Keep an Eye on Your Front Door With SkyBell® Video Doorbell

 

Have you heard the buzz? SkyBell is a high-definition video doorbell that puts security, convenience, and control at your fingertips anytime, anywhere.

Enjoy new levels of security, control, and convenience wherever you are in the world. With SkyBell you can remotely check doorbell activity on the Honeywell Total Connect® 2.0 Remote Services app and see, hear and speak to visitors at your door from your smartphone or tablet.

The IP54-rated device is built to withstand the harshest outdoor climates, with a temperature range of -40ºF to 140ºF (-40ºC to 60ºC). As sleek and attractive as it is functional, the SkyBell Video Doorbell is a stylish addition to any home.

 

See your doorstep with the tap of an app.


Honeywell Total Connect® and your SkyBell® Video Doorbell let you see, hear, and speak to visitors, manage your security system, and lock your door – all from the same screen.
• See your children get home from school with the Honeywell Total Connect iOS or Android app
• When you can’t view live video, view events in your Honeywell Total Connect events log to ensure your children made it home safe
• Talk to and see visitors at the door when children are home alone – so your children don’t have to
• Receive push notifications from Honeywell Total Connect when someone rings your SkyBell doorbell and when motion is detected

Ready to learn more? Contact Advanced Security Systems for a free security review with our professional security consultants.

Security Beat: Avoiding Break-Ins this Holiday Season

What could ruin a holiday faster than an overcooked turkey or a canceled flight? How about thieves ransacking Christmas presents and other valuables during what’s supposed to be a magical time of year? That will surely put a damper on the holidays.

 

Recently, CNN reported that Californian’s can expect an 18 percent increase in burglaries during December, so many of our friends and family will experience this unfortunate event. But why are thieves more active during this time of year? After all, most of us have nice TVs and jewelry in the home all year, so why all the illegal activity around Christmas and the New Year?

 

A few reasons seem to stand out.

 

Leaving Clues for Thieves

Christmas trees are a beautiful holiday tradition, but they’re also advertising to burglars where they can find the gifts in your home. Keep them away from front windows if possible because if thieves are casing your neighborhood Christmas trees are a quick way of spotting who is likely to have expensive gifts in the home.

 

Obviously Empty Homes

Leaving for vacation often makes it seem obvious that your home is empty. Investing in timers for lights, motion-activated lighting outside the home, and exterior security cameras will deter would-be criminals. Consider setting a radio on a timer, so music plays during in the morning and evenings, further creating the impression someone is at home. If you live in an area where it snows, like the hills of Humboldt County, a snow-covered driveway can be a dead giveaway that no one is at home, so work out a plan to keep snow cleared.

 

Trash and Recycling Bins Reveal What You Got for Christmas

Big boxes with Samsung, PlayStation, and Apple emblazoned on the side are tell-tale signals that you recently got some great new electronics. Don’t let thieves know your house is newly outfitted with the latest and greatest gadgets by leaving these boxes on the curb where anyone driving past can see. Instead, break down cardboard so it fits in your recycling bin, or keep it in the house until you can remove it without leaving it out.

 

Valuable Packages are Left on Your Front Door

Adobe Digital Insights reported that shoppers spent more than $90 billion online during the 2016 holiday season and that figure is expected to rise 3 to 4 percent this year. All that online shopping means packages will be shipped all over the country, leaving easy targets for thieves on porches from coast to coast. A few smart tactics can prevent your package from being stolen.

-First, reroute the package if possible. If your workplace allows, have the package delivered there where a receiving department will sign for the package.

-If you’re shopping at online retailers with brick-and-mortar stores, consider having items shipped to the store where you can securely pick it up at your convenience.

-At the very least be sure to track your packages. Logistics companies like UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, and FedEx all offer free online tracking and many will send text messages to your phone once the package is dropped off.

-Insuring your package and requiring a signature for delivery can also cut down on the chance of theft.

 

What Else Can You Do?

A fully-functional alarm system, with glass-break sensors, motion detectors, and security cameras is both a deterrent to crime and the best way get immediate notification if something does happen at your house. You can also invest in shatterproof window film, driveway alarms, and patio door locks. Smart door locks, like SkyBell from security equipment manufacturer Honeywell, send a video of who’s knocking directly to your smartphone.

 

Other tips include hiding valuables out of view and being diligent about locking doors to both your home and car. Taken together, these tips can help keep you and your family secure and thwart would-be thieves from ruining your holidays.

Your New Home: How to Make Sure It’s Secured

Family Portrait Outside of Home

What’s on your to-do list when you buy a new home? For total peace of mind, you should be thinking about how you’ll protect your home. Securing your new purchase against burglary and fire should be the first things you check off your list.

Let’s review six quick steps to making sure your home is secure.

 

1) Make Sure Your Doors and Windows Are Secure

Did you know 32 percent of burglars simply walk through unlocked front doors? Get in the habit of locking your front door and don’t make the mistake of hiding a spare key in an obvious spot, like under the doormat. Seasoned burglars know just where to look for hidden keys. Make certain all the locks on your doors and windows are operating properly and consider changing the locks when you move in. At the minimum, rekey the locks or consider upgrading to a smart lock you can control remotely from your phone or tablet. Adding a professionally monitored security system with sensors on all doors and windows will provide even more protection. Contact Advanced Security Systems today for your free security consultation.

 

2) Get to Know Your Neighbors

Knowing your neighbors is one of the most important things you can do to protect your family and your home. When neighbors look out for each other, it’s much harder for burglars to case neighborhoods and identify easy break-in opportunities. Organizations like Neighborhood Watch and apps like Next Door (available for iPhone and Android) make it easy to stay in touch with those around you.

 

3) Think like a burglar

As you’re moving in, walk around your property and imagine “how would I get into my house if I didn’t have a key?” Look for low windows or other access points. Will you be leaving a window open for ventilation? That’s an easy spot for a burglar to enter your home. What about the unexpected? Is there an open skylight a burglar could get to by climbing a tree? Thinking like a burglar can help you spot these locations before the bad guys do.

 

4) Get Exterior Lighting

Motion-activated lights on the outside of your home are great deterrents to ward off burglars plus they make the home safer for you. Consider installing these by the front and back doors and the garage. You’ll decrease the likelihood of both break-ins and falls.

 

5) Keep Police and Fire Info Close at Hand

Be sure to have numbers for your local police and fire departments where you can find them at a moment’s notice—and where your kids can find them too. Keep a list on the refrigerator with important numbers, including neighbors, family members, and anyone else you might need to call in an emergency.

The days of a family phone in the kitchen are gone. In fact, more than half the homeowners in America have disconnected their traditional telephone lines. It’s important that everyone in your family know how to use your cell phone to make emergency calls. If you’re not comfortable giving total access, be sure your kids and spouse can use your phone to make a call in case of an emergency. Most modern phones allow limited access to emergency numbers from the lock screen.

 

6) Plan Ahead

Having a clear plan for how you’ll deal with a break-in can alleviate the stress should such an unfortunate event take place. That plan should include who to call (insurance agent, bank, credit card companies, etc.), a good home inventory with all your major purchases, and a file with any recent work orders.

Following these tips is a great way to make sure your home is secure. For total security, contact Advanced Security Systems today for your free security consultation.

Boo! A Halloween Safety & Security Guide

With early nightfall, folks out of their homes, and a tradition of mischevious tricks and treats,Halloween often accompanied by a spike in criminal activity.

In fact, insurance companies reported a 26 percent increase in reported burglaries from October 30 to Nov. 5. So how can you ensure your home and family will be safe during this festive time of year? While it may seem obvious, be sure to shut and lock windows and doors. In the rush to start trick-or-treating it can be easy to dash out of the house and forget something like this when your kids are eager to start gathering candy.

Beyond that, here are some tips that keep you safe:
– Make it look like you’re at home. Leave the radio on, draw the curtains, and leave some lights inside on. Consider whether you’ll leave the porch light on. A switched-on porch light tells kids you’re home and ready to dish out candy. With interior lights on, you can make it seem like you’re at home while indicating you’re not handing out candy.
– Legitimate trick-or-treaters should be off the streets by 9 p.m. at the latest, so be wary of anyone knocking on the door later than that.
– Consider adding motion-sensor lights. Not only will these make your home safer and help avoid slips and falls, it can keep would-be-burglars away.
– Don’t forget to set your alarm. Even if you’ll only be out for an hour, it’s a good idea to set the alarm. Criminals are looking for opportunities, so anything to deter them is a good idea.

Keeping Your Trick-or-Treaters Safe
– Teach your kids the basics of walking safely: look both ways before crossing the street; keep your heads up and not down looking at phones; make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them, and stay on sidewalks and paths.
– Children under 12 should trick-or-treat with adults.
Stick to well-known and well-lit areas, and never go up to strange or unfamiliar homes or cars.
– Trick-or-treating in a group isn’t just safer, it’s more fun.

With these simple tips and a bit of common sense, you can keep your home and family safe. For more safety ideas, contact Advanced Security Systems at 707-443-6366 in the Humboldt County region, 707-544-9200 in the Sonoma County region; and 707-464-1975 in the Del Norte County region.

Six Great Take-Aways from the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center

The entire staff of Advanced Security Systems’ Eureka, Crescent City, and Santa Rosa offices gathered for an incredible opportunity to hear Joe Quitoni share the Ritz-Carlton’s approach to world class customer service.

For those who don’t know, the Ritz-Carlton has created a reputation for best-in-class customer service by empowering its employees to show genuine care and compassion for all its guests, whether they’re buying $30 million residences in the hotel’s Central Park property, or they’re just stopping by for lunch in Cleveland.

Service techs at a table
Advanced Security Systems’s staff enjoyed an info-packed event with the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center’s Joe Quitoni.

Joe is the Corporate Director, Culture Transformation at The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center. Joe travels the world sharing the Ritz-Carlton customer service philosophy, and his message filled everyone at Advanced Security Systems with a renewed enthusiasm for delivering the best possible service to our customers.

“I liked to think of it as a ‘factory reset’ on our approach to customer service so we can go back to look at what our core values are and what are our non-negotiable when it comes to the customer experience,” says Chuck Petrusha, President and CEO of Advanced Security Systems.

Joe delivered three presentations; “Welcome to Service Excellence Culture,” “Customer Service Reenergized,” and “Memorable Customer Service.” Some of the important messages from Joe included:
1) Customers expect a certain level of service, something that meets the bare minimum. To really ‘wow’ your customer you have to create a one-of-a-kind experience only you can deliver. Your competitors can likely deliver the same product you can, but you can deliver an experience that’s unique.

2) The magic is in the details. Joe told a story about the Ritz-Carlton’s “212 Degrees of Customer Service.” At 211 degrees, water is just water, but at 212, it boils and turns to steam and that steam is powerful enough to move a locomotive. Think about adding that extra degree to your customer service and how it can elevate a routine customer interaction.

3) Engage with your customer and get to know his or her needs. The more you know about your customer, the more likely it is you can deliver a service or product that will go above and beyond what they’re expecting. Taking time to ask basic questions, like why they needed your service that day, can open doors to new opportunities. And take notes on what you find out so you can make a connection the next time you meet with that customer.

4) When a customer says they’re doing fine, worry. Joe shared an acronym for fine, Fine Is Not Engaged, and a customer who isn’t engaged isn’t going to advocate on behalf of your brand. Take that customer from doing “fine” to the next level, the engaged level, by showing you genuinely care about their needs.

5) Great customer experiences start with great first impressions. Being well groomed and courteous are just starters. Being sincerely engaged is the next step. For example, greet your phone customers with “Hello, you’ve reached Advanced Security Systems, this is [name]. Whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?” Sending a customer an email? Always start it with the formal greetings Mr. or Mrs. If the customer interaction is face-to-face, try subtly mirroring their body language, which is a nonverbal way of saying you understand them. And don’t forget LAST, “Listen, Ask, Solve, Thank You.” It’s an approach to solving customer issues that shows you’re fully committed. It starts by really listening to what your customer is saying, asking relevant questions, solving their problems, and then thanking them for the opportunity to engage with them. This last step is important because every time you solve a problem you’re a little bit smarter and more prepared for next time. So thank your customer!

6) Finally, Joe reminds us that mistakes happen, and it’s OK. What’s more important is how you recover from that mistake. If you’re solving a problem for a customer always give them a choice on how to resolve the issue; don’t try to impose your solution on them because then your customer will feel put upon and ultimately resent the interaction.

Advanced Security Systems extends deep thanks to Joe for this incredible event and we can’t wait to put your lessons into practice.

Teaming Up to Support Victims of North Bay Fires

Eureka, Calif.–St. Bernard’s Academy, partnering with local businesses, is gathering food for victims of the North Bay fires in Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

Beginning, Friday, Oct. 13, donations will be accepted at the following locations:

  • Advanced Security Systems, 1336 4th Street, Eureka
  • Danco Builders, 5251 Ericson Way, Arcata
  • Humboldt Fence Co., 564 HWY 36, Fortuna.
  • Pacific Motor Sports, 4001 Broadway, Eureka
  • Saint Bernard’s Academy, 222 Dollison St, Eureka

The plan is to deliver several rounds of supplies. “First, we’re gathering the most urgent necessities, which are non-perishable foods,” says Chuck Petrusha, CEO and President of Advanced Security Systems. The food will be delivered to the Redwood Empire Food Bank and the Salvation Army Santa Rosa Corps.

According to the food bank, the most needed donations include ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods, and case lot only. Loose packages of food cannot be accepted at this time. The foods should be easy to open and easy to eat–many shelters do not have kitchens for heating and preparing food. Those donating are urged to not bring glass containers.

Non-perishable, ready-to-eat foods include breakfast bars, protein bars, applesauce, fruit cups, peanut butter, jelly or jam, unopened dry cereal, canned juices, dried fruit, and more.

For more information about the donation effort, or to arrange drop-off of supplies, contact Advanced Security Systems at 707-443-6366.

For Those Affected by the Redwood Complex Fires

Dear Advanced Security Systems Customers:

As you no doubt know, residents in the North Bay and Wine Region have been hit by one of the worst wildfires in California’s history. The loss of life is tragic and the number of homes and businesses burned is simply staggering. Our thoughts and prayers are everyone with you our neighbors in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino counties.

Like many of you, our staff members have evacuated their homes and are still waiting to receive word whether their homes are still standing. During the disaster, your home was never unmonitored and our 24-hour Central Station continued to operate. Our office is open and ready to assist you; just give us a call at 707-544-9200 if we can help you in any way.

For Those Directly Affected by the Fires
First, our deepest condolences if you and your family experienced loss in the fires. If your home or business was lost or damaged please call us at your convenience and we can suspend or cancel monitoring service and help you with any billing issues.