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In The News – Articles



SafeTech Alarm Systems receives several “Best of 2017” awards due to glowing customer reviews and an ongoing dedication to service excellence.

Once again, SafeTech Alarm Systems has been recognized by HomeStars as an outstanding provider of security services, alarm systems, and smart home technology.

As a part of the HomeStars “Best of 2017” awards, SafeTech has been recognized for excellence in the categories of Alarm Systems, Locks & Locksmiths, and Home Automation.

HomeStars is Canada’s largest, most trusted, and most respected source of home professional reviews. HomeStars collects and publishes reviews from real homeowners that contain information on the quality of the work provided, the level of customer service received, and the provider’s dedication to after-sales support.

The coveted HomeStars “Best Of” awards are presented annually to companies that earn the highest reputation rankings based on thousands of reviews made by homeowners on Homestars. This is the sixth-straight year that SafeTech has been recognized by the experts at HomeStars.

SafeTech is incredibly proud of this recognition. For more than 25 years, SafeTech has taken pride in offering superior security and automation products and also on an intense focus on customer service excellence.

SafeTech understands that the security and automation needs of each person are different. For this reason, SafeTech’s loss prevention professionals don’t try to force a “one size fits all” strategy on clients. Instead, the company’s loss prevention team takes the time to listen to the needs of clients and works with them to develop a security and automation strategy that is designed to meet those needs.

“At SafeTech, we take care of the needs of our customers by actually listening to what they are looking for,” says Sean O’Leary, President & CEO of SafeTech. “By truly listening to our clients, we can make the right security and automation recommendations that will improve the security and efficiency of a person’s home.”

This focus on providing a superior customer service experience is what separate SafeTech from other companies and a big part of what has led to SafeTech once again receiving recognition from HomeStars.

“Everyone at SafeTech is incredibly proud to be once again recognized by HomeStars,” says O’Leary. “We have always been very focused on delivering the right services for our customers, so it is great to see that our clients continue to be thrilled with our services.”

For more information on SafeTech and its services, or to speak to one of SafeTech’s experienced loss prevention professionals about your security needs, contact SafeTech online at SafeTechAlarms.com or by phone at 416.229.9902 in Toronto or 1.888.939.3733 toll-free.


best of toronto

SafeTech Alarm Systems has once again been recognized by HomeStars, this time as one of HomeStars ‘Best of 2014!’ for Toronto! HomeStars presents awards to companies that earn the highest reputation rankings based on the thousands of reviews made by homeowners on homestars.com. It is the fifth-straight year that SafeTech has been recognized by HomeStars and SafeTech is taking this opportunity to thank its clients for their support and their reviews.

“For more than 25 years we at SafeTech have based our business on a dedication to customer service,” says Sean O’Leary, President of SafeTech Alarm Systems. “We are delighted to receive once again this recognition from our customers, for the fifth-straight year.” “I’m proud of our entire staff for going above and beyond to deliver high-quality service and superior customer support.”

Since 1990, SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property. SafeTech provides a variety of home and business security solutions, from 24-hour monitoring services to video surveillance cameras, security guard services, access control systems and more. SafeTech has achieved the lowest “rate of loss” in the industry by effectively blending different types of home and business security solutions to improve the effectiveness of the overall system. SafeTech protects thousands of homes and business in Toronto and across Canada.

“The best form of advertising is a satisfied client,” says O’Leary. “At SafeTech, we always strive to ensure that our clients receive a level of service that causes them to recommend us to others.”

SafeTech’s dedication to security always includes focusing on new technological advancements that make preventing crime and reducing loss more efficient and effective. This includes mobile security tools, smart home monitoring and more.


toronto-alarm-system-consumer-choice-awardTORONTO (May 2012) – SafeTech Alarm Systems has been named the Consumer Choice Award winner for Toronto alarm system companies. SafeTech Alarm Systems president Sean O’Leary was happy to accept the award at a ceremony on May 17th, 2012.

“This award means a lot to everyone at SafeTech,” says O’Leary. “SafeTech Alarm Systems prides ourselves on offering excellent service to our clients and we aim for 100% customer satisfaction. The fact that customers have chosen us as the best alarm system company in Toronto means a lot to us.”

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for more than 20 years. Founded in 1990, SafeTech provides home and business security systems, 24-hour monitoring services, video surveillance cameras, security guard services, access control systems and more. The company is based in Toronto and operates  throughout Ontario and across Canada. The Consumer Choice Award has recognized and promoted business excellence since 1987. Its unbiased research methodology is a true reflection of the opinions of the people. To determine Consumer Choice Award winners, Leger Marketing – the largest solely Canadian owned polling and market research firm in Canada – gathers the opinions of thousands and consumers and businesses with statistically accurate surveys in cities across the country. This eliminates bias and lobbying to find a true winner based on consumer opinion. When determining the Consumer Choice Award winner, several criteria are considered including quality of service and the value of products or services offered as well as overall service.

“We’ve always believed that our best form of advertising is a satisfied client,” says O’Leary, discussing SafeTech’s approach to customer satisfaction.“Our goal at SafeTech is to ensure that our clients are happy enough with our services that they’re prepared to recommend us to others. That’s the best endorsement possible.”

SafeTech has acheived the lowest “rate of loss” in the industry by blending together a variety of different home and businesses security technologies and procedures. SafeTech strategically locates security devices to offer total protection for thousands of homes and businesses across the country. SafeTech Alarm Systems’ unique ability to protect both people and property has set the highest security standard possible.

SafeTech continues to grow and meet the needs of clients by offering new technologies that make home and commercial security more efficient and affordable as well as easier to use. These advancements include technology that allows customers to use mobile phones, laptop computers, tablets and a variety of other devices to operate and monitor their security systems from anywhere in the world.


latOn February 9th, 2011, the customer review website HomeStars.com celebrated the winners of Toronto’s best contractors for the year 2010 at the Donalda Golf & Country Club, in Toronto, Ontario. In attendance were SafeTech Alarm Systems President Sean O’Leary and one of SafeTech Alarm System’s Salesperson, Brant Bell, who together accepted the award of Best Alarm Systems Provider 2010 on behalf of SafeTech Alarm Systems.

SafeTech Alarms won the best Alarm System Provider in Toronto distinction by receiving 68 customer reviews on the HomeStars website with an average customer ranking of 9.8 out of a possible 10. Customers who reviewed SafeTech were impressed with SafeTech’s no pressure sales approach, exceptional customer service, intuitive website and the quality of the alarm systems and installation process. These qualities compelled 68 customers to visit Homestars and share their experience on a public review site with other potential customers.

“I am very excited about the distinction”, says Sean O’Leary, President of SafeTech Alarm Systems. “There is no greater reward in any business than getting recognized for dedicated and professional service by your customers. I am proud of the entire SafeTech staff for delivering top quality service without forgetting the importance of personal interactions with customers”.

Homestars.com is an online word-of-mouth site that ranks local renovators, repairmen and home service retailers based on customer satisfaction. Each year HomeStars.com awards their best in Toronto award to the service provider that has the top customer reviews in each of the categories of the website. The awards on February 9th were held to honour the companies that received the highest reviews from their customers throughout the region.

SafeTech Alarm Systems has been offering security services throughout Canada for over 20 years. SafeTech specializes in security alarm systems, video surveillance, security guards, access control and security monitoring services. HomeStars.com is a growing online community of homeowners and home improvement companies throughout Canada and the U.S. HomeStars offers a free service for homeowners to find reputable renovators, repairmen and retailers by searching its database of almost 2 million companies.


td

Why Leave Your Premises Defenceless over the Holiday Season?

If you are traveling during the Holidays, your home or business may be susceptible to break-ins and theft. SafeTech has a few tips to help you protect your premises while you are away.

Detection with Video Verification

altA simple security system consisting of door and window contacts and a motion detector  can be controlled easily by a touch screen keypad or wireless key remote and will deter a break-in and protect all your premise. Just make sure you display the “warning” decals! Furthermore, your alarm system can be monitored by a 24 hour central monitoring station. The monitoring station is alerted if your alarm is triggered and they will notify you and dispatch the authorities. Alarm systems protect your premises from more than just break-ins they can also detect trouble conditions such as smoke and fire, low temperature, flood or fluid detection, poisonous gas and power failures. The technology in alarm systems is so advanced that you can receive e-mail activity reports directly to your blackberry, iphone, ipad or laptop. You could also sync one or more security cameras with your alarm system and view the feed directly from your PDA following an alarm. With the advances in technology you can watch over your premises no matter where you are in the world.

Lighting

Another excellent tip to keep your premises safe and secure is to set your lights to timers. Light timers can be picked up at any hardware store and can easily be plugged in with your lights. Timers allow you to control when your lights go on and off while you are away. Some more advanced systems can even be controlled remotely from your smart phone and integrated with your alarm. Regardless of the system you purchase it is important to not just set the internal lights to timers but also any exterior lights. Exterior lights prevent intruders from getting close enough to your residence to determine if anyone is home. Another great way to keep your premises protected is to install perimeter motion flood lights. These bright lights turn on when movement is detected outside and the surprise illumination will draw attention to the area and is disturbing to any would-be thief!

Mobile Security Guard Patrols

Another way to secure your premises while you are away is to hire mobile security guards to patrol your property every night. If you are going away you can contact a security company and hire a guard to stop by and do an exterior inspection of your premises every night, they can even remove and accumulation of papers and mail at the front door. SafeTech provides both mobile nightly patrols and emergency guard response to watch over properties 24 hours a day.

SafeTech has been offering security services throughout Canada for over 20 years. SafeTech specializes in security alarm systems, video surveillance, security guards, access control and security monitoring services. “You can cut theft by 50% simply by adding intrusion detection equipment”, says SafeTech President, Sean O’Leary, “at SafeTech we have the lowest rate of loss in the industry”.


alt

Why Leave Your Premises Defenceless over the Holiday Season?

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/189969#ixzz1DI0Q3uV2

TORONTO, Dec. 23 /CNW/ – If you are traveling during the Holidays, your home or business may be susceptible to break-ins and theft. SafeTech has a few tips to help you protect your premises while you are away.

Detection with Video Verification

latA simple security system consisting of door and window contacts and a motion detector  can be controlled easily by a touch screen keypad or wireless key remote and will deter a break-in and protect all your premise. Just make sure you display the “warning” decals! Furthermore, your alarm system can be monitored by a 24 hour central monitoring station. The monitoring station is alerted if your alarm is triggered and they will notify you and dispatch the authorities. Alarm systems protect your premises from more than just break-ins they can also detect trouble conditions such as smoke and fire, low temperature, flood or fluid detection, poisonous gas and power failures. The technology in alarm systems is so advanced that you can receive e-mail activity reports directly to your blackberry, iphone, ipad or laptop. You could also sync one or more security cameras with your alarm system and view the feed directly from your PDA following an alarm. With the advances in technology you can watch over your premises no matter where you are in the world.

Lighting

Another excellent tip to keep your premises safe and secure is to set your lights to timers. Light timers can be picked up at any hardware store and can easily be plugged in with your lights. Timers allow you to control when your lights go on and off while you are away. Some more advanced systems can even be controlled remotely from your smart phone and integrated with your alarm. Regardless of the system you purchase it is important to not just set the internal lights to timers but also any exterior lights. Exterior lights prevent intruders from getting close enough to your residence to determine if anyone is home. Another great way to keep your premises protected is to install perimeter motion flood lights. These bright lights turn on when movement is detected outside and the surprise illumination will draw attention to the area and is disturbing to any would-be thief!

Mobile Security Guard Patrols

Another way to secure your premises while you are away is to hire mobile security guards to patrol your property every night. If you are going away you can contact a security company and hire a guard to stop by and do an exterior inspection of your premises every night, they can even remove and accumulation of papers and mail at the front door. SafeTech provides both mobile nightly patrols and emergency guard response to watch over properties 24 hours a day.

SafeTech has been offering security services throughout Canada for over 20 years. SafeTech specializes in security alarm systems, video surveillance, security guards, access control and security monitoring services. “You can cut theft by 50% simply by adding intrusion detection equipment”, says SafeTech President, Sean O’Leary, “at SafeTech we have the lowest rate of loss in the industry”.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/189969#ixzz1DI0Q3uV2


CB News Logo

Why Leave Your Premises Defenceless over the Holiday Season?

TORONTO, Dec. 23 /CNW/ – If you are traveling during the Holidays, your home or business may be susceptible to break-ins and theft. SafeTech has a few tips to help you protect your premises while you are away.

CB News OnlineDetection with Video Verification A simple security system consisting of door and window contacts and a motion detector can be controlled easily by a touch screen keypad or wireless key remote and will deter a break-in and protect all your premise. Just make sure you display the “warning” decals! Furthermore, your alarm system can be monitored by a 24 hour central monitoring station. The monitoring station is alerted if your alarm is triggered and they will notify you and dispatch the authorities. Alarm systems protect your premises from more than just break-ins they can also detect trouble conditions such as smoke and fire, low temperature, flood or fluid detection, poisonous gas and power failures. The technology in alarm systems is so advanced that you can receive e-mail activity reports directly to your blackberry, iphone, ipad or laptop. You could also sync one or more security cameras with your alarm system and view the feed directly from your PDA following an alarm. With the advances in technology you can watch over your premises no matter where you are in the world.

Lighting Another excellent tip to keep your premises safe and secure is to set your lights to timers. Light timers can be picked up at any hardware store and can easily be plugged in with your lights. Timers allow you to control when your lights go on and off while you are away. Some more advanced systems can even be controlled remotely from your smart phone and integrated with your alarm. Regardless of the system you purchase it is important to not just set the internal lights to timers but also any exterior lights. Exterior lights prevent intruders from getting close enough to your residence to determine if anyone is home. Another great way to keep your premises protected is to install perimeter motion flood lights. These bright lights turn on when movement is detected outside and the surprise illumination will draw attention to the area and is disturbing to any would-be thief! Mobile Security Guard Patrols Another way to secure your premises while you are away is to hire mobile security guards to patrol your property every night. If you are going away you can contact a security company and hire a guard to stop by and do an exterior inspection of your premises every night, they can even remove and accumulation of papers and mail at the front door. SafeTech provides both mobile nightly patrols and emergency guard response to watch over properties 24 hours a day.

SafeTech has been offering security services throughout Canada for over 20 years. SafeTech specializes in security alarm systems, video surveillance, security guards, access control and security monitoring services. “You can cut theft by 50% simply by adding intrusion detection equipment”, says SafeTech President, Sean O’Leary, “at SafeTech we have the lowest rate of loss in the industry”.


SafeTech CEO Appears before Councillors at City of Toronto Committee hearing on ‘False Fire Alarm Bylaw’

Sean O'LearyI 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 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.

Under 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!


cbc-safetech-alarm-system


Toronto Star LogoBy David Rider

SafeTech talks fire protection in The Toronto StarPhone in a fire alarm that turns out to be false and the city will burn you with a bill of $350 for every emergency vehicle dispatched. The fee, one tiny revenue generator that helped balance Toronto’s $9.2 billion operating budget, has triggered warning bells from alarm companies even as politicians’ congratulatory speeches were ringing through City Hall.

Toronto expects to send out 10,000 false-alarm invoices per year, generating $6.6 million even after a financial analyst and accounting assistant are hired to process them.

“Ouch!” said Sean O’Leary, owner of Safe Tech Alarm Systems, when told of the fee that was previously levied only against repeat offenders. “That’s a real problem.”

Safe Tech has about 2,000 Toronto customers with smoke detectors wired to their security systems. If an alarm sounds and a Safe Tech monitoring station can’t reach the homeowner, the company calls the fire department.And it doesn’t matter if the homeowner calls back moments later to report it was just a smoky fish fry.

“Once a dispatch has been made, even if it’s known to be false, (fire trucks) still go,” said O’Leary.“The fee wouldn’t be fair,” he said, adding he needs to know if the bills will be sent to his firm, potentially setting up fights with customers.

Mayor David Miller hailed the 2010 operating budget as a huge achievement, saying it preserves city services and holds the property tax hike to 4 per cent. He jokingly wrote the headline for reporters: “Lowest taxes (in the GTA), unbeatable services, great city.”But en route to erasing a $433 million deficit without the traditional annual bailout from the province, the city is releasing a swarm of small fee hikes that will also sting kids who swim, motorists who park on the street and utility companies that puncture city roads.Details of all the new fees are to be released Thursday.

Budget documents show user fees will generate an additional $13 million, but $9 million of that is from new fees, most of which will come from alarm abusers. (The change is expected to generate only $4.7 million in 2010 because, if passed by council along with the rest of the budget, it won’t come into effect until May 1.)

Almost $900,000 of the alarm fees are expected to be billed to another city agency – Toronto Community Housing Corp. – because 14 per cent of false alarms come from public housing sites.City manager Joe Pennachetti was asked if a good Samaritan who calls 911 because smoke is billowing from a neighbour’s house will be handed a bill if there’s no fire.

“I would say no, but you’ll have to talk to the fire chief in terms of details like that,” Pennachetti said.

Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.Councillor Shelley Carroll, who heads the budget committee, predicted that “perhaps the most controversial” new user fee will be a one-time $50 registration fee for families signing up for city recreation programs. Families already registered will be spared the fee, she said, adding that other recreation charges are also being hiked but will remain “well below market value.”The $50 fee is a bit of a sour start in Toronto for Rene and Gianina Berrospi, who moved to the city from Lima, Peru, one week ago with their daughter Alessia, who is almost 3.Before arriving, they asked Toronto relatives about the resources available to kids in the city, and were told of the many publicly funded community centres.

“Perhaps it would’ve been better if we stayed away,” Rene, a lawyer in Peru, joked after being told about the increased recreation fees. He can try to register now; otherwise he and his wife can’t afford it since both are unemployed.

Carroll noted that the city has programs to ensure low-income Torontonians get access to recreation and other programs.Others said they are happy to pay $50 if it improves city facilities.

“It’s like a club membership,” said Don Johnston, whose 5-year-old daughter Sophie is taking swimming lessons. “If you’ve been to any of the community centres, you’d know they could be better. If you can connect the dots between the $50 and better recreation centres, I’d be happy. I’d pay more.”

Also being hit are drivers. Mayor David Miller’s $60 vehicle registration fee isn’t going up but the cost of parking on the street is – from $143.40 per year to $157.74 – while the levy for getting a parking pad is also expected to jump.

The Toronto Star


SafeTech Alarm Systems in MetroKevin Reid for Metro Dreamhomes

Taking Security Pre-Cautions - SafeTech in MetroA security system can deter thieves from stealing your possessions.With advances in protection technology evolving faster than ever, securing your home is rapidly becoming a 21st-century staple rather than a sign of worry.In fact, the market is growing so quickly that it can be difficult to sort through what security options are right for your house or condo. Sean O’Leary, president of Safe-Tech Alarm Systems in Toronto, helped to clear the path.

For condo owners, a large part of your security needs are taken care of when you move in. Secured ground entrances, pre-wired alarms, 24-hour video surveillance and dedicated concierges are now standard features of many new condominiums.Each building may be different in the level of service it provides (be sure to investigate this when shopping for a condo), but aside from securing your own main entrance and patio with a simple motion-based alarm, the condo dweller has a distinct security advantage.

The greatest burden of protection decidedly falls on the homeowner’s shoulders. If you live in a house, start from the outside in with a do-it-yourself dose of common sense. Make sure your environment is working with you, not against you. Trim any hedges that might otherwise give a would-be burglar a cover for dastardly deeds.And beware of tree branches that could grant a nimble intruder second-storey access.A set of lights linked to a motion detector (approximately $25) is one of the most easily installed and most effective crime deterrents, illuminating any late-night visitors. Remember, home security isn’t about catching a crime in progress — it’s discouraging it from ever taking place. As O’Leary plainly states, most burglars will take the path of least resistance.

The cost of security rises on the inside, depending on how many entrances you have to cover. The larger the home, the more dear it will be to protect. Keypad installation and manned monitoring services are still reasonably priced, averaging a monthly rate of around $25. Retractable gates and bars are available at a higher cost (window bars now come in white for the aesthetically minded), but they naturally offer a higher level of protection. And don’t rule out the simple psychological edge of seeing that alarm system sign on the lawn or in your window.

O’Leary also pointed out the recent advances in video surveillance, which make it an increasingly popular option. Gone is the era of the clunky VHS-based system with its dozens of tapes that need constant rotation. Digital video recorders, motion detector technology, and rapidly growing data storage capacities can give a home months of autonomous surveillance for around the $1,500 range. You can even watch your cameras in action on the Internet from wherever you are.But despite all the impressive crime prevention tools out there, O’Leary places equal, if not greater, emphasis on the need for fire and carbon monoxide detectors, also available with 24-hour manned monitoring.They say fortune favours the bold. But in this instance, it’s the cautious who will come out smiling.

Metro Dreamhomes


altBy Jim Wilkes

SafeTech talks fire protection in The Toronto StarHomeowners who leave ladders unattended or windows unsecured are giving burglars an open invitation to bypass ground-floor security systems and break in through upper storeys, Peel police say. The warning comes after this week’s arrest of a Mississauga man charged with 50 break-ins across the GTA over the past 18 months that netted more than $800,000 in cash, gold and jewellery.

Det. Randy Brack said high-end homes in Halton, Peel and York were targeted, usually on Saturday and Sunday nights when residents were out.

“You can drive down any street in any neighbourhood and spot the ones where people aren’t home because they’re dark,” Brack said.“He had a very distinct signature entry. He used a ladder to access second-floor windows, to avoid obvious alarms on the ground floor. He is a self-employed contractor and seemed to know which windows led to the master bedrooms.”

A Peel police civilian crime analyst spotted a trend in home burglaries last year in Mississauga and identified the profile of a particular suspect who had been arrested in Toronto in 2005, but the break-in artist wasn’t active then and the trail went cold.But Brack said break-ins from December through March in Halton and Brampton bore the distinctive signature. Detectives made an arrest during a burglary in Vaughan on Sunday night.

Brack said of the 7,000 break-ins in Peel last year, only 37 were through second-floor windows, “so they really stand out.”Sean O’Leary, president and owner of Safetech Alarm Systems, said he’s not surprised the burglar was able to break into the homes undetected since the standard in his industry is to simply protect the basement and main floor.

“It’s usually just door alarms and one or two motion detectors — small installations that are inadequate,” said O’Leary.“If the home is bigger, you’re going to need more devices. You should do all doors and windows, and at least a couple of well-placed motion detectors.”

At minimum, O’Leary suggests placing a motion detector at the top of the stairs or in the second-floor hallway. That way, even if a someone gets into the house, it’s not likely they’ll be able to snoop around undetected.

“Even if they break in through a window, they’re not likely to leave that way — they’re going to have to get close to that staircase at some point and the alarm will pick them up,” he said.Const. Ashley Kimlin said most police forces offer in-home security assessments to let residents know where they are vulnerable to break-ins.

“Alarm systems are great, but you still have to be aware of the second floor,” Kimlin explained. “And there’s only so much protection anyone can have unless you want to live in Fort Knox. You need to balance security, safety and what you can realistically live with.”Ali Hussein Abu-Khalil, 45, also known as Ali Ramadan, is charged with 50 break-ins. He is also sought by police in Dearborn, Mich., for a home invasion in 2003.

The Toronto Star


Ryersonian LogoBy Ryersonian Staff

img_article_ryersonIt’s the first real day of spring – hello shorts, skirts and sunglasses. But that doesn’t matter to Charles Camato and Brant Bell. (The man are pictured in photo number 1, Bell to the left and Camato to the right.) They are the men in black, strictly suit-and-tie attire – and seriously out of place on Ryerson’s campus. The two men – security experts from Toronto’s Safe Tech Alarm Systems – agreed to walk around campus and give The Ryersonian their professional opinion on the strengths and flaws of Ryerson security.

“You need to have the ability to control and track a target (a person) from one place to another,”Bell said, while pushing the benefits of maintaining a “Big Brother” style of campus security. A watchful eye on campus can’t hurt – following several recent security issuse.On March 15, a Ryerson teacher was assaulted in her own classroom. On March 13, an RTA student was the victim of an armed robbery in the lobby of the Rogers Communications Centre. While some might cite privacy concerns regarding closed circuit television (CCTV), the security experts say that cameras makes law enforcement easier.

1 – In the middle of the Pitman lawn stands one of Ryerson’s blue security poles. It serves a dualpurpose – to record those in the area with its rotating camera and to connect students indistress with security. Bell’s first concern was the cameras on Pitman lawn, which instead of scanning the area are stuck facing Church Street. Bell said the camera should rotate 360 degrees and record those coming and going from the buildings. The area appears under surveillance, but the grounds where many students return home late at night are unmonitored, according to the experts.

2 – The security experts were concerned with a ladder propped against the loading dock wall at Pitman Hall. This allowed easy access to Ryerson buildings through upper windows for criminals. Further investigation of this entrance showed that anyone off the street could walk into the open, unmanned garage door to the left. Ryersonian staff were led through the open door and into the cafeteria’s kitchen. Bell said: “I could go in right now and poison all the food. Terrorism is a real threat nowadays and we have had examples of it in this city already.”

3 – Earlier this week, Ryersonian newspapers were stolen from newsstands throughout campus. Within minutes after this was reported, a Ryerson security guard arrived to take a statement. He said there is a camera in the RCC lobby, the very same lobby where an armed robbery took place earlier this month, but added, “The camera in there is pointing the wrong way.”Last Friday, Camato said “With a fixed (position) camera, a person could walk right under it and not be seen.”

4 – O’Keefe Lane cuts through the western edge of campus off Gould Street, giving drug dealers and sex trade workers shelter from the city’s open spaces. “This is definitely a bad area,” Camato said. “Although, it’s certainly an improvement over what was at Dundas and Yonge 15 years ago.” A lone camera scans from high above on the library building. But Bell said it would be difficult for Ryerson to control the area, considering how many rear entrances there are to Yonge Street businesses.

5 – During our 90-minute walkabout we didn’t see a single security officer, but we did see the same EMS worker numerous times in different locations. Bell was very surprised to see an on-campus EMS officer equipped with a bullet proof vest, baton and handcuffs. “That’s quite unusual,” he said. “When was the last time you saw a paramedic with a baton?” Camato explained that it was possible that a Ryerson paramedic could be called out to attend to someone who could be under the influence of hard drugs and the paramedic “may have to protect himself.”As for the lack of security, Bell said that no camera could ever substitute for manpower. Camato added that ultimately security on campus falls in the hands of students. “Students need to take care of each other, protect one another.” Ryerson security manager, Lawrence Robinson, has not responded to The Ryersonian’s request to comment on results of the security audit.

The Ryersonian


Security system combines past and future (National Post)

altBy Grace Macaluso

img_article_pastfutureBob Forrest is borrowing from the past to come up with a security system for the future. When his downtown 19-storey condominium complex opens its doors in 2003, the entrance will feature a doorman. You can have all the fancy technology money can buy says Mr. Forrest owner of The Forrest group of companies. But at the end of the day your security is only as good as your people.The doorman is part of a more comprehensive security system at the Avanti, located at 38 Charles St E plains include a concierge and closed-circuit television surveillance of common areas, such as the lobby and underground parking garage.

After location and affordability security it’s a major selling feature for Toronto’s two predominant purchasing groups-young urban professionals and empty nesters, says Mark Cohen, vice president of sales and marketing at Concord Adex Developments. Empty nesters are always away a lot and young professionals are either spending long hours at work or leading busy social lives, says Mr. Cohen.

High-Tech Features dominate the security system planned for city palace, a 20.25 hectare project being develop d by concord Adex. The master –planned community on the railway lands will house 8,000 high-rise units and townhouses and between 12,000 and 15,000 resident s who will have access to a fiber-optic network that gives them the visual access to common areas. “They’ll all become watchdogs through their watchdog monitors or computers,” Mr. Cohen says. A 24-hour concierge service is the nerve centre of the system that allows for visual and audio access to such areas as the underground parking garage, lobby and pool.

“That means you’ll have a live body his eyes and ears open,” Mr. Cohen says. The garage will also feature “panic buttons” that give residents in need of assistance contact with the concierge. As well, elevators will be programmed so that visitors and residents can only go to their designated floors. “Both residents’ and visitors’ access must be granted by the concierge,” Mr. Cohen says.

A 24 hours concierge service is basic security feature at all Tridal condominium developments, says Jim Ritchie, vice-president of marketing and sales. “The concierge is our focal point for security,” Mr. Ritchie says. “He has an elaborate computer system that allows him to monitor traffic in and out of the building.”

Linda Mitchell, vice-president of sales and marketing at Monarch Construction, says a concierge service is a security feature that appeals to buyers. “It’s an expectation, especially with more and more single women buying,” she says. “Security is a draw. When we advertise, we always mention our 24-hour concierge.” At Monarch’s Waterview condominium project on Humber Bay Shores, residents will have card access to the main entrance as well as remote control access to the garage.

Windows and doors in ground-level suites will have contact and motion detectors. Like CityPlace, the 1,500 units at Waterview will be wired using high-speed fiber-optic cables. The network, which will enable residents to control lighting, heat and appliances in every room, will also allow them visual and audio contact with the concierge she adds.

National Post




Toronto Sun Logoimg_article_freealarmAn alarm installing company out of Toronto is putting in thousands of security systems for free making it more difficult for burglars to find unprotected homes and businesses to break intro.A customer’s only requirement is to pay a low monthly fee so that the security company can monitor the premises on an ongoing basis and dispatch the proper authorities when an alarm occurs.

Sean O’Leary, president of Safetech Alarm Systems says, “in the Toronto area, an unprotected house is 40 times more likely to be burglarized with 38 times greater property loss compared to a protected home.”For more free information call: (416)229-9902

Toronto Sun


We’re feeling threatened (National Post)

altimg_article_threat Deirdre McMurdy

In 1983, after a botched abduction attempt ended in a shootout on the lawn of his estate south of Dublin, billionaire Galen Weston had a change of plan: He relocated his family and principal residence to Canada.

These days, however, he might think twice about seeking security in the Great White North. Although fellow billionaire Ken Thomson is a familiar sight ambling alone, except for his two little dogs, through the streets around his Rosedale mansion in Toronto, or picking up his own dry cleaning in a Mercedes with recognizable custom licence plates, he’s becoming a rarity. In 1990, when the daughter of Vancouver billionaire Jimmy Pattison was kidnapped and held for 14 hours, such crimes were almost unheard of in Canada. Times have changed.

“All Canadians used to be much more sheltered and trusting about personal security issues, but that’s changed radically”, says Sean O’Leary of Safetech Alarm Systems. “[Sept.11] was the start of a great public awakening on that score. The amount of violent crime- and the mass-media coverage of it – has heightened the sense of threat.”

A recent example of how real that threat can be is the brazen invasion of the Toronto ravine home of high-profile Bay Street economist Sherry Cooper of BMO Nesbitt Burns. A flashy fixture in media circles, Dr. Cooper and her husband were awakened, restrained and robbed at gunpoint.

The assault prompted her to question whether Canada is becoming “like Brazil, where wealthy people or well-known people need security guards.” While even former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien encountered a knife-wielding nocturnal intruder during his time at 24 Sussex Drive, Canada has some way to go before it approaches the problems in Brazil. Still, there’s no question that individuals and corporations here are spending much more to feel safe.

That trend is by no means restricted to the extremely wealthy. The latest data from Statistics Canada indicate that even five years ago, private security personnel outnumbered police officers at 84,000 versus 63,000. Hampered by budget cuts, police forces are outsourcing some traditional duties, even as officers are transforming themselves into independent entrepreneurs and security consultants.

Given that many law enforcement professionals can retire with a full pension at 55, they represent a formidable resource for one of the fastest-growing service sectors in North America. On another front, community colleges such as Ontario’s Seneca College now offer a two-year “police foundations” diploma program that has a waiting list. Currently in the throes of rapid, international consolidation, the private security business is steadily improving its professional standards while reducing the costs of its increasingly sophisticated, technology-driven operations. According to Nadi Tadros, who covers the industry for Desjardins Securities, the industry is being transformed by takeovers as well as growth. And private policing is a trend he forecasts will continue to gain momentum. Driving that momentum is a profound psychological shift.

Surrounded by heightened security in airports, at work and other public venues, people are “edgy and aware”, says Darcy Kernaghan of B.C.-based Securiguard. Security passes and personnel are now commonplace in an intensely competitive knowledge-based economy. Even synagogues, mosques and private schools are beefing up their security in the wake of international incidents. At Shaarei Shomayim Congregation in Toronto, a $50 security fee is levied on all member families.In some upscale neighbourhoods, where crime has been a recurring problem, “the thing now is for residents to get together and chip in $50 a week to cover the cost of a constant mobile patrol”,says Tom Gould of Shep-Rott K-9 Security. At the same time, as people feel the urge to retreat from the fast-paced world and cocoon, the urge to protect that shelter is unprecedented. Mr. O’Leary says that advanced technology has made it more affordable to remotely monitor activity in and around homes using laptops or even BlackBerry devices. Installing a package that in cludes four security cameras costs about $4,000.

Still, while ha has worked on a fortified “panic room” for at least one home in Toronto’s wealthy Bridle Path neighbourhood, Mr. O’Leary says that demand for these in-home fortresses remains limited to dignitaries from volatile nations, celebrities and the extremely wealthy. The protracted housing boom in Canada is also making private security a bigger part of daily life. Soaring demand has driven up the cost of construction materials and that, along with the ever-present risk of vandalism, has stoked the market for round-the-clock guards on site. At he same time, the growing number of condominiums has increased the need for private security to protect common areas not only for safety, but for insurance and marketing purposes.

Although Canada has relatively few of the gated communities so popular in the United States, it seems we’re well on the way to developing our own version of them in urban and suburban settings.

National Post


Safe Room – Crime Triggers Demand (National Post)

alt img_article_panickedCrime Triggers Demand By Lisa Van De Ven

It seems Jodie Foster is not the only one panicking these days. While Foster is currently starring in The Panic Room, many other celebrities and wealthy individuals are building real-life panic rooms in their homes. And not just in the United States. Panic rooms, also known as safe rooms, are spaces inside a home, where families can go during a robbery. Built with bullet-proof doors, fortified walls and a land-based cellular phone, the room is meant to keep homeowners safe until police arrive. “A safe room is really a holding pen within the home,” says Sean O’Leary, president of Safetech Alarm Systems in Toronto. “The idea is to be safe and to be able to make your communication from there.”

Mr. O’Leary is working at a home with a safe room in Toronto’s wealthy Bridle Path community. The room has 12-inch thick concrete walls and is hidden away in the 47,000 square-foot house. “Nobody’s going to get into the room,” he says. “It’s doubtful they’ll even find it.” This is the first safe room Mr. O’Leary has worked on in a home. He says the concept is more American than Canadian. “The United States is a little more oriented toward that type of thing,” he says. Stan Green, president of Mirtech International Security, agrees. He has never been asked to design or secure a safe room in a home, but he would not be surprised if he starts getting requests in the near future. Canada tends to be behind the United States in these areas, he says. “They’ve had a lot more experience in that amount of crime a lot longer than we have.”

Gary Paster, president of U.S.-based American Saferoom Door Co., has been building safe rooms for 22 years and was a consultant on the movie The Panic Room. He has installed approximately 200 safe rooms, estimating that about 60% to 70% of his business comes from individuals in the entertainment business, while the rest comes mainly from corporate executives. Since safe rooms can cost anywhere from US$5,000 to the typical US$20,000, it is usually more affluent individuals who have them built, some of whom have an identified threat against their lives. Corporate clients will sometimes have them added to their executive suites. Mr. Paster has worked for some less affluent individuals as well. “It’s cheaper than a new car and it depends on where people live,” he says.

There is no typical safe room. Level of security, size and placement in the home all depend on the client’s needs. Many homeowners choose to fortify a walk-in closet or bathroom, while others build a room with no other use. Some homeowners attach the room to a son or daughter’s bedroom, where parents can flee quickly with their child.

“Some are hidden. We have bookcases, which are also doors. For people who have smaller homes, they’ll typically be walk-in closets,” Mr. Paster says. “They go from very extravagant, like in the movie, to very basic.” While most are not as elaborate as the one in The Panic Room, Mr. Paster has built some that are as decked out as bomb shelters. These are larger and better equipped, meant to keep homeowners safe in the case of a national emergency or threat. These can cost more than US$250,000 and have separate plumbing, oxygen systems, and food and water supplies. “As many things as you can figure out how to defend against,” he says. Violence reported in the media can increase demand for safe rooms. Since Sept. 11, Mr. Paster has seen a 25% increase, in business, but more minor occurrences – such as the 1997 shooting of Gianni Versace in his Miami home – can also lead to more inquiries. “That always triggers a lot more calls,” he says. Even though a majority of the rooms Mr. Paster has built have gone unused, he says they give peace of mind. “We’ve only had a couple that have been used in all these years, and they were very successful.”

National Post