East Anglia holidaymakers with smart home security systems installed to beat the burglar this summer are being offered key advice on how best to use the emerging technology to keep their property safe by Essex-based rural broadband provider County Broadband, Suffolk Constabulary and the Essex and Norfolk & Suffolk branches of Victim Care.
Smart home tech devices and apps, including alarm systems and locks, motion sensors and security cameras, are becoming increasingly popular among residents as intensifying competition brings down prices and consumer trust improves.
Recent research found UK ownership of smart devices has doubled since 2017, with consumers expected to spend £10.8bn this year.
Many smart home security systems can be accessed on smartphones and tablets and used anywhere in the world to monitor or be notified of suspicious activity at home. The advice from local industry experts on reaping the full benefits of the smart home tech includes:
Do your research
- There are many different products available so it’s important to purchase smart home tech which is most suited to your needs. Don’t just go for the first option you see and be wary of products which are significantly cheaper as they may be less reliable.
- Before purchasing any product, check it is compatible with your existing setup and any other smart devices you already have. If you plan to use your smartphone or tablet to control the device, make sure it works with iPhone or Android.
- Smart home tech should be regularly tested to ensure it is working correctly, just like smoke alarms and other devices. For more advanced systems such as smart CCTV cameras, you may need to employ a trained professional for servicing.
Keep up to date
- One of the main benefits of smart home devices is that the technology driving them is regularly updated. Whilst most products update their software automatically, it’s important to manually check on a regular basis for any new security patches.
Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, which is rolling out full fibre broadband across the region, said: “We’ve probably all experienced that familiar feeling of dread whilst lying on the beach and suddenly not remembering if we’ve locked the back door. But in today’s connected world, we can now enjoy peace of mind with home security whilst abroad at the touch of a button, from detecting would-be intruders to letting in a neighbour.
“Smart home gadgets are now very common, and with the school summer holidays coming up, we’re today urging residents in [area] to take head of our advice to reap the full benefits of the devices to ensure you are fully protected.”
Detective Superintendent Marina Ericson, Head of Investigations and Child Safeguarding for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “We understand how upsetting it is to be a victim of burglary, the thought of an intruder in your home can feel like a violation of your personal space.
“With the summer holidays on the horizon, it is extremely important that residents make sure their homes are secure when they are away or out enjoying the warmer weather.
“Residents could also consider installing smart technology such as a doorbell camera or other remote monitored security cameras to help catch criminals and prevent crime. Such smart technology products proactively help to deter and detect burglars, keeping our communities safe from crime and create an environment which is hostile to burglars and other criminals.”
In a joint statement, David Padgett, Contract Manager for Essex at Victim Support, and Richard Otterway, Contract Manager at Norfolk & Suffolk Victim Care, said: “Burglary not only robs victims of their physical possessions – it can also rob people of their sense of security at home, a place where everyone should feel most safe.
“It’s important that victims know there is support available to them. Norfolk & Suffolk Victim Care, part of national charity Victim Support, provides practical help and emotional support to victims of all crimes, including burglary, whether or not they choose to report to the police.”
Seven homes are broken into every minute in the UK, according to recent research by security firm ADT.