Category Archive: Blog

  1. 6 Quick Common Sense Security Tips

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    1. ABL: ALWAYS. BE. LOCKING.

    Our first tip seems obvious. Yes, you want to keep your doors locked. But a surprisingly large number of break-ins and home invasions occur straight through an unlocked door, or barring that an unlocked window. If you enjoy opening doors or windows in the evenings to let in cool air, we advise that you install locking mechanisms on windows that allow them to crack open a few inches only. Security screens for front and back doors are an excellent investment to enhance security if you like to leave doors open similarly.

    2. Keep a Tidy Yard

    Criminals are opportunistic in behavior. They want to spend the least effort for the most again. If your yard has a lot of debris and isn’t kept up, that is an opportunity for a thief to use the nearby environment to break a window and gain access to the property. Also, tidy yards show clear signs that something isn’t right if a window is broken or there is debris nearby.

    This also applies to tools. If you leave tools nearby like screwdrivers or even ladders simply lying around, these are very simple ways that a burglar can gain quicker access to a home.

    3. Don’t Provide Places for Thieves to Hide

    We’ve covered this before, and a bit in #2, but maintain high visibility around your property. There is nothing wrong with having a good amount of vegetation in your yard, but engineer your plants in a way that provides clear sight-lines to entry areas of the home such as bedroom windows or your front porch. If a burglar can take their time breaking a lock with no one seeing them, your home will be targeted above others in the neighborhood that have good visibility to the front porch.

    4. Install an Alarm System

    While we are an alarm system provider and installer, the research is clear: homes with alarm systems are targeted significantly less than those without a system. The simple presence of an alarm system is enough to make most criminals pass your home by unless there is a stronger motivation for them to access the home. As a local alarm provider, you might be surprised with the affordability of some of our solutions even comparing our plans with DIY alarm systems that are gaining popularity.

    5. Secure sliding glass doors

    Sliding glass doors have notoriously flimsy locks. Savvy criminals can bypass most sliding glass door locks in seconds and it provides a large, easy entry into the home. In order to solve this problem, simply purchase and install a security bar. This small investment provides an huge benefit to your safety and security. We recommend these on both windows and doors, but specifically ensure they are installed on all sliding doors in the home.

    6. Improve Lighting

    Our final tip is a simple and cost effective one. Improving the lighting around your home, such as porch lights, exterior floodlights, lighting near windows, etc will play a significant role in deterring burglars. A great investment is motion detection spotlights that don’t require lighting to be on all night.

  2. Take Online Security Seriously

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    Central Alarm Inc. is interested not only in your home security, but the safety and security of your entire family, which includes keeping your family safe on the internet.

    Whether we like it or not, being connected is now a big part of life, and even more so for our children. The people that your kids interact with are likely using the internet far more than you are to discover sources of entertainment, which can quickly become a negative influence.

    We’re looking to help you build good strategic tips to help successfully navigate the internet with your kids.

    Introduce Your Children to the Internet

    A good rule of thumb is to be the primary resource to introduce your kids to the internet. Researching safe websites that your kids can enjoy first, and then showing them what they can do can go a long way to being involved in sharing what they discover.

    Set Expectations with your Kids Online Behavior

    It’s recommended that you verbally set expectations for kids that include the type of content that they can watch and how they will behave online. It’s important to set not just the types of websites that children can visit, but also the amount of time they can spend. For example, a child that is left alone to watch YouTube for 3 hours can easily end up finding negative content they shouldn’t be watching.

    Also, set expectations for how kids will act while playing games, chatting with friends, etc. The earlier we can teach respectful boundaries when it comes to online behavior, the fewer problems we can hopefully avoid in the future.

    Talk to your Kids about Safety

    Be VERY specific when it comes to what is safe and unsafe behavior online. This includes:

    • Never send photos of yourself or others online through a chat or to someone you do not personally know at school, church, youth activities, etc.
    • Never disclose personal information about you, your family, your behaviors, where you go to school to anyone online.
    • Do not accept any invitation to meet anyone online unless that person is already someone the child knows, and a relationship the parent is aware of exists.
    • Ask your kids to report any kind of cyber bullying they see. You may not take action immediately, but you are able to gauge whether or not it’s necessary to get involved.

    We’ll be including more tips in the coming weeks so stay tuned. In the meantime, stay safe both online and off!

  3. Happy 2020 Tucson! Welcome to the New 20s

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    Happy 2020 Tucson! From all of us at Central Alarm, your local security experts, we hope you all had a safe and wonderful New Year and Christmas season! We look forward to bringing you great customer service, safety and security in the new 20s with new products and our continual commitment to providing best in class service to our customers.

     

  4. Tips Based on Research from Real Criminals

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    Locking Doors and Windows

    As incredible as it sounds, about 1/3 of home break-ins happen at the front door where burglars simply walk right through the front door. Many homeowners keep a spare key somewhere close by for personal use or letting friends in and out. No matter how well you think you’re hidden the key, most criminals can find the location with relative ease (usually it’s in a similar spot). Keep your doors and windows locked, especially when you leave the home, and keep spare key copies with several neighbors. These tips will immediately eliminate your home from being an instant target for burglary.

    Buy a Safe

    Hiding valuables in a coffee can in the freezer may sound clever, but thieves know exactly where to find secret caches. Instead, invest in a home safe, and secure it properly by bolting to the floor or wall. Also, do not leave the keys close at hand. This negates the purpose of the safe. Keep the keys to the safe on your own keyring. Research is consistent, and it’s backed up by the admission of burglars, that the single most effective deterrent is making your home and valuables less accessible at every turn. If your home can’t be breached and looted quickly, it’s likely they’ll move on to another home.

    Keep Your Yard Groomed

    Criminals gravitate to homes they can break into without being seen. Overgrown bushes, shrubs and trees provide a great way for thieves to take their time. This goes for both the front yard and the back yard. This is especially true if your home has a back alley, where there is likely to be less attention to begin with. Trim bushes and clear brush to open wide sightlines to your doors and windows.

    Let Technology Do the Talking

    Along with having a yard with good sight-lines is using basic technology to ward off criminals. Lights that turn on at night and illuminate pathways and entries are essential, and lights that are set on motion sensors that trigger along areas around the home provide an excellent deterrent for those that want to remain hidden.

    It also goes without saying that the number one deterrent for a criminal entering your home is a security system. Universally thieves will look for a home that isn’t protected as an easy target. This is where Central Alarm Inc. shines because our professionals know security systems inside and out, and we can work with you to set up a system that can fit any budget and provide that lasting peace of mind that comes with whole home protection.

  5. Good Social Media Habits

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    The research is clear in that most burglaries occur in a very small radius from where the thief lives. Criminals do not target homes intentionally across town to throw off potential investigation. The goal of a thief is to find an easy target they can quickly exploit. If break-ins are common in your area, it’s likely a local criminal is actively determining which homes are easy targets.

    Social Media has become an incredibly effective research tool for thieves. The two major ways they keep an eye out for homes to target are:

    Broadcasting Vacation

    A common mistake people have is taking photos in front of their home showcasing that they are heading out for vacation. Broadcasting you’re heading to Disneyland for a week or the Bahama’s for a summer vacation is an invitation for criminals to target your home. Criminals can use photos to easily identify your home and where it’s located, and they can confirm your vehicle is not on the premises.

    Neighborhood Pages or Message Boards

    Many people belong to local message boards on Facebook, such as a page specifically for your neighborhood. Anyone can join these boards, so there is no way to know who’s looking at your posts.

    Telling other people about trips away or saying things like “Our annual trip to Cabo!” is an instant trigger that provides an indication of when you will be out of town, even if you’re not directly broadcasting you are going away.

    Good Habits

    Instead, the best habit you can put into place is to simply tell your neighbors when you will be out of town, along with a spare key in case they need to get into your home for any reason. Requesting that neighbors to take out and bring in garbage cans and collect mail also gives
    Make sure doors and windows are locked, and if you haven’t already installed lighting with motion sensors, this would be a good time to make a relatively small investment to keep your home that much safer.

  6. Are Wireless Security Systems Secure?

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    The short answer is: yes!

    The long answer is a reputable security professional that installs the correct equipment and understands the vulnerabilities that exist in wireless systems (and wired systems as well) will be able to ensure a fully secure wireless system.

    Some DYI or home boxed security kits end up being a “set it up and forget it” type of installation. Yes, they can monitor for the alarm going off, but as equipment ages and technology provides loopholes to those systems, there are no updates or upgrades or even communication with customers that there is a problem.

    In addition to the added security that comes with no wires to cut, wireless systems that are installed properly are set up in a way that does not allow tampering, which will also set off an alarm. We also have more flexibility with wireless systems, which also includes less setup, few drilled holes, etc.

    Not only will we install your system, but we’ll also personally monitor it as well. This adds another layer of protection to your home or business security for a concrete peace of mind.

    For a completely free quote and assessment of your own home, give us a call today at (520) 600-6548 and one of our specialists can start answering any questions you might have!

  7. Put Security Technology to Work for You

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    Security is one of those compartments in our lives that we typically don’t think about until a crisis occurs. We typically fall into a sense of feeling safe because there hasn’t been a recent incidence that contradicts that feeling, and then we become complacent.

    Don’t let a break-in be the wake up call to do a home security review!

    Technology has come into the picture in a big way just like it has in just about every other area of our lives. It enables us to do far more at a cost effective price point. Home monitoring, video cameras, front door cameras, access controls from your phone – these are all leaps in functionality that someone setting up an alarm system 5 to 10 years ago most likely do not have.

    Take a moment to review the security around your premise. What kind of system do you have? Is it wired or wireless? Has it been tested recently? Does it have any kind of monitoring capabilities? Start getting a picture of what your current level of security looks like, and ask yourself what features you think might be useful. The cost of adding those capabilities might be surprisingly affordable.

    Give our professionals at Central Alarm, Inc. a call today and we would be more than happy to discuss your needs and work with you to update your system to something that makes more sense in a modern world.

  8. Home Automation Security Tips

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    As we’ve discussed before, most criminals that would be looking to get in your home are typically more interested in easy and quick access to a home they know is empty. If you haven’t seen these articles, visit our blog to see more!

    Armed with this information, you can make intelligent decisions about your home security when you are not at home.

    There are numerous products that are available today in the home automation industry, such as lightbulbs, that are powered by WIFI or Bluetooth technology. In addition to automating heating and cooling, you can also invest in several lights in the home that you can switch on or set timers for to disrupt a potential thief from understanding when your home and when you’re away.

    At Central Alarm, Inc. we are using this to your security advantage by providing automation solutions such as doorbells that trigger lights in the house or motion sensors that can trigger actions that take place if someone is moving around the home in the dark.

    Contact Central Alarm Inc. today to find out how we can help you make smart decisions using technology that can potentially make a huge impact to your overall safety with sometimes very little effort or that can be added to your existing security solution.

  9. Are DYI Security Systems REALLY Safe?

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    There are hundreds of thousands of home security solutions in place that are based on DIY solutions like SimpliSafe. While these solutions can make sense from an economic standpoint, how safe are you really? Are you trading real security for a small amount of savings?

    System Hacks

    There have been a number of YouTube videos and articles written about how systems like SimpliSafe can be hacked relatively easy to bypass its security features. Moreover, older systems are not patchable, so even if a new system does solve this problem, many homeowners have systems that cannot overcome this defect.

    A simple Google search can yield numerous results on both YouTube and Lifehacker on how this is accomplished.

    Disrupting Signals

    Alternatively, if a thief isn’t quite as tech savvy as hacking through a system, they can choose to disrupt the signal that triggers an alarm when someone enters the home. The Verge covered an article showcasing how a simple third-party device can be used in this way here.

    While this isn’t a completely fail-proof method, it illustrates that creative criminals with just a little bit of motivation can bypass these DIY systems without too much trouble.

    The Advantage of Monitored Systems

    Central Alarm, Inc. provides real time monitoring of your system, meaning that we when we encounter problems or see behavior that isn’t consistent with your security profile, we can begin the process of alerting you and the authorities when necessary. As your local alarm professionals, we have a much higher level of attention to our local customer base. Instead of an almost fully automated platform, we can adjust checks and balances accordingly, secure equipment that is proven to have faults, and work with manufacturers to close gaps in the systems we provide local residents and businesses.

  10. Where is the Best Place to Install Cameras?

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    Residential security cameras are a fantastic addition that are becoming more and more affordable as the technology improves. One vital mistake that many people make in this area is installing just one single camera in the home or putting cameras in places where you can’t get a great vantage point should someone enter the home.

    Television has incorrectly taught us that cameras are much more advanced than they really are, where a camera can zoom and pan around indefinitely within a room and make detailed pictures even in poor lighting and angles.

    Just like window and door sensors, cameras should be installed in multiple areas of the home, in appropriate distances to entrances to be able to properly capture both attempted intrusions as well as actual breaches into the home. Consider the locations that provide the best viewing angles for that area, and because every home is different, these can vary dramatically. Also identifying high traffic areas are important because intruders will use the same pathways if possible, to make their jobs easier. Make sure that you position cameras out of reach.

    Inside the home, you want to cover stairways or hallways, and in specific areas that will be targeted such as master bedrooms and living areas.

    Outside the home, place cameras at the front, back and side doors. Additionally, you will want to place a camera in your garage and driveway.

    If a would-be burglar actually sees cameras, they may immediately choose to move on and not target your home. This is important though because even though you avoided a burglary, you now have sufficient evidence to report these individuals to help another home avoid being a target.

    These are just some of the considerations when it comes to properly protecting your home. The pros at Central Alarm Inc. can help you quickly identify the best areas, and what equipment will best suit each area. Even if you already have service with us, adding video can be a very cost-effective way to ensure the safety of your home for a small investment. Give us a call today to learn more.