Have You Talked to Your Pets Lately? There's an App for That.

(Here's how you can protect your furry friends)

Dog caught making a mess

Have you ever wondered who's really responsible for all those socks and shoes that go missing while you're at work? Thanks to a wide array of new products leveraging home security technology, your question may finally be answered. 

For example, one new product, PetChatz, appeals specifically to pet owners by allowing users not only to monitor their pets' activities, but also to speak to them and feed them a treat with the push of a remote button.

In the past few years, the home security field has changed dramatically with the advent of new monitoring and automation technology. Rather than using phone lines, new systems connect over wireless networks to meet the needs of pet owners, parents, frequent travelers and those who have nannies or other employees coming and going in their home. 

Today's home monitoring systems connect in-home webcams to your laptop or smart device, allowing you to check on your pets from a remote location. Plus, in addition to home monitoring, you can lock and unlock doors, control the air conditioning and communicate with those you've left behind.

You can get additional protection with an affordable home insurance policy.

Integrated Systems Combine Security Monitoring and Home Automation

The most recent residential security systems are highly customizable and focused on home automation. If you're sitting in a work meeting and suddenly realize you forgot to turn off your lights at home, you can put your mind at ease by simply checking an app on your smart phone. 

You can also accomplish simple tasks such as raising or lowering your home's temperature or remotely locking your doors. Some companies allow you to personalize a security platform and control everything from the opening of your garage doors to climate control to monitoring persons or pets via an app on your smart phone. 

And many systems now come with motion control sensors that will send you an alert message in the event that someone does try to enter your house. The Alarm app even sends you an alert if something doesn't happen according to plan – like your child doesn't arrive home from school within a set time period.

Add New Features to an Existing Home Security System

If you already own a centrally monitored security system, talk to your provider about adding expanded features to increase home automation. In addition to security monitoring services, systems like the new ADT Pulse give homeowners the ability to lock and unlock doors, control the temperature from a remote location, and receive notifications when a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm triggers. 

With proper placement of web cams, home security technology also increases your personal safety by allowing you to see who's knocking on the door before you decide to answer.

Streaming Video Guarantees You Won't Miss a Thing

Companies like Dropcam offer Wi-Fi based cloud video recording, which continuously records motion activity in your home. The captured footage is then made available for viewing using a cloud-based storage system. 

Aside from pet watching, the Dropcam cameras can be used to monitor your sleeping child while you're in another part of the house. When your child wakes at night, the night vision capabilities and two-way talk features help you to comfort your child (or pets).

Costs of New Features

Like traditionally monitored systems, monthly fees apply for streaming video storage and service, so make sure you understand all of the costs associated with any new web cam or security equipment prior to purchase. For expanded home automation features, you may also need to purchase special door locks, programmable thermostats and motion detectors. 

One great advantage of today's technology is that do-it-yourself installation is often simple, just a matter of web cam placement and establishing a network connection. Plus, the customization features allow you to add only those items you believe would protect you the most.

If you decide to spend money to install new home security features, don't forget to check out home insurance discounts as well. Independent insurance agents have access to a wide variety of insurance companies and will work to find you the best policy discounts available based on your current home automation and security system. Affordable home insurance starts here.

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