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What is a Cyber Doorman?

December 29th, 2012

As defined in Wikipedia under internet-related prefixes, Cyber- is a prefix derived from “ cybernetic,” which comes from the Greek adjective κυβερνητικός meaning skilled in steering or governing ( Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon). It is used in the terms cybersex , cyberspace , cyberpunk . Cybernetics is relevant to the study of systems, such as mechanical, physical, biological or cognitive and, when applied to types of human activity such as a cyber doorman, implies robotics.

The human portion of the term, “cyber doorman” or “cyberdoorman,” refers to a service professional – defined by Wikipedia as an individual hired to provide courtesy and security services at a residential building or hotel. Doormen are particularly common in urban luxury highrises. Typically, a doorman is responsible for opening doors and screening visitors and deliveries. He will often provide other courtesy services such as signing for packages and screening the entrance door.

Most NY doormen belong to the Building Service Employees Union Local 32B-32J. Doormen made 2010 salaries of about $42,000 per year plus benefits and about $8,000 in holiday season tips. Considering that it would take about 5 full time doormen to cover a building 24/7/365, that would add $210,000 plus the cost of benefits to a building’s operating cost. Of course, these costs increase with the cost of living.

Many residents desire the services of a doorman, but cannot afford the cost. Some form of cyber doorman – an installation that provides some of a doorman’s service by using electronic devices – may be the solution. Similar terms to cyberdoorman include automatic doorman, robotic doorman, remote doorman and interactive doorman. A cyberdoorman can also be available to cover shifts on days when there is no doorman coverage or can provide back-up when the live doorman leaves his station to perform other security duties. The best of these services employ three essential cyber elements:

1. A main entry door equipped with an alarmed card-access lock, two-way audio communication and a video camera. A sign usually notifies visitors that a “cyberdoorman,” “automatic doorman,” or “robotic doorman” is in operation. Pressing the attention button, a break-in or a door propped open generates a response from a remote security guard.

2. A series of video cameras leading from the entry door to a securely alarmed package room which is also equipped with two-way audio, video and a remote-controlled door lock. Any break-in triggers an alarm which notifies a remote security guard who can evaluate the break-in, mitigate the situation or call the police.

3. All cyber elements are connected 24/7 to a digital video recorder (DVR) which instantly records all audio and video while continually transmitting data to the central monitoring station of a secure Internet connection. The central monitoring station can contact police, building management or individual residents by phone or email.

Some of the benefits obtained by a cyber doorman include:

1. RECEPTION OF DELIVERIES IN STORAGE Whenever a package is delivered to the cyberdoorman equipped building the delivery person initiates contact with the “cyberdoorman” central monitoring station. The cyber station operator verifies the identity of the courier and opens the door. The courier is instructed to go to the storage room and is under cyber surveillance by video to the storage room door. The monitor unlocks the door to the storage room and verifies that the courier leaves the package and does not take anything from the room. The courier is then cyber monitored until leaving the building.

2. CARD ACCESS DOOR CONTROL & MANAGEMENT Cyber access control cards eliminate lost and outstanding keys. Every resident registers for a card with the cyber doorman service and if the card lost, its code will be programmed out of the system.

3. 24/7 CCTV RECORDING with a capability for central station interface, audio and visual.

4. VIDEO ESCORT By pressing an emergency button in the building lobby, a resident can enter the lobby and be “escorted” by the cyber doorman to the elevator or to their floor. The remote guard can talk, listen and view. If an intruder is present, the guard can warn the intruder that he is being watched and recorded and if necessary, authorities can be dispatched.

5. ANTI-LOITERING Cyber technology known as Video Analytics can monitor lobby and entrance cameras. If anyone stays in the lobby more than 3 minutes, central station operatorsare alerted and come online to ask them to leave. If the loiterers don’t leave, they are informed that the police will be dispatched. If they persist, police are called.

Cyber anti-loitering removes potential muggers, drug dealers or homeless people from the lobby. Tenants report feeling safer knowing they are coming home to an entrance with no potential threats.

6. DOOR AJAR NOTIFICATION to building owner or management.

7. FORCED ENTRY DISPATCH to local police.

8. LATCHKEY KID NOTIFICATION When a latchkey kid comes home, the cyberdoorman can email the parents.

9. VITAL SIGNS MONITORING A digital video recorder (DVR) is programmed to report to its central station when it needs service, if a camera is out, or if it is disconnected or turned off.

The original Video Doorman was developed by Lawrence Dolin, CEO of American Security Systems in 2007.

Lawrence Dolin, CEO of American Security Systems

Lawrence conceived the configuration of a cyberdoorman after many real estate developers and clients came to Dolin and asked if he could create a system to offer doorman services for the new condominium developments that they were building outside of Upper Manhattan where doormen were expected as a common service. These developers wanted to keep maintenance costs down for their new buildings, also wanted to provide residents a higher level of convenience, safety and service.

In 2012, Dolin patented the anti-loitering technology behind Video Doorman ® Safe Lobby and to date, it is the only anti-loitering technology offered to residential buildings anywhere in the world.

Says Dolin in the July 2012 issue of The Mann Report, “My service provides equivalent safety and security as a real doorman and it does it at less than 5% of the cost of an real doorman… about $1.00 a day. An important fact to remember is that it delivers added value to the building, whether it is a rental or condo.”

Dolin’s proprietary name for his cyberdoorman service is Video Doorman ®. You can learn more about Video Doorman and how easy it is to have a cyber doorman for your building by clicking here.

How to Avoid Contractor Scams After Hurricane Sandy

December 5th, 2012

by Larry Dolin

The vast majority of contractors – security companies, plumbers, electricians, and roofers – are ethical and are committed to helping those in need in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. However, the urgency of the situation, coupled by the desperation of the victims allows for victims to be exploited by unethical contractors – scammers – who are trying to take advantage of the situation. If you are a victim of Hurricane Sandy, don’t become a victim of thieves masquerading as contractors! Here are some tips to help you avoid hiring scam contractors.

Stop Scam – Top Tips from Expert, Larry Dolin

Larry Dolin, President, American Security Systems has been installing and repairing security systems for decades.

The vast majority of contractors – security companies, plumbers, electricians, and roofers – are ethical and are committed to helping those in need in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. However, the huge demand for urgent repairs creates an environment in which thieves thrive. We have reliable reports that scammers are working throughout the hurricane damage zone, trying to take advantage you and your dire situation. Don’t allow yourself to be outsmarted! Here are some tips to help you avoid hiring scam contractors.

1. Reputable contractors offer written estimates before they start work or ask for payment. Be wary of contractors who offer to do work immediately by using “ballpark estimate” or verbal quote. Protect yourself by making sure the estimate is written and one that is reviewed and signed by you before work commences. Also examine the letterhead and stationery of the contractor, to determine if the document was professionally printed (a good sign) or run off on a home computer printer. Companies that invest the money to make a professional presentation are usually more reliable.

2. Legitimate contractors are certified, insured and/or bonded by the state and/or town you live. Do your homework. Call the appropriate state or local municipality to verify the contractor’s lisence number and information.

3. Use your favorite search engine by typing the name of the company followed by the words, “scam,” “complaint,” or “fraud.” If a contractor is not legimate, there is usually some reference to his methods, made by unsatisfied customers, on the web.

4. After a disaster it is common for unscrupulous contractors to visit victims door-to-door to find business, claiming that they “just happened to be working in your neighborhood.” They may also claim to have leftover supplies from a previous job that they will sell you at a discount. You can easily verify such stories by asking for neighborhood references by name, address and phone number.

5. Cash-only deals are a sure sign of a high risk contractor. Often, the cash deposit is kept and work is never started. Reputable contractors will always begin by asking for check or credit card payments.

6. Never pay for a large deposit or the entire price of a job before work is started. A popular contractor scam is to take a deposit and then disappear. Most legitimate contractors only bill after the work is done and done to your satisfaction.

Helpful Links for More Information

NYCHA Hurricane Victim News

Important Info NY HPD

MyFoxNY Free Legal Advice for Hurricane Victims

FEMA Advice for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Tips For Retires Victims (US News):

Home and Business Security after Superstorm Sandy

December 5th, 2012

by Larry Dolin

Along with loss of heat and electricity, loss of personal safety and security ranks as one of the most urgent issues following the ravages of Superstorm Sandy. All affected areas have reported two forms of theft which seek to exploit the vulnerabilities of the vicims: Looting and Contractor Fraud.

Looting:

Recent reports detail incidents of looters invading the vacant homes and businesses of hurricane victims. Buildings with no security systems are ripe targets for invasion and theft. While obvious valuables – cash and jewelry – are desirable, every building is a treasure trove of construction metals like copper, brass and stainless steel, which fetch high prices at recycling depots.

But even buildings which were protected with top-flight security systems have become vulnerable because the electrical wiring, control modules and cameras have been ruined by wind and corrosive salt water. While the appearance of a security system may make a protected, vacant building a lower priority for thieves, eventually the security systems will be examined or tested and when found to be inoperative, the protected building is no better protected than one without a security system.

Contractor Fraud:

Building owners are as much in search for reputable security companies as they are for plumbers, electricians and roofers. The urgency imposed by a catastrophe like Superstorm Sandy drives building owners to drop their guard when seeking contractors to restore their safety and security. Unscrupulous individuals are attracted by the vulnerability and urgency of storm victims and seek to prey on the trust of people in distress. At such times, discipline and a firm policy for finding reputable vendors are paramount.

American Security Systems has initiated a specific team of security experts to address the needs of hurricane victims – both commercial and residential – with proven techniques that restore protection quickly and economically. There is no reason to rely on risky vendors when one of the most trusted names in building security is ready, willing and able to respond to victims’ needs.

American Security Systems emergency response involves 5 critical steps:

1. System testing and site survey and analysis of damage incurred, immediate restoration of services if damage is minimal.

2. Discussion of options ranging from rapidly deployed perimeter protection to complete restoration and improvement of original system.

3. Preparation and delivery of a Statement of Work and contract.

4. Rapid deployment of contracted installation and maintenance services

5. Follow-up contact to assure total satisfaction

Representatives of American Security Systems carry company identification at all times, and adhere to the highest ethical practices of the industry:

1. Never offer verbal deals – always present a Statement of Work to be performed and a contract.

2. Never accept cash deposits or large downpayments for work to be performed.

3. Represent leading brands of manufactured items such as cameras, control systems and detection devices.

4. Offer accurate estimates of when the job will be completed, appear on site as agreed and continue working on installation or repair until the job is completed to the customer’s satisfaction.

5. Never sell “door-to-door.” Representatives only appear by pre-arranged appointment.

6. Installation work is covered by Workmen’s Compensation and corporate liability insurance in excess of $1 million per installation.

Helpful Links for More Information

NYCHA Hurricane Victim News

Important Info NY HPD

MyFoxNY Free Legal Advice for Hurricane Victims

FEMA Advice for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Tips For Retires Victims (US News):

Little Known Technology Provides Key to Safety

November 21st, 2012

The prestigious journal of real estate security, The Mann Report, recently carried an informative article on how American Security Systems has been employing digital pattern recognition to identify loiterers in lobbies and other public spaces in residential buildings. Highly successful, the system requires no direct human supervision, except when loiterers are identified. Only at that time is a professional security operator notified and a foolproof action plan initiated that results in nearly immediate expulsion of offenders.

Read here, in the words of the system’s innovator, Larry Dolin, how the system works, its powerful secret and how you can obtain such services for your building.

CLICK HERE TO READ PDF FILE OF ARTICLE.

Many smaller buildings with eye on safety turn to video doorman

May 1st, 2010

By DONNA ROLANDO

Security Camera

In apartment and condo sites too small to afford a flesh-and-blood doorman, the video variety is catching on.

Video doormen have been protecting residents and their packages in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and now are crossing the Hudson and sparking interest in New Jersey with two Hoboken communities signed on and several more targeted.

“A lot of people are coming from midtown Manhattan and expect doorman services,” said Larry Dolin, president of American Security Systems. in Long Island City, N.Y., and inventor of Video Doorman – on the market since 2007.

Many large residential buildings offer doorman service as an amenity. The challenge of finding a more inexpensive alternative for smaller buildings was put to Dolin, based on American’s 30 years in the security and alarm business, and Video Doorman was born.

“To have someone to call 24/7 and know they can get the police there if necessary, it’s invaluable and very inexpensive,” said Dean Geibel, managing partner at Waterfront Management, which installed Video Doorman at Metrostop condos in Hoboken.

He values Video Doorman for being able to connect residents arriving home late to police if necessary and get them safely inside.

Like a real doorman who opens the door for residents, the Video Doorman opens the door for those with authorized card access. They swipe their card in the reader at the building entrance and go on their way. But if residents do not feel comfortable – perhaps because of a stranger or even just the late hour, the Video Doorman can do much more than that.

Each resident is given what Dolin calls a “transfob” (a combination transmitter and card key). When they press a button on the transfob, American Security Systems’ central station knows their identity and can focus their cameras on them. It can also ask the identity of the stranger, and if they have no reason to be there, call the police.

For further security, concerned residents can get a video escort, too, which means that a series of cameras within the building, each supplied with speakers and microphones, can follow them on the way to their unit.

This same technology is used to escort deliverymen from the front door (where they push a button on a video intercom panel allowing them to enter) to the package room, which a central station views on a TV surveillance screen to guard against theft. The deliveryman then is escorted back outside with no time to roam the building. When residents retrieve their packages, this too is recorded on camera, guarding against mistakes.

“We really take this very seriously,” said Dolin.

“We never intended to replace doormen. We wanted to give doormen services to businesses that couldn’t afford them,” he said. The New Jersey sites that have welcomed Video Doorman so far agreed that it was not a case of taking jobs. Without this technology, there would be no doorman at their developments.

Stephen Berini is developer of Vesta Hoboken and also resides at the 16-condo unit development.

“Having come from New York, I always liked the security of a doorman. Video Doorman gave us that security but without the exorbitant cost of three shifts of doormen,” he said.

“I actually love having the virtual doorman,” said Vesta resident Phil Marrone. He was one of Vesta’s first residents last September, and said he picked this site partly because of Video Doorman.

“My girlfriend and I like to do a lot of shopping online. It’s really convenient,” he said. An e-mail gives them word of arriving packages. It’s also great for dry-cleaning and for grocery deliveries, he said.

Dolin said residents rate the ability to get deliveries as the No. 1 reason they want a doorman service of some kind.

“With the advent of the Internet, everyone’s ordering,” he said. “Yet we would go around [Manhattan] and see stickers on doors,” indicating that a delivery had been aborted because no one was there to sign for it.

With Video Doorman, folks no longer have to see their dry cleaner, he said, and are happy about it.

Video Doorman’s cost is roughly $20,000 for basic installation and about $1,200 a month for service based on 40 units, Dolin said.

Have You Considered a Video Doorman?

April 13th, 2010

By Marla Diamond Reporting WCBS 880 Reporter

Hoboken gets Video Doorman

March 1st, 2010

Hoboken gets New Jersey’s first “Video Doorman”

November 10th, 2009

By NJ.com

Hoboken gets New Jersey’s first “Video Doorman”

It doesn’t help you with your bags, pet your dog or hold open the door. But it does accept packages and even provides some security.

The system, which was recently installed at Vesta Hoboken, a new condo building at 609 Observer Highway, will accept packages and provide security at about a dollar a day per unit, some 10 times less than a traditional doorman. For buildings over about 35 units, the cost goes down to about 50 cents per unit per day, said Larry Dolin, president of American Security Systems, which provides the product.

“Remote centralization of doorman services is the future,” he said during a demonstration at Vesta several weeks ago. “It comes out of a real need.”

Although Vesta is the first New Jersey building to get the system, Dolin has installed several across the river(s), in such neighborhoods as Tribeca, Harlem, Long Island City and Williamsburg. In all, Dolin has 11 either installed or in contract, he said. Read complete article…

American Security Systems has banner year with fire alarms, Video Doorman and integrated systems

November 11th, 2008

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY

This September ended the 29th year of American Security Systems, with its highest sales ever. According to Larry Dolin,president and founder, American is just reaching its stride. Over the years the company has grown froma basic residential central station alarm provider, into one of the leading total security systems companies in New York. Growth came from innovative marketing, insistence on installing only quality products,reinvestment into infrastructure personnel, and acquisitions.

Video Doorman

Introduced two years ago, VideoDoorman has captured the minds of residential building owners and tenants, wanting the security and convenience provided by a doorman.

Video Doorman not only provides most of the functions at a small percentage of the cost but increases the value of the buildings’ units when it comes to selling. Tenants in buildings without doormen are currently unable to receive packages, UPS, Fed Ex, dry-cleaning, gifts or other deliveries from local merchants. In effect, they are cut off from the many time-savings benefits that tenants in doormen buildings enjoy. Fully 40% of all Americans now order on the Internet. The Video Doorman solves this dilemma. A video intercom panel is installed on the outside of a building for deliveries when tenants are not home. When pressing the button, trained central station operators answer, as the visitor comes up on American’s screen, and they ask for identification to remotely allow entry. All activity is recorded voice and picture. Through a series of cameras in the hallway and elevator with speaker/ microphones, the central station operators “escort” the delivery person to a secured package room, open it up, watch as they deliver and leave. The tenant is e-mailed to notify them of the delivery. HID access control readers are installed on the front door and package room door, insuring only authorized tenants enter. Cards are managed over the Internet. “Another feature owners like is the ability to call up our 24-hour UL Certified Central Station late at night using a remote transmitter,” said Dolin. Our operators connect to the tenant upon entering the building. With a camera and speaker/microphone in the elevator, American Security Systems can “escort” the owner right up to their floor. The system is a combination of video intercom, CCTV, access control and high security locks. Cameras are always recording and access control working, even when the Video Doorman feature is not activated. “You can’t get better security than this” said Dolin.

Fire Alarms

With the outstanding track record of American’s installation and service, “clients asked if we could provide fire alarms” said Dolin. Most of the clients were dissatisfied with their vendors. The result was the purchase of a small fire alarm company in 2003. American began installing one of the premier product lines for the Life Safety sector, General Electric. The manufacturer of Edwards (EST) and Mirtone (Vigilant) renowned in the industry for reliability and effectiveness. By installing and servicing quality products, American was again asked by its customers to perform Testing and Inspecting of all Fire Alarms as required by New York City Code and NFPA guidelines, and FDNY approved Central Station Monitoring. The result, satisfied clients such as Forbes, Catholic Charities, Capital One and a growing list of others.By utilizing quality personnel and product, American’s Life Safety Division has grown exponentially. The last three years American was awarded Regional Dealer of the Year, and this year achieved both Regional and National Dealer of the Year honors from GE!

Kenneth Gould

American Security Systems is also proud to announce that Kenneth Gould has joined the company as executive vice president, general manager. With more than 30 years of experience in the fire protection and life safety industry, Gould is familiar with the leadership and skills it takes to run a successful organization. He is a former general manager and vice president with ADT Security Services, a division of TYCO International.

Gould is a frequent speaker on industry-related topics and is involved in several other professionaland community associations, including the New Jersey Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and the New York Electronic Security Association. He is also a member and past president of the Metropolitan Burglar and Fire Alarm Associationof New York. Dolin says given his experience, they expect Gould to help make American the leading security systems provider in the New York Metro market.

Video Doorman installations from American Security Systems are on the rise

April 14th, 2008

By Larry Dolin

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY

The more the market tightens, the owners/developers are looking to provide a “competitive edge” in condos. As such, many are adding Video Doorman from American Security Systems, Inc. to their buildings. Not only does it provide most of the services of a doorman, but does so at less than 10% of the cost. Introduced 2 years ago, the system has captured the minds of residential condo developers. Buyers of condos in buildings with 75 or fewer units want the security and convenience provided by a doorman. But 3 shifts of a doorman can cost a building upwards of $150,000 per year, which builds maintenance costs. Video Doorman not only provides most of the functions, but increases the value of the building when it comes to selling.

The Need

Tenants in buildings without doormen are currently unable to receive packages, UPS, Fed Ex, dry-cleaning, gifts or other deliveries from local merchants. In effect, they are cut off from the many time-savings benefits that tenants in doormen buildings enjoy. Fully 40% of all Americans now order on the Internet, but they can’t (unless it’s delivered to their office).

How It Works

The Video Doorman solves this dilemma. A video intercom panel is installed on the outside of a building for deliveries when tenants are not home. When pressing the button, trained Central Station operators answer, and the visitor comes up on American’s screen. After dialoging with the delivery person, and asking for identification, they remotely let them in. All activity is recorded voice and picture. Through a series of cameras in the hallway and elevator with speaker/ mikes, the Central “escorts” the delivery person to a secured package room, opens it up, watches as they deliver and leave. The tenant is e-mailed to notify them of the delivery. All activity in the package room is recorded. HID access control readers are installed on the front and package room doors, insuring only authorized tenants enter. Cards are managed over the Internet.

Video Escort

“Another feature owners like is the ability to call up our 24-hour UL Certified Central Station late at night,” said Larry Dolin, president of American Security System. Our operator connects to the owner upon entering the building. They talk and listen in, dispatching authorities if need be. With a camera and speaker/microphone in the elevator, American Security Systems can “escort” the owner right up totheir floor.

Added Security

The system is a combinationof video intercom, CCTV, access control and high security locks. Cameras are always recording and access control working, even when the Video Doorman feature is not activated. “You can’t get better security than this,” said Dolin. More and more buildings will be adding this system.

Contact Us

American Security Systems
Located at 5-44 50th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101.
Phone: (718) 784-2880
http://www.amsecuresys.com/

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American Remote Video
Located at 5-44 50th Ave., Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone : 877-3-VIDEODM (877-384-3363)
Website: www.americanremotevideo.com

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