Technology has helped improve our lives in many ways in the 21st century. Inventions like the internet have allowed us to more easily shop, communicate and discover things about the world that we may have never known before. Smartphones put the world at our fingertips. Home voice-activated assistants allow us to order groceries, play our favorite music, even operate the lights in our homes.
One of the other astonishing recent developments in technology is the video doorbell. First developed around 2012, it has created a level of convenience and security for our homes that did not exist in the past.
What Is a Video Doorbell?
A video doorbell, also known as a smart doorbell, connects to the internet and notifies the owner’s smartphone, tablet or computer that someone has come to the door.
Video doorbells consist of a ringer and an internet-connected camera. This device is either battery-operated or connected to the wiring a traditional doorbell uses. The camera activates every time someone pushes the doorbell. If you’re home, you’ll hear the doorbell sound. Meanwhile, the camera transmits a signal connected to an app on your phone, tablet or computer that allows you to see who’s at your door.
Since the device is internet-enabled, you can be miles away from your home and you’ll still know when someone comes to the door. For that matter, you could be in a completely different country. If you combine a video doorbell with a smart lock, you can allow the person at the door to enter your home without having to get off the couch, travel all the way home from downtown or leave a key with the next-door neighbor if you are out of town.
Security Uses for a Smart Doorbell
A video doorbell offers two primary features: convenience and security. We briefly touched on the convenience aspect above. You can answer your doorbell from anywhere, without having to get off the couch or hurry home to let in a visitor or pick up a valuable package.
Many homeowners, however, like smart doorbells because of the extra level of security they provide.
1. You Don’t Have to Go to Your Front Door to Answer It
When a stranger greets you when you open your door, it is always a little unnerving. It may be someone as innocent as a Girl Scout selling cookies, or it might be someone trying to scam you into buying something you don’t need. For instance, in July 2018, police in Washington, D.C., arrested two men who went door to door offering dead tree removal services, for which they charged exorbitant prices and often left the job unfinished. They often targeted vulnerable seniors during their scam.
Having a video doorbell means you can keep a safe distance between yourself and an unknown person at your door. It allows you to feel more comfortable to decide whether or not to admit them.
2. You’ll Always Know Who’s at Your Front Door
If you are home and you don’t have a video doorbell, the only way you’ll know who is at your front door is if you have a peephole, which is about as low-tech as you can get. It gets the job done — to a point — and is inexpensive to install. However, if it is difficult to get to the front door or if you don’t want anybody to know there’s someone home, a peephole is not much help.
A smart doorbell shows you who’s at the front door regardless of where you are. If it’s a friend or neighbor, you can tell them you’ll be down in just a moment. If it’s someone you don’t want to see, like a salesperson or someone stumping for a political candidate, you can tell them you’re too busy at the moment and that they should come back later.
If you buy a camera that includes infrared night vision technology, you’ll also get a clear picture of who’s at your front door in the nighttime.
3. You’ll Always Know When Someone Is Snooping Around Your Home
If your smart doorbell includes motion detection sensors, a person snooping around your home doesn’t have to ring the doorbell to let you know they are in your yard. Motion detectors can help you keep an eye on the outdoor areas of your property, even if you’re away on vacation. You can also connect your doorbell to your porch light, so anytime someone comes around in the evening, the light will automatically turn on.
If you see someone snooping around your home who shouldn’t be there, you can call the police to let them know. Even better, a video doorbell app allows you to record what the camera is seeing, so you’ll have evidence if needed.
4. Deterring Porch Pirates
People stealing packages off front doorsteps across the country, more commonly known as porch pirates, have become a real problem. One 2017 survey found more than 11 million Americans had a package stolen off their front steps. Video doorbells are one of the best ways to combat this problem.
When a package gets delivered to your home, you can instruct the delivery person to either leave it on the front porch or in a more protected area. If you have a smart lock, you can also allow the delivery person to enter your home or smart mailbox and place the package inside, after showing their credentials. The survey we cited above also found almost 70% of respondents preferred to unlock the front door to a delivery person. Smart locks and smart mailboxes are becoming a valuable companion to video doorbells.
5. You Can Record Suspicious Activity
Statistics show residential homes are the primary targets of burglars in the United States. They preferred to come in through the front door, most often between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when they believe people are either at work or at school. Video doorbells not only alert you to the fact that someone may be trying to break into your home, and thus you can notify the police, but they also allow you to record those attempts. Police and prosecutors can use recorded security footage to help them make arrests, and they can be useful if you need to file homeowner’s insurance claims.
Even if the thieves are smart and try to damage or steal the video doorbell, your smartphone’s mobile app will record those attempts and store all the video leading up to that moment.
Other Video Doorbell Benefits
While convenience and security may be the main reasons to install this technology, there are several other advantages of a smart doorbell.
1. Keep an Eye on the Kids
If both parents work and can’t be home when the kids arrive from school, your video doorbell gives you the peace of mind of knowing everybody is home in one piece. Your children don’t even need to ring the video doorbell, since its motion detection sensors will send you a notice when they arrive. It will also give you an idea if they brought home any friends from school and when those friends leave.
If you’re worried about your son or daughter being out late at night, your video doorbell will also let you know when they get home. Your video doorbell can also alert you if someone is trying to sneak late into the home past curfew. Your children may not always appreciate it, but as a parent, it provides you with a level of tranquility.
2. Sleep or Nap Peacefully
Who doesn’t enjoy a nice nap in the middle of the day? How often do those naps get disturbed by someone ringing the doorbell? Your video doorbell will often have a “do not disturb” function that turns off the chime, but still lets you know when somebody comes to the front door. That way, you can decide whether you want to end your nap or decide to quietly remain where you are and let them come back later.
The same is true of the night. If you have an early bedtime, you can set the alarm to do not disturb. If someone comes to your front door late at night, it notifies you, allowing you to choose whether to get up and answer the door.
The SkyBell Smart Video Doorbell
If you’re interested in a quality and affordable video doorbell, Wayne Alarm Systems recommends the SkyBell smart video doorbell.
Safehome.org, which reviews home security systems, gave SkyBell 8.6 out of 10. It awarded SkyBell 9.4 for features and technology and 8.6 for ease of use. The reviewers called SkyBell an excellent standalone system. PC Magazine rated it 4.5 out of five and gave it one of its Best of the Year Awards for 2018.
SkyBell records any activity triggered online in the cloud for seven days. Best of all, it does this for free, something other smart doorbells charge to do.
It’s ideal for homeowners or renters who want to start with a home security system that is not going to cost them a lot of money or take a lot of time to install. SkyBell allows you to answer your doorbell via your mobile device and use the two-way talk feature to interact with your visitors. It also offers a 180-degree field of vision, one of the widest ranges of all available smart doorbells. It also works with other smart applications like Alexa and operates in temperatures from 40 degrees Fahrenheit below zero to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather in New England may be crazy sometimes, but we’re not likely to see these extreme temperatures anytime soon, so you can count on your SkyBell smart doorbell to work year-round.
The SkyBell companion app is available for both iOS and Android devices. If there are times of the day when you want the doorbell to be quiet or to not send you notifications, you can use quiet mode to find a few minutes of peace. One nice feature of the SkyBell device is that you can enable user access for everyone in your family. So any family member can check the doorbell’s livestream at any time or can answer the door if you are unavailable.
SkyBell works as a standalone device or can connect to the Internet of Things and become part of a much broader smart security and home automation system. If you connect SkyBell to your lights, for instance, when you come home and press the doorbell, the lights in your home will turn on.
Contact Wayne Alarm Systems for Video Doorbell Installation Services
Wayne Alarm Systems has been in business for more than 50 years in Massachusetts, and we now cover all the states of New England. We’ve built our business reputation on the outstanding service we provided in these areas. We believe in offering reliable, durable products. From the time we install a home security system, such as a video doorbell, we want to provide you with products and services that last a long time.
Our unmatched customer service has led to long-time customer loyalty. Our clients love the work we do for them.
All our employees have a certificate of clearance that provides evidence of a thorough background check. When you work with Wayne Alarm Systems, you can trust our professionals 100%. We provide fast and safe installation to protect your home.
We offer a free security consultation to help you make the right choice for your home. Call us at 781-595-0000, or visitour contact uspage to schedule a free consultation orrequest an online quote.
As a business owner, you have a unique responsibility to establish safety on your property and inside your facility. Although every business encounters problems, proactive measures can protect your establishment from potential hazards.
Commercial security systems can ward off crime and catch suspicious behavior, allowing you to focus on boosting revenue and keeping customers satisfied. When you make safety a priority, your business can move forward with fewer vulnerabilities and setbacks.
While it’s crucial to install the right security systems for business owners, you need a guide to navigate what type to purchase and the uncertainty of what questions to ask. The following security system guide for commercial businesses can help you choose.
Does My Business Need a Security System?
Each commercial business has assets to protect, including customers, inventory, equipment and employees. Opting out of security systems exposes a business to unwelcome threats like break-ins, theft and lawsuits.
The majority of businesses increase their security or install it for the first time after becoming a burglary victim. Waiting for disasters to happen puts your business at risk, though, and every commercial establishment should consider the possibility that they could become a victim. Setting up precautions like commercial security systems can save businesses from financial losses.
Internal theft also poses a serious danger for businesses. Employee fraud costs organizations to lose an average of five percent of their annual revenues, and fraud can range from stolen property to wasting valuable work hours. Business owners can monitor employees to guard against internal harm to the company.
No matter the size of a company, business security systems are necessary to sustain a profitable framework. Each business has different structures, goals and needs, but safety is non-negotiable for every store, company and office.
Types of Security Systems Available for Business Owners
A security system for commercial business can range in capability and level of protection. While there are several options, selecting a suitable system for your business takes careful thought. First, you need to review the types of security systems for businesses.
1. Burglar and Theft Systems
Burglar and theft protection detects unauthorized entry with a variety of tools. This mechanical system includes sensors to catch breaches to a building and an intrusion alarm. Intrusion alarms emit a startling noise like a siren to intimidate burglars.
With monitoring, this system will trigger an alert to professionals on standby at a central station instead of sounding an audible warning. Many monitoring services confirm the break-in through a verification process rather than immediately calling the authorities. Verification processes in business alarm systems differ, but the following types are common:
Audio accesses microphones for operators to listen to.
Calling connects to the business owner or other key personnel to check out the situation.
Video cameras to see if there are any present threats.
These systems can be hard-wired or wireless, and they often include back-up protocols in case there’s a complication, like a power outage.
2. Video Surveillance Systems
Video surveillance systems effortlessly supervise your staff and customers. These systems employ cameras and a digital video recorder to observe an area.
Your video surveillance can include the following categories of cameras:
Dome Cameras are mounted to the ceiling and offer a broad view of a room.
Bullet Cameras are attached to the wall or roof, depending on whether they’re the indoor or outdoor variety.
Hidden Cameras are concealed to onlookers or disguised as common objects.
Television systems also can accompany video surveillance systems to give a business owner or security personnel a wide vantage point from a control room, and cloud-based systems allow remote viewing and manipulation of the cameras. You can also change the position of cameras if you suspect a blind spot or need to zoom in with internet-enabled cameras.
After admissible and restricted zones are established, you can receive notifications about unwanted activity in closed-off areas. Alerts can come to your mobile device or email, allowing you to respond to problems quickly.
3. Access Control Systems
Access control systems manage who comes in and out of your building. With card and badge programs, you can assign levels of access to employees. Each card has a programmed code, and strategically placed card readers permit or deny individuals access to a location based on their cards.
Proximity readers are devices that can operate electronic locks throughout your building. Access cards with the proximity feature let employees simply place their card close to the reader to enter a room. The alternative to this would be swiping a standard magnetic strip card.
Depending on the presence of an internal power source, proximity cards can either be passive or active. A proximity card is considered active if it holds internal power like a battery, and readers can recognize these from further away.
Through the card network, you can view a map of the facility to keep tabs on your employees. The status of employee icons can inform you about their location throughout the workday, which can reduce wasted time.
Access control systems can also retain logs so you can look back on who entered which sectors from weeks ago.
This interface has the ability to lock down the whole building if an emergency happens as well. This can be useful to block customers or visitors from entering your facility if there’s an internal crisis.
4. Environmental and Fire Alarm Systems
In 2016, there were an estimated 96,800 nonresidential fires in America. Intrusion and theft aren’t the only hazards for commercial businesses — plenty of environmental incidents can threaten buildings, too. Whether intentional or unintentional, fire, heat and water can lead to substantial losses. However, environmental monitoring and fire alarm systems can keep businesses protected.
Fire alarm systems for businesses consist of a control panel, sensors and annunciators.
As the detectors sense a fire, the annunciators will trigger a warning to everyone in the building and a notification to the fire department. Fire annunciators also have sprinklers to minimize the flames, and they have a system reset and signal silencing in case it’s a false alarm.
With LED screens, a depiction of the premises shows each zone and can pinpoint the location of the fire. You can swiftly ensure the security of your employees and additional building occupants and reduce the chances of catastrophe to your assets.
Environmental monitoring can include detectors for water, gas, smoke, carbon monoxide or temperature. These alarms can make your security systems even more complete, as they account for more unexpected vulnerabilities. Although gas and water may not be your main worry, you can remain confident that these hazards are covered with continual monitoring.
When there’s a danger to a commercial building, the sensors will notify the monitoring operators. The operators will proceed to contact the appropriate personnel or authorities. If there’s flooding, they’ll call you, but if there’s carbon monoxide present, they’ll dispatch a medical team.
5. Integrated Security Systems
Each of the previous types of security systems can stand alone, or they can function in an integrated security system. Integrated security systems merge multiple capabilities, like access control and video surveillance, into one centralized solution.
When you combine the whole security framework, you can efficiently check in on the safety conditions of your business. The individual outlets can work together to strengthen your business.
What to Consider When Choosing a Security System for Your Business
Choosing a business security system for your budget, operations and structure can be difficult. As you contemplate what’s best for your operation, examine what weaknesses you can resolve and where your priorities lie. The following security system factors can guide your decision:
When you outfit your business with a security system, evaluate the zones you would mount video surveillance, access control points and environmental sensors. Placement is crucial when picking out an appropriate system because you need to accommodate your specific space.
With video surveillance, the amount of visibility you can create determines how guarded your business is. Mounting cameras in the right areas can ensure you can see every corner and hallway to reinforce your safety.
The range of sensors can also influence the positioning of security devices. To arrange your security for maximum protection, opt for powerful, long-range sensors in large buildings.
2. Frequency of Maintenance
Understanding the extent of upkeep the devices need can inform you for the future. Regular maintenance can keep your business alarm systems in top shape, so you’re always shielded from danger.
The repairs for indoor and outdoor devices can differ, so be aware of the demand for each component of the system. Certain security devices can hold batteries, which you will have to change out periodically. If you’re expanding your business eventually, find out how complicated add-on equipment will be.
Your security system can require updates from time to time, too. Determine how often the mechanisms are typically upgraded to prepare.
Defending your business from potential harm is an investment. Based on your business’ financial means, purchase a security system that can satisfy your security needs.
The total cost of security systems can surprise some business owners because they’re only expecting an upfront installation fee. However, the overall cost can consist of equipment, activation, ongoing monitoring, maintenance and changes. For instance, professional monitoring services can charge a monthly or yearly fee.
The value of the security system you choose and the support of professionals makes the service indispensable.
The way in which your security elements are linked together has important implications for installation, upkeep, pricing and monitoring. The main kinds of connectivity to choose from are wireless and hardwired systems.
Hardwired systems interact through physical wires that are built into the facility. If the wires are disconnected or damaged, the system will transmit an alert to your security company. These systems take extensive installation, and they’re usually added as a building is constructed.
Wireless security systems have a less complicated installation. Using WiFi or cellular networks, your security devices can coordinate with one another. Smart security devices also allow you to access feeds and information from mobile apps for on-the-go monitoring.
5. Installation Process
Whether you select a fire alarm system or theft protection, you need to gauge how the installation will affect your business. Inputting new devices around your building and property could take a few hours or several days. Hardwired security systems can require more time to install, which could impact your day-to-day responsibilities.
Local jurisdiction codes can affect how your security systems are set up, too. For example, fire alarm guidelines depend on the occupancy of the building. Consult the codes for your area before installing.
Benefits of Installing Alarm Monitoring and Video Surveillance
Beyond the advantage of protection, adding security to your business can be rewarding in terms of legal protection, workplace performance, insurance matters and employee appreciation. Here are the ways your business can improve due to alarm monitoring and video surveillance:
1. Reduce Theft
Noticeable cameras and posted alarm protection can discourage passersby and employees from stealing merchandise, equipment or cash. When they’re scoping out a facility to steal from, they go for unprotected establishments, so you can diminish the chance of crime to your business. Surveillance, especially over expensive products and key entry points, can effectively decrease theft and burglary.
2. Resolve Claims and Disputes
Unmonitored areas expose you to liabilities, but alarms and surveillance can support you when unlawful claims arise. If a customer claims they were injured on your property, you can pull up video footage to confirm or disprove their story. This guards your reputation and helps you steer clear of lawsuits.
Security systems can also settle disputes among employees. Access control can clear up who was present during mishaps or who failed to double check a business procedure.
3. Increase Employee Productivity
Wasted time is also a loss for business, but with security monitoring and surveillance, you can amplify employee accountability. The presence of cameras spurs workers on in their tasks and doesn’t leave room for excessive breaks or a lack of work. After employees know they have to answer for their behavior, workplace performance soars.
4. Gain Lower Insurance Rates
Your property insurance can drop once you install business security systems. Business insurance premiums take into account your risk of loss, and security devices help lower these risks. Insurance companies frequently offer discounts to those who have monitoring, surveillance and alarms.
5. Create a Sense of Value and Safety
Establishing security measures can communicate your concern as a business owner. You can demonstrate your care for your employees, and the protection can improve their comfort at work. Security can cultivate peace of mind and form a positive environment.
6. Take Advantage of Tax Incentives
Adding a security system can mean a tax deduction for your organization. Under Section 179, the business equipment that counts as qualified real property now includes new fire protection, alarm systems and specific security devices. The amount that businesses can expense has also risen to one million dollars of eligible equipment and machinery.
It’s important to note that the full deduction applies to those who spend less than $2.5 million on the designated real property. Once spending exceeds this amount, the deduction decreases in dollar-for-dollar increments. However, this incentive is still a major encouragement for businesses to install commercial security systems.
These improvements to your property are beneficial for the economy overall, but tax deductions can make security system installation even more of an incentive for your business. Your installation cost can subside when you can write off these security measures.
Contact Wayne Alarm Systems for Commercial Security Systems
Wayne Alarm Systems has been equipping businesses with high-quality security systems for more than 50 years. With exceptional customer service and professional installation, we’re ready to match your business’ distinct needs.
A threat to your business could come up at any moment. Shield it with a UL-listed security system, so you’re never caught unprepared. Contact Wayne Alarm Systems today for a commercial security system.
Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, which means it’s difficult to detect a leak until a person becomes sick. And even then, the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic those of the flu, making it difficult to identify.
When a leak does happen, it doesn’t discriminate. Young or old, healthy or sick, man or woman — everyone in your home is at risk of becoming ill if they are exposed to unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. If anyone in your family has health problems already, the effects can be even more devastating.
It sounds scary and, yes, it can be frightening. There’s no way to sugar coat it — ignoring the risks can get you killed. But if you take the time to understand what carbon monoxide is and how you can prevent it from reaching your loved ones, then you can sleep well at night knowing your family is safe.
What Is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas found wherever fuel is burned. That means carbon monoxide sources include trucks, cars and small engines, as well as certain household appliances, including gas ranges, furnaces, fireplaces and grills. It can be released from natural gas, gasoline, coal, charcoal and wood, which means most people have at least one possible source of carbon monoxide in or around their home.
When a person breathes it in, CO prevents blood cells from carrying enough oxygen throughout their body. When your body doesn’t have the proper amount of oxygen it needs, then it can’t function as it should. Vital organs can’t work right, and you become very sick.
Does CO exposure make everyone sick? Yes and no.
Carbon monoxide levels are often referenced when talking about air pollution because it is also a problem outdoors, especially in areas with a lot of industrial production or high-density areas where there are a large number of cars and trucks on the roads. It’s a big factor in air pollution, and there’s a lot of information out there about what it does when it’s released into the air in high doses.
Typically, when you hear people discussing carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s referring to what happens when dangerous levels of carbon monoxide enter a home. When CO is released into a poorly-ventilated indoor space, its effects rapidly intensify.
In those cases, exposure to extremely high levels of CO can quickly cause damage to the brain and heart. Or, depending on how high the levels of CO are — and how quickly they rise — the damage may occur more slowly over time.
Sources of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Homes
Carbon monoxide is a potential risk anywhere fuel burns. To identify potential sources of a leak in your home, the easiest thing to do is to identify anywhere you know that’s burning fuel of some kind. That means you need to investigate to determine whether your home contains common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning, including a:
Gas-powered space heaters
Power tools and lawn equipment
An attached garage that regularly houses vehicles
Yes, this is a list of some of the most common household appliances. And no, not all of these are powered by fuel. Your home may have a water heater and stove powered by electricity. Or, maybe you don’t have a chimney. But, most houses in the United States today face some risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from at least one of these items. If you aren’t aware of this, then you won’t be able to take the proper steps to protect your home from unsafe CO levels.
Safe Carbon Monoxide Levels
Measured in parts per million (ppm), carbon monoxide is generally considered to be safe as long as the CO levels inside stay below 70 ppm. These levels ensure that indoor CO levels don’t exceed outdoor levels. When they exceed outdoor CO levels, that’s when problems arise.
As levels rise above 70ppm, the effects — both short-term and long-term — will depend on the age and overall health of those who are exposed. Young children, elderly adults and anyone with a history of breathing problems are at a higher risk of experiencing the effects of exposure to CO — however, this should not be taken to mean that healthy adults can’t and won’t get sick. Anyone, regardless of age or health history, can become ill when they are exposed to higher levels of CO.
If you have family members with health problems, particularly asthma or heart problems, they may be the first to experience problems. People with heart problems are at risk of experiencing chest pains even before CO levels begin to rise over 70ppm.
When carbon monoxide levels in the home exceed safe limits, the residents of that home may initially think they are experiencing the flu because the symptoms are similar. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
Weakness and dizziness
Nausea and vomiting
When people are exposed to lower doses of CO over time, they may experience these symptoms at home, but then start feeling better when they leave to go to work or run errands. Another telling sign is if the entire family — including pets — is displaying similar symptoms and no one runs a fever or improves in their condition.
If you or your loved ones are experiencing these symptoms and you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, leave your house immediately and seek medical attention. It’s important to get help as quickly as possible to prevent continued exposure and long-term effects of CO poisoning.
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, but the best way to avoid exposure is to know how to prevent it from happening in the first place. In many cases, CO poisoning could have been prevented with a few easy steps. It can be tempting to put off installing a CO detector or scheduling preventative maintenance of an appliance, but maintaining your home and taking precautions will keep your family safe and reduce your risk of CO exposure.
If you aren’t sure where to start, then you’re in the right place! When it comes to preventing carbon monoxide poisoning, there are several things you can do to protect your home and your family.
1. Know Your Home
You should know which appliances in and around your house are at risk of producing carbon monoxide. Is your furnace powered by natural gas? Are you cooking on a gas stove? Does your power washer require gasoline to run?
Walk around your home and, if you need to, write down all the appliances that fall into this category. Some homes will have several, while others may only have one. However, in these modern times, it’s highly unlikely that you won’t have at least one appliance or spot in your home that puts you at risk for CO poisoning, so make sure you take the time to investigate.
2. Purchase and Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Installing a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector is the best way to protect your family from potential problems. Similar to a smoke detector, these detectors are designed to measure the levels of CO in your home and alert you if they are too high. Where should you install a CO detector? The best option is to install a CO detector in every major area of your home — kitchen, living room and bedrooms. It’s especially important to install CO detectors close to any of the appliances you identified as fuel burning.
While installing several CO detectors is ideal, we realize your budget may not allow for you to purchase and install that many all at one time. If you do need to spread them out, start by installing one near the bedrooms in your home. That way, your family will hear the alarm if it goes off and have time to remove your family from the house. If you’re able, add additional detectors in the other major areas listed above.
3. Regularly Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Once you’ve installed carbon monoxide detectors, it’s essential to maintain them. If they aren’t working, they can’t protect you and your family. A good rule of thumb is to replace the batteries in your CO detectors during daylight savings changes in March and November. By having this regular reminder, you don’t have to rely on your memory or a to-do list to keep these in proper working order.
Water heaters, heating systems, gas cooking ranges, gas fireplaces and any other appliances that burn oil, gas or coal should be serviced every year to prevent a break or malfunction that could result in a CO leak. It can be tempting to put off preventative maintenance or assume that it’s fine if it’s working, but neglecting these appliances can result in broken pipes or vents that leak CO into your home.
5. Make Sure Appliances Have Proper Ventilation
Ensure that your gas appliances are properly ventilated. Hire a professional to install them if you can or, at the very least, have them inspected and correct any problems with the ventilation system to prevent CO leaks.
6. Schedule Regular Chimney Inspections
Have your chimney checked — and cleaned if needed — once a year. This prevents a build-up of debris and dirt in the chimney that can trap CO and send it back into your house.
7. Practice Safe Generator Usage
Many people rely on generators as a backup source of power after a storm. If you use a generator indoors, it should be within 20 feet of a window, door or vent. And, always make sure you have at least one working battery-powered or battery-backup CO detector to alert you if the generator is increasing the CO levels in your home.
8. Don’t Cut Corners
If you discover that a vent pipe is cracked or broken, never patch it with tape or gum. Using these to patch a hole can result in a build-up of carbon monoxide in your home. If you don’t know the correct way to repair these types of pipes, call a qualified professional to repair the pipe and make sure it can safely vent CO out of your home.
9. Never Grill Indoors
Yes, grilling is fun, but you should never do it inside. Charcoal, propane and other gasses used to power grills and camp stoves can release CO and, if used indoors, the CO can build up to unsafe levels. Grilling should always happen outdoors to make sure CO does not build up in your home.
10. Don’t Start a Car or Lawn Equipment in a Closed Garage
This is perhaps one of the most well-known examples of how carbon monoxide can hurt someone, but it still needs to be said. A car should never be started when a garage door is closed. This is dangerous to anyone in the car and, if your garage is attached to your home, it can also send high levels of carbon monoxide into the house, as well.
While lawn equipment such as a mower or power washer isn’t typically as big or powerful as a car, it can still produce unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide that will quickly build up if the garage door is closed. Make sure the door is always open before starting any vehicles or lawn equipment and, if you can, wait to start a mower or other power tools until you bring them out into the yard or driveway.
The Importance of Quick Detection
In a perfect world, everything in your house would work perfectly all the time. Your appliances wouldn’t break or leak, and your family would be safe. But life isn’t always perfect. Things break, and appliances malfunction. When CO begins to leak into your home after a break or malfunction, it can come in without warning.
You can’t smell, see or taste carbon monoxide. If it’s presence isn’t detected quickly, it can result in illness and death.
Serving New England for more than 40 years, Wayne Alarm has been recognized around the world for providing products and services that protect your home from many dangers, including carbon monoxide. Your family is our family — and we are committed to helping you keep them safe. We do this with state-of-the-art carbon monoxide detectors that will alert you when there is a problem and help you get your family to safety at any time of the day or night.
If you burn coal, oil, gas or wood anywhere in your home, then you are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Let us help you keep your loved ones safe. Contact us today to get started.
Logan Mayer, an autistic teenager who is interested in being an alarm technician, was given a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Wayne Alarm Systems.
Logan has been fascinated with connecting things, including pipes, plumbing and wires since he was an infant. As a teen, he is very interested in alarm systems and motion sensors, and plans to be an alarm technician.
Recently, Logan’s parents reached out to Ralph W. Sevinor, President of Wayne Alarm Systems, a local alarm company with over 50 of business. Ralph is also an alarm historian and has his own private alarm museum right in Lynn. The parents asked if Logan could visit the museum and learn from the Wayne Alarm team.
Ralph sent Logan course materials before his visit and arranged an entire day for Logan to train as an alarm technician. As part of the training, Resideo sent the latest Honeywell Home products for Logan to view as well as some upcoming technology and Resideo swag. During the day, Logan went with the team to a testing and inspection at a local bank to see firsthand what it is like in the field. After the site visit, Logan spent time in the monitoring center, sales, and technical departments, and also met with the general manager.
Logan wrote of his day at Wayne Alarm that, “It was awesome! The best day of my life. The people were nice and friendly. The experience with Ralph was awesome. People took time to help broaden my interests on alarm systems and I really appreciated that.”
The experience was rewarding for members of Wayne Alarm’s staff as well, explained Nathan Raustad, Marketing Coordinator for Wayne Alarm. “Not only was Logan here to learn from our team, our team certainly learned from Logan,” said Nathan. “Logan was a very refreshing reminder to our staff that there are people that truly do appreciate the work our industry puts in.”
“We are saving lives in this industry, and Logan understood that clearly. Every piece of our staff that got the opportunity to interact with Logan walked away touched.”
Logan (front row right) with his parents (front row) and members of the Wayne Alarm Systems team, including Ralph W. Sevinor (back row, second right) and Nathan Raustad (back row, far right).
If you’re involved in overseeing a construction site, you know what a hassle it is to keep that site safe. Construction sites are typically wide open, protected by little more than a chain link fence and some tarp, if that, and while some may look at a construction site and see a wide-open space of little value, enterprising thieves see it as a place where they can freely lift raw materials like steel or cement for resale, not to mention expensive construction equipment that may be left unattended on-site.
That’s to say nothing of vandals who may see a construction site as their playground, somewhere they are free to do all sorts of damage that could hinder the timely completion of your project. Those individuals might even injure themselves on your site and try to hold you responsible. For these reasons and more, the need for good construction site security monitoring is clear.
How to Keep Construction Sites Safe in the Winter
When winter comes, the problem of keeping your construction site safe from theft can be even more significant. One study found that one-third of thefts are reported on Monday mornings. The obvious conclusion would be that thieves take advantage of the fact that the construction site is abandoned over the weekend, and when the workers arrive to resume operations Monday morning, they discover the theft.
Now think about what will happen during the winter. If your construction site is in the northeast or another area that can be severely affected by cold climate shifts in the winter months, there’s a good chance that you will slow down or cease operations entirely during this time of year. At the very least, you will probably want to reduce hours rather than subject your workers to excessive, biting cold.
The criminals won’t be taking any time off, though. For them, it’s the perfect opportunity to poke through your construction site without being bothered, taking their time, secure in the knowledge that no one is going to show up to stop them or ask exactly what they are doing.
So what can you do about it? Here are a few ideas.
Visit the Site
Just because you’re not working doesn’t mean you can’t stop by. Visiting the site on a daily or weekly basis, or having someone you trust stop by, can be a good way to let thieves know that it is not open season on your site, as well as give you a chance to see if any suspicious activity may be going on.
Keep Track of the Inventory
Make sure you know exactly what you have left at the site when you go on hiatus. Keep track of the amount and type of anything of any value in your inventory, and lock up everything you can, as best you can.
Enlist the Community
If possible, let neighbors know that construction is being halted for the winter and you would appreciate being clued in if anyone notices anything amiss.
Employ Video Surveillance and Other Security Alarm Solutions
The best thing you can do to protect your construction site during the winter is to set up a high-quality video surveillance system. While this is an added cost, it can easily pay for itself in the amount of time-consuming and expensive theft or vandalism it can deter.
A good video surveillance system starts with great cameras. These should be highly visible, high-definition cameras that let any passersby know they are being watched. Knowing that their attempts at intrusion will be captured on video is usually all that is needed to deter a criminal and convince them to look elsewhere. Remember: they are singling out your construction site in the first place because they are looking for an easy target.
For the best protection, connect your video cameras to 24/7 monitoring. This will allow someone to see immediately if anyone is attempting to break into your site, so that they can alert you and the proper authorities right away. Not only can this allow you to separate the real criminal activity from false alarms, but it also lets you act that much faster to mitigate any damage.
You can also enhance your video surveillance with motion sensors and burglar alarms. These devices activate to alert you and scare off thieves as soon as they approach an area where they don’t belong.
For help designing and setting up the perfect video surveillance and burglar alarm construction site protection system in the New England area, call Wayne Alarm Systems at 781-595-0000 or contact us online today.
If you’re one of the approximately 77 percent of Americans who own a smartphone, you’ve probably wondered how you ever got by without it — we use them for everything from listening to music and getting directions to doing our banking and downloading concert tickets. But you might not know that “smart” home technology is now available that can change the way you and your family live — for the better.
What Is a Smart House?
The term “smart home” refers to a house with interconnected systems and devices such as heating and cooling, appliances, electronics, security and lighting. A smart house also features home automation that facilitates the control of these systems with minimal human intervention. You can use your smartphone, tablet or laptop computer to monitor the performance of these connected systems and make adjustments to the settings as needed.
Why Is a Smart Home Important?
Transitioning to a smart home does require an upfront expenditure on equipment and technology. However, most homeowners discover that their initial investment results in many short-term as well as long-term benefits. The advantages of smart home technology include:
Energy efficiency: If you’re tired of those spiraling utility bills, smart technology can save money by making your home more energy efficient. Automating the control of your appliances reduces the amount of wasted energy, as you can program them to adjust to a lower setting or switch off when they’re not in use. You won’t waste electricity if you forget to turn the light off in your garage or blasting the heat or air conditioning during the day when no one is home, its as simple as turning them off through an app.
Security: Smart technology can also make your home safer. Use it to integrate the various components of your home’s security system. For example, if an intruder trips a motion sensor, it can activate the burglar alarm and turn on the floodlights. You can also use home automation to make your home look “lived in” while you’re on vacation. You can program the lights to turn on and off at predetermined intervals. If your home has surveillance cameras, you can use your smartphone as a remote monitor so you can see what’s happening in and around your property when you’re away.
Convenience: Smart home technology can make your life so much easier. For instance, preprogramming your HVAC system means you won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to raise the thermostat — your home will remain at the ideal temperature on a 24/7 basis. You can also set up smartphone alerts to notify you of everything from a water leak to a possible break-in. You can even see who’s ringing your doorbell when you’re in an upstairs bedroom.
Accessibility: The ability to control who enters your home is another of the many benefits of smart home technology. If you’re expecting a package delivery while you’re at work, you can use your smartphone to see when the driver arrives and unlock the door remotely to let him or her inside. No more worries about leaving packages on the porch until you get home! If your kids forget their house key, you can let them inside with just a couple of taps on your mobile device.
Video Surveillance: If your kids are home alone or you have aging parents living with you, smart home technology gives you additional peace of mind. You can use your phone to see what’s happening inside whenever you wish. You can also keep an eye on the babysitter or issue a command to your dog via speaker to stop chewing on your slippers!
Sustainability: Most of us are concerned about protecting the environment. A smart home’s excellent energy efficiency results in less energy consumption, meaning you’ll be living in a more eco-friendly house. The technology is also compatible with renewable energy products such as solar panels and geothermal heat pumps.
Cost-effectiveness: Most homeowners experience a relatively quick return on their investment in smart technology — the energy savings alone can range from 10 to 30 percent. Some homeowner’s insurance providers are now offering discounts when transitioning to a smart home due to the added safety benefits. And when the time comes to put your house on the market, you may be able to sell it at a higher price — more buyers will be seeking a home equipped with this state-of-the-art technology.
Embracing the future: It’s becoming increasingly clear that smart home technology is the wave of the future. And the good news is that it’s getting more affordable almost by the day. By transitioning to a smart home now, you’ll be ahead of the curve. You’ll also be more adaptive to the inevitable upgrades to the systems and equipment in the coming years. Once you’ve spent time in a smart home, you won’t want to go back to your “old” way of living!
How to Make Your House a Smart House
It pays to do some research before making the switch to smart home technology. Read up on the all the available products to target the ones that make the most sense for your property. You also don’t have to make the plunge all at once — you can start small and add as you go. For example, something as simple as installing a programmable thermostat allows you to experiment without making a significant investment. You can also purchase a wireless doorbell camera at an extremely affordable price.
Wayne Alarm Systems Can Handle All Your Smart Home Needs
Wayne Alarm Systems has been helping homeowners throughout Massachusetts and Greater New England keep their properties safe since 1968. We can equip your house with the latest smart home technologies at a budget-friendly price. We can install automated lighting and thermostats, camera and video doorbells and smart door locks, and other advanced equipment and devices. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of smart home technology and to schedule a no-obligation consultation today.
If you’re like most homeowners, you pay close attention to the security of your home’s front and back doors — an appropriate step when you consider that doors are the preferred entry point of intruders. But, all too often, property owners overlook the importance of window protection from burglars. You might not be aware that windows are the second-favorite target of home invaders. If you’re not making window security a top priority, you could become your friendly neighborhood burglar’s next victim.
What Is the Best Way to Secure Windows From Burglars?
There are several steps you can take right now to safeguard your windows:
Keep them locked: It might sound like a no-brainer, but many homeowners are lax about locking their windows. Make sure you close and lock all your windows before you leave the house or go to bed — even those on the upper floors. Enterprising burglars can find a way to reach the higher levels and gain access to unsecured windows.
Replace aging locks: If you have an older home, the locks on the windows may no longer function properly. If you need to install new locks, choose ones that are visible from the outside, as this can be an effective intruder deterrent.
Install window alarms: Sensors are available that can detect motion if someone attempts to open a window. They can trigger an audible alarm that alerts you to the presence of an intruder and frightens them away. They can also work in conjunction with your home’s security system to notify a central monitoring station. You can even receive an alert via your smartphone or tablet if you’re away from home.
Set up surveillance cameras: As with visible locks, cameras pointed at windows will let crooks know that someone is watching. You can also view the live and recorded feeds with your mobile device, allowing you to monitor the activity in and around your home at all times.
Secure your air conditioners: Burglars can easily remove unsecured window air conditioning units and crawl in through the opening. Use steel brackets to provide additional support. Sliding locks can prevent an intruder from fully opening a partially opened window that holds an air conditioner.
Bars: Placing bars or grills provides excellent window break-in protection. And you don’t have to worry about making your home look like a fortress — there are plenty of decorative grill and bar options that can add an attractive touch to your exterior decor and even enhance your property’s curb appeal.
Floodlights: Some burglars prefer to practice their craft at night. Floodlights will effectively deter nighttime prowlers. You can install continuously shining floodlights or motion-activated models that will only come on when window sensors detect movement.
Security screens: These “burglar shutters” for windows look like standard bug screens. However, they’re made of steel, which makes them almost impossible to slit open or break.
Reinforced glass: There are multiple ways you can enhance security for windows in your home by bolstering the glass. You can install a protective film with tinting that also prevents potential burglars from seeing inside. Other choices include laminated, tempered, wired or even bullet-proof glass.
Shatterproof glass: You can replace standard window panes with ones made from thicker, impact-resistant glass. You can also choose Plexiglass, which is the same thickness as traditional glass but is up to 10 times stronger. For maximum window break-in protection, consider installing poly-carbonate panes that are even stronger than Plexiglass.
Contact Wayne Alarm Systems to Learn More About Security for Windows in Homes
With more than 50 years of home security system expertise, you can count on the pros at Wayne Alarm Systems for reliable window protection advice you can start using right away. We’re known for our top-notch service and customer-focused business approach and we proudly serve homeowners in Massachusetts and throughout New England. Contact us for more information or to schedule a no-obligation residential security consultation today.
Frozen water pipes are a common problem during those frigid New England winters. Freezing can cause a pipe to burst — a crack as small as 1/8″ can allow more than 250 gallons of water to escape in only one day. The flooding can result in thousands of dollars of structural damage to your home. The failure to clean up the water promptly and efficiently can also create the potential for mold growth. Taking steps to prevent frozen pipes can save you a lot of hassles — and money.
Why Do Pipes Freeze?
Freezing pipes become an issue when the temperature reaches 20 degrees Fahrenheit. As the temperature drops, any residual water inside your home’s pipes will freeze and expand, which causes an increase in pressure inside the pipe. When the pressure gets too high, the pipes are no longer able to withstand it, which leads to bursting.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Rather than having to deal with frozen pipes after the fact, there are several ways you can keep them from freezing in the first place:
Install insulation: You can purchase inexpensive insulation at your local home improvement or hardware store, which you can use to wrap the pipes. Focus on the areas of your home where the piping does not receive warm air from your heating system. Examples include basements, attics, kitchen cabinets and crawlspaces.
Seal leaks: Check for any leaks near your home’s piping system that could expose it to cold air and seal them by applying caulk. Typical areas of leakage include around dryer vents and electrical wiring.
Allow a slow trickle of water: When the temperature approaches the 20-degree threshold, turn on the faucet to allow a slow, steady drip of warm water. Even a small trickle is often enough to prevent frozen pipes.
Disconnect hoses: At the start of winter, remove all outdoor garden hoses and turn off the valve that generates their water supply. This will help to eliminate any residual water in the piping just inside your home.
Manage your thermostat closely: If you’re like many people, you lower your thermostat when you go to bed or leave for work in the morning to save energy. Consider keeping the temperature at a higher level during a cold stretch — the warmer air can stop pipes from freezing. Remote thermostats make this even simpler to handle by having the ability to adjust the temperature on your smartphone.
Keep the garage door closed: An open garage door increases your home’s exposure to cold air. This could cause your pipes to freeze, especially those that run through the garage’s ceiling or behind its walls. One warning: to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t forget to open the garage door when allowing your car to warm up on a frigid morning.
Frozen Pipes: What to Do
If you turn on the tap during a cold spell and only a trickle of water comes out, it likely means you have a frozen pipe. To thaw the pipe, allow the water to run, if possible, as this can help to break up the ice jam. If you’re able to locate the frozen area in the water line, try wrapping a heating pad or a towel soaked in hot water around the pipe. You can also use a hair dryer or space heater to warm the pipe.
If the pipe has already burst, turn off the water supply at the main shutoff valve. Use a pipe cutter to remove the damaged section and replace it with new piping. Consider calling a licensed plumber if you’re not sure you can tackle the job yourself.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes While You’re Away
Don’t forget about your pipes if you’re planning to travel over the Christmas holidays or escape to a warmer climate for vacation — or if you own a summer home in Nantucket or the surrounding areas that’s unoccupied in the winter. Set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees before your leave, and shut off and drain your home’s water system. If possible, arrange for someone you trust to stop by to monitor the temperature, especially during colder weather.
Your home’s security system can also help to prevent frozen pipes while you’re gone. A system equipped with low-temperature sensors can alert you when the temperature drops to a predetermined level. If your home has smart technology, you can then use your smartphone to raise the thermostat remotely — even if you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away!
Contact Wayne Alarm Systems for more advice on how to make sure your pipes don’t freeze — and how your home’s security system can help to prevent frozen pipes.
Independence is an important part of living a happy and high-quality life. For seniors, maintaining their freedom can be a joyful experience and allow them to continue living in their home after the passing of a spouse. However, elderly persons living alone also face an increased risk of injury or illness that can quickly steal their independence away. If you or a family member is a senior living alone, know the risks and take steps to stay safe and healthy in your home.
Dangers of Living Alone as a Senior
In the United States, about 13.8 million people over the age of 65 live alone. This equates to about 34 percent of elderly women and 20 percent of elderly men living on their own. As a person gets older, they are more likely to live alone due to their spouse or companion passing away. For example, about 45 percent of women over 75 live alone. While maintaining independence in old age is a great privilege, it can also come with many risks. Seniors may be more likely to suffer an injury or accident, and if they live alone, they may be unable to get the help they need in time. If you are a senior or have elderly relatives living on their own, be aware of the risk factors of living alone as a senior.
Injuries From Falls
Each year, more than 25 percent of people over the age of 65 experience a fall. About three million seniors go to the emergency room due to fall injuries yearly, and more than 800,000 elderly persons are hospitalized from these injuries. Even minor falls can make a senior afraid of falling again, and this fear may hinder their participation in everyday activities. If an elderly person becomes less active, they may become physically weaker, which can increase their risk of falling again in the future. Experiencing a serious fall is one of the biggest dangers of living alone as a senior.
Lack of Emergency Help
Seniors who live alone may be unable to contact help in case of an emergency. If an elderly person falls and is unable to get up or reach a phone, they may be stuck for hours or days if they live on their own.
Increased Risk of Accidental Overdose
Many seniors take pills daily for everything from dietary supplements to medications for mental health or pain relief. Elderly persons who have dementia may have a hard time remembering whether or not they have taken their medication that day and could accidentally take their medication twice, three times or several times in a single day. In some cases, accidentally taking more than the correct daily dose may have minimal impact, but in other cases, the mistake could be fatal.
Seniors who live alone may not interact with other people on a daily basis. This social isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness and can also have more serious mental and physical impacts. Social isolation can increase a person’s risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and infectious illness. Living in isolation can also damage mental health and cause depression and anxiety.
Decline in Mental Health
Social isolation can lead to depression, which can cause damaging health impacts, such as insomnia, reduced appetite, lack of energy and even physical pain. Depression can also contribute to anxious feelings an elderly person may have, making them feel less safe in their home. Anxiety brings its own negative impacts, such as increased heart rate, restlessness and feeling weak or tired.
Seniors who live alone may experience changes in appetite from depression or anxiety that lead to malnutrition. In other instances, a senior may be living in poverty due to a lack of adequate retirement funds and be unable to purchase nutritious food. Malnutrition can make an elderly person weaker and more likely to get sick or fall.
Older persons living alone may be unable to maintain regular housekeeping due to fatigue or physical inability. If clutter builds up in their home, this can make slips and falls more likely as well as increasing their risk of illness from an unhygienic living space.
Risk of Missing Symptoms
When a person lives alone, they do not have another person around on a daily basis to provide an outside perspective on their well-being. For an elderly person living alone, this could mean that symptoms of dementia, depression, anxiety or another illness are not recognized right away. Delaying treatment for a disease or illness could lead to a faster decline in mental or physical health.
18 Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone
When an elderly person lives alone, they should take steps to protect themselves and stay healthy. Even a healthy senior faces security risks when living on their own that can be reduced by following these senior safety tips.
Install a Medical Alert System
One of the best ways for a senior living alone to protect themselves from fatal falls, injuries or medical emergencies is to install a medical alert system. These security devices include a wireless remote that can be activated from anywhere in the senior’s home should they need assistance and cannot reach the phone. Medical alert systems notify emergency services immediately so they can respond quickly.
Use a Fall Monitoring Device
In addition to a medical alert system, elderly persons can wear a fall monitoring device that automatically recognizes if they have fallen. These devices can be lifesaving if the senior becomes unconscious due to a fall and cannot activate the medical alert system.
Install a Home Security Camera
Installing a home security camera is another great measure to protect your home as a senior living alone. Elderly persons are more likely to be targeted by thieves, but having a surveillance camera can reduce this risk. If a home invasion or robbery does occur, video footage can be used to identify the criminal. Home security cameras can also be monitored remotely by the elderly person’s family members, so they can check in from anywhere.
Practice Other Security Measures
Seniors living alone may choose to install a burglar alarm system that notifies police if someone attempts to break in. Installing a peephole in the front door also allows seniors to see who is outside before opening the door. Because elderly persons are more likely to be targeted by thieves, they should make sure to lock all windows and doors when they are not home.
Pick up Packages
When a senior is traveling, they should ask a family member or neighbor to pick up their packages and mail so that their home does not appear vacant. If packages are left outside, their house may be targeted by thieves.
To reduce the risk of falling, seniors living alone should install railings in areas where they are likely to fall. Railings can be installed in showers and tubs where the floor may be slippery, as well as along both sides of staircases where they may lose their balance.
Create Slip-Proof Floors
To prevent slips, seniors can use double-sided tape under rugs to prevent them from sliding or install non-slip mats in areas with tiled floors. Using a doormat can prevent water from being tracked into the house and leaving slick puddles.
Remove Tripping Hazards
Removing clutter from a senior’s home is a simple but effective way to reduce their risk of falling. Other tripping hazards, such as stray wires or loose floorboards, should also be repaired. Seniors should organize their home so that everything they need is within reach without climbing on a stool or ladder. Elderly persons living alone should perform a home safety assessment to remove any hazards that could lead to a fall or other injury.
Install Good Lighting
As seniors age, their eyesight may decline, making good lighting essential both inside and outside their home. Good indoor lighting will help seniors see hazards on the ground to reduce the risk of falls. Effective lighting outside can prevent slips on ice or porch steps. Motion-activated lights indoors may be a great option for elderly persons who use a cane or walker so they do not need to manually turn lights on when they enter the room. Motion sensor porch lights can also help to discourage thieves and prevent home invasions.
Get to Know the Neighbors
Seniors living alone should get to know their neighbors so they can reach out to them in an emergency. Building a relationship with neighbors creates a safer community and makes their neighbors more likely to check in if something seems off.
Keep Emergency Contact Information Available
As memory declines with age, a senior may not remember phone numbers for their family members or other important contacts. Important phone numbers should be written down beside the telephone in case of an emergency so they are easily accessible. Seniors may also keep another copy of emergency contact information in their purse or wallet. This emergency contact list should include family members, trusted neighbors, the fire department, police and the hospital. If the senior has a mobile phone, emergency contacts can also be added on speed dial.
Improve Fire Safety
Due to limited mobility, some elderly persons are at greater risk of being harmed in a fire. Seniors living alone should be sure to have a fire safety plan and check the batteries in their fire alarms regularly.
Create a Disaster Kit
Seniors living alone should have a disaster kit in their home in case of blackouts, blizzards or a natural disaster. This kit should contain candles, a flashlight, extra batteries, bottled water, canned food, extra blankets and basic medical supplies.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
By eating well and exercising regularly, seniors can reduce their risk of illness and injury. Seniors who maintain a healthy lifestyle may have better balance which reduces their risk of falling. Practicing healthy living and maintaining a regular sleep schedule can also boost mental health and help slow the onset of dementia.
Have Regular Check-ups
As a person gets older, it becomes increasingly important to have regular check-ups. A doctor can make sure a senior is taking the correct medication and can identify any health risks early. A doctor can also assess an elderly person’s risk of falling by examining their muscle strength, balance and mobility.
Have Regular Eye Exams
Seniors should also have eye exams regularly as poor vision can increase their risk of falling. Bifocal glasses can also increase a senior’s risk of falling due to blurred areas of vision. Regular eye exams ensure the senior has the correct prescription and allows any vision problems to be addressed early.
Take Precautions for Medication Safety
Seniors who take daily medication should always keep extra medication in their home. If a senior forgets to reorder an important medication, having a backup supply can be a lifesaver. Elderly persons with dementia should use a pill organizer to protect against the risk of accidental overdose.
Check in With Friends and Family Regularly
Living alone does not mean that you are alone. Seniors living by themselves should reach out to friends and family members on a regular basis or ask them to check in. Checking in regularly with friends and family can improve mental health, reduce social isolation and help make a senior feel safer living on their own. Seniors seeking more social involvement can join a local book club or walking group to build a social network in their community.
By following these senior safety tips, elderly persons on their own can feel safer and prevent falls and injuries. With improved social life and mental health, elderly persons can enjoy living alone and feel more comfortable in their home.
Home Safety Checklist for Seniors
Seniors living alone should assess their home safety to ensure they are not putting themselves at greater security or health risk. If you are a senior living alone or have an elderly family member, use this elderly home safety checklist to stay safe and healthy:
Install a medical alert system and fall monitoring device
Install an effective home security system
Install railings and slip-proof mats
Remove tripping hazards
Install good lighting
Get to know your neighbors
Keep emergency contact information accessible
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Have regular check-ups and eye appointments
Ask family and friends to check in regularly
Medical Alarm Systems From Wayne Alarm Systems
If you want to stay safe and secure as a senior living alone, choose a medical alert system from Wayne Alarm Systems. Our advanced medical alert systems are fully-monitored to provide emergency assistance 24/7. When you press the call button, a trained professional at Wayne Alarm Systems will respond immediately to assess the situation and notify the appropriate emergency services. Our medical alert system is also equipped with high-quality microphones that can pick up distress calls if a senior is unable to activate the call button. These highly-sensitive microphones can even detect distress calls from another room or outside the senior’s home.
In an emergency, our medical alert systems offer the efficiency and speed that are essential to prevent fatal consequences. With half a century of experience under our belt, Wayne Alarm Systems has the knowledge to keep you and your home safe. Contact us for more information about our medical alert systems or to schedule your installation today.
There are many types of security and burglar alarm systems from which to choose. Hopefully, this homeowners’ guide to security systems will help you figure out how to choose a home surveillance system.
Types of Security and Burglar Alarm Systems
One of the first things for you to consider is the type of security system you want in your home. You’ll want to choose the best burglar alarm system for your family. The following are different types of security systems to consider while selecting a home security system:
A Monitored System
This kind of system is commonly implemented. A monitored system alerts a call center whenever the alarm goes off, and employees at the call center contact your local authorities. A downside with this kind of system is the connection it requires through a phone line that goes outdoors. An intruder can figure out where those lines are and cut them before breaking into your home. No notification would ever reach the call center. An alternative would be to use a cell phone or CB radio for this monitored alarm system. Another minus to using a monitored system is the time it takes for a call center to be notified, and then for them to call your local police. By the time the police arrive, the burglar has probably absconded with quite a few of your valuables. One of the biggest reasons to invest in a monitored system is for the insurance benefits.
An Unmonitored System
This kind of system will set off a very loud alarm siren sound in and outside the house when the alarm is triggered. A big downside to this kind of system is that it relies on your neighbors to alert the authorities if you’re not at home. A plus is that this kind of system isn’t as expensive as a monitored system because you’re not paying monitoring fees for the call center, however you will receive a much smaller deduction off your home insurance than a monitored system. An unmonitored system can also be implemented with flashing lights so your neighbors can see where the alarm has been triggered. Usually, loud alarm noise will send burglars running because of all the attention paid to the loud, flashing house.
A Wireless Alarm System
An advantage of a wireless alarm system is that it involves pretty simple installation. There are no fees to pay for a call center. Another advantage is that you can decide what sort of bells and whistles you’d like to add such as sensors, motion detectors, cameras or beams. The downside includes the distance limits regarding cameras and sensors. Many of these systems use batteries that need to be recharged periodically, so you have to pay close attention to the battery levels on each camera. If they require disposable batteries, you’ll have to keep replacing them, which can become pricey.
An Electric Current Home Alarm
This type of system is typically for houses that are under construction. They’re built into the home. These systems monitor egress and ingress like doors, garages and windows — and will beep when these points are opened. This is a plus for households with young children or toddlers whom you don’t want opening specific doors or windows. A downside can be interference from other electrical currents which could affect whether or not the system works correctly. Lightning storms have also interfered with these kinds of alarm systems.
Types of Motion Sensors
If you are unsure of what to seek out when buying a home security system, keep in mind that the anchor of the system will be a motion sensor or motion detector. The motion sensor is the central device that knows when an intruder is present, be it outside your front door, through a window or inside your home. A motion detector uses one, two or several technologies to sense movement in a set space. If a sensor is triggered, a security control panel will receive a signal to let you or a monitoring call center know that there is a potential intruder in your house. Here are some of the different types of motion sensors:
Passive Infrared (PIR) Sensors
These will detect body heat. PIR sensors are the most commonly used in security systems. When the sensor installed, it will detect movement and heat in surrounding areas. It forms a grid to protect the area. Sensors go off when a moving object interrupts too many grids and infrared levels fluctuate quickly.
Microwave (MW) Sensors
These sensors give off microwave pulses. They evaluate the reflections that bounce off moving objects. They cover a more extended area than PIR sensors do. A downside is their vulnerability to electric interference. They also cost more than PIRs.
Dual Technology Motion Sensor
These sensors use combined features to reduce the occurrences of false alarms. An example can be PIR and MW sensor combination. This can work if each sensor functions in different parts of the spectrum with one type being passive and the other being active. False alarms are usually avoided because both sensors have to be tripped for the alarms to go off. That said, dual sensors do not guarantee the complete elimination of false alarms.
Area Reflective Sensor
This kind of sensor discharges infrared beams from an LED light. The detectors use those emitted beams to ascertain the distance to the detected intruder to determine if they are in the proper area.
This type emits ultrasonic wave pulses. It measures the reflection of pulses off of a moving object.
These sensors detect vibrations. Easily purchased and assembled at home, a vibration detector uses a lever and switch that activates an alarm whenever it senses vibrations. Homemade motion detectors can work, but they can be unreliable.
Types of Video Surveillance Camera Systems
Using video camera surveillance is a reliable, budget-friendly way to give you and your family peace of mind. Having video evidence assures you will have means of recourse if your home ever does end up burglarized. Providing the authorities with photos and video will give you a better chance of recovering your stolen items and possibly some justice. If you want to start looking for a security camera surveillance system, the following security camera system buying guide goes over the different types of security cameras on the market. It will explain what to look for when buying home security cameras:
These are kind of new to the security scene, and they’re very popular. They record video and link the video stream to an app which will allow clients to watch the stream in real time. If the camera senses movement, the owner immediately receives an alert on their smartphone. These security cameras are pricier than most types of cameras. They often require a monthly subscription plus the original cost for the cameras.
These cameras are cylinder-shaped and point in one direction. They’re usually affordable but have a limited range which means you’ll probably have to buy several of them to cover your home or property.
These have a more expansive range than bullet cameras. They can also move the focus and zoom in on something if needed. They cost more than bullet type cameras, but they actually do cover more ground, requiring fewer cameras. They catch a lot, so there are fewer places for burglars to hide from view. Dome cameras are a good deterrent.
Elements to Consider When Buying a Home Security Camera
Do you know what to look for in a home security camera system? There are many points to consider when mulling types of home security cameras. The following factors should help you determine how to choose a security camera for your home and what to look for in a surveillance camera.
Field of View
The field of view determines how much you’ll be able to see. Bullet cameras have a small field of view. They see what’s straight ahead. Dome cameras have a wide field of view. You’ll be able to see more of your yard and driveway. Regarding the interior, you’ll see more of the rooms in your house.
The popularity of smart home cameras is the opportunity to stay connected to them wherever you are. Cameras with excellent connectivity will link to your smartphone through an app, as well as all the other cameras installed. If needed, you can respond to potential threats quickly.
One of the most important issues among the various brands is video quality. A fuzzy picture won’t help you at all. Clear, crisp images of perpetrators will help police catch them.
Home security cameras usually range from $30 for a basic indoor camera to over $250 for a weatherproof color camera that has a range of helpful features. Another related cost is the subscription fee to receive a lot of features. Be sure to do your research about the cameras you are considering. You don’t want to be surprised by excessive monthly fees.
When a sensor is triggered, that trigger relies on what the motion detector’s range is. If the range is short, it will only catch intruders who are close. For example, if the range is limited, the sensor on your house might miss an intruder breaking into your car in your driveway.
Before buying a set of cameras, decide where you want them installed and make sure you have the proper cameras for the right area. If you install an indoor camera outdoors, it will not last long. A camera meant for the outdoors is wasted indoors because you spent way more than you needed to on an indoor camera.
Do you want the camera to be difficult for intruders to spot? You might want to reconsider this because less conspicuous cameras will not serve as a deterrent to thieves. Cameras that stand out tend to deter thieves.
Security camera video captures will need to be stored someplace, especially if you have a camera that takes high-quality footage. These high-quality clips take up a lot of disk space. Some security cameras use memory cards to store video, but you must remember to delete old footage you don’t need anymore and replace full cards with new blank ones. Some cameras include hard disk drives and allow you to put the footage on your PC’s hard drive. These days though, a lot of smart security companies will offer a cloud-based storage option. This is usually what makes up the monthly subscription price. It’s worth the fee because you won’t have to worry about exceeding storage limits. The video should also be available whenever you need it to be.
What Makes a Good Surveillance System and How Should I Choose One?
With the abundance of security system information available, it can be overwhelming to try to narrow down what you want in a surveillance system. Creating a list of what’s important to you will make this an easier decision. The following is a list of points that contribute to a good surveillance system:
Easy to use
Anything that is technology-related is going to take a little time to figure out after it’s installed. Alarm companies often aim for intuitive processes, but sometimes it doesn’t go that way. A good system will be relatively intuitive and easy to learn and use.
Easy to maintain
A wireless system will always be easier to maintain than a wired system. After it’s installed, there may be times you want to move the camera or adjust its angle. The only small inconvenience is remembering to replace or recharge the batteries in the cameras from time to time.
Includes an Intuitive Mobile App
A good smart home camera system includes an intuitive mobile app so you can view your video stream from anywhere, receive alerts and even speak to someone on your doorstep — intruder or not.
An option for live streaming allows you to observe what’s going on at your house live.
A Night Vision Option
Smart cameras offering night vision make things easier for you as it will be much easier to see what’s happening in your video at night.
A feature that allows you and your “visitor” to hear each other. This is a popular feature for folks who like to check on their dogs while they’re at work.
The Benefits of Home Monitoring
The process of choosing your security system is worth the due diligence. The benefits of home monitoring far outweigh the work of getting a system in place. The following are benefits of having a home security system:
You are protecting your family and your valuables.
A security system deters crime.
You have remote, real-time views of your home, indoors and out.
A security system can lower your home insurance costs. Check in with your home insurance company to find out what kind of discount they offer if you have a home security system.
A home monitoring system can notify of fires, gas or carbon monoxide leaks.
It can help you keep an eye on your children from anywhere.
It can improve your electric bill through smart outlets and smart thermostats.
A sense of security. Feeling safe in your home and knowing your home is protected while you’re away is priceless.
Contact the Professionals at Wayne Alarm Systems for Security System Installation
For over 50 years, Wayne Alarm Systems has provided professional, top-notch security services. Investing in a home monitoring system affords you peace of mind while you’re away from your home and even when you are at home. To learn how we can help you choose security camera options that suit your lifestyle, contact Wayne Alarm Systems to get started. We work hard for you to ensure you are matched up with the perfect security system for your home.