Research: How We’re Managing Our Home Deliveries in 2021

Have you disinfected a package delivery to protect yourself from germs lately?

You’re not alone. In fact, one in three Americans do the same, according to new research. We’re relying more on home deliveries, and we’re taking new precautions as we adapt.

According to a survey of 2,000 Americans by OnePoll, the average person now receives 10 home deliveries a month: a 60% increase from the pre-pandemic average of 6. It’s a trend that’s likely to stick.

With social distancing and shortages in stores as a root cause, we’re using home deliveries to get everything from clothing to essentials like milk and toilet paper, as well as to support local businesses. Along the way, we’re discovering extra benefits that we’ll want to keep—as well as a few new worries to navigate.

Here’s what we discovered:

We’re waking up to the benefits of home deliveries.

  • 53% of Americans have ordered a delivery to support a local business in the last year.
  • 48% say that home deliveries feel safer than shopping in stores.
  • 44% say that deliveries are more convenient.
  • 36% say the items they need are sometimes sold out in stores, or online-only.
  • 70% say that they appreciate delivery workers more than they used to.

Safety worries don’t stop at the front door.

Pre-pandemic, package theft was the main concern for online shoppers. Today’s deliveries arrive with new concerns: worries about our health, and the health of others.

  • 29 % of Americans worry about being exposed to germs at the front door
  • Two out of five now wash their hands after handling packages.
  • One third disinfect their deliveries before opening them.
  • One in six let their packages sit unopened to give germs time to die.

We’re still wary of opening the door to strangers.

Although we’re concerned about deliveries being left outside, we’re also hesitant to open our doors when they arrive.

  • 68% of Americans say they don’t open their door unless they’re certain they know who’s on the other side.
  • 35% wait until delivery drivers leave before they open the door.
  • 31% are worried about potential burglars posing as delivery drivers to case their home.
  • 41% say they don’t trust that visitors are always who they say they are.

Help is at hand.

If you’re looking for a better, safer way to manage your deliveries while protecting your home and family, look no further. Boyd & Associates has a variety of systems and tools to help you and yours feel safe and protected.  Contact us today to learn more!

How Burglars Use Social Media

Social media can tell burglars what you own, where you live, and when you’ll be away. Check out the infograph below for more information on how burglars use social media. For more information on protecting yourself with home security, call Boyd & Associates and take the first step to keeping your home and family safe.

 

 

17 Tech Resources to Entertain Kids (and Parents) Over the Holiday Break

Already wondering how you’re going to keep the kids occupied over holiday break?

We’ve put together a list of online resources to help you out. Read on to discover a blend of fun, educational, safe, and inexpensive ways to use technology to keep kids happy and sometimes even build family connectedness.

Stay connected with interactive apps for your family

1: Messenger Kids
Being stuck at home through the holidays can get lonesome. Messenger Kids offers a safe way for kids to connect with friends and family. It’s a free video chat and messaging app with fun filters and stickers, completely controlled by parents. You approve everyone they can call or message. Now grandma can call them directly!

2: Heads Up for iPhone or Android
Get the whole family together for game night. Everyone will love this charades-esque activity.

3: Go Noodle
Motivate your little ones to move! Go Noodle’s fun videos will get them (and you) dancing, doing yoga, and more.

Take a virtual daytrip from the comfort of your home

4: Monterey Bay Aquarium
Most of us haven’t been traveling much lately, so give the kids a virtual trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Meditate to the Moon Jelly Cam, frolic with the Sea Otters, or tune in to the world of tuna, turtles, and sharks by watching the Open Sea Cam.

5: Exploratorium
A hands-on museum in San Francisco, California, that explores the world through science and art. The Exploratorium is offering online educational activities and events, plus a whole section of their website is dedicated to exploring the world using materials and tools you might already have.

6: San Diego Zoo
Let the littles explore the San Diego Zoo and connect with animals through one of their many web cams. There’s a Platypus Cam, Hippo Cam, Penguin Cam, Elephant Cam, Koala Cam, and more.

Keep young minds engaged with interactive learning

7: ABCya
Fun, educational games for kids in grades pre-K through 6, covering subjects like math, art, typing, science, and more. Access some games free or subscribe to play them all.

8: Outschool
Fun, social, and safe online classes and clubs for kids ages 3 to 18 led by passionate teachers. Classes start at $10 and cover a huge range of subjects from art to music, social studies, science and nature, life skills, and more.

9: Khan Academy
If your child needs help in a certain area or wants to learn more about their favorite subject, Khan Academy provides free, personalized education and test prep for grades K to 12.

10: Tate Kids

British art museum Tate has a website just for kids to explore art, play games, create their own masterpieces, or make digital street art. The website is moderated and checked thoroughly to ensure that all content is suitable for children under 13.

11: ABC Mouse
Educational games, activities, and videos for ages 2 through 8. Free for 30 days.

12: But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
Kids submit questions like “Why are whales so big?” and “Why can’t kids vote?” and get answers from experts. These podcasts work well as fun and informative 28-minute distractions during road trips.

13: CBeebies
A preschool channel by the BBC, CBeebies programs encourage learning through play. The website includes clips of shows, puzzles, memory games, singalongs, and more.

Take a break from it all with family-friendly entertainment.

14: Storyline Online
Videos featuring celebrities like Wanda Sykes, Kevin Costner, Ray Romano, Angela Bassett, Rashida Jones, and Chris Pine reading children’s books.

15: PBS Kids
Kids can watch all their favorite PBS Kids shows, from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood to Odd Squad, Sesame Street, Wild Kratts, and more. They also offer fun educational games on their website or app.

16: Common Sense Media
Want to know if a particular movie/tv show/video game is appropriate for your child’s age? Check Common Sense Media—a great resource for information and reviews of all things kid-related. Get recommendations for your next family movie night.

17: Toca Boca
As it says on their website, “We make digital toys from the kid perspective.” Toca Boca offers kids fun games and apps where they can create their own little animated worlds and characters. The apps usually cost a small amount of money but have no ads or in-app purchases.

Whatever your family decides to do over the holiday break, be sure to use technology to catch all your last memories of 2020.

 

Home Security Holiday Tips: Smart Lights, Locks And Automation

The holiday season is upon us, which means your neighborhood might be undergoing its annual winter wonderland transformation. But before you go full Clark Griswold with your seasonal lights and home decorations, consider a few of our home security holiday tips. When it comes to seasonal decorations, some simple smart home automation tweaks can play a huge role in taking your festive scenery to the next level, while keeping friends and loved ones safe in the process!

SYNC YOUR HOLIDAY DECORATIONS WITH SMART PLUGS

These days holiday decorations rarely include just lights. From big inflatable lawn decorations, holiday-themed spotlights and kaleidoscope filters, it’s not uncommon to have a handful of separate wired connections running across your lawn. Simplify things a bit with outdoor smart plugs. Not only will you better protect any exposed wiring (most outdoor smart plugs offer waterproof protection), but you’ll add all of your electronic decorations to your smart home grid.

With smart plugs, you can turn any device into a smart device. They plug directly into your outlets, almost like a power strip, which you’ll then plug any appliances directly to as well. From there, almost any appliance or device can be added to your automation network. And you’ll be able to power on and off remotely using commands via your automation app. Now you can safely and quickly power up your entire holiday scene all at once with a simple tap on your smart device.

SMART LIGHT BULBS ADD EVEN MORE OPTIONS 

Can’t decide on specific colors for your holiday light scene? No problem! Simply swap all of your old, traditional lights for smart bulbs (odds are you have plenty of burn-outs anyways!). Smart bulbs sync up with your home automation network. Which allows you to control brightness and in most cases, select between thousands of colors. Plus with LED smart lights, you’ll use much less energy than traditional halogen and incandescent light bulbs.

Your home holiday scene can look a little different every night with smart string lighting. Capture the classic holiday feel with traditional colors like red and green. Or set the stage with soft white lighting to reflect the first snowfall of the year. No matter what you’re feeling in the moment, you can always add a new layer of flare to your light decorations with smart bulbs.

SMART LOCKS MAKE HOLIDAY VISITS SIMPLE AND SAFE 

Home automation during the holidays goes far beyond the fun and convenience of syncing your lights and decorations. While this year may look slightly different in terms of travel plans and hosting guests, the holidays are usually a time for large gatherings under the same roof. And with so many people potentially going in and out of your home, it’s important for safety and security to remain a top priority.

Keyless smart locks enable anyone to easily come and go securely. You can even enable temporary codes for family members. That way you can allow access to your home for a short time, without sacrificing your long term security. And if you’re leaving the house for the holidays and you have pets or are expecting holiday packages to arrive, temporary smart lock codes make it possible for a trusted friend or family to stop by your home for a quick check-in (and ensure they lock up behind them.)

HOLIDAY HOME AUTOMATION – MUCH MORE THAN TIMERS!

It might be tempting to dismiss a lot of smart home features as unnecessary upgrades. Especially since light timers, particularly around the holidays, aren’t exactly a new innovation. But home automation adds much more than simple convenience – it completely upgrades every aspect of your home living and decorations.

Additional home automation bonuses during the holidays include: 

  • Syncing your lights and decorations with holiday-themed music and noises (put those smart speakers to work!)
  • Set the perfect holiday scene inside and out with smart light bulbs everywhere
  • Hitting the road? Set your thermostat from anywhere to protect your pipes
  • Double check your door locks remotely
  • Keep your outdoor lighting consistent to ward off any potential intruders

Smart home automation can add completely new layers of integration to your holiday decoration set-ups. Don’t be afraid to explore your options and experiment a bit. If done correctly, home automation should take a bulk of the stress out of your holiday experience!

FOR MORE SMART HOME SECURITY HOLIDAY TIPS, STICK WITH BOYD & ASSOCIATES SECURITY

If you’re looking for more ways to keep your family safe, check out our home automation services at Boyd & Associates. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

 

Thanksgiving Safety Tips from Boyd & Associates

Did you know that the number of fire alarms Boyd & Associates monitoring center receives skyrockets on Thanksgiving Day, largely because of home cooking fires?

Cooking is the number one way house fires start, and the NFPA agrees, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. Luckily, many of the alarm signals received by our monitoring center on Thanksgiving are accidental alarms, not full-fledged fires. But with a house full of guests and a belly full of carbs, revelers often aren’t prepared to respond to their monitoring center’s outreach.

Even if Turkey Day is just a small, intimate group this year, you won’t want your holiday interrupted by a home cooking fire or even a smoke alarm.

Many Boyd & Associates customers experience this frustration around the holidays, and the people who know first-hand are the Protection Specialists in our 24-hour monitoring centers. They’ve provided tips on how to help prevent cooking fires and accidental alarms on Thanksgiving, and what to do if your smoke alarm goes off.

How to set yourself up for safe cooking on Thanksgiving

It only takes a few simple steps and a little mindfulness to prepare.

Just in case your monitored smoke alarms are triggered, Boyd & Associates customers should have these two pieces of information memorized or accessible:

  • Your Verbal Alarm Password (if you have one) – this is the single word you will give Boyd & Associates to verify your identity on the phone.
  • Your Master Panel Code – this is the numeric code you will need to disarm your system at the panel.

If possible, give several people you trust access as well. If you’re pulling a 12-lb turkey out of your blazing hot oven, you’ll appreciate the extra hands.

Additional prep should include:

  • Clean any grease, dust, or food particles from your oven and stove top.
  • Make sure you have a non-expired, properly inspected handheld fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Program the phone number for Boyd & Associates monitoring center (800. 381. 2693) into your phone so you’ll immediately know it’s us if we call. This number is exclusively used by our monitoring team, so you can also use it to notify us of an accidental alarm or return a call from one of our Protection Specialists.
  • Speaking of calls from Boyd & Associates, make sure your emergency contact list for Boyd & Associates is correct.
  • Test your smoke detectors to ensure that they are in working order.

How to prevent home cooking fires

The number one factor in home cooking fires is leaving your cooking food unattended. While everyone wants to spend time with guests on Thanksgiving, it’s important not to abandon an active kitchen. If possible, bring some of the socializing into the kitchen with you. Here are more tips to help prevent unintentional home cooking fires.

  • Keep kids at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Make sure all towels, potholders, flammable utensils, and other items are kept away from the stove top. Long sleeves, loose clothing, and long hair can also pose a fire risk.
  • Double-check the burners when you turn a new one on or off.
  • Don’t cook sleepy or while drinking. If you were up all night basting the turkey — or started celebrating early — give yourself a break and avoid the stove.
  • When cooking with grease, keep a lid nearby in case you need to smother a fire.
  • Turn your pan handles inward so you are less likely to knock it off the stove.

How to respond to a smoke alarm

First things first: If your smoke alarm goes off, start by determining whether there is a fire. This may sound obvious, but even if you’re pretty sure, play it safe and double-check. Your top priority is always getting yourself and your guests out of the house safely.

Next, know the drill. There is always a chance you’ll accidentally trigger your smoke alarm while cooking a big meal, no matter how careful you are. Smoke detectors sounding off when there’s no emergency can be frustrating but knowing what comes next will make it much easier to respond.

If there is an accidental alarm, you can temporarily silence your Boyd & Associates smoke detector by entering your numeric passcode and disarming your system. Remember, if there is still too much smoke, it may sound again. To lessen the chance of a false alarm while cooking large meals, try the following:

  • Clean your smoke detector regularly to eliminate dust and dirt build-up.
  • Keep a close eye on your food while cooking.
  • Crack open a window before you start cooking.
  • Set up a fan near your smoke detector.
  • Use a smoke detector cover, which can be found at a hardware store or online.

We’re here to help

If you do experience a fire or medical emergency on Thanksgiving, remember: Boyd & Associates is here for you 24/7, and that includes holidays! In an emergency, you can always activate the fire or medical panic on your control panel, and Boyd & Associates monitoring center will respond quickly.

Don’t have a Boyd & Associates professionally monitored fire alarm system? Call us today to speak with one of our security experts.

Halloween Home Safety Tips: A Trick Or A Treat?

Halloween is right around the corner. For some, this holiday signifies a day greater than Christmas. The elaborate face painting and collaborative costumes make it a fun way to commemorate this spooky holiday. What isn’t so fun is having to make an insurance claim or clean up the damage from some Halloween vandalism or pranks gone awry. Here are some harrowing Halloween stats:

  1. On average, crimes related to theft away from home jump by 21% on Halloween
  2. Insurance claims for theft inside the home are approximately 60% higher due to Halloween shenanigans
  3. Claims related to vandalism raise by 19% because of Halloween mischief
  4. On Halloween night, car theft increases by about 5%
  5. Halloween had the highest average number of insurance claims for any day of the year.

Insurance companies see an uptick in claims the day after Halloween. As is evidenced by the numbers, there is a spike in crimes related to vandalism, property crime, and mischief. While these are vague categories, one trend emerges: Your property is typically the target.

To avoid becoming part of these statistics, you can take a few extra precautionary measures to get your home ready for trick-or-treaters, and to prepare for the less desirable tricksters. Here are some Halloween home safety tips for this coming Fright night.

  1. Choose your trick-or-treating venue or neighborhood wisely
  2. Take steps to protect your vehicle
  3. Lock all doors, in your home and your car
  4. Provide plenty of lighting for walkways
  5. Keep valuables out of plain sight
  6. Make your trick-or-treaters visible
  7. Avoid distractions while driving or walking on Halloween night

Vanquish Vehicle Vandals

The trick: 5% increase in car theft, two times more likely to fall victim to car vandalism
The treat: Preventing vandalism and costly insurance claims for vehicle damage

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HDLI), your vehicle is almost twice as likely to get vandalized on Halloween night. And we aren’t talking about a simple egging or a smattering of toilet paper. The same study cites “The average cost per claim was $1,528…” Needless to say, most damage requires more than a light cleaning.

A report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) illustrates that vandalism is not the only damage you are likely to see on Halloween. There is also a 5 percent increase in car theft on the last day of October.

To help avoid a massive mess or a missing car on the first brisk day of November, try out our Halloween tips:

  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Choose trick-or-treating neighborhoods wisely
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain sight
  • Lock the doors, roll up windows, and set your alarm
  • Park in the garage
  • Hand out candy in the driveway or with your car in direct sight
  • Park in a populated area

Preventing Property Pranks

The trick: Theft inside the home goes up by 60%
The treat: Keeping your loved ones and valuables protected from pranksters

According to an article posted by USA Today, there is a significant increase in burglaries and theft from homes on Halloween. The articles states that “Insurance claims due to theft inside the home go up by a whopping 60%.” Normally, a largely populated area is your friend when it comes to burglary prevention. But with such a large influx of children carting pumpkin buckets, it can be easy to drop your guard.

Whether your neighborhood is booming with costumed characters or relatively quiet, there are a few precautions you can take to help protect your home. Try out these Halloween safety tips:

  • Provide plenty of lighting: Carefully placed lighting makes it easier to see those who approach your home. Well-lit walkways are also important for ensuring little ones get to and from your home safely.
  • Place Halloween decorations carefully: Avoid excess extension cords or obstacles that could make it difficult to walk to and from your home.
  • Keep unsupervised points of entry locked up tight: Many homeowners believe that they won’t fall victim to theft or burglary because they are sitting on their front porch. Don’t neglect other openings an opportunistic thief might take advantage of.
  • Leave valuables out of plain sight: Don’t leave easy targets in plain view of any visitors or mischievous opportunists.
  • Make your house seem occupied, even if it’s not: If you plan to take your little ones out scouring for candy, leave your lights on inside (and maybe a TV) to make it seem like someone is home. Also, don’t be afraid to enlist the help of neighbors who will be home to keep an eye on your property.
  • Hand out candy from your driveway or garage: Setting up camp in a well-lit garage reduces the amount of obstacles a trick-or-treater needs to overcome to reach candy. As an added bonus, welcoming visitors from the garage gives you a wide view of all who come searching for goodies.

Caring For Your Costumed Kiddos

The trick: Malicious mischief (and other types of vandalism) jump 19% on Halloween
The treat: Ensuring your kids have a spooky, but safe, Halloween experience

If you are leading the charge of carting the kiddos around for candy, you’ll want to prepare for personal safety. These Halloween tips can help you hone your protective parent skills:

  • As with cars and homes—light em up!: Find creative ways to integrate lighting, glow bracelets or reflective jewelry into your child’s costume.
  • Design costumes with care: Make sure your child has comfortable footwear and free movement to avoid falls. This also includes face paint instead of masks to promote visibility.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings: Avoid distractions when driving and keep your eye out for any suspicious people or situations.
  • Travel in packs: Traveling in groups makes you more visible and less likely to be targeted by pranksters.
  • Avoid walking on roads: Stick to sidewalks and paths when making your way from house to house.
  • Don’t go inside anyone’s home to retrieve your goodies: Stick to the front stoop, rather than stepping inside someone’s home.
  • Trust your instincts: Yes, Halloween is supposed to have an air of spookiness, but don’t go to any homes that give you the creeps. Stick to trusted, well-lit houses.

Staying safe means you can gather more goodies. Practice our smart Halloween tips to help protect those things that matter the most.

From all of us at Boyd & Associates, have a safe and happy Halloween!

 

 

 

Small Business Security Checklist

Most small businesses work with a tight budget and profit margin. This makes it even more important for small businesses to protect their company. Here is a quick checklist to make sure your small business is protected and to help prevent unnecessary losses.

PHYSICAL SECURITY

It is not always obvious what you can do to improve building security. That is why a building security checklist should be part of every small business, to make sure your store is protected from all angles.

Here are a few things you should consider as part of your security checklist. Depending on your store’s location and layout, you should add more to this list:

EXTERIOR DOORS AND WINDOWS

  • Exterior doors are locked and are made of solid hardwood or metal.
  • All entry points have a sturdy deadbolt lock and the keys to the lock are with a trusted manager or employee, not stored under a doormat or in a mailbox.
  • Consider using keyless entry. Not only is it a secure way to keep your business safe it also helps you identify who is opening or closing the store.
  • If there is any glass close to or near your doors, it is reinforced so it cannot be shattered.
  • Every window that can be opened has a lock or is securely pinned.

OUTDOOR SECURITY

  • Shrubs or bushes near your business are trimmed so there is no place for someone to hide.
  • Back or side entrances are well lit with bright working lights. Floodlights are used appropriately to ensure effective illumination around your building.
  • Outdoor lights are enabled using a timer or a motion sensor, no matter if the business is open or not.
  • The building or office number is clearly displayed and viewable from the street so first responders can easily locate your company if anything does happen.

INTERIOR SECURITY

  • Exit signs are properly lit.
  • Fire extinguishers are inspected and charged.
  • Emergency exits are accessible and not blocked.

SECURITY MONITORING

  • Surveillance cameras are operating properly and there are no dead zones (areas that are not being recorded) in your store.
  • Footage is recorded and stored properly offsite and archived at least once a month.

CYBER SECURITY

Your physical security checklist keeps your office or storefront safe, but if you are like most companies, the most valuable things you have are stored on your computers and shared networks. Customer’s personal information, billing details, and private information are just as important to protect as your physical store, and they deserve their own cyber security checklist:

MULTI-LEVEL SECURITY

  • A firewall is installed on your network.
  • Antivirus software is set up on all devices connected to the network and a password is required for access.

NETWORK OPERATIONS

  • All firewalls, virus protection, or other forms of computer security software are updated at least once a week.
  • Operating system updates are installed as soon as they are available.
  • Key programs and applications, like web browsers or content management systems, are updated weekly.
  • A record including users and their network permissions is updated at least once a month.
  • Use separate guest and corporate networks.

MOBILE DEVICES

  • Identify all devices that touch your network, and who the owners of those devices are.
  • Clarify security elements with devices that have access to your network.

PASSWORDS

  • Change passwords at least once a month and never reuse them.
  • Require passwords to be strong with a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, rather than weak passwords that are easily guessable or short.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication to allow extra account protection.
  • Require password changes when data breaches occur.
  • Require different passwords for every account and program, even if used by the same employee.

BOYD & ASSOCIATES HELPS SMALL BUSINESSES

Small business security does not need to be complicated. At Boyd & Associates, we offer automation options to make securing your business a breeze. We even offer services such as video verification with live operators standing by to notify police the moment any suspicious activity occurs and, smart business automation that sends notifications right to your phone.

Tackling small business security by yourself should not have to feel overwhelming. Secure your business with Boyd & Associates and find out how we can help your business be safe from both physical and cyber threats.

How Smart Security Systems Can Help Homeowners and Businesses To Deal With The COVID-19 Crisis


It seems like the world changed overnight with the Coronavirus disease outbreak. People are worried about the health concerns that come with the COVID-19 virus. Governments are issuing stay-at-home orders and businesses are closing their doors as we try to mitigate the damage that the outbreak can have.


Right here in California, we see considerable changes to everyday life, and people are doing their best to adjust. For many of us, the Coronavirus and the measures taken to fight it have given rise to issues that we never even considered.


How to Keep Homes and Businesses Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic?

 


While a smart home security system might not be an answer to all of your problems, we are starting to see some of the ways home alarm systems and automation technology can make it easier for people to deal with some of these problems caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19).


Being one of the leading alarm companies in California, the team from Boyd & Associates would like to take a moment to look at some of the ways smart security systems can make your life easier and help you to stay safe and protect yourself from Coronavirus outbreak.


1. Protecting Your Home When You Work Long Hours


While many people are staying home from work as a result of government restrictions, some people are finding that they are working more hours to help the country and local communities deal with the crisis. This includes healthcare workers and those who work in logistics, among others.


Working long hours under high-stress conditions is hard enough, but the problem is complicated when you have to worry about home security.  However, a smart home security system can protect your home while you are at work. With 24/7 monitoring, you know that someone is always there to watch the signals and dispatch emergency services if there is a problem. Many of these systems even have smartphone apps that can send you alerts if there are any troubles.


2. Keeping an Eye on Your Pets


One of the biggest worries for many of these healthcare workers is that they have pets, and they can’t be there to care for them and to watch out for them. With a smart home security system, you can integrate home security cameras that will allow you to watch your pets to make sure they are ok. All you have to do is open the smartphone app, and you can use the cameras to check on your pets whenever you need to.


Your home alarm system can also protect your pets in the event of a fire or a carbon monoxide leak. With integrated devices like smoke detectors and CO detectors, you can rest assured that the fire department will come in the event of a fire. If your CO detector goes off, you can contact a friend or neighbor to take care of your pets and make sure they are safe.


3. Make it Easy to Work With Pet Care Professionals


With so many hours on the job, there is a good chance that you may not be available to feed your pet or to take your dog for a walk when it is needed. Maybe you can get a family member to help you out and take care of your pets, but you might need to hire a pet sitter or a dog walker.


With a smart security system for home, it is easier to provide access to your home so the pet sitter or walker can take care of your pet. You can give this person a temporary code to disarm the system when they come over. If you have smart locks, you don’t even need to provide the person with a physical key. You can provide them with a temporary access code that allows access at the scheduled time of the walk or feeding.


4. Protecting Businesses When They are Closed


A lot of businesses have to shut down as a result of orders from state and local governments for the Coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, your business location is still there and can even be subject to any number of crimes. This might lead some small business owners to want to go out every day to check on their businesses, but this could violate different restrictions, and it could increase your risk of Coronavirus infection.


If you have a business security camera systems installed, you can rest assured that your business is monitoring 24/7, and you can even keep an eye on things without having to leave the house. Just go to your laptop or open your phone, and you can check the wireless outdoor security cameras to see what is going on at your business location. You can even set up notifications to alert you to different types of alarm activity at your business.


5. Safer Home Deliveries


Many of us are staying home to avoid infection and to do our part to help flatten the COVID-19 infection rate curve. However, we still need food and other necessities. Going to the store is one option, but many of us are taking advantage of delivery services to get the things we need. While this does reduce our exposure to other people and public spaces, you do still have to deal with the delivery person.


This is another way your home security system can improve your safety. With a doorbell video camera, you can talk to the delivery person without having to open the door.


If you have already paid with your credit card, you can tell the delivery person to leave your goods by the door, and you will get them after they leave. If you have smart locks or a smart garage door opener, you could even provide the person with access that will allow them to drop the delivery off inside without you having to be at the door.


6. Helping Your Loved Ones


Many of us have loved ones who are in high-risk groups. With the continued spread of the Coronavirus in California, we worry about these people, and we want to go to see if they are ok. However, we know that it would increase the risk for you and for the person you are trying to protect.


If your loved one were to have a smart security system, you could get peace of mind knowing they are safe. As long as they allow you access to the system, you could check on them with the indoor home security cameras. You could also provide them with a wireless health emergency button. If they start to feel ill and need help, they need to push the button, and emergency medical services will dispatch.


Following CDC COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines


This is a difficult time for us all, but it is something we will get through. If you are concerned about the safety of your homes or businesses, contact Boyd & Associates today.


We are open and still providing alarm monitoring and security services to our Southern California homeowners and business clients, and we are following the recommendations of the CDC to maintain safe working practices for our staff and our clients. We look forward to continuing to support our communities in the safest way possible.

Helpful Tips For Protecting Your Small Business During A Mandated Shutdown


We’re facing an unprecedented situation that’s evolving hour by hour. To say the least, it’s a difficult time to own a business. Small or local business owners may be encountering particularly stressful and unique challenges.  We provide security to many small business owners, including those who are required by the government to shut down during this emergency. Investing in small business security is always the smart choice for many reasons, but we recognize that taking the necessary steps to protect your livelihood has never been more important.
As you continue to respond and adapt, we want to help you discover new and manageable ways to keep your business safe while the doors are closed.


Take action to help secure your small business


Our security experts at Boyd & Associates offer these 10 tips for securing your small business during this challenging time.


1. Secure valuable items and equipment out of sight or in an alternate location creating less temptation for a burglar.

2. If you have a company vehicle, park it in your store’s lot. Move it around daily to give the appearance that people are coming and going.

3. Suspend or forward mail, newspaper or package deliveries so they don’t pile up at your location.

4. Check in daily at your physical site (at different times) to ensure everything is secure.

5. Leave a few lights on in the building and remove anything that obstructs the view of your location from the street. This gives intruders fewer places to hide in the dark.

6. Team up with neighboring businesses to look out for each other. Start a Facebook group, a text chain, or a regularly scheduled Skype session to stay in touch and report any suspicious activity.

7. Keep up with your business’s social media and website presence. Continue to post information, updates, promotions, etc. to show you are still active and conducting business to the best of your ability.

8. If you have a security system, prominently display the signs and window decals to communicate that your business is professionally monitored.

9. Introduce yourself to local law enforcement and first responders who serve your area and provide your contact information.

10. Update your contact list and information with your security provider, landlord and neighboring businesses who may need to get in touch with you or another employee if something arises.


Do you already have Boyd & Associates Security?


If your small business has Boyd & Associates security, here are few additional steps we recommend taking as soon as possible:

1. Update your emergency contacts by calling (805) 650-3267.

2. Give us your updated schedule. Many businesses provide us with their regular operating schedules so we know when they are supposed to be open or closed. If Boyd & Associates monitors your schedule (open/close) call us with any changes to your hours. We can make adjustments right over the phone.

Learn more about what Boyd & Associates can do for you

Security isn’t something you have to tackle alone, and you don’t need a huge budget to help protect your investment. Whether you’re running a family owned shop, a restaurant or a professional office, we can tailor a system to meet your specific needs.

Learn more by visiting our website or calling us at (805) 650-3267 to find the right solution for you.

Stay safe!

Boyd Helps Homeowners Rebuild

The massive Hill and Woolsey fires, which are burning through Ventura and Los Angeles Counties for almost a week have unfortunately effected several of our alarm service customers, some have lost their homes in the recent destructive fires. Thankfully, to date, no one was hurt.

How We Can Help

To help in the recovery process, Boyd & Associates will respond immediately and at no cost install a workable security system in their temporary quarters.

When the owners decide to rebuild the cost of a new alarm system should figure into the insurance settlement. This is an opportune time to upgrade and take advantage of the many improvements now available for home security systems. Closed circuit television, remote access and home automation are just some of the improvements available. An expert from Boyd & Associates will assist you.