10 Unexpected Benefits of Security Cameras

When you hear the term “security camera,” you probably think of a device that watches you as you enter a commercial or government building or that monitors the doors or windows of a home. While these are two of the more obvious uses of cameras, they can do so much more. Here is a partial list of some unexpected ways security cameras benefit you, whether you own a home or business:

  1. Keeping an Eye on Your Kids

If you have children, one of the most valuable benefits of security cameras is using them to watch your kids as they play in the yard or monitor infants as they sleep. So-called “nanny cams” can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your nanny or babysitter is properly caring for your child while you’re away.

  1. Lowering Your Home Insurance Premiums

Many insurers offer reduced premiums to homeowners who install a home security system equipped with surveillance cameras.

  1. Monitoring Contractors/Workers

When you hire a contractor or plumber to do work in or around your home, a camera is like having an extra set of eyes to ensure they’re doing the job properly — and that they’re not helping themselves to your valuables.

  1. Spotting Suspicious Characters

While surveillance cameras are great for catching criminals in the act, they can also serve as an effective prevention tool. One of the more underrated benefits of security cameras is for monitoring the area around your property to determine if a potential intruder might be “casing” your home.

  1. Using Your Mobile Device as a Monitoring Tool

Today’s high-tech security cameras include remote monitoring capabilities, so you can use your smartphone or tablet to view live and recorded camera feeds on a 24/7 basis.

  1. Improving Employee Productivity

One of the many unexpected benefits of security cameras for business owners is ensuring you’re getting the best performance from your workforce. You can use them for monitoring computer activity, training, policy enforcement and much more.

  1. Preventing Harassment

Security cameras can help to create a safer work environment by providing visual events to support claims of harassment and other forms of inappropriate behavior.

  1. Deterring Employee Theft

If staff stealing is an issue in your workplace, cameras can help you identify the culprits — and serve as a deterrent that can prevent theft from occurring.

  1. Gathering Business Intelligence

Another unexpected benefit of security cameras in business is for acquiring data regarding customer shopping patterns and purchasing habits. For example, you can use the camera feeds to observe whether customers linger at a display or quickly move on.

  1. Safeguarding Assets

Construction companies and other entities that operate at remote job sites can use surveillance cameras to monitor expensive equipment and deter vandalism.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More About the Benefits of Security Cameras

Titan Alarm, Inc. is a leading provider of home and business security systems in the Phoenix, AZ area. Contact us to learn more about the unexpected ways security cameras can benefit you.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

The Red Flags of Retail Theft

Theft is a serious problem throughout the retail industry. Each year, store owners and operators across the U.S. lose billions of dollars to shoplifting, as well as internal theft perpetrated by employees and vendors. If you’re a retailer, you need to be vigilant for the “red flags” that indicate a strong risk of theft — or that one has already occurred.

How to Spot Theft by Customers

Too often, store operators are not aware of an act of shoplifting until after the fact — when they notice a broken package with the merchandise missing or that the stock is depleted in specific areas of the store. It requires a watchful eye from managers, employees and security personnel to detect shoplifters before they have the opportunity to steal.

Fortunately, many potential shoplifters are easy to spot. There are certain types of individuals who commit most of the retail thefts in the U.S.:

  • Teenagers/juveniles: Young people shoplift for numerous reasons — a response to peer pressure, the desire to have an expensive gadget they can’t afford or just for the thrill of it.
  • Impulse thieves: This type of shoplifter can be more difficult to detect. They usually do not go into a store with the intent to steal. Instead, they take advantage of an unexpected opportunity such as a blind spot in the store layout or an unmonitored dressing room.
  • Homeless individuals/drug addicts: Some individuals must resort to stealing just to survive or to support a habit. Homeless people or drug addicts may enter your store looking disheveled or disoriented and should be monitored closely as they move about.
  • Nervous/shifty people: Most shoplifters are amateurs. They will enter a store alone and exhibit nervous behavior, such as constantly looking around to see if anyone is watching them.

Signs of Internal Theft

When you consider that a business can lose up to five percent of its revenues to employee stealing and fraud, internal retail theft prevention is essential to the survival of the business. Signs to watch for include:

  • Missing inventory in stockrooms – Employees who work in stockrooms or warehousing areas have easy access to the store’s merchandise and can take it out through an unsupervised back entrance or loading dock door.
  • Lack of documentation for write-offs – Store employees who work in receiving may claim to have disposed of damaged merchandise or returned outdated goods to the manufacturer, although there may be no paper trail to account for it.
  • Drawers coming up short – Cashiers who constantly have an issue with their drawers not balancing out at the end of the shift may be inept — or they could be helping themselves to the cash receipts.

Ramp up Your Theft Prevention Efforts by Installing an Advanced Security System

Knowing how to prevent retail theft will have a positive impact on your store’s bottom line. Your theft prevention program should include the installation of a state-of-the-art security system with features such as video surveillance and access control. Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for all you store security needs in the Phoenix, AZ area.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 2, 2018.

What to Do When Someone Breaks Into Your Home While You’re There

While some burglars will “case” a home to determine when no one is there, others are more brazen and will attempt to break in while the house is occupied. This type of home invasion can occur while you’re sleeping or even when you’re having dinner or watching TV. Knowing what to do in these situations can mean the difference between life and death.

What If You’re Home Alone and Someone Tries to Break In?

It can be even more terrifying if you’re home alone, and someone breaks in. The burglar might mistakenly believe that the house is unoccupied — or they may already know you’re the only one there. Either way, it’s important to know how to react. The following tips can help you experience the best possible outcome during a home invasion:

  • Remain quiet: Avoid the temptation to yell out to try to frighten the intruder — this will reveal your location and possibly put your life in danger if the individual is armed. Remain quiet and attempt to determine the intruder’s movements and whether he or she is working alone. Avoid confronting the invader, even if you have a weapon within easy reach.
  • Exit the home if possible: Once you’ve targeted the intruder’s location, determine if there is a way to get out of the house safely. For instance, if you’re in a second-floor bedroom with access to an exterior staircase or fire escape, you might be able to exit undetected if the burglar is on the first floor. Have a destination in mind, whether it’s a car (assuming you have the keys), a neighbor’s home or a nearby business.
  • Find a hiding place: If getting out of the house isn’t a viable option, look for a good place to hide. A closet with a solid door and a strong lock may be your best bet, although you may know of other “nooks and crannies” that would make good hiding spots. Most burglars will think to look under a bed, so this usually will not provide a safe haven.
  • Call for help: If you have access to a phone, call 911 as soon as you’ve made it to a relatively safe location. You may have to rely on a cell phone, as many intruders will cut the lines to landline phones before entering the home. Speak as quietly and calmly as possible to the 911 operator, then stay still and wait for help to arrive. Remain in your hiding place until you’re sure the coast is clear.
  • If you encounter the intruder: If you come face-to-face with the intruder, obey his or her commands and don’t make any sudden moves. In most cases, burglars will simply take what they want and flee before the police arrive.

Protect Yourself Against Home Invasions by Installing a Security System

An effective home security system equipped with features such as burglar alarms, automated locks and surveillance cameras can serve as an effective deterrent to home invaders. Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. to learn more about your security options in the Phoenix, AZ area.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on October 31, 2018.

Coming Home to a Break-In: What to Do Next

Imagine walking through the front door of your home after returning from a fun-filled vacation — and realizing that you’ve been robbed! A home theft can be a traumatizing experience. In addition to the loss of valuables and the destruction of your property, there’s the unnerving feeling resulting from the invasion of your and your family’s privacy.

What to Do If Your House Was Broken Into

There are several steps to take after a home theft:

  • Don’t touch anything: Once you’re able to regain your composure, your first instinct will likely be to start looking through your belongings to determine what is missing. However, it’s better to leave the scene intact, as this can assist the police in their investigation. Burglars often leave clues, and moving things around could disrupt them or cover them up. Feel free to take pictures of the burglarized areas, though — this can be helpful when filing a claim with your insurance company.
  • Call the police: Call 911 immediately so they can dispatch the police to your home. There’s a chance that the burglar could still be in the area, so getting law enforcement on the case right away can improve the odds of a fast apprehension and arrest. The police will likely ask you to do a walk-through of the residence with them, so you can provide a list of items that were stolen or damaged. The list will then be included in the report you file with the police department.
  • Contact your insurance carrier: If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance (which you should), contact the carrier as soon as possible to get the claims process started. Most insurance companies offer 24/7 claims service, so you can talk to a live person right away. You’ll need to provide the number of the police report, so be sure to get this information from the police before you call. Your insurance carrier will likely send a claims adjuster to your home to evaluate the scene.
  • Check pawn shops and Craigslist: An important but often overlooked step to take after a home theft is checking local pawn shops and the Craigslist page for your city. Burglars sometimes attempt to use these venues to obtain cash for the items they’ve stolen. Notify the police immediately if you come across any of your possessions.
  • Install/upgrade home security system: Installing a state-of-the-art security system can reduce the odds of another break-in. Today’s advanced systems include features such as motion sensors and alarms that notify a central monitoring service so it can immediately dispatch the police when a break-in attempt occurs. Video surveillance cameras provide recorded footage that can help law enforcement apprehend the burglar.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More About What to Do After a Home Theft

Titan Alarm, Inc. offers cost-effective security solutions to homeowners and renters throughout the Phoenix, AZ area. Contact us for additional advice regarding the steps to take after a home theft and to schedule a no-obligation security consultation.

Learn More About Burglar Alarm Systems

Updated by Titan Alarm on October 31, 2018.

How to Make Sure Your Garage Is Safe

For many homeowners, a garage is more than just a place to keep the family vehicles out of the rain. A garage also serves as an additional storage area for all types of household items. And attached garages often include interior doors that lead into the home.

These factors make a garage a prime target for thieves who are looking to steal your stored items or use the garage as an entry point to the interior of your home. If you haven’t made garage security a high priority, you could become the next victim of a neighborhood burglar.

How to Secure a Garage

 There are several ways to secure a garage and make it less attractive to thieves:

  • Secure the door: Are you one of those homeowners who never lock their garage door or leave it open for hours at a time? This is like sending an open invitation to a burglar! Make your garage door is as secure as any other external door — and that means installing a high-quality lock (preferably a deadbolt model) and replacing an aging door with one made from sturdy materials such as metal, solid wood or fiberglass. Also, always keep the door closed when you’re not using the garage, especially when no one is home.
  • Cover the windows: Garage doors with windows at the top or sides allow would-be burglars to see the valuables you’re storing inside. Covering the windows with blinds or curtains keeps your items out of sight and removes the temptation for thieves. Another option is to apply an opaque film on the window glass that lets sunlight in but keeps people from seeing inside.
  • Install exterior lighting: Installing a spotlight above the garage will deter burglars during the nighttime hours. Another option is using motion-activated lights featuring infrared sensors that can detect body heat, which causes the light to go on when an intruder approaches the garage.
  • Keep an eye on the remote: Do you have one of those remote garage door openers that clips to your car’s sun visor? If you park your car in the driveway instead of the garage, a thief could gain access to the remote and use it to open the door. A better way to secure your garage is to take the remote inside the house with you. You can also purchase a smaller keychain-style remote that eliminates the need to carry around a larger model.
  • Install a comprehensive home security system: A home security system equipped with surveillance cameras, motion detectors and burglar alarms that also includes coverage for your garage will significantly reduce your risk of a burglary or home invasion. The best systems include professional monitoring that ensures the prompt dispatching of first responders when a break-in attempt occurs.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for More Safety Tips for Garage Owners

Titan Alarm can design a fully integrated security system that will keep your garage safe — and protect the rest of your home as well. Contact us for more information and to schedule a free home security consultation today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

How to Teach Your Kids About Fire Safety

Many adults don’t know how to react when there’s a fire, so it’s hard to expect young children to know what to do when a blaze breaks out. But when you consider that fire is one of the leading causes of accidental injury and death among children, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of taking the time to teach kids fire safety. Here are a few steps you can take to prepare kids for fire events in your home.

Educate Them About the Dangers of Fire

 A good time to instruct your kids about the potential dangers of fire is while using it around your home. For example, when building a fire in a fireplace or woodstove, alert them of the hazards of getting too close.

If you’re cooking something on the stove, teach them to avoid touching the stovetop or grabbing the handles of pots and pans. Be sure to take an educational tone instead of attempting to scare them, as this could cause them to panic when a fire emergency occurs.

Teach Kids What to Do If There’s a Fire

 A house fire may break out when you’re in a different room than your kids or when everyone is sleeping, so it’s imperative that your children know what to do without having to wait for an adult to guide them. Teach them to head outside as quickly as possible if they smell smoke or see something burning that shouldn’t be.

Also, stress the importance of not going back inside to retrieve a stuffed animal or other cherished items. Train your kids to run to a neighbor’s home to ask for help, and if they have access to a cell phone, to call 911 right away.

Develop and Practice an Escape Plan

 Having an escape plan will further prepare your kids for fire and increase the likelihood that they will know how to react during an emergency. Teach them the safest exit route based on where they are in your home. Staging a monthly fire drill will reinforce the plan and ingrain it in your kids’ minds.

Take Steps to Make Your Home Safer

 You should also implement steps to “childproof” your home regarding fire safety. Do not leave matches or cigarette lighters within easy reach of your kids, and place fireguards around open fires and heating units.

Instruct your kids not to play with toys near fireplaces or space heaters. Most of all, do not leave your children alone in any room where a risk of fire is present.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for More Fire Safety Tips

Titan Alarm has been helping homeowners minimize their fire risk for more than a decade. We can design and install a state-of-the-art fire/smoke alarm system to provide the early detection that can save lives if a fire breaks out. Contact us for more guidance on how to teach kids fire safety and to schedule a free in-home fire alarm system consultation today.

Learn More About Fire Alarm Systems

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Uncommon Fire Hazards in the Home

Most people know that having faulty electrical wiring, leaving unattended food cooking on a stove or falling asleep while smoking in bed present serious fire hazards in a home. But you might not know about other less obvious risks.

Being aware of the following threats — and taking steps to eliminate them — can help to prevent a house fire that could destroy your property and endanger the lives of your family:

  • Animals: Household pets and other “uninvited” critters can pose serious home fire hazards. Dogs and cats can knock over candles or ashtrays containing smoldering cigarettes. Pets such as mice and rats can chew through electrical wires, which can ultimately lead to a fire.
  • Dust: Dust can accumulate in electrical sockets and near heat sources. Dust is flammable — one spark in a dusty area can quickly cause a fire. That’s just one more good reason to dust and vacuum on a regular basis.
  • Glass: Certain types of glassware can cause allow concentrated rays of sunlight to pass through. If the rays focus on paper or other flammable materials for an extended period of time, it could cause the materials to ignite. A safe practice is to keep all glassware away from direct sunlight.
  • Lint: Like dust, an accumulation of lint in dryer traps or behind the machine presents a significant home fire hazard. A good way to prevent a house fire is to clean out the lint traps after every dryer use. Also, have the dryer duct professionally cleaned as part of your regular ductwork cleaning and inspection service.
  • Oily rags: Oily rags that are commonly stored in garages, basements or sheds can produce heat that can cause a fire. A safe practice is to submerge oily rags in water and place them in a secure storage cabinet or container that is not exposed to heat or sunlight.
  • Pyrolysis: Pyrolysis is a type of decomposition resulting from prolonged exposure to high temperatures. A common example of pyrolysis in a household environment is a pile of firewood stored under direct sunlight or stack of lumber next to a furnace or woodstove. As the wood breaks down over time, it becomes combustible and can pose a home fire hazard.
  • Discarded/stored batteries: One of the more uncommon fire hazards is the loose storage of unused household batteries, particularly 9-volt batteries that power home smoke detectors. When stored next to a metal object, it’s possible that a connection between the battery and the object could produce a fire. A safe practice is to keep unused batteries in their original package.

Smoke Alarms Provide Excellent Protection Against All Types of Home Fire Hazards

While it is virtually impossible to remove all fire hazards in a home, a state-of-the-art smoke and fire alarm system can provide the early detection that can save lives. If you reside in the Phoenix, AZ area, Titan Alarm, Inc. can design and install an effective, affordable alarm system that will minimize your risk. Contact us for more information and to schedule an in-home consultation today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

How to Properly Secure Windows

Most of us remember to lock all exterior doors when leaving home — but we sometimes neglect to secure the windows. Although doors are the preferred access point for most home invaders, approximately 30 percent of intruders gain entry via an unlocked window, and about one-fourth enter through a first-floor window. Even if you keep your windows locked, some burglars will think nothing of breaking the glass.

The following window burglar protection tips can significantly reduce the likelihood of a window-based home invasion:

  • Install/change locks: A visible window lock can serve as an effective intruder deterrent, and the best locks will make it harder for burglars to break in. There are many good window lock options on the market, such as pin and deadbolt locks. It’s also a good idea to change the locks if you’ve recently moved into your home.
  • Update window glass: “Professional” burglars will often carry a hammer or crowbar for shattering window glass. Updating from traditional to reinforced glass, especially on ground-level windows, will make it more difficult for intruders to break the window. Tempered glass provides an affordable burglarproof window solution. Another popular option is laminated glass, which consists of a layer of vinyl installed between two sheets of traditional glass.
  • Window bars: Installing iron bars will protect your windows against burglars. Even if a thief breaks the window glass, the bars will prevent them from getting inside. Several companies manufacture and sell decorative iron bars that will afford protection and enhance the appearance of your home.
  • Floodlights: Installing bright floodlights over windows is a reliable nighttime break-in deterrent. Burglars prefer darkened entry points that are less visible to neighbors and passersby. Floodlights also give the appearance that the residents are at home, another reason for a burglar to move on to another house.
  • Surveillance cameras: While many homeowners rely on security cameras to monitor doors, it’s also advantageous to use them to watch the most vulnerable windows. They can serve as an effective deterrent — burglars often avoid homes with a highly visible security camera presence.
  • Window alarms: As with locks, there are several types of window alarms from which to choose. Some are designed to trigger an audible alarm when someone breaks the glass or attempts to open the window. Another type acts as a motion detector that picks up outdoor movement around the window before the burglar tries to break in.
  • Thorny bushes: What better way to “stick it” to a would-be burglar than by planting bushes or shrubs with sharp thorns underneath your windows? An unsuspecting intruder will be in for a rude awakening if they try to break in. The extra foliage could also brighten the exterior of your home.

Titan Alarm, Inc. Can Help You Protect Your Windows Against Burglars

If you live in the Phoenix area, Titan Alarm can install an advanced security system including the strategic use of surveillance cameras, motion sensors and alarms to create safe, burglarproof windows. Contact us to schedule a free in-home security consultation today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

How to Burglarproof Your Front Door


Residential burglars will always try to find the path of least resistance, and that often means breaking into a home via the front door. According to crime statistics, approximately one-third of break-ins occur at the front door, making it the most common point of entry for burglars and home invaders.

How to Secure a Front Door

 You can take several steps to protect your front door against burglars and reduce your vulnerability to a break-in. They include:

  • Keep it locked. Surprisingly, about 30 percent of “break-ins” take place at unlocked doors or windows. Many homeowners think nothing of leaving the front door unlocked while they’re at home or when they go out to run a quick errand. But this only serves as an open invitation for burglars who often “case” a property to determine the ideal time to gain entry. The most prudent security measure is to keep the door locked at all times.
  • Install deadbolt locks. Install a high-quality deadbolt lock on the front door and all exterior doors. Choose a deadbolt lock made from solid metal and with a bolt length of at least one inch.
  • Upgrade your door. Burglars can easily kick in an old, flimsy, improperly fitted front door, even if it has a secure lock. Replace a fragile front door with a newer model made from a sturdy material such as reinforced steel, solid wood, fiberglass or metal. Also avoid doors with small windows at the top or side, as this allows burglars to see inside.
  • Bolster the door frame. A weak or improperly installed door frame also makes it easier for an invader to kick in or pry open the door. You can secure the frame by installing three-inch screws along the frame and doorjamb.

A State-of-the-Art Security System Can Enhance Your Front Door Burglar Protection Efforts

Installing a modern, technologically advanced security system will protect your front door — and the rest of your home — against intruders. The best security systems include home automation that allows you to lock and unlock doors with your smartphone or tablet even when you’re away.

Surveillance cameras enable you to monitor the front door and other vulnerable areas around your home and property. A visible camera can also serve as an effective deterrent to home invaders. A security system backed by a professional monitoring service ensures around-the-clock surveillance and prompt notification of law enforcement if a break-in occurs.

Titan Alarm Can Help You Burglarproof Your Front Door

If you’re a resident of the Phoenix, AZ area, Titan Alarm, Inc. can provide you with a customized home security system that will protect your front door against burglars — and provide a reliable defense against fire and other common security threats. Contact us to schedule a free security consultation today.

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