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.

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.

 

Wired vs Wireless Home Alarms: Which is Better?

Home security systems have spared many people from the stress of break-ins and robberies. Just knowing that a house has a security system is enough to deter some criminals from attempting to break into a home. But some intruders think they have it figured out and know ways around a security system. In order to safeguard against criminal activity, you need to ensure that your security system is tamper-proof. That is why it is a good idea to get a wireless GSM system for your home.

What is a GSM (wireless) alarm system?

GSM systems are communication systems that work through wireless telephone signals. Unlike wired security systems, wireless alarms don’t implement the use of the nearby phone lines to work. GSM systems work much in the same way that your cell phone does. They utilize a wireless communications system to send and receive alerts and messages.

Worries of the Wired World

Many home security systems work through physical wires and telephone lines in order to send their alerts and messages to the proper authorities. This was the most common transmission method for older security systems. However, there are many potential risks involved with using wired systems.

Tampering

Some models function on a battery backup, so even if the security system still has power to it, it cannot send a signal to the monitoring station without a working phone line. Many wired security systems can be rendered useless with just a few cut wires.

GSM systems have the ability to wirelessly contact the authorities, security system operator and you of the intrusion or emergency even if power and phone lines have been cut.

Random Outages and Weather

Sometimes your phone service may have too much traffic to operate properly, or the service may be temporarily unavailable. Bad weather may also snap telephone lines, causing the lines to be down for hours, days or even weeks at a time. Downed power and phone lines from natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy a few years ago can leave a wired security system vulnerable.

Cost

Land lines also cost you more money every month. Many people have completely switched over to cellular phone service. Having the extra expense of keeping a landline available purely for your home security system seems like a waste. You could spend hundreds of dollars every year just to ensure that your home security system has a phone line to use in case of an emergency.

GSM systems allow you to transition completely from using landlines to relying on wireless phone service without any added expenses.

Having wireless alarms in your home can protect you from intruders, burglars and fires, to name a few. If you’re going to have a home security system consider getting a GSM system from Complete Security Systems. We can free you from the risks and hassles of a wired system with the quick installation of a wireless GSM system.

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. That gives us 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.

11 Easy Ways to Reduce False Alarms

Having a home security or fire alarm system helps ensure the safety of your family and to protect your property. Having this 24/7 protection provides the peace of mind we all want and need. However, with any technology comes special considerations. In the case of home security technologies, the special consideration is taking steps to reduce false alarms.

Over the years, fire alarm systems have become more complex and sensitive, yet increasingly accurate. Many people remember the fire alarm systems of the past which suffered from “false alarm syndrome” with systems being accidently set off due to various circumstances.

Not only did it create a problem for local emergency response teams, these occurrences led to “occupant conditioning” which caused residents to ignore alarms. Today, fire alarm systems are more reliable and accurate than ever, but we still need to do our part to reduce false alarms.

Together Reducing False Alarms

Nobody wants to set off or have their system set off a false alarm. False alarms sometimes cause unnecessary dispatches of emergency responders which increases response times to actual emergencies.  With the astounding advances in the technology arena, fire alarm systems have become much more complex and accurate which has reduced false alarms considerably. Keeping the number of false alarms down to a minimum however, still requires some active participation on the part of the users. Here are some ways we can reduce false alarms together:

Work with Qualified and Reputable Companies

Because fire alarm and home security systems are so sensitive, they require being installed by properly trained and qualified system experts. Experts understand how all of the components work together and how they are best employed in individual homes which helps avoid problems that often lead to false alarms.

Learn Your System

Believe it or not, 80% of all false alarms are due to user error. One of the most effective ways to reduce the chance of causing a false alarm is to get to know your system well. Ask your system installer questions about the function of the system and what may impact false alarms. Read all of the material associated with your security system

Train the Users

Anyone using the system should be trained on how to use it properly. Each user should know how to properly arm and disarm the system as well as what can contribute to tripping the alarm accidentally.

Schedule Regular Inspections

With something as important as a home security or fire alarm system. Regular inspections have been shown to reduce false alarms. Many things can contribute to changes in the effectiveness of your system such as home renovations or the addition of pets to the family.

Opt in to Full Integration and Monitoring

When you have a system that includes and ties into your video surveillance system you can log on and view your home remotely to rule out or rule in an emergency.

Reliability and Proactiveness Go Hand In Hand

Nobody wants to “cry wolf” and when you have a monitored fire alarm system reducing false alarms is a top priority. False alarms can result in unnecessary dispatches of emergency responders and increase their response times to actual events and emergencies.Over the last two decades, fire alarm systems have become much more technologically complex and accurate which has reduced false alarms considerably. However, keeping the number of false alarms to a minimum requires proactiveness on all fronts. Here are some ways we can reduce false alarms together:

Choose Qualified Fire Alarm System Installers

Accuracy starts at the foundation. Choose properly trained and certified fire and security system experts will know best practices concerning the proper installation of your system, and how all the components work together. Proper installation will help you avoid the problems that often lead to false alarm situations.

Know How Your System Works

Get to know your fire alarm system well. Read all the literature provided and ask your system installer any questions you may have. The number one cause of false alarms is user error. In fact, 80% of all false alarms are due to user error.

Train All Users

If you have others, such as house sitters or service providers who will be using your system, be sure to train them on the proper usage of the system.

Keep the System Maintained

Regular inspections have been shown to reduce false alarms. Many things can contribute to changes in the effectiveness of your system such as home renovations or the addition of pets to the family.

Utilize All Capabilities

Choose a fully integrated system that ties your fire alarm system into your monitored home security system. If your system includes video surveillance cameras, you can log in and view your property to rule in or rule out any events.

Complete Security Systems is a family owned and operated company that has been in business since 1983. It’s not just a business, it’s personal. The CSS family treats each and every employee as part of their extended family and in turn this attitude is passed to our clients. If you have any questions or want to explore home security options, please give us a call.

Home Fire Safety and Prevention Tips

When was the last time you thought about your smoke detector? If you are like most Americans, probably not recently enough. In fact, most Americans do not know the age of their smoke detector or when they last put in batteries. Just as startling, far too few Americans know enough about fire or fire safety measures.

We’d like to share a fast, easy to browse tip sheet that you can use to increase your awareness and safety.

How Fire Works

  • Fire can smolder undetected for some time, but while it smolders it emits poisonous fumes that can incapacitate residents.
  • You have two minutes or less to escape a fire safely.
  • A home can be completely engulfed in 5 minutes.
  • It takes only 4 minutes for the temperature in a home’s living room to reach 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit, the point known as “flashover”, when spontaneous ignition occurs.
  • Most people assume that neighbors would of course see a fire in a timely manner and call for help. This is dangerous because it assumes the neighbors are home, awake, or able to call.
  • There is no time to gather belongings or make a call once fire erupts.
  • You cannot see through black smoke in a fire. This increases the time it takes to get out.
  • Fires emit poisonous fumes which can cause sleepiness or disorientation, which can cause residents to not seek or be unable to seek help.
  • Asphyxiation, not flame, is the leading killer by a ratio of three- to -one.
  • Heat and smoke kill long before flame.

Fire Prevention and Detection Tips

  • Develop and practice a fire safety plan.
  • Remove fire hazards such as trash or debris.
  • Store chemicals properly.
  • Have both fire and CO detectors.
  • Ensure appliances are off when not in use.
  • Equip your home with fire protection equipment such as fire extinguishers, and escape ladders.
  • Have a monitored and integrated fire and home security and home automation system that can initiate help swiftly.
  • Use home automation to schedule or remotely turn off appliances.
  • Keep your fire safety and detection equipment in working order.

Having the right fire and life safety systems in place is critical to your protection. If you have any questions about the latest technologies, or how they can help complete your safety plan, please give us a call. Complete Security Systems has been serving NJ customers with integrity for over 30 years.

Minimizing Fire Damage With Smart Home Technology

Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires. Direct property loss due to fire damage is estimated at $7.3 billion each year. These statistics are sobering and even more so knowing that most fires can be prevented, and much of the damage limited with early detection and notification.

Fires spread quickly. In less than five minutes a home can be engulfed in flame. In less than two minutes, heat, smoke, and fumes from fire become life threatening. In fact, asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire related death exceeding burns by a tree-to-one ratio.

Critical Components in Fire Safety

Two minutes is a very short time, especially in a crisis situation. Even that short time is cut short for many people because of the amount of time it takes to become aware of fire. In some cases, residents may be away from home, sleeping, or the fire may erupt behind a wall or in an unoccupied portion of the structure where the fire may progress undetected for some time. This makes fire prevention, early detection and early notification critical components in fire safety.

The Solutions are Simple

The use of home automation and complimentary home security technologies could help prevent a fire, or detect and alert early enough to help everyone evacuate safely and minimize possible fire damage.

Here are some important ways home automation and smart technologies can make a lifesaving difference in an emergency.

Fire Prevention

Residents can reduce the likelihood of fire by using smart technology to schedule turn off or remotely turn off appliances, such as the coffee pot or curing iron that could start a fire.

Early Detection and Early Response

With integration of your home security system to your automation system, you can initiate help sooner, as well as take immediate emergency measures.  If a system is monitored, once a system detects heat or smoke, a signal goes to the owner’s smart device as well as to the monitoring station who then alerts emergency services. A resident can act proactively and use their home automation platform to turn off air systems which help feed fire.

Sometimes, all it takes to limit fire damage are a few proactive steps. Complete Security Systems has the technology you need to help take control of your life and the tools that can help you do all that you can to prevent and limit the damage caused by fire.

Home Automation For The Busy Parent

Today’s parents are at the forefront of smart home technology. With modern systems providing parents new ways to stay connected and in touch, it’s not hard to see why. Smart home technology gives parents a bevy of tools at their fingers and provides unique ways of keeping the family safe and comfortable. With that being said, it’s not about choosing the first option available. Instead, parents are selective about the technology they use to ensure that all of their needs are met.

Because of this, parents can benefit from Complete Security Systems.

Safety as a Priority

Complete Security Systems takes home security very seriously and dedicates a number of resources to ensure that families feel safe inside and out. Numerous sensors are used throughout to ensure that parents have peace of mind. These include fire, smoke, CO, and much more. Complete Security Systems also provides complete security monitoring so that the entire home is covered. Parents will have eyes and ears wherever they need it most. When it comes to the protection of kids, Complete Security Systems takes childproofing into the modern age. High-tech sensors will send alerts to a smartphone if tripped. As the needs of the family change, parents can adapt their security options.

Technology to Make Life Easier

Smart home technology with Complete Security Systems means that the entire house is connected to make life easier. Simple tasks will prove to be a breeze. Parents can save time and access their home on the go. For example, smart locks and connected doorbells provide remote access and contact with the push of a button. Unlocking and securing the home is a breeze. Parents can check up on the security of their home and lock up after a child has left.

Automate Simple Tasks

Complete Security Systems uses advanced technology that automates everyday tasks so that families don’t have to. Furthermore, systems can be set up to change the home with the press of a button. Everything from the thermostat to the garage door opener is easy to control. The home can even understand what you need to be done before you even arrive. Geo-Services technology keeps track of where you are. It uses this information to adapt the home based on your needs. When the system sees that you’re on the way home, the lights will, temperature, and any other connected device will adapt for maximum comfort right when you walk through the door.

Easy and Connected Technology

Complete Security Systems has a handy smartphone app that acts as the epicenter of home automation. Every connected device can be manipulated in one organized space. Families can even use Amazon Echo to control the home with the sound of their voice. The entire family from the kids to the parents can have their own control of the home. Whether it’s on a tablet or a smart watch, control has never been easier. Complete Security System is your local home security and automation company, leading the way in advanced home automation technologies. Contact us today for a free consultation and schedule installation.

Practical Summer Safety For NJ Families

Complete Security Systems places a high priority on the security that NJ parents want for their children. They offer affordable ways to keep watch over the younger crowd so parents can breathe easier. Here are a few summer safety tips for parents and their children:

1. PLAY IT SAFE AT THE PARK.

Summer security in NJ starts at the playground. If a parent cannot accompany his child, he should make sure he visits the playground with a responsible adult.

It is a good idea to role play with a child ahead of time to teach him what to do if a stranger approaches. Another good tip is to show him how to find a trustworthy adult if he needs help or is lost. Other than a policeman or park employee, a child can ask a parent with small children for help. They are most likely to be adults a child can trust.

2. KEEP SAFE IN THE WATER.

The hot weather for which summer is famous makes the pool a popular place for children. A parent must never assume his child is safe just because he can swim. He or another responsible adult should be within arm’s reach at all times according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Some people expect a drowning child to thrash wildly and call for help. The exact opposite is usually true. A child who is drowning will often be very still and not draw attention. For this reason, adults supervising swimming children need to focus on them completely.

As all parents know, the beach is the best place to be during the summer. Kids who want to swim in the ocean need to know how to swim with waves, and be educated about rip tides.

3. NOT ALL HEAT DAMAGE COMES FROM THE SUN.

Burgers and steaks are summer fare for many, and the outdoor grill receives a lot of use during the warmer months. Parents need to teach their children to stay away from the grill even after it has been turned off. It stays hot for a while after use.

For other fire safety issues, CSS offers reliable home fire alarm systems that parents can count on. Their state-of-the-art fire alarms alert residents and the proper authorities immediately if they detect smoke.

4. NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN UNSUPERVISED.

This is one of the most important summer safety tips. Many burglaries occur during the day when people are at work. This creates danger for a child at home.

Children often have to stay home alone during the school year in the afternoons. During the summer, they are home even more. CSS offers a wireless surveillance system which allows parents to view their children at home and operate the security system from a remote location. It will alert them to any suspicious activity as well, so they can keep an eye on their children even if they need to be at work.

Following these summer safety tips will make safer NJ neighborhoods and put parents at ease. The employees at Complete Security Systems make it their mission to ensure safety for children and adults alike.

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 consultation.