It’s often better—and safer—to know you have visitors before there’s a knock on the front door. A driveway sensor can notify you that a vehicle has entered your property by sounding a chime or ringing the house phone. You can use your surveillance camera to see if you recognize the guest or pretend you’re not home. Like most products that can talk to a security system, hardwired and wireless models are available.
Dakota Alert Driveway Sensor and Alarm
Built with many of the same features as a traditional intercom system, a digital phone system lets you communicate easily with other members of your family. From a handset in the kitchen you can dial the extension of a phone in an in-law’s bedroom to be sure they’re doing alright. The phone extensions can even work as baby monitors. By activating the monitoring feature, you can listen in on a sleeping baby from any other phone in the house. These phones can also tie into a communications station at the front door so you can speak with a visitor before welcoming him or her into your house. They may not tie in directly with a security system, but they’re a great complementary piece. Some security systems have this feature built in, so you can communicate directly from the same keypad you use to arm or disarm the system.
Savant’s Telephony System
Placed by the sump pump, washing machine and beneath sinks, water sensors can signal a security system whenever they detect moisture. You can have the security system notify you by text or email, sounding a chime, or even turning off the water supply. Temperature sensors, freeze sensors and humidity sensors can communicate other potentially harmful environmental conditions to your security system.
We’re not referring to the DVR you use to record your favorite programs. Available for security purposes are DVRs that record images captured by surveillance cameras. You can have the cameras record continuously, which takes up more space on the hard drive, or only when the camera detects motion. If the DVR has a built-in web server, you can view the recordings remotely on your smartphone, computer or other mobile device.
Most security systems come with an alarm that activates in the event of an emergency. In some cases it’s wise to add other noise-making elements or devices to the system. A chime that rings when somebody opens the gate to the swimming pool area provides a great heads-up. You might also add a siren to the backyard to scare away intruders, and another to keep track of your kids by beeping when any exterior door opens.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.