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November 21, 2017
Tagged in: Security & Safety

Everyone wants to feel safe in their living space. That includes your tenants.

Installing smart home security devices in your rental properties not only helps protect your investment, it may help make your properties much more attractive to potential renters.

In no particular order, here are six of the top smart security gadgets we recommend.

1.   Wireless Door, Window, and Motion Sensors

Perhaps the most essential element of any home security system are the sensors.

Wireless security sensors serve a wide variety of functions. What’s nice about wireless sensors is they require no drilling. They’re small and hard to detect by would-be burglars and they’re easy to set up and take down, just in case you ever need to sell your property.

In addition, many such sensors can be monitored remotely via a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device.

Each property is different, so the kind of sensors you’ll need will depend on many factors, including building layout and location.

At a minimum, you should use the following:

●      One sensor on each exterior door and window

●      Motion sensors in any large spaces that experience lots of foot traffic, such as living rooms, dens, and kitchens

●      Glass break detectors in any rooms with windows large enough that a criminal might be able to fit through

●      Tilt sensors for any outdoor storage sheds or closets

2. Doorbell Video Camera

Want to see who’s been visiting your property when no one’s there? A high-definition video doorbell camera is the way to go. Some, like this one from SkyBell, are unobtrusive and offer high-definition video and audio monitoring.

Tenants and property owners can see, hear, and even talk to visitors (wanted or unwanted) by using the accompanying app on their smartphone or other device.

For your peace of mind, we recommend having one of these or a similar device on the front door of all your rental properties.

3. Smart Locks

What’s better than a strong deadbolt on your property’s main entrance? How about one that integrates with your smartphone and allows keyless entry?

Not only can a smart lock help protect your property against a break-in, it allows you and your tenants to do other things you can’t with a traditional door lock:

●      Receive reminders if you leave your door unlocked

●      Let in kids while parents or guardians are away

●      Allow access for maintenance or repair workers when tenants aren’t home

●      Gain entry even when keys are lost or forgotten

Use at least one smart lock on your property’s main entrance for safety and convenience.

4. Smart Security Lighting

Many criminals like to “case” a property, watching and learning the residents’ daily routine before they break in. This way, they know when to expect no one will be home to stop them.

But what if you could trick potential burglars into thinking someone’s home, even when they’re not? Traditional lighting timers are too consistent and predictable, and simply leaving the lights on all the time is even more obvious to some criminals.

Instead, consider using some smart, blackout-proof light bulbs. This set, for example, learns when a resident would normally turn their lights on or off. It then mimics their activity if they’re away for an extended period of time.

During the nighttime, these smart lightbulbs will even turn on automatically if a burglar rings the doorbell, checking to see if anyone’s home.

5. Smart Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Burglary isn’t the only thing property owners need to worry about when it comes to securing rental properties.

According to the United States Fire Administration, about 3,000 people die in fires every year. Another 20,000 are injured. The majority of these fire-related deaths happen in homes without a working smoke alarm.

And according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 2,200 deaths by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning occurred from 2010 to 2015, most of them during winter months.

Fortunately, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are getting smarter all the time. This smart two-in-one device, for instance, turns off with your phone, so you don’t have to climb a ladder to switch it off every time someone accidentally burns dinner.

Legal requirements for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors vary by state, but for the sake of protecting your property and your tenants, make sure to have at least one smoke alarm in each room and at least one carbon monoxide detector in any high-risk areas.

6. Temperature and Flood Sensors

If you own property in an area prone to floods, or an area where pipes are at risk of cracking due to freezing temperatures, flood/temperature sensors are a must.

Smart flood/temperature sensors will alert you on your phone or mobile device, warning you about falling temperatures or rising water levels and allowing you to take preventative measures, even while you or your tenants are away.

And in case your tenants have pets, smart temperature sensors will even let you know if the property gets too hot while they’re gone, according to their own customized settings.

Safe and Sound 

When it comes to safety and security, nothing is better than peace of mind. Protect your property and give your renters more incentive to sign or renew their lease because they have proper protection.

About Author: Scott Bay is a digital journalist who reports on the latest technology trends, focusing specifically on smart home technology, travel, and AI.

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