Home Safety Month!

June marks Home Safety Month, a month dedicated to raising safety awareness at home, work and everywhere in between. When it comes to apartments, condos and other residential areas with property managers and tenants, safety should be a high priority because they serve as both a home and a workplace. In this vein, property managers need to provide a safe environment and empower their tenants with the knowledge and supplies necessary to protect themselves and their homes.

 

First and foremost, a property’s windows and doors need to be checked and secured. According to security expert Chris E. McGoey, more than 30% of apartment burglars gain access through open doors and windows, making it critical that you stress to your tenants the importance of locking up. That being said, burglars do often use household items like pliers, screwdrivers, and even credit cards to break in through doors and windows, so make sure to set up your building with locks capable of withstanding those attacks and even supply deadlocks to further protect your tenants against break-ins.

 

Having both surveillance cameras and access control systems set up within your building are also great security measures.  A clear presence of surveillance can discourage criminals from making a move in the first place, and access control systems requiring verification on main entrances and amenity areas can keep unwanted visitors away from your property as well.

 

Finally, property managers should take care to screen new tenants as much as possible. It has been proven that by thoroughly vetting potential tenants, you can reduce the amount of crime within the building’s premises. Having a safe and secure reputation is worth much more than quickly filling an open apartment or rental space.

Employee Spotlight: Lisa Burkhardt!

 

Get to know our team members a little better! Today, our Employee Spotlight is shining on Lisa Burkhardt, our Finance and Office Operations Manager!

How long have you been working at ISG? 

Two years on June 1st! But I feel like I have been here forever. A few weeks after I started, I remember Annette and I talking about my upcoming ‘60 days’ and laughing that it couldn’t be true. I was already so invested and bonded, it felt more like years… 

What do you enjoy most about working at ISG? 

Never a dull day. We all work so unbelievably hard, but we work together as a team. We support each other and help each other – and look out for each other. ISG is my other family. We care a lot about each other. But also bicker and laugh and tease and argue. The office is an open air space, so there is no ability to hide or be shy or quiet. Being here forces you to be open and social, which for me is a challenge, but forces me to be present and involved. Besides the close relationship with my team – the limitless potential this company and each of its employees has is crazy. It’s exciting to watch things happen around here.

 

What was your first impression of ISG?

I was immediately impressed…Annette and Brandon are so young and so successful in what they are doing and have done in their careers already. It’s amazing what they have done and continue to do with this company, all while being themselves. It is humbling and definitely impressive!

What experience do you bring to ISG? 

I have a diverse background, with both corporate and very non-corporate environments. I’ve worked in an operations type role for more than 10 years with experience in Finance, HR, and Office Management; have been both a Personal and Executive Assistant; and worked in food & beverage for 8 years before all of this. I think I have a good understanding of customer service and relations as well as what happens within these office walls.  

What makes you special?

My amazing sense of humor!

What is your personal philosophy?

If it’s meant to be, it will be.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

My daughter. She’s everything.

Where is your favorite place to be?

Outside, on the beach, or anywhere in the warm sun.

How do you define success?

Being proud of yourself for what you are doing.

What is the best book you have ever read?

God, I don’t read enough… Unless it’s with my 6 year old.  In that case, one of our favorites is “I Love You, Stinky Face” 

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.   

I went to school for Art. I’m a huge car fanatic. I can also name, sing along, and/or air drum to almost every Classic Rock song I hear on the radio.

Employee Monitored Surveillance is a Highly Effective Way to GROW Profits!

A recently performed study shows that employee monitored surveillance technology is a highly effective way to grow business profits, especially in industries with lower wages and higher employee turnover. It suggests that perhaps employee misconduct is a direct result of managerial policies rather than the individual themselves. Interesting, huh?

Employee theft and widespread behavioral problems are if anything but on the downward slope. In fact employees in general, according to staticbrain.com, will steal about $50 million annually from US based businesses.

The researchers from Brigham Young, Washington University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studied the impacts of electronic employee surveillance on employee theft and productivity at 392 restaurants in 38 different states. The results were astounding:

-Revenues increased a whopping $2,975 per week, per location for those restaurants with theft detection technology.

-Drink Sales, where is the primary source of theft, increased $975/week. That is  10.5% increase! If you are in the restaurant industry you know that profit margins are between 60-90% in alcohol sales! Wow!

-The study went on and speculated that workers stopped unethical behaviors and focused on activities that drive increased sales, like appetizer and dessert sales.

-Theft reduction was about $108 per store, per week.

Employee theft and widespread behavioral problems are if anything but on the downward slope. In fact employees in general, according to staticbrain.com, will steal about $50 million annually from US based businesses.

This research suggests and clearly identifies that electronic employee monitoring surveillance technologies, such as camera surveillance systems, register interfaces, and text overlay, will not only increase sales, it will lower employee theft and maintain a safe environment for your staff as well as patrons!

The study is titled, “Cleaning House: The Impact of Information Technology Monitoring on Employee Theft and Productivity*,”. Read the entire study at http://apps.olin.wustl.edu/faculty/pierce/cleaninghouse.pdf

Invision Security designs and installs employee monitoring surveillance technology in businesses throughout the tri-state area. We can help solve your problems, we can assist with covert applications, and we will help get your margins back on track and get YOU making money. Call us at 877.933.2288 for more information.

School Safety: Why upgrading now rather than later is better

School Safety  has always been something we are extremely passionate about and having school age children gives us the right to do so. Being in the security industry we have the ability to make a difference. I recently came across this video and posting. It is a high school with cameras in virtually every room, nook and cranny. Coming off the Sandy Hook Massacre, Columbine and several others, not to mention the recent school shootings that were right here in the Philadelphia area gives us full reason for concern.  It leads to me my major question of …What are our schools doing to keep our children safe?

Being a reseller of the GeoVision brand, I love seeing this. I know our products are amazing, and I know they can keep our students and teachers safe.  Installed here, are the 360°  Fish Eye Megapixel Cameras – The pioneer of a single camera that eliminates blind spots.

Coming off the Sandy Hook Massacre, Columbine and several others, not to mention the recent school shootings that were right here in the Philadelphia area gives us full reason for concern.

This school has invested a pretty penny in security upgrades. I want to know what do you think? Are our kids safe in school? Would be against or for an elaborate security system  in your local school? And lastly, what about the cost…would you help pay for it? Sound off below.

Mobile Security System Apps Offer True Peace of Mind

It’s become a common saying among all smartphone users: “There’s an app for that.”

Current home and business security systems are at the forefront of mobile app convenience, allowing individuals to monitor the status of those systems remotely  as well as interact with their alarm systems should the need arise. Thanks to mobile app technology such as the Z-Wave digital monitoring system offered by InVision Security, there are a long list of available features that let users stay in touch with their security systems as long as they have their mobile device.

What kind of uses do mobile apps have when it comes to interacting with your fire alarm or burglar alarm system? One of the most beneficial features that a mobile security app can provide is alerting you of any activity taking place in or near a particular property.

Whether it’s a tripped alarm, an open window, or a text message,  letting you know that your child has come home from school and entered in his or her alarm code, you can keep a tab on what’s going on at home or at work without having to make calls or visists.

This communication between you and your security system can go both ways, too. You can use a mobile security app to arm your system from a distance, or turn off an accidental alarm. You can also view remote video monitoring  from cameras installed in your home or office via your phone, which is great for doing quick spot checks on kids or employees.

Moving past standard burglar and fire alarms, mobile apps also offer advanced home and office automation services that can put you in complete control of your property remotely. Wireless apps are available that can lock and unlock doors, turn lights on or off and even let you adjust your thermostat settings from your smartphone. It’s even possible to install modules for specific electrical outlets that provide you with similar control over appliances and other devices.

Mobile security applications offer the kinds of versatile access control, notification and remote automation services that were previously luxuries of the rich and famous. It’s well worth investigating the benefits of this type of technology for busy families on the go as well as company owners looking for increased efficiency from their current business security systems.

5 Reasons Your Security System is Out of Date

Is your security system as old as your business? Or perhaps you upgraded your surveillance system a couple of years ago. This does not mean your system is current! Technology is ever changing and lucky for you, we love keeping up with the times and trends and all the new systems and specs that come out! Here are 5 reasons your surveillance system may be out of date.

1.  Off Site Recording– Recorders do not need to be at the location where all those cameras are! Keeping your NVR (Network Video Recorder, if you do not know this name, there is another reason of out of date!) at your home or satellite office and seeing another location is a nice feature! Do you have a employees who are not the most trustworthy, or perhaps a sneaky teenage kid who can turn off the unit. This would be a perfect way to prevent those issue from coming to light.

2.  Closed Platform – If you have a closed surveillance system you’re making a big mistake. Choosing an open software platform will give your system flexibility over time by allowing you to use various makes and models of cameras. A closed platform limits the potential of your system. All of the systems we sell are non-proprietary, meaning you can add,  or change to just about any brand and they will still work! Something that is a very important trait when choosing to upgrade.

Technology is ever changing and lucky for you, we love keeping up with the times and trends and all the new systems and specs that come out!

3.  Remote Access– At at time when smart phones can control just about anything and everything you have a world of information available to you at your fingertips. A feature that as a business owner or home owner can prove invaluable when the need arises to check in on things at an non convenient time.

4.  Ability to Zoom without pixelation – Did you know with the technology out today and the ‘ah-mazing’ quality of cameras that have flourished our market. Zooming in on pre-recorded footage has be come the “norm”. You can take an image and see someones face, or maybe even make out that license plate! 

5. Slow Search – You should be able to comb through and locate precise points in your recorded footage in seconds. If it takes you hours to find something then you need to get new software. Choose user-friendly software and get to know it well.

Small Business Security: Why you should take local crime seriously

It is pertinent to know the crime statistics of your city, in order to detect increases in crime. Commercial burglaries tend to form patterns. A break-in at one store can quickly turn into a string of burglaries at businesses all around the block. Get proactive as soon as your business or a neighbor business is hit, to prevent more break-ins before they occur. Here are some tips from SafeCity on how to work together with other business owners.

1. Meet with the owners or managers in your complex to talk about how burglars got in, how they escaped, what time they arrived, and what they stole. Begin keeping centralized records of all the break-ins in the vicinity of your store.

2. Partner with local law enforcement to keep tabs on area break-ins and arrests.Philadelphia offers a program that will pay UP TO $3,000 for your surveillance system.  Try to stick with one contact at the police department, so that one person will be able to see the big picture of the crimes in your complex and notice patterns and problem areas.

Get proactive as soon as your business or a neighbor business is hit, to prevent more break-ins before they occur.

3. If break-ins have already become a pattern in your area, consider a CCTV system or monitored alarm system to get you covered in the event your their next target.

4. Strengthen your front doors and windows, and consider barring back windows. Lock the fire escapes after closing time to cut off an easy escape route for burglars. Talk with your security company about whether your current lighting and security cameras are sufficient.

After implementing your security strategy, meet with other business owners to find out if it’s working. It may take a few months to notice a change in the patterns, for better or worse.

Reasons to Schedule your Fire Inspection NOW!

Spring and summer are popular times of the year for fire alarm monitoring system inspections. Schools are mostly empty, small businesses are gearing up for a busy summer season. Here are some reasons why we recommend scheduling your inspection as soon as possible:

    • Summer is very busy. Since so many businesses want to conduct inspections during the summer, it is important for you, as a building owner, to schedule early to reserve a date that works best for you.
    • If you put it off, you could forget about it. It is the building owner’s responsibility to have their system inspected annually by Pennsylvania law. Many businesses sign up for our Annual Inspection Program.

When the inspection approaches, Invision Security will notify the business owner that it is time for their annual fire alarm inspection. To learn more about signing up your business for this program, contact our office.

    • Ensure that a qualified technician will be there to inspect your system. Invision Security’s technicians have the qualifications and experience to conduct your fire system inspections, provide the appropriate maintenance, and properly test your system that meet the requirements laid out by the State of Pennsylvania’s Fire Marshal’s Office and the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®). Scheduling your inspection well in advance will give you peace of mind knowing that this important, protective measure is taken to help your property.

For more information about Invision Security’s Fire System Inspections, call our service department at 877.933.2288.

Commercial Life Safety: What to do when the fire alarm sounds

Picture this situation… You’re working hard at your job and all of a sudden the fire alarm goes off. What do you do?

The decision you make can be the difference between life and death. At a garment factory in India, a sounding fire alarm was waved off by managers. Because of this negligence, more than 100 people perished in a fire. Don’t’ let this happen to you. Taking the proper measures can ultimately save your life.

It’s important to treat fire alarms seriously. Every single year there are nearly 100,000 non-residential structure fires according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Follow these tips when an alarm triggers.

1. Stop working – Immediately stop working. Don’t think of it as a possible false alarm. Every second counts. Get out of the building.

2. Leave your belongings behind – Don’t obsess over gathering all of your personal belongings as you leave. You can always replace them.

3. Find the nearest exit – Locate the nearest exit and leave as quickly as possible. If the exit is blocked, quickly find another one.

4. Avoid elevators – If you work on upper floors, take the stairs in the event of a fire alarm going off at your business.

5. Contact authorities – The fire alarm should alert authorities. To be certain, contact authorities and let them know the situation once outside.

It’s important to treat fire alarms seriously. Every single year there are nearly 100,000 non-residential structure fires according to the National Fire Protection Association.

If it happens to be a false alarm, get it checked out as soon as possible by a company that specializes in fire alarm and suppression services.

At inVision Security, we specialize in inspecting, testing, monitoring and maintaining fire alarm systems. To find out how we can help you, contact us today.

Time To Upgrade: 2G Is Sun-setting Soon.

Cell phone network upgrades are common for many mobile users.  As time goes on, network technology improves and it becomes necessary to upgrade to the next available option.  From 2G, 3G, and most recently 4G LTE, wireless connection continues to get faster and more reliable.  This is also true for security systems.

AT&T announced their intention to sunset their 2G network communication back in 2012. The company recently set a deadline of January 1, 2017 to complete their transition away from 2G.  Since this announcement, we’ve noticed that many areas have already gone through the transition, updating cell phone towers and completing this transition, which renders the 2G networks obsolete.  In addition to AT&T, other data carriers have also started to sunset their 2G networks. It is imperative for you, as a home or business owner, to stay ahead of the game and consider your upgrade options now.

From 2G, 3G, and most recently 4G LTE, wireless connection continues to get faster and more reliable.  This is also true for security systems.

The best solution is to upgrade your alarm system to a new GSM Communicator, which offers a reliable form of communication between your system and our UL Listed Monitoring Center.  One of the greatest benefits to using radio communication over wireless Internet communication is the timeless reliability of this system.  Future network sunsets will not affect your mesh radio system.  You will have peace of mind knowing that your business is protected by reliable communication, and can also be assured that you will not have to worry about future telecommunications company network upgrades or changes impacting your alarm system.

We encourage our customers to make informed decisions about their alarm systems well in advance.  If your system operates on a 2G network, start thinking about your options.  We welcome you to call our offices to discuss those options with our sales team.  At Invision Security, we are committed to finding the right system for your property, your safety, and within your budget.