Category Archives: Security Alerts

Important security alerts that are “must reads” for everyone.

VoIP Phone Service May Cause Problems with Your Alarm

voip

This article outlines weaknesses associated with Voice over IP (VoIP), or Digital Phone Service, and how it can affect security and fire alarm system communication. These services are provided by cable companies, telecommunications companies and, in some cases, independent providers that rely on the Internet connections that are already present in a home or business. Cable-based systems, using a cable provider’s existing cable network decoder, for instance, then connect your calls to the conventional telephone network at the cable head end. While the various VoIP technologies provide a form of telephone service, they vary widely in their range of features and reliability. VoIP service is much different than classic Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) telephone lines in that it routes all phone traffic through a digital converter, then over the internet. When compared with a POTS line, new concerns are introduced that could affect the stability and dependability of burglar or fire alarm system communication. A quote from a major Internet Service Provider regarding their VoIP service sums up one major problem; “VoIP services traverse the WAN (Wide Area Network, or Internet) and are subject to overall WAN bandwidth. If adequate WAN resources are not available, call quality degradation can result.” Since VoIP is a relatively new technology, the information provided here may help reduce the possibilities of communication failure by educating the end user and presenting possible solutions.

The primary concerns of whether an alarm can communicate reliably over any VoIP phone service, or not, come down to bandwidth, as stated above, and the codec used. Codec is short for code/decode, and it is the method used to convert audible analogue information (sound) into digital data for transmission, and back again at the receiving end. Different codecs may compress the digital data in varying amounts for efficienct use of the available bandwidth, then decompress it on the other end. This process is where an alarm signal may be altered, losing it’s ability to correctly communicate the desired message. Whereas a voice transmission may sound slightly garbled, or cuts out for a split second, the listener can usually still understand what is being said, but when just one digit of an alarm communication is missing, the receiver must reject the entire message as erroneous. So, it is possible to send traditional alarm signals over a VoIP service, but to do so reliably requires substantially more bandwidth than that needed simply for voice transmission. And, even if the alarm system is checked and operating properly after conversion to VoIP phone service, the provider may change the codec that they use at any time without warning, rendering the alarm system unable to communicate with the monitoring center.

Assuming that the alarm system is working properly with a VoIP service, there are still several areas of concern that many subscribers fail to address, jeopardizing reliable alarm communications. First, power–The VoIP modem can come as a stand-alone network device, or a combination broadband modem/router/and VoIP converter. Where regular phone lines are powered from the TelCo company, the cable equipment is not. If the power fails during a storm, blackout, or local electrical problem, the security system will be unable to communicate due to no internet or phone service. A backup battery solution must be in place so that the modem can operate under power failure situations. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) should be installed, and all network equipment connected to it. This includes any routers, modems, any facilities required to be on for the network to function, and the VoIP device itself. Then, all hardware should be checked for operation constantly, and, to minimize the chance of loss of alarm monitoring, should be replaced as soon as possible in the event of failure. All cables should be carefully protected when installed, checked and inspected to verify proper internet and digital phone service operation. And, programming the alarm for a daily communicator test to the monitoring center is imperative.

Although out of control of the digital phone customer, it should be noted that the dependability of internet-based phone service can be down for minutes, or hours, resulting in no alarm (or 911 phone) communication. A backup communication route should, therefore, always be explored. Since we at Jade Alarm Co. pride ourselves on our excellent service, and providing for our customers safety and security is our top priority, maintaining a secure line of communication between them and our monitoring center is paramount. That’s why we’ve installed , and maintain two backup radio networks (KP and AES), both of which are independent of any phone or cable company, as well as offering internet and cellular monitoring solutions. One of our security sales consultants should be able to recommend an alternative communications solution for most customers that will free them from conventional or VoIP phone service altogether, and maintain reliable alarm transmission.

Helpful Tips to Stay Safe this Thanksgiving

There is no question that the kitchen is the heart of the home – especially during Thanksgiving. Everyone loves to be involved in the preparation of a big meal and there is no better time of year to spend time with your family. However, when you are ready to get cooking, there are certain safety tips that will ensure everyone remains safe and sound.Res_turkey

• Remain in the kitchen when using the stove to ensure no issues arise or kids grab something they should not.
• Keep children away from the stove when it is hot.
• Check the turkey regularly.
• Be sure the floor remains clear to prevent trips and falls.
• Keep all knives out of reach of children.
• Be sure your smoke alarms are working properly.

The Turkey Fryer
Another popular method for cooking turkey is deep frying. There is no question that a deep fried turkey is delicious; however, this new found trend in Thanksgiving gobbler preparation is also quite dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. There are a number of reasons that turkey fryers are a serious concern in regard to fires and injuries, including:

• When the turkey is initially placed in the fryer, the oil may spill on the burner, which can cause a fire.
• Fryers may easily tip and spill oil onto anyone nearby.
• There is no thermostat controls on most turkey fryers, which means that the oil can easily become overheated.
• The handles and lid on turkey fryers become hot quickly and can cause burns.

To remain safe during Thanksgiving, you should abide to the tips here. Also, be sure to use common sense when in the kitchen and cooking. Ensuring your smoke alarms are working properly will ensure everyone remains safe and can enjoy this special family time together.

Your Home Has Been Burglarized – Now What?

One of the worst things that a homeowner can experience is a burglary at their residence. This can make them feel vulnerable and unsafe in their own home. For the most part, a homeowner will not know what to do when it comes to what to do after they come into a home that has been burglarized.

Bug_ResIn order to get the ball rolling, you will need to take swift action. The following are a couple of tips on what you need to do when your home has been robbed.

Get the Authorities Involved
The first thing that you need to do when your home has been burglarized is contact the proper authorities. You need to make sure that you have the police come to your home so you can file a report. The faster you are able to get a report on record, the better your chance will be of getting your things back. The longer that you wait to get the authorities involved, the harder that it will be to recover the things that have been stolen from your home.

Bulk up Your Security
Once you have gotten your police report filed, the next thing that you need to think about is bulk up the security of your residence. You need to re-evaluate what type of security measures you have in place at your home and what you can do to increase their effectiveness. Be sure to use this bad experience as a way to see where your home is vulnerable and what you need to do to fix the weak spots.
By turning this negative experience into a positive, you will be able to take actions to prevent another burglary from taking place.

Important Information about Home Security Cameras

As technology increases, so do the options for keeping a home safe. One option for enhancing your home and your family’s safety is to install security cameras. These cameras are designed to monitor home activity and help to deter a break-in.

Prior to purchasing a security camera, you should understand the options that are available.

Residential_BulletcamWhen selecting a security camera for protecting your home, you need to find one that meets your specific needs. To determine this, think about the type of home you have and how the cameras will be used. Some of the most common types of security cameras include:

Dome: Spin quickly in the surroundings and are not supposed to be seen.
Bullet: Mounted to a specific point in a certain area and mostly used indoors.
• Infrared vision: Will capture images even when extremely dark.
Day/Night: Used mostly on the exterior of homes, these cameras will adapt to the lighting around them.
Varifocal: Will allow the operators to focus and zoom into images.

Features of Security Cameras
Once you have selected a type of security camera, you should assure it offers the features that you need. Some features you should remember when trying to purchase security cameras include:

• Ability to view the footage remotely
• Sensors that are motion activated
• Quality resolution
• Night vision
• DVR hard drive to record events or certain periods of time

When you find cameras offering these specific features, it will help to enhance the quality offered by your home’s surveillance system. When it comes to keeping your home and family safe, it is essential to find a security camera that meets your needs.

Tips to Burglar-Proof Your Home’s Windows

Chances are you think of your home’s security on a regular basis. You have installed a high quality security system, have your lawn well-maintained to prevent hiding places and even have extra secure locks on your doors. However, have you considered the security of your home’s windows? Many homeowners now opt to not have window contacts put on their windows due to the extra cost incurred, but windows are a vulnerable point of entry for your home.

The good news is there are a number of ways you can enhance the security of your windows to better help “burglar-proof,” which are found here.

Install Reinforced GlassRes_Window
Impact resistant glass is extremely difficult for a would-be-intruder to break. When you install tempered glass it will minimize the ability to be smashed with regular burglar tools. You also have the option of installing Plexiglas that looks just like traditional glass but is actually a thick plastic, which is also very difficult to break.

Install Floodlights
The natural enemy of any burglar is light. This is the biggest risk that they will be seen. This means you should install floodlights over any vulnerable windows around you home. Also consider installing motion-activated bulbs, which will further deter would-be intruders.

Plant Thorny Bushes
You can use nature to your advantage. Plant a thorny bush, such as roses, around your home’s windows. While these look nice and can enhance your home’s curb appeal, they will also help to deter burglars from trying to gain access to your home via the windows.

When you implement the tips here, you will find that your home’s security has been further enhanced, which will better protect your home, belongings and family.

Window Contacts
Reconsider installing window contacts for full protection of your windows.

Tips for keeping your Business safe.

  • Ensure that your alarm is working properly, test your system frequently. Always call our Central Station Command Center before each test.
  • Respond to each and every alarm.
  • Arrange periodic checkups on the store by trusted staff. Make known the fact that checkups will take place but never announce a schedule for them.
  • Don’t leave merchandise in showcases at night. Showcase covers are not a deterrent and can serve as enticement for crime.
  • Do not position your safe along a wall adjoining the outdoors or another facility. Criminals are adept at breaking through a wall and penetrating the safe without even entering the building.
  • Ask about wall shock sensors.

“Sliders” Preying On Women At Gas Stations Across The Country!

The newest public threat to personal property, “sliding”, is a quick snatch-and-run theft from cars at the gas pump. Thieves brazenly slide up to the side of the car that you are not facing, open your door, and grab whatever they find on your seats. Their main target is women’s purses. Most times, they accomplish this public theft in broad daylight without even being noticed.

When pumping gas, make sure that all of the car doors that you are not standing near are locked. Lock them all if you have to leave your car to pay inside.

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AND ANOTHER INCIDENT OF CELL JAMMERS BEING USED

A couple weeks ago we found another one of these things (CELL JAMMERS)at another convenience store – the burglars left it sitting on an a/c unit up on the roof – once again we lucked out because they cut a hole in the roof directly above the cellular backup and destroyed it before cutting another hole in the roof 100 feet away and destroying all the other alarm equipment. At this point a jogger saw them on the roof and called the police and the guys saw the jogger and took off.

ANOTHER COMPANY’S EXPERIENCE WITH CELL JAMMERS

FROM ANOTHER ALARM COMPANY THAT USES RADIO INSTEAD OF CELL:

About 18 months ago I found one outside of a convenience store that had been broken into… along with a couple cell phones that were calling the store’s telephone number – the one I found looked completely different so there are probably several importers bringing these things into the country. The sheriff’s dept couldn’t find the address and the burglars saw the deputy drive by and they fled in several directions and left all their stuff on the newspaper rack right outside the front door. As luck would have it the store had an ‘old’ long range radio and the signal came in just fine – if they had a new cellular backup there would have been no signal – makes no sense to install cellular …..

BE SURE YOUR ALARM IS SET!

JUST down the block from my residence a burglary took place in broad daylight. The home owner is now asking anyone who saw anything taking place in the neighborhood to come forward and give the Police information.

Unfortunately their alarm system was not armed when they went to work that morning.

The burglars ransacked the residence – giving the homeowners the feeling of being mentally assaulted.

PLEASE BE SURE TO USE YOUR SYSTEM –

IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE – JUST CALL US, WE ARE HERE TO HELP!

Thanks!