July 22, 2013
Home Improvement Guru Talks Home Security
Home improvement is big business, and it’s spawned a number of TV shows over the decades. The grand-daddy of all of them is the PBS production, “This Old House” – originally hosted in 1979 by Bob Vila. You may be interested to know that Bob is still in the game, but just in a different way. And he’s still writing about how to improve your home. In this recent article, he offers some truly great and detailed advice on home security – and even mentions FrontPoint!
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.
Systems Have Changed – For the Better
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, back yard or wherever you deploy a security camera. You can even be alerted before the break-in, the moment the burglar pulls into the driveway!
But Wait… There’s More!
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. 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.
Focusing on the Efficient Home
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.
Alarm.com Sets the Standard
When shopping for a system, review software platforms first. Alarm.com is one of the biggest. They use a wireless connection to the monitoring station, making it immune to power outages or someone cutting a cable. Other platforms rely on a broadband (Internet) connection, so they have cables running down the side of a house that can be cut, thereby disabling the system’s interactive services.
Best Advice of All
Be sure to choose a reputable dealer; one that will sell you the equipment as well as a monitoring plan. Many dealers will install the system for you, but there are others that sell equipment and services for the do-it-yourselfer. FrontPoint Security, a national provider based in Virginia, for example, offers a GE Security equipment that can easily be installed by the homeowner (along with Alarm.com features, and a third party monitoring plan). Installing the system yourself can save you several hundred dollars and make you more knowledgeable about how it works. Wireless hardware is, of course, much easier to install than wired components, making it more appealing to do-it-yourself homeowners. You can also take it with you should you move.
The Highest Level of Security
Alarm.com and its partners (like FrontPoint, for example), offer "Smash and Crash" protection for wireless home security systems. As soon as a point of entry is breached, the central station is immediately sent a pending alarm signal. It doesn't wait to find out if the person who entered is you or a bad guy. If the system is not disarmed within the programmed amount of time, the alarm is treated as an intrusion. In this way, a smashed controller won't stop the central station from calling the police.
A conventional system, on the other hand, does not send a signal for a period of time (typically 30 seconds while it allows time the homeowner to tap in a code and then more time for the dialer to call the monitoring station). It doesn't sound like much time but for a smart burglar, it can be enough to disable the security system or to grab a purse or valuable and run.
We’re impressed: it’s not every home improvement expert that does their homework to this extent. And we love that fact that FrontPoint was specifically called out for our innovative business model and mastery of Alarm.com’s industry-leading reliability. We’re establishing a new norm for peace of mind when it comes to homes security and home automation.
It’s been shown that a home with a monitored alarm system is only one third as likely to suffer a break-in as the unprotected home next door. And with a burglary happening in the US roughly every 14 seconds (according to the FBI), don’t you think it’s time you had your own FrontPoint system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring? Since we’re the leader in wireless home security and the #1 rated alarm company in the US, adding a FrontPoint system is one of the best home improvements you can make.