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Everything You Need to Know About Self-testing Smoke Detectors

Everything You Need to Know About Self-testing Smoke Detectors

A reliable fire alarm system is a legal requirement for all businesses, and an important element of ensuring your system is in top working order is carrying out regular tests.

For large facilities with multiple detectors across several sites, those tests can take considerable pre-planning and result in extra costs, disruption and lost time. 

However, that could soon all be a thing of the past, with the first self-testing smoke detectors coming onto the market. For instance, Honeywell – manufacturers of the Notifier self-testing smoke detection system –states that the time spent testing a 50-detector system could be reduced from a total of six hours to about 40 minutes.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at these innovative tools to discover what they are, how they work, and how they could benefit your business.

Everything You Need to Know About Self-testing Smoke Detectors

What is a self-testing smoke detector?

Previously, each detector needed to be individually sprayed with smoke by a technician to test that it could accurately detect its presence.

Self-testing smoke detectors eliminate the need for someone to visit each individual detector in order to test them all. One person can initiate the test for the whole site from a central control panel and then just visit each room that has a detector to make a brief visual check of the equipment.

How do self-testing smoke detectors work?

Self-testing smoke detectors work by generating small levels of smoke and heat into the immediate area of the detector to test whether the sensors are functioning correctly. The system can even automatically check whether the dust cover is blocking smoke entry points on the sensor. 

What are the benefits of a self-testing smoke detector?

There are a number of worthwhile benefits to having a self-testing smoke detector installed that are likely to make the idea attractive to a wide range of businesses across several sectors. These include:

  • A significant reduction in both the time and money required to carry out the legally required tests.
  • Unlike traditional ways of testing, the system stays active and is able to detect an actual fire anywhere on site throughout the duration of the test.
  • Instead of someone having to physically produce a report detailing the results of the tests once they’ve been completed, a digital report is automatically created within minutes.
  • There’s no need for those carrying out the test to access detectors in restricted areas, in lift shafts, on high ceilings and other difficult locations.

What businesses could benefit from self-testing smoke detectors?

Quite simply, any business currently spending more time testing its smoke detectors than it wants or needs to could probably benefit from having a self-testing system installed. Of course, if you’re based in a small unit with just a couple of sensors, you’re not going to be noticing much difference, but on larger sites it could be a real game-changer.

That could include:

  • Hotels
  • Retail centres
  • Residential blocks
  • Office suites
  • Schools and universities
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Government buildings
  • Manufacturing sites

Here at Scutum North, we’re committed to offering our customers the latest and best solutions for protecting their commercial premises from the threat of fire. We’ve been helping customers across North England stay fire-safe for years with efficient and cost-effective fire alarm and fire detection systems that are individually designed, professionally installed and backed up by expert maintenance services.

Find out more by getting in touch with us today. 

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