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Securit y • Energy • Health • Enter tainment Authorit y B ATO N

RO U G E

LI V I N G STO N

A SC EN S I O N

SPRING 2011

VOL 3 ISSUE 3

G R E AT ER

identity

THEFT it can happen to you

Page 17


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Safety Tip: In the spring, people often like to clean their homes. When cleaning out closets or re-organizing, always keep stairs, steps, landings and all floors clear.


SPRING 2011 VOL. 3 ISSUE 3

contents 05> FROM THE PUBLISHER

Springtime is just around the corner

06> ZUMBA FITNESS: IT’S A PARTY with Therapeutic Wellness

07> IS YOUR WEBSITE

WORKING FOR YOU? with Vizado Web Solutions

09> IN THE KNOW

Juban Crossing Ground Breaking

10> WHAT’S COOKIN’ WITH MEME Onion Souffle’

IN 11> CHOICES ORTHODONTIC THERAPY with Premier Dental Care

13> SOLAR NEWS

with GreenLight Solar

14> WHAT EVERY PET

OWNER SHOULD KNOW

15> FIRE WATCH

with Howard Ward

17> IDENTITY THEFT

It Can Happen to You

18> COUPON SECTION 19> FUN ZONE 22> DOES YOUR CHILD

WATCH TOO MUCH TELEVISION?

23> LOCAL CRIME

STATISTICS with Crime Stoppers

24> CERTIFIED NEWS:

A LOOK BEHIND THE SHIELD - We’re Going Green - Local Police Officer Saves Woman’s Life - Employee Spotlight - Customer Testimonial

Add Your Voice! TELL US YOUR STORY *

Do you have an inspirational, entertaining or safety-related story you would like to share? Whether you’re an aspiring writer, business professional or stay-at-home mom, we want to hear from you! Your story could be featured in the next issue of Safe & SOUND Magazine. Submit your stories, comments and ideas anytime online to www.SafeAndSoundMagazine.com. Please send photo submissions to newsletter@certifiedalarms.com, or mail to: Safe & SOUND Magazine, P.O. Box 339, Denham Springs, LA 70727. *Publisher reserves the right to edit or reject any content submission or advertising it finds in its sole discretion to be inappropriate, misleading or objectionable.

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Safety Tip: Before you mow your grass, check the area for broken sticks, stones, toys and anything else that can shoot out from under the mower or damage the blade.


from the publisher

Springtime...

...is just around the corner. With flowers in bloom and the grass turning to its beautiful shade of green, we are reminded that another season is arriving. Spring is the time when we open the windows and let the breeze blow through our homes or go out in the yard and do a little gardening. So when you’re working outdoors tending to your flower beds or mowing your lawn, remember to wear safety goggles, gloves, a sun hat and sun block. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids like water or other electrolyte-type beverages. Because you are starting lawn mowers and other lawn equipment for the first time after several months, be sure to use the necessary precautions. Remember to keep children and animals away from lawn equipment. Be aware that insects are also celebrating the new season, so be mindful that they may be lurking in the bushes and on the eves and

PUBLISHER/CEO Rusty Howard info@certifiedalarms.com Jan Howard jan@certifiedalarms.com

EDITOR

Carol Pierce carol@jumpnow.com

MARKETING DIRECTOR Mary Milton mary@certifiedalarms.com

gutters of your home. Be sure to have plenty of insect spray nearby to protect you from being attacked by an infestation. Also, be on the lookout for those insects to which you may be allergic. Most importantly, enjoy the beautiful spring scenery, and as always, be safe.

April Mae Boudreau april@certifiedalarms.com

WEBMASTER Venkat Kommalapati venkat@certifiedalarms.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jennifer McMurray jennifer@vizado.com

Howard Ward -Baker Fire Department Rebecca Rainer -Chase Rainer Media

God Bless,

Rusty & Jan Howard - Publisher, Safe & SOUND Magazine -President / CEO, Certified Alarm Systems & Home Theaters, Inc.

Please Support Our Advertisers

We would like to thank all our readers and advertisers who consistently make Safe & SOUND Magazine one of Louisiana’s most sought after magazines. Safe & SOUND Digital Magazine provides direct links to our advertisers’ websites from their ads. Through the support of our advertisers, we are able to bring both versions of this magazine to you and the rest of our community. Please support our advertisers whenever possible. Let them know you’ve seen their ads in Safe & SOUND Magazine. Remember, when you shop locally, the money you spend remains in our community.

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ART DIRECTOR

Safe & SOUND Magazine is a monthly publication by

VIZADO Marketing & Web Solutions, A Department of Certified Alarm Systems & Home Theaters. 1113 Florida Blvd., SE Denham Springs, LA 70726 Main Office 225.928.7867 Marketing Dept 225.791.7179 safeandsoundmagazine.com certifiedalarms.com vizado.com Safe & SOUND cannot be held responsible for any unsolicited materials, including manuscripts and artwork. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in Safe & SOUND are those of the authors or advertisers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the owners, nor do they constitute the endorsement of products or services herein. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any paid advertisement. Copyright 2011 Certified Alarm Systems & Home Theaters. All rights reserved.

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FEATURED EXPERT 6

Safety Tip: Items that can fit through a toilet paper tube can cause a young child to choke. Keep coins, latex balloons and hard round foods, such as peanuts and hard candy, where children cannot reach them.


your busi Get a FRE ness toda E Website y! See offer

on back c over

Is Your Website Working For You? N

othing is more detrimental to your business than losing money. But that is exactly what happens every time a potential customer chooses another company over yours. If your competitor’s information is more easily accessible to customers, the competitor gets the business. Because we now live in “the digital age,” technology is everywhere. As a business owner, embrace its power and use it to your advantage. Research proves the most successful, efficient and affordable advertisement tool available today is your company’s website. Years ago, a potential customer would sift through yellow page after yellow page to find a business, company or service. Now, millions of people use search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN and Bing to find information every day. Your businesses can actually pay a search engine for the temporary use of “key words” that will link customers to your website. Those key words bring your website more “visitors” and ultimately more business. Constructing a website by yourself or, even worse, paying someone else to do it and your not receiving any positive returns for your efforts or money invested is counter-productive. However, there is a way to embrace the power of the internet, reach all your potential customers, waste less money, and not have to deal with the headache of figuring out this potentially confusing process. The solution: VIZADO.

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VIZADO has all the tools necessary to create an effective, efficient, and professional website for your business. Our team of Experts have the ability to design a website just for you with all the key components to bring your site to the top of the search engines.

Already have a website?

VIZADO offers Search Engine Optimization, which helps put your site among the first to appear when people search key words. For example, if a customer is looking for a lawyer in Baton Rouge and types “Lawyer Baton Rouge” into the Google search engine, almost a million websites can appear. That customer will usually not look past the first ten to fifteen websites on that page of listings. So he either settles for the most relevant lawyer listed, gives up, or actually finds the lawyer he needs. VIZADO knows what to do to help your company appear on that first page. You want your website to work for you. We at VIZADO want to ensure that your time and your money are not wasted. Take advantage of how the internet can help expand your business and increase your profits. Allow VIZADO to assist you in making your website one of your most powerful advertising tools. For more information, please call 225-791-7179 or see our advertisement on the back of this issue of Safe & SOUND Magazine.

$ /$50 Referral Reward Program - Provide referrals online anytime at www.CertifiedAlarms.com 50$/50 50 Referral Reward Program - Provide referrals online anytime at www.CertifiedAlarms.com

To Advertise, Please Visit Online www.SafeAndSoundMagazine.comororcall call 225-928-7867 225-928-7867 To Advertise, Please Visit UsUs Online atat www.SafeAndSoundMagazine.com

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FEATURED EXPERT

Need a w for ebsite?


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Safety Tip: If your power goes out a lot or lights in your home flicker, smell bad or make noise, call an electrician to inspect your wiring. Never tie, knot, or let furniture sit on cords.


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Juban Crossing Groundbreaking Marks Beginning of Development State and Parish Leaders Join Creekstone Developers for Historic Event LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (Feb. 15, 2011)

DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas, Livingston Parish President Mike Grimmer, State Sen. Dale Erdey, State Rep. Rogers Pope, members of the Livingston Parish Council, area elected officials and Creekstone Companies Principal Stephen Keller broke ground on the 471-acre Juban Crossing development at the intersection of Interstate 12 and Juban Road in Livingston Parish. “Since the Jindal Administration took office, more than $190 million has been invested in Livingston Parish’s infrastructure, including multiple enhancement projects that draw developments such as Juban Crossing to the area,” said LeBas. “I applaud Stephen Keller and his entire team at Creekstone Companies for bringing this innovative project to Livingston Parish and supporting the continued growth of this vital corridor.”

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Surrounded by enthusiastic residents, area business leaders and local officials, Pres. Grimmer, Sen. Erdey, and Rep. Pope heralded this event as a victory for Livingston Parish businesses and families. “This is a monumental day for Livingston Parish, as well as just the beginning of great things to come,” said Grimmer. “I am proud to have worked with our Livingston delegation to provide the resources and infrastructure support to help make this vision a reality,” said Sen. Erdey (Dist. 13). “Our diligence will ensure that residents and visitors alike will be able to get to Juban Crossing without the headaches of other retail establishments.” The $350 million project will be built in three phases. Developers announced that Kohl’s will be the first retailer to begin construction on a 55,000-square-foot department store in phase one. Other stores in negotiations include Ross and T.J. Maxx. Total retail in this first phase, opening fall of 2012, will make up approximately 350,000 square feet of the development. Also included are a 14-screen, 46,000-square-foot, 2,200-seat theater, national chain restaurants, a hotel, a drugstore, two banks and a gas station.

continued on page 12

PICTURED ABOVE:

Secretary Sherri Lebas, Parish Pres. Mike Grimmer, State Sen. Dale Erdey, State Rep. Rogers Pope, State Rep. Bodi White, State Rep. Mert Smiley, State Sen. Jody Amedee, Councilman Randy Rushing, Councilman Thomas Watson, Councilman Jimmie McCoy, Councilwoman Cindy Wale, Councilman Marshall Harris, Councilman Eddie Wagner, Councilman Buddy Mincey, Councilman Don Wheat, Councilman Ronald Sharp, Sheriff Willie Graves, Thomas Sullivan, Jr., Stuart Litvin (Liv. Economic Devel. Council), Walker Mayor Bobby Font, Stephen Keller, 4 Juban Family Members, Chamber Chairman Margot May. -PHOTOS PROVIDED BY REBECCA RAINER $

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Onion Souffle’

This onion soufflé is guaranteed to be a hit EVERYTIME you make it! I bring this dish to just about every neighborhood gathering we have, and it’s always the first to disappear. You’ll have requests for this one over and over. Enjoy! INGREDIENTS: 24 oz. cream cheese (softened) 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 12 oz. package frozen onions (thawed & drained) 2 cups grated parmeson cheese Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning and Cayenne Pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Beat cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth and fluffy. Add onions, cheese and seasoning to your liking. Beat until blended well. Spoon into a greased 8” baking/souffle’ dish. Bake about 30 minutes or until top is golden brown and fluffy. Serve hot with FRITOS® SCOOPS!® Corn Chips or crackers. SERVES 6 – 8

For more What’s Cookin With MeMe, please visit

,

www.safeandsoundmagazine.com

Do you have a recipe you want to share with us? Send it to newsletter@certifiedalarms.com. It could be featured in the next issue of Safe & SOUND Magazine!

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Safety Tip: Water safety is huge--swim in marked areas with a friend. Never swim alone; never swim in situations beyond your swimming ability, and certainly don’t dive into unfamiliar water.


- Dedicated to creating healthy, beautiful smiles.

Choices in Orthodontic Therapy

O

rthodontic therapy improves the appearance of your teeth and smile by straightening and realigning your teeth. When it comes to orthodontic therapy, each patient is unique. At Premier Dental Care, Dr. Robert Carlson carefully studies each case and recommends a preferred treatment plan. Premier Dental Care offers you two types of orthodontic therapy: traditional treatment of braces and cosmetic treatment with Invisalign.

TRADITIONAL BRACES

Traditional braces consist of metal or ceramic brackets cemented or bonded to the front of your teeth. A thin wire is then placed in the brackets to help move teeth. Over time, force and pressure slowly move your teeth to the preferred and desired position. To insure the best results, more frequent office visits, periodic cleanings, and other preventative services are required.

INVISALIGN

FEATURED EXPERT

Premier Dental Care

Dr. Robert H. Carlson, DDS

Member of the following: ADA (American Dental Association), GBRDA (Greater Baton Rouge Dental Association), LDA (Louisiana Dental Association), AGD (Academy of General Dentistry), DOCS (Doctors of Oral Sedation Dentistry), ICOI (International Congress of Oral Implantologists), The Pankey Institute, The Misch Institute. Provides orthodontic therapy in association with Progressive Orthodontics and Invisalign.

Unlike braces, where brackets and metal wires are visible inside your mouth, Invisalign is a more cosmetic form of orthodontic treatment. This therapy allows you to see the same results without anyone else seeing the device. Invisalign consists of clear BPA-free, plastic aligners that are individual, custom trays created specifically for you. These aligners do not irritate your cheeks or gums like traditional braces often do. You wear them throughout the day and remove them to brush and floss. This results in better hygiene. Because no wires or brackets are present, you are able to visibly see the results sooner. Depending on the patient, the therapy time for Invisalign may vary. But for optimal results, the aligners should be worn 20 to 22 hours per day.

Whether you need traditional braces or Invisalign, Dr. Carlson is dedicated to finding a solution for your Orthodontic needs. Contact Premier Dental Care today. Schedule an appointment to see Dr. Carlson if you or someone you know is in need of Orthodontic treatment.

Premier Dental Care GENER AL AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY

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Dr. Robert Carlson | Dr. Cyndi Nguyen | Dr. Toi Nguyen | Dr. Hoang Tran $

5188 Highland Road Baton Rouge, LA 70808 www.premierdentalcarebr.com

225-766-8107

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Juban Crossing Groundbreaking Marks Beginning of Development continued from page 9

Future phases will include roughly 800 single-family homes, 300 multi-family apartment homes, additional hotels, small office space, and a town square. Ultimately developers anticipate roughly 1.2 million square feet of retail throughout the development. Once completed, Juban Crossing will be a place to live, shop and work for some families and a place to stop for visitors and people traveling down Interstate 12. “This public and private investment is exactly what Livingston Parish needs as we continue our phenomenal growth for the future,” said Rep. Pope (Dist. 71). “We have great schools, great people, and soon on this land a great shopping, residential and community development we can all be proud of.” In a late December vote of 7-2, Livingston Parish council members approved a two-cent sales tax within the development. This tax will be bonded to raise an estimated $150 million to $175 million for parish-owned infrastructure, such as roads, drainage, a water tower and a sewerage collection system. Developers are working with the state legislative delegation on an initial appropriation to conduct engineering and environmental studies to improve the roads leading to the development. Their anticipated goal is to widen to four lanes Juban Road to Highway 190 and widen and extend Cook Road from Pete’s Highway to Juban Crossing. “Juban Crossing is more than just a retail development. It will allow the residents of Livingston Parish to work and shop where

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they live rather than having to travel to neighboring parishes,” added Keller. “We’re essentially building a small city.” “This is a reality that I never imagined I would see in my lifetime,” said Jerelyn Juban Witter, the owner of the land upon which the development will be built. “For us, this wasn’t just a piece of land. It was the opportunity for us to leave something behind that enriches the lives of the families and people of Livingston Parish.” The retail space will be completed in two years, the medical and commercial facilities within two-and-a-half years, and the residential properties will be finished within five to seven years. The economic impact of Juban Crossing has been the parish’s largest selling point. Economist Jim Richardson predicts local governments in Livingston Parish will have up to $21.8 million in additional tax collections over the next 25 years because of the retail development of Juban Crossing. Economist anticipate an additional 1,500 jobs just in construction alone. “Juban Crossing is the next development in Livingston Parish that will complement its sustained population growth, enhance its tax base, allow the parish and its municipalities to pay for public services demanded by the citizens, and make the parish an even more attractive place to live,” explained Dr. Richardson. Richardson estimates the housing units in the residential portion of Juban Crossing will support the projected population growth in the parish, will support the increase in the retail customer

base and will provide direct property tax payments to local governments. Once all residential units are completed, he projects property tax payments to be more than $3.2 million per year. According to Census data, Livingston Parish has gained almost 20,000 new residents or an average of almost 4,000 per year since 2000. Livingston Parish is projected to continue this population growth over the next twenty years. Richardson believes retail, commercial, and medical activities at Juban Crossing will lead to the creation and support of 3,253 jobs to 5,021 jobs, depending on the net new spending that occurs within the parish. “Livingston Parish has been known as the fastest growing parish in the state for a few years. Now we can add that we’ve got the biggest economic project to hit our area that will keep us on the map for a long time to come,” added Grimmer.

About

CREEKSTONE COMPANIES

is a vertically integrated, fullservice real estate investment, development and management company focused on multifamily residential and commercial properties throughout North America. With more that $1 billion in total investments, Creekstone concentrates on the institutional quality assets, each generally less that $75 million in total cost, within geographic regions that maintain long-term employment and strong population growth trends. www.creekstonecompanies.com

Safety Tip: Turn off lights and electronics when you leave the room. Unplug your cell phone charger from the wall when not using it. Turn off energy strips and surge protectors when not in use (especially overnight).


FEATURED EXPERT

SOLAR NEWS

from

Your Solar Energy Expert

READY FOR BIG GREEN? T

oday’s Solar is smarter and more affordable than ever. A few years ago, feeling energy independent and being green were the big reasons for going solar. Now the big 16% investment return is a prime consideration. Home Solar can save you $100 per month and pay for itself in 5 years. Louisiana has the best solar rebate program in the nation with 80% of the cost paid by state and federal incentives. Your first step to get in on the big green savings is to contact us. We can answer your questions and look at a satellite view of your roof to see if solar will work well for your property. Or visit our website packed with solar information, helpful resource links, and educational videos. Here is a sample of popular Q&A:

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HOW LONG DO SOLAR PANELS LAST? 40 to 50 years, and they have a 25 year power production warranty.

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WILL THEY STAND UP TO HURRICANES? Yes, in our area the system is engineered for 110 mph winds. Adding attachments can increase the rating to 135 mph.

DOES THE METER REALLY RUN BACKWARD? Yes, when your panels are creating more energy than your home is using.

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WILL MY POWER COMPANY BUY MY EXTRA SOLAR ELECTRICITY? No, but you do get a credit, like rollover minutes for future months. This arrangement is called net metering.

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ARE THERE SOME MADE IN AMERICA CHOICES? Yes, many. We are proud to offer systems which have most components made in the USA. Some of the best solar equipment in the world is made here in the USA.

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WHAT ABOUT FINANCING? We have a 6 - 18 month same as cash program. Many often use a home equity line of credit. Our website also has information and helpful links to FHA and other lending programs.

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WHAT IS THE LONG TERM RELIABILITY? Very good. Expect many years of trouble-free operation because there are no moving parts.

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WHAT MAINTENANCE IS INVOLVED? Washing the glass periodically helps boost output but is not required. We check the system if the monitoring program reveals significant power loss.

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WILL SOLAR POWER RUN MY HOUSE DURING A POWER OUTAGE? It can, but it requires more expensive equipment like batteries and a Hybrid Inverter.

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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET THE TAX CREDITS? Louisiana will rebate 50% within one year. Federal credit applies to the next tax return. $

SolarRouge.com | 225-341-2031

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What Every Pet Owner Should Know Spring and summer months are a great time for you and your dog to enjoy the outdoors. However, it’s important to remember these helpful tips: Make sure your pets are protected with flea, tick and heartworm treatments and are up-to-date on vaccinations. Fertilizing your lawn can be hazardous to your pets. Be mindful when letting your pets outside, and watch closely to make sure they are not eating grass. If you think your pet has ingested grass with pesticides or fertilizer on it, contact your vet immediately. Spring showers and sprinklers can leave puddles of standing water. Try not to let your dog drink out of puddles. Standing water can be filled with bacteria which causes gastrointestinal upset or ailments. Nothing is better than a leisurely spring ride in the car. If you’re taking your pet with you, make sure he is properly crated. Don’t put him in the back of a pick-up truck where he can fall out or let him hang out an open window where bugs or debris can get in his eyes. Pets have allergies, too. If your pet has swollen eyes, fur and skin conditions, scratches frequently, is sneezing or has other allergy symptoms, you may want to take your him to the vet to explore these problems. Certain common spring flowers, such as daffodils, tulips and lilies, can be extremely hazardous to your pet. Many can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested. Some can even be deadly.

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Safety Tip: Clean or replace heating and cooling filters once a month or as needed. If your filter is in a cardboard frame, it needs to be replaced monthly during the heating season.


FIRE FI REWATCH WATCH With Howard Ward - BAKER FIRE DEPARTMENT

Electricity,

a “silent servant” that can become a “silent assassin”

E

the mower, I immediately felt “Fire” and lectricity is not something you want to mess with. My let out a great big scream. dad taught me all about hunting, fishing and playing My dad just leaned over and said, ball. Sometimes when he was repairing our car or “Well, it ain’t fire.” small motors, he would let me help. But there was Although I was not injured from that lesson one lesson I learned that I will never forget. It and my dad and I laughed afterward, I learned the was my first lesson in Electricity 101. danger of this silent servant, electricity. I had heard about the dangers of It doesn’t take much to get hurt or killed electricity, but I had never really from even a small amount of experienced any. It was early electricity. The current from a spring, and our yard was ready for 7.5 watt Christmas tree bulb can mowing. So my dad pulled out our old trusty TG&Y 21” kill you in a fraction of a second if push mower, but it would not start. its current passes through your chest. When I asked my dad what was wrong with the The best thing you can do is to be aware mower, he said it sounded like it didn’t have “fire.” I of the dangers of electricity and learn how remember then asking him, “What is fire?” to avoid them. Being the light-hearted type and never one to Our homes are filled with items that resist an opportunity to teach his son a valuable run on electricity. These items do make our lives lesson, Dad wanted to show me what “fire” easier, but every year, more than 50,000 home actually was. So he removed the spark plug fires are caused by electrical problems. Even worse, wire from the spark plug and said, “Hold this.” hundreds of people die in these fires each year. As Dad pulled on the pull rope to start

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM THE SILENT ASSASSIN: 1.) If your power goes out a lot or if the lights in your home flicker, smell bad or make noise, have an electrician come to inspect your wiring.

5.) Don’t tie or knot cords. Don’t let furniture sit on cords.

2.) The electrical outlet in your bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This is a tool which protects you from a dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. An electrician can install a GFCI for you.

7.) Look inside each light fixture to find the label that tells you which light bulb size (wattage) is the right size for that fixture.

3.) All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by faceplates. 4.) Make sure all electrical cords are in good condition. $

6.) Use the right size light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures.

8.) Look for a mark on the label such as ETL or UL when you buy electrical appliances (such as toasters, microwaves or coffee makers) and cords. This will tell you the product has been tested for safety.

9.) Unplug toaster ovens, coffee makers and other small appliances after using them. 10.) Keep appliances dry and away from water at all times. 11.) Don’t plug too many appliances in at once.

Stay Safe,

Howard Ward - Baker Fire Department PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER (225) 706-0574 HLWard@BakerLaFire.org www.cityofbaker fd.com

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Safety Tip: Use tools at home and at work safely. Saws and knives have blade guards for a reason.


IDENTITY THEFT

W

hen we think of burglary, pickpockets, muggings, vehicle vandalizing, or even home invasion, we often think of stolen property, property damage and physical harm. However, we rarely consider that those horrible crimes can even result in the theft of our identity. Personal information, such as a driver’s license, social security card, and birth certificate, are often carried with us at all times. When we carry such items, we risk becoming victims of identity theft if we are mugged or robbed. Keeping financial records or personal documents in our home without putting them in a safe or our throwing those items in the trash without shredding them first can also put us at risk. When we voluntarily give information at shops or restaurants, online or over the phone, we are also putting ourselves at great risk of identity theft. Identity theft can generally be broken down into two categories: Financial and Nonfinancial. If you become a victim of identity theft, you may have to spend quite a bit of money out of your own pocket to resolve your situation with creditors or administrative or law enforcement agencies. In most cases, you suffer from direct financial harm. The kind of harm varies with the types of information identity thieves obtain and the ways in which that information is used. That can include thieves misusing your existing credit cards and debit card accounts, opening new accounts (including credit or debit card, loan, and utilities), having issued to themselves government benefits or services in your name, and purchasing motor vehicles and other valuable items with your funds or credit. Normally, you are not liable for debts that identity thieves create in your name. However, that is not always the case. If the theft involves your existing credit card account, then it can be a lot easier for you to correct the situation. Simply call the card issuer, report the fraudulent transactions and provide the necessary information. Those debts should then be dismissed. If the theft involves your debit card or checking account, you should be able to have the fraudulently $

‌ It CAN happen to you.

obtained funds restored to your account, pending resolution of your claim by your financial institution. However, you may be temporarily deprived of access to those funds. In cases where the thief has created new credit card accounts in your name, you may not even be aware of the identity theft until a creditor or debt collector contacts you. That contact may not take place until after the thief has reached the credit limit on your account and has left you with a large, outstanding debt. Unfortunately, you may have to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars recovering trying to resolve that debt. Expenses can include notary fees, certified mailings, hiring of legal counsel and lost income. Nonfinancial harm pertains mainly to loss of time, time that you have to spend correcting credit reports, disputing fraudulent accounts or charges and obtaining new identity documents. If your financial accounts have been misused, you may suffer damage to your credit standing and your general reputation when dealing with businesses and government agencies. That is why resolving and recovering from nonfinancial harm may take a lot longer. One reason identity theft can be so destructive to you is because of the amount of time and energy that is often required to correct credit reports, dispute charges with individual creditors, close and re-open bank accounts and monitor credit reports for future problems arising from the theft. You will spend many hours making telephone calls and writing letters to consumer reporting companies, creditors and debt collectors in order to resolve the crime. Those calls and letters result in your having to spend even more time gathering information and documents needed to prove you are innocent and not responsible for the debt the criminal created in your name. You may unknowingly have a criminal record in your name if a criminal uses your identity when he has committed a crime or when he has identified himself to law enforcement officers at or before his arrest or first appearance in a continued on page 20

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Safety Tip: Portable generators can produce carbon monoxide, CO. CO is a poisonous gas. You cannot see it, smell it or taste it. It can hurt or even kill you.


see page 26 for puzzle answers

Did You Know....

There are actually two Earth Days each spring. Both were launched in the spring of 1970 and shared their 40th anniversary in 2010. One is cele brated ever y year on the day of the Spring Equinox , which falls on or around March 21st when night and day are exactly the same length of time. The more com monly known Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd, the first official day of Spring in the Nor thern Hemisph ere and of Fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

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97 billion e-mail messages will be sent in 2011, more than 40 billion of which will be spam. There are over 10 million identity thef t victims in the U.S. each year: 1 ever y 4 seconds. Recycling one aluminum can saves eno ugh energy to operate a TV for three hours and is equ ivalent to half a gallon of gasoline. 1 in ever y 10 U.S. consumers has alre ady been victimized by identity theft.

A sneeze travels out of your mouth at

over 100 mph. When you are looking at someone you love or hate, your pupils dilate. Bullet proof vests, fire escapes, windshie ld wipers, and laser printers were all invented by wom en.

SPRING Word Scramble

60 Second Word Search

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Identity Theft... It Can Happen To You

continued from page 17 criminal case. As a result, law enforcement records may mistakenly list your name under those criminal acts the identity thief committed. That, in turn, can lead to your being arrested by law enforcement officers instead of the criminal who actually committed the crime. The amount of people who are mistakenly arrested because of identity theft is a lot smaller when compared to the estimated number of identity theft victims as a whole. Nonetheless, identity theft does happen and can be very difficult to resolve. Being a victim of identity theft can be devastating. Identity theft is one of the fastest spreading forms of white collar crime in the United States. Its increase will continue growing because of its lucrative nature and will likely increase in sophistication as technology evolves. Familiarize yourself with the risks of identity theft. Protect your personal information at all cost, and take the necessary precautions.

The following are some basic selfdefense strategies to help you combat identity theft. YOUR WALLET OR YOUR PURSE •Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse unless you are visiting the Social Security office. In that case, remember to put it away when you get home. Look for other documents which contain your Social Security number. For example, some states use that number as your driver’s license number. If that’s the case, ask your state motor vehicle department if they can assign you some other number on your license. •Do the same whenever your Social Security number is used as an account number. If your Social Security number is on the documents and you don’t need them every day, consider leaving them at home. CREDIT CARDS/DEBIT CARDS •Don’t carry one single card more than you really need. Many of us carry every credit/debit card we have, yet few of these cards get daily use. If you don’t have credit cards on your person, they are a lot less likely to disappear •If you aren’t using one or more credit cards, cancel them in writing with the issuing financial institution. Then cut the card(s) into small strips before disposing of them.

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Safety Tip:

•Do not write your personal identification number (PIN) on the back of your credit card, and don’t write it on a little sheet of paper you carry in your wallet or purse. •Instead of signing the back of your credit/debit card, write “check photo id” in the signature block. Many banks now issue credit/debit cards that display your photograph on the front. If that’s an option with your bank, consider doing it. Both practices make it more difficult for a thief to use your card in person. •Check your credit card bills and bank statements carefully every month, looking for activity you don’t recognize. Many banks now offer online banking services, allowing you to check transactions even more frequently. The quicker you spot a problem, the more you are able to limit the damage. •Make copies of the front and back of all your credit and debit cards, and then place the copies in a secure location (not your wallet or your purse). If your cards are stolen or lost, you’ll have all the necessary information you need to contact the card issuers and report the lost or stolen items. This, too, will help limit your damage. •Finally, a good deal of stolen personal information comes from “pre-approved credit” offers you receive in the mail and then discard unopened. Discarding those offers in this manner allows a thief to use the application to apply for credit in your name. To stop these “pre-approved credit” offers, contact the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian). You can stop future pre-approved credit offers by calling a single telephone number, 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) for more information.

Don‘t take medication prescribed for others. Prescription meds are given based on a number of factors (weight, condition, interaction with other meds the patient is taking, allergies, etc).


YOUR MAILBOX A significant amount of identity theft happens just a few feet away from your home - in your mailbox. Here are some important self-defense measures you can take to avoid that problem: •Take your outgoing mail either to a local post office or deposit it in one of the postal service boxes in your neighborhood. Leaving outgoing mail in your own mailbox gives a thief the opportunity to steal your account numbers, checks and other valuable information. •Pick up your incoming mail as soon as possible after it is delivered. The longer it sits in your box, the greater the chance is that it will be stolen. In other words, check your mailbox every day the mail runs. •If mailbox security is a concern within your neighborhood, consider asking your local post office about centralized mail delivery into locked boxes or perhaps getting a post office box. YOUR GLOVE COMPARTMENT By now, you know what to do. Go through your glove compartment (and for that matter, your car). Remove any personally identifying documents stuffed in your glove compartment and under your seats. What you leave in your car can be worth more to a thief than your car itself. YOUR TRASH A thief likes nothing more than going through a bag containing a week’s worth of paper trash. That’s

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because every piece of paper that goes into your house will almost certainly come out eventually - and much of it will contain some of your personal information. To prevent a thief from getting your personal information out of your trash, consider purchasing an inexpensive home paper shredder. You can purchase a good paper shredder for as little as $10 - $20. Shred anything that contains any sort of personal information. YOU - THIS ONE’S SIMPLE! Don’t give out personal information. Not in person, over the phone, by mail or on the Internet unless you made contact or you are absolutely certain you know the people to whom you are giving your information. An identity thief can pose as someone from your bank, your credit card company or your internet service provider. And his stories can sound very believable. If the caller asks for any type of personal information, ask for his name, telephone number and the organization he is representing. Then call the company using the customer assistance number the company provides with your account statement or bill (not the number you were given by the caller). Tell the customer service department about the call you received and the information you were asked to provide. If the call is legitimate, you’ll be transferred continued on page 22

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Identity Theft... It Can Happen To You continued from page 20

Does Your Child Watch Too Much Television? • On average, children ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a TV watching DVD’s, DVR’s and videos, and using game consoles. Kids ages 6-11 spend about 28 hours a week in front of the TV. 97% of that time is spent watching live TV. • 71% of those ages 8-18 have a TV in their bedroom; 54% have a DVD/VCR player, 37% have cable/satellite TV; and 20% have premium channels.

to the correct department. If the call is not legitimate, you’ll help alert the company that a fraud may be going on in the company’s name. ANYTHING ELSE? Here are further tips to help you protect yourself: •In your home, make sure you secure important documents that have personal information on them in a locked box, drawer or (better yet) a safe. This is particularly true if you have roommates or have outside help working in your house. •When regular bills don’t show up when you know they should, follow up with the company. This may be a sign that someone has stolen pieces of your mail. •When you reorder personal checks from your bank, arrange to pick them up at the bank instead of having them sent to your home. If a thief should get his hands on your check book, then he has access to your bank account information as well as your funds.

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•NEVER give out your Social Security number unless it is absolutely necessary. Some places simply must have that number (for example, your bank, your employer and credit grantors may need that information). Sometimes it is collected merely as a convenience. Whenever you are asked for your Social Security number, find out why it is needed, how it is going to be used, how it is protected and what will happen if you don’t provide it. A company may tell you it can’t do business with you unless you provide your number, but at least you will be making an informed choice. Protect your personal information at all times. Identity theft can happen to you at any moment. Don’t be a victim of identity theft. For more information, contact these sources: Sources:

http://www.bbbonline.org/IDTheft/protect.asp

• Media technology now offers more ways to access TV content, such as on the Internet, cell phones and iPods. This has led to an increase in time spent viewing TV, even as TV viewing has declined. 41% of that viewing is now online, time-shifted, on DVD or on a mobile device. • In about two-thirds of households, the TV is “usually” on during meals. • In 53% of households of 7th-12th graders, there are no rules about TV watching. • In 51% of households, the TV is on “most” of the time. • Kids with a TV in their bedroom spend an average of almost 1.5 hours more per day watching TV than kids without a TV in the bedroom.

It’s time for parents to think about what role they want television to play in their family.

Information For Consumers - Protecting Your Identity In The Real World

http://www.youreviltwin.net/identity-theftscope-of-problem.html

Identity Theft: The Scope of the Problem

By Jonathan J. Rusch - Deputy Chief, Fraud Section, Criminal Division - US DOJ United States Attorneys’ Bulletin, March 2008

Safety Tip: If you have the older type blinds with loopy pull cords on your windows, cut the cords so they do not form a noose that can strangle young children.


FEATURED EXPERT

Crime doesn’t pay, but Crime Stoppers does.

STAY ANONYMOU S You

Local Crime Statistics CRIME STOPPERS IN REVIEW…

Crime Stoppers: For the people, by the people Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization dedicated to the apprehension and conviction of criminals. Our goal is to keep the streets of the community safe for our children and our families. We depend on concerned citizens to come forward and anonymously report any information that may lead authorities in the direction of a wanted criminal. Because of the help of many, Crime Stoppers is proud to report these statistics:

Solved Crimes (January 2011)

can help s top serious cri me, like ro bbery, breaking a nd enterin g, and illegal dru g use, from harming your comm un remain com ity while you pletely ano nymous. When you c a ll , te or submit xt, a tip online , we GUAR ANT EE that no on E V E R kno w your nam e will e - N o t u s, not the po lice, not th e public. Your tip ca n earn you a cash reward!

TEXT: CS 225 plus y ou r message to CRIMES (9 274637) CALL: 225 -344 -STOP (7867) or 877-723 -7867 w w w.Crim

eStoppers

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$28,098,195 Total Recovered & Seized Property

$16,375,970

$11,722,225

-STATISTICAL DATA BEGINNING NOVEMBER 1982 THROUGH JANUARY 2011 $

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NEWS

A LOOK BEHIND THE SHIELD

We’re Going

GREEN W

hether your goal is to conserve energy and save the earth one kilowatt at a time or to conserve money and save your bank account several dollars at a time, Certified Alarms can help. We are proud to provide convenient, costeffective solutions designed to conserve resources and help preserve the environment and help you reduce your monthly utility bills. This can all be done through Certified’s Smart Home Technologies program. Homeowners are often looking for ways to save money. Many families need dual incomes just to make ends meet. Energy bills are on the rise, and with the increased attention to saving the Earth’s environment, saving energy is becoming a priority as well.

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With our Smart Home Technologies Program, we can help you save energy and reduce the cost of your energy bills through automated lighting and thermostat control. One example of how our Smart Home Technologies Program can help you conserve energy is through automated lighting and thermostat control. Forget to turn your lights off before leaving your home? Forget to change the temperature on your thermostat? Not a problem! With the touch of a button on your smart phone or from any computer with internet access, you can turn you lights on and off in your home and adjust the thermostat without actually being there. Conserving energy and saving money on your monthly utility bill is now in your control. Learn more on page 4. For more information on how you can take advantage of this money saving opportunity, call Certified Alarms today at 225-928-STOP (7867)

Attention Monitored Customers: You Can Go Green, Too!

With Certified’s Automatic Bill Payment (APB), you can help our environment by reducing paper waste, eliminate postage costs and save on check writing fees. In addition to helping the environment, Certified ABP is a safe, convenient payment option that frees you from the worry of missing a payment or getting a late payment charge. • • •

NO LATE PAYMENTS. NO LATE CHARGES. IT’S FREE.

ABP is electronically deducted from your bank account during the last week of every month, usually around the 25th. To learn more, call 225-928-7867. Enroll online anytime at www.certifiedalarms.com

Safety Tip: Wear your seatbelt low around your hips. If your seat belt is high up on your waist or wrapped around you in a fluffy parka, you can get serious spinal injuries in a car accident. Wear the belt properly.


CERTIFIED NEWS COMPANY OVERVIEW

Our Family Protecting Your Family Since 1991 Nothing deters thieves and intruders better than a well-designed security system. Certified provides high quality security systems for homes and businesses throughout Louisiana, delivering state-of-the-art residential security systems, emergency medical alert, and intruder alert capabilities, as well as business security systems with access control and video surveillance. Certified will plan, design, install and monitor your alarm system 24/7 at our Local UL Monitoring Station.

We‘re More Than Just Alarms! In addition to keeping homes and businesses safe, Certified offers Expanded Technology services. They include; GPS Vehicle Tracking Systems, Home Theater design and installation, Audio/Video Wiring and installation, Home Networking and Automation, Central Vacuum Systems and more.

A LOOK BEHIND THE SHIELD

Local Police Officer Saves Woman’s Life

T

rooper Brett Dupre’ has dedicated his entire career to protecting and serving Louisiana communities. As a retired First Sergeant with the United States Army National Guard, where he served as a military police officer, he is now a Louisiana State Police Trooper stationed in Troop L. Trooper Dupre’ was making a routine traffic stop this past February 13, 2011 at approximately 12:06 am. Shortly after, he realized he was face-to-face with an alleged rapist and kidnapper. Based on information given to him by the victim, who was in the vehicle at the time, Trooper Dupre’ apprehended and placed under arrest the driver, Allen Martin. Trooper Dupre’ had no idea when he began his shift that day that he would end his shift as “a life saver.” Trooper Dupre’ humbly stated that if the victim had not confided and trusted him to help her, he would not have known she was in danger. Had Trooper Dupre’ not pulled that vehicle over in the first place, the victim would not have had the chance to tell her story. There is comfort in knowing that Trooper Dupre’ and other Law Enforcement Officers like him are patrolling Louisiana streets and keeping our community safe. The next time you get pulled over, remember that your life is the one that could be saved.

$50/$50 REFERRAL REWARD PROGRAM For every referral resulting in an installation, you and your referral will both receive rewards from Certified’s Customer Referral Program! If you refer 5 customers, we’ll also give you 6 months FREE monitoring! You do not have to be a Certified customer to participate. Submit your referrals online anytime at www.certifiedalarms.com. $

PICTURED ABOVE:

Louisiana State Trooper Brett Dupre’ and other local law enforcement officers at the Livingston Parish Sheriff ’s Office Press Conference on 2/16/2011.

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CERTIFIED NEWS

A LOOK BEHIND THE SHIELD

Employee Spotlight Glen Carter

We are proud to provide

Quality Service & Maintenance On ANY Existing Alarm System & Home Theater. Our technicians are on call 24 hours a day.

Glen has been a member of the Certified Team for 4 years. He currently lives in Central, Louisiana. He has three beautiful children: Mason, Jacob and Hayleigh. He is a graduate of Central High School and enjoys riding ATVs, playing golf, and hunting. His goals are to inspire others and become a better motivational speaker.

TECHNICIAN MANAGER

CERTIFICATIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS: Level One Technician, FAIM Fire Technician, Computer Networking

Employee Spotlight

Certified‘s technicians are uniformed with company ID badges for your safety. Operating throughout all of South Louisiana, we can respond to any emergency or issue within minutes, not days.

If you are in need of alarm maintenance or professional installation of your home theater products, please call 225-928-7867. Schedule Services online anytime at www.certifiedalarms.com

Ashley Adams Ashley has been a member of the Certified Team for 11 years. She currently lives in Watson, Louisiana. She has two beautiful children: Destin and Gavin. She is a graduate of Denham Springs High School and enjoys spending time with friends and family, being a mom, reading and shopping. Her goal is to provide quality customer service.

SERVICE MANAGER

CERTIFICATIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS: Technical Support, Customer Service Specialist and Customer Relations

Customer Testimonial

Colton Nastasi

JOHN NASTASI, GONZALES LA

From the moment we contacted Certified Alarms, we were very impressed. They had the best price, service and even next day installation. Our experience with the technicians was excellent. Not only did they do their job in a professional manner, but they went above and beyond by fixing an issue our cable provider’s technicians could not fix. They cleaned up after the installation, making it look as if they were never there. Because my wife was home with our new-born baby and our three small children, Certified’s technicians did their work in a manner which made her and our children feel very safe and very comfortable.

Submit your testimonial online at www.certifiedalarms.com. It could be featured in the next issue of Safe & SOUND Magazine!

Answers from page 19

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Safety Tip: Never store poisons in old food containers. Many people have been poisoned when they drank antifreeze, gas or other items from what they thought was a bottle full of soda.


$

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A D V E R T I S I N G

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Mar. - Jun. 2011