Home security systems aren’t just for burglar protection. Houston has experienced a rash of fires over the holidays. Fires jumping from one home to the next, apartment fires, and house fires have all been in Houston’s local news. We have to worry about fires started from cooking, from faulty electrical wiring, from smoking, from space heaters when our weather turns cold, from lightning and excessive heat waves in the summer.
Residential Fire Statistics
The CDC has some alarming fire statistics (2010)
- Over 33% fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke dectectors
- Someone in the US dies in a fire every 169 minutes
- Over 80% of fire deaths occurred in residential fires
- Home fires are usually caused by cooking
- Seniors over 65 and children under 4 are the most at risk in fires
The National Fire Protection Association reports 386,000 home fires in 2011. These home fires resulted in 14,360 injuries, 2,550 deaths, and $7.1 billion in property damage. This means a home fire is reported every 85 seconds in the US.
In the first half on 2012, the Houston Fire Department responded to 28,492 calls for fire help. If only 10% of the calls were home related fires, that’s still almost 2,850 fires in 6 months, or approximately 475 home fires each month in Houston.
Home fires are devastating any time of the year. During the holidays, this is more so. But did you know that your home security system setup can also protect your family and belongings from the devastation of fires?
Home Security System Fire Protection Equipment
Just about everyone knows the annoying, ear-piercing sounds when a smoke detector goes off. Your dog frantically whimpers and the children cover their ears until you are able to climb up on a chair and shut the apparatus off.
You’re home right now, but what would happen if you were away? Who would be there to assess the situation and call the fire department?
Your existing home security system can be easily upgraded for fire protection with the addition of heat and smoke detectors. These home security add-ons don’t have to cost a lot of money. When integrated with your burglar alarm, your security monitoring company is notified when a smoke or heat detector is activated. Hardwired or wireless, fire detectors are easy to add to both new and existing home security systems.
You have choices when it comes to smoke detectors. Photoelectric smoke detectors use a light source in the detecting chamber. When the beam of light is disrupted, the alarm goes off. Ionization smoke detectors use electrically charged plates in the detecting chamber. When smoke enters the chamber, the alarm goes off because a change in the current is sensed.
Photoelectric smoke detectors are work best on long, smoldering fires; ionization detectors are best for flaming fires. Since the two technologies are quite different and are suited to dissimilar fire types, the National Fire Protection Association recommends using a combination of both technologies. There are smoke detectors available that contain both technologies.
Heat detectors use a different technology. It’s not about smoke, it’s about heat. Most homes keep the air temperature around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat detector senses changes in the air temperature. Most heat detectors will sound an alarm if the air temperature rises above 120 degrees.
Home security system fire protection upgrades can be accomplished quickly and easily. Isn’t an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure when it comes to protecting your home, business, family, and belongings from the devastation of a fire?