We’ve said it reasonably often, that home security items can be pretty nifty, but we’ve yet to provide you with a list of some of those supremely exciting ones out there. These items have earned a spot on our list for combining both functionality & style. They’re not all particularly high-tech or even expensive, and are here to give you an idea of how you could be making little security improvements to your home.
So here goes (these aren’t ranked according to how good the products are, but are merely numbered to list them!):
Becoming more popular now, and relatively reasonably priced (compared with many other cameras on the market), you can avoid having to squash your eye up to a peephole by installing a mini-camera which feeds to a small screen, telling you who’s outside your door. Many intercom systems incorporate this technology, and though it’s not as much of a visual deterrent as CCTV cameras, it’s cheaper & easy to install. Click here for the amazon store options for this product.
9. Hidden Wall Safe
Not the most high-tech of items, this one is handy because it foils opportunists. If it they don’t know where to look, they won’t have time to find it! This type of wall safe may even be a cool D.I.Y. project, but we’ve included a link to one you can purchase yourself. But you’d still need to get an SA cover for this, so I’d encourage a D.I.Y. instead. You’ll need to be a little handy as well, as our concrete walls aren’t particularly easy to dig holes into. But there are plenty of ways you can incorporate this into your home. I’d avoid trying to mimic a light switch, but rather an electrical socket (as in the picture), which won’t be as obvious when the switch is pressed. Naturally it won’t hold that much (unless you get creative with your compartments in the wall), and it may confuse a few of the home’s inhabitants when they try to use it.
Smash-proof architectural window film! It’s a pretty simple concept, but it’s incredibly popular because of the safety it provides. The film is clear (or tinted, depending on your tastes), and prevents your window from shattering under impact. You choose the strength (or thickness) of the film, and you could make it insanely resistant to impact or you could just go for the thinner film options & prevent yourself from having shards of glass flying about the room if a stone/ball/hammer/person went flying into it. Another bonus is that you can get UV protection too, as well as decorative options (frosted, coloured, patterns, you name it). Thorne isn’t the only provider of smashproof film, and there are multiple outlets throughout South Africa. We do not recommend going for any D.I.Y. options, however, as you want your film to last as long as possible, so opt for the installed version, spend a little extra money, and rest assured that you’ve had it done by a professional who can answer all your questions & maintain the guarantee on the product.
This is quite a pricey item, but it’s cool if you have the money. The Fog Shield emits a thick (but apparently residue-free & nice-smelling) fog which prevents any intruders from being able to navigate their way through a room. So if you have high-cost valuables (like the pricey cars in the ad) you want to protect, this could be something for you. You can get cheap(ish) replacement cartridges, and each should last for up to 15 releases. It also dissipates after 45 minutes or so. It’s also not easily available here in SA, but there are security companies who can procure it or just inquire online at Fog Shield & find a local dealer.
It’s hard to make fire safety sexy, so the people at Fire Design have taken steps to helping you kit your home out with safety equipment without compromising your style! Their ranges include luxury & elegant, to fun & party-centred. This means each room in your house can have an appropriately-designed fire extinguisher, leaving you better-prepared in the event of fires. Don’t forget to get a decent smoke alarm too! The problem for SA residents is: it’s not available here (yet?). So we’ll have to make do with the standard variety from online stores or contact CENTA.
5. Fake TV Burglar Deterrent
Burglars prefer to hit homes at times when they are unoccupied. This will not deter all potential thieves (see the ISS study on home invasion in SA), but it will certainly help to keep the majority of opportunistic thieves away, and works particularly well for smaller properties. Giving off intermittent light to mimic that of a TV, this will give the appearance of your home being occupied, even when you are away. Or use it in unoccupied rooms of the house to make it look as though more people are home than there really are. Wantitall was the only place we found it at the moment.
Well, it’s no surprise that we’ll include our own product here. But it’s worth mentioning on this list, because of the way its changed burglar bars for those who need them (like us in South Africa). Also well-priced, these are custom-fit to your windows & installed quickly & cleanly. They function the same as standard (steel) burglar bars, are more impact-resistant than aluminium, and look a darn sight better! They’re made from clear polycarbonate (the same stuff they make protective gear like riot shields out of), and they will not fade or yellow over time. Available only in South Africa & Namibia at the moment, you can purchase through Thorne Trusted Barrier Systems at http://www.thornesa.co.za
Many SA houses have swimming pools, creating serious hazards for those with small children or pets. This pool alarm will help you monitor any activity in your swimming pool, alerting you if anything over a certain weight (different alarms have different specifications, so check them out individually) falls into the pool. We still recommend getting fencing for those with small kids, however, just to be double-safe.
2. Apps for Smart Phones
These are either paid or free services (some products offer free apps to assist with product use) which vary from camera monitors to alarm controls. They offer you the opportunity to not only monitor, but activate or deactivate functions at home which are linked to your phone. From heating to alarms, those who are well-organised & tech-savvy could make use of these applications. For those concerned about the vulnerability added by offering remote access to your security system, perhaps stick with the monitoring software & ensure that you have a trusted provider of alarm monitoring services as well (and check that their technicians are also background-checked & trustworthy as well!).
Offered as D.I.Y. or installed, Roboguard is a unique sensor beam system designed to alert you when your outermost perimeter has been compromised. Also designed so that animals don’t set it off, you can place these in your garden, and can cover an area of up to 400 square meters. They’re moderately priced, and delivery is free in SA. They were originally designed for large properties like farms, where perimeter security can be not only expensive, but extremely difficult to employ, so the range on the product is particularly good. If you don’t want to go as far as purchasing a stand-alone system, most alarm providers (including Thorne) will be able to kit you out with sensor beams to protect your property. They come in a variety of colours to prevent quick recognition by intruders too.
So that’s 10 of the most interesting & innovative security products out there. They cover a variety of security needs, and unfortunately some are pretty hard to get your hands on in SA, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them! Contact your security provider & you may be surprised at what you they can offer you. We’ll keep posting new products as they become available to give you inspiration for new & exciting ways to add security to your home. Make home security an investment, and focus on all aspects of security (intrusion, fires, swimming, etc.) to ensure you’re adequately covered. Your insurance premiums may go down too!