Editors Note: An article from Berta Melder to The Prepper Journal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies!
Our homes are usually our first, best option in a SHTF, TEOTWAWKI or natural disaster scenario. Not only does it most likely have the majority of our prepping supplies, but its has “the family” and is often the primary “meet here” place in disaster planning when family is spread across work locations, schools, friends homes, etc.
So it goes without saying that home security is of monumental importance and that the world is a place full of people who will take what is yours given the opportunity. Professional thieves seldom miss an easy target and the opportunity to get into your house and take what’s yours, and even bored youths may find the idea of an easy target a thrill, not to mention free stuff!
This is after all our homes, our castles, the place where our children and family feel the most secure. As such we are all dealing with a group of people who steal for a living, and practice makes better (perfection is not achievable.) Alas, as preppers and homeowners or tenants, we do all bare the responsibility of protecting ourselves and we have to admit that some of us do not cross all the “t’s” and dot all the “i’s”.
Many of our neighbors are just not as concerned about the security and safety of their homes, or they are but have made little no effort to discourage intruders.
While you cannot free this world from burglars, you can protect your house and make their job much more difficult. It is the application of the bear escape principal. If you are not alone and chased by a charging bear you do NOT have to outrun the bear, just someone else running with you. So making your home a harder target than your neighbors is the goal here.
30 years ago, you could protect your home from intruders by buying a dog, installing more door locks, and asking neighbors to keep an eye on your house while you’re on vacation. Fortunately, now we have many more tools and gadgets that can protect your property and create problems for those who want to steal from you.
What Are The Burglars Friends?
First of all, burglars are looking for an opportunity. They are searching for homes they can easily access and leave quietly, hopefully unnoticed. They want to do it quickly because the more time they spend on getting in, the higher chances that someone will see them and call the police.
Why do people lock their doors? The truth is, there is no lock that can make your home 100% safe. The only function of locks is to buy you more time. If a burglar realizes that he must spend an hour picking your locks, he will likely go away looking for an easier job.
Burglars don’t want to attract attention. Any loud sound can make your neighbors look out their windows and see that something is wrong. If there is a barking dog or a loud alarm, a burglar will likely move on to the next house. Breaking windows makes sound and taking out enough to release the simple lock or to get in makes a lot of sound.
Why do we say “like a thief in the night?” Because criminals like dark areas. If you have many trees and your garden is dark, it is likely to be the first home that burglars check. They choose such homes because there they can easily hide. If your bushes are trimmed and your home is well-lit 24 hours a day, you stand a better chance that they won’t try to break in.
These three items, time, sound and visibility are still concerns today even with the advent of so many smart gadgets and security services.
Motion sensors comes to mind as a near perfect solution for those who don’t want to waste electricity, but do want to not only know when someone is out there but, more importantly, want the intruder to know that he has been discovered.
Smart gadgets allow you to see what happens in your home while you’re away and to be aware of burglars when they just start thinking about getting in.
While we hope the following gadgets/services will help you in preventing crime, and are provided as an explanation of the service they provide. YOU can better protect your home, family, and yourself by ensuring that the three buglers friends, time, visibility and sound are denied by controlling the access.
Why Do I Need Smart Home Gadgets?
Because they are a deterrence, Period. Can smart-devices be hacked? Yes, anything using wifi can be hacked by someone determined, and skilled in the dark-web arts. But the key here is again, out running your neighbors as opposed to the bear.
Advanced technology does provides you with a vast range of opportunities to make your home more secure. Remote cameras allow you to keep an eye on your house while you’re at work or on vacation by just opening an app on your smartphone. No matter how far away you are, you can see what happens in real time. There are security systems that can be armed or unarmed remotely, even if you forget to do it in the morning when going to work. You can also install smart locks that will lock your doors automatically any time you go out. Various motion-detecting devices can notify you at the very moment when someone is trying to get into your house.
Gadgets & Services that Can Protect Your Home
So a quick review of some of the more prominent players in home security systems.
FrontPoint is a simple solution. This company offers a range of security devices that you can easily install yourself. Frontpoint also includes a traditional monitoring option which will cost you around $35 a month. You can customize and adjust this system using live video and automation functions.
Vivint offers many smart devices for your home security system. This kit includes cameras, smart locks, thermostats, doorbells, and sensors, so you can create your own system that meets your needs. This system requires professional installation, which implies additional fees, but people who don’t like DIY solutions will appreciate it.
Simplisafe – this is a kit that includes sirens, alarms, monitoring system, and a number of sensors that detect movement, fires, and even natural disasters. Why is it called Simplisafe? Because you can control the whole system using one device and a security code keypad. If you want to save money, you’ll appreciate this system for simple installation. There are many all-in-one solutions, but not many of them include an alarming monitoring system. It’s a perfect solution for small homes and apartments.
Link Interactive – If you’re looking for a traditional security system, Link Interactive is a good choice for you. It takes care of your house while you can do whatever you want, with no need to control the system. It includes sensors, locks, and a professional monitoring system. You can also install an app and control it remotely. Link also includes advanced protection of your electricity, in case a burglar tries to turn it off.
Scout – This system is much more flexible than its competitors. The system consists of only four sensors and is controlled using one hub. All devices can be installed anywhere in your house, allowing you to create your own security system. It comes with an easy-to-use app that will notify you if your alarms suddenly go off. Prices for monitoring start from $10 a month, which makes this system rather inexpensive. However, this system also has a considerable disadvantage: It does not support security cameras.
Brinks – Brinks is a great solution, especially if you already have some smart security devices. It’s a set of smart wireless gadgets that can be customized as you like. Remote monitoring involves a monthly fee that starts from $20, which is not too bad but get this set in stone. A good feature is you can always cancel it for free.
Protect America – Choosing Protect America, you can select one of many customizable plans. This system allows you to add as many smart gadgets as you want, from simple sensors to Amazon’s Echo. It comes as an all-in-one solution, and the system is installed by professionals. Prices are rather high and you won’t be able to change the chosen plan. However, if you’re not satisfied with other traditional systems, Protect America may be the right choice.
ADT – This is, probably, the most conservative security system. However, recently, ADT released their updated Pulse line, which is a fruit of its collaboration with such partners as Samsung SmartThings and Nest. Some packages include free installation, and the system itself also includes some free options, such as a Nest Thermostat. On the other hand, we suggest reading your contract carefully because it can’t be called flexible.
Nest Secure – If you’re a fan of DIY solutions and don’t want to pay monthly fees for monitoring services, Nest is your best choice. This system was made for people who love managing their smart homes. It consists of a motion sensor, hub, and a satellite sensor. The latter is called Detect and helps in guarding windows and doors. A Tag system makes it possible for certain people and animals to pass through sensors without triggering the alarm. You can add as many sensors and cameras as you need, which is also a great thing, however, Nest devices are not cheap.
Abode – It’s one of the simplest starter kits on the market, and it is also beautiful. It includes a motion sensor, hub, door sensor, and a key fob. This system allows you to install your devices wherever you need. You can also buy additional cameras and sensors and control your security system using a simple app. There are also many plans available, including weekly and 3-day options.
There are many ways to make your home a safe place. Some smart systems are simple and allow you to create your own scheme, adjusting every device to your needs. Others will be good for users who want to forget about all troubles, buying an optimal monitoring plan. Smart home gadgets come in all shapes and sizes, so everyone can choose a solution that will be best for a particular house.
There is a whole world of dummy cameras, easily installed, even some that move and blink. Great to make anyone think twice. There are even systems that can trigger a broadcast of a large dog bark when a doorbell is rang or any other noise is detected, like breaking glass.
It’s important to understand that, even though you cannot stop criminal activity, you are still able to make your home a challenge even for the most experienced burglars. New security technologies will help you protect yourself and your family, so you have more peace of mind when it comes to your homes security, no matter where you are.
Berta Melder is a brand manager and co-founder of Masterra.com. Being passionate about her job, she cooperates with different universities as a guest lecturer on examples of leading brands, cases of successful personal branding. In her spare time she enjoys creative writing and blogging. Follow @BertaMelder on Twitter.
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