Keeping Up on Home Automation and Security Protection

home automation and security Tips on Home Automation and Security Protection

Especially for the older generation, with everything we see on TV it may seem like we are in a futuristic movie. In reality, technology has progressed so far in such a short amount of time, that things we may have only dreamed of are becoming a reality already. There have been movies made where locations have been totally controlled by computers, such as 2001 a Space Odyssey, which was one of the first movies to show where a computer gained awareness. Perhaps that is still a ways to go, but as far as smart home automation goes, especially in the security sector, that technology is now available, and can truly change how you can make your home far more secure, giving you greater peace of mind than ever before possible.

There are an abundance of things you can now control on your home with the new security systems on the market, where you can use your computer tablet, or even your phone, to control them even from a great distance. As far as integration goes, it is becoming easier and easier to accommodate just about every situation you may need these services for. Nowadays, depending on the actual system you purchase, you can control far more than whether your locks are engaged and your security system is operating properly. You can turn your lights on and off when you decide, and if you have kids that perhaps don’t always lock the door behind them when they get home from school, by having a simple notification the automated security system sends to you, you yourself can lock the doors behind them, and even ask how their day went through a voice system hooked up to your cell phone.

It goes even farther than that, as now you can even control how hot or cold your home is through an automated system that actually regulates the thermostat for you. If you want it cooler at night and warmer through the day this is an easy task. This technology may not seem so advanced, as you could set your thermostat to do this for quite a while already. The difference is that now if you want to change it and you are not at home and the changes have not been programmed, you can now access the thermostat by remote and change the settings to whatever you desire.

If you decide to follow the new advances in home automation as they come out it will seem more futuristic than ever. Even some of the new appliances have control options you can utilize from wherever you have a cell phone connection. You can even access security cameras at any time from anywhere and alert the authorities if you have any concerns at all about security.

The bottom line is the future is here when it comes to home security. With the right security company, combined with the proper home automation system, it will ensure you and your family will feel safer. Also, no matter where you are, you will always be able to check on what is going on in your home, any time of the day or night giving you peace of mind your family is well looked over.

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Setting Up Shoplifter Security

SHOP LIFTERS SECURITY Security from Shoplifters

A question that gets asked very often by the public to security specialists is in regards to shoplifters and the law.

Does a store, or employees of that store who are NOT security officials, have the legal right to detain and/or search a person suspected of shoplifting.

The answer is yes….and no.

Let us explain.

Under the current criminal code of Canada, section # 494 the law does give people the ability to stop a person who has committed a shoplifting crime but only under certain conditions that have to be met.

The code says that:

  1. Anyone may arrest without warrant a) a person whom he finds committing an indictable offence; or
  2. b) A person who, on reasonable and probable grounds, he believes
  3. i) has committed a criminal offence AND ii) is escaping from and freshly pursued by person(s) who have lawful authority to arrest that person.
  4. Anyone who is a) the owner or a person in lawful possession of property;

or b) a person authorized by the owner or by a person in lawful possession of property, may arrest without warrant a person whom he finds committing a criminal offence on or in relation to that property.

  1. Anyone other than a peace officer who arrests a person without warrant shall forthwith deliver that person to a peace office

Basically the law says that you must have “witnessed” the person actually commit the crime in question.

It is simply not enough for someone to tell you a crime has been likely committed; it must actually be witnessed by the person making the stop.

Another caveat to the law says that the person must also be given “every” opportunity to pay for the item in question before you can assume they are stealing it. This means that it is not enough to see someone place an item in their bag or pocket and walk around the store. They must be allowed to completely exit the store before you can assume they are stealing whatever the item maybe.

If you detain the person BEFORE they exit the store all they have to do is to say they intended on purchasing the item and from a legal perspective they cannot be prosecuted for theft as they never left the store without paying.

The best course of action for security guards or loss prevention personnel is to stop the individual after they have left the store and escort them to the manager’s office or similar private area and then call the police to do the searching of the person for any items they may have illegally taken.

If the confrontation leads to violence the best thing to do is to simply let the person leave and let the police and the security cameras do what they are supposed to do.

There is never a good reason for a person, security or perpetrator to get hurt over any material possession.

Knowing the law and understanding what your legal rights are is the best way to protect both your store and your staff.

For a more in depth discussion on this or any other security matter be sure to contact the security professionals at Pre-Lock Security Services. They will answer any questions you may have with regard to security in a professional and courteous manner.

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Stepping Up Senior Security

When people hear the word security, it usually conjures up an image of something physical like a bodyguard or a set of bars across a window or even an advanced security system designed to make one feel safe and secure when they are in their homes.

All of these would be good interpretations of security but they are not exclusive nor are they an exhaustive representation either.

True “Security” encompasses many other things; it can mean financial security as well as protecting against non-physical threats like cyber security which we have discussed in earlier posts.

It also means physical security in a different sense than the one we usually think of and that is health security.

With an aging population of baby boomers who are still able and willing to live on their own yet may suffer from certain ailments that make them less safe from a physical perspective the focus has been on finding ways for them to do this comfortable but still be protected when we are not there to check and make absolutely certain that they are ok.

This is where medical monitoring alarms come in. Very much like a security system in that they are designed to monitor the home in case an unwanted event was to occur.

These types of alarms range from the simplest, a small pendant that the elderly person wears that has a button to press if they are experiencing trouble to the most advance where there are sensors that can detect if the person has fallen to everything in between.

The case for having this type of alarm if you have an elderly parent who lives alone but suffers from ailments related to getting older cannot be overstated.

Not only does it represent the opportunity for those seniors to live alone for longer periods knowing that they have a way to communicate with the outside world should something untoward or unexpected happen but they also give the children of these elderly persons the true peace of mind knowing that their parents or relatives are safe and secure in their own homes.

This can and does remove the often times burdensome commitment to having your aging parents either live with you or the task of finding them a suitable home to stay in that has the required levels of care that they may need. The main problem is that many seniors feel like they are losing their independence when they are moved from their homes and this seems to have an effect on their health in a negative way as many studies have shown.

This is the reason why medical alert alarms have become so popular in the past decade or so and with advancements in technology making them even more effective and much cheaper they are becoming the go to solution for many baby boomers and their children.

If you would like further information on this or any other security related topic please contact the staff at Pre-Lock Security Services and they will graciously and knowledgeably answer any questions you may have.

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Maintaining Your Travel Security

travel protectionMost of us place a huge emphasis on our security when we are at home or even our places of business. We install security systems designed to protect us so that we are not victimized while we are at home or work and make sure that we are aware of where we go and what we do so that we are under a constant state of heightened vigilance in order to avoid becoming a victim.

That is not necessarily a bad thing either. The world has changed, and the cold hard facts are that crime rates have gone up over the years and the types of crimes committed have changed as well.

What many of us fail to do however is to consider our security when we head off for a vacation. We tend to assume that since we are heading out for some much needed R&R and that the resort or cruise we are heading out on will provide all the security we require and therefore it is not something we need to worry about.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

No matter where we go or who we go with our personal security is our own responsibility and it is incumbent on us to know and understand the dangers we may face when we do travel.

The sad fact is that there is crime in every part of the world, and some of the countries that rely the heaviest on tourism are in parts of the world where the law enforcement apparatus is much less organized and as efficient as counterparts in the West.

Recognizing that these areas are sometimes havens for people who would like nothing better than to part you from your hard earned money or belongings.

Understanding that electronic items like computers and laptops and especially smart phones are very likely targets of theft in some of these areas can help you to plan and strategize for any eventuality that you may face while abroad.

One important tip is to always book your trips with a reputable travel agency that knows the country you are traveling to and to heed any advice that they give with regards to where you can and cannot safely go while in a foreign country.

In many vacation countries, the most popular advice is to stay on the resort itself and avoid going into areas where the security of the resort has no ability to help you if you find yourself in jeopardy of some sort.

Always keep your personal items within your sight and make sure not to flaunt your wealth if you do venture off the resort grounds as this can be an invitation to an enterprising thief.

No-one is suggesting that you cannot have fun while abroad you just need to remain aware of your surroundings and exercise a little more caution is all.

Have a good time but be ever vigilant, that way you will return home refreshed and feeling good instead of becoming a statistic of another country’s crime problem.

Remember that security at home is also a major concern and Pre-Lock security can help you with all the protection you need to keep your family and home safe.

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Personal Cyber Security

security and cyber crimeFor anyone who follows the news, the issue of cyber security on both a personal level and a national or corporate level have all been called into question in the past few years.

All of the talks of the hacking in the elections down south this past year have left the masses both there in the U.S and up here in Canada curious and concerned about their own security from a cyber-perspective.

While there has been growing concern over identity theft across the globe in recent years it seemed that that issue faded somewhat until the allegations emerged that the U.S elections had been compromised by certain “bad actors” who attempted to compromise the security of the national parties in the U.S.

The vast majority of people now wonder exactly what they can do to prevent anyone from accessing their personal information especially after the Ashley Madison breach and the attacks on the elections south of the border.

Cyber Security professionals have some very good tips on exactly how you can protect yourself on a personal level in this very daunting age of technological advancements that truly seem like they are emerging faster than we can keep up.

The number one tip is to be absolutely sure that you try and come up with passwords that are either impossible (if that is even possible!) or exceptionally difficult to break.

This means to avoid using passwords that relate to information that is easily accessible to those who may seek to do you harm either personally or financially.

Never use birthdays or children’s names or anniversary dates that may be easy to detect for accomplished hackers.

Another tip is to be sure that you never use the same password for multiple devices or accounts. This should make sense in that if your password IS compromised at least it will only be for that particular device or account and not give access to ALL of your information or devices.

Be sure to update your passwords on a regular basis keeping in mind the tips above to ensure that your passwords are as difficult as humanly possible to break for hackers of any level of expertise.

Another very important step in personal security is to maximize all of your security settings on any social media platforms that you choose to use on a regular basis. This will further ensure that you are only providing information to the public at large that you are truly comfortable with and not putting things out there that may come back to bite you in the end.

One thing to constantly be aware of is exactly what you click on when web surfing. If you EVER have even the slightest concern about the site or click baits that you are considering accessing simply DO NOT CLICK!

Always update your security systems when prompted and never store your passwords in your browser!

While these are all very good steps there are many others that you may need to consider depending on your potential exposure.

For all of your security questions or advice on how you can make yourself safer from a security perspective be sure to contact Pre-Lock Security to get the advice you require.

The professional staff will answer any and all questions you may have.

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Protecting Yourself and Family From Terrorism

being terrorist vigilentAfter yet another attack on a Western style democracy by a lone terrorist in the U.K just this week many people in both Canada and the U.S are asking the question of how they can protect themselves in the event something un-towards happens while they are either traveling or at home.

While law enforcement does an excellent job in Canada of making sure that we are as protected as possible we are also responsible for making sure that we are aware of what is going on around us.

Attacks like the San Bernardino shooting last year make it quite clear that people around the perpetrators knew that something was not right yet failed to tell the authorities of their concerns despite seeing things occur that would have led them to believe that there was criminal activity taking place.

While it is certainly not the job of ordinary Canadian to supplant Law Enforcement there are things we CAN do to make sure that as Canadian we are all as safe as we can be and that includes keeping our eyes and ears open and being sure to report things that we think may be of concern.

Some of the tips that CSIS, the Canadian spy agency, and American intelligence counter parts suggest that we do as regular citizens are compelling and can be of utmost importance in identifying those who may seek to do us harm.

What these agencies suggest we, as citizens, should be aware of are those who seem to be very interested in public fixtures or icons of the community such as the C.N Tower or other highly visible things of that nature. We also need to be aware of anybody who tries to elicit information on military or law enforcement capabilities or who is attempting to test the security of buildings or structures of importance.

Of course, if you know of anybody who is trying to acquire explosives or weapons that may be used in attacks you need to immediately notify your local law enforcement contingent.

In no way is anybody suggesting that you take matters into your hands or to profile people from another country or religion as history has shown that attacks can happen from just about any one and the vast majority of incidences were committed by people who were citizens in the country that was involved.

All the professionals suggest is that you, as a citizen, keep your eyes open to any thing that may be out of the ordinary and relay that information to your local law enforcement whenever you feel it is warranted.

We are all citizens of a global community and it is incumbent on all of us to try and thwart the plans of those who hold our freedoms and democracy in contempt.

While we are fortunate here in the Toronto area not to have to deal with terrorism on a large scale we still have to be astute about our regular security precautions for your home and business and Pre-lock are the experts to help with that.

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Preventing Package Thefts

being aware of package theftsIn just the past 10-15 years with the popularity of companies E-Bay and Amazon skyrocketing and the old standards like the Shopping Network and others still making waves the public is ordering items online more now than at any time in history.

Especially over the holidays season more people are simply choosing to do their shopping online and having the packages shipped to their homes via one of the big carriers like Fed-Ex and UPS among others.

While it is exceptionally convenient to do the purchasing this way the deliveries, unfortunately, do not always come when we are at home, and in order to prevent package theft we need to do some creative thinking to deter these types of crimes.

While some know of this first hand having had packages stolen from their premises, the vast majority of us would never even consider that this could happen but the truth is somewhat more deviant than we would like to believe.

While many package thefts are simple crimes of opportunity, meaning that someone passing by your house sees a package on the front step and decides that he or she will grab that package and take the chance it is something valuable or useful.

There are still others who are even more devious and they follow the courier trucks around and wait for packages to be dropped off on porches, front and back, and then strike before the homeowner returns home to retrieve the goods.

There are thankfully some ways to avoid this happening to you.

The first tip is to always try and ensure that any deliveries require a signature on arrival. That will cause the company delivering the package to have someone sign for the item before they are able to leave it and means that the package is never simply left unattended.

If you cannot do this then another way to avoid theft is to have your packages delivered to your place of business. This will again ensure that the packages are never left on your door step for an enterprising thief to find.

If you cannot do either of those then at the very least require that your packages have a shipping number that you are able to track from the point of shipping all the way to your front door so that you are aware of the time of delivery and can make sure that there will be someone there to retrieve the package if you cannot be there yourself.

No matter what you are buying, whether exceptionally valuable or not, you want to be sure that YOU get the item and not someone else and by choosing one of the methods above you will find that you can avoid the unpleasant experience of having a package stolen from you.

For further information on this or any other security topic be sure to call the professionals at Pre-Lock Security Services for advice and for all your security concerns.

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Dealing with Theft in the Construction Industry

theft in construction industryEvery industry has its concerns regarding theft not only from external sources, but internally as well. At the end of the year when these costs are calculated it can be staggering. This is when many business owners realize that they have to take some positive steps to help reduce this unnecessary cost. Theft in the construction industry also exists, and it can be costly.

The problem in this industry can be two-fold.

A lot of small items can easily be lifted from the construction sites and it is most difficult to track these. They are many employees on site at any given time. It is not unusual when looking at an average work site in the construction industry to see a whole gambit of various sized tools laying about without anyone really being accountable for them.

In some cases construction employee’s are required to use their own equipment, but many different tools still have to be provided by the company itself. There are a few steps that management can take to help reduce internal theft.

Each tool and piece of equipment should be marked with a clear identifier. Not one that can be easily removed. Engraving many of the tools with some type of identification helps to clearly indicate which tools belong to the Company. If random inspections are done then it can help to keep track of these items much easier.

The actual setup of the worksite keeping security regarding theft in mind can go a long way in helping to reduce theft. One option is to set up a sign out section for all tools which then have to be signed back in at the end of each day. These tools and equipment should then be stored in a secure manner over night to avoid loss from external theft.

It is common practice for a construction site to set up a work perimeter that is then fenced in. Doing this properly so the fences are high enough and can be properly locked at night will help to discourage unwanted intruders.

Another option is to consult with the experts at Pre-lock. These are the professionals that specialize in all types of security measures. They can assist with recommendations for the construction industry to help reduce the loss from theft.

It may be suggested that security cameras be put in place so the construction site can be monitored 24/7. It can even be extended where the site is live monitored.

Although extra security measures do incur extra costs, these are most definitely offset with the reduction of loss from theft.

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Business Fire and Safety Security

business fire preventionTaking Responsibility for Business Fire and Safety Security

There are many different areas of responsibilities when it comes to your business. Security and protection is one of these and within this category, there are several different segments that attention must be paid to. One of these is having proper security measures in place in case of a fire.

As the owner of the business, you have the responsibility of ensuring that your staff is protected and your assets.  This means you need to have a solid plan in place in the event that a fire does break out. You also have to have up to date fire alarm systems in place. In addition to this, you must have the proper preventative steps in place to deter this type of dangerous event.

Proper Fire Alarm Systems

You need to have approved smoke detectors strategically placed throughout your entire business premises. You have a few options for choosing these. You can go the do it yourself route where you buy these from your local store and install them. Or, you can rely on the experts like those at Pre-Lock to assess your needs and then install top quality smoke and fire detectors in the proper places throughout your business. You can even take it a step further and go with a monitored security system which will alert monitoring staff when heat or smoke is detected. Then these experts can dispatch the proper responders immediately. That few minutes in time of detecting a problem early can make a major difference in handling the fire before it gets totally out of control.

Fire Escape Plan

There are rules and regulations in place for businesses that they must follow when it comes to fire safety. For example, fire extinguishers have to be on site, and there has to be proper fire exits. Where the problem arises is that the staff is not properly trained in fire escape measures. Many don’t know how to use a fire extinguisher, and some may not even realize which exit would be the best to use in the case of fire. Often times employees become complacent to when the fire alarm does go off and just assume that it’s a false alarm or testing of the alarm.

Every employer has the obligation to make sure that a proper fire escape plan is drafted and that every employee is well aware of it. Ideally fire drills should be carried out to make sure that the staff is compliant with the plan.

Prevention

Business owners know that they must comply with the safety rules and regulations when it comes to fire safety. Over and above this they have the responsibility of making sure that the building is inspected properly at regular intervals to make sure no hazards are present. This includes checking that electrical circuits are not being overloaded. It means making sure that any and all preventative measures are constantly being up dated when the need arises.

It is easy to get caught up with the daily responsibilities that a business presents and time is not put aside to ensure that the premises are safe in all regards.

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Out Building Security for Your Home

Protecting the Out Building of Your Home with Out Building Security

security for outdoor shedsSo many times we focus on the security of our home that we forget about the other important components of it like the out buildings that we use to store many of our assets. This includes our garage which often ends being partly a storage area for many important items.

Other buildings that we need to be aware of when it comes to security are the garden and storage sheds.

Space is usually at a premium when it comes to the interior of the home. As a result a lot of people will buy a storage shed and store out of season items or valuable in these buildings without realizing that they need to be part of the security protection of the home.

There are a few steps that can be taken to increase the security for these small buildings. First, pay attention when buying them as to the quality they are comprised of. Usually, they only have one door but some come with windows. If you are choosing this type then make sure the windows have a good locking mechanism on them. If they don’t then consider purchasing some window grills or bars to prevent them from being opened. Even if they do have a good lock mechanism on them take these few extra steps to protect them doesn’t hurt.

The locks that these units come with are often not of high caliber. You may want to consider spending a bit of extra money and changing the lock so it is one that is rated for good security.

It is not uncommon when installing these types of buildings to tuck them away so they don’t take up usable space or interfere with the esthetics of the property. The problem that arises when doing this is you are making it easier for a thief to take their time when attempting to break into them because they are secluded.

What you want to do is make sure that there is good lighting in this area for the night time. A well lit area may deter “would be” thieves. You can easily put your lights on timers or operate them through your smartphone for the times you want to activate them.

If you have a CCTV camera this is one area where it may be put to good use. You can either opt to have your cameras focus on your entire exterior, or have one just dedicated to giving you a good view of your exterior buildings.

Don’t forget to practice the same security measures for your garage even it is attached to the house. In fact, you want to be even more cautious here as it can mean access to the house for the garage.

For all of your security needs both in and out be sure to check with Pre-Lock to see what we can offer you to help make your home a safe and secure one.

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