All posts by Megan Ragan

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July 4 Tips and Tricks

Atronic Alarms Insider, Episode 2: July 4 Tips and Tricks

Erik is back with specific tips preluding the 4th of July weekend. He centers his short video around pets and how to avoid false alarms set off by all the “angels” who suddenly become a bit gnarly during fireworks. Above all, have a very safe and happy holiday!

Atronic Alarms Touchless Keypad

Touchless Keypad

Touchless Keypad and Prox KeySanitary. Safe. Secure.

Now more than ever people are working together to create a more sanitary environment to keep family, customers, and employees safe. Atronic Alarms offers a touchless keypad to help avoid multiple people from touching the same surface.

Our graphic touchscreen keypads allow you to arm or disarm your system without touching the screen or buttons to enter your code. Just present your proximity credential to the keypad and eliminate risk.

Provide a credential to anyone who has access to your keypad: employees, baby-sitters, after-hour cleaning services, caregivers  . . . anyone you authorize.

Keyless Entry CredentialsCredentials are available in a variety of styles to fit your needs.

Key Fob: Clips to a key chain or lanyard. LED confirms button presses. Also works as a panic button.

Prox Patch: Attaches firmly to a cellphone, pager or car remote. Ultra-thin so you’ll barely notice it is there.

Prox Card: Thin yet durable polycarbonate design the size of a credit card. Customizable with graphics or photo.

Prox Key: Small and convenient key-size design is always there when you need it on your key ring.

For more information and a free consultation, please contact the office nearest you:

Kansas City: 913.362.0000
Omaha: 402.895.1800
Springfield: 417.883.6254

Young Boy Jumping in Swimming Pool Door Chime Atronic Alarms

Summer Security Tips 2020

Last week marked the first day of the summer, and we piled together a quick list of things to consider to keep you and your family safe this season.

Door Chime Feature
Swimming accidents occur many times when a child wanders out into the pool alone. Current security systems have a door chime feature that notifies you each time your door is open. Perfect for those busy summer days when your children are going in and out of the house.

Automated Lighting
With a smart home automation system you can set your lights to turn on and off at certain times during the day/night. Not only does this add a level of convenience to your lifestyle, it also gives your home that “lived in” look — which is proven to deter burglars.

Door-to-Door Scammers
Summer brings out the seasonal “door knockers,” and many out-of-state alarm companies use unethical tactics to urge people to sign their long-term contracts. Atronic Alarms does not send out people to your residence without notifying you first. If you are ever in doubt, call us!

Video Doorbell
Did you know that 34 percent of break-ins occur through the front door? With a video doorbell, any time motion is detected or the doorbell is pressed, you’ll receive notification, monitor who’s approaching and even talk with them using two-way voice communication.

Keyless Entry Atronic Alarms DMP KeypadTouchless Arm/Disarm
Sanitary. Safe. Secure. At home and at work, key fobs, prox cards or prox keys are perfect to give employees, baby sitters, after-hours cleaning services — anyone you authorize — a touchless way to interact with your keypad.

We’re Here for You
Your security is our highest priority, and we continue to be available to you 24/7/365. If you have any questions about your security system or want consultation on adding additional features, you can reach us at:

Kansas City: 913.362.0000
Omaha: 402.895.1800
Springfield: 417.883.6254

Thermal Imaging Cameras Atronic Alarms

Thermal Cameras: The Good. The Deception. The Reality.

Thermal cameras: The Good. The Deception. The Reality.

How do I prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace? How do we stay safe as our businesses open back up?

In the wake of stay at home orders, business owners have had to make plans to reopen — safely — with no playbook. We’ve seen earnest efforts and investments into new technology in hopes of ensuring the safety of employees and customers. One tech “solution” proposed has been thermal cameras, advertised as “out-of-the-box” fever detectors. As your security experts, we want to step in and clear the air.

The advertisement claims these cameras can be used to get an early detection of someone’s skin temperature within .9 degrees Fahrenheit or better. This should allow for an early response and intervention of someone potentially with a fever at entry points of a business to stop and investigate further, thus helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace . . . right?

It’s just not that simple.

Used and deployed correctly, thermal imaging cameras can fully compliment a security solution. They are able to detect something putting off body heat (skin temperature) from a great distance. If detailed images of a subject is not needed, or detailed images are being picked up from another camera on the system using IR or Pan/Tilt/Zoom technology, thermal cameras can tell those cameras where to point, or alert the business owner that something may be out-of-place.

Here’s the problem . . . To make such a claim about fever detection or to be sold as a medical device, these cameras would require a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance. This requires testing and screening. However, in an effort to not prevent consumers from something potentially helpful during a serious health crisis, the FDA has not enforced or cracked down on these claims, even though testing and screening has not been completed. This has lead to thermal cameras flying off the shelves as desperate business owners strive to do the right thing and protect their employees and customers, all while misinformation continues to spread.

But DOES it work? Let’s expand on the idea of someone entering a building, with the understanding that these cameras read skin temperature.

What is the temperature outside? The sun heats the body starting with the skin. Once someone has traversed the parking lot and stepped inside, how long must they “cool down” before you could even get an accurate read of skin temperature? Could a business practically function if a thermal camera, used by itself, had staff and customers stopped at the door, huddled together, waiting for their body temperature to regulate? Seems like it would make matters worse. Additionally, what activities increase temperatures? Pushing a stroller, jogging through the parking lot, carrying laptop bag and books . . . well, you get the picture.

We aren’t saying thermal cameras are wrong for this application. We just want to remind business owners that expectations should be managed when deploying them for this purpose. There is much to consider and many questions that need to be asked because each business has their own unique environment and security needs.

Technology in our industry changes rapidly, and we believe we will see an increased focus from our trusted manufactures on research and development as it relates to disease spreading, touchless technology and sanitation.

Our commitment to you is to keep you informed as we discover new technology and trends in our industry and to give you a to-the-point, honest review from security experts.

Erik Andress, Sales Manager, Atronic Alarms, Inc.Erik Andress
Sales Manager
Atronic Alarms, Inc.

Erik has spent the last decade in the security industry diving into both IT and physical security. He enjoys problem solving and learning about new technology as it becomes available. He enjoys listening to people and their individual needs and then designing a custom security solution. He’s a Kansas City native, married to his wife, Britney, and enjoys exercise, online gaming and content creation.

COVID-19 Scams

It is truly unfortunately that criminals take advantage of people during hard times. The unprecedented COVID-19 is no exception. Below is a list of COVID-19 Scams we have heard about over the last several months.

Stimulus Check Scams

First Option Bank sent out an email with the following IRS scams:

“Offer early access to payment. Many people have received their stimulus checks, but there is no exact timeline for when eligible consumers will receive economic impact payments. Anyone who promises early or fast payment in exchange for personal information is most likely a scammer.

Use suspicious phrases. The IRS has stated that the official term for payments is “economic impact payment.” If you receive any correspondence using the phrases “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment,” it may be a clue that a fraudster trying to take your cash.

Send “phishy” emails or texts. Government agencies will never correspond through email or text message. If you receive a message with a link asking you to register online in order to receive your economic impact payment, you are most likely being scammed. Do not click on the link.

Make bogus phone calls and texts asking for personal information. Consumers do not need to take any action to receive their economic impact payment. If you receive a phone call or text from someone claiming to be from your bank or a government agency asking to verify your personal information, hang up immediately and call your bank or report it to the IRS.

Mail a phony check. Some scammers will send out fake checks—with either the correct or incorrect economic impact payment amount—and require the recipient to verify personal information in order to cash it. The only mail correspondence you should receive will come from the IRS in the form of a letter with information on how the economic impact payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.”

Social Media Scams

LinkedIn has recently been hacked by scammers who use your personal account to send out an email to everyone on your LinkedIn address. The email simply says, “Hi, hope you are doing well” and then provides a link for you to open to “apply” for a job opportunity. Don’t open the link. Let the person know you received the message and change your password.

Be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19. Don’t open any links sent to you in any form until you verify it with the sender.

Other Common Scams

Phishing and supply scams. Scammers impersonate health organizations and businesses to gather personal and financial information or sell fake test kits, supplies, vaccines or cures for the COVID-19.

Charity scams. Fraudsters seek donations for illegitimate or non-existent organizations.

Malware scams. Delivery of malware through “virus-tracking apps” or sensationalized news reports.

Provider scams. Scammers impersonate doctors and hospital staff and contact victim claiming to have treated a relative or friend for COVID-19 and demand payment for treatment.

Bank/FDIC scams: Scammers impersonate FDIC or bank employees and falsely claim that banks are limiting access to deposits or that there are security issues with bank deposits.

Investment scams. These are often styled as “research reports” and claim that products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19.

Phone Number Spoofs

Scammers can spoof phone numbers, meaning their caller id can masquerade as someone else . . . like a local number. The caller ID could also look as it were coming from your bank or friend. If you receive a call from anyone asking for sensitive information, please do NOT provide it to them.

In Summary about COVID-19 Scams

Keep confidential information confidential. Never provide information over the phone, through text, through email, or through social media.

If someone calls you, texts you, emails you or sends you a link through messenger or other social media. Don’t click on it.

Criminals are savvy. They know exactly how to appeal to our emotions amid uncertain times. If you have ANY doubt, don’t respond. Then contact the person, institution, organization or business who you think was trying to call you.

Resources:
First Option Bank
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/covid-19-scam-reports-numbers
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

Atronic Alarms is Considered an Essential Business

At Atronic Alarms, protecting your homes, businesses, employees, family and assets is our highest priority.

Since we are considered an essential business, we are operating at full capacity with service, installation and monitoring for your security and life safety systems and will remain open.

We will continue to provide uninterrupted customer service and support during these times.

In response to the impact COVID-19 is having on our country and community, and to comply with the Stay-At-Home mandates that are taking place, we have taken essential steps to ensure the safety of our employees, partners and our clients. These include:

  • Providing our service and installation coordinators, office personal, programmers, IT team and leadership team an environment to work remotely, thus reducing the amount of person-to-person contact in our office.
  • Limiting the amount of hours our warehouse is open, and coordinating the technicians to receive parts in shifts to reduce the amount of personnel in the building at one time.
  • Restricting all non-essential travel.
  • Restricting visitors to our office.
  • Maintaining essential cleaning supplies and continuing to have clean and sanitary work environment.

Recently, we have implemented Zoom video conferencing (#MeetHappy) for our employees to continue to collaborate with each other to provide the best customer service, as well as to maintain new and existing projects with our customers and partners.

Please know that we are still available by phone, email or through ZOOM video conferencing.

Sincerely,
The Atronic Alarms Family

Be Sure. Be Secure.

Atronic Alarms Breaking News

Thieves Target Air Conditioning Units in Kansas City

August 23, 2019
Fox 4 News Report
Reporter:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City police say they’re dealing with a jump in calls about missing air conditioners.

In recent weeks, the crooks have been targeting the Plaza and Midtown neighborhoods.

One homeowner captured the bold theft on surveillance camera. See the footage in the video player on the Fox 4 News Website.

“He pulled up in a gold colored Lincoln Continental. We looked at the footage and was like, ‘There’s no way he’s going to drive away with an A/C unit,”‘ Clinton Megee said.

For Megee, who works at Atronic Alarms, he had to see it to believe it.

Just days after installing new security cameras at a client’s home, he returned to review the footage.

“He backed into the neighbors driveway. The car disappeared for a little bit. When he pulled away, the A/C unit was leaning up in the backseat, trunk of his car. And it was a brand new, about $8,000 air conditioning unit that was gone,” Megee said.

Police are looking for the suspect.

It’s a crime that takes only a matter of minutes, but costing homeowners thousands of dollars to repair and replace.

Local HVAC experts said getting a protective cage or chain for the unit is something you may want to consider.

“The thieves themselves come through at night, and it takes about 10 seconds to steal a unit. So they are stealing them multiple times, not just stealing it once. But the customer will get it replaced, and they’ll steal it again,” said LC Lomax, director of operations for CCI Securities.

In the last two weeks, Lomax said he’s installed at least a dozen cages on Jefferson Avenue neighborhood, located near the Plaza.

It’s an area he said has been hit countless times by the crooks.

He said for about $400, his company can protect air conditioning units, worth more than $4,000, from being stolen.

Note: Report from Fox 4 News Website. 

Back-to-School Safety Tips

Back-to-School Safety Tips for the 2019-2020 School Year
with Atronic Alarms, Inc.

At dusk, the lulling sound of cicadas signal that summer is ending. It also signals that school is starting, and a panic is rising in all of us who have younger children or grandchildren. We’re not ready. We’re not ready for the early morning hectic schedule, the parent meetings, the lunches, the agonizing nights of homework . . .

Continue reading

One Household Escapes Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Due to Atronic’s Quick Response

In June, Atronic’s service coordinator received a call from a homeowner saying our monitoring station notified him about an alarm triggered by a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector. 

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane, burn incompletely. Called the “silent killer” because you can’t see or smell it, CO enters the body through breathing. CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning and other illnesses.

During the phone call with our service coordinator, the homeowner mentioned an HVAC service technician replacing his HVAC unit that day who possibly created an “accidental false alarm” because of the “chemicals” used onsite during the process.

However, since the CO detector is a life-saving device, like smoke detectors, our service coordinator immediately sent out a technician to service his system.

With more investigating from our technician, who noticed both CO detectors were in good working order, he urged the homeowner to contact the fire department even though neither one of them felt ill or sleepy.

Upon the fire department’s arrival, the fireman’s hand-held Carbon Monoxide Detector went into alarm immediately. Everyone exited the premises, and later that evening we checked back with the homeowner to assure his safety. 

We are proud of the Consolidated Fire District #2 and to our team who worked together, responded quickly and possibly saved a life. 

Read more about Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and how you can add a detector to your existing security system without additional monitoring costs.