Home Security Blog

Posted By

It's time for the much-anticipated Alarm Grid video recap! Our video team made four (4) new videos last week. Most of them feature Jorge, but our ever helpful pal Jarrett snuck in and did one as well! We hope you find these videos helpful. Here's the recap for December 4th thru 6th.

Connecting to the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 with an iPad

Jorge shows you how to control a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus using an iPad through Alarm.com. In order to do this, you will need to gain access to Alarm.com by signing up for a compatible monitoring plan. Once you have accessed Alarm.com, you can arm and disarm your system, check its current status, control Z-Wave devices, activate smart scenes, and so much more. You can also do this from your phone by using the Alarm.com Mobile App!


Installing the Resideo LTE-IV on a VISTA P-Series System

Jarrett spends 27 minutes installing the Resideo LTE-IV onto a VISTA Series Panel. The Resideo LTE-IV is great, as it provides fast and reliable monitoring service for a VISTA System through the Verizon LTE Network. You will also be able to control your system through Total Connect 2.0. This is a super convenient platform that allows you to arm and disarm and check system status from pretty much anywhere using an app on your phone. How cool is that?


Adding an IQ Motion to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge teaches you how to enroll an IQ Motion Sensor to a Qolsys IQ Panel 2. This is a 319.5 MHz wireless motion sensor that offers a coverage area of 30 feet by 40 feet. It can communicate with the panel from up to 600 feet away. This gives you great flexibility in choosing a mounting location. The motion sensor also offers pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 40 pounds. Remember to test the motion sensor after installing!

Connecting My Qolsys IQ Panel 2 to WIFI

Jorge explains how to connect the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System to a WIFI network. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 uses WIFI as one of its communication paths for connecting with the Alarm.com Servers. The great thing about WIFI is that it is generally very fast and pretty reliable as well. You can conveniently pair it with a 2.4 GHz or a 5 GHz WIFI network. Just remember that you will also need to activate the cellular communicator, per Alarm.com requirements.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

According to FBI data, United States property crime has declined for the 16th consecutive year. Estimates show that property crime declined 6.3% in 2018 when compared with 2017. One likely contributor to this trend is the increased usage of security systems in homes and businesses.


Every year, the FBI releases an annual crime report titled Crime In The United States. This report outlines statistics, including some that are of great interest to us as an alarm monitoring company. These mostly include property crimes such as burglary, larceny-theft, and arson. It should be noted that while the FBI classifies arson as a property crime, it does not provide estimates for arson data. This is largely due to the varying levels of participation in reporting arson by different agencies.

The FBI defines burglary as the unlawful entry of a structure to commit felony or theft. Larceny-theft is identified as the unlawful taking of another person's property, with the intention to deprive the rightful owner of said property. Arson is defined as any willful or malicious burning or attempting to burn, with or without the intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.

Based on the data presented from the 2018 edition of Crime In The United States, an estimated 7,196,045 property crimes occurred in the United States in 2018. This represents a 6.3% decline when compared with the estimate from 2017. Looking further back, property crime in the United States is down 22.9% when comparing the 2018 estimate with the 2009 estimate.

The estimate for 2018 shows that property crime occurred at a rate of just under 22 property crimes for every 1,000 inhabitants. This represents a 6.9% decrease when compared with the estimate from 2017. The estimated 2018 property crime rate is down 14.6% from the 2014 estimate, and down 27.7% from the 2009 estimate.

When considering 2018 property crimes, larceny-theft represented 72.5% of these crimes. Burglaries represented 17.1%. Motor vehicle theft represented 10.4%. The FBI estimates that 2018 property crimes resulted in estimated losses of $16.4 billion. Remember that arson data is not considered in these statistics.

While it is impossible to fully pinpoint the estimated decline in property crimes to any one particular cause or reason, we like to think that the increased usage of alarm systems has at least played some factor. The FBI estimates that burglars are 2.7 times more likely to attempt to enter a home or business if they believe that no alarm system is in place. With more and more homes and businesses using security systems, many burglars are being scared-off from attempting crimes.

It has never been easier to get started with home security and alarm monitoring service. And by installing your own system, you can save yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars in startup expenses. You can always email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you need any help or direction in getting started. Remember that we are here from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to helping you and your family stay protected!

Tags: , ,

Comments


Posted By

Actress Anna Faris, known for her comedic roles, suffered from a not-so-funny incident over the recent Thanksgiving Holiday. The actress and 12 members of her family were the victims of a carbon monoxide (CO) gas incident. The incident occurred in a North Lake Tahoe cabin they were renting.

Qolsys iq carbon

A representative from the North Tahoe Fire Protection District stated that the vacation cabin had carbon monoxide levels as high as 55 parts per million (ppm). Long-term indoor exposure should be no higher than 15 ppm. The structure did not have any carbon monoxide sensors installed to indicate such danger. Nevada state law requires CO alarms in all family dwellings.

Thankfully, Anna Faris and her family are okay following the incident. However, two of her family members visited the local emergency room. Doctors diagnosed them with CO poisoning, and they were perfectly fine after receiving some care. Firefighters from the North Tahoe FD immediately rushed to the cabin and saved Ms. Faris and her accompanying family shortly thereafter.

According to North Lake Tahoe Fire Official Erin Holland, the CO levels indicated inside the building would have caused a "fatality in a short period of time" had the rescue team not intervened. Faris made sure to send her sincere gratitude to the North Tahoe FD following the incident.

Honeywell 5800combo smoke heat and co detector

We have spoken about the dangers of carbon monoxide gas many times on the Alarm Grid blog. The odorless and tasteless gas kills hundreds of people every year in the United States. If it weren't for the quick work of local firefighters, a talented actress and her family may have fallen victim as well. They are lucky to be alive, and the rescue team deserves praise for the fact that any exposure was kept as minimal as possible.

As you know by now, it is crucial to have carbon monoxide sensors installed in your home. Ideally, you should have CO detectors enrolled with your security system. By pairing these devices with a system that has active monitoring service, you and/or a central station can receive alerts regarding any of your CO sensors that activate while you are away.

If your home has hardwired high-voltage CO sensors (as is required in most jurisdictions), you can indirectly integrate these devices with your alarm system using a wireless takeover listening module. We offer variants for 345 MHz, and 433 MHz wireless alarm systems. And if you don't have hardwired CO detectors in your home, then we sell plenty of standalone units that pair directly with alarm panels like any other sensor.

Encore firefighter ff345 circular smoke detector takeover module

When traveling, make sure that all on-site CO sensors and smoke detectors are working properly. If you have any doubts, ask the building operators to perform a test. This is a reasonable request that any property manager should be able to accommodate. Please note that we ARE NOT suggesting that you bring canned CO gas or canned smoke on an airplane for testing purposes. That could get you into a lot of trouble. Make arrangements for on-site testing, without bringing your own supplies.

It may also be a good idea to buy a cheap conventional battery-operated carbon monoxide sensor when you get to your vacation site. It may turn out that the place you visit does not have CO detectors. This was the case with Anna Faris and her family. We do not sell standalone battery-operated CO detectors on our website. But you can get most models between $10 and $20 from most department and hardware stores. Some models will even show you the detected parts per million for CO gas! If you are staying in a larger property, you may want to obtain multiple sensors.

Remember that our goal at Alarm Grid is to keep you and your loved ones safe. If you ever need help choosing a carbon monoxide sensor for your system, or if you would like to learn more about how we can monitor your home, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. You are also invited to call us at (888) 818-7728 during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Preventing false alarms is now even more important in Memphis, TN. The city council has recently approved new rules that mandate increased fines for violations. The new policy goes into effect January 1, 2020, and it is very important for anyone using a security system in Memphis.


Alarm permits are required in Memphis, TN. The cost to obtain an alarm permit for residential users is $30. For commercial use, the cost is $60. Each alarm permit must be renewed annually. The cost for renewal is $10 for residential users, and $25 for business users. The new policy states that end users must renew alarm permits themselves. Alarm monitoring companies are no longer permitted to renew permits on the behalf of end users.

According to the new policy, anyone with a proper alarm permit who causes a false alarm will receive a warning for the first offense. Every second and subsequent false alarm will result in a $140 fine. Anyone who causes a false alarm without a permit will be required to pay the $140 fine, in addition to alarm permit fees and a $20 processing fee. This means that homeowners without a permit can pay up to $190 for an offense, while business owners without a permit can face fines of up to $220.

It is important to note that most security system users are fully compliant in preventing false alarms. The reality is that false alarms are only caused by a small fraction of end users. According to the Memphis Metro Alarm Office, only about 15% of the city's alarm permit holders have been cited for a false alarm. Roughly 83,000 active alarm permits are on file, and fewer than 13,000 of these permit holders have ever been cited.

Alarm Grid covered Tennessee false alarm policies last May when it was announced that monitoring companies are no longer held responsible for permits, renewals, and false alarms. Instead, it is now the responsibility of end users to pay for alarm permits and to cover the costs of any false alarms. These policies went into effect June 19, 2019. Thanks to these changes, it has become easier for us to provide top-quality monitoring service to customers in Tennessee. But it is important for customers to realize that false alarm prevention is still a major concern in this industry.

One of our goals at Alarm Grid is to empower end users and make sure that they understand how their systems work. We want to prevent false alarms and cause as little inconvenience to end users and their local police departments as possible. As an end user, you need to do your part as well. Some good practices to prevent false alarms include setting proper Entry and Exit Delays, enabling Alarm Report Delay (if necessary), and using Arm-Confirm features. We also offer a selection of alarm panels that are compliant with standards presented by the Security Industry Association (SIA) for preventing false alarms.

If you have central station monitoring service from Alarm Grid, then we want to work with you to prevent false alarms. You are always welcome to email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions or concerns about false alarm prevention. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We also invite you to call or email us if you are interested in starting new monitoring service with Alarm Grid. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tags: ,

Comments


Posted By

We are now in the month of December, and 2019 is quickly approaching its end. Now is the time to start preparing for the winter ahead. We have products that are perfect for the winter, including freeze sensors, flood sensors, and doorbell cameras. Make sure you and your family are ready!

2gig ft6 345 wireless flood and temperature detectorWhether you love it or hate it, you likely know what winter brings for most of the country. There will likely be some cold weather and snow. The holiday season will also be happening soon, and presents will be sent out. Although Alarm Grid doesn't have anything to help you shovel your driveway or defrost your car windshield, we do have some important accessories that will help ensure that your winter season is a good one.

Today, we have three product categories that we would like to discuss. Making sure that you have these devices set up and running is very important for the winter season. Let's check them out!


Freeze Sensors

Honeywell 5821 wireless temperature sensor and water sensor exte

When it gets cold out, you will definitely want to have some temperature sensors or freeze sensors ready to go. These devices alert your system when the temperature drops to an unusually low level because of a broken HVAC system. Most temperature sensors can detect both unusually high and low temperatures, so they are also good for the summer months.

These devices will usually activate around 40°F. This is high enough above freezing so that you will have time to take action, but still way lower than you would ever keep your home. Total Connect 2.0 can even send you alerts regarding an activated freeze sensor. Alarm.com users can get similar alerts using a Z-Wave thermostat.


Flood Sensors

Dsc pg9985 powerg 915mhz wireless flood detector

You might not think of flooding during the winter months. But many house floods occur when snow melts, and the water needs some place to go. You can use flood sensors to detect water leaks before they result in serious damage. Many temperature sensors also double as flood sensors, so you certainly have many environmental sensors to choose from!

The typical flood sensor uses a probe and will activate upon detecting a very small amount of water. This is important for ensuring that you are alerted before a water leak develops into a serious problem. And interactive platforms like Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com can send you alerts for activated flood sensors.


Doorbell Cameras

Skybell dbcam hd video doorbellAmazon is going to be busier than ever this holiday season delivering packages across the country. With packages being delivered faster than ever, package thieves are becoming a serious concern. Stolen presents won't lead to a merry holiday season, especially if you don't have any evidence of the crime. This is why you should definitely install a doorbell camera.

By using footage from a doorbell camera, you can catch any package thief red-handed. These devices are also great for checking who is at your door from your phone, without having to get up. After all, it might be a delivery, or it might just be some annoying solicitor. Most doorbell cameras will support a mobile app that you can use to check the live feed from anywhere. The SkyBell Cameras sold on our website are perfect for this!


We're Here to Help!

Need help choosing the perfect items for your home? Alarm Grid is here to help. We are happy to discuss our services and find the perfect products for your needs. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to helping you this winter season and beyond!

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Hey Alarm Grid fans! We're here with another video recap! Our video team worked with Jorge last week to put together three (3) new videos before the Thanksgiving break. This time Qolsys equipment is featured. Let's check out the newest instructional videos from Jorge and Alarm Grid.

What is the Qolsys Hardwire 16-S?

Jorge provides an overview of the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S. This is a wired to wireless converter that works with wireless security systems that operate at 319.5 MHz. You connect hardwired sensors to the IQ Hardwire 16-S module so that the module can send wireless signals to the panel on their behalf. This is great for using hardwired sensors with a system that otherwise wouldn't support them. A great system to use with the IQ Hardwire 16-S is the original IQ Panel 2. You can also use it with an IQ Panel 2 Plus w/ 319.5 MHz daughtercard.


Overview: The Qolsys Hardwire 16-F

Jorge teaches users about the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F. This wired to wireless converter is just like the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-S, except that the Qolsys Hardwire 16-F adds the ability to support 2-wire smoke detectors at Zone 16. This is a great feature, as most wired to wireless converters will not support life-safety sensors. When the IQ Hardwire 16-F is used with a compatible IQ Panel 2 System, the panel will know to send a reset signal to the converter when a fire alarm is cleared. This will reset the smoke detector and stop it from sounding.


Programming a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Alarm System

Jorge covers the process for programming a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is known for being one of the easiest systems to program. It is ideal for DIYers and people who are new to alarm monitoring. Wireless sensors can be auto-enrolled to the 128 available wireless zones on the panel. The menus are very simple to navigate using the panel's 7-inch touchscreen controller. And if you are using a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, then you can use PowerG Sensors. These sensors offer some of the best range and security in the industry!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm Grid would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope that you spend the holiday in a happy environment with loved ones. Make sure to stay safe if you plan to travel. Remember to arm your security system, lock your doors, and have your security yard sign nice and visible!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Of course, our team gets to celebrate the holiday too! That is why the Alarm Grid Headquarters will be closed Thursday November 28th, 2019. We will not be answering phones, processing orders, or checking emails during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Our technicians and shipping team will be back to work tomorrow, Friday November 29th, 2019. You can reach out to us then if you need anything. However, our content department (including myself) decided to take tomorrow off. With that in mind, don't expect a new blog post until next Monday December 2nd, 2019. We know, it's very difficult to go without an Alarm Grid blog post for the day. We're sorry!

To make up for it, please check out this Thanksgiving video, from us to you:


If you need to reach Alarm Grid for any reason while we're away on holiday, please send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We will do our very best to reply to your email as soon as possible on Friday once we return. And make sure to check this page on Monday for our next post!

Again, have a Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy the comfort of your family and friends, and we'll be back soon!

Tags: , , ,

Comments


Posted By

One happy bulldog named Maggie has recently returned home to California after a four-year cross-country excursion, during which she helped lead to the arrest and capture of two alleged Florida burglars. Her owner is absolutely thrilled to have Maggie back, in what is truly a feel-good story.

Photo Credit - Sarasota Police Department

In October of 2015, Maggie the bulldog was stolen from her home by an alleged burglar. The suspected thief apparently decided to take Maggie across the country to Florida. With Maggie in tow, the individual and an accomplice allegedly committed a string of burglaries throughout the Lido Key area of Florida's Gulf Coast. Authorities have since connected these two individuals to eight different burglaries in the area.

Witnesses reported seeing a white bulldog with the alleged thieves around the time of the crimes. In one instance, the bulldog was even seen inside one of the burglarized homes. It's a good bet that security cameras caught footage of the alleged criminals who decided to bring their stolen furry friend along for these burglaries.

Someone later spotted one of the suspects walking a bulldog matching the description. The suspect and their accomplice were eventually found hiding inside a home's bathroom. They were both identified and arrested on multiple felony charges, including burglary and trespassing. Local authorities say that they believe one of these individuals stole Maggie from her California home back in 2015.

An electronic tracking chip helped Florida officials identify the small white bulldog as Maggie from California. They then started working with the owner to arrange for Maggie's safe return. Due to health concerns, Maggie was unable to make the trip by flight. But several local police officers all chipped in funds and arranged for Maggie to get a ground transport trip home. It wasn't long before Maggie the Bulldog was reunited with her rightful owners, who prefer to remain anonymous.

Genevieve Judge of the Sarasota Police Department in Florida said, "They were overjoyed and couldn't wait to have her home."

While this story has a happy ending, it's only because witnesses were able to identify Maggie as the "white bulldog" seen at the crimes. It's very important that you have a monitored security system in your home in case you are ever the victim of a burglary. An activated alarm system is the best way to scare-off an intruder and ensure that help arrives on the scene as quickly as possible.

If you want to learn more about the monitoring services offered from Alarm Grid, check out our monitoring page, or email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: ,

Comments


Posted By

We have learned that Alarm.com is now offering a new solar power monitoring feature. This feature allows Alarm.com users to track their solar power usage and monitor their estimated savings. Users can conveniently track their solar power consumption through the Alarm.com Mobile App.


In order to use the solar monitoring feature, the Solar Monitoring Service Package Add-On must be applied to your Alarm.com account. Alarm Grid will apply this add-on at no additional cost for any customer with active Alarm.com service through Alarm Grid. Simply let us know that you would like to have the service added, and we will take care of the rest.

By using the Alarm.com Solar Monitoring feature, you can track power consumption data for the past day, week, 30 days, and last 12 months. You can also view any estimated power savings that have occurred as a result of your solar power usage. Alarm.com says that they hope having access to this information will help users make smarter decisions regarding their household energy usage.


Please note that this feature is only compatible with SolarEdge and Endphase Solar Inverters. This covers roughly 90% of all solar panels currently used in the United States. If you are not sure which type of solar panels you have, check with your solar power company. They should have that information readily available for you.

Additionally, each Alarm.com account can only support one (1) solar inverter system. And each solar power system can only be associated to a single Alarm.com account. Keep this in mind when using the Alarm.com Solar Monitoring feature. Also remember that you will need a cellular alarm monitoring plan with access to Alarm.com to get started.

If you want to learn more about Alarm.com Solar Monitoring, or if you would like to have this feature added to your existing Alarm.com account, please reach out to us! The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. And if you don't yet have access to Alarm.com, check our monitoring page for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: , , ,

Comments


Posted By

Alarm Grid is here with another video recap! We only have three (3) new videos this time, but we promise they're good ones. They feature Jarrett and Joe. The Alarm Grid boys are ready to help you get the most out of your security system. Let's check out the newest Alarm Grid videos!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Installing the Honeywell Home 6290W

Joe gives a big and friendly wave before teaching you how to install the Honeywell Home 6290W Keypad. The Honeywell Home 6290W is a touchscreen keypad for Honeywell VISTA Security Systems. It offers a crisp and modern design, and it makes operating the system very easy. You will appreciate its 7-inch full-color touchscreen that is back lit for use at night. The keypad connects with the panel using a 4-wire connection. Remember to power down the panel before installing!


Properly Testing a PowerG CO Detector

Joe waves again before teaching you how to test a PowerG Carbon Monoxide Sensor. Making sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly is very important. An outbreak of CO gas can be lethal if it isn't detected quickly. The gas is odorless and tasteless, and it kills hundreds of people every year in the United States. In order to properly test a PowerG CO Detector, you will need to use canned CO gas. Joe shows this by putting the sensor inside a baggie and applying the gas.


Pet Immune Motion Sensors

Cat owner and cherished Alarm Grid security system technician Jarrett talks about pet immune motion detection sensors. These motion sensors work by not looking in the areas close to the ground where small animals walk. Instead, they will only detect a human walking upright. These sensors must not be mounted towards furniture or stairwells. Pets can climb upon these objects to get in the sensor's field of view. If this happens, a pet can still activate the sensor. Also remember to check the weight limit for the pet immune motion sensor!

Tags: , , ,

Comments