Ionizing smoke detectors
Ionizing smoke detectors measures the electrical resistance in the air and can therefore react on both visible and invisible smoke. Ionizing smoke detectors is considered to be the best when it comes to detect quick starting fires or explosion fires with full combustion, namely fires with an open flame and abundant oxygen supply. This type of fire tends to spread rapidly and produces large amounts of invisible combustion particles. Examples of this type of fire can be fires in a bin, TV or a grease fire in the kitchen. Nowadays ionizing fire detectors are no longer distributed because of the environmental effect the radioactive materials have during the recycling process.
Optical smoke detectors
Optical smoke detectors do not contain any radioactive material. Instead it uses a sophisticated photocell system where visible smoke particles is reflected in an infrared light. This system is considerer to be the most effective when it comes to detecting smoldering fires. Fires that can glow for hours before they evolve into fires with an open flame. Examples of this type of fire can be a cigarette lying in furniture, incipient fires in textiles, plastic or if an electrical cable gets overheated. But consider that steam from a shower, dishwasher or boiling water can trigger an optical smoke detector and these places should use a heat alarm instead.
Heat detectors is a compliment for optical smoke detectors and can sometimes be needed where it naturally occurs large amounts of dust particles as in garages, garret, laundry rooms or basements. These detectors is also good for kitchen where sometimes occurs steam which an optical smoke detectors could sound a false alarm. These only react on change in ambient temperature and not of combustion particles. Therefore the use is very limited and it should only be considered as a compliment.
If the optical smoke detectors is placed closed to a kitchen or shower where it comes unwanted alarms from frying or steam, one can with the help of the hush function on some of our models lower the sensitivity during a pre set amount of time. On these models a short press on the pause or test button will reduce the sensitivity for 10-15 minutes. When the hush time is out the smoke detector will automatically go back to normal sensitivity. This is an important safety feature in order to stop the smoke alarm from being removed from the roof when unwanted alarms occurs causing irritation, please read the manual for your product.
For larger residences we can offer smoke detectors that can be inter-connectible, namely if one alarms, then all interconnectiing smoke detectors will alarm. This can be good in larger association premises, between different floors or from garage to main building to name some combinations. Interconnecting can also be for different types of detection, smoke, heat, gas & water. Interconnecting is most common by radio but can in some cases be done by cable.
Studies show that the most fires and accidents happen where no smoke detectors is present or when the smoke alarm unfortunately is missing batteries. Therefore we offer our customers multiple ways of power supply:
– Battery powered, with different life expectancies. Most common is 9 volt battery and depending of battery type one can achieve a battery life of 1, 3 ,5 and 10 years. We can also deliver smoke detectors with built in lithium battery (ex for tenants) where the alarm is designed with a battery life of 10 years and when a swap is due, one hands the alarm in for recycling where it is safely recycled. More common nowadays is also 1,5 volt batteries in groups of 2 or 3.
– External power supply 12 volt DC from existing intrusion-, maintenance-, security- or fire panel.
– 230 Volt power supply with built-in backup power with 3 volt built-in lithium battery or normal 9 Volt replaceable battery.
In order for a smoke detectors to function and be able to alarm with noisy enough alarm signal during the required time (even to the end of life of the battery). It is crucial that the battery is intended for and tested with the smoke detector. Therefore this type of test is always included in the test program when a smoke alarm is approved before sales can commence. This also means that the battery (battery system) can not be exchanges to something that has not been tested. Approved batteries is of following types: Ordinary manganese dioxide batteries with expected lifespan of 1 – 1,5 year, alkaline batteries with expected lifespan of 2 – 3 years and lithium batteries with expected lifespan of 8-10 years. When the voltage in the battery drops the smoke alarm will indicate that it is time to swap battery. This usually happens when the temperature in the residence drops, namely in the middle of the night!
We therefore always recommend smoke detectors with both internal and external power supply or with the longest possible battery life expectancy. Make sure to chose a smoke detectors where you sleep safely and if the battery runs out during the night, a good feature can be to hush the reminder of time to change batteries to the day after and calmly sleep on. Our battery powered smoke detectors with replaceable 9 volt batteries are all equipped with “snap-on” battery terminals.
We also have some different systems to indicate that the battery is missing alternatively prevent (obstruct) mounting when battery is missing in the smoke detectors. Another security feature in our smoke detectors is the color of the mounting bracket, it can be black, yellow chrome or white with a red information label but rather not white. This is to indicate that something is missing from the ceiling if the smoke detectors not is in its place.
All of our smoke detectors are delivered with practical and easy to mount mounting bracket and can either be by means of screws (screw and plug included) or can be quickly taped with help of double-sided tape from 3M. Mounting brackets is available in different models and together with large housing companies we have developed models with a locking feature, this means that a tenant can not easily remove the smoke alarm or battery from the ceiling.
Where to place the smoke detectors?
There is some simple rules that should be followed:
– One smoke detectors in the hallway outside the bedroom, preferably with hush function.
– At least one smoke detectors on each floor, ex. above every staircase and preferably interconnected.
– Preferably also one smoke detectors in every bedroom.
– At most 60 m² per smoke detectors and a maximum of 12 m between two smoke detectors
The smoke detectors should preferably be mounted in the middle of the ceiling outside the bedroom, in staircase and similar at it’s highest point. If the bedrooms are in separate parts of the residence one should mount several smoke detectors, and in houses with multiple floors one should have at least one smoke detectors on each floor. More smoke detectors obviously gives increased safety. Make sure the smoke detectors are loud and clear in the bedroom, also test with the door closed. Distance between smoke detectors in a residence should normally not be longer than 10-12m. Each smoke detector should at most guard an area of 60m². Avoid placement in kitchen or garage where frying vapor and car exhaust can trigger the alarm. Do not mount smoke detectors in damp premises or nearby fans, lamps and air intakes. Smoke detectors shall not be painted.
All our smoke detectors are equipped with both a test button that after activation tests all features in the smoke alarm and with a red LED that blinks every minute that indicates that the smoke alarm is working as intended. Very important and also convenient with a high ceiling height.
Every smoke alarm can be tested individually by a short press on the test button. The smoke detector siren shall then sound and all features (except possible radio connection) will be checked. Please test the smoke detectors at least once a month or if possible every week, e.g. combined with cleaning. Always try it immediately after vacations or any other longer absence, this because the smoke detectors can have been alarming for low battery but silenced while you where gone. This can create a false sense of safety. The smoke alarm detectors as long as the test button is pressed or as long as its smoke inside the smoke alarm.
If you want to try interconnected detectors, follow the recommended test procedure which can be found in attached product manual.
Change the battery if the smoke detectors do not alarm or/and check that the battery is properly connected. The smoke detectors should be vacuum regularly with a soft brush and be wiped on the outside with a slightly damp cloth. Always in connection with battery change and please sometimes in between to make sure the products life expectancy.
WARNING: Do not test the smoke alarm with an open flame, this can damage the smoke alarm and be of immediate danger to the surroundings. We do not recommend testing with smoke as this can be misleading, if not the correct testing equipment is used (especially for optical smoke alarms). The test button tests all necessary features in the smoke detector and is more than enough.