Alarm Response-The Most Essential Feature of Your Security System!

Anyone familiar with First Response Security has heard us preach about our first-in-class Alarm Response service. But in an age where crime seems to be increasing exponentially every year, Alarm Response is as important as ever. In recent years, concerns have been raised about the increasing phenomenon of slowing police response times in various communities. Slower response times can then embolden criminals, potentially leading to an uptick in criminal activity as perpetrators may feel less deterred by the presence of law enforcement. Our new blog touches on how our Alarm Response service doesn’t just keep you safe, but works alongside local law enforcement to provide extra man power and resources to the local community.

The Challenge Faced by Law Enforcement

In the realm of security alarms, a staggering 90% to 99% fall into the category of false alarms. Whether it’s a forgotten code, an accidental activation, a curious squirrel, a routine delivery, or even the humble deflating balloon, these triggers unnecessarily set off alarms. Given such statistics, it’s no surprise that many police departments struggle to prioritize responses to home security alarms.

Annually, U.S. police agencies contend with over 36 million home security alarms, incurring a substantial cost of $1.8 billion. Unfortunately, the majority of these alarms turn out to be false, squandering precious time and funds that could be better allocated to addressing real-time criminal activities. The situation is untenable, prompting authorities to reconsider their approach, leading to a reluctance to respond.

Verified vs. Non-Verified Crimes

When an alarm activates without a clear cause, the data indicates a high likelihood of it being a false alarm, resulting in a non-verified crime status. Consequently, law enforcement response is often delayed or, in some cases, nonexistent. Conversely, if a home security company can confirm an ongoing crime, law enforcement will act accordingly. However, this verification process typically necessitates physical confirmation at the scene before authorities are contacted. While verification significantly reduces false alarms by 95%, it does not eliminate the risk entirely, and it also prolongs the average response time. The challenge lies in finding a solution that not only ensures rapid and convenient crime verification but also actively engages with potential perpetrators.

The Alarm Response Service

Enter First Response Security. Any security system installed by First Response, home or business, comes equipped with our Alarm Response service.  Our optimal security solution involves pinpointing an actual threat. The key is to deploy human eyes, ears, and voices on the scene immediately, providing private security officers with real-time details of a verified crime in progress. This approach transforms the total response time from hours to minutes, offering a crime prevention strategy that goes beyond mere detection. When choosing your next security solution, every second should be taken into account, as each one holds significant value in ensuring comprehensive protection.

Advantages of Contract Security vs. Proprietary Security

Security is a paramount concern for businesses of all sizes and industries. Ensuring the safety of employees, assets, and property is a top priority, and the choice between contract security and proprietary security can greatly impact how these objectives are met. In this article, we will explore the advantages of choosing contract security services over in-house or proprietary security solutions.

1. Finding the Right Personnel

One of the most critical aspects of effective security is having the right personnel in place. However, finding and hiring the ideal security officers can be a challenging and time-consuming process. It often involves significant costs, including recruitment expenses, training, and background checks.

Advantage: Contract security providers, like First Response, take on the responsibility of recruiting, screening, and hiring security personnel. This not only saves you time and effort but also ensures that you have access to a pool of trained and qualified security officers. You can even be involved in the interview process to ensure a perfect fit for your needs.

2. Managing the Personnel

Once security personnel are hired, managing them becomes a complex task. It involves ongoing training, supervision, and monitoring to ensure that they are performing their duties effectively and in compliance with relevant regulations.

Advantage: Contract security providers have dedicated administrative staff who handle the management of security personnel. This includes company orientation, security training, site-specific training, performance evaluations, and disciplinary actions. By outsourcing these responsibilities, you can focus on your core business functions while experts handle the intricacies of security management.

3. Legal Security Solution

Security regulations and compliance are stringent and vary by region. In many areas, it is illegal for companies to employ individuals in security roles without proper training and certification. Meeting these requirements involves obtaining and maintaining licenses and certifications.

Advantage: Contract security providers are already licensed, insured, and bonded, ensuring that they meet all the necessary legal requirements. By partnering with a reputable contract security service, you can rest assured that you are operating within the bounds of the law.

4. Covering the Costs

Employee-related costs can be a significant burden for businesses. Beyond wages, there are expenses like payroll taxes, medical benefits, vacation time, and uniforms to consider.

Advantage: Contract security services provide a transparent pricing structure. All costs related to security personnel, including wages, benefits, and uniforms, are bundled into one hourly bill rate. This simplifies budgeting and ensures you won’t be surprised by unexpected costs unless you specifically request additional services.

5. Experience in Managing Security

Experience and expertise are invaluable in the security industry. A track record of successful security operations and staying up-to-date with industry advancements are crucial for effective security management.

Advantage: Contract security providers often have decades of experience, allowing them to implement best practices and continually improve their services. Their extensive knowledge base and ability to adapt to evolving security challenges can greatly benefit your organization.

6. Additional Trained Security Officers

Security needs can change rapidly, whether due to special events, safety concerns, or other unexpected situations. Contract security providers have the flexibility to quickly meet these changing needs with trained security officers.

Advantage: With 24/7 supervision and a pool of trained officers, contract security services can swiftly provide additional personnel when required. Whether it’s covering special events, addressing safety concerns, or handling officer replacements, they are equipped to respond promptly.

In conclusion, while both proprietary and contract security solutions have their merits, contract security offers several compelling advantages, including expert personnel management, legal compliance, cost transparency, and access to a wealth of industry experience. By partnering with a reputable contract security provider like First Response, businesses can enhance their security strategy while freeing up valuable time and resources to focus on their core operations.

Portland Security Officers: Why Property Managers Should Invest in an On-Site Security Officer

Property managers should strongly consider having security officers at their property for various reasons. Roaming security officers can greatly enhance the safety, security, and overall well-being of the property and its occupants. Here are five compelling reasons why property managers should consider having Officers at their site:


Crime Deterrence

Visible security officers can act as a strong deterrent to potential criminals. Knowing that the property is regularly patrolled by security personnel makes it less attractive to criminals, reducing the likelihood of theft, vandalism, or other criminal activities.


Quick Response to Incidents

With security officers on-site, any suspicious or alarming activities can be detected and addressed promptly. Security personnel can respond rapidly to emergencies or security breaches, preventing escalation of issues and minimizing potential damage.


Increased Sense of Safety

Tenants, employees, and visitors will feel safer and more at ease knowing that the property is under surveillance. A visible security presence can also improve the property’s reputation, making it more appealing to potential tenants and investors.


Protection of Assets

Properties often have valuable assets that need protection, such as equipment, vehicles, or inventory. Regular patrols or check-ins from on-site security officers can help identify vulnerabilities and ensure that all valuable assets are secure, reducing the risk of theft and property damage.


Monitoring of Safety Hazards

Security officers can keep an eye on potential safety hazards such as faulty wiring, broken lights, or other infrastructure issues. Identifying and addressing these problems promptly can prevent accidents and liabilities for the property manager.


Overall, having security officers on-site at the property provides a proactive approach to security and ensures a safer environment for everyone involved. It can also potentially save property managers money in the long run by reducing losses and minimizing the risk of legal issues related to security lapses. That being said, First Response is the professional hands-on security company to provide Security Officers to your location. Our reputation has been built around raising the industry standard and creating a service catering to each client’s specific needs. With each new property, we create specific post orders and develop an in-house training program for each Security Officer on your location, determined by your needs and requests.

Ring Video Doorbell: Who Else Can See Your Videos?

Here at First Response Security, we believe that no two security solutions are the same. That has never been clearer than with Ring, a popular consumer-grade security company, now owned by Amazon, providing a popular DIY option for consumers. Its range of doorbell cameras, indoor cameras, and other surveillance products at a cheap price point have become popular among the suburban community. However, as the adoption of these devices has grown, so have concerns regarding privacy issues. We’ll touch on some of the controversies surrounding Ring, shedding light on the potential risks to user privacy and data security, and looking at some more trustworthy services instead.


Data Collection and Retention


One of the primary concerns surrounding Ring is its extensive data collection practices. The cameras continuously record and store footage, capturing not just suspicious activities but also everyday events. While this information is meant to enhance security, it raises questions about how the data is used, stored, and shared.


Ring’s privacy policy has been subject to criticism, with users expressing unease about the company’s retention of recorded footage and other data. There have been instances of unauthorized access to user videos, leading to concerns about potential data breaches and third-party access to sensitive content.


Vulnerabilities and Hacking Concerns


As with any internet-connected device, Ring cameras are susceptible to hacking attempts. Several instances of hackers gaining access to Ring devices and terrorizing users through the built-in speakers have been reported. Such incidents underscore the need for robust security measures and the potential risks of relying heavily on consumer-grade surveillance devices.


Ring has taken steps to address these security concerns, such as two-factor authentication and email notifications when login credentials change. However, users must also play a proactive role in safeguarding their devices by using strong passwords and keeping their firmware updated.


Data Sharing with Third Parties


Ring has faced criticism for sharing user data with third-party companies without explicit consent. While some data sharing is necessary for the functionality of certain features, such as video storage through Amazon Web Services (AWS), concerns have been raised about the breadth of data shared and the lack of transparency.


The integration of Ring products with other smart home devices and services could lead to potential data amalgamation, allowing companies to create extensive profiles of users. These profiles could be used for targeted advertising or other purposes, raising questions about data ownership and user control.


Did we mention that Ring paid $5.8 million to customers because employees were found spying on people through their Ring cameras?




Though the convenience of Ring is undeniable, there are many risks that one takes when relying on a consumer-grade systems for their security.  Whether it’s outdoor, indoor, or a simple doorbell, no one should take shortcuts when buying security. That’s why First Response Security is your one stop shop for Professional-Grade Security. That means no hacks and no third-party sharing. Just professionally installed, professionally monitored system, along with private security response. Whether you are looking for a whole system, or just a monitored doorbell camera (check out our new VX1 Video Doorbell) we got you covered! Call 503-207-5300 today!


As consumers, it is essential to be aware of these issues and make informed decisions about the trade-offs between convenience and privacy. Industry regulations and user advocacy can play a vital role in holding companies like Ring accountable for safeguarding user data and ensuring transparent practices. Only through a combined effort can we navigate the future of smart home security in a privacy-conscious manner.

Portland Businesses: Which Security Camera is Right For You

Since 2020, Portland, Oregon has seen a dramatic uptick in crime, especially theft and vandalism. According to the Portland Business Journal, local robberies have increased exponentially, almost doubling between 2021 and 2022 alone. With that being said, if you are business owner in Portland, Oregon, it is no surprise that you are looking for security cameras for your business. But where to start? Bullet cameras or dome? Do you need an LPR? What do those even mean? Well not to worry, First Response Security is here to help. Let’s explore the different types of security cameras available in Portland.


Bullet Cameras

Probably the most recognizable of the group, and the default symbol for security, bullet cameras are cylindrical in shape, and their longer outside casing provides them with the ability to contain bigger lens, making them the ideal choice for outdoor areas. These larger lenses allows you to see larger distances with a greater level of detail.  They also tend to be weather-resistant, making them ideal for monitoring large areas such as parking lots or building exteriors. Speaking of parking lots, this camera is also ideal for LPR, or License Plate Recognition software. Again, their larger lenses, coupled with their protective covering of intrusive lighting, creates the perfect scenario to capture license plates creeping up on your premises.

Bullet cameras are perfect for businesses like libraries, manufacturing sites, airports, hotels, gas stations, schools, and hospitals.


Dome Cameras

Dome cameras are named after their signature circular encasing. This is one of the more versatile types of cameras on the list due to their ability to excel in both indoor and outdoor environments. Another wonderful feature is that it’s dome-like-casing also doubles as a vandal-proof shield for the camera. Various dome cameras actually come with a “vandal resistant rating, showing how much damage the camera can actually take before malfunctioning. Incorporating a wide varifocal lens, Dome cameras are perfect for banks, restaurants, schools, hotels, warehouses and libraries.


PTZ Cameras

What helps PTZ cameras stand out from the rest of the pack is “pan-tilt-zoom” mechanical parts that allows the camera to move up, down, left, right swivel, and zoom in and out. Depending on the type of software installed, these cameras can even be programmed to sense and follow motion-triggers, or move based on a schedule. Features like this make PTZ cameras ideal for guard stations, airports, supermarkets, and museums.


IP/Wireless Cameras

IP cameras, better known as Internet Protocol cameras, are able to not only capture video, but also send and receive footage over the internet. You will often find these types of cameras coupled with NVRs or Network Video Recorders. Wireless cameras, a type of IP camera, uses Wi-Fi or cellular networks to transmit footage. They are easy to install and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making them ideal for situations where you need cameras covering large areas like construction sites, event spaces, and parking lots.


Thermal Cameras

Thermal cameras use heat signatures to detect intruders in complete darkness or low-light conditions. They are ideal for monitoring large outdoor areas such as parks or building perimeters.


In conclusion, there are several types of security cameras available in Portland, each with its own unique features and benefits. But getting security cameras is just step 1 of the process. The footage that comes from your new cameras is certainly better than nothing, but is that really going to help with the massive crime in Portland, Oregon?  What you need is a live operator who can verify the feed or an alarm and who is ready to send help at a moment’s notice. You need a proactive approach to your security. And that’s where First Response is here to help!


With committed customer support and 24/7 in-house monitoring center, we won’t leave anything to chance when it comes to your security. We offer a wealth of services — including intrusion detection and burglar alarms, fire systems, access control, video surveillance, home automation and more — while also keeping you constantly connected to your security system right from your smartphone. We are committed to providing unbeatable peace of mind and a higher standard of service and security solutions.

Security Do’s and Don’ts for Property Managers

As a Property Manager, your day-to-day operations require you to wear many hats. Management, cleanliness, usability; everything under the sun. One aspect that is often overlooked is proper safety measures. With tenants paying rent every month, their #1 request is to be able to feel safe and protected in the places they work and live. Below, First Response Security has created a guide of the Do’s and Don’ts for Property Managers to create a safe environment for their tenants and properties.

Make sure you have up-standing tenants.

That’s right, proper security starts as early as the interview process. Though it may seem obvious, it is always important to know who exactly you are renting to. Always make sure to run background checks and criminal records on everyone who will be residing on your premises. This is by far the easiest way to make sure there aren’t any criminals renting your property.

Communication is Key

It’s always important to keep your ears to the ground and understand what is happening in and around your property.  Regular communication with resident is key to staying up to date with the happenings of property as well as learning about safety or security issues as soon as they arise. When it comes to security, the swifter action is taken, the better it is for all parties involved.

Add security cameras

As a property manager, you can’t be everywhere at once. What better way to keep an eye on things than having someone, or something, paying attention at all times. Security cameras are a perfect solution. They can keep an eye on your property 24/7, record any trespassers or incidents, and is the perfect resource when something does occur, and details are needed.

Having advanced access control

One of the easiest ways to keep tenants safe is by controlling who can enter the property. Advanced access control is the best way to provide entry for tenants while keeping strangers out. Access control needs to be active in all common areas – laundry, gyms, pools, parking garages, etc.

Having proper fire and life safety sensors

This goes without saying, but always make sure you have working fire systems in place at every property. This doesn’t just mean a fire alarm, but also smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and certified extinguishers.

Utilize motion technology

The future of security is to be able to recognize a threat before any damage is done, and motion technology has brought us one step closer to this becoming a reality. With motion sensors, you can be alerted right when a specific area is breached, straight to your phone or tablet. Do you need motion sensors in a high traffic area? Well, you’re in luck! All new AI cameras can be programed to only respond to specific types of motions while ignoring others; all decided by you, the property manager!

Of the many hats you wear, securing your property and tenants needs to be priority #1. As explained seen above, there are various measures that you can take to thwart trespasser, property damage, and whatever else might be thrown your way. With this said, it is always important to trust the professionals when it comes to purchasing, installing, and monitoring your chosen security solutions.

Trust the Experts

First Response has the knowledge, technology and professionalism required to meet all your security needs. We offer a wealth of services — including intrusion detection and burglar alarms, fire systems, access control, video surveillance, home automation and more — while also keeping you constantly connected to your security system right from your smartphone.

With committed customer support and 24/7 in house monitoring center, we won’t leave anything to chance when it comes to your security. We are committed to providing unbeatable peace of mind and a higher standard of service and security solutions.

Prepare Your Home Security for Back to School

The first day of school is upon us. You’ve probably already done all the basics — gathered school supplies, practiced your chosen safe route to school with your kids, and filled out the activities calendar. But what about your home security? Check out these simple tips to prepare your home security and your family for another school year.

Use your security system to your advantage

Many security systems feature smartphone-friendly integrations, like the Resideo Total Connect app. These can be goldmines for people wanting to keep an eye on what’s going on in their home (or double check to make sure their kids got home on time). By setting up apps like this, you can:

  • Arm and disarm your system from your smartphone. The Total Connect app allows you to set up a geo-fence that will send a notification reminder to your phone if you leave a predetermined area without arming your system.
  • Receive a notification whenever there is activity on your system. That means when the kids get home from school and enter their alarm code, you get a notification.
  • Remotely lock or unlock your door. It happens to the best of us — we all forget our keys sometimes, and your kids are no exception! If you have smart locks, you can let your kids in and lock the door again without ever leaving your desk.
  • Monitor your security cameras while you are away. View live video, speak through two-way audio or take snapshots of what’s going on inside your home.
  • See or talk to whoever rings your video doorbell. Receive an alert when the doorbell rings and answer from wherever you are.

Develop a security routine

There are useful routines that can help your home security — like the 9pm Routine that Washington County Sheriff recommends.  Aiming to reduce property crime, this routine involves picking the same time every evening and locking your doors, checking your car, yard, etc. for valuables, turning on exterior lights, and arming your security system.

Ensure your family knows your emergency plan

If you don’t have an emergency plan yet, there’s a lot of great info out there on how to make one, from a communications plan to an emergency savings plan. If you do already have an emergency plan in place, now is a good time to take a moment to review it with your family — make sure your kids know where family meeting place is, at least 3 different ways to get there from your home, and who in your family to contact via text or email to let them know they’re okay.

Use a family password 

No, we’re not talking about using one family password for all of your website log ins (don’t do that). We are talking about coming up with a code word or password that each person in your family can remember and encouraging your kids to use it in potentially dangerous situations. For teens, this could mean texting you the password if they are in a peer pressure situation or  experiencing bullying and need you to intervene. For younger kids, it could be teaching them to ask for the family code word if they are approached by strangers or if someone other than you tries to pick them up from school, and then not going with that person or running to a get a trusted adult if the stranger get it wrong.


Looking for more security tips and service news from First Response? Sign up for our newsletter below!

Newsletter Sign Up

First Response is pleased to provide complimentary life safety tips for your home and business in our email newsletter. Sign up today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

6 Tips to Help Avoid Door Knocking Scams

‘Tis the season for door-to-door sales, and with it, door knocking scams. Over the last couple of years, we’ve started to see more reports about security company door knocking scams. These scams occur when a representative shows up at your door claiming to be from your security company and says they need to upgrade your system. Or, they’ll say their security company bought out your security company.

This can lead to you being double billed or unknowingly signing on with a different company, potentially costing you thousands of dollars once you are locked into a contract with monthly monitoring and large cancellation fees.

With this in mind, we’ve gathered an easy list of do’s and don’ts for when a door-to-door security salesperson knocks on your door.


Ask the salesperson to show you company I.D. and branded marketing materials. You can also take a look to see if they are driving a marked company vehicle. Any sales rep should have business cards, flyers or brochures with company branding on them. Additionally, many salespeople have company issued I.D.s with them, featuring their name, a photo and the company information. When in doubt, you can always ask to see these items.


Feel pressured to sign anything on the spot.  You should have time to thoroughly read any document you sign and research the company before signing into a contract. Additionally, read the language carefully as you’re looking through the contract. Look for company branding and clear, specific mention of what company you’re signing a contract with.


Call the security company’s number to verify they have a rep in the area if you are in doubt. Simply look up the company’s official number if you don’t know it and call to speak with a customer service department. They should be able to tell you who is out in the field. Additionally, they can possibly track their representative’s location to confirm you are talking to an authorized representative.


Let the salesperson or technician into your home without a confirmed appointment. Your security company should prearrange and confirm any security system repairs or installs with you in advance. Don’t let anyone cut into your wall without a confirmed appointment — this is a tactic used to pressure people into signing with a scam-my company.


Know your rights. State law allows everyone a 3 day “cooling off period,” in which you can cancel your contract 3 days after signing from a door-to-door sale. Read more about the cooling off period here.

Remember that you can call us any time at (503)207-5300, or call your local police department’s non-emergency line if you have someone at your door who is being aggressive or who is refusing to leave. All First Response employees in the field have company issued I.D. to identify themselves and drive a marked vehicle. Our goal is to provide you peace of mind and a higher standard of customer service — and that means we won’t use pressure you to decide on the spot.