Security systems are time-tested ways of protecting your home and property from break-ins and burglaries, but perhaps their most vital function involves protecting you and your family from the very real threat of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Standalone detectors may provide some protection from home fires if you’re home and awake, but these “standard” detectors won’t help to dispatch authorities to your home without the proper monitoring a professional security system provides.
With the current revolution in smart home and life safety technology, modern residential life safety systems offer better protection than ever before. The new line of ProSeries devices from Honeywell Home use the best of modern detection technology to bring home fire and carbon monoxide devices into the “smart” era of security. Flashy gizmos like smart garage door openers, lights, and WiFi cameras are worth a look unto themselves, but the enhanced life safety capabilities of the new ProSeries solution may quietly be the MVPs of your family’s smart home security system.
The need for better home fire protection
“Life safety” isn’t a gimmicky marketing term. In even a standard, non-smart alarm system, smoke, carbon monoxide, and heat detectors work in conjunction with each other to alert occupants of a building of a life-threatening emergency. Every year, close to 4,000 people die from home fires—with close to 60% of those deaths stemming from fires in homes with inadequate smoke detector protection. Carbon monoxide is an unfortunately common and more stealthy threat to the average family, with around 20,000 people being hospitalized every year from exposure and 400 people dying every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. Perhaps the most alarming statistic of all concerns the speed at which the modern home burns: in the past, a fire took 10-15 minutes to fully consume a home. With modern building materials, a family only has 2-3 minutes to evacuate before the fire burns out-of-control.
It’s because of facts like these that the earliest possible notification of a fire outbreak is essential in the safe evacuation of a burning home. Smoke detectors are required by fire code in residences, but if the batteries are dead or removed or the detector isn’t working, a fire can spread without proper warning. Another concern is that people, especially children, will often sleep through even a properly functioning smoke detector, especially if the fire starts on a different level of the home. A recent study found that a shocking 80% of kids did not wake up to the alarm of a standard smoke detector—an enormous problem in a real-world emergency situation where literally every second counts.
Faster evacuation with one-go, all-go and voice alarms
The ProSeries tackles these life safety concerns head on with a new spin on smoke and carbon monoxide detection. Using “one-go, all-go” technology, when a single ProSeries combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector detects smoke in one part of the home, every individual detector on the system goes off. “One-go, all-go” technology increases the audibility of a home’s detection devices, so even if a fire breaks out near your basement combination detector, the one installed outside your second-floor master bedroom will alarm in sync.
To minimize the risk of sleeping through even nearby alerts, the new ProSeries combination detectors alarm using voice annunciation. While children sleep through standard smoke detector chirps with ease, they are three times more likely to wake up to the sound of verbalized alarm warnings. And borrowing from the commercial life safety industry, the ProSeries combination smoke detectors alarm with visual cues, too. Strobes built into the detectors flash in unique color combinations dependent on whether there is a fire or carbon monoxide emergency, helping both children and adults determine exactly which emergency plan to follow as they exit the home. The added visual cues and voice annunciation technology has been shown to lead to emergency evacuations that are ten times faster than that of standard home fire alarm systems—a crucial improvement in a high-stress situation where success is determined by moments, not minutes.
The whole package—sirens, strobes, heat, and water detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors form the backbone of residential life safety systems, but the ProSeries takes things a step further. The earliest possible detection of a fire is critical to both a successful evacuation and the fastest possible dispatch of emergency services to minimize property and structural damage. While smoke detectors have improved in detection technologies in recent years (smoke detector post), sometimes fires can burn without smoke before reaching critical and dangerous levels. Alternatively, the number one place home fires start in—the kitchen—is an inopportune place to install a smoke detector, especially if your steaks are often on the “accidentally well-done” side. It’s why the ProSeries line includes heat detectors, which can help detect both “smokeless” fires and fit into areas where cooking-related smoke or even particles such as sawdust could accidentally set off a more conventional smoke detector.
Additionally, some houses may be large enough to require a little extra noise from their life safety systems. The ProSeries system comes with both indoor and outdoor sirens and strobes to add extra oomph to their alarms. If you’re playing with the kids outside and forget about the roast in the oven, your outdoor sirens and strobes will alarm at the first detection of smoke, potentially saving your kitchen from fire damage—though probably not saving your roast.
Fire might be the biggest threat to the well-being of your family, but other environmental threats can be financially devastating for your property. Unchecked flooding caused by burst pipes, malfunctioning sump pumps, or leaky sinks can be catastrophic both to your home and your wallet. A single incident of water damage can cost thousand of dollars to repair. Second homes and cottages are especially vulnerable to water leaks, as the often lengthy times between visits can lead to rampant water accumulation.
Luckily, the ProSeries covers this base as well. Flood and water detectors can be added to any ProSeries system to monitor high-risk areas like basements and bathrooms to help spot water issues before they turn into nightmares. Due to Michigan’s bitter winters, water detection is a crucial facet of a comprehensive security and life safety system that often winds up paying for itself.
A well-rounded (and monitored) life safety net
The ProSeries is a serious buff to the “standard” home security and life safety system, but even the best systems require outside help. If a fire alarm goes off in your home while you’re there, you may be able to evacuate in time—but until you call 911, no one is coming to try and put out the fire. If carbon monoxide leaks quickly into your home, it’s possible you may be incapable of waking up to your alarm sounding. And if anything happens to your home when you’re not there, the issue will continue unchecked until it’s too late to address it.
24/7/365 monitoring by a professional security company is the final piece of the home protection puzzle, and nobody does it better than EPS Security. Our award-winning Monitoring Center is operated by trained dispatchers who understand the need for urgency and accuracy regarding every incoming alarm signal. The EPS Monitoring Center is also run in the Grand Rapids corporate office, meaning your alarm signals are getting dispatched locally, not by a third-party organization in a different state. The fact that we run our Monitoring Center in-house means our engineers, operators, technicians, and security consultants can all work together to engineer the perfect home security and life safety system for your unique needs and help you keep it running smoothly well into the future.
You can’t afford to gamble when it comes to life safety. The ProSeries line is a world-class product from a world-class security manufacturer that can help to protect your home from the various threats that face it while also providing the premier smart home experience. All that’s missing from your 24 karat smart home security and life safety solution is a world-class professional provider—and luckily for Michigan homeowners, there’s one right in their own backyards.