Wednesday, May 30, 2012

DIY Security Systems

Are you an avid do-it-yourself-er? Are you looking to protect yourself, your family and your assets? Are you interested in installing your own home security system? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, this is the perfect place for you. This article is all about DIY home security systems and how you can install your own equipment and have it monitored.

DIY Home Security:

The home security industry has changed in recent years. For the longest time, it was necessary to have a contracted home security company install their hardware in order to be monitored. Today is a completely different story. DIY security systems are incredibly more common and many monitoring companies will allow you to use your own equipment.

To get your DIY security system going, you will need a few things. The main item is at least one control panel. Also, I suggest you have a back-up battery, motion sensors, door/window sensors, glass breakage detectors, heat or smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and some security signs or stickers.

Before purchasing your equipment, make sure that the monitoring company will allow you to install your own equipment. After installation, you want to ensure that the company can read your system and everything is working properly. It is recommended that your company monitors your home for security breaches, fire, floods and toxic fumes. A monitoring company can alert the authorities for you in a time of need and can ensure that you have help on the way. They can also contact you if something happens while you are away from the home.

Types of DIY Systems:

There are two types of home security systems: wired or wireless. Installing a hardwired security system in your home can be an extensive and challenging task even for experienced construction and wiring workers.

Wireless systems require fewer tools and can be set up quickly. This is the best system for the DIY enthusiast or new home owner without electrical experience. These systems do not rely on your home's electrical or telephone system to work and everything operates on batteries sending a signal to the control panel when triggered. Because of this, I would suggest checking your batteries often to ensure everything is working properly. Some wireless systems will work off a land-line while others may require a standard household power outlet to function properly.

In order to connect to your monitoring company, you may need little more than your current wireless internet configuration with a battery backup on your modem. Depending on your equipment, you may need further connections. After installation, follow the manufacturer's instructions to set-up your system or call your monitoring company for activation.

Additional Accessories: 

There is additional equipment for your security system. Items like additional control panels, cameras, key-fob panic buttons and intercoms can be easily integrated and add further protection to your home.

Additionally you could install pool alarms, remote lighting, and other monitoring systems that can prevent intruders before they even get to the home.

Homes without security systems are three times as likely to be targeted for burglary than protected homes according to a Temple University study. With the ease of installing a DIY security system, why would you want to take a chance? Always remember to lock your doors and windows and ensure your security system is activated.

Dan Miller

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Protecting Your Home Online

I wanted to address a serious issue that many people are facing today. People think that they can post anything on Facebook and other social media and they never have to worry about anything negative happening as a result. To The contrary, the story below is a sad case of a Facebook post gone wrong.

In Australia, a home was invaded because of a picture posted to Facebook. The 17 year old daughter of the home's owner posted a picture of a large sum of money that she was counting with her grandmother at the house. Around 11:30 that evening, two men broke into the home wielding knives in search of the daughter and the money. At the time of the burglary, the 17 year old was not home but three other family members were. The men were able to get away with a small sum of money and some personal belongings. Luckily no one was injured in this case.

I would like to make my readers aware of the importance of home security even online. When you post to social media sites, you should never post personal information like your full name, your location, home address, etc. In addition to cases like this, you never know if someone is tracking your page waiting for you to post that you are on a beach in the Caribbean. While you are out relaxing and sharing photos, they are burglarizing your home because they know you are not there.

Also, be very careful posting about new toys like a video game system or a new television. Think like a burglar, if it is something that may tempt you, do not post it online to tempt others. You are practically throwing out a notice to anyone interested in burglarizing you. If you even have a slight idea that a post may be a bad idea, do not submit it.

As always, ensure that your doors and windows are locked and your home security system is activated even when you are home. These devices are here to protect you but they cannot do much if you do not activate them. An unlocked door is just as useless as an open door.

For more information on the Australian Facebook burglary, visit:

Dan Miller

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How Effective Are Security Signs At Preventing Burglary?

I am amazed at how often clients ask about home security signs substituting for a security system. Some think that just putting a sign in their yard saying "Property Protected by _____" will stop a burglar from entering their home. In actuality, these signs can be effective but in the majority of cases, they are not. A security sign or sticker does not automatically flip a switch saying, "RUN!" These signs are so common that a burglar may still try to enter the property. They will take their chances that the system is deactivated or non-existent especially when they see things like an open window or door.

Now putting a security sign or sticker is definitely an inexpensive alternative to a security system but it all comes down to the burglar. Results will vary on a case by case basis as some burglars will think before they act. If you have a sign that says you have a security system, there is a good chance that the burglar will move on to the house next door that does not have any indication of protection. However, you never know how dedicated or ignorant a would-be thief can be. The last thing you want is to come home and find a breach of your home.

You should think of a security sign as an extra layer of protection on top of a security system. Many people also think that they are fully protected just because they have a security system. In their mind, they do not need to pay for and install the signs (which most companies will provide free of charge for advertising purposes if you use them). What they fail to realize is that they leave a huge vulnerability in their protection. Even with the system in place, a burglar may still attempt to enter the property because they do not see any indication of a security system.

My suggestion is a combination of a monitored home security company with security signs and stickers posted throughout the property. I would recommend placing them on windows, garage doors, mailboxes and fences. In addition, you should mention to friends and neighbors that you have a home security system as you never know who might attempt to burglarize your home. With this combination, you have the best chance of preventing a burglary or property theft.

Dan Miller

Monday, May 21, 2012

Stop Delaying That New Security System

I have had many people ask me if they should install a home security system over the years. The simple answer to that question is yes. Throughout my time dealing with home security, I have noticed a few main reasons to install that new security system.

The first reason revolves around the idea of peace of mind. One of the biggest concerns that clients have is that they are afraid of property theft and burglars obtaining access to their house and walking away with their prized possessions like that shiny new flat screen they have been bragging about or the cherished diamond engagement ring. After the installation of a quality home security system with monitoring, clients reported feeling more at ease about leaving their home. They know that with home monitoring, their house is protected 24/7. To increase that peace of mind further, a majority of police captains feel that a home security system helps to deter burglars before they even attempt to enter your home. In a country where a burglary occurs every 14 seconds (according to a 2006 FBI report), a little peace of mind can help you relax about going to sleep or leaving for work. Now you can stop sitting around with the shotgun waiting for someone to smash the window in.

My second reason focuses on those occasional medical emergencies. The worst thing to ever hear is that a loved one has fallen down or injured themselves in the home and they could not reach a phone to call for help. I almost had this situation with my father. Luckily, he used his necklace panic button for his security system to call for help. Who knows what could have happened if he did not have his monitoring service to help him. In these situations, there is nothing like knowing you can easily summon help at the push of a button.

My next reason concerns the safety risks of a home. If you have ever worried about having a fire tear through your home or carbon monoxide take control of air your family breathes, you are definitely a candidate for a home security system. With a security system, your detectors can send notice to your monitoring company to call for help. These systems are a great way to ensure that you and your family are safely out of the home. In addition, most states require a home to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors within a certain range of the kitchen and each bedroom. Battery powered systems typically only alert those within the home that there is a problem and with so many people ignorant about changing the batteries, can you guarantee your detector will alert you? A hard-wired detector from your home security company can help save your family's lives by getting them out in time and calling for help.

My final reason is one that will catch a lot of eyes. The installation of a home security system can help you lower your home insurance premiums up to 20%. That new system can pay for itself just in insurance savings alone. In addition, lenders and those renting out property often require the other party to maintain an active security system to help protect their investment. Wouldn't you want to protect yourself?

Dan Miller