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Alternately, if you don't have a home automation hub, look for a Wi Fi or Bluetooth lock that comes with its own mobile app. Smart locks use standard pre drilled holes and are fairly easy to install. Some models use your existing keyed cylinder and deadbolt hardware and attach to the inside of your door, while others require that you remove your existing interior and exterior escutcheons and replace the deadbolt and strike hardware. Smart locks can be opened and closed using a mobile app and will send a notification when someone locks or unlocks a door, and most allow you to create permanent and temporary access schedules for family members and friends based on specific hours of the day and days of the week. Features to look for include geofencing, which uses your phone's location services to lock and unlock the door, voice activation using Siri HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa voice commands, support for IFTTT, and integration with other smart home devices such as video doorbells, outdoor cameras, thermostats, smoke alarms, and connected lighting. The biggest reason a homeowner should consider installing a home security system is that it offers protection to family members from intruders. According to “Securing Home and Business” by Simon Hakim/Erwin Blackstone, homes without security systems are 2. 7 times more likely to be targeted by a burglar. This indicates that the mere presence of an alarm system is enough in most cases to protect the home and its occupants from break in. In some cases, burglars may still target a home either knowingly or unknowingly when members of the family are inside. For the burglar who enters the home expecting it to be empty, finding members of the family inside can cause enough shock and panic to facilitate aggressive behavior.

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The UL also tests home security monitoring stations. Its testing methods cover a lot of the same ground as the FM Approval, but it goes even further, reviewing the quality of the monitoring technology and the knowledge, response times, and abilities of the operators and employees. If a station gets the UL stamp of approval, its operators, technology, and facilities are the best of their class. One of the best things about SimpliSafe is that it's a completely configurable system, with five packages available. On the high end there's the Haven package $489. 86, which comes with 14 hardware components including the base station, a wireless keypad, a keychain remote, two motion sensors, four door/window entry sensors, a panic button, a 105 decibel siren, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, water and freeze sensors, and a SimpliSafe yard sign and window decals. The least expensive Foundation pack $229. 96, which is designed for small homes and focuses solely on basic home security, includes the base station, a wireless keypad, one motion sensor, one entry sensor, and the yard sign and decals. If you want to add one or more SimpliCam security cameras the system supports up to four, they're $99 each. And the Video Doorbell Pro is an integrated 1080p smart doorbell with camera that you can add for $169. Currently, SimpliSafe doesn't offer any packages that include cameras or the doorbell.