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When is it Time to Upgrade Your Home Security System? October 16th, 2017

Knowing when it’s time to upgrade your home security system is an important part of keeping your family, business and property safe. However, life changes can often creep up on you, and you never know what precautions you need to take until it’s too late. Discover some of the top reasons our customers choose to upgrade and see if you’re in the same boat.

Your Equipment is Outdated

Start by making sure you aren’t using a security system still running on the 2G spectrum. If you are, that system is no longer capable of keeping your family secure because it is being phased out in favor of the newer, faster systems. The 2G devices will not contact emergency services because they no longer have a functional network to contact. (Note: If you are an existing customer, we have already reached out to you and had any units replaced.)

Next, determine if your security system is still working with your lifestyle. The latest alarm system technology lets your home stay more connected to you, and the authorities, than ever before. Your security system equipment should be able to communicate not only with first responders, through things like cameras with video alarm verification capability, but also with you through your smartphone and smartphone apps that notify you immediately if the security of your home is at risk.

Upgrades or Additions to Your Home

Have you recently replaced any doors or windows in your house? Or, maybe you’ve added a room or redesigned the exterior of your home? Any home improvements or updates you’ve done to your house could warrant an overhaul to how your security system works and the best placement for sensors or cameras.

New Family Members in the House

Maybe you’ve recently moved your elderly mother into the home, and her eyesight isn’t great. You could make it easier on her and yourself with a larger, more visual experience of the Honeywell Tuxedo panel. Also, if you’re dealing with a loved one that has memory problems, a security camera would allow you to check in on them from time to time to ensure they haven’t fallen or decided to leave the house unexpectedly.

Additionally, if you’ve welcomed a new child into the home, you’ll want to keep a closer eye on them with a security camera — accessible from wherever you are thanks to Honeywell Total connect.

Crime Has Increased in the Neighborhood

Has a recent wave of crimes hit your area, and no one has caught footage of the thieves? Be the hero of your neighborhood and add a surveillance camera to your property to capture footage that you can send to your neighbors on the Next Door app along with the local authorities. In the process, you’ll keep would-be criminals from picking your house as an easy target. It’s a win-win situation because they know if they hit your home, the footage is going to end up online, and the last thing they want to do is get caught!

If you need an upgraded home security system, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help you pick the upgrades to solve life’s little changes and challenges.

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Home Security Systems Scam Alert

REMINDER! Unsolicited Home Security Scams Could Be Coming Straight to Your Door June 23rd, 2017

In a recent blog post, we detailed a warning issued by the Better Business Bureau, alerting consumers to aggressive door-to-door home security system sales scams.  And while these scams are a common summer occurrence each year, in 2017 the phony salesmen and misleading sales tactics appear to be more prevalent and widespread than in years past.

In just the last month, news reports from across the country have popped up to let consumers know how to avoid scams and what to look for when answering the door.  Take a look at just a few of the headline stories we’ve compiled since our last blog post one month ago:


May 26, 2017 – Home Security Company Agrees to Pay Wyoming $100k in Door-to-Door Sales Settlement, http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/home-security-company-agrees-to-pay-wyoming-k-in-door/article_6940b888-4010-532d-807f-f00264b13002.html

From the article, “The Wyoming Attorney General’s office came to the agreement with Vivint Inc. after a multi-year review of the company’s door-to-door sales practices, the attorney general’s office announced in a news release Friday.

“After that investigation, the Attorney General alleged that Vivint misrepresented the discounted price of its equipment and installation, failed to provide timely refunds after consumers cancelled within the three-day cancellation period provided by the Consumer Protection Act, and engaged in unlawful door-to-door sales tactics,” according to the office’s website.”

In a recent blog post, we detailed a warning issued by the Better Business Bureau, alerting consumers to aggressive door-to-door home security system sales scams.  And while these scams are a common summer occurrence each year, in 2017 the phony salesmen and misleading sales tactics appear to be more prevalent and widespread than in years past.

In just the last month, news reports from across the country have popped up to let consumers know how to avoid scams and what to look for when answering the door.  Take a look at just a few of the headline stories we’ve compiled since our last blog post one month ago:


May 26, 2017 – Home Security Door-to-Door Scams on the Rise in Utah, http://fox13now.com/2017/05/26/home-security-door-to-door-scams-on-the-rise-in-utah/

From the article, “The Better Business Bureau of Utah is warning people to keep their guard up so they don’t become a target.

In 2016, the BBB received 2,064 complaints for alarm companies. So far this year, 810 people have lodged complaints.

“They’re up more than 50 percent; It’s an amazing number,” said Jane Driggs, President of BBB of Utah.”


May 29, 2017 – Iowans are Warned to Beware of Summertime Scams, http://www.radioiowa.com/2017/05/29/iowans-are-warned-to-beware-of-summertime-scams/

From the article, “Another door-to-door scam that’s bringing complaints in the region involves home security systems.

“They may say they’re with ADT or Protection One or another well-known company,” Hegarty says. “What we’re learning is, a lot of times, the bad actors use reputable names like ADT just to get a foothold, get in your door and get you to switch contracts and get you engaged in a deal that’s not going to be favorable to you.”


June 5, 2017 – Here’s How to Avoid Scams from Door-to-Door Solicitations, http://www.macon.com/news/business/article154467764.html

From the article, “Home security systems: The BBB often receives complaints about companies that falsely claim to be working with or for your existing security company. Under the pretense of upgrading your contract, they sign you to a new contract with their company. Now you’re committed to having two companies perform the work of one. And getting double billed. Other issues include salespeople who tell you that your current company has gone out of business, or your current system is outdated and is about to stop working.”


May 31, 2017 – Avoiding Door-to-Door Scams, http://foxsanantonio.com/news/local/avoiding-door-to-door-scams

From the article, “Miguel Segura, Regional Director with the Better Business Bureau , says there are a few things you know before someone comes knocking on your door. Watch below:


If you have questions about home security scams or are looking to invest in a home security system for your residence, Fortress Security has over 15 years experience and is here for all your security needs. Give us a call or fill out an online to form to request a free quote today.

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How Much Can a Home Security System Save on Homeowner’s Insurance? June 16th, 2017

It’s fairly common knowledge that installing – and using – a home security system can save you money on home insurance costs. Having a more secured home means you are less at-risk for loss, and your home insurance provider recognizes that with decreased premiums.

However, many homeowners don’t realize that with a few additional features, your home insurance costs can continue to go down – sometimes by as much as 25%, according to Bankrate.com. Things like living inside of a gated community, being a part of an HOA, using the same insurance carrier for both home and auto coverage, or installing updated wiring can all contribute to home insurance savings.

But, you can’t control all of those variables. With a home security system, you can. So, when looking at adding or updating a home security system, here are some of the best ways to save money, earn a return on your investment, and better protect your home and family.

Homeowners insurance, according to a Federal Reserve Board estimate, costs between $300 to $1,000 annually. With the right setup, your alarm system could save you up to 20% on homeowners insurance each year, saving you hundreds of dollars.

What You Can Do To Save Money on Homeowner’s Insurance

SAVE (1-2%) DEAD BOLTS

– Every exterior door – your front door, back door, possibly a door leading out of your garage – should all have dead bolts at a minimum. These are easy to install and can be quickly and inexpensively updated.

SAVE (5%) SMOKE DETECTORS

– Make sure your home has properly installed and functioning smoke detectors. You should have a working smoke detector in every bedroom in your home. And, for 2- or 3-story homes, you’ll need at least one smoke detector on each floor of the house.

SAVE (5 – 20%) SECURITY CAMERAS

– According to The Huffington Post, homes that are not monitored by video surveillance equipment are 300 times more likely to be broken into. While not all insurance carriers will give you a discount for using security cameras, some will, and even without a direct cost savings on insurance, your home will be exponentially less at risk for burglary than it would without cameras.

SAVE (10 – 20%) CENTRAL MONITORING

– Check with your home security system provider, or the companies that you’re researching, to make sure your alarm system is connected to a central monitoring station and is not just an audible alarm. Central monitoring means that beyond just loud alarms, your system is triggering a response for your system’s monitoring team and first responder alerts.

Interested in learning how a new or updated alarm system can work for you and save you money? Learn more about our services or contact us today to see how we can help.

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Home Security Camera Monitoring

Installing Security Cameras Gives More Benefits Than You Might Realize May 30th, 2017

Over the last few years, the affordability and widespread use of security cameras in home security systems have meant that more and more, home burglaries and property crimes are caught on tape. Criminals have fewer places to hide and have a hard time arguing their way out of a conviction when their face is on tape in the middle of a burglary or assault.

Security Cameras For Burglary Prevention

But, security cameras are not just useful in monitoring and recording crime, they also prevent burglaries from taking place before any damage is done.

According to urban.org, “surveillance camera systems can be a cost-effective way to deter, document, and reduce crime. Urban’s research has shown that in Baltimore and Chicago, cameras are linked to reduced crime, even beyond the areas with camera coverage. The cost savings associated with crimes averted through camera systems in Chicago saved the city over four dollars for every dollar spent on the technology, while Baltimore yielded a 50 cent return on the dollar.”

For homeowners, this means having strategically placed security cameras to see-and-be-seen inside and outside of your home can make your home an undesirable target for potential thieves. It’s not worth the risk to break into your home and get caught on camera when there’s another target a few streets over that’s not under constant camera surveillance.

Security Cameras for Monitoring Inside Your Home

Security cameras are useful for monitoring activity inside the home, too.

In the normal day-to-day, home security cameras can give you an extra set of eyes and ears around the house to help keep your family, and your property, safe. For families with kids, for example, cameras inside can mean that while you’re cooking dinner in the kitchen, you can also keep an eye on what the kids are doing in the playroom.

Or, for the more unusual and unfortunate events, cameras inside your home can let you know when someone is inside when no one is supposed to be there. Earlier this month, in San Diego, a couple away for the weekend on a camping trip, watched a break-in happen live on their phones when their security system’s app was triggered and began streaming footage of robbers inside their home.

http://www.10news.com/news/owner-watches-burglary-live-on-surveillance-camera

 

Security Cameras for Monitoring Outside Your Home

And, security cameras are useful for monitoring activity outside the home. Well-placed external cameras can not only keep a homeowner more protected, but they can also improve the safety of your neighborhood.

http://www.kcentv.com/news/local/barbecue-burglary-caught-on-camera-at-killeen-home/440471366

Footage from security cameras can be used to identify vandals, car thieves, front-porch thefts and other crimes that occur on the streets or alleyways of many neighborhoods.

 

Don’t have cameras installed in your current system, or looking to upgrade to HD and other options?  Fortress offers a range of cameras that are professionally installed and can be set up in just a few minutes, and usually the same day it’s requested.  Give us a call or fill out a Contact form to speak with one of our reps today.

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door to door home security scams

BBB Warns of 2017 Home Security Scams May 25th, 2017

Beware of Deceptive Door-to-Door Home Security System Sales This Summer

During the summertime, it’s not uncommon for companies to try to increases sales and revenue by dispersing sales agents into the field to take part in door-to-door sales. Unfortunately, this type of “cold-calling” often comes with misleading sales reps who will do whatever it takes to try and close as many deals possible. And now, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), they are seeing an uptick in complaints about home security companies, in particular, who are using deceptive and aggressive sales tactics to persuade homeowners into buying unnecessary, and sometimes subpar, home security systems and equipment.

Warnings, which have been issued nationwide, are urging homeowners to use caution when considering what security system sales agents have to offer and to beware of security system scams. At Fortress, we make it our mission to make sure homeowners feel safe and protected, which includes keeping unethical companies and their unnecessary or low-quality equipment at bay. Check out our tips for spotting a potential scam and how to deal with an aggressive sales agent below:

How Do I Spot A Home Security System Scam?

Door-to-door sales representatives from the various companies that have had complaints filed against them have uses a variety of approaches and pitches to get unsuspecting victims to buy an alarm system and monitoring services. Keep in mind, even if you already have a security system in place, you are not automatically immune to these door-to-door sales reps – in fact, some specifically target customers of other security companies.

If you or someone you know is approached by one of these sales agents, here’s what to look out for:

  • High pressure sales tactics and limited-time offers – If a sales rep is making an offer than is only available for a limited-time and claim that you need to “act now,” don’t give in right away. Instead, take the time to do your research and make an informed decision. A reputable seller will always give you time to think through the deal and will make an appointment to return at another time.
  • Equipment upgrades and replacements – If a sales rep mentions or implies that they are from your existing security company and that they’re there to “upgrade” or “replace” your current security system, it’s likely not the case. Your current security company should always inform you about upgrading or replacing equipment before a rep arrives at your residence.
  • Current security company has gone out of business – If a sales rep claims that your current company has gone out of business and that they are taking over the accounts, or that the two companies have merged, call your current monitoring company to confirm before buying any new equipment and signing new contracts. In most cases, you would be notified of a change like this by mail or telephone, not by an unannounced visit by a representative.
  • Requesting to enter your home or refusing to leave – If a sales rep is trying to make their way into your home, do not feel obligated to allow them in. It is not impolite or rude to tell a salesperson you’re not interested, and it’s best to say “no” on the doorstep rather than to trying to get them to leave once they’re inside. Additionally, if the representative continues to pressure you or becomes aggressive after you’ve asked them to leave, do not hesitate to call the police.

How Do I Avoid Home Security Scams?

Before letting a sales rep inside your home or before even discussing doing business with them, get as much information about the rep and company as you can. Some information you can ask for could include:

  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Representative name
  • Representative’s license number
  • State that issued the license
  • Name under which the license is filed

Other ways to avoid any sort of scam is to simply do your homework before ever committing to or getting involved with a new company. For example:

  • Choose a reputable business.
  • Get recommendations from your homeowners or renters insurance carrier.
  • Contact multiple companies before making a selection.
  • Ask about all charges up front.
  • Know the ins and outs of your contract.

What If I Have Fallen Victim to a Home Security Scam?

According to the BBB, almost every contract has a clause to get you out of it. So, if you sign something you later regret, there’s a good chance you can get out of the deal. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that with deals like door-to-door sales, you have a window of time after signing a contract to cancel. The Federal Trade Commission’s “Cooling-Off Rule” gives you three business days to cancel if you signed the contract in your home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. You have a right to change your mind, without giving a reason for canceling your purchase, even if the equipment has already been installed.

If you have questions about home security scams or are looking to invest in a home security system for your residence, Fortress Security has over 15 years experience and is here for all your security needs. Give us a call or fill out an online to form to request a free quote today.

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Fortress Security, a Leading Provider of Residential and Commercial Security Services, Aggressively Pushing Service Expansion with $2 Million Investment April 27th, 2017

PRESS RELEASE

With more than 40% year-over-year growth, Fortress Security has become the leader for localized security systems installation, monitoring and service in Texas.

DFW-based Fortress Security, a home and business security system installation specialist and provider, announced today that it has secured new funding and investments worth up to $2,000,000 to expand residential security systems and commercial security systems. This funding will allow them to better serve their customers in service areas across Texas, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston.

The lending power now available to Fortress has been the result of aggressive and intentional market growth throughout multiple territories in Texas. Founded in 2001, Fortress Security, with headquarters in Arlington, Texas, has seen impressive acquisition and retention for its services in both the residential and commercial sectors. In 2016, Fortress Security had its best year ever in over 15 years in business with its highest revenues and largest customer database on record, providing security services to thousands of homes and businesses throughout the Texas and Oklahoma.

According to Fortress Security’s CEO, Jerrod Smith, the recent funding and investments will be leveraged to meet the high demand Fortress is experiencing of acquiring new customers throughout Texas and Oklahoma.

“We’ve always been a growing company, but in the past few years we’ve seen growth for home security systems and commercial security systems increase exponentially. Customers want hyper-responsive security monitoring and state-of-the-art security equipment from a reputable, stable local security provider. Fortress provides that, and we’ve built our reputation on meeting and exceeding customer expectations. The infusion of funding means that we will continue to deliver outstanding customer service to our current clients as well as offer the most advanced security products and services to new customers much more rapidly.”

If you’re looking to upgrade your system with video verification, or if you’d like to find out more information, contact Fortress Security today to learn more, http://www.fortresssecurity.com or (817) 226-7233.

About Fortress Security

Founded in 2001 in Arlington, Texas, Fortress Security configures, installs, and monitors customized business and home security systems. Popular products include burglar alarms, surveillance cameras, and remotely accessible home automation systems, access control systems and fire alarm systems all supported with 24-hour wireless monitoring services for burglar, fire, and medical emergencies. With over 21 years of experience in the security industry, owner Jerrod Smith has led his company to earn the Honeywell Dealer Council of Excellence and ITI/GE Americas Dealer Excellence Award as well as SD&I Magazine’s Top 50 Fastest Growing Security Companies in America for the past three years 2014, 2015, and 2016.

For more information, visit http://www.fortresssecurity.com.

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6 Reasons to Skip DIY Home Security System Installs March 24th, 2017

Do It Yourself Security Systems

Do-it-yourself home security systems have become increasingly popular over recent years. Homeowners, and renters, see DIY home security systems as an easy and inexpensive way to protect their home and their belongings. And, with a slew of home security products on the market, and thousands of DIY YouTube videos, an entire DIY system can be purchased and set up in a matter of hours. Sounds pretty easy, right?

Buyer beware! Many DIY home security systems can bring on more headache and hassle than security and can leave homes and families more vulnerable than they were before the system was installed.

To find out why DIY home security systems might not be the best solution for your security needs, we’ve compiled the top concerns and problems we hear about DIY security.

1.Thieves Can Easily Hack into Your DIY Systems

Far and away, the number one problem with DIY systems is that they can be easily taken over, turned off or manipulated by thieves and crooks. Instances like these have been well documented – by Forbes, Business Insider, SecuritySales.com, and more.
According to an article from Forbes last year, many mass market security devices can be easily hacked into and compromised. “Anyone who can locate a SimpliSafe owner can use basic hardware and software, bought for between $50 and $250, to harvest customer PINs and turn alarms off at a distance of up to 200 yards away.”

2. Faulty Installation Can Mean A False Sense of Protection

Another problem with the DIY’ers and YouTubers of home security systems is that a 20-minute installation video can make a very important security feature install look much simpler than it really is. Professional technicians go to school and receive extensive training for this very purpose. Protecting your home and your family shouldn’t be left to chance, and by attempting to install your own system, you run the risk of setting up equipment incorrectly or in the wrong places, and leaving your home unprotected.

3. Customization is Key to Properly Securing Your Home

Every home is different. Everyone’s family and lifestyle is different. Your home security system needs to protect both, and that’s why one simple system won’t work for everyone.

How many entry points does your home have? How many windows do you have that are easy for potential burglars to access? How many exterior blind spots do you have that are hidden from view of the street or your neighbors? Or, maybe you need more lifestyle sensors, like remote keyless entry for school-age children and cameras that let you know when they’ve safely come home from school in the middle of the afternoon?

All of these are problems with solutions easily provided by professional home security systems. Don’t try to piece together different products and create your own unique (and overly complicated) DIY system. Let an industry expert identify the right types of products and setup for your specific home and lifestyle needs.

4. Poor Security Equipment Quality

Products created for mass market consumption can often sacrifice quality to make production and costs of goods decrease and keep prices low. This means that a lot of the out-of-the-box home security products that you can buy at retailers or online will be of a much lower quality than products provided and relied upon by professional security system providers.

Don’t take our word for it, though. Check out what consumers and have said about SimpliSafe, LiveWatch, and others.

5. No Smart Home Technology and Integration

Ok, so that’s not exactly true. There are ways to install and rig DIY security products for SmartHome use, however, this can definitely lead to vulnerability issues and faulty performance when not done correctly.

You also have far fewer options to integrate with a DIY system than you do with a system setup and installed by a team of professionals. And, as with any new technology and integrations, you want to be sure to leave yourself ways to upgrade and enhance the tech as newer, “smart”er versions become available, which can be limiting with specific manufacturers and product lines.

6. Monitoring Can Be Tough

Think about it. Do you really want a minimalist, low-grade service responsible for safely monitoring and responding to your family’s security needs?

The marketing message of $10/month, no contract “monitoring” service sounds attractive, but remember, you get what you pay for.

With a professional services company monitoring your home, you’re guaranteed a 24/7 central monitoring service that can dispatch police, fire and medical aid immediately.

Want to learn more about your security system options? Contact Fortress today.

 

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What is video verification, and why do I need it with my home security system? December 28th, 2016

Video Alarm Verification

 

Video Verification Provides Enhanced Safety and Quicker Emergency Response Time

Watching your home’s security video feed through an app on your phone or computer has become the new standard. Known in the industry as self-surveillance, the rise in this kind of home monitoring is due to the decreasing costs of surveillance cameras and the increased capabilities of smartphone technology. These advances have also led to the latest trend in home security, video verification (VV). According to the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), “Video verification is the use of captured video or real-time video in which the video information or recording is aligned with the action that initiated an alarm event to assist in determining the protocol to be followed for the alarm event.”  In the past, video verification technology was too expensive for most homeowners and too difficult to install. But, that is no longer the case. Today video verification is quickly becoming a mainstream alarm system feature.

Video Verification benefits homeowners

With video verification, when a surveillance camera notices activity, the monitoring alarm center receives notice right away. A trained alarm center operator reviews the video footage, verifies what is transpiring, and reports it to the police right away.  If the trained operator is watching a burglary in progress via video, it will be issued a higher priority. A burglary in progress is treated as a “priority 1,” by law enforcement. An alarm triggered without video verification is usually considered a “priority 3,” a much less important priority.  The change in priority level from 3 to 1 means a much faster police response time. In the case of a tripped alarm, seeing is believing.

Video Verification benefits law enforcement

Video verification technology is proving to be a win-win for both homeowners and law enforcement. For homeowners, video verification provides a quicker response time by police. As law enforcement continues to be faced with increasing job demands and smaller budgets, video verification helps minimize wasted time and money with false alarms. For officers, knowing more about the situation before they enter a home can also increase an officer’s situational awareness and safety. It also helps law enforcement better enhance the safety of neighborhoods since robbers are deterred by video.

Chief Steve Dye of Grand Prairie, TX, shared, “From our perspective, we see no difference between an eyewitness calling to report a crime and a central station operator calling to report a crime they have seen on video.  In fact, the fact that a video exists of the actual event could mean the central station call could even be considered stronger.”  And, he means what he says. Currently, the response time for a video verified alarm in Grand Prairie, TX is less than two minutes.

Video Verification offered by Fortress

Fortress Security offers the affordable I-View Now technology video verification. This cloud-based central station video interface works with most current alarm systems. The service is web-based and does not require software or a dedicated application.

Ready to upgrade to system with video verification? Contact Fortress today to learn more.

 

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Smart Homes Keep Kids Safe After School December 15th, 2016

Do you leave your kids home alone?

According to a survey of working parents, one in five children ages 6 to 12 is regularly left without adult supervision after school. For many families, this is the best solution. Of course, children must have some basic skills, a level of maturity, and their parent’s trust to be left at home alone. Smart home technology is helping to put working parents’ most common worries to rest and making it safer for kids to stay at home alone.

How does Smart Home technology help working parents?

Smart Locks

Welcome to the life of the modern latchkey kids. Thanks to smart home technology, latchkey kids no longer have to carry a key around their neck. Gone are the fears of your child losing their key on the playground and being locked out of the house until you come home after work. Smart locks have the ability to be controlled by the parent from afar. If you know your child always walks in at 3:15 you can set the door to unlock then. Or if they are going to be late with an after-school activity you can unlock it from your smartphone at the new designated time. Children can also have their own “digital” key, which means they input a code into the lock to get into the house. A great safety feature of this technology is you can lock the door directly from an app on your iPhone or Android smartphone. No more sitting in a meeting worrying if your child locked the door after they came home.

Remote control access and video feeds keep kids safe

Another great safety feature is you can monitor who comes in and out 24/7 with an activity log on your smartphone.

Once a child is safely at home, you can arm or disarm the alarm system from your phone or computer. Managing the home environment is easy too. With a smart home you can set specific lights to come on at 3:15 and for the air or heat to kick in a few minutes before your child comes home, making the house comfortable for them.

Now that your child is safe inside, you can also monitor what he/she does with internal IP video feeds. With a click on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can see what is going on in different areas of the house. Is homework being done or are video games being played? Are healthy snacks being chosen or junk food? You can easily check-in and see. Children appreciate rules and routine so this kind of parental involvement, even while you are at work can add needed structure to their day.

Remote notifications of fire or carbon monoxide leaks and more

A smart house is equipped with the alarm system also to monitor for fire or carbon monoxide. If either were detected an alert would be sent to your phone as well as the call center.

Another great safety feature that is easy to incorporate into a smart home is a video doorbell like the Skybell video doorbell. The doorbell rings at 4 o’clock. Both you and your child on separate devices can check and see who is there. Is it your son’s best friend asking him to come over and play? An important package that needs signing? Or a dreaded door-to-door salesman? With a video doorbell, you decide if you want your kid to get the door. Even better, you can “answer” the door from afar. Using your smartphone, you can speak through the Skybell video doorbell and tell the salesman you are not interested. They will never know your child is in there alone since an adult just “answered” the doorbell.

Smart homes are making after school safer for kids today. Call us or fill out this form to get in touch with us about Honeywell smart home technology from Fortress Security, a leader in Texas home security, professional monitoring, and smart technology.

 

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Video Alarm Verification Proves to be Cost-Effective for Businesses November 30th, 2016

 

Look around almost any store you’re in these days, and you’re likely to see a security camera staring back at you. Sometimes hidden, sometimes right out in the open, cameras are an important weapon in a business’s security arsenal. And, video alarm verification is rapidly becoming a popular security feature for all businesses, big and small.

What is Video Alarm Verification?

In simple terms, video alarm verification just means that a video camera captures visual evidence to support a true alarm. Real-time video significantly reduces the “false alarm effect,” which can lead to slower response times and less immediate urgency.

Video Alarm Verification Is Cost Effective

Thanks to improved technologies and price decreases in said technologies, hardware, and monitoring, this type of security feature is now attainable for many businesses where it was cost-prohibitive before. Installation is also much simpler today and, therefore, more affordable.

How Does Video Alarm Verification Work?

How exactly does video alarm verification work? A video camera records movement in a store after hours. This is immediately sent to the store’s alarm company central station operator. If the operator sees a perpetrator they send a call immediately to the police. Since it was an eyewitness account of someone seeing the crime, it will receive a “priority 1” ranking from law enforcement and a quicker response time from the police.

Police Arrive Faster with Video Alarm Verification

How much does video verification really help, though? In Grand Prairie, Texas, for example, officers have been arriving at the scene of the crime in less than two minutes when a video verified alarm is dispatched. This is in comparison to the fifteen minutes of response time from a typical alarm. This significant time difference can save businesses substantial money because a faster response time means less property loss. Businesses also receive fewer false alarm fines since the monitoring company can see right away if the alarm is real or accidental. As the costs of false alarms continue to rise that can really help a company’s bottom line.

Video Alarm Verification Keeps Law Enforcement Safe

It is a win-win for both businesses and police forces. With police budgets under intense strain, many departments are only sending officers to checking out video verified alarms now. For example, Detroit, Michigan recently gave a 60-day notice that their police would only respond for a video verified alarm. It helps law enforcement by not wasting their valuable time, and taxpayers’ money, to come out and explore a possible false alarm. It also keeps police safer. If there is video alarm verification of a crime in progress, they have a better idea of who they are looking for and what to expect when they get to the scene. Police can come armed and prepared rather than walking into an unknown situation.

Video Alarm Verification Comes with Smartphone Access

Another great benefit for store owners and company leaders is the ability to view footage on their smartphone. Business owners can use their phone to remotely view video anytime. This means they can make sure their staff is opening the store on time, treating customers the right way, and locking up the office properly at night.

Learn how video verification can help you. Call Fortress today to get a free quote on adding video alarm verification to your business security system. It’s more affordable than you think.

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