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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Smart Home Devices Are Improving Home Security

Smart home security devices are not just the way of the future. They are becoming more and more prominent in the present day. This extends to home security as smart home devices provide an excellent way to protect you and your family. Here is a look at some of the smart home devices that are becoming essential to the security of every home.

Smart Home Surveillance

The days of adding security cameras with monitors that require elaborate hookups all over your home is a long-gone thing of the past. Security systems can now incorporate security cameras that no longer function as a standalone device. There are a number of these smart devices available and they include the following benefits:

•    Motion tracking
•    Sound detection
•    Recording (event - triggered)
•    Mechanical pan and tilt
•    Night vision

Many units come equipped with SD cards that help with storage and are also available on cloud storage. The ways these systems are set up also eliminate the possibility of having to watch hours and hours of video in the event that something has occurred. Instead, homeowners can rely on motion detection to identify at what point there was any activity.

They are even video surveillance components that are integrated with the doorbell. This can also include the emission of bright lights when motion is detected.

Smoke Detector and Fire Alarm

Now that we are in the age of technology, it seems very archaic to have relied on small smoke alarms that run on Double A batteries. There are now smoke detectors and fire alarms that are compatible with all types of smart devices. Homeowners can silence those alarms with a quick press of the button.

•    Weather alerts
•    Different grades of earnings
•    Night light
•    Push notifications
•    Monthly self-tests

Some of the smart home devices also come with carbon monoxide detectors, which are extremely important for the safety of everyone in a home. Many of these smart devices are also compatible with Amazon Alexa as well as Siri. No matter what kind of smart device you use, there is a solution to staying ahead of fire prevention and smoke detection.


The Way of the Future

These smart home devices are only going to continue to get more sophisticated. By integrating them now with your home security system, not only will your family be protected, but you will also stay ahead of the curve. When even newer technologies become available, upgrades will be simple and much more affordable.


For question about integrating smart technology into your home security system, contact a local Sonitrol Security Specialist today.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Ways to Prevent Burglars That Take Only Seconds

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At Sonitrol, we are always looking to be on the cutting edge of security technology. Sometimes, though, preventing a theft can be as easy as locking your door. Here are a few ways to prevent burglars that take only a matter of seconds.


Lock Doors and Windows

We often overlook locking doors and windows, despite the fact that it’s one of the best ways to prevent burglars. Often, criminals will try doors or windows first to see if they are unlocked, and then simply walk into your home.


Whenever you leave the house or go to bed at night, make sure your doors or windows are locked. While it might be tempting to leave the house unlocked for a few moments to run an errand, take those few seconds to secure your home, no matter how long you will be gone.


Install Curtains

The perfect curtain can do more than just pull a room together- it can also deter thieves. Many burglars peak into windows to see if there is anything worth breaking in for. Thicker curtains can deter thieves by keeping your rooms away from prying eyes.


Put Away Toys

Leaving expensive toys, like bicycles, out on the front lawn can signal to thieves that you may have something inside worth stealing. To prevent this, have your children put away their toys when they are finished playing with them. Also consider taking other expensive items like grills inside to prevent the same issue.


Don’t Hide Spare Keys Outside

At some time in your life, you’ll lock yourself out of the house. While it’s tempting to leave a key hidden in case of this situation, consider that most thieves have caught on and can easily find the key for their own use. Instead of hiding your keys somewhere outside, give them to a trusted neighbor so that you still have a back up plan while keeping your home secure.


Check Your Mail

An overflowing mailbox signals to a burglar that you are not home and that your house is an easy target. Picking up your mail everyday and newspaper can prevent an unwelcome surprise when you get home. If you are leaving town, ask a neighbor to pick up your mail and newspaper everyday to make it look as if you are still coming and going.


Security does not have to be complicated, and the easiest ways to prevent a burglary can be quite simple. Yet the tips we outlined above should not be the only ones to follow. Comprehensive home security also requires advanced technology, like our Sonitrol systems, to make your home truly safe from burglaries.


At Sonitrol, we would love to talk to you about the best ways to prevent burglaries and the best security system for you. Contact us today to see what Sonitrol SC can do for you.

Friday, May 11, 2018

How to Secure an Older Home

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Older homes have a certain charm that attracts many homeowners. From historic elements to sweet details, older homes offer certain advantages over newer builds. However, keep in mind that as a home ages, so do its safety features. If you’re moving into a home that’s been around for awhile, it’s important to understand how you can secure an older home.


Stay protected by following these tips to secure an older home:


Update Locks

As locks get older, rust can form and weaken them, making it easier for burglars break window and door locks. Putting up to date locks on all windows and doors lessens the chance of someone breaking in. Many updated locks are rust and corrosion-proof, and will last and keep you safe for many years to come.


Protect the Windows

Burglars often look to windows as an entry point. Like locks, windows weaken over time, and will give way to an intruder’s force more easily. Installing burglar-resistant glass for all of your windows will help ensure your safety.


Change the Smoke Detectors

When moving into an old house, you may not know the last time the smoke detectors were changed. Today’s smoke detectors are much more advanced than those placed in homes twenty years ago. Newer models detect fires more quickly, alerting you sooner and giving you more time to take action.


Upgrade the Garage Door

In addition to locks, windows, and smoke detectors, make sure that your garage doors are up to date. Even if a home has advanced locks everywhere else, a neglected garage door will provide an easy entry point for intruders. Replacing the remote controls and changing the codes is also important, as you never know who lived in the house before you.


Add a Security System

Alarm systems are one of the best forms of home protection. The presence of a home security system actually deters intruders. But if a break-in does occur, an alarm system will alert authorities immediately. From alarm systems to security cameras and intruder detection, you can rest assured you and your family are protected with a home security system.


By following these tips, you can enjoy the charms of an older home while enjoying the safety a newer build brings. Interested in a comprehensive home security system to secure an older home? Sonitrol can help. From consultation to installation, we make it easy to secure your home. Contact us today to learn how we can secure your home.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Why Burglars Target Certain Homes Over Others

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Nobody wants to experience coming home to find that your house has been burglarized. It’s a nightmare that leaves many people wondering “why me?” While some burglars strike impulsively without a strategy, many strategize and plan their crimes ahead of time. To help prevent a burglar from targeting your home, it’s important to understand why burglars target certain homes over others.


Below are a few reasons a burglar might target your home over another, along with techniques that will make your home less attractive to potential burglars:


Corner House

Due to accessibility and the ability to escape without the fear of multiple neighbors watching, burglars often target corner houses. While you can’t change the fact that your house is located on the corner of your block, you can take measures to protect your corner home. Motion-detecting lights, sturdy doors, and a security system can all help you deter burglars.


Obvious Signs of Valuables

Obvious signs of valuables in and around your home are also more likely to attract burglars. Just seeing a nice car in the driveway alerts a burglar that there may be valuable items inside. Limit the visibility of your valuable items by closing blinds and parking your car in the garage.


No Dog

Dogs can sense when something isn’t right, and a bark can alert owners to a potential intruder. Burglars know this, and tend to stay away from homes with dogs when choosing a target. Considering getting a dog? Think of keeping burglars away as an added bonus to their love and affection! But you should only get a dog if you are prepared to undertake the responsibilities that come with having a pet.


Empty House  

Most people assume that home break-ins occur at night, but that isn’t necessarily the case. While night-time robberies do occur, over half of take place between 6am-6pm. Strategic burglars will watch the home they’re targeting to find out when the house is empty during the day. Catching on to the homeowners’ work or school schedules, these burglars will strike the house once everyone is gone for the day.


Unlocked Windows and Door

Locking windows and doors seems like an obvious way to keep your home safe and sound, but many people tend to forget this simple step. Although a locked door doesn’t guarantee full safety, it helps deter impulsive burglars and those looking for an easy target.


No Alarm System

Finally, intruders are less likely to target a homes equipped with home security systems. No thief wants to attract the attention a security alarm or camera will bring. Just seeing a security system sticker on the door or in the yard will deter would-be burglars.


Protect your home, your family, and your valuables with comprehensive security systems from Sonitrol. No matter your security needs, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Monday, April 16, 2018

How to Prevent Car Theft

prevent car theft

According to the FBI, approximately $5.9 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft in the U.S. in 2016. From stolen valuables to stolen vehicles, burglars will use an unsuspecting car as a quick, often easy target. Therefore, it’s important to understand how to prevent car theft and protect your property.


Protecting your car from theft sometimes involves common sense, and other times involves just a touch of effort on your part. Here are four ways that you can prevent car theft:


Park in Well Lit Areas

Vehicles parked in a dark isolated corner of the parking lot are prime targets for car thieves. Instead of parking in areas that attract thieves, try to park under a lamp post or near a busy entrance. And at home, consider moving your car into the garage instead of parking out on the street.


Lock Your Doors and Take the Keys

The easiest way to get your car or items stolen? Leaving the doors unlocked or the keys inside. Always lock your car door, and never leave your keys inside. Even if you’re only going to be gone for a minute, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Avoid Leaving Valuables in the Car

Leaving valuables, like a purse or a GPS device, out in the open in your car will certainly attract theft. Avoid leaving valuables in the car to not only protect those items, but your vehicle as well. If leaving them in the car is your only option, hide them underneath the seat or put them in the trunk.


Get a Car with an Alarm

A loud, obnoxious alarm makes it hard for a theft to occur unnoticed. Most newer models come with a car alarm that you should set whenever you leave your vehicle. If your car doesn’t come equipped with a car alarm, a mechanic should be able to install one for you. You may also want to consider installing a tracking device to locate your vehicle in the event of a theft.


With common sense and a extra few safety measures, you can prevent car theft and keep your property safe. But when it comes to protecting your home, let Sonitrol help. Our comprehensive security systems can prevent home invasion and give you peace of mind. Contact Sonitrol today to learn what we can do for you.

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Weakest Parts of Your Home

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Burglars target homes even in the safest neighborhoods, meaning it’s important to protect entry points to your home. Some parts of your home leave you more vulnerable to break-ins than others. By securing the weakest parts of your home, you can better protect yourself against burglary or intrusion.


Learn more about the weakest parts entry points to your home and how to secure them.


Front Door

Did you know that approximately 30% of burglars enter homes through the front door? To secure your front door, check the hinges and locks to make sure they are working properly. Then, replace any outdated or broken hardware.


Homes with recessed doorways or other architectural elements that obscure the door are also at risk. If this is the case for your home, make sure the area is well-lit, and consider putting up visible deterrents like a security alarm sticker or beware of dog sticker.


Windows

First and foremost, make sure that-unless open- your windows are locked. You should also consider the age of your windows, as windows weaken and become worn over time. Additionally, be wary of shrubbery or other obstructions near your windows where an intruder might hide.


Glass is obviously quite easy to break, but so are window latches. Replace worn or outdated hardware like latches to strengthen your windows. While first floor windows should be your priority, don’t forget to secure second floor windows, too.


Pet Doors

While your dog or cat’s freedom is great, pet doors offer an easy entry point for intruders. Fortunately, technological advances have increased the security of pet doors. Some pet doors even use a key attached to your pet’s collar to remotely open the door when your pet comes in.


Most pet doors also come with a latch that you should lock whenever you leave the house or go to bed. If you have an older pet door with no security measures, consider replacing it.


Garage Entries

Your garage may not seem like an obvious place to burglarize. That’s exactly why intruders take advantage of unlocked garage doors or unlocked cars within garages. Be sure to lock both your garage door and your car. It’s also a good idea to take any valuable possessions into the house rather than keeping them in your locked car.


With attached garages, you also need to consider the possibility an intruder might enter your home there. Secure the door from your garage into your home like you would any other entry point. You may also want to invest in a garage door sensor to detect movement in or around your garage.


Specialty Doors

Decorative doors, like a French or sliding door, can also act as an easy entry point for intruders. When securing specialty doors, take into account the extra security measures they may require. Install special locks and handles to prevent potential burglars from jimmying the lock or breaking the glass.


While it may sound like a lot of work, taking the time and effort to secure the weakest parts of your home is important. Not to mention, it can save you time, money, and heartbreak by preventing an intrusion or burglary. In addition to securing weak entry points to your home, installing a comprehensive security system will keep you and your family protected.


Sonitrol offers a number of security system options to help homes and small businesses of all sizes. Interested in learning more about what Sonitrol can do for you? Contact us today for a free home security consultation.

Monday, April 2, 2018

How to Prevent a Break-In

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Did you know that approximately 30% of burglars enter homes through an unlocked door or window? And once they’ve gained access, these thieves can burglarize your home in less than 10 minutes. If you want to prevent a break-in and not become part of a statistic, it’s important to take preventative measures.


Check out our tips for prevent burglars from breaking in to your home:


Lock Your Doors and Windows

Locking doors and windows may seem like an obvious task, but as the statistic above shows, it’s easy to forget. Everytime you leave your home, double check to make sure that your windows and doors are closed completely and locked. You may also consider getting a deadbolt lock for your door to prevent forceful entry into your home.


Invest in Motion Detecting Lights

Motion detecting lights are one of the best ways to prevent a nighttime break-in. The better-lit your home is, the less likely a burglar will attempt to break in. Additionally, motion detecting lights can act as a built in light when you return home late at night. You can get motion detecting lights either hardwired or screwed into the outside of your house.


Get a Dog

Burglars are also less likely to break into a house with a dog. Dogs are highly unpredictable and can be very loud, drawing unwanted attention to a burglar’s presence. But if you aren’t prepared to love and care for your new furry friend, getting a dog is not the right option for you.


Talk to Your Neighbors

Your neighbors are perhaps one of the best resources when it comes to preventing a burglary. Talking to your neighbors can give you a better understanding of what’s going on around your home. They may have information about what’s going in the neighborhood, such as suspicious persons or cars lingering around your home.


And if you leave for vacation, ask your neighbors to help make your home looked ‘lived in’ while you’re gone. By picking up mail and taking in the garbage for you, your neighbors can deter would be intruders.


Install a Security System

Home security systems and alarms are a powerful deterrent to potential burglars. From burglary monitoring to video surveillance, there are a number of home security options to fit your needs. Installing a home security system is an easy way to prevent a break-in, and well worth the investment.


Sonitrol home security systems come with stickers and yard signs that let burglars know your home is well protected. Learn more about how Sonitrol’s state-of-the-art systems can help prevent a break-in and protect your home.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Why Your Business Should Have Video Surveillance

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Owning a business comes with many responsibilities, including making sure that every aspect of your business is protected. The benefits of video surveillance will take your catapult your organization’s security to a new level. It’s a smart investment that will keep your building, employees and customers protected.


Learn more about the benefits of video surveillance for your business.


Reduces the Chance of Theft

Perhaps the greatest benefit, surveillance cameras help reduce the chance of both external and internal theft. From shoplifting to armed robbery, many businesses are at risk of theft. However, burglars are less likely to target businesses with surveillance equipment.


Video cameras also provide eyes and ears to protect your business and help authorities in the event of an incident. If a burglary occurs, the system provides clear video footage to help law enforcement, showing facial features and other important details.


In addition to burglary, 64% of businesses fall victim to employee theft. Video surveillance also helps reduce the chances of employee theft. Employees are much less likely to take advantage of their position or access if they know they’re being monitored.


Improves Safety

Protecting employees and customers in the workplace is just as important as protecting the business itself. The presence of security cameras can help your employees feel and stay safe. Whether employees worry about break-ins, property vandalism, or internal issues, video surveillance lets them- and customers- know they are protected.


Improves Customer Experience

In addition to protecting your employees, video surveillance benefits your customers. Customers will have an overall better experience with your business if they feel safe in your establishment. Owners can even use footage to study customers’ shopping habits or patterns, making alterations to ensure a better shopping experience.


Resolves Conflicts

Video surveillance can also provide proof of what actually happened in the event of internal conflict. The information provided by camera footage can help easily resolve employee disputes. Management can clearly assess the situation and help employees come to an agreement.


Offers Peace of Mind

Finally, video surveillance offers peace of mind to business owners and managers. With an extra set of eyes watching your organization, you can focus on other important aspects of your business. With continuous, automated recording and clear images, you can rest easy knowing your organization is secure and protected.


Video surveillance cameras do much more than catch criminals. Designed to secure, protect, and monitor, video cameras benefit businesses both large and small. At Sonitrol, we offer video surveillance options with a number of advantages. Contact Sonitrol today and learn how we can help protect your business.

Monday, March 12, 2018

How to Prevent a False Alarm

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The benefits of a security system are well-documented and include police protection, video surveillance, and peace of mind. However, while an alarm can be lifesaving in the event of a break-in, a false alarm is a disaster. It’s important to understand how to properly use your security system and prevent a false alarm from occurring. Otherwise, you could incur hundreds of dollars of fees and waste the valuable time of law enforcement officers.


Here are five simple strategies for preventing a false alarm:


Know the code

Although this may seem obvious, a surprising number of false alarms are due to the homeowner forgetting the code or failing to inform someone of a code change. When you first install your security system, make a list of everyone who knows the code and update it as needed. This could include family members, babysitters, or a friend who is watching your home for the weekend. Choose a code that is easy to remember, but not easy to guess. Avoid choosing something like the house number.


Keep an eye on pets

Motion-detecting systems in your home or yard are great for security, but pets and animals can set off false alarms. If you use a motion-detection alarm system, you’ll need to keep pets in a secured area where they won’t trigger the alarm. Talk to your security provider for information about pet-friendly product options.


Replace the batteries

Although many home security systems are outfitted with batteries that can last for five years, any system will need a battery replaced eventually. Most alarm systems will let you know when the batteries are weak. Keep a record of when you have last changed the batteries to prevent any unexpected malfunctions.


Report faulty equipment

Although an estimated 70% of false alarms are caused by human error, a system malfunction can occur. If you suspect that the security system may be at fault for a false alarm, contact your provider. A representative will be sent to your home to examine the system for any defects.


A few general rules

Although you may think that running back into your house to grab a forgotten item won’t trigger an armed alarm system, even a short duration will cause the alarm to go off. If you need to go back into your home or office after setting the alarm, take a few moments to disable it as soon as you walk through the door.


Inclement weather, such as electrical storms, hurricanes, strong winds, and tornadoes can also cause a false alarm, although this is rare. As a precaution, take the weather into consideration when using your security system.


The key to successfully using your alarm system is to set and disable it as often as possible. When this becomes routine, you reduce your risk of triggering a false alarm. Always ensure that your security equipment is working properly. For information about the benefits of a security system in your home or office, give our expert team at Sonitrol a call at (843) 258-8226.

Monday, March 5, 2018

What You Need to Know About Smart Security

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Smart security systems connect with an app on your smartphone and allow you to monitor your home or business remotely. These high tech systems use a combination of cameras, motion detectors and alarms to keep your property safe. The system can lock or unlock your door from any location, alert you to someone entering your property, and check for carbon monoxide in the air.


Installing a smart security system into your home or business is easy, cost-effective, and convenient. Sonitrol offers six systems for commercial and residential properties that provide comprehensive protection and peace of mind.


Theft Prevention Systems

Firstly, you can protect your home from theft with Sonitrol’s Burglary Monitoring System. Motion detectors will sound an alarm if someone is lurking outside your home or if there is a break-in while the system is armed. Alarms will also frighten off a burglar and alert the authorities.


Our team is available around the clock to monitor the alarm system and notify the police of a forced entry. For commercial properties, install the Intrusion Detection System, which provides the same security and benefits for your business.


Fire and Smoke Detection

A fire can be devastating to your business by rapidly destroying property and endangering the lives of employees. Sonitrol’s Fire and Smoke Detection System monitors your facility 24 hours a day for heat and smoke. Early detection gives employees more time to escape the building and limits damage to your property. This system also monitors the water flow from sprinkler systems, triggers an elevator recall, and is aware of sensitive temperatures in freezer rooms.


Total Connect System

To protect either your home or business, install the Total Connect alarm monitoring system. Total Connect allows you to access your smart system’s video and camera feed from anywhere in world, at any time, providing real-time alerts to your synced smartphone or mobile device. You can check on your pet while at work, or monitor your home while you and your family are away on vacation. You can also control the thermostats, lights, and locks, as well as remotely arm or disarm the system.


Video Surveillance Cameras

Additionally, Sonitrol offers video surveillance equipment for your home or business that seamlessly connects with our other systems. Video cameras provide the highest level of security by allowing you to monitor your property remotely. Cameras and alarms are powerful deterrents to both crimes and false claims. Our operators provide 24/7 alarm verification to dispatch authorities to your property if needed.


Wireless Security Systems

In the past, security systems were installed by drilling holes into the walls and required a mess of wires. Fortunately, technological advances have rendered these old systems obsolete. Sonitrol’s Wireless Security System has a sleeker design, causes less damage, and provides unmatched security. Plus, it’s easy to install, with no wires or drilling. These smart security systems can be linked to your mobile device and are ideal for renters since they can be moved from apartment to apartment with no damage to the walls.


If you are asleep or away from home when a thief breaks into your home or a fire is sparked, a smart system will act immediately to save your possessions and even your life.


Access Control Panels

Finally, Sonitrol’s Access Control Panels are a cost-effective option for introducing keyless entry into your workplace. Our systems can allow for free entry during business hours and restricted entry during after hours. This limits who has access to your property and controls the flow of traffic in and out of the building. The access control panels can also detect fire and smoke, providing total protection for your commercial property.


Sonitrol Security Systems have the highest apprehension rate and the lowest false alarm rate in the industry. Our highly-trained professional monitoring team can determine whether a break-in is in progress or a false alarm has occurred. By dispatching police only in appropriate situations, our team drastically reduces the number of false alarms.


Give us a call at (843) 258-8226 or schedule a free consultation to install the smart security system that provides the best protection for your property.

Monday, February 19, 2018

How to Protect Your Family During a Home Invasion

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The difference between a home invasion and a burglary is simple: a burglary occurs when an intruder breaks in while you are not home, while a home invasion occurs while you are at home. While both are dangerous, home invasions often pose a greater threat to your safety and the safety of your family.


Below are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family during a home invasion.


Take Preventative Measures

First and foremost, you should take preventative measures to protect your home and family. Trim trees and bushes around your home to prevent potential burglars from hiding in them. Make sure that all doors and windows are secure and locked. You should also stay alert to suspicious people or cars near your home.


Call 911

Unfortunately, even the best plans and preventative measures can fall short. If you are home and someone breaks into your house, calling the police is absolutely the first thing you should do. Answer their questions thoroughly and take their advice. Try to stay on the line until the police arrive.


Flee or Hide…

Attempting to leave the house is the next thing you should do after you call the police. If this is difficult and cannot be done safely, find a place to hide. If you are in your bedroom, lock the door and keep still, or find another place to hide, such as a closet, until help arrives.


Then Fight

The last thing you want to do is confront the invader. You have no idea who this person is and what this person may be carrying as a weapon. Sometimes, though, you must fight back to protect yourself or to protect your family. If you have to fight, go for vulnerable areas such as the knee or the face. Do anything that you need to do to keep yourself safe. When the invader is incapacitated, leave the area immediately.


Even though a home invasion is stressful, the biggest thing to do is to stay calm. Acting irrationally can lead to a situation where someone gets hurt, including your loved ones. Go over these steps with your family to make sure that everyone knows what to do if a home invasion arises, including escape routes and emergency plans.


One of the best ways to protect your home from invasion? Install a home security system. Security systems and security decals will help deter potential invaders from targeting a home.


At Sonitrol, we offer comprehensive home security solutions that can give you and your family peace of mind. You can also visit our blog for more tips and advice on protecting your home and family in many situations, not just a home invasion. Reach us online or at (843) 258-8226 to see what Sonitrol can do for you.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Home Electrical Safety Tips

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Although we use electric appliances around the house every day, these appliances can pose a serious electrical hazard. Light bulbs, appliances, and power cords all have the potential to start a fire. To protect yourself, your children, and your home, here are five do’s and don’ts for home electrical safety.


Do: Pay attention to your breaker

A tripped breaker is not only extremely frustrating, but also potentially dangerous. If your breaker trips immediately after resetting, it could be a symptom of a dangerous problem. If you continue to reset it, you may cause a serious electrical fire.


A professional electrician can diagnose the issue, which may be a faulty box, too great of an electric load, or a fire hazard. Some houses built in the 1990s or earlier were installed with breaker models that are now discontinued due to fire hazards. If your box was manufactured by Federal Pacific, ITE Pushmatic, Zinsco, or GTE/Sylvania, buy a replacement.


Don’t: Put water on an electrical fire

Throwing water on a fire is an almost instinctive reaction. However, since water conducts electricity, it will worsen an electrical fire. Only a chemical fire extinguisher can safely combat an electrical fire. It is important to always have a fire extinguisher handy, especially in the kitchen.


Follow the firefighter-recommended PASS method for using your fire extinguisher. First, pull (P) the safety pin of the fire extinguisher. Next, aim (A) the nozzle and squeeze (S) the handle at the base of the fire. Sweep (S) the extinguisher in a side-to-side motion until you have put out the flames.


If you aren’t sure if you can fight the fire, run. Although losing your house and possessions is devastating, losing your life is much worse.


Do: Teach children electrical safety

Since children are naturally curious, it is easy for an electrical accident to occur. To prevent a hazardous situation, teach children to unplug appliances after use and to never play with electrical appliances near water.


Use child-proof caps in unused outlets, and keep electrical cords out of reach of pets and young children. It’s also a good idea to create and practice a home fire escape plan with your children.


Don’t: Ignore hot outlets

An outlet or breaker that is hot to the touch is one of the most immediate signs that something is wrong. A hot outlet could mean that the electrical load is too high, the wiring is melting, or the wiring has come loose. Investigate flickering lights, another indicator of loose wiring.


Whenever you are concerned about the safety of your home electrical outlets, you should contact a licensed electrician.


Do: Ground your appliances

Appliances with a three-prong plug are the safest options for your home. Old appliances are particularly at risk for electrical malfunctions and should be updated to three-prong plugs. Without properly grounding your appliances, you could be at risk for electrical shocks. Replace outlets that aren’t grounded and install a new circuit. You will likely need an electrician to repair or install the outlets.


At Sonitrol, home safety is our priority. We offer state-of-the-art home security technology, including wireless monitoring, burglary monitoring, and security cameras. To learn more about how to protect your home, contact our expert team at (843) 258-8226.

Monday, February 5, 2018

How to Deter a Burglar

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According to the FBI, a burglary occurs every 18 seconds. While this is a shocking statistic, there are steps you can take to deter a burglar and protect yourself. Deter thieves with the following security tips and help reduce your risk of burglarization.


Lock your doors

A surprising number of people leave their doors open while they’re away from home. In addition to locking your front and back doors, lock your garage and all accessible windows. Visit your local locksmith and buy the most secure locks possible.


If you keep a spare key hidden outside your home, pick it up before leaving for a week-long or weekend vacation. When coming home at night, double-check to make sure you have taken your key out of the lock. It is frighteningly easy to leave your key in the door overnight without realizing.


Buy motion-activated lights

You hear noise outside one night, but don’t see anyone. Is a thief lurking nearby? Without motion-activated lights, it can be difficult to tell. Put a giant floodlight on whatever goes bump in the night and sleep much more soundly. Motion-activated lights can also help alert a neighbor who is watching your home while you’re away on vacation to a potential intruder.


Use sturdy doors

Many thieves will choose to break in through the windows or the door, depending on which is more accessible. The door is the point of entry for around 70% of break-ins. If you notice that the doors on your house seem flimsy, replacing them with solid wood is worth the investment.


For doors with a glass window, you’ll want to install a secondary floor lock. A secondary lock will prevent a thief from breaking the window and unlocking your door from the inside.


Store valuables in a safe

Instead of stowing away jewelry, cash, or other valuables in a drawer, invest in a secure safe or lockbox. Since the bedroom is the first place thieves check for valuables, keep yours in a different room. If you don’t want to invest in a safe, you can get creative with places to hide your small jewelry or cash.


However, keep in mind that if you leave for an extended period of time, thieves will have a longer opportunity to search every inch of your house. A strong safe that is bolted to the floor is the best choice for protecting your valuables.


Install a security system

Home security systems are one of the most effective methods for long-term protection against burglary. Security systems can alert the authorities if the alarm is triggered and give you and your family time to get to safety.


Choose a security system with cameras, allowing you to monitor your house at any time. The most best security systems allow you to connect your home system wirelessly with your smartphone or laptop for an additional layer of protection.


Sonitrol Security offers customizable, state-of-the-art alarm systems for your home and business. Our systems are wireless and can be connected to all of your devices. Schedule a free consultation today or give our expert team a call at (843) 258-8226.

Monday, January 22, 2018

How to Leave Your Home When Going Away

how to leave your home

From business trips to vacations and trips to the in-laws, there are many occasions where we must leave our home unattended. Criminals often target homes that appear uninhabited, meaning that your house could be at risk for a break-in while you’re away. Knowing how to leave your home when going away will help prevent criminals from taking advantage of your absence.


Here are a few tips to keep your home safe while you’re out of town.  


Have someone watch your home

The best option is not to leave your house uninhabited at all by having house-sit. Whether you ask a neighbor, friend, or family member, it is often a good idea for someone to keep any eye on your home while you’re away.


A neighbor or friend can pick up your paper from your driveway, take your garbage can to the curb, or watch for any signs of suspicious activity around your home. If a friend or neighbor isn’t available, you can hire someone from a professional agency to stay in or check up on your home.

  

Stop incoming mail

If you plan to be gone for longer than a weekend, ask your local USPS to stop delivering mail to your house for the duration of your trip. An overflowing mailbox or packages stacked against your door may tip off a potential burglar that no one is home. Once you return home, you can drop by the post office to pick up your mail and resume deliveries.


Turn on automatic timers

When thieves look for homes to break into, they often notice houses that have stayed dark for several days. If the porch light never turns on or a window never lights up, it is a sure sign that the residents are away.


If you don’t mind the electric bill, you can leave the porch light and a few other visible lights on while you’re away. However, a better solution might be to install automatic timers that will turn certain lights on at night and off during the day.


Install a security system

If you don’t have anyone to watch your home while you’re away, a security system will act as an extra pair of eyes and protect your home. Choose a security system equipped with cameras that allow you to monitor your home 24 hours a day. By alerting police as soon as the alarm is triggered, your home will be protected even when you’re out of town.


Already have a system? Call your security company to inform them of your upcoming travel plans. That way, your company will take a triggered alarm especially seriously.


Enjoy your vacation and install a comprehensive home security system. With 24 hour access to security cameras, an easy to use alarm system, and wireless connectivity, Sonitrol provides high-quality protection. Questions? Reach out to us at online or at (843) 258-8226.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tips to Hurricane Proof Your Home

hurricane proof your home

Every coastal resident knows the stress and panic that accompanies an approaching hurricane. While evacuating family and pets is necessary in some situations, you’ll want to do everything possible to hurricane proof your home.


Hurricane season may be months away, but it’s never too early to begin hurricane proofing your home. Get a head start preparing your house for hurricane season with these tips.


Protect windows and doors

Windows and doors are the most vulnerable spots in your house and need extra protection during a storm. Install specialized storm shutters or impact-resistant glass to prevent them from shattering. If the glass is broken, it could hurt the people or pets inside of your home as well as let in wind and rain.


Garage doors are also weak points for strong winds. Brace the door or install garage doors that are built to withstand the pressure.  


Clean up your yard

When strong gusts of wind blow through your yard, they can uproot trees and move outdoor furniture. Prune dead branches and cut back any limbs that have grown close to your house. Overhanging branches or dead tree limbs could easily fall onto your roof in the event of a storm.


Patio furniture, grills, and other heavy items should also be moved from the yard. Make sure all tools and sharp objects are securely stored in a shed instead of lying near the back door.


Design your house properly

Although many of us don’t get the luxury of building our own custom home, modifications can be made to existing homes to help them withstand storms. One important consideration is uplift, which occurs when strong gusts of wind blow the roof off of a house. Many houses are equipped with code-mandated fasteners that are designed to protect the house from quite literally being torn apart.


Your location and type of construction will determine the fasteners you use, which range from tie-down, embedded connectors, lateral anchors, and others. You will also want to build your house on the highest ground possible or with raised structures in the event of a storm surge.  


Clear drainage systems

Hurricanes and tropical storms cause heavy rains, which can often seep into and flood houses if you aren’t careful. One simple precaution is clearing all drainage systems like gutters and downspouts so that the water can flow uninhibited. A visual inspection should show if your drainage systems are clear and ready for the storm.


You can also hire someone to professionally clean your gutters if they are in poor condition. You’ll also want to stock up on towels and buckets indoors in case water leaks from the attic or seeps in through cracks.


Run a backup generator

In a hurricane or storm, the power is often the first thing to go off, and it could be hours or even days before it’s restored. You should always have a backup generator on hand, even if you don’t live in a hurricane-prone area. Choose from a small standby generator or a whole-house system.


In some cases, a backup generator can mean the difference between life or death. Be sure to check with local zoning regulations on the type of generator allowed, as many models can be loud.


Install a security system

Unfortunately, criminals often take advantage of empty houses whose residents have evacuated during a storm. Homes and businesses are frequently robbed during, before, or after storms. A home security system can protect your home from theft and break-ins.


Choose a security system with cameras and an alarm system that will notify the police if someone breaks into your home. Security systems can protect your home year-round and provide peace of mind.


At Sonitrol Security Systems, we are committed to protecting our customers’ homes and property with advanced, top-of-the-line technology. Schedule a free consultation today, or chat with our expert team at (843) 258-8226.

Monday, January 8, 2018

How to Make a Home Safe for Children

make home safe for kids

Although your home may be safe for an adult, everyday objects can be surprisingly dangerous to children. In fact, household injuries are one of the top reasons children under three are taken to the ER. If you’re expecting a child or already have children, make sure you know how to make a home safe for children.


Here are five tips for making your home as safe as possible for your little ones.


Childproof the kitchen

One of the most potentially dangerous rooms in the house is the kitchen. To prevent injuries, store knives, scissors, and other sharp objects in a locked cabinet or drawer. Consider keeping your dishwasher locked as well so that children cannot hurt themselves opening it or with the items inside.  


You should also keep children away from hot stoves, and begin practicing the “no” command with your child. Finally, restrict entry to the kitchen with a baby gate.


Hide cleaning products

Many kitchen and bathroom cleaners are extremely toxic if ingested. Keep laundry detergents and all cleaning products out of reach in a locked cabinet. Medicines and creams should also be kept out of reach, as these can be harmful or even deadly when used improperly.


Keep pet food in locked containers, and make sure insect sprays are also kept out of reach. If you suspect that your child has ingested something, contact the poison control center immediately.


Remove choking hazards

Small, everyday objects can pose a serious choking hazard to curious children. Even the most seemingly harmless objects can have disastrous results if your child gets ahold of it. Round or oval objects that are less than an inch in diameter can block a young child’s throat and cause fatal choking.


To prevent your child from choking, keep hazardous items out of their reach, and always keep an eye on your children when they are playing with small toys like Legos or even broken crayons, as these objects can pose a serious risk.  


Fasten furniture to the wall

Heavy furniture, such as dressers, should always be fastened to the wall to prevent them from falling on a young child. Mount TVs to the wall instead of on a table that they can fall off of. Children are either at risk of the item falling directly on them or beside them where they could cut themselves walking over the glass.


Other items that could fall on your child and hurt him include breakable items like photo frames and glass decorations. If your child knocks over a porcelain accent or a photo frame and shatters the glass, it could cause serious injuries.


Install a security system

Parents are natural worriers, and it can be hard to achieve peace of mind when worrying about your child’s safety. You may hesitate to even leave your child with a babysitter if you are truly worried for his or her well-being. A home security system is the perfect way to add an extra layer of protection for your child.


Installing security cameras may also provide peace of mind since you can check up on your child while you are out of the house. Security systems will also alert law enforcement if a break-in is detected. Security systems protect your family and will immediately call the police in situations where you may not be able to.


At Sonitrol Security Systems, we want your home to be safe, peaceful, and happy. Your family’s safety is our number one priority. Contact us today online or at (843) 258-8226 to see how Sonitrol can help protect your family.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Smoke Alarm Maintenance Tips

Smoke Alarm Maintenance

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to around 365,500 home fires in 2015. The fires caused $7 billion in damages and injured over 11,000 people. Three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes with either no smoke alarms or non-working alarms, making smoke alarm maintenance an absolute priority for homeowners.


Although we never think that a fire will happen in our home, it is a very real danger. Here are four tips for maintaining your smoke alarm systems in your home or business.


Replace when needed

As a general rule, smoke alarms will need to be fully replaced every decade. Alarms older than ten years have a 30% rate of failure. The batteries in your alarms will need to be replaced yearly unless you are using long-life batteries. But keep in mind that older models are incompatible with the long-life batteries.


Since dust gathers on smoke alarms, vacuum it out annually to make sure the alarms are functioning properly. Finally, you’ll want to install both ionization and photoelectric alarms. These models will detect either fast or slow moving fires and respond accordingly.


Choose the right location

Next, it is important to install your alarms in the correct locations. Although cooking equipment in kitchens is the leading cause of fires, you don’t want to install your alarm system directly over the stove or even too close it it. Otherwise, you’ll set off the alarm every time you cook.


Instead, install the alarm outside the kitchen. Alarms should be installed in bedrooms, outside of bedrooms, in living rooms, and on each level of your house. Every alarm should be regularly checked and maintained.


Build houses up to code

Make sure your house or office meets all local, state, and federal codes for fire safety. Constructing a new building? Connect smoke alarms to the main electrical system. It’s also important to connect the smoke detectors to each other so they will sound alarms throughout the house or office if a fire is detected.


Despite stricter building codes, newer buildings can sometimes be at a greater risk for fire. Since they are more insulated, the flames burn faster and hotter than in older structures. It is important to keep your alarm systems in working condition regardless of the age of the building.  


Take other fire safety precautions

Take other fire safety precautions in addition to smoke alarm maintenance to protect your home.Extinguish candles and turn off appliances like stoves or toasters. Make sure to unplug things like heaters, keep them away from curtains or other flammable materials, and never leave them unattended. Lastly, develop a fire escape plan and practice it with family members or employees. Following this plan in an emergency is critical to surviving the fire.


Lastly, installing a security system with fire control features and security cameras can help protect your home or business. A security system from Sonitrol can help protect your property from theft, break-ins, and fire. Our state-of-the-art security systems provide peace of mind and quality assurance.


Talk with an expert on our team at (843) 258-8226 or schedule a free consultation today.

Monday, December 11, 2017

How to Make a Home Safe for Aging People

home safety for aging ppl

Living alone at home poses risks for even the most capable of elderly people. And while retirement communities offer great care for aging people, sometimes the best thing for your loved ones is to stay in their own home. And fortunately, there are ways to make a home safe for aging people.


Here are some tips on how to make a home safer for aging people.


Lighting

Enhance the amount of light in the house, especially in walkways. Plug in “night lights” in the walls for use of the bathroom, stairwell and hallways at night. Also increase the brightness in your everyday lights, don’t make them dim. This will prevent them from falling or slipping at night time.


Want to take it a step further? Install motion sensor lights in hallways and bathrooms. That way, you or your loved one will not have to fumble around for a light at night.


Floors

Keep your floors covered with rugs and carpets in the walkways. This will create more friction and prevent falls. Make sure you anchor rugs securely to the floor or install a rug pad so that they don’t move or slide.


Bathrooms

Make bathrooms fall-proof. Grab bars are good in the shower or bathtub, as well as next to the toilet and the sink. These can help prevent many slips in the bathroom. Shower benches also help prevent slips and falls.


Medical Response

There are a variety of medical response systems available for aging people who live alone. In the event of an emergency or a fall, you can press a button to contact emergency services and get help.


Bed Rails

Installing a bed rail will help prevent incidents from occurring while getting into and out of bed.


Security System

Unfortunately, burglars see elderly people as an easy target. A home security system will add a layer of protection to help keep you or your loved ones safe from harm. A comprehensive home security system adds that extra bit of comfort and peace of mind you need.


Following these tips can help ensure a safe and comfortable lifestyle for aging individuals, as well as the rest of the family. At Sonitrol, your family’s safety is our number one priority.


Interested in a home security options for you or a loved one? Contact Sonitrol today and we can help find the best home security system for you!

Monday, December 4, 2017

How to Prevent Package Theft

prevent package theft

The holidays should be a time of giving, but many criminals take advantage of this busy time of year. In 2015, 11 million Americans were victims of package theft. During the holiday rush, making complaints to your local post office or shipping companies can be time consuming. Luckily, you can take certain steps to prevent package theft.


Here are five tips for preventing package theft and keeping the holidays merry and bright.


Put packages on hold

When tracking your order, you may realize that your package is scheduled to deliver while you’re out of town. Don’t just cross your fingers that the package will still be there when you return. Instead, call the delivery service to place your package on hold. Specify a convenient delivery date when you’ll be home to receive your items. Just know that some companies may charge a fee for rescheduling delivery times.


Deliver packages to your workspace

If you work long hours, your package might be scheduled to deliver while you’re at work. Instead of shipping items to your home where they are at risk of theft, have packages delivered to your workplace or a trusted friend’s house.  


Request a signature upon delivery

You can also request a signature upon deliver to package theft. That way if you aren’t home to sign, the courier will simply leave a note on your door and deliver your package later. If a courier leaves a package without getting a signature and it is stolen or damaged, he or she is liable to legal action for violating protocol. You will also receive a full refund or replacement from the delivery company.


Get package insurance

Ordering expensive items like electronics? Consider paying for package insurance. Although it adds on an extra cost to your purchase, it can save you time and money in the long run. You should also insure time-sensitive purchases like holiday gifts. Otherwise, you may not have time to find a replacement if your package is stolen.


Install a security system

Security systems not only help protect your home from break-ins, but also help prevent package theft. Choose a security system with video cameras that can record your front entrance. Video surveillance provides the highest level of security for your home. Criminals are less likely to attempt a theft or a break-in if they know they will be recorded.


Sonitrol Security Systems provides premium protection against package theft and other home and office security issues. Give us a call at (843) 258-8226 to discuss how our expert team can help you.

Monday, November 20, 2017

What to Keep in Your Car in Case of Emergency

what to keep in your car

No matter what kind of car you drive, an emergency situation can occur at any minute. Emergencies can be scary, stressful, and potentially life-threatening if you aren’t prepared. That’s why it’s important to know what to keep in your car in the event of an emergency.


Here are the essential tools and supplies that you should keep in your car at all times.


License and Registration

Keep your license and registration in your car at all times. If you’re pulled over for any reason, the process will run much more smoothly if you can easily access your license and registration papers.


You should also keep insurance papers and AAA card in your glovebox. If you’re stranded on the side of the road or involved in an accident, you’ll need them.


Jumper Cables

It’s always a good idea to have jumper cables with you. Just make sure you know how to use them first; incorrectly connecting the cables can seriously damage your car. Fortunately, it’s easy to learn how to safely jump start a car battery.


Your Car Manual

If you do have car issues, you will need your car’s manual to have any hope of fixing the problem. If you purchased a used car that is missing its manual, buy one for your car’s model and year online. Without the manual, you may not understand your car’s warning lights or how to check the fluid levels in the engine.


First Aid Kit

In addition to a traditional first aid kit that has bandages and antiseptic wipes, you should also pack a flashlight, umbrella, blankets, and an ice scraper. If you are stranded on the side of the road at night or if you need to look under your car, a flashlight will come in handy. Blankets can shield you from cold weather or from hot concrete depending on the season and should always be stored in your car.


Speaking of the chillier months, keep an ice scraper in your glovebox. Although you can use a credit card to clear the ice in an emergency, a scraper is much more efficient and costs next to nothing.


Tire Repair Kit

At some point in your life, you will inevitably experience a flat tire, even if you are diligent about regularly replacing them. That’s why it’s important to keep a tire repair kit in your car at all times. In general, a tire repair kit should include a spare tire, tire jack, tire iron, an inflator, sealer, lug wrench, and a can of WD-40 lubricating spray.


A flat tire can be disastrous if you don’t have the proper equipment to fix it. If you don’t know how to change a tire, ask a friend to help teach you or watch tutorials on Youtube.


Important Medications

In case of emergency, carry any important medications with you in your car. This can include regular aspirin or medicine you take daily. Since certain medications need to be stored at room temperature, you may want to pack them in your purse before you leave and take them with you instead of leaving a bottle of sensitive medicine in the trunk of your car.


If you think you may need an epipen or an inhaler, always keep it within reach in the glovebox.


Water Bottles

If you are preparing for a long road trip, consider packing extra water bottles. Fatigue can quickly set in if you are stranded without access to water, especially in the summer. Since plastic water bottles can be unsafe to drink out of after sitting in a hot car for longer than a day, don’t keep these in your car for extended periods of time.


And speaking of running on empty, pack a gas can with you to more easily fill up in case you run out of fuel.


Other Useful Items

When there is no service or your phone has died, a good old-fashioned paper map can be extremely useful until you can navigate with your GPS. For an emergency where you have to turn your car off, store a portable USB charger in your glovebox. In addition, keep a few rolls of toilet paper and paper towels in your car. If you have to use the bathroom outdoors, you’ll be grateful for one of those little white rolls.


Finally, keep some duct tape in your emergency bin. Famous for its versatility, a durable roll of duct tape is always good to have on hand. Check out these ten heroic duct tape car repairs if you aren’t convinced.


Although this is an extensive list, these items can help you through almost any roadside emergency. Alleviate the stress caused by an unexpected emergency by knowing what to keep in your car.


While you’re driving safely on the highway, is the home you left behind protected? At Sonitrol, we offer quality security systems for your home or business. Chat with an expert member of our team at (843) 258-8226 to learn more about our superior systems.

Monday, November 13, 2017

How to Stay Safe During a Flood

flood safety

In the Charleston area and throughout South Carolina, flooding is a common occurrence. And while many of us have grown accustomed to dealing with floods, do we really know how to stay safe during a flood?


Here are some tips on how to keep you, your family, and your belongings safe when a flood strikes.


Park Your Car

If you know that there is potential for flooding, go park your car on high ground or in a storied garage. The last thing you want is for your car to get flooded, or worse, float away.


You also want to avoid driving in the even of a flood. Even if the water is just halfway above your tires, it’s best not to drive. Your car could hydroplane,which could lead to a serious accident. The water can also damage your engine and other equipment beneath the hood of your car.


If you have to drive, drive slowly and be careful. Don’t take roads that are prone to flooding, and watch the height of the water.


Protect Your Home

If you are in a two-story home, move any valuables, moveable furniture, and other items that might be damaged to the second floor. If you live on single story floor, place your items you don’t want damaged on high shelves and counters. Have a friend or neighbor with a two-story house? Ask them to keep a few things for you.


Place sandbags at the entrances on the first floor of your home to try to prevent water from getting indoors.


Walk Cautiously

Avoid walking in a flooded area in the first place. If you must walk, do not walk in water 6 inches or higher, and don’t walk in water that appears to be moving. Moving water is often more powerful, and therefore dangerous, than it appears.


Even still water has its risks. If you have to walk, wear waterproof boots to protect yourself from potential contamination in the water.


Beware of Electrical Equipment

Do not touch any wires or electrical equipment, especially if you are wet or if they are in water. You’re likely to electrocute yourself. If you are dry and have access to your home’s power source, turn off your utilities from the main switches and valves.


We may be used to floods in the Lowcountry, but that doesn’t mean they are any less dangerous. If the state or county calls for evacuation, leave the area. Don’t try to wait out a serious flood- your safety is more valuable than your property.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Caring for Pets During an Emergency

caring for pets

During emergencies, caring for pets should be one of your top priorities. The best way to ensure that all of your pet’s needs are met in the event of an emergency is through planning and preparation.


Here are some tips on how to prepare and take care of your pet during an emergency.


Evacuating? Bring Your Pets

First thing’s first: if you need to evacuate the area due to an emergency, bring your pet. Don’t assume that they will be okay in the house, even if they have a feeder and plenty of water. If it isn’t safe for you, then it isn’t safe for your pets.


Prep Food & Any Medications

Every family should have an emergency kit handy in the event of an incident or evacuation. If you have a pet, make sure you consider their needs when putting your emergency kit together. Include any medications your pet takes. You can even ask your veterinarian for an extra prescription to include in your emergency stash.


In case of an evacuation, make sure you bring food and water for your pet. Store their travel food, water, and medicine in the same area along with your emergency kit. Then, in case of an emergency, you can grab quickly.


Comfort Your Pets

Once you have left, check to see how your pet is doing. They might be shaking or nervous due to the stress of your abrupt exit. Try to stick to a familiar schedule like at home, such as regular eating and bathroom times. Also, give them lots of water. If your pet becomes ill, take them to a vet; it may be a result of stress or anxiety.


Next time you are at your vet’s office, ask the staff for tips on helping your pet during emergencies. Call a local animal shelter or pet boarder and see what options they offer in case of emergencies.


Remember, if you’re leaving town for an emergency, then your pet needs a safe place to go, too. So prepare for them, stay organized at home, and keep them safe.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Staying Safe on Your College Campus

college campus safety

College can be a fun and exciting time for students. You’re living on your own for the first time, and the experience comes with many adventures. However, these adventures can also lead to some unfortunate events, meaning students should take college campus safety seriously.


Crime occurs even in the safest college towns. Give yourself – and your parents – some peace of mind and follow these tips for staying safe on your college campus.


Know the Area

Become familiar with the area that you live and study in. You don’t want to ever be in a situation where you feel lost. If you know the campus, street names, and city, you’ll be able to get home late at night. You should also know alternative routes to get home in case of a local emergency or event, like a parade.


Visit the Campus Safety Office

Know where your Campus Safety Office is located and become familiar with it. Go inside, take some of the informational pamphlets and flyers, and talk to some of the people who work there. These pamphlets, and especially the experienced staff, can give you great tips on staying safe while you are having fun in college.


Lock Your Doors

Everytime you leave your house or dorm, lock your door. Sometimes students think that their door will be fine if unlocked for a moment but don’t take that risk. Remember, you have your whole life inside of there. And don’t forget to lock the door when you’re going to sleep.


Stay Safe in Numbers

Whether you’re heading in from a night out with friends or just walking home from the library, try to travel in numbers. You should never walk home by yourself. If there is no one to take you home, call an Uber or cab. If you must walk home alone, be aware of your surroundings and walk in well lit, populated areas.


Keep Your Phone Charged

You never know when you’re going to need your phone! Make sure your phone has enough battery before leaving the house, and bring a charger with you if it isn’t. Also keep your phone on your physical body, not in your bag. You don’t want to waste time digging around when an emergency situation strikes.


College should be one of the best experience of your life. Understanding college campus safety will help ensure that’s the case. Taking small steps like the ones listed above will keep you safe from harm and allow you to enjoy all that college has to offer.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Safety Rules Every Child Should Know

child safety rules

As a parent, your main priority is your child’s safety. One of the best ways to keep your children safe is to teach them basic child safety rules and procedures. Taking the time to inform your child about the basics of personal safety will help them be better prepared in the event of an emergency.


While many aspects of personal safety might seem obvious to you, they may not to your child. Below are safety rules and procedures that every child should know.


Using an Emergency List

In every household, there should be a list of emergency numbers. Numbers should include 911, and contact information for trusted family members and friends. Inform your children when these numbers might be necessary and where to find them. The refrigerator is a good place to put an emergency contact list.


Knowing Contact Information

Your children should know and memorize basic contact information as soon as they are able. This information includes their full name, home address and their parents’ names and phone numbers. This information can be extremely useful, especially if they ever find themselves lost.


Operating a Security System

If your child is old enough and responsible enough, explain to them the importance of the security system and what it is used for. Teach your children what to do when the alarm goes off, both in the case of an accident and an actual emergency.


Remembering Stranger Safety

The basics of stranger safety are extremely important. Tell your child not talk to strangers or take anything from someone they don’t know. If your child walks home from school, remind them never to go anywhere with a stranger. Explain to your children to never open the door for anyone, especially for strangers, when you are not home.


Keeping Away from Medicine

Until they reach a certain age, your children should not be going into the medicine cabinet. If they need something, they need to ask an adult to get it and administer the proper dosage. If you have younger kids, consider getting a lock for the medicine cabinet.


Understanding Fire Safety

Don’t let your child play with fire, and always watch them around an open flame like a candle. Explain the dangers of fire and why it’s never okay to play with fire. You can also take the opportunity to also go over your family’s evacuation plan in the event of a fire.


Crossing the Road

Lastly, teach your children to cross the road correctly. This includes looking both ways twice, and using crosswalks. Additionally, tell your children to never play in or alongside the road.


By understanding these basic safety rules, your child will be better prepared in the event of an emergency. Not only will this help keep them safe, but it will also give you peace of mind.


With Sonitrol security systems, you can add an extra layer of protection for your home and loved ones. Learn more about our residential security systems and how Sonitrol can help keep your family safe.

Monday, October 2, 2017

How to Detect a Burglar

detect a burglar

Burglars these days will often watch the home they are interested in before attempting a robbery. They look for specific patterns and try to determine how difficult it will be to break into a house. While this is worrisome, there are fortunately ways to detect a burglar before they can strike.


Below is a list of things to look out for to prevent a burglary from occurring in your home.


An Unfamiliar Car

One of the first signs that a burglar might be targeting your house? An unfamiliar car parked on your street. Burglars will often park outside of a house for long stretches of time; perhaps a few hours, or over the course of a few days.


If you notice a suspicious car, check with your neighbors to see if they recognize it. You should also keep track of how long the new car stays there.


Strangers & Solicitors

Oftentimes when a burglar is targeting home, they will hang around the house or disguise themselves to get intel. Perhaps uncertified workmen or solicitors will knock on your door, asking to use the bathroom or to take a look in your house.


Never let a workman you did not call for or a solicitor inside your home. They may be trying to figure out the layout of your house and the valuables you may have inside.


Pictures

Speaking of strangers, keep an eye out for people that walk by that stop to take a picture of your home. If they take a picture and then just walk away, this is a good sign that your house is being targeted and that you should be cautious of a potential burglary.


Spam Mail

If you start noticing lots of meaningless spam mail, like flyers, in your mailbox or on your doorstep, this could be an warning. The burglar is taking advantage of delivering mail to get a better look at your house.


If you start noticing an increase in the amount of spam mail you are getting, ask you mailman if he is delivering them. If he isn’t, keep a look out for the person handing them out. Ask your neighbors if they are receiving them as well. The burglar could be watching their homes, too.


Strange Markings

Some burglars will place strings on walkways, lamp posts or your house as a tool for the planning of the robbery. The strings alert other burglars that the house is a potentially easy target. If you notice strings or other signs like litter in strange places around your home, remove them immediately.


Burglars are creative, and are always trying to find new ways to rob your home. Fortunately, their tactics are easily detectable. If you notice any of these signs, report it your police department to keep your property, and your life, safe.


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