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If you are installing a new home security system or upgrading an older one, consider adding a sensor that provides early alert to basement flooding.
By now, most Americans have read news accounts of Hurricane Katrina victims who did not realize that their standard homeowner's insurance did not cover floods. These folks likely are out of luck to get coverage for water damage from flooding in their homes.
Most of us will never know the terror of a catastrophic hurricane. But it is not unusual for homeowners in certain parts of the country to worry about basement flooding after heavy rains or a spring snow-melt.
Flood sensors can signal basement flooding at the earliest sign of problems. Flood sensors are wireless devices that are simple to install. They are placed in home basements and detect flooding as it starts.
Homeowners can avoid problems by pumping out basements, vacuuming the water, contacting a plumber, or even sandbagging the walls of their house.
Here's an affordable home security product that is hard to pass up: a garage door opener that automatically shuts the door after a time delay.
If you're like a lot of busy homeowners, you may neglect to close the garage door after taking out the recyclables, parking your vehicle or putting the kids' bicycles away. Or you may fumble in the dark for the button to close the garage door. A garage door left open makes your belongings vulnerable to crime.
You don't have to think about closing the garage door again with an automatic garage door closer, which is wireless and takes batteries. Just like luxury cars that switch off the headlights automatically, an automatic garage door closer does the work for you after a pre-programmed time delay.
If you need to do work that requires the garage door to stay open for a while, just turn off the opener or reset it. Shop online for an automatic garage door closer that is under $50 and easy to install.
Door and window sensors that come with your new security system are likely to standard-sized. They work well detecting when doors or windows are opened in restricted areas.
But some people prefer smaller sensors, known as micro sensors, that are less obtrusive but can cost more to buy or replace.
There are advantages to micro-sensors:
Here's a home security product for gadget geeks: Biometric fingerprint door locks. Instead of using keys or a touch-pad, biometric door locks read your fingerprints to give you access to your locked home or business. These high-tech door locks run about $300, and you can order them on the Internet. Don't worry about losing your key. The device locks automatically. Just remember to take off your gloves so the biometric device can read your fingerprints. The fingerprint verification device is contained in the door lock for easy installation and use. You can add users to the doorlock system or delete them as needed. This product is so new that you may want to read consumer reviews online or ask home security dealers how well they work.
Wireless driveway alarms let you know the moment someone pulls onto your property. Driveway alarms serve many purposes. Check out the ways they can benefit a homeowner. These devices:
Driveway alarms need a transmitter and a receiver to work. Typically, the transmitter detects the vehicle with infrared equipment. It sends a signal to the receiver inside your home.
Choose a handheld model or a standard model that can be mounted on a gate, depending on your needs. Handheld models are suitable if you have security guards.
Security companies traditionally used LAN-line phones to link a home's burglar alarm to monitoring facilities, which are signalled when there is a break-in. With more consumers using cell phones or the Internet instead of LAN lines, security companies now offer monitoring services through a broadband Internet connection. It provides the same level of service but saves consumers money.
Sometimes a simple home security system is not enough. Customize your home security needs with products that fit your lifestyle and stage in life.
For example, young families may want to add a door chime to their home security systems. Doors leading to the outdoors will chime when opened, so parents know if young children or toddlers wander off.
Likewise, seniors and shut-ins appreciate medical pendants that are actually wireless devices for alerting a home monitoring service to a health emergency.
The pendants are worn as a necklace or are clipped on waistband, so they are easy to access. They have a panic button that summons help with one touch. The device is particularly helpful to people who have high-risk medical conditions and need immediate help in an emergency.
Home security means so much more than locking your doors and turning on the burglar alarm. Home security means having a safe, protected and healthy environment for your family.
With the busy lives of American families, home security companies recognize the need to have a complete package of equipment for monitoring safety and welfare at home.
In addition to monitoring anti-burglary systems, more security companies are offering monthly services to monitor environmental dangers, such as high carbon monoxide levels. When the carbon monoxide detector goes off, it not only alerts people at home but also a monitoring service.
You can be sound asleep at night or away on vacation when the siren sounds. Your monitoring service will take immediate action to ensure the safety of you and your family, and to contact local authorities, if necessary.
The most vulnerable members of your family may be the least likely to get out of the house when there is fire. Recent studies show that smoke alarms may fail to awaken children, whose sleeping patterns are deeper than those of adults.
But don't conclude that smoke alarms are unnecessary. They are your first warning to fire or smoke danger in the home. Consider instead a vocal recording that is part of your smoke detector system. The vocal warning sounds along with the beeping noise of the smoke alarm. It can be the recorded voice of a parent telling everyone to leave the house immediately because of fire. Initial studies show that sleeping children are more likely to rouse and respond to the familiar sound of a mother or father's voice.
The automated warning systems should be part of an overall fire escape plan for your family. If you have not done so already, develop a plan and conduct drills, just like schools and workplaces do. The drills should teach every family member how to respond in a fire emergency and show the best evacuation routes.
Stun guns use high voltage and low amperage to temporarily disable an attacker for several minutes. The stun gun does not rely on pain for results. The energy stored in the gun is dumped into the attacker's muscles causing them to do a great deal of work rapidly. This rapid work cycle instantly depletes the attacker's blood sugar by converting it to lactic acid. In short, he is unable to produce energy for his muscles, and his body is unable to function properly. The stun gun also interrupts the tiny neurological impulses that control and direct voluntary muscle movement. When the attacker's neuromuscular system is overwhelmed and controlled by the stun gun he loses his balance. Should the attacker be touching you, the current will NOT pass to your body!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|