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5 Ways to Enhance School Entrance Security

officer fist bumps studentEvery student deserves to feel safe in his or her school. Unfortunately, we have all seen the news stories about what can happen when an intruder enters. The good news is technology is continuously improving to help stop these trespassers, and there are some strategies to help you as a school administrator to better secure your school’s entrances.

The goal of these best practices is to limit the ways people can enter your building. This will delay intruders, give the police time to respond, and allow you to communicate with teachers and staff. During this time, you can lock down the school and/or evacuate students and faculty, depending on the situation. Read more

Tips to Prep Your Home When You’re Going on Vacation

family at airportSummer is just around the corner and if you’re like most people, you’re looking forward to spending some quality time with your family on vacation.

Whether you’re packing up the kids and heading to that quaint cottage you rent every year on Cape Cod, heading north to the lakes region of New Hampshire or Maine, or jetting off to some exotic locale, don’t forget to take some precautions to protect your home while you’re away.

Here are some tips to help keep your home safe while you and your loved ones are enjoying some well-deserved time away. Read more

Smart Technology Can Help Keep Senior Citizens Safe

older man and woman using tablet

Nearly 90% of seniors want to remain in their own homes as they age because they’re healthier, wealthier, and they expect to work into their 70s or even longer.

As people get older, they still face issues such as failing eyesight, reduced mobility and declining strength.

Now, though, smart home technologies, such as sensors, voice activation, GPS, Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity, enable older adults to stay in their homes longer and continue to lead independent lives. Read more

Business Security Trends for 2014

american-alarm-business-security-trendsThe business security system market will show strong growth in 2014, driven by access management and video, according to James Cook, sales manager for American Alarm.

The Boston Marathon bombings demonstrated the importance of video cameras, as we mention in a recent blog post. Investigators used video from a number of businesses in the Copley Square area to identify Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who are suspected of the bombings.

The need to manage access to buildings via video surveillance systems and alarm systems that include enhanced access control is being driven in large part by the school shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut as well as other schools across the country, Cook says.

Read more

American Alarm: Working Hard to Keep Your Family and Your Home Safe

Everything we at American Alarm do is about security – and life safety is our laser focus. Virtually every day at American Alarm, we’re saving someone’s life or preserving their property with our home security and business security alarm systems and services.

There aren’t many industries where you can have that impact every single day.

We invite you to watch this video and listen to our president, Wells Sampson, tell you about American Alarm in his own words.

Read more

The Dangers of a DIY Home Security System

pros-and-cons-of-diy-home-security-systems

Some homeowners looking to install home security systems may be thinking about doing the job themselves to save money.

Although a do-it-yourself security system sounds great, installing your own security systems could compromise your family’s safety.

For one thing, if you’re not a security professional, you might very well install your alarm system incorrectly. Connect one small wire the wrong way and your family and your property won’t be protected.

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Sun is Setting on 2G Cellular Security Systems

sun setting

It’s a fact: AT&T has called for 2G cellular networks to go away by Jan. 1, 2017. That means alarm companies must swap out security systems that use 2G networks to ensure the safety of their customers.

About three million cellular alarm system communicators currently use the 2G spectrum with about 80% to 90% of those provided by AT&T, according to Alarm System Report.

Many other service providers are also setting their own schedules so they can use the new bandwidth to increase capacity for 3G/4G services to handle the increased data use. Read more

Home Security Needs Change as Your Life Changes

If you’ve had a recent life-changing event like getting married, having a new baby, buying a new home, or maybe starting a home-based business, your life and your priorities have changed – and so have your home security needs.

When it comes to security and electronically protecting your family from harm, crime is not the only thing you need to worry about.  Fire and even carbon monoxide poisoning are also concerns. If you have aging parents who may have moved into your home, they too, have special security needs. You need to think of home security as a continuum, and work with an alarm monitoring company that understands that your needs change as your life changes.

Many homeowners wait to think about buying an alarm system after they’ve been the victim of crime. Wouldn’t it be better to have that piece of mind before an incident occurs? That’s why security professionals agree that home security should be a proactive and not a reactive process.

Here are four very good reasons to consider installing a home security system, no matter what stage of life you’re in: Read more

Built-in Dialer Delays Have No Place at American Alarm

American Alarm Central StationIn a recent blog post, we alerted readers to a weakness in many “all-in-one” (fire/burglar) home alarm systems.

The problem is that many major distributors and alarm monitoring companies have built-in dialer delays that prevent signals from being sent to the central station for up to four minutes after the alarm is tripped in the home.

Why? Because their systems are prone to false alarms and their distant monitoring centers can’t handle the volume. They delay transmission of an alarm signal to give the homeowner a chance to respond and correct the false alarm. This is not true security.

If there is a fire or someone is breaking into your home, seconds count when it comes to both the safety of your family and the protection of your belongings.

After that blog post, we received some great feedback from people who were unsure if American Alarm incorporated a dialer delay into its burglar alarm systems.

The fact is, we do not and will not use equipment with built-in dialer delays. The reason we posted this information was to inform our customers as well as others reading our blog that there are some companies that do this.

Our commitment to our customers has always been to provide the fastest possible response to alarm signals. We have the lowest documented response to priority signals, which is currently at 24 seconds or less. This is key in the event of a fire or intrusion at your home or business.

Please keep the questions and comments coming!

Is a Dialer Delay in your Home Security System Putting You at Risk?

There is a weakness in many “all-in-one” (fire/burglar) home alarm systems. Some major distributors and alarm monitoring companies have built in dialer delays that prevent signals from being sent to the central station for up to four minutes after the alarm is tripped in the home. Four minutes may not sound like a lot of time, but in four minutes you can drive four miles, you can listen to a song, heat up your lunch, or dance the Four Minute Waltz. Read more