Interconnected smoke alarms is now a requirement to satisfy fire experts guidelines. In fact, having interconnected smoke detectors increases the chance for you and your family to escape from a fire safely and on time.
Alarmingly, seven people die every day as a result of home fires in the US. In Europe, twelve people die every day according to Information Bulletin of the World Fire Statistics Centre – Geneva Association. And on average 35 people die everyday in Russia due to related fire incidences. The most affected groups of people in most cases are the children and the elderly. However, most of the residential fire related deaths are totally preventable.
Why Interconnect Your Smoke Detectors?
Homes with a working smoke detector reduced significantly the chances of fire fatalities. Nevertheless, homes with INTERCONNECTED SMOKE ALARMS enhanced the chances for survival tremendously. The primary purpose of a smoke detector is to warn you of potential fire danger hence providing you with some lead time to escape.
Assuming you are asleep on the first floor of your home. Fire starts in the basement or in your kitchen which is on the ground floor. If you do not have interconnected smoke alarms, the basement (or wherever the smoke or fire starts) smoke detector will detect the smoke or fire and go off. But you may not hear it because you are on the first floor and worse still, sound asleep. The smoke or fire may have to build up to trigger the nearest smoke detector and that may be too late as there may not be enough time to escape or a path of escape!
In case your smoke detectors are interconnected, when the basement smoke detector goes off, all the alarms in the house go off (including the smoke alarm in your bedroom). This helps because you have enough time to escape and evacuate before exit paths are too dangerous.
How to Interconnect
Traditional interconnection was achieved by hardwiring the smoke alarm detectors. However there is modern technology that makes application of interconnected smoke detectors even simpler and hassle free. These are the wireless interconnected smoke detectors.
General Steps of Installing Wireless Interconnected Smoke Detectors
You have several wireless interconnected smoke detectors, lets say 5.
1. Put the batteries to power them.
2. Test each one of them for proper functionality.
3. Program (for smoke detectors with voice) one at a time according to location of use and label them accordingly. (The label will help you avoid mix up just in case you forget)
4. Most wireless smoke detectors will require that you pair them together so that they can transmit and receive signals to and from each other. For example, you press the button of 1 and 2 at the same time, then 1 and 3, then 1 and 4 and finally 1 and 5 to make 1 recognize all the other 4.
Similarly you have to do that for no. 2 with all the others, then no. 3 with all the others.
You do not need an electrician to install and interconnect wireless smoke detectors. You can do it yourself 🙂
5. Finally, after installing the smoke alarms in their respective locations, REMEMBER to all of them again. When you press the test button of the smoke alarm in the kitchen, all smoke detectors should go off and alert you of the smoke/fire in the kitchen.
Please note that if you are using dual smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, they will differentiate the danger and warn you accordingly. The voice will inform you whether it is smoke/fire or carbon monoxide and of course the location.
Various visual signals are also included e.g. flashing LEDs as well.
We recommend you go through your manual carefully to install correctly the wireless interconnected smoke detectors you bought.
How Wireless Interconnected Smoke Detectors Work
Wireless smoke alarm products such as first alert smoke detectors employ the use of a very reliable means of communication; the mesh networking.
Mesh networks have all the smoke detectors included in the network distributing data to each other. The message is transferred along the shortest path and if the path is broken, the mesh network is configured to
find another available path to the destination.
This ideally creates a very reliable set of wireless smoke detectors and somehow explains why mesh network was first developed for military use.
The hard wired smoke detectors communicate by sending a 9V signal to the other devices and you can guess what will happen if the wire is broken; No contact.
You have no need to worry about interference from other wireless devices or signal as the products are fully compliant to international standards. The radio frequency commonly used is 433 MHz that does not attenuate or weaken through walls or floors or other ordinary building material. This frequency spectrum has less traffic and hence less interference.
There is great flexibility as to the number of smoke detectors that can be used in the network with some manufacturers designing for up to 12 smoke detectors and six other additional detectors which could be carbon monoxide detectors, heat detectors or other types of sensors.