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Iceni Magazine | November 14, 2019

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Can technologically advanced security systems make your home more vulnerable?

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Protecting our homes from intruders is an essential part of keeping our belongings safe and avoiding the distress and disruption that a domestic burglary can cause.

Whilst technological advancements in home security systems are making managing your home security much easier, there are some that feel that more traditional methods, such as shutters and grilles on windows and doors, may offer a more effective solution. You can find below the pros and cons of using mod cons or tried and tested techniques, so you can make an informed decision about keeping you and your home safe.

Going Completely Wireless

One of the latest innovations in home security systems is with wireless technology. Just as you can control the thermostat of your heating remotely, the Internet of Things now allows you to control your home security too. These types of systems not only afford the users easy management that can be done from a smartphone at home or away, but they can also avoid the vulnerabilities and complications that wired systems have.

Wireless systems like those from ADT or Yale offer easy installation with no cables, plus they have easy and intuitive management systems that can be tailored to your exact needs. Furthermore, they can often be installed in areas where traditional hardwired systems can’t reach, thus giving additional protection to your home; in many cases, they can be transferred from property to property.

However, wireless systems connect like your Wi-Fi or mobile phone, through using a cellular uplink that can be more susceptible to interference or false alarms. This can make it easier for burglars to use systems to override or suppress alarms, allowing them to break in undetected. The other downside is that wireless systems tend to be the most expensive to install and require battery replacements every 2-3 years, which is an additional expense to consider.

Professional Hard-Wired Systems

An alternative to wireless is a wired system, and there are plenty on the market these days. In many instances now, wired systems combine the technological benefits that the wireless systems offer with easy remote management, but with concealed wiring and cables they operate through a landline connectivity, which makes them less vulnerable to interference or overriding. They also tend to be cheaper to install than the latest wireless systems, depending on the size of property.

This being said, they can also be subject to false alarms if wires are damaged and they take longer to install, as they involve more work channelling out wall space for cabling, thus creating more disruption in your home. There are also limitations in some areas, where installing cable can be tricky or impossible, which is where a wireless system has the advantage.

DIY Systems

Of course, there are also plenty of other products on the market that allow you to install DIY home security devices. These can be a deterrent, but it’s worth noting that they aren’t generally as effective as a professionally installed system. Products like the Pro-tect Two Way Voice Monitored system is wireless, so it can be easily installed in your home and allows you two way communication with a monitoring centre, alerting them of an intruder if a sensor is triggered. This is likely to cost considerably less than a professional system and it can be upgraded to include smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for a complete home monitoring system.

The disadvantages of this type of system again include the potential for interference and jamming through the frequencies used to transfer the data from each sensor and there will be an annual maintenance cost involved.

Security Grills and Shutters

While technology offers user friendly solutions, it is also vital to consider what the experts say. Crime prevention officers and insurance companies alike, all say that the only way to really stop domestic burglars is by physically protecting doors and windows. This is where the more traditional methods of roller shutters and domestic security grills can be more efficient and cost effective.

Alarms will act as a deterrent, but securing your doors and windows with a retractable sliding grill or roller shutter gives a physical barrier between the outside and inside of your home too. Plus, there is a requirement to break glass, which increases the risk of detection. In addition to this, these types of security are just as effective if the home is occupied or empty and require no maintenance costs once installed.

The disadvantages of shutters on your doors is the aesthetic look and feel of your home, which isn’t appealing to some people. Whilst with grills you can still allow light and air in, with roller shutters you can’t, but this could be a small price to pay for increase home security. Also, with roller shutters, it’s’ worth remembering that they can be removed from the outside, whereas the grills sit inside the property behind the glass. 

In summary, some form of security system is better than none at all, but think about your circumstances carefully. For example, if you live in an area with high domestic burglary rates, then going the whole hog with security grilles is likely to give you the best possible protection.

Article By Teodora Grigorie

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