Kerry Blackford, head of product at ERA, explores how fabricators can stay ahead of competitors by incorporating both traditional and smart hardware systems into the manufacturing process to provide customers with a total security solution.
Driven by increasing consumer demand for home automation, app-controlled systems continue to disrupt the UK home security market, as individuals look to streamline efficiencies and access a live overview of all aspects of their home at the click of a button.
While this growing trend may initially suggest that smart technology is the future of home security, achieving the optimum balance between smartware and the latest innovations in hardware is where the real areas of growth lie for fabricators.
Hardware and smartware are essentially designed and engineered to fulfil the same aim: to provide unrivalled levels of protection and peace of mind. While both systems fulfil the same objective, they use different, yet complementary, technologies. So, when the two types of systems are applied to the same property, the overall level of protection that can be achieved is twofold.
By adopting this combined approach to security, fabricators can manufacture windows and doors that are not only fit for purpose but provide multiple layers of protection that can be continuously adapted and upgraded to meet customers’ ever-changing requirements and deliver the ultimate standard in home security.
For example, when manufacturing windows, traditional hardware systems (such as the Double Cam Window Lock) secure the sash tightly to the frame to prevent jemmying and secure the exterior of the property.
However, this level of protection can be taken one step further by also fabricating wireless app-controlled sensors into the window at the point of manufacture. This enables customers to achieve enhanced levels of protection and surveillance, as they can access essential information regarding the status of the window in real-time, such as whether the window has been left open accidentally, or if there have been any attempts by an intruder to gain entry via the window.
As these wireless sensors are app-controlled, they can also be integrated into a wider ecosystem of smartware, which fabricators can recommend and cross-sell to customers who are looking to elevate the level of security across their entire property at the point of purchase.
This demonstrates how traditional hardware systems can successfully secure the exterior, while the addition of smartware supports the remote monitoring of all aspects of the property in real-time, from anywhere in the world.
This dual approach to security is also being applied to the manufacture of entrance doors. For example, fabricating doors with certified cylinders and multi-point door locks and strong hinges will provide the highest standards of protection against forced entry. However, this protection can be further enhanced through the installation of complementary smartware, such as video doorbells and external cameras, which form part of the same smart ecosystem as the wireless window sensors.
This not only acts as an additional layer of protection as potential intruders are deterred because they can physically see the smartware systems installed, but simultaneously offers homeowners the ability to physically monitor whether anyone is near their property via the smartphone app, 24/7, regardless of where they are in the world.
In real-time, homeowners can access key information regarding each smartware device installed throughout their property through a central gateway, such as the ERA Protect Alarm Hub, which provides complete transparency regarding the status of their property. The ERA Protect alarm ecosystem supports the integration of 96 accessories to the alarm hub, including window sensors, such as WindowSense, and PIR motion sensors, in addition to a video doorbell and indoor, outdoor and floodlight cameras.
This integration into a wider smart home network offers unlimited flexibility and personalisation for the homeowner, as they can choose when and where to add additional devices, while the traditional hardware solutions provide complete peace of mind as an established and trusted line of direct defence.
As the demand for home automation continues to increase, fabricators can fulfil the requirements of every customer by offering a complementary suite of hardware and smartware from a single manufacturer to deliver ultimate levels of protection and surveillance.