Security Blog

    Your Home Has Been Broken Into: What Do You Do?

    by Rob Howe | Jan 20, 2015

    Your House Has Been Broken Into - Now What?

    Home security is extremely important, but sometimes homeowners don’t recognize their need for it until their home has been broken into. Once a break-in has occurred, installing a home security system may seem like a measure taken too late, but it’s a smart step to take, because properties that have suffered a burglary are four times more likely to be targeted again. It’s important to take steps to prevent future incidents and bolster your family’s state of mind. Unfortunately, during the chaotic aftermath of a burglary, it’s easy for homeowners to become overwhelmed and not know the right steps to take. Here, we offer a timeline of actions to take after a break-in.

    • Immediately following a break in: Call the police immediately. You must file a police report within 24 hours in order to file an insurance claim, and if you report it quickly, there is a greater likelihood of the police catching the culprit. If you get a look at the intruder, make notes while you’re waiting for the police, so that you will be able to clearly tell them details like the person’s sex, race, age, clothing, height and which direction he or she went. You can look around to see what’s missing, but don’t touch anything if you can help it, and consider going to a neighbor’s house until the police arrive. Once the police give you the go-ahead, you‘ll be able to begin reclaiming your home, by cleaning up broken glass, boarding up windows, discarding broken or unusable furniture, and covering damage to make the house feel more like your home again.
    • The next day: If you haven’t already done so, call the insurance company and file a claim. You’ll need to provide the number from the police report to do this. Now is the time to take pictures documenting damage and loss, as well as collecting receipts, serial numbers and other pertinent information, so that you can provide the claims adjuster with this information when he or she comes out to the house.
    • In the coming weeks: Identify your home’s weak spots to prevent a future break-in. Reinforce your windows, install deadbolts and install motion detecting security lights to make your home a safer place. Now is the time to decide on a new home security system, as well, enlisting the help of experts to protect your assets. Visit pawn shops in your area, to see if you can recover any of your belongings; sometimes items show up weeks later, so keep checking back for things that are important to you.
    • In the long run: Having your living space violated has a much more far-reaching impact than the simple loss of belongings. If you or a family member experiences ongoing feelings of anxiety you may want to consider counseling to help cope with the emotional and psychological repercussions of a break-in.  After all, it’s your home and it should feel like it.

    If you don’t have a home security system, Monitronics can help. With features like remote security monitoring, Monitronics has a security system to fit the needs of every home and family. For future blogs & safety tips, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.



    Home Automation Dominates 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

    by KC Painter | Jan 13, 2015


    The Consumer Electronics Show has come and gone, leaving behind it a picture of the changes to come to the world of home automation. Coming close on the heels of Christmas, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is like a second holiday for technology buffs. The coolest new products were spread across 2 million square feet of showroom space, and 170,000 attendees ate it up like candy.

    Here are five takeaways from this year’s event:

    Home automation remains in the spotlight

    As expected, home automation was one of the show’s biggest stars. There were new offerings from established manufacturers and providers like Honeywell, Interlogix, and Nortek. Google and Samsung each revealed more about their strategies, while Apple was conspicuous with its absence. And newer DIY players with names like MyFox, Smanos and Chuango joined existing offerings from iSmartAlarm, iControl and Canary.

    Right now, it’s a land of confusion. But sooner or later, the market will shake out and the best solutions will bubble to the surface. In the meantime, no one could blame consumers for waiting to see who survives the competition before opening their wallets.

    Stuck on self-monitoring

    Home security is acknowledged to be the centerpiece of home automation, but it’s surprising to see how many solutions still depend on self-monitoring rather than central monitoring.

    That always brings us back to the same issues. How many consumers understand the responsibility of having to react quickly and correctly every time the smartphone signals an alarm? How many are ready to hand that responsibility off to a neighbor or family member instead of a trained professional? And how often will a homeowner have to sweat when they’re without cellular coverage, or stuck in a situation where they can’t instantly react?

    Being able to monitor your house remotely sounds like a great idea, but it’s hard not to recognize the value of professionally monitored systems.

    The camera will be king

    Wired magazine noted that some of the most useful smart-home solutions are variations of good old video cameras. They’re becoming smarter as they begin to incorporate technology for facial recognition, threat assessment, environmental control, or even health monitoring. 

    As video gets more affordable, practical and versatile, it may become very appealing to consumers who have already come to accept the fact that cameras practically watch our every move. It would be a small leap to being comfortable with having one in your home, particularly when it offers powerful functionality.


    Sexy vs. practical

    The media tends to sell a smart-home image of a fantasy world where all your household devices work together like a symphony. Wired offers a different vision: a relatively limited number of practical devices – not just video, but locks, thermostats, light bulbs and other devices you use each day – that will be useful, reliable and easy to control with your smartphone.

    But hey, how can a remote-controlled front door compete with a flower pot that tells you whenever a houseplant needs to be watered?


    Wonderful world of wearables

    Wearables were also big at CES this year. The emphasis was on not only expanding and improving functionality, but also making them a little more attractive.

    The technology also went beyond what you can wear on your wrist:

    • Skin sensors that will communicate a person’s temperature or other vital signs directly to a smartphone. There also was discussion of a temporary tattoo that could be used to track vital signs of hospital patients.
    • Smart clothing that could theoretically take the place of a personal trainer, monitoring the effectiveness or technique of your exercise regimen.
    • Last but not least, a belt that not only tracks your activity, but automatically adjusts when you sit or stand. As if that weren’t enough, it also reminds you that maybe it’s time to drop a few pounds.





    New Years Resolution For Your Home

    by KC Painter | Jan 06, 2015

    Home security system installation isn’t the only New Year’s resolution you should make regarding your home.

    If you’re making New Year’s resolutions, you might want to consider putting a home security system on the list. But even if you’ve got a home security system that has all the bells and whistles, there are other things you can do that will not only make your home safer, but also help you get the New Year off to a great start.

    Beyond a home security system, here are some ideas for your list of resolutions.

    • Make your home as safe as possible. If you don’t have one already, maybe it’s time to consider installing a carbon monoxide detector. Also check for radon gas, and if necessary test for lead paint and asbestos flooring. It’s also a good time to pay attention to hazards you may not always consider, such as lint buildup in vents and ducts behind the dryer, or poor ventilation that fosters mold. Looking out for these simple details can help keep your home safe and your family healthy.
    • If you have an older house, have the wiring checked. Each year, home electrical problems result in thousands of home fires, hundreds of deaths and millions of dollars in property loss. Taking a proactive step to have your wiring inspected can make your home safer, protecting your family and finances from calamity.
    • Be mindful of safety hazards in your home. Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to throw out the Christmas tree before it gets too dry and becomes a fire hazard. Make simple repairs before they become more complicated or dangerous. Use good security habits, like installing security lights, bolstering door locks and reinforcing windows. By resolving to be mindful of your home, you’ll be protecting your home, your belongings and your family.
    • Are your finances healthy? Some resolutions for your home should involve your monetary health. Resolve to cut costs by making your home more energy efficient and you’ll be surprised at how much money you save. Resolve to pay extra on your mortgage each month, and you’ll pay it off years sooner than projected.  A home security system can often do more than just protect your family and your property; it can also be a boon to your budget. Check with your insurance company to see if discounts are available for homeowners with a security system.

    If you don’t already have a home security system, look no further than Monitronics. With the very latest technology in home security, our authorized dealers offer home security systems that are right for virtually any household, from the simplest system to the most high-tech.  Some even offer the latest in home automation, including remote security monitoring. For future blogs and safety tips, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.



    Safety Upgrades you need to make in the New Year

    by Rob Howe | Dec 26, 2014
    Monitronics Home Security offers suggestions for home safety resolutions.

    At Monitronics Home Security, we know that most New Year’s Resolutions don’t make it past February. On New Year’s Eve, everyone is ambitious about changing their lives, but in the cold light of mid-January, most of these changes seem overwhelming and over the top. On the other hand, reasonable resolutions, like making a bigger effort to protect your family, are a great idea. If your resolution is to keep your home and family safer, Monitronics Home Security has some suggestions for important safety measures.

    • Prevent house fires with a few simple precautions. First, make sure your smoke detectors are in good working order. Then, use caution with household items, keeping space heaters, candles, and other heat sources three feet or more from bedding, furniture drapes or other flammable materials. Do not burn paper, wrapping paper or fresh greenery in your fireplace, and have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually.
    • Child burn prevention is important. It’s easy to keep hot liquids and foods out of a child’s reach, and remember to always turn pot handles to the inside of the stove where little ones can’t grab them.
    • Inspect your electrical system. Especially in older homes, wiring may be outdated. If you are an expert when it comes to wiring, you might inspect it yourself, but otherwise, hire a professional. Remember, upgrading to a modern electrical system is worth the expense if it makes your home safer for your family.
    • Don’t forget about carbon monoxide. Sure, your smoke detector works, but what about your carbon monoxide detectors? This toxic gas can be deadly, so having a working carbon monoxide detector is important.
    • Keep your climbers safe. Children love to climb on things, so make sure your furniture will stand up to such raucous activity. Bolt bookshelves to the wall to prevent them from toppling, and keep furniture that can be climbed on away from windows.
    • If you have young children, mind the window coverings. Speaking of windows, it’s very important to use common sense when choosing them. For families with children, it’s important to find window coverings without cords that can be hazardous. Newer windows are cordless, and safer.

    If you’re serious about the safety of your family, it may be time to consider a security systems. Security systems from Monitronics Home Security come with a wide array of features, and you’re sure to find a system to fit your family’s unique needs. For more information about Monitronics Home Security, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter



    Home Security and The Holidays

    by Monitronics Blog | Dec 23, 2014

    The annual holiday season is once again at the doorstep. From now through the end of the year, we will be gathering with friends and family to celebrate holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the New Year. It is a time of wonderful gatherings and special memories. Yet it is also a time that can be marred by unwelcome intrusions such as crime and house fires.

    At Monitronics, we want your holidays to be as safe as possible. We urge you to consider a home security package if your property is not already being protected. Home security with 24-hour monitoring is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to protect your family, yourself, and your property.​

    Here are some other ways you can increase the safety in your home during the holiday season.

    Gift Burglaries

    According to Los Angeles-based security consultant and private investigator Chris McGoey, burglars view the holiday season – Christmas in particular – as an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. They break into homes looking for cash, credit cards, and items that can be easily and quickly sold. McGoey says a burglary occurs in the U.S. every 15 seconds throughout the year. It stands to reason that burglaries pick up during the holiday season.

    McGoey offers a number of helpful tips to avoid holiday burglaries, including the following:

    • Christmas Trees and Gifts – Do not display Christmas trees and gifts in front of first-floor windows. It is too much of a temptation for a burglar to shatter the window and quickly grab as many Christmas gifts as possible.
    • Doors and Windows – Burglars prefer to enter homes through unlocked windows and doors. During the Christmas season, an extension cord running out the bottom of a slightly cracked window or a door slightly ajar is an invitation to enter. McGoey says it is a lot easier to spot insecure windows and doors from a distance than you might think.
    • Personal Discretion – If you are planning to be away for the holidays, use discretion when it comes to divulging your plans. Announcing on your voicemail or Facebook page that you are away for the holidays is just asking for trouble.
    • The Morning After – Stacking intact boxes at the curb on the morning after Christmas advertises to the world all of the gifts your family exchanged for Christmas. Do not do it. Instead, break down boxes and turn them inside out before stacking and securing them with rope or string.

    House Fires

    House fires during the holidays are an unfortunate reality. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments responded to an average of 230 Christmas tree related fires every year between 2007 and 2011. One in 40 of those fires resulted in at least one death.

    The biggest cause of house fires during the holidays is an electrical problem associated with either Christmas tree lighting or exterior home lighting. Please be sure you fully understand how Christmas lighting systems work before you decorate for the holidays. Also be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions to the letter. Do not chain too many strings of Christmas lights together, do not overload wall sockets and, for exterior lighting, only use light strings and extension cords that are properly rated for outdoor use.

    As for your Christmas tree, make sure it remains well watered if it is natural. Artificial trees should be in good condition and able to withstand the heat put off by Christmas tree lights. Never, under any circumstances, should you expose a natural or artificial tree to open flame.

    Install Home Security

    In addition to the tips we have provided, consider installing a home security system with 24-hour monitoring. Statistics show that burglars are less likely to attempt to enter homes with monitored security because the chances of being caught go up significantly.

    Where fire is concerned, monitored home security can alert you to the presence of a fire quickly enough for you to get out of your home. This is especially important in cases where a fire breaks out overnight. Having 24-hour monitoring is essentially equipping your home with extra eyes and ears watching out for you and your family.

    From our perspective, home security is one of the best gifts you can give your family. Monitronics can help. We have affordable equipment and monitoring packages to fit just about any budget. Please contact us right away to start protecting your family this holiday season.


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    Looking Beyond Home Security - Toy Safety

    by Rob Howe | Dec 08, 2014

    Home security from Monitronics keeps your house safe, and you can keep your kids safe by following some toy safety tips.

    So, you’ve installed a home security system, you drive your children to school, safely buckled into five-point harnesses long past the state requirements, and you never miss a well-child checkup. You’re the kind of parent concerned with keeping your kids safe from every conceivable threat, but what happens during the holidays? Toys happen. New toys come out every year, many with new dangers, most with nearly irresistible advertising. What’s a parent to do? Here, Monitronics, the experts on home security, have found some helpful suggestions on keeping on top of toy safety.

    • First, take a breath. Safety standards are much higher than they were in the past, and companies are held accountable for the quality of the toys they produce. This means that toys are more likely to be inherently sound than they used to be, and when they’re not, there are penalties.
    • Next, stay on top of recall information. There are various sites you can visit to learn of product recalls, which can happen because of a variety of hazards. You can even sign up for email notifications of the most recent recalls.
    • Educate yourself on potential dangers. Lead paint is one risk that’s extremely dangerous, and may be present in toys, especially those made before 1973. So, even though it’s a romantic notion to give your kids the toys you enjoyed when you were little, it may not be safe. Fabric can be flammable if it’s not labeled “flame-retardant,” and phthalates in plastics can cause health issues. Balloons pose a choking hazard for small children, as can toys with small parts, and even art supplies can be dangerous if they’re not labeled as non-toxic. Knowing the risks of certain toys can help you make good decisions about the ones you buy for your children.
    • Buy age-appropriate toys. Your child may be a prodigy, brilliant and gifted, but that doesn’t mean he or she needs toys designed for older kids. Little ones can choke on small parts in older kids’ toys, and elements of some toys, like projectiles, can be dangerous even for elementary aged children. Your child may not be physically ready for some toys, and some may be too heavy for your little one to safely carry.
    • Choose quality playthings. Cheap toys are not worth the risk they might present to your children. Be cautious of hand-me-downs, too, and check toys for loose threads or buttons, peeling paint, sharp edges, and other dangers. Battery operated toys should have battery cases with screws securing the lids, and crayons and paints should be evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials , which will be indicated by the code ASTM D-4236 on the package.

    Being cognizant of dangerous playthings can help keep your child safe during holidays and playtime. The right home security can help keep your home and family safe around the clock. Especially with home monitoring options, it’s easy to keep an eye on your home and property, no matter where the holidays take you. For more information about home security systems from Monitronics Home Security, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.


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    Holiday Safety Tips

    by Rob Howe | Dec 04, 2014

    Home security from Monitronics can keep your family protected from many threats, but it’s important to follow Christmas safety tips, too.

    In keeping your family safe, you’ll do whatever it takes, from installing home security to insisting on seat belts and bike helmets. At Christmas time, there are plenty of opportunities for joyous get-togethers, festive decorations and overall merrymaking. Unfortunately, all that festivity can also lead to an increase in danger. Here, Monitronics Home Security offers tips on keeping your family safe and protected over the holidays.

    • A Christmas tree or Menorah may be the center of your holiday décor, but both can also be the central danger zone for your holidays. Trees, both real and artificial, can pose as fire hazards if handled irresponsibly. If you’re buying an artificial tree, choose one that’s flame retardant. If it’s a real tree, the needles should be green and should stay on the tree, even when it’s shaken or touched. Keep your tree away from heating vents and fireplaces, and never use lit candles as decorations. A Menorah can also pose as a fire threat if left unattended for long periods of time or if it’s placed near drapes or curtains.
    • Keep your holidays merry and bright- and safe. Choose the proper lights - there’s a difference between indoor and outdoor lights - and always choose strands that have been tested for safety by a recognized laboratory. Check your sets of lights for broken sockets, frayed wires and loose connections, and never plug in more than three strings in one extension cord. No matter how festive they may be, always turn off your holiday lights before you go to bed.
    • A roaring fire in the fireplace can be festive, as long as it’s tended with care. Don’t burn wrapping paper, as it can burn too quickly and cause a flash fire. Never leave a fire unattended, always ensure that ashes have stopped smoldering before you go to bed, make sure your smoke alarms are functional, and keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of an accident.
    • Make sure toys are fun, not dangerous. Buy age-appropriate toys, and always read the instructions before allowing your child to play with them. If you have small children, take care to choose toys with no small parts on which to choke, or long strings, that can be a strangling hazard. For older children with electronic toys, choose toys with batteries over those that plug into the wall.
    • Know what’s going on in your house, even if you’re celebrating elsewhere. Holiday travel takes us all over the country, reuniting us with friends and family we might not see throughout the year. With the right home security system, you can keep track of what’s going on in your house, and even receive alerts if something seems amiss.

    During the holidays, as throughout the year, keeping your family safe is your priority. Monitronics can help, offering home security in configurations perfect for every family, with home monitoring options to help you keep an eye on things, even when you can’t be there. For more information about home security systems from Monitronics Home Security, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.



    Home Automation and Energy Efficiency

    by Monitronics Blog | Dec 01, 2014

    Home security has matured significantly over the years. Today's home security systems are capable of monitoring not only for burglary, but also for fire, carbon monoxide, flood, and medical emergencies. In fact, modern equipment and software now make it possible to add home automation features to any home security system. With the installation of this additional equipment, homeowners can save money by making their homes more efficient.

    According to data collected by Monitronics and published in a recent infographic, more than 12 million home automation systems will be installed throughout the U.S. by 2016. The home automation market in this country will exceed $5.5 billion during that same period. Furthermore, more than 44 percent of U.S. adults say they are open to the idea of utilizing home automation equipment themselves.

    So why all of the interest in home automation? It comes down to efficiency. Our busy schedules make it more difficult than ever to properly manage lighting and thermostats for maximum savings. Home automation changes the game by giving homeowners the tools needed to control lighting as well as heating and cooling systems at any time of day.

    Home Automation Energy Efficiency

    Manage Your Lighting

    When you were growing up, did your parents constantly remind you to turn off lights when leaving a room? You might even have to remind your own children of the same thing. However, what about managing lighting when no one is home? That’s where home automation comes in.

    Home automation allows you to turn lights off and on at various times throughout the day. For example, set up a schedule so that the lights in the entrance turn on just about the time you are scheduled to return from work. If you are going to be late one night, just access your system using a smart phone or tablet to make the necessary adjustments.

    Managing lighting also allows you to turn lights on and off for security purposes when you are away for extended periods. The obvious benefit is not leaving lights on 24 hours a day. Turn them on remotely for a few hours at night in several rooms within your house. It not only looks like someone is home, but it also saves electricity.

    Manage Heating and Cooling

    Heating and cooling are among the most costly parts of owning a home. You can purchase a programmable thermostat that lets you set the temperature of your home on a seven-day cycle, but a programmable thermostat only works well if you have a fairly simple schedule. A more complex schedule requires something different.

    Home automation lets you set your thermostat according to your normal routine, but it also allows you to change your settings on-the-fly. For example, let us say you are taking an extended vacation to get out of the winter weather for two weeks. With a programmable thermostat, you would have to change your existing program or set the thermostat to hold a specific temperature. With home automation, it is a lot easier.

    Home automation lets you set a specific temperature to hold as you leave the house. When you are within an hour of returning, just access your system with your smart phone and resume your established program. You will save money while you're away without coming home to a cold house.

    Save with Home Automation

    Using a home automation system to control lighting and thermostats can reduce your energy bills by as much as 15 percent each year. For the average American household, that amounts to nearly $200. When you combine home automation with home security and 24-hour monitoring, it is an incredible value that is well worth the investment.

    Monitronics offers this functionality by way of HomeTouch home automation. Please contact us for all of the details regarding equipment, pricing, and installation.

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    Size Isn't Everything: Five Reasons We Believe in Small Business Saturday

    by Moni Blogger | Nov 25, 2014

    Small Business Owner

    It’s fitting that Small Business Saturday (Nov. 29) falls so close to Thanksgiving every year. At Monitronics, we’re certainly thankful for all of the small businesses that are a part of our nationwide dealer network. While there are a number of larger companies, of course, small businesses make up the majority of our network, and we’re incredibly fortunate to have them on our team.

    Here are five reasons to be thankful for small businesses, and to give them your business this Saturday — or, for that matter, any other day.

    1. Small Business Saturday is a great antidote to the heavy commercialism of Black Friday. Instead of lining up at 2 in the morning and fighting the crowds in hopes of a great deal, wait until Saturday and see what special things your local businesses offer.

    2. The Small Business Administration notes that small businesses make up more than 99 percent of U.S. employer firms, and also account for 49 percent of private-sector employment. Big businesses get most of the headlines, but the U.S. economy would be sunk without the commitment and spirit of small companies.

    3. Small businesses often play large roles in their neighborhoods and communities. You see them everywhere, whether it’s sponsoring youth sports or supporting food drives and fun runs. This is a great chance to show your appreciation.

    4. Because of their close bonds with the community, they can relate to your needs. For example, our authorized dealers understand the areas they serve in a way few other companies can. They know the neighborhoods, the people and the local culture – not to mention police, firefighters and other first responders.

    5. When was the last time a clerk at a big-box electronics store knew your name the minute you walked in the door? Major retailers may have the advertising and marketing, but small businesses have a personal touch that’s hard to find anywhere else.

    There’s no better time than Saturday to get out and see what the small businesses in your area have to offer. And, of course, if you need a home security system, you're welcome to use the form at the top of this page to find a dealer near you!

    Source: U.S. Small Business Administration
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    How to Put Out Different Types of Fires

    by Monitronics Blog | Nov 24, 2014

    A fire in the home can create a level of panic that is unmatched by virtually any other event. Unfortunately, what starts out as a very small fire can quickly become an inferno that can cause serious injury and death. It’s important to understand that trying to fight a small fire on your own could actually make the problem worse if it’s not done correctly.  We want to help you be safe by explaining how to put out different types of fires.

    Before we get to firefighting techniques, remember that it’s never wise to put yourself in danger just to put out a fire. Your home and possessions can be replaced; you cannot. If a fire in your home causes you to feel threatened – whether or not you can fight the fire by yourself – protect yourself by calling 911.


    Cooking Fires

    Next to fires caused by careless smoking, cooking fires are the second most common in the United States. These kinds of fires can occur in the oven or on top of the stove. Here's what you need to know:

    • Grease Fires – Since grease and water do not mix, grease fires will only be made worse by throwing water on them. Instead, turn off the oven or burner and smother the flames with something such as baking soda or salt. You can also attempt to cover the first with a lid to smother its source of oxygen. Never attempt to move a pan or pot with grease in it.
    • Oven Fires – Fires inside the oven usually occur when food ignites or grease drips onto the heating elements. Turn the oven off and then smother the flames with baking soda or salt. Immediately close the oven door to cut off the air supply.

    The best way to avoid cooking fires is to make sure you keep your oven and stovetop clean. Wipe down all surfaces and heating elements with a degreaser after every use. When cooking in the oven, use a drip pan underneath meats with excess fat. It is always a good idea to have a small Type B dry chemical fire extinguisher in the kitchen as well.

    Electrical Fires

    Electrical fires can be caused by overloaded sockets, frayed wires, or equipment malfunction. As with grease fires, do not attempt to put out an electrical fire using water. Water conducts electricity, exposing you to the risk of electrical shock.

    To put out an electrical fire, unplug the device if possible. Then smother the flames using a blanket or piece of heavy clothing. If you have a fire extinguisher in the house, it offers you another option.

    As with kitchen fires, it’s easier to stop electrical fires before they get started. Routinely check cords for fraying or breaks. Also, avoid using extension cords for anything other than temporary power.

    Storage Area Fires

    A fire in a storage area can be caused by any number of things. For example, oil soaked rags can easily combust if exposed to even the smallest of sparks. Other causes can include improperly stored gasoline, charcoal lighter fluid, and household solvents.

    Type B fire extinguishers are your best bet for putting out fires related to petroleum products and solvents. Type A fire extinguishers work well for paper and similar items. In the absence of a fire extinguisher, smother the flames with a blanket or a heavy piece of clothing.

    Natural Gas Fires

    The most dangerous source of a house fire is natural gas. Turn off the gas supply and call the fire department immediately. If you cannot get to the shutoff, try to smother the flames with a heavy carpet or blanket. Even if you are successful in putting out the flames however, exit the home immediately. Leaking gas always poses a risk of explosion.

    Chimney Fires

    Any home with a fireplace or wood-burning stove can be susceptible to chimney fires caused by creosote buildup. Once a fire erupts in the chimney, it is already too late to fight it on your own. Get out of the house and call 911. Do not attempt to go up on your roof and douse the flames with a garden hose. Chimney fires can grow very quickly to engulf the entire structure.

    A fire in your home is likely to be a major crisis, but you can reduce the chances of injury and property loss by installing a home security system with fire monitoring from Monitronics. We would welcome the chance to tell you more about how to make your home safer in the event of a fire.


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    The Home Automation Revolution

    by Monitronics Blog | Nov 10, 2014

    Home security has come a long way in recent years. What were once alarm systems operating via a landline connection have now become wireless systems capable of fully fortifying your home with CCTV, motion-sensing technology, lighting and heating control, and round-the-clock monitoring.

    If you’ve ever worried about your home when your are away, whether you’re at the office or out of the country; or if you’ve ever wondered if your kids got home safely from school; if you’ve forgotten to lock the door on your way out – there is new type of home security system designed to provide total peace of mind.

    Home automation is home security for the smartphone generation, created to allow homeowners full control over their home and lifestyle. Covering every aspect of home management and leaving no stone unturned as a security solution, this technology is fast becoming commonplace in homes across the United States.

    If this is the first time you are hearing of home automation, let this infographic serve as an introduction.

    The Home Automation Revolution

    It's American Diabetes Month

    by Rob Howe | Nov 10, 2014

    Home security systems from Monitronics can protect your house, but it’s up to you to protect your health from threats like diabetes.

    At Monitronics, we provide home security systems to keep your family safe. There are some threats against which home security can’t protect our customers, though, and that’s why we strive to provide information to help you keep your family safe and healthy. One big threat to American health is diabetes, and the perfect time to discuss this problem is now, because November is American Diabetes Month.

    The purpose of American Diabetes Month® is to raise awareness of this disease, which affects almost 30 million Americans. The American Diabetes Association, the organizing force behind American Diabetes Month®, envisions a life free of this cumbersome disease, and that’s why they’re working to draw the nation’s focus to the issues surrounding diabetes.

    Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. In people with diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin, or uses its insulin inefficiently, which causes sugar to build up in the blood. Type 1 diabetes, which makes up 5% of diagnosed diabetes cases, is an autoimmune disease which typically occurs in children and young adults, though it can occur at any age. Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes, makes up 90-95% of diagnosed cases of diabetes. This type of diabetes most often develops in middle-aged or older people who are overweight, though it is becoming common in overweight children in adolescents, too. There’s also evidence to suggest that genetic and environmental factors can also trigger type 2 diabetes. There are other types of diabetes, too, like gestational diabetes, and diabetes resulting from genetic syndromes, malnutrition, drugs, surgery, infections or illnesses. Prediabetes is a condition in which the blood glucose level is elevated, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Prediabetes affects one in three American adults, most of whom do not even know they have it. Losing weight and engaging in moderate physical activity can help prevent prediabetes from turning into diabetes.

    Diabetes can result in serious health complications. These include heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, amputations of the foot, toe, or leg, and even death. The American Diabetes Association recommends testing for people with risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, in order to take steps to manage the disease. All types of diabetes can be treated, and while type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition, type 2 can often be controlled through lifestyle modification. Some people have even been able to eradicate their type 2 diabetes symptoms with exercise, diet, and careful control of their weight.

    Protecting your health is up to you; protecting your home is our specialty. Home security systems from Monitronics can keep your home safe, even offering monitoring systems that allow you to keep an eye on your house while you’re away. To learn more about home security systems from Monitronics, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter. To find information and resources related to diabetes, visit



    Halloween Safety Tips

    by Rob Howe | Oct 27, 2014

    At Monitronics, we know that protecting your family goes beyond installing a home security system. As Halloween approaches, having a safe, fun holiday is probably at the forefront of your mind. Fortunately, whether you’re out trick-or-treating, or on the other side of the door, following a few simple safety tips can help make this a fun and safe holiday for everyone.

    Halloween is a favorite holiday for many children, which is why it would be a particularly terrible time for an accident to occur. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when accidents and injuries are more likely to occur than on a regular evening. The combination of overexcited children hyped up on sugar, people who might not have their best interest at heart, and the inherent risk of being out after dark can lead to unfortunate consequences.

    Fortunately, the stories of poisoned candy handed out by sinister people on Halloween are, for the most part, the stuff of urban legend. On the other hand, there are some very real dangers of which parents and children should be aware.

    • Even if they’re not handing out tainted treats, some people are a threat to kids. Before yours venture out on Halloween, take a look at your local or state website that pinpoints the location of sex offenders, so that you can avoid those houses. Then head out with your children, enabling your home security system before you go, rather than letting them roam the neighborhood alone. If your children are older, and you feel it’s safe for them to go out on their own, be sure to send a cell phone along with them, so they can keep in touch and let you know if they need help. Additionally, know the route they’ll take before they leave.
    • Watch for traffic. Especially with people returning from Halloween parties, the streets can be dangerous after dark. Following basic safety rules can help protect your children from danger. If you have teens out driving to parties and other revelry, admonish them to take extra care for their own safety and the safety of others, and make sure they have enough gas in the tank to get where they’re going. Set reasonable curfews to make sure your kids are home before it gets to be too late.
    • Don’t assume some places are safe. Even if you take your kids to a church or community sponsored Halloween event, it’s important to keep an eye on them at all times. While these places may be perfectly safe, crowds of strangers make it easy for predators to blend in.
    • Keep costumes safe. Make sure they’re visible in the dark and that kids can see through the eyeholes of any mask. If any props are used, be careful to ensure they don’t have sharp edges that could injure your child in a fall.
    • Remember to keep your pets safe, too. Some malicious people are cruel to animals on Halloween, especially black cats. No matter what color or species, pets are better off staying inside on this holiday.
    • If you’re staying home, check your outdoor lights to be sure that they’re functional. A big part of home security is keeping your outdoor areas well lit. Be careful, too, to pick up any toys or other items in your yard that might trip a child on the way to your porch.

    On Halloween, and throughout the year, keeping your family safe is a top priority. At Monitronics, we offer a home security system perfect for every family and every unique situation. For more information about purchasing a home security system from Monitronics Home Security, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.


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    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.


    1. NHSTA
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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.


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    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.  


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    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: olumbus-Day-In-San-Francisco.htm

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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.


    1. NFPA
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    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.

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