Why a Carbon Monoxide Detector Is Essential in Winter

On average, over 50,000 Americans visit the emergency room each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a common and highly dangerous issue. Unfortunately, the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide increases during the winter months. The coldest months of the year are when it is most important to ensure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.

Winter is hard enough to get through with the added stress of possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Here are a few reasons why you should be taking steps to protect your family during this time of year is so dangerous:

Firing up the Fireplace

It’s fun to sit near the fireplace with a good book and some hot chocolate. But as relaxing as that seems, it can become a dangerous situation if your chimney gets blocked up. Many people use fireplaces so rarely that they don’t think about the steps involved in proper maintenance. This can lead to smoke escaping into your house instead of up the chimney.

A carbon monoxide detector allows you to roast chestnuts over the fire without fear of any deadly gases entering your house.

Overworking Your Water Heater

One of the best ways to warm up during the winter is with a nice, hot bath or shower. All your hot showers can overwork your water heater, though. Even if your shower habits don’t change when the temperature drops, your water heater is still under extra stress. Because the outside ground is extra cold, the water coming into your house must be heated more than during the warmer months.

Worn out water heaters are one of the most common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning. The extra stress on your water heater can cause it to wear out faster. Your carbon monoxide detector will allow you to continue taking your hot showers, while also keeping your family protected.

Idling Cars in the Garage

It’s tough to leave for work in the morning when the temperatures outside are below freezing. Many people start their cars and let them heat up for a few minutes before hitting the road. If your car sits in the garage, this can lead to exhaust fumes getting trapped. These fumes can leak into your house, especially if you have an attached garage.

A carbon monoxide detector installed in or near your garage is the safest way to eliminate the danger from idling cars. You’ll get through the winter worry-free.

Extra Time Indoors

The people most at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning are children and elderly people. When temperatures outside are dangerously cold, these people tend to spend extra time inside. This can increase the likelihood of exposure to this poisonous gas.

It’s important to watch for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning among your vulnerable family members during the Winter, but the safest way to protect your family is to install carbon monoxide detectors that are well-maintained and up-to-date.

3 Ways a Ring Video Doorbell Can Benefit Parents

Any parent knows keeping kids safe is a top priority. Most parents also know that ensuring the well-being of kids while balancing other responsibilities is more than a full-time job. For many parents, smart home devices can make managing these responsibilities a little easier. The Ring Video Doorbell is one of the most useful smart home devices for parents. This smart doorbell allows parents to monitor kids’ safety at any time or from any location.

1. Screening Visitors at the Door

Leaving a kid at home while running an errand can be a stressful experience. You never know if your child will be able to recognize when a stranger at the door is dangerous or not. To manage this stress, some parents have their kids avoid answering the door when a parent isn’t home.

While avoiding visitors may keep your kids safe, it also means you might miss important messages, packages, or friendly neighbor visits. The Ring Video Doorbell allows you to screen visitors from a distance and decide whether or not your kids should be speaking with them.

2. Monitoring Children’s Curfews

When your kids reach their teenage years, curfews become an added issue to deal with. Some parents choose to stay up until their children come home to ensure the curfew is being met. Smart doorbells offer a better (and more restful) way to handle curfews.  Rather than adjusting to a teenage sleep schedule, you can go to bed whenever you want, and check the time your child got home when you wake up in the morning.

If you prefer to speak with your child when they return home at night, you can set your doorbell to wake you up with a notification at their return. After a quick conversation, you can peacefully return to sleep.

3. Improving Neighborhood Safety

Kids deserve a safe place to grow up. When your neighborhood is safe, your children can get to know their community without any worry. Installing a ring video doorbell improves the security of your own home, but can also improve the safety of the whole neighborhood.

The video recording ability of the Ring Video Doorbell often allows multiple other homes to be protected by your device. When a thief or other potentially dangerous person sees your doorbell, they will likely choose a less protected neighborhood to target.

How Much Does Home Security Cost? Well, It Depends.

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Here’s a loaded question if we’ve ever seen one: how much does home security cost, exactly? The quick answer is “it depends”. It might seem like a cop-out, but there are so many facets to home security that not very many people consider when they’re shopping around. The equipment, the type of connection, and whether it’s professionally installed, for example. Here are the biggest differences between home security systems and your expected cost of home security. 

 

Wired, Wifi, or Cellular?

Security systems are not created equal. While all older systems were wired, most run wirelessly now. If you’re offered a wired system, it would be wise for you to shop around for a company offering current equipment. Most criminals know that simply cutting your power or system’s wires will disable it. This leaves those types of systems useless. 

 

As far as wireless systems go, even the quality of those connections varies. With most do-it-yourself and cheap home security systems, you’re most likely using WiFi connectivity. That means your home and family’s security is dependent on how well your Internet is working–if it’s even connected. Faulty wireless signals and power outages leave your home and family at risk for system failures.

 

The best type of wireless system connection is cellular. This is the same type of connectivity that your cell phone has. This means during a power outage, your system will remain armed. This is the most reliable home security connection you can expect from the best home security companies.

 

Equipment Quality 

Next, when you’re considering how much does home security cost, you’ll have to take a look at the equipment. Is the control panel included an outdated 10-key pad like your parents had? Or is it a touch-screen home security hub that can control all your home’s devices?

And about those devices: is the quality of the cheaper company’s cameras the same as you’d be getting with a more expensive system? Are they offering wireless, not hardwired? Consider your ability to monitor your home with a more basic system versus one with all the bells and whistles.

It’s easy when you’re comparing companies to look at pricing and simply pick the cheapest home security just to save on costs. But you’ll also want to make sure you know what you’re getting. Take the time to look around and not only compare home security costs, but service, equipment, and connectivity. When it comes down to it, you’re going to realize that premium home security is worth the cost. 

 

Final Considerations

So the answer to the question “how much does home security costs” is still “it depends”. You have to decide what home security is worth to you and your family. And depending on what you choose, you can expect to pay $40 to upwards of $100 or more for professional home security. Do-it-yourself systems are generally less, but this is one case of getting what you pay for.

A smart decision is to find a home security startup. These companies typically have less overhead and are trying to make a name for themselves. In addition, they’re willing to work with you on a price that will fit your budget, giving you the same service and system as a larger company, at a much lower cost. 

Best Places to Put Home Security Cameras

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All home security devices serve a purpose. A home alarm system is the foundation of home security and necessary to make sure that your home is completely secured. But if you want to be able to fully monitor your home, adding exterior security cameras is a great idea. You’ll just want to make sure that you’re putting them in the right places. You will also want to make sure you have just enough to secure your home without overloading your WiFi and spending unnecessary money. Here are the best places to use exterior security cameras and the best types for each location.

 

Your Front Door

A Ring Video doorbell is a two-for-one device for home security systems. Not only do you get the benefit of smart home automation, but you also get security. These video doorbells monitor everything that happens in front of your main door and you will be notified immediately of any activity. Additionally, you can dismiss any unwanted visitors with the two-way talk feature. The two-way talk feature also gives the appearance that someone’s home, which is great for people who are often away. If you have children, there’s no need to worry about them having to answer the door for a stranger.

 

Side and Rear Doors

Ring’s exterior cameras are advanced enough to have almost all of the same features as the Ring Video Doorbell. Like the Ring Video Doorbell, they are even equipped with two-way talk. This makes it easy to scare off any suspicious person who activates the motion detector. These cameras are perfect for back and side doors.

Exterior cameras are also popular for detached sheds and garages. These locations usually store expensive equipment and need more security than basic door sensors.

 

Lastly, arming every angle of your home requires that your Internet speed is capable of handling multiple cameras. Before you set up several wireless cameras, check with your home security expert to make sure your internet has the ability to support the setup you’re wanting.

 

 

 

How to Keep Your Presents and Packages Secure This Holiday Season

The holiday season is quickly approaching–and for some, it’s already arrived. But whether you’re a pre-Thanksgiving Christmas caroler or waiting until December to put up your decorations, there’s one thing we have in common. We all want to secure the presents we worked so hard to buy. Luckily, home security does a pretty good job of keeping our belongings safe inside our home. But what about the packages we get delivered? Leaving them on the porch until you’re able to bring them inside leaves them susceptible to theft. Setting your home up with exterior security cameras is a good place to start.

 

Ring Video Doorbell

Video doorbells are now considered the first line of defense in home security. The mere presence of a security system is enough to deter robbers, making these devices a popular choice for homeowners. Everyone who approaches your home captured in high-definition. This gives you better control in monitoring your own home and aware of any suspicious activity.

 

Exterior Cameras

If you’re monitoring your front door, it’s also wise to monitor your rear and side doors as well. These doors are also popular points of entry for burglars because of their limited street view. Arming these doors with exterior security cameras provides the same protection the video doorbell does, giving you extra peace of mind.

 

Home Security System

Hopefully, if you’ve armed your home with exterior security cameras, you haven’t forgotten your whole-home alarm system. There isn’t anything better to stop a burglar in his tracks. Even though exterior cameras are great for monitoring your home, a burglar can still enter your home and take your belongings without you knowing right away. An alarm system is the only way to guarantee that anyone who enters your home will alert the proper authorities.

 

Don’t take chances with your belongings this holiday season. Arm your home with exterior security cameras and a whole-home alarm system to keep your packages safe–indoors and out.

Home Security and the Integration of Smart Home Devices

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Comparing home security now to the home security grandma used to have is comparing apples to oranges. Sophisticated and technologically-stocked, homes security these days is the descendant of unattractive, simple systems of generations past. These days, home security does more than monitor home intrusions. Now, the integration of smart home devices gives you the power to fully monitor your own home. If you haven’t looked into home security in recent years, there are big changes you might’ve missed.

 

Integration With Smart Home Devices for Automation

Modern home security systems are much more multi-faceted than their older counterparts. The sole purpose of older systems was to secure a home. New systems can connect with a wide range of smart devices to link home automation with your security system to make your home easy to monitor and protect all from one system. Energy-saving devices like smart thermostats and smart light bulbs give you a way to automate your home and save money. With smart thermostats, you can program your home to be the perfect temperature year-round. Program your light bulbs to turn off when you’re usually in bed, or when you leave for work for extra convenience.

 

Integration With Smart Home Devices for Additional Security

Not only can you add smart devices to your home security system to make life a little easier. There are smart devices that offer additional safety features than the ones included in a basic smart home security system.

You can utilize smart smoke detectors and smart carbon monoxide detectors to monitor your home and family’s safety, especially when you’re away. You won’t have to wait for your neighbors to see smoke billowing from your house before the fire department is called. As soon as a fire or carbon monoxide is detected, you and the fire department will be notified. This prevents a bad situation from becoming completely disastrous.

Video doorbells also have the benefit of being convenient as well as safe. When they recognize motion, you’ll be notified and a clip of whoever is at your doorstep is recorded. You can use Ring’s two-way talk to give the impression that you’re home and to dismiss any unwanted visitors. Additionally, just having a smart doorbell is a way for people to know that you are protecting your home. Criminals have admitted that the presence of home security is enough to prevent criminals from breaking into a home. And now that the holiday season is here, you can use a video doorbell as an extra step to deter package thefts.

 

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Is Your Home Protected This Winter?

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Use Smart Home Security to Protect Your Greatest Asset

Winter is here and if you’re in a northern state, you’ve probably started taking some steps to winterize your home. But you may have missed a couple of key steps to making your home completely free of costly accidents. As we go deeper into winter, your home and assets are at greater risk of being impacted by freezing temperatures. Luckily, these 2 smart home security devices have you covered.

 

1. Smart Thermostat

Heating a house is expensive and we all want to save where we can. When people leave their houses in the winter, they have to take steps to keep their pipes from freezing. But the Nest Learning Thermostat makes leaving your house in the winter much more cost-effective. You can program your heater to be low on days that it’ll be warm. And you can bump it up on the days when you know it’s going to be below freezing. Additionally, you can turn up your heat on the way home so you come home to a warm house. 

And if you’re the forgetful type, you’ll never have to wonder whether you remembered to turn the heat up in the first place. Coming home to a flood from burst pipes is the last thing you want on vacation. Smart home security enables you to check your home’s temperature from anywhere, right from your phone.

 

2. Floor Sensor

In the unfortunate instance that you forget to turn your heat up and do have an incident with a burst pipe, there are at least some ways you can prevent a bad situation from becoming completely disastrous. While flood sensors are typically used in homes where there might be a faulty toilet or old pipes, they can be used as a backup sensor for homes in cold climates as well. If your home floods because of a burst pipe while you’re out of town, you’ll get a notification and be able to send someone over right away to take care of the situation. 

 

If you’re looking for unconventional ways to winterize your home, look into either of the two smart products above. When you bundle them with a smart home security system, you can be sure that your home is protected from the inside out.

 

3 Essential Devices You Need to Add to Your Home Security System Today

It’s no secret that a basic home security system is great for securing your home and belongings. But if you’re wondering if there’s more you can do, the answer is a resounding yes. Home security has come a long way in recent years. There are many devices you can add to your system to not only make life more convenient but to also increase your home’s security. By using these devices, you can further prevent something from happening.

 

1. Ring Video Doorbell

There’s a new first line of defense in home security. The Ring Video Doorbell is the perfect way to stop crime before it happens. The Ring Video doorbell captures every movement on your front doorstep. It’s a perfect way to let criminals know that your home is secure. Criminals have admitted to being deterred up most of the time when they knew a home security system was present. And in cases where criminals were bold enough to break in any way, they were more likely to be caught.

 

 

2. Smart Smoke Detector

Securing your home doesn’t only include keeping the bad guys out. These days, you can use home security to more quickly catch disasters from occurring. A smart smoke detector and smart carbon monoxide detector will inform you of fires and gas leaks no matter where you are. While regular detectors are helpful when you’re home, there’s no way to know if there’s a fire or gas leak when you’re not home. Smart smoke detectors and smart carbon monoxide detectors get the proper authorities sent to your home before a small issue becomes a large disaster. You won’t have to wait for your neighbors to notice smoke coming from your home before the fire station is contacted. This is especially concerning for families with kids or aging parents who stay home alone.

 

 

3. Smart Garage

There is a myriad of reasons why your garage needs monitoring, too. Not only does it provide direct access to your home, but it’s also where a lot of homeowners store valuables. A garage usually stores tools, ATV’s and not to mention, your cars. All of these items are at risk for theft if someone were to break into your garage. With criminals being able to gain access to your garage in as little as six seconds, this is a device you’ll want to add to your home security system.

 

If you are missing these items, it may be time to reevaluate your home’s security system and consider adding these items to your plan. If you’re signed up with a reputable home security company, you should be able to add items at any time.

Home Security for Families with Special Needs

Not all families are the same and, therefore, don’t require the same solutions to keep everyone safe. When you’re considering home security for your family, there are many things you might need to consider to make sure your home and family are protected. Many times, a family with special needs has to consider who they are keeping in the home rather than out of the home. So speaking with a company that understands the needs of families with special needs can ensure that your family is as protected and cared for as possible. Here are some home security solutions you may find valuable:

 

Door Sensors

If you have a wandering child, as is common in Autism Spectrum Disorder, door sensors are the first line of security you’ll want. Whether you’re home or away while a babysitter is at your house, you’ll know immediately if the doors have been opened. This will give you a head start on bringing your child safely back into your home.

 

Window Sensors

Like door sensors, window sensors will give you a heads up if your child is trying to leave. When you arm your child’s bedroom windows with sensors, you’ll find it easier to rest at night, knowing that you’ll be alerted immediately if a window is opened. Door and window sensors are also tamper-proof, so there’s no worry about it being bypassed at any time.

 

 Ring Video Doorbell

If your child is independent enough to come and go as she pleases, there are still solutions to give you peace of mind. Having a ring doorbell is one way to keep an eye on your kids. You’ll know who’s coming and going without relying on your system being armed. Every time your Ring Doorbell senses motion at your door, you’ll get an alert. Not only can you stream live video, Ring Doorbell’s two-way talk will also enable you to speak to your child.

No matter what your family’s special needs are, there is a solution within home security. Contact a home security specialist today to see what other options can benefit your family.