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Ways to Stay Safe During A Winter Blackout

by Cassie February 23, 2017

A winter blackout without heat or electricity is everyone’s worst nightmare. It is essential to know what to do in case you end up stuck in a cold and miserable situation like this.

Dress Warm
Your home may become cold very quickly, so dress as if you were prepared to go outside. Dressing in layers is recommended and helps retain body heat. The most heat escapes through your head and feet, so put on socks and a hat right away.

Let Faucets Trickle
This will not keep your home warm but it will keep your pipes from bursting. If the heat in your home drops too rapidly then your pipes could freeze and potentially burst. This would lead to a massive plumbing emergency.

Use Sleeping Bags
Use sleeping bags even when you’re sleeping in your bed. The enclosed comforter will trap heat and keep you warm when trying to sleep in very cold temperatures.

Get Everyone In One Room
Making sure your family stays together in a blackout situation is important. It is a good idea just for safety but also will allow you to consolidate body heat.

Block Drafts
It is important to keep as much heat inside your home as possible. Blocking all drafts near windows or doors is vital to keeping heat inside. Plus, the less cold air that comes in, the warmer it will get.

Use Candles
Using candles is a great idea because they provide both heat and light. Make sure to always practice proper fire safety and not leave candles unattended or around small children.

Be Aware Of Home Security
A blackout could be a potentially dangerous situation for your home and your family. My Alarm Center’s home security is designed to work even without electricity. If there is an emergency without power, My Alarm Center can help you handle it.

Being inside your home during a power outage can be a scary and difficult situation. It’s necessary to have a plan in place to stay warm and keep your house from being damaged.

Preparing Your Car For Winter Weather

by Amy February 8, 2017

The winter season is full of unpredictable weather, making for unpredictable car troubles. The greatest way to avoid car inconveniences is to be prepared before any problems occur. There are several things you can do to prepare your car before the snow falls and be ready for any winter weather situation.

Winter Tires

A good place to start is by buying a set of winter tires. Winter tires are made with a rubber compound that stays pliable even in cold weather. This will lead to enhanced traction on the road, even when it’s wet and icy.

Tire Pressure

It’s also important to keep an eye on your tire pressure. You can purchase a gauge at any auto supply store and follow your vehicle’s manual recommendations for pressure level. Some gas stations even offer free tire fill ups.

Check Antifreeze Levels

Make sure your antifreeze is filled to the proper level. This is what keeps your engine from freezing during the colder months. Without it, your engine could freeze, which would lead to a whole slew of different problems. Kits for checking your engine’s coolant levels are sold at auto supply stores. Your car manual will also let you know what levels are necessary to run your vehicle efficiently.

Winter Wiper Fluid

Different types of wiper fluid are made for different seasons and it’s important to determine if your car is properly fueled with the proper wiper fluid. Winter fluid will help loosen ice and snow from your windshield, making it easier to keep things clear.

Winter-Grade Oil

Switch to a winter-grade oil at your next oil change. The colder the weather, the thinner you want the oil in your engine to be. The idea is to switch to an oil that has a lower cold weather viscosity grade. If you normally use 10W-30 oil, switching to 5W-30 oil will greatly benefit your vehicle.

Test Your Battery

Extremely cold weather has the potential to kill a bad car battery. It’s a struggle to jump your car in cold weather, so it’s important to get your battery tested and charged if necessary. Make sure the voltage is above 10 when the car cranks, and above 12 when the car is running. If you notice your battery is going bad, make sure to immediately replace it.

Car Emergency Kit

You should have a car emergency kit in your vehicle year-round but especially throughout the winter season. Some items to include are a blanket, extra phone charging cord, gloves, snow boots, a heavy coat, extra food and water, a flashlight, a tow rope, and backup jumper cables. These resources will be very useful in case of many different emergencies.

Snow Shovel In Your Trunk

Make sure to keep a snow shovel in your car for when it gets stuck in the snow. It’s also a good idea to keep an ice scraper on hand.

Roadside Assistance Membership

Consider purchasing a roadside assistance membership. Especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of snowstorms and ice throughout the winter season. AAA or Better World Club provide help in any situation you cannot get out of with just a phone call – a good way to feel secure no matter what happens on the road.

Protect your family and keep them safe while on the road. Take the time to prepare for the winter season. Have supplies ready for any emergency. My Alarm Center provides home security to keep you safe and wants to help you stay safe on the road as well.

Securing Your Garage

by Cassie January 24, 2017

Locking your front door is something of a ritual to you at this stage of the game, right? You retire to your bedroom, curl up with a good book, and sleep soundly knowing that you’ve locked your doors and are protected. But have you ever considered your garage door? It may look like a veritable welcome mat to someone trying to take your valuables. However, security systems and other measures can be taken to keep unwanted guests on the outside.

Don’t Leave Your Garage Remote In Your Car

If your door has a remote open feature, do not leave the remote in your vehicle no matter where it is parked. A quick visit to any local home improvement store to replace your larger remote in favor of a transportable keychain remote will give you added peace of mind knowing that there is no access to unlock your garage door without your knowledge. Just match the brand and the year and be sure to read the manual for activation instructions.

Lock The Doors And Windows

Be certain that all windows are in the lock position. For added measure, you can install pre-made bars or fashion steel pipes to either side of the windowpane to create a barrier. If you have a connecting door from your garage to the main interior of your home, be sure that the lock on this door is always fastened properly.

Cover Windows

Burglars are usually on the hunt for access points, but are also attracted to low hanging fruit. To that end, installing curtains or blinds to your windows can help divert unwanted attention from your home. If blinds are not an option for you, an opaque wallpaper will distort any activity inside your garage.

Motion Detector Exterior Lights

Motion sensor lighting can scare away bandits and alert you in enough time to intervene in any situation. The infrared lights sense body temperature and anything that moves. You can adjust the timer for the length that any given light will stay on and give the illusion that you are home and awake.

Install A Security System

After you’ve taken proper precautions, you’ll want to consider installing a home security system. My Alarm Center security alarms can help catch prowlers off guard and alert you and the police to their misadventures.

The safety of your family and property is important. Follow this guide to protect your assets and sleep the night away knowing that your home is protected on all fronts, inside and out.  

Transferring Your Home Security

by Amy January 9, 2017

Automated home value

When moving your family into a new home, you want to know you’ll all be as safe there as you were in your old one. My Alarm Center makes transferring your home security system simple and convenient even at a time as stressful as moving into a completely new house. Let My Alarm Center take the worry out of securing your new home with our Smart Move Program.

  • My Alarm Center’s home security equipment is wireless and is not hardwired into your home, making My Alarm Center’s home security equipment easy to move anywhere at any time. My Alarm Center’s home security systems can move with the homeowners even if you plan to move out of state. And, no matter where you go, My Alarm Center’s home security services will continue to be the same price unless more equipment is needed. There is also an option to have a completely new home security system installed for individual circumstances that may require it.
  • My Alarm Center can also take over most home security systems from other home security companies that are already installed in your new house. My Alarm Center will work hard to replace any machinery at a minimum cost if necessary.
  • My Alarm Center’s home security services can also be transferred to the new owner of your old home. Plus, if you are willing and able to assist in offering our home security services to the new homeowner, you’ll receive a $100 referral bonus. This offer also applies to any friends or family you refer our home security services to.

To protect your family and prevent any home break ins, continue your home security service when moving into a new house. My Alarm Center home security provides an easy and convenient way to transfer your home security system and services, without any extra cost, so you can continue protecting your family no matter where you go.

Winterizing Your Home

by Cassie December 27, 2016

It is important to prepare your home for each season. There are many different factors that can affect your home depending on the weather. Before the winter season it is especially essential to prepare your home for the cold weather and possible snowfall.

  • Clear Dead Tree Limbs
    Most people forget dead tree limbs can fall and significantly damage your home. These branches can damage your roof, siding, gutters, porch, decks, and even your cars. It is important to cut these branches down before strong winds knock them down.
  • Weatherproof Your Plumbing
    Ensure that your pipes are properly insulated and won’t To weatherproof the entire exterior of your home, shut off all external water sources like hose spigots or sprinkler systems. Cover the outdoor components of your air conditioner or swamp cooler as well to save them from the harsh winter elements.
  • Seal Leaks
    Before the winter brings snow, make sure that all your shingles are securely fastened, especially around your chimney, flues, windows, or other openings. Keep an eye on places in your home that could be damaged by ice. Caulking cracks in the foundation and installing weather stripping will also help to protect your home from the unpredictable elements.
  • Inspect Your Chimney
    Before using your fireplace this winter, make sure to call a chimney sweep to inspect your chimney and clean out previous soot that still may be inside. An uncleaned fireplace is a dangerous fire hazard.
  • Home Energy Audits
    Home energy audits use specialized equipment to inform you of potential trouble areas of your home. A home energy audit can help make your home more comfortable throughout the winter and keep it working in an energy efficient manner, saving you money while keeping you warm. Home energy auditors could suggest anything from installing additional insulation to replacing poorly performing appliances.
  • Research Winter Rebates
    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was created to put billions of dollars into helping homeowners make their homes more energy efficient. This act has led several states and utility districts to offer rebate programs and other incentives to help you conserve energy. Find out if your home state offers a stimulus package.
  • Radon Testing
    Radon is an invisible and odorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The winter season is the best time to conduct this sort of testing because of the lack of outside air being released into your home. You can purchase your own test kit at any local hardware store or hire a professional to conduct this sort of test for you.
  • Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors
    Before the winter season starts, replace the old batteries in your carbon monoxide detector. If your home furnace hasn’t been inspected recently, this is highly suggested as a broken furnace can release CO into your home. My Alarm Center home security systems offer a carbon monoxide monitoring system that will text you the levels of CO in your home. This system alerts emergency authorities as soon as carbon monoxide becomes a problem.
  • Check For Mold
    The winter season is the most common time for mold to form. It can worsen allergies and cause asthma attacks while compromising the human immune system. Mold forms near water sources, so be sure to check within the bathroom and basement. By preventing leaks, you are also preventing mold from forming.
  • Program Your Thermostat
    Throughout the winter season, make sure your thermostat is on a programmed schedule. This will save money by turning heat on and off in response to occupied rooms. My Alarm Center offers a home automation system that allows you to remotely control your thermostat, which is convenient and helps save energy.

Before the winter season starts, make sure your home is prepared to take on the cold. Check the exterior, save money on energy, be prepared for leaks, and take precautions before a disaster hits. Prepare your home and your family for the inevitable snowy months.

6 Benefits Of Home Security Systems

by Amy December 7, 2016

There are many advantages to owning a home security system. They help keep your family safe, let you focus on the more important aspects of life, and give you peace of mind. Here are some other reasons to consider a home security system:

  • Protects Valuables

The alarm alone is enough to deter an intruder. However, once the alarm has sounded, the police are immediately notified and dispatched so your home is kept safe at all costs.

  • Helps Save Energy

Nowadays, home security systems also include many home automation features. This system will allow you to monitor your energy usage and shut off utilities when you are no longer in the room. This leads to lower monthly bills and less wasted energy.

Saving energy isn’t the only advantage of home automation. You can change the lighting, temperature, music, TV, and control numerous other aspects of your home from a device as simple as your smart phone.

  • Lowers Insurance

Many insurance agencies give discounts to members who have a home security system. This is a great way to cut down on expenses.

Fire and carbon monoxide detectors are vital features of any home security system. They can detect dangers that you can’t, such as invisible, poisonous carbon monoxide. As soon as the alarm has sounded, emergency services are on call to help. These detectors provide an indispensable advantage to protecting your family from emergencies that are usually out of your control.

  • Remote Surveillance

Remote surveillance allows you to watch your home at any hour of the day from any location. You can view the live feed from the wireless security cameras through an app on your smart phone. It can even alert you when people leave and enter your home – a great way to keep an eye on the kids whether you’re on vacation or just at work.

Home security systems are an investment. The right systems can keep your valuables safe while saving you money in the process. They also give peace of mind and let you know someone will always be there in case of an emergency. Protect your family, yourself, and make life a little easier by adding a security system into your home.

High Tech Personal Fitness Gift Ideas

by Cassie November 21, 2016

A Work out safely message from My Alarm Center

There’s always that one person you have a hard time shopping for. This year, get them a totally awesome fitness accessory. These high-tech gift ideas are perfect for combatting big holiday meals and staying on top of those resolutions.

  1. Subscription to Pandora ONE

Pandora One provides more skips, is ad free, and features premium audio quality. This is the ideal gift for those who work out to music.

  1. Misfit Shine

The Misfit Shine allows you to track movements and activities through an iOS App to achieve your fitness goals. This device can be worn as a bracelet or pendant and is waterproof. This would be a fitting gift for anyone interested in water sports.

  1. Knuckle Lights

These are designed to be worn on your hands while exercising at night. Quintessential for running, cycling, walking, hiking, and skiing.

  1. Fitbit Aria

This product measures body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI). It can accommodate up to 8 users and transfer the data to your computer using wireless technology. When connected with your smartphone, it can even notify you when you’ve achieved a fitness goal.

  1. Wireless Headphones to Keep Ears Warm

New technology designs turn earmuffs into headphones for running or cycling in the winter. Never choose between cold ears or music again.

  1. Sportiiis

Sportiiis was created for cyclists looking to track their stats while exercising. Sportiiis accurately and safely tracks your heart rate with 6 LED lights. This technology can be mounted onto sunglasses and uses voice prompts to relay speed, heart rate, cadence, and power.

  1. Umoro One

This water bottle functions like any other, except with the push of the button it can release up to 1.5 scoops of whey protein mix or any other powdered drink mix.

These fun fitness gifts are ideal for anyone on your holiday list. There are many different types of fitness trackers and apps so be sure to choose the one that will best benefit the user. Some apps can even connect into the home automation system to help with fitness goals around the house. Make this new year a healthier one with top of the line technology.

7 Winter Driving Tips

by Amy November 9, 2016

12.02

Driving during the winter season poses several threats to your car and your safety. The cold can hinder your car’s mechanical abilities and treacherous conditions can present major safety hazards. Here are some tips to stay safe on the road during the holidays:

o   Clear Off Snow and Ice Before Driving

Snow and ice can be a visual impairment while you’re trying to drive. So, clear the entire car, not just the windshield. Make sure the car is warmed up and your defroster is working to melt snow and ice.

o   Accelerate Slowly

When you apply the gas slowly, it lets the car catch traction and avoid dangerous skids due to bad road conditions. Icy roads make it much harder to slow down during the winter. It’s encouraged to increase the safety distance between the car in front of you from 4 seconds to 10 seconds. For this reason, it is recommended not to use cruise control.

o   Reduce Speed

Speed limits on roads are set for dry conditions. Reduce your speed for icy conditions.

o   Brake Earlier

First, make sure the brakes work properly and determine if you have anti-lock brakes. When braking without antilock brakes you should pump the brakes rather than slamming them as this will lock the wheels and cause your vehicle to skid.

o   Avoid Sudden Turns

When winter road conditions are present, it is essential that you move much slower. This also applies to making turns. A quick turn of the wheel could upset the car’s stability and cause a slide or even a crash.

o   What to Do When Sliding

Always keep your eyes on the road and try to anticipate any dangers that could be present. If you feel as though the back tires have begun to slide, make sure to let off the gas and turn the steering wheel into the direction the car is sliding. This movement will help stabilize the vehicle.

o   Be Cautious of Motorists

Even if you’re in full control of your car, it doesn’t mean that all the other drivers on the road are as prepared as you. Other people may not be paying attention to the wet or icy road conditions, so make sure to leave extra space between the vehicle in front of you at all times. Avoid distractions and always use turn signals as directed by the law.

My Alarm Center wants to remind you that the winter season can create many potential dangers when it comes to driving. Always stay alert and aware of how to handle icy and wet road conditions. Moving slowly and staying attentive will help keep you and your family safe this winter season.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

by Cassie October 27, 2016

Monitored Fire detector

Most people are aware they need fire alarms to warn them of a fire. But many people are not as aware of carbon monoxide. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly and invisible gas. Colorless, tasteless, odorless, and poisonous. In 2007, there were 2,302 confirmed cases of people being hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning. It is essential to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home as many appliances release this deadly gas. My Alarm Center provides a monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detection system that can keep your home safe, even when you’re not there.

The benefits of My Alarm Center’s monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors include:

  • A linked central monitoring board so that when the alarm is set off, help can be notified immediately. This will take place even when you’re not home and when the security alarm is not armed.
  • Monitoring can provide protection to many people who are not capable of responding to a traditional alarm. This could include the elderly, disabled, children, people suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, and pets. The alarm immediately responds to safety providers.
  • The system provided by My Alarm Center monitors carbon monoxide and smoke in the air 24 hours a day.
  • Once the Central Monitoring Station is alerted, it first calls the home to assess the situation. If there is no response, the authorities are immediately contacted.
  • First Responders will arrive at the scene in minutes.

Firefighters recommend placing one monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom and living space to ensure complete safety in the home. Unfortunately, too many people are endangered because they don’t have a working fire alarm or carbon monoxide detector. My Alarm Center’s fire and carbon monoxide detector system has the ability to constantly monitor your home and to keep it safe even when you’re not there. This system can give you peace of mind when you’re not home and alert you before a disaster can take place. Contact My Alarm Center for more information on professionally monitored Carbon Monoxide detectors.

Halloween Safety Tips

by Amy October 14, 2016

10.23
Halloween is one of the most exciting nights for your children. Staying out after dark, dressing up, getting candy. But, as a parent, you want to protect your family and make sure their Halloween is as safe as it is spooky. These tips from SafeWise and Safe Kids Worldwide will ensure your ghost or goblin stays safe trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

Walk Safely
• Make sure to observe all traffic laws, only cross at street corners, and use the sidewalks.
• Remind your kids to look left, right, and then left again before they cross the street.
• Plan a direct route with the safest walking path, always using sidewalks when available.
• If there are no sidewalks, then get as far to the side of the road as possible and walk in the direction of oncoming traffic. That way, drivers will be sure to see you.
• Talk to your child about what to do if they should get lost and make a plan for them to contact you immediately.

Trick or Treat with an Adult
• Children under 12 should not trick-or-treat alone. Plan to have an adult go out with them.
• If a child is allergic to certain candies, make sure they wear their medical alert bracelet, if they have one, and that an adult is present to check candy before eating.

Keep Costumes Safe
• Decorate costumes and treat bags with reflective tape or stickers. The more colorful the costume, the better they will be seen in the dark.
• Choose face paint and makeup over a mask if possible. Masks can make it hard to see.
• Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights with them.
• Make sure the costume fits properly and that it won’t trip anyone.
• When buying costumes, check the label to make sure they’re flame resistant.
• If making a homemade costume, try to use flame resistant fabrics like nylon or polyester and always follow fire safety rules.

Keep Teens Safe
• Send them with a cell phone or some other way to contact you and make sure they check in throughout the night.
• Ask them about their planned route and tell them to stick to it.
• If they’re headed out to a party, make sure it’s a safe environment with adult supervision.
• Remind kids not to engage in Halloween “pranks.” Toilet papering a house and throwing eggs are both disrespectful and illegal.
• If your teen is driving, remind them to use extra precaution on Halloween night.

Halloween is meant to be fun and filled with thrills. Remember these tips to protect your family and make sure all the little Ghoulies come home safe and with bags brimming with candy. Also, worried about keeping your home safe during this holiday of mischief? My Alarm Center is here to help with professionally monitored alarm systems.

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