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Smoke Detector vs. Fire Alarm System: What’s the Difference?

Jul 27, 2019
Smoke Detector vs. Fire Alarm System: What’s the Difference?

To protect your home or business from the hazard of a possible fire, you will need something for protection and security. Two very common appliances used for this purpose are the smoke detector and the fire alarm system. Both of them have their own particular usage and are essential in helping you and your building stay safe from fires. Here’s what you need to know about both of them:

What is a Smoke Detector?

A smoke detector can easily be defined by its name. It is a device that is used to detect smoke. It is nothing more than a sensor and is able to detect when there is an inappropriately high amount of smoke being produced in your house. Hence, it’s a sensor and does not do much more than recognizing the fact there could be an irregularly high amount of smoke in your house.

What is a Fire Alarm System?

On the other hand, a fire alarm system is a complete package. It involves detection and action. The fire alarm system detects the high amount of smoke and acts on it. Hence, it is more than just a sensor. The sensor is connected to an alarm system that is going to blare when the detection system is activated. Some fire alarm systems also come with an attached sprinkler system that is going to spray water down from your roof to put out the fire. However, even if you do not have that, the fire alarm is going to alert you and the fire brigade to put out the fire.

What is the Difference Between the Two?

There are a number of differences between a smoke detector and a fire alarm system. They can be summarized to:

  • A smoke detector simply acts as a sensor and detects the smoke while a fire alarm system acts on it
  • A fire alarm system has a number of different devices all joined together to give your building protection from fire. It can alert and even take countermeasures against the fire if it has been integrated with the correct appliances.
  • Lastly, a smoke detector is usually integrated into a fire alarm system. It’s a part of it. A fire alarm system requires it in order to perform its functions.

Do they Require Replacements or Service?

Fire alarm systems do run on a power source and thus need to be maintained. They need to be tested every single month and have to be tested for their batteries and their response times to some changes in the environment. Your business smoke alarm and every other appliance connected with it have to be in top shape. If it is not properly maintained, you might have to replace it.

Which One Should You Get?

Since smoke detectors do not perform what you require in a business smoke alarm, it’s the full-fledged fire alarm systems that you need to get. They are able to provide responses instead of simply sensing the smoke.

Smoke detectors and fire alarm systems are quite different with the former simply acting as a sensor while the latter provides responses. For a business smoke alarm, you need a fire alarm system and also need to maintain it. 

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