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. 

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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

Tips to Make your Building More Secure this Year

Smart business owners know a safe and secure building is of utmost importance, especially if you have tenants. It’s crucial to keep employees, assets, residents,  and whatever else that holds value in your building/business protected. 

Even with the best of intentions, crucial steps can be overlooked leaving buildings susceptible to break-ins, burglaries, and even fire. Crime to any extent can have a great effect on owners, staff, and residents. 

We have compiled a list of safety measures to help you make your building more secure:

  1. Surveillance System

Investing in a surveillance system is one of the most effective ways to monitor your building. Today, surveillance systems offer many features allowing you to customize your system to your needs, such as video and telephone intercoms and secure access control. You can also easily keep tabs on your building while you are away through a live feed on your phone, tablet, or computer. These features are extremely beneficial to those who are not usually at their buildings or business every day, such as apartment building managers. 

  1. Alarm Systems 

Break-ins happen every day, whether it be a retail store, office, home, warehouse, or factory. A burglar alarm makes sense for any location, no matter what the size. 

At American Security, we offer burglar alarms, CCTV, and 24-hour Central Monitoring. Highly trained operators rapidly handle fire, burglary, hold-up, low or high temperature, or medical emergency alarm signals. Learn more here about American Security’s alarm systems.

  1. Locks 

This might sound like an obvious step, but according to consumersadvocates.org, one-third of robberies occur through “unlawful entry.” This means burglars entered through an unlocked door or window. It’s important to update your locks regularly. For example, if keys are lost or stolen or an employee decides to move on you should immediately update your locks. Also, investing in a safe to further protect any valuables you have inside your home, office, or building is crucial in preventing theft. 

  1. Fire Safety Systems 

Aside from alarm systems, fire systems are also an important element in keeping your building secure. At American Security we’ll keep you in compliance with the NYC fire code. Our staff of design engineers and fire consultants are experienced in all types of fire safety systems. Learn more here.

Follow these simple tips and take a proactive approach to security this year to improve the safety of your building. Learn more about how American Security can keep your building safe and secure. 

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

Secure Your Packages with Video Doorman

Due to the pandemic, many are spending more and more time indoors, which means the number of online orders has skyrocketed. Unfortunately, with more packages being delivered with contactless delivery, package theft has increased. 

According to a new survey from ValuePenguin.com by LendingTree, 1 in 5 Americans have been affected by package thieves, known as “porch pirates”. 

Research also shows that the most common preventative measures taken are opting for tracking updates and installing doorbell cameras. 

It has been shown that the type of property you reside in doesn’t affect whether or not your package gets stolen. No property is safe from package theft. 

Due to this rise in crime, many are deterring away from residing in larger cities. Adding extra security to your building can attract more tenants during this uncertain time and give them peace of mind when it comes to the security of their packages.

American Security offers everything you need to create a safe and secure place for your tenants. 

With our premier security service, Video Doorman, your tenants will have access to secure package delivery, package delivery notifications, and 24/7 surveillance. 

Our Video Doorman service offers: 

  • Safe, secure package delivery & notification
  • 24/7 CCTV surveillance & access control security
  • A secure package room for deliveries
  • On-call “escort” service to their floor
  • Emergency access for police, fire, & medical help

To learn more about Video Doorman talk to an expert today! 

Learn more about the service here: https://americansecurity.com/#videodoorman 

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

Commonly Asked Questions About Auxiliary Radio Communication Systems

The New York City Fire Code mandates that high-rise buildings have an auxiliary radio communication system, or ARCS. With the NYC Fire Code changing every couple of years, it can be hard to keep up with all aspects of the code. In this deep dive, we will answer the most commonly asked questions about ARCS and how you or your business can stay compliant.

What is an auxiliary radio communication system, or ARCS? 

An ARCS is a two-way emergency radio network that may be installed throughout a building to communicate with the Fire Department in the event of a fire or other emergency. 

What is an auxiliary radio communication system, or ARCS made of?

An ARCS has many parts, usually including a base station, an antenna network, and a radio console. The base station receives and conducts radio signals throughout a building. Antenna networks are carefully designed to ensure the quality of radio signals, and lastly, a radio console. This radio console, or main communication system is most frequently placed in the lobby or main area of a building.

Does my building need one an ARCS?

If your building is a newly constructed, high-rise building, ARCS installation is required. Additionally, all buildings over 75 feet tall are designated by the NYC Fire Code to implement an ARCS.

Who can install an ARCS?

Only companies with master electrician qualifications are permitted to install auxiliary radio communications systems. At American Security, we have a team of experienced professionals that are qualified to install ARCS.

We’ve installed an ARCS— what now?

After installing your ARCS, it must get certified by passing two inspections. Your ARCS must be inspected to ensure your newly installed system passes both a Commissioning Test as well as an FDNY Acceptance test.

Once your ARCS has passed all necessary inspections, maintenance is important to ensure your system will last a long time, but more importantly, will work properly in an emergency situation.

Does my ARCS only need to be certified once?

No. NYC Fire Code states that ARCS must be inspected annually and re-certified completely every 5 years. 

What if there’s a power outage?

Your auxiliary radio communication system works even when the power is down. You may use it to communicate with the Fire Department with or without power.

In summary, the installation of an ARCS keeps your buildings safe and compliant. While it may seem like a hassle to keep up with the maintenance of these systems and follow NYC Fire Code, many businesses find it helpful to enlist the support of security companies to design, install, and maintain the auxiliary radio communication systems your business or building may require.

Need help staying NYC Fire Code compliant?  Click here to talk to one of our experts to learn more!

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your property, 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. Give us a call today to speak with an expert and experience the American Security difference. Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.

Why Every Business Should Have A CCTV System

Want to protect your business? 

American Security’s Video Surveillance Can Help. 

At American Security, we believe you and your business can never be too safe. One of the most popular ways to control for potentially dangerous threats is by using CCTV,  or closed-circuit TV. CCTV is perhaps the most common technology businesses use to surveil their property. By using color digital cameras connected to digital video recorders, individuals and businesses alike can store images and video media instantly and retrieve them at any time and place.

There are three main ways CCTV can benefit your business:

  1. Protection

Video surveillance is a highly effective way to deter crime. 

Should a person or group try to cause harm to your business, the presence of surveillance systems may effectively dissuade criminals. 

Additionally, surveillance acts as a deterrent to theft or criminal activity happening in-house.  CCTV allows you to relocate items of value that go missing.

  1. Data Collection

CCTV may also be used for your business’s recordkeeping purposes. 

Video records and images of the premises is an excellent way to record who is entering your business and when. 

This is useful for Human Resources if logging systems go down, and even more useful in case video or image evidence needs to be provided to authorities.

  1. Remote Access

If your business is threatened on holidays or weekends, remote access CCTV allows you to quickly and efficiently alert authorities without ever putting yourself or your employees at risk. 

Additionally, CCTV allows your business to save costs associated with having an on-site guard. 

The benefits of remote access are especially relevant amidst the global pandemic. Remote access to your company’s premises is an excellent way to check in on your business while remaining socially distant.

Learn more about CCTV here.

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your property, and your family safe at every level. We offer advanced and customizable home security options from video surveillance to fire alarms and beyond. American Security is proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. Give us a call today to speak with an expert and experience the American Security difference. Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.

Security Should Be a Design Requirement

Architects & Security Engineers can make the biggest impact on your building security objectives. If security is treated as one of the design requirements, much like fire safety, your building can benefit from a reduction of crime and improved quality of life for your residents. Big bonus; you can avoid future costs of expensive security system add-ons and adjustments. 

Aesthetics and security can and should go hand in hand. Intelligent use of security design presents two opportunities to not only enhance the look and feel of your building but also enforce building protection in a major way: access control and surveillance.  

Access Control

The main function of an access control strategy is to deny access to unauthorized persons and potential criminals. In today’s day and age, technology has made access control easier than ever with biometric-based systems or smart-card reader systems.  Making sure your lobby and your residents are safe starts in the design phase of your building.

Surveillance

By keeping surveillance in mind during the design phase of your residence or building, you can make the most optimal use of environmental features, such as landscaping, natural lighting, building features, and overall space layout. As a building manager, you know by now the importance of being able to keep an eye on things, even when you’re not physically there, especially while managing multiple buildings in your portfolio. 

Wondering how to best incorporate the smartest security systems on the market today into your new building project?  Click here to talk to an expert to learn more!

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your property, 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. Give us a call today to speak with an expert and experience the American Security difference. Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.

Summer Security Tips During the Highest Month for Burglaries

Did you know the month of June has the highest amount of reported burglaries? 

American Security’s Tips and Security Systems Can Help. 

Even with travel limitations, people are planning to spend their summer quarantine at their vacation or second home. 

While you may also be seeking safety and seclusion, your home could be left unsecured. Summer may mean warm weather but it also means more break-ins. 

On average, burglaries rise about 10% between June and August.

Studies show, more people were burglarized in June (regardless of the year) than in any other month, according to a burglary survey.

Ensure your home is secure so you can enjoy your summer!

Check out these top summer safety tips: 

1. Make sure to lock all windows and doors

Forgetting to leave just one window in your house unlocked can allow burglars access into your home. These are easy targets so triple check your locks on all doors and windows before you leave your home. 

If you have a lot of windows and entry points, write down a checklist to make sure you don’t miss any before you leave. 

2. Set Your Alarm  

Don’t overlook one of the most crucial methods of keeping your home secure. Properly setting your alarm ensures that you and authorities will be alerted at even the slightest disturbance. 

If you don’t have a video surveillance system or burglar alarm, ask us about the different systems we offer to keep your home secure. 

3. Get Your Neighbor to Park in Your Driveaway

This is a clever way for you to dissuade burglars from your home while you’re away.

An occupied home could decrease your chances of a burglary. 

The good news is that burglaries are decreasing. However, when the average loss from a burglary is $2,799, you can’t afford to not take the necessary steps to ensure your home’s safety (and your peace of mind.)

Talk to one of our experts on how you can avoid burglaries and enjoy a stress-free summer. 

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your property, and your family safe at every level. We offer advanced and customizable home security options from video surveillance to fire alarms and beyond. American Security is proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. Give us a call today to speak with an expert and experience the American Security difference. Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.

3 Ways Video Security Can Keep You Safe & Healthy During the Pandemic

Want to reduce your chances of getting sick this season? 

American Security’s Video Doorman and Video Surveillance Can Help. 

Here are 3 ways video surveillance and video doorman can help you and your family stay safe and healthy during the pandemic. 

1. Ensure Contactless delivery 

With social distancing orders in place around the world, delivery orders have drastically increased. But even having your household items and groceries delivered comes at a risk. 

Your carrier may be friendly but in times like these, it’s best to take caution. With delivery people taking

Using a virtual doorman ensures all your deliveries are truly contactless which can help reduce your exposure to unwanted germs. 

2. Monitor Your Business or Property 

Working remotely? 

Millions of people are working from home due to the pandemic. Many of them have no way to monitor their business or facility without physically going to the location – putting themselves and others at risk. 

Video surveillance and Virtual Doorman makes it easy for you to monitor your property as much as you want throughout the day without putting yourself and others in harm’s way. 

3. Know who’s knocking

Robberies happen. By knowing who’s knocking at your door before answering, you can keep you and your family safe from burglars entering your home. 

We urge everyone to support a healthy community by working from home if possible. If you are interested in adding aspects to your home to help support social distancing, American Security provides solutions to help protect your family and peace of mind during this challenging time.

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your property, and your family safe at every level. We offer advanced and customizable home security options from video surveillance to fire alarms and beyond. American Security is proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. Give us a call today to speak with an expert and experience the American Security difference.Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.

Hidden Threats to Building Security

As technology continues to progress at an unprecedented speed, possible threats to building security are becoming harder to detect using traditional security methods. As building managers, conducting internal risk assessments is an integral part of the job. However, due to technological advancements, there may be some cyber-security threats that until now have been off your radar. Security should not be left behind as increased complexity also means new threats and risks.  At American Security, our goal is to keep your building safe and secure from all threats, cyber and otherwise. While around the clock cyber security is a full time job, it is vital to be aware of how your building might be uniquely vulnerable. Below, we’ve included the top hidden threats to building security so you can stay one step ahead.

1. Integrating Technology Safely

‘Smart buildings’ are becoming more and more common, resulting in easier access to key information, seamless communication between building management and tenants, and even remote doormen. However, whenever technology is integrated, with it comes the risk of it being compromised. Primarily, the risk of sensitive data ending up in the wrong hands. Instead of attempting to integrate smart software on your own using multiple different platforms, use one trusted company to not only recommend and install custom smart technology, but also to remotely monitor your building 24/7 to keep you and your tenants 100% protected, 100% of the time.

2. Multi-Layered Protection

Gone are the days where a simple password is good enough to protect you and your data from potential cyber threats. Consider cloud-based security solutions that are not only monitored digitally by security professionals, but sync all your systems together, allowing you to protect your valuable data and resources in what is essentially a virtual bank vault. Depending on the type of building you manage, you should be aware specifically of what cyber thieves might be after. If your tenants are business based, digital criminals will be looking to access sensitive, proprietary information, or remotely install malware for various ill-intentioned purposes. To mitigate this risk, consider speaking with your tenants to learn how they are currently protecting their businesses digitally, and work with a professional security company to conduct an internal risk assessment to make sure everything is as secure as possible. If the building you manage is residential, cyber criminals will most likely be looking to access information related to specific identities, like credit card information or passwords. You can help protect your residents from potential identity theft by making sure you have systems in place that add an extra layer of protection in addition to whatever methods your tenants are already using. In both cases, open a dialogue to discuss concerns and potential solutions to stay ahead of the game.

3. Building Access

As many buildings continue to invest in more modern methods to allow residents and visitors to gain entry to a property, for example remote security products like the Ring doorbell or even more benign virtual assistants such as Alexa, the potential risk evolves as well. These systems can lull us into a false sense of security, but they are by no means fool proof. A savvy hacker with the right information would potentially be able to gain remote or even in-person access to a property, without you or your tenants being any the wiser. For example, a clever and ill-intentioned cyber criminal might tap into a camera feed to see if a tenant is home before attempting a robbery. Just recently, Buick debuted a commercial in which a homeowner used their virtual assistant Alexa to start their car and unlock the doors remotely. While this level of convenience and automation is impressive, it also presents a security risk that digitally inclined thieves could take advantage of. Since almost all of these devices work through Wifi, as the building manager you can help protect your residents from such situations by making sure your buildings digital security solutions are air-tight. 

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your property, and your business safe at every level. We offer advanced and customizable security options from video surveillance to fire alarms and beyond. American Security is proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. Give us a call today to speak with an expert and experience the American Security difference.Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.