winter home security Archives -

Google Rating Graphic

Our Customers Say

view more of what our customers say >

 As charitable giving ramps up over the holidays, so do scams. Protect yourself this holiday with these tips

Watch Out for These 10 Holiday Scams

As charitable giving ramps up over the holidays, so do scams. Protect yourself this holiday with these tips:

  1. Read before you click: phishing scams are increasingly “smart” and even look like a shipment tracking email.  
    • Before you click, the safer route is to go to the trusted shipping site and plug your tracking number in directly.
  2. Watch out for fake charities. 
    • Make sure the charity you’re giving to is legitimate – do a quick search to make sure other’s online experiences have been good ones with the charity you’re considering.
  3. Watch your statements closely. 
    • There are many ways criminals can steal your identity and credit/debit card numbers. Check your statements closely to ensure all purchases are legitimate.
  4. With a quick bump or, more often these days, a distraction from an accomplice, criminals can remove your wallet from your pocket or purse in seconds and even take items from bags. 
    • Keep your wallet inside a closed purse or in a pocket with your hand on it. Leave non-essential identifying information and spare credit cards at home. Return frequently to your car to drop off purchases in the trunk and out of sight.
  5. At the register, be aware of your receipt and change.
    • Be on the lookout for any unauthorized cash back from your debit card and make sure you received the correct change.
  6. You see a parcel waiting notice on your door with a phone number to call; with so many deliveries this time of year you aren’t sure which parcel it might be.
    • Make sure this an 800 or a local call or else it might be a scam where you are charged exorbitant phone charges or you may be asked personal questions that lead to identity theft. Also be wary of parcel thieves, and look out for your neighbors as well.
  7. Twice-used gift cards. Make sure gift cards you purchase are from reputable retailers and that the activation code is still secure. 
    • Some scammers will take activation codes from cards at the store and use them after they are loaded.
  8. If you’re looking to book a vacation home for the holidays, be wary. Here are a number of red flags to look for in vacation home rental scams.
    • First, as always, if the price is too good to be true, it usually is just that – not true. Never send your payment by a wire transfer or a cashier’s check. Use a credit card, so you can retrieve your funds if the transaction is fraudulent.
  9. You’ve won! These fake contest scams are increasingly common. 
    • It is impossible to win a contest you haven’t even entered. It is important to remember that no legitimate lottery charges you fees to claim your prize, nor ask for any personal information from you.
  10. The grandparent scam is another one done throughout the year; however, it is more prevalent during the holidays when college-age grandchildren may be traveling. The scam starts with a phone call apparently from a grandchild who has encountered a medical or legal emergency and needs money immediately. Often the scammers get personal information to make the call sound legitimate through the child’s Facebook page or other social media.
    • A good way to be proactive is to have a secret word a child should use in an emergency situation. If the caller doesn’t know it, it is probably a scam.

Information is power when it comes to scams. Use caution and trust your gut – when something feels not right or out of the ordinary, stop and take a step back. 

Read the more scam details and tips from The Today Show and Scambusters.

About Alarm Engineering

Locally owned Alarm Engineering has been securing Delmarva since 1985. In that time, we have earned our reputation for integrity, reliability, and quality with our emphasis on superior service to our customers. We know you have choices when it comes to your security system, so here are some things you should know about our team.

Alarm Engineering is leading provider of electronic security systems and services in Delaware and the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia. From integrated home security systems with home automation and video to large enterprise-level integrated systems and small business solutions, our highly trained and professional staff will get the job done right. As an Authorized Alarm.com dealer, we offer exclusive Crash and Smash technology, Geo-Fencing and LiftMaster Garage Control, and the Doorbell Camera as part of our Home Automation offerings.

For more about what sets us apart from the crowd, click here or give us a call at 410-546-2210. But don’t just take our word for it: check out our five star Google Reviews.

A beautifully decorated tree is the centerpiece of so many front-facing windows this time of year. The downside is, showcasing all the presents under that tree may be tempting to a burglar.

Important Holiday Home Security Tips 

Make sure all your holiday memories are good ones with these security tips.

  • A beautifully decorated tree is the centerpiece of so many front-facing windows this time of year. The downside is, showcasing all the presents under that tree may be tempting to a burglar. 
  • New electronics are exciting – for family and burglars alike. Large empty boxes for that new big screen or computer left on your curb are inadvertent advertisements for the goodies inside your home.
  • Light up your home, inside and out – burglars hate well-lit areas.  
  • Remember that many would-be burglars are opportunists; don’t leave any tools or ladders outside that could be easily stolen or re-purposed to aid a burglar break into your home.

Traveling during the holidays?

  • An investment in affordable smart home automation system (interactive services) can easily make your empty home look lived in with automatic lighting schedules as well as live remote access to your TV and stereo systems for ambient sound.
  • Snow covered driveways are beautiful but after several days they also serve as a red flag that you’re not home.  Ask a neighbor to occasionally pull into your driveway to leave those precious tire marks behind and easily increase your home security.
  • Social Media is a great way to let friends and extended family know exactly where you are.  Unfortunately, burglars use this information as well.  Be thoughtful about broadcasting when your home is vacant. Of course, always arm your system before you leave.
  • Update your vacation call list with us before you leave at by calling our office at 410-546-2210. Now you can also update your call list using a secure form on our website. Be sure to let us know the exact dates and times you would like temporary changes to be in effect. 

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

For many, selecting and decorating a live Christmas Tree is a treasured holiday tradition.  

Be fire smart:

  • Only choose a tree with fresh, green needles that don’t fall off easily.Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips
  • Be sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source including fireplaces, radiators, heat vents or lights.
  • Add water to your tree stand initially and water daily.
  • Check your lights!  Only use lights that have a label from an independent testing laboratory. Also, check whether are they specifically designed for indoor or outdoor use only?
  • Replace any string of lights with worn/broken cords or loose bulbs and connect no more than three strands of mini string sets (double-check manufacturer’s instructions for LED strands).
  • Always turn off Christmas Tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. Or use our smart plugs to turn the lights off right from your phone.
  • If your tree dries out, dispose of it immediately – a dry tree is a fire hazard and should not be left in your home or garage.

See the flammability of a dry Christmas Tree vs. a properly watered Christmas Tree in this side by side video brought to you by the NFPA. Check out more holiday fire safety tips from the U.S. Fire Administration here.

Turkey Fryer Safety

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and for many of us that means turkey! Deep fried turkey is a popular choice because it promises fantastic culinary results in a fraction of the cooking time but it is dangerous – even for the informed user. 

Why is it so dangerous? 

To start, it’s difficult to tell whether the bird is completely thawed – and even a little bit of ice meeting hot oil can produce a dangerous outcome. Failing to monitor oil temperature and overfilling the oil are common mistakes.  Also, you must fry the turkey outside! Lastly, keep the fryer away from any combustible materials and never, under any circumstances, leave it unattended.  

Under the best of conditions, the turkey fryer is a dangerous option, that’s why Underwriters Laboratories does not certify any fryer with their trusted UL mark and other safety organizations warn against their use. Consider other, oil free turkey cooking appliances available for outdoor cooking – the less hot oil the better when it comes to your family’s safety!

Get Started and Save

If you don’t have Alarm.com integrated into your security system yet, just let us know. See how much you could save using your Customer Loyalty Rewards.

If you’re with another alarm company today or want to learn more about Alarm Engineering, tell us a bit about you and we’ll provide a no-charge security assessment. Remember to use FIRSTMONTHFREE promo code for extra savings.

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

About Alarm Engineering

Locally owned Alarm Engineering has been securing Delmarva since 1985. In that time, we have earned our reputation for integrity, reliability, and quality with our emphasis on superior service to our customers. We know you have choices when it comes to your security system, so here are some things you should know about our team.

Alarm Engineering is leading provider of electronic security systems and services in Delaware and the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia. From integrated home security systems with home automation and video to large enterprise-level integrated systems and small business solutions, our highly trained and professional staff will get the job done right. As an Authorized Alarm.com dealer, we offer exclusive Crash and Smash technology, Geo-Fencing and LiftMaster Garage Control, and the Doorbell Camera as part of our Home Automation offerings.

For more about what sets us apart from the crowd, click here or give us a call at 410-546-2210. But don’t just take our word for it: check out our five star Google Reviews.

 

 


Top