Tips for Fun and Safe New Year’s Eve Celebration

New Year’s Eve is a fun night to celebrate and reminisce the year that was and to welcome the brand new year. Many people look at it as a fresh start — a time to make resolutions and changes to help ensure a prosperous and happy year to come.

As the year draws to a close, you may have already begun planning your New Year’s Eve celebration. Whether you will be hosting or attending a New Year’s party, making your way to a public celebration, or staying in with family and friends, here are a few tips to help you and your guests stay safe this New Year’s Eve.

Hosting a party at home

On New Year’s Eve, you don’t have to leave your house to have a great time. If you’re hosting guests, here are some ways to ensure everyone can kick off the new year in style:

  • Consider your liquor liability. There’s nothing like ringing in the new year with a glass of champagne. But if you plan to serve alcohol, be a responsible host by making sure nobody gets behind the wheel of a car. Drunk driving is a serious risk to your guests and others on the road. And in many states, you could be held liable for damage caused by a driver who leaves your party.

  • Plan your activities. To keep your party running smoothly, have a list of games or activities that don’t involve alcohol. Playing games can be a great way to break the ice and are fun for guests of all ages.

  • Serve plenty of food. If you’re staying up until midnight, expect lots of snacking to take place throughout the evening. A well-stocked menu of food and non-alcoholic drinks will not only keep your guests happy, it can also help counter the effects of the alcohol.

  • Keep your guest list tight. When hosting a party in your home, it’s always a good idea to limit guests to people you actually know. Strangers may be less likely to respect your property, and it will be more difficult to confront them if they overindulge.

  • Designate a driver. Encourage your guests to choose a designated driver before they arrive. Whether a friend is driving, or they choose to use Uber, advanced planning will ensure no one decides to get behind the wheel.

  • Shelve the fireworks. Avoid the temptation to start the new year off with a “bang.” Fireworks can lead to house fires and injuries – and they never mix well with alcohol.

Attending a party 

If you plan on taking a night off from hosting duties and will be attending a party or event, here are some tips to help you ring in 2014 safely:

  • Designate a driver. If you’re planning to celebrate with alcohol, decide how you’ll be getting home before your first drink. There are plenty of ways to find a designated driver, whether you call a cab, use a ridesharing service or choose a friend to take you home.

  • Celebrate with friends. There’s safety in numbers. If you’re partying with friends, have a conversation about looking out for each other before the night begins.

  • Charge your phone. Before you head out for a night on the town, make sure your phone is fully charged. Getting stuck with a dead battery will make it difficult to reconnect with friends or hail a ride home, if needed.

  • Eat before you leave. Not planning to go out for a full meal? Be sure to eat before you leave. Besides ensuring you won’t go hungry, a full stomach can help slow the absorption of alcohol.

  • Don’t leave your car overnight. If you’re not driving home, it’s probably wise to leave your car in the driveway – and don’t forget to lock the doors. Unfortunately, criminals don’t take a holiday. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, New Year’s Day is the top holiday for car thefts! 

Whether going out or staying in, ringing in the new year is a fun tradition. Use these tips to keep the party, you and your guests you safe.

Creating New Year’s Resolution

A brand new year is coming and many of us are gathering up our willpower to make a new set of New Year’s resolutions. But have we learned from past experience? A large number, if not the majority, of previous resolutions were probably broken in weeks, days, or even hours.

So, how to make this time round more successful? Well it’s not as hard as you might think — there are some really easy ways to set yourself on the path to success, and the first is:

1.  Be realistic

Don’t aim too high and ignore reality – consider your previous experience with resolutions. What led to failure then? It may be that you resolved to lose too much weight or save an unrealistic amount of money. Remember, there will always be more opportunities to start on the next phase, so set realistic goals. Or if you don’t want to hold back, set clear short-term goals on your way to a big achievement. Which leads to tip number four.

2.  Plan ahead

Many people make New Year’s resolutions on a whim, caught up in the excitement of New Year’s Eve. Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. If you really want to change something for the upcoming year, plan early.

3.  Create a time-frame

Time-frame is vital for motivation. It is your barometer for success, the way you assess your short-term progress towards the ultimate long-term goal. Buy a calendar or diary so you can plan your actions for the coming weeks or months, and decide when and how often to evaluate.

4.  Create bite-sized portions

Break goals down to manageable chunks. This is perhaps the most essential ingredient for success, as the more planning you do now, the more likely you are to get there in the end. The planning process is when you build up that all-important willpower which you will undoubtedly need to fall back on along the way. Set clear, realistic goals such as losing 5 pounds, saving $30 a month, or going for a run once a week. Decide exactly how you will make this happen.

5.  Get support

It is at such times, when you’ve temporarily fallen off the wagon, that your support network is crucial. Carefully choose those people around you who have shown themselves to be trustworthy, supportive friends and explain your plans. Let them know of ways they can help when the going gets tough, and if they’re truly caring they’ll know the right things to say during the hard times.

6.  Reward yourself

Reward yourself when you make progress. One effective reward is to take a day off. If you’re trying to eat healthier, perhaps you could eat whatever you want just one day per week. But remember, only take a reward day if you stick to your rules the other six days of the week.

7.  Track your progress

When making your plan, a vital feature should be the rewards and treats you will give yourself at those all-important milestones. But be warned, don’t fall into the trap of putting your goal in danger – it’s too easy for a dieter to say “I’ve been so good, I deserve a few candy bars”, or a saver to throw caution to the wind with a new purchase. One slip, and it could all be over.

8.  Don’t beat yourself up

Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time.

9.  Set consequences

Conversely, knowing there are consequences when you don’t stick to your resolution can be a powerful motivator. For example, every time you fail to keep your resolution, you put a dollar in a “penalty jar.” As an added bonus, you’ll be saving money you can put toward other goals.

10. Keep trying

Do bear in mind that a slip-up is almost inevitable at some point, and you must not let this become an excuse to give up. When it happens, you will need to draw on your reserves of self-belief and strength, so build these qualities as often as you can. Really feel proud of your past achievements and don’t become critical of yourself. People with higher self-esteem and confidence are in a much better position to succeed, so immediately forgive yourself and say “I’m starting again now!”

Now you’ve read these tips, you are in a great position to consider the best ways to improve your life this New Year. Your happiness is worth the time and effort, so get started, and good luck!

How to Prevent Crash and Smash

A crash and smash attack is a burglary tactic that focuses on your home’s security panel or keypad, using speed and brute force to prevent it from sounding the alarm. The term “crash” makes reference to the forceful entry of an intruder through a main door. And the word “smash” describes the physical action of shattering the alarm panel.

Here’s how it works:

  • The intruder “crashes” through your entry door – the one that you normally enter through and the one near your alarm security keypad.

  • Unfortunately, your alarm system cannot tell the difference between your unlocking the door and a burglar breaking in. So, as always, your system gives you a set period (usually 30-60 seconds) to key in your code and deactivate the alarm.

  • During those 30-60 seconds, your home intruder locates the alarm panel and “smashes” it. Your alarm hardware is in tatters and it is no longer hard-wired into your phone line. It has not had time to notify the alarm company or police of the break-in. The burglar can now rob you in peace.

How to prevent crash and smash

  • Go wireless – A wireless alarm system can mean one of two things: wireless components placed throughout your home, or wireless communication with your alarm company via cell phone signal. (Some systems have both wireless components and cellular monitoring). 

  • Lock it Away – You can also lock your alarm panel in another room. This works because 1) it will take a burglar longer to locate your alarm and 2) requires an intruder to crash through two doors. Keep in mind, however, that this method isn’t a foolproof solution for the smash & crash.

  • Redundancies – One of the most important aspects to protecting your home and family is redundancy. Do not put all your eggs in one security basket – don’t rely on just your alarm system to keep you safe. First of all, burglarproof your doors to prevent a “crash” (they can’t smash if they don’t get past the crash part!).

Titan Alarm’s Crash and Smash protection

Titan Alarm uses a patented crash and smash technology, that way your system will still work, even if the intruder can get to and destroy your panel.

Titan Alarm’s smart home security system is constantly monitoring activity around the home to proactively protect you from events like a burglar attempting a crash and smash burglary. All of this happens constantly and securely in a cloud storage platform, so it’s completely untouchable to a burglar so you and your security system go unharmed.

Once your smart home security system starts it’s initial countdown, the central system monitoring station takes note, if the security panel abruptly goes off-line before sending a disarm or an emergency signal, then the central station monitoring reports a suspected Crash and Smash situation in your home, and alerts the necessary first responders and emergency personnel. Crash and Smash Protection is one of the many innovative ways that Titan Alarm will protect you and your loved ones with. If you’re interested in learning more about Crash and Smash Protection or need help with a Home Security System contact Titan Alarm today!

Tips for Making Your Home Winter Ready

As homeowners we’re often faced with the harsher realities of the changing seasons. A heavy snowfall doesn’t just mean a day off school or work; it can also mean an overworked furnace, a power outage, even burst pipes. And let’s not forget about rising energy costs — Americans spend almost twice as much of their income on energy as they did a decade ago, according to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. While we can’t always predict what Jack Frost will send our way from year to year, we can take a few precautions to ensure we spend less time cleaning up weather-induced messes and fretting over utility bills and more time building sledding ramps in the back yard.

Insulate Windows

Winter drafts can drive up your energy bill — and detract from the cozy vibe you want inside your home when it’s cold outside — if your windows have any air leaks. But by reducing drafts you can lower your home’s energy costs by up to 20% per year, according to the U.S. Energy Department, while also making your living space more comfortable.

Trim Tree Branches

The last thing you need is a winter storm loosing the wrath of that mighty tree whose branches are angling over your roof. Not to mention, overhanding limbs can cause excess water to seep into cracks in your home’s roof or siding, which is why you want to make sure any tree limbs or branches surrounding your home are at least 3 feet away from the house.

Check the Roof

You certainly don’t want to find out you have a leaky roof after the first snow hits. A roof inspection can help you spot any potential issues.

Clear Out Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged rain gutters or downspouts can damage your home’s foundation or cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. So, after the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Also, make sure the gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water, tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets, and replace any worn or damaged materials.

Inspect Your Fireplace

A visual inspection, both inside and outside your home, can ensure that your wood-burning fireplace is in good shape for the burning season.

Smart Home Thermostat

A Smart Home Thermometer from Titan Alarm can help you put your house on a schedule, that way your house isn’t heating up while you’re away, wasting electricity, you can also set up a geo fence for your house to help your house be just the right temperature for you when you get home. To learn more about geo-fencing check out this blog we did. Click Here.

5. Keep An Eye On That Space Heater.

During the winter months, the fire departments see a massive increase in fires started with heating equipment. A recent study showed that at least half of all home fires between December and February are caused by space heaters and heating equipment.

To help prevent these kind of fires, furnaces, chimneys, space heaters and radiators need to be cleaned regularly and be sure to keep those blankets and wrapping paper away from them as well!

6. Utilize Your Smart Home

With a Titan Alarm Smart Home System, you can keep your home safe and armed, turn your lights on and off, keep your thermostat at just the right temperature and so much more! If you want to learn more about a Smart Home System from Titan Alarm, contact us!

Ways to Create a Safe Play Space for Your Kids

Keeping babies and toddlers safe at home is naturally something that parents focus on. Whether you have a curious crawler or a toddler on a mission to explore your home, having a designated play area they can call their own makes it easier to have other rooms, like the laundry room, be off limits. This area can be in a separate room in your home or use an existing room, like the living room. Following these tips will help get you started.

Safe Furniture

Toddlers constantly use furniture to brace themselves while learning to walk. They also enjoy climbing on top of furniture. Use furniture guards on the sharp, pointed edges of wooden tables and bookcases to prevent bumps and bruises. Secure items such as dressers and television stands to the wall with brackets or furniture straps to keep them from tipping over onto your child. Make sure all buttons or decorative accents found on sofas or chairs are secure to reduce the likelihood of them coming off, which could present a choking hazard. Consider removing throw pillows or other items with these types of decoration out of the play area.

Kid-friendly Flooring

Kids are known for playing on the floor, so that is why it is important to have kid-friendly flooring for your child’s playroom. There are three great options when choosing flooring, including carpet, hardwood flooring and floor mats and rugs. Carpet is a wonderful option if you are looking for soft flooring. Hardwood flooring is great because it will withstand years of use. Floor mats and rugs are the ultimate option that allows you to add a soft touch to your hard surface flooring like wood or title.  Budget Blinds offers a variety of design options for children’s rugs that will match any child’s room décor. They are easy to clean when playtime is over, and regular cleaning will prevent dust and dirt build-up, especially critical if your child has allergies.


Keep all cords from electronics out of reach of children. Use flat outlet covers for all unused outlets, and use box type plug covers, such as the Safety 1st Outlet Cover, to protect toddlers from outlets that have electronics plugged in. It is also beneficial to strategically place furniture so that it blocks visibility of outlets. Take care to keep little fingers away from portable fans and heaters, or keep these items out of the areas where your toddler is free to play.


The best toys for young children are those that support intellectual growth and development while stimulating natural curiosity. These toys make use of vibrant colors, are smooth to the touch, and can easily be manipulated by small hands. Toys selected for your child should be age- appropriate. Age ratings on toys are a helpful safety feature. Toys intended for a 3-year-old could present a choking hazard for children ages 2 and younger due to small removable parts, or items like buttons or beads that may come loose. It is a good idea to stay at or below age ratings with toys you give to your toddler. Toys received as gifts can be stored until your child reaches the appropriate age.


It’s impossible to be with your child 100% of the time, but nothing is better than supervision where safety is concerned. Consider a second baby monitor or a surveillance camera for use in the play area. This gives you the freedom to be in another area of your home and still keep in touch with what’s happening with your little one.

Titan Alarm is a company you can call for any of your household safety needs, from tips and tricks to keep your kids safe, to how to automate your whole house.
Contact Titan Alarm today!

Why Are Annual Fire Inspections Important

When you think about annual fire inspections, it might simply be something you view as an annual requirement by the local fire marshal. However, annual fire inspections serve an important function for your business that goes beyond checking another item off of your to-do list.

Although it might not be something you think much about, fire inspections are critical to the health and safety of your team and your customers.


Why Fire Inspections Are Important

When an institution or organization’s building catches fire, it often results in injury, damage to the building and lost trust from clientele. Putting in place a fire preparedness and prevention program can be key in helping save a life, minimize injury and damages in case of a fire. One of the key aspects of fire prevention and preparedness are fire inspections which are unfortunately given a back seat in many organizations. Irrespective of the staffing confirmation in your organization, the importance of ensuring fire inspections are conducted cannot be emphasized enough.


Benefits of regular fire inspections


1. Fire inspections help identify any potential problems that fire hazards. This way they can be corrected and people can be educated on how to identify them as well as how to respond. Sometimes property owners get lax about maintenance but regular fire inspections help ensure that the owners ensure that the building stays compliant.

2. Fire inspection Columbus GA is required by local ordinances and state statues. So ensuring fire inspections are done is important in keeping with the law and observing statutory requirements. Most states also require that fire departments conduct training and public education on fire safety and prevention.

3. Fire inspections also help in gathering and putting together building data which is key for putting together an education plan as well as aiding in pre-planning in the case of an emergency. Pre- planning informs fire department crew on the various elements of the building such as sprinkler systems and connections thus helping them be more equipped to put off a fire should it occur.

4. Fire inspections also help in establishing noble public relations. When fire departments carry out inspections to homes, properties, and other institutions, they show the community that they care about their wellbeing. This helps create rapport and when the time comes to carry out training on fire safety, the community will give the much-needed support. The inspections also give firefighters an opportunity to have one on one interactions with people and share information on fire safety as well respond to any concerns they might have.


Make Regular Fire Inspections a Priority


Don’t let annual fire inspections sit on the back burner. Staying on top of this important task is critical for keeping your building, team, and customers safe.


Fire Alarm System

Aside from regular inspections, one of the best ways to prevent fire hazards in your workplace is to install a fire alarm system. Alarm systems are primarily designed to warn occupants of a fire so they can safely evacuate the premises. Correctly maintained and operating alarm systems are effective and proven life saving devices.


Contact Titan Alarm for your fire alarm system needs. Titan Alarm is a full-service security system provider offering a complete range of services to protect your home or business in the event of a fire emergency. We utilize the latest technology to take your fire security to the next level with detection and monitoring systems, advanced fire alarms, IP/cellular communications, preventative maintenance, and a variety of other services.

Dealing with Business Fraud

Fraud is one of the most common ways that businesses lose money. Despite efforts to prevent fraud, the unfortunate reality is that it still happens — in fact, according to the ACFE’s 2016 Report to the Nations, it is estimated that companies lose 5% of revenue each year to fraud. If you suspect fraud has occurred at your organization, take these immediate action steps:

  1. Safeguard potential evidence. Preservation of evidence is key. Secure any and all potential evidence — but by all means, avoid the temptation to examine the evidence on your own. Electronic evidence is fragile and easily altered. Did you know that simply turning a computer off or on can alter potential evidence? Secure computers, cellphones and external electronic media sources such as thumb drives. Maintaining the evidence will help your forensic accounting team identify what occurred, who committed the fraud and why.

  2. Gather a team. Enlist a forensic accountant and computer forensic specialist to help you collect, analyze and store the data. It would be wise to hire an outside financial investigator who is familiar with and experienced in fraud investigations — using an in-house accountant is not appropriate, as they are not as objective as an outside source. In fact, someone on the accounting team may be part of the problem. Retain an employment lawyer to ensure you stay on the right side of the law regarding the rights of the suspected employee.

  3. Deal with the suspected employee. Don’t fire the suspected employee immediately — it could make gathering evidence much more difficult. Instead, restrict their access to company data. Do not let them remove their computer or any other company items and documents from their office.

  4. Notify your insurance provider. A crucial fact for employers to know is that you must notify your insurance provider within 30 to 60 days, depending on your policy. Failure to do so could cause a loss of coverage.

  5. File proof of loss. You will need to document any losses with your insurance provider in a specified time frame. Documenting a claim with an insurance provider takes time to ensure it is properly recorded. It is possible to file an extension should you need one, but be sure not to miss any deadlines or you risk forfeiting coverage.

Preventing Fraud

While you can’t prevent every instance of fraud from happening to your business, you can take precautions to minimize fraudulent activity. To prevent employee fraud and embezzlement conduct background checks on all new employees, particularly those who have financial responsibilities.

Keep financial duties separate, so no one person has control of all financial decisions. Don’t give up your financial responsibilities to any employee. For example, avoid having an employee control all check-writing.

Also, let employees know you are watching.

Contact Titan Alarm for your business security needs

As a leading commercial security solutions provider in the Phoenix area, Titan Alarm can help you design and implement a state-of-the-art security system that can help to prevent fraud and other threats to your business. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation consultation today.

Carbon Monoxide Monitoring for Your Business and Home

Harmful substances are normally associated with foul odors and visible fumes, but this is not the case when dealing with carbon monoxide (CO). This kind of gas has no color, odor or taste, hence, undetectable by human senses. It is extremely dangerous and can cause death within seconds if the concentration is high enough. CO should not be confused with carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a normal product of human metabolism, requiring a much higher concentration than CO to become dangerous.

The main source of carbon monoxide in indoor places is incomplete combustion. It can be produced from fuels such as gasoline, propane, heating oil, natural gas, coal and even wood. In other words, any appliance or building system based on combustion comes with the risk of CO emissions. This includes ovens, ranges, fireplaces and even cars in enclosed garages.


Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning


Carbon monoxide passes into your lungs and binds with your red blood cells and starves your body of oxygen.


Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include intense headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness. Disorientation and unconsciousness can occur when CO reaches levels of 150 ppm or parts per million.2


Perhaps most troubling is that before symptoms turn lethal, they may appear as cold or flu symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, or mild headaches. Carbon monoxide is the second-leading cause of poisoning in the US with the highest risk in Wyoming, Alaska, and Montana.


If anyone starts experiencing even the slightest symptoms of CO poisoning, get into fresh air and seek emergency medical care. The dwelling should be left empty and with the windows open, and the fire department should be called immediately. 


How to detect carbon monoxide?


As mentioned above, CO can’t be detected by human senses. Carbon monoxide detectors are the fastest way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. You can install a carbon monoxide detector (or multiple detectors) in your home or office. They work much like your fire or smoke alarm by sounding an alarm when they detect carbon monoxide. The CO alarm will go off if your sensor detects a high buildup of carbon monoxide. Most people begin to feel the effects of carbon monoxide at 50 ppm, so be sure your detector can sense an amount of 50 ppm or less.3


Titan Alarm – Your CO Detector Source in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ

Titan Alarm, Inc. can install a fully integrated security system that includes lifesaving carbon monoxide detectors in the garage and other vulnerable areas in your home and office. Contact us for more information and to schedule a free in-home consultation today.

Home Security Tips for the Holidays

Whether you’re travelling to visit family or just taking a much needed vacation, there are a few very important security measures to get in place before you leave,. Keep in mind that thieves don’t take a vacation for the holiday season. In fact, the holiday season in their busiest time of the year.

The following are some simple steps you can take to make your home less attractive to burglars. 

1. Lock up

Always close and lock the doors and windows of your home if you’re leaving, even if just for a short trip. The garage door is also a popular entrance point for thieves, so keep it closed even when you’re home. Don’t forget to lock the door to the garage in the event that thieves gain access to the garage. Be sure to never leave a spare key outside the house—thieves know where to find them.

2. Make it look like some is home

Thieves and burglars love long December nights. If you plan on being away for the holidays, it is recommended to install a web-based light switch so that your house looks lived-in, even if it isn’t. You may even consider installing motion-sensing spot lights around the exterior of your home. This will serve as an excellent deterrent whether you are away from home for a brief period of time or out of town on vacation.

3. Be cautious about announcing your trips on social media 

Burglars are resourceful. Some of them will monitor Facebook and other social media sites to see who’s away on vacation and break in. The safer course is to only mention your trips when talking to friends and family in person or talk to them on the phone.

4. Keep present out of sight

While placing gifts under the Christmas tree adds to the holiday spirit, the presents can also attract the attention of burglars. If this isn’t already your custom, wait until just before going to bed on Christmas Eve to break out the gifts, and keep the well-hidden until the time arrives.

5. Make sure your house is fire proof 

Taking the neighborhood association’s home decorating prize may come at a price! If you plan on transforming your home into a twinkling Christmas palace or a charming gingerbread house, make sure that your lights are powered by a well-maintained outdoor outlet. Overloaded extension cords may cause fire hazards and gaps caused by unwieldy cords may be all that a burglar needs to pry your windows or doors open.

6. Install a home security system


The start of the holiday season is also a good time to beef up your home security. If you don’t have one already, consider installing an advanced security system with features such as motion sensors, video surveillance cameras, burglar alarms and centralized monitoring.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for more tips on how to keep your home safe during the holidays – and throughout the year.