As parents, the safety and security of the home we raise our family in is our ultimate priority. Fortunately, the home security industry has our backs. Today’s advanced home alarm systems take both safety and convenience to a higher level. If you’re a busy parent shopping for the best home alarm system, these key features should be on your peace-of-mind checklist:
Cellular Technology: For a Safer Alarm System
The best alarm systems include 24/7 monitoring, meaning there are real people watching over your home, day and night, whether you’re there or not. Your alarm system maintains a constant connection with the monitoring station, so the monitors know immediately if trouble arises.
That connection between your home and the monitoring station should be cellular. Avoid alarm systems that use your home phone line. They are notoriously unreliable. It’s too easy to severe a wired phone connection, especially if you’re a burglar with wire cutters. Cellular alarm systems aren’t affected by wire cutters, weather or power outages. They also protect you if you don’t have a landline.
Important note: in the home security industry, wireless and cellular aren’t synonymous. Many alarm companies talk about their “wireless” system, but are referring only to their equipment – the sensors, cameras, etc. Always confirm that the alarm system is 100% wireless, including the cellular monitoring connection.
Remote Access to Your Home Alarm System
After covering the safety factor with reliable cellular monitoring, your next step is to find an alarm system that keeps you informed, all the time. The best home alarm systems provide access and control from anywhere, using online/mobile apps. These systems are “interactive,” meaning they provide two-way communication. You tell your alarm system what to do, and it tells you what’s happening at home.
Let’s imagine a typical morning. It’s a multi-tasking extravaganza. You’re packing school lunches with one hand and feeding the baby with the other. The dog is directly underfoot, eating Cheerios off the floor. Somehow you also have to make yourself presentable. You get the older kids out the door just in time for the school bus, and then rush out yourself, carrying your purse, briefcase, diaper bag and baby. I’m sorry, but there are simply no spare hands for arming the alarm system.
Relax. Once Junior’s secure in his car seat, just pick up your smartphone and hit “arm.” Or arm the system from your computer at the office. Now you’re free to focus on work – your alarm system will alert you instantly if anything happens at home. For example, you’ll get a text or email within seconds if you drive off without closing the garage door. You’ll know when the maid service shows up, and when the kids get home. You’re in the loop and you’re in control.
Alarm Systems with Video Cameras
Video monitoring is another amazing advancement in peace of mind. Video lets you see what’s happening at home, anytime, from anywhere. Keep an eye on your pets, visitors and contractors. See your kids walk in the door – and see which friends they brought home.
Security cameras let you monitor activity at your house using any online device, including your smartphone. Privacy is not a concern, because this video footage is for your eyes only. Choose a video monitoring alarm system that automatically creates a video clip anytime a security sensor detects an issue. This recorded video footage is available to you anytime, at your convenience, and could be instrumental in apprehending a burglar.
Comprehensive Monitoring Plans
As Chief of Home Management, however, burglary is not your only concern. You must protect your home from damage, too. The best alarm systems for whole-home protection monitor for all kinds of emergencies. Fire protection is, of course, crucial. You also need to guard against carbon monoxide, which is a silent, invisible killer. Environmental hazards cause thousands of dollars in home damages every year. Imagine returning from a Christmas trip and finding that your pipes froze and burst. Or your washing machine hose sprung a leak. Your home is flooded.
Today’s advanced home alarm systems detect these issues before they reach the critical point. A water/flood sensor will tell you instantly if there’s water where it shouldn’t be. That early warning is all you’ll need to avert disaster.
The best alarm companies monitor for all these factors, as well as medical emergencies, for no extra charge.
Do-It-Yourself Setup (DIY Alarm Systems)
“DIY?” you exclaim. “But I want a simpler life!” Fear not! Today’s wireless alarm systems are incredibly easy to set up, and offer a multitude of advantages for parents with hectic schedules.
Wireless security equipment requires no complicated connections or programming. Simply place the sensors around your home and call your alarm company to activate the system. The components are preprogrammed to communicate wirelessly. Since they’re portable, you can move them around when you redecorate – or when you move to a new home. You can add to the system anytime – like when a new baby is on the way. You don’t have to hassle with scheduling a technician’s visit, or waiting on him to show up. Your system is ready to go in about 30 minutes. With no strangers in your home.
Once you’ve determined which alarm systems features you want, start your comparison shopping by reading the reviews. Learn which companies take the best care of their customers. To guarantee you’re dealing with a reputable company, make sure it’s accredited by the BBB and recommended on consumer and security industry websites. And then, breathe easy! Your home and family are protected.