A burglary will rid you of just some of your possessions, but a fire can destroy all of them and even render you homeless. Fire is a very destructive force and therefore a home that is protected from fire, by the use of the right fire alarms allow these to become very sensible investments. Besides this, a properly protected home can lead to lower insurance premiums and be a saving in the long run.
The objective of fire alarms is to make the residents of a home or HMO alert to the possibility of a fire, so that early action can be taken to put it out, or at least save lives by allowing the residents to escape. Most fire alarms are designed so that they detect smoke. Smoke is only an indication of fire or heated conditions at some place, and if it is correctly detected by the installed fire alarms, can help to protect property and save lives.
Fire alarms detect smoke by monitoring the air particles An optical smoke alarm (also called photo-electric smoke alarm) works using the light scatter principle, the alarm contains a pulsed Infra red LED which pulses a beam of light into the sensor chamber every 10 seconds to check for smoke particles, where as ionisation smoke alarms work by ionising the air between 2 electrodes which are positively and negatively charged, this creates a small current inside the chamber to activate and lastly a heat detector is designed to detect heat instead of smoke, the alarm contains a thermistor which is set to respond normally to temperatures above 58°C.
All Fire Alarm Systems require the sensors be kept clean and free of dust and insects, as even an accumulation of these can set off the alarms and lead to false alarms.
It is important that fire alarm systems especially in large commercial areas have other helpful additions that can assist fire fighting. Fire alarm systems in large buildings will have a control panel where the location of the fire can be pinpointed depending on the detector or manual call point that is showing signs of activation. A fire alarm system also needs to give visual and audio signals that allow preventive measures to be put into place. Some systems nowadays are monitored and automatically inform local authorities like fire departments which can be life saving.
Fire alarm systems need to be inspected at regular intervals, to ensure that they are functioning correctly and ensures that they are in good working condition. Many people do neglect this and realize the need for it, only when an actual fire takes place which is normally too late.
Commercial and public establishments are required to ensure such inspection by law, and this does helps in compliance to strict safety standards.