Ensure Your Security System Is Functioning Properly with these Easy Checks

 

Your Security System is critical to keeping your family and property safe. Doing a few simple self-checks on your system is key to ensuring that it is working properly. We’ve listed a few easy, proactive actions you can take to ensure your system is operating in top order.

Perform Exterior Property Checks: 

  • Walk around your home occasionally and inspect the locks on all gates, doors and windows. Check the frames around each door and window to ensure there is no rotting, warping or any other condition that makes it easier to break in and enter.
  • Check all exterior lights (flood, porch, security) monthly to ensure they are functioning. Strong winds can sometimes cause security lighting to shift slightly or get debris on them so the lighting is not aimed exactly where you want. Readjust and clean the lights as needed to maximize their effectiveness.
  • If you have cameras included in your system, examine them to make sure they have power, are aimed properly, and have not been bumped or damaged. Also, take the time to check your monitoring and recording devices to verify each camera is getting an image and recording appropriately.

At Secur-Tek, Inc. we also recommend the homeowner perform a yearly system test to check that all communications throughout the system are functioning as designed.

Here are the steps to follow:

            1) Place your system on test mode by calling:

Secur-Tek, Inc. @ 919-387-1800, 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday

OR

Affiliated Monitoring at 800-434-4000 24/7.

Please Note: You will need your account # and password.

            2) Arm your alarm system like you are getting ready to leave – it should start to beep, and countdown.  Wait for this process to complete. The alarm system is now armed.

  • Activate the alarm by utilizing the device(s) on the system you want to test; for example, open each door or window. 
  • Allow the alarm system to sound the “big” alarm. After the alarm has sounded for 3 to 4 seconds disarm the alarm system.
  • Clear the alarm from the keypad by either hitting the reset key or entering your code and ‘off’ twice.

            3) Verify with Secur-Tek, Inc. or Affiliated Monitoring that signals have been received. If signals are received, inform them the test is over. If no signals were received, you may need to schedule a service call with Secur-Tek.

 

Replacing the battery  – your system’s main battery life is typically 4-5 years depending on the usage and environment it is stored in. Here is the step-by-step process for changing out your main battery when your keypad displays “BATT” or “LOW BATTERY”

Inside your security panel (normally located in a closet) is a small square 12-volt battery about the size of a brick.  See Picture Below:

  • First, disarm your alarm system.
  • Next, unlock and open the panel door. Slide the red and black wires away from the clips to remove the battery.

Please Note: We recommend taking the battery with you to purchase a replacement. If you bring the battery with you, the store can recycle it and you can get exactly the battery you need. Secur-Tek sells a 7AH Battery for $27.95 that you may purchase at our office. You can also purchase these at Batteries Plus.

  • With the new battery, connect the wires back to the terminals matching red to red and black to black — CAUTION – be sure to connect similar colors.
  • Close and lock the door. The new battery can take up to 24 hours to get fully charged. You may need to reset the keypad after replacing the battery to clear the low battery message.
  • Replacing batteries in your wireless sensors (example:  Door/Window Contact, Motion Detector, or Glass Break Detector).

 

Replacing batteries in your wireless sensors (example:  Door/Window Contact, Motion Detector, or Glass Break Detector)

First, you will need to put your system on test when replacing these batteries. The system will beep once when the cover to the wireless sensor is removed. You can go to the keypad and enter your code and off to silence this while you replace the batteries. Once you are finished, the keypad should clear of any troubles.

  • Inside each sensor is a 9-volt or 3-volt battery. Locate the tab or notch on the side or bottom of the contact and gently twist a flat head screwdriver in the notch to release the cover. Caution do not break plastic tab; if the tab is broken you must purchase a new sensor unit requiring a service visit.
  • Remove the cover and take out the existing battery(ies). Install the replacement(s), paying attention to match the polarity.
  • Now re-attach cover; the cover should click into place.
  • By following these steps, you can know that your security system is functioning properly, giving you the peace of mind that your property and family are safe.

If you have further questions, please call Secur-Tek at 919-387-1800. Asking questions now about your system or the operation of it can save valuable time later if an emergency does occur.

 

Secur-Tek is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security, monitoring, automation audio and central vacuum systems. Our service area includes Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro in North Carolina.

 

 

 

Balancing Convenience, Safety and Security with Access Control Systems for Communities and Businesses

Homeowners Association (HOA) governed communities — residential, apartment, condominium and townhome complexes and larger businesses often have common areas like swimming pools, fitness centers, and clubhouses. These amenities are great for residents or employees but create a number of liabilities for the association or business. Therefore, the board of directors, association or businesses’ management will need to mitigate these liabilities through the control and monitoring of recreational areas.  

To start with, a perimeter fence and controlled access gate are a must. Options available to control this access include:

  • mechanical coded lock systems
  • magnetic strip key cards  
  • coded key fobs.

Card and key fobs are top solutions to control swimming pool and fitness center access. Requiring proximity cards or badges to enter pool gates keeps strangers or unattended children out while offering convenient access to members or residents. They can also be set up to open gates at specific times and coded so authorized personnel can review when keys are used for legal as well as illegal entry. 

For ease of access management, Secur-Tek, Inc. now offers cloud-based storage and log on capabilities. Using internet access with valid user name and password allows a client to make program changes or unlock/lock a door/gate from anywhere. For best control of your point of access, we install Keyscan access systems manufactured by Dormakaba.  https://www.dormakaba.com/us-en/solutions/products/electronic-access—data

 

In addition to good fencing and access point control, we highly recommend installing cameras and monitoring them. Cameras serve multiple purposes. When visible, they act as a deterrent and they can also provide helpful evidence for prosecuting individuals caught in the act of committing crimes. Should the unfortunate situation arise of someone getting hurt or drowning, cameras also offer the option to review what happened and validate that safety equipment was in place, and lifeguards and EMT followed protocol. It is important to note that cameras are only effective if they are regularly maintained to ensure proper operation.

 

Securing common areas while allowing convenient access for those authorized to use them is a serious issue for HOAs and businesses alike. At Secur-Tek, Inc. we can help those with that responsibility through the process of selecting and installing the right equipment given your situation, budget and safety/security requirements. Give us a call at 919-387-1800. 

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Secur-Tek is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security, monitoring, automation audio and central vacuum systems.  Our service area includes Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro in North Carolina.

Should You Have Your Home Security System Monitored? Seven Things to Consider

 

We often find ourselves dealing with change:

  • Moving into a new home and neighborhood
  • Completing a home renovation project
  • Upgrading our home’s technology — smart feature, entertainment or home security
  • Personal or family changes — like seniors coming to live with you or adding a pet to the family

And when you’re dealing with the changes, you may find yourself wondering, should I have my security system monitored? If so, taking the time to clarify and think through your security situation will help you make an informed decision.

 

 Seven questions to ask when determining your home security needs:

  • Do you have children, seniors or pets that are left alone during the day? What are their ages and how self-sufficient are they? Have you ever found yourself worrying about them or their safety while you are away?
  • Has your job status or personal situation changed so you find you must travel more and spend time away from your home?
  • Have you acquired any new expensive jewelry, electronics, or family heirlooms that would be difficult to replace?
  • Do you work more than 20 – 30 minutes away from your home, making it more difficult to run home to check on things?
  • Home location – does your landscaping hide your home or is it visible from the street? Are you near major roads with lots of easy accessibility?
  • What kind of security does your neighborhood have? Police presence? Gated community? ACTIVE neighborhood watch?
  • Do you have a pool, fireplace or fire pit?

If you find yourself worrying about any of these situations, here’s what monitoring can do for you. While deterring burglars or prowlers may seem like the main function of monitoring your house, there are also other critical aspects that monitoring offers. The key to minimizing loss of property or helping individuals in need is quick response time. Fire detection, heat sensors, air quality as well as senior/child/pet alert systems can keep a potential bad home situation from turning into a disaster.

So why monitor your home if there is an alarm installed?

The typical system will have a siren go off for approximately five minutes after it is tripped. If monitored and there is no emergency in progress, the alarm can be canceled by giving the monitoring station your password. If a burglar or prowler trips the alarm, they usually leave the premise quickly. In many cases, the intruder will then hide and watch to see if there is any activity in the home, or if police/people arrive. If so, they typically will leave quickly to focus their efforts on an easier target — a non-monitored home.

Low-voltage smoke detectors connected to your monitored alarm system give quicker responses to fires — much better than relying on someone possibly noticing smoke from your house and reacting to it.

Pro Tip: If you are away and unable to respond to an alarm, it is a good idea to have a relative, trusted neighbor, or friend know the code and meet the emergency responders if the alarm is tripped. They can let the police in and check to make sure nothing is missing.

Finally, you might want to consider this – monitoring isn’t just to alert the police or fire departments. It is there for you and your family’s peace of mind.  

            True Protection — Some homeowners assume a burglar alarm making a lot of noise is enough protection. In truth, like car alarms, home alarms are often ignored by people nearby, who assume it is going off by accident.

            Other Home Issues – While not as urgent as a fire or break-in, a gas leak can cause serious problems in your home. Monitoring systems can be set up to alert you in case of a gas leak or to let you know your freezer is no longer on — indicating a power outage.

            Assistance — Monitoring systems can also notify people that you need assistance in case of a fall or other personal accident.

            Sleeping Easy — Monitoring means someone is always keeping an eye (and ear) on your home. Many security system clients say knowing someone is there offers peace of mind, making it easier to sleep at home and while away.

Bottom Line: While there is a monthly cost to monitor your home, only monitored systems have professionals to help respond to emergencies 24/7. Once you assess your lifestyle, property parameters and situation, you may see that monitoring is the right choice for you. But please be sure to always read the contract you are signing carefully to ensure you are getting the exact coverage you require for the price you deem expectable.

If you have questions or would like to discuss your security system needs, please don’t hesitate to call us!

2019 is going to be a great Year!

 

A smart home can increase your safety and convenience to help you enjoy it!

It’s a new year and believe it or not, spring is right around the corner. Now is the time for planning those 2019 home improvements you’ve been thinking about. Installing smart home features is not only a great investment and wonderful convenience; it can give you greater peace of mind.  

How does it do that you might ask? Think about:

           Traveling– If you are a person that travels a lot – either job related or if you just enjoy exploring on the weekends — you can check on your property and valuables anytime you like. Furthermore, it allows you to let family/neighbors into your home to check on plants, pets and/or elderly parents you might have living with you.

            Maybe you have children that are at the age where you know they will be okay staying at home alone but just want the peace of mind and convenience of being able to check and monitor what is happening while your away. Or even let them in when they lock themselves out (as kids often do). Again, it is also a great way to handle the logistics of senior care or infant babysitting, freeing you up to do what you need to do.

            Beyond providing essential home security, smart home system can also save you time and money. Say goodbye to wasting PTO being stuck at home during one of those infamous “anytime between noon and 5 pm” delivery windows – just have us add a Skybell video doorbell to your home security system.

            When you have smart door locks, you can let people in to drop off deliveries or make home updates from your smartphone app. An exterior door camera lets you see exactly who is arriving, indoor monitors watch the progress while they are in your home, so you know everything that is happening. In addition, a Smart Home can start saving you money immediately. Your system can turn lights on and off and smart thermostat can help automate your temperature settings saving energy while making sure your home is comfortable when you arrive. You’ll be able to remotely access and control the thermostat, set up schedules, and receive temperature alerts, all through the app on your smartphone or tablet.

            It’s a Great Investment! Statistics prove that a home security and automation system can actually help sell your home. Coldwell Banker’s annual smart-home survey, published in January 2018, asked potential homebuyers about the importance of smart home devices:

                        63% want smart locks pre-installed

                        66% want smart home security cameras pre-installed

                        75% want smart smoke detectors pre-installed

                        77% want smart thermostats pre-installed

            Flexibility, with a Smart Home from Secur-Tek, Inc. – you can start with the level of features you would like and based upon your timeframes and resources, build on as you go!

As you can see, installing a Smart Home in 2019 can make sense from an economic, safety and convenience perspective. At Secur-Tek Inc., we have highly trained, reliable and friendly people to help you choose the features and level of Smart Home that is right for you.

If you would like to learn more about the Smart Home features offered by Secur-Tek, Inc. give us a call or fill out the form below.

Taking Your Student to College? 9 Safety Tips to Review Before They Go

 Campus life can be one of the best experiences in a young person’s life. Making new friends, learning new things, camaraderie, exploration and all the excitement that comes from learning independence. As parents we want our children to be as safe and secure as possible during this wonderful time of life.

Below are a few safety tips to discuss with your student to help ensure all goes well.

1) Take the time to explore. Get to know total campus layout and surrounding areas. Learn the most direct, well lit, open routes (few bushes & trees) to different points on campus. Most campuses have emergency call buttons and/or phones at key locations throughout campus. Take note of where they are located and become familiar with their operation.

2) Use your technology wisely. Check your campus website for safety tips, procedures, and emergency information. Many have free apps like Campus Safe or Safe Trek that can be activated while walking alone and deactivate once you have arrived safely to your destination. This is a great protection when you find yourself in the situation of having to walk alone at night. When using your headphones, make sure you are still aware of your surroundings, both visually and hearing. The key to safety is recognizing a potentially dangerous situation before it happens and taking action to avoid it. 

3Think before you post on social media. It is fun to share moments, pictures and thoughts as we experience college life. However, your posts may be viewed by other people as well. Review the settings on your social media profiles and definitely avoid geotagging your photos. Disable location services and make your accounts private so you can be sure of who is viewing what.

4) Double check that you have emergency numbers programmed into your phone. If you are away at school, ensure you not only have your parent’s numbers listed but also a local reliable family member or friend. It is the first item hospitals and police check if you’re admitted alone because they are able to bypass your passcode in order to access your contacts.

5) Carry some cash. With debit/credit cards the main mode of payment these days, sometimes it is hard to remember to have some emergency cash on you at all times. Perhaps your credit card won’t work, your debit card gets lost, or you lose your backpack. You never want to be stuck in a bad situation because you don’t have the necessary funds to get out of it as quickly as possible.

6) Lock your doors. It is easy to become comfortable and relaxed in the college environment especially when living in a Dorm, Fraternity/Sorority house, or college apartment complex. However, it is sensible to always lock your doors, especially when you’re alone or sleeping. Sometimes this is tough with roommates coming and going but most college crimes happen where access points are unlocked. Take time to hide your technology and valuables when leaving and/or close window curtains and blinds. Consider purchasing a small safe for your ID documents and for storing your laptop, iPad, and other valuables when you’re away. Keep your safe hidden in an unusual place. Bedroom closets and under the bed are the first place thieves look for valuables. If you live on the first floor of a building, make sure your windows lock. If they don’t, you can purchase a jam stick or sliding window lock at the local home improvement store or Internet.

 7) Party Safely. Yes, you probably will be going to a party or celebration .. or two! Have fun but be smart. Never go to a party at an unknown location without a friend or two. Never stay at a party where you have “just met someone who seems nice” after your friends have gone home. And finally, never become so inebriated you lose control. Sometimes it is easy to get carried away with the festivities and common sense goes out the window. Make an agreement with your friends to watch out for and take care of each other as a number one priority! Party’s can turn into dangerous situations if you do not keep aware of your surroundings and the coming and going of the people attending.

8) Make sure you have pepper spray or mace easily assessable to you. Have one located out of sight in your apartment as well as having one easily assessable to you while you are out and about. Fastening these items to a key ring, lanyard, and backpack will ensure they are there when you may need them.

9) Learn how to protect yourself physically. You’ll feel safer and more confident. You don’t need to invest a lot of money or time in getting a black belt to master self-defense; all you need are a few classes and tips from a professional instructor. Classes are often available at colleges and gyms. To make it fun, ask your roommates or a few friends to take the class with you. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how much better you feel when you are out and about.

College is an exciting time and a rewarding experience. As busy as you’ll be with learning, meeting new friends and operating with a new level of independence, remembering these nine simple safety tips will help ensure a safe productive school year. 

Tips for Saving Money and Energy While on Vacation

Did you know that you can save both energy and money while you are away on vacation? Just follow these home energy efficiency tips:

  • Turn the air conditioning down – For every degree a thermostat is raised during the summer, a homeowner can save 2-3 percent on his or her electricity bill.
  • Unplug your small kitchen appliances and tech gear. These household items are called “energy vampires” because they still draw current even when not in use. So before the family leaves, someone should walk around the house and unplug every unnecessary appliance and electronic device. Start with the television, computer, and entertainment center, but don’t forget small items like coffee pots, digital clocks, and cell phone chargers – they all drain energy when plugged in.
  • To avoid unexpected water loss and damage, turn off your main water shutoff valve.
  • Set your water heater to low or vacation mode if it has one. If you will be gone for quite awhile, shut off your water heater at the fuse box. When arriving back home, remember to turn the main shutoff valve back on and run some water in the sink to ensure your tank is full before turning it back on.
  • If you have an automated irrigation system, check to see if the rain sensor is set to ¼ inch.
  • Lower the blinds and close the curtains when leaving for vacation. This simple act will keep heat from coming in during the summer or going out during the winter.
  • Double check to ensure your smoke detectors and home security alarm systems are operating in an optimal fashion.

For tips on protecting your home and property while away, review our Leaving On Vacation Home Security Checklist at:

https://www.secur-tek.com/leaving-on-vacation-heres-your-handy-home-security-checklist/

Following both the Energy Saving and Vacation Home Security Checklists will help give you and your family peace of mind while away on vacation. So enjoy your vacation, and come back refreshed and ready to go!!

 

Protecting Pollinators and Securing NC’s Agricultural Future

The Butterfly Highway 

You have probably heard about how important pollinators are to our state, country and the world. Because we are locally owned and headquartered in Apex, we support the North Carolina Butterfly Highway – an initiative that works to protect these delicate insects that are a critical part of our ecosystem.  

Did you know?

  • North Carolina has a $78 billion agriculture economy that relies on pollinators for crops such as squash, apples, blueberries and strawberries.
  • Global food crops are dependent on pollinators and more than 70% of these crops either require or have higher production because of a pollinator insect visit.
  • There are 174 species of butterflies in NC and approximately 1200 moth species.
  • Monarch butterflies journey through NC during both their spring and fall migrations. Because of the threats to pollinator habitats, there has been a loss of important nectar plants as well as a significant loss in the Monarch’s host plant milkweed, which can affect their ability to fly the long distances as a part of migration
  • There are 13 known bumblebee species in NC; several are threatened with extinction. 

These are only a few facts listed on the North Carolina Wildlife Federation website. Upon review, it becomes immediately clear how important it is to protect these critical insects’ habitat.

In response to this growing need, the Butterfly Highway project was initiated and nurtured by Angel Hjarding in Charlotte, NC and is now a key part of the N.C. Wildlife Federation’s programs.

“We began the Butterfly Highway project with several Charlotte communities that wanted to beautify their environment through planting gardens. Through the project, the communities transformed community gardens, backyard gardens, public spaces and park fragments into new pollinator and wildlife habitats,” said Angel Hjarding. “As we expand this effort statewide, we’ll start to fill in the map and see the connectivity of the Butterfly Highway from the mountains to the coast.”

Would you like to support the Butterfly highway initiative?

There are many ways to become involved. Either through being a NC Wildlife Federation member, donor, volunteer or creating a butterfly/bee space in your community or home. It is easy, fun, beautiful and the responsible thing to do.

For example, to become a designated Butterfly Highway pollinator garden, you only need the following elements:

 Size: No minimum size required as long as the appropriate plants and resources are provided. Even an apartment balcony can provide habitat for pollinators.

Sun: Pollinators and the plants that support them need lots of sun. Your garden should receive at least 6 hours of sun per day.

Soil and water: Various plants have different soil and water needs. See our recommended native plant list for appropriate plants for your habitat type. Most pollinators get the water they need from nectar, but butterflies do love puddling in a butterfly spa!

Shelter: Plants should be planted close together, but not crowded, to provide protection from pests and predators.

Place to raise young: Native bees typically build their nests in the ground and require open patches of soil. Leave space in your garden free of mulch and debris to provide this essential bee nesting habitat. Butterflies lay their eggs on trees and herbaceous plants.

Food source: Nectar plants provide an essential food source for butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. It is important to provide plants that bloom from early spring to late fall to provide adequate food for breeding and migration. It is also recommended to provide a variety of plants in different colors, shapes and heights that may be attractive to a diversity of pollinators. Your garden should include at least 3 nectar plants that are native to your region. See a list of recommended plants.

Sustainable gardening practices: Many pollinators are insects and are vulnerable to the effects of insecticides. It is recommended to use organic gardening practices to reduce these effects.

If you are interested in learning more about NCWF click here: http://ncwf.org/about/

For more information about creating your own butterfly highway habitat:  Click here.

 

 

Tips for Hosting a Super Super Bowl Party

Thinking about throwing a Super Super Bowl LII Party? It can be lots of fun; following a few party hosting guidelines can help make sure everyone has a great time.

 

1) Who (and how) many people should I invite?

It may depend on the space you have, but for most parties, keeping the number of guests to 15 – 20 is optimal. This number is large enough to get a lot of talk and laughter, but not so large that as the host, you have to spend all of your time checking on everyone – after all, it is the Super Bowl and you want to watch and have fun as well.

As far as who you should invite, close friends, family, or neighbors and their significant others are always a good start. Work friends or colleagues are fine as long as you know them well and socialize with them on a regular basis. Think twice about inviting upper “management” (unless of course, those are your colleagues) simply because your friends, family, and co-workers might feel restrained or uncomfortable with career decision makers in the room.

2) What timing is good for the party?

When inviting guests, have a defined start and end time – not more than an hour before kickoff and shortly after the game ends. This helps because the Super Bowl can play on for hours. People are going to be drinking, laughing and talking constantly which can get tiring. So avoid a “downer” ending by limiting the amount of time the party goes on. 

3) What do I need to consider about my place?

There should be enough seating, so the majority of people have a place to land.

You’ve probably already thought about getting your place looking nice and comfortably clean. Check to make sure you’ve got toilet paper stocked, soap dispensers contain soap and all walking areas are free from clutter.

Sometimes people forget to make sure the refrigerator has extra room and is presentable – guests may show up with a microbrew or appetizer and need a cold place to store it.

4) What about the TV or Entertainment System?

It is very important that everyone at your Super Bowl party has the ability to watch the game. The average Super Bowl party has 17 people, this can make viewing difficult. To address this, you can have multiple TV’s showing the game. Just make sure the TVs aren’t out of sync. If one set is slightly ahead of the other because of a lag in your digital receiver, the people in the back room who will hear everyone in the front room cheering before the play is finished. And that’s a serious Super Bowl party personal foul.

Or maybe it’s time for that home theater system you’ve been wanting! For help with evaluating home theater systems and installation, contact us.

5) What do I serve?

It’s a Super Bowl party—snacks are a must. It seems impossible to enjoy hyped-up football games without the proper amount of carbs, fats, sweets, barbecued things, miniature snacks, and pizza! To do this right, you must have at least three types of munchies (chips, nuts, and pretzels) plus any other crunchy you happen to like. Have them at multiple locations for easy access.

Then, around halftime, you should present the warm edibles. Again, the rule of three seems a solid strategy to make sure everyone has something they enjoy. The key is to keep it simple and fun! You can even order food.

If ordering food for delivery, having a smart doorbell is a great help. Swap your current doorbell for a Skybell and enjoy a higher level of safety and convenience. When the delivery person rings the doorbell, you can see who is there. No more interruptions during the game or missing the food delivery because of the loud party going on inside. Call us at Secur-Tek to find out more.

6) What about drinks?

Stock up on ice. Buy the number of bags you think you need plus two — it goes fast! Then pick up a giant pack of small water bottles and arrange them in a cooler convenient for all. Water keeps people hydrated and in good spirits – it also comes in handy if guests drink alcohol.

In addition, get a couple types of non-alcoholic beverages. (Pick those you like so if it is left over you can enjoy it later).

If you feel comfortable serving alcohol, offer a variety. Wine, beer, and the hard stuff (don’t get too fancy). Include a couple bottles of white and red wine, light and regular beer and whichever vodka or gin you like. Clear alcohol is the best for avoiding spill stains and ease of cleaning up.

Note – make sure as the host you offer your guests plenty of water during the second half of the game so people stay alert, safe and in a good mood. 

7) What about the halftime show?

Even though you might be tempted, don’t turn the volume down during halftime. Every group of friends has a few people that want to see Justin Timberlake. Of course, it probably won’t compare to his SB 2004 performance and Janet Jackson’s “costume malfunction”. 🙂

Don’t mute commercials, either. They’ll be guests who want to see what Budweiser has planned or how the puppy bowl turns out!

 

 

8) Corral the Kids

If there will be children coming to your home during the party, prepare a separate space and some entertainment to keep them happy and busy during the game. Most children don’t have the interest or attention span for long drawn out sporting events. Make sure you have a safe separate room where the kids can play, watch a movie or play games. Also, keep them supplied with their own “child-friendly” snacks and drinks, because “kiddy fingers” shouldn’t be an ingredient in the snacks the grown ups are munching on.

 9) Last and far from least – avoid social media.

Make it a party rule and emphasize it at the door in a fun way:

No Facebook posts. No Instagrams. No Snap Chats. No Twitter.

Why? This will avoid party “dead zones” where guest get sucked into their phones instead of talking and enjoying the game with the people around them. Additionally, just in case someone realizes the next morning work is probably not in the cards, there won’t evidence of what they (or you) were up to the night before.

 

So there you have it – the simple but effective guidelines for a Super-De-Duper Super Bowl Party everyone will enjoy!  And by the way, let your Mother, Brother, Sister or best friends know that next year is on them!!

 

Thanks for reading!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) What do I serve?

It’s a Super Bowl party—snacks are a must. It seems impossible to enjoy hyped-up football games without the proper amount of carbs, fats, sweets, barbecued things, miniature snacks, and pizza! To do this right, you must have at least three types of munchies (chips, nuts, and pretzels) plus any other crunchy you happen to like. Have them at multiple locations for easy access.

Then, around half time you should present the warm edibles. Again, the rule of three seems a solid strategy to make sure everyone has something they enjoy. The key is to keep it simple and fun! You can even order food.

 

If ordering food for delivery, having a smart doorbell is a great help. Swap your current doorbell for a Skybell and enjoy a higher level of safety and convenience. When the delivery person rings the doorbell, you can see who is there. No more interruptions during the game or missing the food delivery because of the loud party going on inside. Call us at Secur-Tek to find out more.

 

6) What about drinks?

Stock up on ice. Buy the number of bags you think you need plus two — it goes fast! Then pick up a giant pack of small water bottles and arrange them in a cooler convenient for all. Water keeps people hydrated and in good spirits – it also comes in handy if guests drink alcohol.

In addition, get a couple types of non-alcoholic beverages. (Pick those you like so if it is left over you can enjoy it later).

If you feel comfortable serving alcohol, offer a variety. Wine, beer, and the hard stuff (don’t get too fancy). Include a couple bottles of white and red wine, light and regular beer and whichever vodka or gin you like. Clear alcohol is the best for avoiding spill stains and ease of cleaning up.

 

Note – make sure as the host you offer your guests plenty of water during the second half of the game so people stay alert, safe and in a good mood!

 

7) What about the halftime show?

Even though you might be tempted, don’t turn the volume down during halftime. Every group of friends has a few people that want to see Justin Timberlake. Of course, it probably won’t compare to his SB 2004 performance and Janet Jackson’s “costume malfunction”.

Don’t mute commercials, either. They’ll be guests who want to see what Budweiser has planned or how the puppy bowl turns out!

 

VOIP AND DIGITAL PHONE SERVICE MAY INTERFERE WITH YOUR SECURITY/LIFE SAFETY SYSTEM

13767649_sWe would like to inform you about the potential impact that new types of phone services may have on your security/life safety system.  Commonly referred to as “VoIP” (Voice over Internet Protocol) and “digital telephone service,” these new phone options are rapidly growing in popularity.  These technologies allow you to make telephone calls via a broadband connection instead of using a traditional, “landline” phone service.  The benefits include enhanced features and lower costs compared to the traditional service. Typically, these new types of phone services replace your landline service.

It is important that you are aware that these new services can adversely affect your electronic security/life safety system.

In almost all cases, your security/life safety system relies on proper operation of the telephone line, and its associated special security wiring, to reliably communicate alarm signals to the central station. There are several important things to consider before making the decision to use VoIP or digital telephone service:

  • With a self-installed VoIP service, such as Vonage or AT&T’s CallVantage, your alarm system may lose its connection to the telephone service, rendering the system unable to send alarm signals to the central station.  VoIP technology may also cause your alarm signals to get scrambled as they are sent to the central station.
  • With digital telephone phone services offered by your cable provider, your system may be unable to consistently and reliably send alarm signals to the central station.  This technology may also cause your alarm signals to get scrambled as they are sent to the central station.
  • In addition to the security system’s battery back-up equipment, VoIP and digital phone services may need additional battery back-up equipment to maintain communications in the event of a power failure.

Either way, there is significant risk that your security/life safety system will not be able to communicate an emergency signal to the central station.

We encourage you to check with Secur-Tek, Inc. before making any changes to your existing telephone service. If you have already made the decision to switch to VoIP or digital phone service, it is extremely important that you contact us after you have the new phone service installed and Secur-Tek, Inc. will arrange a service call to properly test your system and check the wiring.

For the utmost reliability, there are new security communications solutions available that use digital wireless transmission or the Internet to reliably send alarm signals to the central station. These services allow you to take maximum advantage of cost savings from VoIP or digital telephone services while maintaining, and even improving, the reliability of your security/life safety system.  We would be happy to discuss these options with you.

If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact Secur-Tek, Inc. at 919-387-1800.

 

Part 1 Q&A: Secur-Tek Owner Reflects on Best Security Practices

Secur-Tek opened its doors in 1990 to provide the Triangle and central NC residents with security systems and home automation. Owner Ken Henke recently spoke about his business, the industry, and what customers should know about home and business security.

You had your first security job in 1983. How did you get into security?

A security company had a job opening that was appealing to me and with my associate degree in electronics it was a good fit. I worked for this company for seven years and then I started my own business.

What do you love about your job?

I love that I’m my own boss. Working for myself and having more control over what I am providing to the customers. So if I was working for somebody [and] I didn’t agree with what was being provided to the customer, but that’s the way the employer did it, you bit your tongue and got paid. But as the owner, we have a standard we want to meet and make the customer happy and they in turn refer us to neighbors, friends and business associates.

What’s the most important security thing a homeowner can do?

Lock their doors. Go online and read about the breaks-in that occur. For example, you’ll hear about a rash of car break-ins in a neighborhood. The police find out all the car doors were unlocked. A lot of times it’s crimes of opportunity. People will walk up to a door and turn the doorknob and if it opens, they might knock on the door to make sure no-one is home, and if no-  one is home, they’re going to go in.

Installing a security system is also important because it’s more than just security. It’s smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors. It’s protecting your home from burning down or the death of a person who lives in your house because of carbon monoxide.

For businesses, what’s the most important security measure they can take?

In that case, a monitored security system is important. With businesses, people do break in and randomly search for things to steal whether it’s petty cash or small electronic devices. They’re going to break open doors and cabinets. It could be more of a monetary loss from the vandalism versus anything that’s been stolen from your business. How much money are you going to lose from being out of business for a day?

Are there any security challenges unique to the Triangle area?

People in North Carolina face the same crime challenges everyone does. Crime is pretty much random. All it takes is for somebody that is living a life of crime or if someone gets into a financial situation and they’re desperate or need quick cash. Neighborhoods are getting broken into now where people have said, “Oh crime doesn’t happen in our neighborhood.” One thing I would pass onto people is: some sort of crime is going to come to your neighborhood in the future. There is no way that you’re going to stop it, and it’s random. So a security system is like an insurance policy. Things happen at the wrong time. A security system is there to minimize the impact and to allow you to have peace of mind and go on with your life.

What security mistake do homeowners or business owners make most?

They buy the “free” alarm systems. The public is susceptible to the marketers, who say “I’ve got a free alarm system.” But they charge the customer more for the monthly monitoring. In the long run, you pay more for the free system than you do a purchased system. A lot of our current customers have already gone through the free system and came to Secur-Tek, Inc. to get away from it.

Click here to read Part 2

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