Alarm Systems Do More Than Prevent Burglaries

A home security system means the difference between potential danger and peace of mind. According to the FBI, 25 percent of homes now have electronic security systems—these homeowners understand the immediate and long-term values of home security. Alarm systems can protect your home in many ways beyond preventing break-ins, and new technology allows homeowners to have more control of alarm systems than ever before. Learn four ways to get the most out of your home security system:

  1. Connect all of your home monitoring devices to your system: Alarm systems feature nearly infinite combinations of protection for your home, from traditional motion sensors and glassbreak detectors to devices that safeguard against fire, carbon monoxide, flood and freeze dangers.
  2. Receive text or email alerts when doors open and close: This gives you an extra eye on who’s going in and out of your home, whether you want to check that the kids arrived home from school safely or know that your spouse locked the door on the way out.
  3. Control your system from anywhere in the world: With just an Internet connection, you can arm or disarm the system, change the temperature, close the garage and more from your smartphone, computer or tablet. These features provide maximum accessibility and convenience for your busy lifestyle.
  4. Save money on home insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average insurance company offers a 15 to 20 percent discount on a home’s insurance policy, saving homeowners hundreds of dollars a year.

Home security systems were designed to deter burglars, but with advanced technology, systems can do so much more. Whether you’re a do-it-yourself homeowner looking to add to an alarm system or a first-time customer, SafeMart can help you customize a system to fit your unique needs.

Five Practices for Your Neighborhood Watch Program

According to the National Sheriff’s Association, the effectiveness of neighborhood watch programs has been proven through drops in burglaries after implementing the program­— in some areas, crime went down as much as 77 percent. After establishing a neighborhood watch program in your community, there are still ways to improve a neighborhood’s program. Here are five methods to ensure your neighborhood watch program is effective and sustainable:

Engage the entire community: Religious institutions, schools, businesses, local government agencies, youth groups, senior groups and other organizations are all potential resources and/or partners for a Neighborhood Watch. Groups in your community may be able to offer advice or insight to better your program. Extend invitations to Neighborhood Watch meetings to these organizations to involve them in the discourse of the program. The more of the community that is involved in the program, the wider the reach of the program. FBI statistics show that subdivisions with an active Neighborhood Watch Program are 43 percent less likely to experience crime, so reach out across neighborhoods within your town. A Neighborhood Watch Program needs everyone from the community to be involved, including single parents, teenagers, senior citizens and renters.

Communicate effectively with participants: Distribute duties among participants clearly and reasonably to divide and share responsibilities equally. Create a structure for the program everyone knows and have leaders of meetings direct discussion in a beneficial and efficient way. Bylaws and elected officers can help establish structure. Create a phone tree or contact list for everyone to stay in touch. Establish a consistent meeting time and agenda to encourage maximum attendance and informed participation.

Assess and address community needs: Contact the local law enforcement for more in-depth information on your neighborhood. Look at past problems and solutions to crimes, and identify areas that need specific work. Develop strategies to problems one at a time, and as the group works together more, more complex problems will become easier to take on. Evaluate past actions and strategies of combating crime and the effectiveness, and use these experiences to determine what is successful in the program.

Extend the program past basic security: Neighborhood Watch Programs may be used to improve a community beyond crime prevention. Some programs sponsor community cleanups, volunteer at local organizations, organize after-school activities and other efforts to help the community. These actions also help build the coherence of the neighborhood and create a stronger bond of trust in the program. Improving the community will also aid in lowering crime rates if the Neighborhood Watch Program is contributing to education and service around the area.

Keep the program active: As a Neighborhood Watch Program eliminates crimes, the program also may begin to dissolve after main issues are addressed and solved. A Department of Justice review found that in nearly all studies of Neighborhood Watch Programs, crime decreased. To reinforce the necessity of crime prevention, create new goals for the program and implement activities to find new opportunities. Continue to recruit new members and organizations into the program. Use media to spread the information about Neighborhood Watch Programs even beyond your neighborhood and community.

As your Neighborhood Watch program grows and expands, you may face challenges and new openings to expand the program. These five easy tips will help you get the most out of your local Watch program to help keep your community safe.

Seven Home Security Myths

In the past, owning a home security system was a luxury, with high-tech equipment and expensive services. Now almost anyone can buy and install his or her own system. A security system makes the home three times less likely to be burglarized. Don’t let outdated myths about home security stop you from protecting what is priceless.

A home security system is too expensive.

Certain home security options can be pricy, but if you do your research, you can find the perfect, affordable system for you and your home. Determine what you want from your security system and what doors, windows and other areas you want secured, then compare companies to find the best fit for you. Securing your home could save you money: In the average burglary, residents lose $1,725, and 34 percent of the time the burglar will enter through the front door.

Home alarm systems require a long, binding service contract.

Customers should take caution with service contracts, because most home security companies will lock you into a contract for three years or more. However, SafeMart offers a one-year contract that renews monthly after its conclusion to provide you with the most convenient and flexible service. Because most of SafeMart’s products are wireless, if you move before your contract expires, your security system can move with you.

Security systems require an expensive installer.

Although hardwired security systems must be professionally installed, many more people are now switching to wireless security systems and alarm monitoring, making installation so easy you can do it yourself! SafeMart delivers pre-configured systems to your home for you to place and activate at your own convenience, which means no more hassle from unfamiliar installers coming to your home (or missing appointments!).

Alarm monitoring always costs $40+.

There are many different plans to fit your alarm monitoring needs, so you can find exactly what you need in price and usefulness. Alarm monitoring doesn’t have to be costly—SafeMart offers cellular alarm monitoring as low as $19.95 per month.

My pet will cause false alarms.

Alarm system manufacturers know that almost 70 percent of U.S. homes have one or more pets, and systems are designed accordingly. For example, some home security systems have motion detectors with pet immunity.

My home isn’t a target for intrusion.

Some neighborhoods feel safe but a burglary occurs every 15 seconds across the country. A security system makes your home three times less likely to be broken into. A security system with alarm monitoring protects against smoke, carbon monoxide leaks and flooding in addition to burglary.

Wireless alarms are unreliable.

Many homeowners across the nation are now switching to wireless systems. With wireless communication, your system will send signals to the central monitoring station even in the event of physical damage or a power outage. SafeMart’s alarm monitoring has an alarm response time of 18 seconds with three separate monitoring stations to make sure you are always secure.

With the right company and thorough research, purchasing home security for your house and family can be a simple and easy step to ensuring your safety. A home security system gives you peace of mind and helps protect what is priceless to you.