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Choosing a Smoke Detection System

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Fire Alarm Control Panel

Choosing a Smoke Detection System

Category : Fire Safety Blog

Conventional smoke detection systems

Conventional systems are wired into fire zones. This basically means that each part of your building has its own circuit. This circuit is classed as a zone. If a device is activated, you can tell which circuit it is wired on, which will tell you the general whereabouts of the incident.

However, the capabilities are limited. You have no way of knowing exactly which device has been activated, making it more difficult to find the fire. Issues such as these make them unsuitable for large buildings.

For small buildings, however, they’re ideal. They tend to be the cheapest option, as conventional devices and panels are affordable. They’re also very simple to set up.

Analogue addressable smoke detectors

Devices connected to an analogue addressable system each have their own unique identity, which will show up on the control panel when an incident occurs. This will allow you to pinpoint fires and control false alarms.

Even better, the devices often send fault and health reports to the main panel, making it easier for you to maintain the integrity of your system.

You can even choose how your entire system responds to incidents with cause and effect programming. For instance, you can programme alarms to be activated if there’s a fire on the same floor, but for a warning message to be played if a fire is detected on another floor. With this example, you could evacuate priority areas first.

Radio and wireless fire systems

As the names imply, these systems are completely wire free. They’re the obvious choice for historical and listed buildings, where cabling could damage the walls.

The lack of wiring also makes them convenient at temporary sites; it’ simple to disconnect and move devices about.

ASD detectors

Air sampling detectors are the most sensitive ones available, and can detect smoke before it’s visible to the naked eye.

Rather than waiting for smoke to reach the detector, air is drawn up through a network of air sampling pipes, to a detection chamber, where the air sample’s smoke content is analysed.

The early warning will provide you with plenty of time to investigate the fire before raising the alarm, in order to minimise false alarms.

This system is perfect in high-risk areas, such as warehouses storing flammable liquids or gases.
photo credit: Craig Bloxsome via photopin cc

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