The ability to secure and to automate your home are often mentioned benefits of smart home devices. This is correct, but smart home devices can also be used to help prevent home accidents and improve your home safety. This is incredibly important as more than 18000 adults and 2300 children suffer fatalities at home every year. For children, injuries are reported at 3.4 million which is not only extremely distressing but also has an effect on your medical premiums. The major sources of these accidents are: choking, drowning, falls, fires, guns, and poisoning.
Smart home hub and smart home devices to get fast accident warnings
A smart home hub like Almond – combined with smart home devices like sensors, lighting, and smart plugs – can create automations that monitor your home and set up warnings to help you prevent home accidents.
There are many places around your home that you don’t want your kids to go into, and things you don’t want them to touch. For example: near your gun safe, your liquor cabinet, or the cupboards in the kitchen where you keep your detergents, the garage where you have your power tools, in your shed or outside the gate of your garden and onto the street. You may not be able to lock a cupboard so it is really important you can monitor it to know if your kids are near.
Door and motion sensors to improve home safety
Door and motion sensors can alert you of the following things and many others:
- You forgot to close or lock a door.
- A curious child is trying to open a cupboard they shouldn’t be.
- Someone is in a room they shouldn’t be.
Door sensors usually come into two parts and work by being pulled apart; motion sensors you install up high and they detect movement in the near vicinity. In both cases after you have connected them to an Almond, you can get a notification to your smartphone to warn you.
Smart home hub and customized warnings
But, while, in some circumstances, it is good to get a warning notification to your phone, you don’t always have it in your pocket. In those circumstances, you need to get a warning in a different way. That is where a smart home hub that can connect to many other smart home devices and has a rules engine really helps. A sophisticated rules engine enables you to create custom warnings to suit where you are in the house or the time of day.
For example, you are exercising outside or even taking a bath. In this situation, if someone triggers the motion or door sensor, you can create an automation to: sound your alarm, set off a smoke detector, or flash your smart lights as well as sending a notification to your phone. You could even set a different warning for each room of the house so you know exactly where they are, responding quickly enough to prevent home accidents.
Prevent home accidents with a smart home hub and lights
Falling over is a major cause of accidents in the home. You can place a motion detector outside – or a door sensor on – an elderly relative or child’s bedroom, and then create an automation to turn on the lights for ten minutes when they go out to the bathroom at night. In the case of the door sensor, the light would only go off when someone shuts the bedroom door again. If you need to be very careful, you can then create another automation that alerts you if nobody has shut the bedroom door after, say, twenty minutes. The room occupant might be old and likely to fall, or have dementia, or even just be a naughty kid trying to raid the refrigerator at night.
Using smart plugs to improve home safety
Finally, you can also help prevent accidents from devices you forgot to switch off with smart plugs. If you plug a non-smart device into a smart plug – which in turn goes into the wall socket – you can gain limited control over it. You can’t get access to all the functions of the device, for that you have to go to the device itself. When you turn a smart plug on the device will be activated with the last manual settings.
But a smart plug can be extremely useful in making lamps, sprinklers, and many other devices into smart devices. Adding the smart plug means you are able to turn it on and off from your smartphone anywhere. This can be very helpful if you forgot to turn off a device like an iron or a heater and only realize when you get to work. Being able to switch it off from your smartphone not only saves the time to go home but may also mean the difference between causing a fire or not.
There is a multitude of innovative ways in which a smart hub like Almond can help improve home safety. We would love to hear from any readers about their safety concerns and or how they have used smart home devices to enhance their home safety.