Last edited 07 Aug 2016

Heat alarm

The Technical Handbook – Domestic, published by Scottish Ministers to provide guidance on the Scottish Building Standards suggests there are 4 main types of fire detector used in dwellings:

It is important that the right type of detector is used for different situations, as false alarms can result in occupants disabling fire detection and fire alarm systems.

The most common causes of false alarms are:

  • Fumes from cooking.
  • Steam from bathrooms, shower rooms and kitchens.
  • Tobacco smoke.
  • Dust.

Heat alarms have fixed-temperature elements and respond to the temperature of the fire gases in the immediate vicinity of the heat alarm. They are used where ambient temperatures are likely to fluctuate rapidly over a short period, such as in kitchens, and are less likely to produce false alarms. Elsewhere, heat alarms should not be used instead of smoke alarms to reduce unwanted false alarms.

The Scottish Building Standards require that at least 1 heat alarm is installed in every kitchen.

Heat alarms should conform to BS 5446: Part 2: 2003 Fire detection and fire alarm devices for dwellings. Specification for heat alarms.

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