We recently had a client who had the unfortunate pleasure of getting robbed while he was out of town. Items stolen included parts of his Smart Home System including TVs, Sonos Playbars, Blu-ray players, Universal Remotes, etc along with some jewelry, cash and a safe. The robbers also trashed much of his wood floor as they threw the safe down the stairs and dragged it out the front door. There were in the house for about 25 minutes total before they drove away. The client had a full smarthome system installed, including a surveillance and security system. Now, the surveillance system did its job and was able to capture the robbers on camera stealing the items mentioned above. That footage was saved and given to the police for further investigation. The security system however did not do it’s job in protecting the home. Why is this you ask? Well, its because the security system was not armed by the client before they rushed out the door to head out of town. Although you might at first say “well this client just wasn’t being smart” we can say that this is not the first time we have seen this.
We see many clients each day, some of which have security systems installed by others and some of which have security systems installed by us. Unfortunately we often here things like “well I’m just going to the store so I don’t want to bother arming my system” or “well it’s too much hassle to have to worry about arming my security system each time I leave the house.” Thieves unfortunately know this and if they have made your house target, they can be in an out of your house with all your valuables faster than you think.
So how would this scenario with our client have played out differently if his security system was armed you ask? First off, the security system would have immediately sounded a 120db alarm in and outside the home, alerting all the neighbors in the area there was a problem. Second, the 24hr monitoring station (the client chose to have the panel monitored by someone else even though we installed it) would have been immediately notified of the alarm status. Per their protocol, the 24hr monitoring company would have then called out the police who would have been there within 5 minutes, catching the robbers in action and likely preventing many of the stolen items from getting stolen.
Now we have many clients that know this and still feel arming their security panel is too much of an inconvenience for them. They also challenge us as Smarthome contractors to see if there is any other automated way the security panel can be armed or at least provide them with feedback about their system without them having to do anything. As it turns out there are a few things you can do, however we caution that the only 100% reliable way to arm the security system is to do so manually each time you leave your home.
Probably one of the coolest ways to automate the arming process is through creating a Geo-fence around your home based on your cell phone. A Geo-fence is basically and area around the radius of your home for which the exact location of our cell phone is monitored. Most people have their cell phones with them at all times so the odds are good that if your cell phone has left the Geo-fence, you have as well. Once we have established your location via the Geo-fence, we can program the arming of our security panel via the Smart-home system that is installed in your home.
Another option would include the smarthome system in the home sending you text alerts if there was a certain door or window that was opened when it was not expected to be. If you work regularly and live by yourself for example, you would expect your front door to be opened in the morning when you leave for work and again at night when you return. However, if you are at work and your front door is opened, you would want to know about that immediately and can do so via the solution mentioned above.
A third option which would not notify you personally but help your neighbors notice your house is programming the smarthome system to turn on all the lights in the house and lock them in the on position,pull up all the shades and disable them, and then flash the outdoor lights on and off continuously without any ability to turn them off. The only way to get the house smarthome systems to behave normally again is to disable the alarm panel. This will cause any robbers in the home to be fully exposed to anyone in the area or passersby on the street, encouraging them to leave the house quickly before getting caught.
For the client who was robbed we implemented all of the suggestion we made above. We also replaced his security cameras with HD versions so he can pick up more details in the surveillance of his home. After all that was done however we did remind him over and over again to make sure he always arms his security system when he leaves is home, even if he thinks it will just be a couple of minutes.
We hope you have found this information useful. If you are interested in having your Security System and Smarthome system interact in the ways mentioned above, we would be happy to help. You can contact us at 855-832-4775 or find us on the web at www.technospeakco.com. Don’t have either a security system or smarthome system installed but want to get one in the future? We can help with that as well. Just give us a call at 855-832-4775 as we are always happy to help.
At Technospeak, we take the “Tech-y” out of Technology leaving our clients with the knowledge they need to enjoy their electronics.