security cameras

What to Look for When Purchasing Alarm Monitoring Services

Alarm systems are essential for protecting your well-being and your belongings. It has been proven that homes with security systems are two thirds less likely to be broken into, and if infiltrated have smaller losses. 

What is Smart Security?

Every security company right now is offering remote services through a customer’s smart phone. All of them offer the ability to are and disarm. Most offer remote camera viewing and storage. Some offer basic lighting and lock control. Only a few select companies offer all of these solutions and create a fully automated security system.

Remote Arm & Disarm

This feature is all about convenience. If you ever have to let someone into your home while you are away, you can do so without giving that person a user code. Just in case you at work and can’t remember whether or not you armed the system you can just login and check.

Text Message Alerts

With text message alerts you can know exactly when your kids get home. You can even know who disarmed the system right after it happens. If you have a liquor cabinet or a gun closet in your home, you can get a message every time it is opened. You can even get a snap shot picture of who opened it.

Cameras

No security system is complete without cameras. Cameras protect you from the “just in case.” If your house gets broken into and for some reason the cops don’t show up in time to catch the burglars, you will have video footage of the burglars’ faces. Cameras are also great in vacation homes. You can look in at any time from your phone and know that everything is good with your property. Today not only can you pull up cameras on your smart phone, but all the footage can be stored in the cloud. You can also have motion alerts send you text messages when the camera detects motion.

Locks

Automated locks are a great addition to any security system. They give you the ability to go keyless. You can have the lock automatically disarm your system when you get home and which can also trigger your lights to go on and adjust the temperature. Another great feature of automated locks is that you can create temporary onetime user codes for people that just need temporary access to your home. You can also create schedules for when a code is supposed to work; that is great for the housekeeper.

Lighting Control

I personally love lighting control and so do most people who have it installed in their homes. In fact, over 70% of homeowners who have had lighting control say it is the first thing they would install in a new smart home. There are so many scenes you can create with lighting control. You can have a goodnight scene that shuts off all the lights at home or a movie scene that dims the lights to a minimal level. One of the most important scenes you can have is a Mockupancy Scene which can be done through Control4. A Mockupancy Scene makes it look like you are home when you are actually away. It learns your patterns and when you are away it replays them at slightly random times. This deters burglars because it makes it look like you are home.

These are just the most important features you should look for in a smart security system. Other nice features that we offer are automated temperate control and Geo-Fencing which lets your system know when you are home or away. We offer all of these solutions and can help you automate your home. If you have any questions or want a free assessment, please feel free to give us a call.

 

Best Home Safety and Security Tips

If you watch the nightly news you will probably see a few robberies that occurred every night. That is because the amount of home burglaries is frighteningly high. In fact, the FBI reports that there are over one million burglaries every year in the United States.

The good thing is there are some precautions you can take to limit your chances of becoming a victim.

Never Advertise That You Are Not Home

Burglars are always on the watch for homes that look like they have been vacant for some time. What they look for is stacks of newspapers on the driveway, grass that has not been cut in a while and lights that never going on.

The first thing that you can do to prevent someone from noticing you’re not home is having a trusted neighbor pick up your newspapers and even pay them to cut your grass when you are on an extended vacation.

To make your home look more lived in you can add fake occupancy scenes. You can do this with things like lighting control. With smart lighting you can have lights turn on at random times to make it look like someone is in the room. You can even program your TV to turn on and off at set times.

Another major thing you don’t want to do is leave your trash cans out before you go on vacation. Trash cans sitting outside of a house too long can expose the fact that you are not home.

Be Careful of What You Share Online

It may be tempting to share with your friends that you are in the Caribbean on a beach vacation or traveling Europe but you most definitely should not. Sure it might be feel great to get all those positive comments and likes but the risks out ways the benefits. When you share on Facebook that you are traveling it makes it public to the world that you are not home. This makes you extremely susceptible to a break-in.

This does not mean that you can’t ever share with your friends that you were having that great Pina Colada on the beach. You should however wait to share these awesome photos until you are home.

Secure Your Home Properly

Home security should be your number one priority. Make sure that your security company secures all your doors and windows and also creates interior trap zones. It is important to secure windows with contact sensors but it is much more secure to use a shock sensor combined with a contact. This will make sure that your windows are not only protected against someone opening it but the alarm will also be triggered if someone tries to break the window. As long as you don’t have large pets over 80lbs, you should make sure that you have at least one motion sensor. We recommend installing it in an area where a burglar will definitely go like the master bedroom.

Security Cameras

Even if you take all the proper precautions it is still possible for you to have a break-in. In this case it is important that you catch the criminals in their tracks with cameras. Security cameras have come a long way over the years and they have also become very affordable. Now you can get HD quality cameras and have the ability to view them from your smart phone. Not only that, you can also get motion triggered video alerts if the camera senses motion when you are not home.

 

If you want to get more security tips or if you want to get a free security assessment of your home, please feel free to give us a call.

 

The Features to Look For In Security Cameras

In the recent years more and more companies have started manufacturing security cameras. There are some awesome new feature such as being able to store your video in the cloud and view your cameras from your smart phone. You might be overwhelmed with all the options in front of you but there are a few things you should look for in a security camera.

Pan and tilt cameras: These cameras give you the most expansive view. You can turn the camera up and down and from side to side. Some even can do a full 360-degree view. One of the easiest to use cameras with a great picture is made by Alarm.com. This camera allows you to view and control your camera from your smart phone. You can get video clips sent to you that were triggered by motion and the video is all stored in the cloud. That means you don’t even need to have a DVR. We can install one of these cameras for you for no upfront cost. The only thing you have to pay is $29.95/month for remote access.

P2P: Cameras with P2P make for a much simpler install which will save you money on the installation. Instead of having to do port forwarding through the router which can take hours, P2P cameras and DVRs automatically go out to the cloud and connect with a simple and easy to use code. The other advantage of P2P is you don’t have to worry about your internet provider changing your iP address. Before you would have to always monitor your iP address to see your cameras remotely or use a subscription based iP address tracker. We offer P2P cameras and DVRs by CamX. You can get a 4 camera system for less than $2/day.

CVI: Cameras with CVI technology give you full 1080P video without having to install costly iP cameras. These cameras run on traditional coaxial cable so if you want to upgrade your existing system to HD you can with very little install time. The picture quality on CVI cameras is remarkable, it’s like watching HD TV.

We offer these solutions and more. If you have any questions about surveillance cameras please feel free to give us a call.