Home Security - Fire and Smoke Alarms


Fire alarms detect the presence of fire and smoke, but that's not all. They also alert occupants for evacuation purposes, notify emergency response authorities and even initiate procedures to slow or halt the spread of fire. There are a couple types...automated and manual. Automated systems will be triggered automatically upon detection whereas a manual system must be initiated by a person once the threat has been detected.

So how does one determine their fire alarm needs? There are a number of factors that will help you to determine this. Budget, building or Fire Marshal codes and even Homeowner's Association guidelines can play a role in arriving at your needs. Be mindful that insurance companies will provide discounted premiums for homeowner's who install some form of fire/smoke detection systems.

A basic system will utilize key components: power source, back-up power source, control panel, manual (pull lever) or automatic triggering device (smoke or fire alarm) and an audible/visual signaling device (this is the alarm and/or flashing lights).

Installing a smoke and fire detection system is a good start to protecting your home, it's contents and your loved ones. However, establishing a monitoring service is the critical "next step." For a monthly or annual fee, an alarm monitoring service will provide 24 hour per day support. When an alarm is activated, it will alert the monitoring service, typically via a computer interface. The alarm company will dispatch the proper emergency response teams (typically fire and police departments). In some instances, the monitoring company will also dispatch their own personnel.

There are a number of nationally recognized companies that specialize in the design, sale/lease and monitoring of fire alarms. Being a very competitive industry means that prices are generally quite reasonable. Take the time to secure a minimum of three estimates to insure you find a provider you're comfortable with. When hiring a full service alarm company, the homeowner will normally have an option to lease or purchase the equipment. Be diligent when considering which option is most practical.

Bob Garret writes numerous articles for Web sites on home security, personal security, and home automation. For more of his useful articles on security, please visit Home Security supplier of home security products and systems.



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