Category Archives: Home Security

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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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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History Repeats: 2GIG Technologies Wins Top National Honors Again


2012 Overall Maximum Impact Award at Electronic Security Expo

2GIG also won Best Alarm Equipment: Wireless Alarm Systems for Go! 2.0 Panel.

After winning a host of major industry awards in 2011, including top honors at the Electronic Security Expo, 2Gig Technologies did it again, taking the overall prize at the 2012 maximum Impact Awardsheld at the Electronic Security Expo (ESX)  in Nashville, TN. The company`s Go! 2.0 next generation control panel was chosen as Best Overall Product by a distinguished panel of judges drawn from the leadership and ranks of ESX’s owner/sponsor associations, the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) and the Electronic Security Association (ESA). In addition, the Go! 2.0 was named Best Alarm Equipment in the Wireless Alarm System category.

“The products and services honored with a Maximum Impact Award this year are delivering true value to security integration and monitoring companies,” says John Cerasuolo, President of ESX All Star Host Company ADS Security and a member of this year’s voting panel.

According to Lance Dean, Co-Founder of 2GIG Technologies, “It is a little surreal but we are extremely proud to have won ESX’s overall Maximum Impact Award two years in a row. Our customers challenged us to continue innovating and to stay ahead of the competition. We answered with our Go!2.0 platform, and this award validates our efforts. This is another game-changer for our industry.”

2GIG’s Go! 2.0 panel includes a 7” color touch screen and expands upon the functionality and ease of use of the original Go! Control system. Go! 2.0 includes enhanced energy management diagnostics and home automation tools, support of multiple HD cameras, and an on-board DVR for storing and playback of video feeds. Go! 2.0 is the perfect solution for the step-up residential and small commercial markets.

The Maximum Impact Awards showcase products and services that help security integration and monitoring companies meet their customer needs and grow their profits, while placing a critical perspective on the impact that new and recently introduced products and services have on security integration and monitoring businesses.

The 2Gig Go!Control is the heart of the Burns &McBride Safe, Smart Home system.

About 2GIG Technologies. Formed in 2007, 2GIG Technologies designs and manufactures the most technologically-advanced residential security and home management solutions in the industry. 2GIG’s Go!Control — the first self-contained, all-in-one security and home management system — was named Security Product of the Year by the Consumer Electronics Association and received the Electronic Security Expo’s top honor, the Maximum Impact Award, in 2011. 2GIG Technologies is a Principal Member of the Z-Wave Alliance, which enables 2GIG to provide customers with one of the most innovative, interactive home security platforms on the market. 2GIG Technologies is committed to providing consumers with the flexibility and cost-effective technology necessary to manage their home automation and security functions from the panel’s LCD touch-screen display, the Internet, or their PDA. For more information about 2GIG Technologies, please visit www.2gig.com.

About CSAA. The Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) is a trade association representing providers, users, bureaus, and other agencies of UL-Listed and/or FM-Approved Central Station protection services. It is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress, regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. Now in its 61styear, CSAA continues to serve its members’ interests in an ever-increasing variety of ways. The CSAA may be reached at 703-242-4670 or on the Web at www.csaaul.org.

About ESA. Established in 1948, ESA is the largest trade association representing the electronic life safety and security industry. Member companies install, integrate and monitor intrusion and fire detection, video surveillance and electronic access control systems for commercial, residential, industrial and governmental clients. In cooperation with an alliance of chartered chapters, ESA provides technical and management training, government advocacy and delivers information, advice, tools, and services that members use to grow their businesses and prosper. ESA may be reached at (888) 447-1689 or on the Web at www.ESAweb.org.

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

Z-Wave® is a registered trademark of Sigma Designs and its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

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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

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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

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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

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