The Domination of Home Automation in 2015

Automation was one of the biggest stars in the latest Consumer Electronics Show. There were a number of big names touting their new products, which led to a bit of confusion about what was the best out there. However, the fact is there is one clear trend to the future of home security and efficiency and that is automation.

Believe it or not, this picture ofSmart Clothing home automation is more focused on the practical rather than the luxurious. Rather than the futuristic idea that all your appliances and devices will work together seamlessly, the practical picture is one where the home security system is the center with a number of practical devices – such as light bulbs, thermostats, locks and video – being easily controlled all with the touch of a few buttons on your smart device.

In addition to home security, the show also saw a number of wearable technologies that are developing quickly and are designed to track your activity, such as, smart clothing that will replace a personal trainer and skin sensors that will let you know when you are ill.

The bottom line is the latest trending technology is all moving toward automation
– moving away from manual, people-based interactions that are used today. that!

Tips to Make Your Home Safer

When it comes to your home and family, there is no question that their security is at the forefront of your mind. As a result, you have put in a home security system that features all the “bells and whistles.” While this is a great start, there are a number of additional things you can do to ensure your home and family are safe and secure.

In addition to installing one ofLead Paint Testingour state of the art security systems, you should also do the following:

•    Increase safety by installing a carbon monoxide detector, checking for asbestos flooring and lead paint.

•    Find any potential hazards in your home by making necessary repairs and using security features on a regular basis, such as reinforcing your windows, installing high quality security lighting and bolstering the door locks.

•    If your home is older, you should be sure to have the wiring checked since this issue causes millions of dollars in lost property each year.

If you have not yet installed a home security system, you should call us right away. We use the latest technology to ensure your home is safe and secure. We can also customized the system to your particular needs, including remote monitoring.

Will Your Business be Prepared if Disaster Strikes?

Have you evaluated the likelihood of your business being able to survive a flood, hurricane fire or some other type of natural disaster? Surprisingly, as many as 25 percent of all businesses that have to close because of some type of weather caused disaster will never open their doors again.

Even though there is no way that you will be able to reduce the risk of a natural disaster taking place, there are a number of steps that you can take to ensure your business is protected from the wrath of Mother Nature. The first step will be to create a disaster plan and the review it each year to ensure that it still meets your business’s needs. The key of this plan should be to keep your business secure, even when a disaster strikes.

Some helpful tips that will get your started with a disaster plan and ensure that your assets, employees and customers are protected are highlighted here:

•    Identify the likelihood of a disaster happening and determine which ones you are at the biggest risk for.Disaster Plan

•    Be sure that you have an adequate insurance policy to cover everything if a complete loss occurs.

•    Make a customized emergency response plan and be sure that your employees know their role.

•    Carry out drills and tests to ensure that the plan you have created can be carried out successfully.

•    Create a list of addresses and phone numbers that are important so that you will be able to reach important people after a disaster occurs.

•    Protect your data and computer storage by utilizing the services from data storage companies.

•    Take a full inventory of your existing business property and all of your equipment.

When you take the time to create a plan, you will be prepared if a natural disaster happens. After all, these can occur at any time and any place. Being prepared is your best line of defense.

High-Tech Security Gadgets to Keep Your Home and Business Safe

When it comes to technology there is no question that it is everywhere. However, did you know that there are actually a number of tech gadgets that can actually increase the security of your home or business? If not, check out some of the latest and greatest gadgets that are now available to help keep you safe.

A Barking Dog Alarm
If you are looking for that German Shepard effect – minus the bite marks – then this is definitely the device for you. When the alarm is triggered it will give off the sound of a vicious guard dog that would definitely send any would-be intruder running for the hills. Guard-Mat
 
A Guard-Mat
This is an innovative little device that will send a wireless signal to a chiming unit whenever someone steps on it. This is ideal for anyone who may want an extra notification of someone entering the house.

Security can be fun, as seen with the gadgets highlighted here. If you are ready to add a little tech to your security system, then these gadgets will help you do just that!

Keep Watch on Your Store from Afar: Business Video Surveillance

Employee theft and shoplifting have a detrimental effect on the profitability of a store. No matter if you are a small business or a large enterprise, it is important to keep track of the activities of the store to ensure the safety of your employees, your customers and your assets.

The Truths about Shoplifting
Commercial Security LockShoplifting can cost your business a significant amount of profits and may result in you having to downsize your staff; this can be detrimental to you and your workers. Consider the following facts:

•  Every one of 11 people shoplift but only one in 48 are caught.
•  25 percent of all shoplifters are children.
•  The type of stores that are targeted are not discriminated against.

Discovering Employee Theft
Even worse than theft from outside people, is employee theft. Even with reference checks and background screening, some employees will have the inclination to steal.

•  Up to 35 percent of all employees have stolen services or goods from their place of work.
•  The most common asset stolen is cash.
•  Each year, employee theft costs over 50 billion dollars in the retail industry in the U.S.

Security Technology and Loss Prevention
One of the best ways that you can mitigate your risk is by utilizing the technology that is available, which will serve as your eyes when you are away. Installing a combination of video and mobile surveillance will help prevent asset loss and promote a safer store environment while providing you with peace of mind.

No matter if you have gone out for lunch, or you are traveling around the world, video surveillance and mobile access will allow you to check in with your business at any time. Some of the benefits this provides include:

• Monitoring all employee behavior and identifying red flags at the point of sale.
• Enabling settings that will allow you to know if someone enters into a prohibited area.
• Ability to arm and disarm your entire system, adjust your cameral views and control the camera angles from any location.
• Record surveillance footage and then store them for use later.
• View real time video of your store while you are away.

Keeping your store or business secure is easy when you integrate the technology offered by video surveillance.

Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow Developing Flying Inventory Robots To Keep Tabs On Your Stock

Inventories are a necessary evil that need to be carried out at least once a year. Despite their necessity, they are also tedious, time consuming, labor intensive, and often involve businesses shutting their doors for whole days as they count how many unsold widgets are in the back room.                      

Inventory RobotThe Fraunhofer Institute’s InventAIRy Project plans to change that by developing a new flying robotic drone that not only takes over the drudgery of stock taking, but also acts as a new tool for record keeping and streamlining warehouse operations.

Under the leadership of logistics specialist Marco Freund at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Dortmund, Germany, the InventAIRy Project aims to turn inventory work into as automatic an operation as synching a spreadsheet.

According to Fraunhofer, the InventAIRy system should not only be able to count the number of buttons and zippers on the shelves, but also reduce costs by eliminating recording errors, identifying bottlenecks in production, and keeping a running tally of the inventory.

Tips for Designing and Building Your Home with Security in Mind

No matter if you are planning to renovate your home, or building a brand new one, it is essential that you consider the security measures you can take to prevent home invasions and break-ins.

There are a number of different factors that can cause a home to be targeted by burglars, including the locks, doors, windows, lighting, fencing, landscaping and visibility. When you consider these things early in the planning and design stages of building a home can help to locate and target any weak spots in security and reduce the risk of a break in later on. Home Alarm

The first thing to understand when building a secure home is to know the crime rate in your area and what types of crimes are most common. Once you understand the highest crime rates, then you can find new ways to implement security to deter intruders.

A great starting point is to think like a would-be thief – if you were trying to break into your house, how easy would it be? The goal is to ensure your house is not attractive to intruders by adding features that make it hard to access.

Some security tips to consider when building or renovating your home include:

•    Position all balconies and second floor windows so they are not able to be accessed by climbing up external fixtures, such as trees, pipes or gutters.

•    Be sure that the front of the house and all of the primary access points can be seen from the street and that the area is well-lit.

•    Put a deadbolt lock on each door. The locks need to be positioned in a way so that they cannot be opened by breaking a nearby window.

•    Thieves are going to take the things they can see. Design your rooms and the power outlets so your expensive assets are not visible from outside.

•    Install a pre-wired security system, it is much more cost effective than having to retro-fit your home down the road. Additionally, systems that are hard wired are much more difficult for a thief to disable.

•    Place alarm panels next to the door and panic buttons near your bed.

When you plan the design of your home with security in mind, you, your family and your possessions will be safer.

Security Gadgets: The Next Level in Your Personal Protection

When it comes to your personal protection, is there anything that is “off limits?” The fact is that more and more devices are being invented and developed to enhance your safety and security.

Some of the hottest gadgets that are now available are highlighted here.
Pool Alarm
 Pool alarms. If you have a pool and children, this is a gadget that you should purchase right away.  This type of pool alarm will allow you to monitor the activity in the swimming pool, if anything that  exceeds a certain weight falls in. While fencing is still highly recommended, this is just another  safeguard for your child.

 Customized or designer fire extinguishers. Fire safety is not an extremely interesting or fun  topic, however it is a necessity. This is why you can now purchase elegant, luxury or fun  extinguishers that are customized to your personal taste and style.

 Hidden wall safes. While this is not extremely high-tech, it is one of the best ways to keep your valuables safe in the instance of a home break in. You can purchase hidden wall safes to look like electrical outlets or any number of other “regular” household items.

Chances are you take the safety of your home and family extremely seriously. With the use of these gadgets, you can increase your peace of mind and have some of the latest and most interesting security gadgets currently available.

By |December 14th, 2014|Categories: Portland, Technology Corner|Tags: , |0 Comments

Ensure Your Kids are Safe: Babysitter Safety Tips

Hiring a babysitter and then leaving your children in their care is not something that should cause you stress or worry. However, the fact is that dangerous situations and accidents can arise and occur at any time. In these situations, you need to ensure that the babysitter you have hired knows what to do. Keep your child safe with the tips found here.
Babysitter Safety Tips
Be comfortable with the babysitter you hire.

The ideal situation would be to hire a family member or friend to watch your children. However, if this is not available, ask for referrals and see if the person has been certified as a babysitter by the American Red Cross. 

Be sure to give sufficient information to your babysitter.

Ensure that your babysitter is completely educated regarding what to do if any type of emergency situation is encountered. This includes providing a list of emergency phone numbers; the hotline for poison control; the child’s pediatrician information; where the first aid kit is located; the routine for your child at bedtime.

Install surveillance cameras for additional peace of mind.

There is no reason to constantly worry about your child while you are away. If necessary, install surveillance cameras inside your home so that you will be able to check in remotely from time to time to ensure that everything is going as it should.

It is important that you protect your children. By educating your babysitter, you can ensure they will be safe even while you are away.

Tips for Stopping the Five-Finger Felons

Each day, in any town across the country, up to 20 incidents of shoplifting occur. However, these are just the reported cases. With these types of significant numbers, there is no surprise that small businesses are feeling the result of these five-finger felons the most. As a result, many businesses are looking for ways to stop the shoplifters.

The first step to preventing these kinds of occurrences is to create a solid set of “best practices.” For example, if you run a store that sells cartons of cigarettes, or other “behind the counter” items, they should not leave the shelves until they have been paid for. This reduces the opportunity for a person to simply walk off with the merchandise. However, more effective that than is integrating intelligent security systems for your business that will constantly monitor the premises of your retail location.
Shoplifter
Now you may wonder what exactly needs to be installed to create this state-of-the art security system for your business. There are three main elements that you need to be sure to use and you can add on additional features as the need arises.

Video Security Systems:There are a number of modern systems that offer wireless cameras, easy to move and relocate when needed. This feature of the system will provide recording and play back services allowing you to have a better chance of catching a shoplifter.

Burglar Alarms: Not all stores are open 24 hours a day, which leaves them vulnerable to break-ins. A monitored burglar alarm will allow the police to be called if a disturbance occurs. Additionally, burglar systems are a huge deterrent for would-be thieves in the first place.

Access Control Systems: Do you have areas that are off-limits to customers and certain employees? If so, installing an access control system can provide you with the ability to keep out anyone without the code or key. This is beneficial for offices, safes or other locations inside of your business that should not be exposed to the public.

The fact is that these five-finger felons come in all shapes and forms, such as a career shoplifter who is trying to “score big,” a clandestine nighttime break-in or an internal till thief, the key to combating these criminals is to have the right security system in place.

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