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What You Need To Know About Wall Safes

Hidden Wall Safe

Having a safe is not only a smart idea but often times a necessity. Owning one which is securely attached to the wall can often times be the best way to help keep your valuables, firearms, and precious items protected. Depending on what level of security you’re looking for that could mean protection from theft, damage, fire, or all of these.

Some are even meant to be hidden from view or made to look just like household décor.  When it comes to wall safes there really is a wide range of options and types for consumers to choose from, so read on and you’ll quickly have the knowledge you need to decide which type is right for you!

Where Can They Be Used And What For?

A wall safe is a security box, that like its name suggests is set into a wall.  They are ideal for use in many locations with businesses, offices, and homes being the most common.  The majority of safes are used to store cash, important and classified documents, smaller firearms, jewelry, checks, and other high value items.  The fact that they can be easily concealed with a picture frame, bookcase or other piece of furniture or décor is very appealing to many consumers since it can drastically cut down on the chance that your valuables will be stolen.

Hidden Wall Safe

Many business owners in particular, of course need a safe to keep cash before it is deposited in the bank, but feel nervous about using a floor safe, drop safe, or other choice which a criminal could spot.  Instead they feel much more secure keeping their cash in a more concealed manner.  This is because while most criminals know there is loot to be had in just about any business, not having your safe in plain sight may not give prospective thieves the idea that yours has something worth stealing in the first place and that it always a good thing since it can prevent future loss, problems, and even injury.

Unlike other types of safes they are up off the floor and protected against flooding. They are also anchored to the wall which is excellent because most thieves are not prepared to break in, cut out and remove a chunk of your wall with the safe attached and then try to escape with it.  And that is considering they even know it is there in the first place.

What You Need To Consider

When thinking about shopping for one, there are a few things to consider which will quickly help you to decide on the best wall safe for your needs.

Hidden Wall Safe

How Much Security Do You Need?

More than anything else the amount of security you need will influence the model you choose.  Someone looking to keep valuables as secure as possible will want something more heavy duty with all steel construction and no plastic parts. As with any safe, thick heavy gauge steel (the thicker the better) is always the best protection as are large diameter solid steel locking bolts.

However not everyone is looking for the same level of security.  A person who wants to install an inexpensive wall gun safe to keep his handgun out of the reach of his children but still easily accessible in an emergency,  and store the family passports at the same time,  won’t require the same amount of protections as someone keeping a hidden stash of diamonds for example.  So be sure to think about the level of protection you want and need, as this will determine the materials and construction of the safe which best suits your specific needs.Hidden Wall SafeDo You Need A Fireproof Wall Safe Or Not?

In general there are two types of wall safes: burglar and fireproof.  Burglar safes are not fire resistant but instead are designed mainly to keep out thieves. These usually will be somewhere round six to seven inches deep behind the wall.  Fireproof wall safes are manufactured to keep out both thieves and protect against fire damage.  For this reason they are much deeper approximately between fifteen to sixteen inches behind the wall.  Many fireproof models will also feature a special lining for the interior of the safe which will increase protection for documents during a fire as well.  A fireproof wall safe will be heavier and more expensive but if you will be keeping items which are irreplaceable or extremely expensive it is probably worth the extra cost.

Hidden Wall Safe

 

What Capacity Do You Need?

Thinking about what you will you will be using your safe for will help you pick the capacity or size you need.  Both medium and even small wall safes can provide more than enough room for the average user and will normally have multiple shelves for easy organizing.  Basic units while they may not be specifically advertised as such, can be used as an in wall gun safes for both handguns and ammunition.  However, if you will be keeping rifles or shotguns you’ll need to choose one which is specifically designed to be tall enough to fit them.  Many wall gun safes will also provide adjustable barrel rests to accommodate the specifications of individual weapons which can be a real plus.

What Type Of Lock Do You Prefer?

Just as with other types of safes, wall safes come with a few different types of locks each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  You’ll need to consider which one will work the best for you. Your options are:

Hidden Wall Safe

Dial Combination Locks

With zero electronics involved, these are hands down the most reliable option and have been for close to two hundred years.  They require no changing of batteries however; they come with one combination from the manufacturer that if you want to change means hiring a technician.  Also keep in mind that the numbers on the dial are smaller than other choices so if you’re eyesight is not so great it may be a little harder for you to see them accurately.

Digital Locks

With larger and clearer numbers on the keypad, digital locks are easier to read and faster to get into. They also allow you to change the combination whenever you feel like it by simply following instructions included from the manufacturer.  You will have to change the batteries about once a year or so and some models will come with extra features to ensure that if the batteries die you can still get in if you need to. For example external battery packs that can plug into the lock giving it power or override keys so you can open the safe manually if you have to are both common.   It’s always a good idea to keep your override keys somewhere like a safety deposit box in the bank or other place outside of where the wall safe is kept so thieves will not be able to get to use them.

Hidden Wall Safe

Key Locks

Some of the less heavy duty wall safes have key locks. That means you won’t have to remember a combination but of course you’ll have to be sure to keep your key in a secure location at all times.  Some key locks can be very sturdy particularly ones which feature a three point locking system that locks on the top, bottom, and the opening side of the door.

Biometric Locks

The newest technology when it comes to locks are biometric or finger print scanners.  Of course this means that only users whose fingerprints are enrolled in the system can open the safe.  Many biometric wall safes actually allow for multiple users’ fingerprints to be recognized if that is what you want as well. Like with digital locks a large number will also come with override keys and an external battery pack just in case there is a problem with the scanner or the batteries.

Hidden Wall Safe

 

What Extra Features Would You Like?

There are also many extra features that are offered by wall safe manufacturers that can be quite useful and convenient that you might want to keep an eye out for.  A velvet  or felt lined interior for example can add a luxurious feel and also help to protect fragile items like jewelry stored inside from being damaged.  Some models have expandable shelves for extra storage space and a few even let you expand the depth of the safe itself so that you can be sure to use all the available space in walls of varying thicknesses. Removable shelves are also very handy for when you need to keep larger things inside that otherwise would not be able to fit.  An outer flange which covers any errors made when cutting the hole in the wall during installation can be a real help as well that will make sure your safe is not an eyesore.

Do You Want To Keep Your Wall Safe Hidden From View Or Not?

Another consideration is whether or not you want you want a hidden wall safe.  Some people do and some don’t.  If you don’t want to conceal your safe which is often the case with home or business owners who want to have quick access to a weapon in case of an intruder, just be sure to choose one that you find attractive and in a color which goes with the current style and color scheme of the room in which it will be installed.  Since both black and white are neutral colors they therefore look great when used with just about anywhere and for that reason you’ll often see wall safes in these colors, but it’s up to your own preference of course.

Hidden Wall Safe

If you will be choosing a hidden wall safe purchasing one that is recessed so that it will be flush with the wall and has no parts sticking out will allow you to place items in front of it without its presence being obvious.  Concealed hinges which are on the inside of the safe door will also help with this and make breaking in to one that much harder.

You can really be creative when it comes to using items to help keep your safe out of view. But of course the best options are pieces of furniture or décor which would normally be present in whatever room the safe is installed. To disguise your hidden wall safe picture frames always work well since they can be removed in  a hurry if the need be, but don’t overlook desks, mirrors, bookcases, and sculptures either.

Installation

Even though it is up to you, unless you have considerable DIY skills we always recommend that you have your safe installed in-between the walls studs of your wall by a professional contractor.  This will guarantee you have a wall safe which is not only properly anchored to the wall but also a clean and neat job.

Hidden Wall SafeChoosing the best wall safe doesn’t have to be hard it’s simply a matter of taking the time to think about the above considerations and using them to narrow down the options, which they will help you do fairly quickly.  When it comes to protecting your possessions from theft and fire there is a wall safe to do the job and do it well.  We also realize that some consumers may not be looking for your traditional steel safe but for something a little different, so we’ve added an extra section below on a few of the more less conventional hidden wall safe ideas for your home.

Hidden Wall Safe Ideas

As opposed to hiding your safe in the wall and behind furniture, there are also options that let you hide them in plain sight as well. Most of these are different from traditional steel safes in that they may not physically protect valuables from being stolen if someone were to discover them or from fire damage. They are instead really hidden wall compartments. And they work because they hide things in such obvious places that no one would think to look.  Some of the best examples are:

An Air Vent Safe

Since wall vents are a normal sight in any room they offer great potential as a hiding place.  These are very easy to install and screw right into your wall studs.  The top models actually will use an RFID (radio frequency identification) card to open them instead of a key.  The card is placed in front of the safe and it opens on its own.  Since the RFID card is a generic looking white card even if a thief found it or saw it, they would have no clue what it was for let alone come to the conclusion it would open a hidden air vent wall safe. Because the locking mechanism is battery powered, be sure you choose a unit that comes with an external battery pack that can be used to open it should the batteries run out. One of these could work as a hidden wall gun safe, to keep cash, or other smaller items.

Hidden Wall Safe

 

Hidden Wall Gun Safe Mirror

A very popular option with gun owners, these look just like a common household wall mirror. In fact many come with some really handsome frames made from woods and with finishes which can really add to the look of your home.  You can use it to check your appearance and outfit but also a hidden wall gun safe mirror will give you peace of mind.  That’s because you can keep your rifles, handguns, ammo, and weapons hidden yet still easily accessible if there were an emergency situation.  You could use one to keep valuables or anything else you wanted to keep secure too.   Some like the well-known Tactical Wall safes even have a hidden magnetic lock that is opened with a magnetic key card.

Usually a hole is cut into the wall around a template and a panel is inserted. Then the body of mirror is installed over this so that your guns are recessed into the wall and not giving away the fact that the mirror is anything but normal.  A few models come with some really excellent features such as removable shelves, Velcro loop backing to attach storage pouches, and magnet panels which will hold small firearms and the muzzles of longer guns in place.

Hidden Wall Safe

Another option that could be used as a hidden wall safe mirror although not really suitable for firearms is a wall mounted mirror jewelry armoire. With hooks and holders of all sorts for every type of jewelry from rings to necklaces they can store an entire collection without anyone being the wiser.  However some do have a visible lock, so if you want to ensure no one knows your jewelry is inside be sure to purchase one without one.

A Wall Clock With Hidden Safe

Wall clocks are something that everyone needs or should have in their home, office, or apartment.  A wall clock with hidden safe is not meant to be serve as impenetrable barrier for thieves but can keep things safe because no one assumes your valuables are right in front of them.  One of these can just also be a fun piece of wall décor and make a great gift.  Most don’t even use a lock and key and the hidden compartment is accessible by swinging open the face of the clock.

The best wall clocks with hidden safes are models which are attractive so they look good in your space but not so unbelievably good looking that a thief will think it is valuable enough to steal off the wall.  The majority of units are made so that they can be either mounted directly on the wall or placed in a hole cut in one depending on what you prefer.  If you will be hanging it on the wall just be sure to choose one that has a hidden compartment which is moderate in size, not so big that it draws any attention by how far it sticks out from the wall itself. For keeping spare cash, watches, jewelry, medicine, documents, and small to medium sized valuables within arm’s reach and out of sight these can do the trick but obviously don’t expect Fort Knox.

Hidden Wall Safe

Hidden Wall Outlet Safe (Wall Socket Safe)

A wall outlet is probably the last place anyone would think to look for hidden valuables.  And that fact combined with the fear associated with being electrocuted from opening one, makes them an ideal hiding spot.  While they look just like a real AC outlet, these in fact are opened with a key to reveal a hidden container to keep items hidden in your wall.

A hidden wall outlet safe is by no means a super secure option since they are just about all made from plastic, and can be a little flimsy at that.  However they are not meant to be.  But for a few dollars they give you somewhere to keep an extra stash of cash, keep medicine out of the hands of curious kids, and a place to store jewelry that is hidden right in full view. You will have to remove the faceplate each time you open it which some consumers don’t realize. And while this is no big deal it makes them much more suited as a safe that is used in an emergency or every once in a while, not really on a daily basis.Hidden Wall Safe

If you are interested in one of these you could also use the opportunity to make your own DIY hidden wall safe.  Using an extra long electrical gang box installed in a cut out in your drywall you can insert valuables and then use a blank wall plate or outlet to cover it up.  You won’t even need a key because it will be kept locked via the screws in the wall plate or outlet.

Now that you know the basics, picking the right wall safe should be a piece of cake.  But of course remember when doing so to keep the considerations mentioned above in mind. It will help guarantee the best results with whichever type you choose hidden or not.

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Everything You Need To Know About Fake Security Cameras

Fake Security Camera

Sometimes and more often than not thieves will take the easy way out.  What would be the point of breaking into a home or property that is protected by an alarm system, dog, or security cameras and risk getting caught when they could just go somewhere else?  The old adage “better safe than sorry,” works for both the criminals and law-abiding citizens as well. By using fake security cameras you can help to deter crooks and keep your home or business safe with the perceived threat of surveillance.

Do Fake Security Cameras Work?

Of course they do! And while no security measure can work 100% of the time, other than having a big snarling guard dog, cameras whether real or not, are the best deterrent.  No thief no matter how inexperienced wants there to be a video of them committing a crime.  Installing fake security cameras can instantly change your home or business from being a target to a situation that thieves will pass up.

Could you still get robbed even with strategically placed and very realistic looking fake cameras? Of course, but anyone who would steal while thinking they are being taped is either a professional or very stupid. In either case a camera real or fake wouldn’t help anyway. That being said you will deter the vast majority of would-be thieves and that is a much larger group.  For them it is just not worth the risk.

Fake Security Camera

A Very Low Cost Deterrent

Instead of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on real security cameras fake ones in contrast are often incredibly cheap. In fact many of the best looking and most effective models are often under thirty dollars apiece and many even less.  By deterring even one theft they pay for themselves many, many times over.  For such a low cost item they provide a value which is exponential.

Ideal While Saving For A Real System Or Adding To An Existing One

 Many people will actually use fake security cameras temporarily while they are saving up for the real thing. This not only gives them time to save cash but to shop around so they can find the best deals and right system for their needs but also helps to keep them from being the victim of theft in the meanwhile.

Many consumers don’t realize that fake cameras are actually a fantastic way to add to an existing security camera system as well.  By mixing in fake or dummy cameras with real ones, you are increasing the safety of your property by portraying the appearance of having a much larger system than you really do, which is that much more of a . Not a bad way to double or triple the amount of cameras while still having active ones recording.  But of course be sure to keep working cameras in the most vulnerable spots for theft.

Fake Security Camera

 

Look Incredibly Authentic

The majority of fake security cameras on the market look incredibly real. In fact, many even routinely fool security experts which is always a good thing.  They can mimic all different types and even will include special features that use batteries f that specific type to make them look as if they are on and recording.

Different Types

Just about all the options today are water proof and rated for both indoor and outdoor use. There are however a few different types to choose from mainly with two different body styles: bullet and dome cameras.

Bullet Cameras

The most commonly used fake outdoor security cameras are the bullet style. They are aptly named since their shape resembles that of a bullet.  Since many real bullet style cameras are infrared you will find that the fake variety look like they are too.  However instead emitting real infrared light allowing it to see in total darkness these employ LED lights instead.  Seeing a ring of illuminating red LED lights that automatically turn on as it gets dark really makes them look like the real thing and shows thieved that they are both on and recording.  The LED lights on some models may not light up, it depends on the one you choose, but you’ll find that almost all will have at least have a red blinking light which is easily seen both during the day and at night and indicates it is recording.  A few cameras will even pan back and forth when motion is detected from a motion detector on the camera to make it look even more real.

Fake Security Camera

Depending on the unit some will have include a wire that looks as if it is connects to a power source inside of the wall to which it is attached.  Other models are meant to function as fake wireless security cameras and instead have an antenna and no wire.  However, whether they have a wire or not they will really function on batteries. Another choice for fake security cameras solar powered units have a solar panel on top to charge their own batteries cutting down on having to change them.

Fake Dome Security Cameras

Real dome security cameras are the type most often used inside shops parking garages, casinos, homes, and all sorts of businesses.  They are even popular “nanny cams”. But of course, they can be used outside as well.  Not all consisting of a camera which is encased in a sturdy dome that protects it from the elements and being disabled, these are a very recognizable deterrent to burglars.

There mere presence makes criminals uneasy since this type of camera is known for having a wider field of view it does not have to be pointed directly at them to make them feel as if they are always being recorded.  Placing one on the ceiling in the center of a room for example will make it seem as is the entire room is under surveillance from a single camera.  And this in turn makes fake dome security cameras a smart choice.  They are even harder to pick out as fakes since the dome adds a barrier against closer inspection. A few brands even use real camera housing on the outside to increase the realistic appearance even further.

Fake Security Camera

Unlike fake bullet style units these usually do not come with any fake wires since the wiring of the real type is not normally visible as it is run through the wall. They will however normally have a blinking red LED light to make it seem as if it is recording that runs on batteries. Some consumers like to keep this on, while other keep it off, it’s up to you.   Solar powered units are an option too.  Like with the real variety you will have the choice of purchasing ones which are directly mounted to the ceiling or hang down.

Where Can I Buy Fake Security Cameras?

When shopping locally for fake security cameras Lowes, Home Depot, and other similar home stores should usually have a selection.  And while they are in general pretty cheap no matter where you purchase them, you can often find them for dirt cheap online. Some of the best online deals are for sets of multiple cameras which can sometimes be cheaper than buying a single unit locally and will make it seem as if you have an entire surveillance system.  While maybe a little over cautious it might also be a little smarter to buy online simply because there is more variety and if you only have a few models at your local home store, you don’t want thieves to be able to recognize them as such.

Fake Security Camera

As a deterrent, fake security cameras are one option home and business owners should take advantage of whether they have an existing system or not.  For their low price plus the cost of a few batteries they can help prevent theft, vandalism, property damage and any number of unwanted problems that come along with them.  Making your property look more secure than it really is a simple way to make the bad guys think twice!

A Little Extra Advice

-Don’t forget that even though it is always smart to get the best deal possible, you want to do so on a unit that looks authentic.  A cheap fake looking camera won’t fool anyone but for literally a few extra dollars you’ll most likely be able to find one which can easily trick the majority.

– If you are unsure about how your camera looks, simply mount it a little higher. A few extra inches in height can make a huge difference in how is perceived.

-Fake security cameras and signs or stickers stating that your home is under video surveillance and protected by a security company used together can be the icing on the cake when it comes to looking like the real deal.  Signs and stickers can also be purchased online for only a few dollars apiece.

Fake Security Camera

-Homes and businesses which are well lit at night are much less likely to be broken into.  By adding a few lights you’ll be decreasing the chance it will be targeted.  There’s a reason criminals like dimly lit properties and it’s the same one that keeps them out of areas with fake cameras, they don’t want to be seen.

-Keep your fake home security camera a secret.  There is no reason to brag to friends, family, and especially neighbors about your new approach to keeping thieves at bay. While this might sound obvious a white lie sometimes can go a long way in terms of prevention.

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The Fast Guide To Driveway Alarms

Driveway Alarm

Knowing when someone has entered your property is your first line of defense.  Whether that person is a burglar or just the mailman, a driveway alarm will immediately alert you to their presence.  These handy devices are one of the least expensive and most useful security options available today.

What Are They And How Do They Work?

Even though there are a few different types to choose from all driveway alarm systems use the same basic principles.  These are not alarms which require any codes or that automatically dial a security company or the police. Instead, they rely on one of several types of sensors that are installed near your driveway.  When the sensor is triggered it sends a signal to a linked receiver you keep inside your home and an alarm is sounded.

The type of tone which is emitted and volume of the alarm can be adjusted to suit your preferences and needs. Depending on the brand and model you choose there may be one or two tones while some offer up to thirty. Others may also feature programmable voice messages.

Not all, but the vast majority of units are actually wireless, so the outdoor sensor works on batteries while the indoor receiver can work on both batteries or be plugged into an outlet. Even if the model you are looking at is not specifically advertised as a wireless driveway alarm system it most likely is. Some units are even solar powered so you won’t even have to change batteries every few months.

Driveway Alarm

Each unit has its own has its own maximum effective distance for how far away the receiver can be used and how close or far away the sensor can detect an object.  This will vary, will some are more suited for situations where your driveway is closer to your house others are specifically made to function as long distance driveway alarms.  And while many of these can reach very far distances in general the more obstacles such as walls that the signal has to pass through to reach the receiver the shorter that distance will be.

As an early warning system driveway alarms as a whole offer many benefits such as:

Security Without The Cost

Driveway alarms give you the ability to monitor movement in or out of your property without having to spend thousands of dollars. In fact while some are a few hundred dollars in price a large number are much cheaper.  It depends on what type and brand you choose.  In purchasing one you won’t have to pay any installation fees either since all can be installed easily by you.

Driveway Alarm

 

They Give You Time

It’s always nice to have a little time before someone is waiting impatiently at your door.  A driveway alarm system will let you use that extra bit of time from when they enter your driveway and the alarm is sounded until they reach your door to get ready, straighten up, grab the pooch, or go out greet them (depending on who it is of course).  Alternatively if it is a criminal your alarm will give you the time to call the police.

No More Missed Packages, Pizzas,  Or Guests

Nothing is more frustrating than missing the delivery man or guests when you were actually home in the first place.  Whether you’re doing in work in a home office on the other side of the house, fixing something in the garage or basement, or just happened to doze off for a quick nap often times it can be difficult to hear someone at the door or outside your house.  A driveway alarm mounted next to the driveway or front walk will let you know it’s time to head for the door.

Excellent For Those Who Are Hard Of Hearing

Since they have multiple volume settings they can be adjusted so that people who are hard of hearing will have no problem knowing someone has arrived as well. For this reason driveway alarm systems are actually a very popular, functional, and much appreciated gift for parents and grandparents who don’t have the hearing they used to.

 

Driveway Alarm

Types Of Alarms

While they all detect motion there are a few different technologies that can be used to do so. The one you choose will depend on your preferences, location, and exactly what you will use your alarm for.

Infrared Driveway Alarms

This is by far the most common and inexpensive option.  They use what is called PIR or passive infrared sensors.  That means that unlike other types of motion detector sensors they do not send out or emit any type of waves or energy and detect changes in them. Instead they simply determine movement by looking for rapid changes in the amount of infrared energy (heat) they see. For this reason they will pick up the movement not only of cars but humans and animals as well.

Like all other types their sensors can use batteries or solar power while the receiver can use batteries or be plugged into an outlet.  While they are designed for the driveway in mind since they are portable and easily installed just about anywhere these motion sensors can actually amazingly versatile.  From garden sheds or garages that house expensive tools, vehicles, equipment and supplies to the backdoor or yard they can be mounted in almost any location to let you know when someone is trespassing whether day or night.  By using multiple sensors strategically placed around your property you can be alerted when there is any movement anywhere.  Some models allow you to even have different tones for different zones so you can instantly recognize where that movement is.

Driveway Alarm

Some people choose to use infrared driveway alarms inside their homes as well often facing the front door, stairwell, or other choke point in the house where an intruder is likely to pass through. They are turned on after locking up for the night and turned off in the morning. Some models let do this via remote from your bedroom.  Using them inside can also be a really easy way to keep teens from sneaking out, monitor what time they “really,” come home at night, and prevent late night video game sessions on school nights.  Placing a sensor with a view of the stairs usually is the easiest method for accomplishing this, depending on the layout of your house.

Using one in the driveway of a business is a smart idea as well. Of course since they work indoors too by mounting one on the wall of a business busy employees or owners who may be somewhere else in the shop will quickly know it’s time to head to the front and attend to a customer’s needs.  This can also cut down on theft and customer loss since there will always be someone to greet them.

Driveway Alarm

Because infrared detects rapid changes in heat, sensors will be triggered by animals. If this is something you want to avoid be sure to mount your sensors higher up and facing an area where there will be as little traffic by nature or pets as possible. You may also want to consider a magnetic unit.

While many homeowners setup their system so that it purposely does not get set off by critters like squirrels, birds, or chipmunks  by installing them near your garden or garbage cans they  be used to catch pesky wildlife in the act of searching for leftovers or using your garden as a buffet.  Many pet owners install them above their dog or cat door so that they will be aware when they come inside for the night. Alternatively they can be used as to let you know when your naughty pet has gotten into a room or area that they should not be in or when the neighbor’s pets have gotten into your yard. The ability to detect critters and humans plus the fact that they can be portable when using batteries means infrared units can be employed when camping or traveling too.

Like with all types of security equipment purchasing from a reliable brand is always smart since your safety may depend on the quality of your unit.  Dakota, 1byone, Swann, and Chamberlain driveway alarm systems are all top-notch.  Optex is another very highly trusted company. Guardline driveway alarms too are a phenomenal brand particularly if you are looking to use an unlimited number of sensors to make sure your entire property is being monitored.

Driveway Alarm

 

Magnetic Driveway Alarms

Different from infrared units these use an electromagnetic sensor buried underground that is connected to a transmitter above. When a car enters through the sensor’s electromagnetic field the transmitter sends a signal to the receiver and the alarm is sounded.  The sensor’s electromagnetic field detects large metallic objects so these systems can only be set off by vehicles not humans, animals, or other moving non-metallic objects.

Magnetic types can make a better choice than infrared for some situations.  For example, if you have children or pets that play in the area the unit is installed an infrared driveway alarm would constantly be set off and could get pretty annoying very quickly. Many models make excellent long range driveway alarms since they can transmit to receiver up to a thousand feet away. Also for those who live in more rural areas you won’t have to deal with frequent  late night alarms from the local wildlife passing through, or false alarms activated by  trees blowing in the wind which can many times also be the case with infrared.

Driveway Alarm

Yet another reason many homeowners choose to go with a magnetic unit is that they are usually more discreet.  You won’t see any flashing lights on these and most visitors will have no clue it’s even there, which if you are using it for security is obviously very important.  Of course magnetic driveway alarms are not just ideal for the driveways of homes but for businesses too. Businesses which may have you working in another room, a studio, garage, or shop, while you are waiting for customers are all good candidates for one.

As with other types the transmitters use batteries but can also be solar powered.  Be sure to remember not to bury your sensor near any large metallic objects and not so close to the road that it may pick up vehicles which are only passing.  There are a few very reliable brands that always get very high ratings and reviews.  Mighty Mule, Safety Technology International, and Dakota driveway alarms are all well-known consumer favorites.

Driveway Alarm

Reflective Beam Sensors

Other than infrared and magnetic systems there is one more option that you could use.  Reflective beam sensors while not always marketed specifically as driveway alarms since they have many other uses, can also get the job done.   This type has a transmitter which emits an infrared beam to a reflector on the other side of your driveway that in turn reflects it back. This beams is invisible to the naked eye of course and if is broken by a vehicle, human, or animal passing through it can be used to sound an alarm. These too can be solar powered.

Different from other types, these sometimes are wireless and sometimes not, it simply depends on the one you choose.  Also because they can be used for other tasks such as a parking indicator, or a sensor to open gates or garages they may not include a speaker with a chime as not everyone purchasing one will be using it for this purpose.  However this gives you the option of hooking them up to doorbells, outdoor lights, speakers and more.  With even minimal skills these can therefore make a fantastic DIY driveway alarm that you attach to the method of alert you choose. Dakota and Seco-Larm are two of the best brands for this variety.

Driveway Alarm

Choosing the best driveway alarm for your home or business is pretty simple. Pick the technology which most suits your needs and location, and be sure to stick to top brands. By doing so you will be ensuring that you and your family will be quickly alerted and have the time to respond accordingly whenever you have guests, both wanted and unwanted.

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Tips on Burglar Proofing Your Sliding Glass Doors

You know that sliding glass door that you are fond of because it is so big and allows so much natural light to come in? You know who else is fond of those doors? Burglars are. This lovely home feature is basically a welcome sign for countless burglars. You may be wondering why. According to information provided by a former burglar, here are a few reasons:

  1. They are often left unlocked — according to his experience, often times people forget to lock up their back sliding glass doors.
  2. Their locks are simple to “pick”— even when the glass sliding doors are locked, most can be easily unlocked with a bit of jiggling the handle around.
  3. The contents of your home are on display — it is very easy to see all of your awesome belongings through those large windows, however burglars do more than window shopping.
  4. They are in your backyard — this is an area where the chances of being seen by neighbors or passerby are minimized.
  5. They are made of glass — if everything else fails, glass is pretty easy to break. And there is a bonus for the burglars, tempered glass is used for safety purposes when making glass doors so they are not concerned about getting cut.

So, now that you are aware of this, what are you supposed to do? Must the sliding glass doors be permanently boarded up? Do they have to be replaced with large steel doors that lock? Although those two are options, they are not the best ones. Keep reading and you will learn the three ways in which burglars are able to break in through your glass sliding doors as well as how you can deter or prevent each method.

1. Bypassing Your Lock

What the majority of sliding glass doors include is a lock which is more of a latch. This is not something you should depend on to keep burglars out of your abode; remember all it takes is a bit of jiggling to unlock this mere latch.

What Can Be Done About It?

Install a lock on you sliding glass doors that is more reliable. There are many options but here are the most highly recommended ones:

  • Security Bars: these are metal bars that are very strong and attached to one side of your door frame; they are then extended or folded back into place and braced against a glass sliding door so that it is locked into place.
  • A Brace: It is easy to create your own, cut a piece of 1×1 wood or dowel to the width of your door tracks when they are closed then to “lock” your door, simply place the brace in the tracks.
  • Traditional Locks for Sliding Doors: One of the most popular types of locks that sliding doors use is really just a bolt that is attached to the sliding door. When it is closed, the bolt will slide up into the door’s frame securing the doors. With the use of a key, the bolt is locked into position.
  • Double Bolt Locks: This type of sliding door lock is a bit newer. A double bolt lock consists of two pieces, one which attaches to the door’s frame and another that attaches to the sliding door itself. When the door is shut, the piece which is attached to the door frame is nestled inside of the piece that is attached to the sliding door. Metal bolts will then slide into the piece which is attached to the door frame therefore securing the door.
  • Door Sensors: Although in no way a substitute for a proper lock, door sensors will improve the safety of your family, belongings and home. If your door were to be opened, the alarm would be triggered and many times the mere sound of an alarm going off is enough to scare off a burglar as the last thing they want is attention being drawn towards them and their devious acts.

2. Lifting the Door Out of the Actual Frame

The second way in which a burglar is able to enter your glass sliding door is by actually lifting it. With the use of a crowbar, a burglar is able to lift the door up and move it off of the tracks and out of their way. You may be wondering how this is even possible, well it is. When the frame was made, this is exactly how it was put into it. All that the burglars will do is reverse this process.

What Can Be Done About It?

This may sound familiar; install a sliding glass door lock that is better. All of the above listed options will work just fine and prevent a burglar from being able to simply lift your sliding door right out of its frame, with the exception of security bars.

3. Breaking the Glass

Even if you have installed the best door locks or sensors, a burglar is still able to break through your back sliding door by simply breaking the glass. You may be thinking that this would make quite a bit of noise, yes it may however if you are not currently home, they are still able to grab a good amount of loot and get out before anyone arrives. Besides, even if you are at home, they could see something that they would really like and believe that they are able to quickly get in and out so they will simply break the glass, grab what they want, and leave.

What Can Be Done About It?

When it comes to your home security system, glass will always be a weak point. There are however a few ways in which it can be strengthened, for example:

  • Have Your Door Replaced with a Sliding Door That Is Impact Resistant — Many companies dedicated to doors and windows now provide impact resistant sliding doors, also known as “hurricane proof” and these cannot be broken easily. They are however heavy, difficult to install and quite pricey.
  • Window Film — Security window film is a protective sheet that is very thin and can be placed over glass making it more difficult to actually break through. This does not mean that your glass sliding doors will be impenetrable, however it will make you home a target that is not easy to get into and allow more time for the law enforcement of the area to arrive, especially if you pair this with a glass-break sensor.
  • Glass-Break Detectors — with glass-break detectors, when glass is broken in your home, your security alarm system will go off. Much as with door sensors, many burglars are scared of with the mere sound of an alarm. As a matter of fact, one burglar admitted in an interview that even seeing one was enough to send him onto the next target. “When a glass-break sensor is detected, they are aware of how secure the home actually is and they steer clear of it.”

What we suggest is that you install dual-tech glass-break detectors. The more traditional acoustic glass-break detectors will sense the frequency of glass breaking and you security system alarm will be sounded. That being said, it could also lead to false alarms over something as simple as a glass breaking.

However, acoustic glass-break technologies as well as shock glass-break technology are combined by dual-tech glass-break detectors. What this means is that both the shock against the window and the frequency of glass being broken will be sensed by the detectors prior to setting off an alarm, this will minimize any false alarms.

4. Find a good locksmith

Locksmiths come with an array of home security services. They can install locks securely, and check the security of other points of entry to your home, and install home security monitoring systems. Be in touch with a local locksmith for a home walk through- they can suggest what can be done to secure your home.

Author Bio:  Americas Lock and Key, based in Tampa, is a licensed company with full insurance which provides locksmith services around the clock. 24 hours a day 7 days a week. No emergency is too much for this reliable, experienced and honest company of professional locksmiths. We don’t just do home security but also vehicle and business  security as well– with America’s Lock and Key all your security needs are taken care of.  We change and install main door locks, repair broken keys, install and service high security locks, safe opening mechanisms, broken key extraction and more.

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