As consumers, we want to buy the newest technology available, and for security cameras, that means Ultra High Definition. However, there’s more to finding the perfect security solution. It’s critical to factor in the total cost, including storage for the video footage when shopping for security cameras.

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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.

It doesn’t take long for the slippers you bought Aunt Mary Anne for Christmas to disappear from your porch. Unfortunately, it only takes porch pirates seconds to steal any packages off your porch that were delivered while you were at work. There’s a perfect solution for this problem, and that’s a smart home security system with a video doorbell and smart locks for your home.

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The video doorbell has taken the security industry by storm, quickly becoming one of America’s favorite security products. Security Analytics forecasts that security consumers around the world will spend close to $8 million on smart home cameras. This prediction includes video doorbells. So, what exactly can this doorbell do to enhance your home security?

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Be the perfect crime-fighting duo with smart home security this Halloween. Halloween is a fun holiday for the kids, but vandalisms, burglars, and other property crimes are prevalent. Property crimes are crimes of opportunity, so don’t provide criminals with open invitations to target your home.

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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.

It’s almost Fall, and school is back in session, which means you’re busier than ever running the kids to school and afterschool activities. As a working parent, your kids are often home for a couple of hours in the afternoon with no supervision. Like any other parent, you worry about their safety, but intelligent security solutions help secure your home and streamline household chores.

Say Goodbye to Lost House Keys

Traditional lock and key systems provide ample opportunities for burglars to gain entry to your house. They know all the places people hide spare keys, and it’s essentially an open invitation for criminals to enter your home. It’s also not convenient when you need to leave work to let the kids in the house after they forgot their house key.

Pair a video doorbell and smart locks with your security system, and you can assign each family member a unique security code to enter the house. When the kids get home from school, they simply enter their passcode, and the smart locks unlock the door.

You can even program the alarm system to send you notifications when someone uses their code to enter your home. You’ll never need to worry that the kids made it home from school.

If someone forgets their code, simply have them press the video doorbell. That alerts you and lets you connect to the system and unlock the door using the app on your smartphone.

You Control Who Has Access to Your Residence

One common worry parents have is what your kids will do when someone rings the doorbell while they’re home alone. The video doorbell is the gatekeeper to your residence. When the UPS man or visitor rings the doorbell, you can answer it with your smartphone and communicate with whoever is there through a live video feed.

With the ability to essentially answer visitors at the front door of your house no matter where you are, the kids don’t need to worry about answering the door. They remain safe inside and won’t answer the door for the wrong person.

These are just a few of the incredible features that smart home security has to offer. If you don’t already have a security system or yours is out of date, contact a security integrator to get a customized security plan for your home.

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.

Fall brings a change in schedules as school starts again. Your children’s safety is of the utmost importance since they’ll be spending some time home alone if you’re a working parent. Here is a quick security checklist that will help keep your house secure and family safe.

1.     A Video Doorbell and Smart Locks Only Give Access to the People You Choose

The beauty of integrating a video doorbell and smart locks with your security system is that you control who has access to the house. With these security products, you’ll never need to worry about lost house keys ever again. Hiding a spare key outside is an open invitation to burglars, so eliminating keys further secures your property.

smart home security system allows you to assign every family member a unique code so that they can get into the house. Your home is safe even if someone forgot to set the alarm.

If someone forgets their code, just have them ring the video doorbell, and you can answer no matter where you are. Then just open the door using the app on your smartphone. Only you can give access to your residence, and you manage the codes.

2.     Program Your Smart Thermostat to Save on Energy Bills

If you have children, then you probably have open doors and windows at some point because the kids are in a hurry and forget to close them. However, a smart thermostat saves the day.

Put sensors on the doors and windows and connect them to your security system. You can program it to set back to energy savings mode when the system senses the windows or doors are open an extended amount of time. The system will even send you a notification about the problem, and you can tell the kids to fix it. Once the issue is corrected, the thermostat sets the temperature back to normal.

You can even program the thermostat to adjust the temperature while no one is home to save money. Then tell it to reset to your preferred temperature 30 minutes before you get home. You’ll save money while still feeling comfortable in your home.

3.     Use Image Sensors

Want to know who’s coming home with the kids after school or wondering if they made it home safe? Place image sensors in areas that you want to monitor such as the front or back door. An image sensor is essentially a motion sensor with a camera on board. When the front or back door opens, the motion activates the camera. The image sensor takes a picture and sends it to your smartphone, so you know the kids made it home and who they’re with.

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.

Every year our schedules spiral out of control when the kids go back to school. With new routines, after school activities, and work, some things fall through the cracks. Let smart home security help with the most important things that protect your property and family.

Intelligent Home Security Reminders

It’s easy for everyone to forget something important like setting the security alarm when you leave. Everyone’s hurrying to get to school or work, and inevitably, the last person to leave forgets to lock the door and arm the system.

Smart home security allows you to set reminders that the whole family can receive through the smartphone app. If the alarm is off and the front door unlocked, anyone can easily secure the house by just tapping the button in the alert. The alarm system locks the front door and arms the system. No one has to run home. You can secure your home from almost anywhere.

No More Missing Keys

It’s common for kids to lose their keys, so you always leave a spare key outside. However, this simply isn’t safe. Burglars know the common places people hide their extra keys so it can cause a severe security issue.

Today’s intelligent security systems make house keys obsolete. The system allows you to set a unique access code for each member of the family. When the kids get home after school, they just key in their code, and the system unlocks the smart locks.

Worried someone will forget their code? Have them ring the video doorbell, and you can let them in the house using the smartphone app.

Smart Clips Let You Check-In on the Kids

Even as our children mature, we still worry about them. One thing parents always want to know is that their kids got home from school safe. Intelligent video surveillance lets you set actions that trigger the cameras to take a smart video clip. If you want to know when the kids get home, set a trigger for when they enter their access code, or the front door opens. You can also manage the alerts and clips right through the app on your phone, so you only monitor the things you want to.

If you don’t have a smart security system yet, contact a security integrator. They’ll  help you find the best features for your family’s needs and customize a security system that helps you secure your home intelligently.

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.