by: SUBMITTED PHOTO, An important indication that your home is protected from break-in is the sign that service providers place in your yard. Representatives of a number of home security companies will be on hand at the Home Improvement & Remodeling Show Sept. 25-28 at the Oregon Convention Center.

The importance of a home security system is not something to be taken lightly, said Jolie Selburn of American Home Security in Beaverton.

'With the state of the economy we're in, people are having gas taken out of cars in their driveway, so I can only imagine what's being taken out of their homes,' she said. 'It's just to protect their investment, everything they care about.'

This is something she will stress to attendees who stop by the company's booth at the Home Improvement and Remodeling Show, held at the Oregon Convention Center Sept. 25-28.

More than 500 exhibitors from all over the Portland area will be on hand to offer advice and answer questions about sprucing up living spaces, and Chris Stewart with Fish Marketing said this is a golden opportunity for homeowners to learn more about services available to them, including home security systems.

'This is a great show to find out more about home security. There are three companies from (Beaverton) as well as three others from surrounding areas, all ready to inform you of the latest technologies around securing your home,' he said. 'There is more to these systems than just theft deterrence and prevention; children and pets have been saved from fires; elderly and aging people have called upon them for assistance during a lapse in health or injury.

'And every one of us has locked our keys in the house before, and that's just a bonus perk of the systems.'

In its 33rd year, the Home Improvement and Remodeling Show is the largest in Portland devoted to giving consumers the newest products, themes and advice for their homes.

Hours of the show are 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Adult tickets are $10 each, youth (7 to 12) are $4 each, and children 6 and under are free.

'Out of all the trade shows that go on I think it's the nicest production,' Selburn said.

She added that it's the perfect time for people to simply gather information on a variety of topics.

'Some people really have specific questions and are thinking about (a security system) and others are just generally looking around,' Shelburn said.

In addition to information on home security systems, attendees will be able to walk away with ideas from the seminar and live demo stage, an outdoor kitchen/living display, and one of the year's highlights, a high-performance home.

Stewart said this home, designed by Paolo Design Group and constructed by Argonaut Group, LLC, harmoniously blends sustainable and high-tech elements together. Some of the features include solar panels, high efficiency HVAC, ground source heat pump, gray water reuse system, high efficiency lighting and plumbing, Energy Star appliances, non-combustible fireplace and a hydronic floor.

'How-to and information seminars are scheduled all four days throughout the day ranging from keeping cost down on a project to building with sustainable materials,' Stewart said. 'The entire theme this year is 'Small Changes. Big Improvements' because we understand that people are looking for ideas to update and change their space without spending large dollar amounts on projects.'

New this year is an outdoor kitchen, where chefs from McCormick and Schmick's will be putting together food demonstrations and offering wine tastings. There is also a project area for children, where they will be able to help put together a large floor puzzle and construct a wooden bird house to bring home.

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