While even basic digital cameras provide higher resolution than the images from the standard CCTV systems that are used to identify criminals and terrorists, high definition cameras take it one long stride forward. While old-fashioned surveillance camera systems were based on the transmission and recording of images from 30-50 years ago, it’s technically impossible for the video cable to process high-resolution images. The typical homeowner, however, is no longer stuck with those limitations today.

Where the Technology is Now

Modern digital technologies present new opportunities. There has been a huge emphasis on developing megapixel technology and transmitting video streams via modern computer networks in the past few years. Sending high-resolution images over the Internet is now easily possible. The process of recording, compressing, and storing the image sequences has been integrated into the cameras themselves. This gives high definition cameras a huge advantage over any other home security configuration.

Remote Access is a Big Advantage

One of the best advantages of the modern networked camera technology is the ability to access live and stored images while the camera is recording. With the right home security system, this can be done remotely over the network, from anywhere in the world. So any incident or suspicious behavior even neighborly hijinks – can be investigated without the need for someone on site or having to stop the recording to view the stored sequences.

Facial Recognition Now Possible

In the past, video technology was limited by a low refresh rate that resulted in cloudy images during playback. As a result, criminals were not always prosecuted to the full extent of the law because facial recognition was not a positive match. These days, the low playback rate has been fully overcome with high definition cameras. Facial recognition with plenty of detail is possible – a fact that is great news for homeowners. Not only can they be certain who is entering their home and when, but they can review it from multiple cameras.

About All Action Alarm

To learn more about high definition security cameras with 24/7 monitoring, call All Action Alarm today. 

 

As you head out to the big box retailers this holiday season, you’ll no doubt see many “off the shelf” DIY home security systems that promise a “plug and play” out of the box experience.

In many cases, DIY is a great, affordable option. It is easy to see why it is an attractive consideration even in home security. But do DIY home security systems measure up to consumer expectations? In most cases, the answer is a resounding, no. In home security, the stakes are high and the system’s capability and functionality matter. While many tout the ease of installation in DYI systems, most consumers do not realize these systems lack the very features that make home security alarm systems desirable.

Here are some important ways DIY products do not measure up:

1. Installation is not as Easy as You Think

The installation of DIY systems may seem simple, and that fact alone may be a red flag. High-quality home security systems have many components that need expert placement. A system that is too simple may not provide the type of security coverage necessary to protect your family. A complex system requires expert installation of the components is crucial so that you do not leave gaps in your security. Improper installation can lead to a system failure which can place your family or property at risk.

2. Proper Placement

Setting up a DIY security system might seem like a slam dunk, but underestimating the importance of expert placement is a disservice to your security. Home security systems are highly technical systems that require professional knowledge to gain the most advantage from them. Not only can improper placement make components less effective, it can make the system nearly useless!

3. DIY Systems Cost More Than You Expect

Contrary to popular belief, DIY home systems are not the most economical choice in home security. Most DIY home security systems come with a few components, such as window sensors, with the expectation you WILL need more. Those expensive components add up quickly.

4. Incompatibility Issues

The technologies used to support home security systems are constantly changing and needing product support. With professional systems, these updates are never a problem to the end user, the consumer. With DIY systems, a simple computer system upgrade can make the entire system incompatible. Further, should technology advances make the system outmoded, the manufacturer of the DIY system may no longer provide any updates or support if they ever provided these at all.

5. No Connection to Police

Your home alarm system is your lifeline. At least that is what most people intend and expect. One of the most important components of any home security system is the connection to emergency services such as fire or police, something DIY systems do not offer.

6. A DIY System is not the Same as Professional Systems

While a DIY security system can provide some of the same features of a professional system, it is important to realize that it is not a comparable substitute. DIY systems meet a few needs specific to the widest number of people possible. A professional system is designed to meet the very specific needs of your family and the home structure. The technologies used are often different and the capabilities of the systems vary dramatically.

Contact us today. The experts at All Action Alarm design professional home security systems that will keep your family safe and be supported by local staff right here on Long Island for years to come.

If your holiday plans include travel, a hotel stay is likely in your future. The hotel room becomes your “home away from home” and crime is the last thing you want to worry about when vacationing. The following are some tips to keep in mind so that hotel crime will not ruin your vacation:

Hotel Arrival and Check-in

  • If you arrive in a bus or cab, stay with your luggage until it is brought into the hotel lobby.
  • If you are a woman traveling alone or with small children, take advantage of car valet service in order to avoid the parking lot.
  • Keep a close eye on your luggage, purse, etc when checking in. If the lobby is busy, thieves will often take advantage of the distractions to steal your things.
  • Ask the front desk personnel not to announce your room number. Rather, tell them to write it down or point to it. You never know who is listening.
  • Don’t leave your credit card lying on the check-in counter while you complete your registration.
  • Immediately upon check-in, make sure to grab a business card or other item with the hotel name and address on it. Make sure to take it with you when you leave so you know where to come back to. If you get lost, you have the address and phone number handy. There is nothing more frustrating than telling a cab driver to take you to the “Marriott” and they ask which one?? Or if you are in a country where you don’t speak the language, you can simply show a taxi driver the business card, and you’re on your way back to the hotel.

Room Selection

  • Maximize safety and security. Select a room located between the 4th and 6th floors. Avoid rooms above the sixth floor as that is the maximum height fire-department ladders can reach.
  • Whenever possible, do not accept a hotel room on the ground floor especially if it has doors and windows that open to the outside. Hotels with interior hallways tend to be generally safer. For security in motels, avoid ground floor rooms off the parking lot. If you can’t get a room on a higher level, take one facing the interior courtyard.

Have a Wonderful Safe Vacation!

About All Action Alarm

It’s been many Christmas holidays since we started in 1980 but one thing has not changed – and that is our commitment to the safety of our Long Island community. Contact us today to learn more about life safety solutions from All Action Alarm.

Decorative and fragranced candles may be an attractive addition to your home décor, but if used improperly, they can be a serious fire hazard.  Residential fires caused by candles have more than doubled over the past decade.  According to a pilot study of candle fires by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), most candle fires were caused by combustibles being too close to the candle. The next most common cause of candle fires was due to the candle falling over or being knocked over by wind, doors, children or pets.

It is extremely important to use caution while burning a candle in your home.  The following are tips to help you avoid a potential candle disaster:

  • Candles are dangerous nightlights. Try to avoid using candles in bedrooms and other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Supervise children. Store candles, matches and lighters up high and out of children’s sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Always stay in the room where candles are being burned. It only takes seconds for a fire to start and minutes for your home to be fully engulfed in flames and dangerous gases.
  • Keep candles a minimum of 1 foot, in all directions, from flammable and combustible items such as curtains or bedding. Make sure curtains cannot be blown into the candle by wind.
  • Avoid burning candles for more than four hours at a time.
  • Do not move a glass container when the wax is liquid.
  • Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip or burn.
  • Burn candles on sturdy uncluttered surfaces.
  • Trim candle wicks to one-quarter inch before lighting.
  • When lighting candles, keep your hair and clothing away from the flame.
  • Extinguish candles when they burn to within two inches of their holder.
  • Be careful not to splatter hot wax when extinguishing a candle.
  • Keep candles away from children or within reach of children.
  • Remember, when you go out, extinguish candles…even if you will only be gone for a short while.
  • Avoid using candles during power outages.  Have flashlights, batteries, and battery-powered lights on hand for emergency lighting.
  • Place candles away from windows, doorways or any place where drafts could affect the flame.

Remember, smoke detectors are life savers. The primary fire safety strategy for any home is to warn the occupants early. The best way to get the earliest warning of danger is by installing sufficient smoke detectors. Monitored smoke detectors are the best choice as they allow you and your family to escape while the Central Monitoring Station calls the fire department.

About All Action Alarm

For more information regarding monitored fire protection for your home, please contact us today. Please remember, if you have battery powered smoke detectors make sure to change the batteries every six months.

Have a wonderful SAFE day!

When you purchased those smoke detectors you so responsibly installed in your home, did you notice a similar-looking detector for carbon monoxide? If you have any products or equipment in or near your home that burn fuel, you might want to pick up a few carbon monoxide detectors too.

Unlike smoke or natural gas, carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, but it is just as poisonous. In the U.S., between 150 and 200 people die annually from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning produced by malfunctioning furnaces, ranges, water heaters, space heaters, fireplaces, charcoal- or gas-fired grills and engine-powered devices such as portable generators.

Even more lose their lives when CO accumulates after people leave their cars running in garages. And every year, thousands of people wind up in emergency rooms for treatment as a result of CO poisoning.

Prevention involves following these basic safety procedures.

  1. Install all appliances following the manufacturer’s instructions as well as local building codes – generally by qualified professionals.
  2. Unless you have the proper knowledge and skill as well as the appropriate tools, do not service fuel-burning appliances yourself.
  3. If your home has a fuel-burning heating system, have it serviced and inspected annually by professionals. Be sure to include chimneys and flues.
  4. Operating a portable generator or another gas-powered tool in or near an enclosed space can trap CO, leading to potentially lethal levels of the gas. Open doors and windows do not provide enough ventilation.
  5. Never use camping stoves designed for outdoor use only in an enclosed vehicle, tent or building. Some of these products may be designed to work in enclosed spaces, but they will specify that on the packaging and provide instructions for their safe use.
  6. Never burn charcoal in any kind of enclosed space such as a building, tent, or vehicle.
  7. Never leave a car running in a garage, even if you have the door open.
  8. Don’t use gas appliances such as ovens or clothes dryers as space heaters for your home.
  9. If you use a natural gas or propane oven, don’t cover the bottom with aluminum foil the way you can with an electric oven. You can block the oven’s combustion flow, producing CO.
  10. Re-check all gas appliance vents, heating vents or chimney flues after any home renovations. These can easily be blocked by forgotten tarps or debris.
  11. Install carbon monoxide alarms in hallways near every sleeping area and in living areas in the neighborhood of fuel-burning appliances. The recommendation is one alarm installed in the hallway outside every bedroom. Make sure the alarms aren’t blocked by furniture or window coverings. CO alarms should not be installed in kitchens or directly above any fuel-burning appliances. Test alarms regularly and replace following the schedule recommended by the manufacturer.

Signs and Symptoms of CO Poisoning

Initially, CO exposure has symptoms that resemble the flu without any fever. These include headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Further exposure can lead to vomiting, mental confusion and loss of muscular coordination. The end result is loss of consciousness and finally, death. The exposure levels and duration can affect the severity of the symptoms.

If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms unexpectedly, don’t wait for the CO alarm to go off to confirm it. Leave your home immediately and call the fire department on your cell or at a neighbor’s home. If they find evidence of high levels of CO, be sure that you and any family members who were exposed see a doctor immediately, letting him or her know about the CO exposure.

The Best Way To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Finally, have all of your appliances checked for problems before re-using them. If one or more CO alarms go off in your home, leave immediately with all family members and pets. Call 911 and do not re-enter your home until the emergency specialists have ensured you that it is safe. Even a few minutes can lead to loss of consciousness and death if the exposure is high enough. Do not use the problem equipment again until a qualified service technician checks and repairs it.

Contact Us Today.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is an easily avoidable risk, yet every year too many people succumb to it. Like wearing a seatbelt, you may never need a CO detector, but why take a chance? By following these few simple steps, AND installing a carbon monoxide detector by a qualified professional security company, you may become a lifesaver for the ones you care about most.

Although children look forward to tricks, treats, and ghoulish garb, Halloween can be fraught with fright for parents, with candy given to their kids by strangers and a legion of masked and costumed trick-or-treaters at the door. However, following a few safety tips can ensure safe fun for kids and candy-givers alike.

The activities below focus on Halloween, which is celebrated in the last week of October. The efforts throughout the month generate enthusiasm for crime prevention so it can grow stronger and become more widespread.

To ensure that trick-or-treaters, you, and your house stay safe, remember the following tips.

  • Clear your yard and sidewalk of any obstacles or decorations that may be hard to see in the dark, lest someone go bump in the night.
  • Keep your house well lighted, both inside and out; you wouldn’t want to miss any particularly good costumes, would you?
  • Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizen’s group to haunt (patrol) your community.
  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police or sheriff’s department.

To make sure even the scariest costumes are safe, keep the following in mind when buying or designing one.

  • Try makeup instead of masks; it’s more comfortable and doesn’t obstruct vision the way masks can.
  • Check to ensure that costumes are flame-retardant so that young ones are safe around jack-o’-lanterns, candles, and other flames.
  • Keep costumes short to ensure that the only trip taken is the one around the neighborhood.
  • Look for brightly colored costumes, attach reflector strips to costumes and bags, and remind trick-or-treaters to carry glow sticks and flashlights.
  • If a costume involves any sort of fake weapon, make sure that it is made of a flexible material such as cardboard or foam. Or, avoid the whole problem of weapons by challenging your child to design a costume that is scary without one.

Keep in mind the next few tips to make sure your trick-or-treater’s night in the neighborhood will be safe and fun.

  • Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups; kids walking around alone are never as safe as those in groups, and especially not at night. Younger kids should be accompanied by a parent or trusted neighbor.
  • Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and set a time set when kids should be home. Also, have a plan if your child gets separated from his or her friends or from you.
  • Remind your children not to enter strange houses or cars.

After a successful and safe night around the neighborhood, remember that the treats still need scrutiny before anyone eats them.

  • Remind your children not to eat treats until they’ve come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a substantial snack before they go out.
  • Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be especially wary of anything that is not wrapped by the factory or that is no longer sealed.
  • Remind kids not to eat everything at once, lest they be green even without the makeup.

About All Action Alarm

All Action Alarm has been a family-owned business since 1980. We are experienced and maintain a high standard of continual knowledge and education in all areas of residential and commercial electronic systems.

For the criminal, crime is a job—and they are masters of the profession. Those who commit crime are exceptionally creative and use a multitude of subtle tricks and tactics to achieve their goals. Most people are unfamiliar with all but the most common and commonly talked about tricks, and that is why they continue to be successful to the burglar.

Being aware of the tricks and tactics burglars use can help prevent you from becoming a victim, and make your community safer. Here is a rundown of some of the most surprising methods and tricks criminals use.

  • Google maps. With street view, a burglar can gain knowledge of your property, such as the location of doors and windows, as well as whether or not there is sufficient cover to break in.
    They can also use it to gauge neighbor perspective and proximity as well as plan their escape.
  • Calling police. A criminal might also call police from the neighborhood to test response time.
  • They leave flyers on your door. A criminal may leave a flyer on your door to get an idea of the hours the home is occupied based on when it is removed. They may do this several times, on different days, or the same day over several weeks to determine the regularity of your schedule.
  • They check your trash. There is a wealth of information to be found in the garbage, whether it is personal information from bills or clues to recent purchases.
  • They look for signs of pets. Having a pet means you probably make accommodations for them, such as leaving a window open so the cat can enjoy fresh air, or having a dog door. These accommodations usually mean making your home vulnerable.
  • They leave markings. Criminals may also leave markings when casing several homes. The markings may be chalk symbols or litter positioned a certain way to indicate information about the home and its occupants. For example, one symbol may mean the home does not have security, another means it is vacant during the day, or contains target items.
  • They may research you. If they have your name, they may search it to see your estimated earnings and gauge the valuables you own.
  • Once they find your information, they use it to probe. They may call to see if you are home or email to see if they get an automated response when they expect you to be away on vacation.
  • They may use a planned power outage as cover of darkness.

Smart Home Security is Your Best Defense

As a resident, your job is securing the home and having the right home security features shows you are a master of your profession. Smart security features such as motion sensors and alerts, video surveillance, video doorbells, smart locks, motion activated lighting, and video verified alarms, provide the best tools to spot and defend against the criminal’s best tactic. All make the criminal take notice and think twice.

About All Action Alarm

All Action Alarm is a family owned business that has been dedicated to protecting Long Island homes and businesses since 1980. Our 5 diamond central monitoring station keeps watch over your alarm system 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Every year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) devotes the third week in October to National Fire Prevention Week. The theme for this year is “Prevent Kitchen Fires,” with fire departments throughout the country holding local community events designed to educate the public on preventing fires in that busy area of the house. Here are some valuable tips they will be sharing:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking on the stovetop. If you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food, you must be in the room to make sure your food doesn’t burn. The safety concern is not only for burned food, but for smoke in the air and the pan catching fire.
  • Stay in the home when you’re cooking in the oven. If you are baking, roasting or braising food in the oven, you don’t necessarily need to be in the kitchen, but you do need to be in the home – and you definitely need to use a timer to prevent any fire risks.
  • Keep your smoke alarm on while cooking. Some people are tempted to remove their smoke alarm batteries when cooking certain dishes. But whether you are baking cookies or frying up bacon, your smoke alarm should stay on. Disabling it could put your family at risk of harmful smoke inhalation.
  • Keep your kids and pets safe while cooking. Young children have been known to burn themselves on front burner pots and pans. Teaching them not to touch is good, but putting things on the back burner to remove the risk is better. Pets should also be kept at least three feet from the stove.
  • Keep flammable items away from the stove. Avoid cooking with loose-fitting sleeves. Hanging sleeves can easily catch fire. As for necessary items like potholders and kitchen towels, they should be safely to the side on the counter – not the stove.

These are just some of the tips that fire departments want citizens to know when it comes to preventing kitchen fires. If there is a National Fire Prevention Week event going on in your community, we encourage you to attend. Search #NationalFirePreventionWeek on Twitter to find an event near you!

ABOUT ALL ACTION ALARM

To learn more about a remote access solution that leverages your lights to the fullest for the sake of security, contact All Action Alarm today. We will be glad to answer your questions about your lighting control and smart home security options.

If you’re raising teenagers, you most likely have your hands full. As a provider of home security in Long Island, All Action Alarm wants to make your job easier by giving you some tips about talking to teens about home security. Even if they purport to “already know” about home security (after all, don’t teens know everything?), many of them aren’t sure how they would handle a dangerous home security threat – whether they admit it to you or not. That’s why it’s important to educate teens on using your home security system.

Learn The Duress Code

Of course, your alarm is designed to activate when somebody breaks down the door. Regardless, there may be times when that feature is irrelevant. For example, what if your teen lets someone in the house willingly, and that person turns out not to be trustworthy? If that happens, here’s what they need to do: Enter the duress code on the alarm panel. Your duress code is a four-digit code that you set when you first obtain your system. By entering that code, your teen can alert the monitoring center without ever having to pick up the phone, and without the perpetrator hearing any kind of audible alarm.

Home Video Surveillance

Then, there’s the question of your home security cameras, particularly if you have a system by Alarm.com (a system designed to help parents keep tabs on the home while they’re away). What if your teen complains that he or she feels like they’re “being watched” by you? Your answer is this: “You know where the cameras are. The only time I can see you is when you are in those parts of the house.”

Most parents opt to place a camera above the interior side of the front door, and may place others in areas of the home where the kids aren’t allowed (a gun cabinet, a liquor cabinet, etc.). Assure your teen that as long as he doesn’t go near those areas, he isn’t being watched. Then, remind him that the main purpose of the cameras is to have video of anyone who may try to break into the house, and the fact that you can see when he gets home is just an added bonus (wink).

Education Is An On-Going Process

Educating teens on home security is just part of raising them; because you are a devoted customer of All Action Alarm, you’ve already done most of the work by investing in a security system. Use this information to talk to teens about home security, and pat yourself on the back for doing a great job.

About All Action Alarm

All Action Alarm has been a family-owned business since 1980. We are experienced and maintain a high standard of continual knowledge and education in all areas of residential and commercial electronic systems.

 

Crime doesn’t just happen. Criminals look for their best opportunity to do or get what they want without getting caught, and surprisingly little things can cause them to rule out a potential target. Studies show that in many cases, the crimes could have been prevented had the resident taken measures to make their home less inviting to thieves by improving simple security features.

Make the Home Look Constantly Occupied

Make it difficult to know when the home is empty. Set televisions, radios, and lights on timers to rotate around the home so it looks occupied even while you are away at work.

Keep Curtains Closed

If a thief cannot see into a home, entering it becomes riskier because they cannot evaluate what there is to take or what problems they may encounter, such as dogs or people.

Keep Landscaping Trimmed

Yard work is not fun, but keeping the trees and shrubs trimmed removes the cover criminals love and is a cost effective crime deterrent.

Keep Doors and Windows Locked

This may seem simple, but many people do not lock their doors, especially if they are home. Always lock your doors and windows.

Create a Physical Perimeter of Defense

Create layers of difficulty for intruders. Fence your property and secure it with a locking gate. Use creative landscaping to create obstacles, such as placing thorny bushes under windows and surrounding the home with landscaping rock that is noisy to walk across.

Use Strategic Lighting

Light can be a criminal’s worst enemy. Consider using motion sensor lighting to cover every part of the property, not just the front of the home.

Install a Security System

Home security systems are always your best defense against crime. Home security systems are proven effective and come in a wide range of features to address any home security need.

About All Action Alarm

Crime can be devastating, but preventing it can be as easy as implementing these simple steps. If you have any questions about how you can improve your home security, call All Action Alarm today.