This post will be short and sweet, and not the least bit silly.
Update: Shortly after I wrote this post, all 911 porch light flasher switches have become unavailable on Amazon, and very hard to find elsewhere. I’ve changed the broken link from Amazon to Legrand’s product page, so at least you can see what it looks like. I’ll revisit this topic once we’ve gotten enough smart home kitchen equipment in place to support automatic light flashing.
If you’re cooking and a fire starts and goes pear-shaped, you will have to act quickly to call 911, attempt to extinguish it, and get out of the house to wait for the fire department.
Even if you think you’ve put the fire out, you’re going to call 911, because that’s what fire departments are for—getting there quickly to make sure it’s out and won’t smolder and spread later.
You want to make it as easy as possible for the fire department to find your exact location. Many neighborhoods lack visible addresses, and we all know how badly GPS-powered maps can be.
What if you could have your porch light flash repeatedly, giving the fire engine driver an obvious target for where to stop the truck, without having to slow down and shine a floodlight around looking for address numbers?
I’m not aware of any U.S. or international standard that specifies this idea, but I’m going to ask you to do it anyway.
Buy this Pass & Seymour Emergency Home Locator Switch, and get an electrician to install it for you, unless you fully understand AC wiring and especially grounding and bonding.
later on, when I get into automation technology, we’ll probably replace this with a networked switch so we can make it flash whenever the smoke alarms go off, but that’s another post.