Frequently Asked Questions

General

Can you provide installation and/or maintenance services if I purchase from you?
Our engineers are based in Devon; if you are in this region we will happily supply you with a quote for installation and maintenance of goods.
A trained electrician should be able to install a fire alarm system we recommend looking for one that is NIC EIC registered.

 

Deliveries

How long will my order take to arrive?

If the item is in stock:
Orders placed before 12:30 on weekdays are usually dispatched same day; orders after this time are usually dispatched next working day.

Out of stock items:
If the goods you order are not available in the requested quantity then we will notify you with estimated delivery time as soon as possible. Orders waiting for out-of-stock items will not be billed until the items are ready for dispatch.

Orders placed over the weekend will be processed on Monday.

How much does shipping cost?
We have a fixed delivery charge of £3.95 + VAT for any order made regardless of size, weight or quantity.

Who will deliver my goods?
Small items will be sent via Royal Mail 1st Class.
Large orders will be sent by courier service.

Returns

If I wish to return my goods can I?
If you wish to return any items you must notify us by email to sales@sdfirealarms.co.uk within 7 days of receipt. Used items can only be returned if they are found to be faulty, the customer will bear the cost of the return unless the item is replaced or refunded.

If you are not sure whether you are purchasing the right product please email us with you specifications and requirements so that we can confirm whether it is suitable or advise you on choosing an alternative product.

 

Addressable Fire Alarm Equipment

What is the difference between an "addressable" system and a "conventional" one?

Conventional Systems
A conventional system is a cost effective approach for a fire alarms system. These are usually found in small to medium sized commercial premises such as shops or offices. They provide the means to detect and warn of fire.
Detectors are installed on zones, when a detector is activated the control panel will indicate which zone the triggered detector is located in.

Addressable Systems
An addressable system provides a more technologically advanced fire alarm system – usually at a higher price.
This type of system acts more like a computer; it can diagnose exactly which detector has been activated so that the fault/fire can be located a lot more efficiently.
These systems tend to be used in buildings such as hospitals, schools and large offices or factories.

Are the panel on the site addressable?
No, the panels we currently stock are conventional panels. We can supply addressable panels to meet individual needs, please contact us for a quote with your requirements.

Batteries

What are Ni-Cad batteries used for?
Ni-Cad D-Cell stick batteries are mainly used as back-up power for emergency lights.

Which amp battery do I require for my fire alarm panel?
This varies depending on the physical size of your panel. We would recommend referring to the panels user manual or contacting the manufacturer if you are not sure.

Bells and Sounders

Is the motorised bell suitable for a standalone solution?
No, the conventional motorised bells are used as a component in a full fire alarm system, if you're looking for a standalone alarm system then the Klaxon Boxer or Klaxon Terrier may be suitable.

Can I install a sounder on its own as an alert?
Again – no, these are used as a component in a fire alarm system. For a standalone alarm solution see the Klaxon bells.

Call Points

Can the Klaxon Boxer be used in a fire alarms system?
No, this product is purely a standalone alarm although it can be interconnected with other Boxers if necessary.

Which Test Key do I need for my Call Point?
A selection of our Test Keys along with photos is viewable on our Call Point Test Key Identification page.

Domestic Fire Alarms

Which type of domestic fire alarm do I need?
Depends on location, in general for a

  • kitchen: heat alarm
  • corridors, hallways and landings: optical smoke alarm

Optical Smoke Alarms

Optical sensors are more responsive to smouldering fires producing large particle smoke typical of fires involving furniture and bedding.

They are more immune to invisible smoke produced by 'burning the toast' and similar cooking fumes. This makes them ideal for siting in hallways close to kitchens where false alarms from ionisation alarms may be a particular problem. The BS 5839: Pt.6: 2004 Standard recommends the use of optical alarms in circulation spaces of a dwelling, such as hallways and landings. Optical alarms are prone to false alarm if exposed to steam and should not be located too close to poorly ventilated bathrooms or shower rooms.

Ionisation Smoke Alarms
Ionisation type sensors are particularly sensitive to the almost invisible smoke produced by fast flaming fires. This makes them more liable to false alarm due to cooking fumes if sited in a hallway close to a kitchen. Ionisation alarms are less vulnerable to false alarms caused by dense tobacco smoke, excessive dust and insect ingress. The

BS 5839: Pt.6: 2004 Standard recommends that ionisation alarms should not be used in hallways and landings, where there is a risk of false alarms caused by cooking fumes.

Heat Alarms
Heat alarms are less likely to cause false alarm problems as they are not responsive to any type of smoke or fumes, only heat.

Because of the potential for a slower response than smoke alarms, they should only be used in a fire alarm system that also includes smoke alarms, and all of the alarms must be interconnected. The

BS 5839: Pt.6: 2004 recommends that heat alarms should be used in kitchens. It goes on to suggest that they may also have a role to play in the main living room but they should not be installed in circulation spaces or areas where fast response to fire is required.

Lithium or Alkaline Backup?
For safety and security we always suggest purchasing alarms with a lithium battery back-up, they provide the most effective and reliable back-up power available. In the Aico range of detectors the Panasonic lithium batteries provide a proven 10 year+ life expectancy and can provide a 6 month back-up even without mains power.

Emergency Lighting

Do you stock a legend kit for the emergency light?
We do not keep a legend kit for the stocked emergency light but these can be ordered in within a few days, email us for a quote.

Extinguishers

Which type of extinguisher do I require?
This depends on which class of fire you would use it on:

Class A - Fires involving ordinary combustible materials such as wood, cloth or paper. Most fires are of this class.

Class B - Fires involving flammable liquids or liquefiable solids such as petrol, paraffin, paints, oils, greases and fats.

Class C - Fires involving gases. Gaseous fire should be extinguished only by isolating the supply. Extinguishing a gas fire before the supply is cut off may cause an explosion.

Class F - Fires in cooking appliances that involve combustible cooking oil and deep fat.

Classes of use:

WATER: Class A - do not use on Class B, Class C and electrical fires

AFF FOAM: Class A and Class B - do not use on Class C and electrical fires.

CO2: Class B and Electrical Fires - do not use on Class A fires

POWDER: Class A, Class B, Class C and Electrical Fires

WET CHEMICAL Class A and Class F - do not use on Class B, Class C or electrical fires.

Can you supply other sizes of extinguisher?
Yes the ones on the site are just the sizes we have in stock. Other sizes are available to order, contact us for a price and estimated delivery times.

Fire Alarm Panels

What is the difference between 2 wire and 4 wire panels?
In general 2 Wire Panels are simpler to install - only one circuit per zone is needed to connect all the detectors and sounders, reducing the amount of wiring needed.

In a 4 wire system you would need two circuits – one for the sounders and one for the detectors.

Can a Rafiki panel be used with other makes of detectors?
No, only Rafiki equipment/detectors can be used with a Rafiki panel

 

Heat Detectors

Where should heat detectors be used?
Heat alarms are less likely to cause false alarm problems as they are not responsive to any type of smoke or fumes, only heat.

Because of the potential for a slower response than smoke alarms, they should only be used in a fire alarm system that also includes smoke alarms, and all of the alarms must be interconnected. The

BS 5839: Pt.6: 2004 recommends that heat alarms should be used in kitchens. It goes on to suggest that they may also have a role to play in the main living room but they should not be installed in circulation spaces or areas where fast response to fire is required.

Which of the heat detectors are standalone?
Only the Aico heat detectors are standalone, these come in battery only and mains with battery back-up. These can be found in the domestic heat detector section.
The Nittan, Hochiki and Rafiki heat detectors are used in a commercial environment where a full fire alarm system is required the detectors are connected to a central fire alarm panel.
(NB. Rafiki Twinflex detectors are only compatible with Rafiki Panels – only Rafiki products work when used with a Rafiki system, you cannot use a Hochiki or other make of detector if you are using a Rafiki panel)

Signs

What material options are available?
Most of our signs come in three different materials:

Self-Adhesive Vinyl
These signs will adhere to most smooth surfaces away from a source of direct heat, providing that the surface has been thoroughly cleaned to remove traces of dust or grease and is non-porous. Their flexibility means they are very adaptable for fixing to curved surfaces where the diameter is over 25mm. They are not suitable for fixing to porous surfaces such as untreated concrete or brick.

Rigid Plastic
These signs are manufactured from white PVC (0.7mm). These signs are supplied with double sided sticky fixers for easy installation.

Rigid Photoluminescent
Photoluminescent signs are legible under normal conditions, but in darkness emit a highly visible and non-radioactive luminescence which lasts for several hours although it is the strongest for the first hour. The natural photoluminescence daylight colour of light green has officially been recognised by the British Standards in BS5499 and BS5378 as suitable for safety signs. The photoluminescent products are equal to or surpass DIN Specification No. 67510. These signs are also supplied with double sided sticky fixers for easy installation.

I cannot find the sign I am looking for?
If you cannot see the sign you want we may be able to get it for you. We have access to a much larger catalogue of signs than is published on the site. If it is in our catalogue then we can usually get the sign in stock within 3-5 working days.

Email us @ sales@sdfirealarms.co.uk with your enquiry or quote request. If you are trying to match signage you have already got it may be useful if you can include a picture of your current signs.

Smoke Detectors

What is the difference between ionisation and optical?
Optical is a newer technology which is less prone to false alarms caused by cooking fumes, cigarette smoke, dust etc…

 

Optical

Optical sensors are more responsive to smouldering fires producing large particle smoke typical of fires involving furniture and bedding.

They are more immune to invisible smoke produced by 'burning the toast' and similar cooking fumes. This makes them ideal for siting in hallways close to kitchens where false alarms from ionisation alarms may be a particular problem. The BS 5839: Pt.6: 2004 Standard recommends the use of optical alarms in circulation spaces of a dwelling, such as hallways and landings. Optical alarms are prone to false alarm if exposed to steam and should not be located too close to poorly ventilated bathrooms or shower rooms.

Ionisation

Ionisation type sensors are particularly sensitive to the almost invisible smoke produced by fast flaming fires. This makes them more liable to false alarm due to cooking fumes if sited in a hallway close to a kitchen. Ionisation alarms are less vulnerable to false alarms caused by dense tobacco smoke, excessive dust and insect ingress. The

BS 5839: Pt.6: 2004 Standard recommends that ionisation alarms should not be used in hallways and landings, where there is a risk of false alarms caused by cooking fumes.

Can I use the Hochiki/Nittan/Rafiki detectors on their own?
No, these detectors are used as components on a fire alarm system in a commercial environment, for standalone detectors look in the domestic smoke alarm section.

I have a fire alarm panel, but which detectors are compatible with it?
If it is an addressable panel Hochiki addressable detectors will be compatible as long as it has ESP Protcol.
If it is a conventional panel then Hochiki or Nittan conventional detectors should be compatible unless it is a Rafiki made panel. If it is Rafiki only Rafiki detectors may be used.
(NB. Rafiki detectors are not compatible with any other brand of panel)

I require a set of detectors where if one is triggered they all sound, but I don't want to run a wire between each one?
This can be achieved by using Radio Frequency bases. These can be found in the Smoke Detector - Extras section. The Ei168 RF base is fully compatible with any Ei160 or Ei140 series alarms. Using this base allows all the detectors mounted on one to communicate, meaning that if one is triggered they will all activate.

Cant find the answer to your question?

Email: sales@sdfirealarms.co.uk and well get back to you as soon as we can!

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