Fire and smoke detection equipment keeps your you, your workers and your facilities safe in case of a fire. Smoke detectors and other fire detection equipment are the first line of defense against disaster. Choosing the right type of fire and smoke detection equipment can save you money and lives.
Smoke detection equipment should be installed to cover any place that has workers or equipment. For basic setups, its alright to have a smoke detector next to each exit, but more expensive equipment and larger operations should have both smoke and fire detection equipment. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right system for your business:
1. Local regulations require most homes and businesses to have smoke detectors in places like kitchens and near exits.
2. Many insurance companies have specific requirements about the kind of smoke and fire detection equipment needed to protect a business. Check with your insurance company to find out its standards.
3. Smoke detection systems are often battery powered, requiring a new battery to be installed approximately every six months. Keeping your detection systems up-to-date is essential to protect your business from fire hazards.
Buy basic smoke detectors for small businesses and home officesBasic smoke alarms work by detecting smoke, but not fire. These alarms are usually small, battery powered units that attach to walls or ceilings. Many budget smoke alarms use ionization and are best at detecting smoke from fast, flame-heavy fires. Alarms like this work well in small areas with simple floor plans, where the exits are obvious.
Purchase heat detectors for extra protectionWhile heat detectors aren't meant to replace smoke alarms, they can provide extra fire and smoke protection by sensing changes in heat before smoke reaches your smoke alarms. Heat detectors are often made by smoke detector companies and come in fixed-temperature and rate-of-rise models. Fixed-temperature models will go off when the temperature reaches a certain point. Rate-of-rise models react to sudden changes in room temperature that might occur if highly flammable materials ignite.
Get a dual-sensor smoke detector for essential areasSleeping areas and other places where flammable objects can cause a smoldering smoky fire should have a smoke alarm that uses both ionization and photoelectric sensors to detect fires. These alarms can rapidly alert you to both flame-heavy and smoldering smoky fires. If you can afford it, this is the safest solution available from smoke detector manufacturers.
- If you don't want the hassle of replacing smoke alarm batteries repeatedly, you may want to invest in a model with a lithium ion battery. These can last for 10 years or more, although the battery inside is irreplaceable. This type of unit costs more but you won't have to buy replacement batteries, keeping you up-to-date on fire and smoke detection equipment basics.