Integrated Safety for Peace of Mind
It’s sunset and your outside lights turn on, the window shades close and your house automatically locks the doors. When you’re ready for bed you press your “Goodnight” button and all of the lights in the house shut down, the temperature resets and the alarm arms. Each part of the day brings a different scenario. Your house knows what to do and you are confident that your family is safe.
We all have security concerns, whether it’s feeling that our homes are secure, or knowing that our business is protected against damage and loss. Today’s integrated security systems allow us to achieve peace of mind like never before. Integrated security can incorporate many types of access controls, deterrence and monitoring into your overall smart home experience.
Let’s look at some of the key choices to consider when defining what security means to you:
- Access controls – Your kid comes home from college when you’re away, your gardener works every other Tuesday, the cleaning crew comes to your office from 6-8PM. How do you control access to your home or business remotely?
- Video monitoring – Do you want cameras to be a visible deterrent to people who walk by your home, do you need discreet “nanny cams” inside your house? Do you want high resolution playback of activity outside your business at night?
- Intrusion detection – Should you monitor all windows & doors or just your front door? Do you want a phone call or text if someone breaks a window or enters your house?
- Fun fact – there are some crazy but effective new security devices in the market.We just installed some of these for one of our high security clients and they work great! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AlQYgT8g6o
- Integration – These systems should be well-thought out and integrated with control systems to be useful, and there’s a wide range in cost depending on how elaborate you want to get.
How to do integrated security right
Access Controls – Keyless entry is one of the most used and most important technologies in your home. At the simplest, it’s a replacement for keys and traditional locks. That alone is significant – no more replacing keys, locks and locksmiths. With implementation of the most basic access control technology, you gain the ability to manage an individual’s entry or exit access at specific locations, as well as knowing the time and date of entry. It’s also important to consider whether you want a live video intercom capability to see the person at your front gate. We link Access Controls to the entire smart house system for true home automation.
Cameras – Our camera systems enable you to monitor everything that happens in your home or business. See who is at the front door, check on your baby in the nursery, or watch your children play in the yard from any TV or mobile device. Better yet we can ‘train’ the system to detect what matters to you. Kids are in the pool area? Our system will send you an alert. No need to keep checking on the house – let the house tell you. Our cameras record high-definition images, allowing you to see facial details and the numbers on a license plate. It’s important to select the right camera and storage solution based on your requirements. Quality, performance & reliability of cameras vary a lot. Resolution ranges from 1 to 8 Megapixels, night vision can be great, or unusable (cheap cameras may only have 10-20ft IR). Live images might look good but quality of playback may not (the difference between knowing that someone entered your house and knowing whoentered your house). Weather resistance is important – cheap outdoor cameras don’t last long, some good cameras have anti-fogging devices built in, and there are lots of different shapes and sizes: bullet, dome, discreet or “I’m watching, stay away!”.
Alarm systems – when designing an alarm system you should consider how many access points you want to monitor with sensors, ie. window & door contacts, motion detectors in certain rooms, glass break sensors? Many alarm monitoring services will install cheap wireless sensors (we recommend hard-wiring them). For all of these devices, location and quality of installation is critical. Put door & window contacts or glass break sensor in the wrong place and they won’t work. Inexperienced installers can easily damage your expensive windows when they drill them for alarm contacts.
Monitoring service – third party monitoring is a great way to achieve peace of mind and it’s important to consider what kind of service you need. We offer several options and service levels with land line or cellular communication and the ability to tie in to customized SMS messaging.
Integration – It’s nice to be able to tap an icon on your touch screen to see a live video feed of your child’s play structure, check your phone to see what happened outside your garage on Sunday night, or change the passcode to the gate so your in-laws can get in the house next weekend. All of this is possible with today’s smart home technologies and a well-designed implementation.
VHT has the experience necessary to install these systems right to give you the peace of mind you deserve. We are a licensed Alarm Company Operator with the CA Bureau of Security & Investigative Service and our employees who work on these systems go through Federal background checks. Contact us for an onsite consultation.