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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!

5 Important Reasons Why Home Automation is a Necessity

If you are like most people, when you think of home automation you think of all the cool conveniences it provides, such as being able to have your home climate controlled or having the ability to lock doors remotely. But this has led to an important question: Is home automation a convenience, luxury, or necessity? We believe that it has increasingly become a necessity. Here are 5 important reasons why.

Times Are Changing

Times change and things that were once considered luxuries are now absolute necessities. For example, in 1995, only 10% of homes had the internet. Now, a short time later, nearly not only does nearly every home have it, our society depends on it for just about every function. While home automation was convenient, the services it provides makes it increasingly indispensable to running a household.

Resources Management is Increasingly Important

Not only is it true that as a society we have become more conscious about conserving our resources, we also understand that it is increasingly important to do so because of the political and economic climate we live in. Home automation provides one of the best tools available for conserving our resources.

Time Management is Important

As we move to a more information drive society, how we spend our time is more important. Home automation provides the tools we need to increase productivity and to do more, more effectively. It also allows us to multi-task mush more effectively than ever before.

It Allows Us to Improve Our Caregiving

Today, it is not uncommon to have both small children and aged adults in the home requiring some special oversight. Home automation allows you to provide that without compromising a loved one’s dignity but allowing you to check in remotely and receive custom alerts for activity that might indicate trouble. Home automation also allows you to provide care to those living outside the home, too. With the ability to check in via security camera or keep track of activity through sensors, you can call for help the minute you suspect a problem.

Home Automation Creates A More Hospitable Environment

As we learn more about ourselves and how the mind works we learn how our environment effects things like mood and productivity. Creating a hospitable environment is also important for homes with occupants with sensory issues. Home automation can control those elements that create disturbance, such as glaring lights or noise.

As time changes, tools such as home automation move quickly from being a convenience to an indispensable tool. If you have any questions about home automation, please give Complete Security Systems a call.

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.

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.

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.

Better Parenting with Home Security: FOMO

If you are a parent, you know about FOMO, or the Fear OF Missing Out. And if you are like most parents, you know that sinking feeling that settles around your heart every time you come home and hear about some special moment that you wish you could have witnessed yourself.
One of the most difficult things about being a parent is that in order to be a great parent, you have to do things other than parenting! Work and many other things take us away from our kids so that we can take care them to the best of our ability. As much as we don’t like it, we can often miss out on some of the little things that make up their day.
We have all thought to ourselves that there must be a better way—and there really is. You can banish FOMO with an unlikely tool—your home security system.

No More Missing Out

You can learn a lot about how things went that day just by how the kids walk through the door and fling their backpacks on the floor. When the baby sitter tells you what a great day the kids had at school or some special event you do not have to rely on second hand information. Use your home security system and app to tap in to the security cameras and see their faces as they walk through the door.

Separation Anxiety?

Yes, your home security system can help with (your) separation anxiety. The kids may be fine walking away for the day and not give us much thought, but we hate saying good bye. We hate not knowing what they are doing, or whether or not they are okay. Tapping into your home security cameras for a peek every now helps close in the distance.

Stay Involved

Ever get the feeling that when the kids are telling you what happened that day, that they should be telling you what else happened that day? Yeah. We know. Now your strategic parenting can take on new power. No need to miss the action. Now. You. Know.

Improve Your Productivity

It is difficult to accomplish all that we need to do in a day when our mind is constantly going back to thoughts of the children. Worry takes a lot of energy that could be spent getting things done. One quick check through the security cameras can tell you all you need to know. Now you can get all of your work done faster so you can go home sooner.

It Can Help You Manage Homework Time

Should the kids be doing homework when they get home from school so that you can have even more time enjoying time together when you get home? Unless you tap into your home security cameras, you have no way of really knowing until you get home.

Worried About Chaos?

We know. Take your eyes off the kids for one moment and nearly anything could happen. There is no need to worry any more though. If your young people know that you can check in at any moment and see for yourself, they are far less likely to test your boundaries.

Ready to banish FOMO? Call Complete Security Systems. CSS is one of the largest independently owned, full-service security and fire alarm companies in new Jersey.

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.