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Home Security Articles

Home Security Articles Archive - Page 3

In a Fire, Don't Just Take the Money and Run

6 May, 2010

We all, at some point in our lives, have said to someone, "I've got some good news and some bad news. Which do you want first?" A Syracuse, New York man got some firsthand experience with this Tuesday night.

Kenneth Lamoree returned home early Tuesday morning after a very successful trip to an upstate casino. He was $3,200 richer and planned to use the money to catch up on some bills. That's the good news. Now for the bad news. A little more than an hour later a fire broke out in the two-family home he and his family share with another family. Fortunately, everyone in the house, including three children, got out without incident. The fire was so bad, however, firefighters evacuated the people from the houses on either side of Lamoree's house.

The house suffered extensive smoke, fire, and water damage, including, you guessed it, the wallet and the $3,200 inside it. There's really no moral to this story. In fact, what happened to the Lamoree family is what frequently happens in house fires.

Property gets burned, damaged, and otherwise destroyed in house fires, including wallets filled with cash. However, the Lamoree family did exactly what a family should do if a fire breaks out in their house: get everyone out of the house as quickly and safely as possible.

The things we accumulate over time can be replaced. Furniture comes and goes. Home electronics are obsolete almost the minute we bring them home. Toys and clothing are easy to replace as well. This all probably feels a little bittersweet to Lamoree, but there would be no consolation if a family member had been neglected over casino winnings.

All this brings up a couple of issues. Fireproof safes and emergency preparedness plans. Many homeowners use fireproof safes for the safe storage of important documents, as well as cash and other negotiable instruments. How you use a fireproof safe in your home is entirely up to you, but they're designed to withstand high temperatures, and excessive water typically seen in house fires.

Emergency preparedness plans are the key to survival in a house fire. It's obvious the Lamoree family knew two things. First, to get out of the house as safely and quickly as possible. Second, where the safest exits were to get them out as quickly as possible.

Creating an emergency preparedness plan for your family can make all the difference in the world when disaster strikes. Repeatedly going over exit plans, teaching your children to remain calm and cool, and instructing everyone that they have one single goal in a house fire: get out and get to safety as quickly as possible.

Poor Water Quality in Boston and Nashville Becomes Dangerous

6 May, 2010

I'm sure you've seen the news stories by now about the water main that burst near the Metropolitan Boston area. Not only were millions of residents without water while the broken main was fixed, but when it came back on it was deemed undrinkable for nearly two days. How about all the heavy rains that led to river flooding in Nashville? Residents there, as in Boston, have suffered from the same problem. Boiling water just to have make it drinkable gets tiresome very quickly, and bottled water quickly becomes a scarce and an expensive commodity in these situations.

In addition to home security and family safety in our security tips section, we have addressed issues of emergency preparedness. Some residents in Boston and Nashville were prepared for these incredible and unforeseen disruptions in their water supplies, but the vast majority of residents in these two cities have learned a very hard lesson this week.

The month of May is a turbulent month. The snowcap is melting rapidly around the country, which raises water levels in rivers and streams, and also results in a lot of additional moisture in the air due to evaporation, which leads to additional rainfall. These are ripe conditions for flooding as riverbanks swell and overflow, and water tables rise. Flash flooding, as we've seen in Nashville, can lead to the displacement of millions of residents, and in some instances and devastate an entire city as we saw with hurricane Katrina.

Also, May is the height of hurricane season across the southern plain states, and in recent weeks we've seen torrential rainfall and very high winds through Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky. It was the torrential rainfall that caused the heavy flooding in Nashville, which has left their downtown area a virtual disaster area.

Being told about the advantages of being prepared for these types of situations is nothing new to any of us, but it does beg the question, "Why weren't you prepared?", if you weren't. A well planned emergency preparedness kit can save you and your family from the agony of a natural disaster like in Nashville, or even just pure bad luck like in Boston.

Bottled water, in this instance, is inexpensive. Every city has multiple outlets – generally at a local grocery store – where bulk water can be purchased for pennies a gallon. This method is cheaper than individual bottles of water, but even those should be included in your emergency preparedness kit compared to no water at all. Ten gallons of water per adult and older child, and five gallons per younger child should be in your home storage for just these occasions.

Home security systems and ADT monitoring are a big part of home security and emergency preparedness, but they're not the entire equation. Include drinkable water, flashlights with fresh batteries, and a battery-operated radio as part of a complete home security plan.

Be the 'Wrong' House

5 May, 2010

Here's a story so sad and wrong and strange it just has to be true. A woman in Denton, Texas was busy trying to figure out what to do after a demolition crew wrongly tore down most of her house. Wrongly, because it was the house across the street that was due to be demolished. The owner of the house, Francis Howard, told the media, "I don’t have the words to say." The 69-year-old woman said that the family has resided in that home for 47 years.

City records showed that the house that was supposed to be demolished was ordered in January to be repaired or torn down due to unkempt lawns, outside storage, junked vehicles, and failure to secure the structure. Mrs. Howard's house looked nothing like a house that was condemned and due to be demolished.

Most of the time we don't want our houses to be mistaken as someone else's, or the wrong house for whatever reasons. However, when it comes to home security and keeping out the bad guys, that's exactly the approach you want to take. You want every potential burglar in your area to know, without question, that your house is the wrong house and if the know what's good for them they'll look elsewhere.

There are a few things you can do to make your house very unappealing to would-be burglars, while maintaining a beautiful house and property. Illuminating the exterior of your house is a great start. Burglars live in the shadows, and a few well-placed floodlights around your property, set to turn on when motion is detected in the protected field, will deter burglars from prowling around your property.

Installing hardwood doors and very strong deadbolt locks on all of your exterior doors will let burglars know that getting through those doors will be far more work than they want, and will create a ruckus not conducive to a stealth burglary. Once installed, be certain that every door in your house is locked. If a burglar even suspects you've left a door unlocked he could take the opportunity to try and gain entry.

A professionally installed monitored home security system is the most effective way to keep burglars out of your house and away from your family and your possessions. Use the included window stickers and yard sign to proudly display that your house is professionally protected, and be certain to arm and disarm your entire home security burglar and fire alarm system each time you leave your house, or during the day when you’re home alone. Burglars will notice the stickers and sign and will know that they're up against more than it's worth.

Make your home the wrong home for any potential burglars in your area by having an ADT home security system that includes a burglar and fire alarm professionally installed today!

Home Security Is On My Mind Every Day

30 April, 2010

Mark Lowry

If you're not pre-occupied with the many issues of home security, chances are you're probably not a new dad like I am. I find myself thinking about all the things I need to consider, and take care of, and fix, and trim, and get rid of so my home will be safer for my newborn. What was happening, however, was that I was spending more time thinking about what needed to be done, and less time actually doing them. The problem? I was simply overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. Thankfully, I realized this and started to write each thing down as I thought it, and then started to categorize my list.

I had outside things, and indoor items; fire detection and burglary prevention. Before too long I actually had a comprehensive list of things I needed to accomplish, so I prioritized them and started checking them off my list.

I started with some easy things that I had deemed important. Mainly, new locks on all my doors and windows with very tight control over the distribution of the keys. I installed very strong deadbolt locks on all my exterior doors, and made sure each window was equipped with sash locks and a rod or dowel inserted into the track to prevent each window from being slid open from the outside. The only spare keys to the deadbolts are in safekeeping with a trusted neighbor. This is a solution that works very well for us.

Next, I tackled some yard work. I'd been meaning to trim some hedges as well as to move some yard ornaments to some other places in my yard. Burglars look for hiding places, and things like hedges, bushes, shrubs, birdbaths, and swing sets can offer great cover if not properly taken care of. I spent the better part of a weekend getting my yard to a point that it not only looked great, but left me feeling like I'd accomplished my goal.

I installed a two-floodlight system in my yard, which is triggered when motion is detected. Two very bright floodlights now light up my backyard, removing virtually any possible hiding place. The last thing a would-be burglar wants is to suddenly be illuminated in the act of sneaking on to someone's property. This was simply and inexpensive and I'm happy to have it crossed off my list.

Finally, I had a home security system professionally installed and subscribed to ADT monitoring. I felt like this was a no brainer and mandatory for the overall protection of my new child. I paid particular attention to having the windows secured with window sensors. They not only notify me if a window has been opened, but also if one has been shattered. Instant notification of an intruder is the key to any home security system.

Do everything you can to secure your home and property. Make a list if you have to and just start knocking things off one at a time. An ADT monitored home security system can make your home a fortress that will have burglars looking for an easier target.

The Safe House -Protect Your Valuables and Your Family

23 April, 2010

When we think about safes we often picture stacks of cash, and big dials with lots of numbers on them, and banks being robbed. Okay, these are real and legitimate images and uses of safes. However, like most things in this modern era, the times they are a-changing, and safes are part of that revolution as well.

Fireproof safes are not new to the market. In fact, it was one of their first uses. Safes were made of very thick steel or iron, which made them perfect for protecting their content from damage or destruction in a fire.

Like so many consumer items these days, technology has touched the manufacturing of safes. In many instances the types of materials that are used to make today's safes has changed. Technology has allowed for stronger, thinner materials that are resistant to even higher heats than ever imagined, as well as the locking and unlocking mechanisms.

You can still buy a safe with one, two, or three dials just like you could back in the day. However, by today's standards they'd be considered anachronistic. Today it's all about biometrics. We're talking locking and unlocking mechanisms that work on eye print technology, or fingerprint technology, and even on voice recognition technology.

Many people who own firearms choose to keep them locked away in a gun safe when not in use. Gun safes have been around for a long time and if you've ever had to move one then you know for certain there are few things more solid.

Traditionally, they've come equipped with a dial mechanism that you turned left-right-left to open. This is pretty good security, but the moment someone has the combination that shouldn't, like the children in your home, the security of the safe has been breached. What can't be duplicated is your fingerprint or thumbprint. If you desire this level protection, there are many options available today.

The same is true for other types of safes. Whether you need one to store and protect important documents like passports, birth certificates, deeds, and wills, or want to safeguard valuables like jewelry, bearer bonds, cash, and artwork, you have many options available, including the use of any number of biometric locking and unlocking mechanisms.

Whether you have a safe or not in your house is a matter of preference and taste in most instances. Even with a safe or two in your house, a monitored home security burglar and fire alarm system is your first line of defense against losses from burglary, fire, or flood. Doing something about home security is better than nothing, but doing more is even better. Protect you, your family, and your home today.