Monthly Archives: December 2013

Self-Monitoring Vs. Professional Alarm Monitoring

New technologies within the home security space are emerging at a steady pace. While we are grateful for high-tech solutions designed to keep criminals at bay, keeping up with the best and latest security takes effort. This is particularly true when making an important decision such as choosing between a professional alarm monitoring service and a DIY alarm monitoring device. We hope that this post helps add to your knowledge and confidence in making such an important home security decision.

Is Alarm Monitoring Really Necessary?

Before we go any further, it is important to address the necessity of alarm monitoring. Yes, whether using a professional service or an automated device, monitoring a security system is necessary if aiming for optimal security. Without monitoring, a criminal has a better chance of getting away with a household’s goods or worse– harming its occupants.

According to the Electronic Security Association, 74% of burglaries which are not completed are due to the sound of an alarm triggering. While this number is enough to support installing an alarm system in your home, what do we make of the 26% of burglars who do not seem fazed by an alarm’s noise? With the added fact that most thieves are in and out of a home in a matter of minutes…and that some don’t even mind the occupants being at home during a break-in, we begin to see why alarm monitoring is so important.

The Advantages of Professional Alarm Monitoring

Whether a criminal completes a burglary or not, a professional team of monitors can begin the process of capturing a culprit. After allowing a few moments for an owner to disarm a system (in cases of false alarms), a monitor will attempt to contact a homeowner or someone from the homeowner’s list of emergency contacts in order to determine whether or not there is a problem at the alarm’s location. If unable to contact anyone or if unable to clearly identify the reason for the alarm, monitors will contact local authorities who can then physically visit a location in order to assess the situation. Mind you, this entire process happens within minutes of the alarm’s first sound.

In cases of home invasions, live alarm monitoring can literally be a life-saver as there are a couple of options available to a homeowner in trouble. One option is to create a distress code, which will quiet an alarm and satisfy an intruder (who most likely has forced a homeowner to turn the alarm off). At the same time, however, this distress code also indicates to monitors that a person is in trouble. A similar ‘secret’ code word can be given to monitors who may call on the telephone during a home invasion.

The Disadvantages of Professional Alarm Monitoring

There aren’t many disadvantages to professional alarm monitoring. The only two that are sometimes floated about in these conversations involve calling the authorities unnecessarily and the monthly cost of a monitoring service. In cases where homeowners have disagreed with authorities being called, it helps to understand that this only happens after a monitor has made several attempts to contact the homeowner and other authorized contacts about an alarm being triggered. Only when these contacts cannot be reached will a call then be placed to local law enforcement. While a false alarm may result in a fine, such calls are highly necessary as it is better to be safe than sorry.

With regards to the monthly monitoring fee that some may complain about, that is entirely understandable. What is not understandable is that home security companies tend to set the prices on this service so as to add to their own bottom line. More often than not, monitoring is done by a third-party company for a much lower fee while home security companies (i.e. the middle men) pocket the difference between the high amount the homeowner pays and the lower amount that is actually being charged for the service.

Our answer to that, of course, is Alarm Relay, which can be found on our main page. Through your relationship with the Home Security Store, you are able to benefit from a far more realistic rate than you would if you were to contract with an outside vendor for the same service.

Self-Monitoring Your Alarm System

This is an exciting time in the DIY home security market as manufacturers continue to make great strides in providing high-tech security options at the most reasonable prices possible. One of these options offers homeowners the ability to monitor a home security system remotely via computer, tablet or Smartphone. For details on how such a function works, we encourage you to take a look at the Envisalink Internet Alert Module for DSC and Honeywell Security systems.

The Advantages of Self-Monitoring an Alarm System

Self-monitoring does not involve a monthly fee and can often be added to an existing alarm system. Text and email alerts happen within seconds of any activity taking place in a zone once an alarm system is armed. Some self-monitoring devices will even place a phone call to a homeowner and other contacts on a user’s list. The ability to peer into a home is also possible with certain systems which feature surveillance capabilities.

The Disadvantages of Self-Monitoring an Alarm System

There aren’t many drawbacks to this sort of monitoring. Of course, one might be the lack of a live person (other than yourself) paying attention to a system’s alerts. Some choose to work around this potential drawback by still paying for an affordable service like Alarm Relay, but that is entirely optional.

Self-Monitoring Vs. Professional Alarm Monitoring Boils Down To Preference

Whether an alarm is professionally monitored by an outside service or whether you decide to monitor it online or via a Smartphone app, the most important thing is that your system is monitored. Otherwise, it likely comes down to an issue of preference. People who are attached to Smartphone’s and other mobile devices seem to rather enjoy being able to remotely control and monitor a system, while those who aren’t may be a better fit for a live monitoring service.

Ralph Winn

Keep Your Burglar Alarm at Its Optimal Best

Alarm-SystemSo, you’ve had your burglar alarm for a while now and you want to keep it in tip-top condition. In other words, you can do without the false alarms you’ve heard others complain about and you want to make sure that your home security system works in the event that you actually need it to sound an alarm. In addition to making sure that you have a good burglar alarm system to begin with, there are a number of things that you can do to help keep your alarm working at its optimal best. As this is the end of the year and you want to start 2014 on the right side of home security, this is a good time to invest a few minutes in the following tips:

Reset Your Burglar Alarm Pass Codes

Just as you should periodically change your email and banking passwords, your burglar alarm pass codes should be changed from time-to-time, too. After all, there is a good possibility that your security may have been breached in that some unauthorized person may have seen you input your code or you may have even shared it with a household employee who no longer works for you. Remember to choose a code that is difficult to decipher and don’t forget to update every member of the household about the new code.

Check Your Alarm Batteries

One of the most common reasons for false alarms or a system failure is actually due to a low battery issue. For this reason, you should check your burglar alarm batteries a few times throughout the year. If your batteries do need replacing, your product manual will tell you precisely what you need and there is a good chance that you can find new burglar alarm batteries in our main store.

Check Your Door and Window Sensors

While we’re on the subject of false alarms and burglar alarm system failures, this is as good a time as any to advise you to check all of your door and window sensors. A loose sensor, one that has been dislodged or an improperly installed sensor not only makes your system a prime candidate for false alarms, but it may also lead to you being burglarized.

Have Your Burglar Alarm Monitored

Yes, we know. You’ve opted for a DIY burglar alarm system because you want to save money while taking it upon yourself to exercise a great level of control over your household’s security. The best thing that you can do for your family and to get the full benefit of your home security system is to have your alarm monitored. While a lot of nationally known brands charge a few hundred dollars per year for this service, Alarm Relay charges a mere $8.95 per month. While this is not a DIY service, it fits perfectly with the lower prices obtained by opting to install your own alarm system…which is precisely why we feature a link to Alarm Relay’s service on our store’s main page.

Expand Your Home Security System

Whether you have a hardwired or a wireless burglar alarm system, there is a good chance that it can be expanded to accommodate other security devices. Such devices include security lighting, a CCTV system, environmental controls and more. The idea here is to use your burglar alarm as the foundation for your home security system, but seek to expand it over time until you have built a system that brings you the best and tightest security any home can have.

Do Not Leave False Alarms Unchecked

Even if you only experience one false alarm, that is one too many. Your job is to immediately determine what the faulty alarm’s trigger is and fix it. A failure to take this advice seriously may cause you serious problems in the long run.

And don’t wait until you start experiencing false alarms to put this tip into practice. Remember that some jurisdictions charge a fine for false alarms if the police are sent to your home. It’s also likely that too many of these may lead to complaints from your neighbors.

Buy a New Burglar Alarm

If you have an old system, a broken one or an alarm that never served you well in the first place, replace it. Seriously, don’t put doing so off any longer. The mere fact that you’re here today means that you value your home’s security and that you know that affordable DIY burglar alarm options exist. Why wait until someone breaks into your home before you buy a new system?

What Do You Do?

Do you have a checklist for keeping your burglar alarm working its best? Do you agree with the tips shared here or have any of your own that you’d like to share?

Ralph Winn

Protecting Your Home During the Holidays

holiday-thiefThe holiday winter season is considered “the most wonderful time of the year.” True as it may be, Christmas could also be considered a dangerous season as well. Homes can be easy targets for burglars who are looking to hit the jackpot and be Grinch-like to literally steal Christmas.

The following tips can be precautions to prevent any burglaries from occurring this Christmas season. And while many may think that recreating the witty antics to fight burglars like in Home Alone would be cool, take safe and proper precautions instead:

Display security signs

Have yard signs in the front of your house out in the open and not hidden behind a bush or plants. Perhaps a burglar will think twice about breaking into your home when seeing that the home is protected with a security system. Also be sure to also display alarm stickers throughout the house on windows and back entrances where robbers may attempt to break-in.

Leave lights on

Leave living room, backyard and kitchen lights on to create the illusion that the house is occupied; but remember not to emphasize the nicely gift wrapped presents nestled underneath the Christmas tree with too many lights against a lot of darkness.

Blast music on

A house with noise is a sure sign to keep robbers away. Leaving the TV on can work too, but simply popping in a Christmas CD should make the house more merry and safe from possible outside interference.

Avoid solicitors

In playing it safe, try to follow the kid’s order by not answering the door to strangers. Unless choirs of carolers are spreading some Christmas joy, it’s best to not answer the door to avoid any potential danger. Expert Robert Siciliano from Blog Her explains that “it’s best to ignore solicitors at your door; they can be a crook wanting to case your home-interior and exterior-for a possible return later to burglarize.”

Do not share plans

If you’re planning to be away from home during the holidays, which is common, it’s best to not let anyone who isn’t close know that you’re leaving home. In an age of social media, it’s also best not to let everyone know your home will be empty while you’re having a blast on Christmas vacation or share TMI (too much information). Siciliano advises to “refrain from sharing your travel plans yourself in cyberspace” to avoid possible breakage into your home.

Use your canine friend for protection

Dogs can be considered man’s best friend for this reason alone. A “beware of dog” sign will make the robber not even touch your home, no matter what kind of breed. Expert Matt Hickman of the Mother Nature states “many burglars will steer clear of homes where any sort of dog resides, be it a Brussels Griffon or a Bullmastiff, because dealing with one can be unpredictable, time-consuming and complicated.”

Install alarm system, if you haven’t so

Every home should install a security system to let everyone know your home is being under constant guard. According to PR Web, “statistics consistently indicate that homes without a security system are 300% more likely to attract burglars.”

So this Christmas season, do cherish the holiday season with loved ones; however, be sure to not get too occupied to take time for safe measures to protect the safety of your home and family. That way, you and your loved ones can really have a Merry Christmas.

Ralph Winn

Home Security Habits You Need To Ditch In 2013

securityAs we prepare to step into 2014, there are some bad home security habits that we need to leave behind in 2013. If you are a social media user, someone who doesn’t like to think about home security or someone who doesn’t regularly use an alarm system, this post is a must read for you. The habits named below may not only lead to you being burglarized, but they might also put your health and safety at risk.

Offering TMI (Too Much Information)

Sharing too much information can lead to huge repercussions. As we’ve warned you many times, burglars aren’t always shady looking guys lurking in the shadows. They can be the shy and quiet teenager next door, someone pretending to be a salesperson or may even be someone you know. When you share information about your work schedule, vacation plans, new items purchased, etc. keep this in mind.

I shared a story here a few months ago about knowing a neighbor’s vacation plans even though she didn’t share them with me. How’d I gain it? Simple. While sitting on my front porch I overheard her standing outside loudly broadcasting her travel dates and times to another neighbor (both live across the street and several doors down from me). Now, I don’t know how close this woman is to this other neighbor, but I do know that that information was not meant for my ears. Unfortunately, conversations like these can often be overheard in the line at the grocers, while walking down the street or any number of other places. If you are not careful, a criminal may be the one to overhear this useful info, so please get in the habit of keeping particular travel details to yourself…and if you must share, lower your voice!

Also monitor your social media activities so as not to share TMI there. You would not believe how many times I’ve seen people discuss when they will be away from home or having just purchased an expensive item while also displaying their location information on the social media app they’re using. Remember, criminals are looking for an easy score and many of these apps even allow them to search for people near to where they are. Don’t make their jobs any easier. Break the TMI home security habit today!

Putting Home Security Out Of Your Mind

There are a lot of mean people in the world and bad stuff often happens to good people. We get that you sometimes want to tune it all out and concentrate on more positive things, instead. Don’t go so far as to not think about home security, however. In particular, don’t put thinking about how you can improve yours out of your mind.

For many, this isn’t just an issue of ignoring the possibilities of a burglary happening at home, but is more a matter of cost or having to deal with home security salespeople. This is why DIY home security exists, however. You do not have to break the proverbial bank in order to secure your home, nor do you have to deal with high monthly fees and salespeople intent on upselling you whenever they can. Opt for a DIY home security system, instead, and put your mind at ease while also making your home as safe as possible.

Ignoring the Home Security Experts

Burglary statistics are rising in certain areas of the country at an alarming pace, so don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater here. While seeking to avoid pushy salespeople, don’t even think about ignoring security experts. Instead, do the opposite and speak to them about the best ways to secure your home. Read everything that you can and learn about the very real threats to your family’s safety and how you can work to eliminate them.

Listening to Non-Expert Advice

While educating yourself about home security, don’t entertain non-experts who will try to dissuade you from buying the right equipment. We’ve all met these people (and if you haven’t, count yourself lucky). There are plenty of know-it-all types out there who will insist that don’t need an alarm system or that your existing system does not need to be monitored. Be polite, smile and nod as they speak…and then ignore all of the bad advice that they give you. These people are not experts and they are often wrong. And none of them will be around to protect you in your time of need.

Not Arming Your Home Security System

Break the habit of not arming your system while you are at home, each and every time you leave home (even for quick errands) and during the daytime. Believe it or not, many people think that there are times when a system does not need to be armed like during the afternoon while relaxing at home or when heading next door to visit a neighbor. Understand, however, that most burglars are very good at what they do and only need for you to give them a small window of opportunity and a few minutes for them to ease in and out of your home. Outsmart them by abandoning this habit and make a rule to keep your system armed at all times– starting now.

You’re Turn

What are some of your worst home security habits and how do you plan to stop repeating them?

Ralph Winn

DIY Home Security Tips We Hope You Didn’t Miss This Year

home-security-tipsAs we prepare to say goodbye to 2013, there are a number of DIY home security tips shared on this blog that we hope you will take with you into the new year. Really, all of the good advice shared in our posts and in the comments that follow each one are worthy of your attention and your action. There are a few, however, that we’d like to highlight in case you missed them or in case you care to indulge in a little DIY home security refresher.

What to Do When an Intruder Barges Into Your Home

This past summer, we shared a couple of chilling real life stories about celebrities who’d been at home while a burglar broke in. We spotlighted these stories in an effort to remind you that these types of crimes can happen to anyone…even people with high public profiles who can afford to live anywhere they choose to.

As frightening as these tales always are, though, we also offered some DIY home security tips to help ensure that you don’t become a future victim of a home invasion. You really should go back and read that post, but here are a few main points to keep on the forefront of your minds heading into 2014:

  • Keep your home security system armed at all times– even when you are at home
  • Always keep a cellphone within your immediate reach (and make sure the battery is always charged)
  • Lock yourself inside a safe room the moment you realize someone is in the house (Visit our post on creating a safe room if you need tips on that topic.)
  • Invest in a panic alarm to quickly alert the police and others within earshot

And speaking of panic alarms, you should also check out one of several of our posts on that very topic. Like…

Panic Alarms and Why You Need One

In that post, we reminded you that despite a burglar being inside your home while you are also inside, you can maintain a measure of control over the situation. One of several ways of doing so is having the ability to use a panic alarm to (hopefully) scare an intruder away while also signaling for help. For the ultimate in panic alarm convenience, look into a wireless panic pendant which can be worn anywhere (including the shower) and which you can find on our main page.

Beware of Risky Home Security Advice

You’ve probably received a bit of this in the past, which is why you seriously need to read our warning in full. Essentially, this post worked to counter a lot of the advice given to you by others which, if taken, could place you and your family at risk. Some of the falsehoods addressed in that post include:

Protecting yourself with wasp spray instead of pepper spray. Laughable, I know, but some people really believe that sprays intended for non-human aggressors actually provide better protection than the pepper sprays used by police officers and others with heightened security awareness. Back then we encouraged you to read up on the pepper sprays featured in our main store…and that advice is still good today.

Use your webcam as a DIY home security camera. Another very bad piece of advice yet the Internet is rife with these sort of so-called home security hacks. What happens when a thief steals your computer or simply unplugs a webcam? Questions like these were explored and the issue laid to rest in a single blog post. If you’ve been guilty of thinking this sort of home security will work, please stop. Go read the post now and then visit our main site to find affordable DIY home security camera systems that offer all sorts of cool features, like remote access from your smartphone.

Actually, now that I think about it, we’ve addressed this subject a couple of times on our blog, so go ahead and revisit all of those posts so that you can shut people down when they tell you foolishness like there’s no need for you to have a burglar alarm when a dog or a gun will do; or that home monitoring is a waste of money. Believing this advice is literally a danger to you and others…just ask those who’ve accidentally shot loved ones or returned home to a dead or badly injured pet.

Sharing DIY Home Security Tips

These DIY home security tips are in no particular order as each one is of great importance. Now it’s your turn to take action by heeding these tips in an effort to make sure your home security is as strong as possible as you head into 2014. We don’t want you to stop there either. Take a few minutes and share this post with your closest friends and family members, as well as your social media contacts. Everyone should know that DIY home security is accessible, affordable and achievable.

What’s On Your Mind?

Which tip or post was your favorite in 2013? Which one made you think more seriously about DIY home security? What would you like to learn more about in 2014? Your comments mean a lot to us and we hope that you’ll take a moment to share your thoughts with us below.

Ralph Winn

Alarm Monitoring. Can You Do it yourself?

diy-monitoringIs it possible to do your own alarm monitoring? The answer is yes, and no. Home security systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Home and business owners can now work with fully integrated hardwire and wireless alarm systems, ensuring that they are secure and protected at all times.

Why You Need Alarm Monitoring Services

While alarm systems that are triggered by a door or window opened, motion detected, Glass break detected or smoke in the air are paramount to ensuring the safety of your home or business, they can be rendered ineffective if there is no one around to hear or react to the alarm.

Neighbors often take little notice of alarm sirens or flashing lights at a home in their street. That’s partly because the less sophisticated systems of years past were often triggered by the wind. And let’s face it – confronting an intruder on your own property is dangerous enough and not everyone is prepared to risk their safety to establish if your home is being burgled.

Monitoring your own alarms isn’t effective if you’re away and can’t take action quickly, or if you’re trapped by fire in your home and unable to summon the emergency services.  In fact, an unmonitored alarm is only a small step up from having no alarm at all.

Alarm monitoring is an essential aspect of having an alarm system, and ensures that, not only are people inside the property notified of any threats, but that external authorities, such as the police or fire departments, are also notified.

Consider a Combination of DIY and External Alarm Monitoring

While employing an alarm monitoring company to monitor your security systems is an added expense, the savvy home or business owner can easily cut costs by outsourcing only a small part of the alarm monitoring service to an external company, and doing the rest themselves.

A large part of an alarm monitoring company’s fee doesn’t relate to the actual monitoring of triggered alarms, but instead to installing, maintaining, and repairing systems and equipment. By installing the various components of the alarm system yourself, and assuming responsibility for basic day-to-day maintenance of any hardware and wiring, as well as for replacing batteries when necessary, you’ll get a better deal with alarm monitoring. Fees will be reduced because the company won’t have to dispatch repair vehicles and technicians to your property to test, service or repair your equipment.

Once the alarm system has been installed, the home or business owner can consult a security or alarm monitoring company that specialises in monitoring, rather than the sale of security systems. Often their service can be set up remotely without the need for an attendance call. They may also be able to offer flexible billing plans, such as billing on a yearly schedule, or offer package home and business deals that can save you more money.

For home and business owners who are technologically savvy and wise with their money, setting up a security system and outsourcing only the alarm monitoring that is required is a great way to make the most of a high quality alarm system at a fraction of the price. 

Ralph Winn


Home Security and Automation Trends We Look Forward to In 2014

home-automationIn the past year, we’ve noticed some pretty interesting trends in the home security arena. Seems that people are finally embracing the very important need of having a burglar alarm. Many are also realizing needs for heightened security through devices like surveillance cameras and security lighting, which can help expand an existing system for broader protection. It seems like these items are also being introduced to the market at a faster pace than in the past and that people are really tuning into their usefulness.

Another trend that appears to be climbing involves home automation. In recent years, we’ve even seen a bit of buzz about behemoth entertainment companies like Comcast and Time Warner working to introduce home automation devices to their respective customer bases. Combined with stories about people gravitating more toward streaming their programming in lieu of cable television, it’s no wonder these companies are leaning towards the emerging home automation industry. Of course, we’ve been several steps ahead of that curve (as is evidenced by all of the home automation devices offered on our main page), but we’re still glad that the interest is growing and that the market is providing the people with what they want.

Here are a few more home security and automation trends we look forward to seeing more of in 2014:

DIY Home Security

No surprise there, huh? Well for you, our long time readers, this is common sense. However, the general public– blinded by a lack of knowledge and the large advertising budgets controlled by certain home security brands– had been missing out on this opportunity in previous years. Things are changing, though.

Why, just this past week I watched a video by a major tech review site as they gave high marks to a certain DIY home security alarm. I won’t mention that device here, not because it’s not worthy of mention, but because it also came with a high monthly price tag whereas our DIY home security alarms can be monitored by the professionals at Alarm Relay for a mere $8.95 per month.

Still, we’re pleased to see that the public-at-large is finally catching onto the fact that DIY home security is a safe and affordable option and we hope to see that trend continue in 2014 and beyond.

Security and Automation Gadgets For Techies

Have you noticed the plethora of security gadgets (like the iSmartAlarm) that can be operated via a smartphone? Or what about environmental devices that can be remotely controlled from the palm of your hand like the Trane Home Management Thermostat? These things are a techie’s dream while being simple enough for non-techies to get full use of, too. We applaud home security and automation manufacturers for giving us such innovative and cool gadgets and it is our pleasure to introduce even more of these to you in the year ahead.

Child Safety Devices

While we wish items like the SecuraTrac SecuraPAL GPS Child Tracking Device were not necessary, we are nonetheless happy to see equipment like this on the market. Nothing in life is more important than keeping children safe and, unfortunately, our eyes can’t be on them at all times. What next better way to keep tabs on their whereabouts, however, than a full GPS tracking device? These gadgets allow us to immediately pinpoint a child’s location at any given time, which is a sigh of relief for parents and other caretakers. The best in this class even empower children with panic buttons that will immediately alert an adult anytime a child senses danger.

As much as we hate to think about children and the many threats of danger that they face, we hate even more the idea of them being in that state with little hope of anyone coming to their rescue. Child tracking devices can also be used to track adults with cognitive impairments or any loved one who may need a little extra personal security (such as people who work night shifts or those who frequent remote locations). It is for this reason that we hope to see these devices, and the safety features they offer, spread in popularity.

We Want To Hear From You

So, what do you think of our roundup? What sorts of home security and automation trends are you looking forward to in 2014? Do you have specific home security and home automation needs or desires that you can’t currently find a device to match? How about one you’ve heard about, but that seems too expensive and out of your reach? We’ve shared our list of hopeful trends for 2014, now it is time for you to share yours.

And speaking of sharing, all of your comments about home security have been deeply appreciated. Some of your experiences and concerns have even inspired a blog post or two. We hope that you’ll keep the comments coming in 2014 and beyond…and on that note, the floor is now officially yours. Tell us, what’s on your mind in the realm of home security and automation trends?

Ralph Winn


Protect Your Family From Window and Lock Bumping Burglars

lock_1772033cA simple technique known as lock bumping can give a burglar access to your home in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, this technique does not draw much attention to a thief standing at your front door either. To any unsuspecting passersby, a lock bumping burglar appears to be an ordinary person using a key to get into your home.

Equally frustrating is learning that thieves can now just as easily bump certain windows, as well. Watching a thief bump a window will surely raise suspicions, but many are able to complete this task so quickly and so easily that it’s possible to do so without being noticed. This method is preferred, of course, to shattering a glass window in order to gain access to a home.

What Is Lock Bumping?

Lock bumping is a time-honored technique that a lot of burglars use to break into homes. By using a tool such as a screwdriver or other sharp instrument or even using a special lock bumping tool crafted to look like an ordinary house key, thieves are able to insert an instrument into a pin tumbler door lock and with a few taps or ‘bumps’ they are able to manipulate the pins inside of the lock in such a way that they align just long enough to allow the doorknob to turn and a burglar to enter.

Thieves practice this technique, of course, so that the entire action takes just a few seconds. Because they are inserting an instrument into the lock itself and because the technique doesn’t require hardly any force, this technique doesn’t typically stir attention.

What Is Window Bumping?

You may think that your sliding windows are secure especially if they feature a locking mechanism as most modern ones do. In a recent conversation with a police officer, however, it was revealed that thieves are able to bump these types of windows, too. Apparently, a burglar only needs to bump a window a few good times in order for the lock to separate from the frame just enough for them to then slide it open.

While this technique does not allow the discreet entry that lock bumping does, it still doesn’t attract as much attention as one might immediately think. Recently, I spoke with a woman who slept through a thief breaking into her home in the wee hours of the night after bumping her bathroom window. She never heard a sound. Her neighbor reported to police that she’d heard a series of bumps, but after looking out of her window and not seeing anything unusual she convinced herself that there was nothing to be concerned about and returned to bed. How’s that for things that go bump in the night!

How To Protect Your Home From Window and Lock Bumping Burglars

If you are serious about home security, know that there are a number of ways to keep thieves out, but that you will need to be proactive about doing so. Be honest with yourself in understanding that burglaries happen in every neighborhood around the world and that no one is immune from becoming a target. You do have control, however, over working to deter thieves and there are a number of DIY home security devices that you can begin using right away in order to do precisely this.

Lock Bumping Prevention

For lock bumping, in particular, we cannot recommend the Keypout Lock Bumping/Dead Bolt Protector enough. A simple and affordable gadget that requires no installation (other than attaching it to your doorknob), this anti-bumping device prevents your door’s knob from being turned whenever it is in place. Remember, in order for lock bumping to work, burglars have to be able to turn a door’s knob at a precise moment during the process.

Further anti-lock bumping protection can be obtained by changing your door locks. There are a number of locks that are bump resistant and that are easy to install. For guaranteed protection against bumping, you may want to forgo traditional door locks altogether and opt for a keyless entry system, instead. Such locks will require a passcode or even a fingerprint identification before allowing someone access to your home. For more information on keyless entry systems, we encourage you to take a few minutes to browse the selection featured on our main site.

Window Bumping Prevention

Placing a Lock-it-Block-it Home Security Burglar Bar on each of your windows is an affordable and smart way of keeping thieves at bay. Once the bar is in place, it is impossible for a burglar to slide your window open even if he is successful in dislodging the window’s latch. These devices can also be found on our main page and we recommend one for every window in your home.

Your Thoughts On Window and Lock Bumping Burglars

Do you know anyone whose doors or windows have been bumped by a determined thief? What strides have you taken to make certain that your doors and windows can withstand a bumping attempt? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to share this article with others who need to secure their homes against window and lock bumping burglars.

Ralph Winn

Three DIY Home Security Projects You Should Complete Before 2014

ALEXOR‘Tis the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season to get a few last minute home security activities under your belt, too. While you may have thought that home security devices were best managed by a security vendor, think again. Modern security manufacturers have created a slew of high-tech and reliable equipment types which are also affordable and relatively easy to install as a do-it-yourself activity.

Now that you know this, there’s no reason for you to reschedule your holiday preparation activities in order to wait for a salesperson to help you select your home security devices. Nor is there any reason for you to waste even more time in scheduling a separate installation appointment. In addition to time, DIY home security also allows you to save money on things that vendors routinely overcharge the public for such as equipment, service and installation.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best DIY home security projects you can and should complete before year’s end…

Burglar Alarm

You may have known that we’d start with this one and we offer no apologies for doing so. After all, we solidly believe that no home or office space should be without a burglar alarm. We are also particularly pleased to inform you that these devices do not require professional installation and many of the alarms featured on our main site are perfectly suited for homes of all sizes including condos, apartments and even dorm rooms! Alarms offered include hardwired devices, as well as wireless (which are the easiest to install). You even have time to install a full alarm system, such as the iSmart Alarm, which can be remotely controlled by your smartphone.

Alarm Monitoring

As satisfied as you may feel after accomplishing an alarm installation, we have news for you. No home security system is complete without alarm monitoring. We can hear you doing the math in your head now and wondering if you can include this service in your monthly budget. Let us help you out…yes, you can. How do we know this? Well, for starters monitoring doesn’t cost nearly as much as what traditional alarm vendors will quote you for the service. Whereas most charge several hundred dollars per year, we can hook you up with monitoring for less than $9 per month through Alarm Relay. The small cost for this enormous security service really is something that you can’t afford to pass up.

This security project is also the simplest on our list. All it takes is a phone call to our main office in order to start your order. And if that’s just too much work for you, you can always click the banner on our main page, too.

Surveillance System

Installing a full camera system in and around your home is something you can totally do before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. And by full camera system, we mean a multi-channel hookup that will allow you to visually cover your home from every angle imaginable. Whereas doing so was once a very expensive and highly detailed job best left to the pros (and the very wealthy), you can now own and install a highly reliable indoor or outdoor surveillance system on your own without breaking the bank.

Browse our main site for an array of surveillance equipment ranging from one camera systems all the way up to 16. Just as with the alarm systems previously discussed, you may also opt for a hardwired system or one that is completely wireless. You may even select a system that allows you remote viewing capabilities from your smartphone, tablet computer or other personal computing device.

Make 2014 Your Best Home Security Year Yet

With so many devices at your fingertips…and with the ability to install each one with your own two hands, there’s just no reason for you not to secure your home and your family right away. You deserve the best and latest security technology, but you do not deserve to be billed for unnecessary and exorbitant costs. By installing your own DIY surveillance cameras and alarm system and then having that system monitored by a live team of experts, you can literally increase your home security exponentially without needing a second job to do so.

Have a Special Home Security Project In Mind?

Do you have a DIY home security project that you’d really like to complete before year’s end? Tell us about it and tell us what stops you from doing it today. We are here to encourage one another to live our safest lives possible, so feel free to share any questions or comments that you may have. Should you need an immediate response to a home security question, our in-house team of professionals are always on hand to answer your questions if you send us an email or contact us via the telephone number listed on our main site.

Ralph Winn

Top Tech Gifts In Home Security


iStock_000004856960XSmallSome of the best tech gifts of this holiday season also offer better personal and home security to your loved ones. Items like these have a particular ‘wow’ factor, but also serve very useful purposes. Such devices are perfect considerations for anyone on your gift list who loves technology, but who may not yet be aware of the many DIY home security options that are available to them.

Why Give Tech Gifts?

Simply put, people are fascinated with technology. From grandparents to toddlers, most people are intrigued by gadgets that they can use to do everyday things like turning lights on and off or engaging in a video call with someone on the other side of the globe. While many of these gadgets are used for entertainment and convenience, several of them can also be used to increase one’s personal safety and even protect the home. With this in mind, there’s no good reason to not give someone a home security tech gift this holiday season.

The Best Security Tech Gifts For Mobile Users

Smartphone Surveillance

Did you know that it’s possible to remotely view what is going on in and around your home from wherever you may be? Did you know that you can do all of this from a smartphone or a tablet computer? Heavy mobile users are sure to appreciate home security devices like the Schlage Wireless Indoor Network IP Camera. A system like this allows homeowners to strategically place one or more cameras in key locations around the home in order to enjoy remote viewing on a smartphone, tablet or computer while away.

Tech gifts like this one are perfect for the parents of children old enough to stay at home alone, as well as those who rely on a caretaker to take care of other family members. Others, like devoted pet owners or people who employ a household staff, will love having the ability to glimpse into the home while working or traveling. Owners of a monitored home alarm system are also prime candidates for such a tech gift since it offers them the ability to see inside of the home anytime they are contacted about an alarm being triggered at their household. Within seconds, users can access a live visual feed to help them in assessing whether an alarm is false or whether someone has actually broken into the home.

A Full Alarm System

Fans of the iPhone will love the iSmartAlarm system, which combines the full protection of a burglar alarm system with the convenience of the iPhone. This neat little gadget is also completely wireless, which most techies will especially appreciate. As a completely DIY alarm system, the iSmartAlarm comes standard with an iCamera for video surveillance, as well as motion, door and window sensors which will immediately alert a user’s iPhone anytime their home’s security has been breached. Remotely, an owner is able to view inside the home (and even pan and tilt the iCamera for best visibility, if needed), turn the device on and off, and take still pictures in addition to watching a live streaming feed.

Personal Security

What parent will not love a GPS system enabling them to track a young child’s movements at all times? Sadly, in today’s world such is not only a nice gadget to have, but one that is desperately needed to protect young ones as they walk to and from school or even play in familiar neighborhoods. While we offer several GPS devices on our main page, we’d like you to take a good look at the SecuraTrac SecuraPAL GPS Child Tracking Device. Tracking can be done from a parent’s computer, as well as their smartphone whether it’s an iPhone, an Android or even the BlackBerry smartphone.

In addition to tracking technology, the SecuraTrac SecuraPAL GPS Child Tracking Device also features a panic button. With this feature, anytime that a child feels threatened she or he can depress the panic button which will immediately text an alert to a parent or caretaker along with the child’s location and a link that contains precise directions to wherever the child is. While this sort of technology is marketed directly to parents of young children, it is actually an excellent device to give to anyone who may be concerned enough to track a senior relative’s movements or any number of other loved ones as they move throughout the day.

The Top Tech Gifts In Home Security Are All DIY

Perhaps the best thing about security tech gifts that also make use of mobile and GPS technology is that they are completely DIY in their installation and operation. Hassle-free installations and ease of operation mean that gift recipients can begin using and appreciating these unique security devices right away. With the popularity of tech gifts all over the country, why not invest in a few that are as functional as they are fun and easy to use?

Ralph Winn