The rise of the multi-sensor detector
The introduction of multi-sensor detectors is a great example of how fire detection technologies have evolved over the years. Designed to sense smoke, heat and/or CO, multi-sensor detectors help reduce false alarms by comparing the inputs from the multiple sensors before deciding whether the source of the input is an actual fire or one of many false alarm conditions. Having been established for a number of years, multi-sensor detectors are now being used to replace existing smoke detectors, as well as being the first choice for installation in many new building projects.
So, with multi-sensors more established in the market, are fire engineers now testing more of these types of detector as part of their regular service and maintenance visits? The answer appears to be ‘yes’ with 73% of people asked saying they are testing more or as many multi-sensor detectors now than they were two years ago*.
This is further supported by the guidance offered in the recent update to BS:5839, which, for the first time, spells out how multi-sensor detectors should be tested. This not only highlights how much multi-sensors have grown in popularity but also shows the importance of them being tested and maintained correctly.
The trend for multi-sensor detectors is also supported by an increase in the use of Testifire, our all-in-one detector tester. Testifire has been available for a number of years; however uptake has grown significantly in the last few years as fire engineers find themselves called upon to test more multi-sensor detectors in more of the sites they work on.
Testing with an all-in-one tester not only means there is less equipment to carry, it also mean less time is spent on site changing between testers. Testifire can be programmed to carry out smoke, heat (and/or CO) testing in any sequence or combination, and the built-in clearing function helps eliminate repeat alarms.
*Results of a Twitter poll October 2017 (@NoClimbProducts)