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Home Security Tools

A comprehensive security and alarm system for your home will help to keep you safe and give you peace of mind while you’re away. If you already have a home security system in place, it is likely that you are familiar with the different devices and security lingo. For those of you who are considering installing a security system, here are a few of the basics you should know about.

Control Panel
This is the component that communicates with all other devices in your system and also connects you to your alarm monitoring company. It is usually a touchpad in which you enter passcodes to arm and disarm your alarm, and is often considered the heart of your system. Some advanced systems enable voice control for the control panel.

Key Fob
Instead of the touchpad, a key fob allows you to arm and disarm your alarm upon exiting and before entering your home, similar to a remote car lock. These may be used at home or remotely. Depending on how many people are living with you or need access to your home, your provider should be able to accommodate the number of key fobs necessary.

Motion Sensors
These are often referred to as motion detectors and communicate with the control panel to let them know when there is movement. Motion sensors are installed on doors and windows, and when the sensors are touching it is noted as secure. If a door or window is opened while the system is on, the sensor is triggered and communicates the activity to the control panel.

Security Cameras
Keep a close eye on everything whether you’re home or away. There are various types of security cameras to suit your needs including Pan/Tilt/Zoom, dome, bullet, day & night vision, and more. In conjunction with a corresponding app, Internet Protocol (IP) cameras can record activity when detected and send you an alert along with footage.

Electric Door Locks
Have you ever been at work or out on the town and wondered whether you remembered to lock the door? Electronic door locks can let you rest easy. You can check your locks remotely, and some even allow you to lock and unlock them remotely via a smartphone app. That way if your kids forget their keys, or you absentmindedly left the door unlocked, you can easily fix the situation.

Panic Button or Pendant
This wearable device is a popular add-on that allows a direct connection with the monitoring company to alert them when help is needed. By pressing the panic button, the monitoring company can communicate with the user and send the necessary emergency personnel. For those who have elderly loved ones living alone, this is a smart device to invest in for them.

If you have any questions about security cameras or surveillance systems, please feel free to contact us at 888-203-6294 or visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our stock. You can also find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Indoor Security Tips

Security cameras placed outdoors allow you to monitor your property while acting as a deterrent for trespassing. But what happens if criminals proceed anyways?

Indoor security cameras will show you what happens when the intruders get in. Should theft or damage occur, you are left with video evidence of the crimes to assist in capturing the criminals.

For everyday use, indoor security cameras help to monitor daily activities, such as kids returning home from school, or checking in on pets while you’re at work.

While there are several benefits of indoor cameras, it may be difficult discerning the most effective places to install them. Here are some helpful tips for choosing the best locations for your indoor security cameras.

Statistics show that the most common entry points for burglars are through first-floor doors or windows, thus, your main entrances should be your top priorities. The front door, back door, garage door, and other first-floor exterior doors and windows should be equipped with some type of security (ex. locks). If possible, installing security cameras to cover all of these spots would be ideal.

  • One of the most common places for an indoor security camera is in a high traffic area that provides coverage for as many areas as possible. Try to find the right angle and placement for a camera that will give a bird’s eye view of the larger area. For example, the family room may have views of the kitchen, back door, garage door entrance, and possibly even the front door.
  • For larger homes or homes with a second or third story, additional security cameras may be necessary to sufficiently cover the interior of the home. Expansive one story homes may need multiple cameras to cover different rooms and entrances, while multiple story homes may need more cameras to cover each level.
  • If an extensive security camera system does not fit within your budget, choose key areas that are highly targeted by burglars and install cameras there. For example, the family room often houses expensive televisions and electronics. Or if you have a family safe, you can place a camera in that room for added security.
  • Once you have chosen the locations for your cameras, be sure to install them out of reach. Not only will this help to get a better view, but it will also help to prevent any damage of theft. If your security cameras are easily accessible, burglars may destroy them to eliminate evidence, or possibly steal them.

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For a great selection on indoor security cameras and more, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For more information on site surveys and our installation services, please call 888-203-6294.

Protect Your Vacant Property

Think an empty building doesn’t need maintenance or security? Think again. Unoccupied buildings tend to be more susceptible to damage and criminal activity than those filled with expensive equipment. If your property will be vacant, whether long or short term, you should secure it as soon as possible.

Main Risks For Empty Buildings

  • Weather

We all know that weather can cause significant damage relatively quickly, especially for buildings in areas known for inclement weather. Damage to the exterior, including the roof and windows, can also make its way inside to cause further problems.

  • Thieves

If you leave equipment or anything of value in an unsecured building, you run a high risk of theft. Even if you’ve emptied the property, thieves may still enter and steal valuable construction materials (ex. copper pines or wires).

  • Vandals

Even though you may have cleared out your property, you are still at risk for vandalism. Vandals may trash your property by leaving waste, breaking things, and covering walls in graffiti.

  • Trespassing

This covers a number of threats, which include squatting and illicit activities.

How To Secure Your Vacant Property

  • Secure Entrances

Before vacating a property, be sure that all windows and doors are properly closed and locked. Look for gaps or damage to the frames that may allow wind, rain, or intruders to get in.

If you plan on leaving for an extended period of time, you should consider investing in stronger methods of securing doors and windows. While traditional wood boarding may be cost-effective, these have also added to the blaze of an arson attack. Investing in a metal alternative may be a better choice. You may also want to consider steel security doors which make it impossible to access your building without special equipment.

  • Maintain Exteriors

Any loose objects can be stolen, used to gain entry, or used as a weapon. For example, bins, palettes and spare construction materials can quickly turn into projectiles in the wrong hands, or can be picked up by high winds in a storm. Be sure to store large objects indoors or out of sight.

Landscaping may be an afterthought, but can make a difference. You should keep pathways clear of debris, such as snow and ice in the winter, and trim grass and hedges to deter vermin from inhabiting your yard. Landscaping also makes it appear that the premise is occupied, making it less of a target.

  • Check The Alarms

A security alarm is a necessity. A security alarm system can deter intruders, and, if linked to the local police, can elicit immediate response to any incidents. If you vacate your building, be sure to check your system regularly to ensure that it is functioning properly. If your system is managed by a third party, be sure to inform them of your absence.

Because a fire, whether intentional or accidental, is always possible, you should also maintain your fire alarm and sprinkler system. Be sure that pipes and sensors remain functional.

  • Increase Passive Security

While dummy cameras can be a reasonable deterrent for those on a budget, operational security cameras may be a better investment. If you plan on leaving your property vacant for a longer period, you may want a real security camera to record any trespassers or criminal activity that occurs while you’re gone.

It may behoove you to make your property physically harder to access, especially if you have open spaces. Fencing and gates with proper locks and concrete barriers are effective ways to keep intruders out.

  • Hire Active Security

If you will be storing valuable equipment and materials on site during your absence, you may want to hire professional guard control or even guard dogs and handlers. You can schedule the guard to check on your building at random times to keep trespassers away and to report any unusual activity.

If a building is scheduled for future renovation or demolition, registering your building for a guardianship scheme could be a more cost-effective solution. While you won’t be able to freely access your building when the guards are there, but it will safeguard against trespassers and squatters.

How do you protect your vacant property? Share your tips on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Find quality security cameras and CCTV surveillance systems when you shop at SecurityCamExpert.com! Visit us online or call 888-203-6294 to learn more about our services, including installation and support.

Connected Technology

Smart home technology – what once was a pipe dream is now coming to fruition. Technically referred to as home automation technology, it is comprised of computer devices that work together to manage various features in your home which would normally be controlled manually. Common examples include remotely controlling lights, thermostats, and even locking and unlocking doors.

As the demand for smart home technology continues to grow, it is important to understand how the technology works and develops to suit our growing needs and wants.

Internet of Things
Smart home technology thrives off of internet connectivity. More and more manufacturers are integrating Wi-Fi enabled remote controls into their products, enabling connection to your wireless home network and thus advancing the development of a “smart” network of appliances known as the Internet of Things (IoT).

Although more people refer to this as “smart technology” rather than IoT, the latter does address the very heart of the draw – the ability to control these devices remotely over the internet, no matter how far the distance.

Smart Security
One of the first places we saw widespread use of smart technologies was in home security systems by way of Internet-accessible security cameras. These security cameras allow homeowners to keep an eye on their property while they are away. As technology advanced, these became more compact and affordable, further spreading their use for home security.

Aside from cameras, more smart security devices emerged and included Wi-Fi enabled electronic deadbolts to remotely grant access to your home, smart lamps to control lighting to ensure you no longer enter a darkened home and smart thermostats to save energy and provide climate-control for a comfortable  environment.

Entertainment & More
Security was not the only thing to benefit from IoT. Connected devices can now be found in the kitchen, with smart refrigerators that can remind you when you need to hit the grocery store and smart ovens that allow you to monitor your foods while they cook.

In terms of entertainment, web-enabled televisions can stream digital media content directly to the screen while being controlled by a mobile phone or tablet. Smart devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo can be given verbal commands to control nearly every aspect of your smart home.

As this technology continues to develop, what would you like to see? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest today!

Keep an eye on your home or business with our selection of quality CCTV security cameras and surveillance system packages. Visit us online or call 888-203-6294 to request a free quote or site survey today!

September Is National Preparedness Month

Recently, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have devastated and affected many, leaving a trail of destruction in large areas. Whether it is hurricanes, thunderstorms or tornadoes, natural disasters provide a stark reminder of our vulnerability and that we should always be prepared.

September is National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” Each week throughout the month focuses on a different theme, all helping to emphasize preparedness among everyone including youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

The best way to combat the unpredictability of natural disasters and emergencies is to plan ahead. Here are some helpful tips to help get you started.

Be Informed.
Visit www.ready.gov for more information on what to expect, how to make a disaster kit and how to prepare and plan ahead for disasters.

Many emergencies can happen anywhere, such as power outages or disease outbreaks. But certain disasters are more likely in some places than others. For example, in California, earthquakes are more common than tornados or tropical storms. Understand which types of natural disasters are common for your area and begin preparing for those accordingly.

It is recommended that you understand the local mass warning systems that officials will use to inform the public of extreme weather conditions. Commonly used are the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. Know how to receive information from these agencies and prepare a backup way of receiving this information in case your primary system goes down.

You should also know where evacuation points are located in the event you cannot get home or your current location becomes unsafe. Know what circumstances would require evacuation and when to shelter in place.

Make A Plan.
Keep it practical and tailored to disasters you are most likely to encounter. Take what we have previously mentioned and discus it with your family. Go over different disaster scenarios and what the family plan is for each one. Things like whether it occurs on a weekday or weekend and if children are at school should all be considered while planning.

Making a disaster kit is the next step. You should include supplies necessary for a three-day period (the estimated time it might take to clear roads, restore power and have emergency crews reach people).
After a disaster, emergency responders will address critical needs first and might not be able to get to everyone right away. A disaster kit will allow you to take care of yourself, your family, and possibly others, freeing up emergency responders to focus on the critically injured and restoring infrastructure.

Creating multiple kits and storing them in different locations (car, office, home) is suggested – you never know where you will be when disaster strikes.

Get Involved.
You can participate in America’s PrepareAthon! – a nationwide campaign to increase community preparedness and resilience.

Share your own preparedness tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our stock of CCTV security cameras and systems to keep an eye on your properties.

Safety, Security, & Storage

Personal and public safety is always a top priority. Recent events have shown us that, whether planned or spontaneous, violent attacks can be extremely tragic and devastating. These also remind us that improving our security and surveillance systems is vital and show us what needs to be addressed and how we can safeguard against future threats.

Border & Airport Security
While border security is a controversial subject, in terms of security, the border or perimeter is essentially a vulnerable point of entry. Because of this, governments are looking to improve surveillance and secure boundaries. One way they are stepping up security is by employing remote video surveillance and analytics.

For example, the Department of Homeland Security have strategically placed towers to provide remote video surveillance along the southwestern and northern borders of the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agency believe more towers would help to expand surveillance and provide more protection in remote areas.

Airports act in a similar fashion, as they represent a type of boundary and serve as a key point of entry for international travelers. With that said, airports must be monitored and secured carefully to protect not only passengers and visitors, but also aircraft, terminals, parking facilities, fuel facilities, airline buildings and power supply facilities. In addition, airports are often a prime target for terrorists since large, diverse crowds congregate, making security both critical and a major challenge.

Thus, video surveillance is crucial to airport security systems. Security cameras are placed throughout the various facilities to monitor crowd activity, perimeter gates and fencing, and other high traffic areas (ex. security checkpoints, baggage handling, hallways, seating areas, entrances/exits). Live streams are monitored continuously with the aid of video analytics and facial recognition is used for staff as well as guests. This technology quickly identifies who has authorized access to certain areas and can spot known suspects and criminals. Furthermore, virtual tripwires help to secure certain boundaries, and behavioral analytics algorithms help to detect any unusual behaviors, including left-behind packages.

To maintain optimal security and protection at borders and airports, security systems must monitor suspicious activity over time, track movements of watch-list suspects and share said information among agencies. It is a complicated process which depends on the sufficient work of real-time and archival video surveillance footage. And while advances in security camera technology (ex. higher-resolution capability, panoramic viewing, onboard analytics and integrated audio) are incredible, they also increase the need for sufficient storage capacity.

Before you make the decision on video surveillance storage, here are some factors to consider:

Retention Time
This can have a dramatic impact on the amount of storage necessary. Due to regulations and litigation issues, retention time is increasing, thus more storage capacity is necessary.

For example, HB 976 was passed in Georgia in 2016, requiring law enforcement to retain video from body-worn cameras and vehicle-mounted devices for a minimum of 180 days. In addition, any video recording related to a criminal investigation or pending litigation must be retained for 30 months.

Aside from complying with regulations, the value of video may increase in regards to analyzing people and patterns are observed over longer periods of time. It is important to consider long-term storage needs when making retention policy decisions.

Access
When it comes to storage, options include enterprise digital video recorders, boxed appliance network video recorders, PC-based network video recorders, enterprise storage platforms, tape, and cloud storage. Some make it easier than others to retrieve and share archived footage.

Before deciding on a storage solution, take into account the individuals who may need to access to the footage, how quickly they will need it and whether or not video files will be shared with other agencies.

Cost
Storage accounts for a good chunk of video surveillance budget since many opt for high-performance disks over tape (a more cost-effective solution). In order to minimize costs while still maintaining quality performance, you may want to size disk storage to meet ingest performance requirements, and then build long-term retention capacity using tape or cloud.

Video surveillance is a vital tool for law enforcement and other government officials, and the expanded use of more powerful cameras along with new video analytics greatly improves security. However, as mentioned, new capabilities have a significant impact on video storage as well.

Not all storage solutions are the same, thus, taking the time to understand how each solution works and finding a balance between retention time, accessibility, and cost is crucial to making the best decision.

If you need security camera systems and storage for your home or business, visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our stock. To schedule a site survey or request a free quote, please call 888-203-6294. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Yelp!

Perimeter Security

Whether you are securing your home or business, perimeter security is often your first line of defense. Aside from the exterior of the structure, perimeter security creates boundaries to keep intruders out. If you are considering perimeter security, there are numerous options available to you – here’s what you need to know.

Locks
Locks are very important to perimeter security. If you have nothing protecting your property beyond the walls of your home or building, you will need to invest in strong, sturdy locks. The most common breach would be forced entry, which simply destroys the lock to gain access. To safeguard against this, you want to choose locks that make use of hardened metal alloys that are as thick as possible.

Cutting attacks are common if you are using padlocks on your gates. Aside from the shackles of the locks, the hasp or chain being secured by the padlock may also be targeted for cutting. If these are weaker than the lock, the strength of the lock will not matter.

When it comes to covert entry, bump keys are more of a concern than lock picking, as the latter wastes time and effort. The internal complexity for locks will help increase perimeter security and prevent unauthorized key duplication.

Walls
Unlike a fence, walls provide more privacy as they better obstruct visibility. Higher walls mean lower visibility and a greater obstacle to gain entry. The downside is that the decreased visibility affects both sides, meaning that while outsiders may not be able to see in, you may not be able to see anyone approaching the property.

Luckily, the visibility concerns for high walls can be resolved with the use of security cameras or other forms of documentation (such as security guards). Documentation is a key consideration (which will be discussed further), but it is not always feasible for some.

In the end, it all comes down to the intention of your perimeter security. With a wall, you get more privacy and a sturdy barrier which allows you to put more focus on securing the gate.

Fencing
Fences offer extreme flexibility in that the price, look, and functionality have the most range. You can adjust the visibility by choosing different designs and even growing ivy or other plants around it. In extreme cases, most common fences may be easier to electrify, depending on the material of the fence.

Unless you have concerns about automotive ramming threats, the fact that a fence is weaker than a wall may be a minor detail. However, fences may be compromised at certain points, whether from vandalism or wear, thus creating entryways which defeat the purpose of perimeter security measures. Even if the openings are not wide enough for humans, you run the risk of animal infestation or pet escape.

Wood fences and chain link fences are often the most common types, and usually signify a boundary that others should not cross, or simply denote a property line. Fences alone are rarely high security, but with electrification or barbed wire, they can be somewhat intimidating.

Gates
A gate is the moving section on a gate or wall that allows entry and exit through perimeter security. Because this is usually the only point of entry and exit around the perimeter of a building, the gate will need a locking mechanism.

If you are planning on taking vehicles past the perimeter security, you may want to use a motorized track and electronic lock. For gates with less traffic or only foot traffic, choose a high-security padlock. There may also be a gate setup that allows you to use a deadbolt and or/keyed handle/knob.

For effective perimeter security, a keyed handle/knob may not be the best choice. A deadbolt provides more security, however, the strength of the deadbolt must be considered. But keep in mind, if the lock is too strong, the material of the gate may be attacked, or intruders may simply climb over.

Lighting
Perimeter security systems should always consider lighting, and one of the first things to assess is shadows. Trees, pillars and other tall obstructions will create dark shadows for criminals to lurk. With proper light, you afford yourself the ability to see criminals approaching or attempting to bypass your perimeter security.

Motion sensor lights are effective in that they focus attention and are often the choice for many residential buildings without security guards. For residents, a light turning on suddenly will often alert them of unexpected movement around the house. For those properties with high walls, or an obstructing fence, the abrupt light hopefully catches the attention of neighbors or pedestrians.

Despite drawing attention, your security depends on whether or not bystanders or neighbors intervene. Everyone has an interest in preventing crime, but if someone is unaware of the threats or the victim, people may do nothing to avoid confrontation. It may behoove you and your property to get to know your neighbors and keep a lookout for each other.

Alerts & Notification
Some people may struggle with the decision of investing in a dog or an alarm system. While getting both is definitely an option, the decision will likely come down to your ability to take care of an animal. When it comes to alarms, you will want one that offers monitored security so that authorities can be notified in case of emergency.

However, these notifications are only effective if response times are within the average time it takes to commit a break-in. If not, alerts and notifications are rather useless. A loud alarm may help to alert anyone who is around to the crime that is taking place.

If you’re looking for more discreet notifications, a smart lock with access notifications might be the solution. This allows you to know when a lock has been opened, and can be extremely helpful if you suspect any internal threats.

Documentation
Most perimeter security systems rely on security cameras. They are largely accessible and are great for capturing evidence of threats and criminal acts.

Before installing security cameras, you should know what is allowed and what is not. You must abide by the law when it comes to documentation efforts otherwise your footage will be useless and may even get you in hot water.

When choosing cameras, you should keep your security intentions in mind. If you need footage that will hold up in court, you will need the right kind of camera to record quality video in that environment. You will need to consider glare from the daylight and possibly night vision. Also, you need to consider placement as you may need multiple cameras to adequately cover your perimeter. If you have more questions regarding security cameras systems and installation, feel free to call us at 888-203-6294.

Natural Barriers
A positive natural barrier is something that offers another level of security to your property. This can be anything from the proximity to a police station to a single, long road leading to your home.

Consequently, there are also natural barriers that prevent you from taking full advantage of your possible perimeter security system. For example, a treeline on the side of your property may offer a natural border, however, it may also help intruders cover their approach. Also, motion sensor cameras and lights placed in heavy foot traffic areas may produce lots of false alarms, becoming more of a nuisance than an effective security measure.

Your best bet is to identify what works for you and what does not in terms of security. You shouldn’t invest in a method of perimeter security just to use it. Focus on the positive barriers and try to compensate for any negative barriers you cannot change.

Aesthetics
The consideration for aesthetics is to find a balance between it and your perimeter security. Rather than choosing to make the property look good and then incorporate security, you should be trying to make the security you need look good.

If you are adding to your landscape or home, you should always consider how it will affect your perimeter security. It is best to opt for something with a neutral or positive effect, not something that will be a detriment.

Access Control
Who has access to your property is a very important part of making your perimeter security work to your benefit. Key control is a good starting point (numeric codes, RFID remotes, physical keys, etc.). With codes and biometric locks, your access control management software may make it quite simple to know who is entering the property and when. If any issues arise, it is easy to simply revoke privileges.

Those who have access should be trusted individuals. You should be sure that they will not take advantage of your property and will take the necessary precautions to protect their key from being stolen or misused.

Key control for physical keys can be taken care of by investing in locks with patented keyways. This will improve your protection against most forms of covert entry, but mostly it will prevent unauthorized key duplication.

Which perimeter security methods do you find most effective? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our selection of quality CCTV surveillance systems and learn more about our Installation and support services.

CyberLabLA

It seems Los Angeles is continuing its efforts to shed light on cybersecurity in hopes to decrease risks all around. Initially, the city used federal grant funds to install tools to centralize cybersecurity issue monitoring. Now, officials have unveiled a cybersecurity initiative geared toward businesses and residents.

The Los Angeles Cyber Lab (CyberLabLA) is a new public-private-partnership led by a Board of Advisors including Mayor Eric Garcetti along with top Los Angeles businesses and government officials. CyberLabLA’s mission is to protect personal and protected information from malicious cyber threats by sharing the latest cybersecurity threat data, alerts and intelligence gathered by those involved. Free membership will be open to all businesses and Los Angeles residents.

While there have been threat-sharing partnerships in the past, none have emerged to address an entire region or small- and medium-sized businesses like this program plans to do. And despite the fact that companies in the same industry are more likely to face similar threats than those in unrelated industries, all businesses are expected to find value. Mayor Garcetti hopes that through shared knowledge of threats, regardless of industry, businesses in Los Angeles will be better protected.

Still in its infancy, CyberLabLA will roll out in three phases. Phase 1 will begin with Protection and Alerts in which Los Angeles will share information generated from its Integrated Security Operations Center (ISOC) with all members. These updates include cybersecurity data, alerts, indicators of compromise and threat intelligence. Phase 2 will invite members to share data with the organization, sans confidential or proprietary information for added security. Phase 3 will develop the Cyber Lab Innovation Incubator (Incubator). Security vendors will be able to test appliances and tools via virtual connections to a live, but isolated, city of Los Angeles network (“Honeypot”). The Incubator will be populated with student interns, affording them real world experience in a security environment. Eventually, the Incubator will generate additional intelligence and information to share with members.

Initial advisors include Anschutz Entertainment Group (Staples Center), Cisco, Motorola, Cedars-Sinai, City National Bank, Dollar Shave Club and SoCal Edison. The city’s move to push cybersecurity as a public service will not only benefit businesses, but its effects will trickle down and help to protect customers and residents as well.

What are your thoughts on CyberLabLA? Would you consider joining? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For your physical security, browse our selection of CCTV surveillance systems at SecurityCamExpert.com. To request a site survey, free quote, or to schedule an installation, please call 888-203-6294.

Back-To-School Transportation Safety Tips

It’s that time of year again – summer is winding down and children are heading back to school. Thus, we must also deal with an increase in foot and street traffic. This can cause increased stress in some, which may result in dangerous situations and bouts of road rage. It is important to remember to proceed with caution. Take heed of these back-to-school road safety tips.

  • Slow Down

When kids are present (especially in school zones and neighborhoods) before and after school, it is important to abide by speed limits and slow down.

  • Keep Your Distance

Always keep a safe distance between you and the bus (or any vehicle) you are following. This will allow you enough time and space to react to any of the bus’s intentions.

And remember, it is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children – be sure to stop far back enough to allow kids to safely enter and exit the bus.

  • Heightened Alert & Awareness

In school zones, near parks or playgrounds, and in neighborhoods, be more alert when watching for children. And always obey a crossing guard’s stop sign at intersections and crosswalks.

  • Do NOT Block The Crosswalk

When stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, avoid blocking the crosswalk. By blocking the crosswalk, pedestrians may be forced to walk around you, possibly putting them in the path of moving traffic. Always stop before the crosswalk line and watch for pedestrians.

  • Follow Pick-Up & Drop-Off Instructions

If there are dedicated pick- up and drop-off zones and rules, follow them. They are put in place for the safety of your children. Double-parking not only holds up traffic, but also reduces visibility for all, increasing the risk for an accident or dangerous situation.

  • Walking Routes

If you are letting your children walk to school, be sure to scope out the route beforehand. You want to make sure that the route offers good visibility, is relatively free from hazards, has plenty of pedestrian room at a safe distance from traffic, and involves no dangerous crossings. There should be well-trained crossing guards at every intersection your children must cross. Consider the available daylight when your child will be walking and always dress them in brightly colored clothing, regardless of visibility.

  • Bike Safety

If your children will be riding a bike to school, they must always wear a Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved helmet. Kids must also bike during daylight hours only, wear bright attire, and follow the rules of the road. Children under nine must ride with an adult and out of the road as well. It is up to the parents’ discretion whether or not older children may ride bikes in traffic.

Share your own back-to-school tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Shop our stock of quality CCTV security cameras and surveillance equipment online at SecurityCamExpert.com. To learn more about our products and services, or to request a quote or site survey, please call 888-203-6294.

The Progression of Video Surveillance Technologies

Over the years, video surveillance has made great improvements in regards to design, features, functionality and application. As our technologies continue to evolve, the surveillance industry is bound to grow and expand even further.

In 1996, Axis Communications introduced the first IP Camera. This was originally used for monitoring the sea for oil spills, saving their customers from having to take two flights a day. Decades later, digital cameras are now the norm, from entertainment to security purposes.

When it comes to security, because we are very visual and use our eyes more than any other senses, we tend to prefer video. This is why we see CCTV surveillance cameras nearly everywhere these days. But how can we improve it?

Video surveillance can be valuable to businesses, however, monitoring the live feed 24/7 is not very realistic. Other detection tools, such as perimeter breach or motion detection, in conjunction with an alarm or alert system helps to improve security. But, as with most things, it has its flaws. These can include problems with detecting the breach, a bad judgment call in regards to what is seen, how long the feed is monitored and the length of backtracking.

Video analytics is more prevalent these days and makes efforts to address this issue. Thanks to advancing software and artificial intelligence (AI), video analytics can determine a human from an animal, eliminating false alarms caused by a pet at home. It also eliminates human error and takes motion detection a step further, as some systems can also distinguish between a known house member and a stranger.

Business and home protection continues to advance as more security camera systems integrate video analytics along with alarms, PIR sensors, and smart recordings. And thanks to edge computing, these technologies are becoming more accessible. By performing data processing at the edge of the network, close to the source of data, edge computing ultimately optimizes system performance.

But aside from all these advancements and improvements, privacy is still an important issue. Many feel uncomfortable having cameras watching over them and having their video streamed into the cloud. But what if our security systems became so advanced that video surveillance became unnecessary?

Hypothetically, an “Optical Analytic Sensor” could use edge computing to process new, updated analytics without having to transmit video. Instead, detailed descriptions of events would serve as data, eliminating bandwidth requirements and video privacy issues. Using advanced tools and AI, this sensor device could learn how to distinguish between known users and strangers. Thus, the device could automatically grant access t authorized users, eliminated passwords, codes, pins or keys. In a commercial setting, this device could sound an alarm for any unauthorized persons while ignoring those who are allowed to be there.

Again, this is all hypothetical and we may be years away from such an advanced and sophisticated system, but this shows how video analytics have the potential of enhancing various security applications.

What do you think the future holds for video analytics and surveillance technology? Share your predictions and thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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