Of all the technologies available for your home, one of the most established is a home security system. Security systems have been around for decades, keeping homes and families safe; however, like any good technology, they’ve evolved.
PROTECTION FROM A VARIETY OF DANGERS
In addition to controlling more obvious security-related devices such as electronic door locks, surveillance cameras, and motion sensors, smart security systems can also automate lights, control motorised windows and shades, and can even simulate occupancy by mimicking your home routine to ward off troublemakers. But modern security systems prevent more than break-ins—they can also keep your home safe from environmental dangers and infrastructure-related issues with sensors that report flooding, power shortages, and extreme swings in temperature. They can even monitor indoor pollutants. When integrated as part of a home automation platform, a smart security system can provide extraordinary peace of mind and help your home run like a well-oiled machine. Let’s review a few of the aforementioned examples and see how home security and automation systems can make your life easier, more convenient, and—of course—safer.
MOCKUPANCY, A.K.A. “OCCUPANCY SIMULATION”
People used to accomplish this effect by putting their home’s lights on timers. Simple, yes, but the predictability of timers backfired and became a clear sign to burglars that the house was, in fact, vacant. Today’s systems are much harder to crack because they are able to mimic your family’s behaviours and schedules by turning lights, TVs, and music on and off in a more realistic fashion. To an outside observer, it will look just like you’re home, watching your favourite shows and moving about the house.
MASTER YOUR DOMAIN WITH REAL-TIME UPDATES
No matter where you are—at work, on a business trip, running errands, or on vacation—you’ll be able to remotely check on your house via your mobile device. Naturally, you’ll be alerted if an alarm goes off or if a sensor is tripped, but you can also receive email or text alerts if moisture is detected in the basement or if an off-limits cabinet has been opened. With a more robust security and automation system, you’ll be able to confirm security settings, check if any doors and windows were left open, or see in real time who disarmed the alarm or opened the garage. Even if it’s someone you trust (like your dog walker or house sitter), it’s nice to know what’s going on in your home when you’re away.
KEEP A WATCHFUL EYE WITH VISUAL MONITORING
Newer surveillance cameras can detect and notify you when something goes missing. Perhaps it’s a family heirloom displayed on the mantle or your car in the driveway—either way, when the camera detects that something is moved and not replaced after a designated period of time, it will log the event and/or send out a message. Your security system stays alert, so you don’t have to. Security cameras are in demand, but did you know that you can also use cameras that are built into intercoms or touch screens to monitor and communicate with just about any room of your house? If you’re in the living room and want to know what your kids are up to, then you can check in from your network-connected TV or touchscreen. If you’re moving about you could always monitor their rooms from your phone. And best of all, with systems as smart as these, if something is amiss you can also take action whether you are home or away.
TAKE ACTION AND CONTROL YOUR HOME FROM NEAR OR AFAR
Just as a security system sends outgoing messages to you, it can receive incoming messages from you. Don’t like what you see on your security footage? Remotely turn on the porch lights and speak out over an intercom to scare off the intruder. Is your teenager getting home from a date? Make sure they get in safely and lock up as soon as they are inside without having to leave your bed. From your phone or tablet, you can also alter the settings of your home security system—like allowing a houseguest access to your home while you’re at work. It’s also enormously helpful if you find that someone forgot to close the garage or lock the front door. With a secure remote connection, you can lock up right from your smartphone.
AUTOMATED SOLUTIONS THAT KEEP YOUR LOVED ONES SAFE
Any security system could signal police or fire authorities if an alarm goes unresolved for more than a few minutes, but what if your security system could engage preventative measures all on its own? If your security system is connected to a home automation system, then it just might. Imagine if your system detected dangerous levels of carbon monoxide while you were fast asleep. Not only would you be alerted, but, with smart programming, your system could automatically trigger motorised windows to open, allowing fresh air to flow in and dilute the noxious gas.
UNLOCK THE POTENTIAL FOR FULL PROTECTION
There are so many ways to safeguard your home and family—from subtle methods like having the lights turn off and on to the more extreme like having an alarm wail whenever a sensor is breached. But why stop there? Integrating smart devices and features, like those mentioned above, that will complement your home security can take your home protection plan to a whole new level.