A number of states are considering the inclusion of sprinkler systems for new home construction code. This topic has been discussed for years, but is gaining momentum – and one of the strongest proponents is the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). It’s not surprising that the NFPA would be leading the charge for sprinklers, as the dominant voice in the fire prevention across the US. You may remember that they sponsor National Fire Prevention Week every October, and their web site and publications form a remarkable source of valuable information. As part of the campaign to encourage the use of home sprinklers, the NFPA has re-released it’s 1986 video classic “Fire Power” to illustrate the point. Its worth a watch, believe me.
In 1986 NFPA created the award winning video – Fire Power – which takes a firsthand look at the deadly dynamics of fire from ignition to full room involvement. At every twist and turn of the video, viewers get a bird’s-eye view of fire’s path of destruction and are astonished at how rapidly smoke and flames from a small fire envelop a home, making escape virtually impossible.
What is Flashover?
The video is still very powerful, as it shows and narrates the increasing intensity of a normal home fire. From the time that a smoldering cigarette ignites a small fire, it takes only four minutes for the temperature in the home’s living room to reach 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit – the point described as “Flashover.” That’s the time when spontaneous ignition occurs.
As Jack Harper explains: “The message today is the same as it was in 1986; you cannot survive flashover…”
Smoke Alarms Do Save Lives – but Monitored Smoke and Heat Sensors are Better
The video does show a smoke alarm sounding, although the device is not monitored. What I found remarkable was the amount of time it took before the fire was visible from outside the house. By the time your neighbors would notice, it really may be too late. While smoke alarms save lives, they don’t do much good if you are not home – or if you are home and overcome by smoke. Remember, there are more deaths in residential fires caused by smoke inhalation than by the fire itself. The best solution – unless you do have sprinklers in your home – is a monitored smoke and heat sensor.
What You can Do
One of the most important developments in home security is the simple addition of monitored fire detection for almost any alarm system. The best companies offer this vital service at no addition monthly cost, and the sensors themselves should not be expensive. When you consider the true peace of mind you get with this added protection, and consider the additional discounts you should get from your insurance company, I’m not sure why everyone does not add at least one of these devices to their home security plan.
If you’re already a FrontPoint customer, you know that FrontPoint does not charge anything extra for fire monitoring – and our UL-listed wireless smoke and heat sensor costs only $64.99, one of the best values in home security. We suggest placing one sensor on each floor for the best protection. Remember, with FrontPoint you can add any sensors at any time, so it’s never too late. That’s one more reason why we’re the #1 ranked alarm company in the US – we put your peace of mind first. Make sure your alarm system includes fire monitoring: it could save your home – or your life.