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Top 7 Tips to Stop a Home Burglary

Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. Any police officer or crime expert will tell you as much when it comes to protecting your home from a burglary. Know how thieves behave.

A burglary happens every 18.2 seconds, according to 2014 FBI crime statistics. Why so frequently? Because in under 10 minutes, a burglar nets an average of $2200 worth of goods from a residence. Make sure you're not one of them. Use these top 7 tips to secure your property.

Lock Up

We all know we should lock our doors and windows. You don't need to be told that - but how easily we forget. Roughly 30% of burglaries required little effort from the burglar - he just waltzed in through an unlocked door or window. Also, check the strength of your locks. Beefing up your door and window locks will make it even harder to break in.

Who's Your Burglar?

Know who is most likely to target your home. In most cases, it's a teenage boy who lives within walking distance of your home. He's familiar with your street, can surveil the neighborhood without looking suspicious, and knows when people tend to come and go - thus knowing the best time to strike undetected. Similarly, a laborer who has done work on a nearby property may have had time to observe your home for an extended period. Dressing up like a landscaper, for example, doesn't mean you are one (at that very moment), and it frees you to knock on doors in order to offer your "service".

Make It Look Like You're Home

Everyone knows that making your home look occupied is a deterrent - so do burglars. They know the game, and they roam a neighborhood in search of an easy target. There are a number of things you can do to paint a convincing illusion while you're gone. Keep a car in the driveway (make sure it's not dirty and obviously out of commission). Have a neighbor pick up your newspaper, or stop delivery. Have a neighbor gather your mail: This can be preferable to a mail hold because burglars are able to see that mail is not being delivered.

Having lights or a stereo turn on can be convincing deterrent. At the most basic, a set of smart electrical outlets allow you to control with your smart phone whatever is plugged into them. This way, you can alter the schedule so it's not obvious that your lights, radio, etc., are programmed. If you want to get more sophisticated, you can employ multiple smart home devices to work together.

Consider a professionally installed solution

When a well positioned smart home product is not enough, take a look a professionally monitored solution that combines the peace of mind and 24/7 monitoring of traditional alarm systems with the benefits of today’s smart home products. Solutions like Alarm.com and Honeywell TotalConnect provide you with a complete solution, including video cameras, sensors, control panels and alarms. And since it’s smart, you can control the entire solution from your mobile device. To go this route, you want to contact a home security dealer in your area.

Secure the Front Door

One of the most surprising FBI crime statistics is that most of the time burglars enter through the front door. While a back door and first-floor window were used 22% and 23% of time, respectively, the front door was used in 34% of burglaries.

Given this high percentage, it is an important place to monitor. You can do this with a traditional security camera. But often burglars are unafraid to ring the doorbell to find out if someone is home. With a video doorbell like the SkyBell HD, not only will you have a video recording of a potential burglar - you'll be able to answer the door remotely with your smart phone. No matter how far away you are, you can answer the door and create the illusion that you are home.

Beware the Guard Dog False Sense of Security

While having a so-called guard dog sounds bulletproof, it's the sound of the dog - not the size - that counts. A big dog may look scary, but if it's slow to bark it will deter few burglars. A noisy and persistent barker - regardless of size - will make it difficult for a potential burglar to operate undetected.

Don't Hand a Burglar the Tools

Burglars rarely case a neighborhood with a crowbar and a variety of break-in tools. That would be too obvious. But they sure love it when you're willing to help. Don't be an unwitting accessory to your own property theft: Lock up your tools. Leaving unsecured tools outside is almost as bad as handing a burglar the keys to your palace.

SkyBell Announces Two New Products at CEDIA Expo

We’re excited to announce the expansion of our line of connected doorbells and accessories with the addition of two new SkyBell products  - on display at the CEDIA Expo in Dallas, Texas.

The SkyBell Trim Plus

The trickiest part of providing a video doorbell is ensuring it will work on every home. That’s why we’re excited to announce the SkyBell Trim Plus. It’s an HD video doorbell that is only 1.39” wide – allowing it to fit perfectly on even the slimmest of door trims and door frames.

In addition, the Trim Plus will also have a battery option, allowing it to work on homes that don’t have powered doorbell wires at the front door.

The SkyBell Trim Plus ensures that any customer can find a SkyBell Video Doorbell that works for them – helping us reach more homes and make more communities safer.

Equipped with a 1080p HD video camera and full-color night vision, SkyBell Trim is a thinner, rectangular shaped version of the SkyBell HD – which was named “Best Video Doorbell” by CNET and Wirecutter. It’s built on the SkyBell Connect API platform, allowing the Trim version to work seamlessly with our partners – just like a SkyBell HD.

SkyBell's Chime

An accessory to the SkyBell HD and Trim Plus, the SkyBell chime is a small-connected device that plays a melody through its built-in speaker whenever someone presses a SkyBell doorbell. The SkyBell chime is compatible with the SkyBell Trim Plus while on battery power, or the SkyBell HD or Trim Plus while wired.

In addition to its function as a doorbell sound, the SkyBell chime has Wi-Fi and BLE radio connectivity for communicating with other smart home devices. SkyBell’s chime features a customizable LED light setting that causes the device to change colors when someone is at the front door, alerting the hearing-impaired or customers who have opted to utilize the “silent mode” setting for notifications.

SkyBell Connect

The SkyBell Trim Plus and SkyBell chime will both be built on the segment leading API platform, SkyBell Connect. SkyBell Connect provides partners and 3rd party products with the ability to integrate with SkyBell products. SkyBell Connect is unique in that it provides partners with bi-directional APIs so they can receive triggers from a SkyBell and send commands to a SkyBell.

On Display at CEDIA

The SkyBell team will be exhibiting the SkyBell HD, SkyBell Trim Plus and the chime at CEDIA in booth #7301 in the main Exhibit Hall on Thursday, September 15 - Saturday, September 17. SkyBell HD will also be exhibited in partner booths throughout the main hall, including the Nest booth.

Pricing and Availability

SkyBell Trim Plus and the chime will be available in the second half of Q4 2016. Pricing information will be announced in the near future.