Nobody wants to spend their holiday worrying about disasters happening unheeded at home. Burglaries, leaks and fires will happen, and while they’re undoubtedly unpleasant things to return to, letting them occupy our minds will defeat the purpose of a holiday. Thankfully, the evolution of smart tech has brought with it handy innovations to remove as much of the worry as possible and hand a degree of control to homeowners, even when they’re out of the country. Home Product Manager Adam Dawson at MoreTh>n, has picked out the best new products out there to keep your home safe and secure and give you peace of mind while you’re off enjoying yourself.
If you’re out, you’re out, right? Not entirely. Ring’s video doorbell creates a middle ground that allows you to answer your doorbell, even if you’re on the other side of the world. When someone rings your doorbell, you get an alert via your phone, tablet or laptop (it’s compatible with iOS, Android, Mac and Windows). The video camera and two-way mic on the doorbell allow you to see and talk to the person calling, whether it’s to tell a courier to leave your parcel with a neighbour or to give the impression that you’re home and can’t come to the door, should the caller look a little suspicious. The camera also records in hi-def 720p, so you’ll be able to capture the image of anyone who comes to your door, and it will also alert you to any motion it detects.
Nest offer a range of smart products, from cameras to thermostats, that can talk to each other – and other products, more on that later – to create a truly connected home. In the interests of home security, their smoke and CO2 alarm is especially useful. Whereas most regular smoke detectors and CO2 alarms serve primarily to get you out in the event of a problem, Nest’s products also work in tandem with your laptop, tablet and phone to let you know remotely when there’s smoke or high levels of CO2. The connected app allows you to enter an emergency contact number, so you can just tap the alert to notify the fire brigade or National Gas Emergency Service, without having to remember the number. If you also have a Nest camera, you can use that to check your property 24/7 while you’re away. These can even differentiate between sounds, such as a dog barking and a person talking, and alert you to any unusual activity.
In the dark days before smart technology, if there was a leak while you were on holiday, the first you’d know about it was the deluge of water that greeted you at the front door, forever ruining your memories of waves lapping at your feet. Leakbot works to let you know about even the smallest of leaks so that you can act before they become a serious issue. You just position the smiley little box on the pipe near your stop tap and it will alert you when it spots a change in the flow of water through your pipes. Leakbot’s app can also arrange a Homeserve repair person to come to your house to fix the problem.
One device to rule them all…
While all these innovations are incredibly useful in their own right, what elevates them to a new level is how they can ‘talk’ to each other and combine in fascinating ways. Using tech such as If This Then That, Google Home or Amazon’s Echo home assistant, you can connect all your smart tech together and use one device to control them all, whether you’re in another country or on your way home from the office.
While these devices can help alert you to problems, it’s still important to have home insurance – so that you’re covered against any damage or theft – and to take steps to keep your home as safe as possible. Read our guides to home security and our top ten tips for summer home security and add an extra layer of protection while you’re away.