by Adam Fogal | Mar 12, 2018 | Home Security, Smart Home |
Expert Home and Business Security Installation
One of the best gifts you can give your entire family is peace of mind. Installation of an alarm system in your home can protect your loved ones and your belongings.
When you are getting an alarm in your home or business, you need to make certain that someone with experience installs it, so that it will work correctly. Otherwise, it isn’t giving you any type of protection. The best alarm installation companies in St. Louis are the companies that have been in business for many years with experienced professional installers. Choosing a local installer means that you are doing business—in essence—with your neighbors.
The best alarm companies sell a wide variety of different types of alarms and also service the items they sell in an efficient manner. Learn about some of the types of systems to make a decision on which will be best for you in your situation.
Not all apartments or homes that you rent have any type of security for your belongings. There may be a security gate to enter the complex or subdivision, but this isn’t securing your personal belongings. Renter’s security alarms are standalone equipment that doesn’t require a permanent installation and it has no wires running inside of the walls. One of the best points of this type of system is that when you move, it moves with you to another location. These innovative systems give you all the benefits of a fully interactive home. You get video monitoring with sound in a bright mega pixel HD video. You also get home automation as in a permanent installation of an alarm system. You can control your thermostat remotely as well as arm and disarm the system remotely from your smart phone or over the internet from a laptop or computer. You will receive real time notifications and alerts so you are kept in the know at all times. You can even control other things in your home such as lights, appliances, entertainment centers or locks as well as any other connected devices.
Cellular Home Alarms
When bad weather strikes and your power is out, a cellular alarm will still work to make your home safe. It doesn’t require the use of a landline, as the old alarm systems did. This saves you the monthly cost of having a landline in your home. You can control your home from your smart phone in a single app. The cellular alarm radio communicates to a professional monitoring station and you get 24/7 police response. Additional features include weather warnings and a crash and smash feature that contacts the monitoring station if it detects tampering to your unit. The control panel is in full color and user friendly with a touch screen for easy functions. You can also communicate with the monitoring station through a 2-way voice system in your home.
Smart alarms also operate from your smart phone or tablet to arm and disarm your system and set up alerts. You can get weather alerts, 24/7 monitoring of your home and instant text message alerts as well as email notifications that are triggered by anything that happens in your home. This system will notify you if you leave home and forget to arm the alarm system. It also includes the 2-way voice system for communications with the monitoring station. A great feature of this type of alarm is geo-fencing. You can set a radius around your home and anytime your smart phone enters or leaves that particular radius you will get a message to arm or disarm the system. Smart alarm systems are also wireless, include a color touch screen and include the crash and smash function to detect tampering.
Smarter Alarm Systems
These systems have the same features as the smart alarms, but also include a smart thermostat. With the geo-fencing control, you can program your thermostat to a cooler setting when you are close to home, or turn it warmer in the winter as you are approaching your home. You can also automatically adjust your lights to turn them on or off while on the go. This system can save you quite a bit of money on your monthly electricity bills. You can also add smart door locks with user codes for each family member. This enables locking and unlocking your doors from your smart phone and it will remind you to lock the doors if you leave the house and forget.
Smartest Alarm Systems
This system has all of the features of the smarter alarm systems with the addition of a video feed. You can actually see who is at the door on your smart phone when you are at work. You can see them through a video doorbell and if it is someone you are expecting, such as service personnel, you can unlock the door for them to go in your home and lock it again when they leave.
Business Alarm Systems
Smart business alarms allow you to set a time to lock and unlock the doors on your business. This is helpful so you don’t have to provide several employees with keys, which may be lost or not returned if they are no longer employed by you. It also doesn’t require that you, as a business owner, have to take the time to be at the shop at opening and closing time every day. This type of system can control your thermostats, shades, lights, provide access to a live video feed as well as capture images, and you get business management reports as well.
Video Verified Systems
When an alarm goes off and police are called, it could simply be a false alarm. Police will respond immediately to a video verified system because they have don’t have false alarms on these types of systems. You can see live streaming video of any workspace at any time you wish. It includes a smart clip capture for still video that is stored securely in the cloud to make it useful in prosecuting a burglar.
Choose an alarm company in St. Louis that offers you all of the different and new types of alarm systems to keep your home or business safe and protect all of your valuables. There is an alarm system to fit your situation with low monthly monitoring fees.
by Adam Fogal | Jan 6, 2018 | Business Security |
It is important to secure your business to protect your valuables that include your products and your valuables that are in the safe. Now, with the technological advances, some people are actually stealing personal information of customers to create havoc by stealing their identity and using it for their own profit. There are some things you can do that are quite easy to protect your business and all of your items inside your building.
Secure Your Access Points
Everyone knows to secure all of the doors and windows to a business with strong locks to deter thieves from forcing them open. However, did you realize that some crooks would enter your building from air vent outlets? These should also be secured with a locking system, even though it may look small. A thief can open the air vent outlet from outside and then remove enough of the wall that it is in to slide inside. The windows and doors are more secure if you have security bars installed on them. The bars are so small that a burglar will just find another business to break into, as they can’t fit through the bars for access to the inside. If you keep a sizeable amount of money in the safe overnight or your products you sell are valuable, you may also consider installing bulletproof glass.
Lock up Those Valuables
Even your computer servers qualify as a valuable. It can be very costly to replace one with all of the information on it and it has your customer and vendors information on it. Lock up your valuables including your safe or vault and expensive products in a room that has no window. An interior room in the center of your business works well for this application. This room should have a high-end security door along with a keypad entry lock. Only a few people in your company should have access to the code to enter this room.
Light up the Exterior
Security lighting is extremely important for a business. It is especially so in the winter months when there are more hours of darkness each day. Your lighting needs to be effective in the parking lot of your business and near all of the cameras on the exterior that make up your security system. A CCTV with infrared lighting will be picked up by your security cameras, but it is not seen by the naked eye. This means that your security team that monitors your business can see the intruders but your intruders won’t realize it.
All Weather Cameras
Security cameras are not all made the same. If you live in a cold climate where it snows in the winter, consider all weather cameras. All weather cameras usually include high-resolution video and night vision with varying ranges in a weather resistant housing. This can step up your security measures for your business no matter how unpredictable the winter winds, cold, snow and storms are.
Do a Perimeter Check
If you have fenced in property or are protected by any type of gate, you should check the perimeter several times per year. When each of the four seasons changes, check fencing and any other items such as trees or shrubs around your business. Depending on the weather, you may have fallen limbs that break your fencing or a huge buildup of leaves in the fall that cover areas around your building. Large branches or piles of leaves can provide an intruder hiding places to gain access to your business and all your valuables inside.
Set Your Clocks
We’ve all heard the sentence for daylight savings time of “Spring forward and Fall Back” for the times to set your clocks either forward or backward one hour. Did you know that if your camera footage has the wrong time on it when you have a court case to prosecute a burglar, the court can throw out the entire camera footage because it is compromised? That’s why it is important to change your clocks and all of your security equipment at the same time.
Add an Alarm System with Monitoring
This is one of the best security measures you can take to protect your business. If you don’t have an alarm system with monitoring, you may think you don’t need one because you haven’t been broken into before. The reality is that you haven’t been broken into yet. The inconvenience of having to file insurance claims and then replace all of your stolen belongings is more of a headache than just biting the bullet and getting an alarm system.
Contact a professional to find out about the different types of security systems available from the simple to the most technologically advanced.
by Adam Fogal | Nov 17, 2017 | Home Security |
These home security tips, if utilized, makes your home safe from crime, and then you can have peace of mind for your entire family. It is essential to learn some home security tips to secure your home and deter burglars, armed bandits, and other intruders.
Tip # 1: Add Deadbolts to Doors to your list of Home Security Tips
Criminals often use the exterior doors on a home to gain access. A door that is not very secure can be pried open or kicked in. The addition of deadbolts to all the exterior doors makes it much safer than a spring latch lock. Make certain when the deadbolts are installed that there is little or no space between the door and the frame. This would result in someone still being able to open the door with a prybar. Check for the gaps with a flashlight to examine them closely. If you do have spaces, use plywood or metal sheets for reinforcement.
Tip # 2: Check Your Hinges
Examine your exterior doors from the outside of your house. Make certain that the hinges are not visible or accessible from the outside. If a crook can access your hinges from outside, it only takes a few minutes with a screwdriver to remove all of the hinges and the door and gain access to your home. Remove all hinges on the exterior of your doors and reinstall them on the inside of your home so that the hinge pins are only accessible from inside.
Tip # 3: Add Door Armor as One of Your Home Security Tips
You can also add door amour kits with longer screws than the ones that originally came with your door hardware, heavy duty strike plates for your handles and deadbolts and metal framing designed to go around the hinge and handle/lock hardware for extra strength.
Tip # 4: Securing Sliding Doors
If you have sliding doors, secure them with a metal bar in the bottom track of the doors. This prevents someone from opening the door with great force and breaking the initial lock that comes with the doors.
Tip # 5: Secure Your French Doors
French doors are a beautiful addition to your home; however, they are targeted by a criminal to initiate a “kick-in burglary”. Add a security bar to your French doors. It may detract from the nice appearance, but you will only need to put it in place when everyone is leaving the house.
Tip # 6: Lock Down Your Windows
You can secure the windows that you have in your home with aftermarket window locks. They keep someone from forcing a window open to gain access to your home. The locks come in a variety of styles, so you need to know what types of windows you have. Window styles are double hung, sliding or casement windows that are also called crank windows.
Tip # 7: One of our Best Home Security Tips is to Add Security Film
Add security film to your windows and doors on the glass. Intruders will not likely see it, but it prevents your windows and glass from being kicked in. Get the thickest film possible for the best home security.
Tip # 8: Make Your Home Look Occupied
A burglar is less likely to invade a home that is occupied. They have no idea what they would be getting into after they are inside your home. Put lights on a timer in different rooms so it looks as if someone is home. You can leave a television on also because they create light and seem to suggest someone is home.
Tip # 9: Get a Dog
A dog, no matter what size, is one of my favorite home security tips and can make a burglar leave your home alone and go elsewhere. The success of a crime depends on not being detected while in the process. A barking dog will attract attention from neighbors if it is outside or can deter someone from breaking in your home if they are barking inside.
Tip # 10: Invest in a Home Security System
The very best deterrent to a criminal is to have a home security system that is monitored 24/7. We have all seen the old movies where the criminals cut the wiring outside and the system doesn’t work. That is not a reality these days with newer systems that don’t having wiring that can be tampered with.
Following these suggestions can keep your home and family safe and secure without the worry of a break in of any type.
by Adam Fogal | Jun 28, 2017 | Home Security |
7 Reasons You Should Shut Your Windows When You Are Gone?
Many homeowners have never heard that you need to shut your windows on a nice day when they leave their home for a quick trip to the gas station or a corner store. This is the only opening a criminal needs in order to invade your home and steal your feeling of security. 3M Window Film Can Also be a Lifesaver.
Do You Leave Your Windows Open When You Leave Your Home?
When the weather is nice outside, you tend to not shut your windows and let in some air in their homes. However, this greatly increases your chances of burglary. Criminals always look to find a house that appears the easiest to break into and get away from after they commit a crime.
Home Burglary Facts and Your Windows
- Most burglars will spend no more than one minute trying to break into a home.
- Burglars are typically in a home less than five minutes once they are inside.
- If you don’t shut your windows it is likely a sign that they can gain entry easily. Burglars only need to pull the screen off and slide the window open large enough to enter your home. Unless of course, you have a “casement window” (My Favorite Naturally Secure Window)
- Most burglaries gain access from the rear of a home or the side where they are least likely to be seen from the street.
- Many times, a home without a security alarm system will be robbed once, and then the burglar waits for a period of time when he thinks that the stolen items are replaced.The burglar will again invade the home and take the items again but this time not even bothering looking for an open window but breaking the glass, (Unless it Has 3M Safety Film to Stop Them) unlocking, and sliding open any window he desires because they know they are not going to be caught because an alarm never went off the last time they broke in.
- The most common windows left open in a home are in the master bedroom. 90% of what a burglar looks for is in that one room.
- Prescription Drugs
- Extra House Keys or Car Keys
- Most home burglaries occur on the ground floor for easy access to a ranch home as it provides a larger platform for break-in opportunities. Multiple story homes also require some special safeguards. Such as:
- A devious criminal may attempt to climb a tree. Be sure limbs have been trimmed to deny access to the second story or call your home security specialist to see what necessary requirements are needed to secure the windows in these areas.
- Ladder access is almost always with the homeowner’s own ladder so be sure they are in a garage or chained down to prevent their theft or use in a burglary on your own home.
- Lattice is another way to gain access to an upper floor window that is open. Be sure to shut your windows on any second story home with an alarm if your latticework provides this access.
Home Security Systems and Tips for Windows
Attach all of the windows in your home to a central home alarm system. If anyone tampers with a window, you will receive notification immediately and the police will too. Wooden dowels can block horizontal doors and windows so they will not open. Frame pins keep vertical sliding windows from opening.
If you don’t shut your windows when leaving your home for ventilation, only open it a maximum of six inches and block it with a dowel so it can’t be opened all the way. Make certain that an intruder is not able to remove the dowel from outside your home.
Smartest Alarm Systems
The Smartest Alarm systems for your home and valuables allows you to view live streaming video outside your entire home in daylight or complete darkness. Watching the perimeter of your home allows you to notice anyone suspicious that may be checking out windows of your home for a burglary. This will help identify windows burglars have looked in so you can be sure they are secure.
Should someone gain access to the inside of your home you can communicate with an intruder from your smartphone, tablet or computer at any time. Your ability to describe your invader in detail will usually startle the boldest of burglars, especially when you tell them this video feed is going to the police. It can send you either email or text alerts when motion is detected that activates these interactive video cameras.
You can see, hear and speak to anyone that is at your door through a video doorbell. It has a motion sensor, live video feeds and night vision so you can see who is at the door at all times. If someone shows up at your door after a delivery you know it right away and can interact with them to be sure your package is safe and keep track of anyone close to windows in the front of the house.
Remember that a window that is secured with dowels or locks must be easy to unlock for a safe exit in the case of an emergency. Make sure all family members are educated on an emergency escape route. Home security systems and 3M Safety Film are the best options to take when defending your home’s windows.
by Adam Fogal | Jun 24, 2017 | Smart Home |
You love your smartphone and can’t live without it. Imagine if you also had a smart home, too. Like your house. It’s not technology of the future, but it’s here today. Smart Home Security, appliances, lighting, and other gadgets are available to make your life easier and safer.
Below, find nine reasons why you should turn your regular house into an amazing, helpful, smart home.
1) Who Left The Stove On In Your Smart Home?
Have you ever set off the smoke detector when cooking? Those hardware store smoke detectors seem to be very finicky, particularly when you’re baking a cake… or boiling water. But what happens when you get a call and dash out the door forgetting the stove or oven are on.
Modern smoke detectors that work in conjunction with a “Smarter Alarm Panel” can warn you and the fire department that your smoke detector is going off. Another great feature is that it can also shut off your HVAC system automatically using companies like Alarm.com so that the smoke in the kitchen is not recirculated throughout your home. These loud alarms can also be disabled from your smart phone when you burn your biscuits, without climbing on a kitchen chair and you don’t have to disable the entire alarm.
$500 Extra Hint: You can also open your smart door lock remotely so the fire department does not kick your door in to see where smoke is coming from. This saves you $500 from not replacing that front door alone.
2) Know Your Family Is Home Safely
Video monitoring capabilities allows live-streaming from in or around your smart home to your smartphone, tablet, or desktop. You’ll receive an email or text alert if motion is detected and night vision ensures that you can even keep up with late night activities.
Summer months will no longer be a time of concern, because your smart home can help you monitor when your kids come and go during their daily routine over your smart phone.
3) You can get the help you need
Thanks to devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home, you won’t ever be on your own. These hands-free assistants respond to some complex commands and can order dinner, arrange for a ride or play your favorite mood music without jumping up from the couch. These devices can provide verbal answers to questions important such as, “Alexa what channel is the football game on and what time does it start?”
Basically, these products are voice activated Bluetooth speakers, but you’re able to do so much more than just play your favorite playlists. Capabilities extend across many functions and make controlling your smart home much easier. When you are running out the door to get the kids to school on time you merely say, “Alexa, tell Alarm.com to active the alarm”, and it will activate your alarm and lock the door behind you if you have electronic door locks.
4) Smart Phones as Remote Controls
While devices such as the Echo or Home allow you to provide verbal commands for your home, they aren’t helpful the instant you are out of audible range. Thankfully, most smart homes can be remotely controlled via your mobile device. Be it your security system, your thermostat, or even your TV, devices today can be monitored and changed with the touch of a finger. Remote control converters that plug into electronic devices enable just about any device to be smart.
Long night ahead? Use your phone to tell your appliances to begin heating water for some fresh coffee when you walk in the door to your smart home.
5) You can set the mood
It’s movie night and you and your significant other are already cuddling on the couch. The trailers are over and the feature presentation is just about to begin, but you forgot to dim the lights. With a smart home, it’s not a problem. Simply use your phone, tablet, or laptop to adjust the lighting and even close the shades.
Hate waking up to a dank room? Schedule your shades to open before your alarm goes off for natural sunlight and a cheerful morning.
On vacation? Remotely control or set a schedule for your lighting that mimics real usage, so not even those nosy neighbors will know you’re away.
6) You can vacuum your home (or swimming pool) without lifting a finger
Sweeping hardwood floors and vacuuming high-traffic carpeted areas can be a pain in the neck, figuratively and literally. However self-vacuuming devices, like the well-known Roomba, make cleaning a breeze. Roombas are long-running, wireless, vacuums that move seamlessly from carpet to linoleum and back again and are programmable from your favorite mobile device.
Roomba-style cleaning robots also exist for the swimming pool, making time for more fun in the sun.
7) Live independently as a senior
We’ve come a long way since the old “Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” commercials. Thanks to modern technology, senior citizens can feel completely secure in their own homes. Options include GPS tracking, two-way voice communication, and even fall detection capabilities. So relax at home and know that you are never alone when you have a medical security system for your smart home.
8) You can be rich (okay, maybe not, but you can save money)
Investing in a smart home can actually save you money through the following energy efficient products:
- LED light bulbs: Smart lighting uses LED bulbs, which use 80% less energy than an equivalent-wattage incandescent bulb, according to the US Department of Energy. Additionally, LED bulbs last an average of 24,000 hours more of lighting.
- Thermostats: Cost-efficient smart thermostats are programmable and offer recommendations on reducing heating and cooling times, thereby saving on utility bills.
- Remote notifications: Did you leave the light on in your bedroom? A connected home will alert you if you have and enable you to shut lights or devices off remotely.
9) A Smart Home Is A Smart Choice
A smart home saves you time and money, in addition to helping you learn the skills you want to learn, such as cooking. It will help you be more comfortable with the ability to turn up the heat before you climb out of bed or secure your house even if you aren’t there. In essence, a smart home can help make you smarter.