Home security: Playing it safe

Another tick for the latest smartphone technology - simple ways to keep your home secure

In years past, a holiday didn’t start until the neighbours were asked to collect the mail and put out the bins, ensuring your home looked more lived-in and less thief-magnet. Now, there’s an app for that. “We’re all busy, and we tend to rely on technology instead of other people,” says Frank Tarulli of Thomas Archer Homes. “The technology has got a lot better and much more affordable. It’s real, accessible peace of mind.”

Window wizardry

An obviously uninhabited house is an easy target for would-be intruders. Simulating everyday human behaviours is an effective deterrent. “The Somfy myLink app provides you with options to create scenarios and schedules which can automatically adjust the position of window coverings throughout the day, mimicking natural movement inside the home,” explains Somfy marketing manager Jade Coote. The Somfy range extends into outdoor territory too. Motorised tamper-proof roller shutters can be set to open and close on a schedule or timer while existing external shutters can be automated by retrofitting a Somfy motor. To complete the illusion of occupancy, the Somfy myLink app also enables lights to be controlled via a remote or set to a timer, both inside and out.

“Police statistics show that a high proportion of forced entries into the home are through windows

~ Jade Coote, Somfy

Defence in the digital age 

Not only is securing your home now as simple as the swipe of a smartphone screen, it’s also tapping into state-of-the-art technology. Jamie Siminoff, CEO and founder of home security company Ring, explains, “[There are] advancements in smart home security beyond the CCTV camera, with new technology now allowing facial recognition so the camera can determine a pet from a human; advanced motion detection zones, so you can select the areas you want to monitor; and deterrence measures like sirens to ward off prowlers.” The Ring Video Doorbell comes with motion sensors that activate the camera and send instant alerts to your phone, and also ‘speaks’ to other security features, such as smart locks. “Say… your Ring app alerts you to your neighbour at your door with a parcel,” explains Jamie. “You can tell them to enter your garage that you’ve just opened using a smart home-connected device.”

Easy expansion

If you’re investing in a security system, Frank suggests starting simple. “For a lot of our customers we’re fitting a basic package that involves two monitors and a hub,” he says. “They can then scale that up with additional features later.” Many products can be retrofitted with no extra wiring, utilising the home’s wi-fi network. “We’re using some sophisticated systems that are run by battery, and are installed by simply affixing them to the wall,” adds Frank – thus avoiding ruining the pristine finish of rooms such as this Plantation Homes example. DIY options, like the Telstra Watch and Monitor Starter Kit, are also available.

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