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Four-legged home security: Which dog breeds work well for you?

National Mutt Day, July 31st

Monitronics cares about your home security – even the parts we don’t monitor! When it comes to security, while there’s no substitute for an effective alarm system, we know that some people have a dog that helps to protect the home. That’s a good idea: A dog can be a companion, protector and backup alarm system all in one! The trick is in knowing which dog breeds would be good options. Since today is  National Mutt Day, here’s some advice on finding the right canine companion for you.

  • A mixed breed can be a great choice. Many purebred dogs tend to have genetic issues, from heart disease to difficulty breathing. When breeds are mixed, some of these problems are eradicated, and the best qualities of both breeds can shine through.
  • When choosing among dog breeds, whether mixed breed or not, pay close attention to personality traits common to that particular breed. Poodles are intelligent and friendly, not to mention hypoallergenic, which is why they’re bred with so many other types of dogs. A Cavapoo or Cockapoo (Cavalier or Cocker Spaniel bred with a Poodle) is likely to be a smart and loving little companion, while Labradoodles, Goldendoodles and Schnoodles (Poodles mixed with Labs, Golden Retrievers or Schnauzers) are fine examples of larger poodle mixes. Beagles are also popular for cross breeding, with Jack-a- Bees (Jack Russell- Beagles) and Puggles (Pug-Beagles) being two excellent examples of friendly, lively, intelligent little dogs.
  • If you already have a dog, make sure the new guy is going to fit in. Some dog breeds that get along famously with others include the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever, the Irish Setter, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the Havanese and the Norwich Terrier. When you do bring your new friend home, it’s best to introduce the two dogs in a neutral location, letting them sniff each other and begin to interact, while you offer calm verbal encouragement.
  • Consider your other pets. Some breeds, such as Airedale Terriers and Greyhounds, have very strong prey drives and might not be the best option if you have small animals such as cats at home. Consider carefully before you bring a new pet into the house, so that you don’t endanger your existing animals.
  • Even if you want a specific breed, rescue is still an option. If you’re not too picky about dog breeds, you can find a lovable mutt at your local pet rescue. On the other hand, it’s not difficult to pinpoint the breed you want and find one in need of saving. Services like Rescue Me provide alerts to let you know when the dog of your dreams is looking for a home.

Bringing home a new dog is like bringing home a new family member: It can take patience to get acclimated to new surroundings. While you’re working on it, remember that Monitronics can be your dog’s best friend when it comes to protecting your home. Our network of authorized dealers offers security systems to fit every family, with 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.



Why Home Security Systems Deter Burglars


A couple of different studies have shown that the presence of a home security system is a deterrent to the average burglar. For example, a University of North Carolina at Charlotte study shows that 83 percent of the 422 convicted burglars interviewed for the study would try to find out whether or not a home was alarmed before attempting to break in. Half said they would immediately abort a break-in attempt on discovering an alarm system; only 13 percent said they would not be deterred.

Statistical analysis makes it clear that home security is a burglary deterrent. Anything that increases the likelihood of being apprehended is something burglars would prefer to avoid.

Noise, Noise, and More Noise

If there are two things a burglar hates, it is noise and nosy neighbors. A burglar is willing to break a window to get in because it makes noise just once, and it’s done. A neighbor may be startled by the sound of breaking glass, but he or she will go about their business if no additional noise is heard. A home security system is different. It sets off an alarm that is long, loud and constant. It will attract nosy neighbors very easily.

Video Surveillance

Monitronics recommends video surveillance cameras be installed if they fit within a customer’s budget. Cameras act as deterrents in two ways. First, a burglar who sees cameras always has to consider that someone might be watching remotely. That could result in the police being alerted before any break-in attempt is implemented, giving the burglar even less time to do what he/she does.

Video surveillance is an additional deterrent by providing evidence that can be used for investigative and prosecutorial purposes. Recorded video can help identify a burglar and, after arrest, convict him or her in court. Moreover, because most burglars are petty criminals, they are not interested in a long jail sentence when there are so many easy houses to hit.

Faster Response Times

Burglars also hate home security systems because they usually lead to faster response times. For example, a monitored system from Monitronics allows us to quickly react to a burglar alarm, and be speaking to the local 911 dispatcher in under a minute. The burglar knows that he or she is on the clock from the moment their actions are discovered.

It is important to point out that maximum benefit is only achieved when using a monitored system. An unmonitored alarm does make a lot of noise, but that’s about all. A burglar who knows an alarm system is not connected to a monitoring center may be willing to take the chance if there’s reason to believe that valuables are easily accessible upon entry. Nevertheless, the opposite is also true.

When a burglar sees the logo of a well-known security company (such as Monitronics) on a lawn placard or window decal, they’re likely to think twice about the decision to burglarize a house. There may be other homes in the neighborhood that pose less of a risk.

One last tip: Don’t forget to set your alarm before you leave home. A home security system that is not set is one that cannot do the job it was intended to do. If you add home automation to your system, you can arm and disarm your system remotely using a smartphone or another mobile device.


  • Angie’s List – http://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-well-do-security-alarms-deter-crime.htm

Advantages of Monitored Home Security

Home security is a priority for you, because you want to keep your home and family safe. However, there are so many different options out there, it may be confusing and difficult to choose. Maybe you’re wondering if you’d be better off buying a home security system off the shelf than paying for a monitored system. Before you settle, consider this: A professionally monitored home security system from Monitronics gives you not only the benefit of professional installation, but also the added protection of around-the-clock live monitoring.

  • Live monitoring adds a level of protection you’d otherwise be missing. Using an unmonitored security system is like being lost in the woods. You can call out for help, but what happens if no one hears?
  • An unmonitored system relies on neighbors and passers-by to get help. Unmonitored systems generally work like a car alarm, by creating a disturbance to deter thieves and attract attention. They use strobe lights and loud alarms as a deterrent, but that’s not an effective way to get help if something bad is happening.
  • Response time is one of the biggest reasons for choosing a monitored system, and Monitronics’ award-winning Alarm Response Center quickly provides help 24 hours a day. When an emergency is detected in a home monitored by Monitronics, a signal immediately goes to trained professionals at our Alarm Response Center, where a quick verification call can help get the police rolling in a hurry.
  • If you’re still not sure that a monitored security system makes sense, ask a burglar.  In a study of convicted burglars, more than 60 percent said they would look for a different target if they knew the house was being monitored.
  • Live monitoring can even cover fire and carbon monoxide detectors. Every second counts, since home fires can spread in as little as 30 seconds, so it’s a boon to have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that trigger our Alarm Response Center to verify the emergency and alert the fire department, while you concentrate on getting your family to safety. Professional monitoring also means you don’t have to be home to call for help. If your fire alarm goes off, we’ve got you covered day or night, whether you’re home or not.
  • Finally, a monitored home security can potentially save you money. Check with your insurance provider to see the impact a professionally monitored system will have on your premium, because some insurers will reduce your bill by as much as 15 percent.

With the right home security equipment supported by the right people, we provide peace of mind that you won’t find on a shelf. Let one of our authorized dealers show you why Monitronics monitoring makes sense for you. Learn more about our home security systems by visiting our website, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Summer Fun Doesn’t Include Heatstroke


At Monitronics, it’s our goal to protect you, your family and your belongings, but there are some things we can’t do for you. As temperatures continue to rise and some parts of the country experience record highs, you’ll face dangers related to the heat. Are you prepared to protect yourself and your family from heatstroke? Here are some facts from Monitronics.

Heatstroke, also called sunstroke, is nothing to take lightly; it’s a medical emergency. It usually affects people over the age of 50, but it can impact even young, healthy people.

Heatstroke is your body’s failure to regulate its temperature, and it happens when you experience extended exposure to high temperatures, often combined with dehydration. Heatstroke must be addressed immediately, or it can cause damage to the heart, kidneys, muscles and even the brain. In fact, if the condition continues, the damage will worsen, resulting in serious complications or even death.

The main symptom of heatstroke is a body temperature of more than 105 degrees. There are other common symptoms, including:

  • Light-headedness and dizziness.
  • No sweating, even though it’s very hot.
  • Red, hot, dry skin.
  • Muscle cramps or weakness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Rapid heartbeat, either strong or weak.
  • Rapid, shallow breathing.
  • Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation or staggering.
  • Seizures.
  • Unconsciousness.

Once you identify a case of heatstroke, call 911 immediately, or take the person to a hospital. If you’re waiting for paramedics to arrive, move to an air-conditioned or cool area, if possible, and remove the patient’s excess clothing.

The first priority should be to administer first aid and get the person’s body temperature down either by fanning air over him while wetting his skin with a sponge or hose. You can also use extreme cooling measures such as applying ice packs to the armpits, groin, neck and back; or immersing him in a shower or tub of cool water or an ice bath. It is important, however, that you not give the patient anything to drink. If you’ve suffered heatstroke, you’ll need to take it easy for about a week afterward, avoiding the heat and any intense activity.

Of course, the best plan for handling heatstroke is to avoid it. Start by staying indoors during periods of extreme heat. If that’s not possible, protect yourself from overheating by wearing lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat. You can also schedule outdoor activities for times of day when the weather’s a little cooler. It’s also very important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

At Monitronics, we want you to get out and enjoy the summer, free from fear of heatstroke or other temperature-related issues. With a few simple precautions, you can ensure that you and your family remain safe from this life-threatening condition.

While you’re handling your family’s physical well-being, you can trust Monitronics to keep your home and valuables safe. Learn more about Monitronics home security systems by visiting our website, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


Should You Have a Safe in Your Home?

open safe

We all have valuables that we would hate to lose. Some have a high monetary value, others are highly personal, and others are a combination of both.

The question for the average homeowner is whether to invest in a safe or not. In a single word: Yes!

Installing a safe in your home is an inexpensive and efficient way to protect your valuables from both burglary and fire.

A burglar wants to get in and out of your house as quickly as possible. Burglars look for small items that they can stuff in their pockets and get rid of quickly at a local pawn shop or on the street. However, the key is speed.

Any burglar who has to spend more than a few minutes in your home gets awfully nervous. A safe keeps valuables out of sight. If a burglar does come across your safe, it may require too much time and trouble to deal with.

The added fire protection offered by a home safe should be apparent. But, of course, this requires you to purchase one with built-in fire protection. Not every model on the market will stand up to fire, smoke and water damage.

If this added protection is something you are after, you will have to research your options to make sure you are getting what you expect for a product that fits in your price range.

Home Safety Tips

Deciding to purchase a home safe for your valuables is the first step in protecting them against burglary and fire. Below are some tips to help you choose the right model and to use it correctly:

  • Wall vs. Floor – Neither a wall nor floor safe is necessarily superior in terms of fire or water protection. Nevertheless, there is a big difference for burglary. Wall safes are easier to conceal and much harder to walk away with. We recommend a wall safe for burglary protection where practical.
  • Protection Priorities – Not every safe will give you 100 percent protection against every threat. When choosing your safe, you need to decide what is most important. Are you more concerned about burglary? Is fire your main concern? Consider your priorities for protection and size when making your choice.
  • Safe Location – Your safe will provide maximum protection against burglary if it is located in a place burglars do not expect. Therefore, do not install your safe in the master bedroom. Choose the bathroom or another room as deep in the interior of your home if possible. If you are using a wall safe, conceal it behind something such as a medicine cabinet, a hinged mirror, or a picture.
  • Burglary Decoy – When burglary is the primary concern, you can significantly aid your cause by placing certain decoys around the home. For example, leaving costume jewelry in a jewelry box located in the master bedroom could be enough to encourage a burglar to grab and go.
  • Gun Safes – If you own firearms, a gun safe may be mandatory in your local area. Such a safe is an excellent idea even if the law does not require one. A gun safe will protect your weapons from being stolen and later used in a crime, protecting you from potential liability as well.

Having a safe is a good idea for every American household. Why not invest in one, along with the added security offered by a monitored home security system from Monitronics? Our service and equipment help to deter burglars as well warning you of a fire or potential carbon monoxide poisoning.