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The feasting and festivities of the New Year have now died down. Resolutions have been made and forgotten just as quickly. Some valiant folks are braving on still trying to make sure they keep their promise to themselves. Either way, whether or not you made a resolution or not this year, it’s always a good time to think about improving the safety of your home.

These safety upgrades will not only make your home safer, but could also reduce your homeowner’s insurance premiums. Stay safe, save money!

Deciding On A New Smart Home System

Choosing which upgrades to do is easier when you set priorities based on your home’s risk, budget, and needs. Then, choose between the following upgrades for your home:

Home Automation Systems

Do you leave your home without locking the doors? Perhaps you travel a lot for work? Home automation systems do not just make life easier, they actually protect your home. You can set timers to turn lights on and off while you are away, making burglars think you are home. If you forget to lock a door, you can secure your home using a computer or mobile device, even if you are miles away.

Fire & Burglar Alarms

Protect the perimeter and interior of your home from intruders or devastating fires. A burglar and fire alarm system can be integrated as one for dual protection or you can select based on your need.

Smart HD Camera Systems

From standard surveillance to keeping an eye on children who come home from school, home video security systems give you extra peace of mind and allow you to virtually check in on your residence no matter where you are.

Smart Door Locks

This is probably the most economical upgrade you can make, and definitely a good one if you are not the original owner of the home. Also, if you have lost your keys, change your locks. If you do not have state-of-the-art deadbolts, you may want to consider upgrading the locks in your home.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors

Carbon monoxide is odorless and extremely deadly. While you may have smoke detectors in your home, these do not detect carbon monoxide. Invest in a few detectors and place them in bedrooms. Again, this relatively inexpensive investment could potentially save the lives of your loved ones.

About Brinton Security

Regardless of what security upgrades you choose to make, consult a home security expert first. Because every home is unique and your lifestyle determines the type of protection you need, an expert can properly assess and make suggestions that are tailored to you. Brinton Security offers free estimates and can help you identify which upgrades are most beneficial to your home. Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

The holidays are a time to enjoy family and take a relaxing break from work. They’re also a time to be vigilant about the increased chance of a household fire. Read through these fire safety tips and review them with your family so that everyone stays safe during the holiday season.

Be Aware of Candles

Candles are a hallmark of the winter holidays. As pretty as they are, however, candles are responsible for two out of every five home decoration fires. Never place a candle next to a flammable object such as holiday decorations, and always blow out lit candles when you are not in the room or when you go to bed.

Keep Decorations Away from Heat

Half of holiday decoration fires occur because the decorations are too close to a heat source. Shop for flame-resistant and flame-retardant decorations, and hang them far away from sources of heat such as the heating vent, fireplace, and lights.

Hang Lights Safely

To avoid a fire hazard, do not hang outdoor lights indoors, and vice versa. If you notice any loose bulb connections or a patch of cord that is worn or broken on your lights, replace them. Read the instructions provided with your lights to be sure that you aren’t stringing too many lights together. When hanging the lights, use clips rather than nails to avoid damaging the cords.

Test Smoke Alarms

You should test your smoke alarms several times throughout the holiday season by pressing the built-in test button. If the smoke alarm chirps, it means it is running on low batteries that need to be replaced immediately.

About Brinton Security

Sometimes, following all of the advised fire safety tips is not enough to protect you from a fire. We offer advanced fire alarms that detect both heat and smoke and that alert us to call the local fire department on your behalf as soon as a fire is detected.

When you purchased those smoke detectors you so responsibly installed in your home, did you notice a similar-looking detector for carbon monoxide? If you have any products or equipment in or near your home that burn fuel, you might want to pick up a few carbon monoxide detectors too.

Unlike smoke or natural gas, carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, but it is just as poisonous. In the U.S., between 150 and 200 people die annually from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning produced by malfunctioning furnaces, ranges, water heaters, space heaters, fireplaces, charcoal- or gas-fired grills and engine-powered devices such as portable generators.

Even more lose their lives when CO accumulates after people leave their cars running in garages. And every year, thousands of people wind up in emergency rooms for treatment as a result of CO poisoning.

Prevention involves following these basic safety procedures.

  1. Install all appliances following the manufacturer’s instructions as well as local building codes – generally by qualified professionals.
  2. Unless you have the proper knowledge and skill as well as the appropriate tools, do not service fuel-burning appliances yourself.
  3. If your home has a fuel-burning heating system, have it serviced and inspected annually by professionals. Be sure to include chimneys and flues.
  4. Operating a portable generator or another gas-powered tool in or near an enclosed space can trap CO, leading to potentially lethal levels of the gas. Open doors and windows do not provide enough ventilation.
  5. Never use camping stoves designed for outdoor use only in an enclosed vehicle, tent or building. Some of these products may be designed to work in enclosed spaces, but they will specify that on the packaging and provide instructions for their safe use.
  6. Never burn charcoal in any kind of enclosed space such as a building, tent, or vehicle.
  7. Never leave a car running in a garage, even if you have the door open.
  8. Don’t use gas appliances such as ovens or clothes dryers as space heaters for your home.
  9. If you use a natural gas or propane oven, don’t cover the bottom with aluminum foil the way you can with an electric oven. You can block the oven’s combustion flow, producing CO.
  10. Re-check all gas appliance vents, heating vents or chimney flues after any home renovations. These can easily be blocked by forgotten tarps or debris.
  11. Install carbon monoxide alarms in hallways near every sleeping area and in living areas in the neighborhood of fuel-burning appliances. The recommendation is one alarm installed in the hallway outside every bedroom. Make sure the alarms aren’t blocked by furniture or window coverings. CO alarms should not be installed in kitchens or directly above any fuel-burning appliances. Test alarms regularly and replace following the schedule recommended by the manufacturer.

Signs and Symptoms of CO Poisoning

Initially, CO exposure has symptoms that resemble the flu without any fever. These include headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Further exposure can lead to vomiting, mental confusion and loss of muscular coordination. The end result is loss of consciousness and finally, death. The exposure levels and duration can affect the severity of the symptoms.

If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms unexpectedly, don’t wait for the CO alarm to go off to confirm it. Leave your home immediately and call the fire department on your cell or at a neighbor’s home. If they find evidence of high levels of CO, be sure that you and any family members who were exposed see a doctor immediately, letting him or her know about the CO exposure.

The Best Way To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Finally, have all of your appliances checked for problems before re-using them. If one or more CO alarms go off in your home, leave immediately with all family members and pets. Call 911 and do not re-enter your home until the emergency specialists have ensured you that it is safe. Even a few minutes can lead to loss of consciousness and death if the exposure is high enough. Do not use the problem equipment again until a qualified service technician checks and repairs it.

We Can Help – Contact Us Today.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is an easily avoidable risk, yet every year too many people succumb to it. Like wearing a seatbelt, you may never need a CO detector, but why take a chance? By following these few simple steps, AND installing a carbon monoxide detector by a qualified professional security company, you may become a lifesaver for the ones you care about most.

Although children look forward to tricks, treats, and ghoulish garb, Halloween can be fraught with fright for parents, with candy given to their kids by strangers and a legion of masked and costumed trick-or-treaters at the door. However, following a few safety tips can ensure safe fun for kids and candy-givers alike.

The activities below focus on Halloween, which is celebrated in the last week of October. The efforts throughout the month generate enthusiasm for crime prevention so it can grow stronger and become more widespread.

To ensure that trick-or-treaters, you, and your house stay safe, remember the following tips.

  • Clear your yard and sidewalk of any obstacles or decorations that may be hard to see in the dark, lest someone go bump in the night.
  • Keep your house well lighted, both inside and out; you wouldn’t want to miss any particularly good costumes, would you?
  • Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizen’s group to haunt (patrol) your community.
  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police or sheriff’s department.

To make sure even the scariest costumes are safe, keep the following in mind when buying or designing one.

  • Try makeup instead of masks; it’s more comfortable and doesn’t obstruct vision the way masks can.
  • Check to ensure that costumes are flame-retardant so that young ones are safe around jack-o’-lanterns, candles, and other flames.
  • Keep costumes short to ensure that the only trip taken is the one around the neighborhood.
  • Look for brightly colored costumes, attach reflector strips to costumes and bags, and remind trick-or-treaters to carry glow sticks and flashlights.
  • If a costume involves any sort of fake weapon, make sure that it is made of a flexible material such as cardboard or foam. Or, avoid the whole problem of weapons by challenging your child to design a costume that is scary without one.

Keep in mind the next few tips to make sure your trick-or-treater’s night in the neighborhood will be safe and fun.

  • Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups; kids walking around alone are never as safe as those in groups, and especially not at night. Younger kids should be accompanied by a parent or trusted neighbor.
  • Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and set a time set when kids should be home. Also, have a plan if your child gets separated from his or her friends or from you.
  • Remind your children not to enter strange houses or cars.

After a successful and safe night around the neighborhood, remember that the treats still need scrutiny before anyone eats them.

  • Remind your children not to eat treats until they’ve come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a substantial snack before they go out.
  • Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be especially wary of anything that is not wrapped by the factory or that is no longer sealed.
  • Remind kids not to eat everything at once, lest they be green even without the makeup.

About Brinton Security

Founded in 2001, Brinton Security Services has been dedicated to providing protection for both residential and commercial settings. Although specializing in home security, we also install/service/monitor fire, gate, camera, and personal emergency response systems as well as whole house audio, home theater, home automation, and phone systems. We are proud to serve Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Our aim is to “Protect What Matters!”

Every year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) devotes the third week in October to National Fire Prevention Week. The theme for this year is “Prevent Kitchen Fires,” with fire departments throughout the country holding local community events designed to educate the public on preventing fires in that busy area of the house. Here are some valuable tips they will be sharing:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking on the stovetop. If you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food, you must be in the room to make sure your food doesn’t burn. The safety concern is not only for burned food, but for smoke in the air and the pan catching fire.
  • Stay in the home when you’re cooking in the oven. If you are baking, roasting or braising food in the oven, you don’t necessarily need to be in the kitchen, but you do need to be in the home – and you definitely need to use a timer to prevent any fire risks.
  • Keep your smoke alarm on while cooking. Some people are tempted to remove their smoke alarm batteries when cooking certain dishes. But whether you are baking cookies or frying up bacon, your smoke alarm should stay on. Disabling it could put your family at risk of harmful smoke inhalation.
  • Keep your kids and pets safe while cooking. Young children have been known to burn themselves on front burner pots and pans. Teaching them not to touch is good, but putting things on the back burner to remove the risk is better. Pets should also be kept at least three feet from the stove.
  • Keep flammable items away from the stove. Avoid cooking with loose-fitting sleeves. Hanging sleeves can easily catch fire. As for necessary items like potholders and kitchen towels, they should be safely to the side on the counter – not the stove.

These are just some of the tips that fire departments want citizens to know when it comes to preventing kitchen fires. If there is a National Fire Prevention Week event going on in your community, we encourage you to attend. Search #NationalFirePreventionWeek on Twitter to find an event near you!

ABOUT BRINTON SECURITY

Founded in 2001, Brinton Security Services has been dedicated to providing protection for both residential and commercial settings. Although specializing in home security, we also install/service/monitor fire, gate, camera, and personal emergency response systems as well as whole house audio, home theater, home automation, and phone systems. We are proud to serve Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Our aim is to “Protect What Matters!”

Assuring the safety of someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is one of the most critical concerns for caregivers. As the condition progresses, individuals with dementia experience diminished abilities that causes memory loss, dulled or changed senses, poor judgment, and a loss of the senses of time and place. The symptoms are frustrating and disheartening to the sufferer, who has no control of the condition. Unfortunately, they can also cause the individual to put themselves in danger as they attempt to accomplish tasks they were once able to do with ease.

As the individual’s needs change, the environment must also change in order to provide optimum safety and comfort. This can be especially challenging for caregivers who want their loved ones to be happy, safe and comfortable, yet do not want the environment to feel restrictive. Here are some valuable tips for providing safety without sacrificing the warmth of home.

Secure the Home with Door and Window Alarms

Door and window alarms can help secure your home and alert you if your loved one attempts to leave. Wandering is common among those with dementia, especially at night. Dementia often affects a person’s sense of time causing them to be awake at odd hours. Many instances of wandering happen while the other members of the household are sound asleep.

Do Not Use Latches

Never use latches on the outside of doors to prevent wandering. This can prevent individuals from getting out in an emergency.

Install Keypad Locks

Dementia can cause a person to forget familiar faces, even that of their closest family. This can lead them to lock family out of the house while they get mail or perform outdoor chores. Since hiding a key outside the home increases the risk of burglary, a keypad entry is a perfect home security solution.

Remove Bathroom Door Locks

Bathrooms can pose a huge risk for those suffering from the symptoms of dementia. In addition to locking themselves in either accidentally or purposefully, additional risks include accidental overdose, poisoning, or drowning. Remove the lock so you have access in an emergency.

Use Alarms to Secure Dangerous Items

Keep items such as medications, alcohol, and firearms in a locking cabinet and secured by cabinet alarms.

Install a Security System with CCTV

In the beginning stages of dementia, individuals may be able to stay home alone for short periods of time, but would benefit from a bit of supervision. Using security camera systems, or CCTV, can help you view what is going on remotely, enabling you to spot and prevent danger.

Living with Alzheimer’s means adapting to many changes. Home security products can help manage many of the challenging aspects of living with or caring for someone with forms of dementia, without making the home feel restrictive. If you have any questions about how to make your home safer for the ones you love, call Brinton Security today.

With over a million views on Youtube, videos on the 6-second garage door break-in cause more than a little concern. The videos show how thieves can break in through a commonly used automatic garage door in 6 short seconds, using nothing more than a wire hanger.

Garage entrance is not just common; it is one of the criminal’s favorite ways to gain entrance into a home. Why? Someone entering a garage does not throw up the same red flags as someone breaking glass or climbing through a window. Not only do most people overlook a stranger near a garage, once the door is open, the thief quickly slips in, closes the door, and breaks into the home (or prepares to steal from the garage itself) while under complete cover.

Here are some important ways you can secure your garage:

  • Replace your garage opening system to a modern “rolling code system” that hinders duplication.
  • Keep the garage doors in good repair.
  • Use a plastic zip tie to secure the emergency latch and prevent hanger entry.
  • Cover windows so thieves cannot see garage contents or if you have an entry to the inside of the home.
  • Make sure windows have locks.
  • Reinforce side door locks with metal reinforcements.
  • Install motion detection lighting.
  • Install an alarm or video surveillance system.
  • Do not leave automatic door openers in your car.
  • Keep the door from the garage into the house locked.

Thieves count on residents neglecting to secure the garage door. Take time today to learn more about home security systems and how to prevent break-ins by calling Brinton Security today.

The home is our sanctuary, our headquarters, homebase, entertainment zone, war room, home office and more. Serving all these functions makes it a hub of activity with plenty of opportunity for a lot of little things to go wrong in a big way. When those things do go awry, those are the times you are so thankful you have a connected home.

Home automation and smart app features make getting and keeping life under control as easy as a few taps on your smartphone– so that you can rest easy. Even in these 5 stress inducing times.

Did I Lock the Door?

You drove off and started the workday when you realized that you completely forgot to lock the doors and arm the smart security system. Going back means a lot of driving and lost time at work. Not going back means risking a break-in, or worse. This is one of those moments you were so thankful to have a connected home. All you had to do was tap into your smart security app, and lock the smart locks and arm the home security system with a few stress relieving taps.

The Kids Were Home When the Carbon Monoxide Detector Went Off

The Carbon monoxide detector went off, but because it is colorless and odorless the kids disregarded the alert. Thankfully, you also got the alert and made sure the kids got out safely.

An Appliance Was Left On

Maybe it was the stove, or the curling iron, or some other appliance likely to cause a fire- but we’ve all walked away and left our home in danger at one point or another. Unfortunately, all it takes is that one time to lead to a dangerous home fire. Thankfully, having smart home technologies means that you can always verify the status of appliances and turn them off remotely.

Connected Home Sensors are Superheroes

You took your eyes off the toddler for one moment and they make a beeline for the cleaning supply closet. It’s late at night and the back door opens unexpectedly. Either way the sensors are tripped and you avert disaster.

You Really Want to Know if The Kids Are Home Safely

The kids are at that inbetween age of needing both independence and oversight. They are usually pretty good about getting home on time and giving you a call or sending a text, but this time they are a little late. You hold your breath a few more minutes when thankfully, you get an alert on your phone that they used their code to disarm the smart security system, and with a quick check of the camera feed, you know they are okay. When they do call, you’ve had a moment to collect yourself and answer the call like you weren’t worried for a moment.

Sure, there are an endless number of moments we can pick out that make us thankful for the connected home, but they can all be summed up in one way– we are just thankful for the smart tools we need to keep our family and home safe. And Here at Brinton Security Services, we are thankful to help make that happen throughout Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Getting away for the summer means making a lot of exciting plans for accommodations. In the fun of planning your summer vacation, do not forget to make some accommodations for keeping your home safe and secure while you are away. Nothing can spoil your vacation more than getting a call from neighbors saying your home has been broken in to, or coming home to find that your life has just been changed forever. Burglaries are no joke, and can spoil much more than your vacation.

The best way to ensure you have a happy, stress-free vacation is to do all that you can to ward off burglars and other criminals while you are away. Here are some ways to use your smart home security system to do just that.

Use Home Automation Scenes to Look Home

With smart home automation, the home never has to look unoccupied. Set different scenes to replicate varied activity in the home, with the lights, electronics and even air conditioning going off and on throughout the day.  This is a huge deterrence since burglars look for homes that show no signs of the residents being home in order to avoid being caught.

Set Up Alert for Smart Sensors

Your motion and glass break sensors are a huge plus when protecting your home while on vacation. By setting up alerts, you and the authorities can know immediately if anything is amiss. The motion sensor in you video doorbell can alert you to activity at the front door, which is the primary point of entry for burglars, and allow you to see who is there or the garage door opening unexpectedly could cause you to check video surveillance footage to verify activity and catch a criminal in the act. For example. \

Use Smart Locks

If you are gone or any length of time, you will probably have neighbors or others over to the house to bring in mail or attend to pets. Instead of having keys floating around, use smart locks which you can open remotely.

Have and Use Interior and Exterior Video Surveillance

Visible proof of home security and video surveillance is one of the best deterrents against crime, and having it provides the homeowner with an incredible tool for keeping their home safe while they are on vacation. Tap in to video footage any time to keep things in check and whenever you receive an alert you can act on the security threat immediately.

About Brinton Security

Brinton Security Services has been dedicated to “Protecting What Matters” since 2001 and provides residential can commercial services in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

If we think we have burglary figured out, we probably have it all wrong. In our quest to protect our family, home and possessions we do all that we think is the right and smart thing to do. The problem is, we might be getting it all wrong. Here are the ways some common misconceptions might actually make your home more vulnerable, and what you can do about it.

Does Hiding Your Valuables Really Work?

If you are like most of us, you’ve probably read many articles about where to hide your valuables. You have your coin collection wrapped in foil in the freezer right next to grandma’s jewelry. You have some valuables stashed in the toilet tank, in the kid’s room, and in the cat litter container. The problem is that the burglars have read the articles, too, and knows where valuables are most likely to be found. So, in some ways you might actually be making it easier for a burglar to get the goods.

Best Bet : If you have seldom used valuables and heirlooms rather than hide them in the home, get a safety deposit box and let the bank guard them.

Nothing Really Deters a Determined Burglar, Right?

Burglars want to get valuables and do it fast without being observed and caught. To do this they want to gain entry in the fastest and easiest way possible- usually within 60 seconds and through the front door. And there must be plenty of vulnerable homes because a burglary happens about every 15 seconds somewhere in the US. Does that mean that nothing really stops them? No. It means many of us are not implementing the deterrents that do work. Here are several affordable, easy, and effective deterrents.

  • Home Security Systems. When committed thieves were polled, most said they would avoid a home with a home security system. In fact, homes without a monitored home security system are three times more likely to be burglarized than those with a home security system.
  • Use Home Automation. Since burglars want to go undetected, they choose homes that are unoccupied. By using home automation to look and sound home you make your home an unattractive target.
  • Security Camera. Install ample security cameras to cover the areas of vulnerability. Use a video doorbell for the front door and cover the back door, windows, and garage, as well as having the interior of the home covered by smart security cameras.
  • Motion Sensored Lights. Smart lighting is a big problem for burglars because not only does it expose them, they can trip an alert that goes right to your phone so you know something is not right.
  • Cars in the Driveway. If you have more than one vehicle, rotate which you use and leave one in the driveway when you are gone for the day. Doing this, and when paired with using home automation to fake occupancy, the potential burglar finds your property to be too risky.
  • Schedule Services During Most Vulnerable Hours. If you have home services such as yard care, pool cleaners, or window washers schedule their visits during the most vulnerable hours of the day, from 10am to 3pm, when most residents are away.
  • Beware of Dog Signs. Burglars pay attention to the more than average “beware of dog” signs such as ones saying things like “My dog can make it to the fence in 3 seconds. Can you?” If you do not have a big scary dog, you can use the sign and put out a dog dish to seem like you do.

Brinton Security proudly provides smart security in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and KaKansas to keep you connected to what matters.