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Interlinked vs fire alarm panel


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I want to put detectors in every bedroom and living room as well as the hallways. I also need a heat detector in the kitchen. 

 

In total I need 9 smoke detectors, 1 heat detector and 2 smoke (or heat) and CO alarms.

 

I'm a big fan of wired rather than wireless and read that AICO seem to be a favourite on this site. Costing these up, they seem to be about £46 for a HD or SD and 77 for the CO and HD combined. This is a total of about £614 excluding cabling.

 

Now it seems to me that for this price I could put in a centralised control panel in the plant room and wire back to it and probably have some change. The individual detectors are much cheaper and I would only need sounder bases in the corridors and say the kitchen downstairs which is central.

 

The central system has the benefit of a single battery which is charged and the sensors are smaller and look a bit nicer as well as being cheaper to replace when they go out of date...

 

So has anyone else made the decision to go for a central fire panel and had problems with it or have I missed something vital?

 

Its an extension so I don't think I have any BC requirements to check it and I'll be wiring it myself so that may be a big factor in cost.

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Why do you want them in every bedroom?  Building regs does not ask for that.

 

You can get AICO a LOT cheaper on ebay, just check the "replace by" dates to make sure you are not buying old stock.  Aico also do a switch unit that will silence them, test them, or identify which one has set them all off.

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I just like the idea of a sensor in every room. I know building regs specify the minimum but I have gone well beyond building regs in most aspects of the building.

 

With the amount of electronics now, never mind when my kids grow up, with questionable quality li-ion batteries, I think there is a risk in bedrooms particularly. So I am aiming for LD1.

 

I've seen the silence button and like the functionality. I'll keep my eyes open on ebay and reassess the costs

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But does what you are proposing comply with the interlinked requirements. 

 

Are making it more complicated than it needs to be, with more points of failure?  Shouldn't you really have a sounder at each detection point?  Do you need a UPS (backup battery) to manage the system you are proposing?  What happens if there is a fire and mains breaker trips?

 

A normal install, each unit has its own battery, so it doesn't care if the power trips.  It makes a loud noise at source of the fire and every other detection point. Simple.

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With a panel you will be into a maintenance contract to get the thing serviced.

 

I have an Aico detector in every habitable room, plus landings, so 11 sensors, plus a sounder on the roof terrace and the TEST/HUSH switch.

 

It is very simple to swap the sensor type over if, for example, you change the use of the room.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, JohnMo said:

Are making it more complicated than it needs to be

Usually the answer to this is yes... I find a complicated solution then after a few days go back to something simpler.

 

It goes above the interlinked requirements. but it's a good point about the single point of failure. I suppose the only undetected dangerous failure would be a fire in the fire panel taking out the battery. I'd hope that's not credible...

 

as for sounders in every room. I don't think that's necessary but isn't a problem. it's detection nor sirens I want in every room.

 

I just assumed a central commercial panel wired in a star would be better than loads of daisy chained individual units. Being more resilient to obsolescence, easier to fault find and cheaper for big systems. But maybe its overcomplicated

Edited by FrankHouse
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49 minutes ago, TonyT said:

Yes, as the fire alarm would have to be serviced twice a year.

 The aico needs testing by pressing a button

I assume testing twice a year wouldn't be any more arduous than testing the individual units with a button?

 

I'm not proposing getting into a service contract. is there some requirement for a service contract when you wire them via a panel that I am unaware of? I have had a look but can't see anything. I'm not sure why they would be any different to interlinked alarms. the function is still the same isn't it?

 

I'm not trying to be difficult but am just trying to understand why everyone does it they way they do... if it's just because it's always done that way then fine, if it's a law then ok. HMOs and small commercial properties use panels.

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A quick follow up for anyone who is interested or comes across this in the future:

 

Normal house alarms with battery backups in the units are classified as grade D2, a centralised unit with a central battery is a grade C and there is a grade A which is higher spec still. You can go from a D2 to a C or A but not the other way around. There is no B.

 

There is a domestic grade C system made by CTEC which can be retrofitted onto the normal three core and earth wiring you would use for interlinked alarms which has a single battery in the controller. This is quite a simple system and would probably be cheaper overall than AICOs (unless you get a good deal from ebay) and it has a central test and hush function.

 

After all that I am going to use the AICOs recommended on here for the main reason that you can get a combined heat and CO alarm which I cant seem to find for the conventional grade C alarm system. The ceiling clutter is more important to me than the price, especially when you can get the AICO test button which gives most of the same functionality as the central system.

 

So I went round in a big circle and ended up back where everyone else already was... but I enjoyed the journey! 

 

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1 hour ago, FrankHouse said:

combined heat and CO alarm

Just to check, do you need a CO alarm? I.e. you have gas appliances? 

We went all electric and didn't bother with a CO alarm

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1 hour ago, joth said:

Just to check, do you need a CO alarm? I.e. you have gas appliances? 

We went all electric and didn't bother with a CO alarm

I am putting in log burning stoves in the 2 front rooms - they are externally vented so should be room sealed but my understanding is I will need them in there

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