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Your Guide to Interior Safety and Security

Fire and Crime Prevention

Similar to the number of fires, property crime rates have declined significantly during the past 35 years. Today, firefighters are dispatched to roughly half as many residents as they were in 1977.  Subsequently, civilian injuries due to fire hazards have also declined by 50%.   Of the fatalities that do occur, Seventy-five percent happen in homes without smoke alarms - even though in most U.S. municipalities this is contrary to code.

Since 1986, burglary crimes have also dropped by half, while larceny has only decreased by 1/3. If you leave a bicycle on the front sidewalk and someone steals it, that would be larceny, whereas if you put it inside the gate in your backyard and it’s stolen, that’s burglary. Burglary requires unlawful entry into a residence, whereas larceny does not. This signifies that people aren’t necessarily more ethical (less prone to theft), but its likely that improvements in fire and security systems are contributing factors.  Since crimes are often committed in bulk, the prevention of one crime (unlawful entry) effectively protects against other, more violent crimes.  

 Types of Security Systems and Components

There are more security systems on the market today than ever before.  From traditional hard-wired alarm systems to digital Do-It-Yourself web-based monitoring solutions, any system is better than none at all.   Sometimes just advertising that your home is protected by a window sticker is sufficient to deter criminal activity.

What does it mean when your home is protected?  Alarm systems function when a sensor detects an inappropriate event and signals the system’s control panel, which then contacts your monitoring provider.  All alarm systems come with at least one sensor, which is often a motion detector.  Motion detectors are optimized when they are placed in prime locations near main entrances.  For complete interior security, we recommend conducting a risk assessment that will address all vulnerabilities within the home and on the property.  Risk assessments also determine the ideal number and placements of sensors and detectors, as well as any video surveillance equipment that might be beneficial.

 Property Damage

Even though security systems are an effective deterrent to criminal activities, insurance companies are receiving more home and property damage claims than ever before.  The majority of the claims are due to damage caused by environmental factors, like fire, water and wind damage and power outages.  In fact, residential fires occur every 77 seconds in the United States. Security companies are rising to the challenge by creating a variety of integrated systems to fulfill every security and safety need imaginable.

This being the case, for many consumers, protection is only a secondary benefit. Many people purchase automated security systems that integrate with their electrical devices and entertainment systems simply because it makes their life easier - and they like being in control.

 Automated Systems

Integrated and automated systems save energy by allowing you to control your home appliances remotely while monitoring their levels via the Internet.   Many systems can pay for themselves several times over by what they save on energy costs. On average, 25% of home energy consumption is from lighting. This can be greatly reduced by programming a smart system to turn outdoor lights off at sunrise and intermittently turning lights on inside when the house is unoccupied.

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