When consulting with clients on how to design a home security system I always include the topic of life safety. A comprehensive home security system can be much more than a burglar alarm. While break ins can be devastating, they rarely involve loss of lives. Home invasions make headlines, but they are the exception rather than the rule. The vast majority of break ins occur when the homeowner is away from the home. Your security system will greatly reduce your odds of property loss and the feelings of fear, vulnerability and violation that accompany a break in.
Your security system can provide an even greater sense of comfort and peace of mind by including life safety components such as monitored smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors and medical pendants. The inclusion of these items, which are monitored 24 hours a day-whether your system is armed or not, protect more than just your possessions…they can save lives.
While most homes are equipped with smoke detectors that meet local code enforcement requirements, the advantage of these smoke detectors is that, as part of your security system, they are monitored 24/7 by your monitoring station. Unlike the cheaper ionization smoke detectors you get at the hardware store, which usually become more susceptible to false alarms as they age, these typically utilize photoelectric chambers, which are less susceptible to false alarms, to detect smoke. In the event of a fire, they will activate a siren and immediately notify the Central Monitoring Station of a fire event. The CMS will call the home to attempt to verify the signal, and then dispatch the fire department.
This all happens automatically- which is critical. A slow smoldering smoke emits noxious gases which can actually induce a deeper slumber and prevent one from awakening. In some cases, the call from the monitoring station is what prevents the residents from succumbing to smoke inhalation. With a professionally monitored security system equipped with smoke detectors, there is no need to dial 911….your only concern is to get you and your family safely out of the home. Help is on the way!
Carbon Monoxide Detectors (CO)
Unlike smoke from a fire, carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless and is therefore virtually impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon Monoxide is a toxic and potentially dangerous by-product of incomplete or inefficient burning. Common sources are the emissions from malfunctioning home burner systems, space heaters, blocked chimneys or a running car inside a garage. Areas near home heating burners and bedrooms above or adjacent to the garage are particularly susceptible. In case the residence is empty, the residents are sleeping or occupants are already suffering from the effects of CO, the central station can be alerted to the high concentrations of CO gas and can send the proper authorities to investigate.
The merits of a wireless medical pendant or watch become increasingly important when there are medical concerns in the home. The catalyst for my interest in the security industry actually resulted from a personal experience in which a family member was unable to make it to the phone to get help after suffering a stroke. The ability to summons help at the push of a wireless button can make all the difference. The elderly and infirmed can maintain a sense of dignity and independence…and the family can have the peace of mind of knowing that help is available at the push of a button.
As you can see, a comprehensive security system can not only protect against break ins, but it can safeguard the lives of those most precious to you. For more information on life safety devices, check out the offerings of some of the top alarm companies.