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Detection market catches fire

Laser-based aspirating smoke detectors (ASDs) and multisensor detectors are forecast to see the fastest global growth in the fire detection industry over the next few years, according to IMS Research. The market research company predicts compound annual growth rates of 9 percent for ASDs and 7.3 percent for multisensors from 2011 to 2016.

“It’s an exciting time for fire detection technology,” said Adi Pavlovic, IMS Research analyst and report author. “The current market is seeing growth in multiple young technologies that are gaining traction.”


The global breakdown of the fire detector market by detector type in 2011. The multisensor and laser-based aspirating smoke detector markets are expected to experience rapid growth through 2016.


The main trend is the transition toward using more technologies within a single detector. This multisensor technology, which can provide higher efficiency with lower installation costs, was worth an estimated $239.5 million in 2011 – the second largest of the detector markets at that time. Optical and heat detection are the most common technologies combined, with gas and infrared beam detection making their way into the units. The different combinations will allow multisensors to move ahead in almost all applications, Pavlovic said.

Strong growth in utilities, data centers and offshore facilities is expected to spur the development of advanced detectors that can function in harsh environments.

Laser-based ASDs have a strong presence in the data and telecommunications industries, but they are expected to expand into the industrial sector, because they can withstand harsh environments.

Optical fire detectors will likely continue to dominate the market, however. They were estimated to account for almost half of the world’s fire detector market in 2011. “The efficiency and low cost of optical detectors make them the ideal product for a simple solution,” he said.

They will remain the top technology in terms of volume because they are commonly used for applications in the residential, commercial and government sectors, he added, but they could lose a small amount of the market share to multisensors and more complex technologies. “The growth of the fire detection market is really driven by construction activity and legislation,” he said. “As emerging markets progress toward a more serious stance on fire codes and standards, the market will benefit and provide a higher level of life safety.”

He noted that the market has been considered a slow-moving one in terms of technology because of the amount of testing each product is required to pass to receive certification.

“We are seeing an era of modernization in the industry. Not only are manufacturers looking to make fire detection products more reliable, but economical as well.

“However, it is crucial for manufacturers’ product development to stay up to speed with the increasing demand for more advanced detection technologies,” he added.

The market research company, recently acquired by IHS Inc. of Englewood, Colo., published the report World Market for Fire Detection & Suppression Products – 2012 Edition in August.



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