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To create security and peace of mind you installed an alarm system, and you diligently set your alarm every day. 

One day, you arrived at work or home and realized you had a break-in. Your alarm didn’t work; you did not receive a call, and the police never came. 

How did this happen?  What preventative measures can you take? 

Testing your home alarm system monthly and your commercial system weekly is extremely beneficial. A properly connected alarm system will ensure your system is communicating correctly with your monitoring station.

Testing your alarm system regularly can expose any problems caused by a sensor failure, phone line failure, change in phone service, power surge, or disconnecting a component and not reconnecting it properly.

Steps to test your system:

Before testing your system call your alarm company and place your account on test. You will need your account number or password. If you do not put your system on test it could result in police dispatch.

  1. Make sure all of your doors and windows are closed securely.
  2. Arm your system as if you were leaving the premises and wait 60 seconds for the exit delay to expire. 
  3. Open each door and window with a sensor attached. Wait 3-5 seconds then close the door or window. The alarm will sound, do not turn it off until all sensors are checked. 
  4. Once each sensor has been checked, disarm your system.
  5. Call your alarm company to take your alarm off test.
  6. Ask your alarm company which signals were received.  

When One Source Security installs an alarm system, we test each system component to ensure proper communication with the central monitoring station. Periodic testing of your alarm system is essential. 

If for any reason your system is not communicating to the monitoring station, please call us today at 1-800-570-6478.

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Increasing security in and around healthcare facilities has become a priority to keep patients and employees safe, since healthcare facilities are not immune to crime. However, there is a balance between accessibility and security for patients and employees. 

One solution is to use access control to streamline the security process and provide the comfort and healing to their patients in a secure environment.

With the use of smart card credentials, it has become easier for healthcare facilities to implement access control. This smart card system can be used for multiple levels of security, associating each card with an individual employee’s security level, thus eliminating multiple cards issued to one employee. 

A facility can secure all points of entry for employees and deliveries with access control along with the addition of video surveillance.  

Staff and patient elevators and stairwells can include access control, which can be left open during the day for visitors, however, after visiting hours only employees and visitors with badges can access those areas.

A facility can use access control to effectively control the access to sensitive areas of a hospital, such as, pharmacies, surgical areas, intensive care units, nurseries, medicine supply rooms, as well as medication dispensing machines. Only employees with the appropriate credentials can access these sensitive areas.

Access control software allows the user to enroll a card, assign security access levels, and provide an audit trail of who entered and exited each area. Integration with video surveillance, intrusion alarms and photo verification make a complete access solution across many levels of security. The software also, allows administrators the ability to instantly lockdown a facility.  

We would be pleased to assess your facility and provide a comprehensive solution to fit your needs and budget. Call today to speak with one of our sales engineers at 1- 800-570-6478. 

 

 

 

 

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According to the FBI 2012 Crime Report, almost nine million property crime offenses occurred that year. Of those property crimes 68 percent were theft. Glass areas are extremely vulnerable since they present an easy way to gain entry to a premise. Glass doors, side windows next to the main entrances and windows facing back alleys should be protected, as well as stock area windows with limited activity, and restricted office areas. 

Retail windows are a beautiful way to display merchandise, but can present a crime of opportunity for the impulsive thief.  Protecting storefront glass breaks may not prevent “smash and grab” losses, however, it would prevent most burglars from actually entering the building and removing valuable property.  Using glass break sensors would alert employees and the central monitoring station there is a break-in as soon as a window is smashed. 

Security systems are typically off when cleaning crews are in the building and when employees are working after hours. Glass break sensors can still remain on, allowing individuals the ability to move freely around the building, and know they are still protected. 

Glass display cases are another use for glass break sensors. Museum curators and retailers with glass display and jewelry cases often want the extra security inside the glass display case. 

Some buildings may have tinted film on the windows in sunnier climates or security glass laminates used to prevent shattering from impacts. The sensors are not affected by the tinted films but the sensors will need to be placed closer to the windows with security glass laminates. Many offices also have curtains or blinds on at least some windows, glass break sensors provide protection regardless of the type of window coverings.  

Glass break sensors will detect the unique sound of breaking glass and vibration coming from the glass as it breaks.  By listening for the unique sound of glass breaking, the sensors have a range of about 20 feet, and can cover multiple windows. They are flexible, reliable and designed to eliminate false alarms.  

Business owners have two types of sensors to choose from; the first is a sensor that works on acoustics or sound alone, the second works on acoustics and vibration together. We use the GE Shatter Pro which has increased alarm immunity because of its advanced technology. It also has a high quality filter for ambient noise.

If there are trees or other access points leading to the second floor of the building, glass break sensors should be installed in these areas as well. Businesses can take an active role in reducing their vulnerability and criminal opportunity.  One Source Security and Automation, Inc can evaluate your building and recommend the best security protection for your business.

Call us today for a free evaluation, (800) 570-6478.

 

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Today, several hotel chains are using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to simplify check-in and check-out for their guests.  NFC Smartphone software uses short-range wireless communication technology enabling the exchange of data between devices at close proximity. 

Hotel guests are able to bypass the check-in desk altogether and can go without any delay to their room then enter using their Smartphone.  This creates a faster and easier way for hotel guests to check in and out, whether they are the weary vacation traveler or the regular business customer. The objective is to reduce the time it takes from the curb to the room using NFC technology.

Guests book their hotel rooms the usual way, and then receive confirmation on their mobile phones. Ahead of their arrival to the hotel, guests receive a welcome message and link for on-line check-in, after which a digital hotel room key is delivered to their phone. Upon arrival, guests go directly to their rooms, open their room door by holding their mobile phone close to the door lock.  During the stay, they will have access to guest services using this technology. Upon departure, the doors lock automatically, and guests check out by touching their phones to a lobby kiosk, which completes checkout and deactivates their electronic room key. 

Using NFC technology not only creates a faster and easier way for hotel guests to check-in, but hotel owners will benefit from an increase in efficiency. By eliminating the rime consuming check-in procedure which could result in reduced staffing costs. On-going running and maintenance costs of an NFC system are minimal as the problem of lost or damaged keys are eradicated. This technology benefits both hotel guests and owners.

Please call 800-570-6478 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today for more information. 

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False alarms are a growing issue for local law enforcement. They are frequently dispatched to the same business or home multiple times.  As a result, communities with higher rates of false alarms are implementing false alarm fines and verified responses. Communities are allowing a fixed number of false alarms for a business or residence before a fine is issued. Repeated false alarms may create hesitation from law enforcement when an actual event is happening. 

False alarms can be triggered by a weather-related event, equipment malfunction, user error or poor design of the security system. If false alarms are making you reluctant to use your security system, the following tips may help reduce false alarms saving time and money:

  1. Make sure your central monitoring station has current contact information, so correct verification can be made in a timely manner. 
  2. Make sure all protected doors and windows are locked when the facility is closed. Repair any loose fitting doors, overhead doors and windows that do not seal properly.
  3. Keep pets out of areas with motion detectors or install pet friendly motion detectors. Make sure to keep motion detectors clear of insects and spider webs.
  4. Test your system periodically to ensure all zones are working correctly. Malfunctioning equipment will add to the false alarm problem.
  5. Make sure everyone using the system is trained on how to arm and disarm the system as well as know who to call when a false alarm occurs. Users should practice canceling a false alarm while the system is in test mode.
  6. Make sure anyone using the system has a password to give to the central monitoring station; this is different from the security system pass code. 
  7. Give the security codes to anyone accessing your building. 
  8. Use your system all the time.  Using it intermittently will increase false alarms, due to forgetting the system is activated. 
  9. Keep smoke detectors clean and change them every ten years.
  10. Charge back-up batteries on a regular basis to ensure they are properly charged. Also, make sure all communication lines to your central monitoring station are in working order.  
  11. Upgrade aging or outdated equipment. 
  12. Notify your security company if you are planning a remodeling project.  They will modify your security system to coincide with your renovation.

If you are experiencing a high volume of false alarms please call or email us for a FREE ASSESSMENT of your property.

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The answer is “right now”.  Unfortunately, when most of us need a locksmith we are in a crisis. Be ready to call a locksmith you can trust, that is reliable and responsible when an emergency arises. 

Creating a relationship with a locksmith before an emergency arises will give you the peace of mind that you are using someone who is trustworthy and reliable.

When looking for a commercial locksmith, ask these questions:  

  1. Is the locksmith experienced?  Using a locksmith with years of experience will give you the confidence that they will have the expertise to handle all of your needs. There is nothing wrong with a start-up company, but will they be knowledgeable enough to solve your problems in the most efficient and timely manner when needs arise? 
  2. Is the locksmith punctual? A locksmith should be there when he says he will be there or call if he is held up in traffic or on another job.  It is irresponsible for a locksmith to leave you waiting for an excessive amount of time or not show up at all.
  3. Are the locksmith credentials impeccable?  Always ask for ID up front even if it is an emergency. If it isn’t an emergency take the time to check the Associated Locksmiths of America. Being a member of a national organization this gives the locksmith credibility.
  4. Are they keeping up with current technology? The locksmith industry is a combination of older, mechanical style locks as well as newer electronic locks.  It’s beneficial to work with a locksmith who is well versed in both.
  5. Is the locksmith fully insured? Insurance will cover your property against damage and worker compensation will cover the locksmith’s employees.
  6. Does the locksmith have a good reputation?  Check with your Better Business Bureau to see if they are in good standing with the community. Always ask for references a reliable locksmith will have a happy clientele.
  7. Does the locksmith have a shop and a professional mobile unit?  Using a locksmith with a mobile unit identifying the company says a great deal about the professionalism of the company. You may not know if they are a real company if the vehicle is unmarked. The locksmith should also have a professional manner and dress. They should have a uniform or wear clothing with the company logo on it.

A locksmith should give you quality for your money.  Do they answer all of your questions and solve the problems in the most efficient and cost effective way? Are their prices fair and work satisfactory? Can you communicate easily with the locksmith? These are all important questions to ask a qualified commercial locksmith. 

Once you have found a reliable, trustworthy locksmith, their phone number should be posted along with the police, fire and medical emergency phone numbers.

Call One Source Security and Automation today to answer all your locksmith questions. We will also conduct a FREE assessment of your facility.

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Do you feel confident your security team is checking all doors at your facility?

Do they follow the schedule assigned to them? 

Do you know when and how often they are conducting their tours?

Security officers are hired for a specific purpose; to secure and guard a facility. When hiring security officers to protect a facility 24/7, the desire is to achieve efficiency along with the peace of mind that your facility is safe and secure.

The PowerCheck Guard Tour System is a hand held device which records that the guard inspected each door. This system gives management the ability to see if schedules and procedures are followed in order to safeguard a facility.

Two important benefits of the guard tour system include: 

  • Recorded activities, a strong motivator to follow schedules and procedures
  • A written record of all patrol activities, allowing inconsistencies to be quickly identified

The PowerCheck Guard Tour System was developed to address personal issues such as security officers who are reluctant to leave their offices in inclement weather to check the exterior of the building.  While on tour the officers may not check difficult to access areas. This can lead to officers skipping large portions of their tour of the facility.

This system allows you to ensure your officers are making their rounds, while providing you with back-up documentation. The PowerCheck Guard Tour System is an industry favorite because of its functionality, reporting flexibility and ease of use.

The lightweight, easy to carry handheld data recorder is completely self contained and extremely durable. As officers make their rounds, they are able to enter in a user-programmable incident code on the handheld data recorder’s keypad. When the handheld device is reattached to the rechargeable base, all information is then downloaded to a computer which is running the software.

In order to achieve maximum value from your security officers, it is essential that security officers make patrols according to established schedules. Using the PowerCheck Guard Tour System allows you to verify facility procedures and protocols are followed.

If you are experiencing inconsistencies with your security officers and their patrol, call One Source Security and Automation today for a no obligation FREE assessment of your facility.

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For about six dollars a key, thieves can reproduce your house key with the snap of a picture. An online company has developed new sophisticated software that will duplicate keys from an uploaded Smartphone picture without any I. D. verification. 

 A relatively new iPhone app will allow thieves to do the same. Snap a photo, upload the image to the company’s servers, it is then 3-D printed. The key can be mailed, or printed and picked up at the company’s kiosk. Using the kiosk thieves can have a key in their hands in about 30 seconds. 

Using another app, a digital version of a key can be made, and then taken to a locksmith for a duplicate. There is no need for the original key.

Thieves only need the key in their hands or in view long enough to take a picture. A photo of a key ring lying on a table can be taken, and then all other keys are removed by photo-editing. Protect your keys like you would your license.  Do not leave them unattended or let anyone you do not trust handle them. When leaving your keys with valets or mechanic, people you do not know, leave only your car key. 

This maybe the wave of the future for printing keys, but how trustworthy are these services?  

One Source Security and Automation offer Z-Wave push button deadbolts as an affordable alternative. These deadbolts allow you to unlock your deadbolt via a keypad or from an app on your Smartphone. 

The features include:

  • Small aesthetically pleasing residential keypad 
  • Fast Z-Wave enrollment with the push of a button
  • Universal enter and program symbols for ease-of-use
  • Enhanced interior design to reduce complexity and installation time

Using Napco’s iBridge connected home services App for Smartphone’s and touch screen tablets, along with the Z-Wave deadbolts you will have the ability to lock and unlock your home from these devices.  

Napco’s iBridge offers more than remotely locking and unlocking your doors.   The iBridge App can control security, video, climate and lighting, which puts complete home control at your fingertips.  

As a leader in the security industry, we offer proven security solutions to fit your lifestyle and budget.

Please call for a free locksmith assessment of your home.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_1ss32.jpgAre your keys scattered in three different desk drawers?  Key vaults are a modular, scalable integrated key control and management solution. Access to the electronic key box and to individual keys is under your complete control. You decide who has permission to remove each key; you always know who removed any key and when it was taken.  It’s the solution that gives you more value, more storage and more convenient accessibility.  

 

 When using a key vault with a modular design, you can configure the exact components you need, like key slots, card slots and lockers, with the ability to change modules where and when you need to. This provides twice the amount of storage, while using minimal wall space. 

This key control system seamlessly controls and monitors keys, is extremely user-friendly and accessible to the handicapped.  

Our key vault system is designed for complete interactivity with your access control system.  You can use your existing access card to open the key vault. Selected management can be alerted via email if a key has not been returned on time.

 

Key Vault Features and Options:

 

  • Easily identify the proper keys
  • Return keys to any location or the same location they were removed from
  • Rugged, functional design uses less wall space
  • Ergonomic design offers ease of use
  • Backed by industry-leading warranties

 

Key Vaults Sound an Alarm if:

 

  • A user tries to gain access to or dislodge a key by force
  • An invalid user code is entered three times consecutively (systems go into an automatic alert mode and lock down for four minutes)
  • The door is left open for more than 10 seconds after use
  • Can be connected to your existing alarm system for central station monitoring
  • A key is missing or not returned on time
  • There is a power failure
  • A key is returned by the wrong user
  • A user forces the cabinet doors open

 

Key Vaults are Ideal For:

 

  • Casino and Gaming Industries 
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Conference Centers
  • Government Agencies
  • Multifamily Buildings
  • Control Rooms
  • Corporate Buildings
  • Educational Institutions
  • Automotive Businesses
  • Restaurants

 

Make key control easier and more efficient with a state-of-the-art Key Vault.  One Source Security and Automation can customize a Key Vault for your company’s specific needs. 

Call today for a free locksmith assessment.

 

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Recently a Sudbury, Massachusetts car dealership lost 19 cars to a fire in the middle of the night. Investigators are looking into video surveillance, which may allow them to view the scene at and around the time of the event.  In August, a Vermont car dealership lost half a dozen catalytic converters to thieves. There wasn’t a video surveillance system in place. In another incident in Northampton, Massachusetts, a car dealership had 35 air bags stolen from cars. It is estimated it took the thieves over an hour to steal the airbags.  

Whether it is theft, vandalism or break-ins, Videofied, a state-of-the-art video alarm security system, can be installed right where you need it. Videofied integrates cameras, illumination and motion sensors in a single device. 

Every time the built-in motion sensor trips, the Videofied Motion Viewer sends a short video clip to the operator at the central monitoring station for immediate verification .  Police can be dispatched on a Priority Response, thus enabling them to stop the intruder and make an arrest.  A traditional alarm system notifies you that a sensor was tripped, but can't verify who or what tripped the alarm. 

This is modern security with mobile convenience for the price of standard wireless security system. Videofied protects your business with a complete wireless video alarm system. 

Videofied benefits:

  • Wireless installs are fast and cost effective.
  • Existing Security systems can be upgraded with video verification
  • Sensors can be installed wherever sensors/cameras are needed-inside or outside. Videofied can withstand extreme weather. 
  • Video verification of a burglary means faster police response to a crime. 
  • No wires to cut. Even if the MotionViewer is removed by an intruder, it can continue transmitting video.
  • Interactive Smartphone app makes it easy to arm and disarm your system
  • Video verification is a solution for false alarms and unnecessary dispatch.

All system components are self-powered and  operate on batteries, thus allowing for an entirely wireless video alarm security system. 

With the use of Videofied, each car dealership above would have been notified that an intruder had been detected, and the police or fire department dispatched. This wireless system can be installed anywhere the customer needs it in order to protect those vulnerable places where thieves may strike. 

Please contact us for a free assessment of your car dealership. 

You can download the Videofied brochure at: http://bit.ly/1tpgjUd 

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Glass has long since been used to convey transparency and openness. As we utilize glass in buildings, we are presented with significant security vulnerability. 

We live in a world of uncertainty with increasing environmental and criminal threats. We can use security glass laminates to protect people and property. These laminates are smash-resistant and bullet-resistant when added to existing windows.

Since the Columbine School shooting in 1999, school administrators have sought out extraordinary security measures to protect their children, teachers, and buildings.  Using security glass laminates could allow officials those precious extra minutes to lock down their school, and notify authorities. 

During times of civil unrest business owners and homeowners can arm themselves with the strongest security glass laminates available. Installing these laminates to existing windows can deter looters and vandals from complete access to your business or home. 

Shattered glass has caused incredible loss from natural disasters.  Security glass laminates adhere to the glass so even if the glass is smashed, it will not come apart. This prevents someone from entering through the window or having the broken glass cause further damage to people or property.

Security glass laminates can:

  • Be retrofitted to existing windows
  • Secure buildings quickly and discretely
  • Save lives

One Source Security and Automation, Inc. will help you assess threats, explore design options, and identify your optimal security strategy. Whether the threat is environmental, criminal or bullets we will customize a protection package specifically for your buildings.

Installing security glass laminates along with a state-of-the-art security system, video surveillance, and access control in schools, businesses and homes, truly makes us your “One Source” for all of your security needs.

Call One Source Security and Automation, Inc. today for a free assessment of your building’s windows.

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One Source Security and Automation, Inc. is proud to announce we are now DCAMM certified for Electrical Security Systems in the State of Massachusetts.

The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), is an agency responsible for integrated facilities management, major public building construction, and real estate services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The agency was created by the legislature in 1980 to promote quality and integrity in the management and construction of the Commonwealth’s capital facilities and real-estate assets.

Providing excellence in customer service is at the core of DCAMM’s mission. As a leader in Alarm and Electronic Security Systems, our philosophy is the same.  

As a locally owned and operated business since 1994, we maintain the highest standard of customer service through our same-day service, provided by our employees - not subcontractors.  By providing industry-standard products that are owned by the customer, there is no lease deal.  The customer is not locked in to us. Following these tenets, we can confidently provide our customers with the highest standard of customer service.  

Having an in-house locksmith division helps us address all of the door hardware needs of our customers, and truly makes us their “One Source” for all of their security needs.  Our locksmiths can install and service electronic locking hardware, door operators, master key systems and more.  We are the perfect combination of electronic access control and state-of-the-art locksmith products.

As an industry leader, we excel in the design, customization and integration of security, Card Access and Video Surveillance systems.

Please, contact us for a no obligation assessment of your school or business.

 

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Securing customer data and intellectual property is vital to a business’s success. Protecting that information makes good business sense and builds a level of confidence as a company ensures the data they collect from customers is protected. Today accidents, sabotage and information theft can be prevented or known the instant it happens with automated server rack protection.
Your system and firewalls may be very well secured but are your server racks secured?  Your server stores, retrieves and sends an abundant amount of data. It is essentially the heart of your system. 
Protecting your server from unauthorized individuals is crucial for the protection of your customers and business. When it comes to this type of protection no one offers the level of security we can with Rack Armor, a patent-pending physical security solution that secures and monitors access to server rack cabinets, creating peace of mind.
Rack Armor Server Protection provides 7 key aspects for optimal security.

  • Dynamic Mapping provides a graphic display of the system across multiple locations.
  • The Rack Action screen provides instant verification of the security status for both the front and back of each cabinet.
  • The Door Action feature will instantly lock, unlock or lock out cabinet doors through the software.
  • Alarm acknowledgements, emails, local audio, video call-up and indicator icons will notify an operator when abnormal events happen.
  • With Multi-Party Control you can require two valid cards to be presented to open the cabinet door, as required for many security compliances.
  • Video integration allows you to store video logs of cabinet access, server rack actions and user keystrokes from multiple camera views.
  • The Report Generator will create and save customized reports to track server rack usage, transactions and alarm acknowledgements.

Rack Armor will secure your server racks by restricting and monitoring access at the cabinet level with automatic notifications if the server cabinets are unsecured.
When it comes to protecting your customers and intellectual property nothing can protect them better than Rack Armor Server Protection.
Feel free to contact us for a demonstration.
Rack Armor Server Protection brochure http://bit.ly/1BjUUBq

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Living off campus in a large city can be exciting, stressful and a little scary for any student.  According to the City of Boston more than 27,000 college students live off campus. This number only includes students from colleges located within the City of Boston. 

As a parent leaving your young adult in a large city can be exhilarating, stressful, and scary - especially when reading the recent news reports of a peeping tom, and multiple young women groped.  Alleviate some of that anxiety by giving your college student some safety tips and technology to keep them safe in the city.

Safety tips

  1. Be Aware, know your surroundings, keep your head up and pay attention to everything around you. Stay in well-lit and busy areas. Change your path to and from school regularly. 
  2. It’s ok to be polite, but be cautious if a person you do not know approaches you for directions, money or anything else. Let them know you cannot help them then direct them to a police officer.
  3. Follow your instincts, if you have a strange feeling something is wrong, then something may be wrong. Walk into a crowd, call for help, move to the other side of the street and stay in a well-lit area.
  4. Use a buddy system, when out at night make sure you are not alone. If you do find yourself out alone at night stay in a well-lit area. Keep a fast past and know where you are going.
  5. Don’t use electronics, these can distract you from your surroundings. In order to keep yourself out of potentially dangerous situations do not let technology distract you and become unaware of the world around you. Stay alert.
  6. Lock your doors, always keep your doors locked, especially if you are alone or asleep.  This not only protects you physically but prevents you from theft. Also, do not open your door to a stranger.
  7. When on campus, know where the emergency areas or call boxes are located. If you are in trouble it is much better to know where to go for help. Have the campus police phone number programmed into your phone so you can call for help easily.
  8. Leave the party when your friends leave, it is never a good idea to stay at a party alone. It is better to call it an early night then be caught in an unfortunate situation.
  9. Never leave your drink unattended, even if it is a non-alcoholic drink.  Do not give someone the opportunity to drug it. Do not accept an open drink from someone you barely know or a stranger.
  10. Share your schedule with someone.  Post your schedule in a place where your roommates will know when you are late.
  11. When using public transportation, sit near the front, close to the conductor or driver and do not leave your belongings unattended.
  12. Empower yourself, take a self-defense class!

One Source Security offers two  safety products for students living off campus:

My911 application which can be loaded on a smartphone.  Have the app running on your phone when walking alone or when you are in a vulnerable situation.  When you press the emergency button, you are connected to a live operator at our central station. No scrambling to dial 911.  The GPS feature on your phone will help the operator narrow your location.  

Honeywell’s Lynx Plus, wireless security system is an easy to install compact security system which is perfect for apartments. This system works well with cellular phones, since most students do not have any other type of phone.  If there is a problem outside the apartment door, just press the panic button on the key fob to call for help.  Our Central Station operators will immediately dispatch the authorities to your location. Arm the system while you are away to prevent burglars from entering your apartment.

We hope these safety tips and technology options will help to alleviate some anxiety and empower your college student.  

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Organizations face many challenges today; one of those challenges is overseeing multiple locations at the same time.  Using video surveillance with remote monitoring can be an effective management tool for increasing customer satisfaction, improving employee performance, enhancing productivity and ensuring safety on site.

Small business owners with multiple sites are finding video surveillance with remote monitoring helpful by overseeing each location at any given time. For instance, retail or restaurant owners can use video surveillance to oversee several locations no matter where they are physically via their smartphone, tablet or computer in order to increase productivity, deliver higher levels of service, and prevent theft, with the ultimate outcome of customer satisfaction.  

Large businesses can use video surveillance cutting edge technology to improve quality control, safety in the workplace, deter theft, improve staff productivity, and improve overall security with daily monitoring.

For example, proper training can be observed to ensure corrective action is taken before bad habits start. The use of video surveillance with remote monitoring can also increase a company’s return-on-investment.

We at One Source Security and Automation understand the unique needs of retail and restaurant owners, and manufacturers. The use of innovative industry leaders in mega pixel cameras, video management systems (VMS) and video surveillance management systems (VSMS) will insure our clients have the best quality merchandise and technology installed within their companies. The proven technology of megapixel cameras, VMS and VSMS are essential for effective business operations.

 

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There was recently yet another attack on a woman in the North End of Boston.  A machete-waving robber recently went on a rampage at an ice-cream stand elsewhere and attacks on public transportation are becoming commonplace…this is getting ridiculous.

People now have to actually hide their mobile devices and cell phones when they simply want to check an email in public, or these modern marvels of communication could be ripped right out of their hands.

So what’s the answer?

We as security experts see the desire for folks to secure their homes in order to protect their belongings and ensure that their family heirlooms don’t get stolen or destroyed.  But what about our family members themselves—especially when they're out and about?

We know that heads of households obviously care more about the safety of their  family then they do about their TV sets and jewelry, but they may not know how easy it is to secure them in ANY situation, ANYWHERE.

Here are three ways to ensure that your loved ones are more safe in public places, at night and on the move.

Mobile Panic Devices.  You may be familiar with panic buttons that are affixed under the front desks of many organizations.  Well, why not have the same function, yet be able to take it on the road?

This technology is relatively new in terms of it being made available en masse to the general public.  Places like hospitals, for instance, use mobile duress devices for their employees who work in remote areas and alone.

Now, mobile duress or panic buttons are available to all of us--and you don't have to be in a certain proximity to a base station (for reception) for instance.  You are free to roam, typically as long as there is 3 or 4G service.

A trained emergency operator will be in touch with you and will most often know your location, after the press of a button.

Mobile Security Apps for Your Smart Phone – Just like with mobile panic devices, mobile security apps can be taken virtually anywhere.  Today’s 3G and 4G phones get reception in a multitude of locations.

These apps will make it so that the emergency operators not only have your exact location, but they also have your medical and other personal records on file and at the ready whenever you need to use the service.

There are also other perks to some of these apps, such as information on high-crime areas, traffic and weather reports, and much more.

Personal/Medical Emergency Response Pendants – We are listing these devices as an option because there are a significant amount nowadays that are enabled with GPS.

As alluded to above, many of these pendants which you see on TV often, and can be worn around your neck with a lanyard, on your wrist, a belt, etc., need to be kept in proximity to a base station in your house.

Be sure to look for those with GPS capabilities that allow you to travel far away from your house.

Be Creative – Your Cell phone obviously often has –hold it up and tell suspicious people that you are recording them on video and that you just called 911.  You can tell them you have a panic/GPS device that reveals your exact location.

Pretend you’re on your cell phone when you’re walking in a sketchy area or alone at night.  Carry  a whistle, or even better, and air horn.  Ask your local jurisdiction about the requirements to obtain pepper spray.  How about carrying a small can of hornet or wasp spray if it fits in your carrier.

We hope these traditional and outside the box methods keep you and your family safe when they're on the move.  Your house and car don't need to be the only ones protected!

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With the completely different air of vigilance and skepticism under which we all operate now, gone are the days of unconditional acceptance and trust.

This is especially true with businesses, sporting venues, public places and much more.

For instance, the most central and fundamental stance with which hotels have operated for years is to stumble over themselves to make sure their guests are pampered--at least the good ones do this.

It simply a competitive advantage that one hotel entity might hold over another--realizing that the guest is priority one.  Like the Marriott used to say in it motto from years ago, "We make it happen."

Well, what happens when there is an equally important foundation that the hotel fosters in terms of keeping the guests safe?

Conflicts inherently arise here.  Pamper them and make them feel safe.

Enter the installation of security cameras.  They could serve both of the afforementioned purposes, yet they could also engender the aforementioned conflict.

Where is the line between having sufficient video surveillance and security camera visible presence in an effort to help deter crime, and having too many, thereby causing guests to wonder why so many are needed in the first place.  

"Is this hotel unsafe?  Why do they need so many cameras?  Should I be concerned?  The other hotel didn't have this many.  Is this particular location more dangerous than the other down the street or on the other side of town?"

Hotel CEO's and management do not want these questions being asked by potential guests.

But do they want these questions asked also:

"I don't see enough security measures here.  It's a major city and things can happen.  Where are the cameras?   Will they catch someone if they do something harmful here?  Will wrongdoers be deterred from committing major crimes here?" 

So where's the balance?

As you may assume, there is no "right" or "wrong" answer.  But, retaining the guidance and advice of a security integrator who has several hotel clients in major cities as well as other tourist attractions is a great first step.

Most, if not all, will not charge for a free assessment, and some actually understand the value of being a resource for these hotels--to answer questions, provide advice, etc, based on their many years of consulting and servicing the hospitality industry.

So be sure to seek these providers out if you're a hospitality industry official.

And be sure to ask about 360 degree megapixel/IP security cameras that save money on installation and service, but more importantly, do not allow for gaps in coverage where an incident could occur and traditional cameras may miss it.

Remote video surveillance is very affordable and easy implement nowadays so facility managers and administrators can keep an eye on important areas of the property from afar.

How about employee key audit systems to ensure that administrators can track exactly when and where employee key sets were used?

Remote mobile security duress devices for hotel employees who work in remote and solitary locations, such as when housekeepers are vulnerable on a high floor, at the end of a vacant hall, etc.

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We recently got a call from a school administrator who clearly needs security for his district.

He is in need of specifics such as security cameras (we’re doing so many upgrades for schools lately), as well as strobe lights.  He needs an innovative solution which may include strobes to signal to students that are further away on campus.  We enjoy designing systems such as this.

He sort of tabled our request to visit him and for us to simply provide advice (we’re not in the “selling” business with pressure applied after we meet with potential clients).  We are advisors and act as a resource to help with security solutions.

By not meeting with us, he will not get to ask questions and receive advice in a no-pressure meeting and consultation.  To his credit, he did say he would “pass it on” at the next quarterly meeting.

We can only assume that he has some of the following concerns, and we can do this because we’ve met with countless schools who have the same, valid concerns.

With all that has occurred at schools in recent years, do we want to further concern the children, parents and staff by installing an over-abundance of daunting security cameras, etc?  Or does this action actually soothe people more? 

This can go either way, but our experience is, that administrators don’t want an overwhelming display of security due to the former mentioned above.

Schools quite often have metal detectors at the entrances nowadays.  So how could some extra security cameras be worse than that?

The answer is, we can install security cameras in discreet fashion.  We can even install covert (hidden) cameras.

As for protection of the staff and children, highly discreet measures can be taken such as installing panic buttons under desks and supplying staff with universal keys.

These allow for any staff to jump into a class or other room, and lock any door from the inside with his or her key.

It can be set up also, so that staff can immediately and with the swipe of one access card, set all the doors of the school into an emergency lock down. 

Also discreet are the tiny camera lenses that are housed in video-intercom metal plates that are affixed to the building near entrances.  This video-intercom allows office staff to not only screen a person, but to see his or her demeanor and current state.

This writer needs to highlight one more issue before he signs off.  Does it have to be “zero sum”?  All or nothing?  Of course not.

Administrators don’t want a “prison-like” atmosphere in their schools.   But at the expense of what?  Should you take no action because this is your concern?  Or should you meet with an expert who does this consulting and installation for scores and scores of school systems?

I say the latter.

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Earlier this year, there were incidents in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that underscored the need for increased hospital security.

As a hospital administrator, security director or other professional, do you expect that a standoff with police will be occurring on your next shift?  Probably not.  But the folks at a hospital in West Springfield, MA experienced a frightening ordeal in February of this year.  Read more:

http://wwlp.com/2014/02/18/shooting-victim-at-baystate-medical-center/

How about not only a standoff on your hospital’s property, but a forced lock-down as a result, as had happened at a Woonsocket, RI hospital.  Read more:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/20/ris-landmark-medical-center-on-lockdown/

Snap your finger.  An incident just occurred at your hospital.  What are your emergency security procedures?  Do you have adequate security cameras to sufficiently record the incident?  How are your DVRs’ recording features?  Do you have remote video monitoring so that personnel off-site can immediately advise?

Do you have proper lock-down systems?  Can one employee lock all doors with the swipe of one card?  Do you have panic notification in strategic locations such as the ER reception desk, nurse stations or drug storage areas?

How about access control?  Can you stop the wrong people from entering into the ER from the waiting room?

These are just some of the questions that your security adviser should be asking you and which you should address.

A few suggestions to bring up when you meet with your security integrator:

  • Ask not only about better clarity of your security cameras' footage, but also better coverage.  180 and 360-degree cameras cover more area and reduce maintenance and wiring costs.  If a crucial incident occurs just out of the range of a traditional camera, there is no recourse.
  • Ask where to locate panic and emergency notification systems and consider which employees should have the swipe cards that will institute a facility-wide lock-down with one swipe.
  • Consider who should have access to certain areas by using card access systems.  Do you want only certain personnel to access sensitive pharmacy areas, for instance?
  • What about using video surveillance to initiate recording if a certain area is entered or if a designated cabinet is unlocked?
  • Finally, consider electronic locks for certain areas in order to reduce the wide distribution of hard keys for both better control and to reduce costs in terms of re-keying and lock changes.

We hope this helps you to gather enough information to make your meeting with a security integrator worthwhile.

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Remaining safe and secure in your own home takes a little more than just the standard safety measures.

Certainly bolstering your locks, equipping yourself with a medical emergency response pendant and ensuring that your smoke and heat detectors are in good working order are all important steps to take for your fire safety plan.

But we’d like to take a moment to focus on the last of the aforementioned safety measures—smoke and heat detectors.  These life-saving devices aren’t always used to their full potential.

By taking the following action, you can take fire safety to the next level and increase your chance of being saved and having your possessions and pets spared in the case of a devastating fire.

Although security systems are mentioned below, you may ask, “What does this have to do with smoke detectors?”   The answer is—all the difference in the world (when it comes to valuable seconds being saved before a fire spreads).

Please consider integrating your smoke detectors with your alarm monitoring.  When you connect your smoke detectors to your security system, they will perform a valuable function.

Just using battery operated or hard wired smoke detectors that only sound locally (they sound inside your home but don’t transmit to authorities) is a great first step, but more can be done.  In this case, the only ones who are alerted of a potential fire are those who are within an earshot of the devices themselves.

By tying your smoke detectors into your security system, the live emergency operators at your security company’s central station will be alerted when the devices trip.  They will, in turn, contact the fire department.

In case you are unable to get to the phone for any reason, or if you’re out and have pets at home for instance, knowing that the fire department is on its way immediately as soon as smoke is detected is quite assuring.

Don’t fret if you don’t have a security system and you’d like to have your smoke detectors directly notify a central monitoring station with live operators who can dispatch the fire department.

Adding a security system may not end up to be such an expensive or complicated task.  And the smoke detectors and monthly monitoring fee aren’t always terribly cost prohibitive either.

You will want to consider not only smoke detectors, but heat detectors as well.  Smoke detectors aren’t recommended for certain areas of your house, such as your kitchen or attic.  Smoke from cooking and dust in the attic can cause them to alarm falsely.  You will want heat detectors in these places.

But when you look into heat detectors, know that there are various types that belong in specific parts of your home.  There are two classifications:  fixed temperature (the most common type) and rate of rise.

Fixed temperature models are best for the kitchen, for example, and rate of rise are best for areas where a rapidly combustible fire can begin such as a garage with chemicals present.  

We hope this has given you something to consider in terms of making your home as safe as possible. 

 

Of course, you will still want to determine your best escape route, a safe meeting place outside the home, and certainly using personal emergency response pendants as we mentioned earlier.  These can be vital if a fire occurs when you’re home and need to alert the fire department immediately with the press of a button.

 

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