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Important Security Tips for the New Year!

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This week, we officially count down the last few days of 2020. More so than most, this year has provided unique challenges, leaving many happy to turn the page. At Northeast Security Solutions, we look forward to helping you do so with an eye towards security. Many people create resolutions and use the New Year to set new goals and tackle new projects . Deservedly, fitness and health often take priority at this time of year. We also encourage our customers to use the New Year to evaluate and sharpen their home security measures. In this post, we share our top security tips for the new year.

We will begin by looking at how you can update your alarm call list. Many customers allow this list to fall out of date, which can hurt their security. Then, we will examine how you can upgrade your alarm monitoring to add security and convenience. From there, we’ll describe one specific monitoring option to make your alarm more effective than ever. Finally, we will explain a couple methods you can use to add video monitoring for your home. Now, let’s get started with a look at how updating your contact list fits into our most important security tips for the new year.

A sticky note reading "maintenance"

Maintaining a current list of phone numbers and contacts with our central station ensures that you find out about alarm events as quickly as possible.

Perform Annual Maintenance on Your Alarm Contact List

When we install an alarm system, we generally connect the alarm to our central station. In turn, our central station creates an emergency dispatch in response to alarm events when needed. Additionally, we also provide our central station with a “call list” created by our customers. This list includes a “premise” phone for our central station to call before dispatching police, fire, or ambulance services. It also includes a list of people to call after a dispatch. These calls allow a home’s residents or neighbors of the customer to check in on the situation.

Unfortunately, many of our customers take a “set it and forget it” approach to their call lists. This means that our central station may end up calling outdated numbers upon an alarm activation. If this happens, you may not receive efficient notice of an emergency at your home. Luckily, this situation comes with an easy remedy. Our customers can call us at any time with the contact information they wish to have put on file. Then, we can forward that on to our central station, ensuring the quickest response possible to an emergency. Now, let’s check out some modern alarm monitoring methods to increase your home security.

Use Updated Security Monitoring Tactics

As we mentioned above, alarm monitoring involves “connecting” your alarm to our central station. We have a few different options for creating this path of communication. Traditionally, alarm companies connect security systems to customers’ home phones. This allows the alarm to use phone lines to call for help. However, this method certainly has its limitations.

For starters, phone lines have gotten less and less reliable over the years. As more and more phone lines fail their communities, phone companies have started to move away from traditional phone service towards internet-based communication methods. Our post on why VoiP is a Poor Choice for Alarm Systems explains how this leads to less reliable alarm monitoring. Furthermore, burglars often cut a home’s phone lines before attempting a break-in. They do this in case the homeowner has an alarm installed, in an attempt to keep the system from dialing out for help.

Fortunately, we can install equipment that defeats the limitations of traditional alarm monitoring. For example, we often install cellular dialers to monitor our customers’ alarms. These dialers use a cell network, rather than unreliable phone lines, to reach our central station. We can also install radios that communicate through our customers’ internet service to call out for help when needed. Both of these monitoring options work independently of any type of phone service. Therefore, the issues that effect traditionally-monitored alarms do not affect customers with dialers or radios. Let’s now look at one more monitoring option that optimizes our customers’ home security experience!

An Alarm.com notification showing that a security system was not armed when expected.

Alarm.com interactive monitoring includes the ability to receive valuable alerts that help you maintain your home’s security.

Add Remote Interactive Security Features to Your Alarm

Unlike most cellular dialers, our dialer powered by Alarm.com offers interactive cellular monitoring. This service allows you to control your security system with a smart phone or any internet-connected device. Obviously, this ability adds tremendous security and peace of mind. Forget to arm the security system on the way to work? No problem! Simply pull out your phone and do so with the touch of a button. Moreover, this monitoring option also gives you the power to disarm the alarm for others remotely. This allows contractors doing work on your home to stop by without you meeting them to turn off the alarm.

Furthermore, interactive security monitoring lets you receive alerts based on alarm activity. For example, you can create an alert that sends you a text whenever someone arms or disarms your security system. You can also receive alerts when your alarm activates in your absence. Other popular alerts include notifications for low system sensor batteries and alerts to let you know if specific doors within your house have been opened. This incredible amount of flexibility and security makes adding this service by far one of our top security tips for the new year! Now, let’s break down a couple ways that you can add video surveillance to your security plan.

Include Video in Your Security Plan

Over the past few years, the number of customers looking for home video surveillance has increased tremendously. At Northeast Security Solutions, we support this trend wholeheartedly! In fact, we shared this sentiment in our post on Following the Latest Home Security Trends. In that post, we shared how cameras both add security and create a deterrent to crime ever taking place in your home. Here, we’ll provide a couple unique options for you to add video surveillance to your home. Let’s get started with an overview of just how home surveillance can create additional security.

Home Surveillance Systems

When we install home surveillance, we add multiple layers of security. For starters, cameras keep an eye on your home during any absences. This adds tremendous security and peace of mind. If something happens while you are away, your recorder will capture and store video so that you can go back and see what happened, and when. Furthermore, we can connect our cameras to your network to allow for live remote viewing. This allows you to check in on your property at any time using your smartphone or a computer from anywhere in the world. Furthermore, the mere presence of cameras helps keep burglars at bay. After all, thieves generally scope out their victims’ homes before attempting a break-in. The sight of cameras will often encourage them to find another target for their crimes. Now, let’s look at a recent addition to the home surveillance landscape in video doorbells!

An Alarm.com doorbell camera displaying shows a guest at the door.

Installing an Alarm.com doorbell camera allows you to see — and interact with — anyone who stops by your home while you are away.

Video Doorbell Monitoring

Video doorbells can help you monitor your main entrances, which generally make up the most vulnerable areas of your home. These doorbells double as cameras that capture live video of visitors. Additionally, video doorbells capture motion-based video clips for later viewing. As we pointed out in our Keys to Winter Security, we install many of these cameras during the holiday season as packages arrive at gift-givers’ homes.

Our own Alarm.com video doorbells can send you instant video alerts upon detecting motion. Furthermore, the doorbell’s speaker allows you to have a two-way conversation with your visitor. This can let you provide instructions to those delivering your holiday packages. It can also help you stop potential thieves from taking packages as they realize they’ve already been caught! Installing home surveillance can help you keep “eyes” on your home at all times, representing one of the most powerful security measures on the market today.

Take Advantage of Our Security Tips for the New Year

We hope that our security tips for the new year give you some ideas for beefing up your own security next year and in the years to come. The security industry sees constant growth and change. Taking advantage of this fact helps our customers experience the highest level of security possible. Please contact us if you have any questions about the material presented here. We will happily answer any security-related questions you may have. Additionally, we provide free site surveys for homeowners to help them address their security concerns. While on site, we can go over your security needs and make suggestions based on what we see. Together, we can create an efficient, customized plan to keep you and your family as safe and secure as possible. Happy New Year!