September 18, 2020
It’s not an exaggeration to say the smartphones have revolutionized home security. Not that long ago, the words home alarm system and do it yourself (DIY) were never used in the same sentence. Home alarm systems were too expensive for most homeowners and too complex for anyone but professionals to install. Enter the smartphone and a never-ending assortment of apps and security systems that can connect you. With the right phone, and the right products, anyone can put together an affordable, functional home security system.
At its most basic, a security system is a network of sensors that detect what is going on in a home, connected to equipment that has the capability to monitor them. Cameras, microphones, and motion sensors have historically been the traditional monitoring components. However, as cellphones became smartphones, they too became a monitoring option. Today, smartphones have many of the same electronics found in security systems, allowing them to sensor as well as monitor. But they are best used in conjunction with a wireless home security system.
Today’s security systems offer wireless connectivity. With no cables to run, or wall holes to drill, homeowners can do the installation themselves for some types of system. These home alarm systems offer a lot of options for homeowners to consider, including cameras, sensors, and monitors, and much more, such as:
carbon monoxide detectors
water leak sensors
alarm system control
live video monitoring
front door locks
The reason homeowners install a home alarm system is to make sure their property and loved ones remain safe. This doesn’t change when they’re at work and their kids are in school; they want to know when an intrusion or potentially dangerous condition occurs. Therefore, alerts are a major part of today’s security systems. Options prevail here as well. Email is still offered, but most people prefer texts or recorded voice messages. Some systems allow multiple recipient notifications, allowing spouses, neighbors, or caretakers to receive the alert as well.
There are pitfalls to be aware of, such as having spotty cellphone signals or emails going into a folder that isn’t often checked. Third party recipients may or may not be able to get through to the homeowner. To compound the situation, it may only be a loved one or roommate who returned home and forgot to disarm the system.
Conversely, some people install a security system that sounds an ear-piercing alarm if their house is broken into but doesn’t send a signal to a central monitoring station. That’ll save you from paying a monthly monitoring bill but leaves you responsible for returning home to call 911 yourself. Sometimes, the neighbors will call the police, but be aware that police departments often charge a stiff fee for responding to false alarms. Most police departments won’t respond to the scene of an unmonitored alarm if the homeowner isn’t there.
But there is another option – monitored security.
The best option is to use a monitored security service. Homeowners can install the equipment, but security professionals will monitor alarms and call the designated cellphone number should any sensors be tripped, or alarms activated. Should the homeowner not pick up or respond, only then will the service alert the police.
If you’re interested in having your home’s security monitored, get a free quote from Brinks Home™.
Lauren Slade is a Dallas-based writer and editor.
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