Tuesday, December 13, 2016
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Its that time of the year again when a lot of businesses wind down for the holidays, while here at Watchdog we are winding up for our busiest time of year. Before you go to soak up some summer sun & enjoy time with family & friends please take a few moments to help us to properly look after your property. Remember during the pre & post Christmas period there is always an increase in property crime as the local criminals decide to get their holiday requirements by stealing them.
So a few tips from Watchdog.
Has your alarm been serviced in the past 12 months? The last thing you want is for your alarm to fail or for false activations to occur over this busy period. If you would like your alarm serviced please contact us as soon as possible to schedule as our technician’s calendars are filling up fast.
Alarm sensors can be sensitive and pick up bugs and cobwebs. To avoid false alarms have a quick clean and spray some insecticide around these.
We have a number of clients whose emergency contact names and/or phone numbers may be out of date, please ensure your key holder (contact) details are up to date with Watchdog. Give us a call or simply send us an email to update your contact information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you want our guards to do an internal check of your premises if answering an alarm activation? If so, do we hold keys? Are the keys current?
Please let us know when you plan to be out of town on holiday, or if your business has altered opening hours.
Are our current monitoring instructions correct for the holiday period? If you are normally telephoned if your alarm activates … but will be away on holiday you may wish to request a guard be immediately dispatched, or someone else contacted while you are away.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
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Reed switches or door reeds are simple magnetic devices that are normally placed on doors. Reed switches will detect when a door, window or safe is opened and can trigger the alarm if armed. Often, these devices are smaller than a match box and non-intrusive.
Reed switches normally come in two pieces. A magnet in one half keeps the door reed in a neutral state when close by. When separated from the magnetic half, the door reed sends an electrical pulse that notifies the alarm system of its change in status. The alarm can then do whatever we program it to do in that instance.
Reed switches have a variety of uses both residentially and commercially. More often than not, we use these devices to alarm doors. If in a residential setting, people can alarm only their exterior doors when they go to bed. This gives them the option of walking around inside at night without setting off the alarm.
We have used reed switches to secure:
- Doors (Burglary or fire)
- Gun safes
- Medicine cabinets
and much more
Wired reed switches will work on most wired alarms systems as long as there is space on the board. Whereas, wireless reeds will need to be paired with the alarms brand and a wireless receiver may need to be installed in the alarm panel. Some older panels cannot accept wireless receivers, so it's best to ask your trusted security consultant if it will work on your system.
If you have any questions or comments about reed switches leave a comment below. As always, stay safe and stay secure!
Thursday, November 3, 2016
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More this week on target hardening for residential and commercial properties; specifically, we are talking about showing a sense of pride in the premises.
Fact: Properties that are looked after, tidy and free of tagging, are much less likely to be targeted by burglars and vandals.
Showing that the owner cares for and looks after the property is a significant tactic in crime prevention. Thieves and vandals will target untidy and unlooked after properties; this is because they assume lower levels of repercussions and therefore lower risk. If a property owner has had tagging on his/her wall for the past year, it appears that he/she wont care or pursue the issue if further tagging appears.
Burglars will also target premises that look uncared for. They will often assume that the same level of care that is put into the grounds and premises, is also put into the security. Often they are right.
Our tip for the month! So, spring is here, the sun is out and the days are warm. This gives us a great opportunity to get stuck in around our homes and businesses. Show that you are taking pride, tidy up out the back of your shop, trim those trees at home and make your premises a harder target!
As always, stay safe and stay secure.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
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Another interesting development in the security industry is the continuing popularity of good ‘old-fashioned’ man power to guard an area, even in this ever evolving world of IP CCTV cameras and HD video feeds. The presence of actual man power is proving to be popular throughout the Bay of Plenty. So what’s stopping more businesses from employing this service to improve upon their target hardening practices?
The perceived cost. That’s right, not the actual cost, but the perceived cost. Most business owners think that bed-down procedures, nightly patrols or static guards are going to cost an arm and a leg. However, this is not the case, we have smaller ‘mum and dad’ businesses in Rotorua and Tauranga who use our guard services on a nightly basis. It isn’t only affordable; it’s also cost effective. So what are these Bed downs and static guards that I am talking about?
Our security guards can complete 'bed downs' at your commercial site to ensure staff closed all windows and locked up properly. We also complete nightly checks, making sure a security presence is seen at your premises and deterring burglars before they strike. Our guards are trained to look for openings or weaknesses in your security while patrolling the premises. If weaknesses are found we can sort them out then, or contact you if need be.
If you need to beef up your security one step further, we can have security guards stationed on site. Either recurring or for specific events, we can cater to all. Rest assured, our guards are trained to respond to all critical incidents that may occur on site.
If you’d like to find out more get in contact with us today. We can send out a security consultant to evaluate your site and work with you to come up with the best security plan that meets your needs and budget.
Monday, October 3, 2016
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We have been testing the market over the last couple of months to gauge interest in Watchdog Drug Testing.
We are very excited to say that this has taken off and we have had a great response from our clients who used this service during the market testing stage. We are therefore ready to fully launch our drug testing service to the wider market.
Whether your operation is big or small; we cater to all your drug testing needs! Our services range from one-off tests all the way up to site wide scheduled tests. We also provide emergency tests in the case of truck driving accidents and similar situations.
Our staff are fully trained and certified to provide the highest level of professionalism and conduct. Best of all, we respond fast to all drug testing jobs. Combining the professionalism of big drug testing companies with the speed and precision Watchdog is renowned for.
Give us a quick call for a confidential chat about your drug testing needs.
Friday, September 30, 2016
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A couple weeks I talked about remote controls for arming and disarming your security system. I also touched on the fact that there is a tremendous amount of other remote controls out there, including medical alert and panic buttons.
Medical Alert Buttons. These often come in the form of a bracelet, necklace or stationary clip. The portable medical alert remotes usually have one large button that is easy to push and fast to respond. The stationary clips come in a variety of styles, from singular buttons to switches and dual button controllers. We can essentially set these up specifically to your needs.
Businesses are often using these medical alert buttons as panic or distress buttons. Our technicians can program your alarm panel to relay a range of signals when the button is pushed. We can also program how the alarm reacts to a situation. In a medical situation you don’t want your sirens sounding as this may exacerbate things. While if this was a duress button, you may want the siren to sound to attract the attention of your neighbours.
The limitations. As I said in the previous article, these buttons have a maximum range. This range is normally around 30 metres depending on the brand. Of course, if you start putting thick walls and reinforced concrete in the way, this range drops rather quickly. Larger businesses may need to look at wired panic buttons if we believe that range may become an issue. Of course, there are other solutions including GPS tracking units with built in panic buttons. But, we will touch on this another day.
As always the compatibility of these buttons depends entirely on what type of alarm system you have at home or in your business. Give one of the Watchdog team a call, and we will come out to have a look at your alarm and see what options you have. Stay safe and stay secure!
Thursday, September 22, 2016
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A big thanks to Graham Yorke for collating and refining the below list. In the news recently we have seen a violent assault on a woman in a parking lot in Auckland. It is important for all of us to look after our safety and do what we can to avoid these situations. All of these personal safety tips are based around the theory of target hardening which we talked about last week. To read about the basics of target hardening click here.
To help you take charge of your own safety in malls and parking areas, be aware of the below safety tips. Remember, report any suspicious people and/or situations to mall security officers immediately. They’re there to help you.
In Parking Areas
• Make a mental note of where you parked your vehicle.
• Never park in an isolated area.
• Park in a well-lit area as close as possible to mall entrances.
• Never leave valuable packages in your vehicle OR make sure any packages are well hidden.
• Know your vehicle’s license plate number.
• When leaving your vehicle, make sure all doors are locked and windows closed.
• Have your keys ready when returning to your vehicle.
• When walking to or from your vehicle, avoid dark areas where criminals might hide.
• If you have car trouble, remain in your car and use a cell phone to call for assistance, or return to the mall and notify security.
• Remember, “without opportunity, there is no crime!”
As you shop
• Walk confidently and be alert.
• Keep shopping bags in your sight at all times.
• Don’t burden yourself with too many bags or packages.
• Don’t display large sums of cash.
• Carry your handbag or purse close to your body with the clasp or flap toward you.
• Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket.
• Shop with friends whenever possible.
• Report suspicious people or situations
Thursday, September 15, 2016
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In some of my recent articles I have been talking about target hardening. I've received some good comments which is awesome to see, with some of you asking me to explain what is meant by this term "target hardening". So that's what I aim to do in this article.
Essentially target hardening is the core concept of security; the ability to make your premises less attractive to criminals, hardening the target. You’re not aiming for an impenetrable fortress, that would cost far too much. You just need to add enough protection that the risk of breaking into your home/business exceeds the reward for the burglar. All burglars (mostly subconsciously) are doing this calculation of risk vs. reward before they commit a crime.
Remember, when burglars are scoping out sites, they are often looking for opportunities; windows left open, places to stay hidden, as well as weaknesses in traditional security equipment. There are many in-depth tactics people employ in target hardening and I will be posting these tips and tricks on Facebook and in the Watchdog Newsletter.
As a home or business owner, it is your responsibility to up your security to the appropriate level.
Of course, alarm systems, monitoring and CCTV systems are great target hardening strategies but there are plenty of other things that can be done to give your premises that little bit of extra protection.
The best way to get started down the road of target hardening, is to complete a self-evaluation.
Take a step back and think like a burglar; study your premises, look at all nooks and crannies, identify your security strengths and weaknesses. You can then push to highlight these strengths and develop security strategies to improve your weaknesses.
Are there open entries or hidden opportunities for burglars to take advantage? If so eliminate them.
Is your security company aware of your open and close times? Make sure they are.
Are you monitored with Watchdog? Make sure you have current Watchdog stickers/signage and that these are easily visible.
These steps are a great place to start with target hardening. Often, it is a good idea to bring in a third party who can take a fresh look at your premises and let them identify your strengths and weaknesses. You may be surprised what security flaws an expert can find.
For more target hardening tips stay tuned to our Facebook page and Newsfeed, or give your friendly security consultant a call. As always, stay safe and stay secure.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
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Remote controls are becoming more and more popular especially in the residential scene. We are seeing them installed in homes throughout Tauranga and Rotorua at a growing pace both with with alarm upgrades and new alarm installs.
Basically the technological advancement of remote controls over the recent years has seen remotes drop in price dramatically and from a security aspect they are harder than ever to 'hack'. As consumers, this is clearly better for us.
These remotes send a signal over radio frequency bandwidth, similar to how your garage door opener works. They also have a similar range to your garage door opener. You don't want to accidentally disarm your alarm from work when you sit on the remote. Typically the range of these remote controls is 30 metres line of site. Some are a little more and some are a little less. If we start throwing buildings, walls, or tin sheds in the way the range can drop significantly.
I wish there was an easy answer for this, but unfortunately it is not that simple. Some systems cannot accept remotes, others can, and others can be modified to receive the signal. It all depends on what type of alarm system you are using.
Now, there are a range of remotes for a range of different security manufacturers. Most are the size of car remote control, varying from one button medical alert remotes up to remotes with numerous programmable buttons. Some of these controls can even be programmed into your garage door to act as a garage door controller with the auxiliary buttons.
Again, the range of products here is huge so it’s always best to call your security consultant and find a solution that suits you.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
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Written by Rotorua Daily Post's Head of News Kelly Makiha
Rotorua security guard Rangi Hurihanganui had two paths - life as a gang member or one in a good career helping people. Today he holds the country's top award in the security industry. He speaks with journalist Kelly Makiha about how he hopes his story will help others.
When Rangi Hurihanganui turned 15, he dragged his feet on the long walk home from school knowing he had to face his father and tell him the bad news - he had let him down and was leaving school.
Mr Hurihanganui came from a big family - three sisters and seven brothers, all loved and well educated by wonderful parents. But he was different.
The self-confessed black sheep never really connected with the education system and the future looked a bit grim.
On his way home from school that day, he came across a bunch of young guys who asked him what he was up to.
He told them he had just dropped out of school and they tried to convince him to go with them to join the Black Power.
"Back in those days in the 60s, Rotorua was riddled with gangs. I was that close to turning my back and heading with them but a little voice in my head said 'you'd better get home and tell your old man you've left school'."
That same little voice told Mr Hurihanganui he needed to leave Rotorua, so he called his sister, now Rotorua Girls' High School principal Ally Gibbons, who was at the time living in Christchurch with her husband, Shane.
They gave him a place to stay and a contact of Mr Gibbons' got him his first job in the security industry.
"That was in 1979 and I've never looked back."
While you'd assume with Mr Hurihanganui's passion for seeing youngsters on the straight and narrow and catching bad guys might lend him towards a life in the police force, he never ventured down that track.
"I'm uneducated and I'd never pass the training. I'm thankful I never did that because security work suited me."
So much so, he has just won the top prize at the New Zealand Security Association Awards
held in Rotorua.
The operations manager at Bay of Plenty-based security firm Watchdog Security Group took out two awards, including the supervisor/operations manager category for his dedication to the industry, his development of high quality training practices, focus on outstanding service delivery and his commitment to reducing criminal offending among young Maori.
He was then selected from all category winners to be awarded the top prize which was the Ian Dick Memorial Trophy for Security Personality of the year. The award was presented by Rotorua police area commander Inspector Bruce Horne.
Helping young Maori
After more than 35 years in the industry, Mr Hurihanganui is now looking to put what he's learnt into a programme for young Maori that has the backing of his company.
He is forming a trust and is raising funds to launch the programme.
"Everyday in our work I see these young kids embarking on a path that will destroy their lives and damage our community, and unfortunately it is getting worse" he said.
"However I understand where some of these young kids are coming from. They will struggle with the school system as I did and wonder what their future holds.
"I came very close to choosing a path into the life of a gang member but I was fortunate the values of my parents and an opportunity to work in this industry won over."
It is hoped the trust would work with the Ministry of Justice to see juvenile offenders aged 13 to 17 referred to them for help.
"I don't want to see these juvies (juveniles) graduate from petty crime to be hardened criminals and join gangs by the time they're 17. If we can help them get a driver's licence, get a CV together then one day they could be like me and wear a uniform."
He said he could have ended up in jail and probably eventually dead but he learned what it was like to keep his nose clean and to be Maori.
"I used to curse my mum and dad for my long name that no one could spell or pronounce. It wasn't until I was in my mid 20s that I was taken to this place, a marae. I broke down and cried when I realised what my name meant."
Literally, his name means the turning of rocks and ash into the sky, and it comes from his great grandfather, who was born a week before the Mt Tarawera Eruption.
The people who survived the eruption placed his great grandfather into a kete and put him in a tree for safety before fleeing to Ngati Wahiao territory to escape the devastation.
About a week later when the ground had cooled, they returned and found the baby still alive in the kete.
Mr Hurihanganui said he cherished his Maori culture but regrets not being able to speak the language fluently.
"I grew up in a generation when my parents were forbidden to speak it. I struggled enough with English with my limited education, let along learning Maori too."
One of his earliest memories is of his first job earning money from tourists as a penny diver at Whakarewarewa.
"My dad caught me stealing his loose change out of his work pants. The thought of getting caught and hurting my father plagued me even though I was only 7 or 8. I knew if I wanted to buy things I had to earn my own money, so that's how I started."
There's one person Mr Hurihanganui credits with his success, and that's his boss and Watchdog chief executive officer Brett Wilson.
When he applied for the position seven-and-a-half years ago, it was down two men. The other was an ex-policeman and had all the qualifications.
But Mr Wilson's gut instinct was with Mr Hurihanganui.
"He recognised my work from day one.
"He is known to his fellow officers as Boss Man. He reminds me a lot of what Steve Hansen is to the All Blacks. He loves his rugby, knows his staff's strengths and weaknesses and how to get the best out of them and whether it is work or personal, he sincerely cares. We are all treated like family."
Mr Hurihanganui said when his name was called out as the supreme winner at the awards, he looked over at "Boss Man".
"I could see the tears rolling down the side of his face and I just took a moment. That's the satisfaction I got from the award right then knowing that my work was appreciated."
Mr Wilson said it was a well deserved award for someone who personified everything the security industry should be.
"He is driven by a desire to protect his clients and takes it personally if any clients suffer any loss. He delivers work to a very high standard , and is meticulous about detail and demands the same from his staff.
"Rangi has been my right-hand man for seven years and is one of the most dedicated and loyal people I have had the pleasure of working with, he is the consummate security professional."
Mr Hurihanganui also dedicated the award to his wife, Sally, who he said had been a tireless supporter for the last 30 years despite the countless night shifts and trips away on jobs.
"I couldn't have done the job without her support."
She was also the one responsible for him applying for the job at Watchdog. After 20 years working for Armour guard and then taking on a role as a security guard for P&O cruises, Mr Hurihanganui said his wife was tired of him being away all the time.
"She spotted the job at Watchdog and I packed my bags."
As Mr Hurihanganui looks back on his career, he wouldn't change a thing.
"I wear my uniform 24/7. The other day I had to come into work for a meeting on my day off and I still wore it. It protects me."