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My House

Home Security with Blink

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I used to be fearless. I lived with a strange man I found on CL my freshman year of college (not advisable), I lived by myself in East Harlem when I was 23 and have always said yes to anything that felt slightly risky if it sounded fun. I was invincible and fearless, which has led to my success (uh, DesignStar?).

Cut to 3 years ago, shortly after Charlie was born, I called 911 on the FedEx guy. To be fair a knock on the door at 9:45 at night is strange, Brian was out of town and when I yelled ‘Who’s there?’ I was met with loud silence. I became physically overwhelmed with fear, my imagination quick to run the video of worst case scenario in my brain. I was unsure whether to put my infant in his crib or to hold him as I defended us. Maybe I should run to the kitchen to grab a knife or better yet run out the back patio, up the hill to the street above. Instead I did the more logical choice which was call the police. As I shakily dialed 911 I thought ‘Welp. I know this is nuts, but I pay my taxes …’.

‘What’s the emergency?’ they asked.

I don’t remember what I said, but this is what I thought.

“Well, I’m a new mom and I have just realized for the first time how my life could be absolutely ruined if something happened to my little baby. I understand and fear my mortality wildly more than I thought possible and turns out it’s as if I’m just realizing that I’m not invincible. Despite my previous judgements on parents I know that all I truly care about is my family, and keeping them alive and safe is my #1 priority and I will do ANYTHING to ensure that. Because of my absolutely indescribable love for my baby, “fear” now runs some aspects of my life that it never touched before. It overruns my common sense, it makes me act illogically and you know what, I’m ok with that.”

“So obviously when someone knocks on my door, I now call you, 911.”

I opened the door, phone up to ear, to find a small package from Amazon. I informed them of the mis-identification of the “criminal”, apologized for the inconvenience and breathed a massive sigh of relief … then burst into laughter (while still shaking). This was only 2 weeks after Brian called the fire department because our new carbon monoxide monitor was unknowingly out of batteries and beeping erratically. All 8 firemen were inside as I cradled Charlie on the front patio – shielding his innocent mouth from the invisible (and non-existent) silent killer. To be fair I thought that scenario was ridiculous but who was I to talk…. So yah. Home security is a thing to me. It NEVER was before, and ask Brian and all my friends – it really is now.

But first – I’m not someone who wants to promote a product based on fear, but when Blink decided to sponsor this blog post and work together on a big giveaway (UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed) I was into it, knowing that many of you might be, too.

Let me be totally clear: I’m a public figure with a large following therefore we have a high-end alarm system with video cameras and alarms on all doors and windows. The alarm company even calls the police immediately even if a glass window from inside the house has broken while it’s activated. It’s expensive, and probably unnecessary but due to one creepy comment about my kids on the blog, this is what we are choosing to spend some money on right now. Insecurity and fear sure can be expensive …

But for most people an alarm of that extent isn’t necessary nor affordable. You might have a simple alarm system on your front and back doors, but maybe a camera for monitoring would bring another level of confidence or complement your already existing system to bring you the coverage and security you need – enter Blink.

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So what makes Blink different from the rest of the security and video monitoring options out there? Well to start, unlike traditional security or video monitoring systems there are no contracts, no hard wires, and no technician needed. Blink is ready to go out of the box and the system can be added to as needed with as many additional cameras as you want. The indoor camera system starts at $99 which includes the sync module and one camera, but you can expand on that as much as you want and add up to 10 cameras to fit your needs. So not only is it easy to install but it is a system that doesn’t set you back a small fortune like a lot of other video monitoring systems out there.

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The system is a simple and easy DIY setup, which you know I can stand behind. Take it out of the box, put two batteries in the back of the unit (which last for 2 years!), scan the camera into the system with your phone, position it where you want (inside or outside) and you are good to go. Unlike other systems which require wiring, a technician and a tech savvy brain this one is about as “plug and play” as you can get.

See that happy little camera up there on my living room shelves (pre-halloween decorations of course), that has NO wiring or bulky interface? That is Blink.

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Once you have your camera set into position it works through an app on your phone so you have access to a live view from any of the cameras. You can also manage the settings directly in the app which allow you to set alerts for movement, or automatically record any time there is movement in the room. Basically when motion is detected, Blink will record the activity it sees and saves it as a shareable video file that you can access at any point directly from your phone.

And while we may not feel the need to constantly monitor the system through the live feed knowing that it does it automatically by recording the movement it sees could put you at ease.

Blink 14 Of 511

 

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Which brings me to the next reason that I love this system. Due to the fact that there are no hard wires it can be positioned anywhere both inside and out of the home. To show you how it works we placed one of their indoor cameras up on one of our bookshelves which gives a full view of the living room.

And while spying on people is not my thing, keeping an eye on things is and I know that many of you run the gamut from no monitoring at all to hidden cameras. It’s a great option for those of you who want a little more knowledge, without paying a lot of money. It would have been GREAT during the renovation of the house to see the progress instead of asking the contractor all the time. It’s not an alarm system, but does monitor and keep you informed.

Because the system is totally wire-free it also makes it a great option for renters or those not looking for a hard installation as it can be easily setup and then brought along if you ever move.

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For those looking for a view of your outdoor areas or the perimeter of your property they have an outdoor version as well which is completely water and element proof. So whether you have a dog that hangs out in the yard that you want to watch over while you are away at work, packages that are delivered throughout the day, or you just want to see a view of who is at your front door before you have to greet them in your robe, then this setup can work for you.

To show you how easy it is to install we went ahead and did it on my front door.

Emily Henderson Blink Home Security2 Emily Henderson Blink Home Security3

The camera comes with a small mount that easily installs with just one screw and a screwdriver and then the camera snaps into place.

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From a design standpoint it’s nice that the units are simple, discreet, and don’t look like a massive security system that you have installed at your house making it look like a fortress.

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Once all hooked up, here is what the app interface looks like:

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It’s also great for offices – if you are a small to medium sized office you might want a level of monitoring your staff in the day and at night. I’m a fairly trusting person and actively try to stay that way, (which admittedly is tricky the older I get and the more vulnerable I feel) but the world is getting more and more complicated and insecurities do make us wish for more control and knowledge. I never want to be someone who promotes the culture of fear, to say that you need something in order to be safe. But if you are one of those people, who wants to spend less money, have less commitment and less hassle but would feel more secure with extra monitoring in your life, then I highly recommend this product.

Emily Henderson Blink Home Security1

*** UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed.

The system is simple and discreet, yet it brings a great sense of security to wherever you use it. Blink has also been kind enough to giveaway an entire system which includes a Two Camera Indoor System and a Blink XT One Camera System to one lucky reader. Just click through HERE to enter and be sure to leave a comment below on how you would use the system in your own home or apartment. The giveaway will be open for one week and a winner will be chosen at random.

This post is sponsored by Blink, but all the words and opinions are my own. Thanks for giving me the excuse to tell my ‘I called 911 on the FedEX guy’ story. It was something I totally forgot until last week when I was writing this post, but it truly epitomizes what being a parent can do to your common sense and how much it can trigger the mammalian instinct to protect.

I would love to hear any of your maybe less than logical stories of temporary parental (kid or pet or just general) insanity… Go for it in the comments…

Fin Mark

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Maddy

Thank you so much for this post and your refreshing honesty. I’m just so sorry that someone could be so crazy/insensitive/mean to make a comment that scares you that much. That said, I don’t think you can put a price on security so good on you for taking whatever means necessary to keep your family safe. These are strange times.

Jihane

Well said!

Melo

Ditto!! As a single woman living alone in a first floor apartment with no block between the street and home, I recently began seriously contemplating my security. Thank you for bringing up this topic of discussion and sharing info on Blink (hadn’t heard of them before), Emily! Also, I signed up for a 6-week personal defense class and highly encourage everyone (esp us women!) to build our knowledge and skill in this area, God forbid we ever need to use it!

janet

This would be perfect for our side yard that has no gate!

Victoria

I have nothing against this post, and I know you meant nothing by it, but would just point out that there are legal ramifications of filming employees. Only on extremely rare circumstances should it be done covertly, and there are usually specific legal steps that should be followed first. My expertise isn’t US law but I assume there are rules around it there. Again, absolutely know you didn’t mean it that way, but it’s phrased as a very casual comment and it should not be a casual decision. And for amusing 911 (999 here) story, I was woken up at 1.30am by banging on the front door. I’m alone in the house and in the middle of building work so no lights working upstairs. I stand at the top of the stairs, more banging. I go downstairs and ask who’s there. No answer. I don’t know whether to turn lights on and show I’m home, or stay quiet. More banging on the front door. When I ask who’s there a voice says “police”. Which doesn’t sound promising. Has someone I love died or is this fake and I’m going to be murdered when I open the door? I open it,… Read more »

Laura

I was just looking into something like this (though much more expensive!). I’d use the camera’s for my front door (outside), one at my back basement door (inside, it connects to the garage), and one to keep an eye on my puppies when I am at work (inside)! Thanks Emily!

blackmagicsolution

I just came across your blog and I love it. I will gladly pass on these words of wisdom.
Black Magic for Love Solution Expert

Kathleen B.

I would love to get this system for my daughter who lives in Philly – she’s had some nervous moments in her apartment and this looks perfect!

Tricia

We are expecting our first baby and I have been thinking about adding an alarm system. This seems like the perfect system for us.

Megan

I have live in our house for almost 7 years and we purchased it from a couple heading to assisted living. There is a man that sits on the road watching our house with binoculars every couple of months. We thought at first that he was one of their friends and reporting on the updates we did but they have passed on. I watch him watch me through our respective binoculars, then he speeds away, sometimes around the corner and watches from there. We live in a very rural place and being home alone with my kids is the same experience you describe…only it might take 911 an hour to get here. I will find out who that is, and I’m no longer scared but getting mad!

DK

Uhm, someone watching you on a regular basis with binoculars FOR SEVEN YEARS demands action. Today, now, immediately. What in the world is your husband doing?!?!

Shelly

Discouraging that in this day and age you ask what her husband is doing? Ask if she needs a man to take care of her problem. Women are just as capable of calling the police as men are, and it sounds like this is what needs done in this situation.

Giulia

Why her husband? do we live in the middle ages where she needs to call upon her knight in shining armour to save her? I would suggest filming the situation and filing of a police report.

Cambria

I would definitely use this by our front door. I can never tell who’s out there, and we miss deliveries/people all the time!

Tiffanie

I am trying to take some sponsored posts seriously as genuine product endorsements. What security system did you use before Blink approached you to sponsor?

We use Phoenix and have cameras that activate at the outdoor doors/ general vicinity if the alarm was tripped. A criminal may break in through a window, but we figure we can get a glimpse of them leaving through a door on their way out.

Heather S

I would love to put a camera outside! These look great!

Hilary

We are definitely ready for this.

Dolores

This would be perfect for my daughter, who is away at college, living in her first apartment. I used to think that once my kids were older, I wouldn’t worry so much, but the truth is, you never stop worrying about them.

Jessvii

I’d use it to nanny-watch the babysitter, to dog-watch our dog (because what does he do all day?), and to video it if anyone steals a package from my stoop.

Stephanie Marchetti

I just moved to the woods last year, which for some reason is far scarier than the city (bears! foxes! owls that sound like people when they hoot!), so something like this would be awesome for the front and back doors of my home. Thanks for sharing!

Carrie

What a cool product! Sounds super easy…I would love to set one up outside to know who’s at our front door!

Erin

i’d actually gift this to my sister, as she needs to keep an eye on her new puppy, who is a bit crazy at this point.

Jacqui

I once called called a radio station to win concert tickets as a teenager. In my dialing frenzy, I skipped a number and called 911 by mistake (the radio station was 931-1108–so ingrained in my memory that I’ll never forget it). The conversation went something like this:

“Hello, 911. What’s your emergency?”
“Hi! Did I win the tickets?”
“Excuse me?”
“Is this Kiss 108?”
“Ma’am, this is 911.”

I had to explain that it wasn’t a prank, but a misdial. They sent a cop to my house anyway to lecture me about prank calls in front of my parents (who believed me, incidentally).

The story has nothing to do with personal security, but I’m sure that a few of us have mistakenly called 911. 🙂

Liz

I’d use the outdoor camera to monitor our backyard for sure. We had a broken basement window a few months ago, and were struggling to decide if it was a person (!) or a stray rock from mowing the lawn.

Bethany

I nearly called 911 a couple weeks ago because I was 100% positive I heard my front door open when I was home alone and my husband was out of town. I locked myself in the bathroom and debated whether it was better to call 911 and look like a fool when it turned out I was hallucinating, or live in the bathroom in fear for the rest of my life. In the end I was too embarrassed to call 911 and luckily it did turn out that I had just imagined it, but creeping around my house alone at night and checking every possible place a burglar/murderer could be hiding was TERRIFYING. I absolutely wish I could have just checked an app on my phone to tell me I was imagining things!

Robyn

What a great giveaway. Who couldn’t use more peace of mind at home? I know I would feel better with these cameras watching over my yard.

Angie RS

I get it. It is worth it to me to spend money in a way that alleviates my anxiety. We also had a CO scare due to a broken (but pretty new) detector. Now we have linked CO/smoke detectors on each floor with extras in the bedroom, and I sleep so much better. I’d love a security system, too, but don’t want to deal with hardwiring or using a landline.

Kaitlyn

I would definitely use this for a nanny cam or for our up north property!

heather

I lived alone for years but now with babies I definitely get more worried about bumps in the night… especially in a house as opposed to a high rise apartment. Would love this system. Your comment about that creep bugs me! What is wrong with the world these days…

Alison S.

This would be great for my apartment! We want security but don’t want to hard wire it.

sms

Just what I’m looking for

Alex Stoll

Thanks so much for the post. A DIY home security system is something that my partner and I have been looking at over the last few months. This system seems easy to set up and use. We would love to place some cameras in our den that is mostly windows.

Elisa

Love that this is easy setup and doesn’t require a technician!

David

Live in the country and would be great to have

Maryann

What a great system! I’d use it to monitor a side door that is hidden from the street and in our home while we are away.

Kiwi

Many kids. All the fears. Would love some added peace of mind!

robin

Hi,

I live in a lower level apt, and often feel vulnerable when I can’t see who is at the door. While my 9 lb dog sounds threatening, he’s not someone I can rely on. This seems like a great option as I rent. Thanks for the post.

Beth Dyer

I’d love to use one camera in my backyard near an alley where high schoolers have been hanging out to smoke and drink and leave trash. I’d also like one near my front door to check on packages, and one inside to watch my puppies while I’m gone during the day! These look easy and affordable, and attractive too.

Anita

That mama bear, protect my babies, high alert is a real thing! When we had my first son, video monitors were kind of a new and maybe over the top thing. When I finally caved in and spent the money on one, it took so much of the worry off of me! This is something I’m definitely going to look into,

Marcia

I would use this for our new house that we are closing on in two weeks!

Stephanie Kendall

I totally understand you on panicking when someone knocks on the door at night…or anytime for that matter. I’m always wondering, “who the heck is here?! Why would someone be at my house?!” My husband travels for work so this would be great peace of mind for me. ?

Chelsea

I had recently seen a new story about a girl who stayed home sick from school. The would-be thieves knocked on the door to see if anyone was home, and when she didn’t answer busted in the door. So of course when I heard a knock and saw a strange vehicle in my driveway I sensed impending doom for me and my child. After repeated loud knocking on the door, I responded by pounding loudly from the inside and yelling loudly, “Who’s there?!” Turns out it was the terminator coming for the appointment WE made with HIM to tell us if the bugs on the outside of our house were termites. (They weren’t.) ?

Chelsea

*news story

Whitney Olson

I love that you corrected your misspelling of news and missed the terminator/exterminator. Not a critic, it just made my day to read the word terminator.

Chris

Thanks for the laugh! Whether I made an appointment with him or not, the Terminator at my door would inspire a little bit of panic.

Amber

Every single time my doorbell rings, I go instant panic mode. Sometimes I hide, sometimes I slink up the stairs to look out the window. It’s bad. I would feel so much better having an outdoor system to see who was out there, so I don’t leave my friends hanging out there for 5 minutes until I determine they are safe.

Rachel S.

Set up in my home! We’re on a busy street in transitional neighborhood. Now that I have two little ones, I would love to have something set up.

Emily S

Oh this would mean the world to me! Our front door was largely wavy/clear glass so I’d feel trapped in a certain part of the house to not be seen if someone knocked on the door while I was home. We finally privacy treated it, but now I have no idea who is there. It’d be a game changer to have a video that I could view for safety before answering. I just transitioned to being a stay at home with a new baby and man, those crazy fears are REAL!

Ashley

I would love this for our backyard and basement! Having the ability to see if there is anything going on via my phone would be a huge sense of security.

Amanda

Love the discreet look! This might sound petty but I would love to have a recording of a women in our neighborhood who keeps neglecting to pick up after her dog in our yard – even after we specifically asked her if she would like a bag! We’d then be able to hand it into our HOA and she’d get fined – not a huge security issue but would still be helpful! I’d also like the inside cameras to see what my fur-baby does all day 🙂

Elise

As someone who is very careful to pick up my own dog’s poop, I very much want you to do this!! That woman should be fined (do you get to keep any of the money as you are the wronged party?).

Kristi

I just bought my first home and this is exactly the security system we need for out little starter home!

Amy drinkard

Any time I have to describe “new mom fear” to anybody, I’m simply going to refer them to this post. It seriously made me tear up, because it’s just so accurate. My husband and I bought in an up and coming neighborhood that we love several years ago, but with the uptick of people moving into the area, there has also been an uptick in break-ins. Of course this aligned with the birth of our daughter almost two years ago. Or maybe I just became INSANELY more aware of what was going on around me, but either way, the paranoia is real. My husband owns his own business, and I’m at home alone with her a lot of evenings. I find myself peeking out of the blinds more than is acceptable for a not 80 year old who sits around watching Fox News all day. All this to say, I know deep down a video security system would do wonders in the way of my sanity. However, I’ve been caught in the cycle of researching, then worrying I’m not choosing the best security system, and then finally loading my cart up, but then talking myself down because “am I really… Read more »

Lauren

We are doing our first big home renovation as a married couple and we both work quite far from the home so won’t be able to be there to supervise the work. It would be GREAT to see what’s going on while we are away all day and can see the progress!

Kyla

Packages are left on our porch on the regular – including Blue Apron and Green Blender – and we got home from a long weekend away on Sunday and the Fedex guy had piled 6 huge boxes right in front of our door next to newspapers clearly saying to the world “Not only can you steal these packages but come on in, NOBODY’S HOME”. Many, many people in our neighborhood have reported stolen packages and break-ins and I don’t know how we’ve been so lucky so far but I would like to keep it that way!

Rachel Jennette

Would love this for my mom to be able to see who’s knocking on her door!

Jess

We don’t have any way of seeing who is at the front door so this would be HUGE for us living in the middle of an “up and coming” area of New Orleans.

Whitney Olson

I’m a stay at home mom with three little kiddos and it would be impossible to run with or stay and protect all of them if someone came into my home. So I just NEVER answer my door! Seriously! Unless I am expecting someone I never answer the door when I am home alone with my girls. Just last night my husband and I were talking about something a little more than a peephole. Looks like this is what we need.

Tina

This is perfect for my front and back doors of my house! I’ve been searching for the right home security camera and I love that these don’t have wires.

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