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Summer is the best time to re-evaluate your campus security plan because the students are gone, and there is less traffic. It’s vital to check your security systems and equipment to make sure that they work and that they are still adequate. If you’re short on time because your list of things to do is long, here are three parts of your security plan that you can check right now.

1.     Get a Thorough Risk Assessment

Contact your security integrator to get an updated risk assessment. Risk assessments are critical because they show problem areas and things that need to be fixed. It’s especially important if you haven’t done one for a while or if there has been construction or a change in traffic patterns on campus.

The integrator will check access control systems, sensors, and recorders to ensure they work and suggest areas that need improvement or upgrades. If there have been significant changes, make sure that the security plan and equipment can accommodate these changes.

2.     Check Safety Systems in Dormitories

Dormitories are prime areas for sexual assaults, thefts, and robbery. Often, these are crimes of opportunity where unauthorized people were able to access the building.

Install emergency stations inside the dorms as well as along the perimeter of the building. Make sure that all the locks on doors and windows work.

Add video intercoms outside so that students and staff can easily identify visitors before they allow them to enter the building.

3.     Upgrade Inexpensive Security Elements

Not all security upgrades are expensive. Reduce opportunities for crime by making sure all of the campus lighting works. Install additional lighting in dark areas, and you’ll take away hiding places for criminals. College police officers must be able to see windows and doors easily when patrolling to identify security breaches or crimes in progress. Trim back any tree limbs or bushes covering the entry and exit points to buildings on campus.

These are just a few elements of your security plan and protocols that you can check immediately. Your security integrator can help you evaluate the security needs of your campus and determine if current policies and security systems need to be upgraded or changed.

About Alarmingly Affordable

With over 35 years of electronic security system experience, the principals of ALARMINGLY AFFORDABLE realize the importance of building and maintaining long-term relationships with both our customers and our suppliers. We take pride in providing our clients with an unparalleled level of quality and service.

The post 3 Critical Components of Your Security Plan You Can Check Today appeared first on Alarmingly Affordable.

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A school security plan is a constant work in progress that can always be tweaked and improved. After the students leave for summer vacation is the perfect time to re-evaluate your school security. It allows administrators to look back on what worked and what changes need to be made to current school security practices. Here are a few ideas to consider when re-evaluating campus security.

Reassess Campus Risks

School administrators should schedule a campus risk assessment to evaluate how the next school year will affect current security policies. Consider changes to class sizes and school infrastructure as well as security for school events and staff and faculty turnover.

Look at last year’s reports on criminal activity to determine primary areas of concern for security. Also, look at changes to the area surrounding campus. Has the city or county where the college is located changed traffic patterns or constructed new buildings close to campus? Note how changes like this can affect off-campus traffic and faculty and student commutes.

Address Immediate Security Problems

If there’s been a recent threat, look at security measures that could have prevented the event or lessened the severity of its impact. Often, these security incidents resulted from security problems with campus entry points. Make changes to the security plan to correct those problems.

Concentrate on the Security Industries Best Practices

Kim Richmond of the National Center for Campus Public Safety says that technology has made a huge impact on school campus security, both negatively and positively. Technology has expanded criminals’ ability to victimize more people, but it also has increased communication efficiency during emergency incidents.

Layered security to prevent possible criminals from entering classrooms is one example of a security issue that all campuses deal with regularly. Schools use a variety of tools such as mass notifications and electronic access to campus buildings.

Adding access control as a part of the school’s layered security strategy helps administrators make lists of possible unwelcome visitors. These are individuals that could be looking to engage in criminal activity. They can look for ex-employees, suspicious people, and other people that shouldn’t be on campus.

These areas of concern are just a few examples of things to consider when re-evaluating your security plan. Take time during the summer to assess the risks and vulnerabilities of your campus while students are away. Activities that keep you busy during the school year aren’t on your plate in the summer.

About Alarmingly Affordable

With over 35 years of electronic security system experience, the principals of ALARMINGLY AFFORDABLE realize the importance of building and maintaining long-term relationships with both our customers and our suppliers. We take pride in providing our clients with an unparalleled level of quality and service.

The post Why Summer Break Is The Optimal Time to Re-Evaluate Your School Security appeared first on Alarmingly Affordable.

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Colleges and universities place the safety of faculty, staff, and students high on their list of priorities. Parents also look for the safest campus when they look at sending their children hundreds of miles from home. Campus law enforcement always strives to enhance the security of the university it serves. Today, there are several security tools and systems that every educational institution should have and utilize.

1.     24/7 Campus Police or Security Staff

Security personnel and campus police should be available 24/7 every day of the year. The campus safety department should man the security desk at all times to receive phone calls and dispatch campus security and law enforcement as needed. It’s important for students, faculty, and staff to always have a safety resource available for general information and emergencies.

2.     Safety Escorts

Police officers or security personnel should provide safety escorts on campus for any faculty, students, or staff that feel unsafe, especially after dark. Parking lots or bus stops may be far away from the center of campus or located in dark areas. Safety escorts provide peace of mind to people traversing the campus and can prevent violent crimes from occurring by taking away criminal opportunities.

3.     Electronic Access Control System

Fully-integrated and customized access control systems allow only authorized personnel into restricted areas and provide logs of when certain places were accessed and by who. These systems provide safety for employees and students by preventing anyone from gaining unauthorized access to certain areas on campus. Access control systems provide an extra layer of security for your institution and enhance other security measures already in place.

4.     Warning System for Emergencies

These systems are vital to distribute information about safety emergencies to faculty, staff, and students swiftly and efficiently. Emergency warning systems are rapid, multimodal communication systems that send information to people by text message, phone calls, and emails. Many schools prefer this method of communication because of its ability to disseminate information more quickly than other methods.

These are just a few tools and systems that enhance the security of your university or college. If campus safety is a high priority for your institution, contact a licensed, professional security integrator to evaluate your risks and vulnerabilities. They can help you design and implement a more comprehensive safety plan.

About Alarmingly Affordable

With over 35 years of electronic security system experience, the principals of ALARMINGLY AFFORDABLE realize the importance of building and maintaining long-term relationships with both our customers and our suppliers. We take pride in providing our clients with an unparalleled level of quality and service.

The post 4 Critical Security Tools and Systems that Every College Needs appeared first on Alarmingly Affordable.

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Campus Safety and Security Departments constantly evolve their security plans. Summer is the best time of year to re-evaluate the risks and vulnerabilities of your campus. Here are some important aspects of campus security to consider.

Determine Immediate Needs and Address Them

Look at any recent threats and determine if there were any measures that could prevent future similar events from happening. One solution often found involves enhanced security at the access point used to gain entry to the college campus.

Consider How Outside Traffic Affects the Campus

Do students leave the campus often and when they do, where do they go? What visitation policies are in place for visitors, and are they limited at certain times? Adjusting or adding visitor policies can easily be done when updating the University’s security plan.

Identify Locations Where Problems Exist

This factor is where knowing your campus well comes in handy. Think about places where violations such as assaults, vandalism, and burglaries occur. Where are these locations? Are they outside in the parking lots, in classrooms, or dorms? Install security cameras in these areas to capture crimes in progress to increase their solvability as well as deter criminal activity.

Acknowledge Additional Security Challenges

What types of security incidents are common for your campus? You should check all of the incident reports to determine what security problems occur on campus property. Determine how to adjust the current security plan to address these challenges.

Ask Your Security Integrator for Input

Sometimes the best solution is to turn to someone who can assess the situation with a fresh pair of eyes and who better than your security integrator? They are most likely already familiar with the security challenges unique to your campus and can provide expert advice.

Periodically reviewing the security plan can highlight areas of weakness in it. This process allows you to make timely changes that you can implement in the fall when the students return to campus.

About Alarmingly Affordable

With over 35 years of electronic security system experience, the principals of ALARMINGLY AFFORDABLE realize the importance of building and maintaining long-term relationships with both our customers and our suppliers. We take pride in providing our clients with an unparalleled level of quality and service.

The post 5 Critical Aspects Of Assessing The Vulnerabilities And Risks Of Your Campus appeared first on Alarmingly Affordable.

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Technology today allows seniors to safely remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Remote monitoring services ensure that someone is always watching out for your elderly parents when you’re not close.

Smart Home Automation Combines Security and Wellness Care

Smart home automation and remote monitoring make it possible for a caretaker to receive text alerts that advise you if a camera picks up movement at the front door. You’ll also receive alerts if sensors placed on the bed can detect if there is significant movement at night.

Emergency pendants are another critical solution to help older Americans stay at home instead of moving to a nursing home. These pendants have a button that the person wearing it can push if they fall or have a medical emergency. They are monitored 24/7 by an alarm center that calls keyholders on a list and emergency services if needed. You’ll never have to worry about a family member falling and laying on the floor undiscovered for days.

More Comprehensive Solutions

Smart home solutions are becoming so comprehensive that they can even monitor the quality of life of the older adult as well as supply them with a sense of security. Systems like this assure caregivers that their aging family members are safe and always being watched.

These solutions are much more than just an emergency pendant. Sensors are placed around the house to monitor your family member’s quality of life. AI algorithms analyze activity information to learn patterns and routines so that the technology recognizes changes that put the senior at risk.

Wellness safety solutions also report changes in eating and sleeping patterns as well as emergencies, the frequency of bathroom visits, and even if the person monitored is taking their medications. The system monitors these patterns through sensors placed on refrigerators, beds, and medicine cabinets.

The Convenience of Automation

Smart home automation allows you to schedule rules that enable the system to take care of everyday tasks. It can automatically adjust the temperature, lock the doors, and turn off the lights at night. You never have to worry about your family member’s safety if they forget to secure the house for the evening.

Voice control allows you to issue commands to turn the lights on or off. This feature also lets your parents control the temperature and security system as well.

Remote monitoring and smart home automation provide the elderly with the ability to live at home safely. You’ll never have to worry about their wellbeing because your older family members are always being looked over by an intelligent security solution that alerts you if any problems arise.

About Alarmingly Affordable

With over 30 years of electronic security system experience, the principals of ALARMINGLY AFFORDABLE realize the importance of building and maintaining long-term relationships with both our customers and our suppliers. We take pride in providing our clients with an unparalleled level of quality and service.

The post Technology & Seniors: Living Better On Their Own appeared first on Alarmingly Affordable.

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The non-profit organization, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), dedicates themselves to promoting electrical safety at work, home, and school. May is National Electrical Safety Month and sparks the EFSI’s annual campaign to educate people on electrical safety. Smart home security plays a vital role in electrical safety.

Electrocution Deaths

There are approximately 4,000 injuries and 300 deaths by electrocution every year. It’s the sixth leading cause of death in the workplace in the United States. The construction trades suffer 44 percent of work-related fatalities but only makeup 8 percent of the American workforce. Other people are electrocuted in preventable home accidents.

Electrical Safety and Home Security

Home security and alarm monitoring play critical roles in home electrical safety. Contact sensors and cameras are exceptionally useful in preventing deaths related to electrical problems or careless electrical accidents.

Cameras outside and inside your home allow you to see what is going on around your property. They can also help you see electrical hazards such as corded electronics laying by the pool. You can place contact sensors by electrical outlets so that you receive an alert when one of your children gets too close to the outlet.

Electrical Fires

Alarm monitoring can save your life in the event of an electrical fire. Smoke detectors and cameras monitored 24/7 give you the advantage of time in a fire emergency. Seconds matter in fire incidents and the monitoring center alerts you and notifies emergency services immediately.

Electrical Surge Prevention

Surge protectors are excellent tools to protect your electronics and appliances from lightning and storm damage. However, surge protectors can’t help with direct lightning strikes. It’s best to unplug your appliances and electronics during storms. Home security comes to the rescue if a lightning strike causes a fire in your residence or on your property.

Practice Electrical Safety

Thankfully, we have organizations such as EFSI to educate us on electrical safety. This year’s theme for electrical safety focuses on, “Electrical Safety During Natural Disasters”. EFSI explains how to prepare and endure a natural disaster and then rebuild afterward.

About Alarmingly Affordable

With over 35 years of electronic security system experience, the principals of ALARMINGLY AFFORDABLE realize the importance of building and maintaining long-term relationships with both our customers and our suppliers. We take pride in providing our clients with an unparalleled level of quality and service.

The post National Electrical Safety Month: The Role Home Security Plays in Electrical Safety appeared first on Alarmingly Affordable.

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As summer heads our way and temperatures climb, so will those electric bills. Saving energy is one significant reason for automating your home’s systems such as heating and cooling. A smart thermostat can save you substantial money on your cooling and heating bills.

Smart Thermostats Work with Your Home Security System to Save Money

Smart thermostats integrate with your home security system for the ultimate combination in home automation. Certain security features such as window sensors trigger the thermostat to minimize energy waste when a window is left open. The intelligent thermostat automatically sets the system to energy saving mode or sets the temperature back.

The homeowner will receive an alert on their smartphone to close the window. If they aren’t home than the thermostat stays in energy saving mode until someone closes the door.

Through AI technology intelligent thermostats allow you to program the specific settings you want to use throughout the day. Intelligent thermostats learn from your energy usage patterns and adjust the temperature in your home accordingly. You can also manage the temperature settings through your smartphone to reduce energy usage.

Energy Savings Start Automatically Once You Secure Your House or When You Leave Home

How many times have you left on vacation and forgot to turn the thermostat back? It’s happened to all of us, but Geo-Services help in these instances. This feature of home automation uses the location of your smartphone to automate your heating and cooling.

Certain geo-fences are set through your system so when you cross one leaving town; the thermostat sets the temperature back. When you’re coming home and cross the geo-fence, it brings the temperature back up or down to your preferred settings. The house will be at the perfect comfort level when you arrive home.

Another great feature of these smart thermostats is that they can automatically set the temperature back once you secure the house for the night. There’s no need to worry if you forget to set the thermostat back before you go to bed. Alarming your system can trigger the thermostat to adjust the temperature as well as lower the window shades and turn the lights in the house off. This intelligent technology even lets you create “scenes” that perform all of these actions at once.

Contact Alarmingly Affordable Today

These smart thermostats appear complicated, but they’re easier to use than many programmable thermostats. They also conserve energy making your savings significant. If you have any questions about smart thermostats or other smart home technologies, call Alarmingly Affordable today.

The post Lower Your Utility Bills This Summer with Smart Thermostats appeared first on Alarmingly Affordable.

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Moving to a new home is never an easy process. There are so many tasks and projects to do, and then there is the stress of moving into an unfamiliar neighborhood with people that you don’t know. One solution that can make your life easier is a smart home security system. It doesn’t just protect your home and family; it can help you with your list of things to get done.

Protect Your New Home

There are several things that you can do to protect your new house. For starters, change all of the exterior door locks. The previous homeowners may still have a key to the residence or have loaned one to somebody.

A new smart home security system is an excellent addition to your new home. Since your likely in an unfamiliar neighborhood, a customized security system can diminish your fears. These security systems can include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, sensors for your windows and doors, image sensors, and a monitored alarm system.

Connect all of this with smartphone technology, and you can use voice activation in your new home as well. Turn the lights out in all of the rooms or just one using simple voice commands. Also, a monitored system means that someone is always watching out for your family’s safety 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If the house came with an alarm system, make sure you have a professional inspect it and reactivate it. An older alarm system may need to be replaced to work with smart home technology.

Help with Energy Efficiency

It can take a long time to make your house energy efficient by replacing windows, lighting, and older appliances. A smart home thermostat starts saving you money immediately. The system knows when you aren’t home, so it keeps your home comfortable when you’re there and adjusts the thermostat when away for maximum energy efficiency. It can even sense when a window is left open and adjust the thermostat accordingly.

Hassle-Free Access

Access control for smart homes is simple and convenient. It allows you to let trusted visitors and contractors in remotely. There is no need to leave a spare key somewhere outside where the wrong people can find it. There’s also a recorded log of the time someone was let in and what member of the family granted them access.

Smart home security systems do so much more than alarm systems of the past. If you value the safety and security of your home and family than intelligent home technology is the perfect solution to tackle that to-do list for your new home.

About Alarmingly Affordable

With over 30 years of electronic security system experience, the principals of ALARMINGLY AFFORDABLE realize the importance of building and maintaining long-term relationships with both our customers and our suppliers. We take pride in providing our clients with an unparalleled level of quality and service.

The post Why Home Security Should Be on Every Moving Checklist in Staten Island appeared first on Alarmingly Affordable.

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Smart home technology allows you to automate your home’s systems to save money and protect your family. When you move into your new home, connect voice activation to your home security to control the various systems and devices in your house.

This technology allows you to use a mobile app on your smartphone to control the thermostat, view your home through video cameras, and more. While you’re at home though, voice control is the way to go. It’s incredible that such sophisticated and smart technology can simplify your life.

How Voice Activation Works

Voice activation remains asleep when you’re not using it which is great. You wouldn’t want the system responding to arbitrary commands when you’re talking to someone else.

To activate voice control, you need to wake it up. Select a phrase or word that isn’t common that awakens your system when said out loud. This command wakes up the computer, and it stands by for directions. These commands are scripts or macros that the computer searches for in its library. It finds a script that applies and then runs it.

Ask Alexa to Control Your Devices

Want to turn a lamp on in your living room? Just ask Alexa, Amazon Echo, or Google Home to, “turn the lights in the kitchen on.” You can control groups of devices as well such as saying, “Alexa turn off the lights.” Instead of going around to lock all of the doors in your house at night, just ask Alexa to tell the alarm system to lock the doors.

Change the Temperature Throughout Your Home

You can even use voice activation to adjust your thermostat by comfort level or value. By value simply ask Alexa to set the temperature to whatever you desire such as, “Alexa, turn the temperature to 72.” By comfort level ask Alexa to lower the temperature.

The ability to control your lights or lock your days without getting out of bed or your chair is impressive. In today’s fast-paced world, we need all of the assistance we can get and if Alexa, Google Home, or Amazon Echo can make life easier than that’s one more task off of your plate.

The post New Neighborhood, New Apps: Meet Alexa and Friends appeared first on Alarmingly Affordable.

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It’s the time of year where everyone’s deciding what to spend their tax refund on. This year the average refund is $1,949. That amount is down 8.7 percent from last year but still plenty of money to invest in your home. Before you purchase that new hot tub for your deck or new hardwood flooring, there’s a different home improvement trending now: smart home technology.

What is Smart Home Technology?

smart home system is much more than a security system, although security is a primary component. Smart home security technology allows us to connect our smart devices to our home. This technology allows you to make your home more efficient, protect your family and belongings, save money, and control everything with just one app.

Many home insurance companies offer discounts for security systems that are professionally monitored. These insurance companies understand that the best smart home security systems work on a complex platform that detects security breaches and deters intruders.

With a smart home system, you can do things such as:

  • Turn on the lights in your house while you are still in your car, so you’ll never have to enter a dark home again.
  • Open the garage door as you pull in your driveway
  • Control the temperature on your thermostat with your phone while you’re away from your home
  • Install a video doorbell alarm so you can always see who is at your front door
  • View your home from anywhere with a smart device through security cameras
  • 24-hour home burglary and fire monitoring
How Do Smart Home Security Systems Save Money?

You may think that smart home security is expensive, but it costs as much as the average loss from a home burglary. Not only does it protect you from break-ins, but it also saves you money in other ways too.

Many home insurance companies offer discounts for security systems that are professionally monitored. These insurance companies understand that the best smart home security systems work on a complex platform that detects security breaches and deters intruders.

Smart home thermostats are cutting edge and help save you money in many ways. You can program your settings for different times of the day and night. These systems are so efficient they can automatically save energy when you go to work, and no one is home. Also, doors and windows have sensors so when a window or door is left open; the system triggers the thermostat to set to an energy savings mode.

A professional system installed by a reputable company gives your smart home system a longer life. There are regular system updates that often come with new features. There is an excellent return on your investment when you put your tax money into a smarter security system that works for you. An intelligent home security system also increases your property value. It’s the best home upgrade that you can use your tax refund.

About Alarmingly Affordable

With over 30 years of electronic security system experience, the principals of ALARMINGLY AFFORDABLE realize the importance of building and maintaining long-term relationships with both our customers and our suppliers. We take pride in providing our clients with an unparalleled level of quality and service.

The post Moving? Secure Your New Home (Or Take Us With You and Upgrade) appeared first on Alarmingly Affordable.

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