MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More families in the Twin Cities are upgrading their home security. Home security companies have picked up a lot of business in recent of years because high tech packages are now more affordable.

Many of these systems can be controlled from a phone with internet access.  Lindsey Peterson-Smiley recently upgraded her family’s system. She and her husband have an 8 and a 14-year-old.

“We’ve got to get the kids out the door to school I’ve got to get to work, then there’s after school activities,” says Peterson-Smiley.

Lindsey’s life as a busy mom recently became easier because of the upgrade. From her phone she can now control the security system at her home and keep track of her kids.

“I can see that they’re in the house and they’re okay,” says Peterson-Smiley. “I like the ability to arm it when I’m already out of the house because half the time I’m running around,” she adds.

The system at the family’s Brooklyn Center home was installed by Vivint. In the last four years, business has picked up. The company now has about 4,000 customers in the Twin Cities. According to Vivint, nearly 1,000 systems were installed in the past year.

“Oh yes, we are very busy,” says Vivint Technician Jimmy Bahnson.

Customers like Lindsey can lock and unlock doors. Sensors around the home tell when doors have been opened and if windows break. Lindsey can also control the thermostat from anywhere with internet access. She feels safer and also feels better knowing what her kids are up to, when she and her husband are gone.

“I can go into the history and see when my son got home, when he let the dog out,” she said.

A camera in the living room also allows Lindsey to see what her kids are doing and what they’re watching on television while she’s at work.

“It’s awesome to know just that they’re home and they’re safe,” she said.

Lindsey got the camera, touch screen control pad, door and window sensors, as well as a new door lock she can control from her phone installed for $199. The monthly fee for this service is $68.99.  Lindsey says this service is about $20 more each month, but the cost is offset by an lower energy bill since she can now control the thermostat from her phone.

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