Welcome to Dial One Security's blog.
With the Christmas season fast approaching, Dial One Security client, Natorp's, was on the receiving end of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas". With their greenhouses full of Poinsettias waiting to be shipped out and sold for Christmas, someone was helping themselves to the plants at night.
Although their security cameras had captured images of the thief, the thief had not been caught in the act. With the weekend approaching, Dial One Security was contacted by Kyle Natorp, CEO of Natorp's, on Thursday about the theft problem and what could be done to help them out. Mike Brown in our sales department configured a Lynx 5200 security system for the greenhouse that would provide a top notch security solution at an affordable price.
On Friday morning, Dial One Security installation technician Jeremy Miller, was given the task of installing the system. Jeremy decided that the best way to catch a thief was to not give them any warning that the system had been triggered, so the system was installed as a completely silent alarm. The system was also configured with Advanced Protection Logic to send in the alarm signal immediately upon any of the sensors being activated in the event that the control panel was destroyed during the break in.
By Friday afternoon the system was installed and ready to be put to the test. Little did anyone think that the system would be put to the test so soon. Friday night the thieves once again showed up at the Natorp's greenhouse to help themselves to a little holiday cheer. This time the security system was there to greet them and they were quickly apprehended by the police.
Kyle Natorp wrote us to say "I wanted you to know what a great job your team did for us. With their solution and quick turnaround time on the installation made all the difference. If we hadn't had it up this weekend we might not have had another chance to catch the guy until spring." Thank you Kyle for putting your trust in Dial One Security.
Dial One Security is proud to support the 23rd Annual Basketball Extravaganza for the A Kid Again charity. This year's event pairs Cincinnati Football AllStars against Cincinnati Celebrity AllStars for a night of fun and a friendly game of basketball.
A Kid Again supports families of children who are going through life threatening illnesses. Events like the Basketball Extravaganza provide the entire family a chance to spend some time together having fun and not focused on the illness and the family stress that goes along with the illness. These families receive support beyond the just this event to help them cope with the illness and strengthen the child's primary support network.
Dial One Security was a sponsor of the Madisonville Streetfest this past weekend. The annual event is put on by the community each year to bring together families for a day of free food, live music and games. Streetfest is organized with the help of Madisonville Weed & Seed along with several churches in the community which set up booths with games for the children. Each year backpacks full of school supplies are given out to the children in preparation for the upcoming school year.
Dial One Security set up a life safety booth this year to hand out First Alert Professional life safety booklets along with the Marty & Jett's Fire Safety coloring books. The life safety books covered the topics of Fire Safety, Personal Safety, Internet Safety, Poison Safety, Pet Safety and Cyberbulling (click on the name of the booklet above to download). We demonstrated the ReadyGuard 5100 security system and the importance of smoke detectors to compliment the life safety booklets.There were also demonstrations by the Cincinnati Police Department and the SWAT team.
What event would be successful without food, especially free food? With burgers, brats, ice cream and drinks, everyone went home with a smile on their face and a full belly. If they were lucky, they also went home with school supplies and some prizes from the games. The weather held out for us this year and it turned out to be a perfect day for Streetfest.
We hope that Dial One Security was able to provide the people of the community with valuable life safety information that will help them in the future and possibly save lives.
On June 26, Dial One Security hosted the Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO-CFO Roundtable Cookout. It was a fun afternoon to socialize and network over some burgers, brats and beverages. Mother Nature even put on quite the show for us with a torrential thunderstorm, but it in no way dampened the mood of the day. Despite the weather, we had approximately 20 members attend the event.
Apple Spice Junction catered the event and was able to set up quite the spread of food inside of one of our buildings to avoid the thunderstorm.
Thanks to all of you that attended, and we look forward to doing a similar event in the future.
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 trouble. 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 co detectors also alert the central station if a wiring problem is detected and when the sensor has reached it's "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