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The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Incorporating New Technology into Your Home Security Plan

incorporating new technologyInvesting in home protection technology can feel daunting as you discover just how many products and systems are available to help keep your home safe. Many would have you believe that you need to make a rushed decision, and install it all at once.

Luckily, that’s not the case at all! In fact, you can begin implementing simple new technology initially, and then upgrade as you become more familiar with protection technology. Something as simple as an automatic door lock can lead to an understanding of how eventually installing automatic lights, window locks, alarm systems, and security cameras can help protect your home. Here’s a step-by-step guide for beginners to help you better understand what you need, and how to integrate protection technology into your home.

What Does Your Home Currently Have for Security?

If you haven’t thought about updating your home with protection technology, the first step is to identify what security you currently have in place in order to evaluate how useful it still is. The fact of the matter is that old protective devices—deadbolt locks, fences, chain-locks—while great, really won’t help keep you and your home as safe as they might have in the past.

Make a list of everything you have in place to keep your home safe. Next, begin researching technology that might help improve those lines of security. For example, if you have always relied on a deadbolt lock, look into upgrading to an automatic locking service.

Has Your Neighborhood Changed?

Your neighborhood may have become more or less dangerous over the years, which is why you need to evaluate how protected your home is based on how the area around you has changed. This is as easy as looking up crime rates in your area over the last ten years and determining how likely a break-in or other crime might be. If you notice a rise in crime, you might want to consider improving the security features in your home in order to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Are You Keeping Up on Home Maintenance?

Overgrown trees outside of windows, bushes and plants that cause shadows in your yard, gutters or parts of your roof that are prone to falling – these are things you, as a homeowner, should be paying attention to.

For the most part, wear and tear happens slowly, so it’s difficult to know when routine maintenance is overdue. Re-evaluate the area around your home, and be sure to make any improvements that will help deter burglars from targeting your home. For example, if that tree limb has grown to an upstairs window, it might be time trim it back, or install automatic locking windows.

What Do You Actually Need from Technology?

At some point, you’ll wonder just how much technology you need to incorporate into your home. With all of the new security systems on the market, and taking into consideration all the ways automation technology can be implemented, it’s hard to know what constitutes as going overboard, and what is actually helping keep you safe. Based on the area around you, your house, and your own sense of comfort, decide what is absolutely necessary before buying all of the bells and whistles of larger, more elaborate security systems.

What Other Ways Might You Be at Risk?

At some point, you also want to think about the other ways, beyond physical, in which your home may be at risk. As you update your home with high-speed Internet, cable, and other technologies, you need to make sure these are secure, too. Make sure all technologies are password-protected, and that you continually update your firewalls. By doing so, you can help ensure your home is protected inside and out.

The number of home security options out there can certainly be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Customer representatives at almost any security company will be willing to field any questions you have about their products and services. If you aren’t sure about what you want, someone will very likely be able to point you in the right direction. Home security stems from being a proactive homeowner, but that doesn’t mean you have to go about it all alone.

Can Your Home Security System Keep You Safe Even When You’re Not At Home?

smartphoneWe’re finally in an era where home security isn’t just about helping keep you safe when you’re actually at home; it’s also about extending a little bit of that neat technology to help provide a boost in home security while we’re away from home, too. Okay, you might be thinking: “How would my home security system help keep me safe when I’m not at home?” Luckily with smartphone technology, the answers to that question are many.

Don’t Come Home

Unless you’ve already experienced a home break-in with a smart security system in place, you’ve probably never received a mobile notification that your system has been triggered by what could be a potential break-in. These triggers are safety-approved because it tells you, “Hey! There’s some serious things happening at your house so you might want to warn the authorities and keep your distance until everything is resolved.”

Time to Freak Out the Intruders

So you’ve been given a notification that your system has been tripped and a potentially dangerous person (or troop of dangerous persons) are inside your smart-secured house. The authorities have also been given the 411 and are hopefully en route. Now it’s time to do what you can to help protect your valuables and help get your home back to its normally safe state. If you have control over anything in your home through your smart security system, it’s now time to play master of the house and spook your intruders into leaving.

There are all kind of systems that can and will give you the power to reign over your entire house through one main security hub, like ADT Pulse®, which allows you to flash your lights on and off, lock and unlock doors, maybe even set your thermostat for intense heat or cold. Essentially, you can attempt to turn your home into a haunted mansion and get the bad guys out of there as fast as you can.

Safety as a State of Mind

Security systems are obviously set in place to help protect your home in the event of a break-in, but they mainly help provide security through state of mind. A smaller scale security system can sound an alarm and notify you when a break-in happens, but it doesn’t give you much control or access while you’re away from home.

Smart systems that link to smartphones allow you to have that remote access and control over your home, which can help you during a possible break-in. They can allow you to access camera feeds to see what intruders are doing in your home (which can help you create a list of stolen items later on and identify the thieves). Not only can it assist you during the event, but it can help provide a comfortable state of mind that only comes with knowing you can control your security system even when you’re way. This means being able to arm your system when you’ve left in a hurry and forgot to set it, and even disarm it when you have a friend coming to drop something off that you don’t want to sit on the porch until you get home.

Mobile security can help provide safety through a number of comprehensive controls and notifications that help you to be more involved with the actual protection of your home – and it’s having that control that brings you comfort even when you’re away from home.

5 Simple Ways to Tell if You are Helping Keep Your Home Safe from Burglary

safe inside looking windowSometimes, it can be quite difficult to determine whether or not your home is safe. In fact, many people come to this unfortunate realization after they’ve come home to find that someone has stolen valuables from their home. While it’s not always easy to tell if you’re securing your home adequately, here are some things you can do in order to gain a better understanding of what it may take to help protect home and belongings from break-ins.

Indoor Cameras

Some people are a little hesitant to use cameras, but they are, by far, one of the most useful tools you can include in your home protection plan. Cameras not only let you have a video of intruders, if they break into your home, but they can also help you establish if your security system is actually keeping people out.

Outdoor Cameras

Setting up some outdoor cameras is a great way to see what people are doing before entering your home. If you have some strategically placed cameras outside, you can see around your house and be able to assess if your property around your home is safe and secure. You may also be able to spot potential threats before they strike.

Use Your Phone

Nowadays, most smartphones, when connected to your security system, are able to send you updates and notifications whenever there is a disturbance or break-in. If you have the option, you will likely be able to use your phone to monitor your entire system, helping you to gauge the efficiency of your system. The security company you use may offer such an app for your smartphone. Download it and use it! That’s really the only way to know in real-time whether or not your system is operating optimally.

Talk with Neighbors

If you’re close with any of your neighbors, discuss your security concerns with them. If they agree to keep watch, they can help keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior around your home. In return, you might want to tell them that you’ll be happy to keep an eye out for them as well. Your neighbors would likely have no problem reporting something odd or uncommon to either you or the police.

Pay Attention to New Tech

A basic security system is better than nothing, but burglars may easily find a way around traditional home security measures. Read up on what’s new in the home security world. If you pay attention to the news and read enough reviews, you’ll be able to make an educated decision about when to upgrade your home security system. New technology comes out all the time, and it’s important to know about new apps and new models of security systems. The home security system technology is just going to keep advancing, and the more it advances, the more important it is to stay up-to-date. If you want to help keep your home as safe as it can be, you really need to know about the latest and greatest technology.

Given the number of choices out there, looking for a new home security solution can be a bit intimidating; however, this type of research will help you to stop crime before it can directly impact you and your family. Regardless of your level of confidence in the security of your home, it never hurts to take a second look. Being aware is what being a proactive homeowner is all about!

Putting Your Plan Into Action: Incorporating Your Bells & Whistles

researchingSometimes it’s hard getting used to new technology around the home – especially when it comes to home security systems. Initially, you may have some difficulty integrating it into your everyday life, especially if you’ve chosen a smart home system as part of your protection plan. There might even be times you forget to arm and disarm your system. Here are a few tips that should help you become accustomed to your new home technology:

21 Days

There’s an old rule out there that supposedly originated from a book called Psycho-Cybernetics that says it takes 21 days for a new habit to stick. What this really means is that it takes a few weeks for you to get used to something new. When your new home security system is installed, don’t think that you’re going to get used to it overnight. Getting used to and feeling comfortable with something like a new home security system takes some time; especially if you’ve never had one before.

The more you interact with your home security system, the quicker you’ll get used to it. Take the time to get to know the system’s ins and outs, and find out how you want interact with it.

Your Cell Phone

Newer home security systems can often be accessed via your smartphone. Even if you don’t plan to access your system much with your phone, you should take the time to at least explore the app that goes with your system. If you have any questions, all you have to do is call a representative from the company monitoring your system and they should be able to help you out

You might also consider going to a store to speak with someone face to face. While there, you’ll likely be able to walk you through any necessary processes or setup. The bottom line is that your phone is a useful tool. If you are indeed paying for that particular service, you might as well use it.

Consider Running Some Tests

Depending on your system and what it’s able to do, you might need to contact your security system company before really running any tests. In order to fully familiarize yourself with the system, you need to know what happens when the alarm is tripped. Have a representative come out and run through some tests so that you know what to do if an alarm goes off.

Keep in mind that many smart home systems are also integrated into smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and other monitoring devices. This is why it’s imperative that you familiarize yourself with each alarm You don’t want to follow the plan you have in case of a break-in if there’s actually a fire and vice versa. The representative from your security system company should be able to tell you everything you need to know and get you prepared for anything that can happen.

No matter your level of tech expertise, familiarizing yourself with your home security system takes a bit of time. Chances are, there will be laundry list of instructions to read and an even longer list of things that need to remembered: passwords, arming/disarming, etc. So, don’t give up too fast when you get frustrated. Use ever and any resources available and you should be set

Do-It-Yourself Security: A Step-By-Step Worksheet To Help You Prioritize Your Protection Plan

DIY Worksheet

Figuring out your home security needs can be tough, and nothing is more helpful than having a professional do a thorough walkthrough of your home to assess your needs. Before you call the pros in, however, you should take initiative and do a walk through yourself. This worksheet can help you prioritize your protection plan so you can make a smarter decision when buying a home security system.

Download our Step-by-Step Worksheet here!

Don’t Work For Your Security System. Make it Work For You!

security systemHome security can make you feel like the ruler of your castle… that is, until you forget the passcode, accidentally trip the system and your provider sends a police unit your way. A worse scenario would be to forget to arm the system and return later to a freshly robbed home. Some home security systems just don’t do the trick, and you end up paying monthly fees for a system you don’t even use properly. Nowadays, however, everything is controlled right from our pockets (our smart phones, to be precise). Not only are they introducing systems that sync up with nearly every aspect of our homes, but they also allow us to take control with our fingertips wherever we are. Here are some ways to make these security systems work for you:

Get Smart

Until relatively recently, the best home security systems were made up from a series of connected sensors that fed into a basic hub at some entrance of the home. These systems were top-of-the-line for a long time, but they’re not very realistic for renters, and they’re definitely not the best security for homeowners. So what do you do to maintain the best security for your home? That’s easy: get smart. High-tech gadgets and security systems aren’t that out of the question as financing options are often available. Having the best and brightest equipment helps keep you connected with your home no matter where you are. In today’s world, that’s the best security you can have.

Get Locked

Safety is never guaranteed with any security system, but putting up a good fight in break-in prevention needs to go beyond the sensors attached to your door. If you’re still working with older locks, you’re unknowingly begging unwanted guests to bust right in. Install a few extra locks, and consider going technological with them. There are some cool locks out there that will let you enter even when you don’t have a key, while keeping others out. These same high-tech locks can tell possible intruders that your entire home is a fortress of advanced gadgetry and that it might not be a good idea to rob from you.

Get Visual

Part of living in a connected world is knowing exactly what’s going on around you. Whether you own a house or rent, there’s practicality in having a an eye on what’s going on inside your home when you’re not there. There are a lot of smart cameras out there designed to give you that peek into your empty nest while you’re away with a smart phone app. This isn’t going to stop someone once they’re in, but it will allow you to take a good look at whoever may be inside your home when you’re not. For some families, a simple home security system isn’t always the best protection plan. This is why you should understand what’s important to you and get smart, locked, and visual in order to get the best value in a security system. The best defense includes a variety of security devices that work together to create the best protection plan for you!

Am I Getting Enough From My Home Security? [Infographic]

Do you need a new home security solution or is the one you have working for you? This is a question many families across the country ask themselves; and it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether you need upgrades or not. On the outside, your home security may appear to be just fine. After all, all your equipment is working just fine, right? What many folks don’t know are that there may be some underlying vulnerabilities that aren’t noticeable. Here’s how to tell if your home security solutions need an upgrade:

home security


How to Find the Security System That’s Right For Your Family

family security systemWhether you’re moving into a new home or you’re just now deciding to upgrade or install a home security system, you have many factors to consider when deciding what kind of system will be the absolute best for you. If you have a family, your needs are instantly going to be focused on helping to ensure that everyone is safe in your home. As you look for a new security solution, are you addressing the right questions and concerns for your individual situation? Here are three questions to consider when thinking about what security solution is the right one for you and your family:

What’s Most Important to You?

This is a no-brainer, right? The answer is your family! When you think about what’s most important in helping protect your family, think about the areas that are most vulnerable. Those areas are often points of entry—doors, windows and vents. Naturally, you’ll want to keep your family in mind when thinking of these areas. If you store your valuables in a safe, don’t store the safe anywhere near where your family members sleep or spend a lot of their time. While you don’t want anyone to come into your home, it’s wise to help deter any intruders from entering your children’s bedrooms at all, so consider keeping any safes out of their bedrooms.

What’s Your House Like?

The layout of your house is important when choosing a security system since some systems come with a set number of sensors. This can be limiting, especially when your needs are very specific to the layout of your home and your desired comfort level. In this case, it would be best to help ensure that your security solution is optimized by a professional who can create an individual protection plan based on your needs andyour home’s layout. If you live in a larger, well-maintained home, people will naturally assume that you have nicer things inside. Do some research on the crime rates in your area, (especially when it comes to break-ins) — then, tailor your new security solution off of the facts and the natural appearance of your home to help guarantee that you have the best system for your needs

How Much Visibility Do You Want?

Luckily, we live in a world where modern technology allows us to take complete control of our homes… even when we’re not there. If you’re a tech-savvy person who likes to have control, you may want to look for systems that can sync with your electrical system and your AC/heating units. You can also choose whether you want to have everything accessible from a central system located in your home or through Wi-Fi.

If you have access to your system remotely, you’ll be notified directly by the system as soon as the alarm is triggered. Talk about a big perk! If you’re hooked up to your electrical system, you can also turn off compatible lights, TVs, and even water faucets—that you may have left on when you departed. Now, this may all be more than you’re looking for so, you can opt for a more basic system that covers all your needs under a simple alarm system that your security provider oversees.

There are likely going to be many people who think they know exactly what you need without ever taking a look inside your home or getting to know your family. By asking yourself the aforementioned questions, you may gain a thorough understanding of what it is you truly want and need. Deciding on what home security system to get isn’t a 5-minute decision, but one that often takes longer. After all, it’s a big investment!