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What Is the Difference Between Smoke Alarms and Smoke Detectors?

While you might think smoke detectors and smoke alarms are interchangeable, they’re actually quite different. As you decide between smoke alarm and smoke detector installation services, it’s important you know how these devices work and their primary differences. With more information about these devices, you’ll be prepared to pick the right one for your home or business, ensuring you can react to a fire as fast as possible.

What Is a Smoke Detector?

A smoke detector is a sensing device that connects to a fire alarm system and has a built-in sensor designed to detect smoke. Once the smoke detector senses smoke, it will send a signal to the fire alarm system, with the system then activating an audible alarm. Due to their design, smoke detectors rely on their connection to the fire alarm control panel to alert people to smoke

What Is a Smoke Alarm?

A smoke alarm is a self-contained alarm device with a sensor designed to detect smoke and a component that can make noise. When a smoke alarm detects smoke, it will make a loud noise to alert anyone nearby to the threat of a fire. The most defining feature of these devices is their stand-alone quality, as they can make noise independently and aren’t connected to a larger system.

The Difference Between Smoke Detectors and Smoke Alarms

The main difference between smoke alarms and smoke detectors is that smoke alarms are self-contained while smoke detectors are connected to a fire alarm system. 

Unlike a smoke detector’s ability to set off an alarm system throughout an entire building even when smoke is only currently in a single room, a smoke alarm will only go off when it detects smoke near it. For example, if you have a smoke alarm in your kitchen and one in your bedroom, smoke in the kitchen will only cause the kitchen alarm to go off and not the alarm in your bedroom.

In contrast, a smoke detector’s connection to a fire alarm control panel allows them to make everyone inside a building aware of a fire through a building-wide alarm system. 

Do I Need a Smoke Detector or Smoke Alarm?

If you’re trying to decide between smoke detector or smoke alarm installation services, the main consideration you’ll need to take into account is the size of your home or business. 

Smoke alarms work best when a building is small enough for everyone inside to easily hear the alarm when it detects smoke. Since these alarms aren’t connected to a system, they don’t typically automatically alert authorities to a fire, requiring someone to call the fire department to make them aware. As a result, they’re a good choice for standard sized-homes and apartments. 

Generally, you’ll want a smoke detector if you have a large home or business facility. Due to their connection to a system, a smoke detector will alert everyone in a building to a fire, even if they’re multiple floors away or in a separate wing. Smoke detectors will also often send an automatic alert to fire authorities whenever they detect smoke. Their proactiveness and ability to alert everyone inside a building make them a good choice for businesses, schools, and multistory apartment complexes.

Choose Bonney for Smoke Detector Installation in Sacramento

If you’re looking for smoke alarm or smoke detector installation services in Sacramento or the surrounding areas, turn to Bonney. Our certified electricians can help you decide if smoke detectors or alarms are right for your home and install them for you. When we install your smoke alarms or detectors, we’ll make sure to place them in locations that will benefit you most and give you the earliest warning possible, no matter where a fire starts.

Learn more about our smoke detector installation and maintenance services today. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us.