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Does your home look occupied when you are not around?

Preventing domestic burglaries is gaining in importance. Especially now, when this type of crime is increasing in Europe (cfr. Eurostat). Installing an alarm system in your home is always a good idea.

Image: Niko

However, it has one disadvantage: it will only work when somebody is trying to break in. In that case, the damage has already been done. If you want to prevent people with bad intentions rattling at your doors and windows, you need presence simulation.

This can be created in various ways.

Let your home live

Are you going out to catch a movie, making a city trip over the weekend or going on a holiday for several weeks? It is advisable to let the outside world believe that your home is occupied. Simulating presence can prevent a burglary from happening, assuming that a burglary would run more smoothly and undisturbed in a home where nobody is around. If your home is equipped with presence simulation and other homes are not, the burglar will not hesitate to choose some other home to invade.

The easy way

The easiest way to simulate presence is by connecting a light or a movable lighting fixture to a timer. In most cases, only one light will be switched on and off at the same time each evening and morning. Someone that has been spying your house for several days will quickly know a timer is in play.

Various possibilities with Integrated Home Systems (IHS)

IHS offers a variety of timer functions, actions that can be executed at a certain time of day or night. These timer functions can be used for an array of simulations and are not only limited to just triggering the lights. Shutters and sunscreens can also be operated. In addition, light paths can be simulated during the night, making it seem as if somebody has switched on the lights in the bedroom, followed by the lights in the hallway and the bathroom. After several minutes, the lights are switched off in the opposite order.

Switching on the television at certain times of day will even increase the feeling that somebody is in the house. Naturally, the shutters should not be closed entirely in this case. The spaces between the bottom slats must be open so that the light from the television can be seen from outside the house. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with playing some loud music once in a while, as long as it does not disturb the neighbours.

In any case, make sure that the presence simulation actions start at different times each day. Remember, you do not go to bed or switch on the television at exactly the same time every day.

An even more realistic simulation

Certain IHS register your actions. Actions such as pressing a button or walking past a motion sensor are saved into the system’s memory together with the time of occurrence. When the presence simulator is activated in such systems, the IHS will automatically execute you and your family’s actions of the past few weeks, creating a very realistic presence simulation. Naturally, certain actions can be excluded from the simulation. For instance, the heating does not need to be turned on to reach your pre-defined comfort temperature when you are not around, the garage door does not need to be opened or closed, and you can choose which lights should not be included in the simulation.

A button for the presence simulator?

Activating presence simulation can occur by just pushing the right button. However, wouldn’t it be more handy to automatically activate the presence simulation once you’ve pushed the all-off button at the front door or garage door? Everything is switched off inside the house, except for the simulation, which is activated. If you have an alarm system, switching it on can trigger the simulation to start. The simulation is automatically switched off as soon as the alarm system is deactivated.