Millions of American homes are equipped with security systems. Some are wired security systems complete with all of the bells and whistles. Others are wireless systems installed by DIY homeowners. The one thing they all have in common is their intent: to make homes safer by deterring burglars and providing early warning for fires, floods, and the presence of carbon monoxide.
The interesting thing about security systems is that they can be rendered ineffective in lots of different ways. Just a little bit of carelessness can mean a security system is not actually working. Then what good is it? If you own a security system, stop and think about the following five ways you might be limiting its effectiveness:
1. Failing to Arm It
Long before wireless security was a thing, people were still rendering their home security systems ineffective by leaving the house and failing to arm them. The problem here is self-explanatory. No security system is going to do what it is designed to do if you do not activate it when you leave home.
Nowadays you can connect a home security system with your smartphone and take advantage of geofencing. As you drive away from your home, the geofencing kicks in and tells your system to make sure that security features are activated.
2. Not Monitoring Your Doorbell
Installing a video doorbell and then not monitoring it defeats the purpose for having it. Maybe you don’t want notifications going off during that important meeting. That is understandable. But at least check your notifications as soon as the meeting is over. Routinely monitor video feeds during the day just to see if anything is out of the ordinary.
3. Failing to Monitor Your System
As long as we are talking about monitoring, a home security system is most effective when it is monitored 24/7 by a professional service provider. Third-party monitoring ensures that someone is keeping an eye on your home around the clock. A monitoring provider can assess emergency situations more quickly and, when necessary, notify the authorities on your behalf.
4. Failing to Change Batteries
Everything from wireless video cameras to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors requires batteries these days. Fail to check your batteries and you could end up having cameras and detectors that do not work. It’s best to follow manufacturers guidelines for checking and replacing batteries. Whatever you do, don’t assume batteries are working.
5. Not Using Your Smartphone
According to Vivint Smart Home, most modern home security systems can be accessed remotely with a smartphone. That is good to know. Why? Because today’s smartphone is the single most important tool homeowners have for accessing all the features their home security systems offer.
For example, did you know that a companion smartphone app makes it possible for you to monitor your video cameras in real-time? You can keep an eye on the kids while you are still at work. You can check on the he babysitter to make sure she is doing what is expected.
Your smart phone is your tool for locking and unlocking smart door locks. It is your tool for turning lights on and off. In short, a smartphone gives you full access to your system no matter where you are in the world. Not using your smartphone in this capacity is leaving a ton of untapped potential on the table.
The modern home security system is exponentially more advanced than the systems of old. If you are not using your system to its fullest potential, you are not enjoying maximum effectiveness. What’s the point?