If a hi-tech Kevin McCallister sounds like a fun way to deal with the much less-fun problem of home break-ins this holiday season, that’s because it is! A DIY Home Alone house protection kit is totally something we would have asked Santa for as kids.
Kevin McAllister's famous post-aftershave look. Credit: Courtesy 20thCentury Fox/Everett/RexFeatures/Rex Features
And who would have thought that the toys we invested in as grown-ups would have enabled us to do just that? Because while smart home assistants and appliances are great for having a good time while we’re at home, they’re also essential to keeping our property safe when we’re out.
National crime statistics show a sharp rise in break-ins over the holidays, but one of the lessons Home Alone taught us in the form of young Kevin McCallister is that there are plenty of preventative measures a smart home owner can take to protect their domicile.
Of course we’re not proposing that people rig their homes with swinging paint cans or red-hot irons (the movie doesn’t seem to address the obvious fire hazard here) – and if you’re aware that there is an intruder on your premises, the smartest thing you can do is call the police.
But a few of the tactics used in one of our favorite holiday movies are actually surprisingly effective at discouraging would-be burglars from targeting your home in the first place. Have a look at how we utilize smart home technology to rig our own Google Home Alone setup that would make Macaulay Culkin proud.
Use smart plugs to turn appliances on and off while you’re away
If you’re committed enough to rig your living room to look like you’re hosting a massive Christmas party, more power to you. But you don’t have to go that far to give the appearance of people being home while you’re gone.
Using a smart plug for your television or other devices allows you to turn it on or off from your smartphone, computer, or tablet, no matter where you are. Make it look like someone is home by switching up what’s being used around the house while you’re gone. Anyone chasing the place will swear there’s someone there.
Utilize smart lights, too
The same goes for a smart lighting system such as Philips Hue, which can turn lights on and off remotely, and even change the color of the lights, wherever you may be. The chances of a burglar targeting a home where different lights are going on or off over the course of an evening are much smaller.
Use SimpliCam to spy on would-be intruders
With the SimpliCam device from SimpliSafe, you can keep tabs on your home while you’re away. Use your smartphone to have a glance at what the camera sees anytime you like, or have the intelligent sensors alert you when they detect a human in the vicinity. Inanimate objects blowing in the wind or small animals don’t cause you to receive unnecessary alerts.
With SimpliCam, you can make sure that if someone is trying to break into your home, you have more than a ten-year-old and a set of homemade booby traps to protect you.
The “Wet Bandits” had a point – don’t let your pipes freeze
Avoid a frozen pipe while you're on vacation this winter with SimpliSafe (Photo Credit: CC-SA-Scott Akerman)
While the bad guys from Home Alone may not have had such pure intentions when they left their victims’ faucets running, they did bring to mind one more hazard that homeowners must watch out for in frigid winter months – frozen pipes. Fortunately, there’s no need to leave a faucet on these days, with the environmental monitoring provided by SimpliSafe.
Not only can you pair SimpliSafe up with a smart home thermostat to raise or lower temperatures at your convenience, SimpliSafe also offers a full range of monitors to keep track of your home’s environment while you’re out – whether it’s smoke monitors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire, or temperature sensors, SimpiSafe has got you covered for any contingency.
Smart locks to the rescue
While we hope you don’t leave any of your loved ones behind by accident, if for any reason someone does need to get into the house over the holidays, a smart lock system can help them get in without having to try all the crowbar business.
With a system like August Smart Locks, you can use your smartphone to unlock and relock your doors for a guest, or even send a text message containing an unlock code directly to your phone.
For those of us who have ADT security
Samsung SmartThings is another great tool to keep your home safe and sound!
You can easily purchase this device from your local retailer, and it provides you with the highest level of security and control. SmartThings has partnered with ADT security to help protect your home against intruders, fires, floods and more. You’ll enjoy 24/7 peace of mind knowing you are fully protected.
The best part about Samsung SmartThings? Home automation! You can control the lights, sound, power, and security around your home just by using your smartphone.