FIREWATCH MONITORED ALARMS

Almost as good? The headline is unduly modest in its comparison of FireWatch to the option suggested by the photo—i.e., having the fire department live in your house. Wouldn’t the lads track in a lot of soot when they come back from putting out other people’s fires? Far easier, surely, to have a monitored smoke-detectorsystem that automatically calls for help when needed. Of course, the true alternative to getting FireWatch is having your house burn down if it happens to catch fire when you’re not there. Would the ad have been stronger had it featured that peril instead of the fanciful scene we see here? Not necessarily. Having your house burn down (while an ordinary smoke detector uselessly wails) is one of those thoughts too awful to contemplate. We know it happens to other people; we can’t imagine it happening to us. So the ad is probably smart to present two happy alternatives—only one of which (FireWatch) we can actually have. Nicest visual detail here: the little boy petting the dalmatian.