security system

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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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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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.