Home Alone is many people’s favourite Christmas film, and while we all have a good chuckle at Kevin McCallister’s increasingly wacky attempts to trap Harry and Marv, we would never seriously attempt to emulate his exploits.
Some homeowners have gone to extreme lengths to help protect their home from intruders, with mixed results. Here we look at some of the wackiest ever home security ideas ever created:
Home husky system
Many people trust the family dog to bark whenever anyone comes up the garden path, but imagine if there were 18 dogs to do the job? One couple in the US did exactly this, and the result is a sight that needs to be seen to be believed. The animal-loving pair could sleep well knowing their home was in good hands, but with 18 dogs responding to every sound with howls, it would be surprising if they slept at all.
While Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak is - for now - an inventor’s pipe dream, the Instant Smokecloak does exist. The concept behind it is that a thief cannot steal what he cannot see, and the cloak works thanks to door and window sensors that are primed to set off the device when triggered. The result is your entire home being engulfed by smoke, which may well attract attention from neighbours and deter burglars, but will also leave the property smelling like the aftermath of a bonfire.
Extreme household hoarding
While many people dislike parting with their belongings, Langley and Homer Collyer took hoarding to another level by strategically amassing 103 tons of disused items around their home. The idea behind it was to create a complicated maze that only they could navigate, ensuring any would-be scoundrels were deterred. The hoard itself was a veritable smorgasbord of possessions, including a 2,500-volume law library, six toy train sets, 14 pianos and 13 oriental rugs, to name just a few.
Tweeting laser tripwire
In the age of social media, just one tweet can be heard round the world, but did you know that Twitter can also be connected to a laser tripwire to notify you about intruders? Sadly, you’ll need at least basic skills in computer programming to make an effective device, but the result is an instant notification to the whole world that an intruder has tripped an alarm inside your house.
While super hearing remains limited to Superman and his friends, there is a way to detect every sound in your home when nobody is in the house. Point avoids using privacy-invading cameras to monitor the home. Instead, it picks up things such as loud music, arguments, strange noises and even smoke, then notifies the homeowner via a smartphone app.
Facial recognition software
Normally reserved for high-security financial institutions and nuclear bunkers, facial recognition software is becoming a staple among the rich and famous, who are installing the technology in their homes to help detect people approaching the house. As well as identifying strangers, the software also notices when a friendly face is approaching and unlocks the door for them in preparation.
Probably the most famous of all home security systems, the secret bookcase has been seen on film for decades, including being the entrance to Bruce Wayne’s Batcave. Creative Home Engineering has made this a reality through its custom-made bookcases, which each feature a concealed door and can take on a variety of designs to fit the decor of the owner’s house for maximum discretion.