Smart Home Security Versus… Dishonest Visitors

Have you ever opened your front door to a salesperson, only to end up thinking: there’s something weird going on here?

Maybe it was the questions that seemed too intrusive. Are you home all the time? When is a good time to come back and talk more? Maybe the person was uncomfortably insistent about coming inside to demonstrate a product. Or it was their company ID: it didn’t look right, or they couldn’t produce one at all.

Unfortunately, your instincts may have been correct. Not everyone who knocks on people’s front doors is who he says he is.

Who are these visitors?

It’s hard to say. It might just be an inept salesperson—or it could be a sophisticated burglar “casing” your house. This burglary tactic is all about finding out who’s home, whether there are times when no one will be home, what’s inside, and how secure your home is. How does smart security safeguard you?     

Our smart home security technology helps deter dishonest visitors and makes it easier for you to verify who’s at your door without putting yourself at risk. With smart, connected video technology, it can even help law enforcement catch a burglar.

Safeguard 1: Answer the door without opening it 

A Smartzone-powered doorbell camera is a safer and smarter way to find out who’s at the door.

When a visitor rings the bell, you can see them in HD video to visually verify them, and have a voice conversation with them via your smartphone. There’s no need to open the door, which makes it easier to politely but firmly end the conversation if a visitor seems suspicious.

In fact, you don’t even need to reveal whether you’re home or not. You can use your doorbell camera when you’re home, at work, or anywhere else—making your home appear occupied even when it isn’t.

Safeguard 2: The smart home security deterrent

Even before you answer your doorbell camera, there’s a strong chance of your Smartzone-powered security system stopping a burglar in his tracks.

Most burglars check for security systems when they’re looking for homes to target, and 60 percent of them will completely avoid a home that has one.

A connected security camera—either a doorbell camera or an outdoor camera—is a visible sign that your home is protected, while a yard sign from your Smartzone service provider indicates that your system is professionally monitored.

Safeguard 3: Fast video awareness with easy sharing

Your Smartzone-powered security cameras are a particularly effective deterrent because they help the Gardai enforcement track burglars down.

Unlike old video monitoring technology, Smartzone can alert you immediately when your cameras catch a motion-triggered clip of a visitor. It’s easy to download the clip to your smartphone, and you can forward the footage as easily as sending a photo.

If you think you’ve captured a dishonest visitor on video, your local Garda Station will be pleased to receive the footage. Burglars often return to the same neighborhood over and over, and a video clip can be the breakthrough that police need to identify and catch them.

Want to know more? 

Contact us today on 0818 222 926.

Smartzone, Powered by Alarm.com.

Smartzone Experience Centre is now open in Douglas Court Shopping Centre

Smartzone Scenes: A Smarter Way to Get Things Done

Smartzone Scenes: A Smarter Way to Get Things Done

To make the most of life’s important moments, we need to get the other stuff done.

It’s as true for small events as it is for the grandest, most carefully-planned family vacation.

Take the humble movie night, for example: an everyday occasion that nonetheless requires a flurry of multitasking in advance. Once the kids are tucked into bed, you’ll need to check that the front and back doors are locked. The shades need to be down. Your downstairs lights need to be off, the thermostat needs to go down a couple of degrees, and you should also turn the alarm on for the night now that everyone’s settled.

If only there was a magic button for this sort of thing.

Scenes make complicated tasks simple.

Your Alarm.com app comes with four Scene buttons. Each one is a multi-device command that coordinates different smart devices to accomplish a complex task.

To secure your house when you leave, just tap the  ‘Away’ Scene. Your smart security system will arm itself, your front door will lock, your garage will close and your thermostat will set back to save energy.

Ready for bed? Tap the ‘Sleep’ Scene. Your home will secure itself with “Arm Stay” status, and your thermostat will dial down or switch to the bedroom temperature sensor for a comfortable night.

Got your hands full? Just say the word.

Your Alarm.com app isn’t the only way to run a Scene. You can also use your voice.

Siri Shortcut Alarm.com Dinnertime
Our Alexa and Siri voice control options give you a new level of convenience and control when you’re multitasking inside or outside your home. Ready to start the day? Just ask Alexa to tell Alarm.com to wake up.

It’s easy to customize and create new Scenes.

Your house; your rules; your Scenes. Every home and family is different, which is why we made it easy to customize, alter and create your own Scenes.

You can add a porch light to your existing Home scene for a bright welcome, or add your downstairs lights to your Sleep scene to have them turn off automatically.

For other tasks and occasions, you can create new Scenes from scratch and have them appear in your app. You can include actions for your security system, smart locks, garage door, lights, smart thermostat and even your home’s water supply.

Want to get things done faster with Alarm.com Scenes? 

Our top-rated smart home app and its Scenes are part of the package when you choose smart home security powered by Alarm.com. Delivered by Smartzone, it’s the easy way to enjoy smart home technology and keep your family protected.

There’s No Substitute for Professional Security Monitoring

When an emergency strikes, everyone needs help.

It doesn’t matter how brave or capable or dedicated you are.

Take Alarm.com user Benjamin. He’s all of the above. When his security system alerted him to a fire in his house, he ran inside without hesitation to rescue his two dogs, trapped in an upstairs room.

What he didn’t need to do was stop and call the fire department first. His professional monitoring service had it covered. As Benjamin sprang into action, firefighters were already on their way to save his and his neighbor’s townhomes. Here’s his story.

Instead of having to hesitate, dial 999 and talk to a dispatcher, Benjamin was able to focus on getting everyone to safety. In an emergency at your home, that’ll be your first instinct too.

That’s why you need a Smartzone security monitoring, and why it’s included with every Smartzone security system.

In a fire or break-in at your home, an Alarm.com-powered system sends an emergency signal, via a dedicated mobile connection, to a monitoring station staffed 24/7 with trained security professionals. They’ll quickly assess the situation and alert your local law enforcement or fire department.

With Smartzones new Smart Signal feature, you can even send an emergency signal to your monitoring station from your phone if you’re in danger. They’ll take care of the rest while you get your family to safety.

Don’t get us wrong: smartphone alerts and real-time awareness are home security essentials too. Just ask Benjamin’s dogs. For complete protection for your family and home, however, professional security is always the smartest choice.

How do I get professional monitoring?

Getting the best protection for your family is easy with an Alarm.com service provider. Smartzone home security experts who can quickly design, install and configure a complete smart security system for your home. Professional monitoring is always included.

 

Four Ways to Use a Smartzone Image Sensor

 

Tom and Jerry. Chips and curry. You and your significant other. Great partnerships make the world a better place.

Take the Smartzone powered by Alarm.com Image Sensor. A partnership between a motion sensor and a connected camera, it keeps you safe, protects your property, and shows you what’s happening at home for instant peace of mind.

Unlike security cameras, Image Sensors capture photos, not video. They also don’t need wires or Wi-Fi, making them easy to install virtually anywhere in your home. Recently enhanced with better night vision and image resolution, these versatile smart home security devices have more uses than ever.

1: See and capture important activity


Did the postman just open your gate, or was it an intruder? Is that your wife in the garage, or did your two-year old finally reach the door handle? With an Image Sensor on guard, Alarm.com can send an instant snapshot to your phone when activity occurs, enabling you to act quickly if necessary, or relax.

In a fire or break-in, your Image Sensors take a stream of pictures automatically and upload them securely to Alarm.com’s cloud via cellular connection. As one Alarm.com user found out after a fire, visual evidence makes a huge difference.

2: Check in on home anytime


From 
checking in after school to confirming that holiday home is ok after a storm, Image Sensors offer on-demand peace of mind when you can’t be there in person.

Checking in is easy: just open your Smartzone App or dashboard, choose an Image Sensor, and request a snapshot. If you need to see a specific activity, like your kids arriving home, you can also create Image Sensor alerts activated by other devices—in this case, your smart lock or security panel.

3: Activate other smart devices


Because they’re 
powered by Alarm.com, Image Sensors can activate other smart devices on your behalf, enabling your house to respond automatically when an Image Sensor detects motion.

Want to make your porch less attractive to prowlers at night? An Alarm.com-powered smart light, triggered by an Image Sensor’s night-time motion sensors, will do the trick.

4: Stay in the know when there’s no Wi-Fi


With cellular technology on board, Alarm.com Image Sensors don’t need Wi-Fi or broadband. This makes them ideal for keeping tabs on out-of-the way areas at home, or on a holiday home without broadband service.

Even if there’s a power outage, your Image Sensors will keep on working—just like your Alarm.com-powered security panel.

Want to protect your home with Image Sensors? 

Image Sensors are sold exclusively by Smartzone as part of a smart home security system, and can be quickly installed alongside other smart devices like locks, security cameras, video doorbells and more.

Setting up Heating Schedules

Setting up Heating Schedules

Setting up Heating schedules allow you set up times and temperatures for each zone so you always wake up or come home to a warm house and keeps it at a lower temperature when you’re out of the house or asleep to save you money. This is how you set up your Heating Schedules:

 

1 – Login to alarm.com using your login details

This will bring you to your Home page (see example below).

 

2 – Choose any thermostat by selecting the arrow on the top right

This will bring you into the administration site for thermostats.

3 – Choose Schedules on the top orange bar

On the top left choose the Thermostat you wish to change (‘Living Thermostat’ selected here).

 

4 – Choose number of days

At the bottom of the page you see you have a choice of selecting 5 +2 or 7 day. If you select 5 & 2 then you get one setting for weekdays and 1 setting for weekends (as above)

If you select 7 days you can change temperature for 7 days (see below)

5 – Choosing number of time bands

The other option you have is 2 or 4 settings per day. Two settings is often just used for Home or Away and 4 settings could be for Home in morning and evening, ‘Away’ during the day and ‘Sleep’ as in example No. 4.

 

6 – To Set the Heating Schedule (Times and Temperatures)

To set the heating schedule you simply drag the end of each time band back or forward to the time that suits your needs and amend the temperature with arrows above. Arrows to the right will increase the temperature and arrows to the left will decrease the temperature.

7 – Save your Settings

Scroll down to the end and click Save.

You will get a pop up message saying Scheduled changes have been saved.

8 – Copying the Schedule

Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

If you have more than 1 zone you will need to set up the Time and Temperature for each Thermostat. You can do this the same way as in example No. 6.

You can then do the same for other Thermostats or just simply Copy the Schedule as per the example below and you’ll receive a message confirming your changes have been made.

9 – Heating boost

Finally, if you want to boost your heating the simplest way is from the App.

 

Heating Control from the App.

 

To Control the Heating

  1. Go to the Alarm.com app
  2. Go to Thermostats (assuming Heat Mode is on)
  3. Select the zone you want to change ie Upstairs
  4. The current temperature is displayed on the top right where it says ‘Current’.

The target temperature is displayed in the middle

  1. To increase the temperature select the Up arrow and bring the temperature higher than the Current temperature
  2. To decrease the temperature select the ‘Down’ arrow and bring the temperature lower than the Current temperature
  3. The temperature will return to the schedule when the schedule changes

 

You’ll Relax Better This Summer with Professional Monitoring

The warm weather has arrived. Summer plans are starting to come together. Between your kids’ activities, days out with all the family and summer holiday plans, you’re going to be away from home more.

For peace of mind, maybe you’re considering installing a smart device so you’ll know about suspicious activity at home when you’re not there. Connected cameras can send you smartphone alerts, for example. There are even security solutions with activity sensors that alert you if a door or window opens.

Peace of mind, one alert at a time. Right?

Or is there something missing here? Consider these questions:

1: Will you catch every alert?  

What if there’s a break-in at home, and you get an alert—but you miss it? What if you’re swimming, or at the movies with your family, with your phone on “do not disturb”? Maybe you’re on an airplane, or just taking a nap?

2: Will you respond to every alert?


Investigating every alert for suspicious activity isn’t easy. You can get overwhelmed, especially with standalone services that don’t understand enough contexts to recognize harmless activity like a cleaner entering your home.

If you’re holidaying, meanwhile, would you know what to do if you spotted suspicious activity at home? If you’re overseas, for example, dialling 999 won’t connect you to your local law enforcement or fire department.

3: Is there a better way to protect your home? 

Don’t get us wrong: smartphone alerts from home are great. They can let you know that everything is going okay at home, or that you need to call and check in with your teen.

For a real emergency, however, you need professional security monitoring.

Every Smartzone smart security system includes this service.  No matter where you are, or what time of day or night it is, you’ll have a trained security professional ready and waiting to respond to an alarm signal from your home by alerting your local law enforcement or fire department on your behalf.

Alarm.com technology comes with other proactive safeguards too. You’ll get crash and smash protection, our dedicated cellular connection and our Insights Engine.

What about smart devices? You can incorporate a full range of those too, like a video doorbell to deter and identify suspicious visitors, a smart lock to protect your deliveries, and smart smoke detectors for better safety.

For peace of mind this summer and all year round, there’s no better solution.

Do I Need a Security System If I Have a Dog?

Just about everyone is happy to see a dog—except for burglars, that is.

When a burglar has a choice between a home with a dog and a home without a dog, the dog-free house will typically end up as the target.

Does that mean that you should forgo a security system because you own a dog? Not exactly. Let’s compare the two and see.

1: How reliably do they alert you to trouble?

 

Dogs have amazing senses, with their sharp ears and superior scents-ability. Much like a security system, a dog can alert you right away to an intruder on your property. The downside of this is, to your dog, many everyday visitors count as intruders.

“Squirrel!”  “Postman!” “Neighbour!” They’re all excuses for your dog to start barking.

smart home security system does it better. Like a dog, it’s proactive when an intruder is detected—but it’s far better at discerning a genuine intruder from a harmless everyday event, thanks to its use of intelligence from all around the home.

Equally important, if there’s a break-in, a Smartzone-powered security system can alert a 24-7 monitoring station for professional help.

The verdict: Until dogs get their own dedicated cellular connections, smart home security wins this round.

 

2: How well do they keep burglars out?

Burglars avoid homes with security systems. 60 percent will go elsewhere if they see one. Add a smart security camera and you have a formidable deterrent.

Of course, most burglars don’t want to meet your dog, either. Should they spot dog toys in the garden or hear muffled barking, many will move along.

Deterrence aside, though, there are some things a dog can’t help with. For example, one-third of all burglaries are cases of unlawful entry—a burglar entering through an unlocked door or window. With proactive reminders and remote locking, an Alarm.com-powered security system can save the day when you’re in a rush and forget to secure the house.

Winner: Dogs and security systems are both great deterrents, but a dog can’t send you a smartphone alert if you forget to lock up. Smart home security wins this round.

 

3: How tamper-resistant are they? 

How does canine security hold up if an experienced burglar targets your home? It’s not unknown for a burglar to arrive with food to distract a dog, for example. While a specially trained dog may hold his ground, most dogs will scamper away after their prize.

Meanwhile, a lawbreaker will need more than a steak to defeat a smart home security system. Even if they take a hammer to your security panel, Alarm.com’s Crash and Smash technology can still alert your home’s 24-7 monitoring station.

Winner: Engineered to meet rigorous life safety standards and immune to temptation, the smart security system wins this one hands-down.

 

4: Which one is more fun?

You can have fun with a smart home security system. Checking in on your kids from work is fun; so is showing off your smart lights and your video doorbell to your neighbours.

Let’s be real though: it’ll never take the place of that furry, wiggling, licking goofball that always loves you, no matter what.

Winner: Sorry, security system: this one goes to the dog.