Sometimes, reporters ask reformed criminals to give their tips on preventing break-ins. They may ask questions about what the burglars saw as good opportunities for breaking into a residence, vs. what things might have stopped them from making an attempt. In this case, our tips are based on those things that stop burglars – those things they absolutely hate to see when they attempt to break in to a home. Those things include:

Locked Doors and Windows

With one-third of all home invasion crimes classified as “unlawful entries” – meaning there was no forced entry applied to get into the home – it makes sense that burglars hate it when doors and windows are securely locked. After all, an unlawful entry is when the perpetrator gets into the home through an unsecured opening. And when the doors have antiquated locks that require keys to open, it’s too easy for a homeowner to unintentionally roll out that red carpet. How? By forgetting to lock up the house when leaving.

How do you make sure this doesn’t happen to you? With a smart home security system that lets you lock your doors from anywhere, using a simple home security app on your smartphone. Controlling your system through the app means you can even close intruders’ favorite “secret” entrance: the garage door. Whether you do from the car, the office, or anywhere you happen to be, you can easily secure these important home entrances.

Homeowners Who Stay Home

Practiced burglars will surveil a house for days to see what the homeowners’ coming-and-going patterns are. It helps them prepare to strike at the right time, normally while the homeowner is at work. This is why so many home burglaries happen during weekdays. Yes, there’s broad daylight – but a burglar can learn to work around that as long as the house is empty.  

With a smart home security system, you can reduce the risk of being targeted while you’re at work during the day. You’ll know instantly about any uncommon activity at home while you’re away, and your video alerts can even show you what’s happening in real time. If there is a forced entry, your alarm will sound and the monitoring center will send help right away.

Effective, Smart Home Security

Burglars really do hate home security systems. One study of convicted burglars revealed that 83 percent of them checked for home security systems when looking for new houses to target, and 60 percent said they avoided homes altogether when it appeared there was a home security system. Those stories you hear about burglars disabling alarm systems? Those are outdated, hard wired alarms — not the wireless, smart home security systems of today. If you’re still using an outdated system to protect your home, it’s time to consider an upgrade.

Take it from ex-criminals: Home security systems are the best tools for keeping burglars at bay. To learn more about high quality smart home security, Delaware Valley homeowners can call Security Instrument for a free home security consultation.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

 

Yes! We highly recommend glass break detection. While motion detectors may be enough to stop an intruder in his tracks, consider this: If the intruder decides that breaking the glass on a door or window is his ticket to entry, the glass break detectors will most likely be the only thing stopping him from going any further.

But why would an intruder break the glass?

Why would a burglar or other criminal break the glass on a door? He may do it in order to reach in and unlock the doorknob. And then, there’s that longtime favorite entry point of trespassers: the sliding glass door, especially if it’s located in the year of the house facing the backyard. If a burglar or other intruder decides to use either of these entry methods, then having glass break detectors in your system is critical.

How do glass break detectors work?

Glass break detectors are sensors that monitor for the sound and vibrations of breaking glass. Effective glass break detection is tamper-proof and features dual shatter recognition technology, meaning it picks up on both high and low frequencies. Because this advanced signal processing will pick up on both the initial blow to the glass and the sound of the subsequent shattering, this greatly reduces the risk of false alarms. If your system has older glass break detection, this superior technology may be just one reason to consider an upgrade.

These things considered, glass break detectors are critical to home security. Delaware homeowners who are interested in glass break detection and other home security technology, call Security Instrument for more information.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Burglar alarms are designed to help protect every member of your family, and that includes the four-legged members. That’s right, we’re talking about your pets; here are some ways you can integrate your burglar alarm and other home security tools with your beloved family dog.  

Use Smart Locks for Dog Walking

Homeowners have many demands on their time, and sometimes that means important tasks fall by the wayside – one of them being the task of a daily dog walk. Maybe you’ve decided to hire a neighbor to walk your dog while you’re at work, or even try out a dog walking app. No matter who you hire, you need a safe way to let them in the house that only takes seconds – something you can do with your phone without leaving the office. That’s where the smart locks on your home security system come in.

When you get the alert that your dog walker is at the door, simply tap on the app to unlock the door so they can enter the house and greet your pet. When the two of them walk out, you can lock the door again until they return. Unlock it again for the walker to send your doggie back into the house, and then get back to work. You’re done!

Setting Boundaries around the Home

Your pet keeps watch over the yard and home, and so do your home security cameras. Working together, they can set a clear barrier around the home. And if a break-in ever does take place, your dog can go into a defensive posture while your burglar alarm sounds and our UL Listed, 5-Diamond central station is called. Very quickly, help will be on its way. This is a great way to allow your pet to partner with your alarm, so there will be multiple layers of home security.

For more ideas on combining your pet with your burglar alarm, Delware homeowners can learn more by calling Security Instrument. We would love to speak with you.

About Post Alarm Systems

To learn more about Delaware home security technology that enhances home security and protection, come see us at today. Our highly qualified and experienced home security experts can answer all your questions. 

Do you have a list of home improvement goals for the new year? Hopefully, home security is represented somewhere on that list. If an upgrade to your home security is on the agenda for 2019, here are some ideas for ways to improve it. 

No More Wires = Better Security 

If your system is still hardwired or connected to a landline telephone, it’s definitely time for an upgrade. A wireless connection to the central station ensures that your alarm signal will reach the central station, because there are no wires that could be cut by an intruder. And in the case of a fire, the system can’t be destroyed because the connection is not dependent on external equipment. When an emergency happens, the central station will be immediately alerted no matter what.

Improved User-Friendliness & Mobile App

User-friendly technology is a must these days; if there are too many steps to follow, most of us quickly tune out. So if improving home security is on your 2019 itinerary, make sure easy-to-use technology is covered. Now, there are systems that can be managed entirely with your smartphone, via an easy-to-use home security app that can be set up during your installation. There are no more hard-to-remember steps to follow; instead, there’s just user-friendly technology that your whole family can quickly master.

Professional Installation and Support

While user-friendliness is important, it still requires serious technical acumen to install and integrate – and only a professional security integrator has that. This is why the first step in your home security upgrade should be contacting a professional integrator; not only do they offer a complete installation experience, but ongoing support after the installation as well.

To discuss your options for new year upgrades to home security, Delaware homeowners can call Security Instrument. We would be glad to offer you a free home security consultation.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with residential, commercial and hotel security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The holidays are here, and that means it’s time for an annual review on holiday fire prevention. There are even some ways you can work alongside your home security system to have a safer holiday season. But to start, check out these startling facts regarding holiday fire risks:

  • Thanksgiving is the most common day of the year for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving when much of the food prep for Thanksgiving is being done.
  • U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated 1,570 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving in a single year.
  • By far and wide, unattended cooking is the leading factor in cooking fires and house fire-related deaths.
  • Cooking equipment is involved in almost half of all reported house fires and house fire injuries annually, and it is the second leading cause of house fire-related deaths.

Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Holiday Fire Prevention Advice

Taking these facts into consideration, the NFPA instructs people to:

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stove top, whether it is gas or electric.
  • Stay in the house when cooking in the oven, and open the oven often to check on the progress.
  • If using a turkey fryer, always fry outdoors. Never fry a bird indoors, and never fry it while it’s frozen (this is a major fire risk unto itself).
  • Keep the floor clean; toys, decor and gifts piled up throughout the house can be fire risks and obstruct exits.
  • Keep natural Christmas trees watered, and make sure all trees (natural and artificial) are at least three feet away from any heat source (including lights, candles and heating vents).
  • Make sure trees are not blocking any exits in the home.
  • Use the correct lights for the area you are illuminating, whether it’s indoors or out.
  • Replace any lights with broken or loose bulbs; do not use lights with broken cords.
  • Never use real candles on or near a tree.
  • Always turn string lights and other electrical decorations off before leaving the house or going to bed.

Following these holiday fire prevention tips can help your family to enjoy a safer, more memorable holiday season. To discuss using your home security system to make the season even safer, contact Security Instrument. We will be glad to answer your questions.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with both commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The garage may not get a lot of notice, but if you are fortunate enough to have one, the garage is a vital part of your home-life. It keeps your car safe and out of the elements and keeps larger and lesser used items safely tucked away, among many other uses. Whether your garage is for storage, used as a man cave, or is home to your teen’s garage-band, there are some good reasons to make getting a smart garage door the next really smart thing you do.

1 Smart Garage Doors Improve Your Safety

There is one huge problem with regular garage doors– forgetting to close and lock them. That is a pretty big deal since over 70% of Americans use the door from the garage to the house as their primary entrance. When you couple that with the knowledge that most burglars make their entrance through an unlocked door, it is a small mistake that can lead to catastrophe. The smart garage door solves this problem by using geofencing and your location as a trigger to automatically close the door when you leave or close it behind you when you get home. This means that even if you have a million other things on your mind, the garage door still gets closed and the home is secure.

2 You can Control Access

Whether a neighbor needs to borrow a tool, a package is getting delivered, or the kids use the garage to house as their preferred entrance when getting home, a smart garage door lets you both provide and control access.Not only can you open the door remotely as needed, you can also provide unique access codes with expiry dates. This eliminates the need for physical keys so you never compromise your home security.

3 Set Up Alerts

A smart garage door can also help increase your security through alerts. Each time your garage is accessed, or each time someone tries to access your garage it sends an alert to your phone through the smart garage door app so you can check on the activity. You can know who got home through unique codes, or know if someone not authorized is trying to gain access. If it is also connected to security cameras, you can tap in to see the activity.

4 Trigger Other Actions

There is no place like home and a smart garage door makes your security system home even better. If your smart garage door is connected to other smart devices, it can serve as a trigger for other actions. By using geofencing, it can trigger the lights to go on or signal temperature adjustments when you draw near or lock the doors (aren’t you glad you got those smart locks?) and arm your system when you leave.

About Security Instrument

Since 1960, Security Instrument has worked diligently to earn a reputation for delivering quality by using state-of-the-art technologies, highly trained and qualified technicians, and providing the best 24/7 support and monitoring services.

Although children look forward to tricks, treats, and ghoulish garb, Halloween can be fraught with fright for parents, with candy given to their kids by strangers and a legion of masked and costumed trick-or-treaters at the door. However, following a few safety tips can ensure safe fun for kids and candy-givers alike.

The activities below focus on Halloween, which is celebrated in the last week of October. The efforts throughout the month generate enthusiasm for crime prevention so it can grow stronger and become more widespread.

To ensure that trick-or-treaters, you, and your house stay safe, remember the following tips.

  • Clear your yard and sidewalk of any obstacles or decorations that may be hard to see in the dark, lest someone go bump in the night.
  • Keep your house well lighted, both inside and out; you wouldn’t want to miss any particularly good costumes, would you?
  • Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizen’s group to haunt (patrol) your community.
  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police or sheriff’s department.

To make sure even the scariest costumes are safe, keep the following in mind when buying or designing one.

  • Try makeup instead of masks; it’s more comfortable and doesn’t obstruct vision the way masks can.
  • Check to ensure that costumes are flame-retardant so that young ones are safe around jack-o’-lanterns, candles, and other flames.
  • Keep costumes short to ensure that the only trip taken is the one around the neighborhood.
  • Look for brightly colored costumes, attach reflector strips to costumes and bags, and remind trick-or-treaters to carry glow sticks and flashlights.
  • If a costume involves any sort of fake weapon, make sure that it is made of a flexible material such as cardboard or foam. Or, avoid the whole problem of weapons by challenging your child to design a costume that is scary without one.

Keep in mind the next few tips to make sure your trick-or-treater’s night in the neighborhood will be safe and fun.

  • Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups; kids walking around alone are never as safe as those in groups, and especially not at night. Younger kids should be accompanied by a parent or trusted neighbor.
  • Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and set a time set when kids should be home. Also, have a plan if your child gets separated from his or her friends or from you.
  • Remind your children not to enter strange houses or cars.

After a successful and safe night around the neighborhood, remember that the treats still need scrutiny before anyone eats them.

  • Remind your children not to eat treats until they’ve come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a substantial snack before they go out.
  • Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be especially wary of anything that is not wrapped by the factory or that is no longer sealed.
  • Remind kids not to eat everything at once, lest they be green even without the makeup.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security and fire company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

October is a time when fire awareness is emphasized, as it marks the final month of fire season for many areas and fire crews are already training for next year. How does this affect homeowners? Wildfires may not threaten homes, but house fires are always a possibility. Test your knowledge of house fires with these facts from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Most Common Room for House Fires

It may not come as a surprise that the kitchen is the most common room for house fires. More than half of all house fires start in the kitchen; it’s the space where food is cooked on open flames, placed in hot ovens and heated in high voltage microwaves.

To reduce the risk of kitchen fires, keep the oven and stove top clean – and always, always keep flammable items like dish towels and pot holders away from the heat. As for the microwave: Only use containers that are microwave safe, keep aluminum foil and other metals out of the microwave, and never plug in a microwave with an extension cord.

More than half of all house fires start in the kitchen; it’s the space where food is cooked on open flames, placed in hot ovens and heated in high voltage microwaves.

Other Common Rooms for House Fires

Bedroom fires can happen too, accounting for 6% of house fires. The cause of many bedroom fires is the flammable mattress, which is combustible and should never have candles or lighters sitting nearby. Even if a mattress is newer and sold as “fire safe,” it’s not safe to burn anything near them.

Fire risks are also present in the living room, as a variety of fire sources are present: fireplaces, chimneys, cords, lighting, and more candles. Combine these with flammable furniture or curtains, and that’s a recipe for a house fire. Keep candles away from flammable items, practice safe plug-in of all your electronics, and have older lighting re-wired if necessary. The fireplace and chimney should be cleaned when residue builds up to 1/8th of an inch inside; a professional cleaning is recommended.  

How Your Security System Can Help

Your home security system can be your best assistant in house fire prevention. With a smart home security system, you’ll receive a smartphone alert if smoke is detected in the home – and, your smartphone notification will say what room the smoke is coming from. The security operators monitoring your alarm will reach out to you immediately and make sure help is on its way to your home. After getting up to speed on house fire awareness, Delaware homeowners can contact Security Instrument to inquire about home security monitoring services.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous residential and commercial security options. We serve thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Perhaps even more than residents of single family rental homes, tenants of apartment and condo properties tend to be concerned about building security. It’s understandable, considering there are streams of neighbors moving in and out year-round, all of whom have their own visitors frequenting the property.

Considering this reality, security should be a top priority of condo and apartment HOAs. Unfortunately, security is often one of the go-to line items that associations cut when looking to reduce costs. This is a bad idea, as it can put tenants and the entire property at risk of being victimized – and the end result is liability for the management and ownership. When security is a major concern, condo and apartment managers should consider the following electronic security measures.

Video Surveillance

Residents don’t just feel safer when cameras are installed throughout the property; they are safer, because people who may intend to do harm are less likely to do it if they know monitored cameras are watching. The key word is “monitored,” which we’ll address next. But first, let’s talk about the placement of cameras. They should be mounted in common areas like courtyards, laundry rooms, basketball courts, walking trails, playgrounds, pools and roof decks. They can also be placed in locations that show stairwells, both on and underneath the stairs. But why should they be monitored? Let’s discuss.

Monitored Cameras

Monitoring is the service that maximizes the effectiveness of any electronic security system, and that certainly includes security cameras. Viewing video footage after a criminal incident has occurred can help law enforcement identify the criminal, but it does nothing to stop the crime from occurring. If cameras are monitored, then the central station can alert the building’s management (or the live security guards on site) right away so they can intervene. Without monitoring, cameras are only there to give residents a false sense of security.

Access Control Systems

Electronic access control is no longer just for big city high rises. In today’s high risk security climate, access control systems are ideal for housing communities of all sizes. Condos and apartments can place access control systems at the manager’s office, playground, pool, laundry room and other amenity areas – but they can also be used in buildings where a lobby must be entered in order to gain access to residences. This can replace a doorman, or supplement the efforts of any live security guards. The access control system can be integrated with the video surveillance system so that the timestamp of access control can be corresponded with the video taken at the same time.

These are some of the most important elements to include in condo and apartment security systems. Delaware residents interested in learning more should contact Security Instrument for a complimentary consultation.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous residential and commercial security options. We serve thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Everyone’s favorite time of year is here; we love the crisper air, the color of the leaves, and the anticipation of the holidays coming up. What most of us don’t love about fall, though, is going back to “real life” after a leisurely summer. And if you own a vacation property, there’s the added burden of figuring out how your summer home will stay secure for the next few months while you’re away. After all, every resort town has its prowlers looking for homes to rob in the off-season – and you want to make sure they don’t succeed at breaking into yours. How do you do it? The answer is smart technology. 

No, this isn’t the same as the futuristic appliances you only see at the showroom of home and technology expos. This is smart home technology that powers home security systems. It’s designed to be more accessible than the devices you see in showrooms, because its ideal users are families like yours. It features:

Cameras that Connect

Home video surveillance has come a long way; it’s no longer just for the affluent. Today’s smart tech security cameras are for families who want their homes, including primary residences and vacation homes, to be secure at all times – no matter how many valuables are (or aren’t) stored inside. After all, your home is your sanctuary and your vacation home is your home-away-from-home.

These cameras can connect to your alarm system, so that the motion sensors and glass break detectors will work alongside your cameras to detect intruders and alert the monitoring center. And of course, they’ll alert you as well via your smartphone security app. The cameras connect to your alarm, and they connect to you.

Professional Security Monitoring

If you’ve ever owned a monitored home security system, you know the value of being able to talk to a live security operator when the system is triggered. With a vacation home, the system is even more valuable because the monitoring center can send law enforcement to your vacation property while you’re away. You’ll be notified, of course, but you don’t need to go to the property unless you want to. If your vacation home is hours away by car, that’s a pretty welcome convenience!

Protection from Other Hazards

Not all threats to a vacation home are caused by human intruders. Other threats are environmental: carbon monoxide, flooding, freezing and fire. If you receive an alert that any of these threats are present at the vacation home, you’ll be able to act immediately.

See how valuable smart tech security can be – not just for your primary home, but your vacation home as well? To get more details on these systems, contact Security Instrument.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous residential and commercial security options. We serve thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.