The £52 gadget that will protect your home from disaster

Save yourself from holiday nightmares with one of these

Hopefully, the worst thing you'll come back to after this year's summer holiday is a bit of jet lag or droopy house plants. But unfortunately, there are bigger potential disasters in store. Like walking in to find a pool of water on the floor, or a wet patch on the ceiling.

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A 2018 study by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reveals that £2.5million is paid out every day on ‘escape of water’ home insurance claims. This isn't just caused by frozen and burst pipes in winter. Badly-installed washing machines and dishwashers can also leak. Or water could seep out from under the bath or shower, or there could be issues with a storage tank in the loft.

Happily, if you want to avoid putting a dampener on your next week away – literally – there are a couple of gadgets that can help.

house extrior with white wall and glass door

(Image credit: TBC)

The first is the Grohe Sense – a simple smart water sensor that you place on the floor anywhere a leak might occur. Should said sensor come into contact with water, it will send a warning straight to your smartphone. Then you have the option of asking a family or friend to go and check things out.

Buy now: Grohe Sense smart water sensor, £51.99, Grohe

grohe sense guard

(Image credit: Grohe)

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Better still is the Grohe Sense Guard. This will need to be installed by a professional, but it puts you in direct control of your water supply, wherever you are. It attaches to the mains water pipe, and takes readings of the water pressure, flow rate, consumption and temperature. If any of these hit a pre-selected maximum, the Sense guard will shut down the water supply automatically.

Enquire online: Grohe Sense Guard, £559, Grohe

Alternatively, you can set up alerts to your phone. Then, if anything looks a bit dodgy, you can shut off the water yourself. Then order another cocktail!

That's right – no more panicking to find the stopcock and trying to track down insurance details. Instead, the first thing you can do when you get home is unpack.

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.