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Your Guide to Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms

Smoke detectors and fire alarms give you vital extra time to escape from a building if a fire breaks out. Most businesses and institutions have a combination of smoke and fire alarms to alert people of a fire. Whether you run a business from a tiny office or if you’re responsible for the safety of an entire school, you need to be sure that you have the correct smoke detectors and fire alarms fitted in the building. Below is a quick guide to smoke detectors and commercial fire alarms.

What types of smoke detectors are available?

The type of smoke detector you require will largely depend on the size and type of your premises. The cheapest type of smoke detectors are ionisation detectors which can detect small particles of smoke before the smoke gets too dense. Ionisation smoke detectors are not ideal at detecting substances which are slow to burn but are quick to detect high flaming fires such as liquid fires so they are a good choice for workshops, garages and kitchens.

Optical smoke detectors are better for detecting slow burning fires which produce larger smoke particles. Optical smoke detectors are a good choice for rooms or buildings which have a lot of wiring such as server rooms or computer suites as these substances can create a lot of smoke during a fire. Combined smoke detectors will be triggered by slow burning and high flaming fires so are a good all round choice.

What types of fire alarms are available?

There are many different types of commercial fire alarms available which means you will be able to find the right system for your building, whether you are upgrading or installing a system for the first time. A conventional fire alarm system would be suitable for smaller premises such as shops, small offices and bed and breakfasts. These conventional systems have detection zones which are connected to a number of fire alarm smoke detectors and break glass units.

Addressable fire alarm systems transmit data to a panel which allows you to see exactly where the fire is in the building which makes them a good choice for larger premises. Wireless commercial fire alarms offer the most flexibility and are ideal for premises which are spread out over a number of buildings such as schools or university campuses. Wireless commercial fire alarms can be fitted without any disruption and are installed without wires so they are also a good choice for busy offices, stately homes and public buildings such as libraries and museums.

Make sure you have the correct smoke detectors and commercial fire alarms fitted in your workplace so that you know the people who use the building will have enough time to escape in an emergency.

This article was written by Assured Fire & Security for Health and Safety for Beginners.

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