Tips To Keep Children Safe When They Are Home Alone

It’s hard for a parent to feel comfortable leaving their children home alone. Luckily, we’ve gathered some child home safety tips to help you be sure your child is home alone safely and responsibly.

One of the easiest solutions that provide peace of mind is your home security system that’s already in place. You can rest assured knowing your home surveillance system and security cameras are there to keep them safe. And you can even monitor them while you’re away, no matter where you are.

Child Home Safety Tips: Home Alone Age Guidelines

But is your child even old enough to stay home alone? You know your child better than anyone and the responsibility they may or may not be able to handle. But for reference, there are some general age guidelines to keep in mind.

7 Years Old And Younger

These children are too young to be left alone for any period of time. They should never be left unattended in cars, playgrounds, backyards, or even inside your home.

8 To 10 Years Old

These children should not be left alone for more than an hour, especially at night. If you plan to leave your 8 to 10-year-old home alone, make sure it is during the day.

11 To 12 Years Old

These children are capable of being left alone but should not be left home alone at night. It is recommended to leave them only for around 3 hours at a time.

13 To 15 Years Old

These teens are safe to leave unsupervised but probably not for an entire night.

16 To 17 Years Old

This is the age where they can be left at home alone for longer periods of time. They are old enough to take care of themselves and capable of taking care of any issues that may occur. Additionally, they likely have a cell phone and can get in contact with you if need be.

Child Home Safety Tips And Rules To Teach

Aside from teaching them the basics of your home security system, it’s always good practice to teach some basic home safety practices. No matter what their age, here are some safety tips to go over with your kid whenever the time does come to leave them by themselves.

  1. Tell Them To Lock The Doors

Even if you have a home security system, you should always remind your children to lock the door as soon as they’re in the house.

  1. Never Open The Door To Strangers

This rule applies even when you’re at home. Your child should never open the door for anyone that they do not know. Remind them to always look through the peep hole or window before opening the door for anyone, even if they are expecting someone. This includes anyone with a delivery as well.

  1. Talk About Telephone Rules

It’s important to teach your children how to communicate on the phone. Most importantly, they must never tell anyone that they are home alone. Teach your children to tell whoever is on the phone that you are busy and to take a message, even if you aren’t there.

  1. Use Social Media Responsibly

Social Media is becoming more and more common among younger children. It is important they never post about being home alone. Teach your children to be cautious with what they are sharing online. And be sure to brush up on your cyber security practices as well!

  1. If They Leave The House, They Need To Tell You Where They’re Going

Many parents are okay with their children heading over to a neighbor’s home or playing in the neighborhood. However, you need to teach your children to communicate with you when they reach their destination and whenever they plan to leave where they are. This is important because if something were to happen, you would have an idea of what your child was doing and where they were.

  1. Teach Them About Fire Safety

If you plan to leave your child home alone, make sure they are old enough to understand fire safety. Let them know that if they see or smell smoke, to immediately leave the house and call the fire department. Find a trusted neighbor that they can go to in case of an emergency such as this.

And be sure your home is always protected with monitored smoke and CO detectors.

For More Security Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates

Talk to your kids about staying safe in your home. Make sure they know what to do in case an emergency does happen. The more you teach them about safety, the better off they’ll be when left home alone. Again, you know your child better than anyone, especially in terms of what they can comfortably and responsibly handle by themselves in the home. But it never hurts to be sure your child knows and understands basic home safety practices!

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security services at Boyd & Associates. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

 

Do I Need Fire Alarm Monitoring?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. Fire Departments respond to a house fire every 86 seconds, or more than 1,000 fires in U.S. homes each day.

While a fire monitoring system cannot necessarily prevent house fires, it does offer early detection due to photoelectricity and heat sensors. Not only can this increase your chance to get your family out safely, getting the fire department there quickly can minimize the damage to your home. These monitoring systems offer several very important benefits to home fire safety, including:

Fire Alarm Monitoring Ensures Immediate Action

A fire alarm monitoring system guarantees that any signs of a fire are immediately identified. This is particularly important since a fire can spread through a house in only minutes. Fires that start while residents are asleep or when no one is home can be especially dangerous. Fire alarm monitoring with Boyd & Associates ensures the earliest detection possible, and monitoring ensures that the authorities are quickly dispatched. It is also important to have your CO alarm monitored, too. As an odorless, colorless gas, Carbon Monoxide often goes undetected unless an alarm sounds.

Special Needs Residents

When Boyd & Associates receives an alert that the fire alarm monitoring system has detected signs of a house fire, fire responders are dispatched to the location as soon as possible. If anyone living in the home is physically impaired or elderly, firefighters are informed by the monitoring service, that maintains information about the residence, to help make sure all family members get out safely.

Leave It To The Professionals

When reacting to a fire in your home, every second counts. A fire alarm monitoring system ensures that you can focus on following your family’s fire escape plan to get everyone out as quickly as possible. Rather than calling authorities yourself as you would need to do with a traditional smoke alarm, a monitored system does that step for you, resulting in an earlier notification and a faster response.

In need of fire alarm monitoring? Boyd & Associates provides fire monitoring solutions to ensure your home security is covered. Talk to us today to learn more.

Restaurant Safety and Risk Prevention

If you own or operate a restaurant, you know there are many inherent risks to the trade. Restaurant safety should always be a primary concern for both patrons and employees. Cultivating a culture of safety and risk prevention can better protect your business in the long run.

Think through the five steps below in the customer’s journey to identify safety gaps that could lead to major business losses.

  1. Keep Entrances Safe

The entrance is the first impression for many visitors to your restaurant. Welcome your guests with a slip-free and safe entryway. To ensure all-around safety throughout the year, here are a few things to consider:

  • Ensure proper outside lighting so customers feel safe when arriving and leaving.
  • Highlight steps with yellow paint or plastic detailing to catch customers’ attention.
  • Invest in absorbent walk-off mats to avoid slippery floors and catch outside water and dirt.
  • Consider installing video surveillance cameras in high traffic areas inside and outside to monitor and document slips and falls, as well as theft or intruder incidents.
  1. Make Exit and Employee-Only Signs Clear

Having clearly marked signs are important for any restaurant, especially for patrons dining there for the first time. In the case of an emergency, patrons must know where to exit quickly to ensure the safety of themselves and others. There are also huge liability risks for not having clearly marked exit signs.

Likewise, you must clearly mark off employee-only areas. There are a lot of moving parts in a restaurant kitchen, and a lot of things that could lead to injury. Other employee-only areas could include a surveillance room, manager’s office, break room, etc. It is essential that patrons know where they can and cannot be.

  1. Food Safety

Food safety is arguably any restaurant’s biggest safety risk. According to Foodsafety.gov, millions of Americans get sick from contaminated food each year. Just one large outbreak at your restaurant is a PR nightmare that could potentially destroy your business.

To mitigate the chances of foodborne illnesses, here are some key tips for monitoring food safety:

  • Constantly monitor the cleanliness of your establishment, especially your kitchen. This includes instituting a proper refrigeration program and food storage method, keeping consistent track of food expiration dates, and maintaining high sanitation standards in food preparation areas.
  • Keep your kitchen well stocked with clean towels, aprons, and anti-bacterial wash. Hold employees accountable for handwashing and proper hygiene.
  • Train staff in proper food preparation safety and health department compliance.
  • Monitor your staff remotely with cloud-based video solutions. These cameras can be installed in prep and food areas to ensure employees are following proper guidelines and training.

When preparing food, commercial kitchen fires are also a large risk. According to the United States Fire Administration, there are on average over 5,900 restaurant building fires reported each, causing an average of 75 injuries and $172 million in property loss. Prevent fires with the tips below:

  • Proactively train your team on equipment that uses heat or flames.
  • Establish an evacuation and crisis control plan in case of a fire.
  • Have the fire department or a security provider inspect your building to ensure all fire hazards are addressed.
  • Install a fire suspension system, such as sprinklers.
  • Keep fire extinguishers in place.
  • Install a fire alarm to ensure emergency response teams can reach your property as quickly as possible.
  1. Hire Employees You Can Trust

A solid team is your business’s best asset. Everything from the head chef to the host, to the busser, is a vital part of your business. Being successful means hiring the best you can get. But what does it take to ensure you hire top-quality, trusted employees? Consider the following:

  • Seek out experienced restaurateurs—few know how challenging the foodservice industry can be.
  • Start your employee selection process with a thorough background check and conduct live interviews.
  • Require recommendations and follow-up with former employers.
  • Request all candidates complete a drug test.
  • Consider a trial-run period, in which you can discern the candidate’s ability to work successfully with existing staff.
  1. Secure Your Finances

You want your customers to become loyal guests. The last step to protecting your eatery, in the long run, is financial viability.

Employee theft is more common than you might think. Studies indicate that employees steal over $50 million annually from businesses in the United States and an astounding 75% of employees have admitted to stealing from their company at least once. Consider the following for optimal protection:

  • Use access control to know when your kitchen staff arrives in the morning and when your bartender locks up at night. Assign employees unique codes or keys to keep tabs on individuals. For example, if five steak filets go missing from your outdoor refrigerator, you can reference a log to know who accessed the unit.
  • Install a video surveillance system. Being a restaurant owner is a round-the-clock job, including many holidays and almost all weekends. Your video monitoring system is on the floor when you can’t be, check-in at any time from your smartphone.

When it comes to restaurant safety, partner with the security experts you can trust. If you would like to learn more contact a Boyd & Associates expert today.

How Does A Motion Sensor Work: Best Placement Practices

Outside of the physical structures of your home, motion sensors are often the first line of defense for your security system. But how does a motion sensor work? Basically, motion sensors trigger alarms and direct the home security feed to wherever the alarm was triggered. This is usually based on motion or intrusion (hence the name!)

This is why taking the time to plan out motion sensor placement for your home is so important. If your motion sensors aren’t in locations where they work the most effectively, your entire system may be flawed. Check out these helpful tips for motion sensor placements:

How Does A Motion Sensor Work: The Most Effective Motion Sensor Placements

Motion sensors work to detect movement in an area where there shouldn’t be. When thinking of the best placements for your motion sensors, consider important access points and any potential vulnerabilities in your home or business that an intruder might exploit.

Corner Spaces

Put a motion sensor in the corner of each room, aimed toward the doorway. That way, if the door opens or someone passes through, the sensor will detect the motion and set off the alarm.

Near Valuables

What exactly are you looking to protect with your motion sensors and security system? Place motion sensors directly at your most valuable items. Or, in the case of a small business, consider where you keep or display any important products or business profits. No one will be able to get close to them without you knowing.

Second Floor Bedrooms

Even if you feel as though a burglar couldn’t enter the house through the second floor, it is a good idea to keep a motion sensor near the bedrooms in your home. As a general rule of thumb, all entry points should be accounted for. This way you’ll be alerted if anyone approaches while you’re asleep.

Ceilings

When an intruder enters the home, they may already be looking for motion detectors. A great place they wouldn’t immediately look is the ceiling. Sensors work from any angle, so this is a great way to keep a thief from easily avoiding detectors. And these days, sensors are made to fit discreetly wherever you place them. So, they won’t be an eyesore in your home either.

Within Decorations

A great way to hide motion sensors is by making them part of your household decor. Hide them amongst photos and knickknacks so they aren’t easily spotted by intruders. Plus, they won’t detract from your home’s look and feel!

How Does A Motion Sensor Work: The Least Effective Motion Sensor Placements

Motion sensors are designed to detect motion, which means any kind of motion. Placing your motion sensors in certain areas can not only detract from the functionality of your system, but it can also cause false alarm triggers. Avoid placing motion sensors in the following locations:

Near Windows

This is a bad location for a few reasons. The first is that heat-activated motion sensors can be confused by direct sunlight, which most windows receive a lot of! The second is that the sensor works best when a burglar walks parallel to them rather than straight ahead. Finally, you wouldn’t want a false alarm trigger from every single passerby, or even just an innocent visit from the neighborhood cat!

Near Heat Sources

A heat source could potentially create a false alarm, so it is a good idea to keep motion sensors away from hot air vents and radiators. Any change in infrared heat could trigger the alarm. Plus, extended exposure to high temperatures could potentially damage your equipment as well.

For More Security Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates

Ensure that your security system is working to its full potential by strategically installing the motion sensors that are included with it.

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at Boyd & Associates. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

Your Guide To Cellular Alarm Monitoring

Have you ever wondered what really makes your security system tick? It all has to do with cellular alarm monitoring! This technology helps ensure your devices and security system stay connected to our central monitoring stations. With cellular alarm monitoring, the help you need is always nearby in the event of an emergency. Learn more about how it all works right here.

What is Cellular Alarm Monitoring?

Cellular alarm monitoring service is the new standard in home security monitoring. Operating on a dedicated cellular channel, the system sends a wireless signal via a secure, encrypted transmission to our central monitoring stations in case of an emergency. Additionally, cellular monitoring uses its own dedicated network to send and receive signals, so you do not need a cell phone to upgrade to cellular monitoring.

Are Landlines Obsolete?

Almost 25% of Americans now live in homes without a landline. And that figure doubles among young adults aged 25-29. While there is no hard cut-off date for landline termination, most will likely be retired in favor of more reliable, cost-effective, and flexible cellular communication.

What are the Benefits of Cellular Alarm Monitoring?

Cellular monitoring systems are easy to install without the need for drilling or rewiring in your home or business. As more people switched to cell phones as their primary source of communication, Cellular Monitoring became more relevant to the point where it’s now the standard for home security solutions.

Plus, with cellular alarm monitoring, you stay connected no matter what. Since it transmits on a separate, secure wireless network, your system remains in constant communication with the central station. Even when:

  • Power outages cut lines due to extreme weather
  • You change telephone service providers
  • Burglars cut your lines prior to an attempted break-in

Make the Most of Cellular Alarm Monitoring with Smart Home Upgrades

Like an amazing universal remote control, Smart Home automation from Boyd & Associates gives you the power to control not only your security system but all exterior door locks, interior and exterior lighting, as well as temperature control, from anywhere!

Upgrade today and turn your phone into a remote control for your home. With cellular monitoring and a smartphone, tablet, or computer with an internet connection, you have access to many additional features, such as:

  • Remote Arm & Disarm
  • Remote Lock & Unlock
  • Climate Control
  • Lighting Control
  • Live Streaming Video Surveillance
  • Real-Time Alerts

For More Security Tips and Solutions, Stick with Boyd & Associates

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at Boyd & Associates. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

How Safe is Your Garage?

When going through a home security checklist, many neglect their garages. However, your garage can become a very unsafe place—quickly.

Want to know the best ways to keep your garage safe and secure? Consider the garage safety tips below to clean, organize, and monitor potential hazards within your garage.

  1. Organize and Declutter

For our first garage safety tip, tidying up an already chaotic garage can seem like a large undertaking, but doing so could help prevent potential injury to you and your family.

To organize, first categorize the types of items you store in the garage (i.e. tools, gardening supplies, sports gear, etc.). Next, evaluate storage options for each set. Shelving, cabinets, cubbies, and peg-boards help keep items off the ground and eliminate tripping hazards.

Furthermore, if you have vastly unused items in your garage that you cannot part with, consider self-storage solutions.

  1. Mitigate Fire Hazards

Garages are a leading place for fires to start. Each year there are approximately 6,600 garage fires in the United States. Oil and gasoline drips from cars and flammable liquids commonly found in garages are a formula for a dangerous situation. If you must store flammable material in the garage, do so only in small amounts.

To mitigate fire hazards in your garage, consider the following:

  • Store flammable materials away from electrical appliances.
  • Clean up any oil or gas spills in the garage immediately.
  • Ensure your garage has proper wiring. A spark from a short wire could be enough to start a fire.
  • Check that garage walls and ceilings are fire retardant. If not, consider renovating.
  • Don’t overload circuits.
  • Install a heat detector.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher on standby.
  1. Secure Power Tools and Dangerous Equipment

This garage safety tip is especially important if you have children or animals in the house. Accidentally knocking over or starting these tools can cause serious injuries to those who don’t know how to operate them. If you’re someone who has a lot of tools and likes to use the garage as a workspace, consider these tips:

  • Buy a locked cabinet to store all your dangerous tools and equipment.
  • Don’t share the cabinet key or leave it out in the open.
  • Don’t leave nails out in the open or near edges where they can fall onto the ground.
  • Always clean up your workspace whenever done for the day.
  • If you have children, teach them about being careful in the garage and why they shouldn’t play with the tools.
  1. Install Environmental Monitoring

When danger arises in your garage, you might not be able to detect it as quickly as if it were in the main home. This is why smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors are vitally important in diminishing garage dangers.

Carbon monoxide monitors are non-negotiable in attached garages that house cars. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas found in vehicle exhaust that can only be detected through a monitoring system. There are over 50,000 carbon monoxide related emergencies and 430 deaths each year in the United States.

  1. Avoid Security Vulnerabilities

In addition to the hazards that can present themselves, a garage can also cause security vulnerabilities—especially when attached to the home. Garages can hold valuables that are prime for taking as well as present access to the main home. To prevent this from happening:

  • Always close and lock the garage. This keeps your items out of sight and out of mind for burglars.
  • Keep the door connecting the garage to your house locked.
  • Invest in remote access control for the times you leave the home and forget to close and lock the garage.
  • Monitor the status of your garage door via your smartphone. Some smart garages can even send you an alert if the door is open too long, or at certain times of the day. You can also close the door remotely from your phone when away from home.
  • Install surveillance cameras in and around the garage.

To keep your home and family protected, you want to treat your garage like any other entry point. For more garage safety tips or to learn more about installing a home security system,  contact us today!

Is Carbon Monoxide Monitoring Right for Your Home?

According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NBCI), the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reported over 15,000 carbon monoxide-related emergency department visits. While it is certainly a good idea to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, their presence alone is not enough. Without service to monitor any issues, you’re still leaving your loved ones and pets at risk. Here is what you need to know about carbon monoxide monitoring for your home.

Carbon Monoxide is an Invisible Menace

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless poison gas that can be fatal when inhaled, often dubbed as a “silent killer”.

CO comes from many everyday household items, such as stoves, furnaces, heaters, fireplaces, and generators. While these items can provide comfort, they can also endanger you if not adequately covered.

The right carbon monoxide monitoring plan saves lives. Our systems allow you to correct a carbon monoxide problem immediately when it happens. In most cases, this is long before any health effects start to set in, allowing you to pinpoint the issue before it becomes truly hazardous.

Why Should You Get Carbon Monoxide Monitoring?

Lower levels of CO exposure (around 1,000 PPM) can leave you unconscious after one hour, but the highest levels of PPM exposure (10,000+ PPM) will kill you within minutes. Therefore, it’s important to receive a fast and immediate notification to help save lives.

The biggest benefit to having a monitored carbon monoxide alarm in your home is that it acts as an early warning system. As levels of carbon monoxide start to build up in the air, the system notifies you instantly when there is danger. Our support and monitoring team will also get in touch with you to discuss the situation and check to make sure you’re okay.

How Carbon Monoxide Monitoring Improves Emergency Response Times

The national response time in the United States is 15 minutes, 19.2 seconds, but having a security system can lessen that to up to four minutes. If the monitoring team notices levels that are abnormally high and they are not able to get in touch with you, they will dispatch emergency services to arrive at your home in minutes. In some situations, this can mean the difference between life and death.

Having a carbon monoxide detector in your home is not enough. Full-range monitoring is what makes your system a true protection mechanism for the overall safety of your family and the protection of your property.

Ready to learn more about carbon monoxide alarm monitoring? Contact our team at Boyd & Associates today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

Home Security System Test: Why it’s Important and How to Test

How realistic would it be to expect a car that sat idle for three years to start up and operate perfectly? Or how about a home that sat vacant for five years? Would you expect the air conditioner to work? And it’s exactly why conducting a home security system test is so important.

Just like with any piece of mechanical equipment, periodic testing of your home security system is essential for optimal performance. In the event of an emergency, there are no second chances. Your security system and home fire alarm system must work flawlessly when needed.

How to Test Your Home Security System

Testing your home security service helps to ensure that your home security system will work properly. It identifies problem areas that may require attention from your home security company. You want to test alarm signals as they appear on your home security alarm system control panel and at the alarm monitoring center to ensure proper communication between both.

Procedures for testing your wireless home security system may vary by manufacturer. Consult your owner’s manual for more details. However, the general steps laid out here should work well for most systems. Be sure to keep your account number and unique personal identification password or code handy when speaking to your home security monitoring service.

You Should Conduct a Home Security System Test Each Month – Here’s How:

Call your home security monitoring service and request to put your system in ‘Test’ mode. This is an important step so when you send in a signal from your security system, they do not contact the emergency services.

Arm your security system. Once the system is fully armed, open a few doors or windows that are connected to the security system. Once the siren has sounded, wait for 45 seconds, then promptly disarm the system.

Call your home security monitoring service back to confirm they received the signal from your security system. Then, confirm you are ready to take your system off ‘Test’ mode.

Test All Sensors and Motion Detectors

Testing the signal between your panel and monitoring station is important, but it’s just one piece of the protection puzzle. Double checking that all of your installed sensors and motion detectors are also properly functioning ensures that your panel has something to communicate if and when the time comes. Here’s what to do:

  • First, verify that your system is in “Ready” mode and not armed. Disarm the system to avoid the deployment of emergency services.
  • Open each door and window where sensors are installed, doing so one at a time.
  • Check your panel. It should display the door or window that you are testing.
  • Close the door or window. Your panel should change back to “Ready” mode.
  • Repeat this process for each of your motion detectors.

Test Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

Testing your CO and smoke detectors regularly are other important pillars to your home and family’s safety. Test smoke and CO detectors monthly, and as a general rule, swap for fresh batteries annually. You don’t want to be at risk of a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Here’s how to conduct a CO and smoke detector test:

Remember, when testing either detector, it should make a noise after pressing the “test” button.

If no noise occurs when pressing the test button, start by changing the batteries in the device.

If this doesn’t work, make sure to contact your home security system provider.

As an additional in-home test, you may consider canned smoke. Available to order online or from your local hardware store, canned smoke simulates real smoke interacting with your detectors in a safe way. It allows for a more hands-on test than simply pressing the “test” button.

For More Security and Tips and Solutions, Stick with Boyd & Associates

Preventative maintenance is the name of the game for making sure your home or business stays safe. After all, if the security system in place doesn’t function properly, how can you expect it to provide protection? Boyd & Associates recommends testing your system every 30 days.

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at Boyd & Associates. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

6 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe in 2022

Even if you don’t own a home security system, there are inexpensive tactics you can implement to protect your household. Boyd & Associates experts offer some key tips below.

Identify potential risks. Before you move to a new neighborhood, connect with families in the area to evaluate whether it is in line with your expectations and needs. While it may seem safe, don’t be misled by appearances or notions presented to you by your realtor.

Do a gut check. Evaluate what you are most trying to protect and use that as a starting point to develop your home security program. The wellbeing of your family members will likely come first, with valuable assets falling next in line.

Don’t underestimate old-school locks. Whether you’re a renter or homeowner, ensure that door and window locks work appropriately and are used. If necessary, install window stops for an added layer of protection. Unwanted visitors typically look for easy access to a home.

Leave the light on. Leaving lights, and even a radio or TV, on in the house can go a long way in making your home look active. Implement inexpensive motion sensor lights to add safety for anyone coming home late and to deter burglars.

Commit to landscaping and upkeep. Trim bushes and shrubs, mow the lawn and remove leaves and snow. Don’t allow newspapers or mail to pile up whether you’re home or on vacation. A groomed appearance gives the impression that you are regularly present and protect the value of your home.

Participate in the community. Knowing your neighbors is invaluable to your home’s safety. Develop relationships with families on your street to ensure mutual safety. Notify each other of suspicious activity or nearby threats.

The Ultimate Level of Security

Though the above tips help, a home security system backed by a 24-hour monitoring center is the ultimate safeguard. If an emergency occurs, a security system will ensure responders are dispatched through Central Station monitoring, saving critical time for your family.

Smart home security can also alleviate the inconveniences associated with managing home safety on your own, such as maintaining your alarm system, remembering to lock up, or turning lights and appliances on and off. Through a mobile application, homeowners monitor and control smart devices from anywhere and at any time.

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at Boyd & Associates. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

Five Smart Home Security Tips for a Worry-Free Holiday Season

Do you feel that your home is more attractive to criminals during the holidays?

Two-thirds of homeowners do, according to recent research. After all, with valuable package deliveries, brightly-lit windows and the hustle and bustle of holiday travel, it’s easy to make home security mistakes—or to worry about them.

If you’re concerned about holiday security and looking to step up your crime prevention game for the season, start with these smarter home security tips.

1: It’s easier than you think to deter a burglar.

Have you ever wondered if your home security system will really keep a burglar away? According to the experts (a panel of actual burglars), it will. 83 percent of burglars look for them, and 60 percent say they’ll go elsewhere if they spot one.

This means that it pays to make your security system visible. You can do this by adding smart outdoor security cameras, placing stickers and yard signs where they’re easily spotted, or automating your outdoor lights to put prowlers in the spotlight.

Don’t have any of these features? It might be time for a home security upgrade from Boyd & Associates

2: Avoid leaving gifts out for package thieves.

Not all holiday crime involves breaking and entering. With more Americans shopping for gifts online every year, the holidays have become prime time for package theft.

If you’re concerned about your gifts falling into the hands of a porch pirate, it’s worth investing in a home security setup that includes a doorbell camera and smart lock. This gives you the ability to secure any package delivery in seconds, using only your phone. It’s an easier alternative to staying home for valuable deliveries, and far smarter than leaving things to chance.

3: Safeguard against security mistakes when you travel.

Half of homeowners worry more about home security when they travel—and with good reason. The hustle and bustle of a holiday road trip leaves plenty of room for security mistakes like leaving your garage open or front door unlocked, or forgetting to turn your alarm on.

If you own a modern security system, be sure to set up a few smartphone alerts and reminders before you travel this year. You’ll know if you forget anything essential, and you’ll often be able to fix the problem without having to return home.

4: Connect with your neighbors for peace of mind.

Not every holiday security safeguard needs to be hi-tech. Teaming up with your neighbors is a simple and effective way to stay safe and worry less over the holidays. It’s also one of the most popular home security measures: this year, more than half of US homeowners will keep an eye on their neighbors’ homes when they travel.

If you’re teaming up with your neighbors this year, consider trading in your spare keys for a smart lock. While you may not be among the 20% of homeowners who lost their house keys this year, a smart lock with temporary user codes is worth it to ensure that no one else loses them for you.

5: Think beyond the holidays for long-term protection.

Not all home security technology is the same. If you’re looking for year-round, whole-home protection, it’s worth doing some research before hopping online to buy a standalone doorbell camera as a quick fix. It’ll cover your front door, but not much else.

A complete smart  security system gives you many more ways keep your home and family safe–such as professional monitoring for emergencies, connected smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for safety, and safeguards like unexpected activity alerts and “crash and smash” protection.

For more information on options to upgrade or add on a new system, contact Boyd & Associates today!