Covid-19: Summary of Guideline to Reopen Schools

As the state of California prepares to fully reopen its economy on June 15th, like many parents, your main concern is with the public school plan to maintain a safe learning environment for your children after they return to in-person instruction. In this article, we address this concern by summarizing the latest covid-19 guidelines. Importantly, we also provide relevant resources to help you find the answers you are looking for.

Is There a Standard on Whether or Not to Open or Close Schools for In-Person Learning?

The key takeaway is, yes, there is one standard that districts are using as the foundation of their reopening policy. On March 30, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released guidelines for returning to in-person classroom instruction during the covid-19 pandemic. The CDPH created the covid-19 guidelines to deliver safe and successful in-person instruction.

What are Some Specific Examples of the Standardized Guidelines for Covid-19?

  1. Cohorting: These are organized groups consisting of students and supervising adults who remain together throughout the day for all activities, including meals and recess.
  2. Employee & Student Temperature Checks/Screenings: Required before employees and students can enter the workplace. Valley Alarm has cutting-edge solutions for this requirement. Contact us to learn more.
  3. Limited On-Campus Density: Specifies that the total on-campus population at any one time does not exceed 25% of the total student body for that campus.
  4. Face Mask: Required for anyone entering school property (e.g., students, parents, employees, or vendors).

What is The Main Risk Factor for Potential Covid-19 Outbreaks After Returning to In-Person Classroom Instruction?

The CDPH states on their website that children do not seem to be a major source of transmission of covid-19. However, the greater risk is the transmission of the virus from one adult to another. Therefore, the CDPH concludes that transmission can be minimized in schools, particularly in elementary schools, with the right safety precautions. As such, the CDPH has codified this finding into a set of guidelines. The CDPH distributed them to counties and school districts throughout the state.


The CDPH has evidence that shows coronavirus transmission amongst children is low. However, covid-19 transmission in schools is more likely to occur between adults. Per the CDPH, implementing appropriate prevention measures can mitigate transmission risks. These measures have been codified into a set of protocols. The protocols have been sent to counties throughout the state and implemented by the school districts within each county.

Additional Research and Recommended Reading

Smoke Alarm Performance In House Fires



Yes. Detection devices like battery-powered smoke detectors perform an important function by alerting you to the presence of fire so that you and your loved ones can exit in a safe and timely manner. In fact, the risk of dying in a house fire is significantly less in homes with working battery-powered smoke detectors than in homes without them. Yet, the presence of these detectors in your home may not be enough.


The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA)  found in a recent study that approximately 1 in 5 deaths related to house fires occurred on properties that had battery-powered detectors which failed to operate.


About two-thirds of fatalities caused by house fires that did have detectors installed occurred in homes with battery-powered detectors. Dead batteries were the most common factor when a battery-powered smoke alarm failed to operate.


Installing monitored smoke detectors is the best way to minimize property damage from a house fire. A Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study found that having interconnected smoke detectors increased the likelihood of the detectors working and notifying building occupants of a fire. Integrating your smoke detectors into your home security alarm is one way to achieve this goal. A monitored detector will notify you of a fire while also notifying the local fire department. While a non-monitored detector may alert you to the fire, it will not notify the fire department. Therefore, your chances of experiencing extensive property damage are increased. For more information on how to better protect your family and property from house fires, Contact Us.


Spring Home Security Tips


Are you ready for Spring break and vacations?

 Use our Spring Home Security tips below to get your home ready for warm weather. Remember, Security is not expensive, It is PRICELESS! 

1. Doors & Windows: Make sure to close and lock your windows at night and when you are away from home.

2. Eliminate Hiding places: Clear away areas that are overgrown or could provide thieves with hiding spots.

3. Know your neighbors: Work with your neighbors to keep an eye out for suspicious activities on your street. Leave a key with a neighbor, don’t       leave a key under the doormat, plant pot near entrance.

4. Exterior Lighting: Make sure that the exterior is well lit at night. Use motion-sensitive fixtures around the perimeter or smart light bulbs indoor to make it seems like you’re home when you’re away.

5. Make Home Look Occupied: Create the illusion that you are home by using timers on lights, radios and TV’s. Keep an extra car parked prominently in the drive way or ask a neighbor to park their car there.

6. Suspend Deliveries: If away on vacation, put a hold on newspaper and mail deliveries. Consider having packages delivered elsewhere or requiring a signature for delivery.

7. Set a safety routine: Make sure your alarm system are armed every time you leave the house. Check the batteries in smoke detectors and test your burglar alarm system on a monthly basis.

8. Social Media: Don’t leave a message announcing travel plans on the answering machine, e-mail auto-responder or on social media sites.

Valley Alarm wishes you to have a wonderful Spring break while your home and properties remain Safe & Sound.

Thanksgiving Day Safety

Turkey on the table for Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is still the peak day for home cooking fires. According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) Data Snapshot for 2014-2016, there were an estimated 2,400 residential building fires that caused 5 deaths, 25 injuries, and $19 million in property loss for Thanksgiving Day.1 Most of the fires that happened on the holiday occurred between 10:00AM until 4:00PM, when most people are preparing dinner, and continued to decline throughout the evening.

Keeping the tips listed below in mind will decrease the risk of fire happening to your home which will help minimize your fear and maximize your excitement for the holiday. Sounds good, doesn’t it?


Keep an eye out in the kitchen when you are cooking. If you have something else to do, have somebody check on the turkey or whatever is on the stove frequently. Using a timer will be very helpful too.


Keep hot food & liquids, knives, matches, or lighters out of the reach of children. Since this is a day mostly spent with family, expect children to be present. If you can, plan activities for the children to drive them away from the kitchen.


Ensure your smoke alarms are connected and working. You can do this by running a fire alarm test with your monitoring company.

If you can, avoid wearing clothing with long and loose sleeves that could get catch fire. Also keep fall decorations or any dangling objects away from the stove top for the same exact reason.

Keeping your home and family safe will always be your priority and that is why we always feature safety tips for every occasion. This gives you the ability to be confident in celebrating all through the holiday season.

Halloween Safety Guide

Some people take weeks to decorate their house aiming to be the fiendish house on the block. In addition, it can also be a hassle to think of what chocolates to give (here’s a cheat list). So before you become busy with all the preparation, we made a short Halloween safety guide for you!

Halloween Safety Guide
Halloween Safety Guide

These are just some of the things that you can do to keep your family and home safer on Halloween. Given these points, let’s make the spookiest night of the year the safest too.

Give us a call at (818) 285-1500 or send us a message to find more ways to level up your security and get that world class service today!

What’s So Great About Proactive Video Monitoring?

We hear a lot of questions about how to go about monitoring video feeds. While there are products that let you see your home security cameras on your phone, many of you want better security for your businesses. If you need more than a way to check in on your cameras manually, Proactive Video Monitoring could be right for you.

What is Proactive Video Monitoring?

Proactive Video Monitoring is a way to have our operator alerted if someone is somewhere they shouldn’t be.

How Does it Work?

The cameras are equipped with a system that uses software analytics to know if someone is where they shouldn’t be. If triggered, the cameras connect to our operator who can dispatch authorities and talk to the people onsite immediately and in great detail. They watch what happens and can even help direct authorities to anyone hiding at the location.

Let’s bring in a real-life scenario to better illustrate this.

Jeff’s Tire Company

Suppose Jeff’s Tire Company has had an issue with thieves that break in around 1-3AM and steal their inventory. So far, the culprits have managed to avoid the security guard on staff and have made off with over $10,000 worth of product. As a result, Jeff has a new Proactive Video Monitoring system installed.

As the system is set to look for intruders in the warehouse area from 9PM-6AM, the hours without staff, the thieves walk in front of the cameras. The camera’s algorithm sees movement where there shouldn’t be any and immediately connects our dispatcher. Over the speakers, the thieves hear,

“Hey you in the red shirt! The authorities are on their way! Leave immediately!”

The intruders are dumbstruck and shaken. Two run off, but one stays. He hides behind a cluster of tire stacks just as the police arrive. Once again, the voice comes over the speakers,

“In the far-left corner, officers! He’s hiding in the far-left corner behind the stacks next to the first aid kit!”

The thief is apprehended and no product is stolen. The recording is kept for a set amount of time in case it is relevant to a court case and can be saved by the owners of Jeff’s  Tire Company any time they want.

Will Police Treat My Calls Differently if I Use This?

Police take video-verified threats very seriously and are eager to stop the crime as soon as they can. Because of this, the response times for video-verified calls are only second to the calls for “shots fired!” You are one of the police department’s top priorities when you have Proactive Video Monitoring.

Why Would I Need This?

Security guards are expensive to employ and can have a number of shortcomings. They can fall asleep on the job, miss work, or miss something on the video feed entirely.

Regular video verification lets you verify whether a triggered alarm is valid or not, but that also requires you to look at it and verify it. If you miss the notification, precious minutes could be wasted and your business could be vandalized, burgled, or your employees could be injured by intruders. With Proactive Video Monitoring, our operator is connected the moment something enters an area that should be closed off and no time is wasted.

Who Needs This?

Good uses for Proactive Video Monitoring include any location that has vandal-prone or sensitive areas that are off-limits, even if just for certain windows of time. Some examples could be a campus, a government facility, a museum, an industrial cannabis facility, or a car dealership.

How Can I Learn More?

For more information about Proactive Video Monitoring, contact us today!

Vacation: Are you Ready?

Summer is around the corner and so are summer vacations! Before you head off to relax, though, are you truly ready? Take our quiz to find out.

You made it to the airport parking lot before you realize that you forgot to turn off the lights in your bedroom. What do you do?

Just as the airlock closes and the crew gets ready for takeoff, your eyes snap open and you realize that your garage door is almost certainly wide-open, and you took a ride share so your new car wouldn't spend the next month racking up parking rent at the airport. What do you do?

Since you're thinking about your garage door, what about your front door? Did you close that? You're having trouble remembering for sure...

You deplane in your tropical destination and the hot, humid breeze makes you long for some sweet air conditioning. did turn off your air conditioning before you went on vacation, right?

Photo by Ibrahim Asad from Pexels

On the beach, a cute puppy plays in the surf, which reminds you of your pets at home. Being a responsible pet owner, you arranged for someone to take care of them when you were enjoying your vacation. You're certain that they'll be around to check on your animals and feed them, but do you know for sure?

On your last day in paradise, a news alert from home pops up on your phone: it looks like a burglar has been hitting up houses in your hometown. What do you do?

Ready for Vacation?
You're Ready for a Vacation!

Blue-tinted sunglasses above a beach

Congratulations, you're ready for your vacation! Sit back and relax: nothing gets past you! Just in case, though, you can always reach out to us to help make your house vacation-ready. Shoot us an email here.
Close, but Needs Work

Four people clinking glasses over a meal.

Friends, neighbors, and family are great to have as a support network, but you never know what might come up. It's best to have another option, just in case. To go over your security options, get in touch here. We're always happy to help!
You Have Lots of Planning Left

Hand with a pen writing a checklist.

It sounds like you have a ways to go before you're ready to jet set around the world, but that's okay! We can help you make sure that you're well-prepared to have peace of mind throughout your journey, wherever it takes you. To get started, get in touch with us here. We're always happy to help!

Share your Results:

FAQ: What Does the 3G Sunset Mean for You?

3G Sympathy Card. A blue card with "Almost Gone But Not Forgotten" written in embossed gold font over a cloud with an orange 3G and a halo.
Forever in our hearts, soon to be phased out of wireless communications everywhere.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the switch from 3G to LTE systems, so we compiled them here. If you have any questions that weren’t answered in this FAQ, please ask us here and we’ll do our best to provide you with answers.

What is 3G?

Per Wikipedia: “3G, short for 3rd Generation, is the third generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology. It is the upgrade for 2G and 2.5G GPRS networks, for faster internet speed.” The first 3G networks were launched in 1998.

What is LTE?

Long Term Evolution, or LTE, is the fourth generation of wireless mobile communications technology. LTE uses a different radio interface and core network to provide better capacity and speed than 3G does.

You mentioned that 3G is being discontinued. Is everybody doing this?

Yes: all cellular carriers are discontinuing support for 3G systems (or sunsetting them.)

When does 3G go away? I heard that we have until December 31st to do this: why are you emailing me now? How much time do I have?

Not all 3G sunsets are happening at the same time: support for these systems is ending in batches. That means the support for 3G is being discontinued tower by tower every week and there’s no way to know when your area in particular will be affected. Your system could be communicating today and unable to communicate tomorrow. This is why we recommend that customers upgrade their system as soon as possible to avoid any lapses in service.

What happens if I don’t upgrade?

In short, your system won’t be able to communicate with us: it will become a local alarm only. This means that we won’t be able to know when your alarm is going off and that we won’t know to dispatch authorities.

I have more questions. Where can I go?

If you have more questions, feel free to ask us here. We’re always happy to help.

Mudslide Guide

Read our Mudslide Guide to learn about keeping yourself safe during a mudslide.

Torrential rain is sweeping through Southern California, and mudslide warnings are everywhere. Areas destabilized by wildfires are some of the most at-risk, and as we asked in our wildfire guide: If you find yourself in the midst of a mudslide without time to prepare, what should you prioritize?

1) Follow Mudslide Evacuation Orders

Exit Sign - Evacuate if Possible during a Mudslide


If you have not been instructed to evacuate, be ready to do so even before you get the notice. Evacuate as soon as possible.

If you wait to evacuate, the roads could be clogged with traffic by the time you leave. Be ready to leave as soon as you can.

OR – Shelter in Place

If it isn’t safe to evacuate, you may need to shelter in place. According to Los Angeles County, if you are ordered to shelter in place, you should:

• Stay inside wherever you are.
• Turn off air-conditioner and fan units, if needed.
• Use duct tape or similar material to seal gaps around vents, windows, and doors if needed.
• Do not leave wherever you are until authorities say it is safe to leave.
• Listen to radio/television and the Emergency Alert System to stay informed.

And on that last note…

2) Stay Informed

National Weather Service (NWS) Logo (from - Check the NWS for information on mudslides in your area.

Check your county’s official websites and social media feeds for information and any major updates for area residents. Try to get information from sources and not third parties: look for websites that end in .gov or .org. On social media, look for accounts with a blue verification checkmark next to their name. Check your local news stations and stay tuned in case of rapid changes.

National Weather Service
Website for Southern California

Ventura County Emergency Information

Sign up for Emergency Alerts – LA County

3) Important Documents

remember your passport important documents during wildfire

If you can, have a plastic, waterproof bag ready with your household’s:
•Birth certificates
•Social Security cards
•Photo ID, such as passports and driver’s licenses
•Vehicle and property titles/deeds
•Legal documents, like wills and marriage licenses
•Photo albums
•Hard drives, especially those with sensitive information

4) Safety in Numbers

Stick together. Remember, there’s safety in numbers.

5) Designate Point People During the Mudslide

Make sure that you have at least three people outside of the mudslide area who know where you are and if you’re okay. In the event that authorities ask you to limit cell phone usage, they can let others know that you’re all right and where you are. Social media sites like Facebook may also have the option to mark yourself as “safe,” which can also put loved ones at ease about your safety.

Flash floods and mudslides can happen in an instant. Stay informed on weather conditions in your area and stay safe. In the event that you are unable to check on your home or business, you could check on your phone to ensure that your system is armed. For more on smart security, click here.

Contact us for a free, no-obligation safety consultation.

Test your Thanksgiving Safety Knowledge

The turkey’s ready to go into the oven, potatoes are mashed and ready in their dish, and the pumpkin pies are finally poured and waiting to bake. Before you crank up the heat in the kitchen, though, be sure to test your Thanksgiving safety knowledge with our quiz!

POP QUIZ: Thanksgiving Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA,) more home cooking fires happen on Thanksgiving than any other day. Approximately how many home cooking fires did US fire departments respond to on Thanksgiving Day in 2016 alone?

Correct! Wrong!

Kids can be a great part of Thanksgiving and are often helpers in the kitchen. What should you do to keep your helpers safe when in and around your kitchen?

Correct! Wrong!

What's the safest way to heat cooking oils?

Correct! Wrong!

The NFPA found that the factors below were some of the most common causes of home cooking fires from 2012-2016. Which was the number one cause of fires?

Correct! Wrong!

One of the best ways to make sure that you're prepared for Thanksgiving is to test your smoke detectors. Have you tested your smoke detectors this month?

Allstate Blog

Please select 2 correct answers

Correct! Wrong!

Thanksgiving Safety Quiz
Perfectly done!
Congratulations, you're ready for Thanksgiving! Have a safe and happy holiday.
Could use a few more minutes.
You're almost there, you just need a little more studying before you're ready for Thanksgiving prime-time. Have a happy and safe holiday!
Needs a lot of seasoning.
Your Thanksgiving safety knowledge needs a tune-up, but that's what this quiz is for! Feel free to take it as many times as you need to (we won't judge!) Have a happy and safe holiday.

Share your Results:

Are you all fired up for Thanksgiving? Want to learn more about testing your monitored smoke detectors or alarm? Here’s a quick guide to testing your alarm system. We at Valley Alarm hope that you have a happy and safe holiday!

Contact us today!