home protection

Smart, Security, and Safe Homes

The FBI reports that there was an alarming 1,121,416 burglaries in the United States in 2014. That amounts to a burglary every 28 seconds. While this number probably seems really high to most people it is actually down over 10% since 2013.

Why the sudden decrease in home thefts? As wireless alarm monitoring advances more and more people want to add it to their homes. A security system is no longer just a siren that goes off and a monitoring center that notifies you and the police of an alarm event. Now your security system is the central hub of your smart home. It controls features such as lighting control, door control, image sensors, thermostat control, and remote video monitoring. These features not only add convenience to the home owner but also deters criminals.

With lighting control you can set up always occupied lighting scenes for when you are away. This makes it look like someone is home as lights will turn on and turn off automatically. Burglars who as casing homes look for homes with no activity. When they see lights turning on and off throughout the day they think someone is home.

Alarm.com’s Image Sensor will give you a snapshot of someone as they walk through the door and/or when someone disarms the alarm system. This reduces false alarms because you can verify why the alarm is going off and you can make an informed decision on whether or not to dispatch the police.

When you integrate door locks to your security system you can have total control of who is coming into your home. Through Alarm.com’s easy-to-use web interface you can set up temporary user codes, user-codes that can only be used at certain times, and also specific user codes for each person in your home. This allows you to give your neighbor a code to open your front door to check on your home while you are on vacation. You could also give your dog walker a code to access your home just during the hours they are supposed to walk Fido. When a user enters their code to the front door, it not only unlocks the door, but you can have it disarm the alarm system. This prevents you from having to give out a code for your alarm system. One of the coolest features of the door lock is that you can get a text message notification of who unlocked the door.

Cameras are another safety feature that deters the criminals. When a burglar sees cameras on the side of a house they know that not only will the alarm go off and the police will be dispatched but also they will be caught in the act on the cameras. Today you can even set up motion triggers on your cameras to send you a snap shot when the camera detects motion. You can set up time parameters of these motion triggers so you will only get alerts when you are away. When you purchase cameras through J&J Security you also have access to your cameras from any smartphone or computer, so you can view your cameras from anywhere in the world.


Some people might think that this is a lot to manage but it is not. We can program your system to trigger all of these security features from just the click of a button. When you arm your system to away your system will intelligently know to activate your always occupied lighting scenes, activate your cameras for recording, and even adjust your thermostat to a more energy friendly setting. If you would like to find out more about turning your home into a smart home give us a call at (866) 532-7233 for a free in-home consultation.  

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Four ways to keep thieves from targeting your home

The technology behind residential alarm systems is quite remarkable these days.

But there’s one area of protection that no machine can accomplish: deterring would-be robbers from targeting your house in the first place.

Thieves take advantage of easy marks that ensure quick entry and exit without interference from you. Here are four easy tips to follow that can keep criminals from ever even identifying your house as a possible target, much less actually attempting a break-in.


  1. Garage Access. Whatever the reason, leaving the garage door up for extended periods of time allows criminals to get a fantastic look at what valuables are stored in the garage as well as what sort of door - and lock (if any) - lies between them and the rest of your house. So keep the door down as much as possible, and when you do want it up, park your biggest vehicle in front of it to obscure as much line of sight from the street.

  2. Love Thy Neighbor: Your next-door neighbors are the people most likely to notice something suspicious on your property when you’re not home. When you’re gone for extended periods of time or on vacation, pop next door to see if they’ll keep an eye on your house. When you return home, give them a small gift to say thanks - it builds relationships and community trust.

  3. No Routine Matter: Do you go to the same restaurant for dinner at the same time every Friday? You might be establishing a pattern defining exactly when you won’t be home and how long you’ll be gone for. Mix up your routines, and occasionally leave at your normal time and come back to the house 5 or 10 minutes later.

  4. Observe and Report. A few months back, my wife had began noticing a silver sedan routinely parked on our street. One on occasion, I went outside and wrote down the sedan’s make, model and license plate number. A few weeks later, I witnessed a young man steal a UPS package from next door and run back to the sedan, which sped away. I alerted the sheriff’s office. The perpetrators were arrested within 48 hours and haven’t been back on our street since.

Alarm systems are amazing defensive weapons against residential theft, but the human element cannot be undervalued as a way to keep your home safe.