Changing environment: Higher adoption of multi-criteria detectors and the future of fire detectors

The introduction of multi-criteria detectors has given purchasers increased flexibility and functionality in their fire-detection systems.

By Justin Siller, IHS Technology July 14, 2016

The introduction of multi-criteria detectors has given purchasers increased flexibility and functionality in their fire-detection systems. According to the latest IHS Fire Detection and Suppression Report, the global multi-criteria detectors market was worth $264.8 million in 2015. The market is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6% between 2015 and 2020.

IHS found that multi-criteria detectors, which combine multiple detection technologies, have become more common in the fire detectors market for the following three reasons:

1. The increasing number of mixed-use facilities has created demand for detectors that can function in complex environments while meeting the demand of multiple customers. For example, the increasing number of facilities that combine retail, restaurants, and lodging create unique challenges for building owners and fire detector manufacturers. IHS found that the risk of fire varies in each environment—each requiring a different type of detector. Combining multiple technologies into a single unit means that fire detectors will be able to meet the needs of various clients.

2. IHS found that the trend of using multi-criteria detectors is mainly caused by customers’ desire to reduce the number of detection devices installed in their facilities. The fact that fire systems in most instances continue to be a "must" purchase by law, means some end users want to see fewer detectors installed in their facilities. Because of this situation, multi-criteria detectors are more often being specified in projects where aesthetics are a concern.

3. The price of multi-criteria detectors continues to decline as more systems are installed and competition in the fire-detection market increases. IHS found that declining prices are contributing to more rapid adoption of multi-criteria detectors, as some customers that were once priced out of this market have now started to realize the value of this detector type.

The increased adoption of multi-criteria detectors is expected to continue, increasing the opportunity for fire-detection product manufacturers. Currently, these detectors are viewed as a premium product mostly installed in high-end projects. As the price of multi-criteria detectors becomes more competitive, their use is expected to become more mainstream. Manufacturers will find new opportunities to sell these detectors within medium-sized projects.

-Justin Siller is an associate director for security and building technologies in IHS Technology. This article originally appeared on IHS Technology. IHS Technology is a CFE Media content partner.