How Many Fire Alarms Do I Need?
Fire alarms are a must-have for homes and commercial properties. First and foremost, this is for the safety of anyone inside the building. But for commercial sites, it’s also a legal requirement to have the right measures in place.
That said, it’s not usually enough to have one fire alarm on its own – and not all properties need the same number of fire alarms. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the number of fire alarms you need, and some other factors to consider.
Rule of thumb for homes
A good rule of thumb for most homes is to have at least one smoke alarm on every level. This makes sure any fire is detected as soon as possible by the alarm nearest to it. For most homes, one per level will suffice.
However, larger homes may require multiple alarms on each level to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out. If you have a particularly big house or large rooms, it may even be worth installing one per room. Remember, there is no real harm in having too many fire alarms.
What about commercial properties?
Because they’re typically larger than homes, commercial properties often require more fire alarms too. As well as being a safety matter, this is a legal matter relating to the Bermuda Fire Safety Act (2014).
While the act doesn’t outline a specific requirement for the number of fire alarms for a commercial site, it does mention that a fire certificate may be issued with conditions relating to “the type, number and location of fire alarm and detection equipment.”
Without a fire certificate, you won’t be legally allowed to use your commercial property, which is why it’s so important to seek expert advice about your fire alarm requirements.
Locations of fire smoke alarms
The location of your fire alarms is just as crucial as the number of alarms you use. In short, it’s no use having multiple alarms if they’re in the wrong place:
- Bathrooms are one no-go area for smoke alarms, as the steam can set them off.
- While it may seem logical, smoke alarms shouldn’t be placed near ovens and hobs either. As well as false alarms, a build up of grease can stop the alarm working altogether.
- Sources of ventilation like vents, fans and windows can also be problematic as they may blow the smoke away and prevent your detector from working.
Types of smoke alarms
As well as the location and number, it’s worth considering the type of fire alarm you’re using:
- Ionisation smoke alarms are best for flaming fires
- Photoelectric smoke alarms are more suitable for smouldering fires
- Fixed temperature heat alarms detect high temperatures, ideal for kitchens
- Rate-of-rise heat alarms detect unusual rises in heat for lower temperature environments
Want to find out more?
If you want to make sure your property has the right number of fire alarms – as well as the right type and locations – the best advice is to speak to the experts. At Selectron, we have a wealth of experience supplying and installing a range of fire alarms across Bermuda.
With a full site inspection, our team can recommend the best solution to protect your home or commercial site from fires and provide a free, no obligation quote.