Home fires are among the most common emergencies that occur in the United States. During the period of 2015 to 2019, there were 491,298 fires reported to a local fire department, based on estimates from the United States Fire Administration.
Of this figure, the type of property that had the most number of fires reported were residential properties at 377,399 fire incidents. These residential fire incidents led to 2,761 lives lost, 11,582 injuries, and over $7 billion in property damages.
You can take steps to reduce the likelihood of fires by spending on fire prevention measures as well as on a system that allows you to respond quickly in the event of a fire. Having fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, fire blankets and established fire exits are surely helpful in this endeavor, another helpful measure is to install a smart home security system in your home.
Here are some of the ways that a smart home security system can be helpful in preventing residential fires and allow you to respond appropriately in case of a fire:
Use a smart home power switch for home appliances
Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of US home fires in 2012-2016. It was also reported as having the highest share of civilian deaths (18%) and direct property damage (20%). Nearly two out of five of these fires happened during the cold weather months of November to February and a quarter of these fires occurred during the night between midnight and 8 a.m.
One way to reduce the risk of fires caused by electrical malfunctions is to use a smart home power switch to plug your home appliances into. A smart home power switch is a plug that can be controlled remotely using your smartphone. In that way, you can turn off the switch from anywhere when an appliance is not in use. Using this device prevents the likelihood of appliances short circuiting when left plugged and unattended during the night, as you can also set automations that turn off the switch during a scheduled time.
Aside from preventing electrical malfunctions, it also has the added benefit of enabling you to manage electrical consumption, thus potentially reducing your electricity cost.
Install a smoke alarm monitor in key parts of your home
Almost three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41%) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16%).
To be effective, a smoke alarm’s warning must be heard or received no matter where homeowners are. A US Consumer Product Safety Commission study found that a closed lightweight door reduced the volume of a smoke alarm signal from another room by 10 to 20 decibels. The signal was weakened by roughly 20 decibels for each level it traveled. When the volume of the smoke alarm is reduced because of doors or other obstructions, it’s time for you to install a smoke alarm monitor.
A smoke alarm monitor is installed near a smoke alarm and listens to the beeps it makes once it detects smoke from a fire. Once a beep is recognized and recorded, the smoke alarm monitor notifies you by sending an immediate notification to your smartphone, allowing you to call the fire department and evacuate the home before the fire gets out of control.
Sound the alarm using sirens and panic buttons
If a member of the household has been alerted to the presence of a fire in the house, one quick way to alert the other occupants of the house is to have indoor and outdoor sirens installed. These sirens can be integrated to your smoke alarm monitoring system, allowing it to sound the alarm once the smoke alarm monitor detects the sound of a smoke alarm. As such, indoor and outdoor sirens can serve as force multipliers in places where the sound of the smoke alarm is reduced by obstructions.
Let security cameras guide your evacuation
Evacuating occupants from a burning house involves having knowledge of where the fire is so you can decide on the best evacuation route. In this situation, it pays to have an extra set of eyes to check which areas of the house have already been engulfed by the fire, and this is where your security camera comes in handy.
Before exiting a room to evacuate, check live video from your security camera to see which hallways and doorways are still free from smoke and fire. Seeing the footage enables you and your loved ones to avoid dangerous areas and quickly plan a better evacuation. You can also use the footage to send information to the fire department regarding your exact location so you can be rescued quickly and more easily.
Fire prevention and preparedness spells the difference between life and death. Have a smart home security installed at home today so you can have a first line of defense and forewarning in case of a residential fire.