How to get the best out of security dogs

Breeds like this Doberman were specifically br...

Breeds like this Doberman were specifically bred for guard duty.

Regardless of the advanced technological innovation in the field of private security- that has seen all types of security solutions come into use-the dog still remains,may be even far into the future, at the top of the list of security solutions available. Probably it is better to say that the dog is man’s oldest friend and  his  consistent source of security.

There is nothing that puts off burglars and robbers than a dog.Burglary/robbery is risk taking and like in business, those who undertake it will weigh the cost and the returns.A dog happens to be a cost raiser.

Not all dogs are security dogs but by and large,all of them can play a security role in a home.More often than not, what makes a dog a security dog is not its breed but  the training it gets.

There are two main security tasks a dog will do at home that will inform your choice of breed and training;

  • being a watch dog(raising alarm over intrusion by barking) and
  • a guard dog(able to attack and restrain intruders).

For a watch dog,the size of the dog does not matter, but guard dog need to be of a bigger size and better trained.

There are two ways of acquiring a security dog into your home for security,each with advantages and disadvantages.You can outsource the service from private security firms.In this arrangement,you do not have to worry about daily care for the dog, like food,veterinary care,exercise etc.But this comes at a very high monthly financial cost.Further more, you do not develop loyalty and friendship with the dog.The dog will always take you and members of your family as adversaries and that makes it a danger to you and your family within your home.

On the other hand, you can acquire your own dog and integrate it into your family.In this arrangement, all the day to day care of the dog will be your responsibility.This is not cheap neither but you have more to gain,all the dog’s friendship and loyalty will be to you and members of your household.

In order for you to get the best from your security dog,you should do the following:

1)Observe legal requirements.

Ensure you have proper paperwork before,during and after acquiring the dog.Different cities in/and different countries have varying laws and by laws guiding ownership of pets.Find out from your local authority what is required of you to be an owner of a dog.

2) Ensure your home is habitable to a dog

Bear in mind the safety of the dog and that of your neighbors.You do not want to start attracting law suits.An ideal home for a security dog is a stand alone and well fenced (Not flats,unless there is agreement by all residents). Buy a good kennel,dog blankets and utensils

3)Buy from licensed dog dealers.

This will assure you of standards and in case of unforeseen complications,you will have a legal entity to deal with.

4)Adjust your financial budget to include the daily care for the dog.

Many Kenyans will get a dog easily but will fail to put their needs(dogs’) within their budgets.A dog into your home is a new family member,make appropriate adjustments.

5)Create a relationship with your dog.

Play with them in the backyard,walk them,it is not only good for the dog’s health, but your own too(The exercise is helpful to both ends of the leash). Give them  good names (Do not forget to tag them, in case they get lost) and talk to them,you will be surprised how dogs understand human language.

I know you might say,’But I am not a dog type’. Just open your heart and give a dog a chance and I am sure of one thing, you will not regret.

What if Nairobi was hit by an earthquake?

Beautiful City of Nairobi

Beautiful City of Nairobi

In the afternoon of 12/01/2010, a disaster in form of a 7.0 magnitude-on the Richter scale- earthquake struck Haiti, one of two republics that make up the Caribbean island of Hispaniola(The other being Dominican Republic).In the following hours and days ,incredible horror images of death, destruction and suffering  streamed around the world  and left many  lost for words .About 250,000-a conservative figure-   people lost their lives in that natural disaster.

In the city of Correfour,that has a population of 348,400,about 20,000 people were killed.I point out this particular city not because it was the most affected of all, but to draw attention to how it was affected differently from another city in another country,Christchurch, New Zealand, even when they faced the same kind of disaster and had almost same size of populations.

Though Christchurch was affected by a little lower magnitude of earthquake(6.3 on the Richter scale),the difference in casualty,deaths and destruction were not close to proportional.While in Correfour about 20,000 people died,only 185 deaths were recorded from the Christchurch earthquake disaster.In the latter, only one building was completely destroyed(Canterbury Television building) while in the former, 50% of all buildings in the city were completely destroyed.

The disparity could be explained by many factors at play, but one that comes out clear as the main,is the difference in the quality of buildings in the two cities.Haiti being the poorest country in the western hemisphere and one of the least developed countries in the world, has had challenges of establishment and management of building and construction standards.This has seen poor workmanship  which translate to weak and dangerous buildings.On the other hand,New Zealand has very well-developed and implemented building construction standards that assure her citizens of structures around them that can witstand a huge amount of stress.

On 17 April 2012 at around 5am,residents of Nairobi and some other towns of Kenya were woken up by an earth tremor that, fortunately, was of low magnitude.When it strikes again,we do not know how big its magnitude will be.Earthquakes are natural phenomenons that have always happened from time immemorial and will keep rearing their ugly heads.It is not a question of if, but when and how ready we are.We,of course, can not stop earthquakes from occurring,at least not now,but we can minimise their effects by putting up buildings that can stand them when they strike.

House construction industry in Kenya is in anarchy and can only be compared by that of Haiti.The industry is driven by only one thing,greed.

A game of greed and selfish interest is being played by politicians,corrupt city hall officers and landlords at the cost of sanity and so security of tenants and Kenyans in general.You only need to drive along roads of Eastlands(Umoja,Kayole,Huruma,Majengo,Dandora etc.),and other informal and semi-informal settlements of Nairobi, then it will dawn on you that,with the quality of buildings in place and those coming up, the city is sitting on a bomb that needs only a small shake and what befell Haiti in the evening of 12th of Jan 2010, will visit the city of Nairobi(God forbid).

20 tips to make your home appear too risky in the eyes of a burglar.

Burglary!!! Please close all doors to continue

It is important to understand how burglars work. Burglary is a burglar’s job, with each new job they do they must consider the risks and rewards like any other person with a job. If your home appears too risky for them, they will simply move on to another one that appears less risky. Read here 20 tips to make your home appear too risky in the eyes of a burglar.

Do not be a victim of robbery with drugging

Police say drugging was rampant in 2009 but nothing has really changed: That friendly man you are seated next to at the bar counter could be having something up his sleeve — a drug that reduces you to a zombie after which you will obediently give him your ATM card and PIN. Or take him to your home.Read more

What is a tsunami?

The word tsunami is one that many Kenyans are familiar with,thanks to its usage in polical rallies and debates,but ironically few might be knowing what its real meaning is or at least how a tsunami is formed and how monstrous it is.

When the Kenyan government issued a tsunami warning alert on 11 April 2012,a joke made rounds in the social media to the effect that guys were calling their family and friends in the lake city of Kisumu to enquire whether they were ok.This joke might be pushing the ignorance of Kenyans on tsunami too far,but the reality is most Kenyans do not know what a tsunami is.

What is a tsunami?

These are larger than normal sea waves generated by a high magnitude disturbance at the sea floor.The long wavelength tides overflow onto land when they hit the coast,with capabilities of destroying property and killing populations in their way( Watch video here).During the 2004 boxing day tsunami,around 240000 people lost their lives in South East Asia,The Indian subcontinent,Australia and Africa and property worth hundreds of billions of dollars was destroyed.

In a nutshell,the sea water is pushed onto the land resulting in huge floods.

The causes of the undersea disturbances that produce tsunamis are many.They include movement of undersea tectonic plates(earthquakes),undersea volcanic activity,massive undersea landslides and glacier calving/falling of huge icebergs into the sea.There are also man-made causes,a good example of which being undersea nuclear tests.

Signs of a tsunami

Initial signs of a tsunami are earthquakes along the coast (if close to the epicentre) and receding of water dramatically, along the coast,exposing normally submerged areas.In tsunami prone countries like Japan and Indonesia,early warning systems have been put in place to watch changes in the sea for tsunami signs.In case of positive signs like earthquakes,change of undersea pressure,out of ordinary wavelengths,they issue warnings in form of sirens.

Normally,tsunamis take time to travel from their source to coastlines,subject to distance.This may give populations time to evacuate before their area is hit.

Security tip;

Any time you are near a coastline and you either have signs of a tsunami like an earthquake and a water drawback or you receive a warning from the authorities,be calm and evacuate immediately.Make effort to help others,like kids,the elderly,the sick and the disabled evacuate along with you.Also, it is important to share messages of tsunami warnings to those you think are in danger but might not have received the warning alerts.

Mobile frauds and mobile security tips

mobile phone text message

mobile phone

You celebrate the mobile phone , and every other life changing mobile tech and solutions-mobile money,mobile internet,mobile banking etc- that have come along with it,every time you pick it up to make a call,text,Facebook,tweet,send money…..But mobile does not start and end with the good.Mobile fraud has proven to be part and parcel of the mobile evolution.With the mobile technology,it is now more likely for you to be coned of your money by a criminal holed up somewhere in Kamiti maximum security prison than it is to be mugged or pickpocket in the streets of Nairobi,east of Tom Mboya street.

As more and more services and products on mobile platform are becoming part of Kenyans’ daily lives,so are criminals moving in with more advanced means of making a kill.It is advisable for you try to always be on top of things by empowering yourself with information that will protect you from falling into snares thrown at you by these mobile criminals.

The following are some of the common mobile frauds you might meet and below them are mobile security tips that might be helpful in such situations;

1)Fictitous promotions-They call or send you a message notifying you that you have won a substantial amount of money.If you play along,they will ask you send a processing fee to enable them transfer the money to your account(This the oldest and the most common). There is another ending to this particular fraud,  taking you through a procedure of remotely withdrawing money from your mobile money account through an ATM(Through the ATM Agent service) while all along making you believe it is a procedure of getting the won money into your account.

Mobile security tip-You can not win in a promotion you never entered in the first place.Check out the contact number of all promotions you enter.Fortunately all genuine promotions today have these contacts made public in advance.Do not enter any code numbers from anybody into your mobile money platform.Also report such incidences to your mobile services provider(If Safaricom,send such messages to 333)

2)Death threats-they send you text messages with information that they-the senders-have been paid to finish you off.But there is a rider to this,that they will not carry out the task if you send them money equal or more than the amount they were allegedly paid or promised by your “enemy” who wants you dead.

Mobile security tip-Be calm and do not send any money. Report these threats immediately to the police and to your mobile service provider.

3)Money accidentally send to you– usually you receive a forwarded receipt of money confirmation text message.If you are not keen you will be mistaken to think you have received real money.The sender will call and ask for a refund, which if you do will result in you sending them your own money.

Mobile security tip– Anytime someone sends or claim to have accidentally send their money to your account,refer them to the mobile money transfer service provider for help(If  Safaricom, ask them to call 234). Do not refund any money instead ask the service provider to verify and refund if the claims are genuine.

4)Premium rate sms promotionsThere very many sms promotions.Some are genuine, but there are also many that turn out to be outright fraud.It also possible for criminals to subscribe your number on your behalf without your consent.

Mobile security tip-Do not subscribe to any promotion you know little about.If you suspect you are subscribed to a promotion without your consent,inform your mobile service provider and, if need be, report to the police.

5)Identity theft and evesdroping-with some softwares available,someone can send sms from their gadgets using your mobile phone number.It is also possible now for someone to evesdrop on your calls,sms,emails etc to and from your phone.This is possible if they succeed in installing spyware in your gadgets.

Mobile security tip-You should be careful who handles your phone.Also phones given to you as gifts should be handle with suspicion, especially if you are supposed to use the phone to pass sensitive data.Open source software is another huge channel of spyware to your mobile and other communication devices,so it is important to be careful with downloads.

There is a chance that you have fallen to at least one of the above frauds or even one that is not listed above.I will appreciate if you shared your experience below.