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.

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.

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.

Home Security: DIY vs Professional Installation

Home security DIY vs Professional

You’ve probably seen ads online for low-priced DIY Home Security Systems. Or maybe you’ve heard an ad or two on the radio.

So, you start thinking about your list of home DIY projects on your refrigerator door and wonder if you should add “install home security” to it.

Then a couple of things enter your mind: first, it will take time away from projects you really enjoy – like woodworking, gardening. or watching sports. Second, a home security system is an important item and your family’s safety will depend on it, and you don’t want to worry about if you installed it correctly. Third – you like to support small businesses when you can and wonder if there is a local company with trained technicians that you can actually talk to and trust to do a good job. So you decide a little research is appropriate to evaluate whether you should go the DIY route or engage professionals for your Home Security System.

1) Will a DIY system save me money?

That’s usually the main reason people look at 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 it takes three times as long because the directions aren’t clear? After that, you still have to pay a monthly monitoring fee. 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’ll have to purchase them separately and download multiple apps. 

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

Trained and qualified technicians for installation, adjustment, or repair

Using a certified technician will take the doubt out of 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 to work.  The same local technicians are available should you need service for your system.

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 does  exactly what you want.

Real Technical support and guidance

Our expert technicians walk you through your new security and/or smart home system step by step at 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.

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.

At Secur-Tek, 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.

Personal response

Secur-Tek is a locally owned and operated company. We answer our own phones and talk 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. In addition, you can call our office to schedule a time to service your equipment.

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.

September is Baby Safety Month

Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe

 September is that wonderful time of year when the weather starts to cool, and we enjoy the outdoors. It is also Baby Safety Month – a good time for parents, grandparents, and caregivers to brush up on babyproofing and safety tips.  

There is so much to consider – so we’re posting a few helpful hints to keep in mind while checking out your living space.

          Safety Straps:  You might be surprised by the number of accidents that children can have with furniture — because from your child’s perspective, TVs, dressers, and bookshelves look great for climbing. If these items tip over, they can hurt children. To avoid mishaps, install furniture safety straps so you’ll know things are stable no matter who or what attempts to climb them.

          Kitchen Awareness:  Review cooking habits/procedures with everyone who prepares food in the kitchen. Some things to remember are:

  • Toddlers love exploring the kitchen! Small children might see their parents switching a burner on or off and want to try it. Keep your stovetop safe by putting a baby-safe cover over the knobs to prevent little hands from turning on hot surfaces.
  • Always turn pot handles towards the back of the stove.
  • To lessen the chance of accidents, use the back burners when cooking. This keeps the hot food further away from the reach of children.
  • Check the childproof latches on your cupboards and replace any that are not functioning properly.

Yard, Deck Pool, and Hot Tub Safety

  • Have alarms on all doors and entryways leading from the house to the yard, deck, patio, or pool area.
  • Consider having a locking 5-foot fence or a safety cover for your pool and/or hot tub.
  • Install safety gates to control when and where your child can explore. If you already have them, check safety gates and play yards to make sure they are in good condition. Stay away from or replace older accordion-style safety gates as they can be a strangulation hazard.
  • Check and organize your yard regularly. Make sure there is no equipment lying around such as trimmers, lawnmowers, hoses, etc. that could cause injury to your children.

Blinds and Draperies

          Double-check the cords on your blinds and draperies and ensure they are tied up or cut off and kept out of your child’s reach. The loop of the cord should break apart if you slide your hand between the two cords so there is no possibility of getting caught or tangled in it. For ease of maintenance, you can use a cord wrap – purchase at your local home improvement store – to keep them neatly coiled and tucked out of the reach of your child.

Fire Safety

  • Write up a fire escape plan for your home and share the plan with everyone in the family so they know what to do.
  • Check all fire safety equipment:
    • Are the smoke alarms working?
    • Secur-Tek system’s monitor installed smoke and CO detectors at all times to help keep your family safe.
    • Make sure fire extinguishers are full and everyone knows how to use them.
    • Make sure flashlights are strategically placed with extra batteries and that everyone in the family knows where they are.
  • Teach your kids the stop, drop, and roll technique just in case their clothes catch on fire.
  • Is your children’s sleepwear fire retardant? Check labels to be sure.

Cameras and Remote Monitoring:

          If you have a remote camera or monitoring system in your child’s room, you will want to check the camera positioning to ensure the entire space can be monitored with no blind spots.

          If you do not have a camera or remoting monitoring system, you may want to consider installing one. It is an easy way to keep an eye on your children and add to your peace of mind as you’re able to check on them at any time. At Secur-Tek, Inc., our team can place cameras in strategic locations, kids rooms, kitchen, yard, driveway, deck, pool areas and connect remote access to receive real-time alerts and view activity in the interior or exterior of your home through your mobile phone, tablet, PC or your TV.  If you install a camera system yourself remember to change the default password to minimize unauthorized viewing of your cameras.

CPR and Basic First Aid:

Last, but potentially most important – take the time to feel comfortable knowing and applying CPR and basic first aid techniques. If you do not, you can enroll in an infant/child CPR and first aid certification class. They are easy to find online from local organizations — and fun to do while giving you the competence and confidence to effectively handle those little boo-boos or accidents that children seem to get themselves into.

We hope these few reminders will help you and your family have a safe and secure fall!

If you have any questions concerning your family’s security system, video/camera monitoring, pool safety systems, or yard security – please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Supporting Senior Citizens through the Pandemic

 

The current pandemic can create situations where seniors and their loved ones will need to make extra efforts to avoid loneliness.

Seniors should prepare to be social distancing for the long haul, according to Dr. Leonard Kirschner, a licensed M.D. and the past President of AARP Arizona. “This virus will be with us for a long time, this pandemic will run its course for at least 18 months.”

Knowing this, older people and their loved ones can plan to take actions to safely avoid succumbing to anxiety and depression.

 Family, Friends, and support groups can:

  • Make calls
  • Send cards and letters
  • Encourage and facilitate exercise

Encourage and follow-up with your loved ones on their exercise.

  • Be interested, listen and question how they feel. The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend engaging in 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week.
  • Keeping track of the little things like getting up during every commercial on TV and doing an active chore, marching in place, or doing a set of stretches can work wonders for body and mind.
  • When possible, encourage getting outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, feeling the sunshine, looking at nature or going for a walk – this gives most seniors a tremendous boost.

However, sometimes we have to remind and encourage older adults to exercise with caution and think safety. Remember to consult a physician before starting an exercise program. Here are a few tips to emphasize:

  • Listen to your body. Always warm up before exercising and cool down afterward. You should be exercising at a level that allows you to talk, but not sing.
  • Be aware of your environment. Make sure you are in reach of a counter, the back of a couch, or a sturdy chair that is pushed up against a wall in case you lose your balance and need to hold on to something or need to sit.
  • Hydrate. Drink water before, during, and after exercising, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Choose clothing that is made for the type of activity you want to do. Shoes, long sleeved shirts, hats etc. should work with the activity, sun intensity and the temperature of your environment.

Use technology to enhance their day

This could be as simple as sending them a Zoom link to a yoga class, church meetings or art classes that they may find enjoyable. It’s a good idea to talk your senior through the first few log-ins and insuring their comfort level with the technology and process.

Security systems have options that can make checking in at the right time easier. For example, cameras with remote monitoring can be installed in the kitchen or key hallways so you can see when the senior is up. In addition, sensors can be added on key cabinets or the medicine drawer to let a family member know they’ve taken their medicine. These electronic assists can be customized to help seniors — and you — feel safer, secure, and connected.

So during these strange and isolated times, taking a little extra effort to plan a routine of communication, connection and security for your parents and older relatives can really have a positive impact on their mental as well as physical well-being.

For more information on technology for seniors, please contact us at: 919-387-1800 or use the form below.                    

Five Reasons to Install an Access Control System

 

If you are a commercial property owner, or responsible for controlling building access, you may be looking for ways to increase convenience while protecting business assets and employees.

Installing an access control system can reduce security risk. Most structures – commercial, business, and private have certain parts of the building where restricted access is desired. With access control, there is an array of system options so you can choose one that fits your specific needs.

Some of the specific benefits offered by these systems are detailed below:

 1) Protect Valuables

Does your building contain valuables? This is especially important for items that are easily transported, sold, or “fenced”. With controlled access keycards, you can identify who enters the space day or night. This information can help prevent items from going missing and help catch a guilty individual if this occurs.

 2) Control and Track Employee Access

What happens when an employee is fired or quits? With access control systems in place, the card or code they used to access the building or certain areas can be changed/deleted with ease, so they can no longer enter that space. You do not have to collect door keys from an exiting employee and there is no need to pay a locksmith to rekey the doors. With an access control system your property and personnel are protected from any unwanted intrusions.

3) Control Specific Access to Certain Areas at Specific Times

For most structures, every individual who enters doesn’t necessarily need to have access to every office, inventory/records room, lab, equipment/storage area, or even floor. For example, a business’s accounting department may have highly sensitive/confidential information that most people should not have access to.

In this case, an access control system is invaluable. It allows managers or owners to restrict access to those who should not be able to enter these areas. Another example could be maintenance or janitorial staff, who work at certain times and on certain days. You can program your access control system to restrict their access times to when they are scheduled to be there.

 4) Monitor Who is Coming and Going

With access control systems, you can have a full report of every door that opens for all areas throughout your building. You can check on who is accessing certain parts of the building and when they do it. If there is ever a dispute about something, you can easily pull up this information to help figure out what happened. You can also use the system to track employee’s worktime.

5) Remote Control

Secur-Tek systems make it possible for you to control the locks in your buildings using a smart device (i.e. tablet, phone, etc.). With this type of system in place, you can easily let a trusted individual in without having to meet them on location, or lockdown the buildings if an emergency occurs. This technology also allows you to add or remove credentials as needed.

 If you have responsibility for a structure and the safety of the people and items it contains, installing an access control system will be beneficial.

If you have further questions or are interested in having an access control system installed, please contact us at 919-387-1800 or check out our Access Control Webpage.

We will work with you to customize your access control system, so it is the most effective and cost-efficient for your unique structure and situation.

7 Safety Tips for Seniors

Family, home, and property are important to everyone. As we get older, sometimes it becomes difficult to feel confident that we can protect what’s dear to us. Whether due to mobility, health or a feeling of vulnerability, Senior Citizens can be safer and feel more confident to handle unforeseen circumstances if they follow these seven tips

Always check your home for signs of intrusion, before entering. If you notice your bushes/flowers trampled around the windows, a broken window, open door, or your garage door up – back away and call the police, let them check out the premises before you enter. They will be happy to help.

Furnish your home with doors constructed of metal or solid wood with a peephole so you can see out. Also, ensure your doors have deadbolts and protective security glass with privacy film if there is decorative glass near the door.

Add security film to large windows: Plexiglass or security film can make it more difficult for burglars to break-in. They are safer and often deter burglars from using windows as an entry point.

Never answer the door if you can’t see who is there. Never feel pressured to answer the door as they will leave a message or call if it is important. And always ask to see an ID BEFORE opening the door. For burglaries, nothing is easier than pushing right through an open door. Simply opening your door a crack to speak to a person on the other side may be all they need to get in and ransack your home and injure those inside.

Always keep a phone close by and make sure you have 911 on speed dial. When driving up to your home, answering the door, in the bathroom or moving from room to room, always have a phone nearby. If you hear a noise or feel threatened, stay put and immediately call 911 – speak loudly so potential intruders can hear you calling for help.

Leave valuable items out of sight. Never leave items such as laptops, tablets, purse/wallet, jewelry, or checkbooks where they can be easily seen from a window or door. Put them out of sight when answering the door. Keep them in a closet safe or fireproof lockbox when you are not using them. 

Additionally – consider an automated home security system customized for your needs. It is not expensive and can save your life, or at minimum ease your mind and keep you connected. You’ll want to choose the features that fit your situation. Here are some helpful options to consider:

  • Alert necklace or bracelet: In an emergency, your phone or alarm keypad may be too far away to reach safely and quickly. Using an alert necklace or bracelet, you can call for help without moving from where you are.
  • Medical alert:  Seniors can get help right away using an alert necklace or bracelet if they fall or have another serious medical incident rather than waiting to be found or struggling to reach a phone.
  • Automation and sensors: Getting an automated system means you can program the thermostat settings, lights and door locks on a timed schedule, relieving seniors from having to remember or move around the home multiple times a day to do these routine tasks. 
  • With remote access, active Seniors can check on their property (for example, to check if they remembered to close the garage door) or get alerts when something goes awry.
  • A smart video doorbell camera allows you to see, hear, and speak to the visitor at your door. Your exposure is minimized because you can have a conversation remotely without opening the door. Request the individual leave the package or information and after they leave at your convenience you can retrieve it.

Remote automation can also be set-up so caregivers, family members or security/medical personnel can monitor the activities and safety of Seniors at home. For example, a sensor on the medicine cabinet or a camera in the kitchen could be an unobtrusive way for the caregiver to remotely monitor key  activities.

 

At Secur-Tek, we take the time to understand your needs and help you design the system that is right for you. We also take the time to show you how it works until you are comfortable and confident in how it operates.

Thank you for reading these tips. If you are a Senior Citizen or are caring for elderly parents or relatives, please give us a call at (919)387-1800 so we can discuss how we can help!

Security & Home Automation