Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category

Incorporating EcKey Bluetooth Technology with Colorado’s Amendment 64 Security Alarm System and Lock Standards

Written By:
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014


Colorado Marijuana Law known as “Amendment 64″

On December 10th 2012 Colorado approved Amendment 64 into their constitution. Article XVII; Section 16 was born so that the cultivation and retail sale of Marijuana was legal statewide. With all the new laws of course there will always be rules and regulations. The one I will be talking about in this article is section R 305. I will also be introducing the Bluetooth Access Control, the ECKey EK6 and EK7.


R-305 Security Alarm Systems and Lock Standards.

A – Security Alarm Systems Minimum Requirements.

One of the requirements when operating a Retail Marijuana Establishment is they must have a Security Alarm System that covers all perimeters, windows and entry points. They also need to have some sort of real time monitoring established. Well here at we have access control hardware and software that allows you to monitor every entry point to your business.



R-305 A-3 States that a Licensee shall maintain up-to-date and current records and existing contracts on the licensed premises that describe the location and operation of each Security Alarm System, at we have the most knowledgeable Sales Representatives on staff to sketch any scheme necessary when purchasing and installing our access control and locking systems.

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Video example made by one of our Sales Representatives Dan Millard.

You can keep records of ALL incoming and outgoing traffic, from employees to customers. For personnel with special access you can grant them entry using the ECKEY EK6 (a blue tooth access control reader) configured to an existing alarm system or to one of our access control boards.



The other option if you don’t have an existing alarm system would be the ECKEY EK7 standalone bluetooth reader connected to an electronic door strike or maglock to grant access to employees or customers. This setup would also work great in an indoor or outdoor greenhouse cultivation environment. A benefit with the ECKEY EK7 is that you can use the Vizpin mobile app to control access to the unit.

There is also an EC Key app that is available for all iPhone and Android smartphones. The app allows your Smartphone to set access control and administrate your system the easy way.

Even if don’t own a smartphone, EC Key readers can work and pair with any discoverable Bluetooth device.



EK6 uses a secure 128 bit Bluetooth encryption to convert your device’s ID to wiegand data and send back to your access control system. The EK6 proximity reader solves the hassle of having access cards, fobs, biometrics and keypads that all have to be touched by either typing in an access code, or touching your hand or finger on a scanner. With access cards you never really know who is actually gaining access to places they are not supposed to be in. The EK6 is hands-free using your smartphones Bluetooth technology to gain access through doors, garages, gates and any other place that you want to keep secure. The EK6, when triggered by a user’s Bluetooth signal, will generate a virtual card number and the device sends the Wiegand data to your access panel, and the panel will either see the card user as a valid user and open the door or an invalid user and not open the door.


Installation of the EK6 is simple. The Bluetooth reader can be integrated into any existing reader or access control system. Upgrading from keypads, cards, fobs, and biometrics is easy and affordable. I have been in the security business for many years and I will tell you this Bluetooth reader is brilliant. If I didn’t want certain employees in my office, supply closet, building, liquor room and places where money and inventory is kept, securing these places using hand-free devices like a smartphone would have been PRICELESS back in the day. Everyone knows that just like American Express, “no one leaves home without it” (meaning your cell phone).

4Electronic Door Strike - Lock fail secure






VIZpin Guest/Access Control

EC KEY management software lets you configure and manage your EK7 standalone reader. Once downloaded and connected properly you will be able to access the EC KEY software and adjust the set-up, security pin, time of day, users, audit and the ECKEY information tabs. Your unit will arrive with detailed instructions on how to install and configure you Bluetooth reader, but if you run into any issues or obstacles, please feel free to contact us here at our Technical Support Department. You can always contact us Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm.


Home Security – How to Prevent Your Home From Being Robbed

Written By:
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Home Robbery

In reference to home security, what is the first thing you think about when you hear that someone’s home was burglarized? Usually the first thing that comes to mind is that the home owner should have installed some sort of alarm or security system to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, even people who have alarm systems and surveillance systems can be susceptible to being robbed.

Many times, the person robbing your home is someone who has been inside your home before and knows exactly what is inside waiting for them. The truth is, most criminals will not enter a home where they’re not sure if there’s a security system of some sort. This includes home owners with dogs, alarm systems, security systems, and even guns. If the burglar has a chance to get in your home, they can quickly assess the situation and memorize what kind of obstacles they will have when entering your home.

Here are some things to look out for that will help prevent anyone from burglarizing your home:

1. Beware of who you allow into your home or on your property

Recently, I received a letter from my utility company warning me not to allow anyone in my home posing to work for the utilities company. They mentioned that they will never ask to enter your home without prior notice and all employees will have an ID that they must show. If you don’t have an appointment, there’s no reason for anyone to enter your home. Luckily, I have a very large wolf-dog, Luna, that hangs out in my back yard and most people who see her are instantly frightened by her size and ferocious look, so they instantly know to stay away. I had a meter reader from the gas company come out who asked me to put my dog away so that he could read the meter. I normally keep a lock on my gate so no one is able to just walk in the yard while she’s out, and so that no one leaves the doors open for the her to run away. I noticed that this man had originally tried to jump my fence until he saw Luna running towards him. Just to give you an idea of what he saw, here are some photos of Luna the Wolfdog:

Luna the Wolfdog

I kind of laughed to myself about it because first of all, no one should be jumping my fence. Especially when they see that there is a lock on the fence. Why not just knock first? My car was even out in the driveway which normally signifies that someone is home. I’m sure this man will definitely knock first the next time. Once he saw Luna the Wolfdog, he then knocked and asked me to put her away, and it got me thinking. What if he wasn’t really working for the utility company and was just trying to scope out what was in the back yard? You can never be too careful. If someone does come out to your house asking to come inside, ask for identification, and before letting them in, verify with your utilities company and call the police if you need to. They will come out to verify that the person asking to come into your home is legitimate. If you don’t have access to a large beast that will show a nice set of teeth to an intruder, some of the following suggestions may help save your home from being robbed.

2. Don’t allow anyone inside to use your bathroom or phone

Another thing that can has been admitted by burglars is that they will ask to use the bathroom in your house. Just picture this scenario. You hire a company to cut your grass month to month and you get to know the workers on a “Hi and Bye” basis, but you never truly learn who they are. One day one of the men ask to use your bathroom and you kindly allow him into your house. I would suggest that you never allow someone into your home who you don’t know, but some people are too nice and don’t want to seem rude by saying no. It’s your right to say no, just remember that. However, if you do decide to trust them and let them in your house, make sure to check the bathroom windows once they leave. Sometimes burglars will ask to use your restroom and then unlock your windows so they may come back later and have an easy way into your house. If you don’t have an alarm system with sensors on your windows, you would never know that they opened it and went into your house until it was too late. If they had to break a window to get in, you would know the second you arrived and saw the broken glass, so most burglars will try to find a way around this. The more time they are given between the burglary and you finding out, the less likely you’ll find out who it was.

bathroom window locks

3. Take notice of what you leave and have outside of your home

If you have nice things outside your home, it’s an easy way for someone to have an idea of what kind of stuff you have inside of your home. For instance, letting your kids leave their nice toys outside your home may give a burglar a clue that you have even nicer toys for them inside the home including gaming consoles, expensive electronics and more. This shows someone scoping out your home how much money you have and makes you a better target.

Burglars will also notice if you have mail piling up in your mailbox or maybe even flyers or newspapers that are beginning to pile up outside. This will let a burglar know that you’re not always home or that you have been away for a long period of time. Make sure to have a neighbor you trust bring in your newspapers or mail if you are away so that robbers don’t know that you’re gone.


While they are at it, make sure that if there’s snow outside of your house that they walk around and create some tracks so that it shows someone has recently been there and around the house. It’s easy to tell that no one has been in or out of the house If there has been fresh snow sitting there for a week undisturbed. Or better yet, maybe they will shovel the snow for you.

4. Be smart about your alarm system installation

If you do decide to have an alarm put into your home, make sure that your keypads aren’t near any windows. With technology these days, it’s very easy for someone to use a digital camera to zoom into your window from across the street and see or record exactly what you are punching into your security keypad.

Also, a security company that knows what they’re doing is going to make sure that your motion detectors are pointed correctly and that every window in your home has a sensor on it. This means your window over the sink, bathroom windows, and even secondary floor windows are covered as well. If a burglar wants to get into your home, they will use any means possible to get in. And remember, this is more than likely going to be someone that’s been in your home before so they will know exactly which windows are unlocked or unarmed most of the time.


5. Pretend you’re home.

Most burglars will check first to make sure whether or not you are home. This may mean that they will knock on the door first to check if anyone will open it. If you do open it, they may offer you a service such as cleaning your gutters or cutting your grass. They may even simply just ask for directions. Be wary of this.

If you’re not home and would like to save energy, most people will not leave their lights completely on while they are away. The cool thing is that there are some devices out there which will simulate your presence at home. There’s a device called FakeTV which will shine lights in your home or window to simulate a TV being on. You can even set it on a timer so that it comes on when you want it to.


If you have a DVR and security camera surveillance system from you can also setup your cameras to notify you if someone is in or near your house. The cameras can be set to motion detection and the DVR has a feature you can turn on so that it’ll send you an email or notification to your smart device. One way is to receive a screen shot from which ever camera you choose, another is to just receive a standard notification and you will be able to open your live viewing software on your smartphone or tablet in order to view your cameras live, and see if there really is an intruder on your property. You can then decide on whether or not you need to call the police. Most DVR’s can now also be integrated with your alarm system so that the motion detection on the camera can set off an alarm. This way you don’t have to buy any motion detectors along with the surveillance system. Just make sure the DVR you purchase has alarm inputs and outputs on the back.

6. Burglars may be looking in from the outside

Remember that leaving your blinds open is another way for burglars to look inside to see what you have. They will drive or even walk by the neighborhood at night just before you go to bed to see what you have inside and pick a target house. Try to keep your blinds closed once the sun goes down so burglars can’t see inside. Some will even walk around during the day and try to look official with a uniform or clipboard in hand. If you see anyone suspicious don’t feel weird keeping an eye on what they’re doing.

Having thorny bushes near your windows can also be a deterrent since it will make it harder for anyone to come right up to your windows to look inside.


7. Lock your windows and doors

Believe it or not, some people will leave their doors and windows unlocked when they leave their house. I have done this in the past as well, when being too lazy to check everything before leaving even if it’s just for a short amount of time. Some burglars have even admitted to knocking on doors and when no one answers they try the doorknob to see if it’s unlocked and will walk right in.

Hand holding key (with key hole)

8. Don’t announce that you’re away

One of the most common things I’ve seen lately is people announcing online when they’re leaving their house or going on vacation. If you don’t have the proper surveillance system set up to notify you when someone is in your house, announcing your departure online is an easy way to make yourself a target to robbery.


As you can see, there are many different things you can do to make sure your home isn’t going to become a target for robbery. Just be smart about it and you may save yourself the trouble of having your day ruined because of an intruder. You’ll feel very violated especially when there are so many things you could have done to prevent it. The best solution against this is being prepared. I’ve heard many people telling me that they’re looking to get a surveillance system or alarm because they were robbed. By then it’s already too late and the damage is done!


Security Camera Monitoring Systems in Business

Written By:
Monday, December 1st, 2014

The Importance of Security Camera Monitoring Systems in the business environment.

Security Cameras are everywhere. The store, the bank, the gas station, possibly your home, and even ones that you sometimes can’t see. Let’s face it. In this day and age, most businesses whether small or large have cameras. Mainly to thwart off would-be criminals, thieves, and sometimes even catching vandals in the act! More so during economic decline than other times. The truth is, having a camera system in place also covers other issues you have or have not yet considered.

Think about the following example. You own a fairly large production warehouse and you have two hundred employees on the morning and day shift, and one hundred on the night shift and overnight. Recently there has been a few employees who have mysteriously been seen by other employees scheming and trying to switch shifts with others. Now, normally you would have an on-site supervisor or general manager who would catch this type of activity going on, but let’s say for argument’s sake he was not paying attention to that particular section where your employee works that day. You might not think it is a big deal, and it may not be, but as the boss, you have your own vision of how and who you want working certain shifts, especially if you have a production line where your employees have their own specific roles to play on a daily basis. You confront a few of the employees who you “suspect” may be switching shifts and they swear to you up and down that they stick to a strict routine, and never would come off that routine without consulting with a supervisor or you, the boss, personally. Now you’re thinking to yourself as an employer wanting to give that person the benefit of the doubt, but on the other hand you eagerly and anxiously want to know the truth. How can you do this? SIMPLE! With properly positioned and fully functioning security cameras you will be able to pinpoint if a violation is taking place.

This particular scenario may be a little over the top, but these things do happen, and more so when cameras are not in place. Employees are more likely to create situations that may not be your idea of a good decision. More importantly than just a simple violation of a shift switch. Let’s say you are not this huge production tycoon, you own a small food mart with five isles and you have a grand total of 3 employees, one stock boy, one cashier and one maintenance man. Your store front is fairly busy and on an average day your cashier is glued to the register. Your stock boy is loading and unloading merchandise and your maintenance man is swamped with an ongoing plumbing issue. Next thing you know, BOOM! A loud crash is heard from isle two where the milk, orange juice and other drinks are. Every one of your employees hear the crash and run over to investigate what has happened and they find a man in his late forties lying on the floor in a pile of juice groaning in agony and grabbing on to his back and neck. You, being the boss, call 911 immediately not knowing if this man is seriously hurt. The ambulance shows up and carts the man off to the hospital. Now two things just happened in your head. Number one, you are now liable for this man who slipped and fell in your store… MEDICAL BILLS and LAWYERS! Number two, that thought just crossed your mind as it would with everyone who fears that they might get sued, “MAYBE IT WAS All A FAKE?” Now since all three of your employees where busy doing their jobs, none of them have any actual information to give you that would help you prove that it might have been a set up. You are out of luck and there is nothing you can do except, accept whatever the outcome might be. Or you can do one of two things. You can hire a few more employees, one for each isle but no that would probably go over your budget and you would just end up having to lay them off. Or you can go with the more affordable and accurate approach to this certain situation and spend money on a security camera system. It makes so much more sense business wise. You alleviate the problem of an inaccurate account of what your employees DID see surrounding the “event”. Because cameras never lie, and let’s be honest even some of the sharpest people sometimes have a foggy memory. It gives you OVERALL protection; you don’t have to worry if the man was telling the truth or if the whole thing was a big scam. The cameras will always tell the true story. You might be thinking right now, “it could never happen to me” or “unlikely,” but do me a favor and go on one of the popular social media video sites and just type in the search box “Store slip and falls.” That’s right, MILLIONS of scams recorded by people just like you, only they are not “entertaining” the idea of security cameras. They made that decision to protect what they love, mind you, at a very minimal cost compared to what it COULD cost you.

So as a security field expert, take my advice and do yourself, your family and your most precious investment, your business, a favor and realize how important it is to cover yourself for the “just in case” moments in life. You and your employees won’t regret the decision you make to take your business to the next level safely, securely, and successfully. These are just a few examples of how and why Security cameras are essential to the growth and protection of your employees and your business. All in all, having a system of cameras in your place of business is not only affordable, it’s one of the smartest investments. For another article on how a security system can save you from a lawsuit, check out this link.


Amendment 64 – The Basics of the Colorado Marijuana Law

Written By:
Friday, November 28th, 2014

Colorado Marijuana FlagAmendment 64, the Colorado Marijuana Law is a stepping stone to the federal legalization of marijuana. This amendment, adopted in 2012 for Colorado, legalizes the recreational use of marijuana. In 2012, Colorado was one of the two states to entertain the idea of the legalization of marijuana; Washington being the other. These two states did not have much time to get these amendments adopted. In Colorado, there was a task force given the task of making this happen. The job of the task force was to resolve all the issues surrounding this gray area. Not to mention, they had to give proposals of how they could effectively execute this in order for the amendment to be adopted into Colorado law. This is how all the rules and regulations surrounding this law came to be, such as the law stating the proper way you must use security cameras to monitor your facilities, as well as the access control laws for doors and securing grow sites. There are plenty more laws to go through and they are due to this task force, and we should be thankful for them because, without them, we may still just be hoping for this to happen.

In simpler terms, what Amendment 64 does is legalize the recreational use of marijuana, as well as the retail sale of the product. None of this would be possible without the growing, which are legal now, however that does not mean you can drive around with a couple ounces of marijuana in your car. There are limitations, such as you may only have up to an ounce on your person, and you may only grow up to six plants in your home as long as they are in a locked enclosed space. Now, back to those restrictions I was speaking of. You must be 21 years of age or older to legally purchase, sell, and grow marijuana. Not to mention the licensing you will need to get started.

Now, there are a few steps that need to be taken in the subject of security cameras before you can be licensed. First of all, the applicant is required to install a fully operational DVR or NVR and security camera system. All of the recorded footage must be stored in a secured area which only management staff has access to. Legally, the recordings must be given to the proper authorities upon request. All equipment must be maintained so all the playback will be functional whenever it needs to be. In order to ensure this is being done, it is mandatory to have a notification system to notify management when the system may be interrupted. Every single one of our DVRs/NVRs have a buzzer that notifies you when there is no Hard Drive being detected. You can also navigate the menu system and configure the buzzer to go off when different things occur such as when your hard drive is full or when your unit loses network connectivity, and also if there is an IP conflict.

Placement of your cameras is dictated by this amendment as well. Any limited access area needs to be monitored, as well as point of sales (POS), security rooms, and every single point of incoming and outgoing traffic. That includes exits and also any rooms inside the facility. At every POS, your system must be able to clearly record the facial expressions of both the customer and employee. Also every place that the product is displayed for customers needs to be monitored as well. Exits need to be monitored from both inside and outside the building, that goes for all exits not just the main one. The system must be able to record clearly at any level of lighting. This just means your cameras must have IR or must at least see the IR. Number one rule is all of the equipment such as the DVRs/NVRs need to be in a separate room and this room must be limited access to management only. There are so many regulations that go into this, however there is not one of them that we can not meet here. This being said go ahead and call our sales experts and they will help you out in more detail about the law. They are experts. 866.573.8878.


Security Equipment FAQ Part 1

Written By:
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

This is the 1st part of a series of Security Equipment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that I am asked on a daily basis in Tech Support at If there are any questions that you would like to see in these articles, please let us know.

How do I save important footage from being overwritten on my DVR’s Hard Drive?

Other thalockn downloading the DAV files for backup storage, you may think there are no other ways to do this. Right? Well there are two other ways to accomplish this task, but first let’s discuss how files are created on the DVR. First off, if you are using a motion recording method, one file will be created for every motion event for each camera. If you are using a daily or scheduled recording method, every hour will create one file for each camera. While using the mouse and monitor directly connected to your DVR, navigate to the Main menu > Search area, and then you can select the day and channels that you want to view. Below the calendar is a button to view files, and from there you can select the files that you want to save. While there is a button to save these files to a backup device, you can opt to LOCK the files from being overwritten instead. This is a fast way to make sure that your files are kept on the hard drive providing that your HDD Full option in the General area is set to Overwrite. You can also set your HDD Full option to Stop Record which is your second option for saving your files. Unfortunately that method will provide no future recording, which is why the Overwrite option is the default. The DVR will always overwrite the oldest files, so you may have some time to backup your files before they are overwritten. The amount of harautomaintain_smalld drive storage space and the quality and quantity of the recorded videos will determine how many days you have until the footage will be overwritten. This is why you should always lock your files that you need to save until you have time to prepare a more permanent backup option. Please note that some newer DVR menus could be slightly different than what I am describing. Also, keep in mind that formatting a drive is a destructive option that will wipe all files including the locked files. You cannot lock or unlock files from the web or Smart PSS interface, so you will need direct access to the DVR.  There is one more important place to check on your DVR interface to make sure that your files are not being deleted.  The Auto Maintain area of the menu has an Auto Delete option that allows you choose how many days back will be deleted.  The default setting is Never, but if you select Customized, it will allow you to enter a number to choose how many days back will be deleted.  For the purposes of protecting files in this article, you want to keep the Never setting.

I want to set up a complete NVR system, but how can I complete a run where I cannot run a CAT 5 cable?

The Indoor / Outdoor Wireless Access Point / Bridge for IP Cameras & DVRs is the perfect product for you. You can bridge ytplocom5our network up to 15KM away with complete line of sight while utilizing 150 mbps of bandwidth. These devices are weatherproof, so you can mount one outdoors on a pole or structure by the camera while the one transmitting is outdoors facing this camera and connecting the network. The TP-LocoM5 is the perfect way to send a signal over a small lake for example, and cover some landscape that normally would be difficult. They are easy to configure using the software, and can be used in different ways as long as they have line of sight.  You set one nano station to be an Access point and the other to be a station in the settings, creating a dedicated transmitter and receiver pair.  When they are set up properly, you can bridge your network over a good distance and maintain a solid performance. The customer reviews for this product have been excellent. To learn how to setup a wireless bridge for IP Cameras, check out this article.

If I have existing CAT 5 cables in a building, can I use them for my security camera system?

Yes! You can buy an NVR complete system that uses network based IP cameras so that your existing wiring can be utilized. This guarantees that you will be using state of the art equipment and have the highest quality video performance bbalunased on your purchase options. If your budget does not allow for the cost of an IP system, another option is to buy an Analog system, and then use a balun on each end of your CAT 5 cables. This way you can transmit your power and video without the need to rewire your run with coax. Furthermore, you will still have that CAT 5 in place in case you want to switch to an NVR IP camera system in the future. Companies that use an existing CAT 5 infrastructure should find it easy to deploy one of these surveillance options.

What is ONVIF?

ONVIF is an open industry forum for the development of a global standard for the interface of IP-based security products. The ONVIF acronvifonym stands for Open Network Video Interface Forum. Having an open standard means that all companies and organizations will have the same access, and as a result, guarantees interoperability between the security products that adhere to the standard. While closed development has the benefit of complete control, it does not allow for the global knowledge and resources. Furthermore, the standardization of communication between IP-based security products means that businesses and individuals will not have to manage devices independently. ONVIF defines a common protocol, and that specification allows for an exchange of information containing automatic device discovery, video streaming, and metadata.