Five easy ways you can avoid false burglar alarms

 burglar alarms

Here’s a fact that drives home security companies and first responders crazy: According to data from the Urban Institute, between 90 and 99 percent of alarm calls end up being false alarms. 

That’s a massive waste of resources, and a huge annoyance for everyone. 

Sometimes, a false alarm can’t be avoided. It could be an out-of-town guest who doesn’t know how to use the system, or a first-time housekeeper who enters the home but doesn’t know the alarm code.

But more often that not, it’s easy to avoid false alarms for your home security system, especially if you have professional alarm monitoring. All it takes a little effort and some common sense.

Here are five easy ways to reduce or eliminate false alarms – along with potential fines and penalties that often are imposed by local authorities for repeat offenders.

Purchase from a reputable home security company

Your protection is only as good as your system. Equipment failure is one of the most common causes of false alarms. It can be as simple – and as frustrating – as cheaply made equipment that doesn’t function correctly.

When you shop for a system, stick to brands and security companies that you know and trust. Ask questions about the equipment you’re buying; anything made by a well-known manufacturer is likely to perform well during an emergency, and help avoid false alarms. Anything by an unknown brand … not so much.

Make sure your home security system is installed correctly

Self-installation of a top-rated home security system is usually simple. You don’t have to be a techie to protect your home with a system that’s easy to install and easy to use.

But DIY aficionados should be sure to follow installation instructions to the letter. Many false alarms are caused by equipment that hasn’t been installed properly – for example, a motion detector that sits too close to blinds that flutter when they get a breeze from a ceiling fan.

The good news is, most wireless home security systems allow you to easily relocate a device that’s triggering false alarms. But proper installation can help avoid the issue from the beginning.

“That’s why homeowners often choose professional installation instead of installing a home security system on their own,” said Chris Johnson, Chief Strategy Officer at Brinks Home Security, one of the nation’s leading home security providers. “DIY installation has its advantages, but a well-trained professional understands the best placement for sensors, detectors, and cameras.”

Everyone should know how it works

The majority of false alarms are caused by user error. The first step in avoiding that pitfall is to make sure that family members understand:

  • How to correctly arm and disarm the system, whether it’s through the panel or through the system’s mobile app.
  • How to use the app to declare or confirm a false alarm and eliminate the need for response.
  • How to quickly cancel an alarm, including any keycodes and passwords that may be necessary.

If you’ve got professional alarm system monitoring, disarm the system and wait for the alarm response center to contact you. Knowing the correct password will help them confirm a false alarm. 

Deal directly with your alarm monitoring center; don’t try to contact 911 or anyone else. The best home security alarm monitoring companies will know exactly what to do.

Pet-proof your home security system

With a traditional motion detector, a sensor can be tripped when your pet enters the coverage area, causing a false alarm. Fortunately, the top-rated home security companies all offer motion detectors that are pet-immune. 

But remember that size matters: Make sure that any motion detector can adequately ignore the specific size of your pet. Different detectors have different size tolerances, whether it’s 40 lbs. or 80 lbs. Select the right motion detector for your pet, and check off another box in your false-alarm prevention list.

Keep your system in good shape

If you’re savvy enough to be a long-time believer in home security systems, you probably know that even the best equipment eventually wears out. If an old sensor turns out to be a problem, don’t wait to replace it. The new equipment is also likely to be more advanced and versatile.

With that in mind, here are three more tips:

  • Keep your equipment – as well as the area around it – clean and dust-free.
  • Think about any potential objects that might trigger your alarm, such as birthday streamers or Valentine’s Day balloons.
  • Test your system at least once a month. This isn’t so much about false alarms as it is about making sure your system is giving you the best protection.

Don’t quit using your home security system

When you’re faced with a sudden rash of false alarms, it’s tempting to just stop using your system entirely rather than troubleshooting to figure out the problem.

That’s a mistake. It’s like totally blacking out a dirty window instead of taking a few minutes to give it a good cleaning. That defeats the purpose of having the window.

“Not arming your system isn’t an effective way to eliminate false alarms,” said Johnson, of Brinks Home Security. “We can’t protect a home unless the equipment is working correctly and the system is allowed to do its job.”

If you have trouble locating the source of the false alarms, he added, enlist the help of a home security professional. They have experience that allows them to pinpoint the problem, and they can suggest other ways to optimize your system. 

“It’s always important to reduce or eliminate false alarms,” Johnson said. “But that’s just part of an effective home security strategy. When you have a quality system that’s well maintained, and everybody knows how to use it correctly, it provides the best protection for your home and family.”

 

Bio:

Robert Ogle has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years, with extensive experience as a journalist and freelance contributor. Robert focuses on home security, smart-home technology trends, and the impact of disruptive innovation on U.S. industries. He currently serves as Senior Copywriter at Brinks Home Security, a leading home security systems company. Connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/robertogle/.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The lost ritual of family dinner and how to rediscover it

family dinner

As we hurtle through 2019 it’s easy to forget where we came from, and how far we have come. From nomads living in the savage darkness of prehistory to present day, where our cities grow millions strong. The way we live and communicate has evolved quickly and dramatically. The idea of family is now malleable, your friends are your family and you are free to make a new family with whomever you want and however you want.

Rapid social change has been welcomed by most and despised by some, but there is something that hasn’t changed since the dawn of man. Our love of food. More specifically, or love of sharing food with others.

The shared meal is a cornerstone of our species. It brings us together, however fleetingly, and as we share food; we share ourselves. Some meals become ritual, like the family dinner, where every night the family has a chance to be together as one and learn about each other’s lives.

Sadly though, as the frenetic pace of modern life continues, some of our rituals disappear. The sit-down family dinner seems almost like an antique but is as important now as it ever was to communicate with your family, whoever or whatever that means to you.

Bring it to the surface

A clean and sturdy surface for eating is paramount to reclaiming the ritual of family dinner. You don’t need much, just a family (the hardest part!) and a space to eat. Your surface will need adequate size and strength…but where to find such a coveted item? Shockingly, a dining room table ticks all these boxes.

Obviously, the size of your family dictates the size of dining table needed. If your family consists of you, your mysterious house mate and his pet mouse, a small dining table would be perfect. Larger families may even consider going the entire dining room set.

How’s it made?

To be sure the ritual becomes a ritual you will need to repeat it. By establishing a set time for meals, you reinforce the idea that a significant group event is taking place. The food shared is almost irrelevant, if the family is brought together and communicating the ritual is complete. Making all members of the family feel comfortable and relaxed is important, again, the choice of dining table can have a huge impact on comfort levels.

When choosing a dining table, take into consideration the seating arrangement and materials used for construction. Rectangle shaped dining tables such as this dining table from Domayne provide a classic shape with enough room to house a large family. Round tables are another less popular option, they provide no more seating than a rectangular table whilst taking up more floorspace. A round table can make the family feel equal (no big boss taking up the head of the table) and can be a perfect way to serve food in a fun way (lazy Susanne anyone?)

Incentives

Once the dining table has been found and placed in an ideal location (watch for corridors of movement, and as a rule leave about half a meter of space between chairs and walls.) The second step is to prepare the food. As stated previously, the food you share is almost irrelevant, but GOOD food will keep things fresh and ensure everyone wants to be there. Foods that are fun to share are a good way to add some spice to family dinner.

As we soar into the future, we must be grateful for the things we have and the people we love. In 2019 family means different things to different folk, but we must cherish our families and make a conscious effort to come together. Hopefully, the lost ritual of family dinner will be making a comeback.

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Tips And Tricks For Making The Most Of A Professional Photography Session

family photoshoot

How to make sure your family photoshoot is a success…

Taking the time to attend a photoshoot with all the family is something that is hugely important for capturing important milestones and special memories in a professional way.

However, it is generally not a cheap activity. Therefore, when taking your family along for some professional photography, you will naturally want it to go as smoothly as possible.

Although to some extent the success of your professional photography session is out of your hands, there are certain tips and tricks that can help to avoid there being any confusion and/or tantrums on the day!

Be well rested

Going for some professional photography is generally a positive thing to do and is something that the whole family will no doubt enjoy doing. Despite this, photoshoot sessions can last for a while and be demanding emotionally, especially for little ones.

It’s, therefore, a good idea to make sure all the family has an early night and is well rested before the session. The more that can be done to minimise the risk of there being any squabbles and tears, the better!

Generally though, the professional photography experience is such a new and exciting one, that your children probably won’t even think about how tired they are.

As well as having plenty of sleep the night before your professional photography, make sure that everyone is fed before heading to the studio. Family photoshoots tend to be fast-paced and dynamic, so you don’t want any hungry kiddies complaining halfway through!

Clothing

Hopefully, your photographer will get in touch beforehand with some general advice about what to expect and what to wear. If not though, your best bet is to dress yourself and your family in neutral colours. There is no need for everyone to match as that can make the images appear unnatural and staged, but it’s a good idea to ensure that no one is wearing particularly bright or clashing colours.

The type of clothing you wear will depend on the photographers’ style and vibe. Nousha are a London-based family and child photography company who capture all their photos in black and white. Their unique approach to professional family photoshoots and the way that they simply encourage families to be themselves and show their character means that every image is truly special and treasurable.

Parents keep your noses out

Whilst it might be tempting as a parent to stand behind the camera and egg your children on to smile and look happy… it most likely won’t help.

Professional photographers will have plenty of experience in making children smile and/or laugh to capture natural happy moments, rather than forced cheesy grins.

Children are much more likely to listen to what a stranger (the photographer) has to say than their parents, who tell them what to do on a daily basis.

Don’t hold back

This one may go without saying, but be prepared to let any inhibitions go and be yourself during a professional photography session. If you don’t, it will show in the images and you won’t be getting what you’ve paid for!

Photographers will expect you to be ready to let loose, have fun and take their suggestions on board to enable some wonderful and unique images to be captured.

On the other hand, don’t be afraid to tell your photographer what your family is comfortable with and/or what activities your children enjoy doing. This way, the professionals can tailor your photoshoot accordingly to make sure that it is a positive and enjoyable experience for all.

Looking After Your Health: A Guide

Caring for your health shouldn’t be seen as a difficult endeavor. Although you will have to re-evaluate your current habits, adopting healthier alternatives should always be seen as the best choice for boosting your quality of life.

There are a number of habits that, once adopted, all stand to improve your mental and physical wellbeing. These include sleeping more, meditating, eating nutritious meals, exercising every day, having fun and visiting the doctor for check-ups and treatments.

Looking After Your Health

The older you become, the harder it is to change your routines and stop the bad habits that you have been pursuing up until this point.

Thus, the following methods are guaranteed to get your health on track and let you live your best possible life.

Sleeping more

How many hours of sleep do you currently get a night? The average adult requires 7-9 in order to properly function and to not feel irritable or tired the following day. You can easily adopt this habit by turning off electronics before you go to bed and making a point of sleeping and waking up at the same time every night, regardless of what day of the week it is.

Meditating

There are countless benefits of meditation, especially when it comes to your mental health. It is a technique used by people in order to de-stress and relax, and thus focus on nothing outside of the present moment.

That being said, practice makes perfect with this activity.

Eating nutritious meals

Eating balanced meals is key to your overall health. The next time you go grocery shopping, avoid the aisles that are filled with overly processed food and other types of junk food. Instead, make a habit of incorporating vitamin-rich food into your diet that will provide you with the energy you need to perform your daily tasks.

Exercising everyday

Exercise releases endorphins (the feel-good chemical) in the brain, and it also improves your physical wellbeing. Whether you choose to exercise in your living room, go for evening runs, engage in an organized sport, visit the gym or engage in another activity, you are not without your options for what you can do.

In order to achieve optimal results, you should make a habit of working out every single day, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Have fun in your free time

In order to improve your mental health, don’t forget about the importance of simply having fun. This could be engaging in a hobby or activity that you enjoy, spending quality time with loved ones, or anything else that you enjoy for that matter.

It is a guaranteed method for getting rid of the stress that is clouding your mind.

Visiting the doctor and treatments

Visiting the doctor is necessary regardless of your age. Of course, it would be worthwhile to get checkups more regularly the older you become, but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect them at any point in time. After all, how else will you get the treatment that you need?

The chances are that you don’t know what the best steps to follow are in order to get your health back on track. For instance, do you know what to do if you are facing a hormonal imbalance? You may not even know that you have a problem with the human growth hormone until you one day decide to take a test. This can affect the health of your entire body, and you need dedicated professionals who can assist you in an HGH therapy clinic in order to get better.

You will need medical assistance no matter what health problem you are facing.

You don’t need to take this article’s word for it, but rather, you can follow these steps yourself and notice the difference they will make to both your health and happiness. The chances are that you will not get rid of any bad habits overnight, but with time, determination, and by adopting the healthier alternatives, you will get there in no time.

Image source: pixabay

Ways of Dealing with Chronic Pain

Pain is something most people experience in different degrees at some point in life. However, when it becomes persistent, it can start to take a toll mentally as well as physically. It can be frustrating when you have to deal with pain, and you don’t understand where it comes from or what’s triggering it. The perpetuating pain can also keep you from living the life you want if it becomes overwhelming. For this reason, getting to the root cause of the pain is imperative if you’re going to find some sort of relief. This article will explore a few practical ways of dealing with chronic pain.

dealing with chronic pain

Pain Killers

One of the most common ways of dealing with chronic pain is to take painkillers. It is a temporary relief to the problem, and for many, a way to help them try and function normally on a daily basis. To take opioids safely, work closely with your doctor and only take the amount that you’re prescribed. It’s also advisable that you try not to take them with drugs, alcohol, or sleep aids simultaneously. There are several other alternatives to managing chronic pain as will be mentioned below.

Look for Natural Remedies

Everyone’s approach to dealing with chronic pain is different. While some would prefer to stick with prescription drugs, others prefer more natural remedies.

  1. Exercise: A good aerobic workout can improve most pain conditions. When you work out, your body is said to produce its own painkillers, so consider doing this as often as you can.
  2. Heat therapy: At times, heat is an excellent remedy for chronic pain, so try using hot Epsom salt baths as it could help change the nervous input from the body to the brain.
  3. Meditation: Although you feel pain physically, meditation may be able to help quell the sensation. Being able to divert your focus on anything but the pain could help minimize it.
  4. Eat remedial foods: Different types of food can often help different pain challenges. While celery is said to be great for backaches, chilies are recommended for joint pain.

See a Professional

When experiencing chronic pain, it’s vital that you don’t ignore it, but instead seek professional advice. They should be able to give you an examination and, based on their expertise, tell you the source of the pain. However, if the pain persists and you aren’t satisfied with their diagnosis, go back for a second opinion. If you later find that the cause of your chronic pain is a rare condition like cauda equina and it was ignored, consider getting more information about cauda equina claims.

Physical Therapy

Another option for dealing with chronic pain would be physical therapy. Pain experts often recommend a short course as it could help relieve pain and make daily tasks a lot easier. Physiotherapists can also advise you on the right kind of exercise to do when working out on your own to help relieve the pain. It may take a few sessions before you feel the benefits, but hopefully, you do eventually.

Chronic pain isn’t easy to manage, but the critical thing to do is not allow it to take over your life. Finding coping mechanisms that work for you should help you on your journey to living and feeling better.

 

Image source: pixabay