A Guide to Different Types of Home Security Systems

There are various types of security systems on the market. From smoke and fire alarms to sophisticated systems to deter burglars, these solutions use a variety of methods and technologies. According to 2015 statistics from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a property crime occurred every 3.9 seconds and a home break-in/burglary occurred once every 20 seconds.1

A study on the decision-making processes and behavior of burglars was conducted by the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation. Factoring in information from 422 incarcerated male and female burglars, it found 83% of the subjects studied would look for an alarm before going forward, and 60% said they’d seek a different target if one was present. This was especially true for those who spent time planning their approach.2

These statistics can be very useful when safeguarding your property. The type of alarm system and detectors installed depends on the most imminent hazard. Here is a guide to the latest technology for protecting your home and family this holiday season:

Monitored Home Security Systems

A monitored security system is tracked by a team or remote professionals 24/7 at a state-of-the-art monitoring center. It is operated by a central control panel. Numerous components transmit important data to a centralized station, including sensors for doors and windows. Motion sensors are used to monitor the exterior and interior of homes for potential intrusions, while wired/wireless security cameras, audible sirens/alarms, and security signage are also used.

Unmonitored Home Security Systems

Unmonitored systems consist of a control panel, sensors, and sirens/alarms as well as motion detectors and motion-activated cameras. Visual indicators such as lights may be included as well. Although triggered the same way as monitored systems, these are not tracked by a dedicated service. However, you can monitor your home from a smartphone or computer, so you can receive alerts from, arm/disarm, and configure the system via your mobile device rather than on-site keypads.

Wired Home Security Systems

If you’re more traditional and prefer a security system connected with wires to a home electrical circuit, landlines can be used. These security systems are directly connected to your phone while sending alerts using radio frequency signals. A back-up battery keeps the system running in case the power is disrupted. A wired system can be just as effective in an emergency, but the prevalence of digital technologies is making this configuration less popular.

Wireless Home Security Systems

Easier to install, update, and control, a wireless home security system uses the same cellular signals as your mobile phone. You’ll receive instant alerts when sensors are triggered. Benefits include simple installation you don’t need a professional for, and factory pre-programming that means the equipment is ready to use as soon as it arrives. The only downside is system reliability depends on the cellular signal quality in your area.

Other Types of Alarm Systems

Burglars aren’t the only home security threats. Smoke, fire, and inclement weather can put you in harm’s way. Fortunately, there are different options to consider that can monitor your property and alert you as soon as there’s a problem. These include:

  • Smoke Detectors: According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, about 1,100 residential fire deaths could be prevented annually if every home had a smoke alarm.3 Smoke contains carbon monoxide, harmful chemicals, and particulates that can be deadly even if a fire isn’t anywhere near you. Today’s smoke alarms placed near bedrooms can alert everyone to an emergency so you can get out and contact the authorities right away.
  • Fire Alarms: Advanced fire detection systems from Boyd & Associates feature a cellular connection and backup battery, so they provide constant protection even if the power goes out. They are automatically activated when a fire is detected. This means whether you are home or not, awake or sleeping, the alarm notifies you of a problem so you can take the appropriate action.
  • Glass-break Detectors: These can detect glass shattering or cracking using a type of microphone. The high-decibel alarm can alert you of a break-in or glass damage due to weather conditions. The microphone is designed to pick up the unique sound of glass breaking, whether from your front door or any window in your house.
  • Critical Alarm System: Trips when there is any type of indoor flooding, due to natural events or an issue with your plumbing. Immediate notification of a problem can help you avoid serious consequences such as extensive water damage or mold, while avoiding the potentially high cost of professional repairs, which can easily run into the thousands of dollars.

Boyd Can Help You Figure Out Which Type of Security System to Get

Boyd & Associates installs, manages, and monitors home security systems, including burglar, fire, and other alarms. Our services include professional guidance in determining the best security systems for your property. Homes, businesses, and communities have been relying on us since 1967. We provide the same advanced systems and service for all our residential and business clients, and our highly trained security teams can not only properly install alarm systems, but monitor them constantly to relay an emergency to the authorities. To learn more about the types of security systems we can install or request service, support, or a free consultation, contact us today.

Sources:
  1. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/resource-pages/crime-clock?kbid=62750
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516160916.htm
  3. https://www.nist.gov/el/smoke-alarm-research

Features and Benefits of Home Security Automation

In 2018, more than $5 billion was invested in U.S. smart homes, and about 15% of homes in the nation are using smart technology, according to Statista’s Digital Market Outlook.

The U.S. smart home market was forecast to top $27 billion in 2019.1

With this kind of growth, the benefits of home automation systems cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to security.

What Are Automated Home Security Systems?

Automated home security systems represent the future of connected homes. Once an automated security system is installed, you can program it, monitor your home from anywhere, and control the system remotely via a smart app. You can even link your security system to personal assistants such as Amazon Alexa, depending on the product. From watching video feeds of your front door to controlling lights and thermostats from a smartphone, to unlocking the door for guests from the office or while on the road, you have complete control over home security.

Security automation enables you to configure your security system any way you please. It lets you monitor every aspect of your home and detect and deter crime when it happens. The system can be controlled via an in-home dashboard or your smartphone.

But it’s not only about deterring crime; home fires are typically on the rise this time of year. Connect your Christmas lights, fireplace, and more to avoid situations like one of the 7,000 residential building fires in 2017 resulting in injuries, or the estimated 1,900 fires that resulted in fatalities (based on U.S. Fire Administration estimates).2

Features of a Home Automation Security System

Smart technology enhances home security because alarms, motion sensors, and control panels can all be connected. It consists of several more components than a standard security system, which incorporates an alarm, control panel, and yard signs. Some of the most important features are:

  • Smart Apps: Smartphone apps allow for full control of and access to the system. With an app, you can access a Wi-Fi-connected camera and receive notifications from it. Video feeds can be accessed on demand while you can notify law enforcement or other agencies of a problem. You can even speak over the intercom or lock/unlock the door for invited guests.
  • Energy Management: The ability to control your home thermostat or shut the lights off from your smartphone can save energy. If the kids are home by themselves, watch video feeds and send a text to remind them to close the window curtains. Sometimes, sunshine warms your home, but you don’t want to stress your cooling system with excess heat. Manage your entire HVAC system, appliances, and electrical meters from anywhere.
  • Smart Locks: These electromechanical devices provide some of the greatest benefits of home automation technology. Locked and unlocked remotely, they help monitor who enters and leaves your home and let you grant or deny access remotely. Control the lock with your smartphone or wireless key fob, or use email or SMS to send a virtual key and set a time frame during which someone can unlock the door. Even interconnect locks with security alarms and cameras, and never worry about losing your keys!
  • Smart Video: Modern Wi-Fi enabled cameras allow you to control them and view video feeds from anywhere. Smart video can be used indoors and outdoors, day and night, depending on the model. Some cameras feature motion or sound detection, so they record only when necessary (and send alerts when triggered), but some record continuously, conveniently uploading feeds to the cloud. Features to consider include video resolution, color or black-and-white video, wired or wireless systems, and field of vision.

Advantages of Smart Home Security Systems

The benefits of home automation technology are far-reaching. Some of the most significant home automation benefits you can see by upgrading to a smart security system include:

  • Safety: Home automation systems keep your family and home safe through control of lighting and appliances. If you forgot to turn something off, just do it with your smartphone. Or, turn the lights on before you get home at night.
  • Security: View the status of the front door to verify it is closed and locked. Security alerts notify you when someone enters your home; or, turn on the lights before you get there to make sure nothing is hiding in the darkness.
  • Convenience: A smartphone is something you have whenever you leave the house. Why not monitor everything from your connected device? Many tasks become automatic, so you don’t have to run home or even get up off the couch to set smart locks or turn on the lights.
  • Saves Time: Life today is very fast-paced. Time savings is one of the advantages of smart security for your home you can’t ignore. There’s no need to run home to check on things or if one of the kids forgot to close the door; just check it all from your phone.
  • Saves Money: Turning lights on/off or even dimming them remotely can save a bit of money, as can controlling window shades and adjusting automated thermostats. You also save on gas by not having to drive back home to check on what you forgot to turn off.
  • Energy Efficiency: Program appliances and systems to turn off or control them remotely. Some home automation systems provide continuous monitoring and notify you on their status and energy usage; if your home is warmer than necessary or extra lighting isn’t needed, make the appropriate adjustments to save energy.
  • Comfort: One of the most understated advantages of home automation is comfort; you can control adaptive lighting, sound, and temperature as well as play music. Even record shows on your DVR by setting it remotely. Automation allows you to control all aspects of the home environment.
  • Peace of Mind: Check on young children, or even baby monitors, or view the status of your appliances, window shades, or the garage door. Verify anything on your app without worrying about whether you remembered to close doors or turn everything off before you left.

Additional Resources

Boyd & Associates specializes in a variety of systems and services to improve home security and automation. Customers in Southern California depend on us for quality:

Contact Boyd & Associates

We have been providing full security and alarm services in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, and Riverside County since 1967. Our business has specialized in advanced surveillance systems since the 1990s and has been at the forefront of home security automation. Today, we offer state-of-the-art products installed and serviced by trained professionals. To learn more and enjoy the advantages of home automation, plus the security and other benefits it has, call our sales team at 888-478-1543 or request a quote online today.

 

Sources:
  1. https://www.pcmag.com/news/367137/the-us-is-the-undisputed-leader-in-smart-homes / https://www.statista.com/outlook/279/100/smart-home/worldwide
  2. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/

Doorbell Camera

5 Reasons To Upgrade To Home Automation Today

If you are like most people, when you think of home automation you think of all the cool conveniences it provides, such as being able to have your home climate controlled or having the ability to lock doors remotely. But this has led to an important question: Is home automation a convenience, luxury, or necessity? We believe that it has increasingly become a necessity. Here are 5 important reasons why.

Times Are Changing

Times change and things that were once considered luxuries are now absolute necessities. For example, in 1995, only 10% of homes had the internet. Now, a short time later, nearly not only does nearly every home have it, our society depends on it for just about every function. While home automation was convenient, the services it provides makes it increasingly indispensable to running a household.

Resources Management is Increasingly Important

Not only is it true that as a society we have become more conscious about conserving our resources, we also understand that it is increasingly important to do so because of the political and economic climate we live in. Home automation provides one of the best tools available for conserving our resources.

Time Management is Important

As we move to a more information drive society, how we spend our time is more important. Home automation provides the tools we need to increase productivity and to do more, more effectively. It also allows us to multi-task mush more effectively than ever before.

It Allows Us to Improve Our Caregiving

Today, it is not uncommon to have both small children and aged adults in the home requiring some special oversight. Home automation allows you to provide that without compromising a loved one’s dignity but allowing you to check in remotely and receive custom alerts for activity that might indicate trouble. Home automation also allows you to provide care to those living outside the home, too. With the ability to check in via security camera or keep track of activity through sensors, you can call for help the minute you suspect a problem.

Home Automation Creates A More Hospitable Environment

As we learn more about ourselves and how the mind works we learn how our environment effects things like mood and productivity. Creating a hospitable environment is also important for homes with occupants with sensory issues. Home automation can control those elements that create a disturbance, such as glaring lights or noise.

As time changes, tools such as home automation move quickly from being a convenience to an indispensable tool. If you have any questions about home automation, please give Boyd Security a call.

The Internet Of Things: How Home Automation Works

Since the 1930’s World Fair, people have envisioned a home where small functions are performed automatically. While the idea is not new, the technologies to make it happen are. Home automation is hotter than ever because of smart home technologies.

So what exactly is a smart home? You may have heard the terms “home automation,” and “smart home” used interchangeable, and while very closely related, one is actually a component of another.

Here are some basic terms you will need to know:

Home Automation

When selected appliances and devices are connected to a central system and respond based on user input.

Connected Devices

These devices, appliances, and systems have integrated sensors that can connect them to the internet. The user programs the devices that can also learn and anticipate user patterns and respond accordingly.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is what brings home automation and connected devices together to create a smart home. Using sensors, programs, systems and controls, the IoT allows the systems to communicate, telling everything how, when, and why to perform a certain task as well as relay information to the user.

Why Smart Home Technologies are More than Just Cool Technologies

Yes, there really is something incredibly cool about having your home respond to your needs, but smart home technologies are more than just cool, they are also an advantage in many ways.

Smart home systems offer a tremendous amount of convenience, allowing users to have the heating cooling, and lighting systems all working without thought.

Safety is another big advantage, as users can tap in to home security or surveillance systems, be alerted to security breaches or things like extreme temperature changes. Smart home technologies also offer the user savings with the more effective use of energy.

Home automation and smart home technologies are an important way residents and business owners are streamlining their lives for a more efficient use of their time. If you have a question about home automation, home security, and smart home technologies, feel free to contact us.

About Boyd Security

Since 1967, Boyd & Associates has been providing total security for homes, businesses, and communities of every size and type. We combine advanced systems, responsive service and rigorously trained security teams to create a strong, nimble and formidable force that deters, detects and responds – for total security.

Virtual Keypad™ Now Available on the Amazon Echo™

“Hey, Alexa, tell Virtual Keypad to arm my system away.”

New Amazon Echo Release:

The Virtual Keypad App is now available as an Amazon Echo skill. The Virtual Keypad skill for the Amazon Echo offers a new way for you to arm your system and conveniently control Z-Wave™ devices. Below is a list of all current functions and commands:

Arming: All arming commands must start with “Alexa, tell Virtual Keypad to…” Then, say one of these phrases to select an arming type:

  • “arm my system home.”
  • “arm my system sleep.”
  • “arm my system away.”
  • “arm my system all.”
  • “arm my system perimeter.”

Favorites: To activate a favorite, say “Alexa, activate (favorite name).”

Lights: To turn Z-Wave lights on or off, say “Alexa, turn on (light name).” or “Alexa, turn off (light name).” You can also dim Z-Wave lights to any percentage by saying “Alexa, turn on (light name) to (percentage).” For example, “Alexa, turn on kitchen light to 50%.”

Locks: Z-Wave locks can be locked by saying “Alexa, lock my (lock name).”

Thermostats: To set the temperature using your Amazon Echo and a Z-Wave thermostat, say “Alexa, set my (upstairs) thermostat temperature to (degree).”

To get the new Virtual Keypad skill, download the Amazon Alexa App and login with your Amazon account information. Search for the Virtual Keypad skills and enable them – there are two available, and you will need both. Use your Virtual Keypad email address and password to login and select the system you would like to control.

The app is free to download and is included for current app users. The Amazon Echo skill is a convenient way for current Virtual Keypad App users to control several system features by simply using their voice.

The Virtual Keypad app is also available on the Apple TV® and coming soon to the Google Home™.

About Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates is a premier full-service security firm headquartered in Ventura, CA with more than 600 associates serving homeowners, businesses, and gated communities throughout Southern California.

 

How Home Automation Can Help With Back To School

If you have kids you know the chaos of getting everyone out the door on time or managing daily routines so chores and schoolwork get done. As the kids get older, the schedule gets even more demanding as they add things like extracurricular activities and time with their friends to the already taxed weekly schedule. Making sure everything runs smoothly and optimally is a near impossible task and would take a team of people to get done. Fortunately, smart home technologies provide some great ways to tame a monster school schedule.

No More Snooze Alarm

If you have a reluctant student, getting them out of bed can be a long and unhappy process and one that can make them and everyone else in the house late. Get them out of bed and moving easily by using automation to turn on lights, open shades and turn on music for a wake-up they can’t ignore.

Did You Forget?

One of the most common and stress-inducing parts of the morning rush is realizing that you forget to turn off the iron or coffeepot, or forgetting to lock the doors. Leaving it on or unlocked is not an option, but going back will definitely make you late—again. With smart home enabled devices, you can remotely turn off offending appliances or lock the doors from your smartphone or another internet connected device.

Make Areas Off Limits

If your kids get home before you do, they have time to get into things they shouldn’t. With access control, you can make certain places off limits and get a notification if anyone tries to gain access. This helps keep your kids, or their visiting friends out of harm’s way.

Unique Access Codes Let You know they are Home Safely

With unique access codes, you can know when each of your children gets home, and when. This prevents them from taking detours before getting homework done.

Know When or if They Leave

Are they leaving in enough time to make it to sports practice? Did they leave before their homework was done? Smart home technologies can help you manage the comings and goings by providing real-time alerts if any enabled door or window is opened.

Do They have Friends Over?

If you are away at work or running errands, it is easy for your house to become the place everyone gathers to play Xbox instead of getting their homework done. You’ll know if your home is a gathering place with alerts that tell you that your doors are being opened an unusual number of times.

No Gaming Until Work is Done

Use smart technologies to help you remove the distraction of television or gaming systems by disabling them until work is done.

Video Systems Let You Keep an Eye on Things

With real-time video, you can check in anytime and see that everything is on track. Are chores getting done, is homework finished? Access to real-time video helps ensure that your student is keeping academics a priority.

If you are interested in learning more about how home automation and access control technologies can help you manage the complexities of back-to-school, give Boyd & Associates a call today.