When people say “home alarm” these days, we know the system can do a lot more than just detect intrusion. Home alarms have now evolved into remote notifications, video monitoring, home automation for control of lights, locks, and even thermostats. But at the basic level of protection, it’s about more than intrusion. Every home alarm should also be equipped to monitor for fire. And here are some great reasons why, from the NFPA. The leading cause of home fires may surprise you: cooking.
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
“Properly installed and maintained fire protection devices, such as smoke alarms and residential fire sprinklers, can help to prevent most fire deaths.” 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.
Top 10 Fire Safety Tips
- Watch your cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- Give space heaters space. Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Smoke outside. Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have sturdy, deep ashtrays for smokers.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach. Keep matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child lock.
- Inspect electrical cords. Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections.
- Be careful when using candles. Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Have a home fire escape plan. Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
- Install smoke alarms. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Interconnect smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Test smoke alarms. Test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace conventional batteries once a year or when the alarm “chirps” to tell you the battery is low. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.
- Install sprinklers. If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive.
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.