Automated Leak Detection Works

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

A recent paper published by LexisNexis Risk Solutions revealed the results of a national study of 2,306 homes with automated leak detection and water shutoff systems installed. The research showed that claims for non-weather-related water damage decreased by a whopping 96% compared to homes without such protection. The average claim was $9,700. This is a phenomenal finding, as it represents one of the first true studies of the efficacy of residential IoT loss mitigation technologies. But what does this mean for multi-family buildings?

Cascading Effects

This research only considered the impact of leak detection and automated water shutoff systems in single-family homes. Any damage and its associated claim would only affect a single dwelling; a structure and property that is owned by one family. If a leak occurs within these homes, there's virtually no chance water damage will spread to additional homes.

As a residential building operator, you probably wish that was the case for your water leaks! You know that most leak incidents result in damage to multiple dwellings. In fact, in most buildings the way leaks are discovered is when tenants notify management of an observed water escape condition from which point damage has already occurred.

Scale is a Problem

Consumer products like those in the LexisNexis study have shown their effectiveness, but they are simply not designed for multi-family use. Each individual installation requires internet connectivity, typically provided by the homeowner. The homeowner is also responsible for installing and managing the system, and is the primary contact when an incident occurs. This makes sense when you're talking about a home where water damage will be confined to a single dwelling, but not in a multi-family building where the building manager and staff are the first-responders. When you consider installing dozens of these systems within a single multi-family building, scale quickly becomes a problem. Each consumer IoT product requires:

  • One single user account per household

  • WiFi connectivity via each homeowner's own network

  • Easy and direct access to a single dwelling's water main

Imagine staff having to manage 100 different user accounts and 100 different WiFi network passwords in a 100-unit apartment building. The security and privacy implications alone are staggering! And that's assuming the building design itself even allows for automated water shutoff of individual units.

Whole Building Monitoring

Perceptive Things's loss mitigation platform was designed to specifically address these shortcomings. High-rise buildings need a professional solution that is made to combat their unique issues. Beyond the usual risk of leaks from fixtures and appliances within apartments, your building has many more systems than an individual home, and the list of people responsible for maintaining those systems and responding to incidents rarely includes the tenant themselves.

Perceptive Things provides a secure building-wide wireless network, a suite of environmental sensors and actuators, and a cloud-based management platform keeps a constant eye out for damaging conditions, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Instant detection can trigger an actuator to close a valve and inform staff of a potentially damaging situation within seconds, massively expediting response times. Knowing exactly where an incident has occurred reduces the large staff mobilization typically required to locate a problem and stem the flow of water. Notifications can even be sent to staff not currently on premises, giving your team a remote view into your building's health.

Fast ROI

One single saved claim can save enough to pay for an entire building's Perceptive Things system for many years. But your tenants' peace-of-mind is incalculable. Our system is simple and non-invasive to install, and can provide protection for more than just water leaks. Temperature anomalies, door/window access, and a host of other environmental conditions can all be added a la carte, and on your schedule, with little incremental cost. Our goal is to make it quick, easy, and cost-effective to make your building "smart", without the need for dedicated IT staff.

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