Thursday, April 24, 2014

Property Crime Springs Into Action

As temperatures outside increase, crime trends toward a sharp increase as well.  There are several possible explanations for this correlation.  People spend more time out of their house and tend to be more socially interactive during the warmer months.  This creates an ideal opportunity for criminals to steal from unsuspecting people. Whatever the reason, 16% of people experience a property crime yearly.  Being extra careful during the spike in crime during the spring and summer months can help you avoid these crimes.

Check Property Crimes In Your Community
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Some people make the mistake of assuming that their neighborhoods are safe from crime because they have never had any reports of a break-in.  Home burglaries can happen anywhere and at any time. The best solutions to crime in the home are:

  1. Burglary System – There are a lot of affordable systems that can be installed quickly to keep your home and belongings safe.  We recommend wireless systems with internet connectivity to provide you with the ability to stay connected with your home and upgrade in the future.
  2. Security Cameras – Most people don’t think of putting security cameras in their home.  They are a great option if you need to watch a nanny, your children, your pets, or even just checking to make sure your home is alright while you travel.  Security Camera can also provide police with critical clues to solve a break-in and return your belongings.
  3. Home Automation - Home automation systems have the ability to connect all of your electronic devices to a single user-friendly remote.  These systems give you the power to lock and unlock doors, turn appliances on and off, and remotely control the thermostat, just to name a few.

The benefits of implementing home security systems like these seem to be unending.  There is no better answer for deterring crime.  Homes without a home security system are three times more likely to be broken into.  With a security sign in your window or yard, criminals are three times less likely to target your home.  And when you're not home, your peace of mind is never in question.  The cost of your home insurance may also be lowered when you own a security system as your risk of burglary significantly decreases.  Give OMNI Security a call and one of our home security consultants will help you figure out which security options are best for you.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Avoid Winter Water Damage To Your Home

Winter and spring are wonderful seasons to enjoy. However, they also come with some added risks for water damage in your home or business. The weather during these seasons can be quite extreme at times, and there are a number of different water related problems that can occur. Water damage can happen any time, but its likelihood increases during the winter and spring.

Common causes of water damage:
  • Burst pipes from cold temperatures: Cold winter temperatures are sometimes frigid enough to cause pipes to burst. This can cause a significant amount of damage to your home or business.
  • Sump pump failures: Many people rely on sump pumps to keep their basements dry. Cold winter weather can cause the sump pump’s discharge pipe to freeze. This will stop it from working. However, there are actually many things that can go wrong to cause a sump pump to stop working. Regardless of the cause, when one fails, a basement can flood very quickly.
  • Water heater leaks: A water heater leak is something that can happen anytime of the year. However, people tend to use more hot water when it’s cold outside. Also, some heating systems run off of a water heater. This is why water heater leaks can be a problem during this time of the year.
  • Washer Leaks: Spring cleaning is a great tradition. However, it also means that more people will be using their washing machines during this time of the year. This means there is potentially a greater risk of washer leaks occurring in the spring time.
  • Dishwasher Leaks: Just as spring cleaning can lead to a rise in the number of washing machine leaks, it can lead to a rise in dishwasher leaks as well. Dishwasher leaks are sometimes unnoticeable at first, which allows them to cause damage without you even realizing it.
  • Flooding: The most difficult source of water damage to avoid is that created by nature. Heavy precipitation, along with melting ice and snow, can easily flood your home or business. There is so much potential for flooding during this time of the year, because the snow and ice pile up during the winter, and then quickly melt during the spring thaw. 

Have your home monitored for water damage

A good way to help prevent your home or business from being destroyed by water damage is to monitor them. Equipment can be installed, with sensors that will detect any potential water related problems. If there are any water related issues, you will know. This will allow you to potentially avoid disaster. At the very least, you can learn about a problem, and get it taken care of as soon as possible.

Learn More - About water monitoring systems from OMNI Security 


There are many benefits to having your home or business monitored for water damage. If there is flooding taking place, you can immediately get your most valuable possessions out of harm’s way. If a sump pump loses power, you can quickly do whatever is needed to fix the problem, and get it running again. Also, if you have your home or business monitored for water damage and the pipes burst, you can turn off the water main to avoid further damage. Regardless of what issue comes up, you will be able to respond quickly.


Winter and spring are seasons that bring good times, and unfortunately potential water damage issues as well. Having your home monitored for water damage will give you peace of mind, so you can enjoy these wonderful seasons instead of worrying. As with most things in life, it’s always better to be one step ahead.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tips for securing your home when you go on vacation

A family that goes away on a trip can render their home vulnerable to intrusion and theft if prudent preparations are not made. A much anticipated vacation can be brought to a screeching halt with the startling news of a home invasion. Coming home to find a ransacked house with damaged and missing valuables can transform the home from a peaceful refuge to a place that renders the family feeling anxious and uncomfortable. Unprotected homes that are invaded cause increased homeowner insurance rates that reach unbelievable levels. Summer is the quintessential season for family vacations and subsequently home invasions and thefts in unoccupied dwellings. Following a few reasonable guidelines can bolster the home's security and allow homeowners to enjoy a worry-free vacation.

Tips for Securing the Home
  • Locking the house seems very simplistic, but many of the home's access areas can be easily overlooked. Every outside door should be fitted with a deadbolt and each window needs to be securely fastened and locked. Other accesses to the home such as pet doors or storm entries need to checked to be sure that they are not vulnerable to attempts at forced entry. Home security systems provide an ideal safety net, and homes that advertise that systems are in place are often avoided by potential burglars.
  • Notifying one's neighbors of an upcoming trip is a great way to have a few extra eyes on the home. An informed neighbor that knows a family is on vacation will be suspicious if a service or moving truck suddenly appears at the empty home.
  • Reducing the output of unused utilities is a good idea when leaving the home for vacation. In the summer, the temperature for the air conditioning system should be raised to avoid unnecessary cooling costs while away.
  • Timers for both indoor and outdoor lighting can be purchased at any hardware store. After an easy installation, the timers are set to turn lights on and off to create an appearance that the homeowners are in the house.
  • Nothing gives a bigger hint that a family is away than a yard full of newspapers and an overflowing mailbox. Before leaving on vacation, homeowners should contact their newspaper company and mail service to request a temporary halt to delivery.
  • Depending on the length of the trip, the family should hire a service to mow the lawn at least once and possibly twice for longer vacations.
  • Many individuals make the mistake of announcing an upcoming trip on social media websites. Though the message is often only intended for close friends and relatives, many other people have access to publicly posted messages. Unless a posting is sent privately, not only do an individual's friends have access to the post, but also the friends' additional connections that are often unknown to the original author. Vacationers should wait until they arrive home to post pictures and messages of the trip on social media. Postings that are made on the trip give a green light to potential thieves that the family is still away.

Home Automation

Homeowners now have access to home automation technology that allows them to remotely communicate with their home's security system. While away, families can control systems that have been integrated in the home such as the thermostat, dead bolts, small appliances and lights. The system can be accessed from any computer or smartphone with internet capability. If a home's doors are unlocked, a message is immediately sent to the homeowner via computer or smartphone. If the security system is disarmed, or motion is detected, the lights in the house immediately turn on.

Families can enjoy a trip away from home and be confident that the house is secure by implementing a few simple safety measures. Securing the home and employing the watchful eyes of neighbors can help thwart a devastating home invasion. Homeowners that utilize the latest technology in home security can control and monitor the home's security features while away, and where internet access is available.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Security Tips for Property Managers

If you are a property manager you understand some of the issues you face regarding security.  How many of these issues sound familiar to you?
  • Car or apartment break-ins
  • Frivolous lawsuits
  • Poor employee productivity
  • Vandalism
Do you ever wonder if some of these crimes are happening near your business?  We have found a very useful online tool called CrimeReports TM that can help you find out.  Chances are there is more property crime than you realize.
If these issues are left unchecked your property can quickly gain a reputation as “unsecure” or worse “dangerous”.  Lost revenue is the likely outcome.

Commercial says “Most insurance companies will offer a discount on your business insurance policy premiums if you have installed the appropriate, qualified alarm systems specifically tailored to your organization.”  Some of the systems that will reduce your risk and keep your employees and tenants safe are:

Video Surveillance – has proven time and again to only deter burglaries, but violence, vandalism, and poor employee performance.  When employees and criminals know they are being monitored via video surveillance they are much less likely to commit crimes.

Burglary Systems – Burglaries do not need to happen too many times until your property gets a reputation as unsafe.  An alarm system can stop the problem before it starts.  Good systems do not cost a lot to install and property owner have a few ways to pay for the monitoring: pay all of it themselves, split the cost with the tenant, or what many do, build all of it into the rent price.

Fire & Carbon Monoxide Systems – Fire and carbon monoxide are dangerous hazards and protective systems are often required and regulated by local fire code.  Violations of this code can be costly and result in the loss of property insurance and even lives.


When the proper security and safety systems are in place a property manager should expect the following:
  • Good reputation for facility
  • Less vacancy
  • Better employee productivity
  • Limit lawsuits
  • Better insurance rates for facility and its tenants
  • More profits
Property managers are seeing the value in being proactive when providing security for their tenants.  Having these systems in place is an extremely attractive feature for renters.   When property managers have a better product to offer it makes their job easier, more lucrative and will prevent crimes and tragedies from happening on their property.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Should your business have a video surveillance system?

In these trying economic times, threats come at a business from all angles. Take a look at the following video:

Fraud, lawsuits, low productivity, theft and even violent crime can cut into profits and destroy the feeling of security that underlies an effective workplace. However, all these threats can be reduced or eliminated with a surprising business addition: a video surveillance system. In many ways, a surveillance system leads to a safer, more efficient workplace. That means greater productivity and a bigger bottom line. Consider how surveillance equipment affects the following:

Theft prevention
Theft costs American businesses billions of dollars every year. Retail shoplifting is the most well-known form of theft, but it is not the only one. Craftier thieves may practice refund fraud, stealing items and returning them for refunds. Theft can also come from employees. Employee thefts are often small, like packets of paper or boxes of staples, but larger thefts can cost thousands of dollars. Sometimes, vendors and delivery men also take advantage of a business's open doors to pocket valuable equipment and merchandise.

Surveillance cameras reduce the impact of theft in two ways. First of all, the visible presence of the camera is enough to dissuade most thieves. Secondly, police can use the video collected by the cameras to catch thieves. When the arrest is made, the business owner can recover the stolen items.

Employee productivity
When employees do more in a shorter amount of time, profits swell. Cameras encourage employees to use their time wisely. Some employees waste time when no one is watching, and the supervisor cannot watch everyone at once. However, a camera never stops watching. Employees who always use their work computers to play games may soon be using their home computers to find a new job.

In addition, an employer can use data collected from video surveillance systems to devise strategies for increasing productivity. For example, if employees are spending too much time socializing, the employer can provide them visual proof of their lack of productivity.  With this visual confirmation, employees are much more receptible to alter their work habits.

Protection against fraud and lawsuits
Theft is one way businesses lose money, but fraud can be a more serious threat. Employee attendance fraud is one example, but it is easy to handle. A few well-placed cameras can monitor how often and how long employees are really on the job. Lying about extra hours worked becomes impossible.

Employee attendance fraud gradually bleeds money from a business, but one fraudulent lawsuit can be a deathblow. Cameras record criminals who purposefully fall and then try to sue the business owner. The video evidence against such criminals ensures that the judge will dismiss their claims. Lazy employees may also fall, but instead of suing, they will try to claim workers' compensation. Again, the best defense against this scheme is video surveillance.

Stop violent crime and sexual harassment
Keeping employees safe is a priority for every business. Video surveillance equipment makes violent criminals less likely to attack and helps bring those who do attack to justice. In this way, cameras protect employees and give them a true feeling of safety.

The presence of cameras also discourages sexual harassment. Sexual harassment cases that do occur are more manageable with a video surveillance system. Without surveillance, investigating harassment relies heavily on rumors and eyewitness reports. Often, conflicting reports make resolution difficult. With video surveillance, seeing what really happened is simple.

Remote monitoring
The above benefits are doubled for managers and owners who are not always at the business site. In fact, for employers who visit a site infrequently, video surveillance is essential. It is also convenient. Viewing footage no longer requires jamming tapes into a VCR. Instead, any computer with an internet connection can show the videos. Owners can monitor their business at any time from nearly any place. When someone is watching, employees work harder and criminals think twice. For any business, that means a better bottom line.

Seeing a demonstration of onsite and remote view of live and recorded footage is highly recommended.  There are many types of video surveillance systems that are out there.  Investing in a true loss prevention surveillance system (as opposed to the traditional "security" surveillance system) will eliminate ongoing losses that your business experiences.  These are faster and make it easier to retrieve and review data.  These features, when combined, allow business owners to quickly get a return on their investment and increase their profits.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Home Automation - Energy Savings

Home Automation Energy Savings
A home automation system can be part of effective home security, but it can also help you lower your energy use and heating bills throughout the winter season.  Home automation energy savings can be achieved quite easily with the additional benefits of reducing electricity costs, improving home comfort and increasing safety for your home and pets.  Statistics from Alarm.Com's automation department, the average family can see savings of $180 per year with proper use and programming of their "smart" thermostat.

Automation of Your Home’s Thermostat Reduces Energy Waste
When you program your thermostat through your automation system, your heating system will run less when you are asleep or away. The furnace or heat pump can be programmed to raise the temperature before you get up in the morning or when you arrive home from work. The data collected by your home security system will show the pattern of when you normally walk in the door. This is a good approach when you have a very consistent schedule and can actually provide you with better evidence of what your schedule is if you’re uncertain. Fine-tuning your programming will increase your home’s energy efficiency. Automating your heating system to run less when you are asleep under warm covers or when you are away from home is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your heating bills.

When your schedule varies, you simply use your computer or your home automation cellphone app to turn up the heat prior to arriving back at home. With a few practice attempts, you’ll know just how long it takes for your home to return to the temperature you want, so you’ll never arrive to a chilly house. Keep pets in mind when you lower the temperature, and maintain a level of heat suitable for them.

Lower Electricity Costs by Automating your Home
Home automation energy savings related to electricity use are possible too. Your heating system uses electricity, especially if a heat pump is part of it. When the system is turned down, lower electricity costs are achieved.

Secondly, and a more significant source of lower electricity costs, is to automate your lighting system. Program the lights to be off while you’re away, and set them to come on before it gets dark or before you arrive home for security and convenience. If your schedule differs from day to day, then use a remote device or your automation app to turn on lights when on the way home.  You can also program your lights to turn on if the alarm system goes off so that any intruder is more inclined to run from a lit up environment during a home invasion at night.

Prevent Frozen Pipes with Home Automation
When outside temperatures are extremely cold, the potential for frozen pipes increases. A burst pipe can cause severe water damage to your home. Your home security and automation system is able to monitor outdoor temperatures. When they dip to a level that may freeze pipes in sparsely-heated areas of your home, the system will automatically turn up the heat to reduce or eliminate the possibility of frozen pipes.

In addition, you can remotely monitor the temperature within your home while away. If you notice that the temperature is falling, indicating a failure of the furnace or heat pump, you can head home or send help to your home to determine the cause of the problem and resolve it before pipes freeze. This type of monitoring will also prevent pets from suffering in the event of a mechanical failure to your heating system.

These are just the most common ways to achieve home automation energy savings while protecting your home and pets too. You’ll enjoy reduced heating bills and maintain your home’s comfort level for all.  Learn more about home automation at 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Who is monitoring your security system?

Frost and Sullivan awards for MonitronicsChoosing a bad alarm company is like having a car without a battery. What’s the point in having it if it doesn’t work? Unlike a car, a malfunctioning alarm system can result in damage or property loss. In some cases, worse things can happen. The importance of choosing a reputable company with a fast response time and an undeniable history of success is one the best things that homeowners can do. Not only does it save money on your annual homeowner's insurance, it also provides extra security to protect your belongings and your family. Let’s face it – there isn’t a crime free city in America.

Understanding how an alarm system works can help you understand why it is exceedingly important to use a company such as Monitronics to provide alarm monitoring services. Alarm systems do much more than make blaring noises during a fire or burglary. Monitored alarm systems send signals to a central monitoring station that will determine what type of signal it is, what triggered it, and the proper emergency team to respond. This may seem like a lot of steps, but a fast response team can contact you and have the police, fire department, or ambulance dispatched within a matter of seconds.

There is one alarm company that sets itself apart from the rest. Monitronics has the best response time in the industry. The average response time to an alarm event is 23 seconds. When there is a crisis, every second counts. Monitronics has undoubtedly perfected the system in order to maximize protection to their customers. The implementation of a special program called ASAP (Automated Secure Alarm Protocol) enables the system to send information electronically instead of using slower communication systems that other companies continue to use. Using an advanced system has also helped reduce the number of false alarms. In fact, Monitronics has the lowest false alarm rate in the industry which helps homeowners reduce the likelihood of paying high fines associated with false alarms.

Frost & Sullivan understands the importance of alarm systems and the high standards that alarm companies should strive for. After conducting an intricate analysis of residential alarm monitoring businesses, Monitronics was awarded for outstanding customer service, impressive response time, affordable pricing, and its expansion during low economic times. Monitronics has received recognition three times in the past four years. That’s really impressive when you consider how many alarm companies exist. Receiving an award of this stature shows that Monitronics is the best that there is in the business.

If you’re looking for an alarm company, it’s a great idea to shop around and compare prices. That’s what smart shoppers do, but you will not find an alarm company that offers so much protection without premium pricing. If you’re going to get an alarm system or if it is time to upgrade your current system, make sure that your alarm can do what it was designed to do. What’s the point in paying for service that won’t benefit you when you need it most?

If your home was burglarized today, it would take more than 23 seconds for the intruder to get inside and begin rummaging through your personal property. Within this time frame, Monitronics would have most likely received the signal, sent authorities, and notified you. It should certainly put your mind at ease - knowing that your house is protected even when you are away. Choosing an alarm company that takes their sweet time to send the police could mean more property loss.

The benefits of using a company with a history of the fastest response time, excellent customer service, and expertise will guarantee that your home or business will receive the finest security services available. Why not choose Monitronics? I can’t find any reason not to.