I’m an introvert, so having a stranger in my house is never something I get overly excited about, even when it means I’m getting the security and home automation that AlarmForce provides. However, I had nothing to worry about when it came down to having our system installed.
It began with choosing a day and time for installation, which was then confirmed by email. I could expect Craig to arrive between 9:30 – 10:30am and he would be at the house for at least a few hours because we were having several services installed. On the day of installation, shortly before 9:30am I received a phone call from Craig giving me his approximate time of arrival (it was within the hour we expected him) and he showed up right on time.
After introductions and a quick tour of the house (Craig was impressed with the amount of Star Wars paraphernalia and we determined that we share the geek gene), we went over everything that would be installed. Installation begins with the main panel and our first step was to choose a location near the front door and an outlet where it could be installed. We chose a spot that is only 3 – 4 feet down the front hall because there is an outlet. Craig explained that the panel could go above or below our light switch. Above would be a little more challenging to install because of the studs and wiring around the light, but we felt that was the best height for it and he took on the challenge.
That was the most difficult part of the entire installation. Next, he put in the Smart Thermostat and garage door controller. While putting these in he told us how we can set up these systems with the GPS in our phones so that the garage opens and thermostat turns up just as we arrive at home. How cool is that?
AlarmForce offers a Smoke, Heat and Freeze Detector that also works through your app to notify you of any emergencies. I wasn’t sure if we needed this, since our current smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are hard-wired through the house. However, we decided that we did want the benefit of being notified via our smartphones if there was a problem, so we had one Smoke, Heat and Freeze Detector installed on the main floor. We also had a carbon monoxide detector installed, but not on the main floor. Craig explained that carbon monoxide is heavier than air, so the detectors on the ceiling are not very beneficial. He installed one near the floor in our furnace room.
Door contacts were put in on the front door, garage entry and the patio doors and we chose an “action” for these doors. When each door is opened, we hear which door has been opened e.g. “Front door”. We can turn this off if we want but so far, the kids are enjoying it and I like that no one can sneak out at night.
Speaking of sneaking out at night, Craig made an excellent suggestion for our teenage son’s basement bedroom. He installed a motion detector in the window frame that will let us know if anyone moves in or out of that window. Now I really don’t believe that Kellen would do that, but it’s nice to know that he couldn’t get away with it if he tried! Another motion detector was installed on the main floor.
The final installations were the Smart Door Lock and Doorbell Camera. Craig was excited about the Smart Door Lock as it is a new service and he hadn’t seen it before. Despite that, he had it installed in no time and finished everything up with our new doorbell camera.
While Craig was working on the installations, he had my husband and I looking at the AlarmForce app. We were having too much fun opening and closing the garage and locking and unlocking the front door with our phones. We soon learned that we could do things like change the light colour on the doorbell, turn on and off devices that were plugged into special adaptors, and talk to people on the street through our doorbell camera. That isn’t what it is intended for, but it’s an obvious perk.
Craig then sat down with us and showed us how to set up our codes and how to make the system work best for us. We learned that we can have multiple codes for the Smart Door Lock and they can even be set up to work only within a certain window of time, or on specific days of the week. We set up the GPS to let us know if we left the doors unlocked once we get a certain distance away from the house. We set up notifications so that we either get texts or emails (or both) if there is a problem. Craig demonstrated the usefulness of having individual security codes and notifications when he received a notification that his daughter had arrived home. Even though he was more than an hour away from home and working, he knew exactly when she got home.
Once we had a clear understanding of how the app and the computer setup worked, we practiced arming and disarming the security system, and even did a test emergency call into AlarmForce. I was impressed with how thorough Craig was at explaining everything. When he was ready to go home, we felt well informed and able to use the system and we had all shared our love of Star Wars and travel throughout the day. It was a painless day for this introvert.
My readers (new subscribers only) can get a month of free monitoring from AlarmForce by using the “Kidsumers” coupon code when signing up. With rates as low as $30/month for services, you really can’t go wrong protecting your family and home with AlarmForce.