​7 ways smart homes make life easier

Think of all the ways smart phones have made our lives easier. We can hail rides, navigate streets, share photos and so much more. Now get ready for the next step in smart tech: fully connected smart homes that would make George Jetson proud.

Today, just about anyone can turn their humble abode into a high-tech automated hub that not only keeps your family safe and secure, it also lets you monitor and control a slew of functions from anywhere using your phone, tablet or computer. For example, Cox Homelife, a reliable, 24/7 professionally monitored and remote home management system, provides advanced features in addition to what you get in a traditional alarm system with time-saving, cost-saving and worry-saving features to help customers protect, monitor and control their home and ensure their family’s safety.

Welcome to the future. Here are seven ways a smart home can make your life more awesome than ever.

  1. Go wireless and lose the landline
    Gone are the days of home security systems full of unsightly wires, switch boxes and keypads, and automatically dialing up a security service — usually in error — through clunky old landlines. Today's smart homes are totally connected, controlled by a sleek touchscreen that's the hub of the entire system, using wireless sensors, high-speed broadband and backup cellular connections. That way bad guys can't take down the security system by cutting phone lines or disabling your internet.
  2. Stay safe and secure 24/7
    Advanced smart home systems provide superior security from intruders, with uninterrupted 24/7 monitoring by security professionals, whether you're at home or away. If an alarm is tripped, if a door or window opens, the monitoring center will notify you immediately. And with a wireless battery backup, you stay protected and connected even during a power outage.
  3. Keep an eye on family and pets
    The best security systems let you easily keep an eye on everything that goes on in and around your home – even when you aren't watching. Cameras and motion detectors can be placed in a number of areas, inside or out, so you'll know when your kids come home, packages arrive or pets get loose. Even better, they can capture continuously recorded video for the most recent 10 days for future viewing. And it's easy to save still shots from any feed.
  4. Get text alerts when something isn't right
    Everyone uses their smart phones to send and receive text messages. Some systems will send a text or email to alert you when it detects a problem so you can take appropriate action.
  5. Prevent disaster
    No one can know when disaster might strike, but safety sensors can detect fires, flooding and gas leaks and notify you right away, so help can be summoned immediately. They also monitor carbon monoxide levels, so you can sleep in heavenly peace.
  6. Master your domain
    So let's say you find out the basement is flooding fast, but you're at work 25 miles away. Your smart home will notify you and then you can call a plumber and unlock the front door remotely, then lock back up when he leaves. Would you like to avoid waiting at home for a service call or a delivery? You can have the company call or text you on arrival, and then you can let in the person remotely and get on with your day. Some systems also have remote thermostat control so you can save energy and arrive home in comfort.
  7. Turn out the lights
    Can't remember if you turned off the coffee pot or left the lights on? A smart home lets you switch them off or on anywhere you happen to be. Program the lights to come on right before you get home, or first thing in the morning to wake you up. Maybe you'd like to brew up a pot of tea or coffee so it's ready the minute you arrive. Some systems let you control a number of small appliances, from poolside in Polynesia, if needed.

With so many great features, a smart home system will surely make your life so much easier.

—Bob Young for Cox Communications

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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