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Home Automation While On Vacation

by Amy July 11, 2017

With home automation, you can do most anything in your house with the press of a button. You can turn lights on and off with your phone or adjust the thermometer without getting up. But what happens when you go on vacation? Do you turn your home automation off? Of course not! Even if you’re a thousand miles away you can use home automation to check on your house, have a little peace of mind, and keep things running smoothly. Here are some other ways home automation can make things a little easier even on vacation.

  1. Adjust your smart thermostat to save money and energy. With your MyHome App you can set a low energy schedule before you leave. Forgot to change the temperature in your home and already on the road? Use your smart phone to adjust the thermostat as you see fit!
  2. Adjust your lighting schedule to make it look like someone is home while you’re away. This is a great way to deter burglars from attempting to enter your property. It’s recommended to use various schedules as if normal activity is taking place as the same lights turning on at the same time every night might tip a burglar off as well.
  3. You can use smart sockets to the same effect. Turn appliances on and off at different times to give the appearance that people are watching TV or listening to music. Smart sockets also save energy as unnecessary appliances aren’t left to run.
  4. Set up cameras to record if any motion sensors are triggered. These can be set up to alert your phone so you’ll always know what’s happening in your home.
  5. Give your friend or neighbor a unique code to your Smart Lock or a unique code to arm and disarm the system, if they already have a key, so they can place your mail inside and water your plants while you’re away. If they forget their key, you can unlock the door for them from your phone. You can do the same for your pet sitter and even use your cameras to check in on your furry friends from time to time.
  6. Perhaps you live with an elderly loved one. Set notifications to be alerted if no movement is detected for a period of time.  You can also use your cameras to check in on them, receive alerts if there is an emergency, and even let medical aids in and out with your Lock/Unlock feature.
  7. Set alerts if windows are open for a period and are not closed. That way, if your house sitter forgets to close a window before leaving you will be notified and can remind them to do so.
  8. Set up a notification when someone rings your doorbell so you’ll know who comes by while you’re vacationing. With one of our advanced doorbells, you’ll not only know who it is but also be able to communicate with them from your phone.
  9. Check on your teen, young adult, or other family member who chose to stay behind. It’s the perfect way to make sure they aren’t throwing any parties.
  10. On your way home from your vacation, set your smart thermostat to your desired temperature so that the house is perfect when you arrive. When you arrive home, you can get a quick start on unpacking by using our location services features to open your garage and unlock your doors once you’re close to your house.

With home automation from My Alarm Center you can customize your system to best suit your needs. Let us know how you use home automation when you’re on vacation.

How Many Home Security Cameras Do You Need

by Amy June 22, 2017

There are many different opinions about how many security cameras you need for your home. Some people think having one that appears to be working is enough to prevent an intruder, which may be true, but it will be no help if they figure out it doesn’t work. The number of home security cameras and where you need to place them on what you need to protect and the reason you are using them.

Recommended places for security cameras are:

  • The front door
  • The porch or doorstep
  • The back door
  • The back garden or yard
  • The living room
  • Bedrooms
  • The eating area or the kitchen
  • The garage
  • The basement
  • Emergency exits
  • Close to high interest assets

It is not essential to install security cameras in every one of these areas, but choose the ones that are important to you and will allow you to have full view of your home.

Consider installing cameras for reasons like:

  • Deterring Intruders: Protect your home from burglary and break-ins. Determine what needs protecting in your home and place cameras there. Don’t skip out on the exterior of your home either.
  • Evidence: If someone does break into your home, a video surveillance system lets you see exactly what happened. A good recording can also help police catch the intruder and possibly retrieve what was stolen. Make sure you have high quality cameras to best identify any trespassers.
  • Live streaming: You can view the live feed from your home security app on your phone. Use it to keep an eye on your family and stay in touch with them throughout the day.
  • Alerts: Most security companies have a way to alert you if your security cameras detect movement where there shouldn’t be.

Make sure you’re purchasing enough cameras for what you need and that they are positioned to best spot intruders and keep an eye on the things most valuable to you.

Summer Vacation Security Checklist

by Amy June 19, 2017

Summer is prime vacation season. It’s also prime season for home break-ins. Here’s an important checklist to make sure your summer vacation ends as happily as it began.

Follow the checklist below or click on the image to print:

  • Contact My Alarm Center and let us know you will be out of town
  • Have the post office hold your mail (go to holdmail.usps.com) or have a neighbor collect it
  • Make arrangements to have your lawn mowed
  • Remove hidden house keys
  • Test your system before you leave (visit myalarmcenter.com to learn how)
  • Check your alarm batteries (smoke, carbon monoxide, water detector)
  • Close interior doors to stop thieves from looking through your house (this also acts as a firebreak in case of a fire)

If you have the MyHome® home automation tool, you can also do the following from anywhere:

  • Remotely arm and disarm your system if you have neighbors or workers dropping in
  • Program your indoor/outdoor lighting and electronics to make it seem like you’re home
  • Keep an eye on your home through live videos and have activity reports sent to you

For more about how we can help keep your home safe this summer and beyond, call 855-334-6560 or visit myalarmcenter.com.

How Home Security Benefits Your Community

by Amy May 26, 2017

When there are more home security systems in the neighborhood, there are more cameras to watch the homes and more home alarms to alert the proper authorities of any crimes. Prevent any crimes in your community and help catch the criminals when they do happen to occur.

Exterior Security Cameras Can Watch The Whole Neighborhood

The more security cameras there are in a given neighborhood, the easier it is for detectives who may be looking for clues to help them solve a crime. The more an intruder is recorded on video, the easier it will be to identify them. Instead of having just one security camera spot an intruder, the police can investigate several of your neighbors’ security cameras as well. This community collection of exterior security cameras makes it very easy to catch any intruders.

Fire Can Spread To Other Houses, Fire Alarms Can Stop This

In case a fire does occur in your neighborhood, it is important to make sure the fire doesn’t spread from house to house. If houses are built close together in your neighborhood, then this is an all too likely possibility. Having a monitored fire alarm will alert you and the fire department immediately when there is a fire, making sure that help is on the way before the fire has the chance to spread to anyone else’s property.

Crimes Let Crooks Know The Neighborhood Is Vulnerable

When an intruder is successful in breaking into a home, they know exactly where the neighborhood is vulnerable and there is a chance the community could be victimized again. If your neighbors have home security systems it makes it a lot harder to steal anything and will prevent your neighborhood from being a target.

Once you install your home security system, talk to your neighbors about getting a home security system as well. Help keep your neighborhood safe from crime.

Summer Home Security Tips

by Amy May 24, 2017

Home Security Tips for Summer

 

The weather conditions during the summer season encourage homeowners to naturally become a bit lackadaisical with their home security. Opening doors and windows for that summer breeze and causally straying over to neighbors houses, all the while, leaving their home at risk for a break-in. Homeowners can protect summer fun, personal possessions and family members with several easy security precautions. Check out these summer home security tips:

Door Security

Doors should be locked to keep intruders out of a home regardless of the season. You may be resting on a chaise lounge chair after cutting the grass and then suddenly fall asleep on a cozy backyard patio. The back door to your home and the door to your garage may be unlocked while you are napping after your chores. Those doors could have been locked with a gentle push from your finger. Or even more convenient and safe, home owners can rely on home security systems with automation, which can automatically lock your doors with a remote feature, without worry. Also, surveillance cameras can be used to detect prowlers who are near a front porch or a driveway.

Windows Security

Windows are not typically used for entering a home but do provide an excellent opportunity for an intruder while you’re attempting to get a cool breeze before bed time. You should remember to close and lock all windows, especially before you leave your home. The small effort that you will use to lock those windows will be much less than the effort that you will use if you are forced to repair damages after a burglary.

Garage Security

A homeowner may not lock a garage door while he or she is using a hedge trimmer to trim a bush. The door may not be locked while the grass is being cut or while the homeowner is using a garden tiller in a vegetable garden. You may wash your car and then suddenly go inside the house to quickly answer the phone. If the garage door is not locked, then an intruder could easily steal power tools from your garage or enter at a later point if you neglect to close up securely when you’re finished working or relaxing outside.

Fence Gate Security

The gates for fences should also have high-quality locks, which will provide you with an additional layer of protection. An intruder would be forced to open the gate before having access to the doors for your home. Gates and doorways are excellent locations for motion sensors. If an intruder is on your property, then the motion sensor would activate a light, which would provide favorable conditions for a surveillance camera, and even better yet a deterrent!

Deck Security

The warm weather conditions can lull homeowners into a false sense of security because there are fewer problems while the flowers are in bloom. Family members may go to the backyard deck for quiet moments and for quality time. The lawn furniture, gas grills and bicycles on backyard decks can attract thieves. A Home security system discourages thieves and reduces the risks for a home break in.

As summer settles in, make sure to protect your home and protect your family with these home security tips.

Securing Your Home For A Spring Vacation

by Amy May 1, 2017

Everyone deserves a good spring break but it’s hard not to worry about the safety of your home while away. Take the time to prepare your home so that you won’t have to worry while enjoying your vacation!

Hire A House Sitter If Possible

Houses are frequently targeted because an intruder knows that no one is home. Hire a house sitter to stay in your home while you’re away. That way your house will never appear to be empty.

Don’t Post That You’ll Be Away On Social Media

It’s not smart to post on social media that you’ll be gone. Anyone can see exactly when you’ll be absent and you’d be surprised how easy it is to find out someone’s address these days. Make sure you aren’t advertising that your home is empty and an easy target.

Notify Police You’ll Be Gone

Let the local police know you’ll be away so they can periodically send an officer by to make sure the house is safe. They are more than happy to do so.

Take The GPS Out Of Your Car

If you’re leaving your car at an airport, or anywhere while you’re gone, make sure to take out the GPS. A thief could break into your car and find your home address all too easily. They are aware you aren’t at home and they could use this to their advantage.

Keep Expensive Items Out Of Sight

Move any expensive valuables out of sight while you’re away. Most times, thieves will inspect your home through your windows and see what they could get. Don’t give them the opportunity. If they don’t see anything they want it may deter them from attempting to intrude.

Get Sturdier Locks

If you’re concerned about the strength of your locks, make sure you have them repaired before you leave. Be sure all locks are reinforced so there is no easy point of entry.

Have A Neighbor Pick Up Mail

Ask a friend or a neighbor to retrieve your mail while you’re gone. An overflowing mailbox is a clear sign that no one is home and hasn’t been for several days.

Have Someone Mow The Lawn

Another clear indicator that no one is home is an unkempt lawn. If you’re going away for an extended period, make sure someone is keeping up with your lawn.

Disable The Garage Door Opener

Turn off your garage door opener so that no one can hack it and enter your home through the garage.

Timed Lights Make It Seem Like You’re Home

Consider putting some interior and exterior lights on a timer. This way it will turn them on and off throughout the day and make it seem that someone is home. Be careful of leaving lights on for days at a time, as this could be another indicator that no one is home.

Upgrade Your Home Security

If you do not have a home security system, it is recommended to get one. This is the most efficient way to check up on your home and know it is safe when you’re away.

Wireless Security Lets You Monitor Your Home

Once you install a home security system, you can take advantage of home automation. A home automation system allows you to access your home security cameras at any time, from any place. You can also install motion detectors to be triggered if someone is inside your home.

Take the time to prepare your home and keep it safe while you’re away. Install a home security system so you can always have peace of mind, even if you’re halfway around the world.

Turn Your Smartphone Into A Security System

by Amy April 13, 2017

Home Automation From My Alarm Center

One awesome perk of having a home security system is that your phone can control absolutely everything. The MyHome® smartphone app from My Alarm Center provides you with the ability to control your home security system and home automation system entirely through your smartphone.

  • Home automation climate control allows you to regulate your home’s temperature without having to use the thermostat. You can save energy when no one is home by turning the heater or air conditioner off. Or simply make a room more comfortable without having to get up from your cozy seat.
  • You can likewise use your phone to look at the home security camera feed and monitor your home at all times. You can view your live video feed on up to eight home security cameras simultaneously. You can even create video recordings from the security footage with the simple press of a button on your phone.
  • You can also turn interior and exterior lights on or off with your phone and your home automation system. You can create rules for your lighting so that lights turn on when certain sensors are activated, people enter rooms, or it reaches a certain time of the day. This is a great way to make your home appear lived in if you are away for some time.
  • If any motion sensors are ever set off in your home, the MyHome® app will send alerts to your phone so you’ll always be aware.
  • You can remotely arm and disarm your home alarm to provide family or friends with access to your house while you are out.

My Alarm Center provides home security systems and home automation systems for Philadelphia residents. They provide expert home security services while the MyHome® app gives you full control of your home automation, makes your life far more convenient, and puts your mind at ease.

Tips For A Smooth Moving Day

by Amy March 30, 2017

Moving is one of the most stressful things you can go through. Between forgetting to pack the little things, all the last-minute reminders, and everything that needs to be set up in your new home, you could probably use these tips to make your moving day a smoother one.

When You’re Packing Up

  • Look over the Bill of Lading. This is the contract you have with the moving company. Make sure it says exactly what terms you agreed to and ask any questions you have before the movers put anything in their truck.
  • Supervise packing. Even though movers are professionals, keep an eye on them while they’re packing up. You will know that all your possessions are packed properly and being treated with care, easing your stress.

Checking Your Home

  • Make sure to do a full walkthrough of the house to make sure nothing is forgotten. Go through every room, even the attic and crawlspaces. You wouldn’t want to leave anything behind just because it is out of sight.
  • Check for any damage the movers may have caused. This needs to be documented so that you don’t have any problems while your house is being sold.
  • Have cash ready for tips and for any tolls you may go through on the road. Being prepared will ensure your stress stays at a minimum.
  • Make sure the movers have your phone number in case they get lost on the way to your new home.

Your New Home

  • Do your best to beat the moving truck to your new home so that you don’t get charged for any extraneous fees from the moving company.
  • Do a walkthrough with your real estate agent. Make sure that everything you agreed upon is up to date and everything is where it’s supposed to be.
  • Check the utilities in your new home. Ensure that power outlets are working properly as well as showers, toilets, and sinks. If you discover a problem early in the day, it will give you a chance to address it before you try to sleep at night.
  • Tape names to the doors to assist the movers. Make a clear plan for them to follow so that you don’t have to move boxes from room to room.
  • Don’t schedule your cable installation or home security installation for your moving day. This is too much to deal with, particularly if you must deal with any unexpected challenges. Plan to have these set up the day after you move in or contact My Alarm Center about having home security set up before you even move in.

Moving day is always stressful, no matter how much planning you put into it. Do your best to be as organized as possible and stay hydrated. Remember, it’s okay to take breaks and grab a snack if you need one.

Essentials For Your Home First Aid Kit

by Amy March 16, 2017

Even when you are in the safety of your Philadelphia home, you want to make absolutely sure that you are prepared for any and every possible emergency. Keeping a first aid kit in your home, that you and your entire family always have easy access to, is the perfect form of medical emergency preparation. Here are some important items to make sure to include in your easily accessible home first aid kit:

  • Tweezers
  • Triangular Band Aids
  • An oral thermometer
  • 5 sterile gauze pads
  • A pair of scissors
  • 1 roller bandage
  • A tube of Hydrocortisone cream
  • Hypoallergenic non-latex gloves
  • An instant cold compress
  • A blanket
  • Aspirin
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • 25 adhesive bandages
  • Codeine or any pain killer
  • Chemical ice bags
  • A roll of gauze tape
  • Benadryl
  • An EpiPen
  • Sterile eyewash
  • Any extra prescription medications
  • An emergency dental kit
  • Sunblock
  • Vaseline
  • Burn cream and dressings

Having these items easily accessible at all times in your home medical kit assures that you are unquestionably ready for any emergency. It is also highly recommended to buy a home medical alert system or medical alert bracelets for anyone in your house who could potentially be in danger due to a chronic health issue they may have. The medical alert system or medical alert bracelet contacts the appropriate emergency faculties as soon as it senses something is wrong with the heartbeat or blood pressure of the wearer. My Alarm Center provides medical alert systems in Philadelphia and uses this lifesaving state of the art technology to watch over your health and keep people safe.

Be prepared for any possible medical emergency before it even happens by preparing a home medical kit with everything you might possibly need. Make sure it is easy to access and that everyone in your Philadelphia home always knows where it is located.

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.

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