Category Archive: Tips

  1. Spring Break is Nearly Here

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    Spring Break is right around the corner, and most families are getting ready to pack up and head out of town to vacation spots all around the United States. Is your home ready for your trip out of town? There are a few tips we can offer other than don’t put your travel dates on Facebook or Instagram!

    Communication

    It’s the easiest tip of all – tell your neighbors you’ll be out of town and ask if they can pick up packages and get your mail while you are gone. Not only does this make sure your items aren’t being stolen outright, but packages left on the doorstep for days are a dead giveaway that no one is home. This instantly makes your home a potential target.

    Lighting

    Lighting plays a key role in basic security. Exterior lights that can illuminate areas around the home that people can hide or navigate around is crucial to making your home less of a target. Outdoor floodlights that are on timers, or automated motion lights, are a low-cost investment to vastly increase your home security rating.

    Security Technology

    Is your security system working properly and has been tested recently? Don’t wait until the day you leave to make sure it’s functioning or worse find out that it doesn’t work properly while you are gone. Hopefully you are using a modern system, such as the systems we offer in our ongoing affordable monthly security service, that provides you with remote access and mobile tools.

    Using a security system that is advanced enough to allow you to monitor your home via a smart phone, tablet or desktop is an incredibly good tool to ensure you know your home is safe.

    Monitoring

    Does your security system have 24/7 professional monitoring in the event of a fire or break-in? If it doesn’t, we want to hear from you because we feel like any security system that can help you protect your home should include this feature. Call us today and we’d love to show you how affordable it can be!

  2. Going Out of Town?

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    As people in Tucson can attest, our unique holiday for Rodeo is a pretty popular time to get out of town! So here are just some quick tips to make sure your home is safe while you are away.

    • Make sure that you alert the neighbors you’ll be out of the town. Having an extra pair of eyes on the house is a great strategy to ensure your home remains safe. Having packages picked up and mail removed from the mailbox will give potential burglars the idea that you are home.
    • Do NOT share your vacation strategy with your social media network. One of the more popular ways to put your home on a target list is to broadcast you’ll be out of town for potentially thousands of people to know exactly when.
    • Make a checklist – things like setting your alarm, turning on exterior lights, turning off the heating and cooling system, etc can make sure you don’t have to fret while you are away!
    • If you are a Central Alarm customer, you can simply bask in the peace of mind that comes with affordable home security and 24/7 monitoring!

    As always, stay safe out there as you go on vacation and don’t forget to have fun! If you are not a Central Alarm customer, and you would like to use this as a great time to finally pull the trigger on your security needs, please Contact Us today and we’d love to see how we can help you right away!

  3. Vacation Safety Tips

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    With the end of the year among us, a lot of people are beginning to plan on taking time off from work and visiting family for the Holidays.  So naturally you’ll want to keep your home as safe as possible while you are away.  Nothing can spoil the Christmas season like a home burglary!  Here are some quick tips just to make sure you cover the basics:

    • Have an alarm system! As a security company, we know this looks like either obvious or a shameless plug.  And it is.  Research is very clear that an alarm system is a huge deterrent.  If you haven’t implemented even a basic DIY alarm system, please give us a call and we would love to surprise you with how affordable it can be.
    • Use light timers to turn on lights in and around the home at night to keep the appearance that someone is at home.  Nothing deters burglars like having people home that they have to work around.  This becomes a little easier during the holidays because in most cases you are setting exterior timers for your Christmas lights.
    • DO NOT announce that you are going out of town on Social Media platforms.  Research has shown that this can very easily become knowledge to those looking to break into a home who know for certain you will not be there.  While your very immediate friend group might be trustworthy enough to know you’ll be gone, by broadcasting it on Social Media, you are also broadcasting it potentially to anyone that is connected to your friends who may not be savory characters.
    • Build a relationship with a neighbor to check in and let you know if something is amiss.  Even if you don’t have a neighborhood watch, having trusted neighbors keeping an eye out is invaluable.  If you haven’t built a relationship you can trade keeping an eye on your home with a neighbor, now is the time to make some new friends!
    • Power Surges – this isn’t so much a safety concern as it’s just a good practice.  We have been known to get winter storms in Tucson in December.  If you don’t have adequate power surge protection, it’s a good idea to disconnect computers, TV’s, high end stereos and other electronics.
    • Use remote HVAC settings, or at the very least use timers, to ensure that your system is running efficiently since no one will be home.

    Make a list – and check it twice!  Putting a list together of things to handle, such as locking the back door, closing and locking the windows, setting the alarm, turning on the light timers, closing the garage door, etc can go a long way to making sure you handle all the small details in the hussle of leaving town.

    Our customers that subscribe to Home Complete are able to control their HVAC systems right from the app.  So if this a feature you would like to subscribe to or upgrade to, please contact us today.

    With that, have a safe and healthy trip!

  4. Tips for Hiring Guard Services

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    At Central Alarm, we provide our customers with every available option to secure their home or business. Whether that means 24/7 video monitoring and Qolsys IQ Panels or boots on the ground, twenty- four hours a day, seven days a week patrol and guard services! That last one is what we are here to talk about today on the blog, specifically, what to look for when hiring guard services.

    It might not be clear what exactly you need out of guard service, and you may be unsure how to go about it. We have a few tips that can help you make the right call:

    Evaluate Your Needs

    Before you begin your search, take a look at your property, home, or business. What are your specific security concerns? Create a list of your concerns and needs to take to any security business like Central Alarm. With that in hand the professionals can match you not only with possible guard services, but any other security or surveillance tech you might require. Once you have this in hand you can start vetting guard services.

    Guard Experience

    Does the company you are looking to work with have similar experience? Do they have a proven track record in your kind of environment? Not every business hires the same guards, and not every guard has the same skillset or life experience that make them valuable and suited to particular jobs. When looking for a company to do business with, get some references, see who else they have helped. If they have a proven track record in monitoring, deterring, and stopping criminal activity for shopping centers and your business is located in one, well you just might have a match!

    Cost Breakdown

    Take a good look at the financials, after all, not everyone lays it out as clear as us here at Central Alarm. Some guard services might offer an attractively low rate, but you have to ask yourself, ‘Why am I paying bottom dollar for security?’ There are a few reasons a company might offer such ‘cheap’ service, and none of them are particularly good for you.

    The truth could be that the rate is low but the total cost is not. Extra costs have a way of creeping into an otherwise low rate and soon you’re paying for extra hours, per man costs, or even incident fees should something actually occur.

    Low rates can also mean lower paid guards. Guards making less and/or receiving fewer benefits make for unhappy guards. Unhappy guards aren’t typically going to be the best at their jobs. They might not feel any particular loyalty or duty to their company and by extension to you. While we would all certainly like to believe that a guard will still do their best regardless of pay, that goodwill or loyalty (or lack thereof) might mean the difference between constant patrolling or once every fifteen-minute sweeps.

    The low rate might also just plain mean the company doesn’t need as much money for overhead. Things like proper equipment, skilled guards, the necessary infrastructure to handle around the clock support cost money. If a company is giving you a ridiculously cutthroat rate, they might not be spending their budget where they need to. Of course, money isn’t everything, but it does tend to give a good indication of the quality of service you will be receiving.

    We will pause right there for now. There is a lot more that can go into selecting and hiring the best guard services, and protecting your business is nothing you want to breeze past. If you’re looking to hire now, give us a call and we can give you the best guard services available in Tucson as well as a whole suite of security technology and the experts to install and utilize them on your behalf. Together we can protect your business, guard your home, and secure your life.

  5. Security Tips for Closing Time

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    Poor habits that become routine operations can be a huge mistake for small businesses. As a small business, you can’t afford to halt operations to deal with equipment theft or property damage. There are many ways to maintain good business security habits and one of them is to ensure that you have a solid closing practice in place.

    Turn on Storefront Overnight and Exterior Lights

    Visibility is the primary deterrent to most potential theft. This includes large signage or posters that can be taken down off large windows as you work through the closeout process. Being seen by multiple angles from the street with high visibility will make an impact in a criminals decision to target your business.

    This also includes exterior lighting. Ensure you have lighting that covers the entire property, both front and back entrances specifically. As you lock up each evening, ensure that you don’t have burnt out bulbs as well. Keep a stock of spare bulbs near areas that require them so that lighting that isn’t functional can be quickly replaced without a hassle. That will ensure employees can easily solve that problem if they are closing.

    Make Sure Everyone Has Left

    Do a sweep of all side rooms, stock rooms, changing rooms, storage areas and places that someone could hide while you lock up. Having someone inside the business when you have left negates many precautions you take to ensure the business is secure. They can turn off lights and unlock doors instantly and be away with valuables in minutes, or in a worst case scenario steal a large amount in a coordinated effort.

    Turn Off Equipment

    Security also means safety. Checking employee areas for items like space heaters, decorative lights, cooking appliances like coffee makers and any other electrical equipment than can cause a fire can save your small business in the event of a malfunction that leads to a devastating fire.

    It is probably a good idea also to property store flammables or combustibles away securely.

    Lock Away Cash & Valuables

    It should go without saying that you should have a safe to store valuables and cash register overnight or throughout the weekend, but there are continually instances where a burglar is able to get quick access to a cash register and get away within seconds with a large amount of cash. Don’t let this very simple fix cause your business thousands.

    Ensure You Have a Good Security System

    The right security solution is a lot like the right kind of insurance. Take the time to properly set up a system that works for your business needs at the start so that you know you are protected. This includes the right access security, ability to monitor your business, the correct monitoring services and even making sure you have additions like fire protection. The cost of these systems can be surprisingly affordable and are far less expensive than an incident that occurs because they were not in place.

  6. The Benefits of Adding Video to Your Security

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    Today we’re not just seeing varying levels of crime escalation, but we’re also seeing criminal behavior vastly shift. For example, 10 years ago the idea of delivery package theft was non-existent. Today it’s a growing trend for criminals because of easy access and low risk. These are some of the practical reasons that adding video surveillance to your security system is just good common sense.

    Residential Applications

    The most common modern application is the addition of a simple doorbell camera. This useful technological advancement offers both safety and security keeps an eye on your front door that can include voice integration. Criminals think twice about stealing packages from your front door knowing they are being recorded. While it can’t stop all theft, it is a low investment solution to deter a large margin of possible burglary.

    Adding visible cameras around your property also provide a very effective deterrent for criminals that immediately understand they are visible as they move around the home. Thieves are almost always going to be looking for easy opportunities, and having no idea if the property owner can literally see them moving around the home and could be calling the police is a high motivator in moving on to another target.

    In most cases newer more modern video additions can be added with very little wiring. These advanced tools can also be accessed through smartphone apps for access from work or vacation.

    Storefronts to Professional Offices

    As a business owner, no one cares about your company more than you. As much as you may want to trust our employees and customers, it’s also prudent to protect your assets by maintaining a vigilant watchful eye on those that frequent your business. This isn’t only for practical considerations to avoid theft. It’s also important to maintain a record of who has come and gone from your property in case a crime is committed now or in the not-so-distant future. In the case of an actual crime, these can be very helpful for law enforcement during an investigation.

    As a business owner, just like you need insurance, we highly recommend taking the steps to secure your business with some kind of

    How to Get Started

    There are still many options for CCTV (closed circuit television systems) for both businesses and residential applications. Technology however has really advanced to the point where in many cases you add wifi capable camera systems to an existing system or a completely stand alone system. Our experts can help you navigate the pros, cons, costs and installation requirements of the different available systems.

    Contact Central Alarm Today and we can provide you with some valuable information on how to get started today for both homes and businesses!.

  7. Meet Your Neighbors

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    If you haven’t had a chance to meet your neighbors, it’s never too late to open the lines of communication. Even if you’re not great personal friends, neighbors typically will be grateful for mutually beneficial partnerships to keep an eye on each other’s homes. As burglars are always looking for the best opportunities which include homes that are empty and not watched, then having an extra pair of eyes looking out are one more deterrent.

    This becomes much more valuable as you and your neighbors go on vacation. Criminals are always looking for signs that someone will not be home, such as mail building up, walkways not swept or packages by the front door. Having someone help you with taking care of these items while you’re gone can be a huge deterrent and keep your home much safer while you’re away. And your neighbors will appreciate it as they leave town as well. As a neighborhood that maintains a high level of awareness, everyone benefits.

    Also, if you’re neighborhood does not already have a Neighborhood Watch or roving security, then having a good rapport between your neighbors is a good place to begin talking about setting up a watch locally. Setting up a committee would provide a way to discuss the goings-on of the area as well as creating crime awareness and discussing any suspicious activity. Consider joining online forums or social media groups dedicated to your neighborhood.

    At Central Alarm, we take security seriously. Not just slapping a new security system in place and be on our way – we’re here to help facilitate a great security footprint that includes common-sense solutions in addition to great technology advancement to keep you and your loved ones safe. If you want to know more about how we can help you, give us a call today!.

  8. Tips to Keep Burglars Confused to Reduce Break-ins

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    One of the most cost-effective methods to reduce break-ins for homes is to keep burglars confused or guessing. We’ve covered numerous times before that most break-ins or burglaries are crimes of opportunity and timing. When thieves are uncertain about what they typically target for home theft, that is a major deterrent.

    Statistically, most home burglaries occur when you when people are at work during the day. The strategy is to purposely create this sense of uncertainty to would-be thieves that might ordinarily target your home. Using some of these technologies include creating automated lighting systems both on the exterior and the interior of the home that are based on motion.

    Doorbell cameras and motion sensing cameras as also a very effective option because it gives you on-demand visibility of your home along with audio capabilities to deter individuals that might be casing your home for theft.

    Central Alarm Inc. has a wide variety of home automation techniques and technology in order to build this very thing for your home.

    Simple steps such as adding more locking mechanisms that need to be bypassed to gain entry into the home is another effective tool to keep burglars out. Adding locks on exterior gates and fences, or adding security screen doors to back and front entrances are another effective option. Window bars can also be an effective tool, however most home owners don’t like the look. Alternatively, drawing curtains or shades to reduce visibility into the home can block access to immediately viewing valuables. You can also post alarm verification stickers, such as those we at Central Alarm provide, to each window in the back of your home.

    These are just some of the types of deterrents that can keep your home safer. Talk to one of our home security experts to learn how surprisingly affordable security can be.