As a technology-driven security integrator, we always stay on top of new security technology. Additionally, we also recommend that our customers do the same. Staying up to date with occasional alarm upgrades can greatly enhance both your security system’s effectiveness and your experience in using your burglar alarm. We find that New Year’s marks a great time to tighten up your security system’s functionality. In this post, we provide some valuable New Year’s alarm security tips to help you do just that!
First, we’ll explain the process of maintaining your security system. As part of this discussion, we’ll look at tips for maintaing both your security equipment and your alarm’s communication with our central station. From there, we’ll look at how you can upgrade your security system’s features. We offer a variety of sensors that may surprise you which can make your alarm more dynamic and effective than ever. Then, we’ll discuss a potential monitoring upgrade to make your alarm monitoring more reliable and convenient. Finally, we’ll also see both how and why we connect smart security products to your alarm. Now, let’s dive in and see how you can maintain your alarm’s components and test your system’s monitoring.
Perform Security System Maintenance and Testing
As with any technology, security equipment degrades over time. Some of this happens due to environmental factors. This can affect a sensor’s appearance, its ease of maintenance for customers and, eventually, its functionality if not addressed. We recommend taking a couple steps to maintain your alarm equipment. First, you should always inspect and clean security sensors. Keeping sensors clean — especially motion detectors — greatly lowers the chance of a false alarm. Dirt, dust, or grime getting inside the detector can create a false alarm. Spiders or insects crawling inside detectors can also create this same response. Sensors installed in basements get especially dirty very quickly, so give those extra attention.
Moreover, you should also test your alarm’s monitoring effectiveness. To perform a monitoring test, call the company that installed your alarm. Explain that you wish to put the alarm on “test” mode. This allows signals to go through to the central station without their operators dispatching the police. Activate your alarm by either pushing a panic button or by arming your system and opening a door with a contact on it. After the siren has sounded for roughly 30 seconds, we can generally see our customers’ alarm signals come through, which means the signals have also arrived at our central station.
In order to test multiple sensors, open every armed door and walk in front of every motion detector while testing your alarm. As each sensor creates an alarm, we can see the alarm information come in. In this manner, you can verify both central station communication and sensor operation at the same time. Speaking of alarm sensors, let’s take a look at some unique sensors that can help you add New Year’s alarm security.
Take Advantage of Unique Security Sensors
Most alarm customers set up their security systems with a series of door sensors, window sensors, and motion detectors to detect a potential break-in attempt. However, we realize that homeowners also face a variety of other dangers. These range from life-threatening fire and carbon monoxide emergencies to damage from weather-related events. Luckily, we can install devices that interact with your existing security system to secure you against these threats! We offer monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for your home. These detectors will create a siren response that can wake you up and alert you to an emergency, allowing you to escape. Additionally, our detectors’ sensing the presence of smoke or carbon monoxide will create a response from the local fire department. The life safety offered by these devices make them a powerful add-on to any home security system.
Furthermore, we offer sensors that create alerts for environmental disasters that have the potential to cause major damage to any home. For example, our “hi-lo temp” detectors can create an alert if your home experiences dangerously high or low temperatures. This can help alert you to frozen pipes during the wintertime. Additionally, we offer flood sensors that can detect the presence of water wherever we install them. Environmental sensors can help you detect and address these issues before they create a mess that takes a significant amount of time and money to repair! Next up, we’ll show you how you can improve your New Year’s alarm security with an alarm monitoring upgrade.
Upgrade Your Alarm Monitoring
Many of our customers still have outdated, phone-line based alarm monitoring in place to connect their security systems to our central station. Unfortunately, this leads to a couple issues. For starters, many customers continue to pay for phone lines that they rarely use, just to keep their monitoring intact. Additionally, phone line monitoring can prove unreliable, as phone lines go down due to weather and other circumstances fairly frequently.
For these reasons, we recommend upgrading your security system to communicate with our central station via a piece of equipment known as a “cellular dialer.” Doing so allows for alarm monitoring without a phone line. Therefore, customers can now cancel their phone service and still have a monitored security system. Additionally, if a burglar cuts your phone lines or attempts to break in to your home while the lines are down, your system will still communicate with the central station.
Furthermore, your cellular dialer can add convenience and security above and beyond providing a reliable communication path. In our post on Using Your Smartphone to Add Security to Your Alarm, we discussed the generational expectation that customers can control their electronics with their smartphones. Our interactive cell dialer powered by Alarm.com allows users to arm and disarm their security systems remotely using the Alarm.com smartphone app. It also allows them to receive notifications regarding security system status changes. These status updates can include low battery alerts, power failure notices, and other similarly important messages. Adding these features is one of the most popular reasons homeowners upgrade their burglar alarms. Another reason that customers install this dialer has to do with our last New Year’s alarm security tip!
Add Smart Security Products to Your Home
In addition to communicating with our central station, our Alarm.com dialer also acts as a Z-Wave smart home hub. The term “Z-Wave” refers to a mesh network providing communication between our Alarm.com dialer and smart home devices that operate on this network. As one of the most popular smart home platforms, Z-Wave technology gives you many options to add smart security devices.
Our Z-Wave smart home offerings give you several options for improving your security through smart home products. For example, these devices include appliances such as Z-Wave light bulbs that you can control remotely to make your home look occupied while you are away. Additionally, Z-Wave keypad locks allow you to let contractors or house sitters into your home without providing a key. Z-Wave thermostats allow you to control your home’s temperature remotely and even create pre-set heating and cooling schedules. Installing smart cameras around your property can even provide you both live and recorded video footage that you can access on any internet-connected device at any time.
In addition to controlling these devices remotely, our Alarm.com customers can also receive alerts about their smart appliances. For example, Z-Wave locks will notify you when someone locks or unlocks the door, as well as the identity of the person involved. Smart thermostats will alert you to extreme temperature changes. This allows you to check for potential HVAC issues quickly. The convenience and security these products deliver make them invaluable in adding security for any property!
Putting our New Year’s Alarm Security Tips to Good Use
We hope that this post helps you improve your home security this year. Furthermore, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have. We’ve helped hundreds of customers upgrade their security as technology evolves. Additionally, we also invite you to have us out for a security audit. We perform these visits, along with equipment quotes, at no charge to either new or existing customers. While on site, we can address any security concerns you may have. Moreover, we can make suggestions based on our own observations of your property. Together, we can create a plan to keep you, your most valuable possessions, and your family as safe and secure as possible!