Six Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Security Company

Installing and monitoring a security system is an effective way to keep your home, family, property, or business safe. It has been shown statistically that security systems can deter crime, however, the first thing you will want to do is thoroughly check out the Security company you’re thinking of doing business with.  

You can start your “due diligence” by getting answers to these questions:

Is the company you’re considering fully insured? A reputable/reliable security company will have insurance to protect all parties concerned.

Are their installers employees or contractors?  Does the company utilize their own employees, or do they use contracted help? Can they tell you who will be coming out to your home or business to work on your system? If you are having a system installed, the installers will have access to your entire home and its contents, so you want to feel comfortable with that situation. Therefore, you may want to make sure the security company has their own employees and that they go through an extensive background check. Background checks should include a complete criminal history, the sex offender list, and the employee should have multiple references.

Are the company and its employees licensed? In the State of North Carolina, any person, firm, or corporation engaged in an alarm system business needs to be licensed and all service and installation technicians need to be registered.

What is the company’s response time? If you need emergency assistance, or have a question or concern about your security, you shouldn’t have to wait for a response or be delayed in managing it. You want help as soon as possible. Too address this situation, does the company give you a specific contact person and/or is there customer service available 24/7?

How does the company document any security incidents or interactions that require your attention? Be familiar with the company’s policies and practices including logs and written reports. Insurance companies usually require this when you’re working with them on an incident. You should be able to acquire copies of those reports easily and when necessary.

Last but not leastgo over the fine print!  How much will my security system cost? What is the length of the monitoring contract? You will naturally ask these questions but be sure to confirm installation costs vs. product costs, service costs, monitoring fees and any other associated charges. Some companies advertise low-cost package deals but charges are added on during the process. Companies may lock you into long term contracts and you must pay even if you sell your home. Be careful!  

Getting the answers to these questions upfront can save you time, money and more importantly, give you and your family the peace of mind you are looking for.

If you are located here in the Raleigh NC, Apex NC or the Triangle, and looking for help analyzing and determining your security requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Secur-Tek, Inc. is locally owned, and our technicians are employees. We can design and install the right system for your situation in a cost-effective, timely manner.

 

Are You Wasting Money on an Alarm System?

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

According to the National Council for Home Safety:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

4 Reasons to Consider Home Automation

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

Music and Entertainment

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

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

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

Outdoor Living

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Avoid Disaster by Testing Your Home Security System

14260888 - home security alarm monitorYour home security system is armed and keeping your home protected — right? But what if a burglar invades your home while you are on vacation and the alarm goes off, but doesn’t alert police or fire? The loud alarm will scare the burglar into quick departure, but the police will not realize the emergency unless your neighbors call.

Why Test Your Security System

While home security systems and their technology are impressive, anything can happen to an electronic device, especially one that runs 24 hours a day. Lightning and power surges can cause problems. Plus, phone, cable, and Internet service providers are always upgrading their lines and equipment. If you have something replaced or changed, or you see digging in your neighborhood, you might later find your system no longer works.

Some homeowners do not arm their systems each day and may not realize something is wrong. Even if you arm the system, you will not be able to tell if the connection to monitoring services is working. That means you won’t know your system doesn’t work until it’s too late.

How Often to Test

Secur-Tek engineers recommend testing your system each month to make sure everything is in order. In addition, if you have crews working in or around your house, it’s important to test the system before they start and after they are done. Even if your Internet provider is “just replacing your modem,” accidents happen. Newer security systems are programmed to send in a monthly test. If you aren’t sure whether your system does this, ask your Secur-Tek team.

How To Test

To test your home security system, call the central station or the office and ask for a test. They will instruct you to arm the system and open up a door so the alarm goes off. They will then verify the signal was received. The test takes less than 10 minutes.

Other Tips

Security systems provide peace of mind and alert emergency personnel when needed, but only if they work — and only if they are armed. We often hear from clients who forgot to turn on the system because they do not use it frequently. Less frequent use also means more false alarms. Once you install a security system, use it every day to get into the habit. It will seem like part of your routine in no time.

Finally, don’t forget to check the fine print on your security contract. Many security providers with monitoring require a three-year or five-year contract and some automatically renew. Review your contract so you know when it expires and when you need to cancel. Contact your Secur-Tek team with any questions.

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.

The Rundown on Doorbell Cameras

47237659 - close-up of woman pressing the button of a doorbell on a brick wall

Doorbell cameras are growing more popular, popping up in many Triangle neighborhoods. But does that mean it’s the right solution for your home? At Secur-Tek, we’ve received more questions about doorbell cameras in recent weeks, so here is the rundown on how doorbell cameras might aid your home security.

What is a doorbell camera?

A doorbell camera alerts you when someone rings your doorbell. You can speak to visitors through your smartphone from anywhere — just as if you are home. In some cases, the camera will detect motion and send an alert to your phone even if the bell isn’t rung. Some will record video for later use.

Why use a doorbell camera?

Doorbell cameras have many advantages for busy people. Most home burglaries occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when no one is home. Now that Wake County year-round schools are back in session, it’s more likely that your house is sitting empty for at least a few hours each day. These days, we might not know our neighbors well enough to rely on them for monitoring our porches — and that’s if our neighbors are home at all.

Also, about 33 percent of intruders enter a home through the front door. Many would-be burglars will ring a doorbell first, to make sure no one is home. Burglaries are fast, taking between 90 seconds and 12 minutes, according to the FBI. On top of that, burglaries are difficult to solve; only about 13 percent of burglaries are cleared by police.

Pros of a Doorbell Camera

Those burglary statistics are why a doorbell camera adds another layer of security. With one in place you can:

  • Pretend to be home by “answering” the door.
  • Monitor movement on your porch, whether it’s a delivery person or someone suspicious.
  • Monitor housekeepers entering your home or get an alert when your child returns home from school.
  • Lock and unlock the door remotely.

With some models, you can record video footage of someone if he/she enters your home, making it easier to identify suspects.

How to Choose a Doorbell Camera

Not all doorbell cameras are created equal. Like so many things, the type you buy depends on what you need and how much you are willing to spend. Some things to note as you shop:

  • Video Quality – is it HD and how clear is the image?
  • Mounting Hardware – Some consumers have complained about mounting systems for some of the less expensive models. They have been known to break during the installation process. Be sure yours comes with a solid mounting system.
  • Fit – Will it work for your doorframe?
  • Wires – Hardwired or wireless?
  • Night Vision – Some doorbell cameras offer the ability to record night video.
  • On-Demand – Some cameras let you check the video whenever you want, while others only show you video when movement is detected.
  • Phone Compatibility – Some versions don’t work with all mobile carriers and devices. Make sure yours works with what you have.
  • Contracts – Some of the popular models come with monitoring contracts and may require someone else to install them.
  • Appearance – They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors.

We sell multiple types of doorbell cameras at Secur-Tek. Talk to us about whether adding one to your home security system is the right move for you.

Security & Home Automation