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Which Smoke Alarm is Best for You?

Thursday, 30 January 2020 15:36:49 Europe/London


Why Do You Need a Smoke Alarm?

A house can go up in flames in less than 4 minutes, but a smoke alarm provides that life saving first warning, allowing you to get out in time and call the fire brigade. There are approximately 590,000 house fires in the UK each year, and you are 4x more likely to survive if you have a working smoke alarm.

What are the Different Types of Smoke Alarm and Which Rooms Should They be Installed in?

There are three different types of smoke and heat alarms, all carefully designed for use in specific rooms in the house, and to detect the types of smoke and fires that commonly start in those rooms. Ideally, your house should have a combination of all of the alarms listed below. 

#1: Optical Smoke Alarms

Optical smoke detectors use infrared beams and photosensors to “see” smoke particles because they block the beam, which activates the alarm.

Pros: Optical smoke alarms are ideal for detecting slow burning, smouldering fires, and are less likely to be set off by everyday cooking when placed near a kitchen.

Cons: Less sensitive to fast burning fires that don’t produce a lot of smoke, and are often more expensive than ionisation smoke alarms.

Placement: Optical smoke alarms are best suited for use in hallways, landings, living rooms, and separate dining rooms.

#2: Ionisation Smoke Alarms

The most common type of smoke alarm, ionisation smoke detectors use a harmless radioactive element to create a small electrical current. This current will get disrupted if any smoke particles enter the chamber, setting off the alarm.

Pros: Ionisation smoke alarms are perfect for detecting fast burning fires with smaller smoke particles, and are often the cheapest to buy.

Cons: Less sensitive to slower burning fires, and can often be accidentally set off by cooking or smoking.

Placement: Ionisation smoke alarms are best suited for fitting in bedrooms and lofts.

#3: Heat Alarms

Heat detectors use a highly accurate thermostat to constantly monitor the temperature of the air in a room, when this temperature reaches 58°C the alarm is activated.

Pros: With heat detectors here is almost no chance of false alarm, so they can be used in rooms where other alarm types would constantly be set off.

Cons: They don't detect fires as quickly as optical and ionisation smoke alarms.

Placement: Heat alarms are perfect for use in kitchens and garages.

#4: Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Although this isn’t technically a smoke or heat alarm, a carbon monoxide detector is just as important to have in your home. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas that is a product of burning fuels. When inhaled, carbon monoxide inhibits blood from carrying oxygen around the body, which is often fatal. CO alarms activate when they detect carbon monoxide in the air.

Pros: Carbon monoxide alarms alert you to a CO leak at levels that may cause a mild headache. There is also no chance of a false alarm because they are triggered by a chemical reaction to CO and any amount of carbon monoxide could indicate a leak. 

Placement: Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed anywhere with an open fire or fuel burning appliance.

What Are Multisensor, Dual or Combined Detectors?

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between the two; in multisensor alarms the two sensors play off each other to get more accurate readings, but combined detectors are simply two sensors operating separately inside the same device. A good example of a multisensor detector is the Aico Ei3024 optical smoke alarm and heat detector, which reduces the chance of false alarms when the alarm is placed in a kitchen, but increasing the speed that it will alert you to a fire.

Should You Get a Battery or Mains Powered Smoke Alarm?

Although both mains and battery powered alarms have their individual uses, nine times out of ten mains powered is the way to go. In the UK it is highly recommended that you have at least one smoke alarm per house is connected to the mains as they are more reliable. Mains smoke alarms run off the grid so you don’t have to worry about the battery dying, and they usually have a built-in backup battery in case of power cuts. Battery powered alarms are ideally used in places where there is little to no mains supply, such as caravans, boats, and temporary buildings.

Can You Get Smoke Alarms for People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing?

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, then the sound of a regular smoke alarm will generally not be enough to alert you to a fire, because of this, many companies have created alarms that will vibrate or flash as well. A good example of this is the Aico Ei128RBU relay module which can be attached onto or nearby any Aico alarm and configured to set off external devices, such as indicator lights, magnetic door handles, or strobes, when the alarm is activated. This means that both people who are hard of hearing and people who aren’t can benefit from the same fire alarm system.


Now you should have all the information you need to pick out the perfect alarms for your building, however, if you have any questions please feel free to give us a call on 0203 994 5470, drop us an email at sales@electricpoint.com or use our Contact Form.

Posted By Charlie Cochrane

Aico SmartLINK - What You Need To Know

Friday, 17 January 2020 12:40:07 Europe/London


Aico Smartlink - The landlords solution to tenants safety through maintenance & reporting

The popular Aico 3000 series SmartLINK detectors have been available for a couple of years now, but Aico have now gone one step further with the release of the new Ei1000G SmartLINK gateway and online portal, reporting valuable management information from your interconnected alarms. This is great news for landlords and commercial maintenance companies, allowing data and reporting of each smoke or carbon monoxide detector to be downloaded via a mobile App, tablet or on your desktop. Aico said they listened to Landlords and the common issues they had with keeping up to date with detector health and generally accessing their properties to complete these tasks, which is why Aico made the Ei1000G gateway module, providing data on detector health, mains failure notifications and end of life reports, all without having to enter the property. 

Live updates and feedback

Similar to Nest, notifications can be setup via GSM network so you can receive texts or emails on important live events and alerts such as detector failure or any other issues. All data sent is accessible from a web portal and is securely stored, which is only available to associated clients. 

Reassurance of alarm health to protect your tenants is vital

The Ei1000G gateway is reliable and easy to set up, connecting up to 12 devices fitted with the SmartLINK Ei3000MRF module using a unique radio frequency to communicate without any cables. The Ei3000G then sends information direct to the portal via a data roaming sim so you can read it on the easy to use dashboard on your personal device. The dashboard provides a full picture of information and history, doing away with old maintenance spreadsheets that many Landlords are currently using. 

Our range of Aico 3000 series smoke and heat alarms:

Aico EI3014 Heat Alarm Detector SmartLINK

• Aico EI3016 Optical Smoke Alarm SmartLINK

Aico EI3018 Carbon Monoxide Detector SmartLINK

Aico EI3024 Heat Detector and Optical Smoke Alarm SmartLINK

Aico EI3028 Heat Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm SmartLINK

You can install up to 12 devices per Ei1000G gateway, but with the portal you can also add multiple systems, providing complete control of your whole property portfolio in one easy to use management system.

SmartLINK technology also allows the Aico 3000 Series to be backwards compatible with previous Aico wireless interconnection technology such as RadioLINK and RadioLINK+, which is good news if you’ve recently upgraded to RadioLINK.

View our full range of smoke alarms. For more information, help and advice please get in touch by phone 0203 994 5470 or email sales@electricpoint.com 

Posted By Ellis Peters

Home Automation Where To Start?

Tuesday, 14 January 2020 15:45:05 Europe/London


Home automation where to start?

You’ve come to the right place. Our Lightwave Gen 2 range is revolutionising home automation, allowing you to manage your home settings from virtually anywhere with Lightwave’s LinkPlus App.

It all starts with a hub

Lightwave offers a state-of-the-art, newly upgraded smart WIFI hub. The hub transforms the way you control lighting and power devices by connecting them to your smartphone and tablet. The smart hub allows you to monitor and control lighting, heating and home security from its simple to use LinkPlus App. It will also provide data on energy consumption. Compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and IFTTT, Lightwave Gen 2 smart hub utilises voice control to allow you to operate your home settings hands free.

Need a dimming solution?

Tired of having to get out of bed to switch the lights off? Lightwave Gen 2 smart dimmer range has been specially designed to allow you to manage the mood and feel of a room, whilst providing a hands-free solution to dimming via voice control. The features of the smart dimmer switches include soft-start illumination, 2-way switching and multi-way wireless communication with other Lightwave devices. Using Lightwave Gen 2 dimmers will allow you to take control of your lighting schedules.

Secure your home remotely

Lightwave Gen 2 smart sockets give you the ability to provide security and peace of mind for when you are not at home. In addition to offering 2-way switching and voice control, Lightwave smart double sockets can simulate occupancy by allowing you to switch the radio or TV when you are away. To support this function, Lightwave’s LinkPlus App will monitor your home settings but also secure and protect your personal information by automatically backing up your information on remote servers. Is child safety a concern? Lightwave Gen 2 sockets can be locked via the LinkPlus App to prevent children from injuring themselves. Furthermore, if you don’t have access to your smartphone or tablet, you can access the app through a desktop or laptop.

Feel inspired? Take a look at our Lightwave Gen 2 range

Posted By Ellis Peters

Guide to 18th Edition Wiring Regulations

Friday, 25 October 2019 09:30:48 Europe/London


Need to know more about 18th Edition Wiring Regulations?

We know that it can be difficult keeping up to date with new regulation. Therefore, we've provided a handy guide to some of the new wiring regulations that came into force since January 2019.

Download the Guide Here: Wylex 18th Edition Wiring Regulations Guide

Browse the latest 18th Edition Consumer Units & Accessories:

Wylex 18th Edition Consumer Units

Wylex 18th Edition MCB's

Wylex 18th Edition RCBO's

Posted By Allan Wicks

New Smart Electric Heating from Dimplex

Friday, 18 October 2019 11:13:29 Europe/London


Exciting future ahead for electric heating

The need for smart electric heating and water heating is becoming ever more present. To meet this demand, Dimplex have future proofed their heater range by releasing the ‘Dimplex Control’ App. The App is being rolled out to all their leading ranges including the brand-new Quantum RF storage heaters, Edel RF Water Cylinders and Quantum RF Water Cylinders

What can the new app do?

The Control App allows users to control multiple heaters and locations, adjust the temperature or heating mode, spot faults, set a timer and track your energy usage. Even better, you can control your heating while you are on holiday from your smartphone or tablet. Each heater will be connected through the Dimplex Hub and controlled by the Control App. All heaters except the Quantums will require the RF module to be connected to the App.

What about the existing heaters being sold by Dimplex?

If you have brought an existing Dimplex Series A panel heater, we have been told that the heaters (Q-Rad, Monterey, Girona, Saletto, PLXE, PLXENC and LSTE) will not be ready for use with Dimplex Control App. Dimplex are launching Series B panel heaters at the start of 2020 which will be compatible with the Dimplex Control App (note they will still require the RFM and Hub to work over WIFI). A Bluetooth software upgrade will be available with Series B heaters.  

For more information, click here: https://www.electricpoint.com/heating/electric-heating/what-is-dimplex-control.html

Posted By Ellis Peters

Marshall-Tufflex 100% Recyclable Trunking

Environmental Sustainability is currently more important than ever, and Marshall-Tufflex are leading the way with eco-friendly plastic cable trunking. Their conduit, maxi, and mini trunking lengths are all made from 100% recycled materials! At Medlocks we care deeply about sustainable production, and we are more than proud to be supplying these game-changing products. The best thing is Marshall-Tufflex have been making PVC ducting this way for years, so it’s the same amazing quality as always!

For more information go to: https://content.yudu.com/web/69r/0A19ww8/EWJULY2019/html/index.html?page=26&origin=reader

Posted By Charlie Cochrane

Need a guide on new Lot 20 Dimplex and Creda Products?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 14:09:09 Europe/London

Confused on the new Lot 20 EcoDesign Products? Check out our product conversion guides for Dimplex and Creda.

Still confused? Give us a call we are only to happy to help. We are fully up on the new regulations coming into force in January 2018.

Posted By Allan Wicks

What is Lot 20 and EcoDesign Compliant Controls?

Monday, 14 August 2017 13:01:07 Europe/London

EcoDesign complaint heating controls. Technincally known as Lot 20 is one of a number of "product lots" which are part of the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive (EED 2015/1188), we have already seen similar changes to light bulbs, washing machines and televisions.

“All local space heaters manufactured for sale in the EU after 1st January 2018 which use electricity, gaseous or liquid fuels, must comply with a minimum efficiency standard. This includes electric radiators, electric underfloor heating and electric and gas fires.”

Very basically this means all new heaters from 2018 will have to have built in smart EcoDesign complaint controls with features that include:

  1. 24 hour or 7 day Timer Control. This could be an integral programmer or wireless through a smartphone app with WIFI connectivity.
  2. Thermostatic Control. Accurate room temperature measurement by an electronic thermostat.
  3. Smart Delayed Start Control. Open door or window recognition technology reduces wasted energy when a thermostat detects a drop in temperature the heater will choose when to provide heat.

Want to know more detail? Check out our Lot 20 Ecodesign Complaint Controls article.


Posted By Electricpoint

Think your house is secure?

Friday, 28 October 2016 10:06:20 Europe/London

The nights are getting darker so home security is a hot topic. Everyone seems to have little tricks to make their home more secure like hiding keys in weird places or storing valuables in hard to reach places. Compare the market surveyed a lot of people to understand what people think of home security. They were actually able to overturn some of the assumptions people make. For instance, 23% of people store their valuables in their underwear drawer but this makes it one of the first places burglars look.


Also, we know that electronic alarm systems will deter criminals but we didn't think that a gravel driveway would be off-putting. Experts in the field say that the noise of a gravel driveway will make an experienced thief choose somewhere else.


Here's the article with more myths and facts about home security.

Posted By Atom 42

How to choose an air conditioner

Monday, 22 August 2016 20:27:07 Europe/London

The British summer this year has been generous with long and warm days. In order to anticipate the next heat wave that’s about to hit us, Electricpoint can give you a few tips about how you can choose the best air conditioning system for your needs.

Read More
Posted By Atom 42
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