So, you’ve made the commitment to install an alarm panel in your home. It’s an entirely reasonable investment. You want to protect not just your property, but your loved ones as well. After all, according to contemporary research, about 83 percent of offenders who had been interviewed said they would attempt to determine if an alarm was present before attempting a burglary. On top of that, 60 percent said they would seek an alternative target if there was an alarm.

Standard alarm equipment can tell you if and where an intruder enters your house. It can also notify emergency responders, which is critical to home security. However, alarm equipment alone does not maximize residential security. That’s why there is no substitute for integrating your home security technology.

Camera support can provide your home with a constant, watchful eye.

Many residents are choosing to integrate the alarm panel with video systems, and with good reason. Cameras can provide a great benefit in three ways:

  1. They can be integrated with and viewed on home electronics. So, when the family is home and someone hears a noise outside, that person can view the activity on the television to determine if someone is preparing to break in.
  2. They can be viewed remotely on mobile devices. With the appropriate app, you can call up a camera anywhere you have service to your mobile device.
  3. With a video recorder, you can review archived footage from the past 30 days and even further back, depending on the size of the storage device. This can be extremely helpful in determining if something happens outside the home and does not trigger an alarm.

Home automation systems are fluent in security.

When an alarm is integrated with a home automation system, residential security improves substantially. Here are a few instances:

  1. The home automation system can turn on all of the home’s perimeter lighting. This can be a highly effective deterrent, as triggered perimeter lighting can scare off an intruder. It can also be configured to transmit high or low temperature alarms, depending on the application.
  2. Alarm systems can also be integrated with mobile devices, allowing the homeowner to remotely check the status of the alarm system. Residents can arm and disarm their system from anywhere, turn lights on, unlock doors, or open and close garage doors.
  3. Video clips of alarm events can be sent to mobile devices. These clips can be programmed to send a few seconds of pre-alarm video to allow homeowners to see what occurred just before an alarm. Options are also available to send notifications or video clips when the alarm system is disarmed. For instance, parents can tell when their children arrive home from school.

Proper configuration is critical.

Many of the residences I assess have alarm, video and home automation systems. That said, about 80 percent of these homeowners are not using these setups to their full potential. Integrating these systems provides increased situational awareness and gives relevant information in a timely manner, allowing for better decision making in a high-pressure situation. When it comes to investing in home security, proper technology configuration is critical.