Category: Residential Security Solutions

Do Yard Signs Actually Deter Burglars?

Do Yard Signs Actually Deter Burglars?

Everyone likes to save money, and even though home security is important, it’s still nice to have extra room in the budget every month. One security shortcut that many people take is posting a sign in their yard that claims their home is protected by an alarm system. But does a yard sign actually keep burglars away?

Any Sign is Better Than No Sign

The fact is, having a security sign in your yard can make a burglar think twice. Thieves are opportunists, and they want to get away with the goods as quickly and easily as possible. The presence of a security system indicates trouble for a burglar, so many will opt to skip a house with a sign for one with no obvious indicators of extra security.

For those who want the benefits of added security without the investment, a fake sign seems like a smart security strategy. However, those savings aren’t worth much if someone breaks into your home anyway.

 Risks of Relying on a Security Sign

If you do choose to try faking out the bad guys, be careful. A fake security sign may be better than nothing, but it’s not better by much. Relying on a fake sign for added security poses its own risks.

  • A false sense of security: We all understand that a sign is not the same thing as a security system. One of the biggest risks of counting on a fake sign is the feeling that your home has extra protection. Experienced thieves can spot a fake sign, which can make your home a bigger target than if you’d never put out the sign in the first place.
  • No alerts: Unlike an actual security system, a sign doesn’t send up the alarm when someone tries to break in. If your sign fails to stop a burglar in his tracks, you won’t have any warning that something happened.
  • Fewer clues to catch a thief: One of the benefits of a security system or surveillance cameras, is that you can actually capture images of the burglars if they do manage to get in. Security systems help police track down criminals, recover stolen property, and get the bad guys off the street.
  • It signals your home/property is worth protecting: Sometimes a security sign leads a burglar to believe that you have something worth stealing. Criminals know that security systems cost money, so a sign can tell them that you can afford to protect your valuables. It can also send a signal that your home might be full of the types of things they like to steal.

Other Security Strategies to Try

Any security measures you take are going to make an impact, but some are more effective than others. If you’re budget-conscious, here are some ideas that provide better security than a fake sign—without draining your wallet.

Landscaping: Believe it or not, the right landscaping can help keep burglars at bay. Keep trees and bushes trimmed and make sure there’s always a clear line of sight to all windows and doors. Avoid hedges and other natural obstructions that provide hiding places for thieves. Consider planting thorny plants under accessible windows as an extra deterrent.

Lights: Keep your house, yard, and driveway well-lit. Burglars are less likely to attempt a break-in if there’s a spotlight on them. Trade out regular outdoor lights for smart security lighting that you can program to come on automatically or control remotely. The addition of motion sensors provides extra protection and helps you save electricity as well.

Security System: These days, security systems are more affordable than ever. There have been so many advances that you can choose from a DIY system that you install yourself or select a professionally-monitored system that gives you around-the-clock protection. Most security systems are customizable so you can choose the protection that meets your budget. Plus, you’ll get the bonus of a sign that is backed up by real security.

No matter what, you want to keep your home safe. There are many affordable ways to protect your family, and American Alarm Systems knows how to deliver reliable security for nearly any budget. Contact us today and find out how easy it is to turn that fake security sign into a real one.





2 Signs You Need New Smoke Detectors

2 Signs You Need New Smoke Detectors

We rely on smoke detectors to protect our home and loved ones. They can let us know of a fiery threat while we sleep and alert us to danger before we even notice anything is wrong. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your smoke detectors are in top condition and ready to do their job.

You probably already know that you need to regularly check and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors—but what about when it’s time to replace the whole thing? Keep your family safe and look out for these two signs that you need new smoke detectors.

  1. Your Smoke Detector is Too Old

Smoke detectors do not get better with age. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that household smoke detectors be replaced every 10 years. Because there’s so much at stake, you need the smoke alarms in your home to be as reliable as possible.

Even though smoke detectors are built with finely tuned parts that pass rigorous testing, over time those parts become more likely to fail. To make sure that you’re not relying on potentially faulty equipment to save your life in the event of a fire, simply change out all the smoke detectors in your home every 10 years.

If you’ve purchased a new home or rent an apartment, find out when the existing smoke detectors were purchased. If you can’t get reliable information about their age, it’s best to go ahead and get new ones. It’s better to err on the side of caution than to find out too late that your smoke alarms should have been replaced.

  1. Your Smoke Detector Goes Off for No Reason

It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes too much noise from your smoke detector is a bad sign. If your smoke alarm seems to be extra sensitive—giving off false alarms—it could indicate that the sensors are damaged or faulty.

However, not all false alarms are cause to replace your smoke detector. Before you head to the store, conduct these checks to make sure a new detector is needed.

  • Dust them off: Cleaning smoke detectors should be part of your regular routine. Dust and dirt can collect inside the cover of your smoke alarm, which can block the sensors. Gently wipe them down when you dust or use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum to keep smoke detectors dust-free.
  • Keep them out of the kitchen: Smoke detectors can be triggered by smoke from cooking or even steam from boiling water. If your smoke alarm goes off regularly when you cook, you might want to move it at least 20 feet from the stove. If it still goes off after being moved, you could be dealing with an unreliable sensor, which means you should replace the smoke alarm.
  • Check the connections: If you have a hardwired smoke alarm system, loose connections can lead to false alarms. Another cause for random alarms is power outages. Be sure that all connections are solid and that there hasn’t been a recent loss of power in your home. If neither of those are the cause for your false alarms, it might be time to get new smoke detectors.

The bottom line is that you need smoke detectors that you can depend on. If you have any reason to suspect that your alarms may not be in prime operating condition, you should replace them. When it’s time to replace or upgrade your home’s smoke detection system, contact the experts at American Alarm Systems. We know how to keep you and your family safe from fire, carbon monoxide, and other household environmental hazards.