I don’t consider myself a person living in fear of the worst but I do tend to worry an awful lot about “what if” situations. Let’s see… Someone broke into my grandmother’s house and stole pretty much everything of value. That same house was broken into a few times over the years. My brother’s basement flooded when the sump pump went out during a nasty storm. When we lived in California, we worked on an Eastern time schedule so we went to bed earlier than our neighbors. Someone was apparently casing our house and must have thought we weren’t home since the lights were all off in the early evening. They rang the doorbell then retreated to the other side of the street waiting for a reaction at the door. Scott looked out the front window and saw this happening but didn’t see the need to answer the door. With no reaction to the doorbell, the suspects began to return to the house with backpacks over their shoulders. Scott flipped on a light and called 9-1-1. The individuals realized the house wasn’t vacant and quickly headed in another direction. This past weekend, our driveway and sidewalk were ‘decorated’ with sidewalk chalk – most likely by neighborhood teens. Unfortunately, the pictures were a bit graphic for what I would want my girls to see. I’m sure it’s the current version of TP’ing someone house but it still kind of freaked me out. We’re not even going to discuss the stalker I once had. That’s another story all by itself.
Every time we travel, I stress about what could possibly happen. During the winter, I ask “What if the pipes freeze and break.” During the summer, what if the freezer goes out and defrosts thereby flooding everything. If I know we’ll be gone for an extended period of time, I ask Scott to disconnect (and store elsewhere) our removable hard drive because a computer can be replaced if stolen but years of archived photos cannot.
Whether my concerns are rational or not doesn’t matter. The fact is, it bothers me. As my brother often tells me, “Perception is reality” and in this case, the thought of what could possibly happen is terrifying to me. We have a new option though to help ease my mind a bit. PEQ Smart Home (pronounced Peek) will provide us with the ability to monitor our home from afar. The following video will help put it into perspective:
At first, I figured it was going to be overly technical and overwhelming. Boy, was I wrong. After the initial setup of the router, we set up our account on the PEQ website then proceeded to install the various monitoring devices.
Our new PEQ smart home includes the following devices – water sensor, lamp sensor, door/window sensor, motion detector and camera. The system requires a hub as the basis but all unit from there are available individually or as packages. In addition to the sensors that we have, there are additional ones available including a thermostat!
The basic package of equipment runs $119 with a $9.99 fee per month. Additional sensors can be added with rules set to your own specifications. Know what the service fee is then? $9.99 per month. While the initial price of the equipment is somewhat expensive, the monthly subscription price is very affordable! My only complaint I would have is that it would be nice if you could be given a month of service free with each additional device that is added. This type of credit my make users more apt to purchase additional sensors providing additional security and control.
As for setup… it’s easy. You can set it up via the dashboard on the website or you can set it up using your smart phone or tablet.
While we already have a water sensor on our sump pump, it alarms but doesn’t send out any alerts. With our prior audible sensor, only the stuffed animals and the parakeet will be aware of the problem when we are away from home. With our new PEQ water sensor, we’ll receive a text that says where and when a problem occurred. Damages can be minimized if we’re able to resolve a flooding issue early on. Installation of this sensor was as simple as activating the battery by pulling out the storage tab then placing it in our designated area of concern. That’s it. Easy. Did I already say that?
The lamp sensor is equally as simple. Plug it into the outlet then plug a lamp into it. Register it with the system and define whatever rules you want. You can log into the network and add as many lamp sensors as you want, too. Spread them around your house then set up rules individually to turn them on and off. You can stagger when various lights come on and turn off. It isn’t like some systems where it’s all or nothing. If we had something like this when we lived in California, we would have been able to automatically turn activate the lights even when we were away. Any theft deterrent is a good thing, right?
The door/window sensor are a nice addition to the package but don’t necessarily need to be on the perimeter. These are great for interior doors as well. Have a toddler that is a bit curious? You can add sensors to a variety of doors! (If I had teenagers, I would totally add one of these to the cabinet where the alcohol is stored! LOL)
Imagine being on vacation and getting a text message that says there is movement in your home. You can log in, check the video camera, take a photograph or grab video and determine whether or not you need to call 9-1-1 to alert the authorities of a break-in. Motion detectors and cameras are the ideal way to see what is really happening in your home when you’re away. PEQ offers both of these as options for making your home the ultimate smart home. Add multiple detectors and cameras around your home to know what is happening and when. From being alerted of a burglar to monitoring a nanny or keeping tabs on a teenager or elderly family member, these devices bring peace of mind right to your smart phone.
Of course, controlling the various devices and receiving notifications is key. Set up the rules to notify you however you like as often as you like. The only thing I haven’t figure out is how to tell it when I am “on vacation”.