Most people think that home “alarm” systems are just that: relatively simple technology designed to detect and communicate intrusion, and perhaps fire. It’s no wonder that so many homeowners share that common conception: for years, that’s pretty much all the protection you got from the traditional providers. But today the definition of home security has evolved, in a number of ways:
- Safer cellular monitoring is replacing the vulnerable phone or internet connection to the monitoring center.
- Advanced interactive features now include notifications, remote control video, and home automation for control of lights, locks, and thermostats.
- Additional wireless sensors have expanded the role of the alarm system in the home beyond fire and intrusion monitoring.
Monitoring Your Environment
Once you are already monitoring for fire and intrusion, it just makes sense to broaden the range of sensors to include a variety of conditions, including carbon monoxide, low temperature, and even water level. Sensors for all these conditions are available today from the full service “real” alarm companies. What’s more, environmental monitoring should not add to your monthly cost – but be careful, as many alarm companies will nickel-and-dime you on these “extra” features. Excess water and flooding in the home is the condition I want to discuss today, and its relevant device: the wireless water/flood sensor.
Water Seepage into my own Home – Learning the Hard Way about Flood Sensors
Two years ago the DC region experienced several ferocious summer storms: the most severe was essentially a typhoon, with high winds that brought down many trees, and torrential rains. In fact, the downpour dislodged enough of our garden mulch to block the drain at the bottom of our outside basement stairs, and water flowed into our basement. Yes, we have a sump pump, but it was not working – and we were away at the time! And yes, there is a monitored flood sensor in our basement, but it was located at a higher part of the basement, near the furnace: it was not next to the sump, where it should have been. Suffice to say, the flood sensor is now next to the sump: since it’s the lowest point in the basement, a sensor located there provides the earliest warning. It was a humbling reminder, and I should have known better.
Notifications can Save the Day – and $
The great thing about these environmental sensors is that today’s interactive alarm features can take full advantage of them. You don’t necessarily want the monitoring center to react to a water sensor (who would they dispatch to your home?), but you can set your system to notify you or anyone you designate by text or email – and that is where these systems can really earn their keep. It’s a great second home application – you’ll know well before the damage occurs, and well before you find out that the furnace was flooded. Now that can be an expensive repair…
FrontPoint offers the full line of GE Security wireless sensors, including sensors for all the conditions listed above. The sensors themselves are extremely affordable, and can be added to your FrontPoint system at any time – with no additional monthly cost. As the leader in interactive, wireless home security, FrontPoint specializes in the products and services that provide the peace of mind you deserve in protecting your home and family. We can even protect cats and dogs – or against them!