Extending Ei140 + Ei160 series smoke alarm groups

Many homes and small businesses are equipped with mains powered smoke alarms to BS5839 part 6 Grade D. These alarms are usually linked with cable and have to be installed by electricians. When increasing the number of smoke and heat alarms at a later date, it is costly and disruptive to run extra cable to the additional alarms, decorations are damaged and dust is created.

With the Aico Ei140 series (Ei141, Ei144, Ei146) and the Aico Ei160 series (Ei161, Ei164, Ei166), adding more smoke alarms to the group of alarms can be very simple using radio-interlinking.

Just one existing smoke alarm is taken off the ceiling and its existing base plate replaced with the RF base plate Ei168. This exchange, while very swift and simple, should be carried out by an electrician. The old alarm then simply slots onto the newly fitted base plate. Now you can install any of the radio-interlinked smoke alarm ranges from AICO/Ei in the additional rooms you wish to protect. The new radio-linked alarms will then communicate fully with the old system. This means that if any of the smoke alarms goes off (old or new alarms), the rest of the alarms will sound an alarm as well.

You have three choices to achieve this extension with radio-interlinked smoke alarms:

1) Install more mains powered alarms together with RF base plates. Their electrical power supply can be drawn from the nearest light fitting. This solution will require an electrician for all the work. However, this is a solution that will guarantee the Grade D rating of your installation. There is obviously no cabling required between the units, as the radio signal will communicate between the new alarms and, through the single converted old smoke alarm, with the old system. There are additional add-ons you can include in this system, such as RF manual break points and handheld controls for testing and, in the case of the Ei160 series, even for silencing and to locate the source of an alarm.

List of Alarms and add-ons available:

Series installed already Mains powered RF Smoke alarms available Manual break points available (optional). Wireless and 10 year battery Handheld controls available (optional)
Ei140 Ei407 Ei410TRF handheld test fob (tests interconnection, only)
Ei160 Ei407
  • Ei410 handheld test, hush and locator
  • Ei411H wall mounted test, hush and locator

2) If you want to save the cost for the electrician and want to speed up the installation process, you can install battery operated radio-interlinked alarms. One of the radio-interlinked families is the Ei600 series, which comes with a sealed-in ten year power supply. This system is usually accepted as a Grade D system, even though formally, as it does not contain mains power, it is not classified as a grade D system. If you have to satisfy a Building Inspector or the fire service, it makes therefore good sense to get their agreement before installing the system.

List of battery operated alarms and add-ons available:

Series installed already Battery operated RF smoke alarms Manual break points available (optional). Wireless and 10 year battery Handheld control (optional)
Ei140 Ei407 Ei410TRF handheld test fob (tests interconnection, only)
Ei160 Ei407
  • Ei410 handheld test, hush and locator
  • Ei411H wall mounted test, hush and locator

3) If you are not required to install in accordance to BS5839 Part 6 Grade D (eg older houses built prior to introduction of Building Regulations), you can also use radio-interlinked smoke alarms with alkaline backup batteries which must be replaced every year or two. This is of course the cheapest way of expanding your existing smoke alarm system. Again, all alarms will go off together, both the new as well as the old alarms.

List of radio-interlinked, battery operated alarms and add-ons available:

Series installed already Battery operated RF smoke alarms Manual break points available (optional). Wireless and 10 year battery Handheld control (optional)
Ei140 Ei407 Ei410TRF handheld test fob (tests interconnection, only)
Ei160 Ei407 Ei410TRF handheld test fob (tests interconnection, only)

Aico Smoke and CO Alarms installed by 2010 Rotherham Ltd

Ei21ENRC Arm’s Length Management Organisation 2010 Rotherham Ltd is installing Aico Ei261ENRC mains powered Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms into its properties, interconnected with Aico Ei166RC Optical Smoke Alarms.

The alarms are being fitted as part of 2010 Rotherham’s capital programme.  The CO alarms are a new improvement to the tenants’ homes and are being installed in rooms where a solid fuel or an open flued appliances exists.

It was chosen to interconnect the CO and smoke alarms together due to the fact that CO alarms need to be close to the appliance most likely to produce CO fumes – often away from bedrooms – and so there is a danger that an occupant sleeping upstairs may not hear the CO alarm.

By interconnecting with the smoke alarms, all the alarms – CO and smoke – sound.  To ensure the appropriate action is then taken (which differs depending on whether it’s a CO leak or a fire), an Ei1529RC Alarm Control switch has been installed in the main hallway, which has a ‘Locate’ function that can be used to identify the source of the alarm.

Billy Brooks, Electrical Project Manager at 2010 Rotherham, comments on the choice of alarm manufacturer: “We’ve been using Aico smoke alarms for quite a long time.  Aico is one of the manufacturers to supply alarms with Lithium cells instead of batteries (as a back up to the main supply), which solved the problem of the batteries being removed.  They also gave a good guarantee, with 10 years on the Lithium cell and five on the alarm.  These were the reasons why we included Aico products into our specification.

“We started fitting the Aico CO alarms into vulnerable properties, i.e. those with solid fuel and open flued appliances and we have now included it into the specification for our Decent Homes programme.”

The Ei261ENRC CO Alarm from Aico features the latest generation electrochemical type CO sensor which automatically checks CO levels in the environment every 80 seconds.  It comes with high and low level LED indicators with a special pre alarm LED indication for detection of CO at 50ppm and a memory feature which enables the user to tell if CO has been detected during a period of absence.  The alarm also comes with a cost-saving replaceable CO sensor design and quick CO Gas test facility.

Both the Ei261ENRC CO Alarm and the Ei166RC Optical Smoke Alarm benefit from 10 year+ Lithium cell back-up supply, hush button for false alarm control, separate mains and warning LEDs, Easi-fit fixing system for reduced installation time and effort and a comprehensive 5 year guarantee.

All Aico alarms are designed and manufactured in Ireland and meet UK standards and regulations.