One of my close friends recently had to replace all of the flooring in his home after a pipe burst. Unfortunately, he was at work at the time and had no way of knowing gallons upon gallons of water were flooding the place. He walked in after work to discover an inch of standing water throughout the house. If he had the Dome Alert system installed, he may have been able to mitigate the damages (and save a lot of money).
Dome Alert is a 24/7 professionally-monitored system that aims to offer protection from some of the most common and expensive disasters in a home. The system is comprised of a hub, a fire / carbon monoxide sensor and a flood / freeze sensor. More than one of each type of sensor can be added to the mix, we're told.
The fire / carbon monoxide sensor is designed to mount beside your existing smoke detector. When that goes off, Dome Alert picks up on the sound it emits and triggers its own alert. While neat, that means your current smoke detector must also detect carbon monoxide for Dome Alert to do the same. It's also useless if your smoke detector's batteries are dead so be sure and check those regularly.
The flood / freeze sensor detects when liquid comes in contact with the copper nodes on its bottom. There's also an internal thermometer that'll trigger an alarm when the temperature drops below 41 degrees F.
When an alarm is triggered, you'll get a notification on your smartphone in addition to a service call from the monitoring company, UCC. The companion app lets you disable false alarms, set up emergency contacts (friends, family or neighbors, for example) in the event you're out of town and more.
Casey Hermansen, the creator of Dome Alert, says it offers the benefits of other home protection systems without the expensive setup costs and long-term commitments.
Dome Alert is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. With just over a week remaining in its campaign, it's roughly $9,000 short of hitting its $25,000 goal. A super early bird tier priced at $79 has already been spoken for but you can get in on the action as of writing for $99. That'll get you a Dome Alert system with hub and two sensors plus six months of professional monitoring.
Do note that monitoring runs $9 per month. It's unclear if Dome Alert will function without the professional monitoring (simply sending alerts to your smartphone only). Even still, $9 isn't much to pay to augment your existing home protection equipment or round out your professionally-monitored security system. What's more, you may also qualify for a discount on your home or renters insurance for having a professionally-monitored service installed.
While I can't speak for Dome Alert specifically, I had a professional-monitored alarm system installed shortly after moving into my current place. The high cost aside, it does give me the peace of mind that I'm protected (to a reasonable extent, of course) in the event of a break-in both while I'm at home and away.
I say that to say this: there is value in home monitoring and if the Dome Alert works as well as advertised, it could be a worthy investment.