Recently a company announced that they have developed a home security system that has no monthly fees attached to it. It certainly does sound like a great idea. After all, nobody enjoys paying monthly fees to a security service provider. Everyone assumes that it’s just necessary restitution to pay for advanced home security protection. Therefore, knowing that there’s a company out there that is offering no monthly fees certainly piques everyone’s interest. How is this type of deal possible?
First understand why monthly fees are necessary. Essentially, monthly fees pay for a professional monitoring service. Without this option, a home security system is cheap, self-contained and very limited in what it can do. A monthly fee allows the company to keep a live monitoring service up and running 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, with no interruption. Paying customers are supporting a full staff of trained operators as well as new advanced technology that allows communication to continue even in the event of a call drop or power outage.
The only way that a company could offer a no monthly savings plan is if they did away with this monitoring service-or simply took the massive cost of operating its centers out of its own wallet. (Highly unlikely) The new company that is offering a home security service with no monthly fees has a different technology, which in essence simulates a call center, by automatically phoning four pre-set emergency numbers upon signal. It also sets off a circus of sirens and flashes lights that disrupts the neighborhood.
The problem with this good idea is that there is no promise of reliability. Compared to a standard home security company, the system is lacking some of the most important features that make live monitoring worth the money customers pay. For one thing, their security system doesn’t even call police management officials. It can only dial the numbers of friends or family, and hopefully, they will call the police after assuming the worse. Second, there is no dedicated call center that guarantees emergency management with multiple phone lines and connected networks. That means call drops are a threat, as are power outages, busy signals and other technical difficulties. Third, with this “free” type of service you are putting the responsibility of your house in the hands of your friends and family-not in the hands of law enforcement officials. This type of system offers no protection against false alarms and no smart sensors that track interior movement. Lastly, it cannot protect your house against non-invasive problems like flooding, fire, carbon monoxide and various other “hidden” threats to your life.
The standard security system with live monitoring remains the safest buy, as it guarantees police involvement as well as fast and effective emergency response. (You can actually speak to another human being) If there is a breach of security, police, or other officials, are immediately called. With automated, self-contained systems there is no waiting for four pre-set numbers to be automatically dialed-and only …
Today’s homes are designed and laid out so our public areas, the family room, kitchen, recreation room, dining room, and living room are open to each other for interaction and family unity. But how are you to decorate these rooms that flow from one space to the next? Most of the time there are no stopping and starting points to paint or wallpaper, no way to have one color or style in one area and a different one in another area. So, how do you decorate these rooms and give them identity, comfort and allow them to remain their own space?
Everyone has heard the words “Form Follows Function.” Let’s break that down for your home. Each room in your home has a function. For some you need a space to eat your meals, play board games, card games, do homework, write letters, pay bills… you get the idea. Because the functions performed are more task oriented, a table and chair combination works best. You may call this a dining room or eating area. The same applies for a family room where you will lounge, take naps, sit and read or watch television. Begin by looking at the function of your particular space and this will dictate what type of furnishings you will need.
To flow or not to flow, that is the question! Some designers will tell you that if you have open public areas that they need to have the same colors, same themes, same types of window treatments and artwork. This is true and not true, at the same time! Our minds like like-minded things. If you can find something in one room or one area that you can connect to another room or area you will feel comfortable, stable and the rooms will seem to flow together nicely. This is done easily by selecting a color, theme, accessory, or piece of artwork.
Let’s try some real life examples. Say you have a family room, kitchen and dining area that are all open to each other. In order to get them to flow we could use a Nautical theme. This allows you to use boat accessories like ores, netting, boardwalk lights, reels, and fishing poles in one area or room, lighthouses in another, and carved duck decoys, artwork with Nautical scenes, or prints of beaches and oceans in yet another.
We could also flow the spaces together by painting the walls the same color in all the rooms, but use different accent colors to make each room appear different. You could also begin with a patterned fabric for the family room and use similar color and style patterns in the kitchen and dining room. You do this by using a large print in the family room, small print in the dining area, plaid in the kitchen and accent with solids, stripes or patterned upholstery fabrics in the same colors and style. The window treatments, fabrics, wall colors, accessories and artwork would not need to be the same …