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Did you know that the state of your yard can significantly impact your likelihood of being burglarized? It’s true. Burglars will scan neighborhoods in search of ideal targets, weighing factors that include the opulence of the home, the visibility of valuables, and the presence (or non-presence) of a home security system. But these aren’t the only factors. A burglar loves an easy target, and your landscaping may be creating a beacon for the wrong element. Consider a few surprising facts.
Tall Trees and Shrubs Attract Burglars
If your home is looking like the hanging gardens of Babylon, it’s time to break out the weed-whacker. Burglars are drawn to homes with excessive trees, vines and plants, because these overgrowing distractions provide an excellent source of cover. Home invaders want to be seen as little as possible, and some homeowners make it all too easy. Keep your trees trimmed, and keep the foliage to a tasteful minimum, in order to dissuade burglars who might be tempted to sneak onto your property under the cover of darkness.
Fencing is Also Problematic
And while we’re on the subject of coverings, be weary of tall fences. Oftentimes, they can be more inviting to a burglar than tall trees and hedges. It may seem counter-intuitive, since fences are theoretically designed to keep people out, but it’s an important fact to be aware of. If you have a tall fence covering a significant portion of your home, consider upgrading your home security or replacing your fence with a tall gate.
An Unkempt Lawn Signifies Absence
Has you grass grown tall, wild, and out of control? Maybe you just haven’t gotten around to mowing the lawn lately, but you should know that an unmanaged lawn can draw the interest of would-be thieves, because it sends the message that you might be away from home on a prolonged absence. We all hate yard work, but it’s very important that we keep our grass and weeds in order. It’s not just about having the best curb appeal on the block (but of course, that doesn’t hurt, either).
Yard Signs Make a Handsome Addition
How do you adorn your yard? Gnomes? Plastic flamingos? Perhaps a few flower beds? However you choose to decorate the outside of the home, you may want to consider adding a couple of home security yard signs. Even if you don’t have a home security system installed, you can still deter burglars by posting signs and window decals with prominent home security logos and warnings. For only a few dollars, you can significantly reduce your likelihood of being targeted.
Tend to Your Yard
A well-kept yard makes an effective burglary deterrent, and all it requires is a lawnmower and a good pair of clippers (or the services of a professional gardener). In addition, you can take your home security to the next level with a quality home security system from Home Security Store. A burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States alone, but you don’t have to leave yourself vulnerable. Be proactive with your safety and security, and sleep more soundly at night.
So you have just moved into your new dream home. Before you stands a blank canvas on which to create a lifetime of cherished memories. Maybe you’re thinking about how you’ll decorate each room, or perhaps you’re eager to invite everyone you know into your new piece of Paradise. Before you call it a day, there is at least one important element of home ownership that you may be overlooking: home security. You don’t want some creep to break in and take away what you have worked so hard to build, and you don’t have to let it happen. Here are a few simple ways that you can protect your new home right now.
Change all of the Locks
Whenever you move into a new home, it’s important to change all of the locks before you do anything else. You don’t know who has access to the old locks, and you don’t want to take any chances. Install high-grade deadbolts for maximum security, or opt for a sophisticated biometric reader for safe keyless entry. From keypads to hand readers to fingerprint scanners, you have a wealth of options when it comes to 21st century locking mechanisms.
Place Locks on Your Windows
It’s not just your doors that require added protection. Windows are extremely vulnerable but commonly overlooked entry points, and latches alone are insufficient to prevent break-ins. Examine all of the windows in your home and determine if any of them has a reliable lock. Install window locks wherever necessary, or consider reinforcing your windows with burglar bars. You can also use burglar bars to secure any sliding glass doors.
Determine if Your Home is Wired for a Security System
There are two basic types of home security system: wired and wireless. Wired systems are more labor intensive, but if your home is already wired for an alarm, it may be worth your while to install a hardwired unit. These devices are hacker-proof and highly tamper resistant, and they work on your home’s electricity. If your home is not wired for an alarm, you may consider purchasing a wireless unit. Wireless devices are much easier to install, and are incredibly expandable.
Invest in a Quality Home Security System
Whether you choose a hardwired or wireless unit, the important thing is that you arm your new home with a quality security system. Homes without a system are statistically three times more likely to be burglarized, and a lack of preparedness may ultimately cost you far more than the price of a reliable alarm. When you do install your system, be sure to make it known with plenty of yard signs and window decals.
Trim Any Hedges
It may surprise you to learn that your landscaping can impact your likelihood of being robbed. Excessive shrubbery appeals to burglars because it provides an excellent source of concealment. So trim those hedges, and don’t give criminals a place to hide.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Friendly neighbors can be a huge asset. If you maintain a strong rapport with the people on your block, they will be far more likely to report any suspicious activity that happens in or around your home. You may also want to contact your local sheriff’s department and find out if your community has a neighborhood watch program in place.
Install Quality Blinds
Don’t leave your windows exposed. If a neighborhood burglar starts casing homes, he’ll want to see the goods on the inside. You should have a set of quality blinds or curtains installed on every window. Make sure to close them at night and whenever you’re away. Not only will it optimize your home security, but it will greatly enhance the look of your home.
If you’re in need of a quality home security system, biometric locks or burglary deterrents, check out the wide selection at Home Security Store. We offer the best deals on the most advanced home security essentials. Get yours today.
GPS has taken on a myriad of novel uses in the 21st century, many of which would have been limited to the pages of science fiction only a few short years ago. For instance, GPS is now used to guide us across the interstate, track stolen smartphones, and even watch over our small children. GPS data loggers have also gained considerable popularity over the past couple of years, especially since Breaking Bad became a global phenomenon, with all its clever uses of GPS technology. But data loggers are good for more than just tracking meth dealers. Here are 5 reasons you might want to consider purchasing one of your very own:
1. Track Your Freight
Do you manage vehicles for your business? Perhaps your company specializes in deliveries, moving, or general travel. With a GPS data logger, you can easily keep track of your employees’ mileage, time, and routes covered. With a historical GPS record, you won’t have to deal with disputes or uncertainties related to travel, and you can always analyze the data to determine more effective and productive ways to conduct business.
2. Document Your Road Trip
If you plan on taking a journey, why not use your data logger as a digital scrapbook? You can easily keep track of your precise route, determine the length of time that it took you to reach various points of interest, and figure out your exact mileage. Granted there are other ways to document this information, but a GPS logger lays everything out for you in a simple, visual format and provides a whole new perspective for that long drive.
3. Monitor Your Teens
So your 16-year-old son just acquired his license and is dying to take the car out to the movies. You want to trust him and allow him his independence, but you also need to be responsible as the parent of a new driver. A GPS data logger allows you to keep tabs on your young driver when he ventures off into the sunset, thus better ensuring his safety and your peace of mind.
One of the great assets of a GPS data logger is its compact size. You can slip it discreetly into a backpack, laptop case or luggage, and if someone attempts to steal the property, you can easily contact law enforcement and have it tracked down. We actually covered a story about that very situation, in which an Arizona burglar made off with a laptop and was later located by police at his parents’ home. The cops had little trouble finding the perpetrator, because the laptop owner kept a GPS logger tucked inside the case.
5. Assist Those in Need
Some GPS loggers are now being used to monitor people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. If someone in your care wanders off, you can use the GPS logger to easily track down the person’s whereabouts.
Shop for a GPS Data Logger
Modern GPS technology is pretty astonishing. It can be used to improve a commute, improve workplace productivity, and potentially even save the lives of people in your care. There are, of course, myriad other uses, from protecting small children to tracking pets, but you may just find your own purpose for them. These devices are now more affordable than ever before, and Home Security Store carries a wide selection. Get one of your very own, and introduce a little science fiction into your everyday life.
Where do you keep your fire extinguisher? If your answer is, “I don’t have one,” we have a problem. Fire can engulf a room in the blink of an eye, and a quality fire extinguisher may be the only thing that stands between you and utter destruction – or worse. Before you shop around, though, it’s important to know what you’re actually purchasing. There are several types of fire extinguisher on the market, each of which is labeled for a specific type of outbreak. Let’s take a look at some of the most common varieties:
Class A (Indicated by a Green Triangle)
Class A extinguishers are water-based, and are designed for everyday combustible materials like paper, cardboard and wood. It’s the simplest type of fire extinguisher available, and it’s useful for most typical household fires.
Class B (Indicated by a Red Square)
Class B extinguishers are designated for fires involving flammable liquids, like gasoline, oil, and grease. Fires resulting from flammable liquids must be extinguished with a highly specialized chemical composition, as water alone will only spread them.
Class C (Indicated by a Blue Circle)
Class C extinguishers are specifically made for electrical equipment that’s sensitive to water. Examples include wiring, appliances, electrical outlets and circuit breakers. Everyone should have a Class C extinguisher or equivalent in the home.
Class D (Indicated by a Yellow Decagon)
Class D extinguishers are less commonly found in homes, and more often found in chemical labs. They’re used on combustible metals like magnesium, potassium and sodium. Unless you work in such an environment, you probably won’t need this type of fire extinguisher.
Class K (Indicated by a Blue Hexagon)
Class K extinguishers are designed for fires involving cooking oils. As a result, you’ll typically find them in professional kitchens. If you work as a chef, or if you just pride yourself a household culinary enthusiast, you may want to consider investing in a Class K fire extinguisher.
Multi-class Fire Extinguishers
Some fire extinguishers are actually designated for multiple classes, which makes them suitable for a wider range of fires. Common examples include ABC fire extinguishers, which handle fires stemming from common combustible materials, flammable liquids, and electrical equipment. Multiclass models are usually the best choice for homeowners, as they negate the need for purchasing multiple fire extinguishers.
Tips for Using Fire Extinguishers
- First and foremost, you should only attempt to extinguish a fire if it’s small and not spreading.
- Do not attempt to extinguish a fire unless you have a safe exit behind you. If a fire should spread, you don’t want to block your only exit.
- Read the instructions and familiarize yourself with how to use your fire extinguisher as soon as you make your purchase. You won’t have time to read instructions when an actual fire breaks out.
- Finally (and we can’t stress this enough), do not use a fire extinguisher to fight fires for which it is not designated. For instance, don’t use a Class A extinguisher to put out a fire involving flammable liquids.
Don’t Be Without a Fire Extinguisher
No home or business is fireproof, and if you don’t have a fire extinguisher on hand, you’re already playing with fire (okay, no more fire puns). Home Security Store carries a wide selection of fire extinguishers and fire extinguisher theft stoppers, which are ideal for homes and businesses. If nothing else, a quality fire extinguisher will afford you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re prepared. Whether you purchase yours from Home Security Store or somewhere else, the important thing is that you not be without one.
A quality home security camera can be an invaluable tool for both preventing and solving crimes. But before you start shopping for surveillance essentials, it’s important to understand what you’re actually looking for. Not all security cameras are created equal, and your individual needs will dictate the type of camera best suited for your home. Here’s a simple breakdown of some of the most popular security camera types, in order that you might make an informed decision.
Bullet cameras are commonly seen on buildings and walls. As the name suggests, they’re long and cylindrical like bullets, and they’re great for long-range recording. If you need to affix a camera to a wall, bullet cameras are the way to go. They are also the ideal choice for outdoor use; just make sure to purchase cameras with weatherproof casing. Unfortunately, bullet cameras aren’t the most vandal-proof option available, so it’s best to choose wireless models that record to a remote DVR or cloud. Even if someone tries to destroy the camera, you’ll still have the footage.
Dome cameras are attached to ceilings, and are distinguished by their round, dome shape. They’re more vandal resistant than bullet cameras, so if durability is your top concern, dome cameras are an ideal choice. Additionally, many dome cameras feature non-transparent casing, making it difficult or even impossible for criminals to see which direction the camera is pointing. When investing in a complete camera system, it’s best to have a combination of bullet and dome cameras, along with a quality DVR or NVR.
Internet protocol cameras work by streaming footage directly to the Web. They may be used as standalone cameras, or they may serve as part of a larger camera system, but the advantage is that you can monitor footage from anywhere in the world. All you need is a computer, tablet or smartphone. There are two primary types of IP cameras: Centralized IP Cameras and Decentralized IP Cameras. Centralized cameras require a central NVR for recording, while Decentralized cameras feature a built-in recording function.
If discretion is your primary concern, you’re in luck. This is a great time to be alive, as hidden cameras are smaller and more sophisticated than ever before. You can find hidden cameras fashioned inside of motion sensors, alarm clocks, teddy bears, watches, eyeglasses, and even electrical outlets. Hidden cameras obviously don’t make the best burglary deterrents (since burglars theoretically don’t know that the cameras are present), but that makes them all the better for catching people in the act.
Maybe you’re not in the market for a camera right now. Maybe it’s not in your budget, or you’re just not keen on the maintenance. Whatever the case, a fake camera—or dummy camera—is the perfect, cost-effective solution. When prominently placed in outside your home or business, it instantly deters would-be thieves, and it looks exactly like the real thing. You can even find dummy cameras with the names and logos of well-known security companies, along with blinking red lights and wires.
Shop for Quality Security Cameras
If you’re looking for quality security cameras of all varieties, check out the enormous selection available from Home Security Store. We offer individual cameras, DVRs, NVRs, accessories, and complete kits, and our prices are among the best in the industry. Stock up today on all of your camera needs, and observe your home or business with flawless perspective.
Home automation has existed for decades, but in recent years, the technology has given rise to an industry all its own, and the term “home automation” has evolved into a popular buzzword. No longer do we discuss “home security” as a standalone concept. Now it’s all about “security and automation.” But what exactly is home automation, and what does it entail? If you haven’t yet jumped on the automation bandwagon, it may be time to upgrade your home.
Home automation is all about putting your home to work for you. It encompasses all of the technologies, processes and devices used to control the various visual and environmental aspects of your home. From lighting to temperature, security systems to gate access. Home automation enables you to power your entire home with the click of a button, often from the comfort of your chair. Control music throughout your home, manage your intercom system, or lower your blinds from across the room. This isn’t science fiction; it’s real life.
How it Works
A home automation system can be either wired or wireless. Wireless systems have become exceedingly popular in recent years, and they operate using one of several popular wireless communications protocols (typically over radio frequencies). Popular protocols include X10, Z-Wave and Universal Powerline Bus (UPB). When building a home automation system, it’s important to ensure that all of your components use the same protocol. This will enable the most fluid communication and the most streamlined system.
Shopping for a Home Automation System
The great thing about a home automation system is that it can easily be customized to suit your needs. Choose only the components that will make your life easier, like intercoms, lighting controls or audio systems. If you’re looking for easy installation options, make sure to shop for wireless products, and stick with popular protocols like Z-Wave. This will afford you the greatest flexibility and freedom as you expand and enhance your system over time.
The Home Security Connection
As previously mentioned (albeit briefly), home automation and home security go hand in hand. With a hybrid security/automation system like the GE Interlogix Simon XTI w/ Z-Wave & GSM, you can arm and disarm your alarm system while also managing lighting control devices, thermostats, door locks and HVAC systems (separate Z-Wave components are required). Any Z-Wave security system will function effortlessly with the full range of Z-Wave home automation products, as Z-Wave is fully backward compatible.
Automate Your Home
If you’re interested in learning more about home automation, or if you want to start putting your home to work for you, check out the full selection of automation essentials at Home Security Store. You’ll find a wide array of home appliance and lighting controls, power supplies, intercoms, door chimes, and audio speakers, along with our full range of home security equipment. Bring your home into the 21st century, and experience the freedom of total automation.
The majority of burglars gain entry through the front door, but statistics show that more than 20 percent of burglars enter through a window. Windows present a serious vulnerability, because they’re far more difficult to secure than doors. A doorway can be secured to perfection using a solid steel or wood door with a high-grade deadbolt, but windows are inherently easy to penetrate. A determined burglar need only shatter the glass and turn the latch to establish a convenient entry point. Many owners underestimate the importance of window security, but you don’t have to be one of them. Here are some simple tips to help you protect those oft-overlooked glass targets.
Install Window Sensors
Door and window sensors are designed to respond instantly in the event of a security breach. Your typical window contact will consist of two components, one of which contains a magnet and the other of which contains a sensor. When the sensor is separated from the magnet (as the window is opened), the contact sends an alert signal to the control panel of your home security system, triggering the siren. Yes, the majority of window contacts are used as part of a larger home security system, but you can find standalone units as well. So if you don’t already have a full system, there are plenty of options available. You just have to do your homework before purchasing.
Invest in Glass Break Detectors
Glass break detectors resemble and function like motion detectors, but rather than responding to movement, they respond to the sound of breaking glass. Like window sensors, glass break detectors can function as standalone devices or as security system components – depending on the model. Even though you’ll have to deal with a bit of broken glass, the blaring siren will almost always send burglars running for the hills.
Use Windows Bars
A window bar might not prevent burglars from breaking the glass, but it will certainly prevent them from opening the window. So unless the burglar wants to climb through jagged glass, they’re going to find it very difficult to enter. What’s more, many burglars will move from home to home in search of easy targets, and will look for unlocked doors and easily opened windows. Bars ensure that your windows are secured by something much stronger than a flimsy latch, and they also enable you to secure your sliding glass doors (which may also be targeted by burglars).
Use Your Blinds and Curtains
Windows present yet another vulnerability that we must acknowledge. They provide burglars with visual access to the inside of your home. If a criminal decides to case your home, he can look through your window and make an instant determination as to whether your home is worth his time. Don’t give him the opportunity. Close your curtains and blinds before you go to bed at night, and before you leave the house.
Securing your windows doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, but it’s absolutely essential. If you’re looking for ideas for how to better secure your home without breaking the bank, check out the full array of home security and surveillance products at Home Security Store. We carry a wide array of window sensors, glass break detectors, window bars, home security systems and much more. Explore the full selection and burglar-proof your home today.
There are few things more annoying than a false alarm, but the problem isn’t limited to the occasional late-night wakeup call. It can actually cost you money and put you on the police radar for all the wrong reasons. And aside from the monetary penalties and embarrassing police visits, you may find yourself dealing with frustrated neighbors who will likely ignore your siren in the event of a legitimate emergency. In other words, it’s definitely in your best interest to prevent false alarms, and the time to act is now. You don’t want to divert police away from the real emergencies just because your cat enjoys bouncing around the home.
Familiarize Yourself with your System
It may not surprise you to learn that 70 percent of false alarms are the result of user error. Make sure to take time and fully acquaint yourself with all the features of your home security system, and practice arming and disarming your alarm in the dark. Even with a backlit keypad, it can be more challenging to hit all the right the buttons in low-light conditions. Most importantly, take your time and move slowly when arming your alarm system.
Replace Your Motion Detectors
Do you have pets? Those rambunctious dogs and cats may be setting off your alarm. Replace your standard motion detectors with pet-immune motion detectors. These devices are designed for pets of varying weights, so compare your options and find what you need. For instance, some detectors are designed for pets up to 35 pounds, while others are designed for pets up to 100 pounds.
Test Your Alarm
Could it be that your alarm system is actually working improperly? That’s right; it might not actually be your fault. Of course, there’s only one way to find out for sure. Put the system to the test. Just contact your monitoring company and ask them to put your system into test mode, and then follow all instructions provided by the operator. Within a few minutes, you’ll know if your system needs maintenance.
Replace Outdated Equipment
Has your security system been guarding your home since the Reagan administration? Then it’s probably time for a 21st century upgrade. Over the years, security products erode and decline in functionality just like any other consumer electronic device, and it’s a good idea to replace them every now again. You wouldn’t use the same cell phone that you used 15 years ago, so why would you rely on the same faulty security system? Alarm technologies have come a long way in recent years, and Home Security Store has a wealth of affordable and reliable selections to choose from.
Remove Moving Objects
It’s not just animals that can trigger false alarms. Even seemingly innocuous household objects—particularly those that move—can set off the system. Party balloons, rotating holiday decorations, hanging banners, these are just some of the items that may turn your home into a one-note dance party while you’re asleep in bed or enjoying the latest movie at the local cinema. In other words, be aware of anything that floats freely or dances in the breeze.
Ensure That Your Doors and Windows Latch Securely
Are your doors looking a bit warped? Windows not closing as fully as they should? You may be opening the door for false alarms (forgive the wordplay). Make sure that all entry points close completely, and replace any doors or windows that are no longer able to achieve a firm seal.
Change Your Batteries Often
This isn’t as much of an issue for hardwired systems (which typically use batteries only for backup), but if you own a wireless system, it’s absolutely critical that you keep fresh batteries in all of your devices (keypad, sensors, control panel). Failure to do so will negatively affect the performance of your system and leave you less adequately protected.
If you need to invest in a new home security system, accessories, or replacement batteries, check out the full selection at Home Security Store. We only carry the best products on the market, offered at the best prices. Order yours today.
Believe it or not, home security systems are extremely affordable. The real investment comes in the form of installation and monitoring. If you want to save money on a home security package, don’t opt for a cheaper system; opt for more affordable installation options. Finding a cheap home security installer is not only possible, but fairly easy, as long as you know what to look out for. You may even be able to install the system yourself for maximum savings.
Beware of the Big Alarm Companies
First and foremost, skip the big companies. You know those guys who advertise on TV and promise to take care of all your needs, from products to installation to monitoring? Convenience is their big selling point. They handle everything, and you just need to sign on the dotted line. Unfortunately, this can mean getting roped into lengthy and costly monitoring contracts and overpaying for installation. If you want to get the most for your money, purchase your system upfront and then start shopping around for professional installers in your area.
Cheap vs Cheap
Plenty of installers offer “cheap” services, but as we all know, cost and value don’t always go hand in hand. When you find a deal that seems promising, look for reviews. Yelp and Angie’s List offer reviews for alarm installers, and My Alarm Installer is another great resource to check out. At My Alarm Installer, you can even find a list of reputable installers in your area. Just enter your zip code and you’re ready to go. Never settle on a company just because the price seems too good to be true (especially if the price seems too good to be true).
Get it in Writing
Many installers won’t list prices directly on their website. Some will post an hourly rate without giving any indication as to how many hours the process will take. It’s important that you talk to numerous installers over the phone, ask questions and get a feel for how much you’ll actually be paying. Then, when you come to an agreement, insist that you get the total amount in writing before the installation even begins. Sadly, some installers will try to pull a fast one on you by offering a low price or estimate and then tacking on additional fees. Don’t get taken.
Hopefully this goes without saying, but make sure to choose a company that’s fully licensed and insured. Additionally, make sure the installer knows beforehand which system you need installed. If you pre-purchased your system, it’s important to find an expert who understands the product. Each system has its own unique programming needs, and while most competent installers can figure out any conventional system, it’s best to stick with experts who are intimately familiar with your particular brand.
You Can Install Your Own Alarm
And then, of course, there’s the DIY option. Some systems are enormously complicated to set up, while others are remarkably easy. If you really want to save money, consider investing in a wireless home security system. Wireless systems are easier than ever to install, and they’re relatively non-invasive. With a bit of patience, anyone can assemble one of these systems. Home Security Store even offers telephone security consulting for a small fee, so you can have an expert walk you through the entire process. Configuring a security system has never been easier.
Secure Your Home
The most important takeaway is that you secure your home. There are a lot of affordable options out there, but what matters is that you take action. A burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States, and anyone can become a victim. Furthermore, unsecured homes are three times more likely to be invaded than those with a quality security system. So whichever route you decide to take, take it now. Secure your home, and sleep more soundly tonight.