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By Bill Philips, WTOV-9/Steubenville, Ohio

The world as we see every day can be a very dangerous place. To stay safe, people are willing to pay for security.

According to industry experts, global home security will be a $100 billion business by 2020. Today’s home security systems can provide an umbrella of protection according to Paul Lauttamus of Lauttamus Communications and Security.

“The most important asset that anybody has is their family and their home,” Lauttamus said. “If you can protect that, then you are protecting your most valuable possessions. If you can do that, you can sleep better at night.”

In many ways, it’s as easy as pushing a button from wherever you are.

“Now I’m connecting to my home and I can allow my alarm system to ‘Arm Away’ or ‘Arm Stay’,” Lauttamus said. “Because I’m home, I’m going to ‘Alarm Stay’, now I’m alarming my home. It’s working through the cell phone network into my alarm panel. Now my home is alarmed – now it’s ‘Alarm Stay’. Now, if I wanted to let in my contractor, all I do is hit ‘Alarm Disarm’ and it will disarm alarm and now I can unlock my home.”

But how do you protect the loved ones already in your home? Perhaps a child decides to go outside unexpectedly.

“There is a wireless sensor and a battery that’s in this device, and this talks to my alarm panel, and this tells it which zone that it is,” Lauttamus said.

Today’s home security systems can even protect the elderly and sick.

“It’s an emerging technology, it’s called telemedicine, and there are new types of technology that’s occurring that allow you to check the temperature of your loved one,” Lauttamus said. “It allows you to verify if there is movement in the home. And then there is the ‘I’ve fallen and can’t get up’ buttons which are buttons that are worn by the elderly or senior citizens. There’s also sensors that are built into those devices where if there is no movement or no motion – what happens is that can alert the central station.”

One problem the home security industry is continually dealing with is false alarms. Some municipalities want to fine people that continually have false alarms. Lauttamus believes doing a better job educating home security system owners would solve many of the issues surrounding false alarms.

“It’s very important for us to look at the home and make sure that the alarm system is designed properly and what we have to do better as an alarm company is to work very closely with public safety to help reduce these false alarms,” Lauttamus said. “On smoke alarms that occur, the code requires us to call 9-1-1 and the fire department, and the reason we have to do that is it’s West Virginia state law and most states require that.”

“The systems have a purpose and they do work,” said Jefferson County 911 Director Rob Herrington. “It’s just a matter of making sure that they are installed correctly and then people are trained to use them.”

That monitored fire alarm is critical to saving lives as well as property according to the National Fire Protection Association. In 2015 alone, $14.3 billion in property was lost.

“If you wake up in the middle of the night and you have a smoke detector going off in your house, and you hear it chirping or beeping and you have to respond,” Herrington said. “You have to pick up your phone, you have to dial 9-1-1 to start the process, while a monitored system essentially takes that away and does it for you.”

If you are in the market for a monitored home security system, make sure you check with your insurance company because you could save a substantial amount of money on your home owner’s insurance.

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