If you have children, then home security is always at the forefront of your mind – especially when your kids are at home alone or under the watch of family or babysitters.
When you are looking at home security solutions, the fact that you do have children in the house should change your priorities. Here are 4 home security must have features for your household.Photo by: West Midlands Police – Help residents fit internal door alarms – Flickr.com
1. Police Notifications
When it comes to your children, safe is better than sorry, so when an alarm is tripped, you should definitely be notified right away. However, if the alarm has detected a fire or anything that is likely more than a false alarm, setup your system to notify the police or fire department right away. This might just save you a few minutes in the confusion of an alarm, but if those minutes could save your child’s life, they are certainly worth it. See ADT Home Alarm Systems for more information.
2. Remote Access
With kids, remote access via a mobile phone app or the web is crucial for a number of reasons. Kids have a mind of their own – what if they forget to arm the security system when they leave? Remote access lets you check in and take care of that with peace of mind. What if the kids arrive home and can’t remember their passcode? Or accidentally set off the alarm and can’t get it turned off? By having an adult with remote access, you can squash these problems without a rushed drive back to the home to take care of them yourself. You can also remotely lock/unlock doors to allow babysitters in without having to meet them, or send a relative or neighbour over to check on the kids and let them in without your presence. Some systems like these guys have home security cameras that can be viewed from your smartphone for extra peace of mind.
Photo by: Matt Holland – Phone Access Code – Flickr.com
3. Individual PIN Codes
Almost all systems these days have the option for each member in the household to have their own PIN code or password to allow home entry and exit. Make sure your system does and educate your children on how to use it. Why are individual PIN codes useful? You can setup the system to notify you when a certain child has unlocked the system, letting you know they are home safe – complete with a video snapshot if you’d like; or conversely, have the system alert you if a child has not arrived home.
Individual PIN codes also help children take ownership of the system and encourage them to memorize their own secret ‘key’ to unlock the door. You can even arrange the system in some cases to alert you first before police if a child’s PIN code has been used incorrectly several times, allowing you to halt a false alarm.
4. Text Message Notifications
We’ve mentioned this briefly above, but it’s worth calling out this feature on its own, because it’s so useful for busy parents. Some security systems offer robust notification systems, and you’ll want to choose the system that has notifications that work best for you. Most parents prefer text message systems – then, notices don’t get lost in emails, and texts can usually be picked up quickly so you can decide how urgent a response is warranted. Some companies, if they know you have children in the home, will call you and/or the children if you haven’t responded to the text within a certain timeframe, just to verify everything is ok.
Every family is different, so make sure that you pick a security system that works for you!