Trends in fire detection technology

  • Sidney Oluoch
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Fire detection technology is charting a new course as industry players constantly seek to achieve maximum efficiency and safety. The Internet of Things (IoT) has made the industry smarter and
more connected. We took a comprehensive look at some of the trends in fire detection technology and the impact these trends have on the fire detection ecosystem.

Internet of Things

The IoT has had a huge impact on many aspects of life and fire detection is one such area that has greatly reaped from the incredible gains of IoT. It has proven useful in remote monitoring,
diagnostics and maintenance of fire detection systems.

In case of a fire outbreak, IoT helps respondents to gain visibility of how to reach an emergency zone. It provides the respondents with information such as the location of sensors going off, a heat
map of the premise, and water flow activation. Respondents may also use IoT to shut down or activate other interconnected devices such as elevators, air conditioning etc.

Mass Notification system

A mass notification system sends real-time alerts and instructions to concerned groups or/and individuals during a fire break out. These notifications can be broadcast through multiple devices
and channels, i.e., email, SMS, text messages and voice alerts. Audiences may be selected either through lists, geo-targeting or visual intelligence.

Mass notifications keep occupants and respondents notified before, during and after the fire occurrence to mobilize a coordinated response and avoid confusion. Two-way notifications are useful for confirmation of occupants safety and location.

Multi-Sensor Detection

Many companies are aggressively spending on research and development to birth singular fire detection devices that detect not just smoke but also heat, infrared light and carbon monoxide. These multi-sensor devices eliminate the need to install multiple sensors, thus saving on cost and reducing the hustle of dealing with multiple sensors.

Another advantage of multi-sensor detection is that they significantly reduce the occurrence of false alarms. This is because more than one criteria have to be met before the alarm is triggered and notifications sent.

Voice Alert Systems

Audible alarm notifications have always been associated with loud traditional horns and sirens meant to drive out occupants from the facility. Despite its effectiveness, this notification method tends to create a sense of panic in situations that need calm. These inefficiencies are driving more facilities to implement bi-directional voice alert systems.

The primary goal of voice alarm systems is to facilitate the orderly evacuation of all occupants while increasing communication during emergencies. Voice alert systems aid clear communication
between respondents and those in need of evacuation.

Wireless Fire Detection

The world as we know it is littered with wireless technology, and Fire detection technology is not exempt. Fire detection system manufacturers were initially reluctant to adopt wireless technology
due to the stringent legal requirements, but with the advancement of wireless technology and availability of longer-lasting batteries, wireless sensors are slowly becoming an attractive choice for many.

While the reliability of wired connections remains unmatched, many modern fire detection panels use a hybrid system of both wired and wireless connections.

Machine Learning

Machine learning revolutionizes fire detection through prescriptive maintenance and complex data analysis. Through seamless integration of machine learning into the processes of fire detection, facilities can effectively monitor multiple variables of each system using sophisticated algorithms. The main aim of using machine learning, in this case, is to offer longer-range reliable failure prediction.

Machine learning and predictive analysis are also useful in making sense of the fast, high volume of complex data sets brought about by integration. This enables timely, frictionless and automated
response to events. Machine learning is a promising approach to capitalizing on the Internet of Things


Fire detection technology is constantly evolving, and those wanting to remain at the helm of innovation must adapt. As a building owner, manager or owner, how you keep up with these trends
gives a verdict on the level of concern you have for your occupants. We at USS are here to make sure that you don’t fall behind in ensuring that your occupants are the safest they can be.

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