Monthly Archives: February 2012

New Energy Saving Thermostat Feature

We’re excited to let you know about a new, free energy-saving feature of the Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system. Now you can program your thermostat according to the actual activity patterns in your home, not just your best guesses. This lets your Smart, Safe Home system to be much smarter because it now understands your home’s day to day activity patterns.

To get started, access the new Smart Schedule Activity Patterns feature on the Thermostats page of your personal Burns & McBride online account. Simply check the box marked “Smart Schedule Activity Pattern” found on both the Heat and Cool Schedules tabs to see your daily activity patterns overlaid on your thermostat schedule. Then you can easily set the most energy efficient schedule by updating the temperature and times to match the likelihood of someone being at home each day of the week

This is just one more way that the Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system helps you to manage and control your home. For more information, call us at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at

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Kwikset Locks Gives Smart, Safe Home Customers Remote Access and Better Security

Burns & McBride’s acclaimed Smart, Safe Home system combined with the electronic lock know-how of Kwikset offers customers a hard to beat package of services combining the best of residential technology and security.

Burns & McBride is a leader in providing affordable home automation and security to Delaware Valley homeowners. Now they’ve improved the product even more by adding Kwikset’s leading edge Smart Code Signature series lock with wireless Home Connect technology to its home automation offerings.

Through this partnership homeowners can monitor their door from any web-enabled mobil device or internet connection, even if they’re on a business trip or vacation 5,000 miles from home. Additionally, teamed with Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system, Kwikset’s Home Connect enabled locks can wirelessly communicate with other “smart devices” in the home such as lights, thermostats, smoke detectors or the burglar alarm.

For a local family with several young children, being able to combine Burns & McBride’s system with the best in electronic door locks meant convenience and peace of mind. They tell us that accessing their home’s system is easy – a task quickly done on their smartphone:

My mother in law stays with our family. If we aren’t home when she arrives, we use the Burns & McBride mobil phone app to turn the lights on, turn the alarm off and unlock the doors. The convenience and simplicity of the technology is amazing.

The SmartCode lock with Home Connect features a unique, patented technology with the first one-touch locking motorized deadbolt on the market.

  • Ability to override an electronic code with a traditional key
  • SmartKey re-key technology, allowing homeowners to re-key their lok in seconds and negating the need to call the installer if the keys are lost
  • Kwikset’s patented BumpGuard, which protects homeowners against “lock-bumping” a technique commonly used by burglars during break-ins

Burns & McBride’s Smart, Safe Home system connects the door locks with other security, convenience and energy management features through Z-Wave wireless technology.

For more information on the Smart, Safe Home system or Kwikset locks call us at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at

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Top 2012 Trend: Low-Cost, Self Contained Home Automation.Security Systems

A recent article in CE-Pro magazine identified the top trend in home security systems to be Low Cost, Self Contained Home Automation/Security systems like the ones installed by Burns & McBride as part of their Safe, Smart Home System.

CE Pro magazine is the leading trade publication for professionals involved in the custom electronics business. Their readers specify and sell technology-related products to homeowners, homebuilders and SMB (small/medium business) owners. CE Pro is the only trade magazine that covers the gamut of electronic systems.

Burns & McBride has been providing critical services to Delaware homeowners since 1949. Our unique Safe, Smart Home system combines the benefits of 24/7 home security with energy savings to help pay for it.

Call us today at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at for more information. We can arrange a brief demonstration of the system so you can decide for yourself if it would be of value to you and your family.

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Why Invest In Home Security?

A recent News Journal article talks about a rash of burglaries in the area:

“Northwestern New Castle County residents continue to form town watches and educate themselves about break-ins after a recent two-month burglary spike.The efforts began after 60 residential burglaries took place in Hockessin and Pike Creek at the end of last year. Since then, elected officials have held a series of meetings with community members worried that there could be another resurgence, County Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick said…”

Click on the News-Journal article link to read the entire article

Since 1949, Burns & McBride has provided critical services to Delaware homeowners. As a locally owned and operated business, we’ve earned a reputation of being there when our customers need us most. Our Smart, Safe home security system provides a unique all-in one, affordable solution for home security and management including:

  • 24/7 365 day a year monitoring of your home for burglary and fire
  • No long term contracts
  • Energy savings with our unique “Smart” Thermostat to help pay for your home security system

Call us today at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at for more information. We can arrange a brief demonstration of the system so you can decide for yourself if it would be of value to you and your family.

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Why Is It Important to Have UL Approval?

Burns & McBride Home Security’s Central Station meets the requirements for UL-Approval to provide state-of-the-art service to its home security customers.

Why is UL Approval Important?

Underwriter’s Laboratories is a non-profit product safety certification organization. The UL Labs have been testing products and writing safety standard for more than 100 years. UL was originally founded by a group of insurance companies to test fire-rated building materials. Today, UL’s testing and certification have been expanded to an immense number of products and services throughout the world.

To be UL Certified a Central Monitoring station must have an on-site inspection every year by UL Inspectors. They are looking for: monitoring equipment that is in good working order, the construction of the building (i.e. fireproof walls; secure doors; second floor location; no outside windows), power supply security and redundancy, staffing and operating procedures.

A major UL requirement is that the Central Station and its staff must be solely dedicated to monitoring and monitoring only. Some non-UL companies also use their monitoring staff to run an answering service which helps to defray the expense of the station but can distract the dispatchers from the important task of monitoring and responding to alarms.

In order to offer you a discounted homeowners’ insurance policy, many insurance companies insist that all installed alarms be monitored and be monitored only by a Central Station which is UL approved.

In choosing who we would use as our Central Station, UL approval was critical.


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Simple, Affordable Home Automation

According to Energy Star, the average annual energy bill for a typical single family home is approximately $2,200 – 58 percent of which is dedicated to heating, cooling and lighting. The good news for homeowners seeking to reduce this significant expense is that a  Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system is an easy and convenient way cut your energy bill.  Not only can you control lights, locks and thermostats remotely from a computer or smartphone but they can also set up schedules to make their homes smarter and conserve energy at the same time.

With advanced triggers and rules features, consumers can define custom settings that connect their security system to their locks, lights, and other automation devices. Here are three key ways consumers can utilize their home energy controls and leave planning anxiety behind:

 1.    See the light

By integrating home automation with a security system, it’s simple to turn your lights on and off from afar or just have a home control the lights itself. Set up custom rules and schedules based on other activity at home like alarms, arming events or sensor activity. For example, when a family member comes home and disarms the security system, the light in the front hallway can be set to turn on automatically, adding a layer of security and comfort to the nightly routine of entering a home. Or, if activity is detected by motion sensors upstairs, the upstairs lights can be set to turn on automatically as well.

If conserving energy is a priority for you,  create light schedules based on specific routines such as the bedroom and living room lights turning on when they wake up at 6:30am on weekday mornings and turning off at 8:00am when you head out for the day or leave for work. For additional protection on top of a security system, you can automate the lights to turn on and stay on for thirty minutes if a security alarm is triggered.

2.    Lock it up

Home automation solutions can also assist in locking and unlocking doors in your home. One useful application is setting a security system to disarm automatically if the front door is unlocked.  Or, if you know when a guest or the contractor will be stopping by, set up unique lock codes for them and have the security system disarm only if those specific codes are used to unlock a door. Plus, be notified vial text message or e-mail of this activity. Finally, for added peace of mind, lock one door lock and have that action trigger the rest of the door locks in a home to lock simultaneously.

3.    Know what’s cool

Do you know what’s cool? Integrating not just lights and locks into security system settings, but also your thermostat. What’s really cool is that with just one click to arm the security system and all the lights in a home can turn off, the thermostat can cool the house down and all the doors can lock. Just like that – 1, 2, 3, 4 steps in one click.

Versatile home automation schedules and powerful security rules can do more than make life easy; they can help you stay secure and stay connected while running a home more efficiently and simplifying daily routines. While out and about choosing your day-to-day activities, the home will be busy making automated choices of its own. Smarter energy decisions and convenient, customizable control of lights, locks and thermostats are within reach.

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Advantages of a Wireless Security System

 According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a home robbery occurs every 12 seconds.
While there are many types security system options available in the market today – traditional telephone lines, internet and cellular. Which is best for you?
Burns & McBride can offer five reasons why a wireless home security system using cellular technology is the best. It is the superior option when it comes to providing homeowners with the peace of mind that their homes can remain safe, secure, and connected at all times.
1. Easier to install – A wireless interactive system is much simpler to install than a traditional wired system. For starters, there’s no hassle with running wires and the chances of drilling holes into walls, ceilings, woodwork or concrete are slim. The installation of a wired system can be time consuming and invasive. Also, when choosing to go wireless, the motion detectors, door and window sensors and other equipment products are easy to place wherever you want to keep track of activity.
2. Offers flexible options– For decades, even dating back to the old “tin can” systems, security systems have often been a purchase that only property owners could justify. Not today; wireless systems are so convenient to set up that even as a renter the assurance that your residence is secure with a top of the line system is available. Plus, there’s an added benefit of easy portability enabling homeowners and renters alike to take the complete system with them when moving to a new location. With a wired system, if moving, you’re out of luck.

3. Less vulnerable – Traditional wired home security systems expose the consumer to significant vulnerabilities associated with the power grid, phone lines, or Internet connections. That means whenever there’s a line cut or power outage a wired system becomes inoperable. Wireless security systems are not vulnerable to such scenarios and even have built in battery back-up that continues to keep the home secure even when the power is out. Not only are wireless systems resistant to savvy criminals cutting phone and power lines, the Burns & McBride Smart, Safe home system features patented ” crash and smash protection” and is able to still alert professional monitoring stations even if the security panel is damaged or destroyed.


4. Provides a foundation for whole home solutions – Wireless systems utilize wireless communications over dedicated, secure networks making them ideal for both homes and vacation properties without a land line. With today’s technology your Burns & McBride Smart, Safe home system also provides text notifications and system alerts that keep you aware of what’s happening at home while you’re away.  You can even control your home’s lights, thermostat and door locks through the security system.  Plus you can control all of those features from free mobil apps.

5. Simple to troubleshoot – An added benefit of wireless systems is that if there is an issue that needs attention, it can most frequently be identified and fixed by the installer remotely. Over-the-air system tools enable quick troubleshooting access to the system to find the cause of the problem, without even needing to schedule a technician’s visit. Also, many wireless alarm systems do their own troubleshooting and pro-actively notify you of the problem component, such as low battery alerts for wireless sensors.
Your home is your castle, a place to go at the end of the day to rest, find comfort and have peace of mind. When considering the type of security system to keep your home secure and connected, keep the advantages of a wireless alarm system in mind.

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