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Security Systems, Smart Home Devices

Prep Your Security System for Back-to-School Season

With schools expected to reopen in Fall 2021, preparations for the resumption of face-to-face classes should be underway for most families. School clothes, books, school supplies, meals, and even the car have to be ready for this big event. All these need to be done so that the kids can have an enjoyable experience at school.

One thing that you probably hadn’t considered but should include in your routine for getting everything set for school is a smart home security system. With smart home security systems, you can integrate a wide variety of smart devices to it such as smart light bulbs, speakers, door locks, sensors, and cameras, among other things. Once you have this, your security system will not only monitor and protect your family’s safety, it can also make life more convenient for you as a parent.

Here are some helpful tips on how you can leverage a smart home security system for back to school:

Install smart lights to wake up the kids on time

Waking up early to start the day and prepare for school can be a bummer for the kids. Make waking up a little bit less painful by installing smart light bulbs in their room. Philips HUE and LIFX smart bulbs integrate seamlessly into the Abode system, enabling you to set automations right from your phone to run each school day such as turning on the lights in their room when it’s time to wake up.

You can also set automations such as adjusting the brightness of the lights when it’s time to do their homework, change the color of the lights to set the mood for studying, dimming the lights when it’s time to go to bed, and turning it off at a specific time in the middle of the night once they’re asleep. Not only will these smart bulbs automate how you use lights, you can also manage your electricity usage with it.

Automate the way you prepare the kids’ food

We all want kids to eat a healthy and balanced diet so they’ll have the energy to make it through each school day. Preparing breakfast and a packed lunch can be a tough feat though especially if you have several kids or don’t have enough time because of your busy work schedule.

A solution to this problem is to automate some of the appliances used in your meal prep by using a smart switch. These devices can be controlled from your phone, enabling you to automatically turn on or off any appliance plugged into it based on a schedule.

Plug your electric kettle into it and schedule it to turn on at a specific time in the morning for easy oatmeal and coffee prep. You can also plug a toaster oven into it — place a piece of bread or English muffin the night before and have toast ready in the morning with no effort.

See the kids leave and arrive home using cameras

Installing indoor and outdoor security cameras will help you keep an eye on your home and verify that your kids left for and arrived home from school safely.

Whether you’re in the office or busy doing household chores, you’ll receive a notification that a person has been detected and can ensure the kids arrived safely just by looking at an app on your phone.

Select cameras that have a wide angle lens for a larger field of view. For better video quality, opt for additional features such as a high pixel size on the lens, high video resolution, and night vision for low-light video recording of those winter mornings when it is still relatively dark out.

Unlock the door for the kids using smart locks

We tend to leave our kids a copy of the house keys so that they can unlock the door upon arriving home from school. But children can be forgetful and having a physical key accessible could be an opportunity for burglars to strike.

With the advent of smart door locks, we’ve relied less on having physical keys to open our doors. Once installed and connected to your security system, you can set automations so that the door could be unlocked at a scheduled time, such as when your child arrives home from school. You can also set location-based automations, which use the location of your child’s phone. Once the system detects your kid entering the zone around your house, it can automatically unlock the door so he or she can enter and lock the door behind once he or she is in.

Set the right room temperature for studying

The right room temperature is crucial not just to getting a good night sleep but also in having an environment conducive to learning. If your child is virtually learning or has homework to do after arriving home from school, you want to have the air conditioning in his or her room set to just the specific temperature that he or she is comfortable with. But how do you do this automatically if you’re out of the house?

Your best solution is to purchase a smart thermostat. Ecobee has a great line of smart thermostats that integrate well with various smart home security systems and smart sensors from Abode. Create a schedule for these thermostats so your child comes home to a perfectly cooled room every day after school.

Play your kid’s favorite tunes or TV shows upon getting home

After a day of school, most kids would just like to rest for a while upon arriving home. They could either watch some TV, play video games, or listen to music they like. It would be great if you could help set these activities up so that they’re ready to play once they get home.

Plug your TV into a smart switch so that you can set time-based or location-based automations that will turn on the TV when the kids arrive from school.

If it’s music that they want, connect a smart speaker from either Sonos or Bose to your Abode security system. Once connected, you can set automations such as playing your kid’s favorite songs from Spotify or Apple Music.

Getting kids back to school doesn’t have to be stressful and time consuming. Let your smart home security system make back-to-school preparations more convenient.

Stewart Grant

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