Close the Dang Door!

July 16, 2012

Control4 garage automationI've only just begun to experience the wonder and goodness of home automation. As a four-month employee of Control4, I'm still just a newbie when it comes to taking control of my house. Most of what I've done so far has involved my growing home theater system, but last week I discovered what needs to come next as I add on to my system.
My family recently moved into a new house in a suburb of Salt Lake City. For the first time ever, we have a detached garage. With the garage door facing away from the house, it's not easy to tell whether it’s open or closed.
Last Thursday evening my son and I had to drive all the way in to downtown Salt Lake, which takes about 40 minutes during rush hour. The rest of the family was out of town, so it was my teenager and me at home. I had asked him to mow the lawn and he had just stowed the lawn mower before we headed in to Salt Lake City.
It was half an hour later when I thought to ask, "Did you close the garage door?"
He couldn't remember. He thought he probably had closed it, but couldn't say for sure. And of course I began to panic. I mean, it's a great neighborhood, but it would still be incredibly easy for all of my tools to grow legs and walk off. Luckily, I had one of my neighbor's numbers programmed into my mobile phone. I pulled off the highway and idled at a gas station as the neighbor went over to check. Sure enough, my son had left the door wide open. The neighbor managed to get the garage buttoned up, and then snarkily asked, "Doesn't your company make something to help with this kind of situation?"
Of course we do. Control4 sells both a Smart Garage Package and a souped-up Deluxe Package, both of which would have allowed me to not only find out whether my garage door was open (without the embarrassing call to my neighbor) but also to close it remotely from my smart phone.
Sure, it would be great if my son would always remember to close the door, but as a great man once said, "Trust, but verify." So if I'm gonna keep both the house and the teenager for much longer, I guess I'm going to have to get the garage all “automated up.”