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If you are new to having a smart home, you definitely want to know how to to get the most out of home automation. Home automation is one of the most exciting advances in home technologies ever, and also the most useful. A well designed and integrated smart home system offers so much more than mere convenience; it also offers improved home security, increased energy savings, and allows you to manage safety as well as provides greater insights on daily activities at home. But, you need to know how.

1: Have a System Designed to Meet Your Needs

The first and most important step in getting the most out of home automation is to have the system professionally designed to meet your needs. A professionally installed system will cover all of your needs and concerns and gear them to the specifications of your home. This will ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, motion sensors, security cameras and locks are all exactly where they are most needed. It will also ensure that all your expectations are met, whether it is being able to access security footage remotely, or having 24/7 monitoring. Professionally installed systems also ensure compatibility among products in a constantly evolving industry.

2: Invest in the Right Products

There are a ton of home automation options on the market, and all of them are compelling. That doesn’t mean they will all serve your unique needs. Look for smart devices and services that truly benefit you. For example, smart thermostats and smart lighting are convenient and provide energy and money savings and that is a high priority. For another, being able to access as many systems as possible remotely may not be a convenience, but a matter of necessity. Opt in to what meets your needs.

3: Program it Properly

Ok, so early versions of smart home technologies were complex and difficult to program. But that is not true today. In fact, smart home technologies are so smart that you can easily program your preferences into the system and have the system itself learn your usage patterns and adjust accordingly.

4: Think of Each Element as a Tool

When you think of each individual element of home automation as a tool, you start to think of all of the ways it can be used. Smart lighting goes from just turning on lights in the morning and off at light to being used as a crime deterrent, and safety feature. Motion sensors go from detecting intruders to monitoring the movements of the sick or infirmed.

5: Choose the Right Company

To get the most out of home automation, you need a company with great service and support. The industry is always evolving and offering new options and a reputable company with experienced technicians will help you stay ahead of the trends.

Your life is individual, and your home automation and security system should be, too. Security Instrument Corp. Offers a full line of electronic security, life safety, and home automation products and services and unparalleled support.
With Headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, Security Instrument owns and operates it’s own state of the art, UL listed, Factory Mutual Approved Central Station delivering personalized, comprehensive, monitoring, information, and support services 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

We’re in the thick of the storm season, making this the perfect time to talk about environmental protection with the help of your security system. Whether it’s a thunderstorm or bonafide hurricane conditions, harsh weather is risky weather. It can get unsafe outside, and homeowners need all the help they can to secure their homes and families.

Help for Protecting Loved Ones

Your smart home security system can indeed help. With real-time weather alerts that come straight from the National Weather Service, we send notifications to your security panel and smartphone so you can get ahead of what’s about to happen outside. Ideally, it will give you time to make sure the whole family’s safe in the house or another shelter location. Likewise, you’ll receive an alert when these weather conditions have passed.

Help for Protecting Homes

First, you want to protect your family; next, you want to protect your home. Smart home security systems protect both. Your home can be spared the damage that comes with leaky roofs, frozen pipes, and other byproducts of severe weather. The features that enable this are the low temperature alerts (to alert you to impending freezing) and water detection (to alert you to possible flooding on the floor). With the low temperature alert, you can heat the basement near the pipes to keep them from freezing, with the goal being to prevent the pipes from freezing. With the water detection, you can avoid paying thousands of dollars to repair flooded rooms in the home.

Environmental protection isn’t just for the outdoors; it’s for inside the home as well. To learn more about a smart home security system that provides this, contact Security Instrument for a free home security consultation.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous home security options, including security systems for senior citizens. In Delaware Valley, Security Instrument serves thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The Superbowl only happens once a year, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to take a day off from home security. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep your home securely monitored when you have a home control system.

If you have an outdated alarm system at home, there’s only so much it can do on a big day like the Superbowl. Having friends over? Don’t forget to disarm the system before they come in, using your “last generation” alarm keypad. With a home control system, you can disarm the alarm with a tap on your phone – and you don’t even need to be home to do it! Arm your system when you run out for game day snacks or go to church in the morning, and then disarm it as you pull back into the driveway. When company’s coming over and the pressure is on to get everything “just right,” that’s the kind of convenience a home control security system offers.

PREVENT AN OPEN HOUSE CATASTROPHE

And the convenience doesn’t stop once everyone arrives. The Superbowl tends to be an occasion that lends itself to “open house” style parties, whether or not the host says it is.

Before you know it, your friends have brought their friends – and you don’t know half the people on your property. That’s when your home control security system can be a life saver.

Without ever getting off the couch, you can check on that couple who wandered out into the backyard or the kids who are spending a little too much time near the baby’s room. You can find out what they’re doing discreetly and proceed as you see fit, thanks to your convenient home control app.

WATCH AWAY FROM HOME IN COMFORT

But what if you’re watching the Superbowl from the local sports bar? Arm your system with your phone before you leave, and rest assured that anyone who’s been staking out the house is going to get a noisy reality check if they try to break in. You can even check on your live video from the comfort of your bar stool. For this year’s Superbowl, you’ll have the safest fun you’ve had in years thanks to your home control security system. To learn more, contact Security Instrument for a home security consultation.

ABOUT SECURITY INSTRUMENT

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

We all know that smart home technologies are widely available, affordable and effective, but can they also save you money?  Yes, and in ways you may not have guessed. Here are 4 reasons to opt into smart home and automation technologies.

Smart Thermostats

Investing in a smart thermostat is a smart, cost-saving decision for a number of reasons. Heating and cooling account for nearly half of a home’s energy costs, so getting that under control can provide substantial savings. Smart thermostats can do this by learning your usage and preferences and adjust accordingly so you are never heating and cooling unnecessarily. You can also use it to turn on your heating or cooling from afar, so you can adjust the temperature just before you get home, rather than leaving it on all day so that you can come home to a comfortable home.

Smart Lighting

Smart lighting lets you upgrade your space with features such as motion sensors, dimmers, and app access, but even better -these features save money on your utility bill.

  • Using LED lighting, dimmers save money on a 1:1 ratio so dimming 50%  reduces energy usage by 50%.
  • Motion sensors ensure that lights go off when not in use and on when you need them.
  • App Control provides a way to turn off and on lights from anywhere, so you can still return home to a well-lit home without having to leave them on while away.

Remote Power Management

We’d probably be quite surprised if we could add up all of the wasted energy we use and measure it against our actual needful usage. Leaving lights, fans, electronics, appliances, and things like curling irons is a huge and costly waste. Energy consumption by televisions and other electronics that are in the “always on” mode (but look off) is also a big contributor of wasted energy. With smart home technology, you can control all of these things from an app on your smartphone or tablet, and precisely manage your energy use.

Pro Tip: Energy consumption by televisions and other electronics that are in the “always on” mode (but look off) is also a big contributor of wasted energy.

 

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

It may seem like a small thing, but when all of the peripheral things are working efficiently, automatically, and smartly then you can, too. By using these things as a tool you can keep yourself on track, on time, and motivated. For example, using lighting and temperature controls can help you wake up on time, while enabled appliances are already at work so that you can get to work more quickly. You can also eliminate distractions with smart technologies like video doorbells so that you can accomplish your tasks without interruptions. All of these things ultimately make and save you money.

Adopting smart technologies for a truly connected home not only puts a lot of cool features and conveniences in your hand, it keeps money in your pocket.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently owned security firm, serving Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland with safety, security, and smart home technologies.

If you have kids you know the chaos of getting everyone out the door on time or managing daily routines so chores and schoolwork get done. As the kids get older, the schedule gets even more demanding as they add things like extracurricular activities and time with their friends to the already taxed weekly schedule. Making sure everything runs smoothly and optimally is a near impossible task and would take a team of people to get done. Fortunately, smart home technologies provide some great ways to tame a monster school schedule.

No More Snooze Alarm

If you have a reluctant student, getting them out of bed can be a long and unhappy process and one that can make them and everyone else in the house late. Get them out of bed and moving easily by using automation to turn on lights, open shades and turn on music for a wake-up they can’t ignore.

Did You Forget?

One of the most common and stress inducing parts of the morning rush is realizing that you forget to turn off the iron or coffee pot, or forgetting to lock the doors. Leaving it on or unlocked is not an option, but going back will definitely make you late—again. With smart home enabled devices, you can remotely turn off offending appliances or lock the doors from your smart phone or another internet connected device.

Make Areas Off Limits

If your kids get home before you do, they have time to get into things they shouldn’t. With access control, you can make certain places off limits and get a notification if anyone tries to gain access. This helps keep your kids, or their visiting friends out of harm’s way.

Unique Access Codes Let You know they are Home Safely

With unique access codes, you can know when each of your children gets home, and when. This prevents them from taking detours before getting homework done.

Know When or if They Leave

Are they leaving in enough time to make it to sports practice? Did they leave before their homework was done? Smart home technologies can help you manage the comings and goings by providing real time alerts if any enabled door or window is opened.

Do They have Friends Over?

If you are away at work or running errands, it is easy for your house to become the place everyone gathers to play Xbox instead of getting their homework done. You’ll know if your home is a gathering place with alerts that tell you that your doors are being opened an unusual number of times.

No Gaming Until Work is Done

Use smart technologies to help you remove the distraction of television or gaming systems by disabling them until work is done.

Video Systems Let You Keep an Eye on Things

With real-time video, you can check in anytime and see that everything is on track. Are chores getting done, is homework finished? Access to real-time video helps ensure that your student is keeping academics a priority.

If you are interested in learning more about how home automation and access control technologies can help you manage the complexities of back-to-school, give Security Instrument a call today.

After a relaxing summer break, the fall season hits many of us like a Mac truck. The schedules are suddenly filled with an increase of activities and responsibilities and end up a tangled mess with plenty of room for error. But before your fall season turns into something out of a horror movie, get everything under control using the tools afforded by home security and mobile control.

Competing Events

You have a teen that needs to be at cheerleading practice and a 4th grader who needs to be at an open house at the exact same time. Getting them there is the first problem. Getting them home is another. So, you take the younger to open house and have the teen ride with a friend to and from practice. When your oldest uses her own code to get into the house, you know she made it home safely.

Who Forgot to Lock the Door?

It happens. With everyone running out the door in one tidal wave of activity, something is bound not to get done. The problem is, some of those things that may get forgotten to be done can cause a real security risk; like not locking the door, or leaving the garage door open, or the stove on. Home automation and security technology help you make sure that forgetfulness doesn’t lead to disaster. An alert to your phone notifies you about the open garage, unlocked door, and the stove. With just a few taps, you can take care of all the issues from wherever you are without having to make the long trek back home.

Everything Else is Held Up Waiting on Someone Else

You’ve been waiting for hours for a visiting friend, family member, or service provider and waiting any longer could jeopardize your job. With secure entry from a smart lock, you can safely and easily let anyone in or out even if you are not home.

Keeping Everyone on Schedule

Keeping everyone on schedule because if one person is late, usually everyone else ends up late as well. By using home automation and mobile control you can prompt action and keep tasks moving along well. For example, use temperature control to create the best climate for sleeping or waking, have the lights come on to wake you up, and the coffee brewing so you can grab it on the way out.

When you use home security and mobile control technologies from Security Instrument, you never have to sacrifice time, convenience, or safety no matter how busy life gets.

Living in the golden age of technology has some serious advantages. In just a couple of decades, we have gone from relying on corded phones for just communication to tiny handheld computers capable of dozens of functions simultaneously and remotely. It seems like everything has gone mobile, including home security. Now, more than ever, it is possible to stay connected to the things that matter in life with home security, home automation, and mobile control technologies. But is there a reason to want to? Definitely.

You might think that the ability to control your home remotely is a high-tech luxury function, it is actually an affordable reality with great practical applications. Here are just a few examples of how mobile control makes life better.

Centralized Mobile Control

Managing a multitude of devices from one place is of enormous advantage. Instead of having to learn many separate processes, you learn one and control them all.

Easily Integrate New Devices and Appliances

As more companies manufacture an increasing number of enabled products, you are able to easily integrate them into your system. Integrating newcomers seamlessly means you can add or upgrade your devices and appliances at will, and always have complete control.

Mobile Control Maximizes Home Security

Having home security is a plus, but incorporating security, surveillance, and automation features into a remotely accessed network multiplies the benefits exponentially. Connecting security features such as smart locks, motion sensors, and surveillance cameras means you can react to suspicious activity immediately even if you are not home. As a productivity tool, mobile control allows users to streamline and automate processes so you can close the home down on your heels as you leave, or have it prepping for your arrival as it senses your approach, via geofencing.

Remote Control Home Functions

If you have ever forgotten to close the garage, lock the door, or turn off an appliance, you know how nice it would be to be able to do it from afar. With remote control, you can.

Increased Energy Efficiency

Mobile control also helps improve energy efficiency. You never need to leave heating or cooling on in order to come home to a comfortable home when you can do it remotely just before you return home. Even better, program HVAC, lights, and electronics to respond to schedules or triggers so you minimize energy usage.

Home Management Insights

Being able to control your home is one thing, but it also provides an additional benefit of gaining insights into how your home operates. Not only does it give you the opportunity to change your energy habits, but provide real data to help you analyze your own life and habits.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument brings security, convenience, and control all to one place. Contact us today for a free consultation.

As you might imagine, there are many things both business and residential customers fail to factor into their security and automation decisions. After all, we know our own areas of expertise and for many, security technologies are just not on the radar. Just like in any area of business or technology, it is usually what we don’t know that can cause the most problems.

Surprise! It isn’t About Technology

While there is a wealth of information needed to make educated decisions about a security system, much of the information that can help make a decision is available through (copious) product spec research. A professional technician is also a great resource for information that can help lead to wise decisions.

Most Never Think of This

Many security and automation buys are based on one thing—the cost. Usually, customers base a decision on the lowest price for what they believe comparable goods. What they fail to factor in is what those prices mean for them long-term. The price for any goods and service is based on many things and, of course, the cheaper the price the more corners that need to be cut in order for the business to be profitable. In the automation and security industry, there are some critical places that are usually the victim of cuts including the quality of product and service. When you are talking about something as critical as safety, any cut is a cut too many.

The Intrinsic Factor

Sometimes a higher price is just that—a higher price. Other times, a slightly higher upfront cost may mean something else, and something beneficial. Most consumers think of product to product price comparisons. In the security industry, there are other very serious factors that play a role in the cost of a system and services. In addition to the quality of product, there are other things that play a role such as having or not having things like:

  • Multiple locations
  • In-house CAD department
  • Multiple service vehicles
  • Dedicated IT staff
  • Owning and operating its own UL Listed, Mutual Approved Central Station for monitoring
  • Factory trained installation specialists
  • Swift response times
  • Fully accessible support

It Matters More Than We Realize

The service and support surrounding home and business security is just as important as the quality of product and not factoring in service offerings is one of the biggest mistakes security and automation customers make.

Unfortunately, security customers often buy a product without giving consideration to the service. This is a huge problem because unlike many other common products the level of effectiveness, down time, service wait times all seriously impact usefulness, and ultimately the cost of having a security or automation system.

Security Instrument Corp. is committed to integrity and responsible business practices and invests in strengthening its capacity to serve clients with excellence.

It is easy to understand why someone would want to own property in Delaware and just as easy to understand why it draws so many vacationers. Delaware is blessed by geography with rolling hills, lush wooded areas, and coastal expanses. It has the perfect mix for adventure and relaxation, which makes it the perfect place to own a vacation home. That does not mean that it comes without some effort, however. Owning a vacation rental property is its own small business, and sometimes owning that business can feel like a monumental task. Caring for a property when you are not always on-site is tricky, yet it is important to ensure the safety and comfort of your guests by keeping the home safe and preventing problems.

Use this list of security essentials to help you keep your guests safe and manage your property.

Get to Know the Neighbors

It may seem simple, and it is, but having a relationship with your neighbors is essential when it comes to vacation home security. Neighbors can keep an eye on the property and inform you of any problems.

Pro Tip: Work with a security company that understands the special needs of the vacation home market and utilize features that help secure the property without infringing on privacy.

Never Provide a Clear View into the Home

Avoid giving potential burglars a clear view into the home by leaving curtains open, especially for long periods when the house is unoccupied.

Orient the Guest to Security

Provide clear instructions to your guests about security.  Include positive reasons to follow the instructions such as keeping their security code private ensures that no one else can come in while they are off on an adventure.

Opt in to Smart Locks

Smart locks remove the hassle from passing around keys and increase visitor safety. By using smart locks, you can provide long-term access to someone like a neighbor or property manager, or short-term to guests.

Install a Video Doorbell

A video doorbell is another smart security feature for vacation homes. This feature serves as a crime deterrence and provides the owner greater oversight when the property is empty.

Add Motion Activated and Smart Lights

Motion activated lighting is a great convenience to guests who are not as familiar to the home. If the guest gets up or comes back after dark, they do not have to fumble looking for a light switch. Smart lighting is helpful, too, in making the home look occupied at all times as well as helping minimize electricity bills.

Add a Security Alarm System

Some vacation home owners feel hesitant about installing a home security system because they fear it may give visitors the wrong impression. Security systems can be a huge advantage to guests and an owner, however. Work with a security company that understands the special needs of the vacation home market and utilize features that help secure the property without infringing on privacy. Consider adding things that help both you and the renter, such as:

  • Outdoor security cameras and remote monitoring
  • Smart locks
  • Smoke/ fire/ carbon monoxide detectors
  • Temperature monitoring
  • Flood detection
  • Generator supervision
  • Z-wave home control

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security firm serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. We understand the needs and challenges of vacation home ownership and work with clients to accommodate their schedules for installation and service.

Delaware has a lot to offer and in the summer months, the state swells with vacationers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Washington, DC and other nearby areas. If you own a vacation home, the season probably brings to mind home security and ensuring your guests feel protected. In addition to being an important rental attraction, home security and home automation can serve you and your vacation home all year.

Protecting Guests and Providing Convenience

One of the most important factors in having a rental home is making it as attractive as possible to potential renters and increased safety and convenience top the list of desirable features. Simple niceties such as having the lights come on when motion is detected can make a renter’s visit memorable when it comes to planning their next visit. Conveying the appearance of a well-secured property not only tells potential criminals that the home is not an easy target, it tells renters that you pay attention to details and care about their wellbeing.

Pro Tip: Simple niceties such as having the lights come on when motion is detected can make a renter’s visit memorable when it comes to planning their next visit.

 

Increasing Security is For You, Too

Burglars target vacation homes frequently because these homes are often unoccupied for extended periods of time. While they may not contain the types and quantity of items of a fully occupied home, burglars know that it still contains plenty of valuables they can turn for a quick and easy buck.

Home security systems make vacation properties less attractive to thieves, some polls reveal by up to 60%.  Of course, when those homes are occupied they are even less attractive. Smart home technologies address security needs on both fronts and keep away troublemakers by making the home look occupied. Using Z-Wave technology to set up customized lighting scenes, to turn on, dim, and turn off lights at varied intervals owners can make it look like someone is in the home.

Security Systems Also Provide Weekday and Off-Season Oversight

Having a vacation home can be a source of enjoyment, but worrying about the property when you are away can steal the joy. This is because so many things can go wrong in the blink of an eye and since you are not at the property you may not be aware of a problem in enough time to correct it before it causes major and costly damage. That is enough to cause anyone stress.

Fortunately, there are smart affordable solutions that keep homeowners in the know, 24/7. The ability to check-in on the home at will with remote video is a huge benefit, so you know the status of the home and any activity. As the seasons change, there are additional benefits that can alert you to problems and protect your home from common damage causing problems, such as leaks and frozen pipes. Features like flood detection, temperature monitoring, and generator supervision address many of the issues vacation homeowners face.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security firm serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. We understand the needs and challenges of vacation home ownership and work with clients to accommodate their schedules for installation and service.