September 16, 2010
Smarter Home Alarm Systems, Part #2 – Get Notified by Your Alarm System!
Welcome to the next installment in the Interactive Monitoring series of posts. The good news is that modern alarm systems are evolving - not just to cellular monitoring (and away from using a vulnerable phone line to communicate), but also to amazing smart and interactive features! These features include remote arming, email/text alerts of alarm and non-alarm activity, live video and motion-activated clips, plus built-in monitoring for fire, water, and carbon monoxide (in addition to intrusion). In the last post I wrote about newer alarm systems having remote access, to control your system from anywhere: on the web, or even using an app on your cell phone or PDA. Today’s topic is how your system can let you know what’s going on at home, when you’re not there.
The best alarm system can already keep you in touch with 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 paid for!), though we never let on it was our FrontPoint alarm system that tipped us off. Then there was the time my brother lost power at home while on vacation: since he had one of our systems (but hadn’t set up his notifications yet), I got the alert and called him in Aspen to let him know. He went right on-line to set up his alerts… Here are some more: did someone disarm the system? Who was it – and when? All this information (and more!) can be sent to you almost instantly, and to anyone else you want to receive your alert signals.
How do notifications work?
Every time a sensor in your home is activated, it sends a signal to your alarm control panel – and the control panel forwards that signal to you over the cellular link (click here for a reminder on why cellular monitoring is so important). You can get alerts each time a door opens or a motion sensor is activated. And you can even put a micro sensor on “sensitive” locations like a medicine cabinet, liquor closet, or gun safe. Additionally, “no-show” alerts can notify you by text or email if your alarm system is NOT disarmed in a specified window of time. This is a great solution to ensure that kids are getting home on time after school.
Notifications are here, the second of many interactive monitoring benefits – so stay tuned for the news on the rest. FrontPoint specializes in these next-generation services, with 100% wireless and cellular monitoring, and we’re leading the way. For maximum peace of mind, notifications keep you in the know.