1. Noise monitoring devices that can detect parties
One of the hosts biggest fears is if a guest has a rowdy party in their beloved holiday house. One of the ways to help reduce this risk is by vetting your guests properly, and if you are after the process it’s in the tool kit on my website. Unfortunately, there is no fool proof way to stop this from happening. That’s why a number of companies are developing products that can alert the hosts to any problems.
- NoiseAware is the first on the market with an internet connected noise sensor. It simply plugs in to your Wi-Fi and is tamper proof. The system will send you a text if the noise goes above what is set. It detects noise not voices for privacy purposes. Costs are $199 for internal unit and $99 for an external unit. You must also subscribe to their service and that’s an additional $99 per year.
- Amazon Echo is launching Amazon Guard by the end of this year, and this will pick up specific noises like glass breaking or fire alarm. It’s designed to work in with your security system. Amazon Echo is available for about $65.
- Hub 360 is another Wi-Fi product, it will pick up noises such as glass breaking and alerts the host. It costs approximately $475 with no subscription fees.
2. External Entrance Wi-Fi Camera
You can pick up a simple external camera for the driveway and entrance that plugs straight into a PowerPoint and connects to your Wi-Fi. They come with an easy to install app for your phone, so at any time you can see if the guests have arrived by sighting their cars. The camera needs to be positioned to allow guests to have their privacy. A camera will cost you approximately $50 -$75 and will take less than 30 minutes to install, depending on location. There are 100’s for sale on Amazon, if you go with a brand you will pay a lot more. The camera will also send a message to people walking by, that you will be filmed if you come any closer. Since installing entrance cameras, small thefts like BBQ gas bottles going missing, has ceased.
3. Keyless locking systems for entrance doors
Over the past few years I have investigated a number of keyless systems that work through your local Wi-Fi. You allocate codes to the guests checking in via the internet.
- Operto – Offers a keyless entry system plus noise and CO2 monitoring that will detect how many people in the holiday house. Their systems start at $22 a month but you will need to buy the locks and they don’t sound cheap!
- August Smart Lock 3rd Gen – Its Bluetooth only but you can buy a bridge so it can work on wi-fi. It costs $180 + $100 for bridge.
Unfortunately, all that I have read lead me to believe that a simple key safe is the way to go. The have a mechanical lock that will never run out of batteries, (they don’t have any) or wi-fi as they don’t need it!
4. Wi-Fi Monitor for your holiday house
Party Squasher – Is hardware that you attach to your router, it can send you a message depending on your settings, of how many people have connected to your Wi-Fi. So, in the case of a party with everyone using your internet, you will be alerted and then decide what to do next. It costs $210 for first year then a yearly subscription of $99 USD.
5. Photo Checklist system for your cleaner – Properly
Properly is an app for your phone, designed to make things easier, using photos with markers to help your cleaner make sure all tasks are completed in every room. I watched the videos and in theory it’s a great idea. I downloaded the app and after numerous tries to get the app going, still nothing. It seems very buggy. Currently it’s free to join and use, if you can. If they get it right, I think it will be a great tool. Fingers crossed!
6. Smoke Detector- Google Nest Protect
The Nest Protect Smoke Alarm, connects to the existing Wi-Fi network in your holiday house to deliver real time alerts directly to your smartphone, making it easy to keep track of what’s happening in your holiday house. It is compliant with Australian smoke alarm standards, tests itself automatically and can be used for up to 10 years. It can be fitted to your power supply but you will need an electrician and the unit itself isn’t cheap. You can also install it yourself as there is a battery option.
It also has a light sensor that turns on when you walk underneath it.
It is both a smoke and carbon dioxide alarm. One of the risks I see is that you fit it to the ceiling like all other smoke alarms. Energy Safe Victoria advise to fit the carbon dioxide alarms relatively close to where the occupant breathes and that’s not on the ceiling.
It costs $169 and is available from most stockists in Australia.
7. Holiday House sound systems
Most holiday houses come with some type of sound system that most of the time is an afterthought. You can now buy Bluetooth sound bars for your TV’s and mobile devices that work great. They have come down in price as well. How many zones to you have? Are there 2 living spaces plus an outside area? That will require 3 sound bars. They are easy to install to a wall but do require a power supply. Make sure you have all the instructions on use in your compendium. Sound Bars start at $200, you can also pick up a second hand bargain on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.