Small Town Pills, Big City Problems?

AA-Small Town Pills, Big City ProblemsNew England towns and cities have a reputation for charm and beauty. “Quaint” is a word often used to describe tree-lined main streets, back country roads, and ice cream socials. However, according to a recent Castine Patriot article, there’s more than meets the eye in Peninsula and Island neighborhoods—big city drugs like heroin and methamphetamine are starting to appear in towns and villages. What can New England communities do to take charge of the problem and take back their streets?

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How to Stop a Vandal: Headstones Damaged in Remote Cemetery

How to Stop a Vandal: Headstones Damaged in Remote Jewish Cemetery In Auburn, MA, vandals are terrorizing the 118 year-old Worcester Hebrew Cemetery, which lies at the far end of Cemetery Road. As reported by Telegram Towns, criminals recently toppled 19 headstones and caused irreparable damage to several of the grave markers.

While the Auburn police are doing everything they can — and the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts is offering $500 for information leading to the arrest of these vandals — leads are slim.

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Shoplifting Prevention Series: Are Your Employees in on the Action?

american-alarm-shoplifting-preventionRecently, a Framingham, Mass. man was arrested for allegedly stealing $1,367.30 in merchandise from his employer, the Express store in the Natick Mall.

Employee theft is more common than you might think. In fact, every year, retail employees rip off about $15 billion worth of merchandise – 44% of all stolen goods – from their employers, according to the National Retail Federation.

Workers can shoplift in much the same way as customers by hiding merchandise in their purses, pockets, or bags and then taking it out of the store. Employees can also steal money from their registers, let friends or family members steal merchandise, or even commit credit card or check fraud.

Retail store employees are constantly presented with opportunities to steal cash or merchandise. Here are four tips to help you cut down on employee theft from experts who spoke with Entrepreneur magazine.

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Shoplifting Prevention Series: What Does a Thief Look Like?

american-alarm-shoplifting-preventionIf you’re a retailer looking into business security systems, you’re all too well aware that shoplifting costs your industry tens of billions of dollars every year – that’s millions every single day.

No retailer is immune. Shoplifters steal from all kinds of stores; big box stores, department stores, supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores, and even thrift shops. Worst of all, there is no profile of a typical shoplifter. They can be men or women and sometimes even kids. Shoplifters come in all shapes and sizes; rich or poor; young, old, or in between.

Of course one of the first steps to help control shoplifting in your establishment is to install a video surveillance system – however, it’s not possible to completely stop people from stealing from you. Luckily, there are ways to further protect your business if you know how to spot a shoplifter.

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Top Ten Ways to Prevent Shoplifting

Shoplifting. It may seem like an innocent crime, but it’s costing retailers nearly 11 billion dollars in loss every year. Some of the most common items include clothing, books, music, jewelry, and pretty much anything you can fit in your pocket or purse.

A good video surveillance system can help identify and prosecute a suspect after a theft occurs — but, wouldn’t you like to stop it from happening altogether?

In this video, American Alarm Blogging Team’s Sunny Gault will give you the top 10 ways to help you prevent shoplifting.

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How to Protect your Business from Scrap Metal Theft

One of the fastest growing crimes in the United States is scrap metal theft. Thieves looking for a fast buck are stealing copper, aluminum, nickel, stainless steel and scrap iron from any number of businesses.

Business Security: Prevent Scrap Metal TheftFor example, in February a Nashua, New Hampshire man was charged with stealing a scrap-metal bin containing 20,000 pounds of scrap metal from a recycling company, according to an article in the New Hampshire Union Leader — and police believe the alleged thief is also involved with the thefts of scrap metal bins from other locations.

Even more recently, police in Charlton, Mass. arrested two men they allege stole scrap metal from a railroad year, according to the Telegram & Gazette.

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Keep your Business Safe and Protected from Premise Liability

If you own a business, you know that it’s just not possible to protect everyone’s safety all the time. You also know that for your business to survive and thrive, you have to do everything possible to protect your customers, tenants and employees, as well as reduce the risk of liability on your premises — including installing a business alarm system.

Premise LiabiltyWithout the right security measures in place, if someone gets hurt on your property and sues you, not only will you suffer financial loss, your reputation will also suffer.

There are any number of reasons business owners can be liable for injuries suffered on their premises. For example, if someone slips and falls on wet floors, down stairs, or on ice and snow you neglected to clear off a walkway or driveway — you may be held responsible for any of these injuries.

So what’s a business owner do to to reduce the risk of premises liability?

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Quality of Business Security Surveillance Video Technology

Video surveillance is increasingly becoming a key component of any business security strategy. A business security video surveillance system can play multiple roles when it comes to protecting your company’s assets, including:

  • Reducing employee theft
  • Documenting break-ins or vandalism
  • Providing a chain of evidence when investigating accidents
  • Reducing insurance premiums.

premise liability

Not all business security systems are created equal, however. In fact, in order to fully benefit from the protection of video surveillance, it is necessary to make sure that the system you order matches your particular needs.

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Top 5 Ways To Avoid False Alarms

False alarms are the bane of the security system industry. Not only do false alarms eat up police and fire resources, but they can also mean significant municipal fines for home and business owners who find themselves dealing with fire and burglar alarm systems that are frequently tripped by accident.

Let’s take a look at the top five ways you can avoid a false alarm at home or at work.

1) Education. It’s critical to ensure that everyone in your home, or every employee at your place of business, is fully trained in how to arm, disarm, and otherwise operate your security and fire systems. The most common type of false alarm occurs when someone forgets that the system is armed when he enters a building, or can’t remember his access code. It’s also important that everyone involved knows how to contact the alarm system provider, if necessary, in order to deal with a malfunctioning system.

2) Repairs and Maintenance. A broken window sensor, an old smoke detector, a ragged wire attached to a door sensor – these are all easy-to-repair items that can be responsible for triggering a false alarm at the central monitoring station if they’re not fixed. If you don’t feel like you have the expertise required to take care of a suspected problem, then contact your installer as soon as possible so that a technician can be dispatched and the issue corrected. Keeping smoke detectors and motion sensors clean from dust and other gunk is also critical.

3) Testing. Does your home security system provider offer timer testing to ensure that communication between the central monitoring facility and your location is working properly? Has your fire alarm system been properly tested, on schedule, according to local and national regulations? Simple tests performed on a regular basis can help identify any potential problems with equipment before they trigger false alarms.

4) Plan for Pets.  It happens on a regular basis: a homeowner has an alarm system installed, and then later on brings a new dog or cat home only to have the animal trip the motion sensors and cause a false alarm. Make sure to upgrade your motion sensors to pet-friendly units so you can avoid having this happen to you.

5) Have More Than One Method For Deactivating The System. Did your home security system come with a remote control? Do you know where it is? Does your business alarm system offer a mobile app? Have you installed it and been shown how to use it? Take advantage of your system’s multiple access points and use them as fallbacks should you, a family member, or an employee have trouble deactivating a false alarm from the primary keypad.

Owning a Guard Dog Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Need a Security System

It’s common that one hears when discussing burglar alarm systems at a party or in a group of friends: Why do I need an alarm when I already have a dog?

While it is true that a guard dog does offer a certain degree of protection against thieves for a home or business, it’s far from the most effective method of keeping one’s family and property safe. In fact, guard dogs should be considered merely one facet of a comprehensive security strategy.

Guard dogs are prized due to their ability to intimidate potential intruders with loud barking and snarling – clear indications to “stay away” that some people feel will deter even the most professional of thieves and send them toward a softer target. Those in the home security system business, however, are well aware of the shortcomings of relying exclusively on guard dogs.

Dogs can be distracted in a number of ways – loud sounds, food, other animals – and that means that they can have their attention pulled away long enough for someone to break into your property. Check out this funny ad that emphasizes this point.

It’s also possible, in worst case scenarios, for dogs to be poisoned by food that has been laced with something toxic, or to even be attacked when they surprise individuals who are armed and intent on robbing your home or business. There’s also the difficulty of keeping dogs fed and sheltered while you’re away on vacation, which is one of the most common times for a home to be hit by burglars.

These caveats make it clear that while guard dogs do offer a real benefit when it comes to protecting property, they must be combined with a properly-installed business alarm system or home alarm system in order to provide total peace of mind.

Knowing that if a burglar gets past your guard dog he’ll still have to deal with the unblinking eye of your security system. That means not having to worry about whether your faithful animal has been outsmarted or harmed in the middle of the night.

It also means that when you’re away you can enjoy far greater protection for your home or business, including remote monitoring of your system’s status and the ability to communicate with you almost instantly via a text message or phone call in the event of a break-in – something that simply isn’t possible when relying on a guard dog.