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The Future Is Now: Your Phone Is A Powerful Home Security Tool

by Amy February 27, 2019

Nothing is more important to us than protecting your home and family, especially as burglars become increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to break in. To keep pace with newer technologies and services, the right security agency is essential. A comprehensive home security system is more than just a set of security cameras and a beeping alarm. It should include modern, effective features like alarm monitoring and integration with smart phones. Here are a few ways that your phone can be a vital part of your security strategy:

Home Automation Gives You Remote Control

Home automation covers a lot of features that range from convenient to essential. These could include:

  • Watching the front door, windows, and any other entry points in your home
  • Garage doors that slide open as your car approaches
  • Exterior doors that automatically lock when you leave
  • The ability to disable alarms remotely if you have someone visiting your home

If your phone can help you navigate through your town, pay your bills, and even keep tabs on loved ones, why couldn’t it help secure your home in a snap?

Surveillance Lets You Keep an Eye on Your Home

Multiple exterior and interior cameras let you keep an eye on your property. With your cell phone, you can tap into the video feed at any time you want to make a spot check.

Alarm Monitoring And Alerts Keep You In The Loop

A multi-pronged security system can trigger alerts for everything from motion detection to smoke or carbon monoxide warnings. It may also cover scenarios like if a door or specific cabinet is opened. You’ll also be warned in the case of power failures or other unexpected events. Your cell phone lets you stay in the loop here and keep control of your house while you’re away.

Do you have any questions about integrating your alarm system with your cell phone? Contact us at My Alarm Center and our experienced agents will be happy to help.

Home Automation Weather Integration

by Amy February 18, 2019

According to a Yale University study, 41 million Americans live in flood zones. These are geographical areas that are either low-lying or are situated near waterways. But today’s climate is so unpredictable that the risk of flooding due to torrential downpours or fast-melting snow accumulations has put most of the country in danger of home or landscape flooding. How can you protect your home in these times? Why not consider integrating your home automation system with a home weather station?

Home Automation Weather Integration

Consider a home weather station that collects weather and other environmental related data using sensors and by monitoring local and national weather centers. These systems include thermometers and barometers to measure outdoor temperatures and atmospheric pressure, along with wind, rain, humidity, and other related climate data.

When this data is integrated with home sensors and smart home security features such as smart windows, your home not only warns of a possible storm, but takes action. Smart windows can open and close as needed depending on the forecast. Flood prevention systems can act to prevent costly water damage before it’s too late.

A home automation system can even check forecasts to determine whether the lawn and garden need watering. Your landscape will be healthier, and your wallet will be fuller, as you save money while conserving water. Homeowners can also integrate smart thermostats that will automatically update interior temperatures to keep the home’s comfort levels perfect.

Flood Protection and Monitoring

To reduce the risk of costly damage due to weather disasters, consult with a flood protection and monitoring service provider that is qualified to install home automation with a smart home flood warning system. Water detection sensors monitor interior water levels for outdoor water infiltration, burst pipes, and leaks.

But the most disastrous home floods are caused by weather events. With a smart home security system integrated with a weather station, climate related activity is monitored, and the proper actions are automatically taken to prevent damage to your home.

Get A Home Automation System Today

To learn more about a residential flood warning system, contact My Alarm Center to discuss how you can manage and prevent interior home flooding due to faulty appliances and plumbing or heavy rain events.

Alarm.com Smart Thermostat is ENERGY STAR® Certified

by Amy January 28, 2019

Staying warm during the frigid winter temperatures is a big priority for homeowners in northern U.S. regions. Alarm.com’s Smart Thermostat, provided by My Alarm Center, is now Energy Star® certified. That makes it the most energy-efficient way to manage temperatures inside your home, which means increased comfort and reduced heating costs.

It might be time to replace your old system if you don’t have an ENERGY STAR® certified thermostat on your home security plan. Modernizing your home’s thermostat will enable much greater efficiency and convenience in controlling the temperatures inside your home – and, can even cut costs!

What is  ENERGY STAR® Certification?

“ENERGY STAR® is a certification backed by the U.S. government. The symbol indicates that the products and practices bearing that label meet the standard for optimal energy efficiency. The goal of providing ENERGY STAR® labeling is to help protect the environment by reducing greenhouse emissions and other pollutants produced through inefficient energy use.

Benefits of an ENERGY STAR® Home

There are important benefits of using ENERGY STAR® kitchen appliances, lighting fixtures, water heating, home heating and air conditioning units, and other residential electrical systems and devices. Here are some of the benefits you can realize by upgrading existing household energy consumers to ENERGY STAR® models:

  • Savings on Home Energy Costs — Installation of and efficient control of a HVAC system slashes home energy costs.
  • Tax Savings Homeowners receive tax credits for using energy efficient appliances, lighting, etc.
  • Improved Quality of Life — Home comfort is increased by more effective control over ambient temperatures, with the help of the Alarm.com application.
  • Helps the National Economy — Savings on energy bills contributes to cost savings, which leads to increased usable income for homeowners collectively nationwide.
  • Helps the Environment — Reducing your carbon footprint means you’re helping to slow the world’s overall consumption of fossil fuels.

Benefits of Smart Thermostats

There is an array of significant benefits from using a smart thermostat. Upgrading to a smart thermostat with up-to-date features provides you with:

  • Ideal Convenience — Adjust your home heating thermostat setting without even getting up from the couch.
  • Optimized Heating Management — Regulate the temperature in your home automatically, by setting your temperature timers.
  • Freedom from Manual Adjustments — You never have to worry about whether your home’s heating system is running or was accidentally left on during your workday or vacation.
  • Big Energy Savings — Cost savings for homeowners who can remotely control when their home heating and cooling systems, water heaters, security lighting, and other systems, turn off and on. Take savings on home energy consumption to a new level.

Ways Smart Thermostats Can Be Used

It’s a smart world, and it’s time for a smart thermostat. With today’s state-of-the-art smart thermostat models, you can use the Internet of Things (IoT) to:

  • Use your smartphone to control your thermostat while you are away from home
  • Run reports of your heating and cooling system’s energy consumption, system run times, etc.
  • Receive notifications that your HVAC system’s air filter needs replacing

My Alarm Center’s Home Automation and the Smart Thermostat

A smart home uses today’s cloud technology to connect all your devices. You can control your thermostat as well as all your other networked appliances, systems, and devices through the same mobile app. With quick and easy setup, all your home’s smart facilities can automatically respond to your needs as you go through your usual daily activities.

For More Information

My Alarm Center’s award-winning home automation services are currently used in more than 5 million U.S. homes and businesses. Our network includes over 4,000 authorized service providers. For more information about ENERGY STAR® Smart Thermostats for your home, or to find your nearest service provider, contact My Alarm Center today. Our experts are here to answer your questions anytime.

7 Security Tips to Protect Your New Stuff

by Cassie January 19, 2019

 

Security Tips

From the big-screen that Santa brought to the snazzy new phone you gifted yourself, your home is likely brimming with brand-new temptations for burglars. Here are seven tips to keep your family, your home and your new goodies protected:

1. Hide Your Priciest Loot from View

The number-one rule of thumb for not getting burgled? Don’t tempt the burglars. And that means keeping expensive deliveries out of view. Walk the perimeter of your home, and see what you can see: Can you spot the glow of your new 50″ TV from the road? Are laptops open within view of the front windows? Does your PS4 hang out near the window ledge? Slight relocation can remove them from the sight path of peeping eyes.

2. Don’t Leave the Evidence at the Curb

The second mistake of new gifts is to leave their packaging out for curbside trash pickup. That 50″ TV box at the curb – guess what it’s telling your friendly neighborhood burglar? Instead of leaving pricey packaging out for all to see, break down boxes and fold them inside out. Wrap them in bags, if the logos are still showing. And put them out the night before garbage day. Preferably when it’s already dark.

3. Sign / Sticker / Digitally Mark Your Gear

If you received new, shiny portable gear – fancy cameras, laptops, tablets, etc. – consider tagging them with identifying labels. (Tip: Don’t put your address on the labels; a phone number and email will suffice.) And if your new phone, tablet, camera or other tech gadget carries a memory card inside, add an IfLost.txt file, complete with your contact information.

4. Slash the Flash

And speaking of high-ticket portable tech, consider transporting it in a very low-ticket, uglified casing. In other words, don’t run out and buy a $250 leather laptop case or blinged-out phone cover; instead, stash your stuff in unassuming wrapping (like a laptop backpack) so it’s not an instant target.

5. Hide the Goods (But Not Everything)

Put expensive jewelry in a safe. Stash your gadgets out of view. Essentially, don’t leave thousands of dollars in gifts out in plain sight. But don’t hide everything away, either. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s a good idea to leave a bit of cash and lower-cost goodies in easy-to-find spots; that way, if a thief does find his way into your home, he’s more likely to snatch your barely-hidden goods and getaway, than to tear your home apart in search of the really good stuff.

 6. Secure Your Laptop

If you just got a new laptop, it’s time to secure it. Of course, you can physically secure it with a lock, but we’re more concerned with the information contained therein. And like home security, you’ll want to secure your computer with multiple layers of protection, like GPS tracking, and webcam mugshots, and password protections.

7. Aww, What a Cute Baby!

File this under weird but true: research has shown that your wallet is more likely to be returned if there’s a baby picture inside. Message received. Our advice: slip a baby photo into your wallet (doesn’t matter if you don’t have a baby, a neice or nephew’s photo will do!), but don’t stop there. Add a few to your camera’s memory card, stock a few on your laptop, etc. etc. Sprinkle baby pictures into all your tech, and it may just be the tipping point to getting your stuff returned someday.

Now you tell us: How are you keeping your new toys safe?

Improving Your Home Security For The New Year

by Amy January 7, 2019

Losing weight or quitting smoking typically make many New Year’s Resolution lists, but what about installing or updating your home security system? Keeping you and your family safe are definitely worth including on your list. We’ve put a few ideas together to help you do just that — a “New Year’s To-Do” list. These little things you can do can make a big difference in making your home more secure:

Don’t Leave Garage Door Openers or Keys In Your Car

Leaving these in your car makes it very easy for someone to gain access into your house without requiring a key. Make sure to stow these away in a guarded place where you can reach it, or entrust them to a close friend, neighbor, or family member. You can also take measures to your garage door by installing deadbolts and heavy-duty strike plate.

Make Your Home Look Occupied When It Is Not

This is easier than ever before with smart home devices and home automation security. You can schedule lights to be turned on and off at different times or even have a TV playing in the evening hours just like you were at home. Most home burglaries occur between 10am to 3pm, when most of us are at work, so seeing house activity during these times can detract unwanted trespassers.

Remember to Set Your Alarm System Correctly

Many people purchase an alarm from a security service but they fail to set it and use it; you’ll want an alarm system to go off when something happens. With a system from My Alarm Center you’ll also get the MyHome app which lets you set and deactivate your alarm system from your phone.

Utilize Our Video Monitoring Service

You’ll never have to open the door on a stranger again when you have video monitoring with My Alarm Center’s high-tech security cameras. You’ll be able to monitor your home right from your mobile device, even from miles away, when you’re at work or on vacation.

Remember To Monitor Other Doors

Burglars have always been creative, so don’t forget about your porch door, French doors, or even large windows. These can prove easier entryways for would-be criminals than the front door, so make sure they are properly secured. Our systems can ensure all these programs can be monitored and tracked, so you’ll know when anyone comes in at any point in your home.

If you have any questions on home security systems, don’t hesitate to reach out and have a security system installed in the Philadelphia and Seattle areas.