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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!

3 Things You Can Do To Help Deter Burglars Without Leaving Your Couch

deter burglars at nighttime As important as home security is, some people just don’t want to spend the time and effort to help make sure their entire house is secure – going upstairs, downstairs, outside, inside, etc. It isn’t particularly difficult, but it can be time consuming, and heck, maybe a little annoying. Luckily, even if you consider yourself a couch potato, there are plenty of things you can do to help deter crime away from your house that require very little effort. That and you don’t actually have to purchase anything new. Here are the top three fastest and easiest home security tips.

Lock Everything

The more barriers you put between the inside of your house and a burglar, the less likely they are to break in. Even a locked screen door is better than nothing. Believe it or not, many burglaries do happen because the owner of the home simply forgot to lock their doors or windows. Another thing to think about are your valuables. If you keep valuables in boxes or safes, make sure those are locked as well. A thief is usually in a hurry to get in and get out; so if they can’t open a certain container, they might just move on to something else. The more things you keep locked, the better chance a burglar is going to leave you and your home alone.

Illuminate Your Home

Outdoor lights help make for an easy crime deterrent at night. While motion-sensing lights are by far the best option, simply leaving a porch light on along with the back door or side door lights works very well. Criminals don’t usually like to break down a door or bust out a window if they can be seen. Leaving on an outdoor light is one way to draw attention to them.

Indoor lights can also work to help deter crime. Many criminals are just after your stuff and often don’t want any confrontation. If they think you’re home, they likely won’t break in. Leaving the kitchen or living room light on will help provide the illusion that someone is home even when you’re not. TVs and radios make a good addition to indoor lights, because the sound will help further the illusion that someone is home. Turn them up loud enough to be heard but not so loud that the voices are distinct.

Don’t Be a Showoff

You know that nice TV you’re getting next week? Bring it in the back door. That nice motorcycle parked in the garage? Keep the cover on it and the garage locked. It’s simple really: don’t flaunt what you have! If you leave nice possessions in your yard or driveway, or choose to move your new big screen TV in through the front door, you’re letting everyone on the street know what you have in your house. All it takes is one bad person to notice and then you may have a problem. You don’t have to lock your house down like it’s some sort of compound, but putting things away when they aren’t in use is never a bad idea anyway.

For some people, these tactics alone might be perfectly adequate. However, if you feel these tactics aren’t enough for your family, then you might consider investing in a security system for your home. Now, this isn’t to say that security systems are the be-all and end-all of total home security. Locking your doors and turning on your outdoor lights can compliment a home security system. Covering all bases is generally encouraged. Not only will exhausting all your options help keep burglars at bay, but it’ll help give you the peace of mind you and your family deserve!

3 Simple Steps to Help Make Sure You’re Getting Your Money’s Worth from Your Home Security System

home security systemSo, you have a brand new home security system installed in your home. You’ve been making your monthly payments; the system says it’s armed and it’s ready to go — but is it really what you need? Home security costs can climb quite easily if you’re not paying attention. In fact, some people will never get their money’s worth out of their system. Here’s what you need to think about.

History and Expertise

There are many different companies out there. Some have been around for decades while some have only been around for a few years. Experience can make a major difference when it comes to installing and monitoring your home security system. This doesn’t mean that a newer company is going to be a bad choice, but you need to know and pay attention to your security company’s qualifications.

If you want to help ensure you are getting the full value out of the service you’re paying for, you need to know that the company has the kind of network and technology to support you. This information should be available on their website; but if it’s not, you can just call and ask. A good company will have that information readily available and will be able to tell you how they monitor your home and how well they’ve been doing over the years.

Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff

It’s no fun to deal with people who don’t enjoy their jobs. Your security system needs to be monitored by a company that has a staff who is both friendly and knowledgeable. The company representatives you interact with need to be happy to help. If they aren’t, or if you don’t receive a good timely response, then what does that say about the company when you have a security emergency? You’re paying for a service and ensuring your safety to a company. The people connected to that company should treat you with respect and a positive attitude, know the answers to any questions you may have and how to improve the security of your home.

Specific Solutions for You

Many security companies out there offer a “one size fits all” solution to home security. The problem with this approach is that not all houses (or families, for that matter) are the same; so how could one of these solutions really cover you and your family? A custom solution is the best way to help you get the most out of your money. Have a security expert come out and inspect your home.

By discussing and seeing the property, the security expert will be able to advise you on the best option for your home. They’ll recommend systems and suggest a number of sensors, cameras, or other components you’ll need, and where to install them. The box solution might be better for some homes, but a custom solution to your home and your family is by far the best way to help get the best system for the money.

While everyone’s home security needs are likely going to be different, everyone deserves great customer service. Given the money you’re going to spend, you want representatives who are knowledgeable, friendly and willing to help. These factors should be (but aren’t always) consistent with home security providers, so decide wisely. If you take your time and choose the right provider, you most likely won’t have to deal with cancellation hassles and other accompanying headaches. Do your homework and don’t be afraid to dig deep for the enlightening information you really want!

How to Assemble an Unstoppable Digital Army for Your Home

digital armyIn today’s world, having a completely digitized home is about as modern as you can get. Because your home is your fortress, you likely want to have complete control over many of the things going on within — including your home security. Check out this list of super-powered digital gadgets you can get in your home (a.k.a, your digital army) today!

The Y-Cam Cube™

Talk about high-tech awesome-ness! The Y-cam Cube™ is an internet-ready security camera that allows you to see and hear everything the camera does no matter where you are. High-quality resolution comes through at 30 frames per second, providing real-time images as they happen. A small box with night-vision capabilities, this incredible gadget is perfect for home security, especially when you have one or two important areas to focus on. Motion detection and a built-in alarm with sensitivity controls allow you to take charge and get what you want out of it. With a price tag of about $199, you can hardly get a better, higher quality individual security camera for the price.

August Smart Lock™

Keys have always been a liability. You can lose them or worse, they can be stolen. Either way, you’re locked out — and that’s where August comes in to give us one of the coolest locks that likely anyone has ever seen. Say goodbye to your keys and hello to the new Smart Lock. This lock can sense when someone is near and will only grant access to those who have devices that correspond. This means that you can now grant access to visitors while you’re gone: plumbers who need to fix something while you’re at work, guests, and so on.

The August Smart Lock uses a smartphone app that keeps a record of everyone who has entered and exited your home. When you’re looking for the coolest digital gadgets for your home, you can’t get much cooler than this. According to the official website, this one will run you $199.

Heavy Duty Siren Alarm Padlock

You probably aren’t going to install a full-blown security system in the tool shed, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help protect it. Instead of attaching a standard heavy duty padlock, get a hold of one of these alarm padlocks to keep people out. These locks are designed to sound a loud alarm when they are being knocked around or struggled with.

When standard locks are put on toolsheds, intruders usually just find a way to break in the wooden door or siding. Having an alarm padlock can help prevent that immediately; causing intruders to flee from the scene at once. High-tech digital gadget? Not necessarily. Helpful device? Absolutely!

Brinno Digital Peephole Viewer ™

No more squinting through a peephole to see who’s knocking: Brinno has a line-up of digital peephole viewers that turn the peephole into a digital screen. When someone knocks, you can turn on the viewer and get a clear 2.5” or 3.0” screen that’s easy to look at and incredibly futuristic. With different versions granting different resolutions and screen sizes, you can choose the best one for your pocketbook. Brinno has also created a Knocking Sensor that will sense when someone knocks and turn on the screen so it’s ready by the time you get to the door.

Nest Thermostat ™

Smartphones allow us to do the coolest things; like having access to a remote controlled, digital learning thermostat. That’s right: the Nest Thermostat is a digital machine that learns your schedules and preferred temperatures at different times of the day. You have remote access through its own smartphone app, which is great when you’re away from home or just too comfortable in bed or on the couch. It lets you know when you’re operating at an efficient temperature, which helps you save more money. Priced at around $249, there’s little doubt that you’d get that back in savings.

Creating the ultimate home fortress might cost you a bit of money initially, but it’s important to remember that your home is an investment. Depending on the level of security and convenience you want your home to have will ultimately determine the level of customization. We’ve listed off these really cool gadgets, but naturally, there are tons more to choose from. Do your homework and you should be on your way to creating your own digital fortress in no time!

What Does An Effective Security Solution Look Like? [VIDEO]

Ask Protect Your Home: “What Does An Effective Security Solution Look Like?”

It can be difficult to create a security solution that is right for your home. That’s why Director of Product Management, Jim Bembenek, wanted to give you some quick tips on finding the solution that’s right for your home!

5 Simple Projects to Incorporate DIY into your Protection Plan

garage door - protection planYou can’t always afford the big-rig home security systems; but you can get the most bang for your buck if you go about home security the right way! Sometimes, all you need is a little added protection to your already installed security system that will help prevent, and potentially deter, unwanted guests from getting into your home. Here’s a good list of simple DIY projects to incorporate into your home protection plan.

1. Landscape Check

Overgrown trees and bushes are great for sneaking around. They allow trespassers ample hiding space and the opportunity for cover if and when they break into your home. If you have trees with heavy branches that stick out close to an unsecured window on a second floor, you might be giving intruders a way in. Take inventory of your landscaping, and trim all overgrown bushes and trees that surround your property — especially around your home!

2. Shut Your Garage Door

This isn’t necessarily a project, but it is something that is often overlooked. Your garage is the safe house for some of your most expensive items: your cars. When you leave the garage door open, you are personally inviting outsiders to come in and take whatever they want. In addition to cars, garages are also often the home of pricey toolsets, yard tools, power tools, and more. You put a lot of money into the things you store in your garage, so make sure that you always keep the door shut when you’re away from home or getting ready for bed at night. You can also lock the overhead door shut at night by putting a padlock into the holes of the sliding train.

3. Secure Your Entry Points

Sliding doors and windows might lock, but those locking mechanisms generally aren’t made to withstand a lot of force. You can add some extra security that will help keep these types of entry points secured. Auxiliary foot locks will help keep patio doors shut and secure, adding more security than the typical vertical bar. You can also purchase some sash-stops from a local hardware store to give better security for sliding windows. Now, when it comes to your front and back doors, consider reinforcing strike plates by putting in longer, more durable screws. You might also consider building a fence that will help secure your entire property.

4. Install Motion-Activated Lights

Darkness is a home intruder’s ally. Eliminating the dark will help deter almost anybody from walking up to your home. Install motion-activated lights that shine on key areas: open yards, front doors, back doors, windows and garage doors. Essentially, you want to shine light on any entrance point or open area of your property. Even if an intruder does walk up to your home, they’ll likely retreat quickly once they activate the lights.

5. Fool Intruders

It’s not always practical to have a full security camera system set up around your property. However, you can still benefit from certain gadgets that give off similar vibes. You can install fake security cameras around your home for a higher deterrence factor. When a potential burglar sees the cameras, they’re likely going to be intimidated and they’ll just as likely leave your property quickly. You might also benefit from “Beware of Dog” signs, fake TV lights, and more. Deterrence is all about fooling intruders and keeping them from thinking your place is a good place to break-in.

It’s never a bad idea to invest in a home security system, but isn’t it nice to know you’re capable of doing so much on your own to make your security system all the more powerful. While home security systems are quite useful, they’re often only as powerful as you make them out to be. The best thing you can do as a proactive homeowner is cover all bases to help ensure you’re as secure as possible!

The Control Freak Tech Geek’s Guide to Choosing a Home Security Solution

90ea3f775515a6e78aa52ca4e7011f27Some people like to be in control of everything, and that includes their home security. Luckily, for those people, technology has made it easier to be in control of everything from locking doors remotely to seeing what’s happening in your house via security cameras. Smart home technology is a geeky control freak’s best friend!

Connected Cameras

If you like to know exactly what’s going on in your home, cameras might very well be the way to go — and you have plenty of camera options from which to choose! You can get hidden cameras, outdoor cameras, cameras that just record, cameras you can control, and cameras that stream to the Internet. If you like to know what’s going on in your home at any time, you’ll want to look at cameras that you can access any time from your smartphone. These cameras can be linked to an app on your phone, and you can simply access them whenever you’re curious about what’s going on. They can be especially great when you have a rambunctious pet or a young teen. Cameras allow you to see what’s going on in your home even when you’re not there.

Smart Home Security Systems

Want to do more than just know what’s going on in your home? You can! Smart home systems allow you to not only know who’s in your house and how they got in, but it can also be linked to your appliances. This is really important for helping to keep your home energy efficient. Smart home technology puts you in control of everything from your front door to your oven.

There are plenty of smart home systems available, and many have similar features. Some, however, allow you to have more control than others. With a smart home system, you might also need to upgrade a few appliances before you can really control your entire home.

Door Locks, Window Locks, Motion Sensor Lights, and Alerts to Your Phone

Sometimes you’ll have a friend over or a relative visiting from out of town. Rather than handing them a key for the duration of their visit, you can just let them in with your phone if you have smart locks on your house. Smart locks and motion sensor lights are great if you’re away on a trip or you’re expecting someone to be in your house. They also happen to work extremely well when it comes to helping to deter criminals; so, if there is any kind of break-in, you’ll know.

Smart Homes and Money

Many of these smart home systems are much cheaper than most people assume. The main expenses actually come from purchasing appliances that are compatible with smart home tech (and many new models are). Now, if you want to be in total control of your home and its appliances, including HVAC, door locks, automated security systems, cameras, and more, take your time. You don’t have to replace everything at once. As items need to be replaced, replace them with smart home tech, so that you’ll always be in control.

Aside from the actual cost, home security shouldn’t be one of those things you rush into. Home automation service and devices can do a lot; but ultimately, you’re the one who sets up all the preferences. You’re the one in complete control. Make sure that everything you purchase and set up is to your liking. After all, it’s your home!

Pro Tips: Prioritizing Your Protection Plan Based on What You Value Most

key in door - protection plan Depending on what it is you want to help protect, your security needs will vary. When creating a protection plan, electronics, jewelry, laptops, TVs, etc. will all need to be taken into consideration. You need to find the right security system for your plan and make sure that it incorporates all of your valuable property.

Monitoring Systems

Monitoring security systems communicate with the company’s monitoring center. In the event your alarm goes off, these systems will alert authorities without you having to do anything. There are three different ways the security system can connect to and communicate with the company monitoring your home: a landline, cellular line, or a broadband connection. Any of those connections will help ensure there is 24-hour monitoring of your home in the case of an emergency.

DIY Alarm System

There are plenty of DIY security systems out there, and while you might not find the DIY aspect appealing, they do have some perks. Many DIY security systems are used in conjunction with monitoring security systems. For example: You put a monitoring system on your house to help keep everything safe, but you install a DIY system because you have some precious jewelry, documents, or other valuables in your home. Also, DIY systems can be less expensive than other systems, and many don’t require you to pay a monthly monitoring fee to a security company.

It’s Not All about the Security System

While the actual security system is a major part of your home’s safety, it’s not everything. Sometimes the most important part of your plan is being proactive. Most likely, the main motivation for implementing a security plan is to help keep your home, and everyone and everything in it, safe and to minimize the risk of a break-in. If you have valuable possessions, don’t leave them out or in a location that they can easily be taken. Try to look at your home and think like a criminal. What are they going to want to steal and why? Once you’ve identified what they might be after, you can plan accordingly.

Tips to Help You Keep Your Valuables Safe

Each person’s needs and situation will be different, but there are some things that may help you. They can be incorporated into your home in a way that works for your security plan.

  • Safes

When you have valuables, you want to lock them up even if you have other measures in place to help ensure they aren’t stolen. A good safe is one of the best ways to keep jewelry, important documents, firearms, and other valuables secure. Modern safes are very difficult to break into and some safes can even be linked to your smartphone.

  • Stronger Doors

Sometimes a better safety plan means improved elements of your home. Cheap or lightweight doors are easier to break down than a solid, sturdy door. The placement of windows on the door also plays a major role. If you’re worried about your valuables, put a tougher barrier between them and the outside world.

  • Phone Alerts

If it’s at all possible, you might consider linking your security system up to your smartphone. If you get phone alerts of break-ins or other security breaches, you’ll be able to help keep yourself safe and gain valuable information about the break-in that you can then relay to the police if they don’t already know.

Having an actual protection plan in place outside of your security system is crucial to you and your family’s safety. There’s no doubt that security systems are helpful, but with all the affordable technology you can pair alongside your system, why not give it a shot? The more bases you cover in your protection plan, the safer you’ll ultimately be.