types of fire detectors

Four types of fire detectors and how they can prevent your business.

We being humans, are always curious about things around us. All of us are very well aware of fire detectors but do you know that there are four types of fire detectors that are used to sense the presence of a fire. The best way to determine which kind is the right choice for your business or building is to understand the difference between them.

Smoke detectors are installed in apartments or business places all around the country and save lives, yet most people are not familiar with how these devices work. Here’s what you need to know about all four types and distinction between all of them.

The four types of fire detectors and how they can prevent your business place are:

  • Ionization
  • Photoelectric
  • Ionization/Photoelectric
  • Heat

The differences in these four types are found in how they detect a fire- heat is obviously triggered by temperature while the other three are from smoke.

  • Ionization : Ionization smoke detectors have a constant electrical current that runs between metal plates inside of the device. The disruption in electrical current causes when smoke enters the device chamber and triggers the alarm.
    For quickly identifying of fast-burning of fires this type of detector is great.
  • Photoelectric : Photoelectric detectors are also similar to ionization detectors, but with a beam of light instead of electricity. When smoke enters the device chamber, there’s a scattering of the light beam which triggers the alarm. Photoelectric detectors are good for identifying smaller fires. These are very reliable and rarely produce false alarms.
  • Heat : Heat detectors work by temperature, an increase in temperature causes flames. These detectors are known to triggers few false alarms, also they have a longer reaction time than other smoke detectors. Heat alarms are best suited for buildings or apartments that are abnormally steamy, dusty, or humid and not recommended for warehouses or storage facilities.
  • Ionization/Photoelectric : A combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke detector is considered a favorite of many professionals. These devices have both types of smoke detectors (not heat) in one unit to ensure that any presence of smoke is detected as soon as possible.

Statistics by National Fire Protection Association:

While there’s been significant progress over the years in educating people about fire prevention and taking precautions.
In 2019, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that:

  • Local Departments responded to an estimated 1.3 million fires.
  • These fires caused roughly, 3700 civilian fire deaths and reported 16,600 civilian fire injuries.
  • Property damage was estimated at $14.8 billion.

6 suggestions for how to keep your business place safe

  • Talk to your employees about a fire escape and practice the plan twice a year.
  • Annual Maintenance Contract is essential to ensure that no fire hazards are present.
  • If you have a gas fireplace at your place, a safety screen is an essential safety element as they protect you and your employees from contact with glass and metal.
  • Do not burn candles or Diya’s near curtains, and other flammable objects.
  • Test your business place safety devices, including carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms for functionality and battery life.
  • Install smoke alarms as a part of a monitored fire detection system on every level of your business place, and especially inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

Understanding the Importance of Smoke Detectors

There’s much more to smoke detectors than most business owners think. The truth is, even in brand new buildings and houses, smoke detection systems can be poorly designed and less effective.
Your responsibility being a business owner is to ensure that you have adequate smoke detector coverage. Investing in safety measures will pay back in dividends if you end up experiencing your property fire.


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