A Security System Customized For You

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

Complete Security Systems

CCTV-Wikipedia ImageIn an unpredictable world, one thing is certain, we all want to protect what’s ours.  Whether you’re a business owner or a homeowner, you want to keep safe that which you’ve worked so hard for.  One of the most effective ways to do that is to install a security system.  Well, what exactly is a security system and what makes it a complete security system? Security can be defined as, “the state of being protected or safe from harm,” and system can be defined as, “a group of related parts that move or work together.”  A security system is an assemblage of equipment that helps prevent imminent danger or damage.

As a licensed security systems provider, our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been helping protect homes and businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We believe that complete security systems should not only be a group of working parts, but that it should be comprehensive.  Comprehensive can be defined as, “complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something.”  After decades of installing security equipment we’ve found that a truly comprehensive security system should include some form of access control, fire and burglar alarms, surveillance, and a monitoring service.

Access control is the means by which you limit admission to a specific point of entry.  It’s essentially your first line of defense against unauthorized entrants.  Probably the most conventional form of access control is a standard lock and key.  Today, the lock and key method is either being eliminated or used as a backup to more technologically advanced controls.  Traditional keys when lost or stolen can be easily replicated whereas using readers, fobs (tokens), and sometimes biometrics in combination with a password are more concrete and less susceptible to duplication.

Card and proximity readers are typically placed next to a point of entry and a fob or card that is programmed with the appropriate credentials is used.  The card or fob is either tapped or swiped on or near the reader to gain access. The benefit to using a swipe card or fob is if they are lost or stolen they can be deactivated in the operating system whereas you can’t deactivate a physical key unless you change out the entire lock.  Biometrics, which uses physical credentials like a fingerprint, is similar in the sense that access information isn’t as easily stolen or duplicated.  This type of access control isn’t as widely used today because they tend to be more complex and costly.  However, as technology progresses we may see a rise in biometric applications.

Fire and burglar alarms are critical alerts in potentially life-threatening situations.  Fire and burglary can strike at any given time without warning, wreaking havoc on your business or home.  With burglary occurring every 14.6 seconds and national fire departments responding to an estimated 1,240,000 fires a year (2013), it’s critical to the safety and security of any home or business to implement preventative measures.  Physical structural damage and property loss incurred by a fire or burglary is only part of the aftermath, the emotional and psychological damage is even harder to repair.

In conjunction with burglar alarms and access control, surveillance is essential.  When installed correctly surveillance equipment is not only a helpful crime deterrent, but a useful tool in solving crime.  In the wake of IP (Internet Protocol) and wireless technology, surveillance equipment is no longer limited to hardwired installations.  This increases scalability, flexibility, and ease of installation.  It also helps reduce the cost of installation by not having to pull as much cabling through walls.  Another benefit to having a surveillance system is the potential capability to access footage remotely.  With a plethora of mobile apps at your disposal, you can access your surveillance system to see what is going on at your facility or home when you can’t be there.  Being able to remotely access your security cameras adds a layer of monitoring and convenience that, up until recently, wasn’t widely used or available.

Lastly to complete the effectiveness of a security system you should have an alarm monitoring service.  Without a monitoring service who is going to respond to an active alarm?  If you’re lucky someone nearby will call the authorities, that’s assuming someone is actually near your facility or residence when the alarm goes off.  An alarm monitor can help save you, your family, or your business from potential disaster by decreasing the response time from local authorities and emergency responders.  When an alarm is triggered the monitoring station is instantly notified; they typically try to contact you first, and if they don’t get a response within a given amount of time authorities and emergency crews are dispatched.  This is a particularly beneficial service in the event that you’re out of town or unable to respond in an emergency.  Having an alarm monitoring service can mean the difference between catastrophe and a manageable situation.

A security system is so much more than the equipment that comprises it.  It helps provide protection and life safety in a volatile world. Remember, a system is only as effective as the parts that comprise it.  For a security system to be comprehensive it should include fire and burglar alarms, access control, surveillance, and a monitoring service, at least.  As a security systems expert, Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security solutions to homes and businesses in northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We understand the importance of mitigating the unpredictable and what it takes to do so.

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.

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Surveillance Footage Monitoring

laptop monitor-Intel Free PressWhen you picture a surveillance monitoring station what do you see?  Is it a half awake guard staring blankly at multiple monitors?  If that’s the case you can scratch that image from your mind.  The future of monitoring services is quickly shifting and adapting to our society’s need for streamlined and efficient processes.  As surveillance systems migrate from analog to IP with megapixel network cameras, and our world becomes more and more connected through the IoT (Internet of Things), the desire to access and monitor footage from anywhere increases.  This is where the idea of remote monitoring comes into play.

Being able to remotely monitor surveillance footage from virtually anywhere is a convenience that, up until recently, hasn’t been a pervasive security feature.  It differs from alarm monitoring in the sense that a service representative isn’t necessarily waiting around for an alarm to go off, instead they are actively watching live recordings to catch potential disasters before they happen.  In the past a company would typically hire people to monitor cameras on site, which isn’t always the most economical or effective method.  Today, companies are using off-site monitoring services that have the ability to keep watch over multiple facilities 24/7.  In conjunction with that, business owners have the ability to download apps that allow them to access their surveillance footage at their convenience via a mobile device.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our experts typically recommend a monitoring service as part of a comprehensive security system to help ensure its effectiveness.  Our team of licensed technicians have been providing security solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 25 years.  The technological climate is ever changing and we always do our best to stay on top of relevant trends that will benefit our customers.

Remote monitoring allows an individual or group of users to access surveillance footage through a secured network from virtually anywhere via a smartphone, tablet, computer, or mobile device.  Why is this beneficial?  It can help cut down, or eliminate entirely, the need to have an on-site staff staring at monitors, how effective can that be anyway?  According to Doug Marman, CTO of VideoIQ Inc. and founder of Remote Guarding Alliance, “…humans monitoring video screens grow fatigued to the point of ineffectiveness after only 20 minutes…”  Marman argues that the traditional method of monitoring surveillance is at best a practice in “hindsight” strategy.  Meaning by the time a reaction is made the damage is done or the perpetrator has already escaped.

Marman’s system of remote monitoring using a combination of video analytics and audio over IP, or voice over IP (VOIP), decreases response time and increases the ability to monitor a large quantity of cameras at once.  And in contrast to human attention span, video analytics are “100 percent vigilant.”  Marman illustrates the ability to interact with intruders instantly via audio over IP, citing how quick they are to abandon their criminal attempt when someone is calling them out over a speaker on site.  While audio interaction is an intriguing feature that allows for a virtual presence at all times, it may not be necessary depending on your type of business and your security needs.  What matters most is the ability to react instantly, reduce any lag time in response, and prevent false alarms as they typically result in fines and wasted essential resources.

With response time being one of the top benefits of remote monitoring it can also reduce overall monitoring costs, increase scalability options, and send notifications via e-mail or other media.  While the benefits of a remote monitoring system may eliminate the need to hire on-site staff, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should rely solely on self-monitoring.  If you were to take on the task of monitoring everything yourself, your business could be at risk.  Imagine you’re monitoring from a smartphone, it runs out of battery and you don’t have your charger handy.  What if you misplace your smartphone and miss an important notification?  Think about logistics too, as a business owner even you need to get sleep, you can’t be vigilant 24/7.

Having the ability to self-monitor should be looked at as an added layer of security, not your only means of protection.  According to Jerry Cordasco, vice president of operations for G4S Video Monitoring Support and Data Center, “A better choice for remote video surveillance is the use of a professional monitoring facility.”  Having a remote monitoring service provides a virtual presence 24/7 that can access real time footage and initiate the appropriate response immediately.

Security systems can be an effective crime fighters, but what good are they if an alarms goes off and no one is notified or made aware?  What good is a surveillance system that no one is monitoring?  You might get lucky and capture a license plate number that could eventually lead you to the perpetrator after the fact, but by that point the damage has been done.  The goal of a remote monitoring service is to provide timely and accurate responses to disturbances on site.

As a security systems provider, our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. understands the importance of immediate action.  Mere seconds can be the difference between prevention and disaster.  We have been providing comprehensive security system solutions, which include monitoring services, to facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  Every business has different security risks that is why we tailor our solutions to fit your specific 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 Intel Free Press-Flickr-Creative Commons

What should you look for in a video surveillance system?

Video surveillance systems can be beneficial for a number of reasons. They are often installed to prevent burglaries and vandalism, but can also be used to promote neighborhood or office safety, in addition to increasing peace of mind if used in a home environment. When installing a video surveillance system, whether it is for your home, your office, or for any other setting, there are a number of things to consider. First, you need to think about the area that you want to keep any eye on, as well as the type of surveillance system and cameras you want. All of these factors will help you to decide what kind of system is best for your situation.

The first question you want to consider is how many cameras do you think that you will need? Think about the size of the property you are looking to protect, and the perspective that a camera will you give you in various locations. Additionally, you need to consider what the areas are that you want to cover. If there are outdoor areas, you need cameras that can stand up to weather, whereas for an indoor setting you would not need to look for weatherproof options, which can often be more expensive. You also need to consider the time of day that you will be using your system: daytime, nighttime, or both. All of these factors play will play into your decision about what kind of camera you will need.

Security Camera

After deciding what types of cameras you need for your space, you will want to think about the specific places that you want to have your cameras to be that will give you the best and widest ranges of visibility. These places will likely be at entrances and exits to the building, near garage doors, and by exterior or unattached buildings. If the video surveillance system is for a place of business, you will likely want to consider what areas typically have high traffic, and target these areas for camera installation.

Something else to consider when thinking about a video surveillance system is how you want to set up your data storage system. There are many options where you can save video footage onto a hard drive, and other options that save to this data into a cloud for storage. Along with this you will want to consider how much storage you think you will need. This will depend on two factors that affect the amount of data your system will use: both the quality of videos, and how long you plan to save video footage for. One final thing to consider is whether you will want to have access to a camera’s live feed, or if you will only want to be able to go back and look at footage when necessary. This will also contribute to the amount of storage space you’ll need, as well as help you to determine if your system will need the capability to connect to the Internet. This will also help you to determine if you want to have an analog camera, or an IP camera.

Once you have thought through this criteria and made decisions about what you think will work best for you and your space, you will be ready to look for a video surveillance system!

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: Ricco Security

How Perfect Connections Does Security Systems

Security-American Advisors GroupComprehensive security systems are what help maintain a safe and secure work environment or home.  As a consumer it is in your best interest to hire a systems integrator with experience, knowledge, and know-how, but how do you tell the good from the “just okay” or bad?  Any company can spout off how many years experience they have or jobs they’ve completed, that doesn’t really give you much insight into how they operate and solve problems.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our integrators are licensed and provide a more individualized approach to any security problem you may have.  Many competitors will offer standardized solutions that may not fit your specific needs.  They do this simply to increase profits without considering “what is it potentially costing my client?”  Our team at Perfect Connections puts the customer first and we do so through our client services, problem solving techniques, and determination to get the job done right.  We have been providing comprehensive security system solutions to homes and a range of businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our customer loyalty means the world to us, so without inflating our egos let’s look at what makes us stand out.

Some of the larger security systems companies out there will use a “one size fits all” mentality when it comes to system design.  This is not an effective way to protect your business or home.  Every establishment and home is unique with extraneous factors that pose different risks.  Designing a comprehensive security system takes a customized approach.

You likely wouldn’t implement the same system configuration in an assisted living facility as you would a manufacturing plant, right?  Right!  You may use similar system components like a means of access control and surveillance, but their applications would be different and specific to their respective locations.  At Perfect Connections we believe in performing on site risk assessments and listening to our clients’ concerns to help determine the design, layout, and components necessary to provide adequate coverage.

As with any technology, security systems are susceptible to imperfections.  This could be imperfections in system components or imperfections caused by an external factor, like existing infrastructure disturbances.  Often times when there are obstructions or architectural issues alarm system equipment may not function optimally.

In the event a system isn’t operating properly our team of licensed integrators will run tests on the equipment and find the root of the actual problem.  Other companies act in haste and often times don’t look for the actual cause of the issue.  Instead they’ll assume it’s a total system malfunction and tear the whole thing out and start over.  This is a costly and inefficient problem solving method.  Our team does their due diligence to solve the problem accurately and efficiently, and we won’t give up until the issue is resolved.

At Perfect Connections we believe a comprehensive security system includes access control, video surveillance, fire and burglar alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, home automation, and a monitoring service.  These individual components together create a system that provide unmatched coverage for your home or business.  As an independent alarm company we’re not limited to one manufacturer’s offerings, which allows us to use the components that will work the best in your specific application and that are most cost effective.

As licensed security system integrators our team has been providing solutions to businesses and homes throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  Our experience and continued education has enabled us to evolve to meet the changing needs of our clients.  If you’re looking for an alarm system for your home or business know that you won’t be just another number at Perfect Connections.

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.

Why Does an Assisted Living Facility Need a Security System?

Assisted Living FacilityAssisted living facilities are dynamic environments.  You have occupants with varying levels of medical needs alongside administrative, medical, and visiting personnel.  It’s a somewhat complex security issue because residents and staff need to be able to move throughout the facility freely, but unauthorized entrants must somehow be kept out.  The mental health and acuity of residents can also be a cause for concern.  In an aging population medical conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can cause residents to wander off or get lost which is a major concern for staff and resident relatives.  Thankfully by implementing security system solutions many of these concerns can be addressed.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed security system integrators have been providing comprehensive security solutions to healthcare facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our team understands the importance of securing assisted living facilities isn’t solely about protecting physical assets, it’s about ensuring the safety and security of the people that live and work there.  It’s about providing a peace of mind to not only the staff and residents, but resident’s families as well.

Comprehensive security systems should include fire alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, burglar alarms, a surveillance system, access control, and a monitoring service.  One of the most important components that should concern assisted living facilities is access control.  Access control can be implemented in a number of ways and an assisted living facility may require more than one mode.

The on-site staff will likely need access to areas where medication is stored and administrative offices, supply rooms, and medical records etc.  Access not only has to be convenient, but limited to authorized staff.  The reason this can sometimes be challenging is because residents want to be able to roam throughout the facility freely as do visitors.  Fortunately with access control solutions the chances of a resident or visitor wandering into a restricted area are lowered significantly.

By installing readers at entries and distributing credentials (fobs, swipe cards, and proximity cards) to authorized users, access will be limited.  The benefit of using readers in conjunction with credentials vs traditional locks and keys is you don’t have to worry about lost or stolen keys.  Cards and fobs can be remotely disabled whereas a lost key may never be recovered which ultimately leads to changing out the locks and over time that can be costly.

According to Mark Jarman, President of Inovonics, “…the assisted living market has changed from one of simply providing clinical care, much like hospitals, to sprawling campuses which are often a blend of independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing services.”  This creates a more complex environment that requires increased safety and vigilance.  Assisted living facilities are full of activity, the constant coming and going of staff, residents, and visitors, it can be challenging to keep an eye on everything, that’s why having a surveillance system is vital.  It’s a helpful tool that allows staff to keep track of patients that might have the tendency to wander and it gives residents a peace of mind.  In the event an intruder is able to gain access to the facility, surveillance will help authorities catch the perpetrator and depending on the type of system, it can even be setup to send real-time alerts to staff members on their mobile devices.

Aside from surveillance and access control solutions it’s imperative and likely required by local and national laws to have a fire alarm system and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Fire alarm systems and detectors are lifesaving components that when tied to a monitored security system become even more effective.  With a monitored system, when an alarm sounds, a signal is sent to the monitoring station which then immediately alerts emergency responders, and in unpredictable situations it is imperative to have the quickest response possible.  This is critical in an assisted living facility as residents are likely slower moving and may have impaired hearing or eyesight.  Some fire alarm systems can even indicate which detectors or alarms within the facility initiated the alert which is helpful to responders as they’ll have a better idea where to start when they arrive on site.

The reasons why an assisted living facility would need a security system are evident.  There is a need to protect residents, staff, visitors, medical records, physical assets, and facility property.  A comprehensive security system that includes access control, surveillance, fire alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and a monitoring service is essential.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators can help design a custom and comprehensive system that is tailored to the specific needs of your facility.  Every organization is unique and should be treated as such, especially when it comes to matters of security.

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 U.S. Department of Agriculture-Flickr-Creative Commons

What is VoIP and how will it affect my security system?

Telephone-Billy BrownWe live in an exciting time where it seems every day a new technology is being born.  Everything from our computers to our phones to our everyday accessories are advancing at a rapid pace.  The implications of a technology may not be fully realized until after the fact, and it may not always be an issue with the technology itself, but how it interacts with existing components of our already complex systems.  This is especially true of security system components.

In a comprehensive security system there are access controls, burglar and fire alarms, video surveillance, a monitoring service, and sometimes motion/glass break detectors.  With all of these moving parts security integrators have to understand the functions of each component and how they will affect one another.  As licensed security systems integrators our professionals at Perfect Connections, Inc. we deal with the changing technological environment by being educated and thoroughly evaluating what technologies will actually benefit our clients.  Our integrators have been providing comprehensive security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.

Many, if not most, security systems are migrating to a network based solution where system components are tied to an internet network.  This is where VoIP technology may come into play.  What is VoIP?  It stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.  Essentially VoIP technology allows voice signals to be transferred over a network versus the traditional POTS (plain old telephone service).  How does this tie into security systems?  In the not so distant past security system components were hardwired and heavily relied on traditional phone lines for communication capabilities.  Even with the surge of wireless components available there are still many hardwired systems that rely on the dependability of a phone line connection. VoIP technology essentially replaces the traditional phone line and can be used to bundle all communications, like cable and internet, into one service.

Sounds convenient, but like any technology there are bound to be issues, particularly with how it can potentially interfere with security systems.  Where you might run into trouble is when an alarm is triggered.  Typically, when an alarm is triggered a signal is sent to the monitoring station prompting them to alert the proper authorities.  Depending on the installation and the service, it could cause unpredictable or failed communication of alarm signals to the central monitoring station.  Some VoIP services can’t connect directly to 911 and on the dispatchers end they might not be able to see your phone number or address when you call, which is problematic when a response is needed.

The reasons why VoIP can cause unreliability are not always obvious especially to the end user.  According to Kenneth L. Gentile, a senior consulting engineer for Rolf Jensen & Associates Inc., “Digital alarm communication transmitters (DACTs) and other alarm transmitters initiate tones designed for transmission over POTS.”  Sometimes these tones meant for the monitoring station do not translate properly over VoIP lines due to signal distortion.

Installation error can be a factor in the reliability, or lack thereof, in VoIP services as well.  If the initial alarm wiring was installed on the existing telephone service it could prevent the alarm from transmitting properly and it’s up to your security systems integrator to recognize that. Alarm system tests can typically be run to ensure its operability, but according to Gentile, an on-site test with a VoIP service can’t always determine proper function or what the problem may be.  Instead he suggests VoIP service providers and the alarm monitoring service should be asked to conjointly demonstrate transmission of alarm signals under normal circumstances, when there is a power failure, and when VoIP is in use.  Doing so should help point out any potential issues with alarm signal transmission.  Gentile says, “VoIP service must be engineered so as not to jeopardize the essential emergency communications upon which public safety depends.”

Issues aside, VoIP service promises to be a beneficial technology.  Apparently it comes with great cost savings.  According to Eduard L. Telders, director of enterprise information security at T-Mobile, “VoIP can eliminate the entire expense stream of establishing and maintaining a circuit-switched network for telephone connections.”  Being able to bundle all communications into one service is appealing to end users and vendors alike.  It makes maintenance and service calls more convenient, having to call only one provider versus one for each service.  Facilities that employ VoIP technologies in conjunction with their security systems have the advantage of real-time response to criminal activity.  With VoIP, central monitoring stations can actually speak directly to an intruder caught on camera, transmitting a voice message through speakers installed at the subscribers on site location.

While it may have yet to be perfected VoIP technology seems to be a leading change in communication capabilities.  The implications it may have on security system transmissions and emergency responses are critical issues that need to be addressed by VoIP providers, security system integrators, monitoring services, emergency responders, and industry professionals.  Keep in mind that just because something is available, doesn’t make it the best option for your specific needs.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators believe in providing comprehensive security solutions that will enhance the safety and security of your facility, not hinder it.  We have been installing comprehensive security systems at businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992, we have the experience and knowledge to design a system that will work best for you.

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 Billy Brown-Flickr-Creative Commons

Security’s Role in Property Management

Commercial BuildingAs a property manager you have a lot of people that depend on the safety and security of the real estate you oversee.  Whether or not you own the properties you rent, or work with a landlord in managing their properties, a bulk of the responsibility lies on your shoulders.  Your main goal is to attract responsible patrons, keep them, and build your brand.  How can you do that if the property you oversee is publicly perceived to be too risky or unsafe?  That’s the problem, if there has been an incident at a property that you own the public tends to remember and will likely steer clear of that address.

This negative reaction can be limited by implementing preventative security measures that meet the needs of your tenants and the risks associated with the surrounding area.  One of the best preventative measures you can take as a property manager is to incorporate a comprehensive security system in combination with defined property protocols.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators provide comprehensive security system solutions that suit your specific needs.  We have been installing security systems in facilities and residences throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our team recognizes the challenges property managers face dealing with multiple properties both commercial and residential.  We specialize in comprehensive security systems that include fire and burglar alarms, access control solutions, video surveillance, and system monitoring.

Trying to determine what type of security system is necessary for a specific property can be difficult that’s why it is important to involve a security professional from the start.  This is especially true for new construction projects.  Involving a security integrator from the start will ensure you are getting the coverage you need and create a seamless installation process.

One of the first and most important procedures to tackle is a risk assessment.  A risk assessment should include a licensed security systems integrator and it should be performed as early on as possible.  This will help determine where your greatest security threats are and how best to tackle them.  The next step would be to design a custom security system that helps combat those threats.

While every security system application will be different dependent on the location there are some key components that will benefit most buildings.  Video surveillance is a major security feature that is essential to any comprehensive system.  The mere presence of a camera system is sometimes enough to deter potential criminals.  It helps keep an eye on your property even when you can’t be there, it also gives your tenants a peace of mind knowing their public spaces are being looked after.

Access control is another important piece of the security system pie.  It helps limit who and how people can gain entry and sometimes exit.  Access control can be implemented in a number of ways.  Often times a credential is issued to the approved users and they typically come in the form of a swipe card, a fob, or a proximity card.  These credentials are used in conjunction with an electronic reader installed by the desired entry point.  Using access control credentials instead of traditional keys helps prevent lost or stolen items from being duplicated.  A similar type of idea can be used with parking lots and garages as well.

Fire and burglar alarms in combination with access control, video surveillance, and an alarm monitoring service make for a comprehensive security system.  A security systems integrator helps ensure your fire alarm is installed and operates according to national and local codes.  Having an alarm monitoring service will help alert you and the proper authorities at the first sign of a disturbance.  With today’s technology there’s the potential to remotely monitor what is going on at your facilities through an app on your smartphone.  Mobile apps typically have the capability to send you notifications if an alarm is triggered, or you can customize the type of notifications you want to receive.  This could be particularly beneficial if you own multiple properties in different areas.  A security system is meant to be a purveyor of safety and convenience.  It helps protect your property investments and your patrons.

There is no “one-stop” security solution for any facility or residence.  That is why it is imperative to involve a security systems integrator, they will assess the risks associated with your particular facility and design a system that suits your specific needs. As a property manager you have people that depend on you to maintain the facilities they utilize, and security should be a factor in that maintenance.  Even if installing a security system isn’t your decision to make, it’s worth bringing up to whomever would make that choice.  Having a comprehensive security system can be a good selling point to your clients and a way to keep them.  Our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security system solutions to facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We understand the value a security system can add to a facility and the sense of safety it instills in those it is meant to protect.

If you live, run a business, or manage properties 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 Ines Hegedus-Garcia-Flickr-Creative Commons

Healthcare Climate and Security

Healthcare-NEC Corp of AmericaHealthcare facilities pose a unique security situation.  By nature they hold a lot of risk other organizations don’t necessarily have to deal with.  Most healthcare facilities are open to the public and provide care for a vast array of people on a daily basis.  Many facilities also house expensive and often sought after narcotics or medications.  Also, recent changes to healthcare policies are having an effect on everyday operations and their implications may not be fully realized yet.  These factors combined with the unpredictability of patient and public behavior make healthcare facilities particularly sensitive environments that require special attention when it comes to security.

As licensed security system integrators our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. understands the changing healthcare climate is producing security risks that need to be addressed.  We have been providing comprehensive security system solutions to facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  Protecting the integrity of any healthcare facility is crucial to the safety of not only its patients and the general public, but medical staff as well.

Unfortunately, healthcare facilities are no strangers to criminal activity.  The 2012 Crime and Security Trends Survey, based on responses from 208 healthcare organizations across the United States, showed that incidents of crime at healthcare facilities are on the rise.  In just two years from 2010 to 2012 these incidents rose 37% from a reported 15,000 to more than 20,500.  Keep in mind these were reported events.  The US Department of Justice estimates that at least half of the crimes committed go unreported.  A reason organizations fail to report disturbances is at least partially due to the fact that they don’t want to look bad in the public eye and potentially lose patronage.

There are many contributing factors to the rise in criminal incidents at healthcare facilities.  For one, many facilities are open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which can leave them vulnerable.  Outside disputes sometimes spill into the healthcare environment causing disturbances and putting staff and patients at risk.  Many facilities house pharmaceuticals which can attract substance abusers and drug dealers, increasing the risk of narcotic theft and violence.  Another security issue facilities face is when their real estate expands.  When healthcare organizations acquire new facilities it can be difficult to create consistency in mitigating risks and instituting security protocols, especially across sprawling campuses.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA also known as “Obamacare”) poses a not so obvious concern when it comes to healthcare security.  How can a healthcare policy affect security you ask?  According to James Barbour, Market Research Analyst on the Kratos PSS Marketing Team, the ACA will undoubtedly have implications on healthcare budgets.  He says, “Hospitals will guard their budgets cautiously, and security—traditionally viewed as a cost center—will feel the pinch.”  Experts also estimate a rise in patient volume due to more people being insured.  This has the potential to overwhelm facilities that are already stretched too thin due to budget cuts.  The repercussions of the ACA have not been fully realized in general, however security integrators and healthcare professionals should be thinking about ways to effectively and economically manage the risks associated with the healthcare environment.

Often times a healthcare facility will employ physical security guards to help ensure the safety of their staff and patients.  However, in the changing economy and in light of policy changes we know security may be faced with spending challenges.  Security guards may be on the chopping block when it comes to budget costs, so how can facilities make up for the lack of physical security?  Implement comprehensive security systems that include access controls, surveillance, monitoring and notification systems, and lockdown capabilities.

Access control systems can help limit who can gain entry to specific areas of your facility.  This would help in sensitive areas, like pharmaceutical storage and data centers.  According to Joe Liguori, president of the Board of Directors Security-Net, “healthcare facilities are finding that there is a long-term cost savings by implementing access control for storage and supply closets, for example, eliminating the need to change locks and replace lost or stolen keys.”  Access control can also help decrease or eliminate theft.  By using different methods like card readers, fobs, or sometimes biometrics credentials are harder to duplicate or steal making it easier for medical staff to focus on what is most important, their patients.

In addition to access control, surveillance plays a key role in crime prevention and overall safety.  Security cameras allow an organization to have eyes across their entire facility including areas that often go unprotected like parking lots/garages.  Having a monitored security system, especially in regards to surveillance, helps alert the proper authorities faster in an emergency.  In tandem with a monitoring service, a mass notification system can notify the right personnel in an emergency or dangerous situation as it is occurring.  Being notified of an event as it happens would allow for immediate action and hopefully prevent further damage.  This is where lockdown capabilities would be beneficial as well.  All it would take is the touch of a single button from a facility member, and part or all of a building could be shut down.  This is a particularly beneficial feature that can keep a perpetrator out of certain areas in high risk scenarios.  Fortunately, lockdown capabilities can sometimes be easily integrated with existing access control features.

While crime statistics can seem daunting, it’s important to remember that many, if not most, healthcare facilities are generally considered safe.  However, as a healthcare professional or facilities manager it behooves one to consider the risks specific to their organization and how they can be mitigated.  As security system integrators, our licensed team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security solutions to healthcare facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Just like your patients, we know that no two facilities are exactly the same and that it takes an individualized approach to solve specific needs.

If you live or run a healthcare 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.

Image Credit: Image by NEC Corporation of America-Flickr-Creative Commons

What Makes A Security System A System?

CCTV-Wikipedia ImageIn an unpredictable world, one thing is certain, we all want to protect what’s ours.  Whether you’re a business owner or a homeowner, you want to keep safe that which you’ve worked so hard for.  One of the most effective ways to do that is to install a security system.  Well, what exactly is a security system and what makes it a system? Security can be defined as, “the state of being protected or safe from harm,” and system can be defined as, “a group of related parts that move or work together.”  A security system is an assemblage of equipment that helps prevent imminent danger or damage.

As a licensed security systems provider, our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been helping protect homes and businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We believe that a security system should not only be a group of working parts, but that it should be comprehensive.  Comprehensive can be defined as, “complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something.”  After decades of installing security equipment we’ve found that a truly comprehensive security system should include some form of access control, fire and burglar alarms, surveillance, and a monitoring service.

Access control is the means by which you limit admission to a specific point of entry.  It’s essentially your first line of defense against unauthorized entrants.  Probably the most conventional form of access control is a standard lock and key.  Today, the lock and key method is either being eliminated or used as a backup to more technologically advanced controls.  Traditional keys when lost or stolen can be easily replicated whereas using readers, fobs (tokens), and sometimes biometrics in combination with a password are more concrete and less susceptible to duplication.

Card and proximity readers are typically placed next to a point of entry and a fob or card that is programmed with the appropriate credentials is used.  The card or fob is either tapped or swiped on or near the reader to gain access. The benefit to using a swipe card or fob is if they are lost or stolen they can be deactivated in the operating system whereas you can’t deactivate a physical key unless you change out the entire lock.  Biometrics, which uses physical credentials like a fingerprint, is similar in the sense that access information isn’t as easily stolen or duplicated.  This type of access control isn’t as widely used today because they tend to be more complex and costly.  However, as technology progresses we may see a rise in biometric applications.

Fire and burglar alarms are critical alerts in potentially life-threatening situations.  Fire and burglary can strike at any given time without warning, wreaking havoc on your business or home.  With burglary occurring every 14.6 seconds and national fire departments responding to an estimated 1,240,000 fires a year (2013), it’s critical to the safety and security of any home or business to implement preventative measures.  Physical structural damage and property loss incurred by a fire or burglary is only part of the aftermath, the emotional and psychological damage is even harder to repair.

In conjunction with burglar alarms and access control, surveillance is essential.  When installed correctly surveillance equipment is not only a helpful crime deterrent, but a useful tool in solving crime.  In the wake of IP (Internet Protocol) and wireless technology, surveillance equipment is no longer limited to hardwired installations.  This increases scalability, flexibility, and ease of installation.  It also helps reduce the cost of installation by not having to pull as much cabling through walls.  Another benefit to having a surveillance system is the potential capability to access footage remotely.  With a plethora of mobile apps at your disposal, you can access your surveillance system to see what is going on at your facility or home when you can’t be there.  Being able to remotely access your security cameras adds a layer of monitoring and convenience that, up until recently, wasn’t widely used or available.

Lastly to complete the effectiveness of a security system you should have an alarm monitoring service.  Without a monitoring service who is going to respond to an active alarm?  If you’re lucky someone nearby will call the authorities, that’s assuming someone is actually near your facility or residence when the alarm goes off.  An alarm monitor can help save you, your family, or your business from potential disaster by decreasing the response time from local authorities and emergency responders.  When an alarm is triggered the monitoring station is instantly notified; they typically try to contact you first, and if they don’t get a response within a given amount of time authorities and emergency crews are dispatched.  This is a particularly beneficial service in the event that you’re out of town or unable to respond in an emergency.  Having an alarm monitoring service can mean the difference between catastrophe and a manageable situation.

A security system is so much more than the equipment that comprises it.  It helps provide protection and life safety in a volatile world. Remember, a system is only as effective as the parts that comprise it.  For a security system to be comprehensive it should include fire and burglar alarms, access control, surveillance, and a monitoring service, at least.  As a security systems expert, Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security solutions to homes and businesses in northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We understand the importance of mitigating the unpredictable and what it takes to do so.

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 KRoock74-Google-Creative Commons