Home sweet home has never been a safer place, thanks in part to a host of devices that look out for your safety, even when you're unable to do it.
Your security alarm, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are just the beginning. Whether you live with children or elders or simply want to boost your peace of mind, these lesser known but important safety options can help:
1. WATER LEAK SENSORS.
When asked to guess the most common reason for homeowners insurance claims, most people say fire or burglary. But the truth is, it's water damage. Plumbing leaks from a burst pipe, supply hose or water heater account for 40% of claims! You can reduce the risk when you install water sensors near washing machines, hot water heaters, toilets, dishwashers and ice-makers. Sensors can alert you to trouble before structural damage sets in, since many leaks start small. And here's an added incentive: You'll get a protective device discount on your PEMCO homeowner or renter insurance when you do. Link them to your smartphone to receive alerts, and you'll get a bigger discount. And if you connect them to an automatic water shutoff (perfect if you're away from home all day), you'll save even more.
2. TEMPERATURE-ACTIVATED FLOW REDUCER (TAFR ANTI-SCALD DEVICE).
A screw-on attachment for showers and faucets can sense when the water temperature is too hot and reduce the volume to decrease burn hazards for children, elders or people with limited mobility. Among pediatric scald injuries, 25% result from overheated tap water.
3. SMART LOCKS.
Whether you have a distracted teen who tends to forget their house key or an elder who has difficulty reaching the door in time to open it for visitors, smart locks combined with camera features could be the answer. Smart locks commonly are managed via smartphone, but they also may be unlocked in other ways, including with a keypad and PIN for trusted visitors (like household helpers and relatives). They're a safe alternative to simply leaving the door unlocked, since an estimated 40% of burglars enter through an unlocked door or window or use a stolen key!
4. SMART OUTLET ADAPTERS.
If you've ever had a "Did I remember to unplug the iron?" moment, a smart outlet adapter could save you an unplanned trip home from work. Just plug the adapter into any ordinary outlet, and turn the power on or off from your smartphone. They're great for outlets that you use often for heat-generating devices like coffee makers and hair curlers. They also let you control lamps and stereos to give your home a lived-in look while you're on vacation. Because no wiring changes are needed, smart outlet adapters are a great first step in testing out smart-home technology.
5. VISUAL SIGNAL DOORBELLS AND SMOKE, CARBON MONOXIDE OR GAS SENSORS.
If any of your family members have a hearing deficit, a visual signal (flashing light or strobe) indicating that an alarm has sounded or that someone's at the door could be a lifesaver. A few extra minutes could make the difference in safely evacuating during an emergency.
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