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For example, you can create an applet that says if a garage door is opened to turn on the floodlight. Whether you decide to go with a DIY system or opt for a professionally installed system, you'll have to pay a monthly or annual fee if you require monitoring, and in some cases, you'll be hit with a monthly fee to pay off the cost of hardware components. With most DIY systems, such as the SimpliSafe Home Security Kit, the Ring Alarm Security Kit, and the Nest Secure, you purchase the hardware outright and can avoid any monthly fees if you decide to self monitor. If you add monitoring, fees will vary: SimpliSafe charges $14. 99 per month for its no contract monitoring service, while Nest charges $29 per month. If you commit to a three year contract, the price of the Nest service drops to $19 per month.

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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.