Will Your Home Security System Help or Hinder During a House Fire?

Contrary to popular belief, home security systems do a lot more than protect you from burglaries. Modern home security systems can turn your house into a fully-monitored, environmentally-efficient safe zone, where threats to your family are easily identified and reported to authorities. One of the biggest threats to the average family is fire, which kills 2,500 Americans every year. According to FEMA,, a large fire can start in 30 seconds or less and engulf your home in black smoke within minutes. Having the extra security features that help detect and protect from fires is essential, but so is making sure that your security system is up to par.


Security Measures You Should Be Taking

Every home needs several working fire alarms, but it helps to also have a security system with environmental controls. The monitoring capabilities of most new security systems such as the ones found at www.securitysystems.net/frontpointsecurity include this feature. When the temperature in your home changes drastically, the system will send you an email or text message, and you can then choose whether to alert the authorities. This helps prevent not only fires but burst pipes and doors and windows left open accidentally. You can also install an automatic fire detector in the corner of your home, which will alert you to fires in the neighborhood that are within a close proximity. And you should always keep at least one fire extinguisher on hand to prevent smaller fires from growing too large to handle.

If only he could turn back time

Extra Precautions to Consider

Many people find the possibility of a house fire is one of the best reasons for owning a fire-proof safe. Your safe will protect important documents and valuables from burglars, but it will also protect them from smoke and flame damage so that you won’t have to struggle with replacing birth certificates, passports, or tax papers in the awful event that your home burns down. The U.S. Fire Administration now recommends every home have a sprinkler system. These are usually much more affordable than you think and can greatly increase your property value as well as increasing your chances of surviving a fire. One of the best new fire security measures on the market is an electrical circuit interrupter, which can detect an overload and stop it before it happens. Electrical malfunctions are said to cause up to 50,000 fires every year.

When Security Hinders You

It may not seem like a major concern, but sometimes the way doors and windows are sealed in the home can actually keep you in as much as they keep burglars out. This is an issue for seniors, who are twice as likely to die in home fires as people under the age of 65. Security systems that come with magnetic sealers to prevent doors and windows left cracked open can make it difficult for them to open in the event of a fire, and shatter-proof glass can be a barrier for occupants and firemen alike. You also have to take stock of what kinds of fire alarms you are using. Wireless alarms are a must because they make errors much more difficult. Ground faults and problem with an alarm’s circuitry can keep it from working properly. Wireless systems are also much cheaper to install and can typically monitor your entire home at the same time without the need for multiple devices. Electric gas alarms and smoke detectors can actually turn out to be the source of fire when they use alkaline batteries and short circuit.

Kyoto Fortress

Preventing Fire in the Home

No security system is adequate replacement for responsible habits around the home. This includes avoiding devices like space heaters and carefully monitoring how and when you use your electronics. When appliances aren’t being used, they should be unplugged, and everyone in the household should know how to be aware of strange smells or sparks. Help your children understand how to use fire correctly, and teach them a feasible escape route from every room in the home. If you have an elderly parent or relative living alone, help them understand the very real risk of fire and make sure they can respond as quickly as possible and that the authorities will be alerted.

Fire is not an empty threat they teach you about in elementary school. It’s a very real occurrence that devastates thousands of homes annually. It’s time to stop thinking of home security as optional and start looking for the integrated system that works for you. It can take some time and effort to plan ahead, but it can be one of the most important things you do for your family. One out of every 36 homes will be burglarized this year, but the ones that burn down will cause much more lasting damage to the inhabitants.

Chelsea McCary is a full-time mother and part-time blogger concerning home safety. Follow her on twitter @ChelseaMcCary.