Monitored smoke alarm prevents Tampa woman’s house from setting fire

By Katie Jones, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, July 15, 2017, 4:53 PM EDT

A scary moment earlier this week has a Tampa woman feeling thankful for her extra sense of security.

  • Julie Knight’s smoke detector set off by burning loaf of bread
  • Security company contacted fire department
  • Knight’s dog was home alone

On July 11, Julie Knight was at work when she got a call from her security company, ADT Security, saying that her alarm was going off.

Knight’s dog, Max, was home alone.

Turns out, a simple bump of her stove burner caused a loaf of bread to catch fire. Her house started filling with smoke.

"Having a fire in your home is quite a scary thing so I got really nervous and scared," Knight said.

Luckily, crews were able to get inside and put the fire out fast. Knight believes having an extra layer of protection on her smoke alarm saved her home and Max’s life.

"I think the worst would've happened if something would have ignited even further and the fire would've caused more damage," Knight said.

Because Knight had a monitored smoke alarm, ADT Security was able to get in touch with the fire department within a minute of it going off. It’s something security experts said wouldn’t have happened with a standard smoke alarm.

"If your smoke alarm is not monitored, then you're depending on someone else to call 911 and notify authorities," Panashe Muwunganirwa with ADT Security said.

Security experts said simple mistakes happen all too often and encourage homeowners to be proactive with protection. Knight said she’s grateful she was.

"I think everyone should take the time to invest in having activated through an alarm company smoke alarms. It's one thing to have an alarm go off but if no one's around when it goes off what's the point of having it?” Knight said.

Saturday is National Pet Fire Safety Day, and security experts said they’ve found that half a million pets fall victim to residential fires every year in the United States. They want to remind residents to secure their pets in safe perimeters when they aren’t home, make sure all appliances are turned off and extinguish any open flames.