Summertime, and the living is easy-and then whoosh! It’s back to school. This year, for her sophomore year of college, my daughter moved from her dormitory to a house, shared with friends near her University. The parents all got together and decided on some priorities that we would help the kids with. After cleaning, the top of the list was home security for college students.
The house is in a student neighborhood with a reputation for getting a little wild sometimes. While the housemates are all very serious students, there wasn’t a lot of choice about where they could live given the rental situation near the University.
Our top priority was fire and carbon monoxide monitors, because, we know that those things are often the most deadly and a five busy college students living on multiple levels might not be so on top of making sure these things are working on a regular basis. The system sends notifications in the case of an emergency and can be pre programmed to respond appropriately to the situation as well as shutting down the heating system if the CO2 monitor goes off, to help limit circulation until help can arrive.
We decided to install a smart lock, which means that there is no need for keys which might get lost or into the wrong hands, and the ability to see who is coming and going at any particular time. In addition, personalized codes can be changed as required with a minimum of fuss.
We installed door and window contacts so that they can be notified when a window or door is opened and an image sensor on the porch so that they can check to see who is on the other side of the door before opening it.
While I was researching options for my daughter’s house, we realized that we could add some upgrades to our own home security system It is amazing what is available today! We recently started renting out our basement to students at our local University so, our security needs are now more complicated than they were in the past with only our family in the home.
We installed Smart Locks and upgraded our current Fire/CO2 systems since ours was obsolete. We have programmed our systems to react proactively- for example, not to call 911 if the kitchen alarms go off but to do so if fire or CO2 is detected elsewhere in the house. We have Doorbell cameras at both entrances and an image sensor at the front door, since that is where our package deliveries are, and for security reasons, we want to be able to see, if someone decides to interfere with our delivery.
We installed water sensors because leaks cause waste and can also cause damage. Now that we do not have access to our basement, we want to be able to see where and what is going on, with regard to water usage. Water sensors are a great way for us to keep an eye on leaks without invading the privacy of our tenants, as well as being able to be proactive if and when we have a leak, without needing to rely on the tenants to tell us in a timely fashion.
Lastly, we installed controls for our HVAC system as well as our lighting systems in the part of the house that we live in. We can turn on and off lights in any room from anywhere in the world. For security purposes, this is much better than setting timers to go off when we are not home and also, enables us to waste less electricity yet still come home to a lighted house! In addition, if we need to override our heating or air conditioning while we are not there, we can use our smartphones to do so, and as an added bonus, our system can interact with local weather reporting sites and also respond appropriately on it’s own.
Security systems have come a really far way in the past few years and should be used to provide home security for college students!