Beam Smoke Detector

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How to choose smoke and gas detectors

Smoke and gas sensors are very useful equipment to prevent problems in the home. They allow you to warn of any escapes that may occur, or to detect smoke, warning of a possible fire. Gas detectors can identify various types (butane, methane or natural) as well as emissions that reach dangerous levels, so if you are thinking of installing one, it will be a very useful tool for your peace of mind.

Optical smoke detectors

It is a safety equipment that emits a signal when it detects an abnormal level of smoke in the air. They are called optical because they incorporate a lens that detects visible smoke, either by darkening the air or by its dispersion. In this way, you can find two types:

  1. Infrared rays are made up of an emitting device and another receiver. When the space between them is darkened by smoke, the receiver receives a very small fraction of light from the emitter, causing the alarm to go off.
  2. One-off type, in which the transmitter and receiver are housed in the same chamber but separated by a screen. This means that when smoke enters the chamber, it refracts the light beam towards the receiver and the alarm is activated.

Characteristics:

These devices have a fixed installation on the ceiling, where their performance is more efficient since the smoke always tends to rise. The alarm emitted by this type of detectors is acoustic. When they confirm the presence of smoke in a space, they emit an audible signal that quickly warns of a possible danger. Household detectors usually work with alkaline batteries, although they can also be connected to the electrical system. Even in so-called smart homes, it is connected to the central home automation system. Those that work with batteries, having the added danger of stopping working when they are exhausted, usually emit a signal that warns that the batteries are being exhausted. They usually incorporate a light bulb that indicates its operation while it remains on. The latest models include LED-type bulbs, which are more efficient and last much longer than normal ones.  If you want to achieve greater effectiveness, it is recommended that you install one in each room of the house, or in those in which you want greater vigilance or caution. The sizes vary depending on the model and you have many classes so that they go unnoticed in the places you decide to install them. Recommendations to maintain your smoke detector The maintenance of these equipment’s is simple. You will only have to follow a few recommendations so that it always works ready.

First, check the batteries in your smoke detector every 6 months at the most. Although the device warns with a signal that the battery has run out, it does not hurt to check from time to time that it is charged. The detectors should be cleaned periodically as they can accumulate dust, debris, and even hair on your camera. Failure to remove this dirt may cause the acoustic signal to sound for no reason.  It is important that you take into account the European regulations for this type of products. Make sure it has the EN 54 certificate for Fire Detection and Alarm Systems. Compliance with this standard is mandatory to market fire detectors and the certificate must be renewed annually.

 

Where to place your smoke detector?

If your house has more than one story, it is advisable to install a detector on each floor. It is recommended to place it in the living room or dining room, near the kitchen and in corridors and landings. This way you can make sure that the acoustic signal is audible from every room in your home. However, installing smoke detectors also in the exit ways of the house is very useful in case of fire, because you will be able to orient yourself on the clear route to exit. To prevent the alarm from being triggered for no reason, try to avoid installing these appliances in areas where steam is generated, such as the bathroom or kitchen. Placing it too close to radiators, heaters, or vents will make the detector ineffective because they can dissipate the first smoke signals that are generated. Also try to place it at least 30 centimeters from the lamps, since the heat they generate will favor the appearance of particles that dirty the detector.

Gas detectors

It is a device that detects the presence of gas in the environment and, when it detects a high concentration in the air, it activates a visual or audible alarm. Some even allow connection to the gas system to automatically deactivate it when levels are higher than normal. They are a very useful safety equipment to maintain peace of mind in the event of possible leaks.

 

Characteristics

They are devices that work connected to the electrical network and their installation is fixed. They are placed on the ceiling, like smoke detectors, because it is the most effective place for them to work at their best performance.  They can detect various types of gases, such as methane, propane, or butane. If the gas concentration in the environment is between 3% and 20%, the alarm will go off. When the gas concentration reaches the risk level, the device activates an alarm and an LED that will alert you to the danger. Some models also detect the abnormal presence of carbon monoxide in the air, which will be very useful to detect bad combustion if you have wood stoves, gas, fireplaces etc. Depending on the model, the dimensions and design vary. They are quite discreet devices, so you can make them go unnoticed in your home.

What to do in case the smoke detector alarm goes off?

If your smoke alarm goes off, the first thing to do is call the fire department or emergency services. As long as you are not putting your safety at risk, try to close the doors of the room where there is fire. Never open a closed door where you feel heat, there could be a fire in the room and when you open the door you run the risk of being burned. Soak a washcloth or towel with water and cover your nose and mouth to avoid inhaling smoke.The most sensible thing is to squat on the ground, because the temperature is lower and the toxic gases and smoke always tend to rise. We produce conventional and addressable beam smoke detectors that work with all types of fire panels. If you cannot get the addressable type that you need, then we recommend using a conventional Fireray with a switch monitor (input/output module). For Power supply and Zone connections you can use 2 core fireproof cabling.Each of our Firerays models have an Amber or Green LED which will flash every 8-10 seconds to visually confirm normal operation, either on the detector and/or controller.