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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.

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.

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.

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.

The Importance of Flood Alarms and Flood Monitoring

by Cassie September 21, 2016

Flood alarms and flood monitoring are essential to preventing damage when a disaster arises. Statistics show that 850 water main breaks are reported every day in the United States. It is estimated that the average costs of repairing flood damage is about $15,000 for homeowners. These damages are not only a nuisance, but very costly. It only takes 24 hours for mold to develop in water-damaged areas, so it is essential to repair damages as quickly as possible. With My Alarm Center, you receive real-time flood alerts via text message or phone call the minute a flood is detected, so you can quickly cease the flow of water.

What causes Floods? Floods are caused by many different incidents including natural disasters as well as manmade causes. Natural disasters include mudflows, flash floods, and heavy rains. Most manmade floods occur with a pipe bursting, plumbing problems, or when a malfunctioning water heater is present. 70% of floods are actually due to water heaters bursting or leaking.

How Flood Monitoring Works:
1. Water sensors are installed near appliances such as your hot water heater and washing machine.
2. When overflowing water is detected, a flood alarm signal is sent to the home alarm panel.
3. When water is detected on the alarm panel, an alert will notify you via call or text.
4. Alarm systems with Flood Avert feature an additional piece of equipment designed to cut off the water source at the onset of damages.

How to Prepare for a Flood:
Manmade: It is always a good idea to have flood insurance, but ensuring that all of the pipes, water heaters, plumbing, and foundation are working properly on a regular basis is the best prevention technique.

Natural Disaster: Attempting to seal the perimeter of your home with waterproof materials could save your home from damage. It is also a good idea to create an emergency plan for valuables and your family’s safety.

It is important to protect your home before a flood or disaster occurs. The best way to protect your home from damage is with a flood monitoring system installed in order to always ensure you are aware as soon as the flooding starts. My Alarm Center is here to help homeowners across the country, from Philadelphia to Seattle. Contact us today for information on flood alarms and flood monitoring protection.

Sources: https://myalarmcenter.com/support/guides/flood-water-damage

flood alarm

Monitored Fire and CO Detectors vs. Standard Alarms

by Amy July 27, 2016

Monitored Fire detector

Traditional smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are commonplace across homes in the U.S. These alarms are considered the basic, necessary alert to indicate a fire or CO concern, but they are only as useful as the audible alarms they emit; if no one is present at the time of the alert, the property, valuables, and pets are at the mercy of a neighbor or passerby and their ability to alert local emergency authorities quickly.

The alternative, a professionally monitored fire and carbon monoxide system, means the difference between a few minutes of response time and potentially hours.

See the benefits of a professionally monitored fire alarm and CO detector system:
1. Linked to a central monitoring system, a monitored alarm will summon the appropriate help immediately, whether you are home or not, or are unable to hear the alarm.

2. Many times, occupants of the home are suffering from CO or smoke inhalation and may not be conscious enough to contact local authorities; a monitored system removes that risk.

3. Children, elderly individuals and pets may be unable to contact emergency response services in the event of a home fire or carbon monoxide situation; a monitored alarm system can be their voice.

4. Not all fires damage the entirety of the home, but if left unattended by a professional, those fires can potentially impact the majority of the property over time. If quickly acted upon, both the home and personal belongs can be saved in many cases.

5. Gain peace of mind of knowing whether you are home or away, that your home and its occupants are professionally protected in the event of a fire or CO detection.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 84% of fire related deaths are due to home fires. Carbon monoxide kills an average of 400 Americans each year, as reported by US Product Safety Commission office. The risks are real and the security of your family is number one. My Alarm Center is proud to offer monitored fire alarms and monitored CO alarms across the U.S., from Seattle to Philadelphia. View the monitored fire alarm video for more information on the difference between a standard alarm and a monitored home alarm system.

8 Vacation Security Tips for your Home

by Cassie July 11, 2016

vacation security

It’s difficult to go away for an extended amount of time and not worry about the security of your home. By taking precautions before leaving, you gain peace of mind and improved home security. Here are 10 ways to prepare your home’s security for an upcoming vacation:

1. Ask a friend to keep an eye on your home
The key objective to finding a house sitter is to continue to make the home appear occupied. If you don’t plan to have someone stay in your home while you are gone, it is a good idea to have someone stop by at least once a day or minimally ask your neighbors to keep an eye out. By asking a friend to remove the mail, adjust lights and take care of the trash pickup, it shows that the home is occupied which can deter an intruder. Of course, make sure you choose a reliable and trustworthy person to monitor your home . Have trouble finding someone to keep an eye on your home? You can always consider adding a home automation system for advanced lighting control, helping to make your home appear occupied with custom scheduling. Make your house a smart home and enjoy the added benefits of climate control as well as state of the art security monitoring with real time alerts.

2. Don’t post vacation plans on social media

Even though you are excited for your upcoming vacation, it’s safest to share your experience after you’re back. If you post about your upcoming trip, you’re sharing that your home will be vacant in the upcoming weeks on public networks, which is a security risk . Also, refrain from posting photos during your getaway, no matter how beautiful, until you return home. Giving away your current status is another security risk for your potentially vacant home.

3. Stop your Mail service
Contact your local Post Office and place a “stop” order on your mail. A few days’ worth of mail piled in your mailbox or at your door step is a clear indication that no one is home to pick it up. The same idea applies to newspapers. If you have a difficult time stopping either service, ask a friend or neighbor to retrieve your mail and papers.

4. Remove spare keys
Make sure you remove spare keys that are hidden on the outside of your property. If they are tipped off that no one is in the house, an intruder will be tempted to look for a spare key. Avoid the risk of someone finding the key by removing it entirely. With digital keypads, you can remove the need for spare key placement, but still enable your pet sitter or neighbor to access your home.

5. Keep the landscape trimmed
In order to keep the house appearing occupied it is important to maintain normalcy from the outside. If you are a diligent homeowner who keeps their lawn in great shape, keep up this routine. If you plan on being away for an extended time period, hire someone to cut the grass while you are away. Leaving the yard untidy is a clear indication that no one is around to take care of it.

6. Make sure you lock up
It may seem obvious, but make sure you lock all windows and doors. If the deadbolt to the garage is usually left unlatched, now is the time to lock it. With the home being fully locked, it becomes less attractive as a target to intruders who are looking for a quick entry point. Double check your windows and doors upon your departure.

7. Protect your vehicle
If you are leaving on an extended vacation and parking your car at the airport or elsewhere, make sure it is in a secure location. Also, remove the garage door opener from your car. This could provide an access point into your house if an intruder gets into your vehicle.

8. Install a home security system
Installing a home security system provides you peace of mind with 24/7 professional monitoring , alerting local authorities to any security breaches. Plus, alarm systems deter potential intruders from entering your home. Additionally, home security systems can alert you remotely if there are any movements or changes within your home, even when the pet sitter does not arrive.
Before you leave for vacation, make sure you take the necessary precautions to prepare your home. Just a few minutes of preparation could save your home from any unexpected visitors and provide you peace of mind for the duration of your tip. Enjoy your vacation and ensure your home will be safe and sound until your return.

Alarm Center Response Times: How Much Do They Matter?

by Cassie February 19, 2015

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While researching alarm systems, you may come across a lot about alarm center response time. And while the concept sounds very important (and it is!), you may not quite understand what it means in the context of security systems.

So, let’s break it down and provide a clearer understanding of what this measurement means and how it may affect you as a security system subscriber.

Response time, as defined by the alarm industry, is the measurement of time that the alarm monitoring center processes alarm “events.” This means that when a signal is sent to the monitoring center (e.g., your alarm goes off), the amount of time it takes for the monitoring center to respond and process the event is considered the response time.

When reviewing response times of security companies and doing a side-by-side comparison, it is essential to understand that most companies report and publish an average response time (and the times can range from one just a few seconds to a few minutes). So of course, not every single response will be on the low end, but a shorter response time is better for everyone and it truly is a measurement of concern when reviewing your options.

One thing to keep in mind is that the response time from the alarm center can differ from the response time from authorities; however, these times are not independent. In most cases, a quicker response from the monitoring center will result in a quicker response from the attending emergency teams.

So what affects an alarm company’s ability to respond in a timely manner and why are some security systems offering quicker response times than others?

For the most part, a sufficiently staffed and well-trained force that can handle alarm traffic will result in quicker response times. A response team equipped with the right technology and training will add to the efficiency and keep the response times consistently low. If any of these factors fall below satisfactory, they could potentially create a negative effect on response times and therefore, slow down the process.

 

At My Alarm Center, we have quick response times that average  60 seconds or less and we have the formula to make it happen. We have best-in-class monitoring, a well-trained team, top technology, and 24/7 accessibility, which translate into lightning fast response times. We pride ourselves on being able to quickly alert emergency response teams and get to our customers as soon as possible.

 

While response time isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a security system, it is absolutely one aspect that can make a big difference in a time of need.

 

Should You Buy a Home Security Alarm System or Home Automation System from Your Cable Company?

by Derek June 26, 2014

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It seems like you can buy a security alarm or home automation system from just about anybody these days.

 

Your cable TV company will sell you an alarm system. They’ll even bundle it in a package with your internet, phone and TV programming.

 

Your utility company will sell you a home security system. You most likely won’t get a discount off your power bill but you will have more to read about in their monthly billing stuffers.

 

In the grab for more of your cash, cable companies and utilities companies are entering the home security burglar alarm and home automation business in record numbers. Even a search engine (Google) owns a home smoke detector company!

 

Why their interest in home security, emergency services, and automation? Two big reasons:

 

  1. Marketing research indicates that Americans are going to buy more home security, home security monitoring, and automation systems…they view it as a “growth market.”
  2. The home security and automation industry consists of many locally owned and operated companies, not large national corporations. Cable and utility companies know that most of their competitors in the home security business don’t have the multi-million dollar ad budgets like they do.

 

Now while competition in any industry usually benefits the consumer, where does it leave you?

 

Most likely, not in a position of security and safety that you need to be.

 

Security, safety and home automation is too important to leave in the hands of large corporate conglomerates.

 

You see, specialization is a good thing. Doing one thing allows people and companies to develop expertise, perspective and insights that transfer into better goods and services for you.

 

Protecting your home and family members is too important to leave it up to a “jack of all trades, master of none” type of company. You need to rely on security experts, companies that focus on security alone!

 

There’s a reason why the fire department doesn’t provide law enforcement services. The guy that bakes the world’s best cakes probably isn’t qualified to serve a five course meal and just because you have a successful baseball team doesn’t mean you’ll win at soccer.

 

Think about this for a minute. If someone is trying to break into your home, who do you want protecting it…people that specialize in protection or a company known for long wait times for customer service?

 

The American Customer Satisfaction Index, published by the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, condemns the services of big cable companies. The average security company scores in the high 70s on the index while the average of the cable companies was just 65! Internet companies (many of which also provide cable) scored a paltry 63! It gets worse…customer satisfaction with these subscription TV providers fell 4.4% in the past year alone. The scores are amongst the lowest on the entire Index!

 

Most of the cable and utility companies offer a highly limited selection of home security systems and home automation systems. Most won’t work for larger homes. And there is nothing unique about the security technology and automation services that they do offer – you can get the same exact things from companies that specialize in the industry, not just from those that dabble in it.

 

When you need to rely on an alarm system service provider for your family’s safety, go to the specialists in your local community. That makes sense for car repairs, it makes sense for home repairs and it makes sense for home security and home automation. Click here for more information.

15 Top Tips for Preparing Your Home for Summer

by Derek June 19, 2014

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After the winter we’ve all gone through, most of us are ready for summer.

 

Here are our top 15 tips of things you can do to get your home ready for this summer:

 

1. Clean your dryer vents. Clogged vents cause warm air to circulate back into your home. Simple cleaning of the vents prevents this from happening.

 

2. Clean, inspect and repair your window screens. You’ll want to enjoy the summer breezes without dust and bugs, so make sure your window screens are ready.

 

3. Trim back trees and bushes. Before summer is in full swing and foliage growth fills in, prune back any trees or shrubs that might obstruct the view from a window or become a good hiding spot for someone looking to check out whose home.

4. Check the fridge. You’ll want plenty of frosty cool beverages this summer so now’s a good time to clean the condensing coils and to make sure the refrigerator is working properly.

 

5. Inspect the roof. Check the flashing, caulking and shingles so your home can withstand the summer storms. Check for continuity on the plane of the roof and on the ridges. Make sure everything is tight and sealed. One of the best ways to identify potential back ups is to go out during a heavy rain and look at the water flow through the gutters.

 

6. Organize the garage. If you are like us, lawn chairs, games, coolers, floatation devices and more summer fun stuff is in the garage. Now’s a great time to organize the garage so things are handy when you are ready for fun!

 

7. Use compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs. Not only do these bulbs use less energy, they give off less heat than other bulbs. Using CFL bulbs will help keep rooms cooler. Now that the sun is shining a brighter light bulb is less necessary.

 

8. Reverse the ceiling fan. Summer months mean that you want the ceiling fan to blow air down to give the room a breeze to make it feel cooler. This is the opposite direction of winter. Make sure the direction of the blades blow air down.

 

9. Use the exhaust fan when taking a shower. The purpose of your air conditioning unit is to replace warm, muggy air with cool air. A steamy shower can create muggy conditions that spill out of the bathroom into other areas of your home. The exhaust fan can remove those steamy, muggy conditions while saving on your air conditioning costs.

 

10. Put shade by the air conditioning units. Plant a tree or place some shade over your air conditioning units to help them run more efficiently.

 

11. Put a vent or fan in the attic. Attic vents or fans help pull hot air off your ceilings, keeping your house cooler (and making it more tolerable to go in the attic!).

 

12. Get ready to barbeque. Most homeowners enjoy cooking outside in the summer. Get the grill and all of your supplies in good order for lots of summer fun.

 

13. Check the caulking around openings to your home. Doors, windows, vents, and other openings can slightly separate from the frame of your home. Seal them to keep the cool air in and the warm air out.

 

14. Replace the HVAC filters regularly. Blocked air filters reduce the ability of your air conditioning system to push and pull air through the registers. Allergens are higher in the summer months as well. Change your filters every 30 days or as recommended by the maker of your air conditioner.

 

15. Insulate. Proper insulation around doors and windows keeps warm air out. Make sure weather stripping is intact and providing a good seal around the door.

 

And here’s a bonus tip. Now’s a great time to check your home security system. My Alarm Center Alarm Company has technicians in your local community that can come and inspect your security system to make sure things are working properly. Call us toll-free at 855-334-6562 to schedule an appointment.

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