You may think that it would not be possible for you to forget any of your valuables should they get stolen in a home burglary but you might be surprised to find what you would forget, especially during the emotional time after you find out your home has been burglarized. What if there were a fire and some or all of your valuable were destroyed? Even if you were to remember each and every item, the police, as well as your insurance company need to have accurate descriptions, along with model or serial numbers and value. By taking a home inventory and including pictures and receipts, you can ensure that you will be prepared should the unthinkable actually happen.
What to Include on Your Home Inventory List
Don’t just include things on your home inventory list that you think a burglar might steal. After all, most burglars aren’t going to walk off with your refrigerator. However, your major appliances could be damaged or ruined in a fire or natural disaster so it is a good idea to include these things on your home inventory list. Also, include any receipts or contracts and take pictures or video of your possessions. If you have jewelry or art that has been appraised, include the appraisals with your home inventory list as well.
Keep your Inventory List in a Safe Place
While it may be convenient to keep your home inventory list on your computer, you should also print out a copy and put it, along with any pictures or video in a safe deposit box. That way, if your home is destroyed you will still have an intact list to give to the police and/or insurance company. Update your list at least once a year; keeping the list on your computer can make this task easy, and then print out a new copy for your safety deposit box.
Are You Adequately Insured?
Another benefit of maintaining a home inventory list is that it will help you to assess the amount of insurance you need to carry. Once you’ve amassed the value of your possessions, you can better determine how much insurance coverage to have and increase your coverage if you presently aren’t carrying enough. Also, by keeping such a list, complete with purchase prices and appraisal values, your insurance claim will go much smoother and faster than if you had to come up with the entire list after the incident. In the case of fire or other disaster, you may no longer be able to locate receipts or appraisals so it pays to be proactive about this aspect of your home security so that you can be properly insured and go through the claims process without a hitch.
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Posted in Home Security, Protect Your Home
There are various ways to protect your home and family and engaging the services of a monitoring service is just one option. Be prepared, though, as this option will cost considerably more than a standalone system. Monitoring services run $30 or $40 a month for just the minimum; adding extra protection costs more. However, you can also enjoy more peace of mind when you are connected to someone who can call the authorities. While a siren attached to the outside of your home will, no doubt, alert your neighbors, you can’t be absolutely sure someone will call the authorities in a timely manner. Furthermore, if you are out of town or fall and get hurt, there is no one that will know that the authorities need to be called. That is, unless, in the case of a burglary, that the neighbors actually see someone break into your home.
Services Home Monitoring Companies Provide
Home security monitoring companies provide a variety of services and you can usually pick and choose which ones you want to include in your home security package. For example, they provide medical monitoring services, which is ideal for those who have health concerns, for the elderly, and even for those who live alone. Monitoring companies also notify the proper authorities when an emergency happens so you don’t have to worry about getting to the phone and calling for help. They can also notify relatives and other loved ones for you so that one of them can come to your aid if you don’t need the authorities.
Other services that monitoring companies provide include notifying you if there is a fire in your home. You could be asleep or away from your home and the monitoring company receives a signal when the heat in your home reaches a certain temperature, indicating fire. If you only have smoke detectors and a fire breaks out while you are away from your home, the fire department may not be notified until there is a noticeable fire, which could mean it is too late to save your home. In addition, if you are away from your home when the fire occurs, you wouldn’t know anything about it until you arrived back home.
Flood Warnings and Carbon Monoxide Dangers
Even though most people can certainly get by without a home monitoring service, there are extra protections that this type of service can provide that can save the lives of you and your family as well as offer extra protection for your home. You may not be home or be aware of pipes that could burst and cause thousands of dollars in damage but if you add this particular service to your home monitoring contract, you can be warned before the situation becomes dangerous and expensive. Faulty heating units can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and this odorless gas is deadly. By engaging the services of a monitoring company, your family will be protected in case this deadly gas ever creeps into your home.
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Posted in Home Security, Protect Your Home
Most people purchase home security systems to protect their homes and loved ones from intruders but many such systems can also protect your family from many other dangers as well. If you are in the market for a home security system, consider the other ways in which you can protect your family.
Some home security systems, the kind that come with monitoring services are capable of monitoring your home with heat and smoke sensors so that you and the proper authorities can be notified in the case of fire. Before you discount that option, think about what could happen if a fire broke out while you were asleep. Would you hear the smoke alarm or would you prefer that firefighters be notified and on the way to save you and your home? What if you were out of town when fire broke out in your home? Sure, the neighbors would call the fire department once they noticed the fire but by then your priceless items could be ruined. While insurance may help you to rebuild or get a new home, there is no insurance available to replace priceless mementos and memories.
Carbon Monoxide Monitoring
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that approximately 200 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning from home fuel burning heating equipment. While you can purchase a carbon monoxide detector for less than $100, if you already have or are considering purchasing a home security system with monitoring services, consider adding carbon monoxide monitoring to your services. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas and has been responsible for killing entire families without warning so do consider some type of protection against this silent killer.
Now before you shake your head and skip over this section because you don’t live in a flood zone, consider the types of flooding that no one can escape. What happens if a pipe bursts or your water heater dumps gallons and gallons of water in your home while you are away? You may come home to a mess that could end up costing you thousands of dollars in ruined carpet, furniture, and even mold. No one is immune from this type of flooding so consider including flood monitoring when you engage a home security monitoring service.
Companion Service Monitoring
You’ve most likely seen the commercials about this type of monitoring. In the commercials, there is usually an elderly person who has fallen and can’t get up. He or she then presses a button which is hanging from a pendant or a wrist strap and the voice at the monitoring station assures them that help is on the way. This is an invaluable service as it utilizes a two way voice system and can serve you in time of need whether or not there is a medical emergency. This system would come in handy if you were gardening or even in your home at times when your alarm isn’t set and someone threatens you or suddenly bursts into your home.
Look carefully at the services your monitoring company offers to see which ones can help protect your family the best.
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Posted in Home Security, Protect Your Home
If you were wondering how a spy detector, surveillance equipment, and other spy and surveillance products have helped law enforcement officials, take a look at this recent story out of the “Old Dominion” state. A small GPS tracking device was able to catch a burglar in James City County, VA, that had been stealing things from local neighborhoods since last June.
37-year-old Michael Joseph Morris was charged with burglary, grand larceny, and misdemeanor property destruction on January 18th. Police believe that at approximately 9pm on January 17th Morris kicked in a door to a time share unit that was located on Indian Fields Way in Williamsburg Plantation. Morris proceeded to steal a 40-inch flat screen television and fled the scene.
If local law enforcement officials hadn’t thought to use a tiny tracking device for an investigation on local robberies, they may not have been able to catch Morris. Since June various units in the Williamsburg Plantation complex had been robbed, so the James City County Police decided to install a small GPS tracking device in an expensive TV set. On the night of the break in Morris stole the television set that police had installed the device in, and thanks to its accuracy police were able to track Morris to his residence in the 100 block of Raleigh Street. When law enforcement officials had arrived Morris was leaving his home to go out to his vehicle. When Morris saw the officers he ran back into his house and fled out the backdoor, but after a short chase he was taken into custody.
When investigators searched the inside of Morris’ residence they not only found the stolen television with the GPS device, but also other television sets and property they believe that Morris stole. Police recovered property that was stolen in a previous burglary that had occurred at the Williamsburg Plantation in December, and property that was stolen from two vehicles in two different neighborhoods in June 2012.
Posted in GPS Tracker, Home Security
You may find it more convenient to shop online for a home security system because you have all the information you need at your fingertips and you can easily compare prices and services from each company. In addition, if you’re planning to install a do-it-yourself home alarm system you can shop online for the various components or purchase a complete package online as well.
Easily Research Home Security Online
Whether or not you actually purchase a home security system online, you can certainly do all of your research online. Just go to your favorite search engine and type in the words “home security” and you’ll be presented with a wealth of information that you can read at your leisure. You may even discover that certain companies offer discounts for purchases made online.
Understand How Home Security Systems Work
Most home security systems are comprised of a series of sensors that are placed on windows and doors. These sensors are magnetic and when the window is raised or the door is open, an alarm sounds. Some systems only have an alarm on the inside or outside of the house and other home security systems are tied into home security monitoring companies who then notify the proper authorities when a security breach has occurred. Along with the sensors, some units also have motion detectors, which are often comprised of technology that casts an invisible beam and when motion or heat is detected, the beam is broken and an alarm sounds.
Most home security systems have a keypad, which is the main part of the unit. You type in a code, usually 4 digits, to arm or disarm the system and depending upon the system, the keypad may have various capabilities. In addition, many of the modern keypads have the capability that allows you to pass a small tag in front of the sensor on the keypad instead of keying in a code. This is a great alternative for those who may have trouble reading the display or even for children who may find it difficult to memorize a code or who may not be able to key in the code fast enough.
Choose Your Level of Security
By spending a little time online looking at home security systems, you can quickly see that you can choose your own level of protection, which of course, means that you can budget accordingly. Also, keep in mind that with most home security systems you can add components at a later time if you wish. In addition, many companies will offer discounts to their current customers when they want to upgrade their systems so you may be able to get a deal when you are ready to upgrade.
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Posted in Home Security, Protect Your Home, Surveillance
There are various components that make up home security systems, from all in one units to complex units comprising multiple components. The good news is that you can basically design your own system by specifying which components you would like to have installed. Whether or not you contract with a company to provide your home security service, you can decide exactly which components you would like to have make up your home security system.
Keypads belong to simple as well as elaborate home security systems. Not all keypads are created equally , though, so you’ll want to understand exactly what yours is capable of. In fact, it would be better if you could understand what functions the various keypads are capable of before you purchase your system so you will get the one that best meets your need and at the same time not spend money for a keypad that you don’t need. For example, basic home security systems keypads will allow the user to punch in a code to arm and disarm the system. Some systems also allow the user to wave a tag in front of the keypad instead of keying in numbers. In addition, some keypads are so sophisticated, that when working in conjunction with a monitoring service, the user is able to disarm the system with an alternate code that means the user has become a hostage. This could be the case if the user was accosted as he or she was coming into the home and instead of keying in the regular code to disarm the system, the user would key in a preprogrammed alternate code. This code, while disarming the system, and making the intruder think the system was no longer a threat to him or her, would then send a silent alarm to the monitoring service and the representatives would contact the authorities and report that a hostage situation was taking place.
Extra Security Measures
Many home security companies also offer the option to provide fire, flood, and carbon monoxide monitoring. You will want to consider your own needs as well as your budget to determine which of the services you will want to pay for but all of these services could be life-saving. While most people believe they would awake if a fire broke out in the middle of the night, if your home security service was providing fire protection, you would be notified at the first sign of temperature change, long before the smoke or fire became deadly. In addition to fire protection, many home security services provide flood protection. This kind of protection isn’t necessarily for those who may live in flood zones, but in the case of pipes bursting or a water heater bursting and flooding your home. Imagine you are away on vacation and come home to ruined carpets and moldy furniture because you had no idea your house flooded while you were away. With this type of monitoring service, you would be reached at once and be able to take care of your home much sooner.
In addition to the above services, many home security systems companies also provide carbon monoxide monitoring. This deadly and odorless gas has killed entire families who had no idea they were being poisoned by carbon monoxide. With this type of service, you would have the peace of mind of knowing your home and family were protected against a variety of dangers.
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Posted in Home Security, Protect Your Home