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Why Does the Public Listen to Police Scanners?

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

No matter how small or big your town is, there are chances that someone, somewhere is listening to your town’s police scanner. Of course, first responders listen to police scanners, but many civilians do too. In fact, there are Twitter feeds, Facebook communities, and even Reddit threads dedicated to reporting every call, police, fire, emergency that they hear on police scanners. With this in mind, it is important to consider why the public listens to police scanners.

Police Scanners Provide Dramatic Entertainment to Some Civilians

Some civilians listen to police scanners just because it provides dramatic entertainment. Additionally, journalists and first responder enthusiasts, “whackers”, are also prone to eavesdropping on what police, fire, and EMS in their town are up to.

Should Police Disable Online Feeds for Police Scanners scanner radio deluxe

Recently, a shootout unfolded in Boston. Many Bostonians listened in as the drama unfolded, but were disappointed when the feed went silent. Eventually, the dramatic events of the evening were replaced with a message that said “Boston area law enforcement is offline to protect law enforcements.” Boston police did this because they were closing in on a second suspect and felt it was best for the scenario and the officers themselves by not broadcasting their actions. After the Boston shooting was over, the scanners went live again. With this is mind, it goes to wonder why cities don’t encrypt their police radio communications.

Federal Freedom of Information Act Allows States to Withold Information from Citizens During an Investigation

Despite what many may think, there is no reason that a police department cannot encrypt its scanner activity. In fact, under the Federal Freedom of Information Act, police departments have the right to withhold information from the public during a police investigation. This is allowed because releasing information to the public could compromise police investigations, officers investigating a case, and can put police officers at risk too. Another thing to consider is that many people may be investigated during an investigation without being charged. Some leads are followed that eventually lead nowhere. Unfortunately, when untrained ears hear people’s names on the scanner, especially people’s names they recognize, it can lead to a great deal of gossip and misinformation. Some criminals also use police scanners to track police whereabouts and plan crimes.

Pasadena Police Departments Have Been Encrypted for Over a Year

In Pasadena, California, police scanners have been encrypted for a very long time. When Pasadena police decided to encrypt their scanners, local media was enraged to no longer have access to police activity. However, in Pasadena, and more recently Ft. Collins, Colorado, encrypting police scanners comes with problems of its own. For instance, in cases of major tragedies, encrypting police scanners makes it difficult for departments to co-ordinate with each other. For example, the police department wouldn’t be able to communicate with the fire department and vice versa. As you can imagine, in case of a major situation, when police and fire departments can’t talk to each other, a difficult situation can be made much worse.

What’s Your Opinion?

Police Scanners Open to the Public
What Do You Think of Civilians that Listen to Police Scanners ?

911 Signal USA Specializes in Affordable Emergency Vehicle Lights

If you are looking for affordable emergency vehicle lights, you need to choose 911 Signal USA. We are the leading retailer of LED emergency lights and have priced all of our lights and sirens at the best prices on the market.

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A Hideaway Strobe Kit Allows you to be Discreet Until You Need to be Seen

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

Whether you are a volunteer firefighter or an undercover cop, you can appreciate the discreet nature of a hideaway strobe kit. With hideaways, your vehicle will look just like any other vehicle on the road until duty calls. When that happens, pop on your emergency vehicle lights, and you will be impossible to miss on the road. In our inventory, we carry the best hideaway strobe lights at affordable prices. Check out our inventory to find the warning lights that match your budget and your career needs.

Our LED Hideaway Lights can be Mounted Anywhere LED-Hideaway-9-Multiple-Angle

Our LEDs are unique because they can be mounted anywhere you need added visibility. The most common hideaway installation area is in the headlights or taillights of a vehicle. Hideaways are unique because they can also be mounted on the surface of a fleet vehicle or POV. Most of the hideaways in our online store come with a variety of different flash patterns, 19 on average, and can be synced to other emergency lights. The ability to sync 911 Signal USA hideaway lights with others ensures you will be seen on the road when you activate your lights and also makes the entire set-up easier to use.

Buy LED Hideaway Strobe Kits from 911 Signal USA and You Won’t be  Disappointed

When you shop our huge online store, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed. We are a leader in the emergency vehicle light industry and have a stellar reputation in the first responder community. Our emergency lights, hideaways, visor lights, light bars, dash lights, surface mount lights, and much more, are offered at extremely affordable prices, shine brightly, and will ensure you are seen on the road when it matters most. As leaders in the industry, we have found a way to offer low prices on hideaways without sacrificing quality. Additionally, we offer a free industry leading warranty and stand behind our products. Browse our hideaway lights today and we are sure you will find exactly what you need at affordable prices today.

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Illegal Street Racing Puts Everyone in a Community at Risk

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

Illegal street racing is a problem in communities all over the country. Thanks to pop culture movies such as Fast and Furious and a lack of fulfilling activities for kids 16 to under 21 to do, illegal street racing can pop up anywhere. However, in most states and towns, street racing is illegal. Not to mention the fact that this type of behavior also puts everyone in a community at risk. If you think street racing doesn’t hurt anyone, feel free to ask a first responder just how traumatic and devastating a street race can end up. Below, we will go over the motivation to street race, who is most likely to be encompassed in the culture, and how communities can fight back.

What Motivates Street Racers

Generically, illegal street racers are most motivated by adrenaline. Lining up with other vehicles and racing to a pre-determined finish delivers a huge adrenaline rush. Much like gambling, or other risky behaviors, street racers don’t usually race once and be done with it. Instead, it is a rush that they continually seek out and not something that can be accomplished by doing other things. Other reasons that drivers may take part in illegal street racing include:

  • Enjoyment
  • Simplicity of street racing
  • Social Interaction
  • Bragging rights
  • The thrill of doing something illegal
  • Desire to be chased by police
  • Way to settle disputes

Most Illegal Street Racers are Teenage Boys

The remnants of Nick Bollea's, son of pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan, after the vehicle crashed while street racing with a Dodge Viper.

The remnants of Nick Bollea’s, son of pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan, after the vehicle crashed while street racing with a Dodge Viper.

While anyone could theoretically take part in street racing, teenage boys, ages 16 to 19, are the most common age group involved in this activity. Unfortunately, teen boys in this age group are 3X more likely to crash then other drivers and are twice more likely to die in a car accident than their female counterparts of the same age.

Police Struggle to Shut Down Street Racing

In Southern California, street racing is as popular as surfing. Seriously, evidence of street races, ending or starting, can be seen just about anywhere. Some think that the overwhelming amounts of street racers in the area is due to the fact that police in the area are struggling to shut it down. Why is street racing so difficult to stop, you ask? Street racing by nature starts quickly and ends quickly. Not to mention the fact that street racer vehicles are usually built stronger and faster than traditional police vehicles. While illegal street racing is popular in California, it occurs all over the United States and cars such as Honda Civics and Toyota Camrys aren’t the only vehicles to hit the road at racing speeds. Another huge group of illegal street racers drive motorcycles and are just as prone to crashing, maybe even more than their four-wheeled counterparts.

Florida Task Force Created to Decrease Street Racing

Street racing is also extremely popular in Florida. As a result, in 2011, Broward County and Palm Beach County police departments bound together to create an Illegal Street Racing Task Force. This task force was created to help decrease and punish street racers. Thankfully, this task force has shown success in its last 2 years. For instance, Broward County police department issued 117 illegal street racing citations in 2011 and only 45 in 2013. Palm Beach County had an illegal street racing problem to a lesser degree, but have still had a great deal of success. In 2011 Palm Beach County police used 31 illegal street racing tickets and only 27 in 2013.

Save Lives – Report Street Racing and Don’t Support It

Since illegal street racing is so hard to shutdown, it is import to report street racing when you see it and make sure you don’t support it. How can you not support street racing, well, don’t encourage it. Don’t encourage other driver’s to take off from a light and don’t succumb to peer pressure, if someone does it to you. If there are known staging points in your town, areas where cars gather waiting for the next call to race, stay away from them.

911 Signal USA Specializes in Emergency Vehicle Lighting

At 911 Signal USA, we specialize in emergency vehicle lighting for first responders. Through our career in this business, we have heard the stories of what can happen when street racing goes wrong. As a result, we would like to encourage everyone to keep their communities safer by abstaining from street racing and report illegal street racers when appropriate.

Stay Safe and Stay Bright

 

 


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Trick or Treat Safety Tips from First Responders

Posted by on Oct 11, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

As a retailer and manufacturer of emergency vehicle lights, we deal with first responders on a daily basis. With trick or treat right around the corner, we thought what better way to gain helpful trick or treat safety tips than to ask our first responder community. We asked first responders on our Facebook page to provide us with the most important safety tips for Halloween and they responded in a big way. Check out the trick or treat safety tips from first responders that we gathered below.

Visibility is Important to Trick or Treat Safety

One of the most popular safety tips our first responder community stressed was visibility. The same way first responders use emergency vehicle lights and reflective clothing to stay safe on the road applies to trick or treaters of all ages as well. To increase your trick or treaters visibility, the first responders we polled suggested using the following items to increase visibility while trick or treating.

  • Glow sticks
  • Flashlights
  • Reflective tape

Glow sticks are great for increasing visibility for trick or treaters because they are widely available and relatively inexpensive. As a bonus, kids have a tendency to go gaga over glow sticks, so parents don’t have to argue with their kids about wearing them. One of our first responders suggested kids wear glow sticks on their wrist and ankles. Wearing these fun visibility tools on the top and bottom half of the body makes it easier for everyone to see the trick or treater while moving.

Most trick or treat times are around 5 to 7 at night, which means it will probably be pretty dark by the time you are nearing the end of your candy haul. For this reason, it’s vital that you carry a flashlight while trick or treating. This is especially important in areas where there aren’t streetlamps or well-lit neighborhoods. If you live in a rural area, or an area with lots of hills and valleys, it is vital that you have a flashlight. In this type of situation, the best type of flashlight to carry would be one that provides 360-degrees of light output.

Many firefighters, police officers, tow truck drivers, and utility workers count on reflective tape to increase their visibility during daytime and nighttime hours. This is also a valuable tool for trick or treaters. If you have never seen or used reflective tape before, you will be glad to know it’s widely available and easy to apply. If you or your trick or treater don’t want to put the reflective tape on the costume itself, consider adding it to the trick or treat bucket or the trick or treaters’ shoes. No matter where you put the reflective tape, it is sure to increase visibility.A banner that read Halloween safety with a lit jack-o-lantern in the background

Trick or Treaters Need to be Safe and Able to Move Well

Next to visibility, the other most important safety tip for trick or treaters on Halloween is safety. Trick or treaters need to be safe while trick or treating and also need to wear costumes that promote safety. Learn more about specific safety concerns below.

Trick or Treaters Should be Chaperoned

For safety, all trick or treaters should be chaperoned. Whether a big sister, brother, aunt, uncle, or babysitter goes with younger trick or treaters or a neighborhood mom takes a group of ghosts and goblins house to house, it is important that trick or treaters have a chaperone. This is important because there needs to be someone who is thinking clearly and able to react in an emergency, if one were to occur.

Kids or Parents Should Carry a Whistle While Trick or Treating

In most neighborhoods, trick or treating is not a quiet time of year. From the whales of ghosts to the shrieks of scared little girls, this time of year is prone to being a bit noisy. For this reason, someone in your group should carry a whistle. The sound of a whistle is hard to ignore, even when it is extremely noisy and can help you get the attention you need in an urgent situation.

If you opt not to carry a whistle, but have 2-way radios at home, even walkie talkies will do, consider bringing those with you while chaperoning young trick or treaters. With this type of communication, you can easily stay in touch with everyone in your group and 2-way radios are perfect, if your group gets separated while collecting candy.

Costumes Need to Promote Safety

Making or buying a Halloween costume is one of the best parts about Halloween. This time of year is ideal for being whoever you want to be. However, it is incredibly important that your costume is safe to wear while trick or treating. If you aren’t sure whether yours or your child’s costume is safe for trick or treating; consider the following requirements of a safe Halloween costume.

  • Can you see out of the Halloween mask?
  • Do you have peripheral vision?
  • Can you move properly?
  • Will you trip on your costume while walking?

To be truly safe while trick or treating and not to annoy everyone else in your group, make sure your Halloween costume is safe for trick or treating before you set out on your candy quest. If the costume is unsafe in any way, make sure to take the precautions you need to be safe before heading out.

Traffic Safety During Halloween

Halloween is awesome because kids canvas their neighborhoods in search of delectable treats. However, this time of year also creates traffic safety concerns that are important to everyone. In addition to the visibility concerns mentioned earlier in the blog, it is also important for trick or treaters and chaperones to be aware of traffic safety while trick or treating. Specifically, parents or Halloween chaperones should discuss traffic safety before trick or treating begins. Remember, even older kids will be better off with a healthy reminder about traffic and what is and isn’t appropriate while trick or treating. Below, we offer several tips about traffic safety that came from our first responder community.

  • Use sidewalks
  • If sidewalks aren’t available, stay as close to the side of the road as possible.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • Only go to houses with porch lights lit
  • Do not walk between parked cars

Halloween Candy Safety Tips a pile of unwrapped candy corn and candy pumpkins

All grown ups remember the rush of getting bags full of candy while trick or treating. Many of us also probably remember how hard it was to resist the urge to dig into that bag of candy as soon as we saw our favorite treat or something completely irresistible grace the bucket. However, especially in today’s day and age, it is incredibly important that trick or treaters resist the urge to dig into Halloween candy before it has been checked by an adult. As a grown up, when you check children’s Halloween candy remember to follow the Halloween candy safety tips mentioned below.

  • Do not accept any homemade products
  • Immediately throw away any unwrapped candy
  • Candy with damaged packaging should be thrown out
  • When in doubt, throw it out!

Following the Trick or Treat safety tips mentioned above will make trick or treating safer and more enjoyable for everyone. We, 911 Signal USA, would like to thank all of the first responders, parents, and others in our social media community that helped us create this list of Trick or Treat Safety Tips from First Responders.

Stay Safe and Stay Bright

 

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Learn More About Fire Prevention Week

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

This week, October 5th to October 11th is fire prevention week. Fire prevention week was created to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire. This 1871 blaze killed 250 people and left 100,000 people homeless. Additionally, this huge fire destroyed 2,000 acres and over 17,000 structures. The Great Chicago Fire began on October 8, 1871, but created the most damage on October 9, 1871. To learn more about this fire and fire prevention week, keep reading below.

The Great Chicago Fire is Considered a Conflagration

When people discuss The Great Chicago Fire, the fire is usually referred to as a conflagration. A conflagration means there was extensive damage caused by a fire. Legend has it that The Great Chicago Fire was caused by a cow, which belonged to Mrs. Catherine O-Leary. Apparently, the cow knocked over a lamp, which set the barn on fire. The fire quickly grew out of control and eventually caught the city on fire. While this legend has been spreading for over a century, there is recent research, conducted by Robert Cromie, a Chicago historian, which debunks this legend.

Remnants of the National Bank Life after The Great Chicago Fire

Remnants of the National Bank Life after The Great Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire Myth Debunked

According to Robert Cromie, there is some truth to the myth that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow started The Great Chicago Fire. However, according to Mrs. O’Leary herself, there was no lamp in the barn that night. In fact, Mrs. O’Leary claimed that she had gone to bed early the night the fire broke out. In addition to blaming a cow, other historians, journalists, and researchers have offered other theories about the cause of the conflagration including neighborhood boys smoking cigarettes near the barn, an angry neighbor causing the fire, and some think a fiery meteorite may be to blame for the October 8th fire. The theory that a fiery meteorite may be to blame has gained a great deal of traction over the years because there is evidence that similar fires may have occurred in Michigan and Wisconsin on the same day due to meteorites.

The Great Chicago Fire Wasn’t the Only Fire That Week

While the Great Chicago Fire is the most famous fire during the week of October 8th, 1871, it wasn’t the biggest blaze. In fact, the biggest blaze that week occurred in NE Wisconsin. The NE Wisconsin fire, called the Peshtigo Fire, is the most devastating forest fire in American history. This fire also began on October 8th of the same year and destroyed 16 towns, killed 1, 152 people and devastated 1.2 million acres before it was finally extinguished. The Peshtigo Fire is said to have started when railroad workers accidentally created a brush fire while clearing land for track installation.

Fire Prevention Week has Been in October for Nine Decades

As a result of the fires mentioned above, Fire Prevention Week has been celebrated the first week in October for over nine decades. At first, the celebration was created so that no one ever forgot the bravery and heroism of the men who fought the Chicago blaze. This huge fire also changed the way public officials and firefighters handled fire safety. As a result, fire prevention week eventually became less about festivities remembering the fire and more about fire prevention.

Fire Prevention Week 2014 – Smoke Alarms Save Lives – Test Yours Twice a Month

This year, 2014, fire prevention week’s theme is smoke alarms. Specifically, the campaign this year is reminding everyone that smoke alarms save lives. Additionally, firefighters and public officials all over the world are reminding everyone that smoke alarms should be tested at least twice a month.

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Please leave your comments about Fire Prevention Week this year and in years previous in the comments below.

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Move Over Law Signs Installed in Louisiana

Posted by on Oct 5, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

Louisiana’s State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson and Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas have worked together to remind drivers that they need to Move Over for all emergency vehicles. One way, Louisiana officials are encouraging drivers to Move to the Right is with the installation of dozens “Move Over for Emergency Vehicle” signs. These sings are being installed all over the state with the hopes that it will create driver awareness and help keep all first responders safer on the road.

Mover Over Signs are Highly Visible and Strategically Placed

The Louisiana Move Over signs were created to be highly visible and have been placed strategically around all major routes and stateline crossings. Authorities in Louisiana hope that the new, highly visible Move Over Law signs will remind drivers of their duty on the road and help keep everyone safer as a result. blank_map_of_the_United_States

Louisiana’s Move Over Law

The Move Over law in Louisiana requires drivers to yield the right of way to emergency vehicles. According to this law, drivers must make a lane change if possible and let the emergency vehicle pass. When a lane change is not possible, Louisiana drivers should slow down to a safe speed and allow the emergency vehicle to pass. Like Move Over Laws in many other states, Louisiana’s Move Over Law applies to all first responders, including police, EMS, and fire/rescue crews. Additionally, highway workers, recovery truck operators, tow truck drivers, and any vehicle using hazard/warning lights are also covered under this law. Anyone that violates the state’s Move Over Laws is subject to punishment by law enforcement, including up to a $200 fine.

49 States Have Move Over Laws

To date, 49 of the 50 states in the US have Move Over Laws. While the laws from state-to-state vary in terms of what type of vehicle qualifies as an emergency vehicle, the main principle behind the creation of each law is to make it easier for first responders to do their job and help keep everyone safer. To learn more about Move Over Laws in your state or the states that border your area, please check out our Move Over Law State Guide. If you need to upgrade or complete your emergency vehicle with high-quality emergency vehicle lights, you can get exactly what you need at affordable prices when you shop 911 Signal USA.

Stay Bright and Stay Safe!

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