Home AutomationHome Security

Getting burgled sucks

Over the summer my ground floor flat was broken into – and a load of tech stolen 🙁

I found out from a charming phone call from my local bobby – “i’m in your flat, i presume your front door wasn’t in pieces when you left for work this morning?”

FUCK! No, no it wasn’t…. Im on my way…

When you get home to find the police in your house, you don’t think particularly clearly. You don’t remember what was where, and it becomes even more difficult when you realise they’ve gone through EVERYTHING you own.

Could tech have helped me? – As it turns out i had CCTV and some basic home automation installed. Most of it wasn’t running that day.

Lesson One. Turn it on, leave it on. Check its doing what you expect it to do!

I went whole hog on CCTV after this, if you enter my house – i’ve got your photo outside of my home network before you even make it in. I thought about auto-tweeting the police as many of the local neighbourhoods teams are on social media – but i haven’t set this up. I don’t feel comfortable with my computer being able to summon the police via a script…. one step too far.

I also set my home automation gear to be on 24/7, with a few backup checks to ensure all is running smoothly. No more missed alerts.

Now i can at least know there is no-one in my house, the doors & windows have not been tampered with, and if they have i know about it quickly and can then check further.

I’ve seen demonstrations of people using smart light bulbs to flash the whole house red if a burglar is detected – but i don’t live alone and don’t need the hassle of my flat-mate accidentally triggering it when coming in one night. And there is the problem that lead to the home automation being off in the first place – as i don’t live alone the tech in bring into the house has to be turnkey reliable. If it isn’t it can cause real problems – no lights at night when you need them, lights turning themselves on at night when you’re asleep. Audio alerts waking you up – or failing to wake you up!

Q: What one thing would have stopped 75% of my gear being stolen?
A: 1x £5 K-Lock

There’s a long way to go yet…