How does one define “Arkansas”? Jewel of the south, perhaps? The Crater of Diamonds State Park could certainly help make an argument for that! But there’s so much more to Arkansas than a few piddly diamonds. With a motto like “regnat populus” (let the people rule), how can you go wrong? Arkansas isn’t about government; it’s about people. Everyone is happy, right? Not so fast. Sadly, Arkansas residents aren’t always the happiest of folks. How can anyone who is surrounded by the almost criminal beauty of Arkansas be unhappy? That word “criminal” may just have something to do it. Arkansas consistently ranks high among states for property crime. So sure, you may enjoy living in Arkansas, and the setting may be as beautiful as it gets, but having good home security in Arkansas is an absolute necessity.
Home Security Provider Requirements for Arkansas
Oh Arkansas. Despite your motto, you’re not really ready to let the people rule, are you? That’s understandable. We all know what happens as a result of unchecked self-rule (it’s called anarchy folks, look it up!). There’s certainly no anarchy going on in the Arkansas home security market, that’s for sure. This may be good news for residents and bad news for home security providers. We’ll let you decide.
Arkansas has decided to regulate this industry solidly. They’re taking no chances with rogue agents running rampant in the dark zones. Considering the amount of property crime in the state, it’s almost hard to blame them.
If you’re looking to set up shop in Arkansas as a home security provider, be warned: Arkansas is watching. The state has a board made up of industry and police professionals. The Arkansas Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies Act regulates every industry that is related to security in the state outside of regular police – including home security providers. Want to get a license? You’re going to have to go through the Private Investigator/Alarm License Administrator and his hired help first. We don’t know him personally, so don’t ask. He could be friendly. He could also be a tough-as-nails former P.I. who puts both Sherlock Holmes and Dick Tracey to shame.
But let’s look further into the details here. There’s more than just approval from a shadowy figure behind a giant wooden desk. First, if someone desires to get a license to work as a home security alarm agent in the state, they’ll need to be certified by the The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association. First. The licensing board will rarely consider an applicant that has not been certified. One of the few exceptions are those serving as apprentices, and even then, for only a short term. It doesn’t stop there, of course.
- All employees must be registered and licensed
- Some licenses require an examination to obtain
- All bills to clients must contain a valid board certified license number
- Anyone trying to obtain a license must pass an FBI background check
And of course, all of this costs money. Not an insignificant amount either. Costs can be in the several hundreds of dollars, depending on which licenses an agent is trying to obtain.
There is some good news for providers. Because Arkansas realizes that their approval process for licensing providers can be somewhat…rigorous, they have reciprocity agreements with a few other states. Before you get your hopes up: No, it is not easier to get a license in the reciprocal states. The only reason Arkansas has reciprocity with these states is because they have similar licensing requirements. Nevertheless, if a provider is currently licensed in Tennessee, Louisiana, or Oklahoma, and has held that license for at least two years, they’re good to go.
Needless to say, anyone seeking a good home security provider in Arkansas can rest easy. The state has placed a rather large hurdle for companies to jump over, and any company that fails to maintain high standards will have their licenses revoked rather quickly. With all of that property crime going on in Arkansas, that should make any resident sleep a little easier at night!
Can You Use Home Security Cameras in Arkansas?
Feeling unsafe in your home? Want a little protection while you’re away? Cat burglars getting you down? Don’t worry, Arkansas residents! If you want to see the face of the criminals casing the joint, you’ll want a few cameras. But, be wise. Arkansas is one of 13 states with rather strict privacy laws. If you’re thinking about putting up hidden cameras, you might want to pull back on that thought. In Arkansas, if you’re hoping to have secret cameras catching criminals, you may be running afoul of the law. If you insist on putting up security cameras, make sure to do so with caution.
First, make sure you never put those security cameras in a private place. What might be considered private, you ask? The usual. Bedrooms. Bathrooms. Areas where someone might be shedding their clothing while also believing they are completely sheltered from prying eyes. If you have no intention of putting your cameras in such untoward locations, good job! Put them up around your home. Just make sure they are not pointing toward a neighbor’s house or windows. Keep it clean, Arkansas.
Secondly, Arkansas is a one-party consent state for audio recording. This means one person in a recorded conversation needs to consent to being recorded. If someone is breaking into your home, and your camera catches the frantic conversation between you and the would-be invader, you’re a part of the conversation. However, if you have a camera pointed outside of your home that happens to catch a private conversation on the sidewalk, you’re in trouble. Your best bet is to avoid having security cameras that capture audio, especially on the outside of your home. Security cameras in Arkansas are certainly allowed, but to best cover your bases, have signs that indicate that your home is monitored, and avoid recording audio when possible.
Safety During Natural Disasters
If you live in Arkansas, you know all about the state’s weather. While it’s often glorious, sometimes it’s downright ugly. As a southern state, Arkansas residents are not overly concerned with harsh weather. However, the state is sitting right in one of the worst places for strong tornadoes. Category F4 and F5 tornadoes are not only possible in the state, they have happened before. The devastation caused by a strong tornado can be damaging to body and soul, which is not good. Understatement of the year aside, tornadoes are bad. Very bad. If you’ve never experienced one while living in Arkansas, you can count yourself lucky. If you’re thinking about calling Arkansas home sometime in the future, or you’re trying to block out the memory of the last tornado you experienced, you’ll want to take a few tips on how to handle these monsters when they strike.
The most important tip for tornado safety is location. Tornadoes create a whirlwind force that rips and pulls objects apart. Tornadoes often carry heavy objects inside of their vortex, spinning rapidly for miles before unloading them somewhere in a haphazard manner. If you do have a storm cellar, use it. Staying indoors in an exposed area during a tornado is asking for trouble. If you do not have a storm cellar to escape to, invest in a strongly-built panic room. These can be built into existing rooms, or can be built as solid structures inside of a house. Many are designed to withstand even the strongest tornadoes around.
If neither of these options are possible for you, we’re a bit frightened about your prospects. You may just barely survive getting sucked up into a twister, but why risk it? Prepare yourself. If tornado weather does come rolling around, and you’re without a storm cellar or a panic room, get yourself as safely located as possible. This means retreating to a basement, if you have one, or a room without windows or with the least amount of windows. Get behind and surround yourself with heavy, padded objects that can protect both your head and your body from flying debris, or from the roof caving in. Make sure you have emergency provisions: extra food, bottled water, spare clothes, and a bicycle helmet to protect your noggin. A power generator is always a good idea too, as tornadoes will inevitably knock out power. Stay safe Arkansas! There are plenty of state resources available, just in case disaster does come to town.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not a great place to live, Arkansas. You may get a bad rep sometimes from your neighbors up North, but your untapped beauty is enough to shut down anyone’s arguments. Our biggest concern is that you keep yourselves safe! Criminals like to call Arkansas home just as much as law abiding residents do. Show them what a real Arkansas resident looks like. Do us proud!