Types of Fire Alarms
As technology advances, so do fire alarms. There are many options available today and it can be difficult to determine which kind of alarm is best suited for your New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia building. Fire alarms are critical in any setting to ensure the safety of your employees and equipment. It is important to select the right type for your individual environment.
Confires has over 30 years of experience in fire protection and always stays up-to-date on the latest in fire alarm technology. You can count on us to outfit your building with efficient, reliable alarms to keep your building safe.
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Heat detectors are designed to sense a change in temperature. As a result, they are best-suited to environments with fixed temperatures, such as kitchen facilities or heater closets. They are not effective in areas with temperature fluctuations.
Flame detectors can detect fire virtually at the moment of ignition. They are a great option for buildings with hazardous materials, such as laboratories, refineries, or manufacturing locations. Flame detectors come in three types:
- UV Detectors: Because fires, flames, and explosions emit UV radiation at ignition, UV detectors are incredibly fast at detecting fire.
- Optical Detectors: As the name suggests, these detectors use visual sensors to sense flames.
- IR Detectors: IR, or infrared, detectors sense the radiation emitted by flames within three to five seconds of ignition. However, they can be falsely triggered by thermal radiation or hot surfaces. You can regulate these false alarms with additional algorithms.
- Ionization: Ionization alarms have a small amount of radioactive material which passes through ionization chamber. This creates a current between the electrodes, which, when interrupted by smoke, sets off the alarm. Ionization alarms generally respond more to flaming fires.
- Photoelectric: These alarms use a light source. When smoke enters chamber and crosses light beam, the alarm is triggered. Photoelectric alarms are best for slow, smoldering fires
- Combination: Combo alarms use both ionization and photoelectric technologies. This offers a more all-encompassing approach for your fire alarm. You cannot predict what kind of fire will occur in your building, making a combination alarm a great solution for your office, hospital, or school setting.
If you or anyone in your building is deaf or hard of hearing, there are alarm options that employ visual signals in addition to sounds to indicate danger. These alarms use bright strobe lights that flash intermittently to alert staff that there is an emergency.
In addition to the different types of smoke detection, smoke alarms also have variety in their power source. The most common is a 9-volt battery, which is popular due to its low cost. Because of this cost, however, it does require regular replacement. The next level battery is 120 volts, which is often required in building with interconnected alarm systems (when all alarms go off simultaneously, regardless of the fire’s location). The longest lasting power source is a lithium battery, which can last up to 10 years. Regardless of the type or power source, your fire alarm should be replaced every 10 years to ensure your safety.
Are you located in Delaware, New Jersey, or Philadelphia and want to learn more about fire alarms? Call us today to speak with one of our experienced fire safety professionals and discover why top names in business and the government consistently recommend Confires.
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