Life safety: Residential smoke alarms & home fire monitoring

Life safety: Residential smoke alarms & home fire monitoring


More Than Just A Beep!

For many, smoke alarms are only an issue when their batteries need to be replaced or someone lets a skillet get too hot in the kitchen. While smoke alarms may seem to be an occasional nuisance in every day life, they serve one of the highest purposes.

According to the National Fire Protection Association “Roughly one in every 320 households per year had a reported home fire during [a] five-year period. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,570 civilian deaths, 13,210 civilian injuries, and $7.2 billion in direct property damage per year”. Fire prevention is a critical issue for your family and EPS Security. For those reasons, we highly suggest specific fire devices and services for your home.

2W-B_2WT-B_4W-B_4WT-B_RIGHTIonization Versus Photoelectric

For the most part, two types of smoke detectors are available for the home, ionization and photoelectric. Ionization alarms are by far the most common, least expensive, and have been around for much longer. These alarms use ions to detect smoke in the air. Photoelectric alarms are much less common and use light beams and mirrors within the devices to detect smoke. According to the NFPA, ionization alarms are more responsive to “flaming fire” which includes cooking fires and fire started by accelerants. On the other hand, photoelectric detectors are more responsive to “smoldering fires” that are slow building and cause thick clouds of smoke.

Studies have shown that while ionization alarms go off quickly during “fast flame” incidents, they are upwards of 10 minutes or longer at detecting “smoldering” fires. This is one of the reasons why EPS utilizes photoelectric detectors in homes instead of the ionization variety.

Smoke Alarm Maintenance

  • Test all alarms at least once a month
  • Replace batteries when stand-alone detectors chirp or when an EPS Monitored system detects a low battery
  • All smoke detectors should be replaced due to age every 10 years.

Beyond Smoke Detection

While it is of the utmost importance to maintain smoke detectors throughout your home and test their effectiveness on a consistent basis, there are other ways to reduce your risk to fire. A hardwired or wireless monitored smoke alarm system with EPS Security provides an instant signal to the EPS Monitoring Center. So, if you are at home, out to walk the dogs, or away on vacation… our operators will be ready to respond to any alarm at the moment your smoke detector(s) are triggered. In a fire alarm situation EPS operators dispatch the local fire department immediately, and then contact the homeowner to ensure their safety.

Beyond emergency situations, we also receive signals if the alarm is not communicating with EPS or if a detector’s battery becomes low. EPS can also install fire/carbon monoxide alarm combination detectors & heat (temperature) detectors rather than smoke alarms for areas which benefit from their use. Lastly, EPS Security technician’s are extensively trained with your safety in mind. EPS installed smoke detectors and life safety devices are installed according to industry best practices and standards to ensure the highest level of safety for your home.

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