The number of home fires has steadily decreased since the 1970s, thanks in no small part to the invention of residential smoke detectors that alert occupants to the presence of smoke and allow them to take action. However, there were still over 365,000 home fires in the United States in 2015.
What will be the next step in protecting families and homes from fire and smoke? What will be the next technological leap that will drive the number of fires down even further? As it turns out, this technology is already here. Smart smoke detectors carry a wide range of benefits, can be integrated with other smart technologies, and are more affordable than you might think. So how exactly is this technology different?
First alerts, then alarms
The intelligent smoke detectors already in existence have the capability to communicate in audible human language, and through digital alerts on your home network. With old technology, you either get chirps or full-on alarms—and you’re often left fumbling with the instruction manual, trying to figure out what’s going on. Not so with smart smoke detection technology. The device can be programmed to give audible warnings prior to sounding an alarm. This gives you time to react in a calm way and easily communicate to the device that the appropriate action is being taken.
Standard residential smoke detectors are a wonderful thing, and have protected countless homes since they went mainstream in the 1960s. But every homeowner knows they can also be a pain to deal with. Regular testing is required to make sure everything is working properly, and people sometimes forget to do this—which defeats the purpose of having a smoke alarm in the first place.
The new smart smoke detector is self-testing. It constantly checks its own sensors and batteries to make sure everything is fully operational. If something is wrong, it can tell you in an audible voice and send an alert to your phone, tablet or laptop. Making sure your smoke detector is preforming crucial, and homeowners with smart smoke detectors no longer have to worry about forgetting to check.
Integrated with other systems
It’s well known that heat can cause fires to spread more quickly. So what if there’s a fire in your home during the winter, and the furnace is blasting? Smart smoke detectors can already be integrated into your HVAC system, and this trend will continue to become more mainstream. When smoke is detected, the HVAC system can react appropriately. In this case, the heat will immediately shut off to help slow/prevent the spread of smoke and fire.
Also detects Carbon Monoxide
Most homeowners have become aware of the carbon monoxide threat in recent years. This colorless, tasteless gas can be deadly if not detected, and the sale of special carbon monoxide detectors has gone through the roof. The future of protecting your home from smoke and carbon monoxide is one intelligent device that detects both.
Is this technology right for your home?
There’s no question that smart smoke detectors offer a higher level of protection and ease-of-use for today’s homeowner. However, choosing the right product and having it installed correctly is vital. Consulting a home automation specialist (especially one that offers free consultation) is a handy way to get a professional perspective on smart smoke detection and whether it’s feasible for your property.