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Celebrate National Safety Month!

June 3, 2014
This June, the National Safety Council will lead America in celebrating National Safety Month. This is an incredibly important development in the world of health and safety for several reasons. It provides the public with an opportunity to make positive changes that entail a greater level of personal and public security. During each week of the month of June, the National Safety Council will emphasize a specific aspect of safety that the public can focus on to heighten security. Although you may already be using various security monitoring services to ensure your safety, there may be other things you can do to accomplish this objective. By reviewing the organization’s outline for each week of June found below, you can increase the likelihood that you and your loved ones remain as safe as possible.

Week 1: Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

Abuse of prescription drugs is a substantive problem in our contemporary era. Because this type of abuse can lead to discomfort, disease, and even death, learning how to prevent it is important. There are several strategies that can be employed to prevent prescription drug abuse.

•Make sure you get the right prescription
•Keeping open lines of communication with your doctor, carefully following directions for use.
•Understand how your medication will work in your body, and never using another person’s medication.

Week 2: Stop Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, trips and falls can result in a plethora of undesirable outcomes, including broken limbs and more. One of the most important things to do is to quickly clean up spills that have resulted in a wet surface since they can cause you to lose traction. Loose rugs and mats are also issues and can cause individuals to trip in both homes and businesses.

Week 3: Be Aware of Your Surroundings

People often lack awareness regarding their physical environment. Conversations they are having with another individual or internal dialogue about pressing issues are often the cause of lack of awareness. Being aware of your surroundings is important because it can preclude several undesirable realities (robberies, falls, etc.) from transpiring. To get in the habit of being aware of your surroundings, try to avoid listening to music via headphones when you are in public and familiarize yourself with areas that you move through on a regular basis.

Week 4: Put an End to Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is anything that can pull your mind away from the road ahead. While texting is cited most often, anything that requires your attention can be dangerous. Using a cell phone, eating or drinking, talking to other passengers or even grooming can distract and endanger you. When you get behind the wheel ensure that all your attention is focused on the task at hand – getting you safely where you need to be.

This June, National Safety Month will present you with an opportunity to re-examine your current lifestyle to maximize your security of yourself. By paying careful attention to the specific forms of safety emphasized during each week, you can increase your level of safety and thereby lead a more productive, positive life. Don’t forget to mark your calendar!

​Alarm Systems Help Protect Your Summer Home Year-round

July 2, 2013
Your summer home is a great place to get away from your normal life of work, family, and the basic drudgery of everyday life. However, many people worry about their summer vacation homes when they have vacated their relaxing accommodation for the season. This fear is well founded: summer homes are prime targets for thieves once warm weather fades and people go back to their normal lives. A few simple tips can help keep your summer home free of burglary all year long.

Pacific Alarms is a company that cares about its customers and their homes; whether it’s the home they live in full-time or their summer vacation home. While having great alarm systems in place to help ward off intruders is certainly helpful, we strongly advise that your summer home always appear as if it is being lived in. Thieves want little to do with a summer home that looks like it’s more of a permanent residence, so keeping the lawn maintained, use time-managed lighting from your alarm systems to make it look like someone is home, and have your mail sent somewhere else so it doesn’t pile up.

California security companies know that their customers often have summer vacation homes, and include these homes as part of their security plan. As such, these companies often install state-of-the-art video surveillance systems so vacation homeowners can always be able to view their property when they wish. A video camera system installed in any home also helps deter would-be criminals from vandalizing or stealing from the home when the owners are away for the season. Pacific Alarms knows that a secure home is one that has professional eyes on it at all times.

Many people neglect to remember that their neighbors can be helpful allies when it comes to keeping their homes safe, particularly if they rent their property out at other times of the year. Neighbors of vacation homes can alert homeowners if renters are abusing the rental summer property or if they are damaging or stealing from the vacation home in any way. A person should also be aware of their neighboring vacationers for another reason: their neighbors can pose a possible threat to their property if they cannot be trusted. A homeowner who is concerned about their vacation home would be wise to get to know all the people who live near their vacation home so they can learn who can be trusted. In addition, inform the authorities of any extended leave you’ll be taking. Some areas provide periodic drive-by inspections if you request it.

A summer vacation homeowner is one who is well educated about the area in which they rent, knows their neighbors well, and has proper alarm systems installed by California security companies they know they can trust. In taking wise precautions against predators, a homeowner can know that their vacation home is safe at all times. Surveillance cameras can help a homeowner watch their property all times of the year, and using great tips to keep their home safe can help ensure that they have a ready vacation home to entertain them the next time summer rolls around.​

Residential Security Systems Protect During Summer Peaks in Burglary Rates

June 27, 2013
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) shows an increase in crime rates during the summer months by as much as 16 percent. Summer is when families are involved in outdoor activities and when most vacations are taken. Homes are empty, doors are routinely left unlocked while people are outside enjoying the sun, and criminals are also taking advantage of the good weather.

Multiple things work together toward the measurable increase in crime during the summer months. Common sense indicates that winter keeps most people indoors. Except for participation in winter sports such as skiing or sled riding, most people want to get out of the cold. Summer brings warm days and nights where there is a huge increase in the amount of people spending time outdoors at all hours of the day or night. A person walking through a neighborhood on a frigid winter night would be scrutinized much more carefully than someone out for a stroll on a hot summer night.

Criminals are opportunistic, and they want to operate without being noticed. Summer is the perfect time for them to blend in with all of the other activities going on outside while planning to commit criminal acts; home burglaries are no exception. Also, summer brings out valuables that have been stored over the winter. Many residential homes have outdoor living spaces that are filled with goodies that are attractive to thieves: expensive barbecue grills, lawn furniture, power equipment such as lawn mowers, bicycles and even lawn ornaments are favorite outdoor targets for homes not protected by residential security systems installed by professional alarm companies.

Summer months are when school students are out on summer vacation. There is a statistical increase in crimes committed by juveniles during the summer months when school is not in session. Most of the crimes are shoplifting and property crimes such as vandalism. Kids with no prior criminal records often do not see any real harm in graffiti or destroying private property.

Residential security systems deter both burglaries and property crimes. Modern digital alarm systems can now integrate video surveillance cameras that extend the protection of a home alarm system to the outdoor living spaces. Thieves, by their nature, do not want to be caught on camera committing a crime. This is why video surveillance of both interiors and exteriors of homes is effective as a crime deterrent.

Many homeowners like to let fresh air in on cooler summer evenings through a partially opened window. To a criminal, this is an open invitation. Residential security systems incorporate multiple sensor technologies, such as motion detectors, that sound an alarm if entry is attempted even when a window sensor is bypassed to let in cool air. Dual magnetic switch placement on window sensors also permit windows to be partially opened but still sound the alarm if opened further to attempt entry.

Professional alarm companies can tailor the installation of home security alarms to meet the needs of any family. This protects a family and its home not only during the summer months when crime rates increase but during the rest of the year too. Modern wireless systems provide an early warning of intrusion attempts as well as early detection warnings of smoke or carbon monoxide. Security cameras can be installed that can be viewed by Internet-connected computers or through apps that can be downloaded to the homeowners cell phone or tablet computer. Summer can, and should, be a safe time of fun without worrying about home intrusion, burglary, vandalism and theft.​

False Alarms from Residential Security Systems a Growing Concern in LA

June 14, 2013
The monitoring service is an important aspect of all residential security systems. Alarm response must be precise. If an actual event occurs, a call must be placed promptly to the appropriate emergency services. If an alarm is false, it must not be passed through to local authorities because that diminishes their ability to respond to actual events in a timely manner.

False Alarms a Growing Issue in LA
Los Angeles is a prime example of a police force that is hindered greatly by the growing rise of false alarms. The LAPD estimates that more than 11 percent of its patrol force is wasted on false alarms, including those made by alarm companies. Recent predictions estimate that the number will grow sharply in the next five years if the root problem is not curbed.

City Levies Fines to Curb Problem
Los Angeles has alarm ordinances in place. In fact, one must register a monitored alarm system and obtain a permit before activating the system. Failure to do so can result in a $1,000 fine. Since that ordinance alone did not curb the problem, LA added a new ordinance that requires citizens to pay $159 for a false alarm.

The ordinance also requires additional fees from repeat offenders. In fact, the fine increases $50 with each occurrence, and there is no upper limit to the fine amount. For residential security systems without a valid permit, the base fine is $259, and it escalates in $100 increments.

Responsibility Falls on the Homeowner
It’s important to note that the responsibility for a false alarm falls on the person who subscribes to the monitoring service. The alarm companies and monitoring stations are not held directly accountable, but most have a guarantee in place that covers the cost of the fine if the reporting of the false alarm was a mistake made by its employee.

Appealing a False Alarm Fee
Citizens do have the option to appeal the false alarm fee and can do so in writing to the Board of Police Commissioners. The board will waive the fee if the fined party can demonstrate that there was criminal activity or that the false alarm was caused, directly or indirectly, by an act of nature, such as fire, power failure, earthquake, strong winds and so forth.

Alarm School
If an appeal is denied or not an option, offenders can attend alarm school instead of paying the fine. The alarm school is an in-person class that citizens are allowed to take once every 365 days. In other words, it’s possible to avoid a false alarm fine once every year.

Owners of residential security systems may also avoid the fine by attending the online alarm school. For the online class, citizens must register within 75 days of the invoice date. Beyond that point, online alarm school will not be available but the standard alarm school may still be.

A second alternative is home-based alarm school. This is similar to the online school except that the packet is printed and mailed to you and then mailed back when completed. You can opt in for the home study can occur Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except on holidays.​ ​