Few things, besides natural disasters, will inspire a homeowner’s anxiety as much as burglary. With one burglary happening every thirty seconds in the United States, having an up-to-date security system is becoming more important than ever. Fortunately, the wide array of advanced smart technology for home security makes it easier than ever to keep your home and family safe.
One of the most popular and basic home security measures are motion-sensitive outdoor lights. These have been around for years, and there’s a good reason why: motion detection sensors can automatically turn the lights in your yard or on your porch, dissuading burglars and alerting you to possible trouble.
But motion detection has grown even more sophisticated than that in recent years. More advanced motion detection systems can do more than turn on lights: they can activate cameras, activate alarms, ignore certain hours of the day, and detect the difference between a person or animal and natural movement such as the wind.
Another benefit of modern motion detection technology is animal sensitivity. A common drawback to many motion detector systems is that they’re constantly being set off by the dog or cat wandering the yard at night, waking owners up with unnecessary alerts. Some brands of alarm will ignore pet movement and only alert you in case of something larger or heavier moving through the area. Owners of large dogs can even change settings based on how heavy your dog is.
Smart Lights and Home Automation
A close cousin to motion-activated outdoor lights: indoor smart lights. Smart lights can simulate the presence of someone in the house by automatically turning the lights off and on according to a schedule. The lights can also be turned on or off remotely using a smartphone app.
This not only provides a superior “illusion” that someone is home when they’re not, but also saves energy, since you’re not simply leaving your lights on the entire time you’re gone. Some brands even have an adjustable brightness setting.
Smart Smoke Detectors
Like lights, smoke detectors have been another staple of home security for decades. Today’s smart fire alarms have a lot more to offer than their battery-operated predecessors. They can detect carbon monoxide as well as smoke levels, sending real-time data to a smartphone app and automatically notifying emergency services when those levels pass a certain threshold. Having an advanced fire alarm system not only reduces the risk of fire damage and harmful smoke inhalation but can also make a big difference in your home insurance premium.
Electronic Doorbell Cameras
Unfortunately, one common way criminals get into homes is simply by ringing the doorbell. After all, answering the doorbell when someone rings is an expected, default reaction — but can also open you up to danger.
An increasingly popular solution to this problem: electronic doorbells and doorbell cameras. When someone rings the bell, a camera will immediately send you a notification, so you can identify the person on the other side without opening the door. This can not only cut down on the risk of crimes like burglary or home invasion, but also has the added perk of letting you avoid people you know — but don’t particularly want to see.
Smart Door Locks
Traditional locks have a lot of flaws. They can jam, be broken, get picked, or you can just plain lose your keys. But modern technology has made some improvements to the humble and venerable lock.
With an electronic smart lock, you don’t have to worry about lockpicks, unauthorized duplicate keys, or even losing your own keys. They can be opened with a keypad or a fingerprint scanner, with no cylinder or keyhole. Bluetooth-enabled electronic locks go one step further — they can open automatically at your approach and lock automatically behind you —. This is especially valuable for kids who might be home before their parents are; there’s no need to worry about lost keys or a child forgetting to lock the door when they leave.
Smart Alarm Systems
Remote activation is also one of the best features of modern smart alarms. Home alarm systems have been around for quite a while, but required being at home to activate or deactivate, as well as needing a pass code punched in on a keypad. Today’s smart alarm systems can switch on and off via a smartphone app, negating the need to be in the house to secure the area. This also eliminates the need for monthly fees to a home alarm company.
The price point and customizable nature of today’s smart alarm systems also lets users maintain control and involvement when it comes to their home security — they can buy and install the components they feel they need best, rather than trusting (and paying) an outside company to do it for them.
Don’t Cheap Out
One last word about DIY home security: although some smart security tech can be expensive, be wary of going for the cheapest option you can. Quality counts when it comes to home security and opting for that “bargain” might cost you a lot more in the long run.