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Category Archives: Home Security System News

 

Reading About Home Security Can Teach Important Lessons to Young Family Members

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Kids and home securityOne of the main reasons the average American homeowner often buys a home security system is to protect the welfare of his or her children. However, there are other home security lessons that they may neglect to share with their kids for fear of frightening them. In order to teach their kids how to stay safe when they are at home alone, one way to make them understand the importance of home security is to share news stories with them. When children can relate to stories in the news because the people in them are their age, they are apt to remember the lesson better.

Parents who want to teach their children important home security lessons can search the Web in order to find relatable stories to share with their kids. Laura Sands, a major contributor to the Home Security Store website, says:

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Security Deadbolts Are Often Installed Incorrectly, Authorities Say

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Deadbolt InstallationOne of the most effective ways for homeowners to protect their home and family without spending hundreds of dollars on a security system is to have deadbolts installed on all of the entry doors of their homes. When they are installed correctly, deadbolts make it very difficult for any individual to break in, and certain brands are nearly impervious to damage. However, some authorities have noticed that even though homeowners are investing in these deadbolts, many of them are installed incorrectly, leading to more burglaries and loss of property. In order to ensure that these locking mechanisms work correctly, homeowners need to take the proper steps when having them installed.

Susan Barnett, a reporter for the CBS affiliate station in Philadelphia, PA, reports:

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Unarmed Home Security Systems Waste Money, Increase Burglary Risk

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Home Security SystemWhile the sales of home security systems are constantly on the rise, there are still many errors that homeowners make with their alarms that not only waste money but increase the chances that their homes will become the target of a burglary. Failing to arm the system, whether deliberately or by accident, is the most common error, but there other mistakes that alarm owners make after having their systems installed.

Recent studies show that despite the money that many homeowners spend, the majority of them fail to arm their systems for a number of reasons. Some of them forget the code or see it as a daily inconvenience, and others become annoyed when their children or pets consistently trigger the alarms and they must then reset it. Others believe that a burglary will never occur at their residence; this is a surprising attitude, since they have already had the system installed, but in some cases, these alarms give homeowners a false sense of security.

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Homeowner’s Discount Rates for Security Systems are Holding Steady, Studies Show

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Homeowner's InsuranceOne of the best ways for homeowners to save on their homeowner’s insurance is to install a security system. These systems not only deter burglars and keep a home and property safe, but thanks to the rise of technology, they are now more efficient and easier than ever to use. However, homeowners who are looking to score major discounts on their insurance need to shop around for the best possible deal, as discount rates are holding steady at around the twenty percent mark in today’s market.

A comprehensive two-year study in Newark, New Jersey, by Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice, demonstrates why insurance companies are offering the discounts. Described as the most comprehensive study of its kind, the team of Rutgers researchers used sophisticated in-depth research techniques to eliminate the variables that impact crime rates and to focus solely on the impact alarm systems have on residential burglaries.”

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Adding Carbon Monoxide Detection to Home Security Systems Saves Lives, Data Suggests

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Carbon mononxide detectorMost homeowners add a security system to their homes in order to keep their property and family safe from intruders and burglary, but recent statistics suggest that most of these alarm systems have helped save lives by detecting other potentially fatal events in the home, such as fire and the presence of carbon monoxide. Because it is impossible to detect high levels of carbon monoxide in the home until it is too late, adding carbon monoxide monitoring to monthly home monitoring could potentially avoid a tragedy for any family.

According to the Home Security Systems website, “Carbon monoxide leaks are very possible and can be deadly when they occur. Having a monitored CO alarm gives you the assurance of an extra measure of safety. You know that the system is monitored and if anything goes wrong, help will be on the way. Adding this functionality to your home security system is easy and affordable. That’s why more homeowners are taking this step to keep their household safer.”

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Mobile Home Security Can Be Vulnerable to Attacks, Studies Show

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As home security and other technologically savvy companies rush to join the mobile app craze, they may be leaving their customers open to a number of security risks, including hacking. As technology increases, so does the presence of thieves who are just as adept at cracking security codes and other supposed safeguards in order to break into homes and businesses. While many new apps can control everything in a home from the security system to the lights and temperature settings, innovative ideas and features are outpacing security hacking solutions, leaving a considerable gap in many mobile home security app systems, creating a perfect opportunity for hackers.

Recently, Black Hat security conventions have displayed how easily an experienced hacker can access mobile security apps that are supposedly secure. According to CNN.com:

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Home Security Apps for iPad and Other Tablets Becoming More Common

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As recently as five years ago, mobile security was largely only available through devices that had enough memory to control them, such as laptops and tower computers. Over the past few years, however, mobile home security apps that can be controlled from one’s smartphone have become the norm, and now, with the recent explosion of combination laptop/tablet devices that can do it all, security companies and tablet manufacturers are now offering users an even wider variety of apps. These tablet apps for iPad and other devices are the ultimate in convenience for those homeowners, as many of them carry their tablets with them wherever they go, from work to home and even on vacation.

Tech writer Drew Hendricks, a contributor for the Huffington Post, points out just how convenient these tablet apps are compared to traditional methods of home security. He writes:

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Many Families Uneducated About Guard Dog Use, Data Shows

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Many homeowners recently have opted to purchase a guard dog in order to protect their homes. While this can be an effective means of home security, failing to understand which breeds are the most compatible for this kind of work can result in injury or even tragedy if the dog should attack a child or other family member. In order to understand how a guard dog would best benefit their property and their families, homeowners should educate themselves about the breed they are considering and know the difference between a guard dog and watchdog.

Nicole Pajer, a contributor for renowned dog trainer and behaviorist Cesar Millan’s website, notes that “Owning a guard dog comes with added responsibility. [. . . ] Owners must take into consideration the fact that these dogs can tend to possess more aggressive natures than other breeds. In order to ensure the safety of family members, guests, and neighbors, guard dogs must be properly socialized and trained.”

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Swimming Pool Gate Alarms Are Vital for Preventing Drowning Deaths

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poolEach day, homeowners across America buy home security systems in order to protect their homes and families, but they often neglect one area of their home that could prove to be deadly to their children—the family pool. Each year, hundreds of toddlers and small children die in the family pool in drowning accidents that could have been prevented. While many states have laws that require homeowners to gate their pools, having a pool gate alarm can also enhance a pool’s safety measures.

While gating a pool is a law in many states, homeowners should also invest in an alarm or a surveillance system, which will help to deter determined children who want to use the pool when no one is around.

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CID Reports That Internet Military Scams Are Increasing in Number

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military scamsAn important part of home security is maintaining privacy when homeowners and their family members are using the Internet. However, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) has recently warned of new scams perpetrated by those posing as U.S. servicemen and women that could threaten that privacy. As social networks continue to grow and their use becomes a part of everyday life for many people, the risk increases that they will be affected directly by these scams unless they become aware of what to look for when they are talking to people online.

The CID has noted recently that, “CID special agents frequently receive reports from around the world of various scams involving criminals pretending to be U.S. Soldiers. These scam artists often portray themselves as male U.S. Soldiers; then prey on the unsuspecting victim’s emotions, leading to nothing more than broken promises and an empty bank account for their victims. Cyber criminals also continue to create profiles of senior Army officers and non-commissioned officers, to include the use of official photographs, in an attempt to lure unsuspecting persons into revealing personal, banking, or financial information.”

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Door-To-Door Scams Are Becoming More Common, Studies Show

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door-to-door scansThe Better Business Bureau (BBB) has recently warned people in the eastern part of the United States about the rise in door-to-door scams in that area. This home security risk is not only a concern for people in this area but for homeowners all over the country. While many homeowners are aware of how to prevent identity theft and burglaries, they are often vulnerable to these scams because those who perpetrate them do not fit the profile of a crook. In order to protect themselves from these scams, homeowners should be aware of what to look for when these individuals come calling.

According to the BBB, the most popular and common scam that has been reported to them is the New Visions scam.

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Crime Prevention Measures Increase Child Safety

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crime preventionMany times, homeowners and their families do not usually think about safety or security crisis situations until they happen, and then it is too late. This is because most families and parents believe their neighborhoods to be a safe place for their children, a place where crime and abductions rarely happen. As a result, parents don’t often discuss hypothetical crime scenarios with their kids for fear of frightening them. However, by preparing their children for different home security situations, homeowners can teach them how to avoid being abducted or injured.

According to the Crime Doctor website, “Most people have no such family plan nor have they met as a family to discuss what-if scenarios. When or if a criminal assault occurs, the unprepared family will have to rely on natural instinct in response to an incident.”

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Many Homeowners Lax with Holiday Season Home Security

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Holiday Home SecurityMany homeowners and their families look forward to the holiday season, but what they may not know is that burglars also look forward to this time of year, as there are many opportunities for them due to lax home security. The rush and bustle of the season often causes people to focus less on the safety of their homes. In order to keep their homes safe over the holidays, homeowners and their families should take several steps to ensure that their homes and possessions stay safe.

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make in home security during the holidays is when they’re decorating. It’s tempting to put a large Christmas tree in the front window with all of the presents stacked beneath it, but if neighbors and friends can see it, so can thieves. To keep windows from being broken and the gifts from being stolen, don’t stack large packages where they can be seen from outside, and keep the curtains drawn during the day.

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Fire Evacuation Plans Are Vital for the Safety of Both Home and Family

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fire safetyWhen homeowners buy a security system for their home that includes a temperature sensor, they believe this, along with their smoke detectors, will protect them from a house fire. However, what many of them do not understand is that having an efficient escape route will more than double their chances of surviving a house fire. While security systems and alarms can alert homeowners to a fire, they cannot help them escape it. Having a route of escape and a fire evacuation plan that the whole family is familiar with will not only help them flee from a fire safely but also give them peace of mind as well.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that homeowners should:

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Many Families Not Prepared with an Evacuation Plan, Studies Show

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Evacuation PlanAs fires and floods become more common across the country, the likelihood increases that at one time or another, homeowners and their families may have to evacuate their homes for safety reasons. Not only are these natural disasters becoming more frequent, but other weather catastrophes such as hurricanes and tornadoes may also force families to leave their homes for a local shelter or other safe haven. However, studies show that most average American families do not have an evacuation plan in place.

The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) advises, “In some circumstances, local officials decide that the hazards are serious and require mandatory evacuations. In others, evacuations are advised or households decide to evacuate to avoid situations they believe are potentially dangerous. When community evacuations become necessary, local officials provide information to the public through the media. In some circumstances, other warning methods, such as sirens, text alerts, e-mails, or telephone calls are used. The amount of time you have to leave will depend on the hazard. If the event is a weather condition, such as a hurricane, you might have a day or two to get ready. However, many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities, which is why planning ahead is essential.”

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Security Fences Offer Homeowners Some Pros, Several Cons

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Security FenceThere has been a building trend in home security lately for both urban and rural homes that includes perimeter protection, such as security fencing. This fencing, which usually surrounds part or all of a property, is built to be tough, impossible to climb, and is usually impervious to basic cutting tools. While fencing of this kind can protect a property and does have many advantages to homeowners looking for enhanced security, there are also some drawbacks of which people should be aware before investing in it.

According to the Total Home Security website, one of the biggest advantages to security fencing is that homeowners can “add a security fence to your alarm system and incorporate motion sensor lights and security surveillance cameras to create the safest space possible.”

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GSM Security Systems Are Changing the Face of Home Security

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GSM Security SystemGlobal System Mobile Communications (GSM), is changing the way homeowners use and access their home security systems. As little as ten years ago, most systems were hardwired through a home’s landline phone access, and when the alarm was triggered it could only alert the security company, who would notify the police. This system was not efficient, however, and many homeowners had to take a loss if a thief made off with something valuable before the police could arrive. Now, GSM makes it possible for that alert to not only go to the right authorities, but also to the homeowner’s cell phone and any other number that he or she sets up.

According to a contributor at the Home Security Hacks website, “A large majority of motion sensors and portable home security systems now use cellular technology for remote communications. A GSM-enabled alarm system functions just a like a mobile phone; it even has its own internal Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card. This allows the system to dial out and send data to multiple phone numbers.”

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Thermal Imaging Cameras Offer Increased Security, but There Are Disadvantages

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Thermal imaging cameras for home security are becoming a more frequent choice for many homeowners when they want the ultimate in property and home monitoring equipment. These cameras, which allow those monitoring to see people and objects on their property even when it’s completely dark out, offer even the most vigilant homeowner unparalleled protection. However, before any homeowner decides to invest in these thermal monitoring cameras, they should understand how they work and how their drawbacks may hinder their overall usefulness.

Thermal imaging cameras make rely [sic] on thermal energy/infrared radiation to render an image. The thermal camera is a specialized heat sensor that is capable of detecting very small differences in temperature. As the camera collects these differences, it makes a heat map or an image of the item that is being recorded. This item is easily identified as the outline of an object, a person, or a creature, with most of its details obscured by the colors that are used as representations of levels of heat,” according to a contributing Hub Pages home security and technology writer.

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The Schutzhund: A New Breed of Home Security

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SchutzhundAs home security technology increases, homeowners have a number of options when it comes to protecting their homes. However, a new and increasingly popular trend has some people looking at their home security differently—the Schutzhund. Unlike guard dogs that are trained locally or by the owner, these animals, the breeds of which run from German Shepherds to the exotic Belgian Malinois, are trained by licensed dog breeders and handlers in a very specific way in order to create a family-friendly dog that will also protect it without being a danger to neighbors, friends, and other animals.

Blake Morrison, a contributor to Philly.com, observes:

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Wi-Fi Theft is Costing Homeowners Hundreds of Dollars Annually

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wi-fi theftMany homeowners spend hundreds of dollars a year on home security systems, monitoring cameras and other equipment, and even on smartphone apps that help them keep track of their families and property, keeping them safe from harm. However, these same homeowners are also losing hundreds of dollars a year, and they may not even be aware of it.

The cause of this loss is something that homeowners may not even think about—Wi-Fi theft. Each month, the average homeowner pays anywhere from $60-$100 a month for their home’s Internet Wi-Fi, depending on the services they use and their contract, but when people nearby hijack their services, they are losing money each time it happens. However, there are ways for homeowners to protect their homes’ Wi-Fi and keep it secure.

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Many Homeowners Fail to Secure Cars When Parked at Home, Studies Show

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car theftOther than their homes and properties, the biggest investment homeowners make is in their vehicles. However, recent polls show that a large number of American homeowners fail to secure their car while it is parked in their driveway, even if they may lock it when it is parked elsewhere. It is this false sense of security that leads to unlocked vehicles being stolen, vandalized, and even siphoned of their gasoline while their owners sleep. Home security should extend to any car that is parked on the property to avoid car theft, costly repairs, and high insurance deductibles.

The American Alarm and Communications, Inc. website suggests that in order to keep vehicles that are parked at a residence safe, homeowners should include their safety “as part of your home alarm system, include perimeter sensors on all doors and windows, and motion sensors outside. This way, lights will turn on as thieves enter your driveway, deterring them from breaking into or stealing your cars. An even better method of deterring and catching would-be criminals is installing a video surveillance system toward all main entrances and your driveway. The benefit of this is obvious; any attempted (or successful) break-in will be documented, providing indisputable proof of wrong-doing — and giving local police authorities solid evidence to track down the culprits.”

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Home Monitoring Needs Rising for Today’s Families

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Home MonitoringHome security sales are on the rise, and many homeowners who see this news believe it is because of the state of the economy or higher crime rates. However, while these facts do impact some areas, one of the main reasons that alarm system and monitoring services sales are on the rise is because of changes in the average American family. Not only are they more connected through mobile technology than ever before, but today’s adults are now caring for their aging baby-boomer parents, which makes home monitoring even more of a necessity.

Mobile technology has also allowed home monitoring systems to grow in popularity because families are now more in touch with each other during the day than ever before. Skype, texting, and even iPhone’s FaceTime have allowed children to maintain contact with their parents throughout the day. When it comes to security and making sure that their children are safe when they are home alone, a monitoring system can increase this connectivity.

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Performing a Risk Assessment Can Improve Home Security, Data Suggests

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Risk AssessmentWhile home security systems abound and technology for these systems is improving, most homeowners often overspend on their alarm packages because they do not always know how much security they need for their home. On the other side of the coin, they sometimes focus too much on one area of the property and leave others unprotected and vulnerable to criminals. However, homeowners can avoid this problem by performing a risk assessment on their home. By observing their homes from top to bottom to see what kind of crimes or problems their homes are most vulnerable to, they can better understand what kind of security package they need.

There are a number of steps that homeowners can take in order to perform this risk assessment. One of the biggest pros to this process is that it does not need to be done by any kind of professional and that the homeowner knows his or her home best. To begin with, homeowners should discuss risk assessment with their homeowner’s insurance carrier and even local police to discuss their neighborhood’s risk factors.

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Security Gates Are an Added Measure of Prevention

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security gateMany homeowners today are looking for a variety of different ways to upgrade or enhance their home’s security. From door and window alarms to systems that are directly connected to the local police department or fire company, there are a number of ways to ensure the safety and security of any home. However, there are many ways that homeowners can enhance the security of their property, and one way they can do so is by installing a security gate. A gate like this can not only protect the perimeter of the home, but an automatic gate can also provide convenience for the homeowner when it comes to entering or exiting the property.

There are some who want a driveway gate to enhance the look of their property; others are in it simply for security reasons. Most people, however, would agree that a new gate should have a healthy balance of both form and function, while still fitting into their budget,” says Jon Nunan, a contributor for homeadvisor.com.

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Home Safes Reduce the Risk of Damage, Burglary of Important Documents

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Home SafeHome security often goes beyond precious items in the home. For many homeowners, protecting important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, checkbooks, and passports, is just as important as protecting the valuables inside the home. Protecting these documents is vital, as they are needed for most major events in life, such as travel to foreign countries, most major purchases, and for setting up bank accounts. Many people keep these documents in places where they can be easily stolen. However, purchasing a home safe can keep them secure and lessen the possibility of them being stolen or damaged.

According to Consumer Reports.org, fire is the No. 1 concern of most buyers, according to Greg Bonsib, director of brand management at SentrySafe, a major manufacturer in Rochester, N.Y. [ . . .] The National Fire Protection Association says that during an average lifetime, there’s a one in four chance of experiencing a household fire large enough to warrant calling the fire department. UL and Intertek rate fire-resistant safes in terms of what type of material they’ll protect and how long they’ll protect it. For example, safes rated to protect paper documents shouldn’t get any hotter than 350 degrees on the inside during a fire, according to John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL in Northbrook, Ill.

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Driveway Sensors Are the First Line of Defense in Home Security

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While the sales of home security systems are on the rise, there is one aspect that many homeowners ignore, and that is their driveways. This is most likely due to the fact that the driveway is not considered a point of entry for most people, unlike an open window or a door that is easy to jimmy open, but in truth, if a thief has targeted a home and knows that no one is home, he or she may drive right up to it and then take off with their haul. Homeowners who want to protect the entrance to their properties, however, can invest in a driveway sensor that will not only allow them to know when someone has pulled into the driveway but also alert the authorities and even people nearby that an intruder is on the property.

Driveway alarms are most commonly used to monitor driveways, but they can be placed to monitor any area of your property,” says Marcus Pickett, a writer for homeadvisor.com.

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UK Burglaries More Common in the Summer Months, Data Suggests

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Recent reports from the U.K. state that burglaries are on the rise presently, and many officials are attributing that rise to the warmer weather the area is experiencing. Because of the hotter temperatures, many urban residents are trying to beat the heat by leaving their windows and patio doors open, which entices burglars to enter the home. However, homeowners can keep their homes safe and stay cool at the same time by following some simple summer home security tips.

One of the best ways for residents to stay safe is to remember to lock their doors and windows before they leave the house, despite how warm it may make the home when they’re gone. Open patio doors and first-floor windows are a perfect opportunity for thieves, because they won’t have to make much of an effort to break in.

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AT&T Expanding Into Home Security Field

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AT&TAT&T, one of the leaders in cell phones and smartphone technology, announced in April that it is releasing a new home security system that will enable users to control most of its options through their cell phones. This system, which is known as AT&T Digital Life, will be available to homeowners in a variety of packages, one of which they can choose depending on their budget. The system will include such security options as being able to lock and unlock doors, turn lights off and on, and even control security cameras in the home, all from an app on their phone. Not only does this give the user more control over their home security, but it also allows them to do it in a way that’s convenient and user-friendly.

The home security business has been growing exponentially over the last few years.

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Home Security Trends Are Changing, Market Shows

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Home Security TrendsUp until very recently, the home security systems market has remained steady in both price and options, allowing consumers very few choices in the market. However, over the past year, that has changed dramatically, and there are a number of smaller yet technologically powerful companies getting into the market, as well as major telephone and software companies. Up until now, there have been one or two major security giants in place, but over the coming year, trends show that consumers will have many more choices when it comes to how they pay for their home security, and from whom they can purchase it.

These new trends will be a big change from how the home security systems market has looked over the past decade or so.

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Will The New Canary Home Security System Put Its Competitors Out of Business?

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Everyone knows how beneficial a good home security system can be. But some are saying that many of the expensive home security systems available on the market are somewhat broken. It’s been said that an estimated $1.8 billion dollars in tax money has been wasted on emergency response teams, such as the police, as a result of responding to false security alarms. Experts say that the false alarm rate on home security systems is 98%-99%. That’s extremely high! So is there a resolution to this?

Introducing the new Canary home security system! This home security system, which is due to be released sometime in the near future, is said to be the world’s very first “intelligent” home security system that, literally, anyone can use. The Canary is a standalone home security system, still in its development stages, that will require zero installation and will work 100% with your smartphone. The concept behind this system is to first of all resolve the poor false alarm rate that many of the current market alarm systems have contributed to, and second of all to provide an affordable, user-friendly home security system that pretty much anyone can use.

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