As previous posts have alluded to, keeping your home secure is vital to protecting what's yours. The last time we covered this topic, we looked at six ways you can bolster your home's security for peace of mind. In this ultimate guide, we'll expand on that with five practical tips.
Home insurance is no longer enough; you need to think through a robust system that will stop an intruder in their tracks, turn them from your property and make sure they never come back again.
1. PIR perimeter sensors.
With concepts such as the Internet of Things (IoT) influencing just about every marketplace on the globe right now, it seems natural to kick off our guide with an IoT solution. IoT is a great way to ensure a brilliant home security system that is also future-proofed.
A PIR movement detector measures Infrared light bouncing off objects within its field of view. This technology has been dominating the home security market for decades; however, combine this with smart-home tech, and you've got a revolutionary product!
Devices such as Hive's ICEMTNSENSOR allow you to place these sensors inside and outside of your home and will notify you via an app if motion is detected. This works if you are at home, at work or even out of the country.
We'd recommend setting up a few at crucial perimeter points around your home for an early warning system that costs a lot less than alternative solutions. The real joy of a system like this is in its ability to link to other connected devices (more on that next).
2. Smart Home security.
We live in an age of increased connectivity. Our connected world allows us to set up measures for protecting our home where our security devices are communicating with other crucial systems in the house. Not only does this automate otherwise complicated set-ups but, it also allows us to add other instruments and solutions later.
The usage of these devices extends way beyond simple home security though; you can control your entire home environment (heating, lighting, etc.), entertainment and accessibility all within the same systems. This makes IoT and Smart House Technology a cost-effective means of securing your home.
Some examples of a connected, Smart Home system could include:
- Smart locks that communicate with your mobile phone.
- Video Doorbells allowing you to see who's at the door remotely (even in the office).
- Home security cameras with Cloud-based video storage and facial recognition.
- Home Hub that detects when you leave home and initiates increased security features.
3. Mimic Occupancy.
Sticking with the Smart Home approach, there are lots of ways to utilize this tech for convincing a potential intruder you are in the house and deterring an invasion in the first place. Prevention is always an excellent strategy in your toolkit when it comes to home security. You can do many things to ensure your home appears to be occupied when you are not in.
A straightforward example would be something like Amazon's Alexa with a routine programmed to trigger lights to go on and off randomly as well as playing ambient home sounds (clinking dishes, muffled conversation, etc.). This system could be triggered by a simple phrase or even by locking your front door. As an intruder enters your home, it will sound like someone else is there and should be an effective means of scaring them off. Some of the more sophisticated among our readers might even be able to create custom routines with their own voices programmed in.
Often, these routines are built into a Smart Home Hub as part of its default package. Where these solutions amp up from deterrent to active protection is if the device detects noise such as breaking glass. At such moments, the hub could call out to the police, a neighbor or some other pre-arranged responder.
Not only is this an effective preventative measure, but, it's also cheap to implement. We'd certainly not recommend you put this in place without any other home security measures but, as part of a broader strategy, it's a great option.
4. Burgle yourself!
It may sound ridiculous, but there is a lot of method in our madness here! Obviously, we're not encouraging you to break into your own home and cause damage with this tip.
The point behind this strategy is to start thinking like a home intruder rather than a homeowner. Imagine it's not your home, and you wanted to get in, look for things you might be able to do to gain entry without raising the alarm. If you do this well, you should be able to spot flaws in your current set up.
Perhaps there's a part of your boundary fence that's easy to climb over or, there's a loose bar in your window bars. It could be that your door is easily kicked down, or your windows are too easy to break. Whatever it is, walking through a break-in scenario as if you were the burglar is bound to throw up some issues for you to address.
Going through this process regularly will help you to correct weaknesses in your home's defense and identify ways to build on your strengths.
5. Don't scrimp on an alarm system!
Deterrents are one thing, but you will need a failsafe. Nothing can compensate for the presence of an excellent alarm system. For that peace of mind knowing that the police will be alerted, it's worth investing in high spec here.
Chose something loud to increase attention on your property should an intrusion occur. Choose something that will capture evidence to use in court should you wish to press charges against any intruders. Choose something that will get the alert out to relevant parties quickly and accurately. Above all else, choose a system with an excellent reputation.
6. The Take-home Message
Connectivity really is crucial to a robust home security system. Being confident that all your gadgets and alarms are in communication with one another will ensure maximum efficiency in preventing, deterring and prosecuting intruders. Your home is worth the investment. Plan your system out and seek sound advice.
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