With so many different home security systems to choose from, which one will it be? Here are some of the latest, niftiest features available on modern security systems. Use this list to make sure your new system meets all your needs.
Wireless systems are ideal for DIY installation. There are no holes to drill, and you can add new sensors anytime, anywhere. Also, there''s no installation cost if you do it yourself. However, most companies will still send out an installation specialist if you wish.
Not all wireless systems offer cellular monitoring, so be sure to ask before you buy. Cell monitoring means you don''t have to depend on an Internet connection, landline or power to make the system work. Plus, thieves can''t bypass the system by cutting phone wires or power lines.
Remote access to the system means you never have to worry that you forgot to arm it before you left home. Also, you can unlock the doors and disarm the system if you need to let a neighbor in to check on things inside the house, or if an unexpected (but welcome) visitor shows up before you get home.
Alerts & Notifications
Look for a monitoring system that alerts you by email or text message if the alarm goes off. These notifications also notify you about the suspected nature of the problem, such as a break-in, fire, or carbon monoxide leak. You''ll know what''s going on as soon as the monitoring system does. These alerts mean you don''t have to wait until responders arrive to locate the problem and contact you.
User Access Codes
With user access codes, you''ll know who came and went, and when they did so. You assign codes to each member of the family, and any service personnel you allow in. Then you''ll know for sure whether the pest control guy sprayed the entire house, or if your teenager was home during school hours.
These apps allow you to get alerts and notifications and even change your system settings all from your cell phone, smart phone or tablet computer.
Video cameras offer an entire new dimension to your home security system. It''s easier to get a conviction if you have the burglar''s face on film, plus you can monitor the driveway, backyard and other areas outside the door and window sensors. Security cameras also make excellent pet cams and nanny cams.
Some higher-end home security systems have home automation features to allow you to turn lights on and off to make it look like someone is home. These systems can also control your thermostat, and some can even control the home entertainment system and appliances.
When you''re shopping for a home security system, be sure to invest in one that offers fire detection, carbon monoxide detection, and customization options. Also, notify your insurance company once the system is installed. This can save you 20 percent or more on your homeowner''s policy. What features are you looking for in your new system?
Christy Wilson is a freelance writer working from her lakeside home in Pell City, Alabama. She earned her BA in journalism from Samford University, and worked several years in newspaper writing and editing before bringing her work online.