The fire department uses a heat detection system to detect the presence of an emergency fire in a building or other structure using thermal radiation. The heat detection systems rely on a color change in the infrared spectrum.

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The video “Heat Detector Types of Heat Detector Fire Detector HSE STUDY GUIDE” offers insights into the various types of heat detection systems.

Many homeowners often use heat detection systems in a home fire detection system. Modern heat detection systems use infrared cameras and microphones for more precise detection. In general, heating elements will give off their characteristic light pattern through the IR spectrum that these sensors can detect.

Heat detection systems can use visual or audible sensors to detect heat signatures within a structure. Both heat detectors must have a clear line of sight to be effective. In residences, these sensors are often in hallways and living rooms to cover as much of the home as possible. These heat detection systems measure the infrared spectrum. The spectrum determines the relative intensity of a fire.

An infrared sensor looks for a specific pattern of infrared light that comes from an object when it reaches its ignition temperature. Once an object reaches the appropriate temperature, an alarm sounds. As a result, firefighters get an alert that there is a fire within the area the heat detection system monitor.


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