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How Can I Protect My Home in Midlothian, VA, Richmond, VA & Surrounding Areas?

Do I really need a security system?

Not all criminals are stupid; of the minority that are not, they generally choose locations in Midlothian, VA, Richmond, VA & surrounding areas to rob that present the least amount of perceived risk against the perceived reward. The mere presence of a home security system or commercial security system is sufficient for most to stay clear of that site. Others however, may have sufficient knowledge to attempt to defeat the intended targets alarm system while others are being reckless and motivated by drug habits, liquor or both. National statistics indicate that over 60% of residential burglars are under the influence of some form of drug or intoxicant. The national average of ownership of a system is under thirty percent of coverage in total, but that figure is misleading as the breakdown of ownership is heavily weighted on two groups. First, the vast majority of wealthy residences have security systems, conversely those who live in areas where crime is more prevalent, the far less affluent often have the entry-level mass-market wireless self-contained security systems. The largest of the groups, the “middle” group, often does not feel they are a target and are accordingly the least prepared for an intruder.

How long does it take for my security system to notify my provider of an intrusion?

There is no absolute rule as to the time required for a control panel to communicate with the central stations, as there are several forms of communication formats and different service providers or carriers involved in the chain of transmission. There are formats that are certainly much faster than others and may offer higher reliability against attempted circumvention. Of those commonly utilized, IP- Internet Protocol is the fastest, tied for second would be cellular and long-range radio, and the slowest and least immune to circumvention attack is a standard phone line. Under all circumstances, it is highly recommended to have two separate formats available, one as primary, and the other secondary as back up. Additionally, on high security applications pay the minimal additional fees to have at least one format in nearly constant communication with the central station and with the central station under specific instruction to start the confirmation process of an issue if the signal is lost. General timelines of signals to central station based on format:

  • IP- Internet Protocol- 3 to 6 seconds
  • Fastest- but also vulnerable to attack or power outage
  • Cellular/Long-Range Radio- 5 to 10 secondsLeast Vulnerable
  • Standard telephone Line- 25 to 45 secondsMost Vulnerable

How do burglars choose a home or business to target?

There is usually a distinction between commercial burglars and residential. Often commercial burglars are better prepared and have planed the event based on their own risk vs. reward criteria, whereas low and middle-income homes are far more randomly targeted. Wealthy neighborhoods generally would attract the most capable thieves, as lesser capable would normally be intimidated by all the security signs and the activity of delivery vendors, groundskeepers, maintenance crews and the far greater potential for someone to be within the home. Generally, the nicer the home is in appearance, the more secluded the lot is from view of neighbors, an absence of security signs or cameras, with an ability to escape quickly to a major road, the more likely that home may be targeted. Security Systems Inc. located in Midlothian, VA and serving Richmond, VA offers both commercial security systems and residential security systems.

What is a home security assessment?

Home security assessments should be more than just counting the number of devices a home should have, although this is absolutely the industry norm. The entry doors hardware, hinges, locks, and any door window sidelights should be evaluated for strength against a forced breach. Standard builder grade materials are notoriously weak and completely ineffective against a forced breach. Upgrading door hardware and hardening windows with protective anti-breach window film can significantly reduce the risk of actual entry within the home. These countermeasures are rarely mentioned by the typical nationally branded security companies’ consultant, as most companies only install “alarm systems”, and they do not want other possible expenditures to potentially hinder their sale of “the system” during the initial meeting. You are three times more likely to have a fire than a common day break-in. Yet most typical assessments result in the recommendation of the companies “basic package” that includes minimal coverage and just maybe one smoke detector. If you were to have a fire in your garage, when would you be notified about it? Do you have living space above the garage? If you were to have a fire in your attic space, from your HVAC, lightning, or other electrical cause, when would you be notified about it? Mechanical room, same question? These are the probing questions you should expect during an assessment, not a quick walk-thru of the home and an eventual recommendation of a basic mass-market package and maybe an extra motion detector and a couple of extra door contacts.

Q5. How should I secure my home windows? There are several forms and layers of protection available for glass windows, the actual type of glass and construction can be critical in determining which technology will be effective. Many newer windows have built-in from the factory excellent locking mechanisms and possibly UV protection that is actually a film applied to the interior glass. These windows are not candidates for any form of glass-break sensor. In fact, any glass surface treated with UV film protection will not reliably set off a glass-break sensor. Generally, double-hung or casement style windows can be secured with individual shock sensors that are immune to any window film and have built-in contacts to determine the windows closed or open position. Large fixed glass windows also can be outfitted with shock sensors. This is the best form of electronic monitoring. Once again, a specialized anti-breach window film is superior protection to stop the breach from occurring.

What kind of home security cameras are available?

Analog security cameras have improved greatly to the point of actually meeting entry-level HD standards, although analog can never beat the stunning ability of true IP- Internet Protocol, cameras with their unique ability to zoom in on an object without pixel derogation. Given the high threshold of “beyond a reasonable doubt” in the legal arena the best course is to invest in the higher cost but longer term life-cycle of IP security cameras with unsurpassed clarity in rendering video and zoomed-in still shots.

How long does it take to install a security system?

This can be the best determining factor as to the quality and professionalism of your installation. A company boasting of just a few hours is assuring you of a sub-standard easily defeated mass-market system. At Security Systems Inc. we will take our time in protecting your home or business by installing a home security system or commercial security system that fits your particular needs.