Home security tips are always good to know about, especially as we transition through to fall. The longer nights are, unfortunately, going to be a golden opportunity for thieves as they work under the cover of darkness.
“The threat of burglars targeting your home is always greater at night, and so as we enter fall and the days get shorter, it’s the ideal time to re-evaluate your home security set up" says Dave Ward, MD of Ring International
One of the easiest things you can do is learn how home security systems work, and purchase a few home security devices such as the best video doorbells, indoor cameras and outdoor cameras or floodlights. Other home security tips include proper landscaping, home lighting tricks and tips, as well as what to do, and what not to do, with your keys.
There are many steps you can take right now, without buying anything, to increase your home security. But to really strengthen your home security, the presence of home security cameras, video doorbells and smart lighting will be a sure-fire way to safe guard your property.
Home security tips
We've caught up with Dave Ward, MD of Ring International, to share seven home security tips to follow this fall, to ensure that your home is safe and secure throughout the longer nights.
With the weather being prime for outdoor home projects, now would certainly be a good chance for you to super-charger your home security without it being too hot or too cold outside to do so.
Intensely dedicated to Ring’s mission and providing Ring customers with the best possible experience, Dave has a true passion for smart home technology and the impact it can have on everyday life. Currently, Dave is Managing Director for Ring International, working with global teams to build out Ring’s offering of home security products and services internationally, and to further the company’s mission to make neighbourhoods everywhere safer.
Dave joined Ring as European Product Director in February 2018, bringing over 20 years’ experience defining retail technology operations, product innovation and proposition development.
7 tips for home security this fall
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 has many features to help keep your front door and your packages safe. It has head-to-toe video, so you can see people from top to bottom, and when they have dropped off a package. It also has advanced security features like customizable motion detection that helps keep you in the know when it's important, and disregard unimportant motion at your front door, like a car passing by, or your neighbor walking their dog.
This smart lock has many locking and unlocking features to improve your front door security and convenience. There is a biometric fingerprint sensor in which you can add several friends and family members. You can also assign permanent and temporary key codes for visitors. There’s even keycode protection measures to help prevent an eavesdropper from eyeballing your key code. This smart lock also has physical keys, but they aren’t like normal keys, and would be very difficult to replicate.
This small indoor camera is perfect for monitoring a room, or placing it in a window to protect potential entryways in your home. The boxy security camera has a tiny footprint, making it ideal for those who don’t want the look of an unsightly camera sticking out from their home decor. It has great video footage and even nighttime video capabilities to protect your home even when the sun goes down.
If you want your cake and to eat it too, the Ring Floodlight Camera not only illuminates those passing by in the night, but also records them in 1080 HD with HDR. To take the security a step further, there is a built-in 110 dB siren to scare off intruders. And if that isn’t enough, you can use the two-way talk capabilities to tell them yourself they’re on camera and that you’re calling the police.
This smart lighting kit has many capabilities. It is Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant compatible to completely control the lighting with your voice. You can also change the lighting brightness and color with the app. Most importantly for home security, you can create out-of-home custom automation to create lighting schedules to make it appear someone is home, even when you aren’t.
1. Invest in a video doorbell
Video doorbells, such as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, are amazing for answering delivery calls. They'll notify you when it detects motion at the front door, and some even have advanced AI to let you know when you’ve received a package.
Many have head-to-toe camera views so you can see when someone drops something off or picks something up from your porch. Video doorbell cameras help a lot in deterring porch pirates during the holiday season.
Popular choices come down to Ring vs Blink, but other brands like Google, Eufy and Arlo offer strong alternatives too.
2. Install a smart lock on your door
Smart locks are a great way to stay informed on who is coming and going from your home, while also increasing security. There are a handful of options that forgo physical keys for more modern security measures like keycodes and biometric data like fingerprints. This makes it easy to share access with people you trust, and keep out people you don’t.
The best smart locks keep a log, or history, of every time the door was opened or locked and how it was locked. Some even have sensors to notify you when the door is ajar. Auto-locking and geofencing features also make it convenient to keep your door locked even when you forget to do it manually.
3. Put indoor security cameras near windows
If you’re diligent about keeping your doors locked, securing your windows is the next step in tightening up security around your home. Placing an indoor security camera in windows that are reachable from the ground, or in garage windows is a quick way to deter criminals. You can do that affordably with a Wyze, Blink or Ring indoor video camera.
The WYZE Cam OG 1080p HD Wi-Fi Security Camera - Indoor/Outdoor is a good option for inside or outside the home, whereas the Blink Mini Pan-Tilt Camera will rotate up to 360° and work with Alexa for hands-free control.
4. Install a floodlight
"Security lighting is a great addition to your property and can provide a significant deterrent to any potential burglar. The Ring Floodlight Cam Pro does exactly that, with powerful LED beams and a security siren, you can see what’s happening more clearly with extra peace of mind.” says Dave.
A floodlight scares would-be intruders away by a bright motion activated light illuminating the area where the person is walking.
Many floodlights also have cameras, so not only will a spotlight suddenly shine on the intruder, but they will also be on camera, and that’s no place a burglar wants to be. Placing one of these above a garage door or on a back patio do wonders for increasing home security.
5. Smart use of smart lighting
Smart lighting can be used for more than extra convenience around the home. This Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit for $169.99 on Amazon, for example, is a great way to quickly make it appear that you are occupying your home when you're not around.
You can schedule smart lighting to turn certain lights in your home on and off at specific times. So, while you’re away, from the outside looking in, it looks like people are moving from room to room. Smart lighting is a clever way to deter would-be burglars from entering your home.
6. Quit hiding your keys
"Check the locks on your windows and doors are working properly and ensure spare keys are tucked away safely. You may also wish to increase your gate and fence security and ensure hinges, bolts and padlocks are all secured on the garden side." shares Dave.
If you haven’t yet installed a smart lock with biometric opening and locking, or if you simply like having physical keys to open and lock your doors, don’t hide your keys outside.
Under doormats, under fake rocks or potted plants are obvious spots for a criminal to look, find your spare keys, and gain access into your home. If you have spare keys, the best option is to give one to a trusted family member, or to use a key safe such as this Master Lock Key Lock Box for $32.25 on Amazon.
Trees around your house can give access to windows or your roof. Keeping branches away from your home is an easy way to keep people off your home. A hedge trimmer like this BLACK+DECKER Electric Hedge Trimmer for $37.79 on Amazon would help. You can also plant hedges or bushes in front of windows.
Believe it or not, hedges make it difficult for intruders to access windows, especially if your hedges are of the thorny variety. It’s like having a lovely-looking barbed wire fence protecting your home, but instead of looking like a prison, your house looks great.
What does a typical home security system include?
Your home security system doesn’t have to be complicated. A comprehensive home security system can consist of three components. A great place to start when building your first home security system is purchasing a video doorbell camera, an indoor security camera, and an outdoor security camera. But you can also buy a complete home security bundle from the likes of Ring or eufy with multiple components. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few components that can make up a security system bundle:
- Video doorbell camera - Displays video of your front door
- Indoor camera - Displays video of an entire single room or area
- Outdoor camera - A weatherproof camera that is mounted to your house and watches a specific area like your driveway or back porch
- Floodlight camera - Usually placed above your garage door or back patio, this security camera will automatically illuminate bright flood lights and record video when motion is detected
- Window & door sensors - These alert you whenever a door or window is opened or closed
- Alarm panel - This can serve as a central hub to arm/disarm the entire home security system
Buying a complete home security bundle can be costly, and more labor intensive when it comes to installation than purchasing a couple of individual home security system components. And frankly, buying window sensors for second or third story windows may be overkill. Like cord cutters, it's best to only pay for what you know you’ll use, and leave behind what you won’t.
If you already have other Amazon Alexa enabled devices in your home, like an Amazon Echo for instance, consider going with Ring home security devices, or devices that are Alexa compatible. The same goes for those of you who are team Google – if you already have multiple Google or Google Assistant enabled devices in your home, consider Google enabled security devices. This will only help simplify managing your home security system by keeping everything in the same tech ecosystem, and allow you to do cool things like check your video cam footage, or arming your alarm system with your voice.
Do burglars avoid homes with security systems?
Yes. According to a study from the University of North Carolina Depart of Criminal Justice & Criminology, 60% of burglars will avoid a house with home security cameras. Considering there are roughly two burglaries in the United States every minute, a single home security camera outside of your home goes a long way in protecting your property.