From time immemorial, people have been taking steps to safeguard their homes from intruders and malefactors. Indeed, archeologists have found lock-and-key devices in Assyrian ruins and strongboxes owned by ancient Romans. Once communications and information technology advanced sufficiently in the 20th century, people began to call upon alarm security services to install systems employing pass codes and featuring loud alarms that would sound when any unauthorized person tried to enter.
There are now there are plenty of ways that you can take action personally to enhance your level of home security without necessarily partnering with a professional company. This is particularly important in Atlanta, which has property crime rates well above the national average.
The growing smarthome industry provides amazing functionality at competitive price points and in ways that the ordinary homeowner can use without enlisting dedicated contractors. Home security is one of the industries that has been thereby transformed. By using wireless communications technology and clear, robust interfaces, today’s products make it easy for you to personally configure a customized solution that inexpensively fulfills your criteria.
As your needs grow, it’s trivial to expand upon the capabilities of your automated security system simply by adding extra capacity or replacing some components of your system. You can stitch together cameras, locks, access control panels and other pieces of hardware to create a whole that’s much greater than the sum of its parts. For example, your front door can send you a text message whenever someone rings your doorbell. The automatic detection of windows being opened or motion taking place in a room is commonplace today but would have been impossible or prohibitively expensive for homeowners in past years.
Many previous security systems would automatically contact the police in certain cases, but homeowners were kept out of the loop until the police or the alarm monitoring company got in touch with them. Nowadays, you’ll be able to read alerts sent to your phone automatically by your security setup in real time as situations develop. What’s more, you’ll have it within your power to evaluate the information presented and take the decision of whether or not to call the authorities.
Besides the actions of criminals and intruders, you can use modern technology to stay apprised of other worrisome situations that may occur. Fires, floods and power outages are examples of hazards affecting your property that you probably wish to know about as soon as they occur. With a security installation that you can monitor from afar, you’ll be able to communicate with emergency services or anyone else who can deal with the event and prevent property damage.
If you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with this advanced technology, then a large firm like ADT may be the way to go. This organization partners with local installers, including those within the Atlanta area, so that you can benefit from all the protections of modern equipment without having to set it up yourself. ADT provides continuous, 24/7 alarm monitoring service. To save a few bucks, you may wish to opt instead for a solution from Frontpoint Security, which will send you everything you need but requires you to install it yourself.
For the ultimate in customization, however, it might be best to source all components yourself and arrange them in the way you want them although you’ll probably have to forgo a dedicated monitoring service if you decide to do so. Perhaps the easiest option is to obtain an all-in-one device, like the Canary: It combines HD video capture, motion detection, night vision and alarm capabilities all for a price of around $200.
Those looking to delve deeply into each aspect of their security systems can instead consider tying together parts from D-Link, Nest, Honeywell, Belkin, Insteon and the myriad other manufacturers who have eagerly entered the home automation space. With an appropriate smart hub, like the Samsung SmartThings Hub or the VeraLite, you’ll be able to finely and precisely control all these devices. These two hubs each cost about $100.
Of course, you shouldn’t forget about common-sense precautions that you can take to make your home a less tempting target:
- Make sure you lock all your doors and keep the property well-lit especially at night.
- If you’ll be away from home for an extended period of time, don’t advertise this fact.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail while you’re away, and try to keep the house in such a state that any casual observer would think that it’s currently occupied.
This is where automated home systems are particularly handy as you can configure your lights, audio system, television and other appliances to turn on and off as though they were being used normally by the inhabitants.
Ordinary people now have it within their power to adopt a level of home security that was reserved for millionaires in past decades or was not available at all. There’s little doubt that new models coming on the market in the future will have larger feature sets even as prices drop. This empowering technology means that people can take charge of their own safety and aren’t completely at the mercy of outside entities, government agencies or malevolent criminals.