5 Household Disasters That can be Prevented with Smarter Technology


For many people, owning their own home is the realisation of a lifelong dream. When your home is empty though, it is vulnerable to fire, flooding and other disasters. Fortunately smart technology has arrived to give us the peace of mind that our home, and those living in it, are safe from harm.

Smart monitors and mobile controlled household systems allow homeowners to monitor their home from afar, whether they’re in the office or on holiday. This technology allows them to be the first to know when something goes wrong or to prevent these household disasters from occurring at all. Smart household technology can be the key to saving you from the heartache, and cost, of a real catastrophe.


1. Detect Carbon Monoxide Earlier


Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that can also be dangerous at less than lethal levels, especially for children and the elderly. A carbon monoxide leak can be the result of faulty cooking or heating equipment, but as the gas is colourless, odourless and tasteless it is initially very difficult for people to detect. Traditional carbon monoxide detectors would notify users when carbon monoxide levels became alarmingly high, but today’s smart detectors do much more than that.

Smart monitors, such as the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector, have built-in wifi capabilities that send signals to your mobile phone or tablet when unusual carbon monoxide levels (or even humidity and other environmental factors) are detected in a certain room or area of the house. The monitor will also tell you what you can do to improve the situation, as sometimes it might just take opening a window to fix the problem.


2. Be Prepared for a Fire


A fire can be absolutely devastating and while they are difficult to prevent completely, being prepared for a fire in your home can be the difference between minor damage and losing everything. Luckily, today there are a large number of home automation devices that help with fire preparedness.

Smart smoke alarms don’t just alert you that there is a fire, they give you the information you want and need to make a decision about what to do next. These alarms will tell you where in the house smoke was detected and inform you if you’re in immediate danger. If you’re not home the system will send alerts to your mobile phone letting you know exactly what is happening.


3. Reduce Water Damage


There’s no doubt that water damage can be costly. Even small leaks can spur big bills. While the average water leaks costs nearly £1,400 to repair, this can jump to £100,000 as the severity of damage grows. Stopping a leak before it grows in size is essential to preventing the cost of repairs from spiraling out of control.

With a building management system (BMS) you will be alerted as soon as a leak is detected through both mobile messaging and in-home alerts such as flashing lights and alarms. By knowing about the leak at its first sign, you’ll hopefully be able to stop it before the damages start adding up. Though most homeowners are more worried about fires or break ins, water damage actually accounts for one in six insurance claims, making it far more likely than you may realise.


4. Prevent the Pipes from Bursting


Winter holidays to warm, sunny destinations are a wonderful way to escape the cold, grey winter, but they can also put your pipes at risk of bursting. Most people turn the heating off when they leave for an extended period of time so as to not waste energy and money when they won’t be there. But if the faucets aren’t used and the temperatures dip below freezing, this can cause standing water in the pipes to freeze. Because water expands when it freezes, the pipes then burst under pressure which can lead to a lot of expensive water damage.

With a smart thermostat that you can control from your mobile phone or tablet device this doesn’t have to happen. A smart thermostat allows you to control the heating in your house from anywhere in the world where you have an internet connection. If you see that the temperatures are going to drop, you’ll be able to raise the heat and avoid the risk of any pipes.


5. Stop Break-Ins


A home that’s been dark for many days could be seen as a prime target for burglars. While it’s obviously a good idea to have a security system in place, there are now also a variety of high tech security devices on the market that offer features like video surveillance to make you feel even more comfortable when you’re away from home.

These devices, like Piper, connect to wifi to allow you to stay connected to your home at all times via text message, push notifications, emails, or calls. Thanks to motion and sound detectors any intruders will be immediately noticed. These devices also offer video monitoring for an added sense of security. You can watch live or recorded high definition video on your smartphone or tablet, even when it’s completely dark in your home. With a 180 degree field of view and pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities no corner of your home will go undetected.


Prevention will always be less expensive than dealing with a disaster, and by utilising these smart technology solutions you and your home will be better equipped to stop problems before they strike.


About Author

Malcolm Stewart is owner and founder of Kensington AV, an award winning home automation specialist. As well as his passion for smart homes, Malcolm has a keen interest in lighting design, architectural lighting, lighting control, home cinema and multi room music. Having spent over 20 years working with AV in residential property, Malcolm has an excellent understanding of the field and can bring a huge amount of practical know-how and technical experience to any residential project. https://www.facebook.com/KensingtonAudioVisual https://twitter.com/KensingtonAV https://plus.google.com/u/0/111223134909626742332/posts

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