Secure your home (the smart way)

Recently, I discovered that someone made an attempt to break into my house. My wife and I live in a neighborhood where our neighbors are mostly retired and we’re fortunate enough to have neighbors across the street who are home all hours of the day with the exception of times they happen to run an errand or two. We live in south Shreveport and the peace in the neighborhood can easily lull residents into believing they are safe enough to leave cars and doors unlocked.

Its nice, living in a quiet neighborhood. Almost sleepy in nature, any sirens heard are usually EMS to check or pick-up an elderly neighbor for a hospital trip so it’s easy to get a false sense of safety but we have to remember the time and town we live in and that crime is always up while police are understaffed. I was reminded of this a few months ago when I purchased a new refrigerator for my wife and the delivery crew was squeezing it through the front door. It was the first time I’d really paid attention to the entry since we painted it after we moved in and I noticed the door jamb was cracked from the dead bolt to the floor. A closer look found what appeared to be a faint footprint on out freshly painted steel front door. Someone apparently got the bright idea to try and kick-in our front door! Their attempt was fruitless thank God but it made me realize, our neighborhood is just a vulnerable to crime as any other in Shreveport.

My first concern was replacing the door jamb and reinforcing it with solid steel plating. Once that was done, it was time for extra security measures. My wife and I work a lot so we’re gone a lot and I needed my home to be aware of what goes on while we’re away. Costly security companies with their monthly monitoring fees just aren’t for me. I’ve installed several security systems for clients and I could do the same for my own property, it was just a matter of the equipment I’d use to meet our needs. So I purchased a surveillance system (Arlo Pro) that detects motion, alerts both my wife’s & my phones, and starts recording video. We catch stray cats and dogs at all hours by the doors and in the yard mostly.   We’re able to see whatever packages are delivered and monitor them until we retrieve them from the front door to ensure their safety.

Delivery

but the other day it was the Shreveport Police at my door because someone took out our mailbox while we were at work.

Police at the door

I didn’t have a camera covering the driveway so I couldn’t tell the driver’s make/model of car. I’ve since aimed a camera at our driveway so I can see whenever anyone pulls into to our driveway for any reason.

In addition to “Arlo” (which is a wireless system), I purchased a QCam 8 camera Hi-Def DVR camera system that doesn’t “alert” for motion but simply records video of our property with various wired Ethernet cameras we’ve installed around our house. Now there isn’t a second of the day or night that we don’t know what’s happening in and around our home.

We opted to make our house a “smart home” with remote locks, lights, motion sensors and alarms which we all control from our phones. We also added an Amazon Alexa/Echo for voice-control of the house if our hands are full or we don’t have our phone’s with us. In all it was an investment at first buying and installing the equipment but it has paid dividends for our peace of mind every moment it’s been in service.

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