Smart Home Technology in Terms of Fire Prevention and Detection

May 19, 2021 | Personal Insurance

Safety First

Fire safety is very important in all buildings, especially in hospitals and other health care facilities. This makes it even more important that facility managers center their fire protection strategies on the maintenance of existing technologies and identify where system upgrades are needed. These kinds of strategies can help lower the nuisance alarms and offer more correct information to occupants when future incidents occur.

There are numerous complimentary smart devices that could help prevent and/or detect a fire in your home while lessening the serious damage a fire can cause by notifying you earlier. Traditional smoke detectors can still alert people inside the home in case of a fire so everyone can leave the premises early. But, here are some of the following smart devices that can also provide alerts to you on your mobile device and to the fire department even if you are a thousand miles away from your home.

Smart Smoke Detectors

Smart smoke detectors can provide you with alarm notifications on your smartphone, unlike other normal smoke detectors. They can also be connected to your home security system and monitored by a central station to alert you and the fire department of an alarm in your home. When there is the presence of smoke particles in the air, they can shut down your air handling systems to help prevent the spread of smoke while people safely evacuate the place. Some of these systems can also make the lights turn on and offer directions about what to do in the event of a fire.

You also may attach a camera to your smart smoke detector to record footage of the event and further investigate the whereabouts of the origin of the fire. Smart detectors can also send an alert to your smartphone when the battery charge level is already getting low. This can help you charge it immediately instead of having a low-battery warning in the middle of the night. Some models also have carbon monoxide (CO) detection capabilities.

A heat detector can also help you detect a fire if you have frequent false alarms with smoke detectors. There are two kinds of heat detectors. These are simply fixed temperature detectors that can alarm at a factory pre-set temperature and rate-of-rise detectors that alarm when there is a rapid rise in temperature. A lot of heat detectors carry both features.

Please also know that heat detectors are not really meant to replace smoke detectors in bedrooms or in other places where a fire life safety device is needed.

A lot of these systems can also be interconnected so if a detector turns on in one of the locations of your property, all of the alarms will also sound.

Smart Batteries

You may also want to consider a smart battery as an alternative to buying a new smart smoke, heat, or CO detector. This can power your existing detectors and offer you alarm notifications on your smartphone. You can monitor more than one of these in your home. You can also receive a notification to change the battery before it starts to chirp.

Smart Stovetop Fire Prevention

The National Fire Prevention Association said that cooking fires are the main reason for home structure fires. Meanwhile, kitchen fires are the main cause of unattended cooking. There are already devices using motion-sensing technology specifically for automatically shutting off the stove. If this detects that you have left something in the kitchen, it starts a countdown to turn off the stove. Then, it automatically restarts the countdown when you return to check on the stove.

Smart Plugs or Outlets

Smart plugs or outlets can also give you peace of mind if you forget to unplug the coffee pot or the iron before you leave home. Using an app on your smartphone, you can turn the lights and small appliances on and off. Some models can automatically turn off power to your appliances when they shouldn’t be in use.

Of, course, for all of these smart devices, you may want to call a professional for proper installation.

Alarm and fire safety systems for smart home

There are four different kinds of aspects that smart homes hope to automate. These are communication, electricity control, security, and housekeeping. This is why smart homes generally utilize and integrate technologies such as communication, electricity control, security, fire safety, video surveillance, and others.

Two of the most essential elements in a smart home are a well-designed alarm system and of course, a fire safety system. For buyers looking for alarm systems and fire safety systems that are meant for smart homes, we recommend the following:

  • Panic buttons
  • Centralized monitoring station
  • Detailed event display and logging
  • Automated notifications
  • Integration with other home appliances

Smart home security systems currently utilize communication, sensors, automation, and other kinds of technologies to fuse into a single system HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and home appliance control, indoor security and safety, and home management.

Alarm systems that connect with other systems in the smart home should have the following:

  1. Panic buttons – these are fast and simple ways to call for help in case there is a fire or other kinds of emergencies. When this is pressed, a panic button will send a signal to the home automation or building management system. This should be placed at your bedside or other easy to reach places.
  2. Automated alert and SOS request – If someone intrudes in your area, this can be detected by installing various kinds of sensors around the home. Once a sensor is triggered, it will sound the alarm siren and will also alert the home automation or the building management system that help is required. People and places such as monitoring centers or security guards can call the police immediately and can also resolve the problem as soon as possible.
  3. Alert and event management – The system will detect intrusions and immediately alert home automation and also the building management systems when you leave the home and will also arm the alarm system. Of course, monitoring centers or security guards will also be notified of your door number at which the instance the alarm was triggered. The records of alerts will be automatically saved in your system for future use.
  4. Automated dialing and notifications – If you live in a smart building, its security system should allow users to set multiple emergency contact numbers. Different kinds of alarms will trigger contacting different emergency numbers. You should be able to set the alarm system to send notifications to a mobile phone.
  5. Integration with other home appliances – The system should automatically turn off home appliances that do not need to be turned on when you leave the home and when you alarm the system. When you come back and you already disarm the alarm system, the system can automatically turn on some lights and take door and window sensors offline. However, indoor flammable gas and smoke detectors should always remain turned on. 

The most important components in fire safety systems are sensors. The commonly used for fire safety are infrared sensors, flammable gas detectors, and smoke detectors. These kinds of sensors are the eyes and ears of the fire safety system. These monitor your home for signs of danger. The system alerts the home automation or building management system and then notifies authorities if help is also needed.

3 Innovative Fire Prevention Technologies

There are a lot of solutions on the market when it comes to fire protection technology. No matter which industry you are part of, you’re most likely familiar with fire sprinklers, fire alarms, extinguishers, and others. Fire Protection Technology, however, is far past these popular protection and suppression systems. Here are some of the useful fire prevention technologies you may not have read before if you’re interested in learning about some of the current and most interesting technology in fire protection.

Visual Flame Detectors

Visual flame detectors are often not talked about but are interesting and they’re a useful fire prevention technology. It has features like intelligent visual flame detectors that process live video images to sense the characteristic properties of flames. These are so useful in oil and in gas applications; also in manufacturing industries and also eleven in airplane hangers where flames are hazardous. These can also identify flames in as short as five seconds, increasing your fire protection system’s reaction time.

These are also designed to discriminate against common sources of unwanted alarms which make sure that they only alarm when an actual accident is happening. Visual flame detectors from MICRO PACK give additional features like explosion-proofing and installation capabilities also in threatening places around the globe. These are really useful even if you haven’t heard of them. These are useful for keeping people, processes, and facilities safe in some of the harshest situations.

Air Sampling Smoke Detectors

Air sampling smoke detectors are great fire prevention technology. They provide the fastest possible warning of a potential fire hazard. These are also very useful in knowing fires before they even spread. This helps to suppress a fire before it even gets started. Air sampling smoke detectors take in air through air sampling ports, piping, and tubing. This is unlike a normal smoke detector that detects smoke as it starts to fill the air in the area. It will then analyze the air for smoke. These kinds of detectors can pull air in from a number of areas in a building depending on the ability of the detectors sampling ports and piping. With this method, using air sampling smoke detectors is a kind of prevention technology that works to look for the presence of smoke or fire and also prevents fires in the early stages of combustion.

Self-Expanding Fire Fighting Foam

Self-expanding fire fighting foam is a kind of newer fire prevention technology that’s starting to have a presence in the market especially as fluorine-free foam options are now available. It has the same benefits as usual fire fighting foam with a few more advantages:

This can be deployed anywhere

Self-expanding foam or SEF is stored under pressure and is only taken when needed without the need for additional water supplies, foam proportioning equipment, or foam concentrates. This is also mixed on location and will only need enough potable water to meet the volume capacity of the foam storage tank. No permanent water supply is needed once this is mixed and the tank is already installed. You can place the vessel wherever is most suitable and deploy from there with no additional tools or supplies.

Long shelf life and operation in even extreme temperatures

SEF can stand as long as 10 years. This could differ between every manufacturer. However, usually, fire prevention technology is a long-lasting solution that you can count on. Kindly also note that SEF is not affected by extreme temperatures so this is improved by that fact. This also operates flawlessly under direct heat and hot desert conditions; the same as sub-zero temperatures.

Exceptional fire performance

SEF also operates entirely on stored energy at a convenient cost. It doesn’t really require fire water infrastructure, additional pressure, or gas cylinders to help with actuation making the system less expensive and is low maintenance. This also provides great performance. In a certain fire test, imagine a 40-foot diameter tank with diesel fuel was ignited and left to burn for 90 seconds, SEF was able to control the ignition in 15 seconds and extinguish the fire in 25 seconds. A normal fire system extinguished the same fire in a bit more than 10 minutes when a comparison test was run.

Some of these fire prevention technologies might be right for you if you’re working in an industry such as oil and gas that needs extra protection from possible fires. We greatly suggest contacting your fire protection technicians for more information on what kind of technology you need to keep your facility, your assets, your employees, and the space around you safe.

Advances in Fire Prevention and Detection

Fire detection and prevention technologies have become more advanced, intelligent, and more powerful in the previous years. Please see the following advanced technologies that facilities professionals should consider when looking to protect their buildings. 

With a preaction sprinkler system, water that is held back by a preaction valve is prevented from actually filling the pipes until an event happens such as the activation of a heat or a smoke detector. Preaction sprinkler systems offer an added kind of protection against accidental water release and are used primarily in water-sensitive environments like computers or data centers.

Waterflow detectors are also very useful safety tools since they remove the possibility of sprinkler malfunction. Moreover, Waterflow detectors monitor the flow of water to sprinkler heads with a specially made paddle.

If someone turns part of a fire detection system off such as the sprinkler, the whole system is also compromised. Supervisory switches will help make sure maximum protection by proactively monitoring the operational effectiveness of the fire protection device. Supervisory switches can detect the open position of fire sprinkler control valves and can detect the accidental or intentional closing of the water supply.

Laser smoke detection systems have become more popular in recent years since they are more importantly more sensitive than normal detectors. They can pinpoint fire and smoke early on which can importantly reduce the time it takes to diminish them. Laser smoke detections are also reliable, stable, most-effective, easy to install and maintain, and can be seamlessly connected with various security systems.

Fire alarms are a very important component of effective security management. This is used to announce the start of a fire. Fire alarms can produce different sounds and can be triggered automatically or manually. Many kinds of advanced control panels on the market today are fully networkable fire alarms. This means that these kinds of systems can be programmed and controlled via a Web browser.

Water or foam fire suppression systems can bring serious damage to buildings even more so than the fire itself. Many security technology companies have introduced systems that use clean fire suppression agents to combat fire. They not only minimize damage but also extinguish fires and reduce harmful combustion byproducts.

Integrated pull alarms can take it further even though manual pull stations offer an added layer of protection for any building facility. You can connect with other security systems like CCTV’s as soon as the pull station is activated, happenings in the surroundings can also be recorded.

Voice evacuation, an important component of a public address system, provides clear yet compelling commands that quickly guide people to safety. When a fire alarm sounds, an emergency announcement can be made simultaneously for increased safety and security. A voice evacuation or public address system can be integrated with fire detection systems.

Homeowners Insurance

Of course, you need to obtain insurance for your home in case, heaven forbid, your house gets destroyed by fire which we hope will not happen. However, still availing insurance for your home is the best thing to do. Homeowners insurance is a kind of property insurance that will cover any loss and damage to your home. This also includes your furniture and your other personal belongings. Homeowners insurance will also provide you liability coverage against accidents in your home or on your property.

Key points about homeowners insurance

  • Homeowners is a kind of property insurance that will cover any loss and damage to your home and also personal assets found in your home and property.
  • This insurance policy will also cover the interior damage, exterior damage, loss or damage of personal assets, and also injury that was caused while on your property.
  • You also have a liability limit once you opt for homeowners insurance policy. This decides the amount of coverage the insured once something unfortunate happens.
  • Homeowners’ insurance is not the same as a home warranty or mortgage insurance.
  • Homeowners insurance should not be confused with a home warranty or with a mortgage.

A homeowners insurance policy usually covers the following incidents on your insured property: interior damage, exterior damage, loss or damage of personal assets/belongings, and also injury that happens while inside your property. You will be required to pay a deductible when a claim is made on any of these incidents. This is apparently an out-of-pocket expense for you.

Ask us any questions

We hope you have learned about the use of smart home technology in fire prevention and detection. Kindly ask us any questions if you have something in mind. Also, feel free to check out our website for more information about insurance and other topics. We hope we were able to help you out.