Archive for December, 2011

Crime Prevention for the Holidays

Every year about this time, break-ins and robberies increase … you shop for the holidays … thieves shop for the holidays. Cars get broken into in the neighborhoods and in parking lots. It’s time to put out a bit of information that might help you get through all of this mess unscathed. Sit back and grab a drink…this might take a minute.

  • Always lock you doors and roll up the windows all the way. “I was only going to be inside for a minute” doesn’t cut it. Leave it down and unlocked and your asking for trouble.
  • Alarm systems. If you have one, use it! Systems with the little blinking light visible to the outside of the car work great.
  • Everybody hates getting into a cold car. Me included. When the temperatures drop, vehicle thefts rise. Several of my friends warm up their car while their inside getting ready. Ya-hoo’s walk up and say, “Hey … would you look at that … free car!” Make sure, if you must do this, to have a spare key and at least lock the car up while it’s running.
  • Keys … that reminds me … house keys … everybody has a hidden key somewhere around the house. It takes a bad thief 2 minutes to find the decoy rock!
  • Garage Door – Close it. Nuf said!!!
  • Last but not least … when someone does break in, MAKE A REPORT! Even if it’s just some pocket change, the reports lets the police know that your area is experiencing a rise in crime and they can take appropriate steps to respond to it.

Merry Christmas!!!

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How The Grinch Stole My Identity…..

 

 

How the Grinch Stole My Identity…….

 

“Tis the season”…for thieves to steal your identity.

 

The holiday season is the busiest season for us and for identity theft thieves. There is enough to do without having to fix an identity breech.  From November through the end of January, the rate of identity theft skyrockets.  More than credit card fraud, identity theft can wipe out your finances, take numerous hours for you to fix and takes valuable time away from your family and work.

 

 A FEW TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

1. Use cross cut SHREDDER for personal or financial documents.

2.  Prevent pre-approved credit card offers from being sent to you by calling 888-5-OPT-OUT.

3. Track of all purchases.  Keep receipts in your wallet – not in the bag or on the bag.  Read your credit card and bank account statements thoroughly.  When in doubt, pay cash.

4. Password-protect your laptops, wireless phones, pagers, and MP3 players and don’t’ store personal id information on these devices.  Use upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters (! $ &)

5. Check your credit report with one of the three major credit agencieswww.annualcreditreport.com

6. Consider signing up for a quality identity theft service. Such services alert you via email anytime there is an inquiry or other activity to your credit report and does the work to restore your identity if a problem occurs.

7. Secure all personal information even while at home . Unfortunately, many times an ID thief is someone you know. Remove temptation from holiday visitors by putting personal information out of sight, better yet store sensitive information off site in a safety deposit box.

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Holiday Home Safety Tips

The winter holidays are a time for celebration, and that means more cooking, home decorating, entertaining, and an increased risk of fire and accidents. Colorado Vault & Safe Deposit Box Co. recommends that you follow these guidelines to help make your holiday season safer and more enjoyable.

Security

  • Use your home burglar alarm system.
  • If you plan to travel for the holidays, don’t discuss your plans with strangers.
  • Have a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home.

Fireplaces

  • Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.
  • Use care with “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten.
  • Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

Holiday Lighting

  • Use caution with holiday decorations and, whenever possible, choose those made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant and non-combustible materials.
  • Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials, and do not use candles to decorate Christmas trees.
  • Carefully inspect new and previously used light strings, and replace damaged items before plugging lights in. If you have any questions about electrical safety, ask an InterNACHI inspector during your next scheduled inspection. Do not overload extension cords.
  • Don’t mount lights in any way that can damage the cord’s wire insulation.  To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples–don’t use nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them.
  • Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
  • Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground-fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.

Decorations

  • Use only non-combustible and flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel and artificial icicles of plastic and non-leaded metals.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down.
  • In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp and breakable, and keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children.
  • Avoid trimmings that resemble candy and food that may tempt a young child to put them in his mouth.

 Holiday Entertaining

  •  Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S.  When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye on the range.
  • Provide plenty of large, deep ashtrays, and check them frequently. Cigarette butts can smolder in the trash and cause a fire, so completely douse cigarette butts with water before discarding.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of sight and reach of children (preferably in a locked cabinet).
  • Test your smoke alarms, and let guests know what your fire escape plan is.

Trees

  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “fire-resistant.”
  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches, and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break.
  • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators and portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
  • Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
  • Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly.
  • Make sure the base is steady so the tree won’t tip over easily.

 Toys and Ornaments

  • Purchase appropriate toys for the appropriate age. Some toys designed for older children might be dangerous for younger children.
  • Electric toys should be UL/FM approved.
  • Toys with sharp points, sharp edges, strings, cords, and parts small enough to be swallowed should not be given to small children.
  • Place older ornaments and decorations that might be painted with lead paint out of the reach of small children and pets.

Children and Pets 

  • Poinsettias are known to be poisonous to humans and animals, so keep them well out of reach, or avoid having them.
  • Keep decorations at least 6 inches above the child’s reach.
  • Avoid using tinsel. It can fall on the floor and a curious child or pet may eat it. This can cause anything from mild distress to death.
  • Keep any ribbons on gifts and tree ornaments shorter than 7 inches. A child could wrap a longer strand of ribbon around their neck and choke.
  • Avoid mittens with strings for children. The string can get tangled around the child’s neck and cause them to choke. It is easier to replace a mitten than a child.
  • Watch children and pets around space heaters or the fireplace. Do not leave a child or pet unattended.
  • Store scissors and any sharp objects that you use to wrap presents out of your child’s reach.
  • Inspect wrapped gifts for small decorations, such as candy canes, gingerbread men, and mistletoe berries, all of which are choking hazards.

 

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Are Your Valuables Safe?

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Co-Founder Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson graduated from Boise State University with a degree in Business Administration, emphasis in Human Resources. He also has a Master of Arts in Organization Management from the University of Phoenix. Frank played professional football for the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars for 3 years. Learn More...

Co-Founder Stewart Gallagher

Stewart Gallagher graduated from Colorado State University with a Major in Political Science and minors in both Economics and Philosophy.  Over the past 12 years Stewart has worked for 3 major financial intuitions holding various positions from teller to Assistant Vice President-Branch Manager. Learn More...