When it comes to home security there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
“Each system has to be customized to the needs and the location,” said JR Parks, co-owner of Loveland’s High Side Security with his wife, Amy Parks.
The comprehensive evaluations the firm provides to homeowners cover every potential angle including type and size of landscaping and the strength of door locks.
“The biggest reason that home owners contact us is that they are worried about the rising crime rate and anxious about becoming the next victim,” Parks said.
The firm offers a 24/7 monitoring service that can track whenever anyone enters or leaves the home and lets you know immediately if there is a problem. High Side does not require a lengthy contract and offers a month-to-month agreement with no cancellation fees.
After a 23-year military career working in security, JR Parks did a stint as a military contractor installing systems at bases across the globe including at the Air Force Academy and Buckley Air Base in Colorado.
“That was too much time away from my family so we started High Side Security in Loveland,” he said. The firm designs and installs home and business security systems in Northern Colorado and all along the Front Range.
“We provide the full range of services. We install new systems and repair old systems for intrusion detection, access control and home automation,” Parks said. At the top end are devices that can detect heat and sound as well as motion.
In the early days of electronic security systems, the home market demand was for cameras in nurseries to check on the baby and “nanny cams”.
Current systems can monitor what is happening in and around the home day and night. “It gives that overall sense of security because you can check. We’re finding it more common for parents to want a camera in the kitchen or dining room so they can see when the kids get home from school and at the table doing their homework,” Parks said.
Many of the same systems used for security systems are also an integral part of home automation plans that Parks also installs. “You can control all of your lights, TVs, door locks, fans and even window shades with a voice-activated remote or your phone. Setting thermostats remotely is a big one that customers want,” Parks said. The system can include environmental monitors that show when the temperature in a crawl space drops below freezing or when pipes are leaking.
Automation goes hand in hand with security. “If you are going to be out of town you can pre-set different lights in your house to come on each day,” he said.
Whether you are installing a high-tech home security and automation system or not, Parks said there are basic things you should do to protect your property and family. Some of them may seem obvious but they all boil down to one simple rule: Don’t make it easy for criminals.
Don’t be complacent about home security.
“People say ‘I’ve lived here for 20 years and nothing has happened so I’ll leave the front door unlocked.’ Or they’ll leave the garage door up in the summer or windows open in the spring to get fresh air,” Parks said.
Lock your car doors and close the windows.
“Smash-and-grab is a crime of opportunity. Don’t leave anything valuable, like electronics, sitting out in your vehicle. There are a lot of cases where people have had their personal, registered handguns stolen out of their cars,” he said.
Install outdoor lighting around your house, garage and property.
“People don’t realize what a deterrent good lighting can be. It makes it harder for thieves to sneak around. They will choose a house that is dark,” he said.
Watch what you put in your trash.
“Make sure no one can go through your trash and get personal information from bills and bank statements. Always use a shredder,” he said.
Always use safe internet practices including backing-up critical files.
“Be careful what you share on social media, especially financial information. Don’t use the default password on your computer,” he said.
Get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood.
“The biggest thing you can do to secure your home is to become part of the community and pay attention,” Parks said.
If you are interested in having your security needs evaluated, contact JR or Amy Parks at High Side Security by phone at 970.541.0992, or email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit their website, highsidesecurity.com.”
By John Lehndorff, At Home, Photos by Tim Seibert