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For a security system owner, remembering to properly arm the system before leaving can be a tough task. It's one of those little things that's easy forget. You forget to grab your your car keys. You leave a door unlocked. You accidentally leave the lights on overnight. These things happen.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Another concern we often hear from customers is whether or not they really need to arm their systems if they are just stepping outside for a minute. Maybe they're just taking their dog around the block, or visiting a neighbor across the street, or walking over to a nearby convenience store. They will only be gone for a minute or two. Is it okay to leave the system disarmed in these situations?

Obviously, if you leave your system disarmed while you are away and an intruder decides to make a quick break-in, there is little that can be done. Security cameras can capture the event happening, but they aren't going to trigger an emergency response if your system is disarmed. If your system isn't ready to trigger an alarm, and you aren't around to stop an intruder, then there is very little that can be done.

With that in mind, we at Alarm Grid recommend that you always arm your system before heading out, even if it's only going to be for a brief moment. You invest into your security system for a reason. Don't let it go to waste. Protect your belongings and your property. Take the extra second or two and arm your system.

Of course, that is just our advice to you as a monitoring company. We totally understand that some users are going that have that "ah, I'll only be gone a second" mentality. And that's up to you. As an end user, you are in complete control, and if you are comfortable leaving your system disarmed when stepping out for a brief moment, then that is up to you. Just understand that we are not liable if you forget or decide not to arm your home alarm system.

One thing you might do is consider your own personal situation. Maybe it's okay to leave your system disarmed if you're just over at the neighbors, and you can visibly see your house? Maybe you can bring your Android or iOS Phone with you and arm using Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com if it turns out you're going to be away longer than you thought? Maybe your can add a key fob to your system to make it easier to quickly arm when walking out the door, instead of needing to enter a code or pull up a mobile app.

Ultimately, how you use your system is up to you. We recommend always arming, even if you're only going to be gone for a little bit. It's not worth the risk to your property, and securely arming/disarming your system can be such a quick and easy task if you add the right equipment. Nearly every alarm panel can be set up with some type of one-touch arming and disarming function to make the process as simple as possible.

We also understand that some users might have the intention of always arming, but they simply forget to do so. We have some tips for these users as well. You might have a secondary keypad right by the door that you will always see when walking out. That way, you will always remember to arm your system. If you don't want to add a new keypad, you could just put a sticky note on the door to remind you. And if your system is monitored, then you can set up geofencing arming reminders through an interactive service like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. There are many options available.

Remember that many wireless security systems today also often serve as automation controllers. This way, you can use an app on your phone to control the various devices around your home from anywhere. If you forget to turn off your lights, leave your thermostat running, or leave your door unlocked, then you can control the affected device while you are away. This is great for anyone who might be a little absentminded from time to time! Plus, it's good to know that you can always lock/unlock your door or turn your lights ON or OFF if needed. You just need the proper equipment.

Our job is to provide you with reliable monitoring service and the equipment you need to stay protected and secure. You just need to make sure you arm your system when leaving your home. If you need any more tips for remembering to arm your system, or if you want to learn more about any of our products or services that may make it easier for your to use your system, just reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, and we are happy to help you out. We look forward to hearing from you!

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At Alarm Grid, we provide top-quality monitoring services for users throughout the United States. Obtaining a monitored security system is important no matter where you live, as crime can occur anywhere at any time. But there are some areas where protecting your home is even more crucial.

According to the FBI, burglary is defined as the unlawful entry of a structure to commit felony or theft. A burglary does not require the use of force to gain entry. A study from UNC Charlotte found that homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized and that 83% of convicted burglars say that they check to see if a home has an alarm. Furthermore, 60% of convicted burglars say that they would change their minds about committing a burglary if they discover that a home has an alarm system installed.

*Icons made by Nikita Golubev & Freepik from www.flaticon.com

With the unpredictable nature of burglaries, we urge everyone to protect their homes and keep their families and possessions safe. The best way to do this is by installing monitored security systems. This is even more important if you live in an area where burglaries occur more frequently.

To find out the areas where burglaries are most common, we constructed a list of burglaries per capita. Our methodology was simple. We used FBI crime data from 2018 and took the number of burglaries in a city and divided it by the city's population. We then multiplied that by 10,000 to get burglaries per 10,000 residents. Only cities with a population of 10,000 or higher were included in our list.

With that out of the way, here are the Top 100 US Cities for Burglaries Per Capita:


City
Population
Burglaries
Burglaries Per 10,000
Rank
Bastrop, LA 10,270 342 333.009 1
El Dorado, AR 17,916 576 321.500 2
Hammond, LA 20,550 622 302.676 3
Fairfield, AL 10,625 284 267.294 4
Lake Charles, LA 77,852 1,845 236.988 5
Opelousas, LA 16,262 379 233.0587 6
Alexandria, LA 47,238 996 210.847 7
Hot Springs, AR 37,006 740 199.968 8
Vallejo, CA 122,974 2,456 199.717 9
Anniston, AL 21,592 413 191.275 10
Crowley, LA 12,779 234 183.1129 11
Morgan City, LA 11,066 192 173.504 12
Natchitoches, LA 17,981 308 171.292 13
Henderson, NC 14,780 248 167.794 14
Deming, NM 14,094 232 164.609 15
Santa Fe, NM 84,176 1,380 163.942 16
Brookhaven, MI 12,125 195 160.825 17
Gallup, NM 21,980 351 159.691 18
Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO 10,597 169 159.479 19
Pine Bluff, AR 42,195 665 157.601 20
Monroe, LA 48,291 749 155.101 21
Kinston, NC 20,341 313 153.876 22
West Monroe, LA 12,594 193 153.248 23
Helena-West Helena, AR 10,477 160 152.715 24
Starkville, MI 25,559 390 152.588 25
Warr Acres, OK 10,372 158 152.333 26
Fremont, OH 16,125 244 151.318 27
East Point, GA 35,486 531 149.636 28
Bogalusa, LA 11,730 175 149.190 29
Jonesboro, AR 77,134 1,150 149.091 30
Kennett, MO 10,326 153 148.170 31
Laurel, MI 18,486 271 146.597 32
West Memphis, AR 24,668 357 144.722 33
Barstow, CA 24,095 348 144.428 34
Prichard, AL 21,615 309 142.956 35
Camden, AR 10,880 155 142.463 36
California City, CA 14,051 196 139.492 37
Charleston, WV 47,470 660 139.035 38
Cordele, CT 10,669 147 137.782 39
Canton, OH 70,605 970 137.384 40
Athens, TN 13,627 187 137.228 41
Greenwood, SC 23,265 314 134.967 42
Tukwila, WA 20,288 273 134.562 43
Biloxi, MI 46,148 619 134.134 44
Sweetwater, TX 10,530 139 132.004 45
Dyersburg, TN 16,382 216 131.852 46
Memphis, TN 652,226 8,494 130.231 47
Shawnee, OK 31,422 409 130.164 48
Alice, TX 18,925 246 129.987 49
Lima, OH 36,948 479 129.642 50
Warren, OH 39,280 508 129.328 51
Youngstown, OH 64,282 825 128.341 52
Ponca City, OK 24,066 305 126.735 53
Cambridge, MD 12,364 156 126.173 54
Muskogee, OK 37,659 474 125.866 55
Clearlake, CA 15,037 188 125.025 56
Jackson, MI 166,024 2,073 124.861 57
Vinita Park, MO 11,003 136 123.603 58
Poplar Bluff, MO 17,074 210 122.994 59
Centralia, IL 12,372 151 122.050 60
Myrtle Beach, SC 33,687 410 121.709 61
Danville, IL 31,203 379 121.463 62
Birmingham, AL 210,564 2,555 121.341 63
Dayton, OH 140,094 1,697 121.133 64
Cleveland, OH 384,666 4,658 121.092 65
Cahokia, IL 14,004 169 120.680 66
Muskegon Heights, MI 10,720 129 120.336 67
El Segundo, CA 16,881 202 119.661 68
Baton Rouge, LA 224,790 2,686 119.489 69
Tulsa, OK 403,147 4,800 119.063 70
Springfield, OH 59,016 699 118.442 71
Broussard, LA 12,672 150 118.371 72
Cumberland, MD 19,555 231 118.128 73
Elizabeth City, NC 17,629 208 117.987 74
Beverly Hills, CA 34,557 405 117.198 75
Springfield, MO 168,537 1,975 117.185 76
Talladega, AL 15,341 179 116.681 77
Gadsden, AL 35,204 409 116.180 78
Marion, AR 12,426 143 115.081 79
North Myrtle Beach, SC 16,688 192 115.053 80
Calera, AL 14,334 164 114.413 81
Albuquerque, NM 560,235 6,378 113.845 82
Panama City, FL 37,318 423 113.350 83
Mount Vernon, IL 14,914 168 112.646 84
Miami, OK 13,162 147 111.685 85
McAlester, OK 17,999 201 111.673 86
Branson, MO 11,589 129 111.312 87
Thomasville, GA 18,507 206 111.309 88
El Mirage, AZ 35,733 397 111.102 89
Detroit, MI 671,275 7,440 110.834 90
Kalamazoo, MI 76,020 842 110.760 91
Portales, NM 11,768 130 110.469 92
Albemarle, NC 15,991 176 110.062 93
Lenoir, NC 17,904 197 110.031 94
Lawton, OK 93,140 1,023 109.835 95
Pittsfield, MA 42,298 464 109.698 96
Pueblo, CO 111,756 1,224 109.524 97
Lake City, FL 12,182 133 109.177 98
Blythe, CA 19,517 213 109.136 99
Okmulgee, OK 11,919 130 109.070 100

If you want to learn more about keeping your home and your family safe, we invite you to reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as possible. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: This post was done in conjunction with our Top 100 Least Burgled Cities in America list. You can download and use a unmodified version of our "100 most and least burgled cities in America" infographic as well.

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Hi DIYers! Last week, we sent a small team to Silicon Valley, California to check out the 2019 Qolsys Summit. Needless to say, we were absolutely blown away with what Qolsys will soon be offering. Today, we would like to focus on some of their new industry-changing products in the pipeline.


The biggest highlight of the Qolsys Summit was the opportunity to check out the newest upcoming panel from the company, the Qolsys IQ Hub. The IQ Hub represents the vision of Qolsys to bring home security closer and more accessible to the average consumer than ever before. This is truly the optimal system for any budget-conscious consumer who wants to bring state-of-the-art security and technology into their home. It is slated for a Q1 2020 release.

We do not have all the details on the Qolsys IQ Hub quite yet. But there is still a lot that we can talk about. The most obvious addition to the Qolsys IQ Hub is its prominent speaker on the front. Qolsys is expected to introduce some mind-blowing integrations for the system that will turn your alarm control panel into a compact entertainment center.

Remember that Alarm.com already offers an excellent Sonos integration. We are sure that the IQ Hub will take full advantage of this feature and truly put it to great use. Our team did get a chance to test the IQ Hub sound quality, and we can confirm it sounds just as good as any high-end portable speaker. This is highly impressive, and we expect many users to be thrilled that their alarm system can now essentially double as a party-starter.


The next aspect you will likely notice about the IQ Hub is its standout display screen. This is a 7" touchscreen display that appears to have even higher resolution than any existing security system on the market. We do not have the exact specifications on the screen just yet, but it certainly passes the eyeball test. And as you can see from the photo above, the slideshow feature returns. Get ready to show-off some of your best photos on the Qolsys IQ Hub!

As we mentioned earlier, Qolsys seems to be envisioning the IQ Hub as a way to make the home security market more accessible to the average consumer. The new system is not expected to replace the existing Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, but it is anticipated to have a lower price point. We also expect many existing features to return to the IQ Hub, including built-in WIFI, Bluetooth connectivity, cellular LTE, and Z-Wave Plus functionality.

One thing that will not be returning to the IQ Hub is support for legacy sensors (e.g. 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, and 433 MHz devices). The new system will be entirely PowerG, and you will need to use those sensors with the system. This is fine, as PowerG Sensors offer an impressive wireless range of up 2,000 feet when used with the IQ Hub in open air. They also utilize military grade 128-bit AES encryption in all their communication to ensure maximum wireless security.

Another interesting note about the panel is that it is not designed to be opened up. This is a significant change from most existing security systems, where you will occasionally need to open up the panel to make hardware changes. The battery on the IQ Hub is sled-replaceable, and it can easily be swapped out by the end user with little effort. All of the hardware is built right in, so you will never have to make any changes in that regard. Talk about DIY friendly!


Qolsys made other various enhancements to the IQ Hub System. They touted an improved integrated camera, and it can even double as a motion sensor by detecting changes in pixelation. We also expect this feature to be used in conjunction with Alarm.com so that you can take a peak-in at your home while you're on the go. You will also notice the LED light on the front of the panel. This light changes colors to let you know the current system status. How cool!

The system also features a built-in microphone that you can use to get alerts regarding loud sounds. You can even adjust the minimum sound level required to trigger alerts. This is perfect for parents who want to know if their baby is fussing or for owners of rental properties who may want to be alerted if their guests are throwing a loud party. It's just another way that Qolsys is working hard to keep you connected with your home.

We do expect that there will be some hardware limitations of the IQ Hub when compared with the IQ Panel 2 Plus, especially when you consider the anticipated lower price point. Qolsys most likely reduced costs by dropping legacy sensor support. It's also possible that the IQ Hub will support fewer zones than the IQ Panel 2 Plus (128 zones). But we cannot confirm the exact number of zone on the IQ Hub at this time. The IQ Hub is also slightly larger than the existing IQ2+ due to the added speaker.

As stated earlier, the Qolsys IQ Hub is scheduled for a Q1 2020 release. This groundbreaking new system is sure to make some big waves in the security industry, and we are confident that it will help many new users get their start with home security. We can't wait for its release, and we hope you're excited too!


Qolsys also unveiled another interesting product at the event, the Qolsys IQ Router. At first glance, you might be wondering what's the big deal. What's so exciting about an IP router? Well Qolsys packed in some game-changing features that are sure to make the IQ Router the perfect addition to your IQ Hub or IQ Panel 2 Plus System. It is sure to make your life more convenient in many ways. And we can also confirm, it is dual-band with support for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz!

At the basic level, the IQ Router is exactly what it sounds like, an internet router. It replaces the existing router for your home's IP network. But what you get with the router is pretty ingenious. Any Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System or Qolsys IQ Hub connected with the IQ Router can be accessed remotely by your alarm monitoring company for programming purposes. This is similar to what the DSC Iotega offers. But with the Qolsys Systems, it is optional rather than mandatory.

Of course, if you don't want your monitoring company accessing your panel, then you can disable the feature. But it's pretty nice if you want assistance with programming new devices. One thing you will certainly love is its ability to auto-discover your IQ Hub System and automatically enroll it with your WIFI network. You can even configure your IP settings right from the IQ Hub. This truly makes the IQ Hub the central controller for your entire network!

Another innovation from the IQ Router is the ability to auto-enroll guest WIFI devices. In other words you can get any visitors on your WIFI network, without making them enter a long, tedious password. The way this works is that your guest will request to join the network from their IP device. You will then approve the request from either your IQ Hub or an app on your phone. And just like that, your guest will be connected with your WIFI network. Super convenient!


As you will notice, the Qolsys IQ Router only has one (1) LAN port for connecting a hardwired ethernet device. This isn't a big deal, as most users might not even need one. If you need additional ports, then you can easily connect a network switch to the router and use it however you would like.

But one very exciting feature of the IQ Router is its ability to support up to eight (8) WIFI extenders or access points. This makes it truly suitable for even large commercial locations! The router facilitates a total mesh network to help ensure that all of your IP devices stay connected across even an incredibly expansive area. Whether your needs are big or small, you are sure to get great use out of the new IQ Router! Qolsys states that it should be out by the end of this year.

We would like to end this post with some smaller product announcements we heard at the Qolsys Summit. A PowerG 360-Degree Ceiling-Mount PIR Motion Sensor called the PG9862 was unveiled. This sensor is perfect for use in closets or in commercial locations where corner-mounting is not feasible. The PG9862 is available from Alarm Grid now, and you can get it right here.

Lastly, we heard rumors about a much-anticipated PowerG Wired to Wireless Converter. This is huge news, as it will allow you to takeover an existing hardwired system and use a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or Qolsys IQ Hub in its place. And of course, all your hardwired sensors will enjoy the amazing range and security of the PowerG wireless protocol. We do not have any other details on the PowerG Converter at this time, but we will definitely keep our eyes peeled.

We hope that you are eagerly awaiting all of these new products just like we are! This was truly an awesome event that Qolsys put on, and we are thankful that we got to be a part of it. We are hopeful that Qolsys hosts a similar gathering next year in 2020! For now, check out these new and upcoming products, and email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions or thoughts. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm EST M-F. As usual, we look forward to hearing from you!

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If you are just beginning the process of looking for an alarm system, answer these really simple questions, and you'll be well on your way to finding what works for you.

1) Do you want a wired or wireless alarm system?

Honeywell L5100

We highly recommend going wireless. Our two biggest selling wireless systems are the L5100 and the L3000. Both of these systems are great. The only differences between them really, is that the L5100 has a beautiful touchscreen that the L3000 does not and the L5100 can be used as a home automation controller as well as a security system.

On the wired side, our best selling units are the VISTA 21iP and the VISTA 20P. The difference between these two systems is that the 21iP has a built-in IP module, and the 20P requires that you purchase one (the 7847i) separately. After you've done your research, if you are excited about the VISTA panels, but like the benefits that a wireless system can offer you, you can add a 6160RF keypad with integrated wireless receiver to your VISTA panel and turn it into a wireless system.

2) How many doors and windows do you want to protect?

Honeywell 5811Honeywell 5816

If you need three or more door and window sensors, and you have decided that a wireless system is for you, check out our L5100PK and L3000PK. They are the most cost-efficient way to get the sensors and system you want. If you need additional sensors, you can add more 5816s or 5811s. The 5816s are thick and boxy, the 5811s are thin like a wafer. Both are good, but we a lot of users prefer the look of the 5811s.

If you want wired door and window sensors, we have tons of those. Look through our selection, and pick the ones that you like best. They all work well, and each of them perform a slightly different function.

3) How many motion sensors do you need?

Honeywell 5800PIR-RES

A lot of people do not install motion sensors. They are a good way to add an extra layer of protection, but oftentimes, the door and window sensors are good enough. If you just need one motion sensor, the kits I wrote about earlier are great. If you need more, the kit is still good, but you'll need to grab some more 5800PIR-RES motion detectors individually.

4) What kind of communication do you want your panel to use?

If you add alarm monitoring to your system, when a sensor is tripped, your security panel will send a signal somewhere. Now, if you have Total Connect service, it will go to AlarmNet and send you an email and / or a text. If you are connected to a central station, it will also go there.

How does the signal get from your panel to the central station or AlarmNet?

Good question. The signal can be delivered in three basic ways. First, you can have your system use your land line to report the alarm signals to the central station. All Honeywell systems, wireless and wired, have a built-in phone dialer so nothing additional is needed. That said, no one has a traditional phone line anymore. Also, you can't get Total Connect using a phone line. Therefore, other communication pathways are more popular. If you don't want to use the phone line, the most popular communication pathway is over the internet. While the L5100 can be hooked up through ethernet with the iLP5 module, the more common way to hook up an L5100 to the internet is by using the L5100-WIFI module. The L3000 needs the 7847i-L for internet monitoring and the VISTA panels use the similarly named, but very different 7847i. The L3000 and VISTA panels do not have a WIFI option and require an Ethernet cord to be strung to the router. The final communication pathway is over cell towers. Basically, when you purchase one of Alarm Grid's monitoring plans that include Cellular Communications, you are buying an AT&T cell phone plan for your system. We handle the SIM card activation and billing so you don't have to worry about a separate cell phone bill. Your system will then send out a signal using the wireless GSM network (which is often regarded as the most reliable pathway). The L5100 requires a GSMVLP5-4G to accomplish this, the L3000 needs a GSMVLP4G installed, and the VISTA panels need either the GSMV4G or the GSMX4G (see our FAQ on these communicators if you want to understand the difference between the two), unless it is a VISTA 21iP which requires the VISTA-GSM4G.

It may come as a surprise for anyone who is just starting their search, but those are really the four basic questions you need to ask yourself. Once you have taken inventory of your door and window sensors, motion sensor needs, whether you want your system to be wired or wireless, and what sort of communication pathway you think sounds most attractive give us a call or chat with us. We'd love to help you.


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