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.


Home Security Tips: Your home is your sanctuary, a place where you and your loved ones should feel safe and secure. Protecting your home from potential intruders and ensuring the safety of your family should be a top priority. With the increasing concerns about security, it’s crucial to take proactive measures to fortify your home against unauthorized access. In this blog, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on home security tips that cover various areas of your residence, from exterior doors to windows and outdoor spaces. By implementing these strategies, you can significantly enhance the security of your home and enjoy peace of mind.

Let’s start by focusing on one of the primary entry points for potential intruders—your exterior doors.

Exterior Doors:
Exterior doors should have quality deadbolt locks with no less than a 1″ throw
All latch-strike plates on your doors should be secured with at least 3″ screws
All exterior doors should be solid hardwood or metal-clad
Exterior doors should have wide-angled peepholes at heights everyone can use or a voice intercom system
Your doorframe should be strong enough and tight enough to prevent forcing or spreading
Door hinges should be protected from removal from the outside
Locks should not be able to be reached through a mail slot, delivery port, or pet entrance
Install storm and screen doors with adequate locks if you like to leave your front door open during the day
Change the locks whenever you move into a new home
Do not place spare keys under a doormat, in a planter, on a ledge, or in the mailbox. Give them to a trusted neighbor.
Be sure to trim your landscaping so that it does not block the view of entry ways into your home from the street or public areas
Exterior entrances should be lighted properly
Be sure to always lock your doors when you are home and every time you leave your residence

Sliding Glass Doors:
Make sure your sliding panel is secured from being removed from the track
Your sliding glass door should have at least one of the following:
Track lock
Insertion pin lock
Hinged door bar
Metal or wooden dowel in track

Garage Doors:
The door from your garage to your living quarters should have locks that are sufficient for an exterior door, because this door is also an entry/exit door for your security system
The door from the garage to your living quarters should be made of metal or solid wood
If your overhead garage door is equipped with an automatic opener make sure it uses a “rolling code” to deter “code grabbers”
Overhead garage doors should be kept closed and locked at all times
To avoid leaving your overhead garage door open, a remote door position indicator can be installed in the interior of your home to show you that your garage door is either open or closed

Windows should be secured with auxiliary keyed window locks
Have your auxiliary window locks installed to allow ventilation while remaining locked
Keep the keys readily available for emergencies
If you don’t have auxiliary locks make sure your windows are secured by pins, nails, or dowels
Windows should have screens or storm windows that lock from the inside
Sliding windows should have a dowel in the track to avoid being pried open
Basement windows should have a second lock or be covered with a grate or grille
Always leave one opening as fire exit
Place security bars around windows with portable air condition units
Trees and shrubbery should be kept trimmed back from upper floor windows
Ladders should be stored where an intruder cannot access them
Replace or repair any broken window as soon as possible
Always make sure all windows are securely closed and locked, even if you are just leaving for a few minutes

Outdoor Security:
Keep areas around your house, garage,or yard lit at night
Outside entrances should have a bright, working light to illuminate visitors
Motion sensors are a great way to control your exterior lighting
Your house number should be clearly displayed and at least 4″ tall with a contrasting background on post near your street and/or on your home
Use big, bold numbers on your mailbox
Never put your name on your mailbox
All outdoor storage sheds, pool houses, or other exterior buildings should be kept locked
Bicycles, grills, and other valuables should be locked away or locked to a stationary point
Fence and gate latches should be kept locked by a weatherproof padlock
All vehicles should be kept locked and windows shut
Plant prickly or thorny shrubbery near windows to discourage loitering or hiding
If you travel often or spend a lot of time in your backyard, consider having a surveillance camera system installed to monitor the exterior of your home
Displaying alarm company signs, neighborhood watch signs, or dog decals on windows or in your yard can be a deterrent for burglars

Interior Security:
Use automatic timers for lights
Always arm your security system
Keep window shades and blinds closed when you are not at home
When answering your door make sure you know who it is before opening the door
When recording your answering machine message make sure not give out your name, any times you may not be home, or any unnecessary information
Keep an up-to-date inventory of the valuables inside your home. Your records should include makes, models, serial numbers, photographs, and videos (Do not keep these records in your home – secure them in a safety deposit box)
Engrave your driver’s license number (not your social security number) on valuable items that could be stolen
Use a fire rated safe or safety deposit box for valuable items and paperwork

While on Vacation:
Do yard work before you leave
Discontinue mail and newspaper service when away for an extended period of time
Arrange for a friend or neighbor to come by and check on your home
Do not leave a message on your answering machine letting callers know you are away
Leave a radio on and tuned to a talk-radio station
Set at least two timers to turn the lights on and off in a logical sequence
Set a timer for your television or radio to allude that someone is home
Leave a vehicle in your driveway or ask a neighbor to park at your house

Your Alarm System:
Always use your security system
Be cautious about who you give your alarm codes and keyfobs to
Since many people are desensitized to sirens and alarms, make sure your alarm is connected to a central station where authorities can be dispatched if needed
In case your telephone service is disrupted, a back-up cellular connection is an important added security measure for alarms connected to central stations
Be sure to test your system weekly and have your alarm company service your system on an annual basis
Exterior Doors:


smoke alarms save lives 1

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

3 out of 5 home fire deaths occur in homes with no or non-working fire alarms. The risk of dying in a home structure fire is cut in half by having properly installed and maintained smoke alarms.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives: In the news recently, there have been many tragic stories regarding the loss of life due to fire. In a majority of the incidents, the cause of death has been due to the residence having no or non-working fire alarms. A fire can become life-threatening within two minutes of starting. It is imperative to be alerted immediately. Having a professionally installed, monitored fire system is the best way to keep your family and valuables from becoming a preventable statistic.

Where Do I Put Smoke Detectors in my Home? A smoke detector should be placed on every level of your home, including the basement. You want to install one inside each bedroom, as well as place one outside any sleeping area. You want to have your smoke detector either on the ceiling or 6-8 inches below the ceiling on a sidewall. Smoke rises; the higher the location of your detector, the quicker you will be alerted to smoke or fire.

Are There Different Types of Smoke Detectors? There are currently two different types of technologies used to detect smoke and fire. Photoelectric smoke detectors rely on an electric current, which produces a beam of light. When the beam is disrupted, an alarm will sound. It is most effective to warn about a smoldering fire. Ionization smoke detectors contain a very small amount of americium-241 within an ionization chamber. They create an electric current between two metal plates, which sound an alarm when disrupted by smoke entering the chamber. It is the most effective to warn about flaming fires. A qualified alarm consultant can help identify which type of alarm type would be most efficient for your residence.

Why Should I Invest In a Monitored System? When you have a professionally installed, monitored fire alarm system in your home, you offer your family and valuables the best overall protection. If a fire is sensed, your alarm will activate all evacuation horns throughout your home. Even if you are on another level of your home, you will be alerted of smoke or fire. A battery-operated, single unit, the smoke alarm system does not offer this type of protection because the units are not connected. If there is a fire on a different level or area of your home, you may not hear the evacuation horn, especially if you are asleep.

If your alarm is triggered a signal will be sent to your central station and they will promptly notify your fire department. Every minute counts in a fire situation, the quicker help arrives, the less damage to your home and valuables. While having a AC powered system (connected, but not monitored) in your home may alert you in all areas of your home, it will not help you if you are not home. A monitored fire system will alert the authorities to a situation whether you are there or not, potentially saving your valuables and even pets.

How Often Should I Change My Smoke Alarms? Whichever type of system you are using, it is recommended that smoke alarms are replaced every 10 years. If you are using a combination of smoke and carbon monoxide detector, you should replace your system every 5 years.

grilling safety

Grilling Safety Tips: The arrival of summer brings with it the delightful grilling season—a time to savor mouthwatering meals outdoors. While grilling offers a fantastic culinary experience, it’s crucial to prioritize safety to avoid accidents or fires. Shockingly, each year, approximately 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling incidents. To ensure your summer cookouts are filled with joy and free from hazards, we’ve compiled essential safety precautions for gas grills. Whether you’re a seasoned griller or just starting out, these tips will help you enjoy a safe and memorable grilling season.

  1. Familiarize Yourself with the Owner’s Manual:

When purchasing a new grill, the first step is to carefully read the owner’s manual. Understanding how to assemble, use, clean, and store your specific grill is paramount for safe operation.

  1. Check for Gas Leaks:

Before using your grill each year, inspect the gas cylinders for potential leaks. Apply a solution of soapy water to the connections and observe for any bubbles that expand, indicating a leak. If you detect a leak, address it immediately before proceeding.

  1. Grill in a Well-Ventilated Area:

Always grill outdoors and ensure your grill is placed in a well-ventilated open area, at least 10 feet away from any structures. This distance minimizes the risk of fire and allows for proper air circulation.

  1. Practice Safe Lighting:

Prioritize safety when lighting your grill. Keep the hood open while igniting the grill, and never lean over the grill during the lighting process. This precaution avoids potential injuries and ensures a safe start to your grilling session.

  1. Never Leave the Grill Unattended:

Grilling requires constant supervision. Never leave your grill unattended, as uncontrolled flames can quickly escalate into dangerous situations. It’s also wise to keep a fire extinguisher within reach in case of emergencies.

  1. Handle Flame Outs with Care:

If the flame on your grill goes out, it’s important to proceed cautiously. Turn off the gas, leave the hood open, and wait at least five minutes before attempting to relight the grill. This waiting period allows any residual gas to dissipate, minimizing the risk of a sudden flare-up.

  1. Properly Shut Off the Gas:

Once you have finished cooking, be sure to close the gas valve on your grill. This essential step ensures the safe shutdown of your grill and prevents the accumulation of gas.

  1. Regularly Clean Your Grill:

Maintaining a clean grill is not only crucial for optimal cooking but also enhances safety. Regularly remove grease and fat residue from the grates and spill trays to prevent flare-ups and potential fire hazards.

With these grilling safety tips in mind, you can confidently embark on a summer filled with delicious barbecue delights while prioritizing the well-being of your loved ones and your home. Remember to always follow manufacturer guidelines, practice vigilance, and prioritize safety at all times. Embrace the grilling season with caution and enjoy a summer of safe and unforgettable culinary experiences.

resideo total connect

Introducing Resideo Total Connect, the ultimate solution that allows you to effortlessly stay connected with your family, home, or business, regardless of your physical presence. With Total Connect, you gain real-time control over your Resideo Honeywell Security System, as well as your Z-wave enabled devices such as lights, locks, and thermostats. Additionally, you can enjoy the convenience of live-streaming or reviewing recorded videos, all at your fingertips through your IOS or Android smart device.

Discover the Powerful Features of Resideo Total Connect:

  1. Effortlessly Arm and Disarm your Resideo Honeywell Security System: Take charge of your home’s security with the ability to arm or disarm your Resideo Honeywell Security System remotely. Stay in control and enjoy peace of mind no matter where you are.
  2. Lighting Control at your Fingertips: Manage the lighting in your home or business effortlessly. Total Connect enables you to control your lights remotely, allowing you to create the perfect ambiance and enhance security by deterring potential intruders.
  3. Optimal Temperature Control: Maintain the ideal temperature in your space by easily managing your thermostat settings. Total Connect gives you the freedom to adjust the temperature remotely, ensuring comfort and energy efficiency.
  4. Secure Access with Remote Locking and Unlocking: Enhance your security measures with the ability to lock or unlock your doors from anywhere. Whether it’s granting access to a family member or ensuring the safety of your business, Total Connect provides the convenience and control you need.
  5. Seamless Integration with Video Doorbells: Connect to your video doorbell and enjoy the ability to see and interact with whoever is at your front door, no matter where you are. Total Connect allows you to monitor your doorstep and communicate with visitors, enhancing security and convenience.
  6. Create and Manage Automated Scenes: Save time, energy, and money by creating customized automated scenes. With Total Connect, you can effortlessly create and control scenes that suit your preferences and needs, making your daily routines more efficient.

For further information on Resideo Total Connect and how it can transform your home or business connectivity, contact us at (856) 728-8228 today! Experience the power of seamless connectivity and stay connected like never before.