Home safe home: Home security companies use latest innovations — including the Cox Home Security system — to introduce next generation in protection.
When I was growing up watching “The Jetsons,” I always wondered if I would live long enough to have some of George Jetson’s cool gadgets.
I don’t know if it’s that I’m getting old or if technology has caught up and exceeded our imagination, but I have lived long enough to see some of George Jetson’s gadgets come to life. I FaceTime with my family in New York. Every airport has moving floors and sidewalks. And now I’m using Jetsons-esque gadgets and technology in a home that was built before television — home to “The Jetsons” — was even invented.
My Cox Home Security system has turned my downtown Phoenix historic home — built in 1918 — into a 21st-century Smart Home. Using an app on my smartphone, the system gives me the ability to adjust thermostats, turn lights on and off, arm an disarm the security system, and monitor the house using four surveillance cameras. I can do that from anywhere in the world.
While it’s really cool to have the ability to crank up the heat before I leave work so the house will be nice and toasty when I get home, and it’s really funny to use the surveillance cameras to watch my dog get on the bed the moment I leave for work, it’s the practicality of knowing my home is safe that is the biggest benefit of a home security system.
The Department of Justice says if robber is worried that he’s going to set off an alarm when he kicks in your door, he is less likely to break into your home. So just having the home security sign in my front yard is a deterrent.
But 21st-century home security systems offer more than more than just a sign in your front yard and a loud alarm that goes off to scare off would-be robbers. Companies like Cox, ADT, FrontPoint, Titan Alarm, and Integrated Protective Systems are using the latest technology to keep homes out of harm’s way.
Cox Arizona is the latest company to enter the protection business after in unveiled Cox Home Security in April. Cox’s new service allows its customers to both monitor their homes and keep their loved ones safe.
“The new Cox Home Security system uses advanced technology to connect customers at the level of their choice with options that bring home security right to their fingertips,” said Steve Rizley, senior vice president and general manager for Cox Arizona.
In addition to safety, the home security system acts as a remote personal assistant, connecting Cox customers to their home appliances and thermostats, enabling customers to save on energy bills through programming while monitoring the use of energy throughout the entire home. Cox Home Security also monitors carbon monoxide and home smoke detectors, alerting homeowners via email or text when levels are unsafe. The system also automatically dispatches fire emergency officials to the scene.
The 24/7 secure monitoring systems feature:
- Intrusion and home safety monitoring (includes fire, gas and flood)
- Remote access so the system can be controlled away from home
- Email/text alerts to notify customers of occurrences at the home
- Safety sensors to detect hazardous conditions such as carbon monoxide and smoke
- Secure video surveillance available via smartphone or computer
- Control of home functions such as lighting and temperature
To give you a sense of what the peace of mind of having a high-tech home security system will cost you, Cox’s system is free with a $99 installation and three-year contract with service plans starting at $29.99 for existing Cox customers.
While I have used security system’s cameras to mostly watch my dog do nothing while I am at work all day, the benefits have been immeasurable:
- I avoided a possible disaster when I left for a trip to New York and saw that I’d left my back door cracked open. I was able to make a quick call to a friend who was able to go over and get the house locked up.
- Having the ability to remotely control the thermometers in my house has lowered my heating and cooling bills by more that 20 percent.
- The value of the security system illustrated itself when I got an email alert that someone had unexpectedly entered the house while I was gone. I was able to view the surveillance camera and see that it was my pest control guy who had come for an unscheduled treatment, but if it had been a would-be robber, he would have been caught red-handed.
I love my neighborhood, but in the year preceding the installation of my Cox Home Security system, I had three bikes stolen and another attempted break-in. In the six months since the system has been installed, there have been no incidents. And it’s saved me money on my utility bills.
Now THAT’S a Smart Home.