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:

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:

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.

Ten Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Safety on Campus

For many young adults, this month marks either the first venture or a return to a college campus. While there is obvious excitement for this milestone towards adulthood and the freedoms associated with it, college students should also take time to plan for their personal safety on campus. Here are ten Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind!

DON’T walk alone, especially at night. This is kind of the obvious one, but also one of the most important. According to RAINN, nearly a quarter of female undergraduates experience some form of sexual violence, but 11.2% of ALL college students become victims. There is strength in numbers. Walk with friends, or in highly populated areas, during the day, and never walk alone at night.

When Disaster Strikes, What’s the Plan?

The topic of campus safety often focuses on the preparation for violent attacks and active shooters. Because of high-profile incidents over the last 20 years, most schools have a strategic plan in place and actively educate students and faculty on the processes to take in the event of such an attack. However, less common are plans and strategies for disaster management.

The most common disasters are usually weather-related, such as a hurricane, earthquake, tornado or other acts of nature. But man-made incidents can also trigger the need for disaster response, including chemical spills, explosions and fire, gas leaks, and biological threats. Each of these can affect a school in different ways, requiring different responses. One disaster may necessitate evacuation efforts while another triggers “shelter in place” directives.

Corporate Health – Employee Training and Development

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

Employee training and development should be a critical element of your company culture. After all, companies that invest well in their training and development reap the benefits with increased profits, better employee motivation, less turnover, and more talent to promote from within.

There is a difference between training and development. Training is specific; it’s designed to give employees the knowledge required to perform or improve skills needed for their current job. Development is much broader term, referring to types of formal or advanced training or education which furthers an employee’s professional knowledge in their field while promoting their overall growth and ability.

The Future of IP Video Surveillance

By Rod Coles, CEO & President, Bold Technologies

It’s now been over 20 years since the first IP Camera was released by Axis Communications back in 1996. Axis developed the system to monitor the sea for oil spills. It saved their customers from having to take two flights a day. Today, this method of video delivery is the norm; digital cameras are an everyday part of life, delivering daily cat videos to Facebook as well as monitoring our businesses and homes for security.

Video is a natural choice for security because as humans, we use our eyes more than any of our other senses. We see CCTV cameras everywhere, so why are the majority of alarm systems not video-enabled? If video is so natural, why is it not being used more in the alarm monitoring industry? Most cameras you see around a building are connected to a NVR/DVR within the building itself, or just recording without anyone watching.