Monitored Smoke Alarms

Monitored smoke alarm systems are one of the most popular home safety solutions on the market today. Advance sensor technologies, real time communications, and round the clock monitoring work in tandem to deliver improved fire protection for your home. You’ll sleep better at night knowing that you have reliable equipment and professional staff safeguarding your home from fire.

A tiny piece of smoldering material, an unseen electrical short, or a miniscule flame can be the cause of a devastating fire. Combustion also produces an odorless gas called Carbon Monoxide that is debilitating to humans and eventually fatal if inhaled in significant amounts. It leaves less fit people unable to save themselves when a fire strikes.

Small, barely detectable fires produce smoke in quantities that humans can hardly smell when they’re awake, let alone while they’re sleeping. Thankfully, smoke detectors are sensitive enough to detect even minute amounts of smoke. They can buy you enough time to put down a fire or evacuate before it gets out of hand, saving you from possible loss of life and property.

Monitored smoke alarm systems have a couple of major advantages over standard passive alarm systems.
• The addition of real time monitoring further decreases the response time for emergency responders. Having one installed in your home assures you of a quicker response to fire related emergencies.
• Aside from alerting the emergency responders, the monitoring centre will call and SMS the home owner and his family. They can also trigger a full alarm to ensure that they get the attention of everyone inside the house.
• Monitored smoke alarm systems are continuously supervised in real time by professional staff at the monitoring centre. They can quickly distinguish between a false alarm and a real emergency allowing them to initiate the proper response in a timely manner.
• Even with a full complement of alarms, an empty house can still burn down if no one notices smoke alarms that have gone off. This would not happen with monitored alarm systems as they always have staff keeping an eye out for any signs of trouble.
• Individual detectors can inform the center about possible hardware failure in real time. Smoke detection reliability is improved since equipment problems are minimized. You’ll never overlook a faulty or unpowered detector again. Home owners who use multiple detectors will appreciate the ability to keep their system operating at optimum performance continuously.
• Smoke sensitivity and others settings can be adjusted remotely. This allows for more accurate readings leading to fewer false alarms. This feature reduces the need for visits by alarm technicians when only minor adjustments are required.

A Real Life Story
December 2008 in Oakville, Ontario, a small fire in the furnace room triggered an alarm at a Dunwoody residence. The sensors immediately sent an urgent notification to Security Response Center’s monitoring team. Nicole Hurak was on duty then and responded to the alarm with “above average professionalism and concern.”

The owner, Douglas Sabine, received a call while they were getting ready to sleep. He replied that he didn’t hear any alarm but would go down to check. Contact was lost and Nicole called back several times, each time receiving a busy signal. She then proceeded to call all the alternate numbers. Receiving no response, she immediately called the fire department.

It turned out that her call had saved Douglas’s life.

Unnecessary Risks
On May 13, 2013, the RAA has expressed its concern about the alarming number of residents who don’t have smoke alarms in their homes. They found that 12% of the respondents to the 2013 RAA Safety Survey don’t have smoke alarms installed where they live. Those who live in apartments are more unlikely to have one.

This is quite worrying since 1 in 5 home owners can expect to have a fire in their homes within their life time. Neil Mclean, a spokesperson from the RAA Secure Services, said that it is alarming to know that a significant number of residents are still not installing the proper fire prevention measures in their home.

Tips and Tricks to Make Your Home More Safe and Secure

Reasons to invest time and money into making your home safer go way beyond the impending burglar. What about natural disasters like floods, fires, and so on? Step up your security game with these tried and true tips and tricks.

1. Replace Your Batteries
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors need to have their batteries replaced at the very least once per year, if not more often. Additionally, it is advised that alarms be replaced every ten years. Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors with your family once a month to ensure everything is in good working order, and a great way to remember when to change their batteries is each time you change the clocks for daylight savings.

2. Check Your Exterior Lights
Make sure all of your outdoor lighting fixtures are working, including your motion lights and flood lights. Replace the bulbs with energy efficient LED light bulbs that will last longer. Also, make sure that all of the shadowy parts of your property are properly illuminated, as well as all of the home’s entrances.

3. Examine the Condition of Electrical Wires
Damaged electrical cords of any kind are a fire hazard, point blank. Check every wire and cord in your home to make sure there are no frayed edges or electrical shorts. Replace where necessary. This includes power adapters, surge protectors, and extension wires.

4. Check Your Locks
Make sure all your deadbolts and locks are full functional. You must install new locks if the existing lock’s integrity is questionable. Be sure to not forget about the lock on the door that connects your garage to your home.

All of the above advice can be taken care of in just one weekend. Most importantly, for homeowners in Queensland, installing an alarm system and home security system with 24/7 monitoring is your best bet for keeping everything protected. Coffeyco Security will take care of the rest.

A Letter From Your Local Burglar!


You don’t know me, but I know you. Of course, if you saw me you might recognize me. Maybe I was the guy who delivered your new refrigerator, or cleaned your carpets. Or perhaps I was the guy cutting your lawn who asked to use the bathroom. I saw that there was a box from a new television at the bins, fifty-five inch, impressive. It will be easy for me to get, too, since I left the bathroom window unlocked before I left. I have been parking down the street and walking past a couple of times a day to figure out your schedule, too.

I noticed that you left your front door unlocked fumbling with your umbrella this morning when I walked by. No problem, I will be sure to lock up before I leave. Of course, when I leave, it will be with that new television and Xbox console. Of course, if there are any valuables in the kids’ room, I won’t look at those – good thing there are plenty elsewhere in the house. The safe in your bedroom closet was visible when I used the bathroom the other day. It will be small enough to take without a hassle, so I hope there’s something good in there for me!

That old alarm system in the house seems like it would be a good idea in theory, of course the pretty decorative glass in your entryway lets me know for sure if it’s on – what great placement! Be sure to give the security company my regards when you call to report the break-in. We both know if your alarm would have been armed instead of left off in the umbrella fumble, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Lucky for me you don’t have a Coffeyco Security system that you can arm remotely from your smartphone, that system has caused me so many missed opportunities, but not this time!

There were some travel brochures and a trip itinerary on your kitchen counter when I was heading for the door, good to know when you’ll be out of town. I noticed you also told everyone what day you’re leaving on Facebook. At least now I know when to show up without being bothered. Oh, you don’t have a dog? Wonderful, no need to bring my oven spray. Enjoy your trip!

-Your local neighborhood burglar

Analogue Security Cameras vs Digital

What are security cameras?

Business establishments and institutions require security to stay viable in the long term. Assets and inventory need to be protected so that they continue to provide value to the business owners and investors. The higher value the property or merchandise, the more critical it becomes to have security in place.

A security surveillance system is the most viable solution available today. It enhances the existing capabilities of security personnel, increases their coverage, and makes coordination much easier. Owners and managers need to consider carefully what type of surveillance system they will put in place.

What are the choices?

There are two technologies currently in use for security cameras: Analogue and Digital. For all intents and purposes they perform the same function, which is to capture and record images in the direction they are pointed. It’s in how they capture, relay and store these images where they differ.

Analogue cameras were developed first and are usually what’s installed in older establishments. It captures images or video as analogue signals similar to the way that non-digital TV works. Image quality can vary depending on the type of camera but typically becomes more expensive the higher the resolution it can capture. Current analogue systems connect to a video recorder via coaxial cables. The stored video on the recorder is accessible locally with some systems offering remote viewing software allowing offsite connectivity from web-enabled devices.

Large scale digital camera systems are a recent development. These capture images or video and convert them into digital signals similar to how a web cam or digital handheld camera works. They can capture video in the minimum standard resolutions and higher, reaching high definition multi-megapixel video quality for optimum detail. They connect to an external managed switch, which can send the captured video directly online, to a computer, mobile device or to a network video recorder.

What are the pros and cons of these two systems?

When it comes to image quality, digital cameras with their megapixel capabilities absolutely outshine their analogue counterparts. Installation is also easier with digital cameras since they can be connected to the switch wirelessly or by using fewer cables when installing a POE switch which powers the cameras over the Ethernet through the CAT5 cable. This avoids greater installation costs by reducing the amount of cable required as well as having to conceal less cable which in turn reduces labour costs.

Analogue’s main advantage is in pricing. For certain applications that require the minimum image quality, an analogue security camera system will cost cheaper than a digital one. However, this advantage is rapidly eroding due to the increasing availability of cheaper digital camera units.

These cheaper digital security cameras offer improved video capture quality and easier installations but do require a stable network connection. Analogue systems will continue to function as long as they are connected by cable to the recorder. Digital systems must remain connected to the network at all times for operability.

One other advantage of digital camera systems is that they can be adapted to infrared imaging easily. This is very useful for night time monitoring. The digital sensor on most systems can have the ability to view IR images if an IR source is available.

Which is the best for your business?

For businesses and institutions that require a high level of security, a digital video system which can capture more detail is recommended. Good examples of these types of establishments are casinos, banks, jewelry stores – any location that deals with high value transactions.

When choosing between the two systems, digital is becoming the preferred choice for most, especially when setting up security systems in newly constructed buildings. Although analogue systems may still be useful for those businesses that require only the minimum image quality.
Analogue Security

A Brief Look at Crime in Brisbane

Overall, the city of Brisbane, in Queensland Australia is a safe place to live. But like any city, it does see its own share of crime. Generally speaking the crime rates of inner city Brisbane are somewhere between four and six times higher than their outer city counterparts, and western suburbia is statistically the “safest” area of Brisbane.

In the past ten years, there are several neighborhoods of the Brisbane Metro Area that have displayed increasing criminal activity and gang activity. Neighborhoods of reference include the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise and the Woodridge.

Break-ins and burglaries seem to be the most common in neighborhoods such as Augustine Heights, Bellbird Park, Camira, Carole Park, Gailes, Goodna, and Springfield, as well as Underwood and its surrounding area. Markedly, the Oxley district has also ranked high on the unlawful entry scale, with the majority of break-ins involving violence. In 2014, the following neighborhoods made a top ten list for the most break-ins in Brisbane. From top to bottom, the list is as follows: Inala, Forest Lake, Deception Bay, Woodridge, Runcorn, Southport, Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hills, Surfers Paradise, Eagleby, Kingston, Dalby, Slacks Creek, Caboolture, and Helensvale.

Regarding the list above, suburbs on the southeast side of Brisbane were named three times as hot spots for break-ins. Neighborhoods that are highest on the list for Brisbane break-ins that are on the southeast side of the city are Inala with 272 break-ins last year, and Forest Lake with 205 break-ins. Many of the neighborhoods on the list are close to the train network, which has its own reputation for crime.

Youth gangs also significantly contribute to the crime rate in Brisbane, which is normal for many metropolitan areas across the world. There was an increase in altercations in which youth gangs or other individuals would harass passengers and police officers in railway stations. These stations on the City train circuit include Bald Hills, Beenleigh, Burpengary, Caboolture, Cannon Hill, Central, Indooroopilly, South Brisbane, and Strathpine. Despite these issues, the Queensland Police Operations Support Command insist that the network of trains is undeniably safe. Since this string of harassment and violence, QR Limited, the City train operators have employed several further security measures such as closed-circuit television, or CCTV surveillance in trains and on platforms. This security initiative functions well in conjunction with security guards and Revenue Protection Officers (police officers dedicated to the City train network) to keep the transportation system safe.

Brisbane police are urging home and business owners to invest in security systems, particularly CCTV surveillance, as there has also been a spike in business break-ins in the city. Coffeyco Security of Brisbane can be called on for a number of security needs such as home security systems, corporate security systems, 24/7 monitoring systems, smart security systems, CCTV surveillance, alarm monitoring and alarm systems. Having a professionally installed, maintained and monitored security system in place certainly makes a home or business less susceptible to intruders, burglars and violent crime doers.