Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hidden Keys - Don't Do It!

On September 2, in Monroe, Connecticut, a homeowner came home to find his deadbolt unlatched and items missing from his home, including a video camera, laptop, and $500 in cash. There were no signs of forced entry and police noted that a key he kept outside was missing.

The victim made what is an all too common mistake among homeowners – leaving an extra key "hidden" outside the home. Everyone is familiar with the fake rock that you can buy to hide an extra key in your yard. Over the years, this has evolved into any number of seemingly ordinary yard, garden, or porch items to hide that extra key inside. Those not wanting to splurge on fake yard décor often hide their key in what they already have on display – under the door mat, on top of the door, in a flower pot.

Know who else is familiar with those rocks and rugs and flower pots? The burglar wanting to get into your home!

The problem with all of these "hiding" places is that they are so well-known and so many people use them, and thieves are well aware of this. Other security experts agree - a quick online check shows everyone from  from insurance companies to police departments to simple home protection articles  – advise against doing this. In fact, the only places that believe hiding an extra key outside of your house is wise are the places selling those rocks we just talked about.

Our unfortunate homeowner in Connecticut was hit, likely when he was at work, at a time when the FBI says more than half – 62% - of home invasions occur (precisely between 6am-3pm). Not only are you at work, but so are your neighbors, giving burglars time and leisure to snoop around and find that hidden key.

There are many reasons to need an extra key nearby and many will tell you to place that key in the trust of neighbor, friend, or family member. Yet, that's not exactly convenient if you're locked out and you can't get in touch with them. So what's a homeowner to do?

If you're determined to have that extra key stashed away, the safest option (or the lesser of the evils) is a combination-lock key storage box (pictured right). There's hundreds of brands and types to choose from, and they are widely available.

However, the only real way to guarantee the safety of your home, family and valuables whether you're a convenience-key-hider or not, is to have a fully-monitored alarm system with a keypad panel. This way, even if someone does come across your house key, they're still stopped in their tracks without your alarm password and the authorities are quickly notified that there's an intruder in your home.

Worried a home alarm system is beyond your means? You may be surprised. We have a wide range of security products and features to fit many needs and budgets, such as iAlarm, Alarm Link, as well as fully-monitored alarm systems. You also may qualify for our $0 Down Internet Special, where you can get a home security system installed with no up-front costs with approved credit.

If you'd like to know more, contact us today, or just fill out our online form for a Free Estimate on our Comprehensive Homeowner's Package.

[Call Alarm Center Security today for a FREE quote on a security system for your home or business - 1-800-97-ALARM - or visit our website to see if you qualify for a $0 down installation -]

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

As Familiar As Pecan Pie

If you have been reading this blog, you know the statistics of high crime in Louisiana and specifically the Baton Rouge area. Even if you're new here, there's plenty of evidence of our drastically-high crime rate on the local news every single day. Perhaps you even know someone - a friend or family member, a co-worker, or someone in your neighborhood that has become the victim of a home invasion or violent crime.

Local authorities are attempting to tackle the high crime problem by creating pro-active groups like BRAVE, but what can a concerned citizen do to keep their own personal property and loved ones safe?

One of the most effective ways to ensure the safety of you and yours is to have a fully-monitored alarm system installed.  We discussed the importance of this step for anyone concerned about home security in our last blog post, "Who's In Your Fridge When You Aren't Home?"  Now we'd like to tell you a little about us and our services and how we can help you protect yourself from the growing threat of crime throughout our city.

Owned and operated by local residents with a stake in our community's safety, we have been serving the Greater Baton Rouge area and beyond since 1978. We take great pride in our history, and the fact that we continue to offer protection and security to thousands of satisfied customers.

We offer a full-range of security system services, including installation and monitoring, as well as products for homes and businesses.  Our experienced, competent, and friendly team of security experts will tailor a protection plan customized specifically to your needs.

Our state-of-the-art monitoring facility is U.L. Listed and Approved and the largest in Baton Rouge.  This U.L. Central Station provides services not available at other monitoring stations, such as video and GPS monitoring.  Up and running, and ready to serve you 365 days a year/24 hours a day, our Central Station didn’t miss a beat during Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, or Issac!

Alarm Center is fully licensed and insured, and with over 10,000 systems installed, we know how to protect your family and possessions.  We're so confident we can meet all of your security needs, all of our systems are guaranteed or your money back.  We're so confident, we're offering to get you installed, configured, up and running for $0 down (on approved credit)! With no up-front costs and the possibility of an up to 20% discount off your homeowner's insurance premium, depending on your insurance carrier, why not call Alarm Center today?

[Call Alarm Center Security today for a FREE quote on a security system for your home or business - 1-800-97-ALARM - or visit our website to see if you qualify for a $0 down installation -]

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Who's In Your Fridge When You Aren't Home?

I once knew an insurance adjuster who worked in the burglary division of his agency and I'll never forget the day he said to me, "You'd be surprised at who's been in your fridge eating that cold fried chicken."

I have never been able to shake that image in my head of someone in my home when I wasn't there, eating out of my fridge, sitting in my favorite chair, rifling through my drawers, and invading my private space. It made me realize it was naïve to think that my home was safe and secure behind my flimsy lock and easily kicked-in deadbolt.  

People's homes get broken into every single day, and though we believe it could never happen to us, I'd imagine all those who have suffered through a home invasion once thought the same thing.

Though we may want to believe we are immune to such misfortune, the odds are not in our favor.  In the U.S., a burglar breaks into a home every 15 seconds.  According to the FBI, 62% of those burglaries occur during the day, between 9am-3pm, when most people are at work and their homes are left unoccupied and are more vulnerable to an invasion. 

Here locally we have cause for even more concern.  Of all the burglaries that occur in the United States, almost half of them - 45% - occur in the South.  

Louisiana itself, especially in and around the Baton Rouge area, has a notoriously high crime rate.  Statistics state that you have a 1 in 27 chance of becoming a victim of property crime in this state; in fact, of the 12,666 property crimes committed in Louisiana in 2011, 4,220 of them were burglary of a residence or business.

And yet, there is something you can do to prevent you and your family becoming a victim.  In contrast to the frightening stats above, it is proven that homes which have a fully-monitored alarm system are 3 times less likely to be burglarized.  If that isn't incentive in these times we live in, I don't know what is!

[Call Alarm Center Security today for a FREE quote on a security system for your home or business - 1-800-97-ALARM - or visit our website to see if you qualify for a $0 down installation -]

Monday, September 10, 2012

Home Security and Burglary Prevention

From YT: Home Security and Burglary Prevention starts with understanding basic layers of protection and prevention. While a sticker or a sign isn't "secure", it is a deterrent and creates doubt in the mind of the burglar. There are a number of creative measures you can take to protect your home and family.


[Call Alarm Center Security today for a FREE quote on a security system for your home or business - 1-800-97-ALARM - or visit our website to see if you qualify for a $0 down installation -]