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Opening the doors of your home or business to find that you have been robbed can be very unsettling. Even when you have insurance, you wish that those who are responsible are caught. This was the case of LG Bar, a business located in the neighborhood of Old Town in Chicago that was robbed overnight this past spring. Although their camera system was not able to stop the crime, it recorded clear imagery of the intruders’ faces, clothing, and special characteristics like detailed tattoos. All useful evidence that was provided to Chicago police. https://cltv.com/2019/03/05/thieves-sneak-into-old-town-bar-get-caught-on-camera-every-step-of-the- way/ More than ever before, crimes are being solved with the help of technology, social media, and security cameras. If you are thinking about getting a camera system for your residence or business, here are some of the benefits you can expect.
  1. Help Deter Crime. Have you seen “the wall of shame” or printed photos of thieves that some businesses post on their walls? These photos serve the purpose of exposing criminals and reduce the probability they will come back. Similarly, security cameras work to intimidate thieves. Even when cameras are placed discretely, you and your property will begin to feel more secure soon after they are installed. With that being said, security cameras can help you prevent crime but they do not stop it. You should not neglect the basic security measures you already take: locking doors, reporting suspicious activity, or activating your alarm system overnight.
  2. Increase the Security of your Community. Americans have been participating in block watch programs for decades by keeping an “eye” on things around their neighborhood. In those times, it was common to both complain about that nosy neighbor and be thankful at the same time for having someone to guard your block for free. Nowadays, these community programs have evolve and rely more on technology. Take for example, the suburb of Hindsdale, IL. Their neighborhood watch asks residents to register their outdoor home cameras with their program Block Watch. The success of the program is reflected in their quality of life as they are ranked safer than 81% of U.S cities. In a sense, security cameras have become the new community “eye” that keeps watch 24/7. In addition, today’s security cameras are high definition. Footage from your camera system can enable you to help speed the process to solve crimes affecting your community. http://www.villageofhinsdale.org/departments/police_department/block_watch_program.php https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/il/hinsdale/crime.
  3. Refute Fabricated Claims From time to time, businesses have to deal with incorrect claims. Whether its a misunderstanding or a person who is motivated by wrong reasons, evidence from a security camera is irrefutable.
  4. A reliable Witness When settling disputes, eye witnesses might forget important details or may unintentionally change a suspect’s description, time, or even the date of the crime once time has passed. With a security camera, police can collect images and process them using face recognition. They can create an exact timeline of events (using date and time from footage) to help them gather evidence to present in court if needed.
  5. Monitor Activity If your business or property is experiencing inexplicable loses, monitoring can help you find an explanation. Trust between you and your neighbors and/or your employees is important. It would be a terrible idea to accuse someone without evidence. Even when a neighbor or an employee claims to have seen another person doing something, its not granted. A security camera can give you the response you need and help you make a more informed decision. You should also respect and take the privacy of your neighbors and/or employees seriously. If you decide to have cameras in your business, you can explain to your employees that these are there for their protection and not to micromanage their every move. You might also want to monitor the activity outside your home or office. It is never a bad idea to check if someone suspicious is walking the same paths you walk everyday. A security camera system can empower you, protect your assets, and keep you safe by deterring crime from your community. Want to read more on the this topic? Read our blog. Security Cameras: Top 5 Reasons You Need Them Now. https://vintechnology.com/2012/06/08/security-cameras-top-5-reasons-you-need-them-now/

The post Why is it Important to Have Security Cameras for your Property? appeared first on VinTech Systems.

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The holiday season brings an increase in crimes; specially, theft. This is the case of last week’s thief suspect who was featured in Orland Park Police Department’s “Wanted Wednesday”. The video shows a man wearing a suit while walking out of a store to “jingle bells”. The suspect is wanted for stealing a credit card and purchasing $30,000 worth of merchandise. You read correctly, he spent $30,000! As we can see, this is not “your regular porch thief” but being fully aware of recent crimes in your area can prevent a resident from falling victim. While police do their best to solve crimes, working with them is key. The Chicago Police Department encourages residents to take additional precautions during the holidays. The following tips from their website can help you avoid theft situations that could disturb your holiday spirit.
Packages: Many of the thefts happening in the community are thefts of packages from the front of houses and apartment buildings. Don’t have any packages delivered to your front door that cannot be brought into your home immediately. Criminals are walking streets waiting for an invitation to take any packages left on steps or doorways and these become easy pickings for them. Fences cannot stop a thief with an eye for packages. Have packages delivered to an Amazon or UPS locker, your office, or have a neighbor pick them up. If you have clear glass windows in your apartment or condo foyer, have a manager put in an opaque covering where packages might be left.
Be alert: Walk confidently with your head up and stay in well-lit and well-traveled areas. Pay attention to your surroundings.  Many robberies occur when the criminal approaches from behind, so make sure to glance behind you on occasion.  Make sure not to wear headphones/earbuds so that you can hear if someone comes up behind you. If you carry a purse, keep it front of you and close to your body. You can do this covering the flap or clasp with your hand or forearm. Never leave your purse in a shopping cart or on a counter while you pay for your purchases. Stay off your cell phone- smart phone thefts have been a major issue in recent years; don’t advertise that you have one.
Be discreet: Never carry large amounts of money. If possible, use credit cards or checks instead of cash. Be sure to tear up any carbons that may be used to complete the transaction. Credit card fraud can ruin your holiday season. Thieves and pickpockets are more likely to be attracted by expensive clothes and jewelry.
Secure your car: Cars are an easy target for criminals. Park your car as close to your destination as possible and in a well-lit area. Always make sure to lock your doors even if you are only going to be gone for a few minutes.  When shopping, remember to store your packages in the trunk of the car, not on the backseat. Criminals can be on the lookout for unsuspecting shoppers who simply drop their purchases into the car and then return to keep shopping. Whether you are shopping or going out to a bar or restaurant, it is best to put your items in the truck before you get to your destination.  When returning to your car or home, have your keys ready in your hand. Lock your doors immediately upon entering your vehicle and always drive with your doors locked.
Secure your home: When you are out shopping, leave some lights on at home. Make sure to close your blinds or curtains to prevent people from viewing what you have in your home.  If you have a security system, make sure it is armed, even if you are going to be out for only a short while.  You may also want to let a neighbor know if you will be out of the house for a longer amount of time so that they can keep an eye on your house.  If you are going on vacation and it snows, ask a neighbor to shovel your sidewalk or make a path in the snow so that it looks like someone is home.
Disposal: Leaving a big screen TV box in the alley advertises exactly what you have in your house.  Make sure to break down boxes and turn them inside out to prevent this. Even better, put the boxes out the day before your recycling pick-up.

The home page on the Chicago Police website provides a list of the most recent crimes by district under “recent news”. Click here to visit  https://home.chicagopolice.org/

The post Holiday Tips from The Chicago Police Department appeared first on VinTech Systems.

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We recently received a call from an individual who inquired video footage from an outdoor camera from one of our client’s business. Apparently, the person’s company truck had been robbed in front of our clients’ establishment and there was a possibility the crime had been captured by the business’ camera. Although we understood this person’s frustration, we indicated that we could not provide video footage because this would violate our client’s privacy and place their security at risk. On the other hand, we also encouraged the caller to reach out to the building owner that owns the camera and explain the situation. If there was a police report, the building owner can give access to police to view the camera footage. A few days later, the caller wrote a one star review on our company’s Google page. This incident led our attention to the need to inform our clients and the public about security cameras’ privacy; and to find alternatives to what each party can do if they encounter a similar issue.
From our Company
In order to maintain the highest standards of privacy, we follow a procedure to clearly identify our clients before providing any data request. This information includes account number,emergency contacts, and video footage. This procedure is part of our core values on serving with confidence: “For over 10 years VinTech has worked hard to earn our clients’ trust. We’ve established relationships and built confidence for our clients.”
To Our Clients
Most of our clients require video footage when a crime occurs because they want to provide it as evidence to police. Our clients can refer to the instructor’s manual or we can assist them by phone walking them through the process (how to review, download, and store footage). It is only when the time frame when the crime was committed is not known or it is too long that we reserve the right to charge a fee. This fee covers the time that our team has to spend reviewing the footage. For example, if a crime is committed overnight, and our client requests that we review footage from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., we charge for the time we spend reviewing the video. If you live in the Chicago area, you can connect your privately own cameras to the city’s network. You can find more information by visiting the City of Chicago website and searching for the Private Sector Camera Initiative. In this case, the police would be able to access footage right away if needed. A person who privately owns a camera system, reserves the right not to provide footage from their camera unless presented with an official request by the authorities.
To the Public
If you are a victim of a property crime and believe that a public camera system could have captured it, contact the police to make a report. Once the report has been made, police can access the city’s camera system or can request footage from a privately own camera. Have in mind that video footage is usually stored from 14 to 30 days depending on the type of camera storage. Write down the day and approximate time when you believe the crime occurred. Narrow the time as much as possible as this will make the process faster and easier for those who are trying to help you. When an incident like this happens, victims are often frustrated and desire for matters to be solved quickly. In this case, it is important not to forget that these people are doing you a favor and you should demonstrate that you acknowledge this throughout the process.
To better understand the Illinois laws about public privacy go here. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/100/HB/10000HB0185enr.htm

The post Can a Security Company Provide Public Video Footage? appeared first on VinTech Systems.

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Finding the right information about security cameras can be a challenge for businesses because there is so much information available. Many companies tend to list products on their websites including a description of their specifications and sometimes even prices. When choosing a camera system for your business, reading about a product doesn’t cut it. Business owners need answers that get to the point, are easy to understand, and help them make the right call. Finding the right security camera system goes hand and hand with finding the right company for the job. These are some key points to keep in mind when finding the right company and system for your needs.

  1. Why are site surveys important?

So, site survey simply means that a consultant/project manager visits your business, talks to you about your security goals, and your specific concerns. This is a good opportunity to ask questions and establish a budget. Waiting until you receive a formal proposal to inform the company you have a budget will create redundant communication. On the other hand, being completely open about your business needs will show that you are serious and have taken the time to do research.

  1. Why work with a company instead of using a DYI System

Let’s face it, many companies make it seem like it is very simple to buy and install your own camera system. Initially, this option might be cheaper, but buyers are in for a big surprise. They don’t tell you that this system is basically a “one time purchase”. Who will fix the system if it malfunctions? Do they provide maintenance services? Can you find and replace parts easily?

Will the replacement parts be available when you need them? Do they have reliable customer service? Will that company be there in five years? The main difference between security companies and DYI systems is that companies are not interested in selling products but in providing full service with long-term results. A professional company will be familiar with your business and will work with you to achieve your security expectations.

3. Why HD is the way to go

Basically we are talking about resolution here. Do you remember seeing those cameras where face features are unrecognizable? Those are older versions are analog systems. Not very helpful anymore or ever, really. Most high definition systems now range from 420 pixels to up to full 1080 pixels. The larger the area you want to cover, for example warehouses or parking lots, the more resolution you need. Choosing a high resolution camera will reduce the amount of cameras you need and the cost of the system itself.

4. Why Choose weather proof cameras

Do you live in the Chicago area? If yes, you often experience drastic weather changes, and so will your camera system. If your camera surveillance system will be placed outside, weatherproof cameras are a must in Chicago. It will prevent your cameras from extreme rain, wind, and snow. You can also consider placing them under an area that is sheltered to give them additional protection.

5. Why knowing the type of lens is important

There are two main types of lens: varifocal and fixed. For cameras with a fixed length lens, measuring for field of view must be precise. Once the camera is installed, what you see on the screen will be its only focus. A camera with an adjustable lens will give you greater flexibility, as its flexibility will give you more coverage. The lens’ size and width will determine what you can see on the security cameras. The larger the lens size, the farther you will be able to see.

Acquiring a camera system doesn’t have to be difficult, you just have to do some research and pick the right company so they can give you the best advice. Before you reach a decision, consider local businesses. There are many local security companies that are like gems among their large counterparts.

The post How to Find the Right Camera System for your Business? appeared first on VinTech Systems.

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Having a business in a large city as Chicago comes with many perks. Likewise, as a owner you may face common urban problems: internal and external theft, vandalism, and crime. Although it is difficult to measure losses individually, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, each incident of vandalism averages $3,370 in damages. Insurance might cover some of these damages but you could still be concerned about safety. Do you want to increase safety while reducing insurance and liability costs? This is how one of our clients benefited from adding surveillance in their property.
The Chinatown neighborhood is a long-time popular community to visit in Chicago for its restaurants, architecture, and history. Since the neighborhood receives a large influx of people arriving by car and via public transportation everyday, The Chinatown Chamber of Commerce was concerned with public safety and recent shootings near the neighborhood. The Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and the Chinatown Parking Corporation worked with VinTech Systems to create a plan that included increasing surveillance by determining key locations throughout the district where additional security cameras could be placed. The additional cameras not only increased security but have reduced insurance cost for many businesses. Footage has been provided to police to report suspicious activity and unauthorized dumping in dumpsters, improving the arrest rate and reducing the cost of liability. Additionally, as part of our plan, we included a training session to ensure proper management of the equipment and a maintenance plan to help prolong the longevity of the camera system.
Every year, more and more businesses and property management companies in Chicago acquire camera security systems to help managing their businesses and properties. You can also benefit from this! Contact us now (773)388-1208, info@vintechnology.com!

The post How Video Surveillance Helps Reducing Management Cost appeared first on VinTech Systems.

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As a property owner or property manager, you need all the assistance you can get. Your business’ security, however, is a task you want to delegate to a reliable source.  Our previous blog 7 Reasons Your Property Needs Access Control, discussed some of the benefits of obtaining an access control system. In this blog, we want to get to the nitty gritty of discussing how the system operates. Are you ready for the next step?
Let’s begin with the basic components. First, we have the access cards, key fobs, and keypads. Most people are familiar with access cards. Physically, these cards feel and look like a standard ID or credit card but they work as an electronic key when inserted into the card reader. The key fob has a similar function, but instead of being inserted, it is held at close proximity to the reader. In appearance, the key fob is similar to a car open/lock remote control and can be placed along with the rest of your keys. Lastly, the access control keypad uses numeric keys. Each person needs to physically enter a code to be granted entry.
Because all three devices are connected to the access control server, the server’s manager can make adjustments at any time. For example, let’s say you manage 10 different properties. In each property, you have two individuals that have keys but you want each person to have access only to certain areas. With an electronic key, you can customize each card. Both people can have access to the front doors; but one from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the other from 5:00 p.m. to Midnight. In addition, access control can be placed inside the building. Some people who inquire about access control inside a building want to limit access to a room where they have expensive equipment.
The main idea is that as the manager, you control the “brain” of the access control system. This computer software serves as the central database for the access control system. It records the system’s activity, including signals or codes of any malfunction. Once each card is setup, you don’t have to worry about wasting time trying to contact someone to open the door or losing a key that grants access to your valuables. If a card or key fob is misplaced, it can be deactivated right away and replaced. Certain capabilities of an access control system can also be modified remotely with your smartphone.
What if you already have a system in place but its old or not operating properly? As the old saying goes, “you can’t teach your old system new tricks.”
If it doesn’t work well, it is the same as if you didn’t have one. You don’t want to wait until there is a break in to take charge of your business security.
An access control system can be a useful tool to manage your property during the day and night hours.
Consider scheduling a survey of your site and discuss your needs; most security companies will make a proposal in accord to your budget.

The post What You Need to Know Before Installing Access Control in your Property? appeared first on VinTech Systems.

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Whichever where the reasons that rose your interest to click on this reading, we can assure you, you’re not alone. The Crash and Smash Attack is a popular issue that is also often discussed within the security industry. What does this term mainly refer to? The term “crash” makes reference to the forceful entry of an intruder through a main door. And the word “smash” describes the physical action of shattering the alarm panel.
The success of the Crash and Smash lies on destroying the alarm panel, cutting the wires, or both, before the 30-60 seconds a user has to disable the signal and consequently cause the alarm to lose connection with the monitoring company. You might be thinking, is it just that easy? Yes! Since an alarm system is not able to difference whether you have entered the home or an intruder breaking in, once the alarm panel has been smashed and the wires cut, the connection basically dies.
What is the solution?
VinTech System believes that three essential steps, when combined, prove to be highly effective. The first involves an innovative system, the second implementation of daily routine procedures, and the third good communication with your alarm company.
First
A high-tech wireless alarm system communicates with the monitoring company via a cell phone signal. Since all communication is wireless, even when an intruder destroys the panel, the alarm is not deactivated. The monitoring company will follow routine procedure- call the user, confirm it is not a false alarm, and depatched the police if the security code is not confirmed. Wireless systems also have wire com-free components or sensors that can be placed throughout your home. These are also connected to the alarm and trigger signals that reach the monitoring station.
Second
Did you know that almost 30% of burglars enter through an unlocked door or window? This fact often surprises residents, especially those who live in or close to the City of Chicago, where most people say to know better than leaving their doors open. However, if you are like most people who live a busy life, you might want to set up a reminder on your phone to remind you about the windows. The reminder will help you to take action every day until it becomes routine. This is important because if you did not place an alarm sensor near each window, an intruder may come in through an unsecured window and the alarm won’t  be triggered.
Third
If you change your phone number or want to add or take off a number from your emergency list, make sure that you call your security company to make updates as soon as possible. Not having the most updated information also interrupts communication, produces false alarms where police is despatched to a non-emergency, and hinders the ability to effectively provide a service.
Acquiring a wireless system is an excellent tactic, that along with physical preventive measures, is effective to defeat the Crash and Smash Attack. When the police arrives and apprehends the burglar, they’ll know you’ve done your homework.

The post The Crash and Smash Attack is Defeatable appeared first on VinTech Systems.

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Last year, we worked with the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce to increase the neighborhood of SSA 73 security by installing 18  high definition cameras. (You can read more about it here.) Because of its challenging nature and positive results, our project was featured on the latest issue of Security Management; a newsletter published by ASIS International. (Since 1955, ASIS International has function as a worldwide community whose primary goal is to provide expertise, and guide their members in all topics of security.) The article describes in detail not only the approach we took before the installation but the aftermath as well. We draw attention to this information because some people might wonder what the process is like and what happens after the installation. In the past, we have also listened to experiences from prospect clients that come to us because they cannot find the person or company who installed their systems; and are unable to see their cameras because the system is malfunctioning. Whichever the reason is, these are excellent questions to consider. We can take the Chinatown  project as an example. The article describes the planning process; which included meetings, choosing the right type of equipment, and selecting key locations. Once approved, we also made sure we provided an estimated timeline to complete the project.

After the installation, and as we strive to deliver a more complete experience for our clients, VinTech systems also provided training on how to operate the system; and guidance through the basics of accessing the security system remotely. According to Simon Leung, operation manager of Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, in the article “Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce chooses Hikvision Surveillance” he assures to be delighted with the way the system operates. Both The Chamber of Commerce team and the security patrol have access to the cameras remotely; through their monitors, Ipads, or even mobile devices. In addition, they can download any footage from any of the 18 cameras; and provide it to Chicago police in a timely fashion. This procedure assures not only that the system is operated properly but that it functions properly, along with regular maintenance.

The Chinatown neighborhood has been a long-time popular community to visit in Chicago for its restaurants, architecture, and history. We are delighted to see that more of our clients are achieving results that are improving the safety of our communities.

The post The Aftermath of The Chinatown Case Study appeared first on VinTech Systems.

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Security cameras are great tools for protecting your properties. It can help to witness and prosecute crimes. Sometimes it can also help to witness the hilarious moments like those that we used to enjoy watching back to 90’s – America’s Funniest Video. Remember, security cameras are almost everywhere in the public, such as the elevator:

Pizza delivery driver caught on camera eating toppings - YouTube

Now we know why our pizzas always have less toppings.

The post Security Camera is the Best Witness Ever! appeared first on VinTech Systems.

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The beginning of fall season has its perks. There are new menus in our favorite cafes, leaves change color, evening walks in comfortable weather are possible, and we can enjoy a new show-binge on Netflix. The popular Halloween decorations include pumpkins, ghosts and spiders. What most people don’t realize is that these fake spiders and their webs are not the only ones “creeping around” their homes. The problem lies within, really. Female spiders tend to reside indoors and at this time of the year, male spiders intrude homes in search of a mate. These so called “sex-starved spiders” can be big enough to set your burglar alarm off. Needless to say, not only can this be very irritating but they can also set off false alarms. The following five points are useful measures to repel spiders from your home.

  1. Turning off the lights.

This is not to set a romantic mood for the spiders! Insects such as flies and mosquitoes are naturally attracted to light. These outdoor lights can attract spiders seeking food and shelter. If you currently leave the lights on for security reasons, switching to motion sensor lights can be a viable option.

  1. Do you smell citrus?

If you enjoy a fresh citrus scent, this is a great option for you.  Peppermint leaves or oil, and eucalyptus can work as repellents or you can try lemon, orange or grapefruit cleaning solutions.

  1. Fill in the Gaps.

Just like most intruders, spiders commonly make their way into your house through windows and doors. It is essential to seal any gaps under doors and windows. Paying special attention to bathroom windows can pay off. Spiders love moist places, which is why we commonly find them in the bathroom.

  1. Clearing spider webs.

In most cases, spider webs reside in blind spots. Unless there is bright light in the house, it is difficult to spot them. These are some of the places you can start with: the ceiling, walls (especially at corners), behind boxes, under the kitchen or bathroom sink, inside the closet, behind the couch, etc. One important thing to remember is to wear gloves before moving any item that has been static for some time. Although most spiders are harmless and aid to control infestations, you probably don’t want to touch them.

  1. Consider Cedar-wood furniture.

For unknown reasons, spiders detest cedar wood furniture. Although most people would jump at the opportunity to change their furniture, it is not always possible. Nonetheless, this is something to take into consideration next time you are looking for a sofa.

It is important to remember that if a false alarm occurs, your security company needs your most updated account information. By updating contact names and numbers, you will be able to verify if it is a false alarm or a real emergency.  If the account is not up to date or if the contacts listed do not respond, the police could be dispatched, possibly resulting in a fee charge.

The post Can a spider set your alarm off? appeared first on VinTech Systems.

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