Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Buying a Home Security System FAQ's


How do I know what to buy?

Unless you're comfortable taking all the responsibility for your family's security and you're an avid do-it-yourselfer, your best bet is to call a professional. Most security companies provide a no cost evaluation and will make appropriate recommendations for your home.

How expensive is a home security system?

Home security equipment costs can range from nothing upfront to well over $1,000. It depends on the features that you want and whether you are buying the equipment or leasing it along with a monitoring agreement. Some security companies will provide the basic equipment for free or a minimal fee when you sign a contract for their monitoring service but have additional charges for additional sensors and functionality. Comparison shopping for the specific features that you need can save you a bundle.

You can also buy a variety of home security equipment from home centers and electronics stores. There are single window/door alarms for as little as $10 or you can custom design a system to fit your needs. Just as using a security company, each window, door or other area of protection will generally cost more money.

Are there recurring costs for a home security system?

If you go for a monitored system, you'll incur a monthly fee that will range from as little as $6 to well over $50 depending on the company and the options that you choose.

There are many companies in this business and they all offer a variety of plans. There are also differences in the reliability and type of monitoring from company to company. Monitoring plans are offered for basic burglary protection to live video from anywhere in the world and everything in between. The largest companies with great reputations tend to have the highest prices but generally offer the best overall service.

What do I need a monitoring service for?

Since most burglaries occur when your home is empty, your security system may not do any good without a monitoring service. A loud siren may scare off a burglar but you can bet that they'll silence the alarm quickly if they do stick around. Some do-it-yourself systems are capable of dialing out, but beware as a telephone line won't work after the burglar cuts it. Since most of the monitoring services use cell phone technology as the main or back-up communication method, you are protected even when your phone line is cut.

Do I have to sign a contract with a monitoring service?

Maybe; since there are so many different companies out there, they all have different terms and conditions. Generally speaking, the largest companies in the business as well as any company providing discounted or free equipment will require a contract. Three year terms are typical and I know at least one company that uses a five year contract. These are similar to cell-phone plans as they typically carry hefty penalties for an early cancellation.

If I invest in a security system, what happens if I move?

Most of the security systems installed today are easily moved. As hard wired systems are not cost effective to install, chances are you would get a wireless system that can easily move along with you. Some of the larger security companies have provisions for reinstallation upon moving built into their contracts. If you own the equipment, you can include it when selling your home as a security system does add value to a home for sale.

Can I get a security system if I rent my home?

Absolutely; in most cases the security company would require permission from your landlord prior to installation. I don't know too many landlords who wouldn't welcome the idea.

Do I lose my protection if there's a power failure?

Any decent security system has a battery back-up that would power the system for hours, if not days. So when lights and other things that rely on electricity may not benefit your security during a power failure, you can have peace of mind with a security system.

Does a security company cover any losses from a break-in?

That would be a no. Your homeowner's or renter's insurance covers any losses beyond your deductible. The only exception to this is in the contracts of a few companies where a few hundred dollars may be payable if losses are a direct result of negligence on their part. This would usually cover your insurance deductible. The good news about insurance is that you'll get a discount on your premium after a security system is installed!

Can a security system do more than guard my home from burglars?

Today's security systems have matured to the point of home automation. Fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detection are very common and thermostat and lighting control are available in many systems. Communication technologies and the internet allow monitoring and complete home control from anywhere in the world.


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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hold Up/Panic Alarms


The most important thing to know is when to trigger the panic alarm. Immediate police intervention should only be called when absolutely necessary and false alarms could be a waste of time, money and resources. Therefore, use the alarm when absolutely certain than:

  • You are in danger of being harmed.
  • Someone else close by may be in danger.
  • When the person you are with is about to or has already harmed himself.
  • If there is a medical emergency.

Things to Consider

However a panic alarm is only as reliable as the people using it. If you are thinking of installing such a system in your home or workplace, there are certain things you need to take into account beforehand:

  1. Take the time to understand the different types of panic alarms available and how they work.
  2. Decide if you want it to be wired or wireless, and monitored or unmonitored.
  3. Consult your local police regarding recommended panic alarms systems as well as the fines charged for false alarms. Also try to find out what their average response time is (even in major U.S. cities, the police could take as long as 30 to 45 minutes to respond to an alarm).
  4. If you want to install it yourself, do read through the instruction manual and components list thoroughly before set-up.
  5. Decide the locations that need to be covered by the system as violence could occur anywhere, especially in a large campus, for example, hallways, parking area, etc.
  6. Explain to your loved ones how and when to use the panic alarm.
  7. Look into getting a panic app or button on your mobile phone.

It is even more crucial to prepare yourself in the event of an emergency at the workplace:

  1. Determine which departments or employees require more protection, for example with a dedicated mobile duress transmitter, as some may be prone to more violence as per their job description. A dedicated mobile duress transmitting system could provide an additional layer of safety for people by using panic alarms and integrated software.
  2. Evaluate the current emergency response for workplace violence. Provide frequent training regarding the use of panic alarms. Also decidewhich staff members should be in charge until the response team arrives


  1. who should contact the office by phone to assess the situation
  2. who should stand by the door of the place in danger in case they are needed
  3. who should direct the response team when they arrive and give them an assessment of the situation.


Specific instructions or crisis plans could also be devised to assist staff members in case of emergencies. After the event, all those involved could be debriefed in order to control spreading of rumor and misinformation.

  1. If possible, set up a video surveillance camera that views each area where a panic button is installed to provide real-time recording when a panic button has been pressed. If they are equipped with a video surveillance system, this could allow the monitoring center or facilities that use a response team to assess the current situation and take proper action.

Safety First
85% of break-ins are from non-professionals that are usually more desperate and dangerous; therefore you can never be too safe. Some other precautions you could take are to familiarize yourself with the room in which the panic alarm is and where it is located, as well as to keep your door unlocked as often as possible. When in confrontation with a potentially dangerous person, make sure to keep something between you and the individual, and try to position yourself closest to an exit. If the person tries to escape, do not put yourself in harm’s way; inform the police instead as to his description and where he might have fled to. In any case, try not to give out too much personal information about yourself to people you don’t know, and call 911 immediately if you see anyone acting suspicious.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

U.L. Monitoring


What does U.L. Monitoring mean to you?

U.L. certification assures customers, their insurance firms and their local emergency service agencies, that our central station will provide the highest quality and most reliable burglar and fire alarm service that are available to both residential and commercial customers.

We feel that the Company providing the monitoring of your alarm system is an extension of Safe Side Security Inc. and should share the same business philosophy of prompt, courteous customer service. Total Monitoring Services, Inc. has been exceeding customer expectations, one client at a time, since 1971. Their emphasis is on Service with Integrity and Commitment.

As a UL® listed central station, they adhere to high standards and have a team of dedicated professionals that are ready to help.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Anatomy of an Alarm.com Smart Home


The smart home – once a hi-tech dream – is now an affordable reality. With the right technology choice, smart home solutions can deliver real value and help make your home safer, smarter and more efficient.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Alarm Communication


Your alarm system is only as reliable as its ability to transmit alarm signals to the monitoring center. The Safe Side Radio Network’s patented wireless mesh technology automatically senses wire and antenna cuts, and monitors battery and AC power status. Advanced status reporting, self-diagnostics and a built-in power supply make it the first choice for all wireless alarm communication needs and insures that your alarm gets transmitted faster and more reliably than traditional alternatives.

Wireless mesh networking is an innovative technology adopted by many industries with applications that need to communicate data over a large geographic area with a high level of reliability at a low total cost of ownership.

The advanced design and 2-way communications capability provides easy installation, expansion, and management when compared to alternative communication methods, both wired and wireless.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Digital Phone Concerns


Voice Over IP Digital Phone Concerns with Security and Fire Alarm Communications Systems

This article outlines the new weaknesses concerned with Voice Over IP (VOIP) Digital Phone Service (Comcast, WAVE, Uverse) and how it can affect security and fire alarm system communication. VOIP service is much different than classic POTS telephone lines in that it routes all phone traffic through a digital converter, then over the internet. When compared with a POTS line, new concerns are introduced that could affect the stability and dependability of burglar or fire alarm system communication.

Plain old telephone service, or POTS, is the service available from analogue telephones prior to the introduction of electronic telephone exchanges into the public switched telephone network. These services had been available almost since the introduction of the telephone system in the late 19th century. VOIP is a very new technology and this list will help reduce the possibilities of failure wherever possible by educating the end user and presenting possible solutions.

Instability of Digital Phone Service Quality:

PROBLEM:

When Safe Side Security Inc. connects an alarm to VOIP service, the technician will do everything possible to fully test the alarm signals and program the system for maximum protection against compression artifacts and other problems that could occur while alarm signals are traveling along the digital phone system. However, this does not mean that VOIP service will transmit alarm signals at a 100% success rate. The VOIP system is highly dependent on other factors such as internet traffic, internet hops, lag time, and other concerns which could garble or drop your alarm signals, resulting in no communication to the central station.

SOLUTION:

This should be kept in mind when purchasing digital phone service as well as the consideration of a transmission method, such as Cellular Service for the alarm system.

Once the alarm signals are converted into digital signals and are traveling across the internet network, anything may happen to the data to keep it from reaching the central station. Much like a lost email, lost file transmission, or internet connection problem, this could mean that something as urgent and important as a fire alarm or panic alarm would not be received at the central station due to internet routing problems. It is strongly advised to consider Cellular service due to the unstable and uncontrollable factors with VOIP service that could render alarm communications useless.

The VOIP system is a new, emerging technology and is nowhere as dependable as the traditional POTS telephone system, as the new VOIP service is based on a completely new infrastructure.

Much care should be taken to protect and preserve what communications exist using digital phone service, however, a backup plan should be highly considered for a system that protects property, and especially for a system that protects life and property by means of police, fire, and medical panic alarms or automatic fire alarm protection. Cellular Service will allow the customer to retain their digital VOIP service and benefits, while having their alarm system or life safety system connected to a more reliable, dependable communications network that is fully supervised 24 hours a day and will alert the customer to the fact if connectivity is dropped.

CONTACT:

Safe Side Security Inc. at (530) 662-1144 if you have any questions or concerns about your security system and VOIP service, or have any questions pertaining to Cellular Service.

Safe Side Security Inc., 1240 Commerce Avenue, Suite C, Woodland, CA 95776

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Why You Should Purchase A Security System for Your Family Home


If you want to increase the overall security level of your home, then you should consider installing an alarm system. Alarm systems help to deter criminals from your home, and they can also help to protect your home from intruders and unwanted visitors. When choosing your alarm system, there are several things that you need to think about, and choosing the right one is crucial if you want to protect both your family and your home.

Choosing Your Alarm System

Many security providers offer a complimentary security check when you enquire about their alarms and security systems. This can be a great way to analyze the overall security of your home, not to mention that it can also go a long way when it comes to choosing your system. Your security expert will target weak areas of your home, providing you with an affordable solution which meets your every need. Security systems come in many shapes and forms, so this is another thing to consider before you make your purchase. For example, if your back windows are single glazed, your security expert may recommend that you purchase an alarm system. To further improve your security however, you may want to invest in same double glazing. Whatever you choose, you can be sure to feel the benefits when you choose a reputable security provider.

CCTV and Video

CCTV systems are great for almost any family home. They allow you to effectively monitor the exterior of your home at all times, and the recorded footage can be used as evidence if you or your family experience any criminal activity. The best thing about CCTV systems is that you can install them with ease. They are very affordable, and they can really make a difference to your homes overall security. If you live in a rough area, you may want to consider hiring an on call police service. When the alarm is triggered, the police are automatically contacted and this can go along way if your home is under threat from criminals and anti-social activity. Contact your local security provider today to find out more.

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