Home Technology : Smart Home
Don’t Panic (or Do!): How Home Automation Helps in Case of Emergency
We often talk about home automation in terms of convenience, the way it simplifies your interaction with technology around the home, from lighting and entertainment to comfort and energy management. Even the discussion about home security automation tends to focus on simplifying control of security systems, and enhancing their effectiveness to keep your home safer. But no matter how safe, secure, and easy-to-use your home’s electronic and security systems are, things still go wrong. Emergencies still happen. And although you’re not likely to think about things like convenience and remote access in the event of a fire or break-in, there are actually any number of ways that a home automation system can lend a helping hand when the worst happens.
One popular example is the Panic Button, which can range from a prominent button on touchscreen remotes, to a double-tap of a light switch near the bed, or any other easily accessible input. Card Access even makes a dedicated Panic Button for Control4 systems, which can be worn on a belt clip or as a pendant.
So what, exactly, does a Panic Button do? That’s the beauty of home automation—it does whatever you want it to, to best suit your home and your needs. Perhaps you’re most worried about intruders when you’re home, and don’t want to wait for an opened door or broken window to activate your alarm system. A simple press of a button could go ahead and sound the alarm, and also activate all of your exterior lights.
Speaking of lights: in the event of a fire, you may not even have time—or the wherewithal—to press a single button. With your security system integrated into a larger home automation system, though, you wouldn’t have to. A signal from your alarm system that smoke has been detected could easily trigger a lighting scene that gently illuminates a pathway from your home’s bedrooms to the nearest safe exits. That same scene could also vigorously flash the lights at the front of the house and outside, so there’s no mistake as to which house is yours when the fire department comes rushing down your street.
These are just a few examples, of course, and again, each home automation system is uniquely designed to meet the needs of the homeowner. But if you’re meeting with a home technology specialist to discuss your own automation system, don’t just discuss the ways you can add day-to-day convenience; talk to them about all of the ways a smart home can come to your aid on the really, really bad days.
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