Category Archives: Safety Tips

4 Ways to Prep for an Active Shooter Situation

Active shooter events are becoming more common these days. You hear about mass shooting events on the news regularly. It’s important for business owners to know what to do to prepare yourself and others if this type of emergency ever arises. The staff at ADS Guards, a leading Hayward security service provider, shares 4 ways to prep for an active shooter scenario.

1. Offer Training

One of the most important steps your company can take is participating in training scenarios with your employees. It’s essential to recognize the sound of gunshots, call the emergency number in your area, and react quickly. If you hear gunshots, you may need to safely evacuate the area, hide, or fight the shooter if that’s the only option you have to survive. If there is a Hayward armed guard on site, alert him or her right away.

If you hear gunshots, the first recommendation is to run. You’ll need to use the safest route to evacuate the building if possible. It’s ideal to get as far away from the scene as you can so you can reach safety. If you decide to run during an active shooter event, leave your belongings behind, try to help other people escape if possible, and don’t attempt to move wounded people.

If you decide to hide during an active shooter event, you’ll need to try to lock doors and barricade them with heavy objects such as furniture, turn off lights, close windows, move away from windows, remain silent, and plan your escape.

If you have no choice but to fight the shooter, you’ll need to be aggressive. Throw items at the person, yell, and try to work together as a team to fight the shooter if other employees are nearby.

2. Put Together an Emergency Action Plan

It’s essential to create an emergency action plan for your business. The plan should include:

  • How to report incidents
  • Evacuation policy & procedures
  • Escape procedures
  • Route assignments
  • Emergency notification system
  • Local hospital information

The emergency notification system should alert people near the incident, law enforcement, and local hospitals. You may want to consider creating a plan that notifies people of danger using alarms, emails, text messages, and calls. You’ll also need a plan on how you’ll notify the media and families of the victims after the incident. Make sure to inform families as soon as possible if their loved ones are safe, in the hospital, or deceased.

3. Hold Drills

Drills should be held regularly. Before you conduct a drill, be sure to announce it and let law enforcement advise you on the best escape routes. After drills are completed, try to give people feedback on how they performed.

4. Perform Safety & Security Checks

Walk around the building to make sure nothing is broken. Everyone should have easy access to radios, floor plans, first-aid kits, and flashlights. Consider hiring Hayward guard security to keep the area safe on a regular basis.

After the Shooting

Make sure you know who’s missing and who isn’t missing, notify families of the incident, determine if people need help, and create a plan on how to get back to normal operations after the shooting.

Having a professional guard on the premises may deter an attempted shooter. Get in touch with ADS Guards today to see how our highly trained guards can keep your business safe. We also offer armed and unarmed guards for residential properties and special corporate events. Call 1-800-794-1550 today to speak with one of our friendly representatives.


4 Crucial Tips for Staying Safe on the Internet

Each year, it seems as if more and more people are having their identities or financial information stolen, and one of the main reasons these crimes are so easily committed is because people aren’t practicing safe online habits. Protecting yourself when surfing the Net can seem daunting, but Hayward security experts want to share 4 simple tips that can help you keep your identity and finances secure.

1. Double-Check URLs

Some of the trickiest online scams involve creating a fake website that appears to be the real deal, but was actually created to obtain personal information. Make it a habit to read the URL of any website you access before inputting your username and password. Whether you receive a fraudulent phishing email or click a link that takes you to a fake website, reading the URL before inputting any info can help you stay safe.

2. Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi

Best practices for online Internet use include only accessing the Internet from Wi-Fi you know is secure. Most likely, this means using private Internet at home, a friend’s house, or at work. If you must use Wi-Fi while out and about, use websites that contain “https” at the beginning, rather than simply “http” for maximum security. Public Wi-Fi is a popular target for hackers, so stay safe and avoid it.

3. Hide Your Social Media

Although it may seem tedious and difficult, keeping your social media as private as possible is paramount to maintaining online security. It’s easy for hackers to connect the dots and figure out the name of your childhood best friend, pet dog, or hometown when you have a public online presence. Keep your information safe and lock down your social media profiles.

4. Update Your Web Browser

From Chrome to Firefox, your browser takes care of a lot of your Internet safety automatically. These major companies spend time staying on top of software vulnerabilities to provide an extra level of protection. Be sure to enable automatic updates for your Internet browser and operating system, or your online safety could be compromised.

For additional tips on how to keep your information safe from online predators, get in touch with ADS Guards, a trusted provider of residential and commercial security in Hayward. We have been helping Bay Area residents and businesses stay safe for nearly 2 decades. Call 1-800-794-1550 to learn more and receive a free quote.

 


How to Protect Yourself Against Income Tax Fraud

Tax season is almost upon us, and income tax fraud is a very serious crime that can come with significant punishments, including fines and imprisonment. To ensure you are not charged with income tax fraud after filing your taxes, there are several tips you should follow. The staff at ADS Guards, the best security company in Hayward, discuss a few of these crucial tips.

Organize Prior to Filing

Though it may seem easier to prepare your taxes as soon as you receive your tax documents, it would be wise to ensure you have all the documentation you need ahead of time. Be sure to spend a few hours reviewing the documents you have received from employers, banks, and other sources. It would also be a good idea to keep a written record and checklist of your documents to ensure they are incorporated into the tax return. 

Include All Income

Regardless of whether you received a W2 or not, you are obligated to report all income that was earned during the year. Your income should include all wages, interest income, investment income, and miscellaneous income, even if it is paid in cash. 

Have Taxes Reviewed

A tax preparer or auditor will ensure you are recording all income and deductions appropriately and are in compliance with the IRS’s guidelines. Having a professional tax preparer or auditor review your taxes can help reduce the risk of mistakes being made on the filed return. 

Keep Records

You should keep copies of all tax returns, W2s, bank statements, tax deduction and credit evidence, and other tax documents for at least 7 years. This ensures you are properly organized and prepared if you have to be audited. Make sure to keep your hard copies, and it would be a good idea to make an electronic backup copy of all your records as well.

For additional tips on preventing income tax fraud, get in touch with ADS Guards, a leading provider of armed and unarmed security guards. Hayward residents and business owners can trust in our high-quality security services. Call 1-800-794-1550 to speak with one of our representatives and receive a free quote.


How to Stay Safe on Campus This Semester

As a leading Hayward security guard company, our priority at ADS Guards is protecting clients against trespassing, theft, violence, and assault. On college campuses, the cooperation of street-smart students ensures the tightest security. Here are a few ways to remain safe while pursuing your education.

Download Personal Safety Apps to Your Smartphone

You already know you must be extra cautious while on campus at night. Ideally, you should walk or drive with at least one other person. However, when this safeguard isn’t feasible, phone apps are reliable stand-ins. Here are two user-friendly apps to consider:

Companion

Some apps require you to keep your finger on a “safe button,” releasing it upon arrival, at which point you enter a PIN. However, the Companion app is hands-free. Additionally, your “companions” don’t need to have the app installed to assist you. Input your destination and mode of transportation, then add family, friends, fellow students, or the campus security service from your contacts list. Send an alert to your companions, telling them you’re departing. Your phone’s GPS will track your route, asking you to confirm you’re okay along the way. If you don’t answer within 15 seconds, the app will call your chosen contact. If at any point you feel uneasy, tap the app to connect with your companion. Upon arrival at your destination, the app tells your contact person.

Circle of 6

Akin to Companion, this app offers more options for summoning help. Up to 6 contacts comprise your “circle.” En route to your destination, tap the PIN icon, and the app texts the people in your circle, asking them to escort you from your GPS coordinates. The phone icon sends a message to your circle, requesting them to call you to stage an interruption. This feature gives you a plausible reason to leave an undesirable social situation. The chat icon alerts your circle of your need to talk. The app also provides direct access to national hotlines and safety information. 

Take Advantage of Campus Security Services

All college campuses have a Security Department. At your school’s website, you can look up the office phone number and open hours. Then, either call or visit to learn if the following services are offered:

  • Campus escorts
  • Blue light emergency phone stations
  • Maps showing the safest routes
  • Crime logs and incident reports

You should also inquire about institutional safety apps like the following:

CampusSafe

CampusSafe is specifically designed for schools. The app enables immediate access to important facility phone numbers. This design spares you the time and anxiety of having to scroll through contacts and wait for a dial-up connection. For hearing-impaired students, the app interfaces with Google Voice. Using CampusSafe, colleges can link to additional facility resources, such as lost item reporting and crime prevention tips. Schools can opt to accept student alerts and requests to the security department. For example, you may be able to ask for a battery jump start, lockout service, campus escort, or response to a noise complaint. An integrated GPS system enables security staff to determine your exact whereabouts. Alternatively, by pressing a blue light on the app, the safety department receives your contact information, location, and pertinent details.

QuikTip App

College campuses, security firms, police departments, and 911 dispatch centers favor this app. Users can send anonymous messages directly to the hosting agency. If your school provides this app, you can report suspicious actions, such as bullying, underage drinking, and drug usage. The college then forwards your tip to local law enforcement agencies. You can speak directly with the hosting agency while keeping your identity private. Some colleges offer students the option of registering for emergency notices, such as weather alerts, school closings, and roadblocks.

Carry an Acoustic Deterrent Device

Sound Grenade

The newest safety gadget to hit college campuses is the Sound Grenade. The size of a keychain, the handheld device emits a loud siren to deter a would-be assailant. To activate the alarm, pull out its pin. To reload the alarm, just replace it. Designed by ROBOCOPP, a San Francisco-based company, Sound Grenade’s warning screams like an ambulance siren. Researchers have found “acoustic deterrence” to be an effective weapon against violent crimes. The 130-decibel blitz is loud enough to draw the attention of campus police. It’s also persistent, lasting 30 minutes, its volume steadily increasing unless you re-attach the pin. The alarm is reportedly as loud as an EMT vehicle siren.

Scream Whistle

If you prefer a no-frills, low-tech device, carry a Survival Frog scream whistle. The whistle is marketed as one of the lightest, loudest emergency whistles sold. The manufacturer states the ear-splitting sound is audible at a distance of one mile. Lacking an internal pea, the whistle won’t fail during wet weather. The orange whistle screams at a level of 100 decibels. Activating it requires one firm puff on the mouthpiece. The lightweight device clocks in at only 0.2 ounces. Crafted of high-impact plastic, the whistle won’t rust or break.

Party Smart

Follow the drinking advice of RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. The largest anti-sexual violence nonprofit in the nation, RAINN warns students to guard their drinks at parties. Never accept a beverage from someone you don’t know or trust. Should you happen to walk away from your drink, abandon it altogether. Otherwise, you run the risk of downing tampered alcohol. Monitor your intake so you remain in control. Women should especially heed this caution. RAINN reports female college students aged 18 to 24 are 3 times more likely to be victims of sexual violence. Among undergrad students, 23 percent of women are subject to sexual assault by physical force or being incapacitated. 

Wear Drug-Detecting Nail Polish and Carry Lipstick Pepper Spray

Undercover Colors 

On college campuses, women are sometimes sexually assaulted by men they trust. Frequently, these women are incapacitated due to drinking beverages tainted with drugs. Common date rape drugs are GHB, rohypnol, and Xanax. Lacking any taste or odor, ladies unknowingly imbibe them, becoming unconscious within minutes. Now, a revolutionary nail polish can alert women to drinks laced with incapacitating agents. The engineers will be marketing the product under the company name “Undercover Colors.” A woman wearing the nail polish can dip her finger into a suspect beverage. The presence of a date rape drug will immediately become evident by the drink changing color.

Lipstick Pepper Spray

Unlike some states, California permits civilians to carry pepper spray. Female students can camouflage theirs discreetly as a lipstick sprayer. If you’re being stalked, give a false impression of touching up your lips before firing a blast of capsicum. Rather than dangling a sprayer from your keychain in plain view, surprise a would-be attacker.

For additional tips on how to stay safe on a college campus, get in touch with ADS Guards, a trusted provider of security services in Hayward, CA, for nearly two decades. We also provide armed and unarmed guards for residential and commercial spaces. Call 1-800-794-1550 today for a free quote.


5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Credit Card Fraud During the Holidays

During the holiday season you’re likely to use your credit card more than at any other time of year. The Hayward body guards at ADS Guards want to share 5 tips that can make preventing Christmastime credit card fraud easier.

1. Be Careful What You Carry

If you typically keep your credit card in a purse or wallet, consider moving it to a different location during your holiday shopping trips. Tuck it in a front pocket or in another spot where it’s harder to snatch, especially when shopping right before Christmas when you’re more likely to be pressed in a crowd.

2. Choose Online Stores Carefully

Many online stores offer great deals for gifts both before and after Christmas. There are also plenty of opportunities for scammers to take advantage of the high volume of shoppers looking for these deals. If an online deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Watch Your Statements

Write down everything you spend and where you expect the bill to come from. You may have purchases from unusual places over the holidays, but if you don’t recognize an expense, make sure you trace it to ensure you haven’t been a victim of fraud.

4. Look into Virtual Credit Cards

Some credit card companies provide options that allow you to use your credit card online without actually entering your card number. Instead, they’ll generate a number for one-time use that lets you make your purchases privately. This is perfect for the busy holiday spending season when retail websites are more likely to be targeted.

5. Check Receipts Before You Toss Them

When you’re busy holiday shopping, you might not think about keeping all of your receipts in one place. Most cash registers block out all but the last four numbers of your credit card, but not all of them do. Make sure to check your receipts before you throw them away and shred them if necessary.

It’s an unfortunate reality that crime runs rampant during the holidays. However, the presence of security guards can reduce the risk of many crimes. If you’re looking to hire security in Hayward for a residential or commercial property, reach out to ADS Guards at 1-800-794-1550. We have been a trusted provider of professional guards for nearly 2 decades.


5 Ways You Can Help Your Kids Stay Safe on Halloween

Halloween is a wonderful time of year, full of fun for children of all ages. However, because Halloween is typically celebrated outdoors and at night, there are a few precautions you should take to ensure your children remain safe. Professional Hayward security guards offer 5 tips to help your kids stay safe this Halloween.

1. Give Them Lights to Carry

Children between ages 7 and 10 are usually too old to hold a parent’s hand while crossing streets to go house-to-house, but many kids in this age range are also too small to be easily seen by drivers. A bright flashlight helps advertise their presence and prevent an accident as they excitedly bound from door to door.

2. Dress Them in Bright Colors or Reflective Clothing

Older children and teenagers often enjoy wearing darker colors for Halloween, but you should try to encourage them to wear something bright or reflective. Clothing or body position may obscure a flashlight when a child is moving about, but drivers are likely to see bright or reflective clothing.

3. Make Them Memorize Their Personal Details

Because it will be dark while trick-or-treating and your child will likely be excitedly running about, there is a chance you may become separated. In case a separation does occur, make sure your child memorizes his or her name, address, and phone number, or mark this information somewhere on his or her costume.

4. Escort Children Under 12

Without Hayward residential security services in your neighborhood, young children may be vulnerable to opportunistic criminals, and the busyness of Halloween only increases the chances. Child abduction is a horrifying event and easily prevented by being vigilant and accompanying your children for their trick-or-treat excursion.

5. Check All Candy

The old adage to never take candy from strangers is especially valid come Halloween. Don’t let your children eat the candy they’ve collected until you have had a chance to look at it, and ideally avoid letting them accept candy from people they don’t know.

For additional tips on keeping your kids safe on Halloween, and to learn about the security guard patrol services Hayward residents prefer, get in touch with ADS Guards today. We have been a leading provider of residential security in the Bay Area for nearly two decades, and we also offer security services for commercial spaces and special corporate events. Call 1-800-794-1550 to speak with one of our friendly representatives and receive a free quote.


What Steps Do You Need to Take If Someone Steals Your Identity?

After having your identity stolen, don’t hesitate to take action to protect your personal information. The longer you wait, the greater chance you’ll have of being subjected to serious financial damage. The staff at ADS Guards, a leading provider of security guard services in Hayward, is here to guide you through some of the first crucial steps you should take if you’ve become a victim of identity theft.

Place a Fraud Alert

Make sure you place a fraud alert on your credit reports immediately. This action lets lenders and creditors know they should take extra precautions before extending credit to someone using your name, even if the person ends up actually being you. There are several websites that allow you to place a fraud alert, including Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. 

Contact Your Bank and Your Credit Card Company

Identity theft typically occurs because a criminal wants access to someone’s financial information. If your credit card was stolen, report the problem directly to the credit card issuer so they can cancel the card, and alert your bank immediately if your checkbook was stolen.

File a Report with the Federal Trade Commission

You should also contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after having your identity stolen, which you can do by filing an identity theft report online or on the phone. The FTC will let you know what to do next, and you can contact them throughout the process if you have any questions or concerns. 

Protect Your Social Security Number

If your Social Security number has been stolen, the thief may try to swipe your tax refund or obtain employment under your name. Contacting the Social Security Administration is the most important part of the identity theft recovery process because Social Security numbers can affect several important things in your life, including jobs and taxes. 

These are just a few of the important measures you must take to ensure a successful recovery from identity theft. The process may seem long and laborious, but every step is crucial in securing your personal information. If you have additional questions about identity theft, get in touch with ADS Guards, one of the top security guard companies Hayward has to offer. Give us a call today at 1-800-794-1550 and one of our representatives would be happy to assist you.


How to Avoid Getting Scammed When Buying and Selling Online

Online selling sites make it easier than ever to unload items you don’t want any more and buy the slightly used things you need at a steep discount. However, criminals who seek to steal your hard-earned money and personal information also frequent these sites. The Hayward security experts at ADS Guards have a few tips to help you avoid scams so you can buy and sell online safely.

Get to Know the Buyer or Seller

If you aren’t sure about making a financial transaction with someone, ask to speak with him or her on the phone. Chat a little bit and see if the person makes you feel comfortable or not. On local selling sites, you can easily check out someone’s social media profiles and mutual friends you might have in common. If someone avoids talking to you beyond short messages or there’s no trace of the person on social media, you may want to steer clear.

Protect Your Identity

When selling and buying online, never reveal personal information like your social security number, credit card number, or address. The photos you post of the items you sell should be cropped to prevent displaying images that could potentially identify you or your location. 

Be Wary About Payment

Use a safe system like PayPal that doesn’t reveal your personal information when completing online transactions. PayPal also has integrated protections if you are the victim of fraud. Certain payment methods are red flags for fraudulent activity and should be avoided, including Western Union and other wire transfers, cashier’s checks, and personal checks. Never give your banking information to anyone online. 

Learn About Common Scams

Certain sites, including the Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission, post alerts about common scams. For example, if you post a big-ticket item for sale on Craigslist, scammers can use a fake PayPal site to mimic a message that makes it look like they have transferred money. You then ship the item, and the cash never clears. Always wait for money to be deposited or checks to clear before shipping an item. In another common scam, an overpayment for an item is sent and you are asked to return the funds. The original check never clears and you’ve lost the money. 

To learn more about avoiding scammers and keeping your personal information and finances safe, reach out to the security experts at ADS Guards. We are a leading provider of security guard patrol services Hayward businesses and residents prefer, and we also offer security for special corporate events. Give us a call today at 1-800-794-1550 for a free quote.


Preventing Credit Card Fraud When on Vacation

If you plan to travel, there are certain precautions you should take to prevent credit or debit card fraud. The staff at ADS Guards, a leading Hayward security guard company, has a few suggestions to help keep your information safe when on vacation.

Look Out for Fake ATMs

Clever thieves who frequent popular tourist destinations have managed to find ways to create fake ATMs for committing debit card fraud. These fake ATMs are often fitted on top of real ATMs and feature skimmers that capture your debit card number for fraudulent use. To spot a fake ATM, look for broken locks, open side panels, and machines that are not firmly secured in place.

Keep Track of Your Accounts Online

It is especially important to regularly check your credit card accounts online when you are on vacation. Your credit card information may have been obtained without your knowledge, and you will be able to quickly spot unauthorized purchases if you check your accounts frequently with your mobile device. If you notice any suspicious activity, call your credit card company immediately to report the situation.

Beware of Telephone Scams

You might receive a phone call in your hotel room from someone claiming to work at the front desk. This person may state there was a problem with processing your credit card and ask you to verify your card’s information again over the phone. If this happens, the person on the other end is likely a scammer. Hang up and go down to the front desk yourself to see if the call was legitimate. 

Securely Store Your Credit Cards

On the days you do not plan to use your credit cards, it is best to leave them in a secured location. Lock your credit cards up in your hotel room’s safe. If the room you are staying in does not have a safe, you may be able to have your cards locked inside the hotel’s safe.

For additional tips to keep your personal information protected, reach out to the security experts at ADS Guards. We offer residential and commercial security in Hayward, as well as security for special events. For more information, call 1-800-794-1550 to speak with one of our qualified representatives.


5 Ways Summer Students Can Stay Safe on Campus

Enrolling for the summer session at your college can be a great way to earn degree credits or enjoy outreach courses. However, since fewer students and staff are on campus during the summer, the risk of dangerous situations may increase. Hayward security experts discuss 5 ways summer students can stay safe.

1. Stick to Areas Where Other People Are Present

It makes sense to avoid walking alone in the areas of campus where fewer people are out and about. Some office buildings, classrooms, and parts of the library may be unoccupied during the summer, even during daytime hours. Stay away from these places whenever possible.

2. Locate Emergency Phones

Most universities have emergency telephones located on kiosks around campus. The phones connect directly to the campus police, allowing them to respond immediately to signs of danger. Before summer classes begin, map out your route around campus and pay special attention to the locations of these phones.

3. Keep Your Dorm Room Locked at All Times

There are usually fewer residence staff members on campus during the summer months, which means the chances of intruders entering a dorm building can increase. Be sure to keep your personal space secured, whether you are in the room or not.

4. Set Up a Buddy System with Classmates

Arrange a system of safety checks with other students in your classes. If you are going to be absent from class on a given day, let a classmate know beforehand so he or she can sound an alert in the event of an unexcused absence. 

5. Be Especially Alert in Campus Parking Lots

Campus parking lots and garages can be dangerous places because they are less likely to have security guard patrol during the summer. Keep your car locked and your alarm set whenever you park on campus, and select a space in a well-lit area occupied by other cars. Be particularly careful to check the back of your car before you unlock it and enter because an intruder may be lurking there. 

Students who want additional tips on increasing their safety on campus should contact ADS Guards. We are a leading provider of armed and unarmed guards in Hayward, offering security for residential and commercial spaces and special corporate events. Give us a call today at 1-800-794-1550 to learn more.