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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!

Why Are Doorbell Cameras Becoming More Popular?


Doorbell cameras are tiny non-obstructive cameras that are fixed near the entrance of your house. These cameras work as a major security measure and a doorbell at the same time. But with the rise in automation, the doorbell has also added a set of new features like motion-sensing, two-way communications and viewing live footage on your phone or laptop.


These kinds of doorbell cameras have become really popular for home security. Many times, we watch popular news stories on people’s homes getting robbed and the footage caught by the doorbell camera helps the police investigate the situation. We also come across stories where delivery people mishandle delivery packages and end up damaging the content inside. With the smart doorbell, you can track how people behave and interact with your home when you are not there.


Keeping your family and home safe is the top priority of most of the people today. In this article we will talk about why doorbell cameras are getting so much attention today:


1. Offers two-way communication


Many doorbell cameras offer features like two-way communication. You can easily communicate with anyone who rings your doorbell, through the speaker sitting from any corner of your house. Great home security systems make life easier. For instance, if you are not at home and someone shows up, you can always speak through the phone and convey the message to the guest. Confusing visitors by using this feature also prevents anyone from messing with your home, even when you are not physically present.


2. Equipped with night vision


The cover of night is a robber’s paradise. This is when burglars and intruders are most likely to attack homes. During times like these, it is always advisable not to open the door for every person that knocks on your door at this time. Most of these doorbell cameras are equipped with night vision features and infrared. This lets your home security system survey around your home, as you rest peacefully.


3. Gives you the advantage of screening every visitor


The main reason why doorbell cameras are actually getting all the hype today is because it allows you to screen any visitor that arrives at your doorstep. Home alarm systems come with motion-detecting sensors and other features that give you an update on who is coming to your door. In this manner, you can never miss out on friends, family, and unexpected visitors dropping by your house every now and then. 

 


Conclusion


Doorbells with cameras are the first step you can take to a safer and more sophisticated life. With Boyd & Associates watching your back, doorbells have never been so convenient. These are not that expensive per se, but one can always invest in a legitimate smart doorbell with a camera. At the end of the day, you, your family and your home are all safer off with the doorbell camera. Call Boyd & Associates today and ask about our new promotions!

Catch Me If You Can: Inside The Mind Of A Burglar

A groundbreaking new study by a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte examines hundreds of convicted offenders to gain an unprecedented look inside the mind of a burglar, providing a remarkable insight into an intruder’s motivation and methods.

The survey, entitled “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective,” was conducted by Dr. Joseph B. Kuhns of the university’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.  Funding was provided by the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF), which is the tax-exempt foundation that serves as the research arm for the electronic security industry with support from the Electronic Security Association (ESA).

What Deters The Typical Con Man

According to the study, a majority of burglars considered the presence of deterrents such as alarms, outdoor cameras and other surveillance equipment when choosing a potential residential or commercial target.  Approximately 83 percent of the offenders said they would attempt to determine if an alarm was present before attempting a burglary, and 60 percent said they would seek an alternative target.  Among those who discovered the presence of an alarm while attempting a burglary, half reported they would discontinue the attempt, while another 31 percent said they would sometimes retreat.  Only 13 percent said they would always continue the attempt even after an alarm had been discovered.

Video Cameras Are A Must

The presence of video surveillance was also an effective deterrent.  Nearly 60 percent of the burglars said they would consider the presence of cameras or other video equipment when selecting a target and more than 40 percent said that would be a factor in prompting them to choose another target.

In addition to Kuhns at UNC Charlotte, other researchers are Dr. Kristie R. Blevins, Easter Kentucky University; and R. Seungmau “Zech” Lee, Western Illinois University.  For more information and to read the study in its entirety, go to www.AIREF.org.

About Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates is a premier full-service security firm with more than 600 associates serving homeowners, businesses, and gated communities throughout Southern California. And while the company has changed since 1967, it continues to stay true to its roots of striving for excellence for its customers and setting the standard for service within the security industry.

How Light and Sound Help to Deter Amateur Buglers

In preventing a burglary at your home, value the deterrent effect of light and sound equally.

Leaving lights on in strategic areas is important in giving your home the lived-in look. But of equal importance is arranging to have a television or a radio turned on at dinner time and off at midnight. This can be done with inexpensive timers.In other words, make the home look as normally would when occupied.

It’s Ok To Keep The TV On Sometimes

Remember, the potential burglar is probably living within a five-minute walk of your home. If this person hears a television or radio playing, the natural assumption is that someone is home, and that is exactly the image you are striving for.

Make Them Think You Are Home, When You’re Not

Low cost, low voltage, outdoor decorative lights are also a great deterrent. A set of six yard lights with a timer, transformer and wire can be easily installed yourself.

A burglar, intent on preying upon the residences of Southern California has only to walk down a street at night and look around to pick his target. Can you truly imagine him picking a well-lighted yard to crawl into as opposed to the freedom of walking into a darkened yard surrounding a house with no evidence of being occupied? It strains credulity, doesn’t it?

Pro Burglars vs. Amateur Burglars

Now, the skeptics are going to reply that a professional burglar won’t be deterred by these cosmetic devices. That may be true, but the amateur burglar is the one committing most of the burglaries in our city. Low-cost means of making your home a tougher target for crimes might force the intruder elsewhere.

I know a man who had a small manufacturing plant in a very isolated area far from any police patrol or alarm company. He kept a flock of geese inside the warehouse. The racket sent up by the fowl when an intruder came within one hundred yards was deafening.

Low Tech & High Tech: A Great Combination

Certainly, if you have expensive jewelry or a fabulous art collection in your home, I would suggest you call a professional security consultant and combine sophisticated intrusion alarm system with greatly beefed-up lights, locks and fences. In the meantime, anything you can do to cut down the odds of being the target of a burglar will be well worth the effort.

About Boyd & Associates

Since 1967, Boyd & Associates has been providing total security for homes, businesses, and communities of every size and type. We combine advanced systems, responsive service and rigorously trained security teams to create a strong, nimble and formidable force that deters, detects and responds – for total security.

Should I Use A Fake Security Sign To Protect My Home

A burglary happens every 15 seconds somewhere in the United States. In nearly every burglary, the criminal makes a series of assessments to decide whether robbing a home is worth the risk. Sometimes a simple security sign or sticker is enough to deter a would-be thief; but not always. Criminals are savvy and if they feel it is worth the effort, they will make further evaluations to see if there is indeed a system, and what it would take to get past it.

One Layer of Deterrence

Criminals look for a sure thing. If they think that the risk is not worth the reward, they move on. For this reason, displaying security signs and window decals is a great first step in crime prevention. They are however, only one step in the many it takes in protecting your home.

Looking For Signs

Criminals do considerable research before committing a crime. Even when a home has security stickers, the criminal may still spend some time and effort looking for signs of an active security system. They may knock at your door asking for directions to see if you have a keypad visible from the door, or look for mirrors that could give them a better view. Criminals also watch your comings and goings and look for signs of home automation that would indicate the use of a comprehensive alarm system.

Criminals are savvy and if they feel it is worth the effort, they will make further evaluations to see if there is indeed a system, and what it would take to get past it.

The Pitfalls of Fake Signs

Fake security signs seem like a great, inexpensive deterrent against crime, but are they? Chances are pretty good that the criminal has already seen the fake sign and has already determined its validity. Criminals simply Google the name of the company or compare the sign to others online and discover quickly that it is not real. Remember, if you found a place to buy the sign, they can find the same place just as easily. In the event of a robbery, it is not a very economical choice at all.

Home Security Systems and Signage are the Best Option

According to a comprehensive 5 year study conducted by Rutgers University, homes with security systems are 60% less likely to be burglarized, and in the event of a burglary, homeowners end up losing $2000 less than a similar home without security.

The best security is layered security where visual deterrents work alongside physical deterrents. If you have any questions about how to create the most effective layered security, give us a call today!

Prevent Burglars from Targeting Your Home

Following these tips can dramatically reduce the chance of being burgled and having precious valuables and memories stolen from your home. Be safe and secure.

Home security is one subject where the old adage still rings true: prevention is better than the cure.

Sure, home insurance can cover you in the event of theft, but you still have to go through the hassle of submitting a claim – not to mention the psychological damage suffered. Similarly, security cameras or vandal paint can help when attempting to capture criminals after the event, but again there is distress and potential loss of possessions in the meantime.

So how can you make your home less attractive to burglars? There are some tips that we can provide that will help make your home seem less appealing. A few of these ways include:

Keeping it Locked

A lot of burglaries are the result of opportunistic thieves spotting the chance for a quick score and grabbing it.

An open door, even if you’re in the house and are bringing things in and out, is enough of an invitation for a quick-footed burglar to nip in and grab smaller valuables. Similarly, a flimsy looking door or frame can have the best locks in the world – they won’t protect your home from a swift kick or a robust shoulder charge

Statistics show that 30% of all illegal entering of buildings occurs through a window, so this is obviously an area that needs focus. If you have sash windows at ground level, invest in strong and visible locks and dead bolts to ensure they cannot be forced open by a passing intruder. Double glazed or laminated windows are a must. Opportunists will immediately be put off by their strength, and they bring a host of other benefits, such as heat insulation, to prevent energy loss.

Nobody Home?

Leaving your home for a while? Just because your home is empty, it doesn’t have to look that way.  Security checks when you go on holiday should be a fundamental necessity for all homeowners, as many houses are targets if it is obvious the home is unoccupied for a lengthy period of time. Keep lights on and, if possible, a radio or TV. Any small valuables, such as laptops, purses, phones, tablets and more, should be well out of sight from anyone peering through the window.

Security lights might not put off hardier criminals, but the alarm they may cause passing chancers may be sufficient to scare them away.

When going away for a longer period, try to arrange for someone to park their car in your driveway or on the street outside. If they’re someone you trust, give them a key and ask them to open and close curtains at appropriate times, move mail from the doormat and generally keep an eye on the place.

Alarms and Visible Deterrents

Along with motion sensor lighting, as mentioned above, having a noticeable burglar alarm installed for your home is base-level burglary prevention. If the sight of an alarm isn’t enough to deter a would-be intruder, then its noise should be sufficient to frighten them away and alert your neighbors.

There are different types of burglar and security systems that you can purchase which will be suitable for your home. If you want to upgrade your security even more then installing CCTV is also a sure-fire way of reducing the chances of burglars stepping onto your premises. This can also be used as evidence for prosecution and your insurance.

Dogs can be beneficial as visible/audible deterrents, but selecting the right balance between noisy and aggressive can be tricky, and it’s important to ensure that home security isn’t the only reason you’re buying a dog.

Keep Your Keys Safe

This could be the most obvious advice, but it is the one that is most forgotten. As stated before, the majority of burglars are opportunists and if they have easy access to your keys then they will take them.

For this reason, we advise that you don’t place your keys anywhere near your door or window of your home. If they are out of sight then it doesn’t give the thieves the opportunity for an easy break-in. We would also advise to NOT purchase any fake rocks for putting your spare key in. This goes for leaving it under a plant or the mat on your front doorstep as well.

Follow our advice to dramatically reduce the chance of being burgled and having precious valuables and memories stolen from your home. Be safe and secure.

This article by Richard Peat was published on the Security Today website:  http://security-today.com