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Fire Alarm vs Smoke Detector: Everything You Should Know

By ChenDenny |

Smoke detectors and fire alarms can be among the most important items in your home when it comes to your family's safety. However, many people still cannot figure out the difference between a fire alarm vs smoke detector. Here in the following post, we are going to discuss everything about both of these smart alert systems.

What Is a Fire Alarm?

Although its very name defines it, it is worth emphasizing the service it provides, since it is a key element for the protection of life. In short, a fire alarm is that component that alerts people inside a building that there is a fire and that they must begin to evacuate the facilities.

However, depending on their technology, there are some advanced models capable of alerting emergency response agencies and at the same time triggering other security systems. The latter refers to sprinklers, lighting management systems, ambient sound systems, and access controls, among others.

One more point to take into account in a fire alarm are the instruments it uses to signal. Although it can work in synergy with other automation solutions as explained above, it has its siren, and a set of lights to alert the hearing impaired.

One point to take into account is their classification, which depends on how they detect the potential danger; some respond to smoke detectors while others respond to heat detectors.

Likewise, compared to fire detection solutions and a fire alarm, it must be said that passive protection systems are classified.

In other words, although they do not play a leading role in the fight against fire, they are essential to prevent it, prevent its spread, and give early warning about its presence in buildings to avoid, above all, the loss of life.

Finally, and as for any other security device in smoke detector vs fire alarm, we recommend specialized advice for the implementation of any type of fire alarm and timely support for effective maintenance.

What Is a Smoke Detector?

A smoke detector is an electronic fire-fighting device that when a possible fire source occurs, the smoke that rises to the top due to a difference in density. It is detected and produces an audible alarm giving notice to all those who are in the vicinity.

These equipment contain sensors that have a certain level of sensitivity that locate fumes that, due to their composition and density, are considered dangerous, as they can be produced by burning furniture or fires.

Smoke detector is more advanced and equally wired types of smoke sensors, such as addressable analog smoke detectors, can even show the fire system manager the level of smoke or dirt particles inside the detector.

It is a safety device that emits an acoustic signal to warn that there are smoke or vapor particles in the air that may be generating a fire. This device is charged with batteries or a battery, which allows avoiding any malfunction related to the lack of power supply.

Even from a central monitoring station, an operator of the same could check these levels of smoke or dirt particles through a software application and schedule a technical visit if necessary, to avoid false alarms due to lack of maintenance.

A smoke detector is capable of measuring and reporting the start of a fire. You may be wondering: How is this detection carried out? Well, don't worry, we will explain the whole procedure below.

There are several ways to detect smoke traces in the air. The most used detector is that of optical detection. Regarding the operation of the optical smoke detector, it should be noted that it has a photoelectric cell inside it, which is pointed by a beam of light.

So, if the transmission of this light is interrupted by smoke, the detector generates an alarm to give notice that a fire is occurring. On the other hand, this type of smoke detector can monitor a room or space of about 30 m² with a height of 6 m.

What Is the Difference Between a Fire alarm and a Smoke Detector?

Now let’s clear a doubt – what is the difference between a fire detector vs smoke detector.

A smoke detector is a system that senses when there is any smoke around. On the other hand, the fire alarm is activated when there is a potential fire.

These small alarm devices are part of the fire prevention unit inside buildings and homes. They both are designed with a sensor or we can say a siren that is triggered when it detects the presence of flames or smoke. In this way, it allows to warn of the fire in its initial phase, and even, if possible, to stop it using an extinguisher.

However, we know that it is called a “smoke detector: but technically it is incorrect. We can also call it a gas detector or carbon monoxide detector, etc.

The detectors can be analog or digital. And they also present a lesser or greater degree of sophistication:


They can detect smoke, fire, and heat. They activate a signal if there is any sign of fire in their coverage areas.


They also detect the presence of heat, fire, and smoke, although they are more accurate. Each installed device indicates more precisely in which specific area it is detecting smoke or fire.


Smart detectors can quantify the amount of smoke, temperature level, and fire. This allows for a greater margin of reaction, and to follow the action protocol that has been programmed in advance.

When installing any fire system, it is important to know that it must be maintained adapted to its type and location. These are easy to maintain, depending on whether the remaining battery is checked and whether the detection area is free and clean.

If you have the services of an approved fire-fighting company, you will be obliged to periodically carry out tests and reviews of this equipment as in the rest of the equipment.

What Type of Smoke Detector is Best?

Your safety against fire is important, but we are not always very aware of it. We always think it will not happen to us and others will be affected, but it is a confident way of thinking about a problem that can "touch us".

Fires are caused by very varied but common factors, especially those that usually occur within a home or in an organization. Do not trust yourself and protect your family or employees, with a good fire system and the first defense maybe this.

Trust only expert companies in their installation, in addition to having all the certificates and comply with the established laws. Do not try to save with this matter.

The best smoke detector must meet the following criteria:

  • It must have the CE label, which is approved by European legislation. This indicates that the product meets all safety requirements.
  • You must meet state standards that affirm the quality and reliability of the product to use it.
  • It is important to choose a smoke detector that has a warranty. This is usually 5 years.
  • Likewise, it is preferable to choose a lithium battery than an alkaline one, since the lithium battery has a useful life of approximately 5 years, unlike the alkaline battery that has a duration of only 1 year.

If you are looking for the best Smoke Detector system, we recommend Photoelectric smoke detectors. We recommend installing X-sense Wi-Fi Smoke Detector for your premises.

This is the safer and more convenient system for your premises. One of the simple and smart devices, which you should not miss installing.

Here are its key features:

  • A real-time notification on your smartphone.
  • Simple and smart.
  • Malfunction notification.
  • You can silent any irritating alarms using the app.
  • Easy to install and simple to connect the system to Wi-Fi in no time.
  • It checks Wi-Fi connection and battery status.

You will need to change your smoke detector if:

  • This one is damaged.
  • It was manufactured more than 10 years ago. If you don't see a manufacturing date on the detector, don't risk it and replace it right away.
  • It does not emit a signal after changing the batteries and after pressing the ‘test’ button.
  • The battery is damaged.


Hope you’ve found this guide helpful to know everything about smoke alarm vs smoke detector. Both of these detectors save lives in the event of a fire, that is the main reason why your home or business should have these simple and inexpensive systems installed, regardless of whether or not you are bound by the regulations: It is your security.

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