By Colonnade Security Inc.
Properly installed and maintained smoke detectors are essential components of your home, protecting you and your family from a tragic loss due to fire at a minimal cost. These life-saving devices alert you to the early signs of both flaming fires and slow, smoldering fires with speed and accuracy, giving you and your family enough time to react and safely escape.
The most common two types of smoke detectors are battery-operated units and ones that are hardwired into your home’s electrical system. And now wireless technology has embraced smoke detectors, adding to the convenience of installing additional detectors.
In the past, when smoke set off a smoke detector on one floor the detectors on the other floors did not respond at the same time. Now, though, your existing hardwired smoke detectors can be connected by a relay that is wired into the security system electrical box so when one alarm goes off, it triggers every alarm in the house, so everyone is alerted.
Wireless smoke detectors work the same way as your hardwired detectors but they are easier to install if you need additional units. A wireless smoke detector is an option if your home is fully finished and you are unable to wire in additional smoke detectors or if it is too expensive to run the wires for an additional smoke detector.
If your home is heated by gas or if you have a fireplace, you should also install a carbon monoxide detector. You may not have gas heating but if your home has a garage under a living area you could be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from car fumes. The fumes don’t spread around the house because carbon monoxide remains low but your heating system will draw the fumes and spread them throughout your home through the ventilation system.
Good quality locks on the entry doors of your home are your first line of defense against break-ins but the lock is only part of the answer. The doorframe can be the difference between security and a break-in.
The majority of all break-ins involve someone kicking in a door of the home; when the door is kicked, it goes in quickly and the intruder enters your home, closing the door once inside. Unless someone is actually watching, the thief is in your house.
Even if you have a metal door with a good lock, someone could still kick in your door – it isn’t just the door that provides the defense, its the lock and where it goes into the doorframe. If you have a newer home with a piece of glass beside the door, chances are all you have is a two-inch piece of fiberboard securing your dead bolt lock. Once the door is kicked, it breaks right through.
Doors with the button lock in the door handle are also vulnerable. This type of lock is often used on the second entry door of a new home and can be compromised by a thief using something like a credit card to gain access to your home.
If you have bought a new home, consider replacing all of the locks in your home with good quality locks. During the construction of your home, the builder and the various tradesmen have had keys while working on your house and those keys could be used to break into your home after you have moved in.
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