Home Security Systems California

Living in California gives you a chance to enjoy the amazing weather, the endless beaches, the numerous attractions such as Disneyland, skiing and nature parks, the diverse population, the laid back atmosphere and the fun nightlife, Hollywood and a proximity to many celebrities.



But have you ever wondered about the other, not so glamorous side of California? You live in a beautiful state that offers you a vast variety of luxuries, a good family life and fancy real estate. But is all of this safe for you and family? Are you doing enough to protect this lifestyle, your home and your loved ones?

Crimes in California

According to the State of California Department of Justice, in 2012 there were 232,455 burglaries in California, which was an increase from the 2011 figure of 217,806. Even though recent reports suggest that the crime rate in 2013 will see a small decline, these figures are still high enough to make you think twice about your home security system.

Take a look at few more crime statistics for California:

  • 65.5% of burglaries happened in residencies

  • 43.9% burglaries happened in broad daylight

  • 60.4% of the burglars used force

  • Motor vehicle theft went up from 147,030 in 2011 to 168,516 in 2012

  • Larceny theft over $400 went up from 216,030 in 2011 to 232,014 in 2012

These are crimes happening in neighborhoods just like yours, to people just like you. Before they happen to you, take precautions.

Weather in California

The warm, sunny weather of California is considered ideal by most residents. While that may be true, California is home to worst natural disasters in the nation. Wildfires, mudslides, landslides and earthquakes have caused considerable damage to numerous residential and commercial properties in the state.

According to USA Today, a recent wildfire in October 2014 not only destroyed five homes and multiple buildings but also threatened another 1,000 homes. More than 5,000 fires have been battled with in 2014, which are almost a thousand fires higher than usual. Even if you are not among the hundreds of people living in forested areas, you never know how far a fire might spread.

This is just one recent instance of fire. Have a look at this timeline of natural disasters that you need defense against:

  • January 1994: Los Angeles - a 6.7 magnitude earthquake destroyed buildings and freeways in a heavily populated area, 50 people died, and 20,000 were left homeless.

  • October 2003: Cleveland National Forest outside San Diego - fire caused the deaths of 15 people, and more than 2,200 houses were destroyed.

  • October-November 2013: San Bernardino County - fire destroyed more than 90,000 acres of land and 1,000 buildings, killing six people.

These are just three examples out of an extensive list of fires and natural disasters that California faces every year.

By now, you must have realized that you are not as safe as you thought you were. So what’s the solution? How do you deal with these problems that up till now, you didn’t even think were problems? The answer to that is: A good home security system.

You can’t help the whole state, and you certainly cannot change the state’s climate. What you can do, though, is defend yourself, your family and your home against potential damage by the criminals and weather hazards in California.

Home Security Systems in California

Home security systems are meant to provide you, your family and your property with a one-stop security solution, which can be customized according to your needs. Your main options will be one of the following:

  • Wireless Alarm Systems

    These operate using radio signals and are fairly easy to install and move. They are also usually compatible with cell phones and are capable of connecting to various security sensors all over the house without the hassle of wiring.

  • Wired Alarm Systems

    These are hardwired systems that are difficult to install but are considered more reliable since they are not affected by microwaves from various appliances in the house. These are also considered to be relatively cheaper.

  • Hybrid System

    This will amalgamate these two to provide you with the best features of both, according to your specific needs.

After you have decided the type of system, you will need to take a look at the potential options of sensors and detectors you can buy to integrate with your central security system. These include:

  • Motion Detectors

    These are designed to detect any movement in a particular area, and send a signal to the main panel to sound the alarm. Various types of motion sensors are available, including PIR, microwave, ultrasonic and tomographic motion detectors.

  • Smoke Detectors

    Being a California resident, this is one thing you should definitely have in your house. When a wildfire breaks out near your house, the smoke detector may detect smoke from the fire before you can see the flames or even feel the heat.  

  • Gas Detectors

    These are your main defense against poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide (CO). In May 2010, an important law was brought into action, requiring all California homes to have carbon monoxide detectors installed. Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in California, accounting for up to 700 hospital emergency visits.

The Residential properties law (CA Residential Code, 2010) states that all newly constructed dwellings and townhouses should not be more than three stories in height, that contain any sort of fuel burning appliances or an attached garage. They all must install a CO alarm. Newly constructed homes are required to have a hardwired system with a battery backup and existing homes may go for the entirely wireless battery operated system, with a hardwired or simple battery backup.

Keep in Mind!

Before you go out and get yourself an alarm system, know your local laws about noise and nuisance. According to the City of Sacramento, California Noise Ordinances, interior noise standards set a maximum noise limit in decibels for different time periods for any dwelling. In Sacramento laws though, ‘any mechanical device, apparatus or equipment related to or connected with emergency activities or emergency work’ is exempt from noise decibel limits. Therefore buy an alarm according to your local noise laws.

Home Alarm Systems California

All alarm systems are not designed to operate in the same way, when you are about to select one for your home in California, it is important that you pay particular attention to the monitoring service the company is offering, or if at all it is offering one or not. Some of the features of a good quality monitoring system would be:

  • 24/7 monitoring of your home or business.

  • Automated phone call to the monitoring centre when an alarm is triggered.

  • Direct cellular, phone line or internet connection with the monitoring system.

The above mentioned features basically enable your alarm system to actively guard your property at all times.

There are numerous benefits associated with having your alarm system actively monitored. Some of these are:

  • It gives you peace of mind that if at all an emergency situation arises at your house, rescue authorities will be able to reach you within minutes.

  • Pointing out that an actively monitored alarm system is installed in the house by placing a sign outside your house can also play a major part in preventing intrusions.

  • Remote monitoring services enable you to keep a check on your house and alarm system even when you’re away. By subscribing to these services, you will not have to worry about the operations of your alarm system when you’re away.

  • With a monitoring service, you can nominate a key-holder who shall be informed of any breach of security in your alarm system when you are not around or cannot be reached by the monitoring center.

These are only some of the many advantages and benefits that come with subscribing to a monitoring service for your home alarm system in California.

Home Security Companies California

California has a range of home security companies, choosing one for your home could be a daunting task with so many options available. Here are a few steps that you can use to select a home security company for your home.

  1. One of the most convenient ways of finding a reliable company is through referrals; you can ask friends, family members and neighbors who have alarm systems installed.

  2. When you are considering a particular company, inquire if they have employees who have been trained by the Electronic Security Association’s National Training School. NTS certifications are proof that the security professionals have undergone extensive training in electronic security. Certified professionals tend to provide better and higher quality services.

  3. Try to find ESA member companies in your area, their services are in line with the latest technological developments in intrusion and fire detection. Companies that are members of the ESA strictly adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct which are meant to protect consumer.

  4. You can also evaluate the credibility of an alarm company through work history and consumer claims. This information can be obtained from sources like licensing agencies in your state, crime prevention departments at local law enforcement offices and the Better Business Bureau.

  5. Certain states have regulations that require home security companies to have licensed security professionals responsible for installation of the systems. Companies with certified professionals are recommended as this would reduce the risk of problems arising due to faulty installation.

Taking these steps can help you shortlist a home security company that will give you protection without having to worry about trivial issues.

 

Cities

FAQs

Q:Can you please guide me about crime and home security systems in California?

A:According to the FBI, 210,409 crimes were reported in 2012 in the state of California; 86.7% of which were property crimes. It is highly recommended that home security systems be installed in order to minimize the chances of burglaries and break ins. These systems may consist of sensors, transmitters, alarms, control panels, surveillance cameras and keypads. The components and their location usually depend upon individual needs. Homeowners can either go for DIY or have a professional install them. When selecting components and services, homeowners are recommended to research and check consumer ratings before making a decision.

Q:How do I choose a smoke detector in CA?

A:According to the California Building Code, all residences must have smoke detectors installed. You have the option of choosing between photoelectric sensors and ionization sensors. Both of these technologies come with their own set of advantages and limitations. Another type are dual sensors which incorporates both of these technologies. You could also install carbon monoxide detectors along with smoke detectors; this may help in beefing up your home security system. The best way to choose a smoke detector is by doing research. Check the reviews and specifications of the device and going through the pros and cons can help you make a better decision. Your security requirements and the credibility of the company also plays an important role in making the right decision. If this is your first time selecting a smoke detector, getting help from a security professional is recommended.

Q:What is the Best and Most Affordable Home Security System

A:The best home security system is the one which gives you the perfect balance between cost and benefit. The following characteristics will constitute a good and affordable security service provider: • Strong Customer Service - Should be focused on giving to the point, friendly solutions. • Cellular service connecting the sensors to the main alarm panel, and the alarm panel to the monitoring service. • Crash and Smash Defense - This ensures that the burglar can't just simply smash your entire security system to useless plastic. • Affordability - Make sure you know exactly what you are paying for including hidden charges, taxes and warranties.

Q:How to stay secure in California?

A:A combination of vigilance and precaution could help you stay secure in California. Here is a list that could help: • Invest in an efficient and reliable home security system • Trim your hedges frequently. Do not give burglars a hiding spot. • Keep your doors and windows locked when you’re not around • Always know who lives next door. Join your local neighborhood watch • Avoid hiding spare keys outside. Anyone scouting your house will immediately know where you hide your spare keys Besides this, you should invest in an efficient home security system. Being careful is good, but being careful does not make you entirely secure. Precaution and vigilance combined are your best solution to staying secure in California.

Q:What home security systems or device combinations are best for California residents

A:Being a California resident, you will need a home security system that not only protects your home and family but also provides you other benefits such as the following: • 360 Degree Coverage: There are many parts of your house that could be vulnerable, such as basements and the garage. Home security devices should give you the option of covering all such areas • Saves Money: Living costs in California are high, especially in big cities such as San Francisco. Installation of a home security system may lower your insurance premiums. • 24/7 Monitoring: This is a compulsory element if you value your peace of mind. As far as device combinations are concerned, those will depend entirely on your home’s security needs. Deciding what devices you want and where you want them, is something you will need to discuss with your security company.

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