Today, most of us have smartphones that we use to do everything from ordering food to controlling our lights. But, your smartphone can do more than just make things more convenient — your phone can also help make you more secure.
Smartphones have greatly enhanced home security services because you can now control many alarms right from your phone. You can also receive real-time alerts on your phone if something goes wrong.
While different security systems integrate with your smartphone in different ways, virtually all systems — including both professionally monitored systems and those you monitor on your own — now have comprehensive and full-featured mobile apps.
This guide to home security phone features will help you to better understand how these apps can give you more control and peace-of-mind when it comes to making sure your home and family are safe and sound. Here are some of the ways you can use your phone to operate your home security system.
Control your system’s alarms
Most home security systems allow you to arm and disarm your alarm system directly from your phone. No more rushing to turn your system off when entering your home or worrying about whether you forgot to turn the alarm on when you left. Simply open your security system’s app and use your phone to turn the alarm off or on as needed.
View and adjust cameras
Want to check in on what’s happening in your home while you’re away? If your security system includes indoor or outdoor cameras, the system’s mobile app likely allows you to pull up your video feed even when you’re not home. This makes it easy to ensure everything is safe and secure at your home. You can also use the app to check in on pets and children left at home to see how they’re faring without you.
In many cases, you can not only pull up your video feed, but can also adjust the angle of the camera so that you can get a fuller picture of what’s going on in your house. And, with most alarms, when alerts are triggered, a video feed shows up along with the alert so you’ll get a clear idea of what happened to trigger the alarm in the first place.
Don’t like coming home to a dark house? Many security system apps let you turn on your lights with a click of a button. You can also turn lights on and off from your phone to make your home look occupied when you aren’t home. And, with some systems, you can create lighting routines you can trigger from the app. This makes it easy to turn off all the lights at bedtime or when leaving the home or to turn on specific lights upon your arrival.
Manage your smoke detectors
Detecting smoke in your home can be a scary thing. With smart smoke detectors integrated with your home security phone app, you’ll be alerted instantly when smoke is sensed in your home. If you have cameras, your alarm may also pull up a video feed so you can see if the room is really smoky or if it’s a false alarm.
And, with many smart smoke detectors, you won’t need to worry about your alarm chirping noisily in the middle of the night due to low battery — your app will alert you to the issue so you can change the battery and make sure your smoke detector will still operate effectively even if the power goes out.
Operate your door locks
When you add smart door locks to your security system, your app will allow you to lock and unlock doors with the click of a button. You’ll never need to worry again if you forgot to lock your door, or struggle to open a locked door with your hands full.
Control your thermostat
Worried your house is getting too hot or old? Some security systems also integrate with smart thermostats so you can adjust the temperature from afar. You could also set routines or trigger your thermostat to turn up or down when you leave your home so you can conserve energy and save money on your heating and cooling bills.
See who’s at the door
Doorbell video cameras allow you to see who is visiting your home even when you’re away. When the doorbell rings, the video feed can be pulled up on your app. This allows you to take action, from telling the visitor to leave the box on the porch to calling the police if someone suspicious is there.
Home security phone apps provide convenience and security
There’s a ton you can do with your phone if you have the right security system and smart devices. Just remember, not all security systems offer all features, so if a particular type of home control is important to you, make sure you shop around to find the right alarm system that offers that control in its app. Spend time talking to the customer service reps at whatever home security companies you are considering to make sure that you have a clear idea of what you can and can’t do from their app. We strongly recommend also checking out their ratings and reviews in the iTunes and Google Play app stores to get first-hand accounts of how current customers feel about the mobile apps.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.