Take Control of Your Home With Smart Technology

what is home automation

Perhaps the most significant benefit of modern technology is that it gives us greater control over various aspects of our lives such as our health, finances and even the operation of our vehicles. A so-called “smart home,” which enables the residents to manage everything from the heating and cooling system to lighting and door locks via a computer or mobile device, is yet another example of how technology makes our lives easier — and safer.

Smart technology in the home allows you to:

  • Enjoy a seamless user experience: The “nerve center” of the smart home security system is a centrally located panel that serves as the hub. The panel enables you to monitor video feeds from your surveillance cameras, adjust your system’s settings and much more.
  • Utilize remote accessibility: With a smart security system, you don’t even have to be home to control the various features. Your smartphone, tablet or laptop will serve as a secondary operating panel that allows you to manage every aspect of your system even if you’re hundreds of miles away.
  • Employ automation: Smart security systems typically include home automation that makes it easier than ever to control functions. For example, you can preprogram the thermostat to keep your house at the ideal temperature throughout the day. You won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to make manual adjustments because the home is too warm or cold. You can also automate the activation of locks, lighting, alarms, etc.
  • Get a handle on energy costs: The automation provided by smart technology will enable your HVAC system to operate more efficiently and conserve electricity when using lighting and appliances. You won’t waste as much energy, which can make a noticeable difference in your utility bills.
  • See who’s at the door: One of the more popular smart home security devices is the doorbell camera, which will provide instant notification when someone is on your front porch; you’ll be able to see visitors on the control panel’s screen or your mobile device and communicate with them via a two-way speaker. It will also record all activities on your porch automatically. You won’t have to open the door for a stranger again.
  • Assist elderly or disabled individuals: Smart technology can make it easier for seniors or people with disabilities to live independently. For instance, voice-command systems allow the resident to control security features without getting up. Home automation eliminates the need to constantly adjust the temperature or turn appliances and lighting on and off.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More About Smart Home Technology

Titan Alarm, Inc. offers the most advanced smart solutions that will enable you to take control of your home security — we’ve been helping Phoenix- and Tucson-area residents stay safe for more than a decade. We can provide a customized system that addresses your most daunting security challenges. Contact us for more information or to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation today.



How to Keep Your Home Safe This Summer

Summer is a prime season for home break-ins. Crooks know that many of us may be more likely to leave our doors and windows unlocked or open during the warmer months. They also know to look for signs that the occupants are away on vacation. The following tips can reduce the likelihood that you’ll become the target of a burglary or home invasion:

  • Keep the patio door locked: A sliding glass patio door is a favorite target of burglars. They know that people sometimes leave them unlocked because they’re so frequently used during the warmer months. Make sure to lock the patio door when it’s not being used, especially before you go to bed or leave for work in the morning. Installing a glass-break sensor that triggers an alarm if someone breaks the glass or tries to remove the door can provide extra protection.
  • Trim the shrubbery around your home: Bushes and hedges can add a beautiful touch of green to your home during the summer, but they can also provide excellent cover for burglars. Keeping any shrubs that block the view of doors or windows trimmed can make your home less inviting to criminals.
  • Store ladders after use: Summer is the time when many homeowners engage in outdoor home improvement projects such as painting or making minor repairs or renovations. If you use a ladder, make sure to store it in a garage or locked shed after you’ve finished your work for the day. A crook could use it to enter your home through a second-story window.
  • Don’t let toys outside: Teach your kids to store their toys and bicycles inside when they’re not using them. Toys strewn across the lawn can send a signal to burglars that there might be a lot more “goodies” inside the home.
  • Get to know your neighbors: People tend to spend more time outdoors doing yard work, barbecuing or relaxing on the deck during the summer. Friendly neighbors can be an invaluable home security asset, as they can help to keep an eye on your property, especially when you’re away. Of course, you’ll want to return the favor to your neighbors.
  • Safeguard your home before leaving for vacation: If you’re planning a trip this summer, you’ll want to take steps to keep your home secure while you’re gone. Stop the delivery of mail and newspapers until you return, as an accumulation of these items will let burglars know that the house is unoccupied. Use automatic timers to control the operation of lights to make it appear that someone is home. If you’re planning a lengthy trip, hire a lawn service to cut the grass and trim the hedges.

The Start of Summer Is a Good Time to Install or Upgrade a Home Security System

A state-of-the-art home security system is your best defense against criminals during the summer and throughout the year. If you live in the Phoenix or Tucson area, contact Titan Alarm, Inc. to schedule a no-obligation security consultation today.

Learn More About Home Defense Against Criminals

Updated by Titan Alarm on October 31, 2018.

Dispelling the Myths Regarding Smart Home Technology

smart home security apps

A “smart” home consists of heating, lighting, appliances and security equipment and devices the owner or occupants can control remotely with a phone, tablet or computer. While this advanced technology can provide a host of valuable benefits — convenience, more robust security, increased energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness, to name just a few — some folks remain apprehensive about its implementation. In this post, we’ll explore some of the myths surrounding smart home technology.

Myth # 1: Smart Technology Will “Take Over” Your Home

Some homeowners fear that installing smart technology and automation means that they will no longer have control of their home’s interior temperature, security system features, lighting, etc. The reality is just the opposite — the best smart home systems will give you access to a downloadable app that enables you to adjust the settings whenever you wish. You will have more control than ever over your system’s functionality — not less.

Myth # 2: Smart Homes Are Expensive

There’s a common misconception that smart home technology is only for the wealthy and is unaffordable for the “average” homeowner. According to a survey commissioned by a leading smart home software and hardware provider, 34 percent of Americans believe it would cost $5,000 or more to convert to the technology. However, the company’s data indicates that their typical customer starts with four smart devices at an average cost of around $200. Many homeowners also experience significant energy savings after the conversion, which offsets the upfront expenditure.

Myth #3: Only Tech-Savvy People Can Operate Smart Home Technology

Some homeowners fear that smart technology is too complicated, and they won’t be able to figure out to use it. But if you’re already comfortable using smartphone apps, you’ll likely make a smooth transition to a smart home. The best apps consist of a user-friendly design that enables you to manage all the features with a few swipes and clicks. And a professional security company can handle the entire installation. You don’t have to be an IT genius to enjoy the benefits.

Myth #4: It’s All About Robots

A few homeowners still associate smart home technology with futuristic robots that do all the work. They don’t want mechanical objects patrolling the premises at all hours. However, smart technology does not involve the use of robots in any way — but it does give you access to automated features that provide convenience and will make your life more comfortable.

Myth # 5: You’ll Become Vulnerable to Security Breaches

While it’s true that any Internet-based technology is susceptible to hacking, a top-quality smart system offers little risk of a breach. These devices include state-of-the-art security features designed to prevent infiltration and keep your personal data secure.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More About Smart Technology

As a leading provider of advanced smart home solutions in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ, you can trust Titan Alarm, Inc. to provide reliable answers to all your questions regarding this 21st-century technology. Contact us for more information and to schedule a no-obligation consultation today.

Learn More About Smart Home Technology

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

When Should You Update Your Home Security System?

Installing a home security system is one of the best steps you can take to protect your family and property against ongoing threats such as fire, burglary and carbon monoxide poisoning. But if it’s been a while since you’ve updated your system, you’re probably not taking full advantage of the latest home security technologies that could enhance safety and even help you lower your energy bills. Here are a few signs that indicate the time has come for an upgrade:

  • You have landline connectivity: If your system operates via a hardwired telephone line, a burglar could disable it by cutting the wires. A severe storm could also knock out the power supply to your home — and your system. Upgrading to a wireless security solution featuring advanced cellular technology can eliminate these risks.
  • You’re still relying on low-tech cameras: Old-fashioned low-resolution surveillance cameras can indicate the presence of intruders, but they often provide fuzzy or grainy images that can make it difficult for law enforcement to identify them. Modern IP cameras can provide crystal-clear HD footage that can increase the likelihood of capturing and successfully prosecuting a burglar.
  • You have a “bare bones” security system: A security system that consists of burglary and fire alarms will only provide basic protection. These days, you can include fully integrated features such as motion detectors, access control and video verification that takes home security to a higher level.
  • You don’t have remote monitoring capabilities: Are you among the 77 percent of Americans who own smartphones? Today, you can install a home security system that’s compatible with your mobile device. You’ll be able to view surveillance camera feeds, lock and unlock doors and even turn lights on and off while you’re away from home.
  • You don’t have home automation: Many modern security systems give you the flexibility to automate the operation of alarms, locks, lighting heating/cooling units and even household appliances. Besides offering the benefit of convenience, this can help you conserve energy and keep your utility costs under control.
  • You’re planning a renovation project: If you’re thinking of building an addition to your home or renovating an existing room or space, you’ll likely need to upgrade your security system to accommodate the change. For example, you may have to place an additional surveillance camera, add door or window locks or install an extra smoke or carbon monoxide detector.
  • You have an older system: If your home security system is at least 15 years old, there’s a good chance that it no longer meets your current needs. Consider contacting a professional security company to conduct a comprehensive assessment and make recommendations regarding any necessary upgrades.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for a Free Security System Evaluation

If you live in or near Phoenix or Tucson, AZ, the local home security experts at Titan Alarm can conduct a comprehensive assessment. We can also install state-of-the-art equipment that will make your home a safer place. Contact us to schedule your free consultation today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

“Sneaky” Burglar Tactics You Might Not Be Aware Of

businesses targeted by thieves

Statistics show that a residence without a security system is up to 300 percent more likely to experience a break-in or home invasion. Therefore, it’s not surprising to learn that, according to a report released by Dallas-based research firm Parks Associates, approximately 30 percent of U.S. homes will have monitored security services by 2020.

How Burglars Are Adapting in Modern Times

Crooks are fully aware of the trend toward increased home security — but that doesn’t mean they’re going to give up anytime soon. Criminals have become more enterprising than ever when finding ways to practice their craft. Here are a few of their more creative tactics:

  • Signs of cat activity: While dogs can often deter criminals, cats can have the opposite effect. If a burglar sees a cat hanging around outside, he’ll likely think there could be an open window or cat door to allow the feline to come and go — which also makes it easier for the crook to get inside. Homeowners with security systems sometimes turn them off to prevent the cat from tripping the alarm. And once he’s inside, the burglar has few worries about being attacked by a guard cat!
  • Power outages: Opportunistic burglars wait for severe storms that cause power outages when targeting a neighborhood. They know that this will disable a wired or landline-connected security service. Choosing to install a wireless system can eliminate this threat.
  • Using “advance scouts:” Some burglars will pay accomplices such as maids, babysitters, nannies and gardeners to provide them with inside information about the home and its occupants. These individuals can also make the burglar’s job easier by casually leaving a door or window unlocked or disarming the security system at the right time.
  • Targeting rural areas: Folks who live in the country sometimes feel more secure, thinking that burglaries are more likely to occur in heavily populated areas. Consequently, these rural homeowners are less likely to install a security system. Crooks are aware of this as well. They also understand that even if these homes have an alarm system, it may take law enforcement longer to respond because they might be farther away from the scene.
  • Houses for sale: Another relatively new home burglary trend is thieves posing as a married couple and making an appointment with a real estate agent for a private showing of a house for sale. This gives them the opportunity to determine if the home has an alarm system and whether they can disable it easily. Additionally, one person can keep the agent occupied while the other surveys the rest of the home to look for vulnerable areas. Some may even manage to steal smaller items during their tour.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More

With more than a decade of proving home security solutions in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ, we here at Titan Alarm are familiar with the ways of the modern burglar. We can also recommend the best methods for thwarting their tactics. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation in-home security consultation today.

Learn More About Preventing Home Burglary

Updated by Titan Alarm on October 31, 2018.


Fire Pit Safety Tips

One of the many wonderful things about living in southern Arizona is the warm climate that allows you to hang out in the backyard throughout the year. And there’s nothing quite like the crackle and glow of a fire pit to add ambiance and make being outdoors even more enjoyable.

Of course, any use of fire around the home introduces an element of danger — it only takes one small act of carelessness to turn a fun, relaxing evening into a disaster. The following tips can ensure the safe operation of your backyard fire pit:

  • Check local ordinances: Municipalities have specific rules and regulations regarding the placement and use of fire pits. Check with your local government office or fire department before using your pit for the first time.
  • Placement: Place your pit on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet away from your home, outbuildings, trees, fences or neighbor’s yard. Always check the wind direction before lighting a fire — you may have to relocate the pit if the wind will blow the flames toward a structure.
  • Avoid using soft woods: Softer woods such as cedar or pine tend to “throw” sparks when burning, which could reach people, pets or flammable objects that are near the fire. It is safer to use these to supplement hardwoods such as oak or maple.
  • Don’t add flammable fuels: You might be tempted to add gasoline or lighter fluid to ignite or intensify the fire. However, these fuel sources can cause the blaze to get out of control quickly. Use dry wood or kindling to keep the fire going and avoid placing it beyond the edge of the pit.
  • Dress appropriately: Avoid wearing clothing made of flammable materials such as nylon, or loose-fitting items that could ignite if you get too close to the flames.
  • Monitor alcohol consumption: Fire pits are great for outdoor nighttime parties. However, excessive alcohol use can lead to reckless behavior around the fire — which could have devastating consequences. As a responsible host, keep an eye on your guests who have been drinking to make sure they stay away from the fire.
  • Watch kids and pets closely: The warm glow of a fire will attract young children and household pets. Make sure kids and animals stay at least three feet away from the fire, and don’t allow small children to do things like roasting marshmallows or hot dogs without adult supervision.
  • Extinguish the fire safely: When the time comes to put the fire out, use water to extinguish it. Stir and spread the wet ashes to facilitate cooling, and don’t leave the pit for the night until the ashes feel cool to the touch.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More About Home Fire Prevention

Titan Alarm, Inc. can provide your Phoenix- or Tucson-area home with an advanced fire prevention and detection system that will help keep your property safe throughout the year. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a free on-site fire safety consultation today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

How Can a Smart Home Help You Save Money?

what are access control systems

Many homeowners are making the transition to a smart home equipped with advanced automation technology for the convenience ­— you no longer need to worry about getting up in the middle of the night to adjust the thermostat or run back home because you forgot to lock the door or turn the lights off before leaving for work.

But you might not know that a smart home also offers a variety of cost-saving benefits. While it’s true that implementing smart technology will require an upfront expenditure, most homeowners will be able to recoup their investment relatively quickly in the form of lower costs. Here are several examples of the ways that a smart home can help you save money:

  • Reduced heating and cooling bills: The cost of heating and cooling is one of the biggest household expenses. Installing a programmable thermostat that can automatically adjust the temperature to the desired level can reduce your heating and cooling costs by as much as 25 percent. Your HVAC unit will operate more efficiently, which can also contribute to lower energy costs.
  • Saving electricity: Leaving lights on in unoccupied rooms or forgetting to turn them off when leaving home wastes electricity. Smart lighting that includes the use of energy-efficient LED light bulbs and sensors that provide alerts via email if you forget to turn the lights off when exiting a room could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can also operate your home’s lighting remotely with your smartphone.
  • Monitoring power consumption: Smart home apps are available that provide detailed data regarding how much power you’re using and patterns of consumption. You’ll be able to identify areas where you might be wasting power and make modifications that can help you save money.
  • Preventing package theft: Do you order a lot of products online? Many thieves discreetly follow delivery drivers as they make their rounds — and steal the unattended packages that are left on porches. With smart door locks, you can unlock the door remotely to allow the driver to place the package inside your home, then lock it when the driver leaves. You can also install smart doorbells to enable you to view and record what’s happening on your porch and in front of your home.
  • Lower homeowner’s insurance premiums: From an insurance company’s perspective, the additional safety and security provided by smart home technology reduces its risk — there is less chance of a break-in or significant damage caused by an unattended HVAC system or home appliance. Depending on the insurer, you could receive as much as a 15-percent reduction in your insurance premium.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More About Smart Home Cost Savings

If you reside in the Phoenix or Tucson, AZ area, Titan Alarm, Inc. can help you explore the cost-saving benefits of transforming your house into a smart home. For more than a decade, we’ve been helping homeowners take advantage of the latest security technologies to make their homes safer — and save money in the process. Contact us for more information and to schedule a free in-home consultation today.

Learn More About Smart Home Technology

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Signs That a Burglar Is Targeting Your House

businesses targeted by thieves

The typical neighborhood burglar is not reckless — which is probably why only about 13 percent of household burglary investigations result in arrests. Many housebreakers will take the time to “case” a property for several days or longer – they’re looking to see when the occupants come and go, whether there are dogs lurking or any areas of vulnerability that will make it easier for them to gain entry.

How can you tell if a thief may be looking to make you his or her next victim? Telltale signs include:

  • “Unusual” vehicles parked on your street: If you’ve lived in your home for a while, you probably know which vehicles belong to your neighbors — and which ones seem out of place. If you notice an unfamiliar parked car on your street for an extended time, notify law enforcement so they can investigate.
  • Strangers knocking on your door: Some burglars will pose as door-to-door salespeople or solicitors for charitable organizations to gain access to the inside of a home. The information they glean during their visit can prove invaluable when they come back to break in when you’re away. The common-sense rule to follow is to never let someone into your home unless you know them, or they have a valid reason to be there.
  • People taking pictures of your home: Burglars will often use their smartphones to snap photos of a home to assist them in planning a break-in. If you observe someone attempting to photograph your home, use your own phone to discreetly take pictures of the individual and notify the police.
  • Service people hanging around: Thieves sometimes take legitimate day jobs as home repair workers or members of cleaning crews, which can give them a free run of the inside of a home. Some will even unlock a door or window, so they will have easy access when they return to burglarize the property. Keep a close eye on anyone you allow into your house to perform work. When they leave, check to make sure nothing is missing, and the house is secure.
  • Exterior lights that stop working abruptly: Burglars who prefer to ply their trade at night may attempt to disable your home’s outdoor lighting to avoid detection. If your porch light suddenly stops working, check if the bulb is missing. Some thieves will steal the bulb during the day, then come back after dark.
  • Missing trash or disrupted containers: Identity theft is a growing problem these days. Thieves can often gain valuable information such as Social Security numbers and bank records by rooting through your trash. To be safe, shred anything that contains personal information before you throw it away.

Titan Alarm, Inc. Can Help You Thwart Your Neighborhood Burglars

An advanced home security system containing features such as video surveillance cameras, motion sensors and burglar alarms is your best defense against criminals. Titan Alarm can provide a state-of-the-art security solution that will protect your Phoenix- or Tucson-area home from burglars and home invaders. Contact us to learn more today.

Learn More About Protecting Your Home with Burglar Alarms

Eight Ways a Smart Home Can Make Your Life Easier

For those of us who own smartphones, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to live without them. Nowadays, you can use this “smart” technology to control everything from your home’s security system to your household appliances and heating/cooling systems. Here are a few examples of the many ways a smart home and home automation can simplify your life.

  1. Control temperature: How often do you find yourself getting up to adjust the thermostat? Smart technology can automatically raise and lower the temperature to keep it at a comfortable level, which offers convenience — and can help you save energy.


  1. Receive instant security alerts: Having a smart home can put your mind at ease while you’re away. You’ll receive an instant alert via your smartphone or tablet whenever someone trips a burglar alarm or tries to enter your home.


  1. Monitor your surveillance cameras remotely: If you prefer to be a little more vigilant about home security, smart technology allows your phone or tablet to serve as an extra monitor for your surveillance cameras. You’ll be able to view live and recorded camera feeds on a 24/7/365 basis, even if you’re hundreds of miles from home.


  1. Answer the door when you’re not home: Are you concerned about who might be ringing the doorbell at your house during the day while you’re at work? With smart technology, you can use your mobile device to see who’s at the door. If you need to let someone inside, you can unlock the door with a quick tap, and then lock it again when the person leaves.


  1. Control your lights: Burglars often watch for patterns of the lights going on and off in a home to determine the best time to break in. Smart technology enables you to automate the operation of your interior and exterior lighting at random intervals to make it appear someone is at home.


  1. Go wireless: Smart home systems feature Wi-Fi connectivity, which means you can go completely wireless. You won’t have to string cables all over your house, and you can even ditch that expensive landline from the phone company.


  1. Watch your kids and pets: Whether you have younger kids you leave with a nanny or babysitter, or teenagers who are old enough to stay home alone, smart technology makes it easier to monitor their activities. You can even keep an eye on your household pets.


  1. Utilize voice activation: If you have Google Home or Amazon Echo, you can integrate these smart speakers with your smart home features. You’ll be able to use the power of your voice to perform tasks such as arming your security system, unlocking doors and adjusting the thermostat from the comfort of your easy chair.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for More Information Regarding Smart Home Technology

 Contact Titan Alarm to learn more about the numerous advantages of transforming your Phoenix- or Tucson-area house into a smart home. We can also schedule a convenient in-home consultation.

Learn More About Smart Home Technology

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.