Welcome to Dial One Security's blog.
In a recent article for Security Sales & Integration, David George pointed out the importance of life safety devices such as monitored smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the protection of your family, pets and home. There’s no doubt that smoke detectors are one of the most important safety devices for the home and that they save lives. But they’re often taken for granted. There were 2,520 residential fire deaths in 2011, 40% of which occurred in homes with no smoke detectors, according to NFPA’s Fire Loss in the United States During 2011. Smoke detectors are far more common than devices detecting carbon monoxide (CO). Only 15% of homes have working CO detectors installed. Yet CO, an odorless and invisible gas, can be just as deadly, and is in fact, the leading cause of airborne poisoning in the United States. In homes where smoke or CO devices are installed, retail standalone smoke or CO devices are the de facto standard. Unfortunately, for various reasons, many of these devices may not provide the protection they promise. For example, they may have been installed incorrectly, not received required maintenance, the sensors may be expired, the batteries may be dead, or, in some cases, the homeowner may have disabled the device themselves. One stunning statistic: less than half of the smoke detectors installed in homes with fires actually operated. The inexpensive smoke detectors detect the presence of smoke by ionization which is most responsive to flaming fires, while most professional model smoke detectors use photoelectric technology which is most responsive to smoldering fires where there is a greater chance of the occupants losing their life due to smoke inhalation. Most homeowners are completely unaware that they have another, much higher level of smoke and CO protection available: central station monitored, system-connected detection devices. Although system-connected fire and life-safety systems are common and often required in schools, hospitals and other commercial buildings, very few single-family homes have them. When residences do have monitored devices, they are typically for security. Fire and security capabilities can be integrated, even though there are some differences in how they operate. Basically, the security system only recognizes two states or conditions: normal or alarm. It cannot differentiate between a line break and the opening of an alarm switch. The fire alarm system recognizes four different states or conditions: normal, alarm, trouble and supervisory. Integrating protective features for fire and security — as well as CO — is not complex and the cost of adding fire or CO detection to a monitored residential security system is relatively low. Early warning is essential to effective fire and life safety because emergencies can occur at any time and in any place. Yet it’s not just about having early warning: Standalone devices can go into alarm just as quickly as system-connected devices. The difference is that when the system is connected to a remote monitoring station, emergency response to the incident is immediate. A monitoring station will attempt to contact the homeowner and immediately dispatch the appropriate emergency response when an alarm is activated. Both the homeowner, who may not be home at the time of the incident, and the fire department are alerted to the system’s alarm state.
This early notification is extremely important to life safety for the following reasons:
1) Increases evacuation time for building occupants
2) Emergency medical help can be immediately sent to those in need
3) First responders can help people exit the building safely, including residents who may be overcome by smoke or gas and are unable to evacuate on their own.
Monitoring is especially important in cases where occupants are not capable of responding appropriately to a local alarm. Examples include: the elderly or disabled individuals; small children; individuals already overcome by the effects of CO or smoke; and even pets in an otherwise empty house. A feature of most monitoring services is the ability to keep special information on the residence, which comes up on the computer screen whenever an alarm is received from that home. Thus, if there is a disabled or elderly resident, the operator can see this information and pass it to the first responders. A side benefit of monitored life safety devices is that they are installed by professionals at Dial One Security who increase the reliability and effectiveness by placing them exactly how and where they are most needed. Proper placement avoids the majority of nuisance alarms, which annoys people and may cause them to disable or remove the life-safety device. Additionally, professionals can help residences stay up to code. Whether a home in a certain part of the country needs to meet NFPA codes, building code, local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) requirements or legislative mandates, it can be a bit tricky knowing what is required. Performance of the monitored system is supervised by the central station and will alert the homeowner of any equipment performance issues such as malfunctioning detectors or if system is experiencing mechanical trouble. The connected system will also send trouble signals to the panel so that homeowners are aware there is an issue and call to schedule service. In addition, monitored systems proactively alert the central station and homeowner to end-of-life conditions, such as low battery life or a CO sensor reaching its end of life. Rather than discarding the entire detector when the CO cell has reached end-of-life, the cell itself can be easily replaced in the field. In the event of a smoke or CO event, all the detector sounders on the loop will be activated. This means when one device sounds, they all sound and the appropriate signal is sent to the panel for alerting the monitoring station.
Many times people may have a variety of misconceptions about integrated home security fire alarm systems. Let’s look at these common myths with insight.
Myth #1 - My home is insured, so I’m already covered. – Insurance doesn’t prevent a loss; insurance compensates you after the loss. An integrated security/fire/CO system will protect your family, home and valuables by deterring burglars, summoning the authorities, and notifying you and anyone else you designate. Plus, most insurance plans offer a discount for having integrated, system-connected smoke or smoke/CO detectors.
Myth #2 - I don’t need an integrated fire system because I have battery-operated smoke detectors. – Any smoke detector will wake you in the event of fire — if the batteries work, and you’re not already suffering from smoke inhalation or CO poisoning, which can inhibit evacuation. Monitored smoke detectors and CO detectors automatically alert the fire department, even if you’re not home, to help save your family and property. System-connected devices are hardwired with battery back-up, giving you the reassurance of two power sources. Plus, when a device needs to be replaced or fixed, it sends a maintenance alert, signaling the need for attention.
Myth #3 - Frequent false alarms make integrated fire systems more trouble than they’re worth. – System-connected fire and life-safety devices that are installed and maintained by trained, licensed professionals should only go off when they are supposed to. Professionals know where to position devices to make them most effective while minimizing exposure to cooking smoke and other non-emergency sources. If you are experiencing false alarms, consult with Dial One Security to discuss reconfiguring your system, replacing or relocating detection devices.
Myth #4 - A system will ruin the look of my home with unsightly wires and devices. – Although it is sometimes difficult to conceal all the wiring, professional installers have been trained to minimize exposed wire and to install devices as unobtrusively as possible. Wireless systems allow installation flexibility for proper placement in existing residences or challenging environments where it is difficult to pull wire.
Overall, having the right fire and life-safety protection systems and services is critical to complete protection. With the potential of loss of human life and destruction of assets, they give homeowners peace of mind knowing they are protected and have the best chance of escaping. They can even allow homeowners to receive a discount on their homeowner’s insurance premiums.
We hope this helps you understand the importance of having monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Feel free to contact Dial One Security with any questions that you might have.
With this past week being Poison Preventions Week, we wanted to share a great resource published by First Alert Professional on the types of poisoning that your family can be exposed to as well as what to do in the event of a poisoning. The First Alert Professional Poison Safety booklet includes a checklist of the potential items that you may have around the house that can cause poisoning.
Dial One Security can install as part of your home security system, sensors on critical cabinets where medicines and chemicals are stored and you can receive a notification if the cabinet door is opened. It is always best to be aware and prepared.
The alarm industry has made great strides in recent years in developing wireless security devices that not only make installation of a home or business security system easier, but they have allowed the cost of these systems to drastically be reduced. There are however some distinctions between a wireless alarm system and a Wi-Fi system, particularly as it relates to cameras for security.
Wireless security devices include door/window sensors, exterior gate sensors, motion sensors, glass break detectors, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. These devices all communicate with the security panel over an RF radio frequency in the range of 400MHz-900MHz allowing their signals to penetrate throughout a building. Lithium batteries provide these wireless security devices several years of service before the batteries need to be replaced. These devices are truly wireless.
As home automation and security become more integrated, devices that include technologies like Z-Wave can receive and transmit signals between each other to create a Wi-Fi mesh network in order to expand coverage throughout a building. Typical devices that can incorporate the Z-Wave technology include outlets, locks, thermostats and security keypads. With the addition of Z-Wave devices, you can integrate home automation into your security system, allowing you to create scenes with lighting and temperature or remotely manage your home on your smartphone. Z-Wave devices also operate on the 900MHz frequency to eliminate interference with the traditional Wi-Fi network and other devices that operate in the 2.4GHz frequency range.
Portable Wi-Fi cameras that are integrated into a home security system, give you the ability to remotely view the cameras or receive emailed video clips when an alarm event occurs. A Wi-Fi signal operates at a much higher frequency in the 2.4 GHz range, which allows for the rapid transmission of large amounts of data. The higher frequency is intended to bounce off of walls and buildings instead of penetrating building walls. As a result there may be areas within a Wi-Fi network that have no signal. They are ease to set up through a Wireless Access Point (WAP) on the Wi-Fi router and only require their transformer to be plugged in to an outlet.
Stand alone security camera systems incorporate IP cameras that can either be hardwired or transmit their images over a Wi-Fi signal. It is often thought that since some IP cameras have the ability to send their images over a Wi-Fi network, that these cameras are wireless. This is not necessarily the case. Wi-Fi cameras for the most part still need to be connected to a power source. If the camera requires the installation of a power cable, adding a cable to transmit the video signal or using Power Over Ethernet (POE) is usually the preferred method of installation. Even though the video from these cameras may be broadcast over a Wi-Fi router, the cameras themselves are not wireless.
There are surveillance cameras that operate on battery power. The images that they capture allow the user to capture images of low resolution and image quality compared to the high quality images that a wired IP camera is capable of transmitting. Battery life can also a concern with battery powered cameras.
As you can see, the various means of transmitting either alarm signals or video images through the air wirelessly have distinct differences, however the lines between security systems and video surveillance systems have been blurred in recent years. The combination of these technologies allows for a much broader approach to security along with increased ease of use, making us all safer. Dial One Security can help you protect what you cherish most!
Increase your Home Security by not tweeting "Rob My House"?
With spring break just around the corner, make sure you update your emergency contacts for your home security system and keep in mind who knows our plans for vacation. In today's society we all seam to be permanently connected to our smartphones and computers. We are constantly checking our status on facebook, tweeting about what we're doing at any given minute. We inform our friends and circles what, and where, we are shopping and eating.
Social media is truly a fantastic way to stay connected to family and friends. Technology has made it easy for us to include people in our everyday social lives that are located far away and with whom we might not otherwise connect with regularly. However, you might want to think twice before you express your excitement across the social media universe about your upcoming vacation, or activities that you are doing while on vacation.
In a growing trend, burglars are able to select their targets by eavesdropping in on our posts about our vacations through our social media apps. This gives them an open opportunity to plan their break-ins when no one will likely be home.
With so many social media apps in use today, it is difficult to manage all of your privacy settings to limit who is able to see your activity. The best advice would be to save your excitement about your vacation until you arrive home and post your photos in an album. That way everyone can see what a wonderful time you had all in one place. This should be a family wide policy to minimize the number of people that know that you are away.
Vacations are meant for fun and relaxation. Disconnect from technology for a short period and enjoy your time away, and don't forget to activate your home security system before leaving.
Dial One Security was name a finalist for the Better Business Bureau 2012 Torch Award. The award is given out each year to businesses and non-profits that that have high standards for Ethics in the Marketplace. This year's event was held at the Duke Energy Center in Downtown Cincinnati. Paula Toti of WKCR television was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.
Candidates for the 2012 Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics were evaluated by a independent panel of judges selected from the business, nonprofit, and academic community using the following criteria and standards.
Sts. Peter and Paul Academy Running Scared 5K Race
"Shoot for The Beechwood Home", Saturday September 29, 2012
Dial One Security is proud to continue our support this year of The Beechwood Home. The Beechwood Home is a not-for profit long term care nursing facility, specializing in providing high quality long-term care together with advanced rehabilitation and restorative services, as well as therapeutic and recreational activities that assist their residents. The facility currently has 80 beds in long term nursing care.
On September 29, The Beechwood Home will hold their annual "Shoot for The Beechwood Home" at the Elk Creek Hunt Club in Owenton, Kentucky. This is the second year for the event which features a day of socializing and Sporting Clay Shooting. The Event is one of several fundraisers that they conduct each year to help provide assistance to their residents.
Have you been considering adding a Camera System to your home or business? If your are looking for an observation system or a system that records a number of days at a time; Dial One Security can help design a cost effective solution. Camera systems can add a layer of protection over and above your Electronic Security System. Just the site of Video Cameras on your home or facility can deter the risk of theft or vandalism. Cameras also give employers and employees peace of mind as well. Exterior Cameras can watch over parking lots and walking paths around your location. Interior cameras can record any on site incidents such as accidents or employee theft. The addition of cameras may also get you a discount on your insurance policy. Dial One offers a wide variety of cameras and recording solutions. Digital Video Recorders (DVR) or Network Video Recorders (NVR) can record a number of days at a time. It is easy to go back and view archived video and extract an incident for police or the owner of the property. Just in the past few months, the video cameras at Dial One Security were able to help a local property owner identify the truck that caused damage to his building, witness a motorcycle accident that occured in front of our office, identify the person responsible for stealing our American flags that were set out along our sidewalk and capture the time that a pipe broke in our office causing a flood.
Dial One has seen an increase in requests for Residential Camera Systems. Honeywell's Total Connect Video is a great cost effective option to look in on your property while you are at work or on vacation. This is a great way to check in on your kids, baby sitters, property or pets. These IP cameras can be set up to send you a specific type of event straight to your smart phone in real time. The system can also be set up to let you know when a senior loved one takes their medication or when your business opens in the morning. It is a great way of just popping in and checking out what’s going on in your home or business.
For an in depth look at the options available in selecting the camera system that is right for your application, take a look at the Camera Technology brochure on the Dial One Security website.
Contact your Dial One Security representative to discuss camera options for your home or business.
Did you know your security system can do more than just report a break in? A Security System can be so much more than just a burglary system. Dial One Security can add a number of devices to add life and property safety to your location. Adding smoke detectors, heat detectors, carbon monoxide, temperature, HVAC or water detectors can add a layer of property protection that gives your peace of mind while you are sleeping or away. Most of these devices can be set up to report a problem even if your alarm system is not set. The addition of these devices may also get you a discount on your homeowners insurance policy.
With GSM Cellular technology, there is no longer the need for a phone line in your home to allow your security system to communicate any alarm signals to the central station. Adding GSM and Honeywell's Total Connect service can provide you with many additional features as well. With the new school year upon us; Total Connect can be set up as the new latch key system for your children.When your child arrives home from school and disarms the system; mom or dad can set up the system to send a text message to let them know they arrived home safe. Total Connect also allows users to arm and disarm their system remotely from a computer or selected smart phone. Total Connect cameras can also be added to the system to allow for remote viewing of your home, property or pets.
With the addition of wireless receivers; customers can add a number of different devices. Wireless Medical Alert and personal panic pendants can be added to the system with little or no cost increase to their monthly monitoring rates while providing our clients with a sence of independance and security. Wireless panic buttons can also add an additional layer of safety and security to your business as well. Wireless security, life safety and property safety devices are an easy and cost saving addition. Wireless devices can save money on installation because it lowers the cost of labor to install.
Contact your Dial One Security representative to discuss options for your home or business.
DIAL ONE SECURITY SUPPORTS NEW JERUSALEM BAPTIST CHURCH BACK TO SCHOOL CARNIVAL ON AUGUST 11, 2012 FROM NOON TO 6PM
Dial One Security supports the New Jerusalem Baptist Church with its back to school carnival. The carnival is a partnership between the New Jerusalem Baptist Church and the Carthage School in an effort to bring together the church and the community.
The carnival is free and open to the public and will offer free health screenings as well as a Farmer's Market and Bazaar. There will be familiy entertainment including music, face painting and games.
The New Jerusalem Baptist Church is located in the community of Carthage which is located along the west side of I-75 just north of downtown Cincinnati. In the fall of 2011, New Jerusalem Baptist Church in partnership with the Carthage
community opened the Carthage Community Center at the site of the former
Carthage School. The center offers day care for children, a senior center, fitness
facility and a soup kitchen as a service to this diverse community.
Reverend Damon Lynch, Jr. is the Pastor of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, a
position he has held since 1970. New Jerusalem was founded in December, 1926
(membership of over 1700). The church has many active ministries that serve our
community (e.g., prison ministry, nursing home ministry, Mentor programs for
young girls and boys, Marriage Enrichment Fellowship programs, Bereavement
Support Group, Heart-to-Heart Ministry to serve women and a Singles Ministry).
New Jerusalem Baptist Church is making a difference in the lives of the people in their community, and as one of Dial One Security's clients, we are proud to lend our support to their event.