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.

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!

Things to Consider when Buying a Home Security System

 

If you look around your neighborhood, chances are you will see a handful of home security yard signs. Home security systems are a popular addition to homes for good reason. It is a fact that homes with monitored security systems are less likely to be targeted for a break-in. However, today’s home security systems deliver more than security. They let you talk to visitors and remotely turn on lights. With home security cameras, you can see who is in your backyard or check in on an elderly parent. Home security systems that include home automation devices can help reduce energy use, turn on sprinkler systems, and so much more.

When looking for the best, a local home security company or considering your security needs, consider these questions:

What does a basic home security system include?

While it varies, most basic home security systems include door and window contacts, a keypad, a mobile app; an audible alarm, a yard sign, and 24/7 alarm monitoring. These home security components help detect or prevent break-ins and are a base for a more comprehensive system.

What types of home security cameras or upgrades are available?

While a basic home security system can go a long way in helping protect areas of your home, there are many options available to increase the security of your home and family. Popular upgrades or additions to a basic security system include the following and help create a complete, secure smart home:

  • Home security cameras
  • A doorbell camera Smoke detection
  •  Carbon monoxide detection
  • Water leak detection
  • Glass break sensor
  • Window and door sensors
  • A smart thermostat
  • Smart lighting
  • Remote garage door control
  • Smart or keyless locks
  • Automated sprinkler systems
  • Temperature sensors
  • Panic button – medical alert pennant
  • Integration with a sound system

Most homeowners choose to install these upgrades because they add convenience and peace of mind. Busy families enjoy the ability to control home automation devices via an app or check in to see that all is well. In our daily rushing around, the ability to remotely close a garage door, lock or unlock a door, turn lights on or see if a package was delivered is invaluable.

Should I install home security cameras? Where are popular places to install the cameras?

Home security cameras are one of the most popular additions to a home security system. Homeowners enjoy checking in and seeing that all is well at home or reviewing video if something is amiss. Ideal placement for home security cameras includes the front porch, garage area, front gates, and around a swimming pool. Homeowners also like to install home security cameras near sensitive areas such as safes and back entries, or at vacation homes.

At Boyd & Associates, we offer a free mobile app, making it easy to view video or receive alerts and video clips based on personal preference. Our trained security consultants will also conduct a security evaluation to help determine the best security camera placement for your family’s needs.

Is the home security system monitored by a professional alarm monitoring center? Is the security alarm monitoring center in the United States?

When researching local home security providers, check if they provide their own alarm monitoring or if they pay a third-party monitoring provider and where the center is located. DIY security systems might be a quick fix but do not offer the assurance that someone is there to help even if you cannot get to the phone or cannot keep a constant eye on your security alerts. At Boyd & Associates, we are proud to provide a U.S.-based, UL listed alarm monitoring center that is Five Diamond designated and offers an average alarm response time of under 20 seconds.

Can I receive a discount on my homeowner’s insurance premium if I have a home security system?

Typically, yes! As we shared above, most home insurance providers offer a discount on your home insurance premiums if you have a monitored home security system. This discount helps the security system pay for itself!

What are some common and popular home security devices?

In the past, common home security devices included door and window contacts for intrusion detection. However, now, some of the most popular home security services are home security cameras, doorbell cameras, smart locks, and mobile app control of security devices.

Are other protective devices available, such as carbon monoxide, water leak and smoke detection?

You will want to ensure that the home security company you choose can offer security and home automation devices that meet your family’s changing needs through the years. You will also want to know you are working with a company that can provide multi-levels of home security protection including alerting you to carbon monoxide, water leaks and smoke or fire. A company that also offers 24/7 alarm monitoring can alert you to these dangers even if you are not home or cannot get to a phone. Early detection of these dangers can save lives and thousands of dollars in damage or complete loss of your home.

Does the company also offer home automation devices and services?

Top-rated, leading home security companies often include home automation devices that integrate with home security to make your home smarter and safer. Home automation solutions help busy families more easily manage things at home, increase security, and save money. Popular home automation solutions allow homeowners to remotely adjust the temperature, turn lights on or off, lock doors, turn on sprinkler or sound systems and so much more. When combined with home security devices, home automation products alleviate worry. You will know whether you left a garage door open or a door unlocked and be able to take quick action to secure your home if needed.

What does a monitored security system provide that DIY security cameras do not?

There are many up-and-coming tech companies that advertise the latest security services or easy-to-install security cameras. Often, these companies are not backed by experienced support or reputable technology vendors. Or, maybe they are startup companies and have difficulties maintaining financial backing to provide ongoing support or service. These smaller, online companies also most likely will not provide support with installation or if you want to integrate your cameras with other security devices.

Look closely at the costs and benefits of a DIY camera or security system vs. working with an experienced, local provider. Consider if support, professional monitoring, and a discount on your insurance premium are important to you. Another benefit of working with a professional installer is the ease in integrating security or home automation components. A full-service security company also provides the ability to control all your devices easily with one app.

When searching for a company to trust with your security, you will want to choose a top-rated, local company and ask the following questions:

  • Does the home security company have a local branch?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Does the company perform background checks on employees?
  • Does the company offer an insurance deductible reimbursement program?
  • Does the company offer a move program?
  • What is the security company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau?

Choosing the best, local home security company does not have to be hard. Learning what security devices will best meet your family’s needs is easy with professional help and experience on your side. Boyd & Associates offers over 50 years of experience providing professional installation of home and business security systems, along with award-winning, 24/7 alarm monitoring. To learn more about your home security options and answers to the above questions, visit our website of give us a call today!

What to do if a Package is Stolen

It is an all-too-familiar scenario: A long-awaited package finally arrives, only to be grabbed off your front porch before you get home. Augh! If you are like most people, you probably feel violated, helpless, and really, really annoyed. And while you have every right to be upset, luckily there are a few things you can do to minimize the chances of getting a package stolen off your porch.

With the rise of online shopping has come the disturbing trend known as porch pirates. Porch pirates are thieves that steal packages right from your front door. This theft is happening to millions of homeowners and costing victims countless dollars.

These pirates may not be sailing the high seas, but they are just as clever. They are known to follow delivery trucks around and as soon as they drop off the packages, the thieves grab their loot. Research shows that more than a third of Americans have had a package stolen from their porch at least once. So, if it has not happened to you yet, you could be next—if you do not take the right measures to secure your property.

 

3 Tips for Stopping Porch Theft

 Let’s cut to the chase: Here are some ways to start protecting your packages today, plus some advice on what to do if a package is stolen off your porch.

 

  1. Install Doorbell Camera and Consider Extra Security Cameras

Thanks to modern technology, we can see what is going on in our homes even if we are miles away. A smart home security system that includes a smart lock and a doorbell camera gives you several ways to prevent theft.

You cannot always schedule when your packages are delivered, but you can use Boyd & Associates easy-to-install doorbell cameras that send alerts to your smartphone when a delivery person rings your doorbell. This allows you to go home to secure your packages or ask a neighbor to secure it for you. You can also receive real-time notifications of suspicious activity and share them with the local police.

 

How do Doorbell Cameras Work?

Doorbell cameras are one of the easiest and most affordable home security devices. Most cameras on the market today offer a 160-degree field of view and two-way audio that connects straight to your smartphone.

With doorbell cameras, you can both hear and see what is happening on your front porch. Even better, you can see when your package is being delivered and communicate with the delivery person to place it in a safer location.

 

Additional Security for your Home

Adding additional security cameras to your property allows a broader perspective of what is happening at your home while you are away.

If you, like many homeowners, have multiple locations a package could be left, adding security cameras will help keep every part of your property secure. The best part is, with wireless connectivity, you can still monitor everything from your smartphone.

 

  1. Use Real-Time Streaming

Today’s video technology allows you to live stream your home so you can see what is happening whenever you need to. This is a helpful feature because not only can you see and speak to a thief in real-time, but you can also see a delivery person, unlock your door, and ask the delivery driver to set the package inside the door. After the door closes, you can easily lock it. Porch pirates are not big fans of this technology and will stay away from homes that are equipped with these systems. So, whether you are worried about a neighbor who stole your package in the past or any other porch pirates, real-time streaming can minimize the chance of it happening again.

 

  1. Invest in Smart Home Security

When it comes to protecting you and your home from porch pirates, the most effective method is smart home security.

Using a single app, your smart home security allows you to monitor everything from who last accessed the system to whether a door was left open or a light was left on. You will never have to wonder what to do about stolen packages again because you will have all of the information you need to handle any situation and deter would-be porch pirates.

Smart home security is the most complete way to secure your property, your packages, and your family. Arm and disarm your system, switch off the lights, or adjust the thermostat from wherever you are. How do you think the porch pirate will feel about being greeted with the blaring Pirates of the Caribbean theme when they approach your packages? Between your smart home system and connected smart home assistant, you can make it happen. With real-time alerts, you will know what is always happening at home.

 

What to do if a Package is Stolen

By now you are a porch pirate pro. You have a much more secure home and a slim chance of getting packages stolen off your porch. But—never say never. In the small chance that someone does still swipe a package off your porch, there are a few steps you can take to possibly get a replacement or refund. Here are a few tips on what to do if someone steals your package from your porch:

 

  • File a police report. If you have had something stolen off your porch, your first item of business should be to file a police report. They may not be able to do much about it if you don’t have any evidence, but if you have footage from a video doorbell or other home security, they’ll have a better chance of catching the criminals. You can also use your police report to file an insurance claim.

 

  • Contact the sender.Some companies have generous policies relating to porch theft and will send you a new product right away if you reach out to them. Get in touch with the sender to find out if you can get a replacement or if you can at least get a refund on the item.

 

  • Report it to the delivery company.Whether your package was delivered by Amazon, FedEx, UPS, or USPS, it is worth contacting the delivery company to see if they will give you a refund or resend the package. You may need to fill out a lost package claim, so keep track of your order number and emails relating to your package.

 

Expert Security for any Home

Before you get overwhelmed at the thought of deterring porch pirates, don’t forget—Boyd & Associates is here for you! We’ll use our over 50 years of experience to help you find the best home security solution. From smart home systems to alarm monitoring services, we have it all. We also know how important it is to keep your home, packages, and family safe. Contact us today and let us help with your home security needs.

Help Prevent Water Damage and Save Money with Flood Detectors

 

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of homeowners quite like these four syllables: water damage. To understand how something so pure could be so scary, you need only check the price tag. It reads: Just 1 inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home.

You may be thinking, no big deal, I have home insurance. But be careful.

First, many homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. Second, keep in mind when it comes to insurance coverage and water damage, it is not the total damage that matters, but rather how the damage was caused. If it started suddenly and incidentally, such as accidentally hammering a nail through a water pipe while hanging a painting, it may be covered. If the damage is caused by old, slow leaks — for example, your pipes are old — chances are it is not covered (check with your provider for specifics in your state). So those hefty repair costs may be coming straight out of your pocket.

Even if your bill ends up being just $2,000 — less than the average cost according to HomeAdvisor — that’s no small chunk of change. And you may find yourself asking a painful question as you swipe your credit card or crack open your checkbook — could this have been avoided?

How do floods and water damage happen?

If you live in an area prone to flooding, you may already be familiar with how water damage happens.

But for everyone else, some water damage is a result of natural causes, like a flood brought on by heavy rainfall. But it does not always happen that way. Water damage can be caused by:

  • A burst pipe
  • Cracks in your home’s foundation
  • A leaking roof (cracked or old shingles)
  • A failing water heater
  • An overflowing washing machine

One of the most insidious parts of water damage is that it tends to happen in places that are tucked out of sight, like in a basement or a closet. A leak that started out minor — and was in the beginning relatively easy to fix — can turn into a nightmare if it goes unchecked for too long.

Water sensors make smarter homes

Security is not just about preventing break-ins — although we can certainly help you with that! It is about protecting everything that matters most to you, whether it’s your family, your pets, your business, or your home. And as we just learned, water damage is one the most devastating things that can happen to a home.

Taking proactive steps to prevent water damage is likely to be far less expensive than making repairs after it happens. Luckily, your friendly neighborhood smart security company (that’s us) has a solution: We’re now offering wireless, easy-to-install water sensors (also known as flood detectors) that can really make a difference.

What are water sensors?

water sensor does exactly what you would guess — it detects the presence of water and alerts you to potential flooding before extensive damage may occur.

If it is part of your professionally monitored security system, it can also signal an alarm to your company’s monitoring center and also send you a notification via text or email.

How do water sensors work?

One of the cooler things about water sensors is their simplicity. They are easy to install, do not need to be plugged in, and, are incredibly small. You also do not have to be an expert to understand how they work.

The flood detector can rest right on the floor, or it can be mounted to a wall or baseboard. When the metal contacts at the base become wet, this completes the circuit.

The transmitter then communicates the signal to your panel, which triggers a notification that you receive. Boyd & Associates’ protection specialists in the monitoring center would read this as an environmental alarm and notify you accordingly to make sure you get the help you need. Easy, right?

It’s also important to understand what flood detectors do not do: They do not make your home flood-proof or water-proof, and they do not “stop” floods or water damage. For example, if you already have a leaky roof, a flood detector will not prevent water from getting in. Rather, the device will instantly alert you when it senses water so you can take action before that leak becomes a big problem.

Where should water sensors be placed?

You will want to place your water sensor anywhere flooding or water damage would be a concern. For example:

  • Behind an appliance, such as a washing machine or a refrigerator that makes ice cubes or dispenses water
  • In your basement, near the water heater
  • Inside a cabinet underneath a bathroom sink

Get proactive with Boyd & Associates

Water damage can cause thousands in home repairs, not to mention the loss of precious personal items. Catching drips and leaks early can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and major disaster. But no need to worry — being proactive is easier than ever when you add monitored water sensors to your smart home security system.

Call (805) 650-3267 to talk to a Boyd & Associates expert. We’ll give you a free consultation to determine exactly what you need to help protect your world.

 

Benefits of Smart Locks


As technology continues to advance, we are finding new and better ways to protect ourselves, our belongings and our assets. One of the best innovations in security that’s gaining popularity is the keyless system that strongly simplifies the entry procedures to your home or office. Also known as smart locks, they provide a level of convenience and customization that can’t be had with traditional locking mechanisms, all while not compromising security. 

Here are just a few ways smart locks can change your daily life. 


Never lose your keys again

House keys stand among the most commonly misplaced items. So it is more convenient that you don’t have to keep track of yet another key or worry about how to pass off the key to someone else. The entire idea of a smart lock (and every smart-home device, really) is to add convenience to your life. For smart locks, that includes features like remote access, voice control and scenes. With Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa, you can set up scenes like “OK Google, goodnight” that dim the lights, adjust the thermostat and lock your front door. 

You can control your smart lock remotely when it is connected to Wi-Fi. More often than not, that means purchasing a small, plug-in Wi-Fi bridge to connect the lock to your network. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to lock or unlock your door from anywhere you have an internet connection. Forgot to lock the door when you left for that business trip this morning? A connected lock will alert you when your door is left open or unlocked. 

Prevent lockouts


It happens to the best of us, especially these days with juggling so many things at one time: locking yourself out of your house. If this issue sounds all too familiar, then you’re in luck. Smart locks can help you eliminate the chance of getting locked out. Smart locks use an app to control your locks. With an internet connection and a smartphone or any smart device with you, you can lock and unlock your doors anytime, anywhere. 


Ability to send E-keys


Did a relative show up early, or are you stuck at the office when someone needs to get in the house? Do you have a vendor visiting your business? With smart locks, you can send an E-key to those who need access to your home or office. 


Convenience for the Disabled or Elderly


With a smart lock, those who are handicapped can gain easy access to your home and business. It also provides ease of access for those who cannot easily grip a key due to arthritis or other issues.


Better Security


There are many ways to pick a lock. The old solution was to come out with a new lock, that would then be cracked for burglars to pick. Today, you can install a smart lock. This keyless entry gives would-be robbers no way to access the deadbolt.

You can also have convenience such as a remote monitoring or tie your smart lock into a full-home or full-office security system. This way, you can receive alerts about suspicious activity.

 


Contact Boyd & Associates to Learn More About Keyless Door Locks