How to Give Kids Access to the Alarm System

The debate of how old kids should be before they get a smartphone is as old as smartphones themselves and isn’t going away any time soon. Perhaps you’ve decided the best decision for your family is to wait until the kids are older before getting them smartphones. If you have a security system with an app, you’ll need to ensure your kids have the access they need without a smartphone. There are several ways to give kids access to the alarm system that don’t involve the app.

1. Control Panels

In many cases, the easiest solution to give kids access to the alarm system may be to have the kids use the main control panel for arming and disarming the security system. You can simply move the control panel to the door they use most. What if you prefer to use the main control panel over the app? It’s more readily accessible than the extra steps of pulling out your phone and navigating to an app. If that is the case and depending on the setup of your home, having the kids use the main control panel may not be the ideal option.

Chances are, you have the control panel by the garage since you primarily go out this way, and the kids use the front door the most since they walk home from school and friends’ houses. Whenever they get home, they would need to hurry across the house to where the control panel is and disarm the alarm before it goes off. As a simpler alternative, you could keep the main control panel where you want it for you and add a secondary control panel somewhere more accessible for the kids.

2. Wireless Keypad

A wireless keypad is a simpler version of a secondary control panel. It doesn’t have as many controls as the main and secondary control panels. However, if you only need to give your kids easy access to basic arming and disarming of the alarm system, this could be a good option for you.

3. Wireless Key Fob

This option is like your car’s key remote. Four simple buttons on the wireless key fob give the user access to the alarm system’s key features—arm system in away mode, arm system in stay mode, disarm, and a siren. For some, this would be the ideal level of convenience. There’s no need to position additional panels in easy-to-access locations or punch in codes when your kids can do it at the press of a button. Of course, you’ll need to determine if this is a good option for your family. If you have a kid who constantly loses things, getting them another small thing to misplace might not be the best route.

Perhaps you could say designing the perfect home security system is almost as subjective as the decision of when to get cell phones for your kids. That’s why WISE Home Solutions offers customizable plans, making it possible to get everything you want and nothing you don’t need. If you would like additional information on how we can help you design the perfect home security system for you and your family, contact us at 844-904-9473 or request info online.

Make Your Sliding Glass Door Safer

People tend to put great effort into making sure their front door is secure. Most have a keyed entry doorknob and dead a bolt. Then, some upgrade to smart locks and install a video doorbell for extra safety. Others may add burglar bars. Yet, with all this attention to front door security, many overlook the vulnerability of the glass sliding door in the back. Most glass is simple to break, the basic latch locks are easy to finagle, and they can be pulled off the track from outside. So what can you do to make your sliding glass door safer and less of a target? Here are five ideas.

1. Blocking Bar

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but people still use it as a way of making a sliding glass door safer because it’s still effective. Get a stick that is half an inch shorter than the distance between the door and the door jamb and place it in the track. This will prevent anyone from sliding the door open, even if they managed to disable the lock. You can make one as simple as getting a cheap broom, cutting off the handle, and making the right size. If you would prefer a more aesthetic option, you can find decorative blocking bars online.

The main downside to blocking bars is that it can be annoying or difficult for some people to bend down and remove the bar whenever they want to go out the door, especially if you use the door frequently. (Looking at you, cat. Do you want to be in or out? Make up your mind already). If you want a solution that is more convenient in the long run and don’t mind a slightly more involved installation, you could install a security bar. These are higher up and swing up and down to block and unblock the door.

2. Alternative Lock System

As an alternate solution or in addition to barricading the door, you could upgrade the latch to a better lock. A double bolt lock especially will be far more secure than a basic latch and make your sliding glass door safer.

3. Get a Security System

Burglars are more likely to target homes without a security system, so getting a security system and placing the cameras and ya­rd sign in conspicuous locations automatically makes your home safer.

4. Door Sensor

As part of your home security package, install a door sensor on your sliding door. This way, you will always know when someone goes in or out while you are home, and it will trigger the alarm system if someone opens the door while you are away and have the alarm armed. Additionally, should someone try removing the door from the track to get in, they will move the sensor, and it will likewise notify you or trigger the alarm.

5. Glass Break Sensor

An easy way for a burglar to bypass a door sensor would be to simply break the glass, but if you install a glass break sensor, it will also trigger the alarm should the would-be burglar try this.

Do You Have a Ring Camera? You Need a Ring Solar Panel to Go With It

Not only do wireless exterior cameras give you protection and peace of mind, but they also come with the added convenience of easy installation wherever you need to place them. You won’t get as much simplicity or flexibility with a wired system. There’s only one downside to wireless: they’re battery-powered, and batteries need to be charged.

If you have a Ring Spotlight Cam or a 2nd on 3rd generation Ring Stickup Cam, there’s a solution. Ring offers a solar panel you can use to keep your cameras charged all the time, no extra work necessary. But is it worth the cost since Ring advertises you only need to charge your cameras once every six months to a year per camera, depending on usage? Let’s take a look at a scenario that may have familiar elements, and you can decide.

Without a Ring Solar Panel

Say you’re busy during the holiday season. You’re juggling work, parties, presents, and your kids’ schedules. One night while you’re waiting for your kid’s dance performance to start, you get the notification from your Ring camera.

Low Battery.

You still have some time to charge the battery before it will die, but if you don’t get it done soon, your camera could stop working. Looking over your schedule, you decide you should be able to fit it in Wednesday before you have to drive your other kid to hockey practice.

But when Wednesday comes, there’s a blizzard. There’s no way you’re pulling out a ladder in this weather to take out the battery and charge it, so you put it off another day. On Thursday, you forget, but on Friday, you finally haul the ladder out into the cold and take out the battery. Retreating to the warm indoors, you plug it in to charge and wait. It can take 5-10 hours for the battery to charge, hours during which the area that camera watches is vulnerable. If anything happens, you won’t have any footage from that camera to help with catching the culprit. This time, you get lucky, though.

When the time comes, you yet again pull out the ladder and trudge outside to put the battery back in. At last, it’s done and taken care of. Until the next time one of your cameras reaches low power.

The Easier Way

You purchase a Ring Solar Panel and follow the easy install instructions to set it up in a position so it will get the several hours of sunlight it needs per day. Thanks to the solar panel being compact but powerful, it doesn’t take up very much space on your roof. Now, not only will you be able to charge your cameras in a more energy-efficient way, you will never have to worry about your cameras’ batteries again. Instead, you’ll save time and effort and without needing to leave areas vulnerable during changing, you’ll know your home is always protected.

If you would like to learn more about how a Ring Solar Panel can help you, contact us at 844-904-9473 or request info online.

Taking the Humbug out of Home Security

In Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, when a ghost first confronted Scrooge, the old miser refused to believe it was real. In his mind, Marley’s ghost was more likely to be the effects of a bad potato he had eaten than an actual ghost. As the night went on and Scrooge encountered more ghosts, he continued to question, but by the end, he determined the ghosts weren’t just a bunch of humbug. In home security, some “humbug” myths have surfaced that have deterred people from installing security systems. Here are a few of the home security myths and why they may not be as true as one might think.

1. Home Security Systems Are Not Effective

Some people believe there’s no point in getting a home security system because they believe home security systems don’t work. Whether an alarm goes off or not, the burglar is going to finish the job they came to do. However, a study by UNC Charlotte indicates this is not always the case. The researchers gathered survey responses from people who had been convicted of home burglary. 83% reported they would look for signs of a home security system beforehand. Of these, the majority responded that if they had reason to believe there was a home security system, they would move on and look for an easier target. True, this does not mean installing a home security system will guarantee no one ever burglarizes your home, but it decreases the probability significantly.

2. I Don’t Need a Home Security System

Another common home security myth is that if one lives in what is considered to be a nice area, it makes it so you don’t need a home security system. Unfortunately, living in a nice area doesn’t mean it’s immune. Draper is generally perceived to be a nice area in Utah, but its crime index (ranked on a scale from 1 to 100, with 100 being the safest) is only 28, and there are approximately 906 property crimes per year. If you live in an area with an even lower crime index, that is all the more reason to get a home security system. If you are unsure of your city’s crime index, you can find information here.

Others may say they don’t need a home security system because their dog is their home security system. However, even well-trained dogs can become engrossed in a good enough distraction, and having a dog as your primary defense could be dangerous for your dog if the burglar has intentions of inflicting harm if anything gets in their way. This isn’t to say that having a guard dog is a bad idea. Home security is best when you are using multiple strategies, and a guard dog could be one of them.

3. It Costs too Much

Historically, if you wanted to get a home security system, you had to install a permanent system into the home. It was messy and expensive. Then, you had to pay the monthly fees for monitoring on top of that. This has contributed to the current belief some have that a home security system is too expensive. Though the initial installation can be pricy depending on what company you go through and what products you install, monitoring plans are becoming more affordable.

At WISE Home Solutions, we offer plans with no up-front cost for your devices and the installation. If you need to move during your contract, since modern home security systems are minimally invasive compared to those of the past, your system and monitoring agreement can move with you. If you decide it is important for you to have a home security system and would like more information on how WISE can customize a plan for you that is affordable and effective, call us at 844-904-9473 or request info online.

Expecting Holiday Packages? You Need a Video Doorbell!

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Even with the holiday rush, delivery companies have processes in place to keep packages safe from the moment the shipping label is created to when they drop the packages on a porch, but after that, things are out of their hands. If you are expecting any holiday packages, you will want to make sure the package stays safe between when the driver leaves it on your porch and when you bring it inside. Using a video doorbell is a simple but effective way of doing this. If you don’t already have a video doorbell, here are five reasons why you need to add one to your shopping cart today.

1. Porch Pirate Prevention

Package theft is on the rise. In one survey, 43 % of respondents reported a stolen package in 2020, a 7% increase from 2019. Most porch pirates look for quick, easy targets. If they see you have a video doorbell—a way of getting filmed and caught—they are more likely to walk past and look for an easier target.

If seeing that your home has a video doorbell doesn’t deter them, you can take matters into your own hands. Upon receiving a notification that your video doorbell has detected someone at the door and you see someone stealing your package, you can try scaring them with the video doorbell’s two-way audio feature like the Ring Doorbell users featured here. If that fails, having video footage will increase the chances of identifying the culprit and getting your package back.

2. Be in the Know

Better yet, a video doorbell can help you prevent porch pirates from having a chance to consider your holiday packages as targets.

Not all delivery companies require their drivers to knock or ring the doorbell. Some even discourage it based on a history of customers complaining or even yelling at drivers for disturbing dogs or waking babies. (Calm down, Karen. Yelling at the driver isn’t helping your baby get back to sleep.) Without a knock or ring, you won’t know if the package has been delivered until you check outside or refresh the tracking web page after delivery. Some delivery services offer text updates, but these sometimes come well after the delivery already happened, making them not the most reliable source. They also can’t help you if the package is a surprise gift you don’t have any tracking information for.

A video doorbell, on the other hand, doesn’t require any page refreshing, and notifications are always real-time. You’ll receive a notification to your phone when the delivery driver comes to your door, and if you have a video doorbell that can detect packages, you can specifically get a notification that a package was delivered. This enables you to bring the package inside faster. Plus, if it’s an early delivery from the North Pole, you can get it inside and tucked away without the kids finding it first on their way home from a friend’s house or school.

3. Be in the Game

If you’re not home when you receive a notification that there’s someone at the door and you find it’s the delivery driver, you won’t be able to quickly bring the package inside, but there are still things you can do to protect it. Using the two-way audio feature, you could ask the driver to hide the package behind one of your yard decorations to help keep it safe until you get back. If you have smart locks with remote locking capabilities, you could even unlock your door from your phone, ask the driver to put it directly inside your house, and lock the door again when they’re done.

4. Food Deliveries

Video doorbells aren’t just useful for package deliveries. If you use food delivery services, you can have all the same benefits as with package deliveries with the added peace of mind that no one will be able to sneak a few fries without you knowing.

5. Help Your Neighbors

If your neighbor across the street is out of town, you can watch for when their holiday packages are delivered. Their porch won’t be in range for you to get notifications, but you might be able to see packages lying on the steps with your video doorbell’s live stream. Then, if you’ve made arrangements with your neighbor, you can bring the packages into the safety of your home and give them to your neighbor upon their return.

Bonus: Make Someone’s Day

Even with the recent push for contactless delivery and the rise of drivers not knocking upon delivery, it’s not a line of work with no customer contact. Sometimes, the driver will need to wait for a signature, or they could cross paths with someone leaving home, coming home, or working in the yard. Where there is customer service, there will inevitably be rude customers, but you can use your video doorbell to give your delivery driver a good customer interaction. When they are delivering the package, you could chime in over the two-way audio and give them a simple thank you. It doesn’t seem like much, but a few kind words can go a long way, especially this holiday season when they are under more pressure than any other time of year.

Purr-fect Pet Protection

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If you have pets, you know they are far more than just animals. They are valued members of the family, and you want to make sure they are safe and loved like any other member of the family. A great way of keeping them safe is to install a home security system.

“Don’t worry. I’ll be back.”

You may find yourself saying this to your pet as you’re leaving the house, whether out of habit or because your pet always gets worked up when you leave. Maybe they’re worried they’ll never see you again or that something will happen while you’re gone. Maybe you’re worried, too, with the recent rise in pet abduction. By installing a home security system, you can ward off people who might try breaking into your home and hurting your pet if it gets in the way. When the would-be intruder sees the external cameras and the home security yard sign in your flowerbed, they may have second thoughts. If that doesn’t deter them, then the blaring alarm or the help dispatched by your home security company should.

With your indoor cameras, you can check on your pets throughout the day, whether it be to make sure your older cat is okay, to catch the culprit who keeps knocking over the plant, or to give yourself a pick-me-up during your lunch break because on a rough day, seeing your fur babies makes everything at least a little better.

“Honey, has the dog come in yet?”

It’s getting late, and you’re locking up for the night, but you want to make sure you don’t leave the dog outside. If you do, the entire neighborhood will hear when it announces it wants to come inside during the middle of the night with its cacophony of barks and scraping at the door. That grumpy neighbor of yours would inevitably call and complain in the morning, and your HOA would likely have a word or two to say as well. All-in-all, it would be an undesirable situation you’d rather avoid. Rather than searching the house for the dog or asking family members, you could install a tilt sensor on your doggy door. Whenever the sensor is tilted to 45°, you’ll receive a notification. This way, you’ll know whenever your dog goes in and out.

“Let me in, hooman!”

If your dog does accidentally get locked out and it’s not too old to learn new tricks, there’s a chance it could learn how to get your attention in a less noisy way using your Ring video doorbell like the dogs featured here. Then, when the notification wakes you up and you see your dog is at the door, you can hurry downstairs and let it in. As it bounds into the house, you apologize for leaving it outside, but dogs are regarded as forgiving animals, so it licks your face in forgiveness, any hard feelings already forgotten. Your dog follows you upstairs, its tail wagging, and you think to yourself how lucky you are to have such a loyal pet in your life.

Life Is Easier with Ring

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The earliest doorbells utilized a bell installed into the house with a string or chain attached to it. A visitor would pull this to ring the bell—rudimentary, but it served its purpose. In the two-hundred or so years since then, technology evolved to give us electric doorbells, and in recent years, we have seen the video doorbell gain popularity, with Ring as one of the leading brands.

Life is busy, yet we find ways to make it busier. A Ring video doorbell adds elements of convenience and security to make things easier. Say you’re planning a party with friends, and you find yourself at the store buying what you need for the evening the day a package your expecting should be delivered. Your ring doorbell acts as a package thief deterrent since would-be thieves generally avoid stealing if they know they’ll be videoed and therefore more easily caught. It’s not a package panacea, though, so you’ve provided delivery instructions for the mail carrier. You’ve noticed that the drivers don’t always adhere to these, though. That’s where your Ring video doorbell comes in handy.

While you’re walking down the produce aisle, you get a notification that there’s someone at your door. Going into the app, you’re able to access the camera’s live-stream to see who it is. It’s the person delivering your package, and they either didn’t read or don’t care to follow the delivery instructions, but you’re able to utilize your Ring video doorbell’s two-way audio from your phone and politely tell the mail carrier where you would like them to hide your package.

When you get home with your groceries, you take the package—safe and sound—inside before continuing your preparations for the party. Part way through, someone rings the doorbell. You’re in the middle of a step, and you don’t want to stop unless it’s important. Thanks to your Ring video doorbell, you are able to check the app and see someone who looks like a solicitor at the door. Glad you saved yourself the time of sending away the solicitor, you resume your task.

The next time your doorbell rings, it’s dark outside, but the night vision camera allows you to see that, this time, the people outside are your friends here for the party. You let them in and spend an enjoyable evening.

The above scenario doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone, but the benefits can. Video porch monitoring, real- time conversations when you’re unavailable to answer the door, and in-app notifications in addition to a regular doorbell are only a few of the benefits. If you are interested in learning more about what a Ring doorbell can do for you, contact us at 844-904-9473 or request info online.

What to Research Before You Buy a Utah Home Security System

If you’re looking for a Utah home security system to add to your home, there are a few things to consider as you start your search. Whether you’re concerned about rising crime in Utah or just want to feel more secure when your spouse is out of town, there are a lot of options to choose from. But how do you make the right choice? Read on to see what you need to know before you buy.

 

What Type of System are You Getting?

You might think that all security systems are made equal, but you’d be wrong! There are so many differences between systems that you really need to pay attention to what you’re buying. All equipment does not have the same functionalities, warranty, or manufacturing country—if that’s a concern for you. There are different security apps that have advanced functionality and the ability to add on extra equipment as desired. Also, some companies only rent out equipment for the term of your contract while other home security companies let you own your equipment. Be sure to ask lots of questions to know exactly what you’re getting and ultimately paying for.

You’ll want to consider the functionality of Wi-Fi vs cellular systems. Wi-Fi systems typically have more security and functionality issues than cellular systems. When it comes to protecting your home and family, you have to weigh the risks and benefits of paying less for a system that could malfunction in the event of a power failure or human error in a DIY installation process. 

 

Is the Company Going to Be Easy to Work With?

Now that you know how much different security systems can vary, imagine the security companies themselves! Like any industry, there are companies with strengths and weaknesses that you’ll need to look out for. With home security, it’s important to find companies with great customer service, first and foremost. Just because a company is a household name does not mean that you’re in the best hands. Make sure to read online reviews and see what their current customers have to say. It’s true that an unhappy customer is more likely to make a complaint than a happy one. But if you’re seeing mostly negative reviews, it’s a good idea to move on. A security company with at least a 4.5 star Google rating is very hard to come by but they’re out there! Keep looking and don’t lower your standards, especially when it comes to finding a reliable home security company in Utah!

 

Price Is Important, But It Isn’t Everything

The price of home security systems seems to be at the forefront of most customers’ minds—as it should be. But you may notice a substantial difference between companies and systems. Well, we’ve already covered the differences in equipment, so that’s your first clue. A Wi-Fi system will almost always be cheaper than a cellular system because of reliability and response times—if it’s even monitored. But what about the companies who seem to offer similar equipment and services? Why the discrepancy in pricing? Typically, the newer companies will have lower pricing than established companies because of two main reasons. First, they need to establish their name and are willing to take a smaller profit to do so. And second, they simply have less overhead because they’re smaller, so they can afford to take a smaller profit. 

 

Now that you have a good understanding of what you should be looking for before you invest in a Utah home security system, you’re ready to get started with a quote. Speak with at least three companies for the best rates and start with WISE Home Solutions — one of the most highly rated alarm companies in Utah and also one of the most affordable.