Watch Guard of the Potomac

Electronic Security Professionals Since 1974

Sterling, VA

(703) 938-2400

Filtering by Category: Electronic Security

Protecting Yourself from the Bumps in the Night

It’s the middle of the night, and you hear the rattle of a doorknob or the breaking of glass.  You jump out of bed, your heart pounding out of your chest, and in that moment you have to begin the fight of your life. For many people, a gun is kept in their homes for moments such as this.  It is oftentimes the most effective method of protection for those trained to use it.  For those who do not own a gun, though, how can they protect themselves?  What are their options when engaging in a 1v1 against an intruder?


Perhaps one of the better options is utilizing a spray to give you a chance to escape.  Pepper sprays are effective in stopping an assailant while his eyes are burning and he is temporarily focused on that alone.  This could be enough time for you to run out of the house and to your car or to a neighbor for help.  However, you should be careful with this option because they are normally close-range, and there is a chance of the spray blowing back in your face.  If you do not have pepper spray, some aerosol hairspray or deodorant may give you similar results.

For longer distance protection, wasp sprays or fire extinguishers can allow you to hit your attacker while keeping your distance and reducing the chances of you feeling the effects, as well.

Household Items

Think creatively and you will find there are numerous items around your home that could be used as weapons.  A baseball bat, golf club, crystal candlesticks, or broom handle could all be used to hit (aim for strategic locations) and should be kept near your bed and not in the garage if you intend to use them as self-defense.  If you’re running through the kitchen, glass bottles, cans of food, skillets, or other heavy objects can be thrown to deliver a heavy blow.  If you’re fortunate enough to have hot coffee brewing or soup cooking, you could also toss that to deliver burns that will enrage the intruder, but also give you a few moments to escape.  Be very careful, though, if you choose to grab a knife for defense – these can easily be snatched and used against you.

If you find yourself running through your home, throw as many objects as you can into the path of your pursuer.  The more he has to jump over or move out of his way, the slower he will be.


Your best method of self-defense, though, is prevention.  Burglars are opportunists, taking advantage of an unlocked door or open window.  Triple-check such things before going to bed to ensure you have not left an open invitation.  Also, take care of any simple DIY solutions to secure your home and to create an environment unwelcoming to intruders. A reliable home security system is also a must for prevention.  Thieves typically do not want attention drawn to them, so if an alarm is sounding and sirens are on their way, then they will be much more likely to turn and run than to continue entering your home.

If you would like to invest in a one of those reliable home security systems, please contact Watch Guard today.  We will walk you through your needs and supply you with a system to protect you and greatly reduce any chances of you needing those candlesticks and wasp sprays.

Don’t Let the Gadgets Get You!

I don’t know about you, but I’m often tempted by the latest technology and gadgets and eagerly anticipate “releases.”  Perhaps surprisingly, the security alarm industry is no different.  There is a trend now for remote monitoring, automation, and control over just about anything in your home.  Forget to turn off the coffee pot – no problem!  Left the light on in your bedroom – just switch it off from your phone! This all sounds wonderful, and at first glance, I would be the first to say, “Sign me up!”  However, one must be cautious about such conveniences.

First off, many companies offering these services focus on the glitz and glamour of such offerings.  A fancy looking app and the illusion of complete control are all it takes to seal the deal with many consumers.  These companies choose to focus on those features but often time lack the strength in the areas that matter most (like true home security).

Another thing to be careful about is relying too much on technology.  Here in the heart of the DC Metro area, we seem to be inundated with technology at every turn.  Even though technology is extremely helpful and reliable in most cases, there is no substitute for manually checking your locks and doing a walk through of your home or business before leaving.  Alarm system door sensors only detect if the door is opened about an inch.  They do not confirm that the door is latched and locked.  I would be leery of turning over complete control of your home to an app to the point in which you neglect your own responsibilities in the safety and security of your home.

The last thing I would caution a consumer is to know the facts.  Research the credibility of the company.  Is this a new company emerging with no references or customer base?  Did they just create a cutesy app that they will turn around and use to gain access to your home or personal information themselves?  What exactly are the services you will be getting?  Do you get to adjust the temperature of your home at the expense of compromising your home’s security?  It’s good to know the thieves will be warm and toasty as they break in!

As is the case with any new product you are making a decision to purchase or pass on, do your research.  Don’t be enticed by the smoke and mirrors and go instead with functionality and reliability.  Please give us a call if you have any questions regarding what Watch Guard can offer regarding convenience, monitoring, and technology for your home!


A Steal of a Deal

We are all guilty at some point of falling for a gimmick for what we thought was a good deal. Whether it’s something as simple as a coupon to get you in the door or something as elaborate as those “free” Caribbean vacations, we know companies will do anything to try to make a sale and we, too often, fall right inline with their marketing schemes. So, when it comes to your home security, how can you know when you are being fed a bunch of lies to get you hooked or when you are dealing with a legitimate company?

There are three main questions you should ask when dealing with a home security company offering you the deal of a lifetime on your system.

Will you own the equipment when all is said and done?

Many times, even though you have been paying monthly fees for your equipment, the company still owns the system if you terminate your contract. So all the money you’ve invested just goes to waste, and you have to start all over with your next company. At Watch Guard, we use only name brand equipment that you own even if you should decide to leave us and let another company take over.

What is the quality and effectiveness of the equipment? Is it under a warranty?

Not all security equipment and systems are created equal. You have to carefully research the system that the company will be using for its effectiveness. For example, many systems have the control panel as part of a self-contained keypad. This will give the intruder a chance to smash the unit and cancel any alarm signals being transmitted. Watch Guard systems have the control panel in a locked metal box in a separate location. This way, even if the intruder breaks the keypad, the alarm will not be stopped and authorities will continue to be alerted. We also warranty all of our parts and labor for a full year.

What all is included in the “deal” and how long will it last?

Many times, only certain parts of the system are included in the “free” promotional, and you will have to end up paying for the rest of the needed equipment before services can begin. You have to look, too, at the terms of your contract to know exactly how long your reduced monthly fees will last and how much higher the fees will be once they do increase. Many times, the companies will make up for the discounts they offer up front later on in the duration of your contract. We are upfront at Watch Guard when it comes to all your pricing, fees, and contracts. We can lock you in for however long you request and will not leave you with any surprises along the way.

Those Tiny Treasures

When we are on vacation, we all worry about the valuables in our home and do our best to protect them while we are gone.  We hide them, lock them away in a safe, and secure our doors and windows.  What about our little furry treasures, though?  Who’s looking out for man’s best friend? Many of us like to use home pet services, friends, or neighbors to check in on our pets while we are on vacation.  This is typically cheaper and more convenient than housing them in kennels or pet hotels.  However, this also means they are spending a lot of time on their own, unsupervised, while their beloved owners are away.  So, how can you ensure their safety and well-being?

The good news is that a home security system can offer monitoring services that help keep an eye on your dear furry friends when you are not there.  If you opt for video monitoring, you can check in on them from your mobile device to ensure they are safe (and to see how many shoes and pillows have been destroyed).  You’ll also be able to observe whether or not your hired caretakers are doing their job by knowing if food/water is being replenished and if your pets are going out as they should be.  This is also helpful to make sure nothing shady is going on with those entering your home, as well.

Even if you don’t have video monitoring, home security systems can offer alerts for fire and break-ins.  If your house is broken into, your pets may be in harm’s way or have an avenue for escaping from your home.  Obviously, if there is a fire or other emergency, they are in urgent danger.  By receiving an alert and by having authorities immediately notified, your pets have a much higher chance of survival when you cannot be there physically to help.

Now that school is out and you are making all your plans for summer vacation, don’t forget about those smaller members of your family you may be leaving behind.  You cannot put a price on the joy they bring to your home, so don’t risk their safety by overlooking those tiny treasures when you are considering securing your home while on vacation!  If you’d like more advice on the safety of your home and pets, please contact Watch Guard today!

License Numbers

DCJS 11-2122
Va. Class A 2705 058225A
Md. 107-865

Contact Us

email: Contact Form
phone: 703-938-2400
fax: 703-433-1592

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