Here are some helpful articles on how to keep your business and home safe and protected. We offer custom-designed, security systems for New Jersey businesses and residential homes. With the most cutting edge security solutions in the industry, you can trust GCSI Security Group’s highly qualified experts.

home owner insurance

Insurance companies are giving huge savings to home owners who have monitored alarm systems installed in their home.

Homeowner insurance discounts: Insurance companies are rewarding their clients for protecting their homes. Savings for the home owner start at about 5% for homes which have smoke alarm, basic security system or deadbolts. Monitored alarm systems can bring in a discount of up to a 20% . A monitored  alarm systems contacts the appropriate authorities or Central Monitoring Station when an event triggers the alarm. The total savings can offset the price of the system, while offering a safer home to live in.

Big Savings! The average premium discount for a home equipped with a monitored alarm system is 20%.

Insurance companies are now offering such huge discounts for customers who have a monitored alarm system installed because modern systems are more reliable. The newer systems reduce claims. They are also capable of handling multiple safety concerns throughout a home. Most systems can offer the home owner these additional features installed right into their security system.  Such as; smoke, fire and flood alarms.

Investing in a monitored home security system can offer you the peace of mind your family deserves, as well as, save you money on your homeowners’ insurance.

In a study, conducted by Simon Hakin at Temple University, it was found that an alarmed single family home is 60% less likely to be broken in to. The study compared homes with alarms to a similar home without an alarm. Another study, conducted by Rutgers University, shows that advances in security technology makes systems more affordable, versatile and dependable than ever before. These technical innovations have increased the availability of home security systems to middle class homeowners and have reduced crime.

smart home for kids

Home Automation for the home is becoming the new “norm” in the modern house. The uses of these technologies are endless. From controlling our lights, appliances and home entertainment systems. Monitoring our security and safety.  In addition, saving us time and money.

Listed below are a few of my favorite Home Automation ideas:

There is safety in light

When the garage door is activated after dark, have your lights leading up to your front door automatically turn on.

I have tried motion sensor lights in the past to try to accomplish this…only to find myself spending my time jumping up and down in front of the sensors to try and activate them. Now the only time I have to jump up and down is at the gym, during a burpees set.

Saving energy is on everyone mind

Have the lights in a room automatically turn off when your motion detectors sense the room is vacant for a specified period.

This automation program has saved me time and money. I used to spend my nights trailing my children, as they jumped from room to room, leaving lights on everywhere. Now I just sit back and relax and let my Home Automation System, Control4, do the work for me. Bonus: My electrical bill is down 10%!

Always know when someone is entering or leaving your home

Program the lights in your house to flash briefly when any exterior door is opened.

My youngest, is an “escape artist”. Every time I turn around, he is heading for the outside. I spent a ridiculous amount of money on pricey locks to try and keep him from escaping (only to have him learn how to open them within days). Now every time my little opens an exterior, I am immediately alerted, no matter where I am in the house. 

and lastly…..

No more mold

Add a humidity sensor in your bathroom. You can have your exhaust fan automatically turn on when a room reached a certain moisture level.

This automation feature has cut my cleaning time in half.  Bonus: I no longer have to stand outside the bathroom door, yelling to, “PUT THE FAN ON”, when someone in my household is showering.


For those of you who aren’t up to date on this latest technology trend… Geofencing is the use of GPS or RFID (radio frequency identification) technology to create a virtual geographic boundary or barrier, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a designated area. Or more simply, with your house as “home-base”, you can set up an invisible parameter around it, which can be connected to and controlled by apps on your phone.

Now that you know about Geofencing…enter in Home Automation. How can we use the two technologies together to make the perfect pairing?

Once you have set up your geofence(s), you can connect it to your Home Automation system to have them work together. Basically, any Smart Home technology you have in your home can now work in conjunction with your geofence. Imagine a scenario where you have left your house and can’t remember if your locked your doors or if you set your security alarm. No worries! You can program your Home Automation System to automatically lock all your doors and set your alarm once you leave your geofenced parameters. No more losing time to turn back to check the locks!!

Let’s take it a step further…you can also program your Home Automation System to turn on (or off) your lights once you enter or leave your geofence parameter, as well as, adjust the temperature of house. This would save you time and energy use.

Worried about where your kids are going? You can set a parameter that when breached you will be automatically be alerted. A message will be sent directly to your phone. You can also set an alert to let you know when they get home.

Does “Fido” like to occasionally run off? You can purchase a smart dog collar for your furry friend and set up a geofence. You will be notified whenever you pal leaves their designated location to go chase after the mailman.

The possibilities only end with how far your imagination will bring you.

items burglars want

Top home security experts reveal that when a burglar enters your home there are certain items they are looking for. A burglar looks for items which are small, valuable and easy to remove. Some of the tops items in home break-ins are:


It is very easy and lucrative for a thief to pawn or meltdown your jewelry to make quick cash. If you have any high value jewelry it is best to keep it in a safety deposit box at your local bank or in a bolted security box in your home.


Cash is a burglars’ favorite find. It is small, untraceable and has instant value. It is best to store your cash at your bank.


Whether the burglar is an addict or not, prescription drugs have value. There is a huge market for these types of medicines and he/she can make a huge profit from selling them.


Guns and weapons are one of the easiest things for a criminal to sell “on the streets” because they are always in high demand.  Guns should always be stored in a gun safe to stop them from being stolen or used against you in a home invasion.


Smart phones, tablets, laptops, video game consoles, IPods®. Even though these items aren’t the least conspicuous thing to carry out of your home; they are one of the easiest to sell. A burglar will target these items because of their cash value. It is a good idea to have your family put them in a safe space after each use.

It is also important to remember the information you store on many of these items is personal and can aide a criminal to steal your identity. Identity thieves have risen over the years, mostly due to the sensitive information we store online. It is a good practice to store sensitive information on an external hard drive and to make sure it is stored in a secure location.

The latest trend in home security, the “smart” or video doorbell, has revolutionized the way we interact with our front doors. With its seamless integration with iOS or Android devices, this innovative device enables you to see, hear, and communicate with visitors at your door. But its capabilities extend far beyond being a mere doorbell. It acts as a vigilant video camera and a convenient two-way communicator, enhancing your home security and lifestyle.

Let’s explore how having a video doorbell can empower you to live smarter:

  • Remote Door Access: Whether you’re lounging on the couch or vacationing miles away, the video doorbell allows you to answer your door from anywhere in the world or within the comfort of your home. You can effortlessly see and converse with whoever rings your doorbell, ensuring you never miss an important visitor or package delivery.
  • Enhanced Security Footage: Your video doorbell serves as a watchful guardian, capturing any suspicious activity at your front door. Whether it’s an attempted package theft or a suspicious caller, the recorded video provides valuable evidence for future viewing and necessary action.
  • Peace of Mind for Child Safety: Ensure the safety of your children by having them ring the doorbell when they arrive home from school. This simple act gives you peace of mind, assuring you that your children have safely returned home. You can remotely verify their well-being and attend to any concerns promptly.
  • Uninterrupted Rest with “Do Not Disturb” Mode: When you desire uninterrupted relaxation or a rejuvenating afternoon nap, switch your video doorbell into “Do Not Disturb” mode to disable the chime. Even in this mode, you will still receive text notifications on your device, allowing you to catch up on any missed visitors or events when you awaken.Package Delivery Convenience: With the rise in online shopping, package deliveries have become a regular occurrence. A video doorbell simplifies the process by allowing you to communicate with delivery personnel even when you’re not at home. You can provide specific instructions or request them to leave the package in a secure location, ensuring your deliveries are safe and secure.Visitor Screening and Control: The video doorbell gives you the ability to screen visitors before opening the door. Whether it’s a salesperson, a solicitor, or a stranger, you can assess their identity and intent without compromising your safety. This feature is particularly valuable for vulnerable individuals or those living alone, providing an added layer of security and peace of mind.
  • Package Delivery Convenience: With the rise in online shopping, package deliveries have become a regular occurrence. A video doorbell simplifies the process by allowing you to communicate with delivery personnel even when you’re not at home. You can provide specific instructions or request them to leave the package in a secure location, ensuring your deliveries are safe and secure.
  • Visitor Screening and Control: The video doorbell gives you the ability to screen visitors before opening the door. Whether it’s a salesperson, a solicitor, or a stranger, you can assess their identity and intent without compromising your safety. This feature is particularly valuable for vulnerable individuals or those living alone, providing an added layer of security and peace of mind.
  • Deterrent Against Potential Intruders: The mere presence of a visible video doorbell can act as a powerful deterrent against potential intruders. Criminals are more likely to think twice before targeting a property equipped with surveillance technology. The knowledge that their actions are being recorded and their identities can be captured increases the overall security of your home.
  • Integration with Smart Home Systems: Video doorbells often integrate seamlessly with other smart home devices, enhancing the overall functionality of your home automation system. You can create customized routines that activate lights, unlock doors, or adjust thermostats when the doorbell detects motion or a visitor rings the bell. This integration adds convenience and allows for a more connected and cohesive smart home experience.

By embracing the latest advancements in home security technology, such as video doorbells, you can create a safer and more intelligent living environment. Experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have control over who enters your property and the ability to monitor your front door from anywhere. Invest in a video doorbell today and take a significant step towards enhancing your home security and living smarter

cellular monitoring

As a result of people getting rid of their landline phones, Cellular Monitoring is becoming the main way for an alarm system to “talk” to the central station.

For years, Cellular Monitoring has been used as a back-up system for POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service). It was only triggered when a landline was not working. It was set in motion when there was a power loss or a break in a line. Today, 25% of American households no longer have a landline. People are switching to cell phones as their only source of a phone. As more people get rid of their landline, Cellular Monitoring has become the new standard for home security solutions.

What Is Cellular Monitoring?

Cellular Monitoring is a wireless network which allows an alarm system to “talk to”  the central station. It can “talk to” the central station even when a landline is not working. It operates on a its own secure channel. The system sends a signal over a secure, encrypted transmission to the monitoring center if your alarm is triggered.


Cellular Monitoring is reliable. If phone lines are down or an intruder attempts to disable them your system will still be able to transmit a signal.

In addition, Cellular Monitoring is easy of install. The system is wireless, so there is no need for drilling and re-wiring.

Cellular technology also allows for remote access of your home. You can access your alarm system, from anywhere in the world. It all can be done through apps from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. There are many smart home technologies which become available when you run your system through cellular technology. Most noteworthy:

Remote Arm & Disarm
Remote Lock & Unlock
Climate Control
Lighting Control
Live Video Streaming
Real Time Alerts Via Text

With the shift towards cell phones as the primary means of communication and the decline of landline phones, cellular monitoring has emerged as the leading method for alarm systems to communicate with central monitoring stations. What was once used as a backup system for landlines has now become the new standard in home security solutions.

Cellular monitoring operates through a wireless network, enabling alarm systems to transmit signals to the monitoring center even when landlines are down or compromised. This reliable communication channel ensures that your system can still alert authorities in the event of an intrusion or emergency.

One of the key advantages of cellular monitoring is its ease of installation. Since the system is wireless, there’s no need for extensive drilling or rewiring, making it a convenient option for homeowners.

Moreover, cellular technology opens up a world of remote access possibilities for your home security system. Through smartphone, tablet, or laptop apps, you can remotely arm and disarm your alarm, control locks and climate settings, manage lighting, and even stream live video. These smart home integrations enhance the convenience and control you have over your home security.

As the reliance on landline phones continues to decline, embracing cellular monitoring for your alarm system ensures you stay connected and protected. The reliable communication, easy installation, and remote accessibility make cellular monitoring a valuable choice for homeowners seeking comprehensive and convenient security solutions.

Upgrade your home security to the modern era with cellular monitoring, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a reliable, wireless, and connected alarm system. Stay ahead of the curve and embrace the future of home security today.

Protecting your kids using smart home technology. Many working parents are faced with an after-school childcare dilemma. Whether the decision is to hire a “sitter” or to allow them to stay home alone after school, as parents, we always worry about our children’s safety. Luckily, with advances in technology, today’s home automation systems offer many security features which can aid you in creating a safer environment for your kids when you are not around. Here are some of the safety features smart home technology has to offer:

Remote Smart Locks

No more lost keys…..These locks come with the capability of assigning personalized codes to multiple users. You can give your children their own code and be alerted through text when they enter the home. The same applies for a babysitter. The code can also be programmed to work only certain hours. Therefore, when your sitter leaves for the day, they no longer have access to your home. The locks can also be used to monitor and alert you if your child or sitter forgets to lock the door behind them. Once alerted you have the capability of locking the door remotely.

Video Doorbell

A video door phone will allow a child or sitter to see who is at the door before answering it. It also has capabilities to take a picture and/or video of the visitor.

Door Sensors

Adding door sensors to high risk areas, like a medicine cabinet, a closet containing cleaning products or a room the children/babysitter are not supposed to enter can be a beneficial safety measure. If any of the sensors are activated an alert will immediately be sent to your phone.

Security Cameras

A surveillance system can allow you to view what is going on at home with real time video. You can monitor who is in your house and what anyone is doing at that specific time. The viewing can all be done remotely.

Additional Safety Features To Consider: A panic button can be added and accessed through smart phone or smart remote. If the panic button is pressed, you will be alerted, as well as the appropriate authorities. You can also add your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to your system to alert you and the authorities if either is triggered.


Smoke alarm placement is just as important as having a working smoke alarm.  “Hear the beep where you sleep: Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm”. It is recommended for a smoke alarm be placed inside each bedroom. Further one should be placed outside each sleeping area of the home.

Half of all US home fire deaths occur at night between 11pm -7am, while most people are sleeping. It is imperative to be able to hear an activated alarm immediately. You only have as little as 1 to 2 minutes to evacuate your home before a fire becomes life threatening. Having an alarm located in each bedroom will give you a better chance of hearing a tripped alarm while you are asleep.

Smoke Alarm Placement Is Not All You Need To Consider

It is also important to have a fire escape plan for your family. Once you develop a plan your family should practice it twice a year. Most importantly, make sure your children are comfortable and understand the plan. It is also recommended that you visit your local fire department and let your kids see all the fire fighters gear. A lot of children are scared when they see a fire fighter in their gear and hide.

Stand-alone fire alarms will not alert you if there is a fire situation in another part of your home. It is recommended for you to install interconnected alarms. They will alert you by activating all alarm horns when smoke is detected anywhere in your home.  Another critical option to consider is to have your alarm monitored through a Central Station. If your alarm is tripped, an alert will immediately be sent to the monitoring staff. As a result, the proper authorizes will be dispatched to your location.

If you would like to learn more about smoke alarm placement in your home or business, please call GCSI Security Group at (856) 728-8228.

Security Systems

Preventing false alarms can save you time, money and your sanity. False alarms are a nuisance for all involved, especially for the responding authorities. These alarms distract the authorities from real emergencies and tie up their resources. Some municipalities can even fine you for excessive false alarms.

Here are some tips for avoiding false alarms:

Preventing false alarms is crucial for saving time, money, and maintaining peace of mind. False alarms not only inconvenience everyone involved but also divert resources and attention away from genuine emergencies. To avoid these nuisances and potential fines, implementing a few preventive measures can go a long way.

First and foremost, ensure that anyone operating your alarm system, including visitors and house guests, is familiar with its proper usage. Consider utilizing wireless keyfobs, as they simplify the arm and disarm process, reducing the chances of human error.

Properly securing all doors and windows is essential. Unlocked or improperly closed openings can trigger false alarms, especially if they are prone to movement or shifting. Take care to design your system with your pets in mind, as their presence can often lead to false alarms. Consult with a security professional to ensure your system is pet-friendly and tailored to your specific needs.

Motion detectors can also be sensitive to certain conditions, such as the movement of large plants, balloons, or decorations. To minimize potential false alarms, strategically position these items away from the range of your motion detectors or from areas with moving air. Additionally, pests, spider webs, and dust near smoke and motion detectors can generate false alarms, so regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial.

During remodeling or construction projects, disorder and changes to your security and fire systems may inadvertently trigger false alarm conditions. It is essential to involve a trained alarm technician to handle any modifications or adjustments to your system during these periods. Contact your alarm company before initiating any remodeling or construction project to ensure a seamless integration with your security setup.

By following these tips and maintaining proactive measures, you can significantly reduce the occurrence of false alarms. Not only will this save you unnecessary hassle, but it will also ensure that emergency responders can focus their attention on real emergencies. Prioritize the reliability and effectiveness of your security system by preventing false alarms, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a well-maintained and trustworthy alarm system.

Keep your home safe while you are on vacation.

With Summer upon us, we are officially entering into “vacation season”. One of the last things you want to worry about while on vacation is the safety of your home.

We all know burglars like “easy” targets. A vacant home can be the easiest of targets if you do not have the proper plan in place to secure it.

When preparing to leave for your vacation, it is a good idea to use a checklist to make sure you haven’t left your property vulnerable to intrusion. Here are a few items that should be on your list.

Mail and newspaper delivery: You want to either ask a neighbor or relative to make sure your mail and newspapers are picked up daily. Also, have them check for flyers left on the door. If you do not have anyone you trust, another option is to put a “hold” on your mail and newspaper delivery for the time you will be away from home.

Keep your vacation private, but not a secret: Do not publicize you are leaving your home unattended for a period of time. You do want to alert a trusted neighbor or family member, so they can keep an eye on your house.

Create an illusion that someone is home: Use timers for your lights. Also, set a radio to auto-on at certain times a day. Invest in motion sensors for outside lighting.

If you are gone for more than a week hire someone to mow your lawn: An unkempt yard allows a possible intruder to know that someone could possibly be away.

If possible leave a car in the driveway: If you don’t have a car being left at home, ask a neighbor to park one of theirs in your driveway. Try to give the appearance you are coming and going.

Social Media: Even though it is tempting to let your social media circle know that you are planning or are going on vacation, it is better to keep it off of the internet until after you return.

Make sure everything is locked up: Walk around your house (inside and out), right before you leave, and check to see everything is secure. If you own a home security system, make sure it is armed.

If you are going on a road trip pack up the quickly the morning of, not the night before: Luggage sitting in a car is alerting everyone who sees it, that you are ready to leave your house unattended.

Following these simple home safety practices can help keep your home safe and protect your valuables. Ultimately, the best way to keep your home safe is to install a monitored security system. With a monitored alarm system installed, you can feel peace of mind, even if you are not home.

If you would like more information on the benefits of installing a home security system, please call the GCSI Security Group at (877) 589-6111.