Selecting the Right Fire Detector

The marketplace today has a plethora of choices of fire detectors and choosing the right fire detector is of utmost importance to make sure that any fire is discovered at the earliest. However, the risk of false alarms should also be minimised at the same time.

Fire detectors can detect one or more factors associated with a fire i.e. smoke, heat, combustion gas or, ultraviolet or infrared radiation. Even if one of these elements is detected, the fire alarm system will be triggered.

There are many different kinds of fire detectors that are available that can activate a fire alarm. The most commonly used fire detector is the smoke detector; the other fire detectors are heat detectors, CO detectors, beam detectors, flame detectors, air aspiration, etc.

Selecting a Fire Detector

Choosing the right fire detector really depends on where it is going to be used and the kind of fire that it will be used to detect. For instance, a fixed temperature heat detector would be more suitable for a commercial kitchen rather than using a smoke detector as usually in a kitchen you have smoke due to the preparation of food.

A carbon monoxide detector is suitable in the case of a sawmill where it is necessary to detect a smouldering fire as early as possible to prevent a major fire blaze. In such an environment, a smoke or a heat detector will be activated only if the fire blaze is significant and produces smoke and flames, thereby creating a dangerous situation that can be life-threatening.

The reason for fire protection also must be considered. For example, if the areas around a huge piece of machinery or equipment are susceptible to fire and are the main concern, then, in this case, heat detection will be suitable. However, if the machinery is to be protected from a fire caused due to an electrical cable fault, then the cabling area should be equipped and protected with smoke detectors.

Thus, we can see that the “one size fits all” approach does not work for all applications and the final selection of a fire detector will depend on multiple criteria such as the speed of fire detection needed, nature of the fire hazard, minimising false alarms due to the installation of the wrong detection device(s), expanse and size of the area, probable spread of fire and environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, dust and smoke from other sources.

Finally, only a complete fire risk assessment can help to establish the fire hazards on any worksite, based on which you can decide on the fire alarm system that is most suitable for the site. The Cygnus product range is very comprehensive and covers all the aspects of fire protection requirements of a worksite. Cygnus fire alarms guarantee the best-in-class products that offer superior performance and reliability.