Take advantage of the NEW $1 million tax benefit by investing in security and life safety measures

Take advantage of the NEW $1 million tax benefit by investing in security and life safety measures

Are you eligible for $1million in tax deductions?

Businesses have been always been able to deduct business-related equipment placed in service, but security systems did not qualify – now they do. Beginning in 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act  allows qualifying businesses to deduct the full cost of new “Security and Fire Protections Systems,”up to $1 million. Prior to passage of the Act, companies had to be depreciate the system cost over a period of up to 39 years. The legislation was passed to encourage businesses that are considering capital investments in this critical area and promote industry investment.

https://www.securityindustry.org/report/guide-to-new-tax-incentives-for-security-and-fire-protection-systems/

The Security Industry Association (SIA) worked with industry groups to expand deductions under Section 179 of the IRS tax code which empowers businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. The revised tax code permanently expands eligibility for deductions to fire protection, alarm, and security systems along with other equipment placed in service in 2018 and beyond.

Talk to your accounting partner to understand the impact this could have on your business.

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Why UL-Certified Alarms Are Essential for Jewelers

Why UL-Certified Alarms Are Essential for Jewelers

Using an alarm

Would you drive a car that wasn’t crash-tested or inspected to make sure all of its complex parts worked together in harmony?

Hopefully not. The risks would be too devastating to overcome if something went wrong.

Now, apply that same principle and cautionary state of mind to your jewelry business and ask yourself if you can risk not having a UL-Certified alarm.

What does UL stand for?

UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, and they are an organization that tests everything from alarms to appliances to cleaning products to kids toys.

In fact, they do more than test: they certify, validate, test, verify, inspect, audit, advise, and educate.

 

 

You may recognize their mark — it appears on over 22 billion products, including alarms. In addition to the actual alarm, UL also certifies alarm service providers, which is equally important for jewelers to consider.

What makes an alarm and an alarm service UL-Certified?

UL sets minimum performance standards for alarm systems that exceed those captured in an alarm service and maintenance agreement. Among other things, they ensure that:

  • electrical protection circuits and devices signal properly
  • the system is properly installed
  • the system is monitored and maintained according to UL standards

Even if the alarm system is fully operational, it doesn’t do much good if the response to an alarm signal is inadequate or completely absent. UL issues certificates for two types of monitoring:

CRZH (Dept of Defense) and Central Station
Mercantile (MR)
  • A guard (also known as a runner) is designated for a response
  • Provides supervised openings and closings
  • Provides two-party control over arming and disarming of the alarm system
  • Requires that repairs begin within one hour of the guard’s response time (after normal closing time)
  • No guard (runner) is dispatched
  • Supervised openings and closing can be arranged, but are not automatic
  • Requires that repairs begin within 18 hours after the alarm company receives notification

Why are UL-Certified alarms essential?

Unlike the perils of smash-and-grab robberies and grab-and-run thefts that are primarily only threats to retailers, burglaries are of major concern to jewelry businesses of all kinds.

There have been instances where nearly all of a jeweler’s inventory was stolen because the alarm did not produce a signal or there was no response after an alarm signal was received.

Having a UL-certified alarm will give you peace of mind that an alarm will signal and that there will be a response to that signal. Additionally, having this level of protection could help your cause when purchasing insurance. Having a current and valid UL certificate is recognized as a risk mitigator, which means you’ll likely receive a more favorable premium, assuming your other risk factors are equal.

AAA Alarms and Fire Protection is able to issue UL Certificates and design/install and service security systems that meet these Standards.

 

AAA adds high security transponder to arsenal against intrusion.

AAA recently announced the introduction of new Multipath alarm transmission technology. This is UL certified Grade “AA” line security with encryption employed, making this technology not only the most secure, but the most trouble free in it's redundant Multipath approach of monitoring high security accounts. Call for free evaluation today!

IRIS Scan to Disarm Security System

IRIS Scan to Disarm Security System

June 30, 2017

AAA Alarms announces the design and release of the industries first and only Security System designed for Ultra High Security Application Facilities, Ultra High Risk Standards, which incorporates the requirement of IRIS Scan in order to disarm the security system.

Technology from IRIS ID has been integrated into a 250 Point UL Listed, High Security Addressable Security Controller to now require the presentation of valid IRIS Scan, in order to disarm the system and report an opening by user, to the AAA UL Central Monitoring Station.   This first in kind technology is the first known application in the US.

For years, the UL Security industry for Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Department of Defense applications has issued standards (UL 681 and UL2050)  in an attempt at making the security systems as secure as possible.  However, ALL Central Station Monitored Security systems have utilized a simple PINPAD disarm sequence.   So no matter how many detectors or sensors, the whole system can fail by an unauthorized person acquiring the PIN CODE either overtly or Covertly (Hidden Camera), as has been done with Bank ATMs in "Skimming".

Now, for the first time, by utilizing advanced Identity authentication, AAA Alarms cannot be disarmed without an authorized user's Eyes being presented to the keypad.

Iris Recognition Technology

 Iris recognition is the best of breed authentication process available today. While many mistake it for retinal scanning, iris recognition simply involves taking a picture of the iris; this picture is used solely for authentication. But what makes iris recognition the authentication system of choice?
  • Stable – the unique pattern in the human iris is formed by 10 months of age, and remains unchanged throughout one’s lifetime
  • Unique – the probability of two rises producing the same code is nearly impossible
  • Flexible – iris recognition technology easily integrates into existing security systems or operates as a standalone
  • Reliable – a distinctive iris pattern is not susceptible to theft, loss or compromise
  • Non-Invasive – unlike retinal screening, iris recognition is non-contact and quick, offering unmatched accuracy when compared to any other security alternative, from distances as far as 12? to 16?

Traditional Notions of Establishing Identity

Historically, identity or authentication conventions were based on things one possessed (a key, a passport, or identity credential), or something one knew (a password, the answer to a question, or a PIN.) This possession or knowledge was generally all that was required to confirm identity or confer privileges. However, these conventions could be compromised – as possession of a token or the requisite knowledge by the wrong individual could, and still does, lead to the valid disarming of a high security system.

The Emergence of Biometrics

To bind identity more closely to an individual and appropriate authorization, a new identity convention is becoming more prevalent. Based not on what a person has or knows, but instead on what physical characteristics or personal behavior traits they exhibit, these are known as biometrics – measurements of behavioral or physical attributes – how an individual smells, walks, signs their name, or even types on a keyboard, their voice, fingers, facial structure, vein patterns or patterns in the iris.

Biometric Appeal of Iris Recognition

Of all the biometric technologies used for human authentication today, it is generally conceded that iris recognition is the most accurate. Coupling this high confidence authentication with factors like outlier group size, speed, usage/human factors, platform versatility and flexibility for use in identification or verification modes – as well as addressing issues like database size/management and privacy concerns – iris recognition has also shown itself to be exceedingly versatile and suited for large population applications.

FIRST IN CLASS, FIRST IN TIME INTEGRATION WITH UL SECURITY SYSTEM AND CENTRAL STATION MONITORING:

Although the IRIS ID technology has existed for over 15 years, it has now been integrated for security system usage, rather than for just unlocking doors.

The Biology Behind the Technology

Like a snowflake, the iris – the externally visible colored ring around the pupil – of every human eye is absolutely unique, exhibiting a distinctive pattern that forms randomly in utero in a process called chaotic morphogenesis. In fact, it’s estimated the chance of two iris (irides) being identical is 1 in 1078.

The Advantage of Iris Recognition

Iris recognition is an attractive technology for identity authentication for several reasons.

  1. The smallest outlier population of all biometrics. Few people can’t use the technology., as most individuals have at least one eye. In a few instances even blind persons have used iris recognition successfully, as the technology is iris pattern-dependent, not sight dependent.
  1. Iris pattern and structure exhibit long-term stability. Structural formation in the human iris is fixed from about one year in age and remains constant (barring trauma, certain rare diseases, or possible change from special some ophthalmologic surgical procedures) over time. So, once a individual is enrolled, re-enrollment requirements are infrequent. With other biometric technologies, changes in voice timbre, weight, hairstyle, finger or hand size, cuts or even the effect of manual labor can trigger the need for re-enrollment.
  1. Ideal for Handling Large Databases. Iris recognition is the only biometric authentication technology designed to work in the 1-n or exhaustive search mode. This makes it ideal for handling applications requiring management of large user groups, such as a National Documentation application might require.. Large databases are accommodated without degradation in authentication accuracy. IrisAccess platforms integrate well with large database back ends like Microsoft SQL and Oracle 9i.
  1. Unmatched Search Speed in the one to many search mode is unmatched by any other technology, and is limited not by database size, but by hardware selected for server management. In a UK Government-commissioned study, Iris ID’s IrisAccess platform searched records nearly 20 times faster than the next fastest technology. Iris ID has developed a high speed matching engine, IrisAccelerator™, designed to deliver 10 million+ matches per second.
  1. Versatile for the One to Many, One to One, Wiegand and Token Environments. While initially designed to work in one-to-many search mode, iris recognition works well in 1-1 matching, or verification mode, making the technology ideal for use in multifactor authentication environments where PINs, or tokens like prox or smartcards are used. In a token environment, many privacy issues related to biometric database management are moot, as the user retains control of biometric data – a small template of 512 bytes per iris.
  1. Safety and Security Measures In Place. Iris recognition involves nothing more than taking a digital picture of the iris pattern (from video), and recreating an encrypted digital template of that pattern. 512-byte iris templates are encrypted and cannot be re-engineered or reconstituted to produce any sort of visual image. Iris recognition therefore affords high level defense against identity theft, a rapidly growing crime. The imaging process involves no lasers or bright lights and authentication is essentially non-contact.
  1. Convenient, Intuitive User Interface. Using the technology is an almost intuitive experience, requiring relatively little cooperation from subjects. Proximity sensors activate the equipment, which incorporates mirror-assisted alignment functionality. Audio auto-positioning prompts, automated image capture, and visual and audio authentication decision-cueing completes the process.

DFARS and NIST Security and Access Control Protocol compliance assistance from AAA Alarms

AAA Alarms is Rhode Island’s leading provider of security to Department of Defense Contractors, having Underwriter's Laboratory approvals for UL 2050 standards. Call AAA today for assistance with compliance with mandated DFARS and NIST standards for CUI to be implimented. AAA offers Access control service with audit trails, DoD Certified Security Alarm Systems for Classified and Unclassified Documentation storage rooms. Compliance with facility tracking of personnel entering, badging, with full audit trail and Cloud Information Storage compliant with Level 4 and Level 5 Standards for Computerized Access Control Systems.

The problem of tailgating with Access Control

The problem of tailgating with Access Control

The Problem Of Tailgating

One of the biggest weaknesses of automated access control systems is the fact that most systems cannot actually control how many people enter the building when an access card is presented. Most systems allow you to control which card works at which door, but once an employee opens the door, any number of people can follow behind the employee and enter into the building. Similarly, when an employee exits the building, it is very easy for a person to grab the door and enter the building as the employee is leaving.

This practice is known as "tailgating" or "piggybacking". Tailgating can be done overtly, where the intruder makes his presence known to the employee. In many cases, the overt "tailgater" may even call out to the employee to hold the door open for him or her. In these cases, good etiquette usually wins out over good security practices, and the intruder is willingly let into the building by the employee.

Tailgating can also be done covertly, where the intruder waits near the outside of the door and quickly enters once the employee leaves the area. This technique is used most commonly during weekends and at nights, where the actions of the more overt tailgater would be suspicious.

Solutions To The "Tailgating" Problem

First, recognize that the tailgating problem is probably the biggest weakness in your security system. This is particularly true at doors that handle a high volume of employee and visitor traffic. Many security managers spent a lot of time worrying about unauthorized duplication of access cards and computer "hackers" getting into their security system over the network. It is far more likely that someone who wants access to your facility will simply "tailgate" into the building rather than using one of these more exotic methods to breech your security.

The practice of overt tailgating can be reduced somewhat through employee security awareness training. If employees are frequently reminded of the tailgating problem, they are less likely to let a person that they do not know into the building deliberately.

It is difficult to overcome the problem of covert tailgating through employee security awareness alone. While it would be possible to ask employees to wait at the door until it locks after they pass, it is probably not likely that this procedure would be followed except under the most extreme circumstances.

The problem of covert tailgating can usually only be reliably solved through the use of special "anti-tailgating" devices.

"Anti-Tailgating" Devices

To minimize the problem of tailgating, the security industry has created a number of "anti-tailgating" devices. These devices include mechanical and optical turnstiles, security revolving doors, security portals, and doorway anti-tailgating devices.

The essential function of each of these devices is that they permit only one person to enter or leave the building at a time. They either do this by providing a physical barrier that only allows one person to pass, or electronically by providing sensors that detect when a person attempts to tailgate in, or when more than one person tries to enter using the same card.

The following is a brief summary of each of the common types of anti-tailgating devices:

HALF-HEIGHT MECHANICAL TURNSTILE

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Description: Rotating mechanical barrier arms installed at waist height prevent passage through opening. Electrically-controlled, using valid access card causes arms to unlock allowing passage of one person. Turnstile can be controlled in both directions, or allow free-passage in one direction.

Approximate cost: $3,000 to $5,000 per opening.

PROS: Lowest cost anti-tailgating device, readily accepted by most users, relatively unobtrusive, well-proven and reliable.

CONS: Can easily be climbed over or under, requires separate door or gate for emergency exit and for handicapped users, easily defeated by knowledgeable intruder, can be somewhat noisy when operated.

Comments: Good choice for use at visitor lobbies or employee entrances where cost is a consideration. Works best when turnstile can be observed by security officer or receptionist to allow detection of people climbing over or under the device.

FULL-HEIGHT MECHANICAL TURNSTILE

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Description: Rotating mechanical barrier arms installed to prevent passage through opening. Extends from floor to height of approximately eight feet. Electrically-controlled, using valid access card causes arms to unlock allowing passage of one person. Turnstile can be controlled in both directions, or allow free-passage in one direction.

Approximate cost: $5,000 to $8,000 per opening.

PROS: Provides good security at a moderate cost. Well-proven and reliable.

CONS: Obtrusive in appearance, requires separate door or gate for emergency exit and for handicapped users, lacks sophisticated anti-piggybacking detection features, can be somewhat noisy when operated.

Comments: Good choice for commercial and industrial facilities where security and cost considerations are more important than appearance.

OPTICAL TURNSTILE

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Description: Consists of two freestanding pillars mounted on each side of opening. Equipped with electronic sensor beams that transmit between pillars. Passing though opening interrupts sensor beam and causes alarm unless valid access card has first been used. Sensor beams are connected to computer processor that detects when more than one person attempts to pass though opening on a single card. Turnstile can be controlled in both directions, or allow free-passage in one direction. Available with or without mechanical barrier arms and in a wide variety of styles and finishes.

Approximate cost: $15,000 to $20,000 per opening.

PROS: Aesthetically-pleasing appearance, accommodates handicapped users, does not require separate emergency exit, has sophisticated anti-piggybacking detection systems, provides good visual and audible cues to users.

CONS: Expensive, units without barrier arms provide no physical deterrent, must be used at an entrance manned by security guard, relatively high "false alarm" rate, some user training required to work effectively.

Comments: Good choice for use in manned building lobbies where aesthetics prevent the use of a half-height manual turnstile.

SECURITY REVOLVING DOOR

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Description: Standard revolving door that has been specially modified for security use. Extends from floor to a height of approximately eight feet. Typically has multiple quadrants equipped with electronic sensors that detect number of people in each quadrant. Use of valid access card allows one person to pass through door, if more than one person attempts to enter, door sounds alarm and reverses to prevent entry. Door can be controlled in one or both directions.

Approximate cost: $35,000 to $50,000 per opening.

PROS: Provides best protection against tailgating and piggybacking, fast, handles high volumes of traffic, unobtrusive in appearance, provides energy savings when used at exterior entrances.

CONS: Very expensive, requires separate door or gate for emergency exit and for handicapped users, door cannot be used for loading/unloading of large objects, relatively high maintenance costs.

Comments: Good choice for use at unattended building entrances where appearance is important.

SECURITY PORTAL (also called "Security Vestibule" or "Mantrap")

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Description: Consists of passageway with door at each end. Regular swinging doors or automatic sliding doors can be used. Passageway is equipped with sensors that detect total number of people present. Sensors can include electronic beams, floor mat switches, and weight detectors. Video cameras with analytic software can also be used (see video analytics below). To use, user enters passageway and closes door behind him. He then proceeds to second door, and uses access card to enter. If more than one person is present in passageway, portal sounds an alarm and prevents entry. Portal can be controlled in one or both directions.

Approximate cost: $15,000 to $50,000 per opening.

PROS: Provides good protection against tailgating and piggybacking, unobtrusive in appearance, accommodates handicapped users, does not require separate emergency exit, allows load/unloading of large objects.

CONS: Expensive, relatively slow, cannot support large volumes of traffic, some versions can have high maintenance costs.

Comments: Good choice for use at unattended building entrances with relatively low traffic volumes and for entrances into high security internal areas, such as computer rooms.

DOORWAY ANTI-TAILGATING DEVICE

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Description: Consists of devices installed on each side of regular doorway. Equipped with electronic sensor beams that transmit between devices. Passing though opening interrupts sensor beam and causes alarm unless valid access card has first been used. Sensor beams are connected to computer processor that detects when more than one person attempts to pass though opening on a single card. Doorway can be controlled in both directions, or allow free-passage in one direction.

Approximate cost: $5,000 to $7,000 per opening.

PROS: Easy add-on to existing doors; provides good protection against tailgating and piggybacking, unobtrusive in appearance, accommodates handicapped users, does not require separate emergency exit, allows loading/unloading of large objects, relatively inexpensive.

CONS: Must be used at an entrance manned by security guard, does not provide good visual and audible cues to users, some false alarms.

Comments: Good choice for use at doorways with relatively low traffic volumes and where conditions do not permit the use of another type of device.

VIDEO ANALYTICS ANTI-TAILGATING SYSTEMS

Description: Consists of video cameras installed at doorway opening. Cameras are connected to a computer with special video analytics software that detects and analyzes people and objects at the door. System may use multiple cameras that allow precise determination of object size, height, and direction of travel. When used at single door, video analytics anti-tailgating systems work similarly to doorway anti-tailgating devices and sound alarm when more than one person attempts to enter through door after a valid access card has been used. Video analytics anti-tailgating systems can also be used with security portals to both sound alarm and deny access when more than one person attempts to enter.
Approximate cost: $10,000 per opening for single door system, $15,000 to $20,000 for security portal system.

PROS: Easy add-on to existing doors; provides good protection against tailgating and piggybacking, unobtrusive in appearance, accommodates handicapped users, does not require separate emergency exit, allows loading/unloading of large objects.

CONS: Single door systems do not provide a physical barrier so must be used at an entrance manned by security guard, requires frequent user training to prevent false alarms, relatively expensive.

Comments: Popular choice for use at computer rooms and other high-security facilities.

Selecting the Right Anti-Tailgating System

Choosing the right anti-tailgating system is an important decision. You need to consider your overall level of security risk, your ability to provide security staff to monitor your entrances and respond to alarms, and your budget for initial purchase and ongoing maintenance of the anti-tailgating systems.

Have additional questions about the prevention of tailgating or the selection of the right anti-tailgating device? Please contact us.