Firehouse Solutions
Web Design and Data Management for Firefighters, Rescue Techs, EMTS, Medics, and All Others Who Save Lives
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Phone 301.475.1900
Web Design and Data Management for Firefighters, Rescue Techs, EMTS, Medics, and All Others Who Save Lives Phone 301.475.1900    Live Chat
Firehouse Solutions Firehouse Solutions


March 4, 2019:
Various Feature Upgrades thus far in 2019
September 4, 2018:
Mail Server SSL Certificate Renewed - Issues Connecting with iPhone
July 16, 2018:
Community Launched to Propose an Idea, Report a Problem, or Ask a Question
December 21, 2017:
Display Boards are now in Beta Mode
June 4, 2017:
Enforcing SSL using SmarterMail Webmail Client
May 25, 2017:
Introducing SmarterMail 16 with a Redesigned User Interface

Various Feature Upgrades thus far in 2019
Mon, 04 Mar 2019 20:51:00 GMT

The Firehouse Solutions Web Team is proud to introduce the following upgrades thus far in 2019:
  • Set different alert tones on an Active911 Integrated Display Board (Requires Browser Refresh)
  • Set a custom background on a Display Board
  • Added E-mail field to Databases
  • Added Descriptions to Database Fields
  • Added a Redirect on Record Add Feature
  • Added the ability to archive databases
  • E-mail Field recipient can be notified on record add, update, and delete
  • Updated the Minimum Password Requirements to at least 8 characters
  • Added Friendly Dates like Today and Yesterday to various modules
  • Automatically use a sign up sheet to generate a calendar event
Our team is continuing to develop new and excited features.  We invite you to contribute your feature request in our community at https://support.firehousesolutions.com/community.  Please remember to refresh your display boards daily.  If you have any questions, please let us know via support@firehousesolutions.com.                                                                                                        



Mail Server SSL Certificate Renewed - Issues Connecting with iPhone
Tue, 04 Sep 2018 16:12:00 GMT
Yesterday on September 3, we renewed an expiring 256-bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate for https://mail.firehousesolutions.com.  This same certificate is used for access to the mail server via POP, IMAP, and SMTP.  The renewal process went fine.
 
However, through various support requests and phone calls, we have determined that early iPhones (particularly iPhone 6 and maybe 7) will not automatically detect the new certificate.  You must remove your account and re-add it.
 
 
Simply perform step 3.  Our mail server settings are available here:
 
This issue does not seem to affect Android devices, Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.  If you have any questions, please let us know.
 
Ron Raley
Firehouse Solutions
P.O. Box 911
Leonardtown, MD 20650

Office: 301-475-1900
Email: Ron@FirehouseSolutions.com


Community Launched to Propose an Idea, Report a Problem, or Ask a Question
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 03:46:00 GMT
We would like to introduce our new community!
 
In this community, customers are free to propose an idea, report a problem, or ask a question.  Our team will monitor the community threads regularly and provide answers and feedback quickly.  Remember, the best ideas will receive the most votes.
 
We will also be using this community to more officially communicate minor upgrades that are made to our services.  Thank you for contributing and helping us keep our technology services useful, easy, and streamlined.
 
There is a register button at the top of the Community which can be accessed via our support portal here: https://support.firehousesolutions.com/community


Display Boards are now in Beta Mode
Thu, 21 Dec 2017 07:06:00 GMT
Firehouse Solutions has a new and exciting feature to present to our Package 1 Customers called Display Boards.  Display Boards are simply electronic bulletin boards that run on a high-definition television to present helpful information to firefighters.
 
Like all of our tools, we have built our Display Board Technology so that customers can build and customize them to fit their own needs.  Administrators can add/remove widgets on a Display Board.  A widget can display weather, recent announcements, today's duty crew, etc.  Display Boards can even present information directly from a database within your website!  If there is an active severe weather alert in your county, it will scroll along the footer.
 
Customers can deploy multiple display boards and they can be operated from any internet-connected computer with a web browser.  They can run on ChromeBit, however, our team is recommending they run on ChromeBox which offers extra processing power.  We also recommend running them using Google Chrome Web Browser.
 
Data is streamed to the display boards in real-time.  This means that the moment an update is made on your website, it will also be instantly reflected on the Display Board.  If the connection to the Internet is lost, the software will continue attempting to reconnect the data stream until the Internet is back online.
 
Lastly, Display Boards can be integrated with Active911.  This means that when an alert is received, the Display Board will be wiped clean and the incident response data appears, including a timer, directions, map, and even Google Streetview!  This really is great stuff and our team is very excited to offer it to you guys.
 
Display Boards are currently in BETA mode and can be accessed in your Members Area > Website Management > Display Boards (BETA).  We are currently drafting instructions and documentation.  Feedback from you and your firefighters is encouraged.
 
Our Team would like to wish you and your organization a safe and joyful Christmas and New Year.  Be safe!
 


Enforcing SSL using SmarterMail Webmail Client
Sun, 04 Jun 2017 03:51:00 GMT
As we progress further into providing the most secure and reliable e-mail solution possible, our team has implemented a new policy to enforce the use of SSL when using the SmarterMail webmail client.
 
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is extremely important because the information sent through the Internet is passed from multiple computers to get the the destination server.  Any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if your connection is not encrypted with a SSL certificate.
 
Therefore, any insecure web link tied to the SmarterMail server will now redirect to the secure web link of https://mail.firehousesolutions.com, which is protected with 256-bit SSL encryption.  This change will not adversely affect the user experience and any existing bookmarks will redirect to the secure link.
 
The days of surfing through e-mail unsecured are long gone.  This approach is the right thing to do and we're happy to ensure that your firefighters are using the safest communication protocols possible.


Introducing SmarterMail 16 with a Redesigned User Interface
Thu, 25 May 2017 20:03:00 GMT
As many already know, Firehouse Solutions is partnered with SmarterTools in Phoenix, Arizona to provide a robust email solution for our customers.  We are pleased to announce that SmarterMail 16 has been developed, tested, and released by SmarterTools.  Our team will be upgrading the SmarterMail server to version 16 on Sunday, May 28 at 2300 hours.  Expected downtime is approximately 15-20 minutes.
 
SmarterMail 16 introduces a whole new user interface that is redesigned for the future.  This new interface will be pleasing to work with on both a desktop and a mobile device.  The appearance is simple, clean, and powerful.  The code has also been streamlined to work faster than previous versions.  Our team continues to encourage customers to use SmarterMail for ease-of-use over other cloud-based e-mail providers.
 
New features for SmarterMail 16 are available here:
https://www.smartertools.com/smartermail/whats-new#/
 
A sneak peek of the new SmarterMail user interface is available here:
https://www.smartertools.com/blog/2016/07/18-smartermail-16-sneak-peek
 
As always, if you have questions or need support, contact us at Support@FirehouseSolutions.com or you give us a ring at 301.475.1900.


Google reCAPTCHA Introduced to Combat Spam Bots
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 02:54:00 GMT
Over the past few days, spam bots have wreaked havoc across our forms on our websites.  A spam bot is a computer program designed to automatically fill out forms on the Internet in order produce unsolicited messages.
 
In order to combat this issue, our team has implemented Google reCAPTCHA on all public forms.
 
Google reCAPTCHA is a free service that protects your website from spam and abuse. reCAPTCHA uses an advanced risk analysis engine and adaptive CAPTCHAs to keep automated software from engaging in abusive activities on your site. It does this while letting your valid website visitors pass through with ease.
 
Google reCAPTCHA offers more than just spam protection. Every time the CAPTCHAs are solved, that human effort helps digitize text, annotate images, and build machine learning datasets. This in turn helps preserve books, improve maps, and solve hard AI problems.
 
You can read more about reCAPTCHA here: https://www.google.com/recaptcha/intro/
 
 
 
 
 
 


Mobile Friendly Technology is Ready!
Sun, 10 Jul 2016 23:29:00 GMT
Our team is proud to announce that we have built and tested mobile friendly technology that will power your website.  Mobile friendly refers to a website that displays information accurately between your desktop/laptop computer and a mobile device such as a handheld phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) or tablets (iPad, Kindle, Galaxy).
 
Our programmers carefully followed the "Webmaster's Mobile Guide" provided by Google to produce a mobile interface that is simple, clean, and straight forward.  The menu system works similar to the mobile friendly version of the Members Area.  The mobile friendly design will only display for mobile users and will not affect the current desktop experience.
 
If we were like our competitors, we would only provide this technology to newly developed websites or charge a fee for implementation.  But we aren't.  We are Firehouse Solutions and we want all of our customer websites to have mobile technology and capabilities.
 
Therefore, starting on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, our team will begin implementing this mobile friendly capability across all websites, one at a time.  It will take us several months to complete this endeavor.
 
For each website, our team must:
  • Build a mobile menu based on your desktop menu
  • Build a mobile graphical banner using your desktop banner
  • Update background and text colors on a mobile style sheet
  • Build a mobile footer with organizational information
Take a quick look at our demo, which is formatted for mobile devices:
 
Once mobile formatting is enabled for your website, feel free to send us questions or change requests via Support@FirehouseSolutions.com.  Enjoy the Summer!


Visitors Can Now Comment on News Stories
Sat, 23 Apr 2016 00:17:00 GMT
Our team is proud to feature an easy-to-use comment tool for news.  This tool gives public website visitors an opportunity to comment on news stories produced by your organization.  We believe that commenting is a safe, quick, and effective way for the community to provide feedback to you and your members.  In fact, here are just a few benefits of commenting:
  • Comments encourage discussion and show that your organization values the opinion of your readers
  • Comments collect feedback and other ideas from your visitors
  • Comments drive traffic to your website
To ensure that your news items remain professional, comments must always be approved by a news manager.  These managers are listed under Website Security > Website Managers > News.
 
A new tab has been added to news items that allow you to approve comments.  We suggest that your organization discuss and establish criteria for approving comments.  By default, our team has activated comments on your website.  If you wish to opt out of providing comments, simply notify us at Support@FirehouseSolutions.com and we'll be happy to remove them.


SmarterMail 15 Enterprise and 256-Bit SSL Encryption
Sat, 09 Apr 2016 03:01:00 GMT
Our mail server has been upgraded to the latest version of e-mail software, SmarterMail 15 Enterprise.  Feel free to read about the newest features by checking out SmarterMail 15 Release Notes.
 
Did you know that your members can connect to SmarterMail securely using SSL (Secure Socket Layer)?
Yes, in fact, we highly encourage them to do so.  SSL is important because the information sent on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to get to a destination server. Any computer in between the sender and the destination server can see usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted with an SSL certificate.  Interestingly, it would take 50 supercomputers that could check a billion billion keys per second (if such a device could ever be made), in theory, about 3 sexdecillion years to exhaust all applicable keys for a 256-bit SSL certificate.
 
If using the IMAP protocol on your device or software, simply change your server address to mail.firehousesolutions.com.  If using web mail, simply log in using our secure address at https://mail.firehousesolutions.com.  We also have these settings available to your members on our E-mail Server Information Page.
 
Do we need an SSL certificate for our Website?
Our answer will always be YES and our team can add a 256-bit SSL Certificate to your website for $100 per year.  An SSL certificate protects anyone using forms on your website, especially Members Area functions.  If interested, simply send your request to support@firehousesolutions.com and we'll be happy to implement this security feature for you.



Copyright © Technology Reflections, Inc.
A Team of Data Management Experts
P.O. Box 911, Leonardtown, MD 20650 - 301.475.1900