Security Central Christmas Gingerbread House Contest

What do the Security Central team members do when they are not actively caring for your personal safety and peace of mind?  During the Christmas season, they spend their free moments designing and building super creative gingerbread houses for the annual Security Central Christmas Gingerbread House Competition.  This year the C.A.R.E. Consultant team really pushed everybody to raise the bar on their creations by building a complex battle scene complete with remote-controlled helicopter, army men, fiber optic mortar launcher, and even a destructive dinosaur along with the requisite decorated winter-wonderland gingerbread house and snowmen.  While the slightly-violent scene may not have the traditional feel of “peace on earth and goodwill toward man,” it did get everybody’s creative juices flowing.

2016-12-19-17-40-47

 

The other S.C.I. teams responded by pouring new effort and ideas into their gingerbread house creations.  Their masterpieces included impressive architectural elements like a pond, a stable, an ice skating rink, a functional smoke-puffing chimney, the warm glow of interior lighting, computer animated graphics and more!

2016-12-19-17-42-172016-12-19-17-41-352016-12-19-17-41-29

The winning entry was a North Pole homestead created by the swing-shift Quick-C.A.R.E. Responder team led by Jessie as the creative director and chief architect/builder.  The reindeer stable and private pond were nice touches to the 100% edible winter ranch.  Congratulations Jessie and team!

2016-12-19-17-40-53

Each of the winning team members was awarded a gift card to their favorite lunch place.  Enjoy your meal; you earned it!

Great job everyone!  Each of the gingerbread houses showed tremendous creativity and care!

Merry Christmas!

Denver Neighborhoods with Most Burglaries

Suburban-Home-Medium-2

Denver Channel 7 recently ran a segment highlighting neighborhoods in Denver that had the most burglaries based on Denver Police Department crime reports. While some of the neighborhoods noted might not be surprising such as Five Points and Montbello, some higher-end neighborhoods such as Stapleton which are often perceived as “safe neighborhoods” are in the Top 10 list. The article also mentions that even suburban communities such as Highlands Ranch are not immune to the unfortunate reality of burglaries.

The information presented in the story is a great reminder to always lock your doors and windows and to always arm your security alarm system.  Don’t be an easy target!  Most burglars looks for easy entry through unsecured openings.

The article briefly mentions two common break-in methods that we have certainly seen used often in recent years.  First is breaking in through the overhead garage door by using a pry bar and a hook to grab the automatic opener release rope/handle.  Once the automatic opener is released, the intruders can simply lift the overhead garage door, slip inside through the unlocked entry door to the house, and do their damage totally out of sight.  To combat this entry method, we recommend removing the handle from the opener release rope.  That way it is more difficult for the intruders to hook it and pull it.

The second common entry method is simply kicking in a door.  In most cases, before kicking in the door, the intruder will ring the door bell to see if anyone is home.  We have a number of clients who ignored the door bell, because they were busy in the house or could see that the person at the door was not anyone who was expected, only to suddenly find themselves face to face with the intruder who just kicked in the door thinking that no one was home.  Therefore, it is important to always make any person at your front door aware that you are home.  Even if you don’t want to answer the door, make lots of noise inside the house so the potential intruder knows the home is occupied.

Here is a link to the Denver Channel 7 story:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/investigations/these-are-the-neighborhoods-with-the-most-home-burglaries-in-denver

No matter which neighborhood you live in. Always be smart and be safe!

Security Central Teamwork Strikes Again

Quick-CARE-Center-1“I noticed that the graveyard responders are kind of overwhelmed in the mornings when we don’t have an additional person scheduled at 6:00 a.m. to help.  Would it be okay if I came in a couple of hours early on those days so I can help them before my shift starts?”  That is what Ashley asked Brandy our General Manager when Ashley saw her teammates in need.  Ashley didn’t just point out the problem and wait for Brandy to fix it.  Instead, Ashley demonstrated the epitome of teamwork.

Teamwork starts with truly caring about your teammates.  Ashley knows what it feels like to be swamped with phone calls and alarms when we are understaffed.  She saw her nocturnal teammates feeling the same burden and asked herself what she could do to help.  It would have been easy for Ashley to think about how hard she is already working on the day shift with her additional responsibilities and conclude that someone else should pitch in to help.  But she couldn’t sit idly and watch her teammates suffer.  She decided she would rather sacrifice her own sleep and come in at 6:00 a.m. to help shoulder the load together.

Isn’t that the kind of teammate you want on your team?  Doesn’t having support like that make it easier and more enjoyable to tackle tough challenges?  Then ask yourself what you can do to be a teammate like that.  Everyone acting Q.B.Q. and pitching in to help one another C.A.R.E. for our clients… that is what makes our Security Central team amazing!

Creating Safe Workplaces

Business-People-Slider

We live in a dangerous world.  The news headlines remind us of that all too often as with the recent massacres in San Bernadino and Paris. We here in Colorado have suffered more than our share of mass shooting attacks.  Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.  Columbine.  The Aurora Theater.  New Life Church.  Chuck E. Cheese.  The simple mention of those words brings back raw, painful emotions for many of us.

All of those tragedies have a number of common elements, but one that is often overlooked is they all occurred in workplaces.  It is an unfortunate reality now that as business owners, managers, and employees, we all must be on guard against the threat of evil attacks in our work environments.  We each have a moral and fiscal responsibility to help protect our employees, coworkers, and customers whether we work in an office, a retail store, a church, or a school.

Many customers have turned to Security Central to help them create safer workspaces and to develop action plans to combat the threat of an active attack in their workplace.  Security Central offers a number of solutions that can increase the safety and security of different work environments.

Keyless Entry Systems.
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of mass murders at your workplace is to limit access to densely-populated areas.  Keyless entry systems allow you to maintain control of who enters certain areas of your building.  With the simple flash of a badge or entry of a PIN, authorized employees can enter private, secured areas quickly and easily while unauthorized persons are kept outside of the secure area.  By limiting public access to designated lobbies or conference areas, you can create a safe space for your employees to work productively in their private office areas.

Video Intercom Systems.
Of course every workplace must accommodate visitations by vendors, stakeholders, prospective applicants, etc.  But how do you maintain safety and security while providing convenience for your customers and visitors?  Video intercom systems can help bridge that gap.  With an affordable, easy-to-use video intercom in place, your receptionist can see who is at your door, greet them verbally, and then either open the door personally to escort them in or release the door electronically with the push of a button to allow the UPS delivery man to enter.

Emergency Notification and Lock-Down Systems.
In the event of an imminent threat against your employees, it is important to have an emergency-response plan and to be able to initiate that plan quickly and easily.  Our integration technology can lock down doors, activate emergency notification lights and/or announcements, and summon police assistance all with the simple push of a button.  Equipped with small, portable panic buttons, your receptionist, team supervisors, and managers can easily become protective watchdogs for the rest of the team to quickly activate emergency protocols.

Video Surveillance Systems.
Many people think of video surveillance systems only as a tool to catch shoplifters or vandals.  While today’s high-definition cameras can certainly do those things, remotely-viewable video systems are far more valuable as a management tool and an emergency-response asset.  The first challenge in any emergency situation is trying to understand what is happening amid the chaos and confusion.  Being able to pull up camera views on a computer or smart phone provides invaluable information to decision makers so they can better understand what the problem is, where it is occurring, and how to best respond.  Strategically placed cameras throughout your workplace enable you to manage your operations much more effectively whether during an emergency or just a typical day.

In the past, corporate security focused on protecting the physical assets of a company such as cash, inventory, computers, and equipment.  Today we must recognize that the most valuable asset any organization has is its employees, and we all must take tangible action to protect those irreplaceable human assets.  Call Security Central today to learn more about how you can create a workplace that is safe, secure, and productive.

Alarm Communication Technology Changes – Lose Your Land Line

Wireless

Anyone who is married or has teenagers knows effective communication can be a challenge.  Sometimes you have to change your communication methods in order to get your message across clearly.  In today’s rapidly changing technological world, your alarm system may need to change its communication method to effectively send important alarm signals to our Quick-C.A.R.E. monitoring center.

Alarm systems have traditionally used analog telephone lines to communicate with central monitoring centers like Security Central.  But more and more homes and businesses are eliminating their traditional “land line” and choosing instead to communicate via cell phones, cable modems, and/or internet-based VOIP phone services. Canceling your land line or changing phone service providers can completely disable your alarm system’s ability to report an alarm event if you are not properly equipped.  Fortunately, Security Central offers numerous alternative communication options that allow your alarm system to communicate securely without a traditional phone line.

Most current-generation alarm systems support add-on modules that enable alarm communication via cellular, internet, or long-range radio.  By adding one of these alternative communication modules, you can maintain your safety and security while eliminating your land line that receives all of those annoying political calls during this election season!

Eliminating unwanted calls and reducing monthly costs may be reasons enough to update your alarm communication methods, but there are more benefits to be enjoyed as well.  The new cellular and internet broadband alarm communicators also enable you to take advantage of 21st century features such as remote control of your alarm system from your smart phone, tablet or computer.

Have you ever driven away from your home or business and then wondered if you set the alarm?  In the past you would either have to turn around and drive back to double check or worry the entire time you are away.  Not anymore.  With the new smart phone apps, you can simply pull up your alarm system on your phone and confirm if it is armed.  If it is not, simply arm the alarm system with a single tap of your phone’s screen.  Need to disarm or reset your alarm system for a visitor, vendor, or new employee?  Again, the new remote-control apps allow you to be in total control of your alarm system no matter where you are.

If your alarm system is still using a land line to communicate alarm signals, give us a call today to learn how freeing and affordable upgrading your alarm communication technology can be.  You don’t need to hang on to that old land line just for your alarm system.  We are here to C.A.R.E. for your personal safety and peace of mind, no matter how you choose to communicate!

I-C.A.R.E. Award Winner: Mark Horan

2016-07-08 10.19.11

Mark Horan, one of our technical C.A.R.E. team leaders, was awarded the most recent quarterly I-C.A.R.E. award for his leadership and effort in The Great Shredder Fire of 2016 that occurred during our annual Customer C.A.R.E. Day Shredathon.  And since Mark is one of the most fun-loving and playful members of our team, we made him wear the glamorous, but feminine, Security Central tiara and sash as he received his prestigious award.  We knew he was manly enough to wear them well and laugh along with the rest of us.

Mark showed exceptional leadership when one of the shredder truck bays caught fire due to some batteries that were shredded among the customer-provided papers during our Shredathon event in May.  He worked with the shredder company staff, the electronics recyclers, and the fire and police officials to make sure everyone was safe.  Mark’s calm leadership was impressive during the potential disaster.  But it was what he did AFTER the firemen rolled up their hoses and left that is truly admirable.

As a result of the fire-fighting efforts, our neighbor’s property was left with a film of foam residue and tiny bits of shredded documents that were embedded in their parking lot asphalt and blown into all of the surrounding bushes and landscape.   Mark spent his entire Sunday sweeping, shoveling, power-washing, and picking out individual bits of confetti.  By nightfall, the parking lot and surrounding areas were completely cleaned.  When the neighboring employees arrived at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning, there was no sign of the mess that existed over the weekend.

Mark definitely went above and beyond to C.A.R.E. for our clients and neighbor and to preserve our reputation of making a positive impact rather than making a major mess!

Congratulations Mark!  You look fabulous!

To learn more about our C.A.R.E. pledge, visit www.securitycentralinc.com/we-c-a-r-e/.

Security Central Teamwork In Action

According to Dictionary.com the definition of teamwork is “cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together in the interests of a common cause.”  But if you are looking for a real-life definition, you should see our weekly Tech meetings on Friday mornings.  These meetings are the textbook model of teamwork as outside techs, inside techs, sales guys, and Quick-C.A.R.E. Responders all put their heads together to figure out ways to make Security Central better.  It would be easy to point fingers and blame “the other guys” for the challenges that each person faces on a daily basis.  But that would not be the culture that we promote at SCI.  Instead, in these meetings team members identify problems and then take personal ownership and make suggestions of what they can do to help solve the challenges.  Then they go a step further and actually recognize and thank the other team members for what they are doing rather than blaming them or telling them what they should do.

Why are they doing that?  Because each person in those meetings understands that even though we may have different skill sets and/or different roles, we are all on the same team and we are all working toward the same goal:  to make Security Central better so we can maximize our positive impact on people’s lives.

It is amazing to see what happens when everyone on a team starts asking themselves, “What can I do to make my teammate’s job easier?”  The team becomes more efficient, more productive, more positive, and more impactful.  Imagine being part of a team where every member loves their teammates, loves what they do, and loves to help the team win.  That sounds like the vision of our first circle of impact:  Employees Thrive Personally and Professionally.  Check out more about our vision and our Million Dollar Impact Initiative at www.securitycentralinc.com/impact.

Security Central Awarded 5-Diamond Certification by CSAA

                                                                                                                           

Vienna, VA, July 1, 2016—The Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) International is pleased to announce that Security Central, Inc. – Centennial, CO has obtained the prestigious “CSAA Five Diamond Central Station Certification.”

This Certification testifies that 100% of the company’s central station operators have achieved proficiency and certification by passing the CSAA Central Station On-Line Operator Training Course. These courses cover virtually all phases of central station communications with customers, law enforcement, fire and emergency services communications centers. This critical area of communications is the life-saving link between the residential or business properties and the law enforcement, fire and emergency services in local areas.

In order to achieve the Five Diamond Certification, each and every operator must have not only passed the course, but demonstrated:

  • Proficiency in alarm verification, which helps reduce false alarms;
  • Proficiency in communications with Public Service Answering Points, such as the Emergency 911 centers;
  • Knowledge of electronic communications equipment, including radio;
  • An understanding of the codes and standards of such organizations as Underwriters Laboratories, Factory
  • Mutual, the National Fire Protection Association and others; and
  • Proficiency in the area of emergency preparedness under a wide scenario of possibilities.

In addition, Five Diamond companies have demonstrated an exceptionally high degree of responsibility to their local community and their customers through the investment of time, money and commitment to 100% quality operator training.

There are approximately 2,700 central stations in the United States, which communicate and interact with the law enforcement, fire and emergency services agencies. Of this group, fewer than two hundred central stations have achieved Five Diamond Certified status.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA) is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies that are listed by a CSAA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Global, Intertek/ETL or UL. CSAA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. Since its incorporation in 1950, CSAA has served its members’ interests through education, online training, meetings and conventions, certification, insurance, and industry standards

Mike Carvill Recognized for Exceptional C.A.R.E. and Service

Commercial Security Denver employee

Mike Carvill – King of C.A.R.E. 2016

Mike Carvill, one of our C.A.R.E. Consultants, was awarded the most recent quarterly I-.C.A.R.E. award for helping a female client solve some household problems that had nothing to do with her security system.

Long-time client Christy H. of Greenwood Village was experiencing an electrical problem that affected her alarm system.  When our Quick-C.A.R.E. Responder Renee attempted to help Christy identify the cause of the partial power interruption, it became clear that Christy was not comfortable troubleshooting her electrical system.  Therefore, Renee offered to have a Security Central representative stop by to help her.

Since all of the C.A.R.E. technicians were tied-up at other service appointments, Mike Carvill volunteered to drive over to Christy’s house and take a look at her electrical breakers.  Mike found the circuit breaker that had tripped and reset it, restoring power to Christy’s alarm system.  Christy also mentioned to Mike that her televisions were not working.  Mike identified that her satellite system has also been affected by the same circuit breaker.  Mike took the time to get her satellite system back up and running, including going out to her dish and clearing off all of the snow that had collected in it.

As a former police officer and S.W.A.T. team member, Mike has always been a hero to us.  Now he is a customer service hero to Christy H. as well.  That is what our C.A.R.E. values are all about, so Mike was definitely deserving of the I-C.A.R.E. award recognition for this quarter.

To learn more about our C.A.R.E. pledge, visit www.securitycentralinc.com/we-c-a-r-e/.

New King of C.A.R.E. Awarded for Exceptional Effort and Service

Gabe - King of CARE 3rd Qtr 2015

Gabe Schwarting, one of our beloved Technical C.A.R.E. Coordinators, was recently awarded the I-C.A.R.E. crown for going above and beyond to help his teammates.

Our Quick-C.A.R.E. Responder team was short-handed earlier this fall as we struggled to find qualified job applicants who could meet our VERY high hiring standards.  Every member of the Quick-C.A.R.E. team was working extra shifts to ensure our clients were properly served.  However, at one point our Quick-C.A.R.E. supervisor was having trouble filling one open weekend night-shift while a regular night crew member was on vacation.

Gabe heard about the scheduling challenge and volunteered to fill the gap by sacrificing his weekend social life and working that graveyard shift.  Gabe was awarded the I-C.A.R.E. crown, not just because he volunteered to work a shift that most people are not willing to work; Gabe earned the special recognition because that is NOT HIS JOB!

Gabe used to be one of our top Quick-C.A.R.E. Responders for six years, but he was promoted to our Technical C.A.R.E. Coordinator role over three years ago.  Yet he still remembered how to handle alarms so he recognized that he could solve the scheduling challenge by putting his previous job skills back to work.

Thanks, Gabe!  We love the way you C.A.R.E. and serve our customers and your teammates!!