A tablet with a smart home monitoring system sits on the coffee table, protecting a home from risk

Your home is your safe space. It’s where you spend time with loved ones and where you put your head down at night. From fire to carbon monoxide, there are plenty of things that can cause damage to your home and even put your family at risk — so it’s essential to have systems in place to monitor potential threats and keep your safe space safe. That’s where smart home technology comes in. Yes, traditional smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors will usually do the trick when you’re at home when a potential threat breaks out, but if you’re away from home, you won’t be around to hear these alarms go off. Here are a few types of smart home devices that can help alert you of potential risks, whether you’re at home, at the office, or anywhere in between.

Smart smoke detectors

Smart smoke detectors send alerts to your phone when they detect smoke, even when you’re not at home — so when you get an alert, you can call a neighbour and ask them to check in or call 911 from wherever you are. Some will even let you know exactly which room the danger is coming from, making it that much faster for you to address the potential issue. One of the most convenient features of smart smoke detectors is that you can usually silence an alert from your phone, so you’ll no longer have to worry about running to reset an alarm when it accidentally goes off while you’re cooking.

Smart carbon monoxide detectors

Even a small amount of carbon monoxide can put you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, so catching a leak quickly is extremely important. Much like smart smoke detectors, smart carbon monoxide detectors send an alert to your phone when carbon monoxide is detected in the air (and even let you know which room it’s coming from). If you’re at home, you can get everyone outside safely. If you’re not at home, you can contact the rest of your family to make sure they’re safe, then call the local fire department before you head home.

Smart water sensors and leak detectors

Smart water sensors can help alert you of a small leak before it becomes a big mess. Many leak detectors work using the same basic design, two probes that set off an alarm when they’re connected by water. Some will go further than alerts and even turn off your home’s main water supply when a leak is detected, which is especially helpful if you can’t get home right away to address the problem.

Smart home security systems

Smart home security systems can include motion sensors, silent alarms, sirens, door sensors, and security cameras that send text or push notifications or call your mobile phone when they’re set off — and most connect to smartphone apps that allow you to monitor them remotely and give access to neighbours or other emergency contacts. If you receive a notification when you’re not home, you can call 911 yourself or have a neighbour look for signs of a break-in. Some of these systems even come equipped with a speaker, so you can tell the burglars they’ve been caught on camera and police are on the way.

What kind of smart home technology can get you a discount on home insurance?

Most home insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners and tenants who install certain types of smart home technology (like monitored fire or burglary alarm systems, for example), whether you’re monitoring the system yourself or it’s monitored by an alarm company. If you’re thinking of installing a smart smoke detector or security system, talk to your group’s licensed broker to find out if your insurer will offer you a discount.

Smart home technology can be a real lifesaver, but it’s important to remember that with most technology, there’s always some room for error or failure. Be sure to do your research before you go choose which technology will work best for your household.

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