Grand Designs Live
Grand Designs Magazine Cover
  • fb icon
  • fb icon
  • fb icon
  • fb icon

Improve the safety of your home and protect your possessions with the latest innovative technology

Video doorbell pro by ring which has a camera built in that you can view on your phone

Image: Video Doorbell Pro, £229, Ring

The most up-to-date, hi-tech home security products do everything you might wish for and, increasingly, the technology is wireless and app-controlled, bringing extra features and making installation a more straightforward job.

Imagine the benefits of an app that alerts you when your children get home from school, or a doorbell that enables you to speak to a delivery person while you’re lying on a beach.

And if you have the budget, bespoke systems can offer tailor-made security solutions to suit your needs.

Smart home tech is worth investing in

banham home security system app for iphone

Image: Banham

It’s easy to be cynical about ‘smart’ home technology – for example, we may not be entirely convinced that our fridge needs an internet connection.

But home security is one area where a Wi-Fi connection and an app really can make a positive difference.

Quick and adaptable wireless tech options

video doorbell pro by Ring send audio and video to your phone when your bell rings

Image: The Video Doorbell Pro comes with a standard chime, but sends audio and video to your phone. £229, Ring

The added benefit of wireless tech is that installation is simpler, too. CCTV systems and whole-house alarms used to mean wires everywhere, but now each device is separate so there are no annoying cables or leads. And if you rent or plan to move soon, then it’s easy to simply take your new home security tech with you.

Systems are modular, too. If you’ve purchased a single video camera to monitor comings and goings, buy another from the same range and you can observe both from the same app.

You can also expand a smart alarm system with extra sensors at a later date.

Contactless keys

yale lock on a front door with that you can unlock with a contactless key using your smart phone or fob

Image: Conexis L1 Smart Door Lock, £269.99, Yale

Prevention is better than cure, so make sure you have good, secure locks on doors and windows.

‘Electronic security is the next barrier,’ says Kevin Tirvengadum at Banham Security. ‘A good monitored alarm system and CCTV is a great deterrent to burglars.’

There are smart options when it comes to front door locks. Some work like traditional key locks but can also be tapped with a smartphone or keycard to unlock it, much like making contactless payments.

Other smart locks do away with traditional keys completely. The companion app also lets you do clever stuff, such as grant other people entry remotely by sending a virtual key to their phone. You can provide them with access for one visit, a specific day or a whole week.

Wireless cameras 

blink wireless camera is weatherproof

Image: A security camera linked to your phone. From £150, Blink

The other main elements of a smart home security system are an alarm and cameras.The latest wireless cameras can remotely alert you to unusual comings and goings.

Some can even recognise faces and contact you when they see a stranger in the house, reducing false alarms.

All the video footage is typically stored online in the Cloud, as well as sent to your smartphone if the camera notices something out of the ordinary.

Smart alarms

Yale home security alarm that you can monitor on your smart phone

Image: The Smart Home Alarm can be installed as a DIY job. From £189, Yale

There are many alarm options depending on your needs. At the simpler and more affordable end of the spectrum, DIY wireless kits allow you to start small and add sensors or motion detectors as and when you need them.

Your smartphone or a keyring fob can be used to arm and disarm the alarm, and alerts are immediately sent to your phone if it is triggered.

At the other end, professionally fitted, bespoke alarm systems offer extra reliability and all the benefits of app alerts.

You can pay a monthly fee for monitoring, so a call centre picks up if the alarm goes off, and you can still keep track of visitors as they come and go.

Stick with same brand to ensure compatibility

nest home security system app on a smart phone

Image: Cam IQ Outdoor, £329, Nest

Smart home security tech is still in its infancy and new products are always coming on to the market.

Increasingly, they work with popular voice-control systems but also come with their own apps, so it’s worth picking one brand and sticking to it. Some upcoming systems will integrate with your other smart home devices.

For example, Nest, owned by Google and known for its smart heating controls and smoke alarms, is due to launch its own alarm system soon.

RELATED ARTICLES

How to Plan a Smart Lighting System

Control your home from your devices with Loxone System

More home improvement ideas

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2018 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
5-solar-energy-systems-to-install-in-your-home
Home Improvements

5 efficient solar energy systems and their benefits

Generating energy and reducing your fuel bills are just some of the many reasons to consider solar energy. We round up the renewable and cost...
schueco-s-new-panoramic-sliding-door-offers-slim-sightlines-and-maximum-transparency
Home Improvements

Schueco's new panoramic sliding door offers slim sightlines and maximum transparency

Schueco UK's new range of panoramic sliding doors offer slim sightlines and maximum transparency.
5-tricks-to-make-your-bathroom-seem-bigger
Home Improvements

5 clever tricks to make your bathroom seem bigger

Struggling to make your bathroom appear bigger? Take heed of our top 5 tricks and tips to creating the illusion of a bigger with these...
5-contemporary-shower-designs-for-every-space
Home Improvements

5 contemporary shower designs to suit every space

From walk in showers to corner showers, we reveal our top 5 savvy shower ideas for small bathrooms.
utilising-only-sustainable-materials-for-the-perfect-baufritz-home
Home Improvements

Utilising only sustainable materials for the perfect Baufritz home

Discover just how Baufritz build a cost-effective, low energy home from utilising only sustainable building materials.