May 17, 2018|

Under-the-Radar Home Security Measures Every Home Needs

Vivint protected Smart home

When you think home security, most people consider burglary detection, intrusion, neighborhood watch, and extra equipment to cover their exterior doors and windows. Fortifying your home against potential intruders is usually top of mind for homeowners.

And while protection from potential break-ins and suspicious activity is a big part of securing your home and loved ones, there are more layers of security that complete home security measures other than guarding against theft, intrusion, and bad guys. Other threats to your home can include everything from fire to carbon monoxide poisoning to flooding.

Smart home equipment to detect these potential emergency situations may not be the flashiest or sexiest devices on the market when you consider the range of gadgets out there like smart speakers or smart lighting that could be considered high-tech security. But detectors and sensors and other similar devices are vital to home security and safety and all add to the physical security measures you can do to protect your home. They keep your home and your loved ones safe and secure. And potentially they can save you money by preempting costly damage to your home.

These small, discreet gadgets may fly under the radar, but they are essential to a fully protected and secure home. So whether you have a security system or you're considering installing one, take a look at the benefits provided by detectors and sensors and follow these security tips. You want these in your home.

Smoke detectors: they’re essential

Strategically placed smoke detectors are essential to keeping your house safe. In fact, if every home in the U.S. had working smoke detectors, the number of deaths from fire would decrease by 36%.1 That equals approximately 1,100 lives saved each year.2 So when you’re thinking home security measures, make sure a smoke alarm is at the top of the list.

Vivint smoke detector
Smoke detectors are an essential part of a complete home security system.

 

How many smoke alarms do you need?

The National Fire Protection Agency requirements state a detector should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home or apartment. Larger homes will obviously need more fire alarms.3

Today's smoke detectors function in much the same way as detectors in the past. Like their older counterparts, they're able to detect smoke and rises in temperature with photoelectric sensors that trigger the alarm, notifying you of a potential emergency situation. But the similarities, for the most part, stop there.

  • No more chirping detector when the battery is low. Instead you receive a notification on your phone that new batteries are needed.
  • We've all endured a blaring fire alarm because we burned dinner or the popcorn. But with a smart smoke detector, there's no need to frantically wave a towel or crack doors and windows open to terminate the sound. Just turn it off with a smartphone or from the control panel.
  • With a wireless, battery-operated smart smoke detector you don't have to worry about its ability to function should the power go out. As part of a complete smart home system, the detector is backed up by the battery in your control panel.

Even better, as part of a comprehensive smart home system, your detectors can connect on a single platform so that when one alarm triggers, all smoke detector alarms in the house will sound. Notifications are sent to your panel and mobile device. And with a Vivint Smart Home system, a security expert, one of our monitoring and support specialists are always ready to hear the alarm—even when you’re not home—and contact emergency services and law enforcement when you can’t. This added layer of high-tech security further ensures the safety of your home and loved ones.

The importance of carbon monoxide detectors

When considering the sensors and detectors needed to keep your family safe, don't let the importance of carbon monoxide (CO) detectors fall through the cracks.

Carbon Monoxide detector
Carbon monoxide detectors help protect you from the odorless, colorless, tasteless gas.

 

Carbon monoxide stems from common household appliances and devices—hot water heaters, furnaces, or gas ranges, for example.

Because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless it's virtually impossible to detect without the right equipment. Without the ability to detect carbon monoxide, it can build up in your home to dangerous levels. In extreme cases, this poisonous gas can even be lethal.

Exposure to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can affect all people and pets. In the early stages, carbon monoxide exposure presents with flu-like symptoms such as headaches and dizziness, upset stomach, weakness, vomiting, and chest pain. Extended, unchecked exposure, however, can cause loss of consciousness or even death.

It's why installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home is so important. Without the ability to detect its presence on your own, you need a system in your home that does it for you. Here are a few things you should know about adding carbon monoxide detectors to your security system:

  • For a typical-sized house, two to three carbon monoxide detectors can provide your home and family sufficient protection.
  • Be thoughtful about where you place them. You want carbon monoxide detectors near heat-producing appliances that potentially emit carbon monoxide.
  • With a carbon monoxide detector, you have time to act. An alarm sounds when any amount is detected, giving you the chance to take action before the gas reaches hazardous levels.

You'll have time to open entrances to your home to diffuse the gas, evacuate your home, and contact emergency services to inspect the safety of your home. If your battery gets low, you receive a notification on your panel and mobile device.

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And Vivint systems give you options to create custom settings. If a carbon monoxide alarm goes off, your home can be set to automatically unlock the door, disarm window sensors, and shut down the furnace flame while cranking up the fan for ventilation.

The professional security monitoring that comes with Vivint Smart Home service provides around-the-clock emergency support. If you ever need to evacuate your home in a carbon monoxide emergency, Smart Home Monitoring Specialists will contact emergency responders for you while you take care of the people that matter most.

Get flood sensors

When we speak of flood sensors we're not talking about a device that warns of weather-related flash floods. These devices work to monitor moisture and temperature levels inside your home and warn of possible flooding from faulty plumbing, frozen pipes, or broken appliances, for example—not nature.

Vivint Flood Sensor
A flood sensor is a versatile piece of equipment that can potentially save you thousands of dollars in damages.

If you don't think flood sensors serve as an important component of home security, consider this: Of all insurance claims filed by homeowners, water damage is the second most common, usually due to plumbing failures. In fact, plumbing mishaps are the top source of residential water loss and cost homeowners approximately $5,000 each time an incident occurs.4

So save yourself some stress, frustration, and money by incorporating flood sensors into your smart home system. Install these small, discreet devices in those areas of your home where there is water and piping, and those rooms that are not well heated and insulated and don't contain many doors—like the kitchen, bathrooms, basement, laundry room, garage, and basement.

One of the great things about flood sensors is that they don't detect water levels alone—they also sense moisture, enabling them to alert you to the presence of water before levels start rising.

A flood sensor's ability to detect changes in temperature means you'll be alerted if any areas of your home drop in temperature so you can make sure basement pipes stay intact during cold winter months. Should a pipe burst or your washing machine starts leaking, for example, you'll be alerted in time to mitigate damage and secure your belongings.

Get complete home security. Call us at 855.822.1220 today to get a free quote on a home security package that will protect your home and family.

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Sources

  1. "The United States Fire Administration: State by State Residential Smoke Alarm Requirements". 2010. The World Fire Safety Foundation.
  2. "Smoke Alarm Research"NIST.
  3. "Installing and maintaining smoke alarmsNational Fire Protection Association".
  4. "Top Homeowners Insurance Claims"Insurance Journal.

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