Your pets will benefit from a monitored alarm system, especially when your alarm system is monitored for smoke and heat. In a previous post on pets and monitored alarm systems, I mentioned that when we moved from rural CT to Washington DC, my wife insisted that we immediately set up the alarm system, even if only for fire monitoring. She reminded me that our two dogs don’t dial 911 very well! Here’s a quick review of two important areas where your pets and your alarm system intersect:
Motion sensors that are “pet-friendly” – these are PIR’s (passive infrared devices) that will “ignore” the motion of smaller pets, such as cats and smaller dogs.
Smoke/heat sensors – your pets deserve fire detection when you are not home, and the normal non-monitored smoke/heat sensor won’t do them much good – or you, for that matter – when you aren’t there, or are overcome by smoke. And remember, smoke inhalation is the main cause of residential fire fatalities.
Interesting New Product for Protecting Your Pets
I found this recent article on a great way to protect your pets in the event of fire.
For years, firefighter Rick Rickerson has been plagued by a problem. According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, each year in the United States, approximately 500,000 pets are affected by home fires; and according to the Live Safe Foundation, around 40,000 of those pets die every year. Unfortunately, Rickerson has been witness to this fact more than most people.
What Rickerson Experienced
As a battalion chief with a Metro Atlanta Fire-Rescue Department and an avid pet lover, he recalls a particular time when a small residential fire did so little damage that only the cabinets above the stove were burned. Within minutes of extinguishing the fire and giving the all clear, firefighters saw the homeowners rush to the scene. With agony in their voices, they cried, “Where’s Rusty?” “I can’t explain my fearful thoughts at that moment,” says Rickerson. “We had already performed a primary and secondary search for occupants, but we didn’t know there was a pet in the home.” Sadly, the family’s 11-year-old poodle had been hiding under the bed and had died of smoke asphyxiation in his small lungs. All too often, firefighters simply don’t know there are pets in the home until it’s too late.
This situation is what prompted Rickerson to develop a product he calls Pet Fire Alert™. It’s an outdoor information system to alert emergency personnel of pets in the home. The system includes numerous elements, including a mailbox sign and yard sign to alert arriving first responders that the home is a Pet Fire Alert home. Next, standard firefighter protocol will have a trained fire officer make a 360 degree walk around the home looking for clues regarding the fire and locating the electric meter, since the power must be turned off immediately for firefighter and occupant safety. Near the electric meter is where another element of the Pet Fire Alert system is located: a container that holds valuable information such as the number of pets, type of animals, areas to search, and more.
“I’ve spent years creating an affordable system so that the first arriving emergency personnel will know you have pets in your home,” says Rickerson. “I just felt that our pets give us so much, yet ask so little, and every life is worth saving.”
As for fire monitoring, we recommend it with every residential alarm system. That means smoke/heat sensors that are part of the alarm system – and, you should not pay a penny extra in monthly fees for this service. At FrontPoint we go out of our way to provide monitored fire detection that’s as easy and affordable as possible. Our customers expect us, as the leaders in interactive, wireless home security, to offer life safety monitoring for fire and carbon monoxide, along with intrusion and environmental monitoring. And we do just that. Maybe you could say that FrontPoint is your home’s – and your pet’s – best friend!