We've all heard stories of burglaries in our neighbourhoods, too close for comfort. Tales of poisoned dogs and bribed guards are rife. But you can do much more than just employing a German Shepherd or a watchman to keep vigil at night. Enter the electronic security system for your home and office.
There are now companies in Nepal that specialise in providing high-tech security systems for homes and offices that will not only alert the owners in the event of forced entry, but also detect smoke and gas leakage and provide round-the-clock live visuals of activities in your vicinity. "It's only natural for people to turn towards such services when the state is unable to provide a sense of security," Keyur Krishna Shrestha of Bipassana International says.
Banks, offices and hotels are the most obvious clients but there has been a spike in interest from people concerned about home security. "We have more than 200 clients at present, half of whom are individual homeowners," says Pragyat Bikram Rana of Falcon Eyes. Thanks to a system installed by his company, a prominent businessman was able to survive a kidnapping bid recently.
The cost of a comprehensive security and home automation system can run into the hundreds of thousands, but a basic dialer system comprising a few door sensors and motion detectors can be purchased for just Rs 35,000. The system not only alerts the owners of break-ins or emergencies but also automatically calls pre-specified locations within seconds for help. "Calls are made to eight locations, including the nearest police post, within 20 seconds of an incident," Shrestha says.
With a bigger budget, homeowners can purchase any number of security devices, including CCTV, but even a more limited system can do wonders. According to Shrestha, "A few door sensors and motion detectors alone will greatly decrease the likelihood of a robbery in a home. They are also more cost effective than traditional security options."
1. Infrared Beam sensors that build an invisible fence around the house. An infrared beam is transmitted between an emitter and receiver and an alarm is triggered when someone passes through it.
2. Fire extinguisher
3. Glass break detectors that detect the sound of breaking glass to raise the alarm.
4. Indoor Motion detectors to inform owners about the presence of intruders by detecting human movement inside the house.
5. Gas leak detectors to detect the presence of dangerous gas inside the house and warn occupants.
6. Access control system (card, biometric, retina, palm) installed in the main door to prevent unauthorised access.
7. CCTV cameras installed at different points to monitor activities around the house. Infrared cameras can be used for night surveillance.
8. Smoke detectors to detect smoke early enough to warn occupants and prevent a fire.
9. Door sensors that use wireless magnetic sensors to notify owners when someone opens the door without their knowledge.
10. Remote video systems to allow owners to watch over the house from their cell phones and computers even when they are away.
11. Since most robberies happen during loadshedding hours and most of the gadgets above are powered by electricity, it is important to have a back up. Solar panels on the roof charge batteries that allow these gadgets to work.
12. Canine vigilance: Watch dogs are important to provide security when everything else fails. Add a sign on the gate that says, "Beware of Dogs", depicting a picture of a snarling Rottweiler.