Can An Alarm Affect The Value Of Your Home?

American Advisors Group-House SoldHow do you judge the value of a home?  Is it the market price?  Is it the neighborhood where it’s located?  Or maybe it’s the aesthetics.  Actually it’s all of the above and then some.  If you’re a homeowner one sure fire way to add value to your home is by installing a comprehensive home security system.  A home security system offers a peace of mind to homeowners they can’t get anywhere else, but that’s not all.

With a comprehensive home security system you’re better protected from burglary and break-ins, house fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and vandalism.  While the initial cost of a home security system may seem like a substantial investment, the return is even greater.  Having installed comprehensive home security systems throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992, our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. can attest to the added value.

There might not be a direct correlation between the market value of a home and whether or not a security system is present, but the indirect impact is evident in buyer interest.  If you anticipate selling your home in the future having added safety features adds a perceived value to your home.  Like with anything we purchase throughout our lives, prospective home buyers are likely to feel better about a price tag if safety is a factor.  In the mind of a potential buyer the more security features a home comes with, the less they have to spend after the fact which makes spending more upfront less of an issue.  That is why installing a comprehensive security system that includes surveillance, monitoring, fire and burglar alarms, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, motion detectors, window and door sensors, and home automation is worth the investment.  The more homes in your neighborhood with these features the better.  In fact, according to, “A neighborhood that has more home security systems will, over time, have a lower crime rate. That lower crime rate, in turn, leads to higher property values for the neighborhood.”

Other security features prospective buyers might be looking for are strong sash locks for all windows, including those above ground level.  Reinforced or hardwood exterior doors, commercial grade door locks, and automatic or motion detected exterior lighting are all pluses in the eyes of a potential buyer.  While all of these features are appealing to a buyer, resale isn’t the only reason to invest in your homes security.  It’s that peace of mind every homeowner desires, you can’t put a price on that.

Perceived value is great, but so it monetary value.  A home security system can actually affect you monetarily.  How?  Insurance!  As a homeowner you know that everything has a cost, insurance is no exception.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could save money on your homeowners insurance?  Good news, you can.  Many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners for having a security system and various security features.  Every company has different policies, but some offer up to 20% discounts.  Be sure to contact your provider for details and exceptions.  If you have home automation as part of your security system, you’re setting yourself up for savings again.  With home automation you can remotely adjust lighting, temperature, and sometimes select appliances.  This can save you money on your utilities bill every month by using energy when you specify.  It also helps prevent energy waste which benefits the environment as well.

Whether you’re looking to improve the value of your home for resale or simply want to do what is best for your family, adding a comprehensive home security system will always be beneficial.  It’ll save you money and provide you and your family with peace of mind.  To assure you are getting the best deal and system for your home, it’s imperative you hire a professional.  A haphazard mix of security parts assembled incorrectly doesn’t add value to anything.

Professional security system experts, like our team at Perfect Connections, Inc., will provide an initial in person assessment of the security risks specific to your home and create a custom system from there.  Every home is unique and should be treated as such don’t fall for a one-stop solution.  As industry professionals our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing custom comprehensive security systems to northern and central New Jersey residents for the past 23 years.  We know there is no substitute for personalized service that suits your individual needs.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image By American Advisors Group-Flickr-Creative Commons

Why Security Guards Shouldn’t Be Your Only Defense

Garry Knight-Security GuardYou might think that hiring a security guard or team of security personnel is all you need to protect your business. On the other hand you might think that installing a comprehensive security system is all you need.  The two on their own are no doubt effective in different ways, but are even more beneficial when combined.  However, security guards on their own are limited to their singular entities whereas a security system provides full coverage of an entire specified area, lacking only the immediate physical response that a guard would possibly have.  No protection system is perfect, but there are certain advantages and disadvantages that are unique to each.  As a security system provider our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. believe a comprehensive security system can help businesses avoid potential catastrophes.  We have been securing business facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our systems have provided their owners with a peace of mind hard to obtain from anything else.

Pros & Cons: Security Guards

One of the most obvious pros to hiring security guards to watch over your business is their physical presence.  Being there in person allows for an immediate reaction if the need arises.  Having a security guard present at your business also creates a sense of security among employees and customers.  Their physical presence can also act as a crime deterrent making a targeted location less appealing to a thief or criminal.  As a business owner instead of hiring another individual or taking time out of your schedule, security guards can also be assigned to monitor surveillance footage.

What are some of the potential cons?  Unlike a surveillance camera that is constantly keeping watch because that’s its inherent function, humans are not guaranteed to be vigilant 100% of the time regardless of their pay.  To that point, the cost of hiring security personnel can sometimes be a financial burden for businesses.  Costs can vary depending on the type of security guard you’re looking for (i.e. armed or unarmed etc.).  The costs for a security guard can range anywhere from $10-100 per hour.  Knowing  that you hired a reputable guard can be tricky too.  Some guard service companies may not be licensed and this can affect the quality in training, background checks, and insurance of the guards they represent.  To be sure you’re hiring a professional that has a solid background it’s important to use a licensed and bonded guard service company.  Security guards are only human which means they can’t see absolutely everything.  On the other hand security cameras can be set up to cover an entire store or facility so if that shoplifter or thief isn’t caught red-handed, they can be caught on camera.

Overall, hiring a security guard seems to have more pros than cons for many businesses.  However, the human element shouldn’t be the only line of defense for a business.  Incorporating technology is an important and cost effective aspect to safeguarding any business facility.  In fact according to, “It is at the critical interface of manpower and technology that the greatest cost efficiencies related to security management can be gained.”  While the physical response of a guard is ultimately the desired outcome of any security situation their reaction time and effectiveness would be greatly enhanced with the technological aid of a comprehensive security system.

If a guard were able to monitor what surveillance cameras are capturing via a mobile device versus having to sit in a designated room, their reaction time to an issue would ultimately be quicker.  They would have the security info and alerts they need in the palm of their hand versus having to look or wait for it.  This holds true for an activated alarm, if it goes off, a notification will be sent directly to the guard’s mobile device.  Remote monitoring is a helpful security feature that is becoming commonplace in many comprehensive security systems nowadays.  It makes sense considering our “on the go” society lifestyle.

While no system is infallible a combination of customized security features will help protect any business facility.  Adding the human element of a security guard couldn’t hurt either, just be sure you’re hiring someone reputable.  You might consider combining the two, technology and guards, it really depends on the type of business you operate.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. we believe a customized comprehensive security system can greatly decrease the chances of catastrophe at any establishment.  Our team has been providing expert service to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  Security systems provide a peace of mind you can’t obtain from anything else and they let you get back to what is most important, running your business.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Garry Knight-Flickr-Creative Commons

Putting Out A Fire

Fire-Ada BeHouse fires.  Nobody wants to think about them, but they are an unfortunate reality in our imperfect world.  While a house fire can be unpredictable there are precautionary measures you can take to avoid them.  Being prepared is half the battle, but knowing what to do in the event of a fire is equally important.

Part of being prepared is having the proper equipment and warning devices.  This means having operating smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, a fire alarm, and sometimes a sprinkler system.  Most single family homes are not required by law to have a sprinkler or fire suppression system, but that may not last as the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) is currently pushing for sprinkler legislation across the United States.  As a leading expert in the security system industry our experts at Perfect Connections, Inc. realize having a truly comprehensive home security system means including fire detection equipment that is linked to an alarm system.  We have been providing home security systems throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our team understands that security is not solely about preventing break-ins, it’s about protecting lives.

Being Prepared

According to the NFPA firefighters responded to 370,000 home fires in 2011.  These fires caused injuries, deaths, and costly damages.  The main culprits of these fires were cooking followed by heating equipment and smoking.  Of the reported home fire related deaths between 2007 and 2011, 60% of the homes either didn’t have smoke detectors or had non-working detectors.  This is a problem, what good is a detector if it’s not working or been removed?

The best way to manage a household fire is be prepared for one.  Being prepared includes having the proper warning system, up to date fire extinguishers, and most importantly an escape plan.  Having an escape plan that everyone knows and has practiced will help ensure a safer and quicker exit in the event of a fire.  Every house should have working smoke detectors throughout each floor of the home and they should be tested regularly.  Smoke detectors can be even more effective if they are tied into your homes security system.  If you have a home security system you likely have a monitoring service that responds in the event of an emergency.  In the event of a fire, detectors that are tied into an alarm system will trigger the alarm and if the alarm is not deactivated by the owner, the monitoring service will be notified automatically.  The monitoring service will try to contact the house and if no one answers after a given amount of time they will dispatch local emergency crews.  This type of system ensures a quicker response from local authorities and saves you and your family precious time needed to escape.

Fire Types

Understanding the different types of house fires can help you prevent or know how to extinguish them.  One of the most common causes of house fires is from cooking related incidents.  According to the NFPA two out of every five home fires started in the kitchen.  In a way this makes a lot of sense.  Think about it, kitchens are where you cook with high heat, ovens, gas or electric ranges, grease, and flammable materials.  It is of the utmost importance to be vigilant of what is going on in your kitchen.  If you have pots on the stove, do not leave them unattended the same for items in the oven.  Never leave flammable or combustible materials where they can be exposed to flames or high heat.

Electrical fires are another leading cause of house fires.  Homes with electrical heating need to be conscious of what materials are up against or close to heaters, all it takes is one dangling curtain to catch fire.  This is especially true for people who use space heaters.  It’s tempting to bring that space heater right up to your bed on those cold winter nights, but they need to be kept a safe distance, which is about 3 feet, from anything combustible and that includes bed sheets.  Space heaters should always be unplugged when not in use to avoid any electrical malfunctions and they should never be left on overnight.  Other culprits of electrical fires include dryers, washing machines, water heaters, air conditioning machines, and ranges.

Fires related to smoking incidents are another major cause of injury and fire related deaths in the United States.  Although the amount of people who smoke in the United States has decreased in the past decade the fact remains between 2007 and 2011 smoking materials were responsible for approximately 17,900 house fires.  During this time period 580 deaths, 1,280 injuries, and $509 million in property damage per year was attributed to smoking related fires.  Many of these fires included falling asleep as a factor.  It’s devastating that such disaster has taken place when this type of fire is completely preventable by not smoking.

While you can’t always predict or prevent house fires from occurring you can be prepared for them.  And even though the first thing you should always do in the event of a fire is call 911 here’s a helpful link that describes how to extinguish different types of house fires Different Ways To Extinguish Different Fires.  Having a comprehensive security system that includes a monitored fire alarm and connected smoke detectors can significantly decrease the damaging effects of a house fire.  It can save you time, money, and most importantly lives.  Our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security systems to homes throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We want to help you connect and protect what matters most.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Ada Be-Flickr-Creative Commons

Do Surveillance Systems Really Work?

Surveillance-Jonathan McIntoshAs a business owner you want to do everything in your power to protect what you’ve worked so hard for, right?  So how do you do that?  Some might hire security personnel to stand guard and keep an eye on their facility, which can get expensive.  Others may opt for reinforced locks on their entrances.  But the best solution to truly protecting your business is a comprehensive security system that includes a surveillance system.  Surveillance is a key component in defending your facility.  If you have a security system that has a burglar alarm but no camera system, what happens when someone breaks-in, gets away, and there’s no footage of the incident to help catch the perpetrator?  A surveillance system can help prevent not only burglary, but employee theft, workplace violence, and vandalism.

You might think that camera footage is useless, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Camera footage isn’t as grainy and unreadable as it may have been in the past.  According to Hank Monaco who is the vice president of marketing for a video surveillance system provider, “today’s cameras are infinitely better than what was being offered 10 to 20 years ago.”  Thanks to advancing technological improvements there are a wide variety of cameras including high-definition which offers clear readable images.

As experts in the security system industry, our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. understands the importance of protecting a business from criminal activity, and how surveillance equipment can play an integral part in that protection.  Our team has been providing comprehensive security systems to business facilities throughout central and northern New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our belief is that a comprehensive security system should be customized to each individual business and should include surveillance, access control, fire and burglar alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm monitoring.

So how effective can a surveillance system really be?  If over half of United States employers utilize some form of surveillance in the workplace, it must be working.  Having a surveillance system isn’t always about crime prevention either, it can provide business insight that you can’t get anywhere else.  From keeping an eye on inventory to observing your employees behavior, you can get a grasp on the inner workings of your business without feeling like you have to hover.  Employees that are aware they are being recorded can actually make them more productive and enhance their performance.  Video surveillance can help prevent employee theft and outside burglary; the chances of being caught increase and generally people don’t want to take that risk if they don’t have to.  Aside from keeping an eye on your employees, video surveillance can actually help protect them and your customers by tracking suspicious visitors and behaviors.  Depending on your system, you could also have remote monitoring capabilities added.  This would allow you to access your cameras through an app on your mobile device from virtually anywhere.  Knowing you can check in on your business when you can’t be there adds a peace of mind you can’t attain from anything else.

How do you know what types of cameras and how many your business needs?  This is a question for your security system specialist.  Never fall for a provider that offers you pricing and equipment without ever having stepped foot on your facility.  To be adequately covered an initial security assessment should be performed in person by a professional.  Some basics to be conscious of are the different types of cameras and how footage is stored.  Two widely used camera types are Analog and IP (Internet Protocol).  Analog cameras require a monitor or TV to view footage which is stored in a DVR (Digital Video Recorder).  IP cameras work much like our computers do sending data over a LAN (Local Area Network).  There is a wider range of resolution options for IP cameras than there are for Analog.  Footage from IP cameras is often recorded and stored in a cloud system.  An added benefit of an IP camera is the ability to remotely access each individual camera which you can’t do with an Analog system.  With Analog you would have to log into the DVR system to access recorded footage.

While there is no fool proof system, having video surveillance as part of your comprehensive security system can help prevent catastrophic loss and assist in the aftermath of an unfortunate event.  For example, look at the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.  The suspects were caught on surveillance cameras and the surviving suspect is now facing trial.  Without video footage police would have had to rely on eye witness accounts which aren’t always as clear.  Criminal behavior is an unfortunate reality but we can be better prepared by implementing security technologies in our daily lives.  As camera technology advances the demand for more surveillance will rise.  Especially with progressive technology like “smart” surveillance that would provide more analytical insight into human behaviors, crowd counting, and even body heat recognition.  According to a ReportsNReports analysis the size of the global market for “smart” surveillance was around $13.5 billion in 2012 and is estimated to reach $39 billion in 2020.

Most business facilities will likely not require “smart” surveillance equipment yet, but who knows what the future will bring.  With the vast array of cameras available in today’s market your security systems expert will be able to find the type that suits your business best.  At Perfect Connections Inc. our experts have been providing comprehensive business security solutions throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We are committed to customizing a system specific to your company’s needs.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Jonathan McIntosh-Flickr-Creative Commons

Security System Outdated?

Old Tech-Steve JurvetsonMaybe you’ve had a home security system installed years ago or perhaps you recently moved into a new home with an existing alarm system.  Whatever the case, how can you tell if your home security system is still valid?  There are some tell-tale signs that you may be dealing with an antiquated system.  However, if you have a security system and are concerned it’s not as relevant as it once was the first thing you should do is contact your security system provider for an assessment.  As a security systems expert, our professionals at Perfect Connections, Inc. understand the importance of maintaining a functional security system and keeping up with advancing technologies.  Our team of professionals have been providing comprehensive and customized home security systems throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We can help assess the validity of your alarm system and offer solutions specific to your security needs.

Maintaining an effective alarm system isn’t just about running annual tests, it’s making sure it progresses as you, your home, and technology press forward.  It’s not like buying the newest IPhone just to keep up with trends, it’s making sure the technology you’ve invested in is providing the best protection.  If you’ve had a security system for a while and can’t remember the last time the software was updated, or if updating isn’t even an option it might be time for an upgrade.  Outdated software may leave you susceptible to hacking and viruses, plus you may not be getting the most out of your system.  You don’t want to pay for a system that’s subpar right?

Another sign it might be time for an assessment or system upgrade is the dependence on a singular keypad for control.  In today’s fast-paced world we often have the need for convenience.  Is it convenient to have to drive home from work because you forgot to arm your security system?  Is it convenient to have to make it to the security keypad to punch in your pin while your arms are chalk-full of groceries?  No, so why not look into interactive services or home automation?  With home automation you no longer have to worry about forgetting to arm or disarm your system because you can do it from your mobile device from virtually anywhere.  You could access your surveillance system through an app on your mobile device, allowing you to view what is going on real-time at home.  Other advantages to an interactive system is the ability to adjust your thermostat and lighting from afar.  As puts it, “Using a smartphone to manage an interactive home security system is like having a remote control for the system right in your pocket.”  This added technology will save you time, money, and lots of headaches.

How was your security system originally installed?  Was it hardwired?  While there is nothing necessarily wrong with a hardwired system it’s important to consider current technology benefits and how your system compares.  Just as our phones have become wireless many industry professionals are installing wireless security systems with cellular capabilities.  Why?  For one there’s no need to tear open walls, which is costly and laborious.  Technology has advanced to the point where wireless capabilities have become more effective and ubiquitous making them more viable, dependable, and available.  When comparing wireless to hardwired systems a noticeable difference, aside from the wires, is the continuity of service.  With a wireless system you don’t have to worry about burglars cutting wires to disable your system because there are none.

Lastly, a common sign of an antiquated security system can be low-res (low-resolution) cameras.  While cameras alone can sometimes deter an intruder from attempting a break-in, what good is a surveillance system that offers fuzzy picture quality if a break-in does occur?  The purpose of a camera is being able to record quality footage to positively identify intruders and sometimes their vehicles if need be.  Clear footage can be a helpful tool for law enforcement and in court.  Effective cameras can also be used to monitor the arrival of packages, expected and unexpected visitors, interiors and exteriors, remote properties (i.e. barns, sheds etc.), and distant areas of your property.  Fortunately there is a vast array of high-resolution cameras available today.  Your security system company will be able to provide the best solutions for your specific needs.

Whether you’re unsure your current security system is functioning optimally or if you’re looking into home security for the first time, contact a specialist.  They will be able to assess your current security situation and provide customized solutions.  Our team of experts at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing custom home security systems throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We can help you update an outdated system and offer comprehensive systems for new installations.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Steve Jurvetson-Flickr-Creative Commons

Campus Security

Duke University-Nan-Cheng TsaiApplying to college can be one of the most exciting, albeit nerve-racking, times in a young adult’s life.  Same is true for the parents.  It seems to be a bittersweet experience for parents, part of them is excited for their son or daughters future, and the other part is sad to see them “leave the nest.”  Nevertheless, parents are typically by their child’s side throughout the process.  And the process of applying to schools often includes frequent trips to different campuses.  Choosing a school is not all about the campus, even though a student may be slightly swayed if it happens to be located by a beach.  Aesthetics and location aside, parents are looking for what types of safety and security measures are implemented.  They need to know that when they send their baby (no longer a baby) out on their own that they are going to be safe.

Life is unpredictable and no matter what precautions you take, you simply can’t be protected from everything, you can however be prepared.  That is what parents will be looking for during their visits, what types of safeguards are in place in preparation for the unpredictable?  As a leading security system company our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security solutions to facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We believe a comprehensive security system includes some form of access control, video surveillance, fire alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm monitoring.  That being said we realize college campuses pose a unique security situation.

Today it seems that the majority of schools have a campus security or police force to help manage and maintain safety throughout school grounds.  Campus security often deals with issues of safety pertaining to drugs and alcohol abuse, physical and emotional abuse, gender equality and discrimination, cultural diversity, and violence.  It’s an undeniable fact that certain events have shaped the approach to campus safety over the past decade.  For example the brutal shooting at Virginia Tech in April of 2007 which claimed 32 student and faculty lives.  To help avoid such senseless tragedies todays campus officers work on effective crisis planning.  Having a plan for such an unlikely event helps students, staff, and the community be better prepared ultimately leading to a swifter recovery time.

Aside from an onsite security force there are security features parents and students will be looking for when visiting a campus.  They’ll want to know about campus access, who and where can people gain entry to the campus?  Are there emergency call boxes throughout the campus?  How do students and staff gain entry to educational buildings and dormitories?  Are campus facilities equipped with fire suppression sprinklers and alarms?  These are just a few of the questions parents and potential students might have when visiting a campus.  For a more complete list of potential security concerns see the following from College Parents of America.  Another tool prospective parents and students might use to evaluate a campus’s security is data required by the Jeanne Clery Act.  “Originally known as the Campus Security Act, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is the landmark federal law that requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses.”  Under the Jeanne Clery Act colleges and universities are required to:

  • Publish an Annual Security Report
  • Have a public crime log
  • Disclose crime statistics for instances that occur on campus and adjacent non-campus property
  • Issue warnings about Clery Act crimes
  • Create an emergency response, notification and testing policy
  • Compile and report fire data to the federal government and publish an annual fire safety report
  • Enact policies and procedures to handle reports of missing students

For more information on what students and parents will likely be looking for when college hunting check out the following links:

When looking at a college campus you can see the integration of security features that are part of the bigger security picture.  For instance, many schools provide college ID cards to each student.  Sometimes these ID cards are used as credentials access control systems.  These systems allow or deny students access to certain buildings or specific parts of buildings.  Arizona State University uses this type of access control on their campus.  This feature can be tied into an alarm system that can be activated if someone tried to enter a location without the proper permissions.  ID cards also tend to act as access to school cafeteria meal plans, money for campus stores and sometimes local businesses, and sometimes entry to school parking lots.

Video surveillance is security feature that is becoming more prominent on campuses nationwide.  According to Campus Safety Magazine the camera growth among colleges shows, “no signs of slowing down.”  As technology progresses and the need for security increases surveillance systems are being integrated to enhance any and all existing features.  A report published by TechNavio in 2014 predicts, “…school and university spending on video surveillance and access control will be more than $1.1 billion four years from now.”

With the help of technology college campuses across the U.S. are becoming safer for their students, staff, and visitors.  While no security system is infallible, by implementing comprehensive features schools are better preparing themselves for potential disaster.  As leading professionals in the security industry, our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. understands the importance of being prepared.  We have been providing comprehensive security system solutions throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  If you’re looking for expert security service for your campus facility do not hesitate to contact our specialists at 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Nan-Cheng Tsai-Flickr-Creative Commons

When Lightning Strikes

Lightning-Anthony QuintanoWe all know the weather is unpredictable no matter how many radars or meteorologists tell us otherwise.  Mother Nature is impulsive and she strikes at will.  A common and sometimes unpleasant result of severe weather is power outages.  During a thunderstorm outages may last a couple of hours but extreme weather conditions have been known to leave civilians without power for weeks at a time.  The 2008 ice storm that swept the Northeast region of the United States is a perfect example of how detrimental volatile weather can be.  It left over a million without power, some for weeks.  How fast power can be restored really depends on the weather conditions and the resources available in each location.

While extreme weather is not necessarily an everyday issue-and it varies by location-there is still an impact incurred by smaller and more frequent storms that cause power outages.  Power outages affect not only lighting but heating, electric water pumps, and your home security system.  Does that mean you will be unprotected during an outage?  That depends on what type of system you have.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. we provide customized security systems that help protect you and your family even in the direst of situations.  Our experts have been securing homes in northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  As we are based in New Jersey, we are no strangers to the inclement weather and its effect on local residences.

What happens during a power outage?  Everyone goes scrambling for lanterns, candles, and maybe a puzzle to pass the time, right?  Okay, so you have the entertainment portion down, but what about the safety of your home.  Will your security system still work during a power outage?  As previously mentioned that really depends on what type of system you have.

Some of the most common operating modes for security systems are through phone lines, cellular radio, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and the internet.  With an alarm system that operates through traditional phone lines, it will continue to communicate with monitoring services even during a power outage as phone lines typically stay up and running.  Like many systems, the central control panel will continue operating off its backup batteries.  How long the backup batteries last varies; some may last hours, others may last days.  Your security system provider should have information on how long your backup batteries will last.  A system that runs off cellular radio capabilities will also rely on backup batteries during a power outage.  This is a wireless system so communication would be unaffected.  VoIP wireless systems rely on internet and phone lines for power and communication so if power is out and internet is out, you can lose communication with monitoring services.  Internet based systems have been touted as the least reliable during an outage.  The reason being they lose communication capabilities if the internet is out, which if the power is out the internet typically follows.

To ensure that you will be covered during a power outage it’s best to be prepared.  To be prepared you should know what type of system you have and talk with your provider to find out what would happen if an outage occurred.  You don’t want to assume you’ll have 2 days of backup battery when you really only have a few hours.  Stocking extra batteries isn’t a bad idea, especially if you live in an area that is prone to inclement weather.  Knowing your systems capabilities and limitations will leave you better prepared in the event of an outage or any emergency for that matter.  Aside from knowing the ins and outs of your security system you could invest in preparatory measures like alternative exterior lighting.  One of the best crime deterrents, besides a comprehensive security system, is lighting.  Burglars don’t want to break-in to homes that are well lit, it leaves them too exposed.

You can’t predict the weather, but you can be prepared for it.  Knowing the limitations of your home security system will help prevent panic during power outages and other weather related incidents.  No security system is infallible, but having one significantly decreases the chances of catastrophe.  Whether you are considering a security system for the first time or looking for expertise do not hesitate to call on our team of professionals at Perfect Connections, Inc..  We have been providing comprehensive security solutions to homes throughout northern and central New Jersey for over 20 years.  Our specialists can guide you through the process from an initial assessment to final installation.  It’s important to note that every home is different therefore each security system should be individually tailored.  Don’t fall for a “one size fits all” solution.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Anthony Quintano-Flickr-Creative Commons

Want A Thriving Business? Avoid Employee Theft!

Biz man pointingIn an ideal work environment everyone would get to work on time, perform their duties efficiently, and respect one another.  Unfortunately, the ideal is not always reality.  The success of a business is dependent on many factors, hiring the right employees is a major one.  Your employees are the life-force that drive your business, but they can also be the metaphoric “poison apple” to its success.  The often hidden threat to a successful business is employee theft.

What is employee theft?  Employee theft can be defined as, “any stealing, use or misuse of an employer’s assets without permission.”  Now most people typically think this means cash or items of monetary value but that’s not always the case.  The following will discuss what constitutes employee theft, how it affects businesses in the U.S., who the main offenders are, and how you can combat it.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. we can help protect you and your business from untrustworthy employees.  We’ve been providing security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for over 20 years.  While a comprehensive security system can’t detect an employee’s honesty, it can help prevent employees from stealing as the chances they might get caught increase.  We don’t advocate blindly mistrusting your employees, we simply provide effective equipment to help prevent theft and loss.

When employees steal, they aren’t always stealing cash.  Some of the most common assets stolen are time, supplies, cash, merchandise or company property, and company information.  Time may not be a tangible asset, but it is often abused or stolen.  Think about the employees that consistently show up late or take extended breaks and never make up the time.  When you have one person doing this it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but looking at the big picture the numbers add up, and fast.  It’s not only companies paying people who aren’t actually working their designated hours, it’s the loss of work and potential business for a company.  This has an effect on the entire nation economically.

According to The U.S. Chamber of Commerce employee theft costs American businesses anywhere from $20 billion to $40 billion annually.  That’s capital that could be reinvested in a company to create new jobs, grow, and/or innovate.  This doesn’t mean people don’t deserve breaks or time off, it’s just pointing out the fact that if given the opportunity some people will take advantage.  In fact 75% of all employees will steal at least once and some will become repeat offenders.  The employees that steal are not always the ones you’d expect either.  Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) managers account for 55% of all employee theft.  How do they get away with it?  They’re typically in a position where they are well trusted, hence being a manager.

So what can be done to combat the damaging effects of employee theft?  Fortunately there are some guidelines you can follow as an employer to help prevent, or at the very least, limit employee theft.  Caron Beesley for the U.S. Small Business Association has 6 general tips and they are as follows: pre-employment background checks, check candidate references, communicate conduct guidelines, don’t be afraid to audit, recognize the signs, and set the management tone.

Running a background check is a good idea for any employer, it’ll provide insight into an applicant’s history that may not come through in an interview.  Checking references will help speak to a candidate’s character from sources other than the candidate themselves.  Being upfront about your expectations for employee conduct will set the stage for ethical behavior, this can be a code of conduct that is reviewed upon employee orientation, and companywide on an annual basis.  Auditing your business is an effective way to discover theft and fraud especially because it’s performed by a third party and unbiased professional.  Recognizing the signs can be a little more challenging, but according to Beesly there are some behaviors to take note of.  You should be conscious of an employee not taking any vacation time, a change in normal behavior, being overly protective of ones work, disappearing financial records, and unexplained debt.  Lastly, setting the management tone will let your employees know you take your business seriously.

Aside from company policies and expected behaviors, installing a comprehensive security system can help deter fraud and employee theft.  Surveillance equipment can prevent theft and catch it in action.  If employees know their environment is being monitored they’re less likely to attempt theft for the possibility of being caught.  Using some sort of access control within your facility can help by limiting who can enter and sometimes exit specific areas.  This would allow you to store items of high value or importance and limit who can access them via key fobs, swipe cards, or other credentials.  Here at Perfect Connections, Inc. we understand no system is perfect or infallible, but they can help significantly decrease the chances of substantial loss and/or damage.  Our team of experts has been providing comprehensive security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  Call on our specialists to help you protect your business so you can get back to what’s most important, running it!

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Kev-shine-Flickr-Creative Commons