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This is what I’ve learned after having the Lowe’s Iris system for a few months.

Iris Hub and box

  1. You need to arm the alarm for the system to work – This may sound obvious but its harder then you may think. Relying to turn on and off from the iPhone app just doesn’t work for me because my phone is too busy with notifications and other apps to distract me. What helps is to have a visual trigger like the Keypad on the door right before leaving the house and another one in the bed room right before shutting the lights out and falling a sleep. I had to learn the hard way when my nephew’s bike was stolen from the garage. Even with the Keypads sometimes we may rush out without turning on the alarm which is why I’ve also setup Iris to enable the alarm if all Key fobs are not in range. Hopefully I’m not that absent minded to forget my keys and leave the door unlocked.
  2. Have your local police and fire department’s number – If traveling out of town is often on your calendar, then you need to keep your local authority phone number on your cell phone. Remember calling 911 from where you are will not reach to your local 911 dispatchers. Yes you may call your neighbors but they might not be there and it will also delay the process of contacting the police. I also like my neighbors so I wouldn’t want to risk their lives to deal with a dangerous situation when they are not trained to do so. Unless your neighbor is a police officer, then you may want to discuss with them your plans. 
  3. Set pin lock for your Iris app – My kids would open up random apps and play with them. Enabling the pin to be required was an additional safety measure to make sure they don’t use the Iris app and if I ever lose my phone no one will have access to the Iris system either.
  4. Online video cameras – I’m currently using the vuezone cameras system and will be trying out Iris wireless video camera soon. Having any online cameras was necessary for me when the alarm was triggered. This really helped me quickly view my home and decided if action is required. The cameras comes in handy if you’re new to any security system. It seems false alarms happen very often especially for the motion detectors, and when people are still trying to get use to the system and would trigger them by accident.
  5. Siren – Without the siren nobody at home seem to even notice anything when the alarm is triggered. We only noticed the alarm was going off when we were getting text and phone calls from Iris. This was really bad if someone is breaking into your home and not knowing they had triggered a security system and needed to get out before the police are called in. The other option is to set Iris to call your home number and let your voice mail play the audio on speaker as it records the call. This may work but that means the burglar needs to listen to the message or else they may just think it’s a regular call and just ignore it.
  6. Test the system – It’s best to test the system and make sure all the people who will be notified will know what to do. It also helps to know that the system is working correctly too.
  7. Verizon USB modem – I needed this because my Verizon FIOS broadband connection seem to cause the hub to disconnect often, but it’s a good idea to have the cellular connection as a backup when your internet provider does go down and there’s no wires to cut if someone want’s to disconnect your system from communicating out.