HOME & BUSINESS
Q. What is home automation and how does it work?
A. Home automation gives you access to control devices in your home from a mobile device anywhere in the world. the term may be used for isolated programmable devices, like thermostats and sprinkler systems, but home automation more accurately describes homes in which nearly everything -- lights, appliances, electrical outlets, heating and cooling systems -- are hooked up to a remotely controllable network. From a home security perspective, this also includes your alarm system, and all of the doors, windows, locks, smoke detectors, surveillance cameras and any other sensors that are linked to it.
Q. Do I really need a security system?
A. According to Alarm System Report, over 2 million home burglaries are reported in the United States each year and, on average, a burglary of a home in the U.S. occurs every 13 seconds-or about four burglaries a minute, 240 an hour, and nearly 6,000 a day.
Both homeowners and renters need to consider these statistics when it comes to protecting their families, roommates, and possessions. One potential deterrent to home burglaries is a home security system, which, according to statistics, does have an effect on whether or not a burglary will be successful.
Do I need an alarm permit to install a security system in my home?
A. Technically, it's perfectly legal to install your own security system without getting a home alarm permit. However, activating and operating the system is another matter. If you're planning on any kind of remote monitoring or emergency response features, many local governments require you to have an alarm permit. And even without any monitoring, a loud alarm can result in fines if you don't have the proper alarm permit.
A home alarm permit is mandatory for residents of many major cities and counties, mainly to address the issue of false alarms. Many of the laws date back a decade or more, when home security systems and monitoring services were less sophisticated and homeowners less familiar with them. Alarm permits were introduced as a way to reduce the number of false alarms, and the unnecessary distraction and expense they caused police and fire departments. Its best to contact your local authorities for information.
Can purchasing a home security system decrease my homeowners insurance?
A. On average, installing monitored safety and security devices in your home can reduce your homeowner's insurance up to 20 percent.
According to the FBI, a burglary occurs approximately every 15 seconds in the U.S., and homes without security systems are three times more likely to be burglarized than homes that have security systems. Insurance companies understand that a professionally monitored security system adds an extra layer of protection to your home, creating a safer environment for your family. They also know monitored security systems reduce the likelihood your home will be burglarized or suffer costly water or fire damage. That means there's less chance you'll file a claim with your insurance company. As a result, your insurance company saves money and they pass that savings on to you. We dont guarantee this information therefore its best you contact your insurance career.
Are home security systems and alarm monitoring tax deductible?
Most savvy homeowners want to get every tax deduction they're entitled to. Typically, though, a home security system does not qualify for a tax deduction. If your security system is only used to safeguard your personal property then it would fall under the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) list of nondeductible expenses. However, if you claim a home office or use your home for a business like a child care facility, you may also be able to claim a portion of your home security system. In order to take advantage of the home office deduction, you must regularly and exclusively use the home office for business. If your home is used as a daycare, then the portion of the house used doesn't have to be exclusively devoted to the daycare, however there may other requirements that need to be met in order to claim home security as a tax deduction. We suggest you contact your local IRS office and confirm any tax breaks prior to installing.
What's the difference between indoor and outdoor cameras?
When considering the safety of your family and property, security cameras can add an extra level of comfort. With all the choices out there, it can be difficult to know which cameras best suit your needs. One of the first things to understand is the difference between indoor and outdoor cameras. The primary distinction between indoor and outdoor security cameras is the types of external factors each camera has to be able to withstand. While both types of cameras usually come in similar styles and with comparable features, outdoor cameras need to be able to contend with all types of weather and varying light conditions. Outdoor cameras are also more vulnerable to being tampered with, so they are typically made of more durable materials, like metal, and may be heavier or even housed in a casing in order to discourage easy removal. Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras. Both indoor and outdoor cameras utilize features like infrared, allowing for clear pictures in low light conditions and easy transitions when there is a sudden change in light-changing automatically from color images in bright light to black and white when it gets darker. Dome cameras are also common for both indoor and outdoor use. Dome cameras are designed to keep the onlooker from knowing exactly where the lens is pointed, which keeps people from easily hiding from the camera. Domes also provide an extra level of protection for cameras that are mounted outside. In addition, there are outside cameras that come with blowers and heaters to provide extra protection against the elements.