Security and Safety

A Smart Home is a Safe Home

By Paula Felps 3.24.15

With spring and summer upon us, it’s a prime time for weekend getaways and family vacations. While you’re out there having a good time, it raises the question: Who is watching your house?

Whole-home automation once sounded like something reserved for futuristic movies, but today it’s an effective way to keep an eye on things while you’re away — and keep up with it through your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Many systems offer a “goodbye” feature that can be programmed to your specifications and, when activated, will lock the door, adjust the thermostat, arm the security system, and adjust the lights. Some will also raise and lower window shades based on your programming.

Virtually all of us have had that moment where we wonder, “Did I close the garage door? Did I set the alarm? Please tell me I turned the burner off on the stove?” Whole-home automation lets you check on all those things and more.

Since home security begins outside the house, whole-home automation also can include the use of sensors and security cameras to keep a close eye on your home and yard, notifying you if there’s any activity.

There’s an App for That!

If you haven’t taken the plunge into whole-home automation, there are still ways to keep an eye on your home while you’re gone. Free apps such as Salient Eye (Android) and Manything (iOS) put your old smartphones and tablets to work as security cameras that send images and alerts to your existing phone, tablet, or laptop. While they won’t control your home’s thermostat or turn the lights on and off, they can definitely help you keep an eye on your home while you’re gone.