“Red or Green?” In New Mexico, you’ll be asked this question A LOT, especially in restaurants. (TIP: Say “Christmas” to sample both.) But the good thing is, no matter what you choose, as long as you share the love New Mexicans have for chile (with an “e”, not chili, the Tex-Mex stew), you’re welcome to stay.
But why do New Mexicans love chile so much? Three reasons: One, it’s delish; two, it represents their tradition and culture; three, New Mexico’s sunny and dry weather is perfect for growing chile.
Besides chile, New Mexicans also love the outdoors, again, thanks to the proportion of sunshine that rains down (no pun intended) on New Mexico each year. New Mexicans love getting a good tan, whether from hunting, hiking, farming, or sporting their boots and spurs. But with all the time they spend outdoors, New Mexicans should make sure that their homes are protected even when they’re away. And what better way to do that than to get a reliable security system? So today, we’ll help you pick a security company and security products you can trust.
Home Security System Provider Requirements in New Mexico
The first step in choosing a reliable alarm company is to find out which alarm companies are recognized by New Mexico. This could be a tough thing to do, not because your state is strict, but because there are no clear regulations governing home security providers.
The only regulation related to home alarm systems covers installation. It states that anyone installing electrical systems must have a license. For installing an alarm system, the license holder must specialize in low voltage electrical work, which requires at least two years of experience.
While there’s a lack of state regulations, New Mexico counties, cities, and municipalities sometimes have more stringent rules. For example, in Las Cruces and Ruidiso, alarm businesses need to secure a contractor’s license from both the state and the city. In Alamorgordo, Bloomfield, Farmington, and Hobbs, alarm companies are required by law to send a technician to a customer’s home within a specific number of hours when service is requested.The time limit varies, from 72 hours in Alamorgordo to 12 hours in Hobbs.
The second step in choosing an alarm company you can trust is checking their “resume”. Because there’s a lack of state regulations, you should ensure that your potential alarm company is trusted by other authorities and by their customers. You can check their BBB rating and reviews or customer reviews on Yelp. Another suggestion is to check whether they have industry certificates or not. For example, alarm companies with a UL certification were assessed for their ability to install, maintain, and monitor alarm systems.
Finally, before signing a contract with any alarm company, make sure you understand their policies. A trustworthy alarm company will give you a copy of the contract and explain to you its scope and limitations without pressuring you to sign.
New Mexico Security Camera Laws
To further enhance your home security, adding security cameras is recommended. However, there are certain regulations you should keep in mind.
In New Mexico, like in most other states, the use of security cameras is not prohibited. But take note that there are places where you shouldn’t install a camera, such as in places where privacy is expected (bathroom, bedroom, fitting rooms, etc).
Video surveillance is one thing, recording audio is another. There’s a national law prohibiting wiretapping or recording conversations electronically without the permission of at least one party involved. Some states kick it up a notch and require the consent of both parties. New Mexico is a “one-party consent state”. Still, you should make sure your camera isn’t recording private conversations… otherwise, you could be in trouble. Putting up a sign or warning your guests about the camera and its audio capabilities is recommended.
Safety During Natural Disasters
Aside from home security, New Mexicans should improve home safety, especially during natural disasters. Thankfully, New Mexico is listed as one of the least disaster-prone states in the country. In fact, New Mexico is at a low risk of the “big three” natural disasters: hurricane, tornado, and earthquake. Still, there’s a risk, and risks shouldn’t be ignored. Among the “big three”, the most likely to hit are tornadoes and earthquakes.
Tornadoes are more common in the southeastern part of the state. There’s nothing much we can do when a tornado hits except look for a safe place to hide. When a tornado is about to hit, it is recommended to hide in the basement. If you don’t have access to a basement, look for windowless rooms, such as a bathroom, walk-in closet, or inner hallways. If you happen to be driving during a tornado, it is best to pull over and take refuge in the nearest building. It is not a good idea to outrun tornadoes as they easily reach 60 mph and they do not follow a predictable path. If you can’t find a safe building to hide in, find a ditch or low lying area and protect your head with your hands.
On the other hand, earthquakes in New Mexico are usually connected to the Rio Grande Rift, a continental rift passing through Albuquerque and Santa Fe. During an earthquake, the best thing to do is follow the good ol’ “duck, cover, and hold”. Duck under a table or sturdy object, cover your head, and hold onto something strong. In between shakes, quickly but carefully get out of the building and go to an open area. On your way out, be sure to stay away from furniture that might fall on you, such as bookcases. If an earthquake hits while you’re driving, quickly pull over. Make sure you are far from trees, posts, or buildings that might collapse. If you’re in a high-rise building, get out as quickly as possible, but don’t use the elevator.
Staying safe and securing your home go hand-in-hand. Not only should you prepare for the harm covetous people may cause, you should also prepare for natural disasters. When choosing an alarm company, pick one that can protect you not only from intrusion, but also from home hazards such as fire, carbon monoxide, and even costly repairs caused by floods and leaks. If you do, it will be much easier to stay safe and secure.