A fire can cause incredible damage to a property. Even worse is the damage it can cause to a person's body. The good thing about a fire, as opposed to a flood or tornado, is that, even if it cannot be prevented, it can be prepared for. Smoke and heat detectors that are in working order do a good job of alerting those inside a residence of a potential problem. A home fire extinguisher can nip a small problem in the bud. Some homeowners, however, are taking fire safety a step further by installing a fire alarm system.
The Fire Alarm System Difference
Fire burns and spreads very quickly—much faster than most people imagine. A few minutes can mean the difference between only minor damage and a situation that is way out of control. The faster everyone gets out of a house, and the faster the firefighters can get to the scene, the better the chances are that the repairs needed will be minimal.
The difference between a smoke detector and a fire alarm is all in the monitoring. Much like a home security system or burglar alarm, a fire alarm system is watched 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a monitoring service. If a problem arises, day or night, the service notifies the fire department immediately to minimize any damage.
Purchasing a Fire Alarm System
A top-of-the-line fire alarm (like the ones used in commercial and industrial settings) can be very expensive. If you leave out the bells and whistles that come with commercial units, however, a fire alarm system can be quite affordable. The things that drive the price up for more complex systems are frequently things that most homes can safely do without, like sprinkler systems and exit signs. It is often the case that the most expensive part of a fire alarm is the monthly payment for the monitoring service, which is generally pretty reasonable.
Fire Alarm Installation
This will vary by the manufacturer. Some companies will require the system to be installed by their own people to make sure the job is done to their standards. Other companies might leave the installation to the homeowner or to a third party.
Save Money on Insurance
Yes, a monitoring service will have to be paid each month to get the full benefit of your fire alarm. In some instances, however, a homeowner may be able to get some of that money back each month. Having a direct link to the fire department is something that many insurance companies take into account when they determine how much a home costs to insure.
It is in the insurance company's best interest, if a fire does occur, for the authorities to be alerted as quickly as possible. For this reason, you may be able to get a discount on your home's fire insurance by installing a fire alarm system. Those interested in installing an alarm system should check with their insurance company to see if any discount is available, and which fire alarms qualify.