Monitored Fire Alarms Vs. Unmonitored Smoke & CO Detectors

October 12, 2021

So many areas of our lives are automated thanks to technology; why not use that technology for saving your life rather than just running it?

In this week’s blog, we are making the important distinction between monitored and unmonitored smoke and CO detectors.

In other words, we’re talking about connecting your fire alarm and carbon monoxide detectors to your home security system. For your peace of mind and for everyone’s safety.

You have a choice. We invite you to take a deep dive into how each option works so that you are fully armed with the needed information to protect your home and family from deadly fire emergencies and carbon monoxide (CO) leaks.

What To Do In An Emergency

If you find yourself in an emergency situation – a person you’re with has a heart attack, for example – do you phone a friend for help or do you dial 9-1-1? It has been drilled into us to dial 9-1-1 emergency services so that the proper help will be sent directly to the person suffering from a life-threatening emergency. It’s direct, fast and typically the best chance anyone has at saving a life when seconds matter.

When Seconds Count

Consider that having an unmonitored smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector is much like phoning a friend during an emergency; the effort is futile. When a house fire occurs in an unmonitored environment, help is reliant upon someone manually notifying the fire department, which may not be a viable option during an emergency. Either you are trapped in the fire or nobody is there to notify them. As for carbon monoxide, known as the silent killer, nobody would know to call for help in the instance of a leak.

Speaking of seconds, U.S. fire departments respond to a house fire every 24 seconds. And it can take as little as five minutes for highly concentrated carbon monoxide to kill a person.

Automate the Call for Help

In our blog Security Systems: DIY vs. Hiring Out, we hit on the importance of monitoring. For the same reason that you want your burglar alarm to be monitored, you want to ensure your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors are monitored, too.

Simply put, lives are at stake.

When a fire breaks out in a monitored environment, our UL-listed and Five Diamond Certified Central Alarm Monitoring Center will quickly verify the alarm and immediately notify the authorities for you. They are also FM (Factory Mutual) approved.

  • 24/7 Smoke Detection & Alarm Monitoring
  • 24/7 Carbon Monoxide Detection & Alarm Monitoring
  • Seamless Integration with Your Burglar Alarm
  • Reliable Voice Notification
  • Dual Sensor Detectors
  • Professional Installation
  • Pet Safety Video Monitoring

In the event of a power outage, we have backup generators to keep our Alarm Monitoring Center operational. Plus, we have a disaster recovery monitoring center only minutes away if needed.

Moral of the story: help is on the way whether you are trapped inside your home, away at work, or on vacation in Maui.

Fire Facts

  • FIRE IS FAST: It takes 30 seconds or less for a small flame to turn into a large fire, two minutes to become life-threatening and five minutes for your home to be completely engulfed in flames.
  • FIRE IS HOT: Heat is more threatening than flames. The temperature of a room during a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this extremely hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes into your skin.
  • FIRE IS DARK: Fire starts bright but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • FIRE IS DEADLY: Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Being armed with this knowledge makes it abundantly clear just how imperative it is to act fast during a fire. Multitasking (calling the fire department while trying to save your life and the lives of your family members and pets) now seems impossible. Opting for a monitored fire alarm ensures that help is on the way!

October is Fire Safety Month. Check out next week’s blog on fire safety tips for your home, including having an emergency plan in place. And, as always, contact us for more information on monitored fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors or your related questions pertaining to your safety.


1 The Ready Campaign, a national public service campaign promoting preparedness during emergencies.