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!

Halloween Safety Tips

Planning to trick or treat this year? Halloween is a night when some of our best childhood memories are created…just so long as things are fun scary, not actually scary. With a bit of planning, you can keep everyone safe this October. Make sure your children have an enjoyable, secure celebration with these child safety tips on Halloween.

Design Costumes for Visibility

Glow sticks, flashlights, and even reflector tape can help to ensure that any drivers see your children in the street. Incorporating these safety features into the theme of your child’s costume might take a little creativity, but they often can add another layer to really take the festivities up a notch. Think a glowing ghost or the bright lights of a Star Wars character. Plus, it’ll give you that extra peace of mind.

Also keep in mind that makeup is generally preferable to a mask, which can obstruct your child’s vision and put them at risk.

Take it Slow

Slowing things down a bit is a key safety tip on Halloween. Be sure kids walk slowly rather than run from home to home, especially as they cross neighborhood streets. While everyone is on the lookout for trick-or-treaters, children can dart in front of motorists, who may not have enough time to react. Try to plan to spend the evening in a neighborhood you know has sidewalks and is particularly active with other trick-or-treaters. These areas are less likely to cause potential risks with motorists.

Make Eye Contact with Drivers

A good habit to generally teach the kids: when crossing the street, make eye contact with the driver to make sure that they acknowledge you before you step into the street. And nothing beats the golden rule of intersections: always look both ways before you cross!

Know Where to Go

If your kids are getting to the age where they can trick-or-treat without an adult escort, make sure they stick to familiar areas and that you know the route they will be taking. Sharing their location on smartphones is an easy way to keep tabs on their whereabouts.

If you need to make a trip by car, drive slowly, and turn your headlights on early in the evening so that you can see the kids, and the kids can see you.

Home Safety Tips on Halloween

Halloween night can be easy pickings for burglars since they already know that so many families are out and about. Not to mention, they can knock on your door to see if you’re home without drawing suspicion. If your home isn’t passing out candy and welcoming visitors, keep an eye on things while you’re out with your home automation features.

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

The safety of all children comes first on Halloween. With some basic precautions, you can help to ensure a safe, fun night out, and with Boyd & Associates, you can rest assured that your home is safe.

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at www.boydsecurity.com. 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.

Top 10 Home Security Mistakes

Are you making common mistakes that could leave your property or family vulnerable to theft or attack?  Here are our top 10 home security mistakes you simply must avoid:

  1. Leaving Doors and Windows Unlocked

Security mistakes 101, lock the doors to your home! Almost all thieves can enter a home through an unlocked door or window. What is the point of having locks if they aren’t locked? Burglars walk around testing doorbells and door handles all day. 30% of all burglaries occur through an unlocked door or window. Stay in the habit of keeping your doors and windows locked, and you might avoid opportunistic thieves.

  1. Installing Cheap Locks

Cheap locks are just that. Cheap. This is arguably the most important of all security mistakes affecting burglaries every day. Keep in mind when you’re shopping around for security locks that over 33% of home burglaries occur through the front door. Hardware stores have a wide variety of locks at a wide variety of prices, and you should invest in some good quality deadbolt locks and entry doors.

  1. Hiding Your Keys

Easily one of the silliest security mistakes in this day and age is not taking care of where you hide the keys. A burglar knows they are under the mat, in the mailbox, or under that flowerpot, and chances are someone may have been watching you. It’s probably not the wisest idea in this day and age to hide your keys anyway. You should consider installing a keyless entry system that will provide you with top-notch security while still allowing easy access.

  1. Allowing Valuables to Be Visible from Outside

Look through the windows of your home from outside. Can you see your television, computer, or other electronic valuables? If you can, would-be thieves can, and there’s nothing like the sight of some unguarded bounty to tempt burglars. Draw your shades and curtains or move your electronics to an area where they aren’t visible from the street. And when you’ve just unwrapped your new television screen, don’t leave the box outside where someone might see it as an invitation to target your brand new purchase. Flatten the box and dispose of it inside a trash bag for privacy.

  1. Not Arming your Alarm

If you were smart enough to get an alarm system, it won’t do you any good if you don’t arm it. Always activate it when you are going to sleep, on vacation, or out, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. If you do not have a system, consider getting one as soon as possible. According to one study, 1 out of 5 burglars reported cutting phone lines before attempting to burglarize a home. Also, consider getting a wireless setup. It would be the best choice in this scenario.

  1. Ladders in the Yard

Ladders are one of the best tools of the trade. A ladder serves as the red carpet to the second floor of your home. If you happen to have upper levels, make sure you don’t leave any ladders in the yard below, and don’t leave upstairs windows unlocked either. Lock away your ladder in the storage shed or garage.

  1. Posting your Vacation Plans on Social Media

Social media is great for keeping in touch with friends and family, but never advertise when your home will be empty or when you’ll be out of town.

A recent survey found that as many as 75% of convicted burglars used social media to target their victims. Avoid using apps with location-sharing features too. You simply never know who could be watching your social media updates waiting to pounce.

  1. Allowing your Home to Appear Vacant

You don’t want newspapers and mail piling up outside. This is the easiest way for burglars to identify your home as being empty. Try to maintain your home’s “lived-in” look. Pay someone to cut the grass, clean the yard and trim the bushes. Ask your neighbor or someone else to collect and hold your mail while you’re away. Install timers on lights so your home is always “occupied.”

  1. Leaving the Garage Door Open All Day

Unlocked garage doors are easy to access to the rest of the home, and just because it is closed doesn’t mean a burglar won’t just walk right and try it anyway. An open garage door invites entry and access to your property. Always keep garage doors and home garage access doors locked.

  1. Trying to DIY or Self Monitor your Home Security System

There is some peace of mind from at least having a security system. However, without professional alarm monitoring, there’s always the risk you might miss an important notification or not alert authorities in time. Monitored smoke, heat, intrusion, panic, or medical alerts need immediate attention. With a professionally monitored security system, the alarm center can call for help even when you can’t, often within a matter of seconds. This response has proved to save lives and property. Having that responsibility on your shoulders while trying to enjoy a vacation, during an important meeting, or sleeping deeply is an unnecessary burden and potentially costly.

Everybody makes mistakes, it’s normal. But you can learn from other’s mistakes too instead of repeating them. Remember to lock up and follow these easy fundamentals to avoid the most common home security mistakes and enjoy some peace of mind and a safer home.

Burglary Prevention: 7 Signs Your Home Is A Target

One of the major keys to burglary prevention is awareness. And much of that awareness comes from understanding the ways in which your home may be a target for would-be intruders. There are many tell-tale signs to watch out for, and some are less obvious than others. For your home burglary prevention, here are 7 signs to look out for that may indicate your home is a target for burglars.

  1. Strangers Surveying Your Property

This one might be a little more obvious, and will also depend greatly on your neighborhood or general area you live in. Is it heavily populated? Is it normal to see people you don’t know? You shouldn’t be paranoid every time a stranger walks by your house. But there’s a major difference between someone passing through, or even taking a passing glance at your home or property, and someone potentially surveying your home for a future break-in.

And, if you notice someone suspiciously snooping around or intruding on your property in a way that makes you feel comfortable, take note and even call your local police if necessary. Burglary prevention is a community effort; be sure to share with neighbors any suspicious activity and work together to keep one another safe.

  1. Random Strangers Knocking On Your Door

It sounds simple, but one of the oldest tricks to get into someone’s home is to just knock on the front door. Maybe this mystery guest asks to use the bathroom or even tries to sell you a fake product. Always trust your gut in these instances; you don’t have to answer the door for everyone. And always be wary of any strangers that ask to enter your home.

A great SmartHome solution for burglar prevention is a doorbell camera. Screen visitors before you ever answer the door and have video evidence on-hand of any suspicious activity.

  1. Uncertified Workers

You may contract for work to be done on your home, whether on the interior or for outside projects. But make sure all the workers are certified. In some instances, a burglar may see workers coming and going and use it as a chance to survey or even to enter your home. You should know the scale of the project at hand and the size and specifics of the personnel doing the work. Always make sure to contact the company if you are unsure of a worker’s legitimacy.

  1. Unsolicited Fundraisers 

Much like random strangers knocking, other burglary prevention comes from being aware of who is right at your front door. A twelve-year-old girl selling Girl Scout Cookies may not be a threat to your home, but other solicitors should always be treated with caution. Burglars are looking for any opportunity to see the inside of your home and any potential valuables and points of access.

  1. Strangers Taking Photos Of Your Home

These days, everyone is a photographer. With advances in smartphones, it’s easier than ever for anyone to stealthily take photos. And that ease makes it a great tool for burglars to canvas your house and create an intrusion plan. If you see anyone take a picture of your home, you need to immediately act. Notify local law enforcement, document what you see, and share with your neighbors and community leaders. Two can play the photo game; if possible, take a picture of the suspicious photographer as well. Just be sure to do so safely.

  1. Stickers Or Flyers

Promotional flyers or coupons and menus from local establishments aren’t necessarily a burglary threat. But if you’re noticing a higher volume of stickers or flyers on your front door, or stickers and flyers you don’t recognize, it could be a sign of potential danger. A burglar may attempt to use this method to see if a home is well guarded or not.

This, of course, is not always a signal that someone is trying to break into your home, but it is something to keep an eye out for. If you’re going to be away for a period, have a neighbor check in on your home to ensure nothing is piling up on the front lawn.

  1. Strange Markings On Your Home

Many burglars will use subtle markings to identify a house they are casing. This could be a simple symbol like a string placed on the house or a marking on your lampposts. If you see any unexplained marking that doesn’t appear to have happened naturally or accidentally, move it immediately.

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

It’s important you’re aware of what is going on around your neighborhood. You can protect your home and your neighbors by keeping an eye on anything that may seem out of place. Communicate with your neighbors so they can be aware as well.

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services. 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 how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

 

A Security System With Monitoring: Why It Beats DIY Security

These days it seems more common than ever to find everyday do-it-yourself solutions and projects, especially for homeowners. While DIY skills are great for building furniture items or renovating an old room, it’s tough to beat the protection a security system with monitoring brings.

With so many new security companies and advancing technology, it’s tempting to try to tackle home security like you would any DIY project. But you shouldn’t DIY your peace of mind! Learn why a security system with monitoring always beats DIY options.

Professional Installation

DIY options like individual door cameras or home sensors are tempting on the surface. You think you’re only selecting the gadgets and protection that you need, and a single price tag is a lot more appealing than a subscription-based security service.

But we hate to break it to you: you’re not a security professional. Watching a video tutorial will not teach you all of the essential technical skills needed to properly place motion sensors.

With our home security solutions, you’ll receive a professional, onsite installation and walkthrough from a dedicated security technician who knows and understands the neighborhoods we protect.

What You Can Expect from a Professional Home Security Installation:

  • A customized plan that fits your budget and security needs
  • A dedicated, local service representative who will conduct an onsite survey
  • An in-person demonstration of your new system, teaching you all of the ins and outs
  • A support team that’s there to answer your questions and provide solutions

24/7 Protection You Can Rely On

The big difference between most DIY security options and a security system with monitoring is exactly that: the monitoring. Which, in hindsight, seems like a pretty important part! If you’re a tech-savvy consumer, the DIY gadgets and SmartHome integration might be tempting. You set up your sensor and surveillance feeds and get simple notifications when anything is tripped.

Most of the time it’s just a neighbor or a package delivery that you easily confirm. But what happens in the event of a real emergency? What if you’re not home and don’t notice a notification until after your home has been burglarized.

Or worse, what if you’re home and simply unable to contact the proper authorities? With a monitored security system, you get the 24/7 protection from a security team that always has your back.

How It Works:

  • Your alarm triggers
  • Monitoring stations notify you and the authorities
  • First responders are dispatched quickly and efficiently
  • You can rest easy knowing your home is protected around the clock

And, monitored security doesn’t start and end with door sensors and enhanced video monitoring surveillance services. Get complete home protection including flood monitoring and monitored smoke and CO detectors to keep every disaster at arm’s length.

Flexible Plans And Easy Upgrades

Technology changes, and so does the way you interact with it. DIY security solutions aren’t future proof, especially when you consider you’re solely responsible for upgrading or adding to the gadgets and features needed.

With monitored security from a trusted professional, you can be sure that your technology is not only up to date, but in excellent working condition. You can also be sure that as home security and SmartHome technology grows, your plan and protection grows with it.

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

There’s nothing wrong with being resourceful and knowledgeable, especially when it comes to the safety and security of your home and family. But don’t be stubborn either. Trust the professionals who have the resources to give you the best protection possible.

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.

Home Security Tools for Seniors Living Alone

As we get older, our home security concerns change. What works for families or young people may not meet the unique needs of seniors who live alone. And, just over one in four adults over the age of 65 lives alone. Concerns about seniors’ health, memory, and physical safety can create anxiety for loved ones and caregivers. But there are several strategies that can help seniors maintain both their safety and their independence. Read on for some of the best home security tools for seniors.

Medical Alert Devices

Every 11 seconds, an older adult suffers a fall serious enough to send them to the emergency room. If a senior is injured in a fall in their home, they may not have the ability to get up and call for help. Boyd & Associates Medical Alert can help. It is a safety and medical alert system that allows an individual to signal for help from a wireless alarm pendant.

These systems immediately alert an emergency operator who will dispatch the appropriate help. In the event of an emergency, the local 911 Emergency Response Team will be dispatched. Otherwise, a family member, neighbor, friend, or caregiver can be notified for assistance.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the most common kind of poisoning worldwide and is the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas found in the exhaust of generators, stoves, furnaces, cars, or anything that burns fuel and most victims have no idea they’re being poisoned.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 500 people die from unintentional exposure in the U.S. every year. Another 8,000-15,000 people are examined or treated in hospitals.

Most of carbon monoxide injuries and deaths are entirely preventable. That is why carbon monoxide detectors are crucial to have in your home, especially seniors who are living on their own.

Monitored Fire and Burglar Alarms

According to the Bureau of Justice, 59 percent of violent crimes against seniors happen at or near their homes and they are more likely to be victims of property crimes. A monitored home security system can offer seniors living alone an added layer of protection in the event of a burglary or fire by alerting an alarm monitoring center. An alarm monitoring agent will contact emergency responders quickly, saving precious minutes.

Most home security systems offer a feature that allows you to remotely control your home security system. This feature is accessible through an app by using your smart phone or tablet. This is a great feature for those who want to check the status of their senior family member’s system and receive alerts when an alarm or event triggers.

Video Doorbell

With smart video doorbells, seniors can answer their front door remotely via a tablet or smartphone to ensure visitors don’t know they are home alone. Family members of seniors can also use this feature to ensure the safety of their loved one.

Environmental Monitoring

It’s a scenario that can be more frightening and dismaying for an elderly individual than anyone else: a pipe burst, or a water heater leaks, causing damaging flooding that can go on for hours while they are away or asleep.

Environmental monitoring can alert seniors of the problem right away no matter where they are. The longer a leak goes unfixed, the more likely structural damage will occur. By getting the news right away, seniors and their families can avoid expensive and inconvenient repairs.

Home Automation Tools

A senior’s financial security is as important as their physical safety. With home automation tools, you can save time, money and energy by setting scenes and schedules, turn lights on or off, or control the thermostat.

Ask an Expert

Modern security technology means that it’s easier than ever for seniors to enjoy security and independence in their homes. If you’d like to learn more about the kinds of security planning, processes, and technology available for every budget, give us a call today to request a free quote.

The Importance of Flood Alarms and Flood Alarm Monitoring

Flood alarms and flood alarm monitoring are essential to preventing damage when a disaster arises. In the U.S., statistics show that households report roughly 850 water main breaks every single day. And for homeowners, it is estimated that the average cost of repairing flood damage is about $15,000. These damages are not only a nuisance but very costly to repair. And sometimes, the real damage goes much deeper.

It only takes 24 hours for mold to develop in water-damaged areas, so it is essential to repair damages as quickly as possible to avoid adverse long-term effects. With flood alarm and monitoring from Boyd & Associates, you receive real-time flood alerts via text message or phone call the minute a flood is detected, so you can quickly cease the flow of water.

WHAT CAUSES FLOODS?

There are many causes of home flooding which can include natural disasters as well as manmade causes.  Natural disasters might include:

  • Mudflows
  • Flash floods
  • Heavy rains

It is also important to consider the environment around your home. Are you located near major bodies of water like lakes or rivers that can be at risk of flooding? Do you have a basement or other area in your house that is particularly exposed and susceptible to potential damage? General awareness is a major step.

Most manmade floods occur with a pipe bursting, plumbing problems, or when a malfunctioning water heater is present. 70% of floods are actually due to water heaters bursting or leaking. So outside of flood monitoring, you should be aware of the age and condition of your household utilities. Generally speaking, try to commit to an annual inspection from a professional to ensure your home utilities are in safe working order.

HOW DOES FLOOD ALARM MONITORING WORK?

What if there was a way to interrupt a potential flood, before any damage can occur? Here’s how flood alarms and flood alarm monitoring from Boyd & Associates protects you:

  1. Water sensors are installed near appliances such as your hot water heater and washing machine.
    2. When overflowing water is detected, a flood alarm signal is sent to the home alarm panel.
    3. When water is detected on the alarm panel, an alert will notify you via call or text.
    4. Alarm systems with the Flood Avert feature are designed to automatically cut off the water source at the onset of flooding.

HOW DO YOU PREVENT OR PREPARE FOR A FLOOD?

Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable. While you cannot always control natural disasters, you can control how you protect yourself against the unknown. Some quick flood prevention and preparation tips include:

  1. It is always a good idea to have flood insurance.
    2. Ensure that all pipes, water heaters, plumbing, and foundation are working properly on a regular basis.
    3. In the event of a natural disaster, attempt to seal the perimeter of your home with waterproof materials that may help prevent damage.
    4. Create an emergency plan for your family’s safety and any valuables.
    5. Consider adding a flood monitoring system and flood avert automatic shut-off to prevent costly repairs.

FOR MORE SECURITY AND HOME AUTOMATION TIPS AND SOLUTIONS, STICK WITH BOYD & ASSOCIATES

It is important to protect your home before a flood or disaster occurs. The best way to protect your home from damage is with a flood monitoring system installed to always ensure you are aware as soon as the flooding starts. Contact Boyd & Associates today for information on flood alarms and flood alarm monitoring protection.

And, if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you are 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.

What Does the End of 3G Mean for Your Security System?

Carriers like AT&T and Verizon have announced their sunsetting 3G wireless networks at the beginning of 2022 and the end of 2022, respectively.

Just like 2G, the 3G network has become outdated as more wireless customers demand greater bandwidth and faster speeds. Shutting down the older network will drastically increase data capacity and speed on 4G, 5G and LTE networks.

If you are like most Americans, your cell phone no longer runs on a 3G network anyway. And many carriers are no longer activating devices on the 3G network.

But what about your security system?

What is 3G and What is the Difference Between 3G, 4G and 5G?

Before we get into how the 3G sunset could affect your security system, here’s a quick rundown of the different networks available.

The “G” stands for generation. The newer the network, the more capacity for more devices to connect to that network. Introduced in 1998, 3G and is now considered a slower network compared to the current standard 4G. As more people get access to mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, as many as 24 billion devices are expected to need cellular network support by 2024. That’s where 5G comes in, offering peak capacity and latency.

Do Security Systems Run on 3G Networks?

Yes, some security systems run on cellular networks. 3G networks were the standard communication technology used in security panels starting in 2016.

When landlines became obsolete, there was a shift to wireless security systems that use cellular technology to relay messages. These systems were more reliable, convenient, and accessible than their landline counterparts.

Cellular security systems also do not have onsite wires, which can be tampered with by a burglar to render your security system useless.

What Does a 3G Sunset Mean for My Home Security System?

If your alarm system was installed with a 3G-compatible communicator, it will no longer work properly once carriers begin to sunset 3G networks—regardless of who your security provider is.

Although wireless carriers have published specific dates for 3G termination, this does not guarantee 3G services will be fully available until the sunset. It is common practice for carriers to reduce coverage during transition periods.

That is why it’s imperative to take action as soon as possible to avoid service disruptions.

What Can I Do to Limit Disruption to My Home Security System?

The cellular communicator on your security system will need to be replaced to operate on the new networks.

Your security provider should proactively reach out to ensure there is no lapse in service for your system. If you do not hear from them or you want to get the ball rolling on updating your system, contact your provider and ask the following questions:

  • Will the 3G sunset impact my security system?
  • When are cellular carrier changes expected to roll out in my area?
  • What is your company’s timeline and plans for customer updates?
  • Can I update my system in advance, or do I need to wait for a tiered rollout?
  • Will I be charged a service fee to upgrade my system? If so, how much?
  • Do I need to purchase new equipment, or will it be provided free of charge?
  • How can I schedule a service call to update my system, if needed?

Your home security provider should be willing and able to answer all of your questions about the impact on your system and should have a plan in place to prevent disruption.

If you want more information about how Boyd & Associates is handling the 3G sunset, just reach out. We are happy to work with you on getting your system updated.