Choosing Monitored Detectors over Smoke Detectors

If you have at least one working smoke detector in your home? If so, you are certainly not alone.The government estimates that up to 96% of U.S. households now have at least one smoke detector installed. That is very good indeed. But while smoke detectors are good, monitor detectors are even better.

A traditional, unmonitored smoke detector utilizes infrared technology to sense smoke in the ambient air. In the event smoke is detected, the device emits a loud beeping sound to alert occupants of the potential danger. Those occupants then have time to escape the structure. Monitored smoke detectors goes one step further.

Monitored smoke detectors also use infrared technology to detect smoke in the air. And like unmonitored devices, they also emit loud noises in the event smoke is detected. But they also go to the next level by triggering an alarm designed to notify either a remote monitoring center or a homeowner who has chosen to self-monitor. In either case, triggering the alarm can make all the difference in the world.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

It is very difficult to quantify an exact number of lives saved every year by smoke alarms. But there are other statistics we can look at to form an assumption.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, for example, smoke alarms were activated in 53% of the reported home fires between 2009 and 2013. That’s not to say that there were no smoke alarms present in the remaining 47% of the fires; many of those homes likely had smoke detectors that were not operable.

Furthermore, the fatality rate during that same four-year period was more than twice as high in homes where no smoke alarms were active. That is an important statistic to step back and think about. It implies that a home without a working smoke detector is twice as likely to see a fatality during a house fire.

Smoke Detector

Though there are no hard numbers, it is clear to see that smoke detectors do save lives. But, does it matter whether a smoke detector is monitored or not? Common sense dictates that monitored devices do offer at least some advantages. A monitored device:

  • Can alert someone to a house fire even if occupants of the home are unable to communicate
  • Results in local authorities being contacted more quickly
  • Reduces response times, thereby reducing property damage potential.

Perhaps the most important advantage of the monitored smoke detector is the fact that someone is always alerted should an alarm be triggered. For example, consider a family overcome by smoke after a small fire breaks out. They may never hear their smoke detectors go off, but someone at the remote monitoring facility will know about it. That individual can contact local authorities right away.

This one difference alone could make a real difference in the event of a house fire. That’s why we say smoke detectors are good, but monitored detectors are better.

Uxari offers numerous wireless security system packages that include monitored smoke detectors. We invite you to browse our website for a list of our devices and monitoring packages. And of course, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We are here to help make your home safer and more efficient.

In closing, we just want to remind you that wireless DIY alarm systems are only as effective as the devices utilized within them. If you plan to invest in wireless home security and automation, monitored smoke detectors should be part of your package. The reasons should be obvious.


1. NFPA –