Refer to statistics from National Fire Protection Association: NFPA, 38% of lives and assets loss were from fire accident among buildings contributed from a reason of lacking of Smoke Detector System and 21% found that the second cause was from malfunction of the Smoke Detector System.
Importance of Smoke Detector is to catch particles of smoke in fire accident while flames starting to spread. Smoke is the first thing that would float up before contacting with a smoke detector installed on the ceiling. Signaling Equipment, then, be alerted and alarmed residents of the fire incident and lead to evacuation or try to put off the fire and preventing from rapid expansion before destruction.
After the installation of Smoke Detector system in premises, this article mentions how to double check readiness of the equipment so that it would be in handy once needed. Also, components that need to be checked are discussed as well as when to change for new specifications or models.
Between Smoke Alarm and Smoke Detector
Smoke Alarm is a tool to detect smoke and able to send sound by itself. It is suitable for homes and commercial buildings that are lower than three stories.
Smoke Detector is a tool that can detect smokes that is working altogether with Alarm System or Fire Alarm. It is recommended for high rises of more than three stories.
Examine Smoke Detector and product standards
Every 1 – 2 years after the installation of the smoke detector, it should be examined in order to check if its condition. Environmental factors such as dirt, air, heat, and humidity can affect the quality of the equipment and may deteriorate the effectiveness of the smoke detector.
- Important parts of the equipment should be fully intact such as the indicating light bulb and circuit of the system that connected to the signaling equipment.
- Check if there are dirt or unwanted particles inside the smoke detector because that dirt may affect effectiveness to detect the smoke.
- Net that prevents insects installed above the equipment box should be in original shape and to be clean.
- Parts of equipment are neat and in good condition
- The equipment is installed and hold its location including screws are in good terms and ready to be used.
Testing Smoke Detector
Testing of Equipment
Smoke detector should be tested under the condition set previously where sensitiveness of the detection and electrical voltage could be done by intentionally send some smoke to the smoke detector by smoke from a mantle or rope on flames. After the smoke are released, the smoke detector should be working automatically and be alarmed for 4 minutes consecutively.
Apart from the above checking, electric power from a backup source need to be tested as well. This could be done by eliminating the original power source and test if the smoke detector still receiving an electric power from the backup.
Evaluating effectiveness of the battery
Capability of the battery that send power to a smoke detector should be able to supply for at least one year. The battery should be tested as follow:
- When parts of the connecting wire that are loosen or removed which may affect short electric circuit of the smoke detector, the alarm must be alerted more than 1 time in a minute and at least 7 days consecutively by which the sound of the alarm is different from the fire alarm.
- Testing the malfunction of each electric circuit where in each time, notes should be taken so that it could be corrected before testing other abnormalities.
- In case of using a battery as the main source of power, if the power of the battery is inefficient to signal the alarm for 4 consecutive minutes, the smoke detector must able to signal of this low power of the battery.
Testing the smoke
In testing sensitiveness of the smoke detector by using a special equipment, the highest and the lowest capability of the equipment is measured under the wind speed and director of the smoke as per standard. There are several ways to test the smoke detector after the installation which are:
- To test in a temperature between 20 – 26 degree Celsius and at relative humidity of 30 – 70% and at air pressure of 93.3 kPa.
- Testing by sending some smoke into smoke detector consecutively until the smoke detector alert the situation. After each test, air must be released and clear so that the equipment appears to normal status. The air flow must be stable for at least 30 seconds, then, another test can be performed.
- Test in the testing room where the smoke detector must be set at highly sensitive then time is measured after the flames had started. The smoke detector then should be alarmed for 5 seconds consecutively, therefore, the result of the test is measured by sensitiveness of each smoke detector.
After checking the performance of smoke detector and run through all tests, if found that the equipment is malfunction or fail the test, the smoke detector must be replaced.
Because the broken Smoke Detector could create False Alarm and affect other alarms. It could cause destruction eventually to lives and assets.
For those who are interested in Smoke Detector or planning to install, please contact us here. We have experts ready to service you.
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