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Preventing Electrical Fires

Comments (0) Posted by: Century on September 1st, 2014 @ 3:37 PM
Tagged with: Addressable Fire Alarm System Electrical Fires Fire Fire Alarm System Fire Security Prevention Safety Security

Electrical fires pose one of the more disastrous dangers involved within the home environment. Fires caused by faulty or malfunctioning wiring can quickly get out of control and can be very difficult to extinguisher as they often start behind walls. A bad electrical fire can even cause you to lose an entire home. Taking simple steps to learn how to prevent an electrical fire from happening will help keep your home and your family safe from this potential threat...

Avoid overloading electrical circuits

This is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce the risk of an electrical fire (and is also one of the most effective). Each circuit in your home is only designed to deliver so much electricity at one point, and stressing these circuits by drawing too much power can cause the wires to deteriorate and spark. You can avoid over loading your circuits by minimising the amount of electrical equipment you plug into each outlet. 

Have an old home? Older houses have fewer circuits, as plug-in appliances and equipment were not as numerous when the home was first built. A costly, but effective measure to reduce stress on each circuit is to have an electrician run new wiring and install a new circuit breaker on your electrical panel.

Replace/remove frayed wiring

Frayed wiring, either in an appliance power cord or in your homes wiring poses a major risk of an electrical fire. Appliance wiring in various gauges can be purchased from hardware stores, and replacing frayed wiring on small appliances and electronics is a job well within reach.

While electrical tape can be used to provide temporary protection against melting or arcing of exposed conductors, it should not be used a as a permanent solution.

Replace all old wiring

Electrical wiring only has a lifespan of about 30-40 years, so homes that are older than that may be relying on deteriorated wiring. In addition, older wiring set ups were not typically designed to handle today's large electrical loads. 

Having an electrician replace all or most of your homes wiring is a very expensive upgrade, but will provide a virtual guarantee against electrical fires for decades.

P.A.T Testing

(Portable Appliance Testing is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure that they are safe to use in the home or business). 

All electrical products, such as extension cords, batteries, plug-ins and surge protectors should include the PAT Tested logo (see right) to ensure that they meet the regulation for electrical safety.

Some products such as extension cords and batteries are often counterfeited using cheap copper which poses a great fire risk.

Conventional Vs. Addressable Fire Alarm Systems: The Differences

Comments (0) Posted by: Century on February 7th, 2014 @ 3:17 PM
Tagged with: Addressable Addressable Fire Alarm System Addressable System Conventional Conventional Fire Alarm System Conventional System Fire Alarm Fire Alarm System Fire Security maintenance Safety Security


 Firstly, what is a Conventional Fire Alarm System?

It’s the most common type of system and is suitable for most small businesses such as shops, offices and warehouses. A number of call points and/or detectors are wired to the fire alarm control panel in zones. This is because if a detector detects smoke or fire, it can give you a rough idea as to where it is within the building. For example “smoke detector in alarm in the office lobby”. The accuracy of knowing where a fire has started is controlled by the number of zones the control panel has.

And what’s an Addressable Fire Alarm System?

Although very similar to a Conventional Fire Alarm system in that they both have detection zones, they have the added benefit of having sounders. Because additional sounder circuits are not required, the installation and cost is massively reduced. The detection circuit is wired as a loop and up to 99 devices may be connected to each individual loop. They are essentially Conventional Systems, but with an address built in. The address within each detector is set by a Dual-in-Line switch (DIL) and the control panel is programmed to display the information required when that particular detector is operated.

So what are the main differences?

  • A Conventional Fire Alarm System is typically used in smaller businesses and properties (as stated above). They are usually less expensive than an Addressable System, but with this, they have limitations regarding reporting the exact location of the devices. For example they will display which zone is in alarm, but not which device (which can be a time waste if you have several devices within a large room).  
  • An Addressable Fire Alarm System can be programmed to show the exact device that is in alarm by a display on the panel. For example, the display may show “smoke detector in alarm on second floor outside room 4”. Because an Addressable System is so exact, it is a vital system to have installed on a larger business property as a time-saver (and potentially a life-saver) if there are any alarms.  
  • Addressable Systems can also give detailed information about individual detectors and also allow a courtesy text label to allow easy identification. For example detectors can be labelled after rooms such as “office lobby” or “office filing room”.  
  • Conventional Systems only give information about specific circuits or zones and can’t be labelled. 
  • Addressable Systems are wired in a ‘loop’.  
  • Conventional Systems are normally wired as radial circuits (only usable where each circuit connects to just one high power appliance). 
  • Most Addressable Systems allow for a ‘pre-alarm’ warning, which allows the responsible person to investigate a potential alarm before the system activates its sirens.

 For more information please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 052 6070.


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