6 Safety Tips for your 4th of July!

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Independence Day is a day of celebration, whether you’re watching the parades, having a barbecue, or setting off some fireworks of your own. Follow these safety tips to ensure a safe and fun filled day (and night)!

1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen! July is one of the hottest months of the year, so be ready for SUN. Make sure to check that your sunscreen isn’t expired or dried out. Follow the directions and reapply after 45 minutes to an hour – and don’t forget your ears!

2. Not only can the sun’s rays burn your skin, but excess heat combined with vigorous activity can also cause dehydration, dizziness, and even fainting. Be sure to drink more water than usual and take a break to cool down every so often.

3. Parades are a great way to see your local schools, clubs, teams, police force, fire department, friends and family come together for one celebration. Often times the floats will toss goodies or small flags for children catch or run to the streets to pick up: if there are barricades around, be sure to let your children know not to go past them – and if there aren’t barricades, explain that they should come right back to you so as not to cross paths with the procession.

4. Prep your grill! Be sure your grill is clean and double check that there are no leaks in the hose or at the connection areas. Always have the grill open while it’s being lit so the gas doesn’t build up and ignite. Keep the grill at least 10 feet away from your house and anything flammable (under an awning, near siding, trees, etc.) and create a safe zone three feet away so children know not to get too close.

5. Since fireworks are dangerous and it’s obvious that children shouldn’t have access to them, sparklers are a great way for them to have a little fun without blowing anything up. Still, they come with their own risks, they are metal and do get very hot. Keep a bucket of water around for quick defusing, and have a safety talk with young kids that are going to be using them. This assures they won’t end up on the ground where they can be stepped on or picked up from the wrong end. If you’d still like your kids to have a hands on activity with a little less worrying, try bubbles! Bubbles are a great alternative to sparklers and are still fun to play with and look at.

6. Finally, FIREWORKS! Before buying or setting off fireworks, check your state laws to see if you are legally allowed. If not, search for something local that will have them on display where you and your family can safely watch from a distance. If your state does allow you to buy and set off fireworks, proceed with caution. Fireworks are still explosives they just have a fancy name. Have a fire extinguisher nearby, keep the area clear of anything that could catch fire, don’t try to light more than one firework at a time, and secure the base of the firework (whether that means digging a hole for it to sit in or making sure the ground below it is level) so there is no chance of it firing off in the wrong direction.

Bonus tip: Bug repellent! Make your own natural repellent that mosquitoes can’t stand: combine equal parts vinegar and witch hazel with (all or some of the following) mint, lemongrass, tea tree oil, and/or rosemary for a potent, human friendly, repellent!

Have a worry free vacation with these 7 security tips!

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                1. Start with preventative maintenance: if no one knows you’re going away, they won’t know when your home will be empty. Keep everyone on a need-to-know basis. Talk to your family, friends you trust, and maybe one or two neighbors if you’re close; giving the police a heads up isn’t a bad idea either.

                2. Don’t let your mail pile up, this is one of the telltale signs that no one is home. When you talk to your neighbor, ask if they can hold on to your mail until you get back, or maybe your sister can stop by every (other) day and bring it inside.

                3. Unplug any major appliances or have them plugged into a surge protector. No one wants to come home from vacation to a house with no power/fried appliances. Save yourself (and your wallet) the hassle!

                4. Program everything! With Slomin’s home automation has never been easier. Whether you’re down the street or across the country (or in another country), if you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you’re connected to your home. With the MySlomins app you can control your lights, the temperature, your security system (arming/disarming), and you can even lock or unlock your front door!

                5. Depending upon how long your vacation is, your lawn might start to show how long you’ve been gone. Schedule for a landscaper to stop by, or ask a friend if they would be able to keep up with the lawn mowing until you get back.

                6. Hide the spare keys! If you have any lying around in false rocks/sprinkler heads or under the welcome mat, now is the time to keep them indoors (or hand them over to anyone looking after your house).

                7. LOCK IT UP! Sometimes we forget about the simplest of things when we’re trying to make sure everything is perfect. Maybe a few windows are unlocked due to frequent use or you keep the door in your garage unlocked; these habits are okay when you’re home every day, but before going away check around the house top to bottom so you can be 100% sure you’re secure.

BONUS: Slomin’s is giving away a FREE indoor video camera on top of our already free security system. View live video while you’re away, or watch the clips when you have some down time. Call 1-800-ALARM-ME to learn more – we’ll be happy to get you setup as soon as possible!

10 Ways to keep the heat OUT and the A/C IN this season!

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Don't have a central air conditioner? You're in luck! Check out everything you need to know right here!

1. First things first: make sure you change your air filters! The longer you go without changing them, the worse your A/C’s airflow will be. We recommend setting a monthly reminder on your calendar to check your air filter.

2. Keep your vents clear and open (even in rooms you don’t use a lot). It’s a common misconception that closing off vents will save you money. By doing this, you’re increasing pressure in the air ducts which in time could cause air leaks in the system. Let your system run the way it was intended to for the best and most inexpensive results.

3. Check your A/C condenser for unwanted debris. These don’t need to be cleaned as often as the air filter, but they definitely need some love and care. We suggest checking the condenser twice a year, once before the season starts, and once after to make sure everything is still running smoothly. The best way to be sure your condenser is working at 100% is to call in a professional team for cleaning and inspection. 

4. Take a look at that little switch on your ceiling fans and make sure they are rotating counter-clockwise. This will push the air down and make your air conditioner more effective.

5. See if your windows and doors need new weather seals. It’s the little things that sometimes have the most impact, make sure they aren’t cracked or dried. A roll of weather stripping is relatively inexpensive and will save you more than it’s worth!

6. Set your thermostat to cool when you know you will be home. With Slomin’s home automation, this is no problem! When you install the thermostat you have two options, you can easily program it for your daily schedule, or you can download our app and set the temperature remotely (this works especially well for those with sporadic schedules).

7. Do you know where all your thermostats are located? Are there any heat sources near them? If so, it might be a good time to move them, the thermostat will detect that the house is hotter than it is and work overtime when it doesn’t have to.

8.  If you can, start changing the hours you run your dryer and dishwasher. By running them at night you can prevent them from heating up your house when the sun is out. Also, if you are on a special energy tariff using appliances like that at night are cheaper in cost.

9. Incandescent light bulbs give off about 90% heat and 10% light. By changing over to fluorescent bulbs you’ll be saving on your bill in two ways!

10. Last but not least, try to shade the windows that are in the suns path throughout the day. Those sun rays add a lot of unwanted heat to your home, using shades or blinds can greatly reduce the use of your air conditioner during those extra hot hours.

BONUS TIP: Summers are for grilling! Try to keep the cooking outside when possible, heating up your oven will definitely make your house hotter. Why do you think they coined the phrase “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen?”

 

 

How to Recover After a Burglary

A home burglary is a horrifying event that can leave residents frozen in fear. After the initial shock has worn off, the victims must try to move forward with their life. Here are five tips on how to recover after a burglary.

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Contact the police

Even if you are not in any imminent danger, it is still a good idea to call the police. The police will be able to determine exactly how the perpetrator entered your home. Furthermore, there could also be other victims within your area.

Strengthen the doors and keep the windows locked

As a homeowner, you must take the necessary steps to protect your property. If the entrance-ways are not properly secured, an aggressive criminal can easily kick open the door. Installing a heavy-duty strike plate will definitely provide you with an extra degree of protection.

Install extra lighting

Thieves tend to shy away from bright lights. Make sure that the exterior of your home remains well-lit. To minimize electrical costs, install motion-activated lights away from the reach of a burglar.

Invest in a Home Security System

Statistics show that less than 20 percent of the homes in the United States. are protected by an alarm system. Unsurprisingly, the absence of a home security system makes a burglar’s job a lot easier. If you truly want to safeguard your loved ones, home security systems and cameras are a must-have necessity.

Stop announcing your whereabouts on social media

Whether you are on a family trip or at the local shopping mall, never announce your whereabouts on social media. Criminals can use this important information to plot a burglary. Instead of uploading pictures while you are away, wait until you are back in town to share pictures of your vacation.

Schedule a Free In-Home Security Review with a Slomin’s Home Security Expert. 

To stay up-to-date make sure to visit Slomin's Facebook and Slomins Twitter.

Tips on How to Keep the Heat in your House for Winter Storm

As the weather becomes cooler and our thermostats get turned up, our electric bill goes up as well. There are a number of low cost ways to winterize your home and save on energy costs. Some are even tax deductible. Here are some tips to keep the heat in your house this winter, as we prepare for 2018's first winter storm.

Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Tip #1 - Sealing Leaks in Home

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Sealing leaks around windows and doors can prevent the cold air from entering your home. A draft snake placed in front your door will keep warm air from seeping out. They can be made by simply rolling up a towel or other piece of fabric. Make sure all windows are closed properly and remove window unit air conditioners that allow air to escape. Caulking gaps around doors and windows with silicone caulk provides a temporary seal that won’t damage paint. Another inexpensive solution is to tape bubble wrap over leaking windows. It will trap pockets of air that cool down your home.

Tip #2 - Using Natural Heating Sources

Opening up the blinds to take advantage of solar energy will reduce heating costs. You can also lower energy consumption by turning down the thermostat when cooking or leaving the home. Close off vents and shut doors to rooms you don’t use often to avoid wasting energy to heat unused space. Reversing the direction of airflow on your ceiling fans will help circulate warm air throughout the home.

Tip #3 – Home Heating System Check-up

Ensure that your heating system has been properly maintained. Change or clean the filter and have ductwork inspected for leaks. Make sure the ductwork is clean and not blocked by dirt or debris. Vacuum it out and seal any leaks. Have your HVAC system serviced annually to provide needed adjustments and replace any worn parts. If you need to replace an older furnace or decide to upgrade, choosing an Energy Star rated system can save you 50 percent or more on home heating costs.

Tip #4 - Home Insulation

Insulating your pipes with fiberglass insulation or foam rubber will not only protect them from freezing but prevent heat loss from water. This can reduce the cost of heating water substantially. Sufficient insulation between walls, in the attic and basement ceiling can also help minimize the cost of keeping your home heated. The federal government provides tax incentives for home energy improvements including insulation. Contact your state agency to learn more about energy programs and your eligibility.

SLOMIN'S IS READY 24/7 FROM ANY DEVICE

• If you would like to pay a bill, schedule a delivery, or make changes, log into your Slomin's account with no wait!

• Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for storm updates and tips

5 Ways To Increase the Security of Your Garage

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A stronger garage door is one that holds up under serious security tests. A lot can go into achieving a high-security standard with a garage door. Here are five of the best ways to improve the strength of your garage door security.

 

1. Sturdy Materials

 

Every garage door is not created equal. The material used to construct the garage door will determine the base level of security you are working with. The consideration to purchase a door with better construction will usually come when you are initially looking for a new garage door.

 

It is possible to strengthen an existing garage door, but this type of work should be done by a professional. Adding more material, or making structural changes to the door will affect the weight of the door, requiring a litany of subsequent changes to tracks, springs, motors, etc.

 

2. Emergency Cord Protection

 

On motorized garage doors, it is common to have an emergency cord installed. This cord releases the door so that it can be moved manually without the use of the electric motor. This precaution is extremely important during emergencies and power outages, but it also leaves the garage vulnerable to unauthorized entry.

 

With just a length of wire, most garages can be opened from outside by hooking this cord and pulling it. With a zip tie on metal latch the cord is moving, you can require more pressure to release the door. This type of pressure is not possible to exert with a wire from outside of the garage, but it will allow you to pull directly down on the cord and release the door in an emergency. You can also take steps to seal the gaps between the garage door and the garage walls.

 

3. Secure Alternate Entrances

 

Many people that attempt to strengthen their garage door neglect the other ways into the structure. You are not just diminishing the strength of your garage door by not focusing on other entrances, you are effectively negating the strength of your garage door entirely.

 

Make sure that any window glass is protected with security films that reduce the fragility of the panes. Any glass on the garage can potentially be smashed allowing full entry, or enough of a gap to reach in and grab something of value. Also be sure to check other doors and the state of windows during routine garage maintenance. Utilizing a Slomin’s home security system is also a great way to keep alternate entrances secure. A system such as this will help alert you to any intrusions.

 

4. Visual Obscurity

 

One of the best ways to strengthen the security of your garage door is to keep it from ever being targeted. This can easily be done by keeping the garage door shut as often as possible. Do not show off what you are storing in the garage to anyone that is walking through the neighborhood.

 

Keeping your garage door shut also gives you the full strength of its security. When the door is up, you are also exposing your property to crimes of opportunity such as snatch and grabs. At the same time, an open garage can invite vandalism and even pests.

 

5. Redundant Locks

 

Locks should be utilized whenever possible. It is important not to rely solely on one lock. Most people with electric garage door openers do not use any additional locks on their garage doors. This is good for convenience, but it weakens the defenses of your garage door.

 

An old garage may also have locks already installed that have fallen apart due to neglect. With just a simple lock repair, these types of garage doors can have their strength increased by returning them to their past glory. Also, pairing your garage door lock with some of the best front door locks on the market, helps increase your overall home security and garage security.

 

Conclusion

 

There are many things to think about in terms of security. And there are certainly more ways to increase the strength of your garage door than those listed above, but by using all of the aforementioned methods, you will be far ahead of most other homeowners. Invest in great locks, and check out how a Slomin’s home security system can help you keep your garage, and your home, more secure.

 

Article courtesy of Ralph Goodman of Unitedlocksmith.net.  Follow Ralph on Twitter.

Consider Slomin’s Home Security System this Holiday Season

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The planning. The feasting. The gatherings of family and friends. We look forward to the holidays and that time of year when everyone puts aside their day to day responsibilities to reconnect with each other. The long Thanksgiving weekend spent stuffing ourselves, swapping stories and lively conversations during the game. Actually seeing for ourselves how much the little ones have grown and catching up with everyone are just a few blessings of the holiday season. However, it is impossible to be both at home and away. How do you know that your house is secure when you are not home? The Federal Bureau of Investigation notes a spike in burglaries in November and December. Even more troubling is that more than 85 percent of burglaries go unsolved nationwide. Take the necessary steps to ensure your family’s safety and the security of your belongings with a home security system.

Home security systems include sensors as the most basic component. Sensors at windows and doors can let homeowners know of any disturbance around the perimeter of the home. A monitored system alerts the monitoring center. This monitoring center will contact authorities and the homeowner of a possible break in. Once installed, security sensors with a monitoring center provides homeowners the assurance that someone else is watching out for the home, family and possessions while they are away.

A wireless alarm system is one of the more advanced options. With your ‘wired’ home alarms, a potential burglar can cut the wires and gain access to your home and go undetected by the system in place. A wireless system has no wires to cut; many of these systems have apps that can be downloaded which allow homeowners to monitor, receive messages, and make changes to the condition of the home while away. Turn on the lights with the push of a button. The car is packed, the kids are in, but did your remember to lock all of the doors? Check the status while traveling. Wireless systems with the new home alarm system apps make it easy to monitor the security at home.

Home security systems are also useful for changes in the environment. Fires, floods and more can be detected with sensors that alert homeowners to the presence of smoke, deadly gas emissions or rising waters. Cameras, live feeds, and instant alerts keep families safe and in the know during the busy holiday season.

Consider Slomin’s Home Security System this Holiday Season
(and every season!)

How Slomin's Helps Protect Against Fire and Carbon Monoxide

What sets centrally-monitored systems apart from DIY systems and battery-operated smoke detectors – and what makes the extra cost worth it - is that Slomin's helps protect your home from fire or carbon monoxide even when you’ve disarmed the rest of your system.  After all, the emergency signal between your system and our central station remains intact 24/7/365.

Non-monitored systems might seem appealing to consumers because they provide users with the autonomy to arm their security system based on how vulnerable they feel, but, customers can find themselves at serious risk if they forget to turn their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors back on.

Slomin's Carbon monoxide fire

By providing monitoring to your home, Slomin's purpose is to protect you from a variety of crises and to provide you with help should an emergency situation arise.  An alarm signal from your home to our central monitoring station allows us to immediately dispatch an emergency response team if we sense a fire or carbon monoxide emergency.

As the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide has no color, shape, scent, or sound and can creep out of a heating unit or car when you least expect it.  Worst of all, carbon monoxide is lethal after as few as a couple of minutes should it reach the central nervous system or the heart.

Likewise, battery-operated smoke detectors cannot alert you if a fire happens when no one is home.  By the time your neighbors see the smoke, your home and belongings will have undergone significant damage.  An emergency demands an immediate response from local authorities in order to truly protect the people and things you value.

At Slomin’s, it all comes down to monitoring.  Who’s watching your home when you’re not home?  Your home and family are far too important to leave unattended – learn more about our centrally-monitored carbon monoxide, fire alarms, or any of our other protective services here.

To see what others have to say about why they choose Slomin's, click here.

How to Prepare Your House for Winter

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Preparing for winter can be time-consuming, so it’s best to begin as soon as the weather begins to change. In order to prepare as comprehensively as possible, take a walk around your home and yard to see what needs to be done in each area.

Begin by checking your heating equipment. Your heating system should operate properly and ventilate to the outdoors; it should also be clean so that it does not produce toxins.

The best time to check your oil burner is between early Spring to October, when you don’t rely as heavily on it.

A full-service oil company like Slomin’s offers maintenance checks on your heating equipment to ensure that you are ready for the winter season. Of the major heating sources, oil provides the most efficient and environment-friendly way to heat your house.

When preparing for winter, you will also want to decide on an oil provider by locking in at a fixed price before prices jump in the heart of winter.

  1. Be sure that all vents are uncovered and ready for you to turn the heat on.
  2. Insulate your home remove any window air conditioning units
  3. Secure windows shut in case of a storm
  4. While the weather is still reasonably warm, clean out your gutters and hoses.
  5. Have your roof inspected to see if it’s storm-ready and repair any leaks you may have put off over the summer.

You will also want to prepare for winter storms by turning your house into a safe haven in case disaster strikes. Be sure to gather emergency supplies in an easy-to-locate place so that you or your family can reach them quickly if necessary. These items should include nonperishable food as well as battery-operated flashlights. This is also a good place to store an extra first-aid kit, any extra medications you may have, and any baby supplies you might need.

Click here now to make sure you get Slomin's everyday low price on home heating oil!

How to Stay Safe During the School Year

With back-to-school season in full swing, you may be considering allowing your child to stay home alone after class, which can be more convenient and economically feasible than an after school program for parents that work away from home.

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Parents often wonder what the “right” age is to leave children alone, and there is no clear-cut answer. In fact, the majority of states (including New York) do not have laws stipulating at what age a child can be left unsupervised. The appropriate age varies based on the individual child’s level of maturity.

Is your child old enough ?

To evaluate whether your child is ready, there are a few things you should ask yourself the following questions :

    • Does your child already demonstrate personal responsibility with things like homework and chores?
    • Does he display good judgment in unexpected situations?

If you believe your child is prepared, set up a trial run and let your child stay home while you run a quick errand nearby. Continue practicing with longer periods away until you both feel comfortable. Once you are ready for the real thing, sit down with your child and set some guidelines. Consider establishing ground rules about:

    • Opening the door to strangers
    • Checking in with you
    • Having friends over
    • Completing chores
    • Doing homework
    • TV and computer time limits
    • Answering the phone

Hope for the best but always prepare for the worst

After going over your expectations, give your child a list of people they can contact if you are unavailable. Review basic safety precautions like locking doors and activating your home security system. You should also discuss procedures for emergency situations; make sure your child knows how to dial 911, prepare for severe weather, and react in the event of a fire.

Before you leave, set aside healthy snacks that your child can have if he gets hungry before dinner.  You should also put harmful things like medications, weapons, tobacco, and alcohol out of reach. Remember that however responsible and trustworthy your child is, unnecessary temptation can lead to lead to trouble.

Be cautious about leaving your child home for extended periods; even the most independent children can get lonely if they spend long hours by themselves. Ask a neighbor or family friend to drop in on your child if you know you are going to be working late.

While leaving children alone can be a source of anxiety for some parents, it can give children a sense of responsibility and teach them to take care of themselves.

If you are still having questions about leaving your child, let Slomin's advanced home security system allow you remotely keep an eye on your children while you’re at work.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Security System

The Slomin’s Shield home security system provides one of the most valuable things you can buy: peace of mind. Knowing that your family, pets, and home is safeguarded 24/7/365 is invaluable. Your system is connected to our in-house central monitoring station, staffed with highly trained respondents who will notify you and the authorities of unauthorized access.

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The advanced Slomin’s Shield system not only supports traditional security devices, such as pet-friendly motion detectors and door and window sensors, but it also includes smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, flood sensors, glass break detectors, and more. Thus, you will be alerted to burglars, fire and smoke, dangerous carbon monoxide levels, and floods.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Slomin’s Shield system:

  • Remote control app—the MyShield app for iOS and Android allows you to remotely control your system. You can do everything from view video camera footage to arm and disarm the system to set up scenes in which home automation devices interact with security devices.
  • Home automation—the state-of-the-art Slomin’s Shield system has built-in home automation capabilities. With the same touchscreen panel used for the security system, you can turn your home into a smart home. Remotely turn on the lights, change the temperature from your bedroom, lock the door from your car, and more.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors (CO detectors)—carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly, but with our advanced carbon monoxide detectors, we can warn you when the CO levels in your home become dangerous. Did you know that some experts believe that ghost sightings were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from leaky furnaces?
  • Video cameras—Slomin’s offers a wide array of video surveillance options, from pan-tilt-zoom cameras to low-light, outdoor cameras to DVR systems. Camera footage can be easily viewed through an app or the website.
  • Text alerts—receive a notice whenever a change is made to the system, such as when your child returns home from school and disarms the system or when guests leave and arm the system. You can set up custom access codes, so you know who is coming and going.
  • Correct information on file—since we contact you when your alarm goes off, it is crucial that you have the correct information on file. If you recently changed phone numbers, updated your email address, or want to add another contact person, please let us know!
  • Visibly displayed lawn signs and window decals—with owning a Slomin’s Shield system, you receive the privilege of displaying our lawn signs and window decals, helping to deter burglars.

Call 1-800-ALARM-ME or visit us today to find out how we can customize a Slomin’s Shield system for you and to discover why thousands already trust us to safeguard what matters to them most. We are available 24/7/365 to take your calls.

Running Safety Tips: Tips for Staying Safe While Running

Running has become the daily physical activity of choice for millions. Treadmills will work in a pinch, but running outdoors is one of the prime selling points. However, running outdoors invites new risks. Every runner should take some time to learn valuable running safety tips.

Valuable Running Safety Tips

Running safety is a series of a simple habits that will help provide many more running years. Below you’ll learn the most effective running tips to help keep you healthy and alive:

  • Dress safely. When it comes to running safety attire, all you need to know is neon and reflective elements. Midday runs can forego the reflective elements, but any dawn/dusk runs should make use of them. Staying as visible as possible to cars, bicycles and motorcycles is the most important part of staying safe during your run.
  • Let someone know that you’re running. If you get injured while out on a jog, having someone informed about your whereabouts will be extremely helpful to first responders. You can leave a note for roommates and life partners, or send a text to a friend. Letting them know your general route and time frame for return may seem innocuous, but in a crisis situation this information may save your life.
  • Invest in self-defense training.Getting hit by a car is certainly the biggest concern, but being attacked is an unfortunate reality. Self-defense training will help prepare you for the possibility of an attacker interrupting your run. In fact, many people who learn self-defense or martial arts carry themselves more confidently, which dissuades attackers.
  • Try to find a running partner.Running solo should be considered a last resort. Having a running partner will dramatically improve the safety of both people. As a side bonus, you’ll also be able to hold each other accountable. If you can’t find a running partner, take your dog or borrow a friend’s dog!
  • Avoid headphones. Running without headphones might seem unnatural to many people, but the fact is that headphones greatly reduce your situational awareness. Your ears are an important element of staying alert during your run. Hearing is the only way to be warned of hazards behind you; don’t deprive yourself of this vital sense. Having one earbud in is an acceptable compromise, but having both in should be avoided.

You Can Stay Safe On Your Run

Each of the above safety tips will help you avoid danger. Once you’ve developed the habits, most of these running safety tips won’t even require conscious effort.

To stay up to date with our home safety / security articles and services, visit our website or connect with us on Slomin’s Facebook and Slomin’s Twitter.

How to Prevent Your Home from Flooding

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With each storm comes the possibility for flooding. Not only is flooding a huge hassle, but it can be incredibly damaging to your home. While long-term prevention is the best defense against flood damage, many of these tactics are expensive and time-consuming. Here are some last-minute tips to prevent flood damage in your home once a flood watch has been issued in your area. While they may not be as effective as other preventative measures, they can help keep the damage under control.

Check Downspouts, Drains, and Gutters

While it may seem like a moot point once major flooding happens, making sure downspouts, drains, and gutters are clear can help keep flooding damage to a minimum. The clearer they are, the more effective they are in preventing water damage and flooding. You can also make sure that the outlet of the down spout is as far away from the foundation as possible, which can help prevent water from accumulating and entering the house.

Move Expensive Items Away from Potential Flood Areas

Whenever possible, move furniture, electronics, heirlooms, rugs, and other expensive items to upper levels in the house to keep them safe from potential water damage. The higher the elevation, the better. You can also raise appliances on concrete blocks to help prevent floodwaters from reaching them.

Shut Off Electricity and Gas

It’s no secret that water and electricity don’t mix. By shutting off the electricity and gas before flooding begins, you can prevent expensive and life-threatening damage to yourself and your home.

Dry-Proof Walls and Floors

Once the flood watch begins, head to your local hardware store to purchase some water-impermeable sealant to use on your walls, doors, windows, utility penetrations, and slabs, which can help resist flood loads.

While last minute efforts aren’t the best way to prevent flooding, you might not have the time or resources to prevent flooding through more intensive measures. These tips can help keep damage to a minimum and prevent your more expensive items from being damaged in floodwaters.

For other home safety solutions on how to prevent your home from flooding, visit Slomins.com. Slomin’s home alarm systems includes water sensors and with our 24/7 central monitored system, you will be notify immediately of flooding in your home.

How to Prevent your Home from Package Theft

It seems like enough time has passed for that package you ordered to be delivered. When you call to inquire about it, they say that the item has been delivered. You are left scratching your head, paying for an item that arrived but has never crossed your threshold. Package thieves are on the rise according to major package delivery companies. They follow delivery trucks. Then they enter your yards, go onto porches and make off with anticipated deliveries and gifts. Here are a few tips you can keep in mind to help prevent your home from package theft.

Tips to Avoid Package Theft

Law enforcement officials every year suggest a number of tips that can be used to secure the safety of your packages.

Tip#1 – Signature Confirmation 

When ordering online, request a signature confirmation with the delivery. Packages can only be released to individuals and will not remain on a doorstep.

Tip#2 – Create a Delivery Agreement with Neighbors

Speak to your neighbors and work with them to watch out and secure each other’s packages. Call, text or email them when their packages have arrived and secure them per your agreement. Especially noteworthy times are around Black Friday, tax return season, birthdays and during gift-giving holidays such as Christmas. Let each other know of vacations and unusual schedules and keep watch for suspicious activity.

Tip#3 – Online Tracking

Set up your packages with online tracking. There are companies that send text notifications to cell phones upon delivery of intended packages. Tracking allows purchasers to know when packages have left the warehouse and meet route points along the way to the final destination.

Tip#4 – Alternative Address

Use an alternate address for delivery. Some employers allow deliveries to a workplace. Make sure to check for approval. Otherwise, speak with a trusted friend or family member that will be available to attend to the parcel and send the item to their address.

Tip#5 – Mail Person Instructions

If left with few options, leave specific instructions and have deliverymen leave the item on the side or at the rear of the house. Keep the item out of plain view. This will reduce temptation.

Consider a Home Security Camera


Package thieves are caught everyday with the use of home surveillance cameras. When used properly, a home security camera can even help deter thieves from ever attempting to take off with a package. The security camera can be integrated within your home security system.

Schedule a free in-home security review today!

Hurricane Season, Be Prepared

Hurricane season is right around the corner and it is never too early to prepare with hurricane safety tips. Proper preparation before the storm is essential. Here are some valuable Hurricane Season Safety Tips:


Hurricane Safety Tip #1 – Maintain a Hurricane Kit
Essential items include a first aid kit, flashlights and batteries, rain gear, fuel for your vehicle, a multi-tool, and a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food and fresh water for each member of your family, including pets. Keep a battery-powered radio to get updates on the storm and to listen for the all-clear.

Hurricane Safety Tip #2 – Have a plan
Familiarize yourself with the locations of local shelters, and know the quickest way out of the area. When a hurricane warning has been issued, ready your hurricane kit and listen for updates. Make sure to secure loose objects outside. It may be necessary to board up your windows; always maintain a supply of wood and tools for this purpose. If an evacuation order is issued for your area, leave immediately.

Hurricane Safety Tip #3 – Remain in a secure location
If you are staying with your home during a hurricane, remain indoors in a secure room, away from any windows. Do not use candles. Unplug any electric appliances until you’re sure the storm has passed.

Hurricane Safety Tip #4 – Be patient
The eye of the hurricane may be calm, but the storm will resume as soon as it passes. Stay inside until you’re certain the hurricane is over. Once it’s over, use supplies from your hurricane kit until you can be sure outside food and water isn’t contaminated.

Hurricane Safety Tip #5 – After the Storm
Remain where you are until the storm has passed. If you must leave your home, avoid flooded roads and bridges. Report and avoid damaged power lines. Don’t use your phone unless it is an emergency.

For other references to Hurricane Safety Tips, visit: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/hurricane

Consider Installing a Home Security System
It may not be an obvious thought but having a home security system active while hurricane warnings have been indicated in your area, can notify you of an increasing threat. An early sign of a damage to your home is flooding. Slomin’s home security system setup, includes water sensors and 24/7 central monitored alarm system that will notify you immediately of flooding in your home.

Selling Your Home? Consider the Benefits of Installing Home Automation

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Smart technology has come home. Literally.

The majority of Americans today depend on smart technology to get through the day -- from a phone that stores contact names and numbers, reminds you of appointments, alerts you of approaching storms or helps you avoid the worst of the traffic snarl. Homeowners also rely on modern technology to regulate the temperature, monitor sleeping infants, water the shrubbery and alert the authorities in case of fire or break-in, and to help save energy.

But the ability to control these time and labor-saving devices, to set their operation to meet your needs, and to seamlessly integrate them is relatively recent. Wireless technology has brought us home automation on steroids!

Installing Home Automation is Smart                                                                                   

Numerous recent studies confirm that home buyers today want technology, and more is definitely better. While there is a difference between home automation and smart home technology, the lines are blurred. Systems that work independently to make life easier or more comfortable fall into the category of home automation: setback thermostats, basic security systems, timers for yard irrigation, intercoms, baby monitors, and voice or motion-activated lighting are just a few examples.

Smart homes, on the other hand, take home automation a step further by creating an environment that is linked together seamlessly and can be monitored and controlled from onsite, across town or on the other side of the globe.

New applications are introduced almost daily, and the impact of integrated smart devices changes the way Americans live.

Making Sense of Smart

In a 2016 news report, the Washington Post noted that 65 percent of home buyers, in a John Burns Real Estate survey of 22,000, would pay a premium for smart home technology. Some of the more popular features mentioned include networked appliances, both interior and exterior security, smart air filtration, home safety devices such as "doorbells with text alerts" and remote control over lighting, heating and air conditioning.

A majority of home sellers would install smart features, with the expectation of a higher sales price, and nearly 75 percent of buyers, especially Millennials, would pay $1,500 or more extra for a smart home.

However, "smart" can have differing meanings. In January of 2016, Coldwell Banker sought to develop an industry-standard definition in cooperation with CNET, a consumer technology site. This is the result:

"Smart home: A home that is equipped with network-connected products (aka “smart products,” connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself."

The basic requirement is a reliable internet connection; and the definition also stipulates that a smart home must either have a smart security system or smart temperature controls in addition to two more features from a comprehensive list.

The Future of Smart

Coldwell Banker views 2016 as the year that smart home technology became "mainstream." Close to 90 percent of American homeowners also acknowledge smart home value, but only one in four have smart technology in their own homes, according to the firm's assessment.

Appraisers today also recognize the "dollars and cents" value of smart technology, and will make adjustments for the added value. Observers report that today it's not only high- end homes that are smart; the expectation is that buyer demand will make the technology commonplace.

The future is here, for all practical purposes. Sellers today would be wise to check into integrating smart home technology into a home before listing it for sale. In addition to almost assuring a higher sales price, real estate professionals say that it might lessen the time a property spends on the market.

That is, indeed, a smart move.

Let Slomin’s help turn your home into a smart home with the Slomin’s Shield® system you use to protect your family. Contact a Slomin's representative for more details 1-800-ALARM-ME or visit www.slomins.com to schedule an appointment today.


 

Article courtesy of Dylan Snyder. Dylan is a team leader and real estate consultant at The Snyder Group - Keller Williams Realty Luxury Homes. His business is augmented by his high-caliber team of seasoned buyer specialists and a dedicated marketing department.

Feel Safe This BBQ Season - All Season!

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With summer now officially in full swing, we all know that one of the more favorable things to do is fire up the grill! Whether your hosting or going out, enjoying the wonderful summer weather with family and friends is a fun and exciting time.


Here at Slomin’s, we want you to feel safe and secure whether you're outside grilling, or sitting in someone else’s yard enjoying the feast!


Protect and view your home with advanced features like security cameras, central station monitoring, and the ability to see your home from your computer, phone, or tablet. The Slomin's Shield system makes it easier to control hundreds of various devices around the home by way of the control panel or remotely through the Slomin's App. View and control your system from the palm of your hand with The Slomin’s Apple and Android apps. Or simply go online to access and control your system from your PC or Mac desktop computer.


The Slomin’s Shield is one of the most advanced systems in the industry, providing convenient and reliable protection for your home and loved ones. The panel connects you to our central monitoring station and controls the security-related features of the system. With its user-friendly interface, you'll keep your home and loved ones protected and safe.


Rest easier this summer with Slomin’s on your side! Find out how you can protect your home with The Slomin’s Shield by calling 1-800-ALARM-ME or by visiting www.slomins.com!

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