Family to visit, cards to send, gifts to buy, parties to attend – there is a lot going on this time of year. Most of us are juggling quite the to do list and it’s easy to get carried away and forget about the more mundane tasks. So here are a few security tips to keep your holidays merry and bright!
1. Don’t Let Packages Pile up on Your Porch.
If you have a porch full of packages that are left unattended it makes an easy target for porch pirates. Instead have your packages sent somewhere they can be received in person or even ask for them to be held at the post office for you.
2. Boxes Can be Billboards for Burglars.
You just got that new big screen TV hooked up and ready to go, so you drag that box outside to the curb for garbage pickup later that week. All these boxes piled up right outside your home can be a billboard for burglars. Don’t advertise all these new items, wait until the day of trash pick up to put the boxes.
3. Double Check Those Locks.
Burglars love it when we make things easy on them and leaving the door or window unlocked is an invitation to them. Even if you’re just going to be out for a few minutes make sure everything is locked up tight.
4. Keep Travel Plans Offline.
This is a big one, in the age of social media there’s nothing we all love more than sharing what’s going on in our life. It might seem harmless to post about a vacation you’re getting ready to go on and you might think you’re being careful, but you never know who is watching. By posting when you’re going away that gives burglars a time frame that they know no one will be home. Avoid this by waiting until you get back to post about your trip and share your photos.
5. Use Your Security System!
This may seem like a no brainer, but everyone gets comfortable and can let their guard down. You might think you live in a safe neighborhood and that your doors are locked so you can just leave the security system off so when you come home with an armful of gifts you don’t have to struggle. But your security system is the most proactive way to avoid being burglarized. And if you don’t have a security system now is the perfect time to get one, give yourself the gift of peace of mind. We custom design every system and work with you to get you exactly what you need and nothing that you don’t. Contact KMT Systems today to get a FREE quote!
Make the most out of your time while at home! Here are some simple things you can be doing to make your home safer and family protected. Don’t wait for a burglary to happen before taking these steps. Always prepare for the unexpected.
Five Quick Steps to Reduce the Chance of Night-time Burglary
- Keep your home well-lit externally and internally.
- Get notified of motion on your front porch with a smart doorbell.
- Install a professionally monitored security system.
- Make sure your home’s landscape is well-kept.
- Ensure all your doors and windows are securely locked.
Become an expert on your home’s security as we explain each step on defending your home.
The dark doesn’t have to be scary when you know your home is professionally protected. Call our team today at (770) 284-3144, or schedule a conversation about your home’s security now!
1. Well-Lit Homes Are Not Ideal for Burglars
Installing motion lights can be a simple part-time solution when preventing night-time break-ins. A home without proper lighting can become a target for burglars to hide and sneak throughout neighborhoods.
- Motion lights not only alert you, as a homeowner, that something is moving outside but they may also expose criminals and encourage them to flee.
- For convenience and safety, have your lights connected to your security system! With today’s technology, you can control your entire home on your phone! Set schedules for your lights to turn on and off while you maximize energy savings with KMT Systems.
- The “part-time” solution means that this tip should not be the only step you take toward a safer home. Instead, adding motion sensor lights should be an additional piece of security and safety.
2. Smart Doorbells
A video doorbell camera is a step beyond a traditional lock and doorbell as it allows you to see who is at your door before opening.
- Never have to open your door to a stranger–night or day! A smart doorbell allows you to interact with the person at your door without ever unlocking your door.
- Pretend you are home when you are not. On vacation or at work? You will still get notifications when someone arrives at your door and rings the doorbell. With the two-way communication, you can interact with the person at your doorstep without being home!
- Motion sensors just got better! If someone is on your porch and doesn’t ring your doorbell, you can still check in! Did your package come in? Simply get notified when movement is detected near your front door!
3. Professionally Monitored vs. Unmonitored Security Systems
Firstly, un-monitored systems will not provide the same level of protection for your home. Even when your system links with your smartphone, there can be times when you may not be in a position to do anything as an alarm goes off.
With a professionally monitored system, your home is protected 24/7 with no days off! Leaving the monitoring to professionals may give you the additional peace of mind that you need. The main benefit is when the system detects a break-in, fire, or other emergency, it notifies the professional operators and emergency respondents immediately.
4. How Landscaping Can Reinforce Security
By simply minimizing hiding spots for burglars, you are already one step closer to maximizing your security.
A home’s landscape is usually the first line of defense when coming to security. Ask yourself these questions when thinking about your landscape security defense lineup…
- Can someone walk up to your door without making a peep? Try eliminating ways to silently walk near your house. Instead of using mulch, use gravel so intruders cannot walk up to your home without a sound.
- Are your windows easily accessible? Edges of leaves that have thorns and spines can help protect windows. With a KMT Security System, each window can have a sensor to alert you when any has been opened.
- Where could someone hide outside? Cleaner, more open areas give burglars fewer places to hide. Try eliminating areas that are potential hiding spots around your home.
5. Keep Your Doors and Windows Locked
Always lock your doors while you are home or away!
Forgetting to lock doors is an easy mistake. Would it help if you were notified as you left your home to lock your doors and arm your security system? KMT Systems has remote technology that can alert you when you make an easy mistake! Make sure your doors are locked, lights are scheduled to turn on, garage door closed and the system is armed– all from your smartphone!
When most people think of a home burglary, they generally imagine that the crime happens in the middle of night. In this scenario, they often visualize a stealthy criminal or team of criminals sneaking into a home and quietly placing items into large duffel bags before making their exit.
They do this without waking the family or alerting the neighbors to what they are doing, and they escape before the break of dawn.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Burglaries Don’t Happen Like They Do in Movies
Midnight break-ins are commonplace on tv and movies, real-life burglars behave quite differently. In reality most burglaries happen between 10am and 3pm because robbers want to gain entry to the home while no one is in the home. Entering an empty home means they can get away with making louder noises and have a lower chance of being caught.
With the kids at school and the parents at work, late morning and early afternoon is the perfect time for somebody to try to rummage through a home and take any valuables they can find.
Criminals always go for the most expensive, small items that are easily accessible on tables or countertops or in drawers. Laptops, tablets, jewelry, firearms, and cash are the prime targets of a home robbery, along with anything else which has high resale value.
Know Your Neighbors
Knowing when a robbery is most likely to happen makes it easier to plan ways to prevent a robbery. Having a neighborhood watch designed to keep tabs on houses is a good way to ensure that everyone is invested in protecting the community from crime.
Having engaged neighbors in general is important to securing the area. If your next-door neighbor knows you’re not expecting anyone to come by your house to do work on anything, they’ll be able to prevent a fake moving company or plumber from slipping into your home and making off with your valuables.
What Time of the Year Are Burglaries Most Likely to Happen?
Take steps to prevent break ins especially during the summer months, as this is when break-ins reach their annual peak. Families leave town for vacations, their homes become easy targets. A criminal knowing they have all day or night to rob a home is a criminal that’s confident they can take whatever they want without fear of being caught.
Summer is the season with the highest crime rate, so if you’re worried about something happening to your home while you’re away, there are plenty of different ways to secure it.
Installing a Video Doorbell
Installing a video camera doorbell is one of the newest ways to protect your home from thieves. These systems usually will allow you to lock your home up remotely and also include an app that lets you watch the camera on your phone or tablet while you’re away from your house.
If you are worried about a thief trying to take that package you’ve been waiting for, you can turn the phone on around the time the package is supposed to be delivered and keep track of the package until you’re home. If anything happens, you can alert the police quickly before the thief has much time to make their getaway.
These systems can also allow you to check the door when somebody unexpected arrives at your home and you can see if it’s just a friend coming by for a surprise visit or a stranger who you want nothing to do with. If they get pushy about things, you can call the cops on them without having to engage with them face to face.
Benefits of a Home Security System
If you’re looking into getting a home security system, you should do some research into exactly what kind of system you want and what will work for your family. If you have young children, consider how they may interact with the system. For instance, young children may not understand the system and may be unable to enter in the security codes should they accidentally arm the alarm.
The best security system accommodates the needs of your family and protects them without creating additional issues that could lead to false alarms or require frequent battery changes. Talk to the different security companies to see exactly what sorts of systems they can offer you and what are the price ranges for those systems.
Also ask if the security company has an app for the smartphone that you can use to arm and disarm the system should a family member set it off and call you in a panic.
This will allow you to fix things before the police need to be alerted to the situation, saving you from costly fines for false alarms.
Home Security on a Budget
If these options are too expensive for you, a simple lockbox or small hidden safe might be more than enough to keep a criminal from stealing the things you’re trying to protect. Making sure your windows are always secured and that you have working deadbolt locks on your doors may be more than enough to protect your home.
The average age of a criminal who commits a home burglary is 25, and usually they don’t plan out what they are doing. Therefore, offering up a solid bit of resistance may be enough to encourage them to give up and leave.
To learn more about security systems for your home or business, talk to an KMT Systems Customer Representative at (770) 284-3144
Home security systems are a proven deterrent against burglary and have helped save countless lives from fire and other emergencies when professionally monitored. Millions of people have experienced the benefits of having a professionally-installed home security system, but there are many more who still view security systems as expensive, unnecessary, or inadequate. With KMT Systems being Atlanta’s foremost security provider, we’ve taken the time to dispel several of the most common misconceptions about home security systems to show you how they can help to secure both your home and your family.
I don’t have anything worth protecting.
Many homeowners don’t believe they’ve accumulated enough “stuff” to warrant investing in a security system, but burglars aren’t always after the plasma screens and family jewels. Guns and prescription pills are some of the highest-targeted goods because they are easy to move on the street at a high value. Even then, most people own electronics of some sort – televisions, computers, phones—or personal documents that are also targeted by thieves. The average cost of a burglary is $2,251 per incident, but the psychological cost or long-term damage can be much higher.
Additionally, the most valuable thing you stand to lose is your life. Protecting yourself and your family from home invasion, fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and the like is well worth the investment in a 24/7-monitored home security system.
Home security systems are too expensive.
If this were the 1960s, you might have a point. Technology has advanced so much in the last few decades that a reliable, high-quality, professionally-installed home security system can be purchased for only a few hundred dollars. Professional monitoring of said system can be purchased for the price of a night of take-out for the family per month. Again, it’s a worthwhile investment when considering what a burglary or home fire would cost you.
I already have a security system—my dog.
Dogs can certainly act as a deterrent to home invaders, but a barking dog isn’t going to do much to stop a burglar whose mind is made up. Most home burglaries occur during the day, so a barking dog is likely to be ignored by neighbors who hear the same dog barking at the mailman or passersby daily. In the event of a home invasion, most dogs nowadays are family dogs who are socialized not to jump on people entering the house. They are easily swayed by treats or some small amount of attention. If a dog does act aggressively toward a burglar, the sad truth is the dog is likely to be harmed or worse in the process of the burglary. What’s more, no matter what Lassie may have led you to believe, the odds are your Pomeranian will not be able to rescue you if your home goes up in flames. Especially if you consider your dog a part of your family, your pup deserves the same protection afforded to the rest of your household.
Your pet is a valued member of your family, but perhaps not the best source of security.
I have pets, so a security system won’t work for me.
If you own Marmaduke or a small elephant, a security system might not be for you. For the rest of us, there are pet-friendly motion sensors whose sensitivity can be adjusted to ignore the movement of small- to medium-sized pets whose sensitivity can be adjusted. It’s just one benefit of professional installation—a custom-engineered solution to fit your (and your pet’s!) needs.
I can just put a security system up myself.
One piece of advice: don’t. Firstly, the “latest and greatest” do-it-yourself (DIY) devices aren’t made to the same standards as those made by professional security vendors. When you hear about home security devices being hacked, it is almost always a DIY device. Even if DIY devices were of higher quality, designing a security system for any building requires thorough training and an understanding of the capacities and limitations of every single device going into the house. Even basic considerations such as device placement can affect the overall functionality of a home security system. Professional security providers have a wealth of experience and training in system engineering and installment that most well-intentioned DIYers have never received. In short, something as vital as securing your property and family is better left to the professionals.
Modern “smart home” security systems are easily hackable.
There’s been a lot of noise in the media about the deficiencies of homes that utilize the internet to connect their devices. Namely, how someone with malicious intent can hack into various devices and control their security system or even communicate with those inside the house. These concerns are valid, but a quick look at these incidents reveals they occurred on DIY systems. Professional security providers use sophisticated, highly-rated control panels and devices that utilize security protocols such as high-level encryption to protect homes from hacking. Making sure to password-protect your home Wi-Fi, another major risk factor should help to cover the rest of the bases. Something a professional security provider is likely to tell you during installation. If you’re willing to spend money on a DIY system that contains security deficiencies, it’s spending the small amount more to have a professional put in high-quality devices.
Professionally-installed smart home systems are far more secure than the problematic “DIY” solutions flooding the market.
Can’t an experienced burglar just cut my phone line, rendering my system useless?
While an uncommon occurrence, this is technically possible on dated plain-old-telephone-service (POTS) lines and systems that use them. Most telephone service providers are turning away from copper phone lines as it is and turning to voice-over-IP (VOIP) lines that are incompatible with most security systems. Forward-thinking security providers such as KMT Systems have turned away from installing phone line-dependent systems in homes and now almost exclusively install home security systems that utilize cellular and internet communication. With these cellular communication devices, there is no phone line to cut, making home security systems more reliable than ever.
I live in a nice neighborhood. I’ll just lock my doors.
Believe it or not, the more affluent neighborhoods can be targeted the most frequently. It’s a simple calculation of risk/reward on the part of the prospective burglar: what house is more likely to have goods of the most value to me? The very mentality of “my neighborhood is nice enough” actually encourages burglars to target these “nice” neighborhoods with more frequency. If you think your neighborhood will be targeted by burglars, you’re more likely to get a security system, and smart burglars understand that. Also, considering the fact that most home burglaries occur by simply breaking in the front door, a normal door lock isn’t likely to cut it.
The KMT Advantage
As you can see, home security systems are safer, more advanced, and more affordable than ever before. If you’re interested in finding out what a professional-grade security system has to offer you and yours in terms of protection, look no further than KMT Systems. KMT has been securing Georgia homes for 15 years and uses that experience to customize security solutions to fit your individual needs.
To learn more about purchasing a security system for your home, talk to an KMT Systems Customer Representative at (770) 284-3144
The latest Cheddar @ Home episode details how to buy and sell a home with smart home products
When it comes to buying a new home, house hunters are inundated with decisions. The typical choices – such as the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, or the style of the home – are still on people’s minds. And these days, another popular topic for first-time homebuyers is a home’s ability to easily incorporate smart home products.
NEED HELP NOW CALL KMT (770) 284-3144
For sellers, they too have choices about smart home products: they can either bring those smart home devices with them, or leave them in the home to increase the value of their home. Cheddar @ Home recently spoke with Lourdes Pena, a real estate agent with Redfin, about the latest home-buying trends. Pena advises her sellers to leave some of those smart devices in the home.
For example, if something is mounted to the wall or ceiling – like a flat-panel TV or a smart thermostat, or a sound system, the sellers will likely leave that. Home owners may want to bring their wireless cameras or appliances to their next home, so it’s best to check with your agent to be sure.
Pena also shared a few other home-buying tips, including:
1. Location. Consider where you want to buy. Should it be in a good school district? Do you want an easy commute? How about a nice “walking score?”
2. Finances. You’ll want to know what you can afford before you start your search. Pena also recommends to get pre-approved for a loan before you start searching so your dream home doesn’t get snatched up before you can put the money down.
3. Build the team. Get recommendations from family or friends about a good real estate agent and a mortgage lender.
For those sellers looking to upgrade before they list their home on the market, here are a few ways to connect and control your home and make it more comfortable and secure. And, best of luck to those new home buyers as the Spring market heats up!
Since a vacation might be something you enjoy only one or two times per year, it’s easy to get excited about what to pack and what you’ll see while you’re away. However, it’s important not to overlook home security during this time, especially since you won’t be around. To help increase your security and peace of mind, take into account the home protection tips below.
1. Plug Electronics Into Timers
Avoid a dark and empty looking home by installing timers on a few of your electronics, such as the TVs and lamps. The best type of timer is one that works at random intervals so the electronics don’t turn on at the same time every day.
2. Plan for Mail Collection
You can easily contact USPS to hold your mail while you’re on vacation. Alternatively, you can ask a trusted neighbor to pick up packages and mail for you and store them at their house.
3. Install a Security System
If you are away often, a home security system is one of the best investments you can make. This is especially true now that home automation and wifi video surveillance make it easy to see everything right from your phone. In fact, with many systems, you can log onto your app, look at videos, turn lights on, change your thermostat, and even lock/unlock doors.
4. Plan for Trash Collection
To make it look like you are home, ask a neighbor to take your bins out and put them away once trash has been collected.
5. Invite Someone Over
If you have a friend or family member who needs some extra cash (or time away from home), invite them to be a house sitter.
6. Keep Your Home Maintained
A home with a lawn that isn’t mowed is a clear signal that someone is unlikely to be home. Hire someone to come by and take care of your landscaping for you.
7. Don’t Post Online
Posting online that you’re leaving is a bad idea, especially if your accounts are public. Don’t let others know you’re going to be away from home. Instead, talk about your vacation when you’re back and are going to be home regularly.
8. Set Up Cameras
If you don’t want a full-on home security system, then consider using wifi video surveillance. With this, you can log onto an app and have a real-time view of the camera footage.
9. Use a Video Doorbell
One great investment you can make in home automation is a video doorbell. With this, you’ll be able to see and talk to who is at your door right when they ring the doorbell.
10. Keep Your Garage Door Opener
If you keep your garage door opener in your vehicle, take it out and place it somewhere safe. It’s also recommended to lock your garage door, even if this is something you don’t normally need to do.
By using the tips above, you can keep your home safe, even while you’re far away. More importantly, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your home is fully protected at all times.