SimpliSafe: A watchful eye at home and at hunt camp

When it comes to home security, I fall into the “We don’t dial 911” category. There’s pretty much a firearm within arm’s reach somewhere in the house. The obvious problem is that I’m not always home. Sure, the dogs roaming the house provide some bark, but little bite. They are more likely to bring a fetch toy to an intruder than run one off. 

Hunting campers and cabins are even tougher to monitor. They sit unattended for the majority of the year and can be a prime target for thieves.

SimpliSafe has developed a wireless, easy-to-install system that may work for both your home and hunting quarter’s needs.

“It’s a really basic setup and people use it all the time for their vacation homes and cabins,” SimpliSafe spokesman Brad Merchant said.

You will need power at your hunting camp and a reliable cellular signal (or landline) for the system’s base station to communicate with all the available components — motion sensors, door/window entry sensors, keypad, etc.  

If you have that, the system works flawlessly, but cell service in rural areas is spotty. If you can place the base station near a window and get cell service, you’re in business. Placing motion sensors and entry sensors around your hunting cabin is a breeze. SimpliSafe can then monitor your system and dispatch police if anyone enters while the alarm is set to away. The basic service for monitoring is $14.99 per month. The upfront cost of a base SimpliSafe system runs about $250, and you can later add components — more motion/entry sensors, a video-streaming camera, smoke detector, freeze and water sensors, carbon monoxide detector, window break sensors or a panic button.

There is also an interactive monitoring service for $24.99 per month that allows users to command the alarm system from their phone using the SimpliSafe app. You also can receive SMS messages for alarms, use your mobile phone to check tripped sensors, including when other family members armed or disarmed the system, as well as other added features. Go to simplisafe.com for all the details. 

Best of all, there’s no contract to sign and you can cut the service off at any time. Try the system for 60 days, and return it for a full refund if it doesn’t meet your needs. You can also go without monitoring and just use the system’s siren to scare off would-be burglars.

The new Wi-Fi-based SimpliCam lets you to check in on your hunting camp via smart phone, tablet or laptop 24/7. An optional recording plan ($4.99/month) allows you to record, store and share footage. The SimpliCam picks up only the unique signature of humans and alerts you when triggered.

“You can record on demand up to a minute,” Merchant said. “Alarm events are recorded automatically for five minutes.”

Whether you just want to protect your home’s security while you’re at work or need a watchful eye on a hunting cabin or camper, you don’t need to be armed to the teeth — although that never hurts. SimpliSafe’s design has a solution for just about everyone.

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