A smoke and heat detector combination alarm gives you peace of mind that you are protected on two different levels, because a combination fire alarm will sound the alarm when the heat threshold is exceeded, or when smoke is detected in the atmosphere.
In this article we will look at using and installing a smoke and heat detector combination alarm in your home, why it is the best choice over a conventional smoke detector, where you should install it and what options you have available on the market.
Below is a handy table of contents for quick navigation.
Table of Contents
Smoke And Heat Detector Combination – Why?
So, why not just install a basic, cheap smoke detector rather than a smoke and heat detector combination type?
Because not all fires that start in a home are the same.
Home fires can be broadly broken down into two categories
First, a small, slow smouldering fire. Such a fire would not initially give off much heat, but would produce quite a bit of smoke. A smoke detector would detect this fire.
Second, A fast fire where highly combustible materials catch fire and the fire spreads quickly. Such a fire would have much bigger flames and less smoke. A heat detector would immediately pick up on the huge change in temperature and would trigger an alarm.
Remember, every single second counts when it comes to house fires.
The more time you have to react to a fire in your home, the better chance you and your family have of getting out safely.
If you are spending additional money on a smoke and heat detector combination alarm, then we recommend spending a little more on linked detectors.
A linked detector will set off all alarms in a home through radio signal, so you can be assured that even if you’re asleep and the furthest alarm activates, all other alarms will activate, ensuring you hear it immediately.
Once again, seconds count in any home fire.
If you are asleep in an upstairs bedroom, how long will it take you to hear an alarm from the back of the house?
With a linked alarm, all alarms are activated simultaneously, giving you and your family potentially life saving extra time to get out of the building.
The general rule of thumb – the bigger the house, the greater the need for an interlinked alarm system.
How Do You Install A Combination Fire Alarm?
Any fire detection system, be it a smoke alarm, heat alarm or combination alarm, MUST be installed on the ceiling.
There’s usually two simple ways to install a smoke and heat detector combination alarm:
- By drilling two small holes in your ceiling, and screwing the base plate to the ceiling and then attaching the alarm unit to the plate, or,
- Using sticky adhesive with magnetic fasteners that come with some alarm systems.
However, that being said, if we apply some common sense here, the safer option is to screw the base plate to the ceiling.
We have no idea why a piece of safety equipment like this would come with an adhesive sticking plate and magnets, because if you get really unlucky, the heat of a fire will peel that adhesive off and your alarm has the potential to fall to the floor and become consumed by the fire itself.
Hopefully though, you’ve heard the alarm and you are already safely out of the building by the time that happens.
Where To Install A Combination Fire Alarm
Any fire detection equipment, whether it is a smoke detector, a heat detector or a smoke and heat detector combination alarm should be installed on the ceiling of a room.
You can install a combination smoke detector and heat detector in the following locations:
- Near to sleeping areas.
- On landings and in hallways.
- On escape routes.
- Your loft.
- Near to your electrical consumer unit (RCD).
- Any room where electrical appliances are plugged in.
The only place you should not install a combination alarm is in the kitchen.
Only a dedicated heat detector should be used in the kitchen.
Best Smoke And Heat Detector Combination Alarms
Here’s a couple of smoke and heat detector combination alarms that are recommended for home use, and meet all safety and testing requirements and standards.
HEAT AND SMOKE COMBI RECOMMENDATIONS
Remembering Vulnerable People
Don’t forget to look after your relatives who don’t live with you, as well as any neighbours that may struggle with things like this.
Make sure they have working smoke detectors or combination detectors. (If they haven’t, you can refer them for a free Safe & Well Home Visit with free smoke detectors and installation).
Make sure they know what to do in the event of a fire.
Vulnerable people can be any person from the following groups:
- Elderly people.
- People who live alone.
- People with disabilities.
- People with mobility issues.
- People who are financially challenged.
- People with mental health problems.
- People with drink or drug problems.
This list is not exhaustive by any means.
Any person you feel that would take additional time to react and then escape during a house fire is potentially vulnerable.
You don’t have to do it yourself – your local fire service will be happy to assist (see below).
If you are worried by any aspect of fire safety for any of these groups, please do talk to them and arrange a fire safety visit on their behalf.
Free Home Fire Safety Visit
Did you know, that the majority of fire services across the UK have a completely free service where they will visit your home, do a free fire safety check, offer advice and guidance and even fit free fire alarms for you?
For example, the London Fire Brigade offer this service, and they are only too happy to help.
We have a list of fire services in the UK that offer free Safe & Well visits. Click here to go to that page and find out if you are eligible.
Even if you don’t want to spend the extra money on a combination alarm, or a linked detection system, please ensure your home is covered by as many smoke detectors as possible.
Any smoke detector is better than none at all.
Good coverage across your home by these detectors could save your life one day, and should be an integral part of your home fire safety plan.
Can’t afford a smoke detector?
Ring your local fire service, and they will provide and install smoke detectors free of charge, as long as you meet certain criteria.
Comments And Questions
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Stay Safe. Stay Secure.