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Common Questions Security Companies Receive

August 5, 2014
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Consumers purchasing a home security system for the first time often have many questions. So to help alleviate some of the ambiguity that we often face, here are five of the most common questions new clients ask home alarm companies in Santa Monica—and their answers!

How does an alarm system work?

Residential security systems generally comprise of three core aspects: the control panel, a series of sensors and monitoring service. The control panel is essentially the heart of the system. It is the central access point for the user, and it manages all sensor activity, alerts and alarms. The sensors are the devices placed throughout the home that sense unusual activity, and monitoring service ensures that all alarms are responded to appropriately regardless of the circumstances or time of day or night.

What is “crash-and-smash” and are modern alarm systems susceptible to it?

A “crash and smash” is when a burglar enters the home and smashes the control panel, thereby disabling it. Some systems are still susceptible to this technique, which is one reason why monitoring is so essential. When an alarm system is monitored, the call station expects the system to maintain contact in a specific manner. If that communication channel is broken, then the call center knows that the system is no longer operating properly.

What happens when I lose power or the Internet?

Most systems either use local battery power primarily or have local battery power available in case of an outage. If the system uses a telephone or a network connection to contact a call station or police department, then the system will generally have a built-in radio that allows it to connect via a cellular network just like a smartphone or other mobile devices do.

Are wireless security components actually better?

The proper security component for a particular job depends entirely on the environment, the circumstances and the objective. With that said, wireless security components generally are superior to wired version for a number of reasons. An important reason is that they are much easier to install, which not only softens the installation cost but also makes it much easier to alter, upgrade, and move the security system as the needs of the family change.

Do I require monitoring and is it expensive?

Few residential security systems demand monitoring, and most security companies will install their hardware without requiring you to commit to monitoring. Monitoring, however, is very important for the reasons stated above and for other reasons. Imagine a home invasion, a fire or a CO2 event where the family was incapacitated and unable to react to the alarm. What then? What if the neighbors do not hear the alarm and respond? With a monitored system you get the security that the call center will recognize the alarm, confirm the danger, and dispatch the appropriate local authorities.

Does a home security lower insurance rates?

Generally speaking, having a security system does lower insurance rates but you should contact your insurance company to learn the specific details. If you determine that there is no discount available, then you may want to consider shopping around for other insurance companies. In most cases, you should be able to lower your rates by several hundred dollars a year.

GPS Tracking Devices Keep Kids Safe When They’re Away From Home

February 24, 2014
Parents invariably worry about their children whether they’re in the backyard playing with the dog, or across the country in a college dorm. For parents whose children are headed to school for the first time or want to spend time playing with neighborhood friends, there are new options to ensure your children are safe.
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Nowadays, modern technology allows parents to track their young children using GPS technology.

How GPS Works

GPS stands for “global positioning system.” With a GPS, signals are directed toward a satellite and bounce back to Earth to pinpoint the device’s location. GPS systems are very accurate, and it takes only a short time to locate a device and the person holding it.

Available in a Variety of Devices

GPS technology is included in most smartphones, but for children who might not be ready for the responsibility of owning a phone, GPS tracking devices are available in other items. For instance, many manufacturers make child-sized wristwatches with small GPS devices. The watches are tough and can be used in a variety of conditions, which means the watch should survive the rigors of a child’s adventures in the dirt or the community pool.

Additionally, some devices today also come with extra features that allow the user to notify security alarm companies in Santa Monica if there’s a problem. Just like the red panic button on a car alarm remote, some GPS devices also feature a panic button, which is a valuable option that reduces the chance of child abduction.

Other Child Safety Mechanisms

For parents who must work and need to leave young teens at home, residential security systems should offer suitable protection against intruders and other dangers. Today’s home security essentials include remote access options that may allow a parent to use his or her own smartphone, tablet or desktop computer to log into the home network and check on the kids.

Research Local Laws

Before using a GPS tracking system, it’s a good idea to read the local laws guiding the ability of a parent to track his or her child. Just like there are rules to protect people from unauthorized voice recordings over the telephone, there are some rules that guide who can track another person with GPS.

Using GPS technology to track your children is convenient and comforting for parents raising children in a modern world, but it shouldn’t take the place of regular talks with your children about safety. Telling children how to deal with strangers and how to call for help if there is trouble are still necessary conversations.

In addition to keeping the family safe with residential security systems, safety can extend beyond the front door with GPS tracking options. Whether using a wristwatch for young children or buying a smartphone for older kids, devices outfitted with GPS technology will help parents keep in contact with their children at all times.