Securing Your Home and Playing it Safe
I remember sitting in a meeting a few years ago with a Californian IT consultant when his phone went off. “Sorry to interrupt the meeting,” he said. “But I think someone just broke into my house.”
He got out his laptop, logged-in to his apartment in Scotts Valley, selected his CCTV camera feeds and within seconds we were watching live footage of a youth rifling through the drawers in his desk. The apartment was new and it had come with a full home automation system pre-installed including multiple security features. After making a phone call to solve the problem of his unwanted visitor, he then proceeded to give us a quick demonstration, showing how he could control lighting and air conditioning, drapes (curtains to us) and even locking and unlocking his front door. All while sitting 5,000 miles away in the UK.
That was way back in the early days of HAECS (Home Automation, Energy, Care and Security) when these systems were costly to buy and install and needed a degree in electronics to set them all up. But today, you can achieve the same thing for just a few hundred pounds and pretty much anyone can do it. The important thing to remember is that, if you are going down the home automation route, think first about security and work out what you need to protect your home whether it’s movement detectors, door and window sensors, smoke alarms, cameras and, of course your last line of defence – a safe. Once that’s in place you can start to add labour and energy saving technologies from remotely controlled wall or radiator thermostats to lighting, curtain and blind controls
UK Automation has a wide range of security devices (click to see in a separate tab / sheet).
Using a product like the Marmitek TotalGuard 7 Piece Wireless Security System, you can connect cameras, lights, smoke alarms, door locks, PIR sensors and not only control them from your smart phone, but program the system to sound an alarm, to record video or send emails or SMS messages when certain conditions are met .
What happened to our Californian friend and his troublesome visitor? Well it seems that good, old fashioned mechanical engineering saved the day. In the time it took for the police to arrive, the youth had tried to steal his hunting rifle but couldn’t to break into the gun safe. And all his important papers, cash and valuables were also safely locked away in a hidden floor safe.
There’s a useful lesson here. You can use technology to deter potential thieves or even to let you know by phone if your home is being raided, but it won’t necessarily stop them. Far better to combine technology with the heavy metal and locked door of a safe.
UK Automation feature in home security experts The Safe Shop’s recent blog post, Should I install a smart home security system? – read it here.”