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Steve Rodgers

Wired vs Wireless: Which Security System Is Best For You?

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When it comes to choosing between a wired or wireless security system, your decision will depend on a variety of factors. This includes: whether or not you have a landline; the size of your home; whether you own or rent, and your budget.

Keep in mind that there really is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to deciding between either setup. Everyone’s needs and situation will vary, necessitating either one or the other. But let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of both, alongside which lifestyle/situation is the best match.

Wired Security Systems

In the age where everything is wireless, some might view wired security systems as outdated or in applicable to current technologies. While wireless security systems are a more recent iteration of home security, there is still something to be said about having a wired security system.

Advantages

  • Constantly up and running through power supply – Since everything is wired, no batteries are needed to keep your system up and running. This increases the overall reliability of your security system. Even if your power goes out, your ADT Security System will be protected by a backup battery system.
  • Covers a larger area – If you have a larger home, a wired system may be preferable, but not required/necessary. Between the control panel and sensor, coverage extends 1000 feet. This is potentially larger than wireless systems, although product capability will vary.
  • Less Expensive – Taking a look at ADT Security Systems, you’ll notice that the Basic Package – which is the wired system option – is the lowest priced option of all ADT packages.

Disadvantages

  • Can’t install without a landline – If your home has no landline, then you will not be able to install a wired home security system. Your landline would serve as the main connection for your system, and without the line, there is no system.
  • Self-installation not recommended – Wired systems will require a noticeable amount of drilling in order to install, thus requiring a professional installer. The process can potentially be lengthy and more intrusive than one might expect.
  • Not portable – Once a wired security system is installed, it is installed. If there comes a time for you to want to move, you will not be able to take your existing system with you. This is wher wireless systems do serve a strong advantage, as will be discussed in the next section.

Wireless Security Systems

The prevalence of wireless security systems is more common than that of wired. With less homes and apartments being built with a landline, wireless home security systems are becoming the go-to for many security customers. Although a technological improvement with a slew of advantage, wireless security systems are not without their own drawbacks. Let’s take a look at both.

Advantages

  • Easy, non-intrusive installation – There are no holes to drill or anything of the sort when it comes to installing a wireless system. The process is quite simple, and can be set up within a quicker time frame when compared to a wired system.
  • Mobility – Wireless systems are perfect for renters or those who are regularly on the move. When it comes time to move to your next place, you will likely be able to take your security system with you. When you order through ADT Home Security, you’ll be protected by the Mover’s Guarantee when you’re a customer for 2+ years.
  • Opens the door to home automation – You may have heard about Pulse, ADT’s home automation solution. ADT Pulse relies on advanced Z-Wave technology that allows devices in your home to “talk” to one another. A wireless system is essentially the staple of ADT Pulse.

Disadvantages

  • Communications interference – Although it isn’t terribly common, one’s wireless system may be subject to interference that compromises the overall functionality of the system. However, this isn’t really anything to be overly concerned about.
  • Battery replacement required – Since wireless systems aren’t connected to a regular power source, battery-powered equipment will require battery replacement. Maintenance isn’t terribly regular, but will still be something that you as a customer will want to stay on top of.
  • Cost – With more convenience and improved technology will come higher costs. Keep in mind, however, of the many advantages relating to convenience and mobility when thinking about a wireless system.

Choose what is best for you

As stated in the beginning, it would not be accurate to say that that a wireless system is “better” than a wired system, or visa versa. Depending on the setup of your home, your lifestyle (renter vs owner, for example), and your overall security needs, it’s really up to you in deciding which is actually best. Take note of the advantages and disadvantages of both, look into further research, and you’ll be able to find a solution.

Your house has been burglarized. What do you do now?

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It is a trauma that you hope never happens to either or nor anyone you care for. If it has happened to you, you know that having your home burglarized can create bouts of everything from anxiety, to mistrust, and depression. Such feelings are certainly understandable, but it’s important to know that if you’ve been burglarized, taking the proper measures to get back on board towards a normal life is essential.

1. Observe the situation and rationalize

Having your home violated will undoubtedly be a terrible feeling for everyone in your family, and it’s completely normal to react this way. While panic and fear might run rampant, it’s important to take the time to rationalize and truly understand what just happened.

Most burglars have no desire to return to a place where they’ve already been, since they know there’s a high level of attention being given towards a home that they have targeted. No one is coming back to do anymore harm to you or your property.

If you have come to home to discover that your house has been broken into, it is best to immediately leave the premises and go to the home of a trusted neighbor or family member. You can handle what needs to be done from there.

2. Don’t touch anything in your home

It’s not a fun thing to think about, but after a burglary, your entire home is lawfully a crime scene. It might be tempting to search through your home and see what has been stolen or broken in detail, but at this very moment, interfering with a crime scene isn’t something that you’ll want to do.

All objects in your home can potentially serve as pieces of evidence for when the police arrive,and they need to see your home the way that the burglar(s) left it.

3. Contact the proper authorities

If you do not have a monitored home security system, no one but you will be aware that your home was just burglarized. As a result, you’ll need to make the call, and you’ll need to do it as soon as possible. Every second is another second that the person or persons who broke into your home get further away from the justice that they deserve.

Wait for the police to arrive, and they’ll let you know when you can enter your home for a full assessment of damages. They will likely ask you to list out all items that you believe have been stolen, along with any descriptors that make the items unique. Try your best to ensure that all items in your home have been accounted for, as there is a chance that all of it can be recovered.

While police are investigating, take photos of the scene for insurance purposes. We will cover this in the next step.

Side Tip: Document the serial numbers of expensive items such as electronics, and keep them on file for use in the event your home has been burglarized. Serial numbers help police better track down items that belong to you. 

4. Contact your insurance company

This is important to do right after you have filed a police report, since your insurance company will need a wealth of information from the police in order to work with you for your claim. There is a chance that a claims adjuster will have to come to your home to get an accurate assessment of the damages.

The insurance claim process can potentially serve as a source of headache, but how fast it moves actually has a lot to do with you. Whenever the insurance company sends you paperwork or calls you, make it a point to give them whatever they need as soon as you can.

Having an inventory of household items can also help give the police and insurance company a clearer view of what has been stolen and/or damaged. In fact, there are several apps available that can help you organize all items within your home.

Liberty Mutual Insurance has the Home Gallery App, and Binary Formations, LLC has a highly-regarded app called Home Inventory that allows you to keep detailed information about all home items. Home Inventory will run you $25, but if you’re serious about your inventory, you might find it to be a worthy investment.

5. Inform your neighbors about the burglary

Whether you live in an apartment complex or in a standalone house, a burglary has the potential to affect the entire neighborhood.

Make it a point to let your neighbors know about what has happened so that they can take the initiative to increase their own security. It may help build stronger bonds with those who live around you as well.

6. Rebuild your home and life

It might take some time before you and your family will really feel safe again after a burglary, but it’s essential that you don’t live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. Go about your day as if it were any other, and don’t feel like you can never leave your home again. Just be sure to be more mindful about keeping your doors locked, and start thinking about other ways you can secure your home.

Home security monitoring can serve as a massive source of relief and ease when trying to protect your home. In the event of a burglary, ADT Home Security will immediately contact your local authorities and will keep you in the know. Burglars who know that a home is armed with a home security system is also much less likely to even try to make an attempt.

The effects of being a burglary victim can be overwhelming at first, but it’s not a tragedy that has to take hold of you for an extended period of time. When you learn to grow from such an unfortunate event, you’ll feel better about the extra security and care that you’re able to provide for those around you and the ones that you love.

ADT’s Money-Back Guarantee: A One-Of-A-Kind

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ADT Home Security believes in making sure that their customers are fully satisfied with their home security service and equipment. While strides are made every day to ensure happy customers across the country, ADT customers should be protected from more than just burglaries and house fires.

With ADT’s Money Back Guarantee, customers have the chance to get a refund of all paid installation costs and monitoring fees up to 6 months after installation. If there are any reasons that your ADT home security system has not lived up to the full potential that you were hoping for, ADT will place you in consideration of a full refund with no cancellation fee.

Look at any other security company’s policy, and you’ll quickly see that no one comes even close to this time frame. The closest that competitors come to is sixty days, and some others don’t even provide a money-back guarantee at all.

In fact, some regional companies will require that customers who wish to cancel their service pay 100% of the remaining balance of their contract. Depending on who the company is, this could mean expenses in the several hundreds of dollars. If you are not happy with the service of a company, there’s no reason for you to have to pay large sums of money just to terminate your service with no time to really think things through.

Give yourself the time you need

Such a policy isn’t fair, and that’s why ADT gives customers up to six months to truly decide if the service and equipment provided by ADT is right for their home and family.

When you become an ADT customer, you’ll receive an ADT Money Back Guarantee Certificate that breaks down the terms of the guarantee in full detail for you.

Home security and protection is a serious business, and you have the right to really know which service is the right one for your home.

Other ADT Guarantees

While ADT’s Money Back Guarantee is certainly a one-of-a-kind deal, it’s not the only guarantee that protects customers*:

  • ADT Theft Protection – If a burglary occurs in your home while your home security system is armed, ADT can cover your insurance deductible up to $500.
  • Mover’s Security Guarantee – Need to move? If you’ve been a customer of ADT for more than two years, you’ll be inline to receive the Premium Mover’s Package, which includes a FREE home security system in your new location.

*Certain restrictions apply. See ADT Guarantee certificate for full details. 

Getting familiar with ADT Pulse products

When it comes to security automation, there are few services that measure up to the offerings of ADT Pulse. Making your home fully connected for security puts several products to work to ensure the most positive experience for customers.

You might think that bringing security automation into your home requires all kinds of switch-ups and adjustments within the home, but when you check out the products associated with ADT Pulse, you’ll realize it’s more accessible than you think.

Home Touch Screen

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Think of this as the center hub of managing all parts of ADT Pulse. With this interactive touch screen, you will be able to do everything from arm and disarm your security system, check the status of sensors around your home (including smoke detectors, front door sensors, and more), and adjust your lights, cameras and thermostat.

The Touch Screen also comes with widgets that provide you with the latest information on traffic, weather, and more.

 Door Locks

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Tired of dealing with keys? ADT Pulse Door Locks take away the need for your keys by automatically allowing you to lock your doors from the ADT Pulse App on your mobile device. These locks come in three different colors to match with what you think is best for your home.

When someone locks or unlocks the door, you can have the option to receive live alerts to keep you in the know with the status of your home.

Wireless Cameras for Indoor/Outdoor Use

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Video surveillance is one of the most crucial components of home security that you can have these days. Local police praise and encourage the use of the video to help assist in burglary investigations and provide evidence in a court of law.

With ADT Pulse, you’ll have the option to have both indoor and outdoor cameras that can render images in both daylight and dark. Cameras with ADT Pulse also pick up on activity and will alert customers in the event motion has been detected.

ADT Total Security

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The ADT Total Security panel allows customers to add up to 250 sensors and 140 Z-Wave-connected devices to their system. Total Security also lets customers add up to 16 cameras, and stores 10,000 events in its memory. It’s a serious device for customers who are serious about their home security.

Nano Adapter

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Looking to extend the power of ADT Pulse? The nano adapter will help extend the signal that permits interconnectivity in your home to devices that may be out of reach. Get more out of ADT Pulse when you employ the power of the nano adapter.

 

ADT Pulse is a technology and service that is always evolving. ADT works with some of the leading companies in developing services that make for an even more thorough and comprehensive security automation service.

If home security with a high level of convenience is what you have been seeking, then ADT Pulse can provide you with what you’ve been looking for. Call today to learn more about additional products that make ADT Pulse a leading solution in security automation.

3 Times Video Surveillance Helped Nab Burglars

When it comes to helping nab and prosecute suspected burglars (or any criminal), video surveillance is undoubtedly one of the most effective forms of evidence there is. ADT Home Security provides video surveillance technology through ADT Pulse, and it’s something that local authorities would love to see more residences have.

As burglaries happen, it can be difficult for authorities to zero-in on a suspect without hard evidence. While DNA samples might get left behind, the process in identifying can take a bit of time. But with video evidence, police can work with burglary victims and fellow neighbors to quickly identify the perpetrators. All across the country, police will often recommend that residents invest in video surveillance for their home.

To attest to the power of video surveillance, let’s look at three recent instances where surveillance helped police identify and nab burglars.

1. January 15, 2016 – Newtown, CT

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Recently, a man attempting to steal a painting from a Newtown, CT home got quite the shock when he found police waiting for him outside of the burglary victim’s home. The quick action by authorities was attributed to the homeowner’s video surveillance, which notified him that movement was detected in the house.

The police chief of Newtown said that the homeowner’s video footage provided a “huge advantage” in leading up the capture of the suspect, 57-year-old Christopher Isaacson.

2. January 31, 2016 – New Castle County, DE

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Two men were arrested by Delaware’s New Castle County Police after a string of burglaries within the area. Throughout a string of five burglaries, police relied on several pieces of evidence left at the scene as well as video surveillance of a Chevy Tahoe.

According to Delaware Online, when police stopped the vehicle, they were able to connect Jeffery Brannon and Jason Lynch to a recent sale of stolen goods to a local business. The two were subsequently arrested for a string of burglary-related crimes.

3. Feb 3, 2016 – Carbondale, IL

This story, which was just reported yesterday, looks at the power of surveillance for a small business. Daniel Parisio and Tyler Willsch were arrested by Carbondale Police after their attempted robbery and burglary of a local convenience store.

According to the Carbondale News, Parisio and Wilsch had entered the store while their faces were covered. One had a knife with another was armed with a baseball bat.

Police obtained video footage of the robbery, which they released to the public. Not long after, the suspects were identified and arrested.

Make surveillance your main security tool

The power of video surveillance can’t be overlooked, and luckily, ADT Pulse provides you with the right video technology that you need for optimal viewing. Call today about Video Control from ADT Pulse, and get a live video stream of your home that’s accessible at all times of the day.

In the event of a break-in, ADT will archive video footage of the burglary so that the proper authorities can view the evidence. Learn more about ADT Pulse today.

 

Stay Safe Against Winter Storm Jonas

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If you live on the east coast and have looked at new stories within the past 24-48 hours, you know that states up and down the coast are getting ready for the impact of Winter Storm Jonas starting on Thursday night.

The hardest hit areas are expected to be the Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York City regions, with the National Weather Service anticipating blizzard conditions for area. Heavy snow is expected to cover fifteen states.

States such as North Carolina, which are not used to snowy conditions, are expected to receive about 1-4 inches of accumulation. The National Weather Service has placed a winter storm warning in effect from Thursday night until Saturday at 6 PM. NC Governor Pat McCrory has issued a State of Emergency, as has Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.

Amongst the seemingly yearly panic that engulfs storm-stricken states, it’s important to review simple steps to take in be prepared for a winter storm.

1. Don’t Panic

While the media tends to enjoy instilling fear into residents at-risk of getting caught up in a storm, it’s important to not let the hysteria get to you. If you’ve been living on the East coast for a sometime, then there’s a chance this isn’t the first time you’ve been faced with this type of weather.

Residents in big cities such as Baltimore and Washington D.C. certainly have reason to be a bit concerned, but conditions expected for North Carolina and Virginia aren’t slated to be destructive. By Sunday morning, everything will have passed, and temperatures are in fact expected to rise again by next week.

2. Avoid Unnecessary Travel

This tip applies to some drivers more than others.

The fact is, if you’re not used to driving in snowy and icy conditions, then you’ll want to avoid unnecessary travel if the conditions appear risky. If you’re an experienced driver living in southern states, you’ll want to be cautious of drivers who may not have the skill you do.

3. Have an extendable roof scraper and bag of salt ready

If you’re going to run and purchase anything before the storm, make it something that you’ll most likely need to battle the conditions at their possible extreme. With Winter Storm Jonas – and again, depending on where you live – you may or may not really need to go stock up on food. But one thing you’ll really want is a bag of salt and a roof scraper.

With icy conditions anticipated for a better part of the at-risk area, being able to lay down salt in front of your steps and around your house is worth taking the time to do so. This will mean a safer outdoor area for you and your family.

If your area is in for a lot of snow, and you don’t already have a roof scraper, it’s definitely worth the trip to make a purchase. These scrapers can run up between $50-60 bucks, but they essentially last a lifetime.

If you want to stay on top of what’s happening with Winter Storm Jonas, take a look at Google’s Public Alert system for your area.

 

ADT Pulse Customers Can Now Control Their Heating/Cooling with Nest

Customers of ADT Pulse security automation have long-enjoyed the benefits of home temperature automation through ADT-manufactured smart thermostats. Now with a new partnership that started out in select cities, ADT customers all over the country can now use Nest Learning Thermostats as part of their ADT Pulse package.

ADT is celebrating the expansion of this partnership by offering the 3rd Generation Learning Thermostat for new customers of ADT Pulse and existing customers who wish to upgrade to ADT Pulse.

The 3rd Generation Learning Thermostat was only recently released, and offers a thinner, sleeker design, as well as a built-in diagnostic system capable of alerting users about potential issues with their heating system.

What does Nest do for you?

When you get ADT Pulse with Nest integration, you’ll get more control over the energy use of your home. Nest technology is noted for its ability to “learn” and remember the temperature of your home at certain times, and even turns down your home’s temperature while everyone is away.

Through several independent studies, such a smart technology allows customers to save up to 10-12% on their heating bills and 15% on their cooling bills.

Representatives of ADT and Nest offered their excitement in regards to the partnership, as can be read in recent press release:

“The nationwide availability of ADT Pulse with Nest integration is a significant milestone as we continue defining the new era of Smart Security,” said ADT Chief Innovation Officer Arthur Orduña. “By combining the best-in-class monitored security with innovative home automation solutions in partnership with companies like Nest, ADT is able to deliver a truly cohesive and differentiated value for the modern consumer.”

“Nest and ADT share a similar vision: deliver smart, intuitive solutions that meet the evolving needs of today’s consumer,” said Ben Bixby, Head of Energy and Enterprise Programs, Nest Labs. “We are incredibly excited to launch the national rollout of our partnership and bring the best in home security and connected home experiences to customers across the country.”

How you can get started

If you think it’s time to get the best in both ADT Pulse and Nest, it’s never too late to upgrade to ADT Pulse. Call Home Security Team today at 1-800-693-2067 and talk to an ADT representative about getting ADT Pulse with Nest integration in your home.

 

 

 

Thanks to snow, burglary suspects’ footprints lead to capture

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Snow may not be the most desirable weather to deal with, but a recent arrest of two burglary suspects in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania showed that it can actually assist in capturing criminals.

As reported by Philadelphia’s 6 Action News, police arrested Steven Dolceamore and Kelly Wilkinson on Tuesday after an undercover operation was setup to follow a string a footprints that were believed to have been related to a series of burglaries occurring around the Drexel Hill neighborhood of Upper Darby. The suspects became careless about the footprints, which can be used as evidence in a court of a law.

Dolceamore was arrested after he was spotted by the undercover operation. He initially fled when he saw police, but his attempts at getting away proved to be dire as he left footprints the entire way for police to follow.

Another string of footprints eventually lead to the car that Wilkinson was stationed in.

It is believed that the two suspects have long-been involved in a string of crimes within Delaware County of Pennsylvania, and have even earned the names “The Bonnie & Clyde of Delaware County”.

For your consideration

While the suspects in Upper Darby committed a severe oversight with their footprints, this does serve as a reminder as to how effective something so seemingly simple can be. If it is snowing outside, be cautious of any footprints outside of your home. Those who are considering making an attempt in burglarizing your home could be scoping out entrances for a later attack.

While these footprints can be useful in helping you identify a threat, it is also a good idea to leave your own footprints around your house. This will make it clear that someone has recently been home, and that it is not an empty house for anyone to enter. Be sure to use only one type of shoe or boot that you know is yours, and keep track of any others that aren’t yours.

Beyond Protection: 3 ways to get the most out of security automation

It’s certainly true that when it comes to home security systems, protection from burglary is the main reason why residents get it. But there are plenty of other uses that homeowners and renters can get out of their system, especially when ADT Pulse security automation comes into play. You know that you’re already protected through ADT monitoring, but perhaps you haven’t thought about other more practical, everyday uses of your security automation system that aren’t necessarily related to protection.

There’s no reason to worry about break-ins on your property – ADT monitored home security has you covered. Take some time to learn about how you can get the most out of ADT Pulse in order to make your daily routine just a little bit easier.

1. Use video monitoring to look after your pets

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If you’re a pet owner, you understand the struggle involved in having to be gone during the day for work while doing everything you can to take care of them. You don’t want to keep your dog in a their crate all day, but also get worried about their safety. You also don’t want to come home with a sofa that has been torn to shreds.

When you’re out during the day, you can use video monitoring through ADT monitored home security to see where your pets are within your home. Through your computer, tablet or smartphone, you’ll be able to access all aspects of ADT Pulse whenever you want to check on the status or settings of your system, including video.

Rest a little bit easier as you get a live stream of your pets in your home.

2. Save on energy

Energy bills, especially in the summer and winter, can put a real damper on anyone’s finances. Having heat or air conditioning on for hours on end isn’t just a fiscal burden, but also rough on power grids and the environment. Security automation through ADT Pulse can cut back on the usage of your HVAC system when it doesn’t need to be in use.

When you’re out of the house, ADT Pulse security automation lets you check on the temperature of your home and adjust accordingly. Perhaps you meant to turn off your heating/cooling before you left, but were in a rush and had to head out of the door in a rush. You don’t have to worry about wasted energy through ADT Pulse when you’re able to power down from anywhere you happen to be.

3. Check on the latest news and weather

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Want to keep track of what’s happening in and around your community? The touchscreen panel (not available with all plans) provides you with access to the latest weather, traffic reports, news and more. Think of it as the ultimate “home base” of your daily life where you get up-to-date information all in one panel.

Whether your lunch break is 30 minutes or a whole hour, you can handle everything you want and need to right from the touch panel, including changing your security automation settings while getting the latest weather updates. Be in the know all from one panel. This is how ADT monitored home security provides more than just peace-of-mind with home protection.

How do you get the most out of your ADT Pulse security automation system?