Protecting Your Home During Holiday Vacation

We are heading into one of the busiest travel times of the year, as people head out to spend the holidays with family. If you have a trip scheduled over the next six weeks, put some planning into securing your home to protect you from Grinch-like criminals.

Because you want your home to still look occupied while you’re gone, the obvious best plan is to have a friend or relative stay there. But if that isn’t possible, you can still give it a lived-in feel:

Training Spotlight: The Value of Retraining

By Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

I’ve been here at Bold for just shy of 15 years. During that time, I’ve worked with hundreds of our customers on one level or another. Whether it was related to my original job in the support office, during various times when I worked as an implementation technician, or in my current job as a trainer. I’ve helped monitoring centers of all sizes: retail and wholesale, public, private and governmental.

There are several monitoring centers I’ve worked with who have had the same staff in the same roles for over ten years. But of course, there are also many situations where the staff has changed since the original training happened. For various reasons, what we sometimes see is that nobody currently working in the monitoring center was originally trained by Bold. The training has been passed along to each user, sometimes simply by whoever was working their first shift with them.

Corporate Health – Setting Goals for Employees

(This is the tenth and final in a monthly series about Corporate Health, where we examine different methods and ideas for improving efficiency, your company culture, and employee morale.)

As 2017 winds down, we focus on a topic that is often a regular occurrence when a new year approaches: setting goals for employees. Goals are a critical part of any company’s corporate health. Not only do they contribute to the business strategy as a whole, but they also help employees stay engaged and motivated. Here are five questions to consider when setting goals for employees:

Smoke Alarm Safety & Best Practices

Each year during Fire Prevention Week in early October, the National Fire Protection Association chooses a theme for their education efforts. For instance, this year the slogan was “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” In 2016, however, they chose to educate on smoke alarm safety, an important topic which bears revisiting.

Smoke alarms, also known as smoke detectors, are a critical element of life safety in your home, and there are numerous best practices to consider when installing them. You should have one placed in every bedroom, one in each hallway, and at least one on each floor of your home, including the basement.In addition, one should also be installed near any heating source. For the best efficiency, smoke detectors should be mounted on the ceiling, at least a foot away from any corners. If it is possible to interconnect your smoke alarms, do it. That way, if one goes off, it triggers the sirens in all of them.

Fire Safety Education for Children

We’re observing Fire Prevention Month with a series of blogs about fire safety. Last week, we talked about the importance of regular fire drills. This week, we take a look at fire safety for children.

It’s easy to see why kids are fascinated with fire. It’s comprised of beautiful colors, its movement is mesmerizing, and at the proper distance, it provides warmth and comfort. But it’s also easy to see why kids sometimes get into trouble with it. Think about the fire safety education you received as a child. You probably had a visit to your school from a fireman or took a field trip to a fire department. You might have been told stories and shown pictures of huge flames and burned homes, and reminded never to play with matches. It is a fairly standard method of teaching children about fire safety, but is it really giving them an understanding of fire as they know it?

When Did You Stage Your Last Fire Drill?

by guest blogger Security Central   care@securitycentralinc.com

If your first response was “Fire what?,” then this is a “must read” article. Home fires kill more people every year than all other natural disasters combined. If you wake up in the middle of the night and find your house in flames, would you and your family members be prepared to escape in time?

Most people think they could escape, but very few have a fire escape plan for the whole family. Here are some of the things you need to do to create a workable plan to help you and your family survive a home fire:

Corporate Health – Employee Performance Reviews

(This is the ninth in a monthly series about Corporate Health, where we examine different methods and ideas for improving efficiency, your company culture, and employee morale.)

Employee performance reviews. Depending on the employee and even the supervisor involved, the term can be met with enthusiasm, dread, or flat-out disdain. Even a good employee who knows their worth and contribution to their company can have mixed emotions when it comes to a performance review which offers them little meaningful feedback. Even a supervisor who enjoys engaging with their staff can become frustrated if the process of evaluating them is inefficient or inconsistent.

Preventing a Data Breach at Your Monitoring Center

by Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

We’ve seen the recent news about the data breach at Equifax. Half of the adults in America were affected by it through no fault of their own. How, or even if, Equifax makes good on its mistake remains to be seen. But similarly, we are all in the business (beyond responding to alarms) of protecting sensitive data. Whether it is implicit because we have a reputation for keeping our customer’s information private, or whether it is spelled out in our privacy policy, our customers expect that their personal information will not be made public.

There are the small monitoring centers who can’t afford for information to be leaked because any kind of data breach might have consequences too large from which to recover. There are proprietary customers (retail or private business) for whom a data breach might give others a competitive advantage. There are medium and large monitoring centers who might experience a mass exodus of dealers if private data were to get out. Finally, there are government customers who face far more serious consequences for data breaches.

7 FAQ’s About the Changes to UL

The changes to UL 1981 and UL 827 affect the monitoring industry in different ways. While a small or proprietary monitoring center may not be affected at all, larger centers monitoring thousands of accounts may need to make significant changes to comply with UL requirements. Here are seven things you should know about UL 1981 Revision 3 and UL 827 8th Edition:

Q) Why are these changes happening?
UL 1981 sets requirements for alarm monitoring software, while UL 827 places standards on physical buildings and hardware. Over the last decade, technology advances, including virtual machines, and overlaps between the two standards created ambiguity and conflicts that required addressing. UL 1981 Revision 3 and UL 827 8th Edition solve these conflicts and better define the separation between them.

Corporate Health – The Pros and Cons of Employee Relationships

(This is the eighth in a monthly series about Corporate Health, where we examine different methods and ideas for improving efficiency, your company culture, and employee morale.)

Employee relationships in the workplace is a polarized subject. For every article about the problems and issues that it causes, there are an equal number of articles praising the benefits of strong employee engagement and camaraderie.

Employee fraternization isn’t just romantic relationships; it also includes friendships that develop within the workplace. The first thing to understand is that friendships between colleagues cannot be avoided. Co-workers already have one thing in common, their employer, to build a relationship upon, and it doesn’t take long to find other commonalities in their personal lives.