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A Guide to Types of Fire Alarms

A fire alarm is the best way of ensuring you and your colleagues are alerted as soon as possible if a fire occurs within the commercial environment. Employers are legally obliged to protect the people who work within their premises from the threat of fire, and one of the best ways to do this is to have a fire detection system in place to alert all persons of the event of a fire outbreak.

There should be at least one smoke detector fitted per floor, although for larger environments more alarms will be needed to ensure everyone within the premises is alerted in time. Here at Protect & Detect, our trained installers will be able to advise on the best system for your environment’s needs. There are several types of smoke detector to choose from:


Ionisation alarms are most sensitive to flaming fires that could be triggered by materials such as paper or wood, and will detect this type of fire before smoke becomes too thick.


These tend to be the more expensive type of alarm, but are more effective at detecting slow-burning fires e.g. from overheated wiring or smouldering furniture. Optical alarms are less likely to go off accidentally, so are best for ground-floor rooms and hallways nearer to kitchens.


These exist in most commercial facilities, and are controlled by fire alarm control panels. Interconnected detectors can sound simultaneously if smoke or fire is detected in one area, and can also be used to implement more complex functions such a staged evacuations i.e. test drills.

Smoke detectors should be installed in the ceiling, ideally near the middle of a room and at least 500mm away from a wall. Ever wondered how smoke detectors work?

Here at Protect & Detect, we offer a comprehensive fire safety service, including fire alarm installation and maintenance. For more information about the systems we install, or any further advice on what is best for your commercial property, contact our friendly team today.


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