A residential property is a building that is used, or is suitable for use, as one or more dwellings. Examples include single-family homes, condos, cooperatives, duplexes, townhouses, and Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO). Residential properties vary greatly in size, from small studio apartments or one bedroom houses to very large estates and mansions.
It is recommended that all residential properties have suitable fire detection in place (this is required by law in rented properties). Traditional style smoke and heat detectors, usually purchased from the nearby DIY store, will usually provide a suitable solution to the average household and larger houses may benefit from a domestic interlinked detection system. However, large properties may require something a little more specialist.
High-end residential properties are often very large, spanning multiple floors and sometimes buildings. This means that traditional style domestic smoke and heat detectors may not provide reliable detection with sufficient warning. Therefore, careful consideration must be taken to design and install a fire detection system that is effective and reliable to protect the property, possessions and, most importantly, life from fire.
What are the Risks?
There are many fire risks associated with residential properties:
- Faulty appliances and electrical equipment
- The most common cause of residential fires is electric equipment such as appliances, wires and plug sockets. Faulty or poorly maintained appliances can overheat and set fire to carpets, curtains and other soft furnishings. Overloaded plug sockets are also at risk of overheating.
- Cooking and kitchens
- Chip pans, frying pans and grills can catch fire easily given the oil used and produced in cooking with them. Cooking-related incidents are one of the biggest causes of fires in residential properties.
- Candles and flames
- Candles are also a serious fire risk. They can easily set fire to flammable items such as curtains or fabrics if left unattended or mistreated.
- E-Bike and electric scooter charging
- E-bike and electric scooter charging is a relatively new but growing fire risk. Not allowing batteries to cool properly before charging, over-charging and using ‘cheaper’ unknown brands that are more likely to develop faults can increase the risk of fire.
- Heating Equipment
- Heaters, boilers, gas fires and log burners that are faulty, used incorrectly or left unattended can set nearby flammable materials such as papers, carpets, rubbish and furniture alight.
What are the Challenges?
There are also a number of challenges presented when protecting larger residential properties from fire:
- Access for maintenance can be limited if residents are currently living in the property. Therefore, it would be beneficial to use a fire detection solution that can be installed outside of the living areas.
- In large properties, it is possible that residents can be far away from any fire events. Therefore, the chosen fire detection system must be able to alert the entire property to any potential threats to ensure that all occupants can get to a safe location.
- Large Spaces
- Some larger residential properties can have large open spaces that present some unique challenges for smoke detection. High ceilings can cause smoke stratification, and voluminous areas can delay the time it takes smoke to reach detectors.
- Time and care is taken to decorate residential spaces to the owners taste. Unsightly fire alarm devices can tarnish the appearance of a room and make it less appealing. Therefore, it’s important to consider the aesthetics of the property when designing a suitable fire detection system.
- Furniture, ornaments, appliances and general household items can cause obstruction and affect the behaviour of smoke making it difficult to detect.
Aspirating smoke detection (ASD) can provide a reliable and cost-effective solution for protecting large residential properties from fire.
ASD uses powerful aspirators to draw air from the protected area into its detection chamber. This means it is unaffected by varying airflows, high ceilings and obstacles created by furniture or other household items. Sampling points are discrete and have very little impact on the properties aesthetics and detection units themselves can be installed outside of the space that it is protecting, for example in store cupboards, pantries or garages.
VESDA, by XTRALIS, is the world’s leading brand of aspirating smoke detection. Over the last few decades the VESDA brand has evolved from being a niche and specialist technology to becoming a staple in the fire detection industry. The range of VESDA-E detectors now lead the way in performance, reliability, stability and flexibility.
Aspirating smoke detectors in the VESDA and FAAST range that are best suited for use in residential applications include:
VESDA VLF Aspirating Smoke Detection
VESDA VLF provides superior, very early warning, air-sampling smoke detection. It continually draws air into the sampling chamber via discrete sampling holes in an aspirating pipe network. The air is filtered before entering the chamber, where light scattering technology detects even a very small amount of smoke.
VESDA-E VEP Aspirating Smoke Detection
VESDA-E VEP detectors are built on Xtralis’ FlairTM detection technology, a revolutionary detection chamber, to deliver very early warning of fire, improved rejection of nuisance alarms, higher stability and increased longevity.
VESDA-E VES Aspirating Smoke Detection
VESDA-E VES detectors are similar to the VEP. However, they also include a valve mechanism that enables addressability across 4 pipes/sectors. This means a single zone can be divided into four separate sub-zones, enabling the user to locate the source of smoke. Once the first sector has reached the alarm level, the detector continues to sample from all sectors to monitor fire growth.
VESDA-E VEA Aspirating Smoke Detection
VESDA-E VEA combines the reliability of VESDA early warning smoke detection with the added ability to provide pinpoint addressability. Once a fire is detected the system uses a rotary valve to individually test each sampling point, allowing the detector to accurately pinpoint the location of a fire.
Why Choose Eurofyre?
- Xtralis Gold Partner
- Eurofyre has ‘Gold Channel Partner’ status with Xtralis – the market leader in aspirating smoke detection. This recognition displays our level of commitment, including excellent customer service and competitive pricing.
- Complete System Supplier
- Eurofyre is a complete system supplier and has been a major Xtralis technical wholesaler since 2007. This means we can offer expert advice and supply all aspects of fire detection including aspirating smoke detection systems, conventional and addressable fire alarm control panels and linear heat detection.
- Pipework Design
- Eurofyre can also provide assistance with aspirating pipe network design to ensure optimum network performance and installation quality.
- Demonstration and Training
- We have a sophisticated training facility where we offer demonstrations and expert training on a range of systems, including VESDA-E aspirating smoke detection systems.
- After-Sales Support
- Eurofyre prides itself on providing after-sales care and support that is second to none. We offer both on-site and telephone assistance to help you ensure that your system is fully operational and working at its best.
For more information about VESDA aspirating smoke detection, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to [email protected] or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.