Professional vs. Self-Monitored Fire Alarm Systems

Mandee Thomas
Jan 8, 2019 8:04:00 AM

Fire alarms are an important fixture that protect both property and people. And we've discussed the differences of professional and "do it yourself" monitoring before. Self-monitoring can be a practical way to go, but what about when it comes to fire alarms? Let’s weigh the benefits of both types of monitoring when it comes to fire protection.

Self Monitored Fire Alarm Systems

In contrast to security systems, smoke detectors are a requirement for most residential and commercial buildings; and, in every case, a home or business should come pre-equipped with some level of fire protection. There are also a variety of DIY, smart fire alarm gadgets available on the market today. Both of these options provide users with some appealing benefits.

Low Cost

Standard smoke detectors are already in place when purchasing a home or leasing office space, so you really can’t beat that price. And even if someone wants more control over their fire alarm system and decides to go the DIY, smart smoke detector route, the cost is likely cheaper than that of an integrated, monitored system.

Avoid False Alarm Penalties

Signals from fire alarms always demand a dispatch if a central station operator can’t get in touch with someone on site. So, if the alarm happened to be set off accidentally, the home/business owner may be responsible for false alarm fees. If you accidentally set off your standard smoke detector while cooking bacon, you can simply get out the step-stool and turn it off without worrying about the fire brigade turning up on your doorstep.

Portability

With smoke detectors, you don’t have to pay them much mind—just change out the batteries each year and the detectors themselves every 10 years, and you’re set. And with a DIY set-up, you can just take the system with you if you happen to move—no need to worry about contacting the monitoring company and updating your information.

Professionally Monitored Fire Alarm Systems

While professionally monitored fire alarm systems may take more work on the front-end, there are a lot of benefits to be had in the long run.

Someone is Always Available to Respond

Standard fire alarms only fulfill their purpose if someone is around to hear them go off and contact the authorities. Having a system that’s connected to a monitoring center means that a residence is protected 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of whether or not someone is at the site. And the call will be taken by a professional who will be able to stay calm and handle the situation appropriately.

Protection for Everyone

Another benefit to having a professionally monitored fire alarm system in place is that emergency services can be contacted and dispatched even if no one home is capable of making the 9-1-1 call. Small children, the elderly, and pets can be particularly vulnerable in a fire for this reason. Even if you’re a healthy, capable adult, you could lose consciousness from smoke inhalation before you’re able to make a call to the fire department.

Precise Information for First Responders

With standard fire alarms, the source of the blaze can’t be easily pinpointed. With a monitored system in place, information about precisely which alarm in the building was triggered is sent to the central station along with the alarm signal itself. This can save firefighters valuable time when they arrive on the scene and set to work.

Insurance Benefit

Because of the numerous benefits allotted from having a professionally monitored fire alarm system, insurance companies usually offer discounts on premiums. Home and business owners can save up to 15% on their overall insurance costs simply by implementing a monitored platform.

The Best Protection in an Emergency

We’ve featured multiple stories about people who were grateful for a monitored fire alarm system in their time of need: like the time that a fire caused Roshelle to give the wrong address to the fire department in a panic and the AvantGuard operator was there to reroute the fire trucks, or when Jolene worked with one of our operators to make sure the fire department accessed the correct road in order to get to the school and put out a fire.

Fire detection is an important security measure for any building, and it’s clear to see that professional monitoring can provide a valuable layer of protection. With a system being watched over by a monitoring center, consumers can feel at ease knowing that help will always be there in the event of a fire.

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