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Video: Smart home: water, fire, gas: intelligent alarm systems protect the home
Fire and gases cause severe damage, water leaks ruin the wall and floor. In a smart home, however, dangers can be limited and anger avoided.
Damage caused by fire, water or gases is one of the dangers of every household. Insurance against such damage is therefore essential. It is best not to be able to use them at all. Because correspondence with the insurance company and extensive renovations are not only annoying, but also time-consuming. Intelligent alarm devices, on the other hand, save us damage and trouble.
Not only water can leak
Although every modern washing machine is equipped with a water stop that takes effect when the supply line bursts, water damage is still the order of the day. Because if it is not the washing machine, the water comes through leaky basement windows after a heavy rain. Broken or brittle water pipes and heating pipes as well as all kinds of drains from wash basins, showers and bathtubs, flushing toilets or the solar thermal system also cause annoyance. Undetected, there is a risk of expensive consequential damage. The floor coverings and insulation have to be renewed, sometimes the screed underneath has to be drilled out and dried with power-consuming dehumidifiers. Old heating oil tanks in the basement will leak after many years, the escaping liquid will go unnoticed for a long time.
Often only tap water is insured
In such cases, the existing household contents insurance only covers damage caused by tap water. Here the residents are obliged to prevent frost damage, for example, by protecting water or heating pipes in particular - otherwise the insurance company will not pay a cent. The same applies to unsupervised washing machines. You should always keep an eye on this, because the use of a water stop does not meet the requirements of household insurance with regard to supervision.
Elementary damage policy
Broken downpipes, rising groundwater after a flood or thunderstorm that flows through the basement windows are not covered by the household contents insurance. These dangers can only be covered by additional elementary damage insurance. However, this is often only available to those who do not live in the flood zone. So prevention is the order of the day. For the modern smart home, there are numerous sensors that report any damage immediately and let us intervene to prevent worse things from happening.
Watch the water guard
Leakage systems ensure that leaky water pipes are automatically shut off. In cooperation with an insurance company, the RWE subsidiary Innogy, for example, offers a water monitor that should provide quick help in the event of a claim. The device, the size of a mailbox, is docked directly onto the main water pipe by a specialist. It constantly records water pressure, temperature, flow rate and consumption. If this is suddenly increased, the entire water supply is automatically shut off. This watch also detects so-called micro-leaks, i.e. small leaks that slowly lead to damage. When using such a device, the insurance grants an additional ten percent discount on the residential property policy.
Practical combination sensors
Floor sensors that sound the alarm when they come into contact with liquids are cheaper and easier to use. The Fibaro flood sensor, for example, offers several functions. Mounted on the floor or on the wall, it not only reports escaping liquids, but also droplet formation, rapid temperature rise and a temperature drop when a cellar window bursts in winter. So that it doesn't go off alone and unnoticed in the basement, it can be connected to a conventional alarm system from other manufacturers by radio or cable. The Z-Wave radio standard uses other components to bypass alarms even from more distant places in the home. Such an alarm reaches residents either via the built-in siren, the central alarm system or via a message on a smartphone. In the event of rapid flooding, the floating sensor does not go under and sends its alarm at any time. In connection with the flood sensor from the same manufacturer, the main water line is shut off at the same time. This multifunctional and compact monitor even controls the underfloor heating on request.
Multiple fire hazards
Fire damage should also be protected and prevented in the smart home. Causes of house and apartment fires, which are not insured in the event of gross negligence: candlelight without supervision, smoking in bed, an electrical outlet is overloaded with too many devices, the power cables start to burn, an open fireplace gets out of control. Fires often occur at night when the residents are asleep. Then heat and smoke spread quickly. The corresponding smoke alarms are now mandatory in Germany (only Bavaria, Berlin and Brandenburg as well as Thuringia can still take some time). The currently technically safest solution is optical smoke detectors, which also work with cold smoke in smoldering fires. They are available in combination with additional heat or carbon monoxide sensors, which should reduce the risk of false alarms. Better than sensors that only become active on their own are those in conjunction with other sensors and an alarm center that wakes the residents or reaches a security service provider directly. In the event of a fire, a control center also initiates other sensible actions: the gas connection is sealed off, the escape routes in the house are illuminated and the exhaust air system is switched on to blow smoke and toxic gases outside.
Carbon monoxide or CO2 sensors are also recommended for fireplace owners: Cold smoldering fires or leaky flue pipes in the stove, which is supposed to burn overnight, have already cost the lives of many residents. You don't smell this gas and it slowly makes you tired. CO2 sensors record the gases of a fire, in this case carbon dioxide.
Various sensors should be networked in the smart home in order to achieve maximum security and room coverage and to reach the head office in any case. Individual sensors without central administration are only suitable for smaller apartments in which the alarm can be heard everywhere. For the connection with the outside world, another component is required, which gets the residents or the fire brigade busy on the phone or via the Internet. Every well-known SmartHome provider has such sensors on offer. Often in combination with other functions such as light, temperature or intelligent device control via a common center. They are operated using a smartphone app.
In this post you read:
- Water, fire, gas: intelligent alarm systems protect the home
- Smart Home for more security