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Adding Extra Layers To Your Home Security

by Amy October 23, 2017

These days you never know if your home security is strong enough until it is threatened. This is why it’s a good idea to add on as many layers of home security as possible. Use a variety of security tactics so that you will always feel safe and know the belongings inside of your home will be safe as well.

Layer 1: Lighting

Use lighting to your advantage by placing them around the exterior of your home strategically. There should be no unlit areas that someone could potentially hide in. Have motion detector lights installed to alert you of outside activity. Also, make sure entrances to the home are illuminated throughout the night. It is much less likely that an intruder would attempt a break in when they would be seen walking in the front door.

Layer 2: Locks

The most important part of locks is not that they are present but that they are used. A home could have several padlocks on the door but if they are not locked at all times, they are no use to you. Even if you assume that your neighborhood is safe, you should leave the door locked when you are home and when you are away, even if only for a few minutes. This rule also applies to garage doors.

Layer 3: Blinds

Even though your home may seem brighter with the blinds all the way up, it is smart to keep the blinds down, especially for bottom floor windows. A burglar would have a very difficult time entering the home through a window without making an excess of noise.

Layer 4: Home Security

A home security system is the best way you can protect yourself from home invasion. Cameras, motion detectors, and 24/7 alarm monitoring will alert you as soon as a break in occurs. You will also receive alerts when you are not home, so you know your home is always safe.

Layer 5: Pets

This is one of the layers people don’t think about. Dogs are alert to all sounds inside and outside of the home. They can alert you the moment someone is near your window or outside your front door. It’s almost impossible to get past a dog inside your home and criminals are immediately deterred from attempting a break in when they see a dog lives there.             

There are many different layers to home security and they work best when they are combined. Use several layers of security to ensure your home is always safe. My Alarm Center is one of the leading home security system suppliers in Philadelphia. They provide home monitoring that will alert you as soon as a possible threat occurs.

Home Automation And Football

by Amy September 6, 2017

We all know that football season is just on the horizon. This year you can try out the full home automation experience while watching the big game. Home automation will change the way you view football!

  • The Theater Experience: With home automation, you’ll have the ability to use smart lights and shade controls to create an immersive theater experience. The best part is that you can change the lighting without having to get off the couch.
  • Wireless Speakers: Wireless speakers can be strung throughout your entire house so even if you must go into another room you’ll still be able to hear the game. If you have to use the bathroom, you won’t miss a thing!
  • Smart TVs: Smart TVs can be controlled with your phone or some use voice commands. More importantly, smart TVs can be used to record the games you miss. If you’re watching one game you can record another game simultaneously and watch it later. You can even hook the TV up to your phone and receive alerts when guests arrive or if you get any emergency calls you simply must take. If you have security cameras out front, you can see who’s there when the doorbell rings. With your phone and a set of smart locks, you’ll be able to unlock the door as well.
  • Smart Thermostat: Why worry about the weather? Program your smart thermostat to always keep your game viewing room at your preferred temperature. If it gets colder or warmer outside, the thermostat will automatically adjust and keep your man cave perfect.
  • Ordering Food: Don’t waste time making dinner or running out to pick up a pizza. You don’t even need to call any more. Many places allow you to order and pay online only alerting you when the food is at your front door.
  • Scenes: Home automation lets you create scenes that, with the press of a button, transform your room. When the game is on you turn on the “Game On” scene which dims the lights and lowers the shades as well as turns off your phone ringer so you can’t be disturbed. When there’s a commercial break you hit the “Commercial” scene which dims the audio so you can’t hear the commercial and lights up the room so people can refresh their drinks and go to the bathroom.

My Alarm Center provides home automation services for the local Philadelphia area. They would be more than happy to provide your home with the best equipment to change how you watch the game. Try out home automation this football season and see how much better the game can be!

How Home Automation Helps With School

by Amy August 4, 2017

The start of school is closer than you would like to think which means turning in those carefree days of summer for textbooks, extracurricular activities, and nightly homework sessions.  It can be difficult fitting it all into your busy schedule.  But this year you’ve got a secret weapon to help you stay organized and to help the kids do even better in school.  Put your home automation system to work and make the transition from summer nights to school days an easy A.

Rise and Shine
After a few months of sleeping in every day, getting the kids out of bed early every morning can be quite the task.  Automate your lights and you can wake the kids up without even needing to step into their room.  Schedule their bedroom lights to turn on at the same time every morning, motivating them to get out of bed.

You can also use smart sockets to schedule appliances for an additional wake up boost.  For instance, schedule a radio to turn on every morning.  It’s hard to ignore and more enjoyable than an alarm clock.  At bedtime, you can reverse the process by scheduling lights and appliances to turn off as a signal that it’s time to go to sleep.

After School
The first few hours after school are crucial for getting the homework done.  However, parents are usually at work when kids get home from school.  With home automation services integrated into your home security system you can receive alerts to notify you when the children are home from school and you can use the video monitoring system to keep an eye on them.  This is the perfect way to make sure they’re doing homework and completing chores instead of getting into things they shouldn’t be.  With home automation and video monitoring you can be assured that even if you aren’t home you can still make sure your kids are safe and productive.

Helping with Homework
Homework time can be the toughest part of the evening.  The schoolwork is hard enough without the temptation of video games and television.  With home automation, you can create an environment perfectly conducive to completing homework.  With smart sockets you can shut off TVs and gaming systems so they can’t be used, turn the smart lights up for optimal reading, and play some classical music to help the children focus, all from your smartphone.

All Work and No Play
Home automation isn’t just for business.  Kids need to relax as well.  Set the system to play their favorite music when they come home Friday afternoon and start the weekend off with some fun.  Gather on the couch and watch a movie knowing that you can set the temperature for optimal snuggling and dim the lights without having to get.  Home automation is the perfect tool for relaxation when need be.

My Alarm Center offers state of the art home automation services to make life more convenient while keeping your family safe.  Speak with a home automation specialist about getting your system installed before the kids get back to school.

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.

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.

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.

Home Energy Saving Checklist

by Amy August 26, 2016

Home Energy

There are various approaches to take in order to reduce your utility bill, and based on the season, these bills will always fluctuate. In order to reduce your energy footprint, these suggestions have been provided by the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, combined with home automation tips.

• Turn down the temperature of your water heater to a warm setting, rather than hot. It is recommended to be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, check if your water heater has an insulating blanket. This insulation helps reduce the loss of heat and will affect your bill in a positive way. This normally accounts for 14-25% of the energy consumed in your home.
• Make sure your furnace or heat pump receives professional maintenance every year.
• Consider exchanging your light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, otherwise known as CFLs. Another great option is light-emitting diodes, known as LEDs. These bulbs can save up to 3/4 of the electricity used by basic light bulbs. Bulbs with 60-100 Watts are ideal for energy conservation.
• Turn off the lights when you are not in the room. Installing timers or occupancy sensors is also a great way to make sure the lights are always turned off behind you. Automated lighting is a great way to control your lighting energy costs.
• Keep large electronics turned off when they are not in use. For example, if you’re not going to use your desktop computer for more than two hours, it is a great idea to turn off the monitor and CPU system in order to reduce energy use. This tip should also be applied to any equipment that drains energy when it is not in use. Cell phone chargers, fans, coffee machines, printers, and radios all drain energy even when they are turned off but still plugged into the wall.
• Install a programmable thermostat that will adjust the temperature according to your life schedule. This way the house can be comfortable when you arrive home, but not wasting energy to keep it at one temperature the entire day. Automated thermostats are an easy way to ensure that heating or cooling spend is used most efficiently.
• Clean or replace filters for your furnace, air conditioner, and heat pump yearly.
• Check your windows for leaks or drafts. Add film or caulk to all of these areas in order to reduce wasted energy. The typical home loses more than 25% of its heat through windows.
• Insulate hot water pipes. Also, insulate your heating ducts in areas like the attic and crawl spaces. This can prevent up to 60% of heat loss.
• Be aware of your major appliances’ efficiency. Upgrading to a newer, energy-efficient appliance will lower costs as well.
• Consider planting tall trees and shrubs around the west side of your house. This will create natural shade and reduce air conditioning costs.
• Washing clothes in cold water is also known to reduce costs. It is also beneficial to hang dry your clothes when possible to reduce the use of the dryer. Ensure your dryer vent is clear of lint so the door will fully close.

Using these tips will reduce the use of energy in your home. Gather your electricity and fuel bills and compare their costs from month to month in order to recognize your progress. For more information on home energy conservation, and to view a helpful checklist, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s web site. View My Alarm Center’s home automation offerings to help you save an average of 15% on your home energy bills.

Source: http://energy.gov/eere/femp/home-energy-checklist

Home Automation Gifts for Dad

by Cassie June 13, 2016

 

Home Automation Gift

Home Automation Gifts for Dad

This year for Father’s Day, get your dad the gift of home automation. Not only will he love receiving the latest technology, but he will gain daily convenience and peace of mind, with increased home security.  Here are a few of the ways that home automation can help simplify his life and increase your family’s home security:

Keep Doors and Windows Closed

By providing your dad with a home automation system, he won’t have to worry if the garage door was left open once he sits down to relax for the night. Through automated sensors, he can simply check from his mobile device and close it with the push of a button and rest easy knowing that his lawn equipment or big kid toys are secured. Dad can check for open windows while traveling and ensure that the home is secure from anywhere.

Adjust the Thermostat

Many dads take responsibility for managing the thermostat to reduce heating costs. Most often, Dads choose to keep the house cool at night and then adjust it in the morning, to a more comfortable temperature. With smart home technology, Dad can adjust the temperature right from his mobile device or schedule the temperate change to occur at customized times of the day or night, ongoing. Manually changing the thermostat is a fatherly task of the past.

Improve Home Security

When we hear a bump in the night, Dad is usually the one who investigates. Now, he can be the protector of the castle without leaving his bedroom. Using wireless cellular monitoring, and a smart home app, Dad can monitor surveillance cameras to check on the family. Dad can also ensure that the home is secure while traveling, providing increased rest and relaxation.

Eliminate Keys

Dad will never have to worry about locking out any family members or hiding a spare key. Secure key pads provide an easy way to unlock the door through the home automation system. He’ll never have to wonder if the kids are able to get into the house after school or if the dog walker made it in time, giving him undeniable peace of mind. He can allow contractors or friends into the home remotely with the touch of a button and reduce security risks caused by handing out spare keys.

Keep Tabs on the Family

Dad will now have the ability to receive alerts on home arrivals and departures. Home sensors detect motion and alert Dad to movement in designated locations in the home, even ones that are out of sight.

Detect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide

Monitored smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors give Dad peace of mind and protects your family’s home and pets. This smart home gadget sends mobile device notifications and alerts local authorities in the event of smoke or carbon monoxide detection, even when no one is home. This way, your home and pets are safe even when family members aren’t present. It can work with or without a home security system being armed and is professional monitored for total peace of mind.

When deciding what gift to get Dad for Father’s Day, home automation is the gift that keeps giving peace of mind and convenience, every day. The benefit list doesn’t end here! Contact My Alarm Center to learn more about home automation and the packages we offer from coast to coast, from Philadelphia to Seattle.

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