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.

Eight Reasons a Security System May Be Right for You

home automation wherever you areAs seasons change, we often start to think about home and yard improvement projects that will enhance our living space. One of the ways to make life easier, stress-free and increase your property value is by installing a security system that fits your lifestyle.

Would a security system be the right choice for you? Secur-Tek, Inc, installs many security systems around North Carolina’s Triangle area — here are eight of the most often cited reasons customers call us to install a security system.  

1) Protect your family and Property:  The FBI states that 1 in 3 homes without a security system will fall victim to a burglary. Homes with a security system have much better odds — 1 in 250. This is an average and depends on where you live, but all homes are vulnerable to possible intrusion, especially when the homeowner is away.

2) Fire Protection: Fire protection may be the most important reason to have a security system and have it monitored. On average, a home fire is reported every twenty seconds in the US. A home security system can provide an early warning system for smoke, providing advanced notice that can prevent property damage and even more importantly, save a life.

3) Detect Gas Accumulation or Leaks: Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless toxic gas that is found in combustion fumes. This gas is released from everyday appliances like heating systems, stoves, burning wood, and other things. Since we can’t smell carbon monoxide, our families and pets may be affected without knowing it.

A home security system can be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector that detects high amounts of carbon monoxide in the home and alerts homeowners so that they can get out quickly and seek medical treatment for the possible side effects of this poisoning gas before it’s too late.

4) Home Monitoring 24/7: One of the biggest benefits of having a security system is that your home can be monitored by security professionals at all times. They can track any significant events that occur at the home and quickly dispatch emergency personnel. For homeowners that have aging parents living with them or parents that live alone, adding medication reminders, activity tracking, emergency pulls, or medical alert systems to the security system can be a lifesaver. These signals can be set to dispatch emergency vehicles directly to the home, saving time in critical conditions.

5) Peace of Mind:  When traveling, or just away at work, you may worry about what’s happening at your home with your family or pets. A home equipped with surveillance cameras provides homeowners with the ability to check-in and monitor what’s happening, no matter where you are.

6) Enhance your convenience and comfort:  Home automation services can also be installed with your security system. These conveniences include light controls, door locks, garage door controls, thermostats, and more, providing an additional level of comfort to your environment and security.

7) Home Energy Conservation:  A home security system can be used to monitor your home’s energy use. Have you ever left home and realized you didn’t turn off lights or turn down the heater or the air conditioner? These are expensive home appliances to run; you can save money by turning them on/off automatically or remotely.

8) More Potential Economic Gains: Homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover losses or damages that may occur as a result of several types of devastating events. This insurance can cost hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars a year. Therefore, it is important to understand what discounts and cost savings can be applied when installing a security system in your home and on your property. In addition, a security system is an investment that can add value to your property. These savings can often offset the cost of protecting your home, property, family, and pets through security system installation and monitoring.

Secur-Tek, Inc. installs and services security systems customized to fit our customers’ needs. Please call us at 919.387.1800 to find out more and schedule a complimentary consultation.

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.

Effective, Efficient Home Automation To Make Life Easier

 

Have you ever left for vacation, get down the road and then wonder if you closed the garage door?

Like the family in the video, you can help protect your family, property, and deliveries anytime from anywhere. Whether protecting from fire, flooding, break-ins, porch pirates (or noisy neighbors) – Secur-Tek’s Total Connect 2.0 integrated with the MyQ garage door app gives you mobile control of your security system and smart home devices.

So maybe you’re not going on vacation soon, but what if your “tween” daughter/son, parent or pet caretaker accidentally triggers the security system? You can check to make sure they are safe, then disarm it from wherever you are.

Or perhaps you receive a weekly or monthly wine or food box delivery? Instead of leaving it to sit out on your porch vulnerable to rain, sun, porch pirates, or allow a delivery person access to the inside of your home – you can remotely open the garage door for the delivery personnel, watch them deliver your goods, and then close the door when they leave.

If you have parents or pets in your care, you may want to check in on them with live video/talk. Finally, when away on vacation it is always comforting to know you receive alerts when events happen, such as extreme temperate changes, water leaks, motion detection or doors opening.

If you can relate to any of these situations read on!

It all begins when you have Secur-Tek add Total Connect 2.0 and the MyQ garage door app controls to your security system. Total Connect 2.0 integrated with MyQ garage door control enables you to:

  •  Arm or disarm your security system
  •  Unlock or lock doors
  •  Open and close your garage doors at will
  •  Turn lights off or on automatically or manually
  •  Adjust thermostat temperature settings
  • View live video and recorded clips from Total Connect cameras strategically placed externally/internally around your property. (calculated camera placement is critical for best coverage)
  • Receive important notifications – email and video alerts – on event/emergency activity
  • Connect with smart home products such as Amazon Alexa

Professional Installation keeps your security information safe while customers can change and add:

  • Security codes/passwords
  • Add optional: fingerprint or facial recognition ID for login
  • Set system and feature On/Off automation
  • Monitor functions and make changes, anytime anywhere though the app

For an added level of security, all system devices need to be installed, programmed and tested by a certified/background checked Secur-Tek technician while secured servers provide another level of protection against hacking.

Not looking to be Captian Kirk on the USS Enterprise? Just want to protect your family and property as cost-effectively and conveniently as possible?  At Secur-Tek, Inc. we listen to your needs and help you design the security and automation system that gives you just what you want and can use.

For more information on the Security System that is right for you, please call us at 919-387- 1800 or fill out the form below for a complimentary consultation.

Deck the Halls …. With a Security System?

Helping to Make Your Holiday Season Safe and Worry-Free!

The holidays are just around the corner and it’s a wonderful time of year! It’s a time to see friends, family or go on that nice relaxing vacation you’ve been looking forward to all year.

When traveling or staying home hosting visitors, have you ever been distracted by worries of safety and security?  Whether having packages delivered, wondering the garage door is closed, if the pet sitter remembered to feed the pets, or if a burglar “cased” our property and targeted our home – these thoughts can creep into our minds and detract from the joys of the season.

A smart home security system is a great way to control and monitor your home from a distance. Secur-Tek, Inc offers Skybell video doorbells and automated systems by Honeywell and Control 4 that can help to alleviate worries so you can enjoy your holiday.

Property damage:

            When you’re home, small problems like a leaky hot water heater are fairly easy to see and deal with. Leave home for a few days and even a slow leak can cause serious flooding and expensive damage. Or an open window could make your heater run continuously for the duration of your trip. With a monitored system installed by Secur-Tek, you will know if anything is going wrong at your property. We can warn you if you need to call a repair service or turn your thermostat down until the window is closed. Our smart system can even turn off a water shutoff to minimize damage. 

In addition, gas and smoke detectors can also be linked to your security system to maximize the protection for your family, property, and pets while at home or away. These detectors can notify authorities when there is an alarm condition as well as sounding an alert inside your home.

Package Thefts:

            Concerned about your online shopping being left on the doorstep while you are away? You should be: as well as being a target for porch pirates (see our blog https://secur-tek.com/beware-of-porch-pirates/ ) a package indicates that no one is home when potential thieves check out the neighborhood. For peace of mind, a doorbell or entryway camera can verify a delivery with one-way video. A smart security system can unlock your front door so a neighbor or authorized deliveryman can put the package inside. Once they’ve left your package inside, you can lock up again and relax. (See our blog on Doorbell cameras – uses and criteria: https://secur-tek.com/the-rundown-on-doorbell-cameras/

Pet monitoring – Is Fluffy OK?:

Ever wonder if your pet-sitter or neighbor remembered to feed, walk and play with your pets? How will you know? And what if they can’t get in? No worries: just give your pet caretaker a temporary security code so they can enter when needed. This dedicated code unlocks your door and can alert you when your sitter uses it. Should they lose or forget the code, you can always unlock the door yourself with your security app. If you want to see how or what your cute little pet is doing, (or what mischief the cat got into today) add cameras to your security system. Secur-Tek’s technician will put the cameras in places so you can check in on your pets and see for yourself!

Home Security:

Finally, as you travel about on the holidays, you can be assured your property is protected if a burglar should target your home. With a cost-effective Secur-Tek customized security system that monitors 24/7, it will notify the security professionals at our monitoring center, who immediately alerts your local police and fire department for you. This ensures a quick response to minimize any loss or damage if an unfortunate incident should happen.  

Smart home security is the way to eliminate many of the worries that creep into our minds during the holidays. Remote access allows you to be notified, view and control activity in the interior or exterior of your home at any time.

So have a happy and safe holiday season this season, while Secur-Tek takes care of your property, pets, and home.

For more information on the Security System that is right for you, please call or visit our website.

How a Smart Home Adds Value

 

A smart home can increase your safety and convenience to help you enjoy it!

It’s a new year and believe it or not, spring is right around the corner. Now is the time for planning those 2019 home improvements you’ve been thinking about. Installing smart home features is not only a great investment and wonderful convenience; it can give you greater peace of mind.  

How does it do that you might ask? Think about:

           Traveling– If you are a person that travels a lot – either job related or if you just enjoy exploring on the weekends — you can check on your property and valuables anytime you like. Furthermore, it allows you to let family/neighbors into your home to check on plants, pets and/or elderly parents you might have living with you.

            Maybe you have children that are at the age where you know they will be okay staying at home alone but just want the peace of mind and convenience of being able to check and monitor what is happening while your away. Or even let them in when they lock themselves out (as kids often do). Again, it is also a great way to handle the logistics of senior care or infant babysitting, freeing you up to do what you need to do.

            Beyond providing essential home security, smart home system can also save you time and money. Say goodbye to wasting PTO being stuck at home during one of those infamous “anytime between noon and 5 pm” delivery windows – just have us add a Skybell video doorbell to your home security system.

            When you have smart door locks, you can let people in to drop off deliveries or make home updates from your smartphone app. An exterior door camera lets you see exactly who is arriving, indoor monitors watch the progress while they are in your home, so you know everything that is happening. In addition, a Smart Home can start saving you money immediately. Your system can turn lights on and off and smart thermostat can help automate your temperature settings saving energy while making sure your home is comfortable when you arrive. You’ll be able to remotely access and control the thermostat, set up schedules, and receive temperature alerts, all through the app on your smartphone or tablet.

            It’s a Great Investment! Statistics prove that a home security and automation system can actually help sell your home. Coldwell Banker’s annual smart-home survey, published in January 2018, asked potential homebuyers about the importance of smart home devices:

                        63% want smart locks pre-installed

                        66% want smart home security cameras pre-installed

                        75% want smart smoke detectors pre-installed

                        77% want smart thermostats pre-installed

            Flexibility, with a Smart Home from Secur-Tek, Inc. – you can start with the level of features you would like and based upon your timeframes and resources, build on as you go!

As you can see, installing a Smart Home in 2019 can make sense from an economic, safety and convenience perspective. At Secur-Tek Inc., we have highly trained, reliable and friendly people to help you choose the features and level of Smart Home that is right for you.

If you would like to learn more about the Smart Home features offered by Secur-Tek, Inc. give us a call or fill out the form below.

DARK, COLD DAYS OF WINTER – BRIGHTENED BY HONEYWELL’S TOTAL CONNECT

When the days get shorter, do you dread pulling into the driveway of a dark, cold home? Have you ever thought about how nice it would be if your cheery, warm bright home welcomed you instead?
It’s possible – you can experience increased convenience and safety without wasting energy — with a Honeywell Total Connect “smart home”.
As we move into fall and push our clocks back, it seems that getting home in the dark is the norm. Wouldn’t it be nice to turn select indoor and outdoor lights on or off automatically every time you arm or disarm your security system? You can do that with Honeywell Total Connect! Even better, you can tell your system to turn a set of lights on 30 minutes before you get home from work and another off an hour after you’ve gone to bed. You can program schedules for ambience, or security, and control your lights from any remote location.
If you are on the go, a “smart home” enables you to stay connected to your family, pets and property 24/7. You can receive real-time alerts (e-mails, text messages or video alerts) of important events such as a child arriving home from school, a pet leaving the house, a parent taking their medications or any recent system or sensor activity. It’s like having mobile control of your home in the palm of your hand!
And your system can help avoid some of life’s hassles and mishaps. Like when you’re at work and your kids or parents forget their house keys, or maybe you need a neighbor to pick up an important package and take it inside so it’s not on your porch for hours? Imaging unlocking the door from the comfort of your office with your smartphone or PC. As an enhanced security option, you can view camera feeds from your Skybell Video Doorbell on touchscreens, televisions, tablets, smartphones or PCs and keep an eye on your kids, pets, screen visitors at your entranceway and view activity occurring around the interior or exterior of your home whenever and wherever you want.
Finally, when your home enjoying a movie and you notice your child is out with the car and it is getting late, calm your worries with Honeywell Total Connect Tracking Services. This puts you in the driver’s seat – letting you know where your vehicles are and where they’ve been 24/7 – anytime, anywhere, from any web-enabled smart device! You’ll have real-time GPS location information at your fingertips – a great way to keep tabs on teenage drivers, elderly loved ones, or even assist in recovering missing vehicles and monitor or recover lost or stolen valuables. You can even get email or text alerts when vehicles exceed speed limits or predetermined geographic boundaries.
When your life is demanding, our Honeywell Total Connect system can help ease your mind and reduce the stress and worry of everyday life!
Call or contact the experts at Secur-Tek for more information or an estimate on a Honeywell Total Connect system for your home.

 

 
 
 

Connect Amazon Echo to Control4 for Voice Activated Home Automation

It’s not Rosie, the Jetson’s robot maid. But the future envisioned decades ago is getting a little bit closer every day, especially when it comes to home automation. The latest example is the Amazon Echo.

The Amazon Echo is a small black device that sits in your room. Using voice commands, you can ask it questions about the weather or sports scores, have it order something for you on Amazon, play your music, and more. Just like iPhone has Siri, the Echo has a female voice answering to the name Alexa. One woman says she loves to play a version of 20 questions with Alexa.

By connecting Echo to other systems, you can do even more. One man figured out how to use Echo to pull his Tesla car out of the garage.

Home Automation

Customers often ask us about voice commands for home automation and this is the answer. The Echo connects to smart home devices such as Nest thermostats and the Control4 system so that you can use voice commands to control some of the home automation you have created. At Secur-Tek, we have set up the Echo to work with our Control4 systems so we can turn lights on when we arrive and off when we leave. We can also turn on a TV in our lobby and raise and lower the volume of our lobby music.

While these features are on a limited scale right now, more features are coming every day.

Security Warning

One feature some might consider is using the Echo’s voice command feature to turn your home security system on and off. While this is possible to set up, the Echo does not have individual voice recognition. That means if you set up this option, anyone could come in and tell Echo to turn off the security.

Many of the features offered by Echo you can set up on your own. However, Secur-Tek is happy to help you set up Echo with your Control4 system or other enhancements you request.

Rosie the robot maid may not greet you when you come home, but Alexa is the next best thing. Give us a call if you want to learn more about how we can prepare you for the future.

Secur-Tek’s Home Automation Featured in Parade of Homes

Parade of Homes logoA home with Secur-Tek systems is part of the Parade of Homes in October.

The Parade of Homes is a free open-house tour of new homes in Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties. Visitors can tour some of the area’s most beautiful homes and learn more about the latest products and technology available in new home construction.

The Secur-Tek team set up a home security system and automated lighting at a home on Seneca Court in Pittsboro. Automated lighting is a popular home automation feature, offering convenience, security and energy savings in many ways:

● Timed control of all lights, based on sunrise and sunset, even taking into account Daylight Saving Time.
● Outside lights can be set for motion, enabling you to enter your home safely after dark.
● Inside lights can turn on automatically when you enter a room, and can be programmed to turn off after a certain period of time.
● Lights can be connected to the security system, which can shut down interior lights when you are away. Key lights can be left on at night to simulate the appearance of someone at home.
● Lights can turn on if the security system detects an intruder.
● Lights can also flash to signal the doorbell or phone ringing in addition to or in place of sounds.

The homes will be judged Oct. 1 and winners are invited to a special banquet. Cross your fingers for Secur-Tek’s home! Then, take the tour to view these amazing homes.

This year’s parade takes place during the first three weekends in October: October 3-4, 9-11, 16-18. Homes are open between 12 and 5 p.m. Visitors can stop any of the dozens of homes on tour during those times, no appointments needed. Get a map online starting Sept. 28 at http://www.hbadoc.com. You can also pick up a map at one of several locations in the area.

Learn more about how Secur-Tek can set up home automation for your home.

How secure is your home network?

hackersWe call it The Internet of Things. And it’s very likely that you have it in your house: you know, the connection of electronic devices to the Internet so that you can have access to them. It could be your baby monitor, your home security network, your heating/cooling system, your coffee pot or your refrigerator—all these things can be connected to the Internet so that you can check in and/or make adjustments to them via your computer or smart phone. The Internet of Things allows us to be connected to most everything these days, making it more convenient for us to access and control our devices from almost anywhere there is an Internet connection, as well as monitor our homes and the goings on inside.

No doubt the Internet of Things gives you peace of mind, knowing that you can check in on your baby from another room or while you’re out. It allows you to adjust the temperature in your- home, so that it’s that perfect 68 degrees when you get home from work. Or you can lower the temperature of your refrigerator so that your favorite beverage is chilled when you walk in the door. You can lock or unlock your doors from another location. The ease of it all is amazing, isn’t it?

Let’s take a minute, however, to play devil’s advocate. If you can access your home, others can, as well. The Internet opens the doors for many great things; yet at the same time that it opens the doors for you, it also presents the opportunity for hackers to get inside your home and take control just as you would. A hacker could take control of your home security system and disable your locks or cameras. A hacker could take control of your baby monitor and speak through it. That same person could take control of your computer and use the installed camera to spy on you.

A recent article in the News and Observer highlighted the risks to using companies that don’t  know what they’re doing – the non-experts that have got into the security game purely to make money.  So, how can you protect yourself and your family against these invasions of privacy?

To protect yourself from hackers, you need to make sure you have a system that is secure. Choosing a professional security company to install your systems is the best route. Security professionals can make sure that the equipment you use in your home conforms to safety standards and that any data you transmit over the Internet in order to control your devices is encrypted. They can set your system up so that the Internet of Things is convenient and secure, minimizing your risk to a hacker’s intrusion.

For more information on securing your family and home, contact Secur-Tek at 919-387-1800.  All consultations are complimentary.

Security & Home Automation