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Security Blog

Don’t Hide Valuables in Your Master Bedroom

Burglar

According to data from the Electronic Security Association, a burglary occurs in the United States every 15 seconds. The typical burglar can get in and out with a load of valuables in less than 10 minutes, and it usually only takes about 60 seconds to gain entry into a home. If there’s no home security system, it can leave a burglar with seven or eight minutes to search for things they can steal.

Should your home ever be burglarized, you may find valuable items missing from the master bedroom. That’s why an important first step in protecting yourself from becoming a victim is to never store your valuables there.

Master Bedrooms Are First Priority

Burglars know that the master bedroom is the main privacy sanctuary for adults – especially when children are involved. Adults store their valuables in their bedrooms to keep them away from little hands.

That’s why burglars make the master bedroom the No. 1 target when breaking into a home. It doesn’t matter whether they enter through the front door, a rear door, a side window, or even the basement. The first priority is to go straight to the master bedroom.

Step back a minute and take a quick inventory of your master bedroom. If you keep any of the following items in this room, you should know they make great targets for thieves:

  • home electronics
  • jewelry
  • cash, securities
  • small collectibles
  • credit cards, debit cards, etc.

Security experts sometimes encourage people to buy fake items they can plant in their master bedrooms as decoys. Some costume jewelry and a fake cellphone or two may satisfy a burglar, along with a small amount cash the victim is willing to part with.

Master Bedrooms Offer Easy Access

Burglars tend to stay away from interior rooms with limited access. Such rooms offer too much of a risk of being trapped. Master bedrooms usually don’t have the same risks, since they usually look out over the front or rear of the house with plenty of window access. Second-floor master bedrooms also tend to be very close to interior staircases. Such easy access is another reason why the master bedroom a burglary magnet.

Hiding Your Valuables

There is no foolproof way to protect all of your valuables in the event of a burglary. However, you can thwart burglars by hiding your valuables in creative places they will not take the time to look in. For example, a wall safe behind the medicine cabinet in the bathroom is very effective. A floor safe under a kitchen cupboard is another good option. The more burglars have to dig, the less likely they are to stick around. Find creative hiding places in the rooms deepest in your home’s interior.

We also recommend a home security system with 24-hour monitoring. Homes without security systems are three times more likely to be burglarized, while as many as 74 percent of uncompleted burglaries can be traced to alarm systems. A home alarm acts as a deterrent by creating noise and alerting the authorities quickly. A system will not give you 100 percent protection, but it will significantly decrease your chances of being victimized.

Authorized Monitronics dealers offer state-of-the-art wireless security systems connected to our 24-hour monitoring service. Let them work with you to custom design a system that meets your unique requirements and budget. With a monitored security system, your family and property will be safer.

Sources:

  1. Electronic Security Association – http://www.alarm.org/Resources.aspx
  2. Safewise – http://www.safewise.com/you-got-robbed

“Award-Winning” is More Than Just a Label

trophy-award

There’s a good reason why you’ll often see the term “award-winning” as part of any description of Monitronics and our monitoring services. It’s not just a catchphrase; it’s the truth.

The latest example came in mid-August when we were selected – for the fourth consecutive year – as a winner of the 2015 Consumers’ Choice award in the categories of Home Alarm and Business Security Systems. Companies based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are nominated by consumers; the votes are cast online by our customers and tabulated by Survey Sampling International, a global leader in consumer research.

Winning Consumers’ Choice for four straight years is a pretty big deal, but it’s not the only major award we’ve picked up this year. Last March, Monitronics also won the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Award for the fifth time in the past seven years as North American Residential Services Company of the Year. Frost & Sullivan is a global consulting firm that recognizes cutting-edge companies with best practices in growth, innovation and leadership.

Those awards honor the achievements of Monitronics as a home security company, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll see plenty of recognition for individual departments. For example, our Alarm Response Center, Dealer Development, Dealer Marketing, Sales, Customer Service and Training teams have all received recognition this year for outstanding performance in their respective areas. Our excellence is a reflection of the people who work here, not just in those teams but throughout the company.

When you read about Monitronics being an award-winning provider of home security systems and monitoring, it’s not just fluff. It’s the real deal, and it’s why we’re proud to have more than a million customers who trust us with their safety, home security and home monitoring. Check us out by visiting our website, or by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Home Invasion & Burglary Statistics

Burglary is one of the most common types of crime in the U.S. There are many ways in which this serious offence can occur. Some people are burgled while they are asleep while others will return home from work or from vacation to find their house has been broken into.

Although property crime is reportedly on the decrease, hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are affected by burglary each year. The effects of these crimes can be devastating.

Monitronics Infographic- Home Invasion & Burglary Statistics

What To Do if Your Child is Being Bullied

Child-Bully

When a child is being bullied, it can make a parent feel helpless and unsure of how to handle the situation. You don’t want your child to suffer, but you also don’t want to exacerbate the situation or, even worse, influence your child to bully in retaliation. It’s a delicate balance, but here are some expert bully tips to help you handle the situation effectively.

Start by paying close attention to changes in your child’s behavior, and keep the lines of communication open. Kids don’t always come right out and say they’re being bullied. Look for signs, such as a reluctance to go to school, or racing to use the bathroom the minute they get home because they haven’t been using the school restrooms. In particularly serious instances, they begin hurting themselves.

What do you do once you know for sure that your child is being bullied?

  • First, let your child speak, while you listen without judgment. Don’t interrupt or make your own judgment calls about the situation, your child or the other child. Let your child tell the story their own way, while you ask questions to get details and ascertain your child’s state of mind. If you suspect that they’re being bullied, but they won’t talk to you about it, make sure they’re talking to someone trustworthy. It can be a counselor, a relative, a coach or trusted adult friend who can stand in if your child isn’t ready to discuss the problem with you. It’s important that your child talk to someone who can give good advice.
  • Next, help your child come up with solutions to the problem. Again, don’t fill in the blanks, but rather let your child give suggestions for how they might handle the problem. Help them walk through various response scenarios and work to come up with a solution.
  • Take action, but do it the right way. It’s not a good idea for you to confront the bully or his or her parents directly. This can cause an escalation of the situation and can have the unintended consequence of making your child feel you’ve violated their trust. Instead, talk to your child’s teacher, outlining the situation as you understand it, and ask for help in finding a solution. Be aware that the teacher may not know what’s happening, since kids are often good at hiding this kind of behavior.
  • Be prepared to involve law enforcement if the situation escalates. Document everything, so that if the bullying escalates, you can give a detailed report to law enforcement agents. You may need to involve the authorities sooner if the bullying takes place outside of school, or if cyberbullying is involved.
  • Teach your child to stand up to bullies on behalf of others. It’s not enough to give children bully tips to protect themselves. Whether it’s during or outside of school, children need to communicate to each other that a certain behavior is wrong. Teach your children to advocate not only for themselves, but also for others.

You can help your children protect themselves using these helpful bully tips, but it’s also important to keep them safe at home. Monitronics can help with a variety of security systems to fit every family’s needs and budget. We can keep your house safe with affordable security systems and 24-hour monitoring service, featuring state-of-the-art equipment and award-winning monitoring for fire, carbon monoxide and medical emergencies. Learn more about Monitronics home security systems by visiting our website, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Pose Two Distinct Threats

Firefighters

Each year, more than 2,500 people die in house fires throughout the United States. An additional 12,600 sustain significant injuries.

An equally serious (but lower-profile) threat comes from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. While CO poisoning claims “only” about 400 lives annually, an additional 20,000 victims are forced to seek medical treatment. Of that number, nearly 4,000 are hospitalized.

Your best protection against fire and CO poisoning is to understand the dangers of both and how to reduce your risks. More often than not, people who fall victim to fire and CO have made one of the many common mistakes that increase risk. At Monitronics, we encourage readers of our blog to educate themselves so that they do not make those mistakes.

Common Mistakes Leading to Fire

It is a lot easier to spark an accidental fire at home than most people believe, and once the fire is started, there are often flammable materials nearby that can enable it to spread rapidly. Here are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid in order to reduce your risk of being victimized by fire:

  • Careless cooking – Cooking with hot grease or oil can be risky. If you must use either one, use it in small amounts and NEVER leave it unattended. Should an oil or grease fire erupt, do not use water to put it out. Use baking soda, flour, or some other noncombustible substance to smother the flames.
  • Damaged electrical cords – Broken and worn electrical cords are responsible for a good number of electrical fires in homes. Never use a cord that shows any sign of excessive wear or damage. Furthermore, extension cords should only be used temporarily. An extension cord is never a substitute for permanent wiring.
  • Holiday decorations – Holiday decorations can lead to fires by overloading electrical outlets. Understand and follow the safety guidelines that come with your decorations.
  • Careless smoking – Careless smoking is the number one cause of house fires resulting in injury and death. Never smoke in bed; when you do smoke, make sure you are alert and sitting in an upright position.

Common Factors in CO Poisoning

What makes CO so dangerous is the fact that it is odorless and colorless. The deadly gas could kill you in minutes without ever knowing what is happening. Below are the most common mistakes people make that increase their risk of CO poisoning:

  • Faulty DIY projects – You can definitely save money by replacing your water heater or furnace by yourself. However, if things are not sealed up correctly, CO could be leaking into your home. It is best to always hire a professional.
  • Space heater use – Using a propane or kerosene space heater inside a home amounts to a dangerous game of roulette. The same goes for charcoal grills and gasoline generators. Do not use them indoors.
  • Improper venting – Appliances or fireplaces that are not properly vented can result in a home being filled with CO gas. Like those DIY projects, you are best to leave appliance installation and servicing to the professionals.

Your chances of surviving a house fire or CO event improve dramatically if you have smoke and CO detectors in your home. Installing detectors is the bare minimum every homeowner should do, although it’s wise to have a home security system that includes live monitoring for fire and carbon monoxide. Monitronics offers both services. Our 24-hour monitoring keeps an eye on your home around the clock, whether you are there or not.

Sources:

  1. Ready Gov – http://www.ready.gov/home-fires
  2. CDC – http://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm