Duane Pearsall is credited with in the bringing the invention of the first battery powered home smoke detector to market. He was instrumental in changing commercial and residential building codes to require smoke detection devices. Since the mid-1970s, thousands of lives saved can be attributed to the most significant lifesaving innovation of the 20th century, the battery powered smoke detector.
In April 1976, the Small Business Association of Colorado named Duane D Pearsall, Colorado's Small Business Person of the Year.
In May 1976, the National Small Business Person of the Year was presented to Duane during Small Business Week by President Gerald Ford in Washington D.C. "for exemplifying the imagination, initiative, independence and integrity by which the American small business person makes a vital contribution to the nation, the economy and the free enterprise system." This award led to appointments to many committees and some thirty trips to Washington over the next seven years, testifying before several congressional committees on behalf of small business.[p211]
In 1980, his volunteer activities promoting fire protection earned him the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Fire Protection Man of the Year.
In 1996, WPI recognized his contributions with an honorary doctorate of science degree for his major role in the creation of the FPE program at WPI, which is now recognized as one of the leading fire safety programs in the world.
In 1978, the Mile High Sertoma Club of Denver, Colorado presented the Outstanding Citizen Award to Pearsall for his service to mankind.
In 1986, Denver magazine named Pearsall one of Denver's 10 Most Distinguished for 1986
In 1989, the Rockies Venture Club created the Duane Pearsall Entrepreneurial Award and Pearsall was its first recipient.
In 1990, Pearsall was named Entreprenuer of the Year by the Institute of American Entrepreneurs.
In 1992, Pearsall won the Franklin-Jefferson Award in recognition for his lobbying efforts and support for the Small Business High Technology Institute (SBHTI).