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Tips for Securing Your Home While on Vacation

The average household embarks upon a vacation once or twice annually. Without a doubt, nothing is more relaxing than getting away from home. Stressful workweeks and other hassles in life often necessitate a break from time to time. Vacationing residents leave a property open to various security vulnerabilities, though. Unfortunately, thieves tend to seek out homes that appear empty for prolonged periods of time. Homeowners need to institute certain security measures to avoid this issue.

Tip 1: Free Security Solutions That Require Little Time

Before considering home security products, homeowners should turn to more simple measures. A stuffed mailbox is a telltale sign of residents being absent. Homeowners should ask a neighbor to collect their mail. Otherwise, they can request a hold at the post office. Similarly, it never hurts to leave a porch and backyard light on. Doing so can trick potential thieves into thinking someone’s home at all times. Neighbors should check on the property regularly, too.

Tip 2: Home Security Cameras and DVR Systems

Previously mentioned tactics are minimally effective in comparison to home security products. Therefore, a homeowner might consider outfitting their property with certain technologies. Home security cameras are a popular option these days. The best cameras utilize a DVR system to record activity inside and outside the property. Then again, fake cameras that are visible on the home’s exterior are effective deterrents. A handful of cameras can surround the perimeter of the home with relative ease.

Tip 3: Home Alarm Systems from Third-Party Security Companies

A security alarm might prove useful for some homeowners. In areas with higher crime rates, these systems are sometimes necessary. Home alarm systems will alert homeowners to all unauthorized access. Certain setups will contact the homeowner in the event of a breach. For vacationing residents, such a capability is incredibly useful if nobody else is home. Alarms come with different features and capabilities, though. Homeowners need to choose the setup that suits their needs best.

Tip 4: Always Protect a Home’s Windows

Windows are popular ports of entry for residential property thieves. Typically, windows are easy enough to pry open or smash. Most neighbors won’t even hear a sound in this case. A homeowner should consider installing alarms on the windows. When the window is lifted or broken, the alarm will emit an audible tone. Other homeowners might consider barring their windows to deny access through their windows. Both options are cost-effective measures for preventing unauthorized access.

Other Useful Tips

Other small actions and implementations can make the difference between a crime occurring and not occurring. For instance, all exterior doors should be outfitted with dead bolt locks. Picking or breaking these locks is fairly difficult for petty thieves. A homeowner might consider calling their local non-emergency services to check on the home every few days. Fortunately, even the smallest moves can help protect a property from thieves. Nothing should be considered too small here.

In the end, no homeowner assumes that they’ll never be the victims of a break-in. A large number of these individuals are shocked when they become victims. Homeowners need to implement security measures on their property while on vacation. Plus, they need to deter thieves by making them believe the home is well-secured and regularly checked upon. Nobody wants to end their vacation with a police report being filed after all.

Benefits of Home Security

There are a lot of benefits to having a home security system. The biggest benefit of all is peace of mind. It is always nice to be able to leave your home for an hour or a month and know that your valuables and the people you love are protected.

There are a lot of systems to choose from each with their own, special features. The systems that are being offered on the market today have a lot of features that are very useful. Today the security systems not only protect your home, but you can do a lot of other things with them as well.

Security Systems That Use Cellular Technology

Some of these security systems today operate off of cell towers and not phone lines. The benefit to choosing a system with that feature is that there is nothing to cut. Smart intruders are aware that a house with a wired security system could be disarmed with one snip of a wire. If a system operates off of a cell tower, then it is a lot more secure, and functional as it cannot be disarmed.

The security systems today allow you to make modifications so that you have the perfect system for you. Once the system is installed, you can add additional features and equipment as you see fit. You can download an app to your cell phone and always be in contact with the security system and instantly be notified if a problem ever arises at your home. These systems also can also be connected to monitoring services that dispatch the police or fire department during an emergency, saving you valuable time.

Security with Convenience

An additional benefit that you’ll experience with a security system is convenience. You control your entire house with just one application on your cell phone. You can lock and unlock the doors, set your thermostat, or even have webcams that show you what is going on in your home while you are away. Even though you are away from your home, you can stay in control and see what’s going on no matter where you are.

The security systems today are highly sophisticated and dependable. Many security system companies today have introduced wireless technology. Wireless systems are easy to use and can usually be set up with ease. They work just like the traditional wired systems that many other homes have, but often have a sleeker appearance and don’t require drilling or wiring.

Most security systems offer motion sensors, as well as window sensors. So even if you are at home, you can turn off the motion sensors, and still be protected by the window sensors. Window sensors are triggered when a connected window is opened or broken. They send a signal to the control center of your security system which then notifies you.

When you have a security system at home you have peace of mind. The best thing about them? You can reduce the worry you feel about leaving your valuables unattended. Knowing that your possessions are protected goes a long way in making you feel better whether you are home or away.

Guarantees and Service Plans: What to Look for with Home Security

Home security does not always come easy, and before an individual decides to install a security system, there are a few things to do to determine the best security system. For example, they should do a safety audit for the home and property. This analyzes all possible points of entry for intruders. This includes doors, windows and skylights. Also, it will provide a person with further information such as where the criminal could be hiding. E.g. a thick canopy of trees or bushes. Certain landscaping will offer ample hiding places for intruders.

Deciding Between Wireless and Hardwire

When it comes to home security systems, there are mainly two types – hardwire and wireless. Hardwire systems have more complexity to them, and they involve cords and wires. Never attempt to install a hardwire system; this should be left to a professional. Wireless systems provide easier installation, and the majority of people can install it themselves. Wireless does not have cords draped throughout a home. The only real disadvantage of wireless is that the signals have sometimes been blocked or interfered with.

Always Get a Guarantee

Guarantees protect a loss of money from the investment. If a company does not give a guarantee, then it could indicate that they are not confident in the services provided.

Well-Known Security System Companies

When it comes to security system companies, it is often better to purchase from a well-known and reputable company. With safety, it is not something that an individual wants to leave to a lesser-known company because they do not know if they are good or not. The consequences can be tragic, and in some cases, the company has proven to be nothing more than criminals. The better known they are, the more chances that they have given good services, and a well-known company does not want to risk their reputation.

Sensors

Motion sensors help to alert an individual to physical movement in the house or yard. If movement has been detected an alarm will sound and the police will be swiftly notified. The motion sensor should be careful positioned so that birds and pets do not trigger the alarm. Heat sensors can also be exceptionally useful. These detect a quick change in room temperature caused by intruders or a fire.

Video Surveillance

The advantage of surveillance is that it can be hidden or put into plain view. Most burglars want an easy target and do not want to risk being caught. Hidden cameras won’t scare them off, but it provides footage to the police in the event of a home invasion. Fake cameras put in plain sight can scare off a burglar.

The Lowest Hanging Fruit

In general, most criminals target the lowest hanging fruit. They are not looking to be caught, so they avoid houses that have alarms in place. When looking for a security system, people should look for one that makes it obvious that their home is protected.

The main point to keep in mind when looking at a security system company is what they provide the individual with. If what they provide does not match up to the price, then it would be a shrewd move to walk the other direction. Many companies offer this service, so a person should never settle for a less-than competent company.

Home Alarms: Not just for Home Intrusions

Most people invest in home alarm systems to protect their family from home intrusions and burglary and both are very good reason by themselves to purchase a system, however there are several ways a home security system can work for you other than just warding off invaders and notifying the police.
FIRE AND SMOKE
Most systems come with fire and smoke detection included that will set off the alarm and notify the local fire department. A fast notification is more likely to save your valuable positions and more important lives. Those same systems can monitor and detect carbon monoxide levels in your home as well. There are systems that along with placed flood sensors in various areas of your house can warn you of leaks, seepage of flooding form a broken pipes or backed up drains. This information can be transmitted to your smartphone or tablet so you are able to promptly take care of it. This can be considered most helpful when you are out of town. Instead of waiting days to come home to a flooded house, you can direct someone to take immediate action in stopping any further water damage.
MEDICAL ALERT/PANIC BUTTON
Then there is the medical alert feature. The basic systems will have a panic button that can be used to have the monitoring company contact police and ambulance. You can ask about any upgrades that may preform two way conversation or remote panic buttons that can be used in the case of a medical emergency. This feature is best for the independent living of older individuals or those with medical conditions who want the peace of mind that help is readily available.

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE
Advanced home security systems will come with video surveillance that will record activity to better assist the authorities. The video can be accessed from your TV or computer if you chose to use it to monitor your children sleeping while you are in the other room. The remote access will allow you to monitor your home from your tablet or smartphone. With this feature you can have real time access to check in on pets or children. Recorded video surveillance can give you the peace of mind when you find the culprit that made a mess of your back patio was simply a raccoon searching for food.

INTERACTIVE SERVICE
One step further, an upgraded system will allow you remote access to arm and disarm the system, adjust thermostats, control appliances and lights. A meeting at school or work runs later than you expected. This feature will allow you to turn on a light or two so you do not have to enter a dark house. You could actually set up the system to unlock/lock your doors. Mom is coming to visit and does not have a key; you will no longer have to leave one under the flower pot by the front door.
These are the features of a home security system:
• Fire
• Flood
• Odorless Gas
• Emergency Response
• Interactive Service/Remote Monitoring
• Home Automation
• Deterring Burglaries
• Insurance Discounts
The biggest value of all is the peace of mind that your home is secure or as in the case of the neighborhood raccoon, manageable.

Wireless Security Systems

Wireless: Secure and Self-Motivated

Wireless home security systems that can be installed by the home owners themselves are sweeping the home security industry for many reasons. These types of systems are much simpler while still providing a high level of protection for the home and the family. Additionally, these systems save money when it comes to installation costs. Traditional, hardwired systems require expert technicians and a considerable amount of work in the home and yard in order to have things up and running. The wireless system is easy to work with while offering many advantages that a traditional system cannot.

There is no need to have any experience or any expertise of any kind in order to install a wireless system in the home. You only need a few basic tools in order to get started. The majority of systems that are being offered today are no more complicated to setup than hanging a picture on the wall. Some systems even come with self-adhesive attachments that allow you to proceed without even the assistance of a screwdriver.

Because there are absolutely no wires, the need to have a professional come in and drill through walls and other materials is completely eliminated. There is no need to hook up the system to the power of the home anymore either. In the past, this one step of professional installation alone could require bringing in a costly electrician.

Wireless Security That Suits You

These wireless systems are extremely sophisticated and capable despite the ease with which they are installed. They can cover properties of any size, meaning that the larger the size of the property that you are covering, the bigger the savings on the installation costs. The first consideration for homeowners is the power of the system that they will purchase.

For most people, a 2-GHz system is sufficient to cover all of your needs. This much capability gives all the components enough power to constantly stay in touch with the sensors that are distributed throughout the property. It is generally considered to be enough to cover an acre worth of ground while still passing through dense materials such as concrete.

The Bottom Line

Almost every advantage that a hardwired system can offer is also available with the wireless systems being produced today. Everything from trip sensors to infrared motion detectors can be set in place easily. Buyers can also choose among light controls, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and closed-circuit cameras as well. There are few aspects of home security that wireless systems cannot address.

When making your final selection, it is a good idea to choose the one that is ideally suited to your needs. For most families, the ideal fit is one that offers a variety of types of sensors. Most people also find it beneficial to start small, adding new pieces of hardware and technology to the existing system as time moves forward. Ultimately, you can tailor your system to your property and develop a comprehensive security system that makes you feel completely safe. There are very few drawbacks to wireless systems. As long as you choose a system that alerts you to low battery power, you’ll find security success with wireless!

Smart Shopping for Home Monitoring Services

There is a growing concern, with crime rate on the rise, for homeowners to secure their possessions and protect their families. More and more people are turning to home monitoring services to help secure their property. There are several factors to consider when looking into the market for the best service without it costing a tremendous amount of money. Today’s technology now offers the popular wireless systems and this is now available in alarm monitoring. People are opting to no longer have a land line in their house and strictly use mobile services. The wireless system will continue to work even if the phone wires are cut. The powerful batteries can last anywhere from three to five years and if the electricity does go off due to power outage or any other cause the system is still active and monitoring. Companies offering system monitoring will advertise based upon the land line rate. That is something to consider when comparing rates.

Questions to ask when comparing services:
• Is there 24 hours constant protection?
• What is the reputation of the company and how solid is the service?
• Is customer service available by phone, email or live chat through internet?
• Are there cellular and/or internet monitoring to stay connected?
• Does the company offer a mobile app to turn on/off lights, adjust thermostat and lock doors?
• Is there a contract? How long?

Proceed with caution on contract services. Most contracts involve small print that lock customers into terms, however do not necessarily lock in at any particular rates. Legalities of the contract can allow them to raise rates as they deem required. A three year contract does not protect the homeowner from increases or changes in services. They protect the monitoring company from loss of income due to cancellations of service by homeowners. That should also be considered when looking for the system. Homeowners can purchase and install their own system; however some services require that they install or that their equipment is used. Proprietary systems will not allow the homeowner switch providers, another way to secure customer loyalty even throughout price increases.

Things to consider when looking at Security Devices:
• Is fire, heat and smoke detection included?
• Is Carbon Dioxide monitored?
• Is there a motion detector to set off alarm?
• Are windows monitored for breakage?
• Are there surveillance cameras?
• Is medical alert an available option?

There are now refurbished systems available out there for purchase. This could be a money saving option. Then on any system, refurbished or new, check on the warranty. How long is it covered and against what? Systems and services are a big investment to protect loved ones and belongings. Asking questions and taking notes can prevent future heartaches. Peace of mind is more than knowing everything and everyone is safe and secure, it is also knowing that the services being paid for are in fact the services being received and avoid any speed bumps ahead. House break-in or fire emergencies are bad enough to handle without the frustration of having too little, too late.

Security Systems That Move With You

Moving can be a stressful process. When a person moves they have enough to worry about. They should not have to worry about their security system. There are many types of home security systems that will allow the alarm to move with the homeowner.

Wireless Systems

Wireless alarm systems are the easier to move. There is no hard writing that has to be disconnected and reinstalled. Many of these systems do not even need a phone line to work. All a person has to do is check the batteries and position the new system in their new home or apartment. The sensors can be set up in the new area and the alarm is ready to go. There are many major security companies as well as private companies that have this type of wireless system. A person does not have to have a professional come in and install it. A person has to update their information and hang the sensors in order to ensure they are going to be protected. No internet connection is needed for this type of alarm system.

Portable Systems

There are some home alarm systems that have been designed for people that more frequently. These systems are portable. All a person has to do is use adhesive to put the sensors up at the new location. The adhesive is strong enough to keep the sensors in place yet allow for an easy move. A person can have their security system up and working even before they get the chance to unpack. A person can find this type of system over the internet and in many stores including hardware stores as well.

Mobile Technology

There are some systems that use the latest in technology that allows them to be moved easily. These systems use a cellular connection to run and operate. This connection cannot be broken into by intruders and can be moved without any problem. A person can even program this system so that they can view the home from their phone and receive updates by text message if there is a problem.

Moving Information

When a person is setting up their system they need to be sure to update their contact information including address and phone number. The system is going to alert emergency responders if something happens and they need to know where to go. If the home is larger a person should add more sensors. This will help cover the entire home and allow everything to be protected. This will prevent any blind spots for robbers to get in.
Home security is something that many people take serious. There is not time to waste leaving a home unprotected because of a move. These home security systems allow a person to pick them up and move as well. With these alarm systems that home will no have to go unprotected.

Reducing Energy Costs with Home Automation Features

People are contributing to green initiatives in a wide diversity of ways including buying energy efficient appliances and choosing to wash their laundry with green detergents instead of those that are made with harsh and dangerous chemicals. Also, because people are to trying to reduce the cost of operating their homes, they are looking for the best ways to save on their utility bills. One of the most recent and innovative ways to accomplish these objectives and goals is to invest into a home automation system.
Energy Efficient Features

With the right type of home automation system, the homeowner can easily join the ranks of becoming a better steward of the utilities that’s provided to them on a monthly basis. This is why homeowners who are familiar with the latest features offered in a more comprehensive home automation system are searching for the systems that can provide them what they need and want. For instance, when a homeowner talks to a home security representative about the home automation features that they offer, they will need to ask questions about how they can control all of their energy related appliances as well as other items in the home to prevent waste. In fact, the terms that the homeowner use should be those that will help the owner turn their ordinary home into a sophisticated smart home.

Creating a Smart Home

Smart homes are those that use advanced technology to control virtually every appliance and device in the home. Which means, the homeowner will have the power that they need in order to turn things off and on remotely from any location. Whether the person has just arrived at their job site or leaving the office for the day, they can turn on the utilities whenever it is needed. For instance, if the homeowner is going to spend the entire day at the office working, they may not want to leave all of the utilities functioning while away. However, when they walk into their home after a long day at work, they do not want to walk into a hot house. Therefore, they may choose to turn off all of the air in the home while they are away at work and then turn the air on again about an hour before returning. Whatever the situation or the preference, they can be assured of walking into a cool and comfortable home as soon as they walk through the door. This type of practice will not only allow the owner to save on their utility bills, but they can enjoy their homes more as soon as they arrive.

Creating a smart home has many advantages for the family. Therefore,people who are aware of all of the features provided in a home automation system can benefit greatly from being able to control their home remotely. From turning the air on and off when away to turning on the lights when arriving home, these systems have been designed to save on the family’s high energy bills.

How to Reduce Chances of a Break In

One of the best ways to reduce your home being broken into is by installing a new home automation system complete with a security system. That will give you maximum protection from theft and ensure your home and family do not become targets to home burglary. Here are just a few ways to reduce the chances that your home is involved in a break in.

The home automation and security system is going to be the most powerful way to protect your home and family. Because the entire system is automated, you can rest assured knowing that even if you forget to do something that the system will be armed and ready. These systems can be customized from basic to extremely advanced, and depending on your budget you can ensure that each area of your home is virtually impenetrable to thieves.

One thing you should get into the practice of doing is to lock all your windows when they are closed. This is usually the first point of access for many burglars because they know if a window is open, then if there is a security system is is currently turned off. The window is easy to enter because if it is unlocked, a screen can be cut with a razor and access is simple. Lock your windows to reduce the likelihood the home in entered by unwanted thieves.

If you think hiding a spare key in one of those rocks or under the door mat is a good idea, you should seriously consider trying something else. Many thieves know exactly what those rocks look like, and will find your spare key very quickly. Consider leaving the key with a neighbor or if you must hide it on your property, then place it far away from the home out in the open where no one will be looking for it.

The reason many thieves like to work at night is because they can easily hide in the shadows and get inside the home unannounced. When your home is dark at night, it is an open invitation to bad things happening. The easiest way to reduce the chances your home is chosen as a target is to simply light things up. Your porch lights and backyard lights should always be turned on after the sun goes down. These lights cost pennies to operate each night, and can often be a huge deterrent if anyone is thinking about breaking into your home.

The outside lights will definitely lessen the chances of your home being targeted, but to really help the cause you need to turn on the interior lighting too. The outside lights look less obvious when the inside lights are on too. The inside lights will have anyone guessing whether anyone is inside the house. If you do not have a home automation system already turning the lights on and off, consider those small light timers to turn certain lights on and off throughout the evening if you are not home.

Innovative Technology Used in Security Systems

There are a lot of different alarm companies to choose from each with their own benefits and specifications. Alarm companies have evolved with technology, thus making it hard for your house to be broken into.
One of the latest technology that has evolved with the alarm company is the use of wireless technology. Those companies that use wireless technology use cell towers to keep the alarm activated. The more traditional route of course is the wire technology where a wire goes directly to your phone line to keep the system armed. The problem with that method is that the burglars know exactly where the wire is and how to disarm the system before they break in. When you use wireless technology you use cell towers to arm the system so there are no wires to cut. In this scenario the system cannot be disarmed.
A lot of alarm companies offer window sensors as well as motion sensors. You can use motion sensors when you are not home. The motion sensors detect any movement in the house and go off if motion is detected. When you are home, you will want to disable this feature as you do move around the house. That is when the window sensors come in. These sensors are on the windows of your house and detect when the glass is broken. When glass is broken the alarm goes off. These cannot be disarmed, so you and your valuables are protected. Usually these are placed on windows that are on the bottom floor where entry is possible.
Alarm companies today offer a lot of other features for your convenience. Those features include an app that you can download on your cell phone. Once the app is downloaded onto your cell phone, you are in constant contact with your home. You can be notified instantly when your alarm goes off. However you can rest assured that the police have already been dispatched and are on your way. You can see exactly what is going on in your home via webcams. This is extremely useful if you have children that are home while you are away. The app also offers an unlocking and locking feature. Even if you run out of the house and forget to lock the door, you can lock it from your cell phone. A lot of the alarm companies also offer a automatic locking locks that locks the door within seconds of you closing it behind you. You can also unlock the door if your child forgets their key and needs to get into the home. Another convenient feature is you can control your thermostat with your phone. You can lower or raise the thermostat and set a comfortable temperature before you get home.
So each alarm company have several features that you can choose from. Not only are these features functional but also add convenience. Find one that has the features that work for you and have a more comfortable and secured life.