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Fire Protection & Your Home Alarm System

Home alarm systems are, as we’ve discussed, not just about intrusion detection. Another very important role that residential security technology can play in your peace of mind is to detect certain conditions in your home. One of the most important of these is fire detection.

Unlike intrusion direction, which is only “active” when your alarm system is armed, fire detection devices don’t need to be turned on and off. A monitored smoke detector is working all the time. These detectors provide an incredible service.

In fact, fire protection all by itself is a major reason to have a monitored home alarm system in the first place.

  • Let’s say you’re away when the fire happens, so you’re not home to hear that non-monitored noisemaker alarm go off.
  • How about if you are home – and overcome by smoke? Most fire deaths are caused not by the fire itself, but by smoke inhalation. Wouldn’t you rather know that if you are overcome by smoke, help could be on the way?
  • An additional advantage is that your insurance company may well offer further discounts for fire monitoring over and above the savings you’ll see just from having a monitored intrusion system.

So, let’s briefly recap the key benefits of adding fire protection monitoring to your alarm system:

  • Non-monitored smoke alarms – even the extensive systems sometimes required by building codes – will never summon help. They do nothing when you are away, or if at home and overcome by smoke.
  • Fire protection monitoring should not add a penny to your monitoring fees.
  • Fire monitoring should provide you with additional home insurance discounts.
  • Pets that are home alone need monitored fire protection, too!

Placement

Smoke and heat sensors are best placed high on the wall, or on the ceiling – and as a rule, not in the “corner” where the wall and ceiling meet. I generally recommend one sensor on each floor, starting with the upper floors, and working down (since heat rises, and upstairs is usually where the bedrooms are).

As you may imagine, the kitchen is not a great location for the smoke & heat sensor. There is too much possibility of a false alarm. The same can be said for a bathroom, as the steam may be interpreted by a sensor as smoke.

Monitored Fire Detection is Best

It’s great to know that if you are away from home – or if you are at home, and are overcome by smoke – that help can be on the way in minutes. That’s why a monitored smoke & heat sensor is the wise choice for homeowners looking for true peace of mind. Frankly, anything else is just a noisemaker.

8 Steps To Help Protect Your Home And Family From A Fire

Here are some fire safety tips to help prevent a fire in your home and stay calm and safe in an emergency:

1. You should have at least one smoke detector on every floor of your home.  Most fire departments recommend changing batteries twice a year — in the fall when you set the clocks back and in the spring when you set them forward.

2. Check your house for fire hazards. Fireplaces and electrical cords should be checked regularly to make sure they are in good working order. If there is someone in the home who smokes, make sure that he disposes of his ashes frequently in a heavy metal container.

3. Make a family fire safety plan. What will you all do if you hear the smoke alarm in the middle of the night? Have the family talk about where to go and what to do in the event of a fire. There should be two ways to escape from every room (in case one way is blocked by fire.) And you should pick a location outside — a neighbor’s house, a big tree, a nearby park — where everyone can meet.

4. Practice your fire safety plan. Don’t just talk about it —run through your plan to make sure everyone knows what to do. Check windows and screens to make sure that they will open if necessary. And practice meeting up at your assigned location outside.

5. If there is a fire in your home, remember this important fire safety tip: Don’t hide, go outside! You may be scared, but never hide during a fire.

6. The best way to escape in the event of a fire is to fall and crawl. Get low to the ground where there is less smoke in the air and crawl your way to safety.

7. If your clothes are on fire, don’t panic. Remember to stop, drop and roll. Keep rolling until the fire is out. Don’t run — it will make the fire spread faster.

8. Never go back inside a burning building. Once you get to the designated meeting spot, stay there and wait for all the family to arrive.

Always think protection, especially with fire safety!