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Holiday Safety and Home Security Monitoring

Holiday celebrations may increase the likelihood of fire and security problems for homeowners who aren’t careful with winter activities. Hanging lights, using the fireplace, and putting holiday decorations around the home offer opportunities for mishaps. Keep family and friends safe and secure during the holiday season by using these simple safety tips:

Reduce the Chance of Fire

The United States Fire Administration says that danger of fire due to electrical problems, lighted candles, and Christmas trees increases dramatically during the holiday season. Dry Christmas trees that sit too close to the fireplace can catch fire if not properly monitored. Use simple common sense when decorating. Keep the tree away from the fireplace and place burning holiday candles well away from decorations that may catch fire.

Smoke detectors are an absolute must. Batteries in smoke detectors should be checked a few times a year, and there should be a detector on every floor of the home and in every bedroom. Smoke detectors connected to the home security monitoring system offer an added level of protection for our family. In case of fire, make sure you have a meeting spot outside the home to gather in case evacuation is required.

Perform Seasonal Maintenance

A third of the fires that begin with a Christmas tree stem from electrical problems like faulty strands of lights or an over taxed home electrical system. Older homes may have a delicate electrical system that can’t handle multiple strands of lights hung outside the home.

Always check each strand of lights to make sure that all the bulbs work and that there are no cracks or worn spots in the wires. Never use indoor lights on the exterior of the home and make sure that strands are plugged into ground-fault circuit interrupter(GFCI) outlets, which will cut the power to the lights if a problem occurs. Additionally, consider a professional inspection of the electrical system if the house is over 20 years old.

Beware of Theft or Burglary

UPS, FedEx and USPS employees work overtime during the holidays to deliver Hanukkah and Christmas gifts on time, and thieves know that the holiday season is a perfect time to burglarize family homes. Residential security systems that offer proximity alarms and intruder detection are exceptionally valuable; however, any type of home security monitoring can help reduce the chances of theft. The system doesn’t have to be state-of-the-art to be effective.

Long nights and the lure of holiday gifts are a significant temptation for thieves, and the home security system may be bolstered by using a few simple techniques to make it more difficult for thieves to gain access to the home. Locking the doors is a significant deterrent to would-be thieves. The installation of an extra lock or a deadbolt may discourage more ardent burglars.

The holiday season should be a time when families get together for celebrations and not a time to worry about whether the tree might catch fire or whether the security system will detect unlawful entry. Take extra precautions each holiday season to reduce fire danger, improve security, and increase the safety of the family.

The Importance of Security Alarm Monitoring When the Weather Turns Cool

When the weather turns cool and the leaves turn a riot of color, fall has arrived in all of its glory. It is one of the best times of the year, and people tend to get very excited about autumn. They look forward to the cool temperatures, fall foliage and upcoming holidays. However, this excitement can tend to make them relax their guard, which is just the weakness that thieves are ready to exploit. Don’t let this happen to you this fall. Follow these tips to ensure that you keep your home safe this fall and winter.

An Open Window Is Dangerous

One of the things that people love the most about fall is that the temperatures turn cool. They no longer have to deal with the unbearable summer heat, and many people respond by throwing open their windows to let in all of that crisp autumn air. Breathing in this brisk air is a delightful sensation, but it can be very dangerous for home security.

Thieves love the fall because of all of these open windows. When a window is open, thieves see it as an invitation to come inside and do a little free shopping. They know they don’t have to worry about alarm systems when the windows are open. They can just slip right in unnoticed.

It is okay to open your windows during the fall, but be smart about it. Before you go to bed or leave the house, go around and shut all of the windows to keep thieves from using them as an access point. You can leave your bedroom windows open at night if you want to, but even that is risky if your bedroom is on the ground floor. To be on the safe side, make sure to keep those windows closed this fall.

Holiday Vacations

Another dangerous thing about this time of year for homeowners is that they are often going out of town for holiday vacations. When you leave town for an extended period of time, it is the most likely time that burglars will strike. You need to protect your home while you are away with security alarm monitoring.

When you have a good home security alarm and video surveillance installation in your house, you can rest assured that your home is in good hands while you are on vacation. Any thief who is stupid enough to try and break into your house when you are gone will set the alarm off. The sound of the alarm will send him running, and the video cameras will capture him on film.

When your home security system comes with security alarm monitoring, your security company will be notified immediately when the alarm is triggered. This is very helpful when you are out of town. If you don’t have a monitored alarm, then the police may not even be notified of a break-in at your home until you get back.

Make sure to invest in security alarm monitoring as well as video surveillance installation. The video will come in handy when the police catch the burglar who tried to break into your home. This video footage will ensure that he goes to jail for a long time.

Smart Homes and Security Alarm Monitoring

Each year brings new advances in security alarm monitoring and keeping up with trends, and new features help a homeowner keep the residence as safe as possible from burglars or any type of security threat. Today’s advanced security systems reach far beyond a few alarms installed at the entrances to the home, and there are many ways to configure a security system for a spectacularly safe home.

Homeowners Can “See” the House at Any Time

Wireless Internet has made it easy for a homeowner to consider video surveillance installation with every nook and cranny covered with a video feed. This is possible because cameras are no longer tied to wires and power outlets. The Internet has also granted homeowners additional benefits as the status of all those cameras, and the rest of the security system may be available through a device like a smart phone or tablet computer.

For example, when a homeowner goes to work in the morning, it’s the job of the security system to alert the security company about a potential threat, but now the homeowner can be kept in the loop as well with email updates whenever something potentially suspicious occurs at the house. A spouse arriving home early and disarming the system unexpectedly won’t be cause for concern because checking on the video feed is as easy as loading a video clip on a smartphone.

Interactive Systems with Extra Benefits

The concept of a “smart house” is something that technophiles have talked about for years. Installations of systems that provide convenience, as well as security, have become something available to any homeowner, and not just a feature of homes in Hollywood movies. Security alarm monitoring companies today often provide extra features like the ability to control the air conditioning system remotely as well as the opportunity to turn lights on and off when away from home.

Tips for Installing an Advanced System

Modern security systems do offer some advantages over the way systems were designed in the past, and it’s a good idea to consider the following features for enhanced security alarm monitoring.

1. Consider a cellular-based system: a thief can’t cut a cell phone signal and disarm the system unless he goes to all the surrounding cell phone towers and topples them (which is a rather significant project unlikely to entice any thief). If cell phone service isn’t available in a homeowner’s area, such as in the case of rural homes, a system should still have a backup power system just in case the thieves are able to cut power to the home.

2. Never let the system do all the work: after video surveillance installation is complete, a homeowner can’t assume that the alarm system is going to do all the work. Whether a homeowner has an extensive security system installed, or whether there are just a few surveillance cameras protecting the property, doesn’t matter. Habits that promote security and safety like keeping doors locked at all times remain essential to ensure the best results from the security system.

A study by Temple University suggests that homes without security systems are a much bigger target for burglars. No alarm system can offer 100 percent safety, but the threat of burglary, vandalism, and home invasion is drastically reduced with video surveillance installation.

A Safe Thanksgiving with Home Security Monitoring

Gathering around the table at Thanksgiving with a huge meal of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce is a wonderful way to catch up with family. Families often crowd into the kitchen to help with the meal, and it’s essential to make sure that everyone is aware of basic safety habits for safe cooking. The Electrical Safety Foundation International suggests that at least 2 out of every 5 fires in the home start in the kitchen, so Thanksgiving dinners must be prepared with care.

Dress Right for the Occasion

Any member of the family who might be working with the stovetop or oven (or any place where there might be flame and heat) needs to make sure his or her sleeves aren’t too loose. The cold weather outside often inspires warm clothes, but the Red Cross suggests that loose sweaters and jackets are a fire hazard in the kitchen.

Pay Attention to the Appliances

A full Thanksgiving dinner is often a juggling act that requires the use of many appliances in the kitchen. Leaving the array of burners, ovens, and microwaves alone is never a good idea. Make sure at least one person is in the kitchen at all times and shut down burners on the stovetop for absences longer than a few minutes.

Use Smart Habits on the Stovetop

If all four burners on the stove aren’t in use, employ the back burners before using the front burners to reduce the chances that a child might come into contact with a hot burner. Although the kids might have been warned about proper kitchen behavior, it’s helpful to take extra precautions.

Keep a Clear Space

Keeping the kitchen clean during a Thanksgiving dinner is usually an impossible task, but it’s important to make sure that items like potholders and napkins don’t present a fire hazard during cooking. Keep the counters as clear as possible of dishtowels and anything else that might catch fire if it’s placed next to the stove. Don’t forget to keep holiday decorations away from the stove.

Update Security and Safety Systems

All families should have a security alarm monitoring system that includes smoke detectors installed on every floor of the home and in the kitchen. Check the batteries on the smoke detectors before putting the turkey in the oven. A home security monitoring system can’t let the family know of fire if the smoke detectors aren’t operating.

Check the Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a must inside the home. However, it’s not enough to hang an extinguisher on the wall close to the stove. Ensure that all adults who might be in the kitchen during the holiday know how to operate the fire extinguisher.

Talk to Kids About Safety

Sometimes it’s best to send the kids outside into the backyard to play during food preparation, but for older children who might want to help with the festivities, a talk about burns, fires, and kitchen safety is an essential conversation. Any member of the household who isn’t yet a teenager shouldn’t be anywhere near the stove and burners.

Taking steps to ensure safe habits during cooking, as well as testing the security alarm monitoring system to make sure the smoke detectors work, will reduce the chances that a fire may start without the family being aware of the emergency.

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