Congratulations! You’ve got your lovely new house, and your lovely new electronics, laid out just the way you want them. Unfortunately, lovely new houses with lovely new electronics could be a prime target for burglars, who often prey on those new to a neighbourhood who might not yet have their guard up. You could always put bars on the windows and reinforce your doors, but you really want to find a way to deal with the problem without making your lovely new house feel like a lovely new prison. So, how can you intelligently and effectively counter this threat?
Keeping Burglars Away
The best way to stop someone breaking into your house is to ensure that they don’t have an incentive to want to break in in the first place. This might mean hiding your lovely new electronics a bit better, as no burglar worth their salt who can perform a decent cost-benefit analysis will want to break into a place if there’s nothing portable and expensive they can easily make off with. Then again, the cost-benefit analysis from getting into housebreaking isn’t particularly favourable anyway, so this approach may have limited success. The principle is sound though: don’t put things on display, and you won’t tempt thieves.
You can also make it look like someone is home at all times. Consider automated lights and window blinds that deploy at certain times of the day (more on this later). And prominently noting that you have a security system that will track the burglars and help to catch them might also have the same effect. But let’s assume that your efforts to dissuade burglars have failed, and they’re determined to break into your house regardless of how many BEWARE OF THE DOG signs you post around your property. What then?
Focus on the Ground Floor
While the idea of a cat burglar is very iconic, and humans are specialized via evolution for climbing, it’s very unlikely that any home invader’s first thought is to shimmy up the drainpipe and in the bathroom window. So, make sure that the ground floor of your house is the best-protected one, which can be as simple as ensuring that doors and windows are all closed and locked effectively. You might also consider a security light for outside, which activates based on proximity and can stop someone from creeping up in the dark.
Security cameras are a great way to figure out what went on after the fact, and their presence can also be used to deter burglars. Make sure they’re set up in the right place for what you want to monitor, in discreet locations, and ensure that they’re named appropriately on your home monitoring grid. If you place them about seven feet high and pointed slightly down, that will let you track motion most effectively. Also, make sure you can record in the dark! There’s no use in having a recording system where you can’t see what you’ve recorded, so consider an infra-red system to catch sneaking thieves in dark rooms.
Smart Home Security
And of course, you don’t have to stop at cameras. These days, there is a variety of possibilities for securing your home remotely, and monitoring if there’s anyone inside it. As noted above, automated window blinds and lighting systems have been around for a while, but they can now be controlled from your smartphone via a home hub. Door locks can also be controlled in the same way, as can your alarm and camera system. All of these things can be installed yourself, or you can hire a professional to do it, depending on your level of comfort with technology, and for a small fee, many companies will monitor your house for you and warn you of any potential threats so you don’t have to worry.
Being smart about potential burglars is just the smart thing to do these days. Not only can you reduce the probability of being targeted by not putting items on display and using automated lights and blinds, but you can also set up your smart home to ensure that if something does happen, you stay informed and you can take appropriate action.