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Fire Alarm Systems

Fire Alarm System in Your Home – What You Need to Know

Have you invested in a fire alarm system? Then you need to understand how it functions to keep it in optimal condition.

A proper understanding of how your fire alarm system functions is critical for your safety. There is about 2% increase in Fire related incidents in UK in the last year. This why it is essential for every home or business owner, located in Hemel Hempstead, Watford, St Albans, North London and UK in general, to have the knowledge and understanding why having fire alarm systems in your premices is so important thing.

How Does the Fire Alarm System in Your Home Work?

A fire alarm, which works as an active prevention system, controls other fire alarm systems. The fire alarm in your home can be triggered automatically by smoke detectors, heat detectors or manually. The alarm is normally accompanied by a loud sound and blinking or flashing lights.

For a fire alarm system to be effective, a smoke detector which indicates the presence of smoke and fire has to be installed.

There are three types of fire and smoke alarms that you can install in your home. Although they are all called fire alarms, they have different functions. There are some that detect smoke while some detect heat and fire. There is also the type that detects both.

The type of fire alarm system you opt for in your home should be determined by your fire safety needs.

Fire Alarm SystemsTypes of Fire Alarms

Heat detector:

This type of fire alarm contains a component which detects heat. It activates an alarm when it reaches a specified temperature. You can install a heat detector in a small space where the speed of detection is not most urgent. Even though its false alarm rate is lower than most fire detectors, it is slow at detecting a fire.

Smoke Alarm

This type of fire alarm detects a fire faster than a heat detector. Its technology is designed to detect fire in three ways:

  • Ionization:
    A smoke alarm that uses this technology contains a radioactive component which emits ions that create electrical currents between electrodes. When smoke enters the component the flow of current is distorted and the alarm goes off. This alarm system works perfectly where fires are spreading very fast.
  • A photoelectric
    alarm technology uses a light and photoelectric sensor to detect a fire. It activates an alarm when smoke seeps into the optical chamber. This type of alarm is best for discovering slow fires.
  • There are also fire alarms that combine both photoelectric and ionisation technologies for optimal performance.

Fire Alarm SystemsYour fire alarm system can be powered by electricity or batteries. Most fire alarms contain internal batteries which allow them to keep functioning in the case of the electricity switching off. If you have a battery-operated fire alarm, always ensure that the batteries are replaced regularly, as expired batteries can lead to devastating domestic hazards.

Where to Install Fire Alarms in Your Home

  • You can install a fire alarm in your bedrooms and in every part of your home including the basement.
  • Install fire alarms in the living room or near the stairway.
  • Fire alarms should be installed at least 10 feet from a cooking gadget to lower false alarm rates.
  • Since smoke rises, fire alarms should be placed high on walls, about 12 inches away from the ceiling.
  • To avoid interference, do not install your fire alarms near doors and windows.
  • For the best results, interconnect all your fire alarms, so that when one goes off, others do the same. This can be achieved using wireless technology or hard wiring.
  • Ensure that every floor in your home has at least one smoke detector.

A hardwired fire alarm system is the best option for your home. And if you must rely on a fire alarm device that is battery-operated, it is important that you develop a habit of changing the batteries regularly.

How to Maintain Your Fire Alarm System

Know how old your fire alarm system is:

The age of you fire alarm will determine its maintenance needs. If your fire alarm is about 9 years old, it may break down due to environmental factors such as humidity, voltage, and temperature. An old alarm system needs to be properly maintained to function well.

Calibrate your fire alarm:

Test and calibrate your fire alarm regularly. Follow the manufacturer’s specifications and learn about failure modes, sensors, and how to re-install a fire alarm should the need arise.

Have your fire alarm tested annually:

Even though your manufacturer has provided specifications regarding your fire alarm system, it is important to inspect it annually.


A study has shown that most deaths related to fire incidents occur in homes with a malfunctioning fire alarm system. Keeping your fire alarm properly maintained is the best way to avoid fire-related hazards in your home.

Elsys Electrical Ltd is one of the approved Fire Alarm System Specialists in your area. Installing fire alarm system in your property is not only required by law, but it could potentially saves you money, as well as something a lot more important in preventing fire incidents.

Read More about Professional Fire Alarms Installation

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