A friend has asked me to help solve a problem with linked smoke
detectors in a small office, which was converted from a cowshed in the
When the detectors are turned-on they immediately trigger. They want me
to replace them with stand-alone battery powered detectors but ISTR that
this is not permitted - can anyone point me at the relevant regs?
Have you left them long enough to charge up? If you've got the sort with
a big stack of supercaps instead of batteries they sometimes take quite
a while to satisfy themselves they're working.
Oh, and the obvious - have you wired them up right?
Hard to get solid info - I'm tempted just to replace the whole set
because they're probably getting-on for 15 years old and it's starting
to feel like one of those favours that can become tedious - replacing 5
or 6 detectors could be faster than trying to fault-find
The regs are probably covered in BS5839, of which I only have part 6
(dwellings) and would not apply to an office. You may find a copy of the
full regs at the library.
If the office conversion was done with PP and the interconnected smokes were
what was required at the time then you might be better off trying to locate
and fix the fault on the existing alarms. It could be something as simple as
one faulty detector.
And just to be sure, are we are talking about simple mains interconnected
smoke alarms and not a fire alarm system with a control panel?
Yes, it's 5 or 6 linked alarms and there isn't a fire panel.
The original work had PP so I think I'll just change the lot for
equivalent mains linked alarms ... any suggestions for where to buy at a
sensible price? (one heat detector will be required for a small room
with a kettle and a toaster)
Well I am a lazy bastard so I would buy the same make/model if possible.
That way I could just swap the heads and not bother with any wiring or
patress changes. Just shop around.
I would also take the old heads off one by one to see if you can identify a
particular detector that is causing the problem and eliminate the
possiblilty of a fixed wiring problem that you would then have to deal with
(although that is possible with rf bases).
As the heads were installed in the late 90s then they have probably passed
their "swap by date" and would need swapping anyway.
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