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Fire Protection Tips: The Four Kinds of Fire Detectors

Fire Protection Tips: The Four Kinds of Fire Detectors

There are various different kinds of fire detectors that all do their jobs in different ways.

Fire detectors are excellent pieces of fire safety equipment that protect us from potential disaster every single day. There are various different kinds of fire detectors that all do their jobs in different ways. Did you know that there’s actually around four different types of detectors that are used to locate a fire? The best way to determine which type is the proper choice of your business, home, or building is to understand the complex differences between the two. The four different types of fire detectors are ionization/photoelectric, photoelectric, ionization, and heat. The differences in these four kinds of are found in how they detect a fire, heat is triggered by temperature while the other three are from the smoke. Here are the fundamental differences between the four types of fire detectors.


Ionization smoke detectors have a consistent electrical current running between two metal plates inside the device. The electrical flow is disrupted once smoke enters the device chamber and triggers the alarm. This kind of smoke detector is excellent for quickly locating fires that are fast burning.


Photoelectric fire detectors work similarly to ionization detectors, but with a beam of light instead of electricity. Once smoke enters the chamber, the light beam is then scattered, which triggers the fire alarm. This kind of device is excellent at identifying smaller fires than your usual ionization detector. They’re also known to be highly reliable and rarely ever fail by producing false alarms. They are one of the best fire detector types available.


Heat detectors work by locating an increase in air temperature caused by flames from a fire. While these detectors are known to trigger a handful of false alarms, they have a much longer reaction time than any other smoke detectors. False alarms might be triggered in buildings that are very steamy, humid, or dusty and are best suited for buildings that aren’t continuously occupied, like warehouses and storage facilities.


A favorite of many fire professionals, a combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors are considered by many to be the all-time best type of fire detector. These devices usually house both kinds of smoke detectors (not heat) all in one unit to ensure that any presence of smoke is located and detected as soon as possible.

Fire Protection Services from Fireline

Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are located in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 13th, 2020 at 1:23 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.