The Use of Smart Home Technology in Fire Prevention and Detection

Travelers umbrella logo.
By Travelers Risk Control
3 minutes

Traditional smoke detectors are designed to alert people inside the home of a fire so everyone can evacuate safely. But smart home fire and smoke detection devices could help detect a fire in your home and minimize serious damage by notifying you earlier. In fact, some smart fire detection and prevention technology can alert you – and the fire department – on your mobile smart device, even if you’re miles from home.

Smart Smoke Detectors

Smart smoke detectors can provide you with alarm notifications on your smartphone. They can also be wired into your home security system and monitored by a central station to alert you and the fire department of an alarm. When they detect the presence of smoke particles in the air, they can be arranged to shut down your air handling systems to help prevent the spread of smoke while people safely evacuate the home. Additionally, some systems are able to turn on lights and offer spoken directions about what to do in case of a fire.

You may also be able to integrate a camera with your smart smoke detectors so you can record footage of the event to understand the whereabouts of the fire’s origin. Instead of chirping a low-battery warning in the middle of the night, smart detectors can send an alert to your smartphone when the battery charge level is getting low. Some models include carbon monoxide (CO) detection capabilities.

Smart Fire Detectors

If you have frequent false alarms with smoke detectors, a heat detector is another way to help detect fire. There are generally two types of heat detectors (many heat detectors have both capabilities built into them):

  • Simple fixed temperature detectors that alarm at a factory pre-set temperature.
  • Rate-of-rise detectors that alarm when a rapid rise in temperature is detected.

Be advised that heat detectors are generally not meant to replace smoke detectors in bedrooms or other places where a fire safety device is required. Many of these smart fire detection systems can be interconnected, so if a detector goes off in one area of your property, all of the alarms will sound.

Smart Batteries

As an alternative to buying a new smart smoke, heat or CO detector, consider smart batteries. They can power your existing detectors and provide you with alarm notifications on your smartphone. You can monitor more than one detector in your home and receive a notification to replace a battery before it starts to chirp.

Smart Stovetop Fire Prevention

The leading cause of home structure fires and kitchen fires is unattended cooking.1 To help prevent cooking fires, there are devices using motion sensing technology specifically designed to automatically shut off the stove. If the sensor detects that you’ve left the kitchen, it begins a countdown to shut it off. When you return to check on the stove, it automatically restarts the countdown.

Smart Plugs or Outlets

Smart plugs, also known as smart outlets, can provide peace of mind if, for example, you don’t remember whether you unplugged the iron before leaving home. From an app on your smartphone, you can turn lights and small appliances on and off. Some models automatically turn off power to your appliances when they're not needed.

Take Action to Protect Your Home from Fires

Smart fire detection and prevention technology for the home can help protect and save lives as well as your house. If you’re uncomfortable with, or unsure of, the installation process, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. Once installed, these devices may also qualify you for discounts on your homeowners insurance premiums.

To learn more, contact an independent insurance agent, get a quote or speak with a Travelers representative.


Outlet on fire with cord plugged in.

Top Stories

How to Help Prevent House Fires

There are many causes of house fires, including faulty wiring, alternate heat sources, cooking and more.

Related Products & Discounts

See how you may be able to save money on your homeowners policy if you bundle multiple policies, install smart home technology or have a "green" home.

Protect your home the way it protects you by choosing the property insurance coverage that meets your needs.

More Prepare & Prevent

Tips to Help Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Knowing how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning can help keep your family safe.

Carbon monoxide alarm.

More Prepare & Prevent

How Smart Thermostats Can Help Protect Your Home

A smart thermostat can help you heat and cool your home more efficiently, monitor your energy consumption and let you control your home’s heating and AC systems from your smartphone.

Smart thermostat on wall with temperature displayed.

More Prepare & Prevent

4 Smart Home Leak Detection Devices to Help Avoid Water Damage

Learn how to prevent costly water damage and protect your home and valuables with these four smart home water detection systems that help avoid leaks.

A hand holding a smart home device for detecting leaks.