Fire alarms help to save lives, minimize property damage and alert you to a fire hazard. When they are properly maintained and installed a fire alarm is the least expensive and best way to provide you with an early warning of a fire. Fires can be devastating and can be started by any number of factors including faulty electrical equipment such as heaters, computer monitors, and microwaves, as well as friction or sparks. So what types of fire alarms are there?
When choosing the alarm for your home or business you will find two types of sensor technology that are used. The most commonly available fire alarm uses an ionization detector. This type of sensor technology can detect invisible fire particles that can occur with fast flaming fires.
The ionization detector is made up of two electrically charged plates that are a short distance apart from each other. The ionizing radiation ionizes the air between the plates and separates it into electrons and positive ions. If smoke particles pass between the plates and disrupts this ionization process it triggers the alarm. These are one of the safest alarms because they can detect very small amounts of smoke.
You will find the second type of sensor technology used in fire alarms is photoelectric sensing. This type of sensor picks up on visible fire particles that can occur with a slow smoldering fire. This detector works by having a narrow beam of light shine across the detection chamber.
When smoke particles enter into the chamber, the beam becomes scattered in all directions. This disperses the light all over and shines it on a light-sensitive photocell. The more light that the photocell picks up the more current starts to flow through it. When the photocell current reaches a certain level, it triggers the alarm.
Both types of fire alarm will work effectively to detect slow smoldering or fast burning fires. However, if you want to maximize your protection you can install both types of sensor technology in your home or business.
For ease of use most business owners as well as homeowners are choosing wireless alarm systems. These systems require no cabling and can be installed easily and quickly at very low cost.
Be sure to install a detector on every floor of your home, typically outside of the sleeping area and in hallways. Remember that on average from the time the alarm sounds you have approximately 3 minutes to escape a fire. The sooner the detector picks up on the fire particles the more time you will have to get to safety. Be sure to test them periodically, and replace them every 10 years.
Fire alarms provide the occupants of a business or home an early warning of a dangerous fire. This provides you with the opportunity to vacate the area to get to safety in time. Most building codes require that they are installed properly in your business or home. It is your responsibility to be sure that you keep them in working order at all times. If you are in need of a fire alarm, or need your current equipment serviced, please get in touch with Fire And Electrical Safety Ltd today and we will be happy to help.