‘Tis the Season for Improving Home Protection

shutterstock_756506137Summer is here, and for many of us that means going on vacation. Besides installing a security system with professional monitoring to protect your home while you’re away, you can take other precautions that keep your home burglar-proof.

Install deadbolt door locks. The best ones are resistant to being picked, drilled or kicked in. In our experience, the most expensive locks aren’t always the best ones.

Lock your windows.  An easy way for a burglar to access your home is through an unlocked window, so make sure your windows are locked, especially ones at street level.

Make your home appear occupied. Set lights to timers so your lights illuminate when darkness falls, giving the impression that people are home. You may also consider leaving items in your yard that make it look like you have a dog.  Additionally, you should enlist a trusted neighbor to pick up mail, packages and newspapers delivered (arrange to stop delivery while you’re out of town), as well as “keep an eye on things” while you’re away. Also be sure to arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you’ll be away for more than a week. Nothing says “nobody home” to an intruder more than an untended lawn.

Strengthen weak spots. It’s not enough to have deadbolts on your front and back doors if your basement door or side door is unsecured. It’s best to install deadbolts on those doors, too. 

As for garage doors, given the ability of many burglars to hack automatic garage door openers, it’s best if you unplug or otherwise disable your openers while away so they’re inoperable.

The openings between window air conditioners and window frames constitute another weak spot. To fill this gap, consider using a locking metal rod called a Charlie bar to keep the window from moving. This layer of protection prevents the burglar from opening a window and gaining entry to your home. As a result, they’ll be forced to break the glass, which should attract attention from your neighbors and police cruising your neighborhood.

Role play. Before going on vacation, walk around the outside of your home, pretending that you’re a burglar. Pay attention to what you see, and how a burglar could use those objects for prying open a door or window. Bring those “tools” inside so they can’t be used to invade your personal space.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your summer vacation with peace-of-mind.

 

Learn more about our smart security solutions 

or arrange for a FREE in-home assessment.

Video Surveillance: The Smart Choice for Small Business

shutterstock_554551897The Internet of Things (IOT) has opened up a whole world of DIY options for residential security camera applications. But to maintain the safety of employees, inventory, and other assets it’s imperative to install a professional CCTV or video surveillance security system for your small business to immediately alert authorities in the case of employee theft or other criminal activity. They also provide visual evidence of fraudulent slips or falls.

Video surveillance constantly monitors defined, important areas within your office, retail store or warehouse. Discrete or open-viewed HD cameras and a DVR (digital video recorder), NVR (network video recorder), HVR (hybrid video recorder – a combination of the analog DVR and digital NRV recorder), micro SD card or cloud storage to monitor and archive recorded footage are the primary components of a CCTV system. Other features can include motion detectors, sensors, email alerts, infrared night vision, panic buttons, mobile app support, facial and voice recognition, remote monitoring, and more.

Wired vs. Wireless

A professionally wired system offers more reliable and stable transmission vs. a wireless system that relies on a WiFi connection. A wireless system still has to be connected to a power supply whether it’s battery or solar powered.

The Importance of Cameras

There are many cameras types of cameras that comprise a system based on their intended use: dome, PTZ, bullet, day/night, thermal (FLIR), IP camera or wireless IP camera.

HD cameras recognize important details. But the more pixels in the image captured by your security camera, the clearer the image will be. However, that extra information will also take up more memory space.

The type of lens is important for field of view. Cameras with adjustable lens give you more coverage and are flexible. A fixed lens will give you a more precise view. A rugged weatherproof camera for Pittsburgh’s harsh winter weather is important for outdoor spaces, of course.

Security is not just a daylight pursuit. That’s why infrared night vision cameras with LED lights surrounding the lens to capture more light are an important part of your security solution.

Choice Is Key

Video surveillance systems are designed to last a lifetime. But lifespan is impacted by design, the extent of security measures implemented, quality, the area of installation (indoor or outdoor) and capacity.
Do your research. Although the internet is a great source of information to show you’ve done your homework, a site survey by a reputable firm is an important first step. If this company will also be you installer, choose a company with a long history and responsive customer and maintenance/repair services.
Acquiring a video surveillance system doesn’t have to be difficult. Turn to TN Security, serving the greater Pittsburgh area. We can give you the best information, so that you can make an informed decision for your business.

Contact us today for a site survey.

Professional vs. DIY Security Systems

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The options in home security systems are mind-boggling. What’s a homeowner to do? How do you find the perfect system?

Professional home security companies usually tie you into a multiyear contract for monthly monitoring fees. But they also provide hardware, alleviating the stress of selecting off-the-shelf devices. The ADTs of the world also offer 24/7 emergency response for invaluable peace of mind. But their business model is being disrupted by the DIY market of motion sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, locks, glass break detectors, door and window sensors, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

If you’ve decided against the professional route, DIY could be the way to go. Know that you become the installer and the 24/7 monitor. There are DIY companies that offer bundled kits and even professional monitoring.

Security cameras are your eyes on the ground and at key access points. Again, there are loads of options and features – whether it’s a kit, standalone camera, or camera-assisted doorbell. The other category is smart door locks that can be Bluetooth enabled or offer Z-Wave connectivity.

Here’s a great choice: select a company that can integrate the best solutions into a whole-house smart security system with professional monitoring.  Consider Pittsburgh’s TN Security. We are also experts in whole house automation and can integrate your security system with your lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more into a single hub.

Remember DIY is great…but it’s never as easy as it looks. Are you a geek, electrician and home remodeler all rolled into one? Do you want to fish wires and patch holes? DIY systems rely on open protocols and Wi-Fi connectivity that can sometimes be unreliable, creating connection issues, which may be beyond your tech skillset.

Learn more about smart security and whole home automation to protect your most valuable asset, your family.

Contact TN Security now for a free at-home assessment.

Create an Unforgettable Experience for Family and Friends with Outdoor AV

shutterstock_389852074 (2) (1)Yay! The warmer weather is finally here, and everyone is now interested in outdoor living and entertaining. TN Security is a few steps ahead of you. We’re ready to move our AV experience outdoors for you.  TN Security has a solid reputation for installing indoor-focused audio and video residential solutions. We also know all the latest and greatest outdoor AV options, including discreet audio solutions, landscape-friendly speakers and outdoor TVs.

T.N. Security can give you some great outdoor HDTV options. Outdoor TVs have a heftier price tag but for a good reason. Do you want a high-end permanent solution or portable? Remember: interior TVs can’t tolerate heat, cold, bugs and humidity. Whether you’re watching the Kentucky Derby in May or World Series in October, you want to be assured that all those expensive electronics are protected from the elements. On the brightest of days, you’ll want to binge watch without affecting the picture quality. As an alternative to HDTV, we can also help select and install the best big screens and projectors for that night at the “drive-in.”

We can link your outdoor audio to your home AV system so you have easy access to your streaming services and media library without having to take them outside.TN Security also offers some cool universal remotes to use outdoors, some of which float in the pool to control lighting, sound and more.

Regarding outdoor audio, whether wired or wireless, T.N. Security will calculate the optimal number of speakers for your outdoor space parameters. Bluetooth speakers that link to your iPhone or iPod are a plus. There are also many speakers that look like garden rocks or statues, or match your décor.  

Don’t hesitate…your summer is waiting! Make an appointment with T.N. Security for a FREE outdoor AV assessment. Call (412) 967-0467 or contact us now.

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The Proficient R650 rock-shaped design speaker with rock finish on the grille and 6-1/2” graphite woofer is sight unseen but has tight bass and clear mids.  Super Spring Special Pricing $199.99.

Upgrade Your TV Audio

shutterstock_711075157Flat-panel HDTV’s cool, slim profile is too thin for great speakers. Here are some ways to upgrade your TV audio, short of wearing Bluetooth headphones. Do you go with the convenience and affordability of a sound bar or quality and expense of a dedicated multispeaker system? Soundbars simply plug in and reroute your sound from the TV via a single plug-in cable. They can also stream music from your phone or voice assistant, like Alexa or Google Assistant.

But if you’re looking for the immersive experience of surround sound, you may want to plug into a speaker system with separate speakers wired into each room. If you’re longing to hear theater-quality sound, add an AV receiver to coordinate multiple speakers.

Lastly, create a plan for a sound solution prior to bringing your new TV home. If you want your TV wall mounted, you may want to consider having both sound and TV professionally installed. Decide how much you want to spend, and where you want your new devices installed.

Contact TN Security. We’ll do a free audio consultation not only your new TV installation, but your entire house. Ask about our wall-mounted installation specials.

Audio and TV in the News:
4K TV is coming to your phone, ringing in the new era of free broadcast TV. For the past two years broadcasters have been working on ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast standard. The format supports 4K, 3D, UHD, and high-quality audio, which will hopefully help 4K supersede HDTV. Like traditional broadcast TV, ATSC 3.0, also called Immersive Audio, works over the air, but it also works in tandem with internet connections (including mobile connections, like 5G) to create a broadcast/broadband hybrid stream. Stay tuned!

The Best Surveillance Cameras for Home and Office

Whether it’s a hardwired CCTV or IP-based camera security system, there are lots of cost and convenience options, including mobile camera security apps that interface for real-time views anywhere in the world. These cameras can be also part of your smart home automation strategy, which uses IoT technology to control appliances, lighting, heating, TVs, and more, and allows them to communicate with each other through a smartphone or a laptop.home-security-camera-app

A CCTV or closed-circuit television surveillance system is the OG of the security world. Its video feed is transmitted to an internal monitoring screen or is recorded on a DVR. If the DVR is connected to the internet, remote viewing of video footage may also be available.
IP or internet protocol cameras are wired or wireless digital video cameras that transmit the video feed via a computer network. IP systems offer better picture quality and the ability to add more cameras to the system. IP cameras can also be used in conjunction with CCTV systems to cover blind spots or used as hidden cameras.
TN Security can make expert recommendations during a free in-home consultation. We help you determine how many cameras, locations, styles, installation points and more. Attached to these systems can be smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, keypads, video displays, and motion or sensor detectors.
We can also integrate audio and TV for a complete smart home solution. Plus, we offer our no-contract month-to-month monitoring program overseen by a Five Diamond Certified and FDNY-approved monitoring center. Wow! There’s a lot to consider when you want to keep you family and business safe. Schedule your free in-home consultation now.

 

Improve Your Viewing Experience with Surround Sound and TN Security

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Imagine our delight when my husband brought home a new razor-thin 70-inch 4K UHD TV for our family room. Never before had we seen such clarity. It creates uniform blacks and the best color volumes, offers great viewing angles and is perfect for our gamer kids. Unfortunately, it’s so thin that the speakers are tiny and located at the back of the TV. Needless to say, we didn’t get great audio quality. I was forced to turn on closed captions to keep up with the fast-paced dialogue on my favorite show. Plus, football season was fast approaching. Yikes! Our disappointment made us take action. We decided to look into surround sound options. We turned to TN Security.  The techs at TN did a free sound system assessment. They gave us many options and price points, and educated us about TV audio. They even shared tips on integrating Alexa. We decided to go with a Bose Acoustimass 10 Series V system, which is designed for larger rooms, like ours. It delivers rich, beautiful sound and a great viewing experience. We were super-pleased with TN Security and their installation team.

Contact TN Security, now, for a free sound system assessment.

Why We Chose TN Security for Window Film

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Our family has been longtime customers of both TN Security and Team Nutz, TN Security’s parent company. Over the past 10 years, we’ve come to trust both companies with our home and cars. When we recently made an investment in wooden plantation shutters for the second floor of our home, we knew we had to do something to protect them. Our house has a perfect southern exposure. While there’s an upside – bright and cherry sunlit rooms – the downside is that the sun “bakes” everything that it touches, including those nice new shutters. We did a some research about window film. It’s the GREEN choice.  Window film also offers aesthetic protection from UV radiation that could cause damage to our furniture, upholstery and wood finishes. Heat gain is reduced by 82 percent, leading to more comfort, lower utility bills (20% to 30% savings) and less glare (up to 80%) —all without darkening my bright home, plus offering a crystal-clear view. Another bonus is my return on investment is one year. Beyond the trust factor, the reason we went with TN Security and not another company was because of their technicians. Adhering window film is tricky business. TN Security has factory-trained techs, who did a GREAT job on the installation AND the cleanup. Thanks to TN Security for another great job very well done.

 

The Levy Family

Pittsburgh

 

Contact TN Security now for a free window film consultation.

Camera Systems Help You Keep an Eye on Your Home or Business

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If you’re like most homeowners, you’ll want to protect what’s likely your largest investment from theft and vandalism. Our wide selection of night vision (infrared), dome and outdoor (bullet) cameras, as well as integrated camera solutions, can give you the peace-of-mind you need to make sure your family and property are safe. The flexible, open and integrated solutions we offer consist of network cameras and DVRs which store images captured by the cameras.

Among the best cameras on the market is the Honeywell IP, which synchs up with your smartphone for 24/7 monitoring.

When it comes to CCTV cameras, DVRs, access control systems and other CCTV and access control peripherals, EverFocus is among the leaders.

The same kinds of products and solutions we offer to homeowners are also available to businesses.

If you’re not sure what types of cameras are best for your home or business, how many you need, where they should be installed, and what type of remote monitoring is best, relax. Our experienced team can help you determine which equipment and solutions would be most effective for your specific video surveillance requirements, regardless of whether you’re looking to improve security in a residential or commercial setting.

For a free, no-obligation assessment of your residential or commercial video surveillance requirements, contact TN Security or call 412.882.8346 in Castle Shannon or 412.967.0460 in Fox Chapel.

Proper Home Security System Selection & Installation Requires Professional Expertise

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Even if you’re a DIY-er, home security is one area where it’s best to rely on a professional. That’s because a professional knows:

  • Best locations for placement of surveillance cameras, security lighting, door & window sensors, and motion detectors
  • How to install a system correctly
  • How to best maintain & upgrade a system so it stays current with technology & best monitoring practices

What’s more, a professionally installed system can get you discounts on your homeowner’s insurance premiums, unlike ones that are self-installed. The most effective systems are tied to a third-party reporting service that verifies a disturbance or false alarm by contacting you and, if necessary, the police. The most modern systems are also capable of taking video or photos of monitored rooms, making it easier for police to bring intruders to justice.

With advances in technology, a home security system can be wireless, eliminating the need for drilling & patching walls & ceilings that hard-wired systems require. That is, unless a wired system is installed when a home is being built.

By operating the system remotely from your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you can adjust settings, as well as see that your family and property are safe while you’re at work, travelling or out for the evening.

Some systems also enable you to use your mobile devices to remotely control indoor & outdoor lighting, as well as your garage door, thermostat and appliances.

With so many options available, tell us about your specific needs so we can recommend home security systems based on your requirements and budget.