Steps to Take After a Break-In

Coming home to discover that someone has burglarized your house or apartment can be a traumatic experience. Not only do you have to deal with replacing the stolen items, but you must also cope with the emotional distress and the feeling of being violated.

The following steps can guide you as far as what to do after a break-in and assist you in managing the long-term psychological effects that often result from a home intrusion:

Call the police immediately.

The longer you wait to seek help after a burglary, the better the chance that the culprit will make a clean getaway. Before you do anything else, contact your local police department to report the crime. If you’re concerned that the burglar might still be in your house, go to a neighbor’s home and wait for the police to arrive.

Don’t touch anything.

There’s a chance the burglar left behind physical evidence that could link him or her to the crime. Sorting through your belongings or moving items around could destroy the evidence and make it harder for the police to investigate. Let the police do their job first — there will be plenty of time to clean up later. However, you should take pictures of the scene, as your homeowner’s insurance company will likely need them to facilitate the claims process.

Make a list of damaged or stolen items.

If you’re still inside your home while you’re waiting for the police to arrive, you can start to make a list of things you know are missing or damaged. As you walk through the property with the police, you may also discover some items you can add to the list.

Contact your insurance company.

You will want to file a claim with your insurance carrier so you can receive compensation for your damaged or missing items. If you have your insurance policy handy, check it to see what coverage it provides. Be sure to have the police report for the incident with you when you call, as the agent or claims adjuster will likely request the report number and other information.

Start cleaning up.

Cleaning up the mess left behind by the intruder is one of the most difficult steps to take after a break-in. However, restoring everything back to normal is an important part of the healing process and is essential for moving on with your life.

Bolster home security after an intruder targets your home.

If you’re the victim of a burglary, you’ll want to do everything possible to ensure it doesn’t happen. Identifying and addressing your home security vulnerabilities will also aid the healing process by giving you the peace of mind of knowing you’re reducing the risk of another break-in.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for Your Home Security Needs

If you are a resident of the Phoenix, AZ area, Titan Alarm is happy to design as well as install an up-to-date security system that will provide an effective defense against break-ins. For more information and to schedule a free in-home security consultation, contact us today.

Learn More About Preventing Break-Ins

Updated by Titan Alarm on October 31, 2018.

What to Do in Tucson, AZ

Located in beautiful Pima County, AZ, the city of Tucson (approx. population 531,000) is a thriving desert community that is the site of the University of Arizona. Tucson has much to offer to visitors and residents alike. Here is a partial list of the best activities in Tucson and the surrounding areas:

  • Visit a casino: Tucson attracts people who want to test their luck at blackjack, poker, slot machines and other favorite casino games. The Tohono O’odham Nation and Pascua Yaqui Tribe are two Native American tribes that each operate a pair of popular casinos in the Tucson area.
  • Discover Catalina State Park: This picturesque park is one of the best places to visit in Tucson if you’re a fan of stunning desert landscapes and scenic mountain vistas. It’s the perfect place for hiking, biking, camping, picnicking and observing wildlife. We strongly recommend a hike down the Romero Ruin Interpretive Trail to explore the site of an ancient Hohokam Native American village.
  • Shop for the “chocoholic:” If you’d like to know where to go in Tucson to satisfy your sweet tooth, you have plenty of options. You can find everything from mouthwatering Western-themed chocolates to tantalizing monsoon apples at candy shops such as the Chocolate Depot and General Store and Gift Shop at Mt. Lemmon.
  • Check out local culture: If you’re planning to travel to Tucson in the fall and what to experience a taste of Southwest culture, then you won’t want to miss Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Held in late October, this multi-day event is a historic Mexican celebration designated for remembering departed loved ones and ancestors. Despites its somewhat somber name, Día de los Muertosis is actually a fun-filled festival filled with music, dancing and the perennially popular All Souls Procession.
  • Indulge in excellent dining: You’ll probably want to eat while you’re in town! If your idea of a fun night out is a fantastic meal combined with a little mystery or drama, you’ll want to check out at least one of the many dinner theatres in the Tucson area such as the Gaslight Theatre, The Mystery & Magic Dinner Theater Playhouse at the Five Palms or Mystery Dinner Theatre.
  • Explore Historic Downtown Tucson: History buffs will want to take a tour of Tucson’s captivating downtown historic district. This area features an abundance of historically significant properties such as the Rialto Building and Rialto Theatre, the Valley National Bank Building, Hotel Congress and Coronado Hotel.
  • Take in the natural beauty: There’s nothing quite like a southern Arizona sunrise — and one of the best places to experience one is in the Santa Catalina Mountains located to the north and northeast of the city. You witness a breathtaking scene you will remember fondly for the rest of your life.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for Your Home or Business Security Needs in Tucson

If you’re planning to purchase a home or business in the Tucson area, Titan Alarm can provide a state-of-the-art security solution that will give your peace of mind — and we might even have some great ideas regarding what to do in Tucson! Contact us to learn more today.

Learn More About Home Security

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Common Home Break-in Spots

Few neighborhoods are immune from burglaries and break-ins these days — when you consider that nearly 5,000 home break-ins occur daily in the United States, it’s important to know how to defend your property against intruders and thieves. A good place to start is gaining an awareness of the most common break-in entrances:

  • Front door – It might surprise you that burglars don’t always look for “hidden” areas on your property to find their way inside. In fact, about one-third of burglars enter through the front door, which makes it the most common entry point. And they don’t always bother with picking locks — they’ll simply kick the door down and walk in!
  • Secondary entrances – Many homeowners pay close attention to securing the front door, but they neglect secondary entrances such as back doors and sliding glass patio doors. Burglars are also aware of this, and many will head straight to these areas if they’re unable to gain access through the front door.
  • Attached garage – Approximately 10 percent of burglars enter a home via an attached garage. Too many homeowners leave their garage doors unlocked for convenience, and/or they fail to secure the inner door that leads inside the house. Some thieves also target the garage, as many contain a treasure trove of household goods.
  • Windows – About one-quarter of intruders will come through a first-floor window. Some property owners fail to provide adequate locks for ground-floor windows or even leave them open in warm weather. An ambitious burglar who spots an open second-story window may find a way to climb up — including using the property owner’s own ladder!
  • Cellar doors – If you have an older home with exterior doors that lead to a root cellar, a burglar can use this to enter the cellar and then move into the main areas of your house. Many of these doors are not easily seen from the street, which provides convenient cover for the intruder.
  • Small doors and windows – You might think that burglars cannot get through pet doors or smaller basement and bathroom windows. However, many enlist the help of petite accomplices or even children who can fit through these openings and unlock a main door from the inside.
  • Using disguises – The more enterprising criminals will disguise themselves as police officers, cable TV installers, repairmen, delivery drivers or plumbing contractors. This helps them avoid suspicion as they break into a home. It also provides the ideal cover when plying their illicit trade during the daytime hours.

The Importance of Installing a Reliable Home Security System

Statistics show that a state-of-the-art security system equipped with surveillance cameras, alarms and motion sensors can dramatically reduce the risk of a break-in — approximately 60 percent of convicted burglars indicate that they avoid these protected homes.

If you live in the Phoenix, AZ area, Titan Alarm, Inc, can design and install the right security solution for your property. We have the expertise to answer vital questions such as “Where should I put my security cameras?” and “What are my most vulnerable security areas?” Contact us to learn more today!

Learn More About Burglar Alarms For Your Home

The Best Places to Put Security Cameras

“Where are the best places to put my security cameras?” “How many security cameras should I have on my property?” These are two of the most common questions we hear at Titan Alarm, Inc. It’s important to note that no two homes are exactly alike — the answers to where and how many cameras you should have depends on the size and layout of your property and a host of additional factors, such as:

  • Make first-floor doors and windows a priority – Burglars and intruders prefer taking the path of least resistance when breaking into a home — and that usually means attempting to enter through an exterior door or first-floor window. You should place enough security cameras to provide sufficient coverage for your ground-level doors and windows.
  • Cover your hidden areas – Just about every home has at least one high-risk area — it could be a cellar door that is out of sight from the street or maybe a detached garage at the end of your backyard. Your camera layout plan should account for these vulnerable locations.
  • Cover any previous break-in points – If you or a previous owner have ever experienced a break-in at the home, there’s probably a good reason that the perpetrator picked the specific access point — it likely served as an easy target. Make sure your cameras provide a clear view of this area.
  • Place them high – but not too high – Place your cameras at an elevated spot so that they’re out of reach of thieves or vandals. This will prevent them from tampering with and possibly disabling the devices. However, don’t place them so high that they will not provide a detailed view of the intruder’s physical features. Most security experts recommend a placement height of about nine feet.
  • Install a camera inside your garage – A garage is a favorite target of many thieves — if they know you’re not at home, they’re likely to spend a good amount of time rummaging through your garage’s contents. Place a camera that offers a full view of the inside of the garage so you can see how the thieves are getting in and the objects they’re targeting.
  • Don’t forget the backyard – Many intruders prefer accessing a property via the backyard so they can avoid detection from the street. A backyard security camera is crucial — especially if your yard is out of the view of neighbors or passersby.
  • Cover the master bedroom – Most burglars head directly to the master bedroom, as this is where most homeowners keep jewelry and other valuable items. Your cameras should provide a full view of the bedroom, especially the areas where you keep expensive goods.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More

If you’re not sure where to put security cameras at your home or business, Titan Alarm, Inc. can help. As a leading security solutions provider in the Phoenix, AZ area, we can assist you in developing the most effective camera placement strategy for your property. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today!

Learn More About Home Video Surveillance

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Daytime Home Security Tips

We tend to think of burglars as nighttime prowlers who rely on the cover of darkness to break into homes undetected — but this is often not the case. Depending on the location, as many as 40-60 percent of home burglaries occur during the day. These enterprising criminals prefer the daytime hours when the adults are at work and the kids are in school. Some will even disguise themselves as repairmen or delivery drivers to appear as inconspicuous as possible.

Use the following tips to protect your home and property against daytime intruders:

  • Don’t hide keys: Many homeowners hide keys under doormats, in flower pots or in the mailbox to prevent locking themselves out or making it easier for a friend or neighbor to look after their house while they’re away. Unfortunately, this also makes it easy for burglars to find the key and walk right inside. If you feel the need to have a “standby” key, give it to a trusted neighbor for safekeeping.
  • Vary your routine: Daytime burglars will usually watch a home for several days to see when the residents come and go. If possible, change up your daily routine by coming home for lunch on different days during the week or park an unused vehicle in the driveway instead of the garage on occasion. If you do your grocery shopping after work on the same day every week, change to a different day.
  • Don’t leave notes on the door: Another common mistake many homeowners make is leaving notes on the door for delivery people or family members. This also serves as open invitation to burglars by informing them that no one is home. Use safer, less obvious methods of communication such as the telephone, email or text messages instead of physical notes.
  • Lock your windows: Some homeowners neglect locking their windows prior to leaving home in the morning — and some even leave screened windows open during the summer. An experienced burglar can slip through an open or unlocked window in a few seconds, and some will even use your own ladder to reach second-floor windows.
  • Get a locking mailbox: Mailbox theft is a growing problem in many parts of the U.S. Thieves will wait for letter carriers to make their delivery, then simply open the box and steal the contents, typically looking for checks or credit card solicitations. If you don’t already have, purchase a mailbox equipped with a secure lock.
  • Thoroughly investigate hired help: If you’re thinking of hiring a housekeeper, gardener, pool service attendant or landscaper to care for your home or property during the day, be sure to verify their credentials and ask for references before bringing them on board.

Titan Alarm Inc. Can Help With Your Home Security Needs

A comprehensive security system will protect your property during the day and at night, whether you’re home or away. If you live in the Phoenix, AZ area, contact the professionals at Titan Alarm to discuss your home security needs today and to schedule a free consultation today.

Learn More About Home Security

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Exploring the Benefits of Motion Sensor Lighting

Many home security experts recommend a layered approach when implementing a security system — the more layers that exist, the harder it is for intruders to enter your home. Motion sensor lighting provides an effective outer perimeter that serves as the first level of defense against uninvited guests. This type of lighting features intuitive sensors that can detect motion via body heat, which then activate bright exterior lights on your property.

The numerous benefits of motion sensor lighting include:

  • No need for full-time lighting: Some homeowners choose to install exterior floodlights that automatically come on when it gets dark — and stay on throughout the night. While the presence of bright lighting can deter invaders, the cost of keeping lights on all night can be prohibitive.

On the other hand, motion activated lighting will only come on when someone breaches the designated security perimeter. You’ll achieve the objective of illuminating your property, while also saving money on your electric bill. Many of these systems include LED lighting for enhanced energy efficiency. And the element of surprise when the lights suddenly come on will usually scare the intruder.

  • Immediate awareness of a potential threat: Suppose you’re at home at night, relaxing and watching TV. Suddenly, your motion activated security lighting comes on. A quick glance out the window can help you determine the nature of the threat — and whether you’ll need to investigate further or contact the police.
  • Linking with video surveillance cameras: Many motion sensor lighting solutions can be integrated with video surveillance cameras to bolster your home security. When an intruder triggers the motion sensors, it will also activate the cameras so you can view the situation via your monitor, home computer or even your smartphone. The cameras will also record the event, which can prove beneficial in criminal prosecutions.
  • No need to worry about turning the lights on: If you’re frequently away from home, motion-activated lighting prevents the need to have someone flip the switch after dark. The triggering of the sensors will automatically turn on the lights whether you’re at home or hundreds of miles away.
  • Convenience: Motion sensor lighting can also make your life a little easier. For example, their automatic activation enables you to illuminate the walkway to your home when you arrive home after dark with a full load of groceries or when taking out the trash before you go to bed.
  • Keeping four-legged intruders away: Are you tired of having raccoons rooting through your trash, rabbits ravaging your garden or the neighbor’s dog leaving his “calling card” on your lawn? Strategically placed motion-activated lighting can put a scare into these and other four-legged visitors — and help keep them from coming back.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. to Learn More About Motion Sensor Lighting

Titan Alarm is your one-stop headquarters for reliable, energy-efficient motion sensors and motion-activated lighting solutions in Arizona. Contact us for more information and to schedule a free home security consultation today.

Learn More About Home Security

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Security Camera Placement Tips

Video surveillance cameras are a critical component in any reliable home security system. They enable 24/7/365 monitoring of the interior and exterior of your property so you can detect the presence of intruders and help keep your family safe. You can even use your smartphone or tablet to view live or recorded camera feeds while you’re away from home.

However, you won’t receive the full benefit of your cameras if you don’t install them in the areas that present the greatest security risks. The following placement tips can ensure your cameras will provide maximum protection for your home:

  1. Make the First Floor a Priority

Approximately 81 percent of burglars enter a home via the first floor, and about 34 percent come through the front door. Your security cameras should provide a clear view of the front and back door, as well other vulnerable ground-level areas such as the garage door and first-floor windows.

  1. Place Cameras out of Reach

Ambitious burglars won’t be thwarted by a camera they can reach — they’ll simply disable it or even coat the lens with black spray paint! Installing your cameras at a higher location will keep them out of harm’s way and also provide a wider field of view.

  1. Cover Secluded Areas

Nearly every property has at least one isolated spot that presents a significant security risk — it could be a ground-level door leading to a cellar, an off-street window, a back door that can’t be seen by neighbors or a detached garage at the back of the property. Make sure your camera placement strategy accounts for these hidden areas.

  1. Don’t Forget the Basement Stairs

Some burglars will forgo the front or back door and attempt to enter a home through a ground-level basement window. Placing a security camera with night vision capabilities near your basement stairs will allow you to detect intruders who choose the underground route and provide around-the-clock visibility in this dark environment.

  1. Protect Your Backyard

Backyards also present a heightened security risk, especially if you have kids or pets that play there. A security camera providing a view of the backyard will let you know if intruders — human or animal — have found their way onto your property.

  1. Hidden Cameras for Watching Babysitters

If you’re a parent with small children, the installation of “nanny cams” gives you peace of mind by being able to monitor the babysitter and your kids while you’re away. Be sure to place these hidden cameras only in common areas of your home — living room, family room, etc. — and avoid private areas such as bathrooms or a bedroom for a live-in nanny.

Titan Alarm, Inc. Can Provide Expert Security Camera Placement Guidance

If you live in Arizona, Titan Alarm, Inc. can help you design a state-of-the-art video surveillance camera system that’s customized for your home’s layout. We have the expertise to identify and address the most vulnerable areas on your property. Contact us for more information and to arrange a free in-home security consultation today.

Learn More About Home Video Surveillance

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Connecting Your Home Security System to Your Computer

Did you know that you can connect a computer and alarm system to provide a monitored security solution for protecting your home? You can view live and recorded camera feeds on your computer on a 24/7 365 basis, so you can keep track of what’s happening in specific areas of your property. You can also easily manage your alarm system with your computer.

Video Surveillance System Components

Today’s video surveillance systems consist of four basic components:

  • IP cameras – Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are rapidly replacing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras as the home security technology of choice. Digital IP cameras transmit data over an Ethernet link and provide a higher-quality image, along with access to features such as digital zooming, simultaneous play and record capabilities and two-way communication, to name a few. You can also select wireless cameras that offer even greater placement flexibility.
  • Network Video Recorder – A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is a software program that receives video streams from the camera and stores them on a hard drive or delivers them to the monitor for viewing. Assuming the NVR is connected to the same LAN network as your video surveillance cameras, you’ll be able to install it just about anywhere and still be able to capture, store and stream video feeds.
  • PoE – Power over Ethernet (PoE) provides the power to your networked IP cameras via one Ethernet Category 5 or Category 6 cable. This eliminates the need to connect every network device to an electrical outlet.
  • Monitor – Your desktop PC or laptop will serve as the monitor for your security system. It will function much like a television screen and enable you to view camera screens in various formats such as single screen or split-screen — the ability to view two or more camera feeds at once.

Note: When designing your video surveillance system, it is important to verify the compatibility of all components to ensure a seamless integration and peak performance.

How to Connect a Computer to a Security Camera

Successfully connecting your computer to your security cameras first entails choosing the optimum locations for camera placement. Most security experts recommend installing cameras above exterior doors and at vulnerable, out-of-sight areas on your property.

Once you’ve installed your cameras, you’ll need to complete the software installation by placing the software disc in your PC’s tray and following the commands that appear on your screen. Next, connect the security camera to your PC with an Ethernet cable — if you’re installing wireless cameras, you won’t need to complete this step, but you will have to properly configure your wireless router. The final step involves launching the software so that your cameras and computer can communicate with each other.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More About How to Connect Computers to Alarm Systems and Cameras

As Phoenix and Tucson’s leading home security solutions provider, Titan Alarm, Inc. can assist you with the design and installation of a high-quality security system in your residence. Contact us for more information and to schedule an in-home consultation — with no obligation — today.

Learn More About Security Monitoring

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.