How safe is your living space? Even though your home is a haven—the place you return to when you need to feel secure—there might actually be under-recognized hazards around every corner. More than 11,000 people were injured in house fires in 2015 according to the National Fire Protection Association. The same year, 393 people lost their lives to carbon monoxide poisoning. And we don’t even want to talk about the statistics on home break-ins and burglaries (but if you’re itching to educate yourself, you know how to follow that link). Luckily, there are steps you can take to minimize these and other risks. Make sure that you have the following products installed in your home. If you go without these things, you’re could be playing with fire—literally. First Alert SA3210 Dual-Sensor Smoke and Fire Alarm This unit detects smoke using two sensors, one for ionization and the other photoelectric. If a fire starts in your home, this thing will pick up on it fast. Best of all, it has a sealed lithium battery that lasts for 10 whole years! No more changing 9 volts when the beeping starts. The U.S. Fire Administration says you should change your smoke alarms every 10 years, anyway, so this is essentially a maintenance-free device. Review: “Thankfully, we haven’t had much experience with this alarm but thus far it seems to be working well. It went off once when I burned something in the kitchen, so we know it works! I like that it has the dual sensor to detect both fire particles and smoke, as these are the safest kind of smoke alarms. Did lots of research before purchasing, and this was the most affordable product that senses both.” –E. Glanville First Alert CO710 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Alarm Monitor carbon monoxide levels in your home, and check the room’s ambient temperature while you’re at it. This carbon monoxide detector displays the temperature and CO levels with an easy-to-read backlit display. Its lithium batteries will keep it working for 10 years straight, eliminating the need to replace batteries every couple of months. Review: “Easy to setup and install. Love that it has the temp showing and it gives us a [peace] of mind.” –Michael Holmes True HEPA Air Cleaner and Odor Eliminator Indoor air can be filthy—full of dust, mold, pollen, and other allergens. This is especially dangerous for people with asthma, but anyone can benefit from cleaner air. This air purifier removes 99.97 percent of the allergens that typically float along on the wind currents of your living room. It’s good for rooms up to 256 square feet. Review: “These are really great machines for removing allergens out of the air so you can sleep better and wake up refreshed!” –chinagirl Funlux 4-Channel HD Outdoor/Indoor Security Camera System Keep a watchful eye on your home day and night with this four-camera security system. It’s easy to set up using your home router, and it records a constant stream of HD video to a 1-terabyte hard drive. These cameras are weatherproof with night-vision for up to 65 feet. If the unthinkable happens, at least you’ll have a record of it. Review: “Very good camera system. Easy to install and very good quality picture. The mobile viewing setup through the camera app was very easily installed and ready to use. Very user friendly. I love the end connections on the camera cables. Hassle-free and easy plug and use ready.” –Janko Ultraloq UL3 Fingerprint and Touchscreen Keyless Smart Door Lock Never stress out over forgetting your keys again. The Ultraloq UL3 uses your fingerprint to allow access. Alternately, you can key in the code for access. Either way, criminals will have a much harder time picking this lock than they would a standard mechanical deadbolt. Review: “Works great. No more hassle with the keys.” –JS TP-Link Smart Plug This electrical outlet connects to your home wifi system to give you 24/7 control over the flow of electricity. Turn the lights on and off when you’re away from home, baffling snoopers or potential burglars. And before you ask…yes, it does work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Review: “Easy to setup/use/configure. Just plug it in, use an app, find the devices, configure. Voila!” –L. Seltzer
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