Named one of the largest homebuilders in the U.S., Lennar announced this summer that all of its new homes will become smarter homes; locking the front door or turning on the lights in any room, for instance, can occur via voice-activated commands or your smartphone. This automation is possible via home designs with built-in Wi-Fi and Amazon Alexa, the popular, cloud-based voice service available on an array of devices from Amazon and other manufacturers.
According to USA Today, "every one of the close to 35,000 homes in 23 states Lennar will build will be a smart home, no retrofitting necessary." The company also touts in a news release how "simple, powerful, and affordable a smart home can be."
There's no doubt that the home's features will likely make home living simpler and more high-tech. Who wouldn't want to change a room's temperature by simply letting Alexa know? In the home, you'll also find an array of smart home products--doorbells and speakers included. In fact, "everything's included" is the tagline for these homes and all of their bells and whistles.
What doesn't seem to be included in these homes, however, are fire sprinklers. While I haven't seen cost estimates for the new "smart" features, the company claims they are affordable. They also claim the technological advancements are no hassle once set up by a technician. The same could be said for a feature that might not play your favorite song on command, but could save your life.
Sources for the USA Today story admit the new features are not yet a "must-have," but that's not the case for fire sprinklers, based on the country's stagnant home fire problem. Imagine the long-term impact if all 35,000 Lennar homes (or all new homes built this year, for that matter) had fire sprinklers.
As fire sprinkler advocates, what can we do? For starters:
- make a convincing case for home fire sprinklers to your local homebuilders using this free information
- tell them and your decision makers that homeowners prefer a house that is sprinklered
- keep spreading the word about sprinklers. This technology should be just as coveted as a home that is Alexa-equipped. It's all in your pitch. You need to (figuratively) sell this technology. Use our data and resources to aid your pitch.
If a home isn't incorporating all of the tried-and-true safety elements, particularly fire sprinklers, is it necessarily "smart"?