Our environment is constantly changing to keep up with new advances in technology that touch our lives almost everyday. A new computer with high-speed internet connection, a flat screen TV, the latest cellphone model with voice activation and web access – keeping up with the modern world can be a challenge. But sometimes it can make our lives easier. This is true when considering the new advances made in protecting families and home.

Traditional home security systems are expected to monitor and control both external and internal threats to homes and families, but today’s security systems are capable of doing so much more. For decades, home security systems have been a way to control one’s home and today, they are overlapping more and more with home automation tools to create sophisticated security-based home control systems.

Each year, an increasing number of people choose electronic security to protect their homes and families. As homes become more technologically advanced and people begin investing in smart homes, the need for people to protect their surroundings also increases. Today, people not only need to protect their homes and families from theft or fire, but from carbon monoxide, excessive heat or low temperatures, and flooding. People want to secure guesthouses, in-law suites, and wine cellars, along with their entire house. But what about being able to secure your home, connect with family members, access sports scores, and turn on the coffeemaker all from one home security platform?

Technological advancements have expanded home security capabilities from intrusion detection to include intrusion prevention, family safety, and home communications. These advanced systems have become possible through home automation and networking breakthroughs and can provide full control over the home environment. According to Cahners In-Stat, a high-tech market research firm, the connected home market, which includes home control and automation products, will grow from $1.4 billion in 2001 to $9.2 billion worldwide by 2006. Home security has been pushed even farther into the home automation market with the development of systems that are able to include lighting control, communications control and Internet capabilities in a single system.

By networking home security systems with other appliances and centralizing their control, the results resemble what we perceive as home control systems. By programming lights to turn on as the sun goes down and installing video cameras, these tools work together to protect one’s home from strangers. Family safety is also accounted for with the addition of heat, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors. While it is common for many households to monitor heat and carbon monoxide alongside security systems, it is only recently that these tools and more can be integrated and controlled from a single control center. This is the true advantage of home control systems – the convenience and comfort of controlling everything from a single command point.

Internet and broadband access have taken home security to another level, with innovative solutions for the 21st century. Recent advancements have built home communications control centers that are able to serve as the family’s nerve center for connecting individuals to each other and to Web information.

Security systems, like ADT’s Safewatch iCenter, can help family members enhance their communications with features like leaving personal messages for other users in individual voicemail boxes and convenient access to reminders, events and family activities. Personal “homepages” allow family members to receive customized information including weather forecasts, national and business headlines, news, sports scores, music and horoscopes. It can also enhance communications capabilities with the outside world with digital voicemail, caller ID and advanced call screening features, including features that allows you to block calls during predetermined times, such as dinner or nap time. A handful of systems offered today can be accessed and controlled remotely via an Internet connection. This gives homeowners the ability to access security settings and other controls, such as lighting timers, from the office or while on vacation.

State-of-the art security products attempt to make home security an integral part of modern life, instead of being considered supplemental or adjunct to everyday life. Security systems, like the Safewatch iCenter, provide families with the ultimate in home security by combining home safety, with home communications and home automation, making life more secure, comfortable, and convenient.

Jay R. Stuck Vice President of Residential Sales and Marketing ADT Security Services, Inc.

As vice president of residential sales and marketing, Stuck is responsible for developing and managing sales and marketing strategies for the residential market. In addition, he is also responsible for ADT’s corporate communications and media relations activities.

ADT HomeDuring Stuck’s career at ADT, he has been responsible for cultivating the company’s relationship with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) as well as developing the annual Spotlight Awards. Stuck also introduced the nationally acclaimed AWARE? (Abused Women’s Active Response Emergency) program in the United States that assists in the protection of victims of domestic violence. Additionally, Stuck proposed and developed a special national crime prevention recognition ceremony for meritorious citizens that resulted in a White House luncheon hosted by President George Bush in 1990.

Stuck has more than 25 years of experience in consumer and business-to-business advertising, sales promotion, press relations and executive speech writing. His career includes serving as director of corporate communications for GHI (Group Health Incorporated), the largest not-for-profit health services corporation operating statewide in New York; director of corporate communications for the American Bureau of Shipping, the United States marine class society; manager of public relations and advertising for the Communications Operations and Information Services group at ITT Corporation; and manager of direct response marketing for Exxon Office Systems.

Stuck received his bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has completed post-graduate course work for a master’s degree in television at the University of Michigan where he also held a position as Teaching Fellow.