8 Reasons To Sell Smoke Detectors
While I had used burglar alarms systems in places I had managed, I never had one in my home until I started working in the security industry. But it wasn’t until 2 years later that I really started learning how important a monitored smoke detector could be. I had one installed in my home the very next day. And everything I have learned since then has only confirmed it was the right decision.
1. Photoelectric vs Ionization – This was the start of my first real lesson. One day I saw several videos about smoke detectors. The first talked about the difference between Ionization (in my mind, more of a fire/heat detector) and Photoelectric (much better at smoke). The video explained how deaths are not normally caused by fire, but by smoke inhalation. And most homes only have Ionization (because they are less expensive). The second showed a training video where a fire department burned a house with both Ionization and Photoelectric smoke detectors. The Photoelectric went off almost 20 minutes before the Ionization.
2. Monitored vs Non-Monitored – While any smoke detector is better than no smoke detector, what happens when your customer is not at home and doesn’t have a monitored smoke detector? How much time elapses before anyone outside the house notices it is on fire? Fire Departments will tell you the first few minutes can be critical.
3. Pets – This goes back to being monitored. What happens to pets when there is a fire and no one is at home? For many people, their pets are like their children. I have had people buy a security system just to get the smoke detector to protect their pets. And let the monitoring company know there are pets in the house.
4. Electrical fires – I always did great business at Christmas. If people had real Christmas trees, they would dry and become a fire hazard. And Christmas tree lights seemed to always be old, whether for a real tree or a pre-lit tree. By including a smoke detector (and stressing their importance) with every security sale during December, we never had the sales drop many companies experience.
5. Home automation – A commercial fire system is required to include duct detectors, which will shut down the a/c or heating. The movement of smoke is very dangerous in a public building. When you add the thermostat to control room temperature, you can also use it to shut down the customer’s a/c and furnace, just like a commercial fire system. This can really save lives.
6. Home automation – By adding a keyless lock (Kwikset or Yale), you can have the system open the doors, making it easier to leave the premise when there is a fire. It also makes it easier for firemen to enter the premise and rescue your client or their pets. It is also a good idea to add a lamp module or two to automatically turn on when the smoke detectors goes off. There is a reason commercial fire systems are called life safety.
7. Insurance savings – This goes back to the premise many security sales people use to help sell a system. But many of the sales people don’t know that half of the discount offered by an insurance company usually requires a monitored smoke detector.
8. Personal Items – Insurance does pay for many items lost in a fire. But it can never replace the personal items. Pictures of children, grandparents, etc. Family mementoes and heirlooms. Important documents are rarely stored in a fire proof safe. Remember the MasterCard commercial – Priceless.
By Richard Kramer, Security Products Account Manager at Mountain West Distributors