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  • How Many Security Cameras Do I/You Need?

    This is a very good question, that many of us are left thinking of, when deciding in installing a security system around their home or business. I have a fairly simple ranch style home, but I have many out extensions, peaks and trees to contend with. Add my circular driveway, and I found I needed more coverage than I thought.

    I also have a garage which is approximately 200 feet from the house, which I wanted to monitor too.

    I decided to go cheap, and installed a high definition, 4 channel camera system. It can be done, but I still have a few areas of the lawn that cannot be viewed, with this limited system. I made the most of what I had though, and covered all the pertinent areas, aiming the cameras at the obvious entry and exit points.

    I can see the garage and one side of my circular driveway, from a camera installed on one of the outcroppings on the front of my home, which also views the windows to the back bedrooms. I couldn't place the camera on the farthest corner of my home, facing the garage, because of the trees and branches, that would impede the view, especially in the summer, when all the trees are in bloom.

    I placed my second camera along the back side eave, watching my back yard and catching my back door. A burglar will almost certainly try to enter through your front door, but if he can not gain easy access, he will head for the back door next. No one wants to be seen trying to break in to a home, so the back door is usually a better place, to sneak in with less detection.

    My third camera is positioned on the front corner of my home, again, on another out cropping, which I can see my air conditioning/heat unit, plus the whole side yard and remaining portion of the other side of my circular driveway.

    This now gives me a clear view of any vehicle or person that may enter my property from my driveway, in any direction. Plus, I have a good view of any intruders from the rear of my home.

    That leaves my fourth camera, which I opted to install as a good dome camera, on my porch, aimed at the front door. This one, I will admit, I was a bit disappointed with, not because it didn't provide a good view of the entryway, but because of the layout of the porch itself.

    I have a 1 foot overhang, that the support poles are attached to, which block the camera from seeing out to the front driveway area. I had to make a choice. See the front door and get a good view of an intruder, or get a good image of the front driveway, where anyone would potentially park and enter the porch area.

    I decided it was more important to grab the "money shot" and film the intruder, as he enters the front door area, since most burglars will knock on the door first, to see if any one is home, before attempting to enter a home illegally.

    So strategically, I have covered the most pertinent areas to be monitored. Could I use more? Yes, most certainly, but I did cover my home on a budget. Any coverage is better than no coverage.  Now, on the backside of my garage, I am going to install a few dummy cameras, to make it appear that I have more protection, than I really do.

    I now feel more confident when I leave my home for extended periods, plus now, when I hear a noise, or the dogs are barking, I can simply turn my TV to my camera system view and see if anything is out there, instead of going outside and putting myself in a potentially harmful position.

    So, the long and short of it is, if you can afford a larger system, go for it! With more cameras, you will be able to monitor, not only your outside area, but you will have plenty of extra cameras to monitor hallways, your crawl space, attic and main entryways inside your home, as well.

  • How Do Burglars Break In?

    How Do Burglars Break In?

    According to the FBI, every 13 minutes, a home in the United States, will be broken into. That’s a lot of burglaries! 3 out of 4 homes will be broken into, within the next 20 years. Let’s take a look at the most common areas that an intruder will infiltrate your home, and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

    The most common entry point for a burglar is right through the front door.

    • 34% of all burglars will gain entry from the front door
    • 23% will use a first floor window
    • 22% of break-ins will be through the back door
    • 9% of burglars will enter your home through your garage
    • 4 % of will gain entry into the through an unlocked door or window
    • 2% will enter through the second floor window, or door

    What Time Of Day Do Most Burglaries Occur?

    The FBI states the 65% burglaries occur during the day, between the hours of 6am and 6pm, when most people are at work or school.

    Most burglars will enter your home between 12:30pm and 3pm, when there is assurance you have returned for lunch and before your children will arrive back from school.

    What Do Burglars Steal?

    Thieves are looking for anything they can grab quickly, that are expensive and can be sold or pawned easily. Unless you are on vacation, and they feel secure that you will be gone for a long period, they want to get in and get out as fast as possible, to avoid detection, whether by you, or one of your neighbors.

    The most common stolen items that thieves are looking for are:

    • Money
    • Computers, Laptops, Smartphones or iPads
    • Electronics
    • Gold and Jewelry
    • Watches
    • Prescription Drugs
    • Guns and Ammo
    • Tools
    • TVs and Household goods
    • Alcohol
    • Cars and Bikes

    Will A Home Security System Deter A Burglar?

    Homes without cameras installed are 300 % more likely to be broken into, than an unsecured or home that is not monitored. Surveyed burglars agree, they are less likely to enter a home, if they see a home security system, with cameras installed. A burglar does not want his picture caught on camera.

    Nowadays, most home security systems will have real time video, which can be played right on your phone, so you can view what is happening, while you are away.

    How Can A Burglary Be Prevented?

    • Your best line of defense is a good high definition security camera system, along with alarms.
    • Keep all windows and doors locked, even when you are home.
    • Add motion sensors inside your home, plus outside, to alert you, and your neighbors that someone may be lurking in your yard.
    • Get a dog! Burglars do not like barking dogs.
    • Have your mail collected, or have the post office hold your mail while you are on vacation.
    • Hide your valuables and prescription drugs out of plain sight.
    • Start up a neighborhood watch program.



  • How To Stay Safe On The Beach

    Well, after my gun show trip to Myrtle Beach, this weekend, I realize what easy prey we are, as tourists.

    The Gun Show was located in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which is just a few short blocks from the ocean. Of course, after I set my tables up on Friday, I couldn't resist taking a walk down to the beach and tipping my toes in the ocean.

    It was a bright, sunny and beautiful 77 degree day, here in the middle of February. I was warned that there could be a lot of "crazies" around the area, so I opted to grab my Covert Stun Gun Flashlight, just for the heck of it. Like who needs a flashlight at 2 in the afternoon?!

    I mosied on down the road, without incident, since it is early in the season, and there was very little foot traffic. I even felt fairly safe wandering around in the sand and dipping my toes in the water. What a beautiful day. The beach was fairly empty of beach blankets and children running and splashing. Admittedly, it was strictly a calm, adult, serene beach moment, rarely experienced in this high touristy and traffic area.

    Any how, I hung around for a while, and enjoyed Gods beautiful picture. I decided to head back up to the shopping and eating area, wipe the sand off my tootsies, and go exploring. That is when I was glad I had stashed that stun gun flashlight in my pocket. Tourist areas are really not a good place to wander, when you are alone.

    I did not feel very comfortable, with vagrants hovering on many of the corners, or parking areas. I believe most are chased off during the day, but apparently you will find them hanging around on the picnic tables or benches that litter the sidewalks. Most of them were just begging for a few dollars, or looking for change that may have dropped from someones pockets, but I definitely kept my purse strung around my neck, and kept it close to my body.

    It only got crazier and crazier, as it got closer to dusk. Making me even happier that I had some sort of protection on me. I had left the beach area and headed up to the outlet mall. Yes, even there, I was starting to wish I had finished my shopping and was parked and sitting safe and comfortable in my little camper.

    All in all, it was a wonderful trip, and I would highly recommend a trip to "The Beach", but do use your head. Trust your instincts. Keep your purse and shopping bags close to you. Pay attention to your surroundings, travel with someone, if possible, and most importantly, carry some sort of self defense weapon with you. Never leave yourself vulnerable to an attack.

    Catch a sunrise on the beach, just be careful!

  • How To Use A Flint Fire Starter.

    Whether you want to simply enjoy a back yard fire pit, decide to go camping, or take an overnight hike, starting a warm, hot fire is essential, not only for heat, but for cooking, as well.

    How many times have you scrounged around the house for newspapers to roll up and burn? Or searched the area for some good old and dry twigs, to get your fire started? Then, if it is even slightly damp, nothing will light and you cannot get your warm fire going.

    We all have been there, with a paper plate, or bent over on the ground, blowing and fanning on the dismal embers, trying to get a good spark, and turn those smoking papers, into a blazing, hot fire.

    Thankfully, life has gotten simpler and new inventions have made building a good fire easier. Check out a good Fire Starter tool to get the job done in seconds.

    Our Sparkie Fire Starter will even work when its wet!  It is flint based and will start thousands of fires, using a one handed operation. Simply push down on the plunger, attached to the unit, in a quick motion, and the sparks created will light your tinder. No more worrying about your matches getting wet and no longer working.

    You can also carry along small packages of dry Light Me Tinder, which are specially treated fibers, that will light easily, even under wet conditions.

    My last suggestion, is to carry a Flint Striker. This is a small pocket sized device, that can hold pieces of dry tinder, along with a handy piece of flint and a steel striker. You slide the steel blade, quickly against the flint, causing sparks to fly off. Keep it low and close to your dry tinder, and within minutes, you will have created enough spark, and your tinder will catch fire. Add dry twigs and wood shavings, and soon you will be cooking your marshmallows, over a nice warm flame!

    Starting a fire doesn't have to be a task. Just keep one of these handy devices in your pack, and you will have a fun filled adventure, with a nice warm fire to sit around, singing campfire songs and roasting hot dogs on sticks.

    Try one here today at www.sandssafetystore.com.

  • What Is A Tactical Flashlight?

    Any flashlight can be used for tactical purposes, but you will find that the brighter lamp of a good tactical flashlight will work the best, in a compromising situation.

    The main use of a tactical flashlight is for a really bright light to see things around you, particularly, to see in the dark. But they are called tactical for a reason. These super bright flashlights are used to identify possible threats around you.

    Imagine you are walking in a dark parking lot to your car. Someone approaches you. Shine the bright light towards their face and shout loudly "Stop. Do not come any closer." By shining the light at them, you can not only see the intruder better, but the light will temporarily blind them, and cause them to stop, allowing you additional time to decide your next move. You are given those few extra seconds to get away, gain a weapon, or yell out for help, to alert others to your impending danger.

    This technique will also work against an unruly dog, especially at night. The bright light will also blind an animal, and stop them in their tracks too. If they get too close, you can also use the blunt end of the heavy duty flashlight, to bash the animal in the head. You need to do whatever it takes to get away from any dangerous situation.

    The advantage of a tactical flashlight, over ordinary incandescent flashlight, is that they are made of a more durable design and usually have rechargeable batteries and a lifetime warranty. They LED (Light Emitting Diode) light will not break easily, they have a very long life, plus, they are designed to put out a lot of light, with very little heat. The LED light uses a very white, or blue/white light, which makes it much brighter than the ordinary yellow hue of an incandescent flashlight.

    How Many Lumens Do You Need In A Tactical Flashlight?

    Well, that depends on what you are using it for and whether you want a larger average size flashlight, or a small pocket sized light. You also need to consider battery life. the more lumens you have, the more it will drain your battery faster.

    For a good multi-purpose, every day flashlight, 100 to 200 lumens will create a nice bright light, and you will be able to see quite a large area. They can also be used as a great tactical light to shine in an intruders face, to temporarily blind them.

    Anything over the 250 lumen range are so bright, that neither human, nor animal can look into the beam, causing them to look away. Use a light over 500 lumens, especially at night, will definitely cause temporary blindness, they will be disoriented and involuntarily, their reflexes will cause your intruder to look away.

    Once you get over the 1,000 lumen light range, you have a true tactical light, that people and animals are unable to look into the beam, whether at night, or during the day.

    Your best defense is to hold the light in your nondominant hand. Keep your hand wrapped securely around the handle of your flashlight, with your trigger finger ready to turn the light back off, if needed to remain a bit more stealth. If you are carrying a side arm, keep it holstered, but ready on your dominant side. You never know what may be lurking out there, so you need to be ready. Seconds count in emergency situations. Don't waste time trying to transfer your light to your other hand. Just shine the bright light in your intruders eyes and disorient them as quickly as possible.

    So grab your tactical flashlight and carry it with you at all times. Make it a part of your every day self defense strategy, not only at night, but in the day time too. You can never have too many personal protection tools handy, for you, or for your family.


  • Do You Have To Touch Someone With A Stun Gun?

    I get this question all the time at gun shows? Yes, you do need to make contact with someone, in order to shock a person with a stun gun. Though, it will go through 1/2 inch of clothing, like a coat, and you can feel the electronic arcs from a short distance away from it.

    Many dogs can feel the electric surge in the air, along with hearing the noise, and will go running, long before you ever have to touch them with it. (But please, only use a stun gun on an attacking animal, and never to just "test" it, as it is considered cruel and inhumane, and charges could be pending).

    My best reasoning to those that say they don't want to get that close, is that you may not have a choice. But, if you are broke down on the side of the road, inspecting your tires, or under the hood......What is in your hand? The Stun Gun flashlight! Where is your fire arm? In the glove compartment, or in your holster.

    Same thing when you are walking your dog, or taking out your trash at night. You carry the flashlight in the same hand that you would normally carry your fire arm. You cannot react fast enough to transfer the light, and unholster your weapon of choice. The Stun Gun is sitting right in the palm of your hand, ready to use! How much simpler can it get?

    Now, getting to the basic function of stun guns.......

    A 1/2 second zap of a stun gun, will cause the perpetrator to jump. A one second burst will make the muscle group twitch and a good 3 second shock, will indeed disable the muscle group that you have touched, causing pain and render the limp useless.

    The best place to aim for is the torso area, the head, neck or face. But you can still disable an attackers' arm or leg. The electric shock will not travel through the body, or transfer to another, or back at you, so have no fear, just reach out and zap any area you can find. Disable your attacker and seek help.

    Stun Guns are a great non-lethal method of self defense and should certainly be considered as another tool in your personal arsenal of protection.

    Sands Safety Store is a great place to start your search for a stun gun purchase.

  • What is the best voltage for a stun gun?

    I get asked this question all the time. I like to stay on top of my products and be able to stand behind every thing I sell, so I do a lot of research, and only try to pass on what I learn to not only my customers at my gun shows, but to my online viewers as well.

    Let me start with the one thing that always bothers me at a gun show, about stun guns. You can go to the guys table that is primarily selling Bamboo sheets, or T-shirts, or some other non self defense related items, and you can probably find a really great deal on a very low priced, (I'll be nice here and refrain from saying "cheap!") stun gun, with a very high sounding voltage.

    But let's be real here! You do indeed get what you pay for. Ask the seller further about this wonderful 50 million volt stun gun. It sounds impressive.....50,000,000 volts! Wow. Now ask how many amps it has.......Crickets! The guy selling sheets, just went online, or to his nearest wholesale lot and picked up the cheapest product he could find, to add to his table to resell. He really doesn't care about your safety, nor know anything about the product. They are more concerned with making a profit.

    You can do your own research on the topic and you will learn that the amperage is way more important than the voltage in a stun gun. 4.9 miliamps is the highest amperage you can get in a stun gun. Those high voltage numbers may seem impressive, but they are practically useless, if they only contain 1 or 2 miliamps of power.

    You will have to hold the stun gun twice as long to achieve the same results as a lower voltage, but higher amperage device. So please, think about what you are actually buying and who you are purchasing your self defense products from. The guy who is just out to make a buck, or a serious self defense provider, who has worked hard to research and provide you a good safety device that has a life time warranty and will stand behind their products.

    Have a good safe day

  • How To Keep Your Packages From Theft.

    Package theft has become a common theme, every Christmas season. Thieves become more and more bold, as they get away with stealing your things, right off your own porch.

    Don't be a victim. Do something now, to protect yourself and your valuables.

    Many people cannot afford a whole house, wired camera system to watch over their property, but there are many alternative and cheaper options, which can still catch your thief in the act. At the very least, you can get a good picture of him, to be used for identification and evidence in court.

    Here's a few ideas for you:

    • Hang a hidden camera on your porch - You can get a few decent pictures of your thief, without them even knowing they are on camera. Try a Hidden Thermometer Camera. These things look just like a real thermometer, and work as one as well, but contain a small hidden camera eye, which can monitor your property. Set it on motion setting and it will run all day, but only snap pictures when it senses movement.  Simply download the images on your computer, when you return home.
    • Install a Motion Detector Alarm - Here is another easy to install device, that will help ward off thieves, or alert you that there is some one on your porch, that may not belong. You simply hang the device on your outside wall. If any one enters the protected area, the unit will emit a loud alarm, not only alerting you to their presence, but scaring off your would be thief as well.
    • Ask your neighbor to collect your package - Most delivery companies, like UPS, Fed Ex and the Postal Service, all offer a tracking service. You should know, most of the time, approximately what day and time your package will be delivered. If you will not be home, then perhaps one of your neighbors can watch for it, for you. It never hurts to get to know a few kind neighbors, so you can keep a better eye out, and help protect each other.
    • Have the package delivered to a side porch, or back porch - Try and keep all packages from street view, where they become easy pickings for thieves. Get to know your delivery personnel, or call your local branch and tell them where you would like your parcels placed, upon delivery.
    • Try a Dog Barking Alarm - Now most thieves do not like any sort of noises, or lights, but they especially do not like noisy, barking dogs. This easy to use security device, simply sits on a shelf, or table, near your exterior wall, and will detect motion outside, and "bark" at your would be intruder. Have your thief believe that his presence will be detected at any second, and watch him run off.
    • Install Dummy Cameras - Now you may not get any pictures of your thieves, with these easy to install devices, but they may be enough to scare them off in the first place. No burglar wants to have his face on film, so, if he sees that your property may be protected by cameras, he will likely just head on down the road, to a less protected home. Place them on your eaves, or in an area, where they can be visibly seen from the road.

    I hope you find these tips helpful, and have a safe and fun filled Christmas season.

  • Tornado Safety

    Well yesterday was an exciting day. We don't receive very many tornado warnings here in my little town in the upstate South Carolina area, mostly just hurricane warnings. But we had a huge cool front come through the area and multiple tornadoes did indeed touch down.

    What makes this a notable storm to me, is that a tornado actually touched down in the same neighborhood, that had been struck just a few weeks ago. My sons brother in law actually had his house struck twice! Now what are the chances of that? The house across the street was completely demolished.

    I just found this quite ironic and thought I would share it with you all, plus, it made me think of what I would do in such a situation. I was sitting here in my house as the warnings came in, and looking around for the best place to ride out the storm, if it should strike my house.

    I decided the hall closet would be my best spot to stay safe. Then I got to thinking of how dark it would be in there, once the power went out. So, my next thought is that I need to keep some essentials in there.

    How about a good rechargeable flashlight? And I do have 2 dogs and a cat, so they might get scared at all the noise out there and want to bolt. I probably should keep some sort of carrier, or at the very least, a few leashes to secure them. My dogs are all microchipped and wear tags with the microchip number, address and my phone number too. You never can be too safe.

    Now, I am assuming I probably wouldn't be trapped in my closet for long, but who knows, so I am thinking even a bottle of water or two won't hurt. How about a whistle, hanging on a string, just in case you need to be located under all the debris? A rain jacket hanging on a hook won't take up much room, so, I would suggest keeping one in there too.

    Can you think of anything else? These were just items that I came up with, in a few minutes of thought. You want to keep your family and pets safe. The key to safety, is to plan ahead. Think if all the scenarios that can occur in and around your home, and be prepared.

    Keep charged flashlights around the home, in a variety of spots. Keep candles and put some dry wooden matches in sealed plastic containers, in several rooms. I always feel that you cannot have enough weapons around the house either. This doesn't necessarily mean loaded guns, but an array of stun guns, knives, bats or clubs and pepper sprays.

    You can never be sure who, or what may enter your home, or where they may enter, so a wide array, situated in many rooms is your best defense.

    Be careful out there. Watch your news alerts and take heed. Tornadoes and safety are not to be messed with, so do all you can to protect you and your family.

  • Hitting The Trail

    I just took an awesome trail hike today in Linville Falls NC. I am not getting any younger, nor have I hiked in years, so this was definitely a fun challenge.

    What a beautiful day to enjoy the fall foliage and waterfalls. We took all 4 trails, for a total of a 5 mile hike. Thankfully we hit the strenuous trails first, or I would never have survived the full 5 miles. It was well worth the hardy climb over boulders and semi muddy paths.

    What made me laugh, was my preparedness for the day hike, based on my knowledge of survival and safety from all the research I do, to enhance this site, as well as teach others while I sell at gun shows and my family and friends.

    I brought a small whistle, which got a chuckle out of our guide. Even though he understood why I brought it, he did assure us that he wouldn't let us out of his sight, so we certainly would not get lost, or fall off a cliff and need it.

    Then there was my snacks. I always carry snacks! Several apples, granola bars and cheese and peanut butter crackers. Well, even though every one said they wouldn't need any, I did find myself digging in my trusty day pack several times, to pull out treats for the trail to share.

    Of course, I didn't forget band aids! Never leave home without at least a few band aids. You never know when you may catch a scrape or scratch or two.

    Tissues! Oh now there is something you can never use enough of, especially when trekking around out doors. I rarely get caught without a tissue in my pocket, but outdoors is definitely some where that I do not want to be tissue free.

    I also tossed in a good can of pepper spray, not only for the slight chance that we may encounter an attacking wild critter, but many people did bring along their own pet dogs, which do have a tendency to get a little excited with all those crowds and other dogs walking around. And who knows, there just might be some unsavory person lurking around out there too. Why not be extra prepared? That little can certainly didn't take up much room in my bag.

    And lastly, a trusty pocket knife. Heck, not only could that come in handy to cut some brush, my apple, or cut a strip of cloth for a tourniquet, but it can be used for self defense too.

    So long and short, never be embarrassed about bringing safety or self defense products with you on any hike, whether it is a popular spot, or off the beaten path. Just be prepared. I only brought a few necessary items with me. I can certainly think of a hundred more that I should have kept handy with me, but I must admit, we were at most, only about 1/2 mile from the visitor center at all times, so there would have been little problem finding help, if needed.

    I am sure you could think of a ton of items that would enhance your out door adventure too. Take time and enjoy nature, especially at this time of year.

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