If you have a big home improvement project lined up this summer, you’ll likely be working with a contractor for at least part of the job.

A Smart Home Security system—a great home feature in its own right—is incredibly useful for helping this part of your project run more smoothly.

It makes things more convenient for you and your contractor, helps you stay aware of what’s happening on the project, and maintains the security of your property, even while there’s a lot of activity in your home.

Here’s how:

Smart Access – Convenience and Security

Your contractor needs easy access to your home, whether you’re there or not.

A “smart access” solution combines smart locks, user codes and real-time alerts on your smartphone so you can let a contractor in, no matter where you are.

You get the convenience of letting the contractor come and go, with the security of controlling access and knowing when they’re there or not. No more waiting by the door to let the contractor in when you have a busy day ahead of you and no more leaving keys under the mat.

You can use your smartphone app to let a contractor in remotely, or you can give them a unique user code that lets them open your smart lock and disarm your security panel when they arrive. You can set up user codes to only work when you expect the contractor, so you get convenience without sacrificing security.

Alerts Let You Know Everything’s On Schedule

User codes help you keep track of when contractors arrive and leave, providing a useful ‘log’ of time spent in your home. It’s easy to set up a smartphone alert that lets you know instantly when your contractor uses their door code.

You can also set up visual alerts with an image sensor, giving you a visual update of who’s on the job and when. If your Smart Home includes video monitoring, you can even view a live feed of your project as it takes shape.

If you’re planning a major renovation that will have you living elsewhere for a while, you can also save on your broadband costs. Alarm.com-powered systems use a cellular connection, so you can cancel broadband and still manage access to your home and use our image sensor.

Smart Home Security Provides Peace of Mind

A Smart Home gives you the ability to lock your front door (and garage door) and arms your security system remotely when a contractor leaves, restoring your house to its secure state instantly. And, when the job is complete, you can simply delete your contractor’s user code from your system, with no keys to hand back.

Happy remodeling!

Visit Alarm.com for more tips on Smart Homes!

It can be hard to relax on vacation when your house is unoccupied.

So many things can go wrong, especially in your imagination.

You could have left the front door unlocked, or the garage wide open. The basement could be filling with water while an intruder peers through an unlit window. The neighbor you entrusted with pet-feeding duties might lose their key or just forget. The older teen you left home alone could be planning the party of the year.

It’s easy to worry when you don’t know what’s going on. Peace of mind is at hand; however, with an Alarm.com Smart Home which keeps you aware and in control when you’re away.

Here’s how Alarm.com’s Smart Home technology gives you more a relaxing vacation from start to finish.

A Smoother Getaway

Prepping your Smart Home for a vacation is a breeze. Smart lighting schedules will make your house look realistically occupied when you’re away. You can set your lights to come on at sunset, or at a slightly randomized time every evening for added realism.

There’s no need to get a spare key cut for your pet-sitter. Simply create a temporary user code for them to unlock your front door and disarm your system. For added peace of mind, set up a smartphone alert that tells you when they come and go.

No Panics on the Road

You’re 100 miles from home, and things are looking good. Oh wait: did you leave the front door open?

This situation and the worry it entails will never happen to you again when you set up our Geo-Services feature. It uses your smartphone’s location to alert you if you ever leave home without arming your security system or locking your smart locks. When you get the alert, simply secure your home with a couple of taps on your Alarm.com smartphone app and keep on going.

Leave the Monitoring to the Pros

Connected video cameras make it easy to monitor your home for problems when you’re away. Ironically, this can make it harder for you to switch off and relax.

Unlike standalone devices, our Smart Home Security Solutions come with 24-7 professional monitoring. If there’s a break-in or emergency, trained security personnel will alert local emergency services. Someone will respond if there’s a fire, even if you’re swimming or napping!

That means it’s safe to put your phone down and enjoy the beach, dinner or a hike. Check your video alerts later: your home is protected while you relax.

Give Teens Some (Managed) Space

To keep tabs on teens without spoiling their independence, Alarm.com is the perfect solution. Real-time alerts make it especially easy to detect if anything is amiss from a distance.

Add video monitoring to the mix, and you can also see what’s happening at home. That means less checking in (happier teens) and peace of mind for you until you return.

So relax – and enjoy your vacation!

Want to know what a Smart Home can do for you?

The answer is a lot. It gives you security, keeping your family and home safe. It automates everyday tasks to make things more convenient. It saves you energy, money and time.

Looking for more details? Then enjoy these short videos of some of Alarm.com’s most popular features.

It keeps you connected when you’re away

It lets you secure your garage from anywhere

It shows you what’s happening at home

It lets you control every device from one app

And it even guards your refrigerator!

As posted on Alarm.com March 26, 2015

To discover more things that an Alarm.com Smart Home does for you, click here. 

Alarm.com App for Apple Watch Coming Soon!

Apple recently announced the coming availability of the Apple Watch. HS Tech Group continues to partner with state-of-the-art technology providers! We’re pleased to announce that Alarm.com’s new Apple Watch app will be ready when the device begins shipping.

From the app, your customers will be able to:

  • Arm or disarm the system
  • Control lights
  • Control locks
  • Control thermostats
  • Control Manage garage door access
  • View live video
  • See home status at a Glance

Stay tuned for other technology features such as, energy monitoring, GPS tracking for your vehicles and your pets and much more.

The new app will be available when the Apple Watch hits stores. Stay tuned!

While the community invites residents to experience green living, in no way does it compromise on luxury.

We knew all eyes would be on us when general contractor “The Dolben Company,” contacted technology partner, HS Tech Group about this unique community. HS Tech Group was able to incorporate a stylish audio system that adds comfort throughout the amenity rich clubhouse.  Sonance architectural speakers were selected for two reasons.  Compared to traditional loudspeakers, Sonance delivers superior sound coverage and unparallel audio performance.  Sonance also incorporates the very best design for blending in with the rooms’ aesthetics – which was an essential request.

Connectivity is more important than ever these days, so to deliver even faster internet connections, HS Tech Group installed a network in the clubhouse that included a robust Wi-FI platform.  Whether it’s for work or play, residents will have no trouble downloading files or surfing the net.

A variety of wall mounted TV’s were installed to compliment the space as well.  However, to maintain a refined appearance, HS Tech Group centrally located all of the cable boxes back to one convenient location.  This prevents those unsightly “exposed” wires and the need to incorporate furniture to store cable boxes and DVD players.

For more information on HS Tech Group and what we can do for your clubhouse or commercial property – please contact Mark Recene at 1-888-947-8476 X1108 or mr@hst-group.com

When asked by the team from Klein Enterprises to create a fun and entertaining environment for their new clubhouse at The Towns at Mill Run in Owings Mills, HS Tech Group knew exactly what to do.

Our Work at The Towns at Mill Run

Entering the great room, it’s clear that the space was designed as a haven for residents to unwind and relax.  The sleek commercial grade Samsung 65” HDTV mounted above the fireplace sets an ideal stage to enjoy an O’s or Ravens game.  In-ceiling speakers by Sonance balance peak performance with a design for an unparalleled surround sound system, making you feel like you’re at the game.  Additional TVs in the billiards and fitness center assure you don’t miss a moment of the action.To make selecting TV channels, radio stations or watching a movie easier than ever, HS Tech Group chose Crestron

To make selecting TV channels, radio stations or watching a movie easier than ever, HS Tech Group chose Crestron automation. Easy to overlook at 1st glance, the elegant 7” touch screen remote with ultra-bright, high-resolution graphics seamlessly controls the assortment of Audio, Video and Security components functioning behind the scenes.

From customized rules that wake up and turn off the TV’s at certain times to setting volume limits– the system enhances enjoyment while not disturbing residents in other areas of the clubhouse.  The system offers the ability to expand if the needs for spaces ever change and additional services like lighting, motorized shades and HVAC can all be easily added to the Crestron platform as well.

For more information on HS Tech Group and what we can do for your clubhouse or commercial property – please contact Mark Recene at 1-888-947-8476 (extension 1108) or mr@hst-group.com

VIP SERVICE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS 24/7

HS Tech Group unveils 24/7 luxury Digital Concierge Service for our most discerning clientèle.

Our Digital Concierge allows you to experience resort-style living from your home. Integrated within your suite of home automation products, digital concierge runs on smart-technology and manages real-time updates to manage and book your reservations through your TV remote or smartphone.

Our service can track the best offerings for local activities, sporting events and more or even make customized suggestions based on your preferences.

Turn your home into your favorite resort? No problem. With the touch of a button, draw the shades, set the mood with your favorite music, adjust the thermostat, and enjoy some online shopping for a special occasion… all without leaving the best seat in the house.

Beyond the seamless integration of your home security, comfort, and entertainment needs, Digital Concierge Service provides a suite of lifestyle technologies that let you live life on your terms.

Speak with the staff at HS Tech Group to design your future…. and welcome home.

More than 70% of homeowners use their garage door as the main entryway into their home.

Shortly after the garage was invented, the development of the garage door opener followed. No longer a luxury, more than 35 million households use an electronic remote to open their garage door.

In 1992, legislation passed that all garage door openers must be sold with an external system known as infrared sensors or “photo eyes” to protect the path of someone or something in case a door was closing and they were in that path.  They would be detected, and the door would open (if it was closing).

Alarm.com recently teamed up with Chamberlain/Liftmaster to incorporate their garage door opener system with the app provided by HS Tech Group.  For a very small investment, depending upon how old your operator is, you can now control the operation, open or close your garage door from your remote device using the app as well as receive real-time alerts when the door is opened/closed or left open for a specific period.

How many times have you wondered after you left your home, Did I leave the garage door open? Now it’s as simple as reaching for your phone to check the garage door status, and if it is open, press an icon to close it.

Call today and ask about upgrading your system with the latest features provide by HS Tech Group and Alarm.com 1-888-947-8476

Do I really need a professionally installed video surveillance system?

By Laura McAndrew

It is imperative to know the differences between self and professionally installed surveillance systems.  Our homes are our castles, and every castle has something worth protecting.  Today police rely on video more than ever to help solve crimes.  This is why you need a professionally installed video surveillance system that will produce the proper image quality authorities will need.

Video Surveillance and how it’s changing in the wake of the Boston Marathon is a question that has opened many eyes over the past month.  It’s a pretty powerful example of the usefulness of a video surveillance system.  The key video clips that captured the suspects’ faces were not just because of the make or model of the camera; it was also because they were well-positioned cameras installed by a professional.  It’s time to be proactive and be educated on surveillance needsA tragedy like this makes you think of your loved ones and about what could have been prevented had the right security cameras been installed.

Now that the weather is nice, you’re more likely to leave your windows and doors open, even when you go out.  Remember, most break-ins and theft occur because of negligence, so securing your home and property is of the utmost importance.  The fact is, you always want your family safe, and we at HS Tech Group are the experts to reassure you that your video surveillance system is installed correctly.

HS Tech Group has trained design engineers who will come to your home or business and inspect the areas you want to keep a watchful eye on.  They’ll provide insight on other important tips to make your security camera system the best it can be.  For example; adding more outdoor lighting, cutting back the tree branches and posting a warning sign that tells intruders your home or business is protected by a 24-hour video surveillance system.  They’ll not only show you the differences between the cameras on the market but also recommend the ideal placement for capturing suspicious activity on your property.

Before you commit to security cameras or even a video surveillance system that records events, you should consider the following:  Technology is changing, and so are the cameras being used. A typical IP (internet protocol) camera can cost between $200-$850 and more.

That may sound like a lot to some people but things you should consider before making the wrong choices.

  • Establish a budget
  • Make sure your cameras and equipment have a good warranty
  • Be sure there is an option for cameras that can be viewed at night
  • Make sure you can adjust the view of the image
  • Do you want to view your cameras from your iPhone or an internet connection
  • You should probably plan on a system that can record for at least 30 days
  • Look for a company that offers a service plan

Be sure to use a company that has a proven track record.  They should have a state license and be knowledgeable when it comes to presenting solutions for your specific needs.  HS Tech Group was recently named one of the top (3) security installing companies in the United States.  For more information about home security, video surveillance and more, contact us today and one of our professional design engineers will assist you.

Why do Burglars look forward to summer more than any other season? 

Summer is a time of year that is anticipated eagerly by many.  When the weather is warm, children and adults are outside more, and people tend to keep their windows and doors open for longer periods of time.  Adults often have more flexible schedules, and kids are off from school.  As a result, homes are much more likely to be burglarized during summer months more than any other season.  With a properly installed security system and some helpful tips, HS Tech Group can help prevent the criminals from ruining your summer.

It’s not that burglars are more active in the summer than other seasons; they’re given more opportunities because of the lack of effort made by homeowners to secure their properties.  One of the most important and obvious tips for summer is making sure you install a home security system and using it.  Controlling your security system has become incredibly simple by using mobile apps.  Our HS Tech Group security systems allow you to use your iPhone, Android, and Blackberry as a keypad and for receiving notifications.  For instance, the kids just disarmed the system or your home just lost power due to a storm.  You can even watch live or recorded video footage from multiple security cameras directly on your mobile phone or tablet from virtually anywhere.

Secondly – ALWAYS secure ALL entry ways…doors, windows, etc.  Whether you are away from home for an hour or the weekend, lock all open access. Burglars look for nice things, so that means closing garage doors and window shades, so you’re not exposing expensive tools, golf clubs, recreational vehicles and pricey home electronics and more.

Thirdly, use exterior lights.  Burglars wear dark clothing for a reason and simply installing outdoor lighting will serve as a big deterrent.   You can also incorporate an HS Tech Group lighting control system. We can schedule your outdoor lights to come on at dusk or whenever you want.  They can also be programmed to look like you’re home with the press of a button while you’re away.

All of us at HS Tech Group want you to enjoy your summer.  By incorporating these helpful tips, you’re reducing your chances of becoming a victim of a home burglary.

For more information, please contact us anytime.