Monthly Archives: June 2012

Non-Emergency Events


Know what is going on in your home, even when you’re not there.

Alarm systems have always been about blaring sirens, monitoring stations, and physical home protection. What about the little things? The things that don’t need a phone call from the monitoring station, or a visit from the police. Burns & McBride has a way for you to stay on top of things that are going on in your home, even when you’re not home with our Non-Emergency events notifications.

How can I use these notifications?

Lets say that you have a liquor cabinet in your house that you don’t want your children getting into. You can put a sensor on that cabinet (perhaps a recessed sensor) and whenever that cabinet is opened you will get a text message saying what has happened. Then you can call and ask Johnny what exactly he is doing with that bottle.

Or how about if the garage door was left open? With a tilt sensor, you could receive a message.

Or maybe you have an elderly parent that is not quite ready to give up their independent lifestyle, and you want to check up on them without being obtrusive. We can install a motion sensor in the living room, and set a notification to be sent to your phone if nothing moves in front of that motion sensor by say, 9 am. Maybe Mom is just sleeping late, or maybe she has fallen. If nothing passes in front of the sensor you will get a text message telling you that you should give Mom a call and see if she is okay.

What a great way to protect yourself and those whom you love.

Would you like to add Non-Emergency Events?

If you would like to set up Non-Emergency events, contact us at 302-656-5110 and we can aid you in adding this functionality to your Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home Go!Control system.

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 – callus at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Home Safety, Home Security

Saving Money on Energy This Summer


Our Burns & McBride Smart, Safe Home system can save you money on your energy bills this summer – and for years to come

How?

With the warmer weather on us, people are switching their thermostats from “heat” to “cool.” We all know that the air conditioner is a killer when it comes to your monthly energy bills. You could probably get away with leaving a light on, maybe a fan but when your family leaves the home with the air conditioner running the entire time, you’re going to come home from your family vacation to a HUGE monthly bill and that’s no fun! As if family vacations weren’t expensive enough, the last thing you want to worry about is if you can afford to return home.

Burns & McBride is a leader in simple, affordable Home Automation. Our Smart, Safe Home System lets you remotely control your home from your cell phone, tablet or laptop.

Imagine if you will leaving your home for work in the morning while forgetting to turn off your coffee pot, hallway light or even the TV. No problem; pull out your phone, fire up the Safe, Smart Home app and turn them all off with only your thumb while stepping into your office 20 miles away. Yes, it’s that easy!

Energy Management
Remotely control your lights, thermostat, small appliances, large appliances and more with the click of a button through your iPhone or Adroid, iPad or tablet, laptop and even your work computer. Plus every time you arm your system, you can automatically raise or lower the thermostat with our exclusive energy management rules.

Savings to Smile
Most customers report an minimum average savings of $25 a month on their energy bill. Hot weather calls for air conditioning and with our Smart, Safe Home package you get a new thermostat that works seamlessly when controlled from your smart phone, tablet or even your laptop computer. Yes, you can control your thermostat from your cell phone while away from home.

Savings in Your Hands
It’s a hot one outside and you’ve been running errands ALL day long, now you’re looking forward to getting home and sitting in the air conditioning. You pull out your phone, access your thermostat from the  app and get the cool air flowing and ready for you while you drive home.

Playing Warden
You had to work late, and the kids are at home by themselves. They’re supposed to be doing homework instead they are on the XBOX 360 with their friends. You pull out your phone, access the TV / XBOX 360 from your Safe, Smart Home app and shut it all off. Next, give them a call at home and warn them that it’s now time to start their homework.

Added Bonuses
As if you needed another reason save money, the Safe, Smart Home package includes 24 hour Home Security. So not only are you controlling your lights, small appliances and the temperature of your home but you will also be able to control the cameras, the door locks and monitor it all from your phone, tablet or even your laptop.

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 – callus at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Energy Management, Home Automation, Uncategorized

What is Two Way Voice and Why Do I Need It?


Two Way Voice is Vital, it reduces false alarms and can lead to verified, faster police response times.

Traditional alarm systems work the following way:

  1. Alarm is triggered
  2. Alarm system seizes control of the phone line
  3. After at least 30 seconds (CP01 standard) the alarm system will dial out to the monitoring center and complete the “handshake”
  4. event ually the monitoring station will receive all the information and attempt to call back the premise on the premise’s land line.

Typically the burglar or home intruder do not answer the telephone call (go figure). The monitoring center next calls the police and informs them that an alarm is going off but they could not verify if it is an actual intruder because no one answered the phone call.

Two Way Voice is different, Especially Two Way Voice by Burns & McBride.

Two Way Voice allows the central station to communicate through a speaker phone built into the Go!Control alarm panel only after an alarm has been triggered. It allows our Central Station operators to instantly talk to you through the alarm panel and to hear what is going on inside the house if you are not home. We have heard footsteps, movement, rummaging, glass shattering, and even people screaming. When we hear any type of movement inside the house we then verify to the police that this alarm call is a “crime in progress” which they love. Police often respond very quickly with a higher priority to verified alarms opposed to unverified alarm calls because 98% of all alarm calls are false. In fact, many cities have enacted verified alarm policies where they refuse to respond to a unverified alarm signal.

Burns & McBride’s Two Way Voice is even better. We use Two Way Voice over the cellular network. Most companies that provide Two Way Voice provide it only over the telephone (POTS) line. This is great until your phone line is cut or tampered with not only disabling your Two Way voice but also disabling your whole alarm system.

Two way voice is a standard feature of the Burns & McBride Smart, Safe home system. Just one more way that our Smart, Safe Home helps you and your family.

Other security dealers offer two way voice but it is normally not a standard feature. Here is a video from one of those companies which does a good job of explaining the benefits of two way voice.

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 – callus at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Home Safety, Home Security, How Things Work, Uncategorized

New Castle County Alarm Registration


The New Castle County Police Department requires homeowners to register their alarm systems with them. Similar programs exist in the City of Wilmington and the City of Newark.

Why was the False Alarm Reduction Program developed?

Through the implementation of this ordinance the reduction of false alarms has allowed the police officers more time to handle calls for service and become proactive in the communities of New Castle County.  At the program’s inception there were an average of 13,000 false alarms per year and a response time of approximately 25 minutes, the New Castle County Police were losing over 300,000 minutes (or 5000 hours) of officer time every year to false alarms.  This is the equivalent of 2.5 officers spending and entire year working on false alarms.  It had been shown that with implementation of a false alarm ordinance, false alarms could be cut by up to 40%.  That means that the New Castle County Police would get back about 130,000 minutes (or 2166 hours) of actual police time.

Do I have to register my alarm?

Yes.  No alarm user shall operate or cause to be operated, an alarm system without a valid alarm registration.  Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

Ordinance Summary

No alarm user shall cause, allow, or permit the alarm system to give three (3) or more false alarms in a twelve (12) month period.
Each violation of this Section shall be penalized as follows:
For the third false alarm within a twelve (12) month period, by a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00).
For the fourth false alarm within a twelve (12) month period, by a civil penalty of two hundred dollars ($200.00).
For the fifth and any subsequent false alarms within a twelve (12) month period, by a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00).
In addition, any person operating a non-registered alarm system will be subject to a civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00) for each false alarm in addition to any other civil penalties. The alarm administrator may waive this additional civil penalty for a non-registered system if the alarm user submits an application for alarm registration within ten (10) days after notification of such violation.
If cancellation occurs prior to law enforcement authority arriving at the scene, this is not a false alarm for the purpose of civil penalties, and no civil penalties will be assessed.
View the full text of the ordinance at the County Municode site.

Residents and business owners can  register their alarm systems through Cry Wolf, the vendor selected by the New Castle County Police to administer the program. Registration is free and is available through a secure website at http://www.crywolf.us/newcastlede.

 In addition to online alarm registration and administration, the website offers information about the false alarm law, answers to frequently asked questions, false alarm reduction tips, payment of fines and more.  

Any questions or further information regarding the registration process and applicable fines should be directed to Cry Wolf at 866-839-2731

As a courtesy, Burns & McBride registers those customers whose systems they have installed. Once registered the homeowner will receive a registration confirmation showing their system number. They will also receive a password to the system via e-mail. They can access the system at any time using their e-mail as a login and their password.

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 – callus at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Home Safety, Home Security, Uncategorized

Delaware “Cry Wolf” Program RequiresSystem Registration


On June 10, 2012, The Delaware State Police will begin administering the State’s  False Alarm Reduction Program, which was enacted by legislation to encourage alarm users to maintain operational reliability, promote proper use of alarm systems and reduce the amount of false alarms that law enforcement officers respond to. False alarms are a costly and a major public safety concern as they divert law enforcement resources from crimes in progress, other real emergencies, and time spent on routine patrol.

Delaware Law-Title 24 Chapter 12 –False Alarms requires all residents and business owners throughout the State to register their alarms systems. The initial registration period began May 17, 2012 when all security systems and protective service industry professionals were notified by the Delaware State Police Professional Licensing Section to inform all customers and clients of the need to register their alarm systems.

The Delaware State Police initial focus is only on those businesses and residences within the State Police jurisdiction. Wilmington, New Castle County and Newark implemented this program in their jurisdictions more than four years ago. Other municipalities could become part of this false alarm reduction program in the future.

The first three instances of a false alarm will not incur a fine. For the fourth false alarm a $50 civil penalty will be assessed, fifth false alarm $75 civil penalty, followed by a $100 penalty for a sixth false alarm. The seventh false alarm or any thereafter within a calendar year will be subject to a $250 civil penalty for each offense. If Troopers respond to an alarm that has not been registered, the alarm user will have thirty (30) days to register the alarm or a $50 fine will be assessed.

Residents and business owners can continue to register their alarm systems through Cry Wolf, the vendor selected by the Delaware State Police to administer the program. Registration is free and is available through a secure website at https://www.crywolf.us/delaware. In addition to online alarm registration and administration, the website offers information about the false alarm law, answers to frequently asked questions, false alarm reduction tips, payment of fines and more.  

Any questions or further information regarding the registration process and applicable fines should be directed to Cry Wolf at 877-665-29279.

As a courtesy, Burns & McBride registers those customers whose systems they have installed. Once registered the homeowner will receive a registration confirmation showing their system number. They will also receive a password to the system via e-mail. They can access the system at any time using their e-mail as a login and their password.

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 – callus at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Home Security, Installing and Mainaining, Uncategorized

How would you like a reminder that you forgot to arm your system?


One of the biggest problem with any alarm system is that people forget to arm it when they leave home. All the benefits of energy management and home security are lost if no one turns the system on. How about if it could send you a note reminding you that you forgot to turn it on?

We are please to announce the launch of Geo-Services technology, powered by Alarm.com as a standard feature of our Smart, Safe Home system. This free service enhancement allows you to make “geo-fences” – radius’s  – around your home, through the use of an iPhone or Android device. The technology sends reminders to users’ iPhone or Android devices to arm their security systems when arriving in or leaving  the preset area or tells you that someone has left the area. You can even set up different sites – maybe work or your child’s school.

With industry technology evolving so quickly, there are many great services available to home security customers. Customers sometimes leave their homes unprotected even though they have a security system in place because they don’t arm it, putting them in harm’s way. This new feature and the convenient one touch app is another layer of protection for users. It is one more way to take advantage of technology simply and afford ably too make your life a little easier.

After creating the “geo-fence,” users customize automatic geographic and time-based arming reminders that are sent to their handheld device when the preset radius is entered or exited. Users can enable this feature through the latest Alarm.com iOS app (v2.1), and the latest Alarm.com Android app (v1.4).

Alarm.com’s initial set of Geo-Services will include a location-based version of the company’s popular Arming Reminders feature, allowing users to receive an alert if they leave their home “geo-fence” without remembering to arm the security system. More features are on the way. Alarm.com’s Geo-Services will be a user set option and also support applications where multiple mobile phones are used to trigger a rule. For example, when both Mom’s and Dad’s mobile phones are outside of the Home geo-fence on a weekday morning, a Geo-Services rule can be triggered to arm the security system, lower the thermostat and turn off all the lights. Users will also be able to define custom geofences around other significant locations like a second home, child’s school, or workplace, enabling more sophisticated rules in the future that look at multiple phone locations relative to multiple geofences to decide whether to change system settings or trigger notifications.

“We are very excited about the applications we can enable by layering location-based services into our security and automation platform,” said Rebecca Davenport, Senior Product Manager at Alarm.com. “By expanding our rules-based automation and notifications to look at location, in addition to other inputs like schedule and device status, we can offer our end user customers greater system flexibility, efficiency and overall value.”

Once this technology is enabled on the customer’s account, a default geo-fence is set up around the system address; you have the option to create additional geofences as well. Arming Reminders, tailored to the customers’ individual needs, are then created for each geo-fence. Customers can specify dates, times, and the recipients of the reminder. To preserve the battery life of the phone, Alarm.com minimizes the use of GPS and relies on cell towers where possible to provide accurate location information.

Here’s how it works:

You can use the Geo-Services page to set up geo-triggered rules based on your phone’s location. To add a geo-device, please follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Download the latest version of the Android or iPhone mobile app onto your mobile device.
  2. Log in to your mobile app on any supported phone and enable Geo-Services from the Settings menu.

Once enabling Geo-Services on your phone, you can set up and manage your Geo-Fences, Geo-Devices, and Geo-Features by logging onto your alarm.com web page. Go to the Mobile tab and select Geo-Services

Geo-Fences – By default, a geo-fence is set up around your installation address. From this screen you can edit, add and delete geo-fences.

Edit ~ To edit a geo-fence, click on the fence name or the for the fence you want to edit. Here, you can update the fence location, name and radius. To edit a fence location, click and drag the to a new location on the map or type the address into the text box and click . To edit the fence name, type the new name into the text box under “Fence Name.” You can edit the radius of the fence by clicking and dragging the boundary markers       () to increase/decrease the radius or by manually entering a value in the “Radius” text box. Make sure to click “Save” before navigating to a new page.

  • Add ~ To add a new fence, click on “Add a Fence” and define the location, name and radius as outlined above before clicking “Save.”
  • Delete ~ To delete a fence, click on the fence name and select . Note that deleting a geo-fence will delete any rules or notifications that depend on the fence.

Geo-Devices – Once enabling Geo-Services on a device, it will show up in the Geo-Device list where you can then edit or delete the device.

  • Edit ~ To edit a geo-device, click on the device name. Here, you can edit a device’s name by typing into the text box and clicking “Save.”
  • Delete ~ To delete a geo-device, click on the device name and select . Note that deleting a geo-device will disable Geo-Services on that device and remove it from any rules or notifications that depend on its location.

Geo-Features – the following geo-compatible features are available.

  • Arming Reminders ~ set up an arming reminder to check the arming state of your system when you cross a fence boundary. Go to the Security/Arming Reminders Tab. The Arming Reminders screen allows you to be notified if your system is not armed by a certain time each day.

Add an Arming Reminder

To add an arming reminder, go to the Security tab and choose Arming Reminders. click the “Add a Reminder” link. For each reminder, you need to specify the following parameters:

– 1. Condition: You can set up an arming reminder to check the arming state of your system at a particular time or when you cross a geo-fence boundary. A geo-fence arming reminder can be set up for when you cross a fence at all or specified times.

– 2. Day(s): Check the box(es) under the day(s) of the week you would like to be notified if your system is not armed by the specified time.

You will also need to specify Arming Reminder Recipients. Check the boxes corresponding to the recipients/addresses that should receive Arming Reminders. (Note: To add a new person who can receive notifications, or to add a new email or text message address for someone, go to your online Address Book located under the Notifications tab.)

Be sure to click the “Save” button if you make any changes.

Delete/Edit an Arming Reminder

To delete an Arming Reminder, click the “Delete” link in the row corresponding to the Reminder you would like to remove. To edit an Arming Reminder, click on the “Edit” link in the row corresponding to the Reminder you want to change. When you’re finished editing the rule, click the “Update” link to apply your changes.

Once you’ve setup the geo-fence, you’ll want to create a way for the system to automatically remind you to arm the system. Click on the picture below to see a brief video.

There are some excellent videos on your alarm.com website that explain just how geo0fencing works.

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 – callus at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Home Security, How Things Work, Installing and Mainaining, Uncategorized

Can I control my system from the second floor?


ABSOLUTELY!!

Maybe you hear a noise in the middle of the night and want to call the police. Or maybe you want to turn the heat up or down, without going downstairs.

We are pleased to announce the availability of our new Smart, Safe Home Secondary Panel, which enables increased accessibility to the smart home features managed through the Go!Control panel, the heart of our home automation system. based on the award winning GO!Control panel, we can locate this device anywhere in your home to give you easier access to the system.

  • Panels Supplement Main Go!Control Panel and Mobile App Offering to Increase Users’ Ability to Manage Their System
  • Up to Four Secondary Panels Can be Strategically Placed Throughout the Home, Including in Bedrooms, Home Offices and Other Rooms

Our customers will now have the option for increased access to their system’s functions through these secondary, in-home touch-screen control panels, which can be placed strategically throughout the home, giving users additional points of access. Features of the secondary panels include:

  • One touch arm/disarm alarm capabilities
  • The ability to see and hear system statuses
  • Lighting and appliance control
  • Thermostat control
  • Alert notifications
  • Date, time and weather display

Our Go!Control system gives customers the ability to easily manage every aspect related to their home’s automation system. We also have a mobile app that allows our customers to stay connected to their system no matter where they are. However, we heard from several users who thought that when they were at home, having all those features centralized in one control panel wasn’t always convenient.

Users can have up to four of the  Secondary Panels installed, in a customized configuration that best addresses the needs of each unique situation.

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.

About Burns & McBride

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 – callus at 302-656-5110 or visit our website at www.burnsandmcbride.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Home Safety, Home Security 101, How Things Work, Installing and Mainaining