Why “Life Safety” is a Crucial Aspect Of the “Connected Home”
Whatever the risk factor: fire, smoke, carbon monoxide or household safety, being prepared with a reliable “Life Safety” system can help keep you and your family safe. A residential Life Safety system is defined as “a part of any building’s infrastructure that monitors the environment in and around the building for changes in state that indicate the presence of danger.” The life safety system reacts to changes in state (i.e. fire, carbon monoxide, environmental monitoring, etc.) in a manner that reduces or eliminates the risk of injury or damage.
The facts are that without the right components to detect dangerous conditions in your home, the risks to your Life Safety increase dramatically. In order to inform homeowners about the benefits of residential Life Safety systems, we have compiled some quick facts about the systems below.
A fire alarm system is a critical first line of defense, it gives you and your family the time to escape a dangerous fire. When it comes to fires and Life Safety, take it seriously. According to the NFPA, a global, nonprofit organization, founded in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, there were 369,500 house fires in the US in 2013, resulting in over 2,700 deaths and 12,000 injuries.
As far as the basics go, an effective fire and smoke alarm system should be able to do four things to support Life Safety:
- Detect smoke and other hazards early on
- Ensure a quick response from authorities
- Integrate technology with burglary systems
Fire suppression is also an essential element of Life Safety. Fire suppression is typically found in the form of automatic sprinklers, (cost an average of $1.35 per square foot of sprinklered space, according to the NFPA) but it is highly recommended to enhance this safety feature with water flow detectors. The detectors are are installed on fire alarm sprinkler systems and they monitor the flow of water to sprinkler heads with a specially designed paddle. Water flow detectors are extremely useful security and safety tools because they detect sprinkler malfunctions.
Fire alarm systems that are integrated with environmental monitoring systems provide additional prevention and detection technology. Together, these systems provide increased protection from compounded threats, such as heat, smoke and natural gas. A comprehensive, integrated system can also provide backup and failsafe monitoring, which can occur during power outages. Most professional security companies can put together a customized life safety system for a residential home.
Environmental monitoring complements your home alarm system by providing the flexibility demanded by the typical modern lifestyles. Carbon Monoxide is the number one cause of poisonous deaths in the US, with approximately 2,100 deaths every year. In addition, more than 10,000 CO injuries occur annually from this colorless, odorless and tasteless poison.
Whether it’s fire, smoke, CO or household safety, Life Safety 101 is ultimately about being prepared and understanding basic precautions in the home and to reduce risk to human life.