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.

A Security System With Monitoring: Why It Beats DIY Security

These days it seems more common than ever to find everyday do-it-yourself solutions and projects, especially for homeowners. While DIY skills are great for building furniture items or renovating an old room, it’s tough to beat the protection a security system with monitoring brings.

With so many new security companies and advancing technology, it’s tempting to try to tackle home security like you would any DIY project. But you shouldn’t DIY your peace of mind! Learn why a security system with monitoring always beats DIY options.

Professional Installation

DIY options like individual door cameras or home sensors are tempting on the surface. You think you’re only selecting the gadgets and protection that you need, and a single price tag is a lot more appealing than a subscription-based security service.

But we hate to break it to you: you’re not a security professional. Watching a video tutorial will not teach you all of the essential technical skills needed to properly place motion sensors.

With our home security solutions, you’ll receive a professional, onsite installation and walkthrough from a dedicated security technician who knows and understands the neighborhoods we protect.

What You Can Expect from a Professional Home Security Installation:

  • A customized plan that fits your budget and security needs
  • A dedicated, local service representative who will conduct an onsite survey
  • An in-person demonstration of your new system, teaching you all of the ins and outs
  • A support team that’s there to answer your questions and provide solutions

24/7 Protection You Can Rely On

The big difference between most DIY security options and a security system with monitoring is exactly that: the monitoring. Which, in hindsight, seems like a pretty important part! If you’re a tech-savvy consumer, the DIY gadgets and SmartHome integration might be tempting. You set up your sensor and surveillance feeds and get simple notifications when anything is tripped.

Most of the time it’s just a neighbor or a package delivery that you easily confirm. But what happens in the event of a real emergency? What if you’re not home and don’t notice a notification until after your home has been burglarized.

Or worse, what if you’re home and simply unable to contact the proper authorities? With a monitored security system, you get the 24/7 protection from a security team that always has your back.

How It Works:

  • Your alarm triggers
  • Monitoring stations notify you and the authorities
  • First responders are dispatched quickly and efficiently
  • You can rest easy knowing your home is protected around the clock

And, monitored security doesn’t start and end with door sensors and enhanced video monitoring surveillance services. Get complete home protection including flood monitoring and monitored smoke and CO detectors to keep every disaster at arm’s length.

Flexible Plans And Easy Upgrades

Technology changes, and so does the way you interact with it. DIY security solutions aren’t future proof, especially when you consider you’re solely responsible for upgrading or adding to the gadgets and features needed.

With monitored security from a trusted professional, you can be sure that your technology is not only up to date, but in excellent working condition. You can also be sure that as home security and SmartHome technology grows, your plan and protection grows with it.

For More Security Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates.

There’s nothing wrong with being resourceful and knowledgeable, especially when it comes to the safety and security of your home and family. But don’t be stubborn either. Trust the professionals who have the resources to give you the best protection possible.

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.

Halloween Safety

Halloween can be known as a scary time of year, but it’s also a time for fun costumes and delicious treats! Scaring should always be good-natured and not pose any real threats. The best Halloween is a safe Halloween. Here are some safety tips to make sure you and your family have a fun and safe trick-or-treating experience.

Treats, not Tricks

Parents: even if your younger children are going in a large group it is still advisable to walk with them while they trick or treat. Also, make sure you tell kids not to eat any candy while trick-or-treating (as difficult as that may be for them) until you have inspected it thoroughly. Make sure all wrappers are closed and there are no signs of tampering. If a candy wrapper is open, discard the candy.

Many homes go all out for Halloween with decorations and may even invite trick-or-treaters inside. Never enter a stranger’s home alone, and make sure a trusted adult is with any children before entering an unknown home. If a house is completely dark, it is best to skip that house and move on to the next one. It is never good to encourage a child to approach a dark home, and typically this means the residents do not want to be bothered.

Walking at Night

While walking around at night, visibility is crucial. Carry flashlights and give each child a glow stick to wear around his or her neck. They can even be incorporated into the costume. Cracking the glow sticks to activate them can also be made into a fun Halloween activity! You can also purchase reflective tape at hardware or sporting goods stores to apply to costumes and candy buckets.

Stay on the sidewalk whenever possible, or if there isn’t one then stay as close to the side of the road as possible and walk against traffic. Remind children that safety is still the number one priority, and they should never dart out into the street even if it is full or trick-or-treaters. You cannot depend on motorists to drive more carefully just because it’s Halloween.

Costumes and Makeup

Halloween costumes and makeup can pose dangers of their own. Some costumes are made from materials that are highly flammable, and candles are often used in Halloween decorations. Make sure your costume is flame resistant, and make an effort to stay away from any open flames. Costumes that are ill-fitting can also be dangerous. Costumes that are too long or baggy can cause a child to trip or get caught in decorations. Good shoes are also extremely important when walking at night. It will be dark, and there could be lawn decorations or even just bumps in the road that cannot be seen. Shoes that do not fit well can cause you or your child to trip.

Some makeup is made from substances that are harsh on the skin or won’t wash off. Factor this into your plans for the evening, as sleeping with heavy makeup can cause it to get into your eyes which can result in an infection. If makeup is a major component of your costume, plan on showering before bed to get it all off.

SCARE SAFE

To easily remember all these safety tips, just remember to SCARE SAFE:

Stay in groups

Costumes should be will-fitting and flame resistant

Always test makeup

Remember to look both ways before crossing the street

Examine all treats before eating

Stay on the sidewalk

Avoid dark houses

Flashlights and glow sticks for visibility

Enjoy with caution!

Have fun, be safe, and have a happy Halloween!

 

The Best Hiding Places For Valuables In Your Home

Installing a home security system in your home is a great way to ensure you and your family stay protected. It also ensures any valuable possessions you have are also secure. But it never hurts to add those extra layers of security. Especially when considering the best hiding places for valuables in your home.

It may feel a little overcautious or paranoid. And in some cases, hiding your possessions seems like something out of a heist or spy movie. But for those precious family heirlooms, expensive jewelry, or prized collectibles, why risk the possibility of losing them at all?

Check out this list of great hiding spots and ideas that you might not have thought of.

The ‘Safest’ Bet For Hiding Places For Valuables

Outside of storing your most precious valuables somewhere outside of your house, like a bank safe deposit box or a secure storage facility, investing in a high-quality safe is a great place to start. Some things to consider when buying a safe include:

  • Size and location – you want to be able to conceal it while also practically storing what you need to protect.
  • Type of lock – combination, lock, and key, or electronic keypad. Your choice will depend on your protection needs, frequency of use, and how many people will need access.
  • Consider bolting your safe to a floor or wall for added security.
  • Hidden safes like vent safes and safes built into the wall.
  • Some safes offer dehumidifiers and fireproof capabilities to protect sensitive materials further.

But depending on your living situation, a safe just might not be that practical to have and use. Luckily, there are plenty of creative ways to store, hide, and protect your valuables. Just be sure to avoid the obvious places. Forget about under your mattress, in a sock drawer, under a mat, in the cookie jar, in a desk or nightstand drawer, or fake rock by the front door. And keep valuables out of the master bedroom if possible.

Sometimes, the best hiding spot is the one that seems like it would be the last place you’d choose. Consider a few of these locations, which may even spur a few ideas of your own.

Find A Picture Frame

Not the back of the frame but rather the part between the frame and the picture. Most burglars won’t open up the frame to see what is inside. It’s a great way to hide important documents that you don’t need to access regularly. Now your favorite picture serves even more purposes!

Under The Carpet

Just like the picture frame idea, a small, accessible area of your carpet can be a useful hiding place. Simply pull back the corner of a room’s carpet and put cash or paper items underneath. And for even more protection, put heavy furniture over the area.

Use The Freezer

If you have a large storage freezer, you might also consider using it to store more than just food. Wrap valuables in aluminum foil and put them in the freezer with other frozen foods. Burglars probably won’t go through all the items in a freezer. Just be sure the items can’t be damaged by the cold!

Consider Lesser Used Rooms

Do you have a cluttered office room, storage attic, or even the laundry room? Obviously, you want to do everything in your power to prevent burglars. But sometimes it’s unavoidable. Instead, think about your defense as areas that potential thieves wouldn’t think to look in.

Fake Containers And False Bottoms

The ultimate trickery is to hide items in other items. Sometimes, those items can be decoys or fakes. Think fake canned goods that double as stash jars, in line with the real food in your pantry. Or even a garbage can, suitcase, or other storage container with a false bottom. From medical bottles to hollowed-out books, the possibilities are truly endless!

For More Security  Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates

Obviously, avoiding a burglary or home invasion altogether is favorable. And you should never confront a  burglar directly. This is why your best bet is always a monitored security system. But staying one step ahead of would-be criminals with some of the best hiding places for valuables never hurts your peace of mind!

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

How to Prevent Home Invasion: 5 Important Tips

Burglaries and home invasions are a primary fear for any homeowner. Your home should be a place of peace and comfort, and no one likes to think of their neighborhood as unsafe. But of the 2.5 million burglaries that occur in the United States, 66% are home invasions. Luckily, there are important steps you can take to learn how to prevent home invasion.

In general, if your home is clearly secured and well protected most burglars will likely bypass the home for an easier target. Especially if you’ve invested in a home security system. But it never hurts to over-prepare. Check out our round-up of tips to prevent home invasion and make your home as safe as possible.

  1. Secure Your Doors

Since doors are the primary entrance points for burglars, it makes sense to invest in the proper protection. And consider doorways beyond just your front door. Garage doors are often the easiest to breach, followed by the back door simply because they may be less monitored in general. Once hidden from view a burglar has more breaking-and-entering options available to them. Some general reminders to consider:

  • Replace rotted door frames so thieves cannot pry the door off its hinges. Use heavy-duty strike plates with 3-inch screws into wooden door frames.
  • All entrance doors should have a solid core (preferably metal).
  • Use heavy-duty, quality deadbolt locks with a knob-in-lock set and dead-latch mechanism.
  • Prevent fraudulent entry by installing door chains and wide-angle peepholes mounted no higher than 58 inches off the ground.
  1. Watch Your Windows

Of course, doors are not the only entry option for burglars. Since windows can also provide easy access for an intruder, it is essential that you take the proper measures to secure them. Particular attention must be paid to ground floor windows and windows visible at street level. Even upper floor windows can present a threat to your home, especially if they can be accessed from a stairway, tree, fence, or by climbing on balconies. The following are some general recommendations to better secure your windows:

  • Use blocking devices to prevent an intruder from being able to slide a window open from the outside.
  • Block the window open no more than six inches and make sure you can’t reach in from the outside and remove the blocking device, or reach through and unlock the window.
  • In sleeping rooms, any window-blocking devices should be capable of being removed easily from the inside to comply with fire codes.
  • Use anti-lift devices to prevent intruders from lifting your windows up vertically.
  1. Lights, Camera, (No) Action!

Luckily, as technology has advanced, there are new ways to integrate exciting new features into your home. Simply put, home automation has changed the game. With amazing features like smart lights and door cameras, you not only add an incredible degree of convenience to your home, but you also provide an extra layer of safety. With lights that you can set schedules to, your home appears occupied no matter where you actually are. Plus all that light eliminates any potential opportunities for burglars to hide.

Cameras are a little more obvious in their benefit to home invasion prevention, but that’s a good thing! In many cases, a door camera can ward off a potential burglar before a crime ever occurs. And if it does happen, there’s video evidence to provide evidence in the event you need to recoup the value of anything lost.

  1. Lock It Up

Another upgrade to consider adding to your front doors is a brand-new electronic smart lock. Electronic locks for your front door are more secure and reliable than traditional keyed deadbolt locks. Additionally, they provide an abundance of other benefits like:

  • Coded keypads for safe, secure, and convenient keyless entrance for you and your family.
  • Control (and monitor) your locks from anywhere through a single app.
  • You can also assign unique and temporary codes for guests and workers when needed.

Smart locks have better durability than traditional locks that wear and tear from constant key use. Plus, keypad locks do not use traditional locking mechanisms, which adds to their overall security. Without the mechanical key and tumbler system, keyless systems are unable to be picked or bumped like a traditional lock. This gives your home an added layer of security and protection from potential intruders.

  1. Monitored Alarm Systems

At the end of the day, one of the best ways to secure and protect your home is to invest in a quality security system. But alarm systems are at their most effective as a deterrent to burglars when used properly, and when properly maintained. Get the most out of your home security system:

  • Keep your yard sign visible and put alarm company decals in your windows and doors.
  • Do not write your alarm code anywhere near your keypad or entryway.
  • Be sure to update your alarm company and central monitoring station with pertinent information including your response call list.
  • Test your alarm regularly to ensure all access to your property is protected.

For More Security And Home Automation Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates

It’s impossible to be 100% safe in anything, but with the right precautions and proper maintenance of your home security features, you can position your home and family to be as safe and protected as possible.

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.

Back To School Safety Tips

Back to school is always one of the busiest times of the year. The change in routine—or the return to one–can be difficult for your entire family. Follow these safety tips to help your children and family stay safe during back-to-school season and throughout the new school year.

Use An Alarm System With Remote Alerts

If you don’t already have one, consider installing a home security system. You’ll receive alerts when your child enters their code into the alarm system, letting you know that they’ve arrived home safely. You can also set up sensors in sensitive areas of the house such as near gun cabinets, liquor cabinets, or medicine closets. With home automation, you’ll always be able to monitor the activities of your household through your phone.

Remind Your Kids To Lock The Door

Your children should know how to lock the door and know to do it every time they leave or enter the house. Educate your children about never opening the door to strangers, especially when they are home alone.

Show Your Kids How To Use The Alarm System

Ensure that your children know how to arm and disarm your alarm system. Show them how to hit the panic button and tell them what to do in case of an emergency. They also need to know the difference between burglar, fire, and carbon monoxide alarms.

Plan A Safe Route To School

If your child walks or bikes to school each day, plan a safe route to and from school. Avoid as many street crossings as possible and remain in areas that are highly populated. Encourage your children to refrain from using their cell phone while walking but to always have it on them in case of an emergency. If they ride a bike, be sure they have a properly-fitting helmet and always wear it.

Use And Teach Safe Driving Habits

While driving, always pay attention to the road. If you have children in the car, be certain that their seatbelts are buckled. Never use your cell phone while driving. It is important that you teach younger teen drivers these safe driving methods as well—and modeling good behavior is one of the best ways to instill it in your kids.

Help Children Memorize Important Numbers

Teach your children to memorize their home address, their home phone number, your cell phone number, and an emergency contact. It is important that they know how to contact someone in case of an emergency.

Teach Children About Strangers

Kids shouldn’t talk to anyone they don’t know. They should never accept a gift or a ride from any strangers. In case such an incident arises, children should also know whom to go to for help, such as a teacher or a police officer.

Get A Video Doorbell

With a video doorbell, you’ll be able to see who is at the door as well as answer it even when you aren’t home. This device also allows your children to see who is at the door, and talk to them, without having to answer the door.

Know Your Child’s Routine

Make sure you and your child know their routines before, during, and after school for each day of the week.

Keep Lines Of Communication Open

Ask your children to check in with you as they move through their daily routine so that you know they’re safe. Let them know it’s okay to call you at any time.

Practice Safety At Home

Decide whether your children are old enough and mature enough to use certain appliances or have visitors over while you’re not home. Be clear about your expectations. Children can’t follow the rules if they don’t fully understand them!

Review Social Media And Internet Usage At Home

Let your children know that you will have access to their social media accounts and warn them about appropriate usage. Warn them about the potential dangers of online strangers and how to avoid online bullying.

Our team at Boyd & Associates wants you and your children to remain safe throughout the school year. Start this new school year right by preparing for anything and protecting your home and family.

Tips To Keep Children Safe When They Are Home Alone

It’s hard for a parent to feel comfortable leaving their children home alone. Luckily, we’ve gathered some child home safety tips to help you be sure your child is home alone safely and responsibly.

One of the easiest solutions that provide peace of mind is your home security system that’s already in place. You can rest assured knowing your home surveillance system and security cameras are there to keep them safe. And you can even monitor them while you’re away, no matter where you are.

Child Home Safety Tips: Home Alone Age Guidelines

But is your child even old enough to stay home alone? You know your child better than anyone and the responsibility they may or may not be able to handle. But for reference, there are some general age guidelines to keep in mind.

7 Years Old And Younger

These children are too young to be left alone for any period of time. They should never be left unattended in cars, playgrounds, backyards, or even inside your home.

8 To 10 Years Old

These children should not be left alone for more than an hour, especially at night. If you plan to leave your 8 to 10-year-old home alone, make sure it is during the day.

11 To 12 Years Old

These children are capable of being left alone but should not be left home alone at night. It is recommended to leave them only for around 3 hours at a time.

13 To 15 Years Old

These teens are safe to leave unsupervised but probably not for an entire night.

16 To 17 Years Old

This is the age where they can be left at home alone for longer periods of time. They are old enough to take care of themselves and capable of taking care of any issues that may occur. Additionally, they likely have a cell phone and can get in contact with you if need be.

Child Home Safety Tips And Rules To Teach

Aside from teaching them the basics of your home security system, it’s always good practice to teach some basic home safety practices. No matter what their age, here are some safety tips to go over with your kid whenever the time does come to leave them by themselves.

  1. Tell Them To Lock The Doors

Even if you have a home security system, you should always remind your children to lock the door as soon as they’re in the house.

  1. Never Open The Door To Strangers

This rule applies even when you’re at home. Your child should never open the door for anyone that they do not know. Remind them to always look through the peep hole or window before opening the door for anyone, even if they are expecting someone. This includes anyone with a delivery as well.

  1. Talk About Telephone Rules

It’s important to teach your children how to communicate on the phone. Most importantly, they must never tell anyone that they are home alone. Teach your children to tell whoever is on the phone that you are busy and to take a message, even if you aren’t there.

  1. Use Social Media Responsibly

Social Media is becoming more and more common among younger children. It is important they never post about being home alone. Teach your children to be cautious with what they are sharing online. And be sure to brush up on your cyber security practices as well!

  1. If They Leave The House, They Need To Tell You Where They’re Going

Many parents are okay with their children heading over to a neighbor’s home or playing in the neighborhood. However, you need to teach your children to communicate with you when they reach their destination and whenever they plan to leave where they are. This is important because if something were to happen, you would have an idea of what your child was doing and where they were.

  1. Teach Them About Fire Safety

If you plan to leave your child home alone, make sure they are old enough to understand fire safety. Let them know that if they see or smell smoke, to immediately leave the house and call the fire department. Find a trusted neighbor that they can go to in case of an emergency such as this.

And be sure your home is always protected with monitored smoke and CO detectors.

For More Security Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates

Talk to your kids about staying safe in your home. Make sure they know what to do in case an emergency does happen. The more you teach them about safety, the better off they’ll be when left home alone. Again, you know your child better than anyone, especially in terms of what they can comfortably and responsibly handle by themselves in the home. But it never hurts to be sure your child knows and understands basic home safety practices!

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

Video Surveillance Security Tips For Businesses

Video surveillance is a vital and effective security solution that protects all business types. It acts as a crime deterrent and can help identify suspects in the event of a criminal incident.

To ensure your business video surveillance system is operating at peak performance, we have compiled a list of five fundamental video surveillance tips:

  1. Secure Your Surveillance System From Hackers

Advancements in technology have made it possible for hackers to gain access to security cameras. Today, many businesses utilize Internet Protocol (IP) cameras that require an Internet connection for operation. Consider the following practices when securing your video surveillance system from cyber criminals:

  • Change your surveillance system password every three months and utilize proper password management.
  • Always change default usernames and passwords. These factory-preset logins are often readily available online, making it easier for hackers to access your system.
  • Secure your business network. An unsecured network risks leaving open access points in your system, giving hackers the opportunity to compromise your surveillance cameras.
  • Never connect your cameras to a public network. Hackers can easily access information, like video surveillance credentials, through shared networks.
  • Choose cameras with encrypted signals. Encryption disguises information sent over the Internet, making it challenging for hackers to identify valuable data.
  1. Avoid Video Surveillance Legal Liabilities

Your business’ safety is a top priority, but so is the privacy of your employees and customers. When installing cameras throughout your business, be sure to avoid areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This includes:

  • Bathrooms
  • Dressing rooms
  • Exam rooms
  • Locker rooms
  • Hotel rooms

Additionally, understand the laws around video and audio recording so you don’t invade anyone’s privacy. Laws vary from state to state, so visit your State Labor Agency website to learn about camera privacy laws in your region.

  1. Strategically Place Cameras

Strategically placed cameras help business owners easily identify and promptly respond to potentially hazardous situations. Video surveillance cameras are most effective when they are:

  • Installed above all entrances and exits, to see who is coming and going.
  • Capable of watching over areas with high-value items, like office technology, stockrooms, and cash registers.
  • Placed under sufficient lighting for higher-quality video footage.
  • Positioned to capture wide angles for fuller surveillance coverage.
  1. Store Video Footage in the Cloud

Cloud solutions can help businesses increase storage capabilities and more easily access surveillance camera footage. Cloud-based systems offer a strong alternative to traditional analog systems. If properly installed, cloud storage can boost your business’s overall security measures because it is:

  • Cost-effective: IP cameras can eliminate the need for an onsite digital video recorder (DVR) or network video recorder (NVR).
  • Accessible: When housed in the cloud, surveillance footage can be viewed via smartphone, tablet, or a desktop web browser at any time.
  • Flexible: New users, locations, and cameras can be added to your existing infrastructure without rewiring.
  1. Increase Business Security with Additional Camera Features

You can also improve the effectiveness of your business surveillance system with some additional features, including:

  • Adjustable angles: Cameras that are mobile and can tilt or zoom for multiple views.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) technology: Cameras hosted on monitoring platforms powered by artificial intelligence can automatically monitor all footage and alert users about unusual events.
  • Day/night capabilities: Cameras with night vision use infrared LEDs to provide clear images in near low-light conditions.
  • High resolution: Higher resolutions give the best quality image.
  • IP-based versus wired: Video cables are not required with IP-based systems.
  • Weatherproof: Cameras that can withstand outdoor conditions.
  • Remote access: Sync your video surveillance system to your mobile security app to control settings and view footage on your mobile device.

Do you have questions about ways to enhance your video surveillance system? Talk to our security experts today!

How Does A Motion Sensor Work: Best Placement Practices

Outside of the physical structures of your home, motion sensors are often the first line of defense for your security system. But how does a motion sensor work? Basically, motion sensors trigger alarms and direct the home security feed to wherever the alarm was triggered. This is usually based on motion or intrusion (hence the name!)

This is why taking the time to plan out motion sensor placement for your home is so important. If your motion sensors aren’t in locations where they work the most effectively, your entire system may be flawed. Check out these helpful tips for motion sensor placements:

How Does A Motion Sensor Work: The Most Effective Motion Sensor Placements

Motion sensors work to detect movement in an area where there shouldn’t be. When thinking of the best placements for your motion sensors, consider important access points and any potential vulnerabilities in your home or business that an intruder might exploit.

Corner Spaces

Put a motion sensor in the corner of each room, aimed toward the doorway. That way, if the door opens or someone passes through, the sensor will detect the motion and set off the alarm.

Near Valuables

What exactly are you looking to protect with your motion sensors and security system? Place motion sensors directly at your most valuable items. Or, in the case of a small business, consider where you keep or display any important products or business profits. No one will be able to get close to them without you knowing.

Second Floor Bedrooms

Even if you feel as though a burglar couldn’t enter the house through the second floor, it is a good idea to keep a motion sensor near the bedrooms in your home. As a general rule of thumb, all entry points should be accounted for. This way you’ll be alerted if anyone approaches while you’re asleep.

Ceilings

When an intruder enters the home, they may already be looking for motion detectors. A great place they wouldn’t immediately look is the ceiling. Sensors work from any angle, so this is a great way to keep a thief from easily avoiding detectors. And these days, sensors are made to fit discreetly wherever you place them. So, they won’t be an eyesore in your home either.

Within Decorations

A great way to hide motion sensors is by making them part of your household decor. Hide them amongst photos and knickknacks so they aren’t easily spotted by intruders. Plus, they won’t detract from your home’s look and feel!

How Does A Motion Sensor Work: The Least Effective Motion Sensor Placements

Motion sensors are designed to detect motion, which means any kind of motion. Placing your motion sensors in certain areas can not only detract from the functionality of your system, but it can also cause false alarm triggers. Avoid placing motion sensors in the following locations:

Near Windows

This is a bad location for a few reasons. The first is that heat-activated motion sensors can be confused by direct sunlight, which most windows receive a lot of! The second is that the sensor works best when a burglar walks parallel to them rather than straight ahead. Finally, you wouldn’t want a false alarm trigger from every single passerby, or even just an innocent visit from the neighborhood cat!

Near Heat Sources

A heat source could potentially create a false alarm, so it is a good idea to keep motion sensors away from hot air vents and radiators. Any change in infrared heat could trigger the alarm. Plus, extended exposure to high temperatures could potentially damage your equipment as well.

For More Security Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates

Ensure that your security system is working to its full potential by strategically installing the motion sensors that are included with it.

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.