A Few Easy
Steps To Protect Your Property
are shocked to hear about how residential burglaries actually occur.
The vast majority of burglaries are nearly identical, making it
relatively easy to anticipate and prevent one at your home.
most burglaries occur between 11:00am and 4:00pm (yes, broad
daylight) Monday through Friday. The burglar will typically go to your
front door and knock. If someone answers, they may ask for a random
person ("Is Bob here?") or for directions to some obscure
address... whatever they say, you can be pretty sure that if it
sounds and looks suspicious, the man at the door is likely casing out
homes in your neighborhood and you should call 911 and have the
police check it out.
If no one
comes to the door, the crook will do a tour around the house and
knock again on the back door. Whichever door looks weaker tends to be
the one that will be used. Entry is most often gained using a
screwdriver or crowbar near the lock to pry the door just enough so
that a good kick will split the door frame. In most cases, the door
and deadbolt withstand the kick, but the doorframe splits, allowing the
burglar to walk right in. Once inside, the crook(s) will go straight
to the master bedroom and empty out the bedside tables and dressers.
The next stop is the closet where they will rifle through everything
looking for cash, jewelry and anything that can be easily turned into
cash. After the master bedroom, they'll typically do a quick tour of
the entire house looking for other portable items like cameras before
heading out to their waiting (sometimes) stolen car.
of the above scenario is when entry is gained through a window, often
on the second floor, with the burglar hoping there is no alarm
sensor. In that case, the first stop will be a main floor door in
order to open it and prepare an easy escape, before heading to the
As most of the
property crime is committed by drug addicts trying to support their
habit, stolen goods are sold very quickly ,
often within hours of the burglary. Most of the time, a crook gets
about 10 cents on the dollar. As a result of these economics, a
typical burglar needs to break into multiple homes every day to
support their drug habit.
What are the
1. You need to
"five-minute proof" your most precious belongings.... DO
NOT keep anything that you cannot replace in your master bedroom;
2. Whether you
have anything or not in your master bedroom, that is where the crooks
want to go... consider installing a deadbolt on your master bedroom
door (even if you only use it when you are out of town). This will
slow them down and allow time for the police to respond;
having a safe installed. However, you must be willing to have it
professionally installed by a locksmith. Believe me, it does not
matter how heavy the safe it, if it is not bolted into the
ground (preferably a concrete pad) it can be stolen.
people are most concerned with losing irreplaceable family jewelry.
If you have jewelry that you do not regularly wear, consider using a
safe deposit box at the bank or in a properly installed safe... or
store it somewhere else in your house, but not in the master bedroom.
the goal of your security plan is to ensure that it would take a
crook five minutes or more, from the point at which the alarm is
tripped, to get to your most valuable possessions.
We Know It's
Why Internet Phone Service Can
Leave You Vulnerable
We have been
talking for a while about the impact that VOIP (Voice Over Internet
Phone) service can have on your alarm monitoring service. The most
obvious problem occurs if you have VOIP service at your home or
business. If you lose power, your cable or dsl
modem will not work. Even if your device has a built in battery back up, it is designed to work for a short
period of time, not the 24 hours required by code for a fire alarm system.
No power mean your modem can't work, you will have no phone service
and your alarm can't send the signal to the monitoring center.The other problem is the conversion
system must be converted to digital. With voice, it is not very
critical. Your conversation is cut up and sent digitally as packets,
and then reassembled at the other end. The quality of telephones and
the way our ear works makes this system economical and effective. For
data transmission it doesn't work as well. Instead of a string of
words, we have a string of data. That data contains information like
your account #, what event occurred, and what device caused that
event. That information must be received exactly as sent for the
monitoring center to send the right authorities (police, fire, ems) to the right location. You also don't want
the police dispatched if your system is sending a low battery signal.
that string of data from your premises, cuts it up, transmits it, and
then reassembles it at the receiving end. There is no standardization
as to how that data is cut and reassembled and different VOIP
providers use different systems. With voices, it just doesn't matter
is a bit of data is lost in this process, but with data, it is
services will simply not work with alarm systems. Vonage and Magic
Jack, for example, warn that their service is not be used with alarm
panels. Cablevision, Comcast, and FIOS service appear to be better,
and most of the tim, the signal gets
through. Most of the time, however, is a problem for the security
choose to have an alarm system installed to protect your home,
business, and family, your rightly expect it to work. Not sometimes, not 70% of the time, not even 99%
of the time should be acceptable. After all, 99% uptime means that in
a year your phone service is not working for 87 and a half hours. That is not good enough for us and
we don't think it should be good enough for you.
that is not where the problem ends. Even if you don't have VOIP
service there is a very good chance that somewhere along the way from
your home/business to the monitoring station, the signal will be
converted to digital and then back to analog before arriving at the
central station dispatch system. In the future, this will become more
prevalent as the remaining non wireless phone companies become
unregulated and will be driven to reduce cost. Good for calling
friends and relatives, but as we saw above, not good
for alarm communications.
The good news
is that there are solutions that solve the problem and work with
virtually every alarm panel in service today. The most common is a
GSM dialer. It is simply a unit that transmits alarm signals via the
GSM data band to the monitoring station. Since it doesn't have to
wait for a dial tone, the signal actually gets through to the central
station quicker than with a telephone dialer. These units can either
be primary, with no telephone service at all, or secondary, used if
the alarm information doesn't get through properly via the phone
is an internet protocol (IP) communicator. These units send digital
information from the alarm panel to the monitoring center. These come
either stand alone or with a GSM communicator built in. In that case,
the internet is the primary communication path and the GSM path is
used as back up. Both IP communicators and GSM communicators are 2
way communicators, allowing for supervision. This ensures that the
units are working properly and if not, you are notified.
reliability, having a digital communicator on your alarm system opens
up large array of features that were not available before. Log on
with a computer or Android or IPhone app and see if your alarm system
is on or off, see who armed or disarmed it and when, even see if any
windows were left open. Forgot to give the cleaning person your code,
no worries, disarm the system from work.
everyone add an alternative communicator to their system for
reliability; convenience is secondary, but a very real benefit.
us and we can discuss specific solutions and options available for
your system and needs.