If you want your home to be secure, then this Home Security Checklist gives you 39 questions you might wish to check out. Some of them are straightforward but others like these may require some effort:
- 6 – Can you see who’s at the door without opening it?
- 14 – Do you have motion-sensor lights installed?
- 25 – Do you lock all doors at night and every time you leave the house, even if it’s just for a few minutes?
- 35 – Do you have surveillance cameras?
- 39 – Have you installed a home security system?
If these questions give you concerns, then this article may give you answers that help you determine your best course of action.
The Need for Home Security
Few will deny the need for adequate home security. Some home insurance policies even require you to have an acceptable home security system in place. However the idea of a home security system may bring to mind potential difficulties in wiring the whole house as you install the needed devices. That has not been a real concern for many years now with wireless devices. Having a Smart Home provides an easy way to install whatever security devices you may wish. They can be installed in the most appropriate places without too much effort.
What you may need in the way of home security depends on a number of factors. What is the value of the items in your home that you are protecting? Is your neighbourhood one where break-ins are frequent? What are the vulnerable points of entry to your home?
You should also consider all the ways that your home security system can very easily be a deterrent to possible attacks. Even a preprogrammed scenario of lighting changes to simulate occupancy while you are away is a very simple and effective approach. Having external lights that come on when motion is detected is again simple and very effective. A clear indication that video monitoring is active is another strong deterrent.
Your home security should also operate in a way that works for you. Perhaps you would like to know who is at the front door before you open it or even when you’re away. A Smart Home could arrange that their image is shown on TV displays around the home as well as allow two way communication with the visitor. That could even be the case while her you are away from home so seeing the visitor on your mobile device is ideal. The Smart Home can also arrange that the home is locked down when all occupants have left the house.
Once you have completed a detailed analysis of your home, this will give you a good indication of the various devices you may wish to install. Here are some of the key items you may wish to consider:
- Security cameras
- Door or window sensors
- Motion sensors
- External spotlights activated by motion sensors
- Interior smart lights
- Door locks
- Video doorbell
- Smoke, fire and carbon monoxide sensors
The most important question to consider is whether you wish to tackle this as a DIY project or whether you wish to have a home security installation company do the work for you. The second important question is whether you wish to monitor your home security yourself (MIY) or whether you wish to have a home security service company do the monitoring.
Setting Up Your Own Home Security System
If you install your own Smart Home system, you can get a very affordable solution assuming you have the skills to deal with such a project. You can also adopt a phased approach in building up your system, which may allow some further optimisation of what is included in your system. In this way, you get exactly the home security you desire, provided you ensure it meets the criteria set by your home insurance policy.
One important point to consider in developing a DIY solution is the following: if the Smart Home Solution is dependent on a Cloud service to function, this might become a potential major point of failure. If the Cloud service is unavailable due to internet connection failure, this could reduce the reliability of the entire security solution. If the system runs locally on a Hub, this problem situation is avoided. Security dedicated equipment is likely designed to get that right.
Dependent on the system you choose, you may be able to have a professional home security service company do the monitoring for you, if you so wish. For that you’ll need your system to be compatible with the applicable security monitoring service. In either case, for optimal real type surveillance, it is important to have video cameras at strategic locations. If you or your home security monitoring service needs to call the police, video evidence of what is happening will get you the most immediate response.
Using a Home Security Service Company
Your home insurance policy may require that you have a professional home security service company install your home security system. Given the benefits that a Smart Home can give you, you may wish to ensure that these are possible and complementary to what is required for home security.
In addition, if you are unable to do active monitoring for appreciable amounts of time, it is wise to employ a home security monitoring service company. Their 24 hour monitoring can trigger an immediate response if there should be an intrusion. Since it is important to avoid false alarms when contacting the police, such a company will attempt to contact you to confirm what is really happening. Evidence from video cameras is clearly the best way to confirm exactly what is happening.
Smart Home Security in a Smart Home
The possible benefits in having a Smart Home are continually increasing. Whatever solution you adopt to achieve Smart Home Security, you should think about future possibilities. There is little economic advantage in accepting a slightly dumb Smart Home security system from a professional home security company if this blocks your ability to make improvements in the future.
Integrating smart home security in a complete Smart Some solution provides higher security efficiency. Here are just a few examples:
- Automatic arming/disarming the security system based on occupancy detection and/or based on locking/unlocking the door lock. Otherwise, if the security is not armed every time the house residents are away, it defeats the whole purpose of installing home security in the first place
- Once sensors are installed across the house, they can be used for security on one hand, as well as for other automations based on occupancy of different spaces in the house (like turning on/off lights, adjusting heating/cooling, turning on/off media, etc.)
- When a visitor is showing up at the entrance door, it can be announced on speakers throughout the house as well as video from the doorbell camera streamed to TV displays across the house. The same video can also be transmitted to mobile devices of the house residents.
In summary by implementing Smart Home Security and integrating it in a complete Smart Home implementation you can:
- increase the home security effectiveness,
- increase the convenience of using it, and
- save cost by multi use of devices for more than one purpose.
You will find much more information on home security systems in the following references:
- Compare home security companies and features
- The Best Home Security System
- Smart home systems vs. home security systems: How to choose the right DIY platform
- Home security systems vs. smart home systems: How to choose the right DIY platform
- DIY vs Pro Monitored Home Security: How Law Enforcement Responds to 911 Calls
- Smart home systems: DIY vs. hiring a professional