Tips To Keep Children Safe When They Are Home Alone

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

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

Child Home Safety Tips: Home Alone Age Guidelines

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

7 Years Old And Younger

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

8 To 10 Years Old

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

11 To 12 Years Old

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

13 To 15 Years Old

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

16 To 17 Years Old

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

Child Home Safety Tips And Rules To Teach

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

  1. Tell Them To Lock The Doors

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

  1. Never Open The Door To Strangers

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

  1. Talk About Telephone Rules

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

  1. Use Social Media Responsibly

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

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

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

  1. Teach Them About Fire Safety

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

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

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

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

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

 

Do I Need Fire Alarm Monitoring?

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

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

Fire Alarm Monitoring Ensures Immediate Action

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

Special Needs Residents

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

Leave It To The Professionals

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

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

Restaurant Safety and Risk Prevention

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

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

  1. Keep Entrances Safe

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

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

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

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

  1. Food Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video Surveillance Security Tips For Businesses

Video surveillance is a vital and effective security solution that protects all business types. It acts as a crime deterrent and can help identify suspects in the event of a criminal incident.

To ensure your business video surveillance system is operating at peak performance, we have compiled a list of five fundamental video surveillance tips:

  1. Secure Your Surveillance System From Hackers

Advancements in technology have made it possible for hackers to gain access to security cameras. Today, many businesses utilize Internet Protocol (IP) cameras that require an Internet connection for operation. Consider the following practices when securing your video surveillance system from cyber criminals:

  • Change your surveillance system password every three months and utilize proper password management.
  • Always change default usernames and passwords. These factory-preset logins are often readily available online, making it easier for hackers to access your system.
  • Secure your business network. An unsecured network risks leaving open access points in your system, giving hackers the opportunity to compromise your surveillance cameras.
  • Never connect your cameras to a public network. Hackers can easily access information, like video surveillance credentials, through shared networks.
  • Choose cameras with encrypted signals. Encryption disguises information sent over the Internet, making it challenging for hackers to identify valuable data.
  1. Avoid Video Surveillance Legal Liabilities

Your business’ safety is a top priority, but so is the privacy of your employees and customers. When installing cameras throughout your business, be sure to avoid areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This includes:

  • Bathrooms
  • Dressing rooms
  • Exam rooms
  • Locker rooms
  • Hotel rooms

Additionally, understand the laws around video and audio recording so you don’t invade anyone’s privacy. Laws vary from state to state, so visit your State Labor Agency website to learn about camera privacy laws in your region.

  1. Strategically Place Cameras

Strategically placed cameras help business owners easily identify and promptly respond to potentially hazardous situations. Video surveillance cameras are most effective when they are:

  • Installed above all entrances and exits, to see who is coming and going.
  • Capable of watching over areas with high-value items, like office technology, stockrooms, and cash registers.
  • Placed under sufficient lighting for higher-quality video footage.
  • Positioned to capture wide angles for fuller surveillance coverage.
  1. Store Video Footage in the Cloud

Cloud solutions can help businesses increase storage capabilities and more easily access surveillance camera footage. Cloud-based systems offer a strong alternative to traditional analog systems. If properly installed, cloud storage can boost your business’s overall security measures because it is:

  • Cost-effective: IP cameras can eliminate the need for an onsite digital video recorder (DVR) or network video recorder (NVR).
  • Accessible: When housed in the cloud, surveillance footage can be viewed via smartphone, tablet, or a desktop web browser at any time.
  • Flexible: New users, locations, and cameras can be added to your existing infrastructure without rewiring.
  1. Increase Business Security with Additional Camera Features

You can also improve the effectiveness of your business surveillance system with some additional features, including:

  • Adjustable angles: Cameras that are mobile and can tilt or zoom for multiple views.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) technology: Cameras hosted on monitoring platforms powered by artificial intelligence can automatically monitor all footage and alert users about unusual events.
  • Day/night capabilities: Cameras with night vision use infrared LEDs to provide clear images in near low-light conditions.
  • High resolution: Higher resolutions give the best quality image.
  • IP-based versus wired: Video cables are not required with IP-based systems.
  • Weatherproof: Cameras that can withstand outdoor conditions.
  • Remote access: Sync your video surveillance system to your mobile security app to control settings and view footage on your mobile device.

Do you have questions about ways to enhance your video surveillance system? Talk to our security experts today!

How Does A Motion Sensor Work: Best Placement Practices

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

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

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

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

Corner Spaces

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

Near Valuables

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

Second Floor Bedrooms

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

Ceilings

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

Within Decorations

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

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

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

Near Windows

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

Near Heat Sources

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

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

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

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

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 became 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 adopt 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 detectors 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 may impact your systems, 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 afterward. 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!

 

 

 

3G Shutdown – What It Means And How Your Home Security System May Be Affected

You may be aware that cellular carriers have announced they intend to fully “sunset” 3G technologies by 2022. 3G is short for “third-generation wireless technology,” which carriers are phasing out in favor of faster and more advanced technology like the 4G (LTE) and 5G networks.

Many security systems rely on local cellular carriers to communicate system activity with the monitoring station. It’s possible at the time of your installation, 3G was the optimal technology available in your area and you may need to schedule an onsite panel update.

How Will The 3G Shutdown Affect Your System?

Your home security system includes a cellular transmitter that is necessary to communicate with our central service station in the event of an emergency. If your device is currently reliant on 3G networks, it will no longer function when the 3G sunset takes place.

As a result of the 3G network shutdown, even if your alarm appears to function, it will no longer communicate with our central service station to notify us that emergency services are needed. Any devices that use 3G technology will no longer be supported and affected consumers will need to schedule an onsite panel update to avoid any potential disruptions.

You Already Received a Notice from Us About 3G Shutdown

We are keeping a close watch on all areas and systems that will be affected by 3G sunsetting. If you live in an area that will be affected, you should have already received a notice from us to schedule your update.

If you have already received communication from Boyd & Associates about updating your home security system, it is very important that you get in contact with us as soon as possible to avoid service interruption.

Boyd & Associates is Here to Guide You Through 3G Sunsetting

At Boyd & Associates, the protection and peace of mind of our customers are our top priority. If your security system is currently running on 3G, after 3G sunset, your system may lose its ability to communicate with our central monitoring station in the event of an emergency.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Even if you’re not sure if your area is affected by 3G sunsetting, contact us today to check. We want to ensure your home and family stay protected.

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

Take action today and avoid service disruptions!

How Safe is Your Garage?

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

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

  1. Organize and Declutter

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

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

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

  1. Mitigate Fire Hazards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Avoid Security Vulnerabilities

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

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

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

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.