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Devices for Your Goals Smart Security Systems

A wall-mounted touchscreen shows a video feed of a woman standing outside a front door smiling. A white man's hand touches a microphone icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
Photo: Tessa Marie Commercial

What It Is

A smart security system keeps you and your home safe and secure from a number of threats, including intruders and hazards such as fire or carbon monoxide.

You can improve your home’s security using a combination of smart devices (such as window and door sensors, smart locks, smart cameras, and smoke detectors) that you monitor yourself. Or, you can purchase a system that includes a package of devices and sign up for live professional monitoring for help in case of an emergency. Security systems can include:

  • Window, door, glass-break, sound, motion, and other sensors that can detect a possible intruder, trigger an alarm, and send an alert to connected mobile apps.
  • Cameras and doorbells with motion detectors that provide remote access to the video feed and send alerts when activity is detected.
  • Door locks that can be controlled, automated, and checked via mobile app.
  • Smoke, carbon monoxide, water, and other hazard detectors that can alert you locally and remotely via the app.

How It Helps

A smart security system can integrate multiple smart devices and remote monitoring to enhance the security of your home. Here are some examples of what you may be able to do with a smart security system:

  • Self-monitor your home, receive remote security monitoring from family or caregivers, or receive professional remote monitoring from a security company.
  • Receive an alert on your smartphone whenever the front door opens.
  • Receive a notification via your smart speaker if there is movement outside detected by your smart camera.
  • Lock your doors remotely and create unique passcodes for different visitors, and know when each passcode is used.
  • Sound an alarm if danger is detected (someone has entered when the security system is enabled, or smoke, carbon monoxide, or another hazard is present).
  • Receive help from friends, family, caregivers, or professionals in the case of an emergency.

Self-monitoring and monitoring from friends and family may be all you need to feel safe and secure. However in the case of an emergency, the benefit of professional live monitoring is that a live person will contact you and any emergency contacts you have designated, as well as the police or fire department if needed. Of course, professional monitoring plans usually require a monthly fee and vary in cost.


It is your choice what technology you use and how it is configured to meet your goals. Remote support technology should be initiated by you, and should not violate your privacy. If you are not comfortable with a solution, tell your team! There are many different ways to achieve the same goal.

Smart Security Systems
Success Stories
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Josh uses a smart security system and smart speakers and displays to live independently with safety and security.

Read More About Josh’s Smart Home

Choosing Your Device

Choosing the right device for you depends on many factors, including:

  • What you want to do with the device
  • How you want to do it
  • Your accessibility needs
  • The layout of your home
  • Your internet connection
  • What devices you would like to integrate together

Use our self-assessment to review your unique situation and needs, then read our top tips on how to choose your smart home technology.

Product Reviews

Once you have a good idea of what you want and need, research which products can help. Reviews can be very useful to understand each product’s strengths and limitations.

The following guides from Wirecutter review a number of smart home devices, including smart security systems:

Below are some of our favorite review websites. Many of them have “best of” lists for smart devices, as well as in-depth reviews of specific products. Try performing a search online using the name of the website plus the device type and the year. For example: CNET best smart security system 2021.

Fund Your Smart Home

Know what device you want but not sure how to fund it? Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) can help.

Learn About Funding