Reach for the Skylink – Robb Report Vacation Homes – Feb/Mar 2006
Robb Report Vacation Homes
Reach for the Skylink
A full-service home security system offers more for less
Martial Maitam has his pick of home automation and alarm technology. The North Hills, Calif., resident is CEO of Marwest Access Controls, which sells merchandise that works in tandem with access controls. But when Maitam designed his own home security system, he did so using technology that cost three times less than what could be considered the industry standard. Maitam installed a new automated alarm system from Skylink Group, a wireless technology manufacturer based in Toronto.
The home alarm system, called the AAA+ (Alarm,Alert,Automation and Communicator) Home Smart Center is wireless and can be monitored remotely via any touch-tone phone or land line. The basic $169.99 setup comes with five zones (or areas of coverage); each zone has two sensors with 350-foot ranges. Skylink sells repeaters that extend the range, because many people (like Maitam, who owns a 3,000-square foot home) need more coverage. In addition, users can link together more than one system so they can cover every window and door in the home.
AAA+ lets users remotely monitor their alarm system by dialing into the system, which can also be configured to dial out to and alert up to five phone numbers. Once dialed in, homeowners can discover if a sensor was triggered, control lights and appliances, and turn the system on or off completely. The system is especially useful for vacation homes because it monitors activity outside the home using a motion detector, even letting the homeowner know if someone pulls into the driveway.
“You can add a temperature sensor for a ski house, and the system will even tell you if a sensor isn’t working or its battery is low,” explains Gallen Tsui, Skylink’s vice president. The system also works in conjuction with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, alerting homeowners if an alarm sounds, and will remind them if they have left the garage door open, he says. Each sensor gets its own auditory or visual signal so those in the house know which sensor is activated based on the number of beeps or flashes of light.
While the alarm protects his home and its contents, Maitam says some of the system’s add-ons deliver everyday benefits that he would not want to live without. For example, in his home he installed several Skylink Swing Door Openers, which sense when someone moves close to a door and gently opens it.
“I have a sensor on my kids’ bedroom door and one in the family room so they can come in without touching anything,” he explains. “I’ve got another setup on the inside of the garage door so we don’t have to touch the door if our hands are full of packages. They are also really great for when the maids are vacuuming because they don’t have to prop open doors or stop to open doors. They just go right in.”
Flood sensors, a wristwatch-style panic remote and indoor-outdoor motion sensors are among the system’s add-on options. Maitam likes his own system so much that he suggests it to many of his customers-even though he sells systems that retail for more. “All my customers have been very impressed by the AAA+,” he says. “It’s compact. It’s modern-looking. We’re getting calls for it all the time.”
Skylink Group 800.304.1187, www.skylinkhome.com
Marwest Access Controls 800.849.3998, www.aaaremotes.com
90 VACATION HOMES FEBRUARY/MARCH 2006