🕑 4 minutes read
Guide to Smoke Alarms

Which smoke alarm is right for your home?

Most people believe that smoke alarms and smoke detectors are the same. However, there is a key difference between these two devices. Want to know more about it?

Complete Guide to Smoke Alarms

Is there a difference between smoke alarms & smoke detectors?

A smoke alarm is a stand-alone unit that detects smoke and triggers an audible (loud) alarm. On the other hand, a smoke detector only detects smoke and has to be connected to a fire alarm system control panel to trigger the alarm. Therefore, if you're looking for a device that will immediately alert you, your family or tenants to the presence of smoke, a smoke alarm is your best option.

Both these devices are key security system that gives precious minutes to evacuate a property in the event of a fire. They could save your life and the lives of others!

Want to know a little about the history of smoke alarms?
In the late 1600s, ‘fire Sentinels’ were used in England. Sentinels would sound an alarm when they detected smoke, but often produced false alarms. They were slow in acting when the great fire of London took hold. Fires were common back then but were soon quelled thanks to the help of the sentinels? The summer of 1666 however, was a very hot one with no rainfall for weeks on end, as a consequence the timber framed houses and thatched roofs were tinder dry (sound familiar). A fire in Pudding Lane took hold and in no time before the sentinels could act a huge part of the city of London was reduced to cinders!

Then In 1909, two American brothers patented the first electric smoke detector. This new type of detector was much more reliable than any predecessor and soon became a standard device in homes and businesses across the country.

What is Liquid petroleum gas (LPG)?

LPG is a versatile fuel for heating and cooking and is widely used in industry. It consists primarily of hydrophobic hydrocarbons from natural resources such as oil extraction or refining.

Components of smoke alarms.

A smoke alarm is a device that senses smoke and raises the alarm to warn people of a possible fire. Smoke alarms can be battery-operated or mains powered, usually they have a flashing light and loud piercing alarm accompanied with a flashing light! Enough to rouse a sleeping household.

How do they work? Smoke alarms work by detecting smoke particles in the air; The most common type uses ionisation to create an electrical current that interferes when sufficient smoke particles are present. Other types use photoelectric detection with a laser beam and photodetectors.

Photoelectric detectors: less likely to produce false alarms and are more sensitive to slow-smouldering fires
Ionisation detectors: react more quickly to smouldering fires.

However, each room in your home should have at least one active detector installed, preferably of both types if possible, and should be tested regularly. Admittedly a belt and braces approach but it’s always wise to err on the side of caution!

Types of smoke alarms.

Regarding smoke alarms, there are four main types available on the market.

  • Ionization
  • Optical (Also Described As Photo Electronic)
  • Heat Alarms
  • Or a combination
Each type of smoke alarm has its benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to choose the right one for your needs.

  • Ionisation smoke alarms are very sensitive to smoke but can sometimes be triggered by cooking fumes or steam.
  • Optical smoke alarms, on the other hand, these alarms are less likely to be set off by cooking fumes, but they can take longer to detect a fire.
  • Heat alarms detect an increase in temperature and are often used in kitchens or garages. Combined smoke and heat alarms provide both kinds of protection in one device.
  • Combined smoke alarms combine all three technologies, providing maximum protection against all types of fires.
No matter which type of smoke alarm you choose, it's important to test it regularly and make sure that it's functioning properly. By understanding these important facts, you can keep your family safe and secure.

Buying Guide : How to pick the right type of alarm?

A smoke alarm is a key piece of safety equipment for any home. But with so many different types and brands on the market, it can be a challenge knowing which one to choose. The good news is that a general rule of thumb can help you select the right smoke alarm for your needs.

Alarm Type Place of installation
Heat alarm Ionisation smoke alarms | Combined optical smoke | Heat alarms
Kitchen or Garage Landings
Optical smoke alarms | Combined optical smoke | Heat alarms Bedrooms, Living rooms, and Hallways

Of course, always buy an alarm certified to British or European standards. If you have any doubts, consult a professional and act on their advice!

How to pick the right type of alarm

How many smoke alarms are needed in your home?

Well, no one-size-fits-all. The number of smoke alarm requirements will depend on the size and layout of your home and the level of risk in each room. However, for maximum protection, it is recommended that you fit an alarm in every room (except the bathroom).

However, A minimum standard one smoke alarm should be installed on each floor in your property.

If your home is on one floor, one smoke alarm, preferably the optical type, should be sufficient to give an early warning of smoke. Optical smoke alarms are best suited to bedrooms and living areas, while ionisation smoke alarms are better for kitchens and hallways. To have ultimate protection, you may want to consider fitting a combination of both types of alarm, which can be interconnected so that they all sound if one is triggered. So, when it comes to smoke alarms, and people’s safety in every case err on the side of caution—your family and home will thank you for it.

Do smoke alarms need maintenance?

They do. Smoke alarms are essential to your home's safety plan, but many people don't realize that they need to be maintained regularly.

Weekly: Do a battery check.
Monthly: A thorough clean to remove dust.
Every year: Replace all backup batteries.
Every decade: Replace the entire smoke alarm as technology improves.

These simple steps will ensure that your smoke alarm will be there for you and your family when needed.

Do smoke alarms need maintenance

Need help with your smoke alarm?

Smoke alarms are an essential part of any home or rental property. They provide a vital early warning system in the event of a fire, giving occupants precious time to evacuate the building. However, not all smoke alarms are created equal. Some models are easy to disable, either accidentally or deliberately, leaving homes and families at risk.

Serviceteam smoke alarms feature a tamper-proof battery design, making them a safe and sound choice for homeowners, landlords and tenants. The batteries are sealed inside the alarm, making it impossible for anyone to disable the device. In addition, the alarms are competitively priced, making them an affordable to all. A smoke alarm installation by serviceteam will give everyone peace of mind, knowing that your property is protected against fire.

So if you're thinking of installing a smoke alarm, don't delay – call serviceteam today and book an engineer to install your alarms. Serviceteam is a 24/7 professional smoke alarm installer in London and its surrounding areas. Safety is everyone's responsibility!