Thinking of installing a fire alarm? What you need to know.

The Grenfell Tower tragedy is the worst fire that has affected a residential tower block in the UK. However, it is not the only one; there have been a number of blazes in homes and businesses over the last few months that have made the headlines and countless others that don’t although the impact is just as devastating on those whose lives they touch. According to the Fire Service the fire and rescue service is called out to over 600,000 fires every year which lead to 800 deaths and thousands of injuries across the country. Of these, around 140 a day take place in the home and could have been easily prevented had there been an early warning system in place to enable people to get out in time.


Recent events and such statistics raise the question in the mind of many: Should I install a fire alarm in my home or business? The short answer in every case is yes. Below is a guide to the types of fire alarms on the market and what you need to know about each to help you decide which option is best for your circumstances.


Smoke alarms. Every single home and business should have a smoke alarm (or smoke detector) as the most basic fire prevention measure. Cheap to buy from any DIY store and many large supermarkets, they are easy to install and only need to be checked once a month to make sure the batteries are not running low. There are a number of different types on the market, ranging from those that detect smoke through movement, to heat alarms that detect changes in the temperature caused by a fire, or combination alarms that also detect carbon monoxide.


Conventional fire alarms. Also known as four-wire alarm systems, they are the cheapest option on the market and commonly found in smaller properties, shops, and restaurants. They work by dividing the space into individual detection zones which will help to quickly isolate the source of a fire making it easier to tackle and identify the cause. Two-wire systems are also available which allow both the detector and alarm to be wired to the same system.


Addressable alarms. Also known as analogue or intelligent systems, they are better suited for larger buildings which require a more complex network of systems to be installed that will enable identification of the location, type (e.g. fire, smoke, or fault, etc.) and ability to control a potential fire.

Wireless alarms. The most expensive option, but the one that provides the greatest flexibility in terms of installation and communication. Wireless alarms are particularly suitable for properties where installing wiring may be difficult, expensive, or even prohibited (for example in certain listed buildings).


Ask the professionals

For advice on what is most suitable for your property and type of business or premises, talk to us at DNA Security today. With years of experience in providing fire protection solutions, we will discuss your needs and undertake a risk assessment with you to determine the most appropriate solution for your circumstances. Just give us a call on 01424 718 844 for an initial chat or to make an appointment.