7 smart devices to protect your home
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7 smart devices to protect your home

by American Modern July 11, 2024

Keeping your home safe these days goes way beyond guard dogs, spotlights and deadbolts. Smart devices help you control access and keep an eye on things from anywhere on your mobile device. And they never take naps (sorry, Fang).

Below are just some of the ways smart devices can protect your home, plus some product options to consider. Of course, new applications are being invented all the time. So get reading and get smart.

Security cameras. Watch a live feed from every corner of your home and get alerts when motion sensors detect any activity. Since you can place these cameras anywhere, it’s a great way to keep tabs on vulnerable areas like driveways or carports that aren’t usually monitored by home security systems. No need to hire a security company to install the system; several DIY options are simple to install and extremely effective. SimpliSafeNest, and Wink all have superb ratings and are user-friendly.

Outlets and plugs.  Remote-control electrical outlets and smart plugs are the way to go when you’re going away. They can transform practically any appliance or electronic into a smart device—just plug it in and open the app to set timers, turn lights on or off, and adjust dimmers. The Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch is a top seller, and products like the Belkin WeMo Switch, Edimax Wi-Fi Smart Plug, AVANTEK Remote Control Outlet Switch, and the iHome Smart Plug also have great reviews.

Doorbell cameras. Virtually answer your front door or simply keep tabs with built-in motion sensors that send alerts when company arrives or when packages are delivered. With HD cameras that can record suspicious activity, you’ll always have an eye on your home, day or night. Ring Video Doorbell Camera allows you to answer the door and check in on your home anytime.

Window shades and light bulbs. You can install smart window shades and light bulbs that won’t break the budget. Smart shades can be controlled through mobile apps or even your voice, which can be convenient when you’re busy. Schedule times for the shades to open and close when you’re traveling to block prying eyes, or periodically adjust them throughout the day like when you’re home. If a thief sees lights going on and off and window shades going up and down, they may rethink targeting your home.

Padlocks. If you have a tool shed or storage unit to secure, smart padlocks might be the key. Some come complete with fingerprint scanners or sound an alarm if they’re tampered with. Also great for locking up that spare case of valuables or simply locking a gate or outside door. Great options include the Master Indoor Bluetooth Smart Padlock, the Noke Keyless Bluetooth Smart Padlock, the Quicklock Bluetooth & RFID Smart Padlock, and the Dog & Bone Locksmart Mini Bluetooth Padlock. If you travel a lot, the eGeeTouch Smart TSA Travel Lock and Schlage EncodeTM Smart WiFi Deadbolt grant access to trusted friends and family with customized access codes, and tell you when the lock has been opened.

Virtual assistants. This list wouldn’t be complete without the almighty Alexa by Amazon Echo. Besides asking Alexa to rap (yes, she raps!) or check the weather or sports scores, you can also ask her to help guard your home. Set up Guard in the Alexa app and get alerts if your Echo device hears a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarms, or glass breaking. Or pair your device with Away Lighting, and Alexa will automatically turn smart lights on and off to make it look like someone’s home. Amazon offers Ring Alarm or ADT bundles that let your Echo device integrate with either security system.

Water sensors. We’ve seen the damage done by burst pipes. It’s not pretty. Ruined floors, ceilings and walls. Lost mementos and irreplaceables. And an average claim cost of more than $10,000.* Avoid the mess and stress with low-cost smart sensors that help you limit loss by detecting leaks before they become disasters and alerting you to take action. They’re easily placed under water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines; you can also install a whole-house water monitoring systems that shuts off the water supply when a leak is detected. Kangaroo and StreamLabs are a few device manufactures to look for.

Bonus tip: Remember to protect your Wi-Fi too. Personalize your passwords, and make them even more unique by scrambling upper and lowercase letters or using numbers for letters. Set up a generic email account (not your personal one) for notifications from your connected Wi-Fi devices. Finally, make sure to stay current with software and firmware updates.

* According to a 2019 ISO Report based on 2017 claims data.

For information only. Not applicable to all situations. American Modern does not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information or make any guarantees from the use of the information or products. American Modern has not tested these products and does not warrant the merchantability, fitness, or quality of any products referenced herein. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions, or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Consult with a qualified professional and/ or supplier to determine what is appropriate for you.

American Modern

American Modern is a widely recognized specialty insurance leader that delivers products and services for residential property--like manufactured homes and specialty dwellings--and for consumers in the recreational market, including owners of boats, personal watercraft, classic cars, motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles. For more information, visit