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

Home Security: Protect Your Car While It’s Parked in Your Driveway

If you think your car is safe parked in your own driveway – think again.

Recently, a man in Waltham, Massachusetts was arrested for allegedly trying to steal another car and its contents, according to the Waltham Patch.

car-thiefPolice arrested the man after they caught him fiddling around under the dashboard of a car while it was parked in the driveway of a home — and this car was allegedly not his only target. Waltham Police Sgt. Joseph Guigno credits “good old fashioned police work” in apprehending this man — but what steps could have been taken to catch this criminal sooner?
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Untested Alarm System Costs Siskiyou County $3 Million

Is your burglar alarm system programmed with a communication timer test?

Just ask officials at the Siskiyou County Courthouse in California, who were shocked to discover that the failure of the security system protecting $3 million in gold resulted in a clean getaway for the thieves who simply smashed a hole in the glass case protecting the historical artifacts and grabbed everything they could.

The gold nuggets had been a theft target once before in 1979, when the silent alarm functioned as intended and the would-be marauders were apprehended roughly a block away from the courthouse with the illicit wares in their possession. This time, however, the vibration alarm that was meant to protect the irreplaceable gold nuggets – some of which date back to the town’s founding – did not respond at all. A town spokesperson stated that the system had been properly armed, and that the county was working with its security provider to get to the bottom of the glitch.

Perhaps the most telling aspect of the sad story surrounding the Siskiyou gold is a footnote at the bottom of the article that mentions an annual security alarm test schedule. According to the Courthouse, the last test occurred in August of 2011, nearly seven months before the February theft.

There is an important lesson that business and property owners can learn from the tragic tale of the Siskiyou theft, and that is that it’s not enough to rely on a single alarm system test every 12 months. So much can happen within a year’s time, especially in a heavily-trafficked space such as a courthouse or a retail space, that it really becomes necessary to perform an alarm system test at least once per quarter, if not once per month.

American Alarm programs a timer test with its business security systems that can send communications weekly or daily, depending on the type of signals being monitored. If our central station operators do not receive a signal, we contact the owner immediately to determine the cause of the missed communication, and find a solution to the issue.

It costs nothing to make sure that your alarm system is functioning up to spec – what’s  the price tag of not knowing? In the case of Siskiyou County, the figure would seem to be $3 million.

Invest in Peace of Mind with Radio Back-up Monitoring

Gone are the days when wireless communications were considered the weak links in emergency response systems.

Radio and cellular systems have become so robust that they’re now the backbones used by first responders and recovery teams when disaster strikes, especially when wired infrastructure has been obliterated by heavy winds, flooding, winter storms or an earthquake. Read more

Break-ins Pile Up In Newton and Carlisle

Two Massachusetts municipalities have suffered through a recent spike in break-ins and robberies – and thieves have made off with items ranging from laptops and iPods all the way up to professional business equipment. Even more worrisome are cases where break-ins are reported but no theft has occurred, causing residents to fear the true intentions of those involved.

The incidents, which have been piling up in Newton and Carlisle, should remind homeowners and business proprietors of the importance of protecting their properties – and families – from intrusions by installing high quality burglar alarm systems that can serve as deterrents to potential thieves. Read more