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 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.

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.

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.

Access Control Systems: The pros outweigh the cons

Controlling who has access to the sensitive areas of your business has always been an essential part of any overall security system. However, in the post 911 world, such issues take on even greater concerns and greater challenges as matters of privacy, identity theft and Homeland Security also have to be taken into consideration.

Advanced access control systems can do a whole lot more than merely control who has access to your premise or key areas and when that person has access. They can be used to track specific employees, monitor the locations of high-value equipment or assets, and even verify employee hours and attendance records. Such systems can range from the simple and familiar “card keys” to the most advanced biometric systems using thumbprints, hand prints or facial recognition. Integration also means recognizing that in today’s environment, no one security system can do it all. Total security is achieved only with the incorporation of key systems such as intrusion detection, video surveillance and access control. By integrating these separate security systems under a single flexible building automation system, many CEOs have realized lower upfront investments while leveraging considerably more powerful security solutions.

Integration also means recognizing that in today’s environment, no one security system can do it all.

One of the greatest advantages of today’s access control systems is that they can also be “integrated” into a company’s existing IT infrastructure. That means instead of a huge investment in separate hardware and servers to run and monitor the access system, everything is web-based. Security administrators can access, monitor and control the system simply by logging onto any computer with a network or internet connection. However such convenience does not come without its share of challenges

Even a web-based access control system requires ongoing administrative tasks such as adding and deleting users, changing access permissions, providing reports, etc. But since the system can be cloud based and accessed remotely, that also means that it is far more cost effective than it has ever been to assign such tasks to an outside company. When you let qualified professionals handle everything from installing to operating and monitoring your integrated service, you can also be sure that all privacy and homeland security issues are always complied with.

But this may be the best part. While the pros are doing their jobs and ensuring that your premises are secure and your people are safe – you still have access to the system 24/7 anywhere you have an internet connection, not to mention you can receive email alerts, or live video direct to your desktop or smartphone. Which means you receive all the advantages of powerful access to and control of your system without any expensive IT infrastructure or racks full of on-site equipment, while all operation, maintenance, and upgrades are professionally managed over the web by your security provider. That is a proposition that should make any business owner feel a little more secure.