Ask the Expert: Fire and Carbon Monoxide Protection

Posted by: Melissa Villanti

Published: June 23, 2016

A fire alarm system can detect the beginnings of a fire while it’s still smoldering in the critical moments before the flames erupt. This gives your family time to evacuate the premises quickly and safely, while our Emergency Response Center dispatches the fire department on your behalf. Whether you’re home or away, whether your system is armed or disarmed, Doyle Security Systems will be notified and act on the alarm in a matter of seconds. To learn more about which about Fire Detectors, we spoke with Doyle Security Business Development Manager, Jack Doyle.


Q: What fire protection should my home have?

A: Well, it’s important to not lose sight of the basics.  The most important thing is keeping your family safe, so my number one recommendation is to have an exit plan, especially if you have kids.  Go through the plan with them.  It’s also smart to keep a fire extinguisher handy. In addition to that, have smoke detectors and make sure they’re tested regularly (NFPA suggests once a month).  Keep in mind that it’s recommended they be replaced every 10 years so if you’re still using the smoke detectors that came with the home, make sure they’re not older than that.

I also highly recommend the smoke detectors be professionally monitored.  Non-monitored smoke detectors sound an audible alarm but don’t’ do anything after that.  There have also been studies suggesting that some adults and children could sleep through the alarm.  A monitored smoke alarm signal gets handled by a monitoring center who dispatches the fire department on your behalf.  It could mean the difference in the event of a fire.


Q: What is the difference between Photoelectric vs. Ionization Smoke Detectors?

A: For a more detailed explanation, take a look at a blog post I wrote back in October of 2015.  They both have their advantages and if you’re looking for the best possible protection you would probably use a combination of both of them in your home.  Because of the way ionization alarms are engineered, they respond slightly faster to “fast-flame” type fires, fires that are accelerated by grease, gasoline, paper, etc.  (Think about using these in places where you would most likely experience this). Photoelectric Smoke detectors use a different type of technology that makes them more effective for detecting smoldering type fires.  Smoldering fires are slower and produce more smoke.  The most common environments for this type of fire are home furnishings like couches.  Photoelectric detectors in some studies have been shown to respond faster.


Q: What are the benefits of a monitored smoke detector?

A:   1.  If you’re purchasing a monitored smoke detector from a reputable security company you can                   feel more assured knowing that a professional will recommend the right product and the right                 number of smoke detectors for your home.

  1.  You won’t need to be relied upon to call the fire department during an emergency.  Furthermore,  if you’re not present, or not able to report the fire you can be assured that a monitoring center  will be doing it on your behalf. 

  2.  The response time is cut down dramatically.


Carbon monoxide is a “silent” killer. It is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. At the first sign of a carbon monoxide leak, your alarm will go off and our Emergency Response Center will alert emergency crews to get you and your family out of the house until the problem is solved and it is safe to return.


Q: Why do I need a Carbon Monoxide detector?

A: Well, for starters if you’re building a new home CO detectors are required according to NY State.  It’s nicknamed Amanda’s Law.  And even if you’re not legally required to do so it’s a good idea to have one.  They’re not particularly expensive to install and the same points I made about smoke detectors also apply to CO detectors.  The number of carbon monoxide related incidents per year has steadily been going up.  Carbon Monoxide is dangerous as well as being colorless and odorless.


Q: How many carbon monoxide detectors should I have in my home?

A: The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that you have a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of a residence.  I would recommend following their guidelines on the number or CO detectors that you decide to put in your home.


To learn more about fire and CO protection or to get detectors installed in your home, visit here.



Share this post:

Sign Up for the Doyle Security Blog!