Home Security Technology: Keeping Ahead of Burglars
Around the end of World War I, homeowners hired “door shakers” to walk around and check doors to make sure they were locked.
Home security is just a little bit different now.
Thanks to a perfect storm of expanding technology and decreasing costs, homeowners now have access to the types of tools and systems that previously only celebrities and the wealthy could obtain.
Here’s a rundown of some of the options you have to protect your home, from all-in-one systems to separate components for do-it-yourselfers:
Full Home Security Systems There are a number of companies that offer full-service security systems with central monitoring. These systems often include video surveillance, remote access, smoke and carbon monoxide detection and even medical alerts in case you have an emergency. Some include home automation tools so you can control lighting, heating, cooling and other appliances when you’re away from home.
Many systems can also send you alerts via text message so you know the kids are home from school safely, for example.
Smart Cameras Installing cameras used to mean dealing with bulky equipment and yards of wiring. Today, however, newer cameras are unobtrusive, wireless and capable of much more than ever before. Some even use motion activation, so they only record when there’s a reason to in order to save data storage space and battery power.
Keyless Entry Systems Even items as basic as the locks on your doors are starting to be impacted — and improved — by technology. You might not think you need an entry system that relies on a code or a smartphone, but it can come in handy at times. Say, for example, you need to let a trusted repairman into your home while you’re away, but you don’t want to risk hiding a key outside. With a keyless system (or a hybrid version that uses both keys and codes), you simply provide a temporary code for the repairman to use.
Home Automation Have you ever forgotten to leave a light on while you’re away? Burglars thrive in the dark, and having lights on both inside and outside your home, along with noise from televisions, radios, etc., can be powerful deterrents. Thankfully, you can now turn these things on and off from anywhere in the world. It doesn’t take much to get started. At least one home automation product plugs into the power outlets you already have. You can then control that outlet’s power remotely through a smartphone app.
Of course, there are still some low-tech tools and techniques you can use to deter crime, including motion-activated lighting outside. Don’t leave valuables out in plain sight, and make sure your windows and doors are locked each night. Plus, there’s always the security system that will love you back: a watchdog.
However, if high-tech is more your style and you’re into gadgets, you might find that getting set up with the latest in home security is fun. And, if you’re into saving money, many insurance carriers offer home insurance discounts for having specific home monitoring systems. Check your policy or ask an agent for details.