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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
21st February 2024 Issue no. 693

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Burglary spike prep: 5 smart home security additions for when lockdown lifts

* Smart-security.jpgThe end of lockdown is in sight, but CrimeStoppers has predicted that we could experience a wave of break-ins as opportunist thieves take advantage of normal routines resuming.

To ensure homeowners are prepared, these are the five must-have smart home security additions that all homeowners should consider. How many do you sell?

We have all probably become a little complacent when it comes to home security at the moment. Constantly being in the house, many no longer feel the need to lock the door or even shut the windows. However, burglaries rose by 18%* when the first lockdown was eased, and the same can be expected this time around too.

As the next steps in the lockdown roadmap approach, homeowners should ensure their properties are secured, ready for when regular life resumes.

Your average front door lock is an okay security measure, but considering 10% of domestic break-in attempts were successful last year because intruders had a key to the home, it may be time for an upgrade. We have put together a few of our smart home security must-haves to ensure your home is safe in 2021.

*(between May and September 2020)

1. Smart locks
Most burglaries occur in less than 10 minutes, and the most popular method of breaking entry is to simply walk straight in through the front door, which is how a shocking 76% of burglaries took place last year.

With a smart lock system, you'll never have to worry about leaving the doors unlocked ever again. These smart locks feature keyless locking technology, so you can set the door to automatically lock behind you when you leave your home. Mean no more anxiety about whether you locked it or not.
The biggest selling point of a smart lock is that you'll never have to worry about losing your keys or changing your locks.

2. Motion sensors
One of our favourite smart security solutions is also one of the most cost-effective, and they're incredibly easy to set-up too. Simply place a smart motion sensor in your home, connect it to your Wi-Fi, download the app and you're ready to go. If any movement is detected when you're not at home, you'll get an alert on your smartphone. Just make sure to place then in areas where pets are not free to roam.

3. Video doorbells
We've all had those strange knocks at the door from unfamiliar faces claiming to want to clean out guttering or provide a free window valuation, sometimes these visits are legitimate, but with 7% of intruders pushing past homeowners to gain entry and 3% giving false pretences for entering it is vital homeowners take extra precautions.

The methods of entry burglars used between April 2019 and March 2020
Front door- 76%

1 Door was not locked- 24%
2 Forced lock- 24%
3 Intruder(s) had a key- 10%
4 Broke or cut the panel off the door- 9%
5 Pushed past homeowner- 7%
6 False pretences- 3%

Window 22%
1 Window left open or pushed open- 8%
2 Broke or cut glass- 7%
3 Forced a window lock or latch- 7%
A video doorbell is one of the easiest ways to keep an eye on who's visiting your home when you're in and when you're not around, recording suspicious activity. They are also a brilliant deterrent, as they immediately indicate to potential burglars that they're on camera.

4. CCTV with night vision

The highest number of burglaries occur during the evening/night, which is when 60% of burglaries occurred last year, compared to only 40% during the day, with intruders preferring the cover of darkness. In fact, there has been a 6% increase in burglaries taking place in the late evening (10 PM-midnight), meaning it may be worth investing in a smart CCTV system that automatically switches to night mode when the sun goes down.

CCTV used to be reserved for the wealthy, but there are now many smart affordable options available, making this form of security more accessible- for example, the Ring floodlight cameras are a great security system for just over £200, they include a siren alarm, crystal clear 1080p HD video with infrared night vision and two-way audio, so you can hear and speak to anyone that's picked up straight from your smartphone.

5. An alarm system
A house alarm is still a very effective deterrent. But unlike their traditional predecessors, smart alarms connect to your smartphone and so you'll be immediately notified if the alarm is triggered no matter where you are. Also, pet owners needn't worry, unlike motion sensors, these smart alarm systems usually have advanced motion sensitivity means you won't be alerted every time your fur baby decides to roam around during the day.

Top Tip!
Smart homes offer additional security benefits, but like most devices, your smart tech is at risk from hacking attempts. Make sure you choose a long and strong password when you're setting up a new smart device in your home.
It should have a minimum of ten characters and include a mix of special characters, symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters. Make your password unique and ensure it's not linked to any other accounts - just in case.

Don't forget to set-up two-factor authentication on your smart home app, too.
It is also important to keep these apps updated, and when any updates do come in, make sure you let them run. Doing so will keep your smart home devices fully protected and updated with the latest firmware."

14th April 2021

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