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.

Home Security and Spring Cleaning Guide: How to Prep for Safer, Warmer Months

Depending on the weather in California, you may find yourself in flip-flops one day and furry boots the next. But there is no denying that warm, glowing orb that’s suddenly making more frequent appearances: Sun’s out. Spring is coming!

During COVID-19, many of us have already become legitimate cleaning and disinfecting ninjas — so a little spring cleaning? No sweat! Take advantage of this mindset, and any extra time you have at home, to make your home a more pleasant place to be.

But don’t stop at dusting and power-washing; it might be time to clean up your home security, too!

Why spring cleaning is the perfect time for a home security check

As stay-at-home orders and state guidelines continue to shift, people everywhere will be pumped to step out into the sunshine. Summer may still not be completely back to normal this year. But overall, we expect the trend of people spending more time away from home during the warmer months will hold true.

Crime often rises after we “spring forward” at Daylight Saving Time.

When temperature rises outdoors, we take more time off, get more active, go on more vacations, and just stay out later. It’s probably no coincidence that home burglary rates increase during summer months, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Some spring cleaning tasks can make your home safer.

For some, spring cleaning may be the one time of year you do a thorough deep cleaning and decluttering of your entire home. This is when we address the areas that might often get passed over, which means furniture is getting moved, and doors and windows are being examined. It’s a good opportunity to uncover safety issues, or spots where a burglar might try to break in.

Like anything else in your home, security alarm systems need regular maintenance.

If you have a smart home security system, you have probably noticed they do a lot of the thinking for you (that’s the point!). It’s easy to adapt a set-it-and-forget-it attitude. But a little bit of maintenance and regular check-ins go a long way — and milestones like Daylight Savings and the start of spring are great reminders to do just that.

Set yourself up for a safer, more secure spring and summer by making home security part of your spring cleaning ritual.

If you own a smart home security system, there are a few extra tasks we suggest adding to your checklist:

 

  1. Sanitize your security and home automation equipment.

Some of the equipment you use to control and secure your home may be hands-free — like a motion sensor — and some you might touch every day, like your panel.

From your smart thermostat to your security panel to your cameras, make sure your security and home automation devices are on your spring cleaning list. Too much dust and debris can interfere with how devices like smoke detector’s function. Play it safe and keep ’em clean!

  1. Set up a schedule to test your system.

If you have professionally monitored security, it is important to test your system to make sure it’s communicating properly with the monitoring center. It is simple to do and will give you peace of mind.

We recommend testing once a month, and after making any adjustments in your home that that may impact your system, such as landline, internet, and broadband service changes. If you are planning to do any remodeling or home renovations, make a note to test your system afterwards. It’s also a good idea to do a test a week before taking a vacation as an extra precaution.

  1. Update your emergency contacts.

Take a minute to make sure all of your account information is correct, and update your emergency contacts. Your emergency contacts are the people your monitoring team will call if anything goes wrong, and they can’t get in touch with you.

  1. Set up your security notifications.

All the bells and whistles that come with a smart home system are amazing, but ultimately, your safety and peace of mind is what it’s all about. Alerts and notifications provide instant awareness anywhere via your smartphone. If you haven’t programmed any alerts or notifications for your system yet, get started now!

Get smart home security for better home protection this spring

A professionally installed and monitored smart home security solution will give you peace of mind and confidence, especially during your warm weather excursions.

Even if you’re still on the fence or aren’t sure what you need in a system, you can learn more about the benefits of smarter security by contacting us today!

 

 

 

How to Effectively Place Motion Sensors in Your Home

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!)

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

The most effective motion sensor placements

Motion sensors work to detect movement in an area where there should not 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 could not 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 rule of thumb, all entry points should be accounted for. This way you will be alerted if anyone approaches while you’re asleep.

Basements

It never hurts to be extra careful. Especially if there are any access points or vulnerabilities from the basement. Having several sensors down in that area is a great idea. If you have lots of clutter, make sure they are placed in an area where they won’t be blocked. Also consider installing one near the staircase leading upstairs to the main levels of your home or business.

Ceilings

When an intruder enters the home, they may already be looking for motion detectors. A great place they would not immediately look is the ceiling. Sensors work on 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 are not easily spotted by intruders. Plus, they won’t detract from your home’s look and feel.

The least effective motion sensor placements

Motion sensors are designed to detect motion, that 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 would not 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 are 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 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 is next.

Research: How We’re Managing Our Home Deliveries in 2021

Have you disinfected a package delivery to protect yourself from germs lately?

You’re not alone. In fact, one in three Americans do the same, according to new research. We’re relying more on home deliveries, and we’re taking new precautions as we adapt.

According to a survey of 2,000 Americans by OnePoll, the average person now receives 10 home deliveries a month: a 60% increase from the pre-pandemic average of 6. It’s a trend that’s likely to stick.

With social distancing and shortages in stores as a root cause, we’re using home deliveries to get everything from clothing to essentials like milk and toilet paper, as well as to support local businesses. Along the way, we’re discovering extra benefits that we’ll want to keep—as well as a few new worries to navigate.

Here’s what we discovered:

We’re waking up to the benefits of home deliveries.

  • 53% of Americans have ordered a delivery to support a local business in the last year.
  • 48% say that home deliveries feel safer than shopping in stores.
  • 44% say that deliveries are more convenient.
  • 36% say the items they need are sometimes sold out in stores, or online-only.
  • 70% say that they appreciate delivery workers more than they used to.

Safety worries don’t stop at the front door.

Pre-pandemic, package theft was the main concern for online shoppers. Today’s deliveries arrive with new concerns: worries about our health, and the health of others.

  • 29 % of Americans worry about being exposed to germs at the front door
  • Two out of five now wash their hands after handling packages.
  • One third disinfect their deliveries before opening them.
  • One in six let their packages sit unopened to give germs time to die.

We’re still wary of opening the door to strangers.

Although we’re concerned about deliveries being left outside, we’re also hesitant to open our doors when they arrive.

  • 68% of Americans say they don’t open their door unless they’re certain they know who’s on the other side.
  • 35% wait until delivery drivers leave before they open the door.
  • 31% are worried about potential burglars posing as delivery drivers to case their home.
  • 41% say they don’t trust that visitors are always who they say they are.

Help is at hand.

If you’re looking for a better, safer way to manage your deliveries while protecting your home and family, look no further. Boyd & Associates has a variety of systems and tools to help you and yours feel safe and protected.  Contact us today to learn more!

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!