Heat Detectors vs Smoke Detectors: Filling The Safety Gaps

Crossfire Alarms is known for its interconnected smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors that alert you and your family of danger when only seconds count. We pride ourselves of alerting people earlier and providing more accurate alarms than any other detectors on the market. At Crossfire Alarms, our goal is to save lives, that’s why we provide both Heat and Smoke alarms with our systems. But what is the difference between the two?

Everyone is used to seeing smoke detectors in their home. For most people, homes come equipped with basic, ionization smoke alarms already installed. Smoke alarms are designed to detect the presence of smoke or fire in a room, meaning they react once fire or smoke danger is already present in the home. These kind of alarms go off when smoke reaches a dangerous level in a specific room.

In most homes, there are rooms where smoke alarms cannot be installed. These rooms include laundry rooms, attics, garages, and utility rooms. Often times, these rooms reach high temperatures or have a consistent presence of smoke and other chemicals. However, these are still high risk areas of the home and need protection. Heat detectors often use rate-of-rise technology to determine what safe or “normal” temperatures for a room, and sense when the temperature rises too much too quickly.

Why You Need Both
Both heat and smoke alarms have one simple purpose: to alert you of the danger of a fire or potential fire in your home. While smoke alarms are able to detect the presence of smoke in the majority of rooms in a home, heat alarms are able to fill in the gaps in rooms where smoke alarms are prohibited. By equipping your home with both, you eliminate the danger of a fire starting in a room without your knowledge.

How They Can Work Together
Crossfire Alarms is known for its interconnected system of smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors. This system is designed to alert you of a fire in any room of the home by setting off every alarm in the system the second it detects danger. Once you are alerted of a threat, you can find out what room the danger is in by shutting off all alarms in the home except the one in the room where danger occurred. Interconnected systems, like the one made by Crossfire Alarms, cover every room, nook, cranny and corner of your home in order to keep you alerted of a danger in time to get out safely.

When it comes to fire safety, the first step should always be to purchase effective smoke and heat alarms. Even though heat alarms are not required, they provide protection in rooms where you would otherwise be left vulnerable to a growing fire.

Understanding Proper Placement of Heat Detectors

Understanding Proper Placement of Heat Detectors

If you are one of those that do everything that you can to make sure that your family is safe, you already know the importance of making sure that you have working smoke and heat detectors in the home. You are also one that makes sure to test all of your alarm systems each month to ensure they are in proper working order so that they work when they are needed. However, one key step that many overlook is the proper placement of these devices in the home to make sure they provide the best detection possible.

Heat detectors are designed to work in areas that have higher levels of dust, debris, and the release of gases. This makes them the perfect option for areas such as the kitchen, where the changes in heat and gases from using cook tops and ranges often triggers traditional smoke detectors. These alarms are designed so that they can be set to a particular temperature setting, which minimizes the unnecessary triggering and false alarms that result in many homeowners removing the batteries from other smoke detecting devices.

Heat detectors are also recommended for areas such as the garage, laundry room, furnace room, attics, and basements. These detectors are designed to ignore the dust and temperature fluctuations that are common in these areas, while still providing the protection you need for your family’s safety.

Crossfire heat detectors can be set to fixed temperatures to ensure that they alarm when these areas reach uncharacteristically high temperatures. This means that there are no more false alarms based on dust and debris, so you will never be tempted to remove the batteries or disconnect the units. Your goal is to protect your loved ones in the best ways possible, and heat detectors should be at the top of the list to ensure the highest safety levels.




The Benefits of Heat and Smoke Detection Alarms

The Benefits of Heat and Smoke Detection Alarms

Fires are one of the number one causes of death and property loss throughout the US. In 2013, more than 3,200 deaths and over $11 billion dollars worth of property loss were reported as the result of fire. These numbers show the importance of installing appropriate detection devices in your home or business.

There is a variety of options available for detecting fires, including smoke alarms, heat detectors, and combination heat and smoke detectors. When it comes to providing the best safety for your family, the combination devices may be your best option.

Smoke detectors rely on either ionization or photoelectric components to warn you and your family that there is smoke in your home. Ionization alarms contain radioactive charges that are disrupted by smoke particles in the air, which sets off the alarm. Photoelectric sensors are designed to register when light changes within the unit due to smoke particles in the air. While both of these options save lives, ionization alarms respond best when hot, flaming fires are present, and photoelectric work best with detecting smoldering fires.

There are also heat detectors that are designed to signal when there is a high temperature change within a given area. These detectors are usually recommended for areas that have more dust and other particles in the air, but they are not quite as sensitive as smoke detectors.

Due to the variances between these types of alarms, a combination heat and smoke detector can provide additional protection for you and your family. Since this sensor combines smoke detecting with heat detecting, it is considerably faster than relying on one type or the other. When a fire breaks out, you only have a few minutes to evacuate your home – give all of your loved ones a better chance of escaping by ensuring that all potential threats can be detected.





Rate-of-Rise Heat Sensors: An Added Level of Protection

Smoke alarms, primarily Optical alarms, help alert you and your family of smoke that can easily lead to a devastating fire. However, smoke detectors at times do not react quickly enough to fires that are caused by heat. Additionally, smoke alarms should not be installed in rooms such as garages, kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms and attics. These rooms often house chemicals, elevated dust particles/heat, and steam that can affect a smoke detector’s sensors. Putting smoke alarms in these rooms would pretty much cause headaches for everyone due to the limitations of traditional smoke alarms resulting in false alarms. So, when you can’t put a smoke alarm in rooms likely to cause a fire, what can you do to prepare and protect your family?

In rooms where you can’t put a smoke alarm, the smartest solution is a heat alarm. Heat alarms are designed to respond when the energy from a fire increases the temperature to a dangerous point. These alarms are not meant to replace smoke detectors, but instead work to assist them and further warn you when there is danger of (or from) a fire. There are two common types of heat sensing technologies, Fixed Temperature and Rate-of-Rise.

Fixed Temperature heat detectors go off when the temperature of a room increases to a predetermined point. In many of these alarms, there is a chamber with a heat sensitive alloy that is designed to go from a solid to a liquid once it reaches a certain temperature, setting off the alarm. These alarms are designed with thermal lag, so the heat detector does not go off too early and waits until the surrounding air exceeds that temperature. Another method of fixed temperature is a thermistor. When the thermistor is measuring the fixed temperature and feeding the information to a microprocessor, smart technology can be utilized to determine when the alarm should sound. When it comes to a fire alarm, reliability is invaluable. Crossfire alarms use this reliability for areas that smoke alarms cannot be installed.

Rate-of-Rise heat detectors measure how quickly the temperature increases in a given period of time. These are different than fixed temperature in that they work when the temperature of a room increases at a rate equal to or faster than the set points established for the device by the manufacturer. These alarms are most commonly set to go off when the temperature increases at a rate of 12°F -15°F per minute. Rate-of-Rise alarms have two heat-sensitive thermocouples, or temperature-measuring devices. One side measures the heat transferred, while the other measures the overall temperature of a room. When the first thermocouple increases in relation to the other, the alarm sounds.

Unlike Fixed Temperature heat detectors, Rate-of-Rise heat detectors can detect fires at lower temperatures, since they do not have a fixed point to go off. However, slow developing fires do not always release enough energy to set off a Rate-of-Rise alarm. So, it’s recommended to use both sensing technologies to detect heat.

Crossfire Alarms’ Heat Activated Fire Alarms utilize both fixed and rate of rise heat detection. In fact, Crossfire alarms go one step further. They use a proprietary dual differentiation technique for their rate of rise feature. Crossfire measures the temperature on the inside of the alarm as well as the outside. This gives the microprocessor information on the rate of rise in hot air in the room and allows the alarm to trigger with a faster response. The Rate-of-Rise technology works to sense rapid temperature increases at any temperature, while the Fixed Temperature technology senses when a room reaches a certain temperature. Crossfire Heat Alarms have three settings for Fixed Temperature, 117°F, 135°F and 175°F, allowing you to select which temperature you need based on where the device is to be installed. Crossfire’s dual differentiation technology leaves little room for error, providing maximum protection for your family.