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UK criminologist advises use of smart home technology

UK criminologist advises use of smart home technology

Lee Curran, a lecturer in criminal justice and the Deputy Head at University Centre St Helens, Merseyside, recently offered homeowners expert advice on how to secure their properties when they are not in.

Houses and apartments that appear to be empty make attractive opportunities for burglars, but according to the criminologist, installing smart technology can help.

In a recent advisory, he explained that when homeowners are out during the day or for the evening, unlit properties allow burglars to identify when they are unoccupied. He commented:

“If you leave your lights off in the daytime but during darkness, there are no cars on the driveway and the curtains still drawn, it’ll stand out a mile and an opportunist burglar will take his chance.”

However, the Deputy Head went on to add that households could make their properties look lived in by using smart lighting systems that use timer switches, and that this is a better deterrent than leaving a main light turned on. Many smart media systems can also be controlled remotely from smartphones allowing homeowners to turn them off and on when they are not home, giving a different impression to criminals.

Curran urged homeowners to create light and noise in homes using these innovative solutions, but added that smart video doorbells, CCTV and security lighting were also advantageous. Most burglars find home security equipment a strong deterrent and are more likely to seek a more vulnerable target elsewhere. Many home alarm systems also issue motion alerts to smartphones, allowing homeowners time to contact local police if intrusion is attempted.

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