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Connecting Your Home Security Devices

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Over the past several years, we’ ve written several posts describing our home security offerings. As a one-shop stop for all your security needs, we regularly educate homeowners on their many security options. Additionally, we like to make your security equipment as easy as possible to use. For starters, we strive to select the most intuitive and effective products on the market. Furthermore, we also recommend connecting your home security devices whenever possible. In this post, we share how taking this step can increase your overall security and add convenience at the same time.

For starters, we’ll explain how choosing the right security system can set you up for success. Doing so will allow you to connect the other security measures described here. From there, we will go through how you can create connections between several pieces of the security “pie.” We’ll begin with a look at how monitored life safety equipment can interact with your alarm. This equipment can hep save your home from damage, and even save your life! Then, we’ll see how adding environmental sensors can anhance your home’s overall security. Additionally, we’ll explain how even cameras can connect to your home’s security backbone. Finally, smart devices will take center stage as our final connected home security addition. Now, let’s get started by focusing on designing an alarm that allows you to experience connected home security!

Start at the Top

When designing connected home security measures, we need to make sure we put a couple things in place from the start. For one, the first couple types of security equipment we will discuss require an alarm with the capability to communicate with wireless alarm sensors for maximum effectiveness. In our post on Smart Security System Design, we explained the importance of wireless alarm capabilities. In particular, alarms that allow for the installation of wireless sensors give us more flexibility. We can install wireless alarm devices wherever we wish, even in completely finished homes. For this reason, connecting life safety and environmental security to your alarm may require this technology.

Additionally, we also depend on another type of technology for our connected camera and smart home equipment. In particular, we need to install a device in your panel that provides communication to these smart devices. Our cellular dialer, powered by Alarm.com, provides just this service. Customers with our cellular dialer can control their alarm systems with their smarthone for extra security and convenience. Additionally, this dialer uses both Wifi capabilities and the Z-Wave home automation platform to connect to smart devices. This allows customers to control their alarm, view cameras, and control smart home equipment with one app on their phones! Let’s get into the details of the types of security we’ve mentioned up to this point. First up, we’ll look at installing life safety equipment.

A System Sensor smoke detector.

Monitored smoke detectors, such as this one by System Sensor, can create a fire department response to a fire at your home.

Monitored Life Safety Equipment

Life safety equipment represents one of the most important types of alarm equipment available. These devices include smoke and heat detectors, as well as carbon monoxide (or “CO”) detectors. Even if you have non-monitored versions of these devices installed in your home, we recommend installing monitored equipment. After all, “local” smoke, heat, and CO alarms only create a siren response. Monitored life safety equipment, on the other hand, will also create a call to you, as well as to the local fire department if necessary. Of course, this response can save your home in an emergency. Moreover, it can even save your life if you or a family member sleep through noise of the siren!

As we mentioned, having an alarm with wireless technology allows us to install these devices wherever you may wish. One of the biggest benefits of connecting your home’s security devices lies in the ability to add security above and beyond the “usual” door, window, and motion sensors and create this type of emergency response. Let’s look at another type of security technology that works best when connected to an alarm.

Environmental Sensors

When bad weather hits, time is of the essence when it comes to finding out about weather-related damage to your home. Therefore, a weather-related emergency occurring while you are away from home can create a destructive — and expensive — headache. Adding environmental sensors to your alarm can help alleviate this damage. These devices detect events such as extreme temperatures and flooding. Once activated, they create an alarm response, meaning you will receive a call to alert you to the danger.

As with the life safety devices we just discussed, environmental sensors work best when we can install wireless devices. This allows us to install sensors in places of the highest importance. For example, installing freeze sensors as close to pipes as possible enhaces their effectiveness. Likewise, installing flood sensors in the lowest areas of your home can help save the most damage from occurring. At this point, we’ve looked at a couple wireless security options that we can connect to your alarm. Next, we’ll show you a couple examples of smart home equipment that can communicate with our cellular dialer!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Many homeowners think of video surveillance as a commercial security measure, rather than a good option for home security. However, the last several years have seen more and more homeowners add surveillance to their home security plan. We can thank advances in camera technology for making video surveillance more efficient and inexpensive to install than ever. Several years ago, we could only install cameras by running wiring from a dedicated server to each camera location. Sometimes, the layout of certain homes made this installation very difficult. In turn, the entire project could cost quite a bit of money. However, we can now install cameras that speak to our cellular dialer via a Wifi connection. This eliminates the need for running wire and cuts costs down tremendously.

A screen showing video footage from nine Alarm.com cameras.

Alarm.com cameras do not need to be wired to a common location, allowing homeowners tremendous flexibility when choosing camera locations.

Of course, another factor in surveillance cameras’ popularity lies in their effectiveness. The security and peace of mind provided by smart cameras, such as our preffered Alarm.com cameras, make installing them a no-brainer for many of our customers. These cameras allow you to look in on your property live at any time using the same app you use to control your alarm system. Additionally, Alarm.com smart cameras record and save motion-based video clips via cloud storage. This means that you will have the opportunity to review footage in case of suspicous activity in or around your home. These cameras represent perhaps the most popular smart home device we install. Next, let’s look at how we can install even more smart home security equipment when connecting your home security devices.

Using Connected Smart Home Devices for Added Security

As we pointed out earlier, we can connect multiple smart home devices to your alarm system. Many people think of smart home appliances as strictly convenience-oriented. However, many of these devices also add security. For example, smart locks allow you to control and track access to your home without the use of keys. Obviously, this helps keeps spare keys out of the wrong hands. Additionally, these locks provide an audit trail of users who have unlocked your home in case someone with a code does come back uninvited.

As another example, smart thermostats can help you check on and even control your home’s temperature remotely. Moreover, they can give you temperature-related alerts if your home’s temperature becomes alarmingly hot or cold. Other smart devices we can connect to your alarm include garage door openers, light bulbs and light switches, and even smart outlets that you can use to control any plug-in home device remotely! For more ideas, check out our post sharing 7 Important Security System Add-Ons for Your Smart Home!

Connecting Your Home Security Devices to Keep You Safe

We hope that this post has helped you see how connecting your home security devices can help you experience greater overall home security. Additionally, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material presented here. We work with customers on a regular basis to help them connect a variety of home security devices.

Furthermore, we offer free home site surveys to both new and existing customers alike to assist in this matter. Maybe you already have some security equipment and wish to make it work together more efficiently. Or perhaps you don’t have much in the way of security and want to build it up right from the ground up. Either we, we will be happy to help. Together, we can help you create a connected security plan to keep you, your most valued possessions, and your loved ones as safe and secure as possible.