, and only exchange goods, services, or money in person.  

4. Check your fire and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to make sure they’re working, and be sure to replace the batteries as needed.

5. Make sure light bulbs are the correct wattage for the lamp you’re using them in- incorrect wattage is the number one reason for electrical fires!

6. Create an emergency kit for your car in case you break down and have to wait awhile for help to arrive; water, snacks, a first aid kit, and matches are a great start.  Check the blog for more great ideas.

7. Periodically revisit emergency contact lists and meeting areas with your child to make sure they know what to do in case of emergencies.

8. If you’re going hiking, make a trip plan for your family members saying where you’re going and when you expect to be back; if you’re not home when you’re expected, they’ll have some information on where to look for you.

9. Never leave cooking food unattended; fires can start quickly, particularly if grease is involved!  Being present physically and mentally while cooking will ensure you’re able to react quickly if something does catch on fire.


Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month

January is carbon monoxide awareness month, and for good reason; there are more carbon monoxide deaths this month than any other time of the year.  The cold weather causes more people to use heat sources such as gas furnaces, generators, and propane, and perhaps unsurprisingly, carbon monoxide deaths are higher in states where winters are very cold.  Carbon monoxide is the byproduct of fuels that haven’t burned completely, and is an odorless, colorless gas that can easily go unnoticed; it’s often referred to as “the silent killer”.  Even the symptoms of poisoning (headaches, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath or confusion) can be overlooked or mistaken for other illnesses, such as the flu.  Make sure you and your family stay safe while warm this winter with these tips!Install at least one carbon monoxide detector in a central location in the house and test it monthly.  For optimal safety, it’s a good idea to have several throughout the house that communicate with each other.

1. When installing detectors, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for placement and height requirements.

2. Replace your detectors as needed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

3. Don’t use your gas stove to heat the house.

4. Have your chimney, furnace, and heating vents inspected and serviced annually.

5. Don’t warm up your vehicle inside a garage, even if the door is open.  Cars produce a lot of carbon monoxide, and keeping it in the enclosed area is risky.  Move your car outside the garage as soon as you start it up, and warm it up outside.

6. Only use generators, furnaces, and grills outside and in a well-ventilated area away from doors, windows and vents to prevent gas from seeping into the house.

7. If you live in a place that snows, make sure all vents to dryers, fireplaces, and furnaces aren’t blocked by snow or ice; likewise, make sure your car’s tailpipe is clear of snow as well!

8. Check with your local fire department where to call if your alarm sounds, and keep the number handy- just in case!

9. If your alarm sounds, immediately go outside or near an open door or window and make sure everyone else in the house does as well.  Call the phone number you received from the fire department, and wait outside until they’ve inspected and cleared your house.

10. Make sure you’re aware of the symptoms of poisoning. If at any point you feel unwell, and suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside ASAP!  It’s always better to error on the side of caution. Call emergency personnel to check both you and your house out, and don’t go back into the house until it’s clear.

Package Piracy Prevention Tips

pexels-photo-29410Tis that time of the year- holidays, family gatherings, and presents!  Unfortunately, porch poaching appears to be on the rise around the country.   A study conducted in 2015 by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International estimates that about 23 million American have had a package stolen at some point.  That’s a lot of hard earned money and long-awaited gifts going down the drain.  This holiday season, make sure you receive everything you’ve been waiting for by preventing porch theft with these handy tips!

  1. Get tracking on all your packages, so you know when they’re on their way and when they arrive.  If you know your package is out for delivery today, and deliveries usually come between 2-3pm, you can schedule a time to be around to directly receive your package.
  2. Leave instructions for your mail carrier.  The standard instructions are for carriers to leave the package at the door if there’s no response- but this is the easiest way for someone to steal your goodies!  If you know the package will be delivered at an inopportune time of day, you can leave instructions for the package to be left with a neighbor or to bring it back to the post office until you can pick it up.
  3. If you’re going out of town, you can have the USPS put a hold on your mail for up to 30 days for free!
  4. Have packages delivered to your workplace during work hours (make sure it’s ok with your boss first!).
  5. Use FedEx and USP apps.  Both companies offer web apps that allow you to reroute and reschedule your delivery, in case you’re not going to be home that day, for a fee.
  6. Utilize Amazon lockers.  You may have seen these big yellow lockers popping up around convenience and grocery stores; if you shop with Amazon, they can ship your parcels to these handy lockers to keep your package safe for up to three days.  Once your parcel arrives, you’ll be sent a code by text that will unlock your locker.  Read more about Amazon lockers here.
  7. Post a warning sign for a surveillance system.  You may or may not have one in place, but it’s been shown that such signs greatly deter theft.
  8. Install a smart security camera at your door.  An obvious camera may be enough to keep thieves from even thinking about taking your goodies, but if they do, you have evidence of the theft and should be able to use that for a refund or replacement.  You may also be able to catch the perpetrator!



Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

food-pot-kitchen-cooking-largeThe holidays are almost here, and that means family, fun, and food!  What could be better?  To make sure you and your family stay safe and healthy during the holidays, check out these helpful holiday kitchen tips.

  1. Don’t leave your cooking unattended. Holiday time can be very distracting, especially if you’re multi-tasking in the kitchen and have a house full of guests! Fires can easily start if you walk away and get wrapped up in conversation, or your food could get over cooked.  Encourage guests to visit with you while you cook.
  2. Keep a flame-retardant potholder or oven mitt handy while cooking. If a fire starts in the pan or on the stove, you can put the mitt or potholder over it to smother the fire.
  3. Tilt hot cookware lids away from your face when opening them. Steam burns hurt! By tilting away from you, you can safely redirect the steam away from you.
  4. Roll up your sleeves or wear a short sleeved shirt. Long sleeves can hang down and become a fire hazard. Long sleeves can also get in your food while you’re preparing it, which is unsanitary and a way to cross contaminate your food.
  5. Check that your fire detector works and that you have a fire extinguisher available. Just in case!
  6. Avoid turkey fryers. Yes, fried turkey is delicious, but turkey fryers cause many fires yearly because of their extreme flammability. They can also cause terrible burns.  If you do decide to use one, make sure to use it outdoors only, and check out these helpful tips:
  7. Wash hands and all food prep surfaces thoroughly. Keeping everything sanitary will prevent food-borne illness.
  8. Refrigerate leftovers promptly. To prevent food-borne illnesses, make sure to refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours after cooking. Store it in small containers to speed up chill time.
  9. Avoid cross contamination. Meat should always be prepared separately from other food to prevent it’s bacteria from contaminating other foods. An easy way to do this is to prepare your meat after preparing other foods.
  10. Don’t stuff the turkey ahead of time. If you make your stuffing in advance, store it separately from the turkey and stuff it right before you’re ready to cook it. This prevents your stuffing from soaking up potentially bacteria-laden juices that might be inside the turkey.

For more questions on fire safety, please consult your local fire department!  Also, check out last month’s blog post about fire safety:

Fire Safety: Stay Safe While Being Warm This Winter!

wood-fireplace-horizontalOctober is National Fire Prevention Month, and it’s easy to see why.  As the weather starts to turn colder and the natural light drops, we all tend to spend more time indoors, using more electricity and heat.  While this makes for a cozy environment in the home, it’s even more important to ensure that your house is protected against potential fire hazards.  Check out these great tips to make sure you’re on the right track to having a safe and happy winter!

  1. Check your fire and carbon dioxide detectors. Do all the batteries work? Make sure you have several detectors spread throughout the house and one posted in or outside of your bedroom.  If your house has multiple levels, make sure you have at least one detector on each.  It’s recommended they’re hung at least a foot below ceiling level.
  2. Figure out an emergency exit plan and make sure your house has clear pathways in case a fire starts. Fires can spread very quickly, so making sure that you can get easily out of the house is crucial. If you have children, practice the escape route and designate a spot to meet so that everyone can easily find each other.
  3. Make sure you have fire extinguishers.  Fire extinguishers are very important to have around, but they aren’t all the same- make sure you have one specific to grease and oil fires in the kitchen. The fireplace is another good area to have an extinguisher, particularly as the weather gets colder! Also make sure everyone in the family knows how to use them.
  4. Make sure that lightbulbs are the correct wattage for the lamp you’re using it in. Believe it or not, this is one of the leading causes of electrical fires!
  5. Check your electrical equipment for frayed wires, and make sure electrical outlets aren’t overloaded. Most houses have breaker boxes that will shut off electricity from an outlet if it gets overloaded, but older houses often have very outdated ones. With newer appliances requiring more electricity, it’s easier to overload the outlets on an older home.
  6. Make sure space heaters are placed at least 3 feet away from walls or materials that could catch fire. Coil space heaters are especially dangerous, because the coil gets so hot and can easily ignite anything combustible that it touches.
  7. Carefully inspect your fireplace, especially if you haven’t used it all year. Does it look sound from the outside? When looking up the chimney from inside the house, does it appear clear of combustible things, such as bird’s nests?  You should be able to see light if you have the damper open.  Make sure the firebox itself looks ok and that there aren’t any cracks or condensation.  If you see any- make sure to get it serviced before you use it.