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Are DIY Home Security Systems Effective?

As a homeowner, finding ways to save money on the budget is important. However, delving into a do-it-yourself home security systems might not be the best way to save a few dollars. New technology makes security systems less expensive today, and professional equipment ensures the home will be protected in case of an emergency, break-in or disaster.

security alarm monitoring
Upgrading and Maintenance of the System

The newest security toys on the market always seem like they’re going to do the best job of protecting a home and family, but even the shiniest new equipment will dull with age and become ineffective. Worse, some security devices are all show and don’t actually provide the type of protection advertised on the box.

Most basic do-it-yourself kits don’t come with all the helpful bells and whistles of a professionally installed system. Basic store-bought systems that have features like battery backups, redundancies and smoke detectors usually pack a hefty punch to the wallet. The final price of a DIY system might end up being around the same as what a professional company would charge.

Security Monitoring and Homemade Systems

A security system of any type is helpful. Without security monitoring, however, the system won’t alert a homeowner of a problem except under special circumstances. If a homeowner is away often, he might not realize the home has been burglarized until he comes home to find the back door has been busted, and all the electronics have been swiped from the living room.

Security alarm monitoring will notify a homeowner any time there’s a problem in the home and will be able to send word to emergency personnel that a fire has broken out and that help is required at the residence. Without the benefit of monitoring services, a homeowner might not be able to call the police until hours or days after a break-in.

Consulting with a Security Professional

One of the valuable features of talking with a representative from a home security monitoring company is that he will be able to provide tips on where to place certain devices and what items might be needed for a safe environment. Security professionals will recognize “blind” spots in the surveillance system and may be able to recommend other types of devices like glass break sensors and motion sensor lights.

Smart Security Options at Home

In addition to installing a complete home security monitoring system, there are some simple habits a homeowner and his family may adopt to ensure a safer home life. For example, an alarm system is much more effective when the doors and windows are kept locked on a regular basis. Additionally, installing strong locks like deadbolts also improves the effectiveness of the security alarm monitoring system.

Although a do-it-yourself alarm system might offer some protection for the family, these simple security options aren’t the best way to protect the home. The knowledge of a professional and advanced features of a professional system offer the highest level of safety in any home.

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Home Security Monitoring and Holiday Party Safety

The holiday season is upon us and people are out and about getting ready for the festivities. Holiday parties are on practically everyone’s list either as hosts or guests. However, this time of year is also a peak crime season. Taking advantage of home security alarm and monitoring while routinely locking doors can prevent most crimes of opportunity during the holidays.

Opportunistic Criminals

Most crimes are ones of opportunity. They are committed by thieves wanting to illegally gain from others with the least amount of risk to themselves. Holiday parties usually have guests filling up driveways and parking on streets. More than one home in the neighborhood may have a holiday party the same evening. It gets dark earlier providing cover of night for criminal activity, and people sometimes forget to lock their doors and keep their valuables out of sight.

This is equally true for homes and automobiles. People routinely leave valuable items such as cell phones and GPS units in plain sight in vehicles while forgetting to lock doors. Some partygoers may be asked to leave keys in their cars in case the vehicles need to be moved. During a party, guests coming and going leave home doors unlocked. This allows open access for thieves to quickly steal valuables seen through windows.

Whereas breaking a window of a home or vehicle to grab valuables may bring unwanted attention, an unlocked door is like an open invitation to thieves. Since most criminals are opportunists looking for an easy score, deny them the privilege by keeping doors locked and never leave keys in a vehicle. The holidays are also a peak season for vehicle theft.

Holiday Party Security Protocols

Tell guests to lock their car doors. Tell them that the doors of the home are also to remain locked. Advise them to stick to using one entrance to go in and out, and have someone monitor that door. Use the home security monitoring system on chime alert so that a sound is triggered at the alarm panel each time a door or window is opened. Investigate a chime when it is not caused by the designated entry and exit door being opened.

Security alarm and monitoring systems that include surveillance cameras at front doors are great for identifying who is there before opening doors. Home invaders take advantage of situations where guests are coming and going. Parties where known guests are permitted to bring friends unknown to the homeowner are a greater risk.

Be sure to check every door and window before retiring to bed to make sure that none have been accidentally or even intentionally left unlocked. There has been more than one party where a guest has set up the home for a later burglary attempt days after the party ends.

Advertise Home Security Measures

Since most burglars and home invaders are looking for targets that are going to provide the least resistance, prominently display yard signs and decals that announce that the home is protected with an active home security and monitoring system. Though it is tempting to show off the Christmas tree through the open curtains of the living room window facing the street, opt to keep the curtains drawn to deny prying eyes a look at the goodies inside the home.

Be certain that every bulb in the motion detector lights is functional. Check the point of view of any surveillance cameras. Trim back any hedges or other vegetation that block a clear view. Have the angle of view adjusted for any cameras where views may have been altered due to windy weather. Proper planning for home security leads criminals to bypass the protected home for an easier target elsewhere.

​Careful Candle Use and Home Security Monitoring Keep Families Safe

Once a vital source of lighting in centuries past, candles today are a beautiful part of holiday celebrations, but their use does present an increase in fire danger in the average home. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests that emergency fire crews respond to thousands of home structure fires each year because of accidental fires started by candles. These fires result in hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage and significant loss of life, as well as hundreds of injuries.

Danger in the Bedroom

At least a third of all candle fires start in the bedroom, and these fires cause a significant percentage of the injuries, casualties, and damage associated with candle fires. Most candle manufacturers recommend that candles shouldn’t be burned any more than about four hours at a time. Falling asleep with a nearby candle may allow a candle to burn for many more hours and increase the potential for fire danger.

Removing Sources of Flammable Materials

The United States Fire Administration suggests that over half of all the fires started by candles occur because a flammable item was placed too close to the candle. There are many flammable materials in the average home, such as mattresses and bedding, which are often too close to a candle that burns on a bedside table and catches fire while an unfortunate victim sleeps.

Candles should never be placed close to anything that may burn, like curtains, bedding, or holiday decorations. Placing a candle on a clean surface that is well away from flowing and flammable materials like curtains is essential for reducing the chance that an uncontrolled candle fire might start. Highly flammable materials can create a swift fire that barely gives the home security monitoring alarms a chance to notify home occupants that a fire has started.

Never Leave Candles Alone

Using preventative measures is a much safer way to use candles than leaving it up to the smoke detectors and the security alarm monitoring service. By the time the smoke detector starts its siren, the family might have less than a minute to exit the home, and if there are children or elderly residents in the house, successful evacuation could be almost impossible.

The National Candle Association (NCA) suggests that someone should be in the room when a candle burns. If everyone must leave the room, the NCA recommends that all candles are extinguished and never left alone to burn. Even if a candle is placed well away from flammable sources, fire is an unpredictable element and may not behave as expected.

Reinforce Security Measures

With the increased use of fireplaces and candles in the winter holiday season, homeowners should check the home security monitoring devices regularly. The NFPA data suggests that around two-thirds of the home fires that caused a death occurred in structures with no working smoke alarms or smoke detectors on the premises.

Installation of these devices is a vital method for reducing the chance that a candle fire might begin and make it impossible for a family to escape. After a smoke detector starts ringing, an occupant has only a few minutes to evacuate before issues of smoke inhalation and fire make escape impossible. A security alarm monitoring company can easily install detectors in every vital spot in the home to keep the family safe from an accidental candle fire.

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.

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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