Security Blog

    Who’s ready to share the #MoniLove?

    by Moni Blogger | Oct 23, 2014

    Monitronics has begun a Facebook sweepstakes event that will give two lucky entrants the chance to win a HomeTouch® Premier home automation system, along with three years of free monitoring. It’s a package worth at least $3,500, and all you have to do to enter is like and share.

    The sweepstakes is called #MoniLove, and here’s how it works:

    • Click Here to visit the Facebook sweepstakes page, like the page and enter your information into a short form.
    • Once you’re done, share the post with your Facebook friends to give them a chance to win the grand prize as well. That will also increase your own chances of winning, since every friend who enters the sweepstakes gives you an extra entry.
    • If you aren’t a fan of our Facebook page, no worries. You’ll get the chance to become a fan, and follow our home safety posts.

    The sweepstakes, which concludes on Friday, Nov. 28, is open to everyone, whether you’re a Monitronics customer or not. One winner will be chosen from among current Monitronics customers, while the other will be chosen from among newcomers.*

    It’s not just about prizes, though. With nearly 100 Facebook posts this year, our Facebook page offers valuable safety and security information for everyone, not just Monitronics customers.

    No purchase necessary. The Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia who are at least the age of majority or older.  Ends 11:59 p.m. CST, November 28, 2014. Limit one entry per person.  Opportunity for additional entries available.  Void where prohibited. For full details, see *Official Terms & Conditions


    Safety Tips for the School Bus

    by Monitronics Blog | Oct 20, 2014

    Now that school is back in session, millions of kids are riding school buses every day. It turns out that the big yellow bus is the safest way to transport kids to and from school. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, your kids are 50 times more likely to arrive safely at school when taking a bus, as compared to being driven by parents or riding with friends in a car.

    That’s because school bus design and construction make the vehicles among the safest on the road. Also, school bus drivers and monitors are trained extensively in how to keep kids safe.

    School Bus Safety

    As safe as school bus transportation is, it is not perfect. Here at Monitronics, we encourage parents to go the extra mile to keep their kids safe when using school buses. You can do two simple things that will really make a difference.

    Teach Kids How to Be Safe

    Adults take for granted the need to be careful around moving vehicles, but that danger rarely crosses a child’s mind. Teach your kids how to be safe around the school bus. Here are some things they need to know:

    • Don’t begin boarding a bus until the driver gives the okay. When permission is given, boarding should be orderly and one at a time.
    • Ask the driver for help if they drop something while getting on or off the bus.
    • When exiting the bus, take several steps directly away from the door then, if necessary, turn to the left and cross in front of the bus.
    • When crossing in front of the bus, wait for a signal from the driver that it is okay to cross but still look both ways for oncoming traffic.
    • Loose items should be kept in the child's backpack or bag. They can become dangerous projectiles in the event of an accident.
    • Students should remain in their seats, facing forward, whenever the bus is in motion.

    Following these guidelines really does make a difference in terms of safety. Remember that injuries can result from even the most minor accidents; paying attention to the small details can help prevent some of those injuries.

    Parental Involvement

    For years, it was perfectly normal for parents to send their kids out the door alone to the school bus. Times have changed, however, and the world is a more dangerous place. If your children ride the school bus, walk with them to the bus stop and remain there until they have safely boarded the bus. If you cannot be there to meet them when they get off the bus at the end of the day, arrange for a trusted friend or family member to be there in your place.

    At Monitronics, we invite parents and kids everywhere to help us make this the safest school year yet. Through education and participation, we can make riding the school bus even safer than it already is. And that's always a good thing.

    Sources:

    1. NHSTAhttp://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/staticfiles/tsm/PDF/schoolbus_safety2.pdf
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    Tips to Stay Safe When It Starts Getting Dark Early

    by Rob Howe | Oct 20, 2014

    Monitronics Home Security provides tips for staying safe around the time change.

    At Monitronics Home Security, we know that well-lit areas are typically safer areas. Over the summer, people sometimes have a tendency to be spoiled by the long days full of light, and forget that when the weather changes again, so will the length of days. Once it starts getting dark early, it’s important to take some extra precautions for keeping your family safe, and Monitronics Home Security knows how to make that happen.

    • Be aware that earlier nightfall means decreased visibility at rush hour. Drivers and pedestrians have to readjust to the darkness and that can mean an increase in accidents. In fact, a study by Carnegie Mellon University indicates that the risk of traffic fatality jumps 186% for pedestrians between October and November. If you’re driving, make an extra effort to stay alert. If you’re walking, be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
    • Avoid fatigue, which can contribute to accidents. The time change can throw off our internal clocks, and lowered visibility can make us sleepy. You can counteract this problem by making sure you don’t have a sleep deficit before the time changes, and by being aware that you may be sluggish and less alert for a few days.
    • Remember, dangers in the fall aren’t all related to longer nights. Fire, weather changes and even falling leaves can all be considered seasonal hazards. This is a great time to have your furnace serviced to make sure it’s in good working order and to review safety measures for using space heaters. Remember to keep space heaters away from anything flammable, like furniture or window treatments, and read manufacturers’ instructions to make sure you’re using them safely. There’s not much you can do about the weather, but be aware that it can change quickly in the fall, often causing dangerous conditions like wet roads or ice patches. As to falling leaves, they’re lovely to see, but can cause slips and falls if they’re left on the ground. If you’re a homeowner, make sure you rake leaves up promptly to keep your property safe.
    • Use the time change as a reminder to follow through on some safety measures. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, recharge your fire extinguishers and create a winter emergency kit for your car. Depending on where you live, this kit should include things like warm clothes, a blanket, bottled water and non-perishable snacks, a flashlight and extra batteries, a shovel, flares, jumper cables, cat litter or sand for traction, and hats and gloves.

    Of course, one of the best ways to keep your home and family safe is to have the right security system installed. At Monitronics Home Security, there are home security systems to meet the unique needs of many types of families. For more information about Monitronics Home Security, visit the website or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

    Sources:
    http://safetytoolboxtopics.com/Seasonal/end-of-daylight-saving-time-can-be-deadly.html
    http://www.takeonestep.org/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=254
    http://safety.lovetoknow.com/Fall_Season_Safety_Tips

    Go comment!

    The History of the Pink Ribbon

    by Rob Howe | Oct 16, 2014



    At Monitronics, we know that protecting your family encompasses more than home security systems. It’s October, which means you’ve no doubt seen the ubiquitous pink ribbon, especially prevalent during this particular month. But do you know what it means? October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and no symbol is more recognizable in conjunction with breast cancer awareness than that little pink ribbon. It’s been around for several years now, and its history is interesting. With that in mind, we decided to shift our focus from our home security systems to present you with a little bit of the history behind the pink ribbon.

    The use of ribbons for awareness has been going on for years, and Breast Cancer Awareness month was established in 1985, but the use of the pink ribbon for breast cancer didn’t start until 1991. That’s when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed them out to participants in a race for breast cancer survivors, held in New York City. This led to the pink ribbon being adopted as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month’s official symbol in 1992. Evelyn Lauder, Senior Vice President of the Estee Lauder Companies and an advocate for women’s health who founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, was instrumental in establishing the pink ribbon as the iconic symbol it has become.

    But why pink? A color long associated with femininity, pink represents health and life. It’s playful and calming, and represents the hopes of those with breast cancer- to overcome this disease and live healthy, happy, carefree lives.  Susan G. Komen for the Cure had already been using the color pink in the organization’s literature, and it seemed a natural choice to carry it forward when creating the ribbon.

    Of course, wearing a ribbon or buying merchandise festooned with this symbol is not the only way people draw attention to this disease. Most people know of the Susan G. Komen 3 Day® walk, and the Komen Race for the Cure®. These walks are designed not only to draw awareness to and raise money for breast cancer causes, but also to create a spirit of camaraderie and support for those fighting breast cancer. No one understands the need for this support more than the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Nancy Brinker. When her sister died at age 36 from breast cancer, Nancy Brinker made a promise that she’d do everything she could to end this disease. She established the Susan G. Komen Foundation in her sister’s name, and since then she’s worked tirelessly to make a difference.

    What you might not know is that there’s a pink and blue ribbon, too. It’s used to draw attention to breast cancer in men, because some people are unaware of that this type of cancer can impact men. While it’s rare, it’s still serious, and there is a push to have the third week in October dedicated to raising awareness for men with breast cancer.

    If you’d like more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, visit the website to learn how to get involved. For updates on information that’s relevant to you, and to learn about how home security systems can improve your family’s safety, visit Monitronics on Facebook and Twitter.  

    Sources:
    http://www.outoftheshadowofpink.com/Male-Breast-Cancer-Awareness-Week-Campaign.html
    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/13/us/evelyn-lauder-obit/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
    http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/?page_id=26
    http://ww5.komen.org


    Go comment!

    How do you Celebrate Columbus Day?

    by Rob Howe | Oct 13, 2014

    Leading provider of home security systems, Monitronics offers Columbus Day information and safety tips.

    At Monitronics, we know that protecting your family is about more than home security systems. It’s about making sure they’re safe no matter where they are, whether it’s at home or out celebrating a holiday. Some holidays, of course, are huge, and widely popular. Other holidays, like Columbus Day, are met with conflicting opinions. Columbus Day, in particular, is a bit of a weird holiday. Some states don’t even recognize it as a holiday, but where people do celebrate it, they tend to celebrate it in a big way! When that’s the case, it’s important to take a few precautions to ensure the day stays safe and enjoyable. Monitronics, industry leader in providing home security systems, has a few tips for making that happen.

    • First, make yourself familiar with your area’s traditions. In Boston, for example, there is a wide array of things to do on Columbus Day, including parades, festivals, a 10k, a baseball game and the circus. The Columbus Day celebration and parade in San Francisco is the oldest in the United States, and the streets, restaurants and bars are always packed with revelers. Chicago and New York also celebrate the holiday in high spirits, with parades that have been big events for decades. If you’re in the mood for a more solemn event, a special Mass is often celebrated on Columbus Day, and a wreath laying ceremony is also a meaningful way to spend part of your day. Any place with a strong Italian-American community is likely to celebrate Columbus Day in a big way. In some other areas, it’s celebrated as Indigenous People’s Day, and there are many opportunities to learn about the cultural history of our country’s original occupants.
    • Choose activities that fit your crowd. Small children, for instance, often don’t enjoy rowdy crowds, and taking them into that kind of situation can be dangerous. There are such a variety of choices in most areas, though, that it isn’t hard to find a place where your family will be comfortable and have fun. If you don’t have kids, you’ve got a lot more freedom as to which activities you’ll choose, so do a little research ahead of time to find an option that will be enjoyable for everyone going with you!
    • Keep a close eye on the kids. Any time there are crowds, there’s potential for danger. Before you head out to any public place this Columbus Day, make sure you review safety rules with your children. When you’re out in the crowd, keep everyone where you can see them, and if you’re chaperoning more than a few kids, consider making use of the buddy system so they’ll keep an eye on each other as well.
    • Be mindful of intoxicants. Obviously, you know better than to drink too much when you’re out having fun with friends and family, because you want to be safe while you’re having fun. However, it’s important to be aware of the people around you. In some places, drinking and carousing is a big part of the Columbus Day celebration, and that can lead to some risky behavior. Awareness of potential hazards is a big part of staying safe on any holiday that’s likely to get rowdy.

    If keeping your home and family safe is your priority, you might be in the market for a home security system. Monitronics is the nation’s second-largest provider of home security systems and can help you find the perfect system to meet your unique needs. For more information, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

    Sources:

    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2013/10/10/columbus-day-events-boston/
    http://gosanfrancisco.about.com/od/eventsfestivals/a/C olumbus-Day-In-San-Francisco.htm
    http://www.columbuscitizensfd.org/columbus-celebration/columbus.html
    http://www.choosechicago.com/event/Columbus-Day-Parade/20070/
    http://theweek.com/article/index/101495


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    It's Time to Talk about Fire Prevention

    by Monitronics Blog | Oct 06, 2014


    Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 5-11, so it’s a good time to go beyond home security systems and talk about fire prevention. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), fire departments responded to nearly 270,000 house fires in 2012, resulting in more than nearly 13,000 injuries, 2,000 deaths, and $5.7 billion in property damage.

    The statistics become even more sobering when you realize that most house fires are completely preventable. For example, cooking accidents are the No. 1 cause of house fires and related injuries. Smoking is another leading cause. Learning to do things in a new way – a safer way – is a major step toward preventing fires.

    Fire Prevention

    Here are some important fire prevention tips you can put into practice:

    • Cooking – Approximately 40 percent of house fires start in the kitchen, and two-thirds are the result of the ignition of food.  You should never leave food cooking on the stove unattended. It only takes a few seconds for something to spill over and catch fire. Also, be careful of loose-fitting clothing when working around an active stove.
    • Heating Equipment – Malfunctioning heating equipment is the second-leading cause of house fires in the U.S. Make sure your heating equipment and ductwork are properly cleaned every year. This includes chimneys and furnace exhaust stacks.
    • Smoking – House fires can result from smoking in bed or falling asleep in a chair while smoking. If you do choose to smoke, be very cautious at all times. Bedding materials, carpets, furniture, and draperies can all ignite very quickly through careless smoking or the careless discarding of used cigarettes.
    • Electrical Appliances – Electrical fires are often caused by damaged power cords, the improper use of extension cords, or overloaded electrical sockets. Treat all of your electrical appliances with extreme care, and frequently check the condition of cords.
    • Candles – Candles account for about 3 percent of house fires every year. When using candles, make sure they are far away from anything combustible. Do not leave a candle burning unattended. Never sleep with a candle burning in your bedroom.

    In addition to these prevention tips, it is also important to have working smoke alarms in your house. Smoke alarms can mean the difference between you and your family getting out safely or becoming victims of smoke or flames in a house fire. Be sure to check your batteries regularly as well; one good way to remember is by using the start and end of Daylight Saving Time as a reminder.

    Home Security with Fire Monitoring

    Even the safest of families can be victims of a house fire. At Monitronics, we encourage you to enhance all of your prevention measures with a home security system that includes fire monitoring. It’s an important layer of effective fire protection for your property.

    When you include fire monitoring in your security package, we install sensors in various locations around your home. Should a house fire trigger one of the sensors, your alarm system will make a loud noise to warn you of impending danger and a signal will be automatically sent to our 24-hour monitoring center. One of our monitoring specialists will attempt to communicate with you to verify whether it’s a false alarm. If it’s a true emergency, they will quickly notify the local fire department.

    Fire monitoring from Monitronics can make a big difference if a fire breaks out while no one is home. Rather than the fire burning for a long time before anyone notices, Monitronics will quickly respond. And the sooner the fire department arrives, the more likely your house can be saved.

    It’s also important to consider house fires that might occur while you're sleeping at night. A nighttime house fire is particularly hazardous because you could be overcome by smoke before you even realize there is a problem. Fire monitoring can alert you to a potentially dangerous situation before you are overcome by smoke, allowing you and your family to get out safely.

    Please observe Fire Prevention Week by implementing the prevention tips we have offered. Go a step further by developing a fire escape plan. Also, contact Monitronics about a home security system with fire monitoring. Together, these steps can help protect your loved ones and your property.

    Sources:

    1. NFPAhttp://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fires-by-property-type/residential/one-and-two-family-home-fires
    Go comment!

    Bullying

    by Rob Howe | Sep 29, 2014

    Monitronics Home Security offers tips on how to prevent bullying.

    At Monitronics Home Security, we care about the security of your family. We can help you protect your loved ones at home, but what about when they’re out in the world? One of the biggest threats to the well-being of your children is bullying, and Monitronics Home Security has some tips for its prevention.

    • To prevent bullying at school, parents, students and teachers must work together. Paying attention to when and where bullying happens, you’ll be able to create policies and rules that establish a climate of safety and a culture of acceptance, tolerance and respect. Make sure that everyone understands the rules; students should know what’s expected, and teachers should know how to appropriately intervene.
    • One key to preventing bullying is talking about it. Teach kids what bullying is, why it is unacceptable and how to safely stand up to it. Listen as well as talking, and get to know your kids so that you can understand their concerns, know their friends and interests and be aware of how they feel about school. Get them involved in activities that build their confidence, and model behavior that teaches them to treat others with kindness. Give them the tools they need to handle a bully; they should understand what constitutes bullying, how to safely stand up for themselves and when to seek help from a trusted adult.
    • Bullying doesn’t just happen in person. Technology, and especially social media, represents an entirely new venue for aggressive behavior, and enables bullies to attack at any time of day or night. Pay attention to how your children use technology, and set boundaries. Teach them online safety, set up appropriate filters, and keep the computer in a common area of the home, where usage can be monitored.

    Whether you’re at home or away, Monitronics Home Security cares about protecting your home, family and possessions. We have a variety of systems available to meet your family’s unique needs, from simple door and window sensors, to state of the art video surveillance. For more information about Monitronics Home Security, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

    Sources:
    http://www.stopbullying.gov/prevention/at-school/index.html
    http://www.stopbullying.gov/prevention/talking-about-it/index.html
    http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/bullying.aspx?item=1
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    Security Systems and Video Surveillance

    by Rob Howe | Sep 22, 2014

    Home security systems can be simple or complex, with components that range from a basic door alarm to high-tech electronic security measures. One option that’s becoming extremely popular is video surveillance. This is because home security systems with video surveillance give you the ability to have your eyes on your property even when you’re not physically present.

    You may be familiar with video surveillance because you’ve seen it used by businesses. However, video surveillance is the perfect addition to home security systems, too. When thieves know they’re being recorded, they know they’ll be more easily convicted, so it’s a huge deterrent to criminal activity. But deterring criminals isn’t the only benefit.

    Monitronics Home Security offers HomeTouch® home security systems, which allow you to watch both live and recorded footage of your property from your computer, smartphone or tablet. You can use this surveillance capability to keep track of deliveries, see when your children leave for and return from school, and see who knocked on your door while you were at work. When motion is detected, you’ll receive a captured still image of your property, and you can even get text or email notifications of any activity. You can also access a library of recorded video, in case you need to go back and see what happened on an earlier date. With HomeTouch® home security systems, Monitronics customers can see what’s happening in their homes 24 hours a day.

    HomeTouch® can also help you save energy. In addition to being able to see what’s going on in your home, you’ll be able to adjust your lights and thermostats from your smartphone. You can even use HomeTouch® to remotely control your home’s locks.

    If you’re going to invest in a home security system, choose one that’s worth the money. Monitronics Home Security systems not only provide warning signage, a secure perimeter and sensors throughout your home, but also fire and carbon monoxide protection. 100% of Monitronics operators have achieved proficiency and certification, earning our Alarm Response Center a Five Diamond Certification from the Central Station Alarm Association. In addition, Monitronics has been honored for exceptional customer service by the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service - the world's top sales awards, contact center awards and customer service awards. For more information about how Monitronics Home Security can help you protect your family and your home, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

    Sources:
    http://www.monitronics.com/video-surveillance
    http://www.monitronics.com/alarm-monitoring
    http://www.monitronics.com/security-blog/monitronics-blog/2014/02/28/monitronics'-alarm-response-center-honored-for-exceptional-customer-service
    http://www.monitronics.com/security-blog/monitronics-blog/2013/05/23/what-a-home-security-system-should-include#sthash.inZn7DuZ.dpuf
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    The Need for Home Security in the USA

    by Monitronics Blog | Sep 17, 2014

    Home security systems offer the peace of mind that your home is protected at all times – whether you are home or away. Despite this, only around 17% of home in the U.S. have such a system installed. If you have not previously considered a monitored alarm system for your home, the following infographic might just change your mind.



    The Need For Home Security
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    Family Fitness

    by Rob Howe | Sep 15, 2014

    Monitronics Home Security offers suggestions for family fitness activities.
    At Monitronics Home Security, we care about your family’s well-being. Because we know that physical fitness is a big part of your overall health, we’d like to take this opportunity to encourage you to make fitness a family affair. Here, Monitronics Home Security offers some tips for getting the whole family involved in a fitness routine.

    The key to a successful fitness routine is to keep it simple and make it fun; this is never truer than when you’re incorporating kids. Children love to spend time with their parents, and they’re great mimics of parental behavior. Why not use this precious time, when they’re impressionable and eager to be with you, to model healthy behavior? Incorporate exercise into your everyday life, by parking far away from the door, doing chores together, walking to school or errands when possible, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

    Playtime can be family fitness time, too! Try some of these fun activities to keep your family moving:

    • Bike together
    • Play Frisbee Golf
    • Enter a fun run together
    • Go roller skating
    • Play catch
    • Take a walk together after dinner
    • Go hiking
    • Swim
    • Jump rope
    • Shoot some hoops
    • Fly a kite
    • Dance
    • Paddle a canoe
    • Play miniature golf

    Getting in shape as a family is not only healthy, it’s also fun! Families that spend time together in healthy activity are creating memories that will last a lifetime, as well as building habits that will result in good health. For more tips on healthy family life, or just to learn more about Monitronics Home Security, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter. Monitronics Home Security. has security systems to help you protect your home and family, whether you’re looking for basic door and window sensors, or you’re interested in state of the art surveillance cameras. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help keep your home and family safe. 

    Sources:
    20 Tips For Getting Your Family On Track
    15 More Tips For Family Fitness Fun       
    Another 15 Tips For Family Fitness Fun  
    Making Fitness a Family Affair
    Tips for Making Exercise a Family Affair

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    The Future of Remote Home Automation Is Here

    by Monitronics Blog | Sep 12, 2014

    The world's futurists have always painted fanciful pictures of what they imagined the future would be 25, 50, or even 100 years down the road. And since the 1970s, our media-saturated culture has been exposed to images of all sorts of future inventions ranging from flying cars to high-tech clothing. The fun thing is to see how much of what the futurists predicted decades ago actually comes true over time. For example, consider remote home automation.

    Remote Home Management

    Fans of the Back to the Future films series might recall the two main characters traveling into the future to prevent a family disaster. They encountered a home with keyless entry, voice-activated appliances, remote lighting, and so on. It turns out that many of the remote home management features imagined by authors and screenwriters during the 1970s and 80s are now reality. Yes, the future of remote home management is here.

    Home security companies in the 21st century have begun integrating security alarms with remote home management. The combined systems not only improve home security, they also make it possible for consumers to manage quite a number of home-related functions from anywhere in the world. All you need is a mobile device and either a cellular or Internet connection.

    Here are just a few examples of some of things we can now manage remotely:

    • Thermostats – With the high cost of home heating and cooling these days, thermostat management is incredibly important. Thankfully, there is no longer a need to do battle with programmable thermostats that are nearly impossible to figure out. Remote management lets you adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere. You can still program your thermostats, of course, but remote management lets you adjust temperatures with the touch of a button on your mobile device.
    • Lighting – Remember the days of programmable timers that plugged into wall sockets? Those days are over thanks to remote home management. New technology lets you control your lighting as easily as you control your thermostats. Adjust the lighting throughout your home or in just one or two rooms. It is fast, easy and effective.
    • Door Locks – Being able to lock and unlock doors remotely is one of the newest elements of remote home management. This feature lets you unlock doors to let your kids in at the end of the day, and lock the doors behind them once they are in the house. It is also a great feature for letting out-of-town guests in without having to leave the key outside. And of course, leaving home and forgetting to lock your house is not a problem either.
    • Shades and Blinds – today's homeowner may want to adjust shades or blinds in the home depending on the time of day. For example, opening the blinds on a west-facing window during the dead of winter can help warm up a room nicely in the hours before you return from work.

    You can do many important things with remote home management. From a security standpoint, you can arm or disarm your system, or check remote cameras while you are away on vacation.

    How Home Automation Works

    Remote home automation and management relies on three important components: wireless communications, the Internet, and new hardware and software. All of them work together to provide management features that are expanding every day.

    Wireless communication makes it possible to install and maintain a complete security and remote home management system without having to tap into your existing electrical or phone system. Not only does this help you avoid a lot of unnecessary repair work, it also means your system will continue working even if the power is out. The multiple components in your system communicate wirelessly while the main control panel communicates with the monitoring center via cellular signals.

    The system also allows access from anywhere in the world through an account from your service provider that you can access online. Their servers and computer systems have access to your home management equipment through cellular signals. By logging on to your account via the Internet, your home becomes immediately accessible.

    None this would be possible without the modern equipment being manufactured today. Between the state-of-the-art hardware and advanced software, designers and developers are putting the power of technology into the hands of consumers who wish to manage their homes from remote locations.

    Remote home automation and management is available from Monitronics, with competitive prices on equipment and services. If you would like more information, please contact us so we can schedule one of our representatives to come to your home. We would be happy to design a system uniquely customized for your needs and budget.

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    Safety Hacks for Bringing Home a New Baby

    by Rob Howe | Sep 08, 2014

    Monitronics Home Security offers safety tips for bringing a new baby home. Monitronics Home Security can give you peace of mind about the safety of your home, but is anyone ever really convinced of the safety of their babies? It can be extremely intimidating to bring home a new little life, and parents often feel consumed merely with the task of keeping this tiny person alive. Relax! Monitronics Home Security has some life hacks that will help you keep your baby safe without trying too hard.

    • Prepare for the baby before the baby arrives. This is a no-brainer because once that little human arrives, you’ll be too busy to think straight. Choose and install your car seat, make sure your baby furniture is up to safety standards, and check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order. This is a good time to reassess your houseplants to make sure none of them are hazardous to children.
    • You have months before the baby becomes mobile, but it’s good to get the baby-proofing done a little at a time, rather than making it a big production. Install safety latches on kitchen cabinets and drawers, cover unused electrical outlets with plug covers, secure heavy furniture and electronics, to prevent them from being pulled on top of your baby, use gates to keep little ones from dangerous areas, lock away harmful things that could be swallowed and use other common sense practices to keep your baby safe.
    • Once baby comes home, put the house rules in writing to prevent problems without causing yourself stress. Everyone’s going to want to visit and hold the baby, and everyone will have their own opinion about what’s appropriate. Because you’re the parent, your opinion wins! If you want people to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer, put up a sign. If you don’t want the baby to be held by too many people, to prevent illness and overstimulation, you have the right to set that guideline, too.
    • Remember that the best way to keep your baby safe is to take care of yourself. While you’re making all those signs with house rules, make one that says “Do not disturb - naptime” as well. It’s hard for new parents to get enough sleep, so don’t feel bad about napping when the baby does and keeping people out of your personal space.

    It’s easier to focus all of your attention on tending to your new little one if you aren’t thinking about home security. With a Monitronics Home Security system, you’ll have the confidence to go on about the business of parenting, free from worries about your home. For more information about Monitronics Home Security, visit the website or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

    Monitronics Home Security offers safety tips for bringing a new baby home.
    Source:

    http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/getting-ready/make-home-safe.html

    http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/newborn_care/bringing_baby_home.html

    http://www.babyhomesafety.net/safety_tips.htm

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    Campus Safety for Your College Kids

    by Monitronics Blog | Sep 02, 2014

    The first few weeks of college life are a dizzying experience for even the most experienced student, and rarely does one go into the school year expecting to be a victim of crime. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of students each year are victimized or, even worse, charged with committing any number of crimes against others. If you have a student in college this fall, it is important to talk with him or her about campus safety.

    College Kids

    Here are just a few statistics to help you understand how serious the problem is. According to the U.S. Department of Education, arrest numbers for the 2009 academic year at U.S. universities and colleges included:

    • Drug-related offenses – 24,115
    • Alcohol-related offenses –  47,882
    • Illegal weapons possession – 2,000

    In addition, College Parents of America reports that nearly 6 percent of female students report being victims of rape or attempted rape, while 13 percent claim to have been victimized by stalkers. Perhaps the most alarming statistic of all is the one that suggests only 25 percent of all crimes occurring on America's college campuses are reported to police.

    Talk to your students about how to protect themselves by being careful about where they go, with whom they associate and, most of all, how they view the use of alcohol and drugs. It is no secret that a large majority of campus-related crime has to do with substance use and misuse.

    Researching Colleges

    Did you know that the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires America's universities and colleges to track and compile crime statistics? While you are researching schools with your students, you can ask for those statistics directly. Most schools publish them online as well.

    The statistics will show you which schools tend to be more troublesome than others. While campus safety will not be the only thing you consider when choosing a school, it certainly should be part of the decision. Your student will not be able to learn in an unsafe environment as effectively as he or she would in a place where they feel safe.

    Safety Tips

    Here are some important tips for students:

    • Moving around campus – It is always a wise idea for students to move around campus in groups or pairs. Students should avoid walking or biking alone, especially at night. When gathering in groups for evening activities, they should stay in areas that are well-lit and near public buildings.
    • Room security – Students should never copy their room keys or let others borrow them. Giving people access to a room is an open invitation for theft. In addition, valuable items left inside a room should always be put out of sight. This is especially true for electronics.
    • Mobile Phones – Mobile phones are hot items for thieves because they can be easily sold on the black market. Even though it runs counter to the modern culture, students should never walk while using their phones. It is nothing for someone to walk up alongside a student and snatch the phone while the individual is immersed in a text message or phone call.

    Any student who fears for their safety should immediately find the nearest security personnel. Also, report all crimes to campus security and local police. Failing to report crime only perpetuates the problem, making it easier for criminals to do what they do on America's college campuses.

    Sources:

    1. U.S. Department of Education – http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/arrests2007-09.pdf
    2. College Parents of America – http://www.collegeparents.org/members/resources/articles/violence-campus
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    Keeping your Latchkey Kids Safe

    by Rob Howe | Aug 28, 2014

    A home security system from Monitronics Home Security can help keep your latchkey kids safe.  Sources:
    A home security system can protect your home from intruders, but have you ever thought of its applications for protecting your children after school? In fact, when your children are home alone, there are many things you can do to make the experience safer. From teaching first aid to installing the right home security system, you can be confident in the steps you take to keeping your latchkey kids safe.

    If you’re the parent of a latchkey kid, rest assured you are not alone. It’s estimated that somewhere between 5 and 12 million children under the age of 13 come home in the afternoons to an empty house. The bad news is that these unsupervised kids are three times more likely to be involved in an accident than those supervised by adults. The good news is if you have a child old enough (somewhere between ages 8-12 in most states) and mature enough to stay home, there are precautions that will help make it a positive experience:

    • Knowledge is power. Before staying at home by themselves, children should know their full names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as how to call for help, including 911 and emergency contacts. Make sure your child knows what to do in case of an emergency, how to get out of the house in case of a fire, and any other safety tips you feel are pertinent. They should know to come straight home after school, refrain from opening the door for strangers, and never go into the house if a window or door is broken, indicating that someone has broken into the home. Identify safe places to run if they feel threatened, and be sure they know who to call if they are afraid.
    • Having the right skill set can give your children self-confidence and reassure you of their safety. Teach your latchkey kids basic first aid and what to do in case of a power outage. Equip them with a safety kit, with things they might need, as well as extra money for emergencies and a list of phone numbers to call if something happens. Have them practice using the phone, so that it will be second nature if the need arises and they are flustered.
    • Boundaries can make time alone safer. Set firm rules about things like cooking, and who can be in the house when you are away.  Post a schedule, and have firm expectations for what you expect your child to accomplish. Letting them know what’s expected of them can help them stay on task and stay safe.
    • Help kids use their imaginations to make it easier, not scarier. We’ve all been alone in a house before, jumping at every noise and imagining every worst-case scenario. Empower your children by teaching them to use their imaginations to keep themselves company. If they’re feeling a little lonely or nervous, they can even write stories about made-up adventures they had while home alone, complete with excitement and happy endings!
    • Choose a home security system that works with you to protect your kids. Today, you can install security systems that allow you to have “eyes” on your home through video monitoring. This can be a great way to feel secure when you leave your children alone. And, of course, a home security system, when your children know how to use it, can protect them from intruders.

    A home security system is a powerful ally in the task of keeping latchkey kids safe. Monitronics Home Security offers systems that allow you to see what’s happening at your home and even receive a notification when your children arrive home after school. For more information about buying a Monitronics Home Security system, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

    Sources:

    http://kidshealth.org/kid/watch/house/homealone.html
    http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/orange/PP_Files/53TipsForParentsandTheirLatchkeyChildren.pdf
    http://www.parenting.org/article/latchkey-kid-safety-home-alone-child-safety-proof-your-kids-0
    http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchkey-kids-age-limits.htm


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    Home Security: What Is Two-Way Voice?

    by Monitronics Blog | Aug 25, 2014

    Home security providers know that a few seconds can often make all the difference between effectively responding to an emergency or allowing it to escalate. They are constantly looking for new ways to make security monitoring faster and more responsive. One of the most effective options is two-way voice capability.

    Monitronics offers two-way voice as part of our HomeTouch Premier package. Two-way voice capability is dependent on panel type, so existing customers may need a panel upgrade to take advantage of the service.

    Two Way Voice

    How It Works

    Two-way voice is similar to an intercom but significantly more powerful. It allows customers to communicate directly with monitoring center representatives using a speaker and microphone built into the security system panel. As soon as an alarm reaches our monitoring center, the operator immediately opens the two-way voice channel and begins speaking. The customer hears the representative over the speaker and responds accordingly. The system also allows the operator to continue listening or provide direction until help arrives.

    Faster Response Time

    The main advantage of two-way voice is faster response time. With a conventional home security system, the operator at our 24-hour monitoring center must call a customer the moment an alarm is triggered, while two-way voice is nearly instantaneous. In some emergencies, that quick response time could mean the difference between safety and an elevated level of danger.

    Burglary Deterrence

    A home security system is already an excellent way to prevent burglary or home invasion, but two-way voice increases deterrence. For example, a triggered burglary alarm immediately engages the two-way voice system and connects the monitoring center. The operator can warn the intruders that they are being monitored and police are on the way, which could be enough to scare them away.

    Two-way voice also allows subscribers to come up with emergency passwords that can alert operators they are being held against their will or threatened by intruders. If the password is spoken, an operator will know that the situation is escalating. That information can be passed on to police dispatchers immediately.

    Fire Response

    In the event of a house fire, two-way voice enables a homeowner to alert the monitoring center that everyone has escaped safely, with no need to waste time searching for a phone. If occupants are trapped in the house, two-way voice can make it easier to verify their location. The operator can also provide safety advice until the fire department arrives.

    These are just some of the benefits of making two-way voice a part of your home security system. Monitronics believes two-way voice is one of the most effective features to be added to home security in a long time. Whether your system is wireless or wired, you should consider adding two-way voice to your existing package. Of course, new subscribers would be wise to take advantage of it as well.

    Monitronics would be more than happy to answer all of your questions about two-way voice and other valuable features of our HomeTouch Premier package. Just give us a call to learn more.

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    Preparing Food Safely

    by Rob Howe | Aug 25, 2014
    girls cooking

    A home security system is a powerful tool for keeping your family and property safe from outside threats. Some dangers, however, lurk where you’d least expect them.

    For example, disease and infection are beyond the control of your home security system, but you can take steps to keep your family healthy. A great place to start is the kitchen, where safe food preparation can prevent illness.

    Did you know that the kitchen has the most germs of any room in your home? In fact, one study indicated that the kitchen sink has 100,000 times as many germs as the bathroom, with nasty bugs like E. coli, campylobacter and salmonella. This might make you want to order takeout food for the rest of your life, but don’t despair. Here are some simple suggestions that will make your kitchen a safer place.

    • Shop intelligently. Stay away from packages of meat or chicken that have been punctured or damaged. Never buy past the “sell by” date, and refrigerate meat promptly after purchase.
    • Wash your hands, but not your chicken. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water. Do not, however, wash meat: Instead of removing germs, it actually only serves to splash them around your sink and counters. Especially in the case of poultry, which is a common source of salmonella, cook it straight out of the package without stopping at the sink.
    • Keep your meat and veggies separated. Never cross-contaminate by cutting meat and vegetables on the same cutting board. Instead, wash your cutting boards thoroughly after exposure to raw meat, with a solution of one tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water. Keep raw food away from ready-to-eat food such as bread and salads to prevent contamination of things you won’t be cooking.
    • Know how to cook and chill. Keep your refrigerator at 40° or below, your freezer at 0° or below, and refrigerate food within an hour or two of purchase. Use or freeze poultry, fish, ground meat and variety meats within two days; beef, veal, lamb and pork will last three to five days in the refrigerator. Use a meat thermometer to determine whether your meat is done; cook beef, veal, pork, lamb, and roasts to a minimum of 140°, ground meats to 160°, and poultry to 165°.
    • Clean your produce and your surfaces, but not the same way. Never use cleaners meant for dishes or counters to clean vegetables or fruit. Instead, use cold water to remove pesticides and bacteria, or peel your produce for even better results. Clean kitchen surfaces before and after use, and don’t store used sponges and dishcloths; either wash your dishcloths promptly or use paper towels.
    • Be smart about leftovers. Put leftover food into the refrigerator promptly in shallow containers. Use it within four days, reheating food to 165°. Throw out any food that’s been left out for two hours or more after preparation.

    Keeping your kitchen safe is up to you, but keeping your home safe can be easier if you have the right home security system. At Monitronics Home Security, we have a variety of systems available to meet your family’s unique needs. For more information about buying a Monitronics Home Security system, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

    Sources:
    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/basics-for-handling-food-safely/ct_index
    http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/Foodhygiene.aspx
    http://www.dettol.co.uk/your-family-food-poisoning.php
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    Protecting your Family from Summer Sales Scams

    by Rob Howe | Aug 18, 2014

    Summertime is the busy season for door-to-door security salespeople, since people are more likely to be home during the day. Unfortunately, it’s also a time for unethical tactics by some salespeople in an attempt to confuse and mislead homeowners about their home security systems.

    It’s important to be aware of these sales scammers. They threaten your security, and in some cases can even steal your identity. Here are a few tips from Monitronics Home Security that will help you weed out the scammers.


    When any salesperson comes to the door, always be cautious. Ask to see identification, and make sure you clearly understand who they represent. They may be pushy, so don’t be bullied. Once they’re inside your home, they can be very difficult to get rid of, and they’ll often begin making changes to your system.

    Unethical salespeople will use a variety of approaches. They might say that your existing provider has gone out of business or filed for bankruptcy, or that it has been purchased by the company the salesperson represents. They may tell you that your alarm system is no longer working, or there may be an offer to upgrade or even replace your system free of charge. Be skeptical of any claims or promises, especially if an offer sounds too good to be true.

    Reputable companies will always notify you ahead of time of changes to your account before coming to your door and will schedule appointments ahead of time.

    As with any company, if you are ever in doubt of a door-to-door sales person, call your provider to verify.  Monitronics customers can call us 24/7.  We are one of the largest, most well-respected security companies in the United States, and we work hard to protect you and your home. This includes protecting you from scammers. To learn more about these scams, call 800.971.8861. We’re here for you 24 hours a day because we want to protect our customers from potential threats. Always call us before making any changes to your home security system.

    If you’re not already a Monitronics Home Security customer, you may not be aware of advanced technology the company offers. HomeTouch allows you to manage your home security system remotely from your computer, smartphone or tablet. Syncing perfectly with cellular security panels, HomeTouch gives you access to remote arming and disarming, provides reminders, no-show alerts and much more. For more information about how a Monitronics Home Security system can help you keep your family safe, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Senior Citizens: 3 Reasons to Consider Medical Alert Service

    by Monitronics Blog | Aug 18, 2014

    For younger people, the idea of life being devastated by just a simple fall seems absurd. After all, falling and getting back up is just a part of being young.

    However, it isn’t so easy as you get older, especially by the time you reach your retirement years. Simple falls account for a majority of the life-altering injuries experienced by older Americans. Sometimes the results of those injuries are made worse by the fact that there is no one around to help when an older person falls.

    Statistics show that more than one third of seniors over the age of 65 will fall each year. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries, and 50 percent of those falls will cause serious, life-changing injuries. If you are over the age of 65, you could reduce your risk of complications and death after a fall by utilizing a medical alert service offered by Monitronics.

    Medical Alert Service

    Here are three reasons you should consider a medical alert service:

    You’re Never Alone

    Understandably, independence is important to older Americans. Nevertheless, as we live longer the likelihood of eventually living alone is quite high, which could be a problem in the event of an accident at home. However, with a medical alert service an individual is never truly alone. At Monitronics, we see that as the most valuable benefit of medical alert.

    Our medical alert system provides a wearable pendant that keeps the senior citizen connected with our 24-hour monitoring center at all times. With just the press of a button, a customer can get immediate help after a fall or other significant accident. You are never alone when you have medical alert.

    More Than Just Falling

    While older Americans might dismiss the possibility of falling and injuring themselves until it actually happens, there is more to their personal safety than just injury. Seniors are more likely to suffer from other serious health issues, including cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, and more. Any of these chronic illnesses could lead to emergencies, but a medical alert system can bring help right away, even if you cannot get to the telephone.

    Helping Your Kids

    Your kids will do everything they can to make sure you are well cared-for in your older years, but they cannot spend all their time looking after you. Most have jobs and families that require their attention as well. A medical alert system helps them help you by providing an extra set of ears and eyes when they cannot be there. A medical alert system also gives your kids extra peace of mind knowing that help is always available at the touch of a button.

    If you are an older American with a security system in your home, we urge you to consider adding medical alert service. It could make a huge difference after a fall or other household accident. If you do not yet have a security system, consider getting one. Monitronics would be happy to come out to your home and custom design a system just for you – including our medical alert service. We want you to be safe and happy for however long you choose to live in your home.

    Sources:

    1. ProAge Home – http://proagehome.com/stats.html
    2. Centers for Disease Control – http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html
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    Back to School Safety Tips for You and Your Kids

    by Rob Howe | Aug 15, 2014

    Monitronics Home Security discusses safety tips for back to school.
    Monitronics Home Security is in the business of taking care of families, and we understand that one of the most hectic times for families is when the kids go back to school. Especially if you’ve had a long, lazy summer, it can be stressful to get back into the swing of the school routine, and going back to school requires a great deal of preparation. One thing that can’t afford to get lost in the shuffle is safety, and Monitronics Home Security has some safety tips to put on your back to school list.

    • Of course you’ll take your child for a well-child appointment, but did you ever think of that as a safety measure? Making sure your child is in good health can prevent illness and injury, and staying up to date on immunizations protects everyone’s children from an outbreak of disease.
    • Make sure your kids travel safely to school. In a car, make sure children use age appropriate restraints. If they ride the bus, teach them to be careful when boarding and exiting. When biking, they should wear helmets, and if they walk to school, they should use caution crossing the street, and try to avoid walking alone.
    • Did you know a backpack could be a safety hazard? According to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are more than 7300 backpack-related injuries treated each year, including bruises, sprains, strains to the back and shoulder, and even fractures. Choose a backpack that is the right size for your child with features like a padded back and multiple compartments to help distribute weight evenly. Remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation is for a child to carry a backpack that weighs no more than 10-20% of his or her total body weight.
    • Talk to your children about personal safety. Part of keeping kids safe is teaching them to self-protect. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open, and talk about bullying and other problems that might arise. Your children should understand that no one is allowed to make them feel unsafe, and if something is bothering them, they should come to you or to another authority figure to find a solution.
    • Keep your kids healthy with good nutrition. Once kids are back in school, you lose some of the control over their dietary choices. Teach them to eat smart by choosing fruits, vegetables, and protein over non-nutritive options like chips and sweets. Also, ensure they head out the door each morning with a healthy breakfast in their bellies.

    No matter the time of year, Monitronics Home Security can help you keep your family safe. With a wide range of home security systems, Monitronics has a plan that will meet your unique needs. For more information about Monitronics Home Security, visit the website or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

    Monitronics Home Security discusses safety tips for back to school.

    Source:
    http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/SafetyObservances/Pages/BackToSchoolSafety.aspxhttp://www.usa.gov/Topics/Back-to-School.shtml
    http://www.safercar.gov/parents/BackToSchool.htm
    http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/SafetyObservances/Documents/Back%20to%20School/Backpack%20Safety.pdf

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    Time for a Back-To-School Safety Reminder

    by Monitronics Blog | Aug 11, 2014

    As the calendar rolls into August, parents and children are preparing for the start of the fall school session. It’s a good time to review back-to-school safety tips and reminders. With a little bit of knowledge and some common sense, you can make the experience as safe as possible for your kids.

    The National Safety Council offers valuable back-to-school safety tips on its website, covering topics like safety at school, transportation issues, pedestrian safety, and more. It is a great resource worth checking out.

    Here are a few tips from Monitronics about keeping your children safe as they head back to school.

    Back To School Safety

    Driver Awareness

    Adult drivers need to adjust to the back-to-school season as much as any student. Slow down as you drive through neighborhoods on your way to work. Practice looking around, and make a special effort to pay attention. Identify places where a child might dart out unexpectedly; make a mental note of where you're likely to encounter crossing guards; and note any other hazards that might present themselves as you drive.

    Remember that it is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing. The red lights indicate children will be boarding or disembarking the bus. Be sure not to follow a bus too closely as it travels through a residential neighborhood, since it will likely be making frequent stops.

    Student Scheduling

    As a parent, make it your business to know your student's schedule throughout the week. You need to know when school starts, when it lets out, and the times of any after-school activities your child will be participating in. By knowing their schedule, you will be more aware if something goes awry. Don’t send your child off in the morning without knowing where they are going or what they are doing.

    Bike Safety

    If your child rides a bike to school, there are several ways to increase safety. Make sure they are properly equipped with bike helmets, even if headgear isn’t required by your local laws. Make sure they know and understand the basic safety rules for operating a bicycle in traffic, and that the bicycle is properly adjusted for their height. You might even want to ride the route with them a few times before school starts, just so that everyone is familiar with it.

    Backpack Safety

    Thousands of school injuries take place every year, with quite a few resulting from backpacks kids wear throughout the day. Keep your child's pack as light as possible; only carry what is necessary for the school day. Make sure your child uses both straps so that weight is distributed evenly. Finally, a backpack should be sized appropriately so that it fits well.

    Parents can’t eliminate every potential danger that children might face, but a common-sense approach can mitigate much of the risk. Monitronics urges you to think about safety first as children to go back to school.

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