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How a Monitored Fire Alarm Saves the Day

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September 15, 2011

How a Monitored Fire Alarm Saves the Day

It’s true that most homes have smoke detectors, but people forget that they’re generally not monitored: what happens when that smoke detector starts to wail, and you’re not there to hear it? That’s why homeowners are increasingly turning to monitored fire protection. A story from Salem, Ohio illustrates the point very well:

Now That’s Fast Response!

No one was home and it's a good thing they had an alarm system, Salem Fire Capt. Mike Mahouski said after returning to the station Monday afternoon. Firefighters had just responded to an alarm company call at 2:57 pm, with a truck out of the station on E. Second St. They were on the scene at E. 4th St. one minute later, where a clogged corn-burner fire backed up into the feeder mechanism. The two-story home, built in 1920, is owned by Chad and Krista Rhodes.

Of course, you can’t always expect this kind of immediate response – but there’s no question that if a fire in your home spreads until your neighbors see smoke and flames, it may be too late. You want the fire department notified as soon as possible, and that’s what a professionally monitored system does. The standard device added to home alarm systems for fire protection is the wireless smoke and heat sensor, and it should not cost much (well under than $100). The added discount on your home insurance should pay for that in the first year.

How it Worked

Smoke set off the alarm and firefighters arrived almost immediately and the house received minimal damage, if any, according to Mahouski. "It could've been worse ... the alarm company was monitoring and we got the call directly from them," he said. Mahouski explained corn burners, supplementary heating devices, can also use wood pellets. He said this one somehow got backed up into the unburnt corn in the chute and started it burning.

Another Happy Ending

One of the owners was on the scene and Inspector Aaron Loper commented on having an alarm system. "It saved her a lot of money," he said, adding that she had mentioned it just paid for itself. The firefighters were back in service at 3:38 p.m.

Chances are these homeowners were already receiving the additional discount on their insurance – and with a good alarm company, there’s no extra monthly charge for adding fire monitoring. This post is a seasonal reminder from FrontPoint, the nationwide leader in interactive, wireless home security. The best alarm systems detect a lot more than intrusion: fire, carbon monoxide, water, low temperature, and other conditions may all be transmitted to the monitoring center (ideally over a cellular link), and today’s systems can also alert you of these events: you’re only a text or an email away. At FrontPoint, we want you to be safe – and in the know.


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