Five reasons why it’s time to swap your battery operated smoke detector for a monitored smoke and carbon monoxide alarm

Jacqi Levy by Jacqi Levy | 10.09.2017

Smoke detectors have come a long way.  Battery operated smoke detectors are most common in residential settings, but today’s monitored smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are smart and provide a level of protection that a traditional battery operated smoke detector can’t.

Here are five reasons why you should consider a monitored system:

1 – Someone will hear the alarm, even if you’re out

A traditional battery operated smoke detector is designed to provide an auditory alert at the first sign of a fire.  But what happens if you’re not home?  Who will hear the alarm?

With a monitored system, a monitoring company is notified immediately.  The monitoring company will then contact you and also signal emergency response, so the fire department can respond immediately.  This early warning can be life-saving for pets or others at home who cannot safely self-evacuate, and can also prevent serious property damage.

2 – Your smoke detectors will be able to talk to each other

Monitored smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are designed so that if one device is triggered, all devices will sound.  So, if you have a large or multi-level home, or if you’re a person who tends to sleep soundly, the device nearest to you will sound – even if it’s not the device closest to the location of the fire.

As an additional benefit, some devices are designed to provide alternatives to the traditional “chirp” alert, such as visual alerts, which are great for the hearing impaired, or human voice alerts, which work well for the visually impaired and can help you quickly identify which type of alarm is sounding.

3 – It provides added carbon monoxide detection

When the fire alarm sounds, you can see and smell the smoke that triggered it.    However, since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, when the alarm sounds you might be tempted to assume that it is a false alarm – even when it’s not.

This false sense of security can be dangerous, when carbon monoxide can cause unconsciousness in a matter of minutes.  A monitored alarm system will also trigger fire and emergency response for carbon monoxide, which can be lifesaving.

4 – It can reduce false alarms

Have you ever had a smoke detector that would sound every time you cooked…even if you just barely burned something?

Many people will deal with recurring false alarms by disconnecting the smoke detector’s batteries, which poses a serious safety risk.  With a monitored alarm system, a professional will install your smoke detectors.  The professional will know exactly where to place them in order to maximize coverage — while also minimizing false alarms – so you can keep cooking and stay safe.

5 – It can alert you to possible failure before it happens

The National Fire Protection Agency reports that 1 in 5 fire deaths are caused by smoke alarms that fail to operate. These failures are most often caused by dead or disconnected batteries.

A monitored system can reduce the chances of failure by sending a signal to the monitoring company when batteries need to be replaced, or when the carbon monoxide sensor is near end of life.  The monitoring company will then contact you, so you can take action.

Stay protected, and have a plan

When it comes to fire detection, state of the art technology can enhance your safety and the safety of your loved ones. But remember, technology is only part of the equation.

In honor of Fire Prevention Week, October 8-14, talk to your family and make sure you have an evacuation plan.  Hold fire drills twice a year and teach children how to escape in case you are not able to help them.  After all, in a fire, every second counts.