If I have an alarm service do I still need Sontag Home Services to provide home security monitoring?
There is only so much electronic monitoring can do… SHS is able to be at your home in minutes (day or night) and can save you from costly repairs. Client’s homes are physically checked to detect anything out of the ordinary, and contacted immediately if an issue presents itself. Prevention of, and limiting damage are what we strive to do with our home security monitoring services.
Having multiple homes provides for potential headaches. We consider our services to be a quality of life issue. (We provide peace of mind). Providing you with the utmost utilization of your home and property for the time you spend there is very important to us.
Some of the whys:
1. Cold Temperature Alarms
Things can and do happen in homes whether you are there or not. This past winter had been near record setting for subzero days. A cold temp alarm goes off at a client’s home who lives out of state. The client is notified by a call from his alarm company, saying his home’s temperature is 44 degrees inside, and it’s 20 plus degrees below zero outside.
Is this an alarm malfunction? Is this really happening? Yes this did happen (to a brand new home). All three of his furnaces went down simultaneously. The client called, and SHS was on site in less than a half hour. A real person was needed to access and quickly correct the problem.
2. Ice Dams and Snow Removal
With all the snow this past year constant vigilance of all internal ceilings at client’s homes was made. Ice dams did form on some of the homes, (noticed water staining on interior ceiling) which necessitated the prompt removal of snow from the roof. The results were, limited damage to an interior ceiling, and touching up vs. replacement of ceiling, furnishings and mildew issues in the attic. Something alarm companies can’t do…
3. Hot Water Heaters
Some issues are maintenance related. Hot water heaters have a limited life span. Sometimes when water is detected on the utility room floor, it can be from a failed or rusted hot water tank. Catching one of these before it ruptures completely can save a basement from flooding, and SHS has saved more than a few… Even if you have Water Bugs as part of the alarm system, you still need a real body to respond in a timely fashion…
4. Battery Failure
Batteries today power the new thermostats in homes. When the batteries fail, it results in shutting down of the furnace. Sometimes something as simple as a slightly blocked exhaust pipe (with snow, bug, or animal debris) can cause a furnace to shut down. Clogged filters, and overheating fan motors are also a few of the many things that can shut a furnace down as well. Perhaps you will get a call from your alarm company telling you there is no heat in the house. You still need to have the problem corrected.
Rodents like to find their way into homes during the winter months and can wreak havoc in a home once entrance is gained. (Mice, and raccoons are the most common, but have had skunks and bats become issues as well). Visual notice of rodent activity is something we look for and deal with before it becomes a major issue. Alarm companies will not notify of pest activity unless a motion sensor goes off (perish the thought) or a mouse chews through the wire of an alarm and sets it off. You still need a body there to figure out what is going on…
Alarm Companies, what they CANNOT do for you.
1. Arrive On-site before the Police
When an alarm goes off and you have SHS alarm home security monitoring, we respond to your home immediately. (Often times we beat the police). It is a wonderful thing to have a key holder present when the alarm going off is medical, fire, or burglary. In a short amount of time you will know what has actually occurred.
2. Check on Your Home During a Fire Alarm
I have had clients call me after receiving a fire alarm (while they were out of state); from their alarm company. They asked me to go over and see if their home was actually on fire! Luckily for them; the alarm was set off due to water dripping into a ceiling detector from a clogged furnace condensate tube. Fire department was notified and the homeowner’s heart shortly set at rest.
3. Respond to Water Issues
Some homeowners have water detectors (good idea), which will tell their alarm company if there is water where it should not be. How much, they can’t tell you. Sump pumps are often the issue. The floats get fouled and do not activate the pump or a pump just fails outright. This can cause major damage to a home, with or without an alarm.
Could be a broken pipe or heavy rain issues. Some higher end homes today have sensors built in to the water system. If water suddenly starts to run while the homeowner is not home and the monitoring system is on, a shutdown of the entire system takes place. Still time will not allow me to share with you all the crazy water damage stories which have occurred in clients homes over the past 40 years. Suffices to say, you want to have a person checking these potential problems on a proactive basis, and physically being onsite when and if something does happen.
Water softeners need to be checked and brine tanks replenished as well. One of the many checks we make…
4. Respond to Electrical Issues or Power Outages
Alarm companies are great at letting clients know they have lost power. However, what if you are not available to take their call; who will call the electric company and tell them, you need power restored?
How about a blown breaker—to a refrigerator? Stuff happens like this. For whatever reason the electric to the fridge / freezer fails. You won’t get a call from the alarm company saying something in you home is getting pretty stinky…
5. Monitor Your Property
Unfortunately, alarm companies do not monitor outside the home. Storm damage can happen to boats, piers, canopies, buildings and other things your property can sustain damage. Violent and extreme weather which causing damage to your property will be brought to your attention and remedied quickly.
6. Provide the Fine Details
Lastly, the alarm companies won’t tell you the plants need watering, or the left rear tire on your 62 Corvette is not at 33lbs. That a squirrel made his way down the chimney and is trying to chew his way out of your house. One call to Sontag Home Services handles all of your residential home security needs!