Owning a property In the Portes du Soleil means either you live here all year round or you have a ‘second home’ that you may also rent out during the high seasons. Either way there will be lengthy periods of time when your property is left unattended. When you are away, how do you ensure that your home is secure?
Traditionally a security system is installed, which means a costly installation and an ongoing monthly subscription to cover the monitoring of any alerts that happen when you are away. With the latest Smart Home technologies you can utilise your current internet connection to create your own security solution that can keep you up-to-date 24/7….but where do you start?
According to Police.UK, homes, with no security measures in place, are 5 times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures. Visual deterrents are the first line of defence and there are some simple improvements that you can make before thinking about making a bigger investment in a monitored alarm or buying Smart Home technology;
Reduce visibility of possessions through the windows – Lock your valuables away, something on show is more of an encouragement than anything unseen. Think about installing a safe for smaller valuables but remember to bolt it down so its not easily removed.
Automated lights and Audio – make it appear that someone is at home using time schedules for lighting and audio equipment. Create multiple schedules so it appears as random usage throughout the day as well as in the evening. Try to replicate some of your normal behaviours around your day/night/week.
Install good outdoor lighting – Lights activated by motion ensure that people cannot approach your home undetected. Install lights around your property and try to ensure that the lights will cover as much of your property as possible, minimizing any unlit areas where someone can remain unseen.
Visible secure locks – installed on your windows, doors and external gates will ensure that these entry points will be difficult to get past.
Strong external doors installed – Forced doors are the primary entry point into your home and should be changed if you think that they or the frames are damaged or are too flimsy when your forcibly push them.
Install a visual burglar alarm – Just having an alarm on the outside of your property will get a potential burglar looking for a property that doesn’t have one. Knowing that all entry points will be monitored as well as motion detection is active internally will have them thinking twice.
Install security cameras – Being able to record any activity around your home is a great deterrent. Even if a potential burglar has their face covered, knowing that their actions, clothing and body language will be recorded will give them pause.
Where can Smart Technology help?
Smart Home Technology can be used to implement many security deterrents, and not at a huge cost. You can start with Smart Plugs to turn on lights and audio at different times of the day. Or you can go to the other end of the spectrum with a fully managed system tracking inside and outside your home as well as all windows and doors. Both can be managed using Apps on your Smart Device and be tailored to what you need for peace of mind.
Using Smart Home Technologies will enable you to get instant alerting and live status information on your mobile. It can provide a ‘live’ view both inside and outside your home so you can check any alerts received and react accordingly. If you miss an alert, security cameras will record directly to the cloud for future reference which can be accessed online.
Compatibility between manufacturers is always improving and can provide greater functionality and security solutions to you e.g. camera detecting motion and activating all outdoor lights.
Below I have listed some recommended Smart Home Technologies that will provide deterrents, record any activity around your home and will alert you on your mobile;
Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug – An adapter that plugs into your current power socket and allows you to control whatever you plug into it. This could be a lamp, radio or a television and, with the App, you can schedule when it should turn the device on and off.
Phillips Hue Lighting – Install using a phone App, you can set lighting schedules for each bulb, as a room or home. Bulbs come in screw in, bayonet, spot light and there are also varios lamps. Lighting themes can be created for different moods at different times or setting for movie night. Works with googles Nest and can turn lights on if the Nest Cameras sense motion or a fire is detected.
Li-FX – Similar to Philips Hue but without a base station, each light is a stand alone device but all are managed via an app. Set schedules to wake up to gradually brighter light, schedule lights to turn on and off and set themes for different times of the day.
Nest Cam – Indoor – Plug in and monitor anyway in your home. Can record 24/7 using night vision, motion detection, facial recognition and zonal monitoring. Alerts can be configured to include loud sounds i.e. banging on a door or a smashed window and will record any movements and alerts to the cloud. Can automatically turn off when you come home.
Sonos Play 1 – Can be scheduled to turn on and off throughout the day. Can stream your favourite internet radio stations, play from your iTunes library or smart device. Audio quality is excellent and you can add more speakers around your home for a distributed system, including Home Cinema
Y-Cam outdoor pro – wireless outdoor security camera with Free 7 Day Cloud storage for 3 years
Netgear Arlo Security – Wireless Security Camera system that comes with free cloud storage, Motion alerting, night vision for inside and outside.
Nest Cam Outdoor – Fixed camera monitoring 24/7. Provides night vision, motion detection, facial recognition and zonal monitoring. Alerts can be configured to include loud sounds i.e. banging on a door or a smashed window and will record any movements and alerts to the cloud. Can be set to automatically turn off when you come home. Works with other Smart Tech like Phillips Hue and will activate lights if motion is detected.
ADT Smart Home Security – Managed Service for a more traditional style of Security Alarm but encompasses remote access and alerting to your Smart Device.
Yale Smart Living – A full range of kit to secure your home, from smart locks to cameras to door and window monitoring. No subscription service and can be DIY installed.
Next Steps – Smart Home Monitoring
Secure your WI-Fi
Most smart technologies need a Wi-Fi connection to perform alerting and remote connectivity. Ensuring that your Internet Wi-Fi connection is up-to-date and secure is of obvious importance. So, before you install any Smart Home Technologies ensure that your Internet Wi-Fi connection is also safe and secure to use. Read the article on Internet Router Security and make sure you are using the latest standards of security on your router and Wi-Fi.