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Smart home security: how to keep your home safe while you’re away

We provide many CCTV and Burglar Alarm technology options for smart home security to deter would-be intruders from homes in Northern Ireland, our customers can monitor their house from anywhere.

With the opportunity of day trips and holidays finally on the horizon for most families, over the next few weeks many of us will be leaving our houses unattended for the first time in months. So now is the time to think about making your home more secure.

We offer a wide range of professionally installed smart security tech that may help to deter would-be intruders and allow you to keep an eye on your home from anywhere in the world.

From a video doorbell to a fully automated smart burglar alarm, here is our quick guide to what is available, plus some tips from police and insurers to help you keep burglars at bay.


Video doorbells

Easy to use and immediately obvious to potential intruders, video doorbells are a popular home security option among our customers. While serving as a doorbell, they also have a camera, microphone and speaker, so you can see, hear and speak to visitors through an app on your phone, tablet or Google or Amazon smart display – whether you are at home or not.

You can see a live feed from your front door at any time and receive notifications when someone walks by or presses the bell.

We offer wireless and wired versions with subscription free options, all installed in under an hour.

Our doorbell systems are fully encrypted, ensuring your security and can be added to the phones of all members of the household.

We help customers comply with data and privacy regulations if your camera captures people outside the boundaries of your property, such as on the street in front of your house or your neighbour’s driveway.


Smart CCTV cameras

If you are worried about the security of a garage, side-alley or garden, our smart CCTV cameras can provide peace of mind.

Like video doorbells, they come in a range of sizes, prices and capabilities, with most having night vision. Smart camera options include:

  • Human Detection
  • 4MP to 8MP 4K image quality
  • H.265 encoding to reduce storage required
  • Smart Color Night Vision
  • 360° Coverage
  • Two-way Talk
  • IP66 Weatherproof
  • Built-in Spotlight and Siren
  • Dual Antenna and MIMO
  • Cloud Storage


Smart alarms 

If the idea of installing surveillance equipment all over your home fills you with dread, a smart alarm system may be a preferable option.

Again, we offer hardwired and wireless options with a range of battery-powered sensors placed around your home on doors and windows, motion sensors for rooms, hallways and landings, and keypads for arming them.

Our smart burglar alarm system will send alerts to your phone when something triggers a sensor, and have sirens built into their base stations, with optional wall-mounted bells available, too.

Customers can set and unset their alarm remotely with a tap on their smartphones and if any incidents occur an instant alert is received.

Inspector Matt Turner from the Metropolitan police partnership and prevention team, says: “The speaker capability via the smartphone allows you to communicate and challenge any visitors – a great way to drive off a burglar, as you can see them but they can’t see you.”

In a survey four years ago, former burglars cited CCTV and barking dogs as the biggest deterrents to break-ins and said they would be put off targeting a smart, connected home.

Burglar Alarm Systems Installation Quote Northern Ireland

One problem with going out and buying your own smart security devices is that they will be ignored by most insurance companies when they calculate your premiums, so won’t reduce how much you pay. You also do not get professional products, expert advice and installation using cheap DIY kits.

Only security systems installed by the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board are usually counted. Those systems also require regular professional maintenance and it could invalidate a claim if they were not working at the time of a burglary.


The basics when using smart home security

Smart security technology is only suitable for securing your home when you also do the basics. “One of the most common forms of entry is still by an open window or door,” says Turner from the Metropolitan police partnership and prevention team. Here are some of the team’s top tips:

Make sure your doors and windows are secured with robust locks that are British standard or insurance approved, and always double-lock them.

Keep your property visible by having one-metre high front fences to avoid providing cover for thieves. Gravel drives and paths will make intruders audible. Have two-metre high back and side fences topped with trellises or anti-climb tops, plus thorny shrubs around your borders.

  • Make sure your valuables are out of sight and have them forensically marked and registered with a scheme.
  • Burglaries often peak during the long nights of October to March, so put lights, the TV or a radio on timers to simulate occupancy.
  • Secure sheds and garages, particularly those containing tools that can be used to break into your home and others nearby.
  • Place bins and other objects that can be used as climbing aids behind gates.
  • Ask trusted neighbours to keep an eye on your property and park on your drive if you have one.
  • Keep electronic car keys in security pouches to stop them being scanned by thieves and used to open and steal your car if it is nearby.
  • Never advertise on social media that you are going away – this is an easy way for burglars to know when a house is unoccupied.



Curtains open or closed? Burglar alarm, fake alarm box or nothing? And is it OK to give the neighbours house keys so they can come in and feed the pets and water the plants? These are some of the questions you may be mulling over as you prepare to head off on holiday.

They are things that can have an impact on your home insurance premium, and on any claim that you may have to make, so are well worth considering before you head out of the door.

The short answer is that with many of these scenarios, the impact will depend on your insurer. The Association of British Insurers says people should check their policy to see if there are any specific requirements relating to when property is left unattended. For example, it says many policies are likely to limit the scope of cover if the property is empty for longer than 30 days – and that if you are unsure, you should double-check the position with your insurer.

Asking a trusted neighbour, relative or friend to keep an eye on your home, and to open and shut the curtains, switch lights on and off, pick up the post and put the bins back, etc, should, in theory, reduce the risk of a break-in and mean that any problem such as a water leak may be spotted and dealt with before it can cause too much damage however having your own smart home security system puts you in control 24/7.

“The terms and conditions of your policy will still apply, though,” says the AA’s home insurance arm. “So if your neighbour leaves a door unlocked and there’s a break-in, this could invalidate your claim.” Meanwhile, if the keys you give to your neighbour end up becoming lost and then being used to enter your home, this could also affect your insurance. Check what your policy says about lost keys.

When it comes to burglar alarms for smart home security, the ABI says most insurers offer discounts as risk is reduced. Some will also offer a premium reduction for high-quality window and door locks also.

While not a smart home security option, an empty burglar alarm box or dummy bell box is probably better than nothing (and won’t annoy the neighbours by going off for no reason while you are away) and can be fitted for as little as £49.

Using reliable timer lights is a good idea, although Moneysupermarket says it is not aware of any insurer that would give you a lower premium for doing this.

So, what about curtains – open or closed? The AA’s home insurance people seem to lean towards the former, saying: “Permanently closed curtains are an obvious sign of an empty house.” The best thing is probably to have someone who can come in and open and close them.


For professional security systems to protect your home anywhere in Northern Ireland, give us a call on: 02870878077 – we offer completely free home security surveys and advice. You can also contact us via our Contact Page if you would prefer to send an email or arrange a call back.

We are based on the North Coast in Coleraine, Northern Ireland and our team have been providing security solutions for a combined 50 years.

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