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Tips to Avoid Pickpocketing While Traveling

TravelingWhether it’s home or abroad, traveling is bound to make you excited and maybe even a little distracted. So before any travel, knowing how to keep your personal items secure will help ensure you have the safest, most enjoyable trip possible. Unfortunately, even after you’ve put your mail on hold, set your alarm system, and notified your neighbors of your departure, you’re still not completely clear from burglary. Pickpocketing is quite common in certain cities, and tourists are often targeted. Here are some tips on how you can avoid getting pickpocketed, and how to help keep all of your luggage and personal belongings safe.

Hide Wallets

Where do you usually keep your wallet? Most men will often say they prefer to keep their wallet in their back pocket. While that may feel comfortable and safe in their own neighborhood, it may not be the best spot to stash it while traveling. In any highly active, very populated places, it’s best if you move your wallet from your back pocket to your front pocket or a bag. Pickpockets will often swipe wallets and other goods from pockets without being noticed. After all, being in a new place might mean that you’re distracted by all the new things around you.

Buy Small Padlocks for Your Luggage

Even if you put your wallet in a backpack or purse, it still doesn’t mean that it’s completely safe. In fact, if the bag you carry isn’t secured, you may make it easier for a thief to steal. Just as many pickpockets are adept at plucking wallets from back pockets, many are also skilled at quickly unzipping a bag and retrieving its contents. Securing the zippers of your bag with small padlocks will help keep thieves at bay.

Carry As Little As Possible

The more you have on you, the more attractive you’ll appear to thieves. Before you head out to explore, make sure that everything you’re taking with you is completely necessary. Avoid carrying any items you won’t really need while you’re out and about. Consolidate what you do take with you so you’re not carrying too many bags.

Get Some Travel Gear

There are many travel products out there that are actually made to prevent pickpocketing. For example: travel pouches can keep money and IDs on your chest and around your neck. And, while they are sometimes considered out-of-style, Fanny packs do a good job at putting personal items in view so you can better keep a close eye on them at all times.

Don’t Carry All of Your Important Documents with You

What’s worse than getting robbed in unfamiliar territory? Getting robbed and losing essential items like your passport, credit cards, or ID. If you’re out of the country and your passport has gone missing, you may be in that country for quite a bit longer until it can all be sorted out. Before you leave for your trip, make copies of your passport to carry around with you while you’re away from your hotel. As far as the original passport goes, keep that in a safe spot at the hotel.

Divide Your Money

It’s best not to keep all of your money in one place. Make sure to separate your money in different amounts and try to even keep different forms of money on you. Instead of keeping all your paper money and credit cards in your wallet, you can separate where you store your credit cards and your paper bills. This reduces the chance of you losing everything if you happen to be pickpocketed. Another thing you should also consider is leaving some money in your hotel room or wherever you are staying.

Don’t Stand Out

It’s quite common (and expected) for most tourists to stand out. You can do everything to help prevent being robbed, but if you really stand out in a crowd, you may easily attract the attention of pickpockets. Perhaps the best piece of advice for anyone traveling to a new place is to do your best not to look like a tourist. Try to blend in, and would-be robbers will likely not pay any attention to you.

Be Alert

Becoming distracted is understandable while you’re off exploring new areas of the nation or the world. After all, the whole point of traveling abroad is to experience new cities, cultures, and people. But if you’re too distracted, you may become obvious prey for pickpockets and thieves. Be aware at all times of not only what’s in your pockets, but also of any bags you’re carrying.

If you follow these tips, you’ll have comfort in knowing you’re taking the extra steps to help keep your personal items secure. Happy travels!

Red Flags to Look For When House Hunting in New Neighborhoods

house huntingImagine this: There’s this beautiful home that’s just the right size, has the perfect yard, and everything you could ever want structurally in a home. The only downfalls are there is a ton of costly maintenance that needs to be done, and the neighborhood leaves something to be desired. What’s worse? This happens all the time. When folks fall in love with a seemingly perfect home, they often forget to look out for “red flags” like poor wiring, mold, or excessive noise. Here are some red flags to look out for when house hunting:

Odd Walls

Like most folks, you’ll want to see freshly painted walls inside your new home. But could that new layer of paint be covering something up? Could it possibly be mold, water damage, or mildew?  Be sure to scan every wall in the house for telltale signs like sagging walls or ceilings; or funky smells, or stains. You should also be mindful of one individual wall with a fresh coat of paint. If you find this, immediately ask why! It may be there just to cover up a previously bold color, but it could also be covering up something undesirable.

Strange Smells

We all know a bad smell when we come across one. If you walk into a foul or strange smell while touring a house, it’s important to find the source of it immediately. You can talk with the homeowners or the real estate agent about what the smell is and where it’s coming from. If they sidestep the question or don’t know the answer, this is definitely a red flag. Strange smells often mean there’s something amiss inside the walls, such as poor drainage or something else.

Lots of Police Patrol

It’s always good to have extra protection around when you need it, but if you’re noticing quite a high number of police officers and patrol cars in the neighborhood, it may be cause for concern. After all, police departments assign officers to patrol where they are needed most. If there are many patrol cars in the area of your potential home, it may be due to a higher than normal crime rate.

Loud Neighbors

Sometimes loud neighbors mean more than the occasional burst of volume through the windows. Depending on your neighbors’ personalities and work/school schedule, you may be in for a long haul of late-night partying or random guests coming and going near your home.  If you have small children with a strict bedtime, or perhaps you’re the type of person who prefers peace and quiet, don’t be afraid to ask other residents about the folks you’ll be residing next to.

Poor Town and Road Conditions

Drive through the town for a bit and pay attention to the condition of the roads and town buildings. If you notice several potholes and worn-down buildings, it may be a sign that the city isn’t tending to conditions properly. Other things to look for are town landscaping (are there city-planted trees that are being well taken care of?), government building conditions, and, if you’re looking during the winter, how quickly and efficiently snow gets cleared off of the roads.

Other Homes for Sale

The location appears nice, the house is in good condition, but you might ask yourself “what’s with all the ’For Sale’ signs in town?” If there are several homes for sale in the area, it could be the sign of an undesirable neighborhood. And, even if everything appears just fine, it can sometimes take a while to really understand a town. Take a look at how current residents take to the city. If it seems like a lot of residents are looking to move, there must be a reason why.  Something is either causing them to leave, or simply enough, nothing is giving them a real reason to stay.

Before you make the big decision to move into a home you love, make sure you share a similar affinity for the location it’s in. There’s no lifting up your home once you get sick and tired of a neighborhood; and there’s certainly no easy way to just sell your home once you’re dissatisfied. Take your time and do all of your homework!

Image courtesy of Lauren Wellicome

Ways to Hide Valuables in Everyday Objects

everyday objectsRegardless of whether it’s money or jewelry, the more valuables you own, the more you have to worry about someone trying to steal these items. This fact is especially true when you’re away from your home or you have to leave your possessions relatively unguarded while you’re away. So, what’s the trick to keeping your valuables safe? Start thinking like a thief in order to help protect your property. With just a few common items, you can disguise your valuables, hide them, and help keep your stuff safe. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

The Old Hiding Spots Aren’t Working

Leaving something in your car or keeping it in your purse won’t prevent thieves from getting to your valuables. The old tricks involve putting your smartphone in the glove compartment or in the center console, but now that’s exactly where thieves will check when trying to steal from you. Think about where you generally hide things and decide whether or not it’s more common than you previously thought.

Just consider the old “hide-the-key-under-the-floor mat or rock” trick. Now, they actually sell fake rocks to put near your front door that open up and allow for key storage. With the popularity of these fake rocks, know that thieves are aware of these tricks too! It might be tough to do, but take some time to think about where you’d check if you planned to try to steal something. What places would you check? If you are currently hiding valuables in some of these areas, it might be time to switch it up to help prevent a theft.

Disguise Your Valuables

When folks own something valuable, the temptation is almost always to show it off. Naturally, the more valuable something is, the more tempting it’ll be for thieves to steal.

So, after you’ve picked up the latest iPhone or Android, think about putting it in a cheaper-looking case. Or, when you buy a nice watch, don’t go for the one that’s over-the-top with its aesthetic.  In other words, don’t be overly ostentatious. In fact, do whatever you can to make it appear that you don’t have anything of worth. That’s the best way to help protect your stuff.

Use Everyday Items for Storage

Similar to the aforementioned disguise, you can also use everyday items to hide your valuables—be it cash, a smartphone, or your identification documents. Getting these things out of the open will leave thieves none the wiser.

So, when you head out for a swim at the beach, put your cash inside of an empty suntan lotion bottle (or a fake one like this “Tan Safe” bottle). While it isn’t totally foolproof, there aren’t many people who are going to think of stealing your suntan lotion. Instead, they would consider walking away with your wallet.

Keys are another item you should be mindful of. For many folks, the most common thing they do is leave a key in their pockets. However, a less conspicuous approach would be to stick them at the bottom of your lunch box. Start by keeping these items in places where you wouldn’t normally think of them belonging. Money in the lotion bottle, keys with your food, and your smartphone in a shirt pocket are all great examples.

Another thing you should think about is determining just how valuable your personal belongings are. You might not think that your particular prescription drugs are valuable to others, but they very well can be.  Don’t keep them in your toiletry bag where you’d normally keep them while traveling. Hide them in a part of your suitcase that’s less obvious.

By thinking like a thief, you’ll be more proactive when it comes to your security. In doing so, you begin to realize just how obvious those old hiding spots are. Start thinking creatively about how to mix up certain locations in order to confuse the possible perpetrator, and help keep your stuff safe.

How Your Social Media Updates Could Be Inviting Burglars

social media updatesSocial media has made all of us a lot more comfortable with transparency. Friends, family, and even strangers now know where we work, what we do in our personal time, and what our day-to-day schedules look like. Anything from going to the grocery store to heading out for a week or two on vacation, we announce to the world because sharing or storytelling is the nature of social media.

We don’t, however, often think about the risks that come along with this kind of transparency. Sure, you’ve heard of people getting in trouble at work for things they’ve posted on social media, but have you considered the fact that people other than your friends and coworkers are reading your statuses? Every time you announce to the social media network that you’re leaving the house, you risk having burglars or intruders finding that information. Here’s some things you can do to help ensure your privacy isn’t being invaded:

Evaluate Social Media Sites & Security Preferences

Depending on your settings, the social media site you’re using could make your posts public to anyone. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help prevent strangers or potential burglars from seeing your personal posts. In the settings menu for most social media sites, you can make your information known only to people you choose. For Facebook, it’s pretty easy to change these settings. For other sites, however, you will have to dig into your settings to find out exactly how to prevent others from seeing your posts.

A good test for this is to meet up with someone you aren’t friends with on Facebook—or maybe someone who doesn’t have an account—but trust, and have them try to see your social media posts. If they are unable to see them, you know your security preferences are working.

You also need to be aware that there are several social media sites that don’t offer a preference that prevents strangers from seeing your data. Before you join any sites, be sure to check their preferences to see if all your posts will be public to anyone who looks for them. 

Keep Your Vacation to Yourself

When you’re going to be gone on vacation, you might be enticed to share your trip with others because you’re so excited. While it may seem pretty harmless, you should keep those types of status updates and pictures to yourself. If strangers happen to see that you’re gone for a week or more, they’ll be more likely to choose this time to burglarize your house or apartment. Instead, you can share your trip with others after it happens. Avoid posting pictures while you’re away and instead post them once you’re back in town and have watch over your house or apartment. 

Don’t Enable GPS on Social Sites

Many social media sites will ask to use your location when you’re tweeting or posting on Facebook. This is an especially dangerous tool that we don’t think about. Once the site has permission, it will always associate your posts with a location, thereby telling everyone you know (and some you don’t) where you are and what you’re doing. Be sure to disable this function on your social media so you don’t broadcast when your home is empty.

It’s easy to forget that social media can be dangerous for your home’s security. Because everyone uses social media and many post very personal things, we often think that it’s a safe venue. If it’s something that tells others you’re not at home, it could be trouble. Social media is a fantastic tool that allows us to enjoy many of our moments more fully, but we should do so responsibly. In short, always think about what you’re posting!

How to Install Your New DIY Security System [Infographic]

Installing your own home security system can seem pretty intimidating, but you’d be surprised by what you can do on your own! With a little bit of planning and common sense, you can install your new DIY security system with ease!

Here’s a nifty walkthrough on how to install the most common elements of your home security system:

DIY Security System

6 Ways to Help Reduce the Cost of Your Home Insurance

home insurancePurchasing home insurance is just one of the many “necessary evils” of being a homeowner. In the event of any damage caused by fire, theft, or any natural disasters, homeowners insurance can save you thousands of dollars. It can also help protect you in the event that someone is injured on your property. While homeowners insurance is extremely important to have, the monthly premiums can be quite expensive. Here are some ways to help you reduce those monthly premiums:

Shop Around

If you choose to stay with one insurance company for a long time, they might give you a discount for being a reliable customer. However, you’d probably have a better chance saving money if you shopped around at other providers. Once you get quotes from other insurance companies, you can go to your current insurance company and tell them the deals other agencies are offering you. If your current insurance company wants to keep you, they’ll come down on your price.

If you don’t know where to find insurance quotes, visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) website. The NAIC can direct you to the qualified insurers in your state. You’ll be able to see typical rates, reviews, and more. Just don’t become too enticed by low prices. You need to make sure that each quote offers you all the coverage you need before committing.

Bundle Your Insurance Policies

If you watch television regularly, you’ll notice commercials with auto insurers telling you to bundle your auto policies together to save. You can definitely save by bundling, but you can also bundle your homeowners insurance in with your vehicle’s insurance. Typically, the more policies you bundle together, the more you’ll end up saving on insurance. Bundling policies is also extremely convenient. You’ll have one bill to pay, and usually one insurance agent to deal with if anything should ever go wrong.

Talk with Your Insurance Agent

If you’ve already managed to bundle your insurance, simply ask your insurance agent about the ways you can save money, and they’ll be able to help you out. For example: Your insurance agent can tell you what you need to insure and what you don’t. Or, they’ll discuss different kinds of home improvement projects you can do to help lower your monthly payments, like making your home more disaster resistant, installing up-to-date smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, or installing a new security system. Naturally, more intense projects would include structural improvements such as reinforcing the walls and roof. While this can certainly lower your premium, it might cost more in the long run. 

Make Sure You Aren’t Over-Insured

If you bought a house for $200,000, you probably told your agent that your home is worth that amount, and then he or she gave you a policy that reflects just that. The issue here is that when you paid $200,000 for your home, that price included the land, and you don’t need to insure the land. The land isn’t going to be swept away by a tornado or stolen by a thief. The average land price is something like 10 to 15% of the overall cost of the house, so be sure to subtract 10 to 15% from that price when you’re insuring your home.

Increase the Deductible on Your Policy

If you have a low deductible, you usually have a high monthly payment. Therefore, if you want to lower your monthly payment, raise your deductible. The deductible is the amount of money you pay out-of-pocket every year before your insurance kicks in. Say you have a $500 deductible. If $600 dollars-worth of damage is done to your home, then, in most cases, you would pay the $500 and your insurance company would cover the rest. Consider the amount you can put toward your deductible before increasing it.

Take Precautions and Avoid Claims

Despite what many people believe, you don’t have to report every little thing that happens. If you have multiple claims, there’s a good chance your monthly premium might go up, as you’ll be considered a high risk. If you have a few small problems (usually things that your deductible would pay for) you might be better off not making a claim and being responsible for your own costs. If you have long periods of time where you have no claims, your monthly premiums will likely go down or, at the very least, stay the same.

No matter which way you choose to reduce your premium monthly payments, make sure your home is adequately covered. Even if your premium is enviously low, the last thing you’d want to do is to be under-insured or not insured at all.

 

Ways to Help Protect Your Empty Home While Selling

home sellingEmpty homes are, by no means, exempt from theft. Quite the contrary! An empty house can easily attract burglars looking for anything that may have been left behind or for a free place to sleep. These actions, along with many others can result in a home that isn’t “move-in ready” – and it could require extra time and money to repair. Because the house is empty, it likely means you’re not coming and going very often. Therefore, it’s important for you take extra steps to help make sure that your property is secured and protected while it’s on the market.

Extend Your Security Past Your Move-Out Date

If the house has a security system that’s already installed and active, you may want to consider leaving the service on while it’s on the market. Until you sell the home, it’s still a part of your assets and, as such, should be treated just as equally as a home you do live in. If you have a security system already in place in the house, leave the system on while the house is on the market so that a reliable security system provider can help keep a professional eye on your home after you’ve moved out.

Install a Home Security System

If you don’t already have a system installed in the house, you might consider adding one while it’s on the market. Not only will a pre-installed home security system increase the value of your home, but it will also give you a feeling of continued control and access while it’s on the market and being visited regularly by real estate agents and possible buyers. Smart security systems can grant you access to camera feeds, lock and unlock doors, and keep tabs on the HVAC system. You can uninstall the security system once the house has been sold, or you can include the system as part of the deal with the house. Of course, you may not be into the idea of having a full-blown smart home security system added into a home that you are actively trying to sell. That’s completely reasonable! However, leaving it completely void of any security is leaving a lot to chance. This is where a DIY system may be the best option. Rigging your property with alarms and extra locks on doors, windows, and any other possible entry points can help give your empty home the proper deterrence it needs as it sits empty.

Ask Trusted Neighbors to Check Up On the House

There’s really nothing better than getting an in-person check-up on your house while it’s empty. If you’re moving—or have moved—out of town, then consider asking a trusted neighbor to check on the house every few days or so. A next-door neighbor might also be able to keep an extra eye out on anything suspicious that may happen on the property. When you ask a neighbor to check on the house, have them walk around the perimeter and check any doors, windows, or other points of entry for damage. And if you’re comfortable, you may consider giving them a key or code for the key lock-box on the front door so that they could check for any interior damage to the home. While your house is empty and on the market, it’s important that you maintain its security to help ensure that it stays protected while it’s still under your name. Regardless of whether you live there or not, your home is a major asset, and you don’t want anything to happen to it while you’re still the owner of the house.

20 Ingredients for an A+ Emergency Kit

emergency kitNo home—or emergency plan for that matter—is complete without a fully stocked emergency kit. Your emergency kit should consist of useful supplies that can aid with survival in a disastrous situation. Of course, there are some items that are absolutely crucial to have on hand. Here’s a list of 20 items you should stock up on in case of an emergency:

  1. Water

According to Ready.gov, an emergency kit should contain at least one gallon of drinkable water per person per day. Estimating the right amount of water to keep in your kit can be difficult because you might not know how many days the emergency will last. Given this issue, it’s good to plan for at least three days for an emergency.

  1. Food

Next to water, food is probably the most important thing you can stock in your kit. Luckily, putting together food for a kit is easy. There are many different kinds of food that take little to no preparation, and many of those foods are nonperishables, which is exactly what you want. Canned foods, including vegetables and soups, are always a good choice.

  1. Can Opener

Opening a can of food can be pretty tough if you don’t have a can opener – especially if the cans with pull-tabs aren’t functioning properly. So, make sure you put a can opener in your kit. There are many camping can openers that also have other types of useful tools.

  1. A Pot and Dishes

You don’t need a full set, but a couple of camping dishes and a pot will help make eating the canned food you have a lot easier.

  1. Batteries

We rely a lot on all of our electronic devices, and many of these devices run on batteries. In the event of an emergency, we might not be able to charge our electronic devices, so make sure to have a few extra batteries around. Have several different kinds of batteries for all of your devices.

  1. Radios

In an emergency situation, a radio set to an emergency broadcast station can make a world of difference. A hand crank radio is usually a reliable option, but a battery-powered radio is also fine. Just make sure you have the appropriate batteries to run it. You should also have a two-way radio so you can communicate with others during the emergency.

  1. Flashlight

Emergencies often come with power outages, so you need to have a flashlight or two on hand. A crank flashlight is always a good option, but a battery-powered one will do just fine.

  1. Tools

Emergencies present all sorts of unique situations. You might find yourself having to pry a door open or doing some heavy lifting, so it’s important to have certain tools on hand. Some useful tools to keep in an emergency kit include a crowbar, a camping hatchet, an adjustable wrench, and a multi-tool with a flat and Philips head screwdriver. You never know when these tools will come in handy.

  1. Blankets

A few blankets could be the difference between life and death in some emergency situations. Make sure you have at least one sturdy, warm blanket for each person in your family. If possible, bring a few extra just in case.

  1. Seven Days’ Worth of Medications

Something most people don’t think about is medication. If you have any daily meds, they need to be included into the emergency kit. If inclement weather is expected and you have extra time, refill medications at your local pharmacy if such refills are approved and available.   

  1. Extra Cash

During an emergency, you probably won’t be able to stop by the bank, and even if you could, they might not be open. Make sure you have a few hundred dollars, or at the very least one hundred, stashed in your emergency kit.

  1. Maps of the Area

GPS systems are accurate and easy to use, but if they run out of power and you don’t have a way to charge them, you’re out of luck. Make sure you have a few maps of the area, even if you know it well.

  1. Cell Phone Chargers

Have a few cell phone chargers in your emergency kit, so when a power source is found, you’ll be able to contact loved ones.

  1. A Whistle

A whistle can often be much louder than yelling, so it’s your best bet if you need to alert rescuers to your presence. Make sure to have at least one of these in your kit.

  1. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is essential for survival. Inside your first aid kit you should have the following:

• Absorbent compress dressings
• Adhesive bandages
• Adhesive cloth tape
• Antibiotic ointment packets
• Antiseptic wipe packets
• Packets of aspirin
• Instant cold compresses
• Hydrocortisone ointment packets
• Scissors
• Roller bandages
• Sterile gauze pads
• Thermometer
• Triangular bandages
• Tweezers
• First aid instruction booklet 

  1. Duct Tape

Duct tape is one of the best tools to have in any situation. It can fix or temporarily repair many different items.

  1. Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher can save your life. Just make sure everyone with you knows how to use it.

  1. Warm Clothing

Hats, gloves, socks, coats, boots, all of these things are very important for surviving cold temperatures. Don’t be stuck without them.

  1. Flare Gun

A flare gun is useful when that whistle you have isn’t enough to get the attention of your rescuers. Make sure to get a flare gun with instructions or learn how to fire one before you shoot it.

  1. An Entertainment Item

You might be stuck in the same place for many hours, so it’s best to have something like a book or deck of cards to occupy your time. You might not use all of these things in every emergency situation, but ultimately, the goal is to be prepared for just about anything. If you have any other items that you know you’ll need in an emergency, include them in your kit. Your kit should be tailored to you and your family and the region where you live

FAQ: Nuts and Bolts

more controlWhile your security system is created to help keep you safe with the latest, up-to-date technology, that doesn’t mean that every little job needs to be done by a Security Advisor. Many customers want to possess some control over their security system. Here are answers to some of the frequent questions that are asked by customers who want a little more control over their home security.

How Do I Bypass the Security System?

In certain circumstances it might be a good idea to leave select sensors unmonitored while the rest of your system is still armed. If you feel the need to do this, you’ll have to bypass the security system. Here’s how.

1. Find, press, and hold the ‘Bypass’ button on the security system’s keypad.
2. Enter your user code into the security system’s keypad.
3. Scroll through the different zones of your security system to select the zone you would like to bypass.
4. Once you’ve found the zone that you want, press the * key and the letter B will appear in the lower right corner of the display screen indicating that the zone has now been bypassed.
5. When the system is armed it will prompt you that you’re arming with a zone that has been bypassed.
6. If the security system is disarmed, the zone will no longer be bypassed, and you will have to go through the bypass procedure again in order to have the system bypassed.

How Do I Change the Brightness of the Keypad?

The brightness of your keypad is important so that you can see exactly what you’re doing. When your security system is installed, your Security Advisor will adjust the brightness on your keypad based on your personal preference. If you’d like to change the brightness of the keypad after the Security Advisor has left, follow these steps:

1. Disarm your system.
2. Press the * key and 6.
3. The system will ask for the master code.
4. Type in your four-digit master code.
5. After that, press the left arrow key. This will bring up various options. Stop when you reach the brightness option.
6. Press the * key again. This should set the system to have the brightness adjusted.
7. Use the right and left arrow keys to find the brightness level you prefer.
8. Once you’ve gotten the brightness where you want it, hit the # once or twice to exit out.

How Do I Change the Sensor’s Battery?

Replacing a low battery is extremely important. If you don’t replace the battery, your security system will not be able to help protect you. Follow these steps to replace a sensor battery.

Assemble the Tools

1. Get your Personal ID code.
2. A replacement battery.
3. Find out which sensor has a low battery.

Follow These Steps

1. Start by putting the keypad into test mode by entering a code included in your security systems user manual.
2. Open the cover on the sensor. Most sensors can be easily opened with your fingers, but some may require a flathead screwdriver to pop off the cover.
3. Remove the old battery from the sensor. Sometimes it may be necessary to use a small flathead screwdriver to lift the battery out of the device.
4. Install the new battery into the sensor. Pay close attention to the positive and negative connections on both the device and the battery.
5. After you’ve installed the battery, replace the sensor’s cover.
6. Test the sensor by opening the door or window it’s monitoring.
7. Reset the keypad by entering in your code. 

If you have any questions about these procedures or any others, check out our FAQ Page or call 1-800-689-9554 and customer service representative will be able to assist you.

 

FAQ: General Billing

general billingYou sign up for home security services and find that something seems off on your first bill. You’re not sure how to check your contract and don’t want your payment to be late simply because you had questions. If you have any questions about your bill or contract, look no further. We’re here to offer you some quick explanations for why your bill might have been higher than expected, why you might have been billed twice, or where you can find a copy of your contract. Here are answers to some of our customer’s frequently asked general billing questions:

Why Is My First Bill Higher Than Expected?

If your first bill is far higher than what your contract outlines, it’s because you’re being prorated for the month your system was installed in addition to the upcoming month. You aren’t actually paying any more than usual; you’re just paying for two months. This bill appears within 72 hours of your installation. After this initial payment, your regular billing will continue each month.

I Was Billed Twice. Why Did This Happen?

When you buy from Protect Your Home, we work with home security vendors to provide you with your security system. You might accidentally get billed twice on your initial payment because Protect Your Home bills you once and the home security vendor also bills you for their services. If such an incident were to occur, you will receive an easy refund within 10-14 business days for credit cards and 30 days for a checking account. After the initial bill, this shouldn’t occur again.

How Do I Request a Copy of My Contract or Check the Balance of My Contract?

Maybe you can’t remember if you paid a bill or not, or you’re unsure exactly what to expect from your bill because you don’t have a copy of your contract. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to continue working with us. That’s why we offer a chat service with customer support teams on our website where you can get quick answers. They’re also available by phone if you call 1-800-689-9554. During these conversations, you can request a copy of your contract, and we’ll send you one either through fax or through the U.S. Postal Service.

You should feel comfortable about your billing, and you should have access to whatever information you need, anytime.

If you didn’t find what you needed through these methods, you can always check out our FAQ page on our website. If you still have questions, feel free to give our customer service representatives a call at 1-800-689-9554, and we’ll help you from there.