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.

 

Tips for National Disaster Preparedness Month

As we approach the annual milestone of September 11, it’s a time to reflect on many things – one of which is how to be prepared for a disaster, whether it is natural or man-caused. September 2018 is the 15th annual National Disaster Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you are interested in helping others understand how to get prepared for a potential emergency, there are some great resources at www.ready.gov. In addition, here are some tips for navigating through a disaster if one were to occur.

Be patient.

Relief workers will be on the scene in a disaster, but depending on the damage that has been done, it could take time to get the help you need. If you are in serious danger or gravely injured, do anything you can to attract attention to yourself – but if you are simply in an uncomfortable predicament, it’s best to stay calm until help arrives.

Expect utilities to be out.

No electricity, gas, water or phone services are all common results of disasters, particularly natural disasters. To be prepared, have supplies such as flashlights, blankets, water bottles, non-perishable foods, cleansing wipes, garbage bags and a cell phone charger in your disaster supply kit.

Pay attention to emergency alerts.

The New Jersey State Police and some local police departments participate in the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). As IPAWS users, they may send messages through the Emergency Alert System. Keep your battery powered radio and/or mobile phone near you as you wait for help; the emergency alerts may come through either of those devices. In some cases, there may also be emergency information on your security system panel.

Again, there is more information on disaster preparedness available through Ready.gov. If you have questions about receiving emergency information on your security system, contact us today. We will be glad to help.

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

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.

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.

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.

7 Summertime Home Security Tips

In addition to installing a home security system, what should NJ homeowners know about preventing their homes from being burglarized?

As a homeowner, ask yourself these important questions:

Is my schedule obvious to burglars who may be watching my home?

  • Are windows and doors left open – even those that are not easily accessible?
  • Are there places around my home that are hidden from neighbors and others?
  • How well is the exterior of my home lit – can I see every entry point at night?
  • What equipment do I keep in my garage that may be used to help a burglar break in?

There are many common-sense recommendations for preventing burglaries. 

  • Locking doors and windows anytime you leave (and place a bar in the track of sliding glass doors)
  • Install motion sensor lights to shine light on otherwise dark places around your home
  • Program lights to turn on at random times, especially when traveling

These are just a few of the common recommendations, but each of these is improved ten-fold by adding a home security alarm to the mix. After all, what good is a locked window if a burglar simply breaks the glass to enter your home? What good are deadbolts when the burglar can simply climb a ladder and enter the second-story window instead? What good are motion sensor lights if no one is home to see what’s happening outside?

A modern home security alarm in NJ from CSS combines the basic home security features with technology and 24/7 monitoring to implement a more complete security system.

To learn more about home security alarms in NJ, call the expert team at Complete Security Systems.