4 Smart Home Devices That Make Your Home Safer

Mar 11, 2024 3 min read

Home security has changed a lot over the years. While a deadbolt on your door and locks on your windows still provide protection, there’s a lot more you can do today to keep your family and your home safe. 

With today’s smart home devices, you’re not just keeping out intruders. These systems and monitors allow you to keep an eye on your home from anywhere. With apps and notifications, they can alert you to all kinds of situations and potential problems, whether you’re at work, out with friends or on vacation in a far-flung location. 

If you are looking to add some smart home features, consider four types of the best smart home devices.

  1. Whole Home Security Systems

Today’s security systems protect against more than break-ins. Most secure smart home devices also alert you to fires, water damage, medical emergencies and more. They can connect to apps, so you know about a worrisome situation right away. And they can also be backed by professional monitoring services that are available night and day.

What to Look for

When reviewing your options, you’ll want to look for wireless connectivity, professional monitoring, installation assistance, smart capabilities that you can customize with rules for your household and smartphone capabilities.

Systems to Check Out

Do your homework and create a list of what you are looking for before starting the process. You may want a system that includes:

  • Detectors for water, hot and cold temperatures, smoke or carbon monoxide
  • Storage space for the video recordings from the cameras
  • Compatibility with your existing smart thermostats, lighting or other devices

Popular options include Abode, Ring and SimpliSafe.

  1. Smart Doorbells

Doorbells used to simply chime and alert you to a visitor on your doorstep. Now, they can act as security cameras and smart locking devices. You have the power to view — and often communicate with — the person at your door, unlock the door for package delivery or pull up a live feed, and you can control the system with your app.

What to Look for

When shopping for smart doorbells, look for wireless connectivity, high-definition video and photo recording, motion sensors, two-way audio and night-vision support.

Systems to Check Out

Compare the smart doorbells from Nest, Ring and Zmodo

  1. Water Leak Detectors

Smart home devices can keep items inside your house safe and functioning correctly as well. Whether it’s a broken pipe, rusted water heater or overflowing dishwasher, leak detectors can sense when you have a leak in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room or basement. 

The system will notify you with an app if it detects a leak. That means no more coming home after work or a vacation to a basement flooding surprise — with this alert, you can address the issue before flooding gets any worse. That’s important, since leaks that aren’t spotted right away can destroy furniture and lead to mold growth, which is expensive to treat.

What to Look for

Consider looking for detectors that offer Wi-Fi connectivity and warn of high humidity and freezing temperatures as well as water leaks — all of these can be costly to clean up. Some higher-end versions can automatically turn off your water supply if they detect a leak.

When comparing detectors and systems, consider the parts of your home where leaks could occur and the number of sensors you’ll need. 

Systems to Check Out

When reviewing your smart home device options for water leaks, be sure to consider the offerings from Aqara, D-Link, Honeywell, Kidde, Moen and Swann.

  1. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Traditional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with their loud alerts are essential for keeping your family safe. And with smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, you can monitor your home’s safety from anywhere. If you get an alert, you can contact your local firefighters even while you are away from home.

What to Look for

You will want a system that works while you are home and away, so be sure to find a detector with a loud, persistent alert, as well as one that sends a notification to your phone. 

Some models have a mute button that works with the app — that’s convenient if your smoke alarm regularly sounds off while cooking.

You may be able to integrate a smart smoke detector with other smart home devices. So, for example, you could automatically turn off the heating or cooling system to minimize smoke damage. 

Systems to Check Out

First Alert, Kidde and Nest Protect make models that are worth reviewing for your home.

Make Sure Your Home Is Protected

When it comes to the safety and security of your home, don’t forget about your insurance. The right home coverage and smart home monitoring devices can both give you peace of mind. 

Talk to your Farm Bureau agent about smart home ideas as well as the coverage for your possessions and your structure, and ask about any discounts available for using smart home devices.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.