Fairy Travels

I Had a Car Accident: What do I do Next? A Handy Checklist

I Had Car Accident: What do I do Next? A Handy Checklist

Staying Calm After a Car Accident | Car Accident Tips | An Post InsuranceWhether it’s a nudge in a car park or a more serious crash on the road, many of us will hear the squeal of brakes and the crunch of a bumper at some point in our lives.  Thankfully, most car accidents involve no more than some scuffed metal and a bruised ego or two, but they do make for a stressful experience. Being prepared can help you avoid panic and get the best result from a difficult situation.

Based on An Post Insurance’s many years of experience working with Irish motorists, they’ve put together a handy checklist to keep in mind should the worst happen when you’re behind the wheel.

First things first

If somebody is injured, call the emergency services straight away. If not, you’ll still need to contact An Garda Síochána, as they need to be informed as soon as possible after an accident, and definitely within 24 hours if the crash injures a person or animal or if your car is stolen or damaged. Apart from the legal requirement to contact the Gardai, they’ve also seen plenty of accidents before, and will be able to help guide you through the process.

Keep your cool

It’s easy to get flustered and perhaps even angry in the event of an accident, but it’s important that you don’t get into a conversation about blame and don’t accept responsibility – you don’t want to make an off-the-cuff statement you might regret later.  Try to stay calm and polite – even if it means counting to ten several times over!

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Fairy Travels

A weekend in Luxembourg with kids

cobbled street

Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy Blog

No surprises here – another Ryanair bargain flight and we were off to Luxembourg at the end of January.  Having got good flight deals on Gothenburg  and Eindhoven I was very excited to add another country to our travel list. I booked the flights end of November for January at €9.99 each. It was a very short pleasant flight around an hour and half long which was perfect for a weekend break.  We landed in Luxembourg around 7pm to really dense fog, I literally could not see the bus stop when we stepped out of the airport!!

The first thing you will notice is how clean everywhere is. The airport was immaculate. We jumped on the bus number 29 which departs outside the airport main door straight to the city every 15 minutes and takes about 20 minutes.  Again so efficient. We were very lucky as the bus stopped quite literally outside our hotel door.  We couldn’t wait to get a visual of the city but the dense fog and pitch dark meant that would have to wait until the morning.

Where we stayed

cobbled street

Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy Blog

We stayed at the Novotel Luxembourg Centre which claims to be a family friendly hotel and hand on heart it was one of the most family friendly hotels we have ever stayed in.  It is evident from the moment you check in.  There have a fussball table in reception and my kids were hyper about the next bit… a kids corner with an xbox. It was just perfect for us. I would be very remiss of me not to say a special thank you to Caroline on reception. The kindness and professionalism show to us was some of the best we have had in all the hotels we have stayed. She had endless patience with the kids and their questions and xbox requests and so much knowledge on things to do locally.  I hope Novotel realise what a gem they have with Caroline.

The room we had comprised  a double and sofa bed  – again ideal for our needs. The breakfast was really and I mean really good. The kids were borderline obsessed with the pancake maker and pretty much hogged it the entire breakfast each morning! I find a good breakfast when you are travelling really sets us up for the day of exploring. Thanks to the Novotel for the lovely personalised welcome to our room, absolutely made our day.

Temperatures hovered around zero and it was quite damp so kids were glad to have their Reima  which was kindly gifted to us for our Lapland trip.

What we did

Luxembourg is a stunningly beautiful city, the old buildings and walls and narrow winding streets. The fog was still pretty bad making visibility quite poor so we decided to head walking to get our bearings. Interestingly the old fortification walls of the city are designated UNESCO  sites. Its not hard to be wowed by the contrasting architecture. The old walls are just stunning.  The city also very uniquely have over 17km of underground tunnels (Bock Casemates)  which unfortunately were closed during our stay but can be accessed at two points in the city. The kids are begging to go back just to see the tunnels.

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Fairy Travels

Our Lapland 2019 Adventure

I have written this post so many times in my head but couldn’t grab the time to give this post the justice in needs.  We first visited Lapland in 2018, following this I wrote my Lapland DIY post which has consistently been in my top 10 read posts which I think it a testament to just how popular it has been as a destination.  In 2018, our youngest wasn’t well and added to that we have limited snow. I felt I needed to go back to experience Lapland in all its snowy glory.  So on the day of the EasyJet Winter sale release, I set my alarm and for £17.99 each way we were off to Lapland again!

Where we stayed

As with last year we stayed at Santa Claus Village. My kids just love it here. I know its expensive but for us there is just some sort of magic there. Wandering around the village when the tour groups of gone, playing with kids in the neighbouring chalets. Its almost like exactly as how id imagined it would be.

Breakfast each morning was at the Christmas House restaurant. We had drinks a couple of evenings in the Three Elves Restaurant and a dinner another evening at Santa’s Pizza, both on site at Santa Claus Village .  We loved the Three Elves but wasn’t 100% on Santa’s Pizza. It was manic and you got your chips first and then pizza and burgers were cooked to order it seemed and arrived 20 mins later.

We had a standard cabin which has a double, a double sofa and a little kitchen which was perfect for us.

What we did

Where do I even start. We packed so much into the 4 night visit.  I know this sounds so cliche but it was magical.

Huskies

  • We visited Husky Park located at Santa Claus Village. We did the 500m husky in -8 temperatures which was ideal length for the boys (ages 4 and 7).  A total bonus for us was the the husky hugging – oh-my-god. I was in love. We saw the most adorable pups.  We loved this experiences and could clearly see the love, care and attention the dogs get at Husky Park.  Kids absolutely loved this experience and cant wait to see their favourite dog – Batman again

Reindeer 

  • Also located at Santa Claus Village is Santa Claus Reindeer We didn’t get to experience a reindeer ride in 2018 so this year we could not wait to do this. We arrived at 10am and it was really quiet, no queuing so we were straight on. We did 2 on each sleigh and it was breathtaking. It was quite bright and the snow glistening as we were leisurely pulled around the woods.  Definitely a memory I will cherish.

Elfs Farm Yard

  • I understand Elfs Farm Yard  is a new edition to Santa Claus Village and we were very excited to give this a go. This for us was a very surprise hit. How many people can say they skied across the Arctic Circle on traditional  Lappish skis or feed reindeer on the Arctic Circle. This place is very deceptive, there was so much to do. We cooked hot dogs (available to buy in the on site shop), we skied, we fed reindeer up close and personal, we used sledges up and down the man made hill there. We waited for the sun to set and sat around the fire pit chatting to other families. Magical and in terms of prices in Lapland, so reasonable. A true hidden gem not to be missed, definitely a surprise highlight for us.

Kids Snowmobiles

  • This was top of my kids wish list particularly the 7 year old. From September onward he stalked accuweather to see if there would be enough snow this trip for him to go on snowmobiles. He was not disappointed. He spent time each day at the Wild Nordic kids track at Santa Claus Village and just loved it. I have to thank the very lovely 2 female staff members who were incredibly kid to my pair, im sorry I didn’t get your names.  This was such a good option as it was contained, felt very safe for the kids and the kids felt they were getting independence. Just brilliant and I think if im honest the snowmobiles even topped Santa for my oldest!!!

Snowman World

  • Snowman World opens each year in early December, its also located at Santa Claus Village. It consists of the Ice Restaurant and Ice Bar and the “winter zone” the winter zone consists of a pretty epic snowtubing slides. There was also a separate smaller one for kids which was ideal for my pair. They must have went up and down a million times! We enjoyed a drink in the Ice bar we didnt do lunch this time but hopefully on our next visit.

Santa Park

  • Santa Park is located 2 km from Santa Claus Village and is all located inside which can prove a nice days respite from the cold. This was my youngest favourite morning. There is loads of cool activities to do here, crafts, gingerbread decorating, ice bar, train ride, crossing under the Arctic Circle, visit Santa and the highlight for all of us I think was the elf show. Its on a number of times during the day and its quite mesmerising. We had lunch at the buffet there while watching the show. I think the location in a underground bunker really adds to the charm here. We got there for the opening and it was nice and quiet. We took the bus between Santa Park and Santa Village which was ideal. There are large cloakrooms to store your winter gear also.

Pilke Museum

  • We were kindly gifted Culture Passes which offer entry to the top 3 museums in Rovaniemi. Its €20 per adult and €15 for children over 7 and under 7s free.  We had decided to spend a morning have a nosey around the town and make use of the card. In the end we only made to Pilke as we has so much fun in the snow at Lordi Square and also at the Irish Bar!!!  We decided on Pilke which is the forestry museum as boys really love this type of thing.  Its beautifully laid out, relax, lots of different activities. I found it so interesting learning all about sustainable forestry. Another ideal way to spend an afternoon out of the cold!

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Fairy Travels

Eindhoven with Kids

We wanted to go on a short city break over the October school mid term however, I left it a little late to book. A couple of hours on Skyscanner, €120 lighter we were off to Eindhoven with Ryanair. I knew very little about Eindhoven apparently for the football team PSV and its links to DAF and Philips.

Ryanair

Pic Credit:TheMamma Fairy Blog

Eindhoven has become known for its close cooperation between its universities and industries. In terms of industries Eindhoven is known for its biomedical and engineering research fostered in the main but its high tech Universities. The city of Eindhoven works hard to develop and grow its intelligent community credentials. As a result of these efforts, the Intelligent Community Forum (“ICF”) named the Eindhoven metro region one of the top-21 intelligent communities in 2008 and one of the top-7 intelligent communities in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, the ICF named Eindhoven the Intelligent Community of the Year.

One of the things that struck me most as we came into land in Eindhoven is how much green space there. I don’t know why but I didn’t expect that at all. The airport is located only minutes (8km) from the city which is brilliant couple with the flight over just over an hour long, making it the ideal city break destination.

Where we stayed

sky view Einhoven

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

When we started researching Eindhoven there were lots of accommodation options from chain hotels to boutique hotels to B&B’s. I used booking.com and got an excellent deal at NH Collection. it’s a five star hotel, in the centre of the city with stunning views from the breakfast room an another floor up again for Vane Sky Bar.

The room itself was plenty big for the four of us an spotlessly clean. The breakfast was plentiful an that view. I could have spent hours staring out the window. The night we arrived the lovely Rik at Vane made us some seriously impressive cocktails. I do have to compliment the staff here, it was busy with the early after work crown and our family was made so welcome.

There are some cocktails on the menu at Vane designed by the World’s Best Female Bartender Tess Posthumus. We were there quite early in the evening and didn’t try the food here but I can imagine it gets very busy at the evening progresses. Its uber trendy and the panaromic view of the sun setting over the city is a lovely way to chill after an evening sight seeing.

What we did

daf museum einhoven

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Our time in Eindhoven was short so we left it up to the boys what they wanted to do. It’s funny their own choices really do sum up themselves. The oldest wanted to go and visit the PSV stadium and the youngest the DAF museum. After a huge breakfast we headed first for the DAF Museum which was about 15 minutes walk from the hotel. This building is so deceptive. It looks small from the outside but once you get inside it is anything but. It’s fabulous, we began with a coffee over looking the vehicles and my youngest was hopping on the spot with excitement to get exploring.

The first thing that struck me when we walked in was that the place is immaculate, the vehicles are immaculate. It’s so well done inside, from the vehicles arranged in key milstones, the square with its own pub, to the top floor with a huge array of cars from the 1920 onwards.

The week we were there, the DAF museum were putting the finishing touches to their new exhibition spaces extending to over 1,100 square metres. We had a sneak peak and it’s a great addition brining the next phase in DAF’s history incuding trucks from the 1990 and 2000’s.

My boys truly loved this museum, its was right up their street. The Dada Fairy was equally enthralled being in a similar business himself. Our entrance was kindly gifted however at €9 for adults and €4 for kids age 5 up, under 5 free, this is a very good value and I can see why it is regularly ranked top of Trip Advisor ratings in Eindhoven.


PSV Tour
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Fairy Travels

Lapland – new for 2019

log cabin

Santa Claus Village Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Last year we went on what was supposed to be a once in lifetime trip to Rovaniemi, Lapland. It so magical and captivating that we have decided to go back again this year. In conversation with Visit Rovaniemi I asked them was there any new activities/ restaurants for 2019.  They very kindly sent me on all the new activities etc which I though might be helpful for return visitors like ourselves.

New Accommodation:

  • Happy Fox: Happy Fox Suites
  • Apukka Resort: 17 new Aurora Cabins, 3  Lappish Komsio Suites.
  • Forenom: Forenom Serviced Apartments Rovaniemi Valtakatu 35, 96200 Rovaniemi.
  • Sky Hotel Ounasvaara opening after renovation as a 4 star hotel.
  • Nova Skyland: New apartments
  • Santa Claus Holiday Village: 14 new Family Suites, each suite fits 2 adults + 3 children.
  • District Rovaniemi: Yurt accommodation.
  • Arctic Dreams House: Private Luxury Experience in Ranua. Wikkelä Villa all inclusive –stays.
  • Snowest Travels: Villa Snowest, Villa for 16 persons (420m2) https://www.snowesttravels.com/villa-snowest/

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Fairy Travels

Gothenburg with kids – A weekend visit

At the end of August we visited Gothenburg for 3 nights. It’s a city that wasn’t really on my radar up to that point but the lure of €9.99 flights from Ryanair made it very appealing! So with very little research I pressed book and we were heading to Gothenburg!  Gothenburg city is the largest non capital city in the Nordics and is located on the west coast of Sweden. It took just over 2 hours from Dublin which is perfect for a city break with kids.

Where we stayed

hotel receiption

How stunning is the reception of Gothia Towers Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy

There are a myriad of hotel options available in Gothenburg and it was hard to narrow the selection down. With it being a short break, kids in tow we knew we needed a central location.  We fell for Gothia Towers. This hotel is the largest in the Nordic region with a staggering 1,200 rooms, 8 restaurants including  Heaven 23 located on floor 23 with impressive views over Gothenburg.  The hotel comprises of three interlinking towers covering a vast 180,000 square meters.  Its hard to miss the swimming pool literally overhanging the street! Be warned if travelling with kids its ages 16 up for admission.

I would not normally be a fan of these big hotels however between the location, the services and the Trip Advisor rating we decided it was hard to pass this one.

Breakfast views at Gothia Towers Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

The location can’t be beaten it is located across from Liseburg which is a beautiful amusement park which has been open since 1923. Its also within walking distance of Avenyn which is the main street in Gothenburg. Both close by and within the hotel complex there are many options for food and drinks.

We had a family room with two double beds and 2 bathrooms which more than met our needs it was really big and spotlessly clean. Breakfast each morning was served on floor 29 which the kids really loved. Breakfast was so tasty and plentiful and really did fill us for the day. There was a great selection of breads, hot food and cold meats.  We tried two of the onsite restaurants and one of the bars:

  • Heaven 23 – located on the 23rd floor known for its cocktails and its world famous shrimp sandwich. We had a late lunch here and while we didn’t sample the cocktails we did opt for shrimp sandwich and it really was spectacular. Drooling just thinking about it again.
  • Ristoria – We had pizza here the night we arrived as the kids were starving and we thought best to get them feed before we head out exploring. Kids enjoyed it. Ours was just ok nothing overly exciting for the prices for example the kids was around €10 and adults mains were around €25 each.
  • Twentyfourseven – We had some very tasty cocktails the night we arrived at this lovely lobby bar while the kids played away at the kids play spaces at reception.  A great idea making it enjoyable for us and for them!

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Features

Norton Virgien, Director & Co-Executive Producer; VAMPIRINA FANG-TASTIC – An Interview

I am very excited about today’s feature. This week we have had the opportunity to ask Norton Virgien, Supervising Director and Co-Executive Producer of VAMPIRINA FANG-TASTIC some questions on his career and his new latest work VAMPIRINA: FANG-TASTIC PARTY, which is a very special interactive event in cinemas nationwide this weekend only – Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th

A little bit about Norton

Norton began his directing career in 1990 as part of the original team for Nickelodeon’s Rugrats.  A two time Emmy winner for Rugrats, Norton also directed episodes of the critically  acclaimed Duckman series and the CBS series Santo Bugito, before co-directing 1998’s The Rugrats Movie,  which became the first non-Disney animated release to gross more than $100 million dollars.   Subsequently Norton was a Co-Producer on the Klasky Csupo features Rugrats in Paris and The Wild Thornberrys Movie, and a Co-Director of the 2004 release Rugrats Go Wild.  In early 2005, he directed a thirteen episode season of the Discovery Channel series Tutenstein, winning a third Emmy.  In 2009, for Universal Animation, he directed a DVD sequel to the Curious George Movie, Follow That Monkey!   He has since worked as Director on Doc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster, both for Disney and is currently Supervising Director and Co-Executive Producer on Vampirina.

Interview

Many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, it is very much appreciated. As someone of the 80/90s, I was a massive Rugrats fan. Angelica was really the character we all really wanted to be! Even my kids love the Rugrats, a whole generation apart.

  •   I told my kids who I was interviewing and my 7 year old is very excited, enthusiastically professing that he will be doing your job in the future! So first up, courtesy of my oldest son, how did you end up directing? Was it something that always interested you?

Great question! I had always loved drawing as a child, and doodled incessantly! And I also loved storytelling, and did a bit of creative writing in school. I loved comic books as they combined drawing and storytelling in such a strong way – but then I discovered animation, which is perhaps the art form that brings so many others – design, music, acting, drama together at once! It took me a while working as an animator to work my up to drawing storyboards (which is really fun) and finally directing. And Rugrats was indeed one of the most fun shows to get a chance to direct – great writing and voices and a really fresh concept at the time!

  •   He is also curious about the difference between a Director and a Producer, and which one do you like best?

The roles of Director and Producer can overlap quite a bit – as a good producer has the creative needs of a project in mind along with their practical concerns of budget and schedule, and a good director thinks about the practical things at the same time he/she is pushing for the most creative and effective result.

  •   He also wants to know do you have a favourite show/film that you directed? I did turn this question on him and he said it’s between the Curious George Movie and Doc McStuffins! My favourite has to be Rugrats. So nostalgic.

It’s as hard to pick a favorite project as it is to choose one’s favourite child – if we’re lucky they are ALL special in their way! Right now my favourite is Vampirina – since she’s the one we’re working with at the moment, and she’s such and unusual and constantly surprising young girl!

  •   You have such an impressive career with so many hugely popular shows to your name. Do you still get a thrill when you see the final production?

I’m pleased to say the thrill of seeing an audience enjoy your project hasn’t worn off for me at all! And I still get a little tear in the eye at the sweet moments, and laugh at the best jokes, even after seeing them over and over and over…! It makes the hard work totally worthwhile.

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Fairy Travels

Grand Opening of Christmas 2019 – Lapland

snow on cabins lapland

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

When I was a child I dreamed of going to Lapland, as an adult I always assumed such a trip would be so far out of reach so I pushed it to the back of my head. Fast froward 2018 when my childhood dream came true, we visited the stunning city of Rovaniemi, Lapland  it was everything we hoped and more. I learned so much from our first visit and really only scratched the surface of this beautiful place that we have decided to go back for 2019. We are all super excited and going for longer this time to experience all that Rovaniemi has to offer.

I recently saw on Visit Rovaniemi that the Grand Opening and start of the Christmas season is scheduled for 10 November at 4pm.  Per their website,

Santa Park entraceLapland

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

the Grand Opening of the Christmas Season is an annual and traditional event  that starts the Christmas season in Rovaniemi. The event begins at 4 pm at the central square of Santa Claus Village. The elves and local artists put on a festive concert that culminates in Santa Claus’ speech which officials opens the Christmas Season.

The event is free of charge. The celebration is organized by Visit Rovaniemi. Its also live streamed on their Facebook page so whether your going, planning a trip or even just a Christmas lover its well worth checking it out.

 

For anybody thinking of going ive pulled all my post below and im always happy to answer questions via comments below, DM or across social.

  • Lapland on a budget – our how to guide – here
  • Dressing for Lapland – here
Fairy Travels

Sunday Fun at Tayto Park

Sunday before the school started back we hit Tayto Park for a day of family fun. We had never been before and really didn’t know what to expect. The boys are 7 and 4 so a bit mixed in terms of what interests them. The older is the ultimate thrilled seeker and my youngest man is a bit like myself, pretty much afraid of everything. Having spoke to friends who had been the advice was get there early. We arrive about 15 mins after opening and I was glad to have taken their advice, the car park was busy but there was no queue to get in.

We were kindly gifted admission for our family to Tayto Park, we got our tickets, arm bands and off we went.  It was lovely and quiet inside so we took our time to get or bearings and decide what rides we wanted to do. The first ride in our eyeline was Viking Voyage. My little man was  under the height requirement so I stayed behind with him which to be honest I didn’t mind too much when i caught sight of the dryer machines!! I won’t ruin the rides for anybody going as part of this post however suffice to say this was a mega hit! so much so it was done 3 times…..(and none of those was me!).

Given the little man was under 1.1 which tended to be the height requirement for a lot of the rides in whats known as the Eagle Zone, the youngest and I decided to head for the Zoo part to see the animals. I knew this would be a hit with my animal loving wee man.  I was really surprised with the eclectic collection of animals on show here from vultures, to lions to pygmy goats. It was still nice and quiet so we took our time and observed the animals free from the crowds.  My little man was really enthralled with the owls and the alpacas although he kept telling everybody who would listen that alpacas spit to stand back!!!

We regrouped at the Eagle’s Nest Adventure Zone which was more suited to my younger mans age and height.  It was heading towards the afternoon now and it was getting visibly busier but we didn’t queue long for any of the rides. Staff were efficient loading and reloading the rides each time. We pretty much sampled all the rides here from the honey pots, to the steam train, the rocking tug, pony rail, the Ferris wheel, the climbing wall, the shot tower and my favourite the carousel. There is something of an old school magic about a carousel. Also in this zone is the vortex tunnel, a playground and the Nissan Driving School which my oldest really loved. The height requirement for this one 1.1 which was meant a very disappointed 4 year old here. This was a busy activity which is probably the only place we queued for any length of time.

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Home & Interiors

Smart technology to keep your home secure

Pic Credit: Liberty Insurance

Liberty Insurance knows advances in technology mean that it’s never been easier or more affordable to secure your home, that’s why they’ve brought you these tips on how to use smart technology to improve home security. 

 The devices remain pretty much the same but now alarms, locks, sensors and cameras are connected by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, can be monitored and controlled remotely by apps and any data like audio or video can be stored in the cloud to be viewed later. And now with the internet of things, they can all be controlled from an automated hub like Amazon Echo, Google Home or Hive. With a little DIY know-how, you can protect your home and not break the bank doing it.

Cameras

Camera technology has advanced at an unbridled pace since the introduction of the smartphone and that affordable tech can be found in the home security camera. Even some of the most basic camera kits come with High-Definition and night-vision capability and can record onto a hard drive or to the cloud via Wi-Fi. And with an app, you can even check in on your home when you’re lying on a beach in the Costas. 

Cameras can be mounted externally, internally and even on out buildings. However, there is one obvious weakness to a Wi-Fi only set up and that is your Wi-Fi itself. If the Wi-Fi goes down and the modem is not rebooted, then your cameras won’t have anywhere to send their video. Hard-wiring your cameras into a hard-drive is an obvious solution but would almost certainly require a professional to install the system.

Video Doorbells & Smart Locks

tablet media device

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Once the preserve of the very wealthy, video door-bells are becoming more and more commonplace as they become more affordable. With Wi-Fi and an app, you can now see who is calling at your front door without having to leave the comfort of your armchair. Indeed, you can instruct delivery drivers to leave parcels at your door while you are in work through the face-time function on the app. They come with HD and night vision and recording also.

Some video-doorbells connect to a smart lock which allows you to remotely open the lock so a child or workman can enter your house while you are not at home. 

Smart locks not connected to a video doorbell use a variety of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that connect with your phone to lock and unlock, but you can also choose from a wide range of touch screen and fingerprint locks also. Its important also to always keep the number of a local locksmith close by too for emergencies.

Window & Door Sensors

A smart window or door sensor will send a notification to your phone of when the window or door is opened. They also come with alarms and can be programmed to suit your needs and some even come with small tiny cameras.

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