Smart home security – how to use digital tech to protect your property | Everything Property

Smart home security – how to use digital tech to protect your property

Smart home security how to use digital tech to protect your property

Smart home security can be a great aid to protect your family and property – Naked Insurance’s Sumarie Greybe offers some pointers.

In the face of escalating incidences of housebreaking and house robbery in South Africa, smart home security can be well-used to enhance protection against theft. Co-founder of fully digital insurance platform Naked Insurance, Sumarie Greybe, tells us more.


The promise of the smart home is becoming increasingly real, thanks to the growing selection of great products on the market. From connected thermostats and smart lighting to video doorbells and Internet-connected solar setups, these products offer a range of ways to increase energy efficiency, automate household tasks, and improve your quality of life.

Sumarie Greybe says that, “One of the most exciting applications for smart home tech lies in making your home safer and more secure.”

“With more than 1.8 million incidences of housebreaking and house robbery per year, safety and security are top of mind for South African households,” says Greybe. “Today, smarter home devices can help keep your space safe, watch your home when you’re not there, alert security or emergency services when necessary, and even help you save some money on your insurance premiums. When combined with artificial intelligence (AI) features, smart home devices can support an adaptive and proactive approach to protecting your family and property.”

Choose the right solutions

Finding the right security solutions for your home depends on a range of factors. One consideration is whether you have already started to invest in other smart home technologies such as speakers, thermostats and lighting controls. You may want to look for security systems that can work well with everything else you have in place.

Sumarie Greybe, co-founder of Naked Insurance

Sumarie Greybe, from Naked Insurance

If you have invested in tech from Google or Amazon, for example, you may want to explore compatible cameras, smart locks, and so forth. This might make installation a bit easier as well as allow you to control all devices through a single hub or app.

Another point to think about is what you really want to achieve and what your home needs. Are you renting or do you own your home? If you’re renting, you may want solutions that require less drilling and rewiring.

If you own the home, you might want to look at security as part of a wider home automation investment. The layout of your home and garden is also important. Do you want perimeter, indoor or garden security, or all three? Understanding these aspects will help you understand which types of devices will serve you best.

Remember to factor in budget – smart security comes in a range of prices. Modular options will allow you to add on to your smart home setup as and when you have budget, if you can’t buy everything you want upfront. Keep on mind that the upfront cost of these devices can be relatively low, but that in some cases you will need to pay a monthly subscription to unlock features like a professional monitoring service or large amounts of cloud storage for video footage. While some solutions are DIY, others might require professional help. If you’re choosing a more complex option, remember to budget for the installation cost.

What’s out there for you to buy? 

  • Video doorbells allow you to see, hear, and speak to visitors at your door, whether you’re home or away. They include features like motion detection alerts, live video streaming and night vision.
  • Smart electronic locks let you open and lock doors without physical keys. You can lock and unlock doors remotely via your smartphone, and use codes, fingerprints or fobs to access your property.
  • Digital security cameras for indoors and outdoors include features like high-definition video recording, motion-triggered alerts and recordings, and integration with smart home systems for real-time monitoring.
  • Smart alarms provide comprehensive protection with a range of sensors and alarms to detect intruders, smoke, carbon monoxide, and more. Components include door and window sensors, motion detectors, alarms, and a central hub. You’ll probably want to source this from an armed response company.

Greybe explains that: “Many platforms already include AI features such as the ability to differentiate between humans, animals, and other objects to reduce false alarms. The technology already exists for cameras to recognise familiar faces and alert homeowners to strangers or potential intruders. In the future, AI algorithms may become more sophisticated in predicting potential threats based on historical data and behavioural patterns to keep your home safe. We are still in the early stages of this technology and the potential is exciting.”

Points to think about when it comes to insurance:

  • Showing your insurer you have invested in strong home security measures may decrease your premium. Such measures include traditional security investments like burglar bars and electric fencing as well as smart cameras or alarms. But even if your premiums don’t directly go down, better security, resulting in fewer claims, means saving on excess and on the premium increases you get in future.
  • Considering that your smart home setup may represent an investment of tens of thousands of rand, be sure to check that your policy covers theft as well as weather or accidental damage to your devices. Tell your insurer about these updates to guarantee they’re covered under your policy, adding to your overall sum insured.
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