Kerrisdale Carnival Days 2012 is this Saturday, April 28th

The giant inflatable Provident slide will be making it’s first appearance of the 2012 season this Saturday, April 28th during Kerrisdale Carnival Days.

As always, we will be at West 41st Avenue & Yew Street… between the TD Canada Trust and RBC buildings.

The Saturday of Kerrisdale Carnivals Days is always the official opening day of the Kerrisdale Little League season. As part of the festivities, the Kerrisdale Business Association organizes one of Vancouver’s largest community parades. The parade starts at 10:00am at Maple Street and goes along West 41st Avenue towards Elm Park where the first pitch will be thrown.

The official schedule & list of events can be found here.

Interested to see how the 3 story high slide gets inflated? Click below to watch:

If you’d like to have the Provident slide at your Westside community event, please let us know! Click here for details about how to make it happen.

Four arrests in 24 hours!

Two more burglars tripped one of our Provident NightOwl systems installed at a residential construction site in Point Grey early this morning… resulting in the 3rd and 4th arrest by Vancouver Police in 24 hours. Seven nights ago, a NightOwl system in Surrey resulted in an arrest as well. Five arrests is a pretty good week!

Watch the clip below to see three of the video alarms that we received in our Kerrisdale Operations Centre (including where one of the suspects tries to re-direct one of the cameras)…

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Provident NightOwl systems in Surrey and Vancouver result in 3 arrests in 6 days…

Over the past week, two of our NightOwl Remote Video Alarm systems have resulted in construction site thieves being caught in the act and arrested.

The latest one was from a residential construction site in Point Grey this morning.

After receiving a live video alarm in our Kerrisdale Operations Centre, our team dispatched the Vancouver Police… who provided priority response to a verified crime in progress. Click below to see what the actual video alarm looks like:

Six days earlier, our team helped the Surrey RCMP do the same thing… resulting in the crook in the clip below getting arrested on site:

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Our NightOwl systems have been used on construction sites throughout Vancouver & the Lower Mainland as well as in the Fraser Valley, Whistler and the North Shore.

NightOwl works perfectly for construction sites, or any place requiring temporary security, where it is not feasible to run wires for a permanent system. NightOwl does not require electricity, telephone lines or an internet connection. Our team can have a system up and running in just a couple hours and system installation (and removal) is included in rental rates that start at $160.00 per week.

 

How Provident secures more than 10,000 house keys…

One of the most common questions clients ask us has to do with how we manage and control the thousands of housekeys that we are responsible for.

Unlike most security companies that use either keyrings or rely on lockboxes installed at a client’s premises, we developed our own system that allows us to track, secure, manage & get very quick access to every one of the keys that our clients have entrusted to us.

Our system is designed to protect against theft as well as human error. It requires that two people be involved in every instance where a key needs to be located and provides an audit trail to show every time a key has been used, what it was used for and who used it. Every key we hold is assigned a numerical code, which changes every single time the key is used.

Click on the video below to see how it works:

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Attend the next ‘Preventing Burglary’ seminar on November 24th, 2011

Our next ‘Preventing Burglary’ seminar is on Thursday, November 24th

Whether you are an existing Provident client or not, you’ll learn effective tips that you can put in place immediately that are both inexpensive (or free) and proven to actually work.

You will walk out knowing exactly how most residential burglaries in Vancouver occur, and what you can do to minimize your risk of being a victim. We discuss practical tips that most people only learn about after they have been broken into. We’ll show you how to maximize security without ruining how your house looks or spending a fortune.

After the presentation, which lasts about an hour, we’ll lead a tour through our 24/7 Operations Centre where you can see what’s on the other end of all of Provident’s alarms, cameras and access control systems.

Come by anytime after 6:30pm to have a glass of wine & some Benton Brothers cheese. The presentation will start at 7:00pm… please click here to RSVP.

Here’s what past attendees have said about the presentation:

“I particularly liked reiteration of the information about how to delay a burglar for 5 minutes. The tour of the operations facility was very interesting and confidence building”.

“I felt at ease. Information was useful.”

“I found it interesting and informative and I’m sure others would as well …. whether they have a system or not. It helps to stay current with crime trends and security options.”

“with all the home security advertising, I think it can be somewhat confusing for people and your session helped to clear up some issues”

 

Register for 'Preventing Burglary' Seminar on Thursday, November 24th with Home Security Expert Mike Jagger in Vancouver, British Columbia  on Eventbrite

Whistler Burglaries are not like Vancouver Burglaries

There is a big difference between residential burglaries in Vancouver and those in Whistler.

While the typical residential burglary in the city follows a consistent pattern that starts with a kicked-in front door, most thefts in Whistler seem to be committed by people with access to both a key and alarm code.

Coming home to a burglarized home is a lot more obvious when your front door has been kicked in. In Whistler, just because your door is locked and your alarm is armed doesn’t mean all of your belongings are exactly as you left them.

Three recent stories from clients (each of which occurred before they became Provident clients in Whistler) illustrate some of the security risks for Whistler, or vacation properties anywhere…

The ‘Who the hell are you?’ incident…

A Whistler homeowner who lives in the United States happened to be in Vancouver on a recent weekend. When their Saturday night plans fell through, they decided to head up to their Whistler cabin rather than stay in a hotel downtown.

When they walked through their front door in Whistler a little after 11pm, they were shocked to find their home already occupied. After a curt exchange of “who are you’s?”, it was determined that the people in the home were not burglars. It turned out they were renters who had paid in full for a week in the cabin.

It wasn’t a burglary, it was fraud.

To the surprise of the owner, their trusted, long-time cleaning lady had been renting out their cabin for several years. Because she had always been privy to the actual rental schedule, given she did pre & post cleans, she was able to develop a lucrative side gig of renting the cabin out on Craigslist for cash.

The ‘How was the wine?’ incident…

An owner arrived in Whistler and was dismayed to see two empty bottles from his special collection of wines (the cheaper of which was worth about $650) in the recycling bin. Given the fact that he was not using the alarm system at the time of the incident, he had no way of knowing who had accessed his home and enjoyed his wine.

The ‘That’s disgusting’ incident…

The third incident involved another client who arrived at their Whistler home to find their hot tub broken and a few things out of place inside the house. What really set the owners off, however, was finding a condom wrapper under the bed in their master bedroom.

With a lockbox outside the house, the code for which is known by several local service providers, determining who was ‘enjoying’ their home in their absence was not possible.

In my experience, the attitude towards security in Whistler tends to be on the extremes… people seem to be either incredibly security conscious and want to put every possible measure in place, or they leave a key in a lockbox, subscribing to the idea that “there’s nothing to steal anyways”.

As more incidents like these occur, people are tending to move from the ‘there are no security issues in Whistler’ camp, directly to the ‘we have a major security problem in Whistler’ camp. The reality is that the risk in Whistler is very easy to manage. Crooks are taking advantage of the most basic weaknesses in people’s security.

The solutions are simple:

1. Stop sharing your alarm code.

Every user of your alarm system should have a unique code. There is no reason to share user codes.

Right now is a perfect time to change your alarm codes. All of them.

Provident can remotely add, modify or delete user codes for your alarm at anytime upon your request. We can also provide detailed user reports that outline exactly who accessed your home, and when, at any time (or set up a regular report to be emailed to you every day, week, month or other frequency you would prefer).

Click here to learn why controlling alarm codes is such an important first step.

2. Get rid of your lockbox.

While it may be convenient to have a lockbox outside your Whistler home, there is very little security. Given that most Whistler homeowners are away from their homes for extended periods of time (or most of the time), there is little stopping an unscrupulous service provider who has been given access to your lockbox once (or gained easy access using a hammer) from making a duplicate copy for future use.

Provident provides 24/7 key control and can respond at any time to provide a key to anyone who requires legitimate access to your home. There is no need to leave your keys, unsecured, outside your home.

Everyone likes to be able to trust people, but nobody likes to be taken advantage of. By making it clear, up front, that you take security seriously in your Whistler home (by ensuring each of your service providers understand that the alarm code you give them is unique to them and will create an indelible record) our experience has been that people have far fewer problems than those who simply hope for the best and assume that everyone they deal with will be completely honest with them.

 

The next ‘Preventing Burglary’ Seminar is on Thursday, September 29th, 2011

 

Our first Preventing Burglary seminar of the fall will be held in our Kerrisdale Showroom this Thursday, September 29th at 6:45pm.

In addition to learning exactly how residential burglaries occur on the Westside (and what you can do to eliminate your risk of being a victim of one), we’ve added a lot of new content such as how to use your burglar alarm to detect flooding as well as how to integrate your alarm with your heating system to reduce your energy costs each month.

Our seminars are always well attended and are a lot more fun & interesting than you would imagine a seminar on home security would be. Trust us. You should come. Bring your neighbours.

In addition to walking out with actionable steps that will have an immediate positive impact on your home security, we will also have some great wine from our friends at Le Vieux Pin Winery and cheese from Benton Brothers Cheese in Kerrisdale.

After the seminar (which will last about an hour), we’ll lead a tour through our 24/7 Operations Centre so that you can see what is on the other end of all of our client’s alarms and camera systems.

To RSVP, please click here.

Bring along a friend or neighbour and learn why five-minute proofing is the most effective measure you can take to improve your home security as well as why several of the tactics you are probably already using may be having the opposite effect that you intended.

Here’s what past attendees of our seminar have said:

“I particularly liked reiteration of the information about how to delay a burglar for 5 minutes. The tour of the operations facility was very interesting and confidence building”.

“I felt at ease. Information was useful.”

“I found it interesting and informative and I’m sure others would as well …. whether they have a system or not. It helps to stay current with crime trends and security options.”

“with all the home security advertising, I think it can be somewhat confusing for people and your session helped to clear up some issues”

We hope to see you on Thursday! Click here to RSVP.

 

 

Provident Goes to Whistler…

 

Several years ago, a Vancouver client was very persistent in asking that we take over the alarm service & monitoring of their Whistler home. We obliged and quietly accepted a few more requests like that one.

What began as a favour for one long-standing client  has grown into Provident serving several dozen Whistler clients who already rely on us to provide exceptional service to them in Vancouver.

In order to do that, we have worked closely with Dow Security, a local Whistler company, who have provided alarm response service and emergency service for alarm systems on our behalf.

We’re proud to announce that on August 31st, we purchased Dow Security Inc., which will soon be re-branded as Provident Security (Whistler) Corp.

Purchasing Dow made a lot of sense for us. Not only did Dow provide sub-contracted services for Provident in Whistler, they also looked after several dozen other Provident clients directly. They have a similar client base to our Vancouver clients and a similar customer service philosophy.

With the integration of Dow, Provident is now Whistler’s largest home security company… and the only Whistler based firm with its own 24/7 central monitoring station.

In addition to the ‘basic’ alarm monitoring & response services, we will be rolling out several other services tailored specifically to Whistler homes. For example, integration of thermostats to allow for remote control of heating/cooling from an iPhone or Blackberry. This means you can start heating your home (or driveway) in Whistler while you pull out of your garage in Vancouver on Friday afternoon.

We will also be expanding our HomeWatch service to include patrols of  homes to meet clients’ insurance requirements and to ensure that everything that is supposed to happen (or not happen) is happening.

We are excited to have a permanent Provident home in Whistler. While there are many changes to be implemented (such as our key control, response reporting, paperless processes and other systems), we are fortunate to be adding a great company, with a great group of people, to the Provident team.

 

 

Provident’s new Bob…

We’re excited to announce that Bob Stevenson has joined the Provident team as Lead Developer.

In this role, he leads our software development team and is responsible for Provident’s IT infrastructure, including all alarm monitoring servers and database management.

In short, Bob is responsible for all of our software systems that enable us to guarantee a five-minute alarm response, know exactly where every client’s house key at any moment as well as tracking and managing the thousands of custom Homewatches we provide for our clients to make sure that their plants get watered, cats get fed, dogs walked, lights altered and garbage taken out… just the way they want it done.

It’s a big job. But we know Bob is up for the challenge.

Prior to joining Provident, Bob was with ADT for eight years. Originally starting as a Senior Programmer Analyst responsible for ADT Canada, Bob was promoted several times, eventually becoming a Software Engineer with responsibility for both ADT Canada and ADT USA.

In his most recent role, Bob led several major IT initiatives including creating an automated billing system used by several million customers. In addition, Bob was also responsible for developing web & desktop applications used by both ADT employees and clients. He was also involved in designing systems used to integrate databases after ADT’s acquisition of Broadview Security (formerly Brinks Home Security) in 2009.

We’re proud to have Bob on our team.

 

 

Provident NightOwl Preventing Crime Again in Abbotsford

After the success of an installed NightOwl Remote Video System at an Abbotsford construction site a few weeks ago, one of the neighbouring construction sites that had been relying on a Security Guard to patrol their site had us install NightOwl for them as well.

It took less than a week for the system to pay off. On July 21st, the NightOwl system send us video alarms showing three suspects trying to gain access to the construction site through the front gate. Our Kerrisdale Operations Centre team immediately dispatched the Abbotsford Police, who were able to respond and apprehend the suspects before anything was stolen or damaged from the site.

Click below to see what the video alarms looked like…

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It’s important to note that the resolution of the NightOwl video alarms is intentionally low. That’s because the system is completely wireless and is optimized to be able to detect unauthorized activity and send a video clip to us in the shortest possible timeframe. We only need the video to be clear enough to confirm that a human is in an area that they are not supposed to be so that we can dispatch the Police to a verified crime in progress.

Over the past few months, we’ve installed NightOwl systems throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. NightOwl does not require electricity, telephone lines, an internet connection or any other infrastructure to work. It is a completely self-contained system that we can set-up and monitor anywhere.

We rent NightOwl on a week-to-week basis, making it an incredibly easy way to maximize security for a construction site or any place requiring temporary security.

Do you have a site where NightOwl could help? Let us know… we’d be happy to set-up a demo and show you how simple it is to get started.