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Protecting Construction Sites from Theft

June 30, 2014
commercial security
Construction sites, including preexisting homes undergoing substantial renovation, are frequent targets for theft and other crimes. This is particularly the case at night on sites where there are no security guards and there is no security system or it is disabled due to the work. The most common problem is loss of property, including tools and raw materials like lumber and metal. This kind of crime does not, however, have to be viewed as a cost of construction, and there are steps that property owners and companies can take to make themselves a less likely target.

Security System or Personnel

If a nighttime security guard is within budget, this is an excellent option because crimes on sites that have manned security are very rare. A traditional security system is generally not effective on a construction site, so do not go to great lengths to install one or ensure the existing system remains intact. There are, however, security system components that can prove very effective as deterrents, such as motion sensors that enable bright lights when motion is detected.

Fences, Signage and Cameras

Fences are also effective in these types of scenarios and are relatively inexpensive. Fences that actually keep people out, however, can be quite expensive. Security-related signage on the property can also have an effect. Such signs are not quite the deterrent they are on the front lawn of an intact house, but they may work, and they cost almost next to nothing to put in place. Vandalism-proof security cameras can also serve as very effective deterrent if positioned properly. In addition, in the event of a crime, the cameras can provide evidence to the police, and that evidence can make it significantly easier to file a claim with an insurance company.

Install a Lock-Down Area

A lock-down area is a space that is very difficult to break into. Nothing is impervious, but an effective lock-down area is so difficult to break into that the criminals will have a difficult time and will have to spend a very long time on the premises, which increases the chances of them being caught. Lock-down areas can be expensive to install, but that investment is well worth it in light of property loss statistics at sites with lockdown areas compared to those that did not have them in place.

Records and Logistics

Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, you need to know exactly what resources you have on hand by keeping a detailed record, including serial numbers and receipts, where applicable. Additionally, plan your shipments of raw materials in a way that makes you a less likely target. Receiving all supplies that will be needed for a job at the beginning of the project is a terrible idea. The best way to protect yourself is to receive a daily shipment of only the materials and appliances that will be used that day. That approach can end up costing more over the length of the project, but that added cost is usually significantly less than the average loss would be.

How to Tell if your Security System is Outdated

April 16, 2014
Residential and commercial security systems are supposed to provide peace of mind, but that could lead to a false sense of confidence. Many homes and businesses throughout California are being protected by outdated security systems that are no longer up to the task. To determine if your current equipment is an outdated security system, consider the following points.

No Remote Monitoring

A basic security system is local, which means that it triggers an audible and/or visual alarm locally, and then someone on the premises must recognize that alarm and respond to it in proper fashion. A modern security system is monitored around-the-clock, year-round by a monitoring station. When an alarm occurs, a response agent receives it, assesses it and then responds to it accordingly.

No Plan B for Calling Home

In the past, a security system would be hardwired to the local phone system. When it needed to communicate with the monitoring station, it would call home via that line. That approach introduced a vulnerability that was relatively easy to exploit. Modern systems normally don’t use the telephone line, but more importantly, they have redundancies in place, such as the ability to communicate via a cellular network if the primary mode of communication is offline.

No Network Integration

A lack of network integration usually indicates an outdated security system. Network access is now the primary way that security devices communicate with each other and with the monitoring station. In addition, network access facilitates a wide range of popular security features, including remote access and home automation.

No Remote Access

Monitoring is no longer limited to just the monitoring station. All the best residential and commercial security systems have remote monitoring and remote access capabilities available to the client. Using these access points from a laptop or mobile device, a homeowner or business owner can inspect and manipulate the security system, including viewing camera feeds, locking/unlocking doors, adjusting the thermostat, turning off lights and so forth.

No Wireless Equipment

Whenever a wireless device is practical, the professionals prefer it to a wired solution because it is more convenient and cost-effective. If, for instance, the environment changes and motion detectors must be relocated in order to compensate for that change, the transition is much easier with wireless devices.

No High-Resolution Cameras

In the past, security cameras were expensive, and that made them rare for use in residential security systems and commercial security system for small and medium-sized businesses. Much has changed, and high-resolution security cameras are so affordable and effective that not having them is unusual. In fact, most security companies include them in their default packages, and many insurance companies provide even greater discounts when security cameras are present.


When in doubt, ask a professional. Since 1953, the professionals at Pacific Alarms have been serving residential and commercial clients throughout California. They can help you assess your security, determine if it’s an outdated security system and, if it is, modernize it in a way that best makes use of your available time and budget.