Understanding the difference between fire alarms and smoke detectors


Electricity is not only a convenience that powers a business’ equipment, technology, heating and lighting – it also keeps its people and property safe from fire. Electrical power is required to run dedicated fire alarm systems and devices like smoke detectors, ensuring that if a blaze occurs, the appropriate actions can be taken.

Smoke detectors and fire alarms can provide onsite personnel and clients alike with a warning and adequate time to exit a business’ premises to safety, or to tackle a small fire, if it is considered safe to do so. Fire prevention equipment can also be connected to fire and rescue services in the local area, ensuring if an incident takes place, they can arrive onsite in good time and tackle the blaze. This can help save lives and reduce damage to properties considerably.

While fire alarms and smoke detectors are both fire safety devices, they are not entirely the same. In the next sections, we’ll take a closer look at this equipment and explain their differences.

Fire alarms versus smoke alarms

The key difference between these two solutions is that a smoke detector can sense smoke and then sound an alarm within the area that contains the fumes. A fire alarm, on the other hand, is activated by the smoke detector, and it will then sound an alarm that can be heard throughout the entirety of the site.

While smaller buildings may find they only require a smoke detector, larger premises and sites require a dedicated fire alarm in order to effectively alert all present of a potential fire.

The importance of correct installation

Both enterprise fire alarms and smoke detectors require proper installation, which is best handled by a professional contractor.

While smoke detectors can be battery operated, this can put people and property at risk. If batteries become loose, depleted or are improperly installed, you may never know they’re not functioning before it’s far too late. Instead, detectors should be wired into your onsite electrical supply to be dependable.

Fire alarms must be wired so that they connect with every smoke detector onsite. If this is performed incorrectly, smoke may be sensed by the detectors, but the alarms won’t receive the signal, leaving a blaze unattended to.

As mentioned earlier, a professionally installed fire alarm will be able to alert local services, but it can also trigger a sprinkler system if you have one fitted onsite, which may put the fire out before they arrive.

Do you need fire prevention devices fitted at your firm?

Whether you need a dedicated fire alarm installation established onsite or a network of smoke detectors fitted, qualified electrical contractors can be counted on for any work required. Skilled to install a wide range of devices and educated to advise on top-quality equipment suited to a specific site, professional electricians can ensure equipment is fitted to code, keeping you compliant.

For further information, contact our expert team at BEST Electrical Contractors today.

Any queries?


Request A Quote Today


Unit 39, Pioneer Business Centre, North Road, Ellesmere Port CH65 1AE

03333 051576

Bundy’s Electrical & Safety Testing
Registered in England And Wales. Company Number 04738998

    Privacy Policy

    Scroll to Top
    Call Now ButtonCall Now!