In late October, Dave Carrescia was at his New York City office when he received a call from ADT, his home alarm company.
The dispatcher informed Dave that a fire alarm was going off in his Greenwich, Connecticut, home and that the local fire department was on their way. They asked Dave if anyone was inside the home and advised him to call his family members to make sure they were safe.
When the fire department arrived, they didn’t see any signs of a fire at first. But when firefighters entered the home, they discovered the family’s 1-year-old golden retriever, Maggie, trapped in her kennel in the dining room and realized the fire was in the basement.
According to Chief Peter Siecienski of Greenwich Fire Department, “The fire could have burned for several minutes and certainly the dog would have perished, and in this case the fire damage was held to a minimum and the dog was able to be saved.”
There’s no question this was a close call. The fire could have caused a lot more damage if Dave’s security system had not been integrated with the smoke detectors in his home.
But all’s well that ends well — the house suffered minimal damage and Maggie was unharmed.
What a Tangled Web We Weave
Nowadays, our homes are being inundated with so-called “smart” technology — from thermostats to refrigerators and beyond. Many of these devices are able to connect to each other so you can monitor all of them with a single service or app.
The same is true of home security devices. So today, I want to share with you some ways you could consider integrating your home protection equipment.
When it comes to home security, there is a seemingly endless stream of gadgets you can install to help keep your family safe — cameras, door locks, flood lights and motion sensors, among others — and you can purchase many of these devices with smart technology capabilities so they can be remotely controlled and monitored from your smartphone.
There are two different ways to integrate your complete home security:
- Get a full-service home security system. Most major security companies such as ADT and Comcast offer complete home security packages that include security cameras, smart locks and smoke detectors. This makes integrating all your home security devices a cinch. But there is one catch…With these companies, you are limited to the devices they sell, so you won’t have as many equipment options to choose from. In my opinion, the devices offered by these large companies are not the best quality. Essentially, you may end up paying a premium price for cheap equipment. Comcast, for example, uses locks made by Kwikset for their system, which are not as high-quality as brands like Schlage or Medeco.Some companies claim their systems are compatible with other brands of devices, but unfortunately there is no guarantee. And once you’re stuck in a long-term contract, chances are they will try to get you to purchase their equipment.
- Use a home automation hub. Another option for integrating all of your home security devices is to use a home automation hub like Amazon Echo or Google Home. The advantage to using a system like this is that you can use it with all your smart devices — not just security products.Plus, using a product like this affords you more options when choosing the actual hardware. You won’t be restricted to only one option like you would be with a system from a large company. With a DIY security system, you won’t be stuck in a long-term contract or forced to pay a high monthly fee.
The bottom line when it comes to home security is there are lot of options. The first decision you have to make is whether you want to go with a prominent alarm company like ADT or install a DIY system, which means you need to understand the pros and cons of both choices to decide which one would work best for you.
Clearly, signing up with a company like ADT or Comcast is the simplest way to get a security system, but choosing a DIY system will give you more options in the long run and allow you to integrate more smart devices around your home.
In my opinion, a complete home security system including cameras is one of the most important things you can do to keep your family safe. If you don’t currently have a home security system — or are looking to switch providers — consider these two options and the long-term benefits they could offer.
Editor, Spy & Survival Briefing