There’s a lot more to smart-home technology than clapping your hands — who remembers the Clapper? — or turning the heat on or off using a smartphone app. These days, smart technology can help you keep an eye on your kids and make a big difference to home security. For instance, automated curtains and motion sensing lights can go a long way to deterring thieves. To help, here are four great ways smart technology can deter thieves.
The CCTV camera
If you want to take home security seriously, one of the best systems to install a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system. While this might sound complicated — and expensive — it’s not. CCTV is really just an industry term for video surveillance, which allows businesses and homeowners to set up cameras to view and record activity in and around the property.
Prices for CCTV systems range, depending on whether or not you want recorded video (and how long that recording is kept) or if you decide to have the system monitored with an addition of extra security or alerts to local police services as further options. Home monitoring systems typically cost $20 to $25 per month CDN and up plus one-time installation costs that start at $200 and climb up. While this may seem steep, keep in mind that the most effective deterrent to dissuading a thief from breaking into a property is CCTV, according to a survey of convicted thieves.
Interestingly, that same survey ranked burglar alarms as No. 13 in the most effective deterrents to stopping a potential burglary. This insight suggests that if you’re going to invest in a smart-tech system to help keep your property secure, CCTV offers more bang for your buck. Better still, many current CCTV systems — either off-the-shelf systems or monitored systems — also offer a streaming video feed to your mobile device, which can give you more peace of mind.
Automated blinds and curtains
Automated curtains and blinds were never created as a security measure, but more of a convenience to homeowners willing to pay for this extra function. However, over the years it’s become apparent that automated technology that helps mimic a homeowners presence helps to deter property crime.
Remember thieves will often scout-out potential property targets before attempting to break-in. By mimicking the movements of a present homeowner, automated blinds and curtains give the impression that someone is home even if you are not. Since most property crimes are committed by people who have no intention of getting into a physical altercation, the best way to prevent this type of crime is to give your home “a presence” even when no is home.
Curtains and blinds can either be programmed to open and close at specific times or to respond to the presence of natural light. As an added bonus, automated blinds and curtains that are on timers will also protect your home and your belongings from sun damage or from overheating.
Motion sensor lights
This is one of the simplest, cheapest and most-effective deterrents to a would-be thief. The last thing a burglar wants is to be noticed. As a result, most burglars will target homes that offer cover or privacy from either the occupants, neighbours or passers-by.
Motion-sensing lights work by switching on a bright flood-light bulb that lights up and reveals a specific area of a property.
Smart padlocks for sheds
It can be easy to overlook security for your shed but these external structures are often the easiest spot for thieves to break-in. Very often your shed will contain more-expensive (and highly sellable) items, such as lawn mowers, gas or electric garden tools, as well as various tools and sports equipment. While you can always use a padlock, the chance of forgetting or losing the key is pretty high. Instead, install a smart padlock. These smart-tech locks can be unlocked using an app on your phone and still keep potential burglars from getting into the shed. Some higher-end smart padlocks can even alert you if the padlock is being tampered with, giving you the chance to check your shed or alert police as soon as possible. Of course, you can always install these smart locks on your front door or any other door to your home or business (and keep track of all the locks using your smartphone).