The 9V alkaline batteries and AA alkaline batteries generally last 12 to 18 months. Lithium batteries will usually last 5x longer than their alkaline counterparts, achieving around 5 years lifetime. Some lithium cells are also rechargeable, and when used in a mains-powered alarm may last for the entire functional lifespan of the alarm. Newer alarm models may also feature a "sealed" lithium battery. These batteries are specialist components which are designed to not be removed or need replacing by the user, and have been tested by the alarm manufacturer to ensure they last for the lifetime of the alarm.
Please note: the actual lifetime of your batteries depends on how often the alarms are tested or activated, as sounding the alarm draws more power than when the alarms are "waiting" to detect fire. You should also read your alarm's manual to make sure you only use the recommended types and brands of batteries, as failing to follow these instructions may cause the alarm to malfunction, not alerting you in the event of a fire, and might also invalidate the warranty.
Our radio-interlinked alarms are designed to have 12 smoke alarm units interlinked with each other in any one series. However the alarms are able to recognise more than 11 other smoke alarms but there will just be no visual confirmation on each unit when going through the initial house coding procedure. Interlinking 12 alarms with 6 call points should work together providing each unit is no more than a 30m distance apart. Larger distances can be covered by using one of the smoke alarms in repeater mode, activated by flicking a switch.
There are three different types of alarms available - ionisation and optical smoke alarms and the heat alarm. The heat alarm is specifically designed for kitchen areas. This is because it is activated when the temperature reaches approx 57 degrees centigrade.
In terms of the two smoke alarms, there is no right or wrong which to install as they are both going to detect a fire. The difference between the two is that ionisation smoke alarms are slightly quicker at detecting fast flaming fires that can cover a small area quite quickly. It is generally recommended for these to be installed in landing areas. Optical smoke alarms are slightly quicker at detecting slow smoldering fires. These originate from upholstery type materials or over heated wiring. These are usually installed in bedrooms, living rooms and downstairs hallways.
In terms of the thatched area, it is usually recommended for an ionisation smoke alarm to be installed in the loft. This is because if the thatch caught alight, it is likely that the thatch would catch fire quickly. With any alarm installed in a loft area, we would recommend that the alarm is cleaned regularly. This is to try and avoid false alarms from happening.
Several RF smoke alarms form a group which has the ability to recognise each other's signals. If one of these alarms detects fire, it sends a digitally coded signal to the other alarms which then also sound an alarm. Radio-interlinked smoke alarms are used in larger houses, small commercial premises and wherever there is a risk that not everybody in the building will hear a fire alarm from a different part of the building.
Radio-interlinked smoke alarms replace the signal cable between alarms with RF communication. A radio signal is sent when the test button is pressed, or the alarm senses smoke. This is received by all the interlinked alarms in the system and will cause all alarms to sound.
Having no colour, smell or taste means that it is very hard to detect. Inhaling carbon monoxide reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen, leaving the body's organs and cells starved of oxygen. Each year, over 50 people die in the UK as a direct result of exposure to Carbon Monoxide Gas (CO). Many more people die through strokes and respiratory illness made worse by inhaling low levels of CO over prolonged periods. More, still are left with permanent damage and invalidity.
Make sure rooms and heaters are well ventilated, have your chimneys and flues checked regularly, make sure boilers and heaters are maintained and serviced regularly. Buy a carbon monoxide alarm/detector. A carbon monoxide alarm will measure the concentration of carbon monoxide in a room and sound an alarm if the CO concentration is higher than permitted
There is no legal or BSI requirement to test the CO detectors with a test gas. A weekly check with the test button is fully sufficient if you choose a quality CO detector. The test gas is offered as a 'belts and braces' option.
Do not install CO alarms above or below windows.
Although most kitchens contain fuel burning appliances it is not recommended to install your detector there. Kitchens can be quite steamy while you are cooking and this may affect the sensor in the CO detector. Similarly it is not recommended to install detectors in dusty areas such as workshops or garages.
For more information please watch our video guide.
Generally, the process for interlinking hardwired alarms is the same. Firstly, you need to make sure that the alarms you are purchasing are compatible with each other, as alarms from different manufacturers (in most cases) do not mix. Dependent on the manufacturer's instructions, you will then be advised to use either a length of bell wire / twin cable to serve as an interlink cable, or 3-core and earth (which is usually adopted in newer installations).
In the same way as interlinking hardwired alarms, it is still crucial to check compatibility between alarms for systems that link wirelessly. The way in which radio-interlinked alarms are connected can differ from brand to brand, however there will be instructions included with the alarm to guide you through the interlinking process. No signal cables are required between radio-interlinked alarms.
For a hardwired connection throughout the property, the Ei128R 5A relay base and Ei128RBU 5A relay with backup battery from Aico / Ei Electronics work in conjunction with the Ei140 series (alkaline backup) and Ei3000 series (lithium backup) mains-powered smoke, heat, and combination alarms. The alarms must be interlinked to the relay via a wired connection but can be installed directly on top of the relay to "hide" it, or separately from the relay if the location of the alarm is not a convenient place to connect with the GSM dialer.
If a wired connection between the relay and alarm is not feasible or desirable, but mains power is available, any RadioLINK-capable alarm from Aico or Ei Electronics such as the Ei600RF battery-powered series, Ei140RF mains-powered series with alkaline backup using the Ei168RC radio base, or Ei3000RF mains-powered series with lithium backup using the Ei3000MRF radio module can be wirelessly connected with the Ei428 radio-interlink relay with backup battery instead. The Ei428 still needs its own mains power feed, but does not need a direct hardwire connection to any alarm, making installation much more flexible.
Please Note: If you want the GSM dialer to operate during mains power failures it would need its own backup power source, and you must use either the Ei128RBU or Ei428 relays which also have their own backup batteries.
In order to work effectively, CO detectors:
Please see our video on where to install a CO detector for information on how to fit your CO alarm to the wall.
(doc:536 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.