Make us your home page
Instagram

Travelers can keep an eye inside and outside home

With the Protection One system, your cell phone can be used as a home security monitor. The system also can send you alerts.

Associated Press/Protection One

With the Protection One system, your cell phone can be used as a home security monitor. The system also can send you alerts.

This holiday season, many travelers will be able to keep a close eye on their homes.

Thanks to new security system technology, including live video feed, you can monitor everything from the front door to the sump pump from hundreds of miles away.

"You can see anything that's going on from anywhere in the world," said Jay Park of Park Place Installations in Buffalo, N.Y.

Homeowners can set the new alarm systems to send text messages or e-mails when something goes wrong at home.

Eric Harper, marketing director of Elan Home Systems of Lexington, Ky., said a customer was on vacation recently when he got a message that his front door was open. He confirmed it by going online and pulling up feed from a camera by that door. A neighbor followed up, discovering that the pet sitter had not pulled the door firmly shut and it had blown open in a storm.

New York City resident Eli Karp said he uses his cell phone to check his house about 10 times a day. His HomeLogic alarm system offers live video feed from inside the house, and Karp also can disarm the security system by phone to let in workers or delivery people.

"It's a time saver," he said. "It's extra peace of mind."

Installation costs for the new technology range from $150 to $600 depending on whether the residence has an existing security system. Monthly monitoring fees are between $15 and $40.

Do-it-yourself systems also are available, said Julie Strietelmeier, editor of The-gadgeteer.com, a Web site that reviews high-tech products. Prices vary depending on the number of cameras installed, she said. A startup kit would cost about $330 plus monthly monitoring fees.

Such systems — professional and DIY — have a lot of advantages, she said.

"I think it's useful if you're working during the day and you want to see what's going on at your house," Strietelmeier said.

Homeowners with alarm systems usually recoup some of the costs with discounts on their insurance premiums, according to insurance professionals.

During the holidays, many clients use the system to receive packages, Harper said. Homeowners will leave a note asking the delivery person to phone them; when they receive the call, they can use the security cameras to verify that the caller is a delivery person, and remotely open the garage door or unlock the front door.

The security system also can send an alert upon the arrival of a handyman or cleaning person. The homeowner can keep track of what rooms people enter and how long they are in the home.

Parents can use the system to keep track of the comings and goings of children, and can arrange to be alerted if someone opens the liquor cupboard or medicine cabinet.

Travelers can keep an eye inside and outside home 11/11/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 12, 2009 7:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul

    Markets

    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall

    Business

    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages

    Business

    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel

    Business

    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.