Save Money with Home Automation

There’s no denying the rise of home automation; it’s been called the next Industrial Revolution. You may already have smart home devices: the outlet adapter which allows you to use an app to control your light or television; the door lock that doesn’t require keys; the thermostat that self-adjusts the temperature of your home. All these products, and the thousands more on the market or in development, were designed to simplify your life and surroundings. While that’s a popular concept, the better product is the one which positively impacts your wallet as well, by helping you save money with home automation. The good news is there are plenty of these on the market, too.

Troublesome News About False Alarm Fines

By guest blogger The Monitoring Association

If you are not concerned about the situation in Sandy Springs, GA, this update should change that. The onerous ordinance in Sandy Springs does not allow for proper due process with respect to false alarm fines. If the ordinance is allowed to stand, alarm companies will be likely held financially responsible for false alarms generated by alarm users. One member was recently fined for the following occurrence:

GDPR – Is Your Business Affected?

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation, known as GDPR, goes into effect as of May 25th, 2018. This policy was designed to protect the data privacy of European Union citizens. While it’s true that the regulations probably do not apply to most U.S-based companies, there are many who may not realize their business is affected. The penalties for non-compliance are severe, so knowing your requirements is important!

Fire Safety Lessons from “This Is Us”

Whether you are a fan or not, you’ve likely heard of the popular television series “This Is Us,” a story-driven show which follows the life of a family from multiple generational angles. It has recently been trending in social media circles due to the most recent few episodes, which finally answered a question fans had been waiting to learn for well over a year: how did family patriarch Jack Pearson die?

The buildup in earlier episodes had made it pretty clear that a fire was involved, but when the actual moment arrived, many fans were stunned by how quickly the fire spread from its initialization point in the kitchen to the upstairs living areas. But the truth is, in today’s homes, fires have a big advantage.

Health Tips for Holiday Travelers

Many people will be heading out for holiday travel this weekend, and more than a few will end up with an illness, courtesy of a fellow traveler. Airports, planes, buses, trains, even subways and taxis…they all have the potential to harbor germs and bacteria. How do you protect yourself? Here are a few tips to keep you healthy so you can enjoy your time away:

Before you leave:

  • Power up your immune system before your trip with vitamin C and probiotics. While there isn’t scientific proof that these can protect you, many frequent travelers swear by them, and they certainly won’t hurt!
  • You’re too late for this one if you are traveling abroad this weekend, but there may be an immunization or series of immunizations recommended for your destination. It’s best to visit a health clinic four to six weeks prior to traveling to make sure you have enough time for any treatments you may require.

Stop Porch Piracy During the Holidays

The holiday season brings a surge in festive decorations, joyful celebrations, family gatherings and of course, retail sales. But as online shopping becomes increasingly popular, the crime of “porch piracy” is surging, as well.

Porch piracy is the act of stealing packages from the front porches of homeowners after they’ve been delivered, and it’s becoming a lucrative form of theft for criminals. While some thieves just drive around checking porches, some have taken to following delivery trucks through residential areas. As soon as the driver leaves a package, the thief pulls up and grabs it. Recently in the news, a California homeowner caught a porch pirate on his home surveillance system, backing a U-Haul truck into his driveway and taking two packages from his porch. The footage gave police enough information to track down the thieves and led them to an apartment filled with stolen merchandise.

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?