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Great Safety Gifts Can Add a New Dimension to Black Friday


Do you look for safety gifts when you’re shopping for the holidays? Electronics, toys and fashions all change, but when you’re shopping for a friend or loved one, safety is a gift that never goes out of style. Fortunately, you can often find amazing deals on great safety gifts on Black Friday.

  • A portable power source is handy in a variety of situations. Whether you’re jumping a dead battery, powering appliances on a camping trip or charging your phones during a blackout, the Rally 8 in 1 Portable Power Source has you covered. While it’s a bit pricey at about $150, this is one of the safety gifts that hardware and home improvement stores may sell on Black Friday for a better deal.
  • If there’s a new baby in your family, the parents are sure to appreciate some infant safety gifts. There are many options in this category in a wide range of prices, from a $10 baby gate to a deluxe Infant Optics Video Baby Monitor priced closer to $200, with many great choices in between.
  • Safety gifts can make up an extremely useful gift basket. You can tailor your gift to meet the needs of the recipient – whether it’s a cold weather basket with pocket warmers, an ice scraper and an emergency shovel; or a travel emergency kit with automotive emergency supplies, a battery radio, a flashlight, a tow cable, flares, light sticks, a first aid kit and a tool kit. For a new homeowner, you might provide a fire safety kit, with smoke detectors and 9-volt batteries, a fire extinguisher, an escape ladder, a flashlight, a first aid kit and a carbon monoxide detector.

Of course, out of all the safety gifts you can purchase for your family, the one that lasts all year is a home security system from an authorized Monitronics dealer. Monitronics dealers offer security systems to fit every family’s needs and budget, with video monitoring and even smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring. Visit the Monitronics website to learn more about our 24/7 monitoring, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanksgiving Safety & Security Tips

At Monitronics, we love Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday is the day when families get together to enjoy one another’s company and to give thanks for all of the good things in their lives. Most people have fond memories of the sights, sounds, and delicious smells associated with Thanksgiving.

We want you to have a safe and secure Thanksgiving, so we have put together a list of safety and security tips that are easy to implement in your home. We hope you will utilize these tips to reduce the chances of anything going wrong during the upcoming holiday season.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Many of the safety tips associated with Thanksgiving have to do with cooking. That makes sense, given how much emphasis we place on food at this time of the year. The idea during the holiday cooking season is to be extra cautious in order to compensate for the larger volumes of food being prepared. Likewise, large numbers of guests in the home increase the likelihood of household accidents.

Check out the following safety tips:

  • Cooking – Never leave food in the process of being cooked unattended in the kitchen. The only exception would be anything that’s baking or roasting in the oven, but even those foods need to be checked on occasionally. As for food on the stove top, you should never walk away from it.
  • Kids in the kitchen – Kids are naturally curious. In the kitchen, that curiosity could lead to injury. Do your best to keep kids out of the kitchen during the cooking and preparation process. They will be safer that way.
  • Smoke alarms – Working smoke alarms are an essential part of holiday safety. In the event you do have a fire, a smoke alarm could be the thing that saves lives. Make sure your smoke alarms are working by testing them according to the instructions that came with them. If you do not have smoke alarms in your home, get some.

Monitronics offers smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring with our home security systems. We can include both as part of a new package or add them to your existing plan. Our 24-hour monitoring protects you against these silent invaders around-the-clock.

Thanksgiving Security Tips

The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated in 2014 that more than 43 million Americans would travel more than 50 miles from home to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Whether you travel by car or plane, that means your home will be left unoccupied for a certain amount of time. This presents an open invitation to burglars.

We recommend homeowners take the necessary steps to protect their homes during the holiday season. Those steps include:

  • Home security – We believe monitored home security is the best and most effective weapon against potential burglary. A system from an authorized Monitronics dealer is effective, affordable, and scalable.
  • Neighborhood watch – Enlist the help of your neighbors to keep an eye on things while you are away. Neighborhoods where people look out for one another are less likely to become victims of burglars.
  • Mail and newspapers – If you plan to be away, either stop your mail and newspaper delivery or ask a neighbor to take the items inside every day.
  • Social media – It is important that you not post your holiday plans on social media. Believe it or not, today’s sophisticated burglars use social media to find victims more easily.

Monitronics wishes all of our customers a safe and healthy 2015 holiday season. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, you can be safe and secure by adopting a safety-first mindset.


  1. AAA – http://newsroom.aaa.com/2013/11/aaa-43-4-million-americans-to-travel-for-thanksgiving-a-slight-decline-from-last-year/

Don’t Be the ‘Home Alone’ Family this Holiday Season

The 1990 film Home Alone launched the career actor Macaulay Culkin, pairing him up with veteran actors Joe Pesci and Catherine O’Hara to tell the story of an eight-year-old boy accidentally left home alone during the Christmas holiday while the rest of his family flew to Paris. It is an amusing tale depicting how this brave little boy protected himself and his family from burglars.

While Home Alone was complete fiction, burglars breaking into homes during the holiday season is not. It happens more often than you might think.

FBI crime statistics are used most often to determine the extent of home burglaries in the U.S. And while such statistics show no discernible patterns that definitively prove the holiday season is busier than other times of the year, it makes sense to assume that your home is more attractive to burglars between Christmas and New Year’s, given the types of things burglars are after. That’s why we encourage you not to be the Home Alone family this holiday season: Do not leave your home unprotected if you plan to be away.

What Burglars Are After

Security experts agree that most home burglars want items that can be sold quickly and for a significant amount. Jewelry remains at the top of the list, as it has for decades, but home electronics are also extremely popular. Among the most desirable of electronics are mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile devices are easily sold on the black market for a tidy little profit.

The holiday season is the perfect time to steal new consumer electronics before they have been opened and activated. Take your average smartphone, for example. Parents planning to give their teenager a new phone might purchase that phone without activating it or adding it to their family plan right away. Such a phone could easily be sold on the black market and activated by its new owner.

Making Your House Unattractive

The key to preventing your home from being burglarized this holiday season is to make it unattractive to criminals. One of the most effective steps you can take is to install a home security system with 24-hour monitoring. Home security is a very effective deterrent because burglars never know whether they are being watched or not. If they see a home security sign in your yard or window, they will have to think twice about whether or not to break in.

You can also make your home unattractive by ensuring that it is not left unoccupied for long periods of time. If you are planning to be away for the holidays, ask a friend or family member to house-sit for you. In the absence of a house sitter, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house and:

  • park a car in your driveway.
  • move your own cars around.
  • put out your trash and take in your mail.
  • turn lights on and off during the evening hours..

The idea is to make your home appear as though it is occupied. If you remember from the Home Alone film, the burglars staked out the neighborhood they planned to hit to find out just how many homeowners would be away. Real burglars do the same thing.

Lastly, any valuables you purchase for the holiday season should be hidden away in one of the most difficult to access areas of your home. Attics are an excellent choice. Remember that criminals head right to the master bedroom for a quick and easy score.


  1. IMDBhttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099785/

Invite a Turducken to Your Thanksgiving Dinner


If you’re a traditional cook who is ready for a culinary adventure this Thanksgiving, it may be time to consider turducken. What’s a turducken? We’re so glad you asked. It’s a chicken stuffed into a duck, which is then stuffed into a turkey. While that may seem a little over the top, it’s sure to bring a certain “wow factor” to your holiday table. At the very least, it’s certainly a conversation piece.

  • Start with deboned poultry. Some recipes call for brining the birds ahead of time, but all recipes agree that the birds must be deboned. If you prefer, you can leave the legs and wings of the turkey intact, with the exception of the thighbone, which must be removed. Loosen the skin of the turkey with your hand and rub the meat with butter.
  • Prepare your stuffing. Use your favorite recipe for stuffing, and feel free to make it with nuts, cranberries or any other delicious addition you choose. This is the freestyle part of the turducken, where you really make it your own. You can even mix up your stuffing, perhaps using bread stuffing for the turkey, cranberry nut stuffing for the duck and cornbread stuffing for the chicken.
  • Now that you have boneless birds and savory stuffing, it’s time to assemble the turducken! Put your turkey skin side down on a flat surface, and apply a layer of stuffing, about ¼- to ½-inch deep. Next, put your deboned duck atop the layer of stuffing, and then layer it with stuffing as well. The final piece of the puzzle is your chicken, and once you’ve layered stuffing on top of it, you’re ready to close up the birds.
  • Once it’s stuffed, the challenge is to make it look like a turkey again! Close the turkey either by skewering or sewing up the back, being careful to close the other birds as you go, then carefully flip it over, seam side down, and truss it to make it secure and cook more evenly.
  • Now it’s time to cook! Place your turducken in a deep roasting pan, and roast at 375° for 25-30 minutes per pound, until the very center of the chicken stuffing reaches 160-165°. Let it rest for 30 minutes, and then slice it across the breast, so that each slice offers a piece of all three birds.

Monitronics is known for being the leader in the field of home security, but we want to share other information with you, too – such as how to make turducken! In addition to providing 24/7 home monitoring, we love to connect with our customers online, providing interesting information and helping to foster connections. Visit the Monitronics website to learn more about our 24/7 monitoring, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

Expect Continued Growth for Home Automation in 2016

If all of the predictions for 2016 come to fruition, the home security industry will do very well next year. Some estimates suggest the market for residential and business security products will increase more than 6 percent year-on-year, topping out at around $20 billion in 2016. Growth is expected to continue into the next decade.

Much of that growth will be in the business and lodging sector, where there is heavy demand for keyless entry systems and high-tech biometric security equipment. But a significant portion of that growth will also occur in the residential market. More and more homeowners are looking to make their homes both secure and more efficient by installing new equipment.

We believe current trends point to an integrated market in which residential customers will not be choosing between home security and home automation; rather, they will combine the two to create a smart home capable of meeting multiple needs. While we are still years away from realizing the kind of smart home depicted on TV and in film, we are getting closer with every passing year.

What to Expect in 2016

Equipment manufacturers and home automation providers are looking forward to a very productive 2016. Things are especially exciting on the technology front.

Here is what you can expect:

  • Wireless Systems – Installation of new wireless systems will outpace their wired counterparts. Homeowners prefer wireless systems because these are more easily installed, they are priced competitively, and they are more scalable and modifiable.
  • Home Automation – We expect the market for home automation products to grow for years to come. People will be relying more on home automation to save energy and money by controlling basic household components such as thermostats and lighting. But they will also be using the technology to control household appliances, door locks, window blinds, and so on.
  • Video Cameras – An important part of the smart home of the 21st century is the remote surveillance camera. We are already seeing an uptick in the number of first-time customers interested in using them for both security and the monitoring of children. Video doorbells and other similar technologies are part of this growing market.
  • Mobile Integration – Mobility is already a big part of home automation. However, mobile apps can be limited in terms of their functionality. For a truly smart home, we need smarter mobile apps for systems. Providers know this, and they are hard at work creating the necessary apps.

The most important trend for 2016 is one of interconnectivity. As we explained in one of our October blog posts, interconnectivity remains one of the biggest hurdles to the truly smart home. Hardware and software engineers are currently looking at ways to overcome the interconnectivity problem without sacrificing the proprietary demands of service providers. They will be aggressively trying to solve the problem over the next 8 to 12 months.

Here at Monitronics, we provide our customers with 24-hour monitored security and home automation features. We are seeing growth among existing security customers interested in integrating smart home features as part of their packages. We are excited about the possibility of bringing more and more of our security customers into the era of the smart home.

In terms of new customers, we plan to present home automation as a viable and affordable component of a complete security strategy. We believe integrating home automation with security makes our customers even safer than they were without it. The smart home is the home of the future. It is the future of safety and efficiency.


  1. Fredonia Grouphttp://www.freedoniagroup.com/Security-Products.html