Contractor Tips Blog


Home Alarm Systems

Posted in Home Security

It is no secret that we don’t live in Mayberry. We must lock our cars and lock our homes up tight each night in order to keep out unwanted people. Home alarm systems are a popular way for people to protect their loved ones and their personal belongings from being stolen or damaged by those looking to break in and steal. Home security systems have been around for years, but with today’s advances in technology home security and alarm systems are more versatile than ever before. 

Quality home alarm systems are monitored by security companies. If something happens to set off an alarm, the home alarm monitoring company will contact the closest authorities in order to send help to the home. Home alarm systems can be used to detect strangers coming in, smoke detection, assisted living monitoring, nanny cameras, and more in order to protect the valuables inside the home. While it is true that people who have homes with an alarm system tend to set off the alarm themselves occasionally, security systems have been incredibly beneficial in providing help to people and families that are in trouble in their homes. 

There are different levels of security available with home alarm systems. Choosing one can be a big decision, but staying on budget and within the needed parameters of each family’s desires for protection can help to determine which level of security is appropriate. Each home alarm system can be customized to fit the lifestyle of each individual family. 

Posted on behalf of Callaway Security


Go Wireless For Added Security!

Posted in Home Security

Traditionally, a hard-wired phone line has been the method for a security or fire alarm systems in commercial and residential buildings to communicate with a central monitoring station.  In the event of an emergency, such as a break in or a fire, the system notifies the central call station, which notifies the Police or Fire department.  While generally effective, there area number of drawbacks to this method of communication, including loss of communication with the central call station if the phone line is cut or is damaged, as the result of a natural event such as a storm.  Another drawback is that many people now are not using traditional hard-wired phone lines in their home or business; instead using cell phones and a variety of Internet based phone systems. 

Wireless home alarm monitoring is a viable alternative that provides both a primary and secondary means for the building’s security and fire alarm systems to communicate with the central call station in the event of an emergency.  If the building does not have a hard-wired phone line, the security and fire alarm systems will contact the central call station using cellular phone Uplink technology.  In the event that the building has a hard-wired phone line, the same technology provides backup service in the event that the primary phone line is cut or damaged.  This results in no gaps in coverage! 

The technology surrounding wireless alarm monitoring is cost effective and proven with hundreds of thousands of properties being protected since the introduction of the technology.  Wireless monitoring systems provide an excellent means to provide primary or secondary alarm monitoring of any security or fire alarm system!

Posted on behalf of Callaway Security


Protect Your Home And Family With Wireless Alarm Monitoring

Posted in Home Security

There is nothing as precious as your family and home. While there are many alarm systems available to help protect your home against robbery and invasion, many are not equipped to function correctly when phone lines or electricity is down or shut off by a criminal. Wireless alarm monitoring is the best way to ensure your home and family are protected, regardless of the circumstances. 

Choosing A Wireless Alarm Monitoring Service

Just like all home services, not all alarm services are created equal. If you are investing in home protection, you need to ensure the company you choose has the best capacity to monitor your home in all types of situations. Criminals know that cutting phone lines, power outages and other factors can leave you vulnerable; don’t risk your home and family by using an alarm service that will not be there when you need it most. Some factors to consider when choosing a alarm monitoring service: 

  • Certified monitoring station – Choose an alarm monitoring company with a monitoring station that has been certified by the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). A 5 Diamond Certification is the best, with only 3% of all monitoring stations receiving this level.
  • VOIPP or no phone line – If you use cellular phones as your only phone lines or VOIPP, wireless alarm monitoring is imperative. Wireless also protects you when traditional phone lines are out of service, or cut by a criminal trying to invade your home. 

Investing in your home and family’s protection is money well spent. While insurance may reimburse you for items stolen, it cannot replace your family or your peace of mind. Wireless alarm monitoring is the most reliable way to protect your family and possessions, so contact a professional security installation service who understands your unique needs.

Posted on behalf of Callaway Security


Home Security Myths Everyone Should Know About

Posted in Home Security

Myths can be dangerous, especially when they affect the security of your home and loved ones.

Therefore, please take a few moments to discover five of the most dangerous myths that can put you, your family, and your home at risk for burglary.

HOME SECURITY MYTH #1 – My home is safer because crime rates have decreased

Fact: Despite the nation’s crime rates dropping over the last 10 to 20 years, many areas and neighborhoods have unfortunately experienced a significant increase in home burglaries.  And, the typical value of goods stolen from homes has almost doubled from 1994.

HOME SECURITY MYTH #2 – My home in the suburbs is safer because there are fewer criminals here

Fact: The reality is that most home burglaries are committed by a person who generally lives within 1 to 2 miles of your home.

HOME SECURITY MYTH #3 – My jewelry is secured in a safe, so I have nothing to worry about

Fact: Today, robbers aren’t just looking for jewelry. Electronic devices, computers, and home appliances are often targeted by burglars. Furthermore, most burglars seek to steal items that are easy to conceal, such as iPhones, iPads, etc.

HOME SECURITY MYTH #4 – I’m home during the evening and night, so I don’t have to worry about burglars

Fact: Burglars are smarter than you think. While you’d think burglars will only target your home during the night (when it’s dark), burglars take advantage of daylight hours when the family is away from home, typically between 10 AM and 3PM.

HOME SECURITY MYTH #5 – If my home was burglarized while I’m here, then I can respond fast enough to stop it

Fact: The fact is that most burglars are in and out of your home in about 9 to 10 minutes. Therefore, it’s best to have a home security system with monitoring that alerts the local police upon the burglar’s entry.



Keeping Your Home Safe While Away on Vacation

Posted in Home Security

Taking a vacation requires more than simply remembering to pack everything in your suitcases. It’s also important to make sure that your home is secure while you’re gone. In the thrill of the moment, with thoughts of enjoying your time away, it’s quite easy to forget something as simple as locking your doors. 

While a home alarm system is perhaps the best way to protect your home, you can do the following to further ensure your home isn’t burglarized. After all, there’s no worse way to ruin a vacation than returning to find your home has been burglarized.


Using indoor light timers gives your home the appearance of being occupied. 

There have been major improvements with indoor light timers. Modern timers are digital and provide you the option of varying the times when particular lights turn on and off. This deters even the most cunning burglar who does his homework – noticing patterns of when your lights are on and off each day.


If possible, you might consider leaving one of your cars locked and in your driveway. This gives the appearance that someone is home. Of course, you need to remove all valuables, keys, cell phones, laptops, garage door opener, etc. from your car.


Ask a neighbor or family member you trust to make sure trash cans, packages, newspapers, and flyers are not left outside your house. Have someone bring your trash cans in after your trash is picked up.  You might also consider having someone housesit or stay at your home for either a few days or the entire duration of your vacation.


While the tips above are quite helpful in deterring your home from being burglarized, there’s nothing like a home security system. Home security systems provide your home protection around the clock – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

If you’re serious about protecting your home while away on vacation, there’s perhaps no better way to do that than by having a professionally installed home security system.


Motion Detectors For Home Security

Posted in Home Security

Many homeowners concerned about security install motion detectors on their property to deter would-be burglars and other intruders. They are also sometimes used to monitor the activities of children and pets. 

Motion detectors can be quite complicated systems, but are used more or less the same way in home security situations. Outside the home, the motion sensor is usually hooked up to a camera or flood lights, which come on when the sensor detects motion. Inside the home, motion sensors can be connected to windows or doors with alarms that sound if the sensor detects movement. They can also contact your smart phone or local law enforcement. 

Here are two types of motion detectors commonly used in home security systems. 

Passive Infrared Detectors 

Passive infrared systems are the most commonly used by homeowners because they’re reliable and affordable. They work by detecting changes in temperatures in a given area. Passive infrared sensors do not emit energy of their own. 

Active Motion Detectors 

Active infrared sensors, on the other hand, use optics, sound waves or radiation to detect motion.  The main difference between passive infrared detectors and active motion detectors is that active detectors emit some sort of energy; passive detectors do not. Active motion sensors are often used in commercial settings to open doors or ring bells whenever someone approaches the threshold. 

Motion detectors are not completely foolproof when it comes to catching intruders. They can have gaps in their coverage, and can sometimes be blocked by radio signals or light waves. In any case, it’s important to consult a home security specialist if you have any doubts.


What You Need to Know About Home Security

Posted in Home Security

The advancement, availability and affordability of today’s technology has literally allowed most homes to become filled with the most up-to-date electronics for all types of home entertainment.  Indeed, at-home entertainment has become the preferred norm. As such, the majority of homeowner’s are concerned about their home security.

Your local security company should be able to sell, install, service and monitor your home alarm systems. They should be fully licensed and insured for your protection. Of course, using a local security company that has a well-established reputation of trusted service is possibly your most important decision. It is also important to check the security alarm certifications of your potential security company. For example, the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) is one such agency that rates and offers certifications for monitoring stations.

If you already have an existing security system, it may be prudent to have it inspected by another company. You may be able to upgrade and/or receive additional services at another security company; some may offer free monitoring for several months if you are signing up for new service. Often, monthly monitoring rates are lower for new customers. An important consideration for switching security companies is whether they offer an approved monitoring station that supports wireless monitoring.  In the event of downed power lines, having a form of back-up monitoring, such as cellular radio, can add to your home’s protection. Additionally, it can be also be used for smoke fire monitoring. 

Wireless alarm monitoring can be essential to having a dependable security system.  Make sure that your home is safe and secure, by having a reliable system installed and handled by a local certified security professional.



Structured Wiring Explained

Posted in Home Security

Structured wiring is a system of wiring used in internal construction whereby all the wiring components in a home or commercial building are set up using a home run configuration. This means all the telephone, video, satellite, cable, internet, security alarm system and other communications wiring are pulled from a central distribution panel, as opposed to a daisy chain wiring scheme whereby wires are looped from outlet to outlet, and jack to jack, throughout the house.

With structured wiring, the central panel is located in a closet, utility room, or any other unobtrusive place.  It is strongly recommended that the central panel be installed in a location with low humidity and controlled room temperature so that the panel doesn’t get too cold or overheat. Because all the wires run back to a central panel, it is easy to maintain or make changes to the system; the individual cables can be easily isolated to test for shorts or to change connections if desired.

With daisy chain wiring schemes, the wires are looped and spliced, which degrades signal quality.  As signals travel through the looped system they are split and grow weaker so that devices connected further along in the loop tend to have weaker signals and connectivity issues. Also, with daisy chained wiring, if one connection fails, all of the devices further along the chain go out. With structured wiring on the other hand, all of the signals are travelling the same distance and there is no need to split signals. This results in stronger communications signals and more consistent device performance throughout the building.

Structured wiring is considered a superior wiring scheme for homes or commercial buildings. It is a flexible, more layman’s-friendly approach to building wiring that results in a fully and smoothly functioning home or business place.


Advantages of Keyless Entry Systems

Posted in Home Security

Keypad door locks are part of the “new wave” of home security technologies. Not to be confused with security keypads that are mounted on a wall inside the home and used for arming and disarming an installed alarm system, keypad door pads are used to prevent unauthorized entry into a home or business place. They are mostly installed on the outside of exterior doors (including garage doors), although they may also be used to regulate access to interior rooms as well. With these systems, anyone wishing to enter a home or business place must use the keypad buttons to punch in a secret access code. Keypad door locks are digital systems, i.e., they work through computer programming. There several advantage to these keyless entry systems. 

1)      Never worry about lost keys

With regular door locks, if you lose your key or your key is stolen, it can cost you a pretty penny to change your locks. With keypad door lock systems, you never have to worry about the inconvenience caused by a misplaced key. 

2)      Share your key easily

With regular keys, if you want to share your key with a roommate, family member, or other trusted person, it will be necessary to make a copy of the key, i.e., get the key cut. Having multiple physical copies of a key increases the chances of someone you don’t know or trust getting a hold of the key. With keypad door locks, you can program the system so that each authorized person has a unique access code. You can also create temporary access codes, e.g. for babysitter.

3)      Better home security

Regular door locks can be easily picked by a practiced burglar and by running a quick Internet search, even an amateur thief can learn how to pick locks. Keypad entry systems provide an added layer of protection for your home or business place. The access codes are impossible to duplicate, thus the chances of unauthorized access are greatly diminished.

4)      Easier entry when it counts

The ability to enter your home or office in a quick and alert manner is an important security factor. With keyless entry systems you won’t ever again have to dig in your purse or pocket for your keys, or fiddle at length with a difficult lock. The keypad illuminates when touched so that even in conditions of low visibility, you can quickly punch in the code and make a swift entry.


Types of Home Security Technology

Posted in Home Security

If you are a homeowner, then keeping your family members and property safe is a top priority. It used to be that the best way to keep your property secure was to get a guard dog or leave the television on while away to trick potential intruders into thinking someone was at home. While these methods are still useful, modern-day home security technology provides even more protection and peace of mind. Nowadays, home security technology runs the gamut from do-it-yourself burglar alarms to expensive surveillance systems installed by a professional. Here are four of the easiest and most effective home security devices you can use to help put your fears to rest. 

Closed circuit television cameras

Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras can be used to monitor areas of the home that are common break-in points for burglars, such as the front door, rear windows, and basement door. These cameras can also be installed indoors to monitor domestic staff, babysitters, or in-home caregivers. With CCTV cameras, homeowners have around-the-clock access to the video footage which they can view from anywhere in the world on a computer or laptop.

Motion detectors

Motion detection systems use infrared technology to detect the presence of an intruder. When the sensor detects motion, the system automatically turns on floodlights outside the home and sends an alarm signal to the receiver unit. Motion detectors can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Many of them can be programmed to respond only to human movement, so that pets do not end up repeatedly triggering the system.

Burglar alarm systems

Burglar alarm systems combine a number of security features. Along with video camera monitoring of the premises, they may include things like electronic access control (for doors), motion detectors, glass break detectors, door and window contacts, spotlights, and invisible force fields. Burglar alarm systems have alerting devices (sirens, bells, or flashing lights) that go off when the system detects an intrusion.  Burglar alarm systems also come with a keypad. The keypad is placed in a central location inside the home and can be used to disable the alarm system by punching in a code.

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