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Holiday Travel & Home Security

Posted by on 3:04 pm in Blog, Home Security | Comments Off on Holiday Travel & Home Security

Holiday Travel & Home Security

Last year the Williams family traveled to New Orleans the week before Christmas. When they returned to their home in Frisco late Christmas Eve, they discovered their home had been burglarized. All the Christmas presents they had so carefully wrapped were gone, and their home was a total mess. Unfortunately, the holidays can be a prime time for burglars to strike. The abundance of new and fabulous gifts combined with unattended homes while people shop and travel, make for tempting targets. Whether you are traveling for a long time or are gone for just a day, make sure your home is safe and secure with these few easy tips. Make it look like you’re home. Leave on some lights, and have a radio or TV playing. Don’t let mail or newspapers pile up. Make sure your trusted neighbors know you’re gone. Proudly display your DFW Security sign. Arm your security system. Make sure your landscaping is trimmed and doesn’t provide any hiding spots near entry points. Don’t advertise your absence on social media. When you check in on FaceBook somewhere far away, burglars know you won’t be home for a while. Wait to post those vacation photos until you are home. That beautiful beach pic you posted on Instagram tells thieves your home is an easy target. Get Smart Security. DFW Security can help make your home secure his holiday with one app for controlling lights, locks, cameras, garage doors, thermostats and more. Professional alarm monitoring means we will be watching your home 24/7/365 – doing our part to make sure you have a very merry Christmas this year. Get Started...

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How Burglars Break in Homes

Posted by on 8:29 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Burglars Break in Homes

A news station in Oregon mailed 86 surveys to burglars currently in prison asking them how they broke into homes, what was a deterrent, and what wasn’t. A summary of their responses are listed below.  1.    How did you typically break into a home or apartment? Most inmates broke in through an unlocked door or window.  Several burglars kicked the door open. “I would kick in the door rather than break glass. Loud bangs are better than loud glass breaking, plus you run the risk of getting cut,” said one inmate. 2.    Once inside, what was the first thing you looked to steal? Jewelry, electronics, cash and credit cards are all attractive to burglars. Inmates also added collectibles and guns. “NRA sticker on car bumper = Lots of guns to steal,” wrote one burglar. 3.    Where did you look for hidden valuables? Most burglars started by searching the master bedroom for valuables, then moved through the rest of the house. “Everywhere!  From the stove and freezer, to the fish tank and toilet tank, book shelves and in boxes of cereal,” said an inmate. 4.    What time of the day did you prefer to break in? Burglars prefer breaking in early morning or afternoon.  “Between 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Anyone that was home for lunch should be gone by then and most kids should all still be in school,” wrote a convicted burglar. 5.    Did home protection or security signs posted outside the home deter you? Burglars had mixed opinions about home security signs. Some burglars said it didn’t faze them. Others said they knew how to disable alarms or avoid setting them off.     6.    Did pets in the home, like a dog, make you think twice? If a homeowner had a big, loud dog most burglars would stay away.  Smaller dogs don’t seem to bother them. “Dogs are a deal breaker for me,” said one inmate. “Big breeds, home protectors are the best to keep people out.” 7.    Did you typically knock on the front door before breaking into a home? Yes. All of the inmates who responded said they would knock on the front door before breaking in. 8.    If someone answered the door, what would you do or say? “Act like I was lost or looking for a friend.” “I would approach the resident as though they had posted an ad on Craigslist.” “Say wrong house, sorry and thank you.” “Ask if they’d seen my dog and leave.” “Sometimes I would wear nice clothing and print a questionnaire off the Internet and carry a clipboard and see if they could spare a moment for an anonymous survey.” 9.    If a home alarm system went off, what would you do? Most intruders said they would leave immediately if a security alarm went off. “I would try and turn it off or get the hell out of there,” said one burglar. 10.  If there was a security camera visible, would it keep you from breaking in? Generally, burglars agreed security cameras were a deterrent. But some said it also likely signaled there were valuables inside the home. 11.  Did lights on in the home make you think twice? Responses were mixed regarding lights on in a home. Some said it was a deterrent. But one burglar said the combination of lights on and...

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10 Simple Ways to Save Money in your New Home

Posted by on 2:16 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 10 Simple Ways to Save Money in your New Home

10 Simple Ways to Save Money in your New Home

You’ve just moved in to a new home! Congratulations! Now it’s time to start paying for it…ouch! Fortunately, there a few simple and inexpensive things you can do to save money by making your home more energy efficient. Take a few minutes to walk around your new home and see if you can use any of these 10 simple ways to save money in your new home. Install a new air filter Replacing the air filter for your HVAC unit(s) regularly allows your heating and air conditioning system to operate more efficiently without restricted airflow. Chances are high that the person who you bought your home from didn’t leave you a brand new filter. Changing it right away can save you money on that first energy bill. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater Save money in your new home in 10 about seconds. A max temperature of 120 degrees is recommended for your hot water heater. Keeping it any higher is unnecessary, and uses a lot more energy to maintain that setting. You most likely won’t notice the change in your water, but you will notice it on your energy bill. Install ceiling fans If you don’t already have them, adding ceiling fans to as many rooms as possible cuts down on your heating and cooling expense. Reverse them in the winter to pull air up. During the summer they should blow the air down. The air circulation will help you feel warmer or cooler, so you can adjust your thermostat down or up a few degrees to comfortably save money in your new home. Check and clean your vents Even a small obstruction in your HVAC ducts can cut down on efficiency. Keeping the ducts clear and the vents free from dust-bunnies means the air can flow faster to where you need it to be. Cleaning services often overlook vents, so don’t assume the previous homeowner took care of them. Install a smart thermostat Smart thermostats are inexpensive and readily available, and can significantly reduce your energy bill. The best ones, like the Smart Thermostat from DFW Security, know when you are home or away, can be programmed and adjusted on your phone or computer, offer insights and recommendations based on your activity, shut off airflow in case of a fire, offer location-based adjustments, and offer text alerts and push notifications. Seal Air Leaks Do a walk-through of your new home looking for places where unwanted air can come in or out. Common culprits are around doors and windows. Buy some inexpensive weather stripping or caulking and stop your money from blowing out the window. Plant Trees The right trees planted in the right place can make a big difference in the energy efficiency of your new home. Plant deciduous trees strategically to block direct sunlight from your windows when they have leaves in warm months. When they lose their leaves, the sun will be allowed through to warm your home in the cold months. Install Smart Lights Upgrading to energy-efficient LED light bulbs will save you money in your new home. Adding smart lights or a smart light controller saves even more. With our app you can control lights from your phone, set up a schedule, or have lights be controlled by your location or...

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How to Change the Battery in your Smart Garage Door Sensor

Posted by on 9:45 pm in Blog, Smart Home | Comments Off on How to Change the Battery in your Smart Garage Door Sensor

How to Change the Battery in your Smart Garage Door Sensor

Changing the Battery in your Smart Garage Door Sensor is Easy. If you receive a “Garage Door Malfunction” message from your DFW Security app, you probably just need to change the battery in your smart garage door sensor. Follow these easy instructions to quickly change the battery and get it working again. First be aware that there are 2 types of garage door sensors – one that only shows whether your overhead garage door is open or closed, and one that actually opens or closes it. If you are normally able to open and close your garage door remotely using our app, then you have a smart garage door sensor and this is the article for you. Locate the sensor. It is usually attached with Velcro or double-sided tape to the upper corner of your garage door, inside the garage. If Velcro is used, pull the sensor off the door for easy access. Take off the cover. The two halves separate rather easily. Remove the old battery by sliding it out of its holder. You may need to use a narrow object like a flat head screwdriver or paperclip to push it out from the back side. If you haven’t already purchased a new battery, you can take this one with you to the store to make it easier to locate. The battery needed is a 3V disc –shape called “CR2032”. They can be found at many retailers like Walmart or Home Depot, and even in most grocery stores, usually by the hearing aid batteries. Slide the new battery into place. The shiny side with the + and CR2032 should be facing up. Put the 2 halves back together until they click. Re-mount the sensor to the garage door in the same location you removed it from. Everything should work now, but in some cases you may have to log out and then back in to your app before the changes take effect. If you are still having problems, contact the DFW Security service department at (877) 372-0350. We are happy to...

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Home Automation App | Back to School

Posted by on 9:00 pm in Blog, Home Automation, Video Monitoring | Comments Off on Home Automation App | Back to School

Home Automation App | Back to School

School is back in session, and with it comes new challenges. With countless activities, rising expenses, hectic schedules, meals on the run and mounds of homework, managing your home can rise to a whole new level of complicated. Our affordable Home Automation App makes organizing your home amid all this chaos simple and efficient. An Extra Set of Eyes Did you ever wish you could be everywhere at once? If you have kids, you probably have. While we don’t claim to be an omniscient being, we can help keep an eye on your home while you’re not there. Here a just a few of the reasons parents like our home automation app. When your kids arrive home, you can get a text message alert with an attached video clip so you know they made it home safely. Learn about Video Monitoring. If someone rings the door bell, you can see and hear who is at the door from your smart phone with our Doorbell Camera. You can receive an instant alert if your kids access an area that is off limits – like the liquor cabinet or master bedroom. Remote Control Let’s face it. Kids are forgetful. With our home automation app, you can use your smart phone to lock and unlock doors, open and close garage doors, turn thermostats up and down, turn lights on and off, and arm and disarm your security system. Not only can you solve these little problems when they arise, but you can make sure you are aware of them right away with alerts and reminders. Know when doors are left open, lights are left on, security systems are armed, and more. Time Management Every minute is precious when you have kids in school. Save time with an efficient home management system. Program one-touch functions to make daily tasks easier. For example, the Scenes feature on our app allows you to press one button – then watch all the lights turn off, the doors lock, the garage door close, the thermostat turn down and the security system armed. No need to run around the house checking all the lights and doors when it is time to leave. Set up other scenes like Movie Time or Bedtime to save even more of those precious minutes. 24 Hour Protection It is tempting to put security on the back burner this time of year, but protecting your home and family is even more important now. Since a state-of-the-art alarm system is included with our home automation app, it makes sense to have our highly-rated professional alarm monitoring company watching over your home day and night. An Affordable All-In-One Home Automation App The smartest way to simplify your home management is with one app that controls multiple systems in your home. Even smarter is an app (and automation system to back it up) that is extremely affordable (free equipment, and around $50 month!) and a strong local company that truly cares about your family. Call us today for an exact quote based on your individual needs. Your price could be more or less! For more on how our home automation app can help you manage your home and family, view 10 Reasons Home Automation Should Be on Your Back-to-School List, or Home Automation Systems: Bad News for...

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Burglar Alarm System

Posted by on 3:29 am in Alarm Systems, Blog | Comments Off on Burglar Alarm System

Burglar Alarm System

If you are looking for a burglar alarm system in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, you have a lot of choices. While it is great that there are so many home security companies here to choose from, trying to find the right one can leave your head spinning! Even once you’ve found the right company, you still have to decide what type of system and services you need. I’m hoping this post will help you understand some of your options. Not Just for Burglars Anymore Alarm systems of the past only notified the central alarm monitoring station when there was a break-in or intrusion. In fact, they were, and often still are, called intrusion alarm systems. While modern systems still protect against burglaries, they also do much more. With mobile applications, wireless 2 way communication, home automation, video monitoring and more; home security is just the beginning of what these systems can do. Learn more about integrated home automation. Professional Monitoring, Self-Monitoring or Both Top-rated professional alarm monitoring of your burglar alarm system is extremely reasonable with many companies (ours starts at just $12.95  month), and earns you up to a 20% discount on your annual homeowner’s insurance premium. If you want to forego that extra level of protection, you may choose to self-monitor. The best option is to utilize both. With real-time notifications to your smart phone, you will know what’s going on at home even when you’re not there, and the monitoring center will have the emergency responders on their way if needed. You can even have video clips automatically sent to you via text message when there is an emergency, or anytime anything happens you want to know about! Learn more about text and email alerts. Wireless vs. Hardwired Let’s take a look at some of the Pros and Cons of a hardwired versus wireless burglar alarm system. HARDWIRED PROS No interference from other wireless devices No batteries to change Price might be lower WIRELESS PROS No wires to be cut Can be installed almost anywhere More functionality No home phone line needed HARDWIRED CONS Wires can be cut, rendering the alarm system useless More difficult to install Wires may show, and/or limit where components can be installed WIRELESS CONS Could cost more Requires batteries (for wireless components, not wireless transmission)   As you may have noticed, “wireless” can refer to two different things – either the burglar alarm system components and how they communicate with the main control panel or keypad, or how the alarm system communicates with the central alarm monitoring dispatch center. Expanded Features In addition to detecting a break-in, security systems of today can include a host of other helpful features. Here are some to look for: Mobile App – for remote operation of the security system, arming reminders and more. Home Automation – control of lights, locks, cameras, thermostats, garage doors, blinds, etc. Video Monitoring – view cameras on mobile app, doorbell cameras, video alerts, and recording. 2 Way Communication – agents speak directly into the home via loudspeaker. Crash & Smash Protection – Enables alarm transmission even when the system is disabled or destroyed.   Compare traditional alarm systems to smart security systems. Selecting the right burglar alarm system is an important step in protecting your home and family. If...

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Compare Home Security Systems

Posted by on 8:48 pm in Blog, Home Security, Security Systems | Comments Off on Compare Home Security Systems

Compare Home Security Systems

When you compare home security systems, you want to look at several different factors to ensure an “apples to apples” comparison. The type of security equipment, the form of alarm communication, and included features are important to evaluate. In addition, you should compare the companies offering the equipment and services for reputation, experience and customer service. Finally, price should be a factor as well. To aid in your decision-making process, I will briefly discuss the options for each of these categories. Compare Home Security Systems Equipment There are only a handful of alarm system manufacturers. The most popular in the U.S. are DSC, Honeywell, GE and Nortek (2Gig). Any system manufactured by one of these companies is acceptable, although older systems may not be as reliable or compatible with modern features and communication. Specifically, older house alarm systems are probably not wireless. Continue reading for more specific information about wireless versus hardwired, and wireless versus landline transmission. Wired or Wireless? The term wireless can refer to either the equipment or the method of communication. A wireless security system means the components (door sensors, motion detectors, etc.) don’t need to be hardwired to the master control panel. Wireless communication means a standard home phone line is not necessary to send alarm signals to the central station monitoring the home. Wireless equipment is more for convenience of installation and a clean appearance, while wireless monitoring is actually a more reliable and secure way to protect your home. Learn more about wireless alarm monitoring. Security System Features In the past, alarm systems were only useful when there was an alarm. Now security systems can do some truly amazing things! Monitor when doors and windows (even overhead garage doors) open and close, even when the system is not armed. Control locks, lights, appliances, thermostats and more. Include video and still images – with image sensors, doorbell cameras, indoor/outdoor cameras, and lowlight cameras. Transmit alarm signals when the power is out, internet is down, and even when the entire system is disabled or destroyed. Learn about Crash & Smash Protection. Use a mobile app to monitor and control the whole system, including real-time notifications and text alerts.   Compare home security systems features for basic and smart alarm systems. Comparing Home Security Companies Tools like Google reviews, Angie’s List, and the Better Business Bureau can help distinguish a great company from a terrible one. A few bad reviews are okay (nobody’s perfect) but what were the negative comments? Did the company respond? Does the same problem keep coming up again and again? Friends and family can be a great source for recommendations, and even a quick post on Facebook asking for referrals can be helpful. Call the company you are evaluating to get a feel for their customer service. Make sure the company you choose has fair prices, a good selection of high quality equipment, and highly rated monitoring service. The U.S.A.A. rating of 5 Diamonds is the highest rank for alarm monitoring companies. Comparing Prices An exact price can be hard to find on the internet. Because there are so many options and each home and family is unique, costs can vary significantly. Make sure you know what is included in your price so you can compare apples to apples. Alarm monitoring of...

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Scenes | (Another) New Home Automation Feature

Posted by on 2:49 pm in Blog, Home Automation | Comments Off on Scenes | (Another) New Home Automation Feature

Scenes | (Another) New Home Automation Feature

As you probably know, we at DFW Security LOVE to add value for our customers, and are regularly improving our already award-winning mobile application. Last month we added Scenes – another new home automation feature. What are Scenes? Scenes are little buttons that make managing your home faster and easier. They are pre-programmed one-touch buttons that control multiple home automation devices from your mobile app. For example, you may choose to have an Away button. When you press that one button, it turns off all the lights, locks all the doors, turns the thermostat to an energy-saving temperature, closes the garage door and sets the alarm.  You can customize your button(s) with any title, and specify any associated actions you choose. How do they work? Since our home automation system already has the ability to control so many devices in your home (thermostats, lights, cameras, garage doors, locks, alarm, etc.) from the same app, the addition of Scenes simply makes it even easier to control those devices with the touch of only one button- instead of multiple buttons in the same app. Because they can be customized, they make managing your home as easy as you want it to be. What are some examples? The 4 pre-built buttons are Home, Away, Sleep and Wake Up. In my home, I added a Mom button and a Dad button. I like the house a certain way (warm, bright and locked), and my husband likes it another way (cold, dark and unlocked). We also use a Bedtime button that turns off our son’s TV, turns off all the indoor lights, locks the doors, arms the security system in Stay mode and adjusts the thermostat to nice and cool. We’ve been thinking about adding a TV or Movie button that sets the lighting just right and locks all the doors. How do I get it? If you already have a smart security system with home automation from DFW Security, all you have to do is update our app on your mobile device. If you have your apps set to automatically update, you may already notice the 4 pre-set buttons on your home screen. Scenes are also already added to the website if you login from a computer. To program your buttons, simply click on the > by Scenes on the home page of your home automation app. Click on + to add a new button, or to edit an existing button, click on the one you want to change and select Edit. The arrows are to re-order how the buttons appear. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to call and ask. We are here for you! To learn more about Smart Security and home automation, visit these other helpful pages. Home AutomationCompare Basic vs. Smart Security100 Ways to Customize Your Home Automation...

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Doorbell Camera

Posted by on 1:29 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Doorbell Camera

Doorbell Camera

You may have seen some ads lately for a doorbell camera that you can view on your smart phone. This post will tell you more about what it is and isn’t, how it works, and what it does. DFW Security is currently in the testing phase of this device, and we are not yet offering it to our customers. We like to stay on the cutting edge of technology, but we believe in making sure a product is absolutely fantastic before we start putting it in hundreds of homes. The SkyBell The SkyBell is the doorbell camera we are currently testing and will soon offer to our customers if we determine it is worthy. It integrates with our current all-in-one mobile app – so you won’t need a separate app (unlike most other companies). What it is… The SkyBell is a doorbell, camera, microphone, speaker, and motion sensor all in one. If someone rings your doorbell, or if there is motion in front of the doorbell, it allows you to see, hear, and talk to, whoever is at your door. It is customizable, so you choose when and how you want to be notified. What it isn’t… So far in our testing, we have discovered it is not instantaneous or automatic.  You still have to click at least one button to view the camera, speak and listen. The sound and image quality could be better, but it does the trick. While it is a cool gadget that does increase your security and awareness, I would not recommend it as a replacement for full size cameras and a home security system. But again, it is definitely better than nothing, and is a great enhancement to a smart security system. How it works… The doorbell camera is wireless, and uses your home’s wi-fi to connect to your mobile device. You specify the devices (smart phone, tablet, etc.) that you want to notify when someone rings your doorbell. You can choose a push notification, a text message or even an email. You also determine if and how to be notified when there is motion in front of the doorbell. If you want to respond, you click open on your mobile app to listen, speak and view the video. If you have our smart system, you could also unlock the door remotely. Note: Other doorbell cameras from other companies may not offer all these features and customizations. What it does… The doorbell camera offers convenience. You don’t have to get up to see who is at your door. You can see and talk to them, even if you are not there. Because it can record video based on motion or the doorbell being pressed, it adds security just like a traditional camera. At DFW Security, safety and convenience is what we are all about. We hope to conclude our testing of the SkyBell soon; and will let you know when/if it is available. And because we are known for value, you can be sure it will be at a great price. Check back soon!   UPDATE… IT’S HERE! We have completed testing. The Doorbell Camera is now available. Get Started...

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Is Home Automation a Luxury or a Necessity?

Posted by on 1:31 pm in Blog, Home Automation | Comments Off on Is Home Automation a Luxury or a Necessity?

Is Home Automation a Luxury or a Necessity?

Why Not Both? When you pair home automation with home security, you combine the safety and peace of mind of knowing your home is protected, with the luxury of the latest wireless technology to manage your home efficiently. Why our Home Automation is a Necessity While other companies offer complex home automation systems costing thousands of dollars, they rarely integrate with your security system. Our systems are able to do more (for less $), because they work hand-in-hand with our smart security system. With the alarm system as the center, security becomes the primary focus, and allows the automation features to perform better. Just in case you were wondering, home security IS a necessity. If you are already going to pay to protect your home, shouldn’t you have the best protection? Our smart system uses dedicated wireless two-way communication and patented technology to ensure the best protection available. Now for the Luxury Part Just because it offers the best protection, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Our award-winning app makes controlling your home easy, and the technology really is amazing. For example, you can program a specific scenario like this: When your kids get home and open your garage door, your door automatically unlocks, the alarm disarms, the hallway light goes on, the thermostat locks on a temperature, and your cameras take a video and text it to you. Your smart thermostats can be linked to your cell phones to automatically adjust based on your location, so you aren’t paying to heat or cool the house when you aren’t even home. That’s just the beginning of all this extremely affordable home automation system can do. Learn more about it here. Combine luxury and necessity with a smart home automation system from DFW Security. Call today for details. Get Started...

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DFW Security
DFW SecuritySaturday, December 3rd, 2016 at 3:57am
Don't be like the McAllister's this holiday season. Close your garage door with the push of a button with our award-winning app.
DFW Security
DFW SecurityThursday, December 1st, 2016 at 4:12am
Did you know our smart security package offers real-time severe weather alerts at no additional charge? You can rest knowing you will be notified when weather conditions threaten your home.
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DFW Security updated their cover photo.Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 at 5:10am
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DFW SecurityWednesday, November 30th, 2016 at 3:10am
Traveling for the Holidays?
Make sure the burglars don't know with these simple steps...

http://www.dfwsecurity.com/holiday-travel-home-security/
DFW Security
DFW SecurityFriday, November 25th, 2016 at 4:57am
Happy Thanksgiving!

While you are out of town this holiday season, turn to DFW Security to keep your home safe.

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