The safety of your home is priceless, and there are countless precautions you can take to make your home feel safer. Making or keeping your home safe should be a continuous cycle and play a role in any new changes that you make to your home. While you may currently rely on various traditional safety precautions (like keeping your doors locked or windows closed), now is a great time to look into new technologies for home security.
When buying a home, it is important to look at the crime and demographic statistics in the area. This is not only for safety concerns, but also to look at whether the property is a good overall fit for you and your family. Are you okay with having a majority of your neighbors be college students? Do you want a neighborhood with many young families and children? Would you rather have a lot of neighborly get-togethers or stick to yourself? Finding somewhere where you feel comfortable can be an integral part of making your house feel like home.
IoT, or internet of things, has been around for years now. It encompasses things like smart fridges, Siri/Alexa devices, air temperature controllers like Google Nest, and so on. These technologies, because they can easily interact with one another, have been all the rage in various industries including home security. Modern home security systems can be connected directly to your phone so you are always aware of what is happening while you are away.
Here are some ways to make your property safe for yourself and your tenants using IoT.
If you’re a landlord, consider online rent collection
In order to ensure social distancing measures and avoid any unnecessary risks, consider collecting rent online. Tellus has a free online rent collection system with which you can make transactions, create work orders, and message back and forth between landlord and tenant. Even after the coronavirus pandemic passes and social distancing orders are relaxed, this is an excellent way to ensure that all transactions are taken care of.
This type of outdoor security system has been used in Asia for decades, and it is finally on the US market. It consists of a doorbell, a screen inside, and (usually) a microphone. When the doorbell rings, you will be able to see on the screen who is at the door. In some versions of this product, you can even talk to the person on the other side or connect the device to Alexa!
This typically ranges from around $150 to $300 depending on what kind of features you choose.
Smart door lock
Smart door locks have come a long way in the past few years. You can now unlock doors with your smartphone! Instead of the traditional method of hiding a key under a doormat or in a patch of grass, you can send visitors their own unique digital key to lock/unlock a door. You can even go as far as only allowing certain digital keys to lock/unlock doors at certain days/times.
Due to the digital nature of this technology, you will no longer have to worry about someone making a copy of your keys!
These typically range from about $100 to $250 and can be found in some home security bundles.
This concept is not new, but is definitely worth looking into if you haven’t already. By installing an indoor security camera, you can be alerted of any unusual or suspicious movements in your home while you are away.
You can also keep an eye on pets or children while you are out. This typically ranges from about $30 to $150.
Keychain GPS Tracker
At best, losing your keys can be a slight inconvenience. At worst, losing your keys can be a giant security threat. Similar to a “Find My iPhone” feature, you can keep a GPS tracking keychain on your keys and track their every move! That way, if you ever lose your keys, you will be able to track exactly where they are and even set off an alarm to make finding them easier.
These can range from around $15 to $40 each, but you can usually find them more affordably when you shop for them in packs. These can also come in handy during the holiday season as a practical gift.
While technology has made it easier to keep homes safe, it is still important to use a combination of online and offline methods. Some tried and true ways to maximize the security of your home include:
Knowing who your neighbors are. Exchange contact information in case anything happens, and build a trust network. The more you know your neighbors, the more accurately you will be able to tell if anything is abnormal and the easier it will be for you to bring it up with them. If you want to go the extra mile, offer them baked goods or cards for the holidays!
If you are renting out property, know your tenants. This is an absolute essential as a landlord and should be a top priority. Run a thorough background check on each of your tenants and stay in close contact with them for the duration of their lease. Before their move-in date, have a conversation with them about home security and any expectations you may have. This can help to create the foundation for a trusting, communicative relationship.
Lastly, trust your gut. At the end of the day, you know what is and isn’t normal behavior in your neighborhood. If you see something suspicious, contact the appropriate representative to investigate.
The average monetary loss from a home burglary is about $2,799. What is not included in this number is any sentimental/irreplaceable items that might be damaged, nor the toll that a burglary can take on your mental and emotional health.
There is no foolproof plan to making your home 100% secure, but being prepared and cautious can go a long way.