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Everything You Should Know About a Kidde Smoke Detector

The purpose of the fire detection system is to provide a reliable and early warning about fire in any part of the building.

For the reliable operation of the fire protection system, the correct location of the Kidde smoke detectoris required. In general, if only one sensor is installed in the room, it is better to install it on the ceiling, as close to the center of the room as possible. If it is impossible to place a Kidde smoke detector in the center, for example, due to problems with the wiring, it is better to install it so as to provide an open space for it. In this case, the edge of the detector should not be located closer than 10 cm to the wall. Also, the detector mounted on the wall should be placed 10 to 30 cm to the ceiling.

The important issue in ensuring full coverage is the consideration of the factor of proximity of installed detectors to ventilation and air conditioning systems. Test filling of the room with smoke makes it possible to determine the direction of the microparticles’ movement, which is necessary for the subsequent correct arrangement of the Kidde smoke detector. The same test reveals the potential for false alarms. An example is the accumulation of dust in the detector due to the specific distribution of air currents. Dust in the detector changes the sensitivity level.

What type of detector should be installed?

To answer this question, it is necessary to understand the purpose of a particular room and its location. For example, ionization smoke detectors detect ignition (typical for chemical stores) at an earlier stage than smoldering (typical for offices). Ionization sensors immediately recognize the fire from the particles of combustible substances with a size of 0.01 to 0.3 microns. However, their capabilities are very limited, if the height of the sensor is significant, or a source of high humidity, such as a kitchen or a shower room, is located next to it.

If we consider a photoelectric Kidde smoke detector, they react faster to smoldering fires with their characteristic combustion particles from 0.3 to 10 microns. This type immediately recognizes thick white smoke, but it recognizes the volatile black smoke produced by the plastic and rubber reacts more slowly.

A common solution to the problem of choice is the installation of multi-criteria detectors, which operate in tandem with thermal detectors. Signals from such a Kidde smoke detector are processed by a microprocessor, which filters out false alarms, but the reaction time in the event of a real fire increases. By monitoring the readings from each sensor, as well as monitoring changes in the readings (temperature increase or reduction of the photoelectric response), multi-criteria sensors actually "study" the environment, which allows them to maintain high sensitivity by screening false alarms.

Smoke detectors are designed in such a way as to service as long as possible without maintenance. However, dust, dirt and foreign objects can accumulate in the detector, changing its sensitivity. This is especially true for sensors installed in air channels, the degree of contamination of which can both increase the frequency of false calls, and reduce, therefore reducing the degree of protection.

Under normal operating conditions, the smoke detectors and alarms require verification at least twice a year. When the sensor system is on preventive or other maintenance and temporarily not functioning, inform the proper authorities. Also, to avoid false positives, it is necessary that the system in which these detectors operate is turned off. It is important to check the sensitivity of each detector regularly.