Top 3 Benefits of Home Security Monitoring

Home security systems with professional monitoring services add an additional protection layer to your home. Should an emergency occur, your monitoring center can immediately dispatch authorized personnel, providing around-the-clock defense no matter where you are.

Below, we provide four benefits of using professional monitoring services with your home security system.

1. Break-In and Burglary Prevention

Monitored glass-break detectors, image sensors and door alarms can detect when a potential break-in or burglary is in progress. Should movement or device tampering trigger your alarm, your monitoring center will be notified. The operator will then call you to determine whether the threat is valid. If immediate attention is required, your operator will dispatch the police.

2. Fire, Flood and Carbon Monoxide Detection

Environmental hazards, such as flooding, high levels of carbon monoxide and fires, are often unpredictable and can pose serious threats to your health and home if left undetected. By syncing your water sensors, low temperature sensors, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to your monitoring center, you can also ensure prompt response in these situations and minimize damages.

3. Medical Emergency Response

Individuals who live alone or who have medical conditions may utilize a personal emergency response system (PERS). In the event of a medical emergency, users can push a button on a wearable pendent to immediately connect with a monitoring center operator. Once the operator has verified there is a medical emergency, he or she will dispatch first responders and notify those on your emergency contact list.

Verification Guidelines

To reduce false dispatches, your security provider will follow a set of guidelines to determine whether there is a legitimate emergency each time a potential threat is detected. Generally speaking, here’s what happens (procedures may differ depending on alarm event):

  • Place a call to your home.
  • Ask the individual who answers for a passcode, which is pre-set by the homeowner.
  • If the individual is able to provide the correct password, no further action is taken.
  • If an incorrect passcode is received, you can’t be reached or the monitoring center cannot confirm a false alarm, emergency personnel will be dispatched.

Monitoring centers keep a close eye on your home so you don’t have to. Work with a reliable professional monitoring service provider to ensure your home is protected at all times.

burglar

Make your home unattractive to burglars

Home burglaries typically aren’t elaborate, well planned heists. Most of the time, burglars are simply looking for an easy mark: unlocked doors, empty houses, and valuables left in plain sight ripe for the picking.

While the most foolproof way to deter burglars is to invest in a home security system, often all you have to do to turn off a burglar’s interests is to simply not make it easy to break in. That could be as simple as locking your doors, installing lights, and asking neighbors to pick up mail when you’re not home.

We’ve identified eight of the easiest ways to make your home unattractive to burglars. They’re either free or low cost, and often, just require simple, easy tweaks that don’t take a lot of effort. Try out these ideas to make your home safer today.

#1: Lock Your Doors and Windows

This sounds like a no brainer, but the importance of locking up your home cannot be overstated. Leaving doors or windows unlocked, or worse, open, is like rolling out the red carpet for burglars. All they have to do is walk in.

Think you’re not doing it? Someone is. In 2013, 34.3% of burglaries did not require forcible entry. That means in more than a third of burglaries, the burglars were able to gain entry through an unlocked door or window.

It should go without saying, but it’s important to always lock your front and back doors, even when you’re home. Your windows should be closed when you’re not home, and you should lock them as soon as they are closed. Don’t forget to lock your upstairs windows, too: it’s easy to gain access with a ladder. Also consider the security of your garage door, which can also allow access into your home.

Don’t just hand over your key, either. Avoid leaving a spare key out where a burglar can simply pick up a rock and discover it. Instead, give a spare key to a trusted neighbor who you can visit to gain access.

#2: Show Signs of Life

Burglars prefer to hit homes where no one is home — and even better if no one has been at home for a while. That means they can take their time getting in, taking what they want, and getting out. If your home looks like it might be vacant, or even if you’re just gone for a few days, you’re more likely to be targeted.

Take a look at your front yard. If you’ve got overgrown grass, a full mailbox, and a few papers to pick up, you’re sending a message to burglars that no one is home. Mow your lawn, collect mail, papers, and packages.

If you’re going to be away from home, ask for help from neighbors or hire a service to cut your grass or shovel snow so that it appears you’re still home. And of course, ask a neighbor or friend to stop by and collect mail and packages.

It’s also a good idea to use a timing device around the clock and especially when you won’t be home. With a timing device, you can set lights, radio, and other electronics to turn off or on whether you’re home or not, giving the appearance that you are at home.

#3: Always Answer Your Door

When your door bell rings, you never know who is on the other side of the door. A burglar could be dressed as a solicitor or repair person while attempting to gain access to your home. And while you certainly don’t want to open the door and allow them to come in, it’s not smart to simply ignore them. Why? Often, burglars will ring the door bell first to see if someone is home. And if you don’t answer, you’re telling them the house is empty — and free to explore.

In 2013, almost 30% of burglaries had household members present, and 26% of them became victims of violent crime. It should go without saying that while it’s best to never have a burglar in your home, you certainly don’t want to be there if it happens.

Instead of ignoring the front door with an unknown person behind it, make yourself known. Use your peephole to see who is there, and if you’re not expecting them or don’t recognize them, simply tell them you’re not interested. They may continue to engage with you to encourage you to open the door, but at this point, you’ve done your part: you let them know you are home and that your house is no longer an easy target. Most likely, they’ll simply walk away and move on to another house.

#4: Hide Your Valuables

How easy is it to see what you have in your house? Even behind closed doors, it can be easy to see through windows and garage door windows. If you have a nice camera, large TV, multiple mobile devices, jewelry, or other valuables within sight, burglars may see your home as an attractive target.

Move items away from the view of windows that you may open, or simply keep shades or blinds in easy to see places closed. Consider frosting your garage door windows if you have them. Also, don’t leave valuable items like bicycles in your front yard. Not only does this make it easy to take them, it can send a message that you may leave other valuable items lying around as well.

If you make a big purchase like a TV, avoid putting the empty box out as is with your recycling. Break it down, turn it inside out, and try to fit it in the bin with the rest of your recyclables. Otherwise, you could be advertising your new purchase to burglars on the street.

#5: Make Entry Points Unattractive

Burglars love a hidden door or window. That means if you have lots of shrubbery or trees near your windows, or if your front door is blocked from view, you’re more likely to be burglarized than your neighbors without these issues.

You can’t move your front door, but you can install lighting. Make sure that your doors, both front and back, are well lit. Ideally, you should install motion sensing lights that call attention to the presence of movement.

Around windows and fences, trim back any shrubbery that might make it easy for a burglar to hide or gain access. Motion sensing lights are useful in these areas as well. Also, consider thorny shrubs around windows that will make it not just unattractive, but painful for burglars to gain entry into your home.

#6: Store Valuables Away from Your Master Bedroom

It won’t stop a burglar from getting into your home, but storing valuables away from your master bedroom can protect your belongings. Usually, the master bedroom is the first place a burglar will look for valuables. They’ll see if you have cash or valuables like jewelry in your nightstand, and rifle through the rest of your belongings for electronics, guns, drugs, and more.

It’s best to store valuables outside of your master bedroom. Burglars are less likely to look in your attic, basement, hall closets, or kitchen. Even childrens’ bedrooms are often bypassed, particularly young children who probably don’t have electronics in their rooms. Don’t think you’re being clever by hiding valuables in the freezer, however. Burglars have known that trick for years.

Your best bet is to get a home safe that is bolted securely to your home. Make it easy for you to access, like in your basement or even in a hall closet, but make sure it isn’t easy to remove — as burglars are happy to just take it with them and work out how to get inside of it later.

#7: Never Give Clues You Won’t Be Home

Serious burglars spend time staking out the homes they want to hit. They’ll watch your patterns, read your social media, and keep an eye out for cars, work schedules, and other details to find their best opportunity to find an open, empty house.

If you have a garage, use it. Parking in your garage makes it difficult for a burglar to know when you’re home and when you’re not. If there’s never a car in the driveway, the absence of one doesn’t tell them that you’re not home — it just tells them things are normal.

Predictable patterns can help burglars as well. If you leave for work and return at the exact same time every day, burglars know just how long they have to get in and out before you make it home. Consider breaking routines on a regular basis to show any burglars who might be watching that you could come home and discover them at any time.

Don’t send out a message online that you won’t be home as well. It’s fun to discuss your travel plans, but keep in mind that by doing so, you could be broadcasting to burglars that your home will be empty and easy to access. It’s best to simply wait until you get home and post photos of your trip if you’d like.

#8: Get a Best Friend

If you can’t be home yourself, a dog is the next best thing. Large breeds are the most intimidating to burglars, as they can be more dangerous if they attack, but regardless of size, any dog that barks is a problem for burglars. Why? A barking dog could alert neighbors to the fact that they have broken in.

Already have a dog at home? Make sure their presence is known. Consider getting a Beware of Dog sign to let burglars know that they won’t be opening up an empty house, and will likely be confronted with a dog, small or large.

ASC Keypad

System Functions

What is the purpose of the ‘Ready’, ‘Armed’ and ‘Trouble’ indicators?
‘Ready’ indicator
 – Green light or check. this will illuminate when all zones are secure
‘Armed’ indicator – this will illuminate when the system is armed
‘Trouble’ indicator – this will illuminate when there is a system trouble.
Please refer to your instruction manual for further details.

My yellow trouble light is on, what does it mean? 
Your yellow trouble light can come on for one of many different reasons. Your burglar alarm continuously monitors many trouble conditions, and once a trouble is found, the yellow light (or yellow triangle) will come on to alert you to a problem. Most times it is either a low battery, phone line trouble, or internal time & date is wrong.
To diagnose the problem at any keypad push: *2
If a 1 comes on, then it is a system low battery
If a 3 or 4 comes on, then it is a phone line problem
If a 7 comes on, then it is a wireless device low battery press 7 again to determine which wireless zone has a low battery
If an 8 comes on, then you need to reset your time & date.
Push # to reset the keypad.
Call our office 979-690-8516 to talk to a technician and we will be able to help you resolve the trouble condition.

How can I silence the trouble beep on the keypad?
Press the ‘* 2 # ‘ key; however, the yellow light will remain on until the trouble condition is corrected.

What is a system low battery? Will my system still work if it is low? (Trouble 1)
All burglar alarm systems have a rechargeable backup battery located in the main control panel (usually in your hall or bedroom closet). Under normal circumstances, the battery will last an average of 3-5 years. This battery will take over and power your alarm system in the event of a power failure. If the battery is reporting low, your system will still work; however, in the event of a power failure, your alarm may only work for minutes instead of hours. It is important that you replace the back-up battery as soon as possible. Call our office 979-690-8516 to arrange for a new battery. We can mail one to you, or for a service call fee, we can deliver and install it for you. This is considered routine owner maintenance and is not covered by any warranty.

What is a device low battery? Will my system still work if it is low? (Trouble 7)
Wireless alarm devices on your doors, windows, motion detectors and remote key-fobs, have batteries inside each transmitter. Your alarm will work with a device low battery; however, the batteries should be changed as soon as possible, to insure that the devices will work in an emergency ! Call our office 979-690-8516 to talk to a technician and we will help you determine which device is low and what type of batteries to replace. This is considered routine owner maintenance and is not covered by any warranty.

Why would I have trouble with my phone line and how do I fix it? (Trouble 3 or 4) 
Certain model alarms will monitor your phone line. If your phone line is cut (by a burglar) or if your dial tone gets interrupted for ANY reason, your keypad trouble will blink and/or your siren will ring, alerting the burglar that your alarm is ringing. With all of the “New Technology” in phone services, this trouble has become more prevalent. Call our office 979-690-8516 to talk to a technician to determine whether or not you need a service call from us or from your phone company.

How do I reset my time and date? (Trouble 8)
Your clock may be wrong due to daylight savings time, or if you lose power for an extended period of time, the clock will sometimes default. To Reset the clock, at any keypad push: *6, Master Code, 1, Time, Date ##. The time is military time, the date is 6 digits. For example: *6,1234,1,1800,010109, ##. Master code is 1234, time is 6:00 p.m., date is 01/01/09 This will change the time at all keypads.

What if I make a mistake while entering a code to arm or disarm? 
Press the ‘#’ key and enter your code again.

I am getting new phone service, do I need to call you?
YES!! Please call us as soon as you get new phone service. Your alarm calls our central station through your phone line, so any changes you make to your phone service can affect the operation of your alarm system. With so much new phone technology like VOIP, Suddenlink, VONAGE, and Frontier, it is imperative that you call us so we can test in your alarm, preferably before the phone company leaves your premises. This way, if there is a problem, the phone company can fix it before they leave.

I am getting new doors or windows, what should I do?
Call us as soon as you know when your installation will be so we can schedule a service call. Make sure to tell your installer “NOT TO LOSE THE WIRE” to the old door or window, so we can easily reconnect the alarm to your new doors or windows. If they lose the wire, the window or door will have to be re-wired and it can be costly.

How do I test my alarm?
Call Monitoring station first! 1-800-299-9900 Provide us with your Account#,Password and we will be happy to assist you in testing your alarm. If you test without calling first, we may dispatch the police and that could result in a false alarm fine from your city.

How do I add or delete code numbers?
Instructions on adding and deleting code numbers can be found in your user manual. Each keypad is different. You can download the user manual from our web site home page.

Why canʼt I arm my system?
You must have a green “ready” light (or check mark) in order to set your alarm. If you do not have a ready light, then most likely a zone is open. You must check your keypad to see what zone number is on or flashing, then shut that zone, and you should get a ready light. Remember that doors and windows may appear to be shut, but many times are not. Re-open and close the doors, and make sure the upper and lower windows are shut and locked. If you are still showing an open zone, call us for a service call at 979-690-8516.

Can I still arm my system with an open zone?
Yes, it is called zone bypassing. Please refer to your user manual to bypass a zones(s), (you can download a manual from the user manuals tab above). You can call 979-690-8516, 24 hours a day, and our technical staff can walk you through the process. Make sure to schedule a service call.

The chime on my doors stopped working.
Hold “Chime” button or the picture of a bell for 3 seconds (3-beeps-on/long beep-off)

Burglar Home

Holiday Security Tips from ASC

The holiday is a busy time for most people. And crooks are no different. During the holiday season, thieves are looking to break into your car and home, trying to steal any gifts and valuables that they may be able to get their hands on. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help protect your home against burglars this holiday season. Here are a few of those tips. 
 
Don’t Let Thieves Know What You Are Buying
 
One of the ways that you can protect your home against burglars this holiday season is to not let thieves know what you are buying. This may include not posting on social media about the pricey gifts, electronics or jewelry you may be buying. It also includes ensuring that you do not throw away packaging from pricey gifts in an obvious manner. Lastly, when possible, unload your pricey gifts in the garage, where those who may be walking by or watching won’t see you. Letting a burglar know what items you have in your house can make you an easy target. Instead, break down your packaging, toss your trash in dumpsters at work, be mindful of who can see you unloading purchases and/or don’t brag about what you are buying all in an effort to deter thieves from targeting your home. 
 
Don’t Advertise That You Will Be Out of Town
 
Another key tip to protecting your home against burglars this holiday season is not advertising that you will be out of town. During the holiday season, many people travel. You may be taking a trip for pleasure or going home to visit family and friends. However, odds are, you will tell strangers in a grocery store, post it on social media, or let a stranger overhear your conversation while having coffee with a friend. If a thief hears or sees that you are out of town, your home will instantly become a target, as they know they have time to commit the crime. Not letting others know when you will be away is one of the best ways to protect your home. 
 
Lock Up Your Windows and Doors
 
The last tip for protecting your home against thieves this holiday season is to lock up your windows and doors. One of the mistakes that many homeowners make during the holiday season is running cords for their holiday lights or inflatables through a garage door, window or doorway. Unfortunately, when this is done, the window or door is not closed all the way and is not locked. If a thief sees this, they know that they can easily gain entry into the home without even having to pry a door open or break a window. Stick to using only outdoor electrical outlets for your holiday decorations. And be sure that you do lock your doors and windows before you leave the house to ensure your home is safe and secure. 
 
One of the gifts you can give yourself this holiday season is peace of mind. And one way you can accomplish this is by installing a home security system.
Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for more Security tips all year.

Burglary Prevention Tips

Each year in the U.S. there are more than five million home burglaries. Nine out of ten of these crimes are preventable. The risk of being burglarized can be greatly reduced by taking simple steps to make your home more difficult to enter and less enticing to would-be burglars. Remember the greatest weapons in the fight to prevent burglaries are light, time and noise.

Light
  • Make sure that exterior lights are mounted out of reach, so that burglars can’t easily unscrew bulbs.
  • Consider buying motion-sensitive lights, which are now available at relatively low prices.
  • Use a variable light timer to activate lights inside your home.
  • Trim trees and shrubs near doors and windows so burglars can’t hide in the shadows

Time

Make it time-consuming for a burglar to break into your home by :

  • Installing deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
  • Installing double key locks in doors which contain glass. This will keep a burglar from being able to open the door simply by breaking the glass and reaching through. (Note: so that everyone in the house can get out in the event of a fire, be sure to keep the key in designated place).
  • Placing additional locks on all windows and patio doors.

Noise

  • Get a dog. You don’t need a large attack dog; even a small dog creates a disturbance that burglars would prefer to avoid. Remember to License and Vaccinate it.
  • Consider having someone care for your dogs in your home while you’re away, instead of boarding them.
  • Install an alarm system that will alert neighbors of a burglar’s presence. Most systems can even summon local police directly. Don’t forget to check the Alarm Code.

Other tips to prevent break-ins:

  • Think like a burglar. “Case” your home the way a burglar would and look for easy ways to enter your home.
  • Be sure valuables such as guns, electronic devices and artwork are not visible from the street.
  • Be sure to lock up ladders and tools which could be used to break into your home.
  • Work together with your neighbors. Organize a Neighborhood Watch and let your neighbors know when you will be away for an extended period.
  • While on vacation, have someone pick up your newspapers and mail, so that they do not accumulate and alert burglars of your absence.
  • Display your house number conspicuously and have it well illuminated. This will help police and emergency personnel find your home quickl

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Call us today

If you are still thinking about that security system to protect your home and family don’t wait until the bad guys make the decision for you. Don’t be a victim, Call ASC today!