Environmental hazards are always a concern for your home or office, but they’re especially a concern in the wintertime. The colder months bring freezing temperatures and winter storms that can cause pipes to burst, create power outages, and send people scrambling for candles, generators, and other items that make fires and carbon monoxide poisoning a real danger. This is why implementing an environmental hazard detection plan into your security system makes good sense.
While these kinds of protections are especially excellent to have in place during cold weather months, leaks and broken pipes, carbon monoxide poisoning, and fires can happen at any time. Here’s how to make sure your home and office are protected all year round.
How Home Water Sensors Protect More Than Your Pipes
While a broken pipe doesn’t sound like a devastating home disaster, the problem with these kinds of issues is that leaking appliances or damaged pipes can create extensive water damage before you even realize there’s an issue. At best, a leak can be a headache with quite a bit of water to be mopped up and flooring to be dried out. At worst, severe flooding can come through ceilings (if it occurs on an upper floor) or accumulate and destroy entire rooms (if a pipe bursts in the basement).
The problem is that broken pipes and water leaks can go on quietly before you ever discover that something’s gone wrong. This is why home water sensors should be a part of your environmental hazard detection strategy. They’ll help detect water leaks early — before major damage can occur.
Home water sensors can be installed anywhere leakages or broken pipes might be a concern. You can place them near a refrigerator with a water/ice dispenser, a washing machine, a toilet, or any appliance where leaking or overflowing could result in a major cleanup or potential damage. They can also be installed near kitchen or bathroom sinks. Finally, installing home water sensors in basements and near sump pumps ensures there’s always 24/7 monitoring of the areas of your home that are most likely to flood.
With the sensors tied into your home security system, you’ll receive notifications on your smartphone as soon as a water leak triggers an alert. This will enable you to shut off the water and make pipe or appliance repairs before extensive damage can occur.
Avoiding Freeze-Outs With Low-Temperature Sensors
Leaks and broken pipes aren’t 100 percent avoidable, but there are steps you can take to try to prevent them. One of the best strategies is to ensure that temperatures in your home can’t fall low enough for pipes to freeze. Low-temperature sensors will monitor and alert you if temperatures fall into the danger zone.
How low is too low? The experts suggest that home temperatures shouldn’t be allowed to fall below 55° F. Pipe-freezing temperatures typically aren’t a problem in areas of a house where people are actively living, but they can become a concern in basements, in vacation homes, or if homeowners are traveling during the winter months.
When you install environmental hazard detection devices such as low-temperature sensors, you’re tuned into what’s going on in all parts of your home, whether you’re there or away. This means if the temperature moves into the danger zone in the basement, the sensors will alert you. Similarly, if the mercury drops while you’re out of town, you won’t be caught unawares.
Just like water sensors, tying low-temperature sensors into your home security system with a smart thermostat will not only keep you in the loop – it will also keep you in control. Smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature in different areas of your home even if you’re away. They also learn your habits to help optimize energy use, which is a double win.
Utilizing Home Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can emanate from many different sources — from generators and gas appliances to heaters and furnaces that aren’t vented properly. If it builds up inside a home, it can cause people to feel nauseous, weak, dizzy, or even lose consciousness.
A buildup of carbon monoxide is a year-round danger, but cases of carbon monoxide poisoning go up each year as the temperature drops. This is because winter storms that result in power outages and extreme temperatures cause many people to use generators for electricity; they may also turn to heat sources that can emit the gas.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly. This is why home carbon monoxide detectors are essential environmental hazard detection devices for every single residence.
It’s important to install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, with a special focus on placing them outside of sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide is different than smoke; instead of rising towards the ceiling, it’s heavier than air and tends to sink. Make sure to install carbon monoxide detectors at about knee-height in order to ensure that they pick up the gas as soon as possible.
While home carbon monoxide detectors should set off an audible alarm to alert anyone who is currently in the house, it’s also essential to tie them into a monitored home security system. This will do two things: notify you via a smartphone (making you aware of the danger if you’re away and have pets or family members at home), as well as alert rescue personnel in case someone in the house is unconscious or in danger.
Why Home Fire Alarms Are Not Set-It-and-Forget-It Devices
Another year-round danger that rises sharply in the winter is house fires. The use of fireplaces in cold temperatures and candles when winter storms knock out electricity make the threat of fires very real as the mercury drops. Home fire alarms can help keep your family safe and alert you if there’s danger.
It’s especially important to make sure that your home fire alarms are all tied into your home security system. This means that the fire alarms will do more than simply make a noise; just like monitored carbon monoxide detectors, they’ll send alerts to you, as well as notifying rescue personnel.
Home fire alarms should be installed on every floor of your home, outside of sleeping areas, in each bedroom, and in hallways. The maximum distance between each alarm should be no more than 30 feet. Test them once a month to make sure they’re working properly and if they run off of batteries, change the batteries once a year.
Environmental Hazard Detection Devices Keep Your Home and Family Safe
Wintertime weather brings with it an increased concern about broken pipes and carbon monoxide buildup from heating appliances, but safety devices that protect your home and family during the winter months are also important during the rest of the year. With water and low-temperature sensors, carbon monoxide and home fire alarms, your home will be covered from multiple dangers.
It’s not enough to simply put sensors and detectors up and forget about them, however. Connecting these environmental hazard detection devices to your home security system adds another layer of protection. This ensures that you’ll receive home security notifications if a sensor or detector is triggered. In addition to this, your monitoring service will be alerted and can send police or fire personnel, if needed.
By installing the right equipment in the proper locations of your home and having it monitored, you’ll ensure that your home and family are always being protected — not just during the frigid winter months, but every day of the year.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.