My idea of a good time is solving the problems that my clients have in their lives. When people come to me and say, “I need to secure this area, but how do I do that?”, I get right to work. I customize everything—probably more than I should—but I really do enjoy assessing what’s needed at a particular spot. Part of what makes this job so fun is getting to put to use all the new security toys and tools that technology has dumped into my lap in recent years. I’m having a blast, and I thought I’d share some of my favorite products and discoveries with you.

There are a variety of ways and tools you can use to increase the security of your home. One is to be able to arm and disarm remotely.

There are a variety of ways and tools you can use to increase the security of your home. One is to be able to arm and disarm remotely.

1) Windows That Are Opened But Still Alarmed. As a Tennessean, born, bred, and raised, it’s been an evolution for me to remember to lock my doors and windows and arm my security system. I’m a Southerner, and that’s just hard—for many of my clients as well. So we came up with a means for good Southerners like myself to be able to leave their windows open and still set their alarm system, so that cool breezes know they’re welcome while intruders are definitely not. We discovered a surprisingly simple fix so that my clients are now able to raise their window a certain amount and still arm their system.

2) Security for Latch Key Kids and the Elderly. We’re starting to use alarm systems in a way that speaks to lifestyle enhancements as much as anything else. One of my favorite uses of alarm technology allows parents to know when and if their kids came home from school. This is great for kids who have to come home to an empty house after school. One of the systems we use now will notify parents via text if the alarm system has not been disarmed between the hours of, say, three and four o’clock in the afternoon. We can use that same technology for grandma so that she can stay in her home a little bit longer on her own. If she doesn’t make it to, say, the kitchen before noon, then her daughter or caretaker can get a text saying so.

3) Key Lock and System Disarmer. My favorite play toy right now is actually a key lock that’s been great for moms with school-aged kids and adults who tend to lock themselves out of their home. Basically, it replaces the deadbolt, and when you arrive home you can press in your code, releasing the deadbolt and disarming the alarm system at the same time. This way kids—and adults—don’t have to keep track of a key and a key remote.

4) Nanny Cams. Nanny cams are nothing new, but the way that people are using them is. I hardly ever install a “nanny cam” for parents to actually monitor the nanny. Far more often, I see parents putting the cameras in to keep an eye on the kids, which is exactly what I did in my home, quite frankly. Not only can we now access cameras online so that you can see what’s going on in your home when you’re at the office, but this same technology is also being used by businessowners who want to see what’s going on at the office when they’re away.

5) Arming/Disarming Alarm Remotely. From a business owner standpoint, having the ability to access your systems online—I don’t know how we ever managed to get along without that. Because if I’ve got somebody delivering something at home but I’m at the office, I can disarm the system at home and rearm it after they’re finished delivering it. And furthermore, I can watch them deliver it with my camera, accessible from my computer. Likewise, if I’m at home and I’ve got something going on at the office, then I can go online to the very same website and bring up my office camera. This technology is a great time saver for people who find themselves too often running back and forth between home and office.