The current stay-at -home orders have forced us to be more creative with our time while we focus on maintaining our physical and mental health. For most, staying at home has not been easy and the constraints have added new frustrations to our daily lives but, it’s important we try our best to adapt. January is typically a month where people make resolutions for the new year; challenge themselves to eat healthier, make plans to exercise more and take trips to warmer climates but, this year is different. This year, we reminisce about the good times and make lists of all the things we’d like to do once it’s safe but don’t forget to take the time to appreciate those that are frontline workers for essential services—like our Operatives. Our Operatives are the ones overlooking our customer’s safety 24/7 and you’d be surprised at the activity they’ve seen in our communities.
Our entire operations adapted to ensure the health and safety of our employees, while continuing to serve our customers with the same level of care and detail. We made arrangements for all office employees to work remotely to limit the interaction with our frontline workforces. Our Operatives follow strict protocols to stay healthy and safe. Every time they enter the Avante Control Centre for duty, they must check-in, have their temperature taken and sanitize their stations and vehicles regularly. The Supervisors are doing daily health-checks with their team to make sure that no one has any of the common COVID-19 symptoms: fever, dry cough, tiredness, etc. If anyone shows signs of these symptoms, they must get tested and provide proof of their negative results before returning to work.
We are fortunate that our team transitioned seamlessly without sacrificing our operations, but we’ve taken note of a lot more unusual activity. Our Operatives have witnessed neighbourhood protests and acts of vandalism in the past, but the volume of unusual and suspicious incidents has increased drastically during the lockdown. Please be aware and stay safe by giving us a call if you see anything unusual or concerning. We want to inform you of the latest crime trends with some examples of what is happening in our communities.
Below is a video captured from one of our customer’s surveillance system that is equipped with Video Analytics. The footage shows a man using a makeshift blowtorch to attempt lighting their basketball net on fire. The fire did not spread but upon further investigation other locations have been targeted. The police arrived shortly after our operative, but no charges are pending at this time.
2. Garbage Prowling
It’s common for the homeless to sift through accessible recycling bins to gather cans and glass bottles to exchange for cash. The more serious concern is when someone is searching your bins to get your personal information leading to identity theft, fraud, burglary and more.
Read the full details here: Man facing prowling charges after allegedly stealing dirty diapers from Upper Beaches home
It is vital that you shred all personal documents to avoid identity theft. Check your junk mail and remove any labels that display your name and address. Safeguard all physical pieces of identification and do not write passwords down on loose paper; reduce the risk of throwing these value pieces of information away.
3. Checking for Unlocked Vehicle Doors
As you drive in your neighbourhood, you likely would not pay much attention to someone standing in a driveway or at a front door. Most of us assume there is nothing nefarious occurring. But this is not always the case. We are seeing a dramatic increase in theft involving vehicles whether it’s contents or the vehicle itself, it’s a very real concern. It is more than just stealing your change in the console. You may have your personal information such as your insurance policy, ownership, copy of driver’s license or more. When they know it’s an easy target, they come back…again and again. Take extra precautions around your vehicle. Start by locking your vehicles always. Ask about our Avante Black Box, lined with Faraday mesh, or talk to one of our Security Specialist about video analytics— have our Operatives dispatched to your home before an incident occurs.
4) High Levels of CO2
Late last month, a man was found dead and two others had serious injuries after they were exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide. This incident could have been avoided if the home had a working C02 detector.
Read the full details of the tragic incident here: Man dead, woman and child in hospital after carbon monoxide poisoning in Toronto home
Monitoring room air is vital; especially with all the time we are spending at home. Carbon monoxide is impossible for human senses to track since it’s both odorless and colourless, so it is important to check the health of your carbon monoxide monitors regularly by pressing the test button for a few seconds. Better yet, make sure that Avante is monitoring and checking your Carbon Monoxide detectors.
More information: Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs – Carbon Monoxide Information
5) Undetected Fires
There have been too many incidents of blazing fires across the Greater Toronto Area. The following headlines are just a few examples of tragic events that could have been avoided with better precautions and working smoke detectors.
Fire at North York residence leaves man dead, officials say smoke detectors were not working
Efforts underway to help 12 men displaced by a two-alarm fire
Four people dead, several injured after 3-alarm house fire in Toronto’s east end
Toronto Fire has urged the public to be more cautious since there has been a surge of fires in the past month. They are dealing with ongoing staffing shortages as they make requests for the city to provide more budget to increase their manpower.
As with CO detectors, your smoke detectors need to be changed every few years. Please call us to have an Avante technician install your monitored life safety devices. Feel confident that be your home is well monitored and maintained.
Life as we knew it has changed since COVID-19 was officially named and we need to focus on our health and safety more than ever. Refocus your priorities and make your home a safe haven by keeping it organized and clean. Keep a clear mind and question any suspicious or unusual activities spotted in your community. We are only 1 call away—let us know how we can help heighten your security and give you piece of mind.