As the seasons change, so should your precautionary measures to ensure your home security system is up to the task of protecting your home, your valuables and, your family. Weather changes and the holiday season mean no risks for your security, but with a few simple safety checks and updates, you can make sure you’ve done your part in preparing for fall and winter security needs.
Here are a few tips on what you can do to prepare your home for better security this time of year.
Make Sure Your Smoke and Fire Alarm Equipment is Working Properly
Fall is typically the time of year when temperatures go down, and people look for ways to warm up inside. Fires in fireplaces and the additional use of heaters and heating systems means that the potential for an in-home fire greatly increases.
And, with the holiday season, out come holiday decorations and Christmas trees – more fire-friendly elements inside and outside of the home. If a fire were to start, trees and decorations could accelerate a fire leading to a big problem.
In the event of a fire, your smoke and fire alarm equipment could mean the difference between life and death and thousands of dollars in property damage. To start, check that you have sufficient and up-to-date smoke and fire alarm equipment. Then make sure your equipment is working correctly, by testing all smoke alarms in your home and replacing batteries that are low. Also, make sure you have working fire extinguishers strategically placed throughout your home for easy and immediate access if something were to happen.
Ensure Exterior Lighting and Monitoring is Installed Correctly
As the holidays approach, thieves look for more opportunities to score quick wins and theft of packages or easy entry into homes. Homes with poor or limited exterior lighting are good targets for theft. If it’s easy to get in and out undetected, packages are much more likely to get stolen off your porch or within easy access for quick break-ins.
Protect your property and your loved ones by doing a complete walkaround of your house at night to make sure you aren’t an open target for potential crime. Identify dark spots and unmonitored areas to see if you need to update or add exterior lights to deter theft.
If you haven’t already, you may also look into a front door camera, like the Skybell Pro, or surveillance cameras for the front, back, or sides of your home. Security cameras provide significant home security benefits, more so than just theft deterrence.
Let Neighbors and Loved Ones Know Your Travel Plans, But Don’t Advertise When You’ll Be Out of Town Online
This seems like common sense, but people are typically busier this time of year and can easily forget that a seemingly harmless Facebook check-in or Instagram post can alert home invaders to an empty house and good opportunity.
Potential thieves are smart, and they will use social media and online monitoring to know when you’re out of town and when your home is ripe for a break-in.
Be Internet savvy, and don’t give criminals an opportunity to target you by letting them know where you and your family are. You can still post the photos on social, just wait until you’re back home.
Interested in learning how Fortress Security can help prepare your home or business for the coming months? Learn more about our services or contact us today to see how we can help.
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.