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.

You love your family’s dog – who doesn’t? He’s loveable, delightful and lives to please. But is seeing him enough to frighten away someone trying to break into your home? Often – and, unfortunately – the answer is no. Here are some reasons why.

His senses are not always reliable.

Dogs have been blessed with senses we can only dream about – hearing, smell, taste – and they can also be very good at sensing the existence of threats. Unfortunately, that last sense does not apply to every dog. Some breeds aren’t great at knowing when danger is around the corner, and expecting those pets to be “guard dogs” just isn’t fair.

What would be fair to your pup would be to use a professionally installed and monitored home security system instead. It contains motion detectors, glass break detectors and other technology that works together to alert you when someone is forcing entry into your home. At the monitoring center, your system is being monitored by security professionals so that help will be dispatched the moment your alarm is triggered.  

He’s not connected.

No, this isn’t a joke about what dogs he knows in the neighborhood (although that would be amusing!). It’s actually about this fact: No matter how enthusiastic he is about protecting you, your dog isn’t connected to the monitoring center. But your home security system is, and that means one of our trained security professionals will answer whenever a signal occurs. Like your dog, they’re always in your corner – but in addition, they have a 24/7 connection to emergency responders.

Your pet might be your best friend, but he shouldn’t be expected to be your home’s guardian. To take the next step and learn more about home security, Delaware homeowners can call 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.

If you have kids you know the chaos of getting everyone out the door on time or managing daily routines so chores and schoolwork get done. As the kids get older, the schedule gets even more demanding as they add things like extracurricular activities and time with their friends to the already taxed weekly schedule. Making sure everything runs smoothly and optimally is a near impossible task and would take a team of people to get done. Fortunately, smart home technologies provide some great ways to tame a monster school schedule.

No More Snooze Alarm

If you have a reluctant student, getting them out of bed can be a long and unhappy process and one that can make them and everyone else in the house late. Get them out of bed and moving easily by using automation to turn on lights, open shades and turn on music for a wake-up they can’t ignore.

Did You Forget?

One of the most common and stress inducing parts of the morning rush is realizing that you forget to turn off the iron or coffee pot, or forgetting to lock the doors. Leaving it on or unlocked is not an option, but going back will definitely make you late—again. With smart home enabled devices, you can remotely turn off offending appliances or lock the doors from your smart phone or another internet connected device.

Make Areas Off Limits

If your kids get home before you do, they have time to get into things they shouldn’t. With access control, you can make certain places off limits and get a notification if anyone tries to gain access. This helps keep your kids, or their visiting friends out of harm’s way.

Unique Access Codes Let You know they are Home Safely

With unique access codes, you can know when each of your children gets home, and when. This prevents them from taking detours before getting homework done.

Know When or if They Leave

Are they leaving in enough time to make it to sports practice? Did they leave before their homework was done? Smart home technologies can help you manage the comings and goings by providing real time alerts if any enabled door or window is opened.

Do They have Friends Over?

If you are away at work or running errands, it is easy for your house to become the place everyone gathers to play Xbox instead of getting their homework done. You’ll know if your home is a gathering place with alerts that tell you that your doors are being opened an unusual number of times.

No Gaming Until Work is Done

Use smart technologies to help you remove the distraction of television or gaming systems by disabling them until work is done.

Video Systems Let You Keep an Eye on Things

With real-time video, you can check in anytime and see that everything is on track. Are chores getting done, is homework finished? Access to real-time video helps ensure that your student is keeping academics a priority.

If you are interested in learning more about how home automation and access control technologies can help you manage the complexities of back-to-school, give Security Instrument a call today.

Summertime means warm weather and fun vacations. It’s also the peak time for break-ins and burglaries. Nothing could be worse than coming home after a peaceful vacation only to find that someone broke into your house.

Installing outdoor security protects your property and family even when no one is home. Security systems give you peace of mind by guarding what’s important to you.

1.     Install a Doorbell Camera

Doorbell cameras are quite convenient, especially when you’re not home. Motion triggered alerts, two-way voice, and a video feed allow you to see if it’s the delivery man on your porch or an intruder. It’s an excellent crime deterrent because criminals don’t want to be caught on camera.

2.     Use Smart Cameras to Enhance the Security of Your Property

Today’s security cameras don’t just alert when there’s motion outside, they can differentiate between animals, vehicles, and people. Smart security cameras can also tell if someone is on your property. You can even customize the alerts so that you only monitor what you want to.

These cameras show intruders that you mean business. Would-be thieves will pass right on by.

3.     Contact Sensors

Install wireless contact sensors on your doors and windows to get alerts that notify you if there’s a break-in. These sensors also remind you to set your alarm and lock up for the evening. Monitoring your children when they’re in the yard is another asset of a wireless contact sensor.

Intelligent home security lets you control your home. Sensors also help you watch who opens the gate to the yard, pool, or tool shed. They also monitor other off-limit areas that you don’t want the kids exploring. Kids are naturally curious and they’ll test the limits, especially when they’re out of school for the summer.

4.     Smart Outside Lighting

Criminals like to hide in dark places. Illuminate your property so there is nowhere for them to hide. Smart security image sensors and security cameras trigger lighting to come on when they sense motion and deem it a possible threat. You can also create a custom schedule with smart lighting so that when you’re away on vacation, the lights still come on every night. It looks like someone’s home to possible thieves.

You can customize automated smart home security systems to meet your needs. Rest easy knowing that an excellent security system has your back.

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.

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.

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.