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One in four use smart tech to protect their homes

Written by: Emma Lunn
Households are turning to wifi-enabled gadgets such as motion sensors, doorbell cameras and CCTV to deter criminals.

A quarter (25 per cent) of households have installed smart technology to make their home more secure and enable them to monitor their home from their smartphone, according to GoCompare.

The price comparison site found that eight in 10 (79 per cent) of UK households worry about being burgled with a similar number (83 per cent) thinking they should be doing more to improve their home security.

While a quarter of homes have some kind of smart technology solution, one in five (22 per cent) have no other security than standard door and window locks.

GoCompare found the most common home security features used by UK households to be:

  • External security lighting
  • A traditional burglar alarm
  • High and strong garden fences and gates
  • A dog
  • CCTV system
  • Internal lights on timer switch
  • A safe
  • Neighbourhood watch member
  • Wi-fi cameras
  • A doorbell camera
  • Ultra-violet security markers
  • A ‘smart’ home security system (e.g. Hive Home)
  • A baseball bat or other weapon
  • A dummy burglar alarm box

The GoCompare survey also found that householders are routinely leaving themselves at risk of a break-in and in some cases potentially invalidating their home insurance cover at the same time.

Ryan Fulthorpe, GoCompare home insurance expert, said: “The development of compact, wi-fi enabled cameras coupled with smartphones is enabling lots of people to improve the security of their homes for a relatively small outlay. Although traditional security measures such as full burglar alarm systems and outside sensor lighting are still most popular, it’s clear that smart technology is revolutionising home security.

“However, the best protection on the market is useless if you’re not using it properly. And worse, it may even invalidate your home insurance cover in the event that you need to make a claim.”

GoCompare warns that many insurers quote lower premiums for homes with burglar alarm systems but if you don’t have it switched on when you’re out or at night and a burglar breaks in, your insurer may refuse to pay out.

Similarly, leaving doors and windows unlocked or keys hidden under a doormat could make it easy for a criminal to gain access to your home and an insurer may argue that you didn’t take reasonable precautions to secure your home and refuse to pay out for anything damaged or stolen.

“The best security measures are those which deter criminals from considering your home an easy target,” said Fulthorpe, “Locked doors and windows, alarms, security cameras, outside sensor lights and good boundaries such as fences, dense hedges and locked gates will all make it more difficult for a criminal to break in and get away with it.”

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