It seems these days that everyone has a burglary story they can recount; from first hand ordeals to friends horror stories. According to the BBC a burglary occurs in Britain every 2 minutes, in the US time between break-in’s is down to 15 seconds.
Criminals aren’t the bumbling oafs depicted by Hollywood; the majority are calculating professionals who make a living out of crime. Most of us think we are taking adequate measures to protect our homes, the simple truth is you probably aren’t.
Large security systems can be expensive and a bit daunting, which is why we have put together a short list of alternative and more affordable home security options.
Fake TV flickers
Very few burglaries take place when there’s someone at home. In fact, research shows that 90% of burglars won’t go near a house if they thought it was occupied. Fake TV is a super simple gadget which gives the illusion that someone is at home by mimicking the flickering light of a TV set turned on. At just £22 it’s the cheapest way to make sure those nosey thieves just keep on walking.
Install a keyless locking system
With 67% of all burglars coming in through the front door the first place to start when securing your home is the door. And thanks to the latest keyless tech you can keep your front door safe and feel like you’re living in the future at the same time! We’re all familiar with keyless locking at the office and it’s standard in cars. But it’s yet to take off with our houses. With keyless doors you can open your door with the blip of a fob or by imputing a personalised number. The system can also come with fake number recognition – so if someone tries to enter and fails, you’ll be notified immediately. Typically keyless doors can be fitted to your existing door for around £250 alternatively most new composite doors can be ordered with a keyless lock attached.
Turn your PC into a surveillance camera
Sure, we’d all love high-tech security cameras fitted in our homes. But that’s going to cost. A simple solution is to use the equipment you’ve already got and re-appropriate it for home security purposes. And that’s exactly what Vitamin D can do. It’s a bit of software you can load onto your computer that then uses the cameras already connected to it either by USB or by wifi. You simply fire it up, point it at the area you want watching, and you’re away. To make sure it’s not recording all the time and eating up your hard drive space, it uses motion recognition to only start recording if someone enters the area. Available in a basic edition from around £30.
X10 Rex-10 barking system
As featured on The Gadget Show, this nifty little system plays a recording of a terrifyingly realistic barking if any motion is detected. If the sound of a hell hound hot on their heels isn’t enough to deter a would-be burglar, the system also turns on a light a few seconds after the barking starts, creating the impression that the home owner has woken up and is coming to investigate. Probably with a big stick. At just over £100 it should have the burglars running scared.
About the Author: Nick Williams works for Yale Composite Doors, who manufacture energy efficient, U-value compliant composite front doors. Nick writes frequently on the subjects of green building, DIY and home improvement.