Is Your Landscaping Hurting or Helping Your Home’s Security?

Virtually every homeowner in America makes, at least, a little bit of effort to ensure that their home is safe from crime; however, there are some actions that you can take that may not be as obvious as others. When you think of home security, chances are you think of a home security alarm system. While this is an essential element of your home security plan, there are still a number of things you can do to enhance the security around your property, starting with the landscaping.

Use Your Landscaping as a Tool
While your landscaping can add a great deal of curb appeal to your home, it can also be used as a tool. The way that it is designed will help to determine if it is a tool to prevent a break in or to help an intruder. There are few homeowners who Residential bushesview their landscaping as a security feature,  because it is mainly seen as a hazard used by criminals. However, if you take some time to view the landscaping of your home from the street and then consider how it can help or hurt your home’s security, you are on the right path.

Place all Shrubs, Bushes and Trees Strategically
The bushes and trees you place on your property can help it look great, but the foliage may also provide an excellent hiding place for anyone who wants to commit a crime. Trees offer access to the second floors of your home and trellises and bushes can provide an intruder complete cover, even in the middle of the day. You should minimize anything that you have located close to your home.  The rule of thumb is 3’ or lower for bushes and adding prickly shrubs can be a good deterrent.

Add Plenty of Light
Lighting is a great deterrent for criminals. In addition to the typical pathway lighting, you should also consider adding floodlights that are motion activated and that cover areas such as your windows and doors.

When you think about how you can make your home safer, you should not forget about the landscaping. Even a few, small, changes can make a world of difference.

Gadgets to Increase Your Safety and Your Home’s Safety this Summer

There is no question that the summer months are on their way. While this means time on the beach, lake or river, it also means you will be spending more time away from home. In order to keep your home, and yourself, safer, consider utilizing the gadgets highlighted here.

A Fake Television
Did you know that burglars are much less likely to try and break into a home that appears vacant if they see a television going? The Fake TV will simulate the color changes and lights of a regular TV screen, making it look as though there is someone inside. You can protect your home and use much less energy than what it would cost to actually leave the TV running.

Find Your Stuff Stick N Find
Are you one of those people who lose everything? Chances are you may have already invested in devices to help you find your keys if they are misplaced, but did you know that there is a gadget for other items as well? You can keep track of all your belongings with the Stick-N-Find, which is a quarter sized GPS tracker that can send a signal to your smartphone allowing you to easily keep track of your belongings.

Pool Alarms
There are a number of devices you can use to keep your child safe indoors; however, the outside world is another story. Installing a pool alarm can help to minimize the chance that your child will fall into your pool and drown. There are all types of alarms available, so be sure to find the right one for your needs.

Keeping Your Home Safe While Away: How to Have Your Mail Held

There are far too many homeowners who overlook how important it is to have their mail held while they are going to be on vacation or out of town. The fact is that having piles of mail jammed into your mailbox can signify to would-be-thieves that you are away. The good news is that the USPS makes it quite easy to put a hold on your mail until your return. You can even schedule the hold 30 days before you are leaving.

Use one of these methods to ensure your mail is held while you are away.Full Mailbox

In-Person
You can visit your local post office and request a PS Form 8076. Simply fill out the form and prior to leaving for your trip just check with your local carrier to ensure they received the hold request.

On the Phone
You can also contact USPS by phone to have your mail held. The representative you talk with will simply gather your personal information and then the date you want the hold to begin. When you call, you will receive a confirmation number so you can be confident that the hold will begin.

Arrange the Hold Online
Perhaps the most convenient way for you to have your mail held is by filing out the form online. Here you can also select if you want the accumulated mail to be delivered when you return, or if you would like to pick it up when you return.
Having your mail held will ensure that there is no indication that you are not home. This is essential since it could indicate to a burglar that your home is an easy target.

Top Threats to Your Small Business’s Internet Security

Hackers, viruses and spyware can prove devastating to any small business. The good news is there are several things you can do to protect your business from these internet security threats. The first step is to know what the primary issues are.

Internet SecurityThe most common cause of internet security issues include the following:

•    Malicious code
•    Employee or insider threat
•    Using an unsecured wireless internet network
•    Spear Phishing
•    Losing a mobile device or laptop

These dangers face all small businesses, no matter the industry they are in. Additionally, each of these issues can result in thousands of dollars of losses.

Now you need to find a solution to these issues. In order to do this you need to change the way you think. You need to use the internet, so you have to ensure that you and everyone else in your company knows how to do so safely.

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.

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