What’s The Difference Between Smoke Detectors And Smoke/Fire Alarms?

A smoke alarm is a stand-alone smoke detection and warning device, usually used in homes or individual apartments.

A smoke detector is part of a building-wide smoke detection and warning system, typically used in office, industrial, health care, and commercial buildings.

Residential Smoke Alarms

You will normally find moke alarms inside houses, townhouses, apartments or condominiums. They are found in areas where people live and sleep to alert the residents of the presence of smoke.

Inside a home or apartment, they are usually located in the halls and in the bedrooms, and on every floor of a home or apartment.

Smoke alarms are there to let the people inside the residence know about the presence of smoke. Any amount of smoke can be dangerous, because as the smoke gets thicker it can prevent escape, or the smoke may mean fire is on its way.

Common Area Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are typically found in the halls of an apartment building or a condominium building.  They are different from a smoke alarm in that a smoke detector is one part of a Common Area Fire Alarm System.

In the halls of a larger complex such as an apartment or condo building, the smoke detector’s role is to simply detect smoke. The detector by itself does get anyone’s attention. The purpose of the smoke detector in the halls is to let the fire alarm control panel know about the smoke – and the fire alarm control panel then activates to sound the alarms throughout the entire building.

Residential Smoke Alarm

A smoke alarm is a complete stand-alone fire alarm system. When it detects smoke, the smoke alarm makes enough noise to wake a person from a sound sleep.

With many homes these days, the smoke alarms in a residence are connected together so if one smoke alarm detects smoke, all of the smoke alarms throughout the house or apartment will also sound an alarm.

If you are having any issues with your smoke alarms, please contact us and we can help you resolve this.