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Essential Safety Detectors

Three types of detectors you should have installed in your home to keep you and your family safe.

There are several ways you can increase safety around the home, and one of those is through installing detectors for smoke, heat, or carbon monoxide.

You might have a good sense of smell, but if you are asleep or out in the garden you might not notice a problem until it is too late.  Indeed, heat and carbon dioxide are very difficult to detect.

We have outlined the types of detectors, how they work and how they can help keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak.

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Smoke Detectors

These come in all shapes and sizes but are in most cases one of two types, either ionisation or photoelectric.

Ionisation smoke detectors contain a small amount of radioactive material which is positioned between two electrically charged plates. This creates a current between the two plates and when smoke enters the detector the current is then altered resulting in the alarm being triggered.

Photoelectric smoke detectors work by using a light beam. A constant beam of light is projected within the detector. When smoke enters the chamber and affects the beam, the alarm is triggered.

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Heat Detectors

Similar to smoke detectors, there is a choice of heat detectors that achieve the same goal but get to that conclusion by varying methods. Common heat detectors tend to use either fixed-temperature detection or rate-of-rise.

Fixed temperature heat detectors work by determining the state of the heat-sensitive eutectic alloy within the unit. When the alloy reaches a set temperature, it turns from a solid to a liquid.

Rate-of-rise heat detectors work by assessing the rate of temperature change in the room. They will typically trigger the alarm if the temperature rises by more than 6°C across one minute.

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Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide is completely odourless and therefore the only way to detect its presence is with a detector.

A carbon monoxide detector should be installed in any home or business that burns gas as a fuel, such as in a gas boiler, on a gas hob or similar. Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas that is incredibly dangerous and can ultimately cause death if left undetected and so inhaled.

The carbon monoxide detector will sound if the sensor detects high levels of carbon monoxide. If the ppm (parts per million) is over 150 the alarm will sound within just minutes of the leak occurring. Therefore, it is important to act fast.

For more information on carbon monoxide alarms and on how to test your alarm to ensure it is continuing to keep you safe, please see our ‘How To: Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detector’ blog post.

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The benefits of having detectors installed in your home

  • They warn you of a fire including when you are asleep and unaware of your surroundings.
  • They provide an additional layer of safety even if you are in a different room or out in the garden where you may not be aware of a fire in another part of the house.
  • They are relatively inexpensive and are there to save lives. You can’t put a price on that!
  • Modern, smart detectors including those from Google and Hive can send you alerts to your mobile device whilst you are away from home.

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Looking to have a smoke, heat or carbon monoxide detector alarm installed to your property? Please head to our Contact page and fill out the online form or alternatively, if you are in the heat of the moment, you can call us on 020 8287 7194.

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