Bad Smoke Detector Design

What Were They Thinking?

I wanted to share my findings with you from a meeting yesterday in a new(ish) building.

It wasn’t something in the meeting that’d caught my eye…

…It was something hiding in the corner on our way out.

The building must’ve had a refurbishment carried out, and it looks like 1 large room wasn’t as useful as 2 smaller rooms, so they stuck a wall down the middle of it, to make two rooms.

Sounds reasonable…

…But, by the looks of things, they didn’t take into account the Fire Alarm System with this refurbishment – See Image Below

 

Bad Smoke Detector Design

The wall just about skims the edge of a detector, effectively pinning it down.

Now there are a number of problems with this, but I’ve decided to share with you the top three reasons this detector is utterly useless.

  1. It won’t fit its sole purpose; to detect smoke – Detectors should never be put in corners, the reason for this is because smoke bounces off walls and the last place it’ll reach once it hits the ceiling is the corner.
  2. It’s not possible to test it – With the detector being that close to a wall, it will not be possible to use the testing equipment as it requires space around the device to fully function.
  3. It cannot be replaced – If the detector develops a fault, the way to disconnect and replace the device requires twisting and pulling away from the ceiling – This detector has been blocked in with the wall and the wall will have to be shaved away around the detector to work on it.

The list goes on, but I’ll limit it to these 3.

The point I am trying to get across here is that if you are making changes to your building, make sure you consider your fire alarm system in the designs.

And, Fire Alarms aren’t there to be a pain…

…But you already knew that.

Design your fire alarm to suit your building, don’t design your building to suit your fire alarm.

Stay Safe & Compliant!

Tom Patel
Dodgy Design Finder
WFP Fire & Security
tompatel@w-fp.co.uk
01277 622 932

If you have any queries or questions about the design of a certain fire alarm or the positioning of a certain device, please feel free to get in touch. Or find out more about Fire Detection & Alarm systems at the link below.


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