5 Security Tips On How Building Owners Can Prepare Their Properties For Winter

Winter is coming… What does that mean for your building’s security? 

As cooler weather approaches, it’s important to ensure your building and your tenants are prepared for the drop in temperatures. 

When it comes to the protection of your property, employees, and customers, the winter season presents its own set of unique problems. Colder temps can make travel dangerous and force unexpected company closures. The winter also brings holiday travel and vacation time, which can put your business in danger of theft, vandalism, and other crimes. 

So how do you make sure you have all of your boxes checked to create a safe and secure building environment this winter? Keep reading to find out!

  1. Prevent Winter Injuries

Did you know that 20% of slips and falls that occur in parking lots result in lost time from work? During the wintertime, snow begins to fall and the ground begins to freeze, creating a high risk for slip-and-fall accidents. It’s crucial that you keep your surrounding areas such as sidewalks and parking lots clear of snow. 

Although the clearing of snow will create a path for your tenants, employees, etc., the icy ground will still be there. 

Review these safety precautions with your employees to ensure they stay as safe as possible to avoid the risk of injury. 

  • Never walk with your hands in your pockets. Having your hands unavailable could result in a serious injury. Having your hands free from your pockets will allow you to better break your fall, avoiding serious head injuries. 
  • Wear the proper shoes. Stray away from wearing leather sole shoes, as they can be very dangerous when you’re attempting to tread over the icy sidewalks. Rubber soles provide the most grip for these conditions. 
  • Be cautious. If the ground before you looks questionable, test it out before committing to a full stride, and if available always use handrails. 

Taking these extra precautions and being aware of your surroundings will help decrease the chances of serious injuries. 

  1. Ensure Proper Lighting

During the winter months, the sun sets a lot earlier in the day, making more room for the dark. Ensuring you invest in proper lighting will diminish your chances of crimes in and around your building as it acts as a natural deterrent for burglars. 

Assess the outside of your building to make sure you have adequate lighting around your entire building. 

Buildings that appear to be vacant, because of their lack of lighting, are the number one targets for intruders. And the extended dark days and nights mean more opportunities for crimes to take place.

Having good indoor lighting can also be beneficial for keeping crimes from occurring. It also gives a good view of any intruders that may have entered your building.

  1. Check all entrances, including windows. 

Extreme weather conditions and drastic drops in temperatures can sometimes compromise the integrity of doors, windows, and locks. These issues can result in a reduced amount of security and invite unwanted intruders. 

Ensure the integrity of your building can withstand these changes in temperature before they happen. Take a walk around your property and inspect all locks, hinges, structures, and windows. Make sure there is no sign of rust or decay and take any necessary measures to keep them secure.

  1. Have a backup generator

As stated above, extreme temperatures such as heavy snowstorms can affect the integrity of your building, but they can also cause power outages. Having a power outage without a backup generator could leave your building at risk and compromise your building security. 

A backup generator will give you peace of mind in case of emergencies, keeping your lights, electronics, and security systems fully operational. 

  1. Install a Security System

The most important way you can keep your building free of crime is by installing a security system.

Any business, no matter the season, should always have an operational security system in place. 

The more security in place on your property, the less likely you are to be targeted by criminals looking to intrude. When setting up your security cameras, make sure you have all areas of your building, including both indoor and outdoor areas. 

Today there are plenty of options for security systems that allow the owners to access remotely. This is especially helpful for holidays away from your building and when the weather doesn’t allow for travel. 

If you need a security system, visit https://americansecurity.com/#products to see our solutions. Our team will meet with you and assess your security needs to find a solution that works best for you. 

Our services include CCTV, Virtual Doorman, Building Security Solutions, Building Intercom Systems, Commercial Security Cameras, and NYC Fire Code Compliance.

If you have any questions, contact us today. 

Thanksgiving Dinner Safety Tips

Did you know that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires? According to the National Fire Protection Association, 1,630 home cooking fires were reported on Thanksgiving in 2018 alone! In most instances, the kitchen was left unattended while food was cooking.

At American Security, we believe there is no margin for error when it comes to life safety. Here are our top kitchen fire safety tips to keep in mind this Thanksgiving: 

  1. Never leave the stove unattended. If you are cooking anything— frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food— make sure to supervise the food. If you are going to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove. Often, fires can start in an instant. If you’re not there to manage it, you put your house at serious risk.
  2. Keep the cooking space clean. If anything surrounding the cooking area is highly combustible, you make the potential for a fire much more dangerous. When cooking this Thanksgiving, make sure to keep the cooking area tidy and free of combustible materials like papers, packaging, flammable liquids, oven mitts, towels, or anything else.
  3. Keep children out of the kitchen as much as you can. Children tend to be clumsy and move things around. The kitchen is full of potentially dangerous apparatus that should only be operated by adults. To ensure the kitchen is at its lowest risk for burning and fire potential, make it a kid-free zone!
  4. Don’t let pot handles stick out. If you have food cooking on the stove, make sure all pot handles are turned inward towards the back of the stove and out of the way of traffic. This makes them less likely to be run into or improperly grabbed by any children that might roam the kitchen.
  5. Practice traditional fire safety. That’s right! Teach the household the importance of stop, drop, and roll! Additionally, keep a fire extinguisher on hand and consider investing in a fire-smothering blanket or prepping your house for easy access around cooking time for the holidays. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 
  6. Dress for kitchen safety. Loose-fitting clothing is a fire hazard! Don’t risk catching aflame and make sure to wear form-fitting clothing and close-toed shoes when cooking in the kitchen, especially where there are open flames present. 
  7. Don’t drink and cook! Around the holidays, it’s traditional to get festive and have a drink or two. Make sure to stay sober when you are cooking and preparing meals, and save the drinking for later. Using kitchen appliances while inebriated is a huge fire safety risk.

If you’re a building manager in NYC, you might find it helpful to share these tips with your tenants. You’ll also need to ensure that in the event of a fire, your building is fire-code compliant and that your ARCS system is properly installed.

If you live in an apartment make sure you follow these apartment-specific fire safety tips: 

  • Make sure each unit has a smoke alarm that works.
  • Each apartment should have a carbon monoxide detector. (Fire code dictates a detector within 15 feet of the doorway to a sleeping area).
  • Throw away frayed or damaged electric cords that may pose a fire risk.
  • Prohibiting the use of highly flammable materials being stored in apartments like gasoline or high quantities of ethanol.
  • Keeping space heaters away from combustible materials.
  • Keeping the fire escape window easy to access.
  • Make sure building stairways are clear for fires!

This Thanksgiving, the team at American Security encourages families everywhere to enjoy the holidays safely. Follow these tips to practice utmost fire safety in the home and prevent getting burned. 

Looking for tangible fire solutions in your building? Check out our fire safety solutions here. To learn more about our CCTV, Virtual Doorman, Building Security, and full-service security systems, please contact us

Fire Safety Tips for Fall

Fall has fallen! With the turn of the season, it is important to protect your family and property from all of the fire hazards associated with autumn. 

Here are some of American Security’s top fire safety tips for the fall:

  1. Be extra careful with your candles

Autumn is a great time to light up those pumpkin pie-fragranced candles! But, candles are some of the most frequent causes of house fires. This season, make sure to exercise caution with your candles by always setting them on sturdy surfaces away from other flammable objects, lighting them only when attended, and blowing them out when you leave the house. You can also consider flameless alternatives like oil diffusers and plugin fragrances for a fire-safe way to make your home smell festive.

  1. Check on your furnace

With cooler weather comes a cooler household. Before you start turning on the heat, make sure to call your heating company to do a regulatory check-up on your furnace. Any leaks or damages can put your house in danger!

  1. Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly

This year when you’re changing your clocks for Daylight Savings, make sure to also swap out the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. And don’t forget to check and replace your fire extinguishers if need be. 

  1. Exercise caution with your fireplace

Want to make your living room extra cozy by lighting up the fireplace? Make sure to exercise extra caution. Make sure your fireplace is contained and that no extraneous flammable materials are close by. Consider investing in a fire-smothering blanket in the event that a fire spreads. Never leave a lit fireplace unattended and double-check that the embers are completely extinguished before going to sleep.

  1. Don’t burn those leaves

Burning your raked leaves isn’t only a fire hazard, it’s potentially cancer-causing! According to the Environmental Protection Agency, burning fall leaves releases carcinogenic chemicals. If you do choose to burn your leaves, be sure to see that the weather is not too windy and can be done in a secure area away from a house or other flammable materials.

All in all, fall is a wonderful time to enjoy all things fragrant and festive, though it does come with its seasonal risks. At American Security, we believe there is no margin for error when it comes to life safety, so we highly recommend you take these fire prevention measures to enjoy a festive and fire-free fall!

Learn about our fire protection services here: https://americansecurity.com/#fire

About American Security

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your business, and your family safe at every level. We are proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. 

Explore our security solutions

How to Keep Your Property Safe This Halloween

Spooky season is here! Did you know that crime goes up by 50% on Halloween night?

It turns out that ghosts, ghouls, and goblins aren’t the only spooky things you need to look out for this festive time of year— you’ll also need to protect your home from vandalism, theft, and burglary.

Here’s a couple of tips to keep your property safe this Halloween:

  1. Set up surveillance around your home

If you don’t have it already, home security systems and cameras are some of the best ways to deter criminals from taking interest in your property. Before Halloween, make sure to see that your cameras are working and that they’re receiving unobstructed footage so that in the event of an attempt, you can have video footage of the crime. Check out American Security’s surveillance solutions here.

  1. Stay in

If you can, plan on staying home altogether. Your property is at a higher risk when no one is inside to safeguard it.

With someone home, the odds of a house break go down significantly, and if one still occurs— you’re there to report it immediately!

  1. Keep the lights on

Home or not, another excellent way to deter crime is by keeping the lights on! Burglars are less inclined to approach a house that looks currently occupied or lived-in. Find other ways to signify that the house is full of people, like leaving the TV on or playing music.

  1. Prepare for the worst

As the saying goes: “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” There’s nothing more spooky than being unprepared if the worst-case scenario pans out. Before Halloween, take small but effective measures to make your home an unappealing target for burglary. This means using several layers of protection, not just one. It starts with video surveillance, signs that indicate your property is monitored, or even ‘beware of dog’ signs. Who wants to invade a home with a furry alert system?

But don’t just stop there. Test your locks, put away your valuables, ask your neighbors to stay vigilant, and lock all points of entry that you might not usually do. If you have a garage, park your car inside of it for the night to keep it away from vandals and thieves.

All in all, Halloween is a fun and festive time of year that can be enjoyed anxiety-free if you take the right precautions to protect yourself and your property. If you want to explore more ways to keep your home safe, check out our security services here.

About American Security

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your business, and your family safe at every level. We are proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. 

Explore our security solutions

Checklist: How to Protect Your Home When You Return To The Office

As we get ready to return to normalcy and make our way back into the office, there is no better time to ensure our homes are secure and our families and valuables are protected. 

If you’ve been working from home for a while now, there is a good chance some of the habits you used to have to make sure your home is safe need some refreshing! We’ve provided a quick checklist to use before you leave home for work so you can have peace of mind while you sit through all of those in-person meetings we know you missed so much!

Going to Work Checklist:

  • All exterior doors are locked
  • All windows and sliding glass doors are closed and secure
  • Outdoor valuables are locked in a shed or covered and locked in place
  • Door leading from the garage to the house is locked
  • Security system is on and activated 
    • Need a building security system? Take a look at our Security Solutions to find the best for you. Need help or have any additional questions? Contact us!
  • Garage door is closed all the way

In addition to reinforcing your daily security habits, we suggest that all home security measures are audited several times a year. (PRO TIP: A good time to do this is at the change of each season as many security measures are seasonal!)

We’ve also put together a comprehensive home security checklist to guide you in your preparations for making sure everything you care for is safe and secure.

Home Security Checklist:

  1. Exterior Doors
  • All exterior doors are made from solid hardwood or metal-clad
  • All doors and entryways have a sturdy deadbolt
  • Any glass panels in doors are reinforced
  • Spare keys are kept with a trusted neighbor – NOT under a doormat/planter
  • All exterior doors have bright, working lights to illuminate visitors
  1. Windows and Sliding Doors
  • All windows have a lock or can be securely pinned
  • All windows have blinds or curtains that can be closed
  • All sliding doors have strong, working locks
  • All sliding doors have dowels or pins to secure them in place
  1. Outdoor Security
  • Shrubs and bushes are regularly trimmed so there is no place to hide
  • Potential dark areas around the house or yard are adequately illuminated
    • Use floodlights when necessary!
  • Outdoor lights are scheduled to be on in the evening
    • Use photocell or motion-sensitive lighting whenever possible
  • Address/house number is clearly displayed for emergency response
  1. Personal Property and Outdoor Valuables
  • Entrances to the garage/gate latches are lockable
    • Door leading from the garage to the house is solid hardwood or metal-clad w/ deadbolt
  • Shed doors are lockable with high-security, laminated padlocks
  • All valuables (grills, mowers, bicycles, etc.) are locked in a shed or covered and locked in place
  • Any firearms are stored unloaded and locked in storage boxes and secured with trigger guard locks
  • Valuables such as TVs and computers are inscribed with an identifying number approved by local police
  • A complete home inventory of all valuables is up-to-date and includes pictures

About American Security

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your business, and your family safe at every level. We are proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. 

Explore our security solutions

How The Pandemic Has Affected Crime Rates In New York City

Many people dream of living in New York City to follow their passions and life desires, but if you’ve lived in the city, you know it’s not all about the bright lights and glam. Behind the hustle and bustle and exhilarating city life, New York has been suffering from an uptick in crime rates amid the pandemic. 

The already stressed criminal justice system struggled to keep up with the spike in violent crime brought on by the pandemic’s societal upheaval. Authorities state that the surge in homicides and a pandemic has helped fuel violence in the city. 

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The increase in violence began shortly after the pandemic started in 2020 disrupting life and closing businesses, and it peaked this summer, with the city recording an average of 57 murders each month in July, August, and September. 

In 2019, each of those months saw an average of 33 homicides. (AP News).

In April 2021, in a report released by the NYPD, there was an increase of 30% in crime rates compared to April 2020. With this increase in crime, many tourists are taking New York City off of their travel bucket lists. One visitor says “We were literally scared that we were gonna get robbed because it’s only me and her”. (News 10

The increase in overall violence is similar to trends seen in several major U.S. cities, where shootings and homicides have increased while other crimes have decreased due to the pandemic. 

Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum said “We’ve never had a year like this in policing when you’ve had a combination of a worldwide health epidemic and a challenge to community trust. That has been a combustible mixture. And the police in many ways were not prepared.”

The pandemic has brought one of the toughest years for many people in the world between losing loved ones to the merciless pandemic and being victims of violent crimes. 

The question is, what will the city of New York be doing to protect our boroughs and communities in the upcoming year? 

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. 

Find the security solution that works best  for you, contact us today. 

About American Security

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your business, and your family safe at every level. We are proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. 

Explore our security solutions

4 Important Fire Safety Measures For Apartment Buildings

Even though an apartment building and a private home have the same amount of risk of experiencing a fire, the apartment buildings’ proximity to each other makes fires much more dangerous. Fire, heat, and smoke can travel throughout the entire building, putting all occupants of the building at risk. 

Owners of residential apartment buildings with three or more units are required by the New York City Fire Code to establish a fire safety plan that includes fundamental fire safety advice as well as information regarding the structure, such as the kind of construction, fire protection systems, and emergency exits. 

Here are a few tips that can prevent fires in apartment buildings: 

  1. Maintain at least one smoke and carbon monoxide detector in each unit

NYC law requires the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. 

  1. Make sure all fire escapes are clear and unobstructed

Each fire-escape must be accessible through one or more exterior doors or windows that open from the room, apartment, or suite, with a clear width of two feet or more and a clear height of two feet six inches or more. Any such window’s sill must be within three feet of the floor.

  1. Make sure your window security gates are approved by the FDNY

Some people put up security gates on their apartment windows to prevent an intruder from entering their home. Only New York City Fire Department certified security gates that open without a key may be installed on an outside fire escape window if your apartment building has one. 

  1. Know your exits 

Your apartment building must have two ways of egress (exits).

Your primary or first exit is the door to your apartment, which leads to either an unenclosed (not divided by walls and doors) stairwell or a public hallway with an enclosed stairwell leading to the street. Depending on the construction date of the building, your backup exit should be one of the following:

  • An additional enclosed stairway accessible from the public hallway. (newer buildings)
  • An enclosed fire tower (stairway accessible from the public hallway).
  • An outside fire-escape accessible from within the apartment through a window or door.

Prevention and planning is the key to protecting your building’s occupants and neighbors. 

Stay NYC Fire Code compliant with American Security’s turnkey fire systems. From design to completion, every phase of your project is handled by our factory-trained technicians with certifications ranging from NYS licensing to NICET.

Contact us

About American Security

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your business, and your family safe at every level. We are proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. 

Explore our security solutions

5 Reasons You Need A CCTV Security System For Your Business

When it comes to the safety and security of your business and employees, video surveillance and security cameras are a must. The importance of surveillance in a business cannot be understated as it’s crucial for ensuring the overall safety of your employees and your assets. One of the most cost-effective ways to ensure security in the workplace is with CCTV security or video surveillance systems.

A CCTV stands for closed-circuit television. “Closed-circuit” means broadcasts are usually transmitted to a limited (closed) number of monitors. CCTV cameras use advanced technology and recording processes which allows businesses to lower their costs while protecting their assets. 

Here are 4 benefits of using CCTV for your business: 

  1. Deter Crime 

Having CCTV in place is one of the most effective ways to deter crime. Criminals target buildings where there isn’t a security system or form of monitoring in place. Just the sight of a CCTV camera is enough to prevent a possible break-in, vandalism, or other crime. 

  1. Reduce Cost and Risk

CCTV’s prove to be the best investment as soon as they’re installed. Placing CCTV cameras throughout your building and property will result in costs much cheaper than hiring 24-hour security officers. CCTV’s grant you a full view of your premises and real-time recording lowering the risk of theft, vandalism, fires, etc. 

  1. Increase Employee Productivity 

Studies have shown that employees in workplaces with CCTV cameras tend to be more productive. Whether you own a restaurant, retail store, or warehouse, installing CCTVs can help improve the productivity of your employees cutting time wasted from socializing.  

  1. Enhance Safety 

Safety in the workplace is a nonnegotiable concept. CCTV cameras will help prevent unnecessary accidents. Additionally, it will also promote safety protocols throughout the workplace and encourage employees to follow them. In an event of an accident, a CCTV can give you insight into the incident, allowing you to follow the right guidelines and prevent future accidents from happening. 

Don’t let your decision to enhance your security be a reactive one. Be proactive, contact American Security today to see how we can provide the best security solution for you. 

About American Security

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your business, and your family safe at every level. We are proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. 

Explore our security solutions

How to Prevent Burglars From Choosing Your Home

We hear about people experiencing break-ins all the time. When a burglar decides to break into a home, there’s a chance they will find a way to do it. While having a security system in place has been known to deter burglars from homes, that’s not always the case.  It is a lot easier to discourage burglars than it is to stop them after they’ve targeted your home. 

Here are a few preventative measures you can take to ensure your home won’t be targeted. 

  1. Lighting 

Lighting is key. When intruders are looking for their target home, they usually gravitate more towards properties that are not brightly lit. Having a dimly lit yard or poor lighting makes it hard for passersby or your neighbors to see what might be going on. Ensuring that you have bright lighting around your home will deter intruders from targeting your home. 

  1. Hide Your Boxes/Valuables

Whether you just bought a new TV or something else of high value, be careful where you dispose of its packaging. A lot of people don’t think about unboxing a new TV and what might happen if they put the box in front of their home to get rid of. This is giving intruders a direct link to what they can find inside your home. Be wary of what you showcase, whether it’s inside your home, visible through your windows, or packaging on the curb in front of your home. 

  1. Secure Points of Entry 

The most common way for a burglar to enter your home is through your windows. With this in mind, you should focus on securing all points of entry of your home. Always make sure you are keeping your windows firmly latched and your doors locked at night. Burglars have an eye for being able to tell when locks are cheap, or if the windows of your home are easily accessible.

  1. Home Security System

If you don’t already have a security system installed, you should consider getting one. Home security systems not only act as a deterrent to intruders, but they also alert the authorities in the case that an incident does occur. Taking preventative measures when it comes to home security is crucial. The safety of your home and family are not worth putting off. Take a look at our Security Solutions to find the best for you. Need help or have any additional questions? Contact us

About American Security

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your business, and your family safe at every level. We are proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. 

Explore our security solutions

5 Tips For Improving Your Commercial Building Security

Whether you run a small business, a large commercial operation, or a mid-sized warehouse, threat to security is always a concern. If you own a commercial building, it’s important that you don’t leave its security up to chance. It’s crucial that you secure your commercial building and take steps to prevent any possible break-ins.

Be proactive; don’t wait for something to happen before taking the necessary steps. Follow these tips to maximize your security and your safety.

Install a Monitored Alarm System
The first thing you can do to improve the security of a commercial building is to install a security alarm system that is monitored 24/7. In order to prevent break-ins and burglaries, having a monitored alarm system is essential.

Install Video Surveillance
Keep track of anyone entering your building at various times and points with CCTV or closed-circuit television. CCTV’s are video cameras used to observe an area, connected to a recording device or IP Network, and monitored in a control room. With American Security’s security monitoring systems, we install color digital cameras or state-of-the-art digital video recorders with storage up to a month or longer. Retrieve your surveillance footage almost instantly at any time. Learn more here.

Upgrade Your Lighting
Yes, upgrading your lighting is considered a security boost. Having strong, up-to-date lighting allows you to light up any dim areas as much as possible so that any suspicious activity is hard to miss. Installing lighting with motion detectors adds another layer of security to your building. Make sure your building’s walkways, doorways, windows, and parking areas are adequately lit.

Access Control Systems
Access control systems are a form of keyless entry. With an access control system, you no longer have to worry about who needs a key to get into your building. It also allows people to easily enter the right buildings and offices, without concern of a security breach. Many forms of access control are available to fit the needs of you and your building.

Increase Security in Parking Areas
Parking lots or areas of commercial buildings usually get overlooked when it comes to safety and security measures. However, it is important to keep these areas in mind when improving or evaluating your security. Increasing security in your parking lots will ensure the safety of your employees, not only when they are in your building, but on your property as well. Thieves or muggers use parking lots as a common area to wait for their victims. They may also find an opportunity to break into vehicles. Try adding extra personnel security and security cameras.

Follow these commercial building security tips to ensure the safety of your building. To learn more about American Security’s security solutions, visit our website at https://americansecurity.com/#products.

About American Security
At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your business, and your family safe at every level. We are proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979.
Explore our security solutions