Our smoke detectors and heat alarms offer a solution for every type of application, with options suitable for both Grade F (battery-powered) and Grade D (mains-powered and interlinked) requirements under BS 5839 Part 6. Whether you are looking for a basic battery powered alarm or a radio-interlinked alarm system we have a smoke detector that will meet your needs. Please read our guides to the different types of smoke alarm sensors to learn more about the suitability of each type of alarm.
Mains powered smoke alarms are powered by the electrical circuit of a building, are interconnected and are mainly used in residential new builds, rented accommodation and smaller commercial applications. They should always contain a backup battery to ensure that if a fire is started by an electrical fault which cuts the power supply, the alarm will still detect the fire. These backup batteries can be of a replaceable type (eg alkaline) or of a sealed-in, re-chargeable type (trickle charging). The power supply, if retro-fitted, is usually taken from the nearest light fitting.
These smoke detectors have integrated RF senders and receivers. If one smoke alarm detects a fire, it passes this information to all other alarms within the same group of alarms to raise the alarm in the entire building. Perfect for larger houses and smaller commercial applications. Some of the RF smoke alarms have sealed longlife batteries as the only power supply, making them an alternative to mains powered smoke detectors (Building Control might have to be asked for a clarification first)
Ionisation Smoke Alarms detect electrical property changes in the air. They are particularly well suited for 'invisible' or fast flaming fires such as paper or wood fires. They are sadly also very sensitive to burnt toast, which is why they should not be installed near kitchens. As they contain a weak radioactive source, we do not recommend them for bedrooms or living rooms. They are, however, suitable for landings, as they will quickly detect any larger fire events downstairs or at the level of the landing.
Heat alarms, as the name suggests, measure temperature rather than detect smoke. They raise an alarm if the temperature rises above a certain point or if the temperature rises rapidly. They are suitable for kitchens and garages as they will not cause false alarms. It is important to know that they only cover small areas and a kitchen or garage might require several heat detectors for full cover.
Optical or photoelectric smoke detectors 'see' smoke when a very small permanent light beam within the alarm is affected by smoke. They are ideal for smouldering fires producing smoke rather than heat, such as burning soft furnishings and electrical equipment. They are less prone to false alarms from burnt toast, so can be used near kitchens (not in kitchens, though). We recommend optical smoke alarms for hallways, dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms.