Technology advances have provided us with more ways to protect our homes and families from danger, but how do you choose from hundreds of smart home gadgets? We’ve poured through the reviews to identify four ways that you can prevent harm from electrical surges, overheating of electronic devices, and environmental contaminants.
Power surge protection
Your first consideration in evaluating surge protective devices (SPDs) should be the safety of your television, Internet connection, computers, and appliances, but a severe power surge could result in a fire. Lightning strikes can pass through surge protectors and come through your phone or cable line. Power surges can even originate inside the home as large appliances power on and off.
For whole home protection, Leviton offers several models of Type 2 SPDs that protect the home’s entry point of electrical service from residual lightning energy and internally generated surges. Following a surge event, a surge module can be easily replaced. Features include high levels of protection against transient surge capacity and instantaneous response time.
For economical surge protection at the electrical outlet, the TrippLite TLP1208 model series features options for telephone, cable, and satellite input and output with a surge suppression rating of 2880 joules. Additional features include EMI/RFI noise filtering, resettable circuit breaker, diagnostic indicators, automatic shutoff, and $150,000 insurance for connected equipment.
Electrical device overheating protection
Protect your home from fires caused by overheating of electrical devices by installing a smart plug on electrical outlets.
The D-Link DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug allows you to control power to your devices from an Internet-connected iOS or Android app. Thermal sensors detect when a device is overheating and automatically shuts it off. Energy usage can be monitored to help you save on electricity costs by creating on/off schedules for connected devices. Connection to an existing Wi-Fi network takes only a few minutes. Integration with the Amazon Echo allows for hands-free voice control. Pair with IFTTT (If This Then That) devices and apps as part of a smart home solution.
Environmental contaminant protection
Birdi, the latest smart technology in environmental sensors, combines sensing of smoke, carbon monoxide, and air quality into a single device that provides in-home and smartphone alerts.
Birdi’s fire protection sensor detects fast-burning and smoldering fires with the ability to minimize false alarms. The smoke alarm can be silenced from your smart phone or by saying “quiet” when within range of the sensor.
In-home air quality sensors provide insights on small particulates, dust and other allergens, stale air carbon dioxide, low-level carbon monoxide, VOCs, temperature, and humidity. Outside the home, Birdi detects pollution, pollen, and other particulates. When there is an emergency, authorities and other pre-configured contacts can be automatically notified.
Affordable investments in smart technology can save you money by preventing the need for claims against your homeowners or renters insurance and the potential for increased rates. More importantly, you can protect the health and safety of people in and around your home with a few inexpensive gadgets.