Expertise in Action: Alert 360's Patrick Bergeron on Transforming Home Security

We are thrilled to have Patrick Bergeron, Regional Vice President at Alert 360, with us today. Patrick's journey into the security industry is a personal one, beginning in his youth, not with a particular fascination for security systems but rather as a part of his daily life. His curiosity was piqued by the tools and equipment he saw every day, which later flourished into a career sparked by his father's encouragement and his own perseverance in the face of early career challenges. With a decade of experience in the industry, Patrick has witnessed firsthand the evolution of home security, especially with the advent of smart home automation. Today, he shares his insights on the transformations within the field, the importance of staying vigilant in today's digital age, and the pivotal role smart technology plays in enhancing home security. Join us as we delve into the experiences and knowledge that Patrick brings from his distinguished tenure at Alert 360.

Alert 360: Could you share with us the journey that led you to become a security expert? What sparked your interest in the field?

I grew up in the back of an ADT Installer/Technician fan. While I’m sure his methods probably would’ve been frowned upon, if someone found out, I looked forward to that van picking me up from school to take me to soccer practice. I remember looking at all of the equipment in the back of the truck, asking him tons of questions that I’m sure annoyed him! It never really occurred to me in that moment that security could be what I wanted to do. Se Several years later, after graduating college with a Business Management degree, I recall thinking the banking industry was the ultimate key to a successful career. I soon faced the harsh realities of that post-college job hunt. After several applications and zero responses, I called my Dad discouraged. He hyped up my sales abilities and reminded me of how indispensable security is. He was still at ADT and convinced me to go to an interview with one of their sales managers, a decision that would define my career path.

Alert 360: This year marks a decade in the security industry for you! Could you highlight the key experiences and milestones that have shaped your expertise?

To say my start in the industry was stressful would probably be an understatement. My first day on the job was the day my manager quit. I felt very much left on an island, but in hindsight, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. It forced me to confront rejection head-on and fostered a self-teaching mindset. I developed an inquisitive mindset that problem solved daily. I am so thankful I stuck it out, but that was not always easy. I remember calling the acting sales leader pleading for help, but he refused, so I did what I do best, I kept at it! Through relentless role-playing with my wife as both customer and critic, I honed my skills until I secured my first deal, which was a milestone for me! The real milestone, however, was a phone call from a grateful family about 1.2-2 years in. While at work, their home was broken into, triggering the alarm and police were dispatched. They arrived within 15 minutes, but the intruder had already fled. While on the scene, police noticed security cameras around the property and requested the footage, leading to arrests and recovery of the stolen items! This customer overjoyed to tears when they called me to thank me. It was that call that made me realize the significance of what I did.

Alert 360: With the rapid advancement of technology, how have you seen the home security landscape change, especially with the integration of smart home automation?

It has changed it tremendously and has helped protect the security industry from economic downturns. Features like remote monitoring, motion detection and integration with smart locks and alarms have provided homeowners with greater control and visibility over their homes. This allows them to monitor and manage security systems from anywhere using their smartphones or other connected devices. Additionally, the ability to automate tasks such as lighting and thermostat control enhances overall security measures by creating the illusion of occupancy, deterring potential intruders. Moreover, the progression of the industry has allowed for businesses to grow and create even more employment opportunities.

Alert 360: In today's digital age, what are the most pressing security threats that homeowners should be vigilant about?

Homeowners should be aware of the various security threats, including burglary, vandalism, package theft, identity theft and cyber-attacks. Additionally, vulnerabilities in smart home devices and unsecured Wi-Fi networks can also pose significant risks, staying informed and choosing the right companies to protect you against these threats is crucial.

Alert 360: From your perspective, what are the key benefits of integrating smart home automation with traditional home security systems?

First, it provides convenience by allowing homeowners to remotely monitor and control their security systems using their smartphones or other web-enabled devices. Second, it improves security measures with features like real-time alerts, motion detection and smart locks, providing greater visibility and control of the home environment. Lastly, the energy efficiency piece allows automated lighting, thermostat control and appliance management, which can also contribute to cost savings. Overall, the integration creates both security and convenience for homeowners.

Alert 360: Can you share a memorable experience where smart home technology played a crucial role in enhancing home security?

Absolutely. One incident that stands out was a customer who had just purchased a security system with a doorbell camera. They initially chose it to simply instruct delivery drivers and ensure their packages were safe. While enjoying a date night at a local restaurant, they received a notification from their new doorbell. With their two children at home alone, they immediately opened the app to find a few suspicious individuals lurking around the front of their house. Using the two-way communication feature, they confronted the strangers who immediately fled. They immediately notified police and monitored the camera until they arrived home. While they never imagined their doorbell camera being used for such a scary situation, they were so thankful they had it. So thankful, they scheduled to have additional cameras added all throughout their home that had two-way audio capabilities.

Alert 360: What emerging technologies do you foresee as game-changers in the home security and smart home sectors?

Looking ahead, the two biggest things I see are evolving cameras and video monitoring. Cameras are constantly improving in disguise and visibility. At Alert 360, we offer fully colored cameras at night, which could significantly aid in incident resolution. This also allows for easier identification compared to a black and white image, which can lead to quicker apprehension. Secondly, video monitoring is huge right now. We utilize Artificial Intelligence and motion zones to send alerts to our call center where a live agent assesses and responds in real-time to what is going on at your home. You can pick a custom schedule, so it doesn’t interfere with your day-to- Alert 360: As homes become smarter and more interconnected, what proactive measures does Alert 360's systems implement to ensure homeowners' safety and security? Alert 360 is at the vanguard of ensuring homeowner security through a triad of proactive strategies. First, we have real-time monitoring. The system allows homeowners to stay informed of any security events of emergencies occurring in their homes, even when they are not there. Second, we have our professional Five Diamond Monitoring Center. We go through additional certifications to make sure our trained professionals can answer alarms quickly and dispatch emergency services if needed. Lastly, we undergo regular updates and maintenance to ensure everything is up-to-date with the latest features and patches. Behind the scenes, we push updates to the security systems to ensure they are reliable.

Alert 360: For homeowners looking to upgrade their security systems, what are the top features they should consider for a smart, secure home?

Homeowners aiming to enhance their security systems should prioritize a system that offers comprehensive coverage with a combination of indoor and outdoor cameras, motion sensors, door/window sensors and environmental sensors for smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detection. You definitely want a professionally monitored security system. Having 24/7 monitoring by trained professionals who can quickly respond to alarms, dispatch emergency services (if needed) and provide assistance during emergencies is a must. I would also select a system with a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for homeowners to set up, customize and manage their security settings and preferences. Lastly, I would suggest a system that offers customization options, allowing homeowners to tailor their security system to meet their specific needs, preferences and lifestyles.

Alert 360: What common mistakes do you see homeowners make with their security and automation setups, and how can they be avoided?

A frequent misstep I see among homeowners is the reliance on DIY security products without proper knowledge or monthly testing. So many homeowners think it’s incredibly simple, but they haven’t had the experience to know if they placement is correct. Leave it to the professionals and allow a company to do a thorough assessment of your property to discuss all the options required to make your home safer. Additionally, and I can’t express this enough, test your system!! Systems must be tested monthly to account for equipment wear and functionality. A professional monitoring company will encourage and guide you through this process. You can never be too careful.

Alert 360: For individuals interested in making their homes smarter and more secure, what foundational advice would you offer?

I would start by investing in a smart security system that includes cameras, sensors and alarms. Choose a provider with a strong reputation for quality and support to ensure your system is installed correctly. Far too many companies focus more on the bottom line than customer support, so it’s imperative that you find a company that is going to listen to you and design a system that not only fits your security needs but matches your budget.

Alert 360: For businesses looking to strengthen their security posture, what are the top three best practices you would recommend?

First, I would do a comprehensive security assessment. You need to identify risks and implement the appropriate technologies and policies. This can include access control, video surveillance and monitoring as well as routine security assessments to mitigate threats effectively. Second, you should prioritize continuous employee training. Training and awareness programs to educate employees about security best practices are essential to keeping both your business and employees safe. Regular training sessions not only ensure your staff remains informed, but it also reminds them to remain vigilant against potential security threats. Finally, routine maintenance and security reviews are a must. Your business is evolving and adapting constantly, which means your day-to-day security concerns can and do change. Having a dedicated security professional and team to help maintain regular (quarterly or semi-annually) security reviews will keep you ahead of emerging threats.

Alert 360: What is the most common oversight companies make regarding their security strategies, and how can they avoid it?

The most important is absolutely routine maintenance on your system. Time and time again, we’ve seen criminals overcoming security systems from companies that aren’t dedicated to staying ahead of technology. Criminals often purchase security equipment online, learning out to exploit these systems. therefore, companies must stay proactive in updating and upgrading their security technologies. Staying ahead of regular software updates can enhance your safety. As we bring our enlightening conversation with Patrick Bergeron to a close, it's clear that the journey to a secure home is both ongoing and dynamic. With more than a decade at the helm of innovation in home security, Patrick's expertise and Alert 360's commitment to excellence have never been more indispensable. Whether you're looking to embark on the journey of smart home security for the first time or aiming to update and enhance your current system, there's no better time than now. The landscape of home security is evolving rapidly, and Alert 360 stands ready to guide you through every step, ensuring peace of mind in an ever-connected world. Contact Alert 360 today, and take the first step towards a smarter, safer home with a team that's as invested in your security as you are.