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Smoke Detectors vs Monitored Smoke Detectors

When considering your smoke detector, sometimes it’s challenging identifying the difference between smoke alarms. It’s our goal to clear any questions you may have when it comes to which way you should go when it comes to smoke alarms within your Jacksonville home.

Why Monitored Smoke Detectors?

We’ll start off with the monitored fire and smoke detector. One advantage of the low voltage smoke detector is that is monitored through your alarm system and central station. If a fire, or the presence of smoke occurs, then a signal is sent instantly to your central station operator.  This signal also can serve as an indicator that either your detector is functioning on a back-up battery or that its lost its power.

On the other hand, when you compare a regular 120-volt smoke detector, if it is tripped, it alerts the homeowners of the presence of smoke. However, if the power goes out, its life is determined solely by the battery that is installed in it. If that battery is faulty, it will not work. If the detector has lost most of its power, there is no telling how long the battery will last.

Therefore, many times you will see homes with two detectors, side-by-side. One detector was from the original home construction to ensure it passes code. Monitored smoke detectors  are usually connected to your security alarm system later to enhance fire protection. 

Another disadvantage of relying on a 120-volt smoke detector is that it is not supervised.  cannot identify WHERE the detector location is that has been activated. This is due to the 120-volt detector is what’s called “daisy-chained” when wired. In this case, detectors are connected to a single wire. So, it is highly recommended not go by way of the regular 120-volt smoke detector for your residence.

SEE MORE: What Does a Smart Fire Alarm System Entail? 

Hence, this can create much frustration and wasted time for homeowners, fire department and the alarm techs when in process of troubleshooting to identify why an alarm was tripped that were “daisy-chained.” We are only aware that there was an alarm, but no idea of the specific location where the alarm originated from.

A monitored smoke detector gives you the security in knowing that the central station knows instantly that an alarm has been triggered and that it came from your master bedroom, for instance.  Now as the monitoring company, we can provide proper and accurate information to the fire department when dispatching them to your home. This in turn helps them to save your home and belongings.

False Smoke Alarm Issues

It’s often the case that when a smoke detector is accidentally tripped, it is because it’s close to the kitchen where something has burned on the stove.  When this occurs regularly, most homeowners will disengage the detector closest to the kitchen. This one of the main reasons professional security companies like Atlantic Security recommend a monitored heat detector for the kitchen.monitored smoke alarms

Using heat detectors for places like the kitchen or attached garage and monitored smoke detectors outside each bedroom, 2nd floor, etc. but not close by to the kitchen to avoid false alarms.

What Smoke Detector Is Our Recommendation?

First, you want to check your smoke alarms to determine if they are monitored or not. The best way is to ask your alarm company. They will be able to tell you immediately. If you have smoke alarms that are older than 3 years, you may want to consider replacing them. If they are more than 5 years old, then you want to replace them without question.

If your home only consists of the regular 120-volt smoke detectors, you should consider adding monitored smoke detectors and/or heat detectors to your alarm security system, either hardwired or wireless.

At Atlantic Security, our priority is your safety. If you have any questions about your smoke detectors or need recommendations, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 904-743-8444. To get a free quote, click here. 

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