Your home is your castle, and your castle is your safest refuge. But to keep your castle safe these days – be it from burglars, fires, floods, and more – you can’t simply rely on your own eyes and ears anymore. Instead, smart kings and queens have started using a reliable army of alarms, sensors, and systems of other devices in their homes. And you can use them just the same. Read below to learn how to keep your loved ones safe and your castle protected from anyone or anything seeking to do you all harm.
Home Alarm Devices – Types and Uses
We all want peace of mind at home, no matter where it is that we’ve chosen to build our castles. And with all the varieties of home security systems and protection technologies that exist today, you can actually have it. So get to know your options, and then get rid of your worries.
Home Surveillance and Intrusion Protection
According to a 2011 report from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, there were a reported 2,845,000 burglaries that occurred all across the country. And, on average, these burglars stole more than $2,000 worth of goods from every single household they hit. But, when generally grouped together as home security, these devices and systems can stem that flow of goods from your home – and cash from your pocket.
- High-decibel Alarm/Sirens – Loud enough for nearby neighbors to hear, and to send an intruder fleeing from the unwanted attention.
- Motion Detectors – Protect a given space by creating an invisible zone that cannot be breached without sounding an alarm.
- Gate Sensors – Work in the same way as motion detectors, only built for your gates and to withstand the harsh, outdoor elements.
- Security Cameras – Available in both wired and wireless configurations, place cameras either inside your home or outside around your property to keep an eye on everything. You can also use them to record any security breaches, giving you footage of the home invasion and a good look at the burglars.
- Door and Window Contact Sensors – When the two parts of the sensor are joined together (with one part on the door/window itself, and the other on the door frame/window sill), they create a security circuit. And if that circuit is broken unexpectedly – with the door/window being opened, then the alarm goes off. (Works on garage doors as well.)
- Glass-break Sensors – Engineered to detect the unique sound pattern of shattering glass, it triggers an alarm if it detects anything.
- Control Panels – Allows you to control all these devices, as well as arm/disarm the system with your passcode.
“For your home, the best defense is a good – and smart – offense..”
And if you’re curious about how to compare home security systems, check out our article.
Protection from the Elements
The National Fire Protection Agency reports that, in 2015 alone, more than 365,000 house fires lit up the United States. These fires ended up causing over 2,650 civilian deaths, and more than $7.0 billion dollars in property damage. So, even though we may think we have tamed the elements, they are still very powerful, and more than capable of doing harm to our homes. Here’s how you can keep an eye on them.
- Smoke Detectors– Using either a photoelectric or ionization method of detection, these little guys have been finding smoke in homes since the 1960s, but now they’re so much better at doing their job. No more of the dreaded 2AM chirp, nor the excessive amount of false alarms.
- Fire Alarms – Loud enough alert nearby neighbors, as well as wake both you and them should the fire start in the middle of the night.
- Heat Sensors – Place these wherever there’s a possibility of high flames and intense heat occurring. They’re especially effective in locations where smoke detectors can’t be installed, either for fear of false alarms or on high ceilings where smoke can’t reach. They’re also great for environments that are prone to high levels of dust or fumes.
- Home Fire Sprinkler Systems – While these have been in commercial buildings for decades, they’re now also available in residential structures as well. And they’re just as effective at cutting the average property loss per fire by about 70%.
- Carbon Monoxide and Explosive Gas Sensors – The metal oxide gas sensor tests the air for any particles of airborne carbon monoxide (CO) – which is a silent, undetectable killer – as well as natural gas (methane) and propane. It triggers an alarm if it detects anything.
- Water Leak and Water Freeze Detectors – At the first sign of a leak (measured in drops), the device will alert you. It also has a built-in temperature sensor that does a read every hour, and if the temperature goes below the thresholds you’ve set, then the device will notify you.
In combination, these environmental protection devices can help you keep the elements outside, as well as notify you immediately should they ever come in.
Smart Home Automation
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average American spent more than $3,000 in 2012 to pay for his or her energy expenses. But when you’ve got an army of smart devices all fighting in automated fashion to keep that bill down and you safe, you’re likely to average a savings of over $1,000 a year on your bills. And these smart devices will wind up paying for themselves many times over during their lifespans. Some of the more common smart home devices are (click the links to learn more and for recommended devices):
This bevy of devices listed above (and many more as well) syncs with a home automation smart hub – such as the Apple HomeKit, Amazon Echo, WeMo, Logitech Harmony, LG HomeChat, etc. – which you can configure to send alerts to your smartphone via WiFi when any alarm is tripped. Some even employ wireless-interconnect technology, so that if one alarm sounds, all interconnected units (such as multiple fire alarms throughout the house) will sound as well.
In fact, you can take that cross-communication between smart home devices a step further. With interconnection across smart home devices – like a home alarm system and door locks, for example – you could enable the alarm to trigger the outdoor siren and unlock the front door for speedier access when help arrives, or to make for a speedier escape.
So if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to have become the victim of a burglary, house fire, or any other sort of residential tragedy, then you know how effective these home security devices can be at saving lives and minimizing property damage. If you haven’t, trust that you never want to. And for your castle, the best defense is a good – and smart – offense.