Smoke and Heat Detectors

Don’t Drown in Toxic Smoke

Don’t Drown in Toxic Smoke the TV ad shown in the UK to create awareness about the dangers from smoke and the need to test smoke alarms in your home on a weekly basis. Most run off a battery, however for the best protection mains connected types are the best. Consult the Fire Safety Department for free advice on which type is best for you on (350) 20072936 or

Smoke and Heat detectors are self contained units that incorporate a means of detecting fire (smoke or heat) and giving a warning (alarm). They are about 10 cm in diameter and are usually fitted on ceilings, they are also relatively inexpensive, some can be found as cheap as £5.00 in supermarkets or electrical and D.I.Y. shops. Fitting a smoke or heat detector in your home could save the life of your family.

Smoke Ionisation Type

smoke1Respond quickly to fast flaming fires,less sensitive to larger smoke particles. Can be prone to false alarms from cooking vapours so should not be located near to kitchens. Suitable for general use, appropriate for dining and living rooms and areas where flaming fires could rapidly block an escape route.

Smoke Optical Type

smoke2Sensitive to larger smoke particles, more responsive to smouldering fires from foam filled furniture, bedding or burning PVC wiring. Less vulnerable to false alarms from cooking vapours but more prone to false alarm from dust or insect ingress. Suitable for general use but most appropriate for circulation areas such as hallways and near kitchens.

Heat Type

smoke3Fixed temperature type, temperature range 54ºC. – 62ºC. Not prone to false alarms from dust or vapours, but generally less sensitive than smoke alarms. For use in areas where a conventional smoke alarm is not suitable e.g. kitchens, garages and perhaps living and dining rooms, but not circulation areas.
NOTE: Must be interconnected with smoke alarms to provide adequate early fire warning.

Wireless Detectors

smoke4You can now also install Wireless mains powered smoke and heat alarms which are interconnected by wireless signals rather than cabling. It is a new concept that complies with BS 5839 Part 6, enabling smoke and heat alarm systems to be interconnected without the need for cabling between the alarms. Instead, a radio signal is used to trigger all the alarms in the system.

Where to fit Detectors

Ideally every habitable room should be fitted with a smoke detector except bathrooms. Kitchens and garages should be provided with Heat Detectors which must be interconnected with smoke alarms to provide adequate early fire warning. If your home is not fitted with Detectors then the minimum requirement should be one for a single level home, and at least one in each level if your home is of more than one floor. Follow manufacturers recommendations for installation, though the best location is at the centre of the room.smokeDetector

British Standards

BslogoMake sure that whatever type of detector you decide to buy carries the British Standards “Kitemark” and the code “BS5446 Part 1”.