January 11, 2013

More Than Just a Freeze Alarm for the Cold Months

This is certainly an appropriate time of year to talk about freeze alarms since freezing pipes are a chief concern for many homeowners, facility managers and the like this time of year.

These vital devices can save your home or business from tens of thousands of dollars in damage due to flooding, spoiled food and more.

Pictured above is an EnviroAlert by Windland, with features beyond just a freeze alarm.

When it’s time to talk to your security integrator about a freeze alarm, you may see that there are many choices—many versions that perform different functions. Today we’ll attempt to explain some of these so that you’ll be better informed.

First of all, what is a freeze alarm? Well, the most basic version of a freeze alarm alerts you that the temperature in a given area has dropped below a pre-determined level.

This alert can come in the form of automated phone calls to a string of people (sometimes with a recorded message describing the problem). It can trigger your security panel to dial the monitoring company and a live operator can begin contacting the call list as well. It could even cause an alarm to sound.

One type of freeze alarm is referred to as a fixed temperature alert. If this were to be used in a residential setting to prevent pipes from freezing, a common temperature for the alarm to be set at would be 41 degrees.

Another type of freeze alarm is referred to as mechanical, or digital. This version can be set for both low and high temperature thresholds. So it’s not only “freezing” that is being guarded against.

Others have remote programming capabilities and allow the user to set alerts for not only temperature, but for humidity and water sensing. They too protect against more than just freezing, but also provide a higher level of programming functionality.

This last type would be used in situations where there is a walk-in freezer at a restaurant or school, for instance. A monitor unit would be affixed at a central location for reading purposes, and often up to four probes can be run off of this unit into varying locations (to more than one freezer, for instance).

The programming flexibility allows for such design as to be able to create windows of time where no alert would be triggered. For instance, if employees were loading and unloading items into and out of the cooler for a period of time, the temperature is naturally going to rise inside.

So instead of instantly setting off an alert due to this rising temperature (past the pre-determined limit), a two-hour window would have been created beforehand so that only if the temperature is above that level for over two hours will alarm sound.

These are not the only types of freeze alarms available to choose from, as we mentioned, there are many more combinations. We simply wanted you to be better armed with a little information when it’s time to tackle your environmental monitoring needs this winter.

Thanks for spending some time with us today.


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