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Category Archives: Home Security System News

 

All the Buzz About Z-Wave

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In the highly competitive home security market, there is a flood of established companies and new entrants, all striving to become the top home security system company. With so much competition however, the monopoly of any one company seems impossible to achieve. However, if there’s one name that is doing this and doing it with a bang, it’s Z-Wave.

So what is Z-Wave? Well, it is an innovative wireless communications technology, specially developed for remote control and status applications. So if you are using home security services of any of the companies like Honeywell, ADT, alarm.com, Ingersoll-Rand, 2GIG, Napco, or others, you are using the Z-Wave technology. A startling 80% of American security companies and lifestyle solutions rely on Z-Wave. Some of the latest companies to join the bandwagon of home security services like the AT&T Digital Life system and the Verizon home control system as well as lock giants like Yale, Schlage, and Kwikset are also using Z-Wave. Z-Wave has redefined home security systems and alarm systems with its wireless technology solutions.

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Access Control Faces ‘Uphill Battle’ Due to Lack of Open Standards

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Access ControlThe popularity of access control has significantly increased in recent times with a large section of Americans demanding access controls as an extension of their home security systems and alarms, and an increasing number of security services providers continue to offer it just that way. IMS Research, now part of IHS Inc., in a report forecasted that the access control industry is set to go over the $2.3 billion mark globally by the end of 2013. That’s a steep increase as compared to $2.1 billion in 2011.

The only hurdle along the way, however, seems to be a lack of open standards. Different surveys conducted by several security system companies toward the end of 2012 pointed to one fact, that convenience and ease of operability of the home security equipment will be one of the powerful driving forces behind customers choosing their security companies. The lack of open standards in access controls means that consumers cannot very conveniently switch between suppliers or sync different systems together, at least not easily. In spite of strong efforts by associations like Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) along with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to fully enforce open standards in access control, no positive steps have been taken in the direction yet and hence, the “implementation remains stagnant.”

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Home Automation – The New Home Security Solution

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Okay, so home security systems are for protecting your home from a burglary, and home automationis for making your life more convenient, right? Well, not entirely. The line between the two is beginning to blur. Home automation systems now play an important role in helping you prevent your home from being burgled, especially when you’re away on a holiday. How do they do that? Read on to find out.

Take a look at some of the most popular tips to prevent a burglary when you are away. One of the most popular tips that everybody seems to be giving you is to make your home look lived in. Now if that tip is repeated so often, it’s for a reason. Burglars keep an eye out for empty homes, and making it look like you are home is undeniably the best way to deter the miscreants. Now gone are the days when you could ask your friendly neighbor to pick up your newspapers every morning or take a walk through your lawn a couple of times a day just to make it look like someone’s home. Everybody has demanding jobs these days and neighbors may not have the time to make your home look lived in. This is where home automation comes in.

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Outdoor Intrusion Detection Improves Home Security System

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The steady influx of new entrants in the home security systems arena makes for very heavy competition, and a massive scope for continuous innovation. Just about a couple of years ago, outdoor intrusion detection, albeit very desirable, was fairly tricky and the available solutions were not entirely satisfactory. This was because outdoorintrusion detection systems had to face a lot of challenges, such as abrupt weather changes, general activities in the neighborhood, and of course, the pets. Any of these things could trigger a false alarm and create a whole lot of hassle, and probably some fines, too.

Things have changed hugely in the last few years. A report by IMS research on the global trends for intruder alarms in May 2009 predicted that the market for outdoor intrusion detectors would be worth $345 million in 2013 and growing at the rate of 8.2%. Today in 2013, the report seems to have certainly been proven right, as almost all major home security systems companies these days have highly competent outdoor intrusion detectors that work effectively and minimize false alarms by a great degree. This is achieved by a range of detection solutions that include video surveillance, volumetric detection, and photoelectric beams. These detectors can be programmed to overlook familiar neighborhood sounds, which could otherwise have sounded the alarm. The latest innovative outdoor detection solutions can also be programmed to trace pet alleys so that pet-triggered false alarms can be completely controlled.

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Genetec and Milestone Systems Named Top VMS for Last Year

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The spot for top supplier of videomanagement software (VMS) for the year 2012, as rated by IHS Inc., is shared by two companies this time. The leading information and analytics company IHS Inc. began rating VMS companies in 2004. Since then, the Copenhagen-based Milestone Systems has been the winner of the top spot every time. Nine years later, in 2012, the company still retains its top position. Only this time, it has to share the position with Montreal-based Genetec.

This is the first time two companies share the coveted spot. Milestone systems has been the reigning top contender for almost a decade now, and holds a strong grip over the VMS market in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Lars Thinggaard, President and CEO of Milestone Systems, says that their vision is to add value to the customers and industry alike by achieving the convergence of IP-based surveillance systems and access control.

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Intrusion Detection Remains Top Priority for Home Security Customers

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With a large number of cable and telecom companies entering the home security services market, home security and alarm systems have become much more sophisticated and offer some very innovative security and home automation systems. However, this influx of new entrants is not a matter of concern for theestablished players of the industry, as it usually would be in most industries. This is primarily because of two reasons. Firstly, these new entrants are partnering with the existing security providers to bring better and more competitive services to the table. Secondly, despite the popularity of home automation, basic intrusion detection will continue to lead the home security market for a long time to come.

The penetration rate for U.S. residential intruder alarm products will increase by 5 to 8 percent during the next three years, according to a recent study entitled “The World Market for Intruder Alarms” from IMS Research, now part of IHS (NYSE: IHS).

The report from IMS research says that the penetration rate for intrusion detection systems has been close to 20% for a while. The emergence of new competitors will only help in improving it.

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Carbon Monoxide Alarms Important for Home Security

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Carbon monoxide asphyxiation recently became the cause of one hospitalization and three deaths.

On April 16, Darryl Dean Jenkins, 73, and Shirley Mae Jenkins, 72, both of Longview, Wash., were in room 225 of the Best Western when both were found deceased within two feet of each other.

In a similar incident, on Saturday, June 9, 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams was found deceased while his mother, 49-year-old Jeannie Williams, of Rock Hill, S.C., was rushed to the Watauga Medical Center, where her condition remains stable now.

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Light it up for Home Security

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Home security systems have been gaining a lot more importance lately than they ever have before. An increasing number of companies are jumping into the home security arena with some highly innovative technology solutions in access controls, IP-based wireless alarm systems and security systems, home automation, and awhole range of other products and services.

While up to 80% of Americans believe that their home security systems are effective in protecting them against burglars and intruders, false alarms happen to be a major menace in most households. It’s fairly easy for a child to accidentally cross the infrared beam or an alarm to be triggered at night by a barking dog, causing a false alert that sends police rushing to your place. Not only is this highly inconvenient, and in most cities now attracting a fine, but also, after a series of false alarms, the police begins to take you less seriously. This could be a cause for worry if the alarms ever actually sound for a burglar.

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Busting Home Security Myths and Helping You Stay Safe

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A survey by Consumer Reports NationalResearch Center shows that up to 80% of Americans who have a home security system installed agree that they are effective. However, surveys have also shown that fewer than 20% of American homes have a fully functioning home security system, while there are approximately 2 million burglaries reported in America every year. The statistics are positively shocking, and point to a disappointing fact that a large number of Americans still don’t do enough to protect their homes. A large part of this reluctance toward home security systems comes from certain myths clouding people’s minds. The experts at Insurance News Report attempt to bust some of these myths and nudge the average American to take home security and alarm systems a little more seriously.

1. It won’t happen to me

This is one of the most damaging misconceptions out there that seems to plague a large population of Americans. Please understand that no matter where you live and what your home looks like, at some point, some burglar will attempt to break into your house. The FBI has reported that up to 75% of all of burglaries are residential. Please don’t let your home be one of the 2 million that get burgled every year.

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Home Security Systems Have Many Benefits

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Let’s take a look at what home security systems could do twenty years ago. They could trigger a fire alarm, a burglar alarm, and probably bring a smoke detector to action as well. Today, however, there is so much more that they can do that having sophisticated home security equipment installed on your property is probably the best investment you can make – apart from the property itself.

So what can a modern home security system really do?

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Life Alert Files Lawsuit Against Connect America and LifeWatch USA

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Yet another rivalry has come to the fore with leading personal emergency response systems (PERS) provider Life Alert suing competitors Connect America and LifeWatch USA. Life Alert claims that the two defendants used fraudulent “robo calls” impersonating Life Alert in an attempt to secure the business of its customers. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court, Los Angeles on May 14. The accusation made in the lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution, and false designation of origin.

According to the allegations by Life Alert, Connect America and LifeWatch USA attempted to illegally obtain its PERS customers using fraudulent telemarketing practices wherein the telemarketers called in stating that they were from Life Alert and suggested that customers upgrade their systems. When the customers, who believed these calls to be the genuine, requested their upgraded Life Alert systems, they received Connect America equipment instead. Life Alert also stated in the lawsuit that the telemarketers used Life Alert’s very popular slogan, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” which is a registered trademark, to lure customers into believing them.

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DirecTVSet to Take on Home Security, Acquires LifeShield

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DirectTV Home SecurityThe pull of home security systems doesn’t seem to lose grip as more and more companies jump onto the bandwagon. The latest to join the brigade is DirecTV. The satellite TV giant has obtained LifeShield Home Security, a self-installed Wireless Digital Security Systems company based in Langhorne, PA.

Brad Bentley, senior vice president at DirecTV said that they wish to fully integrate the home security technology with the DirecTV video experience, which is why they needed to acquire a company altogether instead of partnering with one. The sales of DirecTV Home Security Systems will begin in the first months of 2014. The protection 1, which currently provides monitoring for LifeShield Home Security, will continue to do so for DirecTV as well.

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FTC Warns Some Home Security Systems Sales May Be Scams

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As spring and summer arrive and people plan to take off on holidays, sales for alarm systems and home security equipment goes up. Along with this comes a wave of door-to-door home security services salesmen. There have always been concerns about the reliability of these alarm systems salesmen, and there have been reports of many residents feeling harassed or pushed too hard by some of them. To add to this, arecent notification by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) really nudges people to think about the situation, and to act.

On its official Website, the FTC stated that while not all, many door-to-door salesmen could attempt selling a product or service that is of substandard quality or simply fraud. Moreover, they may sell these products at very high prices; try to bind you in a very long, expensive contract; and make false claims about freebies and special offers. The FTC urges residents to use their discretion and be extremely cautious of who they let into the house. The FTC has also issued a set of tips and guidelines that should help residents prevent falling victim to such fraud.

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Yale Locks and Hardware Teams Up With Crestron to Bring You Connected Door Locks

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Yale Locks and Hardware, a world-renowned leader in architectural hardware and lock systems recently joined hands with Crestron, the leading provider of advanced access control and home automation systems, to offer Crestron connected, wirelessly controlled residential door locks. These connected door locks let you lock and unlock your home from anywhere – and do much more. You can set schedules, personalize access, control door locks from a wireless or mobile device, and set alert preferences so that you can receive a text or e-mail every time the door lock is accessed.

Home automation and home security systems have both become very important parts of American homes lately, and a number of different companies are collaborating to provide bothof these services together. The consumers wish to keep their homes safe and stay on top of what’s happening on their property, no matter where they are. That is why wireless security systems are so popular and almost every home security services provider offers security updates and alerts on mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops or tablets. Door locks that could be operated remotely also are a feature rapidly catching on. These advanced Crestron controlled door locks from Yale, however, are a notch above the rest.

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Class Action Lawsuit Against ADT Raises Questions About Early Termination Fees

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ADT Security LogoEarly termination fees have been quite the norm in the home security services industry for a very long time. However, reactions to this trend have been mixed throughout, with quite a few people not taking very positively to the fees. Questions have once again come to the fore with the Hogan vs. ADT class action lawsuit, which claims that the early termination fees charged by ADT are unlawful. The Federal Court complaint filed in California poses some intriguing questions to the long-standing contract policies prevalent in the home security industry.

The plaintiffs’ charges are primarily based on two practices. First of all,ADT charges all of its subscribers an early termination fee if they cancel their account prior to the contracted time. The case Hogan vs. ADT also questions ADT’s practice of increasing the recurring monthly revenue (RMR) after the initial year. ADT, however, hasn’t filed an answer yet.

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False Alarm Ordinances Across Multiple Cities Raise Concerns

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In the last few months, a number of cities have approved false alarm ordinances that allow regular defaulters to be fined for sounding a false alarm. In the month of March, Denison, Texas, joined the group that already has a really long list of other cities. Clearly, home security systems false alarms have become a huge problem, pushing authorities to take action.

Denison Police Chief Jay Burch said that in 2012, more than 1,000 false alarms cost the city over $40,000, not to mention the many man hours wasted for nothing. To curb this, the Denison False Alarm Ordinance would fine the people whose alarms were repeat offenders. The ordinance requires a registration of every new and old alarm system.

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Cosumer Demand Makes Home Security Companies Work Harder

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The way Americans feel and act about their home security has changed dramatically over the years. Gone are the days when advanced home security systems and home automation were rich boys’ toys. Today, a modern home security system is a prerequisite in most homes, rather than a luxury. Once everyone got a basic security system installed in their home, they wanted more. The increasing demands of consumers have pushed security system companies over the year to innovate and bring more features, more convenience, and more security, of course.

People now wish to be able to do more with home security and automation. Wireless security systems lead the race in the most-wanted-by-homeowners category. With the way smartphones have swept an entire generation off its feet, the demand to be able to control every aspect of life with a dainty handset has opened new vistas in home security.

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Consumers Benefit from More Companies Moving Into Home Security

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motion sensorKeeping one’s home secure from intruders and burglars is one of the most important things on the homeowner’s mind. That is why he feels happy when more and more companies make a foray into the world of home security systems. Industry gurus predict that there will be a 64% increase in the number of homes that adopt home security and alarm systems in the next five years.

This is good news for the companies and the consumers alike. Companies get to expand their market base and earn unprecedented revenues by cashing in on universal homeowners’ insecurity, while homeowners get to choose from a wide range of features and options instead of being confined to just a few options in home security.

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Avigilon Strengthens Hold on Access Control, Acquires RedCloud Security, Inc.

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Home security systemOne of the leading surveillance solutions manufacturer, Avigilon, which recorded colossal growth by grossing over $100 million in revenues in 2012, has now made a foray into access control. It has acquired RedCloud Security, a forerunner in Web-based, virtual, and physical access control systems. Having sealed the deal for $17 million in cash, Avigilon feelsthat the move will secure the interests of a wider section of home security systems consumers by adding a “complimentary product line” to an already impressive portfolio of HD surveillance systems, as well as let them tap into the rapidly growing market for electronic access control systems.

Trade experts estimate that the global market for access control systems will touch the $6 billion mark by 2015. This opens excellent prospects for both parties in this acquisition. Avigilon mentioned that the acquisition is expected to be neutral to the 2013 earnings and in 2014, it is set to be accretive.

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Secure Your Home from Intruders the Smart Way

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Keeping your home secured from intruders and burglars is one of the most important things on your mind as a homeowner. While there is absolutely no way you can risk the security of your home and valuables in it, installing a world-class home security system can be a fairly expensive deal.

What’s more? With the rate at which technology has advanced, burglars have upped their game, too. You wouldn’t be surprised if the burglars easily fled past your antique burglar alarm systems. It is crucial to keep your technology up to date.

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Bosch and Ingram Micro Sign an Agreement Deal event design and decor

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America’s leading security systems provider, Bosch, recently signed a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro with the target to capture a larger section of the U.S. customer base by making its own products available through the channel partners of Ingram Micro.

The rapid adoption of IP-based systems is driving new opportunities for IT resellers and systems integrators to expand their offerings to include physical security and communications solutions for their customers,” said Jeremy Hockham, President of Sales – Americas, Bosch Security Systems, Inc. “As a result of this agreement, more businesses will benefit from the unique features and reliable performance that our systems deliver; and, our channel partners will gain access to Ingram Micro’s robust training resources and vast knowledge and experience in IP technology, integration and data storage.”

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After Leading ISP’s, Polaroid Now Ventures into Security Systems

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Security systems are a hot selling market, inviting companies from various industries to offer their services. Leading ISP’s have already showedkeen interest in the security biz, with Verizon offering a range of services and Comcast recently making their foray. With that, one of the most popular camera companies, Polaroid, is now set to take on the industry.

All set for a June launch, the consumer electronics giant has a complete set of offerings for the video surveillance security market including IP Cameras, NVRs, DVRs, Hybrid Video Recorders and Video Management Software. Polaroid believes that since it is such a well-known brand, the industry as well as consumers will be very receptive toward it, and Polaroid’s Security Systems venture will be a successful one. Despite the stiff competition that it will be set against, Polaroid believes that when one of their salesmen steps ahead to talk to a potential customer, he will receive the due attention, owing to the reputation Polaroid has created over the years.

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How Much Can You Rely on Owner-Installed Security Equipment?

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Do you feel safer moving into a house that has security system equipment such as CCTV cameras and fire alarms, or do you instead end up doubting the reliability of owner-installed security alarms and questioning their worth? Questions raised over liability in recent times make it important for tenants and residents to think about the security systems they are counting on.

There is no doubtthat moving into a secured home could cost you significantly more than the average. However, does the presence of a CCTV camera in the building make it secure enough? The role of guards and the dependability of the system certainly come up here. When the owner commits to providing you full security, including guarded coverage, and of course is charging you for it, you expect to be given truly reliable security. Who then is responsible for ensuring the guard does his job?

There is no doubt that moving into a secured home could cost you significantly more than the average. However, does the presence of a CCTV camera in the building make it secure enough? The role of guards and the dependability of the system certainly come up here. When the owner commits to providing you full security, including guarded coverage, and of course is charging you for it, you expect to be given truly reliable security. Who then is responsible for ensuring the guard does his job?

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Most Burglars Find Alarms a Deterrent – Study

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surveillance cameraThe Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation (AIREF) recently conducted a study to understand the effect the presence of alarm systems has on the minds of burglars. The results enunciated in the report called “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective” are indeed very reassuring.

The study examined the responses of 422 convicted burglars of both genders from across three states – North Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio. According to the study, 80% of burglars said they would check to see if an alarm system or surveillance cameras were present before attempting a burglary and 60% would seek an alternate target if they find an alarm system. Only 10% would continue with the burglary in spite of the alarm, whereas more than 40% of burglars would discontinue and beat a retreat if they found that an alarm was present. A vast majority of burglars, which is over 80%, confirmed that they would never attempt to disable an alarm system.

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Keep Safe While You Barbecue: The Memorial Day Home Security Systems Safety Alert

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BarbecueSummer is just around the corner, and its unofficial start comes in the form of Memorial Day, a day we all enjoy with friends and family, keeping in mind the sacrifices our fellow Americans have made to make this day possible. Warm weather, barbecues—we all love when this three-day weekend rolls around. It’s time for a pool party, a good time with friends. And of course, enjoying parades and services held in honor and memory of those who have served our family.

With this holiday in full blast, it’s hard not to get carried away in the spirit and fun of the day. However, you might be surprised just how many incidents occur that are unsafe and dangerous, and how likely it is that you and your friends and partygoers could face some of the dangers. Some of these dangers include burglaries that could be better avoided with interactive home security. Then, there are extra cars on the roads; more fires in one day; more pools open on Memorial Day. Plus, partying mindsets make way for safety to be the last thing in anyone’s thought patterns.

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Security Industry Association Takes Fight for School Security System Funding to the Senate

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The Security Industry Association (SIA), an American trade association representing business interests of security equipment providers (both manufacturers and integrators), has been in the news for some time now ever since it backed a new act known as the School Safety Enhancements Acts of 2013. Authorizing no less than $40 million yearly for state, tribal and local governments to increase and improve overall school security, the new bill became popular following the December shootings in Newton, Connecticut.

Interestingly, the new bill didn’t pass the first time around—the real reason the SIA is bringing it now to the Senate. The first time, the new Act was attached to a bigger bill bringing in expansion of background checks before buyers purchased a gun, rejected by a 54-46 amount of voters in the Senate, a close shave.

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Beware Of Fake Security System Provider Salesmen Visiting Your Home

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As homeowners become more and more sophisticated with their safety measures and begin installing the best home security systems in their homes, burglars too adopt new and innovative ways to break through the system and play a number on the homeowner.

Residents of Germantown recently reported repeated incidents of people posing as security systems salesmen. These people asked suspicious questions, trying to procure information, and were often seen getting too pushy and intrusive. They would refuse to go away when rebuked, insisted on knowing more about you and your home and even tried to get inside the house.

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Meet Sniffer & 5 Other Home Security Systems Innovative Robot Designs

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Ever wondered what your kids do when you’re not at home? Does your mind ever wander to what a crime scene smells like? How about having a robot tell an intruder “Get lost?” Well, the answers to these and more unique questions have actually been presented, in the form of innovative robot creations.

In a report done by Design Buzz, there were no less than 10 unique robot designs reported on that each held different, unique features capable of different forms of security systems surveillance and home security features to protect, monitor and serve a household.

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Oklahoma Security Systems Provider Survives Storm With A Tale to Share

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High Tech Tronics, a electronic communications systems that designs and installs more than $7 million worth in electronic communications every year, was right in the path of the tornado that hit Oklahoma and devastated an entire suburb on Monday, May 20th. Based in Oklahoma, High Tech Tronics is a PSA security systems operator and integrator. Offering systems that include Cellular security systems and wireless availability features for security, they are a well-beloved provider in their locations.

An employee of the company lost his home, but no lives were lostin the devastation the tornado left behind. Four employees of the headquartered company lived centrally in the tornado’s location, but only the one employee lost everything. CEO Mark Bradley told the story of the employee’s bravery with emotion, to listeners in the media. The very man that lost his entire home was instrumental in saving a child’s life.

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Security Breach: Security Systems Provider Alarm.com Files Suit For Stolen Property

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Alarm.com is a well-known provider and pioneer of innovative security solutions, Cloud-based, that include best home security systems currently relied on by many homeowners. Their security products include monitoring property wirelessly with a mobile device, where you can watch your home straight from your phone. Other features like smart energy monitoring, video alerts if a home security breakthrough is sensed, and other innovative product features are all a part of what makes Alarm.com famous online and offline.

Recently, though, Alarm.com filed a lawsuit against Telular Corporation, event monitoring and wireless security and access solution provider, for stealing intellectual property. The claim that Alarm.com made was that Telular was using Alarm.com’s patent-producted services as well as products without permission, and featuring these products as their own. Some of these include the best home security systems offered by the offending provider.

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