20 Mar Contact Sensors – Essentials for Smart Home Security
Security is all about access – making sure something is closed so nobody can get in, or strategically opening it to those you trust. It’s no secret that your home is the place most in need of security – it’s not really home if you don’t feel safe, after all. Considering all the parts of your house that can open and close, wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy way to manage it all?
Luckily, we have contact sensors – small, paired devices set to alert you when they are separated. For example, contact sensors can alert you to someone entering your front door: with sensor attached to the door, and the other attached to the door frame. When the door is opened and the contact between the sensors is broken, you can be alerted via a chiming sound or a message to your smartphone.
The uses of contact sensors go far beyond doors. They can be attached to almost anything that opens and closes, and can easily be linked with other smart features in a home such as cameras, lights, smartphone alerts, and alarms.
Contact sensors are considered essential to a complete smart home security system, and with so many possibilities, they are to home security what potatoes are to cooking. Let’s look at some of the many ways contact sensors can protect your home.
Beyond Your Front Door
As we’ve already described, one of the most obvious uses for contact sensors applies to front doors. However, it’s also advisable to add sensors to all your exterior doors, including the door into the garage. For those who might question the usefulness of having sensors on this “interior” door, don’t discount the chance that small children might get curious and try to explore the dangerous garage by themselves. Also, don’t forget that your garage is a part of your home with one or more external entry points that could benefit from sensors check out our post on smart garages to learn more.
All this talk of doors should make it no surprise that windows are perfect places for contact sensors as well. Basement and first floor windows are obvious choices for coverage – burglars often aren’t polite enough to enter through a door (or not at all). Adding this security to upstairs windows is up to you, but we’d recommend it to stay on the safe side.
Guard Your Yard
Contact sensors are also useful for your home’s exterior. Placing them on your gate, porch door, hot tub or pool covers will alert you to activity on your property. Burglars will have an even harder time sneaking towards the house, and so will the neighbor kids who try to slip into your pool without asking. Shed doors count in this category as well: keep your lawnmower safe while also preventing children from accidentally getting into heavy machinery, tools, and chemicals.
If you own a lot of land, you’ll know when someone opens the gate at the end of your mile-long driveway. If you live on a farm, contact sensors can play a role in keeping your animals and large farm equipment safe as well. You’ll instantly know if one of your cows has left the pasture, or if your expensive tractor has mysteriously let itself out of the barn.
Valuables and… Vodka?
Your home’s security can also benefit from placing contact sensors on cabinets and drawers. You’ll be immediately alerted if someone is rifling through items they shouldn’t be. Protect your important documents and valuables from burglars, keep any firearms or dangerous equipment safe, and keep your kids out of trouble. Contact sensor can alert you when your toddler attempts to open the knife drawer, your fourth-grader heads down to the basement to play instead of doing his homework, or if your teenager tries to get into the liquor cabinet while you’re out. Customize your system to alert you in any instance you deem necessary, whenever and wherever you are.
Speaking of cabinets, contact sensors can be placed on items like medicine cabinets to remind you or your loved ones to take their prescriptions. If the sensors haven’t been opened in a certain amount of time, an alert can be sent to your smartphone as a reminder. This function is also nicely paired with other smart home solutions for aging loved ones living independently read more about those here.
Saving Time and Money
Contact sensors can save time and money beyond simply protecting your family and home. When added to doors and windows (and even the fridge), sensors can alert you if something has been open too long. Immediately know to close the refrigerator to save energy and keep food from spoiling. Or become alerted to an open front door not only to prevent intruders from entering, but also so your home doesn’t heat the outside. It’s important to make sure all windows and doors are fully shut, but contact sensors can help by pairing with smart thermostats to set back the heat or AC, saving energy and money.
These are just some of the many ways contact sensors complete your smart home security system to give you peace of mind. The ASI Connect systems we install typically include at least 10 contact sensors to start,, but there is almost no limit to how many more you can add at any time to customize your system. How will contact sensors work for you and your home?