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?

Read more

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.

Read more

How to Keep your Business Secure and Prevent Employee Theft

Preventing employee theft used to only involve stopping a worker from walking out with your goods or helping himself to the money in the cash register. Take, for example, a recent incident at the Home Depot in Watertown, Mass., as reported in the Watertown Patch.

Employee Theft

Home Depot security officers, who suspected an employee of stealing, caught him allegedly grabbing a $100 bill from the register and putting it in his apron. After he was arrested, the suspect admitted to taking approximately $5,000 in cash over five or six weeks.

While this type of theft still clearly occurs, times have changed, and employees have turned to more sophisticated ways to steal everything from merchandise to data from their employers.

Here are a few old school and cutting-edge ways to prevent your employees from stealing from your business;

Read more

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.

Licensed Security Specialists vs. National Utility Security Divisions – A Comparison

Going with the “big guys” when it comes to home security systems and business burglar alarm systems definitely has a certain appeal.

After all, having the name of a major utility on the warning label affixed to your front door, alerting potential thieves that you have an alarm installed, can sometimes add peace of mind to the equation. The real question is: What trade-offs are associated with choosing an alarm provider that doesn’t make security its number one business focus?

Mega-utilities are definitely prepared to cover the basics when it comes to offering home and business security packages. The deep pockets of nationwide companies ensure a reasonable investment in technology and service, similar to what you’d receive from your cable or mobile phone provider. Pricing is also usually competitive. These large companies offer several different packages that are targeted to the needs of the average family or organization. Read more

Business Security Tips to Prevent Robbery at Your Place of Work

Robbery, as other crimes against business, is most often a crime of opportunity. But, according to the Boston Police Department, there are extra precautions you can take to keep the bad guys at bay.

To prevent a robbery:

  • Don’t put any signs or posters on your front doors and windows to ensure you have good two-way visibility. That way your employees can see any people who are acting suspiciously outside and passers-by can see what’s going on inside;
  • Be sure the outside of your business is well lit at night;
  • Use video surveillance and post a sign letting people know you use it. Use cameras and/or mirrors so you can observe your entire store;
  • Greet everyone who enters your business. Pay close attention to people pretending to be customers. These individuals will be loitering or glancing around your store while they pretend to shop or browse through magazines;
  • If you see something suspicious report it to the police. Your local police department may have knowledge of other robberies that are similar to what you’re reporting;
  • Be sure to lock your side and back doors. If it’s possible, ask your employees to use the main entrance;
  • Place markers at the entrance that employees can use to help determine the height of a robber as he leaves;
  • Make bank deposits as often as possible, but at least once a day.

The Boston Police Department also has some tips to keep you safe during a robbery:

  • Try to stay calm;
  • Don’t make any sudden movements to upset the robber;
  • Do as exactly what the robber tells you to do. Don’t resist;
  • Try to get a good look at the robber so that you can describe him to police later;
  • Notice the direction the robber traveled when he left your store;
  • If you can do it without putting yourself in danger, try and get a description of the robber’s vehicle.

After the robbery:

  • Call the police immediately after the robbery, even if you’ve already activated your alarm;
  • Go outside when the police arrive so they’ll know the robber has left and you’re safe;
  • Don’t touch anything that the robber may have touched so police can identify his fingerprints;
  • Ask any witnesses to stay or get their names and telephone numbers so police can contact them;
  • Don’t tell anyone except the police how much money was taken.

Remember, no business is too small for a business security system. Today, a good business security system should include a business video surveillance system, which can send out digital alerts to automatically notify the authorities as soon as suspicious behavior is detected in or around your business. And that means police officers and private security guards are often able to catch those bad guys before they do any damage.

In the words of Ben Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

American Alarm Acquires Two Rhode Island Security Companies

home_business_security_coverage_areasAmerican Alarm & Communications today announced it has completed the acquisition of Electronic Alarm Systems (EAS) and Phoenix Fire Alarm & Communications, firms that provide life-safety and security services to homes and businesses across Rhode Island.

The Warwick based companies will continue to operate from their current location and pursue new opportunities to grow their residential and commercial life-safety and security services.

“We are looking forward to serving the customers of Electronic Alarm Systems and Phoenix Fire Alarm and Communications,” said Wells Sampson, President of American Alarm. “These companies have a long history of serving Rhode Island customers. We look forward to carrying on their tradition of passion for excellent, caring service. American Alarm’s strengths will help these companies grow.” Read more

Remote Video Monitoring Prevents Crime Before It Can Happen

remote video monitoringYou obviously can’t keep an eye on your business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t install remote video monitoring to get the job done for you.

Recent advances in business security systems have added an entirely new dimension to the level of protection offered by video surveillance, including the ability to instantly notify both owners and local law enforcement should an intrusion be detected.

That last sentence makes an important distinction between an actual intrusion and one that appears to be on the verge of taking place. In the past, business video surveillance has primarily been used as a tool to help in the prosecution of vandals or thieves after the fact. It offers a record of the criminal activity that took place after the perpetrators gained access to the facility or property in question. Read more

Shoplifting Epidemic in Massachusetts – Is Your Business Security System Ready?  

Business Security System - Shoplifting EpidemicWe probably all know someone who pocketed a candy bar or a pack of gum from the local store when they were kids. They probably caught hell from their folks when they did. The truth is today shoplifting is far from a petty crime. In fact, it costs businesses nationwide billions and forces them to consider a business security system upgrade.

Sure, there are still the petty thieves that come in to pilfer what they can and these crimes can add up to some significant losses for businesses. According to the FBI, shoplifting rings are considered major organized crime. We’re talking about sophisticated groups of shoplifters, who case out stores just like banks. They come equipped with floor plans and special foil-lined bags that block the signals of security sensors. Read more