What is a duct mounted smoke detector?

What is a Duct Mounted Smoke Detector?

When it comes to explaining the ins and outs of duct mounted smoke detectors, it is probably best to start with what you should not be using them for, rather than what you should. For example, a duct mounted smoke detector should not be used as a substitute for an area smoke detector or early warning detection system. Nor should it be considered a replacement for a building’s standard fire detection system. All that being said, you may be wondering what in the heck you would use them for! To provide some clarity on the subject, let’s start by exploring what this vital fire safety tool is and what it was actually designed to do. 

What is a Duct Mounted Smoke Detector?

Modern heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems today operate by circulating air (warm or cool) via a series of ducts throughout the structure. A duct smoke detector is a device or group of devices used to detect the presence of smoke in the ductwork. When the device senses smoke, the fan shuts off, preventing smoke from being distributed by the air handling system to other areas of a structure. 

When are Duct Mounted Smoke Detectors Required?

The very nature of an HVAC system can be a contributing factor to injury or property damage caused by the recirculation of fire and smoke through the ducts. After all, its’ very purpose is to circulate the air throughout the building. When that air is laden with smoke, carbon monoxide, or other toxic fumes, having an early detection system to minimize the distribution of the air – is critical. Duct smoke detectors are usually required for more extensive commercial or industrial facilities with cooling units 5-tons and larger. In most cases, NFPA standards and often local code enforcement require their inclusion in a comprehensive fire safety plan.  

Things You Should Know

  • Make sure your duct smoke detector installer provides all datasheets for maintenance and servicing upon installation. 
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines for testing, servicing, and routine maintenance. 
  • Ensure your installer is qualified to install your duct smoke detector according to NFPA standards. 
  • Have your equipment tested annually to ensure it is fully functioning. 

Having a properly installed duct mounted smoke detector system in place is an essential tool for preventing injury or property damage as a result of fire and smoke. Nevertheless, it should be only one part of a comprehensive fire safety prevention and detection plan. For more information on duct mounted smoke detector installation, contact the professionals at Advent Air. Our professional team of HVAC specialists is committed to keeping the air you and your family breathe – safe and comfortable. Call us today for all your HVAC system needs. 


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