Insurers like CHUBB, Pure, AIG, and Nationwide Private Client are beginning to require smart safety systems for their high-value homeowners. As these requirements become standard, you can stay ahead of the curve by discussing them in the design phase.
Life and water safety can come in many forms throughout the home; some can even be implemented mid-construction to protect your project before handoff.
Automated water shutoff valves are a great place to start. These valves are activated by volumetric flow, pressure, a pre-set timer or a temperature drop. Beyond just turning off when there’s a drop in pressure, these valves can be utilized when away on vacation or daily when the house is vacant.
Leak detection at any wet location can also trigger a shutoff. Often times slow leaks at sinks, toilets or appliances can cause damage before a drop in pressure is detected. With wired leak detection sensors, the system will be initiated ahead of potential property damage.
Frozen and burst pipes can’t be prevented with water shutoff alone. The water pressure has to be released. This is where heat and temperature monitoring come into play. Placed in relevant locations like ducts and basements, heat detectors will prompt a water line drip along with shutoff when the temperature drops below 40 degrees.
Water isn’t the only element that causes damage to a home though. Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors go beyond the traditional chirping alarms; they take action. Integrated with HVAC controls, these detectors turn off fans to prevent further circulation of smoke and gas. They also automatically alert the security monitoring company or authorities when set off.
Last but not least, 24/7 surveillance of the property can help catch perpetrators, identify vehicles, and produce solid evidence in the case of a claim. New artificial intelligence features will even alert you when specific figures are detected within certain boundaries and timeframes.
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When these systems are all combined, your client’s home will not only be fully protected, their up-front insurance savings could add a bump to their construction budget. The bottom line is, required or not, protecting your client’s home is the responsible thing to do.
Hayley Selden is the head of business development at Digital Media Innovations (DMI), a luxury home automation company serving the state of Colorado. Originally from California, she traveled to Philadelphia to pursue degrees in Civil and Architectural Engineering at Drexel University. Hayley now uses her technical background and natural people skills to bridge the gaps between integrators, builders/architects, and clients when it comes to the emerging field of home automation technology. She can be reached at [email protected].