FIRE PREVENTION SAFETY TIPS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

In October of 1871, The Great Chicago fire devastated much of that city, killing 300 people and leaving over 100,000 homeless. In remembrance of that horrific event, October was designated as Fire Prevention Month. During this month, fire departments across the country hold educational events focused on fire and home safety. 

To support this effort, our blog this month offers tips to help keep you and your family safe:

1) Install/check your smoke alarm:

If you don’t have a smoke alarm, install one. If you have one, make sure it is maintained and working properly.

  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside, call 911, and stay outside.
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install alarms on every level of the home and in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all should sound. 

Facts about Smoke alarms: 

Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with either no smoke alarms (40%) or no working smoke alarms (17%). 

Working smoke alarms save lives. The death rate from reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms.

In fires where smoke alarms were present but did not operate, 43% of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. 

Dead batteries caused one-quarter (25%) of the smoke alarm failures.

A monitored security system that includes low voltage smoke detectors provides greater protection and quicker responses to fires.

2)    Make an Escape Plan: 

In the event of a home safety emergency, every second counts. According to the National Fire Protection Association, you may have less than two minutes to escape after your smoke alarms sound. That’s why it’s important to be prepared by planning and practicing an escape route with your family. By planning, practicing, and repeating your emergency exit plan, you can help ensure a safe escape.

Here’s what to do:

  • Walk through your home with your family and identify multiple exits out of each room in the house. If windows or doors are blocked, clear them so they can be easily accessed and opened.
  • For two-story houses, consider equipping bedrooms with escape ladders to provide additional, safe exits. If you need an escape ladder, Secur-Tek has these in stock.
  • Dedicate someone to assist small children or infants out of the home.
  • Assign a meeting spot outside that is a safe distance away from your house like the mailbox, tree or neighbor’s house.
  • Ensure your street address is clearly visible on your home or mailbox for first responders.
  • If you have children, teach them how to call 9-1-1 once outside at your meeting spot and help them memorize your home address.

 Once you have your escape plan, it’s time to practice. The NFPA recommends executing your escape plan twice a year, as well as at night.

To get started, download this home escape plan worksheet.

3) Place properly functioning Fire Extinguishers strategically placed around your residence.

Fire extinguishers should be available on every level of the home and in areas like the kitchen and garage. Store them in accessible places or mount them on the wall for easy access in the event of an emergency. Be sure to choose the right fire extinguisher for your home’s needs.
It is important for the whole family to understand how a fire extinguisher works, so be sure to read the instructions carefully and thoroughly with them.

When using a fire extinguisher remember the PASS technique:

P – Pull the pin

A – Aim directly at the source of the fire 

S – Squeeze the lever slowly and smoothly to get the flow even and aimed where you need it

S – Swipe back and forth to contain and eliminate all burning fuel.

4) More tips:

Kitchen fires caused by unattended cooking are a major cause of fires in Apex and throughout the country. Keep an eye on anything that you’re cooking.  Click here for kitchen safety tips.

  • Ensure your fireplace screen covers the entire fireplace.
  • Have proper ventilation for heaters and other small appliances.
  • Do not smoke in bed.
  • Use the correct size fuses.
  • Don’t use worn-out electrical wiring or run it under rugs or out windows or doors.
  • Clear refuse away — the less clutter, the less fuel a fire has to feed on.

For more information on safety and fire prevention – please go to https://www.nfpa.org or https://www.apexnc.org/335/Safety-Information.

 

 

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

 

Home Security Debate – DIY vs Professional?

You may have seen ads for DIY Home Security Systems. They might even have started you thinking about the list of home DIY projects on your refrigerator door and wondering if you should add “install home security” to it.

Then a couple of questions cross your mind:

  • A home security system is an important item and since your family’s safety will depend on it, will I worry about if it’s installed correctly?
  • Will the project take time away from projects you really enjoy – like woodworking, gardening, or watching sports?

So, you decide a little research is appropriate to evaluate if you should go the DIY route or engage professionals for your Home Security System.

Will a DIY system save me money?

That’s usually the main reason people consider DIY systems. But remember, you get what you pay for – a box of basic security equipment and manuals. You pay the retail price for the equipment and then add the investment of your time, which can vary depending on how familiar you are with installing electronics. While doing a home project, have you ever gotten halfway through and wondered if you were doing it right? Or find it takes three times as long because the directions aren’t clear? Are you interested in fire detection, a smart thermostat, or a doorbell camera? Check that out in advance, as some DIY security companies don’t integrate these devices, so you may have to purchase them separately and download multiple apps. 

When you have professionals install your security system, you get the following:

Customized protection that fits your needs

Not every property, neighborhood, or crime profile is the same. Secur-Tek doesn’t just bring a standard box of equipment and go to work. First, we talk with you to understand your security objectives and do a complete assessment of your home environment. We understand camera angles, lighting, and acoustical variables that should be taken into consideration when choosing the type and placement of security and surveillance equipment. We will help you customize a complete inside and outside solution that fits your needs.

Trained and qualified technicians for installation, adjustment, or repair

Using a certified technician will ensure the effectiveness of your security system. Secur-Tek customizes your security system to your home while explaining the process and confirming the optimal placement of every device, so you can trust your security system.

Real Technical support and guidance

Our expert technicians walk you through your new security and/or smart home system step by step at the time of installation. They’ll answer every question you have, help set up smart rules and automation when appropriate, and leave you confident and ready to protect your home and family. The same local technicians are available should you ever need service.

Confidence in your security system

Security systems are critical during times of emergency and stress. You need to be confident and knowledgeable about the functioning of your system during these situations. A trained Secur-Tek technician is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for after-hours emergency service.

Savings on your homeowner insurance

In addition to protecting your home and family, a professionally installed home security system can save you money on insurance. Most insurance companies offer a discount for professionally installed and monitored systems.

 Personal response

Secur-Tek is a locally owned and operated company. We answer our own phones and will speak with you directly. We take the time to personally understand and answer any questions you may have. Our technicians are local company employees — not contractors.

We are passionate about protecting you, your family, and your property. We take pride in knowing every system is installed correctly and customized for your home. You can be confident in your system because our technicians test every individual device and the total system upon installation. We then walk you through it to make sure you are comfortable, knowledgeable, and confident in how to operate your system effectively.

 

Think about your family’s safety and the security of your property before making your DIY vs Professional installation decision. You can also check out the benefits of a monitored security system. Then call us at 919-387-1800 or use the form below to schedule a complimentary security assessment.

 

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.

 

Seven Handy Home Automation Features

A security system with home automation features has many benefits that can add convenience and peace of mind, like cameras, smart locks, and lighting control.

But did you know that there are other ways that home automation can make life easier for you and your family?

Check out these features:

1) See what’s going on at home while you’re away.

  • Know at a glance if a family member has arrived home or left the premises.
  • Speak to babysitters or your children through the Total Connect app for reassurance and to let them know you are watching.
  • Get push notifications, email, and video alerts when events occur, like when you have a delivery or there is a stranger at the door.
  • Monitor key hallways, staircases, and/or doors with live, look-in video.
  • Be notified if a bathtub or toilet overflows or if an extreme temperature has been sensed.

2) Check if the garage door is closed. Have you ever driven away and wondered if you left the garage door open? If you have kids (or another forgetful family member), it can be worrisome when they leave the garage door open. A great solution to this is the MyQ app, which works well with Resideo Total Connect.

With the MyQ app, you can check if the door is closed. You can even accept home deliveries safely even when you’re at work – with the deliveryman on the phone, you can open the door, watch him put your package inside, then shut the door to keep everything safe until you return home.

3) Garage/Outbuilding Monitoring: In addition to monitoring the door of your garage or other building, you can also keep tabs on the temperature inside. If you store items in your garage that can be harmed by extreme heat or cold, adding a temperature sensor can have the system send you an alert if things get too hot or too cold.

4) Vacation Home Alerts: If you are away on vacation or own a vacation home, a “hard freeze” alert can let you know if special measures need to be taken to prevent burst pipes and flooding. In addition, water sensors can detect leaks and send warnings before they become a flood.

5) Power-saving “Mockupancy”: Speaking of vacations, your home automation system can turn lights on and off at random intervals when your house is in “vacation” mode, saving energy while creating the illusion that someone is home and moving from room to room.

6) Lock Programming: With the Total Connect app, scenes and schedules keep everyone safe and comfortable without having to remember to adjust the thermostats, turn lights on or off or lock the doors at night. If you have teens, or sometimes wonder if you locked the door(s), don’t lose sleep worrying. If your teens are old enough to be coming home by themselves after school or late at night, you can have a text message or e-mail notification sent to you to let you know exactly what time your teenager actually arrived home.

7) Flashing Light Ideas: The lights can be programmed to flash all over the house or in certain areas when a smoke detector goes off or the security alarm is activated. It’s sometimes hard to hear all of your various bells and buzzers when you’re watching TV or listening to music in another room, but these events are hard to miss when the overhead lights let you know what’s happening.

 

Interested?  Call Secur-Tek at 919.387.1800 and ask how we can customize a monitored security and automation system for your home. 

Moving? 4 Tips for Safety and Security in Your Home

If you are preparing to move to a new location, there are so many important things to think about! To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of items to check that will help secure your new property and ensure that you and your family have peace of mind in your new residence.

FOR EXISTING HOMES

1) Acquaint yourself with the neighborhood:

Take the time to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. Let them know who you are and who will be living (coming and going) in your new home.

Find who is active in the neighborhood watch group. Meet with them to introduce yourself and offer to do what you can to contribute.

Take the time to locate the local police, fire, rescue stations, and hospitals to understand routes and response times.

Reacquaint yourself with any features of the location like local ponds, pools, walking trails, and parks so you can review safe usage of these areas with your family.  

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

Check how well the entry, walkways, driveway, yard space, and window areas are lit. Add lighting (motion sensor lighting is great) where lighting is not adequate.

Examine the landscaping for overgrown or poorly placed bushes that can block out lighting or give potential intruders a place to hide, especially near doors and windows.

 

3) Re-examine the doors to the exterior:

Doors should be built out of metal or with solid wood cores and have deadbolts. Sometimes the most aesthetically pleasing decorator doors offer the least amount of safety from intrusion. Glass panels in or next to the doors offer easy access for intruders. When possible, replace doors that offer sub-par security before moving in for ease of mind and convenience.

 

4) Check your home security system:

A security system can give you peace of mind when moving to a new area and home.

If a system is already installed, have it checked out, upgraded if needed, and activated as soon as you move in. Upgraded systems can include touchscreens, a mobile app for communication with the security system, automation features, and cameras strategically positioned around your residence and property.

Make sure that either you or a security system professional check out the window and door sensors for proper functioning. Take the time to test each location and alignment of the motion sensors to ensure they are properly aimed and positioned for maximum benefit.

If your new home doesn’t have a security system, consider adding one. They are an effective method for ensuring your new residence will offer you the safety and security your family desires. And it may help save on your homeowner’s insurance.

Secur-Tek, Inc. is here to help with your home security needs. We can complete a security audit of your home and design an upgrade or new system that is right for you and your location. Contact us by calling 919.387.1800  .

 

IF YOU ARE BUILDING A NEW HOME

The best time to install features like security systems, home automation, whole-house audio systems, and central vacuums is during construction.

Secur-Tek  installs both wired and wireless security systems. For new homes under construction, we recommend a wired system (you will have less maintenance with fewer batteries to change).

What system would be best for your new home?

New homes under construction Install a wired system as it will have less maintenance with fewer batteries to change
Existing homes wanting a security system installed Install a wireless system
Home renovations Add wireless system or wireless components to an existing Honeywell security system
Existing home security system Upgrade systems to include features to enhance security and convenience:

•      Touchscreens

•      A mobile app for communication with the security system

•      Automation features,

•      A doorbell camera

•      Camera system with motion detectors

Please call our office or use the form below to see how we can assist you with your new home.

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

Water Sensors

 

Damage to homes and businesses from extreme temperatures, power outages/surges, failed/faulty appliances, and in-home flooding can cause personal and financial devastation. In fact, these environmental extremes are in the top five causes of insurance claims. 

According to the American Insurance Association, water damage claims have been growing faster than any other component of homeowners insurance. One in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year.

Here in North Carolina where we have multiple weather events each year, such as Ice storms, Tornados, Hurricanes, Flash Floods, Extreme temperature swings and power outages – the potential for property damage due to water is high.

But you can protect yourself from the property and financial devastation that water damage can cause by acting proactively — have a professional security alarm/sensor company install a multiple environmental sensor system into your home or place of business.

Note: To be fully protected and be credited by homeowners’ insurance, the system must be installed and monitored by a professionally certified company – self-installed and monitored systems do not qualify.

Whatever the installation challenge, Secur-Tek’s Honeywell Home Environmental Sensors can play a critical role in helping to prevent damage due to flooding or extreme temperatures in your home or business while lowering insurance premiums.

Here’s what a professional environmental sensor system can do for you: 

  • Monitor kitchens, basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, freezers, boiler rooms and other areas for flood and extreme temperature detection 
  • Minimize or avert costly damages from flooding or faulty appliances
  • Help alleviate dangerous health risks from mold 
  • Help create a safer home and work environment 
  • Give you peace of mind with 24/7 central station text alerts on mobile devices via Resideo Total Connect Remote Services 

So, if you are living in Central North Carolina, isn’t it time to give us a call to discuss what a sensor system can do for you?

Frequently Asked Questions about Cellular Communicators

If you are interested in higher security, reliability, and the ease of controlling parts of your security system from your smartphone, a cellular communicator may be the right solution for you.

Secur-Tek, Inc. encourages our customers to use a dedicated cell communicator for the security system to communicate with the monitoring service.  With the addition of a cell communicator to your Vista or First Alert Security system, you gain the capability to remotely connect with your security system. The Total Connect App allows you to remotely arm or disarm your alarm system and receive event notifications using your smartphone or I-pad. 

Cell phone technology keeps advancing – you may have seen the ads talking about 5G phones and networks. With this latest update, wireless carriers are discontinuing support of 3G devices in 2022.

  • AT&T started the sunset of their 3G cellular network beginning on March 22, 2022, they are no longer operating.
  • Verizon has announced its 3G network will be upgraded by the end of 2022.

 

How does this affect Secur-Tek customers? 

All 3G cellular communicators will need to be replaced. Secur-Tek has been working with our existing customers to update their cell communicator from 3G to LTE technology since early 2020. All our cellular customers requiring the upgrade were mailed notifications. Additionally, when a customer calls in for service, Secur-Tek staff review the customer’s security features and recommend the communication upgrade be completed at the time of service. 

Not sure if you have a 3G cellular communicator?  Call our office at 919-387-1800. We can provide further information, and if needed, schedule this system upgrade.

 

Frequently asked questions about cellular communicators:

 

What is a cellular communicator?

A Cellular communicator is the device that contacts the central station monitoring service for security alarms, fire, and medical alerts. It functions 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 on 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.

 

What is the difference between a Wireless and Cellular Security System

 When 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.

Cellular alarm monitoring requires that you have a cellular communicator in your security system and the technology offers significant advantages over landline-based systems:

  • Cellular communicators are more stable.
    • They are not affected by brief power outages
    • Cutting your phone line will NOT disable your alarm system
  • They enable remote access/interactive 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.

 

I’m thinking of dropping my landline. How would that affect my security system?

  • If you get rid of your landline, you will need a cellular communicator.
  • If you decide to change your home phone service you will need to reconnect your security system, which may require a service visit and a service charge from Secur-Tek, Inc.
  • Security system manufacturers do not recommend using VOIP (Voice over Internet Phone Service) phone carriers

 

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

 

Thinking you’d like the added peace of mind that comes with having your system monitored, especially when you’re not there?  

Find out more about our monitoring service here.  

 

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.

 

Spring is Here! Time for Thinking About Safety and Pool Gates

Spring is here and it’s time to get out and enjoy the benefits of the warmer weather.

That may include swimming at the local pool, working out, or socializing at the neighborhood clubhouse. While these amenities are great for residents, they can create liability issues for the HOA or property management group.  Controlling access while balancing convenience for the residents and monitoring for safety and security is important.   

Secur-Tek, Inc. sells and installs equipment and monitoring solutions for community pools and shared amenities in the greater Raleigh, North Carolina area.

Solutions using coded cards or key fobs to control the swimming pool and fitness center access are efficient and cost-effective. Requiring cards, or fobs to enter pool gates keep strangers or unattended children out while offering convenient access to members or residents.  They can also be set up to open gates at specific times and coded so authorized personnel can review when access is requested for legal as well as illegal entry. 

For ease of access management, Secur-Tek can provide remote hosting. Controlled internet access provides the ability to make program changes or unlock/lock a door/gate from anywhere. For best control of your point of access, we install Keyscan access systems manufactured by Dormakaba, a global leader in the security and access control market.  

In addition to good fencing and access point control, we highly recommend installing a camera system. Cameras serve multiple purposes. Most importantly, when visible, they act as a deterrent to potentially hazardous or destructive behavior. If the unfortunate happens, they can prove helpful for identifying and prosecuting individuals caught in the act of trespassing or vandalizing the property. Should the situation arise where someone is injured cameras also offer the option to review what happened and validate that safety equipment was in place.

Securing common areas while allowing convenient access for those authorized to use them is a critical issue for HOAs. Secur-Tek has the experience to help with this responsibility through the process of selecting and installing the right equipment given your situation, budget, and safety/security requirements. 

If you need to update or install a new access control system, give us a call at 919-387-1800

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​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.

Providing Peace of Mind Since 1990

Security is our industry, but for us at Secur-Tek, it’s not just a business.

We feel what we do is important.

Our job is to help people feel safe, more secure, and able to get help when it’s urgently needed.

 

As a locally owned and operated company based in Apex, we are proud to serve our neighbors in the greater Triangle area:  Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro.

We appreciate all our customers and take the time to understand their unique situations, so we can give you an honest quote on a quality security system customized to fit your needs.

Speaking of customization, some of the features frequently asked for include:

Cameras – indoor and outdoor cameras

Security – dual technology motion detectors, with the combined strength of microwave and PIR technologies providing superior detection and reduced false alarms

Video doorbells – see who is at your door, from anywhere

Smart locks – go key free; lock and unlock from anywhere

Secur-Tek can also include smart devices that can make your life more convenient, all connected by the Resideo Total Connect® app:

  • Temperature controls – to control your climate and save money on your heating/cooling bills
  • Water leak monitors
  • MyQ Garage door control
  • Smoke and CO detectors – these life safety devices actively protect 24/7, even if the system is not armed

We also offer special customizations to make life easier for senior citizens:

With our Total Connect app, family members can receive event notifications and alerts for the home where the senior is living, letting them know when the senior arms/disarms the security system or presses a button to call for help. A text alert can be sent when the medicine cabinet or the door to the garage is opened. Having a Total Connect camera near the TV, for example, will allow the caregiver to chat with their loved ones during their favorite tv show.

 

We’ve been in business since 1990 and have many long-time customers. We’ve grown by referral. And we appreciate them

 

If you have any questions or would like a complimentary quote, please call us at 919-387-1800 or fill in the form below.

 

Lighten Up the Winter Darkness

After you take the Christmas lights down, does your home seem dark?

When you turn into your driveway, your home seems cold and dreary. It’s winter in North Carolina, but your home can be safe, secure, and cozy during these blustery months.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn on the lights of your choice, crank up the heat and even unlock your door from the comfort of your warm car or office? You can do all this and more using the Resideo Total Connect App on your phone at any time from anyplace!

Once inside, turning on your fireplace and lighting a few candles can add a warm, calming ambiance for you and your family as dinner is prepared and the day’s adventures discussed. For that extra feeling of serenity, your security system monitors your home 24/7 for intruders, fire, and smoke. Whether at home or away, your monitored system will notify you and the fire or police department will be dispatched to provide assistance. Many insurance companies give homeowners a discount for a monitored security system with monitored smoke alarms.

With all this convenience and security, the winter evening becomes a sanctuary for you and your family to unwind, relax and prepare for the next day. But winter weather shifts dramatically in North Carolina, and the next day could bring cold temperatures, snow or worse, ice, so it’s best to be prepared. 

Here is our easy-to-follow checklist for ensuring your safety in times of extreme winter weather:

Have an emergency kit well supplied and readily accessible to all members of the family. It should have:

  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
  • Sand/Kitty litter for better tire traction. (Having a bag in your trunk is ideal.)
  • Rock salt, or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways.
  • If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood.
  • Have enough clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Keep a supply of water and necessary staple foods on hand.

Make a family communications plan. Your family may not be together when extreme weather strikes, so know how you will get in touch with each other, how/where to get back together, and what each person is expected to do in an emergency.

 Bring pets inside during cold, dark wintery weather and ensure they have enough water in case you get delayed.

 Set your phone for emergency weather alerts.

 If you must travel, be sure you have a full tank of gas, a spare blanket, snack bars and water. Of course, always carry a fully stocked First Aid kit in your car no matter what the season.

Winters in North Carolina can be a challenge at times, but with a little preparation, and the security of Total Contact installed by Secur-Tek, Inc. it can also be a cozy time to share with family and friends. So, live in the moment and enjoy the change of seasons!

If you have any questions on monitored fire detectors or security systems for your home, please call Secur-Tek, Inc at 919-387-1800 fill out the form below.

Seven Tips for Safe Holidays

The holiday season is upon us and with it, putting up decorations, visiting, shopping, package delivery, food, and fun!

Below are seven quick reminders to ensure the security and safety of your family, friends and pets throughout the festivities.

On-line Shopping:

1) Keep your network updated and use strong passwords and two-factor authentications on your accounts

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.

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.

2) Ensure your transaction 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 an “s” at the end of “http,” then the site is not encrypted, and your data will not be secure. Additionally, avoid shopping on public networks – 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.

 

Home Deliveries

3) 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 numbers 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, contact the delivery service or store for assistance in locating your package.

4) Limit Porch Time If you’re not home much, alert a neighbor that will be home or consider having the package delivered to your office, a friend, or neighbor’s house for safekeeping.

Also, if you participate in 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) Consider getting a smart doorbell. Upgrade your current doorbell to a Skybell doorbell and you’ll 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) Control Deliveries by Controlling 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.

 

Protecting Your Fuzzy Friends

7) Check out this short, adorable video with puppies and kittens demonstrating tips for keeping them safe during the holiday season.

 

 

 The holiday season is a fun and exciting time of year. Following these tips can help ensure that it is a safe and joyful time.

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