The Myth of Local Monitoring

The Myth of Local Monitoring

The Myth of Local Monitoring…Having a reliable monitoring service is the heart and soul of your home security system.  You want a monitoring network that provides you with reliable, quick and accurate responses to your alarm system. 

Some people believe local monitoring is better.  It’s a nice sales pitch.  It’s also a myth that local monitoring is better.  It’s not the location of the monitoring service; it’s the quality of the monitoring operations services that makes the difference.

Monitoring Expertise

At Protection Concepts we use Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS) for our monitoring services.  CMS is the largest alarm monitoring company in the United States.  It works with over 4000 alarm companies and 900,000 customers.  Monitoring is their expertise.

Monitoring Training

Before a CMS monitoring professional can begin working, they receive weeks of intensive training.  They are tested, retested and must be certified before they can sit behind a desk to monitor your alarm system.

Monitoring Technology

As a national provider of monitoring services, CMS employs the leading edge technology from UTC, AT&T®, Verizon®, Honeywell® and others.

Monitoring Services 

Whether you have monitoring services responding to fire or security issues; Personal Emergency Response Systems; two way voice or remote video, you get prompt and courteous responses.

Conclusion

Smaller, local monitoring services cannot provide the expertise, the technology nor the training that CMS brings to your home security system from Protection Concepts.  Don’t be fooled by the local label.

Home Safety Tips While on Vacation

Home Safety Tips While on Vacation

Home Safety Tips While on Vacation… You’re planning your summer vacation.  It will be a great time for the children and leave behind your normal cares and work duties. Based on statistics from the Department of Justice most home burglaries occur during these summer months.

What can you do to protect your home security while you are on your summer vacation?  Here are some Home Safety Tips While on Vacation.

 

Preparing the Outside of Your Home

  • Start by making sure your windows and doors are locked before you leave. 
  • Either stop delivery or have a neighbor retrieve newspapers, mail or any packages you are scheduled to receive. 
  • If you are going to be gone for a longer time, have someone cut your grass so it does not appear that you are on vacation.
  • Inspect gutters and downspouts. They must be clear of debris to drain water properly?
  • I know of one neighbor whose teenager parked their car in the driveway of a neighbor on vacation to suggest that the home was occupied.
  • Check your sump pump to see  if it is working properly.
  • Store deck furniture so that it does not get blown around in a storm.

Preparing the Inside of Your Home

  • Keep valuables out of sight so that the bad guys cannot look through your windows and decide your home is a good place to rob.
  • Put lights or a radio on a timer to keep the allusion that some in home in your house 
  • Be careful about using social media to share with friends your vacation plans.  Burglars use social media to identify potential homes to rob.
  • Do not advertise your vacation on your home phone answering machine. 
  • Unplug unnecessary electronics and electrical appliances.  A lightning strike could do real damage to these and your home while you are on vacation.
  • Have a trusted neighbor visit your home every couple of days to make sure everything is ok within the home.

 

Conclusion

Follow these Home Safety Tips While on Vacation and you will have peace of mind to enjoy your family’s summer vacation.

Happy Birthday USA

Happy birthday USA Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.[7]

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.[8][9][10][11][12]

Coincidentally, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third President in a row who died on the holiday. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only U.S. President to have been born on Independence Day.

Happy Birthday USA…Please join with me in wishing a happy birthday to the USA on this 4th of July.  Enjoy the video by Lee Greenwood and the birthday wishes he has for the USA. Enjoy the holiday celebration.

Tips for Preventing Car Break-ins

Tips for Preventing Car Break-ins

Last week, a family friend from East Atlanta experienced a car break in.  They spoke about the violation they felt at seeing stuttered glass over the front seat of their car. While there is no way to completely prevent a car break-in, here are some tips you can use to help prevent one.  Enjoy this article by Joel Hilton from Top Ten Reviews.

1. Keep Things Out of Sight If you have any valuables, such as an iPod, purse or video camera, store it under the seat or in the glove compartment. Most of the time, thieves are just looking for a quick buck and if they see something they like, they’ll smash and grab. You’ll also want to put anything that looks like it could contain something valuable, such as a box or briefcase, in the trunk to prevent car break-ins

2. Get a Detachable Stereo Face A car thief won’t steal a stereo that he can’t use. Purchasing a car audio receiver a detachable front panel will make your stereo useless to any would-be crook. Criminals want things quick and easy, so a missing face plate may make them move on to the next car.

3. Keep Your Car Secure While this is a no-brainer, but many people don’t lock their car when they’re “just running into the store” or “they’ll only be a minute.” Don’t make the thief’s job any easier by handing him an open door.

4. Park it in a Public Location That sweet, little-known spot in the alley in the back may always be open, but it is also quite private which is perfect for any criminal.  If you are parking somewhere at night, park your vehicle near a light.  Criminals want quick and easy jobs, so they don’t want a lot of publicity or visibility.

5. Get an Alarm Most of the time when people think of alarms, they think of the one that accidentally goes off in the parking lot.  Take notice, there are no car thieves around that noisy car. These types of criminals will avoid cars if they can see that it is alarmed. Some companies even manufacturer inexpensive products that only make it look like your car has an alarm, which also will help prevent car break-ins.

Follow these five tips and you have a better chance of avoiding the typical car break-ins.  To read more details, see the complete article at Five Tips to prevent car break-ins.  What tips would you share about preventing car break-ins?

Protecting Yourself Against Cell Phone Thefts

Protecting Yourself Against Cell Phone Thefts

Protecting Yourself Against Cell Phone Thefts

Did you know that several years ago, Atlanta was identified as the number one city in the country for cell phone thefts?  Recent local news articles have indicated cell phones thefts have increased.  MARTA riders are a particular target for cell phone thefts. 

Cell Phone Theft Problem

Because of the expense with new smart phones, cell phone thefts have become the fastest growing crime in the country.  Thieves sell the cell phones or rack up huge bills with international calls. Americans now spend $30 billion per year replacing lost or stolen phones.  We have virus protections for our desk top computers.  What happens when someone steals your cell phone and the personal information you have on it?

Here are 10 tips from Dumblittleman.com to help prevent you from becoming a victim of cell phone theft. 

Record your details

As soon as you get a new device, record all the details about it including phone number, IMEI, make, model, PIN or security code and any other numbers used to identify the phone. Store this information in a place away from the phone. Most phones have a very simple key-in method to retrieve IMEI/MEID numbers: enter a 5-digit string—*#06#—and the number will be displayed on your phone.

Register your phone with your network operator

Register your phone with your network provider.  If your phone is stolen, report the loss to them immediately. Using your registered IMEI number, they may be able to block your hand set and account details. Some wireless carriers are willing to do this, and some aren’t. If done, this will prevent anyone from using the phone across any network, even if the SIM card is changed.

Keep the phone in a safe place

There’s no place you could hide a phone that would be absolutely secure, some are better than others. Some places that are just too vulnerable are the outer pocket of a backpack, back pocket of jeans or a front pocket of a jacket. A better spot for the phone is inside a zippered compartment of your purse or an inside jacket pocket.

Lock your phone

Create a password for your phone.  Yes, this is an extra step for using your phone. If a thief does get your phone, it won’t do him any good if he can’t turn it on or access the information on your SIM card without a password.
Never let the phone out of your sight

Don’t put your cell phone down. Every week there are thefts involving people who left their phones on the table at a club or restaurant.  Why make life easy for crooks?

Be on your guard

Don’t be stupid—focus on your safety, not your phone. Be extra careful in crowded places like fast food places, nightclubs, which are havens for thieves because there are so many people in close quarters.

Use a Hands-free Unit

If all that’s visible to crooks is your headset, they have no idea where you’ve stashed your phone, or whether it’s even worth stealing. Yeah, you look like you’re talking to yourself, but isn’t that better than having your phone stolen?

Dump the ear buds

Everyone including thieves knows that the iPhone comes with white ear buds. To avoid telling the whole world that there’s an iPhone in your pocket, switch out the ear buds for a less recognizable set.

Install anti-theft software

Do an app search for “anti-theft” and you’re sure to find one.  Apple has an “Activation Lock” option for the iPhone to iOS 7. Samsung added a “kill switch” to its Galaxy SIV. The “LoJack” feature allows users to delete data from the device and prevent it from being rebooted if stolen.  Do a search for apps that can protect your phone. Install it on your phone.

File a police report

If your phone is stolen, file a police report immediately.  Also contact your network provider. The crook could be using it to place long distance calls all over the world that will turn up on your bill. The carrier may ask to see a police report, so be sure you get one.

Conclusion

Following the above tips will not absolutely protect your phone from thieves.  It will make it much harder.    Be safe and keep your cell phone safe!

Aug National Night Out Atlanta

Aug National Night Out Atlanta

Protection Concepts is in the business of providing home and commercial security.  We also recognize that neighborhoods play an essential role in make our world a safer place.  That is why Protection Concepts is such a strong supporter of National Night Out Atlanta. 

National Night Out Atlanta will be on Tuesday evening, August 5th.

The focus of National Night Out is on bringing neighbors and communities together, with festivals, block parties, cookouts, parades, and other similar events as common ways for communities to come together to promote safer communities.  These local meetings bring together police, emergency personnel and other crime prevention programs with local neighborhoods for the purpose of strengthening the local neighborhood and fighting crime.

National Night Out was initiated in 1984. This year it will involve over 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities from all fifty states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.  It is one way to send a message to the bad guys letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. 

According to Matt Peskin, the director of National Associations of Town Watches, “ It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safer place year round. The night celebrates safety and crime prevention successes and works to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days.”

We invite you to participate in one of the many Atlanta neighborhood National Night Out events on August 5th.  It is another way you can make your home and neighborhood a safer place.