How Often Should You Test Your Security System?

Using Security System
Installing a security system is extremely important to protect your home from intruders.

However, most people forget the security system after installing it. It’s not a safe practice, since the system may stop working if you overlook its maintenance. You can make the most of an advanced security system by testing it on a regular basis.

 

When You Should Test a Security System

Home security systems including CCTV camera, door entry system, CO detector, and fire alarm must be tested regularly to ensure they’re working properly. Every security system has varying maintenance requirements and you can determine the testing requirements by carefully reading the instructions on the product manual.

 

If you’ve hired professional services for maintenance of the system, you won’t need to perform the testing on your own. The professional workers will visit your home regularly as per the terms of the contract and test the security system in an efficient manner.

 

Let’s take a look at the situations when it’s a must to test your home security system:

  • After installing a new security system
  • After renovating your home
  • After making major changes in the internet service
  • After replacing electrical wiring at your home
  • After a natural disaster, such as a storm or heavy rainfall

How to Test Your Home Security System

It’s best to sign a monthly or yearly contract with professional security team to keep an eye on your security systems. However, you should also know about the steps of testing the systems. Here’s how you can efficiently test a security system:

 

Door Entry System

In order to get access to your home, you’ll need to enter the pre-specified password. In order to check whether the system will alert you of unauthorized visitors, you should enter the wrong entry code. If the system sounds an alarm and doesn’t allow you to enter the indoor space, it means the system is in optimal condition.

 

Security Camera

CCTV cameras inside your home as well as in the outdoor premises are prone to physical damages. You should carefully check the body of the security camera to make sure they’re in good shape. Also, check the recordings of the security camera on a monitoring system. If the camera show high quality images and videos in real-time, it depicts you don’t need to worry about the maintenance of your CCTV cameras.

 

Security Alarms

Burglar alarm, fire alarm, smoke alarm, and carbon monoxide alarm need regular testing to protect your house and your possessions. Make sure the alarms have a stable power source so that they don’t stop working all of a sudden.

 

Close the main gate and turn on all detectors and alarms in your house. If you’re testing burglar alarm, try to breach the security code to check whether or not the alarm rings. Similarly, check the other security alarms too for your own good.

 

To be precise, security systems can protect you as long as you pay attention to their regular maintenance. This way, the systems will continue to protect you from potential threats for long.

3 Reasons Why You Ought to Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

honneywell carbon monoxide detector Carbon monoxide is an odourless, tasteless, and colourless gas that is toxic for you. If the level of CO exceeds in any space, it may lead to suffocation and death.

 

Gas stoves, fireplaces, and water heaters can produce carbon monoxide in excess amount. In order to stay safe from the potential threats, you should take preventive measures, and carbon monoxide detector is one such device that can keep you safe.

When the quantity of carbon monoxide in air increases, you may face difficulty in breathing and feel dizzy. However, if CO level in air increases when you’re sleeping in your room, you may not be able to wake up and save your life. If you’ve a carbon monoxide detector in place, it can alert you in time.

 

Here are some major reasons why every home needs a carbon monoxide detector:

1. It Protects Your Family

Carbon monoxide poisoning affects more than 4,000 people every year, whereas around 53 people lose their lives to this harmful gas. Instead of constantly worrying about the safety of your family, you should opt for carbon monoxide detectors.
These efficient devices monitor the level of CO gas and generate alarm if it exceeds the maximum safety limit. This way, you can take immediate actions to clear indoor air and stay safe from the potential threat.

 

2. It Acts As a Preventive Measure

Don’t wait for any accident to occur and install carbon monoxide detectors as a preventive measure. These devices alert people in time that the ratio of carbon monoxide in air has become too high. Once you know about the CO level, it’ll be easier for you to prevent any lethal accidents.

 

3. It Reduces the Risk of Injury

Carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely harmful for you. When you intake CO, it contaminates oxygen in your blood, making it difficult for you to breathe. If you breathe in air where the level of CO gas is too high, you may fall severely ill. It may affect your heart and brain health and endanger your life.

 

Tips to Make the Most of CO Detectors

When you intend to install carbon monoxide detectors, you should hire professional services. They’ll install the system in an efficient way so that it works at its best. On the other hand, if you attempt to install the system on your own, you may end up damaging the device.
Furthermore, you should hire professional services to perform regular maintenance of the system. Regular maintenance ensures that the system retains its quality and performance over a long time. If anything goes wrong, the professional workers will check the components and replace them as and when needed.

 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, investing in a carbon monoxide detector can save your life. CO is an extremely dangerous gas that hampers your health and may cause death. However, if you’ve installed CO detectors in your home, you don’t need to worry about the threat. It’ll alert you about the alarming level of this gas in air so that you can take actions for your safety.

DIY Home Security System Installation: 4 Costly Mistakes You Should Avoid

DIY Home Security System Installation
A home security system is extremely important to protect your home and your family. However, even today, not many homeowners consider it a necessity.

 

They believe that they live in a secure neighbourhood, which is why there’s no need to invest in an expensive security system. However, what you may not know is that property crimes are quite common in the UK.

 

It’s estimated that 59% of burglaries take place when the homeowner is at home, whereas around 72% of burglars enter via a door. So, if you don’t want to put your life and possessions at risk, it’s best to install a modern security system. However, if you intend to install it on your own, give up your idea and hire professional services, or else you may end up making the following mistakes:

 

1. Placing Controls Next to Entrance

When an intruder enters your property, alarm goes off after a slight delay.
Every security system comes with a control panel through which you can turn on or off the system and modify its settings. When installing a security system on their own, some people make the mistake of placing this control panel close to the entrance. It gives intruders the opportunity to turn off the alarm and enter the premises without any fear.

 

2. Lack of Monitoring

A variety of security systems are available in the market. However, most people prefer to install CCTV cameras to protect their property from burglars. It’s best to hire professional service for this purpose. Not only can they install the system in an efficient way, but also monitor the recording in real-time.

 

However, when you try to install the system on your own in an attempt to save costs, you’re likely to overlook the importance of CCTV monitoring. A CCTV camera is useless unless someone keeps an eye on the video recording. This way, even if an intruder somehow gets entry in your home, you can contact law enforcement agencies to catch them red-handed.

 

3. Forgetting Password

You need to set a password for your security system, so that no unauthorized user gains access to confidential information. When you install a security system on your own, there’s a high risk of you forgetting the password. Consequently, your system will go to waste.

On the other hand, professional security companies offer support services. Even if you forget your password, they’ll reset it so that you can use the system just like earlier.

 

4. Installing System the Wrong Way

Some home security systems are easier to install. However, if you’ve bought a complex security system, you may not be able to install it properly on your own. You may end up damaging the system or connect wires incorrectly. As a result, the system won’t be able to protect you.

Just like installing a security system is essential, it’s important to hire professional services for the same. If you opt for the DIY method, you may end up making some costly mistakes. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to buy a quality system and contact professionals for installation purposes.

Why Small Businesses Attract Burglars?

Why Small Businesses Attract Burglars
Small businesses are the major targets of burglars around the globe. Around 8.8% small businesses suffered losses in 2016 due to an attempted burglary. Burglary is extremely harmful for any business. Not only does it cause financial losses, businesses also tend to lose their reputation. Not many customers will be interested in doing shopping from a store that has been the target of intruders.

 

Why burglars Target Small Businesses?

Burglars tend to find small businesses more attractive than large businesses. It’s because large corporations usually install effective security systems to prevent unauthorized entry in the workplace. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, lack finances to purchase high quality security systems. Therefore, burglars can quite conveniently enter the premise and steal expensive items without interruption.
In case of a successful burglary, businesses have to bear huge losses. Therefore, they often fail to install a security system to protect the premise from any further burglary attempts down the road. It gives intruders the freedom to target the same business again. Since they’ve already broken into the space once, they’ll know how to grab expensive items the next time as well.

 

 

Impacts of Burglary On a Small Business

More than 51% small businesses in the UK have at least once became the target of burglars, due to which they ended up with losses of £25 million. For a small or a medium-sized business, it’s not easy to cope up with monetary losses. As a result, many small businesses shut down after employee theft or burglary by an intruder.

 

Aside from financial issues, vandalism or burglary also affects goodwill and credibility of a business. Retaining customers is extremely important for a business. However, if business owners fail to take effective actions in order to keep burglars at bay, they’re likely to lose their clients and customer base.

 

Aside from installing physical security systems, businesses must also ensure that their network is protected. If any unauthorized user gets their hands on confidential information of employees or customers, they’ll pose serious threats for the business.

 

How to Protect a Small Business?

Now that you know the major reasons why burglars tend to target small businesses, you should take immediate actions to protect your business. You should install an effective security system to monitor the premise in real-time. A complete security system usually consists of access control systems, CCTV cameras and emergency alarms. This way, you can take immediate actions if any burglar attempts to enter your office space.

 

Aside from protecting office equipment and documents, a business must also guard its intangible assets. You need to install firewall and anti-malware software to reduce the risk of hacking. These security solutions can prevent unauthorized access to important business information and protect your business from potential threats.

 

Conclusion

Most people believe that large businesses are attractive for burglars, since they can steal expensive goods. However, statistics suggest that small businesses are major targets due to lack of security measures. Entrepreneurs should invest in security systems for prevention of burglary and data theft for long-term benefits.

Why It’s an Unsafe Practice to Install Dummy Surveillance Cameras

Decoy CCTV

CCTV cameras prove to be effective in deterring burglars and protecting any space. However, the use of surveillance cameras isn’t common in the UK. For a population of 65.64 million, there are only 5-6 million cameras. It’s because many people find modern security systems too expensive or consider it unnecessary to protect their home with a security system.

 

Another practice which is quite common among homeowners is to install a dummy CCTV instead of buying a real one. However, fake cameras, in no way, can protect your home or office space. Let’s have a look at the major reasons why you need to stop trusting fake security cameras:

 

They Cannot Fool Intruders

Many homeowners wrongly assume that they can fool burglars with fake security cameras. However, dummy cameras are easier to identify. They usually have no wires and have a bright red light to indicate the presence of a security system. These unusual characteristics aid people into identifying a fake camera.

 

Many people mix fake security cameras with real ones in an attempt to save expenses. However, this practice backfires. When you install dummy cameras near real CCTV cameras, you make it easier for intruders to identify them. As a consequence, burglars will be at freedom to get into unauthorized activities without being caught.

 

They Cannot Record Any Evidence

A dummy security camera is completely useless. Neither can it record any video, nor notify you of potential dangers. Fake security cameras only provide you with a false sense of security. You cannot monitor the premise of your home or office for security purpose.

Real CCTV cameras record videos of any premise. Not only do they aid you in keeping burglars at bay, but also record evidence of any incident. So, if any burglar breaks into your home and steals your valuable possessions, you’ll have necessary evidence to take appropriate actions against them.

 

On the other hand, dummy cameras can’t record anything. If any intruder gets access to your home, you won’t be able to prove anything against them.

 

They May Attract Legal Issues

Fake security cameras generate a false sense of security. It’s a lesser known fact that fake security cameras can create legal issues for property owners. No matter how cheap fake cameras are, businesses should refrain from their installation to stay safe from lawsuits down the road.

 

Some shopping centres install fake cameras in their parking space. Visitors park their vehicles in the space thinking that their vehicles will be safe due to the presence of surveillance cameras. However, if any burglar unlocks their vehicle and steals any item, they may demand to look at the recording. They may sue you in the court if you fail to produce a CCTV camera recording.

 

Conclusion

Even if you’re tempted to save expenses, it’s best to install real CCTV cameras instead of fake ones. Burglars can quite easily detect fake cameras and enter your house, finding it an easy target. So, always choose high quality security systems to protect your family and your possessions.

The How and Why of Security System Maintenance

Arming a home alarm

Not only is prevention better than cure, but it’s a lot less costly too! Whether you are a homeowner or running a business, you need to ensure your security system is up and running at all times.

 

But, why?

Having a well maintained security system prevents alarming breakdowns and also helps with insurance compliance! Hypothetically, if a burglar was to break into your office building and take off with some valuable equipment, the next thing you would want to do is to make an insurance claim for your losses. However, if due to poor maintenance, the locks didn’t work, your insurers might not follow through with the claim on account of poor security system maintenance on your end. Additionally, you should also consider the fire regulations and safety legislation. In case a fire breaks out, the last thing you want is for the emergency exit button to fail you and not activate the door release.

 

Professional maintenance

Home automation has significantly extended the longevity of security systems. If you want to make your private property secure, discussing all the available options with a qualified security expert is the way to go. However, setting up an automated security system for your work place or home isn’t enough. Maintenance is just as important too. Preventative check-ups ensure that your security system functions optimally for a very long time.
As aforementioned, if say your alarm ceases to work due to ill maintenance, your insurers will void your claim. Your security system must be checked by a security professional on an annual basis. There are various aspects of your security system that the security professionals will assess. They will check out whether the batteries are functioning properly and are in good condition. They will also check whether the transmitted signals are received by the monitoring center successfully. Then they will carry out controlled test and check whether the panic buttons along with sensors are working. If there are any damaged parts that arise through proper diagnosis, the professional will repair these right away.

 

What you can do

Don’t leave your security system’s maintenance solely up to the annual check-ups though. It is a good practice to test your security system yourself every now and then. Test the alarm out to check if it’s working properly, along with the smoke detectors and motion sensors. If your security system is new, you can carry out these tests every six months. However, if you have an older security system, you ought to check it every three months. Make sure that every time you test your security system out, you notify your security provider before-hand so they don’t dispatch support while you are at it. Whether you have a wireless security system or a traditional one, check the batteries within the security panel roughly every 3 years. Furthermore, make sure your camera lens is always clean using a lens wipe so that it provides a clear video feed at all times.

How to Protect Your Security Camera from Hackers

Security Camera

The purpose of a CCTV camera is to protect you and your belongings from potential threats. Modern IP cameras have become popular, since they enhance the security of your property. You can connect your IP camera with your smartphone via internet and monitor the premise from a remote location. However, this internet connectivity also makes your security system prone to attacks by hackers.

 

Hackers can access your security camera by cracking the password of your Wi-Fi network. Information sent via local networks usually isn’t encrypted. Therefore, hackers can easily take control of the installed security system. Even if your IP camera is password protected, hackers can get hold of your login credentials through different means. Here are some ways you can keep your IP cameras safe from unauthorized users:

 

Choose a Brand with Good Reputation

Always buy your security camera from a trusted source. Conduct a thorough research to know more about companies that offer security cameras and go for a brand with a proven track record. Look for online customer reviews before making a decision.

 

Never Buy a Second-Hand Camera

Never purchase used security cameras. You may be able to buy used products at low rates. However, you don’t know if any unethical modifications have been made that may allow hackers to keep an eye on your home.

 

Set a Strong Password

Many people are too lazy to change the default username and password of an IP camera. Anyone can find the default login credentials from manufacturer’s website and take control of your security camera. It’s best to change default credentials of administrator account as soon as you install an IP camera in your home. Always choose a strong password and update password every now and then.

 

Enable WPA2 Encryption

More than a dozen cases of cyber attacks on home security systems are reported every month. In order to prevent eavesdropping, you should turn on Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 encryption on your wireless network. WPA2 encryption is a modern way of keeping your system safe from hackers. However, you may have to update firmware of your IP camera in order to enable WPA2 encryption.

 

Update Firmware

IP cameras are prone to cyber attacks. Whenever any vulnerability is found in firmware, manufacturers release an update to resolve the issue. Make sure that the firmware of your security camera is up-to-date. Regularly check the website of the manufacturer and install latest updates to prevent unauthorized access to your security system.

 

Turn Off Remote Monitoring

Modern IP cameras allow you to monitor your home in real-time when you’re away. However, this feature increases the vulnerability of a security camera. If any hacker gets hold of your login credentials, they can monitor your home easily. It’s recommended to turn off remote monitoring feature when it’s not in use. It will increase your safety and protect your IP camera from hackers.

 

Install a Firewall

Firewall is a network security system that monitors network traffic and prevents unauthorized access in real-time. Use a firewall to keep hackers away from your security system.

How to Protect Your Grocery Store from Shoplifters

Protect Your Grocery Store from Shoplifters
Shoplifters are a nuisance for any retail business. They take away merchandise without paying for them. Whether you own a large shopping store or a small-scale grocery store, these shoplifters may endanger your business. In 2016-17, 369,440 cases of shoplifting were reported in the UK alone, resulting in a loss of around £32 billion. Therefore, retailers should prevent shoplifting to protect their business.

 

When it comes to shoplifting prevention, businesses don’t necessarily need to spend thousands of dollars. With the help of the following tips, you can keep shoplifters at bay:

 

Look for Suspicious Behaviour

Train your staff so that they can identify suspicious behaviour of customers. If any customer looks a little dishevelled, avoids making eye contact, looks for surveillance cameras, wanders the store aimlessly or stays near the space where there are no surveillance cameras, chances are they may be looking for an opportunity to steal an item. Train your employees to monitor such customers as a precaution.

 

Keep an Eye on the Store

Encourage your staff to take rounds of the store as much as they can. Instead of sitting idle, they should move around and assist customers in shopping. This way, not only will the quality of customer service improve, your employees will also be able to keep an eye on the sections where no security systems are installed.

 

Keep Products Organized

In a well-organized store, it’s easier to notice when any product gets stolen. If there’s a lot of empty space on shelves, though not many customers visited the store then it indicates that something has gone wrong. On the other hand, if merchandise is disorganized, you may not be able to notice any lost items.

 

Put Up Warning Signs

Don’t forget to put up some warning signs to deter shoplifters. Signs such as “Shoplifters will be prosecuted” and “Smile! You are on camera” are likely to keep them away. Such signs indicate that employees are attentive and can catch shoplifters. This will demoralize shoplifters and prevent them from taking away any object without paying for it.

 

Improve Checkout Process

Assign an employee or two at the exit door so that they can check the bags of customers before they leave the store. Many shoplifters hide items in their bags or pockets while doing shopping. Looking through their shopping bags will allow employees to know if they’ve stolen anything.

 

Install Security Systems

If you own a large and successful shopping store, you may be able to purchase modern security systems. Opt for security systems and emergency alarms to keep an eye on customers and take immediate actions if any of them tries to get away with any object without paying for it. However, if you can’t afford to install an expensive system, you can opt for dummy cameras to pretend you have more security than you actually do.

 

Conclusion

Protecting business from shoplifters should be the top concern of retailers. They can steal expensive items and lower your profits. By preventing shoplifting, you can keep your business safe and provide a secure environment to your customers.

Why You Should Choose HD-TVI Security Camera

HD-TVI Security Camera

HD-TVI or High Definition Transport Video Interface is the latest technology that is widely used in modern security cameras. These cameras are more efficient than traditional CCTVs. The technology converts digital signals into analog signals, allowing security cameras to capture and transmit high quality videos in real-time.

 

Here are the major reasons why you should choose HD-TVI security cameras for your home as well as business:

 

High Definition Video

HD-TVI security solutions capture HD videos and images. It supports 720p and 1080p quality, which is much better than traditional analog CCTV cameras. High quality video recording allows you to monitor activities in your workplace and zoom in on areas without distortion.

 

Long Transmission Distance

HD-TVI analog cameras can efficiently transmit high quality videos to a distance of up to 500 meters. It’s three times the transmission distance offered by IP cameras. This feature makes it the perfect solution for businesses and homes.

 

Easy Installation

The installation of HD-TVI surveillance cameras is an extremely easy process. Unlike IP cameras, you don’t need to establish an IP network. You can either install it on your own or hire professional services for their installation. However, it’s recommended to get a contract for regular maintenance of your security cameras. Regular maintenance enhances their performance and keeps them in optimal condition for long.

 

High Performance

HD-TVI security solutions are more efficient than other security cameras. Other IP cameras experience delays when transmitting video information. However, since there is no such issue with HD-TVI technology, these cameras don’t slow down and show high performance over a longer period of time. Due to zero latency, they capture videos and transmit them in real-time to your screen.

 

Cost-Effective Solution

High Definition Transport Video Interface camera is a cost-effective solution that enhances the security of your business. It offers a high resolution at a fraction of cost as compared to other CCTV cameras. Also, you don’t need to spend a hefty sum on establishing an IP network, which also helps you save money.

 

These security systems have low cabling requirements. You can use coax cables to transmit high quality videos conveniently. Therefore, even if you have a small budget, you can easily secure any space with HD-TVI security cameras.

 

Infrared Technology

Since HD-TVI cameras have built-in infrared support, they can use infrared waves to keep an eye on your business premise in low light conditions. Its IR LEDs turn on automatically as soon as lights go off so that the camera can record videos even in the dark. IR enabled security cameras capture black and white videos in full resolution.

 

Compatibility

You can use your HD-TVI recorders to record videos from any analog camera with required configurations. Since these are open source devices, you can also connect them with AHD, HD-CVI or any other HD analog video formats. Furthermore, HD-TVI recorders can also accept video input from IP cameras. These security systems also allow you to connect any fixed or varifocal lens to accommodate your requirements.

Why You Should Refrain from Sharing Your Activities on Social Media

Sharing Your Activities on Social Media
Younger generation finds it fun to share their activities on social media. Whenever they go out of city for vacations, have meals at a restaurant or meet an old friend, they share a status update. However, this practice is extremely dangerous. Do you know 80% of burglars use social media sites to keep an eye on their potential targets?

 

Why It’s Unsafe to Share Everything via Social Media

Burglars use different social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to know about people who intend to go away for weeks to spend vacations. Social media provides them access to useful information including personal details, length of the trip, and valuable possessions owned by homeowners. With the help of this information, they can target groups of people.

 

It doesn’t take more than 2 minutes to enter a house and ten minutes to carry out a burglary for burglars. It’s because, nowadays, more than 78% intruders check out the location of a house with the help of Google View. They carry out some research via social media to know how long the homeowners will be away from home and plan their activities accordingly.

 

How to Stay Safe from Modern Day Burglars

Even if you’re tempted to boast about your trip or fun activities, it’s in your best interest to keep the information to yourself. Share this information only with your close friend or family. No one else is actually interested in you activities and by bragging on social media, you’ll end up compromising your safety.

 

Never share your detailed travelling plans beforehand, or else potential thieves will get alert and loot your valuable possessions while you’re away. You can share this information only after returning from a tour. Similarly, when you buy an expensive item and post its pictures on Facebook or Instagram, it may attract burglars.

 

It’s okay to occasionally share personal information on social media. However, refrain from uploading every personal detail on your Facebook account. Moreover, don’t forget to modify privacy settings of your social media account. Make sure your personal information and status uploads are accessible only by your friends list. Avoid befriending unknown people on social media for your own safety.

Even when you don’t share any personal information on your own, your mobile apps will track down your activities when you’re connected to internet. For instance, social media applications such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook messenger share the details with your contacts when you were last online.

 

Similarly, Google Maps, Snapchat and Facebook track your current location and share this information with your friends circle. These apps aim to provide you a better experience by collecting information. However, if burglars get their hands on this confidential information, they can harm you.

 

Conclusion

Social media can hamper your privacy and make you vulnerable to online theft. You should try to refrain from sharing personal information or your current location on social sites. Aside from these precautions, it’s best to install an effective home security system. It’ll help you monitor the premise and alert you in time to protect your home from burglars.

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