The term “peace of mind” is referred to a lot these days especially within the security industry. Time and time again companies promise that their product and/or service will provide it, but very rarely are they able to demonstrate exactly how they will deliver on their promise.
In order to solve this age old challenge, we must first ensure we gain a deeper understanding of what causes ones angst as well as have the tenured experience to know which solution or more often than not, which combination of solutions are required to adequately mitigate the risk.
With 20 years of experience protecting thousands of Australian homes and businesses, Signal Security has been building on its experience and continuously evolving its thinking with the aim of formalising a methodology that all team members can be trained in to help its customers achieve “true” peace of mind.
At the core of this methodology is what Signal Security CEO and Co-founder Justin Nesvanulica refers to as the “Hierarchy of Electronic Security” – the logical order to which systems and services should be considered to deliver maximum impact and return on investment.
Most people are under the impression that the number one priority for the security industry is to prevent loss and/or damage to property. In fact, the industry’s core priority is much more meaningful, it’s to prevent harm to the most valuable asset we will ever possess… OURSELVES!
Therefore it is important to understand that achieving peace of mind is not simply about installing a CCTV camera outside of your premise but about understanding why certain systems are installed, what their core purpose is and how layering numerous systems and services will go a long way to stopping those fleeting thoughts of whether or not your security has been compromised.
With so much on the line, where do we start? There is nothing more effective in preventing harm and loss than a professionally installed intrusion detection system (burglar alarm) with fixed or portable panic buttons. Depending on the size, shape and layout of a property, coupled with its level of risk, an intrusion detection system can come in all shapes and sizes with various types of detection devices i.e. motion detectors, door/window switches and glass breakage detectors.
Nonetheless, the key to preventing harm and loss is trying to detect an unauthorised entry as close to the perimeter as possible and ensuring there are an adequate amount of warning lights and sirens once activated, the attention drawn to the property will make even the most brazen criminals limit their time within the property, therefore minimising the opportunity for loss and in most cases preventing it completely.
Having sirens sound as early as possible becomes even more important if there are people residing in the property at the time of an invasion as it provides valuable seconds for an attempt to retreat to the most secure areas of the property. Fixed or portable panic buttons are an extremely effective way to activate sirens moments before or during an attempted invasion as occupants can trigger sirens as soon as they feel threatened. The piercing sound of internal sirens are designed to cause havoc on the human middle ear which in itself will naturally drive intruders out reducing the likelihood of altercations occurring between them and the occupants inside.
Intrusion detection systems are cost effective, provide exceptional value for money and should be considered first and foremost before all other security products. An intrusion detection system is the only solution that will actually minimise the impact of an unauthorised intrusion and should form the foundation of any comprehensive security solution.
In its raw form, an intrusion detection system is a powerful tool that drives intruders away with its loud sirens and flashing lights but relies heavily on neighbours and passers-by to act swiftly in the case of an emergency. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age sounding alarm sirens will more often than not be ignored.
The only way to guarantee a response is to connect your intrusion detection system to a professional security monitoring centre. With highly trained security monitoring professionals available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that every alarm signal received is dealt with in the shortest amount of time possible and that help can be sent in times that you need it most.
Most people are unaware that all mainstream intrusion detection systems are designed to be professionally monitored and have inbuilt features to request help via the monitoring centre, where the services of the Police, Ambulance and Fire Brigade can all be summoned at the touch of a button. In addition to being notified in the unfortunate event of a break in, you will also have a quick and convenient way of requesting assistance in the event you are faced with a life-threatening emergency.
Adding a professional monitoring service to your system is an easy way to transform your “noise maker” into a potential life saver and contrary to what you may think a lifesaving service such as this could cost, it’s actually really affordable with your investment being less than half a cup of coffee a day.
If a professionally installed intrusion detection system will aid in the prevention of harm and loss, and the addition of a professional monitoring service to the system will initiate an emergency response. Then what next? We need to find a way to assist with the real time verification of events as well as being able to retrospectively go back in time and review any events of interest which leads us to integrating surveillance cameras (CCTV system) into the fold.
Should an unfortunate event occur at your property the monitoring centre will call you to inform you of the breach. Being informed that a movement detector has been activated is one thing, however being able to cross reference it with live video footage is another. Having the ability to quickly and easily review as much information as possible on your smart device or laptop computer pertaining to the incident is crucial to obtaining the quickest Police response possible. A CCTV system will allow you to see what happened, show you how it happened, provide a full timeline of events from start to finish and give you every opportunity of identifying those responsible. Without this information it will be almost impossible to track down and prosecute the perpetrators and recover any of your losses.
A professionally installed CCTV system is the perfect companion to your intrusion detection system and professional monitoring service and should not be considered before the previous solutions are in place. Without them intruders will have nothing to drive them away from the premise and will allow them an ample amount of time to spend searching your property for items of value. Nothing is more frustrating that being a victim of a burglary only to watch recorded footage of how they did it and got away with it. Worse yet, arriving onsite only to find that your CCTV recorder with all your recorded footage was also taken.
Adding a professionally installed CCTV system is an important addition to overall security and should be treated as such. Being a passive solution, CCTV will never stop or minimise an incident from occurring it will merely show you how it happened.
Remember, peace-of-mind can come from the implementation of a range of security products and services, however, as a security provider with over 20 years’ experience, we believe that the way to achieve true peace of mind is by following the above steps.
If true peace of mind is your goal, there is no better way to go about your electronic security than making sure that you’re minimising loss and harm, initiating an immediate response and finally, verifying incidents and gathering evidence.
Want to achieve “true” peace of mind?
Our friendly, knowledgeable team of security specialists are on hand to assist with any security challenges you may be experiencing. To organise a free, no obligation on site security risk assessment please contact our team on 1300 73 83 93.
Traditionally, security systems have been quite slow at adopting new technology. As you may have noticed, the appearance of alarm systems has stayed almost identical. A white box in your wardrobe, linen cupboard or roof space and a keypad that you use to arm & disarm. Sound familiar?
Similarly, the technical aspects haven’t changed an enormous amount either, with the exception of smartphone integration. Until now…
Heading into the new decade we wanted to be more aligned with the modern technological age that we were in and decided to put some time into exploring a new range of products. After thorough testing and research, we came across Inner Range’s Inception panels and ultimately started rolling them out to businesses and homes across the country. Upon receiving extremely positive feedback from the new installations, Signal has made the decision to start offering it to everyone.
What’s the difference between this and a ‘standard’ alarm system?
Quite a lot actually! Standard alarm systems are considered old-school analogue systems, whereas Inception panels are IP-digital systems. With this upgrade comes a lot of additional benefits such as:
The trend of being able to do everything with the one system still applies in 2020 and being able to add your alarm system into the mix is possible through the Inception system. It has universal inputs & outputs that can be used for monitoring and automated actions such as lighting, air conditioning and many other systems.
Being modular, you can utilise all of your favourite intrusion protection devices such as motion detectors, reed switches and glassbreak detectors. As a digital system, it is lots more intelligent than traditional alarm systems, providing more detailed information and intuitive management of your alarm.
Control and manage your system’s back-end all online via a web app. This provides a quick and hassle-free installation process and outstanding convenience for daily operation and control.
Control and manage your system all from the Skyconnect smartphone app which provides fully interactive control of Inception’s security areas, doors, and outputs. The simple interface is designed to be easy and convenient for users control.
Our friendly team of security specialists are on hand to assist with any outstanding queries you might have. To have a chat or organise a free, no obligation on site assessment so we can tailor a security solution specific to your home give us a call on 1300 73 83 93.
Security alarm systems play the most vital part in protecting homes and businesses. No alarm system can operate to its full functionality without one crucial component.
That being security movement sensors which are also known as movement detectors.
A security movement sensor’s function is at it states in the name, it detects movement. These can also be called movement detectors. When your alarm system is armed and someone attempts to break into a room where a movement detector is located, this will trigger your alarms sirens and deter the intruder out of the premise.
Additionally if you have a monitored alarm system this provides real time information to showcase if an intruder is present, through multiple detections or triggers. Internal movement detectors have a range limit of around 15-20m, anyone moving within this range will be detected and the sirens will trigger.
Upon entering your premise the security movement sensors will trigger which commences a countdown grace period of around 10-20 seconds. This provides you the time required to enter your pin code in your alarm systems keypad, to disarm the alarm system before the sirens trigger.
There are many different types of security movement sensors out there on the market. The key is to know which one is best suited to you. What type (hardwired or wireless) of security alarm system do you have? Do I have pets which I leave inside? Does my premise get really hot in summer? These questions will guide you in choosing what movement detector would best suit the protection of your premise.
Most of the different types of movement sensors come in hardwired and wireless options.
Hardwired Movement Detectors
These movement detectors communicate with the control panel (the virtual brain of your alarm system) via security cable. This means your movement detector powers off the control panel which is connected to the mains power source.
Wireless Movement Detectors
These movement detectors communicate with the control panel via a wireless receiver which is installed in the control panel. Similar to how phones connect to wireless networks for internet connection, that is how wireless movement detectors communicate with the alarm systems control panel.
Easy transferability when moving premise
Passive infrared Movement Detectors
Most commonly available movement detectors, that measure the heat levels emitted from objects which come in the form of infrared radiation. When a movement detector is armed it will be covering an internal area which is all relatively the same temperature. In the event a human or animal walks into this area a sudden temperature change is detected, causing the detector to trigger the alarm sirens.
Similar temperature objects may not trigger the movement sensor rather the change in the objects shape will trigger the detector.
Dual Technology Movement Detectors
These detectors only trigger when two technologies are triggered together. The first technology being the passive infrared detection we mentioned above. The second is microwave technology which emits microwaves that bounce back at a certain frequency, so when something moves into these waves this disrupts the flow and will trigger the alarm sirens.
False alarms are reduced with rapid temperature changes in the summer months as the infrared technology may be triggered but there is no microwave disruption from any moving object. Meaning the alarm sirens will not trigger unless both variables are activated.
PET Friendly Movement Detectors
Many families today own pets and this is preventing them from arming their alarm system, in fear that the alarm sirens will trigger and scare the pets. Technology has now evolved to prevent your pets from triggering your alarm system whilst armed. Pet friendly detectors are smart enough to measure weight mass of objects, in the event there is a moving object under the set weight mass this will not trigger the sirens. Most sensors can safely operate without triggering the alarm system for pets less than 20kg; there are also heavy duty detectors available for those who own larger pets.
Outdoor Movement Detectors
These movement detectors have a reduced detection range compared to internal movement detectors to avoid false alarms from stray birds or animals. Most commonly they are positioned facing the immediate ground area so if anyone or animal moves within a specific front door entry area or rear window this will trigger the alarm sirens.
Movement detectors are essential in protecting your premise as these devices trigger the security systems sirens. Movement sensors are especially important when your alarm is monitored back to base. The Victorian Police have passed legislation where they have the right not to respond to any alarm system unless multiple movement detectors have been triggered. Victoria Police also advise that you should only have any security system installed by a licensed security installer.
New Victoria Police procedures were put in place to prevent false alarm call outs. When multiple movement detectors are triggered this means someone could be moving around the premise which is sufficient evidence to elicit a police response. It’s best to check your local states police website to see the different state regulations for alarm responses.
Motion sensors are a core component of any alarm system to be installed. No matter if it’s a home or business that needs to be protected, movement detectors are the main triggers for your alarms sirens. Without movement detectors you will have a security system that doesn’t protect your premise.
There are approximately 3000 security alarm and fire installation businesses across Australia. Almost half of these have only one employee; 97% have less than twenty employees.
Choosing the right security installer to service your premise isn’t an easy task, so these hints should hopefully assist in narrowing down the field.
Ensure you engage with a security company that is licensed by your state’s police authority and is an active member of the Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL).
The Victoria Police and ASIAL provide protection for consumers by ensuring that security installers and specialists who are licensed by their respective organisations meet stringent police checks and technical competencies. Some states, e.g. Victoria, have a public register where you are able to search for the name of the security installer or specialist that you speaking with to verify their licence. Always ask to see the consultant/installer’s security licence before letting them into your premise. Note: An electrician is not a security technician, so be careful of those who claim to be able to assist you.
Be wary of companies that cannot provide a written quotation and are reluctant to provide equipment brand names and model numbers.
Transparency is the key to ensuring that you know that you’re receiving what you’re expecting. If things go wrong, you need to be assured that you are able to obtain documentation to prove specifically what has been agreed upon. It’s very easy for companies to put in ‘ifs’, ‘maybes’, or extra ‘conditions’ after you’ve agreed to go ahead.
Ensure you use quality brands that are well supported in Australia. And try to avoid no-name brands with lack long term warranties and quality assurance.
Look to use a company that has a higher skilled network of technicians, rather than those that use subcontractors who are chosen only on their price and availability.
When making a significant investment, you should be looking at a company which is able to provide you with a high quality of installation. A company that uses a strong network of technicians is better able to maintain the quality of the installation process, guarantee competence in whatever brand is being installed, creating system documentation, and providing training on how to use the system, as well as the small but important things such as cleanliness and friendliness.
Poor quality contractors being paid per installation tend to try and get the job done as quickly as possible using minimal, lower quality sundries (e.g. cabling, brackets, etc.), cutting corners and compromising the overall quality of installation. Where there is no strong relationship, contractors being paid for longer installations by the hour will unnecessarily extend the length of time required. This wastes not only your valuable time, but money as well, as the risks of the job running overtime are factored in and passed on in your original quote.
Warranties are only as good as the company offering them.
Spend time to research any company you invite into your premise. Check the address of the company/business that you’re researching. Is it an office or is it someone’s home?
Remember almost 97% of security businesses in Australia employ less than twenty employees; half of these businesses have only one employee. Be cautious of one-man operators that may be here today, gone tomorrow. A company that is established and managing ongoing business relationships with large companies is a very good indicator of being able to support you for the lifetime of your investment.
These days, it’s relatively easy for very small businesses to set up a pretty website or post fake reviews to make themselves look larger than they actually are, so be cautious. If you can’t find websites, phone listings, independent reviews, or case studies you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.
Conclusion: Picking the Right Security Installer
Always make sure you’re using a well established company when approaching the installation of security equipment to your premise. Don’t be afraid to ask the installers that you contact, if there’s anything that you’re unclear about in regard to their accreditation, product models, technicians, and how established their business is.
It may seem like a little extra work, but a bit more research at the start can save you a lot of hassle down the track.
Want to speak with a Signal Security team member? Contact us today.
High Res? Digital IP? High Definition? HD? There are a lot of buzzwords used when describing camera systems and it can be hard to work out what you’re really getting. Given that installing a security camera system is a significant investment for your home or business, it’s important that you have the knowledge to make an informed decision when selecting your system.
Analogue camera systems are the traditional style of camera which have been available for decades and were once the de facto standard for security cameras. Over the past five years, their popularity with homes and businesses has been on the decline, and it is anticipated that this technology will go the way of similar technologies like analogue TVs and VCRs. This is primarily due to the large difference in quality between analogue and the newer digital IP camera systems.
IP camera systems are the newest style of security camera which utilise digital cameras, digital sensors, digital transmissions, all working together to create higher quality, high definition video. These cameras can produce video quality which is over 12x greater in detail when compared with even the highest quality analogue camera system.
Many installers will use misleading terminology to describe analogue camera systems. Some of the terms we’ve come across include:
– “Hi Resolution”
– “Hi Quality”
– “Digital Camera System”
These are basically different ways of saying that a system is probably not a modern high definition camera, but rather, an analogue camera system. We’ve had many customers come to us saying that they can receive a digital high definition camera system for significantly less from other installers, however upon review, it has turned out that they had been misled by the confusing terminology above.
Another common misconception with analogue cameras is the advertising of analogue systems as containing ‘Sony’ cameras. The truth is that Sony is also a very large manufacturer of electronic components and in particular, analogue camera sensors. Therefore a very large number of analogue cameras from brands ranging from Samsung to no-name brands from Vietnam will have parts manufactured by Sony. A company attempting to sell you a ‘Sony’ camera system for rock bottom prices is probably duping you into purchasing a no-name analogue camera system.
IP or digital IP camera technology is what you need if you are looking for high definition cameras (discussed in more detail below). The key words to look out for are “IP”, “High Definition” or ”HD”.
Some common phrases include:
If you’re still unsure, it’s worth asking the installer directly, yes or no “Does this camera solution you’re recommending include digital IP cameras?” An installer who attempts to phrase another answer to your question is likely trying to cover up the true description of the system.
Analogue camera systems will use a device called a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). This device has converters which change the analogue video signals to a format which is recorded electronically to a digital hard drive. The cameras on this type of system are still analogue cameras.
A simple analogy is to have a photograph taken by film camera, which is then scanned on a scanner, and then stored digitally on your computer. Scanning doesn’t make the film camera a digital camera and it doesn’t improve the quality of the picture, however it does mean that the image is now in a digital format.
IP camera systems will use a device called a Network Video Recorder (NVR). This device receives digital video information from the (digital) IP cameras on the system and stores the information to a digital hard drive. As you can see, the video in this system stays digital from capture at the camera all the way to recording on the NVR, with no loss in quality as the video is never converted.
Analogue cameras will use Television Lines (TVL) as a means of measuring the camera’s maximum image detail, e.g. 500TVL, 600TVL, etc. This refers to the number of horizontal lines that are present in the sensor.
As mentioned earlier, the video is then converted into a digital file by the digital video recorder which stores the footage in the following resolutions: CIF (352 x 288), 4CIF (704 x 756) or D1 (720 x 480). Resolution refers to the amount of detail that is in a particular image or video; the higher the resolution, the greater the amount of detail that can be viewed.
Digital cameras record in megapixels (MP) which describes the number of square pixels which make up an image; “mega” refers to million, so 1MP is 1 million pixels. Currently, the most common resolutions are 1.3MP, 2MP, 3MP, and 5MP cameras and often the number of squares in the picture is listed out, e.g. 2048 x 1536 for 3.2MP. It’s easy to think of a digital picture as a giant mosaic, made of millions of tiny coloured squares.
Analogue cameras have a maximum equivalent resolution of 0.4MP, and given that the most popular IP cameras at the moment sit around 3.2MP, you’d be getting about 8 times greater quality from an IP camera system for relatively modest additional investment.
Blue: Cat-5 cable used in IP camera systems/Black: Coaxial cable used in analogue camera systems
Analogue camera systems will use cabling called coaxial cable (sometimes shortened to coax) to transmit data on the system. This cabling has limits to the amount of information that can be transmitted and thus is only typically used with analogue cameras.
IP camera systems will use cabling called Category-5, Category-5e, or Category-6 cable (sometimes shortened to Cat-5, Cat-5e, or Cat-6) to transmit data on the system. You’ll probably have seen one before, as it is commonly used to connect computers to a network or modem. This is a digital cable and as a result, has a far greater capacity than coaxial cabling. Looking forward, Category cabling will make any wiring more futureproof for upgrades.
There are basically four simple things to look for to ensure you’re aware of what you are actually being offered:
1. The name an installer uses to describe a camera system.
2. The type of video recorder used to record footage.
3. The terms used to describe the recording resolution.
4. The type of cabling used for the camera system.
Taking the above into account, hopefully this information helps you make a more informed decision so that you get the system that you are satisfied with.
Closed over the long weekend and unsure if the alarm has been set? Weary whether the last employee for the day remembered to turn on the store alarm before closing?
Traditionally, the only way to arm or disarm your system was physically from work but Signal Security have introduced a new wireless monitoring service that allows you to arm and disarm your alarm system from anywhere in the world via a smartphone or tablet internet connection.
How does it work?
With the new wireless monitoring service, the team at Signal Security is now able to monitor your retail space via Telstra’s data network instead of using your store’s phone line. By using an empty zone on your system, the service can be set up so that you’re able to view the arming status and control the system remotely from your smartphone.
Benefits of wireless monitoring:
Signal Security customers who have upgraded to remote system access have consistently given feedback on feeling more secure, knowing they can remotely control their retail space alarm systems with their phones for quick and secure monitoring.
How can I set this up?
Call team of experts today on 1300 73 83 93 to arrange a customised solution from our extensive range of home security products including the latest in remote access.
Melbourne VIC • B2C • Retail
Dymocks Booksellers is large chain of retail bookstores throughout Australia. With a focus on providing an exceptional customer experience, Dymocks prides itself on its large range of books and related gift products.
At their flagship Collins Street store, their previously installed analogue video surveillance system was showing its age. The system was having issues picking up on the finer details throughout the large format store. Identifying information such as facial features and fine details were not being picked up, and staff were noticing an increase in shrinkage in recent months.
To combat these issues, the store managers had decided to replace the existing camera system with high definition cameras. After spending a number of months contacting a range of security installers, they were unable to find a solution. This was because they were unable to provide a solution to Dymocks without a very costly rewiring of the entire security system, due to the type of cable used in analogue camera systems which is different from the cable used in high definition digital IP camera systems. Their fallback solutions were to simply upgrade the older analogue cameras with newer analogue cameras, which would not have provided management with the appropriate level of video quality required.
When contacted by Dymocks, Justin, their licensed retail security specialist from Signal Security performed a site assessment which confirmed that there were going to be significant restrictions in cabling access. As an alternative to a traditional digital surveillance system, Justin was able to design a solution which involved attaching converters to the existing analogue camera cabling. These converters would then allow for high definition cameras to be used on the existing cabling, with no loss in quality when compared to a traditional digital solution.
In addition to the converters, Signal Security were able to provide an enterprise level system that meant that the number of cameras weren’t constrained to the number of recording devices. Instead the option was now available to add cameras through the addition of extra camera licenses to the existing system, without the requirement for extra recording units. Alongside increased capacity, this solution will be more robust in the long-term and will offer additional built-in features including customer counts, heat mapping, missing object detection and obscured camera detection. The final solution incorporated 22 cameras, two of which were Samsung pan-tilt-zoom cameras with 43x zoom, controlled via a joystick.
With the increased number of cameras, the store managers are now able to view the entire store and pan, tilt and zoom on different areas when required. It also allows staff to keep an extra eye on areas of the store using iPads that have access to the surveillance footage, ideal for when staff are away from the front desk.
Upon completion, Dymocks Booksellers now have a fully capable, up-to-date camera system which is able to keep up with the rigour of a day’s retail trading at a fraction of the investment of a full system replacement.
With the new season just around the corner, winter’s short, dark days are finally coming to an end but keeping your workplace in tip-top condition to prevent break-ins and accidents is still important. Prevention is key to keeping your employees and environment safe, so at Signal Security we’ve put together our top tips on maintaining workplace safety between seasons.
As winter comes to an end, it’s easy to forget about smoke detectors however it’s important your alarms are kept well maintained for dangerous accidents that can happen all year long. Make sure yours are properly installed with fresh batteries with the change of season.If you have any queries on smoke detector maintenance or installation, don’t hesitate to give our team of experts a call today on 1300 73 83 93 to arrange a site-visit.
Motion sensor lights
If you haven’t taken advantage of motion sensor lights this winter, consider them for spring as an all year round safety precaution. Interior and exterior lights can prevent an intruder from concealing his illegal activities and motion sensor lights in particular are an inexpensive way to deter crime at your business.
Keeping spaces visible
Alongside strong additional lighting inside and outside your work place, it’s important to keep any views into building clear and in view at all times. Robbers don’t want to be seen and they are less likely to target your business if a passer-by can see what’s going on.
Take advantage of the new season to de-clutter the office and remove any electrical hazards in particular that may be left over from winter. Broken equipment and cords pose a dangerous hazard to staff so have them organised and/or removed.
The move to PIN only purchases is part of a security initiative to make payments safer and more convenient for your business and customers, in a bid to crack down on Australia’s credit card fraud that has previously run to a shocking $81 million a year – most of this on credit cards where it wasn’t necessary to enter a PIN. From the first of this month, PIN has become the main form of card payment authorisation across Australian retail outlets, phasing out signature verification as point of sale terminals migrate to new software. But just why is this industry-wide movement necessary?
Whilst signatures can be forged, PINs are a much more secure form of identification with only a one in 10,000 chance of someone guessing their personal identification number.
PIN transactions are more efficient than signing too, the customer only needs to enter their digits and the transaction is done.
There will be no need to worry about changes to terminal software or hardware, as transactions will be authorised electronically by the cardholder’s bank.
For purchases under $100 on chip cards, contactless transactions are still available, such as Visa payWave, MasterCard PayPass or American Express Contactless. However for any transactions greater than $100 however, a PIN will need to be entered.
If a customer has forgotten or mistaken their PIN, advise them to call or visit their nearest bank branch, or if they have a bank app on their smartphone, many of these allow for quick PIN changes too!
PINs can be changed at any time at bank branches or at most ATMs, when the current PIN is known.
Remaining Signature Use
Customers sill may need to use a signature when a terminal is down or when shopping overseas, so it’s still important that the back of a customer’s card is still signed.
The change to PIN does not affect international cardholders they will continue to use PIN or sign, as determined by their card issuer.
Customers who may find it challenging to use PIN due to disability or medial condition, may be eligible for a signature-only card that enables them to continue signing rather than using PIN. If staff members come across customers with these disabilities, encourage them to contact their bank to find out more about signature exceptions.
Australia’s hot, dry summers make our country the perfect landscape for bushfires and with The Bureau of Meteorology reporting 2013 as the hottest year in Australia since records began in 1910 (and rising annually), fire safety is becoming increasingly important for both families and businesses. For many Australians, particularly those with homes or properties close to bush-land, summer can be a time of threat and devastation; with homes around Victoria already being victim to the heat.
Alongside the threat of bushfires, rising temperatures also bring about workplace dangers that stem from a reliance on 24-hour air conditioning to keep office temperatures (and staff productivity) intact, as well as heat-related mechanical and electrical failures. Vital computer equipment, such as servers, and critical plan and machinery, such as fridges and freezers that include air-conditioning themselves, all fall under greater risk of failure during the summer months.
To keep safety manageable and top of mind, Signal Security has developed a list of tips for making your home or business fire-ready this summer… and for summers to come.
Take the time with your family or business to sit down and create an evacuation plan, ensuring all members or employees know what to do in the event of a fire.
Keep your property clear
Whether it’s a home or business building, it’s important to keep your property clear. Keep lawns short in summer and clear away any dead vegetation and tree branches to reduce the risk of fire spreading in your area. Many buildings burn during bushfires because of burning debris landing on or around the house.
Regular smoke alarm and cooling system checks
One of the most effective and inexpensive ways to protect your family or business is by keeping your home smoke alarms and climate control systems regularly maintained. Use the daylight savings time change as a reminder to clean your smoke alarms and change the batteries. It is also recommended that you ensure your cooling systems are free from dust, cobwebs and other built-up materials that may affect the performance of your system. If you aren’t confident in doing this, we recommend calling a local heating or cooling contractor to do this for you.
A stitch in time saves nine
Being alerted to equipment faults as soon as they happen can be the difference between a $200 repair bill and a $200,000 one. If the success of your business is dependant on equipment within a plant or manufacturing site, look to have it integrated into your security and/or building automation system so it can be remotely monitored. For example, our 24 hour Monitoring Centre can monitor the temperature of things like server rooms and fridges to alert you as soon as the temperature moves above or below a certain point that warrants an action.
Cooling off period
Instead of having the cooling set at the lowest possible temperature (i.e. 18°C) and running 24/7, set your system to a realistic temperature like 22-23°C and use the timer function to give the system a rest every one to two hours. This will allow your machine to cool down and reduce the probability of it breaking down when you need it most.
Adhere to local fire warnings and bans
Be sure to take note of local fire warnings in your area – even a simple outdoor barbeque can sometimes lead to accidental fires when the weather is hot and dry.
If you would like to discuss how Signal can better protect your home, your loved ones and even your business against the threat of fire, give our team of experts a call today on 1300 73 83 93 to arrange a free site check up – ensuring you’re as prepared as you can be when it comes to your own safety.