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5 by 1. 5 inches HWD and contains Wi Fi and Z Wave radios, a 91dB siren, and a 24 hour backup battery. As with the LiveWatch IQ 2. 0 panel, it has an SD card slot on the left side and a camera on the front that snaps images when the system is being disarmed. You can arm and disarm the system from the panel, check the weather, view sensor status, control home automation devices such as door locks, lights, and thermostats, and view images from the panel's onboard camera or any installed image sensors motion detectors with a built in camera. You can also access the settings menu, where you can run system tests, add new devices, configure the panel as a photo frame when idle, edit sensor names, and add users.

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Several home security systems on the market don’t have a monitoring center and therefore don’t offer 24/7 professional monitoring. These are usually do it yourself options that can alert you if a camera senses movement, but won’t alert the authorities if you’ve experienced a break in. You may decide that the motion sensors are all you need and that’s great; you should choose the best option for you and your family. However, many select a company that offers 24/7 monitoring so remote certified professionals can contact emergency personnel in the event of a break in, fire, or carbon monoxide leak. These systems are usually installed by a certified professional but occasionally come as do it yourself packages as well. No matter which option you choose, it’s good to be aware and educated about your options.

 

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While many systems use wireless components that are installed using double back tape, some high end systems use components that require professional installation. These soup to nuts systems typically cost considerably more than DIY systems and offer 24/7 professional monitoring, but you may have to enter into a multi year contract and pay a hefty termination fee if you break it. They usually contain RF, Wi Fi, Zigbee, and Z Wave radios, allowing them to communicate with and control a multitude of components including door and window sensors, door locks, glass break detectors, indoor and outdoor cameras, light switches, motion and water detectors, smoke/CO alarms, thermostats, video doorbells, and a host of other home automation devices. With a professionally monitored system, when a smoke or intrusion alarm is triggered, an agent will first try to reach you via the two way control panel before calling your listed phone number. If you fail to respond the agent will call 911 to dispatch an emergency responder to your home. The nice thing about professionally installed systems is you don't have to lift a finger; after you've placed your order a technician will come to your home, set everything up for you, and show you how the system works. It's important to note that in some municipalities you may have to file for a permit to have a security system installed in your home. If you live in a small apartment and want to keep tabs on things when you're not home, a security camera can get the job done for a lot less money than what you'll pay for a full security system. Nearly all standalone security cameras connect to your home's Wi Fi so you can see what's going on from your phone or tablet, and most have built in sensors that detect motion and sound and will send push and email notifications when those sensors are triggered. You can usually tweak the camera's motion sensitivity to prevent false alarms due to pet activity or passing cars if the camera is near a window, and you can create a schedule that turns the sensors on and off during certain hours of the day. A smart lock is typically part of a robust smart home security system, but you don't have to invest in a full blown system to use one.