A dog setting in front of a Resideo service truck.

Why 'Man’s Best Friend' Thinks Your Home Should be Monitored by a Professional

Learn how to help keep pets safe while you are home, asleep or away

Pets have a special place in our hearts and homes. In fact, 70% of American homes have a pet as a part of their family. Further research shows that people who own pets reap a variety of positive benefits, so it’s only natural that owners take the precautions necessary to keep their beloved animals safe. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost 1,000 house fires each year are unintentionally set off by the homeowners’ pets. Having a professionally installed and monitored life-safety system can help save the lives of your pets and loved ones in a house fire while you are at home, asleep or away.

Dogs from Coventry, Rhode Island, who accidentally started a fire were trapped inside a burning house, and then saved by two young boys.

As the above recent new story from WHDH-TV in Boston shows, two boys sprung into action in response to a neighbors’ house fire*. The fire was accidentally set by the dogs while the homeowners were away. The boys heard fire alarms going off inside the house and noticed dogs trapped inside the home—which was quickly filling up with smoke. The boys were able to call the neighbors to get the door access code, gain entry into the home, and lead the dogs to safety. First responders were called to the home and everything turned out fine, but not without putting lives in danger. The homeowner had a video doorbell that wasn't connected to a central station and precious time was spent making calls to the homeowners and authorities.

 

How to you help prevent your home and pets from becoming a statistic

According to Mark C. Popkowski, CEO/Owner, Modern System Concepts based in Houston, Texas, "Professionally monitored security systems can alert authorities and homeowners to intruders, fire, or carbon monoxide on the premises, all of which are important whether anyone is home or not. For pets, a monitored system is especially critical because when no one is home, they are locked in and can’t call for help. If your house catches fire, how will your pets escape the blaze? A security system that is serviced with UL-certified professional monitoring 24/7 can ensure that help is on the way fast."

Popkowski's security customers have been delighted to discover how easy it is to keep an eye on their pets and to know just by looking at the app on their phone what’s going on at home.

Mark Popkowski's photo.

Mark C. Popkowski, CEO/Owner, Modern System Concepts

"They love the peace of mind that comes from having a monitored system and knowing that help will be there fast if they need it. They also appreciate that Modern System Concepts is a local company and they can call anytime, speak to a real person, and get the answers they need."

Since pets can’t dial 911 in case of an emergency, consider the safety tips below to help prevent a potential house fire accidentally set by your pets while you are asleep or away.

  • Secure young pets. Keep them confined, such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas, and away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home.
  • Keep stoves and countertops clear of cutting boards. Pets are curious and can bump into, turn on, or knock over cooking equipment. More fire safety tips here.
  • Extinguish open flames and consider using battery-operated flameless candles.
  • Include pets in evacuation plans. Never go back inside a burning building for pets. Tell the firefighters if your pet is trapped in your home. Additional family emergency escape plan information here.
  • Make an emergency kit. Include a leash, your pet’s medication, vet documents, some food and a recent photo and description of your pet.
Mom and daughter with combo detector above the ceiling.

 

How A Professionally Monitored System Works

Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire and offer families precious time to escape to safety. But the NFPA found that in 2009-2013, smoke alarms did NOT sound in about half (47%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments mostly due to battery issues (i.e., missing, disconnected or dead batteries).

Although legislation varies by state, a battery or AC powered smoke/CO detector is typically required by law, and the NFPA suggests that batteries are checked every six months. A professionally monitored system offers greater protection when you're home, asleep or away because it can detect smoke and deadly Carbon Monoxide (CO) and alert the central monitoring station of an issue while your family escapes to safety. The central monitoring station can also notify you if a smoke/CO detector has a low battery.

Girl Sleeping in bedroom.

The process is simple: first the system detects, and then it dispatches first responders, if needed. When smoke or CO is sensed in your home, the detector will send a message to your system, causing the sirens to sound. With professional monitoring, the system will relay the emergency signal to your monitoring center. Dispatchers at the monitoring center are trained to manage the alarm process: from receiving the signal, verification of the alarm and w If needed, first responders will be dispatched to your home, whether you are home, asleep or away.

Additional Benefits for Pet Owners

A professionally installed and monitored system offers value beyond the life-safety component.

Popkowski says his pet-owning customers are keen on adding cameras to their systems to see their pets in real-time. "Many times, they find that just knowing what their pets are doing during the day can be helpful. Was it Fido or Max who tore up that pillow? Indoor and outdoor cameras let you know exactly what is going on while you are away," he said.

“Sometimes we hear customers say that they don't want to include motion sensors because they have pets and worry about setting off false alarms," Popkowski said. “But we assure them that with the technology available today, false alarms aren't much of an issue because Resideo's Indoor MotionViewer has passive infrared technology that can detect the difference between an intruder and a pet – letting animals up to 100 pounds move freely without triggering an alarm.”

With Resideo's Total Connect Remote Services’ easy-to-use app, you are connected anytime, anywhere, from your mobile device. The two-way voice feature of the Total Connect cameras allows you to see, hear and speak to your dog or pet sitter at your house and know what your pet is up to—all with the swipe of a finger. The system can even let you know if outdoor gates are left open or if kitchen cabinets with dangerous chemicals are ajar. With interior and exterior cameras, you can keep connected to your pet 24/7/365. Professional monitoring, together with mobile control puts the things that matter most in the safest hands.

"One of the great things about Resideo's security systems is how customizable they are," Popkowski said. "A professional security integrator can help you determine which devices should be installed in your home and how to best fit your needs and lifestyle." To find a local security dealer in your area visit Resideo.com.

* While this particular situation had a positive outcome, firefighters caution that people should never enter a burning home but instead call 911 right away.