From home security to checking on your pets: Tips and tricks to keep your home safe

Tips and tricks on keeping your home as safe as houses this winter.

Would you like a security guard for your home, constantly keeping watch and alerting you of any problems? Well now you can have a virtual one, thanks to smart tech.

This connected technology can keep an eye on your home, and send a notification to your phone should anything untoward happen. Not only can it tell you of any break-ins, it can help you avoid them by making it look like it you’re at home. Here we’ll show you the best smart tech to keep your home safe.

[Read more: How to keep your home safe when you are on holiday]

Keep an eye on your home from afar

You need to get out and about, but how do you know your home is safe and sound? Modern security cameras can connect to your home broadband wirelessly thanks to wi-fi, meaning that as long as you have an internet connection, you can keep up to speed with them on your phone.

Blink Indoor Security Camera

Thankfully you don’t have to keep tabs on them yourself – they will notify you if anything suspicious happens. Thanks to its in-built motion sensor, a camera like the Blink Indoor Security Camera will send your phone a notification as soon as it picks up on any movement in the home. That means you can watch the video clip the cameras have just recorded, and see whether you need to rush home or if it’s something perfectly innocent.

Of course, they can keep an eye on the outside of your home, too. Many cameras like the Yi Outdoor Security Camera are weatherproof to withstand the elements. Some also have two-way audio – this lets you speak into your phone to welcome guests, or ward off intruder - and deterrent alarm, to alert your neighbours should trespassers refuse to leave. Guaranteed peace of mind.

Fool burglars by pretending to be in

A dark home is a vulnerable home. But smart lighting is like a timer for the 21st century, letting you switch the home lights on from your phone. That means you can do so from anywhere in the world that you have an internet connection, whether it be a beach in the Bahamas or a Bernie Inn in Barnstaple.

Philips Hue

A smart heating system like Philips Hue can be activated from anywhere, you can also change the colour of the bulbs to set a different mood in each room. And with over 16 million colours to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find something to your taste. Why not change the colour halfway through the evening to really make it look like someone’s in?

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a set of smart lights, a smart plug like the TP Link HS100 Wi-Fi Smart Plug might be for you. It turns any device into a smart appliance that can be switched on or off from your phone. So while you can’t dim the bulb or change its colour, you can plug a standard lamp into it and switch it on or off from the other side of the world. Those burglars will be none the wiser…

Bullet-proof your home against emergencies

One of the greatest threats in the winter is your pipes freezing. All it takes is a cold snap to freeze the water within them, making it expand and causing the pipes to burst, flooding your home. But thankfully you can protect against it with a smart thermostat.

Nest Learning Thermostat

These are able to detect when the temperature is dropping to dangerously low levels, and puts the heating on to stop the pipes freezing. The Nest Learning Thermostat has this feature, and promises to learn your schedule and adapt accordingly, while the Hive Active Heating thermostat also protects against frozen pipes.

Of course, cold isn’t the only threat to your home – heat is too. Namely, fire. A standard smoke alarm is great for telling you there’s a problem but only if you’re at home. What about if you’re miles from the neighbourhood?

Nest Protect

That’s when you need a smart smoke alarm. The Nest Protect will send a notification to your smartphone, letting you know what the problem is. And if you are at home, it’ll speak to tell you what the problem is, so you’ll know if it’s a false alarm or the real deal.

Safeguard your furniture with a pet favourite

You shouldn’t leave your pet unattended for long spells, but dogs and cats can become lonely even when left alone for short periods. And being distraught can lead to all sorts of troublesome behaviour, like forgetting their toilet training or chewing your furniture.

Honeywell C1

An indoor security camera will let you monitor them so you can spot the warning signs and see if you need to dash home. The Blink camera mentioned above is one option, as is the Honeywell C1 – you can set the latter to come on automatically when you leave the house, so you’ll never forget to activate it.

Pets can also get chilly in this cold weather, so you might consider a smart thermostat to keep things toasty. The Nest and Hive mentioned above can be controlled from your phone, meaning your family pet will never have to suffer.

Don’t let the post build up

Nothing says ‘rob me’ like a pile of post visible through a pane of glass in your front door. But with a smart doorbell at your disposal, would-be robbers will be none the wiser.

Ring Video Doorbell 2

When pressed, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 gives you a live video feed on your phone, so you can see who’s there. It also opens two-way talk, so you can speak to the postie and ask him to leave your parcel in a safe place or with a neighbour. Anyone you’re speaking to will assume you’re in the house, which will deter any would-be burglars ringing the bell to see if the house is empty.

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