Why Home Security Should Include Smoke and CO Detectors

3 min


Step back and try to recall all of those TV commercials you have seen for home security. What do they depict most of the time? Burglars attempting to break into a home. It might be that marketers choose those kinds of images because they are such a stark reminder of potential security threats. But threats to individual security do not stop at burglary. They include other things, like smoke and carbon monoxide (CO).

Your typical entry-level home security system focuses mainly on unauthorized home entry. You get window and door sensors and perhaps a video camera or two. Yet why stop there? Homeowners are equally at risk for structure fires and carbon monoxide exposure. Shouldn’t smoke and CO sensors be included in an entry-level system?

Two Silent Killers

Smoke and carbon monoxide are sometimes referred to as silent killers. This is largely due to the fact that both can kill without a person even knowing it. Imagine a house fire striking when a family is fast asleep. It is possible that the family will wake up early enough to escape. It’s also possible they will be overcome by smoke and perish in the fire – without waking up at all.

Carbon monoxide is considered a silent killer because it has no odor or smell. It doesn’t make a sound as it travels through a home. More importantly, carbon monoxide kills very quickly. It does so by robbing the body of oxygen.

In a November 2020 blog post, Vivint Smart Home discussed six smart home devices capable of preventing property damage and death. Both smoke and CO detectors were on that list. The fact is that monitoring for smoke and carbon monoxide is the easiest way to prevent either one from being as harmful as it could otherwise be.

Install Detectors in Your Home

It is a good idea to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home even if you do not have a wireless security system. And if you’re investing in security system, it doesn’t make sense to do so and not include smoke and CO monitoring.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) some 40% of all residential fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors. The residential fire death rate is nearly twice as high in homes without smoke detectors as well. Simply put, homeowners have a significantly greater chance of dying in a house fire if there are no smoke detectors to alert them.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that as many as 150 people die every year in carbon monoxide poisoning incidents unrelated to fires. Thousands more are injured. And make no mistake, the long-term damage caused by CO poisoning can be quite serious.

Easy and Inexpensive Protection

By now, it should be clear that smoke and carbon monoxide are deadly. Yet they do not have to be. State-of-the-art detectors represent an easy and inexpensive way to protect yourself and your family. It makes no sense to not have at least one of each.

As a consumer, do yourself a favor and add smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring to your home security package. The added protection could save a life. And if you do not have a home security system, you can invest in standalone devices capable of doing the job just fine.

As for home security manufacturers and dealers, consider including smoke and carbon monoxide sensors in every entry-level package you sell. It is the least you can do to protect your customers against these two silent killers. Smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring shouldn’t even be a question for home security.

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River Scott

Emmett River Scott: Emmett, a culture journalist, writes about arts and entertainment, pop culture trends, and celebrity news.