https://optimumsecurity.ca Wed, 23 Dec 2020 12:36:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 4 Tips for Hosting a Safe Holiday Party https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security-guards/4-tips-for-hosting-a-safe-holiday-party/ https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security-guards/4-tips-for-hosting-a-safe-holiday-party/#respond Tue, 15 Dec 2020 10:00:51 +0000 https://optimumsecurity.ca/?p=5080 The holiday season is a wonderful time of the year, characterized by joyful music, colourful holiday lights, sounds of laughter, and feelings of good will. As the holiday season approaches, many employers are busy planning company parties to celebrate the achievements of the year and reward employees for their continued hard work. With the anticipated … Continue reading 4 Tips for Hosting a Safe Holiday Party

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The holiday season is a wonderful time of the year, characterized by joyful music, colourful holiday lights, sounds of laughter, and feelings of good will. As the holiday season approaches, many employers are busy planning company parties to celebrate the achievements of the year and reward employees for their continued hard work. With the anticipated year-end merrymaking, though, it’s important that party planners don’t forget to consider the safety and legal risks that such gatherings can create, especially if alcohol will be served.

While anyone can fall victim to crimes at any time, holiday parties often cause people to let their guard down, reduce their level of caution, and become easy targets for various unfavourable incidents that range from drinking-related injuries and accidents to harassment complaints. Considering that there’s no guarantee your guests will be at their best behaviour, no matter how mature or responsible they are, it’s important that you engage in careful holiday party planning to minimize the potential risks and avoid as many security threats as possible.

Legal and Safety Issues for Employers

Although injuries and accidents that involve intoxicated people are quite common in society, employers who serve alcohol at company-sponsored events could be held accountable for any damage caused by an intoxicated employee. If an employee gets injured at the company event or its aftermath, then the company’s employee benefit programs such as workers’ compensation and medical insurance may be impacted.

Employers also risk being held legally liable for violating anti-harassment laws in the event that a coworker, supervisor, or manager engages in inappropriate, unlawful conduct towards another company employee at the holiday party. Inappropriate conduct at work includes unwanted sexual advances, vulgar language, and unwelcome touching, as well as any acts that are prohibited in your company policy. In addition, if there are minors attending the party, it’s important that they don’t consume any alcohol as the event host may be arrested for violating the law, and held accountable for any injuries or incidents related to the intoxicated minor.

Make sure you have the right insurance cover just in case. You should determine whether your liquor liability is included in your commercial general liability (CGL) policy. Additionally, seek coverage options like Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) to protect against claims of sexual harassment, disrimination, emotional distress, and so on.

Other Tips for Planning a Safe Holiday Party

With consideration of both internal and external risks to the safety and security of your guests, here are a few tips to assist you in planning a safe holiday party:

1. Alert your neighbours in advance

Depending on the location of the venue, make sure to inform your neighbours and other relevant parties of your plans to hold a holiday party. Invite them to the party and apologize in advance for the inconvenience. If your neighbours are unable to attend, keep the music at a reasonable level and end the party at an appropriate time. Informing your neighbours will also allow them to adjust their security measures for the increased traffic and higher noise levels.

2. Prepare the venue in time

Before your guests arrive, ensure that the venue is as safe as possible. This includes:

  • Removing all valuables from the rooms where the party will be held and securing them in a locked room.
  • Ensuring that the walkways, entrance, and exits are clear of snow and ice. Make arrangements to have all paths leading into and out of the building shovelled, and add salt to clear the ice before the party starts and again before it ends.
  • Providing adequate lighting inside and outside the venue to reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls.
  • Having emergency medical services on-site or on standby in case of any problems such as allergic reactions or minor injuries.

3. Hire special event security services

Consider hiring professional security guards to ensure the success of your event by providing safety for your guests. Trained and well-equipped security personnel can assist with crowd control for large holiday parties to enhance the safety of your guests, in addition to providing venue security to prevent intrusions by uninvited guests or even car theft. Informing the security company in time will allow them to prepare adequately through threat identification and analysis, premises inspection, scenario mapping, and early security equipment setup.

The presence of skilled security personnel will help to deter many potential crimes or harmful incidents, while creating a sense of security so your guests can enjoy themselves fully. Trained security guards can also observe the behaviour of guests at the party and act promptly if inappropriate or potentially unsafe conduct occurs.

4. Make transport or accommodation arrangements

As a responsible host, part of your work involves getting them home safely once the party is over. There are different ways to tackle this issue:

  • Provide a range of alcohol-free choices for guests who don’t consume alcohol and for the designated drivers. You can, for instance, offer “mocktails” in addition to soft drinks so they also feel the sense of celebration.
  • Serve cheese and wine to prevent guests from becoming inebriated due to drinking on an empty stomach. Providing food will encourage moderate drinking and slow down alcohol intoxication.
  • Provide accommodation at the venue to prevent your drunk guests from driving at all. This is particularly important if the party will be going into the wee hours.
  • Find local taxi companies and keep their contact details in hand so intoxicated friends can easily reach them when it’s time to leave. You can also ask the cabs to wait at the venue so your guests know they can get home safely afterwards.
  • Plan party games and other fun activities to engage people and make them less active in alcohol consumption.
  • Limit drinking time or hire professional bartenders to identify people who have drunk too much alcohol to offer guidance.

Final Note

Hosting a party is more commonly referred to as throwing a party, which indicates the many uncertainties that any planner will encounter when staging an event that is fun, enjoyable, and safe for everyone. These tips will help you and your guests enjoy a fun and safe holiday party at the end of the year. For more information on how to secure your company holiday party and venue, please contact Optimum Security.

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How to Host a Safe Outdoor Event https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security/how-to-host-a-safe-outdoor-event/ https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security/how-to-host-a-safe-outdoor-event/#respond Mon, 16 Nov 2020 10:00:52 +0000 https://optimumsecurity.ca/?p=5076 Event organizers face a unique set of challenges when it comes to ensuring guests’ safety, especially for outdoor venues. Although outdoor events, including fairs, concerts, and private or corporate functions, allow attendees to enjoy the good weather and natural scenery, the larger crowds often pose a huge security challenge for organizers. Suppose you’re tasked with … Continue reading How to Host a Safe Outdoor Event

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Event organizers face a unique set of challenges when it comes to ensuring guests’ safety, especially for outdoor venues. Although outdoor events, including fairs, concerts, and private or corporate functions, allow attendees to enjoy the good weather and natural scenery, the larger crowds often pose a huge security challenge for organizers.

Suppose you’re tasked with planning the security details of an outdoor event. In that case, it’s important that you take the basic precautions, including hiring screening services, to make the attendees feel safe and welcome and make the event a success. Here are some tips to secure a small or large-scale outdoor event.

Identify all Risk Factors

Whether it’s a wedding, concert, or corporate function, any event that is hosted outdoors will face a specific set of risks that are somewhat different from those indoors. There are numerous security factors that won’t be within your control and, if not planned for, may wreak havoc with your event. Fortunately, you can prevent many potential risks with the proper preparation.

You need to ensure that the venue is not overcrowded and that the exits are clearly marked and accessible. If the venue is small, you should identify a safe number of attendees and limit admission. This may require you to restrict entry once a specific number of people have been granted entry. Think about planning spaces for sub-events and staggering the activities or performances to split the crowds and extend the admission time frame, so attendees don’t flood the place at once.

For proper crowd control, consider:

  • The status of the host and performers/speakers, and if they present any unique security threats such as agitators or criminal groups.
  • The nature of attendees, and whether they attract controversy.
  • The context of the event, and if the topics are likely to create security issues.
  • Whether there is a risk of protests or counter-protests.
  • If the media will be present.

You should also plan for other security vulnerabilities that may arise due to close proximity to a highway, the possibility of wild animals attacking, or even a section of the venue flooding.

Establish a Perimeter

This means establishing the grounds of the event and determining who enters or stays out of the venue. The perimeter may be within a fenced space, with barriers, metal detectors, and security personnel strategically positioned at access points and other crucial areas to control entry.

Make Security Measures Visible

During an event, the role of security focuses more on preventing incidents from happening rather than responding to them once they start. Ideally, potential agitators should be able to spot your security measures and reconsider their plans. This is why it’s important to have your security personnel in uniform rather than undercover or to use metal detectors openly rather than concealing them. This will deter attendees from sneaking in with a weapon or other kinds of harmful devices and creating a sense of safety and security among attendees.

Create Elaborate Security Checkpoints

It’s important to set up security checkpoints for access control, at a safe distance from the gathering. This will ensure that your security personnel address any threats before they disrupt the main function. To do this, consider setting up the registration desk at the main entrance rather than the final entrance to the event. Even if the attendees are not expected to register while there (implying there’s no pre-screening), it’s still important to check their belongings using magnetometers, hand-held metal detector wands, or a physical bag check.

Confirm Attendee Registration Details

To ensure that every visitor is at the right place, collect personal information while they register. Important details include their name, home and/or email address, occupation, and so on. This will prevent intruders from using fake identities. For high-security functions, you may even request the guests to send a copy of their ID for comparison with the original on the day of the event.

Collaborate with Local Agencies

Planning the security of outdoor events requires the collaboration of multiple parties, including event staff, volunteers, security agencies, and local law enforcement. You can ensure that each entity works efficiently by being transparent and candid about vital details, such as the nature of the event, the number of expected attendees, any famous guests, and so on. Also, establish a chain of command and state your expectations of how each entity will assist in promoting the security of the event.

Provide Emergency Medical Services

It may be necessary to have a medical support team on standby, especially where the attendees are likely to be inebriated. You may, for instance, set up a medical tent at the venue to handle any injuries or emergencies that occur on-site, rather than transporting people in need of medical attention to a nearby hospital.

Screen Your Security Team

Unfortunately, many security risks usually involve an inside-person. So, it’s essential to vet every member of your security team to ensure they don’t have ill intentions. You can do this by running background and credit checks. If your team has never worked together before, or if there are new members, introduce them to one other beforehand, and ask them to be on the lookout for other people posing as staff. You can also use a unique identifier (uniform, stamp, or wrist band) for your security team to work together easily.

Have an Emergency Plan

Don’t forget to create an emergency plan with your security team, including other security entities you will be collaborating with. The objective is to draft a response procedure in the event of a serious threat or other disasters. This plan should include:

  • Options for mass evacuation from the venue.
  • Locations of safe areas or rooms.
  • How to respond to an active shooter.
  • Where staff should meet and how to communicate during an emergency.
  • Who will be in charge of directing guests during an emergency.
  • Notifications and signage to instruct guests on how to move and respond during the emergency.

Final Note

Don’t let the risk of unforeseen incidents and threats stop you from organizing marvellous outdoor events. At the same time, never assume that your outdoor function will proceed without any hitches. Having a successful event means making contingency plans for every possible risk so it can proceed safely. This ranges from meticulous access control to having a reliable security team through professional screening services.

For more information on how to host safe outdoor functions or to request a free quote for your event’s security needs, contact Optimum Security.

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What Are Security Guards Expected To Protect? https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security-guards/what-are-security-guards-expected-to-protect/ https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security-guards/what-are-security-guards-expected-to-protect/#respond Mon, 05 Oct 2020 10:00:01 +0000 https://optimumsecurity.ca/?p=5071 Businesses and communities depend on security guards to protect their homes, businesses, property, and people from potential threats. Unlike law enforcement agents who employ a reactive approach to criminal events, such as police officers who intervene or respond after a criminal act has occurred, security guards use preventive measures to reduce risks and stop crime. … Continue reading What Are Security Guards Expected To Protect?

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Businesses and communities depend on security guards to protect their homes, businesses, property, and people from potential threats. Unlike law enforcement agents who employ a reactive approach to criminal events, such as police officers who intervene or respond after a criminal act has occurred, security guards use preventive measures to reduce risks and stop crime. They’re trained to be on the lookout for looming danger and report any unusual incidents that may require further action to mitigate risks. In doing so, security guards protect the people and property around the places they’re guarding.

The responsibilities of security guards revolve around crime prevention, which requires them to be alert, vigilant, and observative at all times. This, in turn, helps to deter potential lawbreakers looking for the opportunity to commit theft, vandalism, physical violence, sabotage, and other forms of criminal behaviour. If they spot suspicious activity or when an incident occurs, they may make a citizen’s arrest and summon the police. If the situation is too dangerous to intervene, they may request backup by calling 911. In some cases, they may even be required to provide witness testimony in court.

Security Guard Duties Depend on the Employer or Industry

The duties of a security guard are considered routine depending on the employer or job setting. For example, they may be required to open and lock doors to control access to buildings and premises, watch surveillance footage round the clock, monitor alarms, or patrol certain areas.

Different employers may have various job demands for their security guards as follows:

Retail Stores

Security guards employed in retail stores are expected to protect consumers, employees, suppliers, and other people who are visiting the store. They are also expected to protect the merchandise, money, records, and store equipment, patrol parking lots, and detail shoplifting suspects while waiting for the police. Depending on the size of the store, guards may work with store detectives who are undercover as a loss prevention measure to prevent theft by employees and customers.

Office Buildings

Security guards stationed at office buildings, such as hotels, banks, and hospitals, are expected to maintain order at the location; protect the organization’s staff, customers, and property; and perform basic administrative support operations such as:

  • Telephone assistance: screening and directing calls.
  • Guest services: greeting visitors, directing them to the appropriate area, and checking them in.
  • Liaison services: facilitating discussions between different departments.
  • Escorting: when necessary, they may be required to provide escort services for people or money/valuables when moving from one place to another. Their work may involve driving armoured vehicles, planning routes, or taking evasive actions.

Museums and Art Galleries

Security guards working at museums are required to protect the paintings, artifacts, and exhibits by employing the relevant access control measures. This may include watching visitors and inspecting packages when people are entering or leaving the building. They should also be trained in emergency response procedures to guide the people and provide assistance in the event of fires, crimes, earthquakes, and other emergencies.

Universities, Parks, and Stadiums

Security guards in these locations are required to watch over the area to prevent any kind of misconduct. They also require skills in crowd control, directing traffic, supervising parking and seating, and ensuring that all security and safety precautions are adhered to. The latter may include giving presentations to attendees or students on personal safety, how to protect their belongings from potential thieves, and so on.

Government Buildings, Factories, Warehouses, and Military Bases

These locations require security guards for access control to protect the people, information, and equipment within the boundaries. Their work involves checking and verifying the IDs and credentials of vehicles and people entering and leaving restricted areas, as well as writing entries to report all events that occur during their shift. When facing intruders with weapons, security guards may not be well equipped to manage the situation, so they should be in a position to swiftly summon the authorities to bring a dangerous situation under control and prevent the loss of lives.

Bars and Nightclubs

Security guards may double as bouncers to control access to bars and maintain the proper conduct of clients at the premises. Their work includes collecting cover charges at the entrance, restricting entry of under-age people, and maintaining order among clients. Depending on the activities offered at the nightclub, security guards may be required to observe the area through video cameras and CCTV systems.

Logistics Security Screeners

Security guards working in transportation and logistics settings may be required to protect people, vehicles, equipment, and freight at a specific transportation facility, such as fleet yards, train stations, ports, or airports. Depending on threat levels, the security guards may be required to use monitoring systems such as alarms, motion sensors, and cameras, as well as lethal weapons (handguns or shotguns) or non-lethal weapons (tasers, batons, and pepper sprays).

Event Security

Security guards are important authoritative figures in large events and concerts where behaviour is largely unpredictable, especially where attendants are young and drinking alcohol. Event guards can be stationed at the location to support security and law enforcement personnel in crowd control, traffic control, safety, emergency response, and so on.

Final Note

Generally, the level of security required and the means to protect the assets depends on individual clients and what they want to protect. So, security guards have to adhere to the policies provided by the employer regarding the task, such as preventing photography, restricting access to certain areas, and verifying appointments.

The presence of security guards helps to bolster safety, whether in public or private spaces, buildings, or residences. Many companies hire security guards to protect their assets (people, equipment, property, or money) and can specify whether to hire armed or unarmed guards. Or, those trained to use specialized equipment and tactics for specific jobs, such as alarms, video cameras, motion sensors, and weapons, both lethal or non-lethal.

That said, all security guards must adhere to government regulations proposed by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS), which regulates the training curriculum and issues licenses to security guards. Security guards trained to use firearms must receive the proper license to carry one. Moreover, all applicants must also undergo an extensive background check and provide verifiable references so employers can have peace of mind when hiring security guards to protect their assets.

For more information on the many responsibilities and roles of security guards, please contact Optimum Security.

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How to Implement a Loss Prevention Strategy for Your Store https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security/how-to-implement-a-loss-prevention-strategy-for-your-store/ https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security/how-to-implement-a-loss-prevention-strategy-for-your-store/#respond Mon, 07 Sep 2020 10:00:48 +0000 https://optimumsecurity.ca/?p=4973 Inventory shrinkage accounts for about 1.5% of lost revenue in the retail industry, with some sectors such as accessories and fashion retailers suffering a higher shrinkage rate of 2.4%. This amounts to an estimated $100 billion in an annual loss for retailers across the world from employee theft, shoplifting, supplier fraud, and paperwork errors. A … Continue reading How to Implement a Loss Prevention Strategy for Your Store

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Inventory shrinkage accounts for about 1.5% of lost revenue in the retail industry, with some sectors such as accessories and fashion retailers suffering a higher shrinkage rate of 2.4%. This amounts to an estimated $100 billion in an annual loss for retailers across the world from employee theft, shoplifting, supplier fraud, and paperwork errors.

A well-implemented loss prevention strategy can help to reduce the risk of merchandise losses and fraud. However, this is not easy considering the growing complexity of the retail environment as new sales channels emerge and consumer shopping behaviours change. In addition, the tight global economy has shrunk operating budgets, forcing retailers to seek more for less. Yet, retail loss prevention is a major issue that must be addressed for businesses to reduce losses and achieve their bottom line.

As such, retailers have to re-evaluate their approach in fighting against loss by adjusting how they monitor their business operations, making use of relevant business data to address problems, and leveraging emerging loss prevention technologies that require fewer resources to deliver greater results.

These are some of the steps that retailers may take when planning a loss prevention strategy:

Step 1: Determine the extent of the problem

To create an effective loss prevention strategy, you must first understand the scale of the problem in your business. To do this, you might ask yourself these questions:

  • How does inventory shrinkage occur in my business?
  • How much in annual sales do I lose from shrinkage?
  • How much of that loss can be reduced by introducing new loss prevention measures?

To calculate your retail shrinkage, you only need to work out the difference between the amount of stock indicated in your inventory records and the actual amount of stock in your store or warehouse. So, if the records indicate that you have $1,000 worth of stock in inventory, but can only find physical merchandise worth $950, then it means that your shrinkage is $50. Dividing the shrinkage by the total sales within the same period, like one month, will give you the inventory shrinkage percentage. With this information, you can now set goals for your loss prevention strategy and track the progress.

Step 2: Get your senior management to commit

Any successful loss prevention strategy should start with strong leadership from top management, with the same level of commitment trickling down the company. One of the best ways to get your team invested in preventing shrinkage is by being transparent about the issue. This means communicating the shrinkage figures you obtained across the organization and helping them to conceptualize how the business benefits by tackling shrinkage.

You can get them to take shrinkage seriously by:

  • Making them realize the importance of shrinkage prevention to the bottom line
  • Sharing with them your innovative and well-defined loss prevention plan
  • Providing access to important resources needed to empower loss prevention measures
  • Encouraging them to lead and persuade your employees to recognize the value of ongoing loss prevention measures

Step 3: Secure buy-in from your other employees

One of the biggest challenges for loss prevention specialists is getting other company workers to take the problem seriously and develop a sense of ownership of the shrinkage issue. This is partly because they may believe that retail losses are an inevitable part of doing business. As a result, they may not perceive shrinkage as a core part of the business that requires their participation compared to other functions like marketing, sales, and distribution. But without the support of all parts of the organization, developing solutions for loss prevention will only be piecemeal.

It’s important to explain and share your shrinkage prevention goals with your management and loss prevention team, as well as your store workers, while making it clear that they also have a role to play in preventing losses. However, while the numbers may mean something to your management team because improving the company’s performance also benefits them, your store workers need other incentives to take responsibility for reducing shrinkage. This may require you to establish a reward system for employees who achieve and surpass the loss prevention benchmarks.

Step 4: Ingrain loss prevention in the business

While it’s important to get your entire organization, from senior management to the store workers, to “think shrink,” it is just as important to ensure that shrinkage prevention is embedded in the company structure and culture. It will become difficult to ignore shrinkage when it is integrated into your everyday functions, thinking, and strategic development.

There are different ways to achieve this, such as:

  • Creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all departments and introducing a bonus plan for the workers where they can share the savings from shrink prevention in that store to encourage their participation.
  • Including shrinkage as an agenda item in most meetings to develop ownership of the project.
  • Auditing the employee hiring process to tackle the issue of employee theft due to overuse of discounting and refund abuse, which account for about 34% of retail shrinkage.
  • Providing employees with the necessary tools and training to prevent inventory losses, since identifying and stopping shoplifting can reduce shrinkage by about 70%.

It’s about hiring good workers, having a clear loss prevention strategy, providing the tools to fight shrinkage, and incentivizing employees to develop ownership of the project because losses will have a direct impact on their bonus.

Step 5: Generate barometer management

Once you start implementing various loss prevention measures, such as video surveillance and point of sale (POS) monitoring and inventory management, your company needs to start collecting meaningful data and use it to monitor the performance of the business and inform their loss prevention strategy. For instance, data mining on electronic point of sale (EPOS) data can help to identify incidents of employee deviance while acting as a viable deterrence to workers.

Final Note

These elements can be considered as part of the foundation of a successful loss prevention strategy. However, it’s best to create a dedicated loss prevention team to implement the strategies, collect and analyze data, monitor video surveillance, and innovate around your shrinkage plan. This team can be created in-house with proper training and guidance from a professional loss prevention manager. Hiring a loss prevention team can give you a headstart in reducing shrinkage, to aid in implementing loss prevention strategies, tracking them, and training your employees as you integrate the concept into your work culture.

For more information on how to create and implement a loss prevention strategy for your business, contact us.

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Security Guard vs Security Officer: Is There Really a Difference? https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security-guards/security-guard-vs-security-officer-is-there-really-a-difference/ https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security-guards/security-guard-vs-security-officer-is-there-really-a-difference/#respond Mon, 10 Aug 2020 10:00:06 +0000 https://optimumsecurity.ca/?p=4857 When hiring a security company, there are many details you need to consider about the security personnel you’ll be working with. This includes the need for uniforms, whether they will be armed, their level of interaction with your visitors and customers, and so on. To some extent, your needs can be better understood if you … Continue reading Security Guard vs Security Officer: Is There Really a Difference?

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When hiring a security company, there are many details you need to consider about the security personnel you’ll be working with. This includes the need for uniforms, whether they will be armed, their level of interaction with your visitors and customers, and so on.

To some extent, your needs can be better understood if you specify whether you need security guards or security officers. So, what’s the difference between the two?

For the untrained eye, all security people can be referred to as either security officers or security guards because their duties involve providing safety for the people and properties. It’s normal to find security personnel when entering any building or to access a protected property, so it doesn’t matter whether you refer to them as officers or guards.

But if you’re looking to hire a security contractor, you’ll find that the two terms refer to two different kinds of security personnel with different training requirements, the scope of responsibility, and pay.

They Have Different Security Duties

A security guard refers to security personnel assigned to a specific post or patrol duties within a limited area but has restrictions in exercising independent judgment. On the other hand, a security officer is a professional who’s capable of handling a wider range of duties and is allowed to take action based on independent judgment.

This means that a security guard holds a lower rank than a security officer, and in most cases, the guards will be required to work under and report to an officer. Besides supervising security guards, officers are also expected to liaise with other agencies and services to provide quick response to any incidents.

When security personnel are referred to as guards, their duties are limited to the simple function of “guarding.” For instance, they may be tasked with access control at an entrance.

On the other hand, the term “security officer” reflects training and professionalism to handle more intricate security issues. Officers are paid a lot more than guards. That said, many security contracts require both roles.

They Have Different Levels of Training and Responsibility

To qualify as a security guard, one may only be required to pass entry-level IQ and fitness tests, and won’t need to have as much field experience as an officer. There’s usually also no requirement for education beyond the high school level.

Security guards may be registered but not licensed to provide security services. Their skills are mostly obtained from training by their security company officers in matters such as client care and risk and situation assessment, as well as report writing and conflict resolution. When performing their duties, guards are expected to follow the Best Practice for Safety Guidelines stipulated by their security company and client.

Responsibilities of security guard may include:

  • Standing guard at a designated location
  • Reporting suspicious activity
  • Providing directions and other helpful information to visitors or customers where they’re assigned, like at stores, museums, outdoor events, etc.

Security officers direct, manage, and oversee the operations of multiple security guards, and can exercise independent judgment for each situation, unlike guards. They are not assigned to a specific location. Instead, officers can travel to different areas under their watch to supervise guards and ensure there are no problems.

Officers are trained and licensed in a wide range of security services, including exercising their powers of arrest, dealing with bomb threats, evacuation procedures, and other specific aspects, depending on the client. Security officers are also flexible in their duties and work closely with their clients to address any specific security needs. They often train their team of security guards for flawless operations.

In a team of security officers, there will typically be at least one professional with extensive training and experience. The other officers may have 2-5 years of experience, and often have a minimum level of responsibility when assigned to any security duty. Post-secondary education may be used as a substitute for a portion of the required experience, provided they can pass a stringent examination and present references.

Various terms may refer to professional security personnel besides officers, such as “manager,” or “qualifying agent,” among others, because they have chosen their career path. That said, a manager may be required to have several years of experience in an administrative, supervisory, or managerial capacity before being licensed as a security manager.

The responsibilities of a security officer may include:

  • Training security guards in conflict resolution, client care, and de-escalation techniques
  • Coordinating security activities
  • Planning security programs
  • Managing entire security operations
  • Assigning duties and tasks for security guards
  • Supervising multiple security checkpoints or stations where guards are stationed

When you hire a security officer, the expectation is that they will assume ownership of the entire security operation, managing it based on their experience, judgment, and tact.

Who is right for your security team?

Indeed, there is a clear difference in status between a security guard and an officer. There are also other status differences based on the security personnel’s credentials and the nature of the job. Generally, a security individual needs a higher education level and greater work experience to climb in rank, handle more responsibilities, and enjoy higher earnings.

Still, both occupations require meticulous training. Security guards must have the ability to implement security plans because poorly trained security guards may cause gaps and opportunities to breach security. Specific training areas for security personnel include risk management, anti-terrorism, military service, hazard mindfulness, and other niche areas.

To make the right security hiring decisions, you should consider the scope of your specific job. Some tasks may require the training, experience, tact, and professionalism of a security officer. In contrast, others that are deemed to carry minimal risk may be assigned to well-trained security guards.

Hiring a Security Officer or Guard

If you’re planning to enhance your property’s security by hiring security guards or security officers, you must choose a reputable security company that provides continuous training and assessment for their personnel. This is, so they are capable, professional, and flexible for your unique or changing security needs.

To learn more about the differences between a security officer and a security guard, call Optimum Security at 416-628-3393 or contact us here.

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Private security firm reports increased demand in Metro Vancouver https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/general-category/private-security-firm-reports-increased-demand-in-metro-vancouver/ https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/general-category/private-security-firm-reports-increased-demand-in-metro-vancouver/#respond Tue, 16 Jun 2020 18:49:46 +0000 https://optimumsecurity.ca/?p=4854 Private security firm reports increased demand in Metro Vancouver     NEWS 1130 (VANCOUVER) — With growing calls for a defunding of police forces around the world, and with Vancouver politicians wrestling over a 1 per cent cut in the annual policing budget, is there room for private security to fill the void? One firm … Continue reading Private security firm reports increased demand in Metro Vancouver

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Private security firm reports increased demand in Metro Vancouver

 

 

NEWS 1130 (VANCOUVER) — With growing calls for a defunding of police forces around the world, and with Vancouver politicians wrestling over a 1 per cent cut in the annual policing budget, is there room for private security to fill the void?

One firm in Vancouver says it’s already starting to see a growing need for its services in the city and beyond.

“We’re in contact with the authorities right now, and it looks like things are not looking too well on their behalf,” said Moe Hadayat, Operations Manager with Vancouver-based Optimum Security, one of the larger private security firms in Metro Vancouver. “Until there’s a clear picture is out there on how things are going to restart, our business looks to be pretty steady for the foreseeable future,” he adds.

Private security is often used in major urban areas to supplement police patrols. In Vancouver, the downtown core is where most of Optimum Security’s resources are allocated.

“Where we are seeing an increase in business is where we are required to provided services to homeless shelters, convenience stores and crowd management at liquor stores and other areas where they are requiring to manage the capacity of people,” said Hadayat.

Private security is contracted to guard specific locations and businesses and is financed by those groups or companies. However, there have been numerous questions raised about the training and level of enforcement that private security guards have.

There are also questions about the effectiveness of private security versus the use of sworn police officers. This includes analysis completed for the Canadian government in 2015.

“Initiatives to develop tiered policing may result in outsourcing of police tasks and a reduction in the number of sworn officers must be mindful of research studies that have established a clear relationship between the numbers of police officers in a jurisdiction and the impact on crime and on the costs of the criminal justice system. Studies in the U.S. have found that, all else being equal, a 10-percent reduction in the size of a typical police service has been found to lead to a 6-percent increase in robberies, a 3-percent increase in serious assaults, and a 4-percent increase in vehicle theft … Investing in street-level policing can reduce prison populations and curb the increasing costs of corrections,” a section of the report suggests.

There have also been a number of violent incidents connected to private security officers.

Last year, North Vancouver RCMP were called in to investigate after a confrontation was caught on video at a Lynn Valley McDonalds involving a private security officer and a 15-year-old girl. Buy DNP Online Canada

RELATED: Mounties investigating apparent assault by security guard at North Vancouver McDonald’s
Despite the debate, Optimum Security says there are growing requests for their services beyond the core of Vancouver.

“The other areas are Surrey, Maple Ridge, Langley… these are the cities that are definitely hot spots for security needs at this moment,” said Hadayat.

“One Ontario union says that it has been struggling to fill the demand and that 1500 jobs need to be filled immediately,” writes Optimum Security on its blog.

“It’s such a fluid situation right now,” writes Ashley Cooper, CEO of Paladin Security in Vancouver on the same blog post. “Sector by sector, we’re having significant changes. There are certain sectors that are beginning to slow down and reduce their hours while others are drastically picking up.”

Private security firm reports increased demand in Metro Vancouver

 

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When Should You Hire a Fire Watch Security Guard Service? https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security-guards/when-should-you-hire-a-fire-watch-security-guard-service/ https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security-guards/when-should-you-hire-a-fire-watch-security-guard-service/#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2020 10:00:57 +0000 https://optimumsecurity.ca/?p=4849 As a resident of a multi-family residential building, you may not know it, but you have fire watch security for your building. If you own a commercial or industrial building, you will have fire watch security maintaining vigilance for your building security. Sporting events, construction sites, and many others will have some semblance of fire … Continue reading When Should You Hire a Fire Watch Security Guard Service?

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As a resident of a multi-family residential building, you may not know it, but you have fire watch security for your building. If you own a commercial or industrial building, you will have fire watch security maintaining vigilance for your building security. Sporting events, construction sites, and many others will have some semblance of fire watch security to protect the sites from the problems that come with a fire. Security companies also provide fire watch security as one of their services. 918kiss

Municipal and provincial regulations and bylaws require that any building owner, regardless of the type of structure, must be in compliance with regulations or face the consequences. Fire watch security is a fail-safe option for buildings when traditional fire notification systems are impaired. There are times when a malfunction will affect fire alarms, causing them to be rendered inoperable. A fire watch security system—using patrol guards—will help alert residents to the danger within. Alerting fire departments is another task that a fire security watch assumes when dealing with problems on a site.

Maintenance of any system is essential, and when your fire alarm systems require service or upgrades, deploying a fire security watch service will also protect the building during that time.

Now is the Time to Hire a Fire Security Watch Service

Fire accidents are preventable if you have an adequate fire watch security service. Fire watch security and prevention services on-site will eliminate most if not all accidents that occur. A small investment in fire watch services will stop the enormous losses that a fire causes and the toll in human costs that it creates.

The Special Event

    • Any special event must come with a plan to deal with emergencies. A fire can happen at any time, and approval for a special event must include a fire watch security guard in your security plan. Controlling an emergency is paramount to protecting the attendees of the event. The workers’ safety is another consideration in the presentation of the event at the venue.

Construction Sites

    • Many accidents happen on construction sites. Before you commence a new project, you must convince the authorities that you have hired a fire watch security service to receive approval to proceed. Fire risks are involved in the creation of the structure itself, the vehicles, and the building materials used. Using a fire security watch guard identifies all such risks and hazards associated with the causes of a fire event. Also, the fire watch guard will help protect human life and machinery in the event of fire through careful observance of the site.

Structures at Risk of Fire

    • Many commercial structures like schools, hospitals, movie theatres, and assorted buildings catering to trade and commerce are susceptible to the risk of fire. The old Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared,” best serves the interest of a building owner or manager. Problems can arise when least expected, and fire will ravage a building and its occupants if not adequately prepared in the event of a catastrophe.

Supply Chains and Factories

  • The supply chain, also known as warehousing, is under threat of fire damage. Warehouses and factories have many materials stored, including finished products. The chance of a fire outbreak is higher in this industry, and an accidental fire can destroy many lives, buildings, and materials. Using a fire watch security guard will reduce the risk of loss of life and inventory.

Where You are Vulnerable to a Fire Risk

There are many areas where you are exposed to fire risks, including:

  • Concerts, exhibitions, and special events
  • Apartment complexes
  • Commercial buildings such as strip malls
  • Retail locations
  • Hotels and motels
  • Restaurants
  • Entertainment facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Warehouses and factories

Fire Security Watch Requirements

A fire security watch is a necessity and a growing need. Damage and loss of life are the contributing factors that demand a fire security watch. In emergencies, fire watch security is the difference between fatalities and lives saved.

  • As we know, a fire alarm is a high decibel alert that calls people to action. A possible breakdown in the alarm system or a power failure creates the need for fire watch security.
  • Damage to a fire alarm system can be accidental or deliberate, rendering the components inoperable. The effectiveness of the system becomes compromised, thus making the need for security personnel even higher.
  • In any building, there are fire suppression systems like sprinklers and standpipes. If they aren’t automated to detect smoke, they won’t work. Common areas at risk—corridors, equipment areas, and elevators—become death traps. However, a fire security watch will alert residents and therefore protect against such dangers.
  • A fire alarm panel is installed in every building, and it needs contact with a central monitoring station in the event of a fire. If you have a loss of communication, you can’t alert the fire department when a fire starts. A fire security watch, however, will alert the fire department when needed.

Know Who to Call When You Need Help

Not every security company offers fire watch security. To provide fire watch security services, a security company must have personnel that are specially trained to identify the risks and hazards associated with fire watch security.

Every situation is unique, and your fire watch security plan must meet the considerations you face as a building or event operator.

Planning for eventualities is how we can help you at Optimum Security. We have a great deal of experience creating fire watch security plans to protect your facilities and the people who use it, and our expertise is currency.

Our service line for fire security touches all areas of society, and your concerns for your commercial, apartment, construction, or warehouse facility is our mission. Safety is our number one priority at Optimum Security, and we want to help improve yours. To talk to an expert and receive a detailed fire security plan, contact us here for a free quote and consultation.

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Security Guards in High Demand During COVID-19: What You Need to Know https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security-guards/security-guards-in-high-demand-during-covid-19-what-you-need-to-know/ https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security-guards/security-guards-in-high-demand-during-covid-19-what-you-need-to-know/#respond Wed, 27 May 2020 10:00:40 +0000 https://optimumsecurity.ca/?p=4839 With quarantine measures in place, your safety is important more than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic means that security guards are in extremely high demand; many have been enlisted to assist the community and government in combatting the pandemic. Security companies of all shapes and sizes are stepping up to the challenge — and so … Continue reading Security Guards in High Demand During COVID-19: What You Need to Know

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With quarantine measures in place, your safety is important more than ever before.

The COVID-19 pandemic means that security guards are in extremely high demand; many have been enlisted to assist the community and government in combatting the pandemic. Security companies of all shapes and sizes are stepping up to the challenge — and so is Optimum Security. mega888

COVID-19 is causing an unprecedented degree of disruption to our daily lives, especially for businesses. While security guard service is being reduced in sectors that are currently closed, security guards are viewed as more vital in other sectors than ever before.

How does this look? Well, right now, redeployment is the new norm. The sight of a security guard outside stores has become a normal experience for most shoppers as they ensure shoppers’ safety, limit the number of people who can enter a shop at any one time, and ensure social, or physical, distancing is maintained in stores.

“It’s such a fluid situation right now,” says Ashley Cooper, CEO of Paladin Security Group, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and its American subsidiary PalAmerican Security. “Sector by sector, we’re having significant changes. There are certain sectors that are beginning to slow down and reduce their hours while others are drastically picking up.”

So, while the demand for security guards grows, this is what you need to know:

Protecting Officers

Security — even for security guards — is considered as a top priority for employers and the companies they are serving during this time. Security for security officers looks like this:

  • Providing items to keep workstations clean and encouraging guards to make safety a priority
  • Providing PPE and providing instructions on how to use it
  • Making sure social distancing can be maintained between clients, shoppers, and guards
  • Ensure guards know how to wash their hands properly, use antibacterial solutions, and don’t touch their faces
  • Providing COVID-19 testing, if needed, and making sure guards know this is available to them

Shifting Operations

While some sectors that provide security are currently closed, other areas are reporting increased demand at healthcare, grocers, and hotel facilities. Regardless, security guards are now doing jobs that are usually outside their scope of work — like checking people’s temperatures and managing store lineups.

This is posing an issue in some cases. For instance, one Ontario union says that it has been struggling to fill the demand and that 1500 jobs need to be filled immediately. Some companies are not equipped to take on new roles, like large-scale patrolling of closed stores or purchasing equipment for taking temperatures. The safety of guards, as front-line workers, is also a concern.

Fortunately, some security companies were already equipped to meet the new challenges posed by COVID-19 before the lockdown. For instance, new security software allows companies to clearly see what’s happening at a client’s site without having to be present. This keeps guards safe and maintains social distancing protocols.

This new security also allows head offices to communicate and update staff on important pandemic information via message boards that use cellular networks and cloud technology. Thus, it puts important information in the hands of security guards right when they need it.

Security at healthcare facilities is also ramping up. Guards are in charge of making sure that the people coming into care facilities are not exacerbating the issue and entering the health facility through the proper channels.

This creates a high-risk situation for guards, but it is also one of the most important steps in keeping hospitals and other centres running smoothly. For instance, in hospitals facing an increased volume of COVID-19 patients, they have had to lockdown their facilities, which means adding additional security coverage.

Business Continuity

Security guards are the reason that many businesses have been able to stay open during this challenging time. They ensure client service and that services — like grocery stores — can stay open and uninterrupted.

They are also in charge of ensuring the continuity and movement of supply chains that provide goods and services to essential workers and services so that they remain safe, open, and properly supported, especially as the situation rapidly evolves.

The Financial Picture for Security Guards

Security companies are also facing a number of economic shifts related to COVID-19.

One potential opportunity could be overtime hours in sectors and geographic areas where customers need more help. However, it may come as no surprise that many clients are having an issue with money-flow that wouldn’t have previously been a problem. If a business is closed, they are not making money.

So, while security has increased and is vital for these businesses, many companies can’t afford to pay for overtime. With lower sales causing interruptions, companies may experience higher operational costs due to illness among employees and other elements.

This is where transparency comes into play. Clients must stay abreast of this evolving situation and know exactly what they are paying for, especially if they may be charged for overtime work.

Security companies should also be letting clients know about potential discounts and “premium wage” packages offered for temporary work during the quarantine. It could save money in the long run when security services are no longer required post-quarantine.

Payment methods also have been changing, and companies have had to adapt to this. For instance, any security companies who still collect physical cheques from clients have been upgrading to contactless and online payment solutions.

What will happen when the pandemic ends?

When the pandemic ends, it’s hard to say what our “new” reality is going to look like for everyone. Just as the security industry adapts to the changes that the pandemic has brought with it, it can and will continue to shift.

To learn more about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting corporate security, call Optimum Security at 604-644-9229 or contact us here!

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Secure Your Vancouver Home With a Custom CCTV Security System https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security/secure-your-vancouver-home-with-a-custom-cctv-security-system/ https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security/secure-your-vancouver-home-with-a-custom-cctv-security-system/#respond Fri, 01 May 2020 10:00:55 +0000 https://optimumsecurity.ca/?p=4814 They say home is where the heart is. Home is where you come after a hard day at work to feel safe and relax with loved ones. It’s where you look forward to returning to after a long trip or even a short weekend away. It’s also where everything and everyone you want to protect … Continue reading Secure Your Vancouver Home With a Custom CCTV Security System

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They say home is where the heart is. Home is where you come after a hard day at work to feel safe and relax with loved ones. It’s where you look forward to returning to after a long trip or even a short weekend away.

It’s also where everything and everyone you want to protect is. While all homes have the most basic deterrents installed — such as locks on windows and doors — you can do so much more to protect your home and your loved ones.

An excellent place to start is a custom CCTV security system, which you can use as a base to start building a comprehensive security system or to enhance an existing one.

What is a CCTV security system?

CCTV is short for closed-circuit television. A CCTV system is a set of video cameras that transmit signals to a monitor.

They are used practically everywhere in public, from amusement parks to your local corner store. They serve several purposes:

  • They help companies keep an eye on their clients and to assist quickly if any negative situation arises
  • They can provide valuable assistance to a company and to the police if a crime happens when no one is on-site
  • They can act as a deterrent, preventing crimes such as vandalism from happening in the first place
  • They can monitor traffic patterns and provide information if an accident occurs or there is congestion on a highway
  • They can be used during sporting events so fans can see the action even if they are not in their seats

While CCTV systems were used exclusively by large companies or governments, they are now frequently being used by homeowners to help protect their loved ones and their property. They are becoming so popular that some areas are even considering offering a tax credit for them!

What kind of benefits can a CCTV security system offer me?

There are several benefits that having a CCTV system outside your Vancouver home can give you.

They provide instant alerts when trouble occurs, which helps ensure that crimes against people, theft, and vandalism are substantially reduced.

Your insurance company may offer you lower premiums after you install one. You can use the recordings from them as proof to your insurance company of how an event occurred, whether man-made — such as a break-in — or natural, like a tree falling on your property or flooding.

The recordings they take can be used by the police to help identify a criminal who, for example, tries to break into your home or steals packages of your porch — an all too common crime these days! CCTV recordings can provide valuable evidence improving the likelihood of a conviction.

You can easily keep an eye on areas of your property that you may not be able to see from your house. A camera over the front door also lets you quickly see who is there, and decide if you want to answer the door or not.

If you are away, a CCTV security system can give you peace of mind, as you can access footage from your cameras via your smartphone at any time. This means you don’t have to be at home to know what is going on.

They are an immediate deterrent to burglars. The first thing a burglar looks for is a home that will be an easy target. They will avoid robbing a home with a CCTV security system as they will not want to be identified in the act!

A Home CCTV System — The Right Choice For Your Peace of Mind

You’ve now learned about all of the great things about having a CCTV system in your home:

  • Protection for your home and family
  • Decreased insurance rates
  • An excellent deterrent to crime AND an increased likelihood of a conviction if a crime does occur
  • The ability to monitor your home when you’re not there, so you can go on vacation and truly relax
  • Safety and security for you and your loved ones

You’ve worked hard to have your home and to take care of your loved ones, so you keep them safe with a video home security system.

To learn more about how to secure your home with a CCTV security system, call Optimum Security at 604-644-9229 or contact us here.

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Smart Home Technology That Can Help Protect Your Home https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security/smart-home-technology-that-can-help-protect-your-home/ https://optimumsecurity.ca/blog/security/smart-home-technology-that-can-help-protect-your-home/#respond Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:00:05 +0000 https://optimumsecurity.ca/?p=4809 Your home should be a safe haven for you and your loved ones. You should never feel like your information or belongings are compromised, or that you and your family are living in danger. With technology only improving over the years, it’s never been easier to protect your home with the latest smart technology that … Continue reading Smart Home Technology That Can Help Protect Your Home

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Your home should be a safe haven for you and your loved ones. You should never feel like your information or belongings are compromised, or that you and your family are living in danger. With technology only improving over the years, it’s never been easier to protect your home with the latest smart technology that you can depend on for security.

At Optimum Security, we are Vancouver’s number one security company specializing in both residential and commercial alarm monitoring and security for your benefit. We pride ourselves on being the security company you can trust. Here are some helpful systems that you can add to your home today to ensure that you are being protected as much as possible:

Security Alarms

Security alarms are part of your basic home safety systems. They alert you and the local police when an intruder is in your vicinity. They can be easily triggered by forced entry or the opening of windows or sliding doors, and can usually be disabled by a numerical passcode. Having these systems in place is important because an unwanted intruder is a violating and scary experience, even if it does end up just being a false alarm.

Currently, security alarms can come equipped with silent alarms, motion sensors, and more that can be connected to your smartphone. It’s a bonus if the system comes with a speaker where you can communicate with the intruder to let them know they’ve been caught. In essence, the better and more advanced your security alarm, the easier it is to scare away the intruder or have them bypass your home altogether.

Security Cameras

Having security cameras around your home can be a major deterrent for burglars and thieves. The benefit of security cameras is that they capture all activity digitally so you can visually see the intruder and even take note of suspicious activity around your home that you otherwise would’ve been oblivious to.

For example, someone close to home can be snooping around your property when you’re not there or stealing items that go unnoticed. If you plan on going away for summer vacation, local thieves or untrustworthy neighbours may notice and decide to target your home.

With improvements in technology, security cameras are better than ever. They can include facial recognition software that can detect individual features and be weatherproof so that you need not worry about coarse weather conditions. Ultimately, security cameras should be implemented in every home or business to not only deter theft but ensure no criminal activity is occurring on the premises.

GPS Trackers

It’s one thing to protect your home, but what about the people and things inside of it? GPS trackers can be attached to laptops, cars, electronics, and even people. They can’t be disabled by thieves and can be an aid in locating lost or stolen items. The most advanced GPS trackers can alert the owner when their object is going in an odd direction or moving to someplace that it shouldn’t be. This way, you can get a head-start in contacting the police if needed, and also determining why the object is moving suspiciously.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It doesn’t take long for a fire to spread or for carbon monoxide to be a danger to you and your loved ones. In these instances, your devices need to work fast so that you can spot a problem and address the issue or contact the authorities. These detectors can be connected to your smartphone so that if there is an issue while you’re away, you will be notified. Some devices can pinpoint the exact room or area that poses a danger so that you can address the problem as soon as possible and get your family out of danger quickly.

Water Sensors

Leaks can be a big problem when not addressed right away or left alone. They can run up your water bill significantly and damage your property and belongings, costing you greatly. It’s a good idea to have a water sensor or leak detector at home so that you will be notified if a leak ever occurs. Some sensors can even turn off the water supply automatically when a leak is detected so that potential problems are negated, and you can fix the issue when you get home. After all, a leak can be a nuisance but don’t allow it to turn into an even bigger problem.

While anything can happen, it’s best always to be prepared for the worst. Peace of mind is one of the main advantages you can get from preparing your home with these security and safety devices. Keeping yourself and your loved ones protected is invaluable. For more information on smart home technology and security and monitoring systems, please contact Optimum Security here. Safety is our top priority, and our team is more than happy to assist you with your security needs.

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