A home fire alarm should not be confused with a smoke alarm or detector. A smoke detector is a low-cost device you can easily install yourself. But a fire alarm is more complex and usually a product or feature installed, monitored and maintained through a home security systems manufacturer or provider, such as Brinks or ADT.
A built in security system with a fire alarm feature is controlled via a standard or wireless keypad or control panel in your home. this panel and the whole security system is connected via phone line or wirelessly to a security company’s monitoring center. Depending upon the type of system you have and the products and features in your package—break-in or burglary, home systems, fire, and/or medical monitoring—when one of the alarm systems detects something unusual, like signs of fire, it alerts the monitoring company and in many cases triggers an audible horn or siren, or sets off lights and vibrations for the deaf.
A built-in fire alarm system is constructed of a series of smoke detectors and possibly heat-sensitive sensors installed and hard wired throughout your home. These sensory devices work in concert to send signals to the system when smoke and heat are detected.
When a security company recognizes a home fire alarm has been triggered they react accordingly: they may attempt to contact you or your family. If you’re in the home, their goal is to ensure your safety and make sure everyone is notified in time to evacuate. If you’re not at home, away on vacation or at work you could receive notification via cellphone and/or Internet. Your security company also takes care of calling the fire department and any other public safety personnel necessary.
Because home fire alarms are a component of a larger home security system, installation is typically handled by a security company. You will usually have your choice of a number of security packages or systems and along a spectrum of price points. Expect to pay at least a couple hundred dollars for a basic installation package and much, much more for a customized system. Most home security systems offer a basic burglary or intrusion package and then allow you to add-on system components, like a fire and smoke alarm system, and more.
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