Many of you know me as a Realtor and former Building Contractor. Some may not know that I was previously a Police Officer and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I will combine all of my life’s experiences to convince you that every home should be protected by a centrally monitored burglary/ fire alarm. Let’s break down the components.Centrally monitored means that if the alarm goes off, it doesn’t just make noise at your house. Instead, it dials the phone to a company that monitors these systems twenty four hours a day, every day of the year. When they receive a signal, they notify the proper police or fire agency. The burglary side of the alarm can be as simple as a motion detector commonly by the stairs to the second floor, or be attached to every door and window on the ground floor. The fire detection side of the alarm will be at least smoke detectors and in recent years, carbon monoxide detectors. These should be installed in each bedroom and on each floor, staying clear of the kitchen, and bathrooms with showers.
If you only have battery smoke detectors, PLEASE change the batteries at least once a year. One of the advantages to a full system is that it works by house power and has a battery backup. The fire detection system is always on but the burglary side must be turned on when you are leaving. Most folks get complacent, and stop turning them on and off. A burglary at your house or the neighbors will surely cure that.
A burglar alarm may not stop a thief from trying to get in. The noise from the alarm should scare him off more quickly. More importantly it will give the police an “In progress” case to work on instead of one that is hours old.
A smoke detector, especially with a carbon monoxide detector will save the life of you and your family. If you are not home at the time, it will alert the FD at the first puff of smoke instead of the mailman seeing the flames coming through the roof!
This is not a do it yourself project! Hire a well know alarm company that can offer service. The systems will need periodic tune up’s and battery replacements. You will also qualify for a reduction of your home owner insurance policy!