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Smoke and heat alarms are essential in any building – whether a private residence, industrial building, offices, or houses of multiple occupancy. Some landlords and building owners are legally obliged to install smoke/heat alarms, but the fire service recommends installing them in all buildings. Residents are twice as likely to survive a house fire if a smoke or heat alarm has been installed.

There are number of different smoke alarms available on the market – the type that you need depends on where the smoke alarm will be installed and what your budget is.

Ionisation smoke alarms are generally the cheapest and therefore the most common in both residential and industrial buildings. They are sensitive to small particles of smoke produced by fast burning fires, such as when paper and wood catch fire. This type of smoke alarm will sound before smoke gets too thick and lets anybody in the building safely find an exit. These can be used throughout houses and offices, but should not be used in kitchens or in rooms with an open fire since they can be over-sensitive.

Optical smoke alarms are the best choice for kitchens or rooms with open fires. They are more expensive than ionisation alarms, but are designed to detect larger smoke particles associated with upholstery fires and overheated wiring.

Heat alarms can also be installed in kitchens and respond to heat rather than smoke particles. However, these alarms can only cover a small area so several may need to be installed in larger kitchens or rooms.

You can also buy combined units, particularly optical smoke and heat alarms, or even smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, to avoid the time spent installing and visual impact of multiple alarms across the ceiling.

You can choose your alarm from the sections below and order online or on the phone. Alternatively, come to your local branch to discuss your options and find the perfect product for your installation or project.