Welcome to the Protection Plus Security Services, Inc. blog! This blog has been started in an effort to educate and inform. It is meant to cover a broad range of security system related topics. We hope you enjoy the topics presented and we welcome any feedback.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

High Defitnition Video System for Small Business or Residential

So my wife has been asking for years to install a video surveillance system at our house.  Although we live in a very good neighborhood in San Jose, California we still get silly and not so silly things happening on our street.  Mostly someone checking car doors to see if they are open then rummaging through the vehicle looking for things of value.  Although the other day my daughter reported that shortly after our mailman delivered our mail a woman dressed similar to our mailman approached the house and went through our mailbox.

I decided to installed an analog video system at the house; mainly because we had the recorder and cameras here in the shop.   I should have known better.  The 480 TV lines of resolution produced by this system were just not enough.  It was like looking through a fish bowl and trying to make things out.  Having installed many high definition video systems and seen the quality of images available with these systems I was not satisfied with the analog system.  About a month later I decided to install a high definition 1080p system at the house. 

Having recently discovered a cost effective coaxial based high definition system produced by LTS I decided to remove the analog system and replace it with this HD system.  What a difference!   The images are crystal clear.  There is no doubt about the activities around my home.  The night time view is equally as impressive -  providing a crystal clear black & white image.

 We are now making this system available to our commercial and residential customers. 

4 Camera, 1080p, Complete Video Surveillance System installed starting at $2,500.

8 Camera, 1080p, complete video surveillance system installed starting at $4,500.

16 Camera, 1080p, complete video surveillance system installed starting at $8,100. 

If you are in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and would like to receive a firm estimate for your application please contact me at 510-770-9900 or patrick@protectionplussecurity.com

Friday, August 15, 2014

License Plate Recognition

I get asked about license plate recognition all the time.  With the newer high definition megapixel network cameras it has become easier to achieve.  It is all about pixels per foot.  The more pixels on the object the more likely you are to capture a license plate. 
A minimum of 45 pixels per foot are required to be able to capture a license plate.  This is measured in the horizontal field of view.  Meaning the correct camera and lens combination is required to capture a license plate. 


These pictures are captured with an Arecont 5 megapixel day night camera which is recorded to an exacqVision network video recorder. 

We at Protection Plus Security Services are experts in video surveillance systems and have installed numerous high definition video surveillance systems for our customers.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Buyer’s Guide for Commercial Intrusion (Burglar) Alarm Systems: Part 3 Special Purpose Detectors

This is the third blog in a series of blogs to provide a comprehensive guide to designing and selecting the intrusion alarm system that is right for your organization. In this blog we will discuss some specific detectors for unique and special purpose applications that can be connected to your alarm system.
ProTech Piramid Outdoor Motion Detector

The Piramid dual technology outdoor motion detector is designed to provide intruder detection for yards and outdoor areas. This highly adjustable dual technology unit utilizes stereo doppler microwave detection with dual element infrared detection requiring both movement and heat in order to produce an alarm condition. It is designed for outdoor applications and adjusts to the normal changes in heat, vibrations, and moving elements (such as the wind blowing). The unit has ten different adjustment settings allowing to adjust the sensitivity of the microwave and infrared detectors, as well as adjustments for bird and small animal immunity.

Protection Plus has deployed these units for monitoring service yards. This is more cost effective then deploying a photoelectric beam system and allows for a large area of coverage.

The Protech Outdoor Motion Detector datasheet can be downloaded from our website at this link:  http://www.protectionplussecurity.com/Blog/blog.htm

Honeywell IntelliSense Temperature Sensor

The Honeywell IntelliTemp temperature sensor can provide alarm conditions for both temperature too high and temperature too low.  It provides a digital display of the current temperature.  It is accurate to +/- 2 degrees Farenheit.  The local unit will monitor temperatures from 32 to140 degrees Farenheit.  The remote prob allows for monitoring in the range of -40 to 140 degrees Farenheit.

Protection Plus has deployed these units in computer rooms, greenhouses, and other temperature sensitive areas. 

The Honeywell IntelliSense IntelliTemp product datasheet can be downloaded at this link: http://www.protectionplussecurity.com/Blog/blog.htm

Winland Waterbug Moisture Detection System

The Winland Waterbug moisture detection system is designed to detect the presence of water.  This unit connects to the alarm system and provides an environmental alarm when water is detected in an area.  The unit allows for the connection of up to six probes located up to 100 feet from the base unit. 

Protection Plus has deployed these units in elevator shafts, water drainage areas, sunken patios, office areas, any area where water damage is a concern. 

The Winland Waterbug product datasheet can be downloaded at this link:  http://www.protectionplussecurity.com/Blog/blog.htm

Kouba Local Door Alarm - Integrated Alarm and Access Control Systems  

The Kouba Local Door Alarm is designed to monitor the status of a door when the alarm system is integrated with the access control system.  See my previous blog for more information on integrating your alarm system with your access control (card entry) system at this link:

The local door alarm monitors the door status for prop open and forced open conditions.  This unit sounds an intermittent warning horn if the door should be propped open, allowing personnel the opportunity to shut the door before the unit goes into alarm.   If the door is shut it resets, if not it triggers an alarm condition, sounds a constant audible tone, and will trigger the building alarm system if active. 

This unit interfaces with access controlled doors allowing authorized entry without triggering an alarm condition.  Likewise it allows free exit without triggering an alarm.  This unit is essential to the successful deployment of a perimeter alarm system integrated with the access control system. 

Without these local door alarm in place employee generated alarms will occur on a routine and regular basis since there is no warning prior to the alarm occurring, especially on doors that may not close all the time.

Protection Plus has deployed hundreds of these units, saving our customers countless dollars in fines from false alarm fees imposed by the responding police departments.

The Kouba Local Door Alarm product datasheet can be downloaded at this link:


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Your Security System Holiday Checklist

With Christmas and New Year’s quickly approaching have you thought about your security system setup?

You will want to make sure company shut down days are designated as holidays in your security system programming, so as to avoid doors unlocking on your access control system or your intrusion alarm system disarming (for those systems programmed to automatically arm and disarm based on a schedule).

Protection Plus Security Services, Inc. customers:

Access Control System: You can program your holiday schedules directly via the access control system software. If you have any questions regarding this please contact our office.

Intrusion Alarm System: For our scheduled alarm system customers please provide our office with an updated holiday list if this has changed from the dates provided earlier this year. We will update the holiday schedule in your alarm panel at no charge as part of our service.

Alarm System Notification: Will your responsible party (call list) personnel be in town to respond to alarm calls or are they travelling for the holidays?

You may want to check with your responsible party personnel as to their holiday plans and if necessary update your Responsible Party list.

You can download the alarm system update forms from our website. Here is the link for the Control Center update form and the Alarm Panel update form: http://www.protectionplussecurity.com/support/PPSS_support.htm

Have a wonderful holiday season!

We at Protection Plus Security Services, Inc. look forward to serving you in 2011!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Community Policing to the Next Level

The City of San Jose has been recognized for years as being one of the safest cities in the nation yet with that stated in 2009 it reported over 3,400 violent crimes and nearly 28,000 property crimes. All would agree that anything we can do to help reduce these numbers will further help our community.

CrimeReports.com an online crime reporting website provides information on police activity, calls for service from both citizens and police officers, as well as the location of registered sex offenders. The San Jose Police Department is one of more than a dozen police departments nationwide that provides Computer Aided Dispatch information directly to CrimeReports.com for mapping and analysis. SJPD has been working with CrimeReports.com since 2007. The CrimeReports.com website allows the citizens of San Jose to view police activity in their neighborhood; everything from traffic violations, assaults, homicides, domestic abuse, to the identification and location of the nearest registered sexual offender.

This year CrimeReports.com released its Neighborhood Central application. Neighborhood Central incorporates social networking into its website with tight integration with Facebook and Twitter. Allowing Facebook users the ability to share, link, and discuss criminal activities in their neighborhood. Neighborhood Central helps creates a virtual neighborhood watch group.

One of the interesting features available with CrimeReports.com Neighborhood Central software is the ability for individuals to identify any public facing video surveillance cameras they may have deployed at their homes or businesses. This information could be of real value to SJPD when investigating crimes or suspicious activities.

Video surveillance systems are an integral part of most business security measures and have become more and more common place for residential applications. Since these system are not public systems they are typically not known to the police department; providing this information could make for a powerful tool.

For more information check out the following websites:



Monday, September 13, 2010

Buyer’s Guide for Commercial Intrusion (Burglar) Alarm Systems: Part 2 Detection Devices

This is the second blog in a series of blogs to provide a comprehensive guide to designing and selecting the intrusion alarm system that is right for your organization. I have tried to keep this as brand generic as possible. This blog will cover the most common type of detectors that are typically used for an intrusion alarm system.

There are many different types of detectors that can be used with an intrusion alarm system. This blog we will concentrate the discussion on the most common type of detectors used with most systems today; door and window contacts, motion detectors, and glassbreaks detectors.

Door and Window Contacts

Recessed Door Contact
These devices are the first line of defense. When protecting your building all the accessible openings should be contacted. There are a number of different manufacturer’s producing contacts. These units are a magnetic contact and when the door or window is opened an alarm is triggered. They produce contacts that are recessed mounted or surface mounted. They make contacts that are designed for monitoring man doors, rollup doors, windows, roof hatches, safe doors, just about any opening you can think of can be contacted. For high security applications they make biased contact switches that are very difficult to defeat.

Rollup Door Contact

Surface Mount Contact

These devices are typically programmed as either a perimeter point or an entry exit point. When programmed as a perimeter point anytime the door or window is opened with the alarm system active an alarm will be generated immediately. When programmed as an entry exit point a delay is provided to allow for entry in or exit out of the door for disarming or arming purposes.

Glassbreak Detectors

When using glassbreak sensors to protect an occupied building it is very important you select a glassbreak detector proven for this application. Not all detectors are equal. The wrong detector will provide ongoing alarm issues.

Glassbreak detectors are used to provide perimeter protection of a building. They detect an intruder the moment glass is broken. These units are designed to sense the breaking of glass and to trigger an alarm condition. For the majority of applications an acoustic glassbreak sensor is what is mostly used today. These sensors listen for the high frequency of breaking glass and trigger an alarm.

ShatterPro II 5812AW
There are two types of units we typically recommend. For quiet spaces we will use an acoustic sensor such as the GE Security / Sentrol 5812AW (ShatterPro II). This unit can be wall or ceiling mounted and provides up to a 25’ radius of detection. This unit can detect through blinds and light drapes.

ShatterPro Plus
For louder areas (break rooms, entry doors, etc.) we will use the GE Security / Sentrol 5885 (ShatterPro Plus) unit. This dual technology unit is equipped with the acoustical glassbreak sensor as well as an infrared detector. It is designed and rated for occupied space. This unit works as an acoustical glassbreak detector except when it senses the interior presence (infrared detector) of a person then it shunts the glassbreak sensor thus avoiding any interior generated alarms.

We have successfully deployed thousands of these units for the Integrated Perimeter Alarm System as I defined it in Part 1 of this discussion.

The glassbreak detectors are typically programmed as a perimeter point; anytime these units sense glass breaking they go into alarm.

Motion Detectors

Choose your motion detector carefully; quality and reliability do matter. A cheap inexpensive passive infrared detector has a greater likelihood of creating false alarms than does a more expensive dual technology detector.

There are two major classes of motion detectors; the passive infrared detector and the dual technology detector.

The passive infrared looks for a change in heat (infrared) within the field of the detector. The dual technology detector looks for motion (microwave) and heat (infrared) both must be present in order to trigger an alarm condition.

Dual Technology
Motion Detector
These detectors are designed for a specific coverage pattern. Make sure the coverage pattern is adequate for the area you are trying to cover. Installing a 35’ x 30’ unit in a warehouse is not going to provide much coverage. Installing a 90’x70’ will provide much better coverage. Keep in mind that the coverage pattern is clear line of site. These units cannot provide the coverage if they are blocked.

These units are typically programmed at interior followers or perimeter points. An interior follow will allow for a delay if an entry exit delay is first present otherwise it goes straight into alarm. The perimeter detector goes straight into alarm.

Next blog we will discuss outdoor and environmental detectors.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Buyer’s Guide for Commercial Intrusion (Burglar) Alarm Systems: Part 1

This is the first of a series of blogs in an effort to provide a comprehensive guide to designing and selecting the intrusion alarm system that is right for your organization. I have tired to keep this as brand generic as possible. This blog will cover the conceptual part of designing your security system.

Intrusion alarm systems are the first line of defense for protecting your business and its assets, followed by an access control system and video surveillance system. The intrusion alarm system is typically the least expensive of these three systems.

The intrusion alarm system is designed to detect an intruder and alert the authorities.

How do you want the alarm system to function?

The answer to this question will vary depending on the size of your organization, the size of the facility you are trying to protect, the organization’s culture, operations, and areas of control.

The larger your organization the more likely you are to want this system to be as automated as possible with only a few individuals being responsible for the system.

For small organizations it is easy to assign an alarm code to every individual (or use a common alarm code for all) and train the employees on how to arm and disarm the intrusion alarm system. “First one in disarms the alarm system last one out arms the system.” The larger the organization the less likely the alarm system will be managed in this fashion.

If you have a large facility or if the layout to that facility is segmented this will impact how you want the system to function. The larger the facility or the more complex the layout the less likely an employee getting ready to leave at the end of the day is going to arm the intrusion alarm system. If an employee has to walk a 100,000 square foot facility to make sure no one is in it prior to activating the alarm system it is doubtful your average employee is going to do this; unless they are specifically tasked and responsible for doing this. They may activate the alarm without walking the facility, not realizing someone is still working in their office or they may just not worry about it at all leaving the business unprotected. Likewise if the layout of the building is very complex requiring them to scour the entire building prior to activating the alarm the less likely the alarm is going to be activated.

An organization’s culture plays a role in whether the system will be activated or not. Those organizations that recognize and understand the importance of the security system and making sure it is activated will get this done consistently. If there is accountability for not activating the system then it will get done. If it is viewed as just a good idea and no one enforces a policy of making sure it gets activated then it may or may not get done. I can tell you from personal experience I have seen companies spend thousands of dollars on an intrusion alarm system to not activate it once. This is not an isolated incident; I have seen this occur at several organizations. For these organizations the system is counter to their culture.

How does your organization operate? Do you have a very strict schedule or do employees come and go as dictated by their work load or projects they may be working on? Do you always have someone in the building? With most or our customer’s being located in the Silicon Valley we have seen it all and we have developed and adapted our security systems to provide the best coverage possible based on the different operational needs of our customers. This is some of the knowledge I wish to share with you in this series.

Are there areas of the facility you want to operate independent of each other? Most intrusion alarm systems control the entire building as one area or partition. However, there are applications in which you may want to control specific areas independent of the main building. Some examples are a high value area, cash room, network room, office area, shop, pharmacy, etc. It is possible to control multiple areas independently as separate systems.

Big Picture – Types of Systems

Standard Intrusion Alarm System – This system typically consists of keypads at the main entry points of the building for activating and deactivating the system. The alarm system is manually armed and disarmed by entering a code into the keypad. Disarm the system upon first entry; arm the system at the end of the day last one out. The system will consist typically of door contacts, motion detectors, glassbreak sensors, interior sirens and an outside bell.

Integrated Alarm System - This type of system integrates the intrusion alarm system with the access control system. This integration can take place several ways depending on the capabilities of the access control system.

  •  Integrated Perimeter Alarm System – This type of integration can apply to any access control system. It consists of protecting the perimeter of the building utilizing door contacts and glassbreak detectors. Installing local door alarms at the perimeter access controlled doors; allowing card holders to enter and exit through these doors after hours without having to arm and disarm the alarm system. Programming the alarm panel to automatically arm and disarm based on a schedule and supervising these armings and disarming via the monitoring station.

  • S2 Security - Alarm System Integration – This type of integration applies to the S2 Security access control system when integrated with the intrusion alarm system. With this integration the S2 Security system controls the arming and disarming of the alarm system. The system is armed based on a schedule and based on there being no faults on the alarm system. If the alarm system is faulted then the S2 Security system delays the arming for a programmed period of time and will activate the alarm system once the system is normal and ready to arm state. Disarm takes place when the first authorized person presents their access control to gain entry into the building – if the alarm system is armed it will disarm prior to letting the person into the building. 

This concludes the first part of this series. Next blog we will review and discuss the types of detectors that are available for these systems.