We’re all about having fun with your family. But how could you possibly enjoy yourself if you aren’t completely confident that your loved ones are safe—especially in your own home? These new devices can help put your mind at ease so you can get back to the good stuff.
WiFi Garage Door Opener (Chamberlain)
If you have a home security system, you’re probably set up to monitor doors, windows, and motion in various parts of your property. But what about your garage, which, for a lot of us, is the main way into or out of the house? Overlooked that one, didn’t you. Considering that most burglaries happen during the day, when no one’s home, a crook could break in through your garage and you’d be none the wiser ‘til you got home. With Chamberlain’s WiFi garage door opener, you’ll get an immediate alert on your smartphone anytime your garage door opens. And using the free MyQ app, you can open (and close) the door remotely, which is great for those time when the kids “forget” their key for the 274th time or when you want to let someone in but don’t want him or her to have a key. These openers are designed to work with other smarthome technologies, such as Nest, and they connect directly to your home Wi-Fi network (although you’ll need a strong signal in the garage). Prices vary. Available at the Home Depot or http://www.chamberlain.com
Did you know that cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires in the United States, and that 58 percent of those fires are caused by kitchen stoves? To put that in perspective, every year, U.S. fire departments respond to average of more than 162,000 home structure fires that involve cooking equipment, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Chances are, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen over the next month or so and we’re sure you’d like to do everything you can to reduce your risk of a kitchen fire. Created by a real firefighter, FireAlert is an elegantly simple solution. Plug it into the back of your stove, and if it senses the sound of a smoke alarm (where there’s smoke there’s fire, right?), it automatically cuts power to your stove and oven. That’s it. Retails for $149.99 at http://www.fireavert.com
MAX One (MAX Smart Home)
If you’ve ever had your smoke detector go off, you may have a tough time imagining being able to sleep through that annoying sound, which is exactly why it’s so annoying in the first place. But plenty of us actually do—especially children (who, as we all know, can sleep through pretty much anything, including alarms and repeated wake-ups by mom or dad), any one of the 70 million Americans who have high-frequency hearing loss, and anyone who’s been drinking. MAX One has a solution: It “listens” for the shrill, high-frequency tone emitted by smoke- and carbon monoxide alarms and produces a variety of low tones instead. Research shows that low tones are much more effective (93% effective, to be exact) in waking people up. Plus, sleepers will adjust to a single tone and stay in bed, whereas a varied tone will have the desired effect. MAX One combines intruder detection, fire/CO alarm, and nightlight into a single, sleek unit. All you do is plug it in to a standard outlet, and there’s a USB port so you can still charge your device without having to unplug MAX. Because it holds a charge, you can unplug your MAX from the wall and use it as a flashlight. Retails for around $39.95 at Home Depot or www.maxsmarthome.com