Holiday Season Thieves Threaten Small Businesses

This time of year in New England, small businesses are at special risk from thieves looking to cash in on the busy Christmas season. To be as safe as possible owners of these businesses can take special safety precautions, including the addition of alarms, and video surveillance and monitoring solutions.

Sadly, not everyone has peace on earth and goodwill to all in mind during the holiday season. A variety of crimes increase in frequency this time of year, especially shoplifting. This is a particular threat to small business owners of all sorts — particularly seasonal businesses who have extra merchandise, personnel and cash on hand.

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Protecting the New England Holiday Retail Industry

As the holiday retail season approaches, retailers and supermarket owners of all sizes in New England must defend themselves against theft. As a retailer, there are many steps you can take, including adding electronic surveillance systems throughout your store.

While the holiday season provides 34 percent of annual retail sales, it also accounts for 37 percent of yearly shrinkage, as a Forbes article notes. The biggest contributors to shrinkage are shoplifting and employee theft. Read more

Never Let Hurricane Season Catch You Unprepared

September marks the peak of hurricane season, a time when New England property is at risk, even without a direct hit.  Unfortunately, as this past season demonstrated, despite all the computers, instruments and software models, it’s impossible to make exact storm strike predictions.

Just last month, the tail end of Hurricane Florence was still strong enough to pummel New England — particularly coastal Massachusetts — as noted by a Boston Globe article. Florence brought a “deluge” of rain that flooded sections of the state, causing road closures and power outages. It hit the town of Saugus especially hard — hammering the area with winds exceeding 70 miles per hour and leaving a “mile-long path of destruction.” Read more

Protecting Seasonal Homes and Businesses

Columbus Day came and went, and winter is coming soon. Seasonal businesses are closing, and part-time residents will be returning to their winter homes. Everyone hopes to return next May to find their work or living quarters in the same conditions as they left them. Read more

When Waters Rise: Get Flood Warnings via Alarm Solutions

As Labor Day rolls around and autumn winds pick up, the Atlantic Coast reaches peak hurricane and thunderstorm season. These sudden and powerful weather events can bring a flash flood and storm surges that can wreak havoc on low-lying areas or overloaded drainage systems.

While no one can control the weather or completely avoid household accidents, homeowners can take proactive steps to avoid or minimize damage. Just as with fire or intrusion systems, American Alarm can install sophisticated water and environmental alarm systems to give timely warning of flooding, gas leaks and dangerously high or low temperatures. We also can deploy robust backup communications solutions, in case the main landline and cell grid goes offline. Read more

Defend Against Commercial Property Burglars

For commercial property owners and managers, the world might seem a bit threatening. According to FBI crime statistics (from 2016) non-residential burglaries were up 2.6 percent, to 412,743. Also, according to a story in Science Daily, alarm trade industry research indicated that 31 percent of experienced burglars targeted commercial properties.

Hopefully, your office building, retail store, or other commercial property was not included in the above stats. If you hope to continue to remain off these and other similar statistical lists (or never be included in them again), there are number of things you can do right now.

Some tips include some infrastructure related precautions, such as installing lights and surveillance cameras in key spots. They can also include hiring security, adopting a guard dog, and ensuring all vulnerable locations (such as windows) are always illuminated and secured when the property is vacant. Don’t forget to consider about top notch alarm and surveillance systems.

Here are a few more stats and ideas. Read more

Why Security is the Experience Your Building’s Occupants Seek Most

Security: The Experience Your Building’s Occupants Want Most

In an era of constantly changing technology and increasing risks, security – both physical and digital – is a critical need for today’s commercial real estate (CRE) properties. This is especially true with the rise of mixed-use buildings and their complex demands.

For example, more and more CRE managers/owners looking to grow occupancy levels are considering combining work, shopping, and life spaces. This type of property will appeal to their tenants’ growing demand for time-saving services. Others are improving their “smart building” capabilities, with the goal of  conserving energy, improving building efficiency, and delivering more comfortable experiences for occupants. Read more

Why Apartment Complexes Now Offer Luxury Experiences to Millennials

An arms race of sorts is happening in apartment complexes here in New England. The weapons of choice are exceptional connectivity, services and experiences. Today, due to the relatively short supply of consumers and their higher expectations, the usual doorman, pool and gym in your apartment building won’t cut it. Typical amenities now include a saltwater pool, a pet spa with grooming stations, a beer garden and a community kitchen. For example, last year’s opening of the Harlo in Boston’s Fenway-Boylston Street District included an 18th-floor “Sky Deck” with views of Fenway Park and downtown; a fitness center with a yoga terrace attached; grills on a fifth-floor terrace; and a pet spa. There is also a bike-storage room and underground parking and 24-hour concierge service. This location and list of amenities is likely what your apartment complex is competing against in 2018.  Read more

Top 3 Video Surveillance Setup Fails Property Managers Should Avoid

Residential property managers all around New England know warmer weather means more activity at the community pool, gym, pub and recreation room. This hustle and bustle is a good opportunity to showcase property amenities as welcomed guests spend the night or the weekend. However, with the warmer weather comes unwelcome guests crashing parties, enjoying the pool or stealing valuables. To protect residents from these intruders most property managers invest in business security systems that include an access control system and HD-quality video surveillance. The more advanced systems are integrated with the buildings IP network allowing all security  components to work together. However,  IP video networking and HD resolution have little impact if video camera installation and maintenance are substandard.

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How will Cybercrime Impact Commercial Real Estate in 2018?

In the commercial real estate business, protecting your building’s internet and data is as important as physically securing your doors and valuables. To remain competitive or even leapfrog your competition in this technology-driven world, CRE’s must invest more in interconnected technologies. This somewhat unavoidable investment increases your buildings exposure to the booming industry, cyber crime.  Read more