Ken Garland - Tuesday, November 26
If you are thinking about home security system installation, finding the right provider is probably on your mind. There are a lot of competitors in most major metro areas for home security system installers. Your family's safety and security is one of your top concerns.
With so many choices, is it okay to choose jut any company for home security system installation?
Be careful. Considering what is at stake, you definitely want to do a little research before making a selection. Here are some easy ways to make sure you make the right choice when your ready to look into home security system installation.
Check the RIGHT rankings.
There are a number of local services ranking websites for homeowners. Some of them are pretty easily manipulated with false reviews. Generally, these are the free recommendation sites. If your serious about wanting to find the best in your area, look into a site like Angie's List. While it is not free, it's a nominal fee and the fee helps keep the reviews clean.
Have a conversation.
This sounds really basic, but you can learn quite a bit about the way people do business by the way they treat you on that first consultation. Do they do a complete walk-through of the house AND the yard to look for possible security concerns? Do they explain options? Do they seem willing to lend a hand? You need to feel comfortable with your home security system installation, and the right company will be able to help. Who's monitoring the action? There are a ton of alarm monitoring companies out there. Bigger does not always mean better.
Ask for awards that the monitoring company has won and make sure the awards are current.
It's great that the home security system monitor won an award in 1987, but what has happened since?
Think about price.
Many home security system installation companies will try to trick you into thinking that their pricey equipment will provide better protection. Don't be fooled. Big name companies may try to drive prices up. Instead of going with a large, nationwide company, consider a local company who can give you a great price and respond quickly when you need them.
Need a home security system installation?
If you are interested in home security system installation, feel free to contact First Detect Security. We are happy to have a conversation with you about your home security needs. Visit our website to learn more about how to get a free home security system.
Ken Garland - Sunday, December 01
Do I want a wireless or wired home security system?
We get a lot of questions from customers about this. Let's start by looking at the physical differences between these two systems:
Wired Home Security Systems:
This type of system is physically hardwired together. A system that is installed correctly will run hidden wires from all sensors and cameras to an main panel. If an intruder is able to cut any of the wires, the home security system's alarm will sound.
Wireless Home Security Systems:
These systems have pieces that are all physically independent of each other... so no wires running back and forth from sensors to main panel and back. The sensors communicate with the main panel using wireless transmitters.
So now that you know the basic difference between wireless and wired home security systems... which one do you get? For a while, wired home security systems were the industry standard. As technology evolved, and wireless home security systems entered the market, wired systems quickly became outdated. While you can still find very affordable wired home security systems on the market, most installers will recommend a wireless system. Here's why:
Wired systems are difficult to move.
Once they are installed in your home, plan on leaving that system behind if and when you move.
Wired systems offer fewer safety features.
A wireless system can offer you protection from smoke, fire and carbon monoxide. You will also have a variety of of home automation feature available to you with a wireless system.
Wired systems not flexible in the event of an emergency
If someone in the household uses a wheelchair, wireless systems allow them to access the system with a wireless remote. Wired systems can be placed lower on a wall than industry standard, but they cannot be accessed from anywhere in the home.
Wired systems are more expensive and take longer to install.
Because installing a wired system is more invasive, installation can be between $500 and $1000, and that isn't even including the equipment. Installing a wired system could take several days. Wireless security systems are much more affordable because installation is quicker and easier... it can be done in just a few hours.
Do you have more questions? Are you thinking about a home security system? We are happy to help you. We can provide an estimate for installation, or you can look at our current deal for a free home security system.
Ken Garland - Thursday, December 19
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and completely invisible gas that is toxic to humans. It is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels like oil, gas, kerosene and charcoal. Most people know that vehicle exhaust contains carbon monoxide, though other culprits include generators, lawn mowers and power washers.
Nearly 200 people per year die in the United States as a result of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, vomiting, dizziness, nausea or fatigue? Many people affected say they feel as though they are suffering from food poisoning.
Here are some ways you can protect your home and family from carbon monoxide poisoning:
• Install carbon monoxide sensors that meet current safety standards. These sensors should be installed in each hallway outside of sleeping areas in your home.
• Make sure your carbon monoxide sensors are not blocked or covered by furniture or drapery.
• Don't burn charcoal or gas inside your home. Do not leave a running vehicle in an enclosed garage.
• Do not line the bottom of your oven with tin foil; it blocks the air flow, trapping carbon monoxide. Do not use an oven or gas range to heat your home.
• Make sure appliances that burn fossil fuels are in proper working condition. Ensure that vents and chimneys properly expel air. Do not use portable generators in your home.
Carbon Monoxide Sensors from First Detect
Our sensors are some of the most reliable in the industry. You will want to be sure you have these installed in your home. Spoken warnings when carbon monoxide is present. Easy touch reset Test reset allows you to ensure your system is up to date. Do you need help getting carbon monoxide sensors installed? We can help!
Ken Garland - Friday, November 08
Window Sensors vs. Glass Break Sensors - What You Need To Know To Secure Your Windows
What is the difference between glass break sensors and window sensors?It’s a question we get a lot. Here’s how we break it down… An intruder can enter a window of your home one of two ways:
1. They open the window and climb inside.
2. They break the glass to enter.
Window sensors protect against intruders who try to enter by opening your windows. Glass break sensors protect against intruders who shatter the glass. Window sensors work the same way that door sensors do. These sensors use magnets, and when the magnet detect that your window is opened, the alarm will sound.
Since we recommend arming all entry points to your home, window sensors are a good idea. Glass break sensors feature an audio microphone that can detect the frequency of breaking glass. You don’t need glass break sensors for each window of your home, however.
One glass break sensor can cover multiple windows if you place the sensor strategically.
So do I need a window sensor or a glass break sensor?Now that you understand the difference, you might be asking… Do I need glass break sensors or window sensors? Probably both. If an intruder wants to enter your home through a window, they will probably try opening it first (which would trigger your window sensor). If the window is locked, they will probably break the glass (which triggers your glass break sensor). If you want full protection, we recommend that you put window sensors on every window and glass break sensor in every room with windows.
If you are armed with both of these sensors, windows will no longer be a viable entry point for intruders. Also, be aware that if your home has crank windows, you will not be able to use window sensors, so you will definitely need glass break sensors.
Ken Garland - Wednesday, January 29
Home Security For Elderly Family Members
Home security for elderly family members is important to consider. It can be a difficult topic to broach with loved ones, but the reality is that there are additional safety concerns when it comes to elderly family members who live alone. First Detect offers a variety of options to help protect elderly home owners.
Wireless Systems - We recommend wireless systems because they are more difficult for intruders to disable. If you have an elderly family member who still has a wired system in their home, you might suggest that they make an upgrade.
Alarm Monitoring - It will give you and your elderly family member peace of mind knowing that someone keeping watch over their home. Our alarm monitoring is made up of an award-winning team of operators, who will react quickly and provide support in case of an emergency.
Medical Alert Emergency Pendant - This can be one of the more difficult topics to broach. If your loved one is having a hard time getting around or is in danger of falling, you may want to recommend a medical alert emergency pendant. It is a lightweight pendant with a large button. When pressed, the alarm monitoring company will send help. This pendant has saved lives.
If you have questions about other ways you can help support your elderly family member’s home security effort, give us a call. We are offering great deals on home security installations.
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Ken Garland - Thursday, February 06
Why Using Cellular Technology For Home Security Systems Is Safer
Going wireless with your home security system is a must. Here are some good suggestions for using a cellular device with your home security system:
*The main problem with a wired system that uses your home phone (a land line) is that the wires can be cut. This will prevent the alarm from sounding. Another problem is that if there is a power outage, your phone line will go down.
*One of the biggest reasons to use cellular technology, however is a something people don’t normally think about: the line sized feature. When the alarm is connected to your phone line, the alarm signal will take over the line to call the monitoring station. If it is a real emergency, you won't be able to call the police to speed up the response because your phone line will be busy reaching the alarm monitoring center. You will have to wait about a minute or so for the alarm company to call you to figure out what's going on. In a life or death situation, his can be valuable time wasted.
*Also, many people are going with a VOIP phone from the cable company, phone service or companies like Vonage. These lines cannot get proper line seizure and will be unreliable in an emergency. These lines are also affected by power outage, cutting, or just general company outage issues.
*The best, safest solution for your home security? A wireless system that utilizes cellular technology. You home and family will be safer, and you will have the convenience of being able to arm and disarm your system, no matter where you are. Your home phone line won’t be monopolized by your alarm system and there are no wires to cut.
Are you thinking about a wireless system yet? You should. We are offering a FREE system for a limited time, so drop us a line!
Ken Garland - Tuesday, January 21
Home Automation FAQ
Are you thinking about home automation? Maybe you've heard the term thrown around, but you aren'texactly sure what home automation means. We can help.
What is home automation?
Home automation is basically use of wireless technology to control electronics in your home remotely. You can use your smartphone or tablet to change settings from anywhere.
What features are included in home automation?
*Arm and disarm your home security system. Let’s say the kids get home from school and you are pulling a long night at the office. Once they are inside, arm your system so that you know they will be safe and sound.
*Turn lights on and off. Did you leave for vacation only to find out that your kids left the lights on upstairs? No problem. You can open up the app on your smartphone and turn them off.
*Change the thermostat. You can save on your energy bills by changing your thermostat when no one is home. Still, it’s no fun to come home to a house that is freezing cold or blazing hot. Use your home automation app to change your thermostat an hour or so before you get home so you can walk through the door and feel comfortable right away.
*Give everyone in the house an electronic key. You can eliminate the hazard of hiding a key in your front yard by giving everyone in your family a specialized key code. They can use the electronic key on their smartphones to gain access to your home.
Is home automation expensive?
The home automation app First Detect uses is FREE. When you install a wireless home security system, you will have home automation capabilities.
What are the benefits of home automation?
You have great potential to save on energy bills when you implement home automation. Also, your home insurance rate goes down when you install a wireless home security system. Most importantly, however, home automation makes it easier to make sure your home is locked up. You can also leverage your home automation to make it seem like you are home when you are really out of town. Flipping lights on and off will deter potential intruders because they will think your home is occupied.
Ken Garland - Saturday, December 14
Our holiday home security tips have hopefully been helpful to you so far. Christmas truly is a wonderful time of the year... as long as you are careful, right? One of the more dangerous parts of this holiday season is the presence of additional electrical wiring. You have strings of lights, candles everywhere... and probably an outlet with one too many plugs hooked up to it.
Here are some holiday home security tips that will keep your Christmas tree and holiday lights from starting a house fire:
• Check the batteries on your smoke detectors and test them at the beginning of the holiday season. If you have a real tree, water it. Dry needles are extremely flammable and present a fire hazard.
• Place your tree near a smoke detector. If a fire starts, you will want your smoke detector to catch it as quickly as possible.
• Think about a fake tree. Fake trees are far less flammable than real pine trees. Place your tree away from sources of heat.
• Turn off the lights when you go. A hot or dysfunctional light bulb can be very dangerous.
• Don't overload your outlets. Use safe power strips and be award of how many plugs that outlet is intended to hold.
• Check strings of lights to make sure there are no exposed wires or broken bulbs. Don't string together too many lights.
• Avoid burning candles. Think about getting battery-operated false candles instead. If you do light candles, be sure they are away from flammable items and keep an eye on them at all times.
• Download a smartphone app that allows you to automate your home. If you get to the office and realize you left the tree aglow, you can turn it off without having to drive all the way back home.
• At the end of the season, discard your tree properly... don't leave it close to the house where it still presents a danger.
Ken Garland - Thursday, November 28
Installing a home security system will obviously make your home safer. But what else can you do to make sure you never have an intruder try to break into your home? Here are some home security tips we offer our customers... in no particular order of importance.
1. Lock up.
It sounds silly, but almost 1/3 of intruders enter your home through an unlocked window or door. Even if you are just headed out to walk the dog, make sure all of your doors and windows are locked up.
2. Get rid of landscaping near entry points.
Do you have bushes underneath your windows? Guess what? That is a perfect place for intruders to hide. Bushes right next to your windows are not a good idea... unless they are thorn bushes. Would you want to duck into a thorn bush?
3. Update your home security system.
Intruders look for wires to cut, so a wireless security system is going to be safer for you. Also, if you have an alarm system that is finicky and goes off too often, the neighbors will start to ignore it. It's the classic boy-who-cried-wolf situation. Upgrade to get better monitoring and a more secure system.
4. Make your house appear occupied.
Use home automation to switch a few lights on and off when you are away. Leave a car in the driveway to make it appear as though someone is home. Intruders will become much less interested in messing with a house full of people.
5. Cover or frost your garage windows.
Intruders tend to peek into garages to see if anyone is home.
6. Change locks when you lose your keys
Did you drop your house keys down a sidewalk grate? Doesn't matter, it's still time to change the locks.
7. Hide your spare key... seriously
A key under a mat is not fooling anyone. Put your spare key someplace an intruder wouldn't think to look.
8. Get a furry friend
Homes with dogs are less likely to have a break in. Even small dogs can be mighty guard dogs because intruders don't like to draw attention from the neighbors.
9. Don't invite strangers inside.
Is someone knocking on your door asking to call a mechanic or needing a gallon of gas? Don't let them inside .They may be trying to get a glimpse to see if there is anything within worth stealing.
10. Add sensors to all entry points.
Get door window and glass break sensors, all of which will trigger the alarm in the event of a break in.
11. Keep trees and tree houses away from the house.
Thinking of building a treehouse for the kids? Make sure you aren't also building a ladder to the upstairs window for intruders. Take the time to trim back tree branches that serve as access points for upstairs windows.
12. Make it obvious that you have an alarm system.
Stick that sign in your front yard. You don't need to give great details about all the do-dads you recently installed, but if a burglar knows you have a system, he is 300% less likely to break in.
13. Turn on your home alarm system!!
It sounds silly, but some people start to forget to activate the system when they leave. Don't. Home security systems are no good if they aren't turned on. Install a smartphone app that allows you to activate your home security system from anywhere so that you never have to wonder if your home is armed or not.
14. Add some outdoor lighting.
No intruder wants to dash through your brightly lit front yard. The neighbors will catch him before he even puts your home security system to the test.
15. Don't post travel plans on social media.
"Can't wait to spend the next two weeks in Hawaii" seems harmless enough... but intruders take one look at that and see this: "There is a two-week window for you to come rob me of all my belongings. Come and get it!"