7 Tips to Reduce Neighborhood Crime

When you turn on the evening news, it may seem as though there is constant neighborhood crime throughout the nation. However, the FBI recently reported that crime decreased across all categories between the first half of 2020 and the first half of 2021. In their report, they show robberies falling 7.4% compared to the prior year. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that crime can make its way into any neighborhood. There are plenty of preventative measures you can take to promote safety in your neighborhood.

So, what can we do?

We can work together toward a safer community and consider getting more involved in crime prevention. As a matter of fact, throughout the 90’s, there was an average of a 30 percent decrease in burglaries nationwide due to communities getting more involved in crime prevention.

So, let’s keep it up. Check out these seven ways for more community involvement to keep it safe.

  1. Join the Town Watch (or Start One)

Join in a town watch program (or get the community involved in one). Staying in tune with the neighborhood’s regular activity and keeping streets and homes well-lit can deter any possible burglaries. When criminals see a well-marked neighborhood with town watch and security system signs, it makes them think twice before committing a crime. Town watch programs have helped communities experience a 16 and 26 percent reduction in crime compared to areas not involved in a town watch.

  1. Get to Know Your Neighbors

Whether you are going on vacation or heading to work, knowing your neighbors can provide an extra set of eyes on your house (and maybe an extra set of keys in case of emergency). People care about those they know, so getting to know your neighbors and building relationships provides that layer of community and a sense of wanting to watch out for each other.

  1. Educate Kids About Bullying

Educate kids on a safe way to help others. Encourage confidence in resolving problems peacefully and not through violence. Make it clear that you expect kids to take action if they see someone being hurt, or if they are hurt themselves. By leading by example, you can teach empathy rather than violence.

  1. Initiate a Buddy System

The buddy system is not just a system for kids. It’s less likely a criminal will approach two people instead of one vulnerable person. A buddy can be more than just a walking partner. Your buddy can also make sure that you have everything you need to be safe. Whether from a long trip or just a simple walk down the street. And, of course, a buddy can always be there to call for help in those times of emergency services.

  1. Get Involved in Local Organizations

By getting involved, neighbors become better acquainted and make the connections necessary to keep the community safe. The Bureau of Justice Assistance offers ways your community can get involved and pair with local businesses and organizations to create a safer community.

  1. Create a Favorable Rapport with Local Police Enforcement

Encourage involvement from local law enforcement in community events. Get to know who they are and what they do. By creating trust with your local law enforcement, you can communicate community concerns more effectively and build a better relationship.

  1. Stay Current with Crime Trends

Knowing what is happening in your neighborhood and those around you can help you understand the possible warning signs of impending crime. Know what is happening and report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement. Staying up to date with the news and crime trends can help your community stay proactive and involved.

By focusing on a safer community, you can work toward protecting you, your family, and those around you from falling victim to crimes that could leave your community devastated. By getting more involved or following any other tips mentioned above, you can help lead the way in creating a safer community for everyone.

 

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.

The Importance of Flood Alarms and Flood Alarm Monitoring

Flood alarms and flood alarm monitoring are essential to preventing damage when a disaster arises. In the U.S., statistics show that households report roughly 850 water main breaks every single day. And for homeowners, it is estimated that the average cost of repairing flood damage is about $15,000. These damages are not only a nuisance but very costly to repair. And sometimes, the real damage goes much deeper.

It only takes 24 hours for mold to develop in water-damaged areas, so it is essential to repair damages as quickly as possible to avoid adverse long-term effects. With flood alarm and monitoring from Boyd & Associates, you receive real-time flood alerts via text message or phone call the minute a flood is detected, so you can quickly cease the flow of water.

WHAT CAUSES FLOODS?

There are many causes of home flooding which can include natural disasters as well as manmade causes.  Natural disasters might include:

  • Mudflows
  • Flash floods
  • Heavy rains

It is also important to consider the environment around your home. Are you located near major bodies of water like lakes or rivers that can be at risk of flooding? Do you have a basement or other area in your house that is particularly exposed and susceptible to potential damage? General awareness is a major step.

Most manmade floods occur with a pipe bursting, plumbing problems, or when a malfunctioning water heater is present. 70% of floods are actually due to water heaters bursting or leaking. So outside of flood monitoring, you should be aware of the age and condition of your household utilities. Generally speaking, try to commit to an annual inspection from a professional to ensure your home utilities are in safe working order.

HOW DOES FLOOD ALARM MONITORING WORK?

What if there was a way to interrupt a potential flood, before any damage can occur? Here’s how flood alarms and flood alarm monitoring from Boyd & Associates protects you:

  1. Water sensors are installed near appliances such as your hot water heater and washing machine.
    2. When overflowing water is detected, a flood alarm signal is sent to the home alarm panel.
    3. When water is detected on the alarm panel, an alert will notify you via call or text.
    4. Alarm systems with the Flood Avert feature are designed to automatically cut off the water source at the onset of flooding.

HOW DO YOU PREVENT OR PREPARE FOR A FLOOD?

Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable. While you cannot always control natural disasters, you can control how you protect yourself against the unknown. Some quick flood prevention and preparation tips include:

  1. It is always a good idea to have flood insurance.
    2. Ensure that all pipes, water heaters, plumbing, and foundation are working properly on a regular basis.
    3. In the event of a natural disaster, attempt to seal the perimeter of your home with waterproof materials that may help prevent damage.
    4. Create an emergency plan for your family’s safety and any valuables.
    5. Consider adding a flood monitoring system and flood avert automatic shut-off to prevent costly repairs.

FOR MORE SECURITY AND HOME AUTOMATION TIPS AND SOLUTIONS, STICK WITH BOYD & ASSOCIATES

It is important to protect your home before a flood or disaster occurs. The best way to protect your home from damage is with a flood monitoring system installed to always ensure you are aware as soon as the flooding starts. Contact Boyd & Associates today for information on flood alarms and flood alarm monitoring protection.

And, if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you are 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.

Dogs and Home Security: 5 Ways Pooches Boost Home Safety

How often do we see dogs and home security crossover scenarios play out in pop culture? Think about the classic watch dog moment in countless movies and TV shows, where we’ve seen man’s best friend cast in a heroic, starring role. The burglar breaks into the home with something nefarious in mind, but before he knows it, the tables are turned as the family’s faithful pooch backs him into a corner or chases him out.

While they’re no replacement for an actual home security system, there are plenty of ways dogs can add an extra boost to your home protection.

1. DOGS ARE GREAT PERIMETER DEFENDERS

One of the best things about dogs are their heightened senses. They will first smell, then hear people coming long before you ever notice them. A K9’s sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than that of a human’s, and will often notify their owners if something out of the ordinary is nearby.

The difference is distinguishing your dog’s “normal” behavior, like barking at the mailman, versus warning you of a possible disturbance on your street or property. But in essence, a good watchdog is another set of eyes that can keep a close watch over your “den.”

2. DOGS WARN OTHERS OF DANGER

Another home security advantage to a barking dog is that it not only alerts you to possible dangers and disturbances, but your neighbors and any passersby as well. Just like a loud, ear-piercing alarm sounding off, a non-stop roaring dog is going to draw attention.

If you have neighbors that know your animal, they may know the difference in sounds of barks, too. Not to mention, the hour could make it glaringly apparent to others that something is out of the ordinary. A loud bark disturbing the middle of the night, for instance. A concerned neighbor might be drawn to investigate, and call authorities in some cases when necessary.

3. DOGS CAN SCARE AWAY INTRUDERS

There are plenty of reasons not to confront an intruder in the event of an actual home invasion, but in some cases, the situation might be unavoidable. If you have a particularly large breed of dog, that can be a major intimidation factor to home intruders. Especially if for some reason your dog doesn’t bark at first, or those initial noises don’t scare off a burglar, the physical presence of your dog (and the reality of being in the same space) might make all the difference in a dangerous situation.

4. DOGS ARE LOYAL TO OWNERS

As we said earlier, dogs are protective of their den (your home!). And that means everyone in it, too. Your dog’s loyalty to you and your family adds an entirely new dimension as a home security asset. You know your dog better than anyone, which means you understand their behavior and can sense when something is truly amiss in the way they’re behaving toward outside disturbances.

And in the event of a home invasion, your dog may even attack an intruder to protect itself and its family, giving you time to escape and contact the proper authorities. But unless your pooch is military trained, an attack would likely be instinctual. And this may put your pet in serious physical danger,  and should be avoided at all costs. But in the cases it isn’t, it’s nice knowing your watchdog has your back, right?

5. COMPANIONSHIP AND PEACE OF MIND

The point is, most dog owners feel a strong sense of companionship to their animal. And in many cases, that loyalty is reciprocated. Beyond the natural advantages a dog can provide to home security, their comforting presence alone can make a world of difference to your day-to-day peace of mind. In general, it’s a comforting feeling to have an active, physical presence in your home to beef up security. And that’s just the icing to the canine cake – dogs are “man’s best friend” for a reason!

HOWEVER, DOGS HAVE THEIR LIMITS

It’s important to note that not every dog breed is suited for home security. The American Kennel Club suggests that some of the best guard dog breeds include Akitas, Boxers, Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, various Shepherd dogs (German, Australian, etc.), and more. These are mostly larger breeds, but there are smaller and medium sized dogs that fit the mold based on their natural behavioral instincts.

However, proper training is also another major factor. You don’t want a dog that barks at every noise; you want one that tells you when something is wrong. It’s also important that you’re able to call your dog off and tell him to ‘sit’ and ‘stay.’ Dogs aren’t born knowing these skills. You’ll need to participate in their training and reinforce what they’ve learned throughout their lives. But even an untrained barking dog may still deter burglars.

FOR MORE SECURITY TIPS AND SOLUTIONS, STICK WITH BOYD & ASSOCIATES SECURITY

Dogs are not a replacement for  24/7 home security and alarm monitoring services. Instead, think of them as a furry extra layer to supplement your home safety! 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.

 

Home Security and Spring Cleaning Guide: How to Prep for Safer, Warmer Months

Depending on the weather in California, you may find yourself in flip-flops one day and furry boots the next. But there is no denying that warm, glowing orb that’s suddenly making more frequent appearances: Sun’s out. Spring is coming!

During COVID-19, many of us have already become legitimate cleaning and disinfecting ninjas — so a little spring cleaning? No sweat! Take advantage of this mindset, and any extra time you have at home, to make your home a more pleasant place to be.

But don’t stop at dusting and power-washing; it might be time to clean up your home security, too!

Why spring cleaning is the perfect time for a home security check

As stay-at-home orders and state guidelines continue to shift, people everywhere will be pumped to step out into the sunshine. Summer may still not be completely back to normal this year. But overall, we expect the trend of people spending more time away from home during the warmer months will hold true.

Crime often rises after we “spring forward” at Daylight Saving Time.

When temperature rises outdoors, we take more time off, get more active, go on more vacations, and just stay out later. It’s probably no coincidence that home burglary rates increase during summer months, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Some spring cleaning tasks can make your home safer.

For some, spring cleaning may be the one time of year you do a thorough deep cleaning and decluttering of your entire home. This is when we address the areas that might often get passed over, which means furniture is getting moved, and doors and windows are being examined. It’s a good opportunity to uncover safety issues, or spots where a burglar might try to break in.

Like anything else in your home, security alarm systems need regular maintenance.

If you have a smart home security system, you have probably noticed they do a lot of the thinking for you (that’s the point!). It’s easy to adapt a set-it-and-forget-it attitude. But a little bit of maintenance and regular check-ins go a long way — and milestones like Daylight Savings and the start of spring are great reminders to do just that.

Set yourself up for a safer, more secure spring and summer by making home security part of your spring cleaning ritual.

If you own a smart home security system, there are a few extra tasks we suggest adding to your checklist:

 

  1. Sanitize your security and home automation equipment.

Some of the equipment you use to control and secure your home may be hands-free — like a motion sensor — and some you might touch every day, like your panel.

From your smart thermostat to your security panel to your cameras, make sure your security and home automation devices are on your spring cleaning list. Too much dust and debris can interfere with how devices like smoke detector’s function. Play it safe and keep ’em clean!

  1. Set up a schedule to test your system.

If you have professionally monitored security, it is important to test your system to make sure it’s communicating properly with the monitoring center. It is simple to do and will give you peace of mind.

We recommend testing once a month, and after making any adjustments in your home that that may impact your system, such as landline, internet, and broadband service changes. If you are planning to do any remodeling or home renovations, make a note to test your system afterwards. It’s also a good idea to do a test a week before taking a vacation as an extra precaution.

  1. Update your emergency contacts.

Take a minute to make sure all of your account information is correct, and update your emergency contacts. Your emergency contacts are the people your monitoring team will call if anything goes wrong, and they can’t get in touch with you.

  1. Set up your security notifications.

All the bells and whistles that come with a smart home system are amazing, but ultimately, your safety and peace of mind is what it’s all about. Alerts and notifications provide instant awareness anywhere via your smartphone. If you haven’t programmed any alerts or notifications for your system yet, get started now!

Get smart home security for better home protection this spring

A professionally installed and monitored smart home security solution will give you peace of mind and confidence, especially during your warm weather excursions.

Even if you’re still on the fence or aren’t sure what you need in a system, you can learn more about the benefits of smarter security by contacting us today!

 

 

 

5 Security Tips for Safe Online Shopping

E-commerce has made shopping faster and more convenient. Today, approximately 69% of Americans have made an online purchase. By 2023, the United States will have 300 million online shoppers (91 percent of the country’s population).

However, online shoppers who do not properly secure their personal data are more susceptible to cyber attacks and identity theft.

Below, we provide five tips to secure personal and financial information online and ensure safe delivery of online purchases.

  1. Buy from Credible Websites

Understand the potential risks of shopping online, such as identity theft or fraud, to properly safeguard your sensitive information.

Shop only on credible websites. Cyber attackers often pose as e-retailers to obtain personal and financial data or gain access to devices. Avoid falling victim to a cyber attack with the following precautions:

  • Avoid clicking on suspicious emails or links. Cyber attackers may use vicious malware in emails or links to obtain sensitive data, such as credit card information or social security numbers.
  • Familiarize yourself with the e-retailer’s privacy policy. Ensure your confidential information will not be disclosed or sold to a third party.
  • Read customer reviews. Research unfamiliar online retailers and be wary of particularly negative reviews, and look for suspiciously positive reviews (which may be false or unreliable).
  • Understand the e-retailer’s return policy. Be aware of proper return procedures should you be unsatisfied with a product.
  1. Connect to a Secured Network

An unsecured network could leave your personal and financial data vulnerable to attack, as it is easily accessible to cyber criminals. Be aware of online shopping risks while on the go, and use the following security tips:

  • Avoid public Wi-Fi networks. Cyber attackers may easily intercept sensitive data through an unsecured network.
  • Connect to a virtual private network (VPN) whenever possible. VPNs encrypt your data and protect sensitive information from being stolen.
  • Shop on websites that contain “https://”. Look for sites that include “https://” in the address, which indicates that data is encrypted and not accessible to cyber attackers.
  1. Use Secure Payments

Compromising personal payment information could lead to identity theft or fraudulent use. Credit cards are the safest payment method for online transactions as opposed to ATM or debit cards. This is because online shoppers are typically less liable for loss from unauthorized use. Take the following actions to secure online payments and protect financial data:

  • Continually check credit card statements for irregularities. Identify and promptly respond to any fraudulent activity. Contact your bank to see if an automatic feature that alerts you of suspicious account activity is offered.
  • Never store credit card data on your devices. Re-enter credit card information for each transaction to prevent users with access to your device from taking advantage of stored information.
  • Refrain from providing unnecessary information. Avoid supplying retailers with highly sensitive information, such as your social security number or date of birth.
  • Utilize “virtual” credit cards. Use the alternate card number provided by the issuer to protect your actual credit card information in the case of a breach.
  1. Protect Smart Devices

Shopping on a mobile device offers convenience for shoppers. However, it can significantly increase security risks. Properly secure your smart device to mitigate the risk of compromising personal information:

  • Download and purchase from credible retailers’ mobile applications to ensure secure transactions.
  • Install updated security software, such as antivirus or anti-spyware, on your device as it becomes available.
  • Protect your phone with a unique and complex password, PIN or pattern.
  • Use two-factor authentication to confirm your identity with at least two types of credentials. For example, your phone may require your passcode and your fingerprint to unlock, or your email may require a password and a numeric code sent to your phone.
  1. Utilize Video Surveillance Cameras

After making an online purchase, ensure your package arrives safely at your doorstep with surveillance cameras or doorbell cameras. Monitor your front door from any web-enabled device in real-time to:

  • Confirm your package arrives on time.
  • Ensure delivery workers handle items with care.
  • Ward off or identify burglars who may attempt to steal your packages.

Cyber security should not be taken lightly. Work with your trusted security provider at Boyd & Associates to properly equip your home and devices for the best cyber protection.

Five 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 unsecure 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’ 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 to Effectively Place Motion Sensors in Your Home

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!)

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

The most effective motion sensor placements

Motion sensors work to detect movement in an area where there should not 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 could not 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 rule of thumb, all entry points should be accounted for. This way you will be alerted if anyone approaches while you’re asleep.

Basements

It never hurts to be extra careful. Especially if there are any access points or vulnerabilities from the basement. Having several sensors down in that area is a great idea. If you have lots of clutter, make sure they are placed in an area where they won’t be blocked. Also consider installing one near the staircase leading upstairs to the main levels of your home or business.

Ceilings

When an intruder enters the home, they may already be looking for motion detectors. A great place they would not immediately look is the ceiling. Sensors work on 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 are not easily spotted by intruders. Plus, they won’t detract from your home’s look and feel.

The least effective motion sensor placements

Motion sensors are designed to detect motion, that 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 would not 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 are 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 are ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what is next.

Hearing Bumps in the Night? Here’s What to Do

Bump. You definitely heard it this time. It’s 2:00 AM and everyone should be asleep. Is your mind playing tricks, is it an intruder or, some of those roaring Santa Ana winds?

It is the season for gusty winds. However, mysterious bumps in the night haunt us year-round. According to research, we experience them four times a year on average. We react in different ways: 44% of us have quietly snuck out of bed to investigate a noise, while 41% have grabbed an object and gone to confront the real or imagined intruder. One in five men have sent their partner to investigate.

Not loving any of these solutions? Neither are we. Try these easy ways to restore your peace of mind instead.

1: Indoor video

If stalking through your shadowy house with a golf club (or a clove of garlic) isn’t your thing, consider Boyd & Associates powered indoor video cameras instead.

When a bump in the night wakes you up, pull up your app’s live video feeds for a room-by-room view of everything downstairs. Our push-to-talk technology lets you broadcast your voice through many of our latest cameras.

2: Smarter outdoor lighting

What about the bump you just heard outside your window. You know it was real because your motion-triggered lights turned on. But is it a prowler, or just a possum?

With Boyd & Associates video analytics, you would know. It is a state-of-the-art home security technology that can spot the difference between people, animals and vehicles, and you can use it to automate your outdoor lights. If it’s a person outside: lights on. If it is an animal, no lights. You would also get custom video alerts telling you what type of visitor you have: human, or animal.

3: Professionally monitored security

A real, human intruder is no joke. This is why professional monitoring is included with every Boyd & Associates powered security system.

In the event of a break-in while your system is armed, Boyd & Associates alerts our 24/7 monitoring station, where security professionals are on hand to dial 911 on your behalf. You can also use your BoydSMS alerts to tell your monitoring station that you need help immediately.

For total protection and peace of mind, there’s nothing smarter—especially at 2.00 AM.

Are bumps in the night giving you the chills?

You’ll rest easier with smart home security powered by Boyd & Associates. Professionally installed and monitored, and customized to your home and needs, it’s the all-in-one way to stay protected, connected and in control. If you have questions about the security of your home, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

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.