Don’t overlook the perimeter


A question every user asks themselves from time to time is, ‘how secure is my home?’

Perhaps there’s been a burglary in the area, or they’ve read that they live in one of the top 10 most burgled areas in the UK, or drive one of the top 10 most likely to be stolen cars?

Anything from word of mouth, a post detailing another van tool theft, or even reading about a celebrity or sports star being burgled, such as England and Chelsea footballer Reece James, who had his medals stolen while playing in the Champions League.

Whatever got the security senses tingling, the reaction’s the same – they assess their security and wonder whether their family or home is reasonably protected.

The flaw here, is the same as traditional home security systems based on door contacts and PIRs share – that something has to happen to trigger the reaction.

What we should all be doing

Now, there’s some proactive steps we should all be taking to make our homes less susceptible to burglary, such as keeping keys, wallets, handbags and other valuables out of sight and away from entrances or windows. This removes any temptation intruders may have to try a smash and grab or go fishing through letterboxes.

Floodlights can also be added to light up areas that otherwise have the cover of darkness. Raising attention to anyone crossing the driveway is a very simple, economical and effective way of stopping potential intruders in their tracks – just like the neighbour’s cat, they don’t like the spotlight either.

Of course, a security system should also be fitted. Unfortunately, users may opt for a cheaper option, or worse, a DIY solution, which usually has less sensors than needed, just to meet a target price. What also ends up being the case, is they don’t maintain their self-fitted floodlight when it stops working, while keys, wallets and handbags are too often dumped at the door for convenient reach the next morning.

Meanwhile, high-value assets like cars, vans full of tools and caravans aren’t even considered. Instead, these are left unprotected, as are expensive bicycles, motorbikes and more in garden sheds and garages, with little to no security.

Throughout the COVID pandemic, many of us even spent time retrofitting our garages and sheds into garden bars, home gyms and offices; leaving even more valuables and equipment potentially under-secured and under-protected.

Increasing the value of security

Feeling secure is one of our most basic needs and one that drives users to a reluctant grudge purchase. 

With the right proposal offering incremental value at each stage, the user will instead want the system, see and feel its value, invest more and receive the coverage they need. 

The ‘grudge purchase’ trend has reversed somewhat, with advancements in technology boosting the capabilities of a home to make everything ‘smart’. A smart light, watch, switch, meter and even smart security – integrating homes more and more to provide almost any function, including 24/7 monitoring from an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), or even providing this ability directly to users via their
own smartphone or tablet. Everything’s connected and instantly accessible, from anywhere.

Yet, despite the new technology, many security offerings still sport the fatal reactive flaw – essentially relying on a break-in taking place before an alarm is raised – the breaking of glass, the forcing of a door or window, the detection of movement inside the building!

As the appetite for smart functions grows, we can remain ahead of the curve and drive the market forward, by offering a security solution that encompasses this and more. Securing the inside of homes is essential, but surely, this should start much sooner? Why should users be notified as intruders break-in, when they can be notified before they can even try?

Protecting the outside first

A smarter and more logical approach, is adding perimeter protection – creating alerts and notifications as soon as anyone even approaches – alerting the user inside the property when on-site, as well as remotely via a smartphone app when away. This additional layer doesn’t even have to activate full alarm activations with sirens blaring, but simply alert connected users to activity, so they can take appropriate action.

With outdoor detectors positioned around the perimeter, more vantage points can be covered to effectively remove blind spots. Driveways, front gardens, back gardens, entrances, gates, walls, fences, and much more of homes can be covered.

Modern detection solutions have also developed – taking the challenges of outdoor conditions into account, including animals (pets or wildlife), sudden changes in temperature (the sun moving behind a cloud), as well as strong winds (swaying trees and bushes, as well as gates swinging back and forth). This allows the reliable detection of potential intruders, so that connected users are notified as soon as the perimeter is breached, rather than when a window is broken, a door is forced or when they wake up to an empty driveway.

This is the basis of perimeter security, with the potential to add extra functions and layers, including integrated outdoor cameras. With this approach, the user’s not only notified of activity, but can see exactly what’s happening; responding appropriately to a delivery or a potential intruder.

Advances in security

It’s clear this is the direction the security industry is moving. Some manufacturers have already recognised this and are turning their focus to products and solutions that adhere to this philosophy.

In the professional sector, outdoor detector technology has become much more reliable and has embraced the simplicity of wireless installations. The options have also increased, such as the development of wireless and weatherproof outdoor contacts to monitor the opening of garden gates, garage doors or garden bars.

Meanwhile, we’ve seen the emergence of smart cameras offering users the ability to be notified, see and even respond to potential intruders via their smart devices – telling them they’ve been spotted or directing their deliveries. We’re seeing these solutions being widely advertised in the DIY sector as standalone solutions.

While DIY options have seen an increase in popularity, the limitations in terms
of the overall level of protection they offer shouldn’t be overlooked. With professionally specified and installed solutions that include perimeter protection, cameras and smart home capabilities, the level of protection and function is greatly enhanced; covering all angles and providing a much more comprehensive solution. This is the value professional installation offers to users – years of industry experience that leads to a properly specified and reliable solution.

According to the Office for National Statistics, between July 2018 and June 2019, before the COVID pandemic, there were over 417,000 reported incidents of burglary, with 291,816 of these being residential. Surely by implementing perimeter measures on professional systems, we can expect this to improve – stopping intrusion before it can happen.

Prevention is always better than the cure, so let’s rest with our users secured, inside and out.



(Source: Office for National Statistics, Crime in England and Wales: year ending June 2019)