Creating a Plan for Home and Business Security When it comes to the security of our homes and/or businesses one thing remains true in all instances. When all is said in done, the protection of life far exceeds the need for protection of property though both need to be considered when creating the plan that will protect and secure them both. For this reason, any security plans that are made for home or business need to secure life first and foremost but not relegate property (and information) to the role of afterthought. The best suggestion anyone can give when it comes to securing your home or business is to meet with an expert in the field of security and create a plan that works for your unique situation. Homes are different sizes, shapes, and have different logistical issues from one home to another. The same fact holds true for businesses. No two businesses or homes are exactly alike. This means that each will have its very own individual security needs and challenges. You should also keep in mind that the same security measures that are in place in your business are not always adequate or practical in order to secure your home. Meet with a professional, discuss your specific needs and concerns, and allow him or her to suggest a plan of action that will cover your security needs. No security measures, no matter how great or small, will work properly without a plan that draws them all together. You will need a separate plan for your home and business security and there are some things that may need to be done in order to secure them both that are unexpected though quite practical once explained. The act of hiring a professional to help you establish a security plan for your home or business will instill faith in the process. Point out flaws in your current security features, introduce dangers and risks that you may not currently be aware of, and help you understand the process much more clearly than if you were to try to go it alone and make the security decisions for yourself. A professional will also point out that in most instances proper security takes the efforts of more than one action working together. If you have only a security camera pointing at the doors (which generally only helps after the fact for identification unless it is monitored), this is something that can be easily bypassed. Motion detection lights are great in theory but still leave holes that a patient prowler could find quite easily. Have them work together along with monitored surveillance, an alarm sensor on every window and door, as well as panic buttons located throughout the house or business (in the event that there are family members or workers present) and you have a much better chance to deter potential security breeches. Another thing that is particularly applicable to businesses is the fact that giving employees each a unique security code can work to prevent inside jobs when it comes to theft or deliberate harm. Many business security issues are found to be inside jobs rather than the acts of those who know nothing about the business. Many larger companies have adopted key cards in order to accomplish this though many smaller companies hand out the code to the alarm without considering the possible implications of doing so. Do not overlook the importance of fire safety, storm safety, first aid, escape routes, and pathways into the home or office building for emergency personnel. Many people perish around the country each year because emergency service providers cannot find a pathway into the home or business to save those that are trapped inside quickly enough. Keep these things in mind when establishing your security plan and take great care that you aren't trapping family or business associates inside. There are many methods in which your home and/ or business can be secured from all manner of dangers, disruptions, and ill will. You must have a plan designed to bring them together in order to achieve the most positive, pro-active, and long lasting results from your security efforts. The Advantages of Monitored Home and Business Security There is an old saying that you can never have too much protection. While a few years ago few Americans realized just how true this sentiment was, times are changing. As a result Americans who once thought the need for added home or business security was something that should be reserved for the fabulously wealthy are beginning to discover that the wealthy are no longer the only ones needing protection in this country. Sadly enough, the middle class is becoming the more widely targeted group by those who would bring harm to property or possessions. For this reason, it is now more important than ever before to insure that your home and business has adequate security measures in place in the event that the unthinkable happens. There are few better ways in which to secure your business and home better than having a monitored security service that is available to the average middle income family. Some small companies can absorb the expense of security personnel though in many cases it is not as cost effective as obtaining a simple monitoring service for their security needs would be in the first place. In fact, the number one advantage to having a monitored security service for your home and/or business is the fact that it is often more security than is currently present in the average household. This means that some security is far better than no security in the big picture. Even if you opt to install a security system for your home, how effective will it really be without being monitored? The monitoring service fee is the one setback that most people feel when it comes securing their homes and businesses and yet the monitoring service is what makes this work to the advantage of home and business owners. One thing you may want to consider in order to offset the monitoring fees each month is checking with your home or business insurance policy and seeing if you can get a reduction in fees for taking extra security measures. Some insurance companies will reward this proactive stance when it comes to security and at times it can almost completely offset the fees. Another advantage to monitored home and business security is the fact that there is someone to assist with security needs 24/7. This means days, nights, and holidays, your home is being watched and guarded by someone with your best interests at heart. Seriously if there are a rash of break ins in properties that are protected by your service it would definitely be bad for business. They have a vested interest in keeping your home safe from invasion or at the very least ending the situation as quickly as possible should the unthinkable occur. For those who need a very distinct advantage, the costs incurred by monitoring services are significantly less than those that would be required in order to hire security personnel in order to secure your home or business twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. Don't forget the additional expenses of overtime and holidays. These things add up rather quickly and are far greater, expense wise, than the average household or small business could or should absorb. Check your budget and decide for yourself if a monitored security service for your home and business might be exactly what is needed in order to get the security your family and employees deserve. Comparing Security Companies for Homes and Businesses It doesn't really matter whether you are seeking a home security company for your home or your business. Most will find that the benefits to one, the other, or both are often clearly defined when searching through the materials. What may take a little more work to reason out is the benefit of one company over another in general. Study carefully the information, brochures, and estimates of several different companies, particularly those that are unique to your home and/or business, before deciding which company you are willing to stake the future health and well being of either your family or your business. Prices may differ and are sometimes an indication in the level of service and what you get for your monthly monitoring fees. Other times however the prices aren't really a true indicator of the value as some companies in certain areas simply have lower operating costs than major franchise security and monitoring services for homes and businesses around the world. Features are going to be the place to look for the real indicators of services and the small print that lists details such as terms of service, length of contract, potential increases in fees, and the exact services that are included for the normal monitoring fees and the services that will cost additional amounts of money (such as calls to the authorities or physical monitoring that results from alarms on behalf of the company). Remember that not all monitoring services will offer physical inspections of the property in the event of an alarm so this is definitely something to keep in mind when choosing your service. You should also compare additional services that are offered such as monitoring for health, fire, carbon monoxide, and other similar emergencies. Some companies monitor for these things as part of the monthly fees and others charge extra for this type of monitoring service. This is something you need to know before deciding to buy-especially if you plan to use these services or similar services. It could be that even with additional fees the company you are considering is still the best bargain in town either way you need to know before making a commitment and signing a contract. You should also check and see if the company you are considering has won any national awards for customer service, quick response, and basic good business practices. These awards say a lot about the integrity of a company. If the company you are considering has won many awards over the years, there is yet another measure of comfort and security you have when choosing them over other security monitoring firms that are competing for your business. Peace of mind is just another layer of security for many home and business owners who are faced with tough decisions regarding the safety of their businesses, employees, and families on a daily basis. When trying to decide which company is best to use for your security and monitoring needs, the decision often comes down to a personal decision of how confident you feel in the company's ability to protect your family or business. If you aren't comfortable with the representative of a company for any reason, there is no shame in going where you feel more comfortable. After all you are placing the safety of your family and/or business in the hands of the professionals with which you are dealing. This is one decision in life for which you will want to feel confident and at ease. Why Select Monitored Security for your Home or Business? The security of our families, employees, and livelihood is very important to most of us. It is so important; in fact, that many of us take proactive steps in increasing that security each and every day. One step that many take is the installation of a monitored security system for the homes or businesses we wish to protect. So what advantages do monitored security systems offer over other methods of security that exist? The very first advantage is price. Not everyone has the good fortune to afford the high price that goes along with private, personal security for his or her homes or businesses. In fact, for the average citizens and small business owners, the costs involved in procuring private security services are much more than slightly prohibitive. That being said the monthly costs involved in monitored security for homes and businesses in many areas is less than basic cable services and provides a much better value for the money. The next big advantage is convenience. You as home or business owner will not need to worry about sick employees, covering shifts for vacations and holidays, and you will not have to worry about whether or not your home or business is being monitored. Even better, the monitoring is as simple as pushing a few buttons on the keypad to enable or disable. Some companies even offer the convenience of keycard or remote access for turning on/off the alarm system. There really is never enough that can be said when it comes to making the process simpler. Search for security companies and monitoring services that offer ease and convenience as those are well worth paying a little extra each month for most home and business owners. Another great advantage to monitored services is the fact that many offer additional monitoring for things such as fire, medical alerts (remember the "help I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials?), smoke, and/or carbon monoxide detection. This means that one service provides greater protection in many cases than several different tools and appliances within your home in other circumstances would be able to manage. One final advantage to consider is the following. Even if you have a nice shiny state of the art system that is quite literally ear piercing when it goes off, this does not mean that anyone will be awake or around to hear it much less willing to call the authorities if it does go off. With a monitored security service you do not need to rely on the kindness of others to call for assistance when assistance is needed. You will have a service that is ready, able, and most importantly, prepared to do just that when the proper time arrives. If you are considering the investment of a security system for your home or business you owe it to your family, your employees, and yourself to seriously consider the value that monitoring offers for the rather minimal price involved. Many companies offer 24/7 monitoring and response services for less than $50 a month depending on where you live. For the value it represents most families and businesses can manage to scrape up that much cash each month in order to receive the peace of mind and the benefits of security this affords their homes or businesses. Technology Adds Security to Home and Business Door Locks There are many technological wonders in the world today. Not the least among these wonders is the new technologies that exist in order to allow families and employees to feel a little bit safer within the confines of their homes and workplaces. One way this is accomplished is through a new technology that allows people to unlock a door by entering a key. Well, this is not exactly new technology though it is newly implemented in the average market. For perhaps the first time, this is an affordable option for use as another home or business security measure even for the smallest of businesses. More than offering another layer of security for keeping intruders out, there is an added layer of security for allowing family members and/or employees in quickly even when keys are not easily found. Parents will never need to worry about teens forgetting their keys and being locked out. More importantly, families will no longer need to implement a hiding place for keys in this unfortunate event. Cold weather, rain, and panic (because of noises in the night) will no longer mitigate the ability to find keys in the bottoms of purses, handbags, and backpacks-a simple key code is all that will be needed in order to gain entry. In addition to this benefit however is the added benefit that many of these interesting door locks also have the technology to read a card in order to unlock as well as a device attached to key fobs. You can also avoid fumbling around in the dark trying to force the key to actually fit into the lock. This will be taken care of automatically. No more lost time, broken nails, or dropped groceries in an effort to gain entry into the home. This home and/or business security feature can eliminate these issues all together. For employers who own businesses, this adds another layer of security, as it can be a requirement for entry into the building. Pass out cards to all employees with a unique identifying number and at any given time there should be a clear record of who was in the building after hours or who gained early entry into the building. If anything is amiss there is a record of who came and went when (of course this isn't infallible but it will help if ever there is a need for this information). Security is important to all of us in this day and age. In fact, security is probably a greater concern for most at this point in time than it was during the height of the Cuban missile crisis. No longer are the unseen enemies far away but now they can work in the same office or live next door. The bad guys do not always wear black hats and, unfortunately, they most often do not carry signs around proclaiming their evil intentions. We need to protect our families, our employees, and ourselves from the potential evil within as much as the evil that exists outside our borders. This device allows business owners to closely monitor who comes and goes within their business and that isn't necessarily a bad thing in the modern world. The technology exists and is now more affordable than at any other time in the past. As a matter of fact, it isn't much more expensive to obtain this technology as it would be to purchase one of the higher end door locks and deadbolts that are on the market today. For this reason alone it is a good idea to keep this technology in mind and consider incorporating it into both your home and your business as an added security protocol. If you are considering a security upgrade for your home or business, an electronic entry system is well worth looking into. The benefits go far beyond the typical security measure of keeping those who aren't exactly invited in but also allows record keeping of those that come and go in businesses and much easier access for homes. Security Measures for Small Businesses Small businesses are often overlooked in the grand scheme of things when it comes to implementing security measures. These businesses are not on the scale of larger businesses and have more specialized security needs than the average home will need. This means that security for small businesses has often in the past been either insufficient (more along the lines of what is appropriate for home security) or overpriced along the lines of what is appropriate for larger businesses. The good news is that many of the leading names when it comes to security are beginning to understand the specialized needs of smaller businesses and design security measures that address those specific needs rather than adjusting larger or smaller scaled measures in order to fit into the very targeted needs for security in smaller businesses. The good news is that smaller businesses often do not experience quite the high volume of staff turnover that larger businesses experience. This means the risks of theft by the hands of employees is significantly slimmer than in larger businesses or those with high volume turnover (such as fast food restaurants and mid-sized retail establishments). It does not however eliminate the risks all together. Small businesses do have the typical security needs that all homes and businesses have. You need to eliminate blind spots on the exterior of the building in order to avoid giving intruders a safe place to hide while breaking in. You also need to leave some lights on inside the building so that police and passersby may notice anything out of the ordinary as far as movement within the building or pay special attention on nights when the lights aren't on when no one should be 'home' so to speak. You should also trim back any bushes, shrubs, or small trees near possible entry points as they also provide the cover of darkness for those who have bad intentions. Enabling coded entry methods that are individual to each employee is another way in which employees can be easily identified as the one entering or exiting the building after hours should anything go wrong with no witnesses. This doesn't imply that these cards will eliminate employees as suspects or even identify an employee as a suspect but it may identify who was in the building that may have witnessed something that he or she isn't even aware is important. Exterior lighting is another important safety and security feature for small businesses. Not only do you want to protect employees that may be leaving after hours but you should also do so for the protection of customers or patrons who may be on the business property after hours. They can create their own unique liability issue that also happens to threaten the security of your company on a financial level. Insurance is another protection in this instance as well as the right policy can help insure that you are not personally targeted if someone is injured on your business property. Have an assessment of your businesses security needs performed by a professional security expert in order to discover specific needs that you may encounter in light of your special small business security needs. There is rarely a thing called too much security though there are often instances where security can be more than you can reasonably afford-of course there are some forms of security you simply cannot afford to be without. An expert will help you identify your specific needs and create a plan that works within the limits of your budget. Exterior Lighting Provides Security for Homes and Businesses We all want to keep our homes and businesses safe and well protected. There are many ways in which this can be accomplished. One, rather simple, method for assisting in this goal is often overlooked by the multitudes but is one of the most effective measures that can be taken in order to protect not only the property from intruders but also to protect those on the property from unnecessary injury due to an inability to see what is going on in the exterior after hours. Seriously, poor lighting can make a home or business a much more attractive target than the house next door which has adequate exterior lighting. Home intruders may on occasion not be the sharpest tools in the shed but those who are successful in this line of work are only successful because they do understand the laws of opportunity. A dark shady area that is concealed from the view of others presents a far more attractive target to would be intruders than a well-lit and revealing access point into a home. When designing the security plan for your home and business you really need to try and think like a criminal. If you were going to break into your home or business where would you try to gain entry? Those are the areas that need to be well lit and offer little in the way of concealment opportunities for those that would attempt to make an uninvited entrance. Do not build storage sheds near windows and doors. Instead, keep them away from these areas. Storage units provide concealment and shadow in areas where this should not be desired. Not all security is simply from invasion. You should also be concerned about the health and welfare of those who live and work in your home or business. Having the area surrounding your home and business will not only reveal intruders but also obstacles, holes, and etc. that could pose risks of injury in addition to potential intruders. You should also keep in mind that not all intruders have only possessions in mind when they make their grand entrance. Making your home or business uninviting as a 'pit stop' for these criminal elements also makes it safer for your family, friends, coworkers, and employees. You do not need to light up your home or business like a military installation in order to achieve the very security you seek. Motion sensor lights that only light up the area in which motion is detected can prove basic enough protection in many cases without inviting the neighbors to complain about the never-ending daylight you manage to create. Rope lights provide low level and decorative lights but they also invite passersby to take a look at your property. This in itself makes your property unattractive to intruders if there is any kind of regular traffic in your neighborhood or an active number of neighbors that walk dogs, star gaze, or engage in any other nocturnal activities. If rope lights aren't appealing, many homes make judicious use of solar powered decorative lights, as part of their landscaping in addition to a hopeful deterrent to would be intruders. Combining two or more of the forms of exterior lighting discussed above could net even greater results. Prevention is always the best course of action when it comes to things such as home or business security as well as the protection of those who live and work in your home or business from potential harm due to inadequate exterior lighting. These are all things that should be considered when creating a security plan for your home or business. Lighting is important for many reasons. Despite the fact that many people have top of the line security equipment and can't find their way across their lawns after lights are out far too few people bother to take the need for adequate exterior lighting seriously. Hopefully those who read this will have a new attitude when it comes to lighting up the night skies and keeping your home and business safe. Safes Add Another Layer of Security to Homes and Businesses We live in a day and age, sadly, when information is probably one of the most precious commodities on the planet. More specifically, personal information, such as social security numbers and tax identification numbers are worth their weights in gold in some instances and should be highly guarded, prized, and valued. This information in the wrong hands can lead to financial and personal nightmares the likes of which few are every truly prepared to experience. There are many businesses, particularly those that experience high and brief employee turnover rates that are often targeted specifically for the employee information more than the money that may be hidden away in the companies cash drawers or the merchandise that may be contained inside. The information in the right hands is worth far more than the merchandise and much more difficult to trace when all is said and done. Many companies that keep this information on their computer systems are also targeted. However, the targeting of this specific information is what is prompting many companies to closely safeguard this information, for the protection of present and past employees including current management. One way in which they are doing this is by purchasing large safes in which to store the information. Many businesses are going one step further however and purchasing hidden safes that aren't immediately recognizable for what they are. This adds yet another layer of protection and security to employees that may otherwise feel vulnerable to identity theft. When it comes to security for homes rather than businesses safes provide a great way to protect not only important documents but also jewelry, letters, gold, virtually anything of value that will fit into the safe. Another great thing about safes in order to protect valuables in the home is that most safes are also virtually fire proof. This means that the valuables held in the safe are likely to survive in the event that a fire ravages your home. Not only will a safe offer the security of "safe guarding" your possessions but also your piece of mind by allowing you to know that the important documents and information (including insurance papers) are kept safe from prying eyes and those with evil intentions. There are many companies that specialize in making safes inconspicuous so that the casual observer wouldn't even realize it was in your home. In fact, a dedicated professional can make them almost completely undetectable when combined with the efforts of a skilled carpenter and they can fit in amazing spaces if secrecy is of utmost importance for the safe keeping of your documents and information. Even those who live and work along side you every day can be oblivious to the existence of the safe if that is your wish and you are willing to pay the price of having a hidden safe installed. Other safes that offer security to your home and/or business (depending on what kind of business you are in, of course) are gun safes. Quite frankly, in the world in which we live the idea of having guns out in the open and freely available to anyone who walks in the door is not only irresponsible but in some cases criminal. It is wise, for those who own guns to have a gun safe in which to store those weapons, keep it locked, and store ammunition elsewhere. Guns do not provide adequate defense for homes or business and this should be kept in mind when it comes to security. In many cases each year those who attempt to use their guns for home security only manage to provide another weapon to the intruder rather than managing to secure their belongings or protect their families. Safes can provide great protection and security for homes and businesses when properly used and guarded. Safes offer little protection however if everyone and their brother knows the location and/or the combination to the safe. You should keep that information closely guarded in order to receive the maximum security that owning a safe can provide. Pros and Cons of Hidden Surveillance Cameras Hidden surveillance cameras are more common around the world than most of us realize. They can be found in bus stops, convenience stores, fast food restaurants, homes, and ATM machines on almost every continent. These cameras are often fed into video recording devices though on occasion they are monitored by real life security personnel in order to deter crimes and rapidly identify offenders. Chances are fairly certain that if you've been in any casino in the modern world that you have been carefully scrutinized on camera. Actually, chances are that if you've been almost anywhere in America your image has been captured by a hidden surveillance camera somewhere along the way. Among the reasons for the extreme popularity and wide use of these cameras for both home and business security purposes are the facts that they are small, they do not take up a lot of real estate, they are not obvious, and they are quite affordable when compared to other security methods. However monitored surveillance methods are more costly, for those who would require this type of monitoring it is well worth the price. These cameras are as effective in small 'mom and pop' type stores and restaurants around the country as they are in identifying those who break into homes that have these cameras. There are however, a few drawbacks that should be addressed when considering a small, hidden, surveillance camera as part of a home or business security plan. One of the drawbacks to these types of cameras is that they offer a very narrow or limited view. If these cameras are being used to identify perpetrators in a court of law reasonable doubt could easily be established unless the perpetrator in question happens to be well within the field of vision for the camera. Another drawback is that these devices are very small and do not necessarily offer the best quality and highest resolution when it comes to photographs. Another common complaint when it comes to the use of these cameras is that they do invade the understanding of privacy that many expect. Most are more upset by the fact that they were filmed and mistrusted in the first place far more than the fact that they were caught in the act so to speak. People, especially in the United States, have an expectation of privacy that many feel hidden surveillance cameras trample upon. For this reason the use of these cameras in order to identify perpetrators is hotly debated and highly contested. At this point in time as long as there is no audio recording most states will allow the video. Check with state laws in your area however before recording sounds as some states require that those being recorded by audio devices are informed of this fact. If you are hoping to catch employees, nannies, and housekeepers in the act of stealing from you or abusing their authorities and privileges then a hidden surveillance camera is an excellent choice. The same holds true for customers who would steal as well. These cameras can quite often be valuable tools in identifying those who transgress against you. However, the hidden nature of hidden cameras really prevent them from being an effective crime deterrent and this should be carefully considered before relying on them as a sole means of defense or security for your home and/or business. Emergency Plans Make Important Security Measures for your Home and Business There are very few people in the world or the United States who are not vulnerable in their homes or businesses to one type of disaster or another. Disaster strikes generally when least expected and not at all prepared for and can have devastating consequences in the toll of human lives, property damage, and the ruin of businesses. Prepare a disaster plan for your home and business in order to maintain as much control of things in this situation as possible. Home or business invasions should first focus on everyone getting out of the house. Whether or not the invader is in the house when this is discovered or not the first order of business needs to be to insure the safety of everyone in the home or business. For both homes and businesses it is best to establish a rendezvous point for this specific situation. Make sure every family member or employee knows where he or she should meet everyone else in the case of a break in. For families with small children it should be something as simple as a neighbor's house for businesses it can be wherever you feel there is a large enough space to accommodate everyone that will need to meet. Businesses should also have a phone call protocol established of those who should be able to call those who do not need to be present initially in order to avoid overwhelming the situation and location with too many people asking questions and wanting answers all at once. For fires and weather related disasters home and businesses need to have an emergency plan in place (this should be different in hurricane regions according to the long range predictions and uncertainty of not only the routes of hurricanes but the amount of damage that can lie in their wake). If emergencies such as fires or tornadoes occur during regular office hours every employee should know where to go for protection and/or escape. The same holds true for homes. Families with small children should practice disaster drills at various times during the night and day in order to make sure children know innately what to do in case of emergency and do not panic and forget when and if the crucial time should ever prevent itself. Knowledge saves lives in situations such as this and having a clearly defined and understood avenue for escape can be critical in a situation such as this. More than giving workers and family members a clearly defined route to take when disaster strikes having a designated and specific plan for emergencies also gives them a sense of purpose that will often override the traditional sense of panic. This is a good plan for families and work places across the country to practice. It was mentioned above that hurricane plans are slightly different and this is true. Hurricanes present a fairly unique dilemma as we have discovered in recent years because they can literally devastate entire regions with the totality of their destruction. In these instances, information is needed to get out quickly to employees and family members that not only allows them to know who is safe but also the status of work, coworkers, and home and hearth. Establish an email list in order to contact those that may be displaced and to allow all who have an interest to know what the situation at home, work, etc. may be. If a home or business is fortunate enough to be in place once these 'once in a lifetime' storms pass then family members and employees will take great comfort of getting back into the normalcy of a workweek as quickly as possible. Use the opportunity to let them know the situation and give them the option of returning (if they are ready and prepared) or taking the time off necessary in order to get their homes and lives in order. All in all having a plan is the best way to go. Do Silent Alarms Really Provide Security for Homes and Businesses? Most people who are considering an upgrade in security efforts ask this question. The problem is that the answer isn't a simple yes or no but a very long, drawn, out and complicated answer that is both 'yes' and 'no'. I will explain this below and hope it helps you make the best decision for your home or business security needs. You are the only one that can make the final decision as to whether or not a silent alarm is best for the needs of your home or business. Combined with a monitoring service, a silent alarm can let the monitoring service know immediately that something is rotten in Denmark so to speak. The problem is that it takes time for the security company to respond. Most home and business owners have the option of response by the company in charge of your security system or response by police. There are pros and cons on both sides of the issue. The ultimate answer is that the alarm company representatives are likely to show up in less time than it would take police to respond (intrusions-even for businesses are not a high priority crime these days) but the hired security guards are generally unarmed, somewhat unskilled, and offer very little to deter a determined criminal. Private security firms often employ low wage workers; some who have criminal records themselves. This is enough for many people to elect the option of having the police respond to alarms. Be aware however, that in many areas there is a charge involved when police respond to false alarms. Some police will allow two false alarms and then charge rather serious charges in order to avoid wasting the time of officers that could be protecting and serving elsewhere. All in all, many people will take the risks of security companies over the risks of being forced to shell out too much money in the event of false alarms. Be sure to check with the policies of your local security companies as well as your local police before deciding which is in the best interest of your home or business. When it comes to criminals, most of the good ones have been around the block a time or two and are well aware of what the average response time in the area is for both police and various security companies. For this reason many of them will have staked out the place, have a good idea of what company handles your security, where valuable items are located, and have a quick escape route planned. In other words, having a silent alarm offers no real deterrent for the criminal with a game plan and more often than not he or she will be in and out and have what he or she is looking for well within the time frame of police or security company response. More importantly however, silent alarms do not attract attention. Attention is something that the wise intruder seeks to avoid as it leads to capture and identification. Loud alarms work best for getting the attention of neighbors and passersby (for businesses) if nothing else for the annoyance factor. Neighbors will head outdoors in hopes of getting you to turn your alarm off only to discover that it isn't a false alarm. A neighbor reporting a crime in the act (an eyewitness) is far more likely to gain a faster police response than an alarm company reporting what may amount to a false alarm. It is a great idea to have a security system installed in your home or business. It is also great that many home and business owners are considerate of their neighbors when choosing a silent alarm system. The truth of the matter is though that silent alarms offer no real deterrent to criminals and that is what most people seek when installing an alarm system. Do Panic Rooms Provide Home Security? There are many things you can do in order to make your home less attractive to intruders. The truth remains however, that there are times when nothing you do will affect whether or not your home will be invaded. It could merely be a moment of chance and your home happened to be in the wrong place on the wrong night of the week. In moments like these, it often doesn't matter whether anyone is home or not. The intruders are going to take what they want and do not care who is harmed in the process. In larger homes that have a lot of ground to cover and many amenities to tempt invaders one increasingly common safeguard is the installation of what is known as a panic room. These rooms are designed as a safe retreat within the home in which the family can meet and be protected from the intruders until help arrives. The idea of a panic room, while relatively new to the average household has been a common theme for homes of the wealthy and famous for quite a while. We are seeing more and more 'normal' homes in America that have these rooms installed however in recent years and the primary reason is the safeguarding of family members in a 'worst case scenario'. Unlike the recent movie "Panic Room" starring Jodie Foster, the average home panic room isn't designed to hold off intruders for an indefinite amount of time but merely to delay them from harming the family until help could arrive. Phones are a necessity in these rooms or at the very least a cell phone that has a signal and can place outgoing calls is a necessity. Most panic rooms are very basic and not meant to hold a large number of people for more than a small amount of time. They are essentially safes that are built inside the home that can hold people (as well as some valuables though the purpose of the protection of life rather than property). For those who are handy or in the process of designing their own homes, it is quite possible to incorporate a safe room within your home if you are willing to sacrifice some space in order to do so. The average low-tech version of a panic room does not require copious amounts of money or technical knowledge. You are not creating a fortress merely a safe place within your home where your family can hide in the event of an emergency intrusion. Plans can be found online for those who can do the work of building a panic room themselves and should be closely followed. It is amazing the amount of protection and security that a room such as this can provide for your family. The peace of mind alone is well worth the investment in many cases. If you incorporate a panic room into your home security plans then you should also take the time to make sure that it is stocked with essentials. Those essentials would be some sort of seating or cushioning, water, non-perishable snacks in case you need to be in the panic room for quite a while, and blankets. You should also make sure that a cell phone makes into the room along with family members. Try to escape the home if possible. If escape is out of the question your panic room should be a safe alternative for the family. Make sure whenever possible that police are called immediately as they will do more to deter or limit the amount of time invaders are willing to spend within the walls of your home. Remember to try to keep your calm despite the need to panic. The cooler you keep your mind in this situation the more likely you are to make it through the moment safely and, more importantly, keep your family safe. Are You Inviting Security Breeches to Your Home or Business? Security is one of the most important things in life in the world of today. Not only do we seek to protect our families but also (as business owners) our employees from unnecessary disruptions in daily lives and exposures to risk. For this reason it is important that we eliminate potential security risks in order to protect all whom we hold near and dear. A proper security system for our homes and businesses is often a good start. There are many reasons why this is important and several reasons in which this could work for the overall good of the family and the working environment. First of all, in a family situation there need to be individual alarm codes that are changed on a regular basis (preferably whenever a teen changes boy/girlfriends or has a falling out with best friends in order to insure maximum safety). In a business setting keycards work well in order to insure that each employee has an identifying and unique code. Many instances of misconduct, theft, and property damage done to businesses each year is the result of disgruntled employees rather than outsiders. Another thing that homes and businesses need to keep in mind is that a dark building or home is an invitation to those who would invade. Darkness is the friend of those who would like to enter unseen and unnoticed. Make a practice of leaving some sort of lights on in the interior of the home or business in order to allow passersby to see inside. If this is a habit policeman driving by will be more likely to notice that it is out of the ordinary for the lights to be off as well as having lights on allows them to see inside for potential prowlers or misconduct. Do not allow shrubbery or small trees to obstruct the view of the windows from the road. This is where intruders prefer to make their entrances. If nosey neighbors and prying eyes have a clear line of sight to these windows it is less likely that intruders will find them to be attractive points of entry. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't have bushes or small trees near your home just keep them adequately trimmed so that they are not blocking the windows or other potential entry points to your home or business. Do not allow tools to be left lying around that offer intruders the means by which to invade your home or business. Ladders and pry bars should never be left out in the open as they will imply invitation to those who may not have otherwise noticed your property as a potential target. Most home invasions are matters of opportunity more than anything else. Do not provide them with the perfect opportunity. Lighting is another deterrent for potential intruders. Install plenty of lighting around the exterior of your home or business. Motion sensor lighting is an excellent choice for this as it isn't always on but will draw attention when it comes on. Solar lighting just below the windows surrounding your home or business also provides some added degree of security without incurring additional electricity bills. For businesses that have an open front door policy in order for clients to walk in, install chimes or doorbells that allow staff to be aware that people have either entered the building or left the building. The chimes usually alert the staff and encourage eye contact as well as the ability to identify those who would attack and/or invade. It also makes staff more aware of if or when those who entered have left (minimizing the risk of locking intruders in the building unaware). Little things make a big difference when it comes to security for your home or business. Take some or all of the steps mentioned above and apply them to your home and business. They will not only make your family, employees, and property safer but will in many cases help them feel more secure as well.
Are Security Bars Worth the Risks? There are many things that families and businesses do in order to secure their property across the country and around the world. One measure that is often taken in the name of security is the addition of security bars to doors and windows. Despite the inherent benefits of securing property, these bars often run the risks of endangering the people inside for whom the real home or business security is often sought. One thing remains true, many invaders will keep moving rather than attempt entry into a home that has security bars on doors and windows. Home invasion is almost the only security that these bars provides however and for many, the risks involved in having these bars on windows is not at all worth the small measure of protection that is provided. In other words, the good of these bars is greatly out measured by the negatives of these bars when it comes to insuring the safety of family members or employees inside these buildings. Many people do not purchase new security bars but rather rely on the same bars that have covered the windows of the home or business for many years. Some of these are rusted and nearly impossible to remove when there is plenty of time and effort available in which to remove them. In emergency situations, every second matters and these bars can be the very things that trap people inside a burning or flooding building holding them hostage to the perils inside the home or business rather than protecting them from the dangers on the outside. Security bars are no longer the cheap alternative to traditional alarm systems and monitoring services that they were touted to be in the past. They are in fact, more often than not a greater risk than they are a benefit to business and homeowners. Many larger companies offer free installation of alarm systems and alarms as well as monthly monitoring services at more than reasonable rates. More importantly not only are these monitoring services available for invasions or intrusions but also for fire and smoke as well as panic button services. While security bars may have had a time and place, they have been replaced by something that is much more effective at preventing and deterring criminals as well as something that provides a greater degree of protection for the most precious assets of any home or business-the people inside. The costs involved in monthly monitoring for some seems great but most will find that the value this service provides if and when it is ever needed is well worth every penny. Options to burglar bars that are not terribly costly include planting thorny bushes below windows and keeping them trimmed back just enough that they do not block a view of the windows. Most intruders do not want a complicated process and they certainly do not want to be injured during the process by prickly plants. Lighting is another option that is essentially less expensive in many cases than it would be to install burglar bars. Intruders do not want to be seen. If the area surrounding your home and business is well lit it will serve as a deterrent. Explore options such as this before resorting to security bars. To answer the question of whether or not security bars are worth the risks for home or business protection the answer would be a resounding "No!" While we are all well aware that prevention is the best cure when it comes to crime, there are times when certain preventative measures provide far greater risks than potential security and those are risks that shouldn't be worth taking to the average home or business owner. There are other preventative measures that can be taken in order to deter intruders that pose far less risk to family members and employees. These options should be incorporated rather than those that pose additional risks to those you should be taking every possible precaution in order to protect. Are Private Security Firms a Good Plan for Homes and Businesses? There are many ways in which a home or business can revamp or overhaul its security protocols. One of these methods is by availing itself of the services of a private security service. Private security was once something that was reserved for larger companies or the fabulously wealthy. Both of which many of us are not. Today, however, private security has an entirely different meaning than it has had in days past. A private security firm for most homes and businesses is simply a service that monitors and responds to reports of problems rather than live guards who actually monitor and secure the property onsite. Most private security firms have employees in a centralized location that monitor video cameras, alarm systems, and combinations of the two from a centralized location and respond to emergencies and potential problems according to the protocols included in the service agreement drawn up and the specifications and desires of the home and/or business owner in any given situation. These private security firms often monitor several homes and alarm systems simultaneously so the level of care and monitoring is not as dedicated as it would be with onsite security staff but the costs involved, since you're essentially sharing the service with other homes and businesses is greatly reduced over what you would pay for private onsite security. There are many differences in these two types of security that should be pointed out. Onsite private security services actually secure the property. They insure that everything is nice and tightly locked up and secure from trespass and invasion. They will monitor who enters and leaves the property and in some states may even carry arms while performing their duties in order to insure an added layer of protection. When you hire an onsite security service you have the ultimate say so in who is employed by you and are fully aware of any criminal past (as you would likely perform a complete background check) they may have. You will pay more for this type of service but depending on the needs of your family or business, which is often a price well worth paying, particularly if you feel your company or family is at risk for some unknown reason. The typical private security firms that service multiple home and business security accounts hires workers that are willing to work for lower wages and as a result often have questionable pasts. Unfortunately you will not get the ultimate say over who responds to your calls or monitors your home. Most of these companies have limited staff that is stretched fairly thin in addition to fairly high turnover rates. You must be willing to accept the personnel they send or risk paying the higher price of having police respond to potential false alarms. For some people this is a risk not worth taking while others are perfectly willing to accept the potential risk for the probably security. Carefully consider the differences above when making your final decision as to whether or not a private security firm is the best decision for the security needs of your home or business. Regardless of the choice you make, having someone watch over your home or business when you aren't around to do it, is a priceless luxury that has recently become more affordable even for the average household or small business when it comes to security. Are Free Security Systems Worth the Money? While the title question may be a bit confusing to some, I am quite certain that there are people reading this who understand the question completely. Nothing in this day and age is completely free of charge any more. In fact, those things that advertise their prices as free quite often make up for that and so much more in the end. Ultimately, when it comes to home and business security you will have to decide for yourself if the overall cost is worth the thrown in freebies. When it comes to security however, most competent security services will provide peace of mind that is well worth the eventual price. One thing is certain however-read the small print before you decide to buy, especially when the price is free. Most home and business security systems will allow the equipment to remain as long as they are the monitoring service in question or you have used their service and equipment for a specified amount of time (again read the contract in order to find out the specifics of the company you are considering). Another thing you should keep in mind is that these companies are competing for your business. If you see something you like with another company but the price is different see if you can have this as a bonus (while they're giving away freebies and before you sign anything). They may have a standard agreement but that doesn't change the fact that security companies offer a service and that service can be altered in order to meet the needs of the client. If not, there's no harm in selecting the other company or attempting to negotiate with them. You may find a better deal elsewhere even if you are required to pay for the equipment. In other words, don't get so caught up in the idea of free equipment that you overlook the obvious price that is paid through inflated service agreements or overlong contractual obligations. The fine print will often reveal this sort of information as will the actual salesperson if you ask the right questions. First of all, you need to know what equipment is included in the 'freebie' package and what is being recommended or actually installed on your property. Never pay for something you didn't agree to have installed and never sign anything with a company such as this without reading the contract completely (you could be agreeing to pay for the equipment you don't even know is going to be installed otherwise). While I would like to claim that all in the business of home security or scrupulous to a fault this is not always the case. In fact, many agents of these companies are out simply to get your signature and grab a commission. The larger the sale, the more money these agents bring home. The place that most of these companies get consumers however, is in the monthly service or monitoring fees. Compare these fees when deciding what service to bring into your home and that will ultimately indicate the largest of the hidden costs in your free home or business security system. Keep in mind what these fees include when comparing prices as well as the length of the term. You do not want to be trapped in a lengthy contract with a company that you do not like (especially when it comes to the security of your home or business) once all is said and done. Are Fake Security Cameras False Security? You hear people talking about them all the time. The infamous 'dummy cameras' that are supposed to make your business or home suddenly invulnerable to crime. The problem with this logic is that it isn't entirely correct. Cameras do not deter crime, the fear of getting caught does. Unfortunately for home and business owners that are relying on dummy cameras for security is that there is nothing with which to identify these invaders if they are caught because the camera that was supposed to be providing security was a fake. The thing to remember is that cameras in and of themselves are not really crime deterrents. They are not preventative measures at all. Cameras only work to identify those who have already committed the crime rather than frighten off those who may commit the crimes. The only cameras that are effective at catching someone in the act are those that are monitored on the premises with adequate security to not only monitor the cameras but also apprehend the perpetrators. Dummy cameras do not provide any of these services, which renders them fairly useless all around. Another thing to keep in mind is that many would be criminals could honestly care less if there are cameras and even less so whether or not the cameras are real or fake. Criminals are well aware that by removing identifying clothing and never looking directly at the cameras there is little that can be captured that will identify them (even if they are real). They also are fairly certain that even if the cameras are monitored there is often quite a bit of time between the crime being captured and the authorities being notified and then arriving. In fact, that is what the average criminal is banking on-the fact that the police are often slow to arrive. Cameras, real or fake, have little to do with crime prevention and more to do with identifying the perpetrators, fake cameras simply cannot assist with that. If you are considering a dummy camera or a few dummy cameras for the security of your home and business you would do well to consider the cost of the cameras and installation (if necessary) compared to the cost of having a viable security system that is monitored. You are likely to find that price difference in the initial equipment (especially when you consider that many security monitoring services offer the equipment free of charge) is negligible when compared to the security it provides for your home or business and the peace of mind it provides you as the home or business owner. That being said, there are some fairly convincing fake cameras on the market and they may actually deter those who would commit crimes of convenience rather than those who carefully plan the crimes they are preparing to commit. The problem is that you will never really know as there is no way to really judge the success of these units unless your business was consistently loosing money until these cameras began appearing. More likely than not, the only crimes these fake cameras will prevent are small 'petty thefts' like kids stealing bubble gum and such. Save your money and invest it into a monitored security system for your home or business to pay for the monthly monitoring rather than dummy cameras that have very little real effect. Added Security may Lower Insurance Rates for Home and Business Owners One thing that many home and business owners neglect to check when establishing security measures for their homes and businesses is whether or not the standards being established will actually work to lower their insurance rates. Just as many companies reward safe drivers and drivers who own cars with GPS tracking enabled, they also reward home owners that take logical and practical steps to reduce the vulnerability of the homes to invasion as well as other security risks such as fire. This is one question you should ask the security expert that assesses your home or business for security measures and upgrades as he should be able to give you a 'heads up' when it comes to this sort of information and which insurance companies prize these sorts of upgrades more heavily. The bottom line is that the experts keep up with this type of information in order to encourage hesitant buyers to make the purchase. In all fairness toe the experts; the fact remains that much of the costs involved in these security measures can be recovered through the discounts that are applied to the insurance costs. One thing that may be worth mentioning is that in some cases, the savings translate into enough money to cover the monthly monitoring fees that the security services charge. When compared to the insurance savings, the peace of mind that is involved in providing these added security measures to your home or business is well worth any additional costs in most cases. This is particularly true if ever the time comes when these things pay off by protecting your family or employees as these security measures are designed to do. Insurance companies are well aware that property is not only damaged due to theft but in many cases possessions are taken away from homeowners, never to be recovered. Some of these possessions are priceless in value, as dollar signs do not begin to touch their significance. However, by taking preventative measures to protect your belongings, most insurance companies will find you a more acceptable risk simply for taking the small step of hiring a monitored security company. Other things you can do when it comes to the safety and security of your home or business include getting a new roof that is fire resistant, installing a fire extinguishing system, offering courses on fire safety (to employees), and installing fire barriers in larger companies that should work to protect some of the building even when all of the building cannot be protected. Upgrading the electrical services in your home or business can also help you save money on your insurance as it reduces yet another fire risk. Fire is one of the greatest damaging forces that the average business will experience as far as structural risks goes and one that is in many cases preventable by taking certain measures. There is very little that can actually be done to protect a business or home from the ravages of flood or tornadoes so there is little hope available for lowering the price of your insurance premiums by seeking to defend against these types of damage. In many cases, small steps can net big rewards when insurance companies sees the combined total of your efforts to protect your home or business not only from invasion but also the dangers that often arise from within. Protecting the structure of your home or office is only a small part of the security efforts that should be implemented by taking the steps to do just that often make a big impression on big business and will result in savings for you down the road. Remember always that prevention is the best cure and insurance companies know this as well as you know it. For this reason, they are willing, in many cases, to reward those who take this information to heart and act upon it. Check with your insurance company and see if your new security measures for your home and business will actually cost less in the long run than you may have originally thought. Computer Security for Teens at Home We live in a world that is increasingly dependent upon computers and the Internet in order to achieve even the most modest of tasks that once would have taken a drive to the library. This drive to the library could have taken anywhere from a matter of minutes and a cursory glance through the card catalog or hours spent sifting through dusty shelves and outdated collections of books in order to find relevant information to the topic being researched. Unfortunately, the clear advantages of the information age, such as ready access to information twenty four hours a day seven days a week with just the click of a few keys is also proving to be a logistical nightmare when it comes to safeguarding the security of homes and businesses around the world. There is so much information floating around in cyberspace and we unwittingly contribute even more information each and every time we enter a phone number, address, or bank account number into our computers. The problem is that we often need to enter these things in order to get the information or merchandise we require from our computers. To safeguard your children from Internet predators and material that simply isn't appropriate for their viewing needs enable parental controls on the computer. Your children may protest but a few hours of their complaints is well worth the peace of mind you have knowing that nothing should be getting through that you don't want them to view. This will result in some uproarious moments as favorite websites may be tagged for ridiculous reasons you'll have to take those on a case-by-case basis and decide whether or not you want to allow your children access to these sites that are often tagged with no real reason or inappropriateness. No system is perfect but doing nothing would be far worse. Another thing you should do in order to more closely monitor their Internet activity is keep the computer in a centralized area in the home rather than allowing them to bring computers into the privacy of their bedrooms where they are unobserved. You should also keep in mind that even the best and brightest among us are quite likely to be outshone by our children when it comes to computer savvy. Do not trust that minimal efforts will net the big results you are hoping to achieve. Discuss proper online safety procedures with your children, especially your teens. Remind them of these things on a regular basis and drill it into them. Safety is the most important thing when having discussions online, in chat rooms, or even in weblogs and websites. It is amazing how much information is accidentally given away through conversations that would never have been given away if direct questions had been asked in order to get that information. For this reason it is even more important that you stress the urgency of secrecy on the Internet. Team names, practice times, school names, and sports participation should be kept to a minimum on the Internet as all of these things can be used in order to isolate and identify your teen. Photos should also be limited in all honesty, particularly those in cheerleading or ball team uniforms that can easily be used to identify location as well as those that include car tags and other relevant information that is identifying in nature. While this may seem harsh to your teen it is much better to be harsh with them than go through the heartache and uncertainty of a missing teen or worse because of Internet predators. The safety of your teen is the most important thing you can protect on your home computer and if you do not make him or her aware of the risks he or she will not take those risks seriously. Part of home security is protecting your family members from themselves as much as it is to protect them from the world outside. Computer Security for Businesses Many businesses in the world today operate on networked systems that allow shared access of much information in order to streamline various processes. This is a wise decision on behalf of business owners as it saves a lot of time (and time is money in the world of business) that employees would otherwise spend waiting for various files to download onto their individual computer systems. The problem is that this also presents a logistical security nightmare for many reasons. The first reason that often comes to mind is a computer virus. Once one computer in the network is infected it's a very slow business day, week, or month all around and in some cases an extremely expensive problem to fix. Many businesses have established policies in order to minimize these risks. If your business does not have a security protocol in place for not only preventing viruses but also handling the aftermath of viruses, it is time to talk with your IT department or contact an IT specialist from outside the company in order to establish protocols and procedures to combat the risks that viruses pose to productivity and the valuable information held within your companies computer systems. Regular back ups of the computer systems is another issue that many people do not consider when it comes to the security of computers for their businesses. However, stuff happens. Hard drives crash and servers die horrific yet spectacular deaths. The unfortunate truth is that these things never happen at opportune times (because there is never a good time for the computers of any business to go down). The lag time however can be greatly reduced if a business creates daily backups of all computer systems. This can be done in a matter of minutes each day and can save months of work trying to retrieve the information should the unthinkable happen. It is well worth the costs and time involved to back up your computers each and every day as part of your company's security routine. Visitors. Most businesses have venders and clients in and out all the time. Many of these visitors have laptop computers and need Internet access. Rather than allowing these visitors computers to have access to the information that your business allows to employees it is best to have an external Internet source for visiting computers that is completely separate from the network shared by employees. While it would be wonderful if we lived in a world in which we could trust visitors but the truth is we can't. Not only are visitors not above sabotaging the competition they are also not above trying to steal your secrets as well as the new products that are in the pipelines. For this reason it is wise to pay the price for having an internal network and an external network for your business. Remote access. This is something that many companies offer employees as a way of allowing them to work from home on occasion during family emergencies and even after hours. Many employees see this is a perk and more and more businesses are allowing this sort of access. The problem is that not all employees are as security conscious, as they should be. Discuss with the IT experts in your company or those you consult how to minimize the risks involved in providing this 'perk' to employees. There are ways that can be incorporated that limit the access to information that individual employees have while working remotely that still allow them to access the files that are relevant to their specific tasks and responsibilities with a password or code. Find out what will suit the security needs of your company best and implement that system. The information age poses new risks for businesses at every turn in order to make up for the added conveniences. Be sure that your business takes the necessary steps to insure maximum security when it comes to the computers that make life so much easier. Paper Trails Lead to Security Nightmares While it isn't all about the paper these days there is much security that is lost on a regular basis through the use of paper. Even utility bills in this day and age can leave identity thefts with plenty of information necessary in order to acquire the documentation necessary to pretend to be you or one of your employees in some cases. The paper that is innocently thrown away each and every year provides those who would steal your identify from you the ammunition with which to do just that. Unfortunately, identity theft doesn't begin to cover the nightmares that can be accomplished by allowing slips of paper to fall into the wrong hands. There is a reason that Enron has become almost synonymous with paper shredding. They were at the very least well aware of the risks that documentation posed to their efforts of covering up the crimes they had committed against their company, their employees, and the faith many Americans have in their employers. Those documents were the equivalent of a 'smoking gun' and the best solution they had available to them was a paper shredder. While this is by no means meant to condone paper shredding to cover up crimes and misdeeds it does go to show the power that paper truly has, particularly in the 'Information Age' in which we live. Paper remains one of the most effective and convenient ways of exchanging information with large numbers of the population. Books continue to be printed on paper, as do magazines, and quarterly reports. Despite the fact that many of us live and die by our computers, we still enjoy the ability to take this information away from the computer and enjoy it over coffee and toast for breakfast or while swinging in a hammock out back. The thing to remember is that even though we can print off delicate and often confidential material from our computers and take them along with us, it is imperative that this information is not merely tossed in the garbage but destroyed in the process. The price we must pay for having sensitive and personal information floating around on paper documents is the necessity to shred those papers and remove the information that could be used and abused by others for more sinister purposes. If you go through a lot of paper during the course of a business day that needs to be shredded and removed it may be in your best interest to enlist the services of a paper shredding company. If you have enough employees to take care of the matter in house, you may want to invest in some serious document shredding machinery. There are more reasons for this than the obvious security risks however and they should be addressed as well. Unlike information on a computer, paper takes up an incredible amount of space in large volumes. This means that unless a business has amazing storage capacity some of the paper information is going to have to be removed after a certain period of time in order to make room for the new paper that is being generated in volumes on an almost daily basis. Those documents that need to be kept in perpetuity can often be scanned to a computer then destroyed in order to make room for more papers (you should check with your lawyers however before doing this in order to discover what types of papers the original document is absolutely necessary to have access to in case of litigation). Information fraud and identity theft are problems that are not limited to businesses and the corporate world. The average household needs to have a paper shredder that is big enough to handle the average volume of mail coming into the home each and every week. Anything that has personal information that doesn't need to be kept on hand should be immediately shredded in order to avoid those who would do ill with this information from getting their hands on it. Panic Alarms for Added Security in Homes and Businesses Silent alarms are often thought of as something that is only suitable for banks. The truth is that almost any home or business would do well to have a panic button alarm system in the event of an intrusion, fire, or weather related emergency. Panic alarms come in many shapes and sizes as well as styles. Consider carefully the type of business you operate or the situation within your home before deciding whether or not to incorporate a panic alarm into the security plans for your home or business. Some are simply a means of emitting a powerful and ear piercing alarm. While these are not what this article is recommending to protect a home or business, they can be vital protection devices for personal security while walking, hiking, or biking. They deter criminals if noticed because most criminals do not want to draw attention to themselves and often frighten them away when committing a crime because they do make a spectacle of everyone involved. This is a situation that is bad for business for most purse-snatchers or people snatchers and will often frighten them away. Silent panic alarms as a security protocol for business are especially helpful for businesses that do a heavy amount of work with cash or businesses that sell to those who may become unruly on a regular basis. They are also considered quite valuable in businesses that sell firearms. In truth however, in this day and age, any business would do well to have a silent panic button that goes straight to a monitored service. The reason for this is quite simply-you just never know. We live in a world where we simply do not know from one day to the next who the next person will be to do the unthinkable. While we do not want to admit to ourselves that he or she could be in the next cubicle the chances are just as good as any that they may be. In our homes, a panic button can be a life saving device, literally. Panic devices exist that have live monitoring through speakers on the other end for elderly people who have fallen and cannot make it to the telephone in order to call emergency services. The unfortunate truth is that more often than not falls of this sort do not happen within easy access of the telephone. These devices can help those in need get the assistance they need no matter where in the home they may be. They work by having a remote device that is worn around the neck. In the event of disaster the panic button can be pressed and the monitoring agent on the other end can render assistance. If you have a loved one that is elderly and living alone this is a device that is an absolute must. That is not the only option that is available for home security panic button needs however. Most security systems have codes that can be punched into the keypad that will automatically call the authorities. As an added benefit many security companies are offering the added benefit of wristwatch devices as well as key chains that allow a remote access panic button to interact with the monitoring device in a panic situation without requiring that you be in the room with the device in order to key in the code. The decision to add security to your home or business is never one to be taken lightly. There are so many variables and we all want the places where we live and work to be as safe as they can possibly be. At the same time we do not want to wallow in fear of what may happen. These panic button security devices, whether for use in the home or office, allow an added layer of security and comfort without serving as a constant reminder of all the many things that may happen and let us get about the process of all the things that are happening each and every day. Nanny Cams for Home and Business Security The term "nanny cam" has become synonymous with hidden cameras. These cameras provide very little real preventative security for homes and businesses but can provide a very credible tool for identifying perpetrators of harm within the home when used properly. These cameras are appropriately named however for their function as a method of keeping an eye on those who are keeping their eyes on your children. For home use, the ability to watch over nannies and caretakers is one of the best reasons to make this sort of investment. One thing you should remember when selecting your camera is that in some states it isn't legal to record speech without the knowledge of the person in question. You should consult with the laws in your state before making the purchase (the retailer where you purchase your nanny cam should be able to inform you of this legality). These cameras do have a security purpose that is often overlooked by the rather secretive nature of them and that purpose would be to keep a watchful eye on your children even when you cannot be in the room with them. This allows mom or dad to prepare dinner, pay a few bills, or even take a much-needed coffee break without feeling as though she or he should be in the room with baby. Children can be monitored from a distance allowing them to build important problem solving and self-entertaining skills while allowing you the peace of mind that comes with knowing what is going on. Another thing to remember when installing a nanny cam in your home is that not only will it record the nanny and your children but it can also be used in order to record the housekeeper and keep an eye out for potential theft that is taking place. It is sad that we live in a world in which we should be suspicious of everyone and yet that is exactly the world in which we live. A nanny cam can make your family feel much safer and better protected just because there is always someone watching over them. In the horrible event that something goes wrong there will at least be a witness. Small businesses also greatly benefit from the use of 'nanny cams' in order to identify potential thieves in their employ. Most small business owners are well aware that the vast majority of thefts are actually inside jobs. By placing a hidden camera in the stock room and above the cash register much of the theft within the store or business can be easily identified and quickly handled. Small businesses can use nanny cam not only as security against employee theft but also as a tool against the theft of merchandise by patrons. Once again the laws of the state should be followed. If you live in a state that requires the knowledge of employees in order to obtain voice recordings then select monitoring equipment that is video only. At this point in time video surveillance is allowable without informing those being recorded in all 50 states. If you are attempting to implement tighter security efforts in your home or your business, you may want to consider the benefit of adding a nanny cam to your security arsenal. You never know just how much peace of mind merely having the camera will provide. ADT for Home and Business Security ADT is probably one of the most recognized names in the United States when it comes to home and business security. Not only does this company offer security services that are appropriate to homes and businesses of all sizes they also offer monitoring services for home or business intrusions as well as monitoring services for medical emergencies. Part of the reason that ADT is so successful is because they are quite aggressive in their sales efforts. Another reason that they are so successful is that they do have a proven track record of not only deterring intrusions simply as the result of their alarm systems but also a proven record of responding quickly to emergency situations within the home and notifying the proper authorities when necessary. While some will argue that their sales tactics prey on peoples fears that is quite honestly what they are in the business to do. Profit from the fears of others (whether these fears are valid fears or not). The truth of the matter is that in the world in which we live, there really is no such thing as a safe neighborhood anymore. Even those that once left doors unlocked and keys in cars have now taken on a policy of serious security efforts that had been relatively ignored in the past. Evil is no longer some faceless nation across the ocean it has made its way to American soil and for that reason more and more people are taking a more proactive role in securing their homes and businesses than ever before. While there are some things that no security system can really monitor or prevent there are others that are very preventable and easy to monitor. One reason that ADT is so successful in deterring crime is that it makes home invasions inconvenient simply by being there. Most home invaders are not what one would consider craftsmen or women. They are creatures of opportunity looking for an easy way to score large. Overriding a security system or making off with serious loot in spite of ear piercing alarms is often not what the average home invader would consider an easy score. In other words, many criminals will see that there is an ADT sign in the yard or obvious indicators of a monitored alarm system and move right on to the next house on the block rather than deal with the hassles that the average security system adds to the mix. ADT is good about letting would be invaders know that the home is protected and monitored by their system with stickers for windows and yard signs. Many families also like the fact that this type of monitoring system can also deter boyfriends or girlfriends or even best friends from making late night and often uninvited appearances. More importantly it can provide a little bit of a roadblock for errant teens trying to sneak out or back in late at night as well. These alarm systems are often much more than protecting homes and small businesses (or larger businesses) from intrusion but also in protecting them from those who live and work there as well. If you are considering an alarm system, I would strongly encourage you to at least call ADT and allow them to give you a security risk assessment. This is performed free of charge in most areas and may clue you in to strengths and weaknesses you knew nothing about before. Brinks Business and Home Security Services Brinks is a name that is often associated with armor truck services for businesses and banks that need to transport large amounts of cash. There is so much more however to the Brinks name when it comes to security. This is definitely a company should not be overlooked when seeking security services. Brinks has much to offer not only the businesses in the area seeking better security methods but also the homes in the area that are attempting to upgrade their security measures in order for families to feel safer. Brinks operates in more than 50 countries around the world and is a leader in the field of home and business security services. In the United States, Brinks is the second largest monitoring service provider for home and business security. Being second in a highly competitive field such as this is definitely an accomplishment to be proud of. Brinks offers a little something extra than many security companies and that is the armored truck services. Perhaps if their efforts weren't divided between the services they would be number one in the field of home and business security. By offering diversified services such as this, Brinks has managed to reach out to multiple markets and is experiencing a very successful run in the business of security around the world. However, the fact that this service is offered and a great deal of time, attention, effort, and training are devoted to this particular field for the company means that they are well diversified and flexible. This is something that most people should not only expect but also demand in the company that is providing security to their homes or businesses. After all the protection of family members and employees is no small task in the world of today. Worldwide, Brinks is best known as a transporter of valuable goods. Money, jewels, and priceless works of art are only a few of the valuable items that this company has been charged with transporting over the years. However, they are gaining an even greater reputation within the United States as a home security service provider as well as a security service for business and corporate properties in addition to being a well respected transportation service for precious goods. They do have a reputation for being number one in this particular department though they may be number two elsewhere. Brinks has an excellent reputation for honesty and integrity in the communities it serves. More importantly, Brinks is known for being effective and getting the job done. When security is the issue and the lives and livelihoods of families and employees are on the line there is no room at the top for companies that offer a service that is consistently less than necessary. Brinks has a reputation for getting the job done and that is a reputation you want in the security provider you choose for your home or business. If you are considering a new security system for your home or business or simply considering the installation of a security system all together it would be in your best interest to check out what Brinks has to offer in your area that would be appropriate for your home or business needs. You just might find that Brinks is the number one choice for the security needs of your home or business.
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