Texas Weather can Change on a Dime
You never know what is going to happen with Texas weather. One winter day it’s sunny and mild, the next day, snowpocalypse. Truly, Texas weather can change on a dime.
December 26th, 2015 was one of those days. Last year, a day after Christmas, nine tornadoes hit the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It was sudden, and most citizens were not aware of the coming disaster. Many people were caught off guard, and many were not able to take cover by the time the tornado sirens went off. As natural disasters are largely unpredictable, it is important to have safety precautions in place in the home. Weather alerts are a great – even lifesaving – feature of a smart home.
Honeywell Smart Home Security with Weather Alerts
Fortress Security is proud to offer Honeywell products, including state-of-the-art, full color, touch screen panels. In addition to controlling your security system, you can also control the household lights and thermostat, view video from cameras both inside and outside the house, and now receive important weather warnings.
How it Works
Weather services integrated into your security system can provide up-to-the-minute severe weather alerts as well as current weather and five-day forecasts. If you are a weather service subscriber and a tornado was in the area, you would hear a series of loud beeps (no one could ignore) and a warning message would appear on your alarm panel. Since weather emergencies can come on so quickly, this truly can be a lifesaver. The up-to-date information is issued by the National Weather Service through the cloud to your security panel.
Watching out for kids & the elderly
There is a great security feature for kids who may stay at home by themselves for a few hours after school, or for elderly parents who reside in their own home and lack the technology to be notified otherwise. If they are not online or watching TV at the time of a severe weather alert, they might be clueless about an oncoming tornado or other such emergency. The loud beep and message would alert them to take cover in the family’s designated safety area. You can also monitor and control the system away from home with Honeywell’s Total Connect Information Services. So even if you were at work, you would know there was a tornado warning in your home’s area.
Weather Alerts in Action
Tornado touchdowns have been verified in all fifty states. The Coleman family from Long Island, New York recently went through a tornado disaster drill. Chris Coleman, a Honeywell employee, (and weather alert subscriber) received a nervous call at work from his son at home. His son explained that the tornado warning was going off on their Honeywell LYNX Touch security system panel. Chris told him to get to safety quickly in the basement. Luckily, the tornado never touched down in the area, and Chris’s son was perfectly safe. But the added layer of safety was a great benefit to this family, and it provides peace of mind going forward.
A smart alarm system can keep your family safe from burglary, fire, carbon monoxide, and now, even severe weather. Call or fill out our contact form to talk with a Fortress Security representative about ensuring the safety of your family in the case of a severe weather incident.
Crooks don’t like to get caught on tape. But thanks to the growing affordability of security cameras it’s happening more and more.
Just as we have come to expect reasonably priced HD TVs and megapixel cameras, a lower price point is now making high-definition, discreet security cameras available to the masses. The trends indicate a similarly swift adoption of HD home cameras year-over-year.
Until recently, you had a choice: A) Purchase an HD security camera that was very expensive, bulky and hardly discreet. B) Purchase a cost-effective smaller security camera with the only standard definition. Standard definition or analog offers a grainy picture, making it hard to decipher details in the captured video. Clarity is the key word when it comes to HD video.
Advancements in HD security camera technology make it possible to purchase and have security cameras installed at a relatively low cost. Once installed and connected to your monitoring system, home or business owners can clearly see multiple security feeds live from different cameras on their mobile device, tablet, or computer. If you’ve had a breach of security you can review old footage too.
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While you normally think of home security as the protection of the inside of your home, there are also opportunities to be the victim of theft just outside of your front door. Some thieves skip the trouble of breaking into your home and opt to target mail and package deliveries left on your front porch.
Package thieves in Dallas and in Fort Worth were hard at work in the holiday season of 2014. Then early 2015 saw a wave of the related crime of outgoing mail theft when thieves were digging through residential mailboxes to find checks to launder. Another worry with outgoing mail – particularly during the tax season – many people send out documents with sensitive personal information that can be used in identity theft.
And just this summer, some North Texas residents saw yet another rash of packages being stolen from front porches, specifically in Mansfield.
So how do you stop a porch package thief? Once the box is sitting on your front stoop, you’ve already lost several opportunities to protect yourself. The key is preventing high-value items from sitting for hours on your front porch in the first place.
Package Theft Prevention Tips
Pick up your package QUICKLY. Luckily, modern technology has brought us package tracking tools that make it easier than ever to find out when we’re getting deliveries. So be sure to check up on shipped items and retrieve them as soon as you can.
Customize deliveries. Some private package delivery services will allow you to schedule a time and date when you will be available to retrieve your items quickly.
Require a signature. Depending on the service, the sender OR the recipient may be able to request that a signature is obtained upon delivery.
Receive deliveries at a different location. If you work at a location with a mailing address, you can probably get your packages delivered to your workplace. (Check with your boss first, just in case.) If work isn’t an option, consider sending to a trusted neighbor, family member, or a storefront location of the delivery company.
Request a vacation hold. US Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS all hold package deliveries while you’re out of town for a few days. This is a good option for people who receive a significant amount of shipments, or those who have a wedding registry and may have multiple gifts sent to their home unexpectedly while they’re gone for the weekend.
Install security cameras near the front door. If visible, the presence of a camera can be enough to scare off potential thieves from approaching your home. Surveillance cameras connected with your home security system can record video of the exterior of your home that can be retrieved and given to police in case of a theft. Aside from mitigating package theft, cameras like the SkyBell video doorbell which allows you to peek at who’s at your front door anytime you like with their smartphone app.
Crimes Caught on Video
One Fortress Security customer, Tim, lives in the Mansfield neighborhood that experienced a series of thefts earlier this year. Security cameras outside of his home caught footage of the thief in action and aided police in their investigation.
Tim’s certainly glad he had those cameras in place. Even though his home had never been the target of theft or other crimes in the past, he was fully prepared. And he feels secure with a Fortress system protecting his home: “I would recommend Fortress to anyone. Everyone there has been top notch at helping me with my unique needs.”
If you’re interested in learning more about home security camera systems, get in touch with us, and we’ll develop a free quote, customized to fit your needs.
It’s true; security isn’t confined to home or business locations.
Business owners and private residents alike can benefit from having a system that monitors the location and movements of their vehicles. Honeywell Total Connect Tracking Services do just that. The service is an extension of Honeywell’s Total Connect Remote services, which already have an impressive track record for protecting homes and businesses. Read More »
If you’ve already set up a security system at your home or business, then congratulations! Despite the fact that there are over 2,000,000 burglaries reported each year, only 1 in 5 homes in the US have protected themselves with a monitored security system. That should bring you plenty of piece of mind, knowing that your prominent home security signs will encourage burglars to move along to a more easy target, as well as knowing that if a break-in does occur, the authorities will be alerted immediately.
But depending on how long ago you installed your equipment, it might be time for a security system upgrade. There have been some pretty astonishing advances in security technology over the past few years, ranging from secure wireless monitoring to home-automation conveniences. Take a look around your home or business and see if any of these products are right for you and your lifestyle. Read More »
If your security system monitoring runs through your landline, you’re putting everything at risk.
Picture this: it’s the middle of the night and your home is empty while you and your family are out of town. But you have a home security system installed, it’s armed, and you pay your premium every month, so your home and possessions should be safe. Right? Read More »
Fortress Security’s Total Connect smartphone app lets you control your complete smart home security system from the palm of your hand.
Today’s mobile security features go beyond just arming and disarming your security system – now you can use your iPhone or Android device to lock and unlock doors, set lighting levels, manage your home thermostat, and even watch streaming surveillance camera video or create a variety of scenes for events like “bedtime” or “leave for work” which will automatically control or activate selected devices throughout your home for that particular event. So upon leaving the home – the security system will arm, lights dim, door locks and thermostat adjusts. Voilá! Keeping life simple. Read More »