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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!

Home Security System & Tracking Your Teenage Children

Parenting teenagers comes with a host of challenges. If your teenager tends to sneak out, come home late at night, or you suspect they hang out with the wrong crowd, you’ll want to keep a closer watch on them. A lack of privacy can strain the parent-child relationship. But smart home security devices can help parents look out for their kids, because:

  • Peer pressure can lead adolescents to make the wrong decisions.
  • Your teen’s best friends may not be people you want in your home.
  • Knowing what’s happening at home can avoid wild parties and protect your family.
  • If your teen is coming home from school, you’re working late, or they’ll be out at night, you’ll have some peace of mind.

How a Home Security System Keeps Your Teenager Safe

Your home security needs depend on the behavior of your child. In general, you’ll want a security system that protects your property day or night. The following home security tech can provide protection and help prevent safety issues.

  • Door and Window Alarms: Receive an alert when someone enters or exits your home. Some alarms require entering a code on a panel to enable and disable them; there are also remotely controlled systems, so your teen cannot control the door alarm.
  • Security Cameras: Outdoor security cameras provide the surveillance needed to monitor what your teenager is doing. An adolescent may find this invasive. However, it enables you to track them and protect them from danger. Cameras are also a good preventative measure if you suspect illicit behavior.
  • Motion Sensors: With motion detection, there’s a greater degree of flexibility. Your teen won’t arrive home or leave undetected, while you can know where they are in the house at any time and leave some rooms off-limits.
  • Video Doorbell: A secure solution, a video doorbell is less invasive than a camera pointing at your child. You can even see when your kids get home or who they invite via your smartphone.
  • Automated Features: Modern alarm systems let you arm and disarm them from your phone or set a schedule. They can alert you if your child is late or forgets to lock the door. Even give your kid their own passcode so they can get in the house when you’re not home.

Additional Solutions to Keep Your Teen Safe

Other tech-age tools you can consider include:

  • GPS Vehicle Trackers: If your teen has just started driving, you can monitor their location, speed, and braking and acceleration habits.
  • Parental Control Apps and Software: Use the app to control the content your teen can access as well as their location, which can ensure they’re safe if late when coming home from school.
  • Online Browser Controls: Install software that manages what your teen can access on the internet. These controls can also protect your child from tech-age threats like phishing and malware.

More Advice on Tracking/Protecting Your Teenager

Alarms are helpful and the sound of one can be useful in an emergency or when you have a misbehaving teen. But to maintain your relationship, including your teen in security plans can streamline communications and reduce stress. Letting your child know how you monitor them can encourage them to be honest. And, collaborating with other parents helps to extend the same measures to your teen’s peers, so there are fewer conflicts of interest.

Is Monitoring Your Teen the Best Strategy?

Close monitoring can backfire psychologically. But it can help catch your teen in a lie or let you call out sneaky behavior. Let them know you’ll follow up through the home security system. When things happen, you can have conversations about how to solve the problem and encourage your child to think about what they did wrong. For behaviors like stealing and sneaking out, you can take more urgent measures, so security technology can help you act in your child’s best interests.

Boost Your Home Security, and the Safety of Teenagers, with Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates offers video surveillance and smart video systems, as well as alarm systems and 24/7 monitoring services, that can help keep your teenage children safe. To learn more and request a free quote, call us today at 805-321-6664.

History and Timeline of the Home Security System

The concept of the home security system is nothing new. An intrusion door alarm was invented in the early 1700s. Much like today’s security systems, it alerted homeowners of potential intruders. It was invented by Tildesley, an English inventor who linked a set of chimes mechanically to a door lock. There were other early inventions, but home security was nowhere near as advanced as today’s smart home systems.

Early Advancements in Home Security

Milestones in home security systems enabled people to rely less on guard dogs and startled animals or mechanical equipment that wasn’t always reliable. Some important names in the evolution of security alarm systems include:

  • Augustus Russel Pope: In 1853, Pope developed a prototype electro-magnetic alarm system in Boston. The battery-operated system activated when an electrical circuit was closed as a result of a door or window opening. A flow of current would cause the system’s magnets to vibrate and cause a hammer to strike a brass bell. Additional components kept the bell ringing even if a window or door was closed after the alarm was activated.

 

  • Edwin Holmes: Although not the talented inventor Pope was, Holmes bought the rights to his invention and founded the first electrical alarm system company. He was also a master at advertising, targeting a general public that was skeptical about electricity in the 19th Holmes published the names of his prominent “burglar alarm telegraph” customers in New Yorker magazine and created a brand out of the system. He even connected his customers’ alarm systems to a central control station using the New York City telephone network.

 

  • Edward A. Calahan: Calahan further developed this concept and helped form the American District Telegraph (ADT) in 1871. It divided New York City into districts connected to a central monitoring station. This was the first alarm system that could alert homeowners of a burglary and notify police and fire services simultaneously. Calahan’s emergency call boxes became standard for emergency and messenger services. His company later expanded to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago.

Video Surveillance and Fire Safety Emerges

While video surveillance technology existed in the 1940s, it didn’t become mainstream until the 1970s. The images were grainy at first, but users could see images of visitors on a television monitor. An early advancement was made in 1966, when nurse Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the first home video security system. It was the first time a remote control could be used to open a door.

During this same era, fire alarm technology evolved. Canadian researchers conducted a study in 1962 to examine the life-saving potential of heat and smoke detectors. They found that fatalities from residential fires could be reduced by 8% using heat detectors and 41% with smoke detectors.1 Between 1975 and 1998, smoke alarms attributed to a 50% drop in fire deaths in the U.S.

In the 1980s, security became a large part of home automation technology, as automated garage doors, infrared controls, and fiber optics became mainstream. These systems became more affordable in the 1990s. Today, automated home security systems are commonplace and controlled via familiar devices, including smartphones.

Security, Monitoring, and Automation with Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates offers complete burglar alarm, fire and life safety, and alarm monitoring systems. In addition to home automation services, commercial intrusion detection, access control, and video surveillance systems are also available. To learn more about the latest in automated home security systems and services, contact us at 805-321-6664 today!

Source:
  1. McGuire J, Ruscoe B (1962) Value of a Fire Detector in the Home, Fire Study No. 9. Division of Building Research, National Research Council of Canada, p 12

Advantages of Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras, once associated with the security infrastructure of businesses, government buildings, parking garages, and other high-profile areas, have been popping up in many residential settings. These include both urban and suburban locations and in apartment buildings and single-family homes. Ease of installation and security monitoring services have made using home surveillance cameras and video systems more practical.

Here are some of the greatest advantages of installing a security camera in your home, and even your small business:

Deterrence of Criminal Activity

Real-world studies have found that security cameras and alarm systems affect a burglar’s decision on whether to move forward with their plan. In a 2013 UNC Charlotte study, half of convicted burglars said they would have left a home alone if it were under surveillance. But the effect of security cameras isn’t only on break-ins; they can reduce the theft of packages at the front door as well.

Surveillance cameras are effective when installed in individual homes, townhouses, bungalows, apartment buildings, and condominiums. But they can also protect schools and universities, stores, and shopping malls, as they’re effective at spotting vandals and shoplifters in the act.

Monitor Your Home from Anywhere

Many modern surveillance cameras can be monitored over the internet, even from a mobile device. This is useful when you’re away from home and want to keep tabs on your children or their babysitter. Smart doorbell cameras send alerts and video to your phone when the doorbell rings, so you can see who is at your front door and even communicate with them. You can also see whether packages were delivered, when your child returned home from school, or that they’re safe when you go out to dinner.

Gather Evidence

Security cameras are sophisticated devices in today’s world. They include clear images, video, and audio, so can provide just the evidence needed in a legal scenario. Whether in a legal setting or a dispute among employees or family members, the content of a video feed can help make the most appropriate decisions. Violence or harassment in the workplace and on college campuses can also be recorded so the facts of a case are apparent.

Reduced Insurance Costs

Installing a security camera and/or video surveillance system can reduce your insurance premiums. How much depends on the contract you signed with an insurance company. It helps to have a public record of installing such a system. Doing so protects insurers from fraudulent theft or robbery claims. For a business, whether office or home based, tax deductions can be made on a security system purchase.

Convenient Features

Today’s security camera systems are designed with features that enable you to get the most out of them. Some of these include:

  • Wide-angle lenses
  • Night vision
  • Two-way talk functions
  • Push notifications
  • Motion detection/activation
  • Package delivery alerts
  • Integration with smart locks/lighting
  • Mobile app monitoring/control
  • Playback of video from any time period

21st Century Home Surveillance Systems from Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates provides security cameras and other home automation systems for your protection. We can easily add cameras to your home security system, which record live HD video and deliver on-demand video clips to your smartphone. Alerts and notifications can be provided, while video can be monitored by our central station operators. We also provide outdoor and doorbell cameras as well as interior camera systems.

For information on these plus our alarm monitoring services, smart locks, and commercial access control systems, intrusion detection, and video surveillance, contact us today at 888-248-6617.