Crown Security, at 613 Alamo St. in Lake Charles, is among companies that provide modern security systems that employ alarms, monitoring and a way to unlock your doors using cell phones. (Anne Robicheaux / American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, July 30, 2012 11:51 PM
Maintaining security is a major concern for any home or business owner. A few local experts help unlock some of the possibilities and solutions regarding security concerns:
CTI Security Solutions is a local business that provides residential and commercial security products and services, including security systems, fire alarms, monitoring, access control systems, networking, surveillance and intercom systems. CTI Security Solutions has been operating in Southwest Louisiana since August 2011.
Eric Malone is the owner CTI Security Solutions. He was previously the operations manager for Sylvan Special Systems for seven years.
Malone said that one of the most common security concerns customers have is burglary of their home or business while they are away. As a protective measure, more and more people are installing camera systems to catch burglars, he said.
Crown Security is a local business that has served the security needs of residents and businesses in the Lake Area for seven years. They provide security alarms for commercial and residential properties, surveillance equipment and 24-hour monitoring.
Steven Jones, co-owner of Crown Security, said that the most common security concern among his customers is the possibility of a break-in while they are away from their home or business.
“They (customers) are also worried about their property on the outside. They want the surveillance, so they can watch (their property) while they’re at work or on their cell phone,” Jones said.
Jones said that the security concerns of his commercial and residential customers are “pretty much the same.” While commercial customers are on the lookout for theft, residential customers are looking for break-ins.
“As far as the residential customers, one of their bigger concerns is protecting their families -- not necessarily just their property ... As far as commercial (customers), it’s more (about) protecting their equipment, because the odds of someone breaking in during the day is very slim, because they’re in business. They’re open. Their major concern is someone breaking in and stealing equipment or... inventory,” Malone said.
When asked what homeowners or business owners can do to maintain security when the electricity is out, as it was for many residents following the recent thunderstorms, Malone said, “The good thing about some of the systems that we install (is that) they all have battery backup systems, and that’s why. In the event that the power does go out, their security system will still function.”
In the event of a power outage, Jones said that the security systems provided by Crown Security have a backup battery that will signal them when the battery is low or the power is out. After receiving such a signal, Crown Security will then contact the homeowner or business owner.
Malone agreed that homeowners who hide spare keys near their door leave themselves vulnerable to burglary: “That’s probably one of the first places a criminal looks,” he said.
The best alternative is to leave a spare key with your neighbor or someone you trust, to find another spot away from the door to hide a key or to keep a spare key in your vehicle, Malone said. When leaving a key for someone else, be sure to deliver it in person, he advised.
“With our security system, we can install a doorknob that actually you can unlock the home from your cell phone. It works through an app. The app for the security system you can connect to your security system from your cell phone to arm and disarm your alarm system and to lock and unlock your door. You can (still) use a key as well,” Jones said.
Also, for homeowners who plan to be away for a long period of time -- for example, if they are on vacation -- Malone said to be sure to set your security system or, if you do not have one, make sure to lock all doors and windows and notify your neighbors before leaving.
Jones said to let the alarm company be aware of the situation and to leave contact information with them in case a break-in occurs.
“With the surveillance equipment, you can watch your home while you’re on vacation. If you see something strange, you can notify the authorities before someone breaks in,” Jones said.
“If (homeowners) do have a security system, then they really shouldn’t have to have any worry. They should have some type of peace of mind, because that’s what the security system does. It provides a peace of mind to let the customers know that, ‘Hey, my house is secure and protected.’”
When asked what steps homeowners can take to protect their valuables, such as computers and other electronic devices, jewelry or even sports vehicles, such as jet skis or four-wheelers, Malone said to be sure to lock vehicles, put electronics out of sight and keep the blinds closed when you leave the house.
“(Criminals) don’t just pick a house. A lot of times, what they’ll do is they’ll look around. They’ll actually do their homework. They’ll look and see who’s gone all day ... and when they see somebody’s blinds open, they’ll just walk by the house and look through the blinds. If they see a computer there or a big screen TV or things like that, that entices them to come back to that location,” Malone said.
Jones recommended getting a mounted floor safe or safe deposit box. He also said not to leave valuables out in the open.