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

Launch of new FireAngel website

FireAngel WebsiteSafelincs has launched a website dedicated to the sale of FireAngel fire and carbon monoxide detection products; this follows the signing of a two year contract between Safelincs and Sprue Safety Products, the company behind FireAngel, in July 2015. Sprue and their FireAngel alarms have long been on the forefront of design and technology, a fact which is recognised by a large number of fire services which install and recommend FireAngel products. Included in the range is a selection of high tech smoke alarms, applying technologies such as Thermoptek and Thermistek fire detection, which cut down the number of false alarms from smoke and heat detectors. FireAngel also offers a large number of carbon monoxide detectors, including sealed ten year CO alarms, offering total peace of mind.

As part of the contract Safelincs will also promote and sell First Alert, BRK and FireEye smoke and CO alarms, all part of Sprue’s significant alarm portfolio.

Safelincs’ Managing Director, Harry Dewick-Eisele, commented: ‘I am very pleased to be working together with the UK’s most advanced smoke and CO alarm developers. Sprue’s products bring together customer focus and functionality expressed in beautiful design combined with technology which pushes the edges of protection equipment further. Together, we should be able to increase both Sprue’s and Safelincs’ market share to even higher levels.’