For many of us Christmas means a long car ride to see relatives back home or entertaining them in your house for a few days. Many people dread it, many relish it. Many also use the holiday season as an excuse to get away somewhere warm instead of facing another cold, wet, windy week of enforced joviality and sociability.And of you’re lucky enough to be one of those people who are going to be jetting off to sun, sea, sand and sangria (or a yogic retreat, nobody’s judging), you need to ensure that your home is properly prepared. Not long ago boosting your security would be leaving some lights on and asking a neighbour to bring the mail in and look after the cat. Today much of your home prep can be done automatically so you always know exactly what’s going on at home wherever you are in the world.
Managing your home remotely isn’t only for Christmas, although it does take a huge burden off during the most wonderful time of the year. The great thing about home automation is that there is so much you can do with it that rather than being worrisome, you can relax knowing that if anything does happen it won’t happened without your knowing about it.
Before You Go Away
Firstly, if you’re leaving your house unattended for more than a day or two it may be necessary to make sure that the pipes don’t burst or your goldfish freeze. In that case a Smart thermostat is a handy item to have attached to the central heating system. With a smart thermostat you can decide which rooms need heating without having to get down to all the valves every time you want to adjust a particular radiator. Instead you can do it simply from a control panel or app, and you can control the temperature far more subtly.
Secure Against All Kinds Of Emergency
The fact that your thermostat is smart means it will detect by itself when you’re away and essentially go to ‘standby’ or ‘threshold settings’ by itself. If you’re going away for longer, a few weeks say, it may be necessary to check what the lowest settings are, but if you forget, you can always do it remotely.
Light and Shades
Leaving the TV and a light on used to be the go-to security precaution for many of our parents, and a lot of us will still do it if we’re popping out and don’t expect to be back until the next day. However, leaving them switched on the entire time you’re away from home is actually more of an invitation to burglars. If they can peep in through a gap in the curtains which are uncharacteristically closed in the middle of the day they can see all the gifts under the tree, the TV blaring, and nobody is there watching it. The exact opposite of home security.
A smart security protocol will make it look as if someone is in all the time by automating the opening and closing of blinds and curtains, turning lights, the TV and radio on and off, all in sequence to look as if someone is settling down for a night in. Adjustments can be made so that they don’t happen at precisely the same time every day, or different lights will come on on different days. You can also set the lights to come on dependent on how dark it is, so if it’s overcast the lights will come on early instead of waiting until a particular time.
Father Christmas Is Watching, But So Can You!
CCTV cameras and Smart doorbells together with Smart burglar alarms are revolutionary in terms of keeping an eye on your home. With CCTV cameras you can always see who’s on your property, peeping in your windows or testing your doors. You can talk to them via the app if it’s a visitor or delivery, or tell a potential intruder that you’ve got your eyes on them and the police are on their way. With Smart entry systems such as access control and Smart doorbells you can see who’s at the door, talk to them, even let them in if you want. Many smart access control systems let you give people a virtual key as well. With it they can let themselves into your home at a time you specify for a period you specify. This means that if you’ve asked a neighbour’s kid to feed the cat they can only get in when it’s time to do so. It’s also great if you’re letting your house out through Air B&B. Guests don’t need to collect or return physical keys, so they can’t lose, copy, or ‘forget’ to return them when the let is over.
Prevent Anything Roasting In An Open Fire
Humans and burst pipes aren’t the only things the proud homeowner has to worry about at Christmas time. Other environmental and security risks include fire and carbon monoxide. Smart fire and smoke alarms are perfect for the average consumer as they work in a number of different ways depending on the nature of the emergency. For example, were the fire alarm to work exclusively via the Wi-Fi router, what would happen if the router was burned up? In that instance a Smart fire alarm would work via the GSM mobile phone network, and if that failed it would continue to work as a sonic alarm until it too was destroyed.
Smart fire alarms not only inform you of an emergency even when you’re not at home, connect them to your Smart access controls and you can ensure that the doors are open when the emergency services arrive for speedy entry without having to batter your doors down. Smart fire alarms would also tell you where the fire or smoke was located, and if you were using home-cams as well you would be able to see what was happening too.
If you’re interested in installing any Smart devices into your home, from security systems such as burglar alarms, CCTV and access control to thermostats and lighting controls for Christmas, talk to Briant Communications. Call us now on 01273 465377 or complete our contact form and we’ll call you back.