Halloween Safety Tips

Published October 10th, 2017 | By

For many, Halloween is a fun time of year that if filled with people decorating their homes, dressing in costumes, and for children, a magical night of trick or treating. All these, along with the newly crispness of the air have us welcome the fall season. It’s nice to shed the stifling heat of the summer months and enjoy simple things such as a variety of warm pumpkin spiced drinks. As we embrace all of these little enjoyments, it’s crucial to keep in mind that there are plenty of accidents that can occur during this time of year. You can always enjoy all that Halloween has to offer, but you should also be aware of what dangers can lurk and how to address these issues.

Here are two main dangers associated with the Halloween season:

Fire Hazards

As you’d assume, lit pumpkins do present a fire hazard, since they can be knocked over and catch both decorations and houses on fire. Indoor candles too may be present to create a “spooky” ambience during household parties. Or like how most fires start in the kitchen, monitor what you bake (i.e. Halloween cookies) or other themed treats. Whatever the reason, it’s crucial to be aware of potential fire risks.

To put this into perspective, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) showed various fire statistics from 2011-2013, a three-year average during Halloween (October 30th to November 1st). According to the USFA, there were an estimated 10,300 fires, which resulted in approximately 25 deaths and 125 injuries. These fires caused about $83 million in property damage—a number that is staggering and essential for homeowners to be aware of.

When looking at fires by property type, outside fires accounted for 37.5 percent; residential fires, 33.1 percent; vehicle fires, 14.6 percent; and nonresidential fires, 8.8 percent. All of these numbers in general are higher than normal in non-Halloween timed fires.

Trick or Treating Dangers

On this one night, there are countless children all over the country who are going out, door-to-door, dressed up and seeking candy from their neighbors. This consists of them having cross streets in the dark—sometimes with their costumes even obstructing their vision (wearing masks). Due to this, there are many pedestrian-related injuries. According to one report by the National Safety Council’s (NSC) Injury Facts 2017, in 2015, of pedestrian-related accidents, there were an estimated 6,700 deaths and 160,000 injuries that needed medical attention.

Most of the pedestrian deaths (17 percent) happened when people crossed improperly (such as jaywalking). And lack of visibility (such as difficulty seeing in the dark) accounted to 15 percent of these deaths. As you can see, trick or treating must be done cautiously to avoid these potential risks.

To help ensure the safety of your child while they trick or treat, it’s always a good idea to have them accompanied by an adult—never have them go alone, unless they are at a suitable age that knows the general rules of the road. Another thing you can do is to have older children, such as pre-teens and teens periodically check-in with you and let you know where they are and how they are and where they are going.

Enjoy all that Halloween has to offer while being safe and smart! It’s certainly a fun time of year!

Did You Know? Security Systems Provide Financial Benefits

Published May 5th, 2017 | By

When in the market for a home security system, homeowners are not only comparing the different security providers and their various security packages, but they are also looking at upfront costs. Depending on the security company and their equipment, homeowners can either rent their system or buy it completely. But either way you look at it, monthly charges will occur for monitoring services.

There are obvious benefits in having a home security system (such as 24-hour monitoring from break-ins, fires, floods and carbon monoxide leaks), but what many don’t consider are the financial benefits of having an alarm system. Here are three ways it can help profit you financially:

1. They Lower the Cost of Homeowner’s Insurance

Most homeowners know how crucial it is to have homeowner’s insurance (though some opt out of having this option, despite the potential consequences). Homeowner’s insurance offers protection against possible home events such as fires, floods, property & structural damage, etc. It means having a peace of mind against devastating threats to both the home and property. For instance, According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the average household will lose approximately $4,000 in property damage in the event of a fire. Those unexpected loses can be financially devastating without homeowner’s insurance.
For those who currently have homeowners insurance or are looking to add it, an alarm system can directly affect monthly insurance rates. How much can it save? Rates can be reduced by up to 20 percent. These savings are an additional, effortless way of having money in your pocket that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

2. They are Potentially Tax Deductible

Dealing with taxes and the IRS is no joking matter. To see whether a security system can be tax deductible, an accountant will have to first verify that this not only pertains to you, but that it’s also worth claiming. The only way a security system can be considered as tax deductible is if a homeowner works from home and has a designated space for a home office. The portion of the home that’s a home office is technically also protected by the security system, which can be viewed as a business expense. Anything that’s tax deductible can generate a tax return or lower the amount of tax owed.

3. They May Increase Home Value

Owning or buying a home is a financial investment. And over the years, with home improvements done here and there, homeowners hope to have their homes increase in value. Whether it’s doing appliance upgrades (such as adding stainless steel kitchen appliances), adding hardwood floors (to previously carpeted areas), adding crown molding, etc., installing a home monitoring system is equally considered to be a home improvement.
These all add intrinsic value to any home. Regardless of whether a homeowner is planning on staying at their property for many years, or they are placing their home on the market, projects big and small are beneficial in increasing

3 Eco-Friendly Tips for your Home

Published March 23rd, 2017 | By

Transforming your home into an eco-friendly home doesn’t have to be difficult, especially with some tips on how to go green. Though it might take some adjustments, the benefits of green living are substantial, and you’ll notice them over time. The payoff is great, even when it comes to saving money on utilities.

Here are a few tips on how to transform your home into an eco-friendly home:

1. Add Additional Landscaping

Depending on where you live, you may or may not have a lot of landscaping. Newer residences in particular tend to be scare when it comes to having trees and bushes. If that’s the case, get prepared to roll up your sleeves and do a little planting. Landscaping not only adds some curb appeal, but it also provides several additional things: 1) air purification 2) natural cooling and 3) extra protection.

Plants help absorb carbon monoxide and in turn, they produce oxygen. With all the pollutants that we put in the air, we need all the air purification that we can get! When it comes to natural cooling, having trees in particular provide shade. In summer months especially, any extra cooling is certainly welcome. You wont have to withstand the blaring heat with some planted trees that will grow and mature with time. And lastly, trees and shrubs also add extra protection in the event of things like a car crash or even an outdoor fire. With a little strategic planning on your part, landscaping can truly go a long ways.

 

2. Use Solar Power and Eco-Friendly Products

 

Today, many homes are deciding being equipped with solar panels to cut back on the use of fossil fuels. We’ve depended on fossil fuels for over a century and we continue to use it at an alarming rate. Unfortunately as popular as fossil fuels are, they are polluting the planet and emit greenhouse gases (which causes global warming). Homes with solar panels save around 20 percent on monthly utility costs. Overtime, that amount is staggering! Also, when you invest in solar, there are government tax incentives, which is great to claim when you file your taxes.

If you don’t want to go so far as getting solar for your home, you can still make some minor everyday energy-saving modifications, which will help make your home more eco-friendly. First, look for Energy Star products. These range from appliances (dishwashers, washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc.), electronics (TVs, stereos, tablets, etc.) building products (windows, doors, insulation, etc.), and more.

How far can an Energy Star product actually help? Well, one Energy Star light bulb alone uses 75 percent less energy and lasts much longer than a standard light bulb. Looking for that Energy Star seal of approval will greatly impact how much energy is being used by your home—saving you countless dollars in the process.

 

3. Invest in Smart Technology

Smart technology isn’t just for those who are tech-savvy. Believe it or not, many smart products are made for virtually anyone to use and are accessible by easy-to-use interfaces, such as an app. Smart technology doesn’t have to mean complicated…but it CAN help your home become more energy efficient.

Can you believe that 7 percent of people’s salaries go towards paying energy costs? Think of all the heating and cooling, and lighting required for daily living. Utilities are expensive and prices will only go up—unless you can curb how much is being consumed. Smart technology allows you to have a range of products such as smart thermostats smart appliances and smart lighting.

The central part of these amenities is that it allows you to remotely management whichever—whether it’s the thermostat, appliances or lights from any location (even if you are away from home). This is particularly great if you’ve forgotten to do things like decrease the thermostat on your way out, or if you’ve forgotten to turn off a light. You can save nearly 20 percent on energy consumption with a smart thermostat alone.

Again, going eco-friendly has its numerous advantages. Taking these steps will get you well on your way to better, cleaner living.

KRQE: Albuquerque-area Man Posing as ADT Employee

Published August 5th, 2015 | By

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE– People in the Albuquerque-area are warning their neighbors to watch out because they say a suspicious man has been going door to door claiming he’ll upgrade home security systems. Neighbors believe the man may be up to no good.

Meanwhile, police believe this man may be connected to a similar case in Albuquerque.

Rio Rancho Police say they’ve taken several calls recently about a man knocking on doors of homes with ADT Security company signs in their front yard. According to police, the man is then asking people to let him in, claiming he’s at their home to upgrade their security system.always-cares

“Something about their demeanor doesn’t seem right, don’t open the door,” said Capt. Paul Rogers with the Rio Rancho Police Department, speaking on the recent reports about the suspicious security man.

The advice comes after Rio Rancho Police shared a Facebook post from a Rio Rancho man, claiming he had an interaction with a suspicious man who said he ‘was with ADT.’

“Knocking on folks front doors, stating he was from the ADT security systems and wanted access into their home to update their security equipment,” said Capt. Rogers.

Police say at this point, no one has let the guy in to their homes in Rio Rancho. However, multiple people replied to the post on Facebook, detailing similar experiences.

A photo was also attached to the post, showing a man sitting on a front porch. According to the Rio Rancho homeowner who shared it, he took the picture because the man didn’t seem credible. He says the man had no official ADT badge or security company uniform and left in a hurry in an unmarked car after the homeowner claims he tried to call ADT to verify.

“As soon as they try making that phone call and the subject realizes what they’re doing, he makes a quick excuse and leaves the area,” said Rogers.

The homeowner who made the Rio Rancho post deleted the post on Tuesday morning, however, police say they believe it’s credible.

In late 2014, APD investigated a man who used to install equipment for ‘Security USA,’ which used to do business with ADT. According to the police report, the man eventually quit working for Security USA, but kept working with customers after he left the company.

“He was entering homes in Albuquerque under the guise of upgrading their security system,” said Capt. Rogers.

Police say the best thing you can do is to call and verify any appointment and ask for official identification.

“There’s nothing that mandates that you open the door for these folks that are selling from door to door,” said Capt. Rogers.

As for the Albuquerque security guy case, APD has forwarded it to the district attorney’s office for review. In that case, a police report accuses the suspect of taking security system equipment out of homes to either keep it or re-sell it.

So far, Rio Rancho Police say the suspicious security man isn’t wanted because he hasn’t gone into anyone’s homes or taken anything that they know of.

Home Security Team wants to remind customers that ADT technicians will never show up to your home unannounced. We will meet you at your residence only when we have a scheduled installation or consultation appointment. 

If you have questions, please give us a call! 1-800-693-2067

 

Summer Travel Checklist

Published June 9th, 2015 | By

It’s summer, and you’re about to go on vacation!

Before you settle into permanent vacation relaxation, take a minute to skim through Home Security Team‘s Summer Travel Checklist. There are tips every homeowner can follow before heading out the door to ensure a safe re-entry.

What to do…

home checklist2 weeks in advance:

  • Keep discussions about your travel plans private and off social media. You don’t want to announce to strangers or followers that you will be gone and your house will be empty.
  • Contact the Post Office, your local newspaper, and other delivery services, and halt all deliveries until you return. If possible, ask a neighbor or family friend to pick your paper and mail up daily. This ensures a trusted individual is checking up on your house while you’re away.
  • If you plan to be gone for more than a week, arrange to have your lawn mowed or snow shoveled. Ask a neighbor to set your trash and recycling out on collection day and then retrieve the bins when they’re emptied.
  • Provide contact info in case of an emergency to a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor, and politely ask if they’ll check in on your house while you’re gone, unless they’ll be doing so already.
  • Don’t change the outgoing message on your answering machine. Never use a message that says you’re out of town or provides another number where you can be reached. Instead, call in periodically to retrieve your messages. Before you leave, disable or turn down the ringers on your phones so unanswered rings won’t be heard from outside.
  • Make sure your security system is operating properly. If you don’t have one, consider calling Home Security Team. We can install within a matter of days.

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2 days in advance:

  • Set up and activate timers for a few lights around your house. Include a radio too if you’d like.
  • Park your car in the driveway instead of inside the garage. Unplug your automatic garage door opener before you leave.
  • Never record a message on your answering machine that mentions being out of town. Instead, call in every couple days to retrieve your messages, and before you leave disable or turn down ringers so unanswered calls can’t be heard from outside.


Day you leave:

  • If you have one, set your thermostat to a higher temperature, but don’t turn it off.
  • Don’t close blinds and shades tightly. Instead, leave them in their normal positions. Burglars are attracted to homes that remains covered up 24/7.
  • Don’t add your street address to your luggage tag. Instead, include only your name, number, and email address.
  • Take one last walk-through before heading out. Make sure all windows locked. Arm your monitored home security system. Lock the front door.
  • Breathe easy. You’re on vacation now!

 

Winter Weather Home Safety

Published February 17th, 2015 | By

Feature - Winter Safety

It’s important to prepare your home for winter weather. Winter storms can bring a mix of snow, sleet and ice that can cause pipes to burst, the power to go out and the inside temperatures to drop. Being prepared makes all the difference; be sure to follow these essential tips to ride out any snowstorm with minimal risk.

Prepare your Home for Adverse Weather Conditions.

Is your home ready for the next winter storm? Here’s what you can do.

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Stock up on Food and Water

If bad weather is headed your way, it could potentially be days before it’s safe to drive. Make sure you have enough non-perishable foods and water in case the worst were to happen—you can never be too safe. Keep in mind that perishable (items like milk and eggs) will go bad if the power goes out.

 

Protect Your Pipes

When the temperature drops, it can mean disaster for your pipes. You can either open the cabinets under the sink (circulates the home heating) or allow your sink to slightly drip (prevents the water from freezing in the pipes).

 

Insulate Your Home

Proper home insulation is vital to keeping out cold air and moisture. Make sure your doors and windows have intact weather strips. Many doors (especially the front door) loose their weather strips due to frequent use. You might not notice a big difference day-to-day, but these strips help keep out cold air and moisture from rain or snow.

 

Have a Supply of Batteries, Flashlights and Candles

You never know when the power will go out. Ice on the power lines can cause widespread power outages—don’t find yourself in the dark. Have several flashlights and candles at hand with backup batteries available.

BRAMPTON ICE STORM CLEANUP


Maintain Driveway and Sidewalks

Before a storm, scatter either cat litter, sand or salt on your sidewalk and driveway. These will help minimize the amount of icy patches that can cause you and others to slip and fall.

 

Be Cautious of Alternative Heating Sources

Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer. It has no odor and can cause headaches, nausea or even death. If you use your fireplace and it isn’t properly cleaned, you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The same can occur if you use alternative heating sources like outside-only grills or stoves. Having a carbon monoxide detector can literally save your life.

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Keep your home safe this winter! Keep these safety tips handy and know that ADT is here for your 24/7 home protection in your city.

The Benefits of ADT Pulse

Published February 11th, 2015 | By

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Everyday, we have errands to run and places that we are obligated to go to, like work or school. If you think about it, most of us leave our homes unattended for the better part of the day. The thing about this, is that the majority of all home invasions happen when no one is home. Only about 7% of all burglaries happen when someone is in the residence— which means that the middle part of the day is the prime time for burglaries.

If you are looking for something with a bit more “umph” than a traditional home security system, ADT Pulse is just the ticket. Sometimes it’s not enough to know that your alarm system is armed— you still don’t know what’s happening back at home. RemoteHomeMonitoringLG

Pulse provides a number of remote security features that also incorporate home automation components.

Regardless of where you are (it could be across the country or just down the road), you can access the ins and outs of your home using the ADT Pulse app. All you need is an Internet-enabled mobile device.

This means that you could be relaxing on the beach this summer and quickly want to make sure everything is okay back at home. All you have to do is just pull out your smartphone or tablet, and view your home’s status or video feed in real-time. Or perhaps you forget to turn off an appliance and it’s nagging your mind…

ADT Pulse lets you manage appliances, turn lights on or off, adjust the thermostat, open and close the garage door, lock/unlock doors & much more.

In a way, ADT Pulse is more than an advanced form of home security protection; it’s a lifestyle enhancer. With less worrying to do, you allow yourself up to enjoy the things that really matter. Focus on your activities at hand without looking back with apprehension. And while you are at it, ADT Pulse can also save you money on your monthly home energy bill. Peace of mind, life-changer and money-saver: it’s ADT Pulse for your home. You wouldn’t want it any other way.

                    Call us today to learn more about Pulse and how it can revolutionize your home.

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Home Safety During Thanksgiving

Published November 19th, 2014 | By

Thanksgiving 2013 7

It feels like Halloween was just yesterday, but it’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away! Can’t you almost taste the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie?! Not to mention that there’s the all-day football to tune in and watch. (If you haven’t paid attention, the game lineup includes: Chicago Bears v. Detroit Lions; Philadelphia Eagles v. Dallas Cowboys; Seattle Seahawks v. San Francisco 49ers.)

Yes, Thanksgiving is a special time of year.  We get to spend time with loved ones and friends, have some laughs and hopefully make some long-lasting memories. But, despite all of this, home safety and security cannot be ignored or forgotten. Realistically, there are many house fires and home break-ins that occur on this special day.

Home Security

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If you are one of the many people who are planning to travel this Thanksgiving, make sure your home is well-protected while you are away. Did you know that homes with a home monitoring system are three times less likely to be burglarized? When there are approximately over 2,000,000 home invasions every year (or one every 14 seconds), home security protection has become necessity.

On top of having an alarm system, you can also do these following measures to help protect your home:

  • Trim back bushes and trees away from entry points.
  • Setup programmable light and appliance timers if you’ll be away for several days.
  • Contact USPS to hold your mail; if you have a newspaper subscription, also contact them to hold your daily delivery.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to watch over your home.

Fire Safety

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Regarding fire safety during Thanksgiving, be extra cautious when preparing your holiday meal— as many house fires originate from the kitchen. More cooking fires happen on this single day than any other. And if you are planning on deep frying a turkey, please be aware that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) warns against using outdoor gas-fueled fryers. These often use a lot of hot oil that can quickly get out of control and start a grease fire. State Farm Insurance estimates that deep fryers cost over $15 million in property damage each year.

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From all of us at ADT, be safe while enjoying your Thanksgiving! Hopefully it’s incident-free and truly a great time for you and your loved ones.

$99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 per month ($1,331.64). 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 ($887.76) for California, including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Termination Fee applies. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Premier Provider customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
ADT Pulse Installation starts at $199. Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert devices. Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert services are an additional charge. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT’s Extended Limited Warranty. 36-month monitoring contract required from $52.99 per month, ($1,871.64), including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Prices subject to change. Prices may vary by market. Some insurance companies offer discounts on Homeowner’s Insurance. Please consult your insurance company. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided.