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Top Security Tips for Homeowners on The-Go

It is unusual to be home 24 hours a day to watch over your house. Here are some ways to secure what belongs to you while you’re away:

  1. Friendly Neighbor: A simple way to have an extra set of eyes on your home, is to be a friendly neighbor. Getting to know and trust the people around you could help later down the road. If you trust them to get your mail and clean up the yard, it will look like you’re still home. It helps to know who lives where, and that they know who lives in your house. This can come in handy when you or your neighbors see strangers lurking around.
  2. Changes: When you first move in, change all the locks because you do not know who has the keys to your home. This includes garage codes and keeping the automated garage opener out of sight.
  3. Entertainment: Leave a radio or TV on before you go to give the appearance someone is still there. It can also sound like people talking inside, deterring a burglar from approaching your home.
  4. Imagination: Put yourself in a burglar’s shoes and see all the possible entry points, to learn the best way of securing them.
  5. Extra Keys: Keep them in a safe place but never outside because that is the first-place burglars will search.
  6. Doors: Locking doors sounds easy but not all burglaries are from forced entry. Thieves often pick up sliding glass doors off their tracks. Using metal or wood, jimmy plates to fill in the gap at the top of sliding glass doors.
  7. Windows: All windows should also have locks, including the ones above the first floor. Clear glass windowpanes look nice on a front door and help you see who is there. It isn’t safe that other people can see directly into your house. Instead of going through the hassle and replacing them, you can buy window film. There are many inexpensive decorative options that you can place on the inside of windows so they can’t be easily peeled off.
  8. Tools: Lock up any ladders or tools that can help a burglar gain access inside.
  9. Lights: Having timers on lamps or connecting your lights to your mobile device can mimic at home behavior. If lights are turning on and off at common times, it would appear someone is home even if there’s no car parked outside. Installing motion censored lights around the outside of your home, can deter people away when they are suddenly turned on.
  10. Alarm Systems: The easiest way to keep your property secure, is to let someone else do all the work. With the current technology available, you can secure your home from anywhere. If you install cameras, you can check the live footage on your mobile device and receive notifications when there’s activity. Along with your alarm system you can put up yard signs and window stickers from the alarm company to scare off thieves.

 

If you have any questions or are interested in a home security system, please give CEI Alarm a call at 775.673.9500.

Converting your home into a smart one can seem intimidating but the right security provider will install peace of mind. Home automation can be a brilliant addition to any household with the ease of controlling functions from a smart device. Household features that can be controlled remotely include your door locks, garage door, thermostat, control, lighting, home entertainment system, video surveillance and alarm system. If that sounds too excessive for you, here’s a breakdown of 10 basic wireless alarm system necessities instead:

  1. Professionals: First step is the installation process. You don’t need to be tech savvy to hire professionals to do all the work! They have the knowledge and tools to make sure it is done correctly. The experts will be able to convert your needs into actual services and features.
  2. Control Panel: This is the most important component because it is the central station, the main hub. It connects all the pieces of your home security puzzle and keeps them linked together.
  3. Keypad: To arm and disarm your system, you use the keypad and enter your code. Besides a physical keypad, you can access your security system from anywhere on your mobile device. If you forgot to arm it before you leave, you can do it on the app. With this virtual keypad you can also watch live footage from your cameras. The app is easy to use and will send you push notifications.
  4. Motion Sensor: This will tell you when there is movement outside your home. Whether it is a friend coming over, the mailman or a stranger, you will receive a notification to help you quickly decide what to do next.
  5. Camera: When the motion detector is set off, it would be nice to see why. Is your family arriving home? Are you receiving a package? Is it a wild animal in search of food? It’s as easy as opening an app on your phone to check the live footage. If you see someone breaking in, you can act instantly to alert the police.
  6. Siren: When the alarm is set off, a siren will make a blaring noise to wake up even the heaviest sleeper. The ringing will scare off burglars and warn your neighbors.
  7. Detectors: Your home likely has fire detectors, but these are crucial for your safety. If they are not the combo detectors that also identify carbon monoxide, you will need additional detectors. These can be connected to your security system, but it is not a necessity.
  8. Signs: The alarm system you purchase will come with window decals and a yard sign. The window decals are great for when someone is trying to look inside your home, they will see the security logo. That is if they miss your new yard sign saying what company installed your system!
  9. Door Contacts: These tell your security system if a door is open or not. While your system is armed, and the door is opened, you will receive a notification. This can trigger the siren, rushing the burglar out. These contacts can also be used on windows.
  10. Power Transformer: As the primary power source for an alarm system, power transformers are vital to their function. It simply plugs into a wall outlet and if the electricity goes out the backup battery will take over.

We understand the transitioning to a smart home can seem like a daunting task, but we are here to help! Please give CEI Alarm a call at 775.673.9500.

If you are one of the record number of Americans that will be traveling during the holiday season (roughly 107.3 million in 2017) that are certain precautions you should take prior to traveling, especially when it comes to securing your home.

Some quick facts about burglaries:

Now, we don’t want to frighten you, but we want to make sure your family, belongings and home are safe this holiday season. There are a range of precautions you can take to secure your home including:

If you would like to take more safety precautions for your home consider installing additional security features or systems like security monitoring, home automation, fire protection and even video surveillance.

If you do have an existing security system, think about notifying your security company that you will be traveling. Also, remember to update or check that your security company has the correct contact information in the event of an alarm notification. Did you know that about 60% of convicted burglars stated the presence of a security system influenced their decision to target another home? Make sure yard signs and window stickers are visible from every approach to your home (not just the front entrance!)

The holidays should be filled with joy and cheer, not missing items, insurance companies and the police. If you are planning on traveling this holiday season and want to make sure your home is safe, think about putting a checklist of the security measures you’d like to take prior to leaving. These measures can include purchasing a security system, updating your current system, a list of items like windows and doors to check prior to leaving and even a contact list.

If you are interested in a security system or just have a question about how to better protect your home, give us a call at 775.673.9500.

Summertime is here! The kids will be out of school and your vacation to that beach destination will be here before you know it. Vacations are a time to get away from the stresses of everyday life. While you are packing the suitcases, getting the bathing suits ready, and securing time off from work, don’t forget about the most important part; keeping your home and yourself safe while on vacation.

Before You Leave

Travel safety begins before you even leave the house. You want to make sure your home looks lived in, even while you are away, to deter potential burglars. Did you know that crime rates rise by about 10 percent in June, July, and August? These months also happen to be the peak summer vacation months and thieves know this. It’s vital you take steps to help protect your home while you are away.

Before you leave on vacation:

At the Airport

Once you arrive at the airport, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind. Airports are full of people; all rushing to catch a plane or make a connection. It’s important to keep a close eye on your luggage at all times, even once you board the plane.

While on Vacation

You’ve successfully navigated the airport and now you’ve landed safely at your destination. Don’t relax on safety just yet. Whether at a theme park or at a fancy resort, there are a few safety precautions you can take to make sure you are as safe as possible.

You can never be too careful, especially when it comes to traveling. Make sure things are safe at home and while you are traveling by taking the necessary precautions.

We hope you enjoy your summer, whether you are traveling or staying home, being aware of your surrounding is always important.

We are pleased to welcome a new Digital Monitoring Products (DMP) product into our line of security systems. The Video Doorbell allows users to see, hear, and speak to anyone at their door, anytime.

This Video Doorbell offers peace of mind to all users by delivering video and voice capabilities from your front door to your smart phone. Any time motion is detected, or the doorbell is pressed, you’ll receive a notification and be able to monitor who is approaching with precise clarity, 180-degree field of view and Pinch-to-Zoom technology. Also be able to talk with visitors using two-way voice communication feature. The Video Doorbell lets you protect yourself and your family while also keeping an eye on delivered packages and other belongings at your front steps while you’re away.

The Video Doorbell also uses Virtual Keypad, an application that gives users control over your security system from their smart device. The app allows users to connect to their home or business system to arm or disarm, control lights, locks, thermostats and more. It can even view and record video from their security cameras.

Video Doorbell features include:

One feature we enjoy is the automatic recording. If motion is detected, the Video Doorbell can be programmed to automatically begin recording. In fact, the doorbell is pre-installed with 16GB of space, which means it can store more than 2,000 video clips. These clips are also available anytime and anywhere with the Virtual Keypad app. Even if your home’s Wi-Fi connection fails, the Video Doorbell will continue to record any time motion is detected or the doorbell is pressed, and the recorded clips are available once the Wi-Fi connection is restored.

The Video Doorbell also comes with four interchangeable faceplate options that are easy to install. Color options include black, charcoal, silver, and pearl. Additionally, the product comes with adjustable camera angles. Depending on your entrance layout, the optional Wedge accessories let you adjust the camera angle and customize the exact areas you’d want to be triggered any time motion is detected or the doorbell is pressed. This product is also designed to withstand harsh environments, so even with the tough northern Nevada winters and summers, the Video Doorbell will deliver reliable performance.

For more information, please check out this video:

If you are interested in the Video Doorbell for your home or commercial property, please call CEI Alarm at 775-673-9500 or visit our website for more information: www.ceialarm.com

We have seen it before, an undetected leak in your home, garage or basement that causes massive amounts of damage and comes with an expensive repair. Damages can include moldy walls, warped floorboards and overall structural damage. Most homeowner’s greatest fear is a fire breaking out in their home, however it’s important to know that water is a more common cause of property damage. Whether it’s a failing water heater, a burst pipe, a broken supply line under your sink, a clogged toilet, or even a split hose connected to your washing machine, water damage is costly.

There is a simple solution to preventing this severe damage; a water sensor. These sensors can detect the presence of water, often by measuring the electrical conductivity of the water present and completing a circuit to send a signal. Gone are the days of checking the water meter and then calling the billing department or checking every square inch of your home to determine if and where the leak is. The smart technology in water sensor systems can help quickly alert homeowners of potential leaks and prevent the need for costly and time-consuming repairs. All homes and living spaces come with a smoke detector so why wouldn’t you also have water sensors?

These sensors are easy to install and even easier to control. In the past few years, the technology on the sensors has greatly improved. Originally, the more traditional water sensors would simply trigger a piercing alarm when water was detected, but you would obviously need to be home and within earshot to hear it. Nowadays, most water sensors have the ability to be remotely controlled from a smartphone application that will send out notifications to the users if there is a possible leak in your home, making it an ideal solution for vacation rentals and second homes as well. Some water sensor systems can be programmed to shut off the water to the house to prevent a small leak from becoming a large one. Additionally, some sensors even offer the capability of adding other users like family members, friends or neighbors that will receive notifications of a leak, so they can quickly prevent further damage if you are out of town. If you are a homeowner, landlord or renter, installing water sensors around your property is something to consider.

When deciding where these sensors should be placed, think about the areas that often have water damage including:

Think about it, smoke detectors are usually located in bedrooms and common areas of the home. Placing water sensors where water damage has the possibility of starting is practical.

If your home appliances malfunction, they can cause extensive water damage inside the home often without advanced warning. Performing regular maintenance and checking for rusty or damaged supply lines is the best ways to help prevent future water damage.

Prevention is the best time and money saver. Installing water sensors in your home can help you avoid costly and irreplaceable damage.

A couple of weeks ago, we shared the dangers of Christmas Tree Fires and what precautions to take to keep you safe. This week, we wanted to discuss a similar topic, general holiday fire safety.

During the holidays, it seems like there are more fire risks with candles, fireplaces and holiday cooking. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that open-flame fires nearly double on Christmas Day than on an average day during the year.

We wanted to share a few safety tips that can keep your family and home safe during the holiday season.   

Christmas Tree Fires

As stated in our previous post, Christmas tree fires alone result in 13 million dollars, annually, in property damage. Additionally, between 2012-2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 170 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year.

Christmas trees are highly flammable if they are not cared for properly. Pick a fresh tree, water daily and keep the tree away from heat sources like fire places, radiators and candles.

For more information on Christmas Tree Fires, read our tips on Christmas Tree Fire Safety.

Candles

Candles can be the perfect addition to a holiday dinner table or a decorated mantel. However, they can also lead to total destruction of your home. Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve are four of the five most popular days of the year that residential candle fires occur.

To decrease this danger, there are a couple of precautions you can take:

If you want to enjoy the holiday season without worry, you can consider flameless LED candles. These candles have the same effect of an actual candle without the dangerous aspect of fire. They have the ability to flicker and can be controlled by an ON/OFF switch or even a remote control.

 Fireplaces

A cozy addition to your holiday season is a wood burning fireplace. Imagine, as the wood fire burns, your family room is filled with a warm smoky scent and everyone is gathered around enjoying the warm fire during a cold winter night.

Fireplace fires are beautiful but also require great attention and care. Before fireplace season starts, have your chimney inspected. Soot can harden on chimney walls and can turn into flammable creosote. If creosote is found, it’s time for your chimney to be cleaned.

During fireplace season, make sure to keep a screen on the fireplace to prevent the embers from popping out onto the floor or carpet. Remember to only burn seasoned wood and never use flammable liquids to start a fire. Always be ready to put out the fire in case of an emergency. Lastly, when cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal.

Cooking  

Did you know that cooking is the top cause of holiday fires? With the most common culprit being food that is left unattended? Whether you set a timer on your phone or even take a pot holder with you as a small reminder, remember that part of your attention needs to be on the food that is cooking.

In case of an emergency in the kitchen, aways have a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible.

It’s important to note that all fire extinguishers are not the same and some are not safe for typical kitchen fires. Ensure that your extinguisher is rated for all types of fires nearby. All household extinguishers are classified A, B, or C (or a combination of these) on the label to indicate which types of fires — ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids, or electrical—you can use them on. Many of the ones sold at home stores are classified A, B, C and fight all three types of fires.

We want to wish everyone a safe holiday season and a Merry Christmas!

We are pleased to introduce a new product to our line, the 738T Wireless Translator from Digital Monitoring Products (DMP). It translates low-frequency wireless transmitters and allows technicians to convert non-DMP systems with up to 16 existing, one-way, low frequency, wireless transmitters to communicate with DMP burglary, fire, door access panels.

This wireless translator also allows for changeover between non-CEI Alarm systems to CEI Alarm monitoring systems with no added fees. We are the only authorized dealer of Digital Monitoring Products in northern Nevada and DMP maintains strict guidelines to become an authorized dealer.

For more information on the 738T Wireless Translator or if you would like to receive a free quote, please call us at 775-673-9500.

In our last post, we shared our favorite tips for keeping your home safe while you are away on vacation. Today, we wanted to share the best security tips for securing your home every day.

Check the doors and windows

Did you know that roughly 33% of burglars enter through the front door? Perform an inspection on all the doors around your home. Ensure that the door hinges are strong and that the wood surrounding the door isn’t hollow. For further security, think about installing a deadbolt or adding a peephole.

Don’t forget the windows

As many as 23% of home burglaries occur through first-story windows. Along with inspecting your doors, it is crucial that you check all the windows around your home. Make sure all windows are lockable. To add additional protection, key-operated levers are a great way to ensure that windows lock properly.

Light it Up

Invest in lighting for in and around your home. Additional lighting features, like motion sensor lights on the exterior, are a great way to reduce the darkness without constantly having the lights on. When installing these lights, make sure that these lights are mounted out of reach.

Install a security system

Home security systems are an easy and efficient way to protect your home and family. Some basic functions to consider while choosing alarm systems are motion sensors for doors and windows, fire alarm systems and lastly, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Basic security systems generally include a keypad, siren, backup battery, two-door contact, one motion protector, window decals and yard signs.

Cameras are rolling

An added security feature to consider is video surveillance. Increase your peace of mind by installing cameras that cover key points of entry and that are mounted out of reach. Video surveillance systems provide a level of proof and protection that cannot be matched.

 

In addition to these security tips, establishing a security routine is important. Have plans in place for daily and nightly checks, including checking that doors and windows are locked and alarm systems are on when you’re at work or out of the home.

 

Additional routines, like security checks prior to leaving for vacation, are also important. In addition to checking all doors and windows and arming the security system, ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your house.

 

For more information on basic alarm systems or to receive a free quote, please visit www.ceialarm.com or call (775) 673-9500

 

Summer is finally here and it’s time for that vacation you’ve been planning for months. The flights are booked, the hotel room is confirmed, the sunscreen is packed and you home is empty. Summer months are the peak time for burglaries, did you know that according to the FBI, crime rates increase approximately 10% in June, July and August?

Here are five tips to keep your home safe while you are enjoying that well-deserved vacation.

Install Security Features

Installing features like security monitoring, home automation, fire protection and even video surveillance can make your house safer even when you aren’t around.

Lock up

This is a no brainer but can be a forgotten step. Make sure to check that all the doors and windows are completely closed and locked.

Pull the Plug on Electronics

This not only saves money but also keeps your home safe from unexpected electrical fires. Unplugging certain items like your toaster, coffee maker, desktop computer and television can save money and also eliminate any accidents. You can also turn off your garage door, so it can’t be opened by a universal remote.

Don’t Post Your Destination

Whether it’s your blog or Facebook profile, show some caution when talking about your trip including your destination and trip dates.

Hire a watchful eye

If it’s fiscally doable think about hiring a family member, friend or neighbor to house sit or pet sit if you are leaving the furry family members at home. House sitters can collect mail, take out the trash and water the flowers. House sitters also make the house look lived in during your vacation.

Summer is the time for relaxation and peace of mind. Secure your home, be aware and enjoy your summer!

CEI Alarm has been securing northern Nevada for the last 27 years. For more information or a free quote, please call 775.673.9500 or visit www.ceialarm.com



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