Celebrate our 50th Anniversary with us!

Fifty years ago, in 1969, our founder, Dr. William Standring, “Doc”, opened Sonitrol of Evansville to help police reduce false alarms and to increase criminal apprehensions. Since then, our location has played an essential role in achieving Sonitrol corporate’s apprehension rate of over 180,140 criminals and counting. What began as one man’s vision of helping police catch criminals has grown into a trusted family of people who value each other, their clients, and their community. We couldn’t have achieved this milestone without the continued support of our customers, fire department, and law enforcement officers alike, which is why we’d like to invite you all to celebrate with us.
We would love to see you on Friday, September 13, 2019 between 11a.m.-2p.m. for our 50thAnniversary Open House. In addition to serving delicious barbecue and sides from our local favorite, Miller’s BBQ Catering, we will be giving tours of our Central Station, the heart of Sonitrol, where our operators work 24 hours a day to monitor our customers’ verified alarms. With the Central Station tour, you will find out how operators listen to live audio feed to determine whether or not to dispatch police. Join us for free barbecue, take a tour of our operation, and celebrate with us. We are excited for the next fifty years to come!

You’re invited!
When: Friday, September 13, 2019
Time: 11a.m.-2p.m.
Where: Sonitrol of Evansville
208 NW Third Street
Evansville, IN 47708

Call us with any questions: (800) 444-1191 or email: info@sonitrolev.com

50th Anniversary flyer

The Three a.m. Wake-up Call

It’s three a.m. You are sound asleep, dreaming about that beach vacation you’re planning. Your toes are in the sand, the waves are gently lapping against the shore, when all of a sudden, an earthquake hits! Wait, it’s not an earthquake. It’s your cellphone buzzing across your nightstand. Why is my phone ringing at three a.m.? I was having the best dream!

No one wants to get that call. If you are a Sonitrol customer, you could be on the receiving end of one of those calls from our Central Station operators. Why? Has there been a break-in at your business? Maybe not. Often times, it’s not your usual suspect. A criminal hasn’t triggered the alarm at your facility. The culprit? An unsecured door, blown open by a summer storm or a gust of wind. Yep. A door.

But doors are great, right? They help protect the people who should be there and keep the noise, weather, unauthorized people, and zombies out. And with a Sonitrol security system at your business or residence, you’ve really added protection to your property, valuables, and loved ones. We’ve installed door contacts so that when your system is armed and a door is opened, our monitoring team will dispatch police.

How do the door contacts work?

A door contact has two components. First, there is the switch part that is attached to the doorframe. It can be wirelessly powered with a battery or wired directly to the security panel. The second part of the contact is a magnet. The two components need to meet up when the door is closed to let the control panel know that the door is shut. The standard allowable gap between the contact and magnet before it goes into alarm is ¾ of an inch. Once the magnet is farther than ¾ of an inch, the alarm point is considered open, and if the system is armed, our operators will be notified.

So how could a door cause a false alarm?

Sometimes, buildings settle, doors become misaligned, screws in hinges become loose, and doors and doorframes swell and shrink with changing seasons. It may sound as unlikely as a zombie knocking down your door, but it’s a common cause of false alarms.

So, what can you do?

  • Make sure all of your doors close properly. Can you pull the door open without turning the doorknob? Is there play in the door? When you pull on the handle, is it tight? Or does it wiggle and move?
  • Check the door hinges. The hinges should be checked to make sure screws have not loosened and the strike plate on the frame is installed properly and not damaged. Make sure the latch on the door is contacting the strike plate on the doorframe.
  • Check the door contact on occasion. Over time, the contact and the magnet can become misaligned or components can become damaged. Are both components of the door contact mounted properly and meeting when the door is closed?

Checking to make sure your doors are closed and secure and fixing older doors will help ensure that your building is protected when you arm the security system. It can increase police safety, too. Police safety? You bet. Avoiding these false alarms keeps our police from rushing across town when it isn’t necessary. On a windy night, or when a summer storm might be rolling in, that extra few minutes to check your doors could help make sure you enjoy those beach vacation dreams and don’t get a three a.m. wake-up call!

peaceful sleep

Protect your business day or night!

Often times, when people think of business security systems, they only consider how an alarm will protect their location after hours. But let’s look at how a verified alarm system, specifically, Sonitrol’s TotalGuard™ alarm, can offer your company, or even your school, protection during your daytime business hours.

You may be wondering…What is TotalGuard™? This is an ALL-IN-ONE intrusion detection solution that includes impact-activated audio, glass break analytics, motion detection and video verification. The TotalGuard™ system has wireless connectivity and complete volumetric intrusion detection. Once armed, which can be done via your Sonitrol Mobile app, the alarm works around the clock to protect your business.

So how can it help you during daytime business hours when it isn’t even armed? When a TotalGuard™ alarm is paired with our unique panic button, our Central Station operators will have instant access to live video and audio feed the moment you press your panic button. A variety of business settings might have need for this sort of set-up, such as gas stations, banks, fast food restaurants, and convenience stores. Here are a few scenarios where this could benefit your company during regular business hours:

  • Unruly individuals. From customers losing tempers to belligerent individuals acting aggressively to your cashier or staff at a gas station or small business shop, in the security business, we’ve seen it all. Sometimes, employees find themselves in a situation that has intensified in an instant, and for the safety of customers and themselves, they need the police there right away. Once they press the panic button, our Central Station operators will see live video and hear live audio feed from the TotalGuard™ system, while simultaneously dispatching police. Our team will give the police details as to what is happening in your business.
  • Active threats. Gas stations, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, jewelry stores, pawn shops, and banks jump to mind as potential targets for hold-ups or active threats. While we hope it never happens, being prepared with a TotalGuard™ alarm and panic button could save lives by providing responding law enforcement with critical information. In the terrible event of a hold-up, a bank teller, for example, can press the panic button and instantly activate our TotalGuard™ camera to allow our operators to relay real time information with live video and audio feed to police as they race to the scene.
  • School threats. By adding a TotalGuard™ camera and panic button to your school office, your front desk staff can alert us the moment something goes wrong, with the press of a button. The instant your school panic button is pressed our Central Station operators will notify police while seeing, recording, and sharing real-time details with law enforcement. This extra level of security can help police secure your campus and protect your students and staff during any school threat.

TotalGuard™ is an affordable camera alarm solution, turned on and off from your Sonitrol Mobile app. Not only will TotalGuard™ provide all-inclusive verified protection for your business after hours, paired with our panic button, it gives you dependable emergency assistance for your employees, customers, students, and company when you’re open for business. For a free consultation with our security professionals and to hear about our zero-down TotalGuard™ installation special, contact us at (800) 444-1191.

 

TG STRIP MALL

National Police Week – Thank You!

It’s National Police Week, and we would like to say thank you to our men and women in blue for your dedication to serve and protect our communities. Sonitrol has been a proud supporter of police since our founding in the early 1960s. In fact, our story began with the partnership of an inventor and a police officer. Over fifty years ago, an Indiana innovator by the name of Robert Baxter teamed up with a fellow Hoosier and local police officer, Al Cronk. Using Baxter’s latest invention, the audio sensor, the pair created a security company that could reduce false alarms for police and increase criminal apprehensions.

This partnership had incredible results:

  1. We reduce false alarms for police. Conventional alarms have up to a 98% false alarm rate because, unlike Sonitrol, they can’t verify that a break-in is actually occurring. While the conventional systems rely on door and window contacts alone to detect intrusion, Sonitrol also uses highly sensitive audio sensors that can detect abnormal sounds in and around your building. With our patented audio intrusion detection, our 24/7 on-call operators begin listening the instant an intruder is attempting to enter a facility and can determine if a crime is occurring. We don’t have to waste the time of local police by sending them to investigate every time the air conditioning kicks on and causes a curtain or the blinds to rustle and trips a motion detector like other alarms. We only dispatch police in the event of a real break-in.
  2. We have a high apprehension rate. Unlike traditional alarm companies, when a burglar actually breaks-in through a window, rooftop access, or door, our alarm is silent, so the criminal won’t even realize we have dispatched police and that they are on the way. Sonitrol has assisted law enforcement in apprehending over 179,698 criminals to date.
  3. Our system creates increased safety for police. Because our system is verified, we won’t dispatch the police unless we are sure there is a real break-in. Other alarm companies notify the police for countless false alarms due to their inability to verify alarms, and this sends police racing across town at high speeds, putting them in danger, for absolutely no reason. Also, when a real break-in is occurring, our operators listen to every second of audio and even watch live feed if video verification has been installed, and in turn, they relay critical details to the police who are being dispatched. Providing the police with this essential information better prepares them for what they can expect as they head to the scene of the break-in.
  4. We are a proud supporter of our local law enforcement. We are so thankful for being able to participate in local police fundraisers and events, from the EPD Foundation SWAT Challenge to the EPD Foundation Policeman’s Ball. We are especially fond of our K-9 Officer, Doc, who we donated to the EPD in 2016. He is even named after Sonitrol of Evansville’s own founder, “Doc”, Dr. William Standring. K-9 Doc has already assisted his trainer, EPD Sergeant John Montgomery, in apprehending criminals!

National Police Week_May 11-17 2019

National Police Week May 11-17, 2019

Our unique history aside, Sonitrol looks forward to the future, and we can’t wait to see how our relationship with law enforcement continues to grow. We wouldn’t be here today without police, and we are so thankful for all they sacrifice to make our communities safe. If you see a police officer, be sure to thank them. From all of us at Sonitrol, thank you to our police for your service!

 

 

Give me the best security system price…

One of the first questions many people ask a security provider is “How much does it cost?” To answer this simple question, let me explain some general guidelines for pricing a security system.

dollar-home-questionInvesting in a security system is much like purchasing a new car. Depending on what you want, the price can change dramatically. You can purchase a new basic model Chevy Silverado for $25,000.  Now add the comfortable options, such as power windows, air conditioning, MP3 player capabilities, heated seats, leather interior and built-in navigation and the price can quickly reach $40,000. Why would someone invest in these additional options considering they may sell or trade the vehicle in 5 years?  Americans spend an average of 2 and 1/2 hours a day in their car, and they want to enjoy this time. They understand that they are making an investment and they don’t want to regret their decision down the road. Likewise, you are making an investment on keeping the things you value secure. A security system should be built to not only be accommodating to the user, but do the job in the worst case scenario. Unfortunately, many people just focus on the price per month. They want the cheapest, quickest system possible, sacrificing quality equipment, quick system communication to authorities and great customer service if these problems arise. There really is no such thing as a cookie cutter price if you are truly interested in a system that works. You need the best security system!

Now let’s look at some security system options that you may want to investigate before you purchase a system:

Choose the way you want your system to communicate

    1. IP – Also know as internet protocol. If you have high speed internet this method is for you. It eliminates the need for a phone line. Communications are automatically tested every 15 – 30 minutes to ensure an alarm will be properly received.
    2. Cellular – Also known as cell. If you have a cell signal where you want to install your system, this is another excellent way to communicate alarms. You can’t cut a cell phone line.  If you go with IP or dial-up, a cell backup is an excellent option to ensure alarms have back-up communication.
    3. Dial-up – If you do not have internet or cell signal in your area, you will need a dial-up panel. Make sure you get one that sends a test signal once a day to your central station.  Otherwise, you risk not having your system communicate until your provider’s next test which could be up to 30 days.

Keys or no keys – access

All systems today, from a simple home system to a complex office building can take advantage of this option. Users are provided with key fobs, similar to the one pictured here. You can use these fobs to open your home or business. You can arm and disarm your system in one small wave. You can also have them scheduled to only disarm the system at certain times. So if you have a business that doesn’t require your employees to be there after business hours, or you just want to keep your teenagers honest, these fobs are an excellent idea for you.

Cameras

Cameras have played an important part in our society in the last few years. From catching the suspected Boston Marathon bombers to busting the teenage party while mom and dad were away, cameras are becoming a popular security option. And with recent technological advances, a person can view live footage from their computer, laptop or smartphone. Investing in a good quality camera, with a great warranty versus the cheap warehouse store version can save you money, time and hassle down the road.

Water and Fire

Along with security, cameras, and key fobs, many companies also offer fully integrated systems that allow you to add fire and water monitoring to your business and home protection. While you may not want these options now, check to see that the system you are installing will support your complete wish list if you decide you want to add them later.

Whether you are installing a system in your home or business, you can not put a dollar amount on true peace of mind.

If we can answer questions about our systems, please feel free to contact us.

NO PROPERTY LOSS for a Sonitrol of Evansville customer

Sonitrol of Evansville would like to thank the K-9 unit of the Evansville police department.



This sweeping new technology, is monitored by our local central station in Evansville, IN. Endorsed by the National Sheriff’s Association, a Videofied system can help increase police response time. How? Because our operators can verify a crime in progress. Whether you need to secure an indoor warehouse or an outdoor car lot, this system is capable of handling multiple applications.  Why invest in conventional motion detectors, when this system can actually put eyes in the building for law enforcement? And now, with new lower pricing, this system is comparable to the standard unverified systems. Call now for a free assessment of your property.

3 ways your security system will talk; is your provider listening?

intrusion_front Let’s face it; communication is important! Have you ever been on a very important call, just to have your cell phone drop the call? Aggravating isn’t it? Having a security system with the wrong source of communication, can be not only aggravating but scary.

Peace of mind is very important. The main reason to invest in a security system is to protect the things you value: your family, employees and assets. There are so many options on the internet that can sound simple, but in fact are unreliable. One of these “simple” options, is how YOUR security system will communicate with the monitoring station. So, let’s break down the forms of communication to find the one that best fits your circumstances.

HOW?

There are 3 ways a security system communicates:

1.  Telephone line

– your security system communicates with a central station through a land line. Since the beginning of the security system, this has been the most common form of communication.

CON – As people become more dependent on cell phones for communication, land lines are becoming an unnecessary cost in the household. However, if you already have a security system, discontinuing your land line will cut communications with your central station. Call your provider to see what options they have for you. The cost to convert, may be less expensive than continuing your phone line.

2.  Cellular communication

– your security system communicates using cellular towers in the area.

CON – Cellular communication is only as good as the cell phone service in your area. If service is bad in your area, this option is not for you.

3. High speed internet

– your security system communicates using your high speed internet. Most people have internet at their house. This form of communication uses very little bandwidth so it will not interfere with the speed of your internet surfing. It also communicates faster and more regularly with your central station.

CON – If your internet provider likes to continuously test your service, at 2 am in the morning, your system is going to notify you that there is a problem with communication at that time, every time.

Can there be a lapse in any of these communication? Yes. Your phone line can go down, cellular communications can be dropped, and there is the “ever-bothersome” loss of internet service for some unknown reason. Without one of these forms of communication, your security system will not send an alarm to notify the central station. And, if the lines of communication are disabled, your provider will not know it until they send a test.

But a good provider will not leave you without options. First, a proper functioning security system will alert you on your keypad if there is a break in communications! Next, a provider serious about keeping you safe will test their lines of communication a minimum of every 24 hours. High speed internet communications can send a test every 5 to 15 minutes. If the test comes back as a failure in communications, your provider should be contacting you to resolve the issue immediately.

Burglars Beware:  We have back up!

To minimize any lapse in communication, consider having a back-up line for your system. For instance, if you choose to use your high speed internet, and it goes down, your system can switch to a cellular communication to transmit any alarms.

Perhaps the most important aspect of all these communications, is <insert drumroll here>your provider. Because, let’s be honest, “you get what you pay for”! Let me share a story to illustrate my point:

old ladyWe received a call from a wonderful lady who is now one of our awesome customers. When she first called in, she had been having problems with a system that she had with another provider.  When she dialed the providers number to get the problem fixed, the phone number had been disconnected. She went online and found, that her provider was no longer in business. Since her system was no longer working, she called us in, we took out the old non-working system and replaced it with a new system. Three months later, she receives a call from another company stating that they were trying to collect on a bill for her security system. This “new” company stated that they took over the old company and she was three months behind on her payment to them. My question to them was:  Why was this the first call she received from them, and I don’t mean for collections? We took out a non-working system three months before they ever contacted her about her bill!!!

A provider that takes the time to program these communication tests, seperate the companies that call themselves security providers from those that actually provide security. Remember, the best security system isn’t just the devices!

Cry Wolf! Security solutions to help assist law enforcement

While researching false alarm statistics, I ran across the most descriptive website I have seen in awhile:

 

If live you live in Charlotte, North Carolina and you receive a fine for a false alarm, go to this website to pay your fine: https://www.crywolf.us/oss/charlottenc/Default.aspx

Cry wolf. How apropos!

No one wants to delay law enforcement from responding to an actual emergency! False alarms waste valuable time and the resources of law enforcement. So, to combat the cost of responding to false alarms, some municipalities have implemented new fines. These fines can cost alarm users thousands of dollars. If you live in Fairfax Co. VA, your fine can cost up to $3000.00.

In some states law enforcement have taken another step to combat these alarms: Enhanced verification. This requires the monitoring station to verify either visually or audibly that there is a crime in progress. According to some numbers, enhanced verification has reduced false alarm response by up to 70%.

If law enforcement is not going to respond unless someone goes to your business and sees someone burglarizing it, why bother?

VERIFIED AUDIO AND VIDEO TECHNOLOGY – SECURITY SOLUTIONS FOR FALSE ALARMS

Verified audio and video is becoming the sweeping new technology because this type of system, puts “eyes” or “ears” in your building when it is armed. Have you ever heard a break-in? Listen below to an actual apprehension and arrest:

This is more than an alarm. It’s valuable information that is relayed by central station operators to responding law enforcement. Listen again as the burglars call each other by name, describe what they find, and give each other “burglar tips”. At 2 minutes and 1 second, you hear the panicked voices as they see the police outside. At 2 minutes and 10 seconds, you hear them discussing hiding in the attic. At 2 minutes and 35 seconds, you hear police go directly to where they are hiding and order them down!

Do you want a system that is not only endorsed, but utilized by law enforcement in our area to secure their property? Try a verified video system, or Videofied. Publicly endorsed by the National Sheriff’s Associations system uses cameras fit with motion detectors that are monitored by a central station. This type of verification, puts eyes in and on your building to not only view details that help law enforcement apprehend an intruder, but provides footage to use in criminal cases.

Another advantage to a verified security system is better police response time. Police know when they receive a verified alarm, that there is an unauthorized person at your property. Therefore, you receive a higher priority than a non-verified alarm.

Nothing will prevent a burglary! But catching a criminal before he leaves with your property, can prevent additional loss.

Are you a verified alarm user? How has this service helped you? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Interested in a verified system?