What Exactly Is a Neighborhood Watch Program? J&J Security Services Explains

You’ve most likely come across a neighborhood watch street sign at one point or another, advising that suspicious people or activities will be reported to law enforcement. Neighborhood Watch is a community crime prevention program that was launched by the National Sheriffs’ Association in 1972 to encourage citizens to look out for each other, work on neighborhood problems, and make themselves safer.  According to the National Neighborhood Watch Program, more than 40 percent of Americans live in areas covered by Neighborhood Watch groups. Having a Neighborhood Watch Program, if done correctly can reduce burglaries and crime.  In a research report by the National Crime Prevention Council, 53 percent of the 36 studies demonstrated positive effects of Neighborhood Watch, defined as a reduction in crime of nine percent or more.

A Neighborhood Watch Program is a system created and run by residents of a neighborhood to monitor and discourage crime, especially burglary throughout the neighborhood. The National Sheriffs’ Association nationally manages the program with help from the Department of Justice and local law enforcement. Those involved patrol mainly by walking and actively staying aware of what is going on within the neighborhood. Signs posted around the neighborhood make it clear that the area has extra protection and can help deter criminals. Communities involved work with local police, but have no authority to take direct action or make arrests. Weapons are often discouraged and are not a part of the watch program, even if local laws and permits give a volunteer legal authority to carry a gun. An effective program helps neighbors to share information and become better equipped to look for signs of suspicious activity.

A Neighborhood Watch can successfully create a sense of community, bringing law enforcement and the citizens together to reduce crime. Seeing neighborhood watch signs alone can deter criminal activity. Additionally, the program builds bonds between neighbors.  People look out for each other, stimulating neighborhood awareness. It also reduces the risk of being a crime victim, as participants are taught how to take preventative measures decreasing their chances of becoming a victim, and allows them to be better prepared to respond to suspicious activity. Overall, the program enhances homeland security, working collaboratively with other civic and community activities, and creates a greater sense of security and reduces fear of crime within the area. Neighborhood watch programs are very effective and easy to start, and will benefit everyone in the area by reducing crime and adding another layer of protection

Four Ways to Interact With your Alarm.com Smart Home

Imagine that there's a visitor at your door, right now. What do you do? 

Obviously, it depends. What time of day is it? Are you home or away? Are you by the door, or in the yard? Are you expecting someone? Are you in the middle of a movie? 

Every homeowner and every situation is different, which is why Alarm.com gives you a lot of options for interacting with your home. Our smart home security app can be used on a wide array of devices in many different everyday contexts. Here are four very different but equally useful ways to interact with your Alarm.com smart home. 

Anytime, Anywhere: Smartphone and Tablet 

Our mobile app for iOS and Android turns your smartphone into a command center for your home, pairing portable convenience with the ability to interact in depth. 

From instant security alerts and quick one-tap device commands, to creating custom rules that command multiple devices simultaneously, our smartphone and tablet apps give you a complete spectrum of smart home control at home or away. 

Voice Control: Amazon Echo 

The Alarm.com skill for Amazon Echo brings the hands-free convenience of voice commands to your smart home. 

Want to check the arming status of your smart home security system, change the temperature, or turn your living room light off? Just ask Alarm.com via Alexa, the Echo's voice-controlled assistant. 

You can use your voice to control and check the status of the most important connected devices around your house. Just say "Alexa, ask Alarm.com to…" followed by your command or question. Alarm.com either gives you a quick answer via the Echo, or automatically triggers the device into action. 

Big Screen Monitoring: Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV 

Watching TV when the doorbell rings? Use the remote control of your Amazon Fire Stick or Apple TV device to quickly navigate to your Alarm.com app, and see exactly who it is. 

Designed for comfort and convenience, these two apps enable you to view up to four live feeds from your home's security cameras simultaneously, without ever having to look for your phone or leave the couch. 

Quick Interactions: Smartwatch Apps 

Our app for Apple Watch gives you– awareness, control and visibility –all with a glance at your wrist making it ideal for interacting with your home when you're at work or on the go. Taptic feedback on your wrist lets you know when something's happening; one-touch commands let you address the situation with just a quick tap. Click on the demo below to try it. If you're a Pebble smartwatch fan, we've got an app for you too

Which US Cities Have the Most Connected Homeowners?

You may have read futuristic visions of how the smart home will change our lives.  But the smart home is already an everyday reality here at Alarm.com, with our technology delivering real value to millions of homeowners across the US and the world. So, instead of speculating about what the smart home could be, let's talk about how it's actually being used today. 

By analyzing aggregated and anonymous data from Alarm.com's own platform, which powers millions of smart homes, we have some unique insights to share over the next few months. 

To start with, we decided to identify the "Most Connected Cities" in the US: the cities with the highest number of Alarm.com-powered smart homes per capita. 

With the summer heat bearing down on us, we also wanted to learn how homeowners in those cities are using smart thermostats to keep their cooling costs down, and to find out which cities have the ‘greenest' homeowners. 

Most Connected Cities powered by Alarm.com

To identify the Most Connected Cities, we looked at cities with a total population greater than 500,000.  To control for population differences, we ranked them based on the number of Alarm.com-powered smart homes per capita. 

Here's our list of the top 10 Most Connected Cities: 

What Are the Top Energy Saving Features? 

Smart thermostats powered by Alarm.com offer a broad range of features to help homeowners save energy, from multi-sensor learning to responsive automation. To understand which energy savings features are the most popular, we ranked them based on enrollment by homeowners in our Most Connected Cities. 

How to Create a Smart Nursery, Simply

Kids love gadgets from birth. They get toys that bleep, shoes that light up, and even their own tablets to play on (when they finish dinner). 

Now, the ‘smart nursery' is a trend. Parents can get gadgets like wearable baby sleep trackers and "smart socks" with apps that monitor your child's breathing. Helpful or stressful? We'll let you be the judge. 

What can really help you, though, is a smart home security system extended into your nursery to make it an even safer and more comfortable environment. Here's how it'll help you both sleep better. 

See what's going on via video 

Much of today's connected nursery technology is "no substitute for a decent video monitor," says The New York Times—and an indoor security camera gives you the best video monitoring possible. Rather than needing a monitor screen, you can view your baby through your smartphone, peeking in anytime from wherever you are. At home, it's convenient; if you're back at work, it's a wonderful way to stay connected. 

Ensure a perfect temperature

Our smart thermostat can save energy, make your home more comfortable, and even focus on your nursery to ensure the right temperature for your baby. 

With a small, wireless temperature sensor installed on the wall, your thermostat will know the exact temperature in the nursery, and can heat or cool your home until the nursery itself is the perfect temperature for naptime. 

Keep tabs on exploring toddlers 

As your baby becomes more mobile, contact sensors give you a useful ‘sixth sense' for potential danger in the form of doors and drawers being opened. 

They're easy to install on most doors and alert you instantly when, say, the nursery door is quietly opened halfway through naptime. As your child gets older, contact sensors will become great additions to your front and back door, kitchen cabinets, the gate to your yard, and even your freezer drawer where the ice-cream is. 

Avoid tumbles in the dark 

For toddlers, transitioning from a crib to a big-kids bed is exciting—in large part because they can get out of it anytime. This is the time to add some smart lighting to the hallway outside your nursery.

Smart lighting switches on automatically when triggered by a sensor – either the contact sensor on the door, or a motion sensor on the hallway wall. If your child gets the urge to wander at night, at least they won't be doing it in the dark. 

J&J Security Services Covers the Advantages of A 24-Hour Emergency Response System

A 24-hour emergency response system is beneficial to people of all ages, specifically to seniors who live independently. In the event that a person should fall or other accident happen, it is easier for one to access help through just the push of a button rather than try to reach the phone, potentially causing more damage if any injuries are serious. This system allows you to quickly get in contact with a knowledgeable representative who can either help them over the phone, or in more serious situations dispatch the appropriate help to your home. In order for the system to work, the base console is connected to your home’s landline. The line is operated by trained and experienced representatives. This these operators dispatches medical, police or fire authorities, and alerts them quickly and efficiently through an emergency response system.


This allows seniors to continue living independently and gives assurance that they will receive assistance quickly if needed. A medical alert  home security system, as described here, usually comes with an alert bracelet or necklace with a call button directly on it, and a 24-hour response center with live attendants to give advice or send help. Most emergency bracelets or necklaces are equipped with water resistant panic buttons, and have long lasting or back up batteries. With these, seniors are given the ability to live more comfortably alone, knowing that they have protection if needed, and helps avoid dangerous circumstances following a fall or accident. This system provides a greater sense of security and peace of mind for you and your loved one.

Five Ways Alarm.com Proactively Protects Your Home

When something's wrong at home, your security system should do more than alert you. 

Smarter home security systems powered by Alarm.com stay one step ahead of the problem. Alarm.com's cloud platform constantly keeps an eye out for what's happening around your home and automatically takes smart, proactive measures to keep things secure and to protect you and your family. 

From emergencies to everyday problems, here are five proactive protections that make a big difference. 

Emergency response when you need it 

When there's an emergency at your home, Alarm.com automatically alerts a 24-7 monitoring station through a dedicated cellular connection. The station's security personnel will quickly assess the situation and dispatch emergency responders if you need it. Whether it's a fire or a break-in—even if a burglar disables your security panel—your Alarm.com system ensures that help is on the way. 

Smart fire safety 

If there's a fire at your home, Alarm.com detects, alerts and responds to protect your family. Your alarm will sound, your smart lights will turn on to light your way out of the house, and your smart thermostat will shut off your HVAC to minimize the spread of smoke. In addition to alerting emergency services, Alarm.com also alerts your own emergency contacts such as family and neighbors to make them aware of the situation. 

Reminders when you forget 

Alarm.com also proactively prevents everyday problems from turning into bigger ones. For example, it reminds you if you leave your home unsecured by accident. Forget to close your garage door, lock your smart lock or arm your security system when you leave? 
 

You'll get a reminder that you can act on: a smartphone alert with a button that secures your home remotely with just one tap. 

Fast action on leaks 

Alarm.com also takes action against problems that traditional security systems can't touch. Most homes are vulnerable to water damage from leaks and burst pipes, which can quickly escalate if you're not there. Alarm.com's smart water solution detects water leaks, alerts you immediately so you can take quick action.  With the addition of a water shut-off valve, Alarm.com can even turn your home's water supply off automatically to immediately stop damage. 

Proactive energy savings 

As well as your property, Alarm.com proactively protects your wallet by tackling energy waste. When you leave home, our Geo-Services feature sets back your smart thermostat into Away mode, saving energy without you doing a thing. With sensors throughout the home (thanks to your security system), an Alarm.com smart thermostat knows exactly when to heat and when to save, and can even respond to a door being left open

What is Crash and Smash Protection?

Burglars have many tactics for entering a home undetected. Some are stealthy, others are fast. Crash and Smash Protection is a proactive Alarm.com safeguard against a ‘fast' tactic that typically defeats other security systems. 

What's ‘crash and smash'? 

A crash and smash burglary is when an intruder targets the home's security panel to prevent it sending an emergency signal. They ‘crash' through the front door—the fastest method of entry - then ‘smash' the security panel as fast as possible. 

This technique tries to take advantage of the delay that security systems give the homeowner when they arrive home.  It's typically 30 to 60 seconds, giving you plenty of time to open your app and disarm the system or walk to the panel and enter your code.  With a typical burglary, once the panel counts all the way down, it automatically alerts emergency responders.  In a crash and smash attack, the burglar tries to disable the panel before it can send the signal. 

Thirty seconds isn't a lot of time, but it can be enough for an experienced burglar to locate and destroy the panel with a hammer. 

But with Alarm.com's patented crash and smash technology, your system still works even if the panel is destroyed. 

How Crash and Smash Protection works 

Alarm.com's smarter home security system constantly monitors activity around the home to proactively protect you against events like a crash and smash burglary. This happens securely in Alarm.com's cloud platform, so it's safe from an intruder's hammer. 

When your security system starts its countdown, Alarm.com takes note.  If the panel suddenly goes ‘off-line' before sending either a ‘disarm' or ‘emergency' signal, Alarm.com reports a suspected Crash and Smash event to your home's central monitoring station. 

A trained security professional assesses the situation and quickly alerts law enforcement if it's a crash and smash attack. You and your family, friends and neighbors can all get a smartphone alert too, so no one walks into a dangerous situation at home. 

It doesn't matter if the panel is attacked or not, because Alarm.com takes this proactive measure as soon as the door is opened, rather than waiting passively for an emergency signal. 

Crash and Smash Protection is included with most Alarm.com service plans.

What Is a Smart Plug?

Connected devices don't have to be complex to be useful. Take the smart plug: it simply turns things on and off, but - when connected to a smart home platform - becomes a very versatile device. 

What does it do? 

Controlled by an app, a smart plug lets you turn on and off any appliance that plugs into a standard wall socket. As part of a solution like Alarm.com, you can actively control it, or automate it so that it reacts to schedules and triggers from your security system

Simply plug it into any wall socket, then plug your chosen appliance into it. You can use it with a lamp, a TV, a cable box, a coffee machine—whatever you like. 

What's its role in the smart home? 

Smart plugs are a versatile building block of the smart home, with many uses: 

Security: When you plug a lamp into a smart plug, it becomes a smart light with home security benefits. 

You can schedule the lamp to come on at certain times, or when you're on your way home, or even when triggered by another device, such as a motion sensor. If there's an alarm event at your home, it can turn on automatically to deter an intruder. 

Convenience: Smart plugs are great for automating everyday kitchen devices. You can start your day with your coffee machine already working, or your tea kettle already boiled. If you like to slow-cook, you can load up your Crock-Pot in the morning and switch it on with your smartphone from work. 

Energy Savings: Smart plugs can put a dent in your energy bills by automatically turning off appliances like your TV and cable box, which consume energy in standby mode, when you're not home. With Alarm.com, you can have them switch off when you arm your security system, in the same way that your smart thermostat sets back. 

J&J Security Services Answers: What is a “Smart Home” Security System?

A “smart home” is one of the best ways to secure your home.  Using the most reliable and secure communications and advanced tamper-­resistant technology, you can be rest assured your home will stay protected.  Smart homes are equipped with special structured wiring that allows occupants to control security, lighting, heating, and more, remotely by phone or computer. This provides an extra level of security and comfort for the home owners and can be reassuring to have in place while away from home. Having a smart home security system allows owners to check up on what appliances (air conditioners, lights, etc) are on or if any doors or windows are open while away. These homes can include systems with motion sensors, cameras and a connection to your local security company. They have the ability to offer key cards or fingerprint identification instead of conventional locks, making it more difficult to break in. Usually, the system can be accessed and controlled through a mobile app. The app also monitors all the entry points to your home and integrates door locks and garage door control into the platform.

 

Overall, having a smart home is convenient as it saves time, is often inexpensive, and can save energy. With this system comes added security to ensure that you are protected at all times. Communication is protected under the system, providing safe, reliable, and secure cellular communication. Two-­way emergency voice is often included, allowing one to communicate directly with first responders via a security panel. Additionally, most systems continue to work even if the security panel is damaged or the phone line is cut. When away from home, you can get real-­time notifications by text or email the moment something happens inside your home. Smart home security may be built with automation as the goal in mind, or installed into existing homes. It is a good decision to seek out installation as it brings many advantages such as convenience, security, accessibility, and efficiency. 

How a Smart Home Gives You Time Back

Did you enjoy your extra Leap Year day this year? How would you like one every single year? 

While we can't change the calendar, we can save you a ton of time on everyday jobs. In fact, recent research suggests that smart home technology can save you up to 30 minutes a day.

Here are a few time-consuming things Alarm.com helps you do less of. 

Securing your house 

Ever got into your car in the morning, only to wonder if you locked the front door? Or got a mile down the road and realized you left your garage open? Not a problem with Alarm.com. Our mobile app lets you secure your home from anywhere with the touch of a button. If you forget, it'll send you a reminder. 

Staying home to let visitors in 

Letting a guest or contractor into your home used to mean staying home from work. With smart access control, you can unlock your front door from the office. If you have a trusted visitor, you can give them their own user code. It's way faster than getting a spare key cut. 

Worrying when you're away 

Worry is a persistent time thief – and worse, it's often your most valuable time. It's easy to worry about your empty home on a family vacation, for example. With Alarm.com, 24/7 professional monitoring lets you enjoy your time away from home in the knowledge that you're protected if something happens. 

Watching your energy bills 

Saving energy often comes at the expense of time, but Alarm.com saves you both. Smart plugs make it easy to switch appliances off automatically. You can have your lights turn off when you arm your security system. Your thermostat will set back to save energy when you leave the house. You'll barely notice – except when you see your energy bill. 

Setting up smart home equipment 

How long would it take you to install a smart thermostat or hardwire a security camera? With Alarm.com, you'll never need to find out, thanks to fast, professional installation by our accredited service providers. If there's ever a problem after installation, they'll take care of it for you: no helplines, no fuss. It's the fastest, easiest way to enjoy a smart home.

Four Things You Can Safely Forget With Alarm.com

When it comes to protecting your home, you rarely forget anything important. But when it happens, Alarm.com has you covered. 

With smartphone reminders, proactive protection and control from anywhere, our smarter home security technology means that even when your memory slips up, you can remedy the following situations in seconds. 

1: Securing your house in the morning 

It's 7.37am: you're on the way to work, via your toddler's daycare drop-off, for the second time today. The first time, he made it into the car with no shoes on. And this time, you forgot to lock the front door or arm the security system. No worries: as you cross your home geo-fence, Alarm.com sends you a reminder. One tap on your phone and your house is secure, with no need to turn around again. 

2: Closing your garage at night 

It's 6.37 pm: it's been a long day. You sat in traffic, shopped, came home, unloaded the groceries, and finally sat down. And guess what: you left your garage door wide open. That's okay: when Alarm.com determines that your garage has been open for 15 minutes (thanks to the automation rule your dealer helps set you up) – it sends you a triggered reminder to close it. 

3: Changing your smoke detector batteries 

The clocks went forward to daylight savings time! Did you remember your bi-annual replacement of your home's smoke detector batteries? Nope, because you forget these things very easily when deprived of an hour's sleep. It's good that Alarm.com will proactively alert you if your smoke detector batteries ever run low, no matter what time of year it is. 

4: Arranging access for a visitor 

Finally, it's your first day of a truly relaxing vacation. The sun is shining, the pool is perfect, and nothing is going to get in the way of you unwinding. Not even the text from your neighbor, who can't get in to feed your cat. You open your Alarm.com app and unlock your front door  with the touch of a button. Later, you'll set up a user code giving access for the whole week – but you can forget that for now. 

Why Alarm.com Is a Modern Travel Essential

Are you planning a spring break trip this month? Why not take a little piece of home - and some extra peace of mind - with you? 

By keeping you effortlessly connected to home, Alarm.com's smart home security app frees you from worry so you can enjoy your trip more. Here's what makes it a modern travel essential for any vacation or trip. 

It remembers important things 

Sunscreen… check. Kids' bathing suits… check. Locking up your house… check your Alarm.com app from the car. If you forget to secure anything as you leave, Alarm.com will prompt you to do it once you're on the road. 

It's a lifeline to home 

Need to let a neighbor in when you're away? Alarm.com's access control lets you unlock your front door from your phone. Want to check in on the petsitter? Connected video gives you an instant view of what's going on. 


 

It helps you relax 

If there's an emergency at home while you're away, 24/7 professional monitoring means that help will arrive, whether you see the smartphone alert or not. You can relax completely in the knowledge that Alarm.com is proactively protecting your home

It's versatile 

Whether you're chilling with a movie on your iPad, taking holiday snaps on your phone or taking a run with your Apple Watch on, you can access Alarm.com on the device that's closest to hand. If you're so far off the beaten track that there's no cell service, you can even log in at an internet café. 

It'll go (almost) anywhere with you 

From ski slopes to the open road, deserted beaches to bustling cities, Alarm.com will come along for the ride as your pocket connection to home. Just don't take it scuba diving, please. 

Smart Home Security Should Be Your First Home Improvement

Buying your first home this year? 

Already have some home improvement ideas competing for your budget? 

We'd like to add one to the top of the list: a smart home security system 

It's an instant upgrade for your entire home. It protects you from crime and other dangers, and your property from common causes of damage. It also equips your house with smart home technology that saves you money and time while protecting your big investment from day one. 

And what's more, it won't make a big dent in your budget. Here's what you get. 

Instant home security

It takes an authorized Alarm.com service provider just a few hours to outfit your new home with smart home security. It secures your home and you can get image sensors, a video camera, smart locks and more, all controlled through Alarm.com's smartphone app. Think of the app as a command center for your home, in your pocket, wherever you go. 

Your smart home security system can do amazing things. It fights crime and danger proactively. It lets you see what's happening at home. It can save your new basement from a flood, or your dog from a house fire – that's no exaggeration.
 

Instant savings 

You might not know what your energy bills look like today, but an Alarm.com Smart Thermostat, installed with your system, will help lower them immediately, while also making things more comfortable with room-by-room temperature sensing. 

Your security sensors tell it when you're there and when you're not, and it uses that information to eliminate energy waste when you don't need heating and cooling. There are plenty of other ways to save energy in a smart home too. 

Meanwhile, your monitored security system qualifies you for discounts on many homeowners' insurance policies – another reason to ‘go smart' from the start. 

Instant smart home 

The smart home trend is getting more exciting and more popular. Nearly half of Americans will own some form of smart home technology by the end of this year

Many of those people will have a frustrating, costly experience. That's because it's really hard to build a smart home on your own. Even experts can struggle to make different devices and platforms work together. 

With Alarm.com, everything works together. A single app controls every smart device; a single software platform connects and coordinates them. It's easy to use and it does far more for you than a piecemealed solution. 

Low upfront cost; big return on investment 

The other big benefit of Alarm.com is that you don't need to pay for the whole system upfront. It's more like a cellphone contract with a setup fee, followed by a monthly payment for three years. Professional monitoring and dedicated customer support are always included. 

Will your new technology go out of date? Not with Alarm.com, which delivers the latest features to you through its cloud platform, constantly updating your home with new capabilities. When you need a new device later – a smart video camera for your future nursery? – it's easy to add one. 

As a last word, smart home technology adds long-lasting value to your home. The Consumer Technology Association and National Association of Home Builders say that it can add as much as 5% to the eventual resale price. Of course, re-selling is the last thing on your mind right now, but it's worth bearing in mind if it ever comes down to Alarm.com versus a new couch. 

Congratulations on your new home! We hope to connect with you soon.

J&J Security Services Launches Weekly Tips for Securing Your Home and Office in Central Florida

In 2014, more than 8.2 million property crime offenses occurred throughout the U.S., resulting in estimated losses of $14.3 billion (FBI’s Uniform Crime Report).  In 2015, Florida ranked #6 out of all 50 states (Statistica.com), with Orlando and St. Petersburg ranking #1 and #5 for the top 10 midsize southern cities with the highest property crime rates (FBI’sUniform Crime Report).  Understanding these facts, J&J Security Services is determined to help Central Floridians keep their homes and offices safe by publishing free weekly valuable tips, tools and resources.

“J&J Security has been keeping families and businesses safe in Central Florida since 1983 by providing high quality equipment and outstanding customer service, but we knew we wanted to do something more, which is why we decided to implement this free educational service,” said Owner, George Voll.  The articles will be published each Monday on the J&J Security Blog and J&J Security’s Facebook andTwitter accounts beginning July 25, 2016.  Topics will include “What Not to do When You go on Vacation”, “The Safest Way to Close Up Your Office or Store”, “How to Make it Hard to Break In to Your Home and/or Office”, “Keeping Your Expensive Jewelry Safe”, “Appraising Your Home’s Contents” and more.   Additionally, J&J Security will be developing it’s helpful home and office security tips by researching and speaking with Central Florida’s local and county police departments. 

How to Create Your First Geo-Services Alert

Geo-Services is a really useful Alarm.com feature that enables your home to proactively take smart actions based on your location.

It does things like turn your thermostat up or down when you're on your way home, or remind you if you leave the house unsecured, using your smartphone's location to trigger proactive safeguards and other actions. 

It's simple to use, and once you try it, you'll love it. Here's how to create your first Geo-Services rule, step by step. 

Step 1: Enable Geo-Services on your smartphone.  

On your smartphone, go to the menu in your Alarm.com app. Tap Geo-Services, turn the feature on, and confirm that Alarm.com can use your phone's location. 

Your phone is now a roving smart home sensor! 

Step 2: Create your Geo-Fence 

Log into Alarm.com on your desktop or laptop. Click the 'Mobile' tab and you'll see the Geo-Services screen. 

The orange circle on the map is a geo-fence. Think of it as a geographical on-off switch. When your smartphone crosses the geo-fence, the switch is flipped. 

To create your first geo-fence, click the 'Home' link on the right. 

Now, enter your home address. 


The geo-fence will relocate to form a circle around your home. You can adjust its size using the tabs on the fence. If you prefer, you can specify a radius for the fence, starting as small as one mile around your home. 
 

Click 'Save' and your geo-fence is ready to go. 

You can set up several different geo-fences for different rules and devices. For example, some Alarm.com users create geo-fences around their workplaces to give their smart thermostats time to get the house comfortable before they arrive home. 

Step 3: Set up your first Geo-Services alert 

Choose the type of alert or rule you'd like to create from the menu on the right. We're going to create a simple Arming Reminder: a smartphone alert that lets you know if you leave home without arming your security system. 

You'll find yourself in the Notifications tab, where the first step is to name your reminder. We're calling ours 'Forgot to Arm System.' 

Specify the times that you want your alert in effect. Our example limits the alert to weekday mornings between 7.30 and 8.30am. Click 'Add Recipient' to link the alert with your smartphone, which you enabled in Step 1 above. Now, save your alert. 
 

Step 4: View your new alert 

You'll find yourself in the Notifications tab, where you'll see your new alert. It's easy to turn off and on, and to edit if your schedule changes. You can do this from your mobile app as well.

You're all set! What will your next Geo-Services rule be? 

BUILD A BETTER SMART HOME FROM SCRATCH

Building a new home is an exciting time for a family. Just like buying a new car, you get to be the only people who have a say in the configuration from the very beginning. You get to explicitly specify what it looks like, how many rooms it has, what those rooms do, and best of all, the optional equipment it contains!  Buying a used home, again like a used car, is all about finding the best option available that suits your “wants and needs” criteria. Certainly they both can be fun processes, but when you get to build something from the ground-up, you inject your own personalized touches and characteristics that truly make it your home sweet home.
 
With so much effort put into figuring out where plumbing needs to go for sinks and bathrooms, and where electricity needs to be run to for appliances and lighting, it is easy for a smart home enthusiast to overlook their most important objective: where all of the home technology goes! There is no better time to plan your smart home than when building a new home. Having the ability to create the hardwired infrastructure that will support all of your family’s technology needs is a time you should leverage to plan exactly how to use your smart home.
 
So where are the best places to start? Well, that depends on what you and your family will benefit the most from. From a logistical perspective, areas of most benefit to be completed during home construction are where you want to reduce wall clutter and produce a seamless and clean installation. Hardwiring smart devices after the fact can lead to a less than desirable outcome. So lets touch on three of the most commonly pursued solutions for a new smart home construction:
 

Smart Lighting:

When building a new home, Control4 gives you the ability to install a centralized lighting system. Think of it as an electrical panel specifically dedicated to just your whole-home lighting. Centralized lighting allows you to move your lighting controls elsewhere, like a closet or a utility room, allowing you to replace banks of multiple switches with stylish and elegant keypads.  Gone are multi-gang rows of light switches where you have to train people on which switch controls what individual light, and enter a single, clean and compact control keypad that controls any configuration of individual lights or an orchestrated scene of multiple lights throughout the home.
 

Multi-Room Audio:

Getting to listen to your favorite music throughout the home is a phenomenal experience for everyone in the family to enjoy. It’s a great idea to think ahead and plan on adding 2-channel audio for music in bedrooms, eating areas, and multi-purpose rooms, or even 5 or 7-channel audio for watching movies in the family room or media room. This allows you to install discrete speakers of your favorite brand without unnecessary clutter and also gives you the ability to drastically reduce the amount of equipment needed in each of the rooms you want to have audio in. With a Control4 multi-room audio system, you have one centralized multi-channel amplifier and audio switch that does all the heavy lifting while tucked away in an area of your choosing. The result: seamless and spacious sound filled in every room your family wants.
 

Security:

One of the most overlooked integrations in the smart home is security solutions. It is common practice for new homes to have a home security system installed, but the result is something that isn’t very smart and versatile, leaves unsightly and overly large keypads on the wall, and doesn’t integrate the latest in security cameras and recording equipment. When installed during a new home build with Control4, all of your security zones and interior/exterior cameras can be integrated and hardwired back to a centralized system that has a redundant power supply and recording features. Best part about it, when done this way you can easily integrate all of these features with your Control4 home automation, so you can trigger security events and actions from any device of your choice, be it an In-Wall Touch Screen, Tabletop Touch Screen, iOS or Android mobile device, In-Wall Keypad etc.  The result is a home security system that is not only smart and gives you the peace-of-mind you need for your family’s safety, but also is installed for maximum discretion and awareness so that if something unplanned ever doeshappen, you can be alerted immediately and capture what happened.

Keep Your Basement Dry with Smart Sump Pump Monitoring

Of all the appliances in your home, the sump pump must be the least interesting of all. 

It sits there, in a hole, looking like a piece of car engine. Its only job is to pump away excess groundwater when it rains heavily. It's out of sight and out of mind… until, one day, it fails on you. 

Suddenly, your basement is vulnerable to flooding and expensive water damage, and you may not even realize it until the damage is done. 

This spring, Alarm.com can proactively protect you from this situation with smart sump pump monitoring. 

A new addition to our popular water solution, it gives you immediate awareness when your sump pump isn't working as it should, so that you can act quickly. 

Enabled by a water sensor in the sump well and a heavy-duty smart switch that monitors the pump's power supply, the solution triggers instant alerts from Alarm.com's smart home security platform when there's trouble in your basement. 

The solution can quickly identify several categories of sump pump problem. It can tell you whether the pump has simply lost power (go and check your circuit breaker), or if it's powered but not running (the pump itself is broken). It can even let you know if the pump is working but not removing water fast enough. 

Water damage is expensive and happens fast – but when you're armed with real-time awareness, you can act quickly, get help if necessary, and minimize the effects - even if you are out of town... 

With spring storm season on the way, is your basement connected and protected? 

Meet Alarm.com: Your Home's Smartest Defenseman

Your home needs a smart defense. 
 

Smarter home security from Alarm.com—an official partner of the NHL's Washington Capitals—detects threats and bad situations for both your home and family, and responds with sophisticated proactive safeguards. 

Whether it's fire, crime, and water damage or extreme weather, Alarm.com proactively responds in real time to protect you. With a dedicated cellular connection, professional monitoring and an array of connected security features like locks, HD video cameras and real-time awareness alerts on your smart phone, it's the smarter way to protect your home. Just ask Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner.