5 gadgets anyone can use for a safer, smarter home - Kentucky Farm Bureau

5 gadgets anyone can use for a safer, smarter home

Embracing smart home technology can seem incredibly daunting at first, but through simple, app-based controls, professional installation services, and affordable price points, anyone can make their home a little more intelligent.

Whether you’re a computer programmer or someone who can barely program the clock on the microwave, smart technology can be useful for and used by anyone. | Photo credit: Adobe Stock

Picture this: You’re driving to work on a hectic Monday morning, stuck in an endless line of cars, when a sinking feeling washes over you, and you think to yourself: “Did I lock the backdoor?”

If you’re like most people, this unnerving scenario is familiar. We’re human, after all, and when we rush around constantly from one place to another, we’re eventually bound to forget something. But what happens when this oversight affects the things and people we value most?

Well, there’s an app for that… and an appliance, and a lock, and a sensor, and every type of “gadget” imaginable. Our technology is smarter than ever before. While we haven’t quite reached “Rosie the Robot Maid” levels of advancement, living in a Jetsons-like world is becoming more of a reality each day.

Countless smart home solutions hit the market each day, and this technology, which is geared toward the average consumer, can be found just about anywhere. Whether you’re a computer programmer or someone who can barely set the clock on the microwave, smart tech can be useful for and used by anyone.

Embracing new technology can seem daunting at first, but through simple, app-based controls; professional installation services; and affordable price points; anyone can make their home a little more intelligent.  

Check out five devices you can install today to create a safer, smarter home:

1. Smart security cameras

Security cameras and other home-monitoring technologies have been around for years, but gone are the days of needing to pay for expensive installations and monthly monitoring fees. With an internet connection and a connected device, just about anyone can take home monitoring into their own hands. The available options are limitless, from outdoor surveillance systems to indoor, motion-activated devices that alert you every time movement is detected. Weather-proof cameras ensure monitoring even during the storm, and night-vision devices keep a watchful eye on your home at all hours of the day. With many consumer-grade security cameras for sale at under $100, and with both hard-wired and battery-powered options available, you can trust that your home will be secured in a way that suits your specific needs. 

2. Smart doorbells
Think you have to be home to answer the door? Think again. Through the power of technology, you can now answer your door from anywhere in the world, using video to monitor your doorstep and deterring burglars looking for an unguarded house to raid. There are many smart doorbells on the market, but most models come equipped with motion sensors and two-way audio. Some models include features such as night-vision, on-demand video, push notifications, and cloud-based data storage. Whether you’re in bed or in a different time zone, the notion of “nobody’s home” can become a thing of the past with smart doorbell technology.

3. Smart locks
Remember that sinking feeling described earlier, the one where you forgot to check your locks before heading to work? Well, cross that fear off your list of “worries that keep you up at night,” because smart locks provide the peace of mind you’re after. Smart locks can bolt your door remotely, but they can do so much more than that. Some locks allow you to assign a virtual key to friends and family, sending you user-specific notifications each time someone enters and leaves your home. Other locks can connect to your WiFi or Bluetooth-enabled devices, automatically opening the door when you arrive home and locking the door when you’re on the way out. Some models can be purchased with keypad controls, while others are controlled solely through your phone. And before you start to worry about someone “cyber hacking” their way into your home, know that smart lock technology embraces heavy-duty encryption which secures your data.

4. Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a must-have in any home. But, as the adage goes, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The same can be said about traditional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They’re great when you’re at home and ready to respond, but how do you protect your beloved family members, pets, and possessions when you’re halfway across town? Enter smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Many of these devices come with constant monitoring and monthly self-tests, with data that can be accessed 24/7 through an app. Even if you’re away, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can alert you to your home’s status in real-time, letting you know when all is calm and when there’s trouble in the air.

5. Smart thermostat
Have you ever woken up to a freezing home? There’s nothing worse than getting out of bed on a frigid morning to adjust the thermostat, but this problem can be easily solved with smart technology. Unlike a traditional thermostat, smart thermostats don’t require manual adjustments. With a bit of upfront programming, a smart thermostat will begin to learn your household’s temperature needs and adjust accordingly. Many smart thermostats even allow you to adjust the temperature from a mobile app. Besides these learning and accessible-anywhere features, most smart thermostats are also committed to making your home more energy-efficient. Sensors can detect when you’re at home and away, and the smart thermostat can adjust the temperature settings to help you save some green.

Delving into the world of smart home technology can be frightening at first, but with simple, user-friendly solutions at accessible price points, creating a smarter, safer home is something everyone can do. Bring your home into the 21st century and benefit from the security that smart tech offers. Check online or at your local store to begin upgrading your home today.

>> Homeowner Tip: Did you know that Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance also offers discounts for using smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks, and more? Check with your local agent today to see if you qualify for a discount on your Homeowners policy.