Go Go Gadget Safety: Seven Nifty Gizmos for a More Secure Home

You probably don’t usually mention home security and cool gadgets in the same breath. Home security seems more necessary than exciting, and items like deadbolts and window locks are a bit of a snooze for most gadget-heads. Right?

Think again! Today’s technologies have combined with traditional safety concerns to create a new generation of home-security devices that put the “fun” in “functional— McGruff meets James Bond, if you will. Here’s a look at seven must-have gadgets—none of them expensive or complicated to install—that are fun to show your friends and will help protect your home.

• In the “Why didn’t someone think of this before?” category is FakeTV, a small electronic device that produces exactly the same sort of flickering light a television does. The result is that your house looks occupied. And guess what? Burglars pass over occupied houses. FakeTV is much more convincing, and hence more effective, than the old light-on-a-timer trick.

• Door locks may seem kind of ho-hum. But today’s smart locks, controlled by a smartphone and/or web app, are high-tech, efficient, and even elegant. There are several companies jumping into the smart-lock field. Some products replace an existing lock system, while others can be installed over the deadbolt you already have. While each smart lock has different features, all allow you to control who has access to your home with a tap of your phone.

• Not exactly a gadget, but a whole family of them, SimpliSafe is a next-generation home security system that’s wireless, affordable, and easy to install; the New York Times has said that SimpliSafe “offers all the bells and whistles for a lot less money.” Among its features are text alerts, free apps for smartphones that give users complete remote control, and a wide variety of sensors including motion, smoke detector, keypad, panic button, and more. It can be installed in minutes, requiring no special expertise or tools. Way better than letting some stranger put wires in your walls.

• The Dropcam is a nifty high-definition Wi-Fi video camera with remote viewing and two-way sound, so you can keep an eye on things at home when you’re at work or on the go. It can be installed and set up in minutes, and the video can be watched remotely from an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. And you can also add a recording option that stores up to 720 hours of video.

Doorbot: Even the name sounds cool! Doorbot is a Wi-Fi enabled video doorbell that allows you to see and talk to visitors through your smartphone from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re on the other side of the house or the other side of the country, you can see who’s ringing your doorbell and answer the door (or not, as you choose).

• Have you ever driven away from your house and realized you left the garage open —or obsessed later over whether you had? The Garage Butler is an automatic garage door closer designed to address that situation. It works with your existing garage-door mechanism and can be programmed to close the door after a certain number of minutes. Plus, a light sensor signals it to close the garage door after dark. Hey, this thing could be more useful than an actual butler.

• So simple, but so effective, is the doorstop wedge alarm. Tuck it under your door at night, and if anyone tries to enter, the device emits a 125-decibel alarm, waking you up and scaring off a would-be intruder. It’s great for at-home use, but because it’s small and lightweight, it can also be easily taken on the road and used in hotel rooms.

These gadgets can all make your home safer and more comfortable. And the fact that they’ll feed your inner gadget geek is just one more part of their appeal.

This post was written by Kevin Raposo, a blogger for SimpliSafe Home Security Systems. Kevin covers topic related to tech, security, and crime. When he’s blogging, he’s typically taking things apart, and assembling them back to together…or at least trying to. SimpliSafe is a growing leader in the home security industry.