Home Security Systems in Oregon
Oregon may be home to a town named Boring, but it sure isn’t boring in the Beaver State. There are tons of fun and interesting places to visit when you’re in Oregon. If you’re into nature, there’s Crater Lake, Hells Canyon, Sea Lion Caves, or the Malheur National Forest, where the largest living organism in the world resides. (Hint: It’s a fungus.) While this fungus is interestingly large, there are also things in Oregon that are interestingly small, such as the Mill Ends Park (an official park that only covers 452 sq. inches) and the D River (shortest river in the world). If you’re more into exploring urban areas, then I suggest you go to Portland. This city alone has more breweries and microbreweries, restaurants, and movie houses than any other city in the country. Even better, there’s no sales, liquor, or restaurant tax in Oregon, so you can enjoy food hunting and beer tasting at a low cost.
The diversity of Oregon points to the fact that the Beaver State is full of people from all walks of life, from nature-lovers to party-goers. Unfortunately, those “walks of life” also include criminals. More disturbingly, Oregon’s property crime rate (29.47 per 1,000 residents) is higher than the national median (26 per 1,000 residents). So while Oregon is a great state to move to, one must know how to best protect themselves, their family, and their home.
As we’re experts in home security, we’re here to give you tips on how to choose the right home security provider for you.
Security System Provider Requirements in Oregon
The first step in choosing the right security company is to narrow down your options. Start by determining whether your prospective alarm companies are recognized by the state. In Oregon, there are several regulations in place that ensure the best interest of consumers.
First, installation of alarm systems must only be done by licensed contractors. Electricians with general licenses (i.e. General Supervising Electrician or General Journeyman Electrician) or certain limited licenses (e.g. Limited Residential Electrician, Limited Energy Technician Class A) are the only ones allowed to perform installations.
Second, alarm companies that offer monitoring services must adhere to the regulations laid out by Oregon’s Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). The department says that an alarm monitoring business in Oregon must have at least one employee licensed at the level of Executive Manager (EM). It is the EM’s duty to ensure that the company and all its employees comply to all the monitoring standards set by the DPSST. To be an Alarm Monitor EM, one must complete the 12-hour basic alarm monitor course, attend the Manager’s course by DPSST, and pass the assessment and exam that will follow. Aside from having at least one EM, all the employees of a monitoring company must become Alarm Monitor Private Security Professionals first. The application process can be found here.
Finally, alarm businesses that also offer private security guard and patrol services must follow Oregon DPSST’s regulations, depending on whether they offer armed or unarmed security services. In general, companies that offer security guard services must have at least one EM employed, but with a different training than an Alarm Monitor EM. Alarm Monitor EMs undergo 12 hours of basic Alarm Monitor coursework, while Private Security EMs undergo 14 hours of unarmed training coursework.
Aside from these regulations, you should also take note that most cities and counties in Oregon require alarm permits. Alarm permits may either be filed by you or the alarm company, so when choosing a company, be sure to discuss whose responsibility it is to file the permit.
Using Home Security Cameras in Oregon
Besides getting a security system, another tip is to install security cameras. However, there are certain things one must be mindful of when erecting cameras.
One, you should not install security cameras in places where a person expects personal privacy, such as in bathrooms, bedrooms, and locker rooms. This goes for both security cameras installed in plain sight and those that are hidden.
Two, if you’re using hidden cameras or nanny cams that don’t record audio, you’re free to place them anywhere on your property (except in places mentioned above). However, be sure that you don’t accidentally record things beyond your property’s boundary.
Three, if you’re using cameras with audio capabilities, you should know that US laws are more stringent toward audio. This is because the wiretap law applies to audio-video cameras. One thing to remember is that you need the consent of at least one party (or both parties in other states) before recording a conversation. If you’re part of the conversation, then you’re clear. But if the conversation doesn’t involve you and you’re still recording, you could be in trouble.
Safety During Natural Disasters
The third and final tip we can give you is to prepare for natural disasters. Why? Because being in the Pacific Northwest puts Oregon in a disaster-prone situation. According to Oregon.Gov, natural hazards in the Pacific Northwest can be classified into five categories: floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. What’s worse is that these catastrophes may come in pairs, causing even more damage. Floods are usually accompanied by landslides. Volcanic eruptions can cause a series of earthquakes. And earthquakes in coastal areas can cause tsunamis. The key to safety is anticipation and preparedness.
For any type of natural disaster, it is important to have an emergency kit. The emergency kit must have all your basic necessities (food, water, clothing), medical supplies, first-aid kit, and other important things such as flashlights, radios, and batteries. In case you get trapped or you need to evacuate, the emergency kit is your lifeline.
Another important thing to have is an evacuation plan. For floods and landslides, it is best to take a path away from the raging water or mud. For earthquakes, places away from tall buildings, trees, and posts are the best. Before a volcanic eruption, it is wise to evacuate as far away from the volcano as possible. And when there’s a tsunami warning, evacuating to high-rise areas is your best choice.
Finally, heed the warning of the authorities. If they tell you to evacuate, evacuate. If they tell you to stay at home, don’t wander around. Tips, warnings, and forecasts about Oregon emergencies can be found here.