A heat detector is a device that is used to warn people of a possible fire. These alarms are designed to go off when a certain temperature is met or when the temperature in a room rises at a certain rate. Kitchens and closets are areas that can benefit from the installation of a heat detector, as smoke detectors are not appropriate for these types of spaces. Though they are not meant to replace smoke detectors, heat detectors are a useful supplemental form of fire detection.
One type of heat detector is the rate-of-rise heat detector, which detects a sudden rise in temperature. These detectors are particularly useful if a fire grows rapidly or explosively. If the temperature in the room rises quickly, this type of alarm will be triggered.
Rate-of-rise heat detectors can be set to detect different rates of temperature change, depending on what is required for the situation. Many modern rate-of-change heat detectors are also designed to ignore a change in temperature that passes quickly, such as would be caused by opening an oven door. These detectors work well in cold areas. Slowly growing fires, however, may not set off this type of alarm system.
Smoke alarms can sense both types of fires (flaming and smoldering) with equal effectiveness, and that means either buying a smoke detector with both an ionization sensor for flames and a photoelectric sensor for smoke, or using two separate smoke alarms to achieve the highest degree of safety and preparedness.