Category

Security Blog

The Top 3 Reasons to Make Your Home a Smart Home

By | Security Blog | No Comments

Have you been hearing a lot about smart homes recently, and wondering what all the fuss is about? Well this article might be for you. Keep reading to find out the top 3 reasons to make your home a smart home.

1) It improves your safety

Perhaps most importantly, a smart home system can improve your security, and provide peace of mind. Whether it is a camera system that notifies you of motion outside your home, or smoke detectors that automatically shut off your HVAC system if they detect smoke, there are many ways today’s smart home technology can make you and your family safer.

2) It makes your life easier

In addition to providing increased security, smart home technology can make your life easier. For example, having a smart lock on your front door gives you keyless entry into your home. This allows you to do things like go on a run or a family walk without having to bring your keys. You can also assign a user code to a pet sitter or housekeeper so they can let themselves in and lock up when they leave without needing a key. You can even unlock the front door remotely from your phone.

3) It’s a good investment

In addition to improving your safety and making life easier, smart homes can be a good investment. Studies have shown that smart thermostats can save you 10-20% on your monthly heating and cooling bill, and a recent Consumer Reports study showed that having a smart home can increase the value of your home by up to 5%. On a $300,000 home that is $15,000!

Still not convinced a smart home is right for you, or have questions about turning your home into a smart home? We would love to hear from you. Just give us a call at 214.390.3049.

Automation – The Growing Trend | Protectus Security | Home & Business Security Systems Dallas Texas

By | Security Blog | No Comments

There is a growing trend amongst consumers, and that is towards home automation.  For the first time, being able to remotely control your lights, locks, thermostats and more is becoming mainstream as part of, or event independent of, a home or business security system

Services Overview

Home automation isn’t just a thing of the future. Now, home automation is becoming an integral part to any home or business security system in Dallas, Texas

 

This is not the Jetsons, and home automation is no longer just for those living in Beverly Hills – it is rapidly becoming available for the average homeowner at surprisingly low costs.  So what is home automation and why is it suddenly so popular?

Wikipedia describes home automation this way: “It is automation of the home, housework or household activity. Home automation may include centralized control of lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), appliances, security locks of gates and doors and other systems, to provide improved convenience, comfort, energy efficiency and security.”

There you have it.  We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.  In short, automation makes life easier, and who doesn’t want that?  There are two main ways home automation makes life easier: at and away from home.

Locally, home automation systems have rules and scenes which tell devices what to do at specific times and under certain circumstances.  For example, the scene could be ‘fire alarm’ and the rules for this scene could be ‘shut off the HVAC fan, turn on the lights, and unlock the doors,’ preventing the smoke and fire from spreading as quickly, and creating a much easier escape.

Home automation systems also allow you to remotely control devices in your home you’re your smartphone.  You can toggle lights on and off at different times, so that it appears someone is home, making your home safer. You can remotely unlock the door and let someone in to feed your pets or water your plants without having to give them your home security system code.  And when you land at the airport after a week-long vacation, you can turn your AC on so that it is nice and cool by the time you get to your home.

Pretty nifty stuff!

If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and are interested in learning more about home automation systems or home or business security systems, call us at 214.390.3049.

Grilling Tips & Summer Safety |ProtectUs Security | Home Security Systems in Dallas, Texas

By | Security Blog, Security Tips | No Comments

 

ProtectUs Security specializes in installing business security systems in Dallas Texas, as well as home security systems.

ProtectUs Security specializes in installing business security systems in Dallas Texas, as well as home security systems.

At ProtectUs Security, safety is our number-one priority. Although we specialize in installing home security systems in Dallas (and business security systems in Dallas, too!) we believe in practicing safety in all forms!

 

Summer Grilling Safety

Barbecuing, cooking out, grilling…whatever term you use, using a charcoal or propane grill is a classic

summer tradition that results in fun times with family and friends and delicious steaks, chicken,

vegetables, and more. But 16,600 people went to the emergency room with burns from grills in 2014,

and two-thirds of all grill fires occur during the summer months. Read on to find simple ways to use

your grill safely, so you can enjoy all its benefits without stressing about its risks.

 

 

Preparation is Key

Grills should be located at least ten feet away from landscaping and any portion of the house, including

garages, porches, and patios that are attached to the building. Never grill under a wooden overhang, in

case of a sudden spurt of flames, and place the grill on a level surface to reduce the chance of a tip-

over. Be sure to also store propane tanks far away from the house, and be sure they are completely

turned off. Make sure your grill is in an outdoor, open space where carbon monoxide will not build up.

Never use gasoline to power a grill, and if you have a charcoal grill, use only lighter fluid designed for

grilling. Make sure hanging baskets, pillows, umbrellas, and furniture are far away from the grill,

especially since synthetic materials are liable to burn fast and hot.

When you first pull out your propane grill for the year, check for blockages in the hoses, especially in

the tube that runs to the burners, and clear any problems with a pipe cleaner. Feel along the hoses for

brittle spots, and check for gas leaks by making a solution of one part water and one part dish soap and

rubbing it over the hoses. Open the lid and turn on the gas. If any large soap bubbles form, that means

there are either cracks in your hoses, or the connections aren’t tight enough. Be sure your grill is clean

and free of grease and fat build-up. Make sure hoses are away from hot areas and not in the path of any

potential drips. Be sure to continue these inspection and cleaning practices throughout the season at

times when the grill is cool. Go over grill safety practices with your children in advance of your first

cook-out.

Grill Wisely

Before you start up your grill for a meal, be certain you’ve thoroughly planned all cooking steps and

have laid out all the ingredient you’ll need within reach of the grill. Leaving a grill unattended for even

a moment while you run inside to grab a seasoning could result in an emergency. Also, overloading a

grill, especially with fatty meats, is liable to cause a sudden burst of flames.

Never turn on a grill while the lid is closed, as this can cause gases and fumes to build up inside and

then release a fireball once the lid is finally lifted. Be sure to protect yourself with an apron and oven

mitts that go up to your forearms, and use long-handled tools for stoking the grill and moving food

around. Keep pets, children, and adults who aren’t involved in the meal prep at least three feet away

from the grill. Have a spray bottle of water within reach in case of minor escaped flames – fortunately,

if the water gets on your food, it won’t ruin your meal. Also have a fire extinguisher within reach and

know how to use it! If a large fire starts and you can’t get the fire extinguisher to work immediately,

give up and call 911 from a safe distance. According to fire crews, many deaths and injuries occur

when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of getting professional help right away. If you smell

gas while cooking, immediately move away from the grill without touching it further and call the fire

department. If the flame goes out while you're cooking, turn off the grill and the gas and wait fifteen

minutes before re-lighting.

After cooking

The grill will remain hot for a while after use. Be sure all the parts have cooled before you try to clean

it, cover it, or store it. Thoroughly soak coals from a charcoal grill with water before disposing of them.

Be sure your grill is well-covered to prevent curious insects and critters from getting into it or chewing

on the hoses.

 

 

In case of emergency

Always call 911 in case of fire if you have no fire extinguisher, if you don’t know how to use a fire

extinguisher, or if a first attempt at using a fire extinguisher does not work immediately. Remember

that fires double in size every minute they keep burning. Even if a fire extinguisher is successfully

employed, call the fire department so they can assess the scene and put out any flames that were

missed or alert you to any structural dangers.

If someone receives a minor burn, treat it right away by removing any clothing or accessories from the

area and running the burn under cool water. Do not cover burns with bandages, butter, ointments, or

salves. For anything worse than a surface burn or if you have any doubts about how to provide care,

call 911 right away.

ProtectUs Security cares about your safety and hopes you have a fun and tasty grilling season! If you

have any questions about fire safety, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

 

(Planning a vacation this summer? Let us keep an eye on your home while you’re away! Contact us about installing a home security system in Dallas and beyond!)

Save

Save

Keep Your Home Safe While You Vacation This Summer | ProtectUs Security | Dallas Home Security Systems

By | Security Blog, Security Tips | No Comments

Keep Your Home Safe While You Vacation this Summer!

Your bags are packed, your airline tickets are booked…but is your house ready for you to go on vacation? Follow these simple tips to keep your home safe while you’re out of town!

 

Your home security system in Dallas, Texas can keep an eye on your home while you're away!

Your home security system in Dallas, Texas can keep an eye on your home while you’re away!

 

 

Be Careful on Social Media

Don’t publicize the dates you’ll be gone on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites where criminals may be able to access what you post. Communicate privately with anyone who needs to know your itinerary; otherwise, you may as well send out invitations for people to try to break into your house while you’re gone! Also, be sure that your voicemail message, home answering machine message, and email auto-reply don’t say that you’re away from home. Stick with “I can’t come to the phone right now” or “I’m out of the office.”

 

 

Phone a friend

Arrange to have a trusted friend or neighbor keep an eye on your place while you’re gone. Ask them to walk or drive by your place once a day and make sure everything looks all right, and give them a spare key so they can check on any possible problems and perform any essential household chores, such as feeding your gerbil or watering your plants. You might also want to leave them a spare car key if you park your car outside – you never know when a vehicle will have to be moved. Also have this person collect mail or newspapers, so they don’t pile up outside and announce to the world that no one is home. (You can also go online or contact your local post office and newspaper delivery company and ask them to put a temporary stop on your service.) If you’re going to be gone a really long time, ask your house-watcher to mow your lawn occasionally, because an unmowed lawn is as obvious a sign as a week’s worth of newspapers on the front porch. If someone other than your house-watcher will be stopping by (say, a cleaning service or a designated cat sitter), be sure to let them know about each other so they don’t call the police when they see someone else at your empty home! (Also, remember to give each person access to your home through your Dallas home security system so that you do not have an accidental call to the police!)

 

Let Your Home Security System provider Know You Will Be Away

Be sure to let your Dallas home security company know that you’ll be out of town, and if a friend or neighbor is looking after your house, provide the company with their name and phone number. (Be sure to leave security codes and pertinent phone numbers for your friend or neighbor too!) If you’ll be gone for a week or more, consider letting your local police know about your trip. If you live in a small town, they may be able to drive past your place occasionally. Be sure to let the police know about anyone who is supposed to be visiting your house while you’re gone.

 

Get ahead of potential problems

If you leave a hidden key under a lawn decoration or above your door frame, remove it while you’re on vacation. If a criminal does manage to learn that you’re out of town, they may go looking for a spare key on your property. Lock up valuables and important documents that you’re leaving behind in a fire-proof safe, or take them to a safe deposit box. Unplug your microwave, computer, toaster, television (unless you plan to put it on a timer), and any other appliances that don’t need to run while you’re away. This will protect them from power surges and prevent possible fires that could go unnoticed till they’re too big to handle, and it will also cut costs on your electric bill, as many devices use power even when they’re turned off. You can also raise the setting on your air conditioning (85º is a good bet) and change the setting on your water heater.

 

 

Keep up appearances

Leave your curtains as you normally have them. Closing the curtains may keep someone from peering inside to see whether or not someone is home, but it can also prevent neighbors or police from seeing inside in the case of a suspected break-in. Plus, keeping all the curtains closed for several days is a dead-giveaway that the occupant is out of town. If you normally open and close your curtains throughout the day, consider leaving some open and some closed, or leave them open but make sure to have lights go on and off in those rooms. Investing in a couple of z-wave smart light switches and lamp/appliance modules is one of the best things a home security system in Dallas can do to protect your home while you’re away – having lights go on and off at logical times (think of when and where you normally use lights during the day) is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than leaving some lights on for the duration of your entire trip, and it gives the appearance that people are still in the house. You can even plug your TV and radio into an appliance module and turn them on and off remotely to further the illusion that someone is home.

You definitely don’t want to be worrying about home safety while you’re trying to enjoy your vacation, and you don’t want to have to deal with any crises once you get home. Follow these simple preventive measures before you leave, and home will be safe and secure while you’re off having fun! Let us help YOU install a home security System in Dallas so you can enjoy your vacation this summer

Things to Do in Dallas, Texas – June 2016 | ProtectUs Security | Home Security Systems in Dallas, Texas

By | Company News, Security Blog, Security Tips | No Comments

Dallas Events in June

There’s so much to see and do in Dallas this month! Check out some of the fantastic events listed below, as curated by your Dallas home security system company!

 

Historic Dallas Through Photography

June 6 – 12, St. Matthew’s Cathedral

Stunning photographs of this great city are presented through a partnership with Preservation Dallas, which works to revitalize and preseve historic buildings, regions, and neighborhoods in the city of Dallas. The photos are the result of a class taught by professional photographer Carolyn Brown. A gallery talk will be given at the opening reception by Willis Winters, an architect, photographer, and director of the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department. See your city from a new (or old!) point of view!

More information: http://cathedralartsdallas.org/historic-dallas-through-photography-artist-reception/

Fair Park 80th Anniversary Celebration

June 8 – 11, Fair Park

The whole family will love this four-day, free festival! Enjoy live music, carnival rides, historic exhibits, fireworks, and more. This event celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936, which in turn celebrated the 100th anniversary of Texas’s independence from Mexico.

More information: http://fairparkanniversary.com/

Dallas Egg Show

June 11 and 12, DoubleTree Hotel, 4099 Valley View Lane

It’s not Easter, but there will be plenty of eggs! The showroom at the annual Dallas Egg Show will be open for the public to be amazed by real egg shells turned into jewelry, dioramas, kaleidoscopes, and more. The most egg-citing art you’ll see all year!

More information: http://www.dallaseggshow.com/home.html

A Community Cooks

June 14, Paul Quinn College

A host of Dallas’s most talented chefs will come together with food lovers to celebrate the We Over Me Farm, a two-acre, organic farm run by Paul Quinn College students on the school’s former football field. This event will raise funds and resources to help the We Over Me Farm combat the food desert conditions in the surrounding community. This year’s feast precedes a fabulous performance by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Bon appetit!

Tickets and more information: http://www.weovermefarm.com/?_ga=1.110892678.2037745761.1464827929#!a-community-cooks-2016

 

 

Let us protect your home while you are out having fun in the summer! Contact us today for a free consultation on installing  Home Security Systems in Dallas and beyond!

By | Company News, Security Blog, Security Tips | No Comments

At ProtectUS Security, we are well aware of how often homes are broken into in the United States – about once every 15 seconds! While Dallas and Houston have been successful in lowering crime rates each year, they still rank high on the FBI’s list of the most dangerous cities in Texas (as of this writing, Dallas was ranked 17th, and Houston 3rd on the most recent list, from 2013). We make sure that our customers know, in addition to the protection and burglary deterrence a quality home security system providers, there are other easy steps you can take to safeguard your family, your home, and your possessions. Here are our favorite home security tips that are quick, easy, and effective. It may seem obvious, but lock your doors and windows, even if you’re just stepping out for a few minutes. Many burglars just walk in through an unsecured door or window. Make sure that you have a working deadbolt installed on your exterior doors, and use them. A spring-latch lock is susceptible to experienced thieves, who use a credit card or similar piece of plastic to depress it, opening the door. If you didn’t change the locks when you moved in, you may want to consider doing so. You never know who may have kept an extra key.

Don’t leave notes on your door for family members, employees, or the mailman. This is an obvious sign that your house is unoccupied. If you go out of town, make sure your home appears occupied. Have someone house sit, if you can, and notify the post office and any subscription services to hold your mail. You may want to put your lights on a timer (easily done from your phone with our home security systems), and don’t leave a spare key outside, no matter how well hidden you think it may be. If you know your neighbors to keep an eye out for suspicious activity, you might trust them enough to exchange spare keys. The entrance to your home should be easy to see and well lit, since it is the most likely place an intruder would try to break in. Lights triggered by motion detectors, pruned shrubbery, home alarm systems and signage, and video cameras are all deterrents to a potential thief who wants to go undetected. You should also double check to make sure you have interior door hinges. If the hinges are on the outside of the door, all a robber would have to do is take out the hinge pins, gaining access into your home.

Remember, the best protection for your home and family is high quality home security systems in Dallas. Besides being a deterrent to thieves, they also automatically and immediately dispatch emergency authorities, and notify you of potential threats. If a criminal sees that you have an alarm system, it’s much more likely they will skip your house, and find an easier target. Even if you’re renting,  home alarm systems in Dallas is a good investment. A burglar can’t tell if you own your home or not. Most home break-ins occur during the day, and an alarming seven percent involved some sort of violent victimization (according to the www.bjs.gov website). ProtectUS is proud to be locally owned and operated, centrally headquartered in Dallas, TX, and we want to make sure our neighbors stay safe.

 

 

 

ProtectUs Security

460 S Belt Line Rd #454, Irving, TX 75060

(214) 390-3049