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October 1, 2015

How to use home automation to boost your safety and security

When it comes to home safety, you likely consider how to keep people out, how to let family and visitors in, and how to protect your possessions from disaster. Home automation has kept up with safety and security concerns, with many options to guard your home and your loved ones. Here's how to smarten up your home's safety.

Lock (or Unlock) the Doors

What's one of the oldest old-fashioned home security items? The key. But it's been replaced by touch pads, smartphones, and Bluetooth. There is a range of new locking systems, including touch pads with unique codes for entry. The most advanced systems unlock your door with your smartphone and allow you to send a virtual key to guests or other visitors such as repair people. They also allow you to see what virtual key opened the door each time so you have a record of who comes and goes.

Keep Your Home Safe and Secure

If you're not home, you want your security system to not only deter criminals but also give the impression that you're there. Home automation can help with both. Security systems can include a safety-focused lighting control system that enables you to activate fixtures remotely when you're gone – switching one room on and off followed by another room – or create preset controls that turn on outside lights should you hear or see something suspicious.

Some off-the-shelf products can work with any doors and windows to provide an alert if a door is left open, for example. Many professionally installed home automation systems offer monthly or subscription-based monitoring with occupancy sensors, cameras, and door opening alerts.

Watch the House

Fully integrated home automation systems include up-to-date monitoring and alerts for home security breaches, carbon dioxide levels, and fire alarm activation, to name just a few. As with other safety and security home automation options, most of these are controllable via an app or Internet connection to a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Keep Your Signal Safe

In much the same way that they target your financial data, thieves can also home in on smart devices to gain access to your house or personal information. Safety and security home automation options should include password protection on all devices and networks.

Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.