Finally, fire and carbon monoxide protection for kitchens combined in just one alarm

The kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in a household, as cooking appliances are one of the most likely causes of accidental house fires. To detect a fire in a kitchen, heat alarms are usually installed. The kitchen, however, also contains a less well-known risk, carbon monoxide (or CO). Gas boilers are often located in the kitchen, alongside gas cookers and ovens, creating potential sources of carbon monoxide, this poisonous gas is a by-product of fossil fuels such as gas being burned. As this gas cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, a carbon monoxide alarm is the only way of detecting it, giving a loud warning sound if CO is detected.

Ei Electronics has now launched an excellent solution; a detector that deals with both risks in one unit. The Ei3028 combined heat and carbon monoxide detector can detects both of these potential dangers, warning occupants in the event of a fire or a CO leak in the kitchen.

Instead of having to install two separate alarms (a CO and a heat alarm), with the associated costs of an electrician and wiring, just one alarm needs to be installed. This gives a cost saving and also is more aesthetically pleasing as there is only one alarm on your ceiling.

This unique combined mains powered heat and CO alarm is fitted with a 10 year rechargeable lithium back-up battery, so will never require the replacement of batteries during its 10 year life. It features two different alarm sounds depending on which sensor has been triggered.

The Ei3028 alarm is part of a product family that covers all the risks in your house or flat. The range includes smoke, heat, carbon monoxide and combined smoke and heat detectors, all of which are compatible with previous models of Ei ranges. The SmartLINK module is also available which allows for hybrid interlinking (radio or hardwired) of up to 12 compatible devices.

Please visit our product pages for further information:

Or contact our friendly customer care team on freephone 0800 612 6537 or via support@safelincs.co.uk

Connor Storr

Connor Storr

Product Administrator

Connor is one of our product administrators. He has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to smoke alarms, and fire extinguisher products.

Hushing Interlinked Smoke Alarms

Interlinked smoke alarms are becoming more and more popular as they quickly alert you to the event of a fire across larger houses, where there is a risk that you might not hear an alarm going off in the kitchen when you are, for example, in a bedroom upstairs.

Whether connected to each other with wire or wirelessly interlinked through radio frequency, interlinked smoke alarms allow you to connect multiple units – including different types of detectors – which will all sound at the same time when a single alarm detects a potential fire. The heat alarm in the kitchen, the ionisation alarm in your home office, and the specialist strobe and vibration alarm in your elderly parents’ bedroom, for example, will all go off at the same time, if just one alarm is triggered by fire.

Most of us are familiar with the test button on smoke alarms which allows residents to test their alarms regularly, to ensure the components are working and the power supply, whether battery or mains power, is working. On top of this, however, many alarms have a “hush” button which allows you to silence an alarm that has gone off, for example, due to burnt toast.

So how do hush buttons work when you have several interlinked alarms?

It’s easy to assume that, as they are all connected, hushing one alarm will silence all of them, but it is equally logical that only the unit on which you pressed the hush button should be silenced – after all, you don’t want people to assume it was a false alarm if there really is a fire raging downstairs.

Interestingly, not all interconnecting smoke alarms hush in the same way. Here is an overview explaining the different approaches employed by the three main smoke alarm manufacturers in the UK.

Kidde Slick Wireless Smoke and Heat AlarmsFor Kidde smoke alarms, the originating alarm (the unit which detected a potential fire and triggered all of your units) will have its warning light flash faster than all other units while the alarm is sounding – enabling you to identify the smoke alarm that caused the alarm. Pressing the hush button on ANY unit will silence the ENTIRE network.

Ei160e Series Smoke and Heat AlarmsIf you have interlinking Ei Electronics smoke alarms, only the originating unit’s hush button will be able to silence the ENTIRE network. The other units in the circuit can be individually silenced. To identify the originating unit you need to look for the alarm whose warning light is flashing every second, compared to every 40 or so seconds on the other units.

FireAngel WST600 Series Radio-Interlinked Smoke and Heat AlarmsFireAngel smoke alarms, however, deploy an improved silencing protocol. If you hush the originating smoke alarm then, as with the other brands, ALL connected units will be silenced. However, if you hush any other unit, the ORIGINATING alarm will continue to sound but ALL OTHER units will be silenced. This allows you to quickly identify the originating alarm which is very helpful both in case of a false alarm or a real emergency.

If you require support selecting the best smoke alarm system for yourself, please contact the friendly Safelincs support team either by emailing support@safelincs.co.uk or by ringing 0800 612 6537

Smoke alarms that beep in the night – a new help guide

Ei156TLH Mains Powered Optical Smoke AlarmMains powered smoke alarms are required whenever a new home is built, a home is extended or materially altered. As they are interlinked they ensure that the alarm is spread through the entire building, notifying you of the fire even when you are in bed. Most mains powered alarms have a back-up battery inside to ensure that the alarms work even if their power supply is interrupted, for example by a blown fuse, which can happen when the fire was started by an electrical fault. Over the years, should either the power supply fail or should the backup battery become flat, the alarms will beep to notify you that there is a problem. As the cold of a night will weaken the backup battery, the warning beeps will usually start at night, which is, of course, a nuisance. However, beeping due to low battery is not the only reason an alarm might beep for and it can be very difficult to work out what has gone wrong. To help our customers, we have therefore created a simple-to-follow help guide for one manufacturer’s products. The reason for picking Ei Electronics’ products is that they are the undisputed market leader in mains powered alarms. Their smoke alarms are found in almost every new or converted home in the UK, so that we focused on their products in this help guide.

Their mains powered smoke alarm series is ‘Aico’ branded and follows the following numbering system

Ei140 series (mains powered with alkaline backup battery which needs changing every year or two)

Ei160 series (mains powered with sealed-in, rechargeable 10 year lithium battery

 

Within each series, there are three types of detectors ending each with one of the following numbers:

..1 (eg Ei141): Ionisation smoke alarms. Good for fast flaming fires, such as paper and wood. They do, however, have a tendency to false alarm if for example a toast is burned nearby.

..4 (eg Ei144): Heat alarms. Used in kitchens, as these units are insensitive to burnt toast

..6 (eg Ei146): Optical smoke alarms. Less prone to false alarms from burnt toast. Good for smouldering fires such as from soft furnishing

Further helpful information about smoke alarms can be found in our help section.

Replacement smoke alarms can be easily identified on our overview chart showing older smoke alarms models and their replacements.

For Aico/Ei Electronics mains powered smoke alarms we are able to offer dedicated replacement alarms that can be fitted by a home owner without requiring an electrician.

We also offer very detailed further advise about smoke alarm defects and solutions on our forum.

There is also a range of videos showing you step-by-spep how to remove smoke alarms from their bases

Smoke Alarms versus Fire Alarms in HMOs

flatsDefined under BS 5839: Pt. 6 a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) is “a house that is occupied by persons who do not form a single household.” These are typically large houses that have been converted into flats or bedsits. Many of our customers ask what type of smoke alarm system is suitable for this type of property. According to the British Standard, the recommendations are as follows:

For one or two storey HMOs where the individual floor area is no more than 200sqm, a Grade D, category LD3 smoke alarm system should be installed.  Grade D refers to mains powered smoke and heat alarms with a built-in back up battery power supply, and the alarms can be interconnected either by wire or by radio signal. That means that fire alarm panels are not required. Ei Electronics and Kidde offer both RF and wired mains powered alarm systems as well as a range of accessories that can help you to test, locate and hush alarms easily.

Category LD3 (level of coverage) is the minimum requirement and defines where alarms should be installed. LD3 requires smoke alarms in all circulation spaces that form part of the escape routes from the dwelling, i.e. hallways and landings. If justified during a fire risk assessment, the level of cover may be increased to LD2 which requires smoke or heat alarms to be installed in specified high fire risk rooms and areas. Dependent on the specifier, this can include living rooms, kitchens and possibly bedrooms.

For Grade D system it is becoming more and more acceptable (especially if retrofitted) to install radio-interlinked smoke and heat alarms with 10 year sealed batteries rather than mains powered smoke and heat alarms. This saves the cost for the electrician and systems like this can be installed very quickly. We still recommend that you ask for confirmation by building control or the relevant council department before installing these systems.

For HMOs of 3 storeys or higher, there are two options available.  The first is to have Grade A fire alarm system installed throughout the building.  Grade A consists of a conventional or addressable fire alarm panel, and then fire alarm detectors, call points, sounders and beacons are specified according to the layout and requirements of the property.  The second option is to have a mixed system.  This would comprise of  Grade D, category LD3 in the individual dwellings (see above) and a separate Grade A system in the communal areas.  Again, the category of cover in the individual dwellings can be upped to LD2 if needed.  Both of these options have pros and cons depending on the requirements and the owner’s access to each of the dwellings.  A mixed system appears to have become the preference, as it is likely to reduce the impact of nuisance alarms from individual flats on other occupants.

For additional guidance, please visit our Smoke Alarm Help and Information, BS 5839-6 and BS 5839-1 summary pages.

Why choose the Ei2110 multi-sensor smoke alarm?

Ei2110Unsure which smoke alarm to install? Worried about false alarms?  Then the Ei2110 multi-sensor alarm from Ei Electronics could be the solution you’re looking for!

The Ei2110 is one of the first domestic alarms to combine both optical smoke and heat sensing elements.  Working together to intelligently monitor any signs of fire, this dual sensing technology allows the Ei2110 multi-sensor alarm to identify different types of fire.  Originating from upholstery or over-heated wiring some fires slowly smoulder and produce thick smoke, whereas paper or clothing fires can be fast flaming, producing little smoke but a lot of heat.  This wider fire detection envelope means that the Ei2110 will provide the best response, earlier warning of fire and reduce the risk of false alarms.  Making the smoke alarm selection easier for the user, the Ei2110 multi-sensor has the flexibility to be used in any room except a kitchen.  For kitchen applications, please use the Ei164RC single sensor heat alarm.

Supplied with an “easi-fit” base as standard, the Ei2110 multi-sensor alarm is mains powered with a re-chargeable back-up battery power supply.  Don’t be put off with the need for an electrician!  The “easi-fit” base has been designed for easy installation, allowing the electrician to wire to the nearest lighting circuit.  Once fitted, the Ei2110 multi-sensor  head simply slides onto the base, ready for detection.  The Ei2110 is fitted with a built-in lithium battery back up that lasts the full 10 year life of the alarm.  This mains powered design with sealed lithium back-up battery not only saves on the cost and effort to replace batteries, but also stops alarm tampering and the battery being removed for use in other devices; a problem often faced by landlords with rented properties.  The Ei2110 multi-sensor alarm conforms to BS5839-6 Grade D, allowing the unit to also be specified for one or two storey houses of multiple occupancy (HMO).

To achieve the best possible coverage for detection, smoke alarms should be interlinked throughout the property.  As standard, multiple Ei2110 alarms can be linked using 3 core and earth cable available from the electrician.  The connection of alarms gives occupants the best possible warning of fire, saving valuable time in the event of an emergency.  If you’re concerned by the thought of lifting carpets, floorboards and running trunking, the Ei2110 is available with radioLINK capability.  The radio interlinked Ei2110 comprises of the multi-sensor alarm head and an Ei168RC radio frequency base.  To maintain its Grade D status, the radio interlinked Ei2110 remains mains powered, but the interconnection is achieved wireless through radio frequency signal.

For more help and guidance on domestic alarms and accessories from Ei Electronics, please visit our dedicated website packed full with useful information.

New Help Page For Replacing Discontinued Smoke Alarms

When smoke alarms reach about 10 years of age they need replacing to ensure full protection of the building. As smoke alarm manufacturers improve the technology of smoke alarms, they bring out new models every few years. This can be a problem, especially if a customer has networked smoke alarms and would like to replace just some of them.

It can sometimes be very difficult to know which alarm is compatible with your existing alarms, especially if the base is different or the new smoke alarm has a different interconnection. To help reduce the frustration for our customers we recently developed a chart for Kidde mains powered smoke alarms to show which new alarms were replacing discontinued or upgraded smoke alarms. The  feedback we got from our visitors was so strong, that we rolled this list out to Ei Electronics and Aico smoke alarms. Customers can now pin-point the best replacements for our main ranges of Ei and Kidde smoke alarms. There is no complicated table to navigate, just a very neat chart that clearly indicates which replacement alarm you need to buy.

Where possible we have tried to keep the replacement smoke alarms of the same shape and size but there are some that will need to have new bases fitted and may be of a different shape, which could mean that you will need to decorate around it.

If you have any further queries or cannot find your old smoke alarm model in our list, please contact us and we are happy to help and add the model to the list.

Safelincs International meeting, a great sucess

Safelincs’ international representatives arrived on June 19th from Italy, France and Ireland. The biannual meeting is a platform for training and exchange of ideas and developments within the industry.

Guest speakers from some of our main fire safety suppliers Ei Electronics, Kidde Fire Safety Europe, Fireco and Phoenix gave presentations and updates on new product developments. The country representatives also gave presentations on the developments in their fire safety markets.

Safelincs’ in-house web developers demonstrated the features of the new website interface that will be rolled out to all our international partners. There was also some time for discussions on SEO, forums, marketing and special features of the new website.

During Monday evening we enjoyed a private tour at Gunby Hall, a National Trust house located 7 miles from Alford. It was built by Sir William Massingberd back in 1700 and features beautiful gardens and rare artworks. The evening was rounded off with a very enjoyable meal at the local Gunby Inn.

Safelincs presentation to National Chief Fire Officers Association

Safelincs was very pleased when they were asked to present a section at the National Prevention Committee Meeting which was held by the Chief Fire Officers Association at the end of January. The invitation to the West Midlands Fire Service headquarters came as a result of our partnership in the Government’s Fire Kills campaign.

The Fire Kills representative for the campaign had previously tabled a paper expressing concerns that large numbers of households may now have mains powered smoke alarms that are past their useful working life. In 1992 the Building Regulations were amended, requiring every new build to have mains powered, interconnected smoke alarms installed. Many smoke alarms installed under this regulation are still in use and are potentially approaching their twentieth year of operation. This has raised the question; “when should mains powered smoke alarms be replaced?”

Research carried out in the USA and Canada tends to support the manufacturers recommendation that all smoke alarms, mains or battery powered, should be replaced every ten years. The results of this research supports claims that a smoke alarms effectiveness may be compromised over time due to accumulated dust, insects, airborne contaminants and corrosion of electrical circuitry.

The two main issues surrounding the replacement of mains powered alarms are:

  1. Making people aware that smoke alarms do not last forever and need to be replaced after a certain amount of time
  2. A concern that, when made aware, householders will be scared off replacing their units due to the expense and inconvenience of having to call out an electrician to carry out the replacement.

Harry Dewick-Eisele, managing director of Safelincs, presented a new product at the committee meeting which has been specifically designed to address the second issue. easichang®, is a replacement detector head containing the sensor and circuitry for a range of Ei Electronics smoke and heat alarms – the UKs most widely used mains powered alarms. Using the removal tool provided, the old head unit can be removed leaving the base plate (which is wired into the mains power) in situ. The new head unit can then be easily installed on the existing base without requiring an electrician.

The presentation sparked a lot of interest with most in attendance seeing the benefits of these products. Plans are now under way to carry out UK based research which will help to provide crucial evidence as to how frequently smoke alarms should be replaced.

The meeting was left on a positive note with delegates returning home to continue discussions with colleagues about the most successful way to promote the active replacement of smoke alarms no longer fit for purpose.

New Safelincs Partner in France

Safelincs France was re-launched on the 1st of June with a new and fresh fire safety web site aimed specifically at the French market. This follows the change of our French partner earlier this year. Our new partner, Epsylone SARL, is widely known in France and already operates a number of fire safety related websites. Epsylone also operates a nationwide smoke alarm installation and servicing network ‘Flammes and Co‘.

We are expecting a substantial increase in smoke alarm sales in France due to changed legislation requiring smoke alarms in many types of buildings. Safelincs France will be well positioned for this increase due to its longterm relationship with quality suppliers such as Kidde and EI, offering a wide range of NF-certified smoke alarms and CO alarms.

Safelincs International Partner Meeting success

Ei21ENRCSafelincs held their international meeting last week at their headquarters in Alford, Lincolnshire. The meeting was held over a three day period and provided an opportunity for Safelincs’ European partners in Italy, France and Ireland to increase bonds with Safelincs UK as well as providing a platform for training.

During the three days presentations about the individual countries’ fire safety markets were made by each partner company and training presentations were delivered by EI Electronics, Kidde, Phoenix and Radal, fire safety suppliers to Safelincs

The event was a great success and guests had some opportunity to enjoy the delights of Lincoln.