What’s the first thing you think of when someone says, “alarm system?” You probably visualize burglars ransacking a home (hopefully not yours!) for cash, jewelry, electronics, guns, and even prescription drugs. It’s easy to forget that a properly designed alarm system monitors for other conditions as well: water, low temperature, carbon monoxide, and the most important one of all – fire. The truth is that it’s easy to add fire protection to your alarm system, and the best alarm companies encourage you to do this, while making it affordable, which means no additional monthly charge. And in the case of this elderly couple from Canton Ohio, having a monitored fire alarm system really paid off.
An 87-year-old man was out in his yard Wednesday morning when his home security company called his cell phone to alert him that his house was on fire. Firefighters were called at 10:53 a.m. to the small bungalow at 704 34th St. NW and put out the blaze. George Foradas said he went back to his house and opened several doors. “The whole house … I was blinded by smoke. I couldn’t see anything,” he said.
How Fire Monitoring Works
Fire monitoring works just like intrusion monitoring. When your alarm system senses the alarm – in this case from a smoke/heat sensor that is part of the system – the alarm signal is immediately sent to the 24/7 monitoring center. The monitoring personnel will then call you (they call two numbers that you have provided) to confirm the fire. If you say everything is fine, which can happen for several reasons such as cooking, the event is closed. If they cannot reach you, or you confirm the fire, then the fire department is dispatched immediately. It’s such an important and efficient process that home insurance companies provide additional discounts for fire monitoring. And, it can save your life. Back to the Foradas family…
Firefighters kept the blaze from spreading beyond a first-floor bedroom, said Battalion Chief Gary Boone. “There was quite a bit of damage,” Boone said. He estimated damage to the house at $10,000 and another $5,000 to the contents. There was smoke damage throughout, Boone said. Fire prevention bureau inspectors determined the fire was started by unattended candles. Foradas and his wife, Sophia, were not injured.
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 373,900 home structure fires from 2005-2009 according to new research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). According to the report, cooking fires remain the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries and smoking materials continue to be the leading cause of home fire deaths. During the five-year period covered by the report, roughly one in every 310 households per year had a reported home fire. Each year, these fires caused an estimated average of 2,650 civilian deaths, 12,890 civilian injuries, and $7.1 billion in direct property damage. On average, seven people died in U.S. home fires every day. “These statistics are a sad reminder that fire is still a deadly threat and we must do more to prevent the needless deaths and losses,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications.
Smoke Detectors Save Lives
Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in which no smoke alarms were present at all (38 percent) or smoke alarms were present but did not operate (24 percent). Of course, the most effective smoke detectors are monitored: they work when you’re not home, or when you are overcome by smoke – and that’s exactly when you want to know that help is on the way.
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 life safety. 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 nationwide leader in wireless home security – and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US. We put your safety and peace of mind first. Make sure your alarm system includes fire monitoring: it could save your home – and your life.