We’ve already talked about how today’s alarm systems have evolved to do much more than just help protect your home and family. There are many ways in which advanced interactive services let you feel not just protected, but connected as well. And here’s a particularly important example: text or email notifications about events and conditions in your home, so you know what’s happening, even when your system is not armed.
The best alarm systems can now keep you informed of anything happening at home. In addition to alerting you of an unwanted intrusion, your system should also alert you when the kids got home from school, or when the dog walker showed up – and how long was that walk? We actually fired our dog walker for giving five-minute walks (not the half hour we agreed to!), though we never let on it was the interactive services built into our home security system that tipped us off.
Overview of Notification Features
I’ll be explaining how Frontpoint’s notifications work. There should be a great deal of similarity in these features from one company to the next. If not: keep shopping!
- Text or email. Most users of interactive alarm services have smart phones, and prefer to get their notifications via email, but not everybody: if you prefer to receive a text, you can get that instead.
- Multiple recipients. You can have unlimited recipients of the notifications sent from your system. You may want your spouse or partner to get them, or a grown child. Other options include a neighbor, or caretaker/handyman. It’s up to you!
- Extremely flexible. As the homeowner, you get to customize your own notifications. For example, you get to determine what sensors send notifications, and to whom. You can even set the time these alerts are sent (or not), and the type of signal that triggers a notification.
- Easy to set up by end user. Using the intuitive app, where all the interactive services are integrated, you can set up your notification preferences – and then change them at will.
Primary Notification Examples
- Reports on any door equipped with this sensor, telling you which door was opened, and when.
- Many of our subscribers who have guns in the home place a sensor on a gun safe – so they will know immediately if (and when) the gun safe is opened. That works for a normal safe as well.
- A medicine cabinet is another great example of something you want to keep tabs on with notifications.
- Wine cellars and areas where liquor is stored are natural notification candidates.
- Have an elderly parent living alone? Some customers use notifications for tracking “Aging-in-place” activities, such as exterior doors opening, or the opening of a refrigerator or medicine cabinet.
- Notifications can even tell you when a garage door is left open longer than a certain span of time, such as five minutes – and you get to establish that span.
- You’ll know any time the alarm system is armed or disarmed.
- If you leave home and forget to arm your system, the system uses a “Geo-fencing” feature to alert you once you get a certain distance from home (you get to set that distance). Then you can arm your system remotely, using the app.
Loss/Restoral of Power
- When power is lost in your home, you’ll know. And the system will even send you a notification to tell you when the power comes back on.
- For added peace of mind, the system can even tell you what percentage of the homes around you have also lost power, so you’ll know if this is a neighborhood issue, or just your house.
- When you add one or more thermostats to your smart home configuration, you can control them remotely. That means you can also set up thresholds for high and low temperatures: when those limits are exceeded, you’ll receive alerts.
- When someone changes settings manually on your thermostats, you’ll know by the notifications you receive.
While that’s only a partial list of the types and uses of notifications, it gives you a clear picture of just how powerful this feature is. People love notifications because they make you feel safer, while also feeling more connected to your home when you’re not there. The best alarm companies focus on these latest interactive services and smart home functions, since now these features are an important part of offering true peace of mind.