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About smoke alarms
• Smoke alarms are important to keep you and your family safe.
• You should test your smoke alarms regularly to make sure they are working in the event of a fire.
• WELT can install and test your smoke alarm to meet national requirements and ensure your safety giving you peace of mind.
Fitted smoke alarms
Whatever your smoke alarm needs WELT can help ensure your smoke detector is fitted to the required safety standards meaning not only will you have peace of mind that you are meeting current legislative requirements but you are safe in the knowledge that your smoke alarm will alert you of a fire in your home or building.
Types of smoke alarm
There are many types of Smoke Alarm available; they come in 6 different grades of performance in the standard ranges, these grades identify the equipment used for the smoke detector. Grades A, B and C are alarms that include fire detectors, central control equipment (usually battery controlled) and alarm devices. Grades D and E powered by the mains electrical supply and are smoke alarm systems which detect the presence of smoke or CO2, you can also get a Grade F system which is a smoke alarm that is battery powered.
Mains-powered smoke alarms
Mains powered alarms are the most reliable domestic and commercial smoke alarms as they run off your home or buildings main power supply. Once the Smoke alarm is correctly installed you will not have to test the battery regularly, although they do have a battery back up in the event that you have a power cut. These smoke alarms need to be installed by a qualified electrician.
Linked or interconnecting alarms
If you have a large home or need a smoke alarm fitted in a commercial building then a linked or interconnecting alarm is recommended. These are smoke alarms that trigger other alarms to go off in the event of a fire. So when one alarm detects smoke all of the alarms in the property will go off alerting people all over the building that may not have heard the original alarm. These alarms can be linked up to more complicated systems such as triggering water sprays or unlocking electric doors for quick exits.
Mains-powered fire alarm with vibrating pad and strobe lighting
You can get smoke alarms that are fitted with strobe light and vibrating pads, these are ideal for elderly people or people who have hearing difficulties as the alarm alerts you with flashing lights and a vibrating pad placed under your pillow will wake you if you are sleeping.
The most popular battery alarm used in the home is the standard battery alarm which is an ‘ionisation battery alarm’. This is the cheapest smoke alarm available and is quite basic, although does the job. You can also get an ‘optical battery alarm’ which is also quite cheap although a little more expensive than the ‘ionisiation battery alarm’ and both standard alarms run using a 9-volt battery.
Battery alarms with an emergency light
Battery alarms with an emergency light have a fitted light that comes on when the alarm is triggered, this is quite useful if you have someone in the family who struggles with hearing and can also be useful as a guide to illuminate the scene in the dark.
Fire Alarms with 10-year batteries
Ideally you want a smoke alarm that will last a long time therefore many people prefer to buy a smoke alarm with a 10 year battery. These are more expensive than standard 9-volt battery alarms but can save you money in the long run as you don’t need to replace the batteries as often as you would with a standard smoke detector. These smoke alarms come as an optical or ionisation alarm however the battery is usually a long life lithium battery or a sealed pack battery that can be guaranteed to last for 10 years.
Smoke detectors with a ‘hush’ or ‘silence’ button
Some alarms and smoke detectors come with a ‘hush’ button this will silence the alarm for a few minutes and is useful for kitchens where the alarm may be triggered with cooking. These hush mechanisms will be overridden if there is a significant amount of smoke which would indicate a real fire. Once you have silences your smoke alarm they will either display a red flashing light or make a ‘chirping’ sound to remind you that you have silenced it.
Mains-powered smoke detectors that plug into your light socket
This is a more simple type of alarm that uses a rechargeable battery that you plug into your light socket to re charge when the light is switched on. You can use your light switch to test or silence the smoke alarm and lasts a long time, although we do recommend you replace it fully after 10 years.
As many people often forget to test their fire alarm we recommend you opt for a smoke alarm that will last a long time.