h a l f b a k e r y
Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.
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Central monitoring technology has been a great advance for faster response times for police, fire dept. and ambulance.
Add optional "neighbor" monitoring so that your next door neighbor, whether he's in the next appartment or in the house half a mile away gets an alarm whenever you have an alarm
(perhaps after a suitable short interval).
This is in essence both automating asking the neighbor to keep an eye out when you're on vacation and potentially saving both lives by making sure he knows when your house is on fire.
WiFi smoke alarm
related idea by [phoenix] [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]