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How a Smart Security System can do more than just Protect your Home

Thanks to technological advances, a security system can do more than just keep burglars away.

In fact, some security systems can control the temperature of your home, monitor your children's whereabouts, and even let the babysitter in when you're away from home.

homeTo make this happen, "applications are enabled using simple Z-Wave automation devices like motion detectors, door and window sensors, and lighting and door lock controls," according to Mark Walters, chairman of Z-Wave, a company that unifies different home electronics into an integrated wireless network.

Keep reading to learn more about how a home security system can benefit your lifestyle.

Benefit #1: Reduce Your Energy Bill

Sounds a little crazy, but yes, a security system can indeed help save energy and reduce your electricity bill.

For example, by using sensors installed throughout your home, your security system can detect whether or not someone is home and save electricity by turning lights off when the house is empty.

"Similarly, you don't have to worry if you forgot to turn off the air conditioning or heater," says Harkins. Instead, you can use your home security system to control the heating and cooling system right from your smartphone - potentially saving hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs, adds Harkins.

In fact, some alarm systems will even account for extreme temperatures, according to Jay Kenny, home security technology expert and vice president of marketing at Alarm.com.

"With this feature, the system will automatically adjust thermostats when extremely hot or cold weather is forecasted in order to reduce energy costs," says Kenny.

Benefit #2: Save Money on Home Insurance

The safer you and your home are, the cheaper your home insurance will be.

In fact, the Insurance Information Institute's (III) website notes that you can often receive discounts of at least 5 percent if your home is equipped with a smoke detector or burglar alarm. However, a company could lower your premium by 15 or 20 percent if you install a sophisticated system that combines the two and rings at the police, fire, or other monitoring stations, III adds.

Why is so much stock put into these sophisticated alarm systems? Because stand-alone smoke detectors are often very limited and don't always wake people up, according to Don Privitera, president and chief technology officer of Advance Warning Security.

On the other hand, a security system with a built-in smoke detector could signal the fire department with the exact address of the fire, Privitera says. This added protection is something that home insurance companies prefer, and will thus reward homeowners with a lower bill.

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