Irene Miller is the editor at ostanding’s Blog. Blogging and Social Media is her passion by night, while project management and business development fills her day.

Home Security System Maintenance-Learn the Basics

Home Security System Maintenance-Learn the Basics

It is one thing to install a security system and it is another to ensure it sees the light of the day.  Regardless of whether you have a high-end security network or a couple of simple devices, you must conduct home security system maintenance, so that they perform their functions accordingly.  When the system is new, it may show no or few problems, but as it ages, there will be a number of repairs and replacement to make. It is your responsibility as the homeowner to ensure that you take care of all the devices.  Some of the things you should do include changing the batteries, inspecting all the components, and ensuring they are working in unison. Although the control panel and the hired monitoring service, monitors your system, you should perform weekly or monthly checkups on your own.

Tips for home security system maintenance

Check your perimeter on a weekly basis

Each week, ensure you have done a round of your perimeter, checking for weak locks, dilapidated or warping door frames or any other indication, which may allow a burglar to gain easy entry to your home. Usually sensors are installed, using an adhesive, make sure they are intact and refasten those, which you note they are becoming loose. For wireless sensors charge their batteries and change some if necessary.

Examine the control panel

This is the main control unit of your system.  Signals from various sensors in your property pass through it and it reads them to determine when best to activate the sensors. The control panel has a test mode, which is responsible for assessing the efficacy of the device. However, if you have contracted a monitoring service, it is best if you notify them prior to the test, so that they do not call the authorities, in case the alarm goes on, when you are testing. Look for physical damage or any signs of malfunctioning and report to your security provider.

Look at the lighting systems

The next thing to do when you are doing home security system maintenance is to assess the lights. It is your duty to do a monthly checkup to see that the exterior lights are working appropriately. Get to know how many bulbs need replacement. You could also make some few readjustments, to ensure the effectiveness of the lights.

Check the cameras

Assess all your cameras, to make sure they are working effectively, and they are not vandalized. In addition, ensure that the cameras are strategically positioned to cover all the angles of your property. You should also check the recording and monitoring devices, to ensure each camera is receiving feeds from the gadgets.

Ask for annual inspection

While your own maintenance of the security system is beneficial, an annual inspection performed by a professional, will ensure the system works properly for the coming years. The beauty of requesting for an annual inspection, is because, it is thorough.


While a security system enables you to automate your home processes, without your input, it may not work as required. Look out for problems, conduct home security system maintenance, and report the others to the security company. This will ensure your system gives you the value for your money.

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How to Improve Physical Home Security

How to Improve Physical Home Security

Securing your home, should be the first priority. Physical home security, does not only look into the indoors but also all other exterior structures. If you are to have an effective security system for your property, it must be tailored to secure all the areas in your home.  This will ensure your property, assets and the family are safe and secure from intruders. Here are some of the things you should do to ensure maximum security for your home:

Enhance your perimeter security

This refers to the surrounding lines of your property.  You must control who gets into the perimeter. The perimeter security may include a lofty barbed wire fence, electric gates, and armed guards.  In some cases, a simple hedge would offer enough security, in some neighborhoods. When considering the best choice for guarding your outer perimeter, several factors will role-play. This includes the location, the property, and assets you have. You must determine the options there are and your budget.

Regulating natural access control

Thieves like it when they can walk around your property, freely. They often feel they are not endangered, since they are not easily noticed. Nevertheless, there is a way you can restrain them from feeling in charge by outlining the various entries to your home. This will not only discourage intruders, from entering your property, but it will also guide visitors to various garden structures and to the main house. Natural access control is an important aspect of the physical home security. It refers the use of landscaping features and building to lead people on their way in or out. When employing this measure, you should take in consideration all the exits and entrances. While doing this, you do not only want to keep away burglars but also to reduce escape routes.

Reinforcement of the territory

This is similar to natural access control but it strives to keep strangers out of your property. Territorial reinforcement alienates the public properties from private buildings. It is meant to make it easy for all the occupants of your home, to gain easy access to the property, when restraining strangers from entering into your yard.

Inner perimeter security

The inner circle of your property includes windows, doors, and walls of your building. Achieving improved security for the inner perimeter, include using locks, alarm systems, and keys. The locks and the keys are designed to keep intruders away. You may also want to install a more advanced system for the inner perimeter such as the electronic access control system. On the other hand, an alarm system ensures that you are alerted anytime your physical home security network is compromised.

Indoor security

This encompasses all aspects of your home. You can improve the security of your home, by using motion sensors and alarm systems. Security cameras are also a part of the indoor security.  Where thieves surpass the perimeter security measures you have put in place, you can prevent them from taking your assets. Furthermore, if they succeed, you will ease the work of the police, to net down the culprits. Your security network should compose of the above levels. It is the only way; you will achieve optimum physical home security.

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Managing Home Security with a Roommate

Managing Home Security with a Roommate

When you live alone or you are the family head, deciding on the right security system, is not as problem. However, where you are living in an apartment with a roommate, you need to do some compromises, when you are considering installing a home security system.  There is the budget to split, security options to decide on, and regular home securing habits to maintain. This means is not an easy task to handle home security with a roommate. All the same, it is possible to secure your assets and those of your roommate.

Common problems, which arise when handling security issues with your roommate, may include:

•    The roommate may have a different schedule. Chances are that they may move in and out of the apartment at varying times of the day. This makes the house more vulnerable, since in the process, they can live the door open. The only advantage is that, there is possibility of someone being home, for the better part of the day.

•    Some roommates are unwilling to foot for the security system installation. Since, most security devices are relatively expensive; it will be hard to afford it.  Even if you buy it, the roommate is likely to be uncooperative as far as the maintenance of the security system is concerned.

•    Other issues will certainly come up such as signing of contracts. For instance, you need to discuss about the person, who will be written as the owner of the security system. In addition, there is also the discussion about who will be left with the security devices, when you finally move house or apartment.

How can you solve such problems?

While managing home security with a roommate is nearly impossible, you can do a few things, to get to a common ground. To begin with, discuss about security system installation for your apartment, in an environment, which is open and one that allows for honesty. Discuss all the concerns related to your apartment. It can start with simple issues such as encouraging each other to remember to close the doors and windows at all times, when nobody is at home.

If you want to install a security system, outline all the options available and the amount of money, each will be paying. In addition, discuss about who will be left with system upon moving. This will solve you many disagreements, when you will be separating. Assess also the area you live, to gauge is crime rate. This way, you can get a security system, which will be able to address that particular threat. You should make sure everybody agrees with the option chosen. It is important to put the right measures to ensure maximum security. For instance, it is your duty to lock the doors and windows to prevent thieves from getting into the house. You may also agree not to allow people of strange behavior to come to the apartment. Having a roommate may sound great and in particular, when you are cost sharing but security can be a challenge. However, ensure to discuss among each other the best and affordable security options, there are and join hands to protect your assets from burglars. It is possible to manage home security with a roommate.

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Boosting Home Security for the Garage

Boosting Home Security for the Garage

Most garages are attached to the main house. These structures hold the cars as well as other equipments, tools and any other item, which cannot be contained in the storage area in the house.  Therefore, it is important to secure garages, to ensure the safety of your cars and other items. Besides, owing to their close connection to the main house, it makes it easier and convenient for thieves to use the structures to access the main house. Most homeowners tend to ignore the security of the garages, but this can lead to big losses. Here are some ways you can improve   home security for the garage, with automatic door openers:

•    Disengage the emergency release lever- The release lever is often used to get into the garage, when the automatic door opener fails. It is not news that burglars know this trick too. They often use coat hangers to get into your home. Hence, it is best if you got rid of the emergency release lever all the same.

•    Get rid of the cord- The cord comes in handy, when you want to trip the lever. With just the use of a coat hanger, you can easily open the lever. This too can be used by burglars to gain access to your house.

•    Lock the lever- Some garage door openers, enable you to use a thin wire or a plastic cable to attach the lever to the carriage assembly. Usually, the lever has a hole in it, which you can use to pass the cord through it, whereas some have holes, you can run a wire or a cable tie through. If you notice that yours does not feature a hole, you can drill one. This will deter any attempt of pulling the lever downwards.

•    Cover all the windows- This will make it hard for the thief to use a coat hanger on your release lever effectively. Consider using frosted windows for the garage, since they prevent prying eyes from seeing what is inside, while allowing some light in.

•    Replace the automatic garage door opener with manual locks- Although this will compromise convenience, it boosts home security for the garage. It will force you to get out of your car first, to pull up the garage door, but it is more secure and less vulnerable.

•    Apply motion sensor lights just outside the garage- This will detect any movements around the area and this can avert a possible break-in incidence. No burglar would want to work under a glaring light.

•    Lock the entry door to the house- Most homeowners fail to secure entry doors from the garage; they are assured that the main garage door is adequate. However, it is important to install the right locks on the entry door, such that if the burglars, finally succeeds to get into your garage, they will find it hard to proceed to the main house.

An insecure garage can provide a smooth ride for thieves into your home.  Hence, ensure you have the best security measures in place, so that this does not happen.  Home security for the garage does not only guard your cars but also prevent intruders from proceeding to your home.

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Connecting your IP Home Security Cameras to the Cloud

Connecting your IP Home Security Cameras to the Cloud

You have just invested in the IP home security cameras. The cameras now provide you with 24/7 surveillance and all the details, are being safely stored in your computer or DVR. You have thought about and researched possible threats to your home security system.  There are solutions available for most of the threats. However, there is one challenge; you cannot seem to find a solution for.  If your computer is stolen, it might mean losing your security footage details to the wrong hands. This is where you need to store all the footage to a cloud service. This will ensure you retrieve back information, if a burglar decides to cover their tracks by carrying the DVR or computer. The first step to getting your IP security cameras to offsite cloud storage is by selecting a provider.

Tips for selecting a provider for offsite cloud based storage

Research online

Although IP home security cameras are still a new technology, homeowners are embracing them, in large numbers. Different manufacturers have come up to meet this gap and in particular, in providing a backup storage plan. Hence, take your time to study various providers, to get the best among them.

Compare features

In most cases, the IP security cameras suppliers, are also the providers of the cloud storage services for security footage. If you can find a company, which provides as many features as possible at a reasonable price.  The kind of service package should be commensurate to your needs and affordable too. While it might be tiring to go through the services of each provider, it will be rewarding do the comparison.

Compare prices

It is natural to find a provider charging higher for a package you can get, from another at a relatively lower price. Usually, the rates for the cloud services range from a few dollars to high-end packages. The rate given for the package is for every year. You should therefore be keener to know whether you can afford it.

Go with experienced companies

It is better to work with somebody, who have been in operation for long.  Young companies may lure you with large discount offers, but they might mess you up. Some have no in-depth knowledge on how to handle various issues.

Do not ignore the customer reviews

Nothing can give you a better view of the company’s services, than the views of those, who have been served by the provider previously.  If you notice there are more negative comments than positive ones, you should continue looking.

Understand the terms and conditions

Do not sign the contract, before you get to know, what exactly you are getting yourself into. Some unscrupulous providers may encourage you to sign agreements, which may put you in jeopardy in the future. If you are planning to install IP home security cameras, you may also want to find an off-site cloud based storage provider. This ensures that your footage stays in the cloud and hence, not vulnerable to access by burglars and hackers. However, this comes at a price and you are not in control of who gets to see your security footage. Hence, it is essential to find the best provider.

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