Woman Stealing Clothes From Store

Shoplifting Rises During April School Vacation

Woman Stealing Clothes From Store

New England store owners lose billions of dollars annually in stolen merchandise. In Massachusetts alone, shrinkage due to shoplifting reached approximately one billion dollars last year. While the largest spike in shoplifting occurs during the holiday season, April is also a month in which shoplifting is more common, as youth are usually on spring break during this time.

The majority of shoplifting crimes are committed by people ages 35-54. However, approximately 25% of all shoplifters are under the age of 18. This means that your store needs to take extra precautions during the month of April, when teens are out of school and therefore have more opportunity to shop – and potentially shoplift.

If you want to protect your business from an increase in shoplifting, or if you’d like to work to eliminate instances of shoplifting, take a look at the following tips. These actionable pieces of advice can ensure that your business remains as profitable as possible this April and beyond.

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A Hanging Birdhouse

How to Disguise Hidden Home Security Cameras Indoors and Outdoors

How to Disguise Home Security Cameras

A Hanging BirdhouseApproximately 67% of all burglaries occurring in the United States target residential properties. This results in nearly 3.5 billion dollars in homeowner property losses each year. Of those burglaries, 15% occur in homes in the Northeast, and nearly half of those take place while the resident is at home.  

This makes security cameras a very important tool for both the safety of the home and the homeowner. Yet, an effective camera isn’t enough. You also need effective camera placement

In some cases you may not want your cameras right out in the open where they can be tampered with. Instead, you want to ensure that they are well hidden, yet still placed in prime position to capture any would-be intruder.

Here are a few great places to hide your indoor and outdoor cameras to ensure that they are as useful as possible while remaining undamaged by potential burglars.

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Two Security Cameras (dirty and cobwebs)

Keep Your Security Cameras Free of Insects

Keep Spider Webs, Bugs or Insects From Security Cameras 

Two Security Cameras (dirty and cobwebs)High resolution surveillance cameras are key tools in protecting our New England homes and businesses from thieves and intruders. However, as reliable and proven as these solutions are, they require maintenance and that includes preventing the camera lenses from being obscured by such obstructions as spider webs or insect nests.

Spider and insect interference may be a bigger problem than you might realize, particularly for homeowners with exterior camera-based security systems. Spiders do in fact habitually spin webs across lenses, as this industry blogs notes. This can create blind spots in your surveillance system, in effect disabling it. 

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Reopening Your Business During the Pandemic: Security Solutions for Restaurants

Restaurants Opening in COVID-19 Era Need New Security Solutions

As New England restaurants begin reopening to the new normal, their owners and managers are discovering new uncertainties and risks.

Happy business owner opening the door at a cafe wearing a facemask to avoid the spread of coronavirus – reopening after COVID-19 concepts

New regulations and policies for hygiene add complexity to an already difficult business. As noted in a prior blog, some patrons are impatient or unwilling to conform to the new rules. Businesses in cities like Boston and Brockton are now facing vandalism and theft as well.

Some of these challenges can be mitigated with technology solutions.

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Tips To Keep Your Basement From Flooding

Fight Back The Floods

As New Englanders, we should always be ready to protect our basements from flooding — particularly when caused by spring rains or severe storms.

This blog has covered the risks storms and floods pose to our businesses and homes, and to seasonal homes in particular. A flooding disaster can cost thousands of dollars in damage to property, and inflict huge stress on homeowners.

Our basements can be inundated at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected ways, as one North Woodstock, New Hampshire, couple learned last April. According to a CBSN Boston January article, the couple’s basement was flooded by 16 inches of water — which they alleged was part of the runoff from a commercial ice castle attraction.

The couple spent $30,000 on a system to drain the estimated 35,000 gallons of water from the basement and keep it dry. Read more

Remote Surveillance for Those Most at Risk


Using High Tech to Protect At-Risk Loved Ones

Given current COVID-19 related events, it’s more important than ever to have ways to watch and protect our elderly or at-risk relatives and loved ones. At the same time, these people want to live as independently as possible, and not feel as if they are a burden.

Unfortunately, it’s more difficult than ever to safely move around and visit loved ones most at risk – both here in New England and across the country. One way to compensate for the lack of in-person visitation is to deploy a secure and reliable remote medical monitoring and alerting system.

A Growing Safety Field

There is great potential in the medical monitoring industry, particularly as smart technologies rapidly evolve. A major driver is the maturation of Internet of Things (IoT)-based solutions. In fact, this tech was the subject of an expert panel held in Boston last December, as TechTarget notes.

The article describes how  companies are exploring ways to embed “IoT remote monitoring for connected medical devices with the intent to improve their products and differentiate themselves from the competition.” These systems are largely still in development, but such an event shows how medical monitoring is a promising field.

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Your Pets Are Vulnerable to Theft: Are You Ready?

You may not have realized it, but National Pet Theft Awareness Day, February 14, just passed us by. It’s a great time to think about our beloved pets and how to protect them from thieves or malicious people. The awareness event launched in 1988, notes a blog on the Puppy Up Foundation website, with the aim of educating pet owners in protecting their animals from theft.

The potential animal theft problem in New England (and beyond) is greater than you may realize. Close to 2 million pets are stolen annually, according to some estimates. Among the reasons is profit, website PetFBI notes, as thieves may be motivated by getting reward money.

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Need a Business Security System Provider? A Few Tips

Are you a New England business owner looking to protect your operation with an electronic security solution? If so, you will save yourself time, money and potential loss by doing due diligence in your search upfront. 

You’ll need to evaluate your specific needs first. Do you want an electronic alarm with high resolution camera surveillance? Perhaps you also need  24/7 monitoring service? No matter what solution you choose, you need to select a reliable security vendor/service provider.

Why Security Systems Are Important

It’s wonderful when integrated security systems work as intended and limit losses for a business. According to a local news story in Brockton, Massachusetts, a triggered alarm in a seafood store led police to apprehend a suspect on the premises. When officers arrived at the scene, “they encountered a man wearing a ski mask next to a trash bag filled with items from inside the business.” Police made an on-the-spot arrest.  

Similarly, also in Brockton, police interrupted the robbery of a pharmacy last June after a telephone alarm was triggered, says one press account. In this case, the alarm company also had surveillance cameras on-site.  “The alarm company then called police to report glass had been broken at the store and they could see, through remote surveillance video, a man inside the store near the pharmacy.” The police apprehended the man, who was hiding in the locked pharmacy.

In both cases, alarms prevented the suspects from escaping with their ill-gotten goods. These examples show real- time security systems can help stop crime in its tracks.

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What Will 2020 Hold for High-tech Security in New England?

With a new decade upon us, we should stop for a second to consider any new high-tech threats that may arise nationally and in New England. A key area of worry is the ever-expanding risk of cyber attack.

We can’t know the future, but we can always be prepared to protect our property and loved ones. To that end, we’ll do a quick and informal review of the potential risks that lie ahead in the areas of home and business cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity and Other Dangers

When it comes to web/cyber-based threats, we must recognize the scope and scale of the problem. Even the biggest companies and public agencies are vulnerable to hackers and social engineering threats.

Just recently, in response to a U.S strike in Iran, Massachusetts cybersecurity providers warned of potential retribution from Iran via hacking attempts. Per Tom Kellermann, head of cybersecurity strategy at VMware, based in Waltham, “I fully expect a holy war to be waged in American cyberspace.”

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Social Media Posting on Your Holiday Activities? Think Again

Sure, it’s the season to share gifts, time and presents — as well as information about all our holiday activities. However, we must all be wary of what we share with the public on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

‘Tis the season to beware of multiple scams, from phony gift cards to fake charities seeking donations, as this Walpole, Massachusetts, Patch article explains. There are also thieves looking for empty houses to rob.

Given all the risks surrounding us, we should do our part not to expose potentially high-value information to total (and potentially felonious) strangers. This includes any social media posts that tell the world our homes are empty and unprotected while we are away visiting family

Loose Lips on Travel = Big Risks

Traveling is obviously a major risk. It leaves your house and property vulnerable for hours, days or even weeks as you visit friends and relatives. As this blog has noted previously, telling the world on Facebook you’ll be away from your home for any length of time is highly risky.

Would-be thieves can seek out such residences on Facebook and identify temporarily unoccupied houses to rob during the holidays. In fact, the town of North Andover, Massachusetts, considers social posting on any travel information a “holiday hazard” and urges citizens to say absolutely nothing about their whereabouts.

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