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Effective Home Security Tips for On-the-Go Moms

As a mom, you probably worry about a lot of things in your home, especially if you are working or away from your home part of the day.  Setting up CCTV cameras at home to provide you with a set of virtual eyes that will keep an eye on your home and your family when you’re away is one of the sure-fire ways to have that precious peace of mind.   Not only does it help you with intruders, but it also alerts you of fires and can help in a medical emergency. A home security system does a great job deterring burglars when they see the equipment or hear the siren going off. To deter the burglar, even more, place motion sensor lights around your home so when one is triggered it brings the burglar unwanted attention. The burglar will most likely leave the area.

In addition to having a good, reliable home security system installed, there are other practical things you can do to make your home a safer place for your children when you need to leave them alone or with a caretaker, or just when you are leaving your home empty when you need to go someplace.

Below are some of our security tips for busy moms on the go:

Invest in outdoor lighting.

Sufficient outdoor lighting is an effective intruder deterrent.  Your home’s doors, windows, and dark corners should be illuminated with outdoor lighting to make it impossible for would be burglars to hide.

Be social media safe.

Use social media responsibly.  It’s quite a common pitfall among active social media users, but posting your work schedule or the times when you’re not a home on Facebook is something that is so tempting for intruders.  Someone could already be keeping an eye on your social media status updates for any information that could give your whereabouts away.  Similarly, never live post photos of yourself at your kids’ events. Social media is a powerful and useful tool, however, it can open your home up to vulnerability if a potential intruder is receiving confirmation that you’re not around. You can always post photos and thoughts once the event is over.

Remember to lock your windows.

Some suggest that you should keep ground floor windows locked, but what about the windows upstairs?  Skilled intruders can easily climb up and sneak in through the windows upstairs.  It’s fairly easy to slide a window open even for a small child.

Trim the bushes and trees around your home.

Bushes and trees and lovely. Burglars think so too.  They are perfect hiding places for intruders.  Trim the bushes around your house or replace them with bushes that do not grow very thick.

Keep the doors locked.

This is a no-brainer, but something some moms tend to take for granted or forget, especially when they are in a hurry.  Invest in double locks for all your doors if possible.  This makes your home more “un-inviting” for would-be intruders.

Hide your keys in places only you should know

Hiding keys under the flower pot, beneath the door mat or on top of the door frame is very obvious.  Everyone does that and it’s the first place burglars will look.

Home Security and Safety Tips for Senior Citizens

As more and more seniors choose to live in their own houses instead of living with children, safety in the home for seniors has become an important issue.   We are sensitive to the home security and safety issues that are unique to senior citizens. In addition to the increased risk of age-related injuries and illnesses, seniors are increasingly susceptible to burglary and other cold-hearted crimes. Here are some of our top home safety tips for older adults, to help make sure senior citizens are safe in their home.

Basic Home Protection Tips

There are several important precautions you can take that will help keep you safe and secure in your home:

  1. Even when you are at home, make sure all doors are locked. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, have a peephole installed in your front door. If you hear a knock at the door, first identify the person and then decide whether you want to be home for them or not.  Remember, be suspicious of anyone who asks to enter your home for any type of “maintenance” reason. There are numerous cases of impersonating electricians or gas line inspectors who turn out to be dangerous. Always demand to see an official company ID.
  2. Always choose solid wood or metal for any door that has access to the outside. The frame of the door needs to be strong, so either have the current frame reinforced or have a metal one installed. Reinforcing your front door with a security door brace is an effective and inexpensive way to protect your home against a forced entry.
  3. Install proper exterior lighting. The outside of the residence should be properly lit so as to ensure minimum cases of fall. Falls are one of the major reasons for accidents. Proper lighting also deters would be intruders.The purpose of your home’s exterior lighting should be to detract criminals, not attract them. So while too little light allows intruders to hide, too much light gives would-be intruders easy viewing of the various entry points into your home. To avoid both mistakes, equip your home with outdoor motion detection lights that shine nice and bright only when the sensors detect movement around the perimeter of your home. Such lights can serve as an early warning as well as startle and give a would-be intruder a reason to flee the scene.
  4. Windows need protection too. Place Plexiglas or security film on the inside to increase safety and make it more difficult for the glass to be broken. The best option is to have an alarm system installed with window and doors sensors.
  5. When you hear a knock at the door, bring your phone with you in case you quickly need to call for help.
  6. If you live in a house with a gate, always keep your gate locked.  If you live in an apartment complex or condo, don’t buzz in anyone you don’t know.
  7. Never leave the door key under the mat. Instead, give copies of the key to family members and a trustworthy neighbor.

Extended Home Protection Tips

  • Have a security system installed.  They will not only help thwart thieves but are invaluable tools in medical and fire emergencies. If you plan on spending a period of your retirement traveling, then a security system is a must have.
  • Install motion sensor lighting. These lights are a great way to know when somebody is outside your door and they will help prevent vandalism, too. The lights can be installed on both a house and in a hallway of an apartment or condominium building.
  • If possible, restrain from having any regular monthly checks (such as social security) mailed to you. Thieves can figure out dates and time of their arrival. The best way to receive money is through direct transfer to your bank account.
  • Protect yourself from Internet scams and identity theft by following these tips:
    1. Personal and bank information should never be included in emails
    2. Password changes should be done frequently- monthly or quarterly
    3. Shop online only at reputable websites with secure checkout shopping carts
    4. Don’t click on any links from random companies. They usually steal your information through phony emails that appear to come from reputable businesses.
    5. Never give anyone your personal information over email.

Home security is a priority for senior citizens. To help prevent being targeted, take the advice of an experienced home security expert, and take responsibility for your safety and security today. For a free on-site security estimate, contact our office at 954-925-2127 or email us to schedule an appointment.

Home Safety Tips: Summer Guide

Memorial Day is the harbinger of summer. But before you set off on your summer vacation, don’t forget to protect your home while you’re away.  Did you know that Memorial Day is the third top holiday for car thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau?

Your home may also be at an increased risk if you live in or near a tourist town. On Memorial Day weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina—a popular vacation spot—saw“hundreds of police reports,” and more violence took place that weekend than Independence Day. According to the report, the top Memorial Day weekend crimes were larceny and burglary.

We’ve outlined some simple guidelines to ensure your home is secure this holiday weekend and whenever you are away:

Call a Friend

Ask a family member, neighbor or close friend to keep an eye on your home for any suspicious activity. If you’re going to be away for more than a few days, discuss lawn care with maintenance company or your house sitter; a lawn that looks unkempt is a sign of vacancy. Place a hold on your mail or have a neighbor collect your mail and any packages for you.  Overflowing mail and packages left unattended are a sure sign that a house is vacant.

Pull the Plug

Unplugging electronics and appliances not only saves you money, but it safeguards your home from an electrical fire or power surge. Unplug your TV, microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker, and any extension cords or power strips not being used for lamps. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction.”

All Systems Go

Now is the perfect time to install a home security system or home automation system, or upgrade your existing security system to include home automation devices. You’ll see the value of having an interactive surveillance system’s when you’re on vacation, as it offers unprecedented levels of convenience and peace of mind.

You can use your smartphone or tablet to monitor and control your home remotely while you’re away, such as

  • Ensuring doors and windows are securely locked throughout your home.
  • Adjusting the heating and cooling with a comfortable temperature, which saves money.
  • Creating the illusion that you’re home. By programming your lights on an automatic schedule to switch on and off, it makes your home appear active.
  • Keep tabs on visitors with automatic alerts through video surveillance. You’ll know the exact moment when your house sitter, or anyone else, arrives at your home.
  • Check in on your property utilizing remote camera monitoring. Take a peek in or outside your house to ensure all systems are running smoothly, and everything is in its place.

In closing, it’s very important to think through the risks that are unique to your home. Do you have a faulty garage door? Are expensive electronics or other valuable items in plain view from your first-floor windows?  Take a look at your house from an intruder’s perspective: what’s vulnerable and valuable about your property and assets? Take proactive steps to mitigate any risks in order to enjoy your vacation and return to find your home safe and secure.

remote home automation

Remote home control system on a digital tablet or phone.