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With an impeccable sense of smell and sensitive ears, dogs can be aware of a threat long before you. Sure, they do the adorable thing of wagging their tails and running around the house when a loved one pulls into the driveway, but they can also do the very helpful thing of growling, barking, and sounding the alarm when a not so loved individual shows up. That being said, dogs are just four legged friends in the end and are capable of human error—or, rather, canine error. Here are ways dogs help and hinder home security. They scare off burglars with barking Burglars don’t typically want to mess with a house where there is a dog inside. Even if humans aren’t home, the sounds of the dogs barking could alert neighbors and the entire neighborhood of a problem. Simply having a “Beware of dog” sign could send a burglar on his way. They sound false alarms Dogs, however,… Read moreIt’s only natural to feel like your safety is compromised while your home is being gutted for renovations. Ironically, the construction your home is undergoing might even enhance its security, like the addition of a carport that conceals high end vehicles or a guest house that doubles as a storage unit for valuables. But the process of making these changes can cause inherent safety risks. Your walls are being torn down and your property is being swarmed with strangers each day.

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Some systems offer both cloud storage and local storage, and some provide a dedicated storage drive that gives you DVR capabilities with time lapse recording, which makes it easy to find a video event that took place at a specific point in time. All of the systems we've tested feature an app that lets you use your smartphone as your command center to arm and disarm the system, create rules, add and delete components, and receive push notifications when alarms are triggered. Most apps also allow you to do things like view live and recorded video, lock and unlock doors, change thermostat settings, and silence alarms. Some apps will even use your phone's location services to automatically arm and disarm the system according to your physical location. The more expensive systems usually come with a wall mounted panel that acts as a communications hub, with a touch screen display that allows you to do everything the app does. The display lets you communicate with a professional monitoring service when an alarm is triggered and view video from any of the installed security cameras.