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.

fire safety tips

Fire Safety Tips for Your Home:

  1. Create a floor plan and escape route: Take the time to draw a floor plan for each level of your home, including escape routes. Identify at least two exits for every room to ensure multiple options for evacuation in case of a fire.
  2. Establish a safe meeting place: Designate a safe meeting place outside of your home where all family members can gather after evacuating. This ensures that everyone is accounted for and helps firefighters determine if anyone is still inside.
  3. Practice your fire escape plan: Regularly practice your fire escape plan with your family. Conduct drills to familiarize everyone with the designated routes and meeting place. Practice will help ensure a calm and efficient response during an actual emergency.
  4. Teach “Stop, Drop, & Roll”: Educate your family members, especially children, about the “Stop, Drop, & Roll” technique. In case their clothing catches fire, they should know to stop immediately, drop to the ground, and roll to extinguish the flames.
  5. Sleep with doors closed: Make it a habit to sleep with bedroom doors closed. Closed doors can help prevent the spread of fire, smoke, and heat, giving you and your family more time to escape and reducing the risk of injury.
  6. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher: Familiarize yourself with the proper usage of fire extinguishers and keep one in an easily accessible location. Ensure that all household members know how to operate it effectively in case of a small fire.
  7. Maintain chimneys and fireplaces: Schedule regular inspections and cleanings of your chimneys and fireplaces by a professional. This ensures that any potential hazards, such as creosote buildup, are addressed, reducing the risk of chimney fires.
  8. Practice candle safety: Never leave candles unattended and keep them away from flammable materials. Consider using flame-retardant or noncombustible decorations to minimize the risk of accidental fires.
  9. Stay attentive while cooking: Always stay in the kitchen when cooking and never leave the stove unattended. Most home fires start in the kitchen, so practicing caution and attentiveness is essential to prevent accidents.
  10. Grill safety: If using an outdoor grill, ensure it is placed at a safe distance from your home and any combustible objects. Keep a close eye on the grill while it’s in use and follow proper safety guidelines.
  11. Install and maintain smoke detectors: Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home and in every bedroom. Regularly test battery-operated detectors and replace batteries annually. If you have monitored security system smoke detectors, set up a maintenance program with your alarm company to ensure professional cleaning and testing.

By implementing these fire safety tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of fire-related accidents and protect your home and loved ones. Remember, fire prevention and preparedness are key to maintaining a safe living environment.

It is important that you are aware that VOIP & Digital Phone service disruption. It can adversely affect your electronic security/life safety systems leaving it incapable of communicating with the central station.

If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at 877-589-6111.

We would like to inform you about the potential impact that new types of phone services may have on your security/life safety systems. Commonly referred to as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and digital telephone service, these new phone options are rapidly growing in popularity. These technologies allow you to make telephone calls via a broadband connection instead of using a traditional landline phone service. The benefits of these technologies include enhanced features and lower costs compared to traditional services. Typically, these new types of phone services replace your landline service.

We encourage you to check with us before making any changes to your existing telephone service. If you have already switched to VoIP or digital phone service, it is extremely important that you contact us immediately.

In almost all cases, your security/life safety systems rely on proper operation of the telephone line, and its associated special security wiring, to reliably communicate alarm signals to the central station. There are several important things to consider before making the decision to use VoIP or digital telephone service:

  • With a self-installed VoIP service, such as Vonage or AT&T’s CallVantage, your alarm system may lose its connection to the telephone service rendering the system unable to send alarm signals to the central station. VoIP technology may also cause your alarm signals to get scrambled as they are sent to the central station.
  • With digital telephone services offered by cable or telephone providers like Comcast & Verizon, your system may be unable to consistently and reliably send alarm signals to the central station. This technology may also cause your alarm signals to get scrambled as they are sent to the central station.
  • In addition to the security system’s battery back-up equipment, VoIP and digital phone services may need additional battery back-up equipment to maintain communications in the event of a power failure.
    There is a significant risk that your security/life safety systems will not be able to communicate an emergency signal to the central station.

For the utmost reliability, there are new security communication solutions available that use digital wireless transmission or the Internet to reliably send alarm signals to the central station. These services allow you to take maximum advantage of cost savings from VoIP or digital telephone services while maintaining and even improving, the reliability of your security/life safety system. We would be happy to discuss these options with you.

When it comes to life safety, failure is not an option.

Avoid Service Disruption

Major network carriers—including AT&T—are prioritizing 4G over slower alternatives including 3G. Many mobile phone users have already upgraded to 4G. Due to the upcoming “sunset notice” issued by AT&T, 3G service will be fully transitioned out in the near future. This transition can occur in your location at any time without notice. Why wait?

IntelliPath™ 4G

4G—the same lightning-fast wireless technology millions use on their mobile phones—is one of the most reliable methods of alarm signal transport. With Honeywell’s IntelliPath 4G, the system finds the best signal in the area—helping to make sure alarm signals get through.

What is the 3G sunset announced by AT&T?

AT&T is shutting down the older 3G network, which doesn’t support high data speeds, city by city in a process called 3G harvesting. This harvesting process begins to take 3G frequencies and convert them to 4G frequencies over time, eventually shutting down the 3G network once all frequencies are harvested out. The goal is to get 3G subscribers to move to newer 4G networks. By shutting down 3G and using the same space on the airwaves for 4G, AT&T can increase data capacity by more than a hundred-fold.

Why haven’t I heard about this?

Much of the attention around the 3G sunset has been focused on cell phones.  Your business or home alarm communicator that relies on the 3G network will also have to be upgraded so it will continue to operate without any technical issues.

Why is the 3G wireless network being eliminated?

Data use on wireless networks is increasing as more and more people embrace smartphones and tablets. AT&T must shut down the 3G network and use that space for 4G networks that will increase data capacity and speed.

How does the 3G Sunset impact alarm systems?

Many wireless alarm systems communicate via cellular networks like the 3G and 4G networks. Some wireless alarm systems were installed with a 3G compatible GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) device that will only communicate via the 3G wireless network. Therefore, when the 3G network shutdown occurs in your area, these systems will no longer be able to communicate alarm signals.

Will I be required to upgrade to a 4G option once the 3G sunset is complete.

Yes. Once AT&T and other carriers shut down their 3G networks, all 3G devices, including your alarm communicator, will no longer function. An upgrade to a 4G option will be required to continue to communicate to our Monitoring and Dispatch Center.

You mention AT&T specifically, but are all carriers harvesting 3G networks? Can’t I just change carriers?

Your current security panel is carrier-specific based on proprietary alarm messaging services in your area. It is not possible to switch carriers without an equipment change, and only then if the appropriate alarm messaging service is available in your area.