THe Best Way To Use Your Security System

THe Best Way To Use Your Security System

So there are primarily 5 ways to Arm/Disarm a security system.I want to speak to the features and benefits of each.

The 5 ways are  1. Touching the Keypad of the system itself.

                       2. Using a SmartLock or Keyswitch onsite.

                       3. Voice Annunciation onsite.

                       4. Using a remote app on any device that has internet connection from anywhere in the world

                       5. Using a Keychain/Keyfob onsite.

Being in the security industry for over 20 years, I have been able to use systems in every conceivable fashion.Like most endusers, I am looking for the quickest,easiest way to use a system that provides my personal peace of mind and level of security I desire per application. 

At first glance the most obvious method is to 1. Touch the keypad of the system itself. Interestingly enough it is something I rarely do.The main reason is not that I have 4 other methods but, it is the Level of Security.Method 1 traditionally requires the enduser to access the system thru an enter/exit door that has a delay programmed in order to get to the keypad.That means that the monitoring station is going to wait a certain amount of time(generally 30-60 seconds) in order for the enduser to disarm the system.If there is an illegal intrusion thru that door that is giving the intruder an extra 60 seconds to wreak havic. So I like all my openings to be programmed to instant.Of course this require disarming from outside the protected area. All four of the next ways can allow that.

Way 2 Using a Smart Lock or Keyswitch is a convenient alternative. There were over 1 million electronic smart locks sold in the US last year alone.Using a keypad outside on these devices is easy and alows unlocking a door and disarming the system at the same time if you like. Keyswitches are an oldschool method that basically you use a key into a hardwired switch that armed/disarmed the sytem and usually had an LED indicator to distinquish the mode.

Way 3 Voice Annunciation is the new kid on the block. With the arrival of Alexa in the AmazonEcho,and a host of more to come like  Google Home ,Apple,etc. etc. we are seeing the future now.I think time will render this as the best way but it still has a long way to go in reference to effectiveness,security levels etc.

Way 4 Using an App is the most marketed by the industry and for good reason.Cell phones have become part of our hands! Apps are cool and allow the enduser the ability to do control everything the system is capable of.If I am not onsite it is generally my prefered method.

Way 5 Using a keychain/keyfob onsite is still my favorite method of interaction with a system. First of all i have a ton of systems at a variety of locations.I have One Interlogix 4- button Chrome keyfob that is on my person at all times and is programmed into all my systems. This means I don't have to remember any codes,I can open things,turn on things,arm and disarm the system.But it is also a walking panic button. It is the fastest,simplest,most reliable interaction I can use. I highly recommend it! 

So what do you think?

"Security John"



Ultrasync Hub Security System

After 7 years of development, there is finally a new product that is going to be a game changer in how security is done.  Security AllStar offers no contract, a low price and no charges for video services.  This system is the most secure in the industry.  Join the discussion on the best DIY system in the industry.  You can have it now with Professional Activation and Self-Installation.

Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Friends

Lets get our "Harvest Right" discussion and topics to help us all setup and revolutionize the old way of storing food.

All Things HAM, CB and Communication

Open discusson about ham radio, new products and new ideas.  

2GIG Image Sensors

The 2 GIG Image Sensor is a combination camera and motion detector in an awesome wireless package. It detects and conveys the information that constitutes an image by converting the variable attenuation of waves as they pass through or reflects off objects and turns them into signals-- small bursts of current that convey the information. That’s a smart way to say it creates a picture using some cool technology and wireless transmits it through your 2GIG panel and straight to your smart phone. You can see who is there when you are not.

Image sensors are used in electronic imaging devices such as digital cameras, medical imaging equipment, and night vision equipment such as thermal imaging devices and radar. The homeowner who wants such information can use this sensor to get a clearer picture of possible intrusion by having the image captured and then emailed to verify the object.

The 2 GIG Image Sensor offers the following features for the DIY security-conscious homeowner:

  • PIR Motion Detection
  • ETL certified for UL 639
  • Wireless connectivity for easy installation 
  • Configurable PIR sensitivity including pet immunity
  • Image Capture
  • Resolution: 320x240 (QVGA) 
  • Color camera
  • Night vision w/IR illumination 
  • Black and white
  • Receive email or MMS alerts with images attached



Qolsys IQ Mini Window/Door Sensor

The IQ Mini is a strong as it is uniquely small. At only ¼” thick, this smart sensor can be placed on any door or window and connects wirelessly to your IQ panel while blending seamlessly into your home's decor.

Something so simple, yet the IQ Mini and all the IQ window and door sensors are great additions for another level of security especially for those areas of a home or apartment that are possible entry points for intruders.

The easy installation—and the ability to connect to the IQ Panel and use smartphone technology to arm or disarm the sensors makes for an affordable way to stretch your DIY home security dollars.

Qolsys Glass Break Detector

The Qolsys Glass Break Sensor does a remarkable job of securing window access to any home or business. The sensor detects the sound of breaking glass using 360 degree Omni-directional coverage. If there is a room with multiple windows, this is a cost effective alternative to placing a door/window sensor on every single window. Also, a door/window sensor only works if the door or windows are opened. If a window is breached by smashing through it, many window sensors do not work. Glass breaks are the perfect answer to rooms with multiple windows.

Using a reliable RF (Radio Frequency) signal, the detector sends the IQ Panel notification of a breach/ breakage which immediately sets off the alarm to warn of a possible intrusion. The system also has a long-life battery (average 5 years and a low battery indicator. Inexpensive insurance for any unprotected area of your home or business.


Qolsys CO (Carbon Monoxide) Detector

This monitored detector ensures your home stays safe from deadly Carbon Monoxide gas. CO gas is suspected in hundreds of deaths each year in the United States—and is known as the silent killer due to the odorless, quiet, and toxic gas. Now you can safeguard your home easily and wirelessly by connecting directly to the IQ panel.

The Qolsys CO Detector constantly monitors the levels of carbon monoxide and, whether your system is armed or not, can inform you of any danger ensuring you'll know exactly if and when dangerous CO levels are present in your home.

Be careful, many security companies neglect to offer you these on the initial installation and as an afterthought, they are often more expensive. The rule of thumb is that a good CO detector can cover between 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, depending on how the home is laid out.   You do want one per floor and this is a very reasonable safety precaution for your family and pets considering the average cost usually around $100. We have found that Security AllStar has very competitive pricing for these products and services.


What are the legalities of being filmed/video taped - or doing the filming and/or videotaping in public with security cameras and surveillance systems?

Ever since video cameras became accessible to the masses, there's been grand debate on what one can or cannot record while in public. We at Security AllStar regard the First Amendment as sacred—but we also realize it is not always a license to abuse the freedom which it allows.


Simplicity is often elusive when it comes to legal matters, so it should be no surprise that the answers to questions related to recording video and audio in public places contain few pat answers. That’s because laws, regulations and rules in these matters differ between federal, state and municipal governments. Further complications arise when looking at such concerns as still photography versus audio-visual recording and editorial versus commercial use.


The widepread use of smartphone cameras, video devices, and security cameras raises many questions about the First Amenmend and your right to privacy –and your right to record events in public places.


Many of the laws in the United States are still being written and in some cases challenged, but presently here are a few certainties:


  • It is lawful to film/photograph anything that is in plain view. “That includes pictures of federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police. Such photography is a form of public oversight over the government and is important in a free society,” the ACLU states.


  • Recording on private property is another story. Property owners might set their own restrictions, which would then prevent a person from filming or photographing.


  • Police are not legally allowed to delete content on your device.


  • Police can legally order citizens to stop filming or photographing activities if they are interfering with law enforcement’s job.








Defining the Laws

In an attempt to provide some broad guidelines, it is helpful to understand a few main concepts. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. ..." This has been interpreted to mean that no government entity may curtail free speech and press activities. Photography in its broadest sense is protected as a form of free expression; however, constitutional protections are not absolute and may be subject to "reasonable time, place and manner restrictions," and the main keyword is "reasonable."

As a general rule, both the public and the press have a right to record government officials or matters of public interest in a public place. But it is one thing for a photographer to know his or her rights when recording public officials and quite another for security guards, police officers and government officials to be aware of or even care about those rights.

While it is not illegal to photograph or record images in public places in almost every state, some states have eavesdropping laws that criminalize recording oral conversations without permission, which has led to arrests due to the fact that videographers don't usually make silent movies. When arrested, photographers are also typically charged with disorderly conduct, obstruction of governmental administration or trespass. In many states, if you are using audio recording equipment in your own business establishment, you must post signs that notify patrons that they are being recorded. As a good “rule of thumb” you will want to be on the safe side and clearly post notifications that let guests and patrons know there is video and especially audio recording in process if you choose to do both.

Obligations and Your Rights

While there is no obligation to show your images to a law enforcement officer, you may be asked to do so. It is important to know that you do not have to consent to such a request. Under certain conditions known as "exigent circumstances," where an officer believes that your recording might contain evidence of a crime and subsequently seize your equipment and material in order to prevent it from being lost or destroyed. However, it may not be searched, viewed and copied without proper legal authority such as a search warrant or subpoena. Under no circumstances may anyone delete those recordings or order you or a third party to do so.



Lazy Americans and Tennesseans

Inquiring minds want to know. So says the National Inquirer. Unfortunately, not enough Tennesseans are that curious. As long as the roads they drive on don't have too many potholes. As long as the power stays on, the cable works, the water is relatively clean, and there is little talk of raising taxes, few raise their heads above the level of the home place. As long as their friends don't talk about the corruption in the political process, they assume everything is as it should be. Well, we all know what happens when you assume.

Here is the second installment on the bills we followed this session and their outcomes.
In the Area of Public Safety:

HB0044 by Carr, SB0031 by Overbey elevating the offense of hit and run with a motor vehicle from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class E Felony where the driver knew or should have known that a serious bodily injury resulted. Killed off in House Finance, Ways & Means subcommittee chaired by Rep. Mike Harrison. 

HB0120 by Lamberth, SB1316 by McNally creates a Class C Felony offense of aggravated vehicular assault with aggravating factors such as prior convictions for alcohol-related offenses. Passed the House and Senate.

HB0218 by Jones, SB1089 by Harris prohibits a court from awarding any form of custody to a parent who is charged with or indicted for aggravated child abuse, or child sexual abuse. Signed by the Governor.

HB0410 by Reedy, SB0369 by Green expands the crime of aggravated stalking of the elderly. Killed off in House Finance, Ways & Means subcommittee. (See above.) Fiscal note of $136,000 attached to the bill. Perhaps it was more important to get a new State Museum than it was to protect the elderly.

HB0308 by McDaniel, SB0697 by Stevens terminates parental rights if the parent or guardian is convicted of sex trafficking of children. Signed by the Governor.

HB0401 by Hardaway, SB1156 by Norris makes a person convicted of vehicular homicide involving alcohol ineligible for probation. Killed off in House Criminal Justice subcommittee.

HB0811 by Littleton, SB0681 by Massey prohibits a court from returning a child to the custody of a parent when the child was removed due to the parent's drug abuse. Signed by the Governor.

HB1141 by Lynn, SB1040 by Ketron requires the Attorney General to report to the Department of Justice that a "no-go" zone exists within Tennessee and to eliminate such zone. Disappeared when it was sent to the House Civil Justice subcommittee. For more information on this legislative vacuum, see previous bill report.

HB0670 by Matheny, SB1039 by Ketron requires educational institutions to report nonimmigrant student enrollment to the Department of Safety. Signed by the Governor.

HB1195 by Ragan, SB0364 by Green requires the State to negotiate with the federal office of refugee resettlement to reacquire state administration of the refugee resettlement program. Killed off in House State Government subcommittee chaired by Rep. Bill Sanderson.

In the area of Education:

HB0663 by Alexander, SB0552 by Nicely allowing the currently appointed-by-the-Governor State Board of Education to be reduced in number and elected by the people. Killed off for the time being in the Education Administration and Planning subcommittee chaired by Rep. Mark White. In case you have forgotten, Rep. White is the same member who carried the in-state tuition for illegals bill and is a staunch supporter of Common Core. Far be it from the citizens to be able to actually elect the State Board of Education. By the way, what does the State Board of Education do that 95 other boards of education in Tennessee cannot do?

HB0907 by Powers, SB0391 by Nicely allowing for the popular election of the County School Superintendent. Killed off in House Education Administration and Planning subcommittee (see above) and defeated in the Senate Education Committee. Senate Committee is led by Sen. Gresham, famous supporter of Common Core and Sen. Gardenhire, sponsor of in-state tuition for illegals. (There's a pattern here.) Do Republicans oppose elections?

HB1058 by VanHuss, SB0614 by Hensley requiring public access to electronic textbooks and instructional materials. Killed off in House Education Instruction and Programs subcommittee. 

HB1267 by Womick, SB1194 by Beavers authorizing local school boards to adopt their won academic standards. Killed off in House Education and Planning subcommittee. (See above.) 

Regarding Transparency:
HB0282 by Carter, SB0037 by Kelsey gives Attorney General authority to investigate and initiate criminal prosecution in cases involving corruption of a public official. Killed off in House Civil Justice subcommittee. There's a pattern here.

HB1306 by Travis, SB1269 by Yager requires any meeting of Supreme Court Justices where voting for the office of Attorney General to be subject to open meetings law. Killed off in House Civil Justice subcommittee. Here we go again.

By Jeff Hartline

HIGH CRIME SEASON - Ask Security AllStar if you are protected?

Summer can be a season of great enjoyment for most people—no school, nice weather, vacation time! It’s important to stay vigilant about one’s home security during the summer months as it is during the rest of the year. In fact, the summer season is a time when criminals really ramp things up. Now is not the time to be lax about securing your home. Here are a few ways to keep your home safe all summer long.

  • Get a home security system that compliments your lifestyle by giving you notifications (either audibly to the panel or in text format to your smartphone) while you are at home or away enjoying the summer fun. Qolsys and 2GIG are powered by and are perfect lifestyle compliments.
  • Windows makes us considerably more vulnerable to intruders, especially if left cracked open or unlocked. While it is true that central air conditioning means people are less likely to leave windows open. But if you do choose to leave windows open during the summer, be sure to try and only do so with ones on the second story or above. These are far harder for anyone outside your home to gain access to, and therefore less vulnerable. Invest in some door and window sensors so that you can be aware of anyone attempting to gain entrance to your home.
  • Another benefit of the warm weather is the option to install a front screen door. They do allow breezes into the home but don’t do much to keep intruders out of your home. If you’re leaving the house or plan on having your attention elsewhere for more than a few moments, be sure to close the internal door as well.
  • Try and avoid screen doors that have glass or wire mesh panels near the knob, as these can easily be broken or torn through, allowing burglars to unlock the door from the outside.
  • Never be careless about any equipment you’re using outdoors—like leaving tools or implements outside the home which invite burglars to help themselves to breaking windows and locks.
  • Make a conscious effort to avoid leaving your summer gear (bicycles, roller blades, and sporting equipment) out on your porch or lawn, as this makes you an easy target for quick theft. Maintain an appearance in order to not stand out to anyone who might be “casing” your neighborhood for a later crime.
  • Never post on social media that you are out of town or on vacation. Predators are very smart when it comes to social media and believe it or not, crimes are often committed by someone you know.
  • If you are at home alone, it is easy to install a door sensor and motion sensors that actually let you know if a door or window are opened or someone walks into a room of the house without the system being armed. This way you can enjoy the open spaces while still having an extra set of eyes and ears on your home.
  • External motion activated lighting systems are a great way to startle “would-be” burglars and keep them away from your yard. Thieves hate lights.
  • Image sensor cameras can take a snapshot of movement at your home and send a text image directly to your phone. This new advancement in technology is done simply without an internet connection and lets you know if something is taking place that needs your attention.
  • Driveway sensors are awesome when it comes to alerting you that a guest, wanted or unwanted, has entered your driveway. An automated verbal tone can come to the panel inside of your house or a text can be sent to your smartphone about the guest.
  • The old saying, “out of sight, out of mind” is very true with criminals. Your car is more susceptible to theft if they can see your purse, GPS or wallet just like your home is more susceptible if a thief can see your higher-end valuables including electronics.
  • Safes are a great and affordable way to insure that a sloppy thief or neighborhood gang can’t get your valuables. Get one that is UL listed, bolts to the floor and cannot be picked up and carted off easily.