Home Security Tips for Renters

Home security isn’t just for property owners. If you rent, you also need to keep yourself and your valuables safe. While you might not have as much control over every aspect of your security as you would if you owned the home, there are still several steps you can take to create a safer environment:

  1. Change the door locks: In a perfect world, the landlord would change the door locks whenever a new tenant moves into an apartment. However, many are not willing to do so because of the expense or inconvenience. You never know who might be walking around with the key to your apartment — if the landlord is reluctant to install new locks, it might be worth your while to offer to share or pick up the total cost to change them.
  2. Secure the windows: The landlord also might not make window security a high priority. Talk to your landlord about installing window locks if there are none currently. Invest in blinds or drapes you can open and close as needed. If you have sliding windows, place rods in the opening to limit how far a would-be intruder could slide the window from the outside.
  3. Purchase a safe: A safe is essential if you need to store valuable items such as jewelry, cash or important documents. If you’re unable to mount the safe to the floor or wall in your apartment, be sure to purchase one that’s heavy enough to prevent a burglar from picking it up and carrying it out. Also, hide the safe in an out-of-the-way area such as the back of a closet.
  4. Install light timers: Timers will turn interior lights on and off at predetermined intervals. This will make your apartment appear “lived in” even if you go away for several days at a time, making it a less inviting target for burglars.
  5. Screen roommates carefully: If you’re looking for a roommate to share the rent, take the time to perform a background and credit check to ensure there are no red flags. If it is someone you don’t know, ask them to provide two or three references with phone numbers and/or email addresses.
  6. Purchase renter’s insurance: Renter’s insurance is an inexpensive form of protection that will cover your contents if they are lost or damaged due events such as theft, water leaks or fire. Depending on where you live and what you need to cover, you can purchase a sufficient policy for under $200 per year.
  7. Get a security system: Discuss the possibility of installing a security system with your landlord. These days, you can purchase an inexpensive wireless system that does not require drilling or running wires all over the apartment. You can also use your smartphone or tablet to view live or recorded camera feeds and receive instant security alerts while you’re away.

If you’re renting in the Phoenix or Tucson, AZ area, Titan Alarm can help you with your home security needs. Contact us to learn more today.

Learn More About Home Security

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Tips for Evaluating the Safety of a New Neighborhood

Location is one of the most crucial considerations when searching for a new home. Living in an area that’s riddled with crime might put your family’s security at risk, and declining property values can make it more difficult to sell the house for a profit when the time comes. The following tips can help you determine if a neighborhood will be a safe place to live:

  • Take a tour: Spend some time walking or driving through the area and observe the condition of the properties. While it’s not unusual to see one or two dilapidated houses in a neighborhood, if you spot several with broken windows, overgrown lawns, badly damaged roofs, etc., it is often indicative of an unsafe environment. In contrast, if you notice a lot of children playing, this often means that parents feel relatively secure about letting their kids outdoors.
  • Speak with the neighbors: As you explore the neighborhood, stop and chat with people you see outside. Introduce yourself and explain that you are thinking of purchasing a home nearby and ask for their opinion of the area. Attending an open house at a home for sale is another good opportunity to mingle with people from the neighborhood, as many are likely to stop by out of curiosity.
  • Note the existence of neighborhood watch groups: Many neighborhoods form watch groups comprised of residents who keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Ask about these when you’re talking with the neighbors and look for posted signs that indicate their presence on a block or within the community.
  • Find out how many homes are for sale in the area: A high volume of homes for sale in a neighborhood or district could mean that people are leaving to escape crime. Even if homeowners are moving for economic reasons, vacant homes often attract criminals and vagrants.
  • Check the crime statistics: There are many resources available that can help you determine the crime rate in a specific area. Examples include NeighborhoodScout.com, which lists crime stats and other relevant local data, and AreaVibes.com, which allows you to target neighborhoods based on the criteria that are most important to you can and your family. If you have children, FamilyWatchdog.com can tell you where any registered sex offenders, including child predators, are living in a neighborhood. You can also sign up to receive alerts when a registered offender moves in or out of the area.
  • Look for thriving local businesses: If there are many prospering small businesses in the area, it can indicate that the local economy is doing well, and crime is less of an issue. On the other hand, a preponderance of boarded-up storefronts and vacant business establishments are often signs that the neighborhood has seen better days.

No matter where you choose to live, a state-of-the-art security system will enhance your home’s safety. Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for all your home security needs in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tucson, AZ.

Learn More About Home Security

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.


Explore the Benefits of Keyless Door Locks

If you’re like a lot of folks, you worry about what’s going on in and around your home when you’re not there. The concern is even greater if you have kids who are old enough to be home alone, or if you’re a frequent traveler. And when you consider that approximately one-third of burglars gain entry via unlocked doors or windows, forgetting or neglecting to lock your doors can be a serious home security mistake.

What Are Smart Locks?

Many homeowners in Phoenix and Tucson are discovering that installing smart locks makes their home safer and gives them peace of mind about doing all they can to protect their property. Smart locks are keyless door locks you can operate remotely with your smartphone, tablet or Internet-connected computer. No more worries about leaving a spare key under a doormat or inside that ceramic turtle on your front porch — or what could happen if you forget to lock your door when you leave for work or when going on vacation.

You’ve probably had the frustrating experience of locking your house key inside your home or even losing it at some point. Unless a family member can bring you a spare quickly, the only way to get in is by prying open a window or bearing the expense of calling a locksmith. But with the advent of keyless door locks, you won’t have to deal with the inconvenience — not to mention the numerous security risks — that come with carrying a house key again.

Keyless locks are another example of “smart” technology that is taking home security to a higher level. While some keyless door locks contain a keypad the requires the user to punch in an access code, the more advanced version enables you to lock and unlock doors by tapping your smartphone. The advantages of these locks include:

      • Remote control: Unlike a conventional lock, you don’t have to be standing at the door to operate a keyless lock. As long as you have your mobile device handy, you can lock and unlock the door even if you’re at work, traveling or running errands. If it suddenly dawns on you that you forgot to lock the door after you’ve left in the morning, you can take care of it with a quick tap.
      • No more hiding keys: Hiding a spare key in the geraniums, under the mat or atop the porch light might give you the peace of mind of knowing you won’t lock yourself out. However, experienced burglars know all the tricks, and they’ll likely find the key in no time. And leaving a key with a neighbor who is looking after your home while you’re away poses a host of security risks. A smartphone-controlled keyless lock eliminates the need for spare keys.
      • Controlling access: Keyless locks give you total control over who enters your home. For example, you can use them to let a repairman in to do work or a delivery driver to drop off a package (instead of leaving it on the porch). When paired with other security devices such as video surveillance cameras, you can also monitor their activities while they’re inside. Some door lock systems can even provide text alerts whenever someone enters your home. You’ll know whether your kids have arrived home from school safely or if a burglar tries to break in.
      • No more fumbling at the door: If your keyring is full, it can take a while to find the right key to open the door — especially if you’re carrying an armload of packages or grocery bags. With your keyless locks, you can unlock the door with your mobile device the minute you pull in the driveway.
      • No more leaving keys with friends or neighbors: Are you in the habit of giving a friend, neighbor or relative a spare key so they can enter your home to take of things while you’re away? Keys are easy to duplicate or lose, and there’s always the possibility they’ll end up in the wrong hands. With a smart lock, you simply give your caretaker an access code so they can unlock the door — and you can change the code whenever you wish. You can also activate the lock remotely with your mobile device to let people in. Spare keys are no longer necessary!
      • You’ll never “forget” to lock your door again: How many times have you been in a hurry to leave for work or take the kids to school in the morning — and didn’t remember to lock your door? With a smart lock, you’ll receive an instant notification via your mobile device whenever you leave an exterior door unlocked. You can then lock it with just a quick tap.
      • Easy for kids to use: If your kids need to get inside the house after school or at other times when you’re not there, you can give them a code, so they can enter as they wish. And you don’t have to worry about them losing the spare key.
      • Combine them with other devices for an enhanced home security solution: Integrating a smart lock with devices such as doorbell or video surveillance cameras will increase home security by adding a visual component. You’ll be able to see who’s coming and going and control the operation of your locks accordingly.
      • Easy installation: Most smart door locks are fast and easy to install — the process is similar to that of changing traditional key-activated door locks.

Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More About Keyless Door Locks

As one of the top home security companies in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ, Titan Alarm Inc. can provide you with a fully integrated security solution that includes state-of-the-art keyless door locks. Feel free to contact us for more information and to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation today.

Learn More About Home Access Control

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Page Updated November 1, 2018

Troubleshooting Common Home Security System Issues

You trust your home security system to protect your property against the multiple threats that exist today. But there are many things that can limit the effectiveness of your system and possibly put your family’s safety at risk. Malfunctions can prove to be annoying, and depending on where you live, could require you to pay substantial fines.

Reviewing the following common issues or mistakes can help you avoid most of the typical security system problems. You’ll also have the peace of mind of knowing your system is functioning properly:

  • Ignoring system “gaps:” Too many homeowners elect to purchase the most basic alarm package available to lower their cost. However, a “bare bones” solution often leaves certain areas unprotected. Experienced burglars can quickly assess your set-up to locate its weak spots — and exploit them to their benefit. A reputable security provider will work with you to develop a customized system that ensures the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget.
  • Building a “piecemeal” system: Another common mistake is purchasing different security system components from multiple providers. This can result in incompatible products and often leads to technical issues. A better approach is to have a professional security solutions provider design a system comprised of fully integrated devices. If something goes wrong, you only need to contact one company to rectify the problem. You will also have consistent warranty coverage for all devices.
  • Not making it tamper-proof: Today’s Internet-based home security systems require passwords to access and operate them. As with your computers, hackers could infiltrate and disable your system or possibly steal your personal information — unless you make a habit of changing the password frequently. Another issue is intruders cutting landlines and external cabling, which you can thwart by opting for a wireless system.
  • Failing to update: A home’s security needs can evolve over time. A failure to reprogram the system periodically to account for a change in the layout after building an addition or completing an extensive renovation can prevent the system from functioning properly. Periodic inspections conducted by an experienced security company (preferably the same one that handled the original installation) can ensure your system will meet your ongoing needs.
  • Experiencing too many false alarms: False alarms can be aggravating. And if you live in an area where you must pay a fine for an excessive amount of false alarms that require first responders to needlessly come to your home, you could be out hundreds or thousands of dollars. Making sure your system’s sensors are calibrated correctly can reduce false alarms. Including central monitoring with video verification can all but eliminate them.

Contact Titan Alarm for Reliable Troubleshooting in Arizona

If you live in or around Phoenix or Tucson, AZ, Titan Alarm Inc. can provide a state-of-the-art security solution for your home. With our more than a decade of experience, you can count on us to ensure your system delivers the comprehensive protection you deserve. Contact us for more information and to schedule a free consultation today.

Learn More About Home Security

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

How Smart Homes Can Benefit Special Needs Caregivers

future smart home automation

Caring for an individual with special needs is one of the most challenging tasks anyone can face. Caregivers often find it difficult to balance work and other time constraints with ensuring the person receives the full attention they require. There is also the constant worry about the loved one’s safety and security, especially if it is necessary to leave him or her home alone for extended periods of time.

Caregivers throughout Phoenix and Tucson, AZ are discovering the numerous advantages that “smart” technology can provide when caring for people with special needs. A smart home features an integrated system of network-connected devices that can include various security, lighting, temperature and entertainment components. The user can typically control all aspects of the system via automation, as well as remotely with a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer.

Benefits of smart homes for caregivers include:

  • Remote Monitoring: Smart technology allows caregivers to set up cameras inside the home and use their mobile devices as a remote monitoring system. They can see what’s happening in and around the house at any time while they’re at work, running errands or traveling, giving them greater peace of mind.
  • Automating Device and System Operation: In some cases, the individual may not have the capacity to operate thermostats, locks and other system features without assistance. Smart technology enables the caregiver to preprogram or remotely control the function of these devices, which can ease the burden on the loved ones and ensure their comfort throughout the day.
  • Increased Safety: A special needs individual may not always be able to defend themselves against an intruder. Smart technology delivers the heightened security they require to remain safe when they’re home alone. For instance, a doorbell camera will allow them to identify who is at the door without opening it. The caregiver can also lock or unlock a door remotely with their mobile device if necessary.
  • Providing Reminders: If the loved one is an elderly individual with memory issues, smart technology can provide electronic reminders to perform tasks such as turning off a coffee pot, locking doors or taking medications at the appropriate time.
  •  Facilitating a More Independent Lifestyle: In general, smart technology makes it easier for folks with special needs to take care of themselves and do things without the assistance of others. This also removes the burden on caregivers, as they will be able to focus on other areas of their lives and have fewer concerns about the welfare of their loved ones.

 Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More About the Many Advantages of Smart Home Technology

Titan Alarm, Inc. has been providing the most advanced security technologies to homeowners in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ for more than a decade. We can equip virtually any home in the area with a state-of-the-art security solution that will improve the safety and quality of life for both caregivers and their loved ones. 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.

Summer Garage Door Safety Tips

Garage door safety is important at any time of year, but the summer months can pose additional challenges The kids are home from school and are more likely to be playing outside — they may want to enter the garage to retrieve bicycles, toys and games that are stored there. There’s also a tendency to leave the door open to provide more convenient access to lawn care and gardening tools and equipment. What’s more, burglars often target the garage door as an entry point, especially when homeowners are away on vacation.

The following tips can enhance garage door safety at your home and possibly prevent a disaster from occurring:

  • Conduct a Garage Door Inspection: You should inspect your garage door once a year — a good time is right before the start of summer. Check the springs, cables, pulleys and rollers for signs of misalignment or wear. Consider contacting a reputable garage door company in your area to perform preventive maintenance and troubleshooting steps.
  • Teach Your Kids to Never Operate the Door: If you have preteens at home, instruct them to stay away from the garage door opener and to never attempt to open or close the door by themselves. Make sure you’ve mounted the opener at least five feet above the ground to keep it out of reach. If your kids need to enter and exit the garage frequently, leave the door in the fully raised position while they’re playing outdoors.
  • Close the Door Properly: When you close the garage door, make sure to shut it all the way. Don’t leave a gap at the bottom that could entice your kids to try to lift the door or squeeze under it. A small space could also catch the eye of a burglar. When lowering the door, keep an eye on it until it reaches the ground to make sure kids or pets don’t try to scamper underneath it.
  • Periodically Test the Reversing Mechanism: The reversing mechanism is a crucial safety feature that causes the door to move in the opposite direction if it strikes an object. Test it approximately once a month during the summer by placing a roll of paper towels on the ground and lowering the door.
  • Disconnect the Opener When You Go on Vacation: If you’re planning a summer getaway, unplug or disconnect the power to your garage door opener and lock the door before you leave. This can prevent a burglar from gaining access to the garage by manipulating the opener.
  • Make Sure Your Security System Covers Your Garage: A well-placed security camera and motion sensors can alert you to the presence of intruders who are trying to enter your home through the garage. A home security system that includes smart technology will allow you to monitor the status of your garage, even while you’re away on vacation.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for more tips regarding how to keep your garage safe during the summer — and the rest of the year.

Learn More About Home Video Surveillance

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.