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A smart home security system is useless without around the clock smart home security monitoring. Although many unmonitored smart home security systems are less expensive than monitored smart home security systems, they are not equipped to respond to emergencies. 24/7 monitoring by professionals is an essential aspect of home security. 

What is a Centrally Monitored Smart Home Security System?

Almost all reputed smart home security system brands include monitoring by a central monitoring hub, but, what is its function? 

The central monitoring system operates 24/7. It receives security threat alarms and notifications and sends the message to the respective authorities for urgent action. Central monitoring hubs efficiently and quickly pick up burglaries, home invasions, fire, natural disasters, and more, and dispatch the related authorities immediately. Additional features, such as text messages and situation reports, are also available. 

On average, it takes approximately 18 minutes for the law enforcement personnel to respond. When it comes to monitoring burglary, home invasion, or a fire, you need a local smart home security monitoring provider to guard your home 24×7. ProTech Security has partnered with Rapid Response Monitoring for central station monitoring services around the clock.

Smart Home Security Monitoring is Hassle-Free

One of the key advantages of monitoring is that you don’t need to monitor the systems when you’re on a business trip or vacation. A dedicated team of monitoring professionals will keep your home safe. So, smart home security monitoring is not only about practicality but also comfort. Irrespective of the date or time, you can feel safer because of the fact that trained security monitoring professionals are watching over your smart home security system.

The Importance of Monitoring 

A good quality monitoring system is the key to a safe home. And, we have some interesting statistics to prove that. 

  • Homes with smart home security monitoring are 2.2 times less likely to be invaded or burglarized. 
  • 85% of police personnel recommend the installation of monitored home security systems. 
  • Police are able to solve approximately 13% of burglary cases only due to a lack of witnesses or physical evidence.
Problems with Self-Monitored Systems 

If you’re planning to skip monitoring services and get security systems with loud alarms instead, make sure you consider the problems with self-monitored smart home security systems:

  • False security alarms can cost you a fortune. 
  • Internet and power outage can also force your self-monitored security systems to go offline. Professionally installed smart home security systems come with dual communication paths, such as internet with cell backup.  In the event your network goes down, your system communicated via cellular connection and you have no interruption in service.
  • If you have motion sensor cameras, pets can trigger false alarms.
Insurance Companies Provide Special Discounts for Monitored Systems

Apart from safety, there’s another interesting perk that comes with a monitored home security system, i.e., special discounts on home insurance. Many reputed home insurance companies provide homeowners with lucrative deals for installing a monitored smart home security system as they realize the extent of protection it can offer. 

At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

The post Smart Home Security Monitoring — The Missing Piece in DIY Security appeared first on ProTech Security.

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A critical performance factor for smart home security systems is whether they have been installed by a professional or pieced together as a DIY project. While it may be easier and more affordable to install systems using the DIY approach, many homeowners are paying more to get professional installation. They want to ensure the systems are properly installed and well-equipped to protect their homes against potential intruders. 

When it comes to home security, “more affordable” often means “cheaper” not just “less expensive.” You get what you pay for. If you want to truly have an effective — and secure — smart home, you need help from the pros. Here’s why.

DIY Installation is Difficult and Unreliable 

If you don’t have any technical knowledge, DIY installation can become a nightmare. While many smart home security systems come with elaborate installation manuals and YouTube tutorials, you still need to have some technical knowledge to ensure the systems are set up correctly and are working properly. 

Moreover, when it comes to wired systems, the installation process can become more complicated and tedious simply because there are too many connections. It’s important to understand that smart home security systems are not plug-and-play systems. In most of the cases, you need to make modifications to the walls to set up the wiring. 

This is one of the primary reasons why many homeowners prefer professional installation over a DIY installation. They worry that even though they can follow instructions and connect the system, even the slightest mistake could cost them a lot of money or, worse, render the smart home security system useless. This is a genuine fear. If you damage the walls while drilling holes, you could have issues. If you connect the wrong wires, you could have issues. There are several different issues that can arise. And, lastly, if you install the system without professional assistance and don’t realize the setup is incorrect, you can land into bigger problems. Imagine coming home from an exciting vacation to find out your home has been burglarized because you did not install the smart home security systems correctly.

Why Professionally-Installed Smart Home Security Systems Are So Vital

Although it’s true that DIY installation can be quicker and less expensive than professional installation, when professionals install your smart home security systems, you get a few things that you can never get with a DIY installation. 

First, you can rest assured that the professionals will install the smart home security systems correctly and ensure they’re working. They can give you a demo of how the systems work, how you can troubleshoot in case of issues, and who to contact in the event of a severe system error. A professionally-installed smart home security system can provide you with peace of mind. You not only save time but also frustration when you hire a professional to install your smart home security system. You can sit back and relax while they handle the complex installation process. 

Another benefit of hiring professionals is that they can suggest better solutions and help you find smart home security systems that can work best as per your requirements. This is another issue many homeowners face when installing smart home security systems. Due to lack of knowledge, they end up buying incomplete or incorrect smart home security solutions. For instance, many homeowners ignore backyard security or garage security solutions or forget to add them to their smart home security plan. 

According to Synack, a security research company, smart home security cameras come with maximum-security flaws such as weak password policies and unencrypted data. Also, they are highly prone to hacking. So, when you look at protection and quality, it’s best to hire a professional or a team of professionals to install your smart home security systems. 

At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

The post The Importance of Professionally-Installed Smart Home Security Systems appeared first on ProTech Security.

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When it comes to home security, most of us are focussed on securing the interiors of our homes. Unfortunately, backyard security is something many of us tend to ignore. But, whether it’s a burglary inside your home or in the backyard, the average property loss per burglary is $2,251. Therefore, it is just as important to secure the outside of your home (yard, patio, kid’s playing area, gazebo, etc.) as it is the inside. 

Backyard security can help you prevent hazards waiting for you and your family in and around your property. Here’s how to keep every inch of your property safe and sound.

Shine a Light on Your Property With Motion Sensor Lighting

When it comes to the security of your yard, motion sensor lighting can be an effective security measure. Motion sensor lighting is especially useful in the case of heavy foliage. As soon as the sensor detects motion, the lights get activated and remain on for up to 20-30 seconds. If the sensor continues to detect motion, the lights stay on. 

The motion sensor in the lighting system is exceptionally reliable as it uses your body heat and wavelengths to sense movement. And, the best thing is that you can adjust the sensitivity level so that the lights don’t get activated even when the wind blows or a mosquito crosses their path. 

Motion sensor lights are environmentally-friendly and efficient, so you don’t need full-time outdoor lighting to secure your backyard. Burglars look for vulnerable homes. As soon as the motion sensor lights get activated, they flee and never come back. Therefore, motion sensor lighting acts as a good deterrent against burglars. It is an effective way to secure your backyard without spending a fortune on high-end security lights. If you use dedicated outdoor lights that remain lit all-night, burglars can actually benefit from knowing which areas are being monitored and which areas are dark. 

The best place to install motion sensor lighting is the sidewalk leading to the entrance doors. Other suitable areas to install motion sensor lighting are stairways, patio areas, decks, parking areas, and garages. For better security, it would be a good idea to install motion sensor lights at the entrance and back doors of your home. All in all, motion sensor lighting should be installed in such a way that it doesn’t face the house so that the lights illuminate what’s in the backyard rather than what’s happening inside the house.

Keep All Your Belongings Safe With Outdoor Home Security

Installing motion sensor lighting is one way to secure your backyard. Other outdoor home security measures include keeping your belongings safe and secured. From your ladders to your patio furniture and lawn mowers, burglars may have their eyes on anything. 

Here are a few simple and useful tips to get you started:

  • Protect your ladders — If you have ladders in your backyard, don’t forget to chain them. You can also use padlocks to keep your ladders secure. Burglars can use the ladders to reach the top floors of your home. If possible, store the ladders in the garage or inside your home. 
  • Don’t leave your tools unattended — If you’re working in your backyard, put your tools in the garage once you’ve finished your work. Burglars can use tools such as crowbars, hammers, shovels, and screwdrivers to gain entry through the doors and windows. 
  • Chain your patio furniture — Patio furniture is lightweight, expensive, and unprotected. Therefore, it becomes a cakewalk for many burglars. The best way to protect patio furniture is to lock it using a steel cable and lock. Run the steel cable through the joints and frames of your patio furniture to tie them together. You can go to any hardware store and buy a steel cable. 
  • Take pictures of your outdoor belongings — This can be of great help in case of theft. You can also take pictures of other valuable outdoor items such as decorative items, fire pits, grills, etc. This way, you can keep everything documented in case you need insurance coverage.
Rein it All in With Home Security Fences

The most effective backyard security measure is installing strong home security fences that are difficult to break through or climb. The fence should be good quality, robust, and high. A picket fence with sharp ends can be a good option. 

There are two uses of successful home security fences — to visually discourage burglars through the design of the fence and to make it impossible for them to break through or climb the fences. Both the uses come together to provide the utmost backyard security. 

When choosing home security fences, pay attention to the height. Many residential home security fences have a 6-foot height restriction. Check your local laws as well as to how high your fences can be. 

Another significant aspect of home security fences is their locking mechanism. Strong gates and latches with bolts and welded hardware make sure the fences don’t become weak. Nuts should be tightly welded to prevent their removal. Although manual latches and locks are more user-friendly, latches and locks with self-closing mechanism are safer and difficult for burglars to bypass. 

You can also add technology such as lights, outdoor cameras, and video doorbells to deter intruders. As much as possible, get home security fences with a lethal look. Avoid solid fences as they are easier to climb. Wrought-iron fences are recommended as they are strong and durable.

Promote That You Have a Home Alarm System

A home alarm system is undoubtedly the best way to secure your home. However, unfortunately, you cannot install one in your backyard. In this case, signage and stickers can come in handy. If burglars know your home is secured with an alarm system, they are highly likely to move to a more vulnerable target. According to a report by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, approximately 60% of convicted burglars and intruders stated that the presence of a home alarm system influenced their decision to move to an easier target. 

Here are some interesting tips on how you can inform burglars that you have a home alarm system:

  • Install signage or stickers on the fence or windows with the name of your security company highlighted. You can also put up a sign saying “Smile, You’re on Camera.” 
  • Don’t hide the cameras. Make them as visible as possible. Walkways, doorways, and sheds are good places to install outdoor cameras. 
  • Posting neighborhood watch signs (even if you don’t have an official watch set up).

At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

The post Get Complete Home Protection With These Backyard Security Tips appeared first on ProTech Security.

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When you have a complete, professionally-installed wireless home security system, you’re not just keeping your house safe and secure, you’re getting the full benefits of home automation, making your home more convenient, livable, and energy efficient. But when the weather gets warmer, and you’re using more energy, leaving your home to go on vacation, and/or leaving the kids at home alone more, there are other things you need to consider when it comes to summer home security.

If you’re going to be away, there are simple things you can do like have your mail held and request a home security check from your local police department — and please resist the urge to publicize your trip on social media! If you’re just going to be out for the day, you can make sure your doors and windows are secure. And if you have children or elderly family members at home alone, there are ways you can monitor and remotely assist them.

But there’s so much more you can do to keep all your valuables and precious family members safe and sound. Here’s how you can benefit from home automation systems this summer (and all year long).

4 Ways to Enhance Your Summer Home Security Home Automation Tools to Improve Energy Efficiency

Whether you’re in the house, out for the day, or away on vacation, there are many ways you can — and should — use home automation to improve the energy efficiency of your home. With smart thermostats, you can set up schedules so your air conditioner only turns on when you need it — like when you’re on your way home — or just when your house hits a certain temperature. Likewise, you can remotely control lights, electronics, and appliances. Turn things on and off anytime from anywhere, or set schedules and go on with your day. You can even tie it all together and program your home based on your daily patterns and your home’s usual activity. Room usage sensors can determine when rooms aren’t in use and adjust lights, climate, and more so you’re never wasting energy in a room that’s not in use. Finally, you can conserve water usage by putting your sprinklers on an automated watering schedule, which will monitor and control much water you’re using, and turn them off if there’s rain.

Home Safety While on Vacation

Want to get away? Focus on the trip and not the house you’re leaving behind. With home automation, you can keep everything secure and monitor it all no matter where you are in the world. Got a pet sitter coming over or having a neighbor check up on things? Give them the keys to your house without actually giving them keys. Access codes let only the people you want in and out, and with video doorbells, you’ll always have eyes on your home’s access points. You can get alerts when door codes are used or when door codes are entered incorrectly.

Make it look like you’re still at home by turning lights, TVs, and appliances on and off whenever you want or on a set schedule. Go beyond simple timers that turn on and off at the same time each day, and set up a random schedule that will always keep burglars guessing. You can also get notifications for water leaks, fire, carbon monoxide, and more. Finally, utilize home security cameras to get a live view of your home and receive alerts when alarms are set off or motion is detected.

Home Automation Safety Tips

The kids may be off for the summer, but you still have to work. Or perhaps you have an elderly family member living in your home. Whatever the case may be, home automation makes it easy to monitor what’s going on at home when you’re not there. Always know when people come and go, get alerts for opened doors and cabinets, and give babysitters and caregivers virtual keys for easy and secure access to your home. You can even turn TVs and video game systems on and off at certain intervals and times to limit use. Want to check in on your kids or other family members? Utilize that live video feed and see it all on a mobile app. Medical alerts and monitoring will ensure the proper safety personnel is alerted and on the scene should an emergency occur. With smart pet doors, your dogs and cats can get access to your home, but burglars or neighborhood animals can’t. If you’ve got a pool, you can use home automation and get alerts when your pool gate is opened or if a person or pet enters the pool area.

The Convenience and Control of Home Automation Security

Maybe you’re not going anywhere this summer. Perhaps you don’t have any kids, pets, or other family members to worry about. There are still so many ways you can benefit from home automation. Enhance your home’s privacy and comfort by controlling lights and motorized blinds remotely and/or on a schedule. Blinds can rise and shut with the sun, and lights, music, and electronics can be turned on before you get home, setting the mood for a relaxing evening. With video doorbells and home security cameras, you can monitor, talk to, and control the access of solicitors, neighbors, contractors, or anyone else coming to your home.

Outside, you can keep your lawn and property in order by remotely turn your hose on and off, or schedule sprinklers so you’re never leaving the water running all day or night. Keep your garage secure with motion detectors, lights, and cameras. You can even control your garage door, and set it to open or close when you arrive or leave.

At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

The post Summer Home Security: How to Use Smart Automation to Keep Your Home Secure appeared first on ProTech Security.

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Disaster can strike at any time, even if you do everything you can to keep your home or business safe. Under normal circumstances, a fire escape plan may seem obvious. You have smoke detectors right? If there’s a fire, you know and everyone will file out the front door. If you can’t go that way, you’ll go out the back or side doors. Simple, right?

But, fear and confusion can create havoc when there’s no clear plan in place, especially during a life-threatening emergency. Thick smoke can prevent you and your employees from easily making your way outside. At home, it may be unclear if elderly family members, children, or pets have been able to safely find a way out.

When it comes to disasters, preparedness is key. A good security system will go a long way in preventing disaster. But you still need to learn how to make an evacuation plan and have your family or staff practice it and commit it to memory.

Here’s how to make a fire escape plan.

Keys to Any Fire Escape Plan

Simply installing fire detectors isn’t enough to be fully prepared. If a fire breaks out at your home or at work, everyone in the structure needs to know the fire escape plan to get to safety. This is the final element of all fire and evacuation systems, and it’s important that everyone be on the same page in terms of the plan.

A proper fire escape plan involves drawing a floor plan of the home or office space, marking two different ways out of each room (utilizing both windows and doors). On a daily basis, it’s important that all occupants keep the planned escape routes clear of all obstructions, as well as ensure that all doors and windows can easily be opened.

Both at home and at work, a fire escape plan should include an outside place where everyone knows to meet. This will help to ensure that everyone is out of the structure and accounted for. Everyone should have the phone number of the fire department memorized in order to call for help (although fire and evacuation systems will notify rescue personnel when smoke, heat, or carbon monoxide are detected). Practice this plan twice a year to keep everyone up to speed — from new employees to younger children.

If a fire or carbon monoxide incident occurs, the consequences could be disastrous — but they don’t have to be. With the proper planning and installation of fire and evacuation systems, you’ll be making your residential and office space safe and ensuring that they’re monitored by professional teams and the latest technology.

Fire Escape at Home

First, make sure your house number is clearly visible from the road. This is critical to rescue personnel who may need to find your house in the event of an emergency. Next, assign responsibilities and identify who will be responsible for what. The first consideration, of course, is saving human lives and getting everyone out safely. Discuss who will be responsible for assisting young or elderly family members during the evacuation. Determine who will call for help once everyone is outside.

Only after you’re certain that everyone is safe should you worry about possessions. Never put yourself or anyone in danger to retrieve belongings. Consider keeping important documents in a plastic container or small box that can easily be located and taken with you in the event of an evacuation.

Again, agree on a safe meeting point. Perhaps this will be in a storm cellar, on the sidewalk a safe distance away from your home, or at the home of a family member who lives down the street. This will help ensure that everyone is accounted for as they exit the house. If the danger is inside the house, once everyone is out, make sure they stay out. Detailed evacuation plans are especially important for kids. Discuss how it’s important not to hide if ever there is a fire. Walk them through important fire safety tips such as how doorknobs can be hot if there is a fire on the other side and how shutting a door can prevent the spread of smoke. If their bedroom is on the first floor, have them practice opening the window in order to climb out. If it’s on the second floor, practice setting up an escape ladder, but don’t have them actually climb out during a drill. Make sure they know the sound your security system’s siren will make when there is a fire vs. a burglary.  Remember, you can put your system on test and let your kids hear the difference without worrying about accidentally notifying the first responders.

Finally, hold practice drills for the entire family. Go through each step of the evacuation, from the discovery of the emergency to everyone arriving at your meet-up point. This is especially important for kids. In addition to practicing the evacuation, have them memorize their address, 911, and any emergency phone numbers that would be appropriate. Even for adults, remember that practice makes perfect. It’s not enough to simply know what you would do in the event of an emergency. When fear and adrenaline kick in, you need to be able to walk through the evacuation steps without stopping to think about it. This is why making an evacuation plan well in advance simply makes sense.

Fire Escape at Work

In the midst of an emergency, anxiety and noise can create chaos. Educating employees about your office emergency evacuation plan before an unexpected event strikes is the best way to prevent injuries and loss of life. Make sure that your employees are aware of what certain alarms sound like so they will know how to react.

Carrying out drills will help familiarize them with what to expect from your fire and evacuation system. The system will feature visual, as well as audible alerts in order to notify those who can not hear the sound of an alarm during an emergency. Establish a clear chain of command to prevent confusion during the evacuation. Designate individuals who are authorized to make key decisions around authorizing a shutdown or evacuation of the premises. These should be level-headed individuals who are capable of directing and calming everyone as they assist them through the evacuation.

Ensure that you have procedures in place to assist people who are elderly, disabled, or who do not speak English. Decide if any employees will be needed to continue or shut down operations in the midst of an emergency. Also designate individuals who will be responsible for shutting off electricity, gas, or water to the building if ordered to do so by emergency officials. Develop a system to ensure that all areas are clear and that everyone has been safely evacuated. This should include a way to account for all employees after the evacuation.

The most essential element to an office emergency evacuation plan is preparedness. Ensure that your building follows proper guidelines for having safe evacuation routes. This means having them well-lit and clearly marked. Ensure that hallways are wide enough to accommodate all evacuees and that they always remain unobstructed. Train employees on ways to prevent fires and avoidable accidents and hazards. In addition to this, install a fire and safety system that will constantly monitor the environment for threats and provide alerts and guidance should one arise. You never know when an emergency will arise, but when one occurs, a well-designed security system is the best way to help mitigate the threat and save lives.

At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

The post How to Make a Fire Escape Plan for Your Home or Business appeared first on ProTech Security.

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Although setting up fire and evacuation systems in residential and commercial buildings can help save lives and assets, the best way to keep people and valuables safe from disasters is to prevent those disasters in the first place. It’s important to know as many fire safety tips as you can to keep your living and work spaces safe and sound.

Time is of the essence when it comes to fires. A fire can become life-threatening in just minutes and it doesn’t take much longer for flames to completely engulf a home or business. Luckily, fires are preventable — if you know what to do.

Follow these fire safety tips to avoid a disaster at home or at work.

Fire Safety Tips at Home

Home fires are often caused by faulty or poorly maintained appliances (or clothes dryers with too much lint), candles, curious kids with matches or lighters, frayed or damaged electrical cords, flammable liquids, portable space heaters, cooking devices, or fireplaces. You certainly can’t eliminate those things altogether, so you have to make sure you use them wisely, keep them well-maintained, and, in the case of kids (or even adults), keep them well-educated.

A house fire is a disaster that is easily preventable. Step one is properly installing smoke detectors throughout your home. Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home, in each bedroom, and outside of each sleeping area. Test them monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year (even better, do it every time you change the clocks for daylight savings). Replace the devices completely every 10 years. Once you’ve got smoke detectors installed — and ideally tied into your home security system — make sure you have fire extinguishers readily available. Keep them in the kitchen, garage, and any workshop areas. Check them regularly to ensure they are working properly.

With all the proper security measures and devices in place, it’s time to educate. Educate your children about the potentially deadly consequences of playing with fire. Teach them the tried and true “stop, drop, and roll” method. Explain the role of firefighters and emergency personnel and not to fear or hide from them. Set up a family communication plan, make sure everyone knows how to call 911 (and when not to), and ensure that everyone knows who to contact and where to meet should disaster strike.

Finally, have a well-thought out and organized escape plan. Go over it in detail so everyone is on the same page and is familiar with basic home fire safety procedures. This includes checking doors for heat before opening them, staying low on the ground to stay out of smoke, and knowing the closest way out. The escape plan should include at least two escape routes from every bedroom. Also, regularly practice the plan, make sure everything at home is in good working order, and that all windows and entryways are clear and accessible.

Fire Safety Tips at Work

Unexpected fires in the workplace are often caused by faulty gas lines, poor pipefitting, improperly stored combustible materials, or open flames. But they can happen in office environments as well.

To prevent fires, make sure that electrical control panels, sprinklers, firefighting equipment, and emergency exits are easily accessible and never obstructed.

If you deal with oils, gasses, or hazardous liquids, make sure they’re properly stored, maintained, and disposed of. Be sure that all employees read labels and Material Safety Data Sheets to assess the fire hazards of a substance. When using and storing chemical materials, always do so in an area with adequate ventilation. Make sure your employees have the proper protective equipment for handling hazardous materials.

Make sure all your machines — from heavy machinery to desktop computers — are properly maintained to prevent overheating and malfunction. Also, keep an eye out for faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment.

Have fire extinguishers on hand and make sure they’re fully charged and ready for use. Train employees on how to use them, and make sure everyone knows who to call and what to do should a fire break out.

Finally, have an evacuation plan in place and conduct regular drills (at least twice a year). Make sure everyone knows where to meet once they exit the building. Assign employees to be fire drill captains and make sure everyone knows what the proper procedure is. Review your plan with your local fire company to assess its effectiveness.

At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

The post Residential and Commercial Fire Safety Tips appeared first on ProTech Security.

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You may think an alarm is enough, but burglars do tend to target homes without a home video surveillance system. A study by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology found that almost 60 percent of convicted burglars mentioned that the presence of a home video surveillance system influenced their decision to target another property.

But, if you think that installing a few visible cameras is enough to truly secure your home, you’re mistaken. An incomplete or inefficient home surveillance system can leave you as vulnerable as a non-existent security system. These tips will help you get the most out of your home video surveillance system.

Choosing the Right Indoor and Outdoor Cameras for Your Home Video Surveillance System

Finding the right indoor and outdoor cameras for your home video surveillance system can be a daunting task, but even the best home security strategy is of no use if you don’t have the right equipment, so choose wisely.

Different types of indoor and outdoor cameras on the market include:

  • Dome Cameras. These are typically used indoors and installed on ceilings. Some dome cameras come with infrared illuminators, which allow them to record videos in low-light conditions.
  • Bullet Cameras. These are hidden cameras. They are typically used outdoors, especially where you need long-term viewing capabilities (like yards overnight). Bullet cameras are placed inside protective cases and are weather-proof.
  • Box Cameras. These cameras are designed for indoor use. Box cameras are popular in home video surveillance systems due to their ability to change and use lenses to suit different security surveillance needs. They provide clear images in extremely low-light conditions. Some box cameras are also known as day/night cameras as they can change from color to black and white by evening or in low-lux.
  • Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras. These cameras can be controlled using remote controllers, a joystick, or a DVR. They can tilt left, right, up, and down. They also come with zoom capability. However, pan-tilt cameras are somewhat expensive and can require an additional cable for operation.  
How to Properly Place Home Surveillance Cameras

Even high-quality home surveillance cameras are useless if they’re not covering the most vulnerable areas of your home such as your back door, front door, backyard, windows, and gates. So, irrespective of the type of home surveillance cameras you use, their effectiveness can be influenced by their location.

Statistics show that 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door, making this the most important area for home surveillance camera placement. These cameras should be placed at the second-floor level to prevent vandalization or tampering. However, if you’re living in a single-story home, you can use protective covering. You can also install a video doorbell for additional protection and convenience. All this goes for back and side doors as well. Make sure all your entryways are covered by some form of video surveillance.

Once you’ve secured all your doors, you’ve reduced the chances of burglars entering your home by almost 80 percent. To make your home even more secure, you may also want to install home surveillance cameras in the following areas:

  • Off-street windows
  • Basement
  • Garage
  • Driveways
Stopping Cyber Criminals from Hacking Home Security Cameras

Connected home security cameras pose significant security threats as they are vulnerable to hacking by cybercriminals. But, the good news is that you can take simple measures to prevent cybercriminals from hacking home security cameras.

In addition to the home video surveillance system, you most likely also have smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs, gaming consoles, etc., connected to your home internet. All these devices can pave the way for cybercriminals to gain access to your home security cameras and access your private information. So, maintaining an inventory of these devices and securing them against potential hack attacks can help you prevent cybercriminals from hacking your home automation and security systems.

It’s not easy to tell if your home security cameras have been hacked by cybercriminals. So, one way to detect a breach is to watch out for strange noises coming out of your home video surveillance system. If you hear murmurs coming through, immediately check the settings of your home security cameras. Check the admin settings and change the password as soon as you can. Also, by simply tracking data spikes on your network, you can detect hacks. So, pay attention to the increase in data usage that can result from suspicious logins to one or more security devices.

It should go without saying, but just like it’s unsafe to leave your car unlocked, it’s unsafe to leave your home security system without password protection. Home video surveillance systems these days are shipped with default passwords that can be easily guessed by cybercriminals. So, it’s extremely important to protect your home security system with strong and unbreakable passwords. If you have difficulties in remembering passwords, you can use a password manager that’ll do all the remembering for you. Encrypt Wi-Fi networks wherever cameras are hosted and don’t share your passwords with anyone.

The best way to prevent cybercriminals from hacking home security cameras is to install a smart home video surveillance system that is built to protect your network and all devices connected to it, including your home security cameras and monitors. You can also install smart home security solutions that use artificial intelligence to detect unusual behavior and immediately report malicious activities.

Enhance Your Surveillance System with These Security Camera Features

In addition to choosing the right home video surveillance system, you also need one with useful security camera features to protect your home and loved ones. Do you want a home security system to detect burglars or are you more interested in keeping an eye on your kids? Here are a few security camera features you may not be considering.

Night Vision and Glare Protection. Depending on the function and location, you’ll want some home security cameras with infrared night vision. The distance from which your camera can record videos in low-light or no-light conditions can have a significant impact on its efficiency. Glare protection is equally important, especially if you have east or west-facing outdoor security cameras.

Live Streaming vs. Motion Activated. Home security systems with live streaming allow you to simply login in and check the live feed through your security cameras, whereas motion-activated cameras only record videos whenever motion is detected.

Field of View. Field of view refers to the width of the angle a security camera can record. This is one of the most important security camera features as it will affect how many security cameras you’ll need and their placement.

At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

The post Getting the Most Out of a Home Video Surveillance System appeared first on ProTech Security.

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Hear that ring? It’s the new DMP Video Doorbell, which allows you to see, hear, and speak to anyone at your door. The amazing and sleek doorbell solution offers a plethora of advantages over DIY options that you simply cannot afford to ignore. Market research shows that 25 percent of homeowners in the U.S. with internet plan to buy a smart video doorbell in 2019.

If you’re one of those people, this video doorbell is your best bet.

Here’s why.

What is the DMP Video Doorbell?

If you’re planning to add a smart video doorbell solution to enhance the safety of your home, DMP’s video doorbell is the best choice. It is fully supported by the Virtual Keypad app, so you can check in on your home no matter where you are. As soon as the doorbell is pressed or any motion is detected, you’ll receive a notification and see who’s approaching your home. The 1080P precise clarity, Pinch-to-Zoom technology, and 180-degree field of view provide you with a closer look. So, you get both convenience and protection with one efficient mobile app.

Not only this but the Virtual Keypad app also allows you to remotely control the lights in your home, appliances, door locks, security cameras, and a lot more.

Notable Features of the DMP Video Doorbell:

  • 1080P detailed clarity
  • Pinch-to-Zoom technology for a closer look
  • Day/night vision functionality
  • Motion detection and sensitivity settings
  • Can be used with existing doorbell power
  • Comes with wedge accessories for setting a variety of camera angles to fit the entrance plan
  • Two-way complete-duplex audio communication
  • 180-degree field of view
  • Over-the-Air automatic firmware updates
  • Auto-adjusting bitrate Wi-Fi connection
  • Automatic video clip recording and storage
  • Continuous recording with 8-channel SecureCom Network Video Recorder (NVR)
  • 2.4 GHz frequency band for strong Wi-Fi strength
  • Designed to withstand harsh weather conditions
  • Vandal resistance
  • Four interchangeable faceplate options
  • Pre-installed 16GB MicroSD card that can store over 2000 video clips
  • Video recording even if your Wi-Fi connectivity fails  
  • Compatible with Virtual Keypad App 6.18 or higher for iOS and Android devices
How the Video Doorbell Ties into Your Home Security

The Video Doorbell provides you with video and voice capabilities at your front door using the Virtual Keypad app — the same app you use to manage your home security and automation systems. Just like you can control your home’s lights, door locks, security cameras, and more, you can add the DMP Video Doorbell to the same list and access it as and when you want.

To keep burglars away from your home, the DMP Video Doorbell provides you with 24×7 remote video monitoring. And now, you can easily integrate the DMP Video Doorbell with your existing home security system. The doorbell will act as an additional camera with even more surveillance coverage at your front door. The DMP Video Doorbell is easy to install and integrates design and management for today’s interactive home security requirements.

Why Choose DMP’s Video Doorbell?

According to a recent report by FBI Crime Statistics, an estimated 1.5 million burglaries are committed every year, with over 70 percent of them being residential. The DMP Video Doorbell can provide burglars with a clear signal that will discourage them from attempting the burglary. Once a burglar finds that the security system is out of their reach and vandalism-proof, they change their target.

DMP’s Video Doorbell comes with advanced security features packed in an ultra-slim design. It is auto-arming motion-activated, Wi-Fi compatible, weather-proof, and comes with a wide-angle camera lens. You can customize the motion area to focus on critical areas. It is cost-efficient and easily affordable. Not only this but the overall value of the video doorbell goes far beyond the monetary value. It provides you with a psychological state of satisfaction using the latest technology and makes you more confident about the security of your home.

Whether you’re at work or on vacation, the DMP Video Doorbell becomes your eyes and ears and allows you to remotely follow-up on what’s happening back at home. If you’re busy playing with your pet in your backyard or too lazy to move from your bed on the weekend, you can screen the visitor at your door using your smartphone connected to the DMP Video Doorbell. If the person at the door is a stranger, you could ignore them and get back to your day!

At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

The post A Look at the New DMP Video Doorbell appeared first on ProTech Security.

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According to a report by the Journal of the American Medical Association, carbon monoxide is the primary cause of accidental deaths caused by poisoning in the U.S. Approximately 500 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year, and 15,000 are hospitalized with symptoms related to carbon monoxide inhalation. Rising awareness of the lethal nature of carbon monoxide has paved the way for state, local, and commercial building codes related to carbon monoxide, including several commercial carbon monoxide detector requirements.

Why are Commercial Carbon Monoxide Detectors Important?

Carbon monoxide poisoning is one danger that can affect businesses at different levels, from industrial setups to corporate workspaces. To protect your employees from carbon monoxide poisoning, you should invest in a good carbon monoxide detector system. It can save lives by alerting individuals in a building about the presence of lethal levels of carbon monoxide in the air. Also, there are commercial carbon monoxide detector requirements in place (with more likely to come), so having the proper protection is both a moral and legal obligation.

Common Commercial Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements

With the increase in the number of deaths and illnesses caused by high levels of carbon monoxide in commercial buildings, state legislatures across the country have started adopting laws mandating the installation of carbon monoxide detectors. As of March 2018, several states in the U.S. have taken the necessary steps to install carbon monoxide detectors in commercial facilities.

  • Alaska requires approval from the state fire marshal for installing detectors in buildings.
  • New Hampshire, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode-Island, Pennsylvania, Washington, Vermont, Utah, and West Virginia require carbon monoxide detectors in all new commercial constructions.
  • Florida requires carbon monoxide detectors in all new constructions as well as in all rooms with boilers.
  • Minnesota recently passed a law making it mandatory to install carbon monoxide detectors in motor boats.
  • Connecticut, California, Illinois, Maryland, and Maine require carbon monoxide detectors in schools and day-care centers.
  • Fourteen U.S. states have made it mandatory to install carbon monoxide detectors in motels and hotels under the law. Out of the 14 states, New Jersey, Vermont, and Wisconsin have complementary administrative laws. Kansas and Washington have carbon monoxide detector requirements through administrative laws alone.
Commercial Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements in Ohio

New provisions in the Ohio Fire Code require carbon monoxide detectors in both new and existing commercial buildings such as schools, industrial buildings, hotels, motels, nursing homes, daycares, etc. The owners of the buildings that are required to have carbon monoxide detectors can meet the carbon monoxide detector requirements by installing carbon monoxide alarms or comprehensive detection systems.

Existing buildings can use battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors. But, the battery operation allowance is not valid for new buildings unless there is no commercial power. For new commercial buildings, the carbon monoxide detectors should be installed during the building and construction process.

The Difference Between Commercial and Residential Carbon Monoxide Detection

Carbon monoxide detectors and alarms are crucial safety systems for commercial as well as residential buildings. However, there are some crucial differences between the two. Commercial buildings have special carbon monoxide detector requirements that residential buildings don’t. Unlike residential carbon monoxide detectors, when it comes to commercial carbon monoxide detection, regular testing is usually required on a large scale by qualified professionals.

Each commercial building requires a uniquely designed carbon monoxide detection system. For instance, a school would require different types of carbon monoxide detection than an office. Carbon monoxide detection systems in commercial buildings are way more complex than those used in residential buildings. Larger buildings require carbon monoxide detection systems that are carefully designed and well-planned, with a complete carbon monoxide risk assessment taking place before installation.

How to Tie Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors into Your Business Security System

Most of the commercial carbon monoxide detectors on the market are designed to be integrated into a commercial fire or business security system. All elements of the carbon monoxide detection system are interlinked with a centralized control panel that would require 24×7 monitoring. This will allow the fire department and emergency medical services to be notified when the commercial building is empty and/or as soon as a carbon monoxide emergency occurs.

At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

The post Commercial Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements — What You Need to Know appeared first on ProTech Security.

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With advancing technology (and the risks that come with it), the need for small businesses and enterprises to secure their properties and workforces from internal and external threats has never been higher. No matter what you do or how large you are, you need a business security system.

While you can secure a building with a basic security system, a business needs a lot more than just an alarm system to operate with complete peace of mind. Consequently, business owners should understand the level of protection they require when it comes to purchasing a high-tech business security system with robust alarm systems and 24-hour monitoring.

A solid business security system provides employees with complete peace of mind, protects your assets and data, minimizes insurance rates, and so much more.  

Business Security System Tips: Commercial Disaster Protection

So, you’ve invested significant resources and time in growing your business. You have a stellar reputation for providing great products and/or services and a good customer base. Now, imagine that your business is hit by a natural disaster or an interior pipe burst, leaving all your machines and documents in shambles. The threat of natural disasters can leave your business vulnerable to massive losses. Therefore, as a business owner, you need to be well-prepared to tackle such unforeseen circumstances.

In the event of a natural disaster or weather extremity, do you have a commercial disaster protection plan in place? Do you know how to handle the disaster or who to call in case of an emergency? By incorporating proper workplace security measures and planning ahead, you can protect your business from hurricanes, earthquakes, flash floods, tornadoes, or anything else that comes your way.

To truly be protected from severe weather and natural disasters, you need a robust business security system with monitored alarms and alerts, breaking glass detectors, motion sensors, door and window alarms, and temperature and water sensors, and more — and it all needs to be connected to a centralized monitoring system and local disaster management services.

Also, don’t forget about technological disasters. Hacking, ransomware infections, viruses, and other cybersecurity attacks can wreak havoc on your business. Information technology is a key component of any business, and you should treat it as high-priority when it comes to protecting your business. Cybersecurity is an essential part of commercial disaster protection. By securing your digital devices, networks, and internet connections using password protection and access control, you can keep hackers and other technological threats away.

Business Security System Tips: Commercial Video Surveillance

Commercial video surveillance is another necessary component to a robust business security system. Day or night, video security systems and cameras can help you capture theft and other suspicious activities and track them. You can combine commercial video surveillance with access control to leverage a comprehensive, integrated security system.

Whether it’s for the security of your facility or management of customers, video surveillance technology is improving every year. As video surveillance continues to be a dominant tool when it comes to the security of your business, here are a few upcoming trends you cannot afford to miss.

Increased Use of Data to Supplement Video Analytics. Video surveillance data is becoming more and more significant — not just for protecting people, but also for helping businesses yield better financial returns by tracking trends and patterns.

Commercial Video Surveillance Systems with Embedded Intelligence. Intelligent video surveillance systems can modify the video data collection rate. As soon as a security incident indicator is sensed, the video data collection rate is increased to provide richer evidence for more credible and accurate analysis.

Video Verification. A real-time video verification system protects your business, customers, and profits. In the case of an intrusion, the video verification system transmits video clips of the unwanted intrusion to the central monitoring station.  Vital information can then be relayed to the responding authorities. If the system or employees monitoring the video clips validate the presence of an intruder, the police are dispatched immediately.

Other advantages of commercial video surveillance include:

  • Ward off vandals and trespassers
  • Reduce losses from thefts
  • Monitor daily operations
  • Track internal theft by contractors and employees
  • View facility from anywhere using a tablet or smartphone
  • Decrease liability from unwarranted lawsuits and claims
Business Security System Tips: Commercial Visitor Management

No visitor should be left unchecked. Large enterprises, small businesses, and multi-location businesses with public access require an easy to use and stress-free method to check-in and monitor the location of visitors as well as employees.

As the name suggests, you can keep tabs on your visitors using a full-fledged commercial visitor management system. You can install a standalone commercial visitor management system, but it’s best to integrate it with your business security system. A commercial visitor management system is a dual-purpose entity. It saves the time of front-desk resources who could be wasting hours maintaining manual visitor logs and handling traditional visitor registration systems. And, it protects your business from criminals and intruders.

An efficient and robust visitor management system can save time, infrastructure costs, organizational resources, and critical business information. Here are some other benefits of an automated visitor management system.

Fast and Efficient Visitor Check-in Method with a Professional Touch. From registering the visitor to capturing critical information and automatically printing a pass, an automated visitor management system does everything.

Digital Recording of Visitors. Visitor management systems typically maintain digital records of people and their IDs, with the help of a barcode scanner.

Track the Movement of Visitors in Real-Time. Automated visitor management systems provide you with live dashboards that provide you with a quick preview of the movements of visitors. It provides live data of the visitors inside the business premises, the status of the visitor passes, new visitors, and a lot more.

Control the Access of Visitors in Sensitive Locations. Many visitor management systems allow businesses to use biometrics or RFID cards to provide visitors (and employees) with access to the areas they’re allowed to be in while restricting access to sensitive locations.

Maintain a Database of Visitors. Automated maintenance of the visitor database can help the administrative department generate useful and informative reports. Not only this, but the commercial visitor management system also maintains the database of visitors to avoid multiple entries of the same visitor in a day. An effective visitor management system can generate a variety of useful reports such as blocked visitors, frequent visitors, visitor pass validity, expired passes, etc.

Business Security System Tips: Commercial Security Monitoring

The need for commercial security monitoring is growing across the U.S. You cannot be at work all the time, and your staff cannot take care of everything related to your business. If something goes wrong in the wee hours of the night or on weekends, you may not get to know until it’s too late to prevent the situation. Commercial security monitoring can come to your rescue during such catastrophic incidents. In these cases, you want an experienced and professional video surveillance company monitoring your business around the clock.

With 24×7 commercial security monitoring, you’ve got eyes and ears on everything when you’re away from the facilities. In the event of a disaster or security breach, the centralized monitoring system will instantly receive a notification and send emergency services. With the help of 24×7 commercial security monitoring, thieves can be caught in the act, fires can be controlled, and you can protect your workplace.

A fully-driven commercial security monitoring team can instantly connect you with dispatch services for police and medical assistance. Even the most advanced security system won’t mean anything unless it’s backed by a team of experienced security monitoring professionals. A professional business security system offers a faster response time. When an alarm starts ringing, and you don’t have a commercial security monitoring system in place, you have to count on your staff or someone local to alert the authorities. If no one’s around, it could take even hours before the accident is reported and addressed.

Commercial security monitoring services provide you with peace of mind without wasting a second.

At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

The post The Importance of a High-Tech Business Security System appeared first on ProTech Security.

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