Discuss New Mains Powered smoke alarm beta testers needed. in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Hi all,

I'm working in a company that makes battery smoke alarms, we're now one of the biggest intrusion alarm manufacturers in the EU region. We're developing our own Mains Powered Smoke / Heat / Co detectors and I would like to talk to proffesionl electricians who installs AICO / FireAngel / Kidde detectors.

We have some cool ideas how to improve existing smoke detectors, so we would like to hear from a proffesional electricians.
 

Vortigern

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So how and what would you like to talk about. I fit these things and install fire alarm systems. So what's new about your gear? I get quite a few landlord jobs and have a job extending a fire alarm system in a commercial coming up so what could we do for each other with that in mind?
 
OP
togglenation
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So how and what would you like to talk about. I fit these things and install fire alarm systems. So what's new about your gear? I get quite a few landlord jobs and have a job extending a fire alarm system in a commercial coming up so what could we do for each other with that in mind?
Thanks for your reply. I'm mostly interested in your experience with existing devices, and what do you think about existing terminals. We're thinking of changing the screw terminal to wago style terminals.
 

Vortigern

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Using Aico I often swear as the entry points for the cables are set in a square cage and small one at that so getting the cables in to the terminal is made difficult as they are hard to get at. Wago might be good but you need a straight entry into the terminals whatever the method of termination. Push fit would be good. You get them a lot on lights and when you are doing eighty lights it makes a hell of a difference. Detectors on fire alarm systems can be problematic. FP200 being so soft is prone to damage when attempting to make sure they are below the level required in order to get the detector to fit on the base. Screw terminals require a level of dexterity that is not often encountered in my trainees which results in lost screws. Although you should not really have to take them out it happens that inexperienced turn the screw too far and whoopsy, screw gone. Push fit would again be good.
 
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Using Aico I often swear as the entry points for the cables are set in a square cage and small one at that so getting the cables in to the terminal is made difficult as they are hard to get at. Wago might be good but you need a straight entry into the terminals whatever the method of termination. Push fit would be good. You get them a lot on lights and when you are doing eighty lights it makes a hell of a difference. Detectors on fire alarm systems can be problematic. FP200 being so soft is prone to damage when attempting to make sure they are below the level required in order to get the detector to fit on the base. Screw terminals require a level of dexterity that is not often encountered in my trainees which results in lost screws. Although you should not really have to take them out it happens that inexperienced turn the screw too far and whoopsy, screw gone. Push fit would again be good.
Wow, that's a lot of valuable information. Can I DM you for further communication?) Seems we have a lot of ideas that you might find useful.
 

littlespark

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I only ever fit aico… and find their connections lacking in space. Not the terminals, but the space needed for the tails.

At most, it should only be 2 x 3c&e, but sometimes you might need a 3rd cable in there if spurring to an additional detector. Normally that means an extra wago box in the ceiling above.

For the Scottish market, there are new rules coming in February that only allow F1 and D1 in a domestic setting… so basically nothing with a removable battery.
Adding onto an existing installation usually means changing a regular base to one with a radio module, and adding 10 year life battery detectors with radio, creating a part wired/part wireless system.
 
OP
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I only ever fit aico… and find their connections lacking in space. Not the terminals, but the space needed for the tails.

At most, it should only be 2 x 3c&e, but sometimes you might need a 3rd cable in there if spurring to an additional detector. Normally that means an extra wago box in the ceiling above.

For the Scottish market, there are new rules coming in February that only allow F1 and D1 in a domestic setting… so basically nothing with a removable battery.
Adding onto an existing installation usually means changing a regular base to one with a radio module, and adding 10 year life battery detectors with radio, creating a part wired/part wireless system.
Thanks, pretty well aware of Scottish regulations and about sealed batteries as well. Still quite not sure how do you connect 2 x 3c&e or 3 x 3c&e cables? If the wires come just from the ceiling, do you use additional wagobox somewhere near? Maybe you can share a photo?)

Still very insightful information.
 
OP
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Ideally I like a smoke (or heat) alarm to use the same base as the same model (or range) as 10 years ago. Then when it expires, swapping is quick and simple. I hate brands that have changed the base / mounting, so you have to wire up a new base.
We're thinking about different sizes of detectors and corresponding bases for Heat and for smoke since the size of the smoke and heat detectors can be different and you can pack heat detectors in a much more compact enclosure. Seems you this sounds bad to you as well?
 

Resu

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Aico now have the same base for all of their mains-powered products: smoke, heat, co & multi-sensor which is great. Generally speaking if you're going back in 10 years to swap it would more than likely be like for like so not necessarily an issue to have different sizes for different detectors.

As has been said the area for dressing the wires is a tad small on these especially when faced with 3 cables which does happen on occasion. Lining up the cable entry onto a fastfix box can also be more difficult than it needs to be too!
 
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Aico now have the same base for all of their mains-powered products: smoke, heat, co & multi-sensor which is great. Generally speaking if you're going back in 10 years to swap it would more than likely be like for like so not necessarily an issue to have different sizes for different detectors.

As has been said the area for dressing the wires is a tad small on these especially when faced with 3 cables which does happen on occasion. Lining up the cable entry onto a fastfix box can also be more difficult than it needs to be too!
Noted with thanks.

You say that lining up a cable entry box with a detector hole is a difficult process. Is it because the hole is not in the center of the base? Or it's just because the detector base hole is just not big enough?
 

Resu

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Noted with thanks.

You say that lining up a cable entry box with a detector hole is a difficult process. Is it because the hole is not in the center of the base? Or it's just because the detector base hole is just not big enough?
On the Aico ones it can be. It's due to being off-centre and there being too many hole options on the bases. I've found a few times that if I've had to replace a new style Aico base like for like it's common that the last man in had lined up the wrong fixing holes which means the overlap on the cable entry & box is very small. You're then left with the dilemma of struggling to fit the new one the same way or fitting it correctly, having a little more of an overlap but potentially leaving an unpainted bit of ceiling exposed.
 
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On the Aico ones it can be. It's due to being off-centre and there being too many hole options on the bases. I've found a few times that if I've had to replace a new style Aico base like for like it's common that the last man in had lined up the wrong fixing holes which means the overlap on the cable entry & box is very small. You're then left with the dilemma of struggling to fit the new one the same way or fitting it correctly, having a little more of an overlap but potentially leaving an unpainted bit of ceiling exposed.
Saw some of the replaced detectors pics which exposing some unpainted pics on Reddit) Can you please share the most typical fastfix boxes that you're using?
 

Resu

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I wouldn't usually cut in a box for a smoke detector if fitting off a new install. I'm in Scotland so doing my bit for the LD2 upgrades, particularly for the local authority at the moment, that's where we're finding alot of previously fitted ones with backboxes behind. The reason being that the first detectors were likely the one with the little plugs on the back with the fly-lead attached.
 
OP
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Ahh, I see now.

BTW, I have no idea how it can be possible to connect 2x 3c&e or even 3x 3c&e cables in a case like this. They simply wouldn't fit.
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littlespark

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its where 1mm cable has a huge advantage over 1.5mm.

Mid-line of a circuit is where you'de need 2 x 3cores.

Never needed to use it, but those bases also have a removable piece if you're wiring in MT2 mini trunking. (25x16) which, to me, would be damn near impossible to connect.
The holes in those bases for the screw heads are fine if you use the supplied screws, but if its just any old screw, ive seen existing where the head is sitting proud and not below (above?) the plastic.. so the detector itself doesn't slide on properly, or is forced on.

Is that someone using a straight screwdriver to turn a pozi screwhead??
 
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I kind of like fitting aico however not if it's 1.5mm 3 core or lsf. if its 1mm 3core then they are great much better than what I have been fitting a lot of lately which is hi spec alarms they are fa pain in comparison also you cannot mix interlinked alarms and radio controlled alarms with hi spec unlike with aico.

I would like to see a slightly bigger area for terminating the cable along with interchangeable base unit across whole range (no neons on base) and circular unit so it doesnt take time putting it up square.

So basically an AICO alarm but larger area for terminating cable's as someone else mentioned sometimes you do have 3x3cores in there
 

LastManOnline

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Ahh, I see now.

BTW, I have no idea how it can be possible to connect 2x 3c&e or even 3x 3c&e cables in a case like this. They simply wouldn't fit.
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As with previous posters I have the same issues with the inadequacy of the terminal box.By the way, I never connect them up as shown in the photo as I would end up tearing my hair out. I terminate before mounting the the base. Far easier.
 
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As with previous posters I have the same issues with the inadequacy of the terminal box.By the way, I never connect them up as shown in the photo as I would end up tearing my hair out. I terminate before mounting the the base. Far easier.
I install hundreds of these alarms every year two lots of 3cores is the norm but not idea, it is possible to terminate three lots of 3 cores but it is tricky and I would not like to do it on a regular basis would much rather use a radio link if possible and take power from somewhere else
 

pc1966

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Must admit I have never seen it. In any case I am not allowed to use 1mm(more,s the pity!)
It is one of the oddities in the UK regs that 1mm is only permitted for fixed wiring if it is for lightning. 1.5mm is the minimum for "power".

Now you can say the fire alarms are being mains powered, so need to have 1.5mm (for reasons nobody has quite explained) as a dedicated supply, even if from a 6A MCB. However, often they are permitted to be powered from a lighting circuit since people will notice and presumably fix any trip of that supply, which of course is probably done all in 1mm!
 
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It is one of the oddities in the UK regs that 1mm is only permitted for fixed wiring if it is for lightning. 1.5mm is the minimum for "power".

Now you can say the fire alarms are being mains powered, so need to have 1.5mm (for reasons nobody has quite explained) as a dedicated supply, even if from a 6A MCB. However, often they are permitted to be powered from a lighting circuit since people will notice and presumably fix any trip of that supply, which of course is probably done all in 1mm!
That has never crossed my mind to be fair good shout
 
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togglenation
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It is one of the oddities in the UK regs that 1mm is only permitted for fixed wiring if it is for lightning. 1.5mm is the minimum for "power".

Now you can say the fire alarms are being mains powered, so need to have 1.5mm (for reasons nobody has quite explained) as a dedicated supply, even if from a 6A MCB. However, often they are permitted to be powered from a lighting circuit since people will notice and presumably fix any trip of that supply, which of course is probably done all in 1mm!
Wow, that's really odd. Can you point out which regulation forces to do so?
 

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