Home Security Systems

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania in the 1960s. We had a nice house with a
 fenced-in yard, on property in the shadow of the Appalachian mountain 
range. Our homestead was secured with an F&amp;B security system.<br><br>Fritz,
 a beautiful German shepherd, patrolled the interior of our mini estate.
 Our surly bulldog Brutus guarded the yard tenaciously. Yep, no one got 
by them. If someone even looked at the house, the barking and carrying 
on clued us in. Honeywell

Steve Maurer, IME

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania in the 1960s. We had a nice house with a fenced-in yard, on property in the shadow of the Appalachian mountain range. Our homestead was secured with an F&B security system.

Fritz, a beautiful German shepherd, patrolled the interior of our mini estate. Our surly bulldog Brutus guarded the yard tenaciously. Yep, no one got by them. If someone even looked at the house, the barking and carrying on clued us in.

Even if we were gone, we'd know someone tried to break in. The chewed-up sneaker or torn patch of blue jean pocket were dead giveaways.

Home security systems have undergone many reincarnations over the years. Yes, I still have a pooch. But, modern tech takes home security to a higher level of efficiency than ever before.

In fact, today's systems go way beyond light sensors and timers for yard lights and table lamps. Or even further than manually armed break-in alarms and smoke detectors. It boggles the mind to see how technologies cooperate in unison to make homes safe and sound ... almost fully automated to boot.

You don't even need to be home to set up and monitor your security. The good old Internet lets you keep tabs on everything via your smartphones and tablets.

You can set a regular timer for turning lights on and off. Or, fire them up on demand to give that "someone's home" look. Even from your mom-in-laws house.

Every aspect of home security links together ... even surveillance video. Want to check who's at the door? Well, there's an app for that, as they used to say not too awful long ago. Some systems even have face recognition built in!

For a long time, security system components had to be cabled together, running to a central location or "command center." Great fodder for mystery shows.

"Omigosh, the video's down ... somebody's cut the cable!"

Now, entire systems can be installed wirelessly in just a few hours. The information is beamed directly to any handheld mobile device you're holding. To any location in the world.

Not sure what Hollywood will do about that. Maybe the character will shout:

"Omigosh, the video's down ... darn cellphone batteries!"


So, what's on the horizon for home security tech? Actually, it's already arriving. Sure, you can set and monitor your home with the tap of a finger. But, how about the sound of your voice?

I recently bought what my wife lovingly calls "the toy box." I call it an important technology tool. It's a Google Home Mini that's at my beck and call, 24/7. Sure, I may check the temperature outside a dozen or more times a day.

And, get the stock report and sports scores any time I wish. Or play cool tunes.

But, voice-controlled home automation is possible already. Stuff like turning lights on and off. Or changing TV channels when no one's looking. But, coming soon to a device near you ... voice commands for your domicile's security hardware. Cool.

I can see it now ... "Hey, Alexa! I'm going to bed now. Could you set the alarm system for me?"

"Why, yes, Steve. Arming security system now. Have a nice sleep tonight, Steve."

"Yeah, whatever. You too, A ..."


Photo courtesy of Honeywell