8 Ways Smart Home Technologies Help Simplify Back-to-School Routines

Every parent wants to pave the way to academic success for their children in every aspect of their lives. The first element of this is taking the chaos out of managing routines. Today, parents are using home automation to help them manage daily routines, and ease their worry about the safety and wellbeing of their children after school.

With life getting increasingly busy and more mobile, using smart home technologies to simplify daily routines just makes sense. Here are some ways you can use your home security and home automation systems to make the daily school routine a breeze.

Automating The Morning Routine

Up on Time—Getting kids up and out of bed can be a long process that takes you away from other things you need to get done to prepare for the day. Smart home technologies can help make the process quick and easy by scheduling lights on, blinds up, and music to help facilitate the process.

Lights Off and Doors Locked— In the rush of getting out the door, it is easy to forget important things like locking the door or turning off the coffee pot. Using smart technologies allows you turn off enable appliances or lock doors remotely, so you never have to turn back in traffic or worry all day that the door may not be locked.

The Smart Home Is Always Watching

Keep Areas Off Limits—You want to keep your teen and their visiting friends safe even if you are not yet home. Access control and alerts can make certain areas off limits, and alert you if someone has tried to gain access.

Did They Make it Home—Unique access codes and real time alerts allow you to know which child got home and when. Not only does it provide peace of mind knowing they are home, it prevents them from taking unscheduled detours.

Know When They Leave—Smart home technologies can help you manage the coming and going of your busy teen. Real time alerts will let you know if they left in enough time to make it to band practice or if they left without permission.

Are There Friends Over—With real time alerts, you can tell if the door is opening an unusual number of times, something that could indicate your home is Grand Central Station.

Cut Off TV or Game Time— Making sure that homework is done and that your student is to bed on time is much easier when you are using smart technologies. With smart enabled devices you simply schedule an off time.

Keep an Eye on Things—Video surveillance systems and remote real-time viewing provide just the tools you need to keep an eye on things, even if you are not home. Is homework done? Did the chores get done? Now you will know.

About Complete Security Systems

If you have any questions about security and automation systems in NJ, or how they can help you manage the crush of back-to-school, give us a call today.

The Lazy Days of Summer Starts With Smart Security

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.

Home Security Checks Before Going on Vacation

Summer means travel for you and your family. While it’s all fun and exciting, it also means more time away, leaving your home and your belongings vulnerable to burglaries. There are ways you can protect your home, even if you will be gone for an extended period of time.

Home Security Checks to Perform Before Leaving

While home security should be a top priority year round, summer is a peak times for burglaries, so you need to step up your defenses. Before you head out for your summer vacation, make sure to perform these critical tasks on your checklist:

  • Install a Home Security System – Summer is a great time to install a security system. You will want to give yourself a little time between travel and installation. A security system will provide you with added peace of mind while you are away.
  • Inform Your Alarm Monitoring Service – If you already have a home security system, do not forget to tell the monitoring service you will be away (and give them the dates). Let your security service know who has authorized access to your home while you are away and provide the service with your contact information in case of an emergency.
  • Use Home Automation Systems – Home automation systems allow you to put your home on a timer. You can have lights turn on and off at specific times and even program your comfort systems to activate as you are on your way home, so everything is warm and well-lit for your arrival.
  • Put Mail and Newspapers on Hold – Nothing tells burglars you are away more than piled up mail and newspapers. Put any delivery services on hold or ask a neighbor to pick up the paper and mail so that you are not leaving a tell-tale sign you are gone.
  • Check All Entry Points – Check all entry points to your home and ensure they are locked. This includes basement entrances, attic windows, second-floor windows, etc.
  • Inform the Neighbors – Let your neighbors or the head of your neighborhood watch program know you will be away and ask if they could keep an eye on things for you.
  • Do Not Publicly Announce Your Travel Plans – Avoid the temptation to announce you will be away online or publicly. Burglars monitor the web, especially social media, to see where you check-in, if you plan to travel and how long your house will be vacant.

Learn more about how you can protect your home while you travel or get a free home assessment from your local home security professionals.

Protect your home while you travel this summer by installing a security system. Call CSS for a free consultation today.

Home Security = Happy Vacation

When you’re traveling, thousands of miles of ocean can separate you from the home you spent your whole life saving for. Know with certainty that your castle is safe and secure, wherever you are, with Honeywell’s Total Connect System from Complete Security Systems.

With Total Connect, you can control your security system, watch live video of your home and receive security alerts through the Internet or a smart phone.

How Smart Home Systems Work

It’s easy to use, because the remote keypad has the same functions as the alarm control panel in your home. You can set or disarm your alarm; view security alerts; open a door for maintenance, cleaning or pet care; control garage doors and turn lights on or off on a schedule or manually.

The Total Connect System can proactively send you alerts about your home. Know almost instantly when motion detectors are disturbed or doors are opened (and record video of the event.) It can also warn you if a leaky pipe is flooding your house, a fire has started or the air conditioning has stopped working.

Since you can set or disarm your alarm wherever you are, you won’t have to give out your security code to people who need in your home while you’re away. You’re able to confirm the pet sitter or housekeeper is coming and going at appropriate times and only entering authorized areas by controlling their access to your home remotely.

Smart Schedules with Home Security

An empty-looking house is a magnet for those who want to take your property. With Total Connect, you can remotely turn lights on and off or schedule them to operate at set times. If an intruder thinks someone is home, they will hopefully think twice about breaking and entering.

Never wake up in the middle of the night again because you “just had a bad feeling.” With just a few keystrokes, you can confirm your alarm is active and see for yourself that your home is empty, safe and secure with Complete Security Systems Video Services.

Smart Video For Even Greater Peace of Mind

With Video Services, you can view and control multiple live cameras inside or outside your home. Through the interface, you can view one camera or several on the same screen. Video alerts are also part of the system. Do you want to see exactly what set off a motion detector? The system can automatically record and show you a video of the event. Rest easy knowing your home is just a tap or click away, no matter where you are in the world.

Remote Video Services from CSS work through the Internet. With your smart phone (Apple, Android or Blackberry) computer or any device connected to the Web (iPod Touch, iPad, or other tablet), the service creates a secure, safe connection to your security system.

No matter where you’re traveling or when you want to know, Honeywell’s Total Connect System from Complete Security Systems will ease your fears when you leave home and enable you to have a worry-free and enjoyable journey.

About Complete Security Systems

Since 1983, Complete Security Systems has been in the business of keeping you safe. We are one of the largest independently owned, full-service security and fire alarm companies in New Jersey, recognized in 2003 as the state’s Outstanding Alarm Dealer of the Year. Contact us today for a complimentary security evaluation.

4 Home Security Tools that Help in Dementia Care

The symptoms of dementia are not only frustrating and disheartening to the sufferer; they can also pose a risk to their safety. As the condition progresses, individuals with dementia experience diminished abilities that causes memory loss, dulled or changed senses, poor judgment, and a loss of the awareness of time and place. These symptoms can cause the individual to put themselves in danger as they attempt to accomplish familiar tasks.

Assuring the safety of someone with dementia is one of the most critical concerns for caregivers, and often one of the most difficult. As the needs increase, caregivers must adapt the home to meet those needs. This can be especially challenging for caregivers who want their loved ones to be happy and to remain active and safe, yet do not want the home to feel restrictive. In light of Older Americans Month, here are some valuable home security solutions that provide safety, yet help retain all the warmth of the home environment.

Use Alarms to Secure Dangerous Items

Cabinet alarms can keep items such as medications, alcohol, and firearms safely unreachable.

Door and Window Alarms

Many instances of wandering happen while the other members of the household are sound asleep. This is because dementia can affect a person’s sense of time and cause them to have unusual sleep patterns. They may wake in the middle of the night and become confused when the house is quiet, causing them to attempt to leave. Door and window alarms can alert you should they be opened.

Keypad Locks

Commonly, individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia forget familiar faces, momentarily and unexpectedly. This often makes them feel afraid and suspicious and act out in attempt to protect themselves from these new strangers by locking out loved ones when they get the mail or perform other outdoor tasks. Since hiding a key outside the home increases the risk of burglary, a keypad entry is a perfect home security solution.

Security System with CCTV

Depending on the stage of dementia, individuals may be able to stay home alone for short periods of time. Using security camera systems, or CCTV, can help you view what is going on remotely, enabling you to spot and prevent danger, yet lets the loved one retain as much autonomy as possible for as long as possible.

About Complete Security Systems

Dealing with the effects of dementia is not easy, but you do not have to do it alone. If you want more information on how you can leverage home security products to help in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, call us today at (732) 780-6787.

3 ways to make schools safer with integrated security

Schools today face a wider range of security concerns than ever before. From petty acts of graffiti or vandalism to the ever present risk of mass shootings, administrators in New Jersey and beyond are constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to enhance school security while maintaining quality learning spaces for their students. Ultimately, the goal of any integrated security structure within a school should be to manage the area more effectively, keep students safe from harm, and allow everyone to feel secure while they learn and teach.

Security technology and basic building management now go hand in hand. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2011-2012 school year 88% of schools locked entrances and monitored entrances to the building.

Another 44% used locked and monitored gates to secure access to the grounds. Sixty-four percent relied upon security cameras to watch what was happening throughout the building. These changes allow administration and security staff to more efficiently monitor what happens during the day and come up with appropriate policies for their schools.

The right mix of security systems and freedom of movement can make a tremendous difference for the quality of education children receive while they are in school. These three areas are key to that success.

VISIBILITY AND MONITORING

Not surprisingly, if 90% of a building can be in direct line of sight to a teacher or other authority figure, the rule breaking will almost always happen in the other 10%. Using cameras to monitor behavior between classrooms helps reduce bullying, fighting, and vandalism by putting eyes in those areas, cutting down on incidents and bringing culprits to justice. Videotape recorders are still common, but vary significantly in quality. Fortunately, digital recording technology has come a long way and is quickly becoming the standard for school security.

METAL DETECTORS

In 2003-4, only two percent of public schools had students pass through metal detectors daily. That number has doubled by the 2011-12 school year, and the number of random metal detector sweeps have increased as well. Given the proliferation of gun violence across the country, this is hardly surprising. They are most commonly found in urban school settings and at the secondary level, and play a key role in preventing random school shootings.

ACCESS CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES

Many schools now favor electronic access control over the entrances and exits. While card swipes, fingerprints, or code boxes may cost more in the short run, they are more secure than regular keyed entries. They also offer flexibility for other staff members, who may need to come and go from front or side doors during the day. This allows even main doors to remain locked and makes it harder for intruders to enter the school.

The ultimate goal of all these security systems is to make the school feel as secure as possible for the students inside, while having the smallest effect on how “jail-like” the building becomes. It is an important balance of safety and freedom for students, teachers and administrators alike.

Business Security Systems are Essential

Businesses want to ensure the safety of their employees and customers as well as protect their inventory. After all, inventory is the lifeblood of most businesses. These are the main reasons why most businesses invest in a business security system. Yet, business security systems can do far more and provide the business owner advantages beyond just securing property.

Many business owners are surprised to find that security systems can be a tool that helps increase their profitability. Naturally, security systems reduce theft, but nothing else can provide the valuable insights you need in improving customer engagement, employee productivity, and reducing energy consumption.

Business security systems can:

  • Reduce theft
  • Increase safety
  • Reduce the incidence of lawsuits
  • Deter vandalism
  • Deter loitering
  • Deter outside theft
  • Reduce the incident of employee theft
  • Control/ restrict/ manage/ monitor access
  • Detect motion
  • Provide alerts
  • Provide automation
  • Provide business insights

Integrate Top Technologies in Your Business Security Systems

One of the biggest obstacles in commercial security is knowing exactly what your business needs. With so many options, knowing what technologies to implement in your commercial security system can be very challenging. One way to overcome this problem is by discussing your objectives with a professional; have them evaluate your facility and then provide recommendations.

Businesses should consider these top security product options:

  • Fire/smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and alarms
  • Automation integration
  • Video surveillance systems
  • Tools that restrict access to offices, supplies, or inventory
  • Intrusion alarms
  • Electronic locks and key pads
  • Door sensors
  • Restrict visitor access
  • Siren alarms
  • Motion detection devices
  • Glass break detection
  • Closed circuit television (CCTV)
  • Remote access and control of security system
  • Ability to view video surveillance remotely and over internet connected devices such as smartphones
  • Outdoor cameras
  • Real time alerts
  • 24/7 Monitoring

Today’s security technologies are for much more than protecting against theft or fire. An integrated security system can be the tools that give the business owner the control and insight they need for success. If you have questions about how to fully leverage security product technologies, please feel free to give us a call today.

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.

Your Landscaping has a lot to do with Home Security

When we think of home security, we most often think of home security alarm systems. While alarm systems are always a great number one choice in home protection, there is something more you can do to help protect your property—consider the landscaping.

Surprisingly few people think of landscaping as a security feature, and because of this it very often becomes a security hazard. Here’s what you can do to make your landscaping an asset in home protection.

Tall Trees and Bushes Provide Beauty and Cover

A lush landscape filled with beautiful trees makes a property very attractive, but it can also provide excellent cover to thieves and intruders. A tall tree next to a second story window is like a ladder, and even has leaves to work as camouflage, for example. Consider spacing trees and cutting back anything located against the home structure.

The Visibility Factor Plays an Important Role in Attracting or Deterring Crime

We all value our privacy, but if you are using a lush landscape as a property border you are doing your home security a disservice. Remember, criminals want to avoid detection so the very thing that gives YOU privacy gives the criminal the perfect environment to carry out crime.

Lighting Attracts Mosquitos, Not Burglars

Landscape lighting not only adds beauty to your yard; it also adds security. Again, criminals want to carry out their objective successfully so a significant amount of lighting can be a real deterrent. In addition to pathway lighting, consider motion activated floodlighting that cover places such as doors and windows.

Keeping the Yard Freshly Mowed Tells Everyone You Are Home

An unkempt lawn may tell an intruder that you are frequently away from home or currently on vacation. If you are going to be away from home or tied up in work, schedule a visit from landscape professionals to keep things in order.

Fences Provide Security, Right?

It may sound counter intuitive, but fencing can actually be a problem to your security unless you have the home and property line additionally secured with some of the many options in home protection. Fences and walls can provide the cover intruders need to breach your home.

Criminals Take Prominent Home Security Warnings Seriously

Studies show that the vast majority of criminals will pass by a home that is clearly protected by home security alarm systems. Break out the lawn signs and window decals. They work.

About Complete Security Systems

If you are thinking about how to integrate home security alarm systems into your life, call Complete Security Systems today. We offer advanced solutions for homes and businesses and specializes in smart technologies.

A Fast Guide to Reducing Retail Loss and Developing a Loss Prevention Strategy

A loss prevention plan is the establishment of specific policies and procedures and the implementation of tools that will reduce the incident of internal theft, external theft, and errors that lead to losses. Retail loss accounts for represents 1.47% of retail revenue.

Of that amount,

  • 48% is due to employee theft
  • 32% to shoplifting
  • 15% administrative errors
  • 5% vendor fraud

Internal (Employee) Theft

Internal theft is the biggest contributor to loss of most retail establishments. It occurs through many methods including merchandise theft, helping/allowing others to steal, and “conversion fraud” which include void, discount, and refund theft.

External Theft

External Theft is caused by robberies, shoplifting or other outside sources. Though External theft does not account for as much as internal theft, it is still a significant source of loss.

Errors

Errors, such as mistakes in paperwork, inaccurate counting of products or mistakes in money exchange can account for between 5-20% of a retailer’s annual loss. That’s pretty significant.

Vendor Fraud

Vendor fraud is fraud committed by vendors either acting alone or with the help of employees receiving kickbacks. This might include things like price rigging, overbilling, padding the bill, shorting the delivery, and similar schemes.

Smart Strategies for Reducing Retail Loss

Even small losses add up over time and effect bottom line profitability that hurts the entire business, causing lost profits. Those profits could be used for more inventory, expansion, hiring additional employees, or increased employee wages or benefits. Ultimately, everyone loses. Loss prevention strategies take, time, commitment, and a modest investment but pay off in the end.

Here are some important tips in preventing retail loss:

  • Do pre-employment background checks
  • Implement employee recognition/morale programs
  • Develop a loss prevention protocol
  • Train employees in theft reduction strategies
  • Have a dedicated theft reduction team
  • Stop by the business without warning
  • Spot check inventory and cash drawers frequently
  • Check physical inventory against inventory spreadsheets
  • Hire security guards
  • Stress Integrity as part of the company culture
  • Install access control systems
  • Install video surveillance systems and CCTV
  • Manage traffic patterns and choke points
  • Be aware of dwell times
  • Train employees to engage customers
  • Train employees to spot suspicious activities
  • Train employees on receiving inventory
  • Cover receiving areas with cameras
  • Use inventory tracking systems, POS systems and other tools to manage and track inventory

About Complete Security Systems

Retail loss is a big problem, and for businesses working within tight margins, it can be devastating. Business security and access control systems can be controlled and monitored remotely, making them a vital part of your loss prevention strategy.

If you have questions about how to leverage business security systems in the reduction of retail loss, give us a call today. We are pleased to assist you.