In this piece, we will teach you how to make your smart home secure. Smart home security can be considered across more categories than you might first imagine.
Starting with simple WiFi cameras and alarms and moving on to more advanced sensors and other ways of making your connected home a safer place you might not immediately think of, we’ll give you a thorough overview today of all facets of harnessing home automation to ratchet up security.
Is it really worth bothering with smart home security, though?
Before we outline how you can make your home safer than ever before – and we’re not just talking about professionally-monitored systems – here are 8 sound reasons to smarten up your home to make it safer as well as more convenient…
8 Reasons to Invest In Smart Home Security Right Now
- Complete Peace of Mind
- Protect Your Assets and Your Smart Home Tech
- Remotely Monitor Your Home
- Prevent Burglaries From Happening
- Capture Video Footage of Any Crime
- Potentially Lowered Insurance Premiums
- Monitor and Safeguarding Elderly Relatives
- Keep an Eye on Children and Babies
1) Complete Peace of Mind
The world is a dangerous place and, according to the FBI’s 2017 Crime Statistics, there were over 7.5 million property crimes nationwide. While burglary rate dropped 7.6%, these are still sobering figures and a break-in takes place every 13 seconds.
At least part of the reason for these falling figures is the growing number of home security systems in place. That doesn’t make the data particularly reassuring, though.
Peace of mind knowing your home is protected, whether you’re upstairs sleeping or away on vacation, is arguably the leading reason for anyone choosing to invest in some form of smart home security.
2) Protect Your Assets and Your Smart Home Tech
Quite aside from the trauma of being burglarized, losing your prized possessions is also a bitter blow.
Sure, you might get most of the losses back through insurance but how about if you forgot to pay your premium that month and find you’re not covered after all? It happens.
What about those precious family heirlooms with more sentimental than monetary value? No check will give you back those memories.
Beyond that, the inconvenience of losing all that smart home tech you worked so hard to pay for and get up and running doesn’t bear thinking about. Imagine coming home to a bare wall without that 65-inch TV and an empty home theater.
By investing in safety-oriented smart home gear rather than focusing purely on convenience, you can protect your possessions whether you’re home or away. Which brings us to the next reason why smart home security is eminently worthwhile…
3) Remotely Monitor Your Home
Whether you want to see who’s at the door, check that your doors are locked, keep an eye on the temperature or watch over your kids, being able to access your smart home remotely in-app is useful in many important ways on the security front.
You won’t need to stay permanently glued to your cell phone either. You’ll receive instant alerts any time there’s any form of security breach so you can take prompt action whatever the nature of the emergency.
4) Prevent Burglaries From Happening
Prevention is the best cure.
Whether you’ve got visible security cameras or a simple sign in the yard alerting would-be intruders to a fully secured home, put yourself in the position of a burglar…
Would you opt to break into a home with a camera recording your every move, or would you head off to seek an easier target?
And that’s before taking into account piercingly bright floodlights coming on when motion is detected and an audible siren to make sure everyone in the neighborhood knows something is amiss in your garden.
5) Capture Video Footage of Any Crime
Given that a burglar only needs 8 to 12 minutes inside your home, even with the best home security in place, there’s a chance that you might still find a thief gains access.
If so, at least you can content yourself with visual documentation of the crime and evidence in the form of video footage that might come in useful, and could even be used to bring the perpetrator to rights.
6) Potentially Lowered Insurance Premiums
If you can prove to your insurance carrier that you have a robust smart home security system in place, there’s every chance this will be reflected in lowered premiums.
Insurance is simply a numbers game, and if you can do your part to minimize risk, your insurance provider should meet you halfway with some form of discount. This is not guaranteed, but it’s well worth contacting them to see if you can come to an arrangement. In this way, you can get a return on investment with your security gear while also lessening the chance of a traumatizing burglary.
7) Monitoring and Safeguarding Elderly Relatives
If you have an elderly relative at home, you can keep a watchful eye on them with security cameras in the house.
There are also pendants capable of connecting to your security system so, in the event of taking a tumble or requiring urgent assistance, your loved one simply needs to press a button on the pendant around their neck and a medical team will be dispatched to your property even if you’re not around to arrange it.
8) Keep an Eye on Children and Babies
From baby monitors – look out for our upcoming article on the best of these – through to regular security cameras and video entry systems, you can make absolutely sure your young ones are protected even if you’re caught up at the office.
With those core reasons probably making it clear how to make your smart home secure is really worth.
How to Make Your Smart Home Secure
We’re not going to double down on any specific products today. Our focus is purely on giving you the framework for all elements of a successful smart home security system in general terms.
There’s no compulsion to invest in every single piece of kit below, but doing so will certainly protect you, your family, and your connected home across the board.
Think about adding the following pieces of kit to your connected home:
- Outdoor Security Cameras
- Indoor Security Cameras
- Floodlights and Security Lights
- Motion Sensors for Doors and Windows
- Glass Break and Vibration Sensors
- Video Doorbell Cameras
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Water Leak Detectors
- Smart Lighting
- Motorized Blinds
- Smart Outlets
1) Outdoor Security Cameras
The simple presence of a visible camera, especially when accompanied by a sign in the garden, is often enough in and of itself to send potential burglars scurrying away.
Being able to remotely access your smart security camera gives you added peace of mind even if you’re not at home while if anything does go wrong, you’ve got documented video footage for insurance purposes.
2) Indoor Security Cameras
If you have service staff or contractors in your house on a regular basis, indoor security cameras can be invaluable.
In the event of any burglary, it’s highly likely that once inside, a burglar will remove any mask or hood he has been wearing assuming he’ll be undetected. Capturing evidence on camera might be the difference between bringing him to justice and allowing him to escape and get clean away with it.
Indoor security cameras also allow you to check in on your kids and pets remotely to make sure everything is OK if you get held up at work.
3) Floodlights and Security Lights
A darkened garden with plenty of room for a burglar to skulk around and take his time breaking into your property is a recipe for disaster.
By installing floodlights and security lights outside – check out our forthcoming article on Ring’s fantastic new smart lighting range – you can add an extra layer of security to the outside of your property.
The inbuilt advantage of outdoor lighting is that you won’t come home at night needing to feel your way to the door either. Motion-activated sensors will bathe your pathway or garden in light as soon as you come within range.
The centerpiece of the average home security system, a loud and shrill alarm is generally enough to send any would-be thief scurrying off before the police arrive.
Not only will you enjoy the protection of an audible alarm, you’ll also get a notification on your smart home and, with most alarms, but you can also arrange for the emergency services to be called immediately in the event of any security breach.
While one of the oldest forms of home security, alarms are best used in tandem with the other devices and appliances on this list. That, after all, is the point of an automated home: getting all your tech to work in perfect harmony to deliver security as well as convenience every step of the way.
5) Motion Sensors for Doors and Windows
Motion sensors are useful for more than just activating security lights.
Cheap and easy to install, all you need to do with most door and window sensors is attach them using tape or screws and you’re all set. These sensors have a magnet on one side and a piece of steel on the other. When separated, the magnetic field between them is broken and a signal is sent to your home hub. You will then be notified in-app on your smartphone.
Door sensors are also useful for alerting you if any doors have been unwittingly left open so you can make sure your property is fully secured at all times.
6) Glass Break and Vibration Sensors
It goes unsaid that the weak point of just about any home is the expanses of glass so easily smashed by any potential burglar.
By listening in for the pitch of that glass breaking or even vibrating when tampered with, advanced glass break and vibration sensors might not be the most obvious item on your smart home shopping list but they might be the wisest investment you make in 2019. Getting creative is the essence of all the most successful connected homes and, by thinking outside the box, you can ramp up security in ways that don’t immediately spring to mind.
7) Video Doorbell Cameras
Smart video doorbells work on many security levels.
When you’re not at home, you can stay fully abreast of comings and goings at your front door. With video and two-way audio, you can communicate with visitors if you see fit or simply remain aware of their presence without alerting them that you know they’re at the door.
Home security is not solely about preventing burglaries. If your kids regularly play just outside the front of your house, the wide viewing angle on your video doorbell will help you keep tabs on them as they happily play with friends.
On the same tack, if you have an elderly relative prone to walking off unannounced, you can stay aware of their movements with your video entry system.
Beyond this, you’ll also enjoy remarkable convenience when you are at home without needing to constantly jump up off the couch every time your teens have a friend drop by. Like all the best smart home gear, doorbell cameras marry robust security to total convenience in one appetizing package.
If you’re in any doubt, have a look at our study of 8 Reasons To Buy a Doorbell Camera Right Now.
8) Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Protecting your home against smoke and the menace of carbon monoxide leaks is easily achieved with some affordable detectors.
With more than a million house fires in the US each year, smoke kills more people than fire.
Protecting yourself against the invisible menace of carbon monoxide and the silent killer smoke is something every smart homeowner should consider as a primary component of overall home security.
9) Water Leak Detectors
Water leak detectors and sensors are invaluable for protecting your smart home even if you’re away on vacation.
Water leak damage is actually the leading cause of all home insurance claims, but there’s no need for your home to be among those statistics. All you need is a small, battery-powered sensor near any water-bearing appliance or area susceptible to leaks. In the event of moisture being detected or a change in temperature, you’ll get an alert pinged to your smart phone so you can take decisive action even from a distance.
By integrating shut-off valves, you can ensure that the water supply is turned off automatically for added security.
10) Smart Lighting
Smart lighting takes on many forms. In terms of home security, you can schedule lighting to come on and off randomly when you’re not at home to give your home the appearance of being occupied.
Not only will your life be easier when you’re at home, but you can also keep that precious home safer when you’re not there to protect it.
11) Motorized Blinds
Based on the same reasoning as smart lighting, motorized blinds offer more than just convenience when you don’t want to jump out of bed to take care of them manually.
By recreating a lived-in feel to your home even if you’re away for a month, you’ll dramatically reduce the chances of your home being seen as an unoccupied target.
12) Smart Outlets
With your smart lighting programmed to come on and off throughout the day and those motorized blinds bolstering the appearance of someone being at home, smart outlets can be used so that you can have a radio come on and off at given times even if you’re away from home.
As with all smart home equipment, it’s the way in which you can use this tech in harmony that gives you the best overall experience. We hope today’s glimpse at smart home security has shown you that there’s no need whatsoever to rely on a basic alarm system with expensive professional monitoring to ramp up security yourself in all the important areas.
Important Note: If you want to use these various elements of smart home security together, you’ll need to invest in a home hub to make this possible. If you’re stuck for ideas, head on over to our look at the best smart home hubs for some inspiration.
We deliberately left smart locks out of the equation since they effectively offer another type of entry system rather than intrinsically improving upon conventional locks. Smart locks are much more about convenience than safety.
Also, we steered clear of focusing on professionally-monitored security systems. These are undeniably effective but they don’t make much sense if you’re renting due to the hardwiring usually required. Contracts are often prohibitively expensive and awkward to wriggle out of so this approach is by no means for everyone.
We hope you’ve seen that getting creative and making the most of a range of smart home security equipment is absolutely worthwhile and needn’t cost as much as you thought.
Come back soon as we update our smart home news daily. This coming week we’ll give you a detailed look at Ring’s new outdoor smart lighting range and show you how it can act as the core security for your garden.