An Inside Look at Home Security Automation

Sections: Security, Smart Home

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Honeywell Total Connect 2.0 Home Security AutomationWhat follows is a guest blog post by Sue Poremba on behalf of My Alarm Center.

In the not-too-distant past, a home security system was a rather isolated thing. Sure, its wires and sensors extended throughout the home, detecting intruders, fire, and environmental dangers, and yes, if any of those circuits or sensors were tripped, it sent an alert via your phone line to an alarm monitoring center. But you could only control it when you were at home, physically touching it, and there wasn’t much in the way of interaction with other systems in the home.

Now, thanks to home automation and wireless technology, the home security is accessible from virtually anywhere, on virtually any type of communication device.

Remote accessibility isn’t the benefit of today’s more connected security system, however. These days, it’s about more than just security—these days, a connected security system is an integral part of the smart, connected home, which incorporates everything from lighting, locks, and thermostats, to even garage doors, explained Scott Harkins, President and General Manager of Honeywell Security Products Americas. The security system is the logical centerpiece of a connected smart home, because it knows when the home is occupied and when it is not.  So, for example, when a homeowner leaves the house and arms the security keypad, the system can be configured to lower the thermostat, close the window shades and lock the doors.

Advances in wireless connectivity also mean that the security system’s reach is more extensive than ever before. “Examples of wireless technologies include environmental sensors that can detect and alert the homeowner to basement floods that could cause mold, or rapid temperature changes that could cause pipes to freeze,” said Harkins. “Wireless sensors can secure outdoor sheds, let you know if someone accesses a gun cabinet, or let you know if valuables like flat screen TVs or antiques are moved.  When it happens, the security system can alert the homeowner through a text message or email. The homeowner can then use a smart phone to access live video to see what’s happening inside the house.”

An area where home security automation is advancing is in all-in-one wireless systems. For homeowners who have their own wireless router, controlling the home system is as easy as connecting to the Internet through their own Wi-Fi capabilities.

Because today’s home automation systems are also network connected, homeowners now have the ability to arm and disarm a system remotely via the same app they use to remotely control lights, garage doors, and even wireless door locks, and can change passwords and PINs that can control who has access to the property.

“Connected home systems are custom systems—they can be designed for each individual homeowner, covering the entire home or pre-defined areas with cameras or sensors wherever needed,” said Harkins.

There are also a number of standalone security apps that enable even more specific remote access, including:

Honeywell’s Total Connect allows consumers to literally see what’s going on in their homes from their iOS, Android or Blackberry devices. Using Total Connect’s instant alert system, a homeowner would be notified via email or text message if an unauthorized door opened (like a back door or second floor window), if the temperature in a particular room was on the rise (possibly indicating a fire somewhere in the house), or when a flood has been detected.

Linear is developing an app that will allow legacy “dumb” security systems to be managed via mobile devices so end users can enjoy the benefits of a smart security system without needing to fully replace the old one.

Schlage Camelot Keypad Deadbolt Home Security Starter Kit with Nexia Home Intelligence includes a keypad deadbolt lock, dimmer module, and Nexia bridge. These components combine to enable your home security and energy systems to be managed, monitored and modified from home and remote locations to adapt to your lifestyle and household needs.

This blog post was written by Sue Poremba on behalf of My Alarm Center, a residential and small business alarm monitoring company based out of Philadelphia. Poremba is a home security and technology expert, who has been published on SecurityNewsDaily and IT Business Edge.

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