Carbon Monoxide in The Home — A Hidden Danger!

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

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

 

What are the potential sources of CO in your home?

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

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

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

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

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

Protecting your Family 24/7 —  Monitored CO detection

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

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

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

Examples include:

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

Quality Monitoring

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

Affiliated Monitoring is certified by the following organizations:

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

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

Pet-Friendly Protection for your Home

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

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

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

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

With Secur-Tek’s Resideo Connect you can:

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Frequently Asked Questions on Home Security Systems

FAQs on Home Security

Do you have questions about home security systems?  We asked our staff to answer some of our customer’s frequently asked questions – check the answers below.  

How often should I test my home security system?  We recommend you test your system once a month.

How do I test my monitored home security system? I don’t want to bother the police. We are glad you asked that!  First, call the 800 number on your sticker and tell the monitoring company to put your system on test, then activate your alarm and call monitoring company back to verify alarm signals were received.   

Who do I call for service on my Secur-Tek system? To set up a service call, please call our office at  919.387.1800. Secur-Tek stands by our products and the same reliable technicians install and service our systems.

Can Secur-Tek upgrade my system?  Yes, but it does depend on the type of system you have. If you have a Honeywell home security system, we can upgrade your system by adding remote monitoring, cameras, and gas, smoke and motion detectors. If you have another type of system, we still may be able to help you, just call for a consultation or contact us.

How many cameras are needed to have a complete home security system?  The number of cameras you may need to safeguard your home depends on your home design. We can add cameras to most security systems and offer a complimentary consultation where we take a look around your home and recommend how many cameras are needed and the locations to install them.

Should I have my home security system monitored?  Having and monitoring a home security system can increase your peace of mind, especially if you travel or have valuable items in your home. For more information, see our blog on monitoring.

How much does monitoring cost?  We offer reliable, low-cost monthly monitoring. Our monitoring starts at $21.95 for standard monitoring and $31.95 for cellular.

Do you require a three-year contract?  No.

How long is the monitoring agreement?  Our monitoring contracts are just for 1 year. We don’t require long-term contracts.

Can I monitor my security system myself?  We don’t recommend it. Our monitoring goes to a company that provides monitoring 24/7 and will contact the police, fire and medical emergency agencies. They are always there to call the authorities.

What type of remote services work with your home security systems?  You can view and run your system from your smartphone or iPad with Honeywell Total Connect Services.  

What types of systems are compatible with Secur-Tek’s low-cost monitoring?  We can monitor many types of systems. To determine if your specific system can be monitored, please call your office.

We hope you found this helpful. If you live in our service area and have further questions, would like an estimate on upgrading or monitoring your security system, please give us a call at  919.387.1800

Secur-Tek, Inc. serves all of Central NC, including the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, Apex, Cary, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Pittsboro, Wake County, Chatham County, Durham County, Orange County, Harnett County.

To Monitor or Not Monitor – That is the Question

 

People often ask: If I have a security system with an alarm, why should I pay to have it monitored? There are many things to consider when determining if you need a security system and if it should be monitored. Taking the time to clarify your security situation and needs is essential for making an informed decision.

These variables should be considered when determining your security needs:

  • Do you have valuables such as jewelry, paintings, or irreplaceable family heirlooms in your home?
  • How about children, seniors or pets that are left alone during the day?
  • Do you travel frequently – for how long – is your workplace more than a 30 minute commute?
  • What are the physical properties of your home – do you have lots of bushes and trees or high visibility?
  • Are you near high traffic areas; do you have police patrolling?
  • Do you have a pool, fireplace or fire pit?

What monitoring does – While keeping burglars or prowlers out of your house and off your property is critical, minimizing loss through quick response time, fire detection, heat sensors, air quality and other features is also a great benefit.

How monitoring actually works – Basically, when your alarm is triggered, it sends a coded signal to the monitoring center. The security company will call your agreed upon pre-set number and ask for the password you have set – if they get no answer or the person doesn’t know the password, the police are immediately contacted. If a fire, flooding or air poisoning is detected the same routine is followed.

So why monitor your home if you have an alarm already installed?

The typical system will have a siren go off for approximately five minutes after it is tripped. If monitored and there is no emergency in progress, the alarm can be cancelled by giving the monitoring station your password. If a burglar or prowler trips the alarm, they usually leave the premise quickly. In many cases, the intruder will then hide and watch to see if there is any activity in the home, or if police/people arrive. If so, they typically will leave quickly to focus their efforts on an easier target — a non-monitored home

Low-voltage smoke detectors connected to your monitored alarm system give quicker response to smoke in your home than a neighbor seeing the flames shooting thru your roof — when it is too late to save your property or maybe someone’s life.

Tip: If you are away and unable to respond to an alarm, it is a good idea to have a relative, trusted neighbor, or friend know the code and meet the emergency responders if the alarm is tripped. They can let the police in and check to make sure nothing is missing; but are not to enter before the authorities arrive for their safety.

While there is a monthly cost to monitor your home or business, only monitored systems have professionals to help respond to emergencies 24/7. Once you assess your lifestyle, property parameters and situation, you may see that monitoring is the right choice for you.

If you have questions or would like to discuss your security system needs, please don’t hesitate to call us!

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.

 

 
 
 

4 Amazing Security System Features You Should be Using

Home security systems are getting better all the time, and not just in keeping your home safe from burglars. Today’s security systems can also monitor many more things about your house, from water leaks to who’s at home.

Here are four features you’ll want to try:

Water Sensors – Remember that time you came home from vacation to find your laundry room flooded? What a mess. Avoid that situation from now on by installing environmental sensors in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and basement. These detectors notify you when floods, leaks and extreme temperatures occur so you can take action and prevent serious wall or floor damage. Leaks also account for 10,000 gallons of water wasted annually — in one household.

Pet Friendly Sensors – People with pets at home often worry about their alarm system going off when Fido jumps onto the couch. While that used to be a problem, today’s motion sensors can be set to detect the difference between an intruder and your furry family member. Animals up to 100 pounds can move around your home without tripping the alarm. Plus, home security systems can help you keep an eye on our four-legged friends, alerting you to smoke, carbon monoxide, or other problems. Systems can even tell you if outdoor gates or kitchen cabinets are open.

Video – Video is becoming very popular and it’s easy to see why: you have eyes on your home 24/7. You can see who is at the door, when your kids get home, and keep an eye on babysitters or other in-home employees. For pet owners, a live video feed gives you the chance to check on Fluffy from your desk or phone. You can even get a text message, email or video alert when your dog walker or pet sitter arrives or if they didn’t show up.

Light Controls – Your home security system offers a way to program lights for different situations, including an off-and-on scenario while you’re away to make the home appear lived in. Forgot to turn off a light when you left? No problem. What’s also fun about this control is the ability to instantly turn off or on indoor and outdoor lights from your office computer or smartphone. You’ll never have to arrive at a dark house again.

Check out many more fantastic features of our home security systems or contact us to learn more about setting up your home automation.

Security & Home Automation