As Hurricane Matthew continues to make headlines for the damage left in its wake, America is reminded of the damage that can be wrought by nature. Homeowners in southeastern states have been especially concerned, as images of boarded windows and reinforced doors can attest. What we can do to protect our own homes from damage in the future?
Few homeowners anticipate, much less strive to prevent, costly water damage. Floods are an incredibly common cause of property damage. In fact, water damage is one of the most prevalent types of losses in the claims and restoration industry. Every homeowner should be concerned about the potential of floods, outdoors or indoors.
Even new plumbing systems can malfunction if improperly set-up or maintained. This is not to mention unexpected complications, like faulty piping. For instance, dozens of manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers in the Southeast were recently targeted by a billion dollar lawsuit for defective piping in sprinkler systems. Pipes would sporadically burst, causing massive property damage and headaches for homeowners. Water damage can be unexpected and costly — and it can happen to anyone.
Innovators in the field of smart tech have created solutions for floods in the home. Some solutions will warn the homeowner of a potential flood, while some will actually automatically cut off water to the home when a flood occurs. Here are three great current and upcoming tools for protecting your home from flood damage:
Fibaro Flood Sensor
The Fibaro Flood Sensor is a simple water sensor. It emits a signal when water is detected. There are many practical applications for this device. When placed near piping, it can detect leaks. When placed near windows, or in the basement, it can detect when water is entering the home from outside.
The sensor can be used in conjunction with other connected smart gadgets. Users can be alerted on their smartphones of an emergency. Smart bulbs can be set to change color or pulse when water enters the home. Connected sirens can emit an audible alarm throughout the house. Automated water shut-off valves can be set to stop more water from entering the home if a leak occurs in piping. The applications of this little device are wide.
Reviews praise the Fibaro and its associated app for a simple, open interface. The device can be placed on the ground or suspended on roofs or walls, giving it a high level of versatility. On the downside, it is slightly pricey for a water sensor ($59.99). For users who want to monitor several areas, the price tag can quickly grow to unreasonable proportions.
FortrezZ Automated Water Shut-off Valve
This shut-off valve can stop water flow to the home upon command, and is compatible with other tech, such as the aforementioned Fibaro. When a connected water sensor signals that a flood is occurring, this device can automatically stop water from running. A flood can be prevented with no human intervention:
User reviews for the valve are positive. It sits at a respectable 4.5/5 stars on Amazon. FrotrezZ’s products seem to be well-built, and consumers remark that the valve is reliable and durable. Most complaints for the device stem from compatibility issues with certain smart hubs. As the price indicates, this gadget is exclusively for advanced users — and only for those with the plumbing expertise to install it.
Ping4 Water Level Sensors
While not yet widely available, water level sensors are being tested now that will automatically let users know when a flood might be coming. Ping4 is receiving funding from the Department of Homeland Security to develop the devices.
Anticipated to be be used by businesses and municipalities, wireless water level sensors can remotely warn individuals about impending floods. When the water level passes a user-defined threshold, an alert is sent to the user. The applications for this are obvious; when a flood is imminent, users will be the first to know. The alert allows for a faster response time. This will lead to a greater chance of securing your home and getting to safety in time.
Obviously, the price for something this sophisticated will be high. WIth any luck, we will all benefit when more areas adopt this technology. It may only be a matter of a few years before we receive automatic texts upon entering a potential flood zone.
The Internet of Things has automated and improved many processes in our day-to-day life. The ways in which smart tech can be used are seemingly endless. Complex tasks can be simplified. Mundane tasks can be automated. Even industrial sectors have begun to rely on smart technology to streamline processes. As more smart gadgets are released every day, clever tech enthusiasts will find new ways to secure and protect our homes. Our perception of home security will continue to change as time goes on.