Smoke Detector

What is a Smoke Detector

Definition of Smoke Detector in Construction

A smoke detector is any piece of equipment that, when detecting a smoke condition, either provides a function or a warning. Smoke detectors in some situations are combined with heat detectors to provide a warning device for both smoke and heat. In other cases, the smoke detector is a single sensor unit that only becomes activated upon smoke and not heat. Smoke detectors are commonly located within stair towers, ductwork, or special areas that may not become hot enough to alarm a heat detector, but would have a smoke condition due to a fire in another location within the structure. The electrical engineer together with the architect will determine the location for the smoke detectors within a project. However, the local fire marshal also has a responsibility for determining where they would like the smoke detectors to be located. If a smoke detector is located within a run of ductwork, they could function upon alarm, and close what is called a smoke damper within the ductwork system. This closing assembly would stop the flow of smoke within the ductwork systems, if the smoke detector was activated. Smoke detectors are in many cases, more important than the heat or fire detector, due to the fact that the smoke detector will normally identify a fire issue, prior to the introduction of enough heat into the area to activate a heat detector. Smoke detectors will normally be connected to the primary electrical service within the structure, but will also be supplied with batteries, to ensure functioning, if the power within the structure is lost due to an emergency.