How Does an Aspirating Fire & Smoke Detection System Work?
Choosing the right fire and smoke alarm system for your business is vital.
Not only does it ensure you’re upholding your legal obligations, but it can also save lives and protect assets when you select a system that is most suited to the environment.
Aspirating smoke detectors have become increasingly popular, with the earliest versions having been developed in the 1970s. To help you understand more about this system, here at City Fire Protection, we’ve produced a handy guide to take you through everything you need to know about aspirating fire and smoke detection systems.
What is an aspirating fire and smoke detection system?
Starting with the basics, let’s look at what an aspirating fire and smoke detection system is. Sometimes known as an ASD (aspirating smoke detector), it is a system that can monitor smoke levels at various locations in a building, signalling early on when a fire breaks out.
More than just your standard smoke alarm, an aspirating system has heightened sensitivity, having been developed in the early days to monitor for forest fires in Australia. Constantly testing the airflow (more on that in the next section), you get a system that actively monitors for smoke in your building.
How does an aspirating fire and smoke detection system work?
An aspirating smoke detector is a central detection unit with sampling chambers. These chambers correspond with a network of pipes that draw in the air throughout a building at selected points. This can be air drawn in from multiple points across a single space or across a whole building.
The air is constantly being tested in the detection unit, where laser technology is used to measure light scattering particles. This allows the system to detect whether smoke particles are present in the air, with different levels of sensitivity programmed to suit the environment. If smoke is detected, the alarm is raised as the system can be integrated with fire control panels.
Where should an aspirating fire and smoke detection system be used?
Because of the rapid detection involved, aspirating systems are ideal for a number of applications, from large industrial warehouses holding important stock and machinery to server rooms and data centres where downtime or loss of information could be catastrophic for a business.
The system can also be useful for spaces with large ceilings such as stadiums, hangars, warehouses and atria. This is because it may take a long time for large amounts of smoke to naturally reach a normal smoke detector, whereas an aspirating system is more sensitive and actively draws in air at various points along the pipe network.
Cold storage spaces can also benefit from aspirating systems, with the detection unit situated outside of the cold environment.
Pipework will run through the temperature-controlled areas, drawing in and warming the air before it reaches the detection unit. This is a great alternative to passive detection, which is often not suitable for such extreme environments.
The benefits of aspirating fire and smoke detection systems
By now, the benefits of aspirating smoke detection systems are probably apparent, but to help identify exactly why they’re so useful for so many businesses, here are the main benefits:
This system can detect smoke even before it becomes visible to the naked eye.
Adaptable to different environments
This system can be installed to run pipes wherever they are required, whether that’s on the ceiling or inside server racks.
Active fire detection
Aspirating smoke detectors are part of active fire detection, since they draw in air, as opposed to traditional smoke detectors – classed as passive – which require smoke to reach them.
Aspirating smoke detectors can be integrated with fire suppression systems to provide an immediate response in an emergency.
The network of pipes that draw in the air can be tailored to a building and discreetly positioned if aesthetics are important within a building.
Aspirating fire and smoke detection systems from City Fire Protection
We operate throughout Birmingham and London and can discuss whether an aspirating fire and smoke detection system is right for your business. We can install and commission the system to meet your needs, providing protection for the people in your building and helping to prevent disruption to your business.Contact Our Team