Copyright: Unsplash | CC0 Public Domain
With so many people investing in smart home security systems, you’ll find that most of them aren’t really taking advantage of them fully. Whether they don’t think they need all the functionality they have at their disposal, or they just aren’t aware of how advanced smart systems are, there are things they could be doing to make their home a safer, more convenient place to live.
With that being said, if you’ve invested in Amazon’s ecosystem to make your home a better place to live in, there are a few things that you could be doing. The Alexa voice assistant comes with a nifty thing called “routines”, and setting up a few of them can make a massive difference.
So, what are routines, and why should you be taking advantage of them? To begin with, a routine will basically do things when a certain condition is met, or when you have a trigger. That trigger could be a specific time in the day, a specific command, you coming home (or leaving for work), or even your alarm going off in the morning.
It’s a nice way of truly taking advantage of home automation. Since aside from security, convenience is the other major thing that comes with home automation, you’ll want to take advantage of this. You’ll be streamlining your day-to-day life with nothing more than that tiny (or not so tiny) speaker and your voice.
Now that you know what routines are, let’s take a look at how you set them up. Don’t fret – it’s really simple and you don’t need to be all that tech-savvy.
If you’ve been using Alexa for a while, this might sound like a familiar process. If not, grab your phone and open the Alexa app. Hit the top left menu icon, and tap Routines, then tap the + to add a new one. Then, set “When This Happens” to the trigger you like, and “Add Action” to add what Alexa should do. Save your routine, and you’re good to go.
Routines like this are actually one of the primary reasons why you’d want to go for a smart system instead of a conventional one. There’s no denying that we oftentimes forget things, and if those things are security-related, they can be problematic.
The primary example of this is forgetting to lock our doors. And we aren’t just referring to the front door. This applies to the rear door, the shed door, the garage door, you name it. Any of those are basically access points for a potential burglar, so keeping them locked is a necessity. A smart lock is a great way to ensure that even if you forget to lock your door, you can do that remotely if you’re away from home. Do you know what’s even better, though? Having Alexa lock it for you as soon as your phone disconnects from your home Wi-Fi.
Then you’ve got your lights. While some models do offer a level of automation and routines without a smart speaker, Alexa can take things to the next levels. Lights turning on are one of the best deterrents for potential thieves, so having Alexa turn them on every once in a while while you’re away could be a good idea. This way, it doesn’t matter whether there’s someone at home or not – the burglars will think there is, and back off.
Copyright: Unsplash | CC0 Public Domain
Last but not least, you can set routines to work in conjunction with motion sensors in and around your home. It’s as simple as setting your motion sensors to be a trigger, and Alexa saying “Someone is in your backyard”. This way, if someone is snooping where they shouldn’t be, you’ll know instantly. This could be set up for door and window sensors, too, so if someone tries to open one, Alexa will let you know. While we’re at motion sensors, you could even have Alexa turn on some outdoor lights in the area where there’s motion. Most burglars tend to work under the cover of darkness, so a light flashing in their face is definitely going to scare them away.
Aside from security, there’s certainly no denying that Alexa routines can add a bit of convenience to your home, too. For example, you could have Alexa set the thermostat to your preferred temperature before you get home, and have it unlock and open the garage door as you get to your driveway. The possibilities are pretty much endless, and it’s up to you and your imagination to best make use of them to up your home’s security and make it a better place to live in.