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What Are The Different Types of Fire Alarm Systems for your Las Vegas Business?

Whether you are looking for commercial or residential fire alarms in Las Vegas, a solid system goes a long way in creating a safe living environment. As a Las Vegas property owner, it’s also worth knowing that it’s better to purchase a comprehensive safety system than spend all your money to repair damages from a fire.

The most common misconception that people make, however, is that all fire alarms are the same. The fact is that there are different kinds of Las Vegas fire alarms, and knowing how each one works plays a crucial role in deciding which system works best for you. A reputable fire inspection company should help you choose which system suits your property.

The Four Types of Fire Alarms

The four main types of fire alarms are photoelectric, ionization, combination, and heat fire alarm systems. Keep reading below to find out more about how each of these fire alarm systems works.


Ionization fire alarm systems run due to a steady electrical current flowing between two metal plates. When smoke enters the device chamber, the electrical current is interrupted, setting off the fire alarm. This kind of detector works well for promptly spotting flames that are burning quickly.

Because of this, ionization fire alarm systems tend to have a more sophisticated design. These systems work especially well in a residential setting, as the smaller space means that fires can spread quicker than in a big commercial building.

These fire alarm systems are best at detecting fires caused by combustibles such as:

  • Gasoline
  • Newspapers
  • Cooking grease


Photoelectric detectors operate by using a light beam as opposed to electricity. When smoke enters the chamber, the light beam is dispersed, which subsequently triggers the alarm.

Compared to an ionization detector, this kind of equipment is effective in detecting smaller flames. This is because a slow blazing, smoldering fire produces smoke very differently from a fire that is rapidly spreading. Smoldering fires also burn for much longer.

They have a reputation for being extremely dependable and rarely resulting in false alarms. As a result, firefighters and emergency responders are able to respond to a distress call much quicker with this kind of fire alarm system.

These systems are best at detecting fires caused by fixtures such as:

  • Bedding
  • Carpeting
  • Curtains


A combination ionization and photoelectric smoke detector is a favorite of many reputable fire safety companies in Las Vegas and is regarded as the safest option for consumers.

When a fire burns in a closed space, the oxygen in the space progressively depletes and is replaced by carbon dioxide. Once this buildup occurs, the fuel can no longer burn, which results in the production of carbon monoxide.

With sensing technologies that cooperate to detect fires and odorless carbon dioxide gas, these combination alarms are supposed to offer the protection of two devices in one system.


Heat detectors detect changes in air temperature caused by flames. Although such systems have been known to generate a few false alarms, they take longer to respond compared to other smoke detectors.

When the devices detect a rapid rise in temperature or reach a preset temperature, they sound an alarm. Heat detectors can also be linked to control panels, which sound an alarm, activate water sprinklers, or call the fire department.

It is also worth noting that with heat systems, false alarms may be triggered in abnormally steamy, dusty, or humid buildings. As such, these are best suited for buildings that are not continuously occupied, such as warehouses or storage facilities.

Need More Info?

There are a lot of factors that come to play when choosing between the different kinds of Las Vegas fire alarms. Aside from the type of property (i.e. a small residential house versus an apartment complex), you’ll also have to assess your surroundings to determine the places wherein a fire could start.

As a trusted fire protection company in Las Vegas, we understand how important it is to buy a fire alarm system–and get it right the first time.

We are happy to walk you through all of our fire alarm options and answer any questions you might have. Contact Sting Alarm to learn more.

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