When you think of a “smart home,” you might be thinking of all the bells and whistles that make your world more convenient: a sound system that skips the song that reminds you of your ex. Or a refrigerator that tells you when you’re low on sparkling water (disaster averted!).

But the best thing about smart home features is when they help keep you and your home safe. Check out the newest technology that’ll protect your house while you’re away.

Security system

Today’s technologically advanced security systems do more than blare noise and flash lights. They can also alert you via your smartphone if a window or door is opened or when a motion detector senses movement. Paired with video systems, you can get a peek at what’s going on so you can determine if it warrants a call to the police.

Even better is paying for continuous monitoring, which is important for peace of mind — and a potential discount on your homeowners insurance. Many systems even offer on-demand services for when you’re on vacation.

Security cameras

Smart cameras alone can go a long way in safeguarding your home. They allow you to check out what’s going on through your home wifi when the motion or sound sensors are triggered. A smart add-on is an outdoor camera that uses motion sensors to make sure no one is creeping around your backyard. Some’ll even trigger floodlights. Plus, there’s the added bonus of checking on a pet while you’re away.

Smart locks

These keyless locks aren’t just there to save the day if — nay, when  you forget your key. They also add a vital layer of security to protect your house while you’re away by alerting you if someone is trying to enter. Maybe it’s just the next-door teen there to water the plants while you’re on vacation. You’ll know, because of the specific access code that allows her — and only her — to access it. Then, simply change the key code when you come back.

Video doorbells

Rumor has it that millennials have “killed the doorbell.” After all, who in their right mind doesn’t just text “I’m here?” But if someone did come to your door while you were gone, wouldn’t you be curious who it was? With a video doorbell, you get a notification whenever anyone rings. It could just be a local kid selling raffle tickets. Or a troublemaker posing as a service person to determine if you’re around — and case the place if you aren’t.

Water sensors

Smart technology doesn’t only thwart would-be intruders — it can also prevent things in the house from wreaking havoc. One of the costliest homeowners claims results from burst pipes. Many a homeowner has come back from a relaxing vacation to find their belongings floating from a faucet that leaked for a week. But smart water sensors can help. One type offers a leak alert so you can ask a trusted neighbor to see what’s going on. Another even has a smart water shut-off valve, which doesn’t just tell you there’s a problem — it actually stops the damage. This type of smart tech can also save your bacon if you’re one of those homeowners who starts the washer as you leave (a total no-no for this very reason).

You know what could really help you feel secure and protected? Getting homeowners insurance to protect your home and its belongings. Find out how Esurance is making insurance surprisingly painless.

Smart technology | Smart home

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about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.