Monday, May 24, 2021

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, April 26, 2021

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.


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.


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.


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, March 29, 2021

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 for better theft protection. 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, February 22, 2021

What You Need to Know About Smart Security

smart security

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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Burglars May Be Using Drones to Target Homes

Our homes are very important to us; they protect the most important people in our lives, and they defend our most prized possessions. Unfortunately, our homes are not always the strong fortresses we imagine them to be; often, our homes are the victims of theft and damage that are hard to avoid or halt.

In terms of home burglary and crime statistics in 2016, nearly 88% of burglaries in the United States were residential, with 38% of burglaries including a firearm. Regardless of whether anything is taken from the home, burglars often get away unscathed, especially if the home lacks any sort of home security system.

How do thieves know where to strike, and when? In startling home burglary facts, it was reported that the majority of break-ins are committed by burglars who live nearby, and who can become familiar with the daily movements of a home, but that’s not all.

In a new turn of events, there have been reports of thieves using a new method of learning about a home’s layout prior to performing a break-in. This approach has made it very difficult for authorities to stop burglars from gaining valuable information about the design of a home and how to enter, and homeowners need to know about it.

The New Way to Target Homes

It has been reported by police that burglars are now using unmanned drones as their latest break-in tool. Drones have been a very popular tool and toy, as of late, and they are easily purchased and inexpensive. They are used for all kinds of purposes and have recently caught the eye of thieves who want to get a better look.

Essentially, thieves are using the drones by flying them over properties to get better visuals of the property’s layout. With some of the higher-end designs, thieves can have the visuals sent to them from the drone, and they can also record videos and take pictures.

This kind of information is extremely helpful for burglars, as they can use the information for a variety of things, including learning the layout of a home, learning what kinds of doors they use, seeking out security cameras or guard dogs, and even finding out whether anyone is home.

This new technology is becoming worrisome for authorities, as there aren’t very many rules against low-flying drones in public areas. Someone who is enjoying flying their drone in a park could just as well be using it to zoom in on a backyard across the road without detection. The drone is the newest tool in a burglar’s belt to avoid a property while still getting all of the information they need for a later date.

Monday, December 28, 2020

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 an 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, November 23, 2020

How to Deter a Burglar

deter a burglar

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 security 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, October 26, 2020

The Weakest Parts of Your Home

weakest parts of home 964x1024

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.


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.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Why Burglars Target Certain Homes Over Others

burglars target certain homes 1024x682

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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Benefits of Security Cameras

security camera benefits

In today’s day and age, there’s a plethora of security options. From monitors to motion sensors, you can have your pick of how you want to protect your home. When considering the best security options for your home, keep the benefits of security cameras in mind.

There’s a certain advantage to the security camera. The ability to see what’s going on in your home can provide a peace of mind that other options just don’t have. Here are just a few of the benefits of security cameras, besides simply keeping an eye on burglars.

Decrease Insurance Costs
Some insurance companies will actually decrease the amount you have to pay because of your security cameras. By increasing the security on your home, you’re reducing the risk of damage to it, which is good for both you and your insurance company.

Keep an Eye on Kids
One of the biggest benefits of security cameras is that they can live-stream what’s going in your home. You can know what’s going on in your home at any given minute, of any hour, of any day. That means keeping an eye out on everything from burglars to your afterschool babysitter to your pets. If your kids are home alone, you can check in on them. Another set of eyes can’t hurt!

Deter Burglars
The presence of video cameras for security surveillance doesn’t just record burglars, they can actually deter them. If burglars see a camera or two on a house, it’s an automatic red flag and they’ll move on. An added bonus is the sign that your security company provides; it’s just another sign for burglars that your home is safe, secure, and impenetrable.

Look Out for Dark Hallways
The bigger the house, the more opportunities there are for a burglar to enter. So, it makes sense to have more than one set of eyes watching the premises. Security cameras can watch all parts of your house, even those areas that you don’t frequent. Long, dark hallways are a burglar’s dream, but with a camera or two, that hall goes from a prime target to a red flag.

No Phone? No Problem
If you do end up in a sticky situation and you don’t have a phone nearby, your security system can come in handy. The team at Sonitrol will contact the authorities for you, so you don’t have to try to reach your phone while an intruder is inside.

These are just a few of the benefits of security cameras in and around your home. Sonitrol offers a number or security and intrusion detection systems to keep your home safe. Have more questions about home security and our security camera options? Contact Sonitrol today!

Monday, July 27, 2020

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 systems options with a number of advantages. Contact Sonitrol today and learn how we can help protect your business.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Choosing a Security System for a Restaurant


Restaurant owners know that this kind of investment takes a lot of dedication, organization, and intelligent planning. There are so many different aspects that go into a well-designed restaurant, that making any kinds of mistakes from the start can be very costly later on.

With so many responsibilities included in running a successful restaurant business, it’s important that the basics are covered ahead of time. This means designing a smart floor plan, having all of the safety requirements covered and even choosing security systems before construction begins. Although some may assume that the table selections and menu creation are of the utmost importance, the details of building and protecting a restaurant need attention first.

A quality security system for restaurants can help to protect the premises, catch thieves, and even keep track of the actions of employees. Restaurant owners have a lot to lose when it comes to robberies and poor work habits, so it’s important that they can track what’s going on in their establishment.

If you or someone you know is planning to install security into their restaurant, they may feel slightly overwhelmed with the options. To help, consider this information to help in choosing a security system for a restaurant.

Size Matters
Knowing how large your restaurant establishment is will help security professionals decide how much security is required and where it will be needed most. The bigger a restaurant is, the more potential there is for weak spots, so gather a blueprint of your restaurant to help you visualize where you’ll need premise surveillance the most.

Consider Your Hours
If your hours of operation are 24/7, then you’ll likely need less security than if you close overnight or for multiple days at a time. Those establishments that are closed on weekends and evenings may be a greater target for robbery or damage.

However, if your restaurant is open most hours of the night, but with little staff, you might increase security around the building to keep these employees safe during peak hours for crime. Factors like open hours and number of staff can be very helpful to deciding how much surveillance you need.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Fire Protection Systems for a New Generation of Homeowners

It's not every day that people witness some type of fire in a home. The reality is that fires still occur in residences all over the country. That's why it's important to have some type of fire protection that is part of your home security system.

In the United States, 60% of all deaths caused by fires in a home are due to a lack of properly functioning smoke detectors. Moreover, close to 90% of all deaths related to fires take place inside a home. It also does not take a towering inferno to result in a fatal situation. It only takes two minutes for a fire to spread and be considered a threat to human life.

Fire protection has also gone beyond the traditional connotation. For instance, there are reasons to contact the fire department outside of a fire. A home’s security could be threatened by a gas leak, electrical problem or high levels of carbon monoxide. Having a system that alerts you to these types of problems can actually help to prevent a disaster.

For many years, people relied on basic smoke detectors to protect them against a potential fire. In the present day, technology has evolved and new systems can provide a greater umbrella of protection. For example, the installation of a monitored system that checks for excess heat, carbon monoxide and smoke will significantly lower the risk of a potential fire.

Modern systems also have the ability to identify a rapid increase in temperature. This will trigger a notification and alarm. It can even monitor the situation when you are away from home. The system can be programmed to send a signal directly to the fire department and help could be on the way immediately.

Another benefit of modern fire protection systems is that they continue to operate even when the system is disarmed. This can be achieved with professional monitoring, another perk of having a modern home security system.

Smoke detection has also come a long way with these security systems. Some smoke alarm systems provide updates every hour to ensure your home is always free from smoke. The careful and precise monitoring of smoke and heat levels are reducing the number of house fires every year. It is a new age of fire protection and a smart system is a way to keep your family safe.

For the installation of a fire protection system in Columbia SC and Charleston SC, be sure to contact the experienced team at Sonitrol.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How Smart Commercial Devices Can Improve the Security of Your Business

When operating any kind of business, cost is always a concern. Business owners and managers are continually looking for ways to cut costs. An investment in a smart commercial grade security device can cut costs in less conventional ways.

When most people think of security systems, they consider it as a way of preventing break-ins. But within a business, there is always the concern that employees could be problematic. Those problems could include theft, lagging in work responsibilities or leaving early.  Installing a smart security system will enable business owners to keep track of what's going on at all times. Here is a closer look at how that is accomplished.

Accessing Rooms

The installation of contact sensors in various parts of a business is a way of keeping track of who goes where. Business operators can receive notifications when someone enters a room and this could be very important when that room is filled with valuable inventory. It will also deter theft and mischief during work hours.

Controlling Temperatures

Equipping your security system with a smart thermostat is a way to maintain control of the temperature. Monthly energy bills can be quite expensive for many businesses. A smart thermostat keeps the climate appropriate for each part of the day and night. Having a thermostat turned down just a few degrees at certain times could lead to dramatic savings on a monthly basis.

Disarming the System

Even managers in businesses need to be monitored. When a security system is disarmed, a smart device keeps a log of those times. This could serve as a form of record keeping as managers will be responsible for explaining their reasons to disarm the system at certain times. And if there is ever a power outage that disarms the system, a notification will let an owner or manager that he/she needs to go to the business right away.

Easy Interface

With smart commercial devices, there are a number of features that commercial operators can use to keep track of what's going on in their business. The advantage is heightened because of the easy interface. A central smart system will provide regular reports that can be printed out on a daily or weekly basis. This will provide consistent logs of all activity that takes place inside a commercial business.

If you are looking to improve the security of your business, contact the professionals at Sonitrol for the best commercial security systems Columbia SC and Charleston, SC has to offer.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Surveillance Cameras and Your Home Security System

Video surveillance is a major component of any home security system. These components are often the lifeblood of security systems as they provide real-time footage of what is going on. Here is a look at how to maximize surveillance cameras outside your home.

The advent of Wi-Fi systems has not made it necessary to position cameras right next to power outlets. This gives homeowners a lot of flexibility when it comes to positioning their surveillance cameras.

The most optimal places to position surveillance cameras is by any doorways. About one-third of burglars attempt to enter a home through the front door. So it's good to have a camera at the front door as it will give you a clear view of whoever is trying to gain access to your home, even if it is just a delivery man ringing your doorbell.

It should also be noted that surveillance cameras should not be placed anywhere that violates the privacy of your neighbor. There are actually laws that prohibit this, and each set of privacy laws differ on a state-to-state basis. The basis is that the security camera may capture footage that is not related to actual security. Be mindful of your neighbors when setting up your surveillance cameras.

If your home is fronted by a driveway and garage, then it is a prime area for a surveillance camera. Thieves may attempt to gain access to your home using this point of entry.

As a general rule, cameras should be installed anywhere from eight to ten feet off the ground. It is an optimal height that will be able to focus on any would-be criminals and still out of reach for most people.

Keep in mind that outdoor video surveillance cameras are going to have to deal with the elements of Mother Nature. This is important in the selection process as you want a camera that will be able to hold up to the conditions. And if it is possible, install the camera where there is some type of covering as it will help protect its life and functionality.

Homeowners must also make a decision as to whether they want their surveillance cameras to be obscured or visible. Ones that are out in the open act as a deterrent, but are also vulnerable to vandalism. A special type of protective casing can be placed around the camera so it is more difficult to damage.

When you are ready to install surveillance cameras around your home, contact the professionals at Sonitrol –provider of top quality home security system installation and maintenance in Columbia and Charleston, SC.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Maintain Monitoring in a Power Outage

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In the event of a power outage, homes and businesses become more of a vulnerable target for burglars and criminals. However, security systems can still provide a line of defense even when there is no power. Here's a look at how security monitoring works during a power outage.

Backup Power

Many security systems have a backup battery that will get you through an outage. There are different time lengths as to how long this backup battery will last. Most batteries will power the security system for a full day after an outage. Systems differ according to the type of backup battery, while extended power outages may call for other measures. Backup batteries are also available for purchase and can help in power outages that may span several days.

Remote Monitoring

A power outage can severely impact a business as it leaves it susceptible to looters and trespassers. Installing a remote monitoring system will account for all types of conditions. This includes potential leaks, sudden changes in temperatures, and other environmental factors. When there is an outage, this type of monitoring system will send a notification to the homeowner or person in charge of the business. This is particularly important for business owners, who can then take necessary action to secure their property.

Camera Functionality

It is common to ask whether video cameras will still function in the event of a power outage. That all depends on how that camera is powered. Some cameras are powered by batteries that rely on solar panels. This allows for a limitless supply of power. When selecting a battery for your security camera, consider how it will function storing a power outage.


Some security systems need to be restored after a power outage. This involves entering the appropriate system codes. When purchasing an alarm system that needs to be reset after a power outage, it's a good idea to get familiar with all the essentials, including what codes to type in for restoration. This occurs more in units that are self-monitored and requires homeowners and business owners to be informed.

Natural Disasters

Monitoring is extremely important in areas that are prone to natural disasters. After a natural disaster, it is often recommended to shut down the main source of power assuming there is a real threat. When that occurs, backup batteries only last so long, which makes it ideal to have a generator. This is a way of maintaining monitoring during an elongated power outage.

Click here to learn more about Sonitrol Security SC monitoring services.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Why a Local Home Security Company is Better Than a Big Box Chain

There are a lot of decisions to make when choosing a security system for your home or business. One of those decisions is whether to select a local security company or a big box company that has branches all over the country. Here is a look at why a local company can be a greater benefit for you and your family.

Knowing the lay of the land

Choosing a local security company is going to provide you with a service provider that knows the area. For example, a local power outage in the Northeast part of the country is quite different from a sudden tornado that touches down the Midwest. When contacting your security provider, it's much easier when that provider is familiar with the area. Speaking to someone halfway across the country may not provide the same results because there is little familiarization with the local area.

Less pressure

National security system companies often have sales quotas. Contacting one of these services means that you are speaking to a salesperson that is looking to meet a quota. That often results in high-pressure sales. With a local company, there is more familiarity as they are part of the community. Using high-pressure sales tactics will develop a negative reputation which makes more local companies prone to conducting low-pressure sales pitches.

See what you are buying

National home security providers do not always have offices in your local area. That means you are left to rely on trusting an anonymous voice on the phone. With a local company, you can check out their facilities and even meet the people in charge. When it comes to protecting your home, it's important to know who's helping with that protection.

Quicker support

If there is ever an issue with your security system, a local company can send a technician right over to your home. Big box companies do not have as many technicians available in certain parts of the country. That means they could be coming from a great distance away. That also means you could be left waiting for quite some time. And during that wait, you could be without any home security.

Lower prices

National companies have much more overhead. They spend more on advertising, inventory and often have to hire a team of lawyers for any legal issues. To compensate for all that cost, big box companies are prone to hiking their prices. You may find more bang for your buck with a local home security company.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

How Professional Monitoring Allows You to Relax

Professional 24/7 security monitoring is considered one of the top services in home intrusion detection systems. One of the biggest benefits that it brings is peace of mind to homeowners and business owners. Life can become a little less stressful knowing that your home or business is always being monitored by a professional security team. Here are some of the reasons why many people are sleeping easier with professional monitoring.

Immediate response

When a professionally monitored system is triggered, a member of that security team will contact the homeowner immediately. The security team will then contact the proper authorities if the threat is legitimate. That means police or firefighter units could be at your house in a matter of minutes. A system that is not monitored may simply sound an alarm, which is not connected to any security team or local authorities.

No maintenance

All the maintenance with a professionally monitored security system is left up to the security company. That includes professional installation and routine maintenance. If something breaks, you do not have to retrieve your toolbox and get to work. A security company will send out a technician to do that work for you. There is virtually no work involved when you select a professionally monitored system.

Additional alert

As if a professionally monitored system is not enough, it also comes with an extra panic button. When this panic button is activated, it sends a signal directly to the authorities. The system doesn't even have to be activated for it to work. Simply push the button and help will be on the way. This is an extra bonus in case there is ever an emergency inside your home.

Around the clock watch

A system with professional monitoring does not take a day off. That means your home will be looked after 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A burglar alarm system that is not professionally monitored may only send a notification when something is amiss. There's no guarantee that you will get that notification because not everyone always has their smart device by their side. Homes are always being watched with professional monitoring.

Criminal deterrent

If a burglar decides to scope out your home and notices that it is equipped with a professional monitoring security system, he is most likely to move on. Keep a sign on your porch, lawn or in your window and advertise that your home is professionally monitored. This is basically a way of shooing burglars away.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Choosing the Best Security System

Purchasing a security system is more than an investment in your home. It is also a way of investing in the safety of your family. There are several steps that should be covered when purchasing a new home security system and here's a checklist of those steps.

Professional monitoring
This is a way of being able to respond quickly to any break-ins or disturbances. A professionally monitored home security system is capable of sending an immediate emergency message at any time of the day. This means that law enforcement can be notified by your security provider and help will be on the way in a matter of minutes. Safety takes top priority with professional monitoring.

When choosing a home security system, it's important to know how many sensors come with the system. Sensors are set up throughout the home detect motion and sound. The more sensors you have in place, the more protected you will be. Sensors are available for all windows and doors in a home. However, if you purchase a system with a minimal number of sensors, there will be vulnerable spots where sensors are not in place.

Video Doorbell
Installing a video doorbell will allow you to see who is at your doorstep. When this device detects any type of nearby sound or motion, it will send a notification alerting the homeowner that someone is outside the door. This can also be accessed from your smart device, even when you are not at home.

Purchasing a home security system means that it will need to be installed. Homeowners can attempt to do it themselves, although professional installation will ensure that everything is hooked up correctly. There are systems that do not require wiring and are more standardized, while there are others that are a little more involved. It's a good idea to inquire about how the installation will work when looking at various security systems.

Smart Devices
There are all types of smart devices that can be hooked up to your home security system. This includes video cameras, garage door openers, locks and much more. This can make for a more simplified means of operation and can also allow homeowners to monitor their home no matter where they are. Being able to add on smart devices to your home security system is a convenience that takes advantage of modern technology.

The professionals at Sonitrol are available to answer all your questions when it comes to choosing home security systems in Columbia, SC.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Urban Legends About Home Security

Even in the world of home security, there are urban legends that lead people to believe some false truths. Don’t get taken in by any of those these urban legends, some of which are as follows.

Burglaries happen at night

Contrary to what some may believe, not all burglaries occur at night. Most people are home at night, which provides a major obstacle for burglars. The prime time for thieves is when no one is home. That is usually in the daytime when people are at work and kids are in school.

Decoy cameras deter burglars

Chances are that your home is not going to be targeted by a first-time burglar. That means most burglars have some kind of knowledge about security cameras. Chances are, they can spot a fake. A decoy camera does not record, does not trigger an alarm and does not inform anyone there is a potential intruder. Decoy cameras also tend to look old and outdated.

Security stems are simple to bypass

In years’ past, cutting a simple wire may have been enough to shut down a security system. The reality is that today’s systems are far more sophisticated. Smart home security systems are not fully reliant on a home’s power as its only source. Most house burglars are not technological whiz kids, which means most will run into difficulty when trying to bypass a new security system. It takes some detailed knowledge to get around today’s home security systems.

Burglaries are random

While a burglary may seem like a random act, most are not conducted by chance. Most burglars scope out a home before attempting to gain entrance. That may come with preliminary surveillance, phone calls or even stopping by and pretending to be someone else. It makes sense for a burglar to do some homework, which means residents should always be aware. You never know the motive of a random person who speaks to you on the street or a random caller.

There is nothing worth stealing

You may believe there is nothing worth stealing in your home, but that is not the mindset of a burglar. There is always the hope that a burglar will find cash, jewelry, or even prescription drugs. Many times, the goal is to find anything that can be sold quickly. Most burglars are not going to go for large items that are difficult to transport, but are looking to get their hands on something they can sell.

Homeowners in the Midlands and Low Country of South Carolina can contact Sonitrol SC to discuss a custom solution to protect your home and family. Free consultations are available.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Things That Scare Burglars

Before leaving the house, most homeowners will double check that their front door is locked. However, that is not the only deterrent that should be used to keep burglars away from your home. There are other things homeowners can do and here's a look at some of the top ways you can scare burglars away.

Let There be Light

Many burglars prey on homes at night. Installing a motion detector that illuminates is a way of putting a spotlight on any would-be intruder. The more light, the better as no burglar wants to expose his/her identity. Motion sensors and bright flood lights are a good idea all around the outside of a home.

Smart Devices

Homes that are equipped with all kinds of smart devices connected to a security system need to be advertised. Security lights, cameras, sensors and even warning signs and stickers spread out around the home serve as a deterrent to burglars. That could be combined with any type of alarm that sounds with motion. It is important to advertise home security defenses.

Guard Dog

The sound of a dog barking is very off-putting to burglars. But don't just invest in a device that plays a barking sound. The site of a dog combined with a deep bark is enough to make a burglar step away and find another house. However, it's not a good idea to leave the dog outside. This will give a burglar the opportunity to distract the dog with food or something far worse that could incapacitate the dog.

Trimmed Shrubbery

Overgrown bushes can provide cover for burglars. It will also make the inside of your home much less visible from the street. Burglars are always going to try to avoid being out in the open and any unnecessary foliage could work to their advantage.

Close the Blinds

If you are home watching television with the blinds open, chances are that a burglar is not going to attempt a robbery at that moment in time. However, the open blinds will give them a chance to scope out the inside of your home. This could essentially provide a blueprint for a robbery sometime in the future when you are not at home. When the sun goes down, it's a good idea to close your front blinds.

If you are looking for a way to protect your home or business, contact Sonitrol for the best security system Columbia, SC has to offer.

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.