Intrusion detection gets the lion’s share of attention when it comes to home alarm systems, so that we often overlook life safety – potentially at our peril. One of the great advantages of having a monitored alarm system is that your home can also be monitored for a full range of environmental conditions: smoke, heat, carbon monoxide, low temperature, and even a flood from a burst pipe. Of these, the most important is smoke/heat for fire, although CO is close in second place.
Here are some scary stats from the US Fire Administration, a department under FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) – the link is http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/statistics/quickstats/index.shtm
- There were 3,320 civilians that lost their lives as the result of fire.
- There were 16,705 civilian injuries that occurred as the result of fire.
- Fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined.
- 84 percent of all civilian fire deaths occurred in residences.
- There were an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008.
- Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $15.5 billion.
We talk to people about this all the time. In fact, we recommend at least one wireless monitored smoke/heat sensor in every home. That’s right, you get both sensing technologies in one unit, and adding this to your system will not jack up your monthly fee (which happens at some alarm companies). You should even get an additional discount on your homeowners insurance for monitored fire detection.
What is the natural response we hear? “I already have smoke detectors.” Yes, but are they monitored? We’re not just worried about your home when you are away, but also worried about you if you are at home and overcome by smoke. Your “noisemakers” won’t do much for you then. And as for pets, my wife insisted after we moved that we get the fire monitoring portion of our system set up first. Our two doggies are diabolically clever, but they don’t dial 911 very well.
Here is some more helpful information, from a recent FrontPoint podcast. It’s the fourth one down, titled “Smoke and Heat Sensors.”
Remember: for only $64.99 and no additional monthly fee, you can add a monitored smoke/heat sensor to your FrontPoint system – whether you buy it up front, or add it later. We recommend one on each floor. Your family (and pets!) will thank you.