Philip Dowds, the MD of Okto Technologies, which develops and instals smart systems in homes and businesses, has suggestions for a “360-degree shield” designed to keep any threat as far away as possible:
Firstly, there is perimeter defence, comprising three elements: radar, thermal cameras to pick up body heat, and underground pressure sensors detecting anyone jumping over the wall.
All of these would be integrated into a smart system that would eliminate the possibility of a false alarm being triggered by a fox or a badger.
Anyone attempting to smash through the main gate in a truck would be met with a reinforced steel door capable of withstanding an impact at 40mph.
Then, hopefully, the homeowners have security staff on the premises, ready to spot intruders on CCTV.
Additionally, an alarm system will be on hand to activate high-intensity security lights, which makes the house go from total darkness to the brightness of a football stadium flooded by lights in a few seconds.
There’s also the suggestion of getting loudspeakers set at 110 decibels, which is as loud as a riveting machine, apparently.
But most importantly is perhaps the serenity room, a highly updated version of the old-fashioned panic room:
A ‘serenity room’, on the other hand, will be the master bedroom, or a similarly familiar and comfortable area, specially customised – the walls lined with Kevlar, the doors made of reinforced steel, the windows bulletproof.
Just as important, he says, will be ‘fully diverse communication’: separate phone lines buried deep inside the building and running in different directions in case the burglars or kidnappers have cut the obvious lines, with Wi-Fi, 5G and satellite channels to the outside world.
Scented candles and piped new-age music to soothe jangled nerves are optional.
This kind of complete home-defence system can easily cost up to £1 million.
Yeah, include all of those scented candles, please.
Meanwhile, a more modest package is available, which “won’t blow the budget” according to Dowds, going for about £100 000.
It includes perimeter protection with thermal cameras and radar, the aforementioned lights and speakers, and a direct connection to the police.
Otherwise, there’s always something more customised:
[Dowds] is working on a security system costing £2 million for a London property worth more than £150 million, for a client who will be there for only five or six weeks a year.
Just watch out for the drones flying overhead, hackable fridges, and baby-monitors, and do well to keep your staff happy so that they’re not tempted to use knowledge of your security systems against you.
But at the end of the day, with all the perimeter fencing, the thermal cameras, and the personal protection, the one thing money can never buy is complete peace of mind.