Every 15 seconds a home is burglarized in the United States. On average, the monetary losses for a home burglary is around $1,600. While many of us can feel secure in having insurance to cover these costs, the emotional impact of having a thief rummage through our most prized possessions can be traumatizing.
Most people think of home security as a company installing expensive cameras and sensors. This typically comes with high set up costs as well as monthly fees. But for those without the means to dedicate thousands of dollars a year to protect their home, there are other budget-friendly options thanks to the smart home industry.
When burglars strike, they don’t want you to be home. They’ll carefully scope out the neighborhood looking for vulnerable targets. That target is, of course, a house with no one inside. They’ll look to make sure lights are either off or are left on in rooms for long durations. This is a sign that there is no activity. These products can help you keep your home and belongings safe.
A smart plug acts as a way to control an electrical outlet in your home remotely. It’s a small device you place into the outlet and connect to your home wireless internet. You plug in a lamp and use an app on your phone to control when that lamp is on or off. You can set schedules so that the lamp turns on at certain times on certain days as well as off. Using these in multiple rooms can give the impression that someone is actively moving around in the house. They vary in features and price and can be found by such companies as Wemo, TP-Link, and Amazon.
Instead of controlling an electrical outlet, you can control the bulbs themselves. These connect to your home internet and can be configured to turn on and off whenever you’d like. This is important for outside lights as leaving them on or off for days at a time is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Police have warned homeowners for years that this is a sign to burglars that someone is on vacation. Bulbs come in all sorts of packages varying in price. Philips Hue and LIFX are some of the more popular brands.
Similar to the previous options, smart light switches allow you to control a switch in your home remotely. This requires some minor installation but can provide an alternative to those who may have special lighting systems. Typically starting at around $40, popular brands include TP-Link, Lutron, Wemo, and iDevices. This review of the Wemo light switch covers some of the features you can find in these items.
Protect your front door from being opened without your knowledge with a smart lock. These allow you to monitor on your phone whether your front door is open or closed. A great solution if you’re worried about a house sitter or teenager forgetting to lock the door on their way out. Notifications can be sent to your phone immediately. You can unlock the door remotely for guests who may be checking in on your home as well. These start at around $100 and come from companies such as August, Yale, and Kwikset.
The days of expensive cameras producing grainy security camera footage are over. You can now purchase a smart security camera for your home for as low as $20. These take video in 1080p, store footage in the cloud, and will even send you a notification when it senses motion in the home. While it may not prevent a break-in, they can alert you to notifying the police sooner and capture an image of the intruder. Companies such as WyzeCam, Nest, Ring, Blink, and more have popular options in this field.
There is no surefire way to prevent falling victim to a home burglary. But for relatively cheap, you can find some options that will greatly reduce your risk.