Entries by Brent Mele

The Many Faces of Video Doorbell Owners

If you are like most of us, you can’t even remember what life was like before your video doorbell. It seems like such a simple solution but oh, how it has changed things. And that gets you to thinking– how do other people use their video doorbell?

Doorbells Made for the Way We Live

When video doorbells were first available, early adopters were thinking, “Finally, a doorbell made for the way real people live!” Video doorbells are smart doorbells equipped with 2-way communication capacity, video camera, and motion sensor. Both nearby motion and someone ringing the bell can trigger an alert sent to a smart device. From the device, you can open the app and communicate with the person at the door, whether you are in the home or elsewhere. The genius device solves a lot of problems.

No More Shhh-ers or Hiders

Now when a salesperson comes to the door, there is no need to run and hide and pretend like you are not home. Simply answer the door from the phone with a polite “No, thank you” and move on.

Never Pause Movie Night

There is only one reason to put the pause on movie night and that is for pizza delivery! Now you can know for sure that the one at the door is the bearer of cheesy goodness before you open the door.

Online Shopper’s Delight

If you are constantly on the lookout for that next package or worried that what you got with Amazon Prime will not arrive at a prime time– like when you are home, then you know how great it is to be able to see it safe and sound on your doorstep.

Why Tell Anyone You Aren’t Home?

When you have a video doorbell, you never have to give away the fact that you are not home. Now any dishonest person trying to figure out if the home is empty or not will not have a clue and move on to another target.

Don’t Disrupt the Chill

You just sat down to relax and now there is someone at the door. With a video doorbell, you can answer from the comfort of your easy chair with a ”Sorry, I am seriously deep into a project and can’t come to the door right now.”

Mute Mode

Traditional doorbells can be a real problem if you sleep during the daylight hours. Just when you finally drift off… there it is, and you never quite get to sleep soundly again. Thank goodness video doorbells have a mute mode so you can block out the rest of the world.

Today, home security and home automation are made for the way real people live, and All Action Alarm has been helping Long Island residents customize solutions since 1980.

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Best Ways to Prevent Break-Ins

We all want to believe that our neighborhood is safe and that we’d never be the victim of a break-in. The sad and frightening fact is that over two million home burglaries are reported every year in the United States. Of those, only about 13% are prosecuted due to lack of evidence and witnesses. That’s pretty startling.

Burglars Take More Than Stuff

When a burglary happens, the perpetrator takes far more than your belongings. They violate your privacy, cross personal boundaries, and rob your sense of security and safety. All of these things take a huge emotional toll that can last a lifetime. And the effects of burglary do not stop with the immediate victims. When one home is burglarized, there is an increased chance of another home or homes in the neighborhood being burglarized. It also encourages a rise in other crimes in the neighborhood.

Home Security Matters

The good news about burglary is that there are things you can do to dramatically reduce your chances of being burglarized—and the benefits can extend into your neighborhood. Here are just a few of the many ways you can improve your safety and security using home security and home automation.

  • Make it obvious that you are serious about security. Nearly 60% of burglars say they will avoid a home that has security systems in place.
  • Use home automation to simulate presence in the home. Most burglars will avoid a home that is occupied.
  • Install home security cameras both inside and out. Use remote viewing to check on the property.
  • Use glass break and motion sensors on windows.
  • Use motion sensors throughout the home.
  • Install smart locks on your door instead of traditional lock and key.
  • Use codes to let in service providers instead of providing or hiding keys.
  • Get a smart garage door.
  • Install a video doorbell and use it to answer the door when you are not home so you do not disclose your absence.
  • Check video doorbell footage when activity trips the motion sensor. Take a snapshot or video clip of all suspicious activity.
  • Use motion sensor lighting around the perimeter of the property.
  • Use home automation to provide alerts if doors are left unlocked, and either lock them remotely or have them lock automatically if you leave the area.

Having a home security system and using home automation can greatly reduce your chances of being burglarized. It can also reduce the chances of y00ur neighbors being burglarized as well. When a neighborhood has a number of homes with home security systems, burglars tend to avoid those neighborhoods because of a greatly increased chance of being caught on tape.

All Action Alarm is a family owned business that has been caring for Long Island families since 1980. Our 5 diamond central monitoring station keeps watch 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Do I Need Home Security in a Nice Neighborhood?

One of the reasons we all want to live in a nice neighborhood is because nicer neighborhoods are perceived as being safer. Sometimes they are. But no neighborhood is completely immune to crime. Break-ins and other devastating crimes can happen to anyone, in any neighborhood and there are some good reasons why home security is an asset in crime prevention.

Home Security and Automation Technologies Deters Crime

No criminal wants to get caught and having visible signs of security such as video surveillance cameras makes your home less attractive as a target for crime, whether it is burglary, vandalism, robbery, home invasion, or worse.

Home Automation and Security Helps Manage Busy Households

Whether you have a large family or are a busy student or entrepreneur, life can get so busy that security details can fall through the cracks. You might forget to close the garage door, lock the front door, close windows or turn off appliances. All of those things can lead to danger and tragedy, but all of them can be addressed using home security and automation.

Keep an Eye on the Kids

Security cameras are not just to protect your home and valuables while you are away, or keep out the bad guys. They are also helpful in helping keep an eye on the kids even if they are just in another room, or playing in the backyard. Motion sensors can also help keep the kids out of dangerous areas such as cleaning cabinets or outdoor storage sheds.

Home Security Protects from Other Threats, Too

Another reason it is important to have home security even if you live in a safe neighborhood is that every home is susceptible to other threats, like leaks, smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that can poison and incapacitate individuals before they even know something is wrong. Home security systems can monitor for such dangers and if monitored, initiate emergency services even if the occupants are unable to call for help.

Allows You to Control and Monitor Your Home

Home security and automation have become so sophisticated that you can control and monitor your home from anywhere in the world using your smart phone or another smart device. Whether you want to let in an unexpected guest, check on the pets, or view a video of suspicious activity, you can do it all using home automation and your home security app.

Improved Efficiency

Home security and automation offer a ton of benefits in helping improve energy efficiency with tools such as smart thermostats and smart lighting. But these smart home tools can also help in personal productivity, taking chores off the table and aiding in keeping everything on track and on schedule.

There are many reasons to invest in home security and home automation even if you live in a safe neighborhood. All Action Alarm has been helping resident realize home protection and efficiency needs since 1980 with a dedication to outstanding service.

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How to Update an Older Home to Meet Modern Needs

It is hard to beat the charm of older homes, and in many cases, the use of quality materials and craftsmanship. The unfortunate part about older homes is that they are not always the best fit for modern living. The spaces are used differently and differently proportioned, they may not be as energy efficient, or have any of the high-tech features you’d like. The good news is that it is far easier to make an older home modernly perfect with very little effort.

Improving the Layout

If you are a fan of an open floor plan, chances are good you’ll be knocking out some walls in an older home. Most typically, new owners to older homes will take down the walls that block the view from the kitchen to the dining and living rooms to give the home a more open and spacious feel.

Add Rooms

In most old homes, bedrooms were fewer but larger and have fewer bathrooms than a modern home. In some cases, adding actual square footage to add bedrooms and bathrooms is a great option. Another may be to reconfigure the space to accommodate an additional room and bathroom.

Improve Energy Efficiency

Older homes typically lack in energy efficiency because they have older HVAC systems, lack today’s better insulation, have older windows and doors that are not sealed, and older energy draining appliances. These problems are easy to fix by adding spray foam insulation to the walls and replacing doors, windows, and appliances. Once the space is upgraded, you can save even more by using home automation tools like a smart thermostat, smart lighting, and smart appliances to keep energy use (and your bills) down to a minimum.

Add Modern Conveniences and Safety Features

Once your home is configured just how you’d like, it is time to finalize layers of safety and convenience with home security and automation. Home automation and security features can give a home with yesteryear’s charm some modern shine. Secure your home with a smart garage door and smart locks and secure windows with glass break and motion sensors. Consider using smart lighting and smart security cameras both indoors and out. Use geofencing to have your retro castle treat you like royalty and respond to your proximity, turning off or on lighting, electronics, and appliances or locking or unlocking doors. Now you can say you are truly, at home.

All Action Alarm has been making sure Long Island residents feel safe at home since 1980.

Back-to-School Internet Safety Tips for Families

For students, the internet is a great tool for connecting with friends, researching, and doing homework. It can also be a dangerous place, filled with serious risks such as online predators, cyber bullies, and internet scams. Thankfully, with a little knowledge and precautions, you and your children can stay safe on the internet.
If you have children or teens in the home and using the internet, the safety guidelines you put in place will positively impact their safety as well as their online safety. Here are some important tips for internet safety.

Parents Lead the Way in Internet Safety

To keep kids safe online, you must be involved and take an active role in how the computer and other internet devices are used in your home and family. Consider these tips just for parents.

  • Keep computer and internet device usage in the open and in communal areas such as the living room.
  • Install computer safety programs that restrict usage and filter websites.
  • Set up alerts if usage goes beyond certain set boundaries.
  • Take all incidents of bullying seriously and report it to the authorities.
  • Always report suspicious activity or threats of self-harm.
  • Have regular talks with your kids and ask the hard questions about what they are doing on the internet.
  • Set and enforce internet safety rules.

Important Internet Safety Tips for Children and Teens

When used safely the internet provides a lot of value. The problem is, many kids just do not realize that what they do could put them in serious danger. Consider implementing these rules.

  • Do not give out any personal information about your name, birthdate, current or past locations, or the school you attend.
  • Do not use personal information such as names or birth date as part of your screen name.
  • Use online screen names that do not identify you as male or female.
  • Choose complex passwords and never share them.
  • Do not send or share photos of yourself, your family or friends without checking with your parents first.
  • Before sharing pictures, make sure there is no identifying information in the background.
  • No matter how close you become online with someone, never agree to meet in person.
  • Talk to your parents if an online friend suggests meeting in person.
  • If something about the person or conversation does not feel right, tell your parents immediately. Trust your instincts.
  • Tell your parents about inappropriate or threatening messages.
  • Never download anything without permission.
  • Never shop online without permission.
  • Do not engage in online fights.
  • Never send messages that could be considered mean-spirited or threatening.
  • Never use the internet to make anyone feel sad or scared or to encourage others to engage in bullying.
  • Report bullying to your parents immediately.

All Action Alarm is a family owned business that has been protecting Long Island and New York City homes and businesses since 1980.

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Retire These Vintage Security Practices

As a Long Island home security company, we hear it frequently— a security practice that had been serving a resident well for years (sometimes generations) suddenly failed and now they need something that offers more security. Criminals have gotten increasingly sophisticated and once tried-and-true security measures are now not just ineffective, they can be dangerous. The good news is, home security and automation offers a better alternative.

It’s time to retire these “old-school” security practices:

Keys Under the Doormat

Even today, it’s not uncommon for parents to leave keys under the doormat for their children to use when they get home from school. It may be handy, but it is also dangerous. Having a key hidden under the mat (or above the door, for that matter) is as good as an open door for any burglar or predator.
Instead, use home security smart locks and keyless entry. Your kids can come home and enter the home with a unique code. Not only do you keep the bad guys out, you know your kids made it home safe and sound when the system sends you an alert to your smartphone.

Keys in a Plastic Rock

Okay, maybe the fake rocks have become far more realistic in looks, today there is hardly a thief (or any other person) around who does not recognize them. If you need to give access to friends or family, or are someone that loses their keys frequently, opt out of the fake rock. A burglar would look at it, and think of his good fortune.
A far better option is to use home automation. With home security and home automation features like smart locks and remote mobile apps, you can let in your kids or visitors yourself from wherever you are, even if you are stuck in traffic, all from your smartphone.

Leaving the Lights On

Leaving your lights on to come home to a lit house is smart, but don’t expect it to drive off burglars. If you saw a home with a few lights on that never change for an extended period of time and no other signs of life, would you believe someone was likely home? Probably not, and neither would a burglar. Instead of providing security, this practice is more like a beacon for bad guys.

A better way of adding security is to use home automation to fake occupancy. With it, you can have smart lights going off and on at various intervals, as well as the television or other enable electronics go on and off. You can even have appliances turn on to add real life to the home, even if you aren’t.

Take it from an experienced home security company: When it comes to security, “old school” isn’t necessarily best. To upgrade your security practices and integrate home automation into your life, call All Action Alarm. All Action Alarm is a family owned business that has been protecting Long Island since 1980.

Surprising Burglary Tactics You Need to Know

For the criminal, crime is a job—and they are masters of the profession. Those who commit crime are exceptionally creative and use a multitude of subtle tricks and tactics to achieve their goals. Most people are unfamiliar with all but the most common and commonly talked about tricks, and that is why they continue to be successful to the burglar.

Being aware of the tricks and tactics burglars use can help prevent you from becoming a victim, and make your community safer. Here is a rundown of some of the most surprising methods and tricks criminals use.

  • Google maps. With street view, a burglar can gain knowledge of your property, such as the location of doors and windows, as well as whether or not there is sufficient cover to break in.
    They can also use it to gauge neighbor perspective and proximity as well as plan their escape.
  • Calling police. A criminal might also call police from the neighborhood to test response time.
  • They leave flyers on your door. A criminal may leave a flyer on your door to get an idea of the hours the home is occupied based on when it is removed. They may do this several times, on different days, or the same day over several weeks to determine the regularity of your schedule.
  • They check your trash. There is a wealth of information to be found in the garbage, whether it is personal information from bills or clues to recent purchases.
  • They look for signs of pets. Having a pet means you probably make accommodations for them, such as leaving a window open so the cat can enjoy fresh air, or having a dog door. These accommodations usually mean making your home vulnerable.
  • They leave markings. Criminals may also leave markings when casing several homes. The markings may be chalk symbols or litter positioned a certain way to indicate information about the home and its occupants. For example, one symbol may mean the home does not have security, another means it is vacant during the day, or contains target items.
  • They may research you. If they have your name, they may search it to see your estimated earnings and gauge the valuables you own.
  • Once they find your information, they use it to probe. They may call to see if you are home or email to see if they get an automated response when they expect you to be away on vacation.
  • They may use a planned power outage as cover of darkness.

Smart Home Security is Your Best Defense

As a resident, your job is securing the home and having the right home security features shows you are a master of your profession. Smart security features such as motion sensors and alerts, video surveillance, video doorbells, smart locks, motion activated lighting, and video verified alarms, provide the best tools to spot and defend against the criminal’s best tactic. All make the criminal take notice and think twice.

About All Action Alarm

All Action Alarm is a family owned business that has been dedicated to protecting Long Island homes and businesses since 1980. Our 5 diamond central monitoring station keeps watch over your alarm system 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Crisis Averted. 5 Times You Were Glad You Had Smart Home Automation

In the general sense, we are always glad we have smart home security and home automation, It makes  life safer, and a lot more convenient. But have you ever thought about all those individual incidents that could have turned out a lot differently if not for your home automation system? Here are just a few of those heart-stopping moments.

The Kids Forgot The Key But You Are An Hour Away From Home

Your son called to tell you he can’t get into the house because he forgot his key, but you are an hour away. He will probably be safe hanging out in the backyard or at a friend’s house, but you would sure rather know he is safe at home. Smart locks solved the problem twice. He can either use a code to get in, or you can unlock the door remotely.

Did I Turn Off The Curling Iron?

You think you turned off the curling iron, but can’t quite remember. You hope you did, but not knowing is causing you some serious anxiety. If you didn’t, it could mean your home is in cinders in a matter of minutes. Thankfully, you can check the status of that and other problematic appliances on your smart home app and turn it off right from your device.

Are the Kids Behaving

They are old enough to need a little independence, but still need some serious supervision. They can’t get into much trouble in the two hours you are away, right? With home automation you know if the door opens alerting you to a sudden unsanctioned influx of occupancy. Sensors can also tell you if they are into off-limits areas. Still not sure? You can also check the smart camera feed and see what is really going on.

You Didn’t Lock the Door

The morning was rushed and you completely forgot to lock the doors and arm the home security system. With the vast majority of burglars gaining entrance through an unlocked door, you know your home is at risk. It is just one more moment you were glad you had smart home automation because all you had to do was open the smart home app on your phone and lock the doors and arm your system from the palm of your hand.

Mom Ignored the Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Your mom was home when the carbon monoxide detector went off. Since the gas is both colorless and odorless, she thought it was a false alarm. Since you got the alert you could call her and tell her to get out, and since you have 24/7 monitoring, help was on the way to ensure her health.
Yes, having a connected home really makes a difference. All action Alarm is a family owned business that has been protecting Long Island Homes and Businesses since 1980, and we have heard so many stories about how having a connected home has made a difference in our clients  lives. We work hard so you can simply enjoy life.

The Smart Garage Door Is the Gatekeeper and More to Your Home

The moment when you finally get home after a long day and see the garage door open and make way to our personal slice of heaven is one of the best moments of the day. We aren’t thinking about our home security or smart garage door because we just don’t have to— it has been doing its job all day and we already know it.

The Smart Garage Door is Step One in Smart Security

It is easy to forget to close the garage door and leave our home completely vulnerable to burglary and intrusion. Since 70% of us use the garage as the primary entrance into the home, it sees a lot of action. It also provides plenty of room to leave it open and ample opportunity for thieves. This is why keeping the garage door secure is absolutely essential in keeping your home secure. Smart garage doors significantly enhance your security by eliminating the problem of the forgotten open doors and intrusion.

Know Who is Coming and Going

A smart garage door doesn’t just open and close. It provides intel, too. If the kids get home– you know it. If the dog walker comes to get the dogs using a unique code to get in, you know that too. You even know if someone tries to open it using a wrong code, you’ll get an alert letting you know. Then you can check security cameras and head off problems before they occur.

Smart Garage Doors Make Your Home More Responsive

The world is becoming increasingly connected.When your garage is connected to other smart devices and appliances through a central hub, it becomes a trigger for a whole lot of awesomeness. Using geofencing, the garage door detects your proximity and go on, triggers a response that welcomes you home. Lights go on, the temperature adjusts to your exact preference, doors unlock, and appliances turn on ready for your use. When you leave, it does it all in reverse!

Secure Savings, Too

When your garage door is part of a smart home, it helps you do more than secure the property. It also helps secure savings on energy consumption. The responsiveness means it can detect inactivity and proximity so when you leave, or forget to close the door, it initiates a response to close the door, turn off smart lights, electronics, and  connected appliances. It also triggers a response from the smart thermostat to appropriately adjust the temperature. Together, that adds up to real savings.

All Action Alarm is a family owned business that has been protecting Long Island and New York City homes and businesses since 1980.

Smart Home Perks: Health Benefits of Smart Lighting

There are so many things to love about smart home technologies, like the convenience, energy savings and better security. Still, there is a huge benefit that often goes unacknowledged– the health benefits of smart lighting.

Lighting and Wellness

Smart lighting is fun and easy to have installed and integrated into a smart home system, but it can also play a huge role in wellness. The human body needs light. It also needs certain kinds, for certain durations and at certain times. Mess with that, and you mess with a lot of other things in your body. In fact, according to fascinating research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, overexposure to certain kinds of lighting, and exposure at the wrong time can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. It also plays an important role in memory and mental well-being.

We Fail To Factor in Light Exposure

Our bodies rarely get a break from light, it seems, but most of us never even notice. There is always a light on nearby. Fluorescent lighting, our televisions, computer screens, games, mobile devices, and even our phones all emit light. And all that light registers as a lot of noise to our brain and Circadian Rhythm which is responsible for regulating sleep and hormones necessary for good health.  

Top Health Benefits of Smart Lighting

Most people opt into smart lighting for the long-term energy savings they can provide, but having them can, ultimately, be very beneficial to your long-term health, too. Here are the top 6 health benefits of smart lighting.

  1. Reduces Incidents of Injury– getting Injured is a serious thing. For many people, even a few days off can have huge repercussions with finances. The CDC reports over 700,000 hospitalizations each year and 20% occur in low light conditions. Smart lighting helps avoid falls by allowing users to turn on lighting from wherever they are at from their smart phone, and when integrated into a smart home system, motion sensors can detect movement and light the way.
  2. Improved Circadian Rhythm–The Circadian Rhythm is a sensitive physiological process experienced by living things. If the process is disrupted, it causes sleep disruptions which in turn cause additional health problems. Smart lighting and color changing bulbs can help promote alertness with cool colors and promote the production of melatonin with warmer colored light which helps induce sleep.
  3. Better Sleep- Getting proper light, and limiting exposure during the evening hours helps the body get a better quality sleep. A more restful sleep contributes to improved memory and concentration as well as improved mental health.
  4. Induces Cortisol–Waking up to quality light helps your body produce Cortisol which is responsible for mental alertness. Using smart lighting to simulate dawn helps the formation of Cortisol.
  5. Reduction in Health Risks– The wrong kind of lighting at inopportune times works to suppress melatonin. Studies link melatonin suppression with depression, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
  6. Better Mental Health– Lighting has a huge impact on our emotions. Smart lighting is a tool that can be used to help fight depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and anxiety.

About Us

All Action Alarm is a family owned business that has been protecting Long Island and New York homes since 1980.