What You Know About Burglaries May Be All Wrong

Most of us believe we know enough about burglaries: Someone in dark clothes and a ski mask breaks in your home in the middle of the night and takes your television, right? Wrong. Technically, burglary is defined as the unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry into a residence. Usually, but not always, this crime involves theft. Mind. Blown. Right?
The surprising facts don’t stop there. Here is our myth dispelling list of important burglary facts everyone should know.

  • Most burglaries could have been prevented. In fact, 87% of them could have been avoided with simple acts such as locking a door or window.
  • Burglars choose the front door as the preferred point of entry.
  • One in three burglars enter through unlocked doors or windows.
  • Most (95%) burglars are male.
  • Typically, burglars are 25 years old or younger.
  • Burglars are surprisingly local. Most live within 2 miles of the victims and they likely have met before.
  • A burglary happens every 15 seconds somewhere in the United States.
  • The average burglary lasts between 90 seconds to 12 minutes.
  • The arrest rate for burglary is 13%.
  • The average loss per burglary is substantial at $2,230.
  • Contrary to popular belief, most burglaries happen in the daytime while residents are at work and when they can pose a visitor or service provider without drawing attention.
  • Detached-single family detached homes are most vulnerable to theft, providing the most entry points and cover.
  • Homes in the middle of the block are more vulnerable to burglary than ones on corners.
  • Most burglars check social media and use Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare as a tool to target homes.
  • Burglars evaluate the home and age of the residents to plan whet to look for before striking. Young people might have more electronics while an older person might have more prescription drugs, both of which are easily and quickly sold.
  • Incredibly, only 17% of homes have home security systems.
  • When convicted burglars were polled, 60% said they would avoid a home with a security system in place.
  • Possessions can be replaced but most victims feel traumatized as a result of a burglary for a long time to come.

Burglars steal much more than your property. They take the feeling of being safe within your own four walls and the peace of mind that comes with that. At Complete Security Systems, we treat our clients like family and want to help them employ the most reliable tools available to protect their homes and family. If you have questions about how to implement some of the many advanced security technologies, call Complete Security today.

Top Security Tips for Living Alone

It is easy to understand why many people opt in to living alone. It gives you the freedom to live life on your own terms and have a small section of the world carved out just for you. It means coming home whenever you want and never having to share the television remote with anyone. Seriously, there is a lot for non-solos to envy for sure. But living alone also comes with some safety risks, and giving them some serious consideration can keep you safe.
There is no need to give up freedom when you implement these smart, but easy safety tools and practices for living alone.

Don’t Advertise

Most people think they are already pretty careful about not telling too much, but the chances are good that a great deal more information escapes than we realize. Go the extra mile and really scrutinize every detail. Change the often forgotten but tell-tale signs of living alone, such as one name on the mail box or apartment roster, or a telephone answering message that uses singular pronouns like “Leave a message and I will call right back!”.

Be Extra Cautious on Social Media

Okay, this may fall victim to semantic satiation, the phenomenon where you hear something so often that your mind stops hearing it, but it does deserve repeating. It is very easy to get casual and careless when using social media. No matter how “private” your settings, always act as if you are talking to your 300 close friends and 3 million strangers. Before you post, ask yourself if the post or picture shows that you live alone or tell what time you will be home or away? Avoid comments like “Super long workday tomorrow, 8-11! Ugh!” which tell people far too much information that can jeopardize your safety.

Be Proactive

Develop safety plans for various safety events. Have escape routes planned for every room of your home in the event of a fire or other emergency. Know how to turn off the gas and have a tool kit handy at strategic locations. Set up emergency codes with family and friends and have one emergency contact saved as “Pizza” on your phone to add opportunity in extreme safety events.

Get to Know Your Neighbors

Get to know your neighbors well and, when possible and with caution, share enough information that they are able to recognize trouble and act on it.

Set the Stage with Home Automation and Other Sneaky Tricks

Nobody needs to know that you live alone—ever—if you set the stage. Do simple things like leaving muddy work boots, or several different kinds and sizes of shoes by the front door. Keep the home looking constantly occupied by using home automation to turn off and on light and entertainment at various times throughout the day.

Opt in to a Home Security System

One of the best reasons to opt into a monitored security system if you live alone is that it can detect trouble and have help deployed far more quickly than you can. In an emergency, it takes time to process the threat and then act on it, if acting on it is even possible. With monitored security, help is on the way almost immediately and that saved time can be all the difference.

In the United States, living alone is common with 28% of households having just one person. As common as it is, it always helps to exercise as much caution as possible.

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.