If you are a news consumer, you know there have been a slew of stories lately designed to raise the alarm about habit-forming mobile devices and the negative impact they can have on our attention spans. Whether or not the goal of these stories is to convince you to ditch your smartphone, we want to caution against doing that – because if you did, you would miss out on the power of home control for your security system. In addition to the ability to arm and disarm your alarm via your smartphone, remote access to your system can provide you with total control over your home security. Consider the following.

Keeping Dibs on Your Doorstep

Doorbell cameras are all the rage right now, but they’re certainly not a fad. The popularity of doorbell cameras has skyrocketed for two good reasons: 1) They allow homeowners to see who is at their door without having to come to the door, and 2) they allow homeowners to speak to the person at the door without ever having to unlock the door. That’s powerful, and home control integration that gives smartphone access makes it even more powerful. With home control, you can keep dibs on your doorstep from anywhere.

Keeping an Eye on Your Kids

Yes, kids will be kids – but when you are able to see a potentially dangerous event before it happens, your kids can be safer and you can have greater peace of mind.

For instance, toddlers and young children who wander a little too close to the laundry room, medicine cabinet or garage can be stopped before they open the door – all because you received a smartphone alert as soon as they approached the danger zone. The same goes for older kids, as you can be notified when they get too close to the liquor cabinet, gun cabinet or a room you don’t want them snooping in. As home security experts, we can explain how the technology works – and we believe you’ll be impressed.

Keeping Watch Over the Unexpected

A home control system is a truly intelligent tool that can recognize when someone’s movements might spell trouble for your family. With the Unexpected Activity alerts it provides, you will be aware when that activity is taking place. Here’s how these alerts work: The home control system memorizes your household routine and notifies you when it sees something out of place: for example, the front door opening at a time when no one is expected to come home. When you receive a notification, you can view your live video to see what’s going on and act accordingly.

As you can see, home control really does mean near-total control over your household. To discuss taking advantage of this innovation for your family, contact Security Instrument.

About Security Instrument

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

It’s Older Americans Month – and while we should hold concern for our older loved ones year-round, the season of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is a great time to think about their home security. If you are considering an upcoming home improvement project for a beloved parent or grandparent, a security system for senior citizens is a great idea. What sets a home security system for seniors apart from other electronic solutions is the unique way it addresses their safety needs while also connecting parts of the home to electronic sensors. This functionality allows loved ones to stay on top of what’s going on in the home without infringing on the senior’s privacy. Here are some examples of ways it can work.

Security Systems for Seniors: Possible Features

If you are an adult child or caregiver seeking out a security solution for senior citizens, keep an eye out for features like:

· Sensors that can be placed in key parts of the home – like beds, refrigerators and medicine cabinets – so you will know when those places are being used, and can intervene if they are ever not being used

· A quiet connection to the system, such as a smartphone app you can discreetly look at anytime

· A notification feature that sends you emergency alerts when necessary

· Built-in intelligence that memorizes the activity in the senior’s home, so it can detect any unusual activity that may happen

Connecting Lights, Locks and Thermostats

For additional security, other elements in the home can be connected to the security system as well. Seniors can be even safer when their lights and locks are electronically connected to the security system; this is an option that enables their loved ones to program lights to come on and go off at certain times of day, and allows keyless entry into the home with a simple number code (which means no more lost keys for anyone!). Even thermostats can be connected, which means heating and cooling can be turned on and off remotely by caregivers from the smartphone app. If cameras are part of the home security system, seniors’ authorized loved ones can watch live video feed from the app as well.

To look into the options we offer in security systems for senior citizens, contact Security Instrument today. We look forward to helping you and your loved one.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous home security options, including security systems for senior citizens. In Delaware Valley, Security Instrument serves thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Since the average American tax refund has been in the $3,000 range for the past several years, it’s no wonder that April marks the annual kickoff of home improvement and homebuying season. If you’re planning to move, there’s a lot you can upgrade on your new home with $3,000. If you’re improving the home you already live in with that money, you can probably do even more.

But before you call that kitchen cabinet contractor your neighbor told you about, we have something you may want to consider: The average dollar value loss of a burglary also in the same price range. Forbes reports that the average burglary costs a homeowner between $2,000-$3,000. With that in mind, maybe a non-cosmetic home improvement is a smarter way to invest this year’s tax refund. Specifically, an improvement to your home security system.

What kind of improvement?

A smart home security system upgrade, to be exact. This isn’t just about getting a better security system; it’s about a legitimate investment that adds value to your home and simplifies your life. In addition to arming and disarming the alarm from the convenience of your mobile device, here’s what else a smart home security system helps you do from the convenience of your smartphone:

  • View your monitored home security video cameras
  • Show you who’s at the door with a video doorbell alarm
  • Open and close the garage door at your command
  • Turn on the lights inside the house
  • Control your indoor temperature with a smart thermostat

There’s nothing wrong with cosmetic home improvements – but a smart home upgrade adds real value to your life and your home.

At Home or Away

When you’re away from home, a smart home system can be a lifeline. It gives you an easy, secure way to:

  • Let service people in the house while you’re at work
  • Let baby sitters, house sitters or pet sitters in without giving them an alarm code
  • Lock the door when you leave (or unlock it when you’re almost home)
  • Send you a text alert if there’s flooding, freezing or carbon monoxide in the house

That kitchen cabinet makeover will look great – but it can’t do any of these things.

As you can see, one of the smartest ways to use your tax refund is with an improvement to your home security. Delaware homeowners, find out more about a smart home upgrade by contacting Security Instrument. We would love to speak with you.

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.

There are so many great things smart home technology can do to keep you connected to your security system when you’re not at home. But did you know that it can be every bit as valuable to you when you’re actually at home? This is especially the case if you have a virtual assistant device, like an Alexa, Google Home or Amazon Echo system. These devices are incredibly intuitive, and so is your smart home security system. When the two are combined, they create a powerful home control environment for your family’s benefit.

Here are some things this integration offers you.

Effortless Alarm Control

Before you had a smart home security system, you had to use your alarm keypad to arm and disarm it. When you upgraded to a wireless smart home system, you started using a convenient mobile app on your phone instead. Now, integrating your system with your Alexa, Google Home or Echo makes it even easier. You’ll be able to control the alarm simply by giving your device voice commands. “Hey Alexa, arm the security system.” Done!

Keyless, Hands-Free Locking

If you have smart locks on your doors, you already know how convenient keyless entry is. Most homeowners never go back; they love the simplicity of pulling into the driveway and unlocking the door with their phone. What could be better than that? Bypassing he act of pulling out your phone altogether.

When you integrate your virtual assistant with your smart home security system, you’ll be able to enter the house, voice command your lights to come on (if you have elected to connect lighting to your system), and then close the doors by talking to your device. “Hey Alexa, close the garage door.” Your smart home system already made things easy; your virtual assistant device makes it even easier.

Quick Climate Comfort

Cold in bed in the winter and hot in bed in the summer? Don’t want to get up to adjust the thermostat? Here’s what you say: “Hey Alexa, set the temperature to 70 degrees.” You can command it to adjust to any temperature you want, quickly and conveniently. No getting up, and you don’t even need to reach for your phone.

If you have a virtual assistant device and would like to get it connected to your smart home security, Pennsylvania homeowners can call Security Instrument. We will be glad to give you 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.

Once the weather starts to warm up, the annual “moving season” is underway. If you’re among the thousands of Americans who will be moving this spring, you may wonder how soon to have a home security system installed. To inform your decision, here are some things to consider.

Home security can deliver peace of mind.

No matter how much you love the home you’re moving into, there’s bound to be a period of time before everyone feels accustomed to their new surroundings– especially when they’re tucked into their beds at night. To deliver peace of mind to everyone in the family, your home security system can be armed before bed time, disarmed when the sun rises and armed again when everyone leaves or the day – all from an app on Mom and Dad’s smartphones. When you have a security system installed in your new house starting on move-in day, it can give everyone the comfort they need to feel at home much more quickly.

Home security can monitor and manage guests. 

In those early days after the move-in, licensed contractors and moving professionals will be in and out of the house and family and friends will be dropping by.

No matter who your guests are, you want to monitor everyone who enters and exits the home – and you don’t want to do it by worrying about who’s going to be there to let them in, or whose job it will be to make sure nothing is being in taken as they leave.

A smart home security system can do all of that for you, with smart locks that you turn off and on with your smartphone app to let people in and out – and if you choose to include smart cameras, they can be checked when people are leaving to make sure nothing was stolen. Better still, a video doorbell can help you verify who a person is the second the arrive at your door.

Home security can save you money on utilities.

Anyone who has ever turned on utilities after moving knows what an unwelcome expense it can be. Paying a deposit for each of those services can add up to hundreds of dollars, and many new homeowners start looking for ways to save on the monthly bills to come. One solution may be your home security system, when it includes a smart thermostat that can adjust the home’s heating or cooling from your smartphone app. Using this feature can help a homeowner save on utilities month after month.

So, how soon should you invest in home security after moving? If these things are important to you, then the answer is as soon as possible. To learn more, contact Security Instrument for a free home security consultation.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that is equipped to help commercial organizations design and implement home security. In Delaware Valley, Security Instrument serves thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

In 2017, the average American tax refund was $2,763 – and in 2018, it’s expected to be slightly higher. No wonder April has long been regarded as the beginning of the home improvement season; after all, many cosmetic home improvement projects fall within the $2,000 to $3,000 budget. But guess what else falls in between that cost range? The cost of a home burglary.

It’s true – many property crime statistics pinpoint the average dollar value loss of a burglary at $2,300. Taking that into consideration, it could make sense for many homeowners to use their tax refund for something other than cosmetic home improvements. If you’re one of those homeowners, we suggest that a smart home system may be just the home improvement you’re looking for.

Investing Your Tax Refund Back into Your Home

Remember, a smart home system does more than improve your home’s security. It can incorporate many kinds of smart devices, all of which you control with a smartphone app:

· Smart thermostats for energy efficiency and a comfortable home

· Connected video cameras for optimized home security, smart locks for keyless entry

· A video doorbell alarm that allows you to see who’s there and talk to them through the speaker

· Garage door openers for gliding in at night

· Lighting that comes on when you want it to with the tap of an app

Of course, all of these features are part of a bigger home security picture. Your home security provider installs them, but you control them.

Still thinking about new countertops?

A smart home system may not be as pretty as a new slab or marble or granite, but it can certainly accomplish a lot more. If you’re considering what home improvement deserves your tax refund this year, that’s our vote. To find out more about smart home systems and upgrading to a smart home in Delaware using your tax refund, contact Security Instrument to request a complimentary home security assessment.

About Security Instrument

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

Home security matters just as much when you aren’t home as it does when you are. So if your family plans to take a trip for this year’s spring break and you haven’t yet invested in a smart home security system – or if you have made the upgrade to a smart home system, but you aren’t sure how to get the most out of it – then it’s time to consider how such a system can protect your house while you’re away. Let’s address some of the most important ways it can do this.

Remind You to Lock Doors

“Did we remember to lock the garage?” That’s a question you won’t need to ask if you make the most of the alert features on your system. The night before you leave, set an alert on your phone that reminds you to lock up at the right time; that way, you’ll have one less thing to worry about from the road. And if you somehow manage to ignore your alert, you’re still in luck because you can turn on your electronic locks remotely with your smart phone. Electronic locks are an especially great feature of smart home systems for vacationing families.

Help You Check on House Sitters

If someone is staying at the house while you’re away, it’s obviously a person you trust. But what if you have concerns about your pets being fed, walked, or let outside? After all, your house sitter may not be around 24/7.

In that case, use your smart home security system to get notified when the person enters the house. If you haven’t received an alert by the time you’re expecting them, you can make the choice to text them a quick request for a pet update. How does your system know when your house sitter is coming and going? It allows you to give them their own code for the keyless entry keypad. It can be activated when you leave for your trip, and deactivated when you return.

Alert You to House Emergencies

Spring time can be notoriously rainy, and even the best-kept home is not immune to the risk of leaks. Likewise, sometimes things just “happen” to plumbing systems – and the worst time for it to happen is when you’re away on vacation. To prevent a minor mishap from becoming a major emergency, flood detection can be programmed into your smart home security system ahead of time. That way, you get a smartphone alert if there’s water on the floor and can call someone to check it out. Remember, you can let them in with a temporary code that you activate when they arrive and deactivate when they leave. There are many ways that remote access to your system is a valuable thing to have when you’re away from home.

To learn about more ways a smart home security system can give your vacationing family peace of mind, contact Security Instrument. We will be glad to answer your questions.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is the largest full-service, independently-owned provider of home security in Delaware, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

It’s hard to get through a single TV show without seeing a commercial for a big alarm monitoring brand. No wonder so many people arrive at the conclusion that nationwide alarm companies are the only sensible choice – and unfortunately, it’s an inaccurate conclusion. Here are some pros and cons to consider when it comes to choosing between a local company and the kingpins of the alarm industry.

Pro of Major Alarm Company: You know their name and can easily research them.

The benefits of name recognition are the same for alarm companies as they are for any industry. You can easily search for reviews of products and monitoring services; they are all over the internet. Unfortunately, the advantages end there.

Con of Major Alarm Company: Their name means nothing at the local level.

The reputation of a major, nationally-known alarm company is not necessarily echoed by its local dealers. To get an accurate account of how the dealer in your area operates, you will need to read reviews for that specific dealer.

When you find those reviews, you may be in for a surprise – because often, you’ll see things that are the opposite of how the company is portrayed in national advertising. You’re likely to read about anything from poorly designed services, to rigid contracts, to subcontracted services to pressure tactics. Sadly, many major alarm companies are famous for these disadvantages.

Pros of Local Alarm Company: Investment in Your Well-Being and Community

Unlike major alarm companies, local alarm companies are more likely to be personally invested in the well-being of their customers and community. They make sure their equipment is designed to protect that well-being, and their monitoring services are performed at the highest standards so that help is dispatched immediately if a customers’ signal is triggered. And unlike a national brand, your hometown alarm company has a relationship with local law enforcement and community organizations; this is all for your protection. As you may have guessed, a major alarm company can’t offer this.

Are there cons of a local alarm company? 

If it’s an experienced, reputable company that’s been trusted by your community for generations, there aren’t likely to be any cons. Founded in 1960, Security Instrument is the perfect example of a local alarm company that fits this description. We are deeply invested in the security of our customers throughout Delaware, and our headquarters remain in Wilmington. Home security customers who want to make a switch, or homeowners ready to invest in home security for the first time, are invited to contact us today.

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.

There’s an interesting movement taking place in millennial homeownership: Young homeowners are turning to home security technology earlier than the previous generation did. What is causing this phenomenon? It’s simple: the reality that today’s security systems are not the same security systems their parents used.

What They Grew Up With

Remember, this is the generation that grew up with a single keypad panel on the wall – and more often than not, that was the only security system equipment these young people were accustomed to.

In fact, most of their families probably referred to this system as “the alarm” when they were growing up – leaving them with the impression that there wasn’t much more it could do in an emergency than activate an audible sound in the event of an emergency.

Now that this generation is grown, starting its own families and purchasing its own homes, its members are learning that home security has come a long way since they were kids. They are learning that home security systems are monitored by professionals who respond to activated alarms and dispatch help when it’s needed.

More Than Home Security

Millennials are also learning that modern home security systems aren’t only for security. Now, home security systems have smart technology that makes homes more energy efficient and saves people time – both of which are documented priorities of the millennial generation.

According to one study, 74% of millennials call smart technology that is customizable to their needs a top priority when buying and maintaining a home. The same source points out that making their homes more energy efficient is important to 70% of millennial homeowners.

When these young professionals find out that a security system with smart home technology integrated can accomplish these goals, they see it as much more valuable than “the alarm” they grew up with – and they’re right.

Fear of Missing Out

Something else worth noting is that young homeowners are members of the “FOMO” generation: fear of missing out. Savvy millennials know there’s more to homeownership than furniture, cookware and tasteful wall art. They want a home security system that can respond to a wide range of issues that may affect their homes, including environmental threats and risks that may affect their home’s value. Those are the value-added features a security system with smart home technology can offer, and young professionals don’t want to miss out on it.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is the largest full-service independently-owned security company in Delaware Valley, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

While most homeowners understand that a monitored home alarm is a great tool for catching a burglar in their tracks, many are still unaware that this is a tool that can proactively save your life. Maybe people think dangerous events at home just don’t happen anymore. But the numbers tell a very different story when it comes to events like these.

Burglary and Home Invasion

Home burglaries have become so commonplace that the FBI now has four separate categories of burglary: completed burglary, forcible entry, unlawful entry without force and attempted forcible entry.

But aren’t most burglaries non-confrontational events? Not necessarily. According to a Department of Justice report, a member of the household is present for approximately 28% of burglaries, and 7% of these burglary victims experienced some type of violent crime during the episode. It could happen to anyone, and your home alarm monitoring is designed to help prevent it.

House Fire

Everyone thinks their house won’t catch on fire, until it does. “Aren’t house fires only for irresponsible homeowners?” “Don’t house fires only happen in bad neighborhoods?” The answer to both of those questions is no. U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 355,400 home structure fires per year, resulting in 2,560 civilian fire deaths. House fires can happen because of a variety of factors, including environmental ones. Even responsible homeowners in the best neighborhoods are not immune.

Your home alarm monitoring service is designed to get emergency responders to your home in minutes, without you having to alert them yourself. You will get an alert to your smartphone, but the 24/7 monitoring center will be notified at the same time – and they’re already getting help to the scene, working to save your home and your life.

Other Life-Threatening Dangers

An intelligent home monitoring service is also designed to intervene when dangerous environmental factors are present. If deadly carbon monoxide is detected in the home, your system will alert you so you can get everyone out of the house before they start experiencing symptoms. If a tornado is approaching, a smartphone alert can prompt you to get the family in the car and flee to a safer destination.

Remember, home alarm monitoring technology no longer relies on wires and cables to work. Instead, a dedicated cellular connection ensures you get the lifesaving alerts you need, along with an immediate signal to the monitoring center. That’s all it takes for help to be on its way, and that’s why you need monitored home security. Wilmington homeowners, call Security Instrument if you’d like to learn more. We’ll be happy to speak with you.

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.