Are You Wasting Money on an Alarm System?

Safety statistics show that having an alarm system can be an effective tool for protecting your family and property from home invasions.

According to the National Council for Home Safety:

When Do They Happen? Burglaries most often occur during the day between 6 am and 6 pm while people are at work or running errands. The seasonality is quite simple as well, with snow and cold being principal deterrents, the lowest number of burglaries happen in February while burglary rates are higher in the summer.

How? Intruders are most attracted to houses that do not have home alarm systems.

  • The national average indicates that homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized.
  • 85% of convicted burglars said that they specifically look to see if there’s an alarm and that they would leave and target another property where no security system is installed.
  • The F.B.I also reports that 90% of all intrusions occur through doors; 6% occur through windows; 3% occur through the roof and 1% occur through the walls.

Who? Over 85% of thieves are amateurs with 41% saying break-ins are an impulsive decision.

The bottom line is that utilizing a security system on your property will offer an increased level of protection and peace of mind.

HOWEVER – you might be wasting your money on that home alarm system if:

1) You don’t set the alarm. This is understandable — but it can be impacted by the ease and convenience of doing this simple act. Therefore, thinking through your daily routines and researching which system is most compatible with your personality and lifestyle is an important part of choosing the best system for you and your family.

2) You don’t thoroughly understand and learn the proper usage or programming of the alarm system you have purchased. At Secur-Tek, our systems are easy to use, and we take the time to ensure you understand the system’s functionality.

3) You don’t have your installer use windows stickers and signs as a warning. We at Secur-Tek ensure that warning stickers and signs are placed in the optimal locations for good visibility and thus function as a key deterrent.

4) You don’t test the system on a regular basis. At Secur-Tek we only install high-quality security systems and recommend testing every month. It only takes a few minutes to ensure everything is functioning properly. You can find the steps here.

5) Your system isn’t monitored. You may have purchased a home with the alarm system already installed or installed one yourself. Although the noise of an alarm may scare off those who enter your home, it’s vital that you have a company monitor your alarm so that the police can investigate for forced entry. Monitoring is also critical in case of a fire or carbon monoxide leak, especially when your family is sleeping or away.

6) You leave the house with the windows/doors open or unlocked. Windows and back doors are a favorite, especially those left open in the warmer months and obscured by bushes or buildings. Many alarm systems do not go off if someone enters through an open window. If you don’t have a motion detector installed or alarm sensors on the windows, be sure to at least close and lock your windows when you are not home.

When used properly, alarm systems can be a very effective tool in deterring crime and protecting your family and home. We at Secur-Tek, Inc. partner with you to ensure you get the right system for your situation.

Please give us a call at 919.387.1800 or contact us by using the form below for a complimentary in-home consultation.

Street Safety when Out and About

As we travel to different cities or explore unfamiliar streets while visiting local attractions, it is always important to be aware and vigilant concerning you and your families’ personal safety.

Here are some tips to remember:

Walking

Staying alert and tuned into your surroundings so you can avoid/anticipate where trouble may be lurking. In addition, remind yourself to stand tall and walk briskly and confidently. This is a behavior that potential criminals tend to avoid. And if you ever feel uncomfortable or have that little warning feeling in your gut about the place or situation you are in, leave as quickly as you can!

  • Try to use well-lit busy streets. Whenever you can, avoid passing on the side of a street with a vacant lot, alley, or deserted construction site. If you must pass by, do so quickly and confidently!
  • Try to explore or jog with a buddy. There is safety in numbers.
  • Carry your purse or handbag close to your body and keep a firm grip on it. Your wallet should go in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket.

If wearing a backpack, take it off and hold it close to your body. This will prevent an attacker from grabbing you from behind by the backpack and throwing you to the ground.

Don’t overload yourself with store packages that signal you have valuables ripe for the grabbing.

And finally – wear comfortable, stable shoes that will help, instead of hinder, your stability or a quick getaway.

In the unfortunate situation where someone does try to rob you:

  1. Don’t resist and get into a tussle with them – give up your property. For example – toss your wallet as far as you can. This way, the assailant will typically go for your wallet.
  2. Try to remember to carry a whistle or mace when walking in unknown territory, but if you don’t have it, and you are accosted, yell, “Help, Fire!” This is more likely to draw attention to you.
  3. Report the crime to the local law enforcement. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent others from being victims.

Driving

  • When you park, always lock your car and take the keys, even if you’ll only be gone a short time.
  • When you drive, be on the lookout for any signals that indicate an environment where you might be at risk – such as empty streets during normal day/evening times, abandoned cars, missing signs, malfunctioning traffic lights, reckless drivers, or poor street lighting — particularly near stop signs or lights.
  • In the unfortunate situation where your car breaks down – even with a flat tire, try to drive it to the first well-lit area you can find. (For example, a store parking lot or gas station.) Raise the hood or tie a white cloth to the street-side door handle. Stay in the locked car. If someone stops to help, crack your window only slightly and ask him or her to phone for assistance if you haven’t already. It’s also a good idea to call the police for help when you’re in a potentially vulnerable situation.
  • Be extra alert when using enclosed parking garages. Park near other cars, entrances, or exits. Upon return, as you approach your car to get back inside, always glance under the frame, then the back and front seats. If you must leave a key with the lot attendant, make sure to give them only the ignition or valet key.
  • Always carry an emergency kit in your car. It should contain a flashlight, flares, and first aid products.

Riding Buses, Subways, and Elevators

  • Sit near the bus driver or pick the subway car that has several other passengers.
  • Use well-lit, busy stops or terminals only.
  • Stay alert to those around you! Don’t doze, daydream, or get lost in reading or social media while in transit.
  • If someone harasses you, don’t be embarrassed. Loudly say “Leave me alone!” If that doesn’t work, hit the emergency device.
  • Watch who gets off with you and exit with the crowd. Don’t linger waiting to exit alone. If you feel uneasy, walk directly to a place where there are other people present.
  • If you find you must use an elevator alone at night – when the doors open, check to see if there is anyone already there. Often it is a snap judgment, but if there is only one person on board or you get an uneasy feeling from those onboard, step away quickly and say you forgot something.
  • Always stand near the controls in an elevator. If a stranger gets on that makes you uneasy, press the button for the next floor and get off. If accosted, press the alarm button immediately.

At Secur-Tek, Inc. we specialize and care about your safety, and urge you to stay alert while out and about, whether here in the Triangle or visiting a new location.

And if you do travel, remember you can have greater peace of mind if we are protecting your family, pets, and property. Call us at 919.387.1800 or use the form below for information and a complimentary quote on a home security system or upgrade.

Tips for Child Safety

One of the wonderful things about kids is their natural curiosity, lack of fear, and openness to new ideas, possibilities, and people. Given this, it is often hard for parents to teach their children the balance between trust and caution – but kids need to know how and when to be aware, at what times cautious, and what to do when needed.

To make this easier, here are a few tips to help keep your child safe.

For younger children:  Help them memorize their name, address (including city and state), and phone numbers (including area code) of your cell, office, or close relative or guardian. Role play a few situations and have them recite this information to you under varying circumstances.

For older children:  Review who to call in case of fire, injury, or other emergencies. Post an emergency phone list on the refrigerator or other place where the children can see it. Include 9-1-1, your work and cell numbers, numbers for neighbors, and the numbers for anyone else who is nearby and trusted. If they have a cell phone, make sure they also have those numbers stored in their phones.

 

Have a plan and practice reacting to an emergency. Even if your child is a “tween”, do not assume they know what to do or that they will act safely under stress. Tweens can lose awareness easily and practice will help for it to become automatic.  

 

Talk with children and adolescents about staying alert to possible threats. Non-verbals can have a major impact in certain situations and walking/running confidently is a great preventative tactic. And of course, stress the importance of walking and playing with friends and not alone or isolated. Review where to go given certain threatening situations and also remind them to tell a trusted adult immediately if anyone, even a teacher or close relative, touches or speaks to them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.

For children staying home alone:

  • Establish a periodic check-in procedure to follow, calling you at work or checking with a neighbor or relative.
  • If you have a security system, show them how to disarm and arm the system once they are safely in the house.
  • Remind them not to let strangers into the home, for any reason. Show them how to view people on your property or at your door. A security system with cameras and a video doorbell is useful for this – you can view your porch or property and let your child know if there is something they should do, like pick up a package that was delivered.
  • Tell them not to answer the phone unless they recognize the caller ID — and never tell telephone callers they are alone.
  • Remind them to be alert when arriving home from school. They should scan the doors, windows, driveway, and shrubbery for disturbances. If something doesn’t look right, or a door is ajar or a window is broken, they should immediately go to a trusted neighbor’s house and call the police.

Reviewing and practicing these simple safety procedures will give both you and your children confidence, reduce stress, and even possibly avoid an unpleasant situation.

At Secur-Tek, we care about you and your family’s safety. The security systems we install can help give you peace of mind — here are some examples:

  • The security system can send you a text message when children arrive home or leave – anytime they disarm or arm the security system.
  • You can add cameras to your security system to monitor your home swimming pool area. This allows you to check on anyone using the pool – especially if unauthorized individuals have trespassed.
  • The security system can help keep valuable or potentially dangerous items secure. For instance, it can text message if a child enters a hazardous area such as gun safe, medicine cabinet, or tool shed.

If you have any questions concerning securing the safety of your home or other property, please contact us at 919.387.1800 or fill in the form below.

Secur-Tek, Inc. is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security, monitoring, automation audio, and central vacuum systems. Our service area includes Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro in North Carolina.

Preparing for a move? Check out these helpful security tips!

You have searched and found your new home, the contract is signed, inspections completed, and now you are preparing to move your family near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Here are a few ideas to help secure your new property and ensure your family’s safety and peace of mind at your new location.

Thoroughly acquaint yourself with the neighborhood:

Take the time to get to know your new neighbors and find out if they have a neighborhood watch group. If there is, find out when and how you can meet with them to introduce yourself and offer to be an active member. In addition, take the time to locate the local police, fire, rescue stations, and hospitals to understand routes and response times. Finally, acquaint yourself with any enjoyable features of the location like community centers (for example, Bond Park Community Center, Cary NC), pools (Triangle Aquatic Center), walking trails/parks (Umstead State Park) and review safe usage of these areas with your family.

Take inventory and fix/enhance the safety aspects of the property:

Check how well the lighting illuminates the entry, walkways, driveway, yard space and window areas around your house. Take the time to install additional lighting (motion sensor lighting is great) where lighting is not adequate. Then examine the landscaping for overgrown or poorly placed bushes that can give potential intruders a place to hide, especially near doors and windows.

Re-examine the doors to the exterior:

The safest doors for your home are built out of metal or with solid wood cores. Having a deadbolt in addition to your entry locks is a must. Be aware that sometimes the most aesthetically pleasing decorator doors sometimes offer the least amount of safety from intrusion. For example, glass panels in or next to the doors offer burglars easy access. There are many companies in the Raleigh area, such as The Aluminum Company of North Carolina, that can help you select the safest as well as stylish doors for all the entryways in your home.

Home and property security system:

Having a security system can give you peace of mind when moving to a  area and home. If a system is already installed, have it checked out to ensure it is functioning properly, has the features that you and your family use, and consider having it monitored. The window and door sensors may need adjustment, as well as the location and alignment of the motion sensors to ensure they are properly aimed and positioned for maximum benefit. If the home doesn’t have a security system, think about the benefits of installing one, as they are an effective method for ensuring your new residence will offer you the safety and security your family desires.

Moving is an exciting and stressful time. Secur-Tek is here to serve the Triangle area’s home and business security needs 

We offer a complimentary security consultation of your home/business property and offer suggestions on upgrading your current system or new systems that Secur-Tek has to offer. Please call us at your earliest convenience — either before you move (which is best so we can help you get your new home secure before your family arrives) or soon after. 

Secur-Tek is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security, monitoring, automation audio, and central vacuum systems. Our service area includes Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro in North Carolina.

4 Reasons to Consider Home Automation

Home automation can add convenience and enjoyment to home activities.  Here are some examples:

Music and Entertainment

Whether exercising, entertaining, relaxing, or waking up in the morning, it helps to get the tunes right. This means queuing up your favorite playlist while adjusting the balance of tone, sound, and volume of the speaker system to your mood. With Secur-Tek’s professionally installed Control4 multi-room control, you will be able to queue up your favorite music in whatever room you are in. Or if a movie, sporting event, or TV show is in order, tuning in is just a click away.

Lighting
Your sleeping environment should be a restful one; an easy way to ensure this is to optimize your bedroom lighting. With Control4 home automation, you can set the sensors for bedtime that automatically lower the blinds at sunset and dim the lights to a softer level to help signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down at the end of the day. In the morning, set wake-up times to open your blinds to let the sunshine in and start the day off right. Integrations like these can be set up to be timed or added to voice commands using Control4 approved home assistant to make waking up or going to sleep more seamless and convenient.
 
Temperature

Medical sleep experts recommend keeping your bedroom between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for sleeping. Using a smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature to optimize your sleep makes it easy and comfortable to get a good nights’ rest. You can add an adjustment to your bedtime or wake-up automation so you always have the optimized temperature, whether for sleep or wakefulness.

Outdoor Living

After a long dreary winter, we are all ready to take advantage of warmer weather by relaxing outside. With a Secur-Tek Control4 installation, you can create the same kind of seamlessly automated experience outside that you have available to enjoy indoors. From outdoor TVs, non-obtrusive landscape speakers, and the ability to telecommute from your backyard with robust networking capabilities, Secur-Tek can help you create your ideal outdoor area for relaxing and entertaining.

Secur-Tek, Inc. can help you create a customized environment that enhances your home’s safety, security, and convenience. Call us at  919.387.1800 or fill out the form below for a complimentary consultation.

Secur-Tek, Inc. is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security and monitoring. Secur-Tek also provides automation, audio, and central vacuum systems to customers in the Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro areas.

Carbon Monoxide in The Home — A Hidden Danger!

Carbon monoxide (CO) is harmful because it deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overcome a person in minutes, causing them to lose consciousness and suffocate. Since CO has no odor, color, or taste, it cannot be detected by the senses. This means that dangerous concentrations of the gas can build up indoors and humans cannot detect the problem until they become ill. Furthermore, the early symptoms of CO poisoning are like the flu, which can cause victims to ignore the signs. The most common symptoms felt are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Per the CDC, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. 

 

What are the potential sources of CO in your home?

Homes with fuel-burning appliances or attached garages are more likely to have CO accumulation problems. Some common sources of CO are:

  • Clothes dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Furnaces
  • Fireplaces, both gas, and wood-burning
  • Gas stoves and ovens
  • Motor vehicles
  • Grills, generators, power tools, lawn equipment
  • Wood stoves
  • Tobacco smoke

When appliances and vents work properly and there is enough fresh air in your home to allow complete combustion, the trace amounts of CO remaining are safely vented outside your home. Problems occur when an appliance malfunctions. For example, a furnace heat exchanger cracks, vents clog, or debris blocks the chimney or flue.

What can you do to ensure the safety of your family, pets, and friends?

  • Install a CO alarm as recommended by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). Install a battery-operated or a plugin alarm with battery back-up on every level of the home – including the basement. Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall and replace your CO detector every five years.
  • Inspect the pilot lights on natural gas appliances to ensure that the flame is blue. When a flame is mostly yellow, it likely is producing CO.
  • When you buy gas equipment, buy only equipment carrying the seal of a national testing agency, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories, and have it serviced by a qualified technician each year.
  • Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly. Horizontal vent pipes for appliances, such as a water heater, should angle up slightly. This prevents CO from leaking even if the joints or pipes don’t fit tightly.
  • If you have a fireplace, have your chimney checked or cleaned every year. Chimneys can be partially blocked by debris and this can cause CO to build up inside your home.
  • Don’t use outdoor equipment inside – like chemical heaters, camp stoves, or charcoal grills.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
  • Never leave a car running in a garage — even for a couple of minutes with the overhead garage door open.

Protecting your Family 24/7 —  Monitored CO detection

Adding a monitored CO detector outside the bedrooms ensures that the fire department will be called — even if everyone is asleep or drowsy due to the lack of oxygen. When notified of a CO leak, the fire department will react differently than if responding to a smoke alarm and the home will be searched for non-responsive individuals.

A Secur-Tek security system has a backup battery to maintain security and detection for 20-24 hours if fully charged during the event of a power failure. Your keypad will display when the battery needs to be replaced. For instructions on changing battery: Frequently Asked Questions about Home Security Systems (secur-tek.com)

Secur-Tek, Inc. gives you total confidence that your family is protected from CO poisoning 24/7, and we can also design, install, and monitor specialized monitoring systems to fit your specific needs.

Examples include:

  • Monitoring Children – If you have teenagers or children old enough to be home alone, remote access will allow you to be notified when they get home from school. You can use specialized security codes for each child as well as babysitters and view activity in the interior and exterior of your home for extra peace of mind.
  • Monitoring Elderly Parents – If you need to monitor an elderly parent, you can be notified when they get up out of bed, open the medicine cabinet or when there is no activity in the home.
  • Keeping an eye on Pets – Our technicians will put the cameras in places so you can check in on your pets. Temporary security codes for pet sitters will help give you greater peace of mind that your pet is doing okay.  
  • Detecting Water Leaks – When you are not home, even a slow leak can cause serious flooding and expensive damage.  Adding a water leak detector so you will be alerted if this happens can minimize the damage.  Our monitored smart system can even turn off a water shutoff to minimize damage.

Quality Monitoring

 For monitoring services, Secur-Tek partners with Affiliated Monitoring, a leader in the safety and security monitoring industry.

Affiliated Monitoring is certified by the following organizations:

  • CSAA Five Diamond Certified – The Monitoring Association Five Diamond Certificate signifies compliance and assurance that an alarm system has followed guidelines established by best-industry practice. The certificate recognizes best practices utilizing existing standards.
  • UL Listed — UL listed monitoring centers use the most up-to-date technologies.  UL is the trusted resource across the globe for product safety certification and compliance solutions. The UL Certificate is proof that Affiliated’s listed alarm systems meet the stringent standards of the UL.
  • IQ Certified – The IQ (Installation Quality) Certification Program gives consumers a way to identify alarm companies that are committed to providing them with high-quality security and life safety systems.

For more information, please call us at (919) 387-1800 or scroll down and use the form below.

Pet-Friendly Protection for your Home

Ever wonder what your pet is getting into while you’re at work?  Or wonder if they are doing something cute and you are missing it while you’re gone?  Wonder no more!

You can stay completely connected to your favorite furry friend by seeing, hearing, and talking to them whenever the mood hits you. Whether you are worried about them, or just need a break from your busy day, taking a few minutes to check-in on them and staying connected can make your day — and theirs go better.

With Resideo Total Connect Remote service, you can keep connected to your pet on an easy-to-use app — on your iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ device, or HTML5 website.

When custom installed by Secur-Tek, Inc. it will give both new and seasoned pet owners peace of mind by ensuring pets remain comfortable and safe when you are away from home.

With Secur-Tek’s Resideo Connect you can:

  • Check-in or talk to your furry friend anytime you want. If they look lonely or restless, distracting them by talking with them can be helpful and fun.
  • Have fun on social media — if your pet is doing something adorable or mischievous and you want to share it with your friends, you can take a screenshot or video of that activity.
  • Have increased peace of mind — monitor and talk with hired pet setters to ensure your special friend gets everything you want them to get. Or when you’re unexpectedly delayed, you can open locked doors for neighbors and friends to let your puppy out, feed, and play with them.
  • Ensure the safety of your pet and property — Total Connect can alert you, if you have detectors installed, for smoke, carbon monoxide, flooding water, or extreme temperatures. Additional precautions may include alerts for outside gates or certain cabinets containing chemicals being opened or left open.
  • Remotely adjust temperatures or lighting during the day and evening in the rooms your pet is located to ensure their continual comfort.

And, if you’re worried about the security sensors being set off by your pet – with Secur-Tek’s expert custom installation, you can rest easy in that the motion sensors can distinguish between your pet and intruder for pets (up to 80 lbs.) so Fido can roam freely around the house without tripping an alert.

Unleash your peace of mind with real-time alerts, live video, and best-of-breed solutions that help ensure the safety, health, and comfort of your pet.

The advantages of staying connected to your pet while away are many and varied, so let Secur-Tek help you think through this wonderful home/pet security advantage today!

To learn more, contact us at 919.387.1800  or fill out the form below.

Cellular Communicators — What are they and does yours need to be upgraded?

If you have a Security System, or are thinking of installing one, here’s what you need to know about cellular monitoring and its benefits.

What is the difference between a Wireless and Cellular Security SystemWhen you investigate purchasing or activating monitoring for a security system, you will hear the terms wireless and cellular used. So what is the difference? 

Wireless refers to the wireless connection between the security system sensors and the control  panel. Instead of wires, the connection is through radio waves.

Cellular refers to how the control panel communicates to your security monitoring company as well as your cell phone, tablet, or computer apps. In other words, a cellular-based security system uses the cellular network to connect to the monitoring station in case of an emergency. 

Cell Phone Technology Keeps Advancing: It is important to remember that home security is only as effective as its weakest link. While cellular alarm monitoring requires that you have a cellular communicator in your security system, the technology offers significant advantages over landline-based systems. Advantages include:

  • Cellular communicators are more stable. Cellular communicator-based systems use the same reliable network of cell towers as your mobile phone to communicate with the monitoring center. Security systems that rely on an internet connection lose monitoring communication in the event of an internet outage to your home. Landline-based home security systems have a physical connection which can be vulnerable to burglars, power outages, construction, and the elements (heavy snow or storms) that can sever the connection to your phone provider.
  • Remote monitoring – A great advantage of cellular communication is the option to monitor your home or business remotely. With an app you can add to your monitoring, you will be able to arm/disarm and manage security alerts, and the status of your secured property, even while you’re away.

Are you thinking about dropping your home phone line? Secur-Tek recommends using a cell communicator.  Cellular technology has progressed to the point where it is more secure than the traditional phone line. Additionally, it is more reliable than a digital Internet phone service or VOIP (Voice over Internet Phone Service) that requires constant power and is susceptible to network outages. Cellular monitoring works by installing a “cellular chip” or “module” connected to the Control Panel of the alarm system. This cellular device acts as the communicator between your alarm system and the monitoring station – that is why it is called a cellular communicator.

Cellular communicators function much like a cell phone that is specifically dedicated to your security system by communicating via cellular network data channels. In essence, the cellular communicator installed into the Control Panel of your alarm system acts as a connection to the “outside world”. Cellular communicators are dedicated solely to the security system, so they are not shared with any other service.

Do you need to update your current Cellular Communicator?  A cellular communicator connects with a specific cellular network. Cellular service providers are in the process of shutting down their older, non-LTE networks. As such, the new LTE cellular communicators will only connect with an LTE network tower. This cellular network is expected to remain active for many years. Companies such as Secur-Tek, Inc. that operate alarm monitoring platforms are aware of this. We are currently switching customers to LTE communicators for monitoring. While you can temporarily continue to use an older, non-LTE system  for alarm monitoring, once the associated cellular network is put out of service by the cellular service providers, the module will no longer work. So, the answer to the question above is YES — if you are using a non-LTE communicator, the clock is ticking!

We at Secur-Tek, Inc., have been working to keep our customers up to date.

All of our cellular customers requiring the upgrade should have received notifications with their monitoring invoices. Additionally, when a customer calls in for service, Secur-Tek, Inc. staff are reviewing the customer’s security features and recommending the communication upgrade be completed at the time of service. 

If you have any questions concerning your cellular communicator, we urge you to please contact us by website request or call our office at 919-387-1800.

Secur-Tek, Inc. is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security and monitoring. Secur-Tek also provides automation, audio, and central vacuum systems to customers in the Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro areas.

Community Spotlight: Animal Rescue Clinic

Harmony Animal Rescue Clinic helps animal rescue organizations save more lives by providing timely, low-cost veterinary care. The non-profit 501(c)(3) clinic is the only non-profit animal rescue clinic on the east coast. HARC’s sole purpose is to provide out-patient veterinary care for animal rescue groups when they need it.

HARC’s lead veterinarian, Dr. Claudia Sheppard, has volunteered her skills locally and with rescue organizations around the world. Shelter medicine quickly became her passion and her volunteer work turned into her full-time career. Many pets that arrive at shelters are too sick or injured to be placed in a home. Dr. Claudia found that helping them get well and finding their forever homes was deeply rewarding.

HARC is Harmony Animal Hospital’s way of giving back to local animal rescues for all their hard work in saving dogs and cats and giving them a new lease on life.

Secur-Tek’s owner, Ken Henke, has a soft spot for furry friends. He felt that providing care for rescue animals is a much-needed service and wanted to contribute to the effort. Secur-Tek provided and professionally installed HARC’s security and camera system at no charge for the equipment and installation.

“Harmony Animal Hospital worked with Secur-Tek when they provided a security system for our new facility in 2018. Their service was excellent and their team provided a very high level of service, so when we were looking to open HARC, of course we went to them. When they offered to provide our new security system at HARC for NO CHARGE, we were absolutely floored by their generosity. 

Just like Harmony Animal Hospital and HARC are always there for our clients….Secur-Tek has always been here for Harmony. Thank you Secur-Tek for being one of our first partners at Harmony Animal Rescue Clinic!!   

                                               — Gary Canfield, Harmony Animal Hospital Practice Manager

 

Secur-Tek is pleased to be able to support this local non-profit.

If you are part of a local, non-profit animal rescue, and would like to learn more about how HARC can help your mission, please visit their website, Harmony Animal Rescue Clinic.

Safely Shopping / Receiving Your Holiday Gifts In 2020

 

The holiday season is upon us and with it, the search for gifts. On-line shopping and gift delivery will be bigger than ever this year. But with the convenience of shopping from home, there are also risks.

Keep reading for 15 tips to help keep your on-line shopping and package delivery as safe and predictable as possible.

 

Online shopping safety:

 

1) Keep your network updated

Before shopping, check to make sure you have the latest security updates installed on your phone, computer, antivirus software and your router. These updates help improve security and fight new attacks. It may seem inconvenient to have to wait for your computer or phone to update and restart, but the protection is worth it.

2) Use unique, strong passwords and two factor authentications on your accounts. Don’t let your computer or device remember your usernames, passwords, or credit card information. To reduce the chance of being hacked you can use a password generator and manager to create and keep track of complicated passwords that are not worth a hacker’s time to crack.

3) Don’t use your debit card!

When online shopping, it’s best to use a credit card or payment service like PayPal instead of a debit card. Because debit cards are linked to your bank account, you are at much higher risk if someone hacks your information. Credit cards offer more protection and less liability if a card number gets stolen. Also, credit cards are much quicker at refunds or cancelling payment than trying to reverse a cash transaction that has been automatically paid out directly through your bank account. This is one time when it pays to put it on plastic.

4) Be smart about shopping apps

Apps make everything more convenient – even stealing your information. So be sure to only download shopping apps from established, reliable sources like the Apple App Store or Android Market; check out the reviews and comments on an app before downloading.  And then, don’t just click approve – pay special attention to the permissions that the app asks for. If you see something that doesn’t make sense, like access to your contacts, don’t allow the app access.

5) Check to make sure the site you’re shopping on is safe and secure

Verify that the online store is secure before entering any personal or financial information. Look for “https” at the beginning of a site’s address. If you don’t see the “s” at the end of “http,” then the site is not encrypted, and your data will not be secure. All legitimate shopping sites will have the “s” for your protection.

 7) Don’t shop in public

Free hotspots are great when you’re out and about, but hackers like them even more than you do. Because public networks aren’t secured, don’t log in to banking sites or payment sites like PayPal on a public network — and make sure that you are logged out of those sites before connecting to a public network.

8) Put devices on lockdown

An advantage of online shopping is that you can do it from anywhere and use any device. Make sure every device that you shop from has security software in place. Always use a passcode to access your tablet or smartphone and log off your computer or lock the screen when you walk away from it. After accessing a shopping or banking site, be sure to completely log out of the site before exiting, and don’t let your computer or device remember your usernames, passwords, or credit card information.

 

Package Delivery Security:

 

1) Track it!  If the ordering system allows you to choose the time of delivery, select a time you know you’ll be at home. Always use the alerts option or tracking #s to follow your packages along on their journey so you can arrange to get your packages off the porch as soon as possible. If things appear slow or stopped, get in contact with the delivery service or store for assistance in locating your package.

2) Deliver decisively. If you’re not home much, consider having the package delivered to your office or a friend or neighbor’s house for safekeeping.

3) Hold the post. If your package contains very valuable items, request UPS, FedEx, and or Postal Service to hold packages at their facility for you to pick up later. UPS has created a service called Access Point that enables you to choose an alternate delivery location in your neighborhood.

4) Alert a neighbor. When you are expecting a package and won’t be home, you can ask a neighbor or friend to keep an eye out for it. Also, if you use Nextdoor.com or a similar neighborhood app you can let neighbors know if something has been stolen from your porch so they can keep an eye out and report suspicious behavior.

5) Get a smart doorbell. Swap your current doorbell for a Skybell and enjoy a higher level of safety and security with remote monitoring and cloud recording features. When the delivery person rings the doorbell, you can see when and how packages are delivered. You can also check for any unwanted visitors at your doorstep.

6) Open your Garage Door. With Total Connect 2.0 integrated with the MyQ garage door app, you can monitor and allow deliveries to be placed inside your garage. To learn more about how convenient this can be, click here or call us at 919.387.1800 or fill out the form below.

7) Invest in monitored home security. A home security system can be a great deal. If there are visible security features like cameras or alarms, potential thieves will be more likely to move along to a less protected house rather than risk getting caught by a security system.

The holiday season is a fun and exciting time of year. Following these easy tips for online shopping and package delivery can help ensure the joys and excitement of holiday gift-giving.

Happy Holidays from Secur-Tek, Inc.!

Secur-Tek is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security, monitoring, automation audio, and central vacuum systems. Our service area includes Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro in North Carolina.

Security & Home Automation