Kidde stops smoke alarms beeping at night

Kidde Safety EuropeSmoke alarms have reduced the number of deaths and injuries related to fire in the UK dramatically over the last decades and are now an essential must-have in every household.
All these millions of smoke alarms, however, rely on batteries in one way or the other. Mains powered smoke alarms require a backup battery in case the mains power supply fails and battery powered smoke alarms use them, as the name suggests, as main source of power. When the battery comes to the end of its life the smoke alarm emits a regular beeping sound for several weeks before the battery finally expires. This gives the owner sufficient time to replace the battery.
As the voltage of a battery drops at lower temperatures, the first low battery warnings are usually emitted at night, when our houses are at the coolest, especially in autumn and winter. This can be very annoying as you are woken up in the middle of the night by a beep every 30 seconds. What can you do to avoid this? You should, of course, replace the batteries regularly before they are getting close to their expiry time and you should have spare batteries at home. However, when it comes to sealed longlife battery units, which last ten years. This situation is much harder to prepare for, as you cannot realistically have a set of complete smoke alarms in your drawer, just in case.
Kidde Fire Safety Products have come up with a brilliant concept to resolve this age old problem. Their longlife, sealed optical smoke alarm 10y29, which has a ten year lifespan, will detect the gradual weakening of its battery and then ensure that the alarm only starts beeping during daytime. This is achieved by monitoring the strengthening/weakening pattern of the battery voltage over a period of time as temperatures rise and fall during the day and nigh time. From this patterns the onboard chip of the smoke alarm will then define the day period and will only then raise the low battery alert during this time. An ingenious solution to a long standing problem.

Fig 1. Normal operation (showing the increasing and decreasing voltage pattern during daytime and night time)

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Fig 2. Dropping voltage and the response of traditional smoke alarms which start beeping in the night

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Fig 3. Kidde’s 10y29 smoke alarm, which records the night time lows but only starts beeping in the daytime

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Supporting a great building society initiative

Market Harborough Building SocietySince 2008 Safelincs has been proud to support the Market Harborough Building Society (MHBS) with its initiative to send smoke alarms to every customer who takes out a mortgage.
MHBS is a mutual, owned by its 50,000 members. As a small building society it prides itself on a personal service so often missing from large financial institutions. Sending a smoke alarms to each mortgage holder demonstrates a customer focus that has helped keep it in business since 1870.
And it doesn’t end there. Every year thereafter a replacement battery is sent to ensure the smoke alarm continues to do its job.
Safelincs handles the entire process invisibly. Each smoke alarm is shipped directly to the customer in MHBS branded packaging with a covering letter. It also sends the replacement batteries.
MHBS sends an encoded database to Safelincs where it is held securely in memory storage off Safelincs own database. This keeps the mortgage holders information confidential and away from all other records.
“We are pleased to be partnered with Safelincs in whom we are assured of a professional service for our customers at all times,” commented Julie Mottram, customer support manager, MHBS.
“We are very happy to be associated with such a worthy initiative,” added Harry Dewick-Eisele, managing director, Safelincs. “Over recent years casualties from fires have decreased, largely attributable to the increase in the number of homes that now have smoke alarms installed.”

P50 service-free extinguisher wins APEA award

Britannia P50 Wins at APEA ShowAPEA, the UK’s Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration, has just awarded their 2014 Health and Safety Performance Award to Britannia for their P50 service-free fire extinguisher during the APEA Live 2014 Exhibition and Conference on the 5th November, where we exhibited the extinguishers jointly with Britannia. Safelincs is key marketing and distribution partner for the Britannia P50 extinguisher.

APEA represents the petroleum industry, including national regulators, local government authorities, oil companies, equipment manufacturers, forecourt operators and suppliers. Their yearly exhibition is visited not only by their members and suppliers but also by specialist sections from various fire brigades, fire service academies and other fire safety organisations.

The Health and Safety Performance Award at the conference was sponsored this year by Franklin Fueling Systems. The award is conferred to the organisation with the best health and safety system or programme.

After receiving the Award, Andy Spence, General Manager at the manufacturer Britannia in Norwich said,“This is a fantastic achievement for our business. This service-free fire extinguisher offers huge safety benefits for this industry and we are pleased that APEA has appreciated that by presenting us with this prestigious award.”

This award for the kitemarked P50 extinguisher is one of many acclamations for the products. The P50 extinguisher has now achieved a strong foothold in the fire safety industry, with customers as diverse as councils, colleges, refineries, schools, insurances, office, farms and other industries moving to the service-free regime of the P50s. Britannia is currently investing further into an increased production line output, for example a new quarter of a million pounds blow-moulding machine for the inner chemical cylinder.

P50 extinguishers do not require visits from service engineer and do not need to be refilled after 5 years.  Instead they are visually inspected once a year by the customer and the check is recorded in the fire safety logbook. When Safelincs installs these extinguishers, our engineers first carry out a site survey and then install and certify the extinguishers. We then train local staff in the visual inspection of the extinguishers and issue a training certificate. We recommend that the customers subsequently notify their insurers about their changed maintenance regime. With budgeting in mind we offer a phase-in programme to ease the changeover from traditional extinguishers to the P50s. This ensures extinguishers are only replaced when they are due for refill or replacement.