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LIFE QUESTIONS – Issue #5

Why am I here? You were created to be where you are and be at this particular place and time.  Who am I?  You are a creation made as an image of your Creator.  When?  Your Creator exists without time. He sees before, during and through the end of time. He was there before the Big Bang. And, He has known you from the very beginning. Your existence has always been known to Him. Great Power? We all have one power, our greatest power, that is actually more powerful than any other personal power. With it, we make everything happen that we are responsible for and capable of doing. What is that Greatest Power? Ask hundreds, or thousands or tens of thousands. Almost no-one can tell you. Isn’t it alarming that so many people have so much power, really powerful POWER, yet they can’t tell you what it is? It’s your Power of Choice. Too easy. Too simple. Yet right there it is. Undeniable. Unarguable. It’s greater than any individual, yet we each have tremendous amounts of it. Like gravity, electricity or the atomic “strong force” within nuclei. Yes, the Power of Choice is our Greatest Power. Something Special! Unlike some other powers, the power of choice cannot be turned off. It can only be ON. If you elect not to decide an issue, you are using that Great Power. If you abuse your Greatest Power ten times or ten times ten thousand times, you still have the same enormous amount you started with. Your Greatest Power can’t be created or destroyed. You can use it, but never use it up. So What? Here’s the “so what”! Start thinking about the existence of your Greatest Power today. Start learning how to channel and control the greatest power you will ever know. You have the complete and final say about all that you decide. You can change nearly everything about you, the people around you and the World that we all live in. Writing by Lia Shapiro “As in a dream, anything at all is possible. So shall you think, so shall it be. It is a simple matter to think things into existence”. Decide, consciously, to decide! It is a simple matter. Create a clear mental picture of what you want to have happen next. Make sure it has temporal existence, or that you know what will happen when it arrives. Simple? Very! Can you do it? Absolutely. Your Creator gave you your Greatest Power. He also gives many examples of how and how NOT to use it. “Knock and it will be opened to you” and “ask and you will receive”, “seek and you will find”. But in every case, you must first decide. You must use your Greatest Power. You can choose to study and learn about The Creator, or not. You can decide to never to decide, but you just used it. You can’t NOT use your power. Or, you can decide to love those around you, or not. You can decide to talk, silently or audibly, to The Creator. Remember, He is timeless. He is with you every second of every day. He hears your laughter. He hears your cries. He knows everything about you. How you feel. What you fear and what you hope for. He inspired and commissioned that 66 love letters be written to guide you, to educate you. To teach you about Him, His Son and His Spirit. Miracles are done (past and present) to show you that He is here. The Creator built each cell in your body, in your brain, every hair. He created air to breath, water to drink, sun to keep you warm and gravity. Oh yes, gravity. With it we stand. With it the Sun and Moon hold their places. And with it, the seas rise and fall making life possible to live. The Creator. He stands at the door, waiting. Will we let Him in, into our hearts, into our hopes. That is a decision we must individually make. No one can make it for us. You have the power. The Greatest Power. The Creator continues providing all that life requires. His Eternal Hope is that we not be lost from Him. He made us for Himself, that we should want to be with Him throughout Eternity. Will we open the door?
Please hear my prayers Oh God, Creator, and know the depths of my soul. Strengthen my courage, that I decide YES.
Thank you God. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Spirit. Amen.

Was this LIFE QUESTIONS – Issue #5 worth your time to read? I really do hope it is. Will you share it? Will you tell others of their Greatest Power? I pray YES. As a business owner, I have to make decisions many times every day. Some are trivial, others are SINK or SWIM issues. My wife, Pat, and I have been working together to serve others for more than four decades. Becoming fabulously wealthy was never our goal. Now well into our “golden” years, we see what we are taking to our next residence. It isn’t money. It isn’t furniture, or cars or my precious guns. It is the wealth in service and friendships we have laid up. We hope that what we believe has been seen by those we serve and those who call us “family” and friends. That’s our net worth. For several years we have added a simple message on the back of our business cards. It says, “We act on what we believe. I believe God is good all the time.” We are not professionals in the industry of faith. We are amateurs without formal training lacking Earthly leadership. God gave us a good and proper measure of our Greatest Power. Please feel free to hold us to His Standard that we try to follow. If you know what we believe, you can better predict how we will act. God’s Word teaches us, from the mouth of Jesus, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”[John 15:13].
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COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS ALWAYS WELCOME

TOM KUNKEL – President & GM – Access Security, Inc. & Access Monitoring, Inc.

HAVING FUN and SAVING MONEY

This spring are you interested in having fun and saving money at the same time?

Today there are home improvements that save you money, give you peace of mind and make you smile.

Enjoying the spring?  When you are out having fun, would you like peace of mind, knowing your home and pets are protected AND that you are saving money?  You CAN save money while protecting the ones you love, your home and your personal property.

Something revolutionary is happening with the new technologies available to protect your home or business.  More features and savings are becoming available every day.   Monitored fire and intrusion protection has historically provided saving money on Home Owners Insurance policies.   Now the opportunity for savings is even greater.

The latest alarm systems bring continuous savings by controlling heating and cooling of your home or business.   Z-wave programming and smart-phone technology are the keys.  Using these technologies through your alarm control maximizes savings on environmental cost control year round.  It’s easy and convenient.

Z-wave also allows for many useful home automation features, remotely view multiple cameras on multiple  smart phones PLUS thermostat control, right in your hand, 24 hours a day from anywhere in the World.  Even get a TEXT or email messages about almost any activity happening in or around your home.   All this while your home is actively protected with the highest quality fire and intrusion equipment.  Saving money this way is smart AND fun.  Laugh all the way to the bank!

Concerned about your pets or if the children are home from school on time? . . . now checking is easier and more secure than ever.   Access information and video immediately from your smart phone.  Big BONUS, save energy dollars everyday.

Need more information . . . let us help you Feel Safe Again.

Call (360)330-1384 use the CONTACT here or email “sales@alwayssecure.net

WHY MONITORED FIRE SYSTEMS DON’T WORK – Issue #4

Tom Kunkel – March 21st 2017
Last post ended with “Next time we’ll examine how and why insurance companies grant substantial discount when monitored fire alarm systems are present and maintained.” I promise to get to that. Two things happened last week that compels me to change what I planned.
Last month a Centralia home was destroyed by fire. Five people were inside at the time of the fire. Three are in serious condition at Harborview Hospital Burn Unit in Seattle. Two were treated and released from Centralia Providence. Investigators are not yet able to determine the cause of the fire because the structure is unstable. It is unknown if smoke sensors were present.

One Day earlier last week a house fire in Glenoma Washington killed two senior citizens and one adult. Bodies were found in the bedroom, living room and hall. Authorities found that there were “no smoke sensors installed”.

Sad: Angry: Stupid: Disturbing: Anguished: Shameful:
These are just some of the emotions that come to mind about these terrible losses. Three DEATHS, three SERIOUS Burn Victims, two injured and two destroyed dwellings and lifetimes of personal property. All lost. Could the loss of life have been avoided? Or, could damages have been less? Answering these questions is frustrating and very sad. We sell Residential and Commercial Fire Alarm Systems. They are designed to do just “that” – prevent death and reduce damage to contents and structures. It’s exactly like winning against cancer. Early detection is key. Once discovered, positive options appear quickly. Monitoring your health is now routine. Benefits of routinely checking blood pressure and other vital signs is obvious. It’s all about early detection.

Fire detection and response is no different. Today’s fire alarm systems detect most fires very early in the burn. In fact, before “burning” actually takes place. In most cases, serious fires are preceded with “smoldering”. Smoldering happens before flames. Smoke sensors detect smoldering by-products in the air. Fire Alarm Systems react to this detection by sounding loud sirens, calling a Monitoring Central Station and dispatching the Fire Department. Central Station operators call inside the structure once the alarm is received. Using an Emergency Response Call List allows operators to also contact neighbors, friends or family. Response happens very quickly, hopefully during the early “smoldering phase”, so occupants don’t die without ever knowing there was a fire developing. The possibility of detection, alarm, response and dispatching help is what a Fire Alarm System is all about. Are they perfect? No. But they are the most effective way of countering the very real threat to loss of life in structure fires. These losses and all those that went before them, in the Nation, in the World, are completed. They can’t be undone. There is no “reset button”.

Who will be next? A better question is “what can I do to prevent being ‘next’?”. I beg anyone and everyone who will listen to answer this question when they see or hear about house and building fires. “Did they have a monitored Fire Alarm System?” I hope that question is shouted to the Four Winds, over and over, until people answer it for themselves with “yes”. If you live without a Monitored Smoke Alarm System, think about it. The cost of a good quality system, installed and monitored, will be just a few drops in the bucket compared to an undetected fire.

Alarm System owners and their homeowner insurance companies both save money. Next time I will examine how and why that works the way it does.

So WHY DON’T MONITORED FIRE SYSTEMS WORK ? Answer, if they are not installed and monitored, they just can’t work.

Your comments, ideas and questions are always welcome. Thank you for investing your time.

TOM KUNKEL – President & GM – Access Security, Inc. & Access Monitoring, Inc.

Smell it?
Hear it?

Smell it?
Hear it?

The Promise of Spring – 2017

Greetings from Southwest Washington where this winter has provided lots of opportunities to hibernate through snow and shorter days.

Spring is almost upon us – a time to clean-up and repair after winter storms and spruce up for the coming warmer months.

In past postings, I have encouraged situational awareness – mostly for protecting homes and businesses from the devastation of unreported fire. Sadly, the Lewis County Area has experienced a number of serious fires in recent weeks . . . none more difficult than where 3 lives were lost . . . another, with injuries, required transport to a trauma center and other homes uninhabitable and a business fire. The operative question is could these have had a different outcome with monitored smoke alarms?

As our thoughts turn to spring, let’s make our homes and businesses less likely to suffer loss from fires. While focusing on situational awareness, let’s also be looking at making our homes and businesses less likely to be victims of intrusion or vandalism. Retired Lewis County Sheriff, Bill Logan, says, “property crime is a crime of opportunity”.

As you dig into spring cleaning chores, are your buildings free of debris or things that provide hiding places for someone looking for unlawful access?

Whether for fire mitigation or deterring the “bad guys” – keep yards picked up – facilities that look well attended help deter intrusion.

If you are going to be gone, make sure mail or newspapers aren’t piling up announcing your absence.

Do you network with your neighbors? Knowing and working with your neighbors not only encourages the sense of community but helps us all work together when there is a crisis. An advantage of a monitored alarm system for fire and/or intrusion is the communication network that is part of the service. After dispatching the Fire Department or Police, Central Station Operators call your Emergency Contact List “automatically” and without fail. Most cities or counties offer assistance in setting up Neighborhood Watch Programs that include prominent street signs and help with organizational meetings.

Home security/fire systems are no longer just “alarm systems” – there are many added conveniences available. Control your thermostat, or your door locks or garage/shop doors from your smart phone or computer. Very popular features today are Security System Cameras that allow “looking” inside your home or yard. Dogs and cats are members of the family too. Seeing that they are safe, especially in an emergency is a very effective benefit from growing technology. For business, controlling access and having environmental controls can save precious capital dollars. When isn’t it a good idea to save money?

There is no a way to put a price on “Peace of Mind” . . . Whether in your home or business, there are threats. Working as individuals, business and communities we can be situational aware and take action before we become victims.

We look forward to serving our communities in Southwest Washington State. Our business is based on helping homeowners and businesses lower risk and enhance peace of mind.

We appreciate the referrals, here, on our site from those we serve . . . we are humbled and grateful to try and not only meet but exceed their expectations. We are richly blessed by the trust our clients place in our equipment, monitoring and service.

Thank you for your time – comments and ideas welcome – until next time

Total Connect – Connected Home

Hi Friends!

In our previous Tech Blog we talked about the LYRIC Control panel. Today, I want to explore how we can use the internet to control our alarm system, and other devices.

Today’s “Connected Home” is an ever-changing and expanding environment, filled with many different opportunities for interaction with your home. With universal wireless “languages” such as Z-Wave and Zigbee, companies can use similar devices that are 100% compatible with other companies’ products. For example: With a Honeywell LYRIC alarm panel, actions or schedules programmed in the panel can turn off light switches made by Leviton and Linear. At home I use an Amazon Echo and Samsung Smartthings Hub controller to control bulbs made by Phillips and Cree.

This integration offers one main benefit: Companies can specialize in what they’re good at, saving product cost, and almost guaranteeing a product that works correctly.

Lets talk about the different  ways we can use our alarm systems to control our connected home. Alarm systems typically add a step to your routine on a consistent basis: When you leave or go to bed, you arm your alarm system. When you wake up, or come home, you disarm your alarm system. The goal with a connected home is to take these steps, and automatically perform other steps, such as unlock your front door, or adjust your thermostat to save energy.

Typically when I look at these devices and their capabilities, I have an incessant urge to make them work, not from a practical standpoint, but just to prove that I can setup automation for automation’s sake. Call it a disease, I don’t know. After I conquer the different programming and functions of a device, I usually begin to open my mind to the REASONS behind them. What if your thermostat turned off every day when you leave for work, and came back to 72° when you get within 5 miles of your home? What if your front door automatically unlocked when you disarm you alarm system, or if a fire was reported from your smoke detectors? What if there was a flood sensor that would detect water in your basement and alert you via iPhone app or phone call? What if every morning your coffee pot kicked on when motion was detected in the hallway? What if, when you went on vacation, your lights turned on randomly, to create a “lived-in” appearance?

Can you understand the challenge we have as system designers, to try to appeal to everyone’s desires? The Connected Home takes a little bit of understanding and a lot of imagination from you, as the person who lives with the equipment and benefit’s from the automation.

Next session we will discuss Honeywell’s TotalConnect web app, and how we can use it to control our alarm system.

Until next time,

-Patrick

 

Seasons come. Seasons go. Reduce fire and burglary risks.

 As winter ebbs and spring is on the horizon we look to all the spring chores at our homes and businesses.   

It isn’t always easy to see that there is a dark side in our communities that aren’t respectful of others property and of course fire respects nothing.  And fire has no conscience at all.   

As you look at those spring projects consider protecting your home or business from the ravages of fire and the potential of theft/property damage.  A monitored alarm system can give you an opportunity to thwart an intruder and minimize the damage from fire or unlawful entry. 

Whether inside or outside we can minimize dangers by routine diligent maintenance and thoughtfulness. 

As we look to spring projects in coming posts, we will look at increasing situational awareness and enhancing safety for our families, homes and businesses.  The old adage of an ounce of prevention is true . . . I hope that the tips you find here will give you security and peace of mind.

If you are already a client, thank you for the trust you place in our business and services.  If you are not, remember that homes and businesses with monitored HONEYWELL Fire and Alarm Systems are thirteen (13) times LESS LIKELY of being victims.

In Grace,

Pat Kunkel

HOW MONITORED FIRE EQUIPMENT WORKS? – Issue #3
Tom Kunkel – 01-12-2017
Welcome back. In the last posting we talked about how the detection and reporting happens in Fire Systems. Now let’s spend a little time on the Audible Response generated by Monitored Fire Alarm System. If you missed an issue, please refer to the archive. They are all there.
At the building site or residence, when Smoke, Heat or fire “by-products” are detected by sensors and a Fire Alarm Event is started, loud sirens inside and outside the building are activated. Typically, these sirens sound an International Temporal pattern of three sequential blasts, then silence for one second, then three sequential blasts again. This pattern is repeated for a minimum of 12 minutes or until cancelled at a keypad. More often, there is no time limit on how long the patter of three blasts, silence, three blast. The siren will be shut off at a keypad or they will continue. The system operates on internal batteries, even without power. The goal is to make sure that everyone inside or outside the structure is aware that a Fire Alarm is in progress. Some commercial buildings have sprinkler system that come on where the fire (heat) is detected. Sprinklers are great at actual fire suppression, but they DO NOT provide early detection, siren response or instant reporting to Central Stations dispatching. Most fire codes also require bright strobe lights as part of the siren fixture. For people with hearing problems, strobes can be the difference between life and death.

Fire detection and reporting systems are, without a doubt, one of the greatest bargains money can buy. Their goal is to eliminate or greatly reduce the disastrous effects of structure fires. Please strip from this writing one vital question. Ask yourself this question when you see news coverage or learn of fire deaths and major property loss from fires. The question: “Did this family or business have 24×7 monitored fire detection, sirens/strobe and automatic reporting to a Central Station? ” Let the answer be your Wisdom! If there had been 24×7 monitoring of fire equipment, there could have been early detection and rapid response from the nearest Fire Department. Without 24×7 monitoring, quick dispatch and lifesaving response could not be automatic.

Soon you will see and learn here how fires are classified by the professionals and insurance companies. You will learn more about preventing structure fire. However, the point of this blog is to create wisdom and experience so that you can act before you are the victim. Structure fires will continue to justify having Fire Department Stations distributed in communities. Fires WILL HAPPEN. Undetected, un-reported, disastrous fires don’t have to happen to you!

Next time we’ll examine how and why insurance companies grant substantial discount when monitored fire alarm systems are present and maintained.

Your thoughts and questions are always welcome. Thank you for investing your time.

TOM KUNKEL – President & GM – Access Security, Inc.

Fire Awareness

When we met a few weeks ago, in my first blog posting, I shared that one of the focuses of our business is providing people situational awareness – whether in their homes or business.

 

As we experience the winter months the potential for fire while combating the cold, at your home or business, is increased.

When was the last time you really looked at where you live or work for fire hazards?? . . . we often get so used to our day to day circumstances that we accept, without thinking, the oily rags on the garage floor – or the stack of newspapers in the laundry room or the cardboard, in the shop, waiting for the recycler.

 

Starting points for home and business fire prevention awareness:

 

*Know how to contact your local fire department

*Replace frayed cords and do not place wires under rugs

*Install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets especially near sources of water

*Never leave candles unattended    *   Keep fireplaces/chimneys clean and cover with a screen

*Keep space heaters out of walking paths and away from combustibles

*Unplug appliances when not in use  *  Never leave the stove or oven unattended

*Have a fire exit plan with at least two escape options, a place to meet safely outside, and practice.

*Have and maintain smoke sensors in all areas of the building  * Have and maintain carbon monoxide sensors

 

In your area of influence  or home or work . . . find all the things you can do to eliminate fire risks . . . it will be a blessing not only to you family and friends but those you don’t yet know.

Remember, that a monitored alarm system with smoke sensors will minimize injury and property loss by bringing the Fire department, at the earliest possible time, in the event of smoke and fire.

 

Do you have ideas to share? . . . your input might be a key in preventing a fire – it will be one less family that faces heartache and tragedy.

Honeywell Lyric Controller

Hi Friends! Yesterday I had the privilege of installing Honeywell’s brand new ‘Lyric’ alarm panel. If you know me at all, then you probably know that I can’t get enough new technology. I’m currently on an Amazon hiatus, since it is the Christmas season and “I can’t keep buying things for myself or there won’t be any gift options for other people to get for me”, or so my wife says. On most other times of the year though the UPS driver knows me by name and I keep him plenty busy.

Un-boxing any new piece of tech is always so exciting for me. It might not be that way for people who are daunted by the huge learning curve that most of the new gizmos come with, but I see that as part of the fun. A big reason of why I love my job is that I get the opportunity to be on the front lines of ever-changing electronics, and get to know products backwards and forwards. If you are tech savvy, let’s dive in to some of the great things about the new Lyric Panel, and why I’m putting one in my home (after Christmas).

 

The Lyric includes everything that the past LYNX panels featured; wireless sensors, all-in-one control, touch screen, remote access… The only feature that was removed is: the phone line hookup. Our industry is coming to a “lets face it” time of constantly dealing with phone line issues. Your issues include: the panel dialing on a phone line while you’re using it, and the insecurity of exposed phone lines being tampered or cut. Our issues include: Limited panel placement due to phone line access, phone line quality not sufficient to download information from your panel to our office, and shaky reporting reliability. Don’t get me wrong, living in rural Lewis County, sometimes internet or cell signal is unavailable, and a phone line is better than nothing at all, but moving forward, you and I should invest our time and money into technology that is moving forwards, not backwards. The Lyric doesn’t contain a way to dial over the phone line, BUT, it takes alarm reporting to a level we haven’t seen before.

In the past LYNX panels were very bare bones. if you wanted to add WiFi, z-wave, or a cellular radio, you essentially had to call a technician. The Lyric has incorporated z-wave and WiFi into the panel already, and has made an easy-access slot for a cellular radio of your choice(Verizon or AT&T coverage).

With a new panel Honeywell has introduce a new form of communicating with sensors(door contacts, motion detectors, smoke detectors, etc…). “SiX” technology allows the sensors to communicate with the panel, and the panel to communicate back. Bi-directional communication with the same battery life (3-5 years) is a huge step forward in these sensors, with the ability to view signal strength and exact battery voltage at any time at the panel or online. SiX wireless will also cover double the range of older style sensors. If you have an older panel and want to upgrade? The Lyric supports all of your old sensors as well, so no need to replace everything.

The Lyric also supports voice commands such as “bedtime” or “welcome home” for easy control of your alarm systems of “scenes”. Some of the scenes that I set up yesterday were: when “Armed Away”  the thermostat turns OFF, the lights in the building turn OFF, and the ASI (armed status indicator) turns ON. Upon a “Disarm” the thermostat comes back to 72°, the lights turn on, and the ASI turns off. Integrating all these features into one simple action when coming and going is one of the best features of this panel.

 

If you’re in the market for an alarm system, choose the Lyric. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

HOW DOES MONITORED FIRE EQUIPMENT WORK ? – Issue #2

Greetings.  Following up on Why Monitored Fire Equipment Works a couple of weeks ago, I’d like to share How Monitored Fired Equipment works.

By National Fire Code, all commercial and residential fire equipment designed to detect “particulates” uses either radiative chamber analysis, photo electric analysis or energy beams for large and possibly very dusty or dirty environments.  The most used is photo electric.  It does the most reliable and affordable detection.  All three methods of detection result in the monitored circuit going CLOSED on detection.  The alarm proceeds from that event.  Fire equipment includes communicators (telephone line) or cellular based.  Both are supervised to ensure that the equipment is self-testing and ready 100% of the time.  Once an alarm happens, the communicator contacts the Central Station where the data is converted into an Alarm Event and Dispatched by Central Station Operators.  Typically, the time from initial discovery to dispatch is measured in seconds.  Data records are kept on location within the equipment, at the Central Station and at the Local 911 Center that broadcasts the alarm to waiting Fire Departments.

Knowing more about how the equipment and procedures operate makes clearer why losses are reduced or eliminated.  In my first post we looked “back in time”, after a total loss, to learn if it could have been prevented or mitigated.  Monitored Fire Systems are not only very effective, but they also come at such a small fraction of the risk value as to make them a “no brainer”.

Next time we’ll look at the Audible Response of Fire Alarm Systems.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.