Owning a Home Security System offers peace of mind in knowing your home is being monitored by a trained professional 24 hours a day. In the even of an emergency, the local authorities are dispatched to respond to the signals being sent from the panel. Depending on the department, a police district can receive up to a 92% false alarm rate on calls actually dispatched. This number is astounding!
To encourage false alarm prevention many departments are fining customers for every occurrence. Sometimes fines work on a three strikes and you are out policy, others allow one occurrence per year before they begin to charge. However your department encourages false alarm prevention, the best option is to never have to find out, right?
Here are a few tips that will help you avoid the big pay out when it comes to false alarm charges.
- Know how to use your Security System.
- The best way to avoid mistakes is knowing how to use your alarm system thoroughly. The installing technician should have left you with an owner’s manual or DVD. You can also find these for free online and you should be able to obtain one by calling your service provider.
- Call your security provider and ask questions. Many of these companies have staff available who are trained in answering the questions you may have regarding your system. No question is unimportant; no question is silly.
- Test your alarm system frequently.
- It’s always a good idea to test your Home Alarm System on a frequent basis. About once a month is the recommended timeframe between tests.
- REMEMBER to call your monitoring station to place your account on test BEFORE you begin to send signals. This tip alone would be a major help in the fight against false alarms.
- If you change your contact info, tell your service provider and Monitoring Station.
- Security panels are innovative in many ways, But no matter how cool your panel is, it will not report a change in your contact information. Your monitoring station understands that people change their home and cell phones all of the time. They will be more than happy to receive your call to update your contact information.
- Remember if they can’t contact you, it’s a possible false alarm.
- Keep your pets out of the areas covered by Motion Detectors.
- Many motion detectors have what is called “Pet Immunity”. This means, for the most part, the motion detector can ignore the movements of animals close to the ground provided they don’t jump on the furniture.
- If your animal has a habit of climbing on the furniture, it’s always best to keep them out of the areas covered by the Motion detector.
- Make sure all of your Door and Window Locks are secure when you arm your panel.
- Whether you are arming your panel for the night or you are taking a night on the town it’s best to leave your home in the most secure setting as possible. Locking the doors and windows add another layer of perimeter protection very useful in the protection of your home. If it’s really hard to get in, your intruder will most likely look somewhere else.
- Another practical application is protecting your home for the night. Help avoid a false alarm by locking your doors at night. Many false alarms are caused by people trying to accomplish a simple task like taking the trash out. If you train yourself to disarm your panel every time you unlock your door, it will become a very good, and useful habit.
By following these simple suggestions you can help keep your local police where they need to be; that is responding to actual emergencies. Not to mention when it comes time for your own home’s protection, you won’t be known as the customer who cried “ALARM!”
My neighbor stopped me in backyard garden this past week and asked me if I had been walking around in the backyard without a flashlight about 2 a.m. the previous night. I answered that I hadn’t, and if I was in the back yard that late it would be with friends and family for a bon fire or some kind of activity like that.
He scratched his head and explained he was taking some trash out to his cans and noticed someone walking around in my yard. With the full moon, he could see the silhouette of what he thought was a man with some kind of a hat on. He yelled over to the mysterious character demanding they explain themselves. Instead of answering, the person quickly ran past the side of the house and closed my fence on the way out. I thanked him for being so thoughtful and alert and I began asking my family members (who live near my home) if they had been lurking. Of course everyone reported to have been sleeping that night.
I feel confident knowing my security system is on and active while we are asleep but getting this news from my neighbor got me thinking that I need to take some added measures to support the security my Home Security System provides.
Here is what I came up with:
Update All of The Locks in Your Home
- Many older homes allow the doors and window lock to age with them. Many doors and windows lose their solid functionality with time and may require you to change the locks.
- Good and sturdy door locks are relatively inexpensive and are easy to install.
- It’s okay to use sticks or long objects in sliding doors and windows. This makes it nearly impossible for someone to lift it off the track or force entry
Improve Your Property Visibility
- Trim any shrubs, bushes, or trees that may be impeding the view from your home to the rest of your property. Don’t give any “shady” characters a place to hide if they are casing your home. If it looks difficult to take a peek they most likely won’t.
Never Hide Keys
- If someone is watching your home, eventually they will notice if you have keys hidden around your property. Hiding keys atop doorframes, under mats, and in the potted plant are NOT new concepts. These are the hotspots for hidden keys any are most likely to be the first places to be checked.
Well Lit Perimeter
- This is perfect for my situation. You improve the security of your home by lighting up the perimeter and making it difficult for people to be sneaking around your property at night. If you are concerned about the light bill, be sure to check out your local hardware store and mount motion detecting light sensors. If someone is moving around the detector will pick it up and provide a path of en”light”enment to the intruder. LOL
Own a Home Security System
- Whereas a home security system won’t guarantee someone won’t break into your home, it greatly reduces the chance your home will be broken into, and greatly enhances the possibility the intruder may be apprehended.
Owning a Monitored Home Security System gives you the peace of mind knowing someone good is watching your home even if someone with bad intentions is watching your home also.
This week certainly got me thinking, and I’m definitely going to be following my own advice in supporting my homes security system. Remember criminals are usually looking for the quick and easy rewards. Taking all of these steps makes it difficult to become a target.
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Do you have some easy tips to add security to your home? Please feel free to comment below.
Springtime has to be one of the most exciting times of the year. Winter starts to melt away while the mercury on the thermometer once again begins to rise. We begin to prepare for the coming year with renewed ambition and for many of us, that includes Spring-cleaning.
So, as you are cleaning out your closets and garages, remember that now is also a great time to test your Home Security System. Below is a checklist of recommended tasks that will help strengthen the Security of Your Home.
1. Test All of Your Sensors
- It is recommended that you test your Home Security System at least once a month. Hopefully, if you haven’t already been doing this you can work it into your monthly routine.
- Start by calling your Monitoring Station and place the account on test. You will need your verification information so be sure to have that ready for them.
- Once your account is on test, arm the system to its maximum setting. For the two most popular systems we work with, this would be Away for Honeywell systems, and Doors/Windows, and Motions for G.E. systems.
- Open and close all windows and doors which have sensors attached to them.
- If you have Motion Detectors wait 5 minutes after arming to walk in front of them as they have a three-minute sleep mode.
- You can test the Smoke Detectors by pressing the test button and holding it for about 15 seconds.
- Test your Keyfob panics by pressing the Panic button for Honeywell Keyfobs, and pressing the lock and unlock together for G.E. Keyfobs. (This is also true for WallFobs)
- Medical Pendants should also be included if you have them included in your equipments list. Simply press the button(s) on the pendant to activate the alarm.
- Glassbreak Sensors can be a little trickier as they require the sound of glass breaking. Testing glassbreaks can be accomplished by: aggressively shaking your keys in front of the module, clapping your hands directly in front of the sensor, or even making the glass breaking sound effect with your mouth really close to the sensor. I know it seems silly but it works! LOL
2. General Dusting
- The performance of your Home Security System is most effective when all of the sensors are properly clean and cared for. Be sure to take some time and do some general clean up of the security sensors.
- The first step as always is to place the account on test.
- Remember whenever dealing with electronics it is wise to disconnect the power source. This will not only protect you from shock, but will also help protect the sensor.
- Gently dust the tops of all the sensors on the walls. If needed, use a lightly damp cloth (water) and wipe the dust from the sensor tops.
- When cleaning a Photo-Electric Smoke Detector I’ve always used a vacuum hose to remove the dust particles from the chamber. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning methods for the most effective results.
- Dust off your Motion Detector and be sure to be careful around the lens. Scratching the lens is uncommon, but if scratching occurs it could reduce performance, so be careful. Read the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning methods for the most effective results.
I hope this helps answer some questions about simple security system maintenance. I really look forward to this coming spring and summer seasons.
Do you have a Spring Cleaning tip that you’d like to share? Please feel free to comment below.
Do you remember the thrill of owning your first bike? I remember waking up that Christmas morning and seeing a whole row of bicycles in the livingroom, one bicycle for each of my brothers and sister. I remember feeling a sense of freedom and excitement as I rode that bike for the first time. I now had control of my destiny. I could ride anywhere; virtually go anywhere I wanted, when I wanted. I felt so grown up for the first time in my life. It is an experience that I can’t wait to share with my children when they become old enough to ride a bike.
I remember my father taking the time teach us the rules of bike safety. Each bike came with a helmet and a personal lesson with my father about how to care for and maintain it. He taught us how to fix the chain if it ever fell off, how to adjust the breaks, and even how to patch a punctured tire. One thing my father stressed was making sure we wore our helmets when we rode and if we needed to leave the bike for any length of time, secure it to something solid. Chain the bicycle through the frame and a tire to bike racks, trees, street signs, essentially anything that was a permanent fixture.
Years later, I’m now the father, and the big purchase came when we decided to buy a home for our family. I remember experiencing similar feelings of freedom, control, and being so grown up. I think back to the care I took with my bicycle and drew the parallel that it was up to me to mow the lawn, fix the roof and trim the bushes. It is also my responsibility to make sure that my home has the proper Home Security required to keep my family safe. I was sure to check that all the doors and windows had locks and the flood lamps were working properly, but somehow I felt that it wasn’t enough.
I decided that what my home needed was a Security System, but what exactly did I need to secure my home? Now, it’s no secret; I work for a Security System Company. That is important to know, because for years I have been custom designing security systems for customer’s homes across the nation. I’ve installed for every kind of demographic. From multi-million dollar homes to less affluent communities, I’ve optimized the Security Coverage and always felt comfortable with the coverage designs. Now, however, I had to think about the design for my family.
When designing a Custom Security System for the needs of any home, it is important to take two major subjects into consideration.
- Secure The Perimeter
- The perimeter of your home is the first barrier separating you from the rest of the world. The most common entry and exit points are the doors. Doors and windows can be covered by sensors specifically designed for the action of doors and windows. There are other sensor upgrades available, but this is the basic concept; secure your perimeter.
- Secure The Interior
- Nothing secures the interior of a home better than a motion detector. Designed with small pets and animals in mind, a well-placed motion detector can greatly enhance the security of you home by limiting the interior movement of an intruder.
With both of these areas covered by the proper sensors, and the sensors communicating with a Security System Panel that reports to a monitoring station, I now have the peace of mind knowing that my home is completely secure.
By designing my system this way, I am able to secure the core of my home. If I relying solely on the door and window locks for the complete security of my home, I create a false sense of security. This is similar to making the decision of how to chain my bike to the rack or only chaining the tire. By chaining the frame I can secure the core and therefore my entire bike. Anything less just simply wouldn’t cut it. I couldn’t leave the security of my home in the hands of locks alone; it is my family inside.
Through this Blog I hope to be able to share with you the important tips and tricks to Home Security maintenance and allow you the opportunity to get to know your home security provider.
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Do you have any home security tips you’d like to share? Please comment below.