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.

Home security matters just as much when you aren’t home as it does when you are. So if your family plans to take a trip for this year’s spring break and you haven’t yet invested in a smart home security system – or if you have made the upgrade to a smart home system, but you aren’t sure how to get the most out of it – then it’s time to consider how such a system can protect your house while you’re away. Let’s address some of the most important ways it can do this.

Remind You to Lock Doors

“Did we remember to lock the garage?” That’s a question you won’t need to ask if you make the most of the alert features on your system. The night before you leave, set an alert on your phone that reminds you to lock up at the right time; that way, you’ll have one less thing to worry about from the road. And if you somehow manage to ignore your alert, you’re still in luck because you can turn on your electronic locks remotely with your smartphone. Electronic locks are an especially great feature of smart home systems for vacationing families.

Help You Check on House Sitters

If someone is staying at the house while you’re away, it’s obviously a person you trust. But what if you have concerns about your pets being fed, walked, or let outside? After all, your house sitter may not be around 24/7. In that case, use your smart home security system to get notified when the person enters the house. If you haven’t received an alert by the time you’re expecting them, you can make the choice to text them a quick request for a pet update. How does your system know when your house sitter is coming and going? It allows you to give them their own code for the keyless entry keypad. It can be activated when you leave for your trip, and deactivated when you return.

Alert You to House Emergencies

Springtime can be notoriously rainy, and even the best-kept home is not immune to the risk of leaks. Likewise, sometimes things just “happen” to plumbing systems – and the worst time for it to happen is when you’re away on vacation. To prevent a minor mishap from becoming a major emergency, flood detection can be programmed into your smart home security system ahead of time. That way, you get a smartphone alert if there’s water on the floor and can call someone to check it out. Remember, you can let them in with a temporary code that you activate when they arrive and deactivate when they leave. There are many ways that remote access to your system is a valuable thing to have when you’re away from home.

To learn about more ways a smart home security system can give your vacationing family peace of mind, contact All Action Alarm. We will be glad to answer your questions.

About All Action Alarm

All Action Alarm is a family owned business that has been protecting Long Island homes and businesses since 1980. Our 5 diamond central monitoring station keeps watch over our customers alarm systems 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When you choose All Action Alarm you get the personal service you expect from a locally owned security company.

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.

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, modern home security and automation offer 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.

About All Action Alarm

Take it from an experienced Long Island 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.

A home under renovation can be a gold mine to potential burglars! It is not just your personal property that burglars are interested in. Renovation sites have construction materials and tools that are very attractive too.

While your home is being renovated, you have contractors and suppliers coming and going, which means your home is frequently unsecured. Is it being exposed to potential theft and vandalism? Even a minor renovation project such as, replacing a roof or adding a backyard patio, can increase your risk of exposure.

There are things you can do to protect your home, the job site, and any materials or tools so that your project does not end up costing you more than the labor itself.

How to Protect Your Home During a Renovation

By taking the proper steps, you can protect your home while it is being renovated – whether you are occupying the home or not. This includes:

  • Securing the Site and Valuable MaterialsLock your home before leaving it or instruct the foreman to lock up the site at the end of the day. Lock up building materials in a shed or use security sensors that will trigger if the materials are moved.
  • Use Video Monitoring Because construction sites have dozens of people coming and going, a traditional security system may not be enough. Instead, consider a video surveillance system. This will help you keep an eye on your property even if you are living off-site. If a theft does occur, you will have video evidence of the event and hopefully, you can help authorities catch the burglar.
  • Let Neighbors Know Discuss with your neighbors letting them know who is authorized to be on your property. Make them aware of the construction company’s name, their uniform, and what days they will be there working. That way, if your neighbor sees someone on a different day or notices unauthorized trespassers, they can notify you or the authorities immediately.

About All Action Alarm

Contact your local Long Island alarm company and security experts for more tips on how you can protect a home renovation site. All Action Alarm offers no obligation consultations. We can come out to your home and recommend the right security products.

Your home security system should make you and your family feel safer and more comfortable, whether at home or on vacation. A wireless home security system can enhance your home’s security and provide convenient security features that other systems do not. Here are some of the reasons that a wireless home security system is the best system for your needs.

Remote Home Monitoring System

A wireless home security system typically consists of a wireless surveillance or security camera system, a wireless home alarm system, and a wireless smoke and fire alarm system. All of these elements of the wireless home security system can be controlled remotely via a computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

This means that you have access to the feed from your home video security system even if you aren’t at home. You can also monitor and control your home alarm system and smoke and fire alarm system with the push of a button.

Operates Even if the Power is Out

A wired home security system relies on your phone line, internet connection, and power grid in order to be operational. A wireless home security system can continue to function even if your phone lines are cut, your internet is down, or your power is out.

They operate on a battery backup system that ensures you and your family will still be safe and protected.

Remote Troubleshooting and Repairs

If your wireless home security system is malfunctioning, a technician can almost always identify and repair the problem remotely. This saves you time, money, and stress, and guarantees that your home security system will be back up and running as quickly as possible.

If you’re looking for the best security system in for your home, come see us today. Our experienced and knowledgeable alarm system technicians can tell you about all of the advantages of a wireless home security system.

While even basic digital cameras provide higher resolution than the images from the standard CCTV systems that are used to identify criminals and terrorists, high definition cameras take it one long stride forward. While old-fashioned surveillance camera systems were based on the transmission and recording of images from 30-50 years ago, it’s technically impossible for the video cable to process high-resolution images. The typical homeowner, however, is no longer stuck with those limitations today.

Where the Technology is Now

Modern digital technologies present new opportunities. There has been a huge emphasis on developing megapixel technology and transmitting video streams via modern computer networks in the past few years. Sending high-resolution images over the Internet is now easily possible. The process of recording, compressing, and storing the image sequences has been integrated into the cameras themselves. This gives high definition cameras a huge advantage over any other home security configuration.

Remote Access is a Big Advantage

One of the best advantages of the modern networked camera technology is the ability to access live and stored images while the camera is recording. With the right home security system, this can be done remotely over the network, from anywhere in the world. So any incident or suspicious behavior even neighborly hijinks – can be investigated without the need for someone on site or having to stop the recording to view the stored sequences.

Facial Recognition Now Possible

In the past, video technology was limited by a low refresh rate that resulted in cloudy images during playback. As a result, criminals were not always prosecuted to the full extent of the law because facial recognition was not a positive match. These days, the low playback rate has been fully overcome with high definition cameras. Facial recognition with plenty of detail is possible – a fact that is great news for homeowners. Not only can they be certain who is entering their home and when, but they can review it from multiple cameras.

About All Action Alarm

To learn more about high definition security cameras with 24/7 monitoring, call All Action Alarm today. 

 

As you head out to the big box retailers this holiday season, you’ll no doubt see many “off the shelf” DIY home security systems that promise a “plug and play” out of the box experience.

In many cases, DIY is a great, affordable option. It is easy to see why it is an attractive consideration even in home security. But do DIY home security systems measure up to consumer expectations? In most cases, the answer is a resounding, no. In home security, the stakes are high and the system’s capability and functionality matter. While many tout the ease of installation in DYI systems, most consumers do not realize these systems lack the very features that make home security alarm systems desirable.

Here are some important ways DIY products do not measure up:

1. Installation is not as Easy as You Think

The installation of DIY systems may seem simple, and that fact alone may be a red flag. High-quality home security systems have many components that need expert placement. A system that is too simple may not provide the type of security coverage necessary to protect your family. A complex system requires expert installation of the components is crucial so that you do not leave gaps in your security. Improper installation can lead to a system failure which can place your family or property at risk.

2. Proper Placement

Setting up a DIY security system might seem like a slam dunk, but underestimating the importance of expert placement is a disservice to your security. Home security systems are highly technical systems that require professional knowledge to gain the most advantage from them. Not only can improper placement make components less effective, it can make the system nearly useless!

3. DIY Systems Cost More Than You Expect

Contrary to popular belief, DIY home systems are not the most economical choice in home security. Most DIY home security systems come with a few components, such as window sensors, with the expectation you WILL need more. Those expensive components add up quickly.

4. Incompatibility Issues

The technologies used to support home security systems are constantly changing and needing product support. With professional systems, these updates are never a problem to the end user, the consumer. With DIY systems, a simple computer system upgrade can make the entire system incompatible. Further, should technology advances make the system outmoded, the manufacturer of the DIY system may no longer provide any updates or support if they ever provided these at all.

5. No Connection to Police

Your home alarm system is your lifeline. At least that is what most people intend and expect. One of the most important components of any home security system is the connection to emergency services such as fire or police, something DIY systems do not offer.

6. A DIY System is not the Same as Professional Systems

While a DIY security system can provide some of the same features of a professional system, it is important to realize that it is not a comparable substitute. DIY systems meet a few needs specific to the widest number of people possible. A professional system is designed to meet the very specific needs of your family and the home structure. The technologies used are often different and the capabilities of the systems vary dramatically.

Contact us today. The experts at All Action Alarm design professional home security systems that will keep your family safe and be supported by local staff right here on Long Island for years to come.

If your holiday plans include travel, a hotel stay is likely in your future. The hotel room becomes your “home away from home” and crime is the last thing you want to worry about when vacationing. The following are some tips to keep in mind so that hotel crime will not ruin your vacation:

Hotel Arrival and Check-in

  • If you arrive in a bus or cab, stay with your luggage until it is brought into the hotel lobby.
  • If you are a woman traveling alone or with small children, take advantage of car valet service in order to avoid the parking lot.
  • Keep a close eye on your luggage, purse, etc when checking in. If the lobby is busy, thieves will often take advantage of the distractions to steal your things.
  • Ask the front desk personnel not to announce your room number. Rather, tell them to write it down or point to it. You never know who is listening.
  • Don’t leave your credit card lying on the check-in counter while you complete your registration.
  • Immediately upon check-in, make sure to grab a business card or other item with the hotel name and address on it. Make sure to take it with you when you leave so you know where to come back to. If you get lost, you have the address and phone number handy. There is nothing more frustrating than telling a cab driver to take you to the “Marriott” and they ask which one?? Or if you are in a country where you don’t speak the language, you can simply show a taxi driver the business card, and you’re on your way back to the hotel.

Room Selection

  • Maximize safety and security. Select a room located between the 4th and 6th floors. Avoid rooms above the sixth floor as that is the maximum height fire-department ladders can reach.
  • Whenever possible, do not accept a hotel room on the ground floor especially if it has doors and windows that open to the outside. Hotels with interior hallways tend to be generally safer. For security in motels, avoid ground floor rooms off the parking lot. If you can’t get a room on a higher level, take one facing the interior courtyard.

Have a Wonderful Safe Vacation!

About All Action Alarm

It’s been many Christmas holidays since we started in 1980 but one thing has not changed – and that is our commitment to the safety of our Long Island community. Contact us today to learn more about life safety solutions from All Action Alarm.

Decorative and fragranced candles may be an attractive addition to your home décor, but if used improperly, they can be a serious fire hazard.  Residential fires caused by candles have more than doubled over the past decade.  According to a pilot study of candle fires by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), most candle fires were caused by combustibles being too close to the candle. The next most common cause of candle fires was due to the candle falling over or being knocked over by wind, doors, children or pets.

It is extremely important to use caution while burning a candle in your home.  The following are tips to help you avoid a potential candle disaster:

  • Candles are dangerous nightlights. Try to avoid using candles in bedrooms and other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Supervise children. Store candles, matches and lighters up high and out of children’s sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Always stay in the room where candles are being burned. It only takes seconds for a fire to start and minutes for your home to be fully engulfed in flames and dangerous gases.
  • Keep candles a minimum of 1 foot, in all directions, from flammable and combustible items such as curtains or bedding. Make sure curtains cannot be blown into the candle by wind.
  • Avoid burning candles for more than four hours at a time.
  • Do not move a glass container when the wax is liquid.
  • Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip or burn.
  • Burn candles on sturdy uncluttered surfaces.
  • Trim candle wicks to one-quarter inch before lighting.
  • When lighting candles, keep your hair and clothing away from the flame.
  • Extinguish candles when they burn to within two inches of their holder.
  • Be careful not to splatter hot wax when extinguishing a candle.
  • Keep candles away from children or within reach of children.
  • Remember, when you go out, extinguish candles…even if you will only be gone for a short while.
  • Avoid using candles during power outages.  Have flashlights, batteries, and battery-powered lights on hand for emergency lighting.
  • Place candles away from windows, doorways or any place where drafts could affect the flame.

Remember, smoke detectors are life savers. The primary fire safety strategy for any home is to warn the occupants early. The best way to get the earliest warning of danger is by installing sufficient smoke detectors. Monitored smoke detectors are the best choice as they allow you and your family to escape while the Central Monitoring Station calls the fire department.

About All Action Alarm

For more information regarding monitored fire protection for your home, please contact us today. Please remember, if you have battery powered smoke detectors make sure to change the batteries every six months.

Have a wonderful SAFE day!

When you purchased those smoke detectors you so responsibly installed in your home, did you notice a similar-looking detector for carbon monoxide? If you have any products or equipment in or near your home that burn fuel, you might want to pick up a few carbon monoxide detectors too.

Unlike smoke or natural gas, carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, but it is just as poisonous. In the U.S., between 150 and 200 people die annually from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning produced by malfunctioning furnaces, ranges, water heaters, space heaters, fireplaces, charcoal- or gas-fired grills and engine-powered devices such as portable generators.

Even more lose their lives when CO accumulates after people leave their cars running in garages. And every year, thousands of people wind up in emergency rooms for treatment as a result of CO poisoning.

Prevention involves following these basic safety procedures.

  1. Install all appliances following the manufacturer’s instructions as well as local building codes – generally by qualified professionals.
  2. Unless you have the proper knowledge and skill as well as the appropriate tools, do not service fuel-burning appliances yourself.
  3. If your home has a fuel-burning heating system, have it serviced and inspected annually by professionals. Be sure to include chimneys and flues.
  4. Operating a portable generator or another gas-powered tool in or near an enclosed space can trap CO, leading to potentially lethal levels of the gas. Open doors and windows do not provide enough ventilation.
  5. Never use camping stoves designed for outdoor use only in an enclosed vehicle, tent or building. Some of these products may be designed to work in enclosed spaces, but they will specify that on the packaging and provide instructions for their safe use.
  6. Never burn charcoal in any kind of enclosed space such as a building, tent, or vehicle.
  7. Never leave a car running in a garage, even if you have the door open.
  8. Don’t use gas appliances such as ovens or clothes dryers as space heaters for your home.
  9. If you use a natural gas or propane oven, don’t cover the bottom with aluminum foil the way you can with an electric oven. You can block the oven’s combustion flow, producing CO.
  10. Re-check all gas appliance vents, heating vents or chimney flues after any home renovations. These can easily be blocked by forgotten tarps or debris.
  11. Install carbon monoxide alarms in hallways near every sleeping area and in living areas in the neighborhood of fuel-burning appliances. The recommendation is one alarm installed in the hallway outside every bedroom. Make sure the alarms aren’t blocked by furniture or window coverings. CO alarms should not be installed in kitchens or directly above any fuel-burning appliances. Test alarms regularly and replace following the schedule recommended by the manufacturer.

Signs and Symptoms of CO Poisoning

Initially, CO exposure has symptoms that resemble the flu without any fever. These include headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Further exposure can lead to vomiting, mental confusion and loss of muscular coordination. The end result is loss of consciousness and finally, death. The exposure levels and duration can affect the severity of the symptoms.

If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms unexpectedly, don’t wait for the CO alarm to go off to confirm it. Leave your home immediately and call the fire department on your cell or at a neighbor’s home. If they find evidence of high levels of CO, be sure that you and any family members who were exposed see a doctor immediately, letting him or her know about the CO exposure.

The Best Way To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Finally, have all of your appliances checked for problems before re-using them. If one or more CO alarms go off in your home, leave immediately with all family members and pets. Call 911 and do not re-enter your home until the emergency specialists have ensured you that it is safe. Even a few minutes can lead to loss of consciousness and death if the exposure is high enough. Do not use the problem equipment again until a qualified service technician checks and repairs it.

Contact Us Today.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is an easily avoidable risk, yet every year too many people succumb to it. Like wearing a seatbelt, you may never need a CO detector, but why take a chance? By following these few simple steps, AND installing a carbon monoxide detector by a qualified professional security company, you may become a lifesaver for the ones you care about most.