The Best Home Security System For Your Home and Family Is One Installed  And Monitored By a Professional.

Here are a few “Do’s” of home safety every homeowner should know.

DO protect windows and doors:

First of all, make sure all your windows and doors are equipped with sturdy locks. Routinely check to make sure all your window and door locks are activated. In addition, a deadbolt lock is the best for an outside access door. Install a deadbolt which does not have an inside key. For sliding glass doors, reinforce your locks with a metal pipe and place it where your door slides. Furthermore, invest in a glass break sensor system.  If your door is compromised, your monitored alarm system will notify the central station.

DO make sure your home and surrounding property is well lit:

While you are not home, try to make it seem like you are. Motion-sensored outdoor lighting is an excellent deterrent. Make sure your porch and doorways are well lit to thwart off any attackers waiting for you to get home to gain access. For the indoors, enable timers to your lights to make it seem like someone is home. Finally, you can add a home automation system. You will be able to control your lights and security system from anywhere in the world.

DO use drapes or blinds to obscure line of sight into your home:

While advertising “what you have” is great for a business, it is not a great idea when it comes to home protection. Using blinds and drapes to cover your windows allows you to hide your valuables from sight. A good idea is to walk around your home and peer into your windows to assess what you can see. If you can see anything of value, try to move the items to obscure sight from the outside.

Out of the approximately 2 million burglaries, which occur each year, three quarters of them happen  to residential homes.

DO lower the ringer on your home phone:

When not home, you want to lower your ringer volume on your home phone. By doing so, a person passing by your home will not be able to hear a phone call going to voicemail. An unanswered phone call is a clue, to a possible intruder, a home is vacant.

DO sleep with car keys near bed:

Nowadays most of us have key-fobs, equipped with a panic button on our car keys. If a home evasion or emergency situation occurs while you are in bed, setting off a car alarm could scare off an intruder and alert a neighbor to an emergency situation. For additional Security: A panic button near your bed can also be installed in connection with your home security system.

DO recheck all your window and door locks after a contractor has been in your home: 

We have all heard the stories in the news referencing a homeowner being burglarized by a  contractor they hired to do work on their house. Therefore, once a contractor has access to your home, it is very easy for them to unlatch a window and/or door locks for later entry. Recheck all window and door locks in rooms which any contractor has been into immediately after they leave.

9 out 10 convicted burglars admit they would avoid a home which they knew to have a security system

DO store fire wood or anything stackable away from the home:

Most break-ins occur through lower level entry, but if a burglar believes they can gain easy access through a second or third floor, they will try. Therefore, storing stackable items along-side your home is like leaving a ladder for a burglar to climb up.

DO  leave an extra set of keys with a neighbor or trusted friend:

A burglar would rather use a key to get into your home than to break in through a window or door. A burglar will take the time to look for a key in the “obvious” places. Consequently, hiding a key under your door mat or planter is a bad idea. If you do not feel comfortable leaving your key with anyone, another option is to invest in a keyless entry system. With a keyless entry system you never have to worry about locking yourself out of your house.

DO take the time to phone your delivery person or friend and give them the message directly:

Avoid leaving a “note” on the door.  A note left on the door for a delivery person or friend is basically puts a sign on your door saying “we are not home”. A note on the door can easily be seen by anyone walking or driving by your home.

In conclusion, following these simple home safety practices can help keep your home safe and protect your valuables.

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

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.

Security Systems

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.

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 is the “smart” or video doorbell. It allows you to see, hear and speak to someone at your door through an iOS or Android device. Your doorbell will not only alert you when someone is at your door, it will also act as a video camera and two-way communicator.

There are many ways having a video doorbell can help you live smarter:

  • You can answer your door from anywhere in the world or in your home: Whether you are sitting on your couch or on vacation, you will be able to see and speak to whomever rings your doorbell.
  • You have video of anything suspicious going on at your front door: From someone stealing a package from your front door to a suspicious caller ringing your doorbell, all is recorded for future viewing.
  • Know when your children are home safe: Have your child(ren) ring the doorbell when they arrive home from school. This will give you peace of mind that they arrived safely.
  • Enjoy an afternoon nap using the “Do Not Disturb” mode: Switch your video doorbell into “Do Not Disturb” mode to disable the chime. If someone is at your front door you will still receive a text message, so when you wake up you know what you have missed.

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

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

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:

  • When allowing visitors and house guests to operate your alarm system, make sure they know how to properly use your system.
  • Wireless keyfobs may help reduce the human error by simplifying the arm and disarm process.
  • Make sure all doors and windows close and secured properly. Unlocked doors and windows, in some circumstances, may move or shift which may cause a false alarm.
  • Pets can often create many false alarms. Make sure your system has been designed for your specific pets. Please contact GCSI for more information.
  • Due to the design of most motion detectors, certain conditions can be created that may cause false alarms. Some of these conditions include the movement of large plants, balloons, or decorations. To reduce potential false alarms, attempt to place these items out of the range of your motion detectors or out of the path of moving air. For more specific information about your motion detectors please contact our office.
  • False alarms can also be generated by pests, spider webs, or even dust near your smoke and motion detectors. Be sure to have them cleaned regularly.
  • The disorder created during remodeling and construction may generate false alarm conditions. Any changes to your security and fire system during construction should be completed by a trained alarm technician. Please contact your alarm company before starting any remodeling or construction project