Sunday, January 09, 2011
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
and the client said, "I have one of those Home Distribution systems
with wires going everywhere."
distribution and security added to the system.
mess of wires and electronics. Instead of being neatly tucked away in a can, the Modem, Router and Digital Phone Router (VOIP) are located outside the Home Distribution can. Forget about expanding this system to any sort of Home Automation / Home Audio Distribution system. There is barely enough room for the Security Alarm panel and battery. Well, that and there are no Audio Distribution wires to speak of. Sure, the home does have the typical centrally located theatre room, however there is no infrastructure for the installation of an Audio Distribution System (Aside from an IP based solution such as Colorado Vnet.)
Monday, October 11, 2010
Take, for example, a sump pump; Many sump pumps have dry contact outputs which enable you to connect a buzzer to the sump to alert you in the case of failure. Ask anyone who has had a sump pump fail on them how much damage the rising water caused to their basement.
So they have a buzzer, that is great if you are home to hear it. In fact, most of these sump pump buzzers are located in the basement with the sump. So what if you have a large house and cannot hear the sump pump alarm, or even worse, if you are away on vacation when the sump fails? No worries, at KeepSafe Systems, we can connect the failure contacts on your sump pump to the security alarm. So now, if your sump pump fails our 24 hour monitoring station is there to let you or the people on your call list know... wherever you may be in the world.
OK, so now we have covered sump pump monitoring, what about the hot water tank? I'm sure most people have experienced at least one hot water tank burst in their lifetime... I know I have. It is not a pretty sight when a hot water tank bursts, if you are lucky, the leakage will be maintained to the drip pan and find its' way out the drain. Unfortunately, there are those cases where the leak is so bad the basement gets flooded. The damage can be even worse if the hot water tank is on the second floor.
The solution? a simple $20 sensor which monitors for water. Yes, for a simple 20 bucks plus whatever it takes to connect the sensor to your alarm panel you can be rest assured our 24 hour monitoring station staff will know if there is a water leak around the water sensor. If you really want to get fancy, many panels will even enable you to activate an electronic water shut-off valve to limit the damage of the water. - Just like turning off the water main. What's more, all this protection is backed up by the alarm systems' back up battery supply, so even in the case of a short power failure, you are still protected.
So KeepSafe Systems can monitor your home or business for water, maybe you have other concerns. Since KeepSafe Systems offers a more customized approach to security alarm systems, some of our clients have come to us with some very interesting and unique area's and conditions to monitor. In addition to the obvious, Burglary, Fire, Smoke, and water, the simple installation of the appropriate sensor enables the KeepSafe Systems 24 hour security alarm monitoring station to monitor your home or business for high and low temperature (This is perfect for coolers, freezers, vacation homes, chicken farms, or in our case The KeepSafe Systems Chinchilla Family Mascots.) For those conditions which require either a dry or humid environment, there is also humidity sensors available to connect to your security alarm system. This is perfect for the cigar aficionado or the consummate wine collector.
So the long and short of it is, if there is a sensor or dry contact output, KeepSafe Systems can connect it to your home or business security system enabling you to rest easy in know our 24 hours security alarm station monitoring staff is on the job monitoring your most prized and valuable possessions from both criminal and environmental threats.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Canadian Security Alarm manufacturer, Paradox, recently announced a
number of updates to their line of high tech affordable security
First came the Paradox Imperial which is a security
alarm system / home automation / Access Control system beyond
compare. Aside from being a state of the art security alarm system
with the modular advantage of all products in the Paradox line, the
Paradox Imperial offers modular INTEGRATED Access Control and Home
So, unlike many competitive panels, the Paradox Imperial actually
takes care of the Security, Automation and Access control in once
seamless system. Other Security Alarm panel manufacturers rely on
Integration with other systems which often results in technology
clashes and incompatibilities.
More recently, Paradox added 2 new keypads to their line of
"Sexy" (what can I say, they are in Quebec) user interfaces. Anyone
familiar with the Paradox line will remember the Graphica keypad,
which was one of the first LCD screen style keypads on the market.
Well, Shmuel has upped his game and come up with 2 touch sensitive
The first is the Paradox Touchsense K656 Keypad which is ideal
for dusty environments where standard button style keypads are prone
to failure. In addition, the Paradox K656 Touch Sense keypad makes a
very attractive addition to the decor of any home or business.
Going one step further, Paradox just released the TM4 touch
screen security alarm keypad. At this point, the TM4 is compatible
with the EVO line of Paradox Security Alarm panels, however there
are plans to make it compatible with the New Imperial.
I just received a couple of TM4's today and am quite impressed
with the small footprint and attractive design. I believe there will
also be a flat black version available. Since the TM4 is so new,
Paradox has not even posted it on their website. Here are some
advance pictures of this sexy beast alongside the other Paradox
Security Alarm System Keypads. It is not powered up, but at least
you can see what it looks like.
Paradox EVO keypad line up:
Top Left - TM4
Touchscreen security alarm keypad
Bottom Left - K656
Touch sense security alarm keypad
Right - K641 Full LCD
button style security alarm keypad
This is still fairly new as I just revamped my website. There
will be information in here shortly
I was speaking with a client yesterday and she had brought up a recent incident she had at a local department store. It isn't really related to anything I do, however I thought it should be mentioned as it does relate to security and identity theft.
She bought some items and one of them was rung up incorrectly ($99 instead of $ 9.99) Honest mistake, I would hope. After abit of confusion the transaction was fixed.
On her way away from the til, she decided to check for her Credit Card. realizing it was not in her wallet, she asked the clerk if she had left it behind. The Clerk insisted she had given my client back her credit card.
Of course, knowing she had just used the card, my client continued to search for the missing credit card at the checkout. After a few minutes of searching, the teller said. Oh, hold on, I must have "Accidentally" put it in my pocket.
I don't know about you, but I have worked retail, and I deal with retail businesses on a daily basis. There is no reason anyone behind the til would "Accidentally" put anything in their pocket. Oh did she accidentally slip the 100 bucks cash from the next customer in her pocket?
To add to the suspicion, this particular client has a very common surname. In the world of Credit Card theft, common name cards are very valuable.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
article of theirs on a home owner who came home to an empty house and a
security system unable to communicate to the security alarm monitoring
station due to him have Voice over IP.
Being in the security alarm industry for almost 20 years and owning KeepSafe Systems for 11 of those, I have realized most
consumers do not know the effect their phone line has on the ability of
their security system to communicate with the central monitoring station.
With the technology overload going on nowadays, one cannot blame the
consumer for not thinking about such things. With all the technical
manuals and the growing complexity of the simplest of technologies the
modern consumer is being bombarded with new technical terms and concepts
on an almost daily basis.
Fact of the matter is the responsibility lies on the
security alarm company to educate their clients and provide measures to
test the security systems communication. For that reason, I have always
believed in programming daily signal tests into all of my accounts.
Although this does not replace proper education and regular testing on the
behalf of the client, this is a standard feature all alarm companies
should use. Unfortunately, larger companies must deal with line overload
issues, therefore the daily test turns into a weekly or sometimes monthly
test signal. In fact, many companies continue to collect monitoring fees
without knowing whether the system is sending signals or not.
In addition to line quality issues, consumers also
need to know the effect the house power has on the ability for VOIP & IP
based transmission methods to effective communicate data. Since the
internet connection is reliant on a modem plugged into the house power
many IP based (VOIP & TCP/IP) are useless in the case of a power failure.
Although most security alarm panels are equipped with a battery back-up,
Internet modems and routers are not. The simple fix is to purchase a UPS
back-up or connect the modem to another source of power with a battery
All that aside, non-managed VOIP networks are
problematic for many reasons. With the increased competition both ISP’s
and VOIP providers are looking at cutting costs. These cost cutting
measures result in signal degradation which is not necessarily apparent to
the human ear, but definitely detrimental to data communication. In fact,
the telephone industry as a whole is guilty of this. With the North
American implementation of the “sunset clause” and new digital
legislations, alarm companies are continually up against Least cost
Routing. This is where long distance calls are routed through the most
cost effective digital method which is often IP based and subject to the
same bandwidth issues as VOIP. For that reason, it is also important for
consumers to understand the negative effect dealing with monitoring
stations outside of their local calling area has on their security
systems’ ability to communicate.
This is a long and complicated issue which requires
both sides of the table to meet. Unfortunately, for this to happen we must
go through many more situations similar to that of Mr.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This feature, although very handy when it comes to preventing transmissions from being jammed, has a draw-back. Some Panels see the intermittant Voice mail indication dial tone as no dial tone. If this is the case, your security alarm system will NOT be able to send a signal to the monitoring station.
If left untreated, this problem could result in a very dangerous situation. Fortunately, most alarm manufacturers have a programming fix. The programming feature is called Dial tone detect disable or Force dial of no dial tone. Proper programming of this feature will repair the problem. Depending on your phone company and your voice mail settings, you may also be able to change this indication. Some phone companies will give an intermittant tone for about 3 seconds then switch to a steady tone. This should not cause a problem with your security alarm system.
To determine if your security system needs re-programming, A simple test is to leave yourself a voice mail message then trip your alarm (Ensure the monitoring station knows you will be testing your security alarm system.) Keep in mind, some companies, like ADT have standard abort delays, which will not send a signal to the monitoring station if the siren only rings for a few seconds. This is great for eliminating false alarms, unfortunately it also leaves time for the criminal to disable the system. For the safety of our clients, KeepSafe Systems does not use dial delay on any security alarm systems we install, unless specifically requested.