3 ways to make schools safer with integrated security

Schools today face a wider range of security concerns than ever before. From petty acts of graffiti or vandalism to the ever present risk of mass shootings, administrators in New Jersey and beyond are constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to enhance school security while maintaining quality learning spaces for their students. Ultimately, the goal of any integrated security structure within a school should be to manage the area more effectively, keep students safe from harm, and allow everyone to feel secure while they learn and teach.

Security technology and basic building management now go hand in hand. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2011-2012 school year 88% of schools locked entrances and monitored entrances to the building.

Another 44% used locked and monitored gates to secure access to the grounds. Sixty-four percent relied upon security cameras to watch what was happening throughout the building. These changes allow administration and security staff to more efficiently monitor what happens during the day and come up with appropriate policies for their schools.

The right mix of security systems and freedom of movement can make a tremendous difference for the quality of education children receive while they are in school. These three areas are key to that success.

VISIBILITY AND MONITORING

Not surprisingly, if 90% of a building can be in direct line of sight to a teacher or other authority figure, the rule breaking will almost always happen in the other 10%. Using cameras to monitor behavior between classrooms helps reduce bullying, fighting, and vandalism by putting eyes in those areas, cutting down on incidents and bringing culprits to justice. Videotape recorders are still common, but vary significantly in quality. Fortunately, digital recording technology has come a long way and is quickly becoming the standard for school security.

METAL DETECTORS

In 2003-4, only two percent of public schools had students pass through metal detectors daily. That number has doubled by the 2011-12 school year, and the number of random metal detector sweeps have increased as well. Given the proliferation of gun violence across the country, this is hardly surprising. They are most commonly found in urban school settings and at the secondary level, and play a key role in preventing random school shootings.

ACCESS CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES

Many schools now favor electronic access control over the entrances and exits. While card swipes, fingerprints, or code boxes may cost more in the short run, they are more secure than regular keyed entries. They also offer flexibility for other staff members, who may need to come and go from front or side doors during the day. This allows even main doors to remain locked and makes it harder for intruders to enter the school.

The ultimate goal of all these security systems is to make the school feel as secure as possible for the students inside, while having the smallest effect on how “jail-like” the building becomes. It is an important balance of safety and freedom for students, teachers and administrators alike.

Business Security Systems are Essential

Businesses want to ensure the safety of their employees and customers as well as protect their inventory. After all, inventory is the lifeblood of most businesses. These are the main reasons why most businesses invest in a business security system. Yet, business security systems can do far more and provide the business owner advantages beyond just securing property.

Many business owners are surprised to find that security systems can be a tool that helps increase their profitability. Naturally, security systems reduce theft, but nothing else can provide the valuable insights you need in improving customer engagement, employee productivity, and reducing energy consumption.

Business security systems can:

  • Reduce theft
  • Increase safety
  • Reduce the incidence of lawsuits
  • Deter vandalism
  • Deter loitering
  • Deter outside theft
  • Reduce the incident of employee theft
  • Control/ restrict/ manage/ monitor access
  • Detect motion
  • Provide alerts
  • Provide automation
  • Provide business insights

Integrate Top Technologies in Your Business Security Systems

One of the biggest obstacles in commercial security is knowing exactly what your business needs. With so many options, knowing what technologies to implement in your commercial security system can be very challenging. One way to overcome this problem is by discussing your objectives with a professional; have them evaluate your facility and then provide recommendations.

Businesses should consider these top security product options:

  • Fire/smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and alarms
  • Automation integration
  • Video surveillance systems
  • Tools that restrict access to offices, supplies, or inventory
  • Intrusion alarms
  • Electronic locks and key pads
  • Door sensors
  • Restrict visitor access
  • Siren alarms
  • Motion detection devices
  • Glass break detection
  • Closed circuit television (CCTV)
  • Remote access and control of security system
  • Ability to view video surveillance remotely and over internet connected devices such as smartphones
  • Outdoor cameras
  • Real time alerts
  • 24/7 Monitoring

Today’s security technologies are for much more than protecting against theft or fire. An integrated security system can be the tools that give the business owner the control and insight they need for success. If you have questions about how to fully leverage security product technologies, please feel free to give us a call today.

3 Ways to Keep Life on Track Using Home Security and Mobile Control

One of the best ways to improve one’s safety and security at home is through the use home security technologies. But if you think home security and mobile control is just about security, it’s time to think again. Automation and security technologies are also a powerful tool in managing real life, from scheduling and productivity to energy efficiency.

Here are 3 ways to use these technologies to improve the way life works.

Navigate Family Schedules

You have three busy young teens that all need to be somewhere at the exact same time and the destinations are cities apart. Getting them all there is one problem, and getting them home is another. So, you coordinate with two other parents to get two kids to their destination, and you take the other. When the events are over the kids come home and let themselves home using a unique code, so you know who got home and when. Then, to be sure they are safe you check in on them via live streaming video, and check the status of the home to make sure the doors are locked and windows are shut.

Keeping Everyone on Track

Getting and keeping everyone on track and on the schedule is a monumental task, even if the only schedule you need to worry about is your own. One of the best ways to use home security and mobile technologies is for personal productivity– to keep things moving forward, eliminate routine tasks, and to prepare the way for more efficient daily processes from dawn to dusk, whether you are at home or not. For example, the lights go on for simulated dawn to wake you, the coffee is already brewing, the doors lock behind you, the system arms, you get regular alerts of any unusual activity, manage daily deliveries and services remotely, and have the home ready when you get home. You are never held back, or captive, by the duties of life. Pretty phenomenal.

No More Waiting Around

It has happened to all of us. We have services, friends, or family coming by the home and are late. Now it is time to go to work or another appointment or you’ll be late. What do you do? With mobile control, you can get to your appointment and when the expected company arrives, let them in remotely.

Complete Security Services is New Jersey’s premier electronic security company, providing home and business security systems across the greater New Jersey area.

Your Landscaping has a lot to do with Home Security

When we think of home security, we most often think of home security alarm systems. While alarm systems are always a great number one choice in home protection, there is something more you can do to help protect your property—consider the landscaping.

Surprisingly few people think of landscaping as a security feature, and because of this it very often becomes a security hazard. Here’s what you can do to make your landscaping an asset in home protection.

Tall Trees and Bushes Provide Beauty and Cover

A lush landscape filled with beautiful trees makes a property very attractive, but it can also provide excellent cover to thieves and intruders. A tall tree next to a second story window is like a ladder, and even has leaves to work as camouflage, for example. Consider spacing trees and cutting back anything located against the home structure.

The Visibility Factor Plays an Important Role in Attracting or Deterring Crime

We all value our privacy, but if you are using a lush landscape as a property border you are doing your home security a disservice. Remember, criminals want to avoid detection so the very thing that gives YOU privacy gives the criminal the perfect environment to carry out crime.

Lighting Attracts Mosquitos, Not Burglars

Landscape lighting not only adds beauty to your yard; it also adds security. Again, criminals want to carry out their objective successfully so a significant amount of lighting can be a real deterrent. In addition to pathway lighting, consider motion activated floodlighting that cover places such as doors and windows.

Keeping the Yard Freshly Mowed Tells Everyone You Are Home

An unkempt lawn may tell an intruder that you are frequently away from home or currently on vacation. If you are going to be away from home or tied up in work, schedule a visit from landscape professionals to keep things in order.

Fences Provide Security, Right?

It may sound counter intuitive, but fencing can actually be a problem to your security unless you have the home and property line additionally secured with some of the many options in home protection. Fences and walls can provide the cover intruders need to breach your home.

Criminals Take Prominent Home Security Warnings Seriously

Studies show that the vast majority of criminals will pass by a home that is clearly protected by home security alarm systems. Break out the lawn signs and window decals. They work.

About Complete Security Systems

If you are thinking about how to integrate home security alarm systems into your life, call Complete Security Systems today. We offer advanced solutions for homes and businesses and specializes in smart technologies.

A Fast Guide to Reducing Retail Loss and Developing a Loss Prevention Strategy

A loss prevention plan is the establishment of specific policies and procedures and the implementation of tools that will reduce the incident of internal theft, external theft, and errors that lead to losses. Retail loss accounts for represents 1.47% of retail revenue.

Of that amount,

  • 48% is due to employee theft
  • 32% to shoplifting
  • 15% administrative errors
  • 5% vendor fraud

Internal (Employee) Theft

Internal theft is the biggest contributor to loss of most retail establishments. It occurs through many methods including merchandise theft, helping/allowing others to steal, and “conversion fraud” which include void, discount, and refund theft.

External Theft

External Theft is caused by robberies, shoplifting or other outside sources. Though External theft does not account for as much as internal theft, it is still a significant source of loss.

Errors

Errors, such as mistakes in paperwork, inaccurate counting of products or mistakes in money exchange can account for between 5-20% of a retailer’s annual loss. That’s pretty significant.

Vendor Fraud

Vendor fraud is fraud committed by vendors either acting alone or with the help of employees receiving kickbacks. This might include things like price rigging, overbilling, padding the bill, shorting the delivery, and similar schemes.

Smart Strategies for Reducing Retail Loss

Even small losses add up over time and effect bottom line profitability that hurts the entire business, causing lost profits. Those profits could be used for more inventory, expansion, hiring additional employees, or increased employee wages or benefits. Ultimately, everyone loses. Loss prevention strategies take, time, commitment, and a modest investment but pay off in the end.

Here are some important tips in preventing retail loss:

  • Do pre-employment background checks
  • Implement employee recognition/morale programs
  • Develop a loss prevention protocol
  • Train employees in theft reduction strategies
  • Have a dedicated theft reduction team
  • Stop by the business without warning
  • Spot check inventory and cash drawers frequently
  • Check physical inventory against inventory spreadsheets
  • Hire security guards
  • Stress Integrity as part of the company culture
  • Install access control systems
  • Install video surveillance systems and CCTV
  • Manage traffic patterns and choke points
  • Be aware of dwell times
  • Train employees to engage customers
  • Train employees to spot suspicious activities
  • Train employees on receiving inventory
  • Cover receiving areas with cameras
  • Use inventory tracking systems, POS systems and other tools to manage and track inventory

About Complete Security Systems

Retail loss is a big problem, and for businesses working within tight margins, it can be devastating. Business security and access control systems can be controlled and monitored remotely, making them a vital part of your loss prevention strategy.

If you have questions about how to leverage business security systems in the reduction of retail loss, give us a call today. We are pleased to assist you.

Who can Help You Evaluate your Home Security Needs?

Protecting your home and property depends a lot on how much you know about crime, how a criminal works, and where your home lacks in security features. While conducting your own home security check can provide useful information, it may not be enough. Without industry knowledge, most residents only know to cover the basics with security features, leaving gaps in their protection.

Professional Installation vs. DIY

Having a professional security evaluation can help assure you do not miss any areas of concern, and help you in deciding on what home security features are the best fit for your needs.

Since Home security is such an important matter, it makes sense to get a professional security evaluation. Here’s why:

  1. A professional knows about the available options and technologies. Home security is a vast, highly technical industry. Industry professionals have dedicated themselves to knowing these options and can provide the best information on each.
  2. In evaluating a home, an industry expert can match the right feature to the need, and make a recommendation based on your concerns.
  3. While a homeowner might be aware of many of the basic home security needs, they may not be aware of such things as how criminals work. This knowledge helps industry professionals make the best recommendations in security features and functions.
  4. A security professional is trained to see how all of the aspects of the property either add or detract from personal security, rather than looking at each element as a stand-alone component.
  5. A professional is likely to see security concerns the resident overlooks.

Where to get Qualified Information

In addition to companies who specialize in evaluating security, there are others that can help evaluate your home and make valuable recommendations. First, local police departments can often provide important tips on how you can improve your security and might even provide a cursory walk-though of your property. While the police department can provide important information on where your security lacks, or on how criminals work, they likely do not know about all of the home security options to address these issues. Secondly, home security technology providers, like Complete Security Systems, can help you identify your needs and recommend the best home security systems.

About Complete Security Systems

Complete Security Systems New Jersey’s premier electronic security company, providing home and business security systems across the greater New Jersey area for over 30 years. If you are making decisions about how to protect your home, family and property, call Complete Security Systems today.

Burglary Deterrence Ideas For New Homeowners

Few things in life are as exciting as owning your first home, and the experience should remain one you remember with fondness for the rest of your life. Crime, however, can tarnish that experience. While new homeowners are wrapped up in the fun of settling in to their new home and getting familiar with the new neighborhood, criminals are very likely getting familiar with them, too! The fact is, crime does not take a break and the very nature of a bust move may make your home a target for crime.

If you are buying a new home, here are some important home security tips you should consider right now:

  1. Take steps to remove anything that obstructs your view of the property. Overgrown shrubs and trees provide the perfect cover a burglar wanting to gain access to you home.
  2. Make gaining access to your property difficult. If the property does not already have one, install a fence or wall, and a locked gate.
  3. Install outdoor lighting. Use motion sensor lighting around the property so that there are no dark or secluded areas where a burglar can hide.
  4. Change the locks immediately. It is impossible to know if a previous homeowner had and shared extra keys to your new home. Play it safe and have the locks changed even before your first night.
  5. Have a home alarm systems installed. Burglars count on it taking time for a new homeowner to settle in to a new property. They also know that they likely have made a few purchases to go with that new home, like new furniture or electronics.  Be proactive and have a home security system installed as soon as possible.
  6. Install a video surveillance system. CCTV can provide just the right amount of visibility, and the right amount of visible deterrence.
  7. Install a peephole in your front door. If your home is a new structure the front door is likely stock, which means it may not yet have a peephole installed. If it does not yet have one, have one, get one installed at a height that is most comfortable to all of the people in your household.
  8. Find out about area crime trends. While any crime can happen in any area, it helps to know what crimes are common so you can make a purposeful effort to thwart that particular crime.
  9. Get familiar with neighborhood service providers and schedules.  It is difficult to pick out suspicious activity if you do not know legitimate activity. Be able to identity local utility and delivery services so suspicious activity stands out.
  10. Join a neighborhood watch program. Get to know your neighbors and join forces to keep your neighborhood safe. If you do not have a neighborhood watch program, call the local police department and ask for information about starting one.

About Complete Security Systems

Owning a home is the American dream. Make sure you take all the necessary precautions against crime that can make the experience a nightmare. If you have questions about how to make your new home a safe haven, the best home security and home alarm products, or video surveillance systems, give us a call today.

Burglary and Property Crime in New Jersey

Many of our New Jersey alarm systems customers want to know what parts of the state are the most vulnerable to burglary and other property crimes – in other words, crimes that security systems are designed to ward off. Thanks to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, which runs about a year behind and recently released the preliminary data for 2017, we can provide you with that information. Right now, it appears that New Jersey cities with high incidents of these crimes in 2017 include:

City Burglaries Property Crimes
Newark 1,019 4,559
Jersey City 575 2,524
Paterson 744 2,140

There are a few in the report that were something of an anomaly when it comes to being hit hard by burglary and property crime. For example, Woodbridge Township experienced 971 property crimes in 2016, but only 135 reported burglaries. The same was true of Edison Township, where 633 property crimes took place, but only 136 burglaries – and Elizabeth, which experienced an astonishing 1,747 property crimes as opposed to 386 burglaries.

What Is Property Crime?

For those who don’t know, property crime is defined as any crimes involving burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The burglary numbers are included in the property crime numbers for each city.

In any case, these stats confirm what those of us in the security industry already knew: There has never been a greater need for homeowners to protect their properties with electronic security products, including alarm systems and video surveillance cameras, all monitored by a reliable, local monitoring center.

Our New Jersey alarm systems customers benefit from those products and services, so their chances of experiencing burglary and certain property crimes are much lower. If you would like more information, contact Complete Security Systems; we will be glad to help.

About Complete Security Systems

Since 1983, CSS has been meeting the needs of homes and businesses throughout New Jersey with intelligent security systems custom tailored to protect life and property. Integrity in sales & consulting, painstaking care during installation and superior customer service have earned Complete Security Systems the trust and respect of New Jersey residents, and the brand names that you know and trust.

 

Time to Supercharge Your Business? It’s Time for Business Automation.

Running a successful business takes a lot of time and effort. We would not have it any other way, right? But when there is a better way to manage our time so that we can reinvest it elsewhere to move our business forward, we are all in. Enter one serious multi-purpose business tool – Business Automation from CSS.

Total Confidence

Sure, many of you think of the security facet when you think of interactive security, and is undeniably a huge part of what makes it a wonderful business tool. With it you can:

  • Arm or disarm your your system remotely.
  • Receive alerts when the system is disarmed.
  • Receive alerts is exterior doors open.
  • Make certain areas off limits.

Those are reasons enough to want to leverage interactive security, but there is more, far more that it can do to help you manage your business.

Who Knew?

The mark of any great entrepreneur is the ability to think outside the box and use every tool tool to its maximum potential. Business Automation helps business owners manage their time and their business far better than ever before. Here are just a few of the ways business automation is better than the best multitool.

Interactive security for business allows you to:

  • Monitor sensitive tools, information, and technologies remotely.
  • Monitor POI transactions and the cash drawer.
  • Gain customer insights.
  • Gain information to help improve store layout.
  • Improve customer safety.
  • Improve and promote process and procedures.
  • Improve customer service.
  • Improve and promote safety practices.
  • Monitor customer traffic.
  • Protect premises from theft and vandalism.
  • Check on the status and productivity of the business.
  • Assign or cancel employee access codes to improve safety.

Business owners cannot be everywhere at once, but security automation helps them be as close to that as is possible. Business owners do not have to on the premises to conduct critical functions or have a watchful eye on the daily working of the business. That is a huge advantage when every moment needs to yield the highest return.

About Complete Security Systems

At Complete Security Systems, we consider every client our partner. We have a sincere interest in making sure that each client is satisfied beyond their expectations. Contact us today for a free on site evaluation of your small business.

 

Criminals Think Family Decal Stickers are Great, Too

According to a recent report on KTVX ABC 4 News in Utah, those cute personalized family window stickers tell more about your family than you’d ever tell strangers yourself.

From fun stick figure family members and pets to creepy skull family stickers complete with family member names, personalized window decals seem completely innocent. But safety experts say these fun representations of our family, hobbies, and interests give away important information and tell more about your family than you’d ever tell strangers yourself.

Your Life in Stickers

Most people do not realize that the combined information stickers and decals tell could spell trouble. What is a simple display of pride for us could be just the bit of information a criminal needs to piece together a plan to victimize your family.

Criminals are not Honest Citizens

Worrying about window decals might seem excessive or extreme to an honest citizen, but criminals are not honest citizens. Unfortunately, criminals and predators are everywhere and they are looking for any bit of information they can that would aid them in committing crime. Remember, criminals think like criminals not honest citizens.

What Decals and Stickers really Say

You may be surprised at how little it takes to piece together more information than you’d choose to tell any stranger, much less a criminal.

The information that can be gained from stickers and decals is astounding. They may:

  • Tell how many people are in the family
  • Identify a single parent home, and whether the parent is male or female
  • Show the age ranges of your children
  • Identify the sex of children
  • Tell the name of your child’s school or school district
  • Suggest the probability of the presence of gaming systems, tablets, and computers in the home
  • Help criminals gauge the probability of expensive tools, equipment, or gear stored in the home
  • Whether you have a dog guarding the property as well as size and breed
  • Suggest whether you vacation frequently and far from home

Are Stickers Worth the Fun?

We cannot prevent all crime of course, but we can take simple steps to avoid telling too much. Placing decal and stickers and decals on your vehicle is all in good fun, and only you can decide if the fun outweighs the risk.

All crimes are crimes of opportunity and if it happens to you or a loved one, it is 100%. It is up to every individual to reduce risk and give the criminals as few opportunities as possible. A great rule of thumb is that if you would not publicize all of the information that can be learned or assumed to be true from your choice of window decals, then you may want to reconsider placing them on your vehicle.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can increase your safety with home security alarms, call Complete Security Systems today (732)784-4025.