Two Types of Fire Detectors: What They Are and How They Work

Two Types of Fire Detectors: What They Are and How They Work

Written By

Charles Costa

Fire detectors are the cornerstone of any smart home because they’re like having another set of eyes to protect yourself and your family against smoke and fires. The two primary types of detectors on the market are smoke detectors and firefighter alarms. Let’s take a look at these systems and learn more about why they matter.

Smoke detectors

Smoke Alarm

Smoke detectors are devices that sound alerts when they detect fire or smoke. They’re great at detecting fires in the early stages, ensuring you and your family can get out of the house in a timely manner. Since they’re simple, smoke detectors are ideal for the average homeowner, as they’re sensitive enough to catch fires before they get out of hand. For best results, they should be placed on each level of your home and outside sleeping areas.

The two main types of smoke detectors on the market include ionization detectors and photoelectric detectors. Inside the first type, there’s an ionization chamber with two plates and a source of ionizing radiation. The alarm’s power supply sends an electrical signal to the plates. In that area, a small amount of radiation particles bounces around within the chamber. When smoke enters the chambers, the signal becomes interrupted and the alarm then sounds to alert the users.

Photoelectric smoke alarms contain light-emitting diodes that send a beam of light across a T-shaped chamber. Within the chamber is a sensor that detects light. When smoke enters the chamber, it hits the light, gets scattered and then reaches the photocell. After this, the alarm sounds and the users are alerted to the smoke.

Firefighter alarms

Firefighter Alarm

These types of fire detectors compliment smoke detectors by alerting emergency services in real-time when smoke or fires are detected. When connected to your smart home, these detectors can perform essential tasks such as cutting off HVAC systems to reduce the spread of smoke and unlocking your doors to make it easier for emergency teams to enter your home. When you have a firefighter alarm in your home, you can focus on your family’s safety instead of contacting emergency services.

Although a powerful tool to ensure your family’s safety, firefighter alarms only can do so much on their own. To ensure your family is protected from a variety of threats, these alarms should be paired with a comprehensive home security system. The modular nature of many firefighter alarms means users can easily pair them with indoor security cameras and burglar alarms to provide a better level of visibility than a standard smoke detector.

Start protecting your home with 21st-century security products from Vivint.