Home Monitoring for Vacation Homes
One way to keep an eye on your vacation home is by installing a remote camera system. You can deter burglars this way, but you are only protecting your home from one danger. You can greatly reduce the risks of smoke and heat, freezing pipes, flooding, and trespassers using a variety of sensors. And the good news is they are not nearly as expensive as a complex camera system, but they can help in preventing problems or warn you if something is amiss on your remote property.
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Sensors and Notifying Devices
The types of products that can help you in this situation are sensors and notifying devices. The sensors will take readings and measurements on whatever you wish to monitor. Some sensors can actually fix any problems detected, while others can be signalling the notifying device to alert you to the situation. There are many sensors available to alert you to conditions like: wind, rain, indoor or outdoor temperature, indoor or outdoor motion, water leaks from your water heater, toilet, or other appliance, and doors or windows opening.
Electronic sensors function using the principle of contact closure. Just as light bulbs come on after you have flipped a switch, the sensors will open or close electrical contacts when the specified effects has triggered the sensor. For example, if a certain room’s temperature falls below a specified point, a set of contacts will be closed. After the room warms and the temperature reaches a set point, the contacts open again. Some other sensors that work the same way are motion sensors, glass breakage sensors, and rain sensors.
Another useful sensor for vacation homes is the water heater auto shut-off valve. It both detects early leaks and automatically turns your water off in case of a leak. You can also use this system for ice machines, dishwashers, and toilets.
Analog sensors are very complex and can report readings back to notifying devices so you will get a warning if temperatures fall below a certain specified level.
If you would like to save some money, you can put in an auto-dialer that calls out and plays a short message when a sensor is triggered. It can dial several phone numbers or pagers and play a pre-recorded message informing you of the problem.
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