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ADT: Have a connected home for the holidays!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Security companies often tout to customers how a connected home lets you to do things at home when you’re away, such as unlocking the door for the UPS person to deliver a package and being able to see, while sitting at work, whether the kids got home safely from school.

Now security/home automation giant ADT is taking that same message and tying it directly to the holidays in a new television, online and print campaign that started today. The message is that ADT Pulse can help people participate in holiday rituals at home even when they’re away.

The campaign “captures the whimsy of the holidays and the practicality of the brand,” according to ADT. For example, a television commercial will feature a dad who has to travel over the holidays still being able to participate by remotely turning on the Christmas tree lights while at the airport.

And another features a woman visually checking in on her home remotely, and catching her husband snooping around to see what presents he’s getting.

Also, ADT said, the TV ads will be enhanced by online and print ads. The online ads “will enable users to interact with the ADT Pulse app, switching between cameras and rooms in Santa’s home to find five hidden golden rings,” the company said.

And as for the print ads, the company said, they “will feature ADT Pulse as ‘the season’s coolest smart device’ and position it as the holiday gift that keeps on giving, depicting Pulse in action on tablets, smartphones and laptops.”

You can take a look at what ADT is promoting for the holidays on YouTube.

 

 

 

Security companies: You can still have your say on NFPA 730!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NFPA 730 and NFPA 731, the National Fire Protection Association rules governing installation and maintenance of security systems, have proved controversial in the past—and now they’re up for revision again.

Because the proposed changes could impact security companies, the Security Industry Association (SIA) is urging its members to comment. You have until 5 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 16, to do so.

Here’s some of what SIA had to say in a recent communication to members:
 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has opened the next revision of the NFPA 730: Premises Security Guide and the NFPA 731: Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems for public comment. Of importance to many Security Industry Association members is the proposal to change the title and scope of NFPA 730 to NFPA 730: Premises Security Code and the resulting change of all instances of “should” to “shall” within the document. This change can have an impact on the installed products and systems of many SIA members. After conferring with other industry groups including ASIS International and NFPA, we recommend that SIA members consider submitting comments directly to the NFPA.

For more information, visit www.siaonline.org and www.nfpa.org.

 

Video fire detection good solution for large spaces

A video detection system can also double as a security system because it’s always recording video
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11/13/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—Statistics show that one of the leading causes of fire in large storage facilities and warehouses is arson. And one of the best ways to prevent such fires—which can cost the economy billions of dollars in property damage and business disruption—is through video-image fire and smoke detection technology.

Home for the holidays? Think like an intruder

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We’re getting into the time of the year when opportunistic thieves make the most of others’ holiday cheer and generosity. Packages left at the doorway or a pile of presents that can be easily seen from outside a home send a signal to the unscrupulous: Come and get it.

Alarm systems are an obvious deterrent, with the signs and decals accompanying them often enough to make thieves think twice. But for true peace of mind, there’s no substitute for an actual system. The problem is that many alarm users don’t know how to properly use their systems, or if they do, they neglect to do so.

The Security Industry Alarm Association estimates that 77 percent of all false alarms are due to end-user error. Many of those end users could just as easily forget to arm their systems amid the bustle of the holidays, essentially leaving the door open to property crime. It’s safe to say most alarm companies could tell a tale or two along those lines.

There are other ways to reinforce security at home, though, measures that might seem obvious but somehow are frequently overlooked. With that in mind, the Electronic Security Association has rolled out a tip sheet to help homeowners think like an intruder. Alarm companies can also use the tips to remind their customers to think deterrence, especially during the holidays.

Here’s an excerpt of what the ESA had to say:

Most home intrusions can be classified as random opportunistic acts—not planned events. Homeowners can protect against a home intrusion by looking at the weaknesses of their home from an intruder’s point of view. Here are a few questions an intruder might ask when deciding on a house to target.

 

Is anyone home?
The first thing many intruders do is check to see if anyone is home. Sometimes the intruder will simply knock on the front door. If someone answers, the intruder may make up an excuse for the disturbance, such as being lost and needing directions. If no one answers, the intruder may do further research to ensure the home is vacant. He or she may look into windows and listen for the sound of someone watching television. Other times, if the knock at the door goes unanswered, the intruder may try his or her luck at an unlocked door. Three out of 10 times, he or she will hit the jackpot and walk right in.
 Homeowners should try to make their homes appear occupied at all times. Timers for inside lights and televisions serve as easy solutions. Another effective and cost-efficient measure to consider is motion sensor lights. Placing these lights in dark areas outside of the home may scare away potential intruders lurking in the shadows.

Is the home equipped with an alarm system?
A 2009 study by the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice found that an installed burglar alarm makes a dwelling less attractive to would-be and active intruders and protects the home without displacing burglaries to nearby homes. Additionally, the Cromwell-Olson-Avary study, conducted to better understand offenders’ perception of the risks and rewards involved in criminal activity, found that nearly all convicted intruders (90 percent) admitted that they would avoid homes that are equipped with alarm systems. Additionally, the study revealed that if a potential intruder sees a yard sign or window decal from a credible security company outside of a home, around 75 percent would think twice about going through with an attack. But signs and decals aren’t enough to deter an intruder; alarm systems are the best protection against home intrusion.

What is the easiest way to break in?
On average, intruders will spend no more than 60 seconds breaking into a home, since a longer attempt may result in detection by a neighbor or passer-by. First, they will seek out unlocked or open doors and windows—even on the second or third floor—that can be accessed by a ladder. And sometimes, a standard locked door or window won’t always be enough to stop them. Homeowners should consider upgrading to deadbolts and reinforcing the frame of their front door to make a break-in more strenuous for the intruder.

Will anyone notice?
Intruders tend to target homes that they can get away from easily. For an intruder, an ideal home would be located in a dark, lifeless neighborhood with good hiding places and escape paths, such as overgrown bushes or trees in the yard. Hiding areas can be eliminated by keeping the landscaping neatly trimmed and using outdoor lights so the home is well lit at night. Homeowners are encouraged to start or join a neighborhood watch group. These groups can help reduce the risk of home intrusion for everyone in the community. By enhancing the home’s security features with electronic timers, motion sensor lighting and a professionally installed security system, homeowners can protect their property and keep their family safe from crime.

Per Mar buys Streff, will offer customers new services

Tolliver touts 54 percent conversion rate, customers opting for interactive services
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11/12/2012

DAVENPORT, Iowa—Per Mar Security Services has acquired Streff Security of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Brad Tolliver, VP of Per Mar’s Electronic Security Division, told Security Systems News that the 250 acquired accounts are 70 percent small commercial and include retail, manufacturing and convenience stores.

Potter aids child burn survivors

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Many companies in the security and fire alarm industry give generously to a wide variety of humanitarian causes. Potter Electric Signal Co. is among them, providing support and education to a cause that seems poignantly apropos for a fire and life safety company: the Missouri Children’s Burn Camp for child burn survivors.

Here’s more from a news release from the St. Louis, Mo.-based Potter, saying it once again participated in the camp, which took place in August this year at Camp Sabra in Rocky Mount, Mo.:

Potter has supported this deserving cause for over 10 years and counting. Burns Recovered Support Group, Inc. sponsors the Burn Camp every year dating back to its inception in 1997.

With the assistance of St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, Burns Recovered Support Group, Inc. was formed in 1983 by a group of burn survivors with the mission of burn survivor support along with aiding medical facilities and providing burn care education and prevention. The Burn Camps hosts between 75 and 85 children every year as enrollment continues to grow. Organizers of the 16th annual Missouri Children’s Burn Camp raised approximately $150,000 for the child burn survivor’s community.

Bernard Lears, President and CEO Potter Electric Signal Company, LLC, “For over ten years, Potter has supported the Missouri Children’s Burn Camp. This noble cause truly gives back to the community and touches the hearts of every participant. Severe burns are a terrible tragedy that Potter strives to prevent everyday through our innovation and continued dedication to life safety. It’s why we are in business. Burns Recovered Support Group, Inc. provides an invaluable service to those in need and Potter looks forward to continuing to support this deserving cause in the future.

Due to the generous support of all its sponsors, all participants enjoy a week full of fun and support for free. The Burn Camp is intended for child burn survivors between the ages of 6-17 with severe burns.

 

Preparing for the new normal in the wake of Sandy

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, one of the largest storms on record and packing more destructive power than Hurricane Katrina, could very well be a sign of things to come. You can call it climate change instead of global warming and argue that the effects aren’t due to the hand of man, but there’s no denying the impact: the planet is getting warmer, ocean levels are rising and extreme weather events are becoming more common.

Coastal New York and New Jersey learned that the hard way last week. Despite a litany of warnings over the years that Lower Manhattan and the barrier islands were vulnerable to storm surge, it was business as usual until the borrowed time finally ran out. The ocean overran berms, subway tunnels flooded and electrical infrastructure once thought to be safe ended up under 5 feet of water.

“Anyone who says there is not a change in weather patterns is denying reality,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Oct. 30 as he inspected water damage at the World Trade Center. “We have old infrastructure, we have old systems. That is not a good combination, and that is one of the lessons I will take from this personally.”

The vulnerability of the infrastructure hit home for New York-based SecureWatch 24 on the morning after Sandy came ashore. The company had moved its critical systems to a facility in Texas before the storm, but it still had semi-critical servers at a co-location site in downtown Manhattan. That proved to be a problem when much of the island was inundated and the power failed, said Gene Dellaglio, chief technology officer for SW24.

“They have generators on the 17th floor of this building, diesel generators,” Dellaglio said last week as he traced a time line of the storm. “The pumps that supply the diesel to the 17th floor are in the basement, which is now flooded. Manhattan is flooded. The pumps shut down. By the time we get down there, people are carrying 5-gallon spackle buckets up 17 flights of stairs from a diesel tank downstairs to get the [generators] running. It’s a bucket brigade. I said we’ve got to get out of here.”

Within an hour, SW24 had moved the servers and had them up and running at its new Fusion Centre in Moonachie, N.J., which also served as a command post for emergency responders and local officials displaced by Sandy. While the company was happy to help and was grateful that it had weathered the storm, Dellaglio said it was easy to see that a threshold had been crossed.

“I did 12 years in the NYPD. … I saw the blackout in 2004, I saw Sept. 11 up close and personal, but I’ve never seen [an emergency] as expansive as this, with everything from the gas to the stores to the [shortage of] food,” he said. “And I think there is a lot to be learned here too in the bigger picture about critical infrastructure. How do you put pumps in the basement for diesel when the generators are on the 17th floor? They evacuated Bellevue Hospital for the same reason.”

It’s something that hasn’t gotten enough attention in New York, which relies on an intricate network below ground to drive just about everything above it. But with the region facing what Cuomo calls a “new reality” of extreme weather events, it might be time to rethink the game plan.

Honeywell helps first responders respond to Sandy

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

At Honeywell’s First Alert Professional conference in Hollywood, Fla. last week, everyone there expressed concern about the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which battered the East Coast last week. But Honeywell isn’t just expressing sympathy—this week it said it’s also taking action by donating more than a half a million dollars in first responder products for relief efforts and also providing financial and other assistance to its employees impacted by the storm.

New York and New Jersey—where Honeywell is based—were the hardest hit. Some dealers and Honeywell employees couldn’t attend the FAP event because they were grappling with everything from damaged homes to power outages.

Yesterday, Morristown, N.J.-based Honeywell announced it is donating more than $600,000 in first responder products to areas damaged by the storm and also providing humanitarian aid to its employees.

Here’s more from the company’s Nov. 6 press release:
 

Honeywell, the makers of Morning Pride turnout gear for first responders, will donate more than 19,000 personal protective products including protective footwear, gloves, hoods and helmets, designed to weather the most arduous conditions first responders face every day. The protective gear will be distributed via the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management in Long Island, New York, to first responder teams in affected areas in New York and New Jersey.

“As the world’s leading provider of personal protective equipment, we are deeply committed to worker safety and to helping those on the front lines of rescue and recovery efforts remain safe,” said Honeywell Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dave Cote. “Honeywell employees work and live in these communities, these are our own hometowns and we feel a sense of responsibility to support the first responders there.”

Honeywell also announced the Honeywell Humanitarian Relief Fund (HHRF) has been deployed to support employees who have been affected by the devastating hurricane.  Support will initially include immediate cash assistance for food, clothing, and shelter to employees who have been temporarily displaced. Honeywell will also match employee contributions to HHRF dollar for dollar.

“With a significant presence in the tri-state area, many of our employees have felt the impact of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction,” Cote added. “The fund will help with longer-term needs once the extent of the damage has been assessed and local efforts turn to rebuilding.”

Over the last year, Honeywell has donated more than $1 million of safety products to support disaster relief, first responder and other non-profit agencies to protect those serving our communities. Through the HHRF, the company and thousands of Honeywell employees have responded with donations and long-term rebuilding efforts for other tragedies in recent years, such as the tsunami in Japan, the Colorado wildfires, the earthquake in Haiti, tornadoes in North Carolina, hurricanes Ike and Katrina, and the earthquake in China.

 

Fike voice messaging system achieves highest MNS standard

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11/06/2012

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo.—Fike, a fire and life safety solutions provider based here, recently announced that its CyberCat platform with integrated voice messaging is now 100 percent compliant with the UL 2572 standard for mass notification systems. Fike says it is the only fire manufacturer currently listed to the new standard.

Koorsen on target for 23 percent growth

On margins, integrators need to charge for expertise provided, new president says
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11/05/2012

INDIANAPOLIS—Skip Sampson, newly named president of Koorsen Security Technology, a PSA Security owner, said this integration firm is having a very good year and is on target for 23 percent growth over last year.

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