Home fire alarm systems are much more sophisticated than ever before and include more than just an alarm that sounds when it detects a certain level of heat. Today's systems can protect your home faster than ever before, and from more than just fire. When you're ready to upgrade your home's fire alarm system, note a few features to look for so you invest in a quality system that offers maximum safety.
Early warning systems
Basic smoke alarms may sound one alarm when heat reaches a certain threshold, but early warning systems may work with a separate alarm that sounds for lower heat thresholds. Instead of a piercing alarm, this might mean a type of beeping alert. This system may detect and alert you to dangers such as furniture upholstery smoldering from cigarette ash, when the temperature in the kitchen is excessively hot so that you're at risk for a grease fire, and the like. This early warning system allows you to quickly address the risk of fire before a fire has actually started.
A fire alarm system can also alert you to harmful gases in the home, including carbon monoxide. This is often a concern for homes with gas fireplaces or stoves; if the gas used for these appliances begins to leak, this can be dangerous as you cannot smell this leak. However, it can be downright deadly if you were to breathe in those gas fumes.
Some detectors can also alert you to air pollution levels, including volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These pollutants are found in paints and other such coatings. If you work on hobbies in the garage and use a lot of paints or live near a production facility that coats materials, being alerted to high VOC or other such contaminants can mean properly venting your home or realizing you need an air filter.
Having your fire alarm go off when you're not home probably doesn't do much good; this is why it's good to consider a Wi-Fi connection between the alarm system and your smartphone or tablet. A simple app that comes with the system can be used to alert you to any sounding of the alarm in the home. More advanced system may be connected to cameras so you can inspect your home remotely and see if it's a false alarm, or call emergency services if there is actually a fire or other cause for concern.