Natural disasters leave homes vulnerable, and home invaders love to take advantage of this. Here are a few ways you can protect your home during natural disasters.
Ever wondered what a smart home can do for you? Read here to discover the newest advances in smart home technology.
Choosing a new home security system? Here are some of the pros and cons of choosing a wired or wireless system for your home.
The feeling that a burglar will return to the scene of the crime isn’t always paranoia. Here’s how you can avoid being targeted a second time.
A break-in can be a traumatic experience that leaves you feeling lost. Here are three tips to help you feel secure in your home again.
The idea that you should leave lights on when you aren’t home is commonly held as a deterrent to possible burglaries, but does it really make a difference?
Help will come in many forms: family, friends, the new social networks you'll make as parents. It also comes in the form of technology that makes the everyday work of parenting easier. From electric bottle warmers to space-age stroller designs, you'll soon discover technical fixes for every challenge.
When it comes to property protection, many steps are often overlooked. It is important to have many different means of security throughout your home, ensuring your safety.
It’s always helpful to learn as much as you can when it comes to keeping your home and family safe. One of the best ways, is to research your own County’s Sheriff’s department. They usually offer many valuable programs and advice for homeowners and businesses looking to safeguard against burglaries and break-ins. For instance, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, is a wealth of information. Below, are excerpts taken from their Home Burglary Prevention brochure.
A “smart home” is one of the best ways to secure your home. Using the most reliable and secure communications and advanced tamper-resistant technology, you can be rest assured your home will stay protected. Smart homes are equipped with special structured wiring that allows occupants to control security, lighting, heating, and more, remotely by phone or computer.
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.
Everyone knows that in the event of an emergency, response time is critical. What good is an burglar or fire alarm if it goes off, but no one is notified? Monitoring centers serve as the link between your alarm system and authorities to make sure help is on the way when you need it. You don’t want to wait until after an alarm event occurs to realize you should have had your system monitored. Sadly we get those calls in our office from people who have recently fell victim to a burglary. We prefer to help families and businesses be proactive in staying safe and secure in case of a future alarm event. Here are some reasons to consider having an alarm system that is monitored and not just having it serve as a loud siren.
Did you know that homes without a monitored alarm are 3 times more likely to be burglarized than those with a monitored alarm.
In the event of a break in statistically homes without monitoring suffer 65% more of a loss in the burglary?
If you aren’t home in the event of a fire who will notify first responders? If you have monitored smoke alarms, the fire department will be notified of the fire so they can get there fast. Every second counts when dealing with a fire!
Peace of Mind
When you decide to have your system monitored, you get peace of mind knowing you are helping keep your family and property safe even when you aren’t around… 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When you choose J&J Security you know that our UL listed central stations have several locations throughout the United States so that in case of a natural disaster or other problem bringing down a central station, your alarm monitoring will be actively transferred to one of the several other central stations in our network.
Save’s You Money
Since most insurance companies recognize the strong importance of having a monitored security system over a non-monitored system they offer special discounts to individuals who have them. That is why they frequently give out discounts (up to 20% off) to those individuals who provide them with proof of a monitored security system. If you haven’t submitted a certificate to your insurance company yet, call our office so we can get one out for you. Everyone enjoys a good discount!
Alarm.com is simply smart solutions that fit your life. With smart home systems starting at only $99, we have solutions that will fit any budget no matter how big or how small. To start off with let me give a little background on the company. Alarm.com was founded in 2000 as smart homes were just beginning to gain more traction. At first it was designed for just the alarm industry. Through Alarm.com a user could now arm and disarm their system from anywhere in the world as long as they had a computer (smart phones were not invented yet so there was no app). This began a new era of innovative security systems. When they first hit the market they were direct to consumer but soon realized that users would have a better experience if they offered the service through licensed alarm dealers. At this time there were really no people doing DIY installs of security systems because the programming and wiring was so complicated.
The company was purchased by a venture capital fund in 2009 which gave them an influx of capital to really innovate their products and services. Since 2009 Alarm.com has developed into a whole home control system. You can now have total control over things such as lights, remote camera viewing and monitoring, video verification for alarms, door locks, and pretty much any Z-Wave product on the market. These features can be controlled through any smart phone or computer with internet access. Since the development of smart watches, Alarm.com has created apps for both iOS and Android based platforms.
With all the features Alarm.com offers, the consumers life becomes much simpler. Imagine this: When the last person leaves your house the system knows to automatically shut the lights off and adjust the thermostat to a higher more energy efficient temperature. The system can then detect when you are coming home, though geo-fencing, and it will automatically turn the lights back on and adjust the temperature back to a comfortable level. Pretty cool, right?
That’s not all though… Now your system can not only text you when your kids come home but it will also send you a snap shot of who disarmed the system. So maybe you don’t have kids but have a dog or cat; with Alarm.com’s Image Sensor you can now look into your home at any time.
Whether you are the on-the-go traveler, busy parent, or just a technology enthusiast, Alarm.com will give you smart solutions that will simplify your life. If you are interested in learning more about Alarm.com’s products, and services, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is (866) 532-7233.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
False alarms happen but they often happen due to user error or something that could be prevented. We don’t want our customers to have to deal with them and we don’t want to ever see frustrated with your system. Another reason for wanting to keep false alarms to a minimum is that police resources are limited already and we never want to see them wasted. Here are ways to help you avoid the hassle of a false alarm and help do your part to keep police officers free to respond to calls where they are needed.
- Make sure ALL users are properly trained on using the system. (relatives, babysitters, house sitters, maids etc.)
o Remember that you can have multiple codes programmed into your system to help identify who accessed your home. Just be sure to have us remove the codes if they should no longer have access to your home.
- Be sure to update your emergency contact list with the monitoring company. We often get customers who change their cell phone number or do away with their home phone and forget to update us. Of if you are a business that has gotten rid of an employee who had a code and password we also need to know. You don’t want to realize you forgot to update the list until after an alarm event. Be proactive and CALL US when any changes are made.
- Make sure all windows and doors are properly secured before arming the system. A door with a little too much give can easily activate an alarm if a strong wind or storm is present.
- Make sure nothing is hanging near a motion detector and that they are always clear of dust and cobwebs.
- Pets are part of them family and depending on their size and how they move around the home they can trigger an alarm event. Be sure to discuss any pets with your alarm installer and notify us if a new furry friend is joining your family.
- Test your system regularly. We recommend once a month and always a few days before leaving on a vacation.
- Service and maintain the system regularly. We offer amazing maintenance packages for our customers. Service fees with labor and parts can be costly, but a maintenance plan helps waive the cost and keep your system running in prime condition.
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.
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.