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Fire Detectors

Need help? Need help? Which fire alarms are best for my work place? Fire detectors and smoke alarms are important for every home and indoor environment. Fires can occur when the home’s occupants are asleep, and smoke can actually bring a sleeping individual into a deeper sleep rather than wake them up. Regardless of the dangers fire brings, smoke inhalation itself is extremely dangerous and can cause life-threatening harm to an individual’s health.

When installed in a home, fire detectors provide an early warning system for the home’s occupants, so they can wake up quickly, locate the source of the smoke and take appropriate next steps to ensure the safety of everyone in the building.

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Finding the right smoke and fire alarm system

There are a number of different detectors, all of which are designed to serve a unique and important role in a fire warning system. Smoke detectors are the most popular form of early warning system. These have a sensor which is triggered when smoke enters the detector’s chamber and releases either an audible or an audible and visual warning that there is smoke in the room. Smoke alarms are well suited to rooms or hallways outside of the kitchen as they are sensitive, but not so sensitive that they will be activated by fairly minor incidents, like slightly burnt toast or vaguely overcooked popcorn in the microwave.

  • Heat detectors - these are fire alarms that respond when the convected thermal energy of a conflagration increases the temperature of the internal, heat-sensitive element. There are two kinds of heat detectors, fixed temperature heat detectors and rate-of-rise detectors. Fixed temperature detectors will only activate once the heat has risen to a certain point – usually either 58°C or 47°C. Rate-of-Rise detectors, on the other hand, can monitor rapid increases in temperature, regardless of what the starting temperature might have been. These detectors may not respond quickly to slow burning fires and are best for areas where there might be false alarms for smoke detectors such as overzealous sautéing or steam.

  • UV detectors - these are able to detect ultraviolet radiation which is emitted in the moment of ignition. These detectors can sense UV radiation in 3-4 milliseconds, but in order to avoid false alarms, they usually delay the warning for 2-3 seconds.

  • Smoke/ carbon monoxide detectors - These efficient monitors are able to provide separate warnings for smoke detection and carbon monoxide detection. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous and also cannot be smelled or seen, so it is very important to make sure that carbon monoxide detectors are working well and have active batteries.

Be aware of fire safety regulations

It is important to stay up to date on regulations for homes, public and commercial properties for fire alarm detector numbers and placement. For homes, there should always be smoke detectors on each landing, in the living room and a heat detector in the kitchen.

Regularly test your fire detector

Once a detector is installed, it is important to check it regularly to make sure that the batteries continue to work. The battery life differs between detectors, but for normal batteries, it is best practice to replace them once a year. It is also wise to either dust or vacuum the detector’s casing once every six months to ensure that its detection capabilities are not in any way hindered by dust or dirt. Detectors can also be tested using specially designed aerosol smoke cans. These cans spray a short, directed burst which will activate all working smoke detectors.

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