Fire Safety, Smart Home

3 key benefits of FireAngel’s Multi-Sensor Thermoptek Smoke Alarms

FireAngel’s Technical Director, Chris Bolger, explains how Thermoptek multi-sensing technology is used in FireAngel’s Specification alarms to provide a rapid, reliable reaction in the event of a fire.

Thermoptek is a type of smoke alarm sensor technology found within FireAngel’s Specification range of mains and battery powered enhanced optical smoke alarms, the technology of choice for over 90% of the UK Fire and Rescue service.

Thermoptek technology provides a much faster alert to danger in comparison to non-Thermoptek alarms, giving residents more time to escape from a property should a fire occur.

Identifying a need for enhanced protection

Thermoptek smoke alarm

All optical smoke alarms sold in the UK need to comply to the European standard BS EN 14604 and must pass five live fire tests which measure how an alarm performs in different types of smoke.

This includes test with white, billowy smoke, often seen as a result of sofa fires and also includes dense black smoke, often seen when burning tyres.

Standard optical smoke alarms detect a fire by sending out a beam of light, using a receiver to monitor the beam. Any smoke will flow into an optical chamber within the alarm, causing the beam of light to hit the smoke and scatter the light rays.

These rays are then picked up by the receiver – enabling the detection between clean air and smoke.

Traditionally, optical alarms perform well at detecting slow, smouldering fires and less so with detecting black smoke from fast flaming fires. However, a secondary product of a fast-flaming fire is heat.

And it is this factor that allows Thermoptek multi-sensor technology to provide enhanced detection of fire.

What does Thermoptek mean?

Combining optical sensing with thermal enhancement, Thermoptek technology uses two separate sensing elements to constantly monitor for two different by-products of fires: smoke and temperature increases.

If a rapid rate of temperature rise is detected the sensitivity of the smoke alarm is increased. This provides a quicker response time to all fire types; fast-flaming and slow-burning fires.

Updates made to BS 5839-6:2019 recommends the installation of multi-sensor smoke alarm technology throughout a property.

Three benefits to using Thermoptek multi-sensor alarm technology

Thermoptek smoke alarm

1. It provides a faster reaction time to all types of fires  

Traditionally ionisation alarms were used to detect all types of fire (although often prone to false alarms due to sensitivity), however they are currently being phased out in the industry due to their environmental impact.

Thermoptek technology enables optical alarms to react just as well as ionisation alarms in all instances.

2. A stable, toast-proof alarm  

An optical alarm that doesn’t feature Thermoptek multi-sensing technology could be made more sensitive to try and better detect dense black smoke.

However, this means the alarm would be overly sensitive and react to burnt toast or a steamy shower and would quickly become a nuisance. Thermoptek technology provides a stable, reliable and quicker reacting alarm.

3. It provides a richer, greater set of data for the FRS

Alarms that use Thermoptek technology enable FireAngel to continue to support the UK’s Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) with their forensic analysis of alarms that have been involved in a fire incident.

Devices with multi-sensor technology can log whether they have gone into a ‘Thermoptek’ sensing state – meaning whether they’ve enhanced their sensitivity by detecting temperature rise – and can inform the FRS of the ferocity of the fire.

When paired with FireAngel Predict™, this data is working to transform how the Service provide and manage fire safety for vulnerable residents.

Multi-Sensor technology: Extra fire safety features

Thermoptek smoke alarm

All FireAngel multi-sensor alarms include a sealed for life battery and low profile, modern aesthetic design. They are suitable for installation in hallways, landings, bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms.

Larger terminal blocks and simple two part installation of our mains powered alarm range, ensures installation is quick and simple for both new build and retrofit sites.

With simple testing capability and multi-sensor technology, it also limits the number of false alarms and contractor call backs to site.

FireAngel Specification range, featuring Thermoptek technology, also include:

  • Ability to be built into hybrid networks of interlinked mains and/or battery powered devices, and when one sounds, they all sound
  • Interlinking alarms with locate feature – Silence all but the initiating alarm in a network by pressing the test button
  • Noise identification – When interlinked, each unit will sound a different sound pattern depending on the triggering alarm whether smoke/heat or carbon monoxide
  • Low energy usage – Alarms typically use 90% less power than the average 230V AC smoke alarm
  • Sleep Easy feature – silence low battery chirp for 8 hours, allowing occupant to delay replacement until daylight hours
  • Smart silence – Allows the alarm to be silenced for up to 10 minutes in the event of a known false alarm. During this time if additional smoke is detected then the alarm will sound
  • Option of linking to a gateway to enable smart features such as easy testing of alarms and updates of status whilst away from the home
  • Suitable for homes in England and Wales, as well as Scotland when installed following the detail set out in the new fire & CO regulations

FireAngel Thermoptek smoke alarms and multi-sensing technology is at the forefront of fire safety developments. Discover more about our Specification range today.