Give The Gift of Professional Home Security This Christmas

As you head out to the big box retailers this holiday season, you’ll no doubt see many “off the shelf” DIY home security systems that promise a “plug and play” out of the box experience.

In many cases, DIY is a great, affordable option. It is easy to see why it is an attractive consideration even in home security. But do DIY home security systems measure up to consumer expectations? In most cases, the answer is a resounding, no. In home security, the stakes are high and the system’s capability and functionality matter. While many tout the ease of installation in DYI systems, most consumers do not realize these systems lack the very features that make home security alarm systems desirable.

Here are some important ways DIY products do not measure up:

1. Installation is not as Easy as You Think

The installation of DIY systems may seem simple, and that fact alone may be a red flag. High-quality home security systems have many components that need expert placement. A system that is too simple may not provide the type of security coverage necessary to protect your family. A complex system requires expert installation of the components is crucial so that you do not leave gaps in your security. Improper installation can lead to a system failure which can place your family or property at risk.

2. Proper Placement

Setting up a DIY security system might seem like a slam dunk, but underestimating the importance of expert placement is a disservice to your security. Home security systems are highly technical systems that require professional knowledge to gain the most advantage from them. Not only can improper placement make components less effective, it can make the system nearly useless!

3. DIY Systems Cost More Than You Expect

Contrary to popular belief, DIY home systems are not the most economical choice in home security. Most DIY home security systems come with a few components, such as window sensors, with the expectation you WILL need more. Those expensive components add up quickly.

4. Incompatibility Issues

The technologies used to support home security systems are constantly changing and needing product support. With professional systems, these updates are never a problem to the end user, the consumer. With DIY systems, a simple computer system upgrade can make the entire system incompatible. Further, should technology advances make the system outmoded, the manufacturer of the DIY system may no longer provide any updates or support if they ever provided these at all.

5. No Connection to Police

Your home alarm system is your lifeline. At least that is what most people intend and expect. One of the most important components of any home security system is the connection to emergency services such as fire or police, something DIY systems do not offer.

6. A DIY System is not the Same as Professional Systems

While a DIY security system can provide some of the same features of a professional system, it is important to realize that it is not a comparable substitute. DIY systems meet a few needs specific to the widest number of people possible. A professional system is designed to meet the very specific needs of your family and the home structure. The technologies used are often different and the capabilities of the systems vary dramatically.

About Complete Security Systems

Contact us today. The experts at Complete Security Systems design professional home security systems that will keep your family safe and be supported by local staff right here in New Jersey for years to come.

Holiday Vacation Checklist To Keep Your Home Safe While Traveling

Whether you will be traveling to visit family or just taking a much-needed vacation, there are some very important security measures to put in place before you leave. Please keep in mind that thieves don’t take a vacation for the holiday season. In fact, the holiday season is their busiest time of the year!  

What You Can Do To Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away

The following are some simple steps you can take to make your home less attractive to would-be burglars. The best way is to combine the list of ideas below with a professionally installed and monitored electronic security alarm system in your home.        

Before you leave on your trip, be sure to:

  • Get a trusted friend or relative to “house sit” or make sure your neighbors know you will be away.
  • Have a neighbor pick up your newspapers and your mail for you daily.
  • Lock all doors and windows and secure the garage door.
  • Leave a car parked in the driveway, or ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
  • Leave a house key — and a number where you can be reached — with a trusted friend or neighbor.

Pro Tip: The best way is to combine the list of ideas below with a professionally installed and monitored electronic security alarm system in your home. Ask us how today!

 

  • Use timers to turn lights on and off at certain times, altering lighting patterns, to create an occupied look.
  • Leave drapes and shades open as normal. (Closed blinds during the day are a sure sign of an empty house, plus they allow a burglar to attend to his business unseen by neighbors.)
  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed.
  • Be sure your trees and hedges have been trimmed. This gives burglars fewer places to hide.
  • Consider upgrading outdoor light fixtures with devices that have built-in motion detectors, which turn on the lights whenever anyone walks past.
  • If you have an alarm system, make sure to arm it EVERY time you leave your home…yes, EVEN if you will only be gone for a short while.

Technology Can Help – Talk To A Security Expert Today!

Following these practical safety tips can go a long way towards keeping your property safe. Adding professional burglar and fire alarm monitoring for your home (or business!), mobile app control and video monitoring can take your family’s safety to a new level. Contact us today to speak to a security expert and schedule your free consultation today!

Halloween Home Safety Tips

While Halloween haunted houses, ghouls, and goblins should be scary, Halloween and its festivities should also be safe. Each year sees the highest number of pedestrian fatalities and auto related injuries on Halloween. Non-auto related injuries such as those caused by falling also increase on Halloween as well as incidents of vandalism.

If you are going to be out on Halloween, be sure to observe these important safety practices.

Tips for Trick or Treaters

Parents should be happy to know that there has never been a documented incident of a child ingesting tainted Halloween candy. It should also comfort parents to know that the incidence of abductions does not increase on Halloween. However, product tampering can and does occur any time of year and abductions can and do happen on any day of the year.  It is still important to take precautions to keep kids safe on Halloween.

  1. Choose to attend alternate celebrations that keep kids in one place and among trusted friends, such as a trunk-or-treat event.
  2. Accompany children 12 or younger
  3. Stay in groups at all times
  4. Choose well-fitting costumes that do not obscure the vision
  5. Choose light colored costumes or add reflective tape to the front and back of costume
  6. Carry flashlights
  7. Observe pedestrian safety
  8. Go to only well-lit houses
  9. Stay in familiar neighborhoods
  10. Children and adults should carry a phone
  11. Inspect all candy to make sure it is unopened and safe for your child

Home Safety and Security on Halloween

Remember that others will be walking on your property at night, so you will want to make it as safe as possible. It is also important to consider your pets, and keeping your home secure at all times.  Here are some tips to help keep your friends safe and your home secure.

  1. Make sure the walkway is free of cracks that could trip trick-or-treaters
  2. Ensure the walkway leading to your home is free of obstructions, such as hoses, newspapers, garden tools, toys, rocks, or Halloween decorations
  3. Light the pathway as well as your doorway to your home
  4. Keep pets restrained in a room away from the front door
  5. Keep black cats indoors to avoid those that may cause harm or mischief
  6. Report any suspicious activity
  7. Make sure valuables are not visible from the doorway
  8. Be sure not to overload electrical sockets with automated Halloween decorations and use only safe extension cords
  9. If you leave the home for the evening, turn on your home security alarm system

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.

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.