Traveling this holiday season?
My family loves the classic Christmas movie, Home Alone. I can’t imagine you haven’t seen it, but if not, it’s about a young boy who gets left home alone accidentally in the chaos of his family leaving for Christmas vacation. While home, he battles a pair of burglars terrorizing the neighborhood.
A scene from the movie comes to mind. Kevin, our pint sized hero, has cut outs of famous movie stars, humanoid looking contraptions, and other mechanisms set up to look like the shadows of a party. During this scene, the burglars are deterred for fear of running into a full house of people.
This is pretty clever on Kevin’s part, and also a trick you can use with smart devices to help protect your home while you’re traveling this season.
Burglary is in decline
According to the FBI 2018 crime statistics, burglary is has been declining steadily in the past 10 years. While that’s great news, there were still over 7 million cases of property theft in 2018. I don’t know about you, but 7 million is still too high a number for me to do nothing.
While the FBI mentions that February is the slowest month for break-ins, there is a spike of robberies right after Christmas. It makes sense that burglars are looking for all our new gifts that we just received.
Taking a page out of our friend Kevin’s book, however, we can use modern tech to deter possible thieves.
Google and Amazon both have their smart speakers that help control functions in your home. From playing music to checking the weather to searching recipes, smart speakers are pretty amazing. What I’m most interested in though, are the smart bulbs and smart plug accessories that can integrate with the technology.
A smart plug, if you don’t know, is a device that syncs with your smart speaker and allows you to turn on anything plugged into it just by talking to your speaker. A smart bulb works with an app or your smart speaker. While the smart plugs are being praised for their ability to assist people with physical disabilities in gaining further independence, they’re also an asset to home security.
Random or routine
While your smart speaker can help you establish a routine for the lights and appliances in your home, the smart plug app on your phone can help you randomize those plugs as well. Think of it this way, you could set a lamp timer to turn your lights on and off. If you were using your phone app to control your smart plugs, you could turn those off and on at different times each day you’re gone.
In addition, you can play music, turn the TV off and on, and switch lights from room to room. Essentially you can make your home look lived in while you’re out.
Any burglar scoping out your home for routine will be confused by this random off and on of devices. A busy home is less of a target. There’s too much tech out there for a burglar to take a chance on a home that may be inhabited.
Home alone or not at all
While these devices are meant to automate your home for ease of every day living, they also help keep you safe. By randomizing your appliances, you take the dark house target off yourself.
Holidays are for spending time with friends and family. Make sure to keep yours merry and bright with smart plugs.
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