Last edited 06 Feb 2018

Types of alarm in buildings

Smoke detector.jpg

In the construction industry, alarms are typically used to alert people to potential danger or damage. There are several different types of building alarm, including:

  • Accessible toilet alarm: Allows occupants to call for assistance.
  • Carbon monoxide detector: Electrochemical sensing technology sounds an alarm if carbon monoxide is detected. Many carbon monoxide alarms are combined with smoke alarms in one device.
  • Deterrence alarm: A high-pitched sound that is particularly audible to younger people, can be used as a form of hostile architecture.
  • Fire alarm: Gives early warning of developing fires to enable evacuation.
  • Flood alarm: Senses the presence of water and can provide early warning of leaks, i.e. in pipework or boilers.
  • Intruder alarm: Detects attempted intrusion or unauthorised entry into a building, room, site or secure installation and triggers a response. Some burglar alarms are simple auditory warnings, while others are linked to surveillance cameras, light systems, and remote monitoring by security companies.
  • Heat alarm: Have fixed-temperature elements and respond to the temperature of the fire gases in the immediate vicinity of the heat alarm.
  • Lift emergency alarm: Sounds an alarm in the event of a passenger lift breakdown to alert personnel.
  • Multi-sensor alarm: Detect more than one fire phenomena, for example optical and heat detection.
  • Smoke alarm: Can be optical (detect the scattering or absorption of light within the detector chamber) or ionisation (more sensitive to smoke containing small particles such as rapidly burning flaming fires but are less sensitive to steam).

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