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Multi-sensor detectors and false alarms

Fire safety advice unchanged after issue identified with fire door

In a recent post, we looked at the rise in popularity of multi-sensor detectors.  A twitter poll* we ran supported the theory of a rise in popularity with 73% of respondents testing at least the same or more multi-sensor detectors than they were 2 years ago.

Now, further research carried out by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) has provided additional insight that further supports their rise in popularity.  The research, in association with the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and a range of detector manufacturers, has concluded that multi-sensor detectors are more effective at reducing false alarms than standard single sensor smoke detectors.

The research involved a series of tests targeting the more common causes of false alarms including water mist, burnt toast and aerosols.  Full details of the tests and the results are available on the BRE website.

False alarms have, for a long time, been an issue for the industry – costing an estimated £1 billion a year in the UK alone**.  Since their introduction, multi-sensor detectors have long been promoted as a method to reduce false alarms – this new research now confirms this to be the case.

The rise in popularity of multi-sensor detectors has now also been acknowledged within the recent update to BS:5839-1.  The update in 2017 now makes particular reference to multi-sensor detectors and offers specific guidance on how these devices should be functionally tested.

Over the last 12 months, we have experienced a rise in demand for Testifire – our all in one functional test tool.  Supporting increased productivity around site and providing the ability to test smoke, heat and/or CO in any combination – Testifire remains the easiest and most effective method of functional testing multi-sensor detectors.

*Results of a Twitter poll October 2017 (@NoClimbProducts)

**Source: Fire Industry Association

Published April 2018