Alerts & Alarms: Announcing Potential Threats
If a condition or situation arises that poses a threat to your family, home, or possessions, how do you want to be alerted, and how should help be summoned? Traditionally, an alarm system would detect a forced entry or fire (for example), sound the alarm (usually a loud outside bell or inside siren), and then report the event to a central monitoring station, who would alert the local police— after calling the house first to make sure it isn’t a false alarm. This approach was good in its time, and still serves important—if basic—needs today. But smart home technology is rapidly changing the face of home safety and security, with its many options to keep track of what’s happening at home when you are at work or out of town.
New Choices. Modern electronic integration systems can collect much more detailed and relevant information about your home and household than previously available. See Security Cameras; Damage Prevention. This gives them the capacity to aggregate more detailed patterns of data, which can be interpreted relative to your household and lifestyle. And you can be alerted in whatever way or ways you choose. Pre-scripted messages, triggered by a single event (or combination of conditions), can be sent to whoever you want, and however you want—via email or text message, voice message sent to the smartphone or land line of a family member or trusted neighbor, or any combination of them. Or, if you want a text message whenever your dog chases the cat and knocks over the table lamp in the living room (not again!), you can have it.
Triggering Conditions. These can be precisely attuned to your needs. Example: the system could be programmed to text you when your teenager arrives home from school and enters her number into the security alarm keypad. Then it alerts again after she re-locks the front door. A motion detector triggers the security camera in the entry hall to begin recording, so you can see if she’s alone—or with her boyfriend. The system could even be programmed to capture the scene and send you a video clip. Another example: the system is set to email you at work when the house cleaner arrives (by giving her a unique password), and again when she leaves. Receive an additional alert if she forgets to re-set the alarm or lock the front door (not again!).
Security cameras can be programmed to record video images, archive them, combine them with additional clarifying information, and trigger additional custom-tailored messages. Using this approach, it is possible to be kept notified of all the comings and goings in a busy household. You’ll get all the details you need, so you can rest assured that everything is going as planned, and everyone is safe.