News & Updates
Alarm system knowledge base
April 21, 2017
Is your camera intruding on your neighbor’s privacy?
Are security cameras legal in your area? Many homeowners in Southwest Florida believe that a simple home alarm system is enough to protect them from becoming the victim of a burglary. While home alarm systems do help deter criminals, many are still brazen enough to attempt a quick strike on your property.
It is estimated that police solve only about 13 percent of all home burglaries. This low percentage is due to a lack of physical evidence or witnesses. Fortunately, home security cameras can help provide material evidence to catch would-be burglars before they can strike.
If you are wondering if security cameras are legal in Southwest Florida, check the following listing of state, county, and city laws for your area.
The State of Florida Allows Security Cameras
The “video voyeurism” statute, Florida Statute §810.145 places restrictions on how you can videotape people without their knowledge. It is illegal to record a person in a place or at a time where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. For the purposes of home security cameras, use of these devices on your own property is legal as long as:
- You post a visible notice that camera systems are installed for safety purposes.
- The camera system is visible and obvious.
- The camera system is not observing an area of another person’s property where they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy (i.e. an interior room, fenced back yard, etc.).
The video voyeurism laws are designed to prevent illegal recording of people in private or sexually explicit situations without their knowledge, and the transfer of said recordings. This law should not restrict your ability to install a properly configured home security camera system.
Southwest Florida Laws on Security Cameras
Lee County – No county ordinances.
Collier County – No home security camera ordinances. Sec. 26-253 requires convenience businesses to install a security camera capable of recording and retrieving images or video in the event of a crime.
Manatee County – No home security camera ordinances. Convenience stores are required under Sec. 2-19-62 to be equipped with security cameras capable of recording and retrieving an image or video in the event of a crime.
Charlotte County – No county ordinances.
Sarasota County – No county ordinances.
Bonita Springs – No local ordinances.
Cape Coral – No home security camera ordinances. Sec. 3-2 requires regulated establishments that sell or serve alcoholic beverages to have a security camera capable of recording and retrieving images or video operating at all hours of business operation.
Fort Myers – No local ordinances.
Naples – No home security camera ordinances. Sec. 10-203 requires convenience businesses to have a security camera system capable of capturing and retrieving images or video in the event of a crime.
Marco Island – No local ordinances.
Sanibel – No local ordinances.
Venice – No local ordinances.
Sarasota – No local ordinances.
Bradenton – No local ordinances.
Know Your Rights and Responsibilities Before You Install A Security Camera System
As you can see, the majority of counties and cities in Southwest Florida do not restrict home security cameras. However, it is your responsibility as a homeowner to inquire with your Homeowner’s Association regarding community regulations for security cameras. Some communities and subdivisions do not allow these systems.
If you are considering a security camera system for your property, you must ensure the cameras are only recording your property and not infringing on your neighbor’s privacy. The best way to ensure compliance with Florida’s state laws for camera use is to have a licensed, experienced security team install your system.
For a free estimate on a new home security system or improvements to your current system, call Executive Electronics of Southwest Florida at 239-597-9077 or request more information using this form.
January 15, 2016
The Honeywell Total Connect® team is pleased to inform you of our January mobile app release. This release speeds up the login experience on the Honeywell Total Connect iOS app with “Keep Me Logged In” replacing the “Remember Me” feature. It also provides general improvements on the Honeywell Total Connect web platform. Continue to visit the Apple App Store® or the Honeywell Total Connect website to receive the latest updates.
Features in this release:
- iPhone + iPad: New login screen with auto-login when a user sets “Keep Me Logged In”
- Stability enhancements
- Defect fixes and general improvements
August 30, 2013
“What can I do to prevent false alarms?”
“Is there an ordinance about false alarms in my city or county?”
“Could I be stuck with a fine if I have a false alarm?”
You hear the sound of an alarm siren in your neighborhood. What would you do? Would you assume it was a real emergency or would you ignore it?
A false alarm is an annoyance to neighbors. If your alarm system “cries wolf” too often, your neighbors will likely disregard an alarm triggered by a real emergency.
When the police or fire department is dispatched on a false alarm call, time and resources are consumed that could be used to pursue actual crimes. A speedy response could create a hazard for the responding officer and for others. This is the reason many cities and counties have adopted ordinances mandating fines for errant alarm calls. Some cities have adopted ordinances that call for no public safety response under some circumstances. Other municipalities like Salt Lake City require a private security firm to verify the validity of an alarm before the police can be called. More and more communities across the nation are addressing this problem with punitive ordinances.
Tips for preventing false alarms
- If you have a key, you should have a code. If someone has a key to your home or business, that person should also have the code for the alarm system.
- Educate everyone who uses your alarm. Ever person who will be turning the alarm system on or off should be shown how to check for unsecured doors and windows, how to arm the alarm and exit, what to do if they forget something and need to re-enter, how to contact the monitoring station, how to cancel an alarm caused by user error and how to contact the alarm company if assistance is needed. The user will need the account number and a password in the event that the monitoring station or alarm company has to be contacted.
- If the alarm has a problem or malfunction, contact your alarm company immediately. If you discover a problem like a loose door or window sensor or a damaged door or window, make sure to call your alarm company to have the problem resolved before you use the system.
- Keep your contact info (names and telephone numbers) updated at the monitoring station. If you make a change, give the new information to your monitoring station or alarm company promptly.
- If you have a pet, think about how your pet’s activities might affect the alarm. Make sure your alarm company knows about any pets when designing your system. Your motion detector may interpret your pet as an intruder. Let your alarm company know if you acquire any new furry friends. Remember that unwanted critters like rodents can cause a problem too.
- Make sure the batteries used by your alarm system are fresh. The battery in your alarm system’s control box should be replaced every 3 years or so. A low battery can trigger a false alarm in the event of a power interruption.
- If you are planning to have any remodeling done, let your alarm company know about it. A remodeling can affect the coverage of motion detectors. Also construction can damage alarm wiring.
- Watch for any obstacles that could affect your motion detector. As an example, a new display in a business or floating balloons can cause a false alarm.
- If you install new drapes or move furniture that could change the view of a motion detector, call your alarm company. In most cases, such changes have no effect. If you aren’t sure, call your alarm company.
- Ask your alarm company about Enhanced Call Verification (ECV). ECV is a procedure where the monitoring station attempts to call up to two user phone numbers (that you specified) prior to public safety dispatch. False alarms are commonly caused by user errors and this procedure has been statistically proven to reduce false alarm calls.
- Choose a professional, reliable alarm company that installs a quality alarm system!
A motion detecting device that has been around for a number of years is the “dual-technology” detector. This type of detector uses two kinds of technology for sensing an intruder – for instance, a microwave motion sensor and a passive infrared (body heat) sensor. This type of motion detector is often used in warehouses and other less controllable environments. Another example of dual-technology detects the audio signature of a breaking window coupled with the vibration caused by the breaking glass. Both technologies must trigger simultaneously to create an actual alarm.
You may want to talk to your alarm company about sophisticated new technologies such as video or audio verification. These features allow your monitoring office to see or listen-in to your location following the triggering of your alarm. Also ask about “cross-zoning” of motion detectors or other sensors. Remember that all of these technologies DO NOT negate the need for you to use common sense and care when using your alarm system.
Is there a false alarm ordinance in your area? If so, what is the fine for a false alarm? Check with Executive Electronics of Southwest Florida for information about your specific area.
Modern alarm systems are generally very reliable and false alarm free if installed properly by an experienced, professional alarm company and if used with common sense and care.
June 2, 2013
This video guide will help you learn the basic operation of the Lynx Touch 5100 security alarm system control panel. If you need additional help, consult the Alarm system knowledge base or call Executive Electronics at (239) 597-9077. We will be happy to help you!