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Top tips for getting warm and toastie

Heat Detectors

Heat Detectors – how do they work?

Heat detectors are designed to warn off a fire in your home. They do NOT replace smoke detectors, which should be fitted in bedrooms, hallways etc. to give you extra time to evacuate the building or put out the fire. Heat detectors should be situated in kitchens and utility rooms and even garages, where heat sources are regularly positioned eg boilers, cookers.

So what are the different types of detectors? There are two main types:

  1. Fixed Temperature Heat Detectors.
    These are the most common form of heat detectors. They are activated when their heat sensitive eutectic allow reaches its melting point, which in turn changes the alloy’s state from a solid into a liquid. This occurs after the surrounding air exceeds that temperature.
  2. Rate of Rise Heat Detectors. (ROR)
    A rate-of-rise heat detector operates when the ambient temperature increases over time equal to or greater than the rate of change the detector was manufactured to operate. A temperature increase at the sensor of 15°F (9°C) or more per minute, activates the rate-of-rise feature. This closes the contacts in the sensor to transmit the alarm condition to the fire alarm control panel.

Carbon Monoxide

For the the safety of you and your family, it is advisable to fit a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in your home.  Just like a smoke alarm which alerts you to the presence of smoke, a carbon monoxide detector will alert you to the presence of CO.The difference with CO is that it is invisible and has no smell or taste, so you might not realise it is there.

It recommended that you have a carbon monoxide alarm in every room which has a gas appliance. Always follow the alarm manufacturer’s instructions on siting, testing and replacing the alarm. Please note: It is important to choose an alarm that will wake you up if you’re asleep, or you may not be aware of early CO symptoms until it is too late.

Where can I get an alarm?

Carbon monoxide alarms cost around £15 and can be purchased from your local DIY store, supermarket or from your energy supplier.

General Advice

Experts advise having a combination of the two Heat Detectors that will ultimately respond when the fixed temperature element reaches its point of change. Do not forget to install and maintain household smoke alarms and check that the batteries are working on a regular basis.

While you are in the mode for protecting your home from fires and smoke why not also install a Carbon Monoxide detector to ensure that your gas fired boiler is working correctly and not emitting harmful toxic fumes? Better to be safe than sorry.


If you have any of your own top tips for Heat Detectors then we would love to hear them! Please share to our Facebook page, tweet us or send us an email.


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