Have A Happy & Safe Halloween

Halloween is upon us. A magical time for ghosts and goblins – or princes and princesses – to scamper through their neighborhoods in search of sweets and other treats.

At American Alarm, we love the spookiest day of the year.  While we make last minute costume decisions (Thanos or Black Widow?), courtesy of the Massachusetts State Fire Marshall and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we want to offer some helpful tips to ensure that you and your children have a spooktacular All Hallow’s Eve:


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Fire Detection/Prevention: Getting the Alarm and Getting it Right

October 6 is Fire Prevention Week in North America, and it’s an appropriate occasion to think about how we can ensure our loved ones, homes, and property can be better protected. At American Alarm, we take the danger of fire especially seriously: A deadly fire’s aftermath was the reason why the company was launched.

Fire remains a very real threat in New England, and beyond. An alarm (preferably with a monitoring service) is a proven way of proactively detecting the presence of smoke before the fire is out of hand. For instance, this past September, an empty Waterford, Connecticut house was engulfed in flames before neighbors could report the blaze and the fire department could locate it.

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Smoked Out—Missing, Broken Detectors Blamed For Worcester Deaths

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of every home fire deaths occur when smoke alarms are not present or not working properly. In Worcester, Massachusetts, firefighters experienced this first-hand: Five deaths in 2015 were caused by the lack of home fire alarm systems or improperly functioning alarms. This is something especially frustrating for first responders since the Fire Department not only supplies smoke alarms to older homeowners, but installs them for free. So what’s the disconnect—why are homeowners running the risk of getting smoked out?

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Tips from Law Enforcement to Keep the Real-Life Grinches Away

Tips from Law Enforcement to Keep the Real-Life Grinches AwayAh, it’s that most wonderful time of the year again. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Bad guys waiting for you to let your guard down so they can ruin your plans for a festive season.

With the holidays right around the corner, we reached out to local Massachusetts police departments to ask what you can do to protect your packages as well as your homes from those real-life greedy grinches.

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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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Police Body Cameras Proposed in Boston

Police_lights_webPolice in Boston may soon be sporting new technology. A proposal from the citizen group, Boston Police Camera Action Team, would require all on-duty officers to wear a video camera on their shirt collars. This proposal comes after major cities across the country have participated in pilot programs to test the effectiveness of body cameras. These programs have emerged in response to public outcry over police-involved shootings nationwide.

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New England Communities Top National Safety List

New England OutlineIt’s official: Cities and towns across New England make up almost 25 percent of the top 100 safest places to live in the United States. According to a new report, places like Ridgefield, Wayland, Norfolk, Clinton, and Weston have all cracked the top ten based on FBI data for cities with over 10,000 residents. What sets these communities apart?

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Police Parlance: New Haven Aims for Better Cop-to-Citizen Communication

New Haven Aims for Better Cop-to-Citizen Communication Communication is difficult in any workplace environment—even small misunderstandings can mean missed deadlines or lost revenue. When it comes to policing, however, the stakes are much higher; poor communication with citizens can lead to protests, public outcries, and calls for total reform. In New Haven, the city is tackling this problem head-on with the creation of a new 17-member task force aimed at analyzing police and community relations and then making recommendations to improve their association. Is this a reasonable goal? If so, what’s the ultimate outcome?

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Boston Crime Down in 2015—Is This A “Snow-Go”?

Boston Crime Down in 2015—Is This A “Snow-Go”? Beantown is busy breaking records, but this time there’s no celebration. As noted by CBS Boston, the city recently broke its own record for snowiest winter, exceeding the 107.6 inches of 1995-1996 with 2014-2015’s 108.6 inches.

It’s not all bad news, however. According to the Boston Globe, crime in the city is down significantly. This begs the question: is all this snow the Boston’s newest crimefigher?

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New Worcester Lab Brings “Real” Crime to Campus

New Worcester Lab Brings “Real” Crime to CampusIs that guy passed-out drunk, or is that a dead body? Ketchup, or blood? What’s going on here?

On Becker College campus, the confusion is understandable thanks to the new John Dorsey Sr. Crime Scene Laboratory, named after one of the college’s longest-serving law professors. The 1100 square-foot lab is designed to mimic the horror and authenticity of real crime scenes, and according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Earley, a friend of Professor Dorsey, “I got the heebie-jeebies. It was that realistic.” The idea behind the sometimes gruesome vignettes is to give students a leg up in the real world, especially if they’re looking at a career in law enforcement or forensics.

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