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Smarter Home Security The Evolution of the Home Alarm System Brought to you by



Copyright (c) 2010 by FrontPoint Security. This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license,

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hat if a home security system gave you the power to know and see everything going on in your home? What if you could access and control your system from nearly anywhere on the planet, at anytime? Sound too good to be true? Traditional home alarm systems are extremely limited in features and access. Beyond serving as a basic intruder alarm system, there is little else they can do. And even worse, the only access or control you have with traditional home security is while you are physically at home.

Smarter security keeps you in touch anywhere, anytime.

The good news is that modern alarm systems have amazing, interactive features! They include remote arming, email/text alerts of alarm and non-alarm activity, live video, plus built-in monitoring for fire, and water (in addition to intrusion). Additionally, newer alarm systems have remote access—to control your system from anywhere, on the web, or even using an app on your smartphone or PDA. So no matter where you are, you can access and control your alarm system. This eBook will explain how the best alarms systems are much smarter than old-school home security, and help you sort out fact from fiction when it comes to interactive alarm features. • 866-252-7630


Total Control From Anywhere

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raditional alarm systems can usually only be controlled while you’re physically at home—you can arm and disarm, check status, and perhaps a few more functions. When you leave, you’re completely out of touch. Some alarm companies consider a wireless device (like a key fob) remote control, but don’t’ be fooled. This is limited to roughly 100 feet from your home, so it’s not really remote access.

Total control means you can access your system from anywhere. Why would you want to check in on your alarm system from more than a few feet away? There are probably a thousand reasons. Keep track of your services providers (dog walker, repair man, cleaners) as they come and go; arm your system from work or vacation (in case you forget to while running out the door); or even stay in touch with your family (know when they arrive home from school or shopping trips). We all lead busy lives, so worrying about whether the alarm system is armed or disarmed once you are away from home is the last problem you need. Whether you are at the office, on a business trip, or on vacation, having easy access to your home security system is critical to your peace of mind. • 866-252-7630


An App For That

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oughly 60 million Americans carry a web-enabled phone, and the growth in mobile web access is on a steep climb. One of the biggest reasons: new apps that are specially designed for cell phones. Smart alarm companies are developing home security apps for the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices that are not only fun and easy to use; they also provide an additional layer of access and protection to your home security.

Security apps make home security easier and faster.

Mobile apps for home security really make accessing your home security easier and faster. The best security apps enable you to: remotely arm and disarm, access a camera in your home, check the history on your account to see when a contractor arrived and left, or when the system was disarmed—and by whom. And all this control is literally at your finger tips! Unfortunately, most alarm companies lag in developing home security apps. Major alarm system providers (especially the traditional companies with land-line based alarm systems) do not even offer advanced interactive features (like remote access), let alone, a security app. But the good news for consumers is that it’s getting easier to find the smart alarm companies who do. • 866-252-7630



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high quality alarm system should keep you in touch with anything happening at home. In addition to alerting you of an unwanted intrusion, it should also alert you as to - when did the kids get home, or did the dog walker show up? Did you lose power in that storm? Did someone disarm the system? All this information (and more!) can be sent to you almost instantly and to anyone else you want to receive your alert signals.

Text and email notifications keep you in touch with your home.

So how do notifications work? Every time a sensor in your home is activated, it sends a signal to your alarm control panel —and the control panel forwards that signal to you over the cellular link (assuming you have a cellular alarm system). You can get alerts each time a door opens or a motion sensor is activated. You can even put a micro sensor on “sensitive” locations like a medicine cabinet, liquor closet, or gun safe. Additionally, “no show” alerts can notify you by text or email if your alarm system is NOT disarmed in a specified window of time. This is a great solution to ensure that kids are getting home on time after school. • 866-252-7630


Video Monitoring

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here is nothing quite like “being there,” and that’s exactly what video surveillance can do for you. Watch the kids, keep an eye on contractors, or connect with family oversees. Video is becoming more and more popular for people who want to see inside (and outside) their homes, even when they aren’t home. With today’s technology, it is easy to set up security cameras and then access those cameras from anywhere.

Video monitoring is like being at home; even when you’re not.

Smart security cameras are extremely powerful. You can set a camera nearly anywhere in your home to keep tabs on specific areas. You can also point an indoor camera out an exterior window to see who comes to your front door, or monitor the driveway or backyard. Many equipment options exist—from simple low-cost web cams to higher-end cameras and systems that can cost thousands of dollars. Because video is usually sent over the Internet, you’ll need a broadband connection to get the most out of your set up. For the best video coverage, look for systems that offer wireless video cameras and the ability to view live video (and motion-activated video clips) online or on a mobile device. • 866-252-7630


Where There’s Smoke…

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ntrusion detection gets the lion’s share of attention when it comes to home alarm systems. Unfortunately, this happens so much, that we often overlook life safety. One of the great advantages of having a monitored alarm system is that your home can also be monitored for a full range of environmental conditions; the most important is fire. Special sensors placed in proper locations (on the ceiling, or high on the wall) will detect and trigger an alarm signal.

Every home should have at least one monitored smoke and heat sensor.

Most homes today have at least one smoke detector. However, the vast majority of these are hard-wired, which means they serve primarily as noisemakers when you are in the home. What if you are overcome by smoke? What if you are away from home? In either of those scenarios, it will likely take more time before the fire department can arrive. Good alarm companies recommend at least one monitored smoke/heat sensor in every home—and preferably on each floor. A smoke/heat sensor includes two sensing technologies in one unit: one that monitors for smoke, and one other that monitors for a rapid rise in temperature. Including fire safety with your monitored alarm system is a sensible step toward improving your total home and family security. • 866-252-7630


Avoiding Costly Repairs

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larm systems were originally designed to detect and communicate intrusion and perhaps fire, and that was about it. Over time people wanted their alarm system to report conditions like carbon monoxide, low temperature, and even water or flood conditions. All these are available today—and with interactive monitoring, you can know real time, by text or email. What’s more, environmental monitoring (including fire) does not have to increase your monthly cost.

Environmental sensors help you avoid costly home repair expenses.

Keeping aware of conditions in your home is the best way to avoid unnecessary and costly home repair expenses. Walls, water heaters, pipes (particularly in basements or of older homes) sometime leak or burst. If this occurs when you aren’t home, or sleeping—it can cost thousands of dollars in clean up, repair, and replacement expense. Smart environmental sensors can even monitor areas of your home for dangerously low temperatures in addition to unwanted water. For example, a freeze sensor can warn you (or your family and neighbors) well before water in your pipes freezes, and before you get that signal from the water sensor triggered by a burst pipe. Environmental sensors such as these can help keep you from having to deal with a flooded basement. Now that’s peace of mind. • 866-252-7630


One Step Ahead of the Burglars

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ven the most advanced home security system can’t stop a determined burglar from entering a home. However, you can keep one step ahead of them. Burglars are getting smarter these days, seeking out ways to disable alarm systems before they commit a robbery. Some ways burglars do this is by cutting a phone line, or by smashing the control panel once they enter the home. Most people know that it takes about a minute from the time an alarm sensor is triggered until an alarm notification message is sent to the monitoring station. This is a safety precaution to reduce the number of false alarms. However, this gives smart burglars time to find and destroy the control panel. If they do that to a traditional alarm system, it will never send the alarm to the monitoring station.

Crash and Smash technology keeps you one step ahead of the burglars.

The safest systems use smart Crash and Smash technology. The moment an intruder triggers an alarm sensor, a signal is sent and is ready to sound the alarm. If no pass code from the home owner is received, that alarm is sent, and the proper authorities are notified and dispatched. Alarm systems with Smash and Crash technology are virtually impossible to defeat, and keep you one step ahead of any intruder. • 866-252-7630


Smarter is the Way to Go

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hen choosing an alarm system, it’s important to look for safer and smarter features. That means not only 100% wireless cellular monitoring, but also the full suite of interactive services that today’s systems can offer­—remote arming, text and email notifications, and video, all backed by patented Crash and Smash protection. You’ll feel totally connected, secure, and in control—and that’s the smartest way to find peace of mind.


About FrontPoint Security FrontPoint Security is the leading nationwide provider of cellular and wireless alarm systems. FrontPoint Security combines next-generation technology with amazing service to deliver peace of mind and a truly unique customer experience. With customers in all fifty states, Canada and Puerto Rico, FrontPoint Security is one of the fastest growing alarm companies in North America. FrontPoint is a GE Security Authorized Dealer and’s Preferred Dealer for no-hassle security solutions. For more information visit

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Smarter Home Security: The Evolution of the Home Security System  

What if a home security system gave you the power to know and see everything going on in your home? What if you could access and control you...