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10 Home Security Facts that Burglars Hope You Won’t Read

What are the odds you will be a victim of a home burglary this year? Better than you might think.

A few weeks ago, the FBI released its latest crime statistics (from 2016 records), which reveal that a home burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the U.S. In fact, by the time you finish reading this post, about 10 homes will have been burglarized somewhere.

We’re sharing this startling statistic with Walton Gas customers because burglary is a crime you need to be aware of. EMC Security, another Walton EMC company and one of Georgia’s most trusted service providers, offers these facts every homeowner should know to protect your precious valuables and home from thieves.

1. Burglars Tend to Avoid homes with Security Systems

Multiple studies show that a home without a security system is three times more likely to be broken into. Sorry, that beautiful privacy fence around your yard or that cute puppy your son received for Christmas doesn’t count as reliable security.

Prevention: Get a monitored home security system, such as those offered by EMC Security (link https://emcsecurity.com/). Use the yard signs and window stickers you’re provided to alert potential intruders to your security system. Good to know: EMC Security is currently offering two free months of monitoring to new customers. Use the code WALTONEMCSECURITY when ordering.

2. Most Burglaries Occur Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of home burglaries take place during daylight hours, not at night. Burglars tend to strike when most people are at work or school.

Prevention: A monitored security system will automatically alert police if a burglar enters your home when you are away.

3. The Highest Percentage of Burglaries Occur During the Summer Months

A report from the U.S. Department of Justice showed that from 1993 to 2010, on average, burglary rates were highest when homeowners were away on vacation and on hot days when windows and doors are most often left open or unlocked.

Prevention: Alert trusted neighbors and your security company when you plan to be out of town. Ask someone to bring in the mail and pick up newspapers out of the driveway. Arrange to keep the lawn mowed.

4. The Majority of Break-Ins are Committed by Someone Living Nearby

The typical burglar resides within two miles of the target home. Because they live close, it’s easy for them to learn your family’s daily schedule and strike when they know you’re not home.

Prevention: Vary your routine as much as possible. Set timers or use your smartphone to turn on lights in the evening. 

5. About 30% of Burglars Enter a Home Through an Unlocked Door or Window

First floor windows and doors, especially those concealed behind overgrown vegetation, are especially attractive to would-be intruders.

Prevention: Keep all entry points closed, locked and alarmed, even when you’re at home. Keep shrubs and trees trimmed back.

6. An Astonishing 34% of Burglars Enter Through the Front Door

Whether they walk through an open front door or kick in a locked one, burglars aren’t shy about using your home’s primary entry point.

Prevention: Keep your front door closed and locked at all times. Never give your house key to workers or hide a key outside your home.

7. The Master Bedroom is the First Thing Burglars Target

This is a jackpot room for the burglar because items like jewelry, collectibles, safes and cash can be found here. Next on the burglar’s list is the home office, living room and dining room where valuables are often openly displayed.

Prevention: Store your valuables in a safe that’s bolted to the floor, or hide them in unlikely locations.

8. Money, Electronics, and Weapons are the First Things Stolen

Intruders are looking for items that are easy to sell at a pawn shop. Insurance claims indicate the items most often appealing to burglars are cash, electronics, gold, guns, jewelry and silver.

9. Most Criminals can Burglarize a Home in 8 to 10 Minutes

Burglars look for homes they can easily enter, get what they want and take off before being noticed.

Prevention: Strengthen your home’s defense by getting a monitored home security system, keeping all entrances closed and locked and installing a high-quality front door.

10. On Average, a Burglary Results in a Dollar Loss of About $2,361

The FBI reports that burglary victims in 2016 lost a total of $3.6 billion, and nearly 70% of the burgled locations were residential properties.

Prevention: A basic security system will cost you far less than what the average burglary will. EMC Security offers monitoring for as little as $16.95 per month. Additionally, most homeowners insurance companies reduce premiums by up to 20% with proof of having a security system installed in the home. 

ABOUT EMC SECURITY

EMC Security is the only company in the market that gives customers the freedom to choose how they want to purchase and pay for home security, including their popular no-contract option. Using the most advanced technology, EMC Security strives to provide the best security systems and monitoring service available, as well as additional features, such as remote system control, home automation, video monitoring and other connected services to protect life, property and peace of mind. Learn more at emcsecurity com.

Bundle Up! (Billing, that is.)

Here’s a great time-saving resolution for 2018 - Bundle your billing.

Two of Georgia’s most trusted service providers — Walton Gas and EMC Security — are now offering a combined monthly statement for customers served by both companies. With Bundled Billing, you’ll find bill payment is faster and easier, leaving you with more time for the things you enjoy.

What is Bundled Billing?

Billing from Walton Gas and EMC Security is combined into one clear, simple monthly statement. Your natural gas service and home automation charges are detailed separately in a single, easy-to-read bill.

Why should I sign up for Bundled Billing?

Convenience! In addition to providing outstanding value, we want to be easy to

do business with – and receiving one less bill saves time (and money!).

What if I am a Walton Gas and Walton EMC electric customer?

Good news! You are already receiving bundled billing as an added benefit for being our customer.

Who is eligible?

Any customer served both by Walton Gas and EMC Security is eligible. This offer, however, excludes Jackson EMC and Greystone EMC customers.

How do I sign up?

Simply call Walton Gas at 770-Gas Heat (427-4328) to bundle your bills today!

Here at Walton Gas, we’re always looking for ways to improve your customer experience. You can always count on us for competitive, reliable service. Now, you can count on us for an easier way to pay your bills, too.

Bundle up, for a better 2018!

How Do We Get Natural Gas?

When any Walton Gas customer turns on a gas range to make dinner or switches on the furnace for heat, you’re doing what people in 62 million other American homes do daily: You’re using natural gas.

In fact, the U.S. consumes more natural gas than any other nation in the world.

Like all energy fuels, that natural gas has to come from somewhere. Using information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), here is a short look at how natural gas gets from deep in the ground to Walton Gas customers.

Locating Natural Gas

Natural gas is a fossil fuel. Like other fossil fuels such as coal and oil, it forms deep below the Earth’s surface.

The search for natural gas begins with geologists who locate the types of rock that are likely to contain natural gas deposits. Some of these areas are on land and some are offshore and deep under the ocean floor. Natural gas deposits are often found near oil deposits.

FAST FACT: Texas is the top producer of natural gas among U.S. states.

Mining Natural Gas

In the United States and a few other countries, natural gas is produced directly from shale and other types of rock formations that contain natural gas in pores within the rock. Once a likely deposit of natural gas is located, it is commonly extracted by drilling a well vertically into rock formations.

FAST FACT: Currently, there are 553,495 natural gas wells in the U.S.

Gas trapped in the formations is released and flows up the well to the surface. Newly mined natural gas is called wet natural gas because it usually contains liquid hydrocarbons and non-hydrocarbon gases.

Extracting natural gas from deposits isn’t always easy. Any number of factors in the underground environment can make mining it a challenge.

In the past, it was common to recover as little as 10 percent of the available gas in a deposit. Today, enhanced recovery techniques are used to bring as much as 60 percent of the gas to the surface.

Methane and other useful gases are separated from the wet natural gas near the site of the well or at a natural gas processing plant. The processed natural gas is called dry or consumer-grade natural gas.

Distributing Natural Gas

Natural gas is sent to underground storage fields or to distribution companies through pipelines ranging from 2 to 60 inches in diameter.

FAST FACT: Most of the natural gas consumed in the U.S. is also produced in the U.S.

The continental United States has more than 210 pipeline systems that transfer gas to all 48 states. This system requires more than 1,400 compressor stations to ensure that the gas continues on its path, 400 underground storage facilities, 11,000 locations to deliver the gas and 5,000 locations to receive the gas.

Now, the next time you’re relaxing in a toasty warm house heated by natural gas, you’ll know where it comes from.

Kicking for the Kids

The main office of Walton Gas is located just a few miles from Sanford Stadium in Athens, home of the Georgia Bulldogs. From here, you can almost hear the cheers when Bulldog kicker Rodrigo Blankenship boots another field goal to help his team — and the kids at Camp Twin Lakes. 

Rodrigo rarely misses, a fact that has helped the Georgia Bulldogs claim this year’s SEC Championship and a chance to play for the national championship. Camp Twin Lakes is also a winner because Walton Gas donates $500 to its Kickin’ It for Charities ampaign for every field goal he makes.

Camp Twin Lakes is one of three charities that shares in the donations based on Walton Gas customer voting. Contributions come from new customer donations and the Kickin’ It for Charity campaign. Thanks to the surefooted Rodrigo and those who preceded him at the position, Camp Twin Lakes has received $70,000 from Walton Gas and its customers since 2013! 

For Georgia’s Children

Our donations to Camp Twin Lakes help put smiles on the faces of some of Georgia’s most deserving children.

Since 1993, Camp Twin Lakes has been providing life-changing camp experiences to thousands of Georgia's children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other life challenges. The organization provides weeklong summer camps and year-round weekend retreats at fully accessible and medically supportive campsites in Winder, Rutledge and Warm Springs. Camp-to-Go programs are provided at children’s hospitals and other locations throughout the state.

Camp Twin Lakes collaborates with nearly 60 different nonprofit organizations, each serving a different population, to create customized programs that teach campers to overcome obstacles and grow in their confidence and capabilities. Highly trained staff and devoted volunteers provide the programming as well as food services customized to meet individual dietary needs.

The Bulldogs’ kicker has successfully completed 15 of 17 field goals this season. Thanks to the team’s extended season — and Rodrigo Blankenship’s kicking skills — that number is likely to climb.

At Walton Gas, we’re keeping count. Every time he’s successful, we will gladly add to our donations for Camp Twin Lakes as well as the Salvation Army and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation. Go Dawgs!

Natural Gas vs. Propane: What’s Best for Your Home?

What’s the difference between natural gas and propane? Does it matter which I choose? We hear these questions a lot at Walton Gas. Read on as Jeff Paul, one of our residential energy advisors, answers consumers’ frequently asked questions about natural gas versus propane for your home.

Are natural gas and propane the same thing?

Though both are fossil fuels, they are chemically different. Natural gas is extracted from he ground. It consists primarily of methane and sometimes includes small quantities of propane, butane and other gases, usually prior to refining. Natural gas is transported to homes and buildings by underground utility pipelines, and remains in a gaseous state from its production all the way to the stovetop or furnace. Propane is extracted from crude oil and petroleum gas during their refinement processes. It is sometimes referred to as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It is almost always sold in tanks of various sizes.

I currently use propane. What are the advantages of changing to natural gas?

Propane prices can rise quickly when supplies get tight in winter. Propane requires you to have a storage tank on your property, and you have to pay your supplier every time it's filled. With natural gas, you don’t need a storage tank. It is delivered to your home through underground pipes as you need it. You pay for natural gas only after you use it.

Which costs less?

Propane is processed from natural gas, and this processing factor contributes to its higher cost compared to natural gas. With the competitive rates offered by Walton Gas, natural gas provides the most for your energy dollar month after month. Take a look at Our Prices and compare them to the energy source you’re using now. Plus, Walton Gas allows you to lock in a great low rate, so you are never surprised by your energy bills.

Which energy fuel offers the greatest convenience?

In our area, many homes are constructed with natural gas pipes already installed. All you need to do is turn on your service to always have a steady supply. Since propane comes in tanks that have to be refilled periodically, you’re always at risk of running out — just when company is coming for dinner or it’s cold outside.

Will natural gas or propane add to my home’s resale value?

Real estate professionals tell us that natural gas is an added amenity homebuyers appreciate. These days, natural gas cooktops are especially in high demand thanks to the popularity of TV cooking shows.

How do I choose the best natural gas appliances for my home?

At Walton Gas, we want you to get the most out of your residential natural gas service. A big part of that is choosing the best appliances for your home. Fortunately, most natural gas appliances are low-maintenance and have excellent energy efficiency. Before heading out to the stores to shop, visit the ENERGY STAR website run by the EPA to learn how to choose energy-efficient products. When you buy natural gas appliances with an ENERGY STAR rating, you are getting highly energy-efficient products that can help to lower your monthly operating costs without a compromise in performance.

How can I save money when buying new natural gas appliances?

If you’re making the switch from propane to natural gas, Walton gas (through Atlanta Gas Light) currently offers rebates on select appliances. Don’t miss this: Through Dec. 31, 2017, Rinnai is offering 0% interest free financing on its tankless water heaters.

Is it difficult to convert from propane to natural gas?

Switching your propane furnace, boiler, water heater, range or dryer to natural gas is easy. You may not have to buy new appliances. A qualified contractor can adjust your propane appliances to run on natural gas. Locate a qualified natural gas contractor (Link: http://www.atlantagaslight.com/en/contact-us/find-contractor) or call us toll-free at 866.WEM.CGAS (866.936.2427).

3 Ways to Prevent a Gas Leak

Gas leaks are frightening and dangerous, knowing how to prevent one is imperative. First off these are just a few examples of how to prevent a gas leak. If you smell gas which has a “rotten egg” odor, hear a hissing or blowing sound, have dead or discolored vegetation in otherwise green areas, leave the area immediately. As you leave avoid anything that may cause a spark such as lighters matches, cigarettes, flashlights, light switches, and telephones. Wait until you are a safe distance away and then contact your local gas provider and 911 emergency responders. Do not go and find the leak yourself!

Gas Leak Prevention

Inspections

Have monthly inspections from your local natural gas provider on your gas lines and monitors. This will help ensure safety and give you peace of mind.

Natural Gas Flame

Check the pilot lights and burners and if they have a steady blue flame that is an indication they are operating correctly.

Ventilation

Make sure to keep all areas around appliances and equipment clean and unblocked, to allow the proper air flow.  

Protect your family from gas leaks, because this is a preventable situation. Again, if you smell gas, hear a hissing sound, and have dead or discolored vegetation leave the area immediately and call 911 and your current provider. 

What is an Annual DDDC Recalculation?

Ever have a charge on your gas bill but don’t know what it means? The Annual DDDC recalculation that went into effect September 1 might be a bit confusing and Walton Gas would like to help you gain clarity on the subject. Below we have outlined what an Annual DDDC recalculation really is.  

The Dedicated Design Day Capacity Charge (DDDC) is a portion of your natural gas bill that covers the common costs of delivering gas based upon a customer’s demand on the system on the coldest day of the year. This method is a straightforward way to allocate each customer’s share of the total cost of the delivery system. The Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGL) recalculates DDDC for every customer which includes both consumer and commercial accounts to ensure the data represents the most recent usage patterns. A DDDC recalculation is required each year and approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission in order to update summer and winter usage patterns for each customer for the most recent year.

The DDDC recalculation is not a rate change, the Atlanta Gas Light is simply charging marketers for the capacity that their customers use. What is capacity? Capacity is the space occupied by the natural gas they use. By doing an annual recalculation of each customer’s DDDC, Atlanta Gas Light can make sure all customers are fairly charged for how much of the system is reserved for their needs.

If you have any questions on your next natural gas bill, check out our Contact Information.

Benefits of a Gas Grill

People weigh the pros and cons and scrutinize different types of grills before they make a choice as to what is right for them. We can’t tell you which grill is right for you, but we can tell you the benefits of a gas grill, and you can decide if that fits with your life. So check out below what you get with a gas grill!

What do you need to know about gas grills?

A gas grill is powered by natural gas, so it is connected to valve regulators in your house. These regulators determine how much gas goes through the valve and to the burners. To start the grill, you use a push-button or rotating knob, and you can control the temperature of the grill through the knob.

What are the benefits of a gas grill?

Convenience with Fuel

With a natural gas grill, you are hooked up to your power source because it is your gas line. This means you will never run out of fuel (unless you forget to pay your gas bill).

Price of Fuel

A natural gas grill is different from other grilling options because you don’t have to go out and buy fuel separately. Your fuel simply comes from your natural gas line, which can make it a more cost effective option.

Ease of use

You don’t have to worry about a lot of effort when you are lighting a gas grill; you simply turn a knob and press a button. A gas grill is easy to light and easy to control the temperature because with just the turn of a knob you get exactly the temperature you need. A gas grill is also really easy to clean because there are no leftover ashes.

There are a lot of options for a grill, so weigh the pros and cons before you jump into a purchase. However, a natural gas grill is always an option, and it may just be the right option for you!

Trying to Fuel Your Business?

Running a business can be stressful. You don’t want to have to worry about whether or not you have a reliable natural gas partner. Walton Gas can give you peace of mind and confidence allowing you to focus on what you do best.

At Walton Gas, we provide reliable services, competitive pricing, and outstanding customer support. We offer convenient bill paying options like online billing and bank draft to simplify paying your bill. Our bills are easy to understand, and we don’t play games with hidden charges or fees.

As long as you are on the Atlanta Gas Light pipeline, we can meet your needs. Interested in inquiring about fueling your business? Check out the contact information below, and give one of our friendly reps a call.

Small Commercial Inquires

If you are currently using another provider and your business uses less than 40,000 annual therms, please contact:

Jenny Serda at 404.333.2081
Philip Peters at 770.500.5256

Large Commercial Inquires

We may have special rates for businesses that use more than 40,000 therms per year. For assistance with commercial or industrial gas service, please contact:

Jenny Serda  at  404.333.2081
Scott Walker  at  678.639.3222

Let us know how we can help you and power your business to succeed. Contact Walton Gas to learn more about your energy options!

Kickin’ it for Charity

At Walton Gas, we have a true passion for giving back. You could say… we get a kick out of it. Each football season we partner with the University of Georgia and go Kickin’ it for Charity. Walton Gas donates $500 for every field goal made by the University of Georgia, and at the end of the season we will total up how much will be donated. Then we’ll let you decide how much is allocated to one of these three fantastic charities: Camp Twin Lakes, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and The Salvation Army. The campaign has already kicked off, so continue cheering on the Bulldogs, and kick it for charity! We have outlined what the charities provide to the community.

Camp Twin Lakes

Camp Twin Lakes gives children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and other life challenges the ability to enjoy camp. It gives young campers obstacles to overcome to promote confidence-building while giving positive life-changing experiences. This non-profit organization is fully equipped with medial support and capabilities to meet the specific needs of each child. Camp Twin Lakes gives all children the opportunity to be kid.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Children’s Health Care of Atlanta cares for over half a million children and teens every year. Children’s Health Care of Atlanta is the largest pediatric provider in Georgia and one of the largest in the country. They are a family centered care, giving its patients the best possible care and access. With a network of over 2,000 pediatric physicians with extensive knowledge and experience in over 60 pediatric specialties, 3 hospitals with 622 licensed beds, 27 neighborhood locations, including 7 urgent care centers provides access to quality healthcare for family and children in need!

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is one of the most recognized and respected charitable organizations in the country providing basic needs for those who need it most. This covers feeding hungry families and children. Over 48.8 million people go hungry or face the threat of hunger every day in the United States. The Salvation Army meets that need by serving more than 56 million meals through their soup kitchens, sit-down meal programs, food pantries, mobile meals and community gardens. They also provide housing for the homeless, hunger relief services, and so much more. Help them continue their mission.

Currently our stats are

The Salvation Army 28.57%
Camp Twin Lakes 47%
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation 24.42%

Help us cheer on the Bulldogs and vote today!  To cast your vote Click Here.