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230v Fire/Smoke Alarm Comparison Guide

Visit Our Fire & Smoke Alarms Section To View Our Product Range 

Below is an installation video from BRK about their ‘Push Fit’ series of smoke alarms but the first 2m 50 secs describe where and what smoke alarms should be fitted to a domestic household.

Types of Sensor

Smoke Alarms

  • Thermoptek– The latest smoke sensing technology it combines optical sensing with a thermal enhancement system to provide a fast reaction to all types of fire.
  • Ionisation Alarm – Ionisation technology is particularly sensitive to small particles, which are produced in large quantities by ‘flaming fires’, fires that consume combustible materials and spread quickly. For example, oil catching fire in a frying pan or paper burning in a wastebasket would be detected quickly by this type of alarm.
  • Optical Alarm – Optical technology is more sensitive to large particles which are produced mainly by smouldering fires. These are fires that smoulder for a long period of time before actually bursting into flame, such as a cigarette butt slowly burning into bedding, carpet or furniture.

Heat Alarms

Smoke alarms may cause problems in areas such as lofts, garages and kitchens where dust, fumes and non-dangerous smoke can trigger them and continually set the alarm off. In these cases, a heat alarm is better, and they are in fact required under the latest Building Regulations.

Heat alarms use advanced thermistor technology which is the most reliable method of heat detection available today – varying electrical resistance in a semiconductor is used by thermistors to detect temperature changes. The alarms are pre-set to sound when the temperature reaches a fixed point, between 54ºC and 70ºC.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Fire brigades recommend using a carbon monoxide alarm alongside a conventional photoelectric or ionisation one, particularly due to the increasing European restrictions on the use of ionisation sensor-based alarms alone.

Carbon monoxide alarms work by electrochemically converting carbon monoxide, a deadly poisonous gas given off by fires, to carbon dioxide, which generates an electrical current. The current is used to measure the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO) in the atmosphere and will sound the alarm if the levels are too high.

Carbon monoxide alarms are available both as battery or mains powered alarms, and typically need replacing every 5 years.

Power Options

Mains Powered – Alarms permanently powered by the mains supply.  They also have an integrated battery backup option that provides power in the event that mains supply power is lost. 

Battery Powered – Either alkaline battery that needs replacing every 2-3 years or Lithium that can run up to 10 years.  There are a number of manufacturers producing Lithium battery alarms that should be replaced at the end of their lifespan, between 7 – 10 years normally.

Comparing Fire Alarms

Choosing a fire alarm is not something to be taken lightly – fire alarms can and do save lives, so it is imperative that you invest in a high-quality alarm (or even multiple types of alarms) to protect your property, yourself and your family.

To help you choose the right alarm for you, please see the table below which compares the specifications of different alarms by top fire alarm brands such as BRKAico and Kidde.

Manufacturer Comparison 

Product

BRK

AICO

KIDDE

FIREX

SENSO

SECTOR

NEW

WF

DETA

ELECT

Ionisation   Range

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Mains+Recharg.

Lithium Back Up

770MRL

 151/161

ISF23/ 9HIR

4881

3820LR

SD14RC

 

 

 

 5070

 Battery Only

M300

 100B

0914UKC

4800

3120

SD1

3630

6637

1101

 5040

 Battery -10 Year Lithium

SA900

 

 

 

3120FC

 

 

 

1103

 

Base for Mains Units

CB232

 157/127

SMK23

4890

PAT

SM1

3633

6760

1110

 5045

Photoelectric Range 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Mains + 9V Back Up

7010BE

 146

2SF23/9HI

4973

5820

 

 

 

1113

 

 Mains Only

 

 

155/145

223i

4953

5820L

SD13

 

 

 

 5051

 Mains + Recharg Capacitor Back Up

 

 

 

 

 

SD6

 

 

 

 5081

 Mains + Recharg Lithium back Up

 

   156TLH /166RC 

2SF23/9HIR

4985

5820LR

SD15RC

 

 

 

 5071

 Mains + Lithium Batt. Back Up

760MRL

See 650mbx10

 

4973L

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Battery + Long Life Lithium (10 y)

Sa410LLi

 

 

 

5120

 

 

 

 

 

 Heat Range

Mains+ 9V  Back Up

 790MBX

 144

3SF23/9HI

4899

7820

 

 

4303

1115

 

 Mains + Lithium Back Up

790MRL

154TL

/164RC

3SF23/9HIR

4892

7820LR

 

 

 

 

 

Wireless Bases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Radio Frequency Bases

DS700RF

 168RC

 

 

PATWFL

 

 

 

 

 

 Carbon Monoxide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Battery Only

 

 205ENA

900-0259

 

4CB

SCO850B

3621N

7543

1123

5041

Mains Powered with Interlink

 

 225EN

 

 

 

SCO850MI

3620N

4305

1121

5091

Mains Powered with 9V Alkaline Batt.Back Up

 

 

900-0211UK

 

 

 

3624

4306

 

5090

Mains Powered with Tamper-proof Rechargeable Lithium cells

 

 261ENRC

423/9hir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pattresses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surface Bases

CB232

 157/127

SMK23

4890

PAT

SM1

3633

6760

1110

5045