Among all assets and possessions, a home would rank on the top for anyone. After all, it is our life’s biggest investment by far. Even though a home is an inanimate object, yet we develop an emotional bond with it. It is thus important that our home’s security and safety becomes a priority. With technology having progressed a great deal in the recent years, a lot of electronic home automation products are available in the market, which is very effective yet affordable. These products make our lives easier and have eliminated a lot of stress and anxiety. Among home automation products, home security devices have gained the widest acceptance and thereby continued market growth. What is remarkable is that these products do not need any elaborate installation or wiring. Many of these products are simply screwed on to a wall and connected to a power source, an easy plug and play. In fact, the newer devices can be integrated to form a smart home security system. Most devices are now compatible with the internet, which has made them very versatile, with monitoring and controlling feasibility from remote and faraway locations.
Let’s take a look at 10 most common safety and security devices that are being used in residences.
#1. CCTV (closed circuit TV):
This system has been used for the longest time among all security devices. Older analogue CCTV systems were used in office complexes and labs and needed real-time monitoring by security personnel, for lack of accurate sensors to complement it. With digital cameras and easy recording facilities, along with alarm systems; CCTV now saves manpower and is more affordable for any residential complex and even for an individual residence.
#2. Finger Print Lock:
This smart device works in conjunction with door lock at the main entrance. Fingerprints of residents and that allowed access are stored in the memory. To gain access, the resident or authorized person places his finger on the device which picks up her fingerprint and compares that with those available in the memory. Upon getting a match, a signal is sent to the lock to open.
#3. Intrusion Detection System:
This is more useful for the perimeter security before the entrance door. It works with an optical motion sensor, which detects the motion of an intruder when the latter momentarily blocks a beam of light. The sensor sends a signal to notify the presence of an intruder and activates an alarm. A perimeter of a residential complex or a single independent residence can be fully covered by installing a number of motion sensors. Intrusion detection obviates the need to continually monitor.
#4. Video Door Phone:
This is a very useful device which has found favor with a large number of residents across the world. It enables an in-house resident to view a visitor’s picture on a wall mounted monitor. Risk of opening the door to an unwanted visitor is thus easily prevented. Apart from a video camera at the entrance, a microphone is also provided to enable the visitor to communicate with the resident. If a lady or a child is at home, and they see a stranger on the monitor, they can choose to not communicate with him.
#5. Fire Alarm System:
Fire obviously constitutes the biggest risk for a home and a fire alarm system can address that effectively. This system contains smoke detectors and in some cases optical flame detector too. In case of fire, smoke activates the alarm and in some systems, it may also electronically alert the fire department. In more complex systems, sprinklers get activated to extinguish the fire.
#6. Gas Safety Alarm:
Leakage of LPG or PNG (piped natural gas) constitutes another major risk for homes. Here, we have a sensor which detects methane, ethane, propane and butane gases; which make-up PNG and LPG gas. In the event of gas leakage, a sensor detects excess of gas in air and activates an alarm.
#7. Water Leak Detection System:
This is not an essential device because water leakage may not constitute as a major risk in normal residences. The sensor could either be sound based or water-contact based. Upon detection of leak, water flow is shut down and alarm is raised.
#8. Garage Door Controller:
This is useful for closed garages in independent houses. The garage door can also provide access to an intruder and should, therefore, be locked after parking the car inside or after taking the car out. This is enabled by a device connected to a door sensor at the garage door. Garage door lock can be controlled from inside the house and opened/locked as needed.
#9. Wireless Spotlight:
This device is again useful for independent homes which can have remotely operated spotlights at suitable points and at the entrance and perimeter. Upon activation by a controller inside the house, these spotlights can be turned on to warn an intruder that he is being watched. A timed sequence for switching the lights on, singly or in unison, can be programmed for the night.
#10. Multi-Sensor Security:
Here, we have a central control panel and a number of sensors which can be connected to it. The sensors detect motion, temperature, lighting and humidity, thereby addressing several risks together. This single system can activate alarms for the intrusion, fire, water leakage etc.
The safety and security devices are gradually becoming commonplace and affordable. What has enhanced their utility manifold times is the connectivity to the internet which enables remote monitoring of our home, regardless of the distance. With specific applications for remote monitoring of infants and aged, these security devices have proved a boon for working couples. Several builders are beginning to offer security and safety devices such as door phones, fingerprint locks, and fire alarms in their projects, a trend that is gaining momentum all over India. Home automation is a smart idea, and using it to secure your home is the most sensible thing that you could do.