Is your NYC building winter-proof?

New York City winters are cold and brutal. As a building manager, you’re not going to want to wing it – you’re going to need to be prepared for the winter season before it’s too late.

Here are some of American Security’s top tips to keep your building protected and winter-ready:

  • Is it time to update your heating systems? Is your HVAC system up to par and working efficiently? How about your gas heater? You may be missing out on a huge energy saving opportunity if they’re not.
  • Change your furnace filters. A small maintenance opportunity that is easy to forget, furnace filters need to be cleaned or even replaced if they’re super dirty – dirty filters restrict airflow and increase your energy costs. A great way to make this as hassle-free a process as it can be, is to invest in a permanent filter.
  • Make sure your building doors and windows are draft-proof. Are your doors and windows the correct size? If not, the subsequent drafts can increase your energy bills up to 30%!
  • Leaving your building vacant for the winter? Make sure you winterize your building water supply piping or else you could face permanent freeze damage. We recommend removing all water from the supply pipes and cut pipes if necessary.
  • Every year, thousands of buildings spend way too much on energy due to damage on the exterior of the buildings.  Make sure you’re keeping up with building repairs and calk in the areas around pipes to ensure they are insulated and prevented from the freezing cold temperatures of the outside world.
  • A seasonal change is also a good opportunity to audit your building technology. Is your security system up to date? Make sure your security system is up to date and fully functional.
  • No other part of your building gets as much direct exposure to the brunt of winter than your roof does. Building managers should conduct roof inspections before and after every winter to ensure blistering, cracking, ponding and other issues are not impacting their building.

New York City winters are nasty but the worst can be prevented with proper preparation. When it comes to life safety, there is no margin for error. That’s why our customers have been relying on American Security to protect their homes, businesses, and facilities since 1979. We have been installing monitoring and maintaining security, fire and interactive video systems throughout the tristate area and specialize in commercial and multi-family housing applications.

Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.

Top 2018 Home Fire Safety Tips

Did you know people often have as little as 2 minutes to escape from home fires? Are you fire ready? Nobody wants to think their home might be a target for a life-threatening fire but it can happen to anybody.

Here are some of American Security’s top tips to keep your home and family protected and ready:

  • In the event of a fire emergency, every second counts. Be prepared ahead of time and practice your home escape plan at least twice a year. Find alternative ways to get out of each room in your house in case the primary exit is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • Teach children to call out to firefighters or other emergency responders  in the case of an emergency – not hide from them.
  • Of course, a working fire alarm system in every level of your home  is a must and will greatly increase your chance of surviving a deadly home fire. Test smoke alarms every month and make sure to replace batteries as needed.
  • Make sure all of your windows are working properly, that window screens can be taken out quickly and that security bars are able to be opened.
  • Not all fire alarms make sound – accessible smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired.  If you are hearing impaired, learn more about the options available to you. Additionally, smoke alarms with strobe lights are available for the outside of your home to signal to neighbors that you’re in danger.
  • Preparation is key but when you are actually in a deadly fire emergency, crawl low to get underneath of smoke as smoke rises up, don’t open doors or door knobs if they are hot, and if your clothes catch fire – stop, drop, and roll.

Home fires are deadly but the worst can be prevented with proper preparation. When it comes to life safety, there is no margin for error. That’s why our customers have been relying on American Security to protect their homes, businesses, and facilities since 1979. We have been installing monitoring and maintaining security, fire and interactive video systems throughout the tristate area and specialize in commercial and multi-family housing applications.

Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.

American Security | Employee Highlight | Frank Bell

frank bell american security

Frank Bell, Vice President of Business Development,
American Security

At American Security, we know our people are our most valuable asset. Each month, we recognize a member of our team for their outstanding contributions to our organization with our American Security Employee Spotlight.

This month, we celebrate Frank Bell.

Frank joined the team at American Security two years ago when a friend suggested he contact our CEO, Sean O’Neill. The pair hit it off and after speaking for two hours and Frank being captivated by Sean’s vision for the company, Frank knew he needed to work for American Security.

As Vice President of Business Development, Frank is in charge of cultivating business with existing clients along with developing new business.

His favorite part about working at American Security is being involved in helping people protect what they have and feel more secure. Additionally, Frank is a born lover of architecture. He says is fortunate to be able to see some truly extraordinary buildings throughout the city that were built years ago as well as some of the more extravagant buildings being built today.

“[There is] something about seeing and being part of something built from the ground-up, probably because I can swing a hammer – I just rarely hit anything.“

Frank Bell, Vice President of Business Development,
American Security

Frank is proud of the value American Security provides to property owners. They don’t have to worry “What if…?” They can do what they’re supposed to do and manage their building, Frank says, while American Security does what they’re supposed to do. If they do it right, which Frank knows they will, they’ll get to do it all over again with them at the next location.

 “We provide an interactive security solution, a communication solution, future forward technology along with a marketable amenity.  What differentiates us from other construction trades is that we are there at the building for years to come. At the end of the day, if we do what we are supposed to do, we get to do it all over again with them at the next location.“

Frank Bell, Vice President of Business Development,
American Security

Outside of work, Frank, his wife and their daughter enjoy traveling and experiencing new things. Though he loves the island of Manhattan, they all really love the Big Island of Hawaii most of all.

Thanks for reading this month’s American Security Employee Spotlight. Stay tuned for more.

Aloha!

American Security Systems | Employee Highlight | Brian Brynolfson

Brian Brynolfson, Tech Manager,
American Security

 

At American Security, we know our people are our most valuable asset. Each month, we recognize a member of our team for their outstanding contributions to our organization with our American Security Employee Spotlight.

This month, we celebrate Brian Brynolfson.

Brian originally joined the team at American Security in 2012 after years of working in low voltage electric, security cameras and burglar alarms. He enjoyed his earlier work in the security industry but the challenge of fire drew him in, especially with the rules and regulations of New York City. When the opportunity to move to New York and work with American Security came up, he grabbed it!

Brian began his work at American Security as Field Supervisor for the fire division and is currently Tech Manager. Now, he works outside of the fields, manages employees from the job sites, and gets sites ready for inspection.

Coming to American Security, Brian says he has experienced a tremendous amount of growth. His favorite part about working at American Security is the immense opportunity to learn and grow at every corner.

“As far as you want to take yourself, you can do it.“

Brian Brynolfson, Tech Manager,
American Security

He would like to thank Mike Carter for training him when he first started out at the company.

A small tip for property owners? Brian says you need to stay in compliance – there’s no cutting corners when it comes to life safety! Spend the extra time and resources to ensure you have a proper alarm system in place.

If you’re trying to get into the profession yourself, Brian says it’s a good move.

 

“There’s no ceiling – you can keep going and studying and pushing yourself. Push yourself! This is a fast growing business that is only getting bigger – especially in New York.”

Brian Brynolfson, Tech Manager,
American Security

 

Thanks for reading this month’s American Security Employee Spotlight. Stay tuned for more.

American Security Systems | Employee Highlight | Maritza Gonzalez

Maritza Gonzalez, Life Safety System Designs,
American Security

 

At American Security, we know our people are our most valuable asset. Each month, we recognize a member of our team for their outstanding contributions to our organization with our American Security Employee Spotlight.
This month, we celebrate Maritza Gonzalez.

Maritza originally joined the team at American Security in 2016 [a]after 17 years of working in the music industry. Her partner had already been involved in the Security Industry, and, by chance, a friend passed along her resume. It was history from there.  Her work began with locks but the industry evolved into Video Doorman and that’s what she’s involved in now! [b]Currently, Maritza oversees the performance and growth of Life Safety System Designs where she works on client relations management. Coming from the music industry, Maritza took everything she learned from the industry about customers and inserted it into her current work at American Security. Maritza makes certain that all customer needs are met and all customer questions are answered. She keeps customers calm and assures them that they don’t have to worry.

Coming to American Security with no previous experience in the security industry, Maritza was expecting to just do paperwork but ended up learning the nuts and bolts of everything. She takes pride in her work and she owes it all to her colleagues. She says her mentor Shia Tauber, Life Safety Director, has a passion that continually inspires Maritza. “It’s a passion that is infectious, nurturing, and compelling – to love what you do and have pride and respect of why you do it and who you do it for,” she says of Shia’s passion. Maritza also gives credit to Michael Carter, a fire alarm veteran of over 20 years who has developed countless installers, technicians, and programmers in the fire industry. She says he continuously pours his knowledge and expertise into Maritza. She would like to thank her colleagues for training her when she first came on board and ensuring that she had a clear understanding of the the industry to help her succeed in her career. Maritza would also like to give credit to the American Security fire customers crew: Victoria Rivers, Rochelle Scott, and the newest team member, Jaivanni Warden. They continuously learn and educate customers as they are continuously put in positions that require their composure and professionalism to calm and educate customers regarding all FDNY related issues. Lastly, she would like to thank Sean O’Neill, Trudi Schlosberg, and Andrea Yearwood for seeing something in Maritza, despite no previous experience in the security industry on her resume.

Maritza’s favorite part about working at American Security is the learning and growth that comes along with everyday challenges. She says that everything is constantly growing and evolving and loves passing that on to customers. When not working, Maritza enjoys fishing. Her favorite leisurely activity is going to fishing parties on the weekend and making new friends! She’s also an avid reader. Her most loved authors are James Patterson and Dean Koontz – she’ll read anything by them.

“Everything is constantly growing and evolving.” – Maritza Gonzalez, Life Safety System Designs, American Security

A small tip for property owners? Maritza says to be conscious of workers working on repairs in your building – they can accidentally trigger fire alarms and you may just get an unexpected visit from the fire department. Unless you want the FDNY to come over for dinner, change your fire-alarm settings to “test” during these times! The fire alarm will still go off, but the fire department won’t be called.

Thanks for reading this month’s American Security Employee Spotlight. Stay tuned for more.

Never a Dull Moment At SSI Summit for Seth Barcus

This week, our Director of Security and Interactive Services, Seth Barcus  was interviewed by Total Tech Summit about why he thinks the SSI summit has become a must-attend event.  The Security Sales & Integration Summit will host 135 security integrators for 2.5 days of idea and best practice sharing, market information and high-quality engagements with sponsoring companies. Seth began attending the event 2 years ago, and plans to keep on coming as long as the event continues!

The networking aspect of the event offers tremendous value to Seth as well as hearing from successful CEOs and learning about what they’ve done to bring their companies forward. “That stuff is priceless”, he says.

“For me, bringing the knowledge outside of our industry into our industry and making sure we’re all up on what’s going on around us and what will seep into our business was tremendous.”

Seth Barcus, Director of Security and Interactive Services,
American Security

You can view the full article here.

Protect Your Tenants from Home Invasion [CHECKLIST]

After spending decades in the commercial and facility security field, we’ve pretty much seen all the tactics home invaders utilize time and time again to break into their unsuspecting victim’s buildings and apartments. Home invasion is a serious crime – is your building protected?

Protect your home and buildings from invaders by running through this checklist. By following these guidelines, you’ll make your building – and your tenant’s belongings – less appealing to thieves.

  1. Trim the shrubbery around your building to remove potential hiding spots for invaders.
  2. Keep the outside of your apartment building well-lit and visible to neighbors, cameras, and patrolling officers.
  3. If your property is walled, be sure to install cameras to identify visitors. Install the same for your lobby.
  4. Be sure that everyone living in the building knows how to summon emergency security personnel, as well as how to trigger your security system to send out an alert.
  5. Test your security system regularly to ensure it will still communicate with the central monitoring station in an emergency.
  6. Keep your facility’s garage, shed, back house, etc. locked at all times – intruders can access items easily from unlocked units.
  7. Security gates/chain locks should always be used as they don’t break easily.
  8. Lock the internal doors of rooms not being used at night.
  9. Activate the alarms of the rooms not in use for the evening.

Feel free to reach out to our team if you have any additional questions about building security! Our innovative  and interactive security systems, such as Safe Lobby and Video Doorman, grant you and your loved ones peace of mind. Find out more on the site.

American Security Systems | Employee Spotlight | Sean O’Neill

Sean O’Neill, CEO of American Security

At American Security, we know our people are our most valuable asset. Each month we recognize a member of our team for their outstanding contributions to our organization in our American Security Employee Spotlight. This month we’re honoring our forward-thinking, innovative leader and CEO, Sean O’Neil.

Sean is an exemplary leader and inspiration to us all here at American Security. Don’t just take our word for it – Check out New York Real Estate Journal’s bio of him below: 

Check out  New York Real Estate Journal’s interview with Sean O’Neill.

Sean O’Neill, CEO of American Security Systems, sat down with the New York Real Estate Journal for a Question & Answer session.

O’Neill joined the team at American Security as CEO in 2015 after acquiring the business from its founder, Larry Dolin. Ihad positioned myself as the ‘next generation buyer,’ seeking a well-established security business with a legacy to carry forward. Since its founding in 1979, American has become one of the largest independent providers of interactive security and fire services in the tristate region.

O’Neill spent most of his career on Wall Street, investing in and growing businesses in North America before deciding to pursue his dream of owning and operating a business.  In late 2013, nearing the completion of an MBA program at INSEAD, he raised seed capital from a group of entrepreneurs to finance a search to buy the right business. After nearly two years and countless emails, letters, phone calls, and meetings, he accomplished what he set out to do.

Upon completing the acquisition of American, O’Neill relocated back to New York with his wife, Julia, of ten years and their three daughters.

 

Thanks for reading this week’s American Security Employee Spotlight. Stay tuned for more.

The 15 Safest Neighborhoods in NYC

Ahhhh, New York City! There’s absolutely no place like it on earth. The constant hustle, the worlds of opportunity, the food…living in NYC is truly a dream come true – for some. While NYC may seem like an idyllic, candy-colored dream for outsiders, those familiar with her streets know there are some ugly truths behind the glitz and glam. Luckily, we’ve done our research and have outlined the 15 safest neighborhoods in NYC.

While some NYC neighborhoods (like those listed below) are relatively peaceful, high-crime areas like the Theater District and the area surrounding Madison Square Garden are notorious for assault crimes, robberies, and general violence. In other words: not the best place to raise kids.

On a more positive note, American Security has helped bring vandalism, loitering, and robbery rates down across NYC through the interactive monitoring of our top-notch security systems. For those of you who may be new in the game of property management in NYC, it’s important to know which neighborhoods are particularly dangerous and which are particularly safe. Below we’ve outlined the latter.

15 Safest NYC Neighborhoods

We’ve compiled a list of the top 15 safest neighborhoods in NYC, pulled from sources like Address Report, Business Insider, StreetEasy, and NYC.gov. Without further ado, here are the safest neighborhoods in New York City:

  1. Tribeca
  2. Battery Park City
  3. Nolita
  4. DUMBO
  5. Kips Bay
  6. Financial District
  7. Murray Hill
  8. Gramercy
  9. SoHo
  10. NoHO
  11. Prospect Heights
  12. Brooklyn Heights
  13. Greenwich Village
  14. Flatiron District
  15. Hell’s Kitchen

Remember: crime is, unfortunately, inevitable. Every area and neighborhood of NYC (and beyond) will always have it’s pros and cons. No matter where in this glorious city you live, you can sleep easy knowing that American Security has your back. Learn more about our versatile and affordable security systems here.

What do you love about your NYC neighborhood? #WeLoveNYC

About American Security

American Security has been protecting people’s homes, businesses, and facilities for more than 40 years. We believe that when it comes to life safety, there is no margin for error. That’s why we help protect the assets and the livelihoods of our clients with the most trusted, easy-to-use security systems on the market. 

From CCTV’s and 24- HR Central Station monitoring to NYC Fire Compliance and ARC Installation, we have you covered.  Find the security solution that works best  for you, contact us today.

What Is a Video Doorman?

These days, everything is going virtual.

 You can’t make it to the bank? Scan your check and deposit it via the app. Are you going to miss Grandma’s birthday? FaceTime your dad and it’s like you’re there the whole time. Too lazy to shop for bananas? You get the picture…

Here at American Security, we are devoted to bringing the highest level of security technology to our customers, minus the hefty price tag. Hence, the video doorman was born.

When it comes to building security, building managers and security personnel know that human error is inevitable.  Building entrances may be compromised, costing YOU money, time, effort, and sometimes, the trust of your tenants. American Security has devised a better way for you to keep your lobby safe.

How does it work?

We’ve put a foolproof system in place to ensure you’re building is expertly monitored using top-quality software. Here is the process you can expect to experience when you opt for a video doorman system:

  1. Our team visits your site to better understand the configurations and specific needs of your lobby.
  2. We craft a customized plan determining which types of CCTV, card access door control, and intercoms are the right fit your business.
  3. Then we launch into overdrive: we install the hardware, implement the software, and get you all set up and ready to go.
  4. We consistently monitor and keep you informed on the goings-on of your building.
  5. If necessary, we train everyone on your team, as well as your residents, on how the new system works (and how they’re now safer than ever!)
  6. Follow up: we keep the lines of communication open. We’re always available to answer any questions, address any concerns, and obviously, neutralize any potential emergencies, 24/7.

Want to learn more about our safe lobby and video doorman systems? Get in touch with a member of our team to today to learn more!