Should I Move To The Cloud?

Pattys-photos-cloudsWe’ve all seen those puffy white, wondrous, water vapor creations up in the sky, commonly known as clouds.  These natural wonders are not the clouds we’ll be investigating here.  Instead we’ll be taking a look at what the “cloud” is in relation to business networks and their security infrastructure.

You may be using the cloud in some form already and not even know it.  Think about your everyday, do you use an internet based e-mail account, like Gmail?  If so, then you use a cloud based service.  So what is the “cloud”?  Basically, the cloud takes recorded information and stores it on internet servers.  Instead of taking up space on your computer or on a physical storage device your information is accessible via the internet.  In our physical world of limited space and the desire to streamline as much as possible, the cloud is helping achieve just that.  While it is an exciting technology with seemingly endless applications, it is not without flaw.  That being said, its benefits seem to outweigh its imperfections; and with non-stop progression in technology it can only improve with time.

Where does the cloud fit within the security system industry?  In security applications today, cloud services are becoming a presence in business video surveillance and access control solutions.  As security system components migrate towards a more cohesive integration the need for heavy wiring, cables, and hardware is dissipating making the cloud a more viable option for some.  As a licensed security systems provider our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. strives to utilize current technologies that make sense within an organizations facility and their budget.  We have been providing comprehensive security solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.

How is a cloud-based security network setup and what are the benefits?  In many cases a comprehensive security system is comprised of multiple surveillance cameras, some form of physical access control, fire and burglar alarms, and an alarm monitoring service.  Surveillance and access control are the areas where the cloud seems to have the most impact these days.

As end-users and integrators move away from analog and switch to IP surveillance systems the video cameras themselves are becoming more advanced.  According to Steve Surfaro, an Axis Communications’ Security Industry Liaison, “Many of today’s network video cameras are actually platforms or small computers, complete with solid-state storage and room for onboard security and video content analysis ‘apps,’ as well as enhanced image processing.”  Otherwise, in a cloud environment cameras are linked to a company’s network and record footage that is stored on encrypted internet servers.  If you think about it, it’s doing the same thing as a traditional surveillance system would as far as recording data and storing it, it’s just the means of conveyance that differs.

When it comes to access control linked to the cloud the possibilities include, but are not limited to, being able to control door, elevator, and card access remotely from a mobile device.  Being able to remotely access a system through a secured network in the cloud opens the door to a world of convenience and efficiency.  As surveillance and access control continue to be further integrated through wireless and IP systems, managing them with the cloud will likely become commonplace.

The benefits of using the cloud include reduced infrastructure, low system maintenance, low energy consumption, flexibility, scalability, and almost unlimited storage capabilities (Griffin,  It helps eliminate the need to use multiple processes to operate a security system, potentially alleviating pressure on a company’s IT department.  This could help cut down on unnecessary manpower costs.  And the capability for remote software updates would eliminate the hassle on both the end-user and system integrator.

While there are many benefits to utilizing the cloud for video surveillance and access control, it is not a perfect system on its own; and it may take time before it becomes a pervasive technology.  Systems that rely solely on the cloud for recording and storage face some obvious risks.  For one, there is the potential for network outages.

According to Pierre Racz, president, CEO and founder of Genetec-a company focused on hybrid cloud solutions-it is likely that you will have network outages with the cloud.  However, these outages are estimated to be no more than 4 hours per year.  Fortunately there are inexpensive solutions to such an issue.  To avoid losing any data a local recording device can be set up to operate for more than 4 hours.  Implementing redundancies like NAS (Network Attached Storage) drives will also help eliminate any potential losses created by outages.

The initial cost of a cloud based system may also be a deterrent to end-users.  However, Racz points out that the maintenance costs for a cloud-based system are far lower than maintaining the extensive hardware that comes with more traditional systems.  Business size is also a factor in the cost.  Cost will vary depending on how many cameras, how much bandwidth, and other equipment is required.  So while a cloud-based system may not initially make sense for a high-rise office building, it may make sense for a singular business or a company with multiple small locations.  Cloud access is another major concern for end-users.  The question remains, what is stopping someone from hacking into my network?  Industry experts believe this concern can be eliminated based on the high level of encryption used to authenticate users.

Even though there might be a few technical hitches with cloud integration in the security industry today, it promises to be more ubiquitous in the near future.  The communication gap between end-users, integrators, and industry professionals on the best way to implement this exciting technology is shrinking.  Once the dialogue becomes clearer the cloud has potential to become standard protocol.  If you are considering making the switch to a cloud-based system or hybrid solution be sure to call on an industry professional.  Our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. can guide you through the process from initial assessment to final installation.  We have been providing comprehensive security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We’ve been able to adapt our services based on the ever changing technological climate, implementing what is best and makes sense for our clients.

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 Pattys-photos-Flickr-Creative Commons

Can My Cameras See In The Dark?

West Midlands Police-Infrared FootageNot all surveillance cameras are created equally.  It may seem as simple as selecting a surveillance camera and popping it into place, but what about the external factors that affect the quality of recorded images?  One of the top concerns for industry professionals and end-users alike is a cameras ability to function in the dark or varied light conditions.  Whether you’re using interior or external cameras, their ability to function under varied light conditions is paramount.  Our experts at Perfect Connections, Inc. understand the importance of a surveillance system that doesn’t quit when the sun goes down.  We are a licensed security systems company that has been providing comprehensive security solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.

What challenges do different lighting conditions pose to surveillance cameras?  The most obvious is the absence or lack of light.  Unless your cameras are True Day Night it is likely that they will not be able to pick up fine details in the lack of light.  Another common issue is the effect of light glare.  Problematic glare can come from car headlights to poorly placed exterior lighting fixtures.  Glare will disrupt the sensors in the video camera and the recorded footage can be rendered useless.  It is important to take lighting conditions into consideration when choosing and installing cameras as it will impact the overall effectiveness of your system.  What good is a camera that captures grainy unclear images or blanks out for seconds at a time?

Fortunately there have been vast improvements in the surveillance industry that are changing the game when it comes to light adaptation capabilities.  According to Greg Peratt, Senior Director of the Panasonic Video Solutions Integration Team, there are IP (Internet Protocol) cameras that can capture detailed footage in lighting less than .01 lux illumination.  Lux illumination is the metric measurement for how much light falls on an object.  A measurement of 1 lux, “equals the amount of light that falls on a one-square-meter surface that is one meter away from a single candle.”  Therefore a camera that can capture detailed images in less than .01 lux illumination is not only impressive, it’s advantageous.

Another helpful advancement in the case of low or varied light is the Infrared Cut-Filter Mechanism (IRCF).  This filter is automatically lifted or lowered in front of the camera’s sensor depending on the light levels.  The IRCF helps block out disruptive infrared light that can come from sunlight or certain lighting fixtures and it ultimately improves the camera’s low-light performance.  When light levels are low-typically at night-is when the filter is automatically lifted from in front of the sensor.  Cameras that have this feature are considered to have True Day Night capabilities.

The only hitch with this technology is color is often distorted or lost completely.  However, the camera is still able to capture a clear black and white image and according to Steve Carney it captures an image, “…that is not only vastly more usable but also cleaner without chroma noise.”  Carney points out another differentiator between True Day Night cameras and the impersonators is what happens when the IRCF is lifted or removed.  In a True Day Night camera a piece of “dummy” glass will take the place of the IRCF in order to maintain focus and, “minimize the spectral offset between visible and IR light.”  In other cameras the ability to remove such a filter doesn’t exist, therefore the full spectrum of visible and infrared light cannot be taken advantage of.

Other features to look for when considering Day Night cameras are the shutter speeds and any tinting on the camera housing.  Varying shutter speeds affect the amount of the light that is able to be captured.  The slower the shutter, the more light is captured which isn’t always better.  Often times a camera will come with a domed or “bubble” exterior housing.  These “bubbles” can sometimes be tinted.  Depending on your application you may or may not need tinting; sometimes the tint can have an adverse effect by decreasing visibility and obstructing image clarity.

Whether you are replacing older interior/exterior cameras or installing new, your best solution is to call on the experts.  Every business and facility is different which means each will have different requirements when it comes to day/nighttime surveillance.  Having a licensed security professional do an in person assessment of your facility will help determine what type of camera should be implemented and where.  Our team of licensed professionals at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security solutions to businesses and facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We believe in personalized service that tailors solutions to your individualized 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 West Midlands Police-Flickr-Creative Commons

Making the Switch from Analog to IP

If you’ve had a surveillance system installed within the past decade it’s more than likely that it’s either an analog or IP (Internet Protocol) system.  So what’s the difference?  Analog typically refers to an older technology that doesn’t use Ethernet protocol.  IP includes “IP-addressable items,” the cabling, and network equipment used to connect all components to an Ethernet networked system.  As people transition to a fully digital IP system there is some overlapping of the two technologies creating hybrids.

Making the switch from analog to IP isn’t always as daunting as it may seem and there are options that make the transition easier over time.  Our licensed professionals at Perfect Connections, Inc. have the expertise to address your security needs.  We have been providing comprehensive security system solutions to organizations throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We understand the complexities of installing and updating security systems including the surveillance equipment.

So why make the switch from analog to IP?  For one, a fully digital IP system will have improved performance over an analog system.  Many IP cameras are equipped with features like, “advanced digital signal processing, optical zoom lenses, wide dynamic range, on-board analytics and auto image stabilizers…” These features in conjunction with high resolution megapixel cameras provide better coverage and the ability to cover more area with less cameras.  Being able to expand or re-configure, also referred to as scalability, comes easily with an IP system.  This is an advantage to any organization especially one that plans on expanding or renovating in the future as the initial investment cost isn’t lost in the process.

With IP surveillance systems comes advanced analytics.  That means footage can be monitored, recorded, interpreted, archived, and retrieved by the central server as well as peripheral devices.  How is this beneficial?  It helps when looking for specific recordings as a search can be initiated versus having to view hours of useless footage.  If an alarm is activated this type of intelligence can be used to zoom in on what is setting it off which cuts down on time looking for what it might be.

There’s also a flexibility that comes with converting to an IP system.  It makes system integration easier when it comes to adding features like access control, alarms, and extra cameras.  You also have more of a reason to store a higher volume of footage with an IP system because the image quality is clearer and be accessed easily.  Having an IP system allows for ease of software upgrades which helps keep it relevant.  In that sense IP is worth the initial up front cost as it is more adaptable to future technologies and won’t require extensive re-cabling and labor in years to come.

Does this mean you have to completely abandon your analog system all at once?  Not necessarily.  As each system is different the only real way to tell what will need to be done is to hire a security systems expert to do an in person assessment of the current situation.  One option might be to use the existing analog equipment and simply add converters to the camera and network switch ends of the cabling.  This creates a sort of hybrid system where you’re using existing coax cable from the analog system but the converters allow you to add IP cameras; they don’t have to rely on your company’s network and can still be recorded on your DVR, NVR, or VMS (Digital Video Recorder, Network Video Recorder, and Video Management System).

The benefit to a hybrid system is you don’t lose out on the initial investment of the original system and it allows for easy add-ons, upgrades and replacements of IP technology.  The other option is to completely remove all analog devices and cabling and start over with a new IP system.  Sometimes IP systems can utilize existing analog infrastructures so that could be an alternative to starting from scratch.  Remember if you have an IT department at your facility it is important to include them in the process to ensure a seamless integration.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade to and IP system all at once or try the hybrid approach it’s key to include a licensed security systems expert from the beginning.  They can help guide you through the process from start to finish.  Our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. have been providing expert security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We understand that each facility is unique and requires individualized security solutions.

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.

What Are My Access Control Options?

Steven DepoloWhat is access control?  In the simplest of terms it can be explained as a means to allow or deny entry to or exit from a designated space.  Think of the kinds you likely use on a daily basis, a key to lock or unlock your front door or an electronic gate that lets you into the parking garage at work.  But what does it mean, what are the options when it comes to business integration and security systems, and why might your facility need it?  As licensed security systems providers our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We have extensive knowledge and experience in creating comprehensive security systems that often include some form of access control.

Before looking at the different types of access control available it is important to understand why it may be necessary in the first place.  In most cases access control is used as a layer of protection.  What warrants this added layer of protection is subjective.  It could be company assets, valuable materials, sensitive or confidential information, medication (assisted living or healthcare facilities), staff and employees, or any combination of these items.  Regardless of what needs protection, the point is it warrants reinforcement.

The most simplistic and ubiquitous form of access control is a door lock and key.  While this system is effective at creating a temporary barrier, it is not sophisticated enough to prevent a break-in on its own.  Consider how easy it is to lose a key or duplicate one for that matter.  An experienced burglar or criminal could easily pick a standard lock.  This is why many companies turn to more advanced technologies typically provided in conjunction with a comprehensive security system.

An access control system (ACS) consists of the user being issued a “credential” which is then used on an electronic reader typically at the point of entry or in close proximity.  A credential can consist of any predetermined physical item like a plastic ID card or token that is embedded with the appropriate access information.  When it is swiped, tapped, or within range of the electronic reader, access or exit will be permitted.  According to, “A credential is presented to an electronic reader that gathers information stored on the credential and compares it to preset parameters and information stored in the ACS computer.”

A fairly common form of access control is using a keypad and PIN number or code.  When used individually this type of technology is not always effective.  PINs can be easily stolen by an onlooker observing you entering it.  Wear and tear on the same digits on the keypad can also be a dead give-away to someone looking to gain entry.  When used in combination with other access control methods a keypad can become more effective as an added layer of security.

One of the most secure and pervasive electronic technologies being implemented in the access control industry today is proximity technology.  How does it work?  Basically a plastic card or token (fob) is embedded with an electronic chip and antenna.  The internal chip is coded and when presented within range of the electronic reader the code is transmitted.  If the code is recognized and verified by the reader access will be granted.  The obvious downfall of this type of system is if you were to lose your card/token or if it were stolen.

Looking toward the future a less popular form of access control is sitting on the back-burner.  Biometrics.  According to Steven Hausman biometrics involves, “analyzing physiological and/or behavioral characteristics of the body, both classes of which would be presumably unique to an individual, and thus more reliable than traditional methods of verifying identity.”  This could be anything from fingerprint to vocal recognition.  This technology isn’t as widely used as some of the more traditional forms of access control because of its cost and reliability issues.  Although it may be difficult to replicate physical traits, it can be done.  The television show “Mythbusters” proved that fingerprints can be replicated using latex and ballistics gel.  While this technology may have some kinks to work out, it’s something to keep an eye on in the future.

There are many viable options when it comes to access control integration.  When combined with a comprehensive security system access control technologies become more effective at deterring crime.  A comprehensive system includes not only access control but video surveillance, fire alarms, burglar alarms, and alarm monitoring.  Our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing access control and security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We understand you have many concerns when it comes to the security of your business, and we are here to help guide you through the process from an initial assessment to final installation.

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 Steven Depolo-Flickr-Creative Commons

What Does Megapixel Mean In Security Cameras?

If you’re in the market for a security system a major component you’re probably considering is video surveillance.  While doing a little research you’ve likely come across a plethora of surveillance options with various technological features.  It may seem like a daunting task to choose the cameras that suit your needs, which is why you should always consult a licensed security systems professional.  They’ll be able to assess the security risks associated with your facility and provide optimal solutions.  Our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security systems to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We understand the process and can help you protect what matters most.  Our experts are knowledgeable in all aspects of security system integration including surveillance.  Whether or not you’ve done your own research it’s likely you’ve heard or come across the term megapixel.  What does that mean in regards to surveillance systems, and what are the advantages/disadvantages?

640px-Definitions_of_TV_standards To understand the relationship between megapixels and video surveillance let’s first figure out what megapixel means.  A pixel is a “picture element residing on the image sensor (in a camera).”  The quantity of pixels helps determine the resolution of an image.  All megapixel cameras have a minimum of 1,000,000 pixels which means the image is comprised horizontally and vertically 1,000 x 1,000 pixels.  In recent years there has been an increased demand for megapixel surveillance cameras over the standard definition cameras widely used in the past.  Standard resolution cameras typically have a resolution of approximately 400,000 pixels.

To get an idea of the difference between image resolutions the picture above shows three variations.  The front image shows a standard resolution of 576 pixels, the middle shows an HD (High Definition) resolution of 720 pixels, and the last image shows an HD 1080 pixel resolution.  While most consider all HD cameras to fall under the megapixel category Raul Calderon, senior vice president of marketing for Arecont Vision, says that HD cameras with a 720 pixel resolution are not technically a megapixel camera as the resolution only adds up to 921,600 pixels.  A major difference between HD and megapixel cameras is HD cameras have to comply with set standards whereas megapixel cameras simply refer to the number of pixels.

A major advantage to investing in megapixel camera technology is the ability to use less cameras to cover larger areas.  With standard definition IP (Internet Protocol) or network cameras coverage is significantly limited and typically requires more cameras and cabling.  Megapixel cameras require less cabling and therefore the cost of labor and cabling is typically less than installing standard resolution cameras.  The ability to digitally zoom-in on an image without losing clarity is another benefit of utilizing megapixel cameras.  Megapixel recordings are clearer than standard resolution cameras therefore more consumers are storing footage for longer periods of time, which can be helpful in solving crimes.  They decrease the need for constant live monitoring as the footage can be revisited with ease.  Other benefits include a long lifespan, they conserve energy, and they are low maintenance.

Megapixel cameras not only benefit the owner but different industries as well.  With more quality recorded footage being stored the more the recording and storage industries will grow.  As megapixel cameras become more ubiquitous, technologies used in conjunction with them will grow and change.  For example the types of video displays and lenses will likely become more developed.  While there are many benefits to megapixel cameras the potential drawbacks include initial cost of installation and the challenge of keeping up with the fast paced technological changes.  Fortunately, as these types of cameras become more widely used their pricing will be driven down.  As far as technological advancements are concerned there will always be changes and improvements it’s a matter of security system experts providing ease of integration and updates.

While you now have a little background on megapixel cameras and their advantages/disadvantages, it’s still imperative to contact a licensed professional for your security needs.  They’ll be able to assess the specific security risks associated with your facility and which products will work best.  Our team of experts at Perfect Connections, Inc. have been providing professional service to businesses and facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We understand the complexities involved in creating a comprehensive security system that is tailored to your 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 Raskoolish at ru.wikipedia-Google-Creative Commons “Definitions of TV standards” by Raskoolish at ru.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Why Alarm Monitoring Is Essential

monitoring centerSo you’ve had home security system installed, everything is connected and ready to be armed.  During the process did you sign up for an alarm monitoring service?  If you didn’t, you’re missing a vital part of a truly comprehensive home security system.  You could be leaving yourself open to risk regardless of your newly installed system.  While having a security system will greatly lessen the risk of a break-in and provide you with a peace of mind, the caveat is what happens if you’re not home when the alarm goes off?  Maybe you have a super vigilant neighbor that would hear the alarm or see a fire blazing, but you shouldn’t rely on that.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our professionals have been providing comprehensive security systems to homes throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We offer a wide range of services including alarm monitoring.  We believe to have a truly comprehensive security system a monitoring service should be included.

So what is alarm monitoring?  According to Safewise alarm monitoring can be defined as, “quick and detailed communication between your home security system and the central station of your security provider.”  This means when your alarm goes off someone besides yourself will be notified almost instantly.  How does this benefit you and your family?  This allows whoever is one the receiving end of that communication to contact and dispatch the appropriate local authorities and emergency services.  Imagine there’s a fire in your home and you can’t get to a phone or have trouble getting everyone out safely.  If your fire alarm is tied into your alarm system, when it goes off, the monitoring service will immediately dispatch fire and emergency crews.  This saves you, your family, and your home from potential catastrophe by saving precious time.

In any emergency time is a critical factor.  That’s why having a monitoring service is advantageous.  It cuts down on wasting time during a potentially life threatening situation.  Also, while an unmonitored alarm system can be effective in deterring a burglar when the alarm is triggered, consider this.  According to the Electronic Security Association 74% of incomplete burglaries are due to a triggered alarm, but another 26% of burglars say the alarm alone isn’t enough to stop them from completing a robbery.  This is where alarm monitoring plays a crucial role.  If someone breaks-in to your home and isn’t fazed by the sounding alarm or the fact that people might be home this puts you and your family at risk.  Luckily, if you have a monitoring service they’ll be able to quickly dispatch authorities that will hopefully catch the perpetrator.

You’re probably running through a bunch of “what if” scenarios in your head, like what if an intruder breaks-in and forces the owner to disarm the alarm?  Fortunately, with many monitoring services there are options to create distress codes.  These codes when entered into the central control panel will alert the monitoring service that you are in a dangerous situation and they will dispatch help immediately.  Meanwhile the intruder is unaware that you’ve secretly called for help.

With today’s technology there is the option to self-monitor your home.  In our world of smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices we have almost anything we could want at a finger’s touch away.  This includes monitoring your home security system.  With the capability of mobile apps like those offered by companies like you can access your security system from virtually anywhere.  These types of apps can be set up to send you notifications or alerts when something changes at your home.  This capability can be extremely helpful if you’re away on vacation, on a business trip, or away from home for an extended period of time.  You no longer have to worry about coming home to a disaster because you’re able to check-in and be informed ahead of time.  A potential drawback of a self-monitored system by itself is not having immediate action or communication if you aren’t paying attention to your mobile device.  If you’re not around your phone to witness an alert you could miss out on an emergency situation whereas a monitoring service would reach out regardless.

Whether you plan on self-monitoring, hiring a monitoring service, or a combination of both, the important thing is that you have a monitored security system.  It’s another level of defense that will further protect you, your family, and your home.  By having a monitored system in combination with a burglar alarm, fire alarm, and surveillance system you will have a truly comprehensive home security system.  Our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been installing comprehensive security systems to homes throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We know the value it brings to our clients and their families.

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 Commons

Why Custom Is Best

Installing a security sy9677247879_a39e3e702c_zstem can be one of the best ways to protect your business from unpredictable threats like fires and burglars.  Did you know that not all systems are the same?  That’s right there really isn’t a “one size fits all” solution when it comes to securing your workplace, nor should there be.  Why?  Because no two businesses are exactly the same.  Therefore, doesn’t it make sense that a security system should be tailored to a facility’s individual needs?  A healthcare facility wouldn’t have all the same security needs as a retail store, right?  Right.  So how do you go about finding the right system for your business?  Your best option is to hire a licensed professional in the security system field who has extensive knowledge and experience.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our team has been customizing security system solutions for businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We understand your business is unique and requires personal attention versus a one-stop solution.

As every home is different and each family has different security needs, the same is true for every business.  There are many factors that go into creating the right system for your facility.  For example the location and demographics, local fire codes and regulations, facility size and type, building/facility access, number of employees, local restrictions, and more.  A business in the middle of a city is going to need a different security system than one located in an industrial park in the suburbs.  This is why it is vital to have a security systems expert do an in person assessment of your facility’s needs before pricing becomes part of the equation.  Don’t fall for the security system company that says they can give you a quote without ever having stepped foot in your facility.

What are the main ingredients for a security system?  At Perfect Connections, Inc. it is our belief that any comprehensive security system includes fire alarms, burglar alarms, access control, surveillance, a monitoring service, and carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.  There are variations on how some of these components are installed and what products are used.  For example there are many different forms of access control.  Access control can be anything from biometrics-which typically analyzes physical human traits like a fingerprint-to smart card readers that require a swipe or tap of a programmed card or fob.

Again, the type of access control that would suit your business best, really depends on what your specific needs are.  Maybe you run a healthcare facility where only certain employees are allowed to access medication supply rooms.  Maybe the best solution in that situation is issuing swipe cards to those specific individuals, or maybe a coded lock would work better.  These are the types of things you want to discuss with your security systems expert.  They will be able to advise you on what system would work best.

Monitoring your alarm system can be varied as well.  While it’s pretty standard to sign a contract with a monitoring service, there is the option to self-monitor as well.  Self-monitoring works by allowing you to access your security system via a smartphone or mobile device.  This type of monitoring could be set up to alert you directly if there is any activity detected at your facility.  The disadvantage to a solely self-monitored system is a slower reaction time and having to constantly be vigilant.  Imagine you don’t have your phone on you and an alarm is triggered at your facility, who’s going to contact the local authorities?  Fortunately, with a monitoring service you don’t have to worry about reaction time because someone is constantly keeping watch.  Even if you opt for a monitoring service often times you can still have the ability to self-monitor at your convenience.  The combination of both gives you the advantage of not having to worry about checking in constantly and the convenience of doing so when you need/want it.

Surveillance is a key component to protecting any business.  How surveillance equipment is set up will vary business to business.  Some facilities may require more or less coverage than others.  Some businesses may be at a higher risk for crime or theft than others as well.  For example Plato’s Closet in Des Moines, IA is susceptible to shrinkage due to clothing, shoe, and accessory theft.  This particular location of Plato’s Closet had a shrink rate of a little over 1 percent, but after they installed 19 IP (Internet Protocol) cameras that rate fell to .8 percent.  The quantity, type, and location of surveillance cameras will depend on an individual business’s needs.

Whether you run a recycling, retail, or healthcare facility protecting your business is a top priority that shouldn’t be left to just anyone.  You need a licensed security systems expert who will assess the risks associated with your business and customize an appropriate solution.  Our team of licensed professionals at Perfect Connections, Inc. understands you’ve worked hard for what you have and we want to help you keep it secure.  We have been providing customized security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992 helping 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 Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s photostream-Flickr-Creative Commons

Common Break-in Methods

home-alone-marv & harryWhen you’re a homeowner one of your top priorities is ensuring the safety of your home.  Your home is what protects you and your family.  Nobody wants to deal with a home break-in but they are a sad reality in our everyday lives.  Fortunately there are many ways you can safeguard your home from such devastation.  The best way to deter crime is to be prepared for it.  If you want to prevent a home invasion you must first understand how and when burglars are likely to attempt them.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our team of highly skilled professionals can assess the security risks specific to your home to help you avoid break-ins and other disasters. We have been providing security system services to homes throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our experts assess the security risks of an individual home and come up with a customized security system solution to fit its specific needs.

What are some of the most common break-in methods used by criminals?  Have you ever heard of the path of least resistance?  That’s usually the route they will take when it comes to breaking into homes.  There are many factors that can make their job easier, and you might be unknowingly aiding their attempts.  Leaving windows and doors unlocked or open are a surprisingly common way burglars get into homes.  In fact 30 percent of burglars enter homes without having to use force.  Spare keys left in indiscrete locations are another favorite of the home invader.  It’s tempting to have a spare key for family members or friends, but if you’re going to do so don’t leave it under the door mat or in other obvious and easily accessed spots.

Some crooks will walk right up to your front door, ring the bell, and if you answer they will pretend to be selling something.  They’ll probably make up a bogus story about who they work for.  Whatever you do, do not let them in and ask for identification or find the company number to call and verify their identity.  Do not use a number they provide as it could be a ruse.  When they’re putting on this act they’re trying to get a better view into your home to see if you might have a security system and what goodies they might come back for.

Sometimes criminals will ring the doorbell and if no one answers they might go to the back of the house to try to enter through a back door or window.  Even if the doors and windows are locked burglars often carry tools like crowbars to aid their break-ins.  However, if it takes them longer than a minute to get in they’ll likely move on to the next target.  The harder you can make it for someone to break-in the better.

How can you make it harder or less appealing for criminals to break-in to your home?  One of the best lines of defense is installing a comprehensive home security system.  Burglars are less likely to attempt a break-in if the targeted house has a security system, it gives them less time to escape and a higher chance of being caught.  In fact 90 percent of convicted burglars said they would avoid homes with alarm systems.  Keeping vegetation trimmed is important in preventing a break-in.  Burglars often use unkempt bushes, trees, or flora close to the home as hiding spots where they can sit and wait for an opportune moment.

Lighting is a great deterrent as well.  Motion activated exterior lights are helpful because they somewhat eliminate the sneaky element by exposing whatever moves in their path.  Using light timers or home automation to control your interior lights will help prevent an intruder from attempting a break-in.  It’ll help create the illusion that someone is home even if they aren’t and burglars tend to avoid break-in attempts if someone is there.  Installing deadbolts is another way to at least slow down an attempted break-in.  Having a single door knob lock leaves you vulnerable to thieves who use things like bump keys.  Bump keys are essentially master keys used by locks smiths, they can supposedly open up to 90 percent of traditional locks.

With a burglary occurring every 15 seconds in the United States, you can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting your home.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our experts provide customized comprehensive security systems that fit your specific needs.  It’s not just about protecting the physical property, it’s about protecting that peace of mind that is so hard to get back after a break-in.  Don’t fall victim to the mentality that it could never happen in your neighborhood, no community is immune.  Instead be prepared and don’t be a victim.

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 Dexter Company-Google-Creative Commons

How Can You Tell Which Facility Is Best?

Elderly-Sima DimitricAssisted living facilities are a way our aging community can be cared for and maintain a sense of independence.  As a caregiver you can never be too careful or particular when searching for geriatric care for a loved one.  They’re your family and you want them to be cared for as well as they cared for you.  That begs the question how do you know that the facility you’re looking at is the right one for your loved one?

There are many factors to consider when searching for a facility including the health and mental state of your loved one.  Knowing what type of care they will need is important and will help narrow the scope.  A critical feature that you should always be looking for is the security.  How does the facility protect its residents?  What security features are in place to ensure their safety?  As a leading security system provider our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security systems to healthcare facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We understand how important safety and security is to not only the facility but families as well.

What to look for

The physical structure, layout, and interior design of a facility can say a lot.  Any new facility will likely be built with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) design standards in mind.  For example, this means bathrooms will accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.  It’s the older facilities that you’ll want to tour thoroughly to be sure they’ve either made renovations or accommodations for wheelchair bound and handicapped individuals.  This is extremely important for people with limited mobility, you want to be sure they’ll be able to get around with minimal struggle.  Keep an eye out for aesthetic details that could pose a risk like area rugs, high-pile carpeting, outdated and potentially dangerous flooring as these features can increase the chances of slipping or falling.

Is there a check-in desk? This is an important security feature that will help protect residents because it will prevent random visitors from entering unnoticed.  Visitors and guests should be required to sign-in with photo identification to help prevent unauthorized entrance.  Without a check-in/sign-in desk or area anyone could just wander in or out leaving the facility, staff, and residents at risk.  Having a designated area will act as an added form of access control for the facility.

Does the facility have a surveillance system?  Surveillance is a key component to any security system.  It would help monitor residents, staff, and visitors.  Surveillance equipment can be particularly helpful in the case of elderly abuse or missing/wandering residents.  It can help provide timelines and proof in the case of abuse, missing/wandering residents, or unauthorized visitors.  Obviously the goal is to avoid all of these things, but surveillance is an added layer of security that helps provide a peace of mind and encourages people to be on their best behavior.

Is there a monitored fire and carbon monoxide alarm system and what is the facility’s emergency plan?  Having an emergency plan that staff is fully trained and experienced in is vital to the safety and survival of a facility’s residents.  As an emergency consulting firm points out, “Assisted living facilities face greater difficulties than any other business when it comes time to respond to a disaster. Residents are often disabled, suffer from reduced mobility, and may not respond to instruction as expected.”  Part of an emergency plan includes being prepared for unpredictable events such as a fire, earthquake, or hurricane etc.  Being prepared means having a plan of action that all staff and personnel have tested and understand.  Assisted living facilities should have monitored fire and carbon monoxide alarms systems, this will ensure the quickest response time from local emergency and authority crews and help prevent potentially life threatening situations.  Each facility has to adhere to local fire codes and requirements as well.

While looking for an assisted living facility for your loved one may seem like a daunting task, knowing what to look for will help alleviate some of struggle.  As a facility owner having everything in order can be taxing, but it’s essential to the safety and security of your staff, facility, and most importantly the people in your care.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our team of experts has been providing comprehensive security solutions to healthcare facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  While no system is perfect, having a comprehensive one will greatly decrease the risk of catastrophe and help prepare you, your staff, and residents in the event of an emergency.  It’ll provide you and your clients with a peace of mind that is hard to obtain from anything else.

If you live or run a facility 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.

For further information and questions you should ask when looking for an assisted living facility the links below can help:

Top 10 Safety Hazards in Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted Living

Assisted Living Community Evaluation Checklist

Image Credit: Image by Sima Dimitric-Flickr-Creative Commons