Protecting your family and home assets are the two primary concerns every homeowner faces almost daily. Many are the times they will continuously ask themselves if they properly locked the door or if they remember seeing the guard by the gate. These questions, most times, go unanswered. And as a result, one goes by their day worried if their property is safe.
Traditionally, people used heavy steel doors and big padlocks to lock up and keep away burglars. But these same thieves devised ways around these two systems and continued on their heists undisturbed and got away with it. Some homeowners who had been away on holidays have come home to empty houses after everything has been swept clean. Quite an unfortunate event, right? All your lives work gone down the drain!
But all that is behind us now as there are quite a few gadgets that go a long way to protect your home while you are away; on vacation or at work. And below are the best eight that you must have to beef up your home security.
Web cameras are known for their tiny size and the fact that they are hardly noticeable. This is, therefore, a fantastic feature to take advantage of to safeguard your home. The pepper mill sized cameras come in subtle designs that easily blend in with everyday house decor. And the best place to install such cameras is at the entry table or along the hallway that faces the main front door. These cameras come equipped with facial recognition tech, and at these positions, the camera is at the best angle to capture the perpetrator’s face. The cameras then send a signal to the owners’ phone or laptop wherever they are, and they can take the necessary steps. That is to contact the authorities and head home as soon as possible.
We highly recommend the Blink XT2 Outdoor/Indoor Smart Security Camera. It works with Alexa, has a 2-year battery life, 2-way audio (so you can even talk to anyone on the other side) and free cloud storage! It retails for only $89 on Amazon.
If you want a cheaper option, try this Chinese cloud camera from Aliexpress, with many functions, such as motion detection, cloud storage, night vision, sound alarm, pan & tilt, timed recording and even an SD card support and it’ll only cost you less than $14 with free shipping! Though the cheapest option’s video quality isn’t that great (720p), we would recommend getting at least the 1080p version ($19 with free shipping).
Siren padlocks are an upgrade to the typical latch that comes with an added feature of sounding an alarm/siren when fiddled with. These padlocks, when compared to the conventional ones, look identical but these have inbuilt sensors that send a signal if one tempers with them. Besides sounding a siren, some come with more advanced tech such that you can pair it to a Bluetooth device. And are opened only by just a touch as long as the paired device is close-by. These padlocks are quite affordable and easy to find in any market, e.g. the one by Crystal Vision will only set you back $35 on Amazon, but it’s an all-weather, reliable and robust padlock with a very loud (130 dB) alarm.
This one called the Bemodst from Aliexpress will only cost you $10, and it’ll also do the job (though it’s alarm is just slightly less louder, with a max sound rating of 110 dB)
Ever walked past someone’s gate at night and all of a sudden a bright beam of light shines down on you? It must have presumably given you a shiver if this was your first time. Well, that is one type of a motion sensor paired with an energy-efficient source of light. Once it senses any form of movement; animal, human or object, it lights up. These motion sensors are best installed at any possible entry points of your house for best results. That includes the front door, back door, the garage, the basement as well as on all windows. They come in subtle designs and in minute sizes that any burglar hardly notices them. Once the sensor catches suspicious movements, it triggers a signal to sound an alarm, activate indoor surveillance cameras, and notify the authorities. Even when you are away, the message is sent to you right away. The thieves may think they are fooling you by using the rarely used basement window, but shock unto them you catch them pants down in the act.
Sometimes you leave the house in a hurry for one reason or another, and you are not sure if you correctly locked the door. Well, if you did not, awe unto you if you live in a not so safe neighbourhood. You may come back to an empty house if you are not careful. But, worry not, because now a pressure doormat that you once deemed useless can come to your rescue. These specialized mats send a signal to activate quite a few things once they are stepped on. First, it locks all entry points wholly shut, it activates indoor monitoring systems, sounds an alarm and finally notifies you. From this signal, you can gauge if the person is genuinely an intruder or just a delivery person. If it is an invader, you then notify the police close by.
You can also set the pressure mat to a pleasant chime so that you’ll know every time someone (or a pet) comes at the door. The mat shown above by Ideal Security costs around $25 and can withstand extreme outdoor temperatures, with a single battery lasting for more than five months.
What barks, doesn’t bite, doesn’t eat or make a mess? Barking dog alarms! These groundbreaking smart alarms work conventionally the same as the typical alarm but with an added feature of sounding a loud imitation of a vicious dog’s bark. Undoubtedly, an unsuspecting perpetrator will take to their heels once this loud scary sound surprises them. This system comes with a 360-degree radar detector hence are audible even through the thickest concrete walls. You no longer have to rush home in the afternoon to feed your guard dog. As long as you have the alarm connected to a power source, electrical or battery, your household is protected. And no one but you will know you really don’t have a dog but a machine doing the work. Cool right!
Get the Rex Plus Electronic Watchdog from Amazon. It even has a mode where it can be set to: “the closer an intruder gets, the more frequent the barking!”
These devices are part doorbell and part security camera decked with an audio system too. The reason this upgrade was done is that some robbers pose as delivery persons when they approach your doorway. They ring the bell or knock, and once you open they attack you. Several such cases have been reported hence their development.
With such a doorbell, you are at a better position to see the person at your doorstep. And through the live feed camera and the two-way audio system, you can easily ask to see their identification and ask them a few questions before opening your door. These are selling like hotcakes, and now a lot of variety exists. A new version by Ring (the ‘pioneer’ of the smart doorbell) will set you back $199, though you can also get the old version for only $99.
We recently tried a couple of Smart Doorbells from China and were actually very impressed with 2 brands. The Smart Doorbell by Xiaomi (pronounced Shaomi?) costs around $45 (with free cloud storage), but the battery only lasts a month. The one we really liked was the GEEKAM v7. In our humble opinion, this is the ‘best bang for the buck’, and you won’t regret the $35 you spend on this smart doorbell!
Protecting your home goes beyond just keeping perpetrators at bay, it also involves safeguarding your family and property from accidents caused by fire outbreaks. Fire flares do not notify you, they just happen. And that is why a house owner must make sure their home has a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. These detectors send a distress signal to the fire department crew at the onset of even the slightest smell of smoke or gas leakage. It eliminates the spreading of fires as they are put off at their infancy before they crawl any further engulfing up all yours and your neighbor’s property.
Lastly, we have leak detectors that work on the same principle as the smoke detector, but they have sensors to check for water leakages. These detectors are installed in areas prone to flooding such that you do not have to walk in a waterlogged floor when you come back home. They are found in bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms and kitchens. One may even install them near water tanks above or below the house to track any leakage or burst pipe happening. The smart leak detectors are linked to a smart mobile app that notifies you as soon as a leak is identified. And you get to fix it before it gets bad. You can check some out at Aliexpress or Amazon. They will save you both water and money in the long run.
Do let us know what you think of our list, and if you have a suggestion, question or criticism, please use the comments form below! Stay safe and secure 🙂