To Key or Not to Key


Keyless Entries have become widely popular in this modern age

They can be an effective and economical means of securing your home. Is a keyless entry right for you?? Here are some of the pros and cons of keyless entry systems to help you determine what best fits your home security needs.

A keyless entry system is an electronic locking device that allows entry by a code or other means rather than a traditional key and lock.

PROS

  • You can program a variety of codes into the same locking mechanism. This allows you to provide different codes to different members of the family or to service workers.
  • Most systems allow you to view when a keyless entry door has been activated and by which code. This can be a sneaky way to know if your teenager is coming in late at night.  There is one master code which I recommend only be for the home owner.
  • You can easily change codes – For an example you can give the handyman a code during a job, but after the job is completed you can deactivate it so that entry will no longer be possible.
  • If you are out of town and have friends staying at your house or if you are renting a house on Airbnb or through another service, the code system is an easy way for visitors to gain entry into the domicile.
  • You will no longer loose keys or have to hide one for an emergency.
  • Many models also offer a remote option – so you can unlock the door for an unexpected guest or before you get out of the car.
  • Models generally have a manual key override if there is a problem with your system – forgotten code or dead battery.

CONS

  • Some keyless systems do not offer a manual method of opening it from the inside. This can be very DANGEROUS in an emergency as guests or disoriented family members may not be able to exit.
  • Just like garage door openers, there are ways to crack the entry codes allowing unauthorized persons access. This however is true of traditional locks as well. Any locksmith or criminal with a little training can pick a padlock.
  • You may forget to change a code after a visitor, etc and could inadvertently be giving access to unknown people.
  • You should always keep your various codes in a secure location.  You should also create a system so that you avoid using a previous code again. A new code should be used every time to prevent old users having unauthorized access.
  • You should change family members codes regularly and not use the same one for extended periods of time. Using the same code can leave imprints on the keypad, allowing a savvy crook the ability to use your code.
  • A Keyless system generally costs 2-3 times that of a standard padlock.
  • You will need to do regular upkeep on the keyless system of changing batteries, but the keys batteries reportedly last for years.

If you have an interesting story about keyless locking systems, please share your experiences in the comments below. 


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Click here to Find out More about Mira O’Connell Story.

Doggie Do’s & Dont’s

Having a dog can be a wonderful addition to a family and increase the feeling of security in a home.  A barking dog can be an effective security measure, by alerting residents to potential intruders. Getting a dog  that could provide real home protection however; has many financial and personal factors that must be considered.

Almost ALL insurance companies will raise premiums if a dog you own bites a person and sometimes another dog, regardless if it is a chihuahua or a rottweiler. You may have civil liability if your dog bites or damages property. It is also difficult to get new homeowners insurance if your dog has bitten someone in the last 3 years. According to HomeownersInsurance.org,  just owning certain breeds could raise your insurance costs. These include:

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Every insurance company varies, so compare quotes and rates to see if your dog’s breed could make a difference in your premium rates.

 

Dogs can be great indicators of unwanted visitors to your home, it is important though to consider all factors of dog ownership when making your decision.

 


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Alarming Issues


Today 30% of homes & apartments have security systems, but many are not used regularly or work to their full capacity!  To make the most of your home alarm system, follow these simple tips:

  1. Set the alarm when you are at home, as well as when you leave
  2. Turn “Chime” function on – it will alert you anytime a door/window is open, even when alarm is not on
  3. Test system monthly
  4. Visually Check sensors and equipment biannually to look for loose components or other mechanical issues
  5. Order free batteries offered to Alarm customers, to ensure you always have replacements on hand for continuous operation
  6. Promptly schedule service appointments for any system malfunctions or issues
  7. Invest in the optional Doorbell Security Camera – A feature worth the extra money – most burglars knock on the front door before entering a residence
  8. Many companies now offer integrated camera and alarm systems for total interior and exterior protection

CALL your Alarm Company today for information on ALL monitoring options available:

 Fire & Smoke
Carbon Monoxide
Water Detection & Temperature
Interior and Exterior Lighting
      Security Cameras
Medical Alert

• Most insurance companies offer discounts for a security system.

• Renters can often install home alarm systems at their own cost.

Check It Out!


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Into the Wild

Whenever you go on an outdoor adventure; whether it be hiking, kayaking, or camping – it is important to take a few measures of precaution to ensure a safe and successful return for everyone.

NEVER travel alone in secluded areas, even those that are near Urban areas. A mile on a broken ankle could be very difficult, and possibly detrimental to your safety. Make sure someone back home knows your route, camping areas, and final destination.

In most National and State recreational areas, there is no cellular coverage so do not rely on technology for navigation or rescue. Make sure you have a printed map, trail guides, a compass, and even consider carrying a rescue mirror.

Establish a contingency plan for emergencies, designate a rallying point in case the group gets separated, and go over the trip route with all participants. When going into a remote or unknown area, you may consider using flagging tape to mark your path as you go so that you may return safely.  You may consider a Satellite Phone and Two Way Radios for back country or long excursions. These items are very affordable to rent and would be crucial in an emergency situation.

With a little planning, visiting the great outdoors can be a wonderful experience.


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Not Mayberry Anymore

The days are gone of the quiet neighborhoods, where everyone leaves their doors open with no worries of crime.

According to the Bureau of Justice, in 40% of burglaries to unoccupied residences, offenders gained access through an unlocked entryway. In almost all home invasions or home robberies; the person gained entry through an unsecure window, door, or was let in by a resident.

One of the simplest and cheapest ways to reduce being a victim of a crime, is to ensure the windows and doors of your home are always LOCKED – when your family is both home and away.

It is also a good idea to periodically check windows and doors that are not used often and that you may presume are locked. Children, guests, or even workers in your home may open doors and windows without  you knowing.
Don’t forget the garage door. Many bicycles and tools go missing from garages everyday when unsuspecting family members inadvertently leave the doors open.  Make it a habit to always lock the the door that leads from the garage to the main house.  This can help prevent  someone from entering your house, even if the garage door is accidently left open or someone is otherwise able to open it.

 


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Mail Holds

12671716_10154067975148944_3250364003612688941_oMail Holds can be an effective way to minimize your exposure to Mail Theft. Theft of Mail is on the rise and also one of the most common ways for Criminals to steal your Identity.

If you have a check or something else valuable coming to you in the Mail, you suspect you have been the victim of Mail Theft, or if you plan to be out of town; you can request a Mail Hold at your house or business for 3 – 30 Days.

ALL mail to the specified address will be held at your local Post Office. You can pick up the mail upon your return OR delivery will resume on the date you preselect on your Request Form.

To place a Hold, pick up a form at your neighborhood Post Office or fill out the online Form.

If you would like to Reduce the amount of Credit Card offers you receive in the Mail or Manage which companies send you advertisements, you can submit a request through the Direct Mail Association.

If you think your Mail has been stolen or tampered with; immediately place a Hold on your mail, install a Locking Mailbox, and complete a Mail Fraud Complaint with the U.S. Post Office.

 


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