6 Ways Technology Is Making Homes Safer

With all the hype surrounding cutting-edge consumer tech these days, it’s easy for the less exciting stuff to fall through the cracks. After all, a new smartphone or VR headset seems a lot more interesting than a doorbell camera or doorstop alarm.

However, practical gadgets like these are promising to keep us safe in amazing new ways. And thankfully, there are some very cool devices out there that can satisfy our inner technophile while also protecting us.

1. Alarm systems ward off intruders.

Intruders want to come in your house, and you want to keep them out. In fact, it’s estimated that a burglary occurs every 20 seconds. Enter the modern alarm system, which is much more than a simple burglar alarm. These systems and services employ advanced motion sensors to power networks of cameras, lights, and alarms.

Such alarms systems even offer an impressive array of sensors—including moisture, freeze, and carbon monoxide—and are starting to incorporate smart home tech like smart thermostats and garage door openers. The idea is to offer a total home safety package, and for many people, it works.

2. Connected cameras alert you of suspicious activity.

You might not need a full alarm system, but you may still want to keep tabs on things when you’re not around. There’s a whole new generation of security cameras that aim to do just that. Probably the most well-known is the Nest Cam, a connected camera that records 1080p HD video 24/7 and automatically stores the last thirty days of it in the Cloud.

You can check on your camera from your smartphone to see what’s going on, or get customized alerts when it detects something out of the ordinary. You can even speak into your phone and have the Nest Cam act as a microphone, so you can tell your dogs to get off the couch no matter where you happen to be.

3. Motion sensors help prevent falls.

Motion sensors are becoming quite advanced, and there is a lot you can do with them. They can alert you when a pet or young kid runs out the front door, trigger doorbells when someone approaches your porch, and turn on lights when someone is in the vicinity.

Most people think motion sensors are for only the outdoors, as they are great for letting you know if someone is in your yard when they shouldn’t be. However, you can also set them up inside. One possibility is to have your hallway or bathroom lights come on automatically when you enter, so you don’t trip over something and hurt yourself trying to navigate in the dark.

4. Smart smoke detectors stop fires.

A smoke alarm is not necessarily going to top a list of most exciting gadgets, but it is essential tech for any home. Companies like Nest are doing their best to innovate the traditional smoke alarm: the Nest Protect is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector that speaks alerts, rather than sounding an alarm.

Another nice thing about the Nest Protect is that if you have more than one, they can talk to each other. So, if one in the kitchen detects your dinner is burning, another in your bedroom will let you know.

5. GPS pet trackers keep your pets safe.

If you have a pet that likes to do a little solo exploring, you might want to consider one of these. One nice option is the Whistle GPS Pet Tracker, a slick little device that attaches to your pet’s collar and sends location information straight to your phone.

With this device, you can even define a custom Whistle Zone for your pet. You get alerts on your phone if they leave that zone, so you can start tracking them right away. The Whistle also tracks physical activity, so you can make sure your pet gets enough exercise and sleep.

6. GPS child trackers monitor your child’s location.

Like the pet wearables, GPS wearables for children track your child’s location and send it to your phone. They are often made to look like regular watches or bracelets, and there is one standout product that deserves a mention: AngelSense.

AngelSense is designed for children with special needs, so it offers several specific features geared toward the needs and challenges of these kids and their parents. For instance, AngelSense’s Runner Mode updates frequently and automatically alerts authorities if necessary. AngelSense also has an alert if your child is somewhere they have never been before and provides the ability to listen in on your child’s surroundings.

This list should give you an idea of the great things happening with home safety tech these days. This is just the tip of the iceberg, though—as smart home tech becomes more mainstream, expect to see more ways to stay safe.