News & Articles

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.