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Home Security 101: Wireless Water/Flood Sensor Examined

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June 23, 2014
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Home Security 101: Wireless Water/Flood Sensor Examined

It’s time to cover one more wireless sensor that falls under the heading of “environmental” protection. By this point we are almost done with our introduction of the various wireless sensors that make up effective home security technology.Today we’ll talk about the wireless water/flood sensor. 

Focus on Wireless Technology

First, let’s remember that this Monday blog series is focused on everything you need to know, so that you can shop home security with confidence.And let’s also bear in mind that we are talking about wireless sensors. That’s because there are many more wireless sensors installed today than the hardwired variety: we already delved into the specifics of why that’s the case. Here are a few reminders:

  1. Wireless sensors are completely reliable, especially when they are the supervised variety
  2. They are easier and quicker to install, particularly when dealing with existing construction
  3. They are easier to troubleshoot and to replace, since wiring (the main cause of sensor problems) is non-existent
  4. They are easier to add and to move. This is especially important if you have a DIY alarm system that you want to move with you to your next home

Not Just Intrusion and Fire Detection

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:

  1. Safer cellular monitoring is replacing the vulnerable phone or internet connection to the monitoring center
  2. Advanced interactive features now include notifications, remote control video, and home automation for control of lights, locks, and thermostats
  3. Additional sensor technologies 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.

Water in My Own Basement - Learning the Hard Way about Flood Sensors

This year, the Washington, DC region has experienced some torrential rain storms. Many homeowners that have not had water problems for years found themselves with wet basements. In fact, one storm dislodged enough of our garden mulch to block the drain at the bottom of our outside basement stairs, and water flowed into our basement.

Sensor Placement Matters

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, and not next to the sump, where it should have been. Suffice to say, the flood sensor is now next to the sump: since that’s generally 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 Money

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. You’ll know well before the damage occurs, and well before you find out that the furnace was flooded. Now that can bean expensive repair.

Protected – and Connected

As you can see, these systems really do offer more peace of mind. We only have a few devices left to cover before we address how to design the right systems for your home and lifestyle: by then you’ll know everything your system can (and should!) do. Once you’re smarter about how these systems work, and what you need, you’ll be able to make the right decision about the right technology – and the right alarm company – so that you can feel safe and snug whether you’re at home, or on the road. And that means more peace of mind for you, which is exactly our goal. See you next Monday!

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