Security matters, too
Security should be an ongoing concern, but not a dominant concern.
Security should relieve (and not create) worry.
Our plans for surveillance through IP-connected cameras, able to record whenever they're triggered either as a result of what they view or on command from a system controller, include them as primarily a way to respond after the fact and not as an alarm system. Surveillance is not, in and of itself, security.
Our additional monitoring of the front door and the mailbox are more about convenience than security, but those, too may provide a way to tag the bad guys after the fact.
Physical security against intruders
We have no plans for motorized gates or a guardhouse, but we do plan on taking reasonable measures at the doors to the house. A small and inexpensive Kikgard steel plate, invisibly behind the door jamb and covered by its trim, can give a deadbolt a significantly more secure housing than the usual “naked” pine strip. Electronic deadbolts cannot be accidentally left unlocked when their control is through the automation systems. As you learn in the Garage discussion in the Autonomy tab in this section, automation can also assure that the garage doors are not left inappropriately open.
Windows can always be broken, and no house is completely safe from intruders. Our backup plan here is simple for anybody bold enough to break in: a noisy dog and an armed occupant, backed up by video evidence of the break-in.
Like our “In case of fire” discussion, our automation will take a number of steps to detect fires, alert occupants and first responders, reduce factors that could aid the fire's spread and speed first responder to where they can do the most good.
We can also seek to reduce fire hazards and fire potential in our choice of materials throughout the house.
Attention to firewalls and other anti-intrusion measures, and to anti-malware measures, plus a multi layered backup plan are the cornerstones of electronic security. We plan redundant routes to internet connectivity and at least 3 varieties of phone services.
A house operates, and most modern houses depend on utilities for that. This house has access to and uses natural gas, a fuel source with an extraordinary reliability record. Electricity here is less reliable, so a backup generator is in the plan. Many key systems will run on uninterruptible power supply (UPS) feeds. Whole-house surge protection will be there, too
It's hard to know ahead of time whether these are the only security issues we'll end up addressing, and if we add more, we're not at all certain it will be in our best interests to disclose all of them.
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