Fire alarms are inventions that have saved countless lives. Until recently, fire alarms have been used in public buildings, government facilities and in offices, factories and warehouses. Today, these alarms are available, affordable and attractive enough to be used in private homes.
Fire alarms are an early warning system for homeowners and residents of a home.
- If you are in another part of the house, sensors will trigger the alarm long before you first smell smoke.
- If your family is sleeping, alarms warn you in time to call 911 and get everyone out of the house.
- If a child, a disabled person or an elderly person is at home alone, the early warning gives them more time to leave the house safely.
- Exterior alarm sounds also notify neighbors of a problem and can bring them quickly to provide assistance.
- If your family is away from home, notifying neighbors could save your pets.
- Your neighbors are alerted early and can take steps to protect their property.
- You might have time to put out a small fire.
- You might have time to move a vehicle out of a garage.
- You might have time to turn off a gas line.
- You might have time to pick up vital papers and take them with you when you leave.
Listening to the evening news provides ample demonstration of the surprising proportion of fires that occur when families are not at home. A large number of fires also occur at night. Fire alarms give families time to get everyone out of the house safely. The early warning also allows you to call the fire department sooner after the fire breaks out.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration estimates for 2002 (latest available), 2,490 children under the age of 15 were injured or killed in residential fires. More than half of those deaths were children under the age of 5 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the third leading cause of unintentional death to children under the age of 15 is fire and burns. In 2002, 560 children (under 15) were killed in residential fires and another 1,930 were injured.
There are two primary types of fire alarms. The first type is part of your home security system and uses sensors placed throughout your residence. If a fire starts, the sensors trigger the same alarm that is triggered by an intruder. You can then either call 911 or activate the panic button on the keypad that is programmed to send a fire alert to the 911 dispatchers.
The second type of fire alarm costs a little bit more, and may require that a fee be paid to your city or county for monitoring. These fire alarms look exactly the same inside your home. The difference is that the wiring connects your alarm and fire alarm system to the 911 dispatch center. This is the most effective and the fastest way fire alarms can notify dispatchers. These fire alarms instantly send the fire department to your home.
When the fire broke out in the home that resulted in the death or injury of a child in 2002, roughly 55% of deaths and 26.5% of injuries the children were asleep. An additional 26% who died and 35% who were injured were escaping the fire when the death or injury occurred. These statistics make it very easy to understand the critical importance of fire alarms in saving lives when fires occur.
As important as intrusion alarms and security cameras are for the security of your residence, fire alarms are the most important element of any security system for the safety of your family, especially your children.