Smart homes and smart living doesn’t just have to be about automated lights and intelligent kitchen appliances. Some home security devices and self defense gadgets can give you greater peace of mind by actively making you safer while you’re in your own home.
This will undoubtedly appeal to women who live alone. Statistics from the US Department of Justice show that there were 2.5 million instances of stranger violence, violent crime involving injury, and burglary in 2014, and that 1.45 million of these crimes occurred against women.
Although the statistics show that men are slightly more at risk in terms of numbers, women are typically disadvantaged by the size and strength of the intruders.
With that in mind, we take a look at smart devices and self defense gadgets which can help women who live alone tip the odds back in their favor.
Driveway and Perimeter
When trying to set up your smart home security, it’s best to start from the perimeter and work inwards.
One of the best exterior devices you can install is a driveway alarm. There are lots of different models and price points available, and you’ll need to decide which is most applicable to your needs.
At the top end there are devices such as the MURS Alert Probe Sensor by Dakota Alert [No Longer Available]. It can simultaneously monitor four different zones around your property, has range of several miles, and five channels and 38 sub-channels to choose from to reduce interference. The basic kit (one transmitter and one transceiver) starts at $329.
At the other end of the market, there is the Spectra RF Wireless Driveway/Intruder Alert by First Alert. It has a range of 100 meters, is water resistant, and will chime when it detects motion. It costs $27 on Amazon.
Perhaps the best mid-range device is the CWA2000 Wireless Motion Alert System by Chamberlain. It’ll set you back $52 on Amazon but comes with a half-mile range, the ability to add additional sensors for zoned alerts, and a sensitivity control.
You could also consider installing a perimeter alarm. A good choice is the Double Beam Security Active IR Detector ABT-100 by Aleph International. It uses a two beam photoelectric infrared detector to alert you if anyone breaches any part of your perimeter. It has a range of 100 meters and is available for $30.
Don’t forget some more traditional security measures as well. For example, if you have a wall or fence around your property, you can install spikes on the top of it. You can buy 40 meters of spikes for $15 online.
Windows and Doors
If you live in a smaller property without a driveway, or perhaps a ground-floor apartment, the next area to consider are your windows and doors.
Before you look at the various systems available, you should first think about deterrents.
A Bureau of Justice Statistics report states that 70 percent of break-ins take place when the home is empty. Most would-be criminals simply won’t take the chance if they think someone is in, they’ll just move on to the next obviously-deserted house instead.
Therefore, one of the most effective deterrents is a TV simulator. Unlike most regular TVs, it can be programmed to turn on and off via timer, and it also uses less power. The $49 device on selfdefence.com has a built-in computer, multi-colored LEDs, and diffuser lens that’ll vary the intensity of the light. Just make sure you close your curtains first!
One of the best smart devices for your actual windows and doors is the SecurityMan Air-AlarmIIE. The basic kit is $86, while the Deluxe kit is $144.
It’s entirely DIY-based, so you won’t need to pay expensive installation costs. The basic kit will support 60 wireless sensors across 15 defense zones, support up to 5 phone numbers (for auto alarm calling), will offer 1 management center protocol, and can be armed/disarmed by remote control, phone call, and keypad.
The deluxe kit adds an integrated doorbell, a telephone line disconnection alarm, and support for “defense lines” (for example, perimeter > house > room).
Additionally, setting up a radio to turn on and off at certain times during the day can be an effective deterrent for people who are snooping for their next victim.
The worst-case scenario is that an intruder gains access to your home while you’re still inside. If that’s the case you’re going to need some self defense gadgets and tips to stay as safe as possible.
You could create a safe-room for yourself. This is less of a chore that is sounds, especially if you’re willing to invest in a few important items. Lots of homes have spaces that can easily be converted into a safe-room; en-suite bathrooms, walk-in closets, basements, pantries, or attached garages could all work.
The first thing to consider is the door. Hollow interior doors are useless and can be broken through in no time. Instead take yourself to Home Depot and buy a steel-slab door for around $200, along with a new reinforced doorframe. You can also reinforce any windows with bullet-proof ballistic film.
Once the windows and doors are secure, you can look to smart devices. It’s vital that you stay in your safe room until you are absolutely sure the intruder has left the premises. In order to do that, you’re going to need some internal security cameras.
One of the best options is Samsung’s Video Monitoring IP Camera – it’s available for $70 on Amazon. The device will stream its video directly to the web, and it’s accessible via PC, Mac, and smartphone. If you place a few of these around key entry/exit points, you can be certain when you’ve got the all-clear.
You could also purchase a 911 alert system to keep in your safe room or simply by your bed. The offering from LogicMark is one of the best value ones available. It works like a cordless phone, with a speaking unit that has a range of 200 meters. It means you can clip it onto your belt or tie it round your neck and have a direct line to an emergency operator at all times of day.
There are no set-up fees and no monthly fees.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to keep some other cool self defense gadgets stashed around your property in case you are caught off guard.
There are lots of unsuspecting objects out there that make great self-defense weapons. For example, you could keep an “attack pen” in your office – it looks (and works) like a normal pen, but is reinforced to be able to strike and puncture objects and people.
You could also buy a kubotan to keep on your keyring. It’s only six inches long, but has been specially designed by martial arts instructors to attack – and cause injury – to bones, flesh, and soft tissues.
Finally, it’s also worth familiarizing yourself with some basic self-defense techniques in case the intruder tries to attack you. There are lots of videos on the topic on YouTube, or you could even take a class.
What are your Tips?
What smart home devices do you have around your home that could help protect you? Have you installed any of the devices or gadgets we discussed?
Perhaps you were the victim of an attack and your smart home helped save you?
Whatever your story, we’d love to hear it. Let us know you opinions and feedback in the comments section below.
Image Credits:woman looking at monitor by Niels Hariot via Shutterstock