With how expensive everyday expenses are getting, many people are looking for ways to bring in a little extra cash. Groceries have gone up. Gas has gone up. And kids are wanting to be involved with more and more after-school activities. Because of this, many people are converting their garages, backhouses and basements into income properties.
Most of us have probably heard of the website and app Airbnb, but there are several other websites out there that allow property owners to rent out their extra bedrooms or entire homes to people almost anywhere in the world. It truly is an innovative way to rake in some extra dough without having to buckle down and work a second job. However, people coming in and out of these individual’s rentals can prove to cause a variety of predicaments.
Why Homeowners Should Protect Their Income Properties
While most income properties may not contain all of your personal belongings and your family may not reside in the residence, there are still several benefits to installing a home alarm in your income property. Having a rental, such as an Airbnb, has many benefits. However, protecting the property from renters, who you know nothing about and who are coming and going week after week, is vital if you want to make having an income property worthwhile.
Benefits of Having Surveillance Cameras
Benefits of Having Home Alarms
If you own an Airbnb or any other type of income property, protecting your investment can be one of the smartest things you choose to do for your rental. It will protect your space, your tenants and your family from any issues that may arise in the future. Alarms and cameras have continually proven to be helpful in preventing crimes and also aid in police investigations after a crime has been committed. This is especially important if your income property is an Airbnb due to the number of guests who are staying at your property every year.
Is It Legal to Have Cameras Inside an Income Property?
We know that this option is not for everyone, but we wanted our readers to know their options. While installing wireless cameras may make guests at your income property feel uncomfortable, it is legal in some states. However, laws vary and there are very specific guidelines that must be followed in order to avoid violations. Below is a brief list of guidelines for property owners:
The location where indoor cameras are placed is essential to avoiding violations. Property owners are free to install cameras in any public outdoor areas, but there are very specific guidelines for indoor cameras. If legal in your state, indoor cameras cannot be placed in private areas. Installing indoor cameras can be risky for property owners and may end up causing more legal issues than intended.
One major factor to remember when installing CCTV cameras, is that all cameras must be visible. Your tenants must also be notified that the cameras are actively in use. We advise adding this piece of information to your renter’s agreement so there are no potential disputes over tenant notification in the future.
It is illegal to record anyone without consent. Laws vary from state to state; however, we suggest installing a camera without an audio recording feature just to be safe. We also recommend looking up state laws before installing an audio recording camera in order to protect yourself against any legal issues.
The main benefits of having indoor security cameras installed would be to ensure that guests do not break house rules, do not steal from you, and to provide proof in the unfortunate case of a legal dispute with renters. However, there are risks if you are considering installing indoor cameras and the decision should be carefully considered and preferably discussed with a lawyer.
Other Ways to Increase Security at an Income Property
In addition to installing cameras and/or home alarms, there are a few things you can do to safeguard your income property from burglars and property damage from existing and future tenants:
Which Systems Should Property Owners Install?
There is no quick and simple answer to this question. While most local security companies have a one-size-fits-all package for residential properties, here at Am-Tec we will personally walk your property with you and give you our professional suggestions. Our knowledgeable employees can go over a variety of options with you and customize your security system based on your budget and security needs.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Most people don’t know about the various options on the market and what each system is capable of. We welcome all questions and concerns. Our employees will gladly go over the different options and explain the pros and cons of any system you are interested in. We aim to provide transparent service and pride ourselves in genuinely caring about our customers’ satisfaction.
There are several options out on the market. You are welcome to browse the web and see what’s out there or you could just give us a call—we can make the process significantly less time consuming and confusing. We also have a few blogs under our “Resources” tab on our website that go over DIY alarms systems and a few other topics that you may find useful.
Whether you know exactly what you are looking for or are not really sure what to do from here, give our office a call at 800-609-2527.
Now that school is in full swing and all of us are beginning to set our regular routines, you probably are starting to recognize a few blinds spots that you didn’t notice while preparing for back to school. All the kids' binders may be well organized, the driving schedules are probably set, the Crockpot dinners are in the freezer and prepped, however, you may not have considered the plan for when your children get home from school.
Whether your kids walk home, take the bus, or are dropped off by someone you trust after school lets out, it’s always a smart idea to think ahead about what happens when they get to the front door. While many people think their children are safe at home during the day, it’s important to know that most burglaries occur during the afternoon before parents return home from work. Having a plan is vital to your peace of mind and also your family’s safety.
Knowing where your children are, and what their daily routines are, is essential to ensuring their complete safety. Listed below are a few tips to make sure they get to and from school without harm every day.
1. Know Your Children's Route
Planning the most direct path can help your children avoid unnecessary dangers while walking to the bus stop or walking all the way to school. Including your child in this plan will help him or her understand the importance of obeying all traffic laws, why they should not talk to strangers and also why they need to stay on the planned route.
2. Have Your Children Memorize Your Phone Number
While most children have cellphones these days, it is always a good idea to have them memorize close family members’ numbers in case of an emergency. We also recommend teaching them how to call 911 and then explaining to them when 911 should be called versus when a family member should be called.
3. Start a Calendar
Know where everyone is during the day! Draw up a calendar with your kids so the entire family knows where everyone is during the week. You can even make this fun by using stickers or allowing the kids to color on the calendar. Make sure to add all after-school activities and social engagements, as well.
While these little tricks are helpful, it’s vital to inform your children of the dangers of engaging with strangers. Most of us laugh at the commonly-used term “stranger danger,” but we need to remember that all of us were taught to have a healthy fear of people we do not know at some point—this does not come naturally to children who typically tend to trust most adults. We suggest starting up a conversation at dinner tonight about strangers and general safety.
We also recommend going beyond just having a conversation about strangers. Sit your children down and talk about how their natural curiosity could lead them into trouble. Come up with a plan and ask them questions about what they would do if they came home after school to an open front door or broken window. This will help you get a better idea of how your children think and how they may respond in a situation like this one.
After getting a feel for how your kids may respond, talk about where they could go and who they would call if anything ever felt suspicious. Make sure to explain how they should never explore a sketchy situation on their own. Having these conversations with your children and asking them questions is an excellent way to make sure the entire family is on the same page.
Security System Features
If you don't feel comfortable overly emphasizing how dangerous the world we live in is with your children, you can take some of that burden off them by installing a security system. Not only do home alarms keep burglars away and secure your home’s premise, they can also detect fires, gas leaks, floods and other disasters. Monitored systems will even give you a call and dispatch the Police Department and/or Fire Department if necessary.
Another amazing feature some security systems have is notifications. These systems notify you when your children have arrived home. Your kids can punch is a special code that will disarm your system and will immediately send you a notification that they made it inside safely. After they are inside, they can easily rearm the system themselves. You can also install a camera inside the house so you can keep an eye on your kids while you are away. If you see them playing with the stove or doing something they are not supposed to be doing, you can quickly give them a call and resolve the issue.
There are some amazing systems that include these features and a few even have live-answer options that allow you to answer your front door no matter where you are. All of these high-tech features are sure to protect your entire family 24/7.
What Should You Do Next?
Plan a time when your entire family can sit down and talk about after-school safety. Make sure to have some questions ready and allow your kids to answer on their own so you can see what they would do in a given and potentially dangerous situation. After, come up with a plan together that you all feel good about. Plan your daily routine, write down the weekly activities on the family calendar, speak to them about the seriousness of safety and maybe start having them memorize your numbers.
If you want to take things a step further, call us here at Am-Tec Security at 800-609-2527. One of our friendly employees can help you find alarms, doorbells, locks and security cameras. Whether you want something simple, or the works, we have got you covered.
Have you ever been out of the house and then suddenly have an intrusive thought enter your mind about your home? Maybe wondering if your pets are alight? Or worrying if you locked the front door before you rushed out? We have all been there, but most of us typically try to comfort ourselves by continuously repeating thoughts, like “Everything will be fine.” However, burglaries are more common than you may think, and what is actually considered a burglary anyway?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a burglary “is the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft. To classify an offense as a burglary, the use of force to gain entry need not have occurred.”
We all have thoughts that make us worry about our families, pets and our home’s overall security. Unfortunately, we can never be 100 percent certain that a burglary will not happen, according to some recent facts and statistics.
Surprising Facts & Statistics
We would venture to say that most of us assume burglaries occur in the dead of night by a shady character we have never met. However, if you take a peek at some of the collected facts and statistics below, you may be surprised by some of the data we discovered.
1. Most burglaries happen in the middle of the day
We know this may come as a surprise, but a break-in is actually more likely to happen during 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. This is mainly because burglars can walk around housing tracks and apartment complexes without appearing suspicious to residents. We were shocked to learn that only 17 percent of burglaries occur during the dim hours of the night.
2. Most burglaries occur during summer
The number of burglaries during summer rises about 10 percent! We thought about this one, and summer days are longer and it’s possible burglars thought about how the better weather could make for an easier getaway.
3. A burglary happens every 23 seconds
Yes, you read that correctly! Every 23 seconds. According to FBI crime statistics, there are approximately three burglaries every single minute. If you add that up, it’s about 3,757 burglaries in a single day.
4. Burglaries are decreasing in the U.S. due to available alarm systems
We saved the best news for last! Over the last few years, burglaries have dropped almost 40 percent. Most experts agree this is all due to the easy-to-use and affordable alarms systems that are now available to all homeowners and renters.
Could Someone You Know Be a Burglar?
Another shocking fact we found is that burglars can often be people you already know. We are not trying to suggest that all your close friends and family members should not be trusted; however, we do recommend you reconsider who is allowed access to your home. Studies have shown that almost 50 percent of burglaries are completed by acquaintances.
With how busy we all are, we tend to offer our keys to people we hire to do work at our homes in order to make things more convenient. This could be construction workers, house cleaners, piano teachers, dog sitters, etc. Acquaintances who have access to your home are the ones that have been found to be the most likely to target your house while you are away. This also includes neighbors. They know your address, they have probably seen some of your valuables inside and they have the time to plan where to break in and how to make a quick getaway.
What Are Burglars Looking For?
One of the most targeted areas in your home are the bedrooms. We usually picture burglars lugging away large TVs and other bulky electronics from living rooms, but normally they slither up the stairs and head straight for the bedrooms. They scavenge for smaller items of value that can easily fit into their pockets in order to make a break for it as effortlessly as possible.
These items may include jewelry, smaller electronics, weapons, prescription medications, cash, IDs and credits cards. Not exactly what you expected, hu? Most of us leave these items easily accessible, making them vulnerable for mid-day theft.
How to Better Protect Your Home
The first and easiest way to protect your home is to have a security company install a monitored alarm system. This will ensure someone is watching over your loved ones, property and valuables at all times. If they detect anything fishy, the monitoring center will call you up and can dispatch the police if necessary. This is extremely important for families where both parents work. Their children are probably home alone after school and since we know that burglaries mainly occur during the afternoon, it’s important to know that children are home and safe. However, there are a few things you can do regularly to make your home less of a target for burglars.
Dos and Don’ts
The biggest point we want to make though, is to be aware of who knows your schedule and who you let into your home. It’s very easy for a housekeeper, construction worker, neighbor and/or any other acquaintance to make a copy of your key after they have been given access to your home. If multiple acquaintances have access to your home when you are not there or know your daily routine, this can significantly higher your risk for a burglary.
To learn more about how to protect your home from theft, call Am-Tec Security at 800-609-2527.
Having a security system is quickly becoming an essential component to every home. Unfortunately, burglars typically know the amount of valuable electronics most of us have scattered around our houses. We may have a couple iPods, a few TVs, a tablet or two and other smart home devices stored in almost every room. One break in could score a thief thousands of dollars in mere electronics alone. While our electronics are important to us, our families and our beloved pets hold even more value. Protecting them from a potential break in, or even a fire, could mean saving their lives.
Through social media, most of us have witnessed unnerving footage of a break in posted online or read an emotional story shared by a hurting family that expressed their frightening situation—warning readers to protect their homes. Because of this, websites—such as Amazon—are highly trafficked with customers looking for simple and affordable DIY alarm systems they can promptly put together themselves.
Benefits of a Home Alarm System
While we’re not aiming to scare our clients into purchasing the most expensive and extensive system on the market, we do want to point out a few facts that may help them realize the importance of installing a new or up-to-date home security system.
Who Can Benefit From a Security System?
Having home cameras and alarms installed can benefit anyone who owns a home, rents a home, or even rents an apartment. There are several options for individuals who do not own their residences and cannot run wires through their walls.
Investing in a home security system can give you peace of mind and can also prevent you from becoming the person posting an unfortunate situation onto social media, warning readers to better protect their homes and families.
Types of Security Systems
Many of us have heard of these easy-to-use DIY home alarms and home cameras because we see them sold all over the Internet. They appear to be a quick and affordable solution to avoid burglaries and intrusions, but the question is do they really do their job?
The main similarity between the two types of systems is their obvious goal of protecting you and your home. However, there tends to be more differences than similarities when it comes down to the installation process and the daily functions of a DIY kit versus a professionally installed system.
The biggest difference between professionally installed systems and DIY systems, definitely comes down to how both are monitored. While DIY systems normally come with a well-designed self-monitoring app, the simple truth is that your home will only be monitored when you are available to check your phone. Professionally installed home alarms and home cameras are constantly surveyed by monitoring stations at all times. The monitoring station will even go as far as to dispatch the police for you if there is an emergency. This means that whether you are on vacation, catching some z’s, are busy running errands, or are at work, you can trust that your home, family and pets will be protected.
Pros and Cons of a DIY Security System
While we have already briefly touched on how a DIY system’s effectiveness solely relies on your ability to monitor your system on your own, there are a few other pros and cons when comparing them to professionally installed systems.
Pros of a DIY System
Cons of a DIY System
Can You Trust a DIY Security System?
If you want a system that is easy to use and will meet your basic security needs, some options can be a quick solution. However, depending primarily on a DIY security system can be risky. Your home will not be monitored 24/7, and the police will not be dispatched unless you take control of the situation. This can be a daunting thought if your children are home alone or if you are in a dangerous situation and cannot get to a phone.
Another reason DIY systems may not be your best option is because they are not encrypted. For those of our readers who may not realize the seriousness of this issue, let us try to break it down. If a system is not encrypted, the information in that system is easy to hack into. Because DIY systems are normally connected through Wi-Fi, any data stored on your phone—or any other device connected to the Wi-Fi—can be almost effortlessly stolen. This can lead to a completely different set of security and identity theft issues because of the PINs, passwords and private information that may be stored on one or on all of the connected devices.
Even if we were to narrow this pros and cons list down to price alone, there are still a few points to remember. While, DIY systems appear to be extremely affordable, they typically only cover three zones. You may be wondering, “What does that even mean?” Simple, three zones means three points of entry. This could be a front door, a front window and a back door. This leaves all other windows and entry points completely vulnerable. Adding additional security features to cover your home, with a DIY system, could cost several hundreds of dollars and still leave you solely responsible for monitoring your entire system.
What To Do From Here?
Whichever point concerns you most, Am-Tec Security is here to answer any and all your questions. Our employees have proficient knowledge of what’s on the market and will only sell you what you truly need.
Our goal is to ensure that every family is safe. We aim to take the responsibility and burden of keeping your home protected off your shoulders. The only way to truly relax about your family’s safety is to know someone has your back 24 hours a day. Hiring a security company to monitor your home could be the best decision you make for your family this year.
Call Am-Tec Security at 800-609-2527 to speak to a friendly employee in greater detail about the pros and cons of a DIY system and to also learn more about what we have to offer.
Trusting in a new company you have never used before always requires a leap of faith. You may have scrolled through numerous reviews, chatted with your friends about their experiences and even investigated the company’s website before taking the final plunge; However, there is still going to be some level of uncertainty whenever you use a company you have never used before.
When purchasing new products, we all tend to stick to what we recognize. We look for brands we trust or choose companies based on familiar names we may have seen circle through various online adds or TV channels. While this may be a fine option for choosing household products, such as shampoo for your pet or a new computer monitor for your office, we suggest going a different route when choosing something as important as a security system for your home or office.
What to Look for When Choosing a Company
Whether you are looking for a top-of-the-line fire system or have been searching for affordable home alarms, there are a few things you should think about before unintentionally choosing a security company that may prove to fall short of your expectations.
We know this list is a little more detailed than the way you may be used to assessing a company’s dependability, but these four questions will allow you to evaluate a small or large company’s overall helpfulness and dependability before hiring them for your next project.
When looking to install high-tech cameras with CCTV monitoring and other products that will protect your home or business, looking further into a company’s core values can prove to benefit you in the long run if an emergency or situation were to ever occur in the future.
Large Businesses Versus Smaller Businesses
Some may be wondering, “Is it safer and smarter to trust a security company based on their size or popularity?” While popularly can sometimes be an indicator of quality service, it isn’t always.
Larger companies may have the ability to hire more employees and quickly schedule new jobs for home, commercial and small business security installations, but this fact does not ensure that they will provide outstanding service or be able to save you money. This is where our questions mentioned above come into play. Digging a little deeper before hiring a larger security company can save you from a lot of trouble in the long run.
Larger companies, like ADT, normally have several employees readily available for dispatch. While time, popularly and size may seem like an appealing reason to go with ADT, future and current customers should examine the company a little closer to determine if they are truly getting the deal ADT claims they are providing.
Let’s say you are looking to install alarms in your warehouse and need to speak to ADT about pricing, installation and potential maintenance. We would recommend asking yourself the questions we listed above. Try to think if you can determine their vision and identity, is the communication open, are they being transparent with the service you are hiring them for, and have they proven to be stable over the years?
While most of the answers to these questions may be a “yes,” it’s then important to really pay attention to their transparency and communication. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting and for what price before opening your wallet and signing on the dotted line.
Larger security companies offer an array of services. However, smaller security businesses can also provide the same level of service and can even charge less money because their overhead is smaller. Companies, like Amtec Security, value your business—knowing you are an important part of their success as a smaller operating security company. This can truly work in favor of individuals or businesses searching for a trustworthy company that values communicating openly and honestly about potential installations or repairs.
What Smaller Businesses Have to Offer
When comparing a smaller security business to a larger one, such as ADT, there are a few obvious benefits when going with a smaller company, such as Amtec Security, and a few that may be a little more discrete.
If the better customer knowledge and personalized customer care don’t catch your attention, then maybe the dollar signs you would spend with ADT over Amtec Security will.
Lack of transparency is probably one of the biggest red flags when looking for a security company for home, commercial, or small business security installations. This is mainly because the lack of honesty typically will cost you a pretty penny at the conclusion of the job.
Saving Cash Versus Customer Care
When it comes to saving money and quality customer care, why should you have to choose between the two? Going with Amtec Security when installing new residential alarms, or maybe fire systems for your commercial office, can prove be to a smart decision if you are looking for a security company based on your budget and customer care needs.
Amtec Security is small enough to care about each individual customer, yet large enough to handle extensive commercial jobs. A company like ADT, with nearly countless employees, may be large enough to handle a variety of jobs all at once, but their employees typically are given limited information and are unable to provide all the jobsite and pricing details to their customers. This can create a lot of confusion and make the installation or maintenance process more complicated than it needs to be—and who has time for unnecessary complications?
How Does Amtec Security Compete With Companies Like ADT?
When calling to get a quote from ADT, customers are normally surprised by the extremely low prices. Their “free” alarms—or nearly-free options—catch their customers’ attention. However, what ADT won’t tell you is that these systems only include three doors and three windows, and every additional door and window can cost up to $45 each! Which we all know every home and office has more than three measly doors and windows. This makes calling ADT for a quote almost pointless. Once your technician comes to your property, the price of your "affordable" system is sure to skyrocket.
Instead of feeling unsatisfied and robbed by a larger company, many people tend to be happier when choosing smaller businesses that aims to cultivate long-lasting relationships with their customers. Their satisfaction directly affects their success. In contrast to ADT, Amtec Security will customize your quote by going over the details of your property and will even come walk your property with you for free. This level of transparency and honestly is what makes customers reconsider going with larger business with easily recognizable names.
Does Your Security Company Make the Cut?
Choosing a brand of product is a lot simpler than choosing a security company to work with—due to the ongoing service and trust that is involved. Working with a company that has a clear identity, is open with their communication, is transparent with prices and services, and proves to have a stable history, will provide you with a better chance of receiving satisfactory service.
Whether you are currently working with another company that is not providing the level of customer care you were expecting or have been browsing the web for prices, choosing a smaller company like Amtec can make your experience more enjoyable and even more affordable.
If you have questions about all the services Amtec has to offer or want a quote for a specific job, feel free to give us a call today at (800) 609-2527. Allow us to prove why choosing a smaller business may be one of the best decisions for your company’s or family’s security and safety.