Keep an Eye on Your Kids While You’re at Work

Group Of Young Children Doing Their Homework On A Laptop

Every day in America there are approximately 4.5 million children who spend between six and seven hours at home alone, according to U.S. Census data. This number has dropped about 40 percent since 1997, but parents still struggle with the knowledge that they are not home with their kids when they want to be. This is one of the reasons Freedom Alarm is now so vocal about encouraging the use of video cameras that make it possible for parents to watch their children even while they are still at work.

With a few affordable video cameras connected to remote monitoring via smartphone, tablet or PC, parents always have access to their homes whether they are at work, out of town, out shopping, and so on. We have discovered – as have many of our customers – that this access is priceless.

Keep Track of Schedules

Watching your kids while you are working is beneficial in a lot of ways, beginning with the ability to keep track of their schedules. With a video camera positioned near the main entry point of your home, you can make sure your kids arrive home from school when they should. During the summer months, watching your children with video cameras lets you keep track of their comings and goings throughout the day.

It can be a dangerous world, but keeping track of your children’s schedules just makes it easier for you to react quickly in the event something goes wrong. With video cameras, you will know within minutes when a child does not arrive on time.

Other Benefits of Watching Kids

You can use video cameras in your home to accomplish a lot of other tasks as well. For example, if you are having trouble motivating the kids to get homework done as soon as they arrive home, insist that they do it in the dining room where you can view them via a wall-mounted camera. It’s remarkable how cooperative kids can be when they know they are being watched.

Additional benefits of watching your kids by way of video cameras include:

  • Security for the Kids – Younger kids may be nervous about being home alone while you’re at work. You can alleviate some of their fears by letting them know you are keeping an eye on things through video cameras. Reducing their anxieties in this way can be a big help.
  • Monitoring Sitters – You may have sitters staying with your younger children while you are out. Watching your children not only means watching them to make sure they are behaving themselves. It also includes keeping an eye on the sitter. The last thing you need is a sitter in your home who does not meet your expectations.
  • Your Own Peace of Mind – Kids are not the only ones who suffer anxiety in so-called “latchkey” circumstances. Parents can be just as anxious. Watching your kids with video cameras can provide you with much-needed peace of mind.
  • Help During Emergencies – Keeping an eye on things makes it possible for you to respond more quickly to any emergency that may occur while the children are alone. Real-time video monitoring makes handling emergencies faster and more effective.

If you are one of the millions of American families with kids who spend significant time at home alone while you’re working, consider using video cameras to keep an eye on them. They will feel safer, you will be more at ease, and there will be less time when your kids will be completely out of sight.


How a smart security system can do more than just protect your home

Thanks to technological advances, a security system can do more than just keep burglars away.

In fact, some security systems can control the temperature of your home, monitor your children’s whereabouts, and even let the babysitter in when you’re away from home.

To make this happen, “applications are enabled using simple Z-Wave automation devices like motion detectors, door and window sensors, and lighting and door lock controls,” according to Mark Walters, chairman of Z-Wave, a company that unifies different home electronics into an integrated wireless network.

Keep reading to learn more about how a home security system can benefit your lifestyle.

Benefit #1: Reduce Your Energy Bill

Sounds a little crazy, but yes, a security system can indeed help save energy and reduce your electricity bill.

For example, by using sensors installed throughout your home, your security system can detect whether or not someone is home and save electricity by turning lights off when the house is empty.

“Similarly, you don’t have to worry if you forgot to turn off the air conditioning or heater,” says Scott Harkins, president and general manager of Honeywell Security Products Americas. Instead, you can use your home security system to control the heating and cooling system right from your smartphone – potentially saving hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs, adds Harkins.

In fact, some alarm systems will even account for extreme temperatures, according to Jay Kenny, home security technology expert and vice president of marketing at

With this feature, the system will automatically adjust thermostats when extremely hot or cold weather is forecasted in order to reduce energy costs.

Benefit #2: Save Money on Home Insurance

The safer you and your home are, the cheaper your home insurance will be.

In fact, the Insurance Information Institute’s (III) website notes that you can often receive discounts of at least 5 percent if your home is equipped with a smoke detector or burglar alarm. However, a company could lower your premium by 15 or 20 percent if you install a sophisticated system that combines the two and rings at the police, fire, or other monitoring stations, III adds.

Why is so much stock put into these sophisticated alarm systems? Because stand-alone smoke detectors are often very limited and don’t always wake people up.

On the other hand, a security system with a built-in smoke detector could signal the fire department with the exact address of the fire. This added protection is something that home insurance companies prefer, and will thus reward homeowners with a lower bill.

Benefit #3: Monitor Children’s Whereabouts and Actions

If you’re worried about the safety of your kids and what they’re up to when you’re not home, you don’t have to worry much longer.

 Systems can be programmed to send a text message or email with a video attachment to parents/caregivers when kids arrive home.

Even better, the same system also allows you to figure out what time your kid came home. How? By giving each person a different PIN number. This way, you can log who enters or leaves the house and at what time, Walters explains.

If you need even more peace of mind, some systems have a capability called “No Show Alerts.” This feature sends an alert to a parent’s mobile device if a child has not disabled an alarm system by a specified time. “That way you can be instantly alerted if your kids have not come home by a certain time.

To learn more about a Smart Security System, call Dan at 1-573-747-6634.


Home insurance policy
Have you ever wondered what goes into determining how much you pay for property insurance? There are a lot of things involved, but it all comes down to risk. Your insurance company takes a risk by issuing a policy that could eventually cost them a significant amount of money. The higher their risk of loss, the more money they charge you by way premiums.

Risk is related to two additional factors that insurance companies use to determine rates. First is the likelihood that you will make a claim of total loss at any point during the life of your policy. Insurance companies use mountains of statistical data to try to predict the level of this risk. Second is the likelihood that any claim you make will occur before the amount of money you have paid in premiums earns enough returns to offset the cost of a future claim.

Though all of this may seem a bit complicated, you can often reduce the cost of your property insurance by installing monitored home security. Insurance companies love security systems because these reduce the risks of:

Burglary and home invasion.
Extensive damage from house fires.
Injuries and deaths related to fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Contact your insurance company and ask if your insurance premiums would fall after installing monitored home security. You might be surprised to find out how much you could save.
Risk Factors for Property Insurance Companies

It is not practical or possible to list all of the risk factors that insurance companies consider when coming up with property insurance rates. But we have put together a list of the most common factors. Some of these factors are directly related to the same issues covered by monitored home security.

Distance from emergency services – Rural properties tend to be at greater risk because they are further away from emergency services. Likewise, urban and suburban properties pose a lower risk the closer they are to fire departments, police departments, etc.

Size and construction – Larger homes tend to cost more to insure because there is more physical property to cover. Likewise, higher construction quality tends to lead to higher premiums. Some of the most expensive homes to insure are custom-built homes in expensive neighborhoods with large lots.

Security features – As previously mentioned, security features (or the lack thereof) have a definite impact on insurance rates. Homeowners who install security features such as alarms and heavy-duty doors and locks often enjoy lower premiums.

Home Contents – Insurance claims deal with both structures and their contents. This is true in the case of both burglary and fire. Therefore, the more valuable the contents in your home, the higher your insurance premiums are likely to be.

Past Claims – Homeowners with numerous past claims can expect higher insurance rates. Every claim tells an insurance company that risk is higher, whether those claims are due to homeowner carelessness or things that are out of the individual’s control.

It should be obvious that insurance companies must do what they can to protect their financial stability. At the same time, homeowners want to protect their properties and still have the knowledge that any claim they do make will be paid promptly and fully. It is a balancing act for both parties.

We encourage you to consider adding a monitored home security system to your property. Doing so should lower your insurance premiums noticeably.

Tips For A Safe Halloween


In just a few days, the kids will be dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating. In some cases, adults will be heading off to their own Halloween parties with friends and coworkers. It is the start of the annual holiday season that will see us all doing more things, going more places, and getting together with friends and family.

To start the season off right, here are some tips for a safe Halloween. If we all do our part, we can create a safer holiday for both kids and adults alike.

Costumes and Reflective Tape

Trick-or-treaters can be tough to spot when they are crossing the street or walking up or down a driveway. Make it easier by attaching reflective tape to your children’s costumes. Reflective tape is very inexpensive and can be found at local hardware stores. One roll of reflective tape will likely last you several seasons.

Flexible Costume Accessories

Some of today’s costumes call for props like swords, knives, and other potentially dangerous implements. In order to protect your children from accidental injuries, these accessories should be made out of soft rubber or foam rather than metal, wood, or plastic. The soft material is harmless in the event of a fall or careless swing of the sword.

Traveling in Groups

Whether your children are younger or older, it is always a good idea to travel in groups. Two or three sets of parents can better keep an eye on an entire group of kids then just one. And, of course, younger children should never go trick-or-treating without adults. Teenagers can go alone, but they should still travel in groups of four or more.

Caution with Jack-O’-Lanterns

Carved pumpkins illuminated with real candles – popularly known as Jack-o’-lanterns – are an American tradition. But they can be dangerous for both trick-or-treaters and adults. Be sure to keep them away from walkways and porch steps. It’s best to eliminate any risk of accidentally knocking one over and starting a fire, so place your jack-o’-lanterns on sturdy tables or plastic crates. If you plan to use one indoors, do not leave it unattended or place it near curtains or upholstered items.

Adequate Exterior Lighting

It is true that darkness does enhance the allure of Halloween, but it also can be dangerous. Protect all of your guests by making sure you have adequate exterior lighting on walkways, driveways, and porches. And of course, keeping your porch light on during the trick-or-treating hours is the best way to let families know your home is friendly.

Entering Strange Homes

Children should be instructed to never enter the home of anyone they do not already know. Trick-or-treating should always be conducted from the porch or walkway. Even as an adult, you should be wary of entering a strange home if invited by the homeowner.

Halloween is a wonderful holiday that kids enjoy tremendously. When it is also a safe holiday, kids create lasting memories they will carry with them for a lifetime. At Freedom Alarm & Security, we want to wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween. And remember, be sure to set your alarm system if you plan to go out for the evening. We will keep an eye on your property while you are out enjoying the evening.

How Does Wireless Home Security Work?


The average new home alarm system is either partially or completely wireless. The primary benefit of going wireless is that it is possible to install a complete system without any need for major construction. However, consumers need to be careful about what constitutes a completely or partially wireless system. Different providers define things in different ways.

To understand how it all works, it is first important to understand the three primary components of home security:

  • Detection – Regardless of whether it is wired or wireless, a security system must include instruments to detect when a home has been breached. This includes window sensors, door sensors, motion sensors and, in some cases, video cameras.
  • Trigger – A second component recognizes the trigger event that sets off the alarm. For example, once a sensor detects intrusion it must send a signal to a control panel capable of interpreting that signal and triggering an alarm. The central control panel affixed near the front door is usually the trigger component.
  • Communication – In a monitored home security system, the control unit communicates with a remote monitoring center. The control panel communicates the trigger alarm and the monitoring company communicates with the homeowner and local authorities.

Now that you know the three primary components of the security system, let’s talk about wired versus wireless. If you have a system more than seven or eight years old, it is likely fully or partially wired. Most modern systems are wireless.

How It All Works

A fully wired system connects detection components, control units and the monitoring center using hardwiring. Internal wiring in the house connects sensors with the control panel; telephone or cable connects the control panel to the monitoring station. Everything in the home is powered by a direct connection to the home’s electrical system.

A wireless system removes the need for any kind of wiring. Detection components are connected to the control panel using FM or UHF radio waves; the control panel is connected to the monitoring station using cellular signals, the same way your cell phone operates. Everything within the home is powered using lithium-ion batteries.

In terms of function, there is little difference between a wired and wireless system. Both kinds of systems utilize detection, trigger, and communication to protect property. Nonetheless, the wireless system offers a number of distinct advantages:

  • Constant Communication – With the wireless system, there are no telephone lines to be cut by a burglar. That means the control panel is always in constant communication with the monitoring center.
  • Power Outages – The wireless home security system works even during power outages because it operates on batteries. As long as batteries are changed according to the provider’s set schedule, homeowners need not worry about systems going out.
  • Construction – As we already mentioned, a wireless system can be installed without the need for major construction in the home. With wireless systems, there is no cutting into walls, adding circuits to fuse panels or having to run new wiring to support a system.
  • Scalability – A wireless system also allows for scalability. New components can be added or taken away as the homeowner sees fit, with very little effort.

Freedom Alarm & Securitys’ network of authorized dealers offers modern wireless home security systems with around-the-clock monitoring. We invite you to learn more about both hardware and monitoring service packages. We offer you the protection and peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is being watched over day and night, every day of the year.

Home Invaders vs. Traditional Burglars: What is the Difference?


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Home invasion crimes have become prevalent throughout the U.S. in recent years. Most recently, the horrific crime that played out in suburban Washington, D.C. – resulting in the death of a well-to-do family of three and their housekeeper – reminds us that home invasion, as well as burglary, are both serious topics. At Freedom Alarm & Security, we believe people should take both crimes very seriously without falling victim to unnecessary panic or paralyzing fear.

Here’s a discussion of differences between home invaders and traditional burglars. Both kinds of criminals have very different characteristics and modes of operation, so it’s important to understand the risk level so you can take appropriate steps to protect yourself and your family.

The Traditional Burglar

Your standard burglar is a criminal of opportunity looking to steal valuables from a home and quickly sell them for profit. For example, statistics suggest that more than half of burglars commit their crimes in order to support a drug habit.

The last thing burglars want is to be caught. Not only would a burglary conviction land them in jail, but it would also force them to stop using drugs while incarcerated. The burglar wants neither, so they’ll do anything within their power to commit crimes in ways that do not draw attention and do not needlessly increase the chances of being caught. That means:

  • Burglars tend to target homes that they believe are empty.
  • They tend to want to get in and out in less than 10 minutes.
  • They are very careful about committing crimes when there may be other people around.
  • Burglars are hesitant about home security systems – particularly monitored home security.

Most burglaries occur when no one is at home. In terms of overall numbers, it is unusual for a burglar to break into an occupied home or for a homeowner to return home and find a burglar on the property. While burglaries can be dangerous crimes, burglars rarely target people directly; they target property.

The Home Invader

Home invasion is an entirely different kind of crime with different objectives in mind. Rather than looking for a few valuables to sustain a drug habit, home invaders are often after a much bigger prize. For example, home invaders often target wealthier people with a higher net worth (though that’s not to say middle-class families or other citizens can’t be victims of home invaders).

The biggest difference between the home invader and the traditional burglar is that the home invader expects to encounter people inside the home. The home invader also relies on fear and intimidation to get results. This can lead to violent confrontations if invaders do not get what they want quickly.

Monitored home security is a good first step in protecting yourself against both burglary and home invasion. A security system lets potential criminals know their activities are being watched at every step, thereby acting as a deterrent to crime. For more information about monitored home security, contact Freedom Alarm & Security today.


Sleep Better at Night with a Security System

View of woman can't sleep during night

Is one of your biggest fears being startled awake at night by an intruder in your home?

It’s only natural to be concerned about your safety any time you’re vulnerable. Unfortunately, you are most vulnerable when you’re sleeping, especially if you live alone.

You can get the peace of mind you need to sleep restfully by installing a home security system with around-the-clock monitoring. Home security lets you rest comfortably knowing that an alarm will wake you up at the first sign of trouble. If your home is being remotely monitored by a company like Freedom Alarm & Security, alert monitoring center personnel can quickly assess the situation and notify the police.

Home Security Equipment

The first step in using home security for a better night’s sleep is to install a reputable system with top-of-the-line equipment. Entry-level systems begin with sensors installed on first-floor windows and doors. This is a good place to start, since crime statistics clearly show that first-floor doors and windows are the most common entry points for criminals.

Additional equipment can be installed to create a customized security system suitable for any circumstance. For example, additional sensors can be installed on basement windows, garage doors, and even second-floor windows that might be accessible by way of a tree or outbuilding. Motion detectors can be placed in strategic locations throughout the home in case an intruder is not deterred by the alarm.

Lastly, video surveillance cameras are an excellent tool for deterring intruders. When criminals see exterior cameras, they usually understand that their actions are being monitored and recorded. Those recordings can be used in court as evidence to convict. Such risks are usually enough to send a criminal in the other direction.

Benefits of Home Monitoring

It is possible to install a home security system that works independently of home monitoring. However, home monitoring is very affordable and well worth the investment. Indeed, home monitoring is like having an extra set of eyes and ears keeping watch over your property night and day.

In the event of a home intrusion, an alarm system will make plenty of noise, but do nothing to summon help. A system connected to a remote monitoring center sends an alert to that center when the alarm is triggered. Trained security personnel can immediately communicate the homeowner to find out what’s going on, and contact the police if necessary for the fastest possible response time.

A home security system with monitoring is an ideal option for individuals who want to do everything they can to ensure personal safety. For those who live alone, it is indispensable. We invite anyone who lives alone to contact Freedom & Security for more information about equipment and monitoring packages.

Just about anyone can benefit from a home security system with monitoring, including:

  • Seniors who live alone.
  • Couples just starting out in a new home.
  • Growing families with small children.
  • Single professionals who spend a lot of time away.

Just about everyone looking to sleep better at night can benefit from a home security system. If you haven’t installed one yet, contact Freedom Alarm & Security today for more information. If you do have a system, you don’t need to be a current Monitronics customer in order to sign up for our award-winning monitoring.

If you are ready to sleep better at night, give us a call.

Freedom Alarm & Security (636)856-8163

Proudly Serving in St. Charles & Surrounding Counties in Missouri

Ways to Save Energy During the Summer

Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy everything summer has to offer while saving energy at the same time? Well, you can.

There are plenty of things you can do to save energy without cramping your summertime style. Remember, every penny you save on energy is money that could be spent on other things. Saving energy is also a good way to help protect the environment.

We have put together a list of tips you can use to save energy this summer.

Attractive Family Baking and Eating Cookies In A Kitchen

Thermostats and Air Conditioning

The cost of keeping houses cool during the hot summer months can be pretty high. However, as with winter heating, summer cooling can be less expensive simply by making better use of thermostats. Try raising your AC temperature by one or two degrees and compensating with ceiling or tabletop fans, since fans use a lot less energy.

Open your windows during the evening hours to let the cool air in – just be sure to use window locks that do not allow your windows to open more than an inch or two. In the morning, close the windows before it gets hot. Windows on the east side of the home should remain with their treatments closed in the morning; treatments on west-facing windows should be closed in the late afternoon. This will keep direct sunlight out and the interior temperature down.

Meal Preparation

Many people dread meal preparation during the summer because the kitchen gets so hot, and it heats up the rest of the house. To save more energy, consider cooking outdoors over a charcoal or gas grill. Alternatively, cook during the early morning hours and store food for use later on.

Some people stick to foods that do not require cooking. That’s why summer is a great time for salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, cold cuts, cheeses, and a variety of canned foods. The less time spent heating up the kitchen by cooking, the less energy you will use to keep the house cool.

Other Things

We naturally use less energy for lighting during the summer because the days are longer. But why not extend the savings into the evening hours by turning off the television and enjoying the evening on the front porch? You can keep the lights off until you are ready to begin preparing for bed. A lot of money can be saved this way.

Other things you can do during the summer include drying your laundry on an outdoor line; hand washing and air drying your dishes instead of using the dishwasher; and taking cool showers so that you don’t have to heat as much water. It’s all about saving energy by finding ways to take advantage of higher temperatures and sunshine.

Home Automation

There is no way to talk about saving energy without addressing home automation and energy efficiency. Freedom Alarm & Security’s Home Automation incorporates home automation features into your existing security system. Home automation gives you complete control over your thermostats and lighting by way of a smartphone app and your personal system account.

With Home Automation, you can program your thermostats and then forget about them. If need be, you can change your programming on the fly to raise or lower the temperature in your home. The same control is available for lighting. Program all of your lights or operate them independently as needed.

Home automation saves money by saving energy. Contact Freedom Alarm today to ask about Home Automation.


Increase Independent Living with Medical Monitoring

Increase Independent Living with Medical Monitoring

Spend a few hours visiting with elderly residents of a nursing home and you are quite likely to notice an interesting trend. Many will tell you that selling their homes and moving into the facility was the hardest thing they had ever done in their lives. Harder than raising kids; harder than dealing with medical emergencies; even harder than working through the difficulties of marriage. For so many people, moving out of a home they have known for more than 30 years is excruciatingly difficult.

Keep in mind the house is not the only issue for seniors. Many of them also cannot bear the thought of having to depend on children or professional caregivers for their day-to-day care. Losing one’s independence is just as devastating as losing one’s home. It can be so devastating for some it throws them into a state of depression from which they may never recover. That is no way to spend one’s golden years.

You Can Help Your Elderly Loved Ones

If you could allow your elderly loved ones to remain independent by installing an alarm system with medical monitoring, would you? If medical monitoring could give you the peace of mind you need to trust your loved ones to continue living independently, would it be worth it? At Freedom Alarm & Security , we believe the answer to both questions is “yes.”

We know how much Americans value independent living through every stage of life. After all, independence is this country’s foundation. When some members of our society get older, we should not necessarily expect them to be willing to sell the house and move into a facility at the drop of a hat.

Medical Monitoring Increases Independence

Thanks to medical monitoring from companies like Freedom Alarm & Security, your older family members may not have to sell their houses right away. As long as medical monitoring provides that safety net they need, most seniors can remain living independently for longer than we would like to believe.

Medical monitoring works like this:

  • A security system is either installed or upgraded to include a medical monitoring
  • Elderly occupants of the home are provided with medical alert pendants
  • Our state-of-the-art monitoring center stands ready to answer if the medical alert device triggers an alarm
  • In the case of an alarm one, of our trained personnel will speak to the home’s occupants over the loudspeaker system
  • The appropriate caregivers and first responders are notified

Medical monitoring is a way to help individuals with a variety of physical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and the general instability of age. With medical monitoring, there is no need for the age-old scenario of falling and being unable to get up. Your elderly loved one does not even need to be near a phone during emergency. Just pressing the button on the medical alert pendant sends an alarm to our monitoring center.

Other Services You Can Add

In addition to medical monitoring, a Freedom Alarm & Security alarm system can also keep an eye on carbon monoxide levels and the potential of a structural fire. In each case, our monitoring center is immediately alerted when an alarm is triggered. Our trained personnel spring into action in order to safeguard lives and protect personal property.

The type of home security system you need depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Perhaps you have no elderly relatives living with you; perhaps all you need is a basic system with burglary monitoring, or you are looking for a security system on a limited budget. Regardless of your needs and goals, Freedom Alarm & Security can put together a system and monitoring package that is right for you.

Why Home Security Systems Deter Burglars.


A couple of different studies have shown that the presence of a home security system is a deterrent to the average burglar. For example, a University of North Carolina at Charlotte study shows that 83 percent of the 422 convicted burglars interviewed for the study would try to find out whether or not a home was alarmed before attempting to break in. Half said they would immediately abort a break-in attempt on discovering an alarm system; only 13 percent said they would not be deterred.

Statistical analysis makes it clear that home security is a burglary deterrent. Anything that increases the likelihood of being apprehended is something burglars would prefer to avoid.

Noise, Noise, and More Noise

If there are two things a burglar hates, it is noise and nosy neighbors. A burglar is willing to break a window to get in because it makes noise just once, and it’s done. A neighbor may be startled by the sound of breaking glass, but he or she will go about their business if no additional noise is heard. A home security system is different. It sets off an alarm that is long, loud and constant. It will attract nosy neighbors very easily.

Video Surveillance

Freedom Alarm & Security recommends video surveillance cameras be installed if they fit within a customer’s budget. Cameras act as deterrents in two ways. First, a burglar who sees cameras always has to consider that someone might be watching remotely. That could result in the police being alerted before any break-in attempt is implemented, giving the burglar even less time to do what he/she does.

Video surveillance is an additional deterrent by providing evidence that can be used for investigative and prosecutorial purposes. Recorded video can help identify a burglar and, after arrest, convict him or her in court. Moreover, because most burglars are petty criminals, they are not interested in a long jail sentence when there are so many easy houses to hit.

Faster Response Times

Burglars also hate home security systems because they usually lead to faster response times. For example, a monitored system from Freedom Alarm & Security allows us to quickly react to a burglar alarm, and be speaking to the local 911 dispatcher in under a minute. The burglar knows that he or she is on the clock from the moment their actions are discovered.

It is important to point out that maximum benefit is only achieved when using a monitored system. An unmonitored alarm does make a lot of noise, but that’s about all. A burglar who knows an alarm system is not connected to a monitoring center may be willing to take the chance if there’s reason to believe that valuables are easily accessible upon entry. Nevertheless, the opposite is also true.

When a burglar sees the logo of a well-known security company (such as Freedom Alarm & Security) on a lawn placard or window decal, they’re likely to think twice about the decision to burglarize a house. There may be other homes in the neighborhood that pose less of a risk.

One last tip: Don’t forget to set your alarm before you leave home. A home security system that is not set is one that cannot do the job it was intended to do. If you add home automation to your system, you can arm and disarm your system remotely using a smartphone or another mobile device.