Carbon Monoxide - The Invisible Killer
Even though we are hopeful that winter is almost behind us, there will still be plenty of chilly nights requiring the use of our furnaces, room heaters, and fireplaces.
Carbon monoxide, or CO, known as the “Invisible Killer”, is odorless and invisible. Burning fuel such as wood, gas, kerosene, charcoal, and oil will naturally produce carbon monoxide. When heating appliances are kept well-ventilated and maintained, the level of carbon monoxide produced will not be dangerous. However, if they are not operating correctly, they can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, which can kill an entire family while they sleep and even while they are awake.
The following appliances produce some level of CO:
- Charcoal burners
- Cooking/kitchen ranges
- Engines (ex. Generators or Cars running idling a garage to warm up)
- Portable generators
- Room heaters
- Water heaters
- Wood burning stoves
According to the Center for Disease Control, “CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, and gas ranges and heating systems. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned by breathing it.”
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include confusion, dizziness, nausea, and loss of consciousness. Even low levels of carbon monoxide can lead to symptoms such as headaches, shortness of breath, and nausea. Carbon monoxide alarms are more common in the early evening hours, peaking around 8:00 p.m.
In addition to annual inspections and carefully maintaining your appliances, carbon monoxide detectors are highly recommended for both home and office safety. Tasco Security can install CO detection devices and monitor your home and office, notifying you of a poisonous buildup before it becomes a threat, whether you’re on the premises or not.
Tasco Security custom designs every security system to fit the individual customers’ concerns and needs, including monitoring for fire, burglary, low temperature, generator failure, boiler failure, CO detection, and more.
Contact Tasco today at 800-546-5552 to schedule a free security assessment for your home or business.
Tasco Security has been providing peace of mind security solutions to the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont for over 49 years
Lights, Camera, Action! - The Latest in Security Camera Technology
Camera technology in the security industry has come a long way over the past few years and it continues to improve and advance. Protecting your home or business requires knowing what is going on the moment it happens and nothing works better for that than a camera system.
CCTV (closed circuit TV) systems provide peace of mind with real time monitoring, deterrence of unwanted events, and an audit trail of activity that can be used for management or prosecution if needed. The data collected can be stored for days, weeks, or even months. In addition, the data can be archived or downloaded for future use.
Activity can be conveniently monitored through a smart phone or web browser, allowing you to see in real time when a package is delivered, who entered the office during the night shift, if the driveway was plowed, or check in on the babysitter.
Studies show that people tend to behave when they know they are being watched, so the installation of a camera system can inherently provide deterrence of unwanted events.
Real time monitoring can be used to watch a property, an area of your business, a business process, or the activity of employees. Business camera systems can provide video evidence of crimes, increase employee productivity, reduce theft inside and outside of the business, and can supplement other security measures.
Residential camera systems are often used to monitor second homes, unattended service people, babysitters, elderly relatives, or children. The ability to monitor these situations remotely affords people the freedom to live their lives with the peace of mind that they are in control of what is happening when they can't be there.
Security cameras are only half of the video surveillance equation. To truly integrate security camera feeds into your system, Tasco Security offers numerous types of devices that give you flexible viewing and recording features.
At Tasco Security, we identify what your needs are and recommend the most appropriate camera surveillance system for your property. With our professional installation and service we can ensure that you have the best quality products that suit your needs.
Contact Tasco today at 800-546-5552 to schedule a free security assessment for your home or business.
Tasco Security has been providing peace of mind security solutions to the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont for over 59 years.
Home Alone? - Seven Security Tips for People Who Live Alone
According to the 2014 U.S. Census, 28% of Americans live alone and that number is increasing annually. Whether you are renting or owning, the same safety measures apply to every individual and household, but people who live alone should take some extra precautions to help ensure their safety at home.
1. Invest in a monitored home security system.
The most important measure you can take is to have a monitored home security system that will alert you, as well as, your security company, fire and police in the event of an incident. There are many options available based on your lifestyle, needs, and budget. A monitored home security system can greatly increase peace of mind for those who live alone.
2. Install exterior lighting over doorways, driveways and parking lots.
It's no secret that burglars prefer to go unseen, therefore it is extremely important to have proper lighting around the exterior of your home. Motion-sensor floodlights around the vulnerable area’s of your home such as entrances, driveway, and backyard can scare off intruders and are convenient for you when you arrive home after dark.
3. Additional window security.
In addition to high quality window locks, drapes and/or blinds prevent people from seeing in. Consider planting thorny vegetation, like rose bushes, under windows to discourage anyone from getting close to windows.
4. Keep your yard and lawn looking nice.
Burglars are always on the look-out for unoccupied homes and nothing says you’re away, like an unplowed driveway, unshoveled walkways, or an overgrown lawn in the summer months. Find time or hire someone to plow and shovel, and cut the grass and trim the hedges when you are away.
5. Get to know your neighbors.
Neighbors can act as an extra set of eyes. They can help you keep your home secure when you travel, by helping with tasks like picking up mail, newspapers, and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity around your home.
6. Use care on social media websites.
In addition to avoiding posting travel plans on social media sites, don't post messages indicating you're home alone. Avoid posting pictures of valuable new purchases, such as a laptop, tablet or HD television.
7. Consider adopting a dog or a cat.
A dog should never be used to replace a security system but a four-legged friend can be an effective addition to your security if you are frequently home alone. Small dogs with loud barks will be able to alert you when they sense suspicious activity around your home. Having a cat can even help, as burglars tend to avoid homes with pets because they often get in the way and are unpredictable.
Living alone can be scary at times but with the right precautions you should have nothing to worry about. Trust your instincts and use your common sense. If you don’t feel comfortable or fear you might be in danger, get help! Implementing the above tips will bring you greater peace of mind.
Contact Tasco today at 800-546-5552 to schedule a free assessment of your current security system to ensure it’s properly protecting you. Or, if you are in need of a new system, Tasco will happily work with you to design the perfect system to fit your unique lifestyle and needs.
Tasco Security has been providing peace-of-mind security solutions to the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont for over 59 years.
Home Automation Integration Benefits for The Elderly & Disabled
Home automation seems to be all the buzz amongst the younger generations, allowing them to manage their household’s lights, heating, cooling, locks, and security systems through connected devices. It is an easy and affordable way to manage home security and energy consumption. For others, such as the elderly and disabled, home automation can be the answer to greater independence and peace-of-mind for them and their loved ones.
When mobility is limited, taking care of simple tasks around the house becomes difficult. Home automation integrated with the security system provide assistance in maintaining the home and keeping safe. The following technologies allow the children and caregivers of the elderly and disabled to do the following:
- Access Control: Program your system to include names and unique codes for the people you’d like to have access to your home. This could be your family members, nurse or neighbor(s).
- Temperature Control: Monitor the temperature within the home. This means if your parents have forgotten to adjust their thermostat on a particularly hot or cold day, you are able to make the change for them. This can also help decrease the energy bills.
- Lighting Control: Set timers for outside lighting. The exterior lights will turn on and off when you want them to, helping to deter crime.
- Keep Doors Locked or Unlocked. You have the ability to lock the doors of the home should they forget upon returning. You can also unlock their doors should they misplace or forget their keys.
- Remote Access: If the doorbell rings, view a video feed to see who is at the door. If it is someone you know, you can unlock it right from wherever you are.
- Automated Timers: Set up your system to automatically turn on/off lights, heat, air conditioning, and your alarm system, or to lock/unlock doors.
Tasco offers a number of solutions for home automation integration such as the Napco i-Bridge App that links your home security system and Z-Wave home devices with one convenient management and messenger service.
Contact Tasco today at 800-546-5552 for your free consultation and start enjoying Peace-Of-Mind Security for you and your loved ones.
Expert Trip Tips - Securing Your Home Before Traveling
Whether you’re traveling for a two-day business conference or a two-week vacation, you’re going to want to be sure your home is secure and safe from vandalism, break-ins, and property disasters while you are gone.
According to the experts, the key is to make your home look lived in, even when you’re not there. Below are some excellent tips to give you peace-of-mind so you can thoroughly enjoy your time away.
Expert Tips from Security Professionals
- Install an alarm system. Law enforcement experts report that homes without security systems are three times more likely to be burglarized as those without a security system.
- Notify your local police department that you will be away. They can easily adjust their drive-by routes to keep an eye on your home.
- Have motion detectors installed on your outside lights. This is an excellent security measure because the lights are triggered when someone is inside the range of the sensor.
- Install exterior cameras that are triggered by motion and send instant notifications to you through your phone. Learn More about our Camera Systems.
- Place a hold on mail, newspaper, and other deliveries while you’re gone. Nothing says ‘Rob Me’ like an overstuffed mailbox or a litter of newspapers across your front step.
- Park a car in the driveway each night. Often a neighbor won’t mind parking in your spot and the occasional shift of position makes your home look occupied.
- Set your home automation system to have various lights within your home go on and off at different intervals so it looks like someone is there.
- Arrange for your driveway to be plowed and snow to be shoveled on your walkways, even if you’ll be away all winter. Not only will it appear you are home, but fire and police will have easier access in case of a fire, break-in, or emergency.
Expert Tips from Law Enforcement Experts
- Join or start a neighborhood watch group. These are folks uniquely positioned and interested in watching your home when you’re gone and you can do the same for them.
- Keep your valuables secured in a safe deposit box. These include your will, expensive jewelry, cash, and other things that can be easily stolen and sold.
- Never give parking lot attendants and others who may temporarily drive your car your keyring. Your house key should never be handed to potential thieves.
- Never leave a ‘hidden’ or ‘emergency’ key outside your home. Those are too easy to find and give a would-be thief very easy access. If you need an alternate way to get in, try a lock box or leave a key with someone you trust.
Expert Tips from Property Management Professionals
- Install an automatic thermostat. This will keep the temperature in your home regulated. You can also set the temperatures appropriately to save money while you are gone, but still prevent disasters like frozen pipes.
- Unplug everything but the freezer, refrigerators, and items you have put on timers. This will not only save money on your electric bill, but it will help avoid electrical problems.
- If you’ll be gone for more than a week, turn off the internal water valve. Too many homeowners have come home to find an old pipe broke or the washing machine hose failed and their home is flooded.
- Secure all the doors and windows by locking them before you leave. Sliding glass doors should have devices as simple as an appropriately sized rod dropped into the track to prevent an intruder from forcing the lock and opening the door.
- Disable your garage door opener. Tech-savvy burglars can work out the code to trigger the door to open and gain access to your home.
- Consider setting your water heater on the lowest possible setting when you travel – this will keep it functional while saving you money on your energy bills. Just remember to turn it back up before your first shower!
Going away can always be a bit stressful but now you can enjoy a peaceful and relaxing time away with one of Tasco’s newer products – Napco i-Bridge App. By combining a trio of devices, it brings home security to a whole new level. The i-Bridge App, linked with Z-Wave home devices and your alarm system, give you complete control over your home security. Learn More
Tasco Security has been provided Peace-Of-Mind Security solutions for over 47 years in the greater Upper Valley region of NH & VT. Check out our other Newest Technology Offerings, designed to make your next trip a walk on the beach.
Contact Tasco at 800-546-5552 to setup your FREE security consultation.
Who’s in Control of Your Security System – Your Dog or You?
65% of households in the United States have a pet and 42% have more than one, according to a 2015-2016 survey by the American Pet Products Association. With that many furry friends running free range in households, it’s no surprise that there are also a high number of false alarms due to family pets. Worse news, though, are homeowners who simply stop using their security system because they have pets.
Indoor sensors are a crucial component in most home security systems. They use motion, vibration, weight, ultrasonic waves, microwave pulses, or infrared heat to detect intruders. Sensors – usually placed in high traffic areas – are pretty straightforward in terms of functionality. When the regular sensor pattern is interrupted, the system realizes that something is moving and an alarm is triggered. But how can homeowners with pets utilize this important security feature?
Luckily, there are a number of solutions for creating a pet-friendly alarm system.
A simple way to have motion detectors in your home without the possibility of false alarms is to keep your cats and dogs out of the specific areas covered by motion sensors. However, this might not be possible for all homeowners depending on the layout of your house.
Another option for arming your home is to aim the sensors so they don’t hit the ground. If you decide to go with this alternative, aim the sensors high enough so your pets will not set them off, but low enough so it will detect human movement. Make sure you have this done by a security professional to ensure the sensors are properly positioned. While this may not be ideal in all situations, it will easily detect the average upright burglar.
Floor sensors, designed to detect weight rather than movement, can be placed under the floor in the joists along obvious traffic patterns an intruder may take. This can be an ideal solution for cats, and dogs if they are under 70 pounds.
As you can see, there’s no reason to live with a “inactive” security system if you have a pet or are considering getting one. Pets are family members, too, and we all want to keep our furry friends safe even when we aren’t at home. Updating or installing a security system doesn’t have to be “ruff.”
Check out one of Tasco’s newest technology offerings – the Napco i-See Video Remote Video system where pets, kids, and more are viewable on any PC and all smart phones from anywhere, 24/7.
Your Tasco professional has the perfect solution for you and your pet’s needs. Contact us today at 800-546-5552 for a consultation.
Winter Homeowner Safety Checklist
As the temperature drops and the chill turns to frost, it’s time to prepare your home for winter. Here are some tips to help make sure your home is secure and energy-efficient this winter.
No one likes the unexpected but with winter weather come the potential for power outages. Compile a kit that contains at least the basics: a flashlight or battery-operated lanterns, portable radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, bottled water/juices, nonperishable food, manual can opener, and extra blankets for warmth.
Other items to consider including in the kit are extra prescriptions, contact lenses, hearing aid batteries, inhalers, and items for babies or family members with special needs. The Red Cross recommends storing an ample supply of items necessary to sustain every member in the home for at least three days, in case you’re snowed or iced in.
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors within your home and replace all with new batteries.
Alternative Heat Source
Auxiliary heaters and wood stoves should be tested and cleaned before you need to use them in the event of a power outage. Store kerosene only in approved containers and in an well ventilated outdoor garage or shed away from flammable materials and heat sources.
Furnace & Thermostat
Give the system a full test and, if needed, consult a technician for a tune-up and cleaning before the system requires daily use. Consult Tasco Security to install a programmable thermostat that can automatically lower the temperature for when people aren’t home and raise it before they get home for a warm return. Lowering the thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours could save as much as 15 percent a year on heating costs.
Cover window units or remove them entirely so you can completely close windows and prevent drafts.
Switch the direction of the blades to spin clockwise and run at low speed to circulate warm air down from the ceiling. Warm air rises and cool air descends, so the direction your fan should spin depending on the season.
Remove screens from storm doors and replace with the glass panels.
Seal all holes and cracks around the exterior of your home to help ensure pests, like mice and squirrels, can’t get inside for the winter.
Use weather stripping, window film, and caulk to control heat loss around doors, windows, and baseboards. Reducing drafts could save up to 30 percent in energy costs per year.
If you have working fireplaces, have your chimneys cleaned by an experienced chimney sweep to help decrease the risk of fire from blockages or creosote buildup.
Consider lowering the temperature on your water heater. Most are set 140 degrees as a default, but some households only need a setting of 120 degrees for comfort. A lower temperature may also help reduce wear and tear on the pipes. You could save as much as $30 per year for every 10 degrees the temperature is lowered.
Clean out the lint in your dryer filter, as well as, the entire dryer hose to reduce the chance of fire.
Remove any leaves accumulated around the exterior of the home, window wells, and gutters.
Bush & Tree Limbs
Trim any bush or tree limbs which may be touching the exterior of the home or obstructing a view into the home. Intruders are particularly prone to access through windows and doors that are hidden from street view.
Exterior Water Faucets
Shut off the water to all exterior faucets and drain the lines to help prevent freezing and pipe bursts.
- Never use a generator inside your home – it could pose a carbon monoxide threat.
- Prevent Pipe Freezes - if you lose power or temperatures are extremely low, keep your indoor faucets dripping slightly to prevent pipes from freezing or bursting.
- Keep your cell phone charged at all times.
- Keep your vehicle gas tank filled at least halfway at all times in case you are stuck in traffic.
- Keep a safety kit in your car – blanket, gloves, hat, coat, boots, water, flashlight, energy bars
Tasco’s extensive product offerings include low temperature alarms, water emergency notifications, on-site camera protection, and other home security and automation integration to keep you notified of what’s going on at home while you’re out and about. Learn More about the newest technologies to keep you and your home safe this winter.
Tasco Security has been providing Peace-of-Mind Security to the greater Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont for over 47 years. Contact us today for your FREE consultation – 800-546-5552.
Meet Our Team: Danniel Day
As you know, Tasco Security is a locally owned and operated company. This means we could not possibly be the company we are without a great staff, so get ready to meet some of the talented folks on our team.
Say hello to Danniel Day, Tasco Security's Service Manager.
As Service Manager, Dann is responsible for overseeing the team and making sure that we are providing the best possible service for our customers. How does he do this? “Through understanding, planning, education, and being proactive…I am looking at all aspects of our business operations,” said Dann.
Danniel has been a part of the security world for quite some time now. He began his career with the Vermont Department of Corrections where he was trained in all aspects of physical security, camera systems, and access systems. Eventually Dann ventured into security system installation, first with his own small business installing security cameras, and later on installing large commercial systems for a well known department store and other large scale commercial and residential clients.
Dann’s knowledge of home security does not stop there. He also has plenty of experience in personal security. He has also held management positions with firearms manufacturers Ruger and Taurus, handling company operations. He is a NRA certified handgun instructor and a licensed martial arts teacher.
No matter where his life has taken him, Dann has always been involved in some aspect of security. When it comes down to it, helping others is his real passion.
“I always enjoyed helping others and working with them to meet their security needs,” said Dann. “I really enjoyed working with camera systems in the past and wanted to focus my time and energy on security technologies and helping people protect themselves and their assets.”
He is finding himself right at home at Tasco Security and has already begun work to streamline some of our operations to make us even more efficient and better overall for our customer base.
When Danniel isn’t working hard to make Tasco Security even better, he enjoys being with his wife and four kids, traveling, practicing martial arts and shooting sports, bicycling, and even scuba diving.
We All Pay for False Alarms
Do you remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? That boy called in all of the villagers multiple times to help run off a make believe wolf. He thought it was entertaining to watch everyone scramble. But, when he really did see a wolf, and really did need help, no one came.
In a recent study by The Herald of Washington it was found that over 90% of alarm activations that trigger a police response are falsely tripped. 90%!!Thankfully emergency responders will always come to your aid regardless of how many times you request them. But are you aware that roughly $2 billion in police resources are wasted every year because of false alarms? The majority of those charges are paid for by you and I through our tax dollars. And if that doesn’t hit home for you, consider the fact that many towns and cities charge a fee for falsely triggered alarms which can add up.
Alarms are put in place to help keep your home and business safe. Hopefully you never need the response teams that are sent when an alarm is activated, but those teams are specially trained to respond with speed and efficiency to help you in an emergency.
False alarms due to faulty equipment or acts of nature are rare. The single largest cause of false alarms is human error.
Common Causes of False Alarms:
- Failure to secure doors and windows once the alarm is turned on
- Incorrect keypad codes
- Failing to train authorized users
- Wandering pets
- Re-entering the home just after leaving without disarming (assuming the exit delay is long enough to compensate)
- Objects hanging by or around motion detectors
- Weak system batteries
Tips to Reduce False Alarms:
- Properly train all users (e.g., babysitters, relatives, children, visitors, etc.)
- Secure doors and windows before turning on alarm
- Inform the monitoring center of new pass codes and arming codes, and new or removed authorized users
- Service and maintain the system (including batteries) properly
If there is a question as to whether or not your system is working properly, contact Tasco Security or your security provider to check the status of the system and devices. For more information on how to protect your home or business contact Tasco Security for a free consultation.
[Image credit: NMC]
DIY Alarms or DIY-Don’t?
It is a commonly known fact that robbers are less likely to break into homes that have security systems, especially when the homeowners uses signage to show their home is protected by one. It is also known that less is stolen in home intrusions where a home security alarm sounds, scaring off the robbers.
With these facts in mind, many homeowners are installing home security systems, which makes perfect sense. However, when it comes to home monitoring, taking the DIY route can put you and your family at risk.
Today, you can walk into just about any hardware store or big box store, and find a at least one type of DIY home security system. Though you may fancy yourself a “handyman,” home security installation is much more than simply hooking up the technology.
Security professionals have been trained to understand an intruder’s mindset, giving them the knowledge and know how to survey your home for optimal sensor and camera placement. With DIY home security, this process is often a guessing game—a dangerous one at that. Improperly placed equipment can not only leave gaps in your security it can also lead to an increase in false alarms. For example, a temperature change of glass, pets, small children and other triggers can prompt false motion detector alarms. Professional design support ensures that no detail is overlooked and systems are reliable.
The cornerstone of any security system is its monitoring capabilities. Professional security companies partner with sophisticated 24/7 monitoring companies to provide their customers with uncompromised peace-of-mind. Many DIY kit resellers neglect this very core necessity in their offerings. Without professional monitoring, you’re left to notify emergency personnel yourself when a problem arises putting you and others at high-risk in situations when every second counts.
Security System Maintenance
Proper maintenance is key to the longevity and effectiveness of any home security system. With a DIY system, you have no business partner to notify you when your equipment needs to be upgraded or maintained, and you have no one to contact if something needs repairing.
Professional security companies are always there to help you. As part of your service contract you can rely on them to:
• Ensure that transmitted signals are being received by the monitoring center
• Perform controlled tests on panic buttons
• Repair damaged or malfunctioning parts of the system
• Notify you of upgrades to the system
DIY Smart Intruders
Home security alarms used to be few and far between, so their inner workings were mysterious to the average person. Because these systems are easy to access for homeowners, it means they are also easy to access for intruders. With DIY home alarms crowding the home security market, these alarms no longer hold that mystery and many robbers are becoming very good at disabling the average DIY alarm.
DIY home security systems may appear to be cost efficient at first view but they are not cost effective in the long run. Taking the right steps to secure your home and family will not only bring you peace-of-mind but savings in costs and headaches down the road.
At Tasco Security, we have a wide variety of products to meet our customers' needs. When you choose Tasco Security, you are choosing a company that will work with you to determine the best security system options for your budget and your lifestyle. We tailor each system we install to the individual customer. Our experienced team has all the training necessary to determine which products and system installment is best for the layout of your home and we are happy to assist not only through the installation process, but also during your entire experience as our customer.