Monitored smoke alarm systems are one of the most popular home safety solutions on the market today. Advance sensor technologies, real time communications, and round the clock monitoring work in tandem to deliver improved fire protection for your home. You’ll sleep better at night knowing that you have reliable equipment and professional staff safeguarding your home from fire.
A tiny piece of smoldering material, an unseen electrical short, or a miniscule flame can be the cause of a devastating fire. Combustion also produces an odorless gas called Carbon Monoxide that is debilitating to humans and eventually fatal if inhaled in significant amounts. It leaves less fit people unable to save themselves when a fire strikes.
Small, barely detectable fires produce smoke in quantities that humans can hardly smell when they’re awake, let alone while they’re sleeping. Thankfully, smoke detectors are sensitive enough to detect even minute amounts of smoke. They can buy you enough time to put down a fire or evacuate before it gets out of hand, saving you from possible loss of life and property.
Monitored smoke alarm systems have a couple of major advantages over standard passive alarm systems.
• The addition of real time monitoring further decreases the response time for emergency responders. Having one installed in your home assures you of a quicker response to fire related emergencies.
• Aside from alerting the emergency responders, the monitoring centre will call and SMS the home owner and his family. They can also trigger a full alarm to ensure that they get the attention of everyone inside the house.
• Monitored smoke alarm systems are continuously supervised in real time by professional staff at the monitoring centre. They can quickly distinguish between a false alarm and a real emergency allowing them to initiate the proper response in a timely manner.
• Even with a full complement of alarms, an empty house can still burn down if no one notices smoke alarms that have gone off. This would not happen with monitored alarm systems as they always have staff keeping an eye out for any signs of trouble.
• Individual detectors can inform the center about possible hardware failure in real time. Smoke detection reliability is improved since equipment problems are minimized. You’ll never overlook a faulty or unpowered detector again. Home owners who use multiple detectors will appreciate the ability to keep their system operating at optimum performance continuously.
• Smoke sensitivity and others settings can be adjusted remotely. This allows for more accurate readings leading to fewer false alarms. This feature reduces the need for visits by alarm technicians when only minor adjustments are required.
A Real Life Story
December 2008 in Oakville, Ontario, a small fire in the furnace room triggered an alarm at a Dunwoody residence. The sensors immediately sent an urgent notification to Security Response Center’s monitoring team. Nicole Hurak was on duty then and responded to the alarm with “above average professionalism and concern.”
The owner, Douglas Sabine, received a call while they were getting ready to sleep. He replied that he didn’t hear any alarm but would go down to check. Contact was lost and Nicole called back several times, each time receiving a busy signal. She then proceeded to call all the alternate numbers. Receiving no response, she immediately called the fire department.
It turned out that her call had saved Douglas’s life.
On May 13, 2013, the RAA has expressed its concern about the alarming number of residents who don’t have smoke alarms in their homes. They found that 12% of the respondents to the 2013 RAA Safety Survey don’t have smoke alarms installed where they live. Those who live in apartments are more unlikely to have one.
This is quite worrying since 1 in 5 home owners can expect to have a fire in their homes within their life time. Neil Mclean, a spokesperson from the RAA Secure Services, said that it is alarming to know that a significant number of residents are still not installing the proper fire prevention measures in their home.