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Home Security Tips For Frequent Travelers

by Amy July 26, 2018

Most times when people go on vacation their mind is filled with all the things they don’t want to forget that they forget about the house they’re leaving behind. There are over two million burglaries a year in the United States and it is very important to keep yourself from becoming a victim.

  1. Monitor Your Home

Install a home security system. This will provide you with full video surveillance that you can access from anywhere with your smartphone.

Even if you have a home security system, make sure you have someone keeping an eye on your home, whether it is a neighbor or a friend who is staying over while you’re gone. It is a good idea to keep a set of eyes on your home while you are away for an extended period.

  1. Make It Appear As If You Are Home

Make your home appear as if it is always occupied. It’s not a good idea to leave a yard untidy and a mailbox exploding with mail. Make sure your yard is being tended to and stop your mail and newspaper services. Keep lights on inside the home as well and consider using timers that make it appear as if the house is lived in. Ask if your neighbor will park their car in your driveway while you are away. This would deter a burglar from attempting to enter a home since they believe someone is inside.

  1. Don’t Publicly Announce Travel Plans

You don’t want the wrong people figuring out you won’t be home. Avoid posting about any planned trips on social media, so that any potential burglars will not be tipped in your direction.

  1. Take The Garage Door Opener And GPS Out Of Your Car

If you plan to travel without your vehicle, make sure you remove the garage door remote and the GPS from your car. These things could tell someone where you live and give someone access to your home when you are not there.

  1. Be Prepared For A Disaster

Have information about your valuables available if a disaster does occur. Having documents is important for insurance purposes. Before leaving for vacation make sure you review your insurance policies and keep a full record of your valuables and possessions. Documentation of your belongings should include a picture and serial numbers of the products.

Home Security Tips From A Thief

by Amy May 8, 2018

There are many ways to ensure your home is safe. Why not take some advice from the people trying to break in?

  1. Lock Up

Thieves have admitted that open windows and doors are just too hard to pass up. Also remember that a locked door means nothing if a spare key is “hidden” in an obvious place by the front door. It is much better to leave a spare key with a trusted friend or neighbor so that a criminal will not have easy access.

  1. Landscape For Security

Burglars confess that while oversized hedges may provide privacy, they also make your yard one of the easiest places for a burglar to hide. Landscape your yard strategically to keep it looking pretty but not welcoming to burglars. Make sure you have a full view of your yard from your windows to keep anyone from attempting to enter your home without being seen. Be careful that you don’t have any trees that could easily be climbed to enter your home. The landscaping should also be well maintained. If you have uncut grass and overgrown hedges, your home will appear to be empty which may attract a burglar.

  1. Unique Hiding Spaces

It may seem like a great idea to hide things in your sock drawer, or an empty cereal box, or in the freezer, but professional burglars are well aware that these are used as hiding places. Even though these seem like great hiding places, burglars acknowledge they are usually one of the first areas they will look. Consider purchasing an actual safe or a safety deposit box. Knowing that your valuables are always protected under lock and key will ease your worry.

  1. Exterior Lights

Use motion detection lighting in your yard. It is difficult to enter a home unseen when floodlights turn on as soon as you step onto the property. Use gravel on your pathway or driveway so no one can avoid being heard when they get close to the house. Burglars admit this is often enough to deter them as it increases the risk of being caught.

  1. Install A Home Security Alarm

One of the best ways to deter a thief is if they see you have a home security system. This greatly increases their odds of being caught and most burglars confess they do not have the knowledge or know how to disable them. Post your home security sticker on your window and hang your home security sign in your front yard.

To protect yourself from burglars, sometimes you need to think like one. Having a home security system will make you feel safer and deter even the bravest of thieves.

Home Security Checklist

by Amy April 13, 2018

Be prepared with a home security plan before disaster strikes. The more prepared you are, the better chance you have of protecting yourself and your home. Though the best type of security is a home security system, there are many different ways to reinforce the security within your home.

  1. Exterior Doors

Reinforce all exterior doors. Consider replacing plastic or aluminum doors with solid wood or a metal clad. If your door has glass inserts, make sure they are reinforced with security glazing. Security glazing is a strong and durable plastic that will keep intruders from breaking the glass to enter your home. The door hinges also need to face inside your home. This way an intruder can’t access the pins and take the entire door off the frame. Keep exterior doors closed and locked when not in use, even if you’re only leaving for a few minutes. The same rule applies to your garage door.

  1. Lighting

All driveways, pathways, and entry points must be lit. Consider installing motion detectors throughout your property that will turn on exterior lights when activated. This will help scare away any potential intruders. If you go on vacation, make sure you apply timers to your interior lights. This will make it appear as if someone is home even when they are not.

  1. Windows

Use a supplemental lock for your windows with a key operated device, sometimes known as a sash lock. This will keep the window from being forced open from the outside. You could also try out safety bars to completely ensure windows cannot be opened.

  1. Outdoor Security

Landscape with security in mind. Keep your shrubs and bushes trimmed so there is no place for any intruder to hide. Make sure there are no dark areas to hide in as well. Keep your gate latched and shed doors locked. Keep your lawn mower, lawn tools, and grill out of sight on your property. If an intruder sees expensive equipment on the outside, they know to expect expensive valuables inside.

  1. Vacation

When away for an extended period, have someone look out for your home. Make sure the lawn is maintained and bushes are trimmed. This also applies with snow, ensuring it is shoveled. Suspend newspaper deliveries and mail service while you are away as well. You do not ever want to give the appearance that your home is empty.

  1. Inventory Possessions

It is important you have an inventory of your homes valuable possessions. This should include a photograph of each item and the identification numbers inscribed by manufacturers.

Have a plan to keep your home secure. A home security system from My Alarm Center does more than just make you feel safe, it keeps your home from being an easy target. 

How To Place Security Cameras

by Amy January 30, 2018

The placement of home security cameras is just as important as having them. My Alarm Center is strategic when deciding the location of your surveillance system.

Security cameras are installed at the front door, back door, and near first floor windows.

These locations are the most common entry points for intruders, according to statistics from the Bureau of Justice. Cameras are placed above doors and windows, outside your home, and facing downward. This way the camera can view a few feet in front of the opening. Exterior cameras have night vision and are waterproof. Some can be placed in the interior of the home, looking out, so that there is a view of the windows and yard outside.

Cameras have full view and are in focus.

The range of the camera determines the interior placement of cameras. Anything with a range of around 45 to 75 degrees should be aimed to specific areas like a doorway or garage entry door. Cameras with a full wide view of 75 to 180 degrees allow you to see a full room with just one camera.

Cameras watch over any valuables.

If you have a safe within your home, the camera is angled so that it can be seen. Any important hiding places are guarded with a camera as well. If there is a break in, this will help determine what was taken.

Cameras are kept out of reach.

It’s important cameras are kept in an area where they can’t be easily tampered with. If an intruder can break the camera or cover it, it will not be beneficial. Cameras are placed in areas that aren’t obvious but will maximize the view.

Cameras are connected to your home security system.

Security cameras can work strategically with your home security system and home monitoring to protect your home. They’re also great for home automation, allowing you to check home security feeds any time you wish.

Home Security And Holiday Guests

by Amy December 14, 2017

During this wintry season, many people have guests stay with them to enjoy and celebrate the many holidays. Your home security system can be a great tool for keeping your home and your guests safe and unharmed. Ensure this holiday season is a cheerful time for all with these recommended home security solutions from the home security experts at My Alarm Center.

  1. Use Automatic Locks

The holiday season is a joyful season for family, gifts, songs, and celebration. The holiday season, unfortunately, is also a time for theft. You should never leave your doors unlocked, even if you are home. To ensure that only the guests you invited are entering your home, use automatic door locks that lock themselves after a few moments and can only be accessed with the proper temporary codes.

  1. Security Cameras

Your security system cameras help keep everything and everyone inside your home safe. You can monitor your home through any smart device, like your smartphone, and keep intruders away from your property. If you feel uncomfortable about a guest staying in your home, you can also use your security cameras to make sure guests are not in places that they should not be.

  1. Personalized Security Codes

Your home security service has different access codes for family members and different access codes for guests. No one can enter or exit without the proper code and you can even see who is coming and going. Their temporary access code will work for the limited time that you set it for. This way they won’t have access to your home throughout the rest of the year.

Your home security service will put you at ease throughout this stressful holiday season. Your home security system will keep you from having to worry about the safety of your valuables or whether or not any guests are going through your personal stuff. If anything happens, you’ll know about it.

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.

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.

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