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, which 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.

Protect Yourself From Bluetooth Hackers

Many people believe that being hacked is not easy and unfortunately this is not true. Many people also believe they will not be hacked because they do not have any essential information, but this is false as well. A hacker can find out more than you would think just by hacking into your cell phone. Be cautious and protect yourself from hackers by following these safety tips:

Protect Your Home Devices From Hackers

Turn Off Your Wi-Fi And Bluetooth

Hackers can see if you keep these features on your phone at all times. The reason why this is important is that they could view what networks you have connected to before and can spoof them and trick your phone into connecting to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices that hackers carry around. Once in control of your device, hackers can bombard your device with malware, steal data, or even spy on you.

Use Two-Step Authentication

Many major internet websites will provide a login option for two-step authentication. Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a few of these companies that will ask you for a secret code that is sent through text message to your cell phone, to log into your account. This is a great form of protection because even if someone manages to guess your password, it would be impossible to log in without having full access to your phone.

Create A Smart Password

Consider using various characters and numbers sporadically throughout your password. Make sure this is something you will be able to remember. The more unique your password is, the less likely someone will be able to guess it.

Guard Your Home Wi-Fi

Setting up your home Wi-Fi system is an important way to stay protected. First, change the password to the Wi-Fi network. Do not continue to use the random password that is written on the side of your router. When asked what type of security encryption standard you would like to have for your network, choose WPA-2.

Do Not Hide Your Wi-Fi Signal

If your home router asks to “Hide The SSID”, click no. This means that all your devices will always be looking for a new network to join. It could also mean that you are joining networks that are not safe.

Protect Your Bluetooth Devices From Hackers

Scammers gain access to cell phone users by hacking into your cell phone using Bluetooth. To protect yourself consider these tips:

Create A Good Password

To prevent your Bluetooth from being hacked, always use a minimum of eight characters in your pin.

Use “Not Discoverable” Setting

Switch Bluetooth into “not discoverable” when you are not using it.

Be Cautious Of Other Devices

Do not accept any pairing requests from any unknown devices. This is especially important because this is how a hacker gains full access to your cell phone including calls, texts, pictures, credit card information, and any other important information your phone contains.

Be Aware Of Ways To Get Hacked

Familiarize yourself with these terms hackers and security experts use when identifying hacking instances:

  • Bluejacking: This is one of the most common ways that people are being hacked. This is when a hacker searches for discoverable devices around them and sends spam in the form of a text. This method is usually harmless but is more annoying than a significant security issue. This method is specifically used for different types of spam messaging and does not give hackers access to your phone or its contents. The best way to handle this mode is to ignore messages if you receive them. If you keep your Bluetooth setting on “non-discoverable” then you should not have any problems with this form of hacking.
  • Bluesnarfing: This type of hacking can lead to a hacker gaining access to your private information on your smartphone. A hacker could potentially purchase software that allows them to request information from your device. It is possible for this to happen when you are set to “invisible” or “non-discoverable”, but it is much less frequent due to the time, effort, and money needed to complete this type of hack.
  • Bluebugging: If a hacker uses bluebugging, then they have received full access to your cell phone. They can see all your photos, apps, contacts, texts, and phone calls. This type of hacking is only feasible with older phones with outdated firmware. Newer smartphones are less likely to have this happen because of constant security updates.

While your wireless security system protects your home and those within it, it doesn’t necessarily protect the software within your home. Be smart when using your Bluetooth devices so that they are not vulnerable to a hacker waiting to prey on your network. Take the time to avoid being an easy target for a hacker.

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

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.


Summer Grilling Safety Tips

It’s warming up outside, which means we’re about to get elbow-deep in BBQ season. Along with fun summer days and lazy summer evenings are family nights grilling delicious food and enjoying one another’s company. All this talk of BBQ also means it is time to talk BBQ safety. Because while backyard grills may be commonplace, that does not mean they are without their own set of safety issues. Grill safety starts with a sprinkling of vigilance and a side of precaution.

Here are 7 grilling safety tips to keep your summer grilling season as safe as it is delicious:

  1. Read Your Owners Manual

We know — no one likes to read the manual. Especially for a grill, which seems self-explanatory, right? Turn it on, cook the meat.

This is one manual you should read. Every grill works a little differently, and you need to understand specific usage for your new backyard tool to ensure grill safety. Also, if you are assembling your barbecue, you’ll want to be extra careful that you don’t miss anything. You really, really do not want a leftover screw from this project.

  1. Prepare for Flames

Charcoal or propane, your grill uses raw fire. Chances are you won’t have a problem, but you should always be prepared for a rogue flame to jump out. Always keep a fire extinguisher close at hand to stay safe.

Additionally, you should keep basic burn first aid in your house and make sure it’s easily accessible. And never, ever leave your grill unattended. Fire is fire, no matter how contained it appears to be.

  1. Where There’s Fire, There’s Smoke

Smoke lends great flavor to food, but it can also be dangerous. There is the carbon monoxide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) to consider, not to mention the fact that a coughing fit from breathing in a bit too much smoke can cause serious distraction. Our tip: Step away (but don’t look away!) from your grill while the food cooks.

  1. Ventilation is your Friend

When it comes to both fire and smoke, ventilation is the name of the game. Install your grill in an open area, away from high-traffic spots, roof overhangs and combustibles like plants and leaves. Bonus points if you keep your grill more than a few feet from the house. (A good breeze can whip sparks around like you wouldn’t believe.)

  1. Gear Up

If you love your grill, you’ll love this grill safety tip: Get the right gear. That’s right, you’re going grill accessories shopping. A spark-resistant grilling apron, long-handled tools, a grill mat, flame-retardant mitts, and other gear can keep you, your family, and your home safe.

  1. Keep it Clean

A clean grill means a safer grill, since fat and grease buildup can be a fire hazard. Make sure you always scrape off the grates and clean other surfaces of the grill before using.

  1. Stay Close

It’s tempting to fire up the grill and then head back inside to watch the big game, you’ll be breaking one of the most obvious the rules of Grill Safety 101. Stepping away from the grill increases the risk of fire or injury to kids or pets that may be playing nearby. So, stay close, while making sure the kids and pets keep a safe distance.

Are Propane Grills Safe?

Though we have given you a slew of BBQ safety tips, we don’t mean to give you the wrong impression. Propane grills are very safe when you’re using them properly. We are not here to cause undue stress over your next grilling party. Just make sure you know how your grill works and take all the right precautions, and you’ll have a great time—and an even better meal.

How to Put Out a Grill Fire

No matter how safe your grill is, we advise all BBQ enthusiasts to know how to put out a grill fire. Here’s what to do:

  • Turn off the knobs. (If you can reach them safely.)
  • Smother the fire with sand, salt, baking soda, or some other non-flammable material. (Never put water on a grease fire!)
  • Put the lid over the flames.
  • If the fire is still raging after about 30 seconds, use the fire extinguisher on the flames.

For More Security and Home Automations Tips, Stick with Boyd & Associates

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’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.

Happy grilling!

This Holiday Season Porch Pirates Don’t Stand A Chance

Never Miss Activity at Your Door

No matter where you’re at, you can see who’s at your door before opening it. Simply check your notifications and talk with visitors using two-way voice communication. This lets you protect yourself and your family from inside while also keeping an eye on delivered packages and other belongings at your front steps while you’re away.

Virtual Keypad App Doorbell Support

The Virtual Keypad app ensures that you’ll be able to check in on your home whenever you’d like. Any time motion is detected or the doorbell is pressed, you’ll receive a notification and be able to monitor who’s approaching with 1080P precise clarity, 180-degree field of view, and Pinch-to-Zoom technology for a closer look.

Perks of Having a Security System for Your Business

Perks of Having a Security System for Your Business

Because of your rigorous planning and plenty of hard work, your business is doing great. But like any proud owner, you want it to get better. Adding a security system can bring all kinds of perks to your enterprise for you, your employees and your customers. Read more

How to Protect Your Home When You’re on Vacation

How to Protect Your Home When You’re on Vacation

When you’re on vacation, you want to have fun and relax, and you don’t want to worry about what’s happening where you live. Gain peace of mind wherever you travel by following these simple tips for protecting your home. Read more

DIY Installation vs. Professional Installation: Which is Best for You?

DIY Installation vs. Professional Installation: Which is Best for You?

As technology has advanced, it has made it possible for homeowners to install their own home security systems. If you are looking to have a home security system installed, this may leave you wondering whether you should do it yourself or whether you should hire a professional. There are pros and cons to both installing it yourself and having a professional install it. Learning the benefits of each method allows you to determine which is ideal for your situation. Here are a few of the benefits of DIY installation and professional installation.

Read more

How to Prevent Your Home from Being Burglarized

How to Prevent Your Home from Being Burglarized

There’s really nothing you can do if burglars come up with a plan to rob your home. However, most burglaries are opportunistic: criminals take advantage of the most vulnerable properties usually at the spur of the moment. Find out what you can do to prevent thieves from targeting your abode.

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Boyd & Associates Helps Montalvo Little League Deter Intruders


May 14, 2018 (Ventura, CA) — Boyd & Associates (Boyd), a Ventura-based security services company, donated a large part of a burglar alarm and video surveillance system to the local, top-ranked, Montalvo Little League (League). Headquartered in Ventura, Boyd is a full service residential and commercial security protection firm serving Southern California.

Recently, Montalvo Little League experienced break-ins and damage to their facility on Johnson Drive, adjacent to their baseball field.  After assessing the danger, damage and loss related to successive burglaries, the Leagues Board determined they needed a security solution and came to Boyd & Associates.

Montalvo Little League supports dozens of boys and girls in our community and draws hundreds of people to baseball games weekly,” said Dan Boyd, company president.  “We wanted to make sure the League and its audience are safe in their surroundings.  We’re proud to contribute to a group that does so much good in our community,” Boyd added.

The League’s burglar alarm system includes a control panel, keypad, a motion sensor, micro-contacts for doors/windows and a siren.  Coupled with a six-camera video surveillance system, the equipment will help prevent unwanted entries to the League’s concession service windows, doors, attic and perimeter,

“We are thrilled Boyd stepped up to the plate and made a substantial contribution towards our protection,” said Paula Millott, President of Montalvo Little League. She added, “This will further our League’s mission of offering safe, fun recreation for our community.”

Boyd & Associates’ mission is to help support communities and law enforcement by providing effective security solutions with rapid communication to authorities in case of intrusion, fire or medical emergency.

A 51-year-old, family-owned corporation, Boyd & Associates has a proven reputation of providing quality security services to communities, residences, and businesses throughout Southern California. Beginning with its first office located in metropolitan Los Angeles, the firm offers services in Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Orange Counties. Boyd & Associates monitors thousands of home, business, and fire systems from its own 24-hour Central Monitoring Station in Southern California.

Montalvo Little League is a 57-year old non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of boys and girls in Ventura County.  Through a rigorous baseball schedule over six months from February to July, the League aims to build strong character while teaching the basics of baseball.  The Board is made up of family members of League members who donate time to the group.  For more information on the Montalvo Little League, including a game schedule, visit