More and more people like yourself are turning to new video surveillance technologies to safeguard themselves and their homes along the Emerald Coast. In Okaloosa County in 2015, there were 2,566 property crimes per 100,000 people. In Walton, that number was 2,221. In Bay, 3,988. Not exactly comforting statistics.

And aside from crime, there are other dangers around the home that can be mitigated by having a high-quality home security system, especially if you opt for a system that integrates smart home technology.  For example, if you have a toddler and an in-ground pool in your backyard, obviously you are alert to the dangers of an accidental drowning. If you have a home security system set up to alert you every time the back door is open, you would know if your toddler was wandering outside the home and required you to quickly intervene to keep him or her safe.

And you need not be intimidated by the thought of getting into high-tech security. You probably have some degree of smart technology in your home already, whether it be a coffee maker set to start brewing on a timer or remote controlled garage door openers.

While some tech-savvy people love setting up systems on their own, a new study has found that just isn’t the case. According to the 2016 Smart Home 360 report, which analyzed user experience with various security and smart home technologies, users tend to prefer having a company that is able to install and set up various functions, providing users the security and control they need with as little fuss as necessary. There are plenty of companies that take the guesswork out of setup and operation. So don’t let that deter you from implementing the safety you and your family need.Most systems today can be easily monitored by the user, with a security company maintaining 24/7 watch to make sure you stay safe and comfortable. And a wide variety of packages mean you can find something to suit your needs, and your budget.

Smart Phone Video SurveillanceSome basic security features you might want to consider are burglar and intrusion alarms, outdoor perimeter detection, glass break detection, and motion detection. These fundamentals will help keep you and your family safe in the event of a crime.

Most companies today are linked to local law enforcement and firefighters and will contact the appropriate agency as warranted when you need help. And there are built-in features of many video surveillance systems that let you inform the company of false alarms, so as to decrease unnecessary calls to those agencies, letting them be free to respond to real emergencies.

Another handy feature is if you’re met by an intruder and forced to turn off the alarm. You can actually set up a separate code that appears to an outside that you have turned off the alarm when in fact you have notified the security company that there is a dangerous situation occurring, and they can have police sent with the knowledge that you are being held against your will in your home.

And rather than rely on power, which you can lose, or phone lines, which can be cut, you can now find wireless/cellular communication, so you can truly monitor your home 24/7. Smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detection is another feature you might want to consider. If you get one that operates as part of a smart home system, you don’t have to worry about batteries failing. If there is a battery problem, most smart home systems will alert you in advance so that the company can repair it before it becomes a danger.Smart thermostats are another popular trend that can help you save money on energy costs. Just program in your preferences, or let the thermostat learn your habits and make recommendations.

Automated lights also can help save on energy costs, as well as add a layer of security to your home. For example, if you are going out of town for a few days, you can have your lights at home programmed to go off and on in whatever sequence you prefer, giving outsiders the impression that there is activity going on inside the home.And back to the idea of safety, be aware that smart homes can arrange for automated door locks and can connect to garage doors for increased convenience.And you can manage all these features in the palm of your hand with user-friendly mobile apps. You can receive home security threat alerts or be alerted when you forget to arm your system.