How To Get The Best Value Security System

Each year home and business owners are faced with the decision to renew or start a multiple year monitoring agreement for a security system. Before you start or renew a multiple year agreement, consider the following questions to ask yourself and/or the alarm company, to make sure you are getting the best value and service:

1)  Take the start-up/installation cost and add it to the total monthly fee for the length of the contract – eg: $ 195.00 + ($ 35.00 X 36) = $ 1,455.00 and compare that to a local alarm company that charges for the install but has a lower monthly rate – eg: $ 595.00 + ($ 21.95 X 36) = $ 1,385.20. Within the three years of the contract you will break even or even save some money. What you, the consumer, need to be aware of is that the monthly rate will stay the same or increase when you renew the multiple year contract – therefore you will be paying more for the “low-cost” system compared to the system with the up front cost.

2)  Does the system have proprietary equipment, meaning that no other alarm company can access the programming? Request and get in writing that the equipment is non-proprietary.

3)  Do you own the equipment or are you leasing for the duration of the agreement?  If you are leasing or have proprietary equipment and want to switch alarm companies in the future, you may have to purchase some new equipment to switch, adding further cost to a more expensive purchase.

4)  Ask the alarm company if they do a complimentary on-site consultation. Some companies will give you an estimate over the phone and then add-on items once the technician arrives for the installation – the customer often feels obligated to go through with the installation. An alarm company that does a complimentary consultation can see what is involved with the installation and will give you the final costs before starting the installation.

More times than not, a home or business owner will receive better service from a company that does not offer a long-term contract because there is no incentive to stay if the service is not what is expected.  Compare this to when a long-term contract is in place – you are contracted for the service even if it is not to your expectations.  Moving or selling your home or business does not negate the long-term contract.  You will still be responsible to fulfill the obligation to pay for the entire length of the term.  Owners that move and still have time on their contract can either pay out the amount due or transfer the contract to their new home.  I have even met some owners that are told they have to renew their agreement to the original term length, further adding to their unexpected costs for a long-term contract.

Hope these tips help you make an informed decision on a security system.


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Are Monitored Security Systems Worth The Money?

Today, with home owners trying to save money on expenses, the monthly service of their monitored security system sometimes enters this equation.  A lot of home owners look at the monthly service as just monitoring of the security system; when in fact the monthly monitoring provides more value than just the security monitoring.

A majority of monitored security systems have a low-voltage smoke detector or CO detector connected to the system that can notify somebody away from the premises when there is an alarm activation.  The standard (required) 120 volt smokes and plug in CO detectors will only sound locally and if there is nobody home, or the occupant is unconscious, this does not provide life safety or notify the authorities before the situation escalates.

Most alarm keypads have medical, police panic and fire emergency buttons on the face of the pad that can be pressed if there is an emergency.  These features are only of value to the occupant if the system is monitored.

Check with your insurance company on the discount you can get for a monitored security system with a smoke and/or CO detector.  Most alarm companies have a form that is sent to the insurance company for verification of the monitored service.  Secur-Tek, Inc  charges no additional monthly fees over its low monthly monitoring fees to add a smoke, CO detector or medical notification to your system.


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Did You Know Your Choice of Phone Service Could Impact Your Security?

The standard phone line is slowly being replaced by cellular and digital phone services.  This is causing customers to ask about different options to keep their security system connected for monitoring the security, smoke, CO levels and medical devices they have in their home. Some customers are switching to digital phone service and are not aware that the digital phone service goes through a router that, if it locks up, is not able to notify the monitoring station to be able to call the authorities.  The security system has a battery back-up that will power the security system during short power outages but the digital phone provider and network router do not have this power back-up to allow the security panel to notify the monitoring station during an alarm condition.  These two shortcomings of the digital phone service make the cellular monitoring the most reliable and recommended monitoring communications among security providers.

Reasons to use a cellular connection:

1) The cellular communicator sends a test signal to verify system operations.

2) A cellular line can not be tampered with, for example, by cutting a wire at the exterior of the house, at the street or at a local phone hub.

3) Cellular service is not affected by routine line service work.

4) If you switch phone providers, there is no chance of interruption of security service.

5) Cellular service allows you to use your smart phone to remotely control your security system.


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It’s Almost Impossible for People to Detect….

Carbon Monoxide – Colorless. Odorless. Tasteless. = Almost IMPOSSIBLE for People to Detect

Now that the weather is cooling and we’re thinking of staying warm this fall and winter, it’s a good time to be reminded of the dangers posed by carbon monoxide.

UnFun Fact 1:  A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.

UnFun Fact 2: The most CO exposures occur during the winter months with the highest numbers occurring during December and January.

UnFun Fact 3: Domestic sources of Carbon Monoxide include:

  • domestic heating systems
  • blocked flues/chimneys
  • inadequate ventilation in living areas
  • inadequate ventilation in adjoining car garages
  • leakage from faulty appliances and chimneys/flues.

PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN A CURE!

The best course of action is to take steps that prevent carbon monoxide becoming a problem in the first place.Be aware of the sources of carbon monoxide especially in domestic properties where a number of appliances could be responsible. (Generators are a huge cause of Carbon Monoxide poisoning – unvented gas or kerosene space heaters also.)

  • Get appliances professionally installed and regularly serviced to ensure they work efficiently and safely.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation for all fuel burning appliances.
  • Install monitoring devices for the early detection of excess carbon monoxide.
  • Recognise the early signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, particularly when more than one family or work member is affected, and seek medical advice promptly.

Protect yourself and your family this winter.


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What You Need To Know About Your TV’s Settings

Your TV comes with four settings that allow adjustments to improve the picture quality of your television.

TV settings from the factory are set for bright retail locations that do not always work in your home environment.

Understand your TV’s Video Settings

Sometimes the labels don’t tell the full story:

  • Tint is almost certainly set correctly already. Don’t mess with it.
  • Sharpness adds false information to make a crisper image. It’s less useful on HD sets than on older analog TVs, so you should probably lower it.
  • Brightness doesn’t actually adjust brightness, but alters black level. So when you turn up the brightness, you’re really just turning down the blackness.
  • Contrast, called “Picture” on some TVs, doesn’t control the contrast, but the brightness.

Secur-Tek, Inc. offers a TV calibration service to fine tune your TV’s settings for your home.  It takes on average one (1) hour for each TV to be calibrated and this appointment can be set up by calling our office at (919) 387-1800.

(Note: HDMI or component video input to TV needs to be accessible if you do not have a DVD player currently connected to the TV to be calibrated.)

Calibration can also be done for your media room projector!!!


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Make Yourself at Home

So many areas of our lives are constantly changing for the better. We are always on the move adapting what we do to benefit our families and our belongings. As we head into the hectic spring season we find ourselves at home more during the week and heading outside more on the weekend. It is because of this  fast paced Triangle lifestyle of school, chores, kid activities, work and play that gets us to think about slowing down a little bit and assessing doing some upgrades and changes to our homes and property.

Secur-Tek, Inc. does exactly that and we are located right here in Historic Apex NC. We are convenient to Cary, Holly Springs, and the rest of the Triangle region as well. We specialize in doing the kinds of unique upgrades that make staying home a much more enjoyable experience. Here is just a small menu of what Secur-Tek, Inc. offers:

  • Home automation for entertainment, lighting, and music.
  • Family-focused home security systems that feature pet- friendly motion detectors.
  • Air quality investments that include Dirt Devil central vacuum systems.
  • Flat screen television installation.
  • Wireless network configuration and integration.     

Every upgrade that you do to your home environment brings increased value and sustained gratification. We continually offer an array of high-end products and services that please even the most discretionary of homeowners. Our core values and high quality service have been local to the area for over 20 years. Our mission, to serve the local community, is our number one priority. Our recent presence at last weekend’s Raleigh Spring Home Hot Tub & Landscape Show offered us the opportunity to meet and greet hundreds of visitors to the event and introduce ourselves.

We offer complimentary consultations and we look forward to serving you in the near future.

This blog was brought to you by the good folks at Secur-Tek, Inc. located in Apex, North Carolina at 809 B Center Street.

Phone: 919 387 1800

Fax: 919 387 3727

Find us on the web at: https://www.secur-tek.com/index.htm

Find and LIKE us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SecurTekNC


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An Investment in Security with Secur-Tek, Inc.

Secur-Tek, Inc. has been serving the Triangle Region and Apex, North Carolina for over 22 years with the commitment and focus of quality that you would expect from the premier security systems company in Wake County and Eastern North Carolina. We are here locally in the community to help you with your residential and business security and we do it right to protect your family, your possessions, and your property.

One critical option that offers peace of mind is the 24 hour monitoring of your security or fire alarm system. Secur-Tek, Inc. will monitor your system even if another security company originally installed it. The monitoring station will notify the police or fire department immediately if any activation occurs at your home or business.

There is never a need to worry about protection because Affiliated Central is one of the most technologically advanced central stations in the country dedicated to digital monitoring; they also were  one of the very first to install complete redundancy for telephone and automation to help ensure 24-7 dependability. With both reliability and increased safety, the system has advanced multi-layer protection.

We always present our prices with every consultation  to ensure that all the information about product and service can be assessed by our potential customer. It is critical to note that some companies offer so-called “free” systems but charge variable and increasing rates to the consumer. Our security menu has consistent fees that are integral to each system. This prevents any miscommunication and confusion once everything is installed and implemented.

We believe in the highest level of both service and support that sets the standard for the Triangle communities we serve.

Secur-Tek Inc. never requires a long-term monitoring contract for either home or business when connected to our monitoring services. We rely on our core values as a community partner whose service and friendly smile keep our customers loyal to our high levels of quality, service, and commitment.

We will never offer a lengthy contract that will complicate our relationship with our most important asset, our clients.

Please call us, or even better, come visit our local offices adjacent to Historic Downtown Apex. We would love to share with you all the benefits and advantages of both safety and security.

 

This blog was brought to you by the good folks at Secur-Tek, Inc. located in Apex, North Carolina at 809 B Center Street.

Phone: 919 387 1800

Fax: 919 387 3727

Find us on the web at: https://www.secur-tek.com/index.htm

Find and LIKE us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SecurTekNC


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Not All Alarm Companies Suck!

Home Alarm Monitoring recently wrote a blog post entitled: “10 Reasons Most Alarm Companies Suck” that was too good not to respond to.  You can read the article HERE, but they do an excellent job of pointing out how many home alarm companies do a terrible job for their customers.

They cite:

1.  Lengthy Contract Terms – sometimes up to 5 years, which can often come as a surprise to customers who have never met with a live agent and have dealt only with web and telephone based sales.

Note: Secur-Tek, Inc. offers yearly agreements and does not require customers to sign 5 year contracts.

2.  Harassing Sales Calls – customers who shop around and choose not to renew a contract can sometimes be subjected to months of calls from persistent salespeople.

Note: Secur-Tek, Inc. respects the decision of its customers and does not harass them if they decide to discontinue their monitoring agreement.

3.  Proprietary Equipment – after an expensive purchase and installation, many people find out that their installed security system is not theirs to use as they see fit and is almost always proprietary from use by other companies.

Note: Secur-Tek, Inc. uses non-proprietary equipment, so if you sell your home and the new home-owner has a relationship with another alarm company, that alarm company can use the existing equipment.

4.  Billing Tactics – many customers have discovered that their credit card or bank account continues to be charged AFTER they’ve cancelled their account.

Note: Secur-Tek, Inc. is happy to offer automatic billing as an option to our customers, but we are vigilant about stopping our bills if service is discontinued.

5.  Misleading Sales Spiels – many people are receiving misleading sales pitches offering a ‘free’ system which quickly snowballs into hundreds of dollars in start-up fees or high monthly monitoring, with the unappealing parts of the contract hidden.

Note: Secur-Tek, Inc. does not offer free security systems as a sales ploy.  The systems we install are purchased systems with a lower monthly monitoring rate that will cost our customers less when multiplied out a few years.

6.  Automatic Renewal of Complicated Contracts – contracts with a home security company can be very complicated and some even institute an automatic update policy, so that customers are enrolled in another term of service without ever being informed.

Note: Secur-Tek, Inc.’s yearly monitoring agreements can be discontinued with 30 days’ notice after the first year.

7.  Monitoring Problems – It’s not uncommon to find out that alarm systems have gone unmonitored or disturbances were not reported by the alarm company.

Note:  Secur-Tek, Inc. installed systems send test signals to verify that the alarm panel is communicating with the central monitoring station.  However, it is up to the customer to periodically test their system for normal operation.

8.  Lackluster Technicians – “morning” or “afternoon” windows for service calls create the necessity for a half-day’s cleared schedule.

Note:  Secur-Tek, Inc. schedules its service calls on hourly windows for the technician to arrive.  We strive to meet this scheduled appointment and hope the customer understands if a prior appointment causes the technician to be a little late.  The technician will always call if their appointment times change.

9.  Faulty Equipment – many home monitoring companies have come under fire for the sub-par equipment they provide at a premium price.

Note:  Secur-Tek, Inc. installs Honeywell security products and does not purchase inexpensive equipment at bulk or discounted rates.  Over 95% of Secur-Tek, Inc. systems are still in operation today with some over 20 years old.

10.  Poor Customer Service – The single biggest complaint about most alarm companies is that their customer service is completely incompetent or unfriendly.

Note:   Secur-Tek, Inc. prides itself in providing a high standard in customer service whether it’s a field technician, office employee or sales person.  By not locking in a customer to a long term contract, Secur-Tek, Inc. has to provide a quality service or the customer can look elsewhere.

Not all home alarm or security companies suck!  But there are plenty that do.  Please do your research and choose wisely!

 

This blog was brought to you by the good folks at Secur-Tek, Inc. located in Apex, North Carolina at 809 B Center Street.

Phone: 919 387 1800

Fax: 919 387 3727

Find us on the web at: https://www.secur-tek.com/index.htm

Find and LIKE us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SecurTekNC


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Half Term Fun

It’s with a mixture of pleasure and apprehension that we welcome this year’s first half-term holiday (11th – 19th February). If you’re lucky enough to be at home with the kids, we know how difficult it can be to keep them entertained for the entire week. Especially when there’s housework to be done as well.
Dirt Devil