Nov 102014

As we enter into the silly season, many of you will be venturing forth to do some holiday shopping. While online shopping is, of course, extremely popular, there is still a significant percentage of people who prefer visiting the stores in person. Whether that’s because they enjoy seeing the stores all decked out in holiday decorations or because they, for some twisted reason, love large crowds, the fact is that you need to take some common sense precautions when holiday shopping (as well as at any other time, of course).

How to Stay Safe Shopping During the Holidays

First, using credit cards is far safer than using cash. Cards can be canceled if lost. Cash, once it is gone, is gone forever. Plus, major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) often offer purchase protection. They will fight on your behalf should a retailer do something less than honorable. There is a risk in using credit, though, because it can be all too easy to spend over your self-imposed limits. Plus, there’s interest that can accrue if you’re unable to pay that balance in full when the bill arrives. But, when it comes to safe shopping, credit cards are the way to go if that’s a viable option for you.

Always be sure to get your card back from the cashier. When things are hectic at the store, mistakes (accidental or intentional) can happen. Take a second to look at the card handed to you and make sure it is yours. By the way, writing CID or See ID on the back of the card in place of your signature is a boneheaded move and many retailers won’t accept it any more. Doing this provides you with absolutely no extra protection whatsoever.

Staying Safe During Holiday Shopping

If you decide to use cash, count your change carefully. Many cashiers today just don’t do this anymore so you’ll have to do it for them. If you are carrying a large sum of cash, say your entire holiday shopping budget, it is wise to spread this out among several pockets. There are many styles of “body safes” and other hidden wallets you could utilize if that appeals to you. If nothing else, keep the bulk of your money relatively inaccessible, such as in your sock. As needed, hit a bathroom and peel off a few bills to put in your pocket for the next round of purchases.

Purse Security

For those who carry a purse, always carry it with the strap going across your body, from one shoulder to the opposite hip. This helps prevent purse snatchers from grabbing it on the run. Related to this, don’t ever put your purse in a shopping cart and leave it unattended for even a second. Far better to just keep it on your body. Again, though, don’t keep all of your cash in the purse. An experienced thief could cut the purse strap and keep on running.

If you’re shopping at a mall or some other place where you’re likely to amass several bags or boxes, make periodic trips to your car to unload. Stash your goodies in the trunk, where they won’t be visible. What you want to avoid is walking out to your car, trying to juggle a bunch of packages as you dig for your keys. Keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. Before leaving the store, arrange everything so you have your keys in your hand and ready to use. If anything seems amiss, if your Spidey Sense is tingling, so to speak, immediately turn around and go back into the store. Ask if you could have an employee walk out to your vehicle with you. If you’re at a mall, contact mall security for this.

Too Many Shopping Bags?

Shopping with a friend is typically far more fun, as well as safer. Some folks like to arrange for shopping parties, for lack of a better term, where a bunch of them get together and spend a day hitting a ton of stores. While this might not appeal to everyone, even just having one person with you can make for a much safer shopping trip. Criminals tend to target those who are alone.

Vehicle Safety while Holiday Shopping

When you get into your vehicle, buckle up and drive away as soon as possible. A somewhat common tactic for criminals is to approach a victim just after they’ve gotten into the vehicle, while they are fixing their hair, tuning the radio, or are otherwise distracted. If you simply must do these things before moving on to the next store, pull out of your parking space and drive to a different part of the parking lot, one that is free of obstructions like other cars so you can see all around you. Stop there and do what you need to do before moving on to your next destination.

Above all else, practice what we call situational awareness. Be aware of what’s around you, rather than wearing the proverbial blinders so many others keep on their heads. Pay attention to the world and you’ll not only be able to see possible threats but you’ll exude an air of confidence, which is something criminals want to avoid.

Jun 172014

Quick, how many flashlights do you have in your home? How many of them actually have charged batteries in them? How long would it take you to put your hands on a working flashlight right now?

Ideally, you should have a working flashlight in every room of your home and they should be tested regularly. The most common locations in the home for a flashlight are the master bedroom and perhaps the junk drawer of the kitchen. If you have any sort of workshop, there’s probably one or two floating around out there as well. In many homes, that’s about it. They have perhaps three or four flashlights, each in dubious working condition.

Flashlight Security Tool

Quite often, in fact, the flashlights weren’t all that great even when brand new. I mean, sure, you can run down to your local discount retailer and pick up a four-pack of cheap plastic lights, complete with batteries, for just a few bucks. There are a few problems with doing that, though. First, those cheap lights aren’t very well made and probably won’t last very long, particularly if you use them on any sort of regular basis. Second, they just aren’t bright enough. Yeah, they’ll cast enough light to see which circuit breaker switch was tripped but that’s about it.

There are two main options to consider with flashlights – LED or incandescent bulbs. If at all possible, go with LED. They are infinitely brighter than incandescent and because they use far less energy to operate, the batteries will last a lot longer.

I prefer the body of my flashlight to be made of metal, rather than plastic. In a pinch, if I need to smack someone with a flashlight, I don’t want it to fall apart in my hands.

How bright should the flashlight be? Light is measured in lumens. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light. Something in the 20-30 lumens range will help you find shoes in the back of a closet but that’s about it. 60-80 lumens will be enough to light up an average bedroom so you can see where you’re going without bumping into a night stand or something. Moving up from there, 200 lumens will light up a small backyard fairly well.

Me? I want as many lumens as possible. I have a Coast brand flashlight that puts out 1,000+ lumens. It is about the same size as a Maglite, so we’re not talking some sort of stationary Bat-signal floodlight. I’ll tell you right now, if someone were coming at me and I flashed 1,000 lumens into their face, it’ll be enough of a distraction for me to take further action.

Flashlights are important for security because, well, it is hard to see what’s going on in the dark. Not only do you want the ability to shine a light at an intruder, you want to be able to move around the house without knocking things over or getting hurt. There are many rather small, yet very powerful, flashlights on the market today. Look for brands like Maglite, Foursevens, and Fenix. They’re going to cost you a bit more but they will also last far longer than their cheap, plastic counterparts.

Jun 142014

Burglar Caught in the ActYou came home from work and surprised a burglar who was in the process of stuffing your family jewelry into a sack. Fortunately, when he rushed you to try and escape, you managed to use your stun gun, TASER, or a trusty billy club to take him down.

So You’ve Caught a Burglar – Now what?

Despite what you’ve undoubtedly seen in the movies or on TV, your immediate course of action should be to get out of the home. You cannot assume the intruder will be out of commission for any set length of time. Get out now and call the police. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, and for darn sure, don’t stop to take a selfie!

With the adrenaline that will be coursing through your veins, it might be difficult to think straight. Your hands will be trembling and you’ll probably feel more than a little queasy, again due to the adrenaline.

As a result, you cannot be reasonably certain you are capable of restraining the intruder by tying him up or through some other means. He could become mobile again at any moment and if that happens while you’re present, odds are pretty good that things aren’t going to end well for you.

In fact, in all the excitement, you could have been injured yourself and not realize it right away. More than one homeowner has been stabbed or cut during a scuffle with an intruder and didn’t know it until the responding officer brought it to their attention.

It’s Not the Time for Gloating!

Not the Time to Gloat!Save the gloating for later. Your first priority is to keep you and your family safe. That means getting out of the house and calling the police.

While you’re talking to the dispatcher, try and remember everything you can about the intruder’s appearance, including things like height, build, hair color, facial features, and clothing.

In the event the intruder rouses himself enough to make his way out of your home, your description will be valuable in tracking him down.

Jun 122014

The fact of the matter is that crime simply will never go away, regardless of the measures put in place to stop it. This means that any individual, statistically, could be a target for crime at any given time. Although figures given out by the FBI indicate that the violent crime rates have actually dropped somewhat over the last several years or so, these figures may not present the whole picture. In small towns, the murder rate has actually increased significantly rather than decreased, which means that the studies may have only covered large cities’ populations and the crime rates in those areas.

This is an additional worry for many people who live in smaller town, simply because there may be fewer people that can be called upon to help you during a personal attack. The FBI publishes its annual crime rate report at the end of each year, and sometimes these figures are hailed as an example of the safe environment around us. Unfortunately, that is not so. There are thousands of murders each year in the United States, and hundreds of thousands of rapes, robberies and physical assaults reported, in addition to those crimes that go unreported.

What to Choose for Defending Yourself

Given these statistics, it should be no mystery why so many people choose to arm themselves with various self defense weapons like stun guns, knives, pepper spray and guns. However, since each state law is different in its interpretation of the type of weapons it permits its citizens, everyone should carefully research the type of weapons they can have and when they can have them. For example, most states allow stun guns everywhere except places where guns are restricted also. But some states have banned them outright or have them legal only if you have an FOID card.

Depending on your state laws and your financial situation, you may be able to find items that can help you protect yourself in a time of need. Most places will allow pepper spray and self defense spray is one of the most effective non-lethal forms of defending yourself. Whatever form your self-defense takes, you need to stay prepared to use it, whether it is Karate or a stun gun. Carefully assess the situation, and if you live in a high risk area, you may wish to invest in martial arts training or one of the many self defense weapons.

May 292014

While I would recommend that you keep your bear pepper spray on the outside of your pack, this encounter demonstrates the effectiveness of the spray.

Mace Bear Pepper SprayRead the full story here:

Grizzly bites backpack and a can of bear spray

“I fell on my knees waiting for more blows to come. But nothing came,” he told the CBC.

When he looked back, the bear was already running in the opposite direction. As it turns out, the bear did try to take a bite out of Cardinal, but instead bit through his small backpack and crushed a can of bear spray.

“The bear got the full effect of that in his face and high-tailed it down the trail,” said Jasper National Park conservation officer John Wilmhurst.

Except for a few scratches, the park employee escaped the encounter mostly unscathed.


This person was lucky that the bear bit into his pack instead of himself. If you’re in bear country, you want to have your spray accessible.  This means on your belt or at least the outside of your pack.

Bears can move very quickly and if you’re trying to dig around the inside of your pack to find something, the bruin can be all over you in a matter of seconds.

Be smart and have it ready in an instant.

May 122014

Although the crime rates in cities certainly have much higher statistical numbers, there is no denying that rural areas are targeted frequently and perhaps more successfully. Rural residents often have fewer neighbors that can see what goes on, the lighting is less prevalent, and people in some areas even leave their homes unlocked while they are away.

True, a relaxed lifestyle is one of the benefits of living away from the city, but many homeowners may not realize that this lack of vigilance could someday cost them dearly. The most common types of crime in rural areas are larceny, burglary and vehicle theft.

Protecting a Rural Home

Home Safety Kit

Property crimes are actually somewhat common in rural areas. This could be in part because so many people leave their cars and outbuildings unattended without locking them up, and again it could be because the crimes are easier to commit due to the relative privacy of these rural homes.

However, instances of aggravated assault have skyrocketed over the last few years due in part because of the increasing drug traffic that now takes place in more isolated areas. This means that today, no one is safe, and the carefree days of living in the country may be a thing of the past.

Door Brace for Your Home

Using your Door BraceAnother factor to consider is that rural areas often have far fewer resources for protection at their disposal, due to smaller budgets and less man power. In addition, since the rural home are more far flung and are often many miles away from the nearest police station, help could be a long time in coming when you call 911.

Rather than give up on ever feeling safe, you simply need to invest in some home safety devices which can not only repel attack, but keep you safe if such an instance should occur in these rural settings.

Protect Your Doors

The Home Safety Kit combined with extremely powerful outside lighting may be enough to not only prevent burglary or other crimes from happening, but keep you safe if it does. Our kit contains a combination of protection and alert devices to help you stay aware and react appropriately to the situation at hand.

You can also get our Door Brace or door stop alarm, which can keep intruders outside where they belong. Our products are affordable enough to allow you to set up a whole security system that can fit almost any budget, so start down the road to home safety today.

Feb 242014

Usually when most of us read about bad things happening, it’s from a safe distance away. It happens somewhere else, in another state, or another neighborhood. You really don’t expect it so close to home…but that’s exactly what happend this weekend.

On the way back from picking my daughter up from school, a police car with lights flashing drove it’s way through the narrow gap in the middle of the road as we all pulled over as best we could. Didn’t think much of it and drove the rest of the short way home.

As I turned into the road to my neighborhood, I was surprised to find about a dozen cop cars, ambulance, EMT, and a large fire truck up close to where my house was. As I inched further up the road, I wasn’t even able to drive directly to my house and had to take a side street and navigate a back way home.

As I got closer, the medical vehicles and the fire truck were all leaving without lights flashing. And as I pulled into my driveway, not two football fields from my house was a scene from a movie or show you’d see on TV. What remained was a slew of police cars all converged on a single home.

Of course all the neighbors were outside their homes trying to get a glimpse of what was going on. Through the neighborhood grapevine, we heard only that there nothing suspicious and no danger to the neighborhood’s safety.

We thought someone may have died in their home and that the massive police presence was just an over response. However as the day went on and into the evening, nothing was letting up. Crime scene tape got put up everywhere and it was clear that something unsettling had happened.

The TV news crews started to set up outside the perimeter with their tall antennae coming up from the top of their vans. The evening news informed us that police were investigating a death. Later on, news crews reported seeing two bodies being taken from the home.

There was little change to the amount of police even well into the evening so it seemed odd that they were still there in such large numbers after the bodies were removed. However, we still had no idea what had happened or how the people died. The 11 o’clock news gave no further information and we figured it would be all over by morning.

Not so! 24 hours later, it was the same as the day before. When the Sheriff helicopter started circling the neighborhood very low, it appeared they were looking for someone on foot. They kept going around and around right overhead and then started making wider and wider circles. That got us on edge for a bit as we still didn’t know what exactly was going on.

As the day went on they started to wrap things up and there were less and less police vehicles there. What ended up happening was a murder suicide. A man came to the house and shot his wife and then himself. They were separated and apparently had a history of domestic issues. In such a quiet neighborhood, this was quite a shock.

We feel bad for the couple and especially their families. Having something like this happen so close to home reminds us that violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Stay vigilant and do what you can to protect your home and family.

Feb 052014

There are plenty of options available for women to keep themselves safe from harm. But first let’s discuss the most important ones. Your brain and your senses help keep you aware of your surroundings.

Your brain and your Sense and a weapon for you.Keeping constant vigil on what’s going on around you will keep you from being surprised by an attack. While females are targeted more often than men, a women’s intuition is generally stronger than a man’s and can give early warning of potential danger.

Not only is staying aware going to pre-warn you of any upcoming danger, criminals in prison interviews have admitted to avoiding confident looking and self aware women for fear of them fighting back.

Criminals want easy targets, someone they can overpower easily and without much fuss. Giving off an air of confidence reduces your chances of being chosen as a victim.

Safety Weapons for Females

Now lets talk about a specific safety weapon for females that you can easily carry and use to fight off a rapist or other type of attacker.

True Pepper SprayThe number one female safety weapon I always recommend is pepper spray. A self defense spray is lightweight, easy to use and is something that can be utilized very quickly should the need arise.

When you’re in an unsafe place or even at night in a generally safe area, pepper spray should be in your hand, on your side, clipped to your purse or other piece of clothing where it can be easily grabbed. If going to your car at night is a regular occurrence, then you should have your spray attached to your keys and have them out and ready while you’re walking.

You always want to be able to quickly use your spray in a moments notice. While walking and you get that tingly feeling that something is just not right, that’s your intuition kicking in shouting at you to be more aware!

True pepper spray, not cs or tear gas, is the most effective form of defensive spray. While other types do severely irritate the eyes, nose and throat, OC pepper spray is an inflammatory. It INFLAMES the capillaries which produces massive tears to spew from the eyes. The nose, throat and respiratory tract are inflamed as well and makes breathing extremely difficult to do.

When you spray someone with pepper spray, they will have a very hard time just trying to get oxygen into their lungs, all the while not being able to see very good. When they try to open their eyes, they will be unable to because of the human body’s natural instinct to shut them. The intense pain from the hot peppers forces a person to keep them closed as much as possible.

One of the best safety weapons for women is to carry a pepper spray with them wherever they go and to not be afraid to use it. Get in the practice of getting it ready while out and about. Get your muscles used the movements necessary for getting the spray in the action position ready to fire.

But most of all, stay alert to your surroundings. Hopefully you’ll never have to use your spray, but if you do, use it with confidence – spray them fully in the face to be sure to get it in their eyes and nose. Once you do that, you will have an opportunity to get out of there and seek help.

If this person was going to harm you, call the police and give them a good description. With the Wildfire brand spray as pictured above, the attacker will also have a vegetable dye on them making it easy to the police to confirm.

You can find a variety of pepper sprays, stun guns, and personal alarms at TBO-TECH Self Defense Products,


Feb 042014

I remember this story last year and seeing the brutal video of this guy beating on a woman watching TV with a child. It’s gratifying to know he is finally caught and that justice will be served.

It’s a good thing there was a nanny cam in the house able to see and record the whole ordeal. Prosecutors should have no problem convicting this guy and sending him off to jail for a good long time.

Nanny cam used to catch the home invasion

For your own home, here’s where to get a nanny cam.

Jan 302014

Of course you’ll get best results with a fully charged stun gun. However, once it is charged, it will last for a couple of months before you have to plug it back in to recharge it. If it’s been a month since you last charged it, it will still work fine. It may not be as charged as it can be, but it will still provide the necessary juice you need to protect yourself.

Test Firing the Charge of a Stun Gun

Purple Runt Stun GunIt’s important to test fire your stun gun periodically. You can tell the difference between a charged one and one that is not. The sound of the electrical crackle will not seem as loud or strong on a stun gun that needs recharging. Remember to only test fire your unit for a second at a time. Test firing longer than that can damage a stun gun because the electrical discharge is not going anywhere.

Also, if it has a flashlight function on it like a lot of stun guns do, you can see the brightness of the light. A dim light tells you to recharge.

The effect of a stun gun comes from the power of the batteries (either regular or rechargeable). The better or more charged the batteries are, the more juice the device will have to do its job.

It is best to have a full charge on your stun device but you don’t need to obsess over it. Periodic test firing and regular recharging will keep it fully functional for self defense.

You can find a variety of stunning devices here.