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Security Articles

Keeping Your Home Safe with Home Security Lightning

Home Security Lightning to Keep You Safe

safetech home security lightningHome security lightning systems and business security systems are great ways to keep your property safe. Installing alarm systems, security cameras, window bars, gates and other security services can certainly keep your property secure.

However, there is one aspect of security that people often overlook: Lightning.

Having proper home security lightning around your home or office is a very effective way to protect your property. How? It goes back to one of the most basic aspects of security: Criminals do not want to be seen.

This is the same reason why security cameras are so effective. No one wants to be caught breaking into a building or vandalizing a property. Not only does being seen increase the risk of being noticed while the crime is taking place, but it also greatly increases the risk that the criminal will be identified and caught by police. Having proper lightning will deter criminals.

You can make your home or office safer and protect it from danger by installing security lightning in various key locations. Take a look at your property and try to get inside the mind of a potential criminal. Think of places where the criminal could hide in the shadows. Think of where he or she could plan an attack. Then light those places. If you have adequate lightning, you’ll eliminate places where criminals can hide.

You’ll also want to illuminate the areas around doors and windows. If these locations are lit up, criminals won’t be able to attempt a break-in without being noticed. Lightning also helps security cameras capture more detailed video, which will make it easier to catch criminals in the act and hold them responsible for their crimes.

Lightning can also protect your person, not just your property. Criminals often lurk in the darkness while they wait to strike. It’s important to have proper lightning near your driveway, your garage, your garden, the walkway to your home and any other areas where you could be in danger of an attack.

Two of the most popular types of lightning are motion-activated lights and lights that are activated by darkness. Motion-activated lights turn on whenever someone walks by them. These are great because they are energy-efficient. You’ll only use the lights when you need them. They can also startle a burglar if they turn on suddenly. Lights that are activated by darkness turn on automatically during the light or other low-light times. These are great because you don’t have to remember to turn them on and off all the time.

We recommend that you use a mixture of both types of home security lightning. For more information on home and business security services, please contact us today.
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Security Tips from a Burglar: Protect your Home

Security Tips from a Burglar

security tips There are over 12,392 reported burglaries in Toronto each year. These burglaries are not unique to certain neighbourhoods or pockets of the city; every home in Toronto is susceptible to the threat of break-ins. There are various techniques residents implement every day to protect their home from this looming threat, some strategies work, while others are less successful. How do you know if you are taking the right steps to protecting your home? In a recent article in the Bayview Post by Malcolm Johnston, an unnamed ex-convict and burglar visited a handful of neighbourhoods throughout Toronto and detailed what home owners can do to safeguard against burglaries.

One of the first lines of defence that many home owners use to prevent break-ins is a security alarm system. However, as the ex-convict points out in the story, an alarm system is useless if it is not properly installed. Most alarm systems are triggered by motion detectors placed throughout a home. When armed these motion detectors will trigger the alarm if motion is detected. According to the security tips of a burglar in the story most of these motion detectors leave a foot and a half gap in coverage along the floor. He indicated that many times he would be able to bypass a motion detector by crawling on the floor. If he saw the monitor go red he would lay silent and still until the light turned green. There are two ways to ensure that your motion detectors provide the best possible protection. The first is position them so they cover the floor. The second is position them in places that hide them from intruders. The burglar in the story admitted that if he ever set off the alarm, he left as quickly as he could.

A second tactic the burglar described he would use to break into houses is breaking basement or ground floor windows to gain entrance to a home. Most alarm systems include window contacts that trigger the alarm systems if a window is broken or tampered with. The burglar indicated that depending on the style window, he sometimes could remove it from the frame entirely avoiding the window contact completely. He suggested using tempered glass which he described as unbreakable to deter burglars from gaining access to your home. However, in this respect he is incorrect, tempered glass is made to shatter in many pieces when broken and as a result a burglar can still get inside your home if this is the only strategy you use. The best option would be to use a window film. Window film is a clear film that when applied to the inside surface of glass; can help keep glass fragments together on the surface of the film while the glass remains in the frame.

The ex-convict in the Bayview Post article mentioned a handful of other tactics to avoid break-ins and burglary. Among these security tips were, get a dog or a dog toy, burglars will avoid homes with a barking alarm. Investing in solid doors that can’t be kicked in and installing deadbolt locks is another valuable tip as is closing your blinds when your not home and keeping an eye on suspicious people in your neighbourhood. However, one security measure that he did not mention that is an incredibly powerful deterrent is a security camera. Security cameras are one of the most powerful tools you can implement to deter break-ins and protect your home. While in the past security cameras were once thought to be only used in commercial or industrial settings their successful results have seen them installed in more and more residential homes. For more information on break-in prevention security tips or to learn more about any of the security products discussed here contact SafeTech alarms today!
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System Monitoring: 3 Things You Didn’t Know

System Monitoring: Important Information

system monitoring The modern home is filled with various computer systems that monitor and protect your home from a variety of elements, such as breaks-ins, fire, gas leaks and floods. These systems combined make up what has become known as a smart home. A smart home is more than just a buzz word; it is a system of computers that when properly implemented and monitored can provide your home with safety and security that is unlike anything else that exists today on the market. The key to getting that safety and security though is having system monitoring; which means each element can be linked together and be monitored by a security company’s monitoring center.

The first component of alarm and security system monitoring is one we are all familiar with; smoke detectors. As we all know smoke detectors are a vital part of the safety and security of any home or apartment. Smoke Detectors should be installed in various places throughout your home and should be serviced and checked on a regular basis. What many people do not realize is that you can add to the security a smoke detector provides by implementing system monitoring. This way when your smoke detector goes off it will not only alert you but the staff at a monitoring centre, who can dispatch the fire department to your house right away.

The Value of Alarm System Monitoring

Installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector is another aspect of system monitoring that can save the lives of you and your family. Carbon Monoxide is a deadly gas that is produced by dozens of household appliances. When these appliances are not functioning properly or a house is not ventilated properly this colourless and odourless gas can build up in a home unbeknownst to its residents, until it becomes fatal. Because the gas is impossible to detect it is imperative that home owners use a carbon monoxide detector equip with system monitoring. In the event that you are away the monitoring center will contact you and inform you that you should be careful upon return to your home due to high levels of Carbon Monoxide.

The final aspect of system monitoring that we will mention on this post deals with flood detectors. Whether it is due to excessive rainfall, leaky foundations, or bursts in water pipes, floods are a common occurrence in many homes. Installing a flood detector that is connected to system monitoring alerts you to the presence of floods in your home and allows you to take the necessary steps to either stop the flood from continuing or protect your valuables before it gets too bad. A monitoring center is particularly important for when you are away from your home as they can make you aware of the problem so you can take the necessary steps to address it.

System monitoring also deals heavily with alarm systems and security surveillance systems but that is a post for another day. In the meantime if you have any questions you can contact SafeTech.
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Monitored Carbon Monoxide Detectors can Save Your Life
Carbon Monoxide is a deadly toxic gas that is undetectable due to the fact that it is a colourless, odourless and tasteless. Each year hundreds of people are killed across North America in their own homes by this deadly poisonous gas. As you can see, it’s important to protect yourself from this gas, known as the silent killer. You can do so by having monitored carbon monoxide detectors installed. Carbon Monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of the fossil fuels that are present in very common household appliances like furnaces. Because carbon monoxide can be generated from everyday appliances, it is a necessity to protect yourself and your family by installing a monitored carbon monoxide detector. Take a look at this video to learn more about how Carbon Monoxide detectors save lives.

Benefits of Monitored Carbon Monoxide Detectors

One of the main benefits of monitored carbon monoxide detectors compared to those that are not connected to a monitoring service is that the detectors are watched over by a central monitoring station. This means that, if dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are noticed, you will be contacted right away. Unfortunately, without monitored carbon monoxide detectors, some people may not be notified in time. Carbon monoxide can cause a person to pass out. If someone is unconscious, they will not hear the signal from the detector. Imagine being away at work when high levels of carbon monoxide enter your home. Your family could be seriously harmed without you being aware and without them being able to respond. With monitored carbon monoxide tools, you will receive a call to report on the dangerous situation. You can then contact the authorities and have them come to your home to check on your family. This added peace of mind is only possible when you have monitored carbon monoxide services installed.
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Smoke Detectors Benefits

Smoke Detectors Benefits

smoke detectors benefits This article is about the smoke detectors benefits. Before you read any further ask yourself, do you have a smoke detector? If you do, when was the last time you checked to see if it worked? Do you have enough detectors in your house to properly protect you and your family from fires? These are all tremendously important questions as a properly installed and maintained network of smoke detectors is the most effective way to alert yourself to a fire in your home. When a fire starts a smoke detector can literally mean the difference between saving your home and losing everything or even more serious the difference between life and death. Every year thousands of people in North America lose their lives in home fires that could have been easily prevented with the installation of these detectors.

Smoke Detectors – Safety and Security

There are a few simple suggestions to follow in order to get the most out of your smoke detectors and increase your safety and security. First smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. This ensures that no matter where a fire breaks out there is a smoke detector in place that can alert the residents of the home. These some detectors can be interconnected which means when one goes off they all go off so no matter where you are in the house you will be made aware of the situation. An even better step is to link your smoke detector with a SafeTech alarm system and have it monitored by our central monitoring station. This way when your smoke detector goes off it will not only alert you but our staff in the monitoring centre. When your smoke detector goes of our staff will call you to verify the fire. If you indicate there is a fire or they can not reach you they will dispatch the fire department right away. By having your smoke detector monitored your home will be protected even when you are away.

Maintenance of Smoke Detectors

Another way to ensure your smoke detectors work to the best of there abilities is to perform regular maintenance and checks on them. Smoke detectors should be checked at least monthly by pushing the designated test button to hear the alarm sound. The batteries of any smoke detector should be changed annually, if your smoke detector start making chirping sounds it means the batteries are low and need to be changed immediately. Never take out batteries without replacing them with new ones. All smoke detectors should be replaced after ten years of use as well.

One of the most important smoke detectors benefits is that they are a vital part of any home security system. If you have a home, or family it is important that you have the necessary amount of these detectors installed and ensure that they are always functioning properly. For more information on smoke detectors and how they can be monitored contact SafeTech Alarm Systems today!
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Security Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance Cameras Types

security surveillance camerasSecurity surveillance cameras were once only thought to be security options for industrial complexes, government facilities or large commercial enterprises. These days, however, anyone can enjoy the safety and security provided by one of the most powerful tools in the security industry. Thanks to advances in technology, a security surveillance cameras can easily fit into most people’s budget. Installing a surveillance camera is an excellent complement to any existing security system and can add significant protection to any home, office or business. While there are multiple forms of surveillance cameras and equipment on the market they can primarily be broken down into two large categories, surveillance cameras that can be seen and surveillance cameras that are hidden. Both have advantages that make them a smart choice depending on the environments you wish to use them in.

Security Surveillance Cameras at Public

These days it is very common to see surveillance cameras in stores, offices and other public spaces. The presence of highly visible security surveillance cameras does two things. First of all it acts as a deterrent to crime. Most criminals do not want to be recorded engaged in any form of criminal activity as they realize that it significantly increases their chances of being prosecuted. The second thing a highly visible security surveillance camera accomplishes is peace of mind for the individuals using the office, store, business or public space. People feel safer and more secure knowing that a security surveillance camera is deterring crime.

While surveillance cameras have traditionally been used in office and business environments they are increasingly being used in residential environments to protect homes and families. The biggest benefit of a having a highly visible surveillance camera installed on the outside of your house is that it makes burglars think twice before breaking into your home. Most criminals make the assumption that the surveillance camera is a component of a more complex security system and in most cases this is a correct assumption.

Spy Surveillance Cameras

Another type of security surveillance camera that has risen to prominence in both the commercial and residential market is spy cameras. These types of surveillance cameras are used to catch criminals who are commonly present in your home or office. These cameras which are hidden in your home or office are used to watch individuals who have access to your premise. The classic example of this is the nanny cam hidden within toys to observe the behaviour of people you have hired to take care of your children. These types of surveillance cameras are also used to watch housekeepers, gardeners, maids, contractors and many more individuals who may have access to your home or office. The advantage of hidden cameras is that people don’t know where they are, for this reason they are incredibly successful at catching criminals in the act of committing a crime.

For more information on security surveillance cameras contact SafeTech today!
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Electronic Article Surveillance
electronic article surveillance detection systemsNo matter the inventory or the clientele, retail sales outlets are popular targets of shop lifting and theft. There are a variety of security solutions that many stores implement in hopes of combating this inventory loss including, security surveillance cameras and security guards. However, the most widely used anti-theft security option is electronic article surveillance or EAS. While electronic article surveillance may sound unfamiliar chances are you have seen it in action at many retail outlets across Canada. Every time you are in a store and you hear an individual set off an alarm as they exit, that is electronic article surveillance at work.

How Electronic Article Surveillance Works

There are three main components of any electronic article surveillance system; the security tag, the security tag detacher and the detection system. The first element of an electronic article surveillance system is the security tag. Security tags are items that you are probably familiar with as many businesses use them to protect a variety of different products. Everything from books, to appliances, to clothing use a form of security tag to prevent shoplifting. The security tag that is most common is the hard plastic rectangle that is placed on many large clothing items like, sweaters, jackets, suits and dresses. This security tag is made highly visible in order to deter shoplifting from taking place. When shoplifters see this tag they realize that attempting to take the item out of the store will set off an alarm. This brings us to the second part of electronic article surveillance. security tag Attaching a security tag to a piece of inventory is not enough to protect it from being stolen. In order to effectively protect your products you must also place a detection system at all entrances into your store. Detection systems are tall gate like structures that are commonly seen in most retail outlets. When a security tag crosses the threshold between the two posts of the detection system an alarm will sound. Therefore any article that is affixed with a proper security tag will not be able to be taken outside of the store without alerting the staff as well as other customers. The simple placement of a detection system at the entrance of a retail store is enough to discourage a shoplifter from entering in the first place.

Understanding Electronic Article Surveillance

This probably sounds great. You attach security tags to the items in your store, you put up a detection system at the entrance and nothing can leave your store without you knowing. But what about the items you sell, the items you want leaving the store, how do you get the security tags off these items so your paying customers don’t set off the alarm? This is where the third element of the electronic article surveillance system, the security tag detacher, comes into play. The security tag detacher is a simple handheld machine that attaches to the security tag and releases it from the item leaving no scratches and no marks. The security tag detacher allows you to safely detach the security tag and reuse it. It also allows for your customers to leave happy.

There are many other aspects and elements of electronic article surveillance that we will examine on this blog in the coming weeks. For now if you have any questions on electronic article surveillance, security tags, detection systems or security tag detachers please contact SafeTech.
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SafeTech CEO Appears before Toronto City Councillors Committee hearing on “False Fire Alarm Bylaw”
false fire alarmI would like to thank the committee for allowing me the opportunity to speak on behalf of myself, the alarm industry and the many thousand of clients that SafeTech monitors and protects in this great city.

I own an alarm company called SafeTech Alarm Systems that services the Greater Toronto area. We are responsible for monitoring homes and businesses, mainly average size dwellings and small businesses, protecting people and their property.  We monitor against unlawful entry and various hazards such as flood, fire, carbon monoxide and natural gas poisoning etc…

I am here today to raise some concerns regarding the changes made in April 2010 to the City of Toronto False Fire Alarm Bylaw and state my objection to the proposed budget increase now being contemplated. I also encourage you to support Councilor Lindsay Ruby’s motion at City Council to re-instate the original Bylaw exemption of one false alarm per year.

The old False Fire Alarm Bylaw

The old False Fire Alarm Bylaw gave municipal property owners one free dispatch per annum and ‘Fire Services’ when required dispatched two vehicles at a total cost of $700.00. In April 2010 Toronto City Council removed the exemption for the first dispatch and ‘Fire Services’ began sending three vehicles per incident for a total cost of $1050.00. With the newly proposed $60.00 per vehicle increase the new rate of $410 per vehicle would mean home and building owners deemed at fault for a false alarm would now end up having to pay $1230.00 and this amount is out of reach for most property owners.

Out of my entire client base approx 10%, no more, are monitored for smoke and fire detection. Of that group only about 1% will have a false fire alarm dispatch per year. Up until recently, when a fire alarm signal was received by our central station we immediately called the premise; if we did not get an answer we called all the key holders and attempted to verify the fire alarm. Most of the time we are able to reach someone or check the account history and determine in advance if the signal was false or not. I believed the system worked fine!

However, now with the current Fire Alarm Bylaw costing $1050 for each False Fire alarm dispatch alarm companies have had to change the way they do things and not for the better. I have had to instruct my central station to not dispatch on a fire alarm unless it is verified by a client or key holder. This new policy puts the home owner at risk because now we will not dispatch unless we are sure. And we can’t always be sure. If we don’t dispatch and the place burns down and god for bid if there are occupants inside – it will be my liability. I think the new bylaw needs to consider all stake holders and the real incremental cost of a fire alarm dispatch. If the firemen and the vehicles are on standby anyway the actual incremental cost to perform a dispatch is not significant. Please consider this before raising the fire dispatch fee.

false fire alarmUnder present rules a fire alarm dispatch can not be aborted. Once in progress three fire trucks must attend to the scene where the fire alarm was generated and make a physical determination of the fires authenticity. Even if a central monitoring station operator receives a call from the subject property owner indicating that the fire is false there is nothing he or she can do to cancel the dispatch, all fire trucks will still attend to the scene. This is a waste of valuable resources. The current dispatch policy is too rigid and will only ignite the frustration of property owners.

Even though municipalities have had a long history of providing emergency support services to home and building owners as part of the services provided to property tax payers the new False Fire Alarm Bylaw seeks to penalize anyone with a monitored fire alarm. The new bylaw is excessively restrictive and does not seek to find alternative less intrusive methods of reducing costs or minimizing the impact to Toronto property owners. In fact, I believe it would not be difficult to make a strong constitutional argument that the new bylaw infringes on the rights of property owners as is guaranteed by our County’s Constitution under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which requires law makers to create laws that are not overly restrictive and which will have minimal impact on citizen rights.

Building owners have a right to protect their property from the ravages of fire. As property tax payers they are entitled to use and rely upon the ‘fire services’ of this City. The new False Fire Alarm Bylaw may seek to reduce the nuisance of false fire alarm dispatches but what it actually accomplishes is the reduction of all fire dispatch services, both real and false, putting both home and business owners at risk!
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