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Category Archives: Home Security System News

 

Studies: Homeowners Often Practice Poor Home Security Habits

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Social Media and Home SecurityHomeowners are investing in home security systems more than ever these days as more options become available and technology makes wireless systems fun as well as functional. However, even as people invest in these systems, they often ignore the basics of home safety that could prevent burglary, home invasion, and other security issues that the average homeowner is concerned about. While having an alarm system can increase the overall security of the home, there are three bad habits that many homeowners can change in order to make sure that their homes and families are as safe as possible.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in 2010 there were over two million burglaries in the United States resulting in approximately $4.6 billion in lost property.

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Home Security Store Announces New System Aimed at Seniors

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Recent U.S. census reports show that over ten percent of the population is now over the age of 65. Of this ten percent, many individuals live alone or have the desire to remain independent, despite the growing risk of injury due to slips and falls, or the danger of being targeted for home invasion. However, in an effort to keep seniors safe and to give their grown children peace of mind, the Home Security Store has introduced their SilverCare Personal Daily Living Assistant. This personal home security system can be worn around the wristand allow any elderly individual to not only call for help during an emergency, but also to dial 911, autodial preset phone numbers, and even control the lighting in their home, all with the touch of a button.

Michael Sise, MD of Scripps Mercy Hospital, says that seniors who live alone are in greater danger of becoming injured in a fall.

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Despite Home Security Systems Few Kids Know Safety Basics

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Each year, millions of adults buy home security systems to keep their families safe. However, in many cases, they fail to realize that even with these security measures in place, children need to be taught the basics of home security in order to keep themselves safe as well. When children learn home security rules, theywill not only understand the importance of staying safe when an adult is not present, but they will feel more confident about what to do when strangers approach the home.

Many adults don’t always discuss home security because they think they might frighten children, but Irene van der Zande, founder of the child safety website Kidpower, believes that children can handle knowing the basics.

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Consumers Are Not Aware That Home Security is Not Just for Burglary Prevention, Studies Show

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Most consumers today consider home security systems as a means to prevent burglary. While this is a main component of their use, recent studies suggest that the average homeowner is not aware that these systems can prevent and monitor criminal activity. Today’s high-tech systems have a number of features that can do everything from detecting fires and carbon monoxide in the home to alerting homeowners when there is a problem with flooding, leakage, and other potential disasters.

As early as a decade ago, home security choices were much more limited than they are today. While they could protect locked windows and doors and alert homeowners and security companies if a break-in was attempted, the equipment that was used was clumsy and the prices for packages were not very affordable. Today, things have changed, and now security systems are not only more affordable, but they can also offer homeowners a great many more features.

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Unsolicited Home Security Calls May Yield Savings, Scams how negativity affects workplace success

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While homeowners often contact home security companies in order to purchase their alarm systems, there are also companies that send out salespeople to go door to door. These kinds of unsolicited calls may offer homeowners untold savings on their home security purchase, but they should also be vigilant – not only about the people who try and gain access to their homes but also about the packages they are selling. Recent reports indicate that these cold calls may often be a cover for home security scams that initially offer huge savings and then later turn out to cost much more than homeowners were told. In order to keep both their homes and budgets safe, homeowners should learn how to detect the signs of a home security scam when these salespeople come to call.

Unscrupulous security salespeople are using a number of tactics to gain entrance to people’s homes.

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Consumers Should Be Cautious About Home Security Discounts for Homeowners’ Insurance, Studies Show

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Homeowners who are trying to find ways to save money on insurance for their homes may not be aware that investing in a home security system is one way to get a deep discount on their policy. While there a number of other discounts that an insurance company might offer, home security discounts are among the most when it comes to saving money. This can both offset the cost of the system and offer any homeowner an annual savings that can positively impact their household budget.

While installing an alarm system is a major investment, the money homeowners can save on insurance is substantial.

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Studies Find Homeowners Are Under Pressure to Buy Unnecessary Home Security

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Home security is becoming trendier today, causing some families to fold under pressure from their neighborhood associations and home security companies that insist they need these packages. In many cases, the families who are under this type of pressure often cannot afford these services. This leads to overspending, buying home security packages that are overpriced, and agreeing to contracts that must later be broken because they cannot afford the monthly fee.

Before homeowners consider shopping for any kind of home security package, they must first consider why they are buying it and what else they can do to protect their families that may be a less costly option. Not all security packages cost the same, and homeowners may find themselves in over their heads before they realize it.

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Studies Show that Homeowners Fail to Research Before Buying a Home Security System

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Statistics show that because of the high rate of people who leave their homes for vacations and day trips during the summer, burglaries and other types of home invasions are more likely to happen during this time of year than any other. Not only does this mean that homeowners are at risk for losing personal property, but also other irreplaceable documents that might allow the thieves access to private and sensitive information, such as bank and credit card statements and social security numbers. While the number of people who are buying home security systems is rising, few homeowners are researching their options before they make their home security purchase, which results in either wasted money or a lack of services.

According to a study by Temple University, the Electronic Security Association says homes without security systems are about three times more likelyto be broken into than homes with security systems. Actual statistic ranges from 2.2 times to 3.1 times, depending on the value of the home.

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Modern Security Gives Today’s Homeowners More Options for Less Money

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As recently as a decade ago, home security meant shelling out thousands of dollars for special cameras, interior wiring, and a host of other equipment. The number of people who had home security systems back then is low compared to those who are investing in it today, thanks to better and minimally invasive technology and remote security solutions that are making home security affordable and accessible to millions of Americans.

Because of home security evolution, the price tag that used to give so many families pause when they considered buying a system has been drastically reduced. Today, on average, most people pay about $50 a month for home security and monitoring after the initial installation fee. One feature of today’s home security systems that homeowners particularly enjoy is the ability to manage them remotely.

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AT&T Gets a Five Diamond Certification from CSAA

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Within just a few months of launching its Digital Life Home Security service in the market, AT&T has become a proud recipient of a Five Diamond certification from the Central Station Alarm Association, or CSAA. In an announcement made just earlier this week, AT&T expressed their happiness over receiving a certification that is only given to less than 150 companies out ofabout 2,700 central stations in America.

We are pleased to have received the CSAA Five Diamond certification as only fewer than 150 of approximately 2,700 central stations across the U.S. achieve this status,” an AT&T representative told Security Systems News. “And we are even more pleased to have done so in a matter of a few months of operation since our commercial launch.”

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Vivint Home Security to Set Up Sales Center in Washington

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Door-to-door sales have been the primary sales approach for Vivint Home Security over the years. The company is now all set to diversify this approach and has rented a 25,000 square foot space in Liberty Lake Business Center in a suburb of Spokane, Washington. This will be Vivint’s second sales center, the first one being in its headquarters in Provo, Utah. With the opening of a second sales center and the first one outside its headquarters, Vivint aims to drive more sales and build a stronger market presence.

The bigger vision over time is that we still have this strong summer-program model but we have a more diversified channel, meaning we’re not just a door-to-door company doing direct-to-home sales but we also have a very strong inside sales program that provides balance,” said Josh Houser, Vivint VP of global channel sales.

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Avista Wraps Up Acquisition of Telular Corporation

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Adding to mergers and acquisitions in the home security services, Avista Capital Partners announced earlier this week that it has successfully wrapped up its acquisition of Telular Corporation. As per the terms of acquisition earlier announced, Joe Beatty stepped downas the CEO of Telular to complete the closing of the deal. That position will be filled by Allen Yurko, Industry Executive, Avista Capital Partners, who will act as the interim CEO while the Avista Board of Directors finalizes the person to take over the coveted position.

In an acquisition announced earlier this year on April 29, Avista and Telular entered an agreement that provides for the acquisition of Telular for $12.61 per share net in cash along with an approximate $18.5 million in net debt.

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NFPA Issues Crucial Guidelines to Residents to Ensure Fire Alarms Work Effectively

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smoke alarmUnlike home security systems, the statistics for fire alarms and smoke detectors show positive trends. According to some surveys conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, in the last decade, 96-97% of American households have at least one smoke detector installed. However, this does not mean that the problem of domestic fires has been successfully controlled. Having become so common, these fire alarm systems are easily taken for granted. Statistics show that a large number of fire deaths happen in homes that have smoke alarms, because they don’t work properly simply because they haven’t been cared for and checked by the homeowners.

This is a shocking revelation. To know that such a huge number of fire deaths could simply be avoided by keeping the alarm systems in good shape with connected and functioning batteries, is indeed a saddening reality. In light of such findings, NFPA released a report that highlights the common reasons why fire alarm systems and smoke detectors fail homeowners and how such mishaps can be avoided.

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Integration of Fire Alarm and Life Safety with Home Security Systems Gaining Impetus

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Fire alarm systems and smoke detectors are one of the most crucial safety systems for every home. However, the grim reality remains that a huge number of American homes still don’t take fire safety seriously. As per a report from the National Fire Protection Association or NFPA called file loss in the United States during 2011, there were 2,520 deaths caused by residential fire in 2011, and 40% of the homes that caught fire did not have smoke detectors. So it can be clearly seen that the absence of smoke detectors is causing the death toll from fires to rise.

There is another facet to this issue. Even the people who do take the trouble to install fire alarms and smoke detectors in their homes forget to pay enough attention to carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. Only 15% of American homes have fully functioning CO detectors. CO is an extremely harmful gas that can lead to death overnight if itsconcentration in your house increases. This is what makes CO detectors an extremely important safety system in every home. Even in the homes that have CO detectors, one of the major reasons for carbon monoxide poisoning is the fact that most homeowners do not educate themselves appropriately on properly handling and using these detectors. Reports from the NFPA show that some of the major reasons why carbon monoxide detectors have failed to work in the past are reasons such as incorrect installation, lack of maintenance, outdated or expired sensors, dead batteries, and so on.

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Wilson, NC, Plans to Raise Fine for False Alarms

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False alarms happen to be the biggest issue taken up by police departments across the nation. So much so that lately, a number of cities have issued false alarm ordinances. All of these cities charge a fine from homeowners as well as business owners responsible for repeated false alarm incidents. Another city, Wilson, NC, has been considering a false alarm ordinance that would make such offenders pay a heavier fine if their alarm system goes off falsely three or more times. A majority of council members feel that a heavier fine for false alarm incidents will prompt people to be much more careful about operating their alarm systems and preventing false alarms.

Thomas Hopkins, the Wilson police chief, said that more than 99% of security alarms sounded at schools, businesses, churches, and community centers are false. Hopkins informs the Wilson City Council that less than 1% of the 5,371 security alarms recorded in 2012 were genuine.

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America’s Top 25 Most Dangerous Cities Revealed – Stress the Need for Security Systems in Medium Cities

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Most people tend to think that they are relatively safer if they live in a medium city. However, findings from a study conducted by the research Web site neighborhoodscout.com show that small tomedium cities are the new hot target of criminal activities. Neighborhoodscout.com recently released a list of the top 25 most dangerous cities in America, which features the usual suspects like Chicago, Detroit, and Flint, MI, alright, but also surprisingly features names of cities that aren’t usually associated with violent crime and armed robbery. Cities like Tulsa, OK, and Indianapolis, IN, for instance, feature among the top 25 crime hotspots.

Revelations like this once again stress the need for home security systems and alarm systems across all homes in every city, big and small. If you too believe that you are safe as long as you’re not living in New York or Los Angeles, this list will shock you. If you are in Tulsa, OK, your chances of being a victim are 1 in 15 in a single year. Indianapolis features twice on the list and a relatively quiet neighborhood in Greenville, SC, comesup on number 8.

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eContract App Helps Monitronics Win the ESX Maximum Impact Award

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The ESX 2013, being held in Nashville, TN, concluded on June 21 with Monitronics taking home the ESX Maximum Impact Award for its eContract app. The eContract application helps dealers reduce complicated hardcopy paperwork as well as offer a green alternative for new customer contracts. This way, dealers can close their transactions much more quickly, helping boost their sales significantly as well as managing and organizing customer data and updates much more efficiently. eContract is also a much more cost-effective way to go,as compared to shipping paper contracts to several hundred locations. Completing and submitting eContracts hardly takes a few minutes, and it makes the entire process much easier and more convenient for the dealers as well as the customers.

The ESX Maximum Impact Awards are given away in 26 categories that recognize the best security industry services, video security, and alarm systems equipment. The award to Monitronics was given in the “Best Accessories and Aids: Mobile Applications” category. Monitronics International is one of the largest and fastest growing alarm monitoring companies in America. The launch of the eContract app is another innovative step from the company to simplify the process of submitting customer contracts for the dealers as well as the customers.

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Telguard Cellular Alarm Systems Set to Support IP Alarm Delivery

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In an attempt to reduce response times and make home security systems even more efficient for the consumer us as well as communication centers and central stations, Telguard, a division of Telular Corporation, will now be able to quickly send alarm messages from its communication center on to all of the central stations using FIBRO, the world’s most trusted Internet Protocol (IP) format, to Sur-Gard’s IP alarm receivers.

A huge leap from conventional alarm delivery modes, IP alarm delivery is an extremely beneficial development to the security industry. Using this technology, it’s possible to make alarm messages reach central station receivers much faster than earlier dialup solutions. Faster delivery of alarm messages has been and always will be intensely critical to security systems for obvious reasons. In this scenario, often intrusion or burglary, the faster the alarm message travels, the quicker the police can get to the crime scene. While this is a great benefit for the consumers, it is an even bigger asset for central stations, because for them, it’s not just about faster response time but also about reducing operating costs. IP alarm delivery can help reduce costs radically by completely avoiding costly toll-free numbers.

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Time Warner Wraps Up IntelligentHome Rollout

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IntelligentHome from Time Warner is a professionally installed and monitored home security system that will be available in the several hundred retail stores of Time Warner nationwide. The launch of IntelligentHome began in 2011, when it was only launched in a few key markets. However, the rollout was amped up this spring with it being launched in South Carolina, North Carolina, San Antonio, Maine, and Kansas City, MO. Time Warner also recently introduced it in Wisconsin and Ohio, saying that it will also launch IntelligentHome in New York City this fall. With that, TWC’s rollout of this new product will be complete in all of the major markets in its service area.

TWC already has a huge customer following in hundreds of its retail stores all over the U.S.A. and making IntelligentHome available in these retail stores is a careful move aimed at boosting the sales. Adam Mayer, Vice President, IntelligentHome, said that TWC has already begun retailing and demonstrating IntelligentHome in these stores, and very soon there will be an army of salespeople who’ll be able to sell and install the product.

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Alarm System Helps All 65 Residents Escape Washington Apartment Building Fire

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A major tragedy was averted on June 10, 2013 when all the 65 residents of a Sea Fox apartment complex building in Washington escaped unhurt in a massive fire that burned all of the 18 units of the building.  A fire that probably started in the attic caused the entire roof of the building to collapse upon the six units on the top floor while the floors below bellowed with smoke and fire. The fire was so bad that firefighters could not enter thebuilding.  The roof was collapsing and every inch of the building was raging with fire.  The firefighters in fact, had to passively fight the fire from outside.

The saving grace in this terrifying episode turned out to be a fire alarm system that alerted every single resident in every unit, buying them enough time to wake up and escape.  Just about two months ago, there was an update in the building codes for the area and the property developers were literally forced to install a new fire alarm system.  The new code and the adherence to it turned out to be a real lifesaver on the 10th of June.

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Shocking Home Security Statistics Show that Only 17% American Residences Have an Alarm System

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Even though therehave been marginal decreases in property crime rates in last few years, the fact remains that every 15 seconds, a home is burgled somewhere in America.  In spite of that, research also shows that only about 17% homes in America have a full-fledged home security system.  This happens to be quite a shocking as well as disappointing revelation as it means that there are still on number of homeowners who need to start taking their home security a little more seriously.

In spite of multiple reports explaining how burglar alarm systems are extremely effective in protecting your home against intruders and thieves, a lot more work still seems to be required.  Just recently, a study by Alarm Industry, Research & Educational Foundation or AIREF released an eye opening report that studied over400 convicted burglars.  The study revealed that over 80% burglars find alarms an effective deterrent.  This means that when a burglar is searching for an easy target, your house is most likely to remain safe if you have a good alarm system installed as burglars do not want the hassle of meddling with one.

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Enhanced Call Verification Is Now a Home Security Law in Many States

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False alarms are one of the biggest nuisances for the home security industry as well as the police departments.  Every year, the police respond to hundreds of false alarms costing the city well over thousands of dollars.  Home security services providers have increasingly been taking innovative steps to curb this menace and minimize false alarms.  One of the most effective steps in this direction however has been enhanced call verification, so much so that some states have mandated it.  The latest state to adopt enhanced call verification as a law in Georgia.

The proponents of enhanced call verification did not however have it easy  .  There was quite a bit of resistance about making verification mandatory.  The opposition raised issues such as those who wanted to use verification could do it on their own without having to turn it into a law.

The issue however was that a number of companies that do not offer verification use that as a pitch for selling their services.  Salesmen have been known to say things like ‘you should go with our services as the only have to make one call while the verified ones aren’t a good deal as they have to make two calls before the cops get here.’ Such pitches mislead customers into buying unverified alarm systems that continue to raise false alarms.

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Emphasis on Weather Alert Alarm Systems Increases Post Oklahoma Tornado

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After the devastating results of the Oklahoma tornado, the emphasis on the necessity of weather alert alarm systems has increased enormously. Oklahoma saw the rampage caused by the tornado in its full force.  The possibility cannot be denied that if there were many more homes with competent weather alert alarm systems, more lives could have been saved.  Authorities have repeatedly urged customers to pay a little more attention when buying their home security systems and make sure that a weather alert system is integrated into it.  The good news is that most of the leading Home Security Services providers these days have advanced weather alert systems to offer.  The systems are in fact quite affordable too with most in the range of $100 to $200.

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Allegion – Ingersoll Rand’s $2 Billion Security Spin off Set to Compete In the $30 Billion Global Security Industry

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Following its previously announced business plan to spin off its residential and commercial  home security services businesses, Ingersoll Rand (IR) has chosen the name Allegion for its $2 billion company. On June 17, 2013, Allegion plc filed its Form 10 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, confirming its registration.

IR say is that the name Allegion represents the long-term, collaborative relationship that the company has with its customers. True to its name, Allegion promises a relentless commitment to safeguarding the property and families of its customers.

Ingersoll Rand Chairman and CEO Michael W. Lamach said, “Allegion further conveys the enduring legacy of our innovative security products and solutions, which people depend on to work seamlessly at critical moments, and function effortlessly in daily use. It’s on that tradition that Allegion pledges its promising future as a leader in the global safety and security industry.”

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Comcast Launches Xfinity Home Control with EcoSaver

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Comcast, the leading global media and technology company and now a household name in home security services &automation, recently announced a new product under its Xfinity Home Services. Xfinity home control is the smart home solution that enables customers to enjoy the benefits of video monitoring and effective Home Automation without the expenses of professional security monitoring that is offered by most other Xfinity Home Services.

“The home control market is growing tremendously, and it’s being driven by innovative technology, affordability and consumer demand,” said Mitch Bowling, Senior Vice President and General Manager of New Businesses for Comcast Cable. “With the launch of Xfinity Home Control, we’re adding yet another way customers can remotely manage their homes anywhere and at anytime.”

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Homeowners Warming Up To the Idea of Fire Sprinkler Requirement

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Home-builders and property developers aren’t usually very excited about laws that mandate fire sprinkler systems or other home security equipment in homes, often stating that the added expense of fire sprinklers will increase the building costs steeply, affecting their profits negatively. However, a surge of new statistics seems to be refuting these claims and representing a shift in the attitudes of builders as well as buyers.

These ground-breaking statistics come from the state of California that adopted the fire sprinkler requirements mandate in all its one- and two-family dwellings in January 2011. The Modesto Bee newspaper reported that the home building permits for Sacramento were up by nearly 55 percent in 2013, as compared to last year. This goes on to show that the fire sprinklers requirement does not affect housing projects. California, being one of the most populated states seems to have welcomed the idea of having fire sprinklers as a primary home offering.

“Sprinklers save lives. That’s the bottom line and that’s been proven, and they don’t impact the housing market at all in terms of housing starts or price,” Maria Figueroa, Fire Sprinkler Initiative communications project manager, told Security Systems News. The Fire Sprinkler Initiative of the NFPA, which is based here, advocates the use of home fire sprinklers.

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Is Automatic Contract in Home Security Systems Renewal Legal?

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There has been much debate over the issue of automatic renewals lately. Automatic renewals of contracts have been a common practice in the alarm systems and home security systems industry. Providers do their best to secure their customers’ business by luring them infor contracts that are binding for up to 5 years and auto-renewable. Despite being so common, they have been subject to much resentment and lately, many states have approved legislation banning or restricting the practice of automatic renewals.

So weather such renewals are legal and can they be enforced, depends. You need to check with the laws governing home security systems in your state. As of now, 16 states have restricted or altogether banned auto-renewals. These states are:, California, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, New York,  Arkansas, Connecticut, North Carolina, Illinois, South Dakota, Utah, and Oregon.

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Audio Verified Alarm Helps Foil Attempted Burglary at A Jewelry Store

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Recently, an attempted burglary at a jewelry store was foiled due to a successful intruder alarm with audio verification. When a pair of burglars tried to break in to Koosh Jewelry in the wee hours of morning on June 7, the Sonitrol Alarms went off, effectively alerting the monitoring company, barring the thieves and sending them on a trip to the jail. Since the alarm was audio verified, cops could hear a snippet of sounds from the attempted heist in progress and know instantly that it wasn’t a false alarm. This followed a quick response team and 11 cops arrived on the scene within minutes nabbing the miscreants on the spot.

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NFPA’s Refusal to Back Fire Extinguishers instead of Fire Sprinklers Sets New Grounds for Fire Safety

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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reacted with harsh criticism to the recent proposal that sought to exempt homes with a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, from the International Residential Code that requires all homes to have fire sprinklers. The proposal was deemed “tragically misguided” by a NFPA spokeswoman.

The Fire Sprinkler Initiative by NFPA that has been revolutionizing the way fire safety is ordained in the U.S. with increased impetus on automated fire alarms and sprinklers systems that go off on their own,buying the house inmates precious time to escape from a raging fire. Maria Figueroa, Communications Project Manager, Fire Sprinkler Initiative, NFPA, had mentioned that too many things were wrong with the proposal that deemed fire extinguishers sufficient in case of a fire emergency.

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IP-Based Home Security Systems Driving the Changing Role of Integrators

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With IP-based technology gaining control over the home security industry and more and more people shifting to wireless security systems equipment and access control, the role of systems integrators is changing radically. The industry has gotten fiercely competitive, and new entrants are driving breakthrough marketing strategies. There is a decline in profit margins, increase in the significance of networking knowledge, and most of all there is emphasis on higher service fees and much lower installation fees. While these sweeping changes may pose some challenge for the established and complacent ones, the integrators who successfully adapt to the change are set to gain a whole lot. The systems integration market is set to grow at an average rate of nearly 10 percent until 2016, as predicted in a study by IMS research, the leading source of information, analytics, and insight into the modern businesses landscape.

Paul Bremner, market analyst at IMS Research comments, “As more IT integrators have been entering this market they have been fundamentally changing the way security systems integrators do business. IT integrators have brought their business model of lower equipment costs but higher service costs, and this has translated well when dealing with IP-based technology, which often requires a lot of network planning in the design stage to offer the best available solution. Design and consultancy services are likely to become a larger part of the typical integrator’s revenues. Such services include risk analysis, vulnerability assessment, and client security policy analysis, to name but a few.”

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