8 Ways Smart Home Technologies Help Simplify Back-to-School Routines in NJ

Every parent wants to pave the way to academic success for their children in every aspect of their lives. The first element of this is taking the chaos out of managing routines. Today, parents are using home automation to help them manage daily routines, and ease their worry about the safety and wellbeing of their children after school.

With life getting increasingly busy and more mobile, using smart home technologies to simplify daily routines just makes sense. Here are some ways you can use your home security and home automation systems to make the daily school routine a breeze.

Up on Time—Getting kids up and out of bed can be a long process that takes you away from other things you need to get done to prepare for the day. Smart home technologies can help make the process quick and easy by scheduling lights on, blinds up, and music to help facilitate the process.

Lights Off and Doors Locked— In the rush of getting out the door, it is easy to forget important things like locking the door or turning off the coffee pot. Using smart technologies allows you turn off enable appliances or lock doors remotely, so you never have to turn back in traffic or worry all day that the door may not be locked.

Keep Areas Off Limits—You want to keep your teen and their visiting friends safe even if you are not yet home. Access control and alerts can make certain areas off limits, and alert you if someone has tried to gain access.

Did They Make it Home—Unique access codes and real time alerts allow you to know which child got home and when. Not only does it provide peace of mind knowing they are home, it prevents them from taking unscheduled detours.

Know When They Leave—Smart home technologies can help you manage the coming and going of your busy teen. Real time alerts will let you know if they left in enough time to make it to band practice or if they left without permission.

Are There Friends Over—With real time alerts, you can tell if the door is opening an unusual number of times, something that could indicate your home is Grand Central Station.

Cut Off TV or Game Time— Making sure that homework is done and that your student is to bed on time is much easier when you are using smart technologies. With smart enabled devices you simply schedule an off time.

Keep an Eye on Things—Video surveillance systems and remote real-time viewing provide just the tools you need to keep an eye on things, even if you are not home. Is homework done? Did the chores get done? Now you will know.

If you have any questions about security and automation systems in NJ, or how they can help you manage the crush of back-to-school, give us a call today.

Video Surveillance Guidelines

Video surveillance systems are so commonplace that we often forget there are any privacy considerations at all in using them. Fortunately, using video surveillance is fairly straightforward and complying with laws governing privacy much easier than most people think.

The Lowdown on Privacy

Privacy laws are governed by state and federal laws and by common sense. The 4th Amendment grants us the right to privacy where privacy is reasonably expected, such as our home. This is why, for example, it is illegal to place surveillance cameras I n someone else’s home or to deliberately situate cameras on your property to surveil a neighbor. This is also why business owners can use cameras to cover a sales floor or register, because when you enter a public space you do not expect any level of privacy.

Residential Video Surveillance Systems

Many homeowners incorporate video surveillance into their home security systems because they are so useful in deterring crime. The laws concerning their use in homes are simple to understand, and even easier to follow. It is permissible to cover your property inside and out with video surveillance, except in places where you would expect privacy, such as in the bathroom. It is never permissible to situate cameras so that you can record footage to be use maliciously.

Workplace Video Surveillance Systems

Surveillance cameras in the workplace have become an extremely important tool in protecting the safety of employees and customers, reducing theft, and in thwarting violence. Implementing workplace video surveillance systems require a few more considerations, but complying with privacy laws is still quite easy.

In most cases, it is permissible to use cameras where people do not expect a level of privacy. For example, when you go to the store or mall, you expect to be seen and observed by many people so you do not have any expectation of privacy. It is reasonable to use cameras in public spaces including stores, offices, store rooms and covering the register for this reason.

Do not use video surveillance systems in places where people expect privacy, such as bathrooms, dressing rooms, bathroom stalls, exam rooms, or in hotel rooms. It is also important not to situate cameras in a way that provides views of these areas if a door opens.

A Few Special Considerations

Complying with privacy laws is easy, even in circumstances demanding special consideration, such as at medical facilities or in a school environment where children are concerned. In such cases there are additional considerations such as HIPPA regulations that require the cameras be carefully placed. Even in those instances you are still able to use them and leverage the benefits, however.

If you’d like more information about how to integrate video surveillance systems into your home or business security systems, feel free to give us a call. We are happy to answer your questions.

Cool New Enhancements to Honeywell Total Connect

Call us security nerds, but we’re pretty excited around here. That happens whenever we get to offer our customers something that will improve their security and improve the way they live their lives. This time, Honeywell has outdone itself with features that allow Total Connect users to more fully adapt the system to their needs. Today, any tool that lets you five more simply and competitively is a huge advantage.

In case you have not heard, Honeywell recently released a number of enhancements to the award winning Total Connect 2.0 platform. Some of the updates improve the user experience, while others provide a transformative way to use the service. All of them extend the value and reach of the service, and allow the user to adapt the system and its use to fit all the intricacies of a busy and increasingly mobile lifestyle.

Total Connect 2.0

If you are not yet familiar, Honeywell Total Connect 2.0 allows users to use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to remotely view and manage their systems and automation functions. Users can view live video, receive real time alerts, turn off and on enabled electronics and appliances, lock and unlock doors, track vehicles and assets via GPS technologies, and more from their supported device.

New Features to Love

Total Connect revolutionized the industry, and now the new features give users even more functionality and convenience.

Here are the new enhancements we love:

  • Smart Scene Wizards that guide users through configuring various scenes for maximum energy efficiency, for ambiance, convenience, or comfort. This new feature is supported on iPhone, iPad, Android, and via the web through Internet Explorer 10+ or higher.
  • New interface that is sleeker, easier to use, intuitive and familiar across all platforms.
  • Smart Auto-Syncing with the LYNX Touch 7000, 5200, and 5100 control systems. Updates occur automatically within seconds.
  • Touch ID from Apple allows Touch enabled Apple iOS device users to log in to their system using their fingerprint as their ID. This is a highly secure way to avoid using passcodes.
  • The remote service is offered in four languages including English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Together these enhancements add up to big news. People are busier and more mobile than ever and these new tools allow the user to customize the experience and the results in a way that totally revolves around the way they live.