Home Security Blog.

There’s a new company that has developed a line of unnique wireless spot lights. The compay is Wireless Enviroment,Inc. They have two product lines; Mr. Beams and Greenest Light.

The installation of them is really easy and they can be put in just about any area that needs a security light.

The spotlight is a LED design so it will produce light almost forever. Now there’s a light you don’t have to worry about replacing a bulb.

They have several models to choose from and some even come with remotes. They cover an average of 350sqft and will detect movement up to 75′ away to turn the light on.

The nice thing about them is that they are relatively inexpensive. This is important if you need to place lights in several areas. There is no wiring needed. They are battery operated and since they are LED’s you get extended battery life operation.

I don’t endorse very many products but I feel these lights are well worth looking into.

For more information about them and their products log on to Mrbeams.


I came across an interesting idea. I’m not endorsing the company or it’s products, but only to give out the information.

Years ago I worked for a company that sold “safe rooms” and hidden safes. Yes, they were steel vaulted rooms with unique hiding accesses. Even the experienced intruder would never suspect there was anything behind this hiding technique. Each safe room had an actual safe door behind the whatever they used to hide the existance of the safe room. Needless to say, they were not inexpensive to have installed. To date no one has reported ever having their safe room or safe found after over 30 years they have been installing them.

The problem bought up by the company Burglar Bombs has a valid drawback to a safe room. While most crimes are on the decrease home invasions are on the increase, most invasions are done at night while the victims are sleeping and the intruder can get a surprise attack. So getting into a safe room is not viable. So what can you do to prevent being surprised attacked in your own bedroom?

The best security system has a delay time after it has been triggered. It takes time for the police to get to you. So why not have a device that will cause a would be intruder to flee your home in seconds before he can harm you or take any of your possesions?

Burglar Bombs feel they have the answer. Place one of their devices in the hallway leading to your bedroom. When triggered it puts out a fine mist of non-toxic pepper spray that will engulf the hallway. It effects the breathing of the assailent such as coughing and making it hard to breath. Needless to say, if that were happening to you, you would find the nearest exit to get away from the pepper spray. So the intruder leaves the home before actually getting to his objective, you.

They have several different devices to be used in the area you want protected. They can also be used in conjunction with your existing security system.
You can get more information on their website here.


I am really amazed at the advancement of closed circuit camera systems now available to the general public. Most systems now are “plug & play” so you don’t have to be a computer programmer to set up and use your own system.

One of the relatively newcomers to this market is company called SVAT. They have some really advanced systems that are user friendly. In the past you had to partition out different phases for what you wanted to achieve, but this product can do it with one simple DVR. (digital video recorder) SVAT systems automatically shift from daylight to darkness and can record in total darkness. It’s true you are limited to about fifteen feet seeing in total darkness so the placement of the camera can be critical. The day light hours are recorded in full color and can distiguish facial features clearly.

They have several systems ranging from one to sixteen cameras that can be used both inside as well as outside monitoring. Some come with a full color flat screen that you can have four cameras, quad screen, displayed at the same time. You may wish to view just one camera full screen by itself.

Most of the cameras have a “built-in” motion sensor so that the DVR will only record if there is movement. Most of their DVR’s can record up to 154 days before the hard drive is fully loaded. You may have the DVR over-write at that time if you wish or have the DVR stop recording at that time.

I have not used any of these sytems myself, but looking at all of their specifications, they look impressive. For more information about SVAT systems, click here.


I’ve been asked many times over the years, “Why can’t I install my security system?” I’d answer, “yes you can, but it does take some knowledge of electronics, electrical wiring and computers in most cases.” I got asked that question again just yesterday so I went digging into and looking at some of the security systems available to the general public.

Security companies buy their components from a wholesaler. These wholesale distributors do not sell to the public because most states require a state license to install security systems. More manufacturers are now offering their products directly to the public via the internet. My opinion is that you might spend more money having a professional install your system, but it’s the best option you have. What kind of a price tag would you put on protecting your family or business? So you must ask yourself, is it worth taking the chance on a “self installed” security system.

Be that as it may, YES you can install your own system. I did have a lot of fun looking up systems and companies on the internet. Let me state, I DO NOT recommend the average person to install their own system.

There is a website called, Home Security Store that gives a good place for the do it yourselfer. They give a lot of options in many catagories. Here again, I am not endorsing them but they do give you several different companies to get information from.

Before trying to decide what system you are about to install first determine what you want it to do. Some of the questions are:

* Do you want the system monitored by a professional “central station.”
* Check out the central stations that might monitor your system. Is it UL approved? Is it one person
or are there many persons on duty 24/7? Can they receive signals from the security system you are
to install. Some security systems will only call their particular monitoring station.
* Do you want video surviellance? If so is it important to have “night vision.”?
* Do you want to be able to access your system remotely anywhere?
* Do you want a DVR (ditital video recorder) that saves and records all happenings to be reviewed at
a later date?
* Is the system going to blend in with the decor of where it is to be installed?
* Do you need to get permission from a landlord or historic society before you can install it?
* Do you need to get a permit from a city or management group? Some cities require a permit and
can fine you heavily if the police or fire department are dispatched to your home and you do not
have your system registered with them.
* Is the system user friendly? If a system is hard to operate most likely you will never use it.
* Is there weather or temperature conditions to be met? Some components have to be housed in
weather housings to operate under certain conditions.
* What distances will the devices transmit their siganals to what ever receiver it is programed into?
* What height must a device be installed at? Too high of a ceiling or too far of a distance may mean
the device will not cover the area you want to secure.

Before installing your own system contact your local Police department. They will be glad to give all the information you will need.


The FBI latest statistics are showing crime is increasing astronomically. There is a burglary taking place about every 25 minutes. Many of the items taken cannot be replaced. Family hierlooms, collections, anniversary gifts, electronics, computers, etc. Small items a burlar can carry off and pawn easily. When your computer is stolen there goes your personal identity too.

The average loss (after you settle with the insurance company) is over $1,000.00. You try your best to itemize the items stolen only to find out months later another item was stolen. It’s too late to claim that item then. It’s a good idea to video tape or hire someone to do it of all your valuables. Be sure there’s a good description of each item and if possible have an appraisal of it.

Single family homes are twice as likely to be burglarized than apartments or multiple family homes. Most burglaries occur while there is no one home. Criminals don’t like others around while they do their dirty work. If you happen to come home while the criminal is there DO NOT try to intervene. Leave the home immediately and call the police. Don’t re-enter the home until they clear it. Even though you might not see the burglar but suspect he’s there, back out and call the police. They will check your home for you. They would rather do that than set up a crime scene of a homicide. Remember, most often a person defending his/her home with a weapon have it turned on them. Don’t try it.

Unfortunately, most people don’t think or do anything about home security until they or someone they know has had a break-in. Burglars look at homes they think are easy targets. There’s many things you can do to make your home less likely to be burglarized. A lot of police departments will gladly send out an officer to survey your home and give you suggestions on home security. Take advantage of this service. It’s free and will possibly save you a lot of grief and aggrevation in the future. Hind sight is always 20/20.

The first place to look is the outside of your home. Here are some tips you might consider:

* Keep your yard well maintained. Make it look like someone is living there.
* Have good locks on windows and doors. Install reinforced deadbolts on all doors.
* Be sure all sliding doors cannot be lifted up out of their tract. You can drill a small hole at the bottom and place a nail through it so the door stays in place.
* Trim all shrubbery so as not to give a burglar a place to hide.
* Don’t display your family’s silver service or valubles in front of a picture window. That’s just an invitation to take it.
* Don’t hide a key anywhere outside your home. The best hiding place you can think of is probably the first place he will look. Leave a key with a trusted neighbor or friend.
* Be sure your mail box has a door on it that will not display your mail. A mail box full of mail is a good sign no one has been home for quite some time. If you are going to be away from home for any period of time have someone pick up your mail and news paper or have them stopped while you are gone.
* Don’t leave front door porch lights on during the day. That means you are away and won’t be home until after dark. That gives them an idea or time frame how long they have to steal from you. Have a light that comes on from dusk to dawn. That way you will not have a beacon telling would thief your family’s schedule.
* Of course, I’m a believer of home security systems. Burglars survey the neighborhoods and would rather not be interupted by a loud siren.
I recommend a loud siren alerting both the criminal and your neighbors that an intruder has been detected. Display the sign your security company where it can be easily seen. Studies have shown that has detoured thieves.
* If you are going away for a while call your local police department and tell them. They will cruise by your home more often.
* Do not leave ladders outside in your yard. Even if you do not have a two story home your neighbor might. You would be suprised as to how many people do not lock their upstairs windows.

Next blog we’ll discuss what to do on the inside of your home. When it comes to security, think about what you would do to gain access to your home if you were a criminal.


Posted on April 9th, 2008 at 07:17 by Alex Smith in Home Safety,Home Security,Home Security Systems,mailbox security,security doors - Comments (2)

Home Invasions are increasing at an alarming rate. Thieves are getting bolder and more violent. They are planning their attacks and realize thier intended victims will be caught unaware and surprised. Remember, his actions are well planned and he knows you are not expecting what he has planned for you. Surprise is his best weapon.

Police departments are constantly telling people NOT TO open your door to an unannounced delivery or supposed repairman. Yet it seems this caution by the police is being ignored by many people. Let’s take a look at some of the tricks invaders like to use.

GAS LEAK INSPECTION

A person dressed in a hard hat and maybe forged ID tag will come to your door and say they have been called. There is a gas leak in the neighborhood. I need to come in and inspect your home to make sure there isn’t a leak.

In reality, gas companies don’t check for gas leaks in your home unless you’ve called them. Thier duties only are to inspect and repair the gas lines in the ground throughout your area, not in your home. Stop and think about it. If there was a gas leak in your home, believe me, you would smell it. Gas companies put special ingredients into the gas so you will smell any gas leak.

FLOWER SMALL PACKAGE DELIVERY

Flowers are hard to resist. If someone tries to deliver flowers or a small package don’t let them in. They do not have to come into your house to deliver a small package. You will know about any large package to be delivered and brought into your home. Large deliveries are always planned. If the person is insistant for you to open your door, especially if there is no special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary, etc. this should give you cause for concern. Call the police immediately.

ELECTRIC COMPANY REPAIRMAN

There in no reason for an electric company repairman to ask to come into your home. Their responsibility is only to work on the power lines outside of your home. If you had a problem in your home you have called a licensed electrician. Know the electrician you called and ask for his identification when he arrives. If there is a question as to who he really is don’t call the phone number he gives you. Look up the company’s number in the phone book to confirm his identity. All electricians have to be licensed and carry the proper identifcation with them.

ALARM REPAIRMAN

Most pople that have an alarm system have a sign posted in front of thier home. This is a warning to a would be criminal that you are protected by a security system. Some invaders will see this sign and pose as an alarm repairman. They will tell you thay are here to do preventative maitenance on your system and want to check to make sure it’s operating properly. Don’t believe them. These calls are usually planned ahead of time. Every alarm repairman is required to be licenced by the state he is working in. They ALL have to cary a picture ID an have gone through a security check by his company and state licensing commission. Again, don’t cnfirm his identity by the number he gives you.

Have all emergency numbers posted somewhere in your home with easy access. Have your doctor, alarm company, spouses work numbers, cell phones, gas, water, and electric comapnies number listed.


Posted on March 29th, 2008 at 11:10 by Alex Smith in Home Safety,Home Security,Home Security Systems,protecting valuables - Comment (1)

Basically there are 4 components to an alarm system; the key pad, master control center and the various connected devices. I’m going to focus in on the key pad this talk.

The key pad got it’s name because the earlier alarm systems were turned on or off by a key. Now most systems are controlled by a “digital” key pad, but the name stuck, “keypad.”

Now that I’ve said that, there are different keypads that don’t even look like a keypad. Yes, they still have some systems controlled by a key, but most have buttons on them from 1 to 10. This is to let you “type in” your special code to tell the master control panel what you want the system to do. Some systems may have a “touch screen”. This looks like a computer monitor that has the various things on it that you want ths system to do. You touch the screen on the icon you want and it controls the system.

There may be several codes programmed into your system. Each person authorized to enter the building can be assigned there own code. The system will have a memory logging in the time and date the person either entered of left the building. You also may have a temporary code put in for a worker for the time he/she is needed to enter the building. This is taken out after the work is completed. Some people have their maid with her own code.

You also can program a special code for only certain times of the day. The master control panel will not let access on any other time periods.

A system also may have several “panels”. This I means you can have special codes for different areas of the building limiting a person only to the areas they are supposed to have access to. A good example of this is to have a jewelry draw, safe or file cabinet, silver closet with it’s own access code.

Key pads also have other information on them. They can tell you what doors or windows are not closed. What areas have been violated. The condition of the system. If there is something wrong with the system it will tell you the problem.

If you enter your home and go to turn your system off and it’s indicating you had an alarm while you wre gone, leave the home immediately. The person may still be in your home. Call the police. Let them search your home. Believe me, they would rather make this call than a homicide investigation call.

All this can be tied into an automated system that can be controll by a computer from anywhere in the world!!! Yes, you can even control your system anywhere. You can have a “spy in the sky” from anywhere if you have video included in the system. THINK ABOUT IT !!!!!!!


More people are killed or injured in fires than all the burglaries of homes or businesses combined. Smoke & soot damage will consume every square inch of your home. I had a neighbor who had a fire and clothes packed in suitcases still got damaged with soot. They were far removed from the actual fire. So it is important to add fire protection to your security system.

Most smoke detectors security alarm companies use are different than the ones sold in hardware stores or Walmart. They measure they quality of the air electronically. They usually can detect a fire as opposed to fumes using this method is much better. When a fire is detected, the fire department is notified even sometimes before you the home owner know you have a fire. The internal siren in the home alerts your family of the fire. Most alarm systems give intermittant short blasts if there is a fire as opposed to a steady sound of the siren. This also lets you know even in a deep sleep that when the siren goes off, you know it’s a fire instead of a break-in.

It is important where you place these devices. Some cities have codes stating you have to have one for each bedroom. Most of the time they are installed in a common hallway outside of the bedrooms.

Another device is called a heat rise or heat sensor. Most of these devices operate sensing the heat of the air surrounding them. There are two kinds. The first device will detect a fire if the heat rises to a certain temperature. The other device will activate if there is a sudden change of temperature from a certain degree to another.

These devices are placed in areas like kitchens, garages, attacks, basements near the furnace, utility rooms, and any where you have a heater or flammable materials.

Every family should have a fire drill every so often. Each member of the family should know all exits. Have a place where you meet outside, like at the mail box, so you know everyone has gotten out. Many people have lost their lives going back into a burning home thinking that somone is still in the home when actually they were out but on the other side of the home.

Keep in mind that most insurance companies give discounts if you have a security system installed in your home or business. The more levels of protection could mean a greater discount on your insurance. So an investment in a complete security system could mean a subsatantial savings over the years plus the “peace of mind” knowing your protected. THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!


Posted on February 15th, 2006 at 11:05 by Alex Smith in Home Security Systems,smoke dectectors,wireless security systems - Comment (1)

The third level of protection is interior sensors. If some how a burglar were to enter your premises without setting your alarm off you should have interior devices. These may be PIR’s (passive infra-red detectors), video surveilance cameras, infra-red beams, or pressure mat sensors.

PIR’s are sometimes called motion detectors. They send out an infrar-red beam and when that beam is interupted it sets off the alarm. They are really better than ultra-sound motion sensors beacause they are passive which means they will not interfear with other devices. Ultra-sound devices can “talk to each other” thereby setting off a possible alarm or interfearing with each other.

You can have several different PIR’s depending on the location and what it is to detect. Some are 90, 180, or 360 degree coverage. Some can be set so that it will not pick up certain pets. They act on heat so it will not detect anything over a certain size or weight.

Infra-red beam detectors send out a beam and when the beam is broken it sounds the alarm. They have their limitations as to where they can be placed or used.

Video cameras can be used both inside and outside of the building. They also can have a motion sensor in them and can record a video record on a video recorder when the motion detector sensors something. They can also be set to run at certain times only or continously. There are two types of video recorders, VCR or DVR. The VCR records the information on a video tape while the DVR records the information digitally. DVR’s are usually more expensive, but they can record longer periods of time.

Before installing a security system have your sales associate explain all of these options with you.
THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!!!


It is important to have all exterior openings protected by some detection device. Both the first floor as well as the basement and second stories.

Windows and doors should have “contacts” on them. There are two types, hard-wired or wireless. As it a sounds a hard-wired contact is connected to the master control panel by a wire. The wireless contact sends a signal to the master control panel by radio waves. They cause the system to go into alarm if they are violated. When the alarm sounds it makes a loud noise which most of the time scares the robber away and alerts your neighbors and your monitoring center of a possible intrusion into your home. The center will then contact your home and if they get no response or the wrong pass word they contact the police.

Basement windows can be secured by “Barglar Bars”. It is a bar stretched across the window and if it gets dislogged it will cause an alarm. Don’t forget these windows.

Casement windows sometimes are best protected by “glass-break detectors. The best kind are the ones it takes three (3) signals to activate before it sets off the alarm. When a window is broken there are three phases that occur. First the vibration of the breaking window, then the breaking window puts off a certain frequency that is detected, and some glass-breaks also have a motion sensor built into them as well. Having a multiple action glassbreak helps to keep the false alarms to a minimum.

Don’t be a penny wise and a pound foolish when getting an alarm system installed. Don’t cut corners because the device you omit might be the exact spot of entry into your home. Think as if you were the burglar and how YOU would gain entry into your home.


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