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Summertime means warm weather and fun vacations. It’s also the peak time for break-ins and burglaries. Nothing could be worse than coming home after a peaceful vacation only to find that someone broke into your house.

Installing outdoor security protects your property and family even when no one is home. Security systems give you peace of mind by guarding what’s important to you.

1.     Install a Doorbell Camera

Doorbell cameras are quite convenient, especially when you’re not home. Motion triggered alerts, two-way voice, and a video feed allow you to see if it’s the delivery man on your porch or an intruder. It’s an excellent crime deterrent because criminals don’t want to be caught on camera.

2.     Use Smart Cameras to Enhance the Security of Your Property

Today’s security cameras don’t just alert when there’s motion outside, they can differentiate between animals, vehicles, and people. Smart security cameras can also tell if someone is on your property. You can even customize the alerts so that you only monitor what you want to.

These cameras show intruders that you mean business. Would-be thieves will pass right on by.

3.     Contact Sensors

Install wireless contact sensors on your doors and windows to get alerts that notify you if there’s a break-in. These sensors also remind you to set your alarm and lock up for the evening. Monitoring your children when they’re in the yard is another asset of a wireless contact sensor.

Intelligent home security lets you control your home. Sensors also help you watch who opens the gate to the yard, pool, or tool shed. They also monitor other off-limit areas that you don’t want the kids exploring. Kids are naturally curious and they’ll test the limits, especially when they’re out of school for the summer.

4.     Smart Outside Lighting

Criminals like to hide in dark places. Illuminate your property so there is nowhere for them to hide. Smart security image sensors and security cameras trigger lighting to come on when they sense motion and deem it a possible threat. You can also create a custom schedule with smart lighting so that when you’re away on vacation, the lights still come on every night. It looks like someone’s home to possible thieves.

You can customize automated smart home security systems to meet your needs. Rest easy knowing that an excellent security system has your back.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The post 4 Outdoor Essentials To Make Your Home Smart For The Summer appeared first on Security Instrument Corp.

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Video analytics has changed everything for retailers. There was a time when merchandising (making money) and loss prevention (saving money) were two separate retail tracks. There were mystery shoppers and people counters to help improve merchandising, and there were security cameras, store detectives and security guards to help deter and catch shoplifters and reduce loss. Not anymore.

Analytics in Video Surveillance Goes Mainstream

Once reserved primarily for stable, high-security specifications, the swift advancement of technology and vast improvements in reliability, effectiveness and accessibility has moved video analytics from the sidelines to the mainstream for a lot of smart reasons.

Top Reasons Video Surveillance Analytics is Revolutionizing Retail

When you understand the advantages, the increased usage of video analytics in retail is no mystery. Here are just a few.

  • There are analytic solutions for everyone. Video analytics, or CCTV software, has come a long way in a very short time with increased capabilities and accessibilities that can fit any size business with vast options in servers and infrastructures.
  • Options for implementing analytics software. There are two main options for implementing analytics software, inside an IP camera (referred to as edge-based) or on a centralized server. These options provide more effective ways to implement powerful and affordable analytics.
  • Greater business intelligence. The options for greater awareness are nearly endless. Using video analytics you can improve marketing, health, safety, productivity, and queue monitoring. It can also help reduce loss.
  • Video surveillance analytics improves decision making power. Whereas it may take months of observation and charting otherwise, video surveillance analytics makes a great amount of information clear very quickly. This means for swifter and more effective decision making.
  • Improved customer insights. The more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them which results in greater sales. Intelligent video innovations help you understand type, time, and frequency of shopper and how they engage with displays versus those who do not. It also helps to more accurately count shoppers at entrances, and test and compare product placement and displays.

Today, merchandising and loss prevention are largely one tract accessible from one analytics-driven smart security and CCTV system. And this is true for every type and size of store, including large chains and local retailers, convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants and more.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is the largest, privately owned security company in Delaware. Whether you’re the owner of a small business or the security director  of a Fortune 500 company, Security Instrument has the right solution.

The post Why Video Analytics Changes Everything for Retailers appeared first on Security Instrument Corp.

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Buying a commercial video surveillance system for your business is a big deal. Since it involves a moderate investment and is likely to serve your business for some time, you’ll want to make sure you get it right. Video surveillance systems are not one-size-fits-all (or they shouldn’t be) and the number of options and capabilities within the industry is expansive. It is very easy to get swooped up in the exciting technological options and miss ensuring those options are right for you.

While the technology is complex, ensuring that you get what’s right for you isn’t. All you need to do is ask yourself some basic questions to help you define and then meet your goals. Here are 5 important considerations to keep you on track.

Pro Tip: There are a ton of advanced options out there but that doesn’t mean you need to invest in all of them. Determining your true needs will help you control the costs of video surveillance.

How Will the Video Surveillance System Be Used?

The first step in designing a fitting security camera system is defining your goals. Do you want to use them to improve your safety and security? Maybe it is to reduce false injury claims, or prevent loss. Security cameras also provide a way to improve processes and productivity. Perhaps it is a combination of all of those things. Whatever you hope to accomplish by installing a surveillance system define it and prioritize your list.

What Areas Will You Cover?

Determine what areas and what kinds of areas you want and need to be covered, such as a dark stockroom or a bright public area. Determining which and what kinds of areas you want covered will help in determining what kinds of equipment you will need.

Attach a Goal to Specific Areas

Since each area of a property is used for different purposes and faces different challenges, it helps to attach a specific goal you want to achieve to that area. For example, you might want an overview of operations to improve workflow patterns, or you might want to boost security at entrances and exits. Knowing your goals will help you choose the right equipment to the job. That may sound simple, but small choices have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the system. For example, even the best HD fixed camera may not give you the expansive overview you’d want, or a dome camera may not give you the view you hope for of point of sale areas.

What kinds of Surveillance Options do You Need?

As we mentioned, there are a ton of advanced options out there but that doesn’t mean you need to invest in all of them. Once you know where you want to cover and the goal you can opt into or out of options like infrared technologies, waterproof, dustproof, vandal resistant, the field of view, low light, high light, high and low resolution, tilt, zoom, remote viewing and more. Determining your true needs will help you keep the costs of video surveillance minimal.

How Many Cameras Do You Need

Of course, a skilled security technician will be the best person to help you determine this but it does help to think about before you opt in. For most people, the assumption is the more cameras the better security you have. But that is not necessarily true. Having the right surveillance cameras placed in the right positions can reduce the number of cameras you need– and reduce your costs. A great example is using a pan-tilt-zoom camera to cover a wide space which reduces the need for more fixed cameras. Knowing your need and being able to communicate that to your video surveillance provider and technician makes a huge difference.

About Security Instrument

From Fortune 500 to local SMB’s throughout the Tri-State area, Security Instrument integrates custom security systems to meet the needs of commercial clients.

The post Commercial Video Surveillance Systems: Key Points to Consider Before You Buy appeared first on Security Instrument Corp.

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Since the average American tax refund has been in the $3,000 range for the past several years, it’s no wonder that April marks the annual kickoff of home improvement and homebuying season. If you’re planning to move, there’s a lot you can upgrade on your new home with $3,000. If you’re improving the home you already live in with that money, you can probably do even more.

But before you call that kitchen cabinet contractor your neighbor told you about, we have something you may want to consider: The average dollar value loss of a burglary also in the same price range. Forbes reports that the average burglary costs a homeowner between $2,000-$3,000. With that in mind, maybe a non-cosmetic home improvement is a smarter way to invest this year’s tax refund. Specifically, an improvement to your home security system.

What kind of improvement?

A smart home security system upgrade, to be exact. This isn’t just about getting a better security system; it’s about a legitimate investment that adds value to your home and simplifies your life. In addition to arming and disarming the alarm from the convenience of your mobile device, here’s what else a smart home security system helps you do from the convenience of your smartphone:

  • View your monitored home security video cameras
  • Show you who’s at the door with a video doorbell alarm
  • Open and close the garage door at your command
  • Turn on the lights inside the house
  • Control your indoor temperature with a smart thermostat

There’s nothing wrong with cosmetic home improvements – but a smart home upgrade adds real value to your life and your home.

At Home or Away

When you’re away from home, a smart home system can be a lifeline. It gives you an easy, secure way to:

  • Let service people in the house while you’re at work
  • Let baby sitters, house sitters or pet sitters in without giving them an alarm code
  • Lock the door when you leave (or unlock it when you’re almost home)
  • Send you a text alert if there’s flooding, freezing or carbon monoxide in the house

That kitchen cabinet makeover will look great – but it can’t do any of these things.

As you can see, one of the smartest ways to use your tax refund is with an improvement to your home security. Delaware homeowners, find out more about a smart home upgrade by contacting Security Instrument. We would love to speak with you.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The post The Smart Way to Use Your Tax Refund appeared first on Security Instrument Corp.

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A good business security plan may start with having electronic security systems installed, but installation is only the first step. The fact is, a dependable security plan takes time and effort to create. The time to do it is not when it needs to be executed during or after an emergency; the time to do it is now. Here are some guidelines for implementing a business security plan your organization can live with, no matter its size or budget.

Identify Security Threats

What are the chief security threats to your organization? Identifying those is critical. These don’t just include external threats like robbery, intrusion or vandalism; they also include internal threat like employee theft (and don’t forget, employees can steal more than inventory). Then, there’s your business intelligence. Are you including cybersecurity? If not, you should. All of these are very real security threats your new security plan should encompass.

Address Environmental Threats

While fire should be addressed in the security plan, environmental threats go well beyond fire. A defense against other environmental hazards should also be included in the plan, including flooding and freezing. Strategies for all of these things should be included in the new security plan to the extent that they affect building operations.

Determine What’s in Place

Next, it’s time to assess what you have in place to address these threats. This is where an experienced security integrator can be a valuable partner in creating the security plan. During an onsite assessment of your property, the integrator can identify the security technology you have in place and determine what parts of it can be used, retrofitted or upgraded for cost efficiency.

Add New Protections

Of course, the integrator can also explain where any new products or services would be recommended. In this step, you may learn about systems that hadn’t previously been considered: intelligent video equipment, access control for keyless entry, or commercial audio systems that keep everyone on the property informed. Additionally, they may propose new protocols to include in the security plan. Your security integrator can be your consultant and partner in the endeavor of developing a new security plan.

Creating a security plan your organization can live with is a better experience when you partner with a trusted security integrator. To discuss a new business security plan, Delaware businesses can call Security Instrument. We will be glad to show you what’s possible.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The post Creating a Security Plan Your Organization Can Live With appeared first on Security Instrument Corp.

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There are so many great things smart home technology can do to keep you connected to your security system when you’re not at home. But did you know that it can be every bit as valuable to you when you’re actually at home? This is especially the case if you have a virtual assistant device, like an Alexa, Google Home or Amazon Echo system. These devices are incredibly intuitive, and so is your smart home security system. When the two are combined, they create a powerful home control environment for your family’s benefit.

Here are some things this integration offers you.

Effortless Alarm Control

Before you had a smart home security system, you had to use your alarm keypad to arm and disarm it. When you upgraded to a wireless smart home system, you started using a convenient mobile app on your phone instead. Now, integrating your system with your Alexa, Google Home or Echo makes it even easier. You’ll be able to control the alarm simply by giving your device voice commands. “Hey Alexa, arm the security system.” Done!

Keyless, Hands-Free Locking

If you have smart locks on your doors, you already know how convenient keyless entry is. Most homeowners never go back; they love the simplicity of pulling into the driveway and unlocking the door with their phone. What could be better than that? Bypassing he act of pulling out your phone altogether.

When you integrate your virtual assistant with your smart home security system, you’ll be able to enter the house, voice command your lights to come on (if you have elected to connect lighting to your system), and then close the doors by talking to your device. “Hey Alexa, close the garage door.” Your smart home system already made things easy; your virtual assistant device makes it even easier.

Quick Climate Comfort

Cold in bed in the winter and hot in bed in the summer? Don’t want to get up to adjust the thermostat? Here’s what you say: “Hey Alexa, set the temperature to 70 degrees.” You can command it to adjust to any temperature you want, quickly and conveniently. No getting up, and you don’t even need to reach for your phone.

If you have a virtual assistant device and would like to get it connected to your smart home security, Pennsylvania homeowners can call Security Instrument. We will be glad to give you more information.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The post Integrating Your Virtual Assistant with Smart Home Security appeared first on Security Instrument Corp.

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It’s hard to get through a single TV show without seeing a commercial for a big alarm monitoring brand. No wonder so many people arrive at the conclusion that nationwide alarm companies are the only sensible choice – and unfortunately, it’s an inaccurate conclusion. Here are some pros and cons to consider when it comes to choosing between a local company and the kingpins of the alarm industry.

Pro of Major Alarm Company: You know their name and can easily research them.

The benefits of name recognition are the same for alarm companies as they are for any industry. You can easily search for reviews of products and monitoring services; they are all over the internet. Unfortunately, the advantages end there.

Con of Major Alarm Company: Their name means nothing at the local level.

The reputation of a major, nationally-known alarm company is not necessarily echoed by its local dealers. To get an accurate account of how the dealer in your area operates, you will need to read reviews for that specific dealer.

When you find those reviews, you may be in for a surprise – because often, you’ll see things that are the opposite of how the company is portrayed in national advertising. You’re likely to read about anything from poorly designed services, to rigid contracts, to subcontracted services to pressure tactics. Sadly, many major alarm companies are famous for these disadvantages.

Pros of Local Alarm Company: Investment in Your Well-Being and Community

Unlike major alarm companies, local alarm companies are more likely to be personally invested in the well-being of their customers and community. They make sure their equipment is designed to protect that well-being, and their monitoring services are performed at the highest standards so that help is dispatched immediately if a customers’ signal is triggered. And unlike a national brand, your hometown alarm company has a relationship with local law enforcement and community organizations; this is all for your protection. As you may have guessed, a major alarm company can’t offer this.

Are there cons of a local alarm company? 

If it’s an experienced, reputable company that’s been trusted by your community for generations, there aren’t likely to be any cons. Founded in 1960, Security Instrument is the perfect example of a local alarm company that fits this description. We are deeply invested in the security of our customers throughout Delaware, and our headquarters remain in Wilmington. Home security customers who want to make a switch, or homeowners ready to invest in home security for the first time, are invited to contact us today.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The post Local Alarm Companies vs. National: Pros and Cons appeared first on Security Instrument Corp.

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While most homeowners understand that a monitored home alarm is a great tool for catching a burglar in their tracks, many are still unaware that this is a tool that can proactively save your life. Maybe people think dangerous events at home just don’t happen anymore. But the numbers tell a very different story when it comes to events like these.

Burglary and Home Invasion

Home burglaries have become so commonplace that the FBI now has four separate categories of burglary: completed burglary, forcible entry, unlawful entry without force and attempted forcible entry.

But aren’t most burglaries non-confrontational events? Not necessarily. According to a Department of Justice report, a member of the household is present for approximately 28% of burglaries, and 7% of these burglary victims experienced some type of violent crime during the episode. It could happen to anyone, and your home alarm monitoring is designed to help prevent it.

House Fire

Everyone thinks their house won’t catch on fire, until it does. “Aren’t house fires only for irresponsible homeowners?” “Don’t house fires only happen in bad neighborhoods?” The answer to both of those questions is no. U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 355,400 home structure fires per year, resulting in 2,560 civilian fire deaths. House fires can happen because of a variety of factors, including environmental ones. Even responsible homeowners in the best neighborhoods are not immune.

Your home alarm monitoring service is designed to get emergency responders to your home in minutes, without you having to alert them yourself. You will get an alert to your smartphone, but the 24/7 monitoring center will be notified at the same time – and they’re already getting help to the scene, working to save your home and your life.

Other Life-Threatening Dangers

An intelligent home monitoring service is also designed to intervene when dangerous environmental factors are present. If deadly carbon monoxide is detected in the home, your system will alert you so you can get everyone out of the house before they start experiencing symptoms. If a tornado is approaching, a smartphone alert can prompt you to get the family in the car and flee to a safer destination.

Remember, home alarm monitoring technology no longer relies on wires and cables to work. Instead, a dedicated cellular connection ensures you get the lifesaving alerts you need, along with an immediate signal to the monitoring center. That’s all it takes for help to be on its way, and that’s why you need monitored home security. Wilmington homeowners, call Security Instrument if you’d like to learn more. We’ll be happy to speak with you.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The post How Home Alarm Monitoring Can Save Your Life appeared first on Security Instrument Corp.

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The do-it-yourself movement is here to stay, it seems – but when it comes to home security, you don’t want to go it alone. Installing a security system is on a whole different level than your average DIY home improvement project; here are some of the most important reasons why you don’t want to attempt it.

You need a customized security solution.

A DIY home security project is an enormous undertaking. From the moment you get to your local retailer and see the choices in front of you, you’re baffled and overwhelmed. Guess what? It doesn’t get any better from there.

Your store’s sales people don’t specialize in home security, and that means they can’t help you choose the right system for you. It also means they can’t give you reliable advice on installing it.

Now, compare that with the experience of a professional home security installation. A security installer starts by providing a consultation at your home; it’s that appointment that gives them the ability to recommend a customized security solution especially for your property.

You need clean, accurate installation.

A wireless home security installation is less invasive than a traditional system, but it still requires proficiency to complete. One thing a DIY home security job is likely to leave is a mess – but with a professional installation, your installer completes the job quickly and cleanly. The system will be tested before he leaves, so you can rest assured the installation is accurate and the system will work properly. A DIY installation doesn’t offer this simplicity, and that will end up costing more in the long run.

You need support long after the installation.

So, you bought other devices to go with your security system: sensors, cameras, maybe other smart devices to integrate. That’s great – but what happens when something goes awry with any of them? Even if your purchases are warrantied, you’re not likely to have a lot of support from the manufacturer or the retailer. But if your installation was performed by a security provider, you’ll have access to support anytime something goes wrong. And if they provide your monitoring services, you’ll have support for that too.

To learn more about professional installation vs. DIY home security, Wilmington homeowners can contact Security Instrument. We will be glad to provide a free home security consultation.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The post Professional vs DIY Home Security: 5 Reasons To Contact A Local Alarm Company appeared first on Security Instrument Corp.

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It’s one thing to have an alarm. It’s another thing to have your alarm monitored by a professional monitoring center. Read on to find out why there’s no substitution for a monitored alarm.

Everyone needs help in an emergency.

No matter what someone does for a living, how skilled they are at self-defense or how tough the man or woman of the house is, everyone needs help when there’s an emergency. People of all professions – including fire fighters, law enforcement and military members – need help like anyone else if there’s a break-in or fire. Help is exactly what a monitored alarm will send in these events. Without a connection to a monitoring service, an alarm system is far less effective. An unmonitored alarm will sound in the event of a break-in, but the help stops there.

An emergency can happen to anyone.

Maybe you think a burglary or house fire could never happen, but the numbers tell a very different story. Nationwide, there were an estimated 7,694,086 property crimes in 2017; that’s according to the most recently available FBI statistics. And when you consider that property owners suffered losses estimated at $15.3 billion as a result (not counting arson, which would add on even more losses), these clearly are not victimless crimes. A break-in is no small matter, and it can happen to anyone. Likewise for fire: Government statistics show that U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 355,400 home structure fires per year, resulting in 2,560 civilian fire deaths. When you consider these numbers, it’s clear an emergency can happen to anyone.

An emergency doesn’t give you time.

When an event becomes an emergency, there’s no more time to waste. If an intruder breaks in or a fire breaks out, you may not have seconds to spare. That means no time to call for help, including calling 911. How does a monitored alarm solve that? If there’s a break-in, it springs into action by contacting the monitoring center immediately. If there’s a fire, it does the same thing the moment the smoke is detected. When your monitored alarm sounds, that’s the moment the agents at the monitoring center are sending help. Because you just don’t have time to call for it.

These are the reasons you need a professionally monitored alarm – one that’s connected to a center where trained security agents are standing by 24/7 to protect your home security. Wilmington homeowners that want to learn more, please call Security Instrument. We will be glad to answer your questions.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with commercial and home security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The post What is Alarm Monitoring and Why Do You Need It? appeared first on Security Instrument Corp.

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