APS – Blog

Security for Your Tech Company to Consider

If you have your own tech company, whether you are developing apps and software or otherwise working in the tech field, your company’s security is of the utmost importance. However, if you are still utilizing standard locks and basic security measures, you may not be keeping your company as secure as you would wish.

Get to know some of the important security measures your tech company should take. Then, you can be certain you are doing everything in your power for your company’s safety and security going forward.

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Job Security And A Safer Workplace: How Security Services Keep Employees Safe

Employers know that security systems protect their property, but there is nothing more valuable than their staff. A safe work environment is happier, more productive and more efficient. Utilizing what security services have to offer is the easiest way to create a secure workspace. These services reduce the risk of fire damage, theft, and vandalism and much more.  

Protect Employees From Disasters

It is rare for a fire to start out as an uncontrollable blaze. Early warning systems alert everyone to a problem as soon as possible and make it easier for all to evacuate calmly to avoid the potential for injury. Fire suppression systems hold back the fire to increase the possibility of a safe exit. Remote camera monitoring verifies a building is unoccupied from a safe distance.

Reduce Expense and Job Loss

A fire or a flood is a risk to the livelihood of everyone at the business. Early detection is job security because it lowers the financial loss when the problem is addressed quickly and damaged is reduced. Systems that include 24-hour monitoring ensure the same level of protection even when everyone is at home sleeping or out of the office for the weekend.

Partner with a security company to boost the effectiveness of the system through their regular inspections to confirm all safety and monitoring is working appropriately. Inspections help the company to avoid costly fines by ensuring OSHA regulations are met. The dedication to strict safety standards and the addition of the security services may even lower insurance costs.

Control Who Enters Property

Remote access systems are one of the most cost-effective methods of controlling who enters a building. Every business owner must consider the potential risks of allowing free access to their property and through their offices. Access control prevents people without the proper clearance from entering dangerous or confidential areas and it keeps dangerous people out.

There are many examples of people entering workplaces with the intention of doing harm. Every company should develop an escape or defense plan for their staff as a part of their standard safety program. Remote access may not prevent every intruder determined to enter a building, but the delay it provides allows people to have time to get to safety.

Employees have more financial security when their employer invests in protecting all of the personal information they have on file for the employees and the clients. In addition, access control is used to safeguard products and ideas currently in development. Keeping this type of information safe is vital to the survival of any business in a competitive industry.

Stop Theft and Vandalism

The Small Business Administration determined that a single act of vandalism costs a small business an average of about $3,000. Businesses in the United States lose approximately $60 billion each year from theft. About nine percent of all small businesses were burglarized or experienced some type of theft in 2016.

The American Society of Employers reports that out of every dollar a business earns, about 20 cents is stolen by an employee. Not everyone steals from their employer, but all are harmed by the actions of their dishonest co-workers. It may seem uncomfortable to monitor employees with a security camera, but it is the best way to provide job security for the entire team.

Any incident that takes away profit hurts every company member. Address the problem quickly to keep it under control and to avoid putting the business at risk. At Alarm Protection Services we offer solutions for every industry. Contact us to schedule a review of your security needs and to learn more about the services available. 

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5 Ways to Strengthen Your Company’s Security

When enforced, an effective access control policy allows the business owner or executive to know and control who has access to different parts of the establishment. You can determine who should or should not be allowed to enter sensitive areas.

You can also print reports and view security cameras whenever needed to determine if someone got access to a restricted area. This sort of accountability can prevent crimes and thwart would-be criminals. You can strengthen your company’s security by implementing the following techniques.  

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How Remote Automation Keeps Businesses Secure

Business owners never really take time off. There is always something to worry about and one of the biggest concerns is the security of an empty office or shop. A few days away could leave everything vulnerable. The most effective way to reduce the risk is through remote automation. Here are examples of how this system makes it possible to enjoy a vacation again. 

Surveillance Cameras Let You See for Yourself

Real-time surveillance cameras are for any property owner that is tired of relying on others to assure them that all is well at their business. With a simple tap on a smartphone, it is possible to see your business through the security cameras. View from home, while on vacation or before entering the building to avoid any surprises. 

The smart cameras used in these systems provide clear video footage for easier identification of trespassers or others if a problem takes place. The quality of the video gives conclusive evidence so the case is easier to prove in court. The footage is backed up and saved remotely to prevent anyone from editing or erasing incriminating information. 

Reduce Company Waste

Every company owner seeks out ways to trim wastefulness. Small mistakes like a faucet left running over the weekend or lights left on are not necessarily huge expenses. However, they do add up over time and create nothing of value for the company. Remote automation makes it possible to have control over all utility services at all times. 

In some instances, this type of control could save money by preventing damage. For example, shutting off the water remotely after noticing a broken pipe eliminates or reduces the amount of water damage. And turning off the electricity to avoid the risk of a power surge when a massive storm is on the way helps to protect electronic equipment.

Remote systems also make it easy to monitor the interior climate of any building and adjust it remotely before returning to work. Employees are able to arrive at a comfortable workplace every day, but you don’t have to worry about the waste of leaving the system in full operation when the business is empty for hours or days at a time. 

Receive Assistance Faster

A thief picking a door lock, an overflowing sink and smoke rising from an outlet are all examples of what people can see and stop before the situation is out of control. The early arrival of emergency services reduces the amount of property damage and is one of the reasons many insurance carriers give discounts to clients with these systems. 

It is even possible to include security features that sense dramatic temperature changes or detect small amounts of smoke in the air. These systems are programmed to notify the business owner, send a signal to the security company or contact first responders to guarantee help arrives quickly. 

Control Building Access

Arming or disarming an alarm system or door remotely allows you the peace of mind that comes from knowing these tasks were completed. These same features help to prevent unintentional employee lockouts that could result in a false alarm to the police station. It is also easy to turn on lights to prevent the building from appearing unoccupied. 

Remote control over front doors, or to any door within the property, is also a convenient internal security feature. It prevents employees from gaining access to secure areas without proper clearance and prevents former employees from having keys that would allow them back into the building without authorization. 

Remote automation works for homes and businesses and helps to alleviate the worries that made business trips, vacations and long weekends seem like a security risk. These security systems are a purchase that has the potential to save time, worry and money. At Alarm Protection Services we specialize in protecting people and property. Call us for more information.

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Business Security: 5 Tips to Thwart Shoplifting in Your Retail Store

Shoplifting can have a significant impact on your company’s overall bottom line. Every single day, there is over $35 million worth of products stolen from retailers across the country. To help prevent shoplifting from hurting your business, here are a few tips to deter shoplifters.

Tip #1: Greet Every Single Customer

If someone is going to shoplift an item from your store, they want to come into your store and try to avoid contact with each employee. So, your goal is to try to keep that from happening. With that being said, you need to make sure that you are able to greet each person that walks through your store door.

However, you don’t want to just say “good morning” or “good afternoon,” you also want to make firm eye contact with them. This lets them know that you saw them and that, if necessary, you can describe them in detail. Plus, in the process, you are providing excellent customer service with your simple greeting.

Tip #2: Take Note of At-Risk Items

There are certain products that are more at risk of being shoplifted than others. As a general rule, these items are small and highly valuable. If they fit into a purse or pocket, then these items are easy to shoplift.

These items need to be locked in a display case or near the register so that you can keep a close eye on them. Keep at-risk items in a highly visible area to discourage shoplifters.  

Tip #3: Organize Your Store

It is very important that your store is well-organized and clean. There are a couple of different reasons for this. For starters, a messy store is not appealing for your customers and it could result in you losing business.

Secondly, a cluttered store could increase the risk of shoplifting occurring. After all, a dirty and disorganized store lets a shoplifter know that employees are not doing their jobs and aren’t paying close enough attention to what’s going on, which makes it easy for something to be misplaced or stolen.

Another reason to keep your store clean is that it can be difficult to tell that something has been swiped until it is simply too late.

Tip #4: Focus on Your Dressing Rooms

If your business has dressing rooms, the best thing that you can do is to keep them locked and use a numbering system (for the number of items that they are taking into the dressing room with them). Yes, it may be a hassle, especially when you are short-staffed, however, numbering can really help to deter theft.

In addition, make sure that all customers leave shopping carts and large bags outside of the dressing rooms while trying on their clothes.

Tip #5: Stay Visible

You aren’t going to be able to see your entire store at all times, but there are ways that you can maximize the visibility of your merchandise and displays. For example, you can use the perimeter of your store for some of your taller displays. You can then place your shorter displays closer to the middle of the store and near registers.

Also, there are going to be plenty of blind spots to deal with, so put up mirrors in the corners of your store to help eliminate these blind spots. You should also ensure that the store is well-lit and that there are no dark areas, particularly behind shelves or in the corners.

You don’t have to sit back and hope that your store won’t be the victim of a shoplifting attack. Contact the security professionals at Alarm Protection Services today to find out how we can help you protect your business.

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What Access Control Options Can Keep Your Business’s Confidential Records Secure?

Whether you own a medical practice, an independent insurance agency, or a local investment firm, you and your staff members deal with a wide range of solicited (and even unsolicited) confidential client information on a daily basis.

Even in an increasingly digital age, keeping your physical records secure remains crucial. With the advent of laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other federal regulations, failing to safeguard information like Social Security numbers, health histories, and credit card numbers could not only harm your reputation in the community, but can also subject you to civil penalties and monetary damages.   

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Is Your Religious Facility at Risk? Take Steps to Keep Your Sanctuary Secure

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No matter the faith practiced in your house of worship or the location of your sacred space, there are modern risks you can’t avoid addressing. To be a responsible manager of any religious facility today, you need to develop an adequate security plan to protect against thievery and personal harm. 

Risks exist both inside and outside the church, temple, or other holy structure. Follow a few simple tips to recognize your vulnerabilities and develop detection and intervention strategies.

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Orleans Parish False Alarm Ordinance

False Alarms: A Serious Problem  download (1)

 In 2016, the New Orleans Police Department received roughly 44,000 burglary alarm calls of which the overwhelming majority were false alarms. NOPD officials estimates false alarms cost taxpayers roughly $400,000 a year in police resources. On June 4, 2015, the New Orleans City Council adopted a new ordinance to reduce false alarm dispatches. They selected CryWolf False Alarm Solutions to manage the program. Beginning May 1st, home and business owners are required to register their alarms with CryWolf. A $150 fine can be levied for owners who do not register their alarms.  This post will give you an overview of what you need to know about the new ordinance and how to reduce false alarms.

What you need to know about the ordinance

  • Register your alarm system
    • All Orleans Parish alarm users are required to register under the law. This includes all private residences and business locations within Orleans Parish.  Online registration will be available May 1st, 2017, through the NOPD website.
  • 2 Call Verification
    • The new ordinance requires our monitoring station to call 2 different numbers before contacting the police department. Please make sure your call list is updated by contacting [email protected]
  • “4 Strikes”
    • Under the new ordinance, the alarm system user will get “four strikes” annually before service is suspended.
      • 1st False Alarm – written warning.
    • 2nd False Alarm – $75 Fine.
    • 3rd False Alarm – $150 Fine.
    • 4th False Alarm – $150 Fine.
      • At the end of the calendar year, the false alarm count for each address will revert to zero if all fines have been paid.  The 4 strikes only apply to alarm calls where officers are dispatched and arrive on the scene to investigate. If the owner is able to communicate with their provider that the alarm was indeed false before officers arrive at the location, those instances will not count toward their false alarm tally. 
  •  What Suspension Means
    • Suspension means officers won’t respond to calls at the businesses or residences until the property owner becomes compliant. NOPD will respond to 911 calls from the address but not automated alarm calls.  This does not include fire alarms, panic or medical alarm signals. 
    • APS will continue to monitor your alarm system if you are on suspension. When we receive a burglary signal our operators will contact you via the numbers given by the phone list. 

 

How to Reduce False Alarms

  • Instruct all alarm users how to operate the alarm system properly. 
    • All users should know their alarm codes and how to arm, disarm and reset the alarm system properly. Review alarm cancellation procedures using authorized passcodes with everyone who might use the alarm system.
  • Up-to-date call list
    • Make sure to keep our monitoring station informed of any modifications to your call list. These changes include: new or disconnected phone numbers, names, key holder information, etc…
  • Answer the phone
    • Having the monitoring station as a contact in your cell phone will let you know we are calling. Many people don’t answer phone numbers they aren’t familiar with. Don’t forgot to let your family and friends know if they are on your call list. 
    • APS Phone numbers to put in your cell phone:
      • 504.455.5277 – office
      • 504.456.2013 – in house monitoring station
  • Contact us BEFORE the remodel
    • You should notify APS before remodeling at the premises or if the phone systems are changed. 
  • Report suspected damaged or faulty equipment
    • Many false alarms are typically due to human error. If you think a false alarm is caused by malfunctioning equipment, contact our service department at 504.455.5277

Still having issues with false alarms??? Contact our False Alarm Coordinator at 504.455.5277

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How to Use Your Commercial Security Cameras More Effectively

ba7a5297-4ea0-40b9-8e13-0d6e73f47a0aA security camera system is one of the most fundamental types of protection for your company’s premises. While many commercial properties use security cameras, not every company uses their camera systems appropriately.

In order for your commercial security camera system to successfully deter, detect, and help prosecute crime, you need a comprehensive system that fits your facility and business hours.

In this blog, we list some of the measures that you should take in order to use your security cameras as effectively as possible.

Choose a Reputable Monitoring Company to Work With

As important as high-quality cameras are to the security of your commercial property, even cameras that capture every movement don’t effectively protect your business if no one is monitoring them. If you’re installing a new security camera system, look for a camera supplier that also offers remote monitoring and/or video verification.

If you have an existing system, but the camera feed isn’t professionally monitored, partner with a reputable video monitoring company. This service ensures that you’re alerted the moment a security breach occurs, rather than being notified the next time the tape is reviewed.

You may also want to hire onsite security personnel to work during off-hours. These employees can observe the feed and respond to it in real time.

Choose the Right Camera Type

Security cameras are not one size fits all. Business owners who settle for the wrong camera type for their facility often end up with security systems that aren’t much of an improvement over their in-house security team.

Consider what you need most from a security camera. Do you want to monitor a large area all at once? Do you need your cameras to record even with the lights out? Do you anticipate needing clear images of perpetrators’ faces?

Bring your concerns to a security camera provider and have them evaluate your current system. You may need to add a fisheye, low-light, or other specialized camera. You may also need to change your camera configuration, as we’ll discuss in a later section.

Keep Your Camera System Current

As with any other tech devices, your cameras only function as well as their current software and firmware allows. Be sure to promptly upgrade your cameras as needed. Failure to take this step could leave gaps in your video surveillance.

You should also check that you’re using best practices for running and maintaining your cameras. For example, you may need to change the admin privileges on new cameras to reduce the risk of someone hacking into the feed using the default username and password.

Update Your Camera Configuration as Needed

Even if your security camera system completely covered your facility when it was first installed, you should plan to check the configuration annually. New equipment or construction could potentially block the view from a camera, or a camera could shift over time.

When you assess your camera configuration, ensure that your cameras cover the bare minimum of space you need secured. These areas include your main entrance and exits, parking lot, and stock or supply room entrances.

If you’re concerned about the adequacy of your video feed coverage, have a security systems professional evaluate the feed to identify any blind spots that could potentially put your facility at risk of intrusion or theft.

To determine how else you can improve the effectiveness of your commercial security camera system, consult with your security system provider. He or she can provide recommendations based on your current system, budget, and specific security concerns.

Use these suggestions and the recommendations of your security system provider to ensure that your security cameras truly provide your first and best defense against would-be criminals.

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4 Ways to Keep Your Home Secure These Holidays

12857f36-f112-46e4-9f5b-1b530403f38eThe holidays are here, and for many people, it is a time to spend the season relaxing, taking a break from work, and spending time family and friends. Unfortunately, it’s also a time that many criminals look forward to. Home entry crime rates rise significantly over the holiday period, with criminals taking advantage of the increased number of empty dwellings and the abundance of brand new and often expensive gifts that are available to steal.

Whether you’re staying home or going to visit loved ones these holidays, you are probably concerned about your home’s security during this high-risk time. Here are three ways you can ensure that your family, home, and possessions are safe through the season.

1. Install a Security System With Break-In Alarms

Nothing makes a home a less tempting target for thieves than a comprehensive security system. Security companies can devise a tailor-made system which identifies and protects your home’s most vulnerable entry points. Working with a specialist security system provider ensures that your security needs are fully met and nothing will be overlooked that might compromise the effectiveness of your system.

These security systems are monitored around the clock, so you will have the peace of mind that your home is being looked after—even if you’re on the other side of the country. Modern technology also allows you to access your security system and surveillance camera footage from any electronic device and any location.

2. Install Sensor Lights

Sensor lights are easy to install and are a highly effective deterrent to uninvited guests. The motion-activated sensor light will startle the intruder while also making them visible to neighbors and people passing by.  Robbing the would-be robber of the benefit of darkness is often enough to make him or her think twice about entering your home.

Sensor lights work most effectively when used at multiple points around the home, covering both front and rear doors as well as ground level windows. A smart and economical way to add sensor lights is to have them integrated into your home security system when you have it installed.

3. Ensure Your Doors Are Secure

The front door is the entry point used in around 34% of burglaries in the US. Creating an effective barrier is essential, and the more secure your doors are, the better.  Start with a door that has a solid core with both a lockable doorknob and a deadbolt. Avoid glass panels either within the door or on either side of the door, unless the glass is made with toughened or reinforced security glass. 

A top-quality screen door, made from sturdy metal and tough wire mesh, is another layer of security for your doors. Screens are also very noisy to break through, which makes them a highly unappealing option for burglars attempting to enter your home.

4. Don’t Forget to Utilize Your Security Features

You could have the most expensive, high-tech security system and the most impenetrable doors in the world, but unless you’ve remembered to switch on your alarms and lock your doors, these safety features are pointless. Your security features should also be regularly checked and serviced to ensure they work properly when you’re at home and when you’re away.

Burglars commonly rob homes even when the occupants are present. Accidently surprising a burglar mid-robbery can be terrifying, and it may result in yourself or a family member being harmed. A well-maintained security system can keep you and your loved ones safer.

The holidays should be a time of joy, not a time to feel threatened or violated due to your home being broken into. These security tips will help to ensure that your home, family, and possessions are well protected this season.

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