While burglaries are at their lowest level for decades, those that do happen can be devastating and too few of us are taking advantage of new home security tech.
So-called “walk-in” burglaries, made easy by doors left unlocked, are common but even the best locks can fall prey to brute force attacks that simply break the door frame. It is fair to assume that every domestic home has a whole host of ways a determined burglar can break in.
Often the best security is simply to not keep anything worth stealing – but this is unlikely for most of us as even without luxury goods we still require many expensive pieces of equipment for everyday life. It is portable high-end gadgets that have become valuable swag for experienced thieves and opportunists alike.
Thankfully we are entering a revolution in home security technology. CCTV used to be a full installation reserved for big and expensive mansions while now you can have a motion-activated camera that feeds directly to your smartphone.
Of course one of the best home security features that is so effective it can bring down your home insurance premium is a burglar alarm. Don’t bother with a fake box as burglars can tell the difference to a real one. While not as effective as a full installation there are now wireless systems available that can be cheaper and easier to fit. We recommend getting a full survey by a trusted brand as they will install the systems in the most effective place, but if you do have to take matters into your own hands then this solution is available.
French doors are a frequent problem, hence insurers will often ask what type of locks they have. As a temporary measure, or if you cannot change the doors or locks, you can now get a simple gadget by Patlock which simply binds the handles together as an extra measure.
Amazon company Blink has developed wireless motion-activated home security cameras that send a push notification to your phone to view what’s happening in your home. According to Blink, the batteries in these last up to two years while recordings are sent to a secure server. Better yet, Blink aims to change the model of similar home security camera companies by removing storage subscription fees.
The basic setup is £129.99, while bulk-deals can be found to cover every room in your house for a better price. While you may think recording a burglar when they are already in your home is useless – especially when you have insult added to injury by seeing them on your phone with no means to stop them - reformed criminals have said CCTV is a top deterrent.
Is a trending gadget - that does indeed connect to Amazon’s Alexa assistant - really likely to make a difference compared to traditional exterior cameras? In research by Co-Op insurance 11 of 12 ex-convicts said they would be put off targeting a smart, connected home while only 5% of adults surveyed by Co-op have invested in smart technology for their homes and cars.
Of course if you do go down the smart home route with innovations like Centrica’s Hive then home security isn’t your only benefit. The Hive window and door sensor – which still requires central a Hive hub – will notify you if a door or window is opened but can also be set to turn on lights when you come in. Smart home technology can control your lights, heating, music and more with the right installation. Switching on your lights from your phone isn’t just a lazy luxury – you could switch on lights and music when away from home to give the impression that someone is in.
Of course being told your home is breached may seem a horrifying scenario, but the anxiety you face about your home every day could be reduced through this simple monitoring.