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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.

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.

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.

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.

If you are new to having a smart home, you definitely want to know how to to get the most out of home automation. Home automation is one of the most exciting advances in home technologies ever, and also the most useful. A well designed and integrated smart home system offers so much more than mere convenience; it also offers improved home security, increased energy savings, and allows you to manage safety as well as provides greater insights on daily activities at home. But, you need to know how.

1: Have a System Designed to Meet Your Needs

The first and most important step in getting the most out of home automation is to have the system professionally designed to meet your needs. A professionally installed system will cover all of your needs and concerns and gear them to the specifications of your home. This will ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, motion sensors, security cameras and locks are all exactly where they are most needed. It will also ensure that all your expectations are met, whether it is being able to access security footage remotely, or having 24/7 monitoring. Professionally installed systems also ensure compatibility among products in a constantly evolving industry.

2: Invest in the Right Products

There are a ton of home automation options on the market, and all of them are compelling. That doesn’t mean they will all serve your unique needs. Look for smart devices and services that truly benefit you. For example, smart thermostats and smart lighting are convenient and provide energy and money savings and that is a high priority. For another, being able to access as many systems as possible remotely may not be a convenience, but a matter of necessity. Opt in to what meets your needs.

3: Program it Properly

Ok, so early versions of smart home technologies were complex and difficult to program. But that is not true today. In fact, smart home technologies are so smart that you can easily program your preferences into the system and have the system itself learn your usage patterns and adjust accordingly.

4: Think of Each Element as a Tool

When you think of each individual element of home automation as a tool, you start to think of all of the ways it can be used. Smart lighting goes from just turning on lights in the morning and off at light to being used as a crime deterrent, and safety feature. Motion sensors go from detecting intruders to monitoring the movements of the sick or infirmed.

5: Choose the Right Company

To get the most out of home automation, you need a company with great service and support. The industry is always evolving and offering new options and a reputable company with experienced technicians will help you stay ahead of the trends.

Your life is individual, and your home automation and security system should be, too. Security Instrument Corp. Offers a full line of electronic security, life safety, and home automation products and services and unparalleled support.
With Headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, Security Instrument owns and operates it’s own state of the art, UL listed, Factory Mutual Approved Central Station delivering personalized, comprehensive, monitoring, information, and support services 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

We’re in the thick of the storm season, making this the perfect time to talk about environmental protection with the help of your security system. Whether it’s a thunderstorm or bonafide hurricane conditions, harsh weather is risky weather. It can get unsafe outside, and homeowners need all the help they can to secure their homes and families.

Help for Protecting Loved Ones

Your smart home security system can indeed help. With real-time weather alerts that come straight from the National Weather Service, we send notifications to your security panel and smartphone so you can get ahead of what’s about to happen outside. Ideally, it will give you time to make sure the whole family’s safe in the house or another shelter location. Likewise, you’ll receive an alert when these weather conditions have passed.

Help for Protecting Homes

First, you want to protect your family; next, you want to protect your home. Smart home security systems protect both. Your home can be spared the damage that comes with leaky roofs, frozen pipes, and other byproducts of severe weather. The features that enable this are the low temperature alerts (to alert you to impending freezing) and water detection (to alert you to possible flooding on the floor). With the low temperature alert, you can heat the basement near the pipes to keep them from freezing, with the goal being to prevent the pipes from freezing. With the water detection, you can avoid paying thousands of dollars to repair flooded rooms in the home.

Environmental protection isn’t just for the outdoors; it’s for inside the home as well. To learn more about a smart home security system that provides this, contact Security Instrument for a free home security consultation.

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.

Fire alarm and safety systems are like any other type of critical system in a building: They work as well as they are installed and maintained. When installing a fire alarm system in a Delaware building, the integrator will include devices in a variety of categories.

Fire Alarm System Categories

The components that make up a fire alarm system actually many devices networked together. The devices are categorized according to function. Here’s how they break down.

Detection Devices

The detection component in a fire alarm is the “beating heart” of the system, as it detects that a fire is present – or, that certain system and building conditions are either present or changing. Then, they communicate that information to the control panel to trigger the appropriate notifications. Devices in the detection category include the following: smoke detectors, heat detectors, beam detectors, duct detectors, temperature sensors, and water flow switches.

Manual Devices

The manual device in a fire alarm system can only be triggered if a human manually pulls a switch on its interface to tell the device that a fire is present. It then communicates to the control panel so that an emergency response can be initiated. As you may have guessed, examples of manual devices in a fire alarm are pull stations and button stations.

Notification Appliances

Naturally, it’s not enough for the fire to be detected; the occupants of the building must be alerted so they can immediately evacuate, the notification appliances are there to do the job. Devices inside a fire alarm system that are in the notification category are the audible component: the horn, bell or speakers. Some systems may also include a visible component to the notification device, such as a strobe light.

These are the devices that make up a fire alarm system. To ensure fire alarm systems in Delaware buildings are properly installed and maintained, contact Security Instrument for a free consultation.

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.