When we design a home security system, we like to consider several different scenarios. Of course, burglar and life safety monitoring come first and foremost. However, we still have plenty of work left to do after addressing these factors. In fact, we often surprise customer with the wide variety of equipment we can install. This additional equipment greatly increases the effectiveness of any home alarm. In this post, we share some creative home security system options that you can add to your own alarm!

We will begin with a warm weather-related tip for those who enjoy keeping windows open. Customers with window contacts often worry about this since these contacts can prohibit them from arming their security system with open windows. However, we have a simple, effective solution! From there, we will explain how we prepare for weather-related emergencies. Then, we’ll take a look at a unique method we use to track activity within your home. Adding sensors in places other than your usual doors and windows can help you achieve this goal. Finally, we will explain at a way to activate multiple security and smart home commands with one press of a button! Now, let’s get started with a security tip that fits right in with our current weather.

A man opening a window in a home

If you plan ahead properly, you can open your windows and still arm your security system.

Making Plans for Open Windows in Warm Weather

Many homeowners feel like they have a tough choice to make regarding their windows and security during warmer weather. Customers who have alarm contacts on their windows generally cannot fully arm their security systems after opening their windows. Instead, they must either forego arming the security system, or choose to “bypass” any open windows. Of course, either option leaves these windows unsecured. Unfortunately, this forces customers who wish to secure these areas of their home to keep windows closed.

However, we offer a solution to this problem. You may remember our basic description of how wireless window contacts work from our recent post on False Alarm Causes and Solutions. When installing wireless contacts, we install the sensor itself on the body or the frame of a the window. Then, we install a magnet that lines up with this contact on the opposite surface. When the door or window opens, the magnet loses contact with the main part of the sensor and creates an alarm response.

In cases where customers want to open their windows and still use their alarm, we install the sensor on the window itself. We then apply TWO magnets to the window’s frame. One of these contacts aligns with the sensor in the window’s “closed” position. We then install a second magnet a few inches higher. This allows customers to open the window and align the sensor with the second magnet. At this point, they can arm the alarm system and the contact will still remain “closed” and not need to be bypassed! At that point, if a burglar opens the window any further to climb inside, this will activate the alarm. The ability to open windows without reducing security makes any security system much more effective. Let’s now take a look at how we add weather-related security to burglar alarms.

Taking Cautions Against Weather-Related Disaster

Our environmental sensors provide a prime example of a creative home security measure that offers security beyond burglary and life safety detection. We offer sensors that create alerts for environmental disasters that have the potential to cause a home major damage. For example, our “hi-lo temperature” detectors can create an alert if your home experiences dangerously hot or cold conditions. This can help alert you to frozen pipes or HVAC equipment failures. Additionally, we offer flood sensors that can detect the presence of water wherever we install them. Environmental sensors can help you detect and address these issues before they create a mess that takes a significant amount of time and money to repair.

An Interlogix wireless freeze/flood sensor.

Environmental sensors, such as this combination freeze and flood sensor by Interlogix, can quickly alert you to weather-related disasters.

In addition to the obvious security these sensors create, they also provide an unexpected benefit. Insurance companies base their costs on the perceived risk of an incident at your home. Therefore, providers often offer rate discounts for taking measures to proactively address these risks. Often, installing environmental sensors can trigger just this type of discount! We encourage our customers to ask their insurance company about this potential. The ability to add this important security and save money can make installing this equipment an easy decision! Next up, let’s look at how adding additional security sensors can give you an up-close and personal look at activity in and around your home.

Installing Additional Sensors for Home Activity Tracking

Door and window sensors make up the bulk of just about any alarm installation. However, not many people know that we can use them to monitor just about any area of a home. Installing an interactive cellular dialer, such as our preferred Alarm.com dialer, allows you to control your alarm remotely with a smartphone app! Furthermore, it also allows you to receive smartphone alerts any time someone activates specific alarm sensors, even when your security system is disarmed. This allows our customers to track many important areas of their home. Let’s look at some examples!

Outside of the house, pool gates and exterior fences make great landing spots for alarm sensors. For safety reasons, knowing when someone wants to access the pool can prove valuable to those with small children or grandchildren. Similarly, putting sensors on gates can help those with pets feel safe letting their beloved animals roam in the yard. Inside the house, closets, liquor cabinets, and medicine cabinets all deserve extra monitoring. Placing sensors on these doors can alert you to someone snooping where they may not belong! Fore more information on this concept, check out our 5 Unconventional Uses for Contact Sensors. Now that we’ve mentioned Alarm.com, let’s check out one more way we can use this device to add a dose of creative home security.

Using Alarm.com Scenes for Multiple Alarm and Smart Home Commands

In addition to creating smartphone alerts, our cellular dialer also doubles as a Z-Wave smart home hub. This allows customers to add smart home devices that operate on the Z-Wave platform. For example, we install smart lights, thermostats, garage door openers, locks, and more. In turn, installing these devices also allows customers to create “scenes” that set multiple alarm and smart home commands in motion. Adding Alarm.com scenes can add both security and convenience to your home!

The Alarm.com app comes with buttons to activate “Home,” “Away,” “Sleep” and “Wake Up” scenes by default. Pressing one of these buttons sets in motion a chain of related alarm and smart home commands. Activating the “Home” scene generally disarms the security system and unlocks the door used for entry. Additionally, certain lights may turn on, the garage door could open, and the thermostat might even revert to a comfortable living temperature. Likewise, the “Away” setting generally arms the security system to “Away” mode and turns lights off. If needed, the doors will lock and thermostats can lower the temperature a few degrees as well.

An Alarm.com app open on a phone with a house in the background.

The Alarm.com “scene” activation buttons such as “Stay,” “Away,” “Sleep,” and “Wake Up” allow you to activate multiple smart home and security commands with one press of a button.

After creating alarm and smart home commands for their basic scenes, homeowners often go on to find other ways to use this feature. Creating a “Movie” scene, for example, can take care of many tasks associated with movie night. Activating this scene can dim some lights and turn others off completely, arm your security system to “stay,” lock your doors, and lower the temperature if you plan on watching the movie under a blanket. Likewise, adding a “Naptime” scene for households with children can shut off lights in the kids’ rooms and create a comfortable sleeping temperature in the bedrooms. Customers find this feature one of the most unique and convenient security options on the market!

Utilizing Creative Home Security System Options in Your Own Home

We hope that this post will help you take some creative home security measures in your own home. Moreover, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material presented here. We help many customers add security equipment they would have never even known about. Furthermore, we also encourage you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We offer surveys to both new and existing customers alike. While onsite, we can address any concerns you may have and create a plan to address them. Additionally, we can make suggestions based on our own observations during our visit. Together, we can create an effective and efficient security plan to keep you, your property and possessions, and your family as safe and secure as possible!