Don’t set Your Motion Detector Off By Mistake!


PIR Motion DetectorOur motion detectors are really sensitive – which is a good thing. It assures you that your home is always protected. But if you are new to the system, it can be easy to trigger a false alarm. To help you avoid this, you should understand how a motion detector works. It uses passive infrared technology, which means you not only have to avoid movement while the sensor is armed  but light and temperature shifts as well.

  1. Pet immunity  The motion detector comes with pet immunity; however depending upon the size of your pet, you can increase or decrease the sensor’s sensitivity (to 33 or 55 pounds) Also make sure that when we mount the sensor, it is located so that pets can’t come within 6 feet of it by climbing on the furniture or other objects. (This makes a home with cats not a very good candidate for a motion detector)
  2. Bugs and insects The sensor has built in protection to prevent bugs from getting into the sensor and causing false alarms. This doesn’t stop a bug from crawling across the face of the sensor though and this can trigger an alarm.
  3. Reflected light Infrared energy can be reflected off any glossy surface such as mirrors, windows or floors with a glossy finish
  4. Windows Windows not only reflect infrared energy but they can also allow sunlight or light from cars to pass through the sensor
  5. HVAC Heating and air conditioning ducts should not be blowing air onto the sensor. The detector can’t see the air but it notes the change in temperature and this can cause a false alarm.
  6. Moving objects Anything that can sway or move because of an air current. Things like curtains, blinds, balloons, loose paper or other items that might be blown around by the heating and air conditioning ducts are an issue.
  7. Vibration Make sure that the sensor is mounted on a solid surface and does not vibrate. Vibration may not only cause the sensor to move a little but it can also cause the fields of view in the room to move triggering a false alarm.

These are the reasons why we will not install a motion detector in a garage!

About Burns & McBride

Our job is to provide essential services to homeowners. one of those essential services is home security and automation. We provide affordable home automation to help protect families, allow them to use energy more wisely and simplify their lives.The Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system uses Z-wave technology to tie things like locks, thermostats and lights together so that you can control them whether you are home or away. Burns & McBride has been providing essential home services since 1949. To learn more about Burns & McBride’s Smart, Safe Home can help you – call us at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

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Watch Your Kids Come Home From Wherever You are


How to program your Smart, Safe Home  system to send you a video clip whenever your kids arrive home

Your Smart, Safe home system can let you see your kids right when they get home from school. You can set your camera up to send you a message with a video clip when your kids walk in the front door.alarm video

Here’s how:

  1. Make sure your camera is pointing at the front door (or wherever your kids come in).
  2. Make sure you have yourself (or whoever wants to receive the notification) added into your address book (available under the “Notifications” tab at the top of your screen once you log into your Alarm.com account).
  3. Click the “Video” tab, then select “Recording Schedules.”
  4. To add a new event and trigger a notification, click “Add a System-Triggered Schedule”* or “Add a Motion-Triggered Schedule,”** and you can set up the camera to begin recording a clip when the camera detects motion, when the door sensor is opened, or when your kids unlock the door, depending on what type of system you have or your preference.
  5. Choose how you want your notification delivered – as a push notification, text or email.

Now your Alarm.com system is all set up to let you know that your kids are home and safe.

About Burns & McBride

Our job is to provide essential services to homeowners. one of those essential services is home security and automation. We provide affordable home automation to help protect families, allow them to use energy more wisely and simplify their lives.The Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system uses Z-wave technology to tie things like locks, thermostats and lights together so that you can control them whether you are home or away. Burns & McBride has been providing essential home services since 1949. To learn more about Burns & McBride’s Smart, Safe Home can help you – call us at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

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New “See in the Dark” Interior Camera Is Here!


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This indoor camera includes IR LEDs for viewing in low-light conditions and incorporates PIR with video motion detection (VMD) to reduce false motion-detection events. The HD100 adds a new level of security to the home with access to live and recorded video online or on mobile devices.

What does that mean in English? It means the camera can send you a video clip anytime someone walks in front of it – and it can even do it in low light conditions.

Features:

  • Up to 720p resolution HD Video
  • IR illumination for viewing in low-light conditions
  • Configurable Video Motion Detection (VMD)
  • Configured through your high speed router
  • PIR motion detection enhancement
  • WiFi and Ethernet network connections
  • Once configured, just plug into any electrical outlet-can me moved throughout the house
  • Easy setup using WPS push button configuration
  • Access live video and saved clips on Alarm.com or on your mobile device (Apple, IOS and Android)

This is the first of a new line of cameras being brought out by 2Gig Technologies. Later this year they will come out with an outdoor version and one that can pan and tilt.

Available for $260 apiece, including installation.  There is an additional charge of $10 a month for monitoring. Call us today for details on this camera!

About Burns & McBride

Our job is to provide essential services to homeowners. one of those essential services is home security and automation. We provide affordable home automation to help protect families, allow them to use energy more wisely and simplify their lives.The Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system uses Z-wave technology to tie things like locks, thermostats and lights together so that you can control them whether you are home or away. Burns & McBride has been providing essential home services since 1949. To learn more about Burns & McBride’s Smart, Safe Home can help you – call us at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

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Smart, Safe Home System Can Save You Money This Winter


There isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t speak with a customer who is concerned about the cost of heating their home.

Most of the money that a homeowner spends on energy in this area goes to heating their house. The best way we know to cut the energy bill is to use less energy.

That;’s where our Smart, Safe Home system comes in. By tying your thermostat into the system, you can automatically have the thermostat turnmed back every time you leave home and arm the system.

Where does a smart thermostat fit in a home automation system?

Your thermostat: A gateway to savings.

Home energy management starts with the thermostat. In the U.S., more than 8 percent of energy consumption is controlled by the thermostat.

Most homes these days have a programmable thermostat. In fact, 40 percent of existing homes use programmable thermostats while almost 100 percent of new homes have them installed. But that doesn’t mean that people are taking advantage of them. There is one major reason for that: Programming a thermostat is easier said than done.

Program? I just turn it on and off…

For over 60 years we have providing heating and cooling service. Our experience tells us  that a majority of programmable thermostats are left in manual mode. Many homeowners tell us that they rarely or never change the program (kind of defeating the purpose of a programmable thermostat). So if you’re like most people and you’re not taking advantage of your programmable thermostat they way you could, what can you do about it?

Here at Burns & McBride Home Comfort we have a solution. It’s a Honeywell “Smart” thermostat. It’s similar to a programmable thermostat, but with one key difference: Every time you leave your home it is smart enough to turn the heat off.

What makes a Smart Thermostat smart?

Simplicity

Your Honeywell “Smart” thermostat is connected to the Internet through your Burns & McBride Go!Control. Having your thermostat connected to the Internet through our interactive website keeps things simple.

Through Internet access or your smart phone, you can control your heating and cooling whether you are at home or away. It only takes a few seconds to set up a schedule based on government-approved Energy Star heating and cooling programs. And you can do it all through your Burns & McBride Home Comfort online account.

  • The smart thermostat communicates with your Burns & McBride Home Comfort home security system. When you arm that system, the smart thermostat can automatically raise or lower the temperature. The thermostat adjusts to your schedule; not the other way around.
  • Every time you leave home and arm your system, it will turn the thermostat back! When you return and disarm the system, it returns to the original settings.
  • You will even receive a text or email notification if the temperature in your home crosses a high or low temperature threshold. In’t it better to know that you have a problem with the heater at 10 in the morning rather than finding out at 6 in the evening when you get home from work?

Affordability

Having a simple way to manage your energy saves you money.

  • Simply using a smart thermostat will save energy and save you money. Reducing the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees when you are sleeping or away will save money over time.
  • When using government-recommended Energy Star heating and cooling schedules, you can expect to save around $30 a month.

Smart thermostats may seem like a small thing, but at the end of the day, they make a huge difference. They are one of the simplest ways to manage your energy consumption and save money.

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New Improved Smoke Detector Also Protects You When the Heat Goes Off


Burns & McBride,  is among the first this week to offer the next generation sensor for home and small business use. The SMKT3-345 offers the same reliable functionality and features for smoke and heat detection as the SMKT2, but with the added benefit of freeze detection. It’s more customizable than previous models by allowing separation of the smoke, heat and freeze features enabling the alarm to detect one, two or all three.

“Many of our customers want the added benefit of having a central station monitoring their home or business for fire response. Most traditional smoke and fire detection systems simply sound an audible alarm—which does little to protect the owner if they are not present or unable to exit the premises.”, says Burns & McBride Manager Pat Igo. “We now offer the added protection against potential freezing temperatures.”

The SMKT3, which costs around $100, allows customers to receive notifications via text messaging, email or a call from a central station operator when the temperature reaches a certain threshold—in addition to the detection of heat and smoke. “This is ideal for our customers with second homes as well as customers who care for elderly parents or neighbors.”, says Pat Igo. “It appeals to our existing family of customers who want to be informed about what is occurring at their home or business.” The sensor is sold as part of a 2Gig security and home automation solution.

About Burns & McBride

Our job is to provide essential services to homeowners. one of those essential services is home security and automation. We provide affordable home automation to help protect families, allow them to use energy more wisely and simplify their lives.The Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system uses Z-wave technology to tie things like locks, thermostats and lights together so that you can control them whether you are home or away. Burns & McBride has been providing essential home services since 1949. To learn more about Burns & McBride’s Smart, Safe Home can help you – call us at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

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Home security has become about much more than just security.


Trends in the Home Security Industry

15-20 years ago people paid a huge, upfront cost ($3K-10K) for their home security systems, and the technology they used was a basic, hardwired panel over a land line that would notify the central station of the emergency through a dialup connection. At this point, only about 5% of homes had security systems. Then, about 10 years later, APX Alarm and others came along and made home security more affordable, but the technology had remained basically the same, with the only major upgrade being wireless technology.

But in the last 3 years, technology has exploded. Now everyone is doing everything on their smart phones, like money transfers, Facebook and Skype; but until recently, the security industry had remained the same. This was mainly because upgrading the technology would require the larger security companies to go out and make those system changes for all of their millions of customers, and there was enough pressure on the industry that nobody wanted to change.

Our Vision

When we chose 2-Gig and Alarm.com as our partners, we asked ourselves, “What do we believe is the future for home security?” Since so many people have ditched their land lines for cell phones, we wanted to use a cellular technology that would allow people without a land line to:

  • Communicate through a two-way voice panel
  • Have the peace of mind that their system would never be disabled because someone cut their phone line
  • Receive automatic updates to their system software without having to schedule an appointment with a tech

When we designed our “Safe, Smart” home security system, we envisioned a beautiful color touch-screen panel that would become a platform in the home to serve the family and allow them to conveniently control their home. In other words, we wanted more than a mere home security system; we wanted a service system that would be able to do many different jobs for the customer.

We wanted our customers to be able to use their computers and smart phones to arm and disarm their system, check on their kids, receive notifications, view video surveillance, adjust their thermostat, turn the coffee pot on, and control their lights and door locks. we wanted a simple to operate, affordable system which would let homeowners take advantage of our years of HVAC experience to reduce their energy footprint.

Living the Dream

What started as a dream is now a reality for our customers!

Have your kids ever forgotten to lock the door when they run out? Mine do. But right now on my phone I can check to make sure all my doors are locked, and I can turn off all my lights and appliances with a touch of a button. Getting locked out of my house will never be a problem for me again. I can program a timer on my lights when we are gone on vacation.

The energy management, 2 way voice, home automation and severe weather alert services have added a lot of value to the Burns & McBride Smart, Safe home security system. People are experiencing this value and embracing it and, because of this, other companies are adopting similar technology. The percentage of people who have security systems in their homes has now grown to around 20%

About Burns & McBride

Our job is to provide essential services to homeowners. one of those essential services is home security and automation. We provide affordable home automation to help protect families, allow them to use energy more wisely and simplify their lives.The Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system uses Z-wave technology to tie things like locks, thermostats and lights together so that you can control them whether you are home or away. Burns & McBride has been providing essential home services since 1949. To learn more about Burns & McBride’s Smart, Safe Home can help you – call us at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

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Using home automation as a security tool


We often get asked what we think home automation is for.  Some of the answers we give are obvious: It allows you to access your home more easily. Or it lets you manage your energy use more efficiently. Both of these are good answers, but we’d like to explore one aspect of home automation that people sometimes forget: security.

Using home automation as a security tool is easy, and we aren’t just talking about the security system that may come with your home automation package. Here are five specific home automation technologies that have really enhanced the safety of your home:

  1. Door locks—Automatic door locks are good for much more than locking your doors from anywhere. It’s great to glance at your phone and know for sure that the house is locked up when not there. Your door locks can send me notifications if anything changes. If one of the kids unlocks a door, you get a text message telling you exactly who is home and which door they used. That’s the beauty of personal codes for your locks: each family member or friend has their own number to get in, so you know exactly who’s in your house and when.
  2. Lights—Can your lights be a tool to prevent break-ins? Absolutely. The biggest deterrent for intruders is someone being home, so you can program your lighting/small appliance controls to turn lights on and off automatically. Whether the family is on vacation or just out for the night, arming the system after dark triggers lights to turn on in different parts of the house at different times so it looks like someone is actually walking through the house.
  3. Motion Detectors with Built in Camera- A recent development is the general availability of Motion detectors with built in cameras, allowing homeowners to view “snapshots” of what’s happening in their homes from their smartphones or other devices. Now if the motion detector is tripped, you will get a photograph of what tripped it.
  4. Geofencing-See our article on alarm.com’s new “Geo-fencing” program which reminds you to arm your system when you leave home
  5. Cameras—Cameras are a great way to keep an eye on your home and always know what’s going on. You can check in on your kids or pets, take a look at the house while you’re on vacation, and much more. Your security system will most likely scare off an intruder, but having security camera footage increases your chances of knowing who broke into your house. That means you’ll be able to take appropriate action against home intruders and prevent them from breaking into other houses.

All of these tools give families and parents a valuable chance to stay connected with their homes. Home automation can help you experience the emotional safety of knowing what your kids are doing and when they’re coming and going.  Yes, home automation is about connecting technology and making your life more convenient and simple, but we want people to realize how versatile home automation can be. You can use your system in many different ways, so get creative and explore the possibilities.

About Burns & McBride

Our job is to provide essential services to homeowners. one of those essential services is home security and automation. We provide affordable home automation to help protect families, allow them to use energy more wisely and simplify their lives.The Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system uses Z-wave technology to tie things like locks, thermostats and lights together so that you can control them whether you are home or away. Burns & McBride has been providing essential home services since 1949. To learn more about Burns & McBride’s Smart, Safe Home can help you – call us at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

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