Home Security Overview

Alarms, cameras, door and window locks, passwords. 

That should cover everything you need to remember this Autumn as you perform your twice annual security review!

  1. Alarms.  Is your alarm system up to date with the latest equipment?  Check with your alarm provider to be sure your technology is up to date.  Then conduct a survey to be sure that all contact points for your alarm system are secure with no loose contact plates or wiring.   What about power sources for your alarm system?   Be sure that outlets that provide power to your alarm appliances aren’t overloaded with other appliances.
  2. Cameras.  When did you last update the firmware for your cameras?  Even if you’ve set up devices for automatic updates, you should check to be sure that updates have occurred.  Keep hackers out of your systems with the latest software/firmware updates.   How are the sight lines for your cameras?  Have storms or critters moved cameras out of alignment?  Are those lenses clean and intact?  Do a visual inspection up close of each camera to make sure there is no damage to the lenses our housing.  Are the mounting screws secure?
  3. Door and Window Locks.  Check for loose strike plates, loose screws.  Are the locks easy to close and open?  A tiny dash of a lubricant might be necessary to ensure smooth lock operation.  Do your window sashes line up to make the locking secure and firm?  If you’re using electronic locks have you updated the passwords?  Is the power to such locks secure?
  4. Passwords.  We cannot say enough about using very secure passwords and about changing passwords frequently.  Thankfully many smartphone manufacturers and other third party providers are creating secure password storage apps for your phones.  Be sure to back up your passwords in writing somewhere in your home, in a book where you won’t forget it and where it’s unlikely that an intruder would look there to find your passwords.  Yes, written backup.  You read that correctly.

When you conduct a home security review you should also have a conversation with your Independent Insurance Agent to ensure your insurance policy reflects new security measures you’ve installed in your home. This could help to save you money on your insurance premiums.

Please check out our other blogs on claim prevention tips. You can reach us by calling 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review.

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Never Get Locked Out Again!

There isn’t much more inconvenient than finding yourself locked out of your own house. It happens to everyone at some point, so make sure that you are prepared when this situation rears its ugly head with these helpful hints:

Think Twice About Your Hiding Spot

Everyone has seen those fake rocks that hide your key in magazines – and that includes potential burglars! Instead of hiding your key somewhere around your front door, hide it somewhere that’s just as convenient but less obvious. Women can hide a spare key in their pocketbook, men can slip a spare between their phone and the phone’s case, or you can use a wall-mounted key box, like this one from Master Lock.

Have a Key Master

One of the most effective ways to ensure that you don’t get sidelined by a lockout is to give a spare key to someone local that you trust. After all, calling up a neighbor to use your spare will be much less of a headache than calling a locksmith!

Be Prepared for the Worst

In case you do get stuck outside your home without access to your spare keys, make sure that you are prepared. Have all the numbers you need stored in your cell phone for easy access, including a reliable locksmith and the local non-emergency police number.

Hopefully with these tips you will be able to avoid a lockout, or at least be prepared if one happens to you. If you want to be even more prepared, talk to me about getting a home insurance review. Often times, I will see people that don’t have the right coverage or people that are paying too much for the coverage they have. If you want to make sure that you have the right homeowners, automobile or business coverage at the right price, just call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655.

What to Do After a Break-In

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It’s a nightmare come true for every homeowner – you come in from being away only to find that your home has been broken into. Once the initial shock wears off, what should you do? Here are four steps that you can take to start down the road to normalcy:

Immediately Call the Police

The first thing that you should do is immediately call the police. Wait outside or at a neighbor’s home for the police to arrive, and do not touch anything in your home until the police are able to investigate. File a police report, and keep a copy for insurance purposes.

Talk to Your Insurance Agent

Your insurance provider will want to know about the break in right away, and may want to send an adjuster to assess the damage. They will likely need a copy of the police report, as well as a list of the items that were stolen or damaged.

Begin the Cleaning and Repairs

It can be very emotional to have your home invaded. When you finally need to start the process of cleaning up, consider rearranging the furniture or painting the walls to make the space feel fresh and new. This could help you and your family overcome some of the bitter emotions that often come with this kind of event.

Evaluate Your Home’s Security

If your home security system could use an upgrade, now is the perfect time to do so. Your local insurance agent may be able to help you get a discount on your home insurance policy if you have certain security features installed, such as a monitored security system and video surveillance.