How reliable is the fire alarm system in terms of detecting fires and minimizing false alarms?

Fire alarm systems are known to be frustratingly over-sensitive. During any fire alarm installation, we choose optimal detection methods for smoke alarms to be placed in the appropriate position. This reduces the number of false alarms. It's critical to have reliable fire alarms installed, it could save your life. According to the US National Fire Protection Association, the death rate during fires is 55 percent lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or alarms that fail to operate.

Related FAQs

Typically fire alarms are installed centrally on a ceiling, 500mm away from any obstructions.
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Your business buildings insurance is likely to be a lot lower if you take the advised optimal safety measures, as having smoke alarms reduces the risk of a mass fire by around 50%.
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Most buildings that are not domestic, as of the 2005 fire safety order, require to be equipped with an appropriate amount of fire-fighting equipment and incorporate fire detectors and alarms throughout the building
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Optical smoke detector work in most settings but may cause major inconveniences in a kitchen setting where a heat alarm is the best fit! There are also specialist systems, for example in large open spaces like an atrium, an optical beam system may be used.
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Fire alarms may be installed on a simple basis, or networked together within a programmable network. Each alarm will use the most appropriate detection method for its position.
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Typically fire alarm systems are entirely separate, which makes for reliable function. Sometimes, a fire alarm system can be linked to existing monitoring systems to trigger other behaviours.
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Fire alarm systems in the UK need to meet the requirements set out in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. We go beyond this by conforming to British Standard BS 5839 as part of our BAFE SP203-1 certification, which provides recommendations on fire alarm servicing.
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The cost of a fire alarm system, including installation and ongoing maintenance, can vary depending on various factors such as the size of the premises, complexity of the system, type of detectors and equipment required. We can offer quotes following some questions and a consultation.
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Fire alarm systems in the UK should typically be serviced at least twice a year, in accordance with British Standard BS 5839. The servicing process involves checking and testing all components of the system, including detectors, control panels, batteries, and audible/visual devices.
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Regular fire alarm system servicing offers several benefits, including ensuring the proper functioning of the system, early detection of faults or malfunctions, compliance with regulations, maximizing the system's lifespan, reducing the risk of false alarms, and providing peace of mind knowing that the fire alarm system is in optimal working condition to protect life and property.
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ISE Fire are BAFE SP203-1 certified: making us uniquely qualified for design, installation, commissioning, handover of fire detection and fire alarm systems. 
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If you've identified an emergency fault or malfunction with your fire alarm service and are unsure what to do, contact one of our local offices by phone and we'll be happy to advise.
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Setting up a fire alarm system typically includes conducting a thorough assessment of the premises (i.e. during a fire risk assessment), designing a system tailored to the specific requirements, procuring and installing the necessary equipment, programming the system, and conducting comprehensive testing and commissioning to ensure proper functionality and compliance with applicable standards and regulations.
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We're happy to provide written documentation and on-site training for the responsible person and other staff members.
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A number of detection methods are used in fire alarms, including but not limited to: optical/photoelectric detection (when smoke particles obscure a beam of light); ionisation alarms (a small sample of radioactive material creates a current flow which if disturbed, triggers the alarm); and heat alarms (which trigger past a set temperature).
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Addressable fire alarm systems offer individual identification and monitoring of each device (such as detectors and call points), providing precise information on the location of the fire or fault. This makes them more suitable for larger or complex buildings. Conventional fire alarm systems, on the other hand, divide the premises into zones and provide a general indication of the area where the alarm is triggered, making them typically more cost-effective and suitable for smaller or simpler buildings.
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As a fire safety service provider, wired fire alarm systems offer a stable and reliable connection, but require more extensive installation and may be less flexible for modifications. Wireless fire alarm systems provide easier installation and flexibility, but their reliability can be affected by signal interference or battery life.
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The differences between the predominant forms of fire alarms is best set out in our article here.
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Most basic legal requirements are set out in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, but a host of advisory documents exist which provide sector-specific guidance. In addition to this, there are higher certified standards such as provided by the BAFE SP203-1 (which ISE Fire are certified in).
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The placement and positioning of fire alarms is dependent on factors such as the type of premises, the nature of the fire risk, and the desired level of protection. British Standard BS 5839 provides additional guidance on this, which ISE Fire is compliant with via BAFE SP203-1.
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