Using A Heat Detector In Your Fire Alarm System

If you have a smoke detector in the house, then chances are you've had an experience where you managed to scorch the cookies in the oven or fried something a little too long, and it set off the smoke detector. This can be a consequence of using smoke detectors in a home fire alarm system, and it's a reason why you can't generally put a smoke detector in the kitchen. For those who want to have their fire alarm system to cover every room of the house, this is an omission in coverage in a room where things like a burner inadvertently left on can become a problem. Adding a heat detector to your home fire alarm system can remedy this problem, though as with smoke detectors, there are advantage as well as disadvantages.

How It Works

The advantage of heat detectors, of course, is that smoke or steam from the kitchen won't set them off, so they make it easy to expand your fire alarm system into the kitchen. Smoke detectors work by detecting the number of particles in the air, and cooking throws some up-basically, any food you can smell when cooking puts particles up in the air. A smoke detector can't differentiate between your home cooking and a fire, no matter how great your cooking is.

In contrast, a heat detector measures the heat around it and will go off after a certain temperature. Since it's tough to hit that temperature even if you're baking for a long time, this makes a heat detector an ideal place for the kitchen. By using it in concert with a smoke detector in another part of your home, you will have a fire alarm system that has more complete coverage.


Because the heat detector will only go off once it reaches a certain temperature, this means that it will only respond once a fire is already going. While this is fine for the kitchen, it's not as good in the event of a fire in other parts of the house. Because of this, you should still use smoke detectors for fire detection close to the bedrooms; this will give you clear warning of a fire before it reaches your bedroom. The long-range detection capabilities of the smoke detector will keep you safe while you sleep. This is why a heat detector is recommended not as the sole part of a fire alarm system, but as a component of a system that includes several detectors. But as a part of a more comprehensive fire detection system, the heat detector will be a great component to help you and your family to be safe.