Home Security 101… It wasn’t so long ago that when an intruder broke into a home, the home security system would sound an alarm. If it was a monitored system, the central station would call the police to report the intrusion. This assumes, of course, that you armed the system, the batteries were still good and the intruder wasn’t quick enough to disable the system before it sounded the alarm or dialed the central station.
The revolution brought on by wireless technologies, smart phones, and mobile apps have changed all of that. Today, home security systems can still sound alarms, but are much more difficult to forget about or foil. A software-supported security system can send you a text message every time a door or window is opened, whether you’ve armed it or not. It can stream live video or send still images of what’s happening in your garage, living room, backyard or wherever you deploy a security camera. You can even be alerted before the break-in, the moment the burglar pulls into the driveway!
And that’s not all. Home security has teamed up with home automation so the same interactive service can give your home the appearance that someone is home. Lights, TVs and radios can be turned on and off at random intervals, or according to the schedule you choose. Even motorized blinds can be raised or lowered upon your command.
The Mighty Mule wireless driveway alarm.
Home security systems can give you peace of mind in other ways, too. Whether you’re home or away, they can inform you of hazards like fire, elevated carbon monoxide levels, and power outages. They can alert you if someone is tampering with a safe, a locked tool chest, or a medicine or gun cabinet. You might even use it to check on the safe arrival of a child returning home from school. Or, if you lose sleep wondering whether the water heater is flooding your basement, you can have your system set up to alert you of that as well.
With interactive systems come other benefits as well. Prefer not to hand out house keys to housekeepers, or other service providers? You can unlock a door for them from wherever you are, whether you’re at work or on a trip, with systems such as Kwikset’s SmartCode.
You can also use the system to program your home’s temperature so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling your home unnecessarily. During cool seasons, it can automatically lower settings when you’re sleeping or away—and raise them just before you wake or return home.