Cheryl Watterson, Radio Host, 10-09

October 8, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Radio Guest

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On Friday, 10-09-09, Lets Talk Home Security host Cheryl Watterson will be talking about how to implement optimum protection strategies that will make your apartment a safer and more well-protected place to live.  Apartments can be one of the easiest “residences” to break into - for many reasons.  We will talk about what people can do to to avoid being a victim of an apartment home invasion and some “secret” defensive measures to make your apartment a very difficult target to break into.

Interview with Mark Kramer, Kramer Properties in South Bend, Indiana.  Mark does a tremendous job in providing his apartments, townhomes, and residential properties with home security protection and added security services.  Listen in and see what puts Kramer Properties’ apartments ahead of typical apartment complexes:


Be sure to join us Friday, 10-09-09, at 10:00 a.m EDT/7:00 a.m. PDT.  You can listen to the show via telephone at (646) 727-3396 or online at

The Secret To Solid Apartment Protection Strategies

October 8, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Home Security Headline News

Courtesy of KXLY ABC4

What is the “Secret” to having a solid home or apartment protection strategy?  Could the secret be something as simple as “locking” your doors and windows?  Could it be NOT opening your door unless you know who is there?  Or could it be having a super strength deadbolt locking system on doors that have reinforced frames and hinges? 

These could be some of the best well-kept SECRETS  to having a solid home or apartment protection strategy because most people aren’t doing them.  If you want to keep home burglars/home invasion intruders out of your home or apartment, you need to strengthen the perimeter making it extremely difficult for them to get through.  If you leave your doors and/or windows unlocked, you are inviting the criminals into your home.  

Home security and safety is a habit that many people just don’t follow.  You might ask why?  My answer is they may feel perfectly safe.  Having a personal and home security “mindset” should be a habit that you focus on developing even if you think you live in a perfectly safe area.  Even though crime is getting closer to home - many people still feel that crime happens to other people - not them!  When people see crime actually affecting their neighbors, family, or themselves, that’s when many start to take ACTION.  I challenge everyone to become more proactive in their home security and personal safety and commit that they are not going to become a victim of crime out of complacency!!   

Over the past few weeks our city has experienced both a personal carjacking attack against a couple of innocent students and a violent home invasion that resulted in a fight between the homeowner and the intruders.  The homeowner did acknowledge he had left the door unlocked which allowed the intruders to easily gain access to his home. Again make a habit of checking doors and windows each night before going to bed to make sure they are locked.  Do it for 21 days straight and it will become a habit for you!

Solid Apartment Invasion Prevention Strategies 

1.   Check the structure of your entry doors and deadbolt locks.  If they are flimsy, weak, and outdated, see if your apartment will upgrade or at least reinforce the hinges and frame around the door.   If the apartment management won’t comply, invest in the upgrade yourself if you plan to live there for any length of time.  One of the best locking systems on the market is The Ultimate Lock.  Their testimonials show this lock can withstand up to 4,000 lbs of force.  This lock is bump-key resistant and has a really unique ”lock out” feature.   Take a look at the power of this ultimate lock!  Check it out.

2.  Make your personal and home security a habit.  Day or night you should always be aware of your surroundings as you exit/enter your vehicle and are exiting/entering your apartment.  You may want to consider keeping some type of personal protection device in your apartment like Pepper Spray, Mace Spray, TASER C2, Stun Gun, or Personal Alarm And carry Pepper Spray or Mace Spray on your keychain for protection.  These are all non-lethal protection devices that are meant to deter or distract an attacker or  intruder enough to get away to safety and call 911.  As you enter your apartment from the outside, be cognizant of strangers approaching or anyone who may be hiding outside your apartment.  Be sure to follow appropriate laws and regulations regarding these personal protection devices in your area.  Practice using your personal protection product so you know what to do if forced to use it.   To order your protection products CLICK HERE

3.  Reinforce the front, back and sliding glass doors to your apartment.  Place a heavy duty strong dowel rod down into the track of the slider to prevent it from opening.  If the sliding glass door can be lifted out of the track, install a couple of screws at the top of the track to prevent that.  For the front and back doors look at adding a 20-gauge steel door brace and/or a door stop alarm with a loud decibel alarm.  These door protection devices can give that extra strength, protection, and valuable time you may need during a break-in to call 911 or  others for help. For details CLICK HERE.

4.  Keep your main level windows locked at all times.  To add extra strength to the windows place a dowel rod that fits into the track of the window whether it slides up and down or side to side.  This will add a tremendous amount of strength to the windows and can help prevent them from being opened.  The intruder will have to break the glass to get through and most don’t want to make any noise or take the time and effort.  You can get the dowel rods at the local hardware store and if you paint or stain the rods, they blend into the window.   For a minimal charge you can add wireless window contacts or glassbreak sensors that only make a loud alarm noise inside the apartment when the window is opened or glass broken.  Go to The Personal Security Store for more information.

5.  A home security system would be a recommendation that I would make; however, many alarm companies require that apartment management approve this.  If your plans are to stay in your apartment for 3-5 years this may be a wise investment.  When my daughter got out of college and moved to an apartment, the first thing I did was have a security system installed with protection on all doors, a fire alarm, and a wireless panic button.  This made me feel better and I know she appreciated it too.  ADT Security offers quality security systems at reasonable prices.  Be sure to check with your apartment management for approval.  Ask to have included in your security system a remote keyfob that has an on/off button as well as a panic button to call for help if you need it.

6. Before opening the door look through your peephole to make sure you know who is there.  Don’t automatically open the door when someone knocks.  This has become a major scam in apartment complexes across the country.  Once the homeowner opens the door it takes very little effort for the intruder to violently force the door open and attack the homeowner.  A word of caution - if you don’t know the person’s identity, ask what they want.  You do not have to open your door to anyone you don’t know!  Carry your telephone with you as you approach the door in case you need to call and verify the person at your door.  Call apartment management or 911 if you feel threatened or in any kind of danger.   

7.  Get to know the immediate neighbors in your apartment unit.  Exchange telephone numbers and start to watch out for one another.  The more involved you are with those around you the better able you and others can alert authorities if a security problem happens.  See if your apartment offers some type of “Neighborhood Apartment Security Watch.”

Other common-sense security tips:

 Avoid riding in the elevator alone with a stranger if you can.  Don’t hesitate to get off an elevator should you fee uncomfortable or threatened.

When you move into an apartment, make sure the door locks have been rekeyed.  The should also be rekeyed whenever the door lock key is lost or stolen.

When you leave your apartment, even for a short time, lock doors and windows.  Also turn off any heating appliances.

When you are gone for the day, turn on a radio.  Also consider a timer to program lights in your apartment.

Having a Security & Safety Plan and knowing what to do and how to protection yourself before you have a problem can save you from being a crime victim!!  Be Prepared!! 

Remember the security and safety of your residence and family is ultimately your responsibility.  Take the necessary precautions to ensure you don’t become a victim of an apartment invasion robbery/burglary crime!


Do You Have An Early Alert Warning System For Your Home?

October 3, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Home Security Headline News

If you don’t have an early alert warning system for your home, you could become a victim of a 3:00 a.m. home invasion crime.  Wouldn’t you like to know well ahead of time that there are intruders approaching your home to potentially do you and your family harm - especially if it’s in the middle of the night?  Be prepared and be alerted!

Would you like to be alerted when …

Cars are coming up the driveway • Children go inside your tool shed • Intruders approach the front or backyard • Someone enters your garage • Visitors are walking to the front door • Your parked boat or motor home has been boarded • Kids or pets are trampling your flowers…

then you need the Voice Alert System-6.

Ground Shipping is FREE (Continental USA orders only) if you order a minimum of $100.00 from our web site.

Voice alert
Frequently Asked Questions

Voice Alert System-6 is a new annunciator system featuring wireless PIR sensors transmitters and a remote receiver/speaker base unit. Users record their own alert messages and are then notified with their own voice message when activity in a monitored area is detected. Key applications include:
Wireless Driveway Alarm
Residential and Small Business Security
Child Monitoring and Pool Safety
Home Automation

System-6 allows a maximum of six user recorded messages. Each message is specific to one zone. For instance, zone one could be for a driveway alarm -“Car coming up the driveway” while zone two could be for a sensor monitoring the back yard- “Alert! Child by the pool!” Perhaps a third sensor guards a side entrance against intruders. However, when this PIR detects movement, the base unit plays “Intruder on patio” and triggers a floodlight using one of four relays included on the base unit. System-6 can monitor all three zones simultaneously and still have three additional zones available when needed. Users can alter their messages and place the wireless sensors wherever they wish.

Voice Alert System-6 sets up in minutes and can be completely customized to fit their individual needs. The wireless PIRs feature: all weather protection, adjustable mounting and sensitivity, and can send a signal 300 feet through walls and up to 1000 feet in open space.

“Originally I had doubts about a ‘wireless’ product, but not anymore! My wife and I love the Voice Alert. It’s so easy to setup and record our own messages. Sometimes we change them for fun, like last Halloween. Now we are notified when someone is coming up our walkway, enters our garage, or comes around the backyard. This is a great product!” — Kent G., Portland, Oregon

You may add transmitters (VA-6000T) to cover as many areas as you want.

Includes the base unit and a wireless sensor.
voice alert
Extra Sensors
voice alert extra sensor
Add Extra Sensor(s) $69.95 each

You can change the quantity when you check out if you want more than one.

FAQ’s On Protecting Your Home

October 2, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Home Security Solutions

Today on Lets Talk Home Security radio we spent the radio time discussing questions from my audience about setting up a security system, the types of protection, cost, guarantees and other important questions that will help when trying to make a decision on the best security protection.

FAQ – Protecting Your Home With A Security System


1. I am thinking about installing a security system, what is the best procedure since I don’t know that much about home security equipment, the type of protection, or companies to call?
Many people will ask friends and family for referrals. If they already have a security system and are happy, then that may be a company to checkout. You could check with local law enforcement to see if there has been a lot of false alarms from that company.  Do your research.  There are major alarm companies that you see on TV everyday like ADT and Brinks, but there are also a lot of very good local companies in your area you may want to check with.

2. How many companies should I check with or call out to my home for a security review? Many people have at least 1-2 reputable companies come out.  I have even had people checkout 3-5 which I think is way too many.  At that point people are just looking at price and not necessarily the quality.  Consider your time – you can spend at least an hour to two  interviewing each alarm company.  It really boils down to who will offer you the best overall service, protection, and 24-7 monitoring service that will give you and your family total peace of mind.

3. I have a certain budget for security.  What are the things I need to really look at to stay within budget? That depends on how large a home you have and what your major concerns are.  If you have not been broken into and want a basic level of protection that you can build on as your budget grows, then take a look at protecting all perimeter doors that enter into your home and place at least one motion detector on the main level – maybe a central location.  If you have a full basement with lots of windows – consider putting a motion detector down there. I always recommended having a monitored smoke detector – as a life saving device.  If you don’t install one with the security system, at least get a battery smoke detector from the hardware store.  Keep in mind if your house catches fire and you lose everything – spending $100 plus would’ve looked like a great deal.  Also consider a cellular backup unit in case your phone lines go down or are cut.  You could realistically spend between $99 – $500-750 or more.  The best way though is to talk with an alarm  representative for the most accurate estimate.

4. Which is better, a wireless security system or a hardwired security system?
Here are things you should consider when looking at the Wireless System:
• Can easily add security devices no matter the construction. Easy installation.
• Takes less time to install vs. the hardwired system. Less time-more efficient.
• Purchase price is usually less due to improved technology + installation. Cost-effective.
• The security devices are easily be re-installed in your next home.
• The installation is clean with no visible holes from drilling. Clean installation.
Here are things you should consider when looking at the Hardwired System:
• Many people still feel the hardwired system is a more reliable system due to a direct
• connection. Reliability due to direct connection.
• It may take longer to install due to the homes construction, therefore, costs may be much higher than the wireless system. Longer installations-higher costs.
• It may be difficult for sales rep to absolutely know for sure the technician can run and hide all wires. (Depends on the skill of the tech). The technician will make that determination. Time is money – some wire runs can increase costs.
• Exposed wires are ugly and any holes drilled in the wrong areas can leave unsightly blemishes in your home. Unsightly damage to interior of home.
• If you are building your home, a hardwired system at this point is easy to install and all wiring can usually be concealed. New construction good for hardwired.

5. Do you need to have a telephone in your home to have the security system setup? A landline is generally the best thing to have, but if you don’t have a landline and only use a cell phone – which many homeowners have opted for – you will need to get a cellular backup unit from the alarm company that will be connected to your security system.  This is how your alarm signals will be transmitted to the 24-hour alarm monitoring center.  In fact, I would recommend a cellular backup system as a regular part of the security system anyway.  If your phone lines go out due to a storm or disaster, the cellular backup unit will make sure the call goes through.

6. What happens if someone cuts my phone lines in a break in attempt?  Is there a way the alarm company will know? If your phone lines are cut, your alarm company will not know about it unless you are set up with cellular backup.  The cellular backup unit will send in the alarm call should the intruder break one of the security points, like door, window, or motion detector.  A lot of older homes have the telephone lines totally exposed on the outside of the home and are easy to get to and cut.  The traditional interface box is usually has the phone wires encased in a heavy duty conduit, but there may be some wires that are still on the outside of the box that can easily be clipped.  A professional who knows what he’s doing – who’s looking at a targeted home – will look at something like the phone lines first.  Make sure you check with the alarm company and have cellular backup included.  If you do not include a cellular backup unit, make sure you protect your outside interface unit by making sure that all wires are placed in conduit.  (It’s pretty hard to cut conduit with a knife).

7. How can I harden the outside of my home and make it difficult for home intruders to get through? Make sure you trim shrubbery away from windows and door areas that would allow an intruder to hide while working to break in.  Install automatic lights that turn off/on both inside the home and outside at pre-determined times.  Set up motion detector lights for the front garage, back entry area & front area of your home so the lights come on at night when someone comes around.  Have these motion lights connected to lights inside the house that automatically come on – gives the appearance that someone is home.  Consider the Voice Alert System that actually tells you in a voice unit in your home if someone comes around the garage or back area of your home.  When you select your alarm company be sure to place the yard signs in the front area and back area of your home, along with placing alarm decals on glass – front and back areas. Update your deadbolt locks with solid strength updated locking system.  Check hinges and frame around your door and update-upgrade as necessary.

8. What is the most effective deterrent of the security system? Yard signs and window decals are your first line of defense.  Knowing there is a security system at the home makes the intruder think twice.  Having a reputable company like ADT- for instance- protecting your home stands out.  The burglar typically will go to an easier home w/o an alarm system because they don’t want to get caught by making a lot of noise that alerts the homeowner, neighbors, or alerts the police.

9. Do most alarm companies have you sign a contract for a certain time period? You will need to check with the alarm company as most will vary.  The major companies like ADT and the ADT Authorized Dealers have you sign a 3-year agreement commitment.  I believe companies like Broadview (Brinks) and Protection One may also have you sign for a 2-3 year time period. But check with them to verify.  One of the primary reasons companies require a 3-year agreement is - when they offer to install the security system at a very low initial price – say $99 – they actually are losing money.  They make that up on the monitoring service they provide.  If you only had a 12 month agreement, they would not be able to recoup their investment.  Over a 3-year period they have a chance to do that.  Chances are also better that you will continue the monitoring service well past the 3-year mark.  Many customers have been with ADT 15/20/30 years.  It’s a relationship or partnership you will have with your alarm company.  Check with the company you interview and find out the facts.

10. Do I own the security equipment when I sign up? Some companies offer a lease – purchase option.  This means you pay a low upfront installation charge because you are leasing and must fulfill a 3-year agreement.  If you cancel before or after that time, there is some kind of a payment due of say $100-200 charge.  Very similar to a cell phone contract that you received a free phone by the company, but if you” jump ship” to another cell phone company before the term runs out, there is a payment fee due.

11. If I have a dog and cat, can I still have the alarm on? Over the years the motion detector technology has changed for the better and most companies have “pet” technology.  The sensor can tell the difference between a pet and a person by the weight. size, etc.  The motion sensor beam can also be adjusted so it’s high enough off the ground so the pets movement won’t affect the motion sensor.  If you have a big dog or big cat that jumps everywhere and want to completely avoid any type of false alarm, you could always put the system in the home mode while pets have access.  Or you could just protect doors and windows only and leave the motion sensor out.  Talk with your alarm rep and get an idea what their company experience has been with pets, motion detectors, and false alarms.  When homeowners have a bunch of false alarms, they tend to not use their alarm system.

12. Can I add smoke detectors to my security system? Yes definately.  I highly recommend smoke detectors as life saving devices.  You can never have too many smoke detectors.  For the best fire protection, place a smoke detector on each level – outside bedroom hallways, basement, and outside laundry room.  You can always place a battery smoke detector inside each bedroom above the door.  Most new home construction already puts a wired smoke detector in these locations, but if you want it to notify your alarm company of a fire, install smoke detectors connected to your security system.  Your insurance company will give you a better homeowner discount for having both monitored burglary and fire coverage.

13. What types of guarantees do most alarms companies offer? This is really an important and very valuable benefit that you will want to check with whatever alarm company you are interviewing.  Most companies don’t have guarantees.  I am familiar with guarantees that ADT Security offers since I worked with them for 20 years.  ADT’s offers the following guarantees - a Relocation Certification Guarantee, an Insurance Guarantee, A 6-Month  Satisfaction Guarantee, and a Theft Protection Guarantee.  The unique Theft Protection Guarantee says if you are broken into and sustain a loss over $500 as long as certain requirements are met – ADT will pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible.  With home insurance costs as high as they are, a $500 payment toward your deductible would be a real blessing if you had a home burglary.  Without this guarantee – say with another alarm company – you not only have the tremendous loss of your valuables that need to be replaced, the traumatic peace of mind that was just lost, plus you now must pay your insurance deductible.  You didn’t ask for the break in but sometimes it costs dearly.  Having a $500 Theft Protection Guarantee certainly is unique to the alarm industry and is a strong benefit as you consider your alarm company options.  ADT is banking on the fact that their brand name and reputation offers a tremendous deterrent value to homeowners.

14. The home I just moved into has an ADT system, how do I go about getting the service activated? Just call the local ADT office in your city and a professional representative can give you all the ADT details of connecting the security system to the ADT 24-hour Customer Monitoring Center.

15. I have a security system other than ADT.  Can I activate it with ADT Monitoring? There are some security systems – control panels – that may be compatible with the ADT monitoring center.  However, if the security system is an older model - it may not be possible to monitor.  Again this is something you will want to double check on.  My suggestion would be to call the local ADT office and give them the type of system you have with the Model #, and they should be able to assist you. Having the 24-Hour ADT monitoring service is real peace of mind.

16. Can I save money with my insurance company by having a home security system? Each insurance company varies on their homeowner discount.  It’s best to contact your insurance provider directly.  Insurance companies tend to give a certain discount for just having burglary protection and an additional discount when you include 24/7 fire protection.  Any discount you receive will be very helpful.

17. Do I really need to have a representative come to my home or can I talk with someone over the phone about what security protection I will need for my home? When you call the ADT 800# the representatives will be able to discuss your security needs and concerns, and ask specific questions about your home.  After learning this information, they will be able to give you a security quote over the phone. 

If you have questions that weren’t covered, please send me an email at and I’ll get it answered for you.

Remember, stay safe and protect your home and family!




Cheryl Watterson, Radio Host, 10-02

October 2, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Radio Guest

cheryl-rOn Friday, October 2, 2009, Lets Talk Home Security radio host Cheryl Watterson spent the radio time answering FAQ’s - Frequently Asked Questions that had been submitted by her audience.

If you want to educate yourself about home alarm systems - what type of equipment, price, or company to consider - listen to the radio program below.  Many questions that are on the minds of thousands of homeowners who are looking to protect their home and family have been answered.

Because time was limited we weren’t able to get to all of the questions.  Check the link below for a full list of FAQ’s and answers.

CLICK HERE - FAQ’s On Protecting Your Home

Remember, stay safe and protect your home and family!

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