It’s almost that time again…
The tax prep commercials have started and soon our mailboxes will be filled with letters, forms and statements we need to file our tax returns. Many of us will get a refund. While it may be tempting to blow all this money on a night out or new electronic toy, perhaps you should consider investing in your home. Many home safety devices have modest price tags. For the cost of a pizza and beer night you can equip your home with smoke detectors or extinguishers. For the price of a family movie trip you can install a better, more sophisticated peephole like the WideScope or replace your burned out porch bulbs with a motion sensor light.
It’s true that in recent years many families have used tax refund time as a way to catch up on bills or stash away a bit of savings. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, as you start this year, if you find you’ve got a bit of “extra” in your wallet, why not start off with improved safety?
The days are getting shorter and the stores are full of shoppers with lists that include things like crayons and glue sticks. It’s back to school time and that means latch-key kids. That means it’s also time to review the home safety rules with your children. Even older children need to be reminded that they should never open the door to strangers. In addition to talking to your family about safety—like always looking to see who is outside before opening the door—consider adding or upgrading a door viewer/peephole in the front door.
If your primary care giver is a grandparent, or anyone with vision problems, consider installing a peephole with a larger lens. http://www.peepholesecurity.com/ultravision-axl.htm
You don’t have to own a “standard” door to use a door viewer. If you have a thin paneled door consider something like a short peephole. http://www.peepholesecurity.com/miniview.htm
Even kids who are in your home business or commercial space after school should be protected by a quality door viewer. http://www.peepholesecurity.com/xtrascope.htm
In the excitement of the new school year, don’t forget to remind kids to be safe, and always look to see who’s outside the door.
Your home is your sanctuary. It’s the place where you and your family relax and enjoy life and feel safe. But safety doesn’t just happen. You need to put forth a little effort and a modest investment so you can sleep soundly at night. Here are a few things to consider—low cost items that really pay back in peace of mind.
Fire extinguishers: you should have one in the kitchen and near the fireplace. For multi-story homes have an upstairs and downstairs extinguisher. Check them on a schedule to make sure they are still in good condition.
Peephole/door viewer: you need one in the front door (or any outside entry door not made of glass). After your peephole is installed teach family members, especially children, to look to see who is outside before opening the door—EVERY time.
First aid kit: you must have the supplies on hand for the minor accidents that always happen. Check the expiration dates on medications and ointments. Be sure to include small scissors and tweezers.
Flashlights and batteries: you cannot afford to forget this traditional emergency staple. In addition to being a lifesaver in a power failure a good flashlight helps with home repair jobs and other unexpected times when some illumination is needed.
You know you should lock your windows and doors at night–easy. You know you should set your alarm when you leave the house–easy. You know you should never open the door without looking first to see who is there…easy? Yes, it can be. Installing a peephole is a simple do-it-yourself project. In a short while you can add a new and important piece to the home safety puzzle for your family. Shopping for a peephole is even easier now since you can view many models online and order with just a click of the mouse. Don’t let this task intimidate you.
School’s out and kids are spending more time at home, sometimes unsupervised. It’s a reality of modern life; both parents often have to work. When your children are at home, do they know the basic rules of home safety? Make sure you prepare your kids for the realities of staying at home alone.
1. Have a family meeting to discuss the rules of alone time
2. Post the numbers of a trusted neighbor or two and discuss when/how to call 911
3. Tell children to never open the door to strangers—have them use a peephole and give them a short list of friends/family they can allow in
In addition to preparing your children, you need to prepare your home for summer. Cut back unruly shrubs from windows and your entry way. Install proper locks and a peephole in your front door. Even though the days are longer and brighter, don’t forget to check all your exterior lights.
In order to provide a visual display between the different types of peepholes and door viewers available in the market, we have prepared this basic comparison summary among the four most commonly used viewers for your consideration.
1- The Standard Peephole found in most hardware stores is a first generation design. This model is generally a 12mm (1/2”) diameter peephole composed of two lenses that provides a limited view range of 160 degrees. This peephole found in most apartments, motels, and even high-end hotel rooms is popular due to its easy installation, inexpensive price, and wide availability. Visibility can be very poor and the image may be too small for people with visual difficulty to identify clearly who or what is outside the door. The price range is between $5.00 – $10.00 depending on the material used and the type of lenses. Low quality models made with plastic lenses eventually become opaque and scratched. Poor security on a budget.
2- The Wide Angle (Projection) Viewer is a second-generation viewer designed to provide an enlarged view of the subject better than the standard peephole. The view lens ranges from 36mm to 60mm ( 1 ½” – 2 3/8”) for easier identification of the subject outside the door. It uses the optical principle of a double prism projecting the image onto the rear of a large opaque lens. The resulting image is a 132 degree “projected” image similar to a rear projection TV. However, the image appears reversed much like a mirror where the left side is on the right and vice-versa. This type of viewer is suitable for installations in homes where the front door faces the open outdoors since it requires a good light source to project the image. It is not recommended for installations indoor such as in apartments with poorly lit halls. One feature of this type of viewer is that the person inside can be as far as seven feet away from the door and “see” who is outside. Because of the large opening required for installation, it may need professional installation if the homeowner does not have the proper drill size tools. The price ranges from $20.00 to $60.00 depending on the material used, the quality of the lenses, and the degree of resolution. An example of this type of viewer is the UltraVision line of door viewers
3- The Far & Near Viewer is a new third generation patented design that provides a good compromise between size, resolution and price. This type of viewer adopts a three-lens design over the two lens standard peephole. It can provide a larger, more precise, and sharper 200-degree view with minimum distortion. The direct thru-the-lens view is 26mm ( 1.0”) in diameter that allows observation as close as a few inches or as far as several feet way from the door, similar to the projection viewer, but with a much reduced opening needed for installation. It also offers clear and sharper images under all lighting conditions day or night. An additional feature of this type of viewer is the inclusion of a matching built-in privacy cover that provides total privacy and protection against “reverse peephole” devices. A good example of this type of viewer is the EZView line of door viewers. The price ranges from $12 to $35 for most viewers in this category, depending on the material used, the type of lenses, and the degree of privacy required.
4- The Specialty Peepholes are great for specific applications that require a shorter or longer peephole length than usual for installation on thin door panels, extra thick security doors, and even walls. This type of peephole is generally made of solid brass with high quality optical glass lenses that provide a clear thru-the-lens sharp view angle of 200 degrees. The popular 14mm (9/16”) diameter allows better and easier viewing than the 12mm standard peephole, but it is as simple and easy to install. Most units include a matching detachable privacy cover plate for added security. The price range is between $20 to $70 for applications requiring less than 19mm (3/4”) in width and up to 205mm ( 8.0”). An excellent and popular example of this type of viewer is the MiniScope door viewer.
© 2009 Peephole Security
The whole world was shocked and appalled by the video violation of ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews. And the situation begs the question, “Now what?” There is a famous business case from the 1970’s about the explosion prone Pinto automobile. The design required an $11 modification and company executives decided it wasn’t “worth it” with tragic results. Today hotels are faced with a similar though less deadly choice. Policies and procedures have not kept pace with changing technology. It is now possible for criminals to look into peepholes with a device called a reverse door viewer and see what’s going on in your hotel room. These devices were designed for use by law enforcement. There is a simple and inexpensive fix for this problem—peepholes with built in cover plates. These products allow the occupant of the room or suite to have control over the viewing lens in the door, without having to travel with bits of duct tape. If you are the owner or manager of a hotel you cannot afford to let your guests become victims of preventable stalking and peeping crimes. For a few dollars you can provide an additional level of security and privacy for your guests. It is definitely worth it.
Home invasion is one of the most common and frightening crimes of modern society. According to the FBI there’s a burglary every 10 seconds and each year 1 out of every 5 families will become crime victims. A peephole in your front door can be an important line of defense for protecting yourself and your family.
Home invaders strike while someone is home. They typically use a ruse to gain entry into your home. Other times they just hope you will open the door without looking to see who’s there. Don’t.
What can you do to protect yourself?
• Install a peephole, and use it. Always look to see who is outside your door before opening the door.
• If you are not expecting a delivery, ask (through the door) for the person to show their ID, delivery order or company card.
• If you look through the peephole and see nothing, beware. An invader could be holding something over the lens to push you into opening the door. Just say, “Please back up so I can see you.”
• Hold a conversation with others who are home with you—never let on that you are alone—even if you are talking back to the television.
• Don’t be afraid to tell someone you are “busy” and can’t open the door right now. Ask them to come back at another time, when you know others will be at home.
After spending years looking into a tiny peephole trying to identify who or what was outside the door, I finally found some of the most sophisticated and useful peepholes in the market today. Now I realize that the first and best barrier to avoid a home invasion is to have a good quality peephole. Ask me and I will tell you all about it.https://peepholeinfo.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/hello-world/