home safety

Protecting What Matters Most

 

Your home is supposed to be a safe haven for you and your family. Protecting the ones, you love takes more than just an alarm system to protect you from danger coming from the outside. You also need to take careful steps to ensure that the inside of your home is safe as well. Each year in the U.S., about six children a day die from an injury inside their own home. We’ve compiled a list of helpful things to consider to help keep loved ones safe in your home.

 Watch Diligently Around Water

-          Drowning is the leading cause of injury related death in the home for children 1-4 years of age. Leaving a young child alone in a bathtub is very dangerous, even for just a minute.  A young child can drown in less than 2 inches of water. That means supervising bath time, putting child locks on toilet seats when (infants and toddlers are in the home), and making sure that pool areas are blocked off are all key ways to help keep your children safe.  ALWAYS watch children closely with your undivided attention when any kind of water is involved.

Keep Medicine Out of Reach

-          3 out of 10 parents surveyed that have a toddler in their home say they keep medicine and cleaning products on a low shelf or an unlocked cabinet.  Poison centers answer over a million calls a year about a child under 5 years of age. Making sure to keep all medications (including things like diaper cream and vitamins) out of reach is a crucial step in avoiding an accidental injury or even death due to the ingestion of such a substance. 

 Secure Televisions and Furniture

-           Almost half of the parents surveyed said they have not secured TVs and furniture to prevent them from tipping over and falling on a child. TV and furniture tip overs send children to the hospital at an alarming rate and can result in death. Every 3 weeks a child dies from a television tipping over. Be sure to properly secure furniture like bookcases to the wall. Our technicians can also assist you with properly mounting televisions and make sure that the proper sized mount is used.

Keep Cribs Clear

-          When it comes to cribs, bare is best! Almost 75% of parents in a survey stated that they place items in their baby’s crib. These items ranged from blankets, stuffed animals, and/or bumpers. Babies cribs are to remain clear of these objects as they pose a risk of suffocation. Since babies spend most of their time sleeping, making their crib a safe place is vital for their protection. Make use of approved sleep sacks instead of loose blankets, and keep the stuffed toys for play time instead of when it’s time to rest. Also ALWAYS place your baby on their back to sleep.

Don’t Get Burned

-          In 2013, more than 126, 035 children in the U.S. were injured due to a fire or burn. Something as simple as adjusting your water heater to 120 degrees can help prevent accidental burning. Also remember when cooking on the stove, never hold a child in your hands. Instead utilize a high chair or learning tower at a safe distance so you can still involve them in what is going on without putting them at danger. Another great tip is to always use the burners in the back when possible and turn handles of pots and pans away from the edge. As you already know keep all lighters and matches out of reach for small children and talk to your older children about fire and cooking safety.

 Consider Adding Life Safety Devices:

-          Alarm systems are great ways to help keep you and your loved ones safe. If you don’t already have monitored smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, consider the added protection it can provide your family. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that you cannot see so a carbon monoxide detector is key in detecting it and alerting you and your family. 

If you have any questions about how to better protect you and your family, please reach out to our team.

Is getting a “smart home”…smart?

 

I remember years ago there was a movie that came out about a family who got to move into a fully automated dream home. This house did everything from cleaning, cooking and even played with the dog. Are you feeling like a mango and banana smoothie for breakfast? This house would have you covered and you could just sit back and enjoy without having to do the work. While technology has come a long way over the last 15 years…we aren’t exactly there yet. However the capabilities you CAN have for your home are amazing and can help make life a little easier, safer, and even a bit more fun! Plus it’s more affordable now than ever. What used to be an option only for the wealthy is now found in homes across America.

Alarm.com allows you to not only interact with your security system from your smart phone or tablet, but can also control everything in your home from lighting, televisions, audio equipment, air conditioning, and more. We all know the feeling of worry and questions that run through our mind when we are away from the house…

-Did I remember to arm the system before we rushed out the door?

                (Just check the virtual keypad on your phone. It allows you to arm and disarm your system remotely. There is no more need to give out your code to a babysitter or housekeeper. Just swipe to disarm the system when they arrive and arm it again when they have left.)

-Did Mia get home safe from soccer practice?

                (Motion activated cameras can show you when the kids arrive at the front door)

 

-Did I remember to shut off the lights?

                (Turn your lights on and off as needed with just a swipe of your finger on your phone.)

 

-Is the babysitter doing a good job keeping an eye on the kids?

                (Just check on one of your live streaming cameras in the play room)

-Did we leave the air conditioning down low when we left for the vacation?

                (Turn the temperature up and down as needed, even when you are away. You can also get text alerts in conjunction with temperature or water sensors to help alert you in case of a flood or fire)

 

All of these questions and more can be answered with the help of Total Connect 2.0. Call our office today to learn more about what’s smart about making your home smart! 877-532-SAFE

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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.

Why is My Smoke Detector Beeping?

Is Your Smoke Alarm Beeping?

Have you ever had that dreaded experience where you wake up to a loud chirping sound in the middle of the night? You then realize you’ve waited too long to change your smoke detector batteries. We always recommend being proactive and changing the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year to avoid that dreaded experience as well as ensure your family is protected.  3 out of 5 home fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms, so make sure you are testing them (once a month when you test your alarm) and changing the batteries (twice a year) before they get low. An easy way to remember is to do it when we adjust our clocks forward for daylight savings and again when we move them back.  Smoke detectors are an important life safety device and making sure your home has monitored smoke detectors helps keep you and your loved ones safe. Every second counts when dealing with a fire. Monitored smoke detectors can take care of alerting authorities so you can focus on getting you and your family out fast.

For Non Monitored Smokes:

1.       Remove the cover of the smoke detector.

2.       Replace the battery.

3.       Close the cover.

4.       Test the detector. Press the button on the detector to make sure the battery is working. (You should hear a chirp or beep)

 For MONITORED Smoke Detectors:

1.       Call your alarm company to place the system on test.  Let them know you will be changing out the batteries on your smoke detector.

2.       Remove the cover. Remove the body from its base by turning the detector body counterclockwise approximately ½ inch.

3.       Replace the battery.

4.       Replace the smoke detector body. Align the ridge of the body with the raised arrow on the base and turn the detector clockwise about ½ inch.

5.       Test the detector. Press the test button and hold it down for about 30 seconds and then release.

Remember that there are different models of smoke detectors, so if you need more specific instructions to assist you with changing out your batteries don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can help you. We can also help you identify what kind of batteries are needed for your particular smoke detector. Also keep in mind J&J Security does offer a premium maintenance plan that covers battery replacement and annual system checks that include your smoke detectors.

TV Tip-Over

Televisions can be a huge safety issue in your home if they aren’t secured properly. Families often overlook just how dangerous they can be until it is too late. Did you know that every hour a child is rushed to the hospital because of a TV tip-over? Even more saddening is that every 3 weeks a child unnecessarily dies from a TV tip-over. Together we can help make sure this doesn’t happen to your children by learning about the issue and figuring out how to help keep kids safe. 

The statistics show that 34% of child fatalities due to TV tip-overs involved children climbing on furniture or the televisions themselves and that 47% of child fatalities with a TV tip-over occur in a bedroom. Securing furniture to walls is always an important safety step when you have young children living in your home. Young children love to climb and we can’t keep our eyes on them 24/7. Making sure large pieces of furniture are secured to the wall is an essential step to helping keep kids safe when it comes to general home safety and not just in regards to the furniture holding your TV. Since 7 out of 10 children that are injured in that kind of accident are under the age of 5…talking to your children about being careful around the television is NOT enough. SECURING THEM IS KEY and if you have an older CRT TV we have tips for them as well below. We recommend the following tips for television safety:

-Secure your flat screen televisions properly with a wall mount that has a safety certification from an independent laboratory. If you have a new television that you want professionally hung, our certified technicians can help hang them safely on your walls using proper wall mounts.

- 37% of households still have the heavier box style televisions. When you are dealing with an older CRT TV, they should be placed on a low and stable piece of furniture that is appropriate for the size and weight of the television. (A 36” box style CRT TV falling three feet will create the same momentum as a 1 year old child falling from a 10 story building)

- Don’t forget to recycle your old TV’s. Consumer electronics are now the fastest-declining portion of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. Together we can help by visiting www.greenergadgets.org to find a location near you that will safely and responsibly recycle your TV for you.

 

Things to Do Before Leaving On Vacation:

 

Things to Do Before Leaving On Vacation:

 

                As Summer approaches it usually means a lot of families find themselves leaving on a vacation. With all the excitement of the upcoming trip it’s easy to overlook taking steps that can help keep your home safe while you are away. We’ve come up with a handy list of items to do before you head out the door for some rest and relaxation.

 

1)      Social Media Is Not A Place For Vacation Announcements:

Of course you might feel compelled to announce your amazing vacation plans over social media or load pictures of your adventures while you are still on your trip. However, sharing this information could put you and your home at a big safety risk. Keep your plans a secret from the world wide web and wait until you get home to update Facebook with all those amazing pictures you took while you were away.

 

2)       Ask a Friend Or Neighbor For Help:

Having someone you can trust check in on your home is always helpful if you plan to be away for an extended vacation. They can help put your trash can out on garbage day, bring in your mail, or make sure newspapers don’t sit in your driveway. Be sure to give them a key instead of leaving one in a hiding place that someone can get to. Also be sure they have their own alarm code for your alarm system. It also won’t hurt to bring them back something special from your trip as a thank you for their help.

 

3)      Update Your Call List:

If you have a monitored alarm system, be sure to make any necessary changes to the call list while you will be away. It won’t be helpful to call your cell phone if you are on a cruise ship and won’t be reachable. Instead you might consider placing a friend or family member that will be able to gain access to the house moved temporarily to the top of the list.

 

4)      Pull The Plug:

Unplug your television, computer, and other appliances to help protect them from power surges. Many appliances use power even when they’re turned off, so saving power while you are away is always helpful.

 

5)      Test Your Alarm System:

Did you know you are supposed to test your alarm system monthly? It’s something a lot of home owners overlook. Testing your alarm before a vacation is always a safety must! Don’t wait until the morning of your vacation though! You never want to realize your alarm system is having trouble, but not have time for a service call. Instead we recommend testing your alarm a few days before it’s time to leave.

 

When Lightning Stikes...

Unexpected lightning storms can put a real dent in your plans. You might have plans to go to the beach or that event in the park. These things might be annoying but the fact of the matter is that lightning storms can cost you a lot of money if your home is not protected. There are about 1.45 million lightning strikes in Florida every year. Many of these strikes hit the electrical circuits in people’s homes. A home without the proper surge protection can lose a few of their electrical devices or everything depending on how direct the hit was. For some people this might cost them tens of thousands of dollars to replace.

Have no fear though, there are ways to protect your home in the event of a lightning strike. The first thing that I would recommend is making sure that your insurance company will pay out on a lighting strike. You might be saying, “well my deductible is pretty high and I don’t want them to raise my rate.” You are absolutely correct but it is still a good precaution because no method guarantees 100% that a lighting strike won’t affect the devices in your home.

  • Have professionally installed lightning rods that are properly grounded

  • Make sure your tall trees are a safe distance from your house

  • For your expensive appliances invest in a very good surge protector with a warranty

  • Unplug the easy to get to electronic devices

  • Do not talk on a corded phone in a lightning storm. 5% of people that were struck by lightning were talking on the phone.

  • Unplug your cable and internet from your cable modem. I have seen lightning strikes come through these lines and fry thousands of dollars in equipment.

In the event that your home is struck by lightning and it has damaged your security system, TVs, or any audio/equipment call us. We have worked with many insurance companies over the years and we will help you in the process of making a claim.

 

Carbon Monoxide A Silent Killer

carbon monoxide detector

What makes Carbon Monoxide scary to most is that it cannot be detected by sight, smell or taste. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can result in severe side effects and death. What is reassuring is that carbon monoxide alarms can easily be added to your home and help save lives. Here are some other tips in regards to carbon monoxide:

-          Make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near bedrooms. Also don’t forget to test them regularly.

-          Don’t warm a vehicle in the garage…EVEN if you open the garage doors. ALWAYS remove it from the garage if the engine will be running.

-          Make sure vents for the dryer, stove, fireplace, etc. are clear of snow and other types of debris.

-          Never use a grill inside your home or garage or even near a window.

-          Carbon monoxide detectors do NOT replace smoke alarm or vice-versa. However combination alarms are available.

-          If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, go outside immediately and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.