Audio detectors are an excellent option if your home or business has high-voltage smoke detectors and/or CO detectors that you want to integrate with your alarm system. Although it is impossible to directly integrate high-voltage life-safety sensors in with an alarm system, you can still indirectly integrate these devices using a listening module, also known as an audio detector.
The way that an audio detector works is that it will actively listen for the Temporal 3 sound of a smoke detector or the Temporal 4 sound of an activated carbon monoxide sensor. Typically, you will want to mount the listening module within six (6) inches of your smoke detector or carbon monoxide sensor. You need to have the listening module in close proximity to the life-safety sensor so that it can hear the sound like it supposed to.
A great aspect of a listening module is that a single unit can actually take over an entire network of life-safety sensors. This is the case if you have high-voltage interconnected smoke detectors or carbon monoxide sensors. High-voltage interconnected life-safety sensors are one-go-all-go, meaning that when one detector activates, all of the other connected modules will activate as well. As long as your audio detector hears the sound of one activated sounder, an alarm will still occur like normal.
Once an audio detector is activated, it will trigger an alarm on your system in the same way as if a regular smoke detector or carbon monoxide sensor had been activated. Really, it is no different than if you had just enrolled a standard smoke detector or CO sensor. But the advantage to an audio detector or a listening module is that these are much more versatile.
In addition to integrating high-voltage smoke detectors and CO detectors, you can also use a listening module to integrate conventional battery-powered smoke detectors and CO detectors that you can get from any hardware store. This is an easy and effective way to set up life-safety sensors for your system if you don't have existing smoke detectors or CO detectors in your home.
The only requirement when using an audio detector is that the smoke detector or carbon monoxide sensor must produce a Temporal 3 or a Temporal 4 sound. Temporal 3 is associated with an activated smoke detector, while Temporal 4 is associated with an activated CO detector. If your listening module doesn't produce this type of sound, then it will not work with an audio detector. Check the specifications for your smoke detector or CO detector to make sure it produces one of these sounds.
Remember, you will need to test your audio detector regularly to make sure that it is working properly. It is recommended that you put your system on test mode with the central monitoring station and then use canned smoke or canned CO gas to activate your life-safety sensor and then have it produce the Temporal 3 or Temporal 4 sound. The audio detector should then hear the sound and transmit a signal to the system to let it know about the life-safety event. Your system should then respond as though a regular smoke detector or life-safety sensor had been activated. You can take your system off of test mode after the test is complete.