How your HOA can get a handle on safety

 

Video surveillance systems are installed everywhere, so why not in your homeowners association (HOA)? Properly used surveillance cameras provide additional security, a greater sense of safety and a deterrent to would be criminals. Several questions and considerations are often asked when the installation of surveillance systems within a HOA.

 

Does it violate the law for a HOA to install surveillance cameras within the community? Are these cameras helpful in reducing criminal activity? Is it acceptable to use “dummy” cameras instead of operative cameras? Does a HOA have to post signs notifying the homeowners that they are under video surveillance? These are some of the questions that HOAs are asking legal counsel as their Boards consider installing surveillance cameras to monitor entry gates, parking facilities
and other common areas.

 

 

Is it Legal for a HOA to Install Video Surveillance Cameras?

 

 

Currently, it is legal to install these cameras in all areas except in those where homeowners may have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as locker rooms, bathrooms, or areas where the camera may record the interior portions of a homeowner’s unit. The most popular locations to install surveillance cameras are at entry gates, recreational facilities and other common areas as a means to deter trespassing, vandalism, property damage, and rules violations.

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Are surveillance cameras helpful in reducing criminal activity?

 

 

Studies on the effectiveness of surveillance cameras suggest that they are indeed effective at reducing the number of low level crimes such as automobile break-ins and burglaries in areas where cameras have been installed. This is a major reason why some HOAs, especially condominium complexes, opt to install surveillance cameras in common area parking facilities. Surveillance cameras have also proved immensely helpful in prosecuting individuals caught in the act of committing a crime or in enforcing violations of a HOA’s governing documents. It is important to note, however, that these cameras are only effective if they are regularly maintained to ensure proper operation.

Should we get a guard or have someone watch the cameras during the night?

 

Getting a guard will help deter criminal activity. But it comes at a cost. A typical cost for a guard is around $8000 a month. The better option is to find someone or a company to watch the cameras for you during the night. Instead of one set of eyes, there are multiple sets of eyes watching and protecting the property. But that’s not enough. The best option is to find a company that watches the cameras and provide a response team. Many would think, this would cost more but it can cost you just fractions of a guard cost.

 

Aclarity Systems provides live video solutions so you can sleep safe at night.

 

For your security needs, feel free to call us at 888.850.3339 or contact us via our website.

 

Security Solutions Tips For Your Cannabis Business

How do you safeguard your cannabis business? When the legal cannabis industry expands, concerns about illegal activity may inevitably increase.

There’s a crime hazard from criminals who realize that you’re dealing in cash as well as your own workers. It is important to implement the best cannabis security solutions.

A cash-heavy and relatively new business with various legislation in different states, security is a concern at dispensaries and growth facilities as well, so here are some tips to help you get started:-


1. Protection against inside jobs.

The majority of crimes in the cannabis industry are from employees or employees sharing information with organized criminal groups.  Yet, many companies make more effort to defend against break-ins. The best cannabis protection approach is the one that mitigates threat from inside and outside jobs equally well.


  1. 2. Early detection and alerts in real-time are important.

Only live serviced cameras are effective at warding off break-ins. Once a criminal gets into the business, there can be very dangerous hostage situations. Keeping these people out through remotely activated sirens is critical. A properly placed camera with a clear view of the entry way helps identify potential threats and allows for early detection and action against the threat.


  1. 3. Understand the local requirements.

For cannabis dispensaries and cultivation sites, California State has its own set of rules. For example:-

  • -Minimum camera resolution of 1280 × 720 pixels.
  • -Permanent mounting and fixed locations
  • -24 hours recording with date and time displayed
  • -Storage devices should be secured to protect the recording from tampering and theft.
  • -Entrance and Exit shall be recorded from both indoor and outdoor.
  •  

Your system of surveillance must be safe and compliant.

Note: Contrary to popular belief the recording doesn’t necessarily need to be on the cloud. Check your laws/regulations closely. Sometimes a different, secure location can work. This can save $1k’s per month in cloud fees


  1. 4. Choose a scalable and customizable security solution.

Your needs can change as your company grows. Expanding facilities, more workers, and a change in government laws-all of these factors will affect your security. Find one that is adaptable to your changing needs, to ensure you have the best security solution at all times. Aclarity system provides tailor made security services as and when required.


  1. 5. Just following government rules are not enough.

When selecting cannabis security solutions, following government rules shouldn’t be your only guideline as this may be less stringent than others on security. And even those with tight restrictions are more concentrated than your cash on your product. Having a clear protocol for emergencies for employees is important as things can happen very quickly.

CANNA
  1. 6. Keep your system of surveillance visible.

Ideally, the surveillance system helps deter the occurrence of crime. A comprehensive surveillance system is one of the strongest deterrents for would-be offenders, and particularly those who work for you. Make sure that when it comes to security, everybody knows and can see that you mean business.

 

  1. 7. Local Storage vs Cloud storage.

Cloud storage is storage that is completely offsite.  What this means it that all the video feed is being recorded on the cloud 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  This sounds like the great idea but the burden these types of system put on the bandwidth is tremendous.  For 16 cameras with a 1080 resolution at 15 frames per second, the average bandwidth required is 21Mbps (~1.33 Mbps per camera).  Unless a dedicated internet line is pulled for the security system, the whole network will see major throttling.  Moreover, the cloud total storage required as per state requirements would be around 46TB of data which equates to ~$5,100 a month for just the cloud storage server.

In general, local storage is not something that needs to be an additional piece of equipment to be purchased. Most systems will come with a NVR so the cameras are feeding into a centralized system for easy remote viewing and recording.  But there are some challenges as well.  Some NVRs might not have enough slots for additional hard drives to expand storage.  In this case, a NAS server would be used as a local network drive to expand the storage space. 

Both type of storage require complicated network setup and both system require a budget for an upfront cost.  In the long run, a local storage system is easily expandable and much more cost efficient.

 

  1. 8. Recognize the highest return that offenders seek.

It’s important to protect cannabis plants, but savvy criminals are far more interested in what’s in your dry storage. They want the most benefit for the risk if they are going to break in, make sure not to miss any spot when it comes to live video surveillance.

 

  1. 9. Identify possible blind spots in your security solutions.

Make sure that the security surveillance company you choose to install your surveillance system knows where the assets, equipment, and other possible obstructions are placed. Your cameras should be positioned to optimize the identification of a potential crime. Speaking with your security professional and help identify these blind spots and ensure the areas are covered appropriately with strategically placed cameras.

 

  1. 10. Find a company with experience in cannabis industry

Since this industry is still in its early stages, not all security companies are familiar with cannabis dispensaries or have experience dealing with them. The dynamics are special, and there are ever-changing regulations. Pick a security company that acknowledges this and knows the industry. 

 

Aclarity Systems provides live video service solutions so you can sleep safe at night.

 

For you security needs, feel free to call us at 888.850.3339 or contact us via our website.

 

Securing a construction site

Theft is one of the biggest issues for construction site security but there are certainly ways to help alleviate this problem.

Protecting a construction site involves a well thought out jobsite security plan including fencing, signage, adequate lighting, patrol companies with response team, surveillance system, and more.

Why is theft so common with job sites?

 

Proactively thinking about jobsite security plans and layouts effectively mitigates financial loss from time and equipment.

This epidemic within the construction industry will continue to persist if contractors continue to ignore the importance of security considerations such as surveillance systems for the jobsite.

Now, why is nothing being done if it is such a problem within the industry?  First off, penalties for these crimes are too lenient in the United States.  Criminals do not give it a second thought when there is a high chance of them getting away with their crime unscathed.

The next reason is because stolen equipment can still be sold for a lot of money.  And coupled with the leniency and low risk, theft cannot be completed prevented but can definitely be lowered with the proper job site security plan.

Securing your construction site

 

There are many factors to consider when considering jobsite security for your future projects.  It is crucial to keep the following points relevant during that discussion.

  1.   1.  Make the fencing impossible to climb, have 8 feet fencing instead of standard 6 
  2.        feet fencing.
  3.   2.  Consider locking your Porta Potties overnight or during non-working hours and 
  4.        Prevent Vandalism.
  5.   3.  One of the most vulnerable areas at a construction site is where job boxes are
  6.        placed, make sure your Job boxes are under camera coverage and deploy the 
  7.        camera right over the job box area.
  8.   4.  Sign up for STOP Program by San Jose Police Department or Equivalent.  
  9.   5.  Clear Trees or any other structure that intruders can possibly use to break in.
  10.   6.  Have someone check power to all camera boxes before they leave the site for the 
  11.        day.
  12.   7.  Co-locate valuable supplies where there is the best light and camera coverage.
  13.   8.  If you have fixed post, have someone independently verify his patrols hourly. 
  14.        Walk in front of the camera (watchguard service).
  15.   9.  Construction sites are usually dark and isolated places, a well-lit jobsite helps
  16.        deter crime.
  17.   10. Install alarms at the site where they can be most effective.
  18.   11. Real quick patrol response is effective deterrent in case of intrusion
  19.  

CONSIDER THE RISK FACTORS WHEN SECURING YOUR CONSTRUCTION SITE

  •  -Budget

An adequate budget can help prevent thousands of dollars of stolen equipment.  As security is typically seen as a lower end of priority for most contractors, budget for security is severely limited.   Cutting corners to save a few dollars here and there create vulnerabilities for the job site security which translates to thousands of dollars of stolen equipment.

As you determine the budget you will allocate for security measures, you need to be aware of how bad construction equipment theft is in your local city. Commonly, thieves commonly break into construction sites in their local areas.

 

  •  -Equipment Type and Condition

The common mistake for construction sites is choosing the wrong type of equipment.  As the technology for security camera continues to advance and diversity, specific equipment is required for specific purposes.  Having the right equipment in the right place gets the job done in the most cost-efficient manner.

  •  -Assigning roles to your employees

Another large part of prevention is assigning tasks to jobsite employees to do easily monthly maintenance on the equipment such as cleaning the lens of the cameras, ensuring system is powered and connected properly, etc.  Keeping security in the forefront of everyone’s mind, ensure the site is properly secured at all times.

 

At Aclarity Systems, we work to make job sites security with our pre-constructed camera boxes tailored to sites needs.  No power, no problem, no internet available, no problem, our boxes can work with Solar Panels and can provide it on internet via 4G.

For any security needs, feel free to call us at 888.850.3339 or contact us via our website.

 

Plan your Construction site security with Smart Cameras

Securing your construction site properly is imperative. With the right equipment such as smart security cameras, it is easier to identify a real risk versus a false alarm.

 

During the pandemic, many construction projects were delayed or cancelled and without a job site security plan in place, these sites were vulnerable to unwanted criminal activities.  For owners and general contractors alike, the potential loss of equipment, copper pipes, and more is on top of their minds for these short months.


                                               Construction Site Theft — A Growing Problem


Every year, constructions sites lose between $300 million to $1 billion in stolen equipment and materials to trackers and loaders around the nation.  Out of these losses, less than 25% is recovered and this number continues to increase by at least 10% every year since 1966.

Not only does theft cost money, it also causes delays when having to replace and re-renting equipment.  Thus, preventing theft is critical at your construction site.


The question then becomes, how can we prevent these unwanted criminal activities. There are some key points to consider when planning out the job site security plan:


  1. FENCES: 10-foot fences should be installed around the perimeter of the site and secured with no gaps.
  2. LIGHTING: Having lights around the job site especially in areas where equipment and materials are likely stored.
  3. LOCK IT UP: Locking up any extraneous materials until they are needed as well as entrances and bathrooms.
  4. SECURITY CAMERAS:Job site security camera can lessen the chance of a construction site being a mark for potential criminal activity.
  5. PATROL & RESPONSE TEAM: Having a dedicated response team to the alerts received is essential part to preventing criminal activity. This will increase the likelihood of detaining the intruder with a quick response time.

With security cameras properly placed, they can be used to as evidence for trespassers and theft suspects.  Moreover, it can also help General Contractors keep an eye on subcontractors’ activities. The storage devices whether it be an NVR/DVR or onboard SD card should be properly maintained for video storage.  And when properly setup, the live feeds can be access from a smart phone.


                                                 Smart Video for Construction Site Security


Artificial intelligence (AI) cameras use computer algorithms that analyse huge amounts of real-time data. They can be programmed to detect the level of threat, and take action quickly in ways that, formerly, only humans could. These smart cameras can:

  • -Use solar panels and wireless communication to create robust security, even on empty, undeveloped land.
  •  -They have night recording capabilities – perfect for unlit areas.
  •  -The equipment is weatherproofed and built for outdoor use.
  •  -They offer HD footage for clear close-ups.
  •  -The cameras can be connected either to a DVR for recording or to the Internet to allow real-time monitoring.

Consider these new, smarter cameras like a virtual guard system that can keep the construction site safe even when you’re not there.

Smart cameras offer some incredible features beyond security that older analog construction site security systems simply can’t handle:


  • Intrusion detection

Unlike basic motion detection, smart cameras have intrusion detection which performs at a higher function than pixilation changes in the feed.  It allows for object size as well as loitering detection.  This helps filter out unwanted alerts such as cats or trees moving which would be triggered with a non-smart camera.


  • AI detection
    With the recent technological advances including AI technology, this is now being utilised with cameras.  Capable smart cameras with AI detection can effectively detect a human and vehicle.  With these types of cameras, false alarms are kept to a minimum.

Theft at a construction site is a huge problem and will only continue to grow.  In today’s society, getting a solid job site security plan in place is crucial.  By using the smart cameras in well secured enclosed construction boxes coupled with a dedicated response team, generals contracts now have a leg up on the criminals.


Aclarity Systems video security solutions. Contact us today to get a customised quote for your job site. 

Construction Site Security Challenges [Leading to ~$1B in Annual Losses]

21% of construction sites experience a theft on a weekly basis. That statistic is truly daunting, especially when the project doesn’t have access to utilities, electricity, or even so much as a place to store machinery and tools


Today’s criminals are more sophisticated than ever. They know that your equipment costs are high, your ability to lock things in a tidy garage is nearly non-existent, and your supplies are in high demand on the black market. To combat the thieves, you need to address the challenges of construction site security from all angles.


Our recommendation? Include managed video surveillance in your security solution in order to protect the equipment, tools, and materials needed to keep your site productive.

Whether your job is building a new commercial building complex or is residential home construction, sometimes your project starts with just a piece of empty, undeveloped land. As a result, this can make construction site security extremely challenging. Not only do construction sites face the ever-present risk of stolen equipment and tools, but thieves also target items like appliances, copper wiring, and other electrical components


Because high-value tools, equipment, and wiring are often left outdoors, they can be vulnerable and exposed. Thieves know this, which is one of the reasons why they frequently target the construction industry. But even if the equipment and materials are secured inside a building, there is still a risk of a break-in – especially if there isn’t a constant presence on the property watching out for the potential risks. When your construction workers go home, and there isn’t a guard providing construction site security – this is when your job site is most vulnerable.



Less than 25% of stolen equipment is ever recovered.

Sadly, the NER’s Equipment Theft Report states that less than 25% of stolen equipment is ever recovered. In fact, vandalism and theft at job sites account for an estimated $1 billion in losses per year. Your construction business can’t afford to be lax when it comes to construction site security monitoring.

camera box

Live video service and airtight patrol service act as an early deterrent and helps you stop the crime before it can do any damage to your assets or property.


Talk to the team of expert in construction site security, call us today to get a free quote.