Property damage can come at a great cost. Fires, water damage, burst pipes, tornados, and theft are just some of the types of damage that account for 97.3 percent of insurance claims according to the Insurance Information Institute – not to mention the damage to people that comes along with disasters like fires and floods.
While luck is sometimes stacked against us, ADT is using its technology to help level the playing field, with smart home devices that rely on sensors to detect, minimize, and even prevent calamity.
Not only may these devices give you a break on your insurance rates, but they can also help protect your most-valued property. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at five smart home devices, including fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide sensors, floors and freeze detectors, motion sensors, smart thermostats, and light sensors.
Five Essential Smart Home Device Sensors:
Smart Home Fire, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Sensors
While smoke and heat detectors have been around for a while, they are now becoming smarter. For example, some smoke alarm sensors can differentiate between burned toast and an actual house fire, so you have a chance to cancel the alarm before it goes off.
Sensor alarms are vitally important because nearly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. – when most people are sleeping.
Other types of pollutants can also threaten our air quality and health. For example, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill when it is present at high levels. It is important to install CO detectors that sound alarms at danger levels.
Two Benefits of ADT Fire, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Sensors
What can you expect after installing an ADT sensor?
Smartphone alerts: ADT has turned smoke and CO detectors into even smarter devices that send push notifications to your smartphone in the event of a fire or CO leak (which is particularly useful if the emergency occurs while you’re away from home and can’t hear the alarm).
Automatic unlock response: ADT smart home devices will also unlock exit doors to let in first responders and turn off the air in your home to slow down the spread of fire or deadly gases.
ADT devices are tracked 24/7 by our state-of-the-art monitoring stations. In the event of a fire or CO leak, the monitoring team immediately notifies the homeowner and contacts emergency services.
Smart Home Flood and Freeze Detectors
Water and freeze damage takes the number two spot among the leading causes of property damage insurance claims, with the average cost of a home water damage insurance claim is $6,965. A burst water pipe in your home or a small leak in a cottage property closed for the season can cause major destruction.
The sensors on ADT’s flood detectors can help you minimize damage by catching it early. With battery-powered wireless connectivity, the alarm sensors can easily be installed in places where water damage often occurs, such as appliances connected to water lines and basements prone to water seepage.
With an ADT security package, not only will you get instant alerts when a leak starts to occur, your security system will be disarmed and your smart-lock door can be opened for emergency crews.
Smart Home Motion Sensors
When it comes to smart home security technology, motion sensors play a pivotal role. By detecting movement, they can tell you if someone is in your house or approaching it. Once the smart home sensor picks up the motion, it can alert a monitoring center, which in turn triggers actions such as notifying the homeowner via their smartphone or contacting law enforcement.
Motion sensors can react to someone approaching your doors or windows or moving inside your house. They can even trigger a doorbell as someone gets close to your house. Motion sensors can also alert you when your pet goes into an off-limits area or your teenager tries to sneak out of the house.
Most motion sensors today are wireless, so they’re easy to set up. The different types of motion sensors include:
Passive Infrared (PIR) – The most common kind of motion sensor works by detecting body heat (infrared energy) and movement.
MicroWave (MW) – This sensor emits microwave pulses that measure the reflection of a moving object.
Dual Technology – These sensors reduce false alarms by using both PIR and MW technologies. This technology is often employed to detect the motion of animals, so family pets, for example, don’t keep on setting off security alarms.
Area Reflective Type – This type of sensor measures the distance to a person or object using a reflection of an infrared ray emitted from an LED.
Ultrasonic – Ultrasonic sensors send out pulses of ultrasonic waves and measure the reflection of a moving object.
Vibration – These types of sensors, which are often homemade, detect vibrations but are considered unreliable.
These sensors break down into two categories:
Passive Motion – Uses passive infrared to detect emitted infrared energy or heat.
Active Motion – Works with sound waves and is often used in automatic doors, such as garage doors.
For windows and doors, ADT often uses a two-piece magnetic contact sensor. When the system is armed and a door or window is opened, the two magnetic sensors become separated from each other, tripping the alarm.
However, ADT uses other types of sensors as well. For example, ADT uses glass break sensors for windows. These sensors have a 25-foot range and protect a large swath of your home as they detect the smashing of window glass. This type of sensor often eliminates the need for a sensor on every window.
ADT also offers a choice of indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras that are activated by motion sensors. Typically, these cameras record high-quality videos in even dark or low-light conditions. With your ADT app on your smartphone, you can watch live video from any of your indoor and outdoor cameras.
With the ADT video doorbell camera, you can receive alerts when someone approaches your door, see who they are, then talk to your visitor via two-way audio. You can also open the door remotely if you’d like to let your visitor in.
Smart Home Thermostats
With a smart thermostat, you can control the heating and cooling of your house, wherever you are. A good thermostat will let you adjust the temperature separately for every room, so the temperature is comfortable while you are in the room and then goes back to a default energy-saving mode when you leave.
With the ADT mobile app, you can use your smartphone to control your smart thermostat. You can set up custom alerts so you know when your home gets too cold or warm in your absence. With this functionality, you can ensure that water pipes don’t burst during a freeze or that your pet doesn’t get uncomfortably warm when home alone.
The smart thermostat works with most standard HVAC systems and heat pumps.
Smart Home Lights
Smart home devices with light sensors can work to turn home lights on or off when it gets dark or bright. A smart bulb is a LED light bulb that can be connected to the internet and allows lighting to be customized, scheduled, and controlled remotely.
If you forget to turn off the basement light, the light sensor can do this for you. Using the bulbs’ timers or controlling them with your smartphone, you can set smart light bulbs to go on and off on a schedule, even adjusting their level of brightness throughout the day.
Controlling the smart light bulbs in your house is easy with the ADT mobile app, which can integrate them with your home security system. You can arrange, for example, for the smart lights to come on automatically if the ADT smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sounds.
How to Control All of Your Smart Home Sensors Through ADT Control App
With so many different sensor-activated smart home devices, it’s important for a homeowner to have easy, centralized control over them all. This capability helps optimize energy consumption and enables better security protections.
With the ADT Control App, you can use your smartphone to easily control your smart security and home automation devices from virtually anywhere. Among other things, the app allows you to:
Arm or disarm your security system from virtually anywhere.
Configure the app to send alerts when your system status changes or a door is unlocked.
View live video to check in on your home when you receive an alert from one of your sensors.
Lock or unlock your doors remotely.
Control your lights remotely so your home always looks occupied.
Adjust your smart thermostat to make everyone comfortable.
You can also automate clusters of functions with the one-tap “Scenes” option. You could, for example, set up a scene that turns on your lights and adjusts your temperature for when you come back from work. With geofencing technology, you could even arrange for your garage door to open and your security system to turn off as you pull into the driveway.
The ADT smart security system also works with Alexa, the digital personal assistant, to control many of the system’s functions with voice commands. You can ask Alexa to arm or disarm your system, control your lights and locks, open or close your garage door, and much more.
ADT Smart Home Solutions
At ADT our sensor-based smart home solutions can help you do everything from controlling your climate and monitoring for fire and carbon monoxide emergencies to keeping you safe from intruders. To find out what our selection of smart home security services and products can do for you, give us a call. We’re ready to answer any and all of your security questions!