Entries by Lauren M.

3 Ways to Keep Life on Track Using Home Security and Mobile Control

One of the best ways to improve one’s safety and security at home is through the use home security technologies. But if you think home security and mobile control is just about security, it’s time to think again. Automation and security technologies are also a powerful tool in managing real life, from scheduling and productivity to energy efficiency.

Here are 3 ways to use these technologies to improve the way life works.

Navigate Family Schedules

You have three busy young teens that all need to be somewhere at the exact same time and the destinations are cities apart. Getting them all there is one problem, and getting them home is another. So, you coordinate with two other parents to get two kids to their destination, and you take the other. When the events are over the kids come home and let themselves home using a unique code, so you know who got home and when. Then, to be sure they are safe you check in on them via live streaming video, and check the status of the home to make sure the doors are locked and windows are shut.

Keeping Everyone on Track

Getting and keeping everyone on track and on the schedule is a monumental task, even if the only schedule you need to worry about is your own. One of the best ways to use home security and mobile technologies is for personal productivity– to keep things moving forward, eliminate routine tasks, and to prepare the way for more efficient daily processes from dawn to dusk, whether you are at home or not. For example, the lights go on for simulated dawn to wake you, the coffee is already brewing, the doors lock behind you, the system arms, you get regular alerts of any unusual activity, manage daily deliveries and services remotely, and have the home ready when you get home. You are never held back, or captive, by the duties of life. Pretty phenomenal.

No More Waiting Around

It has happened to all of us. We have services, friends, or family coming by the home and are late. Now it is time to go to work or another appointment or you’ll be late. What do you do? With mobile control, you can get to your appointment and when the expected company arrives, let them in remotely.

Complete Security Services is New Jersey’s premier electronic security company, providing home and business security systems across the greater New Jersey area.

How Do Entrepreneurs Use Home Security, Automation, and Mobile Control?

Super motivated, fearless, start-up types seem to have a certain way of doing things that others do not. They see things in terms of processes, and processes can always be improved.  Maybe that’s why they see integrating home security, home automation, and mobile control a little differently than most people.  Rather than a convenience, they see it as a tool to improve various processes and how that can help them achieve other life and business goals.

Better Organization and Productivity

Disorganization and disruptions wreck any hope of real productivity. One of the ways entrepreneurs use home security and automation technologies is to keep themselves on track. Practices such as screening front door disruptions through the video doorbell, or geofencing to have the home ready for you as you approach can eliminate extra processes, and wasted time.

Improved Operations

Time is a valuable commodity, and you can never get it back. Entrepreneurs have a keen sense of this and use automation and mobile control to improve all home functions, whether they are home or not. It may seem like a small thing, but when you look at each individual process as part of a whole, it adds up to maximal efficiency. As you approach home you can have the stove preheating, the home reaching a comfortable temperature, the coffee on, the washer starting, and more all ready for your arrival.

Improved Energy Efficiency and Savings

Leaner operations mean more money to invest in other areas of life. Having remote control of the home allows users to reduce energy usage to what is actually needed, with no waste, as the system extracts data about usage patterns and consumption. This means the lights, devices, and heating and cooling systems respond to usage, and sense when you have left the area.

Better Health Management

Getting things done well rests on a healthy body and healthy mindset, and that is crucial when you are running a successful business. Another way busy entrepreneurs use home automation is to create an environment that supports a healthy life. For example, creating sleep and wake scenes helps with the sleep cycle which supports good health.

Improved Business Opportunities

Streamlining and automating operations frees extra time in the schedule. Entrepreneurs use this extra time to pursue additional business opportunities, and use the home to facilitate this growth.

Since 1983, Complete Security Systems, Inc., has been meeting the needs of clients in NJ with intelligent systems that allow customers to do more.

Environmental Protection: Do I Really Need Leak Sensors?

When buying a new, or upgrading an existing home security system it is important to consider all of the options available and find out how much value they can add in your situation. Some features are an easy decision, like deciding to include smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide sensors. But what about leak detection? It seems like something you could reasonably do without, but at what cost?

Do I Really Need Leak Sensors?

Did you know that water damage is the third highest claim against insurance companies, next to theft and fire, resulting in approximately 25 billion dollars annually? Water leak detection, whether in the residential or commercial setting is important for a number of important reasons. Here are just a few.

Not Every Water Problem is Immediately Apparent

If you are home, you might notice an overflowing toilet or burst pipe under the kitchen sink fairly quickly. You are not likely to notice a small but persistent leak in a guest bathroom, in the laundry room or around a water heater, however. If left unattended, even a small leak can—and will—result in costly damage.

You Need More Than a Mop for Clean Up

Most leaks end up needing a lot more than a mop for clean-up. In fact, water usually causes much more and much more diverse damage than most people realize. In addition to damaged walls and flooring, water can also damage electrical wiring, and depending on extent and location can also cause equipment and power failure. Water is one of the strongest and most damaging forces in nature and can wreak havoc in a home or business, and cause a lot of downtime.

Some Leaks Warn of Bigger Problems

A small leak is problem enough, but often a small leak is actually a warning of future or present but as yet unfound plumbing problems. Leak sensors alert you immediately to a problem and if you know about a small leak immediately, you know to investigate further for any additional problems.

How Water Sensors Work

Water sensors are small, unobtrusive devices which are placed in places where leaks are likely to occur, such as under the bathroom and kitchen sinks, behind the toilets, in the laundry room, and at the water heater. The highly sensitive and advanced sensors are not affected by humidity or condensation. When the sensors detect a leak, they alert the system which triggers an alert sent to you, and if you have environmental monitoring an alert goes to the monitoring station which triggers a response. With wireless communication and mobile smart apps, you stay completely in the know and in control.

Complete Security Systems is New Jersey’s premier electronic security company, providing home and business security systems and 24/7 security monitoring across the greater New Jersey area.

Do Burglars Really Come Back to the Scene of the Crime?

You have probably heard it all of your life and seen it as a plot line in movies and on television, “burglars always return to the scene of the crime.” But is it true? And if it is true, why do they come back?  While it seems counter-intuitive to most people, burglars actually do return to a home they have already burglarized, and unfortunately for the resident lightening does indeed often strike twice.

Increased Odds of Being Burglarized

If you have been a victim of a burglary one time, you are more likely to be burgled a second time. Usually, the second crime is committed by the same person or persons that committed the first- but not always. In some cases, it is a second burglar who finds your home an attractive mark for the same reason, such as a lack of a visible security system and security cameras.

You Have Probably Replaced Valuable Items

Burglars frequently wait 6 to 8 weeks before returning to a home. This is to give insurance enough time to be processed, and owners enough time to replace the items. If the items were high-priced, they know they are likely to be replaced with equally valuable items, and this time– new.

They Already Know the Layout of the Home

Burglars save time coming back to the scene of the crime. They already know the layout of the home and what items are stored where. Since burglars choose a target based on a risk and reward measure, knowing the home lowers the risk considerably. If they could not take all they intended the first time, it is an easy grab the second time.

They Know Your Home Security System

Once a burglar makes entry to your home, they know what security elements you have in place. If they came in through the front door, they know whether you have smart locks or a video doorbell. If they came through the window, they know you do not have window or glass break sensors. Of course, a lack of security cameras is always a plus for a criminal.

They May Have a Buyer

Another reason a burglar may return to a home the second time is that they had time to see what else you have in your home. Large or unusual items may be difficult to get the first time, but if they find a buyer for it they will come back to get it.

They Know You Are Not Expecting It

A burglar knows that most people are not expecting to be robbed again, especially in a very short time frame. In fact, they expect that you are a bit off kilter which makes it that much easier for them.

About Complete Security Systems

To avoid being a burglary victim, or repeat burglary victim review your home security measures. Evaluate whether features such as home automation, smart security, and video surveillance could help provide better protection. Complete Security Systems can help you meet your home security needs, with over 30 years of superior service serving NJ.

Security Additions to the Home: Following the Rules of Your HOA

As we have told our New Jersey home security customers before, homeowner’s association (HOA) governed neighborhoods are vulnerable to burglary, despite the public perception that they are shielded from crime. Here is a scenario you should consider, if you live in an HOA.

You hear about a break-in in your neighborhood. To minimize your chances of becoming the next victim, you purchase a security system; then, you integrate it with home security cameras. Did you check with your HOA board first? You should, because some HOAs are very strict about requiring permission in writing to anything that alters the exterior of the home, including home security cameras.

If you want to go beyond electronic security and add on a security door that adds an extra barrier to your front entry, then that is something for which nearly every HOA will require written permission. Be sure you stay in compliance with your HOA by filling out any necessary forms they ask you to; sometimes, they may even require you to write a letter that details the reasons you want this addition to your home.

If the reason is that you have been previously burglarized, that will, hopefully, be all the reason you need. If a neighbor was burglarized, you can cite that as your reason. Think about any crime, mischief or suspicious activity that has happened in your neighborhood recently; a reasonable HOA board will regard those as good reasons for wanting extra security on your home.

One of the reasons we are urging New Jersey home security customers to comply with their HOA boards is that homeowners who don’t seek permission from an HOA before implementing an exterior security measure may face fines, or even a lawsuit. This has happened to homeowners in several states over the past few years, and we certainly don’t want it to happen to you. If you are interested in home security cameras and you live in an HOA neighborhood, check with your rule book – then, contact Complete Security to request information on the best video surveillance options for you.

Top Locations for Security Cameras NJ Home Security

Surveillance systems are an integral part of many NJ home security systems and prevent many unwanted occurrences, such as burglary, vandalism, and break-ins. A well-placed camera can provide deterrence as well as identify a perpetrator should they attempt to break in to the premises. But for security camera systems to be effective, they must be placed properly—and that is not a DYI project.

While camera placement may seem like an obvious process, it is actually very technical and requires a phenomenal amount of considerations. Here are just a few of the things home security professionals take into consideration when installing a home monitoring system.

  • Cameras must be accessible for maintenance.
  • Outdoor camera sites must be secure and have protection from wind, rain, and sun.
  • The location must be stable, with minimal camera shake.
  • Camera angles should avoid direct light sources to eliminate camera glare.
  • Camera site should provide the widest field of view.
  • Cameras should be placed keeping the identification of perpetrators in mind.
  • Surveillance camera placement should coincide with crime statistics regarding break-ins.
  • Both overt and covert cameras should be considered as part of an effective system.

Best Places for Security Camera Placement

The Front Door

You might think that burglars would avoid the front door. After all, it is often in plain view. Crime statistics show that it is actually the first choice among criminals and 34% of burglars gain access through the front door.  Two options for front door coverage include outside front door placement and an indoor camera that covers the front entry.

First floor Windows

First floor windows are another very popular place for burglars to gain entrance, with 23% choosing this point of access.  Back windows are usually the most preferred option among first floor window entrances. First floor windows on the back of the house provide easy access, cover, and the benefit of an easy escape. This makes camera coverage for the back of the home and backyard especially important.

Back Door

Without the problem of street traffic or watching neighbors, the back door provides the cover 22% of burglars need to gain access.

Garage Door

The garage is another ideal place for security camera placement. The garage often houses important valuables, but more importantly, in many cases it also provides access to the interior of the home. Garage doors are amazingly vulnerable and should never be considered enough deterrence or enough protection.

Security cameras are a powerful deterrence in crime. Make sure yours do the job well by having them expertly placed and installed by professionals.

About Complete Security Systems

We are one of the largest independently owned, full service security and fire alarm companies in New Jersey. CSS was awarded dealer of the year in 2015 by NJ Electronic Security Association (NJESA) – the only alarm company in NJ that has received that award three times: 2003, 2013, and in 2015. Our customer service combined with innovative technology give CSS the flexibility and versatility to respond to your specific needs quickly, while still giving you the kind of personal service that is so important when dealing with your security concerns.

The Lazy Days of Summer Starts With Home Automation

Okay, maybe most people would describe their summer as anything but lazy. Summer is a busy season that includes everything from trying to juggle schedules with the kids out of school, filling in for others on vacation, and taking off for a well-earned break of our own. In the midst of it all, you are trying to figure out how to keep the family and the house, safe and in one piece. It is a near impossible task, if not for home automation.

Home Automation Addresses Some of Summer’s Most Pressing Issues

The increased activity in summer brings a lot of fun, but it also brings its own set of challenges and dangers.

  • In summer, the house may be quite obviously empty while you’re on vacation.
  • With kids going in and out of the house a million times, the doors get left unlocked pretty frequently too, leaving the home vulnerable to intruders.
  • Keeping the doors and gates leading to pools closed and locked to prevent accidental drownings is also a huge concern.

The Fear is Real

Being concerned about summer safety makes sense. The combination of increased activities, having our attention diverted in a multitude of directions, and more people around naturally increases the opportunity for things like injury, accidental death, fire, and theft. Fortunately, home automation technologies can help address these concerns.

Have Fun, But Stay Safe

Fire up the barbeque and grab your towels, because summer is made for fun. In the middle of all the fun, though, do not neglect safety and security. When things get busy, it is easy to forget things like locking doors, or have our attention pulled away from supervising kids by someone at the door among many other common summer dangers. Problem solved. With home automation you can:

  • Monitor children playing outside or in a different room using smart cameras
  • Use smart sensors and alerts to tell you if doors or gates open unexpectedly
  • Keep kids out of pools or other dangerous areas
  • Monitor the home via smart cameras when you are away
  • Reduce the chances of theft
  • Check on pets throughout the day (some of that video just might be Youtube worthy)
  • Get alerts if there is unusual movement around the house while you are away
  • Lock those smart locks…. Again
  • Get an alert that you left the smart garage door open
  • Know exactly who is at the door via the video doorbell before getting pulled away from your activity, or answer from afar so you always look home
  • Make sure you turned off the roast in the oven
  • Fake occupancy with smart lighting and other enabled electronics while on vacation to further deter burglars.
  • Go Away on vacation knowing your home is covered by 24/7 monitoring.
  • Save money using smart lighting and a smart thermostat so you have more savings for vacation

Complete Security Systems is one of the largest independently owned, full service security and fire alarm companies in New Jersey, and recipient of Dealer of the Year by NJ Electronic Security Association three times:2003, 2013, and 2015.

Environmental Sensors are a Must in Home Security. Here’s Why.

When thinking of home security, the first thing that comes to mind is usually protecting your home and family using intrusion deterrents such as burglar alarms. Home security, however, also includes protecting your home and property from other dangers, such as environmental ones. Once you understand the risks, however, you see that environmental sensors are an integral part of smart home security.

What is the Value of Environmental Sensors in Home Security?

Too often, it is easy to overlook serious, often unseen, dangerous, and devastating but detectable problems such as water or gas leaks, carbon monoxide, heat and smoke, and others. Environmental sensors are part of an early warning system that can prevent disaster or minimize damage caused by environmental factors such as extreme temperature fluctuation, carbon monoxide, poisonous gas leaks, broken pipes and more. With early warning, you can minimize the risks, dangers, and damages that these things can cause.

What Environmental Sensors Should You Include in Your Home Security System?

Home security does not stop with keeping intruders out. It also includes detecting other serious environmental dangers to prevent damage, injury, or fatalities. Talk to your home security provider about these important home security environmental sensors.

  • Smoke and Heat Sensors– Smoke and heat sensors are components that make up a fire alarm system. These sensors either detect the concentration of smoke or heat in a particular area and generate an alert if either reaches a concerning level.
  • Carbon Monoxide Sensors– Carbon is an invisible, odorless, and poisonous gas produced by the combustion of fossil fuels. It can build up in a home without notice and once occupants notice the effects enough to attribute it to the gas, it is often once they have already become sick and incapacitated. These detectors alert you immediately so you can get out safely.
  • Water Sensors– Even a little water can create a tremendous amount of damage if left unchecked. When water sensors come in contact with water, they alert you to the problem immediately.
  • Freeze and Temperature Sensors–Temperature sensors can detect concerning temperature fluctuation and can provide a warning if indoor temperatures dip below a certain level for example.

When planning your home security, it is important to consider all of your options. Environmental sensors are a very valuable part of your overall smart home security system and add an additional layer of safety. Since 1983, Complete Security Systems, Inc. has been meeting the needs of homes and businesses throughout New Jersey with custom tailored security systems and offer a wide range of options in environmental sensors.

 

Home Automation is a Smart Upgrade for Vacation Rentals

The vacation rental market is booming with property owners using both traditional property management and self-rental models of business. These models both make owning and renting a vacation home easy and because of this, we see more vacation properties available each year. To make the home profitable, owners have a twofold task: manage costs and make the home stand out to attract more renters. This is why more vacation rental owners are turning to home automation. A smart home provides the tools and oversight they need and the comfort and convenience renters want.

Home Automation Attracts More Guests

The vacation rental business can be quite profitable if you can make your home stand out in a way that makes it first choice for vacationers. Home automation is the best way to cater to your guests in a very personalized way. For example, if your rental is in a big city and your goal is to attract luxury clients, you might consider upscale amenities like smart appliances, remote controlled fireplace, and automated sound system. You might have a white noise machine automatically go on if they access business amenities or when they settle into bed at night. If your rental is off the beaten path or a destination rental, you might consider an automated home theater system and automated outdoor lighting. All of these things take your rental from average to amazing and will keep it booked all year.

Use Home Automation to Boost Security

Adding a smart security system to your vacation rental is another way to make your rental home more attractive, and more secure. A security system can take all of the hassles out of the rental process as well by eliminating the need to exchange keys. Everything, from digitally signing agreements to providing access to the home using a time sensitive unique security code, can be done online. Renters, too, feel more safe and secure in a home with security and see it as a “bonus”. As a homeowner, you can check the status of your system and receive push alerts in the event of emergencies such as fire, carbon monoxide leak, burst pipe or other emergencies.

Home Automation Upgrades Boost Your Profitability

By adding smart technologies to your vacation rental home, you stay ahead of the competition by making your home more desirable by providing an exceptional experience. Small home automation upgrades such as smart lighting, ceiling fan controls, and a smart thermostat create a very guest-centric atmosphere that encourages repeat visits and referrals. Added amenities also allow you to charge a higher rate in a competitive market. Finally, you boost profitability by increasing your savings because your smart home system insures that the big energy wasters, heating, cooling, and lighting are all managed appropriately.

By upgrading your vacation property with home automation, you provide a huge advantage to guests and to your bottomline. Complete Security Systems is New Jersey’s premier electronic security provider.

6 Important health benefits of smart lighting that you need to know

There is just something about smart lighting that we can’t help but love. It is a great help in saving energy because the system can learn your usage patterns and automatically shut off lights for you. Since you can access them (and all other smart devices) remotely, you can’t beat its convenience. It also adds tremendous safety because you can simulate occupancy even when you’re not home. In addition to those smart home advantages, however, there are also some important health benefits of smart lighting that are worth knowing.

  1. It reduces the risk of injury due to falling. Falling sends 700,000 people to the hospital every year and 20% of those falls were in low light conditions. Smart lighting can help reduce incidents of falling by detecting movement and turning on as you need them or allow the user to turn on the lights from a smart app right from their phone.
  2. Controlling the duration, kind, and time you receive light keeps your Circadian Rhythm in sync. By using color-changing light bulbs, you can have your smart lighting change from a productivity inducing cool color to a warm color that encourages the production of melatonin which is responsible for sleep.
  3. Smart lighting can help improve your health by helping improve your sleep. Getting the right kind of light and limiting duration helps you get a better sleep which contributes to better memory, concentration, and mood.
  4. Smart lighting can help promote the production of cortisol. Waking up to dawn, or a simulated dawn process helps promote the production of cortisol which is responsible and needed for mental alertness.
  5. Better lighting also helps reduce health risks. Studies show that the wrong kind of lighting and lighting at the wrong time leads to melatonin suppression, which is linked to cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
  6. It can help improve your mental health. The right light at the right times can help fight depression, anxiety, and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Factor In Your Light Exposure

When we think about our days, we find that our bodies rarely get a break from lighting. From fluorescent lights , television and computer screens to our cell phones, all of that light affects or bodies in some way. If we use smart lighting to control that input, we can promote better health.
Complete Security Systems goes beyond basic systems to provide total home control, for safety, convenience, and peace of mind.