Smoke Detector, Carbon Monoxide Detector and Intruder Alarm

Technical information

There are two main types of smoke detectors. Ionization detectors are generally more effective at detecting fast, flaming fires which consume combustible materials rapidly and spread quickly. Sources of these fires may include flammable liquids or paper burning in a waste container. Photoelectric detectors are generally more effective at detecting slow, smouldering fires which smoulder for hours before bursting into flame. Sources of these fires may include cigarettes burning in couches or bedding.

While both alarms provide adequate detection, if you desire the earliest detection of both smouldering and fast, flaming fires, you should install smoke alarms that combine both photoelectric and ionization sensing technologies in one unit.

When installing a smoke detector, placement is key. Detectors should be mounted only inside bedrooms, outside of bedrooms and in hallways. This is so the alarm can be heard when asleep. Fix the alarm to a wall at head height, or place it on a table or bookshelf. The alarm should be at least a meter away from boilers, fires, cookers or heaters and away from areas with high condensation, like a bathroom or kitchen.

When installing an intruder alarm there are various points to consider. The main elements are installing the detector close to main doors (inclusive of back and conservatory doors). If you are unable to install a detector to a back door there are door and window contacts which allow the alarm to sound when the door is opened unexpectedly.

There are other features which can be bought in conjunction with the intruder alarm such as a key fob which allows you to switch the alarm on and off without having to type in a code.

When fitting a carbon monoxide detector there are certain elements which need to the taken into account. Placing the detector in a central location like a hallway or landing will allow the detector to work to its full potential as there won’t be any areas of condensation or gases to sound the alarm falsely. It is possible to fix a stand-alone or wireless detector which is a quick and simple solution.

Hints & Tips

When mains wired detectors are being used they should be installed by a qualified electrician.

There should be a minimum of one alarm on each floor and they should be tested weekly.

If there is a large electrical appliance, such as a computer, in any of the bedrooms, a smoke alarm should be fitted within that room.

Smoke Detectors should be mounted a minimum of 4 inches from any wall and at the highest point on a ceiling.

Avoid mounting smoke detectors near windows, doors, kitchens, dining rooms or living rooms, where smoke can escape before reaching the detector.

When choosing an intruder alarm, choose an organisation approved by the National Security Inspectorate or the Security Systems Alarm and Inspection Board and check if the alarm system is being leased and what is included in the warranty.

The carbon monoxide detector should nott be placed in a cupboard or close to an external door or fixed it to the ceiling.

Test your alarm regularly using the test button and replace batteries annually or when the low battery signal sounds.

Fit an alarm in each room with a gas appliance.