A Home or Office Automation System is often viewed as a luxury addition and as an avoidable option rather than as a basic requirement. As someone associated with health and safety related issues all my life, I tend to differ from this assessment. Let me share with you my reasoning in the following paragraphs as to why installation of a automation system is a worthwhile investment from the standpoint of the safety of human lives and property. Electricity was initially used only for lighting purposes at home and perhaps later on electric fans were added. But today our homes are filled with entertainment devices, home appliances, climate control equipment, all kinds of lamps and the list can go on.

Let us take an aside here and look at a little bit of history……Before the incandescent lamps came into being arc lights were being used to illuminate streets in many US cities. But these lamps used much higher voltage and were not considered safe for use indoors. Edison came out with the first commercially viable version of an incandescent lamp in 1879 and he followed it up with the establishment of the first commercial power distribution project in lower Manhattan in 1882; there were 85 customers with 400 light bulbs!!! What could have been a few 100 watt hours of power consumption then has grown over the last two hundred years to several thousand Kilowatt Hours of power consumption. To give you an idea, among the countries in the middle east Kuwait ranks first in per capita electricity consumption with a whopping 17030 KWHr (year 2015 figures) and ranks 6th in the world.

In today’s homes and offices, many of the devices, appliances and equipment are left connected to the power supply and left unattended and unmonitored. In spite of the advances that have taken place in the design and build aspects of these appliances and equipment there is a definite possibility of faults arising due to a variety of factors such as faulty wiring, wrong selection, poor quality material and so on. Invariably an electric fault is likely to result in a fire due to arc flash or heat generation or both. Any fire if not controlled at the very initial stages can turn into a conflagration and burn down the property. NFPA attributes 10.1% of all deaths due to residential fires in 2013 in the US to electrical malfunction.

Such fires are a serious threat to human lives; even a small fire can cause serious burn injuries. Besides, today’s home and office is filled with synthetic fabrics of all kinds in the form of curtains, floor carpets, furnishings and other fittings which in the event of a fire is bound to generate noxious fumes that can cause asphyxiation or other complications due to inhalation. A faulty equipment will draw higher power. Similarly a short circuit or arcing due to a loose connection will show spikes in power consumption. Through installation of a Home Automation System it is possible to monitor the power consumption and detect abnormalities early. Installation of smoke detectors in combination with  carbon monoxide detectors will help spot smouldering fires at the very initial stages. A well designed automation system will provide you the ability to turn off power sockets even from remote locations. Timely sounding of alarms within the premises or notification of an abnormal situation over the smart phone, tablet or PC are all possibilities that could prevent a major fire from starting if a well integrated Home or Office Automation System is installed in the premises.

If you have not already done so, it is never too late for taking the right steps to have one installed in your home and business. With the the accent of wireless technology regardless of whether you are building a new premises or considering installing a system in your existing premises, it is possible to have it done without tearing down the walls or making major changes to the existing wiring. Have difficulty making up your mind which is the best system for your home or office? Need more advice or what to share your ideas? Please write to hummmingbird@me.com and also check out the online store shop.atknsn.com for all your Home Automation needs.