Adopting a smart approach to home security – Paul Routledge guest blog

 

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Now the clocks have gone back and the evenings are darker earlier, homeowners all across the UK are warned to heighten the security of their homes.

Last year the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) reported that there was an estimated 785,000 incidents of domestic burglary in the UK and most were on vulnerable and compromised properties, which the dark nights favour.

New research of 2,000 UK adults conducted by D-Link uncovered how security conscious people are in the UK. The results were shocking. Over half (54%) of UK adults do not have security systems or burglar alarms installed in their homes and 74 per cent of installed burglar alarms, do not contact the police.

Even more surprising, based on these findings, is that only 11 percent believe that their household and possessions are safe and protected against burglary.

However, it is not just a matter of home security downfalls. Further results from the survey showed that despite poor home security measures, people were no more cautious with their belongings. Around a third (31%) have accidentally left their windows open whilst their property was empty and 20 percent have left their doors unlocked.

Seemingly people aren’t fully prepared when protecting their home in the winter months as only 23 percent use a light timer when they go out of the house for long periods and only 9 percent have security cameras in their home. Many people find that solutions available to them such as alarm systems are very costly and can often involve incur monthly fees. This has led to people seeking other solutions that will help protect their homes in the winter months.

D-Link recently surveyed 8,500 consumers across Europe about their thoughts on smart home technology and discovered that keeping a home safe and secure was by far the leading reason people are choosing to adopt smart home technologies, with as many as 5,000 respondents stating it as their main reason other than saving money. The research also found that the three most popular smart home products that people are looking at buying are motion detectors (14%), security related video surveillance cameras (23%) and smart plugs (25%). More than a third of respondents also mentioned the appeal of managing the house when going to bed, as thanks to home automation there would be no more having to go back downstairs to switch off the lights, lock doors and check windows are closed. It can all be managed from your app on a smartphone or tablet.

Luckily however, for consumers looking to bolster the security of their homes, there are many different systems to ensure a home is safe and secure, including smart home security. Smart home enabled security devices essentially allow users to control their home via a smartphone or tablet app, providing the ability to set power usage thresholds, schedule light timers and most importantly monitor the home whilst away. Consumers for instance could set a motion sensor, that when triggered could alert a smart plug to turn the light on.

Smart home security products offer a cost effective and affordable alternative form of entry-level security to costly alarm systems that can often tie you into a monthly reoccurring fee. They’re also suitable not just for homeowners but for those that are renting as well, due to the portability aspect and the fact that they are a security solution that can be deployed anywhere as long as there is access to the Internet. Currently in today’s market there are a number of technologies on offer from different manufacturers, so for the average consumer it can be quite a daunting situation deciding which products to choose. However, there’s now far more interoperability in the market and we are increasingly seeing manufacturers working to address this with solutions providing consumers with the opportunity to build an ecosystem in the home.

Unlike traditional security systems, smart home products are an entirely scalable solution that can be operated at any level, with the ability to add as many cameras or sensors that are required. They provide an alternative to expensive alarm systems and professional grade cameras which can leave the consumer facing a hefty fee. Smart home solutions on the other hand often have no installation costs, no monthly fees and are very much plug and play devices that can be implemented by the consumer themselves. The scalability that smart home solutions offer are also a considerable reason behind consumers adopting smart home solutions as a means of security.

Everyone’s had that moment when they second guess if they’ve left a window open, or the iron switched on, whilst out of the house. Chances are that they haven’t, but wouldn’t it be great to have that guarantee no matter where they are in the world? Smart home technology is making it possible to have that peace of mind, with a myriad of devices available that are compatible with a smartphone, they can update you on everything from your energy consumption levels to a potential intruder or a plug which should be switched off.

But it’s not just watching an empty house where people think that a connected home makes sense. 1 in 10 want smart devices in their home to help keep an eye on what their pets are up to or to help watch over their young children. The flexibility of the technology in comparison with traditional alarm systems really is significant.

Having all this technology in our homes isn’t beneficial if it’s is awkward to set-up and manage. Our study group agreed. Over half of respondents stated that they wanted to manage everything to do with the smart home from a single app on their phone. The set up process for smart home technology can often be as simple as scanning a QR code, syncing the device to a router using WPS and the user is set to go. After all, how can we really have smart homes if the system we manage them from isn’t simple or smart?

 

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