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Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Need to Know When the Power Goes Out at Home

Question about home power monitors.

Q: "I winter in Arizona. My home in Oregon is in the country at the end of the power grid. I leave the furnace set at 55 degrees while I am gone those 4 months. My neighbor keeps an eye on the house. But a storm or fallen tree can knock out my power and leave his power still on. I don't want my pipes to freeze or my home damaged. What do you sell that can alert him and me that the power is out at my house?"

Answer: We currently sell two brands of remote monitors. Neither require paying a monthly monitoring service fee. These are the Sensaphone and the Microtechnologies brands.

The Sensaphone 400 , once known as the Sensaphone "cottage sitter", lets you program in 4 phone numbers, add additional sensors, control your thermostat remotely, and has a 24 hour battery backup using C cells. Two other units are less expensive choices that would to meet your needs are the Homeguard and the TemperatureGuard monitors. What you are looking for is a monitor that can dial out an alert that the power is off and give you the temperature in your house as well.

The standard Homeguard and TemperatureGuard units have a built-in 4 hour battery back-up that activates when the power goes out. We've learned over the years that getting the insurance of a Temperature Guard with 20 hour battery back up or one with a 30 hour battery back-up has its advantages, primarily that the units will have extended battery so that if you turn off your phone at night (or your neighbor does), there will be enough battery left to continue dialing out until you wake up or turn on your phone or phones.

The Homeguard can dial up to 4 phone numbers. It also comes with a 20 hour or 30 hour battery back-up . The Homeguard alert is set at below 45 degrees F or power off for 5 minutes or more. The TemperatureGuard can also send messages to pagers as well as dial up to 4 phone numbers. The TemperatureGuard lets you choose both an upper and a lower limit (for summer and for winter) as well. Of course you can call into either unit at any time to get the power status (on or off) and the temperature. Both units and their brothers and sisters need a land phone line and electricity to work. Programming is easily done with a telephone.

Please read the instruction manuals on our website for more information or contact us.

Thanks for your question.


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