Austin, TX: Should You Move There?

Published November 3rd, 2017 | By

Countless people are moving to Austin, TX every year to take part in this diverse and prosperous city—and perhaps you are too. As the state capital, it’s a thriving metropolis that isn’t short on personality and charm.

Some of Austin’s greatest attractions include the city’s weather, culture and ample employment opportunities—but it’s not without it’s own inner city struggles as well. And that struggle is Austin’s growing crime rates.

If you are debating a move to Austin, you should consider all of the city aspects mentioned above. Here is an in-depth look at each:

Weather

When it comes to the weather, it’s generally great in Austin— the average high in the summer is about 92 degrees Fahrenheit; the average winter low is around 42 degrees Fahrenheit with mild transitional months in both the spring and fall.

A Diverse Culture

Regarding the culture, Austin has it all. For starters, it’s a liberal, laid-back, friendly place that welcomes new residents and tourists alike. Since it’s fairly energetic, the one thing to definitely note is the vibrant music scene that draws many to its different music venues throughout the city.

Music has such strong roots here that there are several large music festivals held each year: South-by-Southwest (SXSW) in March and the Austin City Limits (ACL) fest in the late summer. Attending those festivals really sheds some light on Austin’s musical roots.

Austin is truly a melting pot, filled with different ethnic groups all coming together. There is strong Latino, African-American and Asian influence all throughout Austin. Reflecting these different groups are various museums, cultural centers and districts for anyone to take part in. Welcoming these, there are numerous cultural performances and parades held. So, to put it plainly, Austin welcomes everyone with open arms—and it’s clearly visible.

Thriving Employment Opportunities

Another thing that draws people to Austin is its many employment opportunities in a number of fields—predominately the tech industry (sometimes it’s even referred to as “Silicon Hills”), real estate, healthcare, and entertainment as well as federal and local government (after all Austin is the state capital). Regarding technology, there are a large number of companies that have either started or have made their headquarters in Austin.

All in all, Austin brings in the second largest tech-revenue in all of Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth is the largest money maker in the tech industry). So it’s a great industry to be in—if those are willing to relocate.

Austin’s numerous job opportunities make it the number one best city for jobs and the second best city for future job growth (according to Forbes). It seems like the city has always led the way with employment—having considerably lower unemployment numbers when compared to the national average (to give an idea, in 2015, Austin’s unemployment rate was 3.8% while the U.S. average was 5.8 percent—so 2% lower than the national average).

Some of the most well known companies based in Austin include: Whole Foods, Dell, YETI Coolers and many others.

City Migration

In total, Austin has an estimated 2,056,405 people as of 2016. Like any location, there is a flow of people migrating to and away a city or town. One report indicates that on average, one American will move over 11 times throughout their life. There are many reasons for this, but currently, people are examining the migration patterns of today’s Millennials. They comprise over 40 percent of all movers—and are often seeking employment opportunities. Other reasons that factor in are affordable housing (which unfortunately, Austin doesn’t have and is a reason for out migration).

Domestic Migration to Austin

Since Austin has so many job opportunities, people are coming to Austin in droves. A report by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey studied the top cities that are seeing the largest in-migration, and Austin/Round Rock (a Austin suburb) came in at number 4. Over 8% of Austin’s population consists of new migrants. Altogether, Austin is the 9th fastest growing metro city in the country. Unbelievably, according to BizJournals, in 2016, 110 people moved to Austin every day—a net gain, despite any out migration. Over the next 25 years, Austin’s population is projected to double in size.

Domestic Out Migration

One report by the FBI and U.S. Census Bureau studied the safest cities in the U.S. and Round Rock made the top of the list at number 6—one reason people migrate to the suburbs. However, in total, 7.11 percent of Austin’s population left the metro area. This revelation falls after Virginia Beach, Virginia (ranked number 1); Denver, Colorado (number 2); Richmond, Virginia (number 3); Washington (number 4); and Atlanta, Georgia (number 5).

With that into account, as great as a city as Austin is, it’s not without its share of shortcomings, which leads some people to leave the city. As briefly mentioned, Austin does not have affordable and readily available housing—it’s a difficult market for both renters and homeowners alike. So even though there is a boom in employment, it’s difficult for people to find a place to live; it will only get worse in the years to come.

Other out migration factors from Austin includes heavy traffic and construction (which goes hand-in-hand with the population increase). So essentially, the city is expanding drastically, but people are also leaving due to its need to expand and accommodate the flood of migrates coming in.

City Crime and Law Enforcement

When examining Austin’s overall TX crime rates, it’s 23 percent higher than the Texas mean and 38 percent higher than the national average. On a whole, Austin is only 25% safer than any other city in Texas and 25% safer than any other U.S. city.

Violent Crimes

When looking at Austin’s number of violent crimes, it has a rate that is 6% lower than the state average, yet when compared to the entire U.S., violent crime rates are 6% higher. Examining things year over year, the number of violent crimes has increased by 9%– with more homicides than the city has ever experienced.

Property Crime

Property crime in Austin is significantly higher than it’s violent crimes. It’s 27% higher than the state mean, and 43% higher than the U.S. average. Despite this, the year over year number of property crimes has decreased by 7%. And there is a 1 in 26 chance of becoming a property crime victim.

Yet with crime on the rise, Austin still ranks among one of the U.S.’s safest metropolitan cities as number 26 of 50 locations.

Law Enforcement

According to the 2016 FBI’s uniform crime reports, there are 2,252 law enforcement officers in Austin—meaning 2.7 officers per 1,000 residents. Compared to the Texas and National average, this is 10.1 % and 17.2% lower, respectfully.

Austin is clearly a city that attracts all types of people for various reasons. If you are considering relocating there, you should weigh all the pros and cons of living in the metro area and surrounding suburbs. Keep in mind that despite it’s charm, the crime rates are above the national average (though the suburb of Rock Round is one of the safest areas in the country). Regardless of what you choose to do or city you end up moving to, you should never leave your safety up to chance. Investing in a home security system can further reduce the odds of becoming victimized.

Top Tips to Baby-Proof Your Home

Published September 22nd, 2016 | By

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Your home should both be and feel like a safe place for your family. But as a new parent, it’s sometimes difficult to know what’s a potential danger for your child. You’ll have to switch gears a little and inspect your home for items that are potentially dangerous. Here are some great tips at baby-proofing your home.

 

The Staircase

Each year, around 100,000 children are rushed to the ER for falling down the stairs. That translates to roughly one injury every six minutes. With that said, the stairs can be one of the most dangerous areas for a baby or toddler. Whether they are crawling or walking, they can seriously injure themselves or worse. To prevent a nasty fall, make sure you invest and install a baby gate.

Here is a vital note to make: never use a pressure-mounted gate; these can be pushed on can be made loose. Instead, you should install a hardware-mounted safety gate. Also, make sure your gate opens out and away from the staircase, this is especially important at the top of the stairs.

 

The Kitchen

It’s crucial that your child stays out of reach of detergents, other types of cleaners, as well as dishes. To ensure this, you should baby-proof all cabinets that are within their reach. One idea to keep in mind is to switch standard cleaning products, made of bleach, ammonia, etc. to more organic compounds made of vinegar, mineral oils and other natural ingredients. That way, if something were to potentially be ingested, the product is less of a hazard.

According to the Poison Control National Capital Poison Center, every 14.6 seconds, there is a reported poison exposure to Poison Control. In 2016, U.S. poison control centers gave telephone assistance to over 2 million callers, who were calling about human poison ingestion. Concerning child poisoning, out of 1,000 children (under 6 years of age), there were an estimated 41.3 poison exposures.

Also in the kitchen, you should make sure that any storage or grocery bags are kept out of reach, as these could become potential chocking or strangulation hazards. And it goes to say that all knives and other sharp objects should be properly stored and inaccessible to youngsters.

 

The Living Room

Living rooms aren’t normally decorated with young kids in mind. And it’s likely that some aesthetic sacrifices will be made in the name of safety. After all, there are plenty of dangers in this one room in particular. For instance, coffee and end tables have sharp corners. To ensure that your child isn’t accidentally injured on these edges, make sure you install edge and corner guards. Window blinds have long cords that hang. Make sure your child doesn’t accidentally strangle or harm themselves by adjusting the cord length. If you have hardwood floors, a nice area rug could soften a fall or tumble.

 

Electrical Outlets and Power Cords

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Babies and small kids don’t mesh well where electricity is concerned. The National Fire Protection Association states that nearly 2,400 kids 

suffer from severe shock and burns caused by tampering with electrical sockets. As you can imagine, you’ll want to do all in your power to minimize the risk of electrocution. Make sure all unused sockets have socket guards or electrical outlet caps. You’ll have to keep a heavy that your child doesn’t play with cords. To help with this, try to tidy up your cords and safely organized/kept out of reach.

Want to better protect your kids? ADT Pulse provides the ultimate home protection. Learn more about ADT Pulse.

 

 

Sources:

    http://www.parents.com/baby/safety/babyproofing/babyproofing-home-top-to-bottom/
    http://www.babycenter.com/0_childproofing-your-kitchen-for-babies_755.bc
    parent.guide/how-to-baby-proof-everything-electrical/

ADT Monitoring Saves Lives

Published August 26th, 2015 | By

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Typically, when you think of ADT home monitoring, you automatically think of security protection against burglaries. And while we do provide that valuable service, ADT’s 24/7 monitoring is also great in the event of a fire, flood, carbon monoxide leak and medical emergency. All of these are virtually impossible to predict—some things just happen at random. Rather than taking a chance to encounter something catastrophic, it’s better to be ready at a moment’s notice.

ADT monitoring keeps guard over you, your loved ones and your home— so that you are never unprepared during your specific emergency. We’ve received countless stories about how ADT monitored systems have helped numerous people throughout North America.

Here is just one unique story of many out there. It’s about a couple from Atlanta, GA who nearly experienced a complete tragedy overnight…if it hadn’t been for several factors:

  • Quick thinking
  • The Effectiveness of the ADT operator
  • The skills of the first responders at the scene and the medical team at the hospital

In this specific scenario, Sharron, one of the homeowners, experienced extreme nausea in the middle of the night and into the early morning. Her husband had left the house that morning; that’s shortly when Sharron began to have difficulty breathing. After fumbling with the phone, she realized she couldn’t work the phone…meaning should couldn’t dial 911 for help. Fortunately, Sharon went to her purse and retrieved her ADT security system wireless key fob. All she had to do was press the alert button. She was then connected to Kellee Fair, an ADT operator. Kellee immediately contacted the Puckett EMT in Atlanta. It turned out Sharron was having a heart attack.

Due to the professionalism and dedication of the entire team involved, Sharron’s life was saved. And afterwards, Kellee and Sharron would later meet in person at an ADT office in Altlanta. Kellee Fair, the operator, was presented with the ADT Lifesaver Reward for helping saveSharron’s life. It’s amazing to see how one action can completely transform someone else’s life. And that’s what happened here.

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In addition to the key fob that Sharron used to contact Kellee at ADT monitoring, there is a medical alert system that specifically targets medical emergencies. These aren’t just for the elderly– they are also for anyone who has a medical condition where they may need quick, emergency assistance at any moment. It allows the wearer to continue living an independent lifestyle, but have the security of knowing that help is just around the corner if it’s needed. Call us to find out more about the medical alert system.

At ADT monitoring, we go above and beyond to ensure your personal safety. It’s not a 9-5 job for us; you are our extended family. Rain or shine, we are always here to help you.

 

General: For all offers, the form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account, satisfactory credit history is required and termination fee applies. Certain packages require approved landline phone. Local permit fees may be required. Certain restrictions may apply. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. For example, Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Emergency Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Emergency Alert devices and are an additional charge. Additional equipment may be purchased for an additional charge. Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Prices subject to change. Prices may vary by market. Some insurance companies offer discounts on Homeowner’s Insurance. Please consult your insurance company. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided.

*$99.00 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $27.99* per month ($1,007.64). 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $27.99* per month ($671.76) for California. Form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Dealer customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. The $27.99* Offer does not include Quality Service Plan (QSP). Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT’s Extended Limited Warranty

**ADT 6-Month Money Back Guarantee: Money back service guarantee only applies after ADT has made attempts to resolve a system related issue and has not been able to resolve that issue within the first 6 months of your contract. Equipment must be fully removed before a refund will be processed. Conditions preventing normal system operation cannot be caused by the customer.

All plans include standard, manually-operated fire panic button on system panel, which must be depressed to alert ADT of smoke or fire. For automatic notification to ADT of smoke, fire or carbon monoxide, a smoke communicator and/or carbon monoxide communicator must be purchased separately. Not available in all states.

††Gift card provided by SafeStreets. Visa gift cards issued by MetaBank™, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Neither MetaBank nor Visa is a sponsor, endorser or participant in this promotion. Monthly inactivity fee of $2.95 after 12 consecutive months of inactivity. Lost/stolen replacement card fee of $5.00. See the cardholder agreement for more details. Some restrictions apply.

‡‡ADT Theft Protection Guarantee: The Customer presenting ADT with this ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of up to five hundred dollars ($500) of Customer’s homeowner’s insurance deductible (if any) if, and only if, ALL of the following requirements are met to ADT’s reasonable satisfaction: (i) the property loss was the result of a burglary that took place while the security system installed at Customer’s protected premises was in good working order and was “on,” and while all of Customer’s doors and windows were locked; and (ii) the intruder entered the residence through a door, window or other area equipped with an ADT detection device, and such detection device was not “bypassed”; and (iii) Customer is not in any way in default under the ADT Residential Systems Customer’s Order; and (iv) Customer files a written claim with their homeowner’s insurance company, and such claim is not rejected or otherwise contested by the insurer; and (v) Customer reports the burglary loss to the appropriate police department and obtains a written police report; and (vi) Customer provides ADT with copies of the insurance claim report, the police report within sixty (60) days of the property loss and proof of settlement by insurance carrier; and (vii) Customer certifies in writing to ADT (by signing this ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE and presenting it to ADT within sixty [60] days of the property loss) that all of the foregoing requirements have been satisfied. Customer understands that presentation of this ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE signed by Customer is required and understands that ADT reserves the right to reject any application for reimbursement that does not comply with ALL of the requirements. Photocopies or other reproductions of this Certificate will NOT be accepted. By signing below, Customer certifies to ADT that all of the foregoing requirements have been satisfied. Please mail to: ADT Security Services, Account Management Support Center, Attn: Theft Protection Guarantee Claims, 14200 E. Exposition Avenue, Aurora, CO 80012.

^Same day installation not available in all areas.

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