Health and wellness

Home Monitoring Systems Help Keep Homeowners Safe

Many of us take our home safety for granted.  Home monitoring is an often overlooked subject when planning for the future and the home we choose to age in place.  Smoke detectors and alarms are important to help ensure the safety of the inhabitants of the home when they are awake and asleep. Keep the following tips in mind when choosing smoke and fire monitoring:

  • Smoke detectors should be on both sides of the door and linked together so that if one goes off, all go off.
  • Consider a 120 Volt smoke detector with battery back-up type or one connected to a burglar alarm system or automation system.
  • If the smoke detector is connected to a monitored burglar alarm it will call alerts in to the central station almost immediately.
  • If the smoke detector system is an automation system it can shut off HVAC to slow the spread of smoke and light a path for safe exiting.
  • For the hard of hearing, the system can flash lights inside the house.
  • In a remodel, consider having fire sprinklers installed.
  • Local codes may require sprinklers in new construction of homes.
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy in kitchens and areas where fires are likely to start. Consider having an extinguisher along the path of egress toward possible fire location.
  • A good “Stovetop FireStop” product is available at:
  • Home monitoring choices should be evaluated. Some important things to consider before choosing a monitoring system include:

    • Monitored is always superior to unmonitored or “local only” systems.
    • Inhabitants are able to concentrate on exiting safely rather than having to call 911.
    • Systems will likely be tripped long before the homeowner detects a fire.

    My personal thanks to Art Dunn for helping me with the electrical and monitoring information for this article. Art Dunn has worked in various areas of electronics and electricity for over twenty-three years, and has been both a  license holder and a qualified individual for California burglar alarm and electrical contractor licenses. His employer, NANLOW-DUNN incorporated, is an authorized dealer for products such as GrandCare and Home Automation Incorporated and is associated with Connect Home. His e-mail is


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