Tips for Thanksgiving Cooking Safety

You know it’s fall when the smell of roasted turkey, stuffing and all things pumpkin fill the air. Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of many; however, heightened safety risks associated with the feast can foil your plans. Follow these three tips to keep your loved ones safe this Thanksgiving.

1. Understand Food Prep Safety

When a meal is the center of the festivity, you better be sure it’s prepared safely. Foodborne pathogens are a risk during the holiday. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever.

An unclean or cluttered kitchen, coupled with improper sanitary food prep standards, can put you and your family at risk.

To maintain food prep best practices:

  • Thaw poultry in the refrigerator. When poultry is stored in warm places, such as out on the counter, foodborne bacteria can multiply quickly.
  • Thoroughly wash hands, cooking instruments, and surfaces that come into contact with raw meat.
  • Heat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Contain contamination. Use separate cutting boards for meat versus non-meat food items.
  • Use or freeze leftovers within three to four days.

2. Prevent Kitchen Fires

Putting together a Thanksgiving meal can be tricky. You’re preparing so many foods that it can be easy to lose track and let something cook too long, which is a fire risk. The below pointers can help:

  • Write out a cooking schedule. Include what time you will put each dish on the stove or in the oven.
  • Label timers — either with built-in technology functionality or a post-it note. This will help you keep track of what timer correlates with which dish.
  • Do not leave your kitchen unattended while food cooks. An unattended stove or oven is a recipe for disaster.
  • Follow cooking safety protocols. Deep-fried turkey has become a popular tradition for many families. Be sure you have the right equipment, attire and safety precautions in place for this or any unique cooking method.

Most importantly, test your smoke/fire detectors to ensure that they are working properly. If something goes wrong, you and the local fire department will be alerted immediately.

3. Keep Kids Safe

If your kids have a tendency to wander around the kitchen, take extra precautions to ensure their safety.

  • Turn pot and pan handle toward the back of the stove, so that nothing is accidentally reached for or pulled down.
  • Ensure kids are always supervised by an adult in the kitchen.
  • If helping cook, teach children proper kitchen hygiene — i.e. to sneeze or cough away from food, to wipe hands on a paper towel instead of a dishtowel, and to wash hands between each task.

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!

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

As Retail Theft Rates Rise, Is Your Business Protected?

As inflation continues to hike up prices, it’s important for retail owners to take their business security seriously. Higher prices mean that there is a higher theft rate. Is your business protected against this increase?

In May 2022, the average price of goods and services rose by 8.6%, according to Business Insider. In response to the rising costs, 50% of U.S. retailers have reported an increase in theft in their stores. As the holidays grow nearer, people taking advantage of retail businesses will only increase. Though this rise in stealing is certainly intimidating for business owners, there are many ways to combat these statistics and protect your business from would-be thieves.

Why Business Security?

Between the holidays and inflation, there are many reasons why theft is rising. In major cities, for instance, robberies and thefts have increased by 20% in the past two years. As a business owner, this is likely to cause some trepidation. Not only do you need to be on guard when your business is open to ensure that customers and visitors don’t steal, but there is also the added worry of protecting your business when you leave. Who is there to watch over your store after you’ve locked up for the night?

Making sure that the security system for your business is professionally monitored is one of the most efficient and effective ways to arm your business. With 24/7 professional monitoring, you will be protected against thieves around the clock. Even while you’re away, your business is looked after.

Professional monitoring is there to respond to any alarms triggered by your security system. You can rest easy knowing that you won’t have to be ready at all times to react to any break-in alerts. Business owners have enough to stress about. Let trained experts look after your business when you’re not there.

Don’t Miss A Thing – Bulk Up On Security Devices

There are many tools you can use to shield yourself and your business from thieves. Finding the right combination of devices that works for you is the most important step to arming your business. Below are some business security devices to consider when contemplating how to best protect your store.

Security Cameras

Perhaps one of the biggest no-brainers when it comes to business security is arming your commercial space with cameras. Both indoor and outdoor cameras can be useful for monitoring the people who come and go from your store. Not only can you keep an eye out for any potential wrongdoing by adding to your business alarm systems, but you can also refer back to their footage later if something is amiss. This recorded footage can be turned in to law enforcement or can be simply viewed to give you peace of mind.

With video analytics, our cameras are also specially equipped to send notifications as to whether they’re detecting an animal, person, or vehicle. This makes it easier to see if someone is lingering where they’re not wanted.

It is beneficial to arm both the interior and exterior of your business. Covering all bases is the best way to ensure that nothing occurs at your business without you knowing about it.

Motion Detectors

As the name suggests, motion detectors are a great way to monitor movement throughout your store. This is especially useful after you’ve locked up for the night. With our professional monitoring overseeing any alarm triggers, you can be assured that your business is being protected and looked after even while you’re away.

Glass Break Detector

Many thieves smash windows to gain entry into businesses they plan to steal from. Glass break detectors listen for the sound of glass shattering and set off an alarm if it picks up on a potential break-in. Our monitoring center is notified of any triggered alarms, allowing you to sleep easier at night knowing that if a window is bashed while you’re not there, law enforcement will be called to respond.

Door & Window Sensors

Door and window sensors are excellent for monitoring when entry points around your business are opened. They can also be used on cabinets and storage containers that you don’t want to be opened without your knowledge. With these sensors, you can use the Boyd SMS app to get notifications every time the sensors indicate an opening that you were unaware of. These are great for making sure that nothing is opened or accessed in your business without your oversight.

Smart Devices That Lend A Helping Hand

Smart Plug

Not only are indoor and outdoor smart plugs an excellent way to save money and energy by allowing you to turn lights on and off remotely but they can also be used to deter thieves. For instance, if you are notified of a suspicious person lingering outside of your business, you can turn on some lights in your store to scare off potential burglars.

Smart Door Lock

Finally, smart door locks can allow you to lock and unlock your business remotely. Not only does this eliminate the worry about always having a key on you, but it also is a great way to only grant access to those you want to allow in and out of your store.

Smart locks are also useful when it comes to reassuring yourself that your business is locked up. Say goodbye to the late-night panic of trying to remember whether or not you turned the key before you left. With smart locks, you can simply check your Boyd SMS app remotely and be reassured that you did. And if you didn’t, just tap a button and lock up from the comfort of your home!

Businesses Big and Small Need Protection

Whether your business is just starting out or well established in your community, a security system can help protect all of your hard work. Regardless of the size, retail businesses are especially susceptible to stealing right now. This makes security for businesses more important than ever. If you have questions about our commercial security options, contact us today!

How to Prevent and Extinguish Electrical Fires in a Commercial Building

According to the National Fire Protection Association, structure fires in professional buildings account for millions of dollars in property damage each year. Electrical distribution and lighting are the second leading cause of these fires, making up approximately 15% of the total property damage. Taking a proactive approach to fire safety and prevention will lower the likelihood of an unexpected blaze and keep your business and employees safe. Here are some tips for preventing and extinguishing electrical fires in commercial buildings.

Perform Regular Maintenance On Equipment

Equipment that is damaged, dusty, or greasy could be prone to electrical fires. Keep your equipment in good working condition by following maintenance guidelines as recommended by the manufacturer. If you notice anything malfunctioning, contact a technician to have it serviced to prevent it from becoming a hazard.

Dust and grease may clog vents on equipment such as industrial exhaust fans, which can then lead to overheating and cause fires. If you notice this buildup on any devices within your workplace, clean them promptly.

Have Your Electrical System Inspected After Any Environmental Changes

Environmental changes such as a flood or a significant storm could damage equipment and your building’s electrical infrastructure and lead to malfunctions that result in an electrical fire. If any major environmental changes have occurred, have a licensed electrician inspect your system and verify it is functioning correctly.

They should evaluate the following:

  • Circuit breakers
  • Fuses
  • Wiring
  • Transformers
  • Switchboards
  • Switches

Don’t Overload Extension Cords Or Power Strips

Extension cords are commonly used to power workstations, particularly in office buildings, but they can be dangerous when overloaded. An overloaded extension cord could melt, burn wires, or create sparks that cause a fire.

When using extension cords and power strips in your workplace, follow their ratings and use guidelines. If in doubt, refer to the wattage labels on the appliances you intend to plug into the cord and ensure that they don’t exceed your extension cord’s rating.

Electrical Work Should Only Be Done By A Professional

Ensure that any electrical work or maintenance performed within your workplace is done by a licensed electrician. Electricians have the skills to evaluate how to best arrange power sources and equipment within your workplace for safety and functionality. A professional electrician will have the latest training on electrical codes and best practices and take care to ensure that work is done safely and correctly.

How To Put Out An Electrical Fire

The most important thing to remember about electrical fires is that they should not be extinguished with water. Water is an electrical conductor, and pouring it on an electrical fire could cause electrocution. Instead, use these tips:

  • If possible, cut the power to the equipment involved in the fire.
  • Smother the fire (if it’s small enough) with a fire blanket or a Class C fire extinguisher

If you don’t have the tools you need or the fire is out of control, evacuate the area and call 911.

The Bottom Line

Electrical fires are typically the result of overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, or malfunctioning equipment. With this in mind, regular maintenance and fire safety audits are essential for preventing these fires. While a Boyd & Associates commercial fire alarm system will ensure help is dispatched in an emergency, holding regular fire safety briefings with your staff will help them stay proactive about preventing fires.

6 Tips To Keep Your Home Safe In 2023

Even if you don’t own a home security system, there are inexpensive tactics you can implement to protect your household. Boyd & Associates experts offer some key tips below.

Identify potential risks. Before you move to a new neighborhood, connect with families in the area to evaluate whether it is in line with your expectations and needs. While it may seem safe, don’t be misled by appearances or notions presented to you by your realtor.

Do a gut check. Evaluate what you are most trying to protect and use that as a starting point to develop your home security program. The wellbeing of your family members will likely come first, with valuable assets falling next in line.

Don’t underestimate old-school locks. Whether you’re a renter or homeowner, ensure that door and window locks work appropriately and are used. If necessary, install window stops for an added layer of protection. Unwanted visitors typically look for easy access to a home.

Leave the light on. Leaving lights, and even a radio or TV, on in the house can go a long way in making your home look active. Implement inexpensive motion sensor lights to add safety for anyone coming home late and to deter burglars.

Commit to landscaping and upkeep. Trim bushes and shrubs, mow the lawn and remove leaves and snow. Don’t allow newspapers or mail to pile up whether you’re home or on vacation. A groomed appearance gives the impression that you are regularly present and protect the value of your home.

Participate in the community. Knowing your neighbors is invaluable to your home’s safety. Develop relationships with families on your street to ensure mutual safety. Notify each other of suspicious activity or nearby threats.

The Ultimate Level of Security

Though the above tips help, a home security system backed by a 24-hour monitoring center is the ultimate safeguard. If an emergency occurs, a security system will ensure responders are dispatched through Central Station monitoring, saving critical time for your family.

Smart home security can also alleviate the inconveniences associated with managing home safety on your own, such as maintaining your alarm system, remembering to lock up, or turning lights and appliances on and off. Through a mobile application, homeowners monitor and control smart devices from anywhere and at any time.

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and 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.

Do I Need Fire Alarm Monitoring?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. Fire Departments respond to a house fire every 86 seconds, or more than 1,000 fires in U.S. homes each day.

While a fire monitoring system cannot necessarily prevent house fires, it does offer early detection due to photoelectricity and heat sensors. Not only can this increase your chance to get your family out safely, getting the fire department there quickly can minimize the damage to your home. These monitoring systems offer several very important benefits to home fire safety, including:

Fire Alarm Monitoring Ensures Immediate Action

A fire alarm monitoring system guarantees that any signs of a fire are immediately identified. This is particularly important since a fire can spread through a house in only minutes. Fires that start while residents are asleep or when no one is home can be especially dangerous. Fire alarm monitoring with Boyd & Associates ensures the earliest detection possible, and monitoring ensures that the authorities are quickly dispatched. It is also important to have your CO alarm monitored, too. As an odorless, colorless gas, Carbon Monoxide often goes undetected unless an alarm sounds.

Special Needs Residents

When Boyd & Associates receives an alert that the fire alarm monitoring system has detected signs of a house fire, fire responders are dispatched to the location as soon as possible. If anyone living in the home is physically impaired or elderly, firefighters are informed by the monitoring service, that maintains information about the residence, to help make sure all family members get out safely.

Leave It To The Professionals

When reacting to a fire in your home, every second counts. A fire alarm monitoring system ensures that you can focus on following your family’s fire escape plan to get everyone out as quickly as possible. Rather than calling authorities yourself as you would need to do with a traditional smoke alarm, a monitored system does that step for you, resulting in an earlier notification and a faster response.

In need of fire alarm monitoring? Boyd & Associates provides fire monitoring solutions to ensure your home security is covered. Talk to us today to learn more.

Restaurant Safety and Risk Prevention

If you own or operate a restaurant, you know there are many inherent risks to the trade. Restaurant safety should always be a primary concern for both patrons and employees. Cultivating a culture of safety and risk prevention can better protect your business in the long run.

Think through the five steps below in the customer’s journey to identify safety gaps that could lead to major business losses.

  1. Keep Entrances Safe

The entrance is the first impression for many visitors to your restaurant. Welcome your guests with a slip-free and safe entryway. To ensure all-around safety throughout the year, here are a few things to consider:

  • Ensure proper outside lighting so customers feel safe when arriving and leaving.
  • Highlight steps with yellow paint or plastic detailing to catch customers’ attention.
  • Invest in absorbent walk-off mats to avoid slippery floors and catch outside water and dirt.
  • Consider installing video surveillance cameras in high traffic areas inside and outside to monitor and document slips and falls, as well as theft or intruder incidents.
  1. Make Exit and Employee-Only Signs Clear

Having clearly marked signs are important for any restaurant, especially for patrons dining there for the first time. In the case of an emergency, patrons must know where to exit quickly to ensure the safety of themselves and others. There are also huge liability risks for not having clearly marked exit signs.

Likewise, you must clearly mark off employee-only areas. There are a lot of moving parts in a restaurant kitchen, and a lot of things that could lead to injury. Other employee-only areas could include a surveillance room, manager’s office, break room, etc. It is essential that patrons know where they can and cannot be.

  1. Food Safety

Food safety is arguably any restaurant’s biggest safety risk. According to Foodsafety.gov, millions of Americans get sick from contaminated food each year. Just one large outbreak at your restaurant is a PR nightmare that could potentially destroy your business.

To mitigate the chances of foodborne illnesses, here are some key tips for monitoring food safety:

  • Constantly monitor the cleanliness of your establishment, especially your kitchen. This includes instituting a proper refrigeration program and food storage method, keeping consistent track of food expiration dates, and maintaining high sanitation standards in food preparation areas.
  • Keep your kitchen well stocked with clean towels, aprons, and anti-bacterial wash. Hold employees accountable for handwashing and proper hygiene.
  • Train staff in proper food preparation safety and health department compliance.
  • Monitor your staff remotely with cloud-based video solutions. These cameras can be installed in prep and food areas to ensure employees are following proper guidelines and training.

When preparing food, commercial kitchen fires are also a large risk. According to the United States Fire Administration, there are on average over 5,900 restaurant building fires reported each, causing an average of 75 injuries and $172 million in property loss. Prevent fires with the tips below:

  • Proactively train your team on equipment that uses heat or flames.
  • Establish an evacuation and crisis control plan in case of a fire.
  • Have the fire department or a security provider inspect your building to ensure all fire hazards are addressed.
  • Install a fire suspension system, such as sprinklers.
  • Keep fire extinguishers in place.
  • Install a fire alarm to ensure emergency response teams can reach your property as quickly as possible.
  1. Hire Employees You Can Trust

A solid team is your business’s best asset. Everything from the head chef to the host, to the busser, is a vital part of your business. Being successful means hiring the best you can get. But what does it take to ensure you hire top-quality, trusted employees? Consider the following:

  • Seek out experienced restaurateurs—few know how challenging the foodservice industry can be.
  • Start your employee selection process with a thorough background check and conduct live interviews.
  • Require recommendations and follow-up with former employers.
  • Request all candidates complete a drug test.
  • Consider a trial-run period, in which you can discern the candidate’s ability to work successfully with existing staff.
  1. Secure Your Finances

You want your customers to become loyal guests. The last step to protecting your eatery, in the long run, is financial viability.

Employee theft is more common than you might think. Studies indicate that employees steal over $50 million annually from businesses in the United States and an astounding 75% of employees have admitted to stealing from their company at least once. Consider the following for optimal protection:

  • Use access control to know when your kitchen staff arrives in the morning and when your bartender locks up at night. Assign employees unique codes or keys to keep tabs on individuals. For example, if five steak filets go missing from your outdoor refrigerator, you can reference a log to know who accessed the unit.
  • Install a video surveillance system. Being a restaurant owner is a round-the-clock job, including many holidays and almost all weekends. Your video monitoring system is on the floor when you can’t be, check-in at any time from your smartphone.

When it comes to restaurant safety, partner with the security experts you can trust. If you would like to learn more contact a Boyd & Associates expert today.

Is Carbon Monoxide Monitoring Right for Your Home?

According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NBCI), the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reported over 15,000 carbon monoxide-related emergency department visits. While it is certainly a good idea to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, their presence alone is not enough. Without service to monitor any issues, you’re still leaving your loved ones and pets at risk. Here is what you need to know about carbon monoxide monitoring for your home.

Carbon Monoxide is an Invisible Menace

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless poison gas that can be fatal when inhaled, often dubbed as a “silent killer”.

CO comes from many everyday household items, such as stoves, furnaces, heaters, fireplaces, and generators. While these items can provide comfort, they can also endanger you if not adequately covered.

The right carbon monoxide monitoring plan saves lives. Our systems allow you to correct a carbon monoxide problem immediately when it happens. In most cases, this is long before any health effects start to set in, allowing you to pinpoint the issue before it becomes truly hazardous.

Why Should You Get Carbon Monoxide Monitoring?

Lower levels of CO exposure (around 1,000 PPM) can leave you unconscious after one hour, but the highest levels of PPM exposure (10,000+ PPM) will kill you within minutes. Therefore, it’s important to receive a fast and immediate notification to help save lives.

The biggest benefit to having a monitored carbon monoxide alarm in your home is that it acts as an early warning system. As levels of carbon monoxide start to build up in the air, the system notifies you instantly when there is danger. Our support and monitoring team will also get in touch with you to discuss the situation and check to make sure you’re okay.

How Carbon Monoxide Monitoring Improves Emergency Response Times

The national response time in the United States is 15 minutes, 19.2 seconds, but having a security system can lessen that to up to four minutes. If the monitoring team notices levels that are abnormally high and they are not able to get in touch with you, they will dispatch emergency services to arrive at your home in minutes. In some situations, this can mean the difference between life and death.

Having a carbon monoxide detector in your home is not enough. Full-range monitoring is what makes your system a true protection mechanism for the overall safety of your family and the protection of your property.

Ready to learn more about carbon monoxide alarm monitoring? Contact our team at Boyd & Associates today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

Home Security Tools for Seniors Living Alone

As we get older, our home security concerns change. What works for families or young people may not meet the unique needs of seniors who live alone. And, just over one in four adults over the age of 65 lives alone. Concerns about seniors’ health, memory, and physical safety can create anxiety for loved ones and caregivers. But there are several strategies that can help seniors maintain both their safety and their independence. Read on for some of the best home security tools for seniors.

Medical Alert Devices

Every 11 seconds, an older adult suffers a fall serious enough to send them to the emergency room. If a senior is injured in a fall in their home, they may not have the ability to get up and call for help. Boyd & Associates Medical Alert can help. It is a safety and medical alert system that allows an individual to signal for help from a wireless alarm pendant.

These systems immediately alert an emergency operator who will dispatch the appropriate help. In the event of an emergency, the local 911 Emergency Response Team will be dispatched. Otherwise, a family member, neighbor, friend, or caregiver can be notified for assistance.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the most common kind of poisoning worldwide and is the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas found in the exhaust of generators, stoves, furnaces, cars, or anything that burns fuel and most victims have no idea they’re being poisoned.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 500 people die from unintentional exposure in the U.S. every year. Another 8,000-15,000 people are examined or treated in hospitals.

Most of carbon monoxide injuries and deaths are entirely preventable. That is why carbon monoxide detectors are crucial to have in your home, especially seniors who are living on their own.

Monitored Fire and Burglar Alarms

According to the Bureau of Justice, 59 percent of violent crimes against seniors happen at or near their homes and they are more likely to be victims of property crimes. A monitored home security system can offer seniors living alone an added layer of protection in the event of a burglary or fire by alerting an alarm monitoring center. An alarm monitoring agent will contact emergency responders quickly, saving precious minutes.

Most home security systems offer a feature that allows you to remotely control your home security system. This feature is accessible through an app by using your smart phone or tablet. This is a great feature for those who want to check the status of their senior family member’s system and receive alerts when an alarm or event triggers.

Video Doorbell

With smart video doorbells, seniors can answer their front door remotely via a tablet or smartphone to ensure visitors don’t know they are home alone. Family members of seniors can also use this feature to ensure the safety of their loved one.

Environmental Monitoring

It’s a scenario that can be more frightening and dismaying for an elderly individual than anyone else: a pipe burst, or a water heater leaks, causing damaging flooding that can go on for hours while they are away or asleep.

Environmental monitoring can alert seniors of the problem right away no matter where they are. The longer a leak goes unfixed, the more likely structural damage will occur. By getting the news right away, seniors and their families can avoid expensive and inconvenient repairs.

Home Automation Tools

A senior’s financial security is as important as their physical safety. With home automation tools, you can save time, money and energy by setting scenes and schedules, turn lights on or off, or control the thermostat.

Ask an Expert

Modern security technology means that it’s easier than ever for seniors to enjoy security and independence in their homes. If you’d like to learn more about the kinds of security planning, processes, and technology available for every budget, give us a call today to request a free quote.

Small Business Security Tips: Why You Need A Security System

Small business owners might not always think about security on a daily basis. When you’re too busy worried about the day-to-day operations of owning a business – from managing employees, keeping financial records, to the actual customer transactions of providing products or services, it can be easy to forget that entire operations often hinge on proper security. But, maybe now more than ever, small business security is an essential aspect of any entrepreneurial venture.

But it can be overwhelming knowing exactly where to start. Which is why we’ve compiled some quick-hitting tips to small business security. It’s time to start operating your business with complete peace of mind.

BASIC SECURITY TIPS

There are a few basic security measures any business owner should take on their own. Most are probably fairly obvious, but it never hurts to run through the basics!

KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

Any business should understand the community they are becoming a part of. And that starts with taking stock of the physical places your business is existing. What are the crime statistics like in the area? Are you located in a region that could be affected by natural disasters? Are there any safety or security concerns with the business structure itself that could pose risks?

Don’t forget – your business space should have a smoke alarm and CO detector in every room!

LOCKS AND LIGHTS

This is another pretty simple, obvious point, but the end of every business day should come with security checks. Is your workspace clean and organized? Are products and any cash from transactions locked away in a safe, secure location?

Always be sure to lock every entry point. Shutting off lights is a great way to let people know your business is closed. But it can also be an indication for burglars, especially if there are dark areas to hide. Keep lighting balanced to save on energy, but also ward off intruders.

HAVE A BASIC CYBERSECURITY PLAN

These days it’s not enough to just have physical security in place. As more and more businesses operate online, the greater the risk for cyberattacks like malware, phishing, hacks and scams. Get ahead with a basic cybersecurity plan to protect your business:

  • Use firewalls and antivirus software
  • Make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure
  • Rotate passwords quarterly
  • Protect payment processors
  • Back up any business data to a secure cloud network

Secondly, remember to educate yourself – every business is going to have unique risks inherent to individual business structure and industry that must be considered.

While these basic measures are a good start, overall they limit security options for small businesses. It is important to understand when it’s the right time to upgrade to a full small business security system.

FEATURES OF A SECURITY SYSTEM

Small business security systems come with many of the same perks and advantages that are present in home security systems. And in most cases, security solutions can be customized to fit the unique needs of any business in any industry.

INTRUSION MONITORING

Just like your home security, you can (and should!) install sensors on all doors and windows. This will allow you to know when people are coming and going on a daily basis during normal operation hours. Additionally, with 24 hour monitoring, you can trust that when you arm your system that first responders will quickly dispatch in the event of an intrusion.

OPEN/CLOSE REPORTING

Business sizes vary, and maybe you can’t always be onsite. With open/close reporting, you can keep an eye on your business operations from afar. Know which employees open and close, track shifts, and keep detailed daily log records.

VIDEO SECURITY

Security cameras are a popular small business security measure. And they can be taken to the next level. While there is certainly a market for business owners to purchase and install video systems themselves, they lack the nuance and technical advancement of a system installed by a professional company.

And with Video Verification, in the event of an alarm, live operators will monitor your surveillance footage and can notify police the moment any suspicious activity is verified, increasing first responder intel, and expediting response times. Plus, real-time analytics help provide advanced metrics, secure video data via Cloud storage, and allow you to view footage with searchable timelines.

SMART BUSINESS AUTOMATION

Just like Smart Home Automation solutions, adding automation to your business can take those basic security measures to new heights. Plus it’ll add major improvements to how an installed system functions.

Smart business automation allows you to access your business security through any computer, smartphone or tablet. That means you can remotely arm your system and monitor those daily security reports from your couch at the end of a long day. Plus you can pull up your surveillance feeds at a moment’s notice to check in.

AUTOMATION SAVES TIME AND MONEY

As a business owner, every penny counts. And smart business automation can help you save more money in the long run on your energy bills. Smart thermostats and lights allow you to set schedules and routines, and change on the fly based on real-time analytics.

And with automated lights and locks, you will never second guess whether you closed up shop or not. Want to make sure the back door is locked? Worried about your front light being left on? Not a problem. You can remotely arm your system, check locks, and even turn lights on and off, long after you have left your business.

 

BOYD & ASSOCIATES UNDERSTANDS YOUR BUSINESS SECURITY NEEDS

 While most fundamental security needs are pretty standard across the board, at the end of the day, every business is unique. The security needs of a small neighborhood coffee shop might vary greatly from that of an auto-body repair business. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for business security.

At Boyd & Associates, we understand that every business is different. Which is why we offer custom security solutions for your business. That way, you choose the combination of services that best suits the needs of your business.

If you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and 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.