The Advantages Of Smart Home Security
Only 40% of British homes have a working burglar alarm and almost a third (30%) are only ever set when residents are away overnight, according to a Loxone survey of 2,000 British homeowners. This is despite figures from the Home Office that show homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with even simple security measures.
On average, 1,356 burglaries are committed every day in England and Wales, according to the British Crime Survey 2016, but only 34% of Brits believe burglar alarms are an effective form of security.
It sounds ‘alarming’ at first, but the sad fact is that many of us simply ignore alarms. When was the last time you went out to investigate a car alarm along your street? Chances are, it wasn’t very recent. Have you ever heard a neighbour’s house alarm going off and instead of being concerned for the safety of their home or possessions, you found yourself being irritated by that all too familiar siren?
So, if we’re not relying on burglar alarms to keep our homes safe, what are we doing?
Turns out, a considerable number of homeowners are reliant on their neighbours to keep an eye on their homes, asking them to pick up the mail, park their cars in the driveway, pick up the post and even open and close curtains (now bear in mind these might be the very neighbours whose own burglar alarm going off is the bane of your existence).
It’s simply not practical. You can’t expect your neighbours to put their lives on hold just because you’re jetting off to Spain for the week. In my road every morning, there is a great exodus of sorts, where the cars which were previously neatly lined up along the road vanish – off to work, school, or wherever it may be.
Almost one in three British households is headed by parents who both work full-time. With everyone out at work, there’s a very good chance that your immediate neighbours won’t be around to keep an eye on your home when you need it anyway. An ideal moment to strike according to any prying eyes perhaps?
For those times when people are at home, our survey found that 16% of respondents simply ignore a house alarm and just wait for it to stop. 20% wait to see how long it goes off for before calling for any assistance. Not ideal.
Can smart home technology help?
Yes. A professionally installed smart home with smart security features gives you peace of mind knowing that if potential trouble is detected, you and anyone else that needs to know will be immediately notified. You can then take complete control of what to do next to minimise potential loss or damage to your possessions.
Okay, so we have already considered how ‘immune’ we are to the sound of traditional alarms. How would a smart home change this? What if your next door neighbour started blasting music at full volume unexpectedly? That’d likely make you sit up and take notice. It at least gets you off the sofa to look out the window to see what on earth is going on, or you even prepare to go over and ask them to turn that awful racket down… Then you notice that the lights in your neighbour’s home are randomly flicking on and off and all the blinds and curtains are open. That’s got your attention. You immediately think that something just isn’t right here. Sounds effective right? It is.
Unleash the dragon…
Now imagine how effective that has been on deterring an unsuspecting opportunistic burglar who has just had an almighty flurry of smart home automation unleashed upon them. They’ve probably hot-footed it in no time. If they haven’t, it won’t be long before they’re caught red handed considering the reactionary measures likely to be taken by alert neighbours – or even yourself.
Being alerted to the break-in because you live next door is one thing, but there is the added benefit of a smart home of being notified to such an intrusion with on-device notifications, emails or even a phone call – wherever you are. Loxone offers a Caller Service which means that emergencies in your home such as a break-in, water leak or fire are immediately brought to your attention so that you can respond accordingly to minimise risk or damage when time is of the essence.
Ready, set, go…
What is involved in getting this kind of attention-grabbing sequence of events ready to be brought to life at any moment? Rest assured it is nothing like what Macaulay Culkin’s character in Home Alone had to go through. Your smart home security system can be armed as easily as double-tapping a switch as you leave your home.
This sequence puts your Loxone Smart Home into ‘Away Mode’ – job done. Off the back of this simple interaction, your home will check that the doors are locked, windows are closed, multiroom audio is turned off, heating is lowered and that the lights are turned off. With all in order, the house is alarmed and you’re good to go. If there is anything amiss like a window upstairs still being open, your home will let you know.
If you’ll excuse the cheesy hook: ‘but wait, there’s more!’… With a Loxone Smart Home intelligently controlling your lighting, heating, shading, multiroom music and more, you have the added feature of presence simulation. So if it gets to 18:15 on Friday night and you aren’t home yet (last minute drinks after work perhaps?) – your home will start to mimic your actions (without cranking the heating up).
The Right Mode…
What are the rituals you undertake every morning before you leave? Check the back door’s locked? Run around and check all the windows are closed and the lights are off? Double check you’ve unplugged the iron? You’re not alone. Research shows that most of us spend an incredible 10 minutes performing a ‘lock down’ routine before leaving the house. Well, you know now that ‘Away Mode’ in a Loxone Smart Home takes care of all this for you.
Apart from ‘Away Mode’, Loxone Smart Homes also feature ‘Night Mode’ and ‘Holiday Mode’… This means that the level of security and the way your home responds to potential danger is customised to whether you’re home, at work, or on holiday.
And much more…
The level of security that a Loxone Smart Home offers is extensive. Why not include access control with the Loxone Intercom for example? It would allow you to see and communicate with whoever is at your front door or unlock it, from wherever you are in the world. Ideal for letting your guests in when you’re running late or letting the delivery guy know of a safe place to hide your parcel if you’re out. You could also use iButtons to personalise the way your home responds when certain members of the family get home – like receiving a notification that your children have arrived home safely from school.
Ready to live in a Loxone Smart Home?
We have a strong network of Loxone Partners who are ready to work with you on your smart home project. You can search our Partner map with your postcode to find one near you. You can also request a brochure if you would like to find out more.